MIRE – Inward/Outward

MIRE - Press Photo 4 - Credit - Carl Lessard

Photo – Carl Lessard

    Embracing the constant comparison to Tool placed around them and infusing it into their own imaginative canvas of progressive metal, Canadian band MIRE unleash their debut album Inward/Outward upon the world, a release you can easily assume will thrust the band into the higher echelons of their genre. Ten tracks of expressive and highly resourceful enticement, the release is a potently magnetic and elegantly enthralling proposition but one unafraid to flare up and dish out confronting muscular provocation. It is not exactly an encounter which instantly sets the world ablaze but certainly one which lingers and seduces for the same kind of result, a declaration of one potentially major and insistently creative band.

    The follow-up to their well-received, self-titled EP of 2010, the new self-released album has been two years in the making, an album which guitarist Dave Massicotte said of, “We created this with our guts and have dared to explore a less common style of metal where the music is less obvious and sometimes requires the individual to have more than one listen before being able to grasp and really appreciate every musical element.” Recorded and jointly produced with Jean-Philippe Nault, the release takes little time in sparking ears and imagination. Opening track Complex from an intriguing rhythmic beckoning soon expands into a flame of guitars and bass predation. The drums of Stéphane Boileau flex greater sinews before providing an elevated pulsating interpretation of its initial contact as the strong and appealing tones of vocalist Jean-Philippe Lachapelle begins the track’s narrative. It is a riveting persuasion which adds textures and sonic endeavour the further in the song’s heart the band strolls. That gait is soon a forceful incitement as the guitars of Massicotte, who’s backing vocals also add extra temptation, and Bruno Chouinard find a rage to their riffs matching the throaty intensity of beats and the bass intent Doom Croteau. That Tool likeness is an open suggestion quite early on and to that you can add essences of A Perfect Circle, Porcupine Tree, and even Karnivool, though ultimately the track is undeniable distinct to MIRE.

     From the strong and inventive start, the following Tyrannicide immediately raises the quality of bait and temperature, its rub mire-inward-outward-album-coverof jagged riffs aligned to classically hued keys, an early compulsion for the senses. The track takes little time to settle into a masterful seduction of rapacious riffery, vocal adventure, and another excellent rhythmic design from Boileau. There is a greater snarl and melodic acidity compared to its predecessor too which only incites greater hunger in the already in place appetite for the release, whilst its imaginative premise and passion fuelled fire soaks thoughts in an invigorating and imposing embrace which again adds to the drama and weight of the song’s suasion.

     The two parts of Limitless come next, Pt. 1 a gentle melodic seduction with mellowness to voice and sound, though building shadows seem to go hand in hand with the melancholic keys and repetitive nature of the offering. The floating of female vocals alongside those of Lachapelle are a masterful and seductive lure which leads the senses into an emerging web of intensity which is stretched and explored fully in Pt.2. The track is ripe with sonic toxicity and creative contagion, its flight unafraid to twist into unpredictable avenues which keep the listener wrong footed but firmly absorbed in its dramatic and emotive exploration.

    Convolution follows the impressive track, it a short stark piece of cyber intimidation which makes an imposingly suggestive intro for the equally outstanding Beast and The Machine. Riffs with a carnivorous breath alongside commanding rhythms open up the enslavement first before the guitars open their sonic arms to invite and immerse the imagination in a danger coated adventure guided by the constantly impressive tones of Lachapelle. Once again the band lends an almost primal and antagonistic voice to the sound of the song, but one which flirts and engages with the expressive vocals and melodic scenery. As most of the tracks, first contact is exciting and satisfying but the song only becomes more virulently potent and thrilling the longer you immerse into its fiery depths.

    Both Catalan Atlas and Mantra Cymatic lead emotions on a provocative waltz even if neither quite live up to what came before. The first of the two certainly paints an inviting masterful weave of sonic colour and emotive hues whilst its successor as its title suggests, is a meditative almost shamanic slice of sultry and evocative temptation, harmonies and keys casting a sirenesque ambience veined by reflective vocals. Neither song has the same passion igniting spark as earlier songs but both leave satisfaction full before the excellent Open Circle stomps in, bursting into an expulsion of expressive rhythms, volcanic sonic potency, and passion drenched vocals. The track’s melodies shaped by keys and guitar similarly blaze in the encounter, helping make a rousing and incendiary slab of melodic metal. It brings the album to an immense close, though there is still the short instrumental Upheaval left, another corruptive slither of ambience and sound related to that within Convolution, but almost like an afterthought, and epilogue to it all rather than a persuasive venture.

    Inward/Outward is an excellent first full-length declaration from MIRE, one which more than suggests that this is a band ready to rigorously seize the attention and appetite of progressive and melodic metal and hold it for a long time to come. It is hard not to be excited about the future of the band and what they potentially could seduce our emotions with on future horizons.

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http://mire.bandcamp.com/album/inward-outward-limitless-preview

Check out the Music Video for Limitless Pt. 2 @ http://youtu.be/kQnqLxFv5oM

8.5/10

RingMaster 18/03/2014

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Johnny Wore Black – Walking Underwater

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     Having richly impressed with a quartet of singles which were as emotively potent as they were compellingly crafted, UK rock band Johnny Wore Black finally release debut album Walking Underwater to complete the seduction and seal the long term capture of the passions. We say finally as it seems like it has been a long time in making, though maybe it is just the greedy anticipation which was bred from the first single that made it seem so. The ten track release is a mouthwatering and enthralling evocation of melodic rock with tinges of metal. At times it simmers and coaxes with lively emotional embers and in other moments blazes with sonic flames and vivacious endeavour, searing the hairs lining the ears. Whichever the character of songs, each one engages and absorbs senses and thoughts with a suggestive spark and provocative texture for a quite mesmeric and thrilling adventure.

     Johnny Wore Black is the solo project of former Hollywood stuntman Johnny Jay (Jay Coen). The former leading force of The Jay Harley Band, the London based songwriter/producer has carved an invigorating and eagerly accepted presence with his refreshing sounds, in the last couple of years especially with the release of exciting singles which sparked a greater acceleration in his rise within the British rock scene. Jay has equally built a strong reputation with his collaborations, one which has specifically been spawned through Johnny Wore Black being a union with David Ellefson from Megadeth. Walking Underwater again brings the writing and musical skills of the pair together, their union ripe with organic power and commanding suasion. Produced by Grammy Award winning producer David Bottrill and featuring clips from his Jay’s father’s seminal 1960s documentary The London Nobody Knows, the March 28th released Walking Underwater is Part 1 of a bigger entity, with the second 10 song part scheduled for this coming autumn, each containing two of the four outstanding singles which have already marked out the project for hungry attention.

     The encounter opens with Different Shades which bursts into the ears after the first of the evocative samples taken from the coveraforementioned film, each splice of cinema making a highly stimulating impact and link between songs. The track initially entices the ears with a single melodic dance on the imagination before further guitar caresses gently add their stroking alongside a velvety dark bassline aligned to firm beats. It is an instantly riveting beckoning which increases its lure as the strong and expressive vocals of Jay weave in with the lyrical narrative. That earlier mentioned smoulder is at work from the start of song and album, its mesmeric touch and seductive breath permeating thoughts and feelings whilst brewing up to a muscular finale with an almost accusing edge to its passion.

    It is a magnetic start to the release soon matched and surpassed by All the Rage. The song is the first of the previous singles from Johnny Wore Black, the debut release which was originally released in conjunction with Help For Heroes to raise funds for Help for Heroes and Combat Stress. Once again the entrance is restrained and poetically alluring, a sonically crafted melody and evocative atmosphere wrapping the senses before the vocals and fuller breath of the track encloses the ears. As throughout the album there is a melancholic feel to the track but one which never snuffs out the light and hope of the song or its ambience.

    Up in Flames, another previous single follows next, it a slice of rock/metal excellence which still makes the strongest persuasion even after a horde of listens. Riffs and rhythms make a firm and compulsive frame for the contagious draw of excellent vocals which combine with the melodic weave of imagination, glowing feisty bait poised to erupt with its metallic sinews and infection soaked energy across the resourceful and flavoursome stroll of rock ‘n’ roll. Everything from the bordering on sombre initial coaxing to the climactic eruptions is perfection; the track one of the best heavy/melodic rock compositions in recent years.

   Both So Dusted and The Battle continue the impressive temptation, the first an atmospheric reflection of shadows with a warm melodic breeze for company and the second from a shimmering summoning of the imagination, evolves its shadowed heart and sonic portrait into a darker unleashing of fiery passion. The pair though very different in appearance, share mutual melancholy which coats every note and seeps from each syllable offered by the heart bred tones of Jay.

   The acoustically shaped One & the Same steps up next to seduce and spark the listeners thoughts, the gentle sway and gait of the song lapping the imagination like waves on a lonely beach, one left in a shadow draped view with hypnotic aural scenery. Its slow pervading beauty is succeeded by the similarly chilled atmosphere of Cold Water, though as with all the songs there is enough warmth and melody spawned adventure to inspire hope to temper the lyrical dark. Though the pair of songs takes a little longer to secure the lingering ardour bred by other songs, the outcome is just as powerfully the same.

     The intrigue and mystique brought by What I Am entrances next, its noir almost sinister climate a deliciously rich hue to the pictorial mix of vocals and floating melodies. One more the contrast of shadows and light, emotionally and musically, is an open canvas for the listener to reflect and imagine within, the word alchemy applicable to the depth and power in his songs Jay achieves with the blend again gloriously shown in One Love Song. The track seduces from first breath to its last, a catchiness spawning from its chorus complementing and tempering the almost invasive dark eloquence and reserved yet potent drama of the song. It is a beautiful song if not stealing best track honours certainly sharing them.

    The closing Outside Looking In unleashes the sinews which have had to play second fiddle for the most to the scintillating melodies and inciting evocative textures which predominantly breed the album, not that the track lacks any of their fascination either. The song is a galvanic stride of energy and power with sonic captivation and melodic ingenuity. It offers a tremendous end to a scintillating release, one which gives melodic rock a new spellbinding creative fire to embrace. With essences comparable to bands such as A Perfect Circle, Deftones, Tool, and Porcupine Tree but sounding very little like any of them, Walking Underwater and Johnny Wore Black are one of the must investigations of the year now and ahead. Roll on Part 2 is all that is left to say.

http://www.johnnyworeblack.com/

9/10

RingMaster 27/02/2014

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Resin – Embrace The Fall

Resin Online Promo Shot

Not to be confused with the excellent US alternative rock band of the same name (though they may not be going anymore), rockers Resin are stepping forward to find their place in UK rock with new album Embrace The Fall. Nine tracks of accomplished and adventurous grunge and alternative rock, the album is a strong and enjoyable piece of honest sounds and thoughtful invention though not flawless and at times not equipped with enough to have the passions firing on all cylinders compared to other bands and releases. The album nevertheless is overall an enjoyable slice of musicianship and imagination.

Formed in 2006 in Hinckley, Leicestershire, from the meeting of guitarists Mark ‘Chez’ Roseby and Sime Yarwood, Resin was soon a trio with the addition of vocalist James Botha, who had just relocated South Africa. After a search the line-up was completed by bassist Dave ‘Sev’ Seville and Mark Abbott who plays drums, cajon, and cello. 2010 formerly introduced the band to the public soon backed by a wealth of live shows and numerous festival appearances. Since then they have shared stages with bands such as Voodoo Six, Fearless Vampire, I am Giant, and Dr and the Medics, whilst honing their sound and craft. With inspirations worn proudly on its sleeve, the music of Resin has loud whispers of bands like Seether, A Perfect Circle, Alice In Chains and more to it, whilst coincidently also reminding of the other Resin mentioned previously and smaller US bands such as Damsel Down.

Listening to the album the qualities and skill of the members of Resin is undeniable each offering an intelligent and intriguing narrative Resin Cover Artworkwhich many bands could take note of. This makes each song a passage of emotive and personal discovery wrapped in sounds and imagination that strengthens the musical drama and lyrical potency. From the opener Entropy onwards you feel every song comes from the heart and every note and word is bred from reflective passion. The song opens up the release with an introduction of almost melancholic guitar paced by the excellent call of the cello from Abbott. There is warmth to the slowly emerging atmosphere being cast by the track, a heat accelerated by the joining vocal harmonies and tight guitar flames. Into its heart the track ambles nicely along with enterprise and infectiousness but also immediately shows the weak points of the album. Firstly as with the majority of the songs there is a too close a familiarity to others which influences have sprung from for the band, then there are the vocals of Botha. His voice and delivery is great it has to be confirmed but within the song and album, and primarily down to the third issue of the cloudy production, there is a missing snarl and depth to ignite the songs further. For all of that though the track makes a pleasing start to the album and ensures continued participation of its course.

The following pair of Carpe Diem and Fallen flounders a little in the wake of the opener but again do enough to keep attention firm, the first a Pearl Jam like blaze of sonic and melodic empathy with thoughts and the second an inventive breeze of strings alone caressing the delivery of Botha whilst adding their own emotional hues. Both though suffer from the production of the album which defuses their potency and impact. Their successor Fake does finds good company in the dulled sound, riffs and bass carving out a formidable presence veined by crisp beats, but equally the surface production tempers the success by blunting the cutting edge of vocals and guitars with a seeming lack of understanding. It is a shame as the song itself is full of promise.

After the fiery Instinct the album’s pinnacle opens up its declaration. Beskadig, meaning damage, injure, spoil, is sung in Afrikaans by Botha and in its acoustic delivery offers a charm and deep emotive presence that defies producer and mix to create a real gem of a song. Acoustic guitars and touches have a ready and welcome place on Embrace The Fall but nowhere else is it as impressive and thrilling as upon this enthralling song.

The highlight is followed by the Nirvana bred Clouds, a song which again has all the attributes to satisfy and leave the listener hungry for more but its close proximity to the Seattle band in sound ensures it fails a little flat especially when it opens up the burners. The raucous aspect of the song has no definition to its fire but with the smouldering croon which surrounds the expulsions offering strength and seductive temptation, the song is another showing the potential of the band and the wish with no disrespect to those recording the album that Resin finds understanding hands ahead on their releases.

Completed by the very decent and melodically vibrant Poison and an acoustic version of Clouds which fairs stronger than the full version to be honest, Embrace The Fall is a pleasing album but one which could have been much better, a lost opportunity in many ways. It does make for an encounter that marks the band as a rising proposition and one hopefully finding a studio able to exploit their certain talent.

www.facebook.com/resinonline

7/10

RingMaster 04/08/2013

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RESIN debut ‘Embrace The Fall’ released 5th August‏

Resin Online Promo Shot

ECLECTIC UK ALTERNATIVE CREW RESIN REBOOT DEBUT ALBUM THIS SUMMER!

Brit riff beasts ‘Resin’ stake their claim as rising alternative rock newcomers, armed with their new album ‘Embrace the Fall’, out in stores from Monday 5th August.
Channelling from acts such as Seether, A Perfect Circle and Alice In Chains, UK alt-rockers ‘Resin’ pack a formidable punch and are blessed with thoughtful song-writing abilities and a range of musicianship and diversity that is rarely seen amongst today’s current glut of metal/metalcore bands. Expansive, eclectic and brooding, Resin will rise to the surface this year.
Formed in Hinckley, Leicestershire, the early beginnings of Resin can be traced back to a happenstance meeting in a bar between Guitarists Mark ‘Chez’ Roseby and Sime Yarwood. Soon after the duo crossed paths with vocalist James Botha, who had just moved to the area from South Africa. The trio started to rattle out cover versions and hunted for a suitable drummer and bassist to fulfil their true potential. After a relentless search, the three piece finally uncovered Dave ‘Sev’ Seville on Bass and Mark Abbott who plays Drums, Cajon, and Cello. With a full line-up in tow, Resin were unleashed to the general public at the tail end of 2010. A constant bout of shows throughout the heart of England followed, as well as numerous successful festival appearances throughout 2010. And during the last twelve months, the band have stepped it up even further, snaring a series of shows supporting everyone from Voodoo Six, Fearless Vampire Killers and I am Giant, to Dr and the Medics.
At the end of 2012, Resin turned their attention towards recording, and the quintet marched into the recording studio to work on their debut album. After a series of intense recording sessions and another six months of writing and re-shaping, the band emerged from the studios with their debut record, ‘Embrace The Fall’, and it’s a triumphant record that is not bound by fashion. The beautifully bleak ‘Entropy’ opens proceedings and clearly lays out the band’s manifesto amidst grinding hard riffs balanced with subtle acoustic tendencies and capped with pertinent strains of nihilism. As the record moves on, the quintet tip their caps to Cornnell and Co with the Soundgarden-esque drive of ‘Fake’. The album then swings back with the acoustic laden “Beskadig’, which, sung in Afrikaans, is a homage to Botha’s native South African roots. The record continues its sweeping journey with the majestic and flowingly anthemic ‘Poison’. Now, armed with a growing fan-base and their debut album set for a re-launch, the scene is set for the band to kick on and break out to the nation.
Resin Cover Artwork

WVM – The End Is Only The Beginning

wvm 2

    The End Is Only The Beginning is the upcoming album from multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, performer, programmer, and visual artist WVM and also the EP which is an appetizer to the imminent album. We are taking a look at the five track EP and it has to be said that the album simply cannot come soon enough. Bringing together a stirring and enthralling mix of industrial, metal, gothic rock, and fiery electro, WVM has created a sound and release in The End Is Only The Beginning which incites only the hungriest appetite and passion. It is a tremendous force of invention and invigorating creativity which is as accomplished and as happy to caress and seduce as it is to ravage and violate, both extremes greedily welcomed when fused together this impressively.

The EP we assume is the recording debut of the Los Angeles based artist, but is a release showing the craft and touch one would expect of someone well-endowed in experience and know how on how to bring the strongest potency to his armoury. Whether his history is one of numerous endeavours or actually is his first appearance in any form, the stature of the songwriting and its stunning realisation is immense. Mixed by Sean Beavan (Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson), whose private studio Blue Room Studio WVM was given access to for the recording of the vocals, the EP can be best described across its length as Nine Inch Nails meets Gary Numan and The The with additional flames from Marilyn Mansion, Depeche Mode, and Fear Factory, individual tracks offering different permutations.

The opening pair of tracks on the EP immediately exploits the appetite for muscular enterprise and resourceful melodic persuasion 3461690930-1with expressive and riveting creativity. When Universes Collide, one of three tracks featuring Josh Freese (Nine Inch Nails, A Perfect Circle) on drums, instantly chews on the ear with raptorial riffs and exhausting rhythms before expanding its sinews to allow the emergence of scintillating electronic washes and equally excellent vocals, the tones of WVM clean and expressive yet with a steel to match the forceful sounds. Into its stride the track is a mountainous march of epic atmospheres and impacting intensity which engages an anthemic breath to its incendiary presence. It is an adrenaline coursing encounter in contrast to the slower more deliberate prowl of The Echoing, though both tracks are equal in their potent impact and invention. The melodic and vocal embrace of the track has a smouldering heat to their contact whilst the heavy stance of the track alongside a Ultravox like electro inducement, consumes with a weight which devours and rewards with mutual greed.

The outstanding Black Sun makes its entrance upon electro affected vocals and a brewing ambience which is warm yet provocative of something larger to come. What does rip from its expanse is a thrilling weave of electronic elegance and ingenuity forged to a heavy rock spine complete with metallic lures and hooks. Across its sizzling twisting invention and unpredictably shifting stances, the track reminds of John Foxx era Ultravox with the ravenous energy of Pitchshifter and further magnetic sonic temptation of Celldweller, whilst the guest appearance of Chris Vrenna (Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Tweaker) on drums only drives its vigour deeper.

For A Better Tomorrow steers its presence towards electro pop with a definite eighties lilt, though again the rhythms and vein of the song still holds intimidation and weight to charge up the desires of any metal favouring fan, the beats of Freese showing no interest in taking it easy on the listener. The melodic caress of the synths is bewitching and with the compelling menace courting its charms, the likes of Trent Reznor, Numan, or even Thomas Dolby spring to mind.

Closing song Escapism, again with Freese adding intense bone to the sublime industrial encircling of the senses, roams around and preys on the passions with the strongest NIN influenced presence on the release whilst aligning those flavours to its own carnivorous snarl and persistent sonic taunt. It is an exceptional end to a tremendous EP in quality and endeavour. WVM is on the path to great things one can only surmise with this outstanding release whilst the full album of The End Is Only The Beginning cannot come soon enough.

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http://www.wvmmusic.com/

9/10

RingMaster 15/03/2013

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Johnny Wore Black: Up in Flames

Up In Flames, the second single from Brighton based band Johnny Wore Black, is one of those songs which just ignite a lustful need to know and hear more about the artist behind them. It is a stirring slab of rock music which fires up (I could not resist) the imagination whilst thrilling the senses with sinewy strength and melodic enterprise.

Formerly The Jay Harley Band, and led by Jay (Johnny) Coen, Johnny Wore Black found great critical acclaim with debut single All The Rage, a track released in conjunction with Help For Heroes to raise funds for Help for Heroes, and Combat Stress, and given a remix re-release for Remembrance Day 2012. The track brought them strong attention and coverage through the likes of Metal Hammer, Revolver, Music Week and ITV News. The new single is sure to enjoy the same responses to its muscular and well-crafted thoughtful enterprise whilst brewing great anticipation for a forthcoming album.

Like its predecessor, Up In Flames features David Ellefson from Megadeth on bass, his distinctive touch adding extra spice to a flavoursome treat. The song rises into life like feisty embers, its sonic emergence behind a precise guitar opening into a restrained stroll. Riffs are firm and compulsive yet reserved alongside beckoning vocals and teasing melodic mastery, all enthralling as they wait for the lighting of the touch paper to the surging energy which fuels the infectious chorus. The track has the same immense presence of Deftones atmospherically fused with the warm elegance of A Perfect Circle, the impactful passion of Tool, and the melodic hunger of a Soundgarden. It is a strikingly impressive sound which feeds all appetites for muscular rock through to powerful and passionate incitement. As expected the hypnotic invention of Ellefson stands out but no more so than the fiery guitar craft and the anthemic presence to the chorus and excellent vocals as a whole. The climactic moments building to the incendiary outbursts too are equally contagious and irresistible, making the song an insatiable pleasure from start to finish.

As mentioned Up in Flames alone makes the eagerness for debut album Walking Underwater intense but after hearing the outstanding track Noise, a new song from the band which was sent through with the single, the wait to taste its delights will be without doubt impatient. There are a few bands in the UK on the brink of major recognition at home and worldwide, to that list you can now add Johnny Wore Black.

http://johnnyworeblack.com

RingMaster 25/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Static Plan: Self Titled EP

So far 2012 has delivered some little unexpected gems and to that growing list you can firmly add the forthcoming release from UK rock band Static Plan. A promo copy of their forthcoming self titled EP, to be released April 14th, came our way and to be honest we cannot remember how, where, or from whom (so forgive us if it was you and remind us please), but the important thing is that it did and that it gives us the pleasure of reporting how impressive it is.

Static Plan is a Guildford based quartet consisting of vocalist Kyle Mackenzie, guitarist Jonno Lloyd, bassist Ben Martin, and Greg Webber on drums. They create a sound that rifles and entrances the senses with a fusion of alternative rock, industrial, and grunge. That is a simplistic description as the songs within the EP offer a sound that has much more and merges those spices into something strikingly unique yet wholly familiar. It is a skilled craft they possess and they seem to know how to use it to the full. Influenced openly by the likes of Nine Inch Nails, A Perfect Circle, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Deftones and Queens Of The Stone Age, they enforce these flavours with a metallic edge and determined intensity that is constantly intriguing and never predictable.

Opening song Will has a little of everything within its bulky mass, a rippling beast that flexes muscles and melodic charm to equal effect. With an AIC vein running through it and vocalist Mackenzie finding an expressive Chino Moreno delivery the song has a perfect rock base. Add the grumbling riffs of Martin and the belligerent guitars of Lloyd who backs up vocally too and you have a more than formidable creature ravaging the ear. Once the excellent drum skills and imagination of Webber pushes everything through further and deeper you are talking something special. At times the song is unsure which way it wants to go, to full rock or something much heavier and intense and this works perfectly, the shuffling between the two a continually surprising teasing of the ear.

Your Type kills Me begins on an electro/industrial questioning  before erupting into a full blooded atmospheric groove, all the while the electronic sounds are either niggling behind the guitars or openly dazzling with spotlight like radiance. A heady flavour of QOTSA pulsates throughout the song with a Stone Temple Pilot like thunderous energy and contempt wrapping itself around the core. Again unexpected in every aspect the song excites and ignites the need for more.

The starker Blockhead takes on the task with similar satisfying results, its NIN dark electronic growling preying on the senses as the band flow into more melodic and emotional areas than on the first two. With Martin added his darkened riffs to the harsher shadowed keys the song combines and restrains its more aggressive tendencies with an engaging melodic rock ease and confidence. Not quite on the par with the previous two the song still hits the spot and shows the diversity the band has in their invention and songwriting.

   Coil closes up the release by swaggering in on another electronic beckoning. The song takes a more subdued path to the senses, its pulsating melodies and consuming flow preferring to manipulate rather than go straight for the neck, though there is always the darkened heart of the band lurking behind just waiting for an opportunity to size hold.

Being a promo the production on the tracks we received is not the best and it is proof of how great the songs are that they deliver all they do so impressively and effectively. The fully mastered release for sure will stop you dead in your tracks with excitement and awe; the sounds that good and Static Plan a band that has a very promising future ahead of them.

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RingMaster 29/03/2012

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Static Plan – Will

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Always The Quiet Ones: Freak Show

If there was ever a release to epitomise the term a grower than it is the new EP from Liverpool rock band Always The Quiet Ones. The first couple of listens to Freak Show and one hears a strong and well crafted trio of songs which engage instantly if not distinctly. What it does not immediately reveal is how infectious that same music is and how once one gives it more attention it will return to mind often and far away from the disc itself. Though not a perfect release subsequent plays place Freak Show deeper and firmer into the heart with especially two of the songs within its expressive walls, lifting the spirit and emotions to lofty levels.

Formed in the later part of 2010, the quintet of Blas Barragan Jr. (vocals), Joe Danher (guitar), Adam Lucas (guitar), Chris Nicholls (bass) and James Lorenzo (drums), hit the ground running with lively and ear catching live shows supporting the likes of Deaf Havana, Mojo Fury, Axis Of and Turbogeist. With a show as impressive and unforgettable as their sounds the band soon gained strong attention from fans and undergrounds media alike. With the release of Freak Show the band are surely about to stir up the UK and accelerate the enthusiasm already gaining momentum to an even greater height.

The EP opens with Sign Of The Times and no reticence in spicing up the ear with commanding rhythms, wanton riffs and melodies to tease and mesmerise. The track twists and turns with great imagination and diversity. The inventive beats of Lorenzo lead the track up and down distinct avenues whilst the bass lines of Nicholls cajole the ear to jump on board the heartily driven express train of sound. Whilst the guitars of Lucas and Danher rage and intrigue to equal measure and often at the same time vocalist Barragan Jr. rides the sound with an expressive hard rock type delivery which grabs and sets off the imagination. The song sets a stunning start to the release which leaves a formidable challenge for the next track to follow.

Valentina sadly fails to rise up to the question. The song is actually very good but with the band taking a more straight forward approach with it there is not the inspirational and originality to it as so apparent on the opener. The melodies within it are graceful and the vocals once more dripping emotive skill. Musically the band is impressive and really there is not anything wrong with the song at all, but there is something missing from it which lit up Sign Of The Times and returns with full force in the closing song on the EP. With a chorus that digs deep and guitars which scorch the senses the song is certainly one that is not easily forgotten once it lays down its last note though.

Title track Freak Show completes the trio and is the best song offered. From a momentously striking mouth watering melodic crawl the song evolves into a muscular beast that ripples attitude and might within a chorus and crescendo of sound that envelopes the ear like a tempest. Switching back to the mellower tone and intent it feels like one is in the eye of the storm soon to be buffeted again by the delicious intrusion of heavy riffs, caustic melodies and driving rhythms. The song growls and snarls at times and in others offers a mischievous but inviting smile, all intended to lead you into the maelstrom of creativity, madness, and wonderfully unpredictable sounds within.

Many seem to cite early Biffy Clyro and the likes of A Perfect Circle and Tool as influences in the sound of Always The Quiet Ones and one can see that especially with the darker elements of the latter but the one band that seems to lurk within the songs, especially the addictive and expressive side was Manic Street Preachers, throughout the way the melodies and songs attached themselves with an eager and irresistible grip echoed the Welsh band.

Freak Show is quite simply excellent and a sure doorway into the heart and vast invention of Always The Quiet Ones. With already a double-A sided single planned for just a mere few weeks ahead, 2012 could and should be the year the band twists us all to their way of thinking.

RingMaster 02/03/2012

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