Bask in Feathers: Introducing Rooster Cole

Rooster Cole pic

If like us you have been impressed and excited by Brighton band Black Black Hills, you might just get a tingle, again just like us, at the thought of a solo project from the band’s frontman Mark S. Aaron. When the man in question got in touch telling us about his new solo project Rooster Cole, there was an immediate intrigue and excited eagerness to find out more and once we had embraced the first two songs from this new adventure, there was little option then to share. As expected from previous exploits there is an elegance and grandeur to the sound of Rooster Cole but equally it has an intimate presence skirted by wonderfully invasive shadows. Nick Cave springs to mind as a comparison in many ways but truly the project has a uniqueness which seduces from the first note and syllable.

As mentioned Mark S. Aaron was /is the frontman to Black Black Hills, not too sure on their state of being right now to be honest, a band which has supported the likes of Twin Shadow, Maps & Atlases, and The Vaccines. Their sound also found good acclaim from the likes of Edith Bowman, Nick Grimshaw, and Huw Stephens, with their single Far From My Arms chosen by Lauren Laverne as one of her show’s MPFrees of the Day and placed on the Radio 1 playlist. Rooster Cole sees Aaron step out alone with a pair of captivating tracks as his first temptation. Still to play live as he works on further songs with a single and video planned for later this year, Aaron is already brewing up some hungry attention and it is easy to see why with the magnetic charm of his first offerings.

The two songs marking Rooster Cole’s emergence are More Than You and The Waiting Place, two sultry evocative persuasions which simply entrance the imagination as potently as the ears. More Than You moves into view on a breeze of jangling guitars and a broody bass tone, all gentle and restrained in their gait but rich in their expressive hues. Once the distinctive tones of Aaron open up the narrative’s croon a thicker emotive embrace cradles thoughts immersing the listener into a smouldering climate of heat and incitingly suggestive seduction. The song is still tempered in its urgency yet has a sway and swing which makes feet submissive but once the epic voice of sound and vocals in their varied delivery clasp the chorus, new incendiary heights and tempting depths are opened up. The song is simply glorious, its broad shoulder of sound expansive yet intimately caressing with lyrical and vocal enterprise. With keys bringing further colour rich flavour to the song it alone sparks a hunger to keep Rooster Cole under close attention.

The Waiting Place is a slower bewitchment, a piano led walk through resourceful scenery of discord kissed melodies, percussive kisses, and the noble come sombre yet emotionally incendiary vocals of Aaron. The song is covered by a red skied emotive climate, its potent vivacity a tempering lure to the shadows unfolding within the irresistible tale. There is an essence of Helldorado and Saint Agnes to the track at times and of the Dennis Hopper Choppers too, but all mere comparative spices in the ingenious design of Rooster Cole.

Though not official releases the two songs are available from Rooster Cole as free downloads from https://soundcloud.com/roostercole, an offering it is easy to loudly recommend all treat themselves to. Using the pair as inspiration, the suggestion that Rooster Cole will be a name on the lips of the country and in the ears of a legion of feather enthusiasts on a future horizon is unavoidable. https://www.facebook.com/roostercolemusic

RingMaster 26/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Escape The Justice – Abscond EP

Escape The Justice

We cannot claim that post hardcore band Escape The Justice is exposing yet anything startlingly new for the genre on their debut EP Abscond, there is something invigorating and fresh about the Manchester quintet which makes them stand out whilst entrenching a promise and expectation that they will evolve into something unique and intensely potent. The six track EP is a striking and passionate affair which captivates from start to finish as it explores the band’s creativity. It uses existing armoury for sure but strips it down and rebuilds it with a heart and aggression that slaps the listener strongly on the senses for a richly pleasing and dramatic confrontation.

