Morganway – Ain’t It Just

morganway-car-shot_RingMasterReview

A lingering caress of melodic and harmonic captivation is probably the best way to describe the alt-country of UK band Morganway, certainly on the evidence of their current EP and the single it is about to bear.

Hailing from “North Norfolk’s rural outback”, the Norwich quintet create a proposition which feels familiar, like an returning friend, yet still stands boldly apart from most other proposals. New single Ain’t It Just is the perfect example, a warm and engaging seduction which almost deceptively is also one rousing incitement for body and spirit.

Formed by twins Callum (acoustic guitar, lead vocals) and Kieran Morgan (lead guitar), Morganway is completed by Yve Mary B (lead vocals), Matt Brocklehurst (keyboard), and Simon Tinmouth (drums). With its raw smouldering Americana air and kaleidoscope of harmonic suggestiveness, debut EP No Tomorrows made an instant attention grabbing impact, drawing comparisons to the likes of Fleetwood Mac, The Strokes, ELO, and The Magic Numbers since its unveiling last year. Its success is poised to be backed and pushed by the release of opening track Ain’t It Just as the band’s new single, a song which stirs ears and heart with inevitable success.

morganway-artwork_RingMasterReviewAin’t It Just opens with an immediately emotive air and strum of guitar; a warm enticing swiftly bolstered by the transfixing tones of Yve Mary B and the poetic nature of the accompanying melody. With gentle rhythms alongside, the song wraps its tender thoughts and enterprise around the ears, still hiding the anthemic prowess in the depths of its already catchy character. Once freed, the rousing infectiousness bewitches hips and imagination alike, the song blossoming into a melodic roar which still embraces its opening elegance and reflective charm.

Its touch is a memorable temptation which for those new to the band is echoed across the No Tomorrows EP with the compelling Hearts Of Fire a matching energetic crescendo of invention. Backed by tracks like it’s title track and the Fleetwood Mac spiced Baby, Let’s Run, both similarly infectious affairs, all help reveal a broader character of the Morganway sound which can only blossom further ahead.

Ain’t It Just is released January 6th with the No Tomorrows EP out now and available @ https://morganway.bandcamp.com/releases

Upcoming Live Shows

Friday 13th January – The Troubadour, London

Saturday 14th January – Open, Norwich

25th February – The Islington, London

http://www.morganway.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/morganwayuk/   https://twitter.com/MorganwayUK

Pete RingMaster 04/01/2017
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Norquay – Animal

norquay-artwork-squared_RingMasterReview

You may have missed it in the Xmas turmoil and festivities but Animal is one single ears and attention should still seek out as the New Year relaxes into place. The latest track from Norquay (pronounced Nork Way); the song is a boisterous and rousing slice of rock ‘n’ roll marking the next step in is creator’s budding music career.

Norquay is the solo project of Aberdeenshire hailing songwriter/musician Andrew Norquay, an artist who returns from a three year hiatus from music due to his commitments as a commercial diver with a bang in the shape of his new single and the equally striking Vices EP from which it comes. Drawing on inspirations from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Muse, Radiohead, and Oasis, Norquay creates a sound which wears familiar essences on its sleeve yet weaves them into slices of fresh anthemically honed imagination. The five-track Vices EP confirms that suggestion; Animal reinforcing the claim with its snarling riff driven, melody spiced virulence.

Casting a character somewhere between Queens Of The Stone Age and Johnny Wears Black, Animal roars from its first break of guitar casting a hook which just grips the imagination. Rhythms and keys are soon additionally engaged in the raw and tenacious enterprise crowding around the potent tones of Norquay, all uniting in a thickly infectious and magnetic persuasion.

With a stoner-esque scent to its alternative rock endeavour, the song swiftly and imposingly involves the listener physically and emotionally; a quality the best rock ‘n’ roll always carries.

Animal and the Vices EP are out now through iTunes and Amazon.

https://www.facebook.com/Norquayuk   https://twitter.com/norquaymusic

Pete RingMaster 04/01/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Rock ‘n’ roll arousal; sharing time with The Easy Outs

the-easy-outs_RingMasterReview

Formed by vocalist Bruce Ferguson in 2009, Long Branch, NJ hailing The Easy Outs quickly grabbed attention with their debut album at home and across Europe. It was the start of an adventure for band and fans which continues to excite and draw acclaim. Ahead of a new album already suggesting bolder imaginative exploits within the band’s sound, we managed to grab some of The Easy Outs’ time and get to know the band that little more intimately.

Hi guys and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to the start of the band?

Paul: I’m the newest, Wendy the band manager heard me play, I became a member a year ago in November (drummer)

Steve: Bruce started The Easy Outs, we knew each other for years and he asked me to come on board.

Mike: Bruce started the Easy Outs he asked me [too], I accepted.

John: I answered a grains list and the rest is history!

Were you involved in other bands before joining up?teo2_RingMasterReview

Steve: I have been doing music most of my life and have been in other bands, some cover, some not.

Mike: yes, in other bands, all music inspires me.

John: been doing the cover band thing, this is my first original [project].

Paul: yes, been in many bands.

Bruce: I have been in other bands making albums over several years; this band is by far the best.

What inspired the band name?

It has a 70 feel to it.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

Play great rock and roll, we want to offer a small space in music; 30 years from now someone might pick up our album for the first time, listen to it and love it, then you know you did something great.

Always, to be the best we can be and put out great listenable tunes that stick in your head.

teo3_RingMasterReviewSince your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

We are growing; the new forthcoming album is diverse of music, you can hear our sound, yet our growth too.

Has that growth been more organic or driven by the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

Both, pretty much.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted on the band’s music?

So many impacted each one of us and still do to this day

Is there a particular process to the songwriting?

Steve, Paul, John and Mike start with a note; we have a foundation [upon which] Bruce writes the lyrics and melody; a collaboration.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Everywhere, Bruce hears what as a band we do instrumental then he gets a word or idea and runs with it.

Give us some background to your latest release.

It’s our sound, yet new too, we are all excited about it, going to be one great album, we are definitely proud of this; Paul brings it to a higher level

Can you give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

No theme really, just tunes we came up with; like we said it’s diverse in songs, we will surprise our fans.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Both, our producer Kurt Reil likes to hear what we have, sometimes we go in with just an idea. Bruce does vocals after we do tracks.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?teo_RingMasterReview

We love playing live, the energy from people listening; we get on stage we are all in the same groove, if a mistake happens we all know it and make it work.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it?

We believe there is room for everyone as long as you keep your passion going for the music, no matter what genre you are in; make an impact!

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success?

Social media is a blessing and curse, our manager works hard at it daily, no matter what, she is always posting, thanking people, getting the fans interested. If used properly it can help a great deal, we are in the technology age, the music industry is way different from 10 years ago.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add?

We want to thank everyone who has supported us through the years, buying CDs, coming out to shows, sharing our music.

For our latest album, look for the late spring 2017.

Thank you guys, rock on!

https://www.facebook.com/The-Easy-Outs-117139978346623   http://theeasyouts.com/

Pete RingMaster 28/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Grabbing the throat of attention with Chasing Sounds

chasing-sounds_RingMasterReview

Uncaging their own individual punk fuelled snarl from the heart of Austria, Chasing Sounds is a band with a sound as young and fresh as its existence and already beginning to stir up real attention. We recently seized upon the chance to find out more in interview with the rising band, taking a look at their origins, debut album, and what drives them forward…

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to the band’s beginnings?

We are Chasing Sounds a melodic HC/Punk band based in Vienna, Austria.

I’m Attila one of the founding members, I play bass and try to “sing” harsh backing vocals in the band. I’m the songwriter, and since I compose mainly on guitar, I record all the guitars and bass in the studio as well. The band was ”officially” formed by Mate (drums) and me on Aug. 8th 2013 which means; it was the day when we put together our very first song ‘Knock Out which later became our first single along with a music video to it as well. Mate and I knew each other since elementary school, and we’ve been in our first garage band together back in 2005. We managed to break up before we even had a singer or a gig. We remained friends though, hung out and knew it way before that we were gonna end up in a real band together. The only question was when. It took us ”only” 8 years to get our shit together. So everything was planned, it wasn’t just a lucky coincidence. In early 2015 Florian (singer) and Mate K. (guitar) finalized our line-up, so I moved backed to my beloved bass. This was the original plan, and it seemed to work for a while

So you were in other bands before; how has those experiences impacted on what you are doing now?

Myself (Attila) have played in a lot of other bands before, the latest was a now defunct progressive punk band (or however should I label the genre) called Good Reason. In that band I had the challenge to keep up with 3 very talented amazing musicians. I learned a lot from those guys.

I was in another HC/Metal band before and a shitty metalcore band too. Mate (drums) was in 2 progressive metal bands Dysentery and Disconcrete. They’re both defunct now, but released great music, you can find them somewhere on the internet I guess…

What inspired the band name?

