Sertraline – Clouded Minds & Silver Lines

The recent release of their new EP has confirmed what many have been thinking and openly saying, metallers Sertraline are becoming one of the UK’s most compelling bands. Their new five track offering builds on all the potential and prowess of its acclaimed predecessor and then lays down its own plateau of craft and invention which simply demands attention.

Emerging from Stoke-On-Trent in 2014, Sertraline has increasingly tempted support and thick praise through releases and a striking live presence which has seen the band share stages with the likes of Voyager, Sumo Cyco, Forever Still, Butcher Babies, Kobra and the Lotus, Skarlett Riot, and VOLA over the years. Second EP, Guilty was a potent moment in their rise up the ranks with its release in 2017 but we expect to be richly outdone in success and plaudits by Clouded Minds & Silver Lines.

Already rich in enterprise and imagination, the band’s mix of progressive and melodic metal has simply grown between releases, its snarl is more intense, melodic radiance growing inescapably seductive while the craft and imagination behind each aural tapestry within the new outing as captivating as the sounds they cast as swiftly proven by EP opener, Inside Out.

The track beckons ears with a melodic weave initially, one soon cradling the warm melodic tones of Lizzie Parry. Suggestive and tempting, it opens up to an even more intriguing and inviting proposition with a more steely weave of grooves emerging. There is something of a Voyager like hue to the song which only adds to its temptation before the predatory instincts and traits of their sound fully erupt. As the track expands Lizzie soon shows her growing prowess of blending guttural and melodic vocals to echo the mix texturing of the sounds around her, they also an evolving adventure in ears as the rhythmic dexterity and predation of drummer Si and bassist Hendo align to the adept enterprise of guitarists Mike and Wilson.

Mean to Me II follows, rising in a sonic breeze to sweep through ears with a sinister breath and magnetic agility. As in the first, the song twists and turns as it fuses contrasts in voice and texture, never feeding expectations but creating a fertile landscape of familiar essences and greater fresh invention while its successor 2205, also emerging from a calm distance, unveils a mercurial landscape as forceful as it is contagious. The song is less volatile than the first pair of tracks but certainly bares its teeth and shares a rapacious trespass within its melodic adventure before Screaming For Sleep similarly crafts a tempestuousness confrontation as infectious as it is imposing on the way to taking favourite song honours.

Isolation completes the EP, its name apt for the times we currently are embracing and also a major highlight rivalling its predecessor with every breath from its drama soaked entrance and subsequent raptorial stalking of ears and devouring of the imagination to its capricious prowl and tempting. It is a superb end to a release which impressed straightaway and has only grown in temptation and stature much like Sertraline themselves.

Clouded Minds & Silver Lines is out now.

https://www.facebook.com/WeAreSertraline/   https://twitter.com/wearesertraline

RingMaster Review 16/06/2020

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Hot Nuns – Rude, Dumb & Anxious

 

The ingredients were all there to spark our intrigue and appetite; bass, drums and vocals only, power punk fuelled sounds and featuring members of outstanding Norwegian outfit Blood Command. Even so it did not stop Rude, Dumb & Anxious from hitting a previously undiscovered sweet spot.

The four track release is from the duo of Sigurd Haakaas and Yngve Andersen going by the name of Hot Nuns. Last year saw the pair release debut EP, Wrong Again, to a potent welcome which has similarly awaited the swiftly acclaimed Rude, Dumb & Anxious if on a larger scale. Though this second EP is our first moment with the band a love of encounters built on the rhythmic enterprise of bass and drums has been an instinctive pleasure nurtured by the likes of MoRkObOt, Big Business, Lightning Bolt, and Royal Blood. Thus a lurking appetite was awoken just by the thought of the make-up of Hot Nuns but still stopped in its tracks by the individual power and captivation of the band’s sound.

Rude, Dumb & Anxious begins with the instantly riveting Can’t Get Over You and closed by its even more compelling title track. The opener breaks silence with a plaintive voice within a calm caress of bass. Swiftly Haakaas’ beats are stamping authority on song and ears as bass riffs deliciously grumble and share just as embittered grooves. The melodic holler and subsequent swing of vocals are a contagion in their own right, together it all making for a song which dances with the listeners inhibitions as they flee the occasion whilst roaring with punk endeavour.

In a kind of contrast the final song controls its urgency for a pungent canter through ears but one again fuelled by virulent infectiousness. The melodies and harmonies in vocals tease yet calm the anxiety in the darkness of the track, a shadowed heart escalated by the mouth-watering growl of the bass, but as in the first song on the EP, it all raucously infests greed gathering ears and imagination.

In between the two major highlights, there is only additional goodness and clamorous pleasure. I Love You Still, I Always Will is another track hankering for love new or lost and also surges at the listener from its first breath, hooks and grooves an invasive trespass of creative fulfilment with an almost carnal hue to the glorious texture of the bass. Vocals once more soon recruit participation as the sounds work with a bouncing body, hungry punk and feral power pop united in one inescapable and addictive proposal.

The other song of the foursome is a great cover of The Boys classic, First Time. Just by their touch and slim down line-up of instruments Hot Nuns re-ignite the track whilst paying homage to its own original raw infectiousness; the song relishing the attitude and inventive muscle of the duo as it sits perfectly alongside the other trio of treats.

No frills and plenty of thrills Rude, Dumb & Anxious is a gem no rocker should pass by.

Rude, Dumb & Anxious is out now via Loyal Blood Records; available @ https://hotnuns.bandcamp.com/album/rude-dumb-anxious-ep

https://www.facebook.com/hotnunsband/

Pete RingMaster 11/05/2020

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das GHOUL – The Video Nasty EP

Whether through TV or experience few have escaped the beauty of UK city Oxford and the medieval architecture of its renowned educational establishments and of course, university. It must though also have plenty of untapped shadows and a dark breeding ground for the likes of das GHOUL

Recently introduced to the band through its vocalist/guitarist Craig The Plague, das GHOUL is a quartet creating a contagious form of horror punk fuelled rock ‘n’ roll. They are also a group which would not a surprise if found invading mausoleums and graveyards for inspirations for their horror hued, gothic flavoured songs. Last year’s album, Noise Das Noire, was a rousing mischievous adventure through the depraved and creepy, one sound-tracked by a punk hued sound equally as ghoulish as the masks the foursome don. Now the band completed by Bernard Ghoul-Hefner on bass, drummer Mary Ghoul, and the keys of Octavia Von Wakeman, has recently opened up the vault of The Video Nasty EP to again take the listener into a highly enjoyable humour laced dark place.

Recorded, mixed and produced by Steve Bernard, the new EP opens with the outstanding Behind The Cobweb Veil, a brief but manipulative instrumental opening the curtains on the gothic clad show. Keys cast drama soaked on ears and thoughts in intimation, its theatrical breath as intimate as it is gothic picturesque and a captivating start to the release.

The EP’s title track immediately breaks the seduction of its predecessor but replaces it with its own individual rock enticement as the guitar springs classic hard rock hued flames. Soon senses swiping beats land as the dark groan of bass aligns to similarly magnetic vocals. In full stride, the track is a blast of feral rock ‘n’ roll bred on horror punk instincts draped in the melodic suggestion of those gothic dwelling keys.

It is another moment which only held attention firmly though a moment soon eclipsed by the following Formaldehyde Girl. Our favourite track might only linger a few breaths past a minute but straightaway it was under the skin and causing havoc with our eager bodies. Like a fusion of Misfits, Autopsy Boys, and The Adicts, a short shrift on time brought richness in temptation and pleasure before the release comes to a potent close through Porcelain. Another embracing a more classic rock essence to its colourful rock ‘n’ roll without losing that punk abrasiveness, the track hugs ears with the melodic dexterity of keys to spark the imagination and please a now set keen appetite for the band’s dark realm.

Having now flirted with their album and the demos before that, das GHOUL have made a habit of unleashing ear grabbing songs but The Video Nasty EP is their most tempting offer yet and a lure to the kind of attention which will draw them fully out of those dark Oxford shadows.

The Video Nasty EP is available now @ https://ghoul1.bandcamp.com/album/the-video-nasty-ep

https://www.facebook.com/666dasGHOUL666/

Pete RingMaster 11/05/2020

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The Domestics/Pizzatramp – No Life/This Is Your Life Split 12”

Back in 2018 UK outfits The Domestics and Pizzatramp lined up side by side for the striking 5” split release, Discipline, which offered on each band’s side three songs lasting less than a minute combined. Now the pair has linked up again but with a step stopping difference as unexpected as it proves striking and thrilling.

This time the hardcore punk protagonists have provided just one song each to the 12” offering but before you think that is nothing unusual let us add that each track is an eleven minute plus incitement which surprised and captivated as much as they ignited the senses.

Side one is consumed by The Domestics’ track, No Life and straight away the East Anglian quartet courted the imagination. Fuelled by vocalist James Domestics’ semi-autobiographical lyric and ever enjoyably challenge carrying vocals each with the inspiration of a corrupted world and the injustices of life within, the track immediately haunted attention and the senses as dark portentous strings rise up around ears. Their shadows are soon splintered by Simon Battery swiping beats, Ted Mint’s guitar in turn casting sonic smog within the imposing intense drama before more defined lures coax already eager ears. It is a compelling and inspiring start to the track which is only reinforced once the song erupts with the hardcore instincts of the band’s creativity.

With the bass of Rhodes a carnal pleasure within the caustic assault, the track stalks and attacks in equal measure. James’ tone and words are drenched in intimacy but with a worldly echo too whilst rhythmic catchiness underpins the raw ferocity of the encounter which is soon again revelling in its undiminishing unpredictability and imagination as it embraces strings, synths, and piano across its epic and feral emprise.

The track is superb, without question for us one of the best things the band has ferociously entangled our ears in and a proposition matched in captivation by South Wales hailing trio Pizzatramp.

This Is Your Life has an apocalyptic breath which immediately soaks its opening prowl around ears. It too makes for a magnetic introduction which easily drew us in, the subsequent bright groan of grooves and antagonism of skate punk nurtured riffs compounding the attraction as vocals share their aggravation. Its political incitement sparks alienation and vex on the lyrical and emotive heart of the track, one shared by its contagious but abrasive sounds driven by senses scything rhythms.

With an inescapable nagging to its riffs and grooves, the song continues to accost and stalk ears, evolving through differences of urgency without diminishing its animosity. An indictment on our corruptively damaged world, the song also carries an adventure which keeps attention and appetite enthralled throughout one becoming bolder with every passing minute.

Together the two tracks make up one of the year’s most arousing and galvanic encounters so far; one which will surprise a great many and thrill so many more.

The Domestics/Pizzatramp 12” split is out June 12th via Kibou Records (UK), TNS Records (UK) and Sick World Records (New Zealand).

https://www.facebook.com/TheDomestics/   https://www.facebook.com/Pizzatrampuk/

Pete RingMaster 11/05/2020

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Old Bones – Sleepwalker

They call it ”powerslop deathrock”, we call it rapaciously virulent rock ‘n’ roll but however you wish to tag the sound of Old Bones, it makes for one very satisfying and rousing time within their debut EP, Sleepwalker.

Hailing from Long Island, New York, Old Bones is a trio consisting of guitarists/vocalists Anthony Dallolio and Johnny Dadabo, and bassist/vocalist Dan Walsh. Emerging from two decades plus of friendship and finding the last incentive to finally be serious about the project after watching a Mastodon/Opeth show, the band has spent the past two and a half years “writing, rewriting, revising, scrapping, starting over and writing songs until our fingers bled and our throats were shot. These five songs represent our literal blood, sweat, and tears to tell stories ranging from extra-terrestrials to loneliness and grief, and every note is a piece of our soul screaming to be heard.” It is a suggestion that nothing was left at the table by the time the EP was borne and listening to its stomping quintet of tracks that physical intensity alone is unmistakable.

Fusing various metal and heavy rock essences with a mischievous imagination, Old Bones spring a sound which demands attention. Familiarity aligns with individuality throughout, the latter the freshest and most captivating aspect of a sound which is as contagious a trespass as you would wish for. There are at times moments which feel like they organically burst free even catching the band unawares but only add to the great unpredictability and enterprise striking ears.

Enlisting drummer Griffin McCarthy (Letter of Marque) for its recording at Vudu Studios, with Walsh a later addition to the mix, Sleepwalker immediately set about the senses with opener Elegy. Its thick melodic opener carries temptation and threat, its amble through ears as menacing as it is inviting. Raw throated vocals ride the grooved lines soon sparking a keen appetite while the following clean vocals make for an equally potent aspect, the mix of feral and warmly catchy swiftly captivating and addictive. There is plenty more going on though; virulent hooks and skilled melodic trails rising up as keenly as predacious riffs and punchy rhythms.

The impressive start continues with INVADERS which straightaway has ears in the palms of its hands as grunge and punk essences infest alternative rock bred agility. Again the untamed instincts of the band are bold and gripping, the song unapologetically infectious and just as pungently aggressive while taking favourite track honours before the EP’s title track muscularly ambles in. McCarthy’s rhythms gripped ears and appetite from its first breath, equally carnal riffs a welcome treat before melody rich imagination weaves another enterprising tapestry of temptation and surprise while extreme and progressive metal traits only add to the drama and incitement.

Colossus and Sights & Sounds / Electric Frankenstein bring even greater flavour and variety to the release; the first wild and ferocious rock ‘n’ roll at its core engaging with a host of just as voracious flavours and skilfully nurtured sonic flirtation. It too emerged a major favourite moment within Sleepwalker while close behind, the latter of the pair strolls the heaviest landscapes of rock and grooviest plateaus of metal to spring a Black Tusk meets Mastodon meets Tool like incitement.

Both provide ears, as the EP overall, with a tide of aspects to greedily dine on and as great a bundle of reasons to eagerly recommend Old Bones and their Sleepwalker.

Sleepwalker is out now; available @ https://oldbonesny.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/OldBonesNY

Pete RingMaster 19/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview

Hallows – Subtle

photo by Daniel Kastner

Subtle is the debut EP from Seattle based Hallows; a collection of tracks which resonated in ears and the imagination with increasing effect listen by listen and encounters that are sure to fascinate any appetite for darkwave and post punk exploration.

Consisting of Dom R. (vocals, guitar, synth, drum programming) and Vanee D. (vocals, synth, bass), Hallows emerged in 2018 in Minneapolis / St. Pau before relocating. As their first EP reveals, the duo create songs and soundscapes as atmospherically revealing as they are post punk bred and dark wave mysterious. Each of the five tracks within Subtle make for captivating encounters which got under the skin in varying degrees but all deeply fascinated from first to last tenebrific breath.

Even in the individual character of their sound, Hallows reflect inspirations from modern peers like Soft Kill and Ritual Howls but equally there are certain aspects which bear essences of eighties bred bands. EP opener Out Of Sync is a lure of dark shadows and electronic suggestion, its web portentous in a way yet melodic radiant before the following title track consumed attention. Around the temptation of Vanee’s warm tones, its rhythmic touch carries intimation of early March Violets, almost concussive small explosions on the senses drawing that echo which is only enhanced by the dark throes of bass and Dom’s equally inky tones. This is turn brings thoughts to the likes of Skeletal Family and Children on Stun yet firmly Hallows set their own identity down, the track a striking persuasion.

In a Sleeping World is next up, rhythmic bait tapping air within a sonic shimmer initially before the song breaks into a lively dawdling gait lit by electronic phosphorescence. Again there is an old school breath to the track colluding with a fresh intense sigh carrying a touch of Dark Register to it, but once more the duo breed their own unique presence and a moment which only entangled ears and imagination before The Call // Ravenous dug even deeper into the psyche. Mystery and darkness soak every second of its dramatic presence, it’s almost claustrophobic air lit by electronic beacons of sound and seduction as again the union of vocals unite imposing shadows and streetlight like safety. Effortlessly compelling, the song is superb and with the title track stealing top honours.

The EP ends with Far Too Gone, a muggy bordering on suffocating hug of sound and atmospheric gravity which subsequently evolves into a just as thick and ravenous mist of ephemeral beauty and synth borne temptation if still shrouded by heavy invasive clouds of matching intimation. It is a spellbinding and gripping conclusion to a similarly hypnotic encounter, one announcing Hallows as one great reward in embracing darkness.

The Subtle EP is out now via Phage Tapes; available @ https://hallows.bandcamp.com/album/subtle

https://www.facebook.com/hallows.seattle

Pete RingMaster 02/06/2020

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Combos – Steelo

Norwegian punk has not been slow in coming forward and grabbing our eager attention over recent years and the release of Steelo introduces another band we have made room in our hungry appetite for. It is the debut album of Trondheim-based punk/noise rock quintet Combos, a band which springs a voracious roar as animated and lively as it is defiantly antagonistic.

Emerging at the tail end of 2018, Combos was founded by guitarist/song writer Thomas Antonsen, vocalist Axel Møller Olsen, and drummer Andreas Kjøl Berg. Forging a rapaciously catchy sound from a fusion of punk and noise rock, the trio soon hooked praise and attention at home. Now with bassist Jørgen Wassvik and guitarist Terje Bjørndahl in their ranks, the quintet is setting their sights on bigger borders to arouse; a mission the Loyal Blood Records released Steelo openly shows the creative armoury to achieve.

Combos’ sound has something of a Shelter meets Swound! accosted by Bokassa to it. It is immediately infectious, just as swiftly aggressive and invasive, and an incitement of manipulation we could find few defences to. EP opener Boom Shakalaka tells you all you need to know about the holler and addictive nature of their creative stomping. Instantly rhythms are forcibly jabbing at the senses as riffs nag on punk instincts, their united incitement enough to have limbs punching even before the highly virulent encouragement of vocals and swinging rhythms. As shown across previous tracks, the band cast choruses which feed on one’s inner yell, easy to leap upon and share moments one’s own riotous body and roaring tones with. All the same, if not as bold as elsewhere upon the EP, twists and turns bring imagination and stirring enterprise, every second of the song listener orchestration.

Kjøl Berg’s dexterous beats are a potent essence within Steelo and an immediately compelling introduction to next up Meme Supreme. His rhythms demand attention, continuing to direct proceedings as guitars and vocals jump on his creative animation. Eventually the track bursts into a noisy clamour retaining a catchiness increasingly escalated by the drummer’s gripping rhythmic athletics which only continues within Mad Beef and its niggling irritability amidst physical tenacity. The delicious growl of Wassvik’s bass had us quickly hooked as too the sonic web cast by the guitars before it all descends into a smog like trespass, this only bringing greater focus on factors behind it when clearing.

Nerdz is a spiral of grooves and rhythmic fingering from its first breath, a song sharing a broader flavouring of sound as post punk and hardcore essences collude with its noise bred instincts while Make Money Take Money is a pandemonium of styles and temptation which is chained by melodic restraint until bursting upon ears in another commotion of a chorus. That post punk hue again enjoyably tainted the raucous spirit of the trespass and again both tracks left us greedy for more which All About The Wex heartily fed. A slice of feral rock ‘n’ roll, it teases with its initial distant baiting before leaping upon ears with noise bound audacity and physical dexterity; it all coated in a garage bed rascality.

The EP is completed by Bro In Pain and its title track; the first also laying down its addiction through ravenous beats before reaping its subservient rewards through vocal and melodic shenanigans. There is a touch of Shevils to the song in certain moments but as throughout the release belongs distinctly to Combos as too the second of the pair, the magnificent Steelo again entangling noise and post punk lures to viral contagion and inescapable manipulation.

The word was that Combos is one of the most promising up-and coming Norwegian bands; well they are here face to face with the world with Steelo, both refusing to be ignored and more than living up to that suggestion.

Steelo is out now through Loyal Blood Records.

https://www.facebook.com/combosofficial

Pete RingMaster 19/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview

Nived – Self Titled EP

Sharing a quartet of emotionally bred, atmospherically captivating proposals, the self-titled debut EP from US singer/songwriter Nived is described as ‘sensory seductive’ and we have to say we cannot think of a better way to describe the captivating encounter.

Hailing from a city with instinctive assumptions made to music coming from within, Nashville based Nived quickly pushes aside expectations with his blend of emo/alternative rock and dark pop, one further laced with industrial like texturing. Even that does not quite reveal all of the hues making up the character of the songs within his first EP, a release which swiftly lured attention but has only further captivated thereon in.

See is the first track and immediately wraps an enticing melodic strand around ears. Electronic intimation soon joins its suggestion as too Nived’s similarly magnetic tones; it all a seductive and emotionally bred hug on the senses. Shadows float across its darkened pop landscape, those emo hues as keenly emotive in its catchy reflection and calmly lively amble.

The following Shame is just as inventively crafted; darkness and light colluding in a tapestry of emotion and electronic radiance as vocals and words portray the crepuscular hue of its heart. Rock and indie spices only add further depth and colour to its short but potent presence before Cry reveals its heavier rock heart and industrially dusted touch. Our favourite track, it almost taunts with its singular declaration before becoming a flood of seduction within electronic reassurance; a ballad which continues to haunt the imagination.

The release is concluded by Shadow, a song arising within the darkest shadows upon the EP to bare its melancholic elegance and understated but openly tempestuous heart; one welcoming the darkest thoughts and compulsions.

It is a fine end to a release which has only grown from firmly enjoyable to thickly compelling by the listen; its relatable darkness and dreamy light proving keen company in a time of the kind of isolation that can breed its own dark intimacy.

The Nived EP is out now.

https://thisisnived.com/  https://www.facebook.com/thisisnived   https://twitter.com/thisisnived

Pete RingMaster 19/05/2020

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Cauls – Epoché

It is hard to know what happens to UK outfit Cauls between releases but there seems to be a regular threat of demise around them. That might be over dramatic or not but between the 2012 release of the 2 EP and five years later debut album, Recherché, the band almost came to an end. Now they have returned with Part 1 of a “2 part Prog extravaganza” and again it sees the band rise from another threat to existence and as before with one of the most striking and compelling things from them yet.

It was the departure of vocalist Michael Marwood when he relocated to New Zealand which almost brought the Newcastle upon Tyne band to an end since the release of their acclaimed full-length. Another option considered was going on as an instrumental proposition but it was the discovery of trained soprano Katie Oswell which brought back the spark and inspiration to continue and listening to Epoché we can all be thankful to that unearthing. It is fair to say though with their sound richer, fuller and bolder than ever, the addition of a second guitarist and keyboardist has been just as important to the impressive evolution from the enterprise making Recherché so enjoyable and eagerly praised.

As mentioned Epoché is the first part of the new album with Part 2, Ataraxia, due later this year. The four track encounter is a tapestry of progressive and melodic rock equally embracing an array of other flavours and styles within its inventive walls. Inspirations to the sextet of Chris McManus, Graham Morris, Kye Walker, Michael Anderson, Josh Ingledew, and Oswell include the likes of The Mars Volta and Tool and in some ways both can be suggested without that info by listening to the new release yet it firmly and swiftly sets out the individuality which has increasingly grown across the band’s records.

Bloodlines opens things up and swiftly reveals the new imagination and depth to the band’s mix of alternative and progressive rock. Its gentle and intriguing, almost sinister beginnings evokes attention and anticipation, both increasingly rewarded as Oswell soon reveals her striking presence within the growing web of guitar and keys bred enterprise. Engaging melodies rise from all aspects, the song’s creative tension soon breaking in a vocal and sonic roar just as contagious as the lead to its eruption. The haunting aspect of voice and melody continues to seduce within the more tempestuous landscape uncovered, every moment and turn bringing new adventure and temptation to consider and devour.

It is a superb start to the encounter, fascination already keenly bred and soon as busy as ears with the following and more animated exploits of The Martyr. It’s robust and muscular beginnings though soon ebbs to another melodic calm to radiate seduction and intimation yet that too a mere moment in the mercurial soundscape unveiling before the listener. Oswell is a magnet in its midst, every rising of her lyrical and vocal fire matched by a fervour and fever in sound and the progressive imagination and craft breeding them.

The serenity bringing the following Lilith to the surface is another wrapped in shadow and portentous suggestion, its tranquillity seemingly ill-omened though Oswell soon appeases the threat with her radiance; keys and guitar a similar caress. It is a disquiet which will have its say though and subsequently ignites another restless landscape in just one more song within Epoché which left us enthralled in so many ways.

There is a great challenging aspect to the Cauls writing and sound too which some might take less openly to than others but equally it brings a freshness and drama to their music which hungrily rewards. Even so their new offering is also arguably their most catchy and dare we say at times rock pop friendly with final track, The Saboteur, epitomising that infection. As those before it, it is a tempest of tension and physical agility but often erupts into the catchiest most virulent moments led by the swing of Oswell’s delivery and a flurry of ear grabbing hooks. It ensures a song which from start to finish lures and holds attention with ease and increasing captivation, much as the release itself.

Whatever the challenges Cauls have faced between records, it consistently seems to bring them to a greater state of invention and imagination, Epoché the greatest outcome yet.

Epoché is available now @ https://cauls.bandcamp.com/album/epoch

https://www.facebook.com/Caulsband/

Pete RingMaster 19/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

The Spiritual Leaders – Albania Away

It may not be as obvious as Manchester, Liverpool, or Bristol for producing great bands but over recent years we have found that Cavan in Ireland has been doing just that, our ears captivated by the likes of The Radioactive Grandma, Juggling Wolves, Ape Rising and Fertile Reptile among many. Now we add The Spiritual Leaders to the list, an indie rock trio which as their new mini album shows offer a rich and varied palette of sound.

The Spiritual Leaders consists of vocalist/guitarist David Reilly, lead guitarist/bassist/keyboardist Fergus Brady and drummer Cathal Brady. The band released a self-titled debut album in the closing weeks of 2012, a record introducing a sound seeded in the inspirations of artists such as The Smiths, Radiohead, Joy Division, New Order, Whipping Boy, Pixies, Stone Roses, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jeff Buckley, and Van Morrison but as within latest offering Albania Away bears its own individuality.

Recorded and produced by Rob Newman (Therapy?, Pet Crow) in Snug Recording Studios, Derby, Albania Away quickly fascinated with opener Picture on the Wall. An electronic thread led to a lively rhythmic shuffle and subsequent melodic jangle with an eighties indie hue. As Reilly’s vocals join the temptation the swing of the track is in full command, the song catching the imagination with its Lloyd Cole tinged character and boisterous sound.

Fatten the Calf follows and it too embraces an eighties indie/new wave lining around its infectious swing led by the seriously magnetic bass. Though seemingly slim in its textures, the wonderfully unpredictable song is a thick weave of enterprise and post punk nurtured suggestion while next up You Know Me bristles with more muscular rock ‘n’ roll attitude and a matching physical touch yet also has tinges of that post punk breeding within discord spun enterprise akin to The Pixies.

Predominantly instrumental, the outstanding Bell Jar is a captivating slice of melodic intimation with XTC-esque radiance to its atmospheric stroll while Temporary, which features Barra McGuirk on lead guitar and synthetic strings, made for beguiling acoustic companion, its stringed serenade a haunting pleasure.

Underwater With You superbly completes the release, initially an electronic teasing which is soon bound in melodic guitar wires alongside subtle but equally fertile rhythms and voice. It too has an evocative quality, an atmospheric air coloured by the band’s craft and imagination.

With every listen Albania Away captivated and fascinated with increasing strength, ears increasingly seduced by each passing minute; The Spiritual Leaders giving more proof that though still a relative secret beyond its borders Cavan is a hot bed of unique sound and real pleasure.

Albania Away is out now; available @ https://thespiritualleaders.bandcamp.com/releases and https://open.spotify.com/album/0nwrKNcbi3xF03VMQYUjqF

https://www.facebook.com/thespiritualleadersrock/

Pete RingMaster 14/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright