Seconds Alive – Bitter Moments

Seconds Alive Press Shots.

Seconds Alive Press Shots.

With a sound laying somewhere between metalcore and post hardcore, UK hailing Seconds Alive provide us with one interesting and firmly enjoyable confrontation with new EP Bitter Moments. Consisting of six tracks pouring out emotional torment and ire within technical scenery that is never less than captivating, the release makes a solid case to take the Exeter quartet’s under attention’s wing, though not the reason to get over excited for their open potential quite yet.

Formed in 2014, Seconds Alive have spent the past eighteen months brewing up a potent reputation across the South West of England, spreading outwards through an intensive live presence which has seen them play with the likes of with Idiom, I Divide, and Heck (formerly Baby Godzilla), and release a small clutch of singles. Now it is the turn of Bitter Moments to try and awaken stronger attention, success easy to see happening though maybe not to the extent that it is easy to feel was within the band’s grasp.

Seconds Alive Artwork_RingMaster Review     One of the prime reasons for that missed opportunity feeling is that despite the obvious talent and craft on show within the band, the EP lacks a certain spark to immediately elevate it out of the writhing throng of similarly sounding, genre bred bands. Close focus reveals they do have the imagination but in a time where attention in music is at best a fleeting breath in so many, Seconds Alive have not yet discovered, certainly here, that swift ‘hook’ to standout right away. The other element we would suggest the band might gain by looking into is the vocals. We have read many landing blows of displeasure upon the delivery of Robert Doran, something we cannot align to, the frontman has a good presence and attack but does, with great raw expression and emotion, only and repetitively offer exactly what is assumedly wanted in their raw style of music. The issue is again that his delivery easily slips into the crowd at the moment, another with an attack which never ventures too far from the caustic roar that as a style is becoming expectation feeding and thus frustratingly predictable for personal tastes. Hopefully though, the fact that Bitter Moments truly comes alive and steps out of the shadows when a diversity of vocals is released to match the busy sounds around them will not escape him and the band and spark adventure in that area ahead.

As said, it is always down to personal tastes though and there is no denying that EP opener Red Blood has ears on alert from its first sonic breath in all departments, especially once the guitar of James Hosgood begins his web of melodic and enterprising endeavour contrasting perfectly with the ruggedly aggressive rhythmic and vocal tempest quickly brewed. The bass of Rich Earle is especially carnivorous in tone whilst the beats of Rach Adams resonate with every impact without disrupting the contagious energy and craft fuelling the track. The fingers of Hosgood are as nimble as they are busy, and as elegant in touch as they are grouchy in craft to match and encourage the song’s growth in character.

It is a potent start taken up by Where Are You Going With This, another where musically the band is unafraid to twist and turn in their interpretation and use of familiar metal hues, though maybe again not bold enough at times. Vocally Doran again hits the mark in his angst driven, anger soaked delivery; never turning away from that singular attack but in a song swift in time more than playing his part in a potently satisfying incitement.

It is fair to say that the elements mentioned earlier which are lacking only really come to impacting light through latest single Drawing The Line, and because it does offer the essences to create something singularly potent. Opening on a more classic metal seeded lure aided by a great bestial tone from the bass, the track leaps into a regular metalcore proposal though again Hosgood is weaving tasty designs. It is the unexpected turn into a punk infused passage of virulent rock ’n’ roll guided by great clean vocals and hungry rhythms that things explode. An atmospheric aside shows adventure, if seeming a little out of place, but also reveals an experimentation and boldness of ideation that outshines the plainer metalcore causticity around it and of other songs on the release.

Upon Yourself steps up next and also impresses most dramatically when it employs cleaner vocals within an imaginative hug of sound, though also to be fair, the track is a tempest of craft and enterprise that might not lift the band’s too far away from a host of like sounding bands, but has ears keenly gripped throughout .

The slow emotive instrumental of Speechless engages the imagination next, its post rock lit coaxing a captivating suggestiveness reinforcing the evidence that this is band whose individuals can compose and play to the highest level. It haunting ambience leads into the ferocious throat of closer Jenna, a wind of squirming guitar imagination and emotive turmoil that easily invites if not overly excites ears, it again missing that indefinable element to prevent it quite reaching its potential.

A release for fans of bands such as While She Sleeps, August Burns Red, and Architects, Bitter Moments is a strong step in the growth of Seconds Alive that definitely courts attention and support. With personal hopes that they will get even bolder in composition and diverse in voice to forge their own unique identity, our expectations are that this quartet has a rather healthy future ahead of them.

The Bitter Moments EP is released October 30th through all stores.

https://www.facebook.com/SecondsAliveOfficial https://secondsaliveofficial.bandcamp.com/

Pete Ringmaster 29/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Sexwolf! – Hangin’ With The Boys

Sexwolf_RingMaster Review

It has been digitally devouring the senses for a few months now but in the breath it takes one month to roll into another, Hangin’ With The Boys gets to physically violate the world. A fierce infestation of punk fuelled rock ‘n’ roll, the EP is the debut release from noise merchants Sexwolf!, an English quartet which has become recognised as one of the wildest and greedily devoured hardcore confrontations on the Birmingham, indeed Midlands rock scene. Going by Hangin’ With The Boys they are one of the most exciting too, a treat lovers of feeling something substantial in their hand which bites, i.e. a CD, will go wobbly over.

With inspirations from the likes of Every Time I Die, Cancer Bats, Black Sabbath, and Refused sparking their sound and sharing stages with bands such as He Is Legend, The Bastard Sons, Black Shapes, Black Art, and Heck (Baby Godzilla) amongst a great many more, under their belts, Sexwolf! go straight for the jugular with Hangin’ With The Boys and its opener, the band’s forthcoming single None Stop Body Rock.

cover_RingMaster Review   Guitars and drums respectively send a torrent and barrage of their finest ferocity down on the senses straight away, their bait leading the listener into a tempest of vocal antagonism and infection dripping grooves from within an already more hostile onslaught driven by the vicious beats of drummer Jenk. No quarter is given as the track continues to abuse and batter yet the guitar of Joe Lane conjures virulent sonic enterprise to temper his carnivorous riffs and those of bassist Dan Mogg, whilst together the band breed a contagiousness which is especially virulent in the rousing and ravenous chorus helmed by the raw squalls of vocalist Richard Phillips. As much as you might say the song and the band’s sound is living off essences heard often before, they become twisted and cultured in the ways of Sexwolf! to emerge with a fresh and fiery character of their own.

Evidence is swift as She Got Gold leaps from its waiting seat and tears a raucous hole in air and psyche. As it abrases the senses it simultaneously spins an addictive tapestry of noise rock hooks and impossibly catchy grooves matched by the diversity of the vocal attack. Like Shevils meets Gacy’s Threads with a splattering of Every Time I Die for good measure, the track is a glorious trespass of body and soul, a protagonist to a lustful appetite for more of band and sound. Guitars are bluesy, vocals unpredictable, and the rhythms, well they just beat an enslavement out of you with force and violent charm.

Nomesayin resourcefully uses its few gasps over a minute to unleash an hellacious bestial swamp of violent punk ‘n’ roll that just breed pleasure whilst Captain Bastard Face seems to have the scent of blood in its nostrils the way it explodes from the blocks and ravishes air and listener. It does have the invention to also share waspish grooves and hostile repetition across its sonic predation, an enterprise which seems to only increase the potency of its maliciousness and the emerging bolshie but mischievous swagger.

The final thrilling skirmish between band and ears comes courtesy of Fuklashnikov, a minute and a half of twang infested rancor and raging belligerence, and another tsunami of noise that just hits the spot. If hardcore in its full savagery is not for you then run, run away now but for the rest of us with a taste for spiteful invention and devilry, Hangin’ With The Boys is a must, especially now in its physical glory.

Hangin’ With The Boys is available on CD from October 31st and digitally now at the Sexwolf! Bandcamp.

Pete RingMaster 24/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Black Art – Full Lungs | Empty Words EP

With a roar of an antagonistic sound sitting somewhere between the demised Californian band Red Tape and Brits The Ghost of a Thousand, UK punk ‘n’ rollers Black Art are an emerging proposition with the potential, going by their new EP, to ignite the punk scene. Driven with a melodic hardcore fuelled fury in sound and lyrical confrontation, the band has been stirring up rigorous attention and appetites in recent times and it is easy to hear why with their Full Lungs | Empty Words EP. It is angry and hostile but loaded with an anthemic contagion which makes every track a lingering and thrilling proposition. It is a knack shared by the two bands we mentioned at the start but in the hands of Black Arts seemingly is even more inescapable for imagination and emotions.

The new EP follows a well-received 7” split with Surrender The Coast which was released a couple of months ago. It swiftly reinforces the reputation garnered over the years by the band for their sound and live presence where they have shared stages with bands such as Feed The Rhino, Baby Godzilla, Palm Reader, The Catharsis and many more along the way. It is a release which sees the Forest Of Dean quintet go for the jugular straight away but equally seduce with the first of numerous spicy hooks and infectious melodic enterprise.

That instant bait is provided by opener Life Stalker, coaxing riffs laying the first lure to be immediately joined by heavy swipes of thumping beats from drummer Nathan Davies and a carnivorously gripping bassline cast by Jake Morgan. It is an intimidating and riveting predation which becomes more caustic and challenging with the fierce vocal squalls of Joe Kibble which also initially strike in great singular assaults. The track is soon a maelstrom of voracious incitement and energy, the guitars of Nick Lewis and Oli Bendall blazing away with fiery riffs and tasty grooves to brawl with craft and flavoursome endeavour.

The potent beginning to the EP sets the template for things to come in quality and success, and a little in sound but as the following Duress shows there is a busy heart to all songs which gives them distinct characters. The second song lays 1910160_712588515486444_587585896235052623_ndown a ridiculously addictive and intimidating torrent of riffs bound in sultrily alluring grooves from the start, its brief but powerful presence a corrosive stomp which grips and scars with contagious efficiency. Its excellent tempest is matched by the more inventively sculpted Hold Fast. It is still an uncompromising fury but the guitars twist with a wider heavy rock recipe whilst rhythms carry the punk spirit in every debilitating swipe and throaty bass groan. Though it does not quite match the tracks before it, it is richly satisfying, aggression driven rock ‘n’ roll with little want to get fussy and clutter its raw muscle bound bones with over blown flourishes.

The Endurance has the passions lustful again, the opening flame of sonic grazing enticing the blistering and colourfully hued turbulence to follow. Hooks flare up throughout the rhythmic and sonic animosity, sharing the limelight with heavy rock grooves and an inflamed passion especially expelled through the lungs of Kibble. It is a brute of a rocker but soon in the shadow of the primal rock ‘n’ roll fired Pseudo Sound. Morgan uncages another irresistible grump of a bass temptation whilst the guitars come with venomous designs and toxic expression, all aligning with the merciless swings of Davies for a riotous and compelling storm.

   Full Lungs | Empty Words is completed by the quarrelsome charm of Fool’s Gold, a final bracing bluster of skilled creative assertiveness and impassioned belligerence. Soaked in a fierce scowl amidst a skilful savaging, the song is a fine intrusive close to an EP ripe with promise and accomplished invention. The release provides a very impressive and memorable base from which Black Art with their already plentiful armoury, can spring to truly fire up punk rock far and wide. ‘

The Full Lungs | Empty Words is available now digitally and on CD via White Russian Records @ http://whiterussianrecords.nl/store/index.php/cd/black-art-full-lungs-empty-words.html, CD and Cassette via Let Them Die Records @ http://letthemdierecords.bigcartel.com/product/black-art-full-lungs-empty-words-cassette-cd , and I For Us Records @ http://music.iforusrecords.be/album/full-lungs-empty-words

https://www.facebook.com/Blackartuk

RingMaster 07/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Baby Godzilla – Knockout Machine EP

baby-godzilla

Thrashing the senses from pillar to post, UK noise activists Baby Godzilla build upon and thrust further forward their already rampant reputation with new release the Knockout Machine EP. Five tracks of raucous and lethal post hardcore /noise rock with voracious punk causticity recorded for the band’s legendary Black Heart Residency shows which they played in Camden, London this past summer, the EP has just been released for the first time and for free via the band’s Bandcamp profile. It is a mighty confrontation which is like being locked in a sonic spin dryer for thirteen odd minutes of pure imaginative ferocious, the release providing exactly what its title suggests.

The Nottingham quartet of Paul Shelley, Jonny Hall, Matt Reynolds, and Tom Marsh has garnered a massive reputation for their explosive live show, their stage presence being described as “death-defyingly brilliant”. Previous releases NPAG and Oche of 2010 and 2012 respectively have done them no harm either but it is easy to say that the Knockout Machine takes a deeper potent grip. With a sound bringing thoughts of Every Time I Die, Cancer Bats, and The Dillinger Escape Plan into play at times; the release one suspects provides a very powerful indication of what the band feels and sounds like live whilst treating the listener to an intrusive experience which juggles with senses, imagination, and ultimately the passions.

Opener A Good Idea Realised launches itself off of a lone abrasive stroke of guitar and an instantly biting sonic wind into a a1205978287_2maelstrom of manipulative rhythms and ravenous riffing. With caustically squalling vocals equally scarring the air as the riotous sounds, the track pounces on and dances with the senses like an aural raptor, searing flesh and igniting the passions simultaneously. With a virulently rhythmic core and addictive toxicity to its carnivorous sonic hunger, the song and band ferociously ravages with the mischief of the devil and the enterprise of a bedlam bred imagination.

The first brief tirade upon the ear is followed by an even swifter assault from the torrential scourge that is Trogloraptor. The track may be shorter than the patience of a bear awoken from hibernation and just as powerfully irritable, but with a deluge of barbarous addictive hooks and a just as infectious riffing under another tsunami of vocal spite it is an incredibly compelling and consuming treat which is soon matched by the weightier Whorepaedo. Finding a throatier predation to its sound, especially the bass, and a more intensive rabidity to its hunger and energy, the track twists and flexes a sonic invention and rhythmic muscle which is soaked in creative intrigue and devoid of all predictability, something applying to the whole release.

The senses stamping presence of A Great Idea Bastardised bruises and preys on the senses next; rhythms again a thunderous tsunami of intent and provocation goaded by acidic guitar sculpting and vocal scathing. Employing a dance of discord bred and disjointedly boned revelry which secures the strongest submission to its fury and invention, the track is a blistering rampage of primal fingering amidst a destructive sonic tapestry and sheer exhaustive pleasure.

The EP closes with In The Name Of Science And Progress, a scurrilous and feverish sonic pestilence spawned from the cutest annihilatory genius posing as a band. Lashing and slashing the ears like a single minded executioner within an avalanche of aural malevolence and acidic ingenuity, the concluding torment forges a storm of unbridled rabidly delivered animosity with an alternative lumbering oppressiveness to enslave and evoke the senses yet again. It is a masterful punishment to end a similarly vicious and triumphant release.

Giving extreme music and sonic animosity a new exultant breath, Baby Godzilla is poised to sculpt the future of noise and psyche rock, the beast to take extreme realms to unexplored depths and viciousness with the Knockout Machine EP holding all the potential and proof to support that anticipation. It is easily one of the best releases this year and a turbulent aural transgression to welcome and devour with greed.

Get Knockout Machine as a buy now name your price release @ http://www.babygodzilla.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/Baby.Godzilla.Bastard

10/10

RingMaster 18/12/2013

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