Day by day with Reverse Family

We all have different outlets for extreme emotions be they bred in grief, frustration, anxiety or romance for example. For many an artistic avenue is the release from such overwhelming trespasses and so it is with Reverse Family who are about to unleash a daunting but we can already assure you irresistible adventure for ears.

The Reverse Family is the solo project of Dermot Illogical, someone probably better known right now as Andreas Vanderbraindrain, the frontman of British outfit The Tuesday Club. Towards the end of last year, he released acclaimed debut album My Songs About Life Mid Crisis, a collection of multi-flavoured lo-fi experimental goodness which continues to hang around in the imagination and passions like an inescapable itch. It was an introduction which commanded attention and breeds real anticipation for the next epic outing with Reverse Family.

Starting in October, Dermot is releasing 365, a project made up of 52 EPs released as one a week for a whole year. Before panicking, shouting impossible, or mistakenly thinking anything that massive has to be more filler than thriller let us declare that with the evidence of the sampler sent by the man our way in our hands, it is going to be an escapade taking ears and imagination on a helter-skelter of honest and emotionally raw but instinctively fun exploration; a journey given greater intimate potency by Dermot’s diary entry of that particular day by the way of ‘sleeve notes’.

The tracks making up the project were all recorded DIY style at home between Jan 1st 2015 and Dec 31st 2015 with Dermot playing every instrument and sharing every syllable. Everything heard is as played and recorded; no editing or tampering made with every song bred in heart and spontaneity. It is an organic air and array of textures which grips the imagination as much as the sounds themselves; a fly-on-the-wall like climate baring the same open heart as that of their creator.

The catalyst to the project was the death of Terry, the drummer of The Tuesday Club. His sad passing came just as the band was deservedly stirring bigger and bolder praise carrying spotlights, a time topped by the band supporting Toyah at The 02 Islington and releasing their most successful and critically acclaimed EP to date. It was a world crushing time for the band and especially for Dermot who was also coming to terms with divorce, life dictating and changing illnesses for both parents as well as the constant struggle of being self-employed. It was a time many would have buckled under but Dermot focused all the suffocating turbulence into his music and turned it into a creative quest, one which at times you feel probably completely took over his world but gave him a survival and now the listener a spark for pleasure and thoughtful contemplation.

As the tracks we have reveal there is no ‘woe is me’ self-pity fuelling the adventure. Yes, it scratches his open wounds at times and is not always sharing smiles but every moment is an open insight and reflection on his feelings across the evolving year of those challenges and the life around Dermot in St. Albans with plenty of knowing black humour involved along the way.

The first track swiftly grabbing years was Future son – The Twa Twa’s, day 8 of the creative pilgrimage. Instantly it reminds of My Songs About Life Mid Crisis with its post punk twang and Dirk Wears White Sox era Adam and The Ants like character. A gorgeous hook lurks within the angular clamour, Dermot’s vocal delivery a swinging flirtation matching the similar allure of bass. The structurally organic design of the track alone is a web of lust clasping shenanigans, the song in its whole a psyche infesting treat.

Some tracks have an even rawer sound and temptation than others, This house is empty (day 10) one which borders abrasive in sound but within its causticity is an instinctive funkiness which has the body bouncing and appetite eagerly exploring words and emotion. There is a sense of despair and also hope carrying new beginnings felt with the track, a conflict most of us are no strangers too at some point and can grab with nodding recognition.

The clutch of songs within the sampler show the great array of styles embraced by the Reverse Family sound, the outstanding I stand alone (day 13) a post punk natured infestation managing to sound like a mix of Fire Engines, Swell Maps and unsurprisingly The Tuesday Club with Dermot’s distinctive tones yet is unique in every pore while MP3 (day 310) is a junction box of sonic wires casting a Devo meets Pere Ubu scented discord over the imagination.

The darker, grungier Faded colours (day 336) offers melancholy at its most magnetic, In my head (day 337) sharing a sonically and emotionally haunting incursion on the senses as pained as it is corrosively elegant, and both songs continue the broadening maze of flavours and emotional tempestuousness within the sampler alone. Like many tracks, each is also a relatively brief encounter; fleeting moments in an unsettled and often unsettling day though Bad cartoon (day 343) stays a little longer with its melodically jangling and evocatively persuasive as Bowie-esque toning draws the listener with seductive ease into its own personal melancholy.

The punk ‘n’ roll of Do it just for me (day 344) hits the spot just as easily, its tenacious canter a gentle cacophony of guitar, rhythms, and voice while I built a new contraption (day 356) shares a broad grin in its post punk/art rock pop. The pair relish in the addictive prowess Dermot constantly finds in his minimalistic but oh so potent grooves and hooks, though he saves maybe the most addictive for Breathy graffiti (day 365), its electronic poking the kind of inescapable nagging lust was bred for.

So that gives a hint of what is in store for us once 365 begins revealing its heart in a few weeks. It would be a little unrealistic to expect every one of the songs within the 52 EPs, each suggested to contain seven tracks, will hit the lofty heights of those on the sampler but do expect each to be the most honest and spontaneously shared temptations sure to intrigue and captivate like nothing else around today.

We for one just cannot wait!

The first of the 365 EPs will be released digitally from 2nd October 2015 through Perfect Pop Co-Op / Nub Country with one a week through to the first week of October 2018. For more information keep an eye on http://reversefamily.co.uk and https://www.facebook.com/reversefamily/ or through https://twitter.com/PerfectPopCoOp and the Perfect Pop Co-Op magazine.

Pete RingMaster 26/08/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Jack of None -Who Shot Bukowski

Having released one of the most fascinating albums of 2016, US trio experimental brother sister trio Jack of None offer up one of this year’s most compelling in its successor Who Shot Bukowski. Weaving a tapestry of art, alternative, post punk and electronic rock, to simplify their sound, the band infests ears and fingers the psyche across ten tracks of creative drama. It is a journey into the shadowy side of the human condition, an adventure into devious infectiousness, and increasing addiction to embrace with every manipulative listen.

Splitting themselves between Philippines capital Manila and Chicago, Jack of None consists of brothers A.G. (principal composer on guitar, bass and synths) and Julian Syjuco (guitar) alongside sister Maxine (poet-songwriter and vocalist). Last year their first album, Who’s Listening to Van Gogh’s Ear?, was greeted with widespread acclaim, going on to receive 3 nominations at the 15th Independent Music Awards including Best Album in its genre, though what that genre maybe is anyone’s guess such the eclectic nature of their imagination and sound. Who Shot Bukowski is destined to not only replicate its predecessor’s success but thrust the threesome towards thicker and richer attention with its irresistible theatre of contagious intrigue and bold enterprise.

Swiftly Who Shot Bukowski reveals that doughty adventure and imagination in opener Strangest Bedfellows, allowing the hints and seeds sown in the more industrial lined Who’s Listening to Van Gogh’s Ear? to blossom and flourish. The track glides in on a slow swing, guitar and rhythms teasing with tantalising bait around the seductive temptation of Maxine’s voice. Steelier grooves erupt as things get provocatively hazier and magnetically sinister but still the emotive affair between ear and song continues to have the thickest grip whilst sharing increasingly catchy and flirtatious lures along the way.

It is an outstanding start swiftly matched by the following pair of Sticks and Stones and X-Y-Sex. The first of the two merges industrial and psych rock with folk pop hues, its touch simultaneously grainy and warm as Maxine erotically touches the imagination with her tones. A Marilyn Manson like causticity breaks as the track bursts into a more volatile state but soon returning to that initial now increasingly jazz funk laced calm; a carousel which continues to turn across the song before its successor steals the show with its noir lit beauty and haunting contagion. The previous track reminded of US industrial electro rock outfit Scream Machine, this even more so but equally has something of eighties UK band The Passage to it too. Like a dream almost nightmarish in its Orwellian design as visual eroticism teases, the track is pure bewitchment leading the imagination on a flirtatious dance from start to finish.

Dear Georges (Vous Petit Monstre) is next, an even darker bête noire of emotion and thoughts with its entrancing charms and seductive shadows, all led by Maxine’s almost predatory melodic grace and the similarly disarming exploits of her brothers. It too carries flames of metallic toxicity through the raw torrents of guitar but is at its most fantastic with its deviously mellow caresses.

Lyrically every song is a story, a gothic poem of sorts which is as much an engineer of the imagination as their delivery and the sound cradling their revelations, The Brainwashers another fine example within its raw dance and invasive electronic machination. A uniquely beguiling hook offsets a slight repetition of earlier tracks in certain moments, a lining of dark sounds and insidious suggestion adding greater individuality to the encounter before Polyamorous Serial Monogamist writhes seductively in ears. Every melody and smouldering syllable is a physically swerving enticement only accentuated by the surge of guitar and keenly slapping beats, it all woven into a mesmeric incantation.

From the six seconds of Again, the excitable rock ‘n’ roll exploits of The Princess and the Pistol (Can You Feel That?) tenaciously romp with the senses, the track a restrained yet tempestuous incitement while next up Little Devil Girl provides its own suggestive haunting with almost visceral charm and beauty. It is an edge which grows with the subsequent surge of guitars and bass groan which emerges within the garage punk scented treat, the superb encounter never losing its composure but instilling lingering seeds of fear.

The album closes with Tenderly, She Said, a song which from a melodic kiss of acoustic guitar grumbles and smooches with the ever arresting presence of Maxine. Progressive in its tone, hungry in its diversity of texture and flavouring, the song grabs ears and imagination with sublime craft and ease, epitomising the album with its own inescapable alchemy.

Who Shot Bukowski simply captivated and thrilled from its first moment in speakers and ears, and indeed has only tightened its lure and grip ever since. This time around Jack of None would not be too misguided in hoping those previous nominations become awards.

Who Shot Bukowski is out now across most stores and @ https://jackofnone.bandcamp.com/album/who-shot-bukowski

http://www.jackofnone.net/    https://www.facebook.com/jackofnoneband/

Pete RingMaster 02/08/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Soundscapism Inc. – Desolate Angels

Cover artwork and booklet design by João Filipe, based on photos by Ü-Berlin Photography.

Cover artwork and booklet design by João Filipe, based on photos by Ü-Berlin Photography.

Desolate Angels is the eagerly awaited sophomore release from Soundscapism Inc., a highly anticipated successor to a debut which made a potent and well-received impact on the European post rock scene. The new offering is sure to emulate, indeed surpass the success of its predecessor with its even more accomplished, imaginative, and warmly haunting adventure.

Soundscapism Inc. is the solo project of Berlin based musician Bruno A., the founder of Portuguese/ Finnish bred band Vertigo Steps. When that band went on an unspecified ‘hiatus’, Bruno began bringing his own creative exploration to light with the release of the self-titled Soundscapism Inc. EP late 2015 quickly enticing ears and praise with its cinematic ambience, post rock climates, and acoustic beauty. It was more of an album with its nine captivating tracks and the base for the even more creatively expressive and magnetic Desolate Angels. The new evolution and craft in the project’s tapestry of sound and character was hinted at by a couple of tracks released from it towards the end of year but now in its full glory, it is a compelling proposal expanding well beyond their promise.

Swiftly as immersive and cinematically suggestive as the first release, Desolate Angels immediately caresses ears with Evening Lights. A guitar melody wraps its tender arms around ears first, additional lures warmly and firmly whispering before the track settles into an even mellower atmospheric landscape. Guest vocals from Flávio Silva subsequently emerge to add their captivating croon as Bruno’s guitar and keys weave a portrait of poetic post rock and ambient beauty. It is melancholy with a tempering charm and alluring tinges of harsher rock ‘n’ roll and quite bewitching.

The potent tones of Silva also feature on the following Supernovas At Fever Pitch, the song from another reserved opening firmly blossoming in sound and texture before his appearance, thoughtful melodies and an elegantly solemn yet again enticing air greeting him. From its initial simmer, an increasingly infectious energy and enterprise brews with a touch of Maybeshewill to it, this awakening bringing thicker wiry grooves and richer but restrained intensity to further ignite the track’s evocative heart. As the first track, it lures the imagination with ease, almost preys on it before The Mourning After pt II coaxes the listener into its relatively brief emotionally rousing instrumental waltz, subsequently leaving on a wash of melodic reflection.

Zwischenspiel I similarly draw ears into a melody persuasive romancing of thoughts and senses, its intimate seduction the echo of broader but also solitary pastures; an emotional closeness also found within the album’s title track where innocence feels shadowed by darker lurking trespasses. Touching the outskirts of ten minutes in length, Desolate Angels provides a flight of contrasting drama; dark and light toying with the imagination as Bruno conjures a soundscape of raw and equally radiant sound and suggestion which tempts like a fusion of  Sigur Rós and 65daysofstatic at times, his vocals an euphonious caress.

Through the inescapably infectious and constantly shifting stroll of Man In The Glass and the calm crystalline smoulder of Zwischenspiel II the individual presence and sound of Soundscapism Inc. is cemented, any hint offered by references to others like God Is An Astronaut for the second of this pair, just clues to something fresh and provocative.

The appetite pleasing voice of Silva makes its final appearance within next up February North, his voice a great mix of grainy and melodious temptation wrapped in the acoustic ethereal grace of Bruno’s touch and craft, essences just as refined and persuasive in the evocation spun by next up Quintessence around a narrative of vocal samples.

The album simply continues to bewitch and entice, firstly through the livelier exploits of Low-Fi Man, Hi-Tech World, the song a melody woven aural film with its rhythmic tenacity like the flickering roll of cinematic stills combining for a mesmeric visual incitement. Its striking presence is followed by the instrumental grace of Zwischenspiel III, it also a piece again with emotive shadows, and a short reprise of the title track before the increasingly beguiling Sleep Arrives Under Your Wings adds a surf rock glisten to its celestial beauty and resonance. The track is manna for ears and imagination, quickly followed by emotions and makes a magnificent close to the release though the evocative kiss of bonus track Above Us Only Sky provides the actual final moments of the album’s digital version.

There is plenty to take in aurally and emotionally within the hour of Desolate Angels, more than arguably can be assessed and appreciated in one go though perseverance in that vein only brings thick rewards. Each track works just as potently alone or in small clusters too so whichever way you approach it real pleasure and fulfilment is the result. Bruno and Soundscapism Inc. have stepped upon a new plateau with Desolate Angels with easy to suspect even bigger inventive and striking ventures to come from him.

Desolate Angels is available through Ethereal Sound Works now @ https://soundscapisminc.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/soundscapisminc

Pete RingMaster 05/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Kitchie Kitchie Ki Me O – Are You Land or Water

Kitchie7_RingMaster Review

Are You Land or Water is like a colouring book for the imagination; the template is there in its inspiration and themes but each track within the new album from Norwegian band Kitchie Kitchie Ki Me O, is as much an adventure to self conjure as an atmospheric and evocative landscape to explore. The six track incitement immerses the senses then grows in thoughts; each of its proposals a unique art rock seducing awash with warmly invasive ambiences and when united a release which has body and emotions enraptured.

Part of Are You Land or Water was inspired by the Barbarossa Cave in the Kyffhäuser region of Germany and behind it the myth of Frederick Barbarossa – former German monarch and Roman Emperor of the twelfth century – who is said to slumber within these caverns in a palace beneath the Kyffhäuser hills where his beard grows in circles around the table at which he rests. He is said to be waiting until either he can reign once more over a unified Germany or till the end of the world; whichever arrives first. Its beauty made a potent impact upon the band’s main creative force, Alexander Kloster-Jensen (Alex K), his visit coinciding with the fermentation period of ideas for the album to come. Talking about its theme, Alex said of the album “Are You Land or Water is about tension, and describes the states of passive and active. You cannot be the two at the same time, but the two states are equally important.” They are dynamics which play skilfully throughout the release, and again essences which simply spark ears and imagination into creative responses.

The album opens with Barbarossa (Fire Birth) and its swift compulsive lure of rhythms. Metronomic beats and a heavy dark bassline instantly enslave attention and an ever ready appetite for brooding post punk, steely eyed temptation. In the shadows slithers of sound and percussive skittishness also play, their often tribal flirtation bringing a scent of eighties bands like King Trigger to mind before the rapacious sonic trespass of guitars electrifies the compelling jungle of sound with their intimidating breath. The track is irresistible; its instrumental canvas inescapably gripping and raw sonic air scintillating.

KKKMO_Gatefold_RingMaster ReviewThe following Saleph (The Voyage) pulls the listener into a magnetic electronic stroll with melodic guitar ripples and the seductive tempering of rhythms. Once more electro imagination brews a host of provocative spots of noise across the track’s suggestive sea, each adding more colour and intrigue for the imagination to play with. As with its predecessor and songs to come, there is a great repetitive coaxing working on the psyche, a polite nagging that holds an already greedier appetite fast as rhythms dance and guitars cast their sail in the besetting sonic flight.

Going Forth By Day is the first to offer a vocal texture and narrative to the release, the track another with eighties hues which engage like a blend of The The and David Byrne. Instantly infectious with a great cast of shadows to its atmosphere and broody rhythms, the frequently evolving song is instinctively mesmeric with its celestial harmonies within a sultry climate. It provides a persistent sparking of thoughts with its fresh reflective excursion before Are You Land Or Water (The Deluge) invites feet and hips into its funk ‘n’ roll shuffle with again resonating beats and stirring dynamics colluding with vibrant yet melancholy laced emotion and lively enterprise.

Another inspired by those aforementioned caves and legend, Kyffhäuser (The Path) is a psych rock infused instrumental with again that grounding of sublime repetition and mythical drama; all low key but potent in their capture of ears and adventure forging thoughts. The track tantalises from first to last breath, its slightly predacious bassline within an intoxicating warm sonic mystery making for another masterful collusion of contrasts to become deeply involved in and linger in contemplation with.

The album is completed by the expansive spatial delving of Europa (First Light), the track like a celestial dawning and examination within a subdued yet tempestuous ethereal flight drawing the listener towards an introspective single hearted croon. The vastness of the contrasts and extremes is fascinating, their bewitching and surprising merger a darkly tranquil and hugely stimulating proposition.

Are You Land or Water is one of those encounters providing new adventure with every listen; it’s often minimalistic landscapes as powerful and persuasive as its involved atmospheres and poetic ambiences. Kitchie Kitchie Ki Me O has provided the year with an early treat, now we suggest you do the same for your imagination and ears.

Are You Land or Water is out now via House of Mythology @ http://houseofmythology.com/releases/view/kkkmo-are-you-land-or-water

https://www.facebook.com/Kitchie-Kitchie-Ki-Me-O-185337610403  http://www.kitchiekitchiekimeo.com/

Pete RingMaster 25/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Los and the Deadlines – Perfect Holiday EP

Los and the Deadlines_RingMaster Review

With more distinctive hues to their creative tapestry of sound than colours in a drag queen’s make-up palette, UK based Los and the Deadlines unveil their new EP to cast a captivating enticing which is as dynamically refreshing as it is imaginatively inflamed. There is adventure on every corner and inventive devilry within each creative breath of the Perfect Holiday EP, exciting times coming with increasing persistence over each and every listen. The band has sparked intrigue and enjoyment with previous releases but those just pale against the vibrant and bewitching exploration of this new Los and the Deadlines encounter.

The seeds of the band began when Arizona bred lead vocalist/guitarist Alex LoSardo moved to London in 2010. After being introduced to guitarist Neils Bakx, common interest and already existing musical thoughts began to bear fruit between the pair as they began writing and composing together whilst studying for their undergraduate degrees. A few line-up changes ensued as the band established its sound and presence, the time offering up a pair of strong EPs in the shape of Metro Talk in 2012 and Part One: Bank last year. Italian drummer Alberto Voglino had joined the band before the release of their second EP whilst Israeli bassist Rotem Haguel linked up more recently after another change in personnel. Whether he was the missing link to the band’s full potency others can decide, but there is no doubting a new spark and maturity, not forgetting energy, to Perfect Holiday which declares a band coming of age.

cover_RingMaster Review    The band’s sound is often and understandably tagged as art-rock but as opener Feel At Ease quickly reveals that barely hints at the evolving brews of grunge, stoner, punk, noise, and many other rock ‘n’ roll spices woven together in the EP’s individual exploits. The first song is an immediate throaty groan of heavy bass, discord deranged guitar, and jabbing beats. It is an almost menacingly brewed lure which never flinches as the spoken delivery of LoSardo opens up a just as pungent narrative. Fresh predatory air hits all areas before the song opens out into a catchy and melodically tempting chorus, its appearance another trigger as the song returns to its stalking but with a hungrier and livelier nature. We would suggest as this and all songs play, each listener will find their own references and hints to compare songs with, and here, thoughts of early Squeeze, Split Enz, and just a touch of Pere Ubu nudge these thoughts.

The outstanding start is followed by It Could Be So Much Better, an instantly grittier and more classic rock toned saunter resonating to metallic swipes on drums and blossoming a bluesy tang to the winding grooves of the guitars. Melodic vocals only add to the sultriness whilst off kilter scythes of sonic invention ensures another song not here just to feed expectations, even if it is arguably less adventurous than surrounding proposals with its fiery Red Hot Chili Peppers like smoulder. That is not to suggest the track has an air of predictability, just that it is less creatively ‘psychotic’ compared to the likes of The Youth’s Opinion which follows it. Once again the band opens a track up with the richest bait, rhythms and riffs compelling enticement with a touch of grouchiness which soon expands into a maze of wiry grooves around a Queens Of The Stone Age melodic revelry. Addictively virulent and tenaciously imaginative, the song swings and dances on ears, treating them to further sonic and warped resourcefulness which it would not be too far from the mark to suggest plays with a Melvins spicing.

From one glorious incitement to another as Batshit Crazy steps forward, its entrance a merger of crispy beats and a heavy, dark funk bred bassline around more greatly alluring tones of LoSardo, the vocalist potent whether speaking or singing across songs. Though restrained in its energy and assault, its title sums up the song’s nature perfectly, a funky Jane’s Addiction like prowess colluding with Dog Fashion Disco like imagination. To be fair all references offered never weaken something original to Los and the Deadlines, and as mentioned everyone will hear someone different within the band’s unique waltzes.

The shadowy flirtation of the track makes way for closer We Lust To Shop For Nothing, another with a Josh Homme like touch to its inventive colouring though in no time the song expels a blaze of rock ‘n’ roll which is more I Plead Irony like but constantly creating its own addiction sparking, ridiculously infectious emprise of sound and ingenuity. As all tracks, there is, for want of a better word, bedlam at the heart of the song, a ‘crazed’ weave which is as fluid and magnetic as it is relentlessly surprising.

As suggested earlier, Los and the Deadlines have suddenly blossomed from an enticing potential fuelled prospect into a beast of ravenous and mouth-watering rock ‘n’ roll, though again that really only hints at the thrills found within Perfect Holiday.

The Perfect Holiday EP is out from July 13th

https://www.facebook.com/losandthedeadlines   http://www.losandthedeadlines.com/

RingMaster 13/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

The Strangler Figs – Attack Of The Strangler Figs

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Having been seduced by the decidedly warped drama and infectiousness of their recent single Attack Of The Strangler Figs, there was no option than to next look at the EP of the same name . The result of talent and imagination in collision with creative mischief, the offering is the thrilling work of UK art rockers The Strangler Figs. It contains three songs which seduce ears and thoughts alike, a trio of carnivalesque adventures creating the kind of warm devilry which would suit a Tim Burton soundtrack.

The folkish theatre, almost circus like character to the band’s music has its seeds in the psychedelic rock and visual feast of Circus Maure, which band founders, vocalist/guitarist Joe Pickering and double bassist Joel Hanson were previously a part of, touring the likes of Europe, Israel, and Canada, where it headlined the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal for seven nights in a row. Their time there also saw the pair writing together, before leaving and uniting to form Leicester based The Strangler Figs. Weaving in inspirations from the likes of The Doors, Radiohead, Muse, and David Bowie into their evolving invention, the band swiftly lit up the local live scene, their first year together marked by headlining Oxjam and playing the biggest festivals in Leicester. EP and single has helped begin the spread of their presence and reputation much further afield, awakening media and fan attention on a broader scale and as the EP opener alone plays with ears and thoughts, it is easy to see why.

10419942_1592620724306431_4813869709891100291_n   The title track opens up the festivities, a lone reflective guitar around the individual voice of Pickering the first intriguing act of the song. They are immediately joined by a warm caress of keys cast by Freddie Pickering and slow evocative beats from James Lyons. With most of its elements in place and the narrative bringing theatrical colour, the song lifts up its knees and starts a lively stroll through ears and across the imagination. A little jazzy, a little funky, and a lot seductive, especially with the backing vocal lures of Rosie May Price adding to the inviting hues, the song unveils an agitated adventure of sound and ideation. Thoughts of The Jazz Butcher whisper loudly from this point on, and indeed The Strangler Figs sound definitely has a potent elements of the eighties artist to its playful resourcefulness. The song is in full contagious mode in no time, inciting feet and voice to join its devilish merriment.

The great start continues with Help me Please, the song also starting with a gentle kiss on the senses but reaching a more vivacious gait within a few more seconds. The tempting of organ and guitar, both provided by both Pickering brothers, unite in a simmering aural tale of drama and shadow wrapped emotions, this matched by his voice and the dark feel of the narrative. With mini crescendos which just grip the body, the song ebbs and flows in energy whilst stirring up the passions with its unpredictable darkly hued majesty; though do not mistake the song for anything other than a vibrant stroll of folk pop revelry. Think Tankus The Henge meets Mojo Fury and you get an idea of its excellence in sound and enterprise.

The EP closes with Hugga Wugga, an immediate seduction of noir lit textures and theatre led by the excellent throaty lures of Hanson’s double bass. Keys and beats soon align for an exotic shuffle whilst guitar and voice bring a snarl to the party, tempered by the siren-esque backing vocal smooches of Rosie May Price. Once more as the song flirts and swerves around within its jazzy landscape, an eighties essence licks ears. Whereas The Jazz Butcher raised its hints before, and does a little here also, Zanti Misfitz springs up in thoughts as the track ignites the imagination. Just light whispers but enough to give a nudge of the lesser known band.

The song is glorious, as is the EP. There is no wondering why the band has caught the attention and eagerness around their home city, just of how far the band can spread their charm and how soon. A long way and swiftly is our suggestion sparked by Attack Of The Strangler Figs alone.

The Attack Of The Strangler Figs EP and single is available now at most online stores.

http://www.stranglerfigs.com   https://www.facebook.com/thestranglerfigs

Upcoming live shows…

Orange Tree, Leicester – April 30th

O2 Academy, Birmingham – May 1st

Riverside Festival – Leicester – June 6th

RingMaster 25/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

An artful splendour: Interview with Dani of Crimson Blue

Dani - Crimson Blue

Russian nu art metallers Crimson Blue is a band with a distinct and individual sound and one who released one of the more impressive and enthralling albums of last year in the splendid Innocence. Fusing nu-metal grooves with irresistible essences of symphonic metal and the unique character of art rock, the album was a thrilling and captivating engagement with a passionate imagination and invention. We had the pleasure of finding more out about a band, whose album was our first introduction to them, and their innovative sound and release by talking with vocalist and keyboard player Dominica “Dani” Hellstrom.

Hi, welcome to The Ringmaster Review and thank you for taking time to talk with us.

Firstly tell us about the members of Crimson Blue and how the band begun.

Hello everyone!

Well, let me introduce the band.

Dani — keys, vox, music, lyrics. Has been the part of Crimson Blue since the very beginning.

Alex — bass guitar and great stage presence.

Iggy — guitars, effects. Another veteran of the band operates an 8-string monster.

Jenn — drums and cool sympho arrangements.

Tim — guitars. Joined us recently

Back in 2009, we started as a progressive band and spent a lot of time looking for musicians with the same likes, King Crimson, Genesis,Crimson Blue Yes, etc. We tried to compose some complicated polyrhythmical pieces of music, and the result sounded like really bored Tool. Time passed, we learned to like groove metal riffing and symphonic beauty — and our music changed. We went through a period of djent idolizing Meshuggah then came some nu metal madness, and our guitars sounded like the ones of Korn — and so on. Now we’ve finally came to what may be named «the original Crimson Blue style», and I hope our second album will at last sound like true Nu Art Metal.

Are the inspirations which brought the band to life still as strong and active now or have they evolved into a different intent?

In some way, yes. They remain somewhere deep inside, and sometimes we have to fight them not to make our new song too «prog» or too «nu».

Looking more in depth at your introduction, your music is described as Nu Art Metal, can you elaborate on the term for us and how would you say your music has evolved since its beginnings to the release of your debut album Innocence?

It’s quite easy to explain. Imagine classical art rock harmonies, the soundscapes, ambient, but living atmosphere — and mix it with nu metal grooves and noises.

Actually, that was the main change in our music since the very beginning of the band — the hardest thing was to learn not to write 7-minutes epics one after another. We’ve learned to express ourselves more laconically, but still not primitive

The line-up in the early days of the band was quite unstable, is that fair to say?

It’s fair to say that our line-up is a bit puzzle. The three more-or-less permanent members of the band are me, Iggy and Alex. We’ve changed few drummers and more than few guitarists. The trouble is the working process in Crimson Blue has always been a challenge. You have to devote quite a considerable part of your life to make progress. Concerts, rehearsals, shootings, recording sessions, all the things…you learn to do all the things — or you’ll be left behind, that’s what we’ve learned.

Was this situation something which you would say held the band back or simply shaped its focus?

I think our course became more clear and distinct, despite all the difficulties that we’ve faced. We’ve learned a lot of things about the bands life here, we’ve learned a lot about ourselves, and now we’re ready to go on rocking whatever happens!

1608197713-1Was this the period of your demo Iceland? Tell us about the release and what it brought and you learned which helped with Innocence?

The demo period was the first time we faced the studio! We’ve recorded a few tracks, but the mixing process stopped, we couldn’t find a sound engineer to do the work. So the release had to be delayed. Then I came up with some electronic tracks that we also wanted to share with our audience. Still nothing happened; we kept making songs and doing nothing to introduce them. Then one day we said — ok, that’s enough, let’s finally do this!

The main thing that we’ve learned was like that — everything, absolutely everything including cover art, promo, etc. — must be done in time. It helped us to present «Innocence» very much.

When did the musicians who now make up Crimson Blue come together and did this ‘new blood’ and stability naturally give an energy and new direction to the band and Innocence?

The current line up gathered in summer 2012, when Jenn joined us. He brought some beautiful orchestral soundscapes along! We started using phonograms on our gigs; our sound became more fresh and aesthetic.

Tim came to us this autumn; he’s got a charming smile and plays terrific noises!

Tell us about the inspiration to the songs and also the recording experience for Innocence.

The inspiration is everywhere. Partly in music that we listen to, partly in some experience we get from life and each other.

The recording was like a factory work! We’ve been spending twenty-four hours a day in studio for a month. I’ve recorded incredible amounts of vocals. The guitarist had to work in shifts. The keyboard parts were recorded in the last two days in almost surreal atmosphere of forthcoming finale.

How do songs come to life within the band, what is the writing process generally?

Usually our songs start with melodies. I think of one, then harmonize it, then think of its name. Then it is being taken to our rehearsing studio where we work on the arrangement

The music within Innocence is a varied creature. What and who have been the major influences for you as musicians and band?

Let me remember… Well, some of the names are Tool, Yes, Korn, Pain Of Salvation, Meshuggah

Our favourite track on the album is L.M.A.; a song we felt was a raptorial encounter which brought essences of Korn, Animal Alpha, and The Faceless into a new invention. Tell us more about the song and its seeds.

Well, L.M.A. is an example of how the music you’re listening to may generate a new track. It started with the chorus, and firstly there’s been a Russian version, translated just about «me, I’m rising from ashes, I’m rising from ashes». It was a period when female-fronted alternative in Russian was very popular, and we were really sick of it! So the song came as a protest. Then we thought, why not make it in English? And so we did. L.M.A. is one of the few songs born during the rehearsal.

Many bands with a renowned strength in their live performances, which you have, fail to translate that to their recordings. Do you feelCrimson Blue you have managed that or see them as different faces to the band which need a different approach?

To be a cool band you need to perform cool and sound equally cool in the studio, I think. We are not scared of the album work and we’re going to do or best in gaining impressive and rich records.

You recently linked up with GlobMetal Promotions/management, how has that impacted on the band to date?

We’ve received a lot of reviews for «Innocence»; the promoter also helps us much with some gig arranges. This is our first experience in such kind of cooperation, and we like it. We hope GlobMetal will help us get our music all around the globe.

How is the metal scene in Russia right now in context to European metal which seems on a real high?

There are a lot of great metal bands here, although it’s really hard to get to the audience. The thing is the tradition of going to clubs for a live show is not quite Russian. So you have to think of something really dramatic to get your fans out of their flats!

What are your hopes and plans for Crimson Blue in 2013?

We’re going to release our 2nd studio album somewhere in the Autumn, make a few videos, maybe some electronic internet-singles. We hope to go on tour at last, we’ve been dreaming of travelling with our music since the very beginning of the band!

And of course we will keep on playing live and making our shows more and more impressive. It’s the best thing that you get from music — the response from your audience.

A big thank you for taking time to talk with us.

Any last thoughts you would like to leave us and the readers?

Thank you for the interview!

And to all of you readers — get art, stay metal, take care!

Lastly tell us where you dream of playing one day and the bands which would make it the perfect gig line-up.

One day you’ll see us performing at Wembley, joined by Meshuggah, Nightwish and Korn. That will be a good day!

The RingMaster Review 25/01/2013

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