Ritual King – Elixir

Ritual King, Portraits II, Brunswick Mill, Manchester, 25/7/16Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

This past week saw the re-release of the Elixir EP from UK heavy blues trio Ritual King, an encounter well worth checking out if it did not hit the radar first time around. Offering five highly infectious and richly flavoursome tracks which feel familiar without revealing why as they provide a fresh and imaginative adventure, the EP is a good time just waiting to be had.

The seeds of Ritual King began when in 2013 drummer Rodge Hodges met guitarist Jordan Leppitt at Bolton University. Inviting bassist Dan Goodwin to join them, the threesome emerged as Renegade & Retrospect, subsequently recording and releasing a debut EP. With a live presence equally making a potent impression to that bred by the record, they set about writing and recording their second release. Such its obvious step forward from the last, the band decided to change their name; step forward Ritual King.

Elixir opens up with Devil’s Chokehold and immediately confronts ears with bone shuddering beats and wiry grooves. There is no stopping a swift appetite for what is on offer especially as an increasing crowd of guitar exploits leads to an infectious stroll of senses rapping beats, a tenaciously throbbing and catchy bassline, and the equally inviting vocals of Leppitt. There are few surprises within the song yet every minute is a host of blues seeded hooks and swinging rhythms bound in fiery grooves as virulent as the contagion they are part of.

The excellent start continues with ISD. Its initial touch is a melodic kiss, a moment of seduction lined by the darker hues of bass and already biting beats. In no time, the track is boldly sauntering along, its gait an infectious swagger as the potent tones of Leppitt, backed by the rest of the band, add their own anthemic strains to those already fuelling the robust encounter.

ritual-king-cover-artworkCopyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyrightHodge’s rhythmic prowess sets the following Detachment in motion, the track almost enjoyably searching for its purpose over the opening seconds before settling into a stroll which as its predecessor has a strong classic rock air to its lively presence and ear enticing flavouring. Grooves and riffs again unite for an aggressively tenacious but controlled assault, the fiery enterprise of Leppitt’s guitar as rousing as his riffs and Hodge’s muscular swings.

Too Fast is next, guitars sizzling on the senses from its first breath, melodic and blues rock entangling from thereon in as the song reveals an infection loaded personality led by the rhythmic dance and vocal incitement of Hodges and Leppitt respectively. With an unpredictable nature to its somewhat familiar presence, band and song create a magnetic shuffle which leaves ears greedy and enjoyment full while never being too sure of where the track will take them.

The EP closes with the new Ritual King single, Unorthodox Satisfaction. A lone melody romances ears first, its gentle slightly melancholic coaxing strong but deceptive as its breath slips away only to open up the way for one delicious bassline from Goodwin. Throughout the release his grooves bind attention but incite the lustiest reactions here as its bait grips ears and carries them into the waiting, Celtic spiced exploits of band and track. There is a touch of a Horslips to the hooks escaping the infectious swing of the song, a spicing throughout a relentless captivation of ears and imagination. Latin hued guitars and a climactic air only add to the drama of a song which grows in strength and quality with each passing minute.

It is a fine end to a thoroughly enjoyable release which whilst having moments less original than others persistently impresses and shows the potential of a sound brewing into something unique and even bolder.

The Elixir EP is out now across all stores.

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Pete RingMaster 06/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Tirade – Self-Titled EP

tirade_RingMasterReview

With its virulent pop swing, it is hard to say that the Tirade sound lives up to the fierce tone of the band’s name, but certainly it makes a sizeable, attention grabbing impact going by their richly enjoyable debut EP.  Consisting of seven eventful and resourceful tracks, the self-titled release is a feisty and bubbling fusion of alternative rock and pop punk which employs familiar strains and textures in something potently fresh and increasingly enjoyable.

Hailing from Manchester, the quartet of lead vocalist/bassist Jake Tilley, vocalists/guitarists Josh Pearl and Alex Young, and drummer Stevo Somerset draw on inspirations ranging from Lower Than Atlantis, Press To Meco, and Don Broco to We Are Carnivores and Reuben for their praise luring sound and songs. Formed last year, Tirade are becoming the eager whisper on an ever growing wave of lips, a secret we expect soon becoming an open and loud shout as their EP nudges national awareness.

With moments of really striking moments, the EP is a consistently enjoyable encounter opening up with a band. Snakes and Social Ladders quickly has ears and appetite engaged as jabbing beats and nagging riffs collude. Soon the song is boldly romping, springing sonic intrigue and tasty hooks all the while across its body. It does hold its full energy in relative restraint, turning it into a gripping infectiousness as the guitars create a repertoire of sinewy, melodically endowed enterprise further coloured by Tilley’s impressive vocals and equally strong harmonies.

tirade-tirade-front-cover_RingMasterReviewThe great start is soon eclipsed by the following theatre of Punch?, a song which is as unpredictable as it is catchy. From its first breath sing-a-long vocals unite with sonic espionage as the guitars twist and turn with technical revelry and math rock spiced invention. The rhythms of Tilly and Somerset drive the song relentlessly, adding to its infection as the imagination of the band, not always as forceful elsewhere, has a field day.

Knives In Your Eyes entangles ears in another flavoursome hook within seconds, its spice surrounded by fiery suggestiveness before the song settles into a calmer stroll expelling that initial heated drama throughout. As with the last song, there are essences which spark thoughts of Swound!, a spiky invention aligned to the melodic prowess of Jimmy Eat World/ Lower Than Atlantis. From start to finish, the track hits the spot with ease as too its successor We’re Having Fun. As rhythms punch, harmonies shine with a trio of voices that blend perfectly across another slice of real catchiness. Even with its contagious instincts though, there is a bite to the Tirade sound, a creative snarl as bold as anything within this tenaciously captivating stomp of a song.

For personal tastes, the sparks which help its previous songs spark a lusty appetite for the release are less prominent from hereon in upon the EP though there is no doubting the appeal and enjoyment found in Travel Agent for Guilt Trips and the following, increasingly compelling Optimism. Again both tracks are a marriage of thumping rhythms and harmonic warmth bound in ear pleasing dynamics but lacking the stronger inventiveness and snap of their predecessors.

The EP concludes with The World Isn’t On Your Side, another highlight closing the release as impressively and raucously as Snakes and Social Ladders opened it. Cantankerously bold, the outstanding track is the heaviest moment of the release, almost predacious as Tirade reveals another string to their creative bow.

It is hard not to think Tirade as a band on a certain rise after this fine release, and once the potential shown here is realised as something truly distinct and unique in sound and songwriting, that loud whisper just might become a raging roar.

The Tirade EP is out now @ https://tiradeuk.bandcamp.com/album/tirade

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Pete RingMaster 29/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

From Rust – Lost Sense Of Life

from-rust-online-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

British metalcore outfit From Rust have just unleashed debut EP Lost Sense Of Life, a release which makes up for what it lacks in real surprises by breeding an attention luring character bound in a ferocious tempest of sound.  Fair to say it is a promising, potential loaded introduction to the Somerset hailing quintet which has installed itself as one of our current persistent listens.

Created in 2014 by long-time friends, vocalist Jake Searle and lead guitarist Camden Gibson, From Rust has taken their time to emerge. With a line-up finally completed by rhythms guitarist Tom Waters, bassist Sam Elswood, and drummer Sam Kellaway, the band spent numerous months creating and honing their sound, its raw and pungent creative roar making a potent impact once the band hit the live stage towards the end of 2015. Since then they have shared stages with the likes of Despite My Deepest Fear, Thrones, Values, and Materia while hitting the studio earlier this year to uncage the fury fuelled Lost Sense Of Life.

Inspirations to the band are said to include bands such as Parkway Drive, Northlane, and All That Remains; essences which do not hide within the EP and opener Whispers but it is fair to say adds to the storm rather than drives it. The first track coaxes with a fiery groove initially as rhythms and riffs collect in the background before consuming the senses and shaping the blossoming assault. They align to rather than devour that initial enterprise, melodic flames and scything sonic spears joining the potent ire and variety in Searle’s vocal trespass. As atmospheric throughout as it is venomously fierce and relentlessly vicious, the track is a strong and engaging start but soon outshone by its successor.

from-rust-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewInside Out is superb, from the sonic web slung out there by the guitars at the start exposing itself as a ravenous beast of raw and inventive temptation which burrows itself into the imagination and psyche. There is a swagger to that initial tapestry of guitar matched in the prowling beats and threat loaded bassline of Elswood; all luring and baiting the senses before entangling in a rabid onslaught. Twisting through those varied attacks and more across its inventive body, suggestive intrigue soaked melodies and varied metal strains circling ears, the track grips and enthrals taking best track honours whilst uncapping the potential of real uniqueness within the band to hopefully emerge ahead.

If the previous track is predatory, Predictable Pain is bestial as it stalks the listener, all the time jabbing away with its salacious rhythms as guitars and bass weave a mercurial tapestry of sound and imposing emotion further shaped by the raw throated intrusions of Searle. With senses wilting breakdowns and rapacious vocal squalls within the net of sonic enterprise, the track is certainly a centre of attention if lacking the final elements which ignites its predecessor and indeed the following Grey World. With Searle using his range of attacks, to great effect, the track is a cancerous yet infectious abuse cast with an invention and imaginative boldness hinting at greater things ahead as the band develops in sound and songwriting.

Final track Gone Forever is just as intensive and enjoyable, epitomising the release in many ways as recognisable essences are embraced by the band own keen invention and readiness to be bold and try to be different. It is that element which really helps Lost Sense Of Life command the senses and suggests that once From Rust really go for it, they could be one of those taking British metal boldly forward.

Lost Sense Of Life is out now on iTunes.

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Pete RingMaster 29/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Leaving Passenger – When it’s done

LP _RingMasterReview

Sharing a sound inspired by bands such as Incubus, Hoobastank, Breaking Benjamin, and Three Days Grace, Leaving Passenger is a Paris hailing band starting to pick up keen attention beyond their local shores. They have just released When it’s done, their debut EP offering six tracks of melodically fuelled and emotionally empowered alternative rock. There are few big surprises within the richly engaging encounter but for accomplished and enjoyably catchy rock ‘n’ roll, the EP is a potent introduction to the French quartet.

Formed in 2014 by vocalist Julien Boireau, guitarist Pierre Christophe ‘PC’ Maurier, and bassist Julien ‘Jumar’ Margat, Leaving Passenger soon completed their line-up with drummer Vince De Sousa. Honing their fiery sound over time, the band has already earned and become a strong reputation and presence on the Paris live scene which When it’s done is hoping to spread to a wider audience.

The EP opens up with Scream, its fizzy start soon ruptured by sinewy beats and in turn a fiery wash of guitar. From within that strong coaxing, wiry grooves emerge leading into the melodic and emotionally intense heart of the song. Boireau instantly impresses with his vocal presence, his tones powerful and earnest within the increasingly intense flames of guitar. There is a definite touch of Hoobastank to the song which only adds to its draw as warm harmonies court muscular rhythmic intent for a great start to the release.

frontcover-when-its-done _RingMasterReviewRunning Back To Me leaps upon ears next, instantly winding tempting grooves around them as vocals and riffs unite inside. Boireau again commands attention though sharing it with the creative exploits of PC and the firm hand of De Sousa’s energetic beats. Carrying more of a mix of Three Days Grace and Poets Of The Fall to it, the track eclipses its predecessor with its emotional intensity and creative drama; again big surprises absent but enjoyment felt full.

Through the southern blues spiced I Don’t Care and the reflective caress of Better Place, the EP continues to hold on to keen ears. The first blooms into a blaze of heated melodies within an emotion drenched climate while its successor is a captivating heart shared ballad with its own moments of passional fire.

The haunting essence of the last track is matched by that within Lies on the floor, keys floating over the senses fuelling that atmospheric feel as incandescent melodies and bold intensity smoulder to intermittently burn brighter throughout. Without quite matching the strength of other songs it still lodges in the imagination as too the closing title track with its melancholy wrapped strings/keys and intimately haunted balladry. It provides a fine end to the EP, blossoming to greater heights with every listen; an ability also shown by When it’s done as a whole.

The Leaving Passenger sound has yet to find its own identity but it only satisfies without reservations and within the When it’s done EP provides an introduction which just has to be followed up.

The When it’s done EP is out now through numerous online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 08/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hello Bear – I Don’t Know… It’s Fun Though, Isn’t It?

hello-bear-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

A trap waiting to grab your imagination and energy, I Don’t Know… It’s Fun Though, Isn’t It? more than lives up to its title with its bouncy persona and rousing spirit. The new EP from British quartet Hello Bear, the four-track stomp is a sparkling burst of power/punk pop which may not carry major surprises but is as fresh and vibrant as anything escaping the year so far.

Formed in 2010, the Norwich bred band take inspiration found in the likes of Weezer, Pavement, Los Campesinos!, Refused, The Bronx, Presidents of the USA, McFly, Johnny Foreigner, and Dananananaykroyd into their own highly flavoursome exploits. Invigorating as a live presence which has seen Hello Bear play with bands such as Los Campesinos, Coasts, Darwin Deez, The Futureheads, and The King Blues, their sound is an ear grabber which now refuses to be ignored within the band’s new offering. The press release accompanying the EP suggests it carries “their most exciting material to date.” Being our introduction to Hello Bear it is hard to confirm or argue, but exciting the Lee Batiuk (Deaf Havana, Trash Boat, Hopeless Records) produced release is and relentlessly enjoyable.

I Don’t Know… It’s Fun Though, Isn’t It? opens up with new single We Held Hands Once, But Then She Got Embarrassed, the collective energy and enterprise of Luke Bear (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Mary Bear (guitar), Tom Bear (bass), and Daryl Bear (drums) hitting the floor running. A lone strum entices first being quickly joined by the potent tones of Luke before the song jumps on ears with eager riffs and canny rhythms. In no time it is into an infectious stroll with hooks and melodies uniting to charm attention before brewing and finally expelling a virulent contagion through its irresistible chorus. There is no escaping joining those offering Blink 182 meets Weezer as a reference for the tenaciously lively sound of song and band; add a touch of Super Happy Fun Club and The All-American Rejects though and the mix is even closer to the rousing incitement.

hello-bear-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewThe following Mmm Cheque Please! makes a just as striking entrance, another single strain of guitar bait making the first lure, rampant beats and Luke’s inviting vocals the next  before it all blooms into another infectious canter. Daryl’s beats resonate as they land and Tom’s basslines grumble as much as they seduce while Mary and Luke share a tapestry of hooks and melodic endeavour which only leads to a greater appetite for song and release. Admittedly the track lacks the final spark which ignites its predecessor but leaves pleasure bubbling eagerly as does Dirty Weekend with its more restrained but wholly magnetic presence. Repeating a prowess which confirms Hello Bear masterful at creating big choruses and ripe hooks which simply infest the psyche, the song lays lustfully upon the senses.

The EP ends as its starts with a track which just whips up the passions. Attack Hug Influences is addiction for the ears, a slice of rock pop which seizes hold of body and spirit in a breathless romp complete with spicy hooks, tenacious rhythms, and a vocal coaxing which virtually forces listener involvement.

It is a boisterous end to a release which demands a party is woven around its presence each and every time. No moments of major uniqueness, all irresistible fun fuelled ingenuity; that is I Don’t Know… It’s Fun Though, Isn’t It?, one of the most enjoyable adventures this year.

I Don’t Know… It’s Fun Though, Isn’t It? is released November 11th

http://www.hellobear.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/hellobear/    https://twitter.com/hellobearband

Pete RingMaster 08/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Animal House – Sorry

animalhouse-promo1_RingMasterReview

The Australian quartet may have been “forced on a short hiatus by UK Visa police” but they are making up for lost time with zeal and unbridled creative boisterousness with debut EP Sorry. Brisbane bred and already kicking up attention before embarking on a two year adventure that took them through Europe before settling in the UK’s own great band breeding town of Brighton, Animal House have masterfully build on the success of recent single English Girls with Sorry; an EP sure to swell the acclaim already sparked.

The band has drawn comparisons to the likes of The Strokes, The Raconteurs, Cage The Elephant, Dune Rats, Surfer Blood, and Twin Peaks, though we would suggest if not exactly in sound but the mischievous way they spring songs upon ears and imagination, Asylums is just as apt a reference. The Animal House sound has its seeds in the indie sounds of the late nineties/early noughties but twisted in to something fiercely fresh and unique to the Aussie foursome. Devilish humour lines every note and word shared, sparkling invention and invasive imagination fuelling a temptation which without doubt colours one of the most enjoyable and thrilling releases this year.

Sorry opens up with the band’s new single Domino; a virulently addictive song which if it was anything other than music would come with a warning. From its initial guitar jangle the song is in command, only firming its grip as the vocals, lead and band collude with melodic spicery and infectious tenacity. Feet have no resistance, hips and appetite too especially as beats drive song and body as a ridiculously catchy chorus infests vocal chords. There is a touch of Buzzcocks to the track, especially in its meandering hook, though first time around all concentration is on gaining enough breath to last the kinetic majesty of the song’s length.

animalhouse_sorry_RingMasterReviewEnglish Girls is next and swiftly shows why it caused a fuss as a single. It too is a trespass infesting body and spirit. Rhythms once more thump and arouse whilst riffs and jangling hooks coax as vocals tempt. Animal House again confirm that flirtatiously captivating choruses are the domain of all their songs, the second an epidemic of persuasion rifling through a waiting and soon fully participation lust.

It is hard to say that the following Heavy makes less demands on energies but it does have a mellower climate to its urgency, taking a summery stroll as psych rock swipes of melodic enterprise cross a swinging gait of smiling hooks and buoyant rhythms. It is inescapable captivation but soon eclipsed by the tangy inventive fruits of Lemon & Lime. We are never ones to advocate too many singles taken from one release but the song has all the properties to be one juicy incitement as such a proposal. Again band and song swing with creative relish, bouncing with trampoline rhythms as harmonies tease and melodies seduce with a catchiness that could bring success to any trap.

The release is completed by the rampant sonic liquor of Tequila, intoxicating garage rock ensuring all inhibitions are left at the EP’s cover. It is a glorious end to a quite irresistible encounter, for which, the description aural alchemy increasingly seems apt. Its title says Sorry but there is nothing penitent about this slice of sonic knavery.

The Sorry EP is out on 18th November 2016.

Catch Animal House live at the following dates:

9th November – The New – Santander

11th November – Bukowski – San Sebastian

12th November – Bar Arrasate – Arrasate

14th November – Pop In – Paris

15th November – De Hip – Deventer

16th November – De Kroeg – Arnhem

17th November – Vera – Groningen

18th November – Boothill Saloon – Amersfoort

29th November – Birthdays – London

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Pete RingMaster 07/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Vienna Ditto – Busted Flush

viennadittopromonew_RingMasterReview

The undeniable soft spot we have for the fertile adventures of British duo Vienna Ditto has only been confirmed or pushed towards more lustful tendencies with each release they give birth to in their enviable imaginations. New EP, Busted Flush, is guilty of sparking the latter with three tracks of aural intrigue and creative drama which almost prey on the senses. Cinematic yet intimately invasive, the EP is one of those real treats which come along so rarely yet frequently from the shadowed minds of Vienna Ditto.

The innovative union of Hatty Taylor (vocal and synth) and Nigel Firth (guitar) has come a long way since the pair first met when Firth began teaching eleven old Taylor the guitar. Meeting again and creatively uniting a decade later, the pair has continued to blossom and excite with a magnetic sound which fires up ears and imagination like a sonic kaleidoscope. It has nurtured numerously well-received and acclaimed singles and EPs with debut album Circles of 2015 and the Ticks EP earlier this year breaching even greater acclaim and plateaus of intoxicating invention. Busted Flush is the next step forward in both rewards for band and listener, a sublime seducing which only romances with greater strength listen by listen.

art_RingMasterReviewThe EP’s title track opens up the fascination, Busted Flush a web of seductive melodies and shadowy rhythms in an atmospheric caress equally as dual natured. As the throated threat of bass colludes with crisp beats, Taylor’s exotic tones finger the imagination, backed by keys which hold suggestiveness in every melodic note. The song plays like the backdrop to a cold war romancing, a canvas for a Doctor Zhivago/ The Spy Who Came in from the Cold like involvement with Taylor the seductress narrating events. Across its blossoming landscape, Firth matches the vocal allurement with his poetic melodies and keys cast theatre further tapping into more sci-fi shared echoes of suggestion. It is a glorious transfixing as exotically dark and broodingly portentous as it is bizarrely magical.

The fantastic start is swiftly matched by the lighter livelier charms of Barracuda, a swinging stroll of electro pop also no lightweight in imaginative manipulation and melodic conspiracy as it lures the listener into its infectious body. An underlying tempestuousness blossoms over time but only adding to the warm if schizophrenic enterprise fuelling a dramatic and perpetually twisting slavery of ears and emotions.

The EP is concluded by Boy Meets Wolf, a sultry seducing with swiftly endearing essences of Young Marble Giants to its character and beauty. Apparently inspired Cormac McCarthy’s book The Crossing, the song is like a mystical mist, seeping over the senses with fleeting but potent cinematic caresses aligned to darker intimacy stirring the imagination and one’s own creative spirit.

The Busted Flush EP is an escape from reality, an echo of the adventures and dangers we all wish we were part of while watching the greatest dark lit movies. Vienna Ditto create this response musically while providing British music with some of its most unique and irresistible proposals, Busted Flush no exception.

The Busted Flush EP is out 11th November 2016 via Ubiquity Project Recordings @ https://viennaditto.bandcamp.com/

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

Pete RingMaster 08/11/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright