Sweet Gum Tree – Sustain The Illusion

With the single, The Gift, still ringing entrancingly in ears we thought we should catch up with the album it comes from and lures attention to. Sustain The Illusion is the second album from Sweet Gum Tree, the solo project of French singer songwriter/musician Arno Sojo and a release which simply captivates from start to finish with melodic beauty and emotively provocative exploration.

After the collaborative creation of its acclaimed predecessor three years ago, The Snakes You Charm & The Wolves You Tame, a release featuring among a few Isobel Campbell of Belle & Sebastian, Earl Harvin from the Tindersticks, and The Church’s Marty Willson-Piper, Sojo has created and recorded Sustain The Illusion pretty much on his own with producer David Odlum and musicians Romy and Lise Douylliez adding the only additional contributions. The result is a release which manages to feel even more intimate than its heart bred predecessor while embracing a richer texture and array of sound and enterprise.

Sustain The Illusion opens with the atmospheric Breaking The Bond, electronic beats leading in the inviting melodic coaxing of a lone guitar as colder winds whistle around them. Sojo’s tones soon join the blossoming reflection, the emotion of his voice and words stirring greater intensity in the suggestive sounds. It is energy though which sublimely ebbs and flows as the instinctive beauty of his music seduces the senses, at times with melancholic elegance.

The following Twinkle has a livelier gait, its electronic shimmer and melodic rock guitar stroll as transfixing as the rhythmic dance and vocal adventure within them. As the track gently explodes around ears and imagination certain essences remind of bands such as Slug Comparison and Sigur Rós before Someday hugs thoughts with its confidential emotions and sonic tension. As the song before, it is seriously mesmeric, deeply immersing the listener in its raw heart and emotional drama further expressed through the impressing tones of Sojo.

The infectious swing of Rollercoaster firmly entices next, its boisterous energies and enterprise pure magnetism infesting body and spirit. It is pop infused rock at its best and quite bewitching as too is successor Fairweather Faith, a folk spiced croon with the most delicious melody and a compelling XTC like air. It is an exquisitely layered seduction graced by worldly spices which absorbs attention and ardour like a sponge.

An earthy bass opens up Stars Align, its flirtatious nature matched in vocal and melody as the song evolves into a Nine Inch Nails meets The The like treat. Its eventful minimalistic air and Sojo’s vocal prowess alone stokes pure pleasure which angelic harmonies and an array of sounds and imaginative twists simply accentuates in the album’s best track.

The equally outstanding Guilt Trip similarly has something of Matt Johnson’s band to it, a touch of The Pineapple Thief too as its mix of eighties synth pop and post punk nurtured rock captivates with increasing dexterity. It is another beacon of songwriting and craft within the album taken to a greater plateau by Sojo’s passion and energy.

As the calmer but darker emotional waters of Clean Slate and Burn Your Icons, a track merging Cure-esque rhythms and shadows with jazzier progressive rock adventure, surround ears on the way to seducing the psyche Sustain The Illusion only strengthens its hold, squeezing tighter with recent single The Gift. The track caresses the senses with its golden melodic romance, its heart similarly graceful and reassuring to subdue the shadows which skirt but never threaten its hope fuelled beauty. It is fair to say that the song has been a powerful draw for a great many into Sustain The Illusion and for newcomers into the creative realm of Sweet Gum Tree, and even after a flood of plays seduces as powerfully as ever.

The album closes with the reassuring lullaby of Keeper, a safety clad hug which encapsulates everything masterfully charismatic and fascinating about not only the album but Sojo’s songwriting and talent. So we suggest you do yourself a big favour and check out Sustain The Illusion and Sweet Gum Tree now!

Sustain The Illusion is out now @ https://sweetgumtree.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 03/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

a blue flame – when your whole world turns to dust

Last year ears and acclaim were seriously caught up in the swinging rock pop adventures of What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remains, now a blue flame follow up its success with when your whole world turns to dust, a release which may be takes a touch longer to spark the same kind of reactions but gets there all the same.

a blue flame is the solo project of Leicester based songwriter Richard Stone and when your whole world turns to dust his third album with the first, someone else’s dreams will fill our home released in 2013 as Woodman Stone.  For his new offering Stone has ventured down the gentler melodic side of his previous album but managed to find the same eclectic flavours which marked out its praise collecting presence.  Essences of folk, swing, and cabaret peak out within when your whole world turns to dust. There are moments when it rocks with full eagerness but generally it basks in a mellower climate yet the same instinctive infectiousness which drove its predecessor again infests the new album whether tempting with an emotive croon or a spirited roar.

With a host of skilled musicians such as Andy Robertson, Adam Ellis, Damon Claridge, and Tony Robinson alongside the vocals and guitar of Stone, the album opens with Back to the Stars and immediately has the body moving to its slow sway and smouldering jazzy hug. The dark inviting prowl of the bass is courted by the seductive flames of brass, both suggestively skirting the magnetic tones of Stone. It is pure captivation setting the release off in fine style.

The following We Feel Like We Feel brings a 60’s pop scent to its melodic surf twanged breeze, a touch of The Everlys flirting with its Bit pop suggestiveness. It is a mix of essences then emulated with different flavourings within the excellent Don’t Wait where it is hard not to be reminded of The Divine Comedy, its English heart and infectious canter a tapestry of imagination and creative zeal.

A Mariachi scented Latin lure graces the show tune-esque rapture of the outstanding 21st Century Blues, a song which almost creeps up on you with its addictive chorus and imagination sparking enterprise but sure to have you making vocal contributions in no time before The Future’s a Mystery lays reflectively upon  ears and thoughts. Its calmer air and tone is an emotive caress, a melancholic serenade given greater emotive depth and texture by the cello of David Dhonan.

The acoustic cored stroll of A Better Way wears a great fifties influence to its intimate saunter, Robinson’s brass lures, as the lyrical reflection , an easy tempting to get carried off by while The Words Wouldn’t Form dances with ears and appetite draped in folkish hues. At this point we are midway through the release and Stone’s songwriting and imagination increasingly shows itself to be as ripe and magnetic as it has ever been but stepping forward with fresh maturity and boldness track after track.

The summery All We Need to Know similarly leans on English folk bred inspirations for its engaging meander, textures given more urgency and mischief in the rousing stroll of Everything’s a Lie immediately after. The second of the two also has an indie pop catchiness and joviality which takes thoughts to bands such as Jim Jiminee and The Sundays, a flirtatious element quickly grabbing feet and appetite.

The song’s energetic intent is gathered up and given further tenacity in Empty Head, the first in a pair of tracks which launch the kind of rock pop antics which lit up the last album. There is a fire in its belly and devilment in its character which simply carries the listener eagerly away into the waiting rock ‘n’ roll jaws of See What Tomorrow Brings. It too has a sixties essence in its tone, the keys as much to credit for the inviting flavouring, but equally a meatier almost rapacious edge which only inflames song and the pleasure it brings.

Completed by the smoky jazziness of Love Will Set Us Free, the increasingly compelling when your whole world turns to dust leaves real anticipation of major things, if not now, ahead for Richard Stone and a blue flame. Whether the album outshines one of our favourite releases last year in its predecessor, we are still debating but certainly it rivals it and most other melodically teasing offerings out this year.

when your whole world turns to dust is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/when-your-whole-world-turns-to-dust/id1279472334

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Pete RingMaster 02/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Moods – Missing Peace

Let us start with the bottom line about Missing Peace, the debut album from UK collective The Moods; and that is be sure to make another space on your list of album of the year contenders because quite simply it is one essential exploration for ears and thoughts. Offering twelve slices of virulently infectious, politically sharp incitements bred in a fusion of drum & bass, reggae, hip-hop, and EDM with more besides, Missing Peace relentlessly grabs body and imagination with its unique tapestry of sound and creative contagion.

The album’s release caps off an already potent and successful year for the ten-piece of producers, poets, and musicians from Manchester and the North West. Their debut single, Joy, was a critically acclaimed outing sparking hungry attention from media and fans alike while live the 2014 emerging project has thrilled and increasingly elevated their reputation and sound, the latter with the addition live this year of classically-trained violinist Alice. That first single also spawned a video featuring Steve Evets (Looking for Eric) which has been entered for the BFI London Film Festival while two of The Moods’ songs have been grabbed for the sound track of British movie Strangeways Here We Come, a film starring Michelle Keegan, Elaine Cassidy, Lauren Socha, and Nina Wadia set for release in the spring of 2018. Missing Peace though is the pinnacle of the band’s year and indeed their rise within the UK music scene to date; an attention demanding, spirit rewarding proposal seriously hard to pull away from once infested with its viral sounds.

Cored by the four pronged temptation of vocalists Mark Cunningham and John Horrocks alongside rappers Kolega and Explicit, The Moods instantly gets under the skin with their new single P.O.P (Profit Over People). The album’s opener throbs in ears with vocal prowess and electronic bubbling, beats soon adding their thick pulse to the rousing coaxing. The keys of Paul Holmes continue to entice as insight loaded rapping strides through the atmospheric catchiness, melody throated tones following as the song magnetically twists and turns; every moment suggestive bait to greedily devour.

The following Inception is no different, the flames of brass and reggae/ska kissed keys smouldering lures upon the rhythmic shuffle of drummers Phil Horrocks/Chris Barrett and Dave O’Rourke’s darkly toned bass. The vocal unity once again simply captivates, words and expression a snappy reflection matched by the crackle of the sounds around them whilst the song’s chorus is pure listener involvement enticement.

The misty entrance of next up Keep Your Powder Dry breeds a pulsating trespass of electro punk, another strain to The Mood sound fuelled by instinctive infectiousness. Its raw instincts and tone is masterfully temped by the interrupting harmonic turn and the electronic shimmer which glistens throughout, casting an irresistible spell before Bad Boy with its haunting piano within a streetwise stroll enthrals. Caught in the golden glazed tendrils of Will Earl’s trumpet, the song has something of Dizraeli and the Small Gods to its lively evocative adventure.

The shadowy saunter of Black Triangle taunts and entices next, Kolega and Explicit exchanging their lyrical contemplations before Cunningham and Horrocks merge their harmonic intimation; this all within a psyche haunting smoulder of sound and suggestion. The song with a whisper of Lazy Habits to it is delicious, dramatic and seductive and sharing yet another aspect to The Moods sound and imagination, a multi-faceted proposition expanded again by the pop infused and insistently compelling Gotta Get A Hold.

Joy as ever is a beacon of the band’s sound and invention, a flirtatious wave of warm melodies and skittish rhythms within a climate of floating harmonies, all over a rhythmic throb which alone arouses feet, hips, and spirit. Some songs are destined to haunt the memory and passions; this is decidedly one with addiction in its hands.

The unpredictable nature and ever turning sound of Atmosphere is more of a slow burner on the appetite but simply grows in persuasion and potency with every eventful listen while Hidden making a similar initial impression with its individual pop infused sway equally grows in strength over time if never quite to the heights of those around it in personal tastes.

Speaking Tongues though needs mere seconds to get under the skin. It too rises from gentle electronic dew on the senses; a rhythmic pulsing driving things with its dark thud as vocals provoke and suggest. With a dirty lining to its heart and drama, the track imposes and arouses; its subsequent intrusive canter an instinctive stirring of body and emotions.

Missing Peace concludes with firstly the reggae courting Together We Will Fight Them, a sultry defiance nurtured suasion with teeth to its nature and fire to its heart, and finally its title track, a similarly woven companion in style and tone but with its own individual and highly irresistible lobbying of body and mind. The track is superb, sharing everything magnificent about The Moods sound and creativity in its own original anthemic adventure.

We can easily carry on waxing lyrical about Missing Peace but will leave with a full and lively suggestion that you check it and The Moods out with haste; you will not be disappointed.

Missing Peace is out now via A1(M) Records digitally and on CD/Vinyl.

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Pete RingMaster 02/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ape Rising – Self Titled

It is hard to believe that it is five years and a few months ago that we were tantalised and hooked on the melodic dexterity and acoustic mischief of The Radioactive Grandma and their debut album, the fact that numerous of its tracks from it are still a regular part of our intimate listening for pleasure moments. Ready to re-energise that playlist, the outfit has returned with a new offering to grip ears and seduce the imagination.

It is not quite as simple as that though. Firstly the Co Cavan and Maynooth hailing band is now called Ape Rising and where once a trio it is now a tenaciously inventive quintet. Band originals in vocalist/guitarists Johno Leader and Peter Donohue are still there leading the way in melodic enterprise and lyrical suggestiveness but now joined by keyboardist Peter Denton, drummer Fran Mc Donnell, and bassist Jimmy Deface who is/was also one half of the excellent duo Juggling Wolves alongside Leader. Whether it was the need to recruit new members or the evolution of their sound which inspired the new moniker, or as hinted at elsewhere a dubious porn site taking their previous domain name, it certainly comes with a fresh wind of invention and a broader array of sound with the outfit; a blend simply lighting up their new self-titled treat.

Their acoustic prowess is still in evidence but embraced by a new indie/progressive/math rock venture which truly refuses to sit in any camp but embraces plenty of styles and flavours within its retro kissed synth inspired adventure. To say it is magnetic from start to finish does not do the increasing irresistibility of the album justice. It swiftly gets under the skin and engagingly niggles away whether with or without its company. It all starts with In Their Masses, the song rising from an initial ignition sparking sample in a melodic haze before guitars begin weaving their suggestive enterprise around the vocal prowess of Leader and the assisting tones of Donohue and band. Perpetually blossoming second by second as melodies and harmonies cluster, a seventies synth essence brings its flowing colours to the creative canvas. It is just one of the emerging traits though, a raw alternative growl having its moment in voice and sound too before things settle back into the track’s gentler yet still fiery seduction.

The song is pure temptation sparking things off and setting the heart of the release in fine style before being eclipsed by the following Oddysee. Straight away a great nagging hook is at work, its touch part celestial part espionage like resembling one of the teasing attributes of those classic sixties/seventies spy/sci-fi TV show themes. From its intrigue, a strolling body of infectious energy and endeavour surges, spun by guitar and keys as rhythms dance boisterously around zeal fuelled vocals. There is theatre in its nature, adventure in its heart; a combination with individually cast bold invention unites to simply hit the spot.

There is a bit of early Jimmy Eat World to next up King Of The Universe, Denton’ s keys bubbling with that ever present seventies  revelry alongside the irresistible acoustic craft of the guitars. Incessantly catchy to feet, neck muscles, and appetite, the song whisks the imagination away into its own climate of warm temptation; a plateau frequented just as captivatingly by Divide where imagining Young Knives and KingBathmat fused together gives an idea of the enticing progressive hug of the song and its graceful voice.

Keeping Me Away is a slice of indie rock ‘n’ pop which has the body bouncing with just its first eager strum, and swinging by the time keys swarm poetically across high-spirited rhythms.  Of all the songs within the album, this has the boldest Radioactive Grandma feel to its swinging body but it comes with the organic infectiousness which made eighties outfit The Woodentops so glorious, and now adds the same addictive quality to Ape Rising.

The calmer reflection of Medicine Part 1 shares a poetic suasion which reminds of songwriter/composer/musician John Bassett while Medicine Part 2 loads all of its predecessor’s assets into its own rousing sortie on ears and imagination, at times bewitching like a hybrid of Yes and Voyager. Numerous tracks make a play for best honours but this always stands at the front of the pack with every listen.

It is probably fair to say that To Daze The Day I borrows something of Juggling Wolves for its emotive canter but a stroll which bubbles with an energy which borders on raucous as keen invention simply lights up ears and the passions with an unrelenting imagination.

New single, The Model Prime skips in next; its melodic dance and harmonic sways animatingly lighting the song’s retro tone and mesh of glowing flavours. Like a siren it calls on ears and the spirit, unafraid to add unpredictability to its warmly cast temptations before the shuffle of the album gets even more kinetic within Joysticks & Stones, a song which at times has a touch of eighties band Furniture to it and in other moments the more hot-headed devilry of someone like Bloc Party.

The album finishes on the lustfully simmering progressive pop of Flicker and finally the pop rock beauty of 6 Eight 7. Both tracks simply match the pleasures before them with their own ear stroking, spirit stirring enterprises with the stunning first again having a great KingBathmat vibe which can never do any harm while its successor offers an acoustically nurtured samba which excites the senses with its unrelenting and greedily accepted infection.

The Radioactive Grandma will never be forgotten here or lose their spot on for pleasure only listening but now they are joined with equal zeal by Ape Rising, a proposition sure to drive you to highly pleasurable distraction.

The Ape Rising album is out now @ https://aperising.bandcamp.com/and through other stores.

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Pete RingMaster 02/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

American Wrecking Company – Everything and Nothing

Released less than a thick handful of weeks back, Everything and Nothing is one of year’s most voracious metal releases and in turn one of its most appetising. The new creative enmity from US outfit American Wrecking Company, the album is a ferocious tempest of sound bred across a broad spectrum of metal and expelled in a caustic roar individual to its creators. Everything from groove and death to nu and punk metal, with plenty more besides, is sucked up into the maelstrom and woven into one antagonistic furnace so easy to devour.

Since emerging in 2006, the Tacoma, Washington outfit has grown into a potent force and live presence across the West side of the US, sharing stages with bands such as Hatebreed, Fear Factory, Motorgrater, Act of Defiance, and Mushroomhead to great acclaim. Now they are ready to stir up broader attention with Everything and Nothing and it is hard to see the Pavement Entertainment supported release failing.

It launches at the listener with its title track, opening with an atmospheric coaxing as portentous as it is deceptive. The relative calm is stalked by apocalyptic threat, a danger from within which niggly riffs spring. Instantly, they carry an infectious lure; bait swiftly emulated in the sonic vines which wrap them before the track surges cantankerously across the senses. Vocalist TJ Cornelius stands across it all, his ire fuelled growls defiant as the guitars of Randy Bebich and Ben Reynard spin a trespass of sonic spite and nagging riffs around them, the latter persistence also matched by the groaning lines of Jeff Bloomfield’s bass. Still that catchy temptation infests song and ears in the ferociousness, teasing and tempting as the swings of drummer Dylan Hickey bite.

It is a great start more than matched by the groove netted From Grace, a slab of extreme virulent metal which gnaws on the senses and stirs the imagination. Like a mix of Cryptopsy and American Head Charge, the song grumbles and rumbles, every second a crotchety insurgent commanding attention as it savages the body to contagious effect though it is soon eclipsed in presence and harrying by the following I Won’t Listen. The guitars alone ensure irresistibility is bred for their grooves and sonic doggedness, their raw persuasion more than matched by the barbarous yet similarly enterprising rhythms as Cornelius raucously hollers to equal success.  There is no escaping a bit of Slipknot and Fear Factory spicing within the charge but mere flavours in its infernal and seriously compelling assault.

Health for Wealth churns up the senses next with its own web of waspish grooves, surly dynamics, and choleric attitude; American Wrecking Company lacing it with a belligerence caked but open melodic dexterity which just lights up appetite and imagination while its successor, The Burning lives up to its name in touch and atmosphere. It feels like a sonic witch hunt, every note and syllable a combative infestation of psyche preying on ears and the world but entwined with a flirtation of grooves and enterprise which keeps the track on a constant evolution within its fractious pyre.

As Purge swings and taunts with its thick groove metal predation and Enemy soils the senses with its crabby enticements and instincts, band continues to stretch the album’s landscape of sound. Each song is maybe a nudge into new adventures rather than a big leap but one by one they openly reveal the expanse of the American Wrecking Company sound within the constant emotional and physical storm. Beautiful Lie is no different though it does not quite have the inventive attributes of other songs around it. Nevertheless its carnal breath and sonic tenacity leaves a want for little before Mad by Design arguably courts the widest collusion of styles and imagination within the album for its mercurial and persistently captivating feud.

The release is finished off by Day of Shame, a song which springs from a great melodic coaxing with middle-eastern promise into a rip tide of rapacious grooves splintered by scything beats. The throaty tension of the bass is icing on the toxic cake and a final track to confirm American Wrecking Company as one potent and exciting force.

Everything and Nothing is a beast of a proposition which ticks all the boxes and more yet you still feel there is so much more to come from the band such the potential equally loud within the creative ferocity. Happy days!

Everything and Nothing is out now on iTunes and other stores through Pavement Entertainment.

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Pete RingMaster 27/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Oh! Gunquit – Lightning Likes Me

This is your one time warning; prepare for your lungs to burst and veins to pop not forgetting hips to feverishly swing, rumble bop freakabillys Oh! Gunquit are back in town to tease and incite with a new album. The London based outfit left bodies sweaty, exhausted, and lustful with their first album Eat Yuppies and Dance back in 2015 but be warned it will all have felt like a warm up compared to the devilish antics Lightning Likes Me will have you getting up to.

Hints of things to come were alive in the band’s recent single Nomads Of The Lost, a track which suggested that the quintet had found wilder and even more salacious essences in their songwriting and sound; something Lightning Likes Me quickly and increasingly confirms song after song. It should be of no surprise really, since emerging in 2010/11 from the creative union of vocalist/trumpeter Tina Swasey and guitarist/vocalist Simon Wild, the band has only raised the ante and revelry of their psych-surf/garage-punk infused rock ‘n’ roll. With its members in bassist VV, drummer Alex De Renzi and newest member Chuchi Malpersona on sax alongside Swasey and Wild hailing from Italy, USA, Colombia, Spain, and the UK, there is a cosmopolitan fever to their music which in turn encourages its trickery to new heights, a plateau now set very high within Lightning Likes Me.

As soon as the fiery guitar strokes of opener So Long Sucker finger ears, the album is up and running, toning and driving the body like a puppeteer. Brass and rhythms are soon blazing and stomping across the infectious proposal, Swasey’s enthusiasm soaked vocals equally as persuasive while clad in defiance and carnal incitement. The track continues to twist and bounce like a rock ‘n’ roll dervish, every second getting under the skin and into the bones.

It is a tremendous start instantly backed up by the rhythmically tenacious antics of Get Wound Up. As De Renzi’s swings land with boisterous dexterity, sax and trumpet blaze away with suggestion and heat with Swasey all the while leaping across every strand of temptation with vocal agility. It is a song which dares you to get physically involved note by note, an invitation impossible to refuse in limb and energy before both are consumed all over again by the outstanding Nomads Of The Lost. With a swagger in its hips and confidence, the song saunters in with flirtatious infectiousness oozing from every note and syllable. Taunting riffs and sax teasing leads the way as vocals again ride the canter with their own irresistible persuasion, group calls another subsequent tempting impossible not to join as the chorus infests. Not for the last time, there are hints of bands like The Revillos and The Creeping Ivies to the devilry; bewitching essences in a captivation all of the Oh! Gunquit making.

Fireballs boogies in ears next with its garage rock psyche pop, its crescendo building surges a deceptive pleasure as they never erupt into a full-on blaze, just into the next cycle of irrepressible teasing for its own heat soaked orgasmic pleasure while Never Sorry plunders the decades for its psyche infesting rock ‘n’ roll, flirting with the inspirations of artists like the 5678’s and April March along the way. Both tracks are sheer addiction in the making though that equally applies to the whole of the album including the thicker boned Suzy Don’t Stop. The rhythmic bullying is raw feet temptation whilst the fire borne strains of guitar and brass are delicious toxins in the virulence of song and vocal exhortation.

The garage punk ‘n’ roll voodoo of Smiling Snake is a fifties bred, freshly re-animated thrill; a Wanda Jackson and Imelda May blended suggestion bound in the stringed imagination of Poison Ivy and quite irresistible though just as attention and lust is quickly stolen by it from its predecessor it is then lost to Walking The Streets which too has more than a rich spicing of The Cramps to its personality. Its creative stroll is manna to the passions and an unforgiving consumption of the hips, leading them to delirium soaked exhaustion. The track simply takes over body and spirit and take it from us just gets more potent and masterful with every groove woven outing.

Next up is Greasy Moves which, without credit on its press release or in any additional digital information sought so far, features guest vocals from someone which sounds inimitably like King Salami. The initial stomp of guitar and brass with rhythms swinging turns into a sweltering stroll of salacious suggestion, a primal dance which again has the ears and body locked into its blue kissed flirtation with no sign of resistance.

Finishing off the album with its own infernal devouring is Captain Of the Creeps; an incessant nagging of senses and limbs woven into a tapestry of iniquitous imagination and enterprise. It pretty much sums up all the attributes found across the whole of the unique rock ‘n’ roll contagion that is Lightning Likes Me, adding a few more of its own as the album leaves in rousing style though not for long as the urge to start the merciless party off again is king.

Last time around Oh! Gunquit gave us one of the best outings of the year this time it just might be the very best; there are few contenders to rival it for sure.

Lightning Likes Me is out now via Decapitator and Dirty Water Records https://ohgunquit.bandcamp.com/album/lightning-likes-me-lp-cd

https://www.facebook.com/ohgunquit/

Pete RingMaster 26/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Orestea – Elements

Already embracing a fair wash of attention and acclaim through previous EP This is An Overture and a spirit sparking live presence, UK outfit Orestea have pushed their creative bar on again with their striking new album Elements.  Bringing rich essences of melodic rock and alternative metal together in collusion with what can only be described as pop virility, the Guildford hailing band weave a seriously infectious proposition which boils time and time again within an album which has body and imagination bouncing.

Cored around the energy and craft of guitarist Lloyd Wilson, bassist Mike Quinn, and the vocal magnetism of Lisa Avon, a line-up completed by guitarist Johno Madgwick since recording the album, Orestea irrepressibly build on a potent reputation earned through songs and performances alongside the likes of alongside Ashestoangels, Forever Never, ESO, and Wednesday 13 as well as plaudit drawing sets at festivals such as Bloodstock, Download and Guildfest, in swift time upon Elements. As soon as opener Welcome to Surviville comes forth, there is a sense of fresh adventure and assured maturity in songwriting and sound at work. Drama accompanies the approaching sound just as harmony soaks the vocal invitation of Avon whilst imagination instantly infests every twist and turn as the song settles into its rock pop temptation. Driven by the rhythmic web cast by drummer Jack Slade across the release, the song simultaneously rumbles upon and serenades the senses, that adventurousness continuing to fuel guitars, keys, and the heart of an excellent opener setting the creative template and heart of things to come.

The following Here’s The Plan immediately saunters in with a vibrant air, melodies and metallic riffs uniting around Avon’s increasingly potent tones. Her voice is an instinctive roar, as much a seductive flame as it is a steely incitement and as virulent as the sounds around her. Though maybe not quite finding the boldness of its predecessor, the track keeps attention and pleasure burning bright before the album’s title track sizzles on ears. The dancing enterprise of the guitars brings its own raw edge to match the biting and dark temptations of drums and bass, the latter’s grumble especially magnetic in the heated contagious blaze of the song.

References to the likes of Paramore and Don Broco seem to crop up more often than not and it is easy to hear why but as fourth track Ghost of Letting Go steps forward, Orestea only establish their own individual character upon thought and sound. The song is a fiery ballad built on the metallic strains of Quinn’s bass; a song with irritability in its roar and harmonic grace in its calm which only captivates before Alive or Just Existing shows the band is just as adept at kicking up a storm though that attack is unsurprisingly bound in an infectiousness which has the body bouncing and energies rising. It is pure pop rock ‘n’ metal mastery and another pinnacle upon the already praise stamped proposition.

Through the reflective beauty of Getaway, Avon sheer radiance within its warm atmospheric contemplation, and the rowdier stroll of Eggshells, ears are treated to further invention and an enjoyably inescapable persuasion which The Wreckage continues as it burns in ears with emotion and sonic flames like a drama woven sunset. All three leave pleasure and thoughts enamoured before Got Your Back echoes their persuasions with its own enticement if one not quite matching their heights of those but only due to personal preference.

The album is completed by the emotive sigh of Burning Bridges, Avon and music a release of emotive intensity which caps a fine album with a melodic passion hard to not get wrapped up in. It is a fine conclusion to a release which confirms Orestea as one stirring proposition with still the potential of even greater adventures ahead. If being over fussy, there are times within Elements when the band might have pursued its imagination and invention with even braver boldness but it is just a greedy quibble upon something which excites from beginning to end.

Elements is out now @ http://shop.orestea.com/product/elements-album

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Pete RingMaster 26/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright