Combos – Steelo

Norwegian punk has not been slow in coming forward and grabbing our eager attention over recent years and the release of Steelo introduces another band we have made room in our hungry appetite for. It is the debut album of Trondheim-based punk/noise rock quintet Combos, a band which springs a voracious roar as animated and lively as it is defiantly antagonistic.

Emerging at the tail end of 2018, Combos was founded by guitarist/song writer Thomas Antonsen, vocalist Axel Møller Olsen, and drummer Andreas Kjøl Berg. Forging a rapaciously catchy sound from a fusion of punk and noise rock, the trio soon hooked praise and attention at home. Now with bassist Jørgen Wassvik and guitarist Terje Bjørndahl in their ranks, the quintet is setting their sights on bigger borders to arouse; a mission the Loyal Blood Records released Steelo openly shows the creative armoury to achieve.

Combos’ sound has something of a Shelter meets Swound! accosted by Bokassa to it. It is immediately infectious, just as swiftly aggressive and invasive, and an incitement of manipulation we could find few defences to. EP opener Boom Shakalaka tells you all you need to know about the holler and addictive nature of their creative stomping. Instantly rhythms are forcibly jabbing at the senses as riffs nag on punk instincts, their united incitement enough to have limbs punching even before the highly virulent encouragement of vocals and swinging rhythms. As shown across previous tracks, the band cast choruses which feed on one’s inner yell, easy to leap upon and share moments one’s own riotous body and roaring tones with. All the same, if not as bold as elsewhere upon the EP, twists and turns bring imagination and stirring enterprise, every second of the song listener orchestration.

Kjøl Berg’s dexterous beats are a potent essence within Steelo and an immediately compelling introduction to next up Meme Supreme. His rhythms demand attention, continuing to direct proceedings as guitars and vocals jump on his creative animation. Eventually the track bursts into a noisy clamour retaining a catchiness increasingly escalated by the drummer’s gripping rhythmic athletics which only continues within Mad Beef and its niggling irritability amidst physical tenacity. The delicious growl of Wassvik’s bass had us quickly hooked as too the sonic web cast by the guitars before it all descends into a smog like trespass, this only bringing greater focus on factors behind it when clearing.

Nerdz is a spiral of grooves and rhythmic fingering from its first breath, a song sharing a broader flavouring of sound as post punk and hardcore essences collude with its noise bred instincts while Make Money Take Money is a pandemonium of styles and temptation which is chained by melodic restraint until bursting upon ears in another commotion of a chorus. That post punk hue again enjoyably tainted the raucous spirit of the trespass and again both tracks left us greedy for more which All About The Wex heartily fed. A slice of feral rock ‘n’ roll, it teases with its initial distant baiting before leaping upon ears with noise bound audacity and physical dexterity; it all coated in a garage bed rascality.

The EP is completed by Bro In Pain and its title track; the first also laying down its addiction through ravenous beats before reaping its subservient rewards through vocal and melodic shenanigans. There is a touch of Shevils to the song in certain moments but as throughout the release belongs distinctly to Combos as too the second of the pair, the magnificent Steelo again entangling noise and post punk lures to viral contagion and inescapable manipulation.

The word was that Combos is one of the most promising up-and coming Norwegian bands; well they are here face to face with the world with Steelo, both refusing to be ignored and more than living up to that suggestion.

Steelo is out now through Loyal Blood Records.

https://www.facebook.com/combosofficial

Pete RingMaster 19/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview

Nived – Self Titled EP

Sharing a quartet of emotionally bred, atmospherically captivating proposals, the self-titled debut EP from US singer/songwriter Nived is described as ‘sensory seductive’ and we have to say we cannot think of a better way to describe the captivating encounter.

Hailing from a city with instinctive assumptions made to music coming from within, Nashville based Nived quickly pushes aside expectations with his blend of emo/alternative rock and dark pop, one further laced with industrial like texturing. Even that does not quite reveal all of the hues making up the character of the songs within his first EP, a release which swiftly lured attention but has only further captivated thereon in.

See is the first track and immediately wraps an enticing melodic strand around ears. Electronic intimation soon joins its suggestion as too Nived’s similarly magnetic tones; it all a seductive and emotionally bred hug on the senses. Shadows float across its darkened pop landscape, those emo hues as keenly emotive in its catchy reflection and calmly lively amble.

