The RingMaster Review takes a swifter glance at other striking encounters…
Creative streams of temptation
Already 2017 seems like it could be a year of names and reputations being forged from just singles alone. In the first couple of months there have been a great many which just leap from the thick and busy crowd; a persistent stream still flowing into March through another batch of striking proposals.
One such is FAR TOO WRONG, the new video/single from British rock band MATTER OF MIND. They are a quartet from Stockport who has really begun to grab praise and attention the past couple of years with their Ben Sansom (Lower Than Atlantis) recorded debut EP, A State Of Mind leading the way. Its early 2016 release whipped up support from fans and notable music figures alike. It is a success the band hope to build upon this year with a series of planned live dates to follow the release of Far Too Wrong with its striking video alongside.
Melodies and vocal prowess quickly feature across the song, its melancholic yet charming start soon alive with the potent vocal tones of rhythm guitarist Jordan Lambert enjoyably backed by those of drummer Connor McQue. Around them guitars simmer, almost teasing with their melodic touch before bursting into stronger flame with the suggestive enterprise of lead guitarist Ash Meadowcroft courted by the darker presence of Rob Bramwell’s bass.
The band’s sound has been referenced by the likes of Biffy Clyro and Royal Blood, and in the single there is a touch of Sick Puppies to the track which does it no calm either. If this is a sign of things to come, Matter Of Mind could indeed be looking at a big year.
Another band with a rosy future is THE SNEAKY NIXONS, “An angry, semi-political, semi-religious, part-feminist sloppy activist group who play riotous, steam-train guitar music.” They are also a proposition which single by single, song by song seems to find and unveil a new fresh trait in their creative arsenal. The previous delights of tracks like Having Fun and Sex took fans on varying indie inspired rock ‘n’ roll escapades, adventure just as easy to devour in their latest single RETURNING HOME A FAILURE.
Taken from new album The Barbie Syndrome, the loping gait and lazy sultry climate of Returning Home A Failure quickly seduces the senses and imagination. The first flame of sax serenading ears is joined by the similarly sultry embrace and suggestive strokes of guitar, their glowing smoulder breeding a slow stroll with a swagger that just grips feet and hips. There is no escaping an Arctic Monkeys meets Libertines like wine to the song but one embraced by a mischievous Americana twang and indie pop revelry. It is pure magnetism and sure to create plenty more interest in band and album.
Talking of that kind of captivation, British alternative/indie rockers THE SLUMDOGS have that almost intrusive strength of temptation on show too in the two tracks and EP unveiled since the beginning of the year. The Blackpool quartet recently released the single UNSUITABLE KIND; an irresistible slice of infection taken from the very well-received January released Chasing The Never-Day EP, a track which they have already followed up with a striking video created by Chutzpah TV for new track WETTY.
The first of the two songs is a slice of fevered rock ‘n’ roll with Northern r&b swagger and Brit Pop revelry. It is all guitar jangle, predacious bass, and rhythmic flirtation aligned to expressively engaging vocals; everything coming with an energy and mischief which devours ears and appetite. Again, the scent of those bands mentioned in regard to The Sneaky Nixons song are hints to the sound here but hues in something just as unique and mercilessly irresistible. Wetty is a more punk fuelled stomp, Bobby, Elliot, Will, and Cam littering it with attitude loaded vocals and hooks as rhythms and riffs tenaciously descend on the senses. It is also as infectiously disarming as the band’s recent track, even more so really with its wiry post punk snarl and dirtily contagious Clash hued roar. The pair of treats are proof that The Slumdogs continue to grow bolder and get bigger and subsequently better with every song.
Also continually evolving and honing their sound is British melodic/alternative rock outfit MOUNTAINJAM. Formed as the previous outfit two years ago, the Midlands hailing foursome have continually and increasingly drawn plaudits and new fans since their debut EP in their first year through subsequent singles. It is easy to expect HEAVENLY BLUE will only be adding to that success ahead of the release of the band’s forthcoming debut album.
As last single Waiting, there is a mellow air to the MountainJam sound here compared to when they first stepped forward, calm though with underlying drama and an almost tempestuous essence which gives a strength and fire to melodies and heat to the emotion of the song’s heart. It has real infectiousness too which lines every element of its controlled but eager presence; all textures emulated in the vocals. Not quite the slow burner that its predecessor was, it is a song still just growing in persuasion and impressiveness listen by listen. It draws on the best individual essences of previous offerings to forge its own stature and success while confirming MountainJam as still one of the bands with the potential to take UK rock into new inspiring adventures.
Continuing the theme of uncaging a temptation stirring ears and excitement for an upcoming album is FUZZY LOGIC BABY. The full-length is scheduled for late 2017 giving the British band plenty of time to tease and entice with new single GLOW IN THE DARK taken from their acclaimed EP of the same name. The London outfit create a smoothly revolving kaleidoscope of reggae, ska, grime, and punk lined alternative rock. It conjures a creative drama which is intimate and fun built on a mischievous nature which ensures songs like Glow In The Dark leave expectations and predictability idle spectators.
The song almost idles in, a slim melody luring the instantly captivating vocals and a brooding yet smiling bassline. With a quickly engaged chorus seducing the listener vocally as their bodies swing to the sway of the music, the track continues to unveil a perpetual twist of ingenuity and imagination. Like a mix of The Specials, By The Rivers, G.R.I.M, and The Skints, it proceeds to get more crazed, veering towards bedlam but never losing its skilful control of rabid invention. There are a fair few bands truly exciting ears right now with undoubtedly Fuzzy Logic Baby right there on the frontline.
The UK capital and British electronic imagination has also seen the release of the new EP from the trio of musician/songwriter/producer Matt Brock, vocalist Atashi Tada, and visual artist Rafael Filomeno, better known as dark electro band DICEPEOPLE. It is a four song offering based around the dark synthpop track SYNTHETIC; its presence joined by a trio of re-mixes.
