Figures – Chronos

Barely giving the acclaim laden dust time to settle after the release of their self-titled debut EP this past February, Australian outfit Figures have just unleashed its predecessor in the similarly striking and fiercely enjoyable shape of Chronos. Offering five more slices of the Melbourne quintet’s alternative rock/melodic metal blend, the EP also has a new fresh breath and seeming richer maturity which defies the mere four months between releases. Obviously we cannot say when the songs of either release were written but the step is maybe surprising but greedily taken as Chronos eclipses the equally outstanding first offering from the band.

Formed as 2013 turned into its successor, Figures has risen up the ranks of attention with notably increasing success in recent times due to that critically acclaimed first EP and a dynamic live presence which has already seen the band  share stages with the likes of Caligula’s Horse, Twelve Foot Ninja, and Superheist. Broader focus and support for the band has without doubt been aroused these past handful of months and is sure to escalate again as Chronos is discovered by more and more. Instantly it has ears and attention in the palms of its creative hands as opener Recoil raggedly simmers into view and proceeds to uncage a gnarly groove as primal as it is magnetic. The guitar continues to growl and tempt as the lively rhythms of drummer Josh Sforzin and Jen Fletcher’s moody bassline join the blossoming affair; vocalist Mark Tronson soon in the mix with his agitated roar. Predatory and magnetic, the track needs mere seconds to entrap the senses and imagination, sealing the deal as Tronson’s melodic prowess unites with his rawer tones as steely metal and melodic rock textures equally collude.

The stunning start is matched by the equally dramatic and even bolder exploits of Alpha. Guitarists Paul Callow and Simon Edgell spring a lure of wiry riffs and sonic temptation around the harmonic delivery of Tronson, though as the music he allows harsher textures to escape his throat to keeps things unpredictable. Virulently infectious and persistently imaginative, the song is pure captivation; its heart earnest and body a tapestry of melodic and sonic intrigue with just the right richness of volatility to keep things intensely fascinating.

Tied Around follows, winding brooding grooves around ears as Fletcher’s bass groans with matching seduction while again Tronson enthrals with his impressive vocals. There is an agitation in the riffs and beats of Sforzin which is transferred to the steely grooves but tempered by the elegant beauty of melodies and harmonies floating across the song’s inner oasis. As with the first pair, creative magnetism is at play sparking an elevated greed which Point of Doubt feeds with its cosmopolitan almost shamanic nature. Sultrily exotic melodies align with anthemic rhythms within the song’s fiery blaze, its riveting landscape tempestuously sharing warm and irritable climates.

The EP concludes with Crying Door, a mellow melancholy lined croon shaped by keys and voice and their suggestive beauty, Tronson again a magnet in its midst. Darker hues walk the song’s edge, bassy shadows lurking as skittish beats court a more portentous edge. It is an entrancing close to a second seriously striking encounter with Figures. Musically the band has been compared to the likes of Incubus, Deftones, and Karnivool, all justified but add a touch of Voyager and possibly even Porcupine Tree and you get a fuller impression of what, to be honest, is a sound distinct to one truly exciting proposition.

Chronos is out now @ https://figuresbandofficial.bandcamp.com/album/chronos and other online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 21/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Introducing The Duffaloes

Allow us to introduce you to The Duffaloes, a band we suspect you will be hearing a lot more of once their debut EP is released this coming August. Only formed a handful of weeks ago, the British outfit is the creation and union of vocalist/guitarist Lee Duffy and guitarist/bassist Lee Williams, two musicians no strangers to the Liverpool music scene through playing in other bands and in other guises over the years. Recently the pair sent over to us a couple of songs from that forthcoming EP and we have to say you are going to like what they have to offer.

The band’s sound going by these tracks is a feisty mix of alternative and melodic rock with numerous other flavours involved and bred in the inspiration to the pair of bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, U2, Metallica, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam. Inviting musicians friends to “jump in” and help out live and in the studio, The Duffaloes have a persistent freshness to their music which colludes with their obvious experience and creative maturity and quickly makes a strong impression across the songs Scars and Outside.

Scars is a fiery encounter with a raw grunge tone to its melodic and emotive heart. Straight away it coaxes and teases attention with an opening riff and inviting bassline speared by lively beats. Duffy’s vocals are just as swiftly alluring ears and attention, his great tones a dusky mix of earnest growl and plaintive expression against the web of melodic enterprise cast by the guitars. Like a mix of Jacksons Warehouse and Stone Temple Pilots, the track tenaciously dances in ears, enticing and challenging with its roar and emotive intensity. At times ridiculously catchy and constantly commanding attention, Scars has lead single written all over it, especially once its emerging Pete Wylie like hooks captivate.

There is similar instinctive angst and imagination of sound within Outside but also an individuality which adds even more intrigue and depth to the band’s sound and songwriting. With more of a pop rock air than the rawer texture of its companion, the track still has an edge of attitude and texture which quickly gets its claws into the imagination, the body as swiftly hooked on its lively gait and infectious Echo and The Bunnymen scented chorus.

There is a familiarity to both tracks but nothing especially definable or diluting the strength and pleasure gained with each. Of course two songs is early days to truly assess a band but it is hard not to breed real anticipation for their future and expectations that a great many of you like us will develop a real appetite for their imagination woven rock ‘n’ roll.

Check out The Duffaloes further @ https://www.facebook.com/TheDuffaloes/  and watch out for their debut EP released August 1st.

Pete RingMaster 14/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Elevant – Normal Life EP

We cannot say why but the new EP from UK rock band Elevant kept reminding of fellow Liverpudlian Pete Wylie. It certainly was not in the music, the band and one of their home city’s most essential musical inspirations creating music as similar as night and day yet it was a nagging thought throughout the Normal Life EP. Moving on though, the trio’s new release is a dark and often emotionally imposing proposal but equally one open to infection loaded grooves and an instinctive rock ‘n’ roll catchiness which manages to accentuate rather than temper its shadow clad themes of “love, war, disillusion and displacement.”

Consisting of lead vocalist/guitarist Michael Edward, bassist/vocalist Hannah Lodge, and drummer/vocalist Tom Shand, Elevant has grown since emerging in 2014 to be a potent part of the Liverpool music scene as a band and in its support, Edwards fresh from organising and playing the successful Wrong Festival in Liverpool which also featured the likes of Bo Ningen, The Wytches, Part Chimp, Heck, Evil Blizzard and numerous more. They have also released a trio of increasingly well-received and praised albums with the third, There is a Tide especially lauded. Now it is the Normal Life EP casting its reflections and imaginative exploration upon ears and body, and a fine evocation of both it is too with its web of heavy and alternative rock, psych and krautrock, and grungier elements infused with plenty more spices.

Recorded at Abbey Road by Sam Jones and mastered by Pete Maher (Jack Jones/Scissor Sisters/U2), Normal Life opens with Acral Affection and instantly had ears and appetite enticed with a delicious post punk bassline carrying a funky inclination to its nature as slithers of guitars spark and scythe enticingly across its bows. With firmly skipping beats, the coaxing is swiftly addictive and only compacted by the equally inviting tones of Edwards before a momentary crescendo erupts, the cycle revisited quickly after again. Imagine a collusion between Pere Ubu, Artery, Modern Eon, and Japanese Fighting Fish and you get a glimpse of the song but not the whole picture of its enjoyably but ultimately truly hard to pin down sound.

And that broad tapestry is pushed again by the following Slow, its jazzy funk kissed entrance wrapped in a beguiling atmosphere blossoming further with post rock essences and noise rock trespasses as vocals add their enticement. With melodies courting more Beatles like hues throughout, it is an intriguing affair, slowly working its lures compared to the more direct bait of its predecessor but seeping into and lingering in psyche and appetite with each passing twist and fascinating layer, each helping building up the ingredients and invention of a desert rock/psychedelia shaped finale.

The outstanding Stabs has the body bouncing and imagination weaving with its enslaving post/garage punk nagging around Edwards’ expressive croon, all gaining greater volatility and tempestuousness syllable by note as the track draws on wider flavours for its alluring irritability and spiky trespass. The bass of Lodge is brooding and gripping, the swings of Shand invasive and anthemic as Edwards springs another round of provocative hooks and emotive insights.

The prowling shadows of next up Somewhere Safe uses mere breaths to seduce the senses, its shimmering seventies psychedelia nurtured melodies swiftly absorbing the imagination. It is with the muscular incursion of rhythms and riff led energy though where the track really ignites, an eruption leaving a touch of its intensity in the subsequent return of that initial smouldering air. The track is a fascination for ears and thoughts, not quite matching up to its predecessors for personal preferences but captivating from start to finish before the EP’s title track rumbles and grumbles to bring the release to a stirring conclusion. The final song’s aggressive nature is not adverse to melodic flames and harmonic warmth though, both coating the track’s more feral instincts.

It is a great end to an EP which grabs attention first time around and only incites greater involvement and hunger for its intriguing web of sound and creative drama thereon in.

The Normal Life EP is out now on Loner Noise @ https://elevant.bandcamp.com/

https://elevantband.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Elevantmusik/    https://www.instagram.com/elevantmusik/

Pete RingMaster 03/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Waiting For Titor – Halo Pt 1

In a year of many striking, potential loaded debuts already, we suggest another especially potent and exciting introduction in the shape of the EP, Halo Pt 1. The six track offering comes from Anglo-Italian alternative rock quartet Waiting For Titor, a band founded in 2012 which has honed their sound into one fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable proposition; its imagination bred within a maturity of songwriting which just commands attention.

Waiting For Titor rose from the ashes of Italian crossover outfit Convergence, drawing their moniker from a fictional name used by a blogger claiming to be a time traveller from the year 2036. Embracing inspirations found in the specific likes of Nine Inch Nails, New Order, Depeche Mode, Foo Fighters, Sigur Ros and Massive Attack, the band has risen through the focus of the underground and having recently linked up with Belgian label Diva Records, the Manchester based foursome are poised to tempt national attention and quite possibly more such the potency of their first EP.

Recorded with Belgian producer Geert D’Haene and mastered by highly acclaimed Italian engineer Giovanni Versari (Muse), Halo Pt 1 coaxes intrigue with its brief breath of an opener, Proemio an atmospheric piece of suggestion which does not really give a clue to things to come but makes a thought involving lead into the EP’s waiting title track. The vocals of Alex Palladini instantly hold ears, his distinct expression cradled by vines of wiry melody from Mike Tomasini’s guitar. Prowled by the dark tone of the Max Andrini’s bass which sounds almost irritable against the post rock/ progressively woven tapestry of guitars and keys, the song absorbs ears and thoughts. Its bursts into more boisterous life driven by the skilled swings of drummer Vince Picciolo makes for a rousing finale with an intensity further explored within its successor.

Bitter End similarly has some restraint in its gait also but welcomes thicker shadows in its climate as synths with a Nine Inch Nails like air wrap the senses. Again there is a great drama and energy in the vocals whether they emotively croon or passionately roar, a blend matched in the sound as the track blossoms turn by turn. Built on emotional and physical crescendos, the song is a magnet for the imagination, only increasing its potency with every listen, as indeed does the EP, as fresh layers are discovered.

The dark rock essence within the song is escalated within the final trio of tracks; Diving Into The Black coming first with its rock pop/gothic rock fusion. There was a whisper of Dommin to the previous track, a spicing far richer here as the track infectiously strolls and emotionally flames. Synths are an evocative incitement, rhythms a forceful enticing, whilst the guitars almost flirt with their sonic mix of light and dark enterprise.

The melancholic caress of Twilight Fall is even more awash with the hues of the previously mentioned US band though its shadowed seduction is soon baring its own unique soul as Palladini shares heart and word within a siren of emotionally bare sound. Its outstanding temptation is soon matched in lure and might by closing track Leaving Again, a slice of virulent contagious rock repeating Waiting For Titor’s craft at entangling dark and light in an emotional rousing and provocative proposal. It is a song which declares itself the lead into the creative heart of the band though sharing best track honours with its predecessor.

The Halo EP is a truly potent first listen to Waiting For Titor which only increasingly impresses and entices with every subsequent outing into its dark exploration. Its individuality in sound and invention might not be for all, though it is hard to imagine many turning away, but for a great many others a budding affair will be on the cards.

Halo Pt 1 is released through Diva Records on June 2nd and will be available @ https://waitingfortitor.bandcamp.com/album/halo-part-1

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Pete RingMaster 01/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Backtrack Lane – In Fine

Four years after the release of their well-received debut album Black Truth & White Lies, French rockers   Backtrack Lane return with new EP, In Fine. Offering six creatively robust and impassioned tracks, the EP revels in a new energy and flair of enterprise in the Paris quartet’s sound; it a mix of the familiar and the captivatingly fresh sparking rich enjoyment with ease.

Formed in 2009, Backtrack Lane has played hundreds of gigs across their homeland, moving from small local stages to some of the most prestigious venues whilst playing alongside the likes of Black Star Riders, Gotthard, and numerous more. 2011 saw the release of first EP, It’s Not Like…, the national attention stoking Black Truth & White Lies album appearing two years later. The multi-flavoured alternative rock of In Fine is Backtrack Lane poking even bigger and broader spotlights while being for many a potent introduction to a band which knows how to rock ‘n’ roll.

With its lack of real uniqueness more than countered by the passion and energy at its enterprising heart, In Fine is a magnet in the speakers swiftly grabbing ears with opener Fifteen Minutes. Straight away the steely riffs of Adrien Crestey and Stefan Gatti spark the appetite, the heavier dark throb of vocalist Raphael Gatti’s bass zoning in on the instincts for predatory sound. Their collusion is instantly joined by the latter’s vocal prowess; his energy in delivery matched in the sounds blossoming up around him. With keys melodically shimmering behind the forceful yet invitational web created by the foursome, Gui O’Crest’s rapier like beats are like a punctuation to each strand of temptation. The song continually expands and grows note by note, blues filtered grooves only adding to the creative prowess working on body and imagination while familiar hues, with a suggestion of Sick Puppies/3 Days Grace to them, simply accentuate the lure and adventure of the encounter.

Underground is no less of a temptation with a vine like groove instantly wrapping around ears as desert rock seeded melodic enticement brews around another great vocal beckon from Raphael Gatti. A definite Josh Homme air creeps across the songwriting and character of the track, its slightly tempestuous climate and energy as irresistible as its sonic dexterity and spicy melodies with Crestey’s lead enticement teasing with a Billy Idol hue. As its predecessor, the song might be missing majorly unique surprises as feet and spirit are keenly manipulated yet expectations are left empty by its adventure and fresh breath, qualities just as rampant within next up Perfect Motion. Though there is more restraint in its first touch than those before, its zeal to stomp is soon in charge and throwing rapacious grooves and boisterous rhythms at ears as vocals add their own catchy exploits. Once more Queens Of The Stone Age is an inescapable clue to the bold and potent sound inciting something which simply is a thick pleasure.

Breaking the Rules has a broader hard/alternative rock landscape to its sound, Stefan Gatti and Adrien Crestey blending their hook littered designs with infectious prowess as rhythms stroll and vocals roar. Ultimately the song misses matching the lofty peaks of those before it but thorough enjoyment and involvement is a given as with the blues lined inevitably catchy prowl of the following Stray. An energetic slice of pop rock with a broad smile in its air and nature plus a snarling bassline to get greedy over, the song saunters without distractions into eager ears and spirit with its lively romp.

The EP is closed off by After the Rain, another song with a sizzling blues rock nurtured spicing and instinctive contagiousness in its creative veins. Once more things are familiar yet full of an adventure with a seduction and craft hard to not be taken by. In Fine delivers rock ‘n’ roll which feeds all the wants; fun, energy, and passion all served with something extra driven by imagination.

In Fine is available now.

http://www.backtracklane.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Backtrack-Lane-143002764878/    https://twitter.com/backtracklane

Pete RingMaster 30/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Molehill – Hearts on Fire

It is fair to say that Chicago hailing progressive alt-rock outfit Molehill has more than established themselves on the city’s music scene but broader horizons may soon be in their sights if the qualities found within new EP Hearts on Fire is a regular strength to their music. The three track release is a seriously engaging and emotionally provocative offering which catches ears and imagination with ease while suggesting that greater national spotlights and possibly those from further afield could be watching soon.

The band which emerged in 2008, consists of founders Peter Manhart on lead vocals/guitar and bassist/vocalist Trevor Jones who after beginning to work together soon linked up with drummer Devin Staples and subsequently keyboardist/vocalist Greg Van Zuiden. The following years has seen the band play over 300 shows between the Midwest and Eastern United States as well as help found the Chicago Roots Collective, which was a 10-band collective working together to promote the Chicago music scene and their music.

Their latest adventure for fans old and new quickly coaxes ears and thoughts with its presence, Hearts on Fire opening up with its title track. The song is inspired by the “Euromaidan” protests in the Ukraine, the birthplace of vocalist Manhart’s mother, where the common man rose up to fight an oppressive regime. A caress of vocals makes the first draw, bold rhythms and gentle poetic piano adding their touches soon after Manhart’s voice begins sharing the song’s heart. Quickly it finds its infectious stride, pop essences fusing to its catchy electro rock stroll to grab body and spirit. The track’s landscape is an evolving flight though, reflective calms and progressive turns meaning enjoyable unpredictability comes hand in hand with instinctive catchiness.

It is an excellent start resourcefully backed by the similarly infectious Reverie; its sadness tinged air cloaked in melancholy more grateful than morose. The dark throb of the bass epitomises its character, its resonating weight heavy but with a buoyant swing matched by the vocal expression and heart of Manhart. It is a highly charismatic song impossible not to enjoy and get wrapped up in before Old Soldier completes the release with its haunting tale and presence. The story of a proud, religious soldier living out his last days in a nursing home, with the line “And he sits in a dead room, sterilizer and perfume, and the lights are slowly growing dim.” encapsulating the evocative and striking tone of the song, it too absorbs the senses and imagination. A sonic unravelling and seeping discord adds to the charm and haunted elegance of the piano, their contrasts uniting perfectly to wrap rich words and emotions with at times the song finding a presence something akin to Muse.

It is a stirring and striking close to a release which ticks the boxes on every level. Molehill are working towards bigger successes and after Hearts on Fire those exciting horizons might just be coming their way.

The Hearts on Fire EP is available now on Spotify and iTunes.

http://www.molehillmusic.com/    https://www.facebook.com/molehillmusic/    https://twitter.com/molehillmusic

Pete RingMaster 24/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ghouls – RUN

Though it is hard to exactly pin down the precise reason, it is very easy to find a connection with the music of UK outfit Ghouls. Whether it is the fusion of familiar essences with something fresh and individual, the lyrical themes drawn from being on the outside of the assumed norm, or the refusal to be pigeonholed in life and style, probably all three, the London based sextet make for an instinctive pleasure in ears and imagination.

The release of new album RUN epitomises that union; a dozen tracks bred in a fusion of pop and core punk, alternative rock, and numerous other flavours which has the body dancing, ears pleasured, and spirit defiant. The successor to debut album Ten Thousand Words On released a year after the band’s emergence in 2013, RUN is a band relaxed in its musical skin and bold in its creative ambition. Since their first album, a release striking the spark for the band to sell-out The Monarch in Camden and earn the continuing praise of Frank Turner, Ghouls have become a potent lure on the UK and European live scene and at festivals such as 2000Trees, Jera On Air, The Secret Garden Party, Mighty Sounds, Hit The Deck and many more. Last year alone saw them undertake a two week tour of the USA, play THE FEST in Gainesville, Florida, and successfully light up Brixton Academy as part of the Fireball Fuelling The Fire Tour.

Now it is RUN ready to push the band and its reputation on again and does a fine job of both from its very first moments courtesy of opener Seasonal Affective. Infectious from its first breath with strolling riffs and keen beats, the track soon blossoms again with fuzzy squirts of guitar and the potent voice of guitarist Benedict Goold. With emotion and energetic expression in his strong delivery, his presence makes an early focal point backed by heated melodies and the swinging jabs of drummer Jay Swinstead. The track never erupts as it suggests it might but rather lets its lining of grumbling shadows led by Sam Mussell’s growling bass add rich intrigue as hooks and catchy exploits engage.

It is a great start to the album which Autophobia continues with its fiery bounce. Quickly revealing the inviting flames of Ben Maz’s sax and Russell Spencer’s trombone, the song rumbles along with a pop punk eagerness. Like a mix of The Hostiles and Neck Deep, it grabs ears and appetite with ease though it is still eclipsed by the rousing revelry of Better Places straight after. With an initial blast of brass stirring the spirit, the encounter soon reveals a great landscape of instinctively catchy bait whether the song relaxes into a thoughtful calm or leaps to its toes and grabs hips and feet in a tenacious bounce. That earlier mentioned familiarity is already open across the three songs and like an old inspiring friend within the third before helping fuel the contagion of next up Facebook Friend. With a hip hop lilt to his delivery, Goold acts like a ringmaster to the confident mischief and subsequent boisterous swagger and aggression of the outstanding song.

The pair of Salt with its sultry brass infusions and rhythmic rumble especially alluring and The Difference through its impassioned heart keeps things bubbling nicely even if neither quite scales the heights of those before them for personal tastes. The first of the two though is as memorable as anything upon RUN and equalled in that attribute by the reflective voice and tenacious canter of Home. Another proposition drawing on the “daily grind of real life and the struggles faced in the modern day” for its spark, it has the body a lively blur in no time.

Antagonist has funkiness in its swing as it forges another moment within the album firmly sticking in thoughts; its body a tapestry of controlled and volatile enterprise which never leaves a dull moment before Hard Days captivates with its lively croon and infectious pop fuelled romp and in turn Disavowal prowls and catches alight with emotive intensity. More of a slow burner than other tracks around it, it similarly grows into one of the hearty episodes returning at will in the imagination.

Completed by firstly the acoustic caress of voice and guitar of Expect Greater Things, a song which just grabs the passions from the off, gripping even tighter as the track eventually ignites into a full fire of sound and infection and finally Oxytocin which closes things with melodic flaring in an excitably catchy escapade. The pair provides a fine end to a release which has enjoyment bubbling over from start to finish.

RUN carries the potential of even greater adventures ahead with Ghouls where an appetite for the bite which this album hints at but never quite delivers may be satisfied. The album though ticks all the right boxes for forty odd minutes of rich pleasure and physical animation, its new maturity in songwriting and sound declaring Ghouls ready for big attention.

RUN is available now through 1471 Records @ https://www.1471records.com/store and https://ghoulsuk.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 10/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright