Black Orchid Empire – Yugen

With a critically acclaimed debut album already under their belt and a strong reputation earned for their energy surging live side, Black Orchid Empire look at even greater attention with new full-length Yugen. With eleven tracks of adventurous heavy weight alternative rock embracing the familiar and individual whilst unleashing hooks so easy to get snagged upon and lithe grooves to swing from, the UK outfit’s second album is a rather tasty proposition with regular moments of imposing captivation.

Since emerging in 2011, the London hailing trio has drawn increasing attention with their fiery yet resourcefully and carefully woven sound. That well-praised first album, Archetype, put them solidly on the radar of media and new fans alike, its release in 2016 the ignition to their continuing ascent within the British rock scene sure to be escalated by Yugen. Alongside the former’s success, Black Orchid Empire has been a potent live presence, making numerous much-lauded festival appearances at the likes of Standon Calling, Planet Rockstock, Camden Rocks, and Germany’s Taubertal Festival and sharing stages with artists such as Biffy Clyro, Editors, Skunk Anansie, and Hed P.E who the threesome supported on a UK tour.

Now the band is ready to stir up fresh fuss around themselves, success which even from the boisterous persuasion of opening track of Yugen you get the feeling is close to being a done deal. My Favourite Stranger is also the new single from Black Orchid Empire, a song stirring from a distant sonic squall with a great grumbling rusty bass lure quickly bound in the wiry tendrils of Paul Visser’s guitar. As the song settles without losing those tempting elements, his equally enticing vocals step forward backed by the just as melodically fine tones of bassist David Ferguson. The band has been regularly likened to Biffy Clyro and Muse but for us and certainly with this start, their sound sits somewhere between Reuben, Sick Puppies, and Foo Fighters in varying degrees across each song.

The equally magnetic Burn follows; bass and guitar again setting an enticing canvas for vocals to spring from and the firm manipulative beats of drummer Billy Freedom to shape. In that inviting and slightly imposing proposal, the track is an animated and unpredictable web of imagination and enterprise. Twists come and go; all delivering fresh adventure and bait while the song fluidly swings between teasing seduction and a full throated roar.

Previous single Celebrity Summer is next, the opening croon of Visser and his guitar a mischievous if emotive spark to the track’s ferocity and urgency as well as another trap of hooks and sonic dexterity. A tenacious slice of vociferous rock ‘n’ roll, the track also hit the spot dead centre before Wires entangled ears and appetite in its contagious aggression lined exploits. From vocals to rhythms, melody to sonic trespass, the song is a formidable and compelling incitement uniting a host of voracious flavours, all traits colouring Yugen from start to finish.

Blacklight Shadow makes its own mellow emotive entrance after the previous blaze, its elevated croon surrounded by sonic flames before settling down again to repeat the rich cycle. That earlier mentioned Australian band certainly comes to mind in the track but again the Black Orchid Empire sound soon establishes its own character with tempestuous power.

As the likes of the muscular and invasively magnetic Pray To The Creature with its weave of senses scorching tendrils and the heart spun atmospheric balladry of Vertigo rise, variety and pleasure go hand in hand. The second of the two wears an alluring country blues scent to its impassioned voice too, more of the broad flavours the album embraces while Mouth Of The Wolf takes essences of hard rock into its seriously catchy prowl.  Emerging as album favourite here, the song nags and jabs, teases and taunts with its controlled but hungry imagination and touch, pretty much living up to the snarling intimation of its title.

A more straightforward proposal comes with Pins And Needles, maybe the album’s least bold song but another which just grips attention and pleases as Toru’s Maze waits to uncage its infectious wares; that grizzled tone of Ferguson’s bass again licking at personal pleasure here though the whole of band and song manages to stoke things up.

Ending with the quite captivating roar of Years, a track erupting from a potently alluring ballad cry into a heart unleashing blaze, Yugen is one thoroughly enjoyable and so often striking release. is there any other reason to check it and Black Orchid Empire out?

