Imicus -The Libertine

Imicus Online Promo Shot

They may have left us all hanging after their impressive first chapter and debut album, but after a two year hiatus UK melodic metallers Imicus return with a new line-up and single soaked in the same invigorating qualities and invention as before. The Libertine is a striking comeback, two tracks reminding us of how the Luton hailing band gripped attention and emotions first time around whilst providing a new expanse and depth to their fascinating and provocative sound.

Before the original line-up disbanded in 2012, Imicus was stirring up keen praise and eager support straight away from their first single Visceral, which was released on Transcend Records in 2009. Eagerly swooped on by radio and its video by the likes of Kerrang! and Scuzz TV, the song’s success was surpassed by debut album Animal Factory the following year. Alongside this success, Imicus equally drew strong responses with their live performances which across the years has seen them share stages with the likes of AC/DC, Bullet For My Valentine, 30 Seconds to Mars, Rage against The Machine, The Stone Temple Pilots, and Aerosmith as well as make successful appearances at festivals like Download, Hellfire, Hammerfest, and The Bulldog Bash where they played with such bands as Breed 77, Sepultura, Opeth, Skindred, Saxon , Motorhead, Status Quo, The Damned, and many more.

Last year saw the end to the break which followed for the band, when co-founder and vocalist Miller decided to take the band out of storage with a new line-up and intent in sound and invention. The Libertine is the first offering from the PromoImageband’s second chapter, and recorded with Russ Russell the single is a gripping incitement swiftly revealing evolution in songwriting and imagination of the band.

The Libertine swiftly encloses ears in thick layers of rugged riffs and sonic enterprise punctuated by punchy beats. It is a captivating web given further strength by the vocals of Miller and the hazy atmosphere sculpted by the skilled melodic designs cast by guitarists Matt Turnbull and Al Hutton. Expulsions of muscular attitude and intensity equally add to the compelling encounter whilst Miller sets brawling roars alongside his flowing melodic delivery and the rhythms of bassist Bradley Beech and drummer Antony Cardinal bring a predatory breath through their attack. Technically as enthralling as it is creatively melodic, the song is a rich blend of explosive textures and bracing atmospheric tension, and a mighty return from the band.

Its companion track is Medusa, a song bred from the same melodic and inventively tenacious template as its predecessor whilst uncovering even stronger evocative potency to its depths against sinews seemingly finding seeds in the likes of Stone Sour and Killswitch Engage. There is a definite feel of Johnny Wore Black to the track’s emotive hues and insightful expression whilst elegant melodies and direct passion feverishly drive its imaginative persuasion.

Both tracks combine for an imposingly pleasing and impressive comeback for Imicus, and the breeding of real anticipation for the band’s new album scheduled for next year. The band may have been away but it did not stop its potency and potential growing, as well as expanding with the influx of new creative blood.

The Libertine is released worldwide on CD and digitally September 26th from all major digital outlets as well as @ http://imicus.bigcartel.com/

http://imicusband.com

RingMaster 21/09/2014

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Hollywood Heads – Self Titled EP

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Sauntering out of Moscow, Hollywood Heads is a band with a swagger to their presence and lustful intention to their heavy metal exploit. Formed in 2011, the quartet has powerfully awoken the eager attention of their local underground scene but now with the help of their self-titled debut EP, the band is ready to break out into a wider spotlight. Inspired by the likes of Aerosmith, Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue, Alice Cooper, and Zakk Wylde, their sound is not one bursting with startling originality but it offers boisterous and dirty rock ‘n’ roll which easily lights ears and appetite.

Line-ups changes, as with many bands, has been part of Hollywood Head’s emergence but the EP finds the band at its strongest yet with founding members in bassist Yeti and drummer Dan Mark alongside vocalist Gine King and guitarist Cross_Cover_Hollywood_HeadsFox. The successor to the well-received single Blood City, the EP rocks without any thought of respect or restraint from its first rousing track, the feisty Hollywood Heads. It does not make the most dramatic start but with riffs stirring up air and rhythms prowling with predacious intent, the song makes a strong enough invitation before exploding into a fiery slab of rowdy rock ‘n’ roll with glam rock urges. The slightly wayward tendencies of vocals only add to the energy and excitement brewed in the track whilst guitars unveil a potent craft of sonic endeavour to add fuel to the fire. There are no surprises with the song but plenty to get feet and ears rigorously engaged.

The following Aerogrill is the same, not making shocking statements but igniting body and thoughts with its excellent punkish twang and feverish vivacity around more of those addictive unique vocals. The best track on the release it shows a riveting twist of adventure to the band’s sound. Hooks seduce and grooves bind the senses whilst the virulent stroll of the song takes a hold of the passions. It is not ground-breaking but wholly addictive as it awakens a greedy hunger for the band’s creative brawl.

The EP comes to a close with Game, a proposition showing yet another side to the band’s invention. It is the heaviest track on the release; riffs prowling with weighty enticement as rhythms crisply spear their intensity as vocals roar with lusty relish across their canvas. Lit with an additional blues hue, the song is an accomplished and magnetic close to a fine release.

Hollywood Heads are at the start of a potentially dramatic ascent and success. They have still to evolve their own distinct voice but the EP makes a highly satisfying and pleasing base to start from.

The Hollywood Heads EP is available now

https://www.facebook.com/hollywoodheadsofficial

8/10

RingMaster Review 12/09/2014

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Beggarz Fixx – Rouse The Rabble

Beggarz Fixx Online Colour Promo shot

Brewing up an accomplished and fiery proposition with a dirtily rowdy nature, UK rockers Beggarz Fixx unleashes their debut EP this week for a healthy stomp of rock ‘n’ roll which should find a welcome in the ears of glam metal/hard rock fans. Rouse The Rabble is a feisty encounter which romps with the recognisable inspirations of Mötley Crüe, Buckcherry, and Aerosmith ringing through its six riots of energy and sound. It is not offering anything ground-breaking or re-inventing the genre wheel but instead pulls the listener, even those without a real taste for its style of music, into a pleasing and contagious exploit which only satisfies.

Swaggering out of Brighton, Beggarz Fixx has built up strong support and reputation locally and across the south of England since emerging in 2011. A few line-up changes has led to the quintet of vocalist Chazza B. Bennett, guitarists Mykki Felyxx and Danni Oakheart, bassist Zakky Redloxx, and drummer Billy Kidd coming together whilst the years since forming has seen the band share stages with the likes of Love/Hate, Attica Rage, Adam Bomb, Reckless Love, and Mallory Knox. Rouse The Rabble is the band’s first release and nationwide attention grabber and it is hard not to expect it to emulate across the rest of the UK its success in London and below.

….And The Devil You Know sets the release in motion, its slow rhythmic coaxing and simmering flames of guitar an attention prodding entrance. The track continues in that nature, accentuating its sonic heat throughout with the 10616344_669858903083407_6433403193299458609_npredominantly spoken vocals which offer a raw edge to the climactic texture of the song. It is a potent if not startling start which flows straight into Outta Control, a track instantly raising the temperate and energy levels. Beats are punchy and riffs raw, whilst the vocals of Bennett provide a nicely varied flavour to their presence. There are no real surprises with the song but plenty of fresh ideas and a highly agreeable persuasion of sound and craft.

The strong start is matched by the following Gimme Some. Drizzled with a bluesy temperament in the flair and stringed enticement of Felyxx and Oakheart, the track is an immediate party with infectious bait for feet, imagination, and passions alike. Hooks flirt, and rhythms entice with similar success whilst again the guitars cast a weave of melodic and sonic tenacity to match the vocal enterprise. Old school and proud, yet providing a modern fire to its attitude, the track again holds little to shock or surprise but plenty to rouse body and emotions for a thoroughly pleasing encounter.

Burn It Down is an anthem primed to recruit the listener within its first touch, hooks and chords an easy and stormy mix which breeds familiar seeds into its own antagonistic riot. With some potent twists and ideation, the song is another to awaken the spirit, and limbs, but lacks the stamp and spark of other tracks, and especially its predecessor. The next up Sick N’ Tired has a stronger and far more lingering presence and adventure to its tempest. Aerosmith meets Skid Row with a touch of Turbonegro to its aggressive breath; the song shows another side to the invention of the band, its progressively spawned melodies and intriguing turn of imagination bringing richer promise and endeavour to the track and release.

The EP is brought to a close by the impressive Walking, a smouldering croon which expels a blues twang in its climate and emotive heat to its reflective narrative. Guitars and vocals fuel the imagination whilst both Redloxx and Kidd provide an imposing yet respectful frame which cages ears impressively. Along with Gimme Some, the track brings the biggest thrill to an easily enjoyable and potent release.

Rouse The Rabble is a sonic orgy of fire bred rock ‘n’ roll which has the swagger and qualities to leave a host of new fans very happy.

The Rouse The Rabble EP is available now through all stores.

https://www.facebook.com/beggarzfixx

7.5/10

RingMaster 08/09/2014

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Hard Riot – The Blackened Heart

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Having impressed and thrilled with their debut album Living on a Fast Lane, German rockers Hard Riot return with its successor The Blackened Heart, a release which immediately shows how much the band has grown in songwriting, craft, and sound. It is fair to say that like its predecessor the new album is not worrying the inventive boundaries of heavy and voracious rock ‘n’ roll, but like the debut it is a thoroughly captivating and mouthwatering blaze of sinewed riffs, feverish adrenaline, and ferocious passion.

Hailing from Heilbronn, Hard Riot began in 2006 and was soon casting a potent web of rock and metal, its spices first showing on The Hidden Truth EP of 2009. Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Michael Gildner, guitarist Andreas Rockrohr, bassist Mario Kleindienst, and drummer Carmine Jaucci, the band showed their emerging strength and sound, with its essences of AC/DC, Def, Aerosmith, and Staind, three years later on Living on a Fast Lane which they recorded with producer Vagelis Maranis before unleashing it as the new one through Pitch Black Records. The Blackened Heart, also created with Maranis and with Heiko Härle the newest member of the band on bass and backing vocals replacing Kleindienst, is the next big step in the ascent of the band, a release easy to expect bringing fresh eager attention upon the band.

The album starts as it means to go on with a fiery storm in the shape of Blackout. Riffs and rhythms instantly assault and excite ears as it PBR030takes its first breath before welcoming the excellent vocals of Gildner, who right away seems as the music to have even greater power and confidence in his delivery. The guitars and bass almost stalk the senses as the feisty narrative, musically and lyrically, of the track entrenches its infectiousness into the imagination. There is a real anthemic feel to the song without pandering to easy hooks and though it is not the most inventive track around, the thought and precise alignment of sounds is open to see and devour greedily.

It is a great start matched by the following Suicide Blues, its entrance less forceful but just as dynamic after the first caress of chords. Holding stronger old school metal seeds in its belly and a groove metal hunger in its breath, the track swaggers and surges with a contagiousness which is irresistible. Scorched riffs and pungent rhythms persist on the senses as the track romps with relish for three minutes plus of irrepressible rock ‘n’ roll. It is song made for feet and neck muscles, which get a sort of breather with the next up Devils BBQ, a riveting roar of southern rock based enterprise with a great country/Cajun twang in its veining. Like its predecessors, there is nothing spectacularly new to it but it plays like an old friend with a fresh colour to its creative clothing which simply captivates for a tantalising treat which leaves a smile on face and emotions.

The End strides purposefully into view next, swipes of riffs and tempered rhythms courting expressive vocals before combining for a rich flame of melodic hard rock up to and around a potently catchy chorus. It is not as immediate as certainly the first two songs on the album but once bodies are bouncing around rooms and bums on chairs you realise it has hit the sweet spot just as accurately as any other track on the album. From that Nickelback like canter, the emotive ballad Count On Me croons in the ear with melodic seduction and vocal angst, again recalling spices of the Canadian band. The song is soon under the skin and teasing thoughts and emotions, it’s perfectly crafted body not surprising in any way but certainly lingering with German persuasion.

The pair of Not Alone and The Enemy Within leaves imagination and appetite busy though not matching the strength of the album up to this point. The first builds an evocative flame of melodies and emotive vocals around choppy riffs and crisp beats which binds attention whilst the second teases with another countrified twang before its bluesy heart wraps imaginatively around the ears. Both songs reveal more of the improved skill and adventurous exploits within the thinking of the band whilst pleasing ears with immensely accomplished designs.

Dirty Games steps up next to growl provocatively, its riffs and rhythms a predatory lure over which Gildner again deeply impresses. Crowding around ears with incendiary hues and patterns, the guitars cast a potent enticement which dares to flourish but never exceed the core boundaries of the vivaciously driven track. It is a strong asset of the album, the restraint to the individual’s skill which other bands might fail to rein in, but Hard Riot know when enough is enough to impress and enhance but not overload a song.

Second ballad Last Goodbye with its great violin call is an enjoyably decent companion before the bold wanton sounds of High Society Bitch ignite in ears and imagination. It is a tremendous snarl of dirty rock ‘n roll with a raucous edge to its infection which is surpassed by the closing brawl of Hit The Ground, a thumping stomp of a song which again has nothing truly new to show but all the virulent contagiousness and quality you could wish for in a heavy rock song.

The CD version of The Blackened Heart comes with an additional track, a reworked version of The End featuring Richard Sjunnesson of The Unguided which to be honest we preferred to the original just because of the great union of the two vocalists. The album itself is another impressive and exciting encounter from Hard Riot, a release showing the band yet to find its distinctive voice is certainly on the way to being a potent force and attraction; already they have a thrilling and appealing presence sorted.

The Blackened Heart is available via Pitch Black Records now in Europe and North America from July 8th.

http://www.hard-riot.com/

8/10

RingMaster 03/06/2014

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Dramas and reflections: an interview with Ryan Howell of Farewell, My Love

Photography by Tarina Doolittle

Photography by Tarina Doolittle

A few short weeks ago US rock band Farewell, My Love unveiled their debut album Gold Tattoos, a release which proved that the drama and aesthetic look of the band is more than a look. Hailing from Arizona, the inventive quintet has found their first full-length being heartily embraced by fans and given strong attention by the media. Just as eager to get our 15 minutes of attention with the band we had the pleasure to keep vocalist Ryan Howell busy with our questions, finding out about the origins of the band and the recording of the album as well as the neck break recruitment of Ryan himself on the eve of the band’s first tour…

Hi Ryan, welcome to the site and thanks for taking time out to chat with us.

First up can you give us some background to the early days of you all and the impetus to the forming of the band?

The Farewell, My Love you see now was formed through very intense and careful searching, far and wide ha-ha.

Were your previous bands/projects seeded in a similar sound to that of Farewell, My Love?

I believe that all of us share a very similar vision for what we want this band to sound like. None of our prior bands sounded crazy similar to Farewell, My Love but you could definitely tell where it grew from.

How long from the first seeds of an idea to the full emergence of the band was it?

Not too long, we’ve been blessed enough to find an amazing group of musicians that all share a similar vision and drive to push through anything. We are happy to say that through all our struggles that we have really found a strong line-up that is ready to take over.

Farewell, My LoveYou came into the band later than the other members, replacing the first vocalist who I believe left on the ‘eve’ of a tour. Tell us how it came about that a guy in South Africa became a part of an Arizona band.

The band’s previous vocalist quit the band just three weeks before their first tour, so they spent the next week or so looking all over the internet for who they believed would be the right guy to join them and they found me. We shared a fair amount of mutual friends in the industry who suggested me to them & it just kind of all fell into place. They flew me out 2 weeks later and we left for our first tour together.

Was it an easy fit so close to going on tour and how difficult was it for him to leave his homeland and family?

Obviously leaving your home and family for an extended period of time is never something that is easy but if you have a dream that you would do anything to chase then it is a sacrifice well made.

The work leading up to the tour must have been rather intensive for you all with such a change so soon before?

Yeah, that it definitely was ha-ha. I had to learn an entire set worth of songs in a matter of weeks. I remember having to polish up on learning all of the lyrics on the plane ride over to the states and it being a very stressful, but exciting process.

Did you find that pressure and issue equally though gave your live performances an extra edge?

Yeah definitely. Pressure sometimes gives you that extra drive to make everything as perfect as you can possibly make it.

You have recently released your debut album Gold Tattoos; the response to it seems rather feverish so far. 1489259_562804653795550_1048955586_n

Yeah, it has been received very well by our fans for sure and has opened up the door to us gaining a lot more fans as well. Definitely been very flattering to have our album voted into the Alternative Press Readers Charts multiple months in a row after the album’s release along such acts as Black Veil Brides, Pierce The Veil, and Get Scared.

The album brought up thoughts for us of My Chemical Romance at their best at times; what are the inspirations which have had the biggest impact on your songwriting?

Honestly our band has a very diverse array of influences from Frank Sinatra to Aerosmith to My Chemical Romance. We find a lot of pleasure in combining as many sounds as we can to create our sound while still creating something cohesive.

Talking of that how does the songwriting come together within the band?

Röbby comes up with a lot of the skeletons of what the songs are and then from there we all collaborate to give the songs that signature Farewell, My Love sound.

The album suggests you maybe feel a greater affinity with nineties metal than the current state of the genre?

We appreciate bands that started around that time period, along with many others.

As well as offering thumping slices of passion soaked melodic metal, Gold Tattoos is quite a theatrical encounter too, though not an overblown one; has this aspect of your sound emerged organically or is it something you have crafted into your music as say the band’s look?

We definitely spent a lot of time creating what we feel to be the missing piece in the music scene nowadays while still maintaining a vintage vibe. We are always pushing ourselves to be better.

Lyrically the songs are quite emotive, tales looking at relationships and those off-shooting dramas; how personal is the lyrical side of the album to the band or individuals?

Each song is a personal journey that we’ve all gone through but told through the use of metaphors and storytelling. There are a lot of bands out there nowadays that are very straight forward with their lyrics, which although is cool, doesn’t really fit with the theatrical vision we have for this band.

The album was produced by Don Debiase (Modern Day Escape, Beneath the Sky, For All Those Sleeping), how did that link up come about and what was the biggest impact he had on the album or you as a band in the studio?

Our relationship with Don Debiase came about because of our label owner, Neil Sheehan. They had been friends for a long time and Neil suggested him to us when it came time to write and record our full length album. I feel like he contributed in the way of always pushing us to our limits ad creating a very positive vibe in the studio.

Did the songs during the recording process emerge exactly as you envisaged going into the studio or did they evolve a lot further?

The songs were pretty close to being finished when we entered the studio to record the album but obviously the more you mould with your art, the more it reveals its true potential.

Farewell, My Love 2I can image that a debut album is an exciting unknown which equally can be nerve shredding at times. How did you find the situation?

We were honestly very excited to put the album out because we felt that it really represented what the band sounds like. We knew when we were writing it that it wasn’t going to be for everyone but honestly, no style of music is and we’re perfectly okay with that.

For us the first half of the album was a furnace of excellence compared to a ‘mere’ fire of enjoyment for the second. Obviously personal tastes dictates how successfully songs work for people but what did you use as a gauge or influence when it came to the order you placed the songs on the album?

When it came to the arrangement of the tracks we sat down as a band, listened to all the tracks separately and just felt it out. We wanted it to flow as much as possible while still having an unexpected edge.

Tracks like Afraid Of The Dark and My Perfect Thing thrust the album to the heart of a hungry attention whilst others like Faceless Frames turn up the heat further, but Mirror, Mirror is the biggest prize of them all for us. Can you give some insight into the triumph?

We like to keep our songs as diverse as we possibly can.

Is there a particular track or moment on the album which gives you just that extra tinge of satisfaction inside?

Every single song on the record is something that we are very proud of.

We mentioned My Chemical Romance earlier as a potent comparison to your sound, a band which was the flavoursome pioneers in melodic metal at first for the media and then seemingly within an album the target of ridicule and disdain from the mainstream press. Do you keep that ‘image’ in the back of the mind as you feel the ‘love’ of the media right now?

We keep our influences very close to our hearts but we try to do our own thing and create music that we feel is one of a kind.

What is next for Farewell, My Love? Tours can be expected?

Lots and lots of touring & new music videos. Be sure to keep checking in with us on Facebook, Twitter and all our other social sites for the latest updates!

Thanks once again for chatting with us.

Is there a last thought or quote you would like to leave us all pondering?

Be prepared for the future and remember that we love every single person out there that supports us! We couldn’t do this without our Farewell Family <3

http://www.facebook.com/farewellmyloveofficial

Read the review of Gold Tattoos @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/farewell-my-love-gold-tattoos/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 23/04/2014

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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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