Mayflower Madame – Observed in a Dream

MayflowerMadame_RingMasterReview

When looking back at the end of the year, we suspect that April will be noted as one of the most fruitful months for stunning albums, with a great many of them striking debuts. To a list running into double figures we can add the outstanding first full-length from Norwegian band Mayflower Madame. The band’s sound is a captivating weave of post punk, shoegaze, and psych rock textures but given its own distinct character by the imagination of the Oslo quartet, and Observed in a Dream a release which commands attention with a presence slightly nostalgic but as fresh as the dew on a spring morning, and as radiant.

Formed in 2011, Mayflower Madame has already drawn potent attention and praise with the Into the Haze EP in 2013 and last year their single Lovesick. Comparisons to bands such as My Bloody Valentine, Bauhaus, Spacemen 3, and The Jesus & Mary Chain have readily been offered, and understandably with the band’s provocative dark and sensuous sound. Live they have earned a strong reputation too, sharing stages with the likes of Crystal Stilts, Night Beats, La Femme, Disappears, Crocodiles, and Moon Duo along the way and making successful appearances at Norway’s largest festivals, Oya and Norwegian Wood. Now released on their own Night Cult Records and Custom Made Music in North America, Observed in a Dream is ready to wake up the biggest and most attentive spotlights upon the band.

As soon as opener Confusion Hill envelops ears it is a success easy to imagine, and then be sure of as each track seduces imagination and appetite. The first song emerges from a haunted atmosphere with already slightly portentous shadows to its air. Its approaching tempest though is quickly turned into a strolling seduction upon arrival, psych and surf rock flavours shining, almost sighing, over the infectious darkly hued prowl of Petter Gudim Marberg’s bass and Ola Jørgen Kyrkjeeide’s crisp beats. The guitars of Rune Øverby and Trond Fagernes swiftly spin a bed of evocative colour and suggestiveness too as the latter’s also quickly impressing vocals lay emotively upon the strands of sound. It is easy to see where those Bauhaus and Jesus & Mary Chain references come from, though the bigger and bolder the song becomes it reminds more of Gene Loves Jezebel, echoes and resonance on voice and melodies a delicious shimmer.

art_RingMasterReviewAn outstanding start is still eclipsed by its successor Lovesick, a song which plays second fiddle to no one. From its beguiling dark rock ‘n’ roll strum, the song canters along with a devilish swing led by another highly flavoursome throaty bassline and catchy riffery matched by flirtatious beats. Think The Birthday Party meets Helldorado and Tones on Tails as a clue to the track’s virulent alchemy; a song with as much fascinating drama as it has addictive infectiousness.  Its exceptional incitement is as good as matched by that of Self-Seer; another track rolling along on an enslaving rhythmic tenacity and ingenuity. It explores a mellower climate of sound yet still has an energy and sonic clang to physically stir the spirit. If looking for another hint, Echo and The Bunnymen would be a suggestion for the otherwise unique rock ‘n’ roll of the mouth-watering proposal.

A sixties instrumental twang adds to the seduction of Upside Down (The Death Loop), guitars a sultry lure with again a surf rock like tone to their imagination whilst within their searing elegance a cinematic drama infests rhythms and hooks. As much as there is variety to the sound within Observed In A Dream, so too the vocals craft similar diversity, here harmonies glowing with a hazy beauty around the matching delivery of Fagernes.

Latest single Weightless rumbles in next, carrying a far heavier tone and intent in its creative espionage and welcome trespass. A Play Dead/ Sisters Of Mercy like breath soaks the song, its heavy shadows and provocative textures as invasive as they are seductive. Personally, it is not the song we would choose to lead into the release of Observed in a Dream with other more irresistible options, yet the song in its brief moment is a thrilling and rousing protagonist only making the appetite for album and sound greedier.

The calmer landscape and presence of Into The Haze (Redux) hugs ears next, the song a gentle but again lively adventure into noir lit pastures with more cinematic lures whilst the album’s title track, which follows, from a similar template casts its own tantalising and riveting psyche embedding web of sound and emotion which at times is like The Shadows in collusion with House Of Love and Flesh For Lulu.

The album closes with the psychedelically atmospheric Forever//The End Of Everything, a track which equally expresses post punk discord and causticity within its pulsating and bewitching theatre of sound and emotion. It is a powerful end to a tremendous first introduction to most of us to Mayflower Madame. They and Observed In A Dream grab attention, grip tighter with every pleasure giving twist and turn, and emerge as a reason why Mayflower Madame is one of the most exciting bands to make their mark on 2016 so far.

Observed In A Dream is out now via Night Cult Records in Europe and Custom Made Music in North America as an Ltd Ed vinyl, CD, and Download. All options available @ http://mayflowermadame.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 29/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Dwarfs Of East Agouza – Bes

Photo by Maged Nader

Photo by Maged Nader

Named after the Ancient Egyptian dwarf deity who was worshiped as the defender of all things good and enemy of all that is bad, and not the blur of motion at the front of the Happy Mondays, though you can easily see Bez being sent into creative spasms by its exceptional sounds, Bes is the debut album from The Dwarfs Of East Agouza. The six track double album is a rhythmic enslavement of the body with melodic jangles working away on ears and imagination; explorations of instrumental improvisation bred on a collusion of African and Krautrock enterprise and adventure.

The Dwarfs Of East Agouza is a trio from Cairo; a project coming together in 2012 when Maurice Louca (organ, synthesizer, beats), Sam Shalabi (electric guitar), and Alan Bishop (acoustic bass/alto sax/vocals) were living in the same apartment building in the city’s Agouza district. Soon their united craft and imagination began creating a unique style and sound further shaped by the Louca’s North African percussion loops and shimmering keys, Shalabi’s West African tinged free jazz guitar, and Bishop’s Krautrock-style acoustic bass. A late night jam session led to the recording of hours of material during a three-day studio run in April 2014, from which Bes eventually emerged. Released via Nawa Recordings, the album is a bewitching and bold gateway into the secrets and hypnotic realms of a North African adventure.

From its first moments, the album has thoughts composing their own exploits; imagined experiences and tales driven by the perpetual hypnotic lure of rhythms and shaped by the suggestiveness of the unpredictable sounds further flirting with and involving the listener. It opens with Baka of the Future and a lone seductive bassline quickly joined by the colourful twang of a guitar picked by fingers with mischievous intent. As the fuzzy shimmer of keys become involved with the virulent nudging of beats, a jazz funk tempting is soon moving feet and hips within an already sultry and mystique laced climate. Bishop’s sax is a warm evocative glaze to a quickly virulent infestation of body and psyche. Discord is no stranger to the adventure either, the off-kilter twinges and twangs of guitar as potent and delicious as the unruffled rhythmic spine which keeps the listener beguiled like a moth to a flame.

NAWA005_Cover_RingMasterReviewThe track is irresistible; almost ten minutes of primal yet free and skilfully sculpted incitement matched by the following Clean Shahin. Instantly the track reveals its own individual exotic character, a Persian like charm and scent around a rhythmic captivation aligned to an emotively thick guitar melody. The song’s gentle emergence has an air which, though not melancholic, is more reserved and serious than that of its predecessor. Over time though, its resistance to freeing its spirit and energy is loosened, the piece becoming livelier and more uninhibited as sonic eroticism seeps into melodies and its imagination.

Where’s Turbo? steps up next, rhythmically enticing like a lively belly dancer from the off. It is a lively blur of motion as a smoulder of surf rock/North African spiced grooves sway and seduce alongside the crystalline shimmer of keys and the heavy flirtatious sighs of bass. As with the first pair, its rhythmic suggestiveness is alone physically inescapable whilst the imagination is just as busy with the slimline but rich cocktail of sounds and textures.

It’s sixteen magnetic minutes and still a fleeting moment in the ears, makes way for the more primitive landscape of Hungry Bears Don’t Dance. There is a more primal tone to the track, its repetitive rhythmic prowl bestial in many ways yet around it, like shards and sparkles of light breaking through a thickly woven canopy, keys and melodies glimmer and shine. In no time the darker feel and shadows find themselves immersed in another enthralling tapestry of sound and suggestion before the equally shadowy Resinance takes the imagination into a psychedelic haze of seemingly intimate secrets and dark doorways. Again though, for every clandestine or furtive element there is an embrace of melodic reassurance, this time through the warm bubbling of keys.

The album is brought to a close by the 30-minute free-form epic Museum of Stranglers. It is hard enough to accurately represent the beauty and brilliance in sound of the album in word but this track is the hardest. Imagine though, inspired by its title, entering an off-putting dark yet inviting place and exploring a myriad of jazz crooned episodes involving a series of dangerous yet often beguiling protagonists; each twist in the creative and improvised journey of the piece the next story to immerse in within a persistently mesmeric embrace of similarly evolving sound.

It is an almost mind-blowing end to one exceptional debut. Bes is an album which has to be heard to understand and make any opinion on; thankfully we have and suggest that The Dwarfs Of East Agouza and their album needs to be part of your musical life and indeed imagination.

Bes is out April 29th via Nawa Recordings on 2xLP, 2xCD and Download across most stores.

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Pete RingMaster 29/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Dead Man’s Hand – Till Karma Forgets

DMH_RingMasterReview

Not to be confused with seemingly many other bands with the same moniker, Dead Man’s Hand is a band bred in the Seattle music scene but it is fair to say really hit their stride once its founders relocated to Kansas City. Now they are poised to release their new album Till Karma Forgets, a twelve song strong slice of raw rock ‘n’ roll which maybe does not leave ears awestruck but certainly provides them with a thoroughly enjoyable time.

Formed in 2012 by vocalist/guitarist Kasey McGrew when he teamed up with guitarist Bret Palmer, Dead Man’s Hand struggled with finding the right line-up initially; that was until the pair moved to Kansas City the following year where they found bassist Jeffery Kent and drummer James Aguiar. Soon the band found itself sharing stages with the likes of HURT, PopEvil, and The Dreaming at venues such as The Voodoo Lounge and Granada. 2014 saw Dead Man’s Hand touring with Burning and win Best New Artist in the Midwest Music Awards. Last year saw a second tour for the quartet, plenty of radio play, and more nominations at the 2015 Midwest Music Awards. Now following up an earlier demo EP with the same name, the band is poking at broader awareness for their accomplished and fiery rock ‘n’ roll with The Pavement Entertainment released Til Karma Forgets.

The album opens with the groove bound Hangman, a track making a controlled entrance before sauntering into the imagination with mellow lures entangled in more incendiary strikes of guitar. The vocals of McGrew, potently backed by Palmer’s strong tones, emulate the sound around them, crooning at certain moments and roaring with thick emotion in the songs eruptions of intensity. Easily revealing the unmistakable craft and skills of the band whilst pleasing ears, it is a great start to Til Karma Forgets backed as powerfully by the excellent Lock & Key. Grungier hues crowd the hard and melodic rock body of the song, all magnetic spicing adding to a great stock in grooves and rhythmic enticement around another catchy chorus. Whilst eclipsing its predecessor, a touch of southern goodness also comes out with the song overall reminding a touch of fellow US rockers Resin.

DMHart_RingMasterReviewPaint A Picture is a calmer emotive proposition next, vocals and melodies wrapping ears as feistier flames occasionally rise up around them whilst So What offers a grittier tempting of blues and hard rock which prowls ears with expressive guitar and vocals taking the lead. Its snarl only increases in its rousing chorus where the irritability, which seems to fuel bass and riffs throughout, adds more oil to the blaze.

Through the spicy grooving of Veto and the attractive intimidation of Wash Away, band and album keeps pleasure and appetite as keen as ever. The first of the pair is an especially unpredictable and magnetic affair as at ease aggressively growling at the senses as it is seducing them. Its successor evolves from a seriously coaxing lure from Aguiar into a predator with hungry riffs, and the still boldly rolling bait of beats, courting a less imposing vocal delivery. It is a great mix with the dark shadows and the song’s natural predation alone whipping up the passion as it steals best song honours on Til Karma Forgets.

Its title track comes next and it too marks a particularly memorable peak in the landscape of the album, carrying a slight Life Of Agony feel to particularly its more emotive and restrained moments. Despite its grouchiness and aggressive elements, there still feels like there is beast still trying to escape, and if there is any moan about the album it is that it does not fulfil the great and open potential to unleash this instinctive ferocity. Nevertheless, the track rocks like a disturbed bear before a milder but no less resourceful stroll with Slide Of Hand leaves ears thickly satisfied; guitars especially spicy and flavoursome within the encounter.

Another inviting strain of blues rock colours the swiftly infectious Beneath The Dirt next, where whiffs of Nirvana and Sick Puppies tempt thoughts. The track is yet another addictive episode in the album; a track, which like Til Karma Forgets as a whole, might not be venturing into unique pastures or setting the world on fire but without doubt leaves the listener gripped and hungry for more of its unbridled rock ‘n’ roll.

Through the scorching blaze of Masquerade and the emotively melodic Broken Ground, things continue to richly entice and firmly please; the first of the two another notable proposition, with Not For Nothing closing up the album in fine style too with its captivating, impassioned, and tempestuous balladry.

Though the album is missing that last spark or bite of intensity to really ignite the passions, it is not too hard to expect Dead Man’s Hand finding a host of new fans and plaudits with Till Karma Forgets, a release which offers honest rock ‘n’ roll with heart and quality.

Till Karma Forgets is released April 29th via Pavement Entertainment through most online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 29/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Jonestown – Aokigahara

Jonestown_RingMasterReview

Beauty and paradise can turn to pain and hell with seeming ease within the hands of mankind; the utopian vision of the charismatic and disturbed central figure in the inspiration to the band’s name a prime example. UK metallers Jonestown seed their sound and lyrical confrontations in such personal and worldly tempests; to borrow words from their bio, “The name Jonestown encapsulates the fragility of our state in nature and in society. We’re oblivious to how fragile we are and how quickly life can turn to death.” Musically, the Brighton band starts in hellish landscapes of sound and emotion too which, as shown by new album, Aokigahara, is then taken to fiercer debilitating states whilst subjecting the listener to one seriously thrilling incitement.

Formed March 2014, Jonestown took little time to impress and lure thick attention. They won the Metal 2 The Masses competition that same year with their first ever gig together being the initial round of the event which they also won. From there they have played with the likes of Soulfly, Monuments, No Consequence, and Black Dahlia Murder , toured with Prolong the Agony, and drew acclaim with performances at festivals such as Bloodstock Open Air in 2014 and in 2015, both Leofest  and Mammothfest. 2016 is going the same successful way as its recent predecessors for the band, starting with the recent release of their stunning debut album Aokighara. Named after the forest at the base of Mount Fuji known as ‘the Suicide Forest’, the release is cauldron of raw and varied metal ferociousness fuelled with a hardcore laced antipathy in sound and tone. It is a creative animus, a web of inventive rabidity and ravenous imagination, and quite irresistible.

Jonestown Artwork_RingMasterReviewIt opens up with Deliverance, a track taking its time to come into view from within a haunting cold ambience. Chilling winds wash provocatively over the senses as a melancholic melody sighs in the background. Soon an imposing wall of intimidating chords and raw intensity looms up though, it in turn erupting into an onslaught of corrosive sonic and rhythmic animosity led by the vocals squalls of Harley Anderson. It takes little time for the technical prowess and unpredictable enterprise of the band to show its impressing nature with guitarist Craig Radford spinning a web of grooves and melodic temptation as a suggestive wrap to his and bassist’s Tony Hardwick predatory riffs and lines, this all without defusing the unbridled rancor of tone and touch of the song.

It is a striking start to the album quickly matched by Cenodoxus and Borderline. The first of the pair is equally as bitter and uncompromising as its predecessor, the senses bruising swings of drummer Rich Owen as virulent as they are punishing. It also pushes the imagination further with a great Korn-esque twist within its Black Dahlia Murder meets Meshuggah meets Murdock like ravishing of ears and emotions. Its successor has its own creative vendetta to share; grooves an infestation as toxic as they are seductive, simultaneously tempering and accentuating the impressive and varied strains of Anderson’s vocal enmity and the carnivorous voice and exploit of the bass.

Mass Extinction Six is a merciless knot of emotional tension and sonic jaundice next, again an assault brought and veined with some richly flavoursome and appetite inciting invention, whilst the album’s title track breeds an emotionally corrupted atmosphere around a whirlpool of virulent riffs and grooves. Without quite matching the earlier pinnacles of Aokigahara, both leave ears resonating and pleasure thick before Aprés Moi shares its own caustic drama. As with all tracks, it is an unrelenting predator, never giving ears a moment’s breath or the imagination time to settle before another raging and contagious outburst of invention and breath-taking hostility erupts to steal attention.

With the mouth-watering emotional discord and physical bedlam of The 33rd Parallel and the sonic terrorism and mesmeric beauty of the equally outstanding Deadweight bringing Aokigahara to a riveting and ferocious close, the album stands as one of the best metal debuts this year and back. At times it almost proves too brutal and invasive to take in one go, but every track brings such a fresh adventure of conflict and emotional friction that tearing away from the album’s grudge proves impossible. Bottom-line is that this is a treat no one should ignore.

Aokigahara is out now @ http://Jonestownbrighton.bandcamp.com

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Pete RingMaster 28/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Valley Of The Sun – Volume Rock

VOTS_RingMasterReview:

If a title ever reflected its contents then it is Volume Rock, the new album from Cincinnati stompers Valley Of The Sun. The release is a mighty roar of rousing rock ‘n’ roll which never takes a breath and demands to be played with the dial locked on maximum. In many ways it carries on where their acclaimed debut album Electric Talons Of The Thunderhawk left off but with even more resourcefully honed and fiery exploits on board to fire up ears and rich enjoyment.

With the two well-received EPs, Two Thousand Ten and The Sayings of the Seers in 2010 and 2011 respectively, under their belt, Valley Of The Sun really caught attention and a new wealth of eager appetites with Electric Talons Of The Thunderhawk in 2014. It took their inflamed mix of stoner, hard, and desert rock to new heights with just rewards in responses and acclaim. It is easy to feel though that all of its success was just the appetiser to bigger things and reactions around the uncaging of Volume Rock and its step up in sound, songwriting, and the band’s ability to get all rocking like a bone starved hound.

The album opens on the instantly masterful and rousing swagger of Eternal Forever, ears clipped by sticks on rims as a bluesy invitation swings away alongside. In another handful of seconds, the song hits a rampant stroll with its riff loaded chest out and rhythmic hips swinging. The vocals of guitarist Ryan Ferrier quickly impress as they light ears and song whilst his riffs find quick unity with the catchy grooves of Adam Flaig, the contagious start becoming a full on anthemic enticement driven by the potent jabs of drummer Aaron Boyer and the brooding bassline of Ringo Jones.

It is an exhilarating start backed within moments by the following Wants and Needs. Slightly less urgent but no less commandingly infectious, the track has a spicy Queens Of The Stone Age feel to its melodic and vocal persuasion though equally, and not for the last time across the album, there is also a grungy essence which hints at Alice In Chains. A blaze of spirit raising rock ‘n’ roll, its success is matched and eclipse by the thick and sultry charms of The Hunt. Badgering the senses and body from start to finish, the track is an inflamed shuffle with imposing rhythms and citric grooves bound in the outstanding tones of Ferrier, his presence backed just as potently by the band in voice and enterprise.

Volumerock_FrontCover_RingMasterReviewNext up Land of Fools has enjoyment and limbs in full involvement too; it’s more reserved but seriously addictive entrance, with rhythms and riffs insatiable bait, the lead into a virulent epidemic of lean keen hooks and beats which continue the track’s initial magnetic work as sonic flames cast by the guitar of Flaig and Ferrier’s harmonic throat flare. There is no escaping a Josh Homme and co feel again to the outstanding encounter, a flavour only adding to its triumph before making way for I Breathe the Earth and its delicious bass grumble. That leading lure brings ears into t smouldering sighs of fiery guitar and in turn concussive beats and beguiling harmonies, all colluding in another aural swelter with psych and blues rock imagination.

The heavier and thicker textures of Speaketh the Shaman steps forward next, Ferrier crooning with purpose and heart within the smokier fire of the song’s sizzling climate and sound. As in a few other tracks, bands like The Sword and Torche come to mind a little, though generally a fleeting essence within Valley Of The Sun’s own creative flame. Certainly the band skilfully employs familiar hues in their own sonic designs, but as different colours in something maybe not boldly unique but undoubtedly distinct in style and character.

If previous tracks were fires, Beneath the Veil is a volcano of grooves and melodic lava, enveloping and treating ears to a white hot invasion of infectious blues rock ‘n’ roll. It roars and stomps in its groove woven waltz, springing the listener into an exhaustive dance and revelry for which no escape is possible or wanted until its last note blisters on the ears.

A chance to grab a breath is allowed momentarily by Solstice before it too is a thumping hard rock scented canter with a punkish snarl pulling tired bodies back to their soon revitalised feet. Its departure lets Empty Visions bring the album to memorable close, the track a hot bed of sonic fuzz and melodic tinder setting fire to ears and spirit under the catchy guidance and temptation of the ever impressing vocals.

It is a fine end to a thrilling encounter which just leaves you wanting more and with real greed. If Valley Of The Sun impressed before, they will blow a great many more away with Volume Rock and its incendiary rock ‘n’ roll.

Volume Rock is released April 29th via Fuzzorama Records @ http://www.fuzzoramastore.com/en/ and https://fuzzoramarecords1.bandcamp.com/album/volume-rock

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Pete RingMaster 28/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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dälek – Asphalt For Eden

Photo credit: Devine Images

Photo credit: Devine Images

Returning from their hiatus a few months back, dälek have confirmed their return with the release of their new album Asphalt For Eden, the successor to 2009 full-length Gutter Tactics. Released via Profound Lore, it also sees a new line-up bringing their imagination to the band’s renowned experimentation.  Revived by mastermind and producer MC Dälek (aka Will Brooks) last year, with the permission of ex-member and co-producer Oktopus, and with DJ rEk on turntables and co-producer Mike Manteca on samplers and effects alongside, dälek reveal the first result of their fresh union with an album which bewitches as it intrigues, provokes as it explores new dramatic adventures in the band’s sound and imagination.

Whether it is a new pinnacle in the band’s creative endeavours we will leave others to decide but certainly Asphalt For Eden ignites the imagination with its raw noise within ambient beauty and dark trip hop meets hip hop experimentation and provocation. It opens with the hypnotic Shattered, a persistent nagging of drone and sonic repetition hugging the lyrical prowess and delivery of MC Dälek. It is a haunting waltz of dissonant shadows and throbbing resonance; reminding a little of British hip hop band Honky, with MC Dälek prowling ears and thoughts with his stirring presence.

The sensational start continues with the also toxically atmospheric Guaranteed Struggle. Again the senses are immersed in inharmonious textures and sonic trespasses, rhythms roaming with a distracted gait as the vocals spread their evocative insight. The cacophonous air is as mesmeric as the swing and vocal enticement, becoming more invasively compelling and corrosive with each passing minute of the song’s droning beauty. It increasingly seeps deeper into the psyche, magnetic in its mystique laced discordance and ravenous in its oppressive envelopment of body and mind.

art_RingMasterReviewMasked Laughter (Nothing’s Left) is a lighter distraction; its elegant fuzzy harmonies blossoming into halos of sonic suggestion around effect cloaked vocals whilst Critical provides an industrial toned intrusion with a carnival-esque revelry and infectiousness to its melodic undercurrent. As with its predecessors, there is a busy creative machine working away within the muggy climate of the track, new revelations emerging with every listen and in turn a fresh wave of virulent contagiousness.

The rockier incitement of 6dB comes next with its haze of sonic instrumentation and raw ambience around a brewing rhythmic stroll. It is a plaything for the imagination before Control simmers and bubbles with its bracing celestial air and harsh romance of noise around MC Dälek’s ever alluring presence. Its spatial qualities are emulated in It Just Is, a closing slice of transfixing sonic and melodic discord aligned to a pulsating trespass of charm. Though it, and the track before, do not quite ignite the same strength of reaction as those before, both leave satisfaction full in their absorbing embrace.

The biggest pleasure comes in the repetitious and enjoyably monotonous drones of sound which shape tracks in a range of differing textures and ways. It provides a mesmeric and imposing romancing of the senses and imagination simultaneously acting as fuel to the creative fire of Asphalt For Eden and spicing to its rousing explorations. It is as if dälek has never been away.

Asphalt For Eden is out now via Profound Lore across most online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 28/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Pearl Handled Revolver – If The Devil Cast His Net

Pearl Handled Revolver _RingMasterReview

This month British rockers Pearl Handled Revolver release their third album, a collection of dark rock ‘n’ roll encounters which almost deviously seduce ears as they work their way into the psyche. The band spins tales of mystery and intrigue graced shadows, creative episodes shaped and coloured by the magnetic hues of blues and psych rock, though that is simplifying the enthralling tapestries of sound and imagination making up If The Devil Cast His Net.

Since forming, Pearl Handled Revolver has released four EPs and two full length albums, all between 2010 and 2013, and shared stages on tour at shows with the likes of The Black Crowes, Stray, The Blockheads, FM, The Quireboys, Black Star Riders, Toots and the Maytalls, Donovan, and Focus along the way. It is fair to say that the quartet has not been lost for acclaim and attention but equally with If The Devil Cast His Net, they have breached a new plateau on creativity and sound which you can only see being rewarded by a similar increase in attention and reward.

With the gravelly tones of Lee Vernon fronting the house of blues mystery, a Tom Waits like comparison is easy to offer but equally the band’s sound has tantalising hues reminding of The Doors, Nick Cave, and Japanese Fighting Fish to its magnetic body and invention. It is a rich temptation working away at seducing ears from the start of If The Devil Cast His Net, opener Help Me Down From The Trees gripping the imagination within seconds as the pulsating lure of Simon Rinaldo’s peddle bass is immersed in the mystique soaked suggestiveness of his keys. It is a quite mesmeric coaxing driven by the great nagging beats of Chris Thatcher and only increasing in temptation as the scythes of guitarist Andy Paris seem to spark a new weave of organ cast enterprise. Dark and brooding yet simultaneously warm and celebratory, the song beguiles as it intrigues, Vernon’s dusty tones opening up the narrative for greater captivating drama.  It is mesmeric stuff, the bass a perpetually enjoyable nagging and the spicy lilt of the keys a dark temptation within a fiery dance of sound and creative theatre.

Pearl Handled Revolver Front Cover_RingMasterReviewThe sensational start is followed by the more straight forward rock ‘n’ roll of Don’t Throw It Away. A cleaner tone to the vocals is matched by a lighter spring in the step and voice of the psychedelia lined sounds around them. A sixties/seventies mixed scent potently adds to the inviting lure of the song and though it cannot live up to its brilliant predecessor, it has ears and body rocking before they are faced with the tantalising seduction of Someone Like You. It’s surf rock spiced melodies and ambience is a swift bewitchment, as too the rolling rhythmic bait of Thatcher; all caressing  and coaxing the senses as Vernon’s sandy tones paint an evocative picture in word and tone. It is a hex of a song, a spellbinding incitement of appetite and imagination to bind listener and release closer together.

The rhythmic design of the track is emulated in the album’s title track, though around it the guitar and keys weave their own distinct episode of encroaching shadows and sultry flavours around the devil’s lyrical play. A compelling persuasion, it is matched in success by the melancholic hug of Walk These Streets. Reflective and emotive, the song is a smouldering serenade painted by the cleaner side of Vernon’s voice, provocative strings, and the sombre yet graceful caress of keys. As expected, shadows court this cast of emotive protagonists, bass and drums guiding their intervention as much as the sorrowful scent of voice and word.

Current single, Absinthe In Adelaide stirs air and spirit up again with its almost rapacious growl of voice and steely grooves whilst Loverman is a primal shuffle of blues courted rock ‘n’ roll; both tracks basking in the unique psych and classic rock imagination of keys and guitar. The second of the pair is especially irresistible; a heady, almost muggy trip into the dark psychedelic backwaters of mysterious deeds and lives. We have not really touched on the cinematic side of the album, each song tempting the imagination to conjure their own at times almost pagan-esque adventures to accompany the rich tales of the band with this proposition a prime example.

The album closes with Into The Blue, a groove entangled romp luring the listener into a salty tango of organ spun melodies and wonderfully niggly hooks, all driven by the ever compelling rhythmic persuasion of Thatcher and Rinaldo. It is an impossible to resist flirtation bringing the album to a riveting anthemic conclusion.

Some tracks shine over others within If The Devil Cast His Net, but from start to finish it feeds the spirit and ignites a hungry appetite for more; almost as if the Devil had a hand it.

If The Devil Cast His Net is released April 29th through all platforms.

http://www.pearlhandledrevolver.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/pearlhandledrevolver/   https://twitter.com/PearlHandledRev

Pete RingMaster 27/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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