Unimagined – Friendless

Something wicked this way comes and it goes by the name of Friendless, the debut EP from US rockers Unimagined. Offering five rousing slices of the band’s “theatrical metal”, the release swiftly and increasingly had ears and imagination in the palms of its creative hands as it introduced a proposition we found rather easy to devour.

Hailing from St. Louis, Unimagined emerged in 2017 and soon earned a potent reputation and support across their local scene. Their sound is an animated mix of post hardcore and alternative metal; something akin to a n animated fusion of Pierce The Veil, My Chemical Romance, and At the Drive-In. It is a carnival of flavour and imagination honed into one melodically rousing and tempestuously seductive proposition which across Friendless never leaves a moment void of bold adventure and creative drama.

Too Dead To Dance sets the EP off and alone convinced there was something special going in within ears, its declaration subsequently echoed across its companions. The outstanding opener instantly had its hooks under the skin as the rich clean vocals of guitarist Caleb Freihaut align with the rapier swings of drummer Kai. The guitars of Jake Morgan and Nathan Simpson add to the emerging theatre with the waiting throat scathing roars of fellow vocalist Jarett Clark poised to erupt upon the already alluring mix. With every passing second the track simply escalated its captivation, the grumbling swing of Patrick Reuben’s bass adding further threat within the melodic enterprise embracing Freihaut‘s expressive dexterity.

It proved enthralling stuff and was soon matched by the imagination fuelling next up Something Borrowed, Something Blue. Its entrance is maybe less dramatic than its predecessor’s but with boisterous energy to its stroll and the crystalline caress of keys the song had little difficulty enticing attention, undisturbed focus rewarded with a tempest of aural drama and fiery invention brought with craft and imagination. The contrast of the lead vocalists works a treat in the creative maelstrom, the tenacity of the sounds crowding their magnetism simply rousing and as with all tracks every second, note, and syllable brings compelling persuasion.

The EP’s title track follows, Friendless. strolling in with a certain swagger as its theatre of sound and intimation quickly casts its narrative. Raw vocal prowess provides a scathing trespass within the swiftly thick theatre of enticement, the song almost bullying with its melodic wiring and muscular manipulation. Eventually its pressure becomes a senses harrying assault but one tempered by the melodic elegance of keys.

The final pair of She Was Scared Of Storms and Lemons & Sodomy simply escalated the bountiful character and prowess of the EP. The first of the pair is a serenade with fire in its belly, a pyre of creative animation and endeavour which had the body bouncing and appetite lusting while the second from its inescapably seductive melodic teasing erupts in a kaleidoscope of inflamed passion and resourcefulness ; both fascinating stages for the fertile craft and imagination of Unimagined.

As Friendless reaches new borders it is easy to expect and assume Unimagined will be launched into keener spotlights. The EP is a thrilling beginning to a proposition with still so much more to discover within their depths and imagination; something else to be eagerly excited over.

Friendless is out now via Standby Records; available @ https://standbyrecords.merchnow.com

https://www.facebook.com/UNimaginedBand/   http://unimagined.standbyrecords.com

Pete RingMaster 21/06/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Death & The Penguin – Anomie

Four years ago contemplating and feasting on their introduction via the Accidents Happen EP, we readily declared it “one of the most exciting entrances in a long time”, further intimating that “Death and the Penguin is the next big and important thing within British rock music.”  Even with the release of the Eine Kleine Granatenmusik EP two years later that emergence turning into national attention has seemingly stalled. You can sense though a busy band they are not ones to rush things or just release something unless it is exactly at its prime. That is why their highly anticipated debut album, Anomie has brought intrigue and fears. Extended time can diminish the potency of even the finest things but certainly not in the case of the imagination and sound of the UK outfit.

Described as “off-kilter alternative rock from London”, Death & The Penguin has a sound which teases but never accepts real tagging. At times it is avant-garde in its nature, in others experimental alternative/indie rock akin to a blend of Young Knives and Baddies. In other moments it blazes with an At The Drive In like dissonance yet as proven across the twelve compelling tracks of Anomie it is only unique to the quartet of Tobias Smith (vocals/guitar), Andy Acred (bass/vocals/keys/electronics), Chris Olsen (guitar/vocals/keys), and Phil Gadsden (drums).

