Kodiak Jack – Scars EP

2015 White Band Promo copy-RingMasterReview

Last year Kodiak Jack thrust themselves firmly on the British rock ‘n’ roll scene with Alhambra, their second and seriously impressive album. It built on the acclaim and success of its predecessor whilst revealing new depths and invention to their instinctive anthemic sound. Whilst not expecting the album to remain their finest moment, it was easy to wonder if they had already reached the point of realising their potential such its impact and thrilling presence on ears. It was a loose thought in a silly moment as the Portsmouth band now return with the Scars EP, a slab of contagion loaded rock ‘n’ roll easily putting the majority of the last album in the shade. With an openly more mature nature in songwriting and sound, and richer in riffs and melodic drama, the four songs making up the new encounter just roar passion and attention gripping adventure.

Since sparking ears with their first album Death: My Glory in 2011, Kodiak Jack has just gone from creative strength to acclaimed strength, quickly whipping up fan and indeed media attention from their early days and not really looking back, even if they have yet to break into the strongest and broadest spotlights. Live the band has equally earned a massive reputation, playing with the likes of Kobra & The Lotus, The Cyborgs, Paul Gilbert, Everything Everything, Elvis Jackson and many more only enhancing their emergence and growing stature within the UK rock landscape. As suggested Alhambra, which Kodiak Jack recorded with Tesla’s Brian Wheat, helped the band whip up a new and bigger buzz around them, though suspicions are it will be surpassed by reactions to the release of Scars.

CDDF-6P1V-001RingMasterReview    The EP starts with what for us is the rock single of the year, Only The Good, a track which has you to your feet in physical and vocal involvement swifter than a trucker leaving Calais. The guitars of Jeff Arnold and Jon Karp ruffle ears before triggering a bigger and bolder flood of ravenous riffs, swinging rhythms, and tangy grooving. Just as swiftly vocalist Bryn Roberts is roaring with his outstanding delivery and presence, backed by the quality tones of Karp, with the song just growing with richer anthemic and dynamic energy at the same time. The chorus is simply insatiable; a viral persuasion which will have all listeners, from those alone in their bedroom right through to those packing out venues, roaring their heads off as the music rigorously and masterfully controls the body like a puppeteer.

The track is simply prime rock ‘n’ roll and alone worth grabbing Scars, though more than backed by the other trio of songs, as shown straight away by its title track. Crafting a more restrained stroll from its first breath, the song is soon binding ears in enterprising hooks and sonic vibrancy, again a gentler first touch blossoming into a fuller embrace of melodic imagination and vocal tenacity. Catchiness is a given and a snarling bellow is never far from another bracing chorus but there is much more to its body of sound and temptation. Rhythms almost dance on ears as they imposingly jab whilst the lines and tone of Kev Farren’s bass just seduce with dark resonance alongside the fiery exploits around it.

Sirens kicks up its own individual muscular storm next, uniting an almost aggressive energy with warmer melodic ingenuity. Addictive hooks bite whilst infectiousness oozes from every bass note and spicy groove, their lures driven on by the guitar’s web of rapacious riffs, sonic scything, and acidic adventure. Inflamed further by the expressive passion and versatility of the vocals, the song lives up to its name, its call inescapable as one mouth-watering proposal swaps places with another and the closing seducing of All I Want. Southern rock laced with a matching lilt to Robert’s croon, the song just immerses ears and thoughts in its sultry embrace of sound and emotion. Everything about the song, indeed the EP, feeds every want and need in a heavy rock incitement, thoughts eventually asking if there has been a finer and more potent slab of rock ‘n’ roll this year.

Listening to Scars again and again it is hard to think of many that rival its power and impact on body and soul. Is it the most original thing you will hear in 2015, probably not but the most thrilling and spirit rousing, hell yeah! Kodiak Jack just gets bigger and better, watch out world they are coming to get you.

The Scars EP is available from August 10th digitally and on CD via Angry Badger Records @ http://angrybadgerrecords.bigcartel.com/product/scars-four-track-cd-ep-exclusive-pre-order-offer-signed-and-numbered-cd

http://www.kodiakjackofficial.com/    https://www.facebook.com/kodiakjackuk

RingMaster 05/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

FlashFires – Play EP

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It would not be surprising if the name FlashFires rang a bell even if their sounds were a mystery because of the potent buzz that has been brewing up around them, certainly over the past six months or so. A couple of recent singles gave a good hint as to why the enthused reaction to their emergence and now the UK band’s debut EP brings the strongest evidence yet. A thoroughly engaging proposition with a sound lying somewhere between indie pop and rock, the Play EP makes a refreshing and fascinating full introduction to the young band.

Hailing from Basingstoke, FlashFires was formed by a quintet of school friends who aged nineteen to twenty, brought their skills and imagination together for a band swiftly inviting local attention and appetites. They were soon playing venues along the South Coast as an eager fan base grew around them, increasing their reputation all the time as they proceeded to gain slots at the Alresford Festival, Blissfields, and a headline slot at the B’Stoke Live show this last year. A song called ManShark in 2012 brought the band to the notice of Angry Badger Records, the independent label signing them up the following year as plans to record an album were put in place. Linking up with Tesla bassist Brian Wheat at J Street Recording Studios in California that September, the band set about recording a collection of songs produced by Wheat who was so impressed he expressed an interest in co-managing the band with Jules of Angry Badger Records. It was a union concluded by early 2014 as the band continued to lure focus and praise through a live presence seeing them playing with the likes of Catfish And The Bottlemen, The Telescreen, The Birthday Suit (Idlewild), and The Rifles to date. Last November FlashFires released acclaimed debut single Circus Boy, a potent lure followed recently by its successor Shy. Now Play is set to make its mark on a national awareness and reinforce the claim of vocalist Alex Gonzato that “We have been moving to bigger and better things recently, the hunger and drive in the band keeps us moving forward all the time”.

The Play EP     The release opens with 31, a song quickly luring ears with thumping beats within a melodic coaxing of guitar. It is not a dramatic start but a potent one, continuing as the expressive tones of Gonzato step into the weave of restrained yet firmly inviting enterprise cast by the guitars of Fraser Roskilly and Jon Cullis. The song continues to engage and embrace ears with its colourful melodies and more shadowed hues brought by the bass of Liam Kinslow and speared by the crisp beats of drummer Toby Bartlett. It is a warm and welcoming start to the EP, one bringing a slight whiff of Americana to its air, but in hindsight not carrying enough of the creative drama which inflames the following songs starting with Shy.

The band’s current single almost flirts with ears through its opening strokes of guitar, turning that suggestiveness into a stronger captivating texture as sharp hooks start to line the track’s creativity. There is snappiness to the encounter which was not exactly lacking its predecessor but certainly defused, whilst harmonies and melodies seem to have an even spicier colouring to their inventive embrace of punchy rhythms. Hints of Muse equally add intrigue and adventure to the infectious proposition before it makes away for the sultry presence of Lingo. With a great grizzled bass tone aligning to another impressive dance of jabbing beats from Bartlett, the track makes an imagination sparking start which only erupts in greater temptation through a contagiously imaginative chorus. It is fair to say that none of the songs on the EP explode into out and out raucousness and adrenaline driven revelry yet the song certainly leaves you breathless by the end of its wonderfully unpredictable adventure.

It is the pinnacle of the release though shares that plateau with the following You Say Nothing. Its opening hook has ears and appetite seduced whilst the quickly joining melodic wine dripping from guitar strings brings a scent of Dire Straits to the proposal. It is an alluring entrance which continues to expand as band and song entangle bluesy rock ‘n’ roll with a strain of more classically cultured rock as well as a power pop/punk essence. The outstanding song is simply catchy and enthralling, especially when the bass steps out with a delicious and throaty bassline which in turn inspires a new twist in the creative dance of rhythms and guitar.

Play is brought to a close by Circus Boy, a feisty and energetic flame of inventive craft and passion cast in another forcibly infectious slice of pop rock, and the most raw and explosive song on the release if not one to challenge the previous pair for top honours.

FlashFires easily show why the keen interest and praise being laid at their creative feet with Play whilst revealing a potential and strong hint that we have seen and heard nothing yet. With a very enjoyable and strong first seed in the EP, we for one cannot wait to see their talent blossom.

The Play EP is available on CD from 20th April via Angry Badger Records @ http://angrybadgerrecords.bigcartel.com/ and digitally @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-play-ep/id979989859

http://www.flashfiresofficial.com/   https://www.facebook.com/flashfiresmusic

RingMaster 20/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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KODIAK JACK arise with ‘Alhambra’, on 23rd June‏

Kodiak Jack Promo shot 3

KODIAK JACKS’S NEW ALBUM REBOOTED WITH A TOUR TO BE ANNOUNCED!

“Bruising, hummable hard rock” – Dave Ling (Classic Rock/Metal Hammer)

“Tough, gruff and durable… sweetened by quality hooks” – Classic Rock Magazine

 

Faintly tipping their hats to past rock masters, Kodiak Jack have cultivated a sound that calls upon the passion of Led Zeppelin, underpinned by the snarly riffery of Guns N Roses and the Stone Temple Pilots. Kodiak Jack nationally release ‘Alhambra’ through Angry Badger Records and all outlets on Monday 23rd June.

Although Kodiak Jack formed back in 2008, it wasn’t until 2010 that the South coast rocksters really began to make their burly mark on the scene. Consisting of Bryn Roberts (Vocals), Jon Karp (Guitar & Backing Vocals), Jeff Arnold (Lead Guitar), Kev Farren (Bass) and Keiran Bellinger (Drums), the dynamic five piece set about releasing their debut album ‘Your Death: My Glory’ in 2011. The record snared critical acclaim across the board with Classic Rock, PowerPlay and FRONT magazine all putting their weight behind the release. Radio airplay soon followed with BBC Introducing, and many national and regional stations also picked up on the album. Various tracks have been lifted from the album: ‘Wasted Youth’ featured on a ‘Best Of British’ CD on an international edition of Metal Hammer while ‘Waves’ was used on the closing credits for Eurosports ‘British Superbikes’ coverage, and no less than five tracks were featured on ‘Rumble Rides: Muscle Drag’ DVD, which nationally released throughout the States.

 

On stage Kodiak Jack have built up a formidable reputation for their energetic live shows which have seen them grow from having a cult gathering to moving on to creating an army of dedicated followers. Prominent festival appearances and supports with the likes of Canadian metallers Kobra & The Lotus, guitar legend Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big & Racer X), Everything Everything and Buddhist Punkz have all aided their case, along with hefty headline touring throughout the UK.

 

At the start of 2013, the band were invited to record their sophomore album with Brian Wheat (Bassist with US Rock Gods, Tesla). The fivesome laid down eleven biting tracks including reworked versions of ‘Wasted Youth’, ‘Crossfire’ and ‘Waves’ at Brian’s request, and they decided on ‘Alhambra’ as the album title. The band set about lifting ‘Brother’ as the first single from the record and this was followed by ‘Wasted Youth’, both of which received heavy rotation on the ‘New Rock Show’ on Planet Rock with the former making it into their Round Up Of The Year show at the end of 2013. Classic Rock featured ‘Wasted Youth’ in their ‘Heavy Rotation’ section in March and Classic Rock/Metal Hammer journalist Dave Ling added ‘Alhambra’ to his January 2014 Playlist. The album was released to fans and to the underground in February and now the record will be officially nationally unleashed this June and supported by a full UK Summer tour. Stay tuned to the band’s Facebook for more.

Kodiak Jack Cover Artwork

www.facebook.com/kodiakjackuk      www.kodiakjackofficial.com

Kodiak Jack – Alhambra

Kodiak Jack sky

Though UK rockers Kodiak Jack has not exactly been a secret it is fair to say that they have yet to ignite the widest attention across the country, something they will surely address as new album Alhambra starts its rampage. Built on eleven irrepressible inventive slabs of prime rock ‘n’ roll , the album is an incendiary fuse for the imagination and passions, undiluted heavy rock which thrusts the band to the fore of not only British but European rock music. With raging sonic endeavour around infection clad hooks and intensive riffs, all strapped to a rhythmic enticement which refuses to take no for an answer, the beast of a release is the kind of feast you can never stopping licking your lips to.

    Hailing from Portsmouth, the quintet first drew keen attention with debt album Your Death: My Glory in 2011, the release becoming no stranger to acclaim from fans and media alike. Strong radio play followed as well as the record having tracks featured on the cover mounted CD of an international edition of Metal Hammer, used on the closing credits of Eurosport’s British Superbikes coverage, and part of the States released Rumble Rides: Muscle Drag DVD . Their live reputation equally has earned the band a big reputation, shows with the likes of Kobra & The Lotus, Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big and Racer X), Everything Everything, Elvis Jackson and many more only confirming the emerging might and presence of Kodiak Jack. Recorded last year in Sacramento, California with Tesla bassist Brian Wheat who became a fan when the band sent him their debut back in 2011, Alhambra takes it all to the next level; actually up a  good few levels such its tremendous power and enterprise.

     Released via Angry Badger Records, and featuring three reworked tracks from their debut alongside seven voracious new Alhambraexploits, Alhambra takes no time in firing up the appetite with opener Get Out Alive, guitars dangling an initial temptation before thumping rhythms splinter their bait aside the vocals of frontman Bryn Roberts aided by those of guitarist Jon Karp. Into its stride the track brews up a rousing contagion which it accelerates further with storming riffs against melodic flames from Karp and Jeff Arnold, whilst the bass of Kev Farren stomps alongside the equally hungry beats of Keiran Bellinger. It is a roaring blaze of hard rock setting the release off in fine anthemic style, sparking an immediate greedy appetite.

     The first single from the album Brother steps up next, again no second wasted on lightweight beckoning as heavy riffs and crisp rhythms immediately set to work on the ears. A grunge feel emerges as the song expands its sonic narrative, a winding groove seducing the senses as the vocals of Roberts again impress with a Glenn Danzig essence coating some of his delivery. A strong acidic solo also spears the song towards its end to raise extra temptation before a dramatic finale makes way for the equally riveting and impressive Wasted Youth. Roving beats join scrapes of riffs alongside the opening narrative of Roberts as the song sets its irresistible toxicity in motion first, before hitting a similarly enthralling and magnetic passage of melodic passions pulling virulence. There is a blues flame to the guitars which only accentuates the swagger and addictiveness of the song too, it an early pinnacle in already a heady range of peaks.

     Both More Than This and Crossfire keep album and reactions sizzling, the first once again employing the greediest rhythms within an expansive wash of sonic causticity and expressive vocals whilst its successor has a broader rock wash to its earnest declaration. The pair stroll a level below what came before but with undeniable craft and the passion to inspire, neither leave anything but thrilled satisfaction behind before the outstanding THEM takes over. It almost nags at the ears from its first breath, riffs and beats a persistently probing trap beneath the wider rock delivery of Roberts, again perfectly assisted by Karp. A tinge of glam rock mischievously grins in their and the music’s incitement to tease just a little more and like so many of the tracks it secures a swift tempting for feet and voice which only the deaf and dead could resist.

     No Surrender is just as epidemically riotous and catchy, Karp and Arnold sculpting a sonic playground for the vocals and the more intimidating rhythmic section to prey and incite within, whilst the brilliant Waves with its heavier almost carnivorous presence stalks the senses with a predation which is dangerous and drenched in irresistibility. The compelling quality keeps coming on strong as firstly the masterful Live To Fight unveils a drama driven melodic rock pyre of emotive balladry and La Rue follows it up with a muscular impact of passion stirring energy and bordering on antagonistic craft, melodies and harmonies unafraid to seduce with every note and syllable.

     Completed by debatably the weakest song on the album, Coming Home, though that is down to the quality of the rest of the release than real short comings it may have, Alhambra is a rock album setting Kodiak Jack as one of Britain’s strongest and masterful rock bands but also declaring them as a new big noise in hard rock full stop. For those with a taste for Velvet Revolver and Guns N Roses, through Stone Temple Pilots and Alice In Chains, to Blackstone Cherry and Thousand Foot Krutch, and everything in between and around them, this album is your new best friend.

http://www.kodiakjackofficial.com/

9/10

RingMaster 24/02/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Streetfight Silence: We Must All Learn

Leading into the release of their debut album Cutting Strings on September 24th UK power pop band Streetfight Silence first unleash the single We Must All Learn. Their first release for Angry Badger Records, the song is a vibrant and enterprising slice of pop rock to play as a tease for their imminent album.

The Bracknell based trio of Russ Merry (guitar/vocals), Chris Penfold (bass/vocals), and Chrissy Cooley (drums/vocals) has garnered a strong and passionate following, conquering locally before working on the country as a whole. Their live performances have drawn acclaim as the band shared stages with the likes of Don Broco, Tesseract, Burn The Fleet, Francesqa, Canterbury, Flood Of Red, and We Caught The Castle, each show adding to the buzz around them. The new single and album to come, follows their well received debut EP and look to have all the weaponry to thrust the band into wider recognition.

    We Must All Learn initially sidles up to the ear with bright melodic strokes and attention grabbing grooved strikes underpinned by a great heavy bass tone and firm rhythms. Once into its stride the vocals spread their warm and accomplished tones amongst the reasonably reserved sounds, every element then coming together in a chorus of natural harmonies and creative sounds. The song is not overly infectious but does secure a permanent focus and leave lingering strains of melodic craft in its wake. There is also a strong acoustic essence to the song within the energetic rush of tight guitar play and expressive vocals which suggests more of the album.

With a video to accompany it, We Must All Learn is a good appetiser for Cutting Strings and a good continuation of the creative maturity of Streetfight Silence, which the album should endorse and extend.

https://www.facebook.com/streetfightsilence

RingMaster 17/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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