The band’s sound is more a weave of flavours than one specific strain, the threesome drawing on spices from electronica to EBM, darkwave and post-rock to synth pop with more besides within dark electro explorations. Synthetic is a fusion of crystaline vivacity and synth temptation over a darker underbelly of throbbing shadows and dark beats. The vocals of Tada are additional radiance within the warm shimmer, her celestial tones courted by the heavier and equally alluring tones of presumably Brock. There is an eighties feel to the track’s dance too, both Art Of Noise and Propaganda reminded of as also a general essence of the kind of sounds found on early Mute Records releases. It is magnetic seduction from start to finish enjoyably backed by remixes from Ventenner, who recently enjoyed acclaim for their new album Invidia, and Little Death Machine as well as Brock exploring new depths with his Pneumatic mix of his track. All three takes capture ears and imagination with ease, each giving a whole new aspects and shades to the song whilst echoing its core sunspot of pure enticement.
We complete this look at some of the best new singles with the two track release from BAUM JR., vocalist/musician previously with British band High Horses. The Manchester bred songwriter releases his second double A-side single over the first weekend of March, two tracks reinforcing and building on the impressive introduction to him made by its predecessor.
Musically Baum Jr. is an emotively driven fusion of electronic flavours and melodic rock; elements of synthwave, darkwave, 8bit and more adding to the weave and drama woven and making a potent persuasion on the new release. Like his first single containing original song Heroes and a unique cover of Garbage song When I Grow Up, its successor offers the same creative set-up.
THE SUNSET & THE COALPIT is an original song swiftly grabbing ears and attention. Initially a collusion of robustly lively rhythms and ear skirting shadows, the track becomes bolder and richer in its web of sound as seconds pass. Baum’s vocals are just as swift to impress, each note and syllable drenched in passion and emotion like a heart shared fireball in the midst of the calmer but no less dynamic sounds. Even with its fiery light and creative fervour, darkness lines its depths and heart; instinctive melancholy shading that same incendiary core and air.
Alongside the excellent song is the electro re-imagining of FOUNDATIONS, a song originally by London band Apologies, I Have None. A wash of melancholy and melodic reflection, the song glistens with craft and emotion if failing to quite match the compelling depths of Baum’s own track. Together though they make further potent suggestion of an artist with thick potential and already keenly enticing invention.
Far Too Wrong, single and video, from Matter Of Mind is out now.
The Sneaky Nixons single Returning Home a Failure and album The Barbie Syndrome are out now through Ocean Waves Productions on iTunes and other stores.
Upcoming Live Dates…Album party Liverpool District 3/3/17 Ditto Festival Liverpool Camp and Furnace 24/3/17 Scotland Glasgow – Weavers Lounge 15/4/17
The Slumdogs single Unsuitable Kind and video for Wetty are available now.
Mountainjam’s Heavenly Blue is out now.
Fuzzy Logic Baby has their Glow In The Dark single and EP available now on iTunes and other stores.
Synthetic from Dicepeople is out now @ https://dicepeople.bandcamp.com/album/synthetic
The two track single from Baum Jr. is available now
Pete RingMaster 07/03/2017
Baring teeth and rousing bodies
Always partial to short brutal and rousing trespasses, a host of bruising singles have got The RR juices flowing these past clutch of days, and no more so than the new offering From Denmark’s GRUMPYNATORS.
We have had a lustful appetite for the band’s motorbilly fuelled rock ‘n’ roll since their self-titled debut EP back in 2011 and have frequently featured the band for selfish pleasure on our podcasts etc. so news of the release of second full-length City Of Sin only drew orgasmic squeals. Ahead of their highly anticipated new album the band has unleashed their video/single TAKE THE LAST DANCE WITH ME. Wondering if the band could still excite with the same thorough efficiency, the track quickly proved itself with a presence welcomingly bred in the band’s expected, hoped for, and particularly individual and hungrily feverish rock ‘n’ roll; part psychobilly, part metal, and part punk infused hard rock and all riotous adventure.
The song, released on Mighty Music as the upcoming album, maybe holds no real new surprises for fans but hits the sweet spot from its first second as the guitars of Christian Nørgaard and Emil Øelund collude with the swiftly joined double bass stomping of Jakob Øelund and Per Fisker’s swinging beats. The Øelund growl is as melodic and gnarly as ever, leading the virulent charge inciting feet, hips, and vocal chords with salacious swiftness. The song is an anthem for body and spirit, a roar for wasted opportunities and secret longings and quite irresistible. Roll on that album was the only thing on our breath at its end for which you can find a review in the coming days on the site.
Another band laying down a flavoursome teaser for an upcoming full-length is Norway’s stoner punks BOKASSA. March 25th sees the release of debut album DIVIDE & CONQUER on All Good Clean Records and whipping up the appetite for it is the band’s new single WALKER TEXAS DANGER.
With a well-received EP in War On Everything, and a couple of equally successful singles under their belts, the trio of vocalist/guitarist Jørn Kaarstad, bassist Bård Linga, and drummer Olav Dowkes uncage a ferocious blaze of punk and hardcore infused rock ‘n’ roll in their new track. It simply devours and exhausts the senses from start to finish with a bruising trespass as fiercely infectious as it is openly irritable. Guitars are a greedy assault whilst the bass bounds along with a devious swing invading limbs and psyche as beats hit the senses like an axe splitting wood. Amongst it, spicy grooves wind and entangle the treat, alongside a stoner tang sharing its flirtation.
The song has echoes of fellow countrymen Shevils which does it no harm at all and at its end like the Grumpynators track the only urge is to dive into the album it comes from like a kid in, this time, a wonderfully toxic candy store.
April sees the unveiling of the debut album from THE DUST CODA and as a teaser the British rockers have just shared a slice in new single ROCK N ROLL. Hailing from London, the quartet certainly sparked attention with debut single The More It Fades last year, its fiery blaze of melody rich heavy rock also featuring on the upcoming Holier Than Thou Records released encounter. Now its successor cements the thought that it will be an offering well worth checking out.
Rock N Roll pulls out no major surprises but certainly lives up to its title with swinging grooves and lively beats soaked in a tangy creative juice with blues and classic rock spices. It wears its influences proudly and as such is not trying to reinvent anything but it has a plentiful of reasons to encourage that closer look at its supplier, a release to be supported by a UK tour and European festival dates.