The fascinating radiance of Hospital Song opens things up the song a wistful embrace of melancholy and haunting beauty shared by keys and voice within a more inharmonious breeze. It is a startling start to the release, bold and brave but undoubtedly magnetic as it leads to the waiting hands of The Calving Shuffle. Simply sensational, the track has ears and appetite on board immediately with its rhythmic shuffle, guitars weaving their suggestive threads in turn as the darker pulse of the bass groans while its political scything gives extra edge to vocals and its tone, as too more post punk hued sonic scrapes and the gang arousals.

A major highlight of the album, it is quickly rivalled by the angular twists of Kill Saatchi where warm melodies and enticing harmonies wrap its more untamed dynamics. Addressing the insidiousness of adverts and subservience to them, the track firmly nudges the imagination as it coaxes the body with its mercurial presence before Space 1998 has both rocking. One of two tracks taken from that first EP, and it has to be said both thoroughly welcomed and deserving of their place with the new offerings, the song is a spatial serenade with flirtation in its melodic web and tenacious energy in its spiral of craft and enterprise. Having a vocal hook-line which is just irresistible only adds to its majesty.

Colour In Me is next, its initial shimmer punctured by the rhythmic dexterity of Gadsden is coaxing of the richest order and soon backed by just as magnetic tendrils of guitar and Smith’s always gripping vocals. For all its virulent contagiousness volatility simmers in its depths, rising up with restraint from time to time to bring a great contrasting grittiness to the track while Misha Lives presents its magnetism through a slow but catchy stroll amidst electronic teasing and atmospheric drama. The song is a collage of flavours but all merged without clear definition into its post rock/electro/pop croon.

The folk gentleness of Driftwood (God Loves a Bird of Prey) has thoughts slipping away on its evocatively elegant breath, an acoustic flight brought back to earth by the ever addictive roar of Strange Times. The second from Accidents Happen, the song just grips from its first rapacious moment. With post hardcore hinting discord erupting across its melodic cacophony and those previously mentioned Young Knives essences colouring its character, the track continues to be manna to our ears.

Just as potent though is the truly manipulative Abyssinia. Rhythmically and harmonically it lured subservience to its suggestive heart and prowess within moments, tightening its persuasive hold by the second and each creative turn as at its core a wonderfully dark nagging bassline drives and stirs all of the adventure.

The final trio of tracks ensure the lofty heights of the album never the dip, the first of the trio, Leatherface, setting a peak of its own as sonic threat and rhythmic predation colludes with instinctive catchiness and lyrical trespass of emotive scars. Being suggested as a future single, the track is glorious epitomising the individual alchemy of the band’s songwriting, imagination, and adventurous sound.

Was It Kindness? takes on the challenge of following such a gem with its own untethered imagination where keys and voice tempt and taunt throughout as an inner crescendo bubbles up and eases, eventually bursting into a relatively calm pasture of enterprise and not the rousing romp expected; a deceit which works a treat leaving the evocative ballad of Bones to enjoyably conclude one thrilling release.

In some ways such the excellence of Accidents Happen, the quality and adventure within Anomie is not a surprise but everything about the album is bigger, bolder, and so much more irresistibly unpredictable…Another of the year’s truly essential explorations for us.

Anomie is out now and available @ https://datpmusic.bandcamp.com/

 

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Pete RingMaster 15/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Lower Automation – Shoebox Companion

Two years ago Chicago trio Lower Automation seared and pleasured ears with their debut EP Maps.  Now the band returns with its successor in Shoebox Companion and six tracks which also scorch, disorientate, and simply excite the senses and imagination. In some ways it is more of the same invention found in that first release pushed and taken to a whole new plateau but in far more avenues it is a new rabid animal of sound and enterprise.

Creating a ravenous spiral of math punk and rabid noise which never takes a moment to relax its tempest, the threesome of guitarist/vocalist Derek Allen, bassist Brian Sutton, and drummer Matt Walen use bare seconds to infest ears and peace. As proven by both EPs, it is a welcome invasion which despite its individuality, an essence escalated within Shoebox Companion, breeds part resemblance to a feral mix of Dillinger Escape Plan, At The Drive In, and mclusky.

Shoebox Companion opens up with Coax, a track immediately luring attention though there is nothing gentle or gradual about its initial sonic trespass. The corkscrew of guitar which instantly erupts is seductively violent as too the rampant rhythms which join it. Sutton’s bass is a grumbling joy while Allen’s subsequent vocals are mellow and charming against the building meshuga of sound.  It is all though just the trigger to greater disorientation in sound and imagination as the track creatively veers this way and that like a dervish; every one of its spiky wires adding to the pleasure.

It is a glorious start kept in full charge by next up Cattle Prod Hypochondriac. Allen’s voice and guitar ravages the senses from the song’s first breath yet it is an infectious violation driven by the rapier swings of Walen and the ever compelling guttural rumble of Sutton’s bass. Discord and dissonance flood every turn, the tangle of sound as unpredictable as it is virulent across two and a half minutes of inventive chaos.

Tethered has a touch more control to its maelstrom as harmonic strife and relative calm align within the song’s sonic chasm. The irritable incursion of rhythms equally makes for a tempering contrast to the intoxicated antics of the wailing guitar; it all uniting for increasing layers of magnetism before 30 Second Song provides just that but a half minute of carnal magnificence with more than a whiff of early Birthday Party to it.

The final pair of Phil and Phyllis Philler and Swing Flesh ensures the EP’s high never dipped. The first has the body bouncing as the senses cower before its citric assault, both eagerly taking a breath within the song’s post rock nurtured lulls which bring the imagination further into play whilst its successor is a visceral fingering of psyche and anatomy. Its skeletal dance is irresistible, the rhythmic animation addictive, and sonic mutation bewitching; the perfect end to a moment of creative voracity.

Lower Automation powerfully announced its arrival with the psychotic frenzy of the acclaimed Maps, now they have not only underlined their presence but declared themselves an essential proposition with one of the year’s musts in Shoebox Companion.

Shoebox Companion is available now @ https://lowerautomation.bandcamp.com/album/shoebox-companion

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

Pete RingMaster 13/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Zebedy – Set The Pace

British alternative rockers Zebedy have been on a steady and upward climb since emerging in 2008, previous releases alone establishing the North Wales outfit as one of UK’s most promising propositions. Now they have new EP, Set The Pace doing the persuading; a release which sees the band pushing their sound and invention to new heights to make the biggest nudge on major spotlights yet.

From Conwy, Zebedy initially comprised of guitarist/vocalist Jonny Harding-Smith, bassist/vocalist Dave Harding-Smith, and drummer Tom Dyson and through their jams created progressively nurtured instrumental soundscapes. Subsequently adding vocals, the trio also expanded ranks with the addition of guitarist/vocalist Ben Chamberlain. 2011 saw the release of debut album Exist, its release supported by an extensive UK tour. Its well-received outing was followed by the This Is My City EP which only increased their reputation with second album Marionette subsequently making an even bigger impact. Embracing inspirations from the likes of Karnivool, Reuben, Fightstar, and Biffy Clyro for a multi-flavoured rock and metal bred sound as unpredictable as it is rousing, and coming off successful shows alongside the likes of Psychostick, Soil, Closure In Moscow, COMA, and Brutai, Zebedy look ready to take things to the next level with Set The Pace to the fore.

The EP opens up with its title track, distant vocals running to ears with emotive urgency before guitars spin their wiry web and rhythms rumble with boisterous imagination. Pretty quickly it is easy to see where those Reuben and Karnivool influences come in, though in many ways the song offers a lively enterprise more akin to At The Drive In meets The Martini Henry Rifles. The track continues to twist and turn keeping the listener hooked and guessing, every change an organic shift from what was before. Vocals singularly and together impress as potently as the sounds and craft building the EP’s striking start with the antics of the bass a particularly appetising essence to personal tastes.

The following Of Revelations has a more controlled and restrained body compared to the tempestuous character of its predecessor but equally its blend of metal toned grooves and heavy rock riffs build a highly tempting canvas for the track’s progressive and melodic enterprise to conjure greater adventure. It is a slice of muscular rock ‘n’ roll which also swings from one imaginative endeavour to another, never staying in one style of attack or flavouring for long but making each a memorable moment to greedily lock on to.

The brief instrumental of In is pretty much the lead into final track Bloom, its melodic suggestion a stirring appetiser for the compelling drama of its successor where a tempest of rhythms trespass as sonic espionage grabs and twists the imagination. Within that trap ears bask in a cauldron of technical dynamics and impassioned energy and fair to say, as with all tracks, the more time they spend with the proposal the greater richness of its layers and the fresh nuances they bring are discovered within another truly captivating experience.

For all their bold moves and rich textures, the songs are also virulently infectious, the band sealing a real catchiness to their enterprise which has the body bouncing as ears explore. The thoughts of others are that Zebedy is about to break into the biggest attention and we can only say that Set The Pace offers nothing to derail that suggestion.

Set The Pace is available from September 15th @ https://zebedy.bandcamp.com/album/set-the-pace

https://www.facebook.com/zebedymusic/

Pete RingMaster 15/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Cauls – Recherché

It has been five years since UK alternative/progressive rockers Cauls delighted and impressed with their EP simply called 2. It turns out it has been a time which almost saw the band call it a day just as it was beginning to make a major impact on the UK music scene. Thankfully they pulled out of the nose dive and after a line-up change found the energy and inspiration to go again. That thankfulness even more pronounced now with the release of their debut album Recherché.

An atmospheric, provocative, and continually rousing blend of alternative/progressive and post rock with earthier post hardcore intensity, the band’s sound and release has evolved into a fire of imagination and enterprise. You would expect and hope each release outshines the last and pushes things on again, something which does not always happen as we all know, but Cauls have taken a big leap in building on the success of that last EP. Recherché is a compelling web of sound and suggestion fuelled by melodic and harmonic elegance and driven by a climate of rousing and often aggressive atmospheric imagination.

From the short instrumental flight of opener De Novo Quincunx, the quintet of Michael Marwood, Chris McManus, Graham Morris, Douglas Redfern, and Kye Walker entice and involve ears and imagination with increasing creative drama. That first piece is a slow developing mist of sonic calm and darker intrigue, guitars gently entangling as darker hues occasionally moan; it all leading to the instantly kinetic presence of Peace Paean. Around the ever impressing vocals of Marwood, a relative calm while engaging guitar woven tendrils smoulders and builds into a more boisterous roar. Descriptive melodies continue to entice and flame in the rousing breakouts, adding to the bolder fire of the song and its captivating Mars Volta meets Muse like landscape.

The track is pure captivation, sparking a keen intrigue and appetite for what is to follow; that adventure soon in full flight through firstly Radio Johanne / Said Molineux. From its initial low key peace with an alluring tingle of melody, the track also simmers and grows in presence and intensity, building into an unpredictable web of sonic and melodic imagination punctured by the adventurous jabs of McManus’ beats. With at times a resemblance to the raw tenacity of At the Drive In, the song consumes ears with fiery charm and rousing energy before the first part of the three-track Wide Opus Abyss awakens in ears.

Amusia is a secret smog full of suggestive essences and evocative sounds as it blossoms into the corporeal body of Vapours. Rhythms quickly provide a bold spine for its harmonic and sonic flames to erupt and unite around the striking draw of Marwood’s voice and the combined prowess of Redfern and Walker alongside the poetic finesse of Morris’ guitar. It is a resourceful blaze which eventually becomes Tide and Bye, an even more agitated yet controlled melodic clamour sharing Radiohead/ Far like spices in its eventful recipe.

The technical sprightliness of COQ8 dances eagerly in ears before mellowing into a reflective serenade. It is a plaintive cry though carrying its own instinctive tempest, a highly strung excitement bringing fiery exchanges of textures and band around the thoughtful vocal led calms. Its second part, Retentive Anamnesis adds greater volatility to that scorching heart, providing a fibrous sonic weave to its wired atmosphere and pleasure for ears and thoughts.

Épée brings things to a close, strolling in with bass and guitars merging dark and surf rock like hues in its tranquil swing before things bubble and boil around ear captivating vocals. Jazzy and sultry yet melancholic, romancing and seducing with a boldness exploring a diversity of rigour, the track is just mesmeric and another fresh detour in the album’s diverse soundscape.

Cauls are back with a whole new heart to create and a sound which grabs that intent with adventure and beauty, Recherché offering surprises and provocative enticements at every turn. We can only sigh with relief that the band did not buckle to that feeling of bringing things to an end.

Recherché is out now @ https://cauls.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Caulsband/

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Brightlight City – Our Future’s Not Dead

Having impressed with debut EP, Adventures in 2015, British rockers Brightlight City now reveal the blossoming invention and increasing maturity in their sound with successor Our Future’s Not Dead. Hinted at by a pair of singles last year, the new release is evidence of a band building on an impressive start and potential with stylish adventure whilst nurturing a whole new promise for continued growth.

Surrey bred, Brightlight City weave in inspirations from the likes of Hundred Reasons, Million Dead, Yourcodenameis:milo, At the Drive-In, Biffy Clyro, and Jimmy Eat World into their sound; indeed sparking comparisons to the former and others such as Thursday and Hell Is For Heroes with their melody rich and harmonically honed songs. Equally there is a fresh and potent catchiness and steel to Our Future’s Not Dead which as suggested was first glimpsed within last year’s singles Gravity and Thieves. It is a growth in sound which has come with an increasing reputation and praise for their live shows through the quintet sharing stages with Max Raptor, Fizzy Blood, Bad Sign, and Blood Youth and playing alongside Rise Against and Millencolin at Envol et Macadam Festival in Canada in 2015as well as their own shows.

Recorded with Matt Hyde (Funeral For A Friend, Bullet For My Valentine, Slipknot), Our Future’s Not Dead is likely to spark another bout of attention and hunger for Brightlight City, setting out its persuasive strength with opener It Depends On You. Skittish beats alongside vocal and guitar offered temptation bring the song into focus; their low key yet agitated attitude soon a full roar as vocalist Jamie Giarraputo heads a web of melodic enterprise from guitarists Jonathan Staunton and Justin Giarraputo, the latter adding his own potent vocal expression to the mix. Anthemic in heart, imposing in rhythm as the hefty jabs of drummer Ben Bell court the brooding lines of bassist Tom Stock, the track roars with energy and passion.

With a mellower air Leave A Light On follows, wiry melodies swimming round a throaty bassline as emotive vocals entice with distinctive expression. Once again there is an instinctive catchiness at work, never wavering as fiery textures evolve and unite in a livelier blaze of sound and emotion. In some ways it is a less intricate proposition than its predecessor but only to its strength as each element is a flame of craft and drama before making way for Heart Stops. The third track comes coated in the infectiousness of the opener, its swinging body almost pop punk like and relentlessly coaxing listener involvement with its vocal harmonies and controlled but boisterous swing; a tenacious essence just as open in the calmer moments of a song taking best track honours.

The EP is brought to an end by Past/Future, a track epitomising the evolution in the Brightlight City sound with its rounded fusion of melody and energy amidst a new depth of contagiousness and invention. As all the songs within Our Future’s Not Dead it is a memorable and lingering encounter going to make a thoroughly enjoyable and impressing release. The Brightlight City sound has yet to become something truly unique but as the EP shows, it is well on the way and providing some rather tasty encounters along the way.

Our Future’s Not Dead is out now through Undead Collective Records.

https://www.brightlightcityofficial.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/brightlightcityofficial   https://twitter.com/blcband

Pete RingMaster 12/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Wax Futures – The Museum of Everything

Photo by Jonathan Dadds.

UK band Wax Futures to our mind has never fully fitted their post hardcore tag with their flavoursome sound but it has never been less applicable than with the bands new mini album The Museum of Everything. Boasting a virulent contagion of sound as indie, post punk, and new wave as it is math and punk rock, the release is a refreshing and inimitable slice of rock ‘n’ roll revelling in the new maturity and imagination fuelling the trio’s songwriting and music.

Formed in the final breaths of 2011, the Telford hailing band soon made their mark on the local live scene. With a growing support and reputation they released the Breadcrumbs EP in 2013, before tempting bigger attention with debut album A History of Things to Come; it like its successor a seven track offering with a more post hardcore heart to its enterprise. With their live presence taking in the UK, sharing stages with the likes of Limp Bizkit, Bear Makes Ninja, &U&I, Tall Ships, Alpha Male Tea Party, Castrovalva, Bad Grammar, The JCQ, and Idles along the way, the band have spent their time working on The Museum of Everything, evolving and pushing their creativity simultaneously. It was a concentrated effort now easily and swiftly heard in the album and greedily enjoyed twist by turn.

Recorded with Ryan Pinson (God Damn, Bad Grammar), produced and mastered by Tom Woodhead (ex-¡Forward, Russia!), The Museum of Everything gets down to infectious business straight away as a lone riff squirrels itself in ears, a lure soon joined by a vocal count and controlled swipes from Simon’s sticks. As they all enjoyably collude, Sandcastles in the Snow comes alive, a scuzzy hook reaching out as rhythms slip into a controlled canter while vocals further capture ears in tandem with the groove escaping Graham’s guitar. With the easy going meander of Kieran’s bass teasing feet, the song becomes busier, heading into an equally undemanding but inescapably catchy chorus. Never quite igniting but with a neat whiff of early Kaiser Chiefs to its subsequent enticement, the song is a compelling start to the album setting out an appetising canvas of invention soon taken to bigger and bolder heights.

Demographics is next and instantly with its opening melody alone, brings a Young Knives feel into play, one only accentuated by the vocals and the subsequent web of sonic intrigue and infectious collaboration across the threesome. Hooks grab attention throughout, littering the aural drama and flirtatious energy combining like a mix of At the Drive-In and Swound! but only creating its own distinct adventure. A constant nag on body and pleasure, the song makes way for the just as impressive (My Body is a) Landfill. Instantly, more boisterous in energy and just as enticing in contagious endeavour as its predecessors, the track strolls along with a knowing and inventive swagger; its hands on receptive hips and tenacious feet teasing and taunting them into action with its creative zeal. As all tracks there is also a meatier, raucous edge and air which coats it all, the band’s punk instincts adding to the increasingly tenacious and imposing treat.

From one major highlight to another and Wreck of the Hesperus. As soon as it lays down its first line of bait, the song becomes a tapestry of seductive espionage woven from deceptive hooks and devious grooves, neither seemingly as intrusive and enslaving as they really are. With every passing second, the band’s rock ‘n’ roll heart becomes bolder, closing in on a volatile, increasingly menacing psychosis of a finale to leave an appetite hungry for more.

That heavier, irritable essence is still hanging round as next up The 90s Called, It Wants Yr Misspent Youth Back rumbles in ears. It is a ravenous bordering on rabid incitement from which a smiling groove and teasing stroll breaks free. Now with its relaxed but irresistible swing wrapped ingenuity fondling the senses, the song simply traps and chains the passions with something akin to We Are The Physics meets The Futureheads.

The cosmic twittering of { } leads in the evocative pastures of closing track Brittle Bones and an epic and increasingly dense rapture of melodic suggestion and angular jangles around rhythmic trespass. Holding its own lively groove led saunter, the song sees Wax Futures push their emotive intensity and creative designing yet again; both intensifying as the song brews and boils up into a powder keg of sonic turbulence eventually sending the album off into spatial unknowns leaving the listener lingering on keen anticipation for what comes next from the band.

The Museum of Everything is Wax Futures upon a new lofty plateau in songwriting and sound. At times it might not ignite as it hints it will and maybe lacks a final bite to its most agitated moments but only announces the band as a real player within the UK rock scene and a stalwart in the passions of certainly our personal soundtracks, something hard to imagine being alone in.

The Museum of Everything is out now @ https://waxfutures.bandcamp.com/

 

https://www.facebook.com/waxfutures    https://twitter.com/waxfuturesuk

Pete RingMaster 05/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright