Best Ex – Ice Cream Anti Social

photo by ana massard

Moving from their more bracing pop punk guise of Candy Hearts to a more electro/indie pop natured proposition, Best Ex has just released their first EP under the new moniker. Offering six slices of warm, bubble gum scented catchiness Ice Cream Anti Social is a swiftly engaging encounter which belies the darker lyrical contemplations within.

Consisting of Mariel Loveland, Matthew Ferraro, and John Clifford, Best Ex have taken the poppy aspect of their Candy Hearts exploits full-on with their fresh evolution though as suggested there is still an edge to things if more in word than sound. Talking about their new EP, singer songwriter Loveland said, “Ice Cream Anti Social is sort of an ode to those moments where you’re alone in your room and reflecting on your life. As a whole, it covers those sorts of thoughts you can’t kick when you’re lying in bed about to fall asleep, or its midnight and you’re in your underwear, eating ice cream out of the carton, wondering what the heck happened to you.

It swiftly has ears and body on board with the single Girlfriend, the song a breeze of infectious warmth and electronic buzzing around the captivating voice of Loveland. Guitars bring a steelier fizz to proceedings, that slight edge courting the unbridled pop heart of the encounter. There is little to not eagerly embrace about the song even if, as its companions, it does not quite venture the realms of uniqueness as boldly as it might have. Nevertheless it is a temptation to greedily devour leading keener intrigue into the synth pop funk of Lonely Life. The eighties tinge of the opener is repeated within its successor, the track like a blend of Bananarama and The Ting Tings and again a captivating invitation on its own to take a lick of  Ice Cream Anti Social.

February 4th is a mellow reflection with poetic strings and melancholic beauty a suggestive charm while the following Someday is another instinctive catchy kiss on the ear, its electronically lined indie pop almost anthemic in its simplicity and organic temptations. It has an increasingly beguiling trait which is emulated by next up See You Again in its rough edged stroll. With a fuzzy hand from the guitars and a Belly-esque lining to the song’s character, it too has feet shuffling and hips swaying with content before Jellyfish brings it all to an appealing close with is ukulele accompanied vocal serenade.

As suggested, Ice Cream Anti Social is not as distinct as it might be or as unpredictable as you may wish but there is no escaping that it is one very flavoursome and easily enjoyable romp to get the era of Best Ex under way.

Ice Cream Anti Social is out now through Alcopop! Records across most online stores and @ https://bestexnj.bandcamp.com/album/ice-cream-anti-social

 

https://www.bestexnj.com/    https://www.facebook.com/bestexnj/    https://twitter.com/CandyHeartsBand

 Pete RingMaster 19/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Rat Fancy – Suck A Lemon EP

There is nothing artificial about the saccharine sound of Californian trio Rat Fancy or indeed excessively sweet yet a particular tooth is still a requirement for their sugary melodies and the intimate affability of their music. An instinctive almost sour look at life and its fake lures, often found in the Los Angeles climate the band springs from, ensures things never get too sickly and a similar underlying discordance to their music which ensures intrigue and unpredictability is a potent essence.  It all comes nicely together within Suck A Lemon; the band’s new captivating EP.

Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Diana Barraza (ex-Sweater Girls), guitarist/keyboardist Gregory Johnson, and drummer Gavin Glidewell and formed last year, Rat Fancy has already blessed 2017 with a trio of tracks via their Bandcamp. Each has been a fresh breeze of their shoegaze glazed indie pop now blowing even more eventfully within Suck A Lemon. Across the EP, the threesome resemble a fusion of eighties band Weekend and The Pixies with a light Belly-esque scent to it all; a mix emerging as something deceptively familiar yet distinct to Rat Fancy.

The release opens with I Can’t Dance To The Smiths Anymore and swiftly has ears drawn to its guitar jangle and the sweet tones of Barraza. Keys equally cast an amiable lure as the guitar weaves a magnetic twee toned melody; it all uniting in an infectiously lively serenade at times reminding of another British band from times past, The Freshies.

It is a bright and tempting start which is built upon by the more boisterous exploits of Five Fingers. Rhythms are a tenacious guide into the raw melody woven web of the song, everything from voice and sharp words to a wandering keys bred warble offering enticing hooks taking the EP to another level in no time.

It is a height backed up by the title track, the first of two versions found within Suck A Lemon. This first take has an energetic swing to its melodic carousel and bare sonic dance; a rawness which exposes all of their alluring attributes with honesty as Barraza’s vocals again captivate.

Beyond Belief is a gentle frank caress in sound and emotion with a smouldering melancholy in its charm while About You seduces with a Young Marble Giants like minimalism and beauty which with an emerging darker snarl to the guitars, takes best track honours. Both songs leave intrigue with a greedier focus; the second especially memorable even in its brief tenure of ears.

The EP closes with an equally impressive offering in a slower version of Suck A Lemon and boy does the already strong song blossom in this alternative guise. It is a siren of ears and imagination, so much more than simply a tempering of its earlier energy with Rat Fancy finding a richer presence and allure in its slimmer but more radiant variation.

Rat Fancy make a proper introduction to themselves with the Suck A Lemon EP, a thoroughly enjoyable encounter offering the promise of adventurously bright times ahead with the band.

The Suck A Lemon EP is out now through HHBTM Records and available @ https://ratfancy.bandcamp.com/album/suck-a-lemon and http://hhbtm.com/item.php?item_id=639

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

Pete RingMaster 12/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Amycanbe – Wolf

If like us you missed it at the time of release, Wolf is the latest album from Italian outfit Amycanbe which is well worth taking time out to go explore.  Creating a magnetic blend of electronic/indie pop and shoegaze/trip hop, the Cervia hailing quartet mesmerise the senses and imagination with their third full-length, its music a potent seduction led by the temptress tones of vocalist Francesca Amati.

Formed in 2002 by drummer/keyboardist Marco Trinchillo and guitarist/bassist/keyboardist Mattia Mercuriali, Amycanbe became a quartet three years later with the addition of Amati and Paolo Gradari. The years since has seen the release of debut album, Being A Grown-Up Sure Is Complicated in 2007, its successor Mountain Whales in 2011, and Wolf two years ago with keyboardist and album producer Mattia Dallara now alongside Amati, Mercuriali, and Trinchillo.

Swiftly it is easy to understand why Wolf was well-received upon its release, the album from opener Grano a truly magnetic affair with moments which spark a rapturous response in a continual appetite for its sounds and presence. The first track smoulders on the ears straight away, keys and the harmonious lure of Amati a spatial kiss as electronic shooting stars fly. Hitting its optimistic stride, the song radiates warmth and temptation, slowly rising from its enticing slumber as an increasing energy infects its passing minutes though enjoyably it never catches truly aflame at any point instead continuing to tease and seduce with Amati heading the affair.

The following I Pay brings a familiar if undefined air to its craft and character; warmly hugging like an old friend with fresh revelations to share. As in the first, country rock seeded melodies entice and similarly bred breezes blow across its landscape, a bounty of imagination which increasingly evolves with unpredictable hues and twists before the more sinewy rock attributes of Where From cluster around the ever enthralling presence of Amati. With keys aligning darker groans alongside melody rich sighs under a web of guitar nurtured suggestion, the song grips attention even if not quite finding the ultimate sparks of its predecessors.

Fighting opens up with the minimalistic charm of Young Marble Giants before blossoming into a rousing yet still nicely reserved proposal with an eighties new wave air wrapped around the inspiring rise of keys bred strings. A track which grows to its glory over numerous pleasing listens rather than making an instant impact, it soon has the imagination aflame while 5 Is The Number easily captivates with a cosmopolitan yet intimate sway as great drama infests its bass and a matching adventure in its overall invention. As pleasing and striking as both are, they are eclipsed by Wolves and its creative theatre which has a touch of The Cellophane Flowers to it.

Through the deep pulse and electronic hum of the imaginatively eventful White Slide and the subsequent subtle melodrama of Bring Back The Grace, band and album simply hold ears like warm sirens while Febbraio smoulders in the same with a jazzy grace and salubrious flirtation as a slumberous atmosphere wraps wintery arms around the senses. Each leave pleasure in their vibrant wake before Queens steals best track honours with its glorious croon and an increasing roar reminding of bands such as Belly and Throwing Muses. The track is superb and only gets more potent over time to seal its status within the album.

Closing with the sultry instrumental of Orata and its swimming melodies within surf/psych rock shimmers, Wolf captivates with growing strength and tenacity as new depths are revealed with subsequent listens. It is not a brand new album but one those who love to be seduced by their music should seriously think about slipping into.

Wolf can be streamed and bought @ https://amycanbe1.bandcamp.com/album/wolf while you can check out our interview with Francesca Amati @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2017/03/28/the-lure-of-the-moon-and-serenades-exploring-amycanbe-with-vocalist-francesca-amati/

http://amycanbe.it/    https://www.facebook.com/Amycanbe/

Pete RingMaster 04/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Animal Hands – Edge Of The World

AH_RingMaster Review

Midway through recording their new album, Australian rock band Animal Hands have released new single Edge Of The World, a tantalising teaser to presumably the treats to be found on their new full-length scheduled for early 2016. It is a compelling lure of fuzzy guitar, dirtier air, and the siren-esque vice of Danielle Whalebone, resulting something little less than sonic magnetism.

Formed in 2011 by singer/songwriter/guitarist Danielle Whalebone, Animal Hands has increasingly lured loyal support and keen attention, with their self-titled debut EP of 2013 one of the first enticements alongside a successfully hungry live presence. Produced by Lindsay Gravina (Rowland.S Howard, Cosmic Psychos, Magic Dirt), the release garnered a wealth of praise and airplay across the Australian media and subsequently further field, the US and Europe included. September last year saw the release of the single Roaring Girle, also recorded, as with Edge Of The World, with Gravina. This past April, Whalebone with lead guitarist Francesco Manuse, bassist James Price, and drummer Noosh! began work on their first album, for which the band now gives us a highly flavoursome hint.

Edge of the World swiftly encases the senses in a guitar led caress of sound, relaxing its initial thrust as the distinctive tones of Whalebone serenade the ears. The track’s air gets thicker and busier again as the chorus rouses further attraction and appetite though , its catchy wind alive with scuzzy sonic enterprise and the tempering but just as fascinating dark hues of rhythms. Courted by the deeper seriously understated vocals of the band, there still no escaping that lure within the enticingly bracing roar of sound, it is the voice of Whalebone that takes centre stage without defusing the temptation and impact of the sounds around her. It is a mesmeric mix playing like a post punk fusion of Daisy Chainsaw, Belly, and Veruca Salt, and increasingly alluring over time.

To be accompanied by a film clip directed and edited by Whalebone and filmed by Damon Eames retelling the wonderland story with stop animation sourced from the 1950’s, Edge Of The World definitely gets anticipation brewing for the impending Animal Hands album, whilst right now sparking rich enjoyment.

Edge Of The World is released October 24th

http://www.animalhands.net   https://www.facebook.com/AnimalHands.net

Pete RingMaster 23/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Dirty Dishes – Thank You Come Again

Picture 7

A smouldering seduction of fiery sonic tenacity and vocal charm, US band Dirty Dishes has been a gripping proposition for quite a while through their attention grabbing releases and senses scorching sound but the band have laid down their most potent and thrilling marker with new single Thank You Come Again. Entwining grunge, punk, and noise rock in one raw and spellbinding wash, the band’s new release ignites an instinctive hunger in ears and emotions with consummate ease and skill.

Hailing out of Boston, Massachusetts, the now Los Angeles based band is the brain child of Jenny Tuite (guitar/vocals) and Alex Molini (synth/bass), the pair initially meeting at a party before subsequently uniting their creative craft and vision in the feisty shape of Dirty Dishes. It took little time for the pair to spark eager attention and appetites for their sound and presence, the band going on to play over the years with the likes of Passion Pit, Autolux, Speedy Ortiz, Trail of Dead, Best Coast, and Weezer. Both their self-titled EP of 2010 and the following The Most Tarnished Birds EP two years later drew acclaim but it is easy to suggest their contents were mere appetisers for the deepest inventive majesty of the band to be discovered, starting with Thank You Come Again. The single is a new twist in the noisy invention of the band, a loftier peak of contagious yet uncompromising sonic devilry which is quite scintillating.

A swift and brief blaze of guitar bred noise opens up the gates for a heavier breath of sonic intensity to escape the song, before it relaxes into a gentle caress of excellent vocal temptation from Tuite. Her voice mesmerises from the first note, its beauty courted by a dulled bass tone and jabbing beats before the returning caustic flame of energy and sound returns to ignite the senses. The song continues to revolve and merge both aspects of its raucous and transfixing beauty, the track enslaving thoughts like a mix of The Pixies, Sonic Youth, and Belly.

     Thank You Come Again is a sensational sweet abrasion on ears, a rigorous examination which flirts poetically whilst searing the senses. An introduction for some to Dirty Dishes and a continuation for others of their already impressive presence, the single is a gripping next step in the rise of a band destined to breach a global spotlight.

Thank You Come Again is available from September 29th @ http://dirtydishes.bandcamp.com

http://facebook.com/thedirtydishes

RingMaster 28/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Roxanne De Bastion – The Real Thing

Roxanne

In an interview between us and singer songwriter Roxanne De Bastion held after the release of her riveting debut single Red And White Blood Cells, the artist when asked about her first album said it was a collection of songs with numerous characters and styles involved within their breath. The release of The Real Thing more than lives up to her words its wealth of evocative and emotive tracks taking their own individual journeys towards providing a constant richness of quality and pleasure. The single only hinted at the range of expressive depths and musical voices upon the album, the song itself a wonderful ‘cuckoo’ within a varied and captivating clutch of mesmeric ideas and songs.

Born and raised in Berlin, Roxanne moved to the UK after finishing school on a one-way ticket in 2007. The following years saw her continue to develop her craft and creativity whilst travelling all over the country to play shows , her nomadic approach to music giving her many musical bases and a strongly brewing following. As mentioned her first single drew great and potent responses from fans and media with its striking presence and made the anticipation for her first album eager and excitable. Released on her own Nomad Songs label, The Real Thing was recorded with producer Gordon Raphael (The Strokes / Regina Spektor) in Berlin and brings ten inspiring and graciously caressing songs to the passions. It is a release which also holds shadows within its vocal and emotional touch whilst the likes of Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Regina Spektor, and Judee Sill, just some of her potent  musical inspirations, are at times open whispers within her already unique stance.

The album catches the ear with 1964 first of all, its simple acoustic guitar and vocal union an upbeat smile upon the senses with a the_real_thing_coverknowing understanding of how to invite and seduce interest alongside the emotions without making an overstated entrance. The vocal harmonies bring extra warmth to the already wonderfully persuasive tones of Roxanne and though the whistling for personal preferences throws a slight unbalance to the flowing charm of the song, it is a brief aside before the track reasserts its compelling hold.

The following Here’s Tom With The Weather brings a slower walk across the ear, the guitar of Roxanne adding to the narrative painting of lyrics and vocals whilst the touch of the keys add light kisses upon the brow of the song. It is a delightful melodic embrace which sets up the appearance of new single Some Kind of Creature perfectly. The song has an even stronger folk pop lilt to its warm tones than with the earlier songs as well as an open sinew to the vocals and its energy. The Hammond sounds paint an emotive atmosphere behind and around the striking vocals whilst like the first and despite the strong shadows which makes suggestions within words and shaded corners of the track, it has a vibrant and lively stroll to its heart.

The raw Empty Space with its slightly smothered but effective sheltered sound makes way for the excellent Red And White Blood Cells. With a core presence which can be described as The Pixies meets Patti Smith with Belly and the Young Marble Giants adding their unique flavours, the song has a magnetic electric guitar tease stroke niggle which across the song builds and excites itself into a sonic crescendo of energy and eagerness whilst vocally Roxanne is like the angel and devil on the shoulder of the track stroking mischief and beauty with equal clarity. It stands wide apart from the other songs in its individuality and shows even stronger width to the variety at play from the artist.

Both The Life I Lead and Handwriting, in again individual ways, engage the ear and thoughts with accomplished craft and ease, as does the slightly plaintive Somewhere upon Avon before the pinnacle of the album steps forward for the greatest seduction of the release. My Shield begins with a subdued caress of vocals and guitar, the spine and impressive stance of all songs on the album, but then allows hearty beats to add their intriguing touch. At this point the piece certainly has senses and attention riveted but it is when the strings unveil their emotive beauty that a new rapture is ignited. The melancholic yet radiant voices of the cello and violin expand into even more potent wraps and aural beauty bringing every emotive essence from the lyrical narrative and vocal deliverance to irresistible witness.

Closing with the gentle cradle of the title track, The Real Thing is an enchanting and passion capturing treat. The songs recorded as a live capture reaping every ounce of emotive value and musical imagination from their hearts for a mix of styles which leave the purest satisfaction. A must listen from one impressive emerging talent.

http://www.roxannedebastion.com/

8/10

RingMaster 18/04/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Roxanne de Bastion: Red & White Blood Cells

With an album on the horizon it is never a bad thing to tease the world with a track which is startling and unique from it before its arrival. This is just what singer songwriter Roxanne de Bastion has done with the song Red & White Blood Cells. Not only is it the first flavour from her upcoming debut, it is a track which you just cannot ignore or resist, an unpredictable barbed hook to lure one to her quirky sounds and an album which one can only assume will be the same.

Playing her first gigs at ten and writing her own songs at the age of 15, Roxanne set out on her own with guitar in hand from Berlin to London. Though not knowing anyone she was soon playing as many open mic nights, venues, and bars as she could and travelling the country via bus and trains to reach and perform  in as many places as possible. With a growing reputation she was soon being asked back to venues across the UK, Germany, and the United States. Her bio states heroes include John Lennon, Ray Davies, Bob Dylan, and Judee Sill, but as the song shows musically she reaps and blooms a sound which is distilled from varied distinctive sources twisted into her own simple and inciteful sound.

The track opens with a persistent guitar tease which threatens to niggle but instead offers an magnetic aural finger like beckoning which in its simplistic intent is irresistible. It is the perfect companion to the voice of Roxanne, her tones angelic and devilish at the same time. She croons whilst grabbing at words to deliver them with a bite yet soothing directness to have ear and attention only focused on her and the song. Whether representative of what her album will bring time will tell, but Red & White Blood Cells taunts the ear with a touch of The Pixies, Belly, and Young Marble Giants wrapped in the punk breath of Patti Smith and easily ensures the forthcoming album will be paid plenty of attention here.

Barely two minutes long the track ends on a crescendo of fiery guitar sonics and abrasive energy to complete the capture of imagination and enthused intrigue. Produced by Gordon Raphael (The Strokes / Regina Spektor), the track more than hints as to why Roxanne has found a firmly growing success and with the release of her album early next year you can only see her finding even greater ardour wrapping around her music.

Red & White Blood Cells is available for free download from http://roxannedebastion.bandcamp.com/track/red-and-white-blood-cells

http://www.roxannedebastion.com/

RingMaster 16/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright