Dark Stares – Soul Contract

Dark Stares - Promo Picture

Their debut was a web of flavoursome inspirations woven into a striking introduction, its successor a more honed proposition with a less expansive but more singular and enthralling character to its sound, and now with their third EP, UK rock band Dark Stares has explored another captivating evolution in their sonic adventure. Soul Contact is a fiery and sonically spicy encounter, a handful of tracks which intrigue with a psychedelic air and feisty tenacity. It is a release which pushes the St Albans quartet and their sound on again whilst confirming the band as one of the UK rock scene’s finest emergences in recent times.

Formed in 2011, Dark Stares have been no strangers to keen attention and support since the release of the Tell Your Friends EP the following year. Its success was swiftly backed by outstanding singles Bad Machine and Shinigami later in 2012 with the former subsequently finding itself personally selected by Dave Fanning and Bono for a U2-single publicity stunt. Influences from the likes of from Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Muse, Royal Blood, and Jack White openly flavoured their early sound and still spices its openly unique invention now, as shown by Soul Contact,. As second EP Octopon began to reveal this potent evolution through its unveiling in 2013, the foursome of lead guitarist Harry Collins, and the Howell brothers, Miles Kristian on vocals and guitar, bassist Brett Harland, and drummer Taylor, continued to lure national airplay and press coverage with the likes of Metal Hammer, Rocksound, Powerplay, and XFM whilst live sharing stages with bands such as Enter Shikari and The Darkness. It is easy to expect more of that eager attention to follow the release of their excitedly anticipated new release, and an even hungrier appetite for its impressive sound.

Dark Stares - Cover Artwork   It is fair to say that Soul Contact does not dramatically leap at ears and thoughts at any time, but seduces with an unrelenting and tantalising temptation which ultimately is just as effective. There are times when it misses the spark needed to explode on the senses but with imagination and emotions of the listener thoroughly involved with that of the band’s and every encounter on the release, it is more a showing of the potential still left to be explored within Dark Stares than anything lacking. Opener Liquid Reign is the perfect example, a track which never erupts with a voracious impact but smoulders with warm melodic flames and bubbles with imaginative twists. Its initial touch is a distorted tease which leads to a slow but swinging stroll under a psyche kissed climate. The bass instantly conjures that gentle swagger, backed perfectly by crisp beats and shadowed yet inviting riffs. The effect wrapped vocals of Miles Kristian offer a mellow seduction of their own, his tones gliding over the magnetic and lively sonic enterprise of Collins. The song is as immersive as it is gently catchy, and a great start to the release.

The band’s new single Hypnotize comes next and swiftly has ears basking in a blues bred, scuzz lined temptation aligned to muscular rhythms. The most aggressive and intensive song on the release, it still merges a sultry and welcoming persuasion with a rugged and imposing rhythmic landscape. Virulently contagious and inescapably addictive, especially around its gorgeous croon of a chorus, the song also brings a rich familiarity to it. Over time it is realised as being just of the increasingly established Dark Stares sound, though with a healthy wash of QOTSA to it too. It is a great gateway into band and release, an obvious and gripping single matched by the following Ordinary Way. It too instantly hits like a previously encountered friend with another fuzzy beckoning at the start sparking recognition before a rumbling bassline and rolling beats sculpt an engrossing cage to enclose it all. It is a trap soon coloured in excellent vocal expression and texture within a sunrise of melodic wine and sonic drama. Cavernous and inescapably immersive but intimate and emotionally provocative at its heart, the song is a spellbinding embrace.

Animal floats in next on a sonic croon under a sweltering atmosphere, again easily luring in ears and imagination with bordering on exotic colours and invention. The track truly comes alive with its blues rock fire of scarring riffs and dynamic energy, an intermittent but hunger igniting expulsion across the song led to and tempered by a just as emotive melodic humidity. It is a slow burner compared to the previous pair of songs but slips firmly into thoughts and passions before the closing Cruise Control reinvents its finest Josh Homme and co inspirations for a melodic and harmonic roar coated in Muse like spatial hues and lined with compelling scuzz fired drama.

The track is an excellent end to another great and compelling offering from Dark Stares. It is not a massive leap forward from Octopon yet everything about it from songwriting and sound to imagination has been stretched with fresh creativity and passion. Dark Stares continue to impress and remind that the British rock scene has some strongly creative hands at its tiller.

The Soul Contract EP and new single Hypnotise are available from 6th April on EP and digitally through all digital platforms.

http://www.darkstares.com     https://www.facebook.com/DarkStares

RingMaster 06/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

jointpop – Simply Beautiful

jointpop

Hailing from Trinidad & Tobago, rock ‘n’ roll band jointpop first grabbed our attention and that of the home of our radio shows Reputation Radio a few years back with their lively and magnetic festival of pop and rock. Their history goes back much further though, covering twenty years or so in fact and delivering seven albums drawing acclaim and an ever increasing number of fans along the way. Their latest full-length Quicksand unveiled its dynamic persuasion just a matter of days ago and now spawns its first single, the enjoyable Simply Beautiful.

jointpop began in 1996, formed by vocalist/songwriter Gary Hector from the ashes of previous band Oddfellows Local, the seminal Caribbean rock ‘n’ roll band in the nineties. With the new project came a fresh experimentation of sound and direction from Hector, and a union of some of the best creative and skilled musicians of the Trinidad and Tobago underground scene. It did not take long for the band to reap potent local support either whilst their emerging songs subsequently lured close attention from terrains further afield including the UK and US. Their septet of albums and various singles have consistently pushed the band into a greedier awareness and recognition of the band’s presence, enabling jointpop to tour the countries just mentioned and play some of their most legendary venues such as CBGB’S, 100 Club, The Dublin Castle, and the Hope and Anchor. Produced by Paul Kimble of Grant Lee Buffalo, Quicksand is now starting to lure in another keen wave of interest in the five-piece of Hector, guitarist Damon Homer, bassist Jerome Girdharrie, drummer Dion Camacho, and keyboardist Phil Hill, a persuasion to which Simply Beautiful provides a tantalising invitation.

A lively piano temptation opens up the song, its smiling manner soon aided by the vibrant colour of guitar and a punchy bait of rhythms. A blues air wraps song and vocals as they join the affair next whilst equally a melodic rock substance expands the weight and increasingly fiery character of the proposition. It is not an encounter which leaps out yet is immediately catchy, merging an older schooled rock ‘n’ roll croon with a modern tenacious attitude and enterprise.

Simply Beautiful also offers, if not the diversity which generally comes with the Port Of Spain quintet’s releases and to be found upon Quicksand, certainly a strong hint of the heart of the jointpop sound and the fun.

Simply Beautiful and Quicksand are available now on all online stores.

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

RingMaster 06/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

FOREVER STILL RELEASE NEW SINGLE “AWAKE THE FIRE” AND LET FANS PAY WHAT THEY WANT FOR IT.

Forever_Still_Live_01

Independent female fronted rock band Forever Still have released a new single called “Awake the Fire”. The single is the first single from their upcoming EP “Save Me”. The “Save Me” EP is the part two of three digital EPs that will eventually end up as one physical full length album later in 2015. The single can be downloaded directly from the bands website: www.foreverstill.dk where the band lets their fans pay what they want for it.

 

“We believe that music should be available to everyone – both those who are broke, and those who have a little extra to spare in support of the artists they love” Maja explains. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into this song, so if people want to give us some help for the time and effort, we are very grateful! But if they don’t have any money right now, they can take it, share it and if they love it, come back and kick in later.

 

The EP is recorded, mixed and mastered in Copenhagen by band member Mikkel Haastrup in the band’s own studio. Mikkel is a trained sound engineer by Flemming ‘Metallica’ Rasmussen. “We like our music and everything surrounding it to be 100% honest and we felt the only way we could achieve that was by doing everything ourselves” says Mikkel.

 

The upcoming EP is Part 2 of the bands debut album which is a concept album about a  suppressed individual struggling through depression, anxiety, and worthlessness and getting stronger in the process. “The songs are all very raw, emotional and somewhat imperfect, because we wanted it to sound like someone falling apart and trying to put the pieces back together” says Maja

 

The first EP in the series “Scars” has been welcomed with open arms by both fans and media:

“Scars is one of the most exciting new releases in the last 12 months and if there is justice in the music world, 2015 has to be the year of Forever Still. 5/5” – PlanetMosh.

“The power in the vocals, the musicianship of every member and even the production is perfection(…)Scars’ is three tracks every rock fan should have. 5/5” – Genius Babble.

“Frontwoman Maja Schønning is the driving force behind the band, bringing powerful vocals in abundance. If we were to place our faith in one female to successfully lead a band to the top of the metal scene, Maja would be it. 4/5” – HD Music Promotions.

Forever still single

Zen Juddhism – Private Banks (So Cold) Feat. Opkar Hans

Zen Juddhism -Pic (2)

Ensuring an incitement for feet and emotions, Zen Juddhism release new single Private Banks (So Cold) this week, a contagiously rowdy slice of punk ‘n’ roll with a healthy feel of Fountains Of Wayne to it. Taken from the band’s self-titled debut album, the song is an openly familiar and virulently catchy proposition, not trying to bend boundaries or reinvent the wheel, but delivering what always goes down a treat, honest rock ‘n’ roll.

Zen Juddhism is the new music project from Southampton based guitarist /songwriter Jude Ωne Eight, formerly of Cold Forge and better known as part of HYBRID 6.0. Drawing on a lifetime of influences which shaped his personal tastes, from rock and metal to soul, folk, and pop acts, the guitarist wrote a host of songs inspired by the artists most prominent on his playlist in the past year, including Metric, Led Zeppelin, Garbage, Fountains Of Wayne, and TV On The Radio. Enlisting the assistance of friends such as Lord Lav, Andy Thomas, Marlene Rodriguez, Naomi Terry and many more, Jude recorded the previously mentioned self-titled album at the renowned River Studios with its subsequent release on his own Loosh Rote Records. Now Private Banks (So Cold) which features Opkar Hans is here to make an inescapable invitation to check out the album and indeed Zen Juddhism.

A raw caress of guitar with percussive enticing makes the first bait, its lure a mere moment before a blaze of grungy toned punk ‘n’ roll aggression and virulence takes over. Riffs blaze and hooks swing within the rowdy encounter, all adding further captivating bait to the infectious stomp. Its chorus takes ears into a more pop bred persuasion, that Fountains Of Wayne reference a loud whisper but equally you can sense a Ramones like essence equally fuelling the addictive nature and lure of that particular aspect of the song.

As mentioned Private Banks (So Cold) flirts with a familiar and energetic tempting, not really caring about creating new templates but eager to provide a boisterous and anthemic roar of voracious rock; an aim realised with enjoyable results for all.

Private Banks (So Cold) is out now via Loosh Rote Records with the Zen Juddhism also available @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/zen-juddhism/id943656548?ign-mpt=uo%3D4

http://zenjuddhism.com/   https://www.facebook.com/ZenJuddhism

RingMaster 31/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

Alphabet Backwards – Fingertips/Indian Summer

Alphabet Backwards - Band pic (2)

 

Alphabet Backwards is a British indie pop band engaged in the intent to write and record three separate releases in a year. Alone without the need of studios or labels and with, in the words of the band, “a ferocious work ethic, some home recording equipment, and an element of freedom that has not been there in the past, “ the band now release the first of these endeavours in the magnetic shape of double A-sided single, Fingertips/Indian Summer. It is a bewitching couple of songs which merge seductive elegance with melancholic charm, not tracks to ignite an instant roar of lust but persuasions which get under the skin with increasing success.

Hailing out of Oxford and seemingly having been around for a few years with a handful or so of releases under their belt, the quintet of Josh, Steph, Paul, Bob Tom, and James spent a weekend at Buckhouse Farm in a remote part of Devon, to create and record their new single, a process to be repeated twice more for their next two propositions in 2015. The band spent the time “playing, writing, recording, eating together, and collapsing in the early hours of each morning all for the sake of pop music.” What emerged was two slices of captivation thick in emotive invention and in the case of Fingertips, summery tenacity.

Alphabet Backward single cover   The song straight away cradles ears in a smiling embrace of sultry keys, harmonious vocals, and percussive enticing. Almost as immediately, various synth colours add their fizzing spicery to proceedings, unveiling an imaginative and vibrantly simmering collection of textures as a down to earth dark bassline adds a great tempering yet inviting contrast. The song continues to stroll with a warm grin on its creative lips and dark emotional shadow in its heart, its infectiousness as addictive as the great vocals and ripe charm within it.

Indian Summer is a much more sobering though no less fascinating proposition. Keys and voice are again the main source of emotion and tempting but backed by a gentle rhythmic shuffle within a slow melancholic musical croon. No aspect stands out over another to be honest yet the thick and pungent nature of melodies and the impressive mix of vocals draw a focal point within which the track’s lyrical strength flourishes.

Both songs provide an intriguing potential loaded and highly enjoyable offering and if Alphabet Backward’s upcoming releases can match this, the band is destined to be heartily talked of by the end of the year if not sooner.

Fingertips/Indian Summer is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/fingertips-indian-summer-single/id968949563

Upcoming Alphabet Backwards Live Dates:

2nd April – Oxford – Tiny tiny tiny tiny festival and purely acoustic

11th April – Oxford – Wheatsheaf

17th April – Cardiff – Buffalo Bar

24th April – Nottingham – Jam cafe

16th May – London – The Finsbury

http://www.alphabetbackwards.net/   https://www.facebook.com/alphabackwards

RingMaster 31/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

The Slow Readers Club – I Saw a Ghost

Picture 72

With just a few short weeks to the release of their second album Cavalcade, UK indie band The Slow Readers Club are releasing not only a pungent teaser to their forthcoming offering, but one of their finest moments yet in the shape of new single I Saw A Ghost. It is aural magnetism, an evocative embrace of emotional shadows and intoxicating sound reinforcing the Manchester based band as one of the most fascinating and exciting propositions on the British rock scene

The past year has seen the quartet luring increasing acclaim through a host of enticing singles, including previous single Forever In Your Debt and its predecessor Don’t Mind. They are no strangers to praise and attention it is fair to say, their live presence drawing as much eager reactions as their releases with last year seeing the band play a sold out show at Manchester’s Night and Day as well as successful appearances at Tramlines Festival, Party in the Pines and Blackthorn Festival alongside support slots with bands such as Catfish & The Bottlemen, The Struts, Reverend and the Makers, and The Sunshine Underground. They can also list Peter Hook amongst their enthusiastic fans, a following which from the release of their debut self-titled album in 2012 has perpetually and raucously increased.

Picture 66   Now The Slow Readers Club is stoking the fires of those followers and greater anticipation of their new album with I Saw a Ghost. The song is themed around depression, more specifically according to vocalist Aaron Starkie, “It’s about appearing to have a normal happy life but carrying something with you that can descend at any moment and make everything appear bleak.” It is an emotion perfectly embraced and exposed by the music within the single, its body and gait a bouncy persuasion with infectious energy and character but holding onto underlying shadows and dark thoughts just as tightly. It opens with Starkie immediately unveiling his and the songs’ heart in the embrace of his own crafted keys. Alongside them the jabbing beats of David Whitworth punctuate the emotional drama being shown, whilst the throaty tones of bass from James Ryan only add to the dark air though it is all swiftly tempered by the contagious enterprise of Kurtis Starkie’s guitar amidst that tantalising celestial breath of keys.

The song continues to blend dark and light, each entwining the other with craft and tenacity whilst providing a rigorous stroll of infectiousness amidst immersive almost suffocating dark rapture. The Slow Readers Club are usually and understandably compared to the likes of Interpol, The Killers, and The National but it is easy to also suggest moments of the track has elements of The Smiths, especially the start, and bands like Silhouettes to it. As previous songs though, it emerges as something distinct and instantly recognisable to The Slow Readers Club whilst providing the strongest suggestion that there is a new album on the horizon all sort eagerly check out.

I Saw a Ghost is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/i-saw-a-ghost-single/id973544966 with Cavalcade will be released via Extenso Music on April 13th.

http://www.theslowreadersclub.co.uk     http://www.facebook.com/theslowreadersclub

RingMaster 30/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

Tapes Runs Out – Friends/Flowers

 

Pic Lauren Marsh

Pic Lauren Marsh

A serenade for the ears and imagination, the new single from UK indie pop rockers Tape Runs Out suggests we have a rather fascinating and tantalising proposition on our hands with the Cambridge quintet. Obviously one song does not reveal all, or two in this case, but both offerings making up the band’s first release, Friends/ Flowers certainly spark an instantly keen interest and enjoyment of their opening persuasion.

The band’s debut double A-side single is a beguiling tapestry of dream pop, electronic rock, shoegaze and numerous other spices and textures within their majestic flights. Tape Runs Out itself began as an electronic solo project of Liam Goodrum-Bell (vocals/guitar/samples), before expanding to a full-band and releasing the Covered In Tape EP in 2013. It was given a gentle release but seemingly a well-received one before things changed again and the current line-up came to be mid-2014. Consisting of Richard Barker (guitar), Hélène Dufour (bass), Yasmin Prebble (keyboard/melodica/glockenspiel), and Ellie Winter (hammered dulcimer/backing vocals) alongside Goodrum-Bell, Tapes Runs Out now make their most open and broadest official introduction with Friends/Flowers via Ear to Ear Records.

a0018462225_2     Friends is the first encounter and swiftly sparkles in ears with its elegant enticement of guitar and keys. Melodies seduce and blossom within a breath of the track’s entrance, soon accompanied by the excellent mellow vocals of Goodrum-Bell backed as vibrantly by the harmonies of Winter. The song is a summer stroll basking in wistful rays of sonic light and reflective emotions, a romancing hug of sound which flirts with whispers of bands like My Bloody Valentine and House Of Love whilst creating a jangle of modern imagination. It is mesmeric company; that is until it just stops and leaves body and emotions hanging. Actually it is a great end to an outstanding song but greed determines that there is not enough of its beauty to be fully satisfied.

Flowers is another matter, its four minutes plus a plentiful bounty to embrace and immerse within. It is a far more sober landscape explored though no less warm and intriguing. Wrapped in a psychedelic haze and an even richer melancholic ambience than its predecessor, the song floats and swirls around the senses and imagination like a wispy dream. Though not as instant as Friends on the ear, the song slips into the psyche and makes a lingering temptation whilst revealing far more about the songwriting and invention of Tape Runs Out compared to its impressive seduce and run companion.

Though Friends grabs the biggest plaudits, both songs provide a thoroughly engaging and enjoyable first real glimpse at Tape Runs Out, a band we can expect and already want to hear and see plenty more of ahead.

Friends/Flowers is available via Ear to Ear Records from March 30th @ http://eartoearrecords.co.uk/album/friends-flowers-single

https://www.facebook.com/taperunsout   http://www.taperunsout.co.uk

RingMaster 30/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/