Jane Allison – Methylene Blue

As 2017 went through its final handful of rewarding weeks, it is fair to say it produced some of its biggest musical treats, one of which was the new album from singer songwriter Jane Allison. The follow-up to her hypnotic debut album Just Another Girl three years earlier, Methylene Blue is a tantalisingly magnetic affair in its own right deserving of all the praise carrying attention it can muster.

The former vocalist of indie outfit KarmaDeva, Jane Allison Stanness to give her full name is one of those talents and voices which almost haunt the imagination. Her songwriting is an embrace of observation and intimacy, her fusion of folk and Americana a warm melancholic hug on the senses which carries you away in thought and creative seduction. Proof came with Just Another Girl and its bewitchment of emotive shadows and personal angst, attributes all the richer within the breath-taking thought courting adventure of Methylene Blue which confirms Jane Allison as one of Britain’s finest modern day troubadours, or should that be trobairitz.

Unveiling tales of “dereliction, salvation, obsession and allure, with its title track inspired in parts by the breath-taking love letters of Violet Trefusis to Vita Sackville-West”, all providing an “homage to triumph, defiance, the heroine, the daughter, and the muse”, Methylene Blue was recorded in fits and starts during Kula Shaker’s 2016 20th anniversary and K2.0 world tour. Blessed with the backing vocals of Audrey Evans from Mediæval Bæbes, the album arose at a time of great personal loss and during the devastating attack on Brussels. There is sadness at its heart but equally defiance and hope thick warmth which brews a melancholy so easy to immerse within.

The album opens up with Ain’t Wreckin’ Me, a country fuelled canter with the rich familiar twang the style often brews; its lure wrapping Allison’s enticing tones soon backed by equally beguiling harmonies. Rising from the ashes of a lost relationship, the track is a bouncy self-affirming affair getting the album off to a very potent start.

The outstanding Another Prayer follows, its mellow sighs riding a captivating swing as Allison again lures total attention with her bewitching voice and keys bred melodies. The darker pulse of bass is as compelling; its lurking presence engaging as the song with a certain Kirsty MacColl hue to it sublimely seduces ears and appetite before Hollow Rock slips in on a vibrant shuffle, growing second by second into a similarly absorbing proposal. Harmonica and guitar weave their own Americana spawned temptation but there is no denying that it is Allison’s voice and craft which takes the tightest grip.

Oh Girl is next, caressing ears with its gentle but determinedly infectious and lively serenade while its successor, For What It’s Worth shares a heart spilling ballad. From its initial breath, the first of the two is working away building towards a galvanic crescendo, Allison the fascination at its core while in contrast the second strolls along with reflection and brewing affirmation for company. Both songs simply charm in their individual ways as too the album’s title track, another skilfully catchy and soulful croon upon the ears hard to get too much of.

That is something which applies to all tracks within Methylene Blue, as the charismatic saunter of Forgotten Son and the brooding drama of Outlaw Valentine prove. The pair seizes ears and imagination with unstoppable ease, the first arresting ears with its expression and emotion, the body with its bounce while its companion takes the listener into a spellbinding landscape of long shadows and dark romance with a delicious carnival-esque hued undercurrent. The track, the best or not on the album, is undoubtedly the most enthralling.

The smiling invitation of Texas Baby blends the country joy of its named state with Nashvillian flavours before Unknown Soldier bring things to an alluring and haunting close. It is a fascinating and highly enjoyable end to an album which commands regular attention. It is fair to say that the genres at the heart of Allison’s music do not generally induce our passions but in her hands they combine to truly pleasure our ears and enrich our days.

An accomplished actress in her own right and soon to be seen in the film Slaughter House Rulez, a Simon Pegg / Nick Frost comedy horror movie directed by Crispian Mills and surely basking in plaudits for Methylene Blue, Jane Allison could find 2018 a very big year.

Methylene Blue is available now @ https://janeallison.bandcamp.com/

https://janeallison.net/     https://www.facebook.com/janeallisonmusic/    https://twitter.com/JAStanness

Pete RingMaster 10/01/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

John Stamp – Blowing Me Kisses

Giving a potent lure to the just released Franklin54, the new album from singer songwriter John Stamp, Blowing Me Kisses is the kind of lead single which only charms further investigation. Featuring the captivating tones of Leigh Nash from Sixpence None The Richer, the song is a relatively short but golden kiss on ears and imagination sure to draw attention to its larger companion.

Returning to music after eighteen years developing his business and career as a residential childcare specialist including training as a Music and Arts Therapist in 2012, Stamp quickly found his creative side flowing again. The evidence is upon Franklin54 and very openly in Blowing Me Kisses.

Its country/Americana bred stroll instantly and easily slips through ears, a sultry twang courting the vocals of Stamp and the strum of guitar. As rhythms dance, Nash steps forward with her distinctive and ever magnetic voice, the flirtation of harmonic backing vocals an extra seduction within the increasingly infectious canter.

As the duet forms and unites, the song increases its magnetism; a lure over too soon but making a memorable and lingering impression impossible not to embrace and suggest many others grab a slice of.

Blowing Me Kisses is out now on iTunes as too the album Franklin54.

https://www.facebook.com/johnstampmusic/

Pete RingMaster 17/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Miss Chain and the Broken Heels – Uh Uh/Standing the Night

MC&TBH_RingMasterReview

Breeding some tasty Americana/country-esque flavouring in their garage pop sound, Italian outfit Miss Chain and the Broken Heels recently ended 2016 in fine style with latest double A-sided single Uh Uh/Standing the Night. It was a year seeing the band stepping out from a quiet time after the release of second album The Dawn and extensive touring in 2015 as members pursued solo careers, built a studio, and just simply took a breather. Now they are ready to go again and after some shows earlier this year set about getting body and spirit dancing with their new two-track offering.

br-88-front-cover-1_RingMasterReviewUh Uh instantly bounds in, its initial lively melody carrying an appealing tang as boisterous rhythms flirt and entice. That countrified scent swiftly lines the infectious proposal, its body stirring up an appetite for fifties rockabilly and sixties power pop while entangling it in modern imagination and boldness. Flirtatious and mischievous in energy and sound, the song is web like in its lure, vocalist Astrid Dante charm and enticement before the similarly infectious lure and imagination of her and Disaster Silva’s guitars.

Bringing a calmer, though no more reserved proposal, Standing the Night swings seductive prowess around ears from its first melodic breath. The welcoming rhythms of bassist Franz Barcella and drummer Miracle Johnny alone ensure feet and hips are involved while the beckoning tones of Dante and surrounding harmonies brag ears and imagination as freely. There is a Pauline Murray (Penetration, The Invisible Girls) air to Dante’s voice and with its country spicing the song reminds a little of Fool, The Only Ones track the English vocalist featured on.

Produced by Brown Barcella, Uh Uh/Standing the Night is an irresistible ‘return’ of Miss Chain and the Broken Heels and an enjoyable appetiser ahead of a third album currently in the works.

Uh Uh/Standing the Night is out now via Bachelor @ https://misschainandthebrokenheels.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/misschainandthebrokenheels

Pete RingMaster 17/01/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

A Blue Flame – What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remain

A Blue Flame_RingMasterReview

Three years after the release and success of a debut album, A Blue Flame has released successor What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remains, a collection of songs which musically tug at the imagination and lyrically at the emotions.

A Blue Flame is the solo project of British songwriter Richard Stone, a Leicester based artist who has been stirring attention these past months through a host of suggestively ripe and ear pleasing singles. What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remains follows his 2013 cast first album someone else’s dreams will fill our home; an offering released under the name of Woodman Stone. As suggested, it was a proposition which grabbed ears and plaudits alike, its lead song Does Madonna Dream of Ordinary People especially drawing strong support and airplay across the likes of BBC 6Music and BBC Leicester with Tom Robinson calling Stone’s music: “wonderful unashamed pop music that comes with an inbuilt English Pop sensibility running through to its very core“.

Featuring some of Leicester’s best musicians including co-producer Adam Ellis on guitar and Tony Robinson from The Beautiful South on keys and brass, What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remains is now whipping up even more loud attention. It needs little time to make a potent impression with When Time Slowed Down first up and readily caressing ears. Stone’s sound is a folk scented mix of British flavouring from pop and Brit Pop to a more rock hued proposal. The album’s opener is a gentle folk coloured slice of enterprise, a flavoursome coaxing gently drawing the listener into a release which just grows in strength and stature song by song. Keys and guitar cradle the dusty tones of Stone, a jazzy whisper coating every note and tone of the engaging start.

ablueflame_RingMasterReviewEveryday Yesterday similarly makes a low key entrance though there is a latent sturdiness from its start. With the firm beats of drummer Damon Claridge leading the way as guitar and keys amidst warm harmonies colour the track’s sky, a captivating catchiness descends on ears.  It is a quality ever present in Stone’s songs, making an increasingly vocal present here and in the following The Girl Inside of You. The new single, the track is a rousing slice of melody thick revelry embraced in Brit Pop meets folk rock flavouring. Increasingly addictive with every listen, the song has bodies bouncing and thoughts thickly involved as Stone’s lyrical and vocal prowess works on the imagination. A thumping proposition setting an early peak to the album it is also the spark to a new plateau within What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remain.

Next up is Our Memories Fade, a less energetic endeavour initially which grows in energy and emotion as sultry guitars glow across crisp beats. It too has an instinctive infectiousness, an organically appealing swing wrapped in Americana-esque charm while Stone grips attention with his words and inviting vocal style. Its highly pleasing endeavours make way for Be Kind To Yourself, a smouldering ballad which might not have the same spark as its predecessors but simply beguiles with its fifties hued cry.

Earthy punk infused rock ‘n’ roll treats ears next in the shape of the excellent I Don’t Know, another imposingly enjoyable sing-a-long canter with Skids like fuzzy guitar, while the equally compelling Out There Somewhere shares its own piece of rock where again a Stuart Adamson comparison arises as the song has a touch of Big Country to it. Both tracks increase an already eager appetite for the release, a satisfaction which From God on Down feeds with even greater strength. Flirting ears with a twist of reggae inspired devilry and slight dub effect within its formidable rock ‘n’ roll, the track takes top honours.

A Julian Cope feel shades the inescapable magnetism of Marlborough Park Avenue, a scent which only adds to its bewitching prowess and success whilst The Sun Refused To Shine dips into the fifties/early sixties again with its teasing melodies aligned to another potent Stone croon and alluring harmonies. The two songs alone reveal the diversity of sound and invention which frequents the album, a variety continued by the country twanged folk of Feeling The Same and finally Goodbye as What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remain goes out with the same poetic gentleness it began with, if with greater melancholy involved.

Enjoyable on the first couple of listens and near on essential thereon in, What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remain announces A Blue Flame and Richard Stone as one of Britain’s most compelling propositions and exciting songwriters.

What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remain is out now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/a-blue-flame/id1078425623 and http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ABlueFlame across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/ablueflame/

Pete RingMaster 25/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Billy Bibby and The Wry Smiles – Are You Ready?

Billy Bibby_RingMasterReview

Reinforcing the attraction and quality found in the band’s recently released debut EP, Bide Your Time, British quartet Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles unveil new single Are You Ready?, a song which infests ears and imagination with its earthily melodic rock ‘n’ roll laced with an inviting tinge of Americana.

The band is the new venture of former and founding lead guitarist of Catfish and the Bottlemen, Billy Bibby. Uniting his string and lead vocal prowess with that of lead guitarist Rob Jones, bassist Matt Thomas, and drummer Mike Pearce, Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles came together in the Autumn of 2015. Within their first six months, the band went on a 26-date UK tour and recorded the well-received Bide Your Time EP. Its tracks and especially its singles, Waitin’ for You and Don’t Fall, found potent radio play across the likes of BBC Wales, BBC Jersey, Radio X, and Virgin Radio UK alongside numerous national and global indie stations.

It is a success sure to be matched and potentially surpassed by Are You Ready? , a track which Bibby recently talked of, saying “This song was the last one to be practiced and finished as a band before our first UK tour together,” continuing to add “but as soon as we’d finished it with our own input into our own individual parts it seemed to stand out as a major contender for the next single.

The song opens with the ear luring tones of Biddy being cradled in gentle strokes of guitar, a union quickly joined by crisp rhythms and the magnetic jangle of Jones’ melodic enterprise. As the vibrant passage of the verse leads to a boisterous chorus, there is an undefined familiarity to the proposition, but an essence which simply adds to the infectious character and imaginative nature of the encounter.

As swift as it is an ear pleaser, the sense that the song will be a live crowd pleaser emerges and in many ways it has that live air to its rousing presence.

The Bide Your Time EP was an impressive introduction to Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles which Are You Ready? takes to an even more potent level while providing the summer of 2016 with an instinctive anthem to embrace.

Upcoming UK gig and festival dates:

JULY

14 Rawtenstall | The Artisan

15 Perth | The Green Room

16 Dundee | Buskers 17 Glasgow | Broadcast

23 Stockport | Blackthorn Festival

29 Banbury | Also Known As

30 Haverfordwest Castle | Pembs Fest

31 Lake District | Kendal Calling | House Party Stage

AUGUST

06 Whitby | Coastline Festival

20 Doncaster | Blackfest

26 Manchester | Night & Day Café

SEPTEMBER

02 Lode, Cambridgeshire | Lodestar Festival

03 Merthyr Tydfil | Bowstrong Festival

17 Tickhill | TFest

https://www.facebook.com/billybibs20   https://soundcloud.com/billybibs20   https://www.instagram.com/billybibs20/

Pete RingMaster 08/07/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Richie Syrett – Silhouettes and Outlines

RS_RingMasterReview

If we had not read that Richie Syrett was from England’s North West, we would have sworn he was a southern bred artist from the US taking new single Silhouettes and Outlines as evidence. The song is a hazy slice of country rock and Americana spiced folk which infectiously strolls along with a warm smile over an emotive spine while all the time suggesting its origins are as its authentic charm and tones certainly hint at.

Syrett though is a Manchester hailing singer/songwriter and fair to say that the more you listen to his new single, the more British spawned flavours in sound are glimpsed. He is no newcomer to pleasing ears either; a well-received self-titled debut followed by the equally embraced Good Morning Midnight in 2011 drew potent attention which was pushed again by third full-length From the Feet Up last year.

Silhouettes and Outlines looks like being able to continue that attention luring success; the song a hug of melodic and harmonic enterprise with guitar and voice finding themselves awash with sultry waves of southern air. Syrett’s voice has a great warble to its expression and potency whilst the backing female harmonies are siren-esque as they dance on the throbbing bass lines and magnetic weave of guitar.

For three and a half minutes, the song provides a warm and catchy proposition which is very easy to like. Fair to say, the style of music Richie Syrett that masterfully creates is definitely not our usual cuppa but the fact that even our feet were bouncing to and voices getting involved with Silhouettes and Outlines tells all you need to know about the song and his “Americana flecked folk/rock.”

Silhouettes and Outlines is released April 22nd via To Die For Records.

http://www.richiesyrettmusic.com   https://www.facebook.com/richiesyrettmusic   https://twitter.com/richiesyrett

Pete RingMaster 21/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Braddock Station Garrison – A Hint of Recognition

BSG_RingMaster Review

Last year US rock band Braddock Station Garrison gave a strong and enjoyable introduction to their rock ‘n’ roll with debut EP/mini album High Water. Exploring all the best bits of that release whilst honing other potential but previously less striking elements in their sound, the Washington DC quartet has recently unveiled its successor, A Hint of Recognition. Still carrying a flavoursome Americana tang to their no frills rock ‘n’ roll, Braddock Station Garrison have produced another highly magnetic and creatively organic proposition with their second full-length to thoroughly enjoy. It is probably not a game changer in stirring major awareness of the band by wider spotlights, though it has enough to make a stir if given the chance, but A Hint of Recognition is definitely going to entice new fans as they show they are heading in the right creative direction for bigger rewards ahead.

Formed by vocalist/guitarist Steve Schillinger and lead guitarist Tom Soha in 2011; Braddock Station Garrison take inspirations from the likes of Tom Petty, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith, Johnny Cash, and The Smithereens into their openly growing sound. Completed by drummer Michael Chapman and bassist Michael Haddad, a line-up in place since mid-2014, the band released High Water last year to keen responses. Its fusion of classic and modern sounds was a highly appetising if unspectacular proposal which left a richness of pleasure in its wake. A Hint of Recognition continues the groundwork it laid but with more inventive tenacity, bolder imagination, and depth of sound. It is still not the offering to make an explosive impact but it definitely guarantees a thoroughly enjoyable time with every listen and who can say no to that.

cover_RingMaster Review   The album opens with Forgotten Teenage Dream, a contagious little number with jangly riffs and a great alluring bassline alongside the ever distinctive and appealing tones of Schillinger. With crispy beats adding to the easy going stroll, the song rather than providing a big splash to start things off is more a catchy coaxing, a warm up to bigger and brighter things. Nevertheless grooves and melodies offer a pleasing tempting which the more relaxed and emotive She’s Too Cool employs with relish in its more fifties rockabilly seeded stroll. As in its predecessor and the band’s sound generally, there is a masterful simplicity at work; leanness to the invention which ensures only the choice cuts of sound and imagination get involved in the song whilst avoiding unnecessary embellishments.

Things really takes off from the album’s third track, Lies, where once more a fifties breeding is carried by the tantalising air of the song, and initially through another tasty bass lure and the rich vocals. It is a flavour continued by sultry melodies and welcoming riffs cast by the guitars whilst a raw cascade of intensity only adds to the drama and unrelenting addictiveness of the song. Its success seems to spark something extra in its following companions too, Hey Cindy spinning a web of sonic tendrils across its body within a great rhythmic beckoning next. To this the guitars spray a creative smog like contrails behind a plane, with both Chapman and Haddad laying down gripping bait before Never In Danger emulates the earlier Lies with its own dark rock hues, though this time they touch upon a R.E.M. colouring in the song’s evocative swing. Infectious from first breath to last, the track is a reserved but lively seduction adding more warmth to the satisfaction already brewed by A Hint of Recognition.

More heady bass temptation brings a grin to lips as Any Day Any Way opens up, the enticement persistent as guitars spread fuzzy causticity across a punkish encounter unafraid to change tact and energy at the drop of a note. More inventive and fiery with each passing minute, the track is another striking high point which Stop and Reflect struggles to match right after, though its country twang and melodic smoulder only feeds a happy appetite before Johnny Stone Stole My Girl brings things to a rocking close. Its unsurprising yet irresistibly catchy shuffle feeds all wants from a slice of rock ‘n’ roll, especially with more of that flavoursome old school fifties tone to please personal tastes; a pursuit of which would definitely go down well and add something more to future Braddock Station Garrison songs it is easy to suggest on the evidence of A Hint of Recognition. More of the very solid and enjoyable sounds found on the band’s new album would be quite fine too.

A Hint of Recognition is out now via the Braddock Station Garrison Bandcamp.

https://www.facebook.com/BraddockStationGarrison   https://twitter.com/BSGRockNRoll

Pete RingMaster 29/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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