Braddock Station Garrison – High Water

Braddock Station Garrison

    Merging evocative Americana with feisty rock ‘n’ roll, US band Braddock Station Garrison make a very pleasing and richly promising introduction with their debut EP High Water. Six tracks which ignite the imagination and appetite for instinctive melodic rock, the release is an adventurous endeavour which at its heights ignites the passions and in its quieter moments of persuasion provides a vibrant and absorbing charm draped with drifting emotive shadows. It is not an explosive invitation into the band but one of compelling substance and lingering persuasion.

     Hailing from Washington DC, Braddock Station Garrison’s seeds began when vocalist/guitarist Steve Schillinger and guitarist Tom Soha, who had known each other for years, started to jam together. Officially formed in 2011, the band was soon expanded with the addition of drummer Michael Chapman and original bassist Patrick, who left the band last December to be replaced by Jim Bledsoe. Taking influences from artists such as Tom Petty, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith, Johnny Cash, and The Smithereens, the band has evolved a sound which grabs attention whilst suggesting, certainly on the EP, that it is still a work in progress with greater potent things to come.

    High Water has its major highlights topping and tailing the release but in between offers an equally magnetic clutch of dark coveredged melodic enticements. Opener Into Your Arms is a dramatically infectious treat setting things off in immense style. From its first breath thumping muscle bound drum beats hypnotise the ear soon joined by a gloriously throaty bass lure making even greater bait for the imagination. Once the excellent expressive vocals of Schillinger cast a sultry lure over proceedings the track melts the passions and steals their allegiance. At this point the song reminds of the Orson Family track Heartbeat, evolving as flames of caustic guitar ignite the atmosphere alongside rasping riffs into a more Chris Issak seeded encounter with essences of Roy Orbison to its almost rockabilly lilted temptation. It is a masterful and virulently contagious stomp with a melodic acidity which brings garage rock rawness to its beauty.

     The impressive start provides a tall order for the following songs to complete and though for the main they run in the openers wake, all starting with A Lot to Ask offer a pleasing and accomplished endeavour to immerse in. The second song is a straight forward melodic rock stroll but with, vocally and musically, a distinctive enterprise to give it a unique if not ground-breaking character. Thoroughly enjoyable and deceptively infectious the song passes the ears over to Fall, which with a similarly cast blend of riffs and melodies continues the expressive pull of the EP. No aspect of the song stands out with striking brilliance but everything slots in and unites for a skilled and mature invention which treads existing paths with invigorating energy and enterprise.

    The following Maria With Child with a stronger country twang to its presence is the least persuasive song on the EP though there is little to dismiss about its melodic elegance and rhythmic convincing. There is certainly a close similarity to the song with the previous pair of tracks and if there is any sobering thought to temper the enthusiasm for the release it is that you wonder if they bring enough variety in their songs yet. As the pleasing guitar craft and quality shows backed by all other elements, skill and imagination is not lacking.

    California Specific gently coaxes in the listener with a singular guitar and vocal beckoning before expanding with a fuzz kissed blaze of sonic temptation and crisp rhythms which sculpts a smouldering rock pop contagion blending seventies psychedelic radiance with modern alternative rock adventure. Without ever exploding into the fire you expect, the track is a riveting and thrilling proposition which answers in some ways that question about bold variety to the band’s songs, a reminder immediately reaffirmed by the excellent closing track, Girl Gotta Gun. A scuzz fuelled garage rock built romp with garage punk bred abrasiveness and caustic guitar flaming, the track is different in every aspect to what came before but still fits effortlessly within the release and easily at home with the previous Americana coated songs.

   Without doubt the first and last songs are the pinnacles of the EP, and hopefully the direction that Braddock Station Garrison explore further but such the strength and appeal of the rest of High Water, you suspect only good and enthralling things will come from the band as they spring forward from this impressive start.

Get the High Water EP as a Buy now name your price download @ http://braddockstationgarrison.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/BraddockStationGarrison

8/10

RingMaster 28/01/2014

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States of Matter: The Scheme of Things

If you are looking for some new and exciting rock sounds then maybe head over to the debut album from UK band States of Matter. With a flavoursome mix of classic and hard rock with extra spices from far and wide The Scheme of Things will more than feed the demands and senses of rock fans everywhere. Eight tracks of enthusiastic and finely crafted rock n roll it is hard to imagine many that will not be wrapped up within its energised eagerness immediately and permanently. To be honest classic and hard rock with very few exceptions fly by our tastes only receiving a cursory glance at best but this little enthused piece of sound has had a few secretive and furtive returns on top of just around the review.

Formed in September 2011, the quintet from Bournemouth is as new as the sounds they rustle up with skill and strength. Taking influences from the likes of and as wide as Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Yellowcard, Ray Charles, and Kids In Glass Houses, they have taken no time in grabbing attention with live shows around the south of England and their debut video for opening song on the album Skyline. Filmed at Bristol Filton Airport earlier in the year it offers all you need to know about States of Matter and The Scheme of Things.

Skyline emerges on a wave of electronic atmosphere as a sizzling guitar lights up its skies with a fine display of melodic invention. The song builds up its elevated presence before reaching a plateau of powerful riffs and boisterous energy which finds an even more enthused intensity within the excellent infectious chorus. The track is an immediate hook from the album, an invitation into its arms that is impossible to resist. The vocals of George Holloway are impressive and easily fit the stylish sounds surrounding him, backed by great group vocals throughout the song.

As indicated in the opener the guitars of Harrison Perks and Richard Couchman are another element of the songs which one cannot fail to be impressed with, the following Jeez Louise sealing the opinion with some fine and imaginative play from both. The song is a definite favourite on the album, another irresistible slice of strong songwriting and its contagious unleashing. Though not always as openly heard as one would like on the more raucous tracks, the bass of Iain Sheppard is a brooding growl behind the song, his obvious ability adding a groove behind the scorched guitar sounds.

The album as it progresses reveals a diversity of sound and intent which is to be admired especially as the band pulls it off each and every time. The power ballad Cassiopeia is an emotive feast for the ear of passion fuelled piano and guitar majesty, the track rising and dipping in intensity like a heavy hearted chest. The power and reach of the song explores beyond the ear to wrap tightly around senses and emotions, a masterful piece of composing brought forth with further passion.

The eighties rock flavouring of Hot Of The Press adds another taste to the album and though it is not as striking as the trio of songs before it, classic rock fans will love its easy and anthemic sounds. The track, alongside Shotaway and the closing Hit For Six, did not quite find the appeal as elsewhere here but that is down to personal taste only and the dislike of the genre that spines them. They are like the medicine that you know is good for you but has a taste that makes one reluctant to take it, for those that love older rock sounds they will drool over them.

The remaining two songs on the album are the soulful Only Lovers Left Alive with a great southern twang to its provocative charms and the excellent The Casual Company. With a splatter of sleaze to its bluesy rock stance it has a splash of Wasted Sinners to it that draws one in eagerly. The rhythms of Lloydi Gee Pearson throw the ear into a frenzied state as the bass and guitars twist and turn with exuberance and ingenuity. The track is real rock n roll brought by real rock n rollers and pure pleasure.

If you love your classic and hard rock you will adore States of Matter and if not you will still find more than enough satisfying and imaginative things within The Scheme of Things to have a great time in its company, we did.

https://www.facebook.com/StatesofMatterUK

Ringmaster 16/05/2012

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Hard Riot: Living on a Fast Lane

If you are looking for some good and honest hard rock with a strength and appeal that refuses to be ignored then you can do a lot worse than taking a listen to the debut album from German band Hard Riot. Released via Pitch Black Records Living on a Fast Lane offers up eleven slices of very satisfying rock ‘n’ roll that hits the spot without venturing into distinctly new realms. The release though carries an exuberance and vitality that the more one gives it attention the more infectious it becomes.

Formed in 2006 in Heilbronn the quartet of vocalist Michael Gildner, guitarist Andreas Rockrohr, bassist Mario Kleindienst, and Carmine Jaucci on drums, are open with their influences proudly using them to flavour their own ideas and creativity. The album offers up large doses of the likes of AC/DC, Def Leppard, Scorpions and at times Van Halen but there are also other spices that peer out from within their sounds, varied rock elements that bring thoughts of Metallica, Aerosmith, and Staind. This goes to make an album that consistently engages and welcomes the ear even if it offers no real surprises or startling originality. For impressive and enjoyable rock music though Living on a Fast Lane fits the bill easily.

2009 saw the band release their self-financed 5-track EP The Hidden Truth to good acclaim and last year the band ventured into the studio to record their debut album with producer Vagelis Maranis. With the band signing to Pitch Black at the beginning of this year and the release of this fine album coming this week  there is a feeling and promise that the band should gather up a much stronger deeper response and fan base than ever before.

The album offers a good variety within its walls, the band at ease and skilled whether bringing a power ballad like Tears In The Rain or dragging the senses to their feet to rock out with the likes of the southern rock tinged opener Get Ready. The production ensures that each element of the band is heard to its fullest ability but also seamlessly fits side by side to makes songs that eagerly connect. It is fair to say that hard rock  is not the favoured genre of choice here at the RR, but there has to be a full admission that Living on a Fast Lane had voices loud and limbs air playing on more than one occasion.

Standout tracks include the great stomp fest Hellfire Rock where drums and riffs light up the inner rocker from the very first note and the excellent No Surrender. The first is infectiously anthemic and one of the songs where an avoidance of joining in is impossible. It scoops one up with an irresistible explosion of power riffs and melodic invention around compulsive gang choruses and pulse racing energy. The second of the two though with a fuller classic metal intention is similar in triggering a full response from the listener. The song is hungry and eager to provide a feast of hard rock elements and sounds that though expected are brought with a skill and urgency that can only please.

The album has a strong flow and consistency making sure there is never a moment one is looking to move on early. The likes of the slow and well crafted Nothing But You and the impressive metal veined Hard Way Down providing more highlights whilst the bluesy Black Widow is a supreme piece of rock music. It as elsewhere does not break down doors into new pastures but is simply siren like even for those that leave hard rock as a choice low down their preference list.

Living on a Fast Lane is a great release offering all the elements that makes a good and easily returnable to rock album. No it is not startlingly unpredictable or inventive but it is one of the most satisfying and eagerly digestible releases so far this year and makes Hard Riot a band to investigate.

RingMaster 08/03/2012

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