Pearl Handled Revolver – Fantasy Reigns

Though a band already with a wealth of compelling sounds and acclaim garnering releases behind them at the time, we were introduced to British dark rockers Pearl Handled Revolver three years back through their third studio album, If The Devil Cast His Net. It was an encounter which captivated ears and imagination in varying degrees across each track with all leaving a mark which inspired the real anticipation of its successor. Now the band has uncaged Fantasy Reigns, a fascination of sound and enterprise which firmly puts its predecessor in the shade.

The Bedford hailing quartet has brewed their enthralling blend of psychedelic rock, blues rock ‘n’ roll, and rhythmic animation with increasing invention and vision across every release. It is a potent reputation only further enlivened by a rousing live presence which has seen them share stages with the likes of The Black Crowes, The Blockheads, My Baby, Hawkwind, Focus, Uriah Heep, 10CC, Don Airey & Friends, and Stray over the years. With Fantasy Reigns though it feels like they have breached yet another fresh plateau of adventure and temptation, its eight tracks flourishing with richer flavours and creative dynamics to eagerly incite body and imagination alike.

Immediately Fantasy Reigns provided us with our favourite moment, In Your Blood a riveting, delicious incitement of a track which instantly had us wrapped in its lures as the sonic wires of guitarist Andy Paris encircle an opening sample. Within an instant the spirited rhythms of drummer Chris Thatcher infest appetite and limbs, their lure immersed in the equally enticing temptation of Simon Rinaldo’s keys. It is a tantalising persuasion only lifted again by the duskier tones of vocalist Lee Vernon and the eventful delivery it comes in. Drama soaks every note and syllable, creeping shadows courting the adventure of sound and storytelling with magnetic, almost predacious prowess.

The track is glorious, an instant pinnacle continuously worried with similarly potent enterprise across the release as proven by the following Machine Gun. Again real tenacity drives rhythms and melodic intimation, those darker hues as prevalent in the heated landscape of a song fuelled by emotive volatility. As dirt encrusts its inherent rock ‘n roll, guitars and organ cast a fiery tapestry of invention and again creative drama within before Belly of the Whale unfurls its epic tenebrific tale. Immersive to the point of claustrophobic within its thick atmospheric embrace, the song still leads limbs like a puppeteer on a funereal gaited dance as another major moment infests album and listener alike.

Its increasingly rousing dynamics and tempting lead to the calm coaxing of its successor, Something Going On Up There, where swarthy sonic sighs frequent the elegant embrace of keys. The emerging crepuscular serenade had little trouble seducing attention as again psych and blues hues lock together with fascination; the beguiling bass lures of Rinaldo bewitching before Siren lives up to its name drawing ears and appetite upon the rapacious rocks of its theatre and intensive darkness.

Petrol Skin equally captivated within its persuasive almost invasive sultry twilight while The Switch had us bouncing with its caliginous psych rock web cast in intoxicating guitar threads, each coated in the melodic humidity and suggestiveness of keys. With rhythms as magnetic and vulturine as vocals, the track was one more which simply and wholly seduced ears and passions and with greater force by the listen.

Fantasy Reigns concludes with Raise Your Hand, its voracious rock ‘n’ roll as virulent as it is tantalising but set with an instinctive indeed anthemic catchiness which had the body bouncing with lustful participation. In no time a fine end to the album is cast and a need to go again from the very start driving instincts.

Pearl Handled Revolver is no wallflower in impressing and exciting ears but with Fantasy Reigns they have boiled up a whole fresh cauldron of undiluted temptation for all psych/blues appetites to greedily feast upon.

Fantasy Reigns is out now across most stores.

https://pearlhandledrevolver.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/pearlhandledrevolver/   https://twitter.com/PearlHandledRev

Pete RingMaster 11/07/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Rousing carousels: an interview with Woody Woodgate

 

woody_RingMaster Review

This past week saw the highly anticipated debut solo album from Woody Woodgate released, a pop adventure lighting ears and imagination at every captivating turn. In Your Mind is an encounter which put a smile on our faces whilst often providing evocative hues to reflect and linger over. We had to delve a little deeper into the album and with the kindness of the man himself we explored one of this summer’s treats…

Hi Woody and many thanks for sparing time to chat with us.

Let us get straight to the main reason for taking a slice of your time, debut solo album In Your Mind. With your long creative career in music it feels a little surprising it has taken so long for a solo project to emerge from you. Has this been bubbling in thoughts for quite a while or something which suddenly erupted inside because of a break in other endeavours?

After releasing the Magic Brothers album The Magic Line with my brother Nick, I wanted to take our songs to another level. Quite simply I wanted to work with other musicians. My brother Nick and I have been writing songs together for years. Songs that are appropriate for Madness, go to Madness, songs that I love, but aren’t appropriate for Madness I’ll work on. It’s no good if they don’t see the light of day. Nothing’s been bubbling; it’s all been coming out for years in different guises.

The diverse tracks and sounds within the album is something distinctly different to Madness and indeed Magic Brothers for me. I think I read they were originally planned for the second Magic Brothers album, is that so and how much did you develop further once they were destined for In Your Mind?

They were destined for the Magic Brothers, but it wasn’t really a Magic Brothers project once I got Dan Shears (vocals) and Tim Maple (guitars, and Keyboards) on board. I also took over all the arranging and producing, so it became increasingly my project.

woodywoodgate_inyourmind-_RingMaster ReviewWere there any particular musical inspirations which might have sparked flavours woven into In Your Mind?

I’m a kid from the seventies so it’s packed with influences from the Beatles, ELO, Supertramp, 10cc, through to Pink Floyd, and Jimi Hendrix. Not forgetting my 37 years of Madness, which is my default setting when writing 3 minute pop songs?

Obviously writing and developing songs within a broad line-up like Madness must be very different to composing and creating in Magic Brothers and your solo release. Have you found there is a kind of freedom coming with writing your own music and songs without having to I guess compromise more?

It’s very rewarding being able to put in rock guitar riffs, solos, multi-layered vocals, and do soppy love songs, but it’s also quite hard in the sense that you don’t have anyone to tell you whether or not you’re going up your own jacksy. Self-indulgence can be a dangerous thing, if not checked.

As much as the songs and sounds captivated us here so did the wave of nostalgia it sparked, memories of being a small excited and innocent kid going on that big adventure on a holiday etc. I am assuming it was those kinds of experience and memory for you inspiring songs and album?

If I can put across my experience, I guarantee there’s someone out there who can relate. I also think that lyrics can mean different things to different people, and that’s the beauty of music. The simple fact that you were captivated, and conjured up visions of “a small exited and innocent kid on that big adventure on a holiday etc.” says it all. You (as a listener) were transported into another world though the music, drawing on your own imagination. Hence, “In Your Mind.”

How personal and intimate are the songs to your childhood and experiences?

It’s a mixture of one’s own experience, and imagination.

Was it easy to expose a real part of you as a person and your experiences in life into the album?

I didn’t know I had? So I suppose the answer is “Yes.”

Music was a big part of your upbringing and your brother Nick’s too?

Very much so…It was pivotal.

One of the reasons behind the album was the time allowed because the second Magic Brothers album had to be postponed because of Nick’s “on-going battle with mental health issues” to quote the press release for the album. May I ask what kind of impact his problems have brought to Magic Brothers and In Your Mind in regards to its tones, reflective depths, and lyrical themes?

To be honest, the only thing that was affected by Nick’s illness was his ability to perform live, and take the new album on the road. Nick thought it was only fair that we try out other singers, as the pressure was getting to him, and pressure can set off psychotic episodes. When I found Dan Shears, the pressure on Nick was lifted, and he was able to go back to what he’s best at, and that’s writing great songs. When it comes to writing songs Nick’s illness isn’t a problem, it doesn’t impair his ability to write, and his lyrics very rarely touch on his psychosis, they’re more about his relationships. In all respects he’s just a songwriter, like anyone else. It’s just he’s a very good one, who happens to have schizophrenia.

So though not to the fore Nick’s creative hand is more involved in the album than we might initially imagine?

The album would be nothing without Nick. He is the catalyst to all the songs. I simply reconstruct the dinosaur from the scraps of bones I’m given. Granted there is a lot of interpretation involved, but all in all we complete each other.

Tell us about the link up with Dan, how did you meet and what inspired you to get him involved?woody_RingMaster Review

I worked in a school ten years ago teaching Music Technology and Media Studies, and Dan was a student doing his A-levels. He stood out from the crowd, and was clearly a special talent, with a great voice, and musical sensibility. A part from that we really got on well, and he made me laugh. When I was trying out new singers for the album the one thing that became apparent was their lack of range. I hadn’t seen Dan for ten years, but he kept cropping up in my thoughts, as he was the one singer I knew could do the job, but I had no idea where he was, or what he was doing with his life. Ironically he contacted me on social media to say that he was releasing a solo album, and would I be interested in giving it a listen? I put it to him that I too was doing an album, and would he sing on it? The rest is history.

His voice reminded us of a mix between Ian Broudie and Ste McCabe, and really stoked and matched the feel of the music and their intimate revelry well.

Interesting? Queer Core Lightening Seeds. Not something I envisaged, but I can see where you’re coming from.

How involved was he, other than vocally of course?

Involved in as much as he was encouraged to be himself, and to put his own inflections into the vocal performance

Is there any particular moment within In Your Mind which gives you a certain tingle of satisfaction or pleasure etc.?

Only that it sounds great on radio…Which gives me a buzz from a technical point of view.

Now it is out luring acclaim and attention, is there a thought inside that you should have done this sooner?

I couldn’t have done it sooner, I wasn’t ready. I had too much to learn. Now is the perfect time. I’m ready.

Time allowing, will exploring further solo adventures possibly be on the cards?

Absolutely!

woody and dan from In Your Mind video_RingMaster ReviewI love the video for the song In Your Mind, a song relating to Nick’s issues I believe? Who is behind and created its captivating and evocative look?

Tom Johnson, another of my brilliant students back in the day created the video, but you’re wrong about the subject matter. It’s not about Nick, and in a way you have fallen into the trap of stigmatising him. Just because the video is surreal, and the title is ‘In Your Mind” you are presuming it’s about mental illness. It is in fact about getting lost in your imagination, the way children do when they play, and how we get carried away in a book, or story. We can be transported to another world in our minds. It’s as simple as that.

(In our defence it was the press release stating the song “was an ode to a younger brother battling his demons” which led our thoughts to that conclusion and only in regard to that one track)

Is there a chance any of the songs within In Your Mind might get a live airing at some point, somewhere?

I’m going to try and put in a gig or two, in between Madness commitments. We’ll see.

Once again big thanks for taking time out for us. Is there anything you would like to leave us with?

My advice to anyone listening to the album is to take out of the equation the fact that my brother is a schizophrenic, and judge it on its merits alone. You may hear the album in a new light, and it won’t cloud or prejudice your thinking.

Lastly, I know you are working with the charity Rethink Mental Illness. Would you like to give details/links people can go to learn more and offer their support?

Twitter: @rethink or www.rethink.org

http://www.woodywoodgate.co.uk/

Read the In Your Mind review@ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/woody-woodgate-in-your-mind/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 16/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

Sara Lowes – The Joy Of Waiting

Photo Credit Emily Dennison

Photo Credit Emily Dennison

There is no other way of saying it, the voice of Sara Lowes is sheer mesmerism, an inescapable siren drawing the listener into adventures which musically transfixes ears and imagination just as potently. Her new album The Joy Of Waiting, is complete evidence of the fact, basking in these bewitching elements and in turn immersing the listener in charming and imaginatively charmed embraces. The successor to her acclaimed debut Back To Creation of 2011, The Joy Of Waiting is a quite simply a soul mate for anyone with a taste of melodic and harmonic alchemy.

Based in Manchester and North East bred, Lowes is the keyboardist in The Earlies and has working with the likes of Daniel Johnston, King Creosote, Jens Lakeman, Jim Noir, Jesca Hoop, and Dawn Landes on her CV. Her music draws on a diverse maze of flavours and styles, classically bred arrangements entwining and invigorating essences from progressive rock to pop, jazz to seventies psychedelia, and more besides. First album Back To Creation, as mentioned drew potent praise and support which The Joy Of Waiting can only emulate and reap greater rewards upon itself. Inspired by J.B Priestley, with a track using his name as a title, and looking at “observations on our perplexing relationships with time”, the lady’s new full-length is a spell of beauty and evocative reflections, and quite breath-taking.

The album’s title track starts things off and immediately is flirting with gypsy folk like strings which swirl provocatively around ears and emotions, their colourful expression joined by just as picturesque keys and melodies. There is a baroque like scent to the piece of music too, an older drama which wraps around the more fiery and sultry climate which emerges as the song continues revealing its heated landscape. Eventually the song drifts away and within a swift taking of a breath, the album swings straight back as Most Things and a riveting pop contagion which is soon dancing with the compelling tones of Lowes its puppeteer. The track is a ridiculously infectious kiss, a quite magnificent encounter courting sixties beat pop vivacity as fizzy tendrils of carnival-esque keys sport a creativity which reminds of The Stranglers Dave Greenfield.

Lowes has a voice which is hard to compare to another, though on the first songs and a few others tracks, she bears a resemblance to Brighton singer songwriter Cate Ferris, the following new saralowes2single I Find You another blissful example. The song is a smoulder of thickly simmering melodies and enchanting harmonies over a great distortion kissed rhythmic tempting. Keys again bring psyche spinning enterprise to spice up the song’s enthralling canvas, whilst the ethereal radiance of voice and surrounding sweltering sounds merge like a mix of Solar Halos and The Capsules. It is pure creative majesty and has ears and appetite enslaved by the time it makes way for the courtly hug of JB Priestley. Lowes straight away has ears and pleasure cupped as orchestral spices back her sunny presence, the opening gentle lure a passage into a feistier but no less radiant stroll of warm jazz seeded pop catchiness. As across all songs, there is a tapestry of different flavours and styles colluding in their support of the vocals, each song as here, as unpredictable as it is immediately accessible and magnetic.

The intimate balladry of Bright Day smooches with the senses next, its refined texture and voice a warm glaze over ears, even if not quite igniting them as its predecessors do. That success, is sublimely achieved by Chapman Of Rimes, a seventies bloomed pop rock flight with celestial harmonies and bold hooks under a blaze of brass seduction, and even more so right after by the excellent With A Mirror. The opening lure of bass and keys with rolling rhythms is enough to seduce unbridled attention for the new song, helped all the more by the vocal hints which whisper within the sultry enticement and rays of brass bred sunshine which light up ears. Like being lost in your lover’s arms, the song strokes and infuses body and thoughts with a romancing croon of voice and sound. That alone would be enough to wax lyrical about the song but with unpredictable and superbly infused twists of ideation amidst wrong-footing turns, the song is a master-class in songwriting and aural theatre.

Given the hard task to follow such a triumph is Little Fishy, and it makes easy work of keeping enjoyment clasped. From a celestial yet intimate soundscape cast by wistful keys and harmonies, the song emerges as something akin to progressive rock and lounge/electro pop, weaving its own virulent aural carnival.

The quiet reflection of For The Seasons calms things down next, the captivation a haunting ballad with a 10CC breeze to its air, before Cutting Room Floor slips into ears and simply radiates elegance and beauty whilst adding further fascinating diversity and invention to The Joy Of Waiting. The song is a gorgeous soar of melodic enterprise setting up the listener enthusiastically for the final pair of songs which are seemingly placed in different order on the physical and digital copy of the album.

The Clock Plays It’s Game provides a melancholic temptation which blossoms with the dark and light suggestiveness of strings against the just as potent call of Lowes’ voice and classically dramatic keys. Maybe not as immediately impacting as other songs, it is a lingering kiss increasing its stature with every listen, whilst Horizons is a track which just lifts emotions and spirit with sublime craft and open relish. Its swirl of hooks and melodies is a gala of folk pop smiles and sixties pop merry making and quite sensational. Whether the last song on the album or not, we suggest you make it that anyway as you leave its company with a song in the heart and melodic manna in the ears, a remedy sure to cure all ills and chase away dark shadows, much like The Joy Of Waiting as a whole really.

The Joy Of Waiting is available now via Railings Records, digitally @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-joy-of-waiting/id963782296 and physically @ http://www.saralowes.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/SaraLowesMusic

RingMaster 25/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.thereputationlabel.today

 

4th Street Traffic – Innocence (Don’t Walk Away)

4th Street Traffic pic 1

Welsh band 4th Street Traffic describe their sound as stadium rock, a tag which means very little to our mind, but when a song like Innocence (Don’t Walk Away) roars with an energy and emotion which reveals all in merely four minutes, there really is no need for labels. The new single from the Caerphilly quartet is a bellow of a song, a resourceful tempest of melodic tenacity and emotional drive leaving a rather healthy new interest and appetite for a band already no strangers to acclaim.

Formed in 2001, 4th Street Traffic has earned their spurs through an undeterred assault on the national music scene. Their emergence has constantly garnered increasing attention and support. From debut album Wake Up Call through to its successor, the 2012 Romesh Dodangoda produced Kick the Habit, the band has nudged and drawn elevated attention, a growing spotlight backed by extensive UK tours and shows including performing at Party In The Park in 2005. The second album was the spark to bigger things it is fair to say, especially once Kelly Jones and Richard Jones of Stereophonics came across it. An invitation by the pair to open up their Summer In The City concert in Cardiff City Stadium took 4th Street Traffic to even keener attention, that moment backed by the continually impressing and selling 2nd album and backed by shows alongside bands such as Electric Six, Toploader, The Darkness, Mike and the Mechanics, The Stranglers, 10CC, Dodgy, We Are Scientists, The Enemy and many more. Taken from their similarly well received third album Claim To Fame of 2013, Innocence (Don’t Walk Away) is the first teaser to and step in a busy year ahead for the band, and with a new line-up in place re-energising their appetite, you suspect a successful one too.

The new single launches at ears with thumping beats and a blaze of easy going but alluring riffs. Their relaxation only moments in, then allows the potent tones of vocalist Alastair Britton to open up the narrative as a resonating dark bassline courts his every syllable. It is a magnetic start with a touch of a southern rock whisper to the brewing enterprise and energy. Taking on a pungent stride thereafter, one constantly guided by the crisp jabs of the drums, the track is an insatiable persuasion on the senses with every blaze of its melodic endeavour and flavoursome vocal call a powerful temptation. It would be fair to say that the song is not venturing too far from established climates in heavy melodic rock but equally expectations are barely fed and imagination given a healthy croon of fiery creativity to run with.

4th Street Traffic is looking towards having a strong and successful year, which if their new songs are anywhere as rampantly convincing and enjoyable as Innocence (Don’t Walk Away), will be a sure thing.

Innocence (Don’t Walk Away) is released February 9th.

Check out upcoming festival dates for 4th Street Traffic:

May 3rd Main Stage – Sound Stock Festival / Essex

May 23rd Main Stage – Exmouth Festival/ Exmouth

May 24th Main Stage – Plymouth VolksFest/ Plymouth

Jul 10th – Main Stage – Volksstock/ Coventry

Jul 12th – Main Stage – Oakwell Festival/ West Yorkshire

Aug 15th – Main Stage – NHSOB festival/ Newport, S Wales

https://www.facebook.com/4thstreettraffic

RingMaster 03/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from http://www.thereputationlabel.today