Defy The Ocean – Elderflower EP


Ignore the post rock tagging when seems to accompany UK duo Defy The Ocean as their sound is so much more than that. Well not exactly ignore as it is one prevalent texture within a proposition which commands attention but as their new EP Elderflower reveals, the band is as eager to embrace alternative and melodic rock as they are grunge and many fiercer flavours. It results in a sound which captures the imagination across seven intriguing tracks within Elderflower, songs which are a mix of sheer bewitchment and less dramatic adventures but all offering company that only firmly satisfies.

Defy The Ocean consists of vocalist/guitarist Chris Theo and drummer/guitarist Marcos Economides, a pair which met at high school and began jamming together at the respective fifteen and nine. Having gone their separate ways the duo reconnected and musically linked up again in 2009, Defy the Ocean emerging from their songwriting and playing. Their first two singles were released in 2010 with the Myopic EP unveiled late 2012; its well-received release followed by the single Gold & Green the following year.

Working on Elderflower since then, Theo and Economides have pushed their sound to another level, weaving soundscapes of dramatic textures within melancholic atmospheres coloured with matching emotions. Equally they have drawn on more virulent forms of rock to add an inviting catchiness which whether subtle or forthright is another potent draw on ear and imagination.

The EP opens up with Rest, a sombre introduction sharing its shadowed heart through the first melancholy hued strains of guitar. As more creative detail appears, the song comes to life, its emotive intensity as dark and troubled but shaped by melodic suggestion and graced by the excellent vocal harmonics of Theo. Ebbing and flowing with energy and raw emotion, the track grips ears, seizing the imagination as forcibly in less than three minutes of striking enterprise.

elderflowercoverart_RingMasterReviewThe following Veil equally opens in calmer sorrowful waters, wrapping downcast yet vibrant melodic strands around ears as a dirtier bass line walks the shadows bringing a portentous air to the blue but radiant captivation. Along its body, the track continues to grow in layers and ear snatching textures, as with the EP as a whole needing numerous listens to appreciate the levels and nuances making up an ultimately enthralling body with increasing impressiveness following every venture into its riveting downcast landscape.

The EP’s title track comes next, casting a theatre of emotion and sound with essences of bands like Tool, Pelican, and Grenouer in its tempestuous landscape. Both Theo and Economides entangle each other’s enterprise and technical prowess, rhythms a rousing often destructive element as sonic adventure links up with rawer trespasses for one infectious tempting.

Brine follows with its own thick canvas of dramatic sound and emotional turbulence, Theo vocally emptying the song’s heart as the guitars cradle his dejection. Again it is beguiling stuff if at times lacking the last few sparks that lit up its predecessors, though to be fair there are moments it radiates like a creative sun to dynamically pleasure the senses before Vessel soulfully caresses ears with its atmospheric despondence and warm understanding. The most adventurous track so far, it transports thoughts into exotic places over time, always sharing compelling emotion and an understated yet powerful catchiness which just as potently fuels the impressive tones of Theo and his and Economides’ invention.

The piano bred instrumental of Poisoned leads into final track Bones, its brief heavyhearted beauty the appetiser to the woeful and epically shadowed closer. With moments of melodic clarity and stormy intensity, all swept across by the vocal and harmonic elegance of Theo, the last song is emotional turbulence within a musical tempest and quite beguiling with greater command on the passions with every listen.

Within Elderflower, Defy The Ocean merges recognisable essences and textures with their own stirring invention. It makes for a masterfully powerful release becoming more striking with time shared.

The Elderflower EP is out now @

Pete RingMaster 20/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Outright Resistance – Me Vs I EP

Outright Resistance

Outright Resistance

There has been a following roar of impressed voices and recommendation to the ascent of UK metallers Outright Resistance within the UK metal scene and especially over recent weeks with the release of the band’s new EP Me Vs I. It is a defiant and aggressive growl of raw groove woven metal often openly suggesting inspirations from bands such as Lamb of God, Chimaira, Stone Sour, August Burns Red, The Agony Scene, and Pantera but unleashing its if not fully unique certainly own kind of irritable sound.

Formed in 2011, the Stevenage bred band soon had debut EP Don’t Eat My Organs stirring up awareness whilst hitting the local live scene with a raw passion. Shows with the likes of Hacktivist and TRC were including in a host of gigs across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and London, all adding to a growing reputation which was invigorated further by last year’s Poveglia EP and especially now through Me Vs I, with being one of six finalists in the 2015 London arm of the Bloodstock Metal to the Masses competition in between.

Me Vs I opens with its title track, a short piece of drama which finds more sense and potency once having journeyed through the whole EP and its honest no punches pulled look at prejudices and ignorance among other things. Maimed In Chelsea is the next proposal and boy does it start off with a wallop, riffs nagging the senses before being quickly joined by thumping rhythms and the grasping roars of vocalist Paige Lee. In no time it is into a grouchy stroll with Pantera-esque grooves entangling harsher rhythmic predation. Backed by the band, Lee continues to orchestrate the venomous nature of the track with her imposing vocal trespasses, the guitars of Michael Worsley and Joe Jacobs creating a contagious web of grooves and riffs for an outstanding full start to the EP which just becomes more addictive and viciously dynamic with each passing minute.

me-vs-i-artwork_RingMasterReviewProve Them Wrong steps forward next, displaying an even eager desire to consume the senses as riffs and the scything beats of Michael O’Neill descend. Soon displaying a more familiar heavy metal nature to its onslaught and melodic toxicity, the track is a hungrily enjoyable canter with the bass of Chris Everett a predatory incitement alongside the growling antagonism of Paige. Missing some of the extra sparks which ignited its predecessor, the song nevertheless leaves a heavily satisfied appetite behind before the outstanding Pain grabs attention next. From its first rhythmic coaxing there is a belligerence and defiance to the character of the song, a tempestuous attitude which fuels riffs and voice but still content to share its moments with spicy melodies and electronic intrigue across an increasingly rousing and enjoyable encounter.

An echo of Paige’s own personal journey having to deal with transphobia, Gee, Dysphoria challenges as it roars, rhythms a concussive assault and riffs a relentless incursion on the senses as vocals uncage an animosity toned but plaintive call for understanding. With melody spiced grooves and fiery enterprise straddling its intensive outpouring of the heart, the song demands attention being soon matched by successor Destiny Is All and in turn outshone by the closing ravaging of Take The Blame.

The first of the two stalks the senses; riffs again a niggling proposition as beats cantankerously swipe and vocals crawl with similar intent over song and listener while the second is a thrash/death metal spiced tempest as virulently catchy as it is violently imposing and bound in short but flavoursome grooves. Standing alongside Maimed In Chelsea as the EP’s best moment and showing the most adventurous nature of all, the song is a fine end to a thoroughly enjoyable release.

Me Vs I lives up to the promise and potential suggested by plaudits towards the band so far, suggesting greater things to come from Outright Resistance while leaving keen enjoyment.

The Me Vs I EP is out now @

Pete RingMaster 20/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dead Hands – Nobody Exists on Purpose EP


Just over a year ago, we were taken by and aback by the noise infested fury of British band Sexwolf! and their debut release, the Hangin’ With The Boys EP. Our submission to their senses devouring sound was followed by their demise in the first half of this year. It was a frustration though quickly replaced by intrigue as three quarters of the band, linking up with one half of fellow Midlanders A Werewolf and a second guitarist, emerged as Dead Hands. They have just released debut EP Nobody Exists on Purpose and fair to say any gap left by the loss of one band has been more than filled by a new encounter which sears ears as it excites them.

Creating a maelstrom of fiercely infectious noise from texture reaped from the likes of mathcore, hardcore, grind, and numerous other punk and metal based savagery, Dead Hands have taken little time to stir up attention and it is easy to hear why with Nobody Exists on Purpose. The six track violation is an irritable tempest of abrasive sound and toe curling intensity delivered through an invasion of twisted hooks and demented grooves within a sonic savaging fuelled by some viciously catchy enterprise. It is merciless, at times painfully inhospitable, and constantly a joyously addictive abuse of body and senses.

It all starts with the band’s recent acclaimed single Open Bracket. Straight away guitars are squirting sonic toxicity, tangy riffs soon joined by the heavy insatiable rumble of bass and the scything viciousness of drummer Jenks’ rhythms. It is intensive furious stuff just as infectious as it is barbarous with Richard Phillips spilling his lyrical and vocal venom into the compelling mix. All the flavours mentioned above and more are in open sight within the furious turbulence, all adding to the thick lure of the track.

It is a sign of things to come within the EP, the following Elephants Crush People just as crabby and uncompromising and just as fascinatingly littered with unpredictable trespasses, inventively virulent hooks, and ear catching twists. A mix of The Chariot, Every Time I Die, and Dillinger Escape Plan is an obvious but maybe closest equivalent to the Dead Hands roar with additional Cancer Bats/Brutal Truth hostility.

Diving Board (Jack Christ-Ho) instantly and fractiously devours and punishes while gripping the appetite with more virulently contagious enterprise, it all springing from the Jenk’s initial rolling rhythms. Guitarists Niall Jones and Dabby Gough in turn lay their creative snares, further unavoidable traps as the song overwhelms and sparks body and mind into lustful responses. Of course this is not going to be for everyone but if noise does not annoy but inspires than Dead Hands have the ability to raise the strongest ardour through songs like this and its successor Buck Angel’s Challenging Movies. Arguably the catchiest proposal within the release, the track is a quarrelsome stomp led by the deliciously testy tone and grooves of Daniel San Mogg’s bass, its truculence matched by that of the guitars and vocals. Moments of calmer, post punk lined imagination only adds to the thrilling character of the song, the pinnacle of the EP with ease.

The closing pair of 7 Days (of Craig David) and Close Bracketté finish off Nobody Exists on Purpose, the first a mouth-watering ear plundering wall of heart bled enmity and sonic rancor while the last blasts and tangles ears in a tetchily red-blooded incursion of technical and emotional fury. Both tracks also come equipped with even bolder invention and experimentation and it is no coincidence that as each song gets braver the EP only gets stronger and more irresistible ending on a rousing high.

 Nobody Exists on Purpose is superb, a triumph in many ways with its seeds in the previous exploits of Dead Hand members but blossoming into not only something totally new to them but distinct to pretty much anything else out there. It is a must!

The Nobody Exists on Purpose EP is out now @

Pete RingMaster 14/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Shit The Cow – The one with the devil


The one with the devil is the fifth EP from “scrapyard rockers” Shit The Cow but our introduction to the Swedish quartet and boy are we kicking ourselves for that. The six track incitement is a furore of creative theatre and raw energy treating ears and imagination to an often ferocious and always compelling mix of alternative and hard rock with as forceful punk, stoner, and garage rock infusions.  Hindsight shows that it is a mix which has primarily fuelled the band’s previous exciting releases in their various characters of sound but is at a new pinnacle within this latest encounter.

From 2012 EP volume/cow, Stockholm based Shit The Cow has uncaged a sound which infests the imagination but as shown by our recent discovery of them, thanks to the band themselves, maybe not always awareness. Certainly subsequent EPs, Salt of the earth (2013), Rissna (2014), and 67p have drawn plaudits and a host of new fans but it might just be, with deserved luck, that it is The one with the devil which ignites real attention.

Produced by Ron Haven, The one with the devil swiftly grips ears and induces raw hunger with opener Warcow. At a few breaths over a minute in length, the song is a rampaging surge of infectious caustic punk pop; like a lustfully dirty blend of The Dickies and The Super Happy Fun Club, all fuzzy guitar and irresistible hooks driven by thumping rhythms. Vocalist/guitarist Peter Söderberg sits astride the surging drive of the track, his great vocals backed and surrounded by the guitar/bass enterprise of Daniel Kjellberg and Erik Rosenberg, the pair apparently sharing instruments across the EP. Short but ridiculously infectious, the song has ears and psyche enslaved in little time before the EP’s title track lays down its potent bait.

art_RingMasterReviewOne With The Devil has a slightly slower stride to its gait but a more imposing weight and tone as it as good as prowls the senses. A glorious hook within a superhero essence captures the imagination as swiftly as the magnetically firm beats of Robin Lindqvist court the instincts to rock ‘n’ roll. Like Eagles Of Death Metal meets Helldorado yet not, the song is pure rock alchemy, a primal solicitation of the passions snarling away with increasing potency

The following El Chupacabra has a similar template to its character, stalking ears as engaging vocals and imagination entangling grooves collude with nagging riffs and rapacious rhythms. Featuring the backing female vocal charm and beauty of someone apparently called Alex, the song is a tempestuous, almost volcanic fire of raw intensity and melodic seduction which tempts and insists on attention as repetitious beats and niggly riffs core the whole bewitching affair.

There is something familiar about next up The Villain, an essence we have not yet pinned down but only adds to the intrigue and enjoyment of the exciting encounter. Again a wealth of flavours and textures are woven into a song by Shit the Cow, those female vocals alongside Söderberg icing on another irresistible slice of multi-faceted rock ‘n’ roll.

The band whips up another punk infested gen with IGGY next, the track a stomping beast of insistent beats and antagonistic riffs aligned to a bass growl to drool over with band vocals which ignite the spirit and indeed the vocal chords. There is a Jello Biafra air to the song, more Lard than Dead Kennedys maybe but very tasty all the same though ultimately song and sound is little like anyone else’s.

The EP is closed by an alternative version of Warcow; a quite delicious and haunting seducing with Alex on vocals courted by a host of portentous sounds and melancholically enthralling keys. The song is quite wonderful, a stunning end to a riveting and exhilarating first listen, for us, to Shit The Cow, the source of a new musical lust we are sure we will not be alone in having.

The one with the devil is out now across most online stores and @

Pete RingMaster 13/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Eight Days – More To Life


Seemingly tagged as melodic hardcore more often than not but showing a hefty side in hook laden punk rock in their new proposition, British trio Eight Days is one of those bands knocking on the door of broader attention. Since emerging on the first breath of 2014, the London based outfit has earned a reputation of being one of the more potent forces within the underground scene. Evidence of that strength linked with a generous invention for ears and imagination to embrace can be found in the More To Life EP, a release suggesting that Eight Days might soon be going above ground to tap into national attention.

With inspirations said to come from the likes of Norma Jean, Black Peaks, Blink 182, and Yellowcard, Eight days released their debut at the end of their first year. The well-received No Idols EP was followed by the band rampaging across the UK on numerous tours before sophomore EP, Surrounded By The Ones Who Want Me To Fail, was unveiled to greater acclaim, proving that the months had also seen the band’s songwriting and sound blossoming.

More to Life is another step forward in all aspects by Eight days, a quartet of songs as raw and emotionally intrusive as they are fiercely infectious with dramatic hooks and surprising twists to the fore. There are still areas where uniqueness is a less obvious proposal but continuing as they are, that is something easy to suspect being remedied in the future.

eight-days-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewThe EP opens up with Was It All Worth It and straight away the track has attention hooked as a melody, with a mix of warmth and shadow in its character, wraps enticingly around ears. A rising storm of rhythms led by the feisty beats of  Lewis Fife with the brooding rumble of James Carty’s bass alongside soon join the invitation, it all taking the listener into the turbulent yet catchy heart of the song where the guitar of Ben Brazier casts suggestive melodies and inventive hooks around his emotion flushed vocal squalls. It is a potent mix captivating from start to finish, melodic and post hardcore textures engaging each other in an arguably less than original but certainly potent way for a strong start to the release.

The band’s imagination kicks up a gear from hereon in starting with Unclear as the threesome bring some stronger punk rock elements into their bruising dramatic roar. Carrying a touch of Cancer Bats to its bellow, the second song bounds through ears with venom and animosity though again the instinctive catchiness of their song’s gaits and swinging rhythms make it all very enticing. Spicy hooks and unexpected twist and turns in the imagination of the song makes it stand out in no time, group shouts and the predatory growl of the bass adding to a creative drama not as obvious in its predecessor.

It is a fresh invention and boldness even more persuasive in the following Counterweight. From its first breath, the song is throwing tangy grooves and virulent hooks at the listener while Brazier’s throat is raw through ire fuelled confrontation. The track is irritable rock ‘n’ roll, an irrepressible trespass on the senses and the biggest highlight of the already impressing release.

A growling grouchy bassline opens up final track Walls; hard and melodic rock spiced flavours mixing with the band’s instinctive aggressive enterprise. At times a twist away from taking best song honours from its predecessor, the song is a fine end to a very satisfying release.

More To Life is proof that Eight Days are something fresh in a crowded melodic hardcore scene and once they find that real uniqueness there may be no stopping them.

The More To Life EP is out in stores on Friday 14th October and @ and

Pete RingMaster 13/10/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Bad Llama – Shedding Skin EP


British alternative rockers Bad Llama have taken their time to find the right ingredients in their character and sound but on the evidence of their debut EP and its lead single, the Burton Upon Trent based quintet have found that moment and then some. The Shedding Skin EP is a powerful and emotively atmospheric proposal, all creative muscle and melodic fire, and its first single The Wolf You Feed, a slice of thick enterprise.

The current line-up of the band stepped forward earlier this year but under previous name, Wet Lettuce and the Magik Bean, Bad Llama formed in 2012. Taking their time to find the right vocalist, the first year was spent as an instrumental proposal before frontman Kyle Jordan and bassist Lewis Hutchings joined the band in 2013. Completed by drummer Gaz Waddell and guitarists Dan Houlbrooke and Sam Wyatt, the five-piece has reached the moment where real attention is taking notice of them and especially their new ear pleasing releases.

EP opener, The Healer slowly looms up on the senses, its atmospheric presence almost portentous even as lively rhythms and an inviting hook pave the way for the potent vocals of Jordan. Instantly there is a thick catchiness to the song, the bass of Hutchings swinging along as beats match its brooding stride. The slower chorus brings a darker ambience though again the band cleverly blend shadows with crystaline radiance as variation in voice and sound impress. It is a captivating start to the release; a song full of intrigue and twists suggesting it is going in one direction only to move in another and back again.

 The band’s new single strolls in next, The Wolf You Feed led by another hook lined melody before exotic hues escape the guitar, Jordan and Hutchings grabbing the imagination with their relative tempting. The bass is especially compelling though matched by the spicy liquor of Houlbrooke and Sam Wyatt’s melody fuelled exploits while Waddell’s arms swing with a creative tenacity which makes his beats magnetic. Fair to say that the great start to Shedding Skin just got better, the fiery solo within boiling sonic fumes a shot of additional goodness to flavour an emotional ride through depression and turmoil.

Paint in Sound steps forward next with a familiar yet indefinable air to its bubbly melody and contagious tone. Inspirations to the band include the likes of Incubus, Tool, Soundgarden, Jane’s Addiction, Korn, and Pearl Jam, and it is the first pair in that list which most come to mind though even with its seemingly recognisable nature, the song confirms that Bad Llama are developing a  sound distinct to them; something as here gripping ears and imagination.

A mellower proposition in many ways compared to its predecessors, 10 Years Time swiftly shows it too has a tempestuously emotive heart and rugged creative teeth to its body. The song is a volcano, bubbling up and erupting with emotion and intensity within a darkly lit reflective landscape, Jordan impressing again as he shares the song’s heart.

With their EP completed by the pleasure breeding Exile, Bad Llama has attention and imagination in the palms of their hand by the time Shedding Skin disappears. They have come a long way since their previous guise and sound, employing a maturity and invention which ensures each song has its moment of sole attention. You get the feeling there is still plenty more to come too, the band still on the lower rungs of their creativity meaning their next steps will only be eagerly awaited.

The Shedding Skin EP and The Wolf You Feed single are out now across most online stores.


21.10.16 – O2 Academy 3, Birmingham

28.10. 16 The Leopard Inn, Burton

Pete RingMaster 10/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Shotgun Rodeo – The New Standard


You might suggest there are more unique proposals coming forth this year but there will be very few encounters which ignite and incite the passions as The New Standard. The six track roar from Norwegian metallers Shotgun Rodeo is as infectiously virulent as the common cold and as instinctively anthemic as any slab of rock ‘n’ roll can be.

Hailing from Trondheim, Shotgun Rodeo have been weaving riotous incidents from contagious strands of groove, thrash, and heavy metal  since 2008 which each subsequent release becoming more focused, potent, and as proven by their latest escapade irresistible. Previous EPs, Dead End Massacre (2012) and Guilty as Charged (2013) drew strong awareness of the quartet with debut album World Wide Genocide especially whipping up enthused attention. That time has seen their multi-flavoured sound become even more adventurous and diverse which The New Standard takes to a new compelling level.

From its first breath the EP sees predacious riffs and imagination enslaving grooves almost battling for attention, each earning their equal share alongside robustly eager rhythms and an overall contagiousness as opener Batshit Crazy leaps at and consumes ears. An enticing groove lined riff opens up the assault, it swiftly joined by heavy beats and broader wave of riffery amidst increasing spicy grooving. The great dirty tones of vocalist Nino Escopeta are soon there inciting involvement too as the song strolls with an aggressive almost arrogant swagger. The swinging rhythms of drummer Doomfang and bassist J.Buvarp trap attention virtually on their own, chaining an eager attention for the tapestry of grouchy riffs and sonic seduction from the strings of guitarist Don Shrediablo to further flirt with the listener within. With its chorus icing on the infectious cake, the track is the first of six which can make anyone lose all inhibitions in public view which is some feat when if like us you are someone hiding a voice which has rats fleeing towards a sinking ship.

shotgun-rodeo-the-new-standard-artwork_RingMasterReviewThe excellent start is taken up another gear with the outstanding temptings of Uncontainable. It too is a brawling stomp of cantankerous riffs and soliciting grooves lorded over by boisterous vocals while being driven by surging rhythms. Once more the band casts a chorus impossible to escape, the blend of heavy and feverish rock ‘n’ roll fuelling a kaleidoscope of spices from hard rock and classic metal to old school rock with plenty of other darker ravenous textures involved. Giving a seriously and gloriously anthemic battering to the senses, the track takes best track honours though it is persistently challenged throughout The New Standard and songs like its successor Around The Bend.

A heavier and darker proposal, the third track stalks ears while easily entangling them in more melody rich grooving, subsequently luring them into a chorus that is as raptorial as it is sublimely catchy. Shotgun Rodeo is unafraid to bring some death metal seeded shadows to their sound either, and it is that lurking hue which unites all the varying elements of the song perfectly, marked by the bestial growling of the bass in turn tempered by the broad enterprise of Shrediablo in a song which is a bit like King Hiss meeting Lamb Of God.

From one compelling moment to another as Drawing Blood From Stone takes over, it too a predatory proposition with twists into contagion loaded inciting of ears and involvement. Merging old school and modern hungry metal in one fiercely imposing captivation, the thrilling trespass of the imagination makes way for the EP’s title track. Once more grooves wrap around ears and appetite as rhythms hunt and attitude loaded vocals challenge, a combination which soon crafts its own individually surly engagement to further hook and ignite the passions.

The EP ends with the groove infected rock ‘n’ roll of Scatterbrain where the guitar spreads some southern goodness in its endeavours while rhythms provide a more fractious but no less alluring invitation. It is a rousing and exhilarating close to the EP, a slightly psychotic proposal all raw sweetness and deceitful animosity which just lights the fires all over again.

The New Standard might not be the most original thing you might come across but few bands involve familiar essences and textures in such a masterfully magnetic and seriously rousing fashion. As the release grips ears once again to say Shotgun Rodeo and The New Standard EP is a must is more than easy.

The New Standard EP is out now across most online stores.

Pete RingMaster 07/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright