The Lazlo Device – Looking Glass

lazlo device art_RingMaster ReviewIt is fair to say that UK quartet The Lazlo Device, have laid down an inescapably immersive adventure with new single Looking Glass to offer a fascinating invitation and teaser to their upcoming debut album. A majestic serenade of sultry melodies and elegant charm bound in an evocative ambience, the song glides through ears and into the imagination. It is in a way aurally erotic such its suggestiveness yet equally has a rousing prowess of energy and subtle crescendos to seduce the body’s instincts and leave a quickly keen appetite lustfully greedy by its close.

The band is a quartet from London which formed towards the rear of 2010. Drawing on inspirations from the likes of Mogwai, Wild Beasts, Grizzly Bear, Stateless, Four Tet, The Beta Band, and Elbow, the foursome of bassist/vocalist Dan Murdoch, guitarists/keyboardists Mark Litobarski and Ross Saunders, and drummer Leo Fenn soon began earning a growing reputation for “their unique blend of delicate soundscapes, thumping riffs and epic climaxes.” It is a quality openly evident in their latest single, it impressively building upon the invention and success which fuelled the band’s 2014 released trio of EPs, Unlucky 13, Gunslinger, and Lazlodia (Tokyo High St EP).

Taken from impending full-length Duelism, the swiftly seductive Looking Glass first caresses ears with a sombre yet welcoming bass. Within a few breaths more keys and guitar strings within floating harmonies lay poetic fingers upon the senses and imagination, they orchestrated by the engaging vocal charm of Murdoch. The song’s atmosphere is warm whilst its scenery is a mellow yet flirtatious festivity involving jazzy textures and evocative melodies amongst many more spices which simply romances ears.

There is an underlying catchiness to the proposition too, one lurking in the magnetic rhythms and the swing of the vocals. It is an infectiousness which builds to controlled but anthemic expulsions that only reinforce the track’s grip on the listener before allowing them to fall back into the seductive arms of the Muse scented encounter. A smooch on the senses, Looking Glass is further enhanced by the irresistible flames of guest and alto saxophonist Dennis McDonagh, they another hue to a lingering treat which by its end has incited the beginning of impatience for the album ahead.

There is/was a Japanese band called Tokyo Chaos City which created a similar alchemy of emotion flooded ambiences around fiercely provocative textures and sonic experiences, they the only real references we can offer to the uniqueness of The Lazlo Device sound. Expectations are that Duelism will follow-up and push on the beauty and invention of Looking Glass whilst The Lazlo Device will go on to be a potent part of the rock landscape at home and most likely further afield.

Looking Glass is out now @ with Duelism to be released 11th March with its launch show on March 12th at the Camden Barfly.

Pete RingMaster 17/02/2016

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Yorkshire Rats -Trouble City EP

YR Promo 2_RingMaster Review

Formed in 2004, going on an extended hiatus two years later, UK punk ‘n’ rollers Yorkshire Rats soon showed through debut album Sea of Souls, that their return around a decade after that first step was equipped with even greater energy and passion, not forgetting creative adventure. Instantaneously impressive but equally revealing itself a slow burner that only increasingly impressed and thrilled as regular company for ears, the album was the mark of a band fuelled with a fresh fire and determination aligned to their renowned no punches pulled lyrical and musical snarl. It also hinted that the band was destined to create bigger treats ahead, a potential certainly confirmed and built upon by the Trouble City EP. A three track punk ‘n’ roll stomp sharing contagion soaked choruses, spiky hooks, and forcibly engaging dynamics, the EP is unashamedly anthemic punk rock to swing bodies to and breed greedy appetites for.

Created by Don Mercy (ex-Abrasive Wheels, ex-Billy No Mates), Yorkshire Rats definitely made a potent impact first time around marked by a single and EP, as well as a live presence which at its height saw the band supporting Rancid before going on that hiatus. Fair to say the quartet did not waste time in echoing its earlier success upon returning either, then easily eclipsing it with the release of Sea of Souls via Indelirium Records in the March of 2015 to fan and media acclaim. Now building on the album’s success and a tour with CJ Ramone, as well as shows around Europe last year, the foursome of vocalist/guitarist Mercy, lead guitarist Matt Lee, bassist Josh Clarke, and drummer Chris Furness are poised to stir up an even bigger fuss with the Trouble City EP.

Trouble City art_RingMaster ReviewThe EP’s title track, and new video single directed by Chalkman Video, opens up the release. Straight away rhythmic bait and fiery guitar strokes entice as the song’s infectious rock ‘n’ roll begins to blossom alongside the strong tones of Mercy. Never ones to hang around, the band soon uncages a keenly catchy chorus surrounded by spicy hooks. It is a seriously rousing moment in an increasingly anthemic proposal which easily takes body and attention in its Stiff Little Fingers scented hand to feed them and the imagination the ever potent emotive strength and heart of the band.

The following Amy strides in with a heavier air and emotion next, though it too shows early glimpses of bold infectiousness and tenacity as it expands. Naturally woven into the Yorkshire Rats sound are seventies punk and eighties new wave/power rock textures. They are essences which especially flourish on this song though equally a Tom Petty-esque blues hue escapes to add more appealing colour to a song swiftly lighting up ears.

Nothing But A Liar brings the release to a mighty close. Emerging us our favourite song, it is a warmly enticing confrontation with thumping beats and a sonic jangle that alone pretty much ignite greed. The grouchy tone of Clarke’s bass and the spiralling tapestry of craft and endeavour from Lee only reinforce the thick bait working away around the boisterous lures of Mercy’s vocals and the song’s heavily persuasive anthem. There is definitely a whiff of The Jam in their early days to the track too, another spicy ingredient in the merciless virulence of the song.

Ending on its highest point and only leaving ears and emotions eagerly aroused from start to finish, Trouble City cements Yorkshire Rats as one heftily rousing and thoroughly enjoyable protagonist; the purveyors of undiluted rock ‘n’ roll to improve any day.

The Trouble City EP will be released March 15th on the band’s own Northern Ruff Records.

Pete RingMaster 16/02/2016

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Kovax – Godot

Godot Front Cover_RingMaster Review

The bio of British alternative/noise rock band Kovax states that the band “started in late 2015 as an itch that couldn’t be scratched, as music in the back of the mind that couldn’t be ignored.” It is an essence of nagging which also infests the listener we can knowledgeably announce now having been enjoyably compromised by the Leeds hailing quartet’s debut single, Godot. The two track release is a persistence of sound and character which leaves a lingering imprint on thoughts and psyche after providing a rousing, slightly psychotic adventure for ears.

Formed last year, but officially launched early 2016 through a four day tour following a few secret shows, Kovax quickly makes an attention grabbing impact with their debut single. Suggestions are that their ferociously dynamic sound is for fans of Deftones, Bring Me The Horizon, and Fightstar but imagine the raw energy of Reuben, the confrontational roar of early Therapy?, and the off-kilter punk maelstrom of a cross between Damn Vandals and Them Wolves, and you get nearer to the mark of the band’s gripping offering and the broadness of their sound.

Both mastered by Bob Cooper and recorded at Rec and Play Studios and with Harry Scott (Treason Kings) respectively, the two songs making up the band’s introduction need little time to make a strong impression. Godot opens with an instantly contagious hook which lays its swift bait, takes a moment’s breath, and then returns bigger and bolder with equally hungry rhythms and punk spawned riffs for company. Once in full stride, the track stalks the senses with the sonic feistiness of guitarists Pete Freeth and Dan Hey orchestrating the predation whilst the lead vocals, which we guess as being from Freeth, make a volatile conductor for this maelstrom of energy and aggression enjoyably igniting ears. It is soon realised though, that unpredictability is an equally potent key to the band’s sound, that shown by clean harmonies embracing a smouldering passage further coloured by the predatory tones of Joe Phillips’ bass strings and the niggly incitement of Isaac Turner’s sticks. It all adds up to making the track as enthralling as it is intrusively exhilarating. The web of ideas and sounds involved appear bedlamic at times but are bred with striking imagination and an instinctive volatility which only has the intent of turning on the body and emotions.

The accompanying Marigolds is maybe even more deranged in its nature and concussive tapestry of sound but just as superbly sculpted with ravenous energy and inventive twists for another virulent trespass of ears and an increasingly eager appetite. Once more there is a collusion of varied and at times contrasting textures with raw voracious sounds, as well as unexpected slips into melodic detours and explosive challenges to fascinate and thrill from start to finish.

Both songs invade and remain tapping into the psyche after their physical departure; an intimidation which only leaves a hunger for more. Godot is a mighty first listen to Kovax and a hint that we might just be getting in on the ground floor of something special with it.

Godot is out now and available as a free download @—free-download/

Pete RingMaster 16/02/2016

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Skaciety Featuring Laila K – Step Back (Take a Look Around)

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 _RingMaster Review

With the second Skaciety album in the works, it is hard not to be a little excited in anticipation for its subsequent arrival thanks to new single Step Back (Take a Look Around). Also featuring Laila K from Sonic Boom Six, the track is the instinctive arousal of feet, hips, and emotions from a band that, if you can go by just one song, seem to have hit another plateau in sound and creative fun.

art_RingMaster ReviewFormed in 2012, the British ska punks has been a feverish live surge of aural good times across the UK since emerging, even though its members are still in full time education. Meeting and forming the band as students at a school in Sittingbourne, the Kent quintet of vocalist/bassist Aiden Lamb, trombonist Benjamin Davison, trumpeter Harry Whatrup, guitarist Logan Haddrell, and drummer Will Freed have persistently roused audiences at shows and festivals around Britain, including playing Rebellion twice. They have also raised a sizeable amount of funds for The Sophie Lancaster Foundation along the way and released well-received debut album, .​.​.​For Your Age in 2014. Currently working on their second full-length with producer Dave Chang (Capdown, Lightyear, 4ft Fingers), Skaciety first tease and tempt with Step Back (Take a Look Around), a track taken from a recently released spilt 10” with the equally irresistible Popes Of Chillitown.

Guitar and vocals make the first potent lure, with the recognisable and always richly enticing tones of Laila K inviting attention within a few breaths or so. Whilst the early coaxing has its successful way with ears and appetite, dark bait from Lamb’s strings similarly worms under the skin. It prowls the song, especially courting the vocal collusion between the bassist and Laila K’s to add a potent contrast as catchy jagged riffs and the tenacious swings of Freed create their own contagious web to get caught up in. Add the evocative flames sprung from the lips of Whatrup and Davison, as well as the increasingly expanding sonic tapestry cast by Haddrell, and quite simply the song is a thick and lusty arousal of the senses and passions.

With a finale which no set of feet or hips can surely resist, Step Back (Take a Look Around) is a feel good stomp to push Skaciety and expectations of their future album to new heights.

Step Back (Take a Look Around) is out now via Reacharound Records.

Upcoming Skaciety Gigs:

January 23rd – Harp Restrung, Folkestone

January 30th – T Chances, Tottenham

February 12th – Wheatsheaf, Banbury

February 13th – Retro Bar, Manchester

February 20th – Phoenix, High Wycombe

February 27th – James Street Vaults, Plymouth

April 1st – Red Lion, Ramsgate

April 9th – Inverness (Venue TBC)

April 10th – Edinburgh (Venue TBC)

April 11th – Glasgow (Venue TBC)

May 26-29th – Nice N Sleazy Festival, Morecambe

June 4th – Squires Bar, Leeds

Pete RingMaster 16/02/2016

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Your Illuminations – Hey Scarlet

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 _RingMaster Review

Your Illuminations is a UK band already making a bit of a stir with their anthemic rock/pop sound and now look set to trigger even stronger attention with the release of debut single Hey Scarlet. It is a song which has previously sparked eager reactions via its outing on YouTube, luring close to 1000 views in its first month, and is already luring a new host of fresh ears with its recent official release.

It is fair to say that the Yorkshire hailing trio of vocalist/guitarist Robbie, bassist Fink, and drummer Ric, has rapidly grown from a small local incitement to one attracting national spotlights since their first steps in 2014. From small shows, they have ventured upon two well-received UK tours with a third this month, and become the name on the lips of many. Later this year, the band will uncage their first EP, and if it is as potential drenched as their debut single, it will be a highly anticipated offering quickly becoming a source of keen attention.

Hey Scarlet takes barely a breath to grab ears with its early engaging wash of sound; jangly guitars and heavy rhythms uniting for an arousing introduction. The strong and impressing variety fuelled tones of Robbie swiftly add to the emerging depth and drama of the song; subsequently an aural theatre unafraid to mix relative calms and feisty expulsions with raucous imagination and craft. Every aspect of the track is carefully nurtured for thick enjoyment; from the great backing vocals, which seem female offered, to the anthemic roar of bass and guitar aligned to thumping beats and attitude loaded riffs and hooks, the track is a commandingly pleasing and resourcefully bracing proposal.

Whether Your Illuminations has a majorly unique sound yet is debatable but there is no doubting that it has a freshness and richness of texture that, certainly going by this one song, helps the band stand out. Ahead of their next bigger endeavour, Hey Scarlet makes for a striking first listen to a band easy to expect we will be hearing much more of.

Hey Scarlet is out now@

Pete RingMaster 16/02/2016

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Isolated Antagonist – Affirmation of Entropy

Isolated Antagonist - cover bluntforce_RingMaster Review

Our ears were first stirred up by Massachusetts duo Isolated Antagonist, through their offering to the excellent compilation album 27 Tons of Metal New England, which came out last year on Bluntface Records. Their song was undoubtedly a standout proposal in, to be fair, nothing but attention grabbing artists and offerings. Now the band unleashes their new album Affirmation of Entropy; a striking proposition showing that their track on the earlier release was just an impressive scratch on the surface of the band and their sound’s depth and imagination.

Isolated Antagonist is the creative union of vocalist/lyricist Glen Mitchell and multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Nate Exx Gradowski. Its seeds began with Mitchell in the blazing heat of Middle East deserts with his unit where at the urging of Gradowski, who began creating the musical landscape soon after back in the US, he began writing the background story to what would become the band’s debut album. Officially formed in 2014, Isolated Antagonist released their first EP, Engineered Audi Hallucinations the following year and also debut album, The Isolated and The Antagonist. Now pushed further in their new incitement on ears and imagination, the band’s sound is a provocative fusion of industrial metal and death metal with progressive/electronic suggestiveness; it further invigorated by the evocative entangling of raw and clean vocals.

Affirmation of Entropy continues the tale of the first album and its story concerning the last man on Earth, the lead up to that situation, and the battle for survival “on a planet that has turned against him so thoroughly that the dirt beneath his feet was even a danger.” A creative emprise from Mitchell’s own imagination rich Sci-Fi universe, it is further blossomed and broadened, as the band’s creativity and music, within the new encounter and fair to say that from the stunning artwork through to the clarity of note and emotion, the album grips ears and attention.

The scene is set with the muggy and intimidating ambience of Into the Dark. It casts the image of a hostile place with the lost ghosts of the past nagging from the background, yet it has a raw beauty bred in the sonic invention of Gradowski. A compelling and unsettling start, the instrumental piece seeps away for Void to engulf ears with its equally restraint yet portentous air. Swiftly though, it is a smothering trespass of sound around the potent growls of Mitchell but raw intensity that blossoms celestial keys and zealously prowling riffs and rhythms within its storm. Carrying a death metal like animus in sound and voice, the track menaces the senses but also opens up an oasis of shadowy elegance as clean vocals from Gradowski are cradled by charming melodies and ear warming keys. At times Numan-esque and in others Godflesh like, there is no escaping the dark majesty posing as a song working on body and psyche.

The following Trapped similarly merges predatory animosity and invasive atmospheric grace whilst again the already impressive craft and imagination of Gradowski’s sound is enhanced by the entwining extremes of the pair’s respective vocal styles. Again Gary Numan is a spice that springs out, but a scent which as all across the album, is transformed into something individual to Isolated Antagonist, and repeated swiftly in Receptor and its thrilling Cryptopsy meets Nine Inch Nails like antagonism. As in previous songs, destructive textures begets sonic calm, melodic and atmospheric tempting begets industrial volatility; it all to enthralling effect.

New Light Now Made is a sinister treat, its Fear Factory inspired stalking of ears coming with a Die Krupps like infection. It is a predator; a primal yet virulently catchy offering which grows in strength and persuasion minute by minute with exotic hues and tempestuous energies as exciting company before making way for The Archetype Defined. If its predecessor hunted the senses, this song instantly tears into the listener, infesting body and thoughts straight away with its fierce drama and volcanic sound. Of course, as shown by those before it, the song is a maelstrom of contrasting energies and sonic colours that is gloriously unpredictable and increasingly fascinating.

The spatial aired yet simultaneously intimately invasive Dark Nomad surrounds ears next, its magnetic presence soon outshone though by The Infernos Son and its emotionally gothic and sonically vampiric proposal. The song sucks adventures out of the imagination, its Type O Negative meets Sister of Mercy breath feeding on the dark emotions at its and the listener’s heart to leave the senses exhausted and emotions blissful.

The following Words Beyond Time just fails to match up to the ingenuity of its predecessor but with its rapacious character and persistent nagging of metal cultured riffs and rhythms, it only leaves thick pleasure in its wake before The Protagonist Denied hits another pinnacle for the album. Bordering on carnal in its first assault, seductive in its Celtic bagpiped exploits next, the track is irresistible, especially when merging both for progressive/industrial metal at its most instinctive and suggestive best.

The album’s title track is like a momentary summing up next. It is an atmospheric oasis giving thoughts the moment to recap in the arms of calm vocals and the acoustic prowess of guitar as a storm wells up in the background, a tempest which hungrily brews further within The Last Death. The song’s haunting ambience is the vessel for the poaching of the senses by carnivorous riffs and hooks as vocals trap ears and imagination in their suggestive cage. As compelling as it is though, the track only becomes stronger and more engrossing as synth breezes bring immersive melodies to wrap and entice ears.

Synth pop meets industrial insidiousness is the best way to describe Gather The Past, the track gnawing on the senses at one moment and flirting with them through a contagion of irresistible hooks and infection soaked melodies next. As mentioned earlier, there is a great unpredictability and bold uniting of extremes across the songs of Affirmation of Entropy, and arguably nowhere better than on this exceptional incitement, though the closing pair of Prototype for Babylon and Celestial gives a fair showing with almost matching success. The first is thrash/death metal meets eighties electro/industrial psychosis in a venomous but again often fiercely catchy intrusion whilst the closing song explores a soundscape echoing its title, if one also equipped with rabid rhythmic traps and vicious sonic hostility.

It is a magnificent end to what is quite simply an impressive and dramatically stimulating album from a band which feels as if it is still evolving; still realising their potential and not yet the band and sound they are surely destined to be. That is no bad thing as it means that Isolated Antagonist, already one exciting fresh presence within the industrial metal scene, will have plenty more major treats in store for us ahead.

Affirmation of Entropy is available from February 16th via Bluntface Records @ or

Pete RingMaster 14/02/2016

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Lady Jane's Revenge Online _RingMaster ReviewPromo Shot_RingMaster Review

Welcoming favourable comparisons to Mallory Knox, Incubus, Alkaline Trio and Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Lady Jane’s Revenge unleash a fusillade of mighty riffs, a powerful rhythm section, and hooky vocal lines that burrow deep into your senses. The energetic alternative rockers release their debut EP ‘1554’ on Friday 26th February through all stores.

Hailing from the beautifully picturesque county of Cornwall, Lady Jane’s Revenge keenly embrace life amongst nature where the steady surf fuels the band with an exuberant positivity which is richly displayed throughout the music. Born at the start of 2015 and featuring Billy Crook (Vocals), Sam Kent (Guitar), James Coffey (Bass) and Ash Jenkin (Drums), the band soon gelled and bonded. Although the four-piece enjoy the free-spirited rocker lifestyle now, the members of the band have had far from a pampered upbringing, chocking up between them a varied array of jobs such as: mechanic, building labourer, an Apple computer specialist, and walking the long halls of Bristol Hospital as a porter.

In terms of touring, the downside of living life in Cornwall are the vast distances between shows. However, LJR have managed to overcome this predicament and have extensively gigged throughout the South West, playing with the likes of ‘Shatter Effect’ along the way. They have also picked up strong radio support including rotation on BBC Cornwall.

It’s now time for the band to break out to the rest of the UK and beyond. The quartet have the perfect bait in the shape of their enthralling debut EP ‘1554’ which delivers six cuts of energetic alt-rock, from the groove and contagious guile of ‘Floodgates’, to the Alkaline Trio-esque ‘The Kid Within’, and the hugely uplifting ‘PMA’, which nods in the direction of RHCP/Incubus. This is a band with a debut record that needs to be heard. With shows planned throughout the winter, including supporting ‘More Than Most’ and ‘Three Times Over’ on Friday, December 4th at the well renowned ‘The Islington Garage’, 2016 promises to be a killer year for the band.