The past couple of weeks have also seen the release of the new single from Colombian melodic death metallers ESHTADUR. This is another band with an album in MOTHER GRAY on the near horizon and another making a very persuasive case as to why it should be explored on arrival.
Coming from Pereira, the quintet has drawn comparisons to At the Gates, Septicflesh, and early Soilwork. Emerging in 2005 with demo Timo Be Timo, they have gone on to release a pair of EP’s and two well-received albums while successfully venturing and playing across their homeland into Peru and Mexico. With attention further afield already gathering around the band, the release of Mother Gray is backed by the outfit’s first ever US dates and tasted by the excellent single CORNERED AT THE EARTH.
From its first breath, a wave of invasive rhythms and predacious riffs consume ears, in the midst of the tempest melodic toxins and symphonically spiced grooves growing. The guttural growl of Jorg August is as commanding and captivating as the sounds around him, the variety in vocals trespass similarly appealing as guitarists Juan Ortiz and Sebas Patiño cast their individual nets of invasive textures whilst the rhythmic pressure of bassist Victor Valencia and drummer Mauro Marin never relents as the track’s imaginative dark drama unfolds across five compelling minutes which only lead to a desire to embrace Mother Gray.
Lastly and released a touch earlier than the others but certainly worth checking out is COLD AS A STONE from US heavy rockers SOLDIERS OF SOLACE. Recently signed with the German based label Rock’N’Growl Records, the Hartford, CT hailing quintet is currently in the studio recording their debut album. New track Cold As A Stone is a taster of that future release, a slab of heavy rock and melodic metal which again you could say is not breaking into new avenues of uniqueness but with its grumbling rhythmic tone and fiery melodic tapestry enjoyably burns upon the senses.
Emotionally charged, the song makes a strong first impression but blossoms into a lingering flame of enterprise and persuasion with every listen. Influences on the band are said to include the likes of Shinedown, Alterbridge, Seether, and Guns N Roses among a few, each a good clue to what Soldiers Of Solace offer in their own determined style.
Grumpynators ‘s Take The Last Dance With Me is out now through Mighty Music with the album City Of Sun released March 24th.
Bokassa’s Walker Texas Danger is out now via All Good Clean Records and the album Divide & Conquer on March 25th.
Rock N Roll from The Dust Coda is out now through Holier Than Thou Records.
Eshtadur’s Cornered at the Earth is out now @ https://eshtadur.bandcamp.com/ with Mother Gray released May 12th on Bleeding Music Records.
Soldiers Of Solace’s Cold As A Stone can be streamed now available through Rock’N’Growl Records.
Circles Of Sound
I guess we all need something to lure us into the heart of the first month of the year as life makes demands but it has certainly been made easier over the past couple of weeks with a handful of ear pleasing singles.
The magnetic tones of LITTLE LAPIN provides the first hug of ears with her new track ISN’T LIFE FOR LIVING. Devon bred but now Cornwall based, Little Lapin is Lucy Hill, a singer/songwriter who has mesmerized audiences from the UK to New Zealand and New York since emerging round 2012 and a great many more with debut album Remember The Highs of 2015. Taking inspirations from the likes of Regina Spektor, The Cranberries, Florence & The Machine, Laura Marling, PJ Harvey, The Cure, and The Pixies into her own increasingly individual sound and poetic songwriting which Little Lapin reveals she has pushed on again to build on the potency of her last single Californian Sun with Isn’t Life for Living.
The initial gentle caress of guitar is swiftly joined by the harmonic kiss of Little Lapin’s vocals, a radiant union which lures in the potent throb of bass and the crisp skip of rhythms soon after. The distinctive tangy warble in her voice as ever tantalises while adding further expression to the heart of the melody woven encounter. The song also reveals a richer weave of sound and its closeness to the lyrical heart of the songwriting, a fresh quality sparking hopes of another album very soon.
Just as seductive is the new two track single from also Cornwall based outfit THE VELVET HANDS. Formed by Toby Mitchell and Dan Able, the quartet
completed by Louis Willbourne and Sam Hilder have also increasingly honed and grown a sound already gracing a clutch of praised single to make a striking presence in their new proposal I DON’T CARE. It opens with boldly tempting drums, their coaxing joined by a great guitar jangle with a seventies punk scent to it. Indeed the group vocals hint back to the power pop/melodic punk rock treats of the time too, it all delivered with modern day zeal around a great grumbling bassline.
It is an easy to devour proposition for ears and hips and potently backed by THE END, a calmer wash of sound with melancholy in its heart, reflection in its vocals and words, and a Beatles kissed air to its melodic serenade. Together and individually the songs make a compelling persuasion from a band sure to tempt another wave of keen interest through them.
In contrast to the buoyant air of those two tracks, an emotional haunting fuels the profoundly evocative beauty of GOODBYE, the new track from British spoken word artist EQUINOX. Linking up with electronic/post rock weaver DEMENTIO13, the track is a fog of dark ambience which seeps through the pores. The melancholic sounds of Dementio13 wash over ears, imagination, and Equinox’s words, clinging to his mere four lines persistently echoing in the imagination from their first touch and their one time increasingly broken repetition. It is an enthralling track which lingers to draw attention back with into its rare beauty.
Released in 2015, Sunny Day Machine, the debut album from Scottish outfit ST. CHRISTOPHER MEDAL still and unsurprisingly seems to be drawing new ears and appetites the way of the band’s unique indie Scotpop sound. It was an attention grabbing proposal swiftly intriguing ears and sparking the imagination, much like the band’s new single WAYNE MOON PILOT.
The Perthshire six-piece of brothers Ali (vocals, guitar and songs) and Kenny Mathieson (lead guitar), David Mack (drums & percussion), Andy Jeffries (keys), and Billy Nisbet (bass) explore a new aspect of their imagination with their latest track. Its body is as striking and unexpected as fans of their album will assume; gently strolling Americana spiced indie pop as nostalgic in its air as it is fresh in its character tempting within a celestial atmosphere reminding, if not in sound, of Bowie’s Space Oddity. Its touch has an intimacy as potent as the spatial landscape reflecting the song’s protagonist calling out across the stars.
It is a song which grows by the minute and seduces more and more with every listen while suggesting that St. Christopher Medal itself is moving into another new and individual sphere of creative adventure.
If its caress is a melancholic yet warm persuasion, Warrington/Leeds based funksters THE WINACHI TRIBE put an eager spring in the step with their new offering A ROOM WITH A ZOO.
The single also has a gentle touch in its presence but it is eagerly lively as the band’s ever inviting sound sways and swings within ears, its seduction inspiring replication in the hips of the listener.
Vocalist Liam Croker almost serenades the senses with his harmonic quality while bubbly rhythms skip around with frivolous invention. With its infectious jangle on top there is a touch of The Tom Tom Club to the track, a highly agreeable essence entangling with more Parliament Funkadelic and Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five like spicing but as already evidenced by previous singles, the sextet weave it into their own virulently infectious enterprise. There is no escaping the effect the song has on body and spirit, and no reason anyone would ever want to while the 10 minute film featuring Tommy Flanagan (Sons Of Anarchy) which accompanies it is another must.
Little Lapin’s Isn’t Life for Living is available now @ bandcamp
The Velvet Hand’s I Don’t Mind is out now on Easy Action Records @ http://easyaction.co.uk/index.php?route=product%2Fproduct&product_id=477&search=The+Velvet+Hands
Goodbye from Equinox is out now.
The St. Christopher Medal single Wayne Moon Pilot is out now on Stereogram Recordings @ https://stereogramrecordings.bandcamp.com/track/wayne-moon-pilot
The Winachi Tribe’s A Room With A Zoo is out now @ https://itunes.apple.com/album/id1174915576?ls=1&app=itunes
Pete RingMaster 09/02/2017
Rousing jangles and bold choruses
With 2016 turning into its successor and subsequent weeks coming thick and fast, there have been a few singles which have simply demanded attention, three in particular.
First is the new track from British rock/pop band MOSLEY BAR. A quartet from the North West of England, Mosley Bar swiftly found itself luring national airplay with debut single Record Sleeve in 2015. Last year the Another Record Sleeve EP pushed the band’s emergence to new heights, a success set to be matched and nudged once again by upcoming single TWO APART.
Released 23rd January, the track is a gentle yet eagerly catchy affair, setting out on an unhurried and swiftly infectious stroll from its first second. Quickly vocalist Ryan Ward lures ears already caressed by the melodic prowess of his and Adam Eccleston’s guitars, their melodies warbling with a Latin scented tempting over the calmly rousing rhythms of bassist Tim Williams and drummer Matthew Wright. Like a mix of The Libertines, Arctic Monkeys, and Two Door Cinema Club, the track is a smouldering persuasion compared to the more instant persuasion of previous tracks but one making a swift attraction which blossoms into a lingering and irresistible romance for ears and imagination.
Just as magnificent is the new single from South London hailing ARTBREAK. Supposedly only being around since June last year, the band has actually evolved from the acclaimed presence of Savage Nomads with four fifths of its line-up coming from their outstanding predecessor. Since emerging Artbreak has been dropping singles every few weeks with POLAROIDS IN PARIS the latest, though there may already be others out there tempting ears as you read this.
The single certainly holds much of the irresistibly infectious and creatively bold sound of its creator’s former guise but honed into a whole new character of imaginative enterprise. With an early Orange Juice like jangle to its tenacious rock ‘n’ roll and the ever enjoyable swagger of Cole Salewicz’s vocals, the song twists and turns with unpredictability. It is funky and boisterous, marrying eighties new wave/indie pop with modern anthemic rock ‘n’ roll, and the spark to the kind of romance theming its heart between band and ears.
Finally UK’s AKIVA brings their own blues/funk flavouring to ears in the single CHEMICAL EYES, the Bedfordshire based quartet consisting of brothers and school mates with a mutual love for many creativity inspiring things. The single follows the band’s well-received debut album Can’t Buy Revolutions and treats ears to suggestive electronics, swaggering Madchester styled rhythms and funkiness, and blues pop ‘n’ roll. It is a heady mix led by the voice and synth of Dave MacKenzie and shaped by the imaginative enterprise of guitarist Malcolm Carter alongside the rhythmic swing of bassist Rob Mercel and drummer Dave Mercel. Its creative colours border on kaleidoscopic, psych and indie rock among spices adding to the captivating character of the song explaining plenty of reasons why a buzz is brewing up around the outfit.
Mosley Bar’s single Two Apart is out 23rd January
Artbreak’s Polaroid in Paris is out now.
Akiva’s Chemical Eyes is digitally out now @ https://akivamusic.bandcamp.com/track/chemical-eyes
Pete RingMaster 17/01/2017
New and vintage breeds.
Bringing 2016 to a rousing close is a collection of singles which just demand attention.
The first comes from Northern Ireland’s HELLO CASANOVA, a debut single which alone suggests the band has a rosy future ahead of them. Formerly known as Foreign Affairs, the Armagh hailing trio have linked up with London-based Supersonic Media, the home of the outstanding Calling All Astronauts, for their first offering. I’LL BE WAITING is an imposingly infectious slice of anthemically feisty pop punk recorded with producer Rocky O’Reilly (And So I Watch You From A Far, Fighting With Wire).
Opening with a wiry melody reminiscent of the sonic suggestiveness Stuart Adamson (Skids/Big Country) used to conjure, the song is soon strolling confidently through ears with the potent tones of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Matt Irwin leading the way. Swiftly a Celtic flavouring embraces song and imagination, and once in full flight the track a touch of bands like Josef K and The Cuban Heels emerges within the enterprise of lead guitarist Ethan Williamson as the swinging beats of Martin Miller create their own addictive lure. There is a definite eighties feel to the track but equally it offers essences seemingly inspired by the likes of Jimmy Eat World and Living End for two and a half minutes of potential soaked pleasure.
Within the same country borders Belfast based MOJO FURY recently released their new track, the predacious and criminally catchy TRYING TO GET FREE. Released as a free download on their Bandcamp profile, the song is a tenaciously gripping slice of the band’s distinctive and ever off-kilter alternative rock. It feels like a life time between the new song and acclaimed second album THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN but the three years swiftly dissolve as the single consumes ears and a quickly lusty appetite.
Within seconds it is strolling heavily across the senses, guitar and bass riffs predatory and beats forcibly crisp before things settle a touch and guitarist Michael Mormecha springs his expressive vocal prowess. The bass of Ciaran McGreevy brings an earthy growl as beats continue to shake bones, their rhythmic magnetism only matched by the wiry web spun by James Lyttle’s guitar.
The track is glorious, a dark cousin to the similarly deranged invention of Japanese Fighting Fish with a raw pop punch which simply infests body and spirit.
Moving further south, hailing from Donegal in Ireland is WOLVES OF YOUTH, an indie rock quartet with a sound, on the evidence of latest single SAY SOMETHING, which command attention with ease. Formed in 2014, the foursome of lead vocalist/guitarist Garry Doherty, lead guitarist Stephen Shelly, bassist/vocalist Ciaran O’Reilly, and drummer Daniel McGettigan have become a potent live presence across Ireland drawing increasing acclaim as shows and festival appearances have only increased their reputation.
Linking up with producer Philip Magee recently, Wolves Of Youth emerged from the studio with SAY SOMETHING, a song which quickly has ears and body involved in its tenacious and accomplished blend of keen rhythms and flavoursome melodies around the engagingly earthy tones of Doherty. There is a snap to its beats and an underlying growl to its tempting bassline, textures alone which earns keen interest but with open imagination loaded enterprise colouring the track and the roar of an emotive heart it is one rousingly magnetic proposal where uniqueness may not be ablaze but thick enjoyment is a given.
Without doubt one of our early passions at The RR was THE WOODENTOPS, a UK band we suggest who were more influential than people realised and still maybe do but were the masters of creating the most infectious and invasively memorable slices of indie pop.
This year saw the thirtieth anniversary of the release of The Woodentops seminal WHY WHY WHY and in celebration UK label Wall Of Sound released a special 12″ containing remixes and a 2016 Reversion of the original. Listening to the latter brings back the adventure of listening to the band first time around in a nostalgic flood; choppy riffs and almost deceptively engaging hooks dancing in ears and a throbbing bassline flirts within the tenacious festival of beats. Physical involvement is inescapable and a given, the song strikingly fresh in its new 2016 guise with matching lyrical insight but still the busy carnival of incitement it was originally and always will be.
Kaleidoscopic webs and charms
Taking a glance at some ear exciting new encounters, HEART EXPLODES is the new single from Queens, New York based musician RACHEL MASON and the second track taken from her new album DAS RAM. The successor to acclaimed predecessor TIGERS IN THE DARK, the new single is a magnetic theatre of tone and suggestiveness driven by the entrancing tones of Mason. Surrounded by a musical drama which tempts and guides the imagination layer by layer, second by second, Mason creatively dances in the ears and thoughts
A metaphor for “allowing oneself the freedom to destroy one’s old identity and to find a new paradigm from which to dream”, the track invites a full engagement with the listener and rewards with an adventure which lingers and sparks well beyond its presence.
Another single which incites mind and emotions as much as the body is PLACES LIKE THIS, the new single from BLOODHOUNDS ON MY TRAIL. A fuzzy post punk and psych rock seducing wrapped in shoegaze bred enchantment, the song is a spatial yet intimate enchantment which infests the senses from start to finish.
Taken from the Australian quartet’s new EP HAUNTED ISLES, the single is layered with crystalline textures and rapacious yet reserved shadows which alone
draws the imagination in as the song slowly swarms over the senses with seductive warmth breaking into more intense flames across its compelling body.
Carrying essences of bands like My Bloody Valentine, Lush, Flyying Colours, and Passenger Peru, PLACES LIKE THIS is a fiery captivation which only leads ears towards THE HAUNTED ISLES EP and into the creative embrace of Bloodhounds On My Trail.
Contrastingly, moodily seductive yet with an underlying catchiness which has hips and spirit swaying, the title and lead track from the FAX MESSAGE BREAKUP EP has all the reasons why RODNEY CROMWELL has drawn waves of praise and attention since the release of debut album AGE OF ANXIETY mid-2015.
The nom-de-plume of Adam Cresswell, founding member of indie-folktronica band Saloon and one half of acclaimed electronic two piece Arthur & Martha, Rodney Cromwell swiftly captured the imagination with his eighties synth pop inspired sound and an album which danced with ears and emotions. Taken from AGE OF ANXIETY, the entrancing FAX MESSAGE BREAKUP wraps its melodic temptation around the senses like a mix of OMD and B-Movie, fondling them with melancholic emotions and captivating shadows as electronic breezes play. It is impossible not to find feet and body engaged in quick time, the lures of the song, which also features Alice Hubley (Arthur & Martha, Cosines) on additional synth and Richard Salt (Controllers) on guitar, overwhelming and persistent from something as fresh as it is nostalgic.
Accompanying the lead track is four exclusive remixes with Hologram Teen (ex-Stereolab synth-wizardess Morgane Lhote) and AUW offering their individual takes on the single, the first a lighter dance-floor incitement and the latter a darkly celestial flight taking the song into a new expansive climate with a touch of The Cure around their second album to it. The EP also offers up the Chris Frain remix of BABY ROBOT and The Leaf Library’s take on Cassiopeia, two more songs originally found on the aforementioned album. Together they all make for a magnetic adventure for body and imagination and a great doorway into the electronic world of Rodney Cromwell for those yet to indulge in his album.
Finally, ROBERTA is the first of three EPs to be unveiled by circus punk anti-folk band DALTON DESCHAIN & THE TRAVELING SHOW, each focusing on different characters in a larger
Traveling Show horror-punk epic about demon possession, circuses, and nuclear warfare cast by the band. With each release accompanied by a chapbook featuring a short story about the character complete with lyrics and drawings, it is a creative adventure on the evidence of this first chapter which is destined to trap, enslave, and the imagination.
Each of the trio of songs making up ROBERTA creates a uniquely distinct avenue to explore and be wrapped up in. Opener FREAKSHOW is a groove spun spectacle of circus punk devilry with a skeleton of bold rhythms within a sinister weave of melodic and vocal intrigue. Like a blend of The Bad Things and 12 Stone Toddler, it resourcefully preys on the dark corners of the mind whilst unveiling its own dangers and rapacious shadows led by the bedlam touched delivery of Dalton Deschain backed magnificently by the just as lively charms of fellow vocalist Jo Kroger. With the rhythmic espionage of bassist Michael Kennedy and drummer Phil Harris seducing and imposing throughout as the guitars of Deschain and Craig Kierce weave their suggestive tapestry, the song pure magnetic drama.
Alongside, INTERSTITIAL (DON’T CRY, MEIN LIEBCHEN) similarly entices and enthrals with its own capricious drama and noir clad landscape of carnival-esque horror built on warped atmospherics and outsider cries while DIFFERENT CONSTELLATIONS is a entrancing melodic serenade around the bewitching vocal duet of Deschain and Kroger; melancholy and beauty an inescapable captivation in a song which just seems to flame brighter with every passing eventful minute.
Fair to say that ROBERTA more than whets the appetite for the rest of the band’s emerging tale, a hunger already impatient for the next episode.
Heart Explodes is out now through Los Angeles-based Cleopatra Records and artist-run cassette label Practical Records with Das Ram also now available digitally and on limited edition CD via Cleopatra Records.
Places Like This and the Haunted Isles EP are out now through Moon Sounds Records and @ https://bloodhoundsonmytrail.bandcamp.com/album/haunted-isles-ep
The Fax Message Breakup EP is out now via Happy Robots Records @ https://rodneycromwell.bandcamp.com/album/fax-message-breakup-ep
Roberta is out now @ http://daltondeschain.bandcamp.com/album/roberta
Pete RingMaster 29/11/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
A Handful of Lures
Following a dark seduction amidst a provocative adventure for their debut single, GHOSTS OF SOCIAL NETWORKS engage in a brighter but no less compelling stroll for second release COMEBACK KID. The British band’s new track is a short and vibrant proposition keeping the summer a lingering moment in time with its warm bubbly character.
The Manchester outfit certainly stirred ears and attention with their first release, the double A-sided of LOVE POTION/MOCKINGBIRDS. Whereas the release saw the band fuse post punk, indie rock, and neo-psychedelia in a pair of magnetic proposals, the threesome of Nathan Till, Ben Dargue, and Jay Cuthill explore a sound more seeded in eighties new wave/pop for the Gavin Monaghan (Editors, Paolo Nutini, JAWS) produced COMEBACK KID. From its first rhythmic tempting swiftly involved with a joyful melody, the song is a smile on the senses with its sunshine character reinforced by a Haircut One Hundred like jangle aligned to a dark throbbing bassline. The vocals are just as potent and enticing, with band harmonies an additional flame of attraction for the easy on the ear, spirit sparking encounter.
Another single raising a flame in the passions as it rouses the spirit is SATELLITE from Anglo-Italian quartet MATINÉE. The East London based band have had a successful and eventful couple of years since the release of their impressive debut album THESE DAYS in 2014, lighting up a host of high profile venues and sharing stages with bands such as Mystery Jets, The Futureheads, and British Sea Power along the way. Earlier this year the foursome released the charming and elegantly catchy song EMPTY, a suggestion that the band’s sound was evolving rather nicely, confirmation and more coming with SATELLITE.
Featuring guest vocalist Pier Ferrantini, from Italian band The Velvet, the latest single shimmers into view with keys drawing again on an eighties spiced inspiration, like a mix of The The and Blue Mondays which the song continues to reference along its captivation. Ferrantini swiftly commands attention with his excellent presence, the band as expected drawing their fair share as keys and guitar collude in creating a web of melodic temptation as infectious as it is suggestive. With bold rhythms and an overall creatively tenacious air, the song leaves a feel good feeling behind impossible to dismiss.
Also coming out of London with of its feet in Kent, is indie rockers RIGHTEOUS REPROBATES who have just released their new single WHY’D YOU LET ME GO. The successor to their well-received and highly enjoyable track SCARLET SKY, the band’s new outing discovers an even more virulent infectiousness and headstrong boldness in their songwriting and sound.
The quartet’s influences include the likes of Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, Nirvana, The Beatles, and Led Zeppelin, essences more vocal in the new single compared to the last but essences which only colour an already distinctive proposition. From its opening rhythmically addictive stroll with a just as persuasive hook to its swagger, the song has feet and hips as attentive as ears soon locked into its anthemic temptation. There is a touch of Blur to the encounter which does it no harm either as it romps along; the vocals and lures of vocalists/guitarists Rob White and Jack Griffiths a warm buoyant invitation matched by the rhythmic swagger of bassist Jack Collier and drummer Charlie Kenny for another track which demands swift and full involvement.
Adding to the handful of striking and rousing singles we are looking at is a pair released on the excellent Holier Than Thou Records label. First is ROAD KILLING from British outfit THE TRIPDOWN PROJECT. Hailing from the UK’s North East, the trio of guitarist JoJo, drummer Ritch, and bassist Tim have a sound tagged as alternative rock but as ROAD KILLING shows, it has a much bolder character than that. The single strolls along with the boisterous catchiness of seventies power pop and the mischievous character of Supergrass, a tenacious mix which just ignites a physical grin to match that nurtured in the imagination. It is a riveting and ridiculously persuasive offering soon inspiring jumping feet and the contribution of vocal chords to its contagious epidemic of sound.
The other offering from the label is the new single by TOROUS; another British three piece coming from Birmingham this time. Formed in 2014, the band’s blend of Celtic folk/hard rock with heavy metal flavouring has seen plaudits coming its way through a live presence which has seen them support the likes of Rival State, Evil Scarecrow, and Diamond Head, and a sound as evidenced by COLOURS which gets under the skin. The single is a blend of familiar textures and an openly stirring individuality which still feels like it is in the honing. From the rousing rhythms of drummer Tom Fenn and the prowling lines of bassist GMT to the spicy grooves of guitarist Marc Malone, the song stalks and entices with the latter’s dusty vocals straddling all with engaging expression and texture.
It is a song which grows and impresses more with every listen, revealing just why locally the band is eagerly followed and the national scene is beginning to pay proper attention.
The Ghosts Of Social Networks single Comeback Kid is out now via Integrity Records.
Matinée’s Satellite is out now via Neon Tetra Records. @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/satellite-feat.-pier-ferrantini/id1159464305
The Righteous Reprobates single Why’d You Let Me Go? is out now
Both The TripDown Project and Torous singles are out now through Holier Than Thou Records across most online stores and streaming @ https://holierthanthourecords.bandcamp.com/
Carousel of Singles
Providing a seriously engaging introduction to themselves through debut single GIRLS LIKE YOU, Galway based trio THE CLOCKWORKS are now poised to conform their potential by unveiling its successor, MAZDA. It is a tenaciously infectious affair taking all the potent aspects of its predecessor and the band’s intriguing sound to a new level of tempting.
Fronted by London born James McGregor who linked up with guitarist Seán Connelly and drummer Damian Greaney early last year, The Clockworks have earned a strong reputation for a live presence which has seen them share stages with the likes of Keywest, Hermitage Green, The Magic Numbers, Fangclub, and Otherkin. Musically, the threesome creates an indie rock based proposal which carries an air of bands such as Arctic Monkeys, The Libertines, and Pulp whilst equally hinting at eighties post punk inspirations. The result is a proposal which grabbed attention on the first single and now leaps at the imagination through Mazda, a song as lyrically sharp in its social observation as it is keen in its uncluttered and tenaciously inventive sound.
With rhythms strolling along in a controlled swagger as the guitar shares a flirtatiously melodic enterprise, the song is a fresh breath of infectious rock. The vocals of McGregor are equally as alluring with an expressive and emotive honesty to their charm, a clean cut of a proposition which is echoed across all aspects of a richly enjoyable song suggesting this is a band going places.
Another track suggesting something special is brewing is the debut single from British project THE NOVACHORDS. An open door policy collective around the constant presence of pianist/songwriter/studio engineer Dan Syder, The Novachords emerged within Manchester’s School of Sound Recording, its name inspired by the first synthesizer. It is too early to suggest the exact nature of their sound but debut single NIGHTMARE is a deliciously shadowy slice of gothic blues around hip hop styled beats.
The first of a trilogy and a tale of lost love inspired by Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol, Nightmare opens with the dark yearning of Anna Ryland Jones’ cello and the melancholic keys of Syder. In turn, the scything touch and dramatic expression of Emily Mowbray’s violin courted by the dark beats of Pete Bill and the throbbing resonance of Dan Harries’ bass spark the imagination further aided by the emotive heart of the song shared by the compelling tones of vocalist Dominic Lawson. Syder continues to add emotively simple or thickly melodic hues to the captivating encounter, the backing harmonies of Francesca Britten almost ghostly in the cinematic yet intimate embrace of one excellent song.
A single which has been out a handful of weeks but seriously worth ears paying real attention is CONTEMPLATE THE IMMORTALITY OF THE CRAB from alternative rockers VAIN GALEN. Formed in 2012, the UK band have become a potent live presence on the Home Counties music scene, making successful ventures into the capital with a sound which snarls even when its melodic prowess embraces ears. That striking character of enterprise fuels the heart of Contemplate the Immortality of the Crab. It is a song which reveals there is plenty more to the band’s sound than that alternative rock tag suggests, coaxing ears with a low key lure before leaping upon them with muscular rhythms and in turn a fiery blaze of guitar as vocals roar. A punk hue rises within the song once it has settled, an early Therapy? like growl emerging too as the bass adds its unique groan and the vocals show a variety as strong as the music around them. Instinctively infectious without losing its bite, the song is a captivating encounter unafraid to add unpredictability along the way, he band proving themselves another proposition with great potential and a rousing sound.
Lastly and to be keenly embraced is another slice of ear and imagination rousing antifolk from British singer songwriter GLENN HODGE BANNED. Again released a couple of weeks or so ago, PERFECT GENTLEMAN is more of Hodge’s observational lyrically suggestive punk folk which has already drawn thick acclaim through the Iconoclast EP of 2014 and last year’s exceptional single Family Man. The new track from the London based musician has a dark tone running through its emotion, a melancholy to its intimacy which caresses thoughts even as the warm tones of great female vocals hug the senses alongside Hodge.
With the acoustic prowess of Hodge as inward as the climate of the lives explored, Perfect Gentleman engages thoughts and emotions with ease, strings only adding to the kitchen sink drama feel of the excellent encounter. Hodge is one of Britain’s finest songwriters and sparkers of the imagination, his new single evidence alone to support such a claim.
The Clockworks‘ Mazda is released October 19th
The Novachords’ Nightmare is out now @ https://soundcloud.com/thenovachords/nightmare
Vain Galen’s Contemplate the Immortality of the Crab is out now.
Glenn Hodge Banned’s Perfect Gentleman is out now on iTunes and other stores.
Scars and emotion
Courtesy of Grandad Records, British hardcore quartet ARMED WITH BOOKS recently released the vinyl edition of debut EP HONESTLY, HONESTY. It is a haunting and fiercely emotive offering capturing the imagination across five tracks bred on everything from frustration and loss to despair and rage. Hailing from Norwich, Armed with Books released a demo in 2013 but particularly sparked attention with a split release earlier this year with South Bridge, again on Grandad Records. Honestly, Honesty is sure to inspire greater awareness for the band’s distinct and inventive sound.
From opener Charlatan, a track luring ears in with sensitive melodies until hooked then uncaging its thorny heart with vocalist/guitarist Olly Bradshaw venting exasperation with every syllable and note. The calm and tempest making up the track is a template shaping all tracks in their individual characters, fellow guitarist Ben Nabarro seducing with melodic prowess as the following Fraying also makes a mellow but shadowed start with the rhythms of bassist Dan Older and drummer Joe Woodbury adding their emotive volume. Joint vocal fury from both guitarists is an intimate pull but it is the musical potency and voice of the song which swiftly steals the imagination.
The remaining trio of tracks are as equally imaginative and potent; The Same a nagging irritant and seduction of ears, Plain Sight a compelling fusion of vitriolic release and reflective calm while closer To Betray is an intimate and invasive incitement awash with melancholic melodies and raw intensity. Each adds a fresh aspect to the first proper introduction to Armed With Books, a release suggesting the potential of its creators is one to get excited over.
Another band thick with emotion in their music is British melodic hardcore/metalcore outfit HIGH RISE, who also recently unveiled a rather impressive EP.
London based the quintet draw on inspirations from the likes of Underoath, The Ghost Inside and A Day to Remember for their robust and viciously infectious sound, flavouring adding rich hues to the five tracks making up the LEFT IT FOR EVERYTHING EP.
Successor to their well-received debut EP Tides Will Take You, the band’s latest roar was recorded with Dan Kerr at Avenue Studios and quickly seizes attention through opener Hands Untied. Quickly the band shows itself adept at forging rousing snarling intensity and aggression with melodic and harmonic imagination, the dual vocal attack echoed in sound in mixing irritable ire bred antagonism and reflective warmth. The first track casts a wall of thumping rhythms and grouchy grooves, twisting both and more with invention and the punkish rage of the band’s hardcore breeding.
It is a powerful start matched by the fiery Piece by Piece, a track punching home its initial sonic coaxing with hefty and swiftly addictive rhythms. Forcibly infectious with a robust and contagious bounce, the song has single all over it but is soon eclipsed by the best track on the EP. Reborn is superb, ears quickly entangled in the winding prowess of snaky grooves and passions lit by the growling riffs and punishing rhythms, all again contrasted by the excellent blend of clean vocals and throat raw aggression. Increasingly virulent and twisted with each passing minute, the guitars alone a bewitching and adventurous enterprise, the track is superb and alone suggests a big future for High Rise.
The concluding pair of L.I.F.E. and Vultures has a tough act to follow but both keep satisfaction full with the first a blaze of volcanic emotion and sonic acidity and the last another particular highlight of the EP with its bitter heart and incendiary metal ‘n’ roll assault. It is an outstanding end to a striking release from a band going places.
Honestly, Honesty is out on vinyl now via Grandad Records in LTD amount of 250.
The Left It For Everything EP is out now @ http://highriseukofficial.bandcamp.com/
Pete RingMaster 03/10/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
Warm Days and Smouldering Nights
Serenades in a host of persuasive ways have been the order of the day on the 16th of this month through a handful of singles rounded off by one magnetic EP.
Among them is the new single from French born, Hackney bred singer songwriter NUUXS. LOVE ME SLOWER is a soulful and melodic embrace of the senses, a slice of romancing dark pop carrying on the magnetic sounds found her previous release THE CRY EP and before it debut single HOLY MAN, both produced and co-written by Jake Gosling (Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendes, The Libertines, James Bay, Paloma Faith). Having already been compared to the likes of Lana Del Rey, Gwen Stefani and Adele, Nuuxs firmly sets her own identity of sound and emotion driven voice in the crystalline beauty of Love Me Slower, its tender and minimalistic kiss on ears the perfect cradle for the rich tones of the mesmeric vocalist. Released via Goldun Egg, the single is sure to bring Nuuxs to greater attention.
As will EIGHT TILL TEN, the new single from Scottish electro-pop quartet THE BLET PROJECT. “A light-hearted look at modern working life and the pressures it puts on relationships”, the track is an infectiously swinging encounter drawing on eighties and nineties R&B influenced pop. Its jazzy air brings an additional heated seduction and spicing; the melodic enterprise woven by the bouncing keys of band founder Stephen Dennis and the soulful guitar of Gavin McDiarmid charming companions to the glowing vocals of Maisie Hutt. Driven by the invitingly punchy beats of Colin MacGregor, the song is a trigger for lively feet and eager hips and as suggested full of the potential to put The Blet Project on closer looking radars ahead of the November release of debut album Now Live.
Dazy Records release I CAN SEE YOU (ON FACEBOOK), IndifferentMonKeY’s debut single this day too. A funk infested piece of creative revelry from the Joseph Lowe sparked band with help from long term friend/collaborator Mark Lingard, the first IndifferentMonKeY encounter also has a flavoursome eighties feel to its character, dancing in ears with a freshness which just forces the body to move to the catchy motion of the song. With a line-up completed on its introduction by guitarist Keith Ashcroft , drummer Maxime Lennsens, and vocalist Pearl Rose, IndifferentMonKeY is another band with an impending album in the shape of Human Diamond; a release sure to be eagerly anticipated thanks to songs like I Can See You (on Facebook).
The EP we mentioned comes from British duo THE POTTOS. Consisting of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Colin Clegg and lead guitarist Misto Viscuso, school friends since the age of fifteen, the band creates melody rich indie rock pop with, as evidenced by the WHITE LABEL KAFKA EP, appealing strains of folk and punk. Playing together for many years under numerous guises, they emerged as The Pottos in 2012, releasing debut album Imaginary Monologues. Last year saw the Borrowed Flag released to great responses now sure to be matched by the Joe Foster (Creation Records co-founder) produced White Label Kafka. The release starts with a bang as both opener, (One of Many) Imaginary Monologues 1, and the following Sugar Makes You Happy Now leap into ears. The first has an instinctive catchiness to its lively melodic smouldering which its successor takes it all to an even livelier and potent level. Great harmonies and infectious rhythms mark both with the second of the two establishing itself as the EP’s strongest moment before the warm caresses of Your Room show further variety to the pairs sound with its engaging and increasingly volatile croon.
The first half of the EP is probably its strongest but the catchy and feisty A Life in Black and White leaves enjoyment and imagination just as aroused before the closing pair of Boscombe Promenade and Youth lead the listener down a gentler emotive trail with nothing less than satisfaction in their wake. An EP which seems to make a stronger impact with every listen, White Label Kafka is highly recommended for all melodic rock /pop fans to complete a clutch of highly enjoyable encounters.
Pete RingMaster 23/09/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright