Phil Lewis – Patchwork Heart

Phil Lewis_RingMaster Review

Being introduced to Phil Lewis through his highly enjoyable Age of Nothing EP, it is fair to say that we have bred an increasingly eager appetite for the pop rock prowess of the Welsh singer songwriter. Though he had already reaped a potent reputation and a healthy level of acclaim for a trio of earlier albums, the EP was the biggest nudge yet on widespread recognition. Now that potent hint has become a mighty roar thanks to the release of Patchwork Heart, a contagion of inspiring hooks and essential melodies united in some of the best pop tracks you are likely to heard this year.

Hailing from Penarth, Lewis had his musical passion seeded in “frighteningly dressed people on Top of the Pops”, and then in turn “the various genre charts in NME and Melody Maker”. It sparked the dream to have one of his own songs in the charts and in 2008 the release of his first single Just One Kiss became a very close miss on realising that dream. The first spark in an evolving and increasingly successful career came just before it though, with the unveiling of debut album Ancient Light the year before. Since then Lewis has released another pair of well-received and acclaimed full-lengths in Movements In Space (2009) and Ripples From a Small Pond (2011), with the aforementioned Age of Nothing hooking a great many more of us at the beginning of 2014.

artwork_RingMaster Review    Patchwork Heart is the next proposition from the man and in many ways the coming of age of his songwriting and pop invention. Its nine tracks provide a torrent of enslaving pop ingredients but composed and delivered with an imagination and almost mischievous energy and passion. Lyrically the album sees Lewis look with intimate honesty at the tough times he faced over past years, including the death of his father from Alzheimer’s Disease and the end of a long-term relationship as well as himself being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Musically it all comes with a hope fuelled, emotionally uplifting hug though, Lewis easy to suspect a ‘glass half full’ character with sings always seeming to veer towards the long term light.

Created again in collaboration with Ben Haynes, who produced the record and plays all the instruments, Patchwork Heart opens with Tumbling Down. Within a few breaths, the song is coaxing ears with blues spiced guitar and tenacious beats, the voice of Lewis as potent and strong as ever as things bounce and revolve around him. The track’s prime hook has an air of familiarity to it which only adds to the temptation whilst the fiery guitar endeavour of Haynes is extra tang in a rousing opener.

Things only become more infectious and gripping though as the tantalising Japan-esque Up On This Shelf swings up to the imagination. An exotic melody starts things off, a pulsating bass throb with crystalline shards of guitar quickly taking over as the tones of Lewis entice. The track is mesmeric, a sublime slice of elegant seduction with an underlying sonic eroticism. Not for the last time within Patchwork Heart, an open eighties flavouring and inspiration colour song and ears, Right on Time immediately after also providing a similar lusty hue of nostalgia kissed and undoubtedly fresh revelry. Virulent in all aspects, the song romps along on another bait of anthemic rhythms wrapped in the dramatic enterprise cast by guitar, keys, and bass. Like a blend of China Crisis, Pete Wylie, and The Killers, the track is glorious; Lewis at his pop conjuring best.

Healing Hands slips in next with a far more subdued energy to that of its predecessor as shadow toned guitar and vocals are gripped by a warm but melancholic expression. Lewis’ voice embrace ears in a reflectively intimate croon as that bright, crystal like quality to the melodies of earlier songs emerges again to resonate in the spatial climate above the intimate canvas. Over time the song’s air becomes more tempestuous leading to one highly provocative and stirring climax. The track is a powerful incitement on body and emotions, as too the following Smile in its very different way. From a synth pop start, the song is a vibrant shuffle manipulating ears and feet from the get go. The bubbly electronics continue to lure and tempt as guitars and vocals brew up an irresistible feast of pop infection backed by the great vocals of Sarah Haynes. The song takes thoughts again back to the eighties, its pop tonic hinting at the likes of Thomas Dolby and Thompson Twins, and to be honest quite impossible not to get physically involved with.

Next up is Sunshine in the Night, a song just as much a puppeteer on body and appetite which from its initial smothering of emotive beauty breeds a mouth-watering mix of repetitious teasing, contagion spewing vocal tempting, and immersive atmospherics. Rhythmically too, the track is a nonstop invitation which simply gets under the skin and leaves a big grin on the psyche.

The country spiced, fiery shimmer of Fantasy Reality bewitches next, its voice and body an alluring evocation of the heart whilst I Believe is a sixties hued offering with a good whisper of the Walker Brothers to its strolling enticement. The track’s chorus is another rousing hard to resist proposal, though that applies to most of them across the release to be honest, as proven one last time by the brilliant Be A Hero. The closer epitomises a Phil Lewis song, bold rhythms aligned to drama soaked imagination and the rich enterprise gripping ears as Lewis provides the strength of his voice. With more enthralling backing vocals, this time from Lizzie Dean, the track is a jungle of intrigue and emotive theatre, and the perfect way to end a thoroughly thrilling and impressive release.

A Phil Lewis song lies somewhere between those of the previously mentioned Pete Wylie and Colin Vearncombe (Black), and now after Patchwork Heart deserve to be contemplated in the same breath. Also out now is Digging for Earworms, a free to download best of album covering previous releases and including the riveting likes of Let’s Play, Age of Nothing, and Imprisoned. Both are albums all rock/pop fans should treat themselves to, as Lewis confirms himself as one of Britain’s brightest artists.

Patchwork Heart is out now @

Pete RingMaster 24/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out

Unified Past – Shifting The Equilibrium

Unified Past_RingMaster Review

The two years between previous album Spots and its successor Shifting The Equilibrium has taken US progressive rock band Unified Past to a new level. It is fair to say that previous offerings from the band have garnered acclaim and impressed, especially the excellent Spots but the band’s new album is a stirring adventure in songwriting, sound, and imagination which walks a new plateau. The time has also seen the trio of guitarist/keyboardist Steve Speelman, drummer Victor Tassone, and bassist Dave Mickleson expand with the addition of vocalist Phil Naro, another potent new breath to the Unified Past temptation.

Formed in 1984 by Speelman and Tassone, New York hailing Unified Past has increasingly garnered acclaim with their rich mix of sound and live presence. A sextet of albums over the years has earned the band the reputation of being one captivating and fiercely accomplished proposition, each release, as Spots to Shifting The Equilibrium, seeing sound and band grow in craft and invention, not forgetting success. Equally individual experiences has seen original band members working and playing with the likes of Chief Big Way, Belladonna, The Colin Tench Project, Oceans 5, and Reaching Ground Project. Naro too has a spicy pedigree behind him having worked with Peter Criss, Lou Gramm, Carmine Appice, Billy Sheehan, and Brian May amongst many. More impressively though is the creative and musical unity the foursome have developed; Spots impressed but Shifting The Equilibrium comes with a new roar of striking invention.

artwork_RingMaster Review The album begins with Erasure Principle, a flight of melodic exploration across a sinew woven landscape. From its first breath crystalline keys lay an inviting haze within which the guitar spins a web of sonic enticement. Straight away there is scent particular to Unified Past washing the track and the emerging tapestry of sound, a flowing fusion of seventies and eighties rock with a modern progressive imagination. Naro swiftly impresses as a new vibrancy from his voice hits the song and sound, his tones dramatic yet honed to sit perfectly with the music around him. Inspirations to Unified Past include artists such as Dream Theater, Rush, Yes; each open spices to the album but as here, primarily just adding rosy hues to the band’s own distinct endeavour.

It is a potent start to the release but soon eclipsed by the even more striking Smile (In the Face of Adversity). Keys again bring that colour of nostalgia to the expressive weave of guitar whilst vocals melodically seduce as a quickly bred drama stirs ears and appetite with an epic tone merging intimidation and fiery beauty into the diverse kaleidoscope of sound and craft shaping the outstanding track. Keys wise a whiff of The Stranglers’ Dave Greenfield adds to the perpetually blooming excitement and theatre, but as in all proposals within the album, everywhere you look and turn the quartet is creating an intricately involved, fiercely imaginative, and wholly contagious incitement.

Etched in Stone takes over next with an orchestral air to the creative intimacy of its persuasion, again the band skilled at mixing contrasting layers and depths of sound as Naro reveals the lyrical heart. The bass of Mickleson is seriously compelling, its dark grouchy tone a predacious edge to the captivating maze conjured by Speelman via guitar and keys. The further into its adventure the imagination goes the more cosmopolitan and mystical the song becomes, a middle eastern flavouring joining the endearing bait offered throughout and though it is an eleven minute flight, such its rich and busy invention, the track seems over in a flash.

It is a fascinating quality to all tracks, their meaty lengths more like fleeting moments as busy adventure grips ears from within the whole emprise of Shifting The Equilibrium, the slightly shorter Peace Remains in the World another example as its Tool meets Porcupine Tree meets Pink Floyd like tempestuous calm, hooks and seduces ears and appetite from start to finish. A carnivorous funk tempting from Mickleson especially hits the spot, its creative belligerence matched by the resourceful swings of Tassone as melodies, acidic and warm, entangle around them.

The instrumental majesty of Deviation from a Theme (of Harmonic Origin) transports the listener into an exotic labyrinth of suggestiveness and provocative sound, proving that it is not only the addition of Naro which has been a blossoming aspect to the Unified Past proposal.

The album is completed by the vast soundscape of Today is the Day, a bewitching enticing of melodic scenery and evocative textures in a constantly evolving experience for song and listener. Like a link-up between Yes and Voyager, it is an enthralling and gripping end to a mighty temptation.

It is weird to say after the length of the time that Unified Past has been around and frequently impressing so many, that Shifting The Equilibrium is a coming of age to the band’s sound but in some ways it is though. Bottom-line though is that it is a highly flavoursome and skilfully varied slice of progressive rock hard that even more are going to get a potent kick out of.

Shifting The Equilibrium is out now digitally and on CD via Melodic Revolution Records @

Pete RingMaster 24/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out

Arcade Messiah – II

John Bassett _RingMaster Review

Though time wise it has been around a year between releases, it feels like a mere breath in sound and relationship between the self-titled debut Arcade Messiah album and its successor II. Continuing in adventure where its acclaimed progressive rock predecessor left off, the new encounter is an emprise of instrumental majesty and incitement reconfirming John Bassett as one of Europe’s finest songwriters, composers, and musicians.

An artist no stranger to garnering thick attention and praise through his band KingBathmat and acoustic offerings under own his name, Bassett’s solo instrumental project Arcade Messiah is another unique proposition from him. Weaving strands of highly varied styles from metal to math rock, stoner to post rock with further diverse and progressive flavours soaked in stirring ambience, the first Arcade Messiah album was a riveting exploration of sound and emotion through individual incitements. Each song worked on the listener’s senses and imagination and as mentioned, II carries on in the same vein but further experiments with textures whilst stretching the fusion of styles and essences to richer and deeper extent. Basset himself neatly sums up II, saying “after the surprise success of last year’s original Arcade Messiah album and after receiving feedback from fans of that album I decided to make a sequel, a continuation of that album, that is hopefully bigger, better, more refined and more dramatic, but which didn’t lose the vibe and atmosphere that was created on the original album“.

Arcade-Messiah-II-Cover_RingMaster Review   II opens with Moon Signal and straight away thoughts drift on the breeze of melodic and atmospheric coaxing. Keys whisper suggestively with their calm caress whilst a guitar emotively entices before sparking a broadening into a thicker and more volatile landscape. The celestial air which painted the start continues to ebb and flow within the spatial yet tightly woven invitation of the track, its journey hinting at vastness and intimacy simultaneously whilst twisting through varied realms as the song explores new avenues of calm, tempestuousness, and imagination.

As expected, Bassett bewitches and provokes ears and emotions with his writing and craft, each piece of music a tapestry of clues and persuasion for the imagination to run with greedily, Red Widow another swift example and success. The second track has a more sinister air to its tone and presence which starting from a sonic mist is soon opening up layers of equally intimidating and seductive expression. The arousal of ear and thought also evolves through many guises within the full umbrella of sonic temptation, a creative travelogue shaping all tracks with the compelling Black Dice Maze a prime example as it glides through sonic intrigue and emotive calm as well as tenacious rock ‘n’ roll and ravenous volatility within its gripping theatre of sound and invention.

The next up Gallows Way seduces from its first touch. Initially it is a surf rock infused ambient hug on the senses, soon spreading out with evocative melodies and reflective sonic shimmers as guitars and keys align with shadowy but restrained rhythms. The skills and invention of Bassett across the instrumentation is a perpetual doorway into the heart of the music, guitars especially descriptive and suggestive across the album but just as potent are the rhythmic contrasts and darker hues that can either ripple or erupt in more forceful intent to temper or enhance the adventure around them. In the fourth song beauty dominates though whereas Fourth Quarter involves rugged scenery of riffs and dynamics within a sonic radiance which immerses the listener with a climate of invitational sultriness and tempting danger. The track is a gripping fascination and rich aural temptation matched in might by the sultry mystique of Via Occulta. The short piece is a maze of shadows, a lure into secrets and hidden depths, and a spellbinding flight even with its brevity.

Across both Read The Sky and Start Missing Everybody, artist and album continue to be a kaleidoscope of aural ingenuity and temptation; each of them evocations which transfix and incite the senses and imagination into unique interpretation of the sonic palette on offer. The closing pair of the two is a melancholic kiss but just as potently fuelled by hope and energy to create something emotionally anthemic.

The CD version also includes the bonus track The Four Horsemen, a striking cover of the Aphrodite’s Child song which was also Arcade Messiah’s contribution to the recently vinyl released compilation album by Fruit De Mer Records called Side Effects. Alone it is worth the purchase of a CD, Bassett giving the track fresh life and suggestiveness, though the cream of II is undoubtedly his original and thrilling tracks.

John Bassett as mentioned is for us one of the UK’s most potent and stirring songwriters, let alone musicians, and II another thick slice of pleasure.

Arcade Messiah II is out now digitally as a name your price download @ via Stereohead Records and on CD from November 27th.

Pete RingMaster 23/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out

Royal Oi! – Bootboys and Hooligans

v600_RoyalOi_Cover_RingMaster Review

Getting fed up of a punk roar is never a possibility, especially when it comes in the oi fuelled shape of the debut album from Scottish incitement Royal Oi!, a quartet creating street punk anthem after anthem. The release is a passion driven riot of sound and intent, uncaged by a band which, in their own words, just write and sing “songs about their passions and everyday struggles.” There is no agenda to their music, just the want to create a rebellious revelry for all to get personally engaged in; that an undoubted success found by their first full-length.

Hailing from Glasgow and drawing on inspirations from the likes of Bonecrusher, Perkele, and Cock Sparrer, the foursome of vocalist/guitarists Dave and Ana, bassist James, and drummer Jim first gave attention a healthy nudge with a four track demo in the December of 2014, its presence backing up a live presence already causing stir. Now it is Bootboys and Hooligans doing the contagious badgering and raucous persuading, a thick persuasion set to put Royal Oi! firmly on the punk map.

The album erupts with its title track, the opener a virulent stomp of punk riffs and spicy hooks driven by cantankerous rhythms. It is instantly a marker of things to come within Bootboys and Hooligans, an anthem setting the scene and the first great taster of the twin attack vocals from Dave and Ana. The former leads the track here with the pair alternating to some extent across the release, but always it is a dual incitement that hits the spot as resourcefully and potently as the grooves and hooks igniting ears.

Skinhead Warrior keeps the impressive start going, Ana’s snarling tones, backed by scything beats and grouchy riffs, alone an inciting call. Great backing shouts only add to the drama and catchiness of the track too, with the bass and its throaty bait another heftily compelling element before Docs and Tattoos takes over, sauntering in on a tasty groove spearing a charge of insatiable energy. Like a mix of 4 Past Midnight and Angelic Upstarts with a scent of dragSTER to it too, the song further whips up energies and an already awoken appetite with its punk ‘n’ roll devilry.

Both In My Heart, with its antagonistic passion and enterprise, and the fist in the air call of Punx and Skins ‘Football, Oi! and Rock n Roll’ keep body and emotions energised and greedily content; the first as a sing-a-long anthem no one could refuse. Its successor is more of a bruising confrontation but no less infectious as it draws the listener into full involvement of its rowdy adventure. The same can be said of all tracks within the album, Skinhead Loyalty swift proof with its inviting canter of sound and voice. Though the song is a less intensive proposal and without the extra spark of other songs around it, it still leaves ears, feet, and contentment enjoyably busy.

Musica Oi! enters ears on a great shadow lit predation, guitar and bass a prowling temptation leading to an eyeballing charge led by the thumping rhythms of Jim. Ana vocally growls and entices with typical prowess and energy as the track proceeds to twist and evolve through a varied landscape of imagination, intimidation, and enthralling enterprise. It is a mighty slab of punk matched in success by the old school bred Survive, a track rocking and rolling with prickly hooks and rapacious rhythms as vocals brawl with ears. It is another gem amongst only treats within Bootboys and Hooligans, a lingering protagonist keeping a firm hold on memory and provoking a hunger for more just like the outstanding Together. A chest beating call to arms, the song is glorious, a punk rock infestation stirring up the passions with an honest and open heart.

Bootboys and Hooligans ends on the raw onslaught of Violence, a challenging and tenacious roar on the state of the world today, and a highly pleasing and formidable way to end one thoroughly thrilling release. We cannot tell you how long Royal Oi! has been around but to our, and we suspect a great many others, their album is an introduction and wake up call to their rousing bellow. So for us there is a new and fresh oi incitement in town which excites and incites in impressive manner.

Bootboys and Hooligans is out now as a co-release between LastPunkRocker Records (150x Scottish Flag Blue), Crowd Control Media (150x White /w Blue Splatter), and Rebel Sound (150x Scottish Flag White) with an additional albums pressed in 50x Classic Black.

Pete RingMaster 22/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out

Ape Machine – Coalition Of The Unwilling

ApeMachineband2015_RingMaster Review

Called Coalition Of The Unwilling, there is little about the new album from US rocker Ape Machine that would surely cause anyone not to enlist in its creative campaign to ignite ears and imagination. The six track romp is an invigorating tapestry of sound and imagination, a kaleidoscope of melodic colour and sonic tantalising which is as bluesy as it is jazzy, as funky as it is a roar inspired by a diversity of rock music from across the decades. Quite simply it is a rock ‘n’ roll blaze that leaves body and emotions in a very good place.

The Portland bred band follow up their acclaimed 2013 album Mangled By The Machine with a new volcanic weave of styles and sound. Recently signing with Italian label Heavy Psych Sounds, Ape Machine take little time igniting release and ears with their potent fusion of adventurous enterprise and sound, starting things off with Crushed From Within. It looms from a sonic mist seemingly cast in the echoes of time, a lone guitar flirting as it triggers a mesmeric stroll of sludgy intensity and winy sonic tempting. A great analogue inspired breath wraps the songs, and indeed the album and its individual parts, enticing a swiftly keen appetite as easily and potently as the fine vocals of Caleb Heinze and the revelry of rhythms cast by bassist Brian True and drummer Damon De La Paz as well as the stringed exploration and infection sprung by guitarist Ian Watts. Managing to feel as much part of seventies/eighties heavy rock as it does current rock ‘n’ roll devilry, the track is a thrilling start to the release.

ApeMachineCoalitionOfTheUnwilling_RingMaster Review     The following Disband is just as openly inviting and fiery with its blend of rich hues and revolving enterprise. Equally it quickly hooks keen involvement from body and mind, feet and hips bound and inspired by the incitement of grooves and rhythms as the imagination dips into a host of references without settling on any as a specific comparison; the reason being that they are woven into a flirtatious adventure individual to Ape Machine. The track is a storming rocker, bluesy with a stoner-esque scent to simplify things but a much fuller weave of rock music in persuasion, just like the outstanding Give What You Get which comes next. The track is sublime, every aspect honed into an incitement of rousing rock ‘n’ roll temptation and toned with inescapable anthemic tenacity.

The track is a stomp any rock band would sell their bodies for; the perfect invitation to others to check them out, but then again almost any track within Coalition Of The Unwilling is that as proven by the excellent Under This Face. Entering on an almost confrontational air aligned to a rhythmic wake up call, the track soon uncaps a virulent swagger of incendiary beats and hook laden ingenuity. Grooves sizzle and riffs blaze, that alone with the riveting slavery cast by De La Paz irresistible bait, but add atmospheric keys and reflective calm into an ever evolving mix led by the constantly impressing vocals of Heinze, and you have manna for ears and soul.

It is seriously rivalled by the cauldron of instrumental flirtation that is Ape’N’Stein straight away though, the track funk and blues fire, with the latter flavouring more regular old school rather than the delta inspired hue within its predecessor. Its seventies scent is a thick essence too, adding to the enjoyment before it makes way for closing track Never My Way. Initially sultry verging on sonically salty, the guitar weaving surf seduction is a bewitching coaxing aided by bass and voice. It is a reflective enticing erupting quite quickly in a boisterous and emotive crescendo though but then returning to its hypnotic romance to begin the transfixing cycle again.

It is a fine end to a tremendous encounter; a release which can be described and tagged in many ways but is just rock ‘n’ roll to get lustful over. To be honest Coalition Of The Unwilling is our first taste of Ape Machine but for sure it will not be the last.

Coalition Of The Unwilling is available from November 20th via Heavy Psych Sounds.

Pete RingMaster 20/11/2105

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out

Diatonic – Hidden Pieces

Diatonic_RingMaster Review

This month sees the CD release of Hidden Pieces, the debut album from Swedish death metal project Diatonic. With a successful digital release last year, the acclaimed album recently caught the ears and attention of Into the Night Records, a label quickly signing them up and giving a physical presence to the band’s striking first album as they work on its successor.

Diatonic is the solo project of Joakim Antman, a Swedish musician who has played in the likes of Skitarg, The Ugly, and Overtorture. Creating the project to “fulfil his creative needs” multi-instrumentalist Antman enlisted the assistance of drummer Fredrik Widigs for his first offering as Diatonic, and with craftsmanship and imagination as gripping as the songwriting within Hidden Pieces, Antman quickly whipped up acclaim and attention with his debut; a success now given a meatier opportunity to reignite again with the CD release.

Albumcover_RingMaster Review     Hidden Pieces opens up with Dimensions, the track emerging from a mesh of radio incitements with stalking rhythms and equally predatory touches of guitar, the initial slow intimidation soon picking up steam in energy and menace. The raw, throaty tones of Antman similarly prowl and intrude to great effect, his backing tones perfect echoes to the animus escaping through his throat. Grooves and tantalising spicery equally get spun by the guitars whilst rhythms badger and threaten with ferocity and prowess. The track is compelling, addictively infectious with its barbarous swing and incessant hostility but equally enthralling in its creative twists and enterprise within a death metal bred tempest.

Burning Within is a matching incitement in success and rancorous breath, and also in its creative design where every aspect, whether subtle or hellacious, is allowed room to tempt and make a potent impact on the overall persuasion of the track. It is a common quality across the album, and though a familiarity to others within the genre also finds space within Hidden Pieces, Antman weaves them that invention and skill into fresh adventures to entice ears and imagination. The atmospherically hued and invasively antagonistic Led by the Mind is perfect evidence. The song almost smothers the senses with its emotional and physical malevolence but equally it brings striking unexpected passages of dark calm and melodic elegance to accentuate and temper the volatility of its heart.

Through the hypnotic sonic lure of The Cure of Suffering and the embittered Only I, the album grips tighter an already healthy appetite for the encounter, both tracks in their individual ways, merging melodic beauty and ravenous, almost pestilential, corrosive trespasses. Each also provide a cantankerous seducing before the album’s title track crawls into view with again a mix of invitation and threat. Melodic and intrusive invention entangle until the track reaches its full height and takes both aspects under its fascinating imaginative wing. As all tracks, its surface belies the craft and imagination beneath its savage skin which only leads to each listen revealing a little something more as the album increasingly impresses.

   Fear Us is another seriously tasty gem within the throve of dark goodness that is Hidden Pieces, its web of repetitious stalking, sonic expression, and melody lined dissonance crafting an intrigue loaded captivation. Unpredictability is another potent essence to the album, as potent here as anywhere and matched in varying degrees by the closing pair of Followed and Left to Rot. The first of the two lacks the same forceful spark of invention and tenacity as in previous tracks, but still lures and chains attention with its provocative and thoughtfully spun textures amidst melodic imagination whilst its successor is a gloriously sinister drama of sound and imagination. At times it romances with keys led beauty and in other gnaws on the senses, their alternation and union seamless and increasingly bewitching. The track is glorious as it brings the album to an outstanding end; summing up all the qualities and success of the release in one masterful go.

Hidden Pieces gets better and more riveting with every listen, and as one who missed it first time around, give thanks to the label for giving us all another nudge to its presence and might. Anticipation for its successor is already brewing nicely.

Hidden Pieces is available on CD from November 20th via Into the Night Records @

Pete RingMaster 20/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out

Various Artists -This is the sound of Sugar Town

Artwork _RingMaster Review

Not only lighting our ears this November with another thrilling Horse Party EP, Seymour Quigley of the band and R*E*P*E*A*T Records / Pure Deadly have compiled and unveiled a striking compilation offering some of the best bands helping to make the Bury St Edmunds underground DIY rock scene one of the most exciting to emerge in recent times within the UK. Twelve bands providing a dozen, without exception, ear pleasing tracks, This is the sound of Sugar Town is a magnetic and thickly enjoyable invitation to explore a host of great new bands whilst helping a great cause with all its profits going to Bury St Edmunds Women’s Refuge.

Wrapped in the artwork of local artist and musician Kate Jackson, once of Long Blonde, This is the Sound of Sugar Town opens up with the alternative rock quintet Voter Kernel and instantly has ears and attention gripped. The band covers the senses in a web of sonic guitar bait before relaxing into a vocally rowdy and rhythmic inviting incitement laced with acidic enticement from the guitars. Into its stride Unnatural Gathering Of Animals blows a punk wind with anthemic simplicity and potency, perpetually confirming itself as one of those inescapable roars that just grabs full involvement of the listener.

The same applies to the darker post punk bred What I’d Do from Horse Party. The guitars of Ellie Langley and Seymour Quigley tempt as the beats of Shannon Hope entice, each warming ears for the ever siren like voice of Langley. It is a mix that breeds the great diversity to drive the band’s releases over the past year or so, but also a unique presence to the band’s sound which is no better epitomised than in this tantalising song.

As the third track comes in view, already there is a glimpse of not only the quality in the Bury music scene but the diversity too, The Few adding to that subsequent realisation across the album, with Bury’d Alive. Not to be confused with the truck load of other bands with the same name, especially in the US, the Bury hailing proposal is an indie punk quartet which as its predecessors, soon has appetite and imagination held with an opening lure of guitar and firm beats. Carrying a tasty seventies DIY punk tone to its sound with layers of bluesy spicing amongst it, the track whips up rich bait somewhere between Swell Maps and Outcasts.

The Machismo’s has already ignited lust in these ears with their releases, and do so again with their offering Rise Again and its punk infused seduction. The trio of Sam Marsh, Rachel Marsh, and Karly Stebbings cast a web of flavours and textures bred in varying styles, creating their own temptation which again comes in varied hues as it prowls with mischievous relish through twanging bass groans, sonic sighs, and scything beats. Lyrically the open humour of the band brings a thick smile to the face as its adventure of drooping hopes and their resurrection hit, as the sound, the sweet spot.

As mentioned the variety within the album and the town’s scene is a refreshing enjoyment, continuing with the great tempestuous sound of Rats as Big as Dogs. Their track, Same Difference, is a mesh of harmonic warmth and mesmeric calm aligned to explosive raw energy and aggression. It is only around for two minutes, but a dynamically eventful and captivating time before passing the baton of temptation on to Scare The Normals and their track Tomorrow. Stalking ears with its sinister electronics and prowling rhythms, the song grows into a compelling infestation lying somewhere between Autopsy Boys and Naked Lunch; an electronic/sonic exploration also carrying an alluring scent of Fad Gadget to its creeping enterprise.

A fascinating embrace of psychedelic grooving greets ears in Sky Dance from the quartet Pale Fires next, its sultry shimmer and flowing harmonic tenacity an immersive celestial delight whilst site favourites The Vitamins saunter in with their highly flavoursome rock ‘n’ roll, The Present (Stairway) to entice with a riveting canter of potent vocals and melodic enterprise laced with a grunge/alternative rock toning. Expectations expect the trio to provide a full meal of texture and expression and the track does not disappoint with its virulent shuffle and vibrant personality.

Some growling heavy rock with punk belligerence erupts in ears next courtesy of Tryal of Witches, its Motorhead meets Kyuss meets XII Boar roar Sweating Rum, a dirt crusted pleasure contrasting well with the melodic, ambience scented enticement of alternative quintet Cathedrals and Cars. Posterity Measure is a hug of melancholy and tantalising melodic beauty becoming more energetically aroused and in turn enthralling with every passing minute.

Fortunato provide a track from their well-received Under Your Teeth EP next, Utopia a fuzzy and dynamic croon of voice and sonic imagination with a healthy line in hooks and jabbing rhythms. Its flavoursome charm parts to leave Eleanor Lou to bring the album to a fine close with Ring The Change. Hailing from the market town and currently based in Manchester, the songstress dances on ears and imagination with voice and song, the acoustic hug a mesmeric reflection further honed by the elegant tones of the singer/songwriter.

From start to finish, This is the sound of Sugar Town is a thrilling discovery of Bury St Edmunds’ underground musical heart. Some bands were familiar, many brand new, and each contributing to a release worthy of everyone’s investigation whilst at the same time helping others.

This is the sound of Sugar Town is out now via R*E*P*E*A*T Records / Pure Deadly digitally and on 12” vinyl @

Album track listing…

VOTER KERNEL – Unnatural Gathering Of Animals 03:59

HORSE PARTY – What I’d Do 03:42

THE FEW – Bury’d Alive 02:38

THE MACHISMO’S – Rise Again 02:53

RATS AS BIG AS DOGS – Same Difference 02:00

SCARE THE NORMALS – Tomorrow 06:15

PALE FIRES – Sky Dance 04:47

THE VITAMINS – The Present (Stairway) 03:03

TRYAL OF WITCHES – Sweating Rum 03:35

CATHEDRALS AND CARS – Posterity Measure 03:52

FORTUNATO – Utopia 03:33

ELEANOR LOU – Ring The Change 02:32

Pete RingMaster 18/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out