Zedi Forder – Self Titled EP

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Having a lustful attraction to its member’s other projects, there was always a fair chance that the self-titled debut EP from UK rock band Zedi Forder was going to incite the same kind of appetite but of course you never know. Well actually maybe we do as it seems any project linked to bands such as Tricore, An Entire Legion, and Rind Skank, not forgetting Kerl, the solo project of one of its members, is primed to excite and ignite personal passions and those of a great many others. The four track Zedi Forder introduction is no exception, another bundle of songs which blow ears and emotions away whilst proving once more that some of the most compelling songwriting and sounds in heavy rock/metal are waiting to be discovered in the heart of the British music scene.

Zedi Forder is right now a duo, soon to be trio as they search for a bassist, and consists of Guildford based vocalist/drummer/songwriter Chris Kerley and guitarist Mark Carstairs, men behind the list of exceptional bands mentioned above. Inspirations woven into the band’s sound include the likes of System Of A Down, Led Zeppelin, Korn, Mastodon, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Queen, Incubus, Paradise Lost, Nirvana and many more, but as is soon apparent within the EP, all mere colours in a unique tapestry of imagination, creative mischief, and pure aural majesty which if it reminds off anything it is a little of the duo’s previous adventures.

The EP starts off with Killakarta, a track instantly warming ears with punchy beats and lightly growling grooves. In no time the recognisable tones of Kerley are enticing, his presence as magnetic as ever to match the potency of the sounds around surely one of the best unsung vocalists in British rock as well as songwriters. The track continues to boldly stroll, its calm but open swagger as endearing as the brewing drama of sound fuelling its confidence and sparking the imagination. Warm breezes of melodic seduction blossom in the expectations avoiding craft and emotional theatre of the song though a more predatory and aggressive shade continually lurks in the shadows to resonate with the lyrics. It is a mouth-watering start to the release but just the teaser to greater alchemy.

I’m the one leaps in next with sinews showing and nostrils on the point of being flared but it is a ruse as almost as quickly the track twists on a meaty piece of bass bait into a hip swaying funk kissed swing of melodic and contagious dexterity. Like 12 Stone Toddler meets KingBathmat with a definite and understandably rich vein of An Entire Legion (AEL) to it, especially when it bursts into an energetically and almost dirtily tantalising blaze, the song is just irresistible. Quite simply it is a gorgeous hook laded slab of melodically flirtatious and feistily rousing rock ‘n’ roll, and one of the very best things to come from a Kerley composition/collaboration.

Humour has never been too far from the band’s member’s creativity and is just as potent in Zedi Forder and within the grin sparking Nachoman, a song which is just as provocative in its social commentary as sonic flame of sound. Again we have to offer some similarities to AEL and songs like Scurvy Johnson, but equally it is another song bred with a diversity of flavours and almost whimsical imagination for a smouldering creative charm offensive complete with a rousing snarl and anthemic seduction.

Final song is Time after time, two and a half minutes which really does growl whilst springing a web of riffs and jabbing beats which bleed infectiousness in every grungy enticement and wicked swipe. I guess you could offer the inventive roar and aggressiveness of Tricore as a scent to the closing song, spices which are unavoidable due to the familiar voice and creative flare Kerley and Carstairs, but once more there is plenty of fresh tenacity and ripe originality to sculpt its own identity and bring an outstanding encounter to a rich, thrilling close.

It is fair to say that other bands with Kerley and Carstairs at the heart have criminally gone undervalued bordering on unnoticed by major attention and success. Thankfully making music which leaves a lasting imprint on body and imagination through creative originality and adventure is a passion, a vocation for the pair at the heart of Zedi Forder, so we get to feast on their alchemy once again and so should you, it would be rude not to go off and discover its majesty, wouldn’t it?

The Zedi Forder EP is out now as a name your price download at the Tricore Bandcamp profile.

Pete RingMaster 02/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Native Construct – Quiet World

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If Quiet World is the kind of thing the members of Native Construct come up with whilst heavily involved with their college studies, then their future not only looks rosy but the music scene is destined to some real greatness ahead. The band’s debut album is a fascinating end enthralling adventure entwined in more styles and flavours than London Fashion Week and an imagination which simply bewitches that of the listener. It is not without a few flaws yet for an introduction to the band and their creativity, a ‘wow’ is in order.

Native Construct consists of vocalist Robert Edens, bassist Max Harchik, and guitarist Myles Yang, three music students who came together creatively in 2011 whilst at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Using the composition and arranging skills learnt in their studies, as well as the technical craft and inbred inventive talent of the band members, the trio began drawing on a torrent of genres from progressive and classical rock to heavier technical incitements, as well as musical theatre, jazz and plenty more. Between 2011 and 2013, Native Construct set to work writing and recording what was to become Quiet World, predominantly self-producing the concept release, whilst continuing their studies. It came to the attention of Brian Slagel at Metal Blade Records at some subsequent point, and as their press releases says “What began as jam sessions simply for fun eventually turned into a full-fledged musical endeavor.” The band was signed to the label and the album, with its vocals being recorded with Jamie King at The Basement Studios in North Carolina, is now out there to surely stir up a worldwide appetite for this potential drenched band.

Cover   Quiet World brings a tale, to simplify it, of a mute and slightly unstable man who has an unreciprocated love for a girl which leads to obsession and eventual resentment. He also creates for himself a new, fantastic world where there are no oddballs or outcasts, which is where the album comes in. It is an eventful lyrical exploration more than matched by the musical adventure around it, and started with Mute. From an isolated climate with random sonic textures flying round the senses, the song bursts into theatrical and orchestral life. Strings and melodies spin an immediately potent and cinematic landscape of sound and emotion whilst the ravenous drum work is an uncompromising tempering of the fiery beauty. It is an invigorating start coated in elegance and menace, keys and guitars duelling with rhythms for voice whilst equally sharing the spotlight, whilst the vocals of Edens roar and serenade across the magnetic proposal. Relaxing into an avant-garde/jazz lit calm coloured by a seducing of piano and infectious harmonies, thoughts of bands like 6:33 and Pryapisme come to mind, and even more so as volatile and tenacious elements add their erratic and compelling presence to the mix. There are moments which for personal tastes do not quite hit the same sweet spots as others, but constantly evolving and unpredictable with that cinematic orchestral temptation returning in full persuasion, the song is intoxicating drama.

Following song, The Spark of the Archon, opens with an eighties bred synth pop shuffle, keys and percussion a smiling lure before riffs and grooves bring a rawer edge to the entrance. Once in full pop rock flow though, the song has a strong coincidental whiff of UK band 12 Stone Toddler to it with a Mike Patton/Mr Bungle touch too. Music and vocals again bring fluid scenery of unexpected detours and wrong-footing escapades whilst crafting an immersive and easy to greedily devour proposition. Lyrically at this point the protagonist’s new world sees the rise of Archon who leads an uprising in this new land against opposing character Sinister Silence.

The proceeding tracks bring for the main, different episodes in their enduring struggle, Passage next stealing attention and imagination with its stroking embrace of shadowed kissed strings around equally evocative guitars. Sultry and exotic, intimidating and melancholic, the track as those before has a perpetual shifting in its tone and sound, though it is more stable in its progressive flight and controlled in the additional additives of textures and styles seducing the imagination. In saying that the pent up creative bedlam which marked the previous tracks has to go somewhere, and like an itch which has to be scratched it bursts out through gypsy folk breezes and technical metal roars, to name just two of the delicious strains of the almost psychotic enterprise released.

Your Familiar Face also has a calmer interior within its walls, emerging as the most restrained of all songs upon Quiet World but unafraid to throw an unexpected twist and wink of creative mischief into its theatre of sound. It is a captivating caress on the senses but it has to be said by its end ears were hankering for that warped ingenuity, which is swiftly fed again by Come Hell or High Water. Sombre strings play with and incite body and mind right away, though behind their sombre face there is a twinkle which is taken up by rhythms and the swiftly joining vocals. Like a stage show song, it grows in stature and emotional drama, becoming a hearty bellow and in turn a snarling vociferous provocation, especially vocally. Of course by now expectations are redundant, the song ebbing and flowing in all aspects and extremes whilst conjuring new unpredictable and riveting antics.

The album is completed by firstly Chromatic Lights, a short instrumental detour within a raw ambience, which leads into the closing Chromatic Aberration, an epic twelve minute plus psychotic tapestry of emotion and unbridled creative mayhem. It is a chaos which is as perfectly shaped as it is emotionally deranged; every groove, melody, and rhythmic trespass a coherent and engrossing incitement in a cinematic flight across tempestuous and constantly changing emotional climates. The track is a dynamic and scintillating adventure all on its own, a mouth-watering musical emprise which combined with the rest of Quiet World simply leaves ears and emotions smiling.

We mentioned the album is not without issues but to be honest the more you listen and delve into Quiet World they are hardly of relevance, except to ensure that the band’s next offering when they have no other distractions, is an already highly anticipated proposition.

Quiet World is available now on Metal Blade Records via http://www.metalblade.com/nativeconstruct/

https://www.facebook.com/NativeConstruct

RingMaster 23/04/2015

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

6:33 – Deadly Scenes

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Entwining an extensive mix of styles and psyche exploring sounds is a carnival of fun in the hands of the most inventive and accomplished bands but loaded with the uniquely flavoursome imagination that is 6:33, that bold daring becomes pure musical alchemy. The French avant-garde metallers had us hooked with their Giggles, Garlands & Gallows EP of 2012, an introduction to our subsequently feverish ears backed up a year later by their formidable second album The Stench from the Swelling (A True Story), both featuring CinC/Carnival In Coal/ We All Die (Laughing) vocalist Arno Strobl. Now the Paris quintet have turned up the lust with new album Deadly Scenes, a tempest of invention and sheer aural ingenuity which sees the band at its loftiest pinnacle of creativity yet and surely the most exciting incitement in music today.

The Kaotoxin Records released stomp consists of nine tracks romping down dark avenues of psyche igniting drama and heavy, almost vaudeville like creative emprises. It dives into ravenous shadows, through blood strewn scenery, and across the darkest corners of mind and soul, leaving smiles and bruises as a token of its salacious esteem. Like an anarchic tempest of sound grown from the creative sap of Faith No more, Pryapisme, Polkadot Cadaver, and Mr Bungle, the perfectly formed and fluidly sculpted Deadly Scenes is a tapestry of intrigue and unpredictability casting unbridled pleasure. It carries a lyrical derangement and musical maelstrom across every one of its truly individual offerings, each sublimely and voraciously igniting every cell of those drawn into its inventive hex.

The album starts it’s ridiculously compelling spell with the ‘gospel’ of Hellalujah, certainly it starts that way with a richly resounding choir announcing “Lord Jesus!” It is a great wrong-footing coaxing, even for 6:33, which is soon opening up its invention through a building crescendo of flavours which unite in a sturdy footed stride. It is a bedlamic revelry of sound with a show tune essence to its invention, but as is the norm for the band a mere moment in the travel of a song. Bursting into a ruggedly flirtatious and body swerving blaze of swing and melodic rioting, the song is afire with hooks and metallic lures, all courted by the drama of the keys and the show-pop tenacity of voices and similarly inflamed sound.

Ego fandango comes in next, soaring keys and preacher bred samples the bed for the subsequent muscular and antagonistic stroll of the song. In many ways a Mike Patton essence is never 760137674726_TOX043_6-33_Artwork_480x480far from the band’s music, here helping flavour the rampant vocal and inventive swagger flirting with an Oingo Boingo like vivacity and enterprise. Female vocals, as in the first song, provide a magnetic companion to the ever striking and gripping delivery of Rorschach whilst spices of Queen and Five Star Prison Cell bring further strains of sonic colour to the ever evolving terrain of the brilliant encounter.

A tribal and shamanic rhythmic canvas provides the landscape for the following brilliance of The walking fed, its hypnotic bait a constant persuasion as a low key Yello like electro and vocal beckoning lures ears into a sinister weave of progressive metal and funk infused exploration. The dark bass conjuring of S.A.D. works masterfully with the beats to cage the fiery endeavour within their walls but leaves his strongest most potent tempting for the closing stretch of the song where he unveils an addictive steely web as medicine man chants dance with the keys.

The furious intensity of I’m a nerd escapes another choral welcome straight after, its hellacious rage of metal an imposing roar before everything moves into a country kissed pop ramble with 12 Stone Toddler like pop ingenuity and Kontrust spiced mischief. To be honest as with every song, words can only give a hint of the depth and invention of the superbly blended flavours and ideas escaping the heart of the sonic incitement, and even listening in person, further twists only reveal their lures over numerous plays.

Through the theatrical noir of Modus operandi and the psychotic stalking of Black widow, 6:33 continue to paint new provocative pictures of musical drama and virulence, the first a kaleidoscope of again Faith No More ferocity with the worldly rock essences of Les Negresses Vertes, but as expected honed into something mouth-watering and unique to the band. Its successor is a furnace of creative and rhythmic fury sculpted into a virulent dance of sonic mayhem and deliciously cultured harmonic beauty; a Mr Bungle meets Toumaï seduction for want of a better clue. Their brilliance and exhaustive presence is followed by the gentle acoustic caress of Last bullet for a gold rattle, a country seeded night around a crackling campfire evolving into a melodic shuffle of Cajun/Latin sultriness.

The smouldering Lazy boy croons and bawls impressively over the senses next, it’s raging fury and warm lingering seductions a battlefield of gripping unpredictability. The song is as contagious and as vicious as any song you are likely to hear this year, but there will few which fuse the extremes as imperiously as this. Its sensational bellow brings the listener to the epic title track. Deadly scenes has a theatre all of its own as it narrates, soundtracks, and relishes a clutch of dark tales and spoiled souls. Atmospherically pungent and musically deranged, the track as the album blows ears and imagination away, leaving the passions exultant. Imagine every sound and musical spice you would wish in a soundtrack to your day and it will probably be in the enthralling and feet manipulating track.

     Deadly Scenes is another stunning triumph from 6:33. With every release we ask how they will top their new pinnacle but they do as evidenced by this front runner for most exhilarating if not important releases in 2015.

6:33 Deadly Scenes is available via Kaotoxin Records from 12th January as a limited edition (1,000 copies) DigiSleeve, bundled with a free 26-track label sampler, a special cassette version limited to 100 copies @ http://www.kaotoxin.com/product-category/kaotoxin-releases/ and digitally @ http://listen.kaotoxin.com/album/deadly-scenes

http://www.633theband.com/

https://www.facebook.com/6h33official

RingMaster 12/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Alex Highton – Nobody Knows Anything

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Whether it is charm or simply mischief which fuels the songs of UK singer songwriter Alex Highton, probably both to be honest, it makes for a thoroughly engaging proposition and his new album one captivating treat. Nobody Knows Anything is a collection of intimate yet easily connectable songs for the imagination and emotions to greedily embrace. The successor to his folk seeded debut album Woodditton Wives Club, the Liverpool hailing Highton has pushed into more jazz and at times dare one say eccentric explorations within Nobody Knows Anything, resulting in a fascinating and almost devilish proposition.

Naming prime inspirations as Sufjan Steven, Here We Go Magic, and Joni Mitchell for his new Gare du Nord released album, Highton has called on an array of musical talent to explore his new songs, long time musical companions double-bass-player Jonny Bridgwood (Morrissey, Kathryn Williams, The Leisure Society) and drummer Howard Monk (Billy Mahonie, The Clientele) joined by the likes of Nancy Wallace (of The Memory Band and The Owl Service), Laura J Martin, and Robert Rotifer (of Rotifer) across the David Dobson produced release.

As soon as the melodic caress of opener You Don’t Own This Life cradles ears, there is open vivacity to the song, especially in the relish which Highton’s distinctive tones seem to have casting every syllable. The track entices even more potently as keys and sultry flames of trombone and clarinet join the narrative, ending on a jazz drenched shuffle which simply ignites ears and an anticipation for what is to come. It is an appetite given a flavoursome dose of fun through It Falls Together, a mischievous canter of melodic revelry and vocal adventure. Instantly there is a potent scent of 12 Stone Toddler to the imagination and revelry of the track whilst the discord spiced keys provide an early XTC flavouring, all very welcome and thrilling in the inventiveness of Highton’s verging on avant-garde creativity in the song. It is an early pinnacle of the album, joyful harmonies and tenacious revelry all adding their colour to the dance before the following mellow reflection of Panic takes over. In a synth cast celestial climate veined by blues kissed and seventies spiced melodies, the song floats and resonates over the senses. It swiftly awakens the imagination, its visual tones magnetic scenery to which electro and rhythmic enterprise add their creative fun.

Through both the gentle croon of Sunlight Burns Your Skin and She Had This Sister, Highton offers varied and enthralling melodic proposals, the first a simultaneously melancholic and vibrant weave of twilight lit jazz infused temptation and the second, a folky acoustically bred kiss on ears with a seductive swing and tangy groove to its smoulder. Though neither matches the romp of previous and the more experimentally infused songs for personal wants, each leaves a lingering hug and easy to accept invitation to soar their elegant landscapes again.

   The rich hazy atmosphere and emotive enticement of Kills is next and again offers plenty to warrant a constant return to its warm seduction, the vocal union of Highton and Nancy Wallace pure magnetism, a lure matched by the melodic aesthetics and emotion of The Evil That Men Do, where this time the cello of Claire Hollocks and additional vocals of Bonnie Dobson add a riveting glamour to the song’s mournful countenance. The pair has ears and thoughts tightly embraced in their reflective beguiling, but soon have to give sway to the bubbly provocative pop of Fear and its pulsating magnetism.

I Only Asked You to Try and Somebody Must Know Something each add individual drama and forlorn intimacy to the expressive depth and uniqueness of the album before the instrumental majesty of the album’s title track takes ears and imagination on a provocative fall through emotive structures and melodically flirtatious adventure. It is a trigger for thoughts and feelings to play and invent before relaxing into the welcoming humid embrace of the outstanding Mephisto, another merger of folk and jazz filtered through a resourceful vat of discord mystique.

Nobody Knows Anything is completed by the glowing tempting of It’s, a bewitching end to a powerfully engaging release. Certainly some songs leap out over others for personal tastes but every moment upon Alex Highton’s album is an exciting opening into the adventure driven heart of its author and a tonic for ears and emotions.

Nobody Knows Anything is available now via Gare Du Nord @ http://alexhighton.bandcamp.com/album/nobody-knows-anything

http://www.alexhighton.co.uk/

RingMaster 09/12/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Siren – The Row

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Loaded with a boisterous and captivating strain of alternative rock aligned to pop punk vivacity, The Row from Italian rockers Siren is a release which may not be driven by startling originality but thoroughly thrills and rewards just the same. Consisting of eleven tracks which hold a creative swagger and contagious presence, the release is a debut to wake up potent attention, if not one to inspire a shouting from the rooftops over the Pesaro quartet.

Siren was formed in 2013 by guitarist Jack Nardini and soon grew with the addition of drummer Mark “Spud” McKenzie, vocalist/guitarist Samuel Frondero, and Marcus Kawaka on bass and synths. There were also personal and creative connections between various members of the band, which it is fair to say has brought a unity which it is easy to suggest helps their sound come over tight and impassioned. The Row is their step into the fuller gaze of not only Italy but the world with its release via Red Cat Records, who Siren recently signed with. Around a year in the making, the release is a gripping temptation of thick hooks and fiery melodies all locked in rock ‘n’ roll carrying a broad smile to its character.

The album opens with Swan’s Tale, a track where we would be lying if we said it instantly roused the passions. Now it would be wrong to mistake this for a poor start to The Row as it is a compelling and intriguing entrance into the release, slowly entwining melodies with a classical seeding caressing ears as male and female vocals seduce whilst a military lilted rhythmic lure make its potent persuasion. The track is pleasing and accomplished but for some reason for personal tastes offers more than it delivers, only whetting the appetite with its symphonic teasing rather than igniting it. It also is deceitful, its presence very different to the sound and revelry which emerges straight away in the following Dr. Saint and subsequently across the album.

The second track swiftly strides with punchy beats and enticing riffs, a hard/alternative rock bounce and catchiness fuelling the following strides of bass and spicy hooks. Vocally too Frondero comes with a contagious persuasion and energy, backed as resourcefully by Nardini and Kawaka. It all combines for a virulent stomp, one with enough reserve to stop it turning into a riot but plenty of aggressive enterprise to make a rich and lingering impression. Its excellent incitement is matched by the equally fiery and excited Mission. Again hooks and melodies hold a mischief in their tenacity and infectiousness, thoughts of Super Happy Fun Club and at times Offspring coming forth.

Through the tantalising intrigue of sound and expression in Lonely Dance, the album leaps another step in irresistible adventure, stalking guitars and sinisterly toned vocals the prelude to an energetically seductive chorus, which in turn 10538561_795983157088448_3710117029647500301_nis linked to its next expulsion by a teasing of minimal but potent melodies across an anthemic stroll of rhythms. It is a gripping bait of sinew framed melodic rock which is followed by the not quite as striking Track ’92, such the power of its predecessor. The song though instantly inspires the imagination, its open glaze of enticement amidst a mellow breath offering a Blue Oyster Cult air which floats into a canvas of evocative melodies and an increasingly brewing uprising of raw riffs and passion drenched vocals. More a smoulder than a romp as earlier songs, it offers a relentless expectations fooling temptation from first listen until it too stands to the fore of the biggest highlights of the album over time.

Love Is Gone steals tops honours on the album though; it’s niggling riffs and beats from the first second swiftly complimented by a tangy new wave vocal taunting wrapped in wiry grooves. At times the song and its imaginative flirtation borders on insane though it, as the sounds, is honed into a riot of rock pop contagion which leaves a nagging and lingering impression.

The pair of Wave, with its XTC whisper, and Roger Sabbath cast less dramatic but easily as engrossing offerings, the first song a summer breeze rolling in on a muscular rhythmic shuffle with melodies as pungent as the vocal harmonies embedded within its warm charm, and the second a classic rock spiced canter, equipped with jabbing beats and exotically flowing keys. It is the gnarly basslines though which ultimately steal the passions, its snarl a great temper for the flames of melodies and increasingly impressing vocals. Though neither song can match the pinnacle of The Row, both leave appetite lustful for more and emotions happy to throw increasing praise on band and release. Carpet also falls into that richly satisfying category, though with its sneaky stroll and elegant charm of keys, the track creeping with the rascality and buoyancy of 12 Stone Toddler, it puts a further high peak in the album’s suasion.

The Row is completed by firstly the raw and brawling punk bred Spit, punchy keys and beats the bait to which anthemic tendencies in riffs and vocals dance an agitation tune. It is a glorious charge through ears, though once gaining submission it teases with a side step into a drama hued calm before erupting again into that great energetic bluster. It is succeeded by Falling Down, the closing song an exceptional tenacious waltz with jagged riffs, flaming melodies, and emotion soaked strings all adding to its spellbinding tapestry.

From a decent start, The Row proves to be an outstanding and eventful debut from Siren, at times living up to the band name. Is it bursting with something truly new, not really but if you want to know if it is an inescapably enjoyable encounter, of that there is no question.

The Row is available now via Red Cat Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/it/album/the-row/id926291276

http://www.siren.rocks

RingMaster 31/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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How To Swim – Niagarama

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An inescapable transfixing, Niagarama the new album from Scottish chamber pop band How To Swim seduces with an irresistible charm and almost devious artistry which simply enslaves the imagination and passions. It is a deliciously varied and adventurous escapade, a melodic emprise which is as unafraid to tease and tantalise as it is to lie romantically upon the ears and senses. In many ways the band is still a relative secret, inexplicably escaping so far a spotlight which their new full-length definitely suggests they deserve, but now with its unveiling you can only imagine and expect that whisper of recognition to soon become a roar.

Formed in 2000 by vocalist/guitarist Gregor Barclay, How to Swim has persistently intrigued and ignited thoughts with their releases and evolving sound. From a rawer encounter the band has developed an orchestrated pop which devours ears as vivaciously as ears devour it, with Niagarama the pinnacle of the band’s rise so far. Numerous line-up changes have come within the life of the band and now from a complement of personnel reaching double figures the band has become a lean mean pop machine featuring members of The Second Hand Marching Band, The Martial Arts, and the now-defunct Mother and The Addicts, but a sextet just as potent in presence and weight of invention as ever. The new album also sees a wealth of talented guests helping realise the songwriting and imagination of Barclay and the Glasgow band, and the exploration of ‘the loss of youth and how we process it’, the album’s core theme amidst a pungent metaphor indicated by its title. It is a magnificent beast of enticement, one to have feet dancing, imagination painting, and emotions reflecting.

Released on their own Personal Hygiene Recordings and the successor to the acclaimed Retina (or More Fun Than a Vat of Love) of HTS cover2010, Niagarama takes little time to fascinate and subsequently bewitch as Niagara opens up the fun. From a haunted intro the song cups ears with poetic keys and the coaxing expressive tones of Barclay, his voice a slightly gravelly but alluring enticement which fits perfectly within the piano melodies and emotive strokes of strings from their manipulative bows. It is a surprising entrance into the album, a potent croon which does not ignite senses and emotions but certainly stirs them up nicely for the following triumph of Small Parts Moving. The second track instantly grips attention with discord kissed rub of violins immediately courted by darker bass hues and great twisted teasing of guitars. The song is soon in full control of the emotions as it hits its stride, brass and vocals adding their descriptive hues to the emerging narrative. Bouncing with the appetite of pure pop but equally twisting it with an invention which crosses numerous styles and veins of sound, the track dances eagerly like a mix of James Cook and Union Starr.

With an inspired rapturous hunger now in place the following Bacterium feeds it again with its insatiable bait complete with a swagger clad melodic tempting and rhythmic shuffle matched by vocals and brass. An essence of Young Knives brings further depth to the persuasion, whilst the mischievous heart and swing of the song simply enslaves body and soul. It is a glorious romp matching its predecessor in setting an early lofty plateau for the album. With mesmeric devilry to the guitars and the gait of the encounter, the band envelops the listener in a weave of feisty seduction which is straight away pushed to greater success by Too Old For A Crush (To Be Endearing). With firm rhythms aligned to imagination clasping swipes of riffs, brass, and elegant keys, all under the spell of the excellently blended male and female harmonies, the song is an irresistible temptress; a seductress which steals even greater submission through sudden blazes of intensity and concussive voracity. It is a scintillating waltz of beauty and ferocity, a dramatic show with the carnivalesque suasion of Tankus The Henge and the rapacious ingenuity of 12 Stone Toddler, yet rigorously unique to How To Swim.

Both It Doesn’t Even Have To Be You and I Need A War keep the album in control of attention and greedy appetite, if without quite matching earlier heights. The first recalls the fluid warmth of eighties bands like The Lightning Seeds which soak radiant melodies and brass flames with extra infectiousness skirted by the emotive strings which constantly provide the colour for emotions and thoughts to cast their individual premises. Its successor from a slow and charming vocal/acoustic embrace glides in on a seventies pop like breath, with again strong blends of harmonies to fill its emotional embrace. It is an appealing start but one which does not take a firm hold until a rhythmic adventure and a web of guitar sculpted ingenuity takes over the tempting. The song then swiftly moves into unpredictable scenery which entwines both aspects of its intent for a thoroughly satisfying sultry proposition.

The brief INTERMISSION: The Dead Cat Bounce steps in next for an ok diversion before the jazzy waltz of Long Division takes ears on another seventies bred mystery with exciting rewards. The song merges funk and pop into its lively yet smouldering saunter to capture the imagination once more before the potent Bark steps in to steal the passions all over again. Managing to be melancholic and excitingly buoyant simultaneously, it an effervescent whirlwind of invention and emotions, the track is gorgeous with keys and strings along with the ever inviting vocals taking top honours.

The album closes with Animals and All That We Wait For, two songs which certainly in the case of the first are almost toying with thoughts, inflaming their creativity with a weave of inspiring musical imagination. An electronic simplicity marks the first of the pair whilst a vocal caress within a flight of engrossing strings and absorbing melodies ensures the final song brings a compelling last incitement to bask in. The song takes longer than most to convince but with a riveting Walker Brothers like sixties magnificence to its emerging grandeur, it is another immense highlight of the album.

Niagarama is quite sensational and surely the key to taking How To Swim into the recognition and burning spotlight they have long suggested through their music and invention that they deserved. Pop does not get any better than this, or as imposingly impacting, a must release for all.

Niagarama is available via Personal Hygiene Recordings now @ https://howtoswim.bandcamp.com/album/niagarama

https://www.facebook.com/howtoswim

9/10

RingMaster 16/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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II II II : A Conundrum On My Coffee Table

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Something wicked this way comes, an exceptional experiment of sonics, sounds and adventurous sensibilities to engineer the deepest ardour. Plenty of releases excite and thrill the senses but just a few ignite a fire of passion and deeply rooted rapture for the sounds they offer. One such rarity has just been unleashed into the world by II II II. The project from former Mishkin vocalist Ben Davy is sensational and its debut release without doubt one of the most enthralling and intoxicating pleasures of 2012. The A Conundrum On My Coffee Table EP captures the imagination in every aspect, its innovative weaves and inventive teasing an invigorating breath of fresh air which like the band name inspires thought, intrigue, and a hungry anticipation which is quenched with staggering ease.

Being a massive fan of the now deceased Leeds band Mishkin, the excitement of hearing from Davy with the EP was immense and

Ben Davy

Ben Davy

arguably placed higher expectations on the impending release than any other new record might have to prove itself against. It was child’s play for the release though, its six tracks leaving hopes as just inadequate musings when placed before their creative triumphs and exhilarating sounds. Fusing  blend of mathcore, metal, jazz, and rock, the release is an experimental tempest which offers essences of Faith No More, Mishkin, 6:33, Mike Patton, Dog Fashion Disco and much more, all honed into a unique and compelling encounter. The tracks are slight sonic swipes, colourful aural blades which barely worry a third minute but are rigidly magnetic in the time they take to transform the emotions into a compliant subservient.

Dog’s Lost His Bone swaggers in with sultry melodies and bruising basslines over firm rhythmic slaps to immediately pull all focus in its direction. A tempest of delicious enterprise and aggressive sinews the track is a storm of scattergun like energies and sounds honed into deliberate patterns and senses manipulating structures. It is glorious, an evolving beast of sound which ignites every corner of mind and heart. The track reminds of Guano Padano at times especially their recent collaboration with Mike Patton, whilst offering the ever shifting weaves which marked Mishkin and the technical mesmerism of a Karnivool.

From there things just venture into arguably further elevated areas of psyched investigation and musical excellence. Firstly the psychotic HITPTYGWYDIYL exposes the nerve endings with its wanton melodic caresses and scything rhythmic malevolence, the track a piece of aural sculpture which teeters on insanity. It like the first song is just irresistible, a brief unpredictable expanse of taunting and challenges bringing the richest of rewards. If the likes of Polkadot Cadaver give you a buzz, this track as the release will have you feeling like a teenager on your first sexual quest.

No Condition and Memories follow with their own individual ingenuity, the first a tirade of white hot sonics and argumentative riffs with a smouldering seductive centre and expressive challenging gest, and the second a flash of thought exploiting invention which leaves nothing less than heightened pleasure in its wake. In addition to the previous mentioned references the release inspires there is a sense of the maniacal mischief of 12 Stone Toddler to this pair of songs bringing yet another refreshing and inspirational flavour to the whole experience.

The release is completed by the ravenous craft of The Key To Denial and the serpentine Shingles. The former is a sizzling encounter, a face to face with the devil in aural form, its sonic tongue licking over the senses with insidious sexual greed to leave you tingling whilst grinning in sheer pleasure. Like all the songs it caresses and investigates the body like an insatiable lover whilst all the time stretching and twisting their prey with their venomous desires.  The latter is even more dangerous behind its jazz lined melodic brilliance, the passage of almost corruptive challenges and dazzling invention just breath-taking and magically intrusive.

A Conundrum On My Coffee Table is pure excellence, a release coming in the closing days of December which sets the highest standard for 2013. The EP is an essential investigation and a must get with its name your own price offer on the II II II Bandcamp Page… so go on off you go.

http://ii-ii-ii.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/II-II-II/100277240054308

RingMaster 30/12/2012

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