Yugen is released May 25th via Long Branch Records; available @ https://blackorchidempire.bandcamp.com/album/yugen

Upcoming live shows:

02.06.2018 UK, London – Camden Rocks Festival

03.06.2018 UK, Glasgow – Broadcast /w Black Map

04.06.2018 UK, Manchester – Gulliver’s /w Black Map

07.06.2018 UK, Donington – Download Festival

22.06.2018 UK, York – Pile Up Festival

http://www.blackorchidempire.com/   https://www.facebook.com/blackorchidempire/    https://twitter.com/orchidempire

Pete RingMaster 24/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hercules Morse – Vita Boundary

After richly enjoying their previous EPs, it was easy to discover real intrigue and anticipation for the debut album from Hercules Morse. There were also hopes that it would strongly build on the potential and enterprise of those earlier encounters with the UK outfit and we can say that Vita Boundary more than delivers, the ten-track offering a feast of magnetic and infectious melodic rock with plenty of eager snarls and sonic blazes to feast upon.

The Southampton hailing quartet emerged in 2014 and released their first EP, Edge Of Life, the following year. It was met with praise and attention as well as potent radio play; success just as easily and more keenly tempted by successor Equine Size Comparison in 2016. Their live presence has been just as potent too, Hercules Morse sharing stages with the likes of Calvin Harris, Primal Scream, Duran Duran, and The Streets alongside supporting bands such as Turbowolf, Band of Skulls, Black Peaks, Blaze Bayley, Tiger Cub, Orange Goblin, and Dinosaur Pile Up. Their reputation has grown step by step and now looks poised to be escalated by Vita Boundary.

Musically they sit somewhere between the likes of Foo Fighters, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Biffy Clyro; their sound a fusion of hard and stoner rock infused with more psych and simply melody spun imagination. Quickly as opener Everything Is Great grabs ears, the album reveals it is a sound which has grown and matured from those previous encounters whilst embracing an even broader array of flavourings. Harmonies wrap classic rock bred grooves from the off, the lead vocals of rhythm guitarist Steve George captivating within the alluring flame of sound. Guillaume Redonnet-Brown’s beats and clips tease throughout too as the guitar of Harry Gardner spins a web of familiar yet fresh enterprise. It is a swiftly magnetic affair an echo of the album in that it is not strikingly unique yet everything on offer is enticingly individual to the band.

The following War Within similarly warms the appetite with recognisable and unique adventure. The dark hues of Paul Shott’s bass cast a great shadowed but infectious lure at the heart of the song and its catchy swing; egging on its virulent instincts and in turn those within the voice of George just as potently backed by those of Gardner.

Cuckoo leaps in next with its own addictive contagion, the beats of Redonnet-Brown bounding through ears with a persuasive swagger as the guitars weave another ridiculously tempting tapestry of hooks and melodic dexterity before Talk Me Down brings an earthier proposition to contemplate but one with big rousing rhythms and melodic adventure. Within a couple of listens, if that, each seduced eager participation in the lively strolls; a trait and persuasion which fuelled the enjoyment of the whole album.

There is a slight whiff of Voyager to the following Clockwork and its melodic glide across an enjoyably bumpy rhythmic landscape while Resigned reveals a more sombre lining and composed gait to its just as captivating stroll. Though neither quite matched the heights of those before them each song left ears hungry for more, Can’t See The Sunrise providing as it steps up straight after to steal best track honours. From its initial senses entwining groove and the rapier swings of Redonnet-Brown, the track had us drooling, vocals and the grumble of bass just escalating the track’s virulence and rapacious attack. That opening hook continues to pierce and sear the song, never allowing a moment for lust to relax as the song romps all over the imagination and spirit.

It is a success pretty much matched by the infection spewing Still Singing. As potent as it is from the first note, Vita Boundary saves its greatest moments for its latter stages though of course it is down to personal tastes as to its most fertile times. For us this and its predecessor is Hercules Morse at their most inventive and fiery best but equally most bold with melodies revealing a heat and rhythms a bite which simply inflames the rest of the band’s qualities.

The calmer proposal of The Story Goes similarly ignited the passions, its blend of light and dark as invasive as it is seductive and inescapably magnetic while closing track, Go For Broke, provides a fusion of tenacious rhythms, ear caressing harmonies, and spicy melodies which just get under the skin, especially the agile temptations of Shott and Redonnet-Brown. George and Gardner are just as compelling in voice and sonic invention though as the track brings the album to a rousing conclusion.

Vita Boundary is a masterful mix of the familiar and the boldly new; a rousing incitement built in layers of magnetic enterprise from a band which just gets bigger and more enjoyable, in this case, song by song.

Vita Boundary is out now on CD and digitally @ https://herculesmorseuk.bandcamp.com/album/vita-boundary

https://www.facebook.com/herculesmorseuk   https://twitter.com/herculesmorseuk

Pete RingMaster 18/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Elephant Memoirs – No Pressure No Rush EP

Formed in 2013, British outfit Elephant Memoirs have honed an ear grabbing sound which has grown release by release. New EP, No Pressure No Rush continues that successful trend, offering up six of the band’s most potent and imaginative songs yet.

Hailing from Gateshead, the trio of vocalist/guitarist John Aspinall, bassist Carl Aspinall, and drummer Barry Drew create a thoughtful style of alternative rock which has seen them already compared to the likes of Manic Street Preachers, Biffy Clyro, Placebo, and Queens Of the Stone Age. As No Pressure No Rush suggests, it has not found its unique character yet but there is no denying that each song provides individual and imaginative adventure.

Recorded with Kyle Martin at The Garage Studios in South Shields, No Pressure No Rush opens with Homework. A vocal hush ignites an attention luring pulse of guitar which in turn sparks a composed stroll of swinging rhythms and alluring sonic causticity. The potent vocals of John nestle within the raw flames, the track continuing to almost lumber along. It is an intrigue provoking proposition which certainly had us firmly attentive and animated if not quite as excited as later in the release.

Pink is a vocal repetition of the EP’s title within a sonic trespass. Brief yet suggestive, it leads the imagination into the awaiting pop rock of A Little Metaphor. John is again a strong clean lure against the scuzzy exploits of his guitar, Carl and Barry creating thick rhythmic bait stirring song and appetite alike. As it swings along, it is easy to hear why those earlier mentioned comparisons arise; all adding to the infectious song’s strong appeal. There is muscle and depth to its catchy body though which easily engages the imagination, a richness of textures just as bold within its captivating successor Ether. With drama in every twist and enterprise in every turn, the song grabs best track honours, the fire in its body alone seriously compelling.

The release concludes with firstly Orange, a lead of sonic pulsation and melodic intimation luring ears into the infectious rock ‘n’ roll saunter of Complete Resonsibility. Though it lacks the spark of the preceding pair, the EP closer easily hooks keen attention with its tenacious and arousing character, sparking a bounce in the body to match its own.

It is a fine skilfully accomplished end to a release which is potential stocked and craft laden. Elephant Memoirs is still growing and brewing their sound whilst continuing to create highly pleasurable proposals such as No Pressure No Rush. It is a journey we for one are thoroughly enjoying.

The No Pressure No Rush EP is available now @ https://elephantmemoirs.bandcamp.com/album/no-pressure-no-rush

https://www.facebook.com/elephantmemoirs    https://twitter.com/elephantmemoirs

Pete RingMaster 11/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Slipping through the Plastic Barricades

Just recently we had the fun of exploring Mechanics of Life, the new album from London alt indie trio Plastic Barricades, finding it a ‘collection of melody spun songs which entice with craft and warmth’. Offered the chance to get to the core of album and band we had the pleasure of quizzing Dan Kert, the Plastic Barricades vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist and one of the band’s founders, exploring the heart of their writing, sound, and album amongst many things…

Hi Dan, can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

I had several different line-ups under Plastic Barricades moniker over the good part of the last decade, the current line up with Daniele Borgato on bass and Frazer James Webster on drums is active for 4 years. We’ve met through mutual friends at the ICMP (Institute of Contemporary Music Performance) in North-West London and dived straight into gigging and recording.

Have you been or are involved in other bands before? If so has how has that impacted on what you are doing now?

We’ve all played in different bands before, still mainly rock music. All those experiences definitely find their way into our current sounds, helping us to explore new territories.

What inspired the band name?

We’ve once built a fort out of plastic cups in the studio, the rest is history….

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

[The] Desperate need to write, record, and perform music. You cannot really do it on your own, unless you are called Ed.

Do the same things and desires still drive the band from when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

Pretty much…We are in a band because we always wanted to be in a band. But we’ve learned a lot of life lessons along the way and try to find fresh angles to approach certain things, like tour booking, recording or songwriting, for example.

Since those early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

This is very hard for us to judge. But if you go to our website (http://www.plasticbarricades.eu/ ) you can hear everything we’ve ever released over the last 10 years, there is a lot of diversity in there.

Would you say your sound organically grows and evolves or moves more because the band deliberately goes out to try new things?

I would say it’s both. We all tend to get bored very quickly, so we do like to experiment. At the same time we are growing as musicians and people, so that reflects in the music for sure.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating?

Kurt Cobain and his sincerity definitely had a big impact on me personally and on PB as a band. But also the staggering emotional intent of The Shins, Death Cab for Cutie, Razorlight, Coldplay, Muse, Biffy Clyro and others.

How does the songwriting process work within the band?

There are two main approaches…record the jam, then edit the bits we like and rework them into a song. This is how several songs on Mechanics of Life LP were conceived. But most of the time it is a chord progression and a vocal melody with lyrics. The song has a title and the meaning well before it is finished musically.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

The world around us has so many inspiring and thought-provoking stories, that all you have to do is just let them in, absorb and breathe them into songs. But some songs of the Mechanics of Life album have been inspired by the genius of Hemingway, Orwell, Huxley, Murakami and others.

Could you give us some background to your new album?

Mechanics of Life, released digitally worldwide on the 14th of September, is a culmination of about 3 years of work in our backyard Shed Studio. It is a collection of 11 stories that take the listeners through the world we live in today, gently poke them and ask them to step up their game, go out and make a difference. Like our dear Dani (bass guitar) once said – “Humans didn’t come with a manual, so we came up with one“.

How about a closer insight to the themes behind it and its songs?

The album starts with the song we usually end our gigs with called How Goldfish Grow. It is based on a simple fact that if you take a goldfish and you find a big tank for it – it will grow BIG! The environment affects the size of the goldfish, the same way as our environment affect our own growth. There is a funny animated music video for this song on our YouTube channel. Then we sing about artificial intelligence helping humans get their s**** together (Singularity-2045), being able to reinvent yourselves again and again (Our Favourite Delusions), caring about the environment and throwing all the mindless consumerism away (Be the Change), looking back and overthinking it instead of moving forward (Around the Sun), searching for meaning (Needles in Haystacks), shining a light to show others the way (Shine!), finding the one intended for you (Half of your Soul), Big pharma conspiracy (Medicine Man) and mental illness (Voices). The last song of the LP – Masterminds – kind of summarises the whole experience, reminding everyone that they are the ones responsible for the things happening around them – and they can take back control!

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

We usually have basic parts in place (guitars, bass, drums, vocals) but we do add textures and layers on the go, depending on what the actual song needs. It is interesting how different the same song can sound live vs. recorded. We try to work with the recording, giving the song everything it deserves. Sometimes it is pretty hard to figure those things out, so this arrangement process can take months.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably a favourite aspect to the band?

We try to gig as much as we can, playing shows all around the country. I believe that any band needs to go through a lot of Level 1 gigs before they will be capable of playing bigger stages and appreciating the unique opportunities they are getting. It is like building a structurally solid house from the ground up – you can only start working on interior design when the rest is in place. Unlike so many other bands, each gig we tell stories, because we want our audience to think about certain things, then come home, go to sleep and wake up with this brilliant idea, maybe a purpose, maybe just a promise to oneself. Our gigs are less about drinking and jumping around and more about the inner dialogue.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it? Are there definitely the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

I do believe that nothing worth doing in life is ever easy. Music needs to come from the heart. You also need people around you with big hearts and bright shining eyes. Then even if you are lost in the dark, they will illuminate the way. It is not easy at all – but it is still the best job in the world!

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something key to increasing success with those which fail to make it work are simply lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage or is it ultimately more of a curse?

Knowledge is key obviously. My friend was recently talking to me about SEO (Search engine optimization). For years I thought that is all about putting the right keywords to the right articles. It is so so so much more than that. Internet is a vice and a virtue, and it all depends on whether a band can accept that all that social media work is part of the deal. You can write brilliant songs and even record them nicely, but if you need to share them with the world – you have to work very hard for it.

A big thanks Dan for sharing your time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

It is a very special time in Plastic Barricades camp. Our Mechanics of Life album finally came out and we will be touring UK on and off till the end of October. We will be very happy to see you guys there! Meanwhile, here are all the links:

And here is how a goldfish can conquer the world: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYpBYXMzwOg

Mechanics of Life album OUT on iTunes and Spotify on the 14th of September!

You can hear the album here: https://open.spotify.com/album/71tNyY0qX5fNgTsoXD0r3t

You can download our full press-kit with 320kbit mp3s, artwork, lyrics and HQ pictures at https://goo.gl/ogBdjm

Tour dates: http://www.plasticbarricades.eu/index.php/live

http://plasticbarricades.co.uk    https://www.instagram.com/plasticbarricades/

https://facebook.com/plasticbarricades    https://soundcloud.com/plasticbarricades

Check out our Plastic Barricades album review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2017/09/26/plastic-barricades-mechanics-of-life/

Pete RingMaster 28/09/2017

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

All Ears Avow – Edge Of This

As voices and words gain momentum in offering attention and praise to All Ears Avow, the UK rockers add fuel to the rising fire with their new EP Edge Of This. Six tracks of melody wrapped, riff driven alternative rock, the release is a fresh and appetising slice of rock ‘n’ roll sure to reinforce if not give new impetus to their growing reputation.

Since emerging in 2013, the Swindon quartet has released a pair of increasingly well-received EPs, in the shape of Home (2013) and Reach (2016), and nurtured an eager following and praise for a live presence taking in shows with the likes of Decade, The Computers, Empire, Verses, Jonah Matranga (Far), and Milk Teeth among many, as well as successful slots at festivals such as Wychwood and Gloucester Guildhall’s Underground Festival amidst their own successful UK tours. Edge Of This points to the band being ready to attract even keener and bigger spotlights whilst carrying the potential of even bolder and unique exploits ahead.

The band has drawn comparisons to the likes of Muse, Don Broco, and Biffy Clyro with their sound, references easy to understand as EP opener Caged instantly demands and commands attention; Lower Than Atlantis coming to mind too. As a blurred background assembles, a wiry hook taunts; its intriguing bait soon joined by the potent tones of vocalist/guitarist Claire Sutton. In no time it all comes to a focus driven by the fiercely punchy beats of Sean Ivens. That initial hook still makes a rich lure, even as just as tasty riffs and chords between Sutton and fellow guitarist Jake Willcock collude. By this time Sutton’s voice is seizing a fair share of attention, her tones swiftly impressive alongside that lingering and still deliciously grouchy hook. The track is superb, a mighty way to kick things off and for personal tastes never equalled across the remainder of the highly enjoyable release.

The song is pure hungry rock ‘n’ roll setting a lofty bar which next up Gone certainly has a keen go at rivalling. With its angular but warm melody, the song is a much mellower proposal carrying steel in its presence and attitude rather than the kind of snarl fuelling its predecessor. The dark basslines of Joe Bishop add a great contrast to the lighter but thickly emotive aspects whilst Iven’s swings again have an imposing weight even if showing more restraint than before. With Sutton again pure enticement as melodic flames are ignited by the guitars, the track has ears and imagination hooked before new single Hurricane saunters in with a confident smile to its character and an infectious swagger to its swinging grooving. With unbridled catchiness shaping its rousing chorus and indeed instrumental asides, the song hits the spot dead centre.

Earlier single Just For Me comes next, showing with its muscular body and dark shadows why it alone sparked strong anticipation for the EP. Almost nagging ears with its array of hooks and temptation, the song provides a meaty piece of emotion soaked pop ‘n’ roll with a good spicing of electronic goodness while the following EP title track delves even deeper into the band’s pop natured creativity. The song still has a heavy essence and stubbornness to its physical skeleton but within a melody woven balladry with its own catchy captivation.

Completed by the similarly emotional power ballad of The Middle, a song like the last needing a touch more time to spark the same level of pleasure as those before but undoubtedly getting there with ease, Edge Of This is a potent next step in the ascent of All Ears Avow. As suggested, it does feel like a step in the way to something bigger and finer from the foursome whilst offering a relentlessly enjoyable outing easily outshining a great many similar genre based releases heard this year so far; suggesting there are big times ahead for All Ears Avow.

Edge Of This is out now and available through http://www.allearsavow.bigcartel.com/ and https://allearsavow.bandcamp.com/

http://www.allearsavow.com/    https://www.facebook.com/allearsavowband    https://twitter.com/AEAOfficial

Pete RingMaster 03/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ninjaspy – Spüken

It is fair to say that Spüken, the new album from Canadian metallers Ninjaspy has been a long time in the making. With its ten tracks spanning a decade and its recording beginning late 2014, the band’s second full-length has had time and attention given its creation and character; it all reflected and more in its thoroughly enjoyable and imaginatively dynamic adventure.

Consisting of a trio of blood brothers in vocalist/guitarist Joel, bassist Tim, and drummer Adam Parent, Ninjaspy has honed a fusion of groove infested metal, reggae, and other heavy natured flavours which now roar mightily within Spüken. It is a web of sound which grabbed attention in the Vancouver threesome’s 2007 debut album Pi Nature and even more so in the following EP, No Kata six years later. Their new offering is the natural and lofty evolution of these earlier successes; a release weaving occasionally familiar but always unpredictable proposals which tease, flirt with, and persistently arouse the senses and imagination.

Linking up once more with producers GGGarth Richardson (Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mudvayne, Gallows) and Ben Kaplan (Biffy Clyro, Atreyu, Haste the Day), Ninjaspy gets the album under way with the single Speak, a track certainly sparking anticipation of Spüken with its release last August. Its relatively low key Australasian entrance cored by an emerging bait loaded groove soon leaps into a smouldering swinging stroll with more than an air of Dog Fashion Disco meets Faith No More to it. Subsequent raw outbursts come loaded with ferocity and zeal, trespassing with the same catchiness as the song’s mellower teasing where rhythms dance and the bass grumbles.

It is a stirring start swiftly eclipsed by Shuriken Dance. It too shows restraint in its initial coaxing, melodic twang and rumbling rhythms colluding in an understated but bold tempting before a web of sonic and creative espionage binds ears and appetite. A punk roar escapes the throat of Joel, his aggression matched by the punching beats of Adam and both tempered by the melodic exploits of guitar. Their calm is as deceptive as the raw touch they temper, each beckoning ears into a waiting System Of A Down-esque bedlam of psychotic sound and invention. The track is pure virulent infectiousness, drawing body and voice into union with its own twisted exploits.

The following Brother Man warmly grabs ears next like a collusion of Ruts and 12 Stone Toddler; its stalking groove and melodic coaxing a delicious mix soon embracing a reggae and metal induced tempest in turn proceeding to entangle all earlier aspects within its similarly and seriously catchy landscape. The further into its depths the more deranged twists show their voracious enticements as too mellower melodic but no less certifiable essences. Thorough captivation, it is more than matched in aberrant adventure by Dead Duck Dock. The song also follows those before it by making a relatively gentle melody woven entrance but also one soon showing argumentative discord in sound and intensity as its groove metal instincts rise. With hues of Slipknot and Society 1 to its growl, the song is a roar of creative irritability and intrigue never resting for long in one flavour or mood.

The outstanding Become Nothing is a loco romp revelling in a sound and imagination something akin to again SOAD  this time in league with Kontrust while What!! infests ears and satisfaction with a Skindred/American Head Charge scented escapade though as every reference used as a hint, it is a potent hue in a Ninjaspy bred roar.

The sweltering infection fuelled funk of Jump Ya Bones soon spins its own particular tapestry of rich flavours and various styles as it flirtatiously bounds through ears before Grip the Cage provides a more even tempered shuffle though it too expels moments of incendiary emotion and energy. They both equally push the diversity of the album and songs, that ten years of writing and maturing giving birth to Spüken skilfully shaping their varied designs.

The melody rich and increasingly agitated Azaria stretches that variety yet again, the song deceptively straight forward initially, luring ears into its own expectation defeating maze before Slave Vehemence brings it all to a thrilling close with a cauldron of capricious invention and impulsive ideation wrong-footing and exciting ears at every turn.

It is a fine end to an increasingly pleasing album unveiling new nuances and moments with every listen even after double figure plays. It is a release sure to harass global attention the way of Ninjaspy but more so leave new legion of fans lusting for their sound and presence.

Spüken is released April 14th

http://www.ninjaspy.net/    https://www.facebook.com/ninjaspy/    https://twitter.com/ninjaspy

Pete RingMaster 12/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright