The Ugly Kings – Promised Land

With their debut album slated for release early next year, Australian rockers The Ugly Kings recently provided a rather flavoursome teaser for it with Promised Land. Offering two tracks cast in the band’s “power blues” sound, the EP weaves a temptation as atmospheric and haunting as it is bold and fiery, both songs rich in a potential suggesting that forthcoming full length just has to be checked out.

Formed in Melbourne in 2011, The Ugly Kings draw on the inspirations of bands such as Led Zeppelin, The Doors, The Black Keys, Muddy Waters, BB King, Black Sabbath, Dead Weather, and Royal Blood for their sound. It is a mix which brought the band’s mini-album, Of Sons, praise carrying attention in 2015 and now makes a striking invitation within Promised Land.

Though you can quibble whether a two track release is an EP or single, there is no denying Promised Land inescapably grabs ears and appetite with its title track. An opening sultry stroke of guitar courts the imagination though it is the instantly striking tones of vocalist Rusty which really hook attention; his potent presence backed by the imposing drama brooding beats of Andy. As further elements unite, the song raises to yet another level, hitting a majestic stroll which initially is almost predatory before becoming a celebratory fire of energy and suggestion.  Its masterful cycle repeats, increasing its hold on body and imagination second by second; the guitar of Christos creating a web of fiery temptation as the bass of Nick makes a grumbling, almost irritable trespass easy to greedily devour. Imposingly infectious and skilfully manipulative, the track is glorious and reason alone to explore that future album.

Even so, personal tastes just took to companion song, Wash Me Of My Sins, with instinctive lust. Like an aural equivalent of a flickering sepia hued film, the song shimmers with the twang of guitar and those ever compelling vocals. Its slow crawl is a shadow wrapped enticement more rejoice than funereal leading to an energy fuelled, spirit arousing canter which still embraces a reserved intensity in its dark country/psych rock canter. With a harmonic tapestry of voices around the ever compelling presence of Rusty, the song seduces listener involvement and imagination with sublime ease; just stealing best song honours and uniting in suggesting that the next encounter with The Ugly Kings is not to be missed.

Promised Land is out now and available @ https://theuglykings.bandcamp.com/album/promised-land

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Pete RingMaster 31/10/2017

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The Hunger Pact – Cold Woman EP

The Hunger Pact Online picture

Hailing from Reading, UK alternative rock band The Hunger Pact is continuing to emerge as one rather compelling and accomplished presence. Their self-titled EP released earlier this year triggered strong attention with its four track invitation to a new breath of inventive and richly promising multi-flavoured rock. Now the trio returns with its successor the Cold Woman EP to further the promise and reputation of a rather fine new band.

Consisting of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist (drums, bass…) Ed Rogers, his guitarist brother Ollie, and rhythm guitarist James Pierce, The Hunger Pact brings a parade of eclectic and potent inspirations into their distinctive sound, the likes of Eric Clapton, BB King, Flyleaf, Nirvana, Guns N Roses, Santana, Seether, and Daughtry amongst many spicing up their invention. Originally a solo project for Ed, with The Hunger Pact EP a strong first marker, the band expanded with Ollie providing the guitars for the release and beyond, and James linking up for subsequent live shows. Now with the release of Cold Woman you can sense another big step is about to be taken; their debut release the awareness nudging introduction and the new EP a potent reinforcement and you suspect sizeable trigger to a wider recognition.

The release opens with the title track, a slowly brewing song whose initial touch is that of raw brooding guitar and sonic coaxing as the The Hunger Pact Cover Artworkvocals of Ed opens up an emotive narrative with a strong expressive delivery. The song continues well into its body with the opening slow burn of a persuasion and energy, its presence a smouldering evocation with gently stirring sonic blazes from the guitar aligned to the melancholic laced bass prowling the scenery. As mentioned it is a simmering heat which simultaneously breeds a sonic temptation and intensity that without ever scalding the air spawns a fiery finale which flows seamlessly into its successor. The track is a mesmeric lure into the release and band making the perfect canvas for Alright to spawn its busier sinewed provocation from. The second track is a sturdier more classically rock bred encounter with an element of punk rock to its breath, and whilst not quite magnetising the imagination and emotions to the same potency as its predecessor makes for another deeply satisfying temptation. There is a simplicity which cores the track, and release, a straight forward lure which teases out stronger hunger but also a craft and invention to the guitar and the enterprise of everything on offer which screams out promise and adventure.

Cold Woman is completed by the predation coated and raw Alone Again, its sound coming with a causticity which suggests it was recorded as a live take and an unpolished attraction implying that on stage the band is as equally a formidable proposition. The track seems to finish too soon, well for the enjoyment and appetite anyway, it’s closing sonic dissipation expelled seemingly mid-chorus or certainly whilst the song is in full confrontation. To be honest whilst greed wishes it had held off, the moment works very well and indicates yet again that there is an invention and imagination to the band which will see them flourish with great adventures ahead.

The Cold Woman EP is a thoroughly captivating and exciting release, and though it is one spark short of a raging fire, it burns away with a creativity and charm that will surely only see The Hunger Pact excel and emerge as a potent force ahead.

http://www.thehungerpact.com/

7.5/10

RingMaster 25/10/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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THE HUNGER PACT ‘Cold Woman’ EP, out 28th October

The Hunger Pact Online picture
ASCENDING TRIO THE HUNGER PACT RELEASE SOPHOMORE EP THIS AUTUMN!
 
Pooling from a wide array of influences and spanning from the angular scuzzy riffery of Soundgarden and Queens of the Stoneage, through to the classic texturing of Santana and BB King, The Hunger Pact are a fresh and exciting take on great British Rock. With solid rhythmic sections, driving guitars, and captivating vocal lines, The Hunger Pact set loose their own brand of alternative rock nationwide this Autumn in the shape of their new EP ‘Cold Woman’, out Monday 28th October.
 
Formed in Reading, The Hunger Pact are led by talented and multi-instrumentalist Ed Rogers, who sings and plays drums and bass, along with Ed’s brother, Ollie, and best friend, James Pierce, suitably completing the line-up by handling the guitar work. Reared on a diet of Nirvana, Guns N Roses, Santana and Foo Fighters, and brought together by a strong affection for motorbikes, rock ‘n’ roll, whiskey, films, coffee and documentaries, the threesome take their craft seriously and their music is full of raw emotion, poetic stories, uncensored authenticity and emblazoned honesty. The band’s energetic, driven and authentic personalities are exposed in the music with a sense of intuitive musicianship rarely observed in similar bands.
After rigorous rehearsals, The Hunger Pact soon realised that they had the songs, the sound, and the lasting dedication to take their music to great heights. A series of successful shows in Southern plains followed, as the band began to rack up impressive support slots with the likes of Inme and Voodoo Six; the threesome continue their ascent as they embark on a UK tour this August.
 
To assist with their climb, The Hunger Pact released their debut record ‘The Hunger Pact EP’ in February 2013, which garnered great support from the underground. The three-piece now press on with the national release of their sophomore EP ‘Cold Woman’ and it encapsulates the essence of modesty with genuine songwriting and youthful energy. The EP starts with the title track ‘Cold Woman’ and it’s an engulfing slab of moody alternative rock with a bluesy flair that nods its head to Soundgarden and QOTSA. The driving and up-tempo groove-ridden ‘Alright’ is next up, as it swings back and forth with jack hammer drums and twisting riffs. The record then closes with the fuzzed up pounding beatings of ‘Alone Again’, which also firmly illustrates the band’s true guile and potent songwriting ability.
The Hunger Pact Cover Artwork
 
Regards,

Gwyn Ashton – Radiogram

Following up his acclaimed 2009 album, Two-Man Blues Army, blues guitarist Gwyn Ashton returns with new release Radiogram, a ten track feast of thrilling and sizzling guitar passion. With drummer Kev Hickman alongside, Ashton had created an album which shows why he is so highly rated by the likes of Robert Plant, Johnny Winter, and Don Airey. Radiogram is a vibrant slice of blues driven rock n roll, a collection of songs which burst through the ear with enterprise, invention, and mesmerising skill.

Welsh born and an Australian resident since the mid sixties to the nineties, the now European based Ashton has drawn great and eager responses to his music and play since picking up the guitar at age 12 and playing in his first band when 16. Across the past couple of decades he has toured with the likes of BB King, Ray Charles, Buddy Guy, Mick Taylor, Rory Gallagher, Peter Green, Junior Wells, Johnny Winter, Canned Heat, Robin Trower, Jeff Healey, The Yardbirds, Status Quo, and Magnum, whilst recorded with such luminaries as Kim Wilson (Fabulous Thunderbirds), Robbie Blunt (Robert Plant), Chris Glen/Ted McKenna (SAHB, MSG), Don Airey (Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne), and Gerry McAvoy/Brendan O’Neill (Rory Gallagher). It is a CV to ignite the passions, something his new album easily emulates.

The sixth album from Ashton also finds an array of high profile guests involved alongside he and Hickman, those involved including  Don Airey, Kim Wilson, Robbie Blunt, Johnny Mastro (LA’s Mama’s Boys), Mark Stanway (Magnum, Phil Lynott), and Mo Birch (UB40, Go West, Culture Club). Radiogram only takes the length of its initial soundbite before enticing the emotions to wake up and pay full attention. Once into its stride opener Little Girl sizzles with heated riffs and forceful rhythms whilst the strong vocals cap the impressive first engagement of accomplished rock n roll. The track saunters and dawdles in turn as Ashton leaves fiery sonic shards across the song for a stirring start.

The album is a release which with great variety continually leaves one excited and wholly satisfied. Songs like the brilliant and best track on the album, Let Me In, with its teasing blues swagger and great mouth organ mastery, the classic sounding Dog Eat Dog, and the smouldering For Your Love to just pick a trio, all lifting one up in irresistible muscular arms to devour with ease their compulsive and rich majestic sounds from full imaginative hearts. The album is a release which you do not have to be a blues enthusiast to draw much pleasure from, even those with harder more abrasive tastes like us cannot avoid being magnetised by the craft and stirring sounds at work.

Also featuring a great version of the Willie Dixon/Muddy Waters song I Just Wanna Make Love To You and the simply hypnotic instrumental Bluz For Roy which closes the album and alone shows why the guitarist is so strongly thought of, Radiogram is one of the best  rock albums to appear this year. Gwyn Ashton may still be an undiscovered name for many outside of blues but the album will certainly go a long way to changing that as its impressive sounds reach wider searching ears.

www.gwynashton.com

RingMaster 29/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Charlie Lankester and The Mojo Killers: Song In A Minor Key

When released a few weeks back the single The Spinning of the Wheel from Charlie Lankester & The Mojo Killers, not only lit up the passions with its energetic and infectious sounds but fired up expectations and anticipation for the following album, Song In A Minor Key. The song suggested it could be something rather good but the reality is it just might be a modern blues/rock n roll classic.

The career of Australian singer / songwriter / pianist Charlie Lankester to date has been a full and impressive one. From dropping out of medical in the late seventies, he spent four years in The Last Chance Café who in their time supported the likes of Fats Domino, BB King, JJ Cale, AC / DC, Billy Joel and Status Quo. Upon the demise of the band he moved to Europe where as well as training and working as an osteopath he spent twenty years playing keyboards for the likes of Linda Gail Lewis, Osibisa, Otis Grand, The Boogie Band and the John Warwick All Stars. His yearning to fulfil a lifelong ambition to write and record his own solo album grew over time too and eventually he took time out to create his own collection of blues/rock songs which became Song In A Minor Key.

Things took a setback when on the eve of mixing the final track for the album in December of last year; Lankester was diagnosed with incurable liver cancer and told he had just months to live. His response was in his own words, “I was feeling so good about the album that when the doctor told me I had only months to live I just laughed and said ‘No mate, that’s not gonna happen. I’ve got an album to release.”  Since then things have through determination and the exploration of the very best alternative medical advice, seen his tumour having been reduced by fifty per cent thanks to dedicated diets and supplements for cancer as well as several courses of intravenous doses of high intensity vitamin C. Alongside all of that he continued to finish one of the best rock albums of the year in Song In A Minor Key, a release which hits all the right notes outside and within.

Pulling together the talents of guitarists Derek ‘Del’ Mandel  and Mark Hawkins, bassist (stand up and electric) Dave Cuthbert, and drummer Daniel Howard, as well as a brass section of Paul Silver, Gain Broom and Rich Mills to become the Mojo Killers, Lankester found the strongest way to bring great songs into glorious realisation. Immediately the album opens with the striking Greed, the ear, senses, and imagination are hooked. Like a sonic bullfighter, the song steps into the light with drama and confidence through piano, keys, and a crescendo of horns. With a slightly raw edge to the vocals of Lankester to add to the intense air, the track romps with attitude and grandeur whilst the Latin essences seeping through the heart of the song only adds to the depth of the passion.

The smoky blues barroom heat of Drinking My Blues Away follows next to offer a mesmeric and smouldering piece of shadowed melodrama. With a darker growl to the vocals and guitar play which leaves traces on the air like sparklers in the night sky, the song is an emotively soaked stroll to thrill in every aspect.

The album is wonderfully varied, from the sizzling blues driven Brixton Road and the sultry jazz breathing Out There to the electrified southern rock toned In My Time and the soulful title track, the release is a diverse and absorbing wealth of inventive songwriting and play. It is an album where everything is impressive in stature and instinctive passion though there are loftier highlights which grab the glory

The aforementioned single The Spinning Of The Wheel is an irresistible well crafted piece of rock swagger and brass delight which is merciless with its mesmeric charms. The song is a heart stealer but even its majestic might is rivalled and surpassed. The garage siphoned rock n roller The Real, Real Gone is a shadowed equal with its darkened corners and fiery blues veins but the pure excellence of Rio Grande and Closed Door steal top honours. The first is an insatiable rockabilly hearted stomp with a blues piano lighting its corners and a teasing energy igniting primal urges within limbs and senses of its recipient. It is easily the best song on the album though seriously challenged by the final track on the album, Closed Door. Written by drummer Howard, it is a prog noir exploration of inciteful bass and melodic conjuring. Sounding like a mix of Hugh Cornwall, Miles Davis, and King Crimson, or not, the track that distinctive yet unique, it is a stunning and unexpected but wholly agreeable finish to a great album.

We started with saying Song In A Minor Key might be a classic, but there is no might about it, Charlie Lankester & The Mojo Killers have created an album which will be acclaimed for decades.

http://charlielankester.co.uk

RingMaster 31/08/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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