That’s an awesome story, we had the band name way before we had any material written or we even went to jam under the name Chasing Sounds. It was one of those average high school night outs, me (Attila) Mate and another friend of ours were hanging out drinking and smoking at Mate’s Grandma’s basement; our usual spot to hang out after going thru all the bars in Bratislava. We were pretty drunk and under the influence of other substances, listening to some weird electro music, playing around with words Mate spat out Chasing Sounds. We knew it at that very moment that this will be our band name if we ever manage to put a band together. I remember this like it was yesterday. This was around 2010.

cs3_RingMasterReviewWas there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

I wanted to combine all the styles of music which I love. Most of the songs are heavily guitar driven, I like fast punk rock parts, great grooves and sing-a-longs. I knew it from the start how I wanted my band to sound like, and I think we’re on the right path and even the people seem to get it. Sometimes we get these crowd responses that “dude you guys totally sound like Ignite, Rise Against or Strike Anywhere” which is really sweet to hear and is a huge compliment. Even tho’ I don’t really hear it this way, but for sure those bands influenced us as well.

Do the same prime things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

I always set goals for us. When it was only the 2 of us it was about writing songs, getting a singer and a guitar player so I could switch to bass, and have a line-up and start playing gigs. Then it was time to record an album, make videos, tour, and the same thing over and over again. Now of course we want to play bigger and better shows, play more in general, do another record. We are searching for a Booking Agency or Promoter who would help us with the booking of our gigs and bigger tours. So if you’re reading this, give us a hint or spread the word. Thx!

How would you say your sound has evolved since it began?

Since the band itself is really not that old, the sound is pretty much the same. We use the same equipment we did 2 years ago, and everything sounds pretty much the same, when we play live. I’m gonna experiment with new sounds and different songs on our next record, so if you guys will still follow us, you can expect something different, but again, it’s not gonna be a radical departure, I mean we’re not gonna start playing bluegrass or something like that…

Any progression within the band and your music is more of an organic movement or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

It was all organic, once we compose a new song and we like it, we will keep it even if it’s not exactly what the rest of the songs sound like. I think this is one of the best parts about creating music, you’re basically unlimited in what you’re doing; you can play the same melody, chord progression or whatever in a million ways, you just have to pick one you like the most.

Most of the songs we write are not planned. When I say to myself that now I’m gonna sit down and write a great song, it’s not gonna work that way.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach to creating and playing music?

Since I’m the songwriter most of the times, things that happen to me personally, things I see happening in my near and own experiences and after hearing a great song from somebody if it kicks me in.

Is there a particular process to your songwriting?cs-art_RingMasterReview

I’ll just sit down with my guitar and noodle around. If something catches my attention I’ll try to build a structure around the main riff, and turn it into a song. Then I record it on my phone, and will bring it to band practice. If it’s not total bullshit and Mate’s feeling it too, we jam on it add or take away parts and will go back to it. If we like it we keep it in mind and will work on it the next week. This is the usual writing process we follow. Sometimes we just come in, take our instruments and start from zero. If the musical chemistry hits at that point, something magical can come out. This is the unusual side of how we write music, and how our best songs were made. See Yesterday’s no Different.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop as you record?

Since it’s really not affordable to go into any studio, get stoned or drunk, and just jam on a riff and call it a song we don’t do that. I think nowadays 90% of the bands won’t to that, because it’s just a waste of a lot of money. The times when record labels gave 1 million dollar recording budgets to bands are over. It just makes no sense to do it in my opinion unless you have your own studio.

Give us some background to your latest release.

Our debut album Elektrobioscope came out on December 3rd 2015 so as your reading this, it’s gonna be one year old in around two weeks. I think there is a little bit of everything on this album; people who listen to Hardcore, Metal, Punk or any other sub-genre of this music will find, at least one song which they will like. Just take the opening song Here we Are, it’s an instant throwback to the 90’s skate punk scene, fans of fast paced bands like Pennywise, No Use For a Name  and similar will probably like it. Another song Spirit of AC is again very pop/punk driven like late 90’s Blink 182 it’s got that Dude Ranch feel to it. An album which created a musical milestone in my life, and if anyone wonders what does ”AC” stands for its Atlantic City, the place where we hung out and got the inspiration for this song. Moving on to other songs on the album; Corrupted Bullshit, Knock Out, and False Flag Attack are straight up old school hardcore songs, with a great portion of NYHC vibe. Fans of Madball, H2O, Biohazard, Agnostic Front should check them out. Especially when we perform them live, that’s where all the energy comes out, and if the crowd is feeling it those are the best moments of our shows. Then we got the title track Elektrobioscope and Yesterday’s no Different which are the more serious songs, and definitely the best ones on the whole record. Judge it yourself and give it a go, the album is on our Bandcamp page you can download it for FREE!

Can you give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

The topics of the songs are mixed. Everyday life feelings, anger, various events happening in the world, motivation, abstract, love, break-up…

Flo writes the lyrics based on what he wants to write about or after listening to the instrumentals. Or, when Attila writes a riff or the basics of a song he gives them a working title or brings an idea for a song name – Flo can relate to this and might write lyrics to that title.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the band’s favourite times?

As mentioned above, you will like us playing live because there is so much energy going on stage that you either enter that bubble and forget everything outside of it or you stand still, which means something is wrong with you. This isn’t positive or negative energy. It can be both, but most importantly, it’s fun!

cs2_RingMasterReviewIt is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there still the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for bands?

There are hundreds of bands coming and going in a matter of couple of years. A band might start with something huge which gives them attention at start but nobody cares if they break up in a year or two. It’s more about staying stable, keeping your fans up-to date, being productive and never get bored pushing what you like to do the most.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?

The internet is a powerful tool which connects people. Social media has levels which allow smaller bands to stay connected easily with their fans on a daily basis. Of course it can be used at a much bigger scale.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add?

We sell two type of T-shirts as merch and some more designs are about to come. They look great so get you some and support us haha. We ship for free!

https://www.facebook.com/chasingsoundsband   https://chasingsounds.bandcamp.com/releases

Pete RingMaster 28/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Uncaging the snarl: exploring the roar of The Fill Ins

the-fill-ins_RingMasterReview

Officially breaking out in 2013 after three years in the building, US rockers The Fill Ins is one of those anthemic rock incitements built on an instinctive creative roar. Their journey has been as lively as their sound as they worked towards the line-up which has drawn potent acclaim through recent singles alone. With an explosive live show which has seen them open for the likes of The Reverend Horton Heat, Koffin Kats, GBH, Total Chaos, Joe Buckyourself, and Wednesday 13, The Fill Ins is a coming force and we had the pleasure of getting to the heart of things with the band, exploring its origins and journey to date, those tenacious singles, and much more….

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

ALEX: For me personally, I always wanted to create the ultimate Rock n Roll band and I feel with each passing year, we get a little closer to that goal as we find band members that also share that same vision. The band today consists of Mikey Black on lead guitar, James “Captain” Nunn on bass, newcomer Adam Patterson on drums, and myself (Alex Stiff) on lead vocal and rhythm guitar. We’ve come a long way in the 5 or so years we’ve been going at it, but in many ways it still feels like “Day 1” with our new sound and image.

Have you been involved in other bands before and if so has that had any impact on what you are doing now?

ALEX: Alongside of The Fill Ins; I also play bass in a punk band called Biggy Stardust And His Wretched Hive. I’ve always grown up with punk and rock music around me, so that is always my main inspiration. Whenever we have to get a new band member (for whatever reason), it will change the flavor of the band a bit and I think that is a good thing. Though I wouldn’t say the things we do outside the band have much influence; we’re a very driven band and have a clear view of who we are and what we are.

ADAM:  I’ve been playing in bands since I was 14 years old but as far as relevant bands go that I’ve played in was a band called HEADSNAP that I played in from 2002-2009, I also play in a band called DEADLOCK with my brother, and I play in another local cover band called The Dead Ins.

JAMES: I had several bands in TN before I moved to Charlotte, and I was always a guitar player. This was my first band that I ever played bass in, and I took what I knew about playing with more than one guitar player and applied it to my bass playing. Since then, I have continued to build my craft as a bass player, and have been recording and performing with another band in Charlotte called No Power No Crown as their bassist when I’m not working with The Fill Ins.

What inspired the band name?

ALEX: The original line-up that started in Roanoke VA consisted of a bunch of different members from bands I had played with up ‘til that time. All of them had been let go by the bands they were a part of and decided we’d start our own band. Someone threw out the comment; “We’re all just a bunch of fill ins, aren’t we?” and it just stuck. Even though (aside from myself) none of those members are in the band today, we still hold true to the “fill in” mentality. We’re a little bit of the black sheep in our town, so we just fill in the missing gaps with our brand of rock-n-roll, and people are starting to pay attention, which is awesome!

tfi3_RingMasterReviewDid the band have a specific idea it what you wanted your sound to offer?

ALEX: The 4 of us that started it in Roanoke just wanted to play music, regardless of what it was. Once Jason (ex-vocalist / guitarist) and I started writing more, it became very clear where our heads were at; stripped down hard rock with some punk and metal flair here and there. Over the years and with the addition of Mikey Black on lead guitar really bringing the songs to the next level, the band has only gotten better the longer we do this. I would say we still hold the same mission statement: knock em’ dead.

We’re also not a political band; we’re not going to tell you who to vote for or how you should live your life, we just want you to enjoy the life you have and have great tunes to go along with it.

Are you driven by that same original spark?

ALEX: I still get all happy and excited when I see new plays on Soundcloud or see that someone we don’t know shares our music video; I don’t think that could ever go away. I still get excited when we finish a band practice and we have the workings of a great new song, get photos back from a shoot; regardless of what it is, it all still makes me happy and excited.

JAMES: The drive and the excitement have only gotten stronger for me, because I think we’re getting better and better, and we’re so comfortable with each other as performers as well.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

ALEX: Early on, songs would eventually have more of a punk edge to it because of my songwriting style; and because the VA line-up never officially recorded any demos, I had all the time in the world (about 2 years) to re-work and tweak those songs to my exact liking before bringing them to a new line-up of the band once I relocated to Charlotte NC. All those songs became the groundwork for our 1st album Hipster Killers (released summer 2014) and they really do have a punk edge to them simply because a good 3/4ths of the album was written before that line-up recorded it. That line-up consisted of Mikey, James and long-time drummer Matt McCoy. Shortly after recording that album, we went hard to work writing the follow-up record 5th Time’s The Charm in which Mikey and James had a lot more songwriting contributions due to the fact we were working with a blank slate. Now with our new singles Saturday Night and Hit The Gas, we are a lot more of a collaborative effort and I love where we are right now.

JAMES: We’ve played together for long enough now so we know what skill set works the best for certain parts of songs. But we’re also not scared to throw some curveballs at rehearsals and find out what comes out of it, because more often than not, that’s what leads to some our best material.

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

ALEX: I think every band wants to do better than their last release; but you have to want it the correct way. If we were to come out and do a complete 180 of what we have done before, it wouldn’t seem genuine and fans can see right through that. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that the longer you play in a band, the better you get at your craft at the same time, so if you use that to your advantage smartly, you’ll start doing “new things” that fit in with what you’ve done before, helping you build your craft even more.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal ideas to creating music?

ALEX: I take things I hear from artists I admire and find ways to apply them to myself and the band; whether that is in songwriting, how to conduct yourself professionally, how to market yourself and the band, etc. I’d like to think that The Fill Ins are a Frankenstein of all things good about rock n roll and punk rock all rolled into one.

JAMES: Going to live shows for me is always inspiring because sometimes I’ll be impressed with a local show, and it’ll just further my desire to make our band the best live group that it can possibly be.

Is there a particular process to the songwriting?

ALEX: Early on, I wrote a good 90% of the finished product you hear on Hipster Killers; but after that, I had the confidence in the band to hand over songwriting credits to the other guys since we had a good clear-cut path of our sound and attack. One of Mikey’s early contributions eventually turned into our first hit, Spit In My Face which I could have not been more proud of.

Today; the songwriting process isn’t too different than it was before. James could come in with part of a riff that could eventually be used for something, Mikey could bring in a semi-complete demo for us to take and refine a bit…Or we could be riffing on something at practice and by the end of the day have the blueprints for a new song. I prefer it when it happens like that; the more organic, the better.

Where do you draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

ALEX: For me, lyrics are the hardest thing for me to write and usually it’s the last thing finalized before hitting the studio (or during recording). It’s easier to write political songs because they just flow, but I almost see that as a cop-out. I’d rather spend months or weeks writing lyrics for something that resonates on a larger platform than spend a few days writing some politically charged message that only a few may get behind. I usually write about what I know; partying, drinking, love, hate, heartbreak, the annoyances of social media, etc.

Would you give us some background to your latest release?tfi4_RingMasterReview

ALEX: Our new singles Hit The Gas and Saturday Night have been a long time coming, making it through setbacks and line-up changes in the process. We started working on new songs shortly after the release of 5th Time’s The Charm in 2015 for a 6 song EP to be released in mid-2016. Going through some old demos we had but never used, I heard this one riff Mikey was playing and I cut just that portion out and sent it to him asking him to refine the riff and see what he can come up with. During that time, James was working on another project with drummer at the time Matt McCoy and our producer for 5th Time’s The Charm (Steve Coleman) and came up with a rough demo cut of Saturday Night. Mikey finished coming up with the groundwork for what would soon be called Hit The Gas and we were off to the races. We started working on a few more new ones and booked studio time in early 2016 to record the 6 songs.

After a few pre-production sessions and some demos, we had to put the band on hold as our drummer’s personal life was eating up his time that would be used to work with the band. After a few months of inactivity and suggested by Matt; we got long-time friend Adam Patterson on drums and abandoned our plans for an EP release this year.

Our main focus with Adam was to make sure he was tight on our old material before trying to write with him so he had a good grasp on our sound and how the song structures work; though I did send him all the demos we had recorded just to make sure he had them and to show we are ready to start writing again. After the 3rd practice, he asked if we wanted to work on any of the new songs we had been writing and suggested we try out Saturday Night. After a few run throughs, we realized this guy picks up on stuff like he had been playing it all his life; so we started working on that and Hit The Gas.

After that, the stars aligned just right and we were able to get both of the songs recorded and released this year just by the skin of our teeth.

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind the single Hit The Gas in particular.

ALEX: Hit The Gas is a rebirth for us. The band kept with a certain look and sound for the first few years in VA and NC, then once the full band was fully reformed in Charlotte NC in 2014, we redesigned our logo and image to reflect the next chapter unfolding. With the release of Hit The Gas in November of this year and the addition of a new drummer, it was clear that The Fill Ins have matured a lot within the last year and with that, it felt that a new look and logo was needed. This logo is the first one to completely break the usual mould /redesigns we’ve had for the last 4 or so years, but so does the music. Hit The Gas really displays each member’s strengths; full of groovy bass lines, heavy drumming, one of the best solos Mikey has written to date and I feel it’s probably my best vocal performance in a long time recorded. The song has a message everyone can rally behind; “Just turn it up, and get it loud! It doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad, just back it up with attitude, and hit the gas, cause it’s going down!”; everyone loves to have a good time and that’s what we’re all about!

Do you hit the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

ALEX: Up until Hit The Gas, everything was written in full before going to the studio. This time, we had about 90% of it written and just hopped right in the studio and started playing around. We had all the drums, bass and rhythm guitar written but Mikey’s leads and some of my lyrics needed working on. Our producer Jeff Long (TrapDoor Recordings) could tell where we wanted to go with the song and he offered up some great ideas and insights into how we could make the track better; helping guide Mikey in giving the best performance possible and really pushing me on my vocals. I think both have their place in writing music, it just really depends on what works best for the group as a whole (and if you can afford to write in the studio).

tfi2_RingMasterReviewTell us about the live side to the band, presumably the band’s favourite place to be?

ALEX: The stage is my home. If I’m not playing live music, I’ll go crazy. I crave the stage, regardless if 2 people are watching or 2,000. We are also a very high energy band; we don’t stand still when we play, we run around and act a fool and I think that sets us apart a little bit more than most bands we see live locally… No one can put on a live show like THE FILL INS can. During the time earlier this year when The Fill Ins could not perform or practice, James and I started a side project called The Felons which consists of the 2 of us playing old country tunes and a few Fill Ins songs re-worked. It’s a fun way to fill in the gaps when we as a full band can’t play during the week. Anything that gets me playing music is a good thing.

JAMES: This band and my other group that I mentioned, No Power No Crown, are easily the most exhausting groups I’ve ever performed with, but they are also the most rewarding at the same time. With this band, the chemistry and dynamic between all of us that we share on stage is just as fun as anything I have ever experienced.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods?

ALEX: If I’m being completely honest; we’ve had some trouble getting our footing locally, people outside our town seem to have understood us and supported us stronger early on rather than the immediate locals. Mainly because we have very strong personalities and don’t play the political games that other bands can be found guilty of. It may have hindered us a little, but integrity and passion drives this band; and unless we can support it fully, we won’t do it. That’s not to say we don’t have a strong and loyal fan-base, because we do; but I would say we’ve gotten a much slower start in comparison to our peers.

We also have trouble building a fan-base in a town that is more geared towards liking metal and crust punk bands; not many people I know support “rock” anymore… partly spanning the inspiration for the song Save The Rock (Hipster Killers).

JAMES: I am thankful for the support that we have gotten here so far, though while it may not be very huge locally, certain people have mattered the most in our development and have supported us since day one have played a big part in providing some great opportunities here as well.

How has the internet and social media impacted on and helped the band to date? Do you see it as something always destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

ALEX: I think social media as an idea is a fantastic thing; being able to connect with people all around the world at the click of a button, you know the bands of yesteryear would have killed for this sort of technology when booking tours or promoting albums! The problem lies with the programmers and what they feel is best for the platform as a whole, sometimes forgetting that there are people still trying to use places (like Facebook) to promote their own businesses / companies and their algorithms prevent those posts from showing up in people’s timelines unless you pay for the post to be seen; dubbing it as a “Sponsored Post”. I’m not a big fan of stuff like that, but it’s pretty unavoidable at times…

It’s also no mystery that the internet has killed physical album sales tremendously; which does sadden me a bit because I still get excited when a band releases something on vinyl; so maybe groups should re-evaluate their product packaging and find ways to draw in the new generation that prefers a download to a CD. We still love being able to chat with our fans all over the world, so I would say all in all it’s a great thing…At least for right now.

JAMES: It’s definitely a double edged sword, but part of the excitement for me IS the fact that it is the Wild West for new bands like us, which allows us to get very creative with different marketing and promotional ideas.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add?

ALEX: Just want to pass on a big thank you to The RingMaster Review for having us on! Our new single Hit The Gas can be found on iTunes, Amazon Music, and our online store (http://store.thefillins.com/ ). We’ll be releasing a split 7in vinyl of Hit The Gas sometime in the Spring of 2017 (through No Profit Records) as we lead into getting ready for our next release for late 2017!

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Pete RingMaster 16/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons – Dirty Rock ‘n’ Roll

pic debbie-attwell

pic debbie-attwell

As the band work and finish material to grace a new album, British rockers Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons have linked up with Dirty Water Records for the long awaited digital release of second album Dirty Rock ‘n’ Roll and quite simply if you missed it first time around and have an instinctive appetite for insatiable bordering salacious punk infested rock ‘n’ roll, than it is a must.

Formerly in a band just called The Johnsons, the Basingstoke hailing trio is fronted by the wild feline wiles of vocalist Puss Johnson with founding guitarist Dirty Jake (Feckle, Lube) and drummer Filfy Antz (The Krewmen) alongside uncaging their own raw and incendiary antics. It is an explosive combination which saw their 2010 debut album Exercise Your Demons earn many plaudits as too over the years a blistering live show seeing the band share stages with the likes of The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Thee Oh Sees, The Fuzztones, Mad Sin, The Damned, 999, The Polecats, The Creepshow, The Rezillos, Bow Wow Wow, The Meteors, The Vibrators, Resurex, DragSTER, Trioxin Cherry, and Atomic Suplex.  Three years later, Dirty Rock ‘n’ Roll was the cause of even greater eager attention and acclaim upon Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons; a spotlight sure to be regenerated by its digital uncaging ahead of as mentioned a new album.

Featuring eleven tracks spun from attitude loaded threads of everything from punk, garage rock, glam, psychobilly, garage punk and any other form of rock ‘n’ roll you wish to offer, Dirty Rock ‘n’ Roll is an explosive riot for senses and body alike. Produced by Alex McGowan and featuring guest double-bassist Phil Bloomberg of The Polecats on a couple of tracks, the album instantly prowls the listener as opener Burying The Bodies settles in to place, once set continuing to stalk but with an infectious swagger led by the biting beats of Antz. Straight away there is an obvious devilment in the band’s sound and the lusty roar shared by Pussycat, her presence and delivery a snarling seducing. With big hooks and winding grooves, the slab of predacious rock ‘n’ roll is an irresistible start to a release proving to be unrelenting in its fiery creative and aggressive incitement.

Hell Bent is swift agreement, its whining grooves courting flying rhythms and Pussycat’s plaintive cries, all united in another tenacious track which eyes you up with distrust yet reveals the most compelling enterprise amidst mouth-watering unpredictability before Livin’ With Mum And Dad sees the band move from raw rock ‘n’ roll into a more seventies flavoured encounter as much glam rock and power pop as it is old school punk. For personal tastes, it lacks the bite and spark of those around it but with its Pistols-esque hook and caustic catchiness there is no escaping being sucked in.

front-cover_RingMasterReviewPsychobilly flavours the magnificent stomp of Get Outta My Face next, Bloomberg bringing his masterful slaps to the Batmobile meets Imelda May scented stroll with Pussycat like a punk Wanda Jackson. Fiery guitar and senses badgering beats bolster the seriously rousing proposal as the song shows another aspect to the album and the Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons sound.

The scuzzy blues punk of She Don’t attacks and excites next, its corrosive character and sound as virulently infectious as anything upon the album while Mirtazapine uses similar strains of flavouring for its own individual trespass. With a touch of post punks Bone Orchard to its untamed garage punk challenge, the track is a superb mix of rapacious restraint and unbridled furor taking ears and imagination into the darkest shadows of the fiercest volcano.

There is no let-up of the enjoyably exhausting confrontations as Why Do You Hate Me? sears the senses with its punk rock lava around a rhythmic tempest while Dirty Li’l Dog, with the magnetic craft of the Polecat returning, leaps around with uninhibited rhythmic rioting as blues guitars embrace numerous other spices around the carnival barker leadership of Pussycat.

The final trio of songs just epitomise the variety and devilish imagination in the band’s songs; Sort Yourself Out a fuzzy blend of growling punk and toxic blues within The Pirates like rock ‘n roll and Souvenir simply one glorious invasion of garage punk with a scent of The Cramps, Animal Alpha, and In Evil Hour in its unique best track earning triumph.

Closed out by the adrenaline fuelled and feeding Hideous, a final belligerent detonation of rabble-rousing incitement, the outstanding Dirty Rock ‘n’ Roll is its title and so much more. It might not be a new release but it deserves this new exposure and Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons the fresh attention ahead of what can only be anticipated as another uncompromising uproar.

Dirty Rock ‘n’ Roll is available digitally through Dirty Water Records @ http://www.dirtywaterrecords.co.uk/shop/#!/Pussycat-and-the-Dirty-Johnsons-Dirty-Rock-n-Roll/p/75045471/category=2793895 with physical options @ http://thedirtyjohnsons.com/shop/4564430166

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Pete RingMaster 14/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

TaxiWars – Fever

Kris Dewitte

Kris Dewitte

We will be honest, jazz is an intriguing mystery to our usual musical investigations as too the possible inspirations to the new TaxiWars album, but there is no secret hiding an irresistible sound and provocative prowess within Fever. Offering ten mouth-watering adventures, the album, to use the term found in the release’s press release, flits between jazz and the avant-garde. It persistently provokes the senses as it flirts with the body and sparks the imagination like no other encounter heard this year.

TaxiWars is the inspirational collaboration between dEUS frontman Tom Barman and saxophone player Robin Verheyen, the pair joined by the just as absurdly creative bassist Nicolas Thys and drummer Antoine Pierre. Their self-titled debut album swiftly nurtured critical acclaim in 2015 and all we can say not having heard it, yet, is that if it matches up to the ingenious eclectic beauty of Fever, it deserved every breath of praise offered.

Fever opens with its title track, a proposition which alone makes the album worthy of attention. Instantly Verheyen’s sax is seducing ears with its intoxicating strikes, the metronomic beats of Pierre soon in close quarters as rock ‘n’ roll brews in bass and the creative tones of Barman. A flirtation for hips and feet alone, the grooving slice of dark jazz ‘n roll soon infests body and psyche alike becoming almost shamanic in its lure and tone with a relatively restrained yet salacious dance in its heart. At times and increasingly bordering on the deranged, the track is pure suggestive alchemy setting off the tone and instinctive seduction of the album in masterful style.

The following Soul Repair is similarly groove bound and imposingly suggestive; blending flirtatious energy driven by the tenacious throaty enterprise of Thys’ bass with mellower though no less gripping twists. Once more the imagination is as inspired as bodily involvement, its smoky shadow teased canvas a sure lure for creative thoughts and the lyrical and vocal imagination of Barman.

taxiwars_2_cover_RingMasterReviewBridges is next, coaxing attention like a mix of Dizraeli & The Small Gods and Charles Mingus; teasing ears with its melodic seduction and the ever sultry warmth and incitement flaming from Verheyen’s ingenuity. Rhythmically just as addictive with Barman alone an incitement to hang the imagination upon, the exceptional track is more than matched by the flirtatiously prowling Soliloque (Sans Issue). Sung in French, the song is even greater bait for language restricted thoughts to weave their own ventures; escapades further shaped by the brass coaxing of Verheyen and prompted by the noir lined stroll of the rhythms.

Romancing ears next is Trash Metal Ballad, a smouldering slice of creative beauty with Barman enticingly strolling scenery of gentle but insistent and evocative rhythmic coaxing courted by the hazy poetic flames of Verheyen. The song is glorious, an exploration at times on the verge of Shatner’s Bassoon like bedlam but always pulling back to slip back into the smouldering foxy fascination it emerged with.

As gentle as the song is, it is a livelier proposal compared to next up Airplane Song, though it too has infectiousness in its minimalistic invention which is as spirited as anything within Fever and cored by another simply enslaving bass jaunt from Thys. The song epitomises the tapestry of sound and suggestion woven by all four elements of the band perfectly, each as creative and essential as the other in an inescapable flirtation of body and emotion.

As calm and aurally reflective as the previous pair are, Controlled Demolition is a tenaciously energetic and dynamic proposal. Bedlamic and punky with an array of seemingly random twists and turns fuelled with schizophrenic urgency, the track is a powerhouse of invention and individual craft leading the listener on a hectic race against time and far too short given its ridiculously addictive fertile innovation.

Living up to its name, a compelling dose of the blues comes with the shadow rich Honey It’s The Blues, another suggestive noir lit encounter providing street corner light on a jazz room romance in thoughts, both centred on the blaze of Verheyen’s sax and Barman’s hazily coated descriptive prowess as an organ colours the surrounding depths.

That quality to inspire the creativity of thoughts is an ever present within Fever and again at eager play within En Route, its bass nurtured repetitive but persistently imaginative rhythmic engine a road trip for the senses through a landscape of brass drawn scenery and vocal intimation with a backing lure simply impossible not to get hooked on.

The swarthy atmosphere and climate of Egyptian Nights brings the album to a sublime close, TaxiWars dancing with the imagination as African rhythms and exotic textures surround the vocals while infusing their playful romance into keys and sax.  It is a memorable and lingering close to a simply wonderful release, Fever a drop-dead treat of sound and imagination capable of igniting the passions whatever the once preferred flavour of sound.

Fever is out now via Universal Jazz across all stores.

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Pete RingMaster 13/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright