Victoria+Jean – Divine Love

V-J-_RingMasterReview

From the gorgeous artwork by Russian artist Oleg Dou through to the cinematic seducing which escapes each and every song, Divine Love is creative beauty involved with an imagination which simple leaves the listener lost in fascination. The imagination comes from Victoria+Jean, the episodes of aural drama from their debut album, and the brooding romance between listener and artist from instincts that just know when something transcends just ear food.

The band is the artistic and romantic union of Swedish born vocalist Victoria and Belgian guitarist Jean. Brought up in London and moving to Paris where she began her first career as a model, Victoria was a musician at heart and was signed as a solo artist aged 16 by a French major label, though she broke her four-album deal before releasing her debut, unable to make the compromises demanded upon her by the label. Moving to Belgium she met Jean and the couple began a career “motivated by encounters, travels and sound.” We have simplified the background for and leading to the project and union of the pair, with not for the first or indeed last time, Divine Love demanding to be the focus of attention.

art_RingMasterReviewIn creating the album, the duo sent their 12 tracks to their favourite producers with the request of collaboration for the release. The list included the likes of John Parish (PJ Harvey, Goldfrapp), Rob Kirwan (The Horrors, Depeche Mode), Christopher Berg (The Knife), Ian Caple (Tricky, Kate Bush), Joe Hirst (Stone Roses), Alistair Chant (PJ Harvey & John Parish), and Lucas Chauvière (De La Soul). As evidence of things being meant to be, each freely chose the same track Victoria+Jean had intended and hoped for them; a move and success which only adds to the album’s vastly diverse and eclectic character.

Divine Love opens with its title track and the duo’s new single. Within seconds the electronic mystique and ambience of the track has ears and imagination enthralled, the sixties cinematic drama in tone and air providing a great sense of mystery reinforced by the celestial caresses of Victoria’s mesmeric vocals. The gentle and elegant jangle of guitar equally brings rich suggestiveness to the enveloping theatre of dark charm and atmospheric tempting. There is no escaping a Portishead like essence to the bewitching encounter though equally artists like Propaganda and in a small way The Sugarcubes also offer their scent to its evocation.

It is a glorious start followed by the ridiculously irresistible Holly. From an initial lure of fuzzy guitar and mischievous beats, the song soon swings along with a virulent infectiousness which barely needs a handful of seconds to have hips swaying and spirit smiling. Victoria’s voice dances upon the compelling strands of sound, mixing composed moments with soaring harmonics as rhythms dance with addictive tenacity. As provocative in word as it is in sound, the track is sensational; growing with each twist of its musical theatre and lust inspiring alchemy.

Big Billie comes next, coaxing ears with raw blues guitar before thumping rhythms surround the tangy expressive tones of Victoria. Jean’s imagination continues to weave a sultry web of sound and enterprise to surround the tribal beats and descriptive vocals; a provocative blend playing like a mix of The Creatures and My Baby. Enthralling and igniting the senses it makes way for Until It Breaks and its brooding climate of sinister shadows and electronic espionage. As all songs, it has the imagination casting its own adventures to align with that of the song itself, sparking closer involvement between ears and song which is echoed again by Why Won’t You and its delta blues laced tango.

Across the fiery sonic and rhythmic trespass of Your Baby Don’t Know Me and Firecracker, things only get more boldly flirtatious and grouchily confrontational. The first is a prowling beast of a track with a touch of De Staat to its predacious noise rock infested waltz whilst its successor, while employing a similar dark rhythmic throb, courts techno fuelled ingenuity. It is a collusion which just gets more dynamic, agitated, and schizophrenic across its three body involving minutes, like its predecessor inciting a greedier appetite for Divine Love before a haunting beauty cast with a vibrant calm hugs ears through Härligt Sverige. Tantalising harmonies float around the poetic tones of Victoria, they skirted by resonating beats and the low key repetitive niggle of guitars. Winy tendrils vein the piece too; Jean creating an increasingly climactic drama matched by the vocal emotion equally gripping attention.

Ears and pleasure become engrossed in more blues bred invention through Takes You Like A Rose and Where We Belong next, the latter tempering the flavour with a bewitching folk seeded hug of melody and harmony before creating a tempestuous showdown of sound and emotive theatre. It is a glorious slice of aural cinema, again visual interpretation quickly inspired by the song and indeed Pull The Trigger which follows. Rhythms and percussive enterprise tease and play with ears before hitting an imposing stride entangled in sonic and vocal imagination. Anthemic and intimate within every writhing twist and turn of its excellent proposal, the track is like a hex on body and thought.

Closing with the epic spatial and atmospheric romancing of Define Love, an immersion into electronic and vocally harmonic reflection, Divine Love is one of the most enthralling and in turn invigorating releases heard in a long time. Every song provides an individual and compelling exploration still revealing fresh rewards after numerous listens. The album has plenty for fans of blues and rock ‘n’ roll, ambience and electronica, pop and dance and with a host of videos also accompanying each song, Divine Love is nothing less than essential listening and viewing.

Divine Love is released April 29th via FY Records at https://itunes.apple.com/be/album/divine-love/id1089239770?app=itune and across most online stores.

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

Pete RingMaster 26/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Franklys – Comedown/Long Way

The Franklys_RingMasterReview

The Franklys create a sound as enjoyably nostalgic as it is fresh and individual to modern garage rock ‘n’ roll. They also uncage releases, like new single Comedown, which demand attention whilst sharing the suggestion that its creators has the potential to be one of the provocateurs that the future direction of modern rock ‘n’ roll might just hinge upon.

The band consists of Swedish born vocalist/rhythm guitarist Jen Ahlkvist and lead guitarist Fanny Broberg, America hailing Nicole Pinto, and British bassist Zoe Biggs. London is where the quartet met and the band is based though fair to say since emerging, The Franklys has been a blur on the live scene, persistently playing shows in and touring the UK, Europe, America, and Scandinavia as well as making prise luring appearances at festivals such as the Isle of Wight Festival, Strawberry Fields, and Camden Rocks. Their rousing and raw garage rock sound brings a mix of psych and punk rock from across the decades with plenty more to spice things up whilst inspirations range from The Hives, The Strokes, and Queens Of The Stone Age to Led Zeppelin, Mando Diao, Blondie, and The Who. Their self-titled debut EP whipped up intrigue and strong interest back in 2013 which the Bad News EP stirred up to greater success last year. Now it is Comedown making the potent nudge on broader spotlights and attention, and making an easy job of it so far since being recently unveiled.

Comedown instantly has ears under welcome siege with a blaze of fiery riffs soon joined by thumping beats and a raw wind of hungry energy to its invitation. The bassline of Biggs almost groans with relish as its stalks the web of bracing sonic and melodic flames escaping the guitars with Ahlkvist’s ear catching vocals adding further bite to the snarling temptation. It is a great blend which helps the song weaves something akin to The Raincoats and The Priscillas around a character which equally refuses to be majorly compared to another. Never taking a breath within its contagious confrontation, the track has body and spirit aroused and swiftly joining its rousing tempest of incitement.

Accompanying the outstanding track is Long Way; a far more subdued encounter with just as potent and seductive lures. Its climate is surf rock bred, its sultry shimmer sixties garage rock/pop coloured, and its scuzzy touch punk seeded. It simply enthrals from the off; beguiling ears and appetite whilst revealing another flavour and twist to the songwriting and sound of The Franklys. If The Shangri-Las were Spinnerette, or The Luv’d Ones were The Breeders, the results just might sound like Long Way.

Acclaim and The Franklys have already been more friends than strangers but it feels like things are going to get hotter and more flirtatious from hereon in as first Comedown and then the band take 2016 by the scruff of the neck.

Comedown is out now via Electric Wood Records and available @ http://www.thefranklys.com/product/pre-order-single-comedown-limited-edition-7-vinyl/ and through iTunes.

http://www.thefranklys.com   http://www.facebook.com/thefranklys   http://www.twitter.com/thefranklysuk

Pete RingMaster 26/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Skellums – Art Of Dying Young / Do Me Wrong

Skellums_RingMasterReview

August 2015, UK rock band Skellums strikingly lit ears with their EP, Clarion Call. It was a release awakening a new horde of fresh and eager ears to the band’s alternative rock sound as well as finding strong radio support from the likes of BBC 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq. Now the Liverpool band has raised the ante with their new double A-sided single Art Of Dying Young / Do Me Wrong; a pair of songs which alone reveal new maturity in the band’s sound and temptation.

art_RingMasterReviewConsisting of vocalist/guitarist Cal Roberts, bassist Crichton, guitarist/vocalist Seery, and drummer Courtney, Skellums takes barely the first half minute of Art Of Dying Young to reveal something bigger and bolder about their sound. From its first breath, bass and drums align in a thick wall of rousing enticement entangled in spicy tendrils of guitar. It grabs ears with ease, that persuasion only increasing in strength as a lull around the first syllables from Cal sparks a rich infection of melody within the rhythmic swagger subsequently driving the song. Casting an Arctic Monkeys meets The Jackals air to its own unique personality, the song has feet dancing and the spirit leaping along with its increasingly addictive swing. There is also more of a garage rock essence to its contagion compared to previous offerings, another appealing hue in the more expansive body and adventure of the track.

That new depth and imagination continues with Do Me Wrong where again it needs only the first nag of riffs and ear clipping beats to suggest new imagination at play in songwriting and music. It is only confirmed as the song shares its pop and punkier exploits, all offered with a creative mischief which is almost The Monkees like in its fun and pop catchiness. A rock snarl adds to the great unpredictability equally shaping the excellent encounter, it all colluding for another slice of new and distinct Skellums invention.

Being impressed by Skellums is becoming a highly agreeable habit but fair to say that both Art Of Dying Young and Do Me Wrong leave anything before firmly in the shade. Things are looking very rosy for Skellums and in turn our ears.

Art Of Dying Young / Do Me Wrong is released April 26th on the band’s own Rent & Debt Records @ http://skellums.bandcamp.com/

Upcoming Live Dates:

May 12 – Focus Wales Festival (Saith Seren)

May 13 – Focus Wales Festival (Rewind)

May 20 – Zanzibar, Liverpool

June 18 – Chester Live Festival

http://www.skellums.com/   https://www.facebook.com/skellums   https://twitter.com/skellumsmusic

Pete RingMaster 26/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com

Forever In Depths – Darkness EP

FID_RingMasterReview

We are not going to claim that British melodic metalcore quintet Forever In Depths is going to be the next big thing within the genre but the fact that their new EP, Darkness, keeps drawing us back into its creative fury tells of their potential. The Portsmouth band offers three new songs which seize attention and whip up a keen appetite for their provocations. Admittedly there are times where they also reveal the issues of a band still developing, honing, and evolving their sound yet if we claimed any left us flat on enjoyment and intrigue we would be sharing lies.

Formed in 2011 as Where’s The Addiction, the south coast band quickly built up a strong and loyal local fan base encouraged further by the release of debut EP, The Lost And Found, the following year. Live Forever In Depths has made a strong mark too whilst sharing stages with bands such as Networks and Cardinal Bay as well as playing festivals like Butserfest. Now attempting to lure broader attention, the Darkness EP is ready to grab a new flock of ears with success easy to see coming.

It opens with The Storm which creeps up on the senses through a slim sonic mist before leaping boldly with evocative melodies around heavily striding rhythms and riffs. Soon showing its carnivorous side as guitars create a tempest of angular sonic stabs and challenging grooves amidst rhythmic and riff bred animosity, band and track tear and bite at the senses. The vocals of Jake Hale match their assault in raw dexterity, though his assault is tempered by the excellent clean vocal persuasion of guitarist Anthony Chantrey whose craft on strings, as too that of fellow guitarist Danny Marenghi, creates a cauldron of enterprise and imposing adventure. Unpredictability is as open as expectation feeding textures and ideas whilst some of the imaginative twists and turns are a touch clunky at times yet the song only feeds a swiftly growing appetite and enjoyment of its impressive challenge.

Darkness-Cover_RingMasterReviewThe EP’s title track comes next, featuring Luke Boyle within its own tempestuous assault on the senses. Driven by the shuddering swings of Luke Gillies and the predatory tone and gait of George Blake’s bass, the track is a bestial confrontation and equally a melodic seduction through the clean vocals of Chantrey and the atmospheric caresses of keys. The former dominates for the main yet never defuses or threatens the suggestiveness and potent presence of the latter; the band skilfully ensuring their clarity is a shared success.

Behind Our Eyes brings the EP to a fiercely engaging conclusion, its initial melodic coaxing soon boiling with vocal and rhythmic ire, though again without overwhelming the almost poetic lure of melodies. The contrast between the raw and harmonic vocals is a powerful success, the variety of the first ensuring it is more than just a dark and light shade within similarly contrasting sounds. It is something which shines in all tracks but is especially potent in the third alongside the classically hued keys and the expressive ambience lining the track.

It is a fine end to a release which seems to only grow stronger and more revealing with every listen. Forever In Depths feels like they are still in the relatively early stages of their growth but their potential is clear and suggesting the real possibility of potent times ahead for them and their fans.

The Darkness EP is released April 29th

https://www.facebook.com/ForeverInDepthsBand

Pete RingMaster 26/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com

The Cavemen – Self Titled

The Cavemen_RingMasterReview

With a name like The Cavemen, you instantly give a suggestion of sound and character before a note is flung at ears. Thoughts imagine something raw and primal; a sound stripped to the bone with no concern for niceties and that is exactly what you get in the New Zealander’s self-titled debut album. The Cavemen creates attitude driven garage punk ‘n’ roll which simply stirs up the punk inside and twists it into songs which are as addictively contagious as they are belligerently mischievous.

Formed by a quartet of high school teens, The Cavemen emerged in 2012 after spending “several years of under aged drinking and loitering around the various basements, graveyards and parking lots of their home city.” With their dirty and intrusive sound honed to the virulently imposing height found on the new release, the quartet of vocalist Paul Caveman, guitarist Jack Caveman, bassist Nick Caveman, and drummer Jake Caveman soon began stirring up their homeland’s live scene. That success though was soon facing obstacles which led to the band to looking at moving over to the UK, Paul explaining with the thought, “No bar will have us, no station will play us… We might as well bugger off to the other side of the world.” So now London based, The Cavemen has linked up with Dirty Water Records for the global release of their debut full-length, an album having already ignited eager appetites with its previous limited vinyl release via 1:12 Records.

Think The Cramps and The Stooges meets The Damned, in their early days, and The Ramones and you get a clue to the incitement leaping out from the album’s opener alone. Mentally Ill swiftly has ears and appetite gripped with its brawling lo-fi devilment; guitars and bass creating a swiftly gripping tempting as beats trespass the senses with their antagonistic swing and vocals deliver every syllable in a rabid squall of tone and attitude. Garage rock meets ’77 punk rock, the track is an attention grabbing start to the album instantly backed and eclipsed by the irritable confrontation of Fuck For Hate. Hook and grooves entangle as the song stirs up ear and spirit; vocals egging on the track’s rebellion and discontent as it worms under the skin.

cavemen front sleeve_RingMasterReviewIt too is then over shadowed a touch by the outstanding Stand By Your Ghoul. Straight away the collusion of guitar and bass hooks has lips being licked, then smiling broadly as Hamond-esque keys dance devilishly on the imagination within another handful of tempting seconds. The prime bait reminds of seventies band The Piranhas, or more specifically their single Jilly whilst the bare boned roar of the track manages to come over as something between The Dirtbombs and The Horrors in their early days.

The album’s punk driven rock ‘n’ roll continues to seriously involve and excite body and spirit as the fifty scowling seconds of Scumbag leads to the minute and a half invasive seduction of Rides With The Reich. Barely a track goes by without escaping the two minute mark, a short sharp riot approach which does not stop songs like this also uncaging the most contagious of hooks and swaggers within senses bracing tempests of multi-faceted punk rock.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Retard bristles and romps next; wearing its old school punk nature as sonic belligerence before At The Pub barges in with its gang mentality punk ‘n’ roll. Again there is little resistance from feet and vocal chords as participation to yet another song from The Cavemen is inescapable; a submission given time and time again to its persuasion and to brawls like Fucked In The Head and Drink Driving. Again that garage rock flavouring creates great flames of eventful contrasts in the creative truculence stirring up ears, the second of this pair managing to find an oi! like challenge to get even greedier over too.

The limb throwing swagger of School Sucks offers a fractious anthem next whilst Crimes Tonight squeezes some power pop revelry into its sixties/seventies infested rock ‘n’ roll; a fusion of flavours casting something that is The Sonics meets The Saints like. Both tracks, it goes without saying by this point in the album, has the body bouncing and emotions defiant, the latter aspect even more so with the dirty Motorhead tinged rock ‘n’ roll of Glass Breakfast.

The album closes with the irresistible furnace of Trash Talkin’ Paint Huffin’ Girl, a final fevered stomp of incendiary punk and rock devilry as raw and primitive as it is ferociously galvanic. It is a rigorously boiling end to a thrilling blaze of rapacious rock ‘n’ roll from a band which sparks a new flame, song by song, in the bushfire of pleasure which runs through album and its thorough enjoyment.

Time to free the primitive in us all with The Cavemen!

The Cavemen album is released via Dirty Water Records on April 25th @ http://www.dirtywaterrecords.co.uk/shop/ and digitally @ https://thecavemennz.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/thecavemennz

Pete RingMaster 25/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com

Ghosts Again – The Closest Thing To Closure

Ghosts Again_RingMasterReview

Based out of North Carolina, Ghosts Again is a post hardcore trio releasing a new EP, The Closest Thing To Closure this month. Having missed their earlier efforts, the new five track encounter is the first time we have had to check out a band many are suggesting is loaded with promise. From a strong but initially underwhelming start, it is fair to say that The Closest Thing To Closure suggests that Ghosts Again is indeed a potential equipped band well worth paying attention to.

Rising from the ashes of its member’s previous projects, Close Up on the Quiet Ones and Messenger Down, Ghosts Again picked up highly positive attention in 2015 with the release of the single, Business as Usual. It and their sound lured understandable comparisons to bands like Underoath and The Amity Affliction, suggestions easy to see happening again with The Closest Thing To Closure EP, though what ultimately emerges is an imagination and boldness in song which suggests Ghosts Again are shaping something heading towards being distinctly theirs.

GA4(Art_RingMasterReviewThe EP opens with Skeleton Boy which quickly shows the vocal and melodic prowess of vocalist/guitarist Alex Cortright. As the darker hues of Brandon Washington’s bass unites with the swinging beats of drummer Arun Bose, a great blend of brooding and lighter sonic hooks ensnare ears as Cortright’s roars continue to flame and impress. There are elements which really grab attention but equally from sound and the raw side of the vocals things are a touch too formula; failing to ignite personal tastes beyond being contented and firmly intrigued.

Pant’s Division (The End is Silence) makes a similarly expected and appealing start with heftily swung beats within sonic smog of suggestiveness around the band’s vocal variety. As the first, the song is skilfully woven with each moment involved yet a fluid web of sound and emotion; not openly striking but potently persuasive. It is the emerging element of discord and in turn melodic elegance which lifts the song to another alluring level though. It brings greater drama to the temptation and a richer element of unpredictability which really grabs the spotlight in the following and outstanding Les Enfants Terribles. From the start, grooves wind their charms around ears, the imagination just as easily bitten by the web of melodic enterprise and vocal dexterity which blossoms as the song broadens its adventure. There is a touch of My Chemical Romance to the track at times which enjoyably lines the more volatile and metal bred dexterity as well as the thickly emotive calms within the persistently evolving song.

That new level of invention continues in Relive Revive; its emotional and sonic blaze colouring an equally fascinating tapestry of guitar craft and rhythmic theatre. As with all songs on the EP, there are plenty of textures and moments of creativity to recognise or certainly compare to other bands within the post hardcore scene but tinted with a freshness of thought and skill which stops it becoming too indistinct or dull.

Ending with the increasingly compelling Eleven, a song fusing symphonic hues in its boisterous and bracing tempest of heart and sound, The Closest Thing To Closure leaves a healthy, and growing with every listen, appetite to indulge in the highly enjoyable Ghosts Again challenge and reward proposal. It is a band showing that earlier mentioned potential at every turn of an EP which is not ground-breaking but offering plenty to please ears with vigour and style.

The Closest Thing To Closure EP is out now on iTunes.

https://www.facebook.com/ghostsagainband   https://twitter.com/GhostsAgainBand

Pete RingMaster 25/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com

Matinée – Empty

matinee_RingMasterReview

With the melodic charms of debut album, These Days, still luring attention over a year later, backed by subsequent singles, the Italy hailing, London based Matinée are poised to unveil a new magnetic encounter posing as a single. Empty is a warm kiss on the senses, a melodic blush of elegance and catchy enterprise which equally is a rousing adventure hard to stop feet and enjoyment showing eager reactions to. The single in many ways echoes the creative exploits of that first album but at the same time pushes the invention and rich weave of flavours to new captivating heights.

Since emerging a handful of years back, Matinée has persistently impressed and fascinated a growing following of fans and attention. The success of their album has been matched and backed by a live presence which has drawn its own praise with the quartet sharing stages with the likes of Razorlight, Mystery Jets, Futureheads, The Wombats, Pete and the Pirates, British Sea Power and many more along the way. Empty sees the band linking up with Tony Doogan (Mogwai, Carl Barat, Glasvegas) again, the producer repeating his part of These Days, alongside Chris Geddes art_RingMasterReviewfrom Belle and Sebastian this time around.

Empty opens on a gentle rhythmic pulse and a charming drizzle of melodic rain, each synth cast drop a golden burst of warmth and enticement. The vocals of synth/guitarist Luigi Tiberio only adds to the attraction, his Italian accent bringing a touch of the Mediterranean and further infectiousness. Once the bolder, darker hues of Alfredo Ioannone’s bass and Alessio Palizzi’s lively beats join the affair on ears, the song is an enthralling blend of light and shadows amidst darker emotion and creative festivity.

Just as impressive in the song as the sounds offered, is the way sometimes the keys seem to lead the way, in other moments the guitar of Giuseppe Cantoli do or the vocals of Tiberio potently backed by those of Ioannone. The reality is that everything is equal yet the ebb and flow of the song, its rich crescendos provides a deceptive and very pleasing drama which consumes attention.

If you have yet to enjoy a Matinée performance, Empty is the perfect moment and adventure to spend your ticket on.

Empty is released April 29th via Neon Tetra Records.

https://www.facebook.com/thematineeband

Pete RingMaster 25/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com