The Rubys – Jesus Girl

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As The Rubys work on their new album for release later in the year, we slightly belatedly look at their last single Jesus Girl. Fuelled by a compelling melodic persuasion from the Manchester sextet, the song is a vibrant hug for ears providing a lively and evocative adventure of sound and enterprise. It is not a track to set a new template for indie rock pop but instead emerges as a lingering romance of warm sounds and just as potent enjoyment.

Though new to us, The Rubys have already earned a strong reputation and supportive attention from fans and underground media alike through their live performances and a host of singles and EPs leading to debut album Limelight Parasite which came out in 2012. Taken from the band’s album, Jesus Girl provides a confirmation of the band’s captivating presence to those in the know and a rich introduction to newcomers, but also stands as a tasty appetiser to the next release which is loudly rumoured to take the band’s invention and songwriting to new heights.

Jesus Girl instantly grasps ears with a great deep toned bassline amidst radiant flames of guitar which in turn lead to a gentle but expressive melody from keys and more guitar endeavour. The vocals of Lee Hunter just as swiftly add a new bright colour to the calm yet energetic proposition, his strong mellow voice sitting nicely in the embrace of Kevin Barry’s evocative keys as guitarists Barry Kirkwood and Tat Sing Kong bring additional expression and spice to the melodic poetry of the song.

For personal tastes it is the wonderful contrast of the throaty bass sound and firmly jabbing beats of Mike Hamilton and Dave Earlam respectively which provide the spark taking a strong song into something more impacting and memorable, though take away any aspect and it is easy to suggest the song would lose all potency.

Accompanied by a sparkling unplugged version of a new track Song For Me, which will get its fully robed outing on the upcoming album, Jesus Girl quite simply leaves a warm glow and a keen appetite to embrace the band’s second full-length ahead.

Jesus Girl is available now for download on iTunes, Amazon, and more.

http://www.therubys.co.uk/

RingMaster 22/01/2015

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Sacred Wind – Metal and Curry

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The Vikings came, rampaged, and going by Sacred Wind, left some berserker seed to breed and bide its time before invading the classic metal timeline. The band from the hill sculpted landscape of Llangollen in Wales is the embodiment of Tolkien like mischievous adventure, heroic wrongdoings, and salacious revelry. They also create a classic metal incitement which sears and excite body and soul, as proven by new single Metal and Curry.

Taken from the band’s acclaimed self-titled debut album, itself an invigorating march of anthemic riffs, fiery melodies, and soaring hair wilting vocals, the new single tells you all you need to know about Sacred Wind and its dynamic sound. Like a Terry Pratchett inspired Friday night out narrated by firm tongue in cheek lyrics and a similar rascality in presence, Metal and Curry leads the listener by the hand into dens of liquor running devilment.

With the band members going by the name of Olaf the Berserker (lead vocals/lead guitars), Grundi the Windy (lead guitars/backing vocals), Smid the Merciless (bass guitar/backing vocals), and Agnar the Hammered (drums and percussion), newcomers to Sacred Wind might expect something like Gwar meets Green Jelly or Spinal Tap. The band though swiftly evades those thoughts taking firm hold by unleashing a sound which is as skilfully accomplished as it is dramatically fiery and an energetic presence which makes Alestorm seem reserved. The band’s album is all the evidence needed to suggest Sacred Wind is one of the UK’s brightest heavy metal protagonists, Metal and Curry even swifter proof.

Its first breath is a stomping invasion of heavy footed beats courted by a predatory bassline and swiftly bound in sonic enterprise. The potent start relaxes a whisper to open up the way for the rich vocals of Olaf to harmonically roar, his entrance accompanied by meaty hooks and melodic tenacity from the guitars. As maybe you would expect from the band and its creative backgrounds, there is a swagger to the song which translates to every swing of a drum stick and forceful plucking of strings, not forgetting a raucously anthemic chorus expelled by the band. The core of the track is not startlingly original you could argue but with a glorious flame of craft and enterprise from guitars which includes a highly magnetic solo, it soon establishes a unique and ridiculously contagious presence.

It is a beast of a song but more inviting than barbarous and an irresistible recruitment of neck muscles and voice. The song is a wonderfully rowdy doorway into the heart of the band’s album but also sums up the character and devilish presence of Sacred Wind as a complete proposition. Accompanied by a trilogy of books written by Andy Coffey, who might just be involved even deeper in the band we say in a whisper, Sacred Wind is a Norse bred Sláine corrupted Game of Thrones theatre in many ways but with a musical creativity and rich blaze of a sound which puts many established classic metal bands to shame.

Explore the whole world of Sacred Wind @ http://www.sacredwind.co.uk

RingMaster 20/01/2015

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Milton Star – Salvation/Storyville

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Always partial to music which is as cinematic as it is sonically expressive, and especially keen on dark and sultry aural adventures which embrace emotive shadows as eagerly as they do melodic intrigue, the debut single from Scottish band Milton Star has come as a bit of a treat. Consisting of the songs Salvation and Storyville, the double A-sided encounter is a gothic romance for the ears and imagination. The two tracks cast evocative landscapes of smouldering emotion and heavy atmospheric colour uniting indie and dark country in one enjoyable and darkly feverish encounter.

Milton Star is the duo of Alan Wyllie and Graeme Currie, two songwriters/musicians whose history together goes back to the early days of post punk and across numerous projects, most notably the Thursdays who were signed to Fast Records. Getting back together in 2010 after both had been absent from the music scene for a few years, Wyllie and Currie now in a converted church in Fife, create and record their songs with a sound which have drawn the description, “think Velvet Underground meets vintage Glen Campbell via Rick Rubin collaborating on the next David Lynch movie or sound-tracking the latest HBO crime drama…” It is a hint in the right direction but as Salvation alone shows, there is plenty more within the band’s broad soundscapes and intimate canvases.

The track is a dark croon seemingly bred on a dark folk mix of Nick Cave and Mark Lanegan aligned to the visual drama of Helldorado and a whisper of the raw danger in a Tombstone Three. It Picture 3opens on an instantly gripping stroll of heavy beats which is swiftly joined by the sultry flames of guitar and great dark throated yet melancholically elegant vocals. There is an immediate theatre to the song, especially when voice and guitar add their provocative textures to the portentous heavy bassline and the crisp swings of the drums. The track is glorious and increasingly spicy as the two musicians weave in tangy grooves and emotive melodies which often come in a great ‘yawn’ of sound. With additional fifties rock ‘n’ roll stroking its gothic poetry, the song leaves thoughts lost in a soulful landscape of adventure and ears basking in syrupy sonic goodness.

Its companion Storyville similarly offers an intensive climate of shadows, this time the first breath coming around a grizzled bassline which instantly enslaves attention as the atmospheric lure of the track expands its coaxing. Slightly lighter than its predecessor but no less imposing with its bordering on caliginous emotions and aural colour, the song shimmers and smoulders with raw radiance and evocative expression, it all across that unrelenting bass spine. Not quite matching Salvation but certainly as enthralling and exciting, the song completes an impressive first excursion into the dark climactic majesty of Milton Star’s sound.

The single is sure to spark strong anticipation in a great many for more; future Milton Star adventures which if they are as dramatic and thrilling as this will be devoured greedily and noisily.

Salvation/Storyville is available from 12th January via Stereogram Recordings @ https://stereogramrecordings.bandcamp.com

http://www.miltonstarmusic.net/

RingMaster 12/01/2015

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Second To Sun – Three Fairy Tales EP / Spirit Of Kusoto

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When a band lists someone like the brilliant French experimental / avant-garde metallers Pryapisme as an influence we have to sit up and be seriously intrigued, and so it was with Russian band Second To Sun and their recent Three Fairy Tales EP and following singles. The trio did not disappoint either, unleashing their own distinct and furiously flavoursome instrumental alchemy across enthralling tracks thrilling and igniting the senses. Describing themselves as playing “modern and hardcore music with the elements of black metal and ethnic Finno-Ugric music”, it only gives a hint of their impressively diverse and seamlessly sculpted tapestry of sound. Arguably it is not as psyche stretching as the music of their French inspirations, but every song has a creative drama and refreshing unpredictability, not forgetting striking craft, which has ears and imagination in bliss.

Second To Sun began in 2012, created by guitarist Vladimir Klimov-Lehtinen and drummer Artem Vishnyakov. First EP The God’s Favourite Whore was the band’s first declaration but followed soon after by the departure of Vishnyakov. Though initially working alone, Klimov-Lehtinen eventually brought bassist Anton Danilevsky and drummer Theodor Borowski into the band with the trio unveiling debut album Based On A True Story in 2013. Last year saw the release of Three Fairy Tales and subsequently two singles ending with Spirit Of Kusoto last December, all awakening an increasingly broader spotlight on the exhilarating sound of the band beyond Russian borders.

Three Fairy Tales opens with the outstanding theatre of The Trapper, a track swiftly building a tall sonic narrative of blackened intrigue and melodic toxicity. With rhythms swiping with Album artfully flexed muscles, the track is an imposing and gripping protagonist from its first breath but soon showing its penchant for slipping into unexpected and fluidly evolved detours. For the main though the song is a predatory confrontation, sparking with the creative fury of a Meshuggah and the raw toxins of a Dodheimsgard. As it evolves and expands its temptation, a kaleidoscope of imaginative adventure and creative drama enters the resourceful tempest; keys spurting out bedlamic expression and guitars a virulent sonic seduction which leaves ears and emotions basking in the dark adventure. The track provides music you can imagine fitting twenty first century interpretations of Hans Christian Andersen tales and darker gothic persuasions.

     The electronica seeded Merämaa comes next with bubbly synth lit vivacity to its intimidating yet bewitching shadows. Stabbing bass and guitar bait is a staggered lure within the almost folkish revelry of the piece whilst intrusive rhythms align and twist their tempting to it all with almost St Vitus dance like voracity. The song flows and erupts with inescapable contagion, providing a festival of sound and intensity which is as threatening as it is invigorating.

Closing track Barmaley lies somewhere between the previous two, its heavier antagonistic rhythms and uncompromising intensity colluding with feverishly coloured and melodically fuelled tenacity. As the first pair of songs, it is an invitation to senses and imagination to run with their own provocative tales and exploits, providing all the raw and thrilling material for dark tales and cinematic exploits to be conjured. There is a feel of Obsidian Kingdom to the track in some ways too ensuring the song makes for another irresistible emprise to greedily devour.

a2375341812_2 Released just before Christmas, the bands new single Spirit Of Kusoto unveils another mesmeric and corrosive side to Second To Sun’s sound and imagination. It is soaker in a harsher and less forgiving texture and presence than those songs on the EP but still infuses a veining of sonic radiance and melodic devilry to temper and ignite the savagery elsewhere. At times almost punkish in its hardcore causticity, the track feverishly worms under the skin and scores the psyche with consummate ease.

We have not mentioned the excellent track Narčat, a single coming between the two above releases, but it also, as Second To Sun itself, is a definite recommendation…actually make that a must for all avant-garde and adventurous metal fans.

The Three FairyTales and Spirit Of Kusoto are available @ http://secondtosun.bandcamp.com/

http://www.secondtosun.net/

RingMaster 06/01/2015

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Robes Of State – [Double A-Side]

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Announced as their new and final offering, the double A-sided single The Bay/Directions is a potent farewell from, if this is to be the end, of British alternative rock band Robes Of State. Linking two vibrant and emotionally fuelled songs, the single provides a striking statement of what has been missed by those new to the band and will be missed ahead by their fans. Neither are songs to turn the UK music scene on its head but both have a craft and passion to songwriting and sound which leaves many others looking a touch bland in comparison.

Formed in 2006 and hailing from Colwyn Bay, Robes Of State consists of vocalist Hev Roberts, guitarist Jezza Bruce, bassist Dave Huds and drummer Perry Batty. Listing influences as the likes of Blink 182, Alexisonfire, Taking Back Sunday, ‘A’, and Feeder, the band’s sound is an atmospheric weave of provocative melodies and immersive intensity as perfectly illustrated by the latest release. From the first infectious hook of The Bay, song and band has ears and attention gripped. With heavy beats and anthemic vocals soon adding their bait, the track is swiftly a raucous yet controlled proposal which only increases its lure as riffs abrase and rhythms stomp with almost angry attitude. Vocally too there is an adventure and energy which challenges and coaxes whilst the song itself whilst lacking the spark to the anarchy it hints at, revels in the restraint and almost teases with its suggestiveness and the increasingly tempting hooks it possesses.

Directions is a gentler caress on ears but no less infused with emotion and evocative textures. The song glides across the senses with moments of increased energy interspersing its warm but melancholic embrace. Those expulsions of intensity bring a climactic presence to the song, giving it an almost emotionally stormy and intriguing character, like an aurally portentous yet unrealised tempestuous sea. It is a song to explore over time, every listen revealing another depth and shade to its heart.

The single also comes with a free bonus track in View Of the City, a song worth the price on its own. A vivacious stomp of sonic enterprise and progressively tinged imagination, it flirts and croons with drama and almost mischievous invention. It is a voracious treat of a song throwing out another reason why the band will be missed if this is to be the end.

It is never too late to discover a great band and the new single from Robes Of State certainly proves that they are just that.

The Robes Of State single is available now via Take Point Records @ http://takepointrecords.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/robesofstate

RingMaster 06/01/2015

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Billy Momo – Drunktalk

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Following the acclaimed success of the single I’ve Got You, Swedish urban-folk collective Billy Momo unveil the title track of their upcoming second album Drunktalk. The band’s new song is a riveting and dramatically seductive embrace of folk intimacy and country ambience with a rhythmic and invention which is almost De Staat like in its imagination and Helldorado in its atmospheric ingenuity. Also seemingly drawing on the melodic richness of Broken Bells, the single is an engrossing treat to start off 2015 and simply ignites even greater anticipation for the band’s impending album.

Billy Momo is the brainchild of Tomas Juto and Oskar Hovell. Initially just the duo, the band swiftly drew potent attention and praise with the release of debut album Ordinary Men on Christmas Eve 2011 through their own Mobetter Music label, the record eventually getting a re-release via Hype Music in 2013 to greater success. The pair soon realised they needed to bring in 10881589_10152485803824071_4577033260872051476_nlike-minded musicians to take their music into the live arena with the addition of Tony Lind, Mårten Forssman, Oscar Harryson, Christopher Anderzon, and Andreas Prybil eventually completing the creative line-up which has already seduced their homeland and is working quietly but potently away on the UK scene thanks to the last single and live shows. Drunktalk is another inescapable temptation destined to light ears and appetites ready for the February release of its full-length namesake.

Drunktalk opens on a clunky ticking and heavy swipe of chains, a portentous almost industrial incitement which immediately teases the imagination before a winy twang of guitar and sultry vocal union cast their embrace on ears and attention. The startling and imposing presence of that opening ‘clang’ continues its baiting from within the brooding and provocatively melodic and expanding landscape draping the equally enthralling narrative. With strings adding broader and deeper shadows to the texture of the song and radiant harmonies aligned to evocative keys thickening its emotional drama and colour, Drunktalk provides an intoxication of senses and thoughts whilst creating a rich tapestry of vocal and musical expression.

The single is a temptation which lingers and worms into the psyche with increasing potency, building on the impressive presence of its predecessor but exploring a greater inventive aural theatre. Quite simply it is a glorious taster for an album which cannot come soon enough.

Drunktalk is available digitally via Hype Music from January 5th.

https://www.facebook.com/billymomomusic

RingMaster 03/01/2015

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The Inkhearts – Temper Temper/Uptight

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Formed in 2010, UK rock band The Inkhearts has a mature sound which belies the ‘immaturity’ of its creator’s ages. With the quartet aged eighteen or nineteen across its line-up, the West Lancashire band casts a sonic proposition which lies somewhere between The Libertines and fellow youngsters The Jacques, whilst vocally there is a regional twang which hints of ‘county rivals’ Arctic Monkeys. It is a healthy mix finding its own individuality through, on the evidence of the band’s new single, potential flooded indie pop songs.

The union of Temper Temper/Uptight is a magnetic lure of raw textures and creative imagination which simply intrigues and excites whilst brewing up a certain appetite for more. As mentioned formed around four years ago, The Inkhearts’ seeds began at a music tuition initiative at The Engine Rooms in the band’s hometown of Skelmersdale. Meeting for the first time there, a seven piece emerged but it was with the departure of three of the founder members that the band found its natural sound and direction. Taking inspirations from the likes of The Vaccines, Two Door Cinema Club, and The Libertines into their writing and music, the four-piece roused up an eager following for their live performances and focus in the media through previous single Keeping Up. With its recent release, Temper Temper / Uptight is poised to spark another surge in attention and hunger, whilst suggesting rigorously that The Inkhearts is one band all should be keeping a close eye on.

Temper Temper instantly holds ears in a melodic jangle and sultry caress, the guitars of Lauren Shaw and Ryan Ward a swift expressive temptation. Equally the voice of Shaw makes an Picture 37immediate persuasion, her tones distinct and flavoursome within the spicy melodic web cast by both guitars. Framed and driven by the pungent basslines of Ben Warburton and punchy beats of Matthew Wright, the song rattles along with a confident stride and virulent infectiousness, hooks and vocals a contagious lure in the lively enterprise of feet and imagination igniting revelry.

Uptight is more subdued in comparison to its companion, yet with another tangy tease of guitar and shadowed toned bass enticing, the track is an easy going and richly satisfying proposition. It reveals more of the inventiveness within the songwriting and craft of the band and though it is lacking the spark of Temper Temper its golden harmonies and great unpredictable twists of gait and energy ensures the song nudges another wave of hunger for more.

With a single this promising and potent from a band so young that you still assume they still get Mum to do their washing, the future looks rather rosy if they carry on and evolving like this. Remember the name, The Inkhearts.

Temper Temper/Uptight is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/the-inkhearts/id792653411

https://www.facebook.com/TheInkhearts

RingMaster 11/12/2014

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