Patriot Rebel – Cynics Playground

PatriotRebelPromo_RingMasterReview

With their first new slabs of muscle bound rock ‘n roll since the Two Worlds EP in 2013, UK quintet Patriot Rebel take another attention grabbing and impressive step to the fore of the British rock scene. Quite simply the Cynics Playground is a thumping collection of rousing incitements, a multi-flavoured EP that stirs up the spirit.

Formed in 2011, the Nottingham hard rockers have constantly honed their sound and lured greater focus the way of their ear pleasing creative roar. Drawing on inspirations ranging from Alter Bridge, Shinedown, Black Stone Cherry, and Avenged Sevenfold, Patriot Rebel poked at acclaiming attention with the aforementioned Matt Elliss (Black Spiders, Terrorvision, Skarlett Riot) produced Two Worlds. Live the band equally earned a potent reputation, taking in shows with the likes of Y&T, Tesseract, The Treatment, Jettblack, and Skarlett Riot along the way. Last year saw the release of the similarly striking video single Propaganda, a track taken from their first EP. Now with Ellis again at the helm, the band returns with Cynics Playground and a sound which has noticeably grown in maturity, power, and downright magnetism.

Patriot Rebel Cover Artwork_RingMasterReviewOpening up with Digital Mannequin, the EP hits the ground running. Led by the most irritably growling bassline to get an appetite for, the song is soon driving through ears with the riffs of guitarists Danny Marsh and Dave Gadd stirring the senses as vocalist Paul Smith roars. It is a thick and almost muggy assault with every element crisp and precise within the infectious tempest, throughout Marsh’s grooves entwining the imagination, binding the sinew swung beats of Aaron Grainger and the persistently grouchy tone of Will Kirk’s bass.

It is an outstanding start, with at times a whiff of System Of A Down to it, which leaves a lingering impression and pleasure before being matched in creative kind and potency by Self Hate. The second track similarly has ears and eagerness devouring its robust throes of riffs and rhythms, presenting another imposing yet inviting entrance which commands attention and enjoyment with swift success. Smith again stands magnetic within the boisterous energy and aggression offered, his delivery a fiery snarl with contagious prowess to match the virulent enterprise of the guitars and rhythms, which in turn means one stirring encounter.

Two songs in and the Patriot Rebel sound while never afraid to reveal some of its influences, shows itself to be at its most unique and individual yet, the emotive power balladry of Dying Breed continuing that welcome trend as it ebbs and flows with emotional and physical intensity amidst sonic invention. More a smouldering success than its predecessors, the track emerges as another highlight within Cynics Playground, being quickly equalled by the rhythm swinging, antagonistically riffed All I Wanted. It is a beast of a proposal, that irritability of bass in the opener fuelling every aspect of the mighty incitement. The song takes no prisoners, guitars and beats biting as they entice and land alongside the predatory nature of the bass which in turn courts the catchy lead of the vocals and the infection sharing instincts of the track itself. Equally though, there is room for some sonic and exotic melodic imagination to be seriously tempted by.

The EP closes with Miss-Guided, a song which reveals all the Patriot Rebel attributes with consummate ease while sharing the new depth and adventure in the band’s sound. Though it might not quite live up to those before it, the song is an impressing finale to a thrilling release. Cynics Playground is Patriot Rebel on a new plateau yet the feeling is that the band is still working towards their true creative heights; so happy days for UK rock ‘n’ roll ahead we suggest.

The Cynics Playground EP is out now through all stores.

https://www.facebook.com/patriotrebel    https://twitter.com/patriotrebeluk

Pete RingMaster 24/06/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Pretty Little Enemy – Bitch PLEase!

Pretty Little Enemy Cover Artwork_RingMasterReview

2012 and ’13 saw the release of The Treatment EP and the album Save As I Save respectively from UK melodic metallers Zoltar Speaks. Both encounters seriously impressed so it was with disappointment that the band subsequently folded. Out of its ashes in 2015 though, came Pretty Little Enemy, a quartet formed by vocalist Louise Body, bassist Jason Coles, and drummer Ben Dean.  Completing their line-up with guitarist Georgia Bell, Pretty Little Enemy quickly stirred up attention on the live scene, taking in shows supporting the likes of Syren City, Embers of Eden, and Chasing Cadence amongst their own stage firing shows. Now they are grabbing attention with the Bitch PLEase! EP, three tracks of muscular yet siren-esque alternative rock leading ears into a mix of contagion and danger.

As opener Myles grumbles on the senses with its metal scented invitation, a swift appetite is bred but soon taken aback by the sudden slip into an almost pop rock moment with the appearance of Body’s distinctive  voice. Reminding a touch of eighties band The Photos, the band soon re-establishes its hold especially as the song blossoms into a more Skunk Anansie inspired snarl. Bell’s grooves dances on the ear in no time, her sonic enterprise skirted by the grouchier lure of Cole’s bass and the firmly landing beats of Dean. Continuing to blend aggression and melodic endeavour, the song makes for a potent start to the release though it is soon eclipsed by successor Vertebreak.

The second song is a roar which instantly grips ears and attention, Body sharing her powerful and skilful vocal range to bring back memories of her previous band, a spicing backed up by the track’s irritable yet beguiling character in sound and imagination. Their new single, it is a striking and forcibly magnetic proposal stealing best song honours while confirming an already brewing appetite for the Pretty Little Enemy invention.

What Makes You completes the trio of tracks; it also quickly enticing rich focus with a spidery web of grooves around the ever impressing drama of Body’s vocals. Rhythmically it is the least dramatic but both Coles and Dean perfectly back up the leading elements of the song without ever feeling like they are just supporting textures.

With Bitch PLEase!, Pretty Little Enemy are not yet at a place to rival Zoltar Speaks but already the hints are there that it is a potential in the making and something to eagerly await while thoroughly enjoying the band’s debut proposition.

The Bitch PLEase! EP is out now through all stores.

https://www.facebook.com/prettylittleenemyuk   https://twitter.com/prttylttlenemy  http://www.prettylittleenemy.co.uk

Pete RingMaster 24/06/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Japanese Fighting Fish – Swimming with Piranhas

Photo by Scott M Salt Photography

Photo by Scott M Salt Photography

The highly anticipated third album from British aural dramatists  Japanese Fighting Fish is uncaged this week, a release which not only confirms that there is no other proposal like the London based quartet but shows the band hitting another plateau in their breath-taking sound and invention. There are few with the musical craft and adventure to match an imagination as daring as it is inimitable but Japanese Fighting Fish have it all in abundance and in full enthralling flow within Swimming with Piranhas.

Formed in Leeds in 2009, Japanese Fighting Fish had a great many hooked, including us, by the release of debut album Just Before We Go MAD two years later. A release experimenting with South American rhythms as raw vocals and dirty guitars played, its compelling success was eclipsed by its successor, the punk infused Day Bombs of 2011. Releases and years have seen the band draw comparisons to the likes of Faith No More, System of a Down, QOTSA, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Primus, and Frank Zappa, but as evidenced once more by their latest triumph,  Japanese Fighting Fish really do stand alone in character and sound. Mastered by Tim Young (Massive Attack, The Clash, Sex Pistols, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Elbow, and The Beatles ‘Love’ Album), Swimming with Piranhas is the band at its most eclectic yet and offering a collection of funk infested, theatrical exploits; quite simply rock and roll with the devilry and boldness of creative insanity.

Inspired in title by the real life wild experiences of vocalist Karlost Thompson and drummer Al Sweetman whilst staying in Ecuador with a Quechan tribe where they took a dip in the Amazon River, Swimming with Piranhas has ears and imagination swiftly gripped with its opening title track. A lone spicy groove teases first, it soon joined by broader sonic sighs and boisterous rhythms as the song increasingly expands into a hip swinging, rhythmically riveting magnet. Once the familiar, ever expressive and captivating tones of Karlost complete the line-up of creative cast, the imagination is taken on a beguiling off kilter ride. With kinetic beats and baroque scented organ shaped theatre adding to the ever shifting gait and mood of the encounter, the opener is sheer captivating as fiery and infectious as it is thought provoking and a great sign of things to come.

art_RingMasterReviewThe excellent start continues and hits another level with Egyptian Sunrise, the song a sultry tango of exotic mystique upon the driving throaty bassline of Matt McGuinness and the swinging bait of Sweetman. Impossible to resist getting physically involved, the song leads the body a merry dance with the imagination caught up in the creative tones and lyrical incitement of Karlost. Also swathed in the equally suggestive invention of Gareth Frederik Ellmer’s guitar, the song is a mouth-watering exploit soon matched in creative theatre by Provocative Cat. Funky with Parisian hues, the song flirts and dances with ears as the bass masterfully groans and Karlost paints the imagination like a vaudevillian showman.

New single For Queen Marilyn comes next, sauntering in on a raw riff and rumbling beats as vocals spread their instinctive drama and ascending energy. Soon its rapacious rock ‘n’ roll is ablaze with intensity amidst a hearty roar, switching between calm and volatile waters before making way for Close The Gate. An encounter which seems to mellow as it reaches climactic moments and erupts when you expect it to slip into alluring calms, the unpredictable song is a twisted treat but one soon outshone by previous single U Ain’t Gonna Win This. An exploration of split personalities also making a “homage to boxing greats like Ali, and Rocky “, the song is a fleet footed shuffle with another deeply contagious gurning  bassline from McGuinness courting the vocal waltz of Karlost and band. Taking addiction to a fresh level, the track mixes sweltering melodies and grungy textures with sonic guitar splatters and a virulent carnival-esque bounce.

Hard To Resist is a matching enslavement of body and appetite, its lazy yet snarling bass swing and gripping croon just two of the irresistible elements in what must be the next single. The track is glorious, reminding of little know eighties band, Zanti Misfitz as it throws its creative temptation around. A slip into a deranged XTC like pasture only adds to the fun and increasing seduction too.

Another funk sculpted adventure follows in the shape of I Got Time; its Red Hot Chili Peppers like romp infused with a Talking Heads like prowess, while On A Fall sonically shimmers as the eager beats of Sweetman fuel the pulsating balladry of voice and Ellmer’s resonating guitar enterprise. Increasingly more provocative and gripping with every listen, the track is yet another thrilling twist in the varying style and sound within Swimming with Piranhas.

The album is brought to an equally exciting and inventive close by firstly Dr. No-Sense and its noir spiced and increasingly bedlamic intensity. It is followed by the similarly deranged but skilfully reined imagination and creative resourcefulness of I Caught You Wandering for a bewitching end to another superb offering from Japanese Fighting Fish. Swimming with Piranhas takes the band and their one of a kind proposition to a whole new plateau, not just for them but for the British rock scene. Why Japanese Fighting Fish is not a name on so many more eager lips already is a bit of a mystery, now they might just be with this beast of a proposal doing the persuading.

Swimming with Piranhas is released 17th June across most online stores.

http://www.japanesefightingfish.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/Japanesefightingfishuk   https://twitter.com/jffuk

Pete RingMaster 17/06/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Suzerain – Identity

Suzerain_RingMasterReview

Certainly long awaited and definitely highly anticipated, the second album from British alternative/electro rockers Suzerain confirms the London quintet as one of the country’s brightest and most compelling propositions. Twelve tracks which are as eclectic as they are imaginative but firmly set in the distinct Suzerain sound, Identity is aural magnetism sure to eclipse the success, as it does the impressive qualities, of debut album Midnight In The Drawn City of 2011 and the A Mirror Now EP released a year later.

Recorded over the best parts of 2014 and 2015 producer Steve Lyon (Depeche Mode, The Cure, Siouxsie Sioux), Identity is a brooding bundle of songs built on social and emotive drama and wrapped in cinematic atmospherics and adventure. It is also the provider of some of the most virulently catchy encounters likely to be heard this year among other captivating proposals which simply devout the imagination for matching success.

Identity opens up with its title track, a brief and gentle yet dystopian hued instrumental which has thoughts provoked before ears and appetite become enthralled by the following Anytime. The fact the song carries, from its first evocative breath, a creative nature and drama very reminiscent of brilliant eighties band Comsat Angels does it no harm at all; rampant rhythms and the melancholic lure of vocalist Thomas Pether adding to the irresistible temptation on offer. With the bass of Mike Smith as dramatically vocal as the rolling beats of Ben Howe, the song grips attention, tempting and enslaving within its first minute of dramatically emotive seduction.

Dark Dark has the unenviable task of following the outstanding track, taking the challenge successfully in its creative hands as fizzing keys from Matt Constantine hug the distinct and expressive tones of Pether. Melodies proceed to blossom in the dark shadows lining the track, rhythms again a pungent scent in the heady and enjoyably imposing rock ‘n’ roll of the song. Increasingly more off-kilter, bordering on deranged with each passing minute as keys bring fresh discord, the band uncages already another major pinnacle in Identity, backing it up with equal invention through I Know You So Well. Swiftly shaped by the suggestive chords and melodies of guitarist Rich Summers as rhythmic drama again provides a riveting skeleton to the sonic theatre of Summers and Constantine, the song even with its unique character again reminds of the earlier mentioned Sheffield hailing post punk band, only beguiling with its sombre yet vibrant croon.

ART_RingMasterReviewThe brilliant Good Day steps up next; a track which lit up the band’s last EP and still dominates ears and lusty pleasure with its imaginative confrontation. Jabbing beats are a relentless lure, their attitude matched by the snarl of Pether’s vocals and the volatile simmer and melodic trespass of the keys. A cauldron of enterprise bubbling with volcanic energy, the song alone puts Suzerain at the top table of British rock bands, and as those before it do, is soon backed up by the likes of Frenzy and Edging Out. The first of the pair is a mellower caress on the ear but just as rich in emotive shadows and melodic drama while the second has an industrial air around its similar heart sharing lyrical and aural tenderness. Both songs but especially the latter, has a hint of Nine Inch Nails to their emotive atmospheres as the album shows further variety in its broadening adventure.

The excellent pop infected Always strolls in next, bubbling keys and firm beats skirting the warm tones of Pether as a contagious enterprise simmers and bursts within ears. As always, there is an underlying shadow to emotion and invention which adds darker colour to contrast the lighter shades revelling in the song’s bold catchiness and floating harmonies. There is no resisting its charm and tempting before it makes way for the gorgeous theatre of Palm Of Her Hand. Bass and drums are in full noir fuelled flow as vocals and keys almost punch their respective words and melodies into the imagination. Taking best track honours, it is anthemic alchemy with a hint of Muse to it, though it is hard to remember that band making as big an impact as this with any song in recent years.

The sombre slightly baroque balladry of 200 slows the energy of the album but not its raw lure, especially with the melancholic strains of Constantine’s cello sighing in ears as a stark landscape, emotionally and suggestively, is laid. From its low key but potent proposition, Black & White brews its own brooding landscape of voice, emotion, and aural endeavour next with rhythms again providing striking bait.

Closing with the arresting might of Hide Yourself, rhythms once more a magnetic seizing of ears and appetite matched in creative and persuasive kind by the sonic fascination cast by guitars and keys as Pether transfixes, Identity never misses a beat in thrilling and disarming the senses. Easily the Suzerain’s finest hour to date, the album is also one of the most impressive moments for UK rock ‘n’ roll this year so far with few encounters destined to rival it ahead we suspect.

Identity is out now via BrainZone/Republic of Music.

http://www.suzerainmusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/suzerainmusic   https://twitter.com/suzerainmusic

Pete Ringmaster 16/06/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Biting the hand that bleeds you: facing the Weak13 roar with Nick J Townsend

WEAK13_RingMasterReview

UK trio Weak13 is a band we have had a rich taste for over quite a few years now, and increasingly so as new songs and their gripping latest album emerged. A chance to get to the heart of the band arose recently, so in a long overdue chat we talked with band founder Nick J Townsend about the origins and subsequent years of the band, the imposingly refreshing drive of the band and its members, their latest release and much more…

Hey Nick, thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Cheers yeah I’m currently running a music festival in Wolverhampton at the moment but yeah cool fire away.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started and what brought you all together?

Well I’m Nick J Townsend; the band’s founder, I sing and play guitar; WEAK13 began in my hometown in Kidderminster in 1999; went under multiple line-up changes which was very distracting when it came to trying to do songwriting or trying to make any solid plans; eventually I moved to the Black Country around about 2008; I think that was the year; and then I revamped the band and recruited bassist Wesley Smith and drummer Neel Parmar. Since 2010 the band has remained the same and it’s ensured stability; we’ve been able to produce a professional debut studio album now titled They Live with engineer John Stewart and I know we couldn’t have tried doing anything like that with people coming in and out of a band;

Have you been in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

Speaking personally WEAK13 is my creation and the main band I’ve worked in; I was for a short period in a high school band called Incision which pretty much seemed to just play Metallica songs but I made some nice friends from it; a couple of years later I joined a college band called Bamboo Puncturing; it was an experimental three piece thrash metal band, very heavy, the drummer Chris was also the singer, Stuart Smith was the bassist who behaved very metal although he would take the piss out of anyone else calling themselves metal. I just played guitar for them. The band only lasted about 9 months but for our final show we supported Strapping Young Lad during the ‘City’ album tour and it was the first time I’d played with a signed artist. Although it wasn’t a long conversation I kind of liked chatting to Devin Townsend and I think after watching his set I decided then that I wanted to do something on my own terms musically. WEAK13 began a few years later. Neel Parmar and Wesley Smith have both been in lots of bands before joining WEAK13; they’re very experienced musicians.

Photography by SquishFlash Images.

Photography by SquishFlash Images.

What inspired the band name?

I get sick of answering this one but it’s my own fault because I give multiple long answers but the main inspiration was the dangerous surgical operation on my head that I experienced when I was 13; I was born with a defect on my head, bullied constantly throughout my childhood because of the way I looked. Doctors told me at 8 years old that I could have an operation but I had to wait 5 years until I was old enough to operate on. When you are 8 years old and told that you have to wait 5 years…that’s like your entire life again! I didn’t know how I was going to last 5 days at school let alone wait 5 years. I was made to feel weak for years and the age of 13 was all I could look forward to. I was a very depressed child but I didn’t know what depression was at the time, had suicidal thoughts at the age of 8.

I was in hospital for a few months, my skin was stretched and my eye lids could not shut so I would pass out with my eyes wide open; it was a traumatic time for me. After the operation, over 100 metal staples and more stitches had to be ripped out whilst I was awake, no anaesthetic. I returned to school at 13 and I was a normal looking boy again; everyone then wanted to know me; the same people who bullied me….I thought “I haven’t changed….you have”. I had no social skills, didn’t know how to interact with others very well, didn’t understand the world; years later in 1999 my aim was that I wanted to feel the same way as I did before the operation so I shaved half of my hair off and then I named my band WEAK13. That may not fully answer your question but that’s pretty close.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

I originally wanted to have a band on my own terms that I could shape; ‘Project Mayhem’ from the film Fight Club was a great inspiration. I always wanted WEAK13 to be a three-piece like Nirvana, Cream, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience; but it took a while to get to that stage. Three musicians working together seems to make sense, it’s a bigger thing sharing ideas together. I find bands with too many musicians in them become distant from the songwriting, we sound tight because there’s a tightness in how the song is forged; it’s not just a riff, there’s a story behind it; subject matter; a feeling. I’d hate to be in a band with five people or more in it; your songs are your child and creation and it’d be like trying to raise a child with a biological father plus multiple step dads in the same house, too many voices in authority.

Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

There’s been a lot of change since I began but the basic original idea for the band is still there and maybe more so now; where in the Fight Club movie Project Mayhem eventually became a cult-like organisation trying to bring down modern society; WEAK13 was originally intended to be anti-consumerist and even anti-music industry because I really find the majority of signed artists bland, lifeless and harmful; they dumb down the public with their empty songs and brainwash musicians in to thinking that they are as good as it gets. The only good things that come from many of the elite bands are the watered down ideas they steal from emerging artists and claim as their own but in a more boring and less inspiring way. There has definitely been some evolution in WEAK13. We’re using our music as a weapon; lyrically and subject matter wise we do things most bands haven’t even woken up to yet. We’re currently writing about things such as crisis actors, poison in our foods, population control and the brainwashing media whilst mainstream artists are singing about whose got the biggest bottom.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

We have a very distinct sound now which is strange because we can play in different styles and it still sounds like WEAK13; learning how to be yourself is the key I believe. On the They Live album we worked with engineer John Stewart; he saw us play live and wanted to capture the rawness of the band’s sound on to a record but still make it well produced and of a high standard; he did just that. When we recorded Ashes In Autumn I think we realised that WEAK13 had evolved into a clear identifiable musical entity. People hear a WEAK13 song played and they know it’s us. A lot of bands can’t do that.

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more you deliberately wanting to try new things?

Photography by Mark Hopson

Photography by Mark Hopson

We have to try different things every time; why write the exact same song again? Years ago I used to buy those albums where the first three tracks were the singles and the rest were just bad clones. I remember something Michael Jackson once said which was make every song a hit; now whether or not a song becomes a hit in this current biased and fixed musical climate is beside the point but I think every song should be treated with the same passion, enthusiasm and standards; there are no unimportant WEAK13 songs now. Every song counts. There’s a natural songwriting process, often the lyrics come first or the song subject and then the music is shaped around it. Some bands have no idea what to write about; that has never been a problem for WEAK13.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

The three of us come from different backgrounds, have totally opposing influences and we shouldn’t logically fit as well as we do. I think because all three of us do what we want in WEAK13 and how we want, it all comes together nicely. I have never told Neel Parmar how to play the drums, I don’t insist on knowing exactly what the baselines are to WEAK13 songs because I enjoy hearing them played and written by Wesley Smith; if he wants to change something he’s done then I encourage it. We all can be musicians in WEAK13. Yes, I often come up with the initial starting point for a tune but it changes when we all get together. When Neel Parmar laid his incredible drums down to ‘Obey The Slave’ the tune became more epic than I could have possibly imagined.

Is there a process to the songwriting which generally guides the writing of songs?

Normally it’s the song subject that comes first or a lyric, I might then put a few guitar riffs together, I go to Wesley Smiths house and show him; Neel Parmar hears what we both come up with together and then he interprets how he thinks the drums should sound and then we have a song. It’s literally often that basic; the song has to be interesting to us, the catchier the better; I write hypnotic choruses people say; well I never want people to forget them so job done.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Pretty easy, the world around us; there are forces of evil out there so there are plenty of things to write about. Media lies to the public every single day; governments are not for the people as they try to make out. I do a lot of research for any song subject and have to be very careful on sources of information as there is a lot of inaccurate data out there.

Can you give us some more background to your latest release?

WEAK13 began recording the They Live album back in 2012 and it took 3 years before we completed it; we all had jobs, no label, had to work a way to fund it, where and when to record, what tracks to go on it, the availability of the great engineer Mr John Stewart from the band Eight Great Fears. We didn’t want to rush this as we wanted an album that is basically better than current mainstream artists. We’re an underground band with no record label and no mainstream music industry supporting us but we wanted an album that embarrasses mainstream artists out there with a record contract. We have been getting only good reviews and it must be humiliating for some of these recording artists out there that turds like us have a superior album. People can order the album from the bands own site http://weak13official.com/ and we’ve not released it on iTunes or any of these streaming sites as we got sick of hearing how bands were getting ripped off, so we control our album at the moment; if they want it they order it from us. It’s got 11 great rock songs on there and they are professionally written and recorded, pretty much everyone that hears the They Live album is blown away and that’s how we like it. This is more than just an album, it’s a wake-up call to modern music journalists; they have a choice, either they sit back and watch their music industry go down in flames and patronise, undermine or ignore us, or do proper journalism and cover bands like WEAK13 who are growing naturally and are becoming bigger without any major corporate backing.

Give us some specific insight to the themes behind it and its songs.

Each song has its own identity and a role on the album theme; the manipulation of how most people see the world thanks to the mainstream media is a main theme to They Live. The song Sex Pest for example is not about sex but because I’m using certain codes of language the listener assumes it’s all about sexual deviance until there are certain parts of the song where I’m so obviously talking about nonsexual themes that you’d have to be brainwashed or brain dead not to notice, I even admit on the recording what the song isn’t about in the bridge section. The song is using the exact same sensationalism that newspapers do; sex themes to get your attention but there is a hidden agenda, my hidden agenda is a warning to be weary of the media with its semiotics and what it preaches as fact; do your own research. Now that is one song of many on the They Live album; I could talk more about that one song, there’s an orgasm noise at the beginning and at the end of the tune which everyone assumes is a female one; it isn’t; it’s the sound of Neel Parmar making that noise. Do not trust what you see or hear in media. The song is really too clever for its own good.

weak13art_RingMasterReviewAre you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Structure wise I think the songs stay very close to the original demos we make before entering the studio but we find that some things don’t work as well and we have to make changes here and there; when WEAK13 recorded the song Go Away it was supposed to be for the They Live album; it was the first recording session the band had with engineer John Stewart and it was beautiful and raw as hell; by the time we recorded the rest of the album tracks the nature of the sound on the album had changed dramatically and John Stewart asked us if we could re-record Go Away so that it was more on par with the other tunes on the album. So we recorded it again and it was super, clear as hell, polished and big, but we felt it wouldn’t sound right on the album as it was too good now; the rawness of the original demo was brilliant but when it became better produced we felt it lost a lot of soul so we didn’t include it on the album. It still to this day hasn’t been released to the public because we loved the original demo so much. Our engineer wasn’t happy with the decision but we had to be honest with him which I think he respects more.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

It is the best way to hear WEAK13. We play to new fans every year and they get what we are about; it’s more than just a live show, it’s an attitude; we see bands come and go around us because they have nothing to relevant say; musically we’re tight and we’re talking about subjects which are current and important to human survival and we deliver a message with every gig we play. We have some fans thanks to the internet who still haven’t watched us live but those that have seen us understand us a lot better.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

I think a lot of new bands out there are bone idol and lazy because they have been programmed to believe a rock and roll lie. A young and upcoming metal band for example wants to be a great metal band and so starts trying to behave like it’s piers but stupidly they play to only one type of audience and don’t even consider anyone else or any place outside of their comfort zone. I always hear the speech “We play metal to metal fans and no one understands us but metallers”; so with that in mind they will only promote and take serious the venues which are deemed as fully metal (who often don’t take the band serious as they aren’t big), they normally only aim their music to one type of audience (often an audience that doesn’t exist because they are unknown). They avoid everyone around them who are not of a metal nature or dressed like a bat, ignoring local promoters, potential new fans, snubbing local music festivals and venues, not trying to be a part of their own community, not taking serious the time of local and real recording engineers (preferring to home record on a iPhone), being rude to bar staff and venue owners when it’s in their best interest to promote their own shows and the venue including supporting non-metal bands (networking is a great opportunity). Working together as a band means everyone involved needs to work together not “Speak to Dave as he does all the band stuff…I just play guitar”. Kids try and behave like spoilt musicians with a huge record contract and management who do everything for them and two years later their band splits up and they can’t figure out where it all went wrong. I have never had problems with working hard and I get good results.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

We do have a lot of success thanks to people watching our music videos, they buy our album from the website, come to shows, grab merchandise at gigs and if someone just starting out asked me how to be a musician I’d answer “learn to use a photocopier or printer, learn social media, learn about advertising” plus a dozen other things which are often nothing to do with bashing out chords on a guitar. If you want to survive and continue to do music I think you need to learn other skills. I learned a lot about the stage by doing stage management. I watched how bands used the web for their career so I had to learn how to use the web, maybe in the case of large bands someone else was paid to do that job for them but there’s nothing wrong with having a go and trying to learn for yourself. To put it simply; a lot of members of bands have this idea that they can only do one thing in the band and that’s it, play a guitar or beat a drum; half the members of upcoming bands have no idea what their fellow musicians even do when they are not in a rehearsal room. The more skills a musician learns the better; yes I spent thousands of hours on a computer pushing WEAK13 to new places and it works. I invested my time and I got a result, I didn’t say “leave it to Leroy as he knows computers”; I had to learn a lot of boring things but they have helped the band. I fucking hate computers but I use them as a tool; that’s what they are and bands need to stop acting like rock gods who have everything done for them whist they polish their pickups and learn more about how they can help their band on the internet and most of all in the real world. There’s a downside that some bands do stuff only on the internet. WEAK13 has a physical album that you can hold in your hands, fans wear real T-shirts, we go out and play to real people; we exist away from the internet as well as be part of it and we try our best. Yes; we use the internet a lot but when you appear in the real world then people take you seriously more because it’s like a surprise to them; you’re not just a jpeg on their iPad, you can be on a physical poster for an actual show at a real venue filed with genuine critical thinking people.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Watch the Down On Me video on YouTube because it’s funny. I also direct music videos; I had to learn how to do film making, I have a University degree in film and media now and it is boring stuff but it’s for my band so it’s important.

http://weak13official.com   https://twitter.com/weak13   https://www.facebook.com/weak13fanpage

Pete RingMaster

The Ringmaster Review 16/06/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Snarling blossoms: exploring the heart of The Bad Flowers

The Bad Flowers_RingMasterReview

Drawing on influences found in the likes of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and The Who, British rockers The Bad Flowers soon showed a sound with its own distinct character after emerging in 2014. The West Midlands trio has continued to grow and earn a potent reputation for their rousing sound and equally spirited live presence. Ahead of a new EP, we had the pleasure to throw a few questions at the band who kindly revealed more about the emerging might of The Bad Flowers.

Hello all and thanks for sparing time to talk with us.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background what brought you all together?

We are The Bad Flowers from Cannock; we have Tom Leighton on lead vocals and guitar, Dale Tonks on bass and backing vocals, and Karl Selickis on drums. The band came about from projects we were working on individually that ran their course, but we all came together when we were playing on the same bill and we kept in touch from there.

So The Bad Flowers is not your first outfits? How have previous endeavours impacted, if at all, on what you are doing now; in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

We have all been in bands before and have been playing for as long as we can remember. When we came together we found that we all wanted to follow the same direction and it worked really well for us, our focus is to play music that we enjoy, that we all have input into which we hope will bring something new to the industry whilst maintaining the influences of the music and bands that have inspired us.

What inspired the band name?

It was a lyric from a song of one our previous bands that we kept going back to, and when it came to us making a fresh start it just felt right.

TBF2_RingMasterReviewWas there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and if so has it changed?

There was no specific idea it has just developed from what we enjoy playing and what we feel works well, and we are really grateful for the support we receive.

The drive to write great music and put on exciting live shows has always been there. The music itself has definitely developed as we have grown as artists, but we’ve always maintained the same sound.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

We take more time over each song; we want to make sure each element of the song is exactly how we want it to be. Before we debut a new song, we lay down hours of practice to ensure we’ve got it right.

Has any shift and movement in your sound been more organic or deliberate in wanting to try new things?

The movement has been organic. As we’ve grown up and gained more experience the sound has moved with us.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

There is no one in particular, but as individuals we all have different inspirations which when we write together gives us our sound.

Is there a general process to the band’s songwriting?

It usually happens by one us coming up with an idea and we jam it out during practice until we have a rough idea of where we want it go, then we take it away and work with it to make it tighter and it evolves from there.

How about lyrics? Where more often than not, where are they drawn from or inspired by?

The inspirations for our lyrics come from Tom; he is always thinking of lyrics at work or at home to put into the songs.

Can you give us some background to your latest release?TBF3_RingMasterReview

The next release is a four track EP which includes our most recent songs that are more powerful and slightly dirtier sound than what we have released before.

How about some insight into its themes and songs?

The songs are based on our experiences in the band and as individuals. There is a song based on a recent tour of Europe and we try to make the lyrics relatable and something people can connect with.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

We get the songs to the point where are happy with them, we practice them over and over again before we go into the studio to record. There are often times where we may make a few tweaks when we hear the recorded version to better the song.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

We really enjoy playing live and we go out to put all of our effort in no matter where we play or who we are playing to. There is nothing better for us than seeing people enjoying our music and leaving with a smile on their face.

The Bad Flowers tour dates_RingMasterReviewIt is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods?

In the midlands there is a thriving scene for new music and there are great local venues that support the industry. After playing all over the country it is still great to come back and play sold out local shows.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?

We keep people updated on Social Media of up and coming gigs, any news we have and it’s also a great way to keep in touch with fans, as well as giving us a platform to promote ourselves to people who may not have heard of us before. Social Media is a great tool to use as long as it is used on the right respect.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Thank you for taking the time to read our interview. Keep your eyes and ears pealed for the future and we hope to as you soon.

http://thebadflowers.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/thebadflowersband

Pete RingMaster

The Ringmaster Review 16/06/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Infectious bounds and spiky hooks: an interview with Pranx

PRANX_RingMasterReview

With a clutch of videos and a potent first EP behind them, Pranx is a German outfit beginning to lure potent attention. Their rousing live presence has equally drawn high praise. So to discover more about this upcoming proposition, we seized the chance to talk with the trio about their EP, progress to date, and all things Pranx in general.

Hi guys, many thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

We are PRANX, a Pop Punk band from Mosbach, Germany consisting of Marcel on drums, Rouven on bass and vocals, and Boris on guitar and vocals. We formed in February 2014. Rouven and Boris had played together in a band since 2008 but their drummer quit. Instead of just searching for a new one we decided to make a new start entirely and form a new band with a new name and new songs. We met drummer Marcel on Facebook to start PRANX in early 2014.

Being involved in other bands before, has that had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

Like we said, Boris and Rouven had played together since 2008. Marcel was also involved in some bands before including a German hip hop band. I don’t think it affected the style we’re playing now with PRANX but it definitely had an impact on our growth as musicians in general. The good chemistry between our two vocalists regarding singing harmonies together for example has been cultivated while playing together in their former band.

What inspired the band name?

It’s a shorter version of Rouven’s and Boris’ former band Prank FanatiX. We wanted to have a name that’s easier for people to remember as it always was spelled wrong on flyers. The original Prank FanatiX name was inspired by the term ‘faith fanatics’ in Green Day’s song ‘East Jesus Nowhere’.

Pranx2_RingMasterReviewWas there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

As a band we hope to enrich some people’s life by playing music, just like all those bands we look up to did and still do to us. Music of those bands had such a massive impact on our lives over the past few years, so we hope that someday people feel the same thing about our music. That’s what we want to offer the people who listen to our music. Another idea behind starting this band is to create some kind of exit out of this daily routine. We want to achieve more in life than just working normal jobs and get stuck in boring lives like 99% of today’s society.

Do the same things still drive the band time?

Yes, we’re still driven by the same things. I think even more than when we started.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

It hasn’t evolved that much since PRANX started but it definitely has since our first days of making music in general. Our very first songs clearly had a Blink-182/Green Day stamp on them whereas now our sound is much more individual (even though you can clearly still hear the Blink influences of course). Since a few years we’re also influenced by this new wave of pop punk bands that has appeared. Bands like Neck Deep and The Story So Far are also great inspirations.

Has it been more of an organic movement in your sound or more a deliberate wanting to try new things?

A mix of both I would say. A huge part of our sound comes from us wanting to try new stuff but sometimes while writing songs something new comes up and you hadn’t planned it. If it’s not something we had in mind for our sound but still sounds cool we go along with it and try to implement it.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

That’s hard to answer. I can’t think of anyone that changed the way we create music but I’m sure it happened subconsciously anytime along the way. All in all we’re still very conservative songwriters. Take a guitar, play some chords and jam some melodies until you find something you like and go from there.

Is there a process to the songwriting which generally guides the writing of songs?

When someone has the idea of a new song he usually likes to write the first version of it all by himself. The process is writing the whole thing, making a demo with all the instruments and arrangements and then showing it to the rest of the band. Then we look at it together and see what we can optimize and change to make it the sound great.

Where are your lyrical inspirations drawn from more often than not?

The inspiration for the lyrics comes from situations of our everyday life. Things you go through in every stage of your life or even things and problems we notice in other peoples’ life around us can make perfect inspiration for song lyrics.

Can you give us some background to your latest release?art_RingMasterReview

It’s a 4 track EP called Things On Your Mind that was released in early 2015. There are two music videos so far and the third is released very soon, but we plan on doing one for the last song as well. All the videos are directed and produced by bassist Rouven. All in all I think the album is a great mixture of catchy sing-along choruses and cool punk riffs, spreading a lot of positive energy.

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

Another Year and Standard are more or less love songs about girls from the past. Especially for Standard I tried to write the cheesiest lyrics and make it as cliché as possible. You could see it as a kind of a tribute to all the 90s pop punk love songs. Pogo Romance is a song about failing while promising a glimpse of hope for getting back up again at the end. Nightmare is about social isolation and forgetting to live your life in the ‘real’ world.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Since we’re a band that’s short of money like every other band and studio time is expensive we try to do as much work for the record as we can before we enter the studio. This means we have the final songs all ready to record in their final state and try to make changes in the studio only when really necessary.

Tell us about the live side to the band?

For me playing live is the best part of being in a band. It’s not only having fun and partying on stage with your friends but also the time of the night where you’re not on stage and have the chance to meet new people and other musicians. There are so many cool people we got to know just by playing shows all around Southern Germany. Always nice to connect with and to play shows for awesome people!

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it in Germany? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the want is there for new bands?

Where we come from is actually one of the worst places for bands to start. The music scene of our hometown is as good as dead and I think it always has been. We always have to travel a little bit further to play good shows. We have to rely heavily on the internet to reach people because there’s little to no interest in live bands in our region.

Pranx3_RingMasterReviewHow has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?

I don’t know if PRANX would still exist if there was no internet. We probably [would not have] even found a drummer if [we had not] met Marcel on Facebook. 95% of people got to know us through Facebook or YouTube so without that I don’t think we had a chance to even reach people.

I think you can still use the internet to your advantage even when you’re a big band with greater success. But I also think it can be hard to influence whether it’s working for you or not. What works for one band does not necessarily have to work for another and sometimes the mass of people on social media is hard to predict or analyse. In my opinion, your music is what counts at the end of the day. You can do every single thing right when promoting your music through the internet but if your songs suck people still won’t like you. On the other hand you can get good exposure if your music kicks ass even if you’re not a social media pro.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Thanks for the interview! If you like, you can check us out at https://www.facebook.com/PRANXofficial to watch all our music videos and check regular updates. Watch out for our next music video for the song Pogo Romance that’s going to be released soon!

http://pranx.bandcamp.com/   https://twitter.com/PRANXofficial   http://www.pranxofficial.com/

Pete RingMaster

The Ringmaster Review 16/06/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright