Dark Stares – The Lightning Echo

Darkly haunting and persistently mesmeric, The Lightning Echo is the new album from UK rockers Dark Stares. The successor to their acclaimed debut, Darker Days Are Here to Stay, the new release provides twelve tracks which lure the listener and imagination into the realm between warm and portentous dreams; each a siren of intimation and reflection which enjoyably proved rather hard to escape.

St Albans hailing, Dark Stares has been a persistent captivation from their early tracks and EPs such as Octopon and Soul Contract through to that creatively potent first full-length of last year. Looking back to Darker Days Are Here to Stay, there is no doubt that The Lightning Echo is the natural progression to its predecessor but equally it has evolved its own fascination and unique character of sound; a nagging seduction which wraps the senses like a crepuscular animal.

The album immediately strides through ears with You Know Me, the track’s high kneed beats stamping authority on attention as the fuzz bred grooves of Harry Collins wind around them and the equally magnetic tones of vocalist Miles Kristian Howell. From the single song alone it is easy to hear why Queens Of The Stone Age is often used as a comparison though there is no escaping the singular identity of the Dark Stares sound either.

The highly rousing start is prolonged by the similarly anthemic Dance, a tenacious command on the body bound in the dark climes of surf/desert rock. Again the imposing yet contagious lure of Brett Harland Howell’s bass and Taylor Howell’s spirited beats manipulate song and listener, the Middle Eastern lures cast by Collin’s guitar quite irresistible in one of the album’s major peaks.

Next up Spell You’ve Cast is a similarly beguiling temptress if a slightly sinistrous one, its body a writhing tease of grooves and enticing vocals across almost predatory rhythms while the following Crusader brings a dustier desert rock landscaped croon with volatility in its rich fertile earth. Each made for a riveting proposition if the first with fiercer temptation as too Mr Midnight with its rapacious crawl and tantalising menace. As those around it, the magnificent encounter spins a web of flavour and suggestion sparking imagination and appetite for its tenebrific charm and bait.

There is something of a Doors meets Muse shimmer to The Shadows and Faceless Man, the first with its mercurial climate and compelling sonic grumble breeding sheer dark captivation and through the second wrapping an emotive melodic shroud around ears before breaking out into its pensive musing. Sandwiched between them is Today, a song edging more firmly to the sixties psychedelia of Morison and co. and though it does not quite match up to those alongside one that only grips attention and enjoyment.

After them, In My Pocket initially shimmers before catching flame, repeating its persuasive melodic cycle with greater intensity as Zedi Forder-esque hues bring earnest breath to the increasingly compelling encounter while in turn intrigue soaked and with disquieting glamour Misty Lanes makes its potent play for best track honours.

The album concludes with the radiantly rapacious saunter of Dead and Gone and lastly the hearty rock ‘n’ roll of Rebel Angel. Both tracks hit the spot with the first another simply adding to the numerous reasons as to why The Lightning Echo should not be ignored.

Easily The Lightning Echo is the finest moment with Dark Stares to date, one which for us only gets more thrilling and addictive by the listen.

The Lightning Echo is out across most stores May 31st.

https://www.darkstares.com/   https://www.facebook.com/DarkStares/   https://twitter.com/dark_stares

Pete RingMaster 30/05/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

TV Coma – Body Negativity

If you can imagine the results of Weezer and Swound! musically cavorting with Jan and Dean alongside Blur with a punk nurtured revelry you can get a whiff of the sound of TV Coma though not necessarily the individual mischief and enterprise rampaging through their debut EP, Body Negativity. It offers six tracks of unbridled fun and boisterous deeds amongst cleverly manipulative creative antics and is simply one of the most enjoyable exploits we are sure to indulge in this year.

Emerging from the songwriting revelry of brothers Leo and Max Troy, St Albans hailing TV Coma is a foursome by bassist Jamie Rider and drummer Robert Clark. They also seemingly embrace the punk DIY ethics of yesterday with their first release recorded in Max’s bedroom who then mixed the tracks himself before passing them over to Alan Douches (Ben Folds Five, Converge, Sufjan Stephens, Mastodon) to add his professional gleam to things. The result is an encounter which has an organic roar and an instinctive devilry and one which eagerly gets under the skin with unbridled fun in close quarter.

Have A Party kicks things off and rises up from an encroaching sonic lure with big scythes of guitar and matching rhythms. Everything is an intriguing tease leading to the first vocal rally cry before things settle again into a calm stroll and reflection. It in turn invites ears and listeners to its subsequent chant loaded bellow and a finale which the body, if not already bouncing, can no longer escape. Seriously contagious with a great rock muscularity and edge to it, the track is a glorious invitation into the waiting fiendish clutches of EP and band.

There is no escaping thrusting a Weezer likeness to the following Digital Girl, the LA band one of the major inspirations for the brothers. Even so, the track is ablaze with raw pop punk zeal as it is pop rock catchiness and swiftly inciting physical and vocal participation with its rousing holler before Trudy latches on to its infectious antics for its own particular weave of viral contagion. Something akin to Weezer meets We Are the Physics with Asylums in close attendance, the track just saunters along spilling grooves and hooks like confetti as rhythms cast their own manipulative incitement. Surf pop harmonies escalate the fun and listener’s involvement with a track which never leaves a moment void of creative rascality.

A sonic clamour announces next up Unemployable; a short but attention stalking roar of angst and noise around more of the hooks and enterprising taunts the band seem to instinctively breed. The track instantly and effortlessly leads into inhibition losing shenanigans, reactions even more escalated with Football Song, a Blur meets Television Personalities howl which could easily be adopted by the sport’s fans or haters.

Grow Up completes the line-up of plaintive ejaculations. From its initial vocal wail to the punk rock soaked blaze of sound, the track is a zealously waving finger at immaturity and irresponsible fun whilst creatively providing both.

With each track sparked by traits within modern life, Body Negativity is one spirit rousing adventure. It might not be the best thing you will come across in 2019, though it very well could be too, but there will be few as memorable and even fewer as relentlessly enjoyable.

Body Negativity is out May 31st through Wiretap Records and @ https://tvcomamusic.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/tvcomamusic/   https://twitter.com/tvcomamusic

Pete RingMaster 30/05/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright