Valensole – Make Pace EP

Just under a year ago, British punks Valensole sparked intrigue and pleasure with their debut EP, Where We Should Be. It was a potential loaded, ear grabbing introduction to the Southampton trio suggesting a band with all the right attributes and imagination to make potent strides within the UK rock scene. Now that suggestion has been reinforced and given greater strength by Make Pace, a second EP of raw and rousing punk ‘n’ roll very easy to devour.

Embracing inspirations from the likes of Nirvana, Green Day, Sum 41, and early Foo Fighters, Valensole was formed in 2016. The threesome of vocalist/guitarist Elliott Jones, guitarist Nick Jones, and bassist Dave Parker certainly had ears and praise attentive with that first EP and such the fresh character and tone to its successor, we can only expect them to find much even greater attention upon the release of Make Pace.

With Kurt Philips providing drums throughout, the EP kicks off with Giving Up, its jumbled start instantly spawning a tasty guitar hook which soon leads into a tenacious stroll through ears. Simultaneously a new richer flavouring to the band’s punk sound begins tempting, the track merging its raw traits with infectious enterprise as it increasingly stomps around. Dave’s bass has a gorgeous dark steely tone, Elliot’s vocals matching its lure in earnest attitude as his and Nick’s guitars throw their sonic wares around. As with the first EP, we found flavouring more akin to the likes of Psychedelic Furs and The Vibrators than those earlier mentioned influences but more so the band’s own voice in sound and invention emerges this time around.

The potent start is soon matched by the following M.A.D, the track immediately getting under the skin with its opening spicy hook. Both guitars tease and tempt, uniting in a fiery lure backed by the stirring swings of drums and the grumbling stroll of the bass. There is a great vintage punk lining to the Valensole sound, one especially vocal in the rousing antics of the second song even as it slips into calmer, provocative waters. It all erupts again for a tenacious finale as physically bracing as it is catchy before So Bored moves in with its ear nagging endeavour. Carrying a whiff of Buzzcocks to its melodically scored trespass of a hook, the track soon revels in its caustic rock ‘n’ roll breeding but as its predecessor is a proposition which is unafraid to explore unpredictable twists and turns before lighting its riotous touch paper once again.

The EP ends with Don’t Let Go, a song again drawing those Richard Butler and co references while uncaging its own individuality. Equally there is a garage punk meets Generation X scent to the song, a thickly flavoursome hue adding to the unrelenting pleasure the track and indeed Make Pace overall sparks.

Valensole’s sound is on a journey, one still evolving and growing. The band’s first EP hinted at its promise, the second reveals new depth and adventure to add to that potential. When it will all come to full maturity time will tell but the ride on the way is undoubtedly going to be great fun with the anticipation of many more easily devoured treats like Make Pace.

Make Pace is released February 9th.

https://www.facebook.com/valensoleband    https://twitter.com/valensole_band

Pete RingMaster 06/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Saint Tragedy – Prolonging The Agony

Formed in 2008, Saint Tragedy is a hard rock outfit from Kenosha, Wisconsin and they have just released a rather flavoursome new EP in the shape of Prolonging The Agony. They have a sound which is not dramatically unique but as the six tracks within their latest release reveals, it is a fresh and thoroughly enjoyable proposition.

Consisting of vocalist Wayne Wiginton, guitarist Matt Brudniewicz, bassist Eric Serbedzija, and drummer Jason Scuffham, Saint Tragedy has honed their sound over the years into a boisterous and enterprisingly crafted rock ‘n’ roll roar and it all comes together within Prolonging The Agony. It might not be an encounter which startles yet from start to finish, especially at its departure we only wanted to have more of its goods to rock out with.

As the EP opens up with Make Believe where familiarity and individualism collude to tempt and grab ears, straight away the band’s music with its muscular lures and melodic fire begins working its way under the skin. Like a fusion of Poets Of The Fall and the sadly demised US outfit Resin, sound and song stomp across the senses, rhythms adding their heavy thump alongside the rapacious tenacity of riffs. Wiginton’s vocals swiftly appeal too, adding further dexterity and tone to a track which continues to blossom with melodic enterprise and infectious craft by the second.

It is an impressive start which only continues with Ties That Bind. From maybe a less striking start though its early hook is pure infection alongside potent vocals, the song brews its own highly catchy and persuasive rumble with a chorus so easy to get involved with. Guitarist Brudniewicz once more firmly entices with his sonic enterprise, the rhythmic half of the band providing a formidable yet equally infectious lure before No More Religion takes over. The third track opens with the simple alignment of Wiginton’s croon and the melodic suggestion of guitar, a rich union which ignites into another rousing rock ‘n’ roll incitement equipped with tasty hooks and scorched melodies. Major surprises are few but skilfully nurtured enticements plentiful.

Move On has an old school feel to its confident stroll, classic rock hues and a sultry twinge to its melodic voice adding to its smouldering presence. Though it did not quite grab as forcibly as its predecessors, the song only pleases with its sultry air and emotive touch before being followed by the robust shuffle of Would I Lie. It too maybe lacked the spark of those earlier tracks for personal tastes but more than added to the strength and attraction of the EP with its melodic flames and steely undercurrent.

Closing with an alluring acoustic version of their song, Jumpin’ the Gun, Saint Tragedy prove themselves to be one highly enjoyable and accomplished proposition. They may be something of a secret to a great many right now but Prolonging The Agony could just change that. As mentioned surprises are not thick in coming forward but persistent enjoyment is far more eager.

Prolonging The Agony is available now via Pavement Entertainment.

 

https://www.facebook.com/SaintTragedyMusic/

Pete RingMaster 31/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Nika Riots – Set Fire

Having found the Norwegian hardcore scene a rather fruitful place to excite personal tastes, there was a definite twinge of eager anticipation when we found ourselves receiving he debut EP from Oslo outfit The Nika Riots, especially upon seeing it features members from bands such as Man the Machetes, Torch, and IEatHeartAttacks. The prospect of hearing something flavoursome to really get the teeth into was quickly confirmed by Set Fire and only reinforced across its six ferocious tracks.

Consisting of Christopher Iversen (Man The Machetes), Jørgen Berg (Torch), Kristen Fjeldstad, Morten Vikanes, and Noppers Myren (IEatHeartAttacks), The Nika Riots fuse their hardcore with voracious metal essences while drawing on the inspirations of bands such as Every Time I Die, the Dillinger Escape Plan, and Rise Against for its still individual character. It is a mix which grooves like a Bokassa, snarls like a Shevils, and has the irritable melodic punk fuelled fury of Bad Religion aligned to the unpredictable dexterity of Every Time I Die and all delivered with a defiant antagonism living up to the historical unrest behind their name. Those metal bred essences add yet another aspect to their sound, a hungry trespass which accentuates every other thread in its fractious web.

As soon as the rousing rhythmic invitation of Anti-Social Social Club was launched within a raw sonic breath attention was grabbed, the initial handful of seconds of the opener a welcoming intrusion which swiftly becomes a tirade of addictive grooves, thumping beats, and vocal argument. The track proceeds to swing along with intrusive hardcore tenacity, inciting ears and spirit at every turn with the imagination hooked by its melodic punk hues. Metal textures equally give it a diverse nature and potency as the song gets Set Fire off to a heady start.

A chest beating roar of defiance, it is pretty much matched by the following Knock ‘em Dead. Straight away it is sharing solicitous hooks, a touch of Billy talent in their spicing before its punk canter brings a great bend of throat scarring and melodically sandy vocals. As in its predecessor, attitude fuels every note and syllable, the melodies even carrying a slight toxic edge to their temptation but it all combining for another fiercely infectious affair before allowing the excellent Kill This Chaos emerges from its last sonic sigh on a rhythmic roll. This leads to another contagious intrusion equipped with hungrily anthemic rhythms, vocal irritancy, and caustic riffs. It is pure magnetism, especially when the incitement of drums and throb of bass only accompanies raw throated appeals, guitars accentuating the bait on their return with strains of heavy metal in their attack.

A melancholic melodic caress opens up Hanged Drawn & Quartered but all time becoming dirtier and unsettled before breaking into punk thrusting rock ‘n roll though that too is only another shade to the song as melodic metal essences take their moment to captivate. It epitomises the fluid resourcefulness of the band’s sound, a quality as open if not to the same prevalence within next up Skeleton Crew. Opening with an Avenged Sevenfold scented beckoning, the song soon rattles the cages with its hardcore guile and fury lined acuteness aligned to punk rock virulence.

All Hail the Queen completes the attack, its body breeding its own fusion of sound and enterprise. As the previous track, it did not quite light the fires as dramatically as those before them but with vines of grooves wrapping round the ears and a rich bluster of energy wearing the senses, it simply left pleasure and appetite hungry for more.

Set Fire is a striking introduction to The Nika Riots hinting at even bigger and bolder exploits ahead whilst stirring the passion and instincts for uncompromising punk rock; Norwegian hardcore continues to impress and excite.

Set Fire is released January 19th through Negative Vibe Records.

https://www.facebook.com/thenikariots/

Pete RingMaster 18/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Arcaeon – Balance EP

Sometimes a debut comes along which sets you back on your heels and forcibly drags a declaration of “something special and its creators heading towards making a major impact”. British metallers Arcaeon has unveiled one of those moments with the Balance EP. It presents five tracks of the band’s striking sound, a fusion of melodic metalcore with groove, progressive, and technical metal. It is an equal mix of all living up to the EP’s title with even more to captivate ears and imagination with. Quite simply it is superb and from a band still to complete its first year which only adds to the excitement and anticipation of things ahead.

Hailing from Reading, the quintet has already earned keen plaudits from sharing stages with the likes of Devil Sold His Soul, The Voynich Code, and The Arusha Accord, and can expect a tide of more with the release of Balance which they are planning to support with a UK tour.

It opens with Endeavour, slipping in on a melodic shimmer flickering with crystalline melodies. Rhythms occasionally break the calm, laying intent for the following web of grooves and vocals growls to emulate. Already a nest of progressive and technical metal rapacity, the track envelops the raw throated throes of vocalist William Alex Young though in quick time he shows his dexterity in warm and melodic expression potently backed by the vocal harmonies of guitarist Sam Machin. In turn his and the enterprise of fellow guitarist Rhys Thomas weaves even greater drama and technical adventure, the track evolving by the twist and turn into a mouth-watering unpredictable treat.

It is an ear and imagination stirring start which still gets eclipsed by the following Fade. With predacious beats from Joe Farrell stalking an electric tease, the song is soon a jungle of grooves, melodic tendrils, and invasive rhythms led by the compelling groan of Eifion Sweet’s bass. The song’s initial growl mellows out as Young swings from his raw attack to warm emotions, melodic radiance twinkling within the heavier grooved netting. As with its predecessor, things barely settle for more than a few breaths before fresh turns are made, the individual craft of the band as gripping as their united mastery and exploration of their sound and songwriting. It is less of an examination than the previous track but still nurturing some moments of almost primal creative hunger before Mind’s Eye takes over twisting the senses.

The third track arrives on sonic mist, but soon enveloping ears in a web of thick wiry grooves as melodic crystals glitter. The beguiling landscape soon welcomes Young’s mellow touch which almost as quickly breeds grouchier textures; a move echoed in the ever mercurial flight of sound. With jazzier hues and caustic ferocity blossoming across its fascinating landscape, the track is a relentless temptation on its way towards the EP’s pinnacle, Dysaxis. The outstanding track leaps upon the senses from an industrial scented lead, vocals and riffs digging in their aggressive claws as grooves invades and rhythms badger. It is a metalcore bred insurgency which effortlessly dips into a siren-esque progressive detour, the track returning to its predatory intent with greater groove and alternative metal enterprise to the fore. Each following cycle brings a fresh shade of flavour and invention, and all nagging the senses and passion with an insatiable appetite.

Legacies completes the line-up, its melodic beauty a swift wash of endeavour matched by the warmth of vocals. Though less tempestuous than its companions and especially its predecessor, the track has a fire in its belly and a lingering rage on its lips which erupts to break the gossamer hued climate. Ensuring the EP ends on a matching high to its beginnings, the song epitomises the skilled almost majestic weave Arcaeon casts in each and every track.

Balance is a magnet for ears and pleasure, and quite easy to suggest the first outstanding steps of a band already walking the lips of special.

The Balance EP is released January 26th @ https://arcaeon.bandcamp.com/album/balance

http://arcaeonuk.com/    https://www.facebook.com/arcaeonuk

Pete RingMaster 17/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Counterpoint – If Not Now, Why?

Almost demanding attention, UK rockers Counterpoint provide a thumping introduction to themselves with their debut EP. If Not Now, Why? offers five slices of rousing thickly flavoured alternative rock, tracks which has the body bouncing as eagerly as it has the appetite keen to savour plenty more from the Liverpool formed, Manchester based quartet.

Spawned from the ashes of their previous band, Operation: AEON, Counterpoint was formed by vocalist Dominic Lucock and guitarist Martin “Ted” O’Neil in 2015. Numerous ears were enticed by an early demo track in Borrow Your Past, Steal Your Future, including producer Jim Pinder (Bullet For My Valentine) who offered an interest in working with the band on their first release. Cementing a praise earning live presence since then, with a recent show with Crazy Town only pushing their increasing reputation, Counterpoint subsequently joined Pinder and Dan Jeffries in Treehouse Studios with If Not Now, Why? the potent outcome.

It opens up with Leave It All Behind, an immediate tease of sound and anthemic intent which looms up and envelops the senses. Swiftly it finds its muscular stroll, the swinging beats of Ed Sutton inciting alongside the throbbing canter of Mikey Gaffney’s bass and O’Neil’s lively riffs and grooves. At the same time Lucock blends raw and melodic enterprise in his vocal enticement, it all coming together for an inescapably catchy yet energetically imposing proposition.

The great start continues through Honestly, it too gathering its attributes in its initial breath before gripping ears with its subsequent enterprise. Ebbing and flowing in its aggression, perpetually captivating in its resourceful dynamics and imagination, the song creates a tapestry of melodic intrigue, emotive suggestion, and tempestuous energy which just beguiles the imagination. References to the likes of letlive, Papa Roach, Deftones, and While She Sleeps have been offered before the Counterpoint sound and easy to understand why with the EP’s opening pair of encounters.

The following Between You And Me has a great irritability to its heart and raw air which does not defuse its infectious virulence and harmonic prowess; a trait and creative agility which reminds of Reuben in some ways. Every handful of seconds brings a fresh twist and a hungry surge of persuasion, each combining with the other to match the heights of its predecessor’s triumphs, in certain moments eclipsing them before next up DownDownDown boldly swaggers in. It too reveals a skilfully woven mix of rapacious aggression and melodic seduction in its boisterous stomp in creating its own inescapably catchy and stirring incitement.

The EP closes up with One Sided Conversations, a calmer melody tempting serenade with power in its voice and intensity in its heart which inflames the song’s increasing urgency and zeal. It is a fever which soon has the track storming the senses but with the ability to slip into mellower breaths for sublimely captivating moments.

It is a fine end to a striking first listen to Counterpoint, If Not Now, When? a release suggesting a band with all the traits to make a rich impact on the UK rock scene if they realise and develop its bold potential and easy to greedily enjoy sound.

If Not Now, When? is released February 9th

https://www.facebook.com/UKCounterpoint/

Pete RingMaster 09/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Crimson Star – Bay View

There is something very clever about the Bay View EP and the sounds it eagerly shares. Certainly the new outing from UK rockers Crimson Star sounds rather good from the off with a blaze of rock ‘n’ roll which may not dramatically impress but leaves a definite appetite for more. But like all relentless fires, it leaves little cinders in the shape of persuasive hooks and grooves which continue to catch in the imagination even in its absence. You could say the five track encounter is a slow burner in many ways despite its sizeable impact first time around and that is a success as potent as anything in our eyes.

Hailing from Birmingham, the threesome emerged in 2012 and since then has earned a rich reputation for their live presence and weighty alternative/melodic rock sound. 2016 saw the release of the Driven EP with the line-up of vocalist/guitarist James Shaw, bassist Roger Ash, and drummer Ross Edgington together. That well-received offering was recorded with producer Romesh Dodangoda (Lower Than Atlantis, Bring Me The Horizon, Funeral For A Friend), a successful union repeated with Bay View.

The EP opens with recent single The Pragmatist and straight away riffs and vocals lure attention, the increasingly grooved invitation of the guitar aligning with the equally potent scowling tones of Edgington. As it establishes its eager stroll, the song ebbs and flows in intensity without losing its instinctively infectious nature whilst always looking to evolve as melodies and the ever captivating grooves share their imagination. More addictive than it seemingly appears at the time, the song is a masterful slice of rock ‘n’ roll setting the release off to a great heavy and rousing start.

The following La Prom carries the same intent, instantly pushing through ears with a bold touch but soon revealing an atmospheric breath around crystalline melodies. Its calm has an underlying volatility which subsequently erupts as fiery grooves and raw riffs join an already laid bait of coaxing rhythms. With great fuzz to its tone and an edge to its energy, they aligning to further melodic enterprise, the song simply hits the spot.

Desert rock grooves fire up within next up Once, their spice leading to a grunge/alternative rock scowl which again is always looking to spring an unpredictable and imaginative adventure. Like its predecessor, the track does not have the immediate sparks of the opener yet grips from start to finish sowing that earlier mentioned niggle in its own way to return at will in the memory; a trait just as successful within Euthanise Me. The muscle of its grooves and rhythmic incitement courts a fine blues rock hue, a flavouring which blossoms within the following dark lit stroll the voice and bass take the imagination on. Like a blend of Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam with a slight touch of Kyuss, the song is unbridled captivation rivalling the first for best song honours.

The release is concluded by Gimme Some, another slice of intriguing rock ‘n’ roll which like the EP just grows and impresses with every listen. Grooves need little time to wrap their persuasion around ears though, melodic shadows and radiance working away on the imagination, as it brings Bay View to a magnetic close.

With double figure listens under our belt, it is fair to say that Bay View has become a keenly devoured and praised proposal. It took its time with us despite its potent start and we can only say share some of your time with Crimson Star to discover some prime heavy rock; it is hard to imagine you will be disappointed.

Bay View is released January 19th

https://www.crimsonstarrocks.com/    https://www.facebook.com/thecrimsonstarmusic    https://twitter.com/tcsmusic

Pete RingMaster 17/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Greyhaven – Breathe EP

A year and a handful of months ago, British alt-rock quintet Greyhaven aroused rich praise and attention with their EP, State Of Mind. It suggested a band with the potential to become a rich part of the British heavy rock scene. Now the London hailing outfit are ready to release its successor in Breathe, an EP which maybe does not quite realise its predecessor’s promise as anticipated but only confirms thoughts that the quintet has a potent future.

Emerging in either the autumn of 2014 or early 2015 depending where you read, Greyhaven quickly whipped up local support and following through their live shows and debut EP, The Flood. The following State Of Mind, produced by Daniel Kerr (Shields, Create To Inspire, Despite my Deepest Fear), was the moment broader attention was lit, the release sparking praise and coverage with the likes of Scuzz TV and Kerrang, as well as finding a place on one of Metal Hammer’s front cover CD. Since then the band has experienced changes in its line-up and as a momentary foursome uniting once again with Kerr to record Breathe.

Truth opens the release up and quickly has attention in its grasp with a tempting shuffle of beats and a rapacious lure of riffs. It is an opening hinting at a furious expulsion but instead is followed by a calmer if still slightly volatile breath allowing the strong vocals of Sam Paterson to step forward into the already woven web of melodies. Harmonies soon wrap the frontman’s potent tones, the rhythms of drummer Connor Tate and brooding texture of Jack Hudson’s bass a dark almost portentous echo of the song’s emotional heart fuelled angst. With the guitar of Alex Hills as suggestive as it is sonically wiry, the song makes a fine introduction to the EP though for personal tastes is soon eclipsed by its companions.

When We Divide is next, bringing its own tempestuous air and drama to bear on ears and imagination. Great nagging riffs accompany Paterson’s ever tempting voice, rhythms just as thick a welcome trespass as the song mixes sharp hooks and sonic enterprise with emotive energy. Whereas its predecessor, though sounding fresh, held few surprises, the second track is rich with twists and unexpected turns which if anything it does not fully exploit.

Nevertheless, the track is a magnetic persuasion soon matched in almost similar success by the following Crows. There is rawness at its core which enjoyably contrasts the lively shimmer of keys and melody, the song evolving through mellow and crystalline climes but always one sigh away from its tempestuous instincts.

The EP’s title track brings things to an end, the song rising on a caress of keys with a jangle of guitar flanking its move into poppier rock exploits. Temptingly catchy and vocally alone magnetic, Breathe strolls along with a confident smile, its inner fire catching further along to flame with increasing intensity and attraction.

It is hard to say that the Breathe EP has managed to be as richly memorable as State Of Mind before it but it is more of a grower and with every listen impresses and increasingly satisfies and if you have an appetite for bands such as 30 Seconds To Mars, Don Broco, and Alexisonfire, it is an encounter which really should be checked out.

The Breathe EP is released January 12th through Outsider Records.

https://www.facebook.com/greyhavenuk/    https://twitter.com/greyhavenuk   https://www.instagram.com/greyhavenuk/

Pete RingMaster 10/01/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright