Practical Lovers – Agony


Practical Lovers_RingMaster Review

Glorious is the only word for Agony, the debut album from UK synth pop duo Practical Lovers. It might be soaked in melancholy, be the outpouring of frustration and torment bred by lost and unrequited love, but the album is simply a majestic tapestry of skilfully cultured shadows and the beauty lying within all emotions.

The band is the union of singer songwriter Jack Wiles and his long-term musical partner Mark Connell. Originally it was intended as a solo project for Wiles with a collection of songs written “in an attempt to vent some of his frustrations with love in the 21st Century.” After introducing the idea and songs to Connell, the pair creatively united and stepped forwards as Practical Lovers, this around late 2010. The band signed with Nottingham based label I’m Not From London Records the following year, releasing a couple of singles over the next three whilst earning a rich reputation for their live performances. Now they unveil their eagerly awaited debut album, a stirring incitement of vintage synths and analogue drum machines bound in nostalgic radiance, heavy and seductive emotions, and compelling enterprise.

artwork_RingMaster Review    Every track within Agony is a love song; the dark side of and fallout from inspired explorations for sure, but all seeded in love. They come with an intimacy which feels like they are echoes of their creator’s heart and experiences and makes it easy to emotionally connect with, whilst each is presented within sounds which are as infectious and hopeful as they are similarly solemn to their lyrical pleas. From the opener band and release has ears and imagination chained, and emotions basking in the pleasure given.

Put It Bluntly tempts ears with a few dark pulses of synths whilst brewing a more feisty lure in the background, that swiftly coming forward and blossoming on the strains of a deliciously grouchy bassline. The inescapable enticement of Wiles’ wonderful dour lined and magnetic tones soon adds another rich texture and hue to the already invasively infectious encounter. That element of nostalgia is often eighties spawned and here on offer is a Paul Haig meets New Order coaxing with a touch of Interpol to it, a mixture only adding to the thrilling virulence of the song.

The following Never Again brings some fiery guitar to ears, the fizzy texture invitingly colluding with poppy synths as Wiles and Connell avail an already greedy appetite of their individual prowess. The fevered stroll does not hang around, offering a bubbly simmer over two minutes of inimitable bait before Inside Job provides another diverse and fiercely captivating string to the bow of Agony. Like The The in league with The Smiths, with Wiles vocally as throughout the album creating a vocal presence somewhere between Morrissey and Ian Curtis, the song is a plaintive serenade, a vibrant croon which whips up ears and emotion within seconds and increasingly involves the listener with every passing second.

A similar hue glows within Full of You next, though the track again reveals a distinct character of its own as synths smoulder and caress with emotive expression. The mix of vocals, presumably from the two artists, adds another riveting texture, though it is Wiles and the Smiths blessed earthy elegance that seals the deal between lustful ears and song, an ardour just as eagerly given to the Joy Division coated Nobody There which follows and straight after that the post punk scented brilliance of The Work Around. Hints of Blancmange and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark emerge from within the outstanding track, and in many ways, having seen OMD live in their first days, there is a definite resemblance between the bands if not exactly in overall sound.

No Reply slips into the dark corners of its emotive heart next, that Joy Division suggestion again an easy offer as the track morosely yet enticingly prowls ears before its big success is eclipsed by the skittish energy and devilry of Restless. Think Fad Gadget meets early The Correspondents with Editors in tow and a clue to its irresistible endeavour is close to the mark whilst for Textbook Romance maybe John Foxx era Ultravox and early Cure is a good hint. To be honest, for all the references sparked, each track is a thrilling proposal unique to Practical Lovers, just enhanced by a great weave of recognisable colours, whilst the second of this pair also unveil its warm party on the senses with a hopefulness arguably not explored as fully elsewhere.

The album closes off with firstly the insatiable contagion of Falling Down and finally the melancholic serenade of Grave of Romance, a song impressing initially and just seducing the passions to greater effect over time. Both also provide another aspect to the multi-faceted sound of Agony, an album which is blossomed from some of the harshest and deepest felt emotions possible but is anything but agony to listen to.

Practical Lovers is one of the finds for our ears of 2015 and Agony one of its most thrilling and invigorating releases.

Agony is released November 27th digitally and on limited edition cassette tape through I’m Not From London Records @

Pete RingMaster 27/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Tales of the Tomb – Volume One: Morpras

TOTT-processing-plant _RingMaster Review

Dripping blood and viciousness from every note and syllable, the debut EP from Canadian death metallers Tales of the Tomb is the breeder of nightmares and lustful appetites. Volume One: Morpras is a three track execution of the senses, a demonic trespass of the soul inspired by real life equivalents and an encounter which might not be about to turn the extreme metal scene on its head but definitely gives it a nasty assault of murder metal to get excited over.

Hailing from Edmonton and emerging in 2013, Tales of The Tomb draw on the inspiration of horror comics that glorified hideous crimes and creatures, the seed for the band name Tales of The Tomb too, and equally true life episodes of murder, supernatural horror, and real-life terror. These are seeds strikingly blossomed within Volume One: Morpras, in lyric, tone, and sonic brutality. Mixed and mastered by Dan Swano (ex-Bloodbath, Unisound), its goes for the jugular and senses like the protagonists featuring in its concept, an unrelenting trespass continuing across a trio of blood-lusting tracks.

Morpras - EP_RingMaster Review     It opens with Snowtown, a violation inspired by real-life crime of small-town Australia. Within a couple of breaths, riffs are venomously flooding ears as rhythms beat down on the senses like a machete. The raw throated tones of vocalist Connor Adams, potently backed by just as grisly other tones, infest the psyche as potently as the sounds and their enterprise which is arguably less antagonistic initially then the vocal squalls on offer. Swinging rhythms and nasty grooves only add to the gripping adventure too, guitarists Corey Skerlak and Tre Thomas casting a bait ridden web as the bass of Bryn Herbert grumbles alongside the rapier beats of John Thomson. It is an impressive start blossoming in strength and imagination the further into its two and a half minutes ventured, clean vocals alone one of the great additives to the mayhem.

The Pig Farmer steps in next, another slim sonic coaxing the spark to a hellacious confrontation which this time, colours true events of a prolific Canadian serial killer. In no time it is grinding its way into body and psyche, torrents of nagging riffs, spicily intrusive grooves, and vocal pestilence igniting ears and appetite as the band ravishes the listener from every direction with incendiary craft and gripping virulence of sound. It is as corrosive as it is irresistible, a rabid animus fuelled by more of the fiercely pleasing vocal mix and a savage predatory intent.

With a touch of fellow countrymen Dark Century to its fury, as too in varying degrees of bands like Dying Fetus and Cannibal Corpse, the track as the EP is an evocation for a greed for more, a hunger fed by the closing Doctor Death. As the serial killer inspirations behind it, the song preys on ears, taking its time to instil its toxicity but working away with compelling almost cancerous sonic intent from the off. Grooves entwine and work their way under the skin like toxic vines, whilst the body of the song strolls with a deceitful calm as much hued in more classic metal essences as it is in death metal voracity.

The first two tracks whip up a rabidity which takes no prisoners, straight in and swing type attacks, whilst the third is a lingering poison which takes its time to build to its aim but with the same riveting result on ears and pleasure. Volume One: Morpras EP is a stirring introduction to Tales of The Tomb but also frustrating that it is a mere three tempests. Hopefully more bloodletting with follow soon but for now this EP is being hungrily devoured.

The Volume One: Morpras EP is available from November 27th digitally and on CD @

Pete RingMaster 27/11/2015

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Harlots – Chinese Carpet Factory

harlots_RingMaster Review

Creating infectious alternative rock ‘n’ roll with a healthy power pop tenacity and rigour to it, UK quartet Harlots release their debut album to end the year with a potent nudge on national recognition. Eleven tracks of virulent pop rock, Chinese Carpet Factory is a boisterous romp littered with flowing melodies, persuasive harmonies, and hooks with an instinctive vice like grip. Add bold rhythms alongside rousing choruses and Harlots have provided one rather enjoyable proposition.

The London based foursome recorded Chinese Carpet Factory with producer Rory Attwell (Palma Violets/Vaccines) on a boat on the bands of the Thames, and straight away it laps ears with feisty persuasion through opener Wicked Tongue. Building from a scene setting sample, the song is soon sauntering along with lively rhythms and just as eager vocals as guitars crash and scythe with spicy enterprise. The bass too is a pulsating slice of bait, it all uniting with accomplished and catchy effect. The song pretty much sets the tone of the album; the individual characters of songs all bred from this kind of rousing combination or certainly carrying a rich vein of it through their varied bodies.

Gotta Get By is quick evidence, the second track swinging in with its own hue of infectious zeal and inventive vibrancy. Part shoegaze, part power pop, and all flavoursome temptation, it bounces along whipping up eager involvement in feet and hips, and even though the song is a slither at less than two minutes in length, it shows that Harlots can be as effective on the dance-floor as in more intimate unions with listeners.

If The Ramones were The Beach Boys, House of Love became Birdland; they just might sound like Harlots on the seductive Seen A Girl whilst the outstanding Every Little Thing merges that with a further touch of indie/Brit pop imagination. The track is an addiction in the making, from vocals to melodies, rhythms to riveting hooks, revelry of pop ‘n’ roll to get greedy over.

Through Work Work Work and Up Away, the album reveals even more variety, the first a web of virulence seeded in sixties Beatles whilst its successor is an alluring croon of acoustic guitar and reflective voice with a chorus as enslaving as any within the bolder, bigger boned offerings within Chinese Carpet Factory. Both songs leave ears smiling and pleasure high before Rush jumps in, off the back of the album’s twenty two second title track, to cast a My Bloody Valentine/Verve like incitement which just seems to get more persuasive with every listen.

There are some tracks within Chinese Carpet Factory which really leap out, Every Little Thing and Gotta Get By a couple and next up You Got Me soon there by their side. Laying a jangle of guitar as its first touch, rolling out anthemic rhythms almost as swiftly, the track bounds around and bounces off ears with voracious revelry, its sixties/eighties pop breath entwined with modern indie ingenuity quite irresistible.

The album finishes with firstly the rawer aired and just as gripping drama of The Colour & The Noise, shoegaze, pop, and noise rock blurring their boundaries in another big highlight, and finally Days Are Done. The Beatle-esque balladry of the final song ensures the album comes to an engaging end, its embrace not as pungent as elsewhere within Chinese Carpet Factory but still a potent end to a fine release.

Chinese Carpet Factory is a great introduction to Harlots, a release easy to spend plenty of time with for perpetual enjoyment. This is a band still growing and evolving their sound you sense too, so real potential of big times ahead we suggest.

Chinese Carpet Factory is out on NOV 28th.

Pete RingMaster 27/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Adrenechrome – Tales From Adrenechrome

Pic Credit Dave Saunders_

Pic Credit Dave Saunders_

Just like a blurring of reality and fantasy, the sound of Canadian metallers Adrenechrome is a muggy fusion of styles and flavours, and just like a drug addled climate, it provides an adventure which devours and permeates every pore of the senses and emotions. Taking their name from the a fictional drug in the film Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Adrenechrome cast a kaleidoscope of rigorous and virulent tempting as creatively progressive as it is thunderously rock ‘n’ roll, as predatory thrash bred as it is spatially grooved, and as imaginatively ravenous as it is simply seductive. The evidence is all there within new album Tales From Adrenechrome, a seven track encounter which from its classic comic like cover, created by Clownbaby and Tim Kehoe, through to its final suggestive note, is a compelling exploration of self experiences, fantasy, sci-fi, and classic literature.

Hailing from Ontario, Adrenechrome began in 2010, formed by veterans of the music scene with bands such as Gaswitch, Shimmy Rabbits, and The Doug Trucker Band in their histories. Debut EP Hideous Appetites emerged in 2012, inspirations from artists such as Pantera, Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, Metallica, Mastodon, High on Fire, and Children of Bodom colouring a sound which soon lured strong support and attention to the release and equally the band’s adrenaline driven live presence which over the years has included playing with Corrosion of Conformity, Green Jelly, Ninjaspy, and Manahan. It is a reaction and success sure to be matched and overshadowed by Tales From Adrenechrome as it spreads its creative rabidity from hereon; with it the band ready to breach and incite richer and broader spotlights.

Album Cover - Adrenechrome - Tales From Adrenechrome _RingMaster Review   The album opens with A Familiar Face, an immediate tempting of bold rhythms and melodically spun sonic enterprise woven into a warm instrumentally led tapestry. The track swiftly captivates as its hooks and grooves seduce as the bass swings and drums badger, a union which only captures ears and imagination with vocal harmonies adding just one more flavoursome texture to the album’s initial temptation.

Things quickly get rugged and heavy as Lockstep storms in next; its thrash breeding is full rabid evidence as vocalist Chris Friesen rides his own riffs and the raw flames of fellow guitarist Tim Kehoe. As becomes the norm, the track is soon evolving within ears. The fury of more extreme metal hues collude with heavy Mastodon resembling grooves and a Torche likened web of flavours as the licking of thrash seeded and groove metal honed flames continues. It is riveting stuff, the body and emotions involved in the devilment as easily as pleasure and an appetite for more, which the song continues to offer with its persistently twisting proposal and Black Brubeck continues with its superb jazz lit imagination and progressively sculpted inventive waltz. As avant-garde as something from a Trepalium or a Pryapisme, and as heftily compelling rock ‘n’ roll as a predacious roar from an Anthrax or High on Fire, the song is irresistible; a fascination with mischief in its heart and fiery passion in its soul.

As all tracks, God Sized Shadow is nurtured with the same fire of intent and character, it even more rapaciously dirty and intrusive than its predecessor but with, greater degrees, the same kind of cosmic air and aggressive volatility, the blackened shades of the latter especially potent. Bewitching and intrusive, with the excellent dark grouchiness of Mike Van Dyk’s bass and the lethally swung beats of drummer Matt Copeland gripping, the track is a primal yet worldly blaze with the rawness of a Triggerman and dark seduction of a Faith No More.

The Heart and The Feather instantly incites ears and thoughts as clean vocals impress within a hug of spidery grooves and sonic expression, Friesen becoming even more compelling as he mixes up his delivery with dirtier tones and rasping expression. Musically the song matches him, again that bedlamic quality a perpetual enticement of unpredictability and highly persuasive surprises woven in to a mix of fierce and richly spiced metal and heavy rock styles. Hips are soon swinging and imagination entangled in the proposition, a success just as easily inspired by Hideous Appetites, a manic appearing and skilfully conjured smog of ferocious enterprise and dynamic devilment; a ravenous beast of a song with melodic and antagonistic weaponry.

Completed by the cauldron of warmth and hostility that is The Lead Elephant, a track which majestically merges melodic tempting, sonic trespasses, and cantankerous metal ‘n’ roll within its tenacious and often enjoyably bruising tempest, Tales From Adrenechrome is a thrilling beast. There is no moment where emotions and appetite are not inflamed and pleasure thicker than the grooves it unleashes.

Grabbing a dose of Adrenechrome is a no brainer as far as we are concerned, Tales From Adrenechrome the release declaring a new band to challenge if not quite now certainly ahead those ‘giants’ mentioned.

Tales From Adrenechrome is out now @ and through most online stores.

Pete RingMaster 28/11/2015

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Sushi Rain – Cocktail



In reference to its mix of sound alone, Cocktail is the perfect name for the new album from Tuscany hailing progressive funksters Sushi Rain. It is an energetic and imaginative maelstrom of flavours and styles across twelve tracks as individual to each other as they are united in unpredictable adventure. It is at times also as intoxicating as its namesake and even in moments where personal tastes do not connect as fully as in other moments, a lack of enjoyment is never an issue.

The beginnings of Sushi Rain go back to Italian hard rock band Valentine and its remaining four members around 2008. A band inspired by the likes of like Extreme, Gun’s Roses, Living Colour, and Faith No More, it had already begun incorporating main elements of funk and cross-over to create a distinctive sound. Soon the line-up of songwriter/lead guitarist Francesco Bini, vocalist Matteo Carrai, rhythm guitarist Stefano Maestrelli, bassist Saimon Sieni, and drummer Francesco Micieli pushed further forward with this evolving sound though across the following year a host of changes ensued. 2009 saw the departure of Maestrelli and Sieni, a name change to Sushi Rain, the beginning of the recording of a debut album, as well as the addition of firstly bassist Davide Biondolillo before Marcello Arena took over and also keyboardist Alessandro Biondi and alto saxophonist Alessio Crocetti.

First album Breathless appeared in 2011 to good responses from fans and media alike, it backed by successful live adventures across Italy and into Europe over the following year. More changes saw Crocetti leave the band during the start of creating their second album, to be replaced by Florence based American saxophonist and blues-soul vocalist Nadia Koski with a pair of backing singers in Giada Secchi and Sandro Toncelli also joining up. Completed earlier this year, Cocktail is the captivating refreshment emerging from the ‘fun’ of the previous few months and something for all to find some feel good tonic in.

SUSHI-RAIN_COVER_RingMaster Review    The album opens with Pop yoy pay, a slither of an introduction certainly awakening ears with its fun drama of bad entertainment being disposed of for the funk revelry of Sushi Rain and first song proper, Bunga Bunga. The second track is instantly inciting feet to shuffle and hips to sway, riffs and hooks as inviting as the flames of sax and the theatre of vocals already whipping up the imagination. Straight away as the infectious encounter tempts further involvement, essences of bands like Extreme and Red Hot Chili Peppers, and maybe a touch of Mr Bungle, are a spicy pleasure but only essences in a recipe already emerging as distinct to the band. It is a great true start to the album, a devilry to get all funked up with.

The following Why? similarly has the body involved with its tangle of tangy grooving. Its pop funk prowess is a virulent persuasion driven by a great mix of vocals across the band and a rhythmic enticing as catchy as the sparkling hooks and mischief within the incitement. Keys layer psych seduction and imagination into the mix too, another flavour colluding with equally captivating jazz enterprise and pop rock tenacity as the song reveals more diversity within Cocktail. This kind of variation is a perpetual lure within the album and continues in varying degrees in the reflective croon of One last night in Philadelphia, an emotive hug of melodic rock and the boldly simmering tango of Pillows. Neither track quite match up to the previous pair but both create a web of invention and unpredictability that has ears and appetite a little greedier. In many ways Sushi Rain is like a funk/classic rock version of Russkaja or Kontrust; a band twisting a horde of diverse flavours and textures into something instinctively different and invigorating to most things around them.

The smoky beauty of March of groove comes next, its noir lit climate a sultry seduction with jazz bred scenery enclosing rich blues rock tempting whilst the melancholy hued Free brings a compelling calm with its heart bred croon. Acoustic guitar provides a tender hand on ears but it is the superb blend of vocals across Carrai, Secchi, and Toncelli which steals the show. Both songs, and especially the latter leave a richer pleasure and want for more in their wake, a hunger fed by the excellent fiery roar of Jesus cries from your eyes and the melodic romance of It’s time to believe. The first of the two is a boisterous bundle of hooks and grooves bound in electronic imagination and sonic flirtation, matched and at times eclipsed by the brass enterprise of Koski, whilst its successor is a sublime summers day of reggae riffs and grooving aligned to Caribbean temptation and a feel good tonic of vocal and smiling melodies.

Things get dirtier and rock ‘n’ roll with Sushi Rain can’t write a single next, the song a grooved stomp with contagious attributes from start to finish, though for these ears it does lack that final spark and invention to rival earlier treats. There is no escaping some gorgeous twists and elements inside it though as too within the outstanding Brain drain. Like Oingo Boingo meets King’s X, the track is a bubbling infestation of body and soul sculpting another lofty high within Cocktail before the album drifts off with mellow charm in to the sunset via One.

It is a captivating close to an album which just gets more persuasive and enjoyable with every listen; even within this review and another simultaneous listen, Cocktail has grown again. For some this could be an album of the year contender, for others a pleasure to pass through now and again but for all, Sushi Rain is a proposal sure to leave ears and emotions feeling good.

Cocktail is available now via Indian record label Jackson Records through most online stores.

Pete RingMaster 26/11/2015

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Today, They Are Older – Self Titled

Today,They Are Older Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

For some reason it took time to particularly warm to the self-titled EP from UK post-hardcore quintet Today, They Are Older. To be honest there are still elements not quite lighting personal fires, but the five track incitement definitely goes on to prove to be one very solid and skilfully accomplished proposition. Getting a national reboot November 27th via Sunbird Records, the EP also justifies why there is a potent buzz brewing up around the band.

Formed in 2010, the Darwen in Lancashire hailing band soon set about arousing attention and support with first EP, Universal. 2013 saw the uncaging of the band’s debut album The Evergreen Theory, it also waking more appetites to the band’s emerging presence and a sound inspired by the likes of Underoath and Heights. A line-up change followed as the band looked to capture the band’s true sound and raucous energy, always evident on stage, into their recordings. The new line-up seemed to give the band the spark they wanted in that aspect, and following linking up with Sunbird for its release, attempted to find that success on their latest EP.

Today, They Are Older Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review   It is an aim seemingly realised as the EP erupts with Empty Eyes, the track an immediate causticity of sound and emotion littered with enticing hooks and sonic bait driven by the raw throat spewed squalls of vocalist/keyboardist Liam Corran. There is a raw bluster surging through the song but one able to easily embrace an imaginative enterprise and the open craft within the band. For personal tastes, not enough time and space is given over to the unpredictable twists and flirtatious slithers of invention in track and release that emerge as the starter really comes alive for its finale; jagged riffs and discordant spicing majorly igniting proceedings with their bolder adventure.

The strong start continues with A Fool’s Gold Fuel, an instantly bruising and belligerent assault with a touch of Gacys Threads to it. The guitars of Jordan Howard and Adam Turnbull rage and entice with their web of aggression fuelled riffs and inventive sonic endeavour, both aspects backed by the robust swings of drummer Matthieu Woodburn and the primal tone of Thomas Jones’ bass. As its predecessor, the song satisfies and at times sparks greater reactions as the band tries to explore new tenacious ideation within ultimately a more recognisable yet rousing confrontation.

From Finland With Love soon becomes the focal point of the EP as from its first breath it spins a tapestry of off-kilter and unpredictable invention for a still savage but forcibly imaginative exploration. It is an experiment of sound to be honest not really seen elsewhere within the EP and the track simply blossoms because of it. Great female backing vocals and melodic elegance only adds to the strength of the song and the sure fire arousal of ears and imagination, with anticipation of this being the direction the band heads off into now hopeful.

Such the might of the track it gives both Statues and No Guts, No Glory a testing time to live up to its success. Neither manages it yet the first, with its enjoyable rhythmic agitation and the ever fiery and creative prowess of the guitars, leaves plenty to spark a hungrier appetite whilst its successor provides a harsh savaging lit by more enticing rhythmic bait from Woodburn and Jones as a great mix of clean backing vocals aligns to the more regular roar of Corran.

As it started, the EP end on a strong point but the bigger treats are within, especially in the shape of From Finland With Love. The EP still has not lit a big fire in the passions but at certain moments it definitely truly excites as the band suggest they can move out of the crowd to make a bigger impact.

The Today, They Are Older EP is released November 27th via Sunbird Records @

Pete Ringmaster 26/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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