Slow Riot – Cathedral


artwork_RingMaster Review

Eighties inspired post punk is seemingly on a surge right now, its seeds being blossomed into varied but distinctive incitements of sound and imagination echoing the genre’s origins. One such band making one of the most compelling persuasions is Irish band Slow Riot, a trio from Limerick who recently released an irresistible dark beauty in the shape of the Cathedral EP. The four track release is an evocation of shadows and solemn emotions cast in a creative calling on the imagination, but one equally bred with epic overtones and an emotive intimacy reflective of something found within its title’s landscape.

Formed in 2013, the threesome of vocalist/bassist Niall Clancy, drummer Paul Cosgrave, and guitarist Aaron Duff recorded Cathedral with producer Kevin Vanbergen (The Pixies, The Maccabees, Dinosaur Pile-Up, The La’s, Biffy Clyro) at the Manic Street Preachers’ Faster studio in Cardiff; additional assistance coming from in-house engineer Loz Williams and the Manics’ James Dean Bradfield through the offering of use of equipment and instruments. From the off the release stirs the senses and imagination but equally the physical body is also gripped by the forcibly rousing prowess and thick insistence of sound.

SR_RingMaster Review   The EP opens with the band’s new single Demons, the lone beats of Cosgrave luring in attention and appetite with an anthemic coaxing. The melancholic charm of Duff’s guitar is soon involving an emotive melody too, it laying evocatively over the persistent arousal of rhythms now also equipped with the solemn resonance of Clancy’s bass. His dour yet alluring vocals are close behind as the song brews more of a Joy Division meets Interpol like croon for a formidable captivation only enhanced by a more fiery nature emerging in the guitar and a flowing crystalline elegance spread by keys. Each element evolves new hues to the slim but varied layers as the track continues, it all building up into a strongly potent beginning to Cathedral.

It is a start for personal tastes quickly eclipsed by the next pair of songs though, City Of Culture the first up. A great scuzzy mix of guitar and bass aligned to boisterous beats sets song and ears off in eager union, a sparkling melody soon adding to the enticement as Clancy’s vocals’ twist around on the riveting web spun by all the already contagious elements. There is a touch of The Sound to the song but more so bands like Scars and Crispy Ambulance with the discordant clang of The Fire Engines in there for good measure. Ultimately though, these are spices only bolstering a virulent tempting unique to Slow Riot.

Just as stunning is the following Adele, a transfixing slice of dark balladry becoming increasingly infectious and addictive as sonic seduction merges with repetitious mastery around the thick potency of the vocals. A revolving incitement set somewhere between My Bloody Valentine, The Slow Readers Club, and Artery, the glorious track reveals not only more of the craft in songwriting and delivery of the band but also the depth of their sound’s imagination and diversity.

Cooper’s Dream brews a character more similar to the Joy Division-esque embrace of Demons, but again outshines the excellent start to the EP with its individual weave of sonic expression, haunting lingering hooks, and a just as enjoyably galvanic rhythmic recruitment of eager involvement. As the EP, the track worms under the skin, infects the psych leaving ingrained lures and rapture in its wake to ensure a perpetual return to its nest of climatic builds and roaring crescendos bound in melancholy entwined restraints is always a lively intent.

The track provides a superb end to a superb release, a full introduction to Slow Riot sowing the seeds to thick anticipation of their next move and lusty enjoyment in their first.

The Cathedral EP is out now via Straight Lines Are Fine @

Pete RingMaster 25/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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This Year’s Ghost – Yesterday Becomes Tomorrow Today

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This Year’s Ghost might not be a particularly familiar name for many right now but with more releases like Yesterday Becomes Tomorrow Today, it is hard to imagine that remaining the case. The five-track EP is a rousing blaze of anthemic melodic rock woven from the varied strains of alternative rock, grunge, and melodic metal, and though in some ways it is not particularly unique there is no escaping the fresh and arousing character to the roar of sound and release.

Formed in 2012, London hailing This Year’s Ghost consists of vocalist/guitarist Paul McKenzie, bassist/backing vocalist Joe Kusionowicz, and drummer Jake Tellinghusen. Last year saw the release of the Winter Earth EP, a release recorded with producer Meyrick de la Fuente. It was the start of a year which sparked good interest the way of the band, a UK tour and numerous other shows adding to the growing awareness of their emergence. Yesterday Becomes Tomorrow Today is the next step, a release sure to increase the swell of attention crowding around the band and alone reason why those in the know keenly shout about the trio’s compelling exploits.

THIS YEAR'S GHOST - COVER _RingMaster ReviewART     Recorded with producer Matt Hyde (Slipknot/Machine Head/Funeral For A Friend/Gallows), Yesterday Becomes Tomorrow quickly stirs up ears and an eager appetite with Death Of A Gift, its entrance of fuzzy guitar and brewing intensity a potent coaxing. In no time it is into a reserved but fiery stroll with the superb tones of McKenzie strongly impressing, as too the web of grooves and sonic endeavour escaping his guitar strings. Band inspirations include the likes of Biffy Clyro, Pearl Jam, and Alter Bridge, and fair to say in the opener alone you can feel those essences colouring the song’s inviting roar, but equally This Year’s Ghost casts its own identity in the rich melodies and vocal harmonies shaping the excellent drama of the song.

The stirring start continues with December Sun, a track featuring guest vocals from Stitch D of The Defiled. Straight away as melodic persuasion gallops in on hefty beats and grouchy bass, ears and appetite are gripped, even more so as the vocals croon with expression and quality. Though not as energetic as its predecessor, dynamically the song is a rampant stallion of sound and invention, its metallic side the flaring nostrils and melodic invention the heart of one impassioned and arousing encounter.

Carry Us In Blue similarly aligns a carnivorous rhythmic enticement, especially from the bass, with harmonic and melodic flames; the union breeding the emotive intensity escaping through the pores of the track’s tempestuous but controlled bellow. Whereas the first two songs immediately stir the senses and emotions, the third is more of a smouldering persuasion but one subsequently leaving ripe pleasure and a captivation of the over time. Though Silver Tongue hits with a swifter temptation it too blossoms more over numerous plays, its inflamed seduction a success unwilling to rush things but increasingly successful whilst adding to the rich enjoyment arising from Yesterday Becomes Tomorrow.

The EP is completed by the provocative infectiousness of Black Dogs, another where bass and drums are predatory, vocals and guitar sonically radiant, and all unite to craft a fire of imaginative sonic expression and intensive lyrical reflection, something which applies to the whole of the increasingly impressing release.

Bolder originality is the only thing you could offer up as something missing within Yesterday Becomes Tomorrow Today, an essence though easy to assume will emerge as the band evolves and grows. Other than that the EP borders on the majestic; a thickly pleasing proposition which might not change your musical life but easily doffer up This Year’s Ghost as a new long term friend.

The Yesterday Becomes Tomorrow Today EP is available now via iTunes.

Pete RingMaster 22/11/2015

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Calm For The Restless – Destroyed But Not Defeated

Calm For The Restless Promo shot_RingMaster Review

Roaring out of Hertfordshire, British alternative rockers Calm For The Restless show that the early promise of debut EP We Started A Fire from a couple of years back has, if not yet come to full realisation, been honed, reinforced, and expanded with Destroyed But Not Defeated. The band’s second EP is a roar of sound and passion which persistently grabs the imagination. At times its songs do undulate in success with personal tastes but from start to finish the encounter has ears involved and attention held whilst brewing a want to hear more.

The beginnings of the Stevenage quintet go back to 2007; the band founded by vocalist Don Macauley and rhythm guitarist/backing vocalist Mart Bradford. Drummer Mike Westwood was soon enlisted but other line-up and location issues led to the band going on hiatus before returning in 2012. The trio recruited bassist Mark Randall not long after, with lead guitarist Tom Holbrook linking up the following year. We Started A Fire was also recorded and released in 2013 too whilst around it and since, the band has been a hive of live activity across the south of England. Now Calm For The Restless are pushing forward with the national release of the enjoyable Destroyed But Not Defeated EP, an encounter fair to say revealing and revelling in, the open potency of the songwriting and sound of the highly accomplished outfit.

Calm For The Restless Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review     Musically Calm For The Restless embrace ears in tenacious rock ‘n’ roll taking inspirations from bands such as InMe, Incubus, Biffy Clyro, Muse, Billy Talent, Brand New, and Foo Fighters, and it is the latter which is most comparable to the rousing After Tonight which opens up the release. Guitar and energetically jabbing beats engages ears first, their inviting bait soon enveloped by but still adding to an infectiously lively stroll of riffs and tangy grooves. The drums sticks of Westwood are a rapid blur of rapier like rapacity from the start and remind as gripping within the now slightly more restrained gait of the song. The expression rich voice of Macauley equally makes a potent impact, his entrance seeming to spark even more eagerness in the melodic and grooved resourcefulness of the band whilst the song’s chorus is thick with Dave Grohl and co flavouring, a spicing which only lures ears deeper into the captivating tapestry of the song. The band’s current single, it is a thrilling welcome to band and release and one reason alone to go check Calm For The Restless out.

The following Shadow Of A Man opens on a warm but almost sombre enticing which soon blooms into an emotive reflection of melodies and voice. Guitars caress and suggest before rhythms incite a more boisterous blaze of intensity and sound for the chorus, though it is a slim crescendo in the mellow impassioned landscape of the song which seems to add just a little more angst and drama each time it erupts. The track fails to make the same impact of its predecessor but across its fascinating body, Calm For The Restless spin a weave of inventive twists and imagination sparking sounds to keep intrigue and interest high.

The excellent Blue comes next, bubbling sound the first beckoning, jabbing riffs, rumbling rhythms, and the ever alluring tones of Macauley the even more gripping second. Billy Talent is listed in influences to the band and though sound wise they are wide apart, the sculpting and thoughtful yet organic use of anthemic hooks and angst fired passion mutual skills. The track just grows within ears, every passing minute more enthralling and tempting than the last until it becomes a fire bursting with sonic flames and burning energy, all the time licking at the senses with just irresistible hooks.

Lost To The Ocean like the second song is missing something compared to those around it but again its catchy tone and creative pop punk like character only leaves a good and persuasive time behind. There is a glimpse and at times a loud whisper of distinctive ideation and uniqueness across Destroyed But Not Defeated, and yes here too but not as openly and vibrantly which is maybe why it lacks the richness of temptation of say Bury Me In The Waves, its predecessor. To balance that though the penultimate song still leaves full contentment in ears and thoughts before the closing encounter slips on sultry acoustic charm to fascinate with. Increasingly more dramatic and intensive as it grows, the song from a good if unsure start brews up into another highly pleasing and provocative roar from Calm For The Restless.

The potential of the band’s first EP is a ripened if not yet fully developed promise in Destroyed But Not Defeated but offering a wider and fuller look into the creative depths and imagination of the band. They feel like a band on a mission musically and emotionally and with more steps as potent as Destroyed But Not Defeated one suggests bright times ahead.

The Destroyed But Not Defeated EP is available digitally from September 4th through all stores.

Pete RingMaster 04/09/2015

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Joykill Collective – Battle Cry

Joykill Collective - Pic (1)_RingMaster Review

Emerging from an artistic commune in Northampton and a “dissatisfaction with the prevalent right wing politics and media”, alternative rock band Joykill Collective release debut single Battle Cry, a roar which emotionally and physically lives up to its title. It is not a particularly aggressive incitement on the ear but is certainly a melodically evocative and atmospherically commanding proposition with the same kind of uncompromising intensity, and one potent introduction to the band.

Initially intended as a solo design for vocalist/guitarist Leif, talented friends of the musician skilled in various mediums were soon drawn to the project and its idea. The embracing of local musicians, writers, poets, and filmmakers, many of whom lived and worked in the same commune and shared an angry voice against the devastating political situation that so many find themselves in, were subsequently a vibrant part of the emerging and impassioned project . Now ahead of and taken from their first EP Liberty Taker, which is due for release in December, Battle Cry has been unveiled and fair to say is already whipping up and potently engaging ears and thoughts with its climatic presence and breath.

A lone melancholic strum of guitar engages ears first, though within seconds rhythms, melodies, and the soft mesmeric tones of Leif are also flowing warmly over the senses. It is coaxing which never dissipates but becomes infused with a volatile atmosphere as rhythms and chords grow in dexterity and intensity whilst creative sonic flames enhance the melodic lure of the guitars. Thickening with every passing second, vocals becoming more agitated and imposing too, the track is increasingly a rich blaze of emotion and creative angst which only grows in size and power, again over every fascinating moment. Bands like Doves and Biffy Clyro sort of come to mind during the song but really it is a proposition which whilst not strikingly unique refuses to be clearly referenced to anyone else as it captivates.

It is only one song so probably too early to shout about the big potential and future of the band, we will reserve that opinion until the release of Liberty Taker, but with the band and associates currently exploring roads less travelled in Kazakhstan, China, and Morocco, they might find themselves coming back to a bit of a fuss over their very enjoyable first single.

The self-released Battle Cry is out Now!

Pete RingMaster 02/09/2015

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Elements – Where We Once Begun

Elements Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

The band’s bio states that this year a line-up change for UK alternative rockers Elements has coincided, maybe sparked, a new sound from the band. With their new EP Where We Once Begun our introduction to the Southampton hailing quintet, we cannot say if the shift is dramatic or subtle, but for sure thanks to five tracks of rousing rock ‘n’ roll, their new release shows it has been a potent one.

Formed in later 2013, Elements quickly made a mark locally with their self-titled debut EP and a live presence which has earned them a reputation as one powerful proposition and seen the band share stages with the likes of Bad Rabbits, The Afterparty, DEAD!, Ashestoangels, The Hype Theory, and Public Service Broadcasting. As mentioned the band has recently undergone a personnel change which, taking the Phil Gornell (While She Sleeps, Bring Me The Horizon, Me Vs Hero) produced Where We Once Begun as our evidence, seems to have lit a fire in the creative belly of the five-piece.

Elements Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review   Once EP opener Shaman storms through ears, rapidly stirring up enjoyment and appetite, the band without being wholly unique, reveals freshness and adventure to their music which just grabs attention and sets them apart from the masses. Fair comparisons have been raised to bands such as early Biffy Clyro, YouMeAtSix, and Don Broco but there is plenty more rippling through songs suggesting something individual to Elements. The first track aligns winey blues wrapped tendrils of guitar with a flirtatious almost electro shuffle which is not too far away from the persuasion Blondie once blossomed. It blends well, the song brewing a virulent tempting to which the skittish beats of Ash Martin and the dark lures of Max Bakker’s bass add their own potent seduction. Vocalist Graham Rogers is just as vibrant and inviting, his powerful tones backed well by those of Bakker and guitarist Ollie Butler who alongside fellow string craftsmen Robin Small spins a web of hooks and melodic spicery to match. It is a contagious riot of sound and energy, and a quite irresistible start to the release.

High Time For Being Free comes next, emerging without a breath from its predecessor with its own brand of sinewy riffs and heavily coaxing grooves ridden by the vocal roar of Rogers. As the first track, it leaps on and bounces through ears with an infectiousness which is muscular and tenaciously anthemic, whilst showing a different shade of colour to the band’s sound. Major surprises, as across the EP, are not open bait yet there is again that fresh air and rich enterprise to it which only lures you in deeper before Plotting Treason Or Saving The World uncages its own chest beating anthem littered with blues honed grooves, merciless hooks, and a sultry air which dynamically ignites in a blaze of the chorus.

Up next is the melodic shimmer and emotive energy of Make It Out Alive which takes release and listener into another new landscape of sound and adventure. Again the imposing strength and sonic muscle of the band is a heady proposal but employed in a new strain of sonic fire and provocative drama. The track does take a little longer to grip but leaves a flavoursome and inventive taste in the mouth before Torchlight brings the EP to a fine close with captivating and aggressive melodies courted by tangy grooves and flaming vocals.

Where We Once Begun is not going to set the alternative rock world back on its heels but it does announce Elements as one of its more exciting emerging bands, so much so that already there is a tingle of anticipation for their future something akin to that felt when Jimmy Eat World first broke.

The Where We Once Begun EP is available from August 17th through all stores.

RingMaster 17/08/2015

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‘ELEMENTS reveal ‘Where We Once Begun’, on 17th August


New Brit alt-rock outfit ‘Elements’ nationally unveil their spanking new EP ‘Where We Once Begun’, on Monday 17th August, through all digital stores.

Hitting you with a groove likened to the early Biffy Clyro records, fused with the rock sensibilities of YouMeAtSix and Paramore, and the invention of Don Broco, Elements are primed to burst out to the nation, and these lively South Coast rocksters have the perfect bait in the shape of their new record, ‘Where We Once Begun’, out this Summer.

Formed in late 2013 and coming at you from Southampton, Elements are comprised of Graham Rogers (Lead Vocals), Ollie Butler (Guitar and Backing Vocals), Robin Small (Guitar), Max Bakker (Bass and Backing Vocals) and Ash Martin (Drums). Gathering steam, the dynamic five-some soon embarked on a series of compelling live shows supporting such artists as Bad Rabbits, The Afterparty, DEAD!, Ashes To Angels, The Hype Theory and Public Service Broadcasting, to name a few.

After a recent change in personnel, the five piece hit the studio and are now ready to strike out with their alluring sophomore EP ’Where We Once Begun’, produced by Phil Gornell (While She Sleeps, Bring Me The Horizon, Me Vs Hero). The record is a genuine scorcher and boasts five engrossing cuts, from the infectious bouncy vigour of ‘Shaman’ to the energetic craft of ‘High Time For Being Free’. The new lyric video for the track ‘Plotting Treason Or Saving The World’ ( is also sure to pull in any discerning listener with its weaving guitar lines and layered vocals. ‘Make It Out Alive’ displays the band’s ever-increasing maturity and further explores the use of dynamics to dazzling effect. The stabbing riffery assault and full frontal vocal attack of ‘Torchlight’ pulls the curtain down on a record that is as engaging as it is imaginative. With a UK tour set out for July and festival appearances waiting in the wings, you need to catch Elements before they explode.


EP TRACKLISTING: 1. Shaman; 2. High Time For Being Free; 3. Plotting Treason Or Saving The World; 4. Make It Out Alive; 5. Torchlight.

The LaFontaines – Class

The LaFontaines_ Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

Tagged as Scotland’s biggest independent band, there is no doubting that anticipation for The LaFontaines’ debut album has been in full swing on the back of acclaimed releases and a live presence seeing the band headline shows in New York, tour the UK and Europe with Watsky, and play their biggest headline sold out show to date at Glasgow’s ABC amongst numerous successes. The majority of that happened in a triumphant 2014 for the band but it is easy to expect bigger, more forceful spotlights upon the band in this with the release of the thrilling and fascinating Class.

static1.squarespace.com_ Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review   Formed in 2010, the Motherwell hailing quintet first snatched attention with the All She Knows EP in 2013, following its success the following year with the similarly eagerly received Under The Storm EP. The absorbing diversity and sounds of the Matt O’Grady (You Me At Six/Don Broco) produced Class now blends the qualities of those previous releases with a new adventure of invention and enterprise. It is at times a startling release, persistently a striking one, and even when its persuasive energy slips a touch, album and indeed band just enthral as they brew up an impassioned and tenacious incitement. The words of frontman Kerr Okan probably describes it best when he says, “We’ve spent the past 3 to 4 years leading up to this point. Everything we’ve seen on the road or experienced together as a band has finally made its way onto record. It’s guaranteed to shock those who assume we’re simply just the best live band in Scotland. There’s so much depth to these songs, a load of pain and struggle, but underlying throughout all of the writing, is some real grit and determination.

There can be few albums this year with as rousing a start as Class offers through Slow Elvis. From a distance the song looms on ears, hitting them on arrival with pungent anthemic rhythms and fiery riffs. It is not particularly aggressive or explosive yet within seconds the opener has ears and appetite seriously aroused and hanging onto its swing. Spatial sonic endeavour fills air quickly too, surrounding the swaggering vocal rap of Okan as bass and drums intensify their bait with a snarl and punchy attitude. Additional vocal calls and melodic revelry only adds to the incendiary brew, the track evolving into a Rage Against The Machine meets Lazy Habits encounter wrapped in the sultry hues of Muse.

The sensational start is quickly backed by the similarly electrifying Under The Storm, a burst of guitar sparking handclaps and melodic vocals with fire in their breath. The track is soon shrugging off any restraint and with sinews flexing, it strides resourcefully through ears behind scythes of guitar and bass which in turn are led by the stirring mix of clean and rap cast vocals from bassist John Gerard and Okan respectively. Though openly unique compared to its predecessor, that description of references again applies, and like the first song is twisted into something unique to The LaFontaines. Unpredictability also is a ripe asset to both songs, and indeed the album, that and the great Scottish lilt fuelling the jabbing potency of the rapping.

     The album’s title track comes next, a gentle caress of melodic temptation crooning over the senses as rhythms fling their enticement around in a robust dance. Once more the mix of vocals is a magnetic tempting in the indie seeded and lively serenade of the song, the melodic lure of Gerard as potent as the creative jangle of guitar from Iain Findlay and Darren McCaughey. Revealing more of the depth and imagination in the band’s songwriting and sound alone, it is replaced and emulated by Castles. This too has a reserved touch yet its heart is a blaze of sonic expression and evocative intensity. A sizzling start slips into a mellower embrace around Okan’s delivery, both taking ears and thoughts by the hand and leading them into new eruptions of emotional drama. Without quite matching the plateau of the first few tracks, the song easily steals full attention with its Biffy Clyro meets The Kennedy Soundtrack like canvas evolved into something distinct to this new breed of Scottish rock ‘n roll.

King steps up next, its great bluesy guitar twang an immediate tasty enticing to which a throaty bass groan from Gerard and the punchy spits of Okan bring their own irresistible tempting. Featuring guests Luke Prebble and Michael Sparks, the song whilst wrapped in the tangy keys of McCaughey and vocal harmonies prowls rhythmically and emotionally. Gospel like in ambience, mischievous in imagination, the track has ears and appetite hungry, their need fulfilled by Junior Dragon. Not for the first or last time, drummer Jamie Keenan stirs up body and emotions with his skilled incitement from which the