Astral Cloud Ashes – Dear Absentee Creator

Eighteen months or so in the making, Dear Absentee Creator is the keenly awaited successor to the critically well-received debut album marking Astral Cloud Ashes out as one inescapably magnetic encounter.  Released in 2016, Too Close to the Noise Floor was a collection of songs which intrigued as they pleasured, fascinated as they almost forcibly introduced an ear grabbing new artist to the British music scene. Now Dear Absentee Creator takes all the prowess and potential of its predecessor to the next level with eleven tracks which seduce the imagination and stir ears with their infectious adventures.

Astral Cloud Ashes is the solo project of Jersey hailing multi-instrumentalist Antony Walker who had already caught our ears and appetite as one half of also Channel Islands bred outfit Select All Delete Save As . Formed in 2016, the band swiftly sparked keen interest with the title track of that subsequent first album. The full bodied Too Close to the Noise Floor really stirred attention and praise with its release later that first year and a sound which lies somewhere between the embraces of indie rock, alt-pop, and math rock being self-tagged as Future-core. To be fair, enjoyably it is a proposition very difficult to pin down, familiar in some ways, boldly individual in a great many others, and as proven by the new encounter, always at ease captivating the senses.

Whereas Too Close to the Noise Floor saw backing vocalist Jason Neil a thick presence alongside, Dear Absentee Creator is all Walker with just a few guests in pianist/vocalist James Elliott Field (Tubelord, Tall Ships) on the album’s closing song and drummer Max Saidi on three others as well as Melle Brower (vocalist for Dutch metallers Illusionless) providing cymbals on Clockhand Reversal. Mastered as that earlier album by Tim Turan, Dear Absentee Creator references Satoshi Nakamoto in its title, the creator of the world’s first ever cryptocurrency in Bitcoin, whose true identity has never been known to anyone and has not been heard of since the final weeks of 2010.

It opens up with the melodic enticement of News Anchor Breaks Rank, a short mellow invitation with drama in its heart and touch as Walker’s ever resourceful vocal mix rises within a guitar nurtured weave. It is the opening breath to next up Moonphase Bloom, and outstanding track which helped spark anticipation for the album with its release as a single last year. A virulently infectious and lively slice of pop rock as tempting when it is a melodic smoulder or a rousing rocker, the track just draws ears into the sound and imagination of Walker like a magnet; its success as a single pure evidence.

Old Moods follows, it too a bouncy proposal with emotion lining every melody and word, adventure each twist and turn. Almost fiery in its eruptions and firmly mesmeric in its melancholic calms, the song is a skilfully woven clamour drawing on a host of pop and indie flavours with subtlety and open hunger before A Reformatted Heart goes off on its own catchy stroll wrapped in melodic intimation.

Already four tracks in and Dear Absentee Creator showed a feistier character and contagion of sound compared to its predecessor with the same calm elegance and lively imagination which helped the first album stand out. It has a roar to it which just incites attention even as in next up Ryukyu Kingdom Declares Independence, a song which ebbs and flows in intensity almost reflecting from a standstill at times as Walker croons throughout with a gentle touch.

Similarly Ironed Shirts bounces along with a mercurial gait, every move inviting a willing body to match its changeable energy, the imagination bound in its expectations escaping invention, while Dallas Knows the Reason just enthrals from its emotive harmonic gaze to its voracious rock explosions. The grumble of the bass is irresistible, the flames of guitar compelling as the track seduces, lulls into false safety, and preys on ears and thoughts with its tenacious sound around a tale of a gun-wielding girl from Texas.

The piano led, metronomic tease of the following Clock Hand Reversal is just as richly enticing, that clever bait opening up a tenacious shimmer of melody and harmony with a volatile underbelly which springs up again and again to add to the track’s captivation.

The fuzzy pop ‘n’ roll of Satoshi Nakamoto vs Unyielding Desire for BAU is a quick match in wrapping up ears and appetite in its creative tapestry, the melodic senses entangling of Gush just as charismatic and increasingly gripping before Kimobetsu Love brings the album to a fine conclusion. A song which blossomed over plays rather than making the immediate impact of some of its companions, it epitomises the imaginative and arresting not forgetting perpetually enticing sound of Astral Cloud Ashes.

It is increasingly impossible to compare the band’s sound to others such its growing uniqueness but imagine a pinch of House Of Love intimacy, a slither of Weezer infectiousness, and an infusion of XTC melodic imagination all blended together in a Tubelord fired mortar and you get an idea of the creative breath and pop rock fun of Astral Cloud Ashes.

Dear Absentee Creator is out now across major online stores and

https://astralcloudashes.bandcamp.com/album/dear-absentee-creator

https://www.facebook.com/astralcloudashes/   https://twitter.com/AstralCloudAsh

Pete RingMaster 26/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Pyramid Park – The Unexplained

With their debut album luring rich attention and plaudits since its recent release, Pyramid Park now unveil its first single in the fiercely infectious and emotionally open The Unexplained; a track which captivates in sound and character whilst providing a potent invitation into band and that first album, Vulnerability.

Pyramid Park is the creation of Cambridge based songwriter/musician Peter McAllen; primarily a one man alternative/ indie pop project though McAllen readily embraces the talent and imagination of others. Emerging from a time of “personal struggle” when he says “as a consequence I couldn’t seem to write songs that meant anything to me, and I was bored of my guitar playing”, Vulnerability, the album’s title track and subsequently its body, became his cathartic release.

The Unexplained was the last song to emerge for the album, taking a year to finish, before the whole thing saw McAllen uniting with producer Iain Hutchison in the studio. The single epitomises the emotive and melodic elegance to be found across Vulnerability, McAllen bearing his heart and thoughts with open intimacy. The single closes in from a distant melodic mist, keys shaping its invitation and impending drama. Once within touching distance, McAllen’s heart bred expression and tones caress ears and thoughts, keys and rhythms soon joining its reflection with a vibrant energy and an eager catchiness.

References to artists such as Phoria and Two Door Cinema Club have been laid at the feet of the Pyramid Park sound but for us the eighties scented character and swing of the song reminds of Paul Haig and to a lesser degree Heaven 17.

Hooking ears and imagination within a few breaths and increasing its captivation with its lively enterprise and emotional depth, The Unexplained is a stirring temptation for Vulnerability and the magnetic sound of Pyramid Park.

The Unexplained is released November 10th with Vulnerability available @ https://1pyramidpark.bandcamp.com/

https://www.pyramidpark.net/    https://www.facebook.com/1pyramidpark    https://twitter.com/1pyramidpark    https://1pyramidpark.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 07/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Plastic Barricades – Mechanics of Life

Plastic Barricades is an alternative indie rock band from the UK which has just released their new album Mechanics of Life. It is a collection of melody spun songs which entice with craft and warmth whilst strolling through a landscape of emotions embracing the beauty of romance, hope, melancholy and more.  Musically its venture is just as welcoming of varied flavours as country, rock, and indie bred essences unite in ear pleasing enterprise.

London based, Plastic Barricades consists of vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Dan Kert, bassist Daniele Borgato, and drummer Frazer Webster. Its beginnings though came in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia in 2007. Their well-received Tree of Ideas EP of 2012 was followed by Kert and original bassist, Jan Laan, relocating to the UK. A few additional members came and went before Laan left to be replaced by Italian Borgato in 2013. It was also a year which sadly saw the band’s Rome bred drummer Matteo Ippolito passed away bringing things to a standstill. In time a replacement was sought and found in Webster and the band pushed again to build on their already rising success. Numerous award nominations and successes have come with the increasing reputation of the outfit and a sound embracing the inspirations of artists such as Radiohead, Oasis, Coldplay, Muse, Keane, Razorlight, and Nirvana. Mechanics of Life is their next step in luring attention and a tempting easy to see those with an appetite for gentle yet emotionally stirring massages of melody will find very palatable.

How Goldfish Grow gets things rolling, its eager stroll and boisterous jangle instantly catchy and tempting. The song continues to tease before relaxing to cradle Kert’s vocals, though soon its lively heart jumps to its feet again with each following cycle becoming increasingly infectious. Melodies shimmer across the darker tones of the bass whilst Kert’s sonic flames add to the track’s controlled but open drama. It is a great start well backed by the slightly sturdier body of Singularity 2045 though it too is woven from warm melodies and electrified tendrils across spirited rhythms. As with its predecessor feet are a willing involvement just as ears are to the imaginative air of the song which at times has a XTC like essence.

The summery caress of Our Favourite Delusions is next, its warm simmer welcoming blues lined flames throughout; heat which matches the lyrical punches before Be the Change entices with its own radiant charm and social nurtured melancholy. It is a song which comes alive when energy and intensity erupts in voice and sound but certainly more than satisfies from its first reflective touch with the enterprise of Kert’s guitar a potent spice in it all.

As the individual melodic weaves of Around the Sun and Needles in Haystacks intrigue and award ears with their proposals, Mechanics of Life keeps unwavering attention in its hands, the pair if without quite matching the persuasive levels of those before only pleasing that focus. It is a success Shine! builds upon with its sultry climate and melodic glaze over a understated but firmly catchy gait and personality while Half of Your Soul straight after features the bewitching sigh of female vocals alongside Kert which only adds to its fascination; a lure with also just a hint of country warmth in its infectiousness.

The album finishes off with firstly the highly enjoyable and bubbly rock ‘n’ roll of Medicine Man, a boisterous canter of sound and creative drama which is followed by the similarly engaging and tempting Voices. Together both tracks establish the pinnacle of the release, the second taking favourite song honours before leaving Masterminds to close things up with its catchy folkish sortie through ears wrapped in blues kissed guitar and melody smiling keys.

There are times when there is a wish Plastic Barricades were a touch bolder in their imaginative adventures and put more of a bite into their arousing eruptions but there is no denying that Mechanics of Life more than delivers on enjoyment and enterprise.

Mechanics of Life is out now on iTunes and Spotify.

http://www.plasticbarricades.eu/    https://www.facebook.com/plasticbarricades/

Pete RingMaster 26/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The lure of the moon and serenades; exploring Amycanbe with vocalist Francesca Amati

Hailing from Cervia in Italy, Amycanbe has become a firmly established and eagerly supported band on the Italian rock scene. Their alternative pop bred sound has also taken the quartet around the UK, playing plenty of shows all adding to their growing reputation.  With three albums under their belt, the third in Wolf still successfully luring new fans the way of the band two years after its release, we grabbed a moment with vocalist Francesca Amati to find out more…

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

Amycanbe planted its seeds in 2002 and formally started playing outside Mattia’s white garage in 2005. Marco and Mattia came to see a gig where I was singing. They asked me if I wanted to join them…I said yes…and Amycanbe began! The story of the band also counted other musicians, Paolo at the brass instruments and Glauco at the guitar. For the moment, Amycanbe are four people Marco playing drums and piano, Mattia playing guitar, another Mattia playing synthesizers and samplers and me, , singing and playing piano and drums.

So you have been involved in other bands before? How has that impacted on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiration on style or direction?

I played in Comaneci since 13 years and work with many other bands, Ronin, Godblesscomputers, Bob Corn, Three Lakes, Giovanni Succi, Bewider…whenever there is a possibility I try to collaborate with other bands. It is extremely inspiring and I always feel I have something to learn!

What inspired the band name?

It had to be something like ‘It’s Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’! I have a very good friend called Amy…it just came Amycanbe!

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

I believe we just want to play music and write songs. We want to sound sincere and develop something which sounds like us!

How have things evolved over time in the aim of the band?

We [have] evolved playing in Amycanbe. The sound followed our growth so it changed with our personal life changes. We still love to play together and this is still our main drive!

Also since your early days, how would you say your actual sound has grown?

As I said before, we are growing up with our music and our music is growing up with us. We are still very curious about any form of art and about different kinds of music. We are influenced by different things, depending on what happen in our lives. I believed what and how we play changes depending on things we happen to meet in life!!We started with songs probably structured in a more standard song-writing way and now we are exploring more electronic sounds and different ways of using my voice, for example.

Every change with the band has been an organic movement of sound or more you deliberately wanting to try new things?

Pic Marcella Carlotta Magalotti

I think already these two things go together. I believe that the willing to try new things is a really organic movement!

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

All four of us listen to a lot of different music and we love to share the listening. We have definitely widened up our music and art culture playing and spending time together. There’s so many bands and sound which influenced us over the years that it would be constraining writing here few names!

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

There’s usually something I want to talk about and most of the time music is the best way I find to communicate!

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Mostly from what I read in books or magazine and from stories people tell me.

Give us some background to your latest release, your album Wolf.

It’s about regaining freedom through wilderness. I live in a place where wolves came back after 300 years. With Amycanbe we had to feel like a herd of wolves even if we lived far away from each other and I think it happened.

Also can you offer us some insight to the themes and premise behind it.

The research of a need connected to nature could be the main theme of our last album.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

It depends. We don’t have a strict method when we decide to record. Some songs are pretty much done others get transformed during the recordings!

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably where the band really comes alive?

We love playing live shows. The songs have their own life all the time we play different gigs. The fact that people can actually see us as bodies and as performers is really fulfilling and challenging.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

We have been playing for more than 10 years and we are still very satisfied and happy with it. We are free to decide what and when to write. If you keep doing what you love and you believe in it I am sure you’ll get a lot of satisfactions. The goal is to create something durable, which grows in time instead of fading out.

How about the internet and social media, how has that impacted on the band over those years? Many bands struggle with it; do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as a band grows and hopefully gets increasing success?

If you use internet and social media with consciousness like any other things it will work. It is very functional to any sort of business or work if you don’t forget you are also a living person and an actual performer. We are happy to exist more in real life than on internet!

Many thanks Francesca!

Find out more about and from Amycanbe @ https://www.facebook.com/Amycanbe/

http://www.amycanbe.it/AMYCANBE/HOME.html   https://twitter.com/amycanbe

Check out their album Wolf @ https://amycanbe1.bandcamp.com/album/wolf

Pete RingMaster 28/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

HANKKS – Love Shy

Hankks pic 1_RingMasterReview

Offering another flavoursome romp to the summer’s soundtrack, British alternative indie rockers HANKKS release new single Love Shy. With the raw clang of a melodic Birdland and a flame of infectious pop n’ roll lying somewhere between Asylums and The Libertines, the track quickly establishes its own character of sound and temptation to alone reveal why the buzz brewing up around the Birmingham quartet.

Formed in the April of 2015, with a name apparently chosen through an admiration of actor Tom Hanks, the band quickly earned a potent reputation for their live presence around their home city. Consisting of Ben James, Jacob Evitts, and brothers James and Harry Davison, the foursome released their well-received debut EP, Wilson, this past March. Backing it up with another surge of live shows, acclaim and radio support courted both shows and release, with stronger recognition of the band’s magnetic sound openly rising; success sure to blossom again with the release of Love Shy.

Taken from their first EP, the single has ears tingling with an initial flame of guitar jangle quickly courted by jabbing beats. As its body swiftly expands, harmonic calls surround the excellent dual vocal attack, their tempting matched in persuasion and adventure by the web of melodic enterprise escaping the guitars and the moodier bassline prowling the contagious stomp.

There is an eighties meets nineties indie pop scenting to the track but equally a fiery and excellently unpolished anarchic edge boiled in modern invention. Together, with the open craft and imagination of the band, it makes for a rebellious feel good slice of pop ‘n’ roll which simply rouses ears and spirit alike.

Love Shy is accompanied by an excellent video @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h21X4kfwfhA

https://www.facebook.com/HANKKSM8/   https://twitter.com/hankksm8

Pete Ringmaster 08/07/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Playing House – New Haircut EP

Photo by Veronica Aguilar Photography

Photo by Veronica Aguilar Photography

The New Haircut EP is another debut this year which needed little time to excite ears and incite reactions to go wow. There has been a few already in 2016 and amongst the most thrilling is this introduction to East London alt-pop trio Playing House. The three song festival of pop discord and irresistible hooks simply grabs attention and a swiftly greedy appetite with its creative devilry and maturity. Listening to the EP for the first time was a being stopped in the tracks moment with the grin on face and the passions telling all.

Much like another big site favourite Horse Party, Playing House is a two girl, one guy exploration of pop music. Every raw jangle, off-kilter twist, and discord fuelled sidestep of the genre embraced and re-honed to the threesome’s own startling escapades whilst weaving in the melodic prowess and flirty hooks you would expect and hope for. Inspirations for the three are said to include the likes of David Bowie, Velvet Underground, and Chic but you just can tell that their own tastes provide a much broader canvas for their music to draw from before finding its own unique character.

Hitting the London live scene in the September of 2015 with a sold out headline show at St Giles in The Fields Church, hosted by Kal Lavelle for her We Love Shows series, Playing House have become a greedily devoured live proposition. The New Haircut EP is going to try and transfer that support to a broader landscape with its release; success hard to see being missed as gets ears lustful again listening to the release whilst fingers hit keys.

It opens with the first song written by the band, Feel The Weight. Its initial touch is a fuzzy mist of keys, the second a romping stroll of bouncing rhythms and a spicy hook still embraced by that melodically dissonant wash. The coaxing into the song is ear thrilling and becoming even more irresistible as things relax for the lively and lyrically potent vocals courted by an equally infectious prowess to rhythms and riffs. The edge to its thick beats contrasts perfectly with the funky swing of the song and the imaginative blend of vocals from the two ladies, a combination of sound and energy which has a definite and repeated in other songs feel of 4 Non Blondes to it.

The excellent start only hits another plateau with the EP’s title track and band’s new single. New Haircut is quite superb, again enslaving attention from the first moments as choppy and steely guitars entangle around the vocal roar. Once the song slips into post punk meets alternative pop ingenuity, the deal is done, ears and passions enslaved. From there rhythms roam and roll with a quirky almost deranged tenacity whilst stabbing riffs and those increasingly choppy chords have feet and spirit throwing shapes like a slinky. The track is quite brilliant with that vocal agility and adventure of the band the ringleader to glorious revelry and lyrical incitement of thought.

The release is completed by Grapefruit, another addiction in the making proposal which takes barely seconds to entice and engross as guitars chip away at ears which are simultaneously being slowly seduced by keys. Though carrying a more restrained energy than its predecessors, the song has a lively swagger and charm which will have bodies on their feet and hips swaying in boisterous union.

It is a fine end to one thrilling first look at Playing House. You always assume a band will grow and blossom further from their first endeavour which in this case means the British music scene has one mighty and destined to be exhilarating adventure brewing ahead of them. A must hear release.

The New Haircut EP is released April 8th

Upcoming live dates:

Wednesday 13th April – Birthdays, London (EP release show)

Sunday 17th April – Sound Control, Manchester

Wednesday 20nd April – Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh

Thursday 21st April – The Garage, London

Friday 22nd April – Sofar Sounds, Liverpool

Saturday 23rd April – Moon Club, Cardiff

http://www.playinghouse.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/playinghouseuk   https://twitter.com/playinghouseuk

Pete RingMaster 06/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Kirsten Adamson – New York Girl

Photograph by James Glossop.

Photograph by James Glossop.

Taken from and backing up a thoroughly captivating debut album, New York Girl is the new irresistible single from Scottish singer songwriter Kirsten Adamson. It is one of those songs which though thoroughly fresh you feel you already know and have an affinity with, a lively romp to raise the spirit and get those feet leaping around to. The summer might not quite be here yet but in sound Kirsten Adamson brings it to your doorstep with New York Girl.

If the name has a tinge of familiarity to it that is because Kirsten is the daughter of ex-Skids and Big Country songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Stuart Adamson. As hinted at by her self-titled album released last December and the new single, plenty of his talent has transferred in the genes. With influences from the likes of Kate Bush and indeed Big Country a major part of her formative years, the summers spent in Nashville where her father relocated to in 1998, have equally left a potent impression on her invention and quirky pop sound. Pinning her down with comparisons is a tough thing such the refreshing distinctiveness which flows through voice and music but imagine a mix of Rachel Sweet and Fay Fife with Lene Lovich for occasional company and you get closer.

New York Girl instantly leaps upon ears as throbbing rhythms collude with the energetic and spicy coaxing of keys and guitars. It is a lively entrance which only continues to invite participation as Kirsten’s voice dances amongst the jangly strands of guitar and the bold rhythms which still bound around within the melodic seducing of keys. There is a definite eighties alternative pop scenting to the magnetic encounter, so much so that if Kirsten was around back then you could easily see her being swooped up by Stiff Records.

Continuing to twist and swing with an inescapable pop contagion, New York Girl leaves a spring in the step and a satisfied smile on the spirit; much as the album it comes from which maybe is an even better way to get the song because then you get to bask in the feisty revelry of tracks like Robot Girlfriend, The Calling, and Valentine alongside the beauty of others such as Like This, Feel The Same, and Time To Be Afraid amongst many other impressing proposals.

New York Girl is released Match 18th whilst the Kirsten Adamson debut album is out now @ http://www.kirstenadamson.com/

Upcoming UK tour dates:

March

22nd The Hope and Ruin, Brighton

23rd The Fiddlers Elbow, Camden London

24th The Vic, Derby

26th Gullivers, Manchester

27th The Cluny. Newcastle

30th Stereo, Glasgow

31st Cafe Drummond, Aberdeen

April

2nd Mad Hatters, Inverness

3rd Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh

https://www.facebook.com/kirstenadamsonmusic/     https://twitter.com/kadamsonmusic

Pete RingMaster 18/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/