The following Shame is just as inventively crafted; darkness and light colluding in a tapestry of emotion and electronic radiance as vocals and words portray the crepuscular hue of its heart. Rock and indie spices only add further depth and colour to its short but potent presence before Cry reveals its heavier rock heart and industrially dusted touch. Our favourite track, it almost taunts with its singular declaration before becoming a flood of seduction within electronic reassurance; a ballad which continues to haunt the imagination.

The release is concluded by Shadow, a song arising within the darkest shadows upon the EP to bare its melancholic elegance and understated but openly tempestuous heart; one welcoming the darkest thoughts and compulsions.

It is a fine end to a release which has only grown from firmly enjoyable to thickly compelling by the listen; its relatable darkness and dreamy light proving keen company in a time of the kind of isolation that can breed its own dark intimacy.

The Nived EP is out now.

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

Pete RingMaster 19/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview

Ignea — The Realms of Fire and Death

An encounter provoking thought and the imagination as voraciously as it did ears and body, The Realms of Fire and Death is the new album from Ukraine melodic metallers Ignea. It provides a full-blooded emprise of sound and storytelling which from start to finish took attention and pleasure under its visceral and viscera stained embrace.

Kiev hailing, Ignea first emerged in 2013 under the name of Parallax. The Sputnik EP was released a year later before in 2015 the band rebranded as Ignea and began a new chapter in their evolving sound and creative character. Debut album The Sign of Faith found a praise carrying welcome in 2017, success leading to tours across Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands with bands such as Nordic death metallers Illdisposed, Butcher Babies and Kobra and the Lotus and shows within the likes of Slovakia and the Czech Republic as well as prominent festivals in France, Lithuania, and Ukraine over the next couple of years. It was a time also seeing the band writing and crafting the concept tale behind The Realms of Fire and Death.

Divided into three major parts and accompanied by a book of short tales incorporating the lyrics of each song, it is fair to say that The Realms of Fire and Death incited ears and the imagination equally from its first captivating symbol and metaphor intimating moments. It soon proved impossible not to be as entangled in the stories breeding its themes of fire and death as the sounds shaping their individual and distinct adventures. Musically the band’s melodic metal is a tapestry of flavours and styles, an undercurrent of the symphonic metal which the band first arose with embracing richer electronic enterprise whilst the multiplicity of their metal bred sound is often as brutal and predacious as it is melodically seductive and progressively scented.

The album opens with Queen Dies and a rhythmic intimation luring ancient and middle-eastern seeded conjuring. As guitar and keys spin their own suggestiveness, vocalist Helle Bogdanova rises up with melodic beauty dripping from every syllable of the tale told. Playing the lead protagonist she effortlessly captivated within the similarly alluring enterprise of guitarist Dmitriy Vinnichenko and keyboardist Evgeny Zhytnyuk. Yet darkness, emotional betrayal, and demons await; a portentous edge and subsequent snarl erupting through the rhythmic trespass of drummer Ivan Kholmogorov and the carnivorously throated bass of Xander Kamyshin. As her lyrics reveal the darkness to unfurl, so Bogdanova’s tones portray hellish threat amid physical contrast, her fusion of clean and gut bruising dexterity irresistible.

It is an outstanding start to the release which evolves into the following Чорне Полум’я  (Chorne Polumia), a track which even sung in the singer’s mother tongue cannot not hide the continuing battle of emotions and paranoia fuelling the story it continues. Again Bogdanova is a magnet with her vocal diversity, her clean presence especially enthralling whilst equally the feral and melodic craft of the band shares a tapestry of suggestion and exhortation commanding skill and attention as again a web of styles are woven into Ignea’s striking sound.

Out of My Head chews on the senses from its first breath, rhythms boldly dancing on the surface as the textural enterprise of guitars, keys and bass again bring a host of flavours woven together for one contagious and fascinating involvement. This too has us swiftly and greedily devouring its physical drama and lyrical awakening; defiance and realisation shaping its heart before the band tantalised with a cover of Í Tokuni, a song by Faroese singer-songwriter Eivør and fair to say it beguiled as effortlessly and richly as those before it.

The electronic template of Too Late to Be Born was enticement enough to keep the album’s grip on ears tight, the quickly following corruption of hellish endeavour addictive and continually challenged by melodic temptation while What For flirts with folk nurture radiance and a rhythmic shuffle which was under the skin before its first melodic tempting had finished caressing ears. Bogdanova is a harmonic sun within its mix, the whole thing a melodic summer warming the instinctive need of the body to join its encouraging swing and forgiving voice.

So many major moments are shared by the album, this quickly followed by another in the thickly contrasting climate and threat of Gods of Fire. Once more though Ignea prove skilled in fusing beauty and raw menace, music and voice uniting both just as the emotional shifts within the pages of the tale it reveals before Jinnslammer roars in defiance and rebellion upon a landscape still fertile with melodic invention and inspiration. From Bogdanova’s bewitching vocal presence to the individual prowess of her comrades, song and indeed album are cauldrons of pure temptation and enthralment; so often irresistible and always spellbinding as proven as ably by Disenchantment and its riveting web of sonic wiring and melodic enticement woven into another tale ears and thoughts devoured.

With an English version of Чорне Полум’я translated as Black Flame completing its mighty presence, The Realms of Fire and Death only proved increasingly addictive and impressive; its creators a band all metallers should be checking out sooner rather than later.

The Realms of Fire and Death is out now; available @ https://ignea.band/products/the-realms-of-fire-and-death-cd

https://ignea.band/   https://www.facebook.com/ignea.band/

Pete RingMaster 19/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

South Haven – Motion

Emerging from the successful #NEXTGEN project started by Danish label Prime Collective, South Haven spent almost three years honing their songwriting and sound before unveiling anything to the world. Now with their debut album, Motion, orchestrating our eager bouncing we suggest it has proved a very fertile plan and time.

It is fair to say that Copenhagen hailing South Haven gripped our attention with just the first play of their first full-length. It hosts a collection of songs which entangle the familiar with the boldly fresh to forge a release with distinct character. Maybe the most striking thing about the band is the two pronged vocal temptation at the fore. Nigerian born Angel Jemegbe and Christine Nielsen shine with individuality yet unite for a just as potent and unique proposal; energy and power fuelling both their prowess rich styles. Musically though the band is no fleeting temptation either; the swinging rhythms of drummer Sebastian Stendal and the mercurial growl of Stefan Elbaek’s bass command and manipulate attention whilst the guitar of Mathias Frederiksen is as hook and melody flirtatious as it is sonically invasive. With all aspects tied together the band’s melodic rock and metal forged sound bites and seduces, often simultaneously, and consistently had us enthralled in its roar.

Recorded with a host of Denmark’s finest producers in Jacob Hansen and Martin Pagaard (Volbeat, Amaranthe), Christoffer Stjerne (HERO), Chris Kreutzfeldt (CABAL, Ghost Iris, MØL) and Mirza Radonjica-Bang (Siamese, Helhorse), Motion instantly got under the skin with opener Dancing In Nightmares. One of their first singles, the track sets a lure with a strand of riffs before Stebdal’s beats fly through the air. As quickly the delicious grumble of Elbaek’s hit the spot with Angel’s immediately magnetic tones a calm texture in the more volatile mix. In an instant Christine’s vocals add yet another alluring aspect to the creative canvas, the vocals side by side a riveting proposal while throughout the track springs bait after hook, strike after temptation to strikingly kick things off.

In some ways the following Better struggled to spark the same lustful reception as its predecessor yet with its melodic fire, dark rhythms and again a vocal unity which refuses to be ignored, the song is a fiery serenade on the ears which was keenly devoured. Similarly as within the first and those to follow, the song shares unpredictable twists and invention; aspects as ably woven into the following pair of Crush and Soldier’s Heart. The first proved another particular favourite moment within the release, its snappy stride and matching vocal dexterity alone manna to an instinctive appetite which was only fed further as melodic, harmonic and sonic flames escalated the attraction.

Straightaway its successor springs a juicy groove on ears, its southern tinged drawl the invitation to bold vocal and rhythmic incitement which only harbours an urge to get under the skin. There is certain infectiousness to all tracks but especially virulent here as again the dual grip of both vocalists seeds the rich temptation on offer amidst individuality across all songs as shown again by the ensnaring flame of Torn. Emotively seductive and feverishly volatile, the track is a fruitful body of craft and enterprise matched in success by the agile alternative rock spiced Sweet Suffering and Devotion with its My Chemical Romance kissed dynamics and drama; two tracks which again had us keenly involved, the latter with real greed.

Next up, Winter In June is a portentous flirtation of irritability and aggression which provides a just as agreeable union of emotional intimacy and fervid breath while the balladry of Tomorrow is pure captivation, both voices sirens within the melodic embrace of guitar.

Bringing the album to a close, Stains is a coquette of sound in its own right, a sonic temptress woven in beguiling voice and tantalising enterprise. It is a fine end to a superb first involvement with South Haven and an album which maybe was not always basking in originality, though so often it was, but never wavered from providing fresh, fascinating, and full pleasure.

Surely reason enough to pay South Haven a visit.

Motion is out now through Prime Collective across most stores.

https://www.facebook.com/southhavenbanddk/   https://southhaven.dk/

Pete RingMaster 14/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

The Mystery Plan – Zsa Zsa

photo by Daniel Coston

Presenting a host of vibrantly tempting and almost ridiculously infectious escapades, Zsa Zsa is the new album from US outfit, The Mystery Plan. It is a record which flirted with feet, teased ears, and courted the imagination; seducing all with sublime almost mischievous enterprise from start to finish.

The Charlotte, NC hailing band sees Jason Herring, Amy Herring, Jeff Chester, Otis Hughes and Patty McLaughlin once more give an escape from everyday dramas with its own captivating theatre of sound and invention. Zsa Zsa is their fifth album since emerging in 2010 and in many ways their most striking. It features numerous guests including producer John Fryer, Micah Gaugh (The Veldt / Apollo Heights), and Ian Masters, former bassist-vocalist of British shoegazers Pale Saints; all bringing fresh ingredients to a recipe of imagination which revitalised the soul in these spirit subduing times.

The bewitching Those Stars breaks the silence as the album takes its first breath, the track immediately seducing our attention as the simmer of cymbals align to the leisurely swing of the bass. Its alluring moodiness is soon sharing the air with the jazzy flames of an equally steady and evocative sax; it all combined with the tantalising words and wistful tone of swiftly enslaving vocals, a picturesque captivation.

It is a delicious start to the release which is immediately matched in craft and enslavement by the pair of We All Get Down and Al Gore Rhythms. The first simmers in to view through keys, a just as minimally touching guitar laying its gentle melody alongside as the harmonic grace of Amy and Patty’s vocals caress song and ears alike. A weave of dream and folk pop with much more in its texturing, the song has a touch of XTC to its beauty while its successor is a body manipulating, feet leading slice of trip hop flirtation. It too soon reveals plenty more to its design and a character with magnetically soulful vocals at its heart.

And the addictive persuasions continue as recent single, Ballad of JC Quinn, steps up next to get under the skin. The harmonic lure of the band’s ladies leads ears into the tantalising rhythmic shuffle of Otis and Jeff, their animated temptation echoed in the lively keys and melodies of Jason’s guitar while entangled in the steel guitar intimation of Peter McCranie. Mesmeric and dreamy yet with a rich physical tempting which feet and hips cannot deny, the song had us under its spell in no time before Lolaphone gave its own instructions to the willing sway of the body. Its electronic nurturing reminded of Paul Haig, eighties flavoured hue and catchiness working limbs as the innocence of a child’s creative voice toyed with thoughts. Though maybe not breeding the same lust as those before it, the song just as skilfully took the day away before passing it on to its following companion.

Bonny is another which instantly had feet and hips lending their participation; its indie wired, nova seeded stroll a fusion of moodiness and flirtation refusing to be ignored while Long Way To Heaven escalated the temptations of it and all before to steal the show for our ears. From the virulent charm of the vocals to its rhythmic saunter and through the arousing twang of guitar to the evocative mood of keys, the track seduced every aspect of our listening bodies.

Through the folkish charisma and indie rock revelry of Sweet Tart and the crepuscular dream pop of Electric Love, a track loaded with mystique and a touch of darker intimidation, band and release only reinforced their hold; both demanding a share of favourite song limelight with every listen.

We All Get Down returns within Zsa Zsa with the Rob Tavaglione mix of its provocative fascination before Distant Sirens brings the album to an imagination provoking close through piano, keys and flute; each fuel to suggestion within the instrumental evocation and its fusion of ethereal beauty and street dirty reality.

As the world continues to be held down by nature and our reaction to it, escape and release is a longing we all share and one which the gorgeous Zsa Zsa offers in its unique and enthralling way.

Zsa Zsa is out now via Ten Millimeter Omega Recordings; available @ https://themysteryplan.bandcamp.com/album/zsa-zsa

https://www.facebook.com/themysteryplannc/   https://twitter.com/mystery_plan

Pete RingMaster 23/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Cauls – Epoché

It is hard to know what happens to UK outfit Cauls between releases but there seems to be a regular threat of demise around them. That might be over dramatic or not but between the 2012 release of the 2 EP and five years later debut album, Recherché, the band almost came to an end. Now they have returned with Part 1 of a “2 part Prog extravaganza” and again it sees the band rise from another threat to existence and as before with one of the most striking and compelling things from them yet.

It was the departure of vocalist Michael Marwood when he relocated to New Zealand which almost brought the Newcastle upon Tyne band to an end since the release of their acclaimed full-length. Another option considered was going on as an instrumental proposition but it was the discovery of trained soprano Katie Oswell which brought back the spark and inspiration to continue and listening to Epoché we can all be thankful to that unearthing. It is fair to say though with their sound richer, fuller and bolder than ever, the addition of a second guitarist and keyboardist has been just as important to the impressive evolution from the enterprise making Recherché so enjoyable and eagerly praised.

As mentioned Epoché is the first part of the new album with Part 2, Ataraxia, due later this year. The four track encounter is a tapestry of progressive and melodic rock equally embracing an array of other flavours and styles within its inventive walls. Inspirations to the sextet of Chris McManus, Graham Morris, Kye Walker, Michael Anderson, Josh Ingledew, and Oswell include the likes of The Mars Volta and Tool and in some ways both can be suggested without that info by listening to the new release yet it firmly and swiftly sets out the individuality which has increasingly grown across the band’s records.

Bloodlines opens things up and swiftly reveals the new imagination and depth to the band’s mix of alternative and progressive rock. Its gentle and intriguing, almost sinister beginnings evokes attention and anticipation, both increasingly rewarded as Oswell soon reveals her striking presence within the growing web of guitar and keys bred enterprise. Engaging melodies rise from all aspects, the song’s creative tension soon breaking in a vocal and sonic roar just as contagious as the lead to its eruption. The haunting aspect of voice and melody continues to seduce within the more tempestuous landscape uncovered, every moment and turn bringing new adventure and temptation to consider and devour.

It is a superb start to the encounter, fascination already keenly bred and soon as busy as ears with the following and more animated exploits of The Martyr. It’s robust and muscular beginnings though soon ebbs to another melodic calm to radiate seduction and intimation yet that too a mere moment in the mercurial soundscape unveiling before the listener. Oswell is a magnet in its midst, every rising of her lyrical and vocal fire matched by a fervour and fever in sound and the progressive imagination and craft breeding them.

The serenity bringing the following Lilith to the surface is another wrapped in shadow and portentous suggestion, its tranquillity seemingly ill-omened though Oswell soon appeases the threat with her radiance; keys and guitar a similar caress. It is a disquiet which will have its say though and subsequently ignites another restless landscape in just one more song within Epoché which left us enthralled in so many ways.

There is a great challenging aspect to the Cauls writing and sound too which some might take less openly to than others but equally it brings a freshness and drama to their music which hungrily rewards. Even so their new offering is also arguably their most catchy and dare we say at times rock pop friendly with final track, The Saboteur, epitomising that infection. As those before it, it is a tempest of tension and physical agility but often erupts into the catchiest most virulent moments led by the swing of Oswell’s delivery and a flurry of ear grabbing hooks. It ensures a song which from start to finish lures and holds attention with ease and increasing captivation, much as the release itself.

Whatever the challenges Cauls have faced between records, it consistently seems to bring them to a greater state of invention and imagination, Epoché the greatest outcome yet.

Epoché is available now @ https://cauls.bandcamp.com/album/epoch

https://www.facebook.com/Caulsband/

Pete RingMaster 19/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

The Spiritual Leaders – Albania Away

It may not be as obvious as Manchester, Liverpool, or Bristol for producing great bands but over recent years we have found that Cavan in Ireland has been doing just that, our ears captivated by the likes of The Radioactive Grandma, Juggling Wolves, Ape Rising and Fertile Reptile among many. Now we add The Spiritual Leaders to the list, an indie rock trio which as their new mini album shows offer a rich and varied palette of sound.

The Spiritual Leaders consists of vocalist/guitarist David Reilly, lead guitarist/bassist/keyboardist Fergus Brady and drummer Cathal Brady. The band released a self-titled debut album in the closing weeks of 2012, a record introducing a sound seeded in the inspirations of artists such as The Smiths, Radiohead, Joy Division, New Order, Whipping Boy, Pixies, Stone Roses, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jeff Buckley, and Van Morrison but as within latest offering Albania Away bears its own individuality.

Recorded and produced by Rob Newman (Therapy?, Pet Crow) in Snug Recording Studios, Derby, Albania Away quickly fascinated with opener Picture on the Wall. An electronic thread led to a lively rhythmic shuffle and subsequent melodic jangle with an eighties indie hue. As Reilly’s vocals join the temptation the swing of the track is in full command, the song catching the imagination with its Lloyd Cole tinged character and boisterous sound.

Fatten the Calf follows and it too embraces an eighties indie/new wave lining around its infectious swing led by the seriously magnetic bass. Though seemingly slim in its textures, the wonderfully unpredictable song is a thick weave of enterprise and post punk nurtured suggestion while next up You Know Me bristles with more muscular rock ‘n’ roll attitude and a matching physical touch yet also has tinges of that post punk breeding within discord spun enterprise akin to The Pixies.

Predominantly instrumental, the outstanding Bell Jar is a captivating slice of melodic intimation with XTC-esque radiance to its atmospheric stroll while Temporary, which features Barra McGuirk on lead guitar and synthetic strings, made for beguiling acoustic companion, its stringed serenade a haunting pleasure.

Underwater With You superbly completes the release, initially an electronic teasing which is soon bound in melodic guitar wires alongside subtle but equally fertile rhythms and voice. It too has an evocative quality, an atmospheric air coloured by the band’s craft and imagination.

With every listen Albania Away captivated and fascinated with increasing strength, ears increasingly seduced by each passing minute; The Spiritual Leaders giving more proof that though still a relative secret beyond its borders Cavan is a hot bed of unique sound and real pleasure.

Albania Away is out now; available @ https://thespiritualleaders.bandcamp.com/releases and https://open.spotify.com/album/0nwrKNcbi3xF03VMQYUjqF

https://www.facebook.com/thespiritualleadersrock/

Pete RingMaster 14/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Dali – VOL. 1.

Though there is no denying that the debut EP from UK Alt-rockers Dali slowly blossomed upon our passions rather than instantly igniting them, time and listens has seen it flower into one potential thick, pleasure breeding companion. Simply titled VOL. 1., the release offers four slices of the band’s provocative and evocative alternative rock sound which share familiar and uniqueness with real magnetism.

Dali EP_RingMasterReviewSouthampton based, Dali emerged late 2018 and while honing their emotively rich and sonically fiery sound has shared stages with the likes of as Mallory Knox, Sick Joy and Big Spring persistently gathering new fans, media support, and critical acclaim. Inspirations stem from bands such as from Biffy Clyro, Mallory Knox, and Don Broco; hues apparent in their music but not to deter the band’s own creative individuality so potent within their first EP.

Latest single Borrowed Time starts things off, a gentle melody from the guitar of Peter Wright leading the temptation as a pulse of beats flickers alongside. Haunting harmonies add to the ethereal opening, its emotive breath emulated in the intimate tones and words of Matt Dudman. Suddenly a sonic spiral erupts from the shadows, the punchy rhythms of drummer Jack Grossman and bassist Ewan Williams giving greater pungency to the song’s mercurial landscape. The almost menacing trespass of verse leads to the rousing call of a virulent chorus, a passage courting the imagination of band and listener throughout.

The following You’re Not The One bares its muscle and emotional tempestuous from the first breath, grooves and hooks colluding in an infectious web around again a great trespass of rhythms and in a way the song has something of a Placebo meets Always The Quiet Ones to its increasingly addictive and dexterous presence.

Close is another which almost teases with a gentle lure, though one which swiftly explodes before returning to shape the catchy stroll and emotive croon that follows. This too, only springs a rousing burst of endeavour and manipulation before igniting the virulent cycle once again and vocally and musically, the volatile ballad and its mercurial landscape proved simply compelling.

Ending with Wasteland, an impassioned saunter evocatively crafted and earnestly presented nagging on increasingly eager ears and appetite, the EP commands attention with ease. Yes it took a couple of listens or so to really get under the skin but once there four songs were simply not enough to satisfy a new found hunger for the band’s sound.

VOL. 1. is out now.

https://www.facebook.com/wearedali   https://www.instagram.com/dalibandofficial/

Pete RingMaster 14/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

The Room in The Wood – We’re The Martians, Now

photo by Mark Sant Angelo

As for most music lovers, our list of all-time favourite singles is quite extensive but one riding high is Things Have Learnt to Walk That Ought to Crawl by UK new wave/post punk outfit The Room. A couple of years short of four decades later a track by former members of the band has joined that eager line-up; Charmed from The Room in The Wood recently released before the band’s new album, We’re The Martians, Now. Its success suggested a bigger release which had the potential to capture ears and imagination alike which we can now loudly declare it does with sublime ease.

Liverpool’s The Room in The Wood is at its heart vocalist Dave Jackson and guitarist Paul Cavanagh, the former a founding member of that predominately eighties band with the latter joining them the year after the release of their 1982 debut album. Uniting again as The Room in The Wood, the pair released a self-titled first album in 2018 to critical acclaim with later that year The Mars EP more than echoing its support and potency. With twelve tracks which fascinate as they seduce, of which numerous could equally demand an attention grabbing standalone release, We’re The Martians, Now is destined to command even greater praise and success, the album one of the most captivating encounters 2020 has embraced so far.

Featuring drummer Colin George Lamont (Mark Lanegan, Dave Gahan), flutist Simon James and the celestial backing vocals of Helena Jacks, The Room in The Wood immediately compelled thick attention with album opener Diamond Clouds. The band’s sound is a tapestry of flavours; new wave, post punk, dark pop, and folk nurtured hues among them and swiftly We’re The Martians, Now revels in the rich temptation it offers. The first song saunters in on a fuzz lined melody and a rhythmic skip, Jackson’s almost stoic tones quickly walking the song’s instinctive rock bred catchiness while the angelic harmonies of Jacks make for a siren like contrast to his earthier presence, both magnetic within the flames of Cavanagh’s guitar.

Never breaking its lively amble, the track is a richly rousing affair which the following Mars (Won’t Save Us) more than matches in contagion with its post punk lined virulence. Akin to a tonic made up from the essences of The Doors and Stan Ridgway, the track is part apocalyptic insight and part celebratory flirtation and one greed eagerly took to before Stowaway lured its own healthy portion of appetite with its surf washed, dark pop/rock stroll. Warm and seductive with a gorgeous crepuscular edge, the song swiftly got under the skin, its rhythmic swing gripping hips as vocals and melodies entangle the imagination.

From one majorly favourite moment to another in Blue, a similarly shadow lit seduction haunting air and  ears alike, again something of a Mr Ridgway styled hue adding additional colour to its dark kissed intimation and breath before the album sets its title track on an already lustful appetite for We’re The Martians, Now. Again Lamont’s rhythms are eager manipulation beneath the melodic caresses of guitar and Jackson’s descriptive presence, the track another which had the body swaying and attention inescapably hooked.

Across the glistening melodic radiance of Shimmer, a song with a surface which teases volatility, and the infection loaded nostalgic bounce of Fun of the Fair, The Room in The Wood just gripped the passions tighter, the second of the two especially viral in sound and effect and  living up to its title whilst provoking thoughts. Even so they still found themselves eclipsed by the aforementioned Charmed and its esurient beauty. With a great Monochrome Set spice to its melody woven intoxication and graceful harmonies, the track is splendour in a shadow drenched world, a spark and light to the darkest day.

There is a similar tinge of Bid and co to next up Dragonfly though there is as much a XTC like breath to the folk coloured song too yet as everywhere the moment of creative glamour is as distinctive to Jackson and Cavanagh as you could wish with the flute of James a romance of fluttering gossamer wings.

The final trio of the intimately earnest and acoustically bewitching Halloween Lies, the tense indie pop lined Under the Waterfall, and the sonically aflame and rhythmically bold exclamation, The Earth is Flat ensure the album never loosened its hold from start to finish. The second of the trio carries a Wonder Stuff-esque sigh to its captivation while the last of the three is a rousing almost belligerent post punk stomp reminding a touch of bands like 1919 and Gang of Four.

And that is We’re The Martians, Now, a collection of tracks which with consummate ease simply held attention and the imagination in a realm of magnificence.

We’re The Martians, Now is out May 15th via A Turntable Friend Records; available @ https://theroominthewood.bandcamp.com/ digitally, on CD, and Limited Edition Vinyl.

https://www.facebook.com/theroominthewood/   https://twitter.com/davejacksonroom

Pete RingMaster 16/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Snuff – The Wrath of Froth

For more than three decades the UK has been infested by the punk based assault and roar of Snuff; releases, gigs, and critical acclaim in abundance accompanying  their relentless trespass on the mundane act of living which even when the band disbanded was still a lingering raucous nagging. Even as time and the years move on, the release of new EP, The Wrath of Froth proves nothing has changed, the band still one of the most compelling incitements within the British feral rock scenes and their sound one of the most irresistible.

With the current line-up of remaining band founder and drummer/vocalist Duncan Redmonds, guitarist Loz Wong, bassist Lee Erinmez, trombonist Oliver Stewart and Lee Murphy on his Hammond organ, in place since 2011, Snuff have continued to blitz and thrill the senses with the albums, 5-4-3-2-1-Perhaps? in 2013 and last year through There’s A Lot Of It About. Across the years their sound has certainly grown and embraced greater variety to its punk breast as proven by those releases alone and now The Wrath of Froth, factors which have only gone to breed a belligerently unique sound.

May was set to see Snuff ravage Britain on tour to support the release of The Wrath of Froth but of course those plans have had to be cancelled, being rescheduled from January 2021. The release of the EP is more than enough to relish and be over excited over though and immediately rewards such attention as it opens up with Drink Freely From The Chalice Of Lunacy. Inviting chords immediately had ears at attention, rhythms jabbing with equal temptation as the track opens up its earthy punk roar. Redmonds’ tones are just as gnarled and magnetic as they fuel the track with greater passion and attitude; its rock ‘n’ roll infectiousness similarly rousing.

Nothing To See Here follows the commanding opener, its initial lure intrigue wired and leading to a swiftly addictive, hook swung pop punk styled holler which fair to say eclipsed its predecessor for us. Essences of rock ‘n’ roll and ska punk line its raucous stomp; garage rock and power pop similarly a potent scent in its contagious character and antics before Conductor 71 unleashes its irritable hardcore infested punk ‘n’ roll. It too simply had us roaring and bouncing in tandem to its bruising virulence, rhythms alone a harassing incitement matched in persuasion by the insistence of vocals and voracious riffs.

Murphy’s keys seduce throughout with their ever distinctive temptation and make for a particularly lusty lure within the viral call of Poetic Nonsense, though the track is thick in bait and manipulation from every angle and unleashing of individual craft while it is fair to say the show stopper within the EP has to be for personal tastes, The Bells of Hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling. With bass and guitar laying down their ska induced bait, appetite was instantly chomping down, even more so when the punk devilment and vocal rascality of Redmonds raucously backed by the band descended on the passions. Mischief breeding, the song is one of the moments which proves as much puppeteer to the listener’s senses and body as entertainer.

EP closing King Of The Wild Frontier is no lightweight in that kind of inescapable influence either, again tongue in cheeks as alluring as the make-up of the song’s richly flavoured sound further lit by the skilled blasts of Stewart’s trombone.

With one listen at any time never enough, The Wrath of Froth is punk and rock ‘n’ roll at their combined best and Snuff as irresistible as ever, indeed maybe at their most addictive yet.

The Wrath of Froth is released on 10 Past 12 Records/Unless You Try Records May 18th with pre-ordering available @ https://snuffband.bigcartel.com

Orange and green vinyl versions of the EP are already sold out but check the website out for repress details when available.

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Pete RingMaster 09/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright