Dead Shed Jokers – Peculiar Pastimes EP

Dead Shed Jokers 2

If the impossibly magnetic lures of Dead Shed Jokers have yet to make a play for your passions then the Welsh quintet has made the opportunity very easy with their latest EP Peculiar Pastimes. Available as a free download via their Bandcamp profile, the band has made one of those invitations only a fool would not go and investigate before greedily accept the rewards offered. Consisting of six contagion lit tracks, five of which are taken from a live session at BRFM Radio the band undertook this past July, the release is an enthralling explosive heat of sound with more dramatic spices than an Indian restaurant kitchen.

The title track opens up the richly satisfying encounter and immediately has a healthy appetite for its offering licking lips and coverattention rigidly in its hands. From an intriguing and haunting distant teasing the song erupts with intensive riffs and punchy rhythms rampaging through the ear whilst a guitar unleashes tendrils of melodic tempting which wrap tenderly yet rapaciously around the senses. It is a riotous fusion of noise and stoner clad rock, an instantly irresistible bait for the passions given extra toxicity with the strong vocals which add their urgent enthusiasm to the mix. Like a mix of The Dropper’s Neck and Queens Of The Stone Age but not, the track twists and turns like a wanton belly dancer, its sinews rippling within the energy and passions expelled by the outstanding storm of invention. Seduction and causticity go hand in hand as the track rages and draws the strongest, keenness submission from thoughts and emotions to its exceptional persuasion.

The next five tracks are live takes of songs, four of which appear in their original form on the band’s well-received and acclaimed album Peyote Smile which came out at the tail of 2011. Monkey Song is first and like its predecessor soon has the imagination lured into its embrace as a drifting blues temperance cast by guitar, harmonica, and a deep slow bass drawl coax the ears. Rhythms also take a restrained approach to the introduction, it all building up to the striking full stride of the track which takes little time to alternatively stomp forcibly or unwind a smouldering acidic tendril of enticement across the air. There is a classic rock and psychedelic essence to the fiery encounter, further evidence of the wealth of flavours the band take as inspiration and employ in their invention. The track as the subsequent ones reveal just how potent sound and band is live, something we should all indulge in at some point.

Interesting Point, But… follows next and like its predecessor takes a provocative and gentle hold on the ears at first before slipping up numerous gears and degrees of temperature to brew an incendiary and inciting stroll of sonic adventure. The entwining of restraint and full on rampancy again frequents this track making for a presence which has limbs treating the dirt to a rigorous thumping  and lungs taking deep breaths in between the outbursts. It is an adrenaline fuelled and coaxing treat which is soon matched by The Memoirs of Mr Bryant, a shimmering sonic flame of evocative textures and fire bred melodic flames brought with a craft and passion which only impresses. There is a seemingly taunting like intent to the riffs and drum jabs tempered by the potent expression of the vocals and deeply hued colour of the melodies which raise the passions further, a combination which makes the song a heavy duty irresistible temptation.

The live cut of the title track is next and no cigar on guessing it too is an odds-on winner in securing total slavery of the heart, the track genius live or studio embraced. Its raucous presence is replaced by the sultriness of Magic Teatime, a song which leaves you basking in melodies which entrance and a passion which sears the imagination. There is a kind of formula to certainly a majority of songs presented on the EP, persistently twisting slow burns of suasion with crescendos of almost antagonistic energy and brawling intensity laid side by side. Equipped with a breath of The Doors and Bad Company the song is simply a lingering joy to end an invigorating release.

The Peculiar Pastimes EP and sound of Dead Shed Jokers come to that, has an open familiarity to it but simultaneously manages to sound unique in presence and effect. It is a refreshing and exciting experience which leaves the listener with only one option, go check out and grab the band’s album, better late than never.


RingMaster 22/11/2013

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Gypsy Chief Goliath – New Machines of the Night


    Whether smouldering incandescently on the senses or burning them with blazes of blues soaked melodic rapaciousness, New Machines of the Night is one furnace of an album, a rigorous force which seizes senses and passions taking them on a goliath ride of heavyweight rock and metal fusion. Building on from their acclaimed debut, Canadians Gypsy Chief Goliath explore imagination and heart with ten slabs of scintillating and bruising rock ‘n’ roll. Classed as a stoner metal band, the Ontario sextet bring so much more to their presence and sound, the new album a magnetic fury of southern and classic rock with stoner and blues rock additives as well as melodic and heavy metal predation. It is a distinct and singular temptation to Gypsy Chief Goliath and in the Pitch Black Records released New Machines of the Night, a triumph at its invigorating potent best.

With songs sculpted by the three guitar assault and enterprise of Al the Yeti Bones, Dave Ljubanovich, and Sean Hamilton, the album is an adventurous and twisting flame of scorching invention and irresistible intrigue. Driven by the rhythmic framing and coring of drummer Adam Saitti and bassist Sean De Faria it is equally impacting with their enslaving spine of commanding persuasion and when you add the outstanding vocals of Al the Yeti Bones, who whether growling or offering a cleaner suasion coats the songs in an extra blaze of passion and energy to compliment the already fierce potency of the songs, the result is one of the best albums of this year. It does not end there though as with the harmonica sultriness of Brodie Stevenson teases the ear and boiling extra ardour, New Machines of the Night becomes an ever greater release combining themes of despair and dark shadows in a presentation which at times finds a feel good factor which has body and soul on their feet with jubilation.

The album stomps in with almost intimidation as opener Uneasy Kings raps the ear with measured beats and sonic spears of guitar cover_600x600strikes, a beckoning which wraps teasingly around the ear inviting thoughts and imagination into its seductive embrace. With the throaty predacious charm of the bass the platform for the excellent vocals to parade the narrative, the track is soon a shady yet dazzling companion, grooves and a sure swagger leading submission by the hand through scenery of Pantera like provocation within a vintage Thin Lizzy bred temptation. It is a striking start and the portent of things to come, certainly with that Lynott and co lilt coming to plenty of the offerings and an overwhelming perpetual contagious presence unveiled.

The following Are you Pulling Through also takes little time in gripping the ear and emotions, its starting stroll of feisty riffs and thumping rhythms aligned to a sirenesque call from the harmonica It soon evolves into an addiction causing growl of downtuned intensive bass and guitar which forges a dark stoner Down like ravishment with doom whispers and melodic acts of delicious discord. Easily continuing the impressive stance and power of the album with the blues furnace of Dirt Meets Rust matching the early heights with its blues swamp of enterprise and adventure the album is already in control of attention and appetite. With a fuller clean delivery to the vocals merged perfectly into his scowling gruffness, Al grabs as much of the attention as the fire spawned sounds. Thoughts of Bad Company make glimpses within the earlier part of the song though its heavier Sabbath suggesting latter portion shows the rich craft and diversity within the songwriting and album.

Busting the Avenue is another impossibly infectious bait of magnetic acidic invention, guitars conjuring a web of unpredictability and smouldering enticement which with the sinews of the rhythms and carnal snarl of the bass swings in comparisons from Clutch and Corrosion of Conformity to Motorhead. From one pinnacle the album provides another, and it’s loftiest in the brilliant wonderfully persuasive form of St. Covens Tavern. The song is glorious, immediately whisking feet and passion on a mesmeric dance of again Thin Lizzy seeped imagination. But it is only a teaser as riffs suddenly show their carnivorous side, barbarous tones springing infectiously from their strings whilst the rhythms equally harden their stance. It is when the folk metal like taunting enters with a whisper of Gaelic folk reminding of Horslips that the track becomes rock manna. It is rapture breeding raptor of a song, a treat which preys on all the weaknesses of the passions to feed all their wants in a multi-flavour insatiable metallic waltz. Not only best song on New Machines of the Night, it is one of those treasures which takes classic status.

The sizzling melodic pyre that is Got no Soul makes a strong rival with its southern blues coating of the ears, harmonica and keys aural alchemy within the cast of guitar and bass passion whilst both Secret Liaison and White Owl provide a slower sultriness from their heady blues angst and incendiary spicery, the second of the pair stretching into wider southern and hard rock endeavours. Though they arguably fall below the previous charge of songs they are borne of an invention and heart bred intensity which is at its height on the album within these two compelling snares.

Completed by the grizzled heavy metal breathing Slow Leak and the riveting Fought for Death with its again esuriently charged riffs stalking the senses for rhythms and vocals to play upon, New Machines of the Night is a magnificent release which leaves thoughts and senses ignited in a mix of adoration and greedy hunger for more. Gypsy Chief Goliath create an enthralling blend of rock and metal which is unafraid to stretch its limits and coax out startling fresh spices whilst offering something almost familiar to consume, certainly it is a treat with easy access and the fullest rewards. Heavy rock album of the year? Definitely the band has crafted a powerful contender.


RingMaster 09/10/2013

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The Brimstone Days – On A Monday Too Early To Tell

If the heady days of soulful blues soaked 60’s and 70’s rock ignite your heart and the likes of Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, and Free send your emotions and pulse rate soaring then a new and equally impactful treat is just waiting for your adoration. The Brimstone Days is a band from Malmö, Sweden, a trio who live and breathe those inspirational days whilst their creativity sows those old seeds within its own unique imagination to bloom impressive and powerful songs as within their new album On A Monday Too Early To Tell. The band and their release takes you back to those heated groove filled times whilst brewing its flavours through their modern energy and invention. It is a vibrant pleasure and an essential listen for all blues rock fans.

The Brimstone Days began with vocalist/guitarist Hakan Lanz and drummer John Malmqvist driving off boredom by forming Blue Windmills. Playing as a blues /rock duo the band soon realised something was missing so brought in bassist Elias Dellow and changed the band name to The Brimstone Days. 2009 saw the release of their debut EP Flowers and Rainbows as the trio continued to light up stages with their irresistible sounds around the Malmö -Lund region. Not long after the EP came out Dellow left the band and was replaced by Hampus Hallgard, the new line-up energising the band further with its varied musical tastes linked by the love of sixties and seventies rock. The following year brought the release of their self titled album, its arrival well received and eagerly digested. Having gigged all over Europe the past years, the band has unmistakably matured and evolved further, with On A Monday Too Early To Tell the irrepressible evidence that the band has elevated all aspects of its craft, from songwriting to sound, and that their passion is as potent as ever and always sleeve worn.

Released through Transubstans Records, the album immediately opens on a major high in I Need Soul, a song which envelops the ear with a teasing swagger and infectious declaration, its heart and enthused energy an instant contagion to unleash ones inhibitions to. It is a confident piece of rock which is unafraid to settle back at times to build a crescendo of garage sixties fuelled melodic heat; it is also a song which has one on their toes physically and emotionally to share the warm eager skies it strolls.

From such a strong and irresistible start many bands might have lost impetus such the quality of the song, but The Brimstone Days just lays layer after layer of sensational sounds and impassioned energies brought with sharp invention and fired imagination. The likes of the hungrily grooved What Do You Want light up every corner of the senses with its simple yet incendiary breath, whilst songs such as the devilish Same Old Story, the catchy Burry The Hatchet, and the growling bluesy One-Two-Two, simply grabs one by the scruff of the neck and lead into an unbridled tempered riot of melodic fires and addiction forming grooves.

The vocals of Lanz are outstanding throughout, his delivery carrying whispers of so many greats from the past within his own inspiring tones. Within the slower prowl of Helping Hand his plaintive style really stokes the emotions and on what are predominantly energised storms of sharp melodic enterprise and energies elsewhere he leaves smouldering trails behind his powerful delivery.

Bigger highlights, though the release is one colossal one, come with the thumping title track, a demon of a blues rock conjuration, and the delicious Captain Tom. The second of the pair has a unique character amongst songs which are nothing less than diverse anyway, its pulsating saunter veined with great backing vocals and an acidic guitar sound to mesmerise completely, the result one breathless listener. It is masterful, a track just exuding flames of artistry and impassioned imagination.

On A Monday Too Early To Tell is a dynamic and absorbing album which only enlivens and illuminates the day and senses. The Brimstone Days are on the verge of major recognition, it definitely starts here.

RingMaster 25/09/2012

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The Ourz: Dirty Tracks

When it comes to high grade dirty rock n roll certainly in underground scenes, one band has in the past few years always been to the fore and stood apart with their own brew of raw and insatiable rock. Irish band The Ourz since forming in 2008 has infected and captured the imagination of all who have come across their sounds or live performances. Influenced by multi flavours and bands across rock, blues, and metal, the Balbriggan quartet simply offer honest and passionate music, sounds from the heart for the heart.

Our first introduction to the band came through The Reputation Radio Show who have unleashed and championed the music of the band to their audience for the past two years. When news broke of the forthcoming release of their debut album anticipation accelerated like rumours in the world of Charlie Sheen. The Reputation Radio Show recently with thanks and gratitude to the band, unveiled the world exclusive debut of songs from Dirty Tracks, the impending first album from the band. With our association to the show and The Ourz we grabbed the chance to feast upon the forthcoming release and what a surprising and magnificent little gem it emerged to be. Planned for release before the end of the year, Dirty Tracks leaves one excited, wonderfully agitated, and ready to party hard.

As mentioned it was a surprising release. The band has always produced great songs and music to leave only pleasure in their wake but on the album the band has exploded and found an even stronger depth and heart to their creativity. There are songs which fans already know from the past years but they have evolved into something as fresh and powerful as the new material. They may be familiar but they have never sounded so good nor the band. Musically the band bring a brew with the likes of Tom Petty, Thin Lizzy, and Bad Company spicing up their original flavours.

Formed by vocalist Gerard Smith and guitarist Shane Kinsella, the band was completed with its current line-up by drummer Brandon Edwards in 2009 and the following year bassist Gary Healy. Their debut EP in 2010 alongside their electric high energy live shows soon made them one of the most acclaimed and followed bands across Dublin and beyond, the charms of the release stretching beyond their hometown into media and radio attention worldwide through the subsequent years. The Ourz create and write without compromise what makes them excited inside, the result something to trigger the fullest pleasure.

The thirteen track feast is opened by the excellent Couldn’t Believe It, a song which immediately tries to make off with best on album honours. From magnetic guitar play and a hypnotic bassline, the track swaggers with confidence and the intent to ignite the strongest reaction. The song sees the band arguably tighter and darker than ever before whilst scorching the air with melodic enterprise and inciteful rhythms. It is pure rock brought through heart borne energy. The restrained but keen groove of the song persists throughout to hook the senses allowing the inventive guitars and the expressive vocals of Smith to light up the air further.

The well worn and loved Midnight Friend steps forward next to continue the immense start and show its new refreshed and still mesmeric charms. With the pulsating velvety basslines of Healy veining the song it is a piece of blues hard rock at its best. The song has captured multitudes in its past and with its re-energised breath is sure to multiply its victims tenfold. The album took two years to complete, the work and attention given easily apparent on this song alone.

Tracks like Your Time Will Come with its deep blues stroll, the emotive You Not Me, and the slowly burning Virtue, show the expansive sound of the band but it is fair to say every song within Dirty Tracks has its own distinct and compelling aspect. The album has a strength and craft across its length which is impressive and whether the tracks are uncomplicated or more intricate, all leave a richly pleasing taste.

Individual highlights which ignite the most enthused personal fires come alongside the opening pair, with the trio of tracks Summer Rain, Attack, and Nasty Conscience. The first is a melodic caress which drips emotion fuelled by incendiary guitar weaves and infectious bass grooves. With multiple crescendos to its refined hard rock energy the song brings the senses to the boil skilfully. Attack is as its titles suggests a riotous assault on the ear, an eager storm of sharp melodic manipulations and crashing rhythms to swarm and taunt behind more great attitude oozing vocals.  Infectious to the core and inciteful to voice and foot the track leaves one excited and looking for the next breath. The last of the trio is the best track on the album and one already adopted by the mass audience of the previously mentioned Reputation Radio Show. From its opening beats and bass growl through to the fine vocals and surging guitar flourishes the track is addiction on the loose. The song takes the dirty rock n roll The Ourz proudly creates into a filthier feisty bar room for the deepest rewards.

Dirty Tracks is an explosive and thoroughly enjoyable release which shows honesty and heart goes a long way to making the best rock music, something The Ourz do with accomplished ease.

RingMaster 21/08/2012

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Stone Axe: Stone Axe II Deluxe Edition

Released a couple of years ago Stone Axe II is given another outing as a special deluxe addition on Ripple Music and is a vibrant treat for not only fans of the band Stone Axe but for rock music lovers in general. If you have not yet felt the majestic power and heart of Stone Axe and their sounds then this release of their second album complete with a second CD of fifteen tracks only previously available either upon their vinyl releases, as part of compilations, or are just rare tracks previously buried deep within their vault, is an essential for your ears. The package bulges with blues and classic rock fuelled rock n roll, the band dipping into the past and soul of the genres with flavours from the likes of Free, Deep Purple, Bad Company, The Faces, Thin Lizzy and Led Zeppelin the catalyst for their own absorbing sounds.

The band was formed in 2007 by multi-instrumentalist T. Dallas Reed in Bremerton, Washington who upon leaving previous band Mos Generator and its different direction to what the band was set up upon, worked swiftly to set up Stone Axe to continue his hearts calling, Seventies rock preservation. Alongside Reed in the studio there is vocalist Dru Brinkerhoff and live the pair is aided by bassist Mike DuPont and drummer Mykey Haslip. Since forming the band has become an important part of the current rock scene for an ever rising fan base with their impressive live shows and their two albums, as well as splits and EPs which show so sigh of slowing, constantly grabbing eager acclaim, attention and enthusiasm. The nostalgic music influences strike a firm partnership with the band invention to offer a fresh and powerful mix that has a versatility and variety to satisfy persistently.

The first CD as mentioned is the complete ten track second album of the band, a release that with an enthused attitude, heart, and energy combines the flavours of blues rock, stoner, and seventies rock into a stirring and fresh homage come reinvention of classic rock without losing its passion and soul. With songs like the hit Chasing Dragons and the excellent Thin Lizzy spiced Those Were The Golden Years where Brinkerhoff sounds like the reincarnation of Phil Lynott through to the Free inspired Ain’t Gonna Miss It and the stunning Procul Harem tinged Turned To Stone, Stone Axe II is an essential release for all old classic rock favouring fans.

Very often these types of packages offer very little for the passionate fan that has much of the output of a band already, the release riding on the desire of the fan to simply want everything a band releases for their collection. With this special edition those who already have the second album are more than provided for with the second CD and the wealth of tracks within, though if a truly ardent fan you may still have everything already of course. The disc includes a cover of the Cream song SWLABR, an early version of Black Widow, as well as a thrilling live cut of Taking Me Home to name just a trio of the excellent tracks within. With the majority of the cuts now unavailable the CD alone makes the release a virtually new one for most and a very rewarding package with more than just something for every rock fan.

Stone Axe has taken classic rock forward without losing the essence and purpose they and the genre strive by. From the excellently crafted sounds and lyrics through to the perfect and impassioned delivery the band and this release sparks up all the senses and emotions easily and impressively. Many bands are trying to create music with a soul and breath seeded from the early fires of rock, Stone Axe just do it better than most.

RingMaster 05/03/2012 Registered & Protected

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