The band was formed in January of this year by vocalist James Holman, guitarist Tom Crane, and drummer John ‘Jay Kay’ Kendrick, all three formerly in Our Innocence Lost. Bringing in bassist Abe Shimmin and guitarist Jonny Gill, the band took no time in attacking their passionate and aggressive intent with a sound which initially was suggested at in the latter part of the founding three’s last band but has now  been expanded and taken to new boundaries. Recorded at Patron Sound and produced by Elliot Middleton (guitarist of I’ll Stay in Memphis) and then mastered by Joey Sturgis of Foundation Recording Studio, Connersville, Indiana, Abscond makes no pretence of its will and hunger and takes no time in engaging, seducing, and then ravaging thoughts and emotions.

The release opens with warm but senses alerting atmospheres as first track Ascension brews into view. Once settled in the ear 400726_474142499317563_1163921761_nkeys and guitars gently place their narrative on the table as the mellow tones of Holman tenderly make their embrace. It is not long though before his tones turn to a rapacious squall within the still smouldering invitation, beats and bass adding melancholic resonance around him. Turning up their intensive heat the band unleash sinewy textures to provoke further emotion before simmering again into a magnetic melodic seduction. It is a strong start which it is hard to say if a full track or introduction; truly it is neither but a compelling beckoning somewhere in between.

The following Austerity is bred from a short sonic lancing before turning into a corrosive blaze of rhythmic tenderising from Kendrick and acidic guitar fire from Crane and Gill, both taking their bite at the senses with intrusive twisted riffs and flesh sculpting sonic searing. It is an imaginative and violent piece of inventive confrontation with the great blend of clean and scowling coarse vocals as enterprising and impacting as the maelstrom of sounds.

Aegis takes its turn on the senses next, the song a torrent of predatory vocal deliverance and malicious sonic artistry. Like its predecessors it is also a thoughtfully composed and deliciously delivered blend of melodic temptation and aggressive rabidity but takes things further in its inventive shifting and shuffling of ideas and directions. Unpredictable and continually riveting it is an outstanding track which alongside Austerity stands as best on the release whilst again sparking the expectation of even greater things ahead on the band’s horizon.

The next up Addicted also steals the march on most other genre released songs, certainly this year, with its esurient energy and hunger, not forgetting accomplished musicianship and craft. Though not a song which stands out on the release itself as much as others, it is a fluid and unrelenting grit fuelled fury with a djent tendency to its attack and ferocity to its passion.

From the short ambience soaked instrumental Abeyance, the Abscond EP ends with the brutal Anoesia, a track which tears at the senses and chews vigorously at thoughts from its opening seconds. Like the others though it is not one to settle in a single guise or stance and expands into an excellence tempest of outstanding varied vocals, barbed guttural scrubs, and melodic alchemy within caustic maliciousness. It is a scintillating finale to an impressively striking release.

You still feel there is a way to go before the band find their truly unique voice but Abscond suggests it is just a formality. For fans of the likes of Memphis May Fire, Heart of a Coward, and Of Mice and Men, Escape The Justice has all the potential and skills to become a major presence in UK rock, and with the Abscond EP being offered for free Download for just twenty four hours from 12 Noon on Saturday June 22nd it would be stupid no to join their rise from its very first steps. Find out more at http://www.escapethejustice.com

https://www.facebook.com/escapethejustice

8.5/10

RingMaster 21/06/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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From eager seeds to mighty sounds: the rise of Savage Henry

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The musical journey for Colorado band Savage Henry and its members has been long and undoubtedly exhausting for a group whose seeds began with a group of teenagers who started out on a musical quest in 1994 as the band On Second Thought. The musical exploration and venture of the Denver band is still an expanding and growing experience with already plenty of highlights but as 2013 opens its welcoming arms the feeling that Savage Henry is standing on the precipice of a deserved wider reaching recognition is a strong warm wind in their creative skies.

From that summer the original members of the band from the those first days and those who joined as Savage Henry emerged in 2004,  earned their musical spurs through releases and hard work leading up to the band’s introduction through the album All In the following year. With a line-up of vocalist Damon Guerrasio, guitarist Stu Miller, bassist Ryan Morrow, drummer Mike Rice, and keyboardist Jeremy Lawton, the band found the impressive record strongly received record upon its debut in July 2005 at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater (part of the Film on the Rocks series) and showed the creative prowess and imagination of the songwriting was back to its creative best with extra instinctive flourish and rock passion to the new songs, though less of the previous ska and reggae teasing, though it still whispered loudly at times. Constantly rippling with great tracks like the wonderfully engaging Daisy, the tantalising Alive & Kickin’ where the band switches feet and styles with consummate ease and skill, and the feisty Monkey, the biggest highlight of the album, the release incorporated many essences and flavours into its pulsating passage The last of the three mentioned offered a potent Squeeze like warm rock pop beauty, just one compelling example of the thoughtful diversity within the release. It is a record which re-ignited the emotions the first album of OST sparked and more, its varied and riveting array of ideas and sounds going a long way to helping the band find themselves with again plenty of radio attention which included performances at Denver rock stations 93.3 KTCL and 99.5 KQMT amongst a full on charge of gigs and shows, over 175 including sharing stages with the likes of Cowboy Mouth and Better than Ezra to name a couple.

Changes in personnel occurred in 2007 with bassist Morrow joining fellow Denver band, Black Blood Orchestra and drummer Rice turning to solo projects. Replaced by John Jeffers and Mike Boyd respectively and with the additional joining of second guitarist 2009 Savage HenryGlen Esparza, the band sculpted another striking evolution to their sound for next album Step Lively which was unveiled in 2009. Again the even stronger rock voice of the band ignited the passions whilst the pop and ska breezes added extra relish to their increasingly potent music. From its very start with the magnetic Shot In The Dark and the immense Broken, the album is a wonderful storm of sinewy riffs and thumping rhythms entwined with a heated melodic majesty as well as a seamlessly fused intelligent caress of emotive and golden elegance in songs like Melody and Call On Me. The release also found a rich vein of pop punk to ignite certain songs as in the excitable and brilliant Unrequited and the equally scintillating Vice. Without doubt the album is the band’s finest moment to date and the strongest of many reasons why you feel the band is standing on the verge of breaking into that worldwide recognition.

Since the album the band has continued to make an impression on the radio and live, as well as having their song 300 Miles which SH_1was inspired by a terrible bus accident with a Fed Ex truck during a tour of the mid-west, licensed by Eddie Bauer and First Ascent ski clothing company to use in a video to advertise their clothing around the world from 2010-2011.The past year was noted for a video produced by the band’s passionate P.R. Manager Hal Jester, for the track Hero which was written to honour fallen soldiers and those that have made the greatest sacrifice for us, as well as generally a growing intensity in the media through blogs and radio play with the likes of http://www.audioburger.com. Their increasing presence thanks to the online drive of Jester has put the band in a prime position to make 2013 a major landmark in the eighteen year history of the band whilst news of new songs in the works has already raised the appetite and anticipation of all those to have discovered the band and their great sounds so far.

Savage Henry is a band everyone should get acquainted with and surely will over the coming months.

http://www.savagehenry.net/

Pete RingMaster 02/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Those Dirty Words: Sitting Pretty

Last year saw the promising Sitting Pretty EP from UK rock band Those Dirty Words get more than a few people excited with its quartet of eagerly driven rock n roll. It marked the band as one to not only watch but enjoy immediately with their straight forward and honest rock music. If you missed it do not panic as the band has released their debut album under the same name. It consists of the four songs which made up the EP as well as four new songs to further enrich the standing of the band. It is a release which leaves one enthused with its almost live feel and as a band with a great reputation for their shows and hardworking ethic that is a sure plus.

The quintet from Clitheroe, Lancashire since forming in 2010 have unmistakably honed their craft and style to become one of the most accomplished musicians and bands in the UK even if acclaim as yet is still more reserved than they deserve. The sharing of stages alongside the likes of The Quireboys, Waltari, and Jettblack as well as their own gigs and tours has as mentioned given them a great stock throughout the UK and Europe so with this great album and luck now could be the moment they make the next step forward.

The album opens with Devil’s Disguise, an eager and rippling feast of carefully carved grooves and melodic enterprise cruising along strong muscular riffs. The song whilst not lighting the same fierce fires as later tracks is a more than powerful start and showcases the impressive talents of guitarists Ricky Blenk and Mark Duckworth, their play expressive and at times startling. Vocalist Paul Tierney too stands out but then he does on all songs, his vocals and delivery an impressive weapon to further drive home the excellent songwriting and sounds.

The following Overdrive was the standout songs on the original EP and has lost none of its might though is challenged for top honours more consistently on the album. With an openly wanton groove to tease and test ones resistance the song enflames the senses with a dirty anthemic rock n roll energy driven by the excellent drums of Tom Rice. A track to rile up any barroom or stage the song is a classic, maybe not overly original but as honest and deeply pleasing as the day is long.

The slow burning Shadows brings forward a more reserved and impassioned side of the song writing to great effect, the song slowly warming the ear with passionate strokes from guitar and vocals whilst the bass of Jimmy Swan add a moodiness to enhance the emotive atmosphere brewing within the song. As the track slowly evolves it mesmerises the ear to then wake it up with a fiery blaze of incendiary melodic interplay and blistered intensity before intermittently immersing within its subdued breath again. It is a great song and something different to expand not only the release but the craft and prowess of the band.

The brilliant Stranglehold is a rampaging mix of Motorhead and Thin Lizzy, a track which fires up the pulse rate and heart to leave one wanting more of the same which the following Crash & Burn is more than happy to provide. With a bluesy swagger the track stomps with a reserved yet heavy presence to again ignite only the most heated of responses. These two songs alone show that though the band may not be too intent on creating new pastures for the genre they use existing tools and ideas to inspire the strongest and most compulsive rock sounds.

    Darling…You MUST Behave? and Hate Me continue the great ride. The first has a catchy heart and infectious hook which is impossible to resist whilst the second with Swan bringing an extra predatory presence is an agreeably dirtier weave of darker shadows and intent. Once more the guitar play is outstanding without being indulgent and adds a sure richness to the track.

The closer What You Do like the opener did not exactly leave the strongest impression compared to the other songs first time around and nothing has changed here. The song is strong and easily digestible but pales against what are now even more great tunes to grace its side.

Downloadable for a name your own price from http://thosedirtywords.bandcamp.com/ Sitting Pretty is a must have for all hard rock/rock fans and Those Dirty Words a band poised to hit new heights.

RingMaster 25/07/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Bone Orchard Show 34

The Reputation Radio Show has a well established recognition and notoriety for finding, championing and promoting the best of the independent artists and sounds around the globe. Unrelenting and tenacious the promotions company/radio show is acknowledged as the prime source for finding the best talent of all genres with the introduction of the same followed closely. The intense and heavier world of sound is discovered and unleashed through The Bone Orchard, a show where anything with muscle and a riotous tendency is eagerly presented. From all forms of metal and industrial/harsh electro through punk and psychobilly on to noise and psyche with all in between, The Bone Orchard bears their individual shadowed fruits eagerly.

This past week saw the latest episode bringing six of the most impressive and exciting bands around as well as bringing a debate on some aspects of music. Hosted by the blue hued Pete Ringmaster and Reputation Radio Show CEO and mastermind Johnny Summers, the show cleared the sinuses and lit up the ears of all those with urges to match and compliment the great sounds played.

Opening with the traditional opening intro provided by Mr Strange of The Shanklin Freak Show, a band the hosts would talk about at length within the show giving the audience the latest developments from their carnival, the show immediately treated the eager crowd to a track from the debut album Defaced from UK rock band The Self Titled to be released June 18th. Mr Nobody is a stunning track, a metal and rock fusion with stirring vocals from frontman Mark Campbell over a brew of inventive and powerful sounds. With an insatiable thirst for gigging and an equal demand wanting them for shows, The Self Titled are one of the best bands in the country right now, their sharing of stages with the likes of Forever Never and Sarah Jezebel Deva as well as acclaimed festival appearances, leaving nothing but devoted fans in their wake.

Next there was a burst of real punk rock from another band from the UK in the mischievous bruising shape of Dirt Box Disco. With self declared influences ranging from Kerbdog, The Damned  and the Ramones to The Bonzo Dog Doodah Band and Showaddywaddy, the quintet from Burton on Trent make music which is honest, feisty, and insatiably infectious. The contagious track played, I Am Rock n Roll, was an exclusive from Legend another album to be released June 18th. The song played and the album the song comes from is one which revives the true 1977 spirit of punk meshing it with rock sounds as anthemic and voracious as you could wish for.

Before a lively debate about bands including cover songs in their live sets which saw the hosts at opposing lecterns but ultimately ended in the blue man being right, so he claims, things became intensified with the devastating aggressive sound of Amongst Carrion. From South Wales the five piece metallers woke up the airwaves with their track The Fear In Her Eyes taken from their latest EP We That Should Not Be. With a melodic groove recalling In Flames and the brutal riffage of an August Burns Red, the track easily declares the band as an emerging force in UK extreme metal. They have definitely moved on fully from their early days as a cover band, the point which inspired the following discussion.

Continuing the UK theme Leeds band Ourfamous Dead provided the next outstanding track with their forth coming single Claws At The Door. A rampant brew of hardcore, punk, and electro the song is the latest step in the vision of band founder and song writer AJ Reeves. Fresh off a UK tour with another Bone Orchard favourite The Sun Explodes, the quintet are a band on an accelerated rise pulling in acclaim and fans with each show and release persistently. Having supported the likes of The Blackout, Funeral For a Friend and Gallows, the band is fast approaching the point where others are eager to share stages with them.

As the final featured band of the night, US melodic metal band Vajra stunned and thrilled the listeners with their epic masterpiece Inside The Flame. Taken from their forthcoming album Pleroma, to be released in July, the song is a hypnotic and powerful example of the darkly melodic progressive rock fused with Eastern Indian influences which they inventively create. Led by the glorious voice of founder/producer/keyboardist/songwriter Annamaria Pinna, the band is one with a craft and imagination which is sure to find a feverish demand over the months ahead.

Closing out with Irish metallers iBURN, a band which is frequently requested since the debut of their song Where It Begins taken from their new EP of the same name, and another band which leaves you wanting more, The Bone Orchard dished up another formidable dose of new and impressive music. If anyone tells you there is nothing good or new coming out, place them in front of the podcast of the show, and they will soon be put right by this group of bands alone.

With the show primed to unveil more outstanding artists and sounds across the weeks ahead you can catch this, previous and future shows over at The Bone Orchard page at The Reputation Radio Show site as well as watching a selection of videos from a host of the bands featured on the show.

Get in touch with the show via  boneorchard@reputationintroduces.com

RingMaster 16/06/2012

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Actions! : South Of The Water single

Since receiving the promo for the debut single from UK power pop band Actions! the band has announced its demise due to personal commitments of its members. Despite this South Of The Water is easily worth checking out as the band bid their hello/farewell on a bit of a bang rather with two songs that displays much promise for what one suspects could have been a rather notable pop punk styled band.

The band started in the opening weeks of 2011 though bassist Mat Wilson and guitarist Ryan Stuart had played together from Year 9 in school and alongside drummer Laurence Mosley since 2008 when he jammed with their previous band. With the addition of vocalist Emily Cracknell last year Actions! became a complete and focused entity.  Taking open pop punk influences from the likes of Blink182 and Amberlin as well as the pop styling of a Jessie J and Pink the quartet has developed a sound which is tight, energetic, and eagerly accessible,  the single suggests the band were still yet to find their completely distinct sound but with rhythms that pump up the blood, guitar melodies which easily draw attention, and the excellent rich vocals of Cracknell  the band was easily one of the more interesting and promising pop driven rock bands to emerge in the UK, as successful supports slots with bands such as Inme, Skindred, Paige, and Not Advised proved.

Released May 21st, the two songs making up the single were recorded  at the beginning of the year and more than deserve firm attention  even if the band are no longer a breathing creature. The song South Of The Water opens with a slow enchantment from the appealing and impressive vocals of Cracknell with a subtle melodic guitar in company. As the emotive bass of Wilson steps into view with the firm and punchy beats of Mosley alongside, the song spreads its wings and pulls one into a vibrant blend of impassioned guitars and flavoursome guitar driven rock. It is Cracknell that lights up the song most, her delivery and great voice well formed and captivating. The song does not explode within the ear but swarms around and warms up the senses with a fine all round display of craft and intent.

The second track on the release is a more direct pop punk energised pleasure. One Minute Smile dances and beckons with simple riffs that spark and again excellent vocals which lead every aspect of the great song with an assured belief and confidence. As with the first the song does not stand atop a hill of originality but satisfies and entertains with an accomplished ease and ability which is just as full and pleasing.

With essences of Paramore as apparent as previously mentioned references the band fit alongside the likes of Me & The Mountain and Hitchcock Blonde in promise, sound, and creativity. That promise is strong and unmistakable from this their debut and departure so it is a shame we will not get to watch and hear a great band evolve into one suspects would have been something even more special.

     South Of The Water is a fine single that deserves plenty of attention and will leave many upon hearing it with disappointment that this is all we have from Actions! to enjoy.

www.facebook.com/actionsuk

RingMaster 08/05/2012

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Since Monroe give away a brand new free track from their forth coming debut album.

Since Monroe are giving away a free track from their debut album set to be released early 2013!

Get your free downloadble track ‘Matchstick House’ now

Having just released their impressive EP Lost Generation, Birmingham’s exciting new indie rockers, Since Monroe, are burning the candle at both ends. Whilst promoting current release ‘Lost Generation‘ with an enthusiasm matching that of the release, which is getting rave reviews, they have also started writing new tracks for what they hope will be an album to be out early 2013. As a taster they are giving away a track from the as yet unnamed album. The song is called ‘Matchstick House for free. 

Download Matchstick House right now! : http://soundcloud.com/altpr/matchstick-house

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Over the past couple of weeks, Since Monroe have been making absolutely tidal-style waves across the country, getting some fantastic reviews and touring the country to promote their energetic debut EP ‘Lost Generation’.  They’re a band who are a fission of vigorous passion and explosive indie grunge that will get you wondering where the heck did grunge disappear to.   

If you’re fans of Nirvana and Foo Fighters then Since Monroe are an essential British installment to your collection! 

Upcoming Since Monroe Live dates:

20/04 Club Uniquity, Somerleyton 

23/04 Phoenix, Coventry (acoustic show) 

28/04 Wharf Bar, Walsall 

01/05  O2 Academy 3, Birmingham 

02/06 Waterfront Festival, Gosport 

03/06 Hydrant, Brighton

Amongst Carrion – We That Should Not Be

The debut EP from UK metalers Amongst Carrion is beast  of staggering might and striking quality that short fuses the ear through unexpected pleasure as much as it does with crippling herds of rampaging riffs and destructive melodic interplay. We That Should Not Be is a deeply impressive release that unveils a band already at great heights in its development but still providing evidence there is so much more to come, a frightening and very pleasing promise.

Formed in 2010 the quintet from Newport, South Wales the band started out as a cover band but with a completely new line-up has since emerged as one of the most promising bands in UK metal today. Consisting of remaining founder member lead guitarist Dan Coppuck alongside vocalist Joshua ‘AJ’ Lewis (ex- Chase The Sunset), rhythm guitarist James Hampson, bassist Dan Pugh,  and drummer Scott Waters, Amongst Carrion discovered a new drive and seriousness that inspired a creative growth resulting in the eruption of might that is We That Should Not Be. From what one could call a fallow start the band has evolved into a brutal force to leave metal staggering under its destructive weight.

As metal as it is metalcore the EP buckles the knees from its very opening refusing to leave one to find their feet until it has finished its intrusive destructive testing of the senses. Influenced by the likes of Parkway Drive, Miss May I, and August Burns Red the band are merciless in their consumption and habitation of the senses, laying waste to their ability to feel and leaving a very satisfying numbness in their wake.

The release opens with an intro promising epic proportions, an ominous warning of what is to come. That is soon realised with Shadows Over Me, the song erupting with bone shaking rhythms and coarse withering vocals from Lewis. The guitars slice through with chunky intermittent riffs as well as razor sharp scorched melodies. Sauntering with eagerness as open as the destructive intention permeating it, the song snarls and rages wonderfully over the keen vein of creativity spearing it.

The title track continues the fine start bringing an insistent badgering of the ear aside from the towering inferno of riffs and raging rhythms. As on most songs the groove that underlines the aggression is firmly mesmeric and a strong counter for the continual onslaught above. At this point it is apparent the vocals of Lewis do not come with a lot of variety but he is strong and appealing at what he does so  for this release the lack of diversity certainly can be overlooked.

The gut churning violations of Painted Red with its In Flames like groove and obliterating rhythms, the strong The Fear in Her Eyes, and the Killswitch Engage flavoured Snowblind, all keep the emotions riled up and body brutalised to great satisfaction. It is fair to say that Amongst Carrion are still finding an uniqueness to their sound to truly take them away from similar flavoured bands but that is just a matter of time and right now they easily lead the pack anyway.

We That Should Not Be is an impressively colossal debut from the band and set to take Amongst Carrion to a prominent position within UK metal.

https://www.facebook.com/AmongstCarrion

RingMaster 28/03/2012

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Slam Cartel – Handful Of Dreams

Distinctive hard rock albums are at a premium these days, there are plenty of fine releases but there is generally a similar feel across them that though enjoyable fails to inspire any enthusiasm for yet another collection of hard rock songs. Thankfully London band Slam Cartel steps out from that sea of similitude with an album of the highest order and quality proving hard rock can be as exciting as any other genre and as varied and unique. Handful Of Dreams lays down a nourishing course of songs bulging with monster guitar riffs, thumping bass lines, giant drum beats, and stunning vocals that drip off the palate.

Already the six piece have grabbed the attention from the likes of Billy Morrison and Russell Brand amongst a multitude of growing fans and with Handful Of Dreams it is hard to see anything other than a bigger explosion of popularity for Slam Cartel. The song writing skills and presentation on the album shows a band not only in full control of their sound but one that aspires to take the genre to new and down adventurous avenues of sound.  

Slam Cartel formed around three years ago, vocalist Giles Van Lane, Tommy Hendriksen and Terence Warville both guitarists, Marc Neudeck bass, drummer Steve Campkin, and Adam Lee keyboards, guitars have become a tight and creative unit that from the convincing evidence upon their debut will be and are a force to be reckoned with. Like the irresistible melodic hooks in their songs once the band’s sound reels you in escape is impossible and any desire to resist absent.

From the opening striding guitars and rampaging drums of ‘Wishing Eye’ the expectancy of immense gratification grows and by the last notes of closing track ‘Walk A Mile’ is realised perfectly. ‘Wishing Eye’ drives and grooves with stirring riffs, flowing melodies and an emotive vocal delivery from Van Lane that makes the track a classic in the making.

This excellent start is matched and supported throughout the album and with impressive variety. Their sound is hard rock but it employs and ventures into different directions track to track. ‘Handful Of Dreams’ with its rock flavouring that would compliment any Foo Fighters or Saliva set, the southern slower paced rock of ‘Breathe’, and the nu-metal urgency and edge of ‘Shine’ bringing a mix of Primer 55 and The Kennedy Soundtrack, all show the bands skill and diverse influences plus a  desire to create something unique.

The album also touches and reveals the softer side of Slam Cartel with the ballad paced tracks of ‘Maybe Sometimes’ with an intro and guitar sound right out of a Wings songbook giving a smooth harmonious 80’s rock feel and the closing track ‘ Walk A Mile’. The first flows wonderfully with a chorus that rises with emotion, the keyboard backing bringing a full and passion tinged swell whilst the guitar solo is searching and visionary. The last song is an emotive piano led composition that show cases Van Lane’s vocals wonderfully as the tracks epic feel and lyrics tugs emotions, the versatility of the band and individual members readily shown. It may not have the more instant accessibility of other songs but certainly is as rewarding.

Though the album’s opener is arguably the releases best track it is seriously rivalled by most songs and especially the glorious rock glory of ‘Sundown’. The track immediately strolls confidently with beckoning riffs leading into a full out stomp chorus, the vocals, rhythms and melodies satisfyingly fulfilling as the song rocks in the ear.

There is not a real weakness on the album every area and corner in song writing to performance is refined to the smallest detail with the intention of and success in making real rock ‘n’ roll. Slam Cartel even includes a brilliant cover of the Talking Heads gem ‘Once in A Lifetime’ and a stunning version they do too turning it into a distinct song to rival the original. Handful Of Dreams is an album to discover, enjoy, and delve into constantly, Slam Cartel a band that will bring joy for years to come.

http://www.slamcartel.com

RingMaster 01/08/2011

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The Waves Of Fury – Blood In Fury EP

There are three initial steps to be observed when listening to the Blood In Fury EP from London’s distinctive The Waves Of Fury.

Step 1:  Play and stand open mouthed.

Step 2:  (Very important part) listen again with full attention.

Step 3:  Keep listening and fall in love with music that is real rock ‘n’ roll.

There is nothing straight forward about the Blood In Fury EP, there is no instant gratification with easy hooks and clean A-Z sounds, but what it gives is real and dirty scuzzed up rock music, a glorious blend of psychotic rock ‘n’ roll and 70’s Motown sounds caked in punk filth bliss. Like a Tarantino creation from the musical parts of the Stones, Marvin Gaye, The Birthday Party, Reverend Horton Heat, and Rocket From The Crypt, The Waves Of Fury is a multi-faceted and layered groove machine.

The bands bio states that “Lead singer Carter Sharp began his musical journey in South London trotting along the generic path that most young musicians do. Far from generic, and tormented by creative complexity (and pharmaceuticals), he went on sabbatical in the American South to get back to writing songs and his roots as a musician. The history, folklore, superstition, blues, and brass of America bled into his writing….” and also “…Carter’s lyrics paint a dark and ironic caricature of American novelist William S Burroughs’ big issues: obsession, sex, love, vampires, murderous children and being buried alive by spurned valentines – getting the picture? The subject matter is twisted on surface but presented in a catchy tune in the spirit of Pulp Fiction. Their tales are told from a third person perspective of almost cartoonish scenes and characters to present familiar themes of love and loss, with a deranged gothic spin.” Facts that listening to Blood In Fury readily proves as the release wraps the listener in a seedy underground imagery that takes one deep into the heartland of the songs.  

The quartet of Sharp, guitarist Hove, Jamie Bird bass and piano, and drummer Adam Smith have created a sound that will satisfy and inspire as the EP from the opening throaty bass throbs of ‘The Killer Inside Me’ right though to the crazed end of ‘I Don’t Know What To Make Of Your Friends’ is a unique musical lesson as much as a pure listening pleasure.

Each of the five tracks on the EP are infectious though some take a little more to reach the pinnacle than others. Whereas ‘The Killer Inside Me’ has a chorus and that bass riff to lure the listener readily in the ballad ‘Pretender Soul’ asks for a little more endeavour and patience. Give it that and the result is immense. Once it connects images such as of a forlorn figure on a bridge at midnight with a backdrop of sound as discordant and desperate as his love lost soul are potent.

The best track on Blood In Fury is ‘Death Of A Vampire’. With flowing melodies recalling bands like the Monkees delivered with the dark shadows of the Cramps whilst Edwin Starr looks on the track as is the whole EP to be honest, is inspired and glorious. The brass compliments the guitars jut as their striking and at times frantic play rides hand in hand with Carter’s distinct effect coated vocals. He will not be to everyone’s taste as a vocalist but that is their loss and the band’s sound would be truly lacking without his unique style.

The Waves Of Fury definitely will not be an easy ride for many but for people who really listen to music and flourish on unique ideas and sounds that transport one directly into the song and its premise the Blood In Fury EP released 26th September, is an essential step in their musical appreciation journey.

RingMaster 20/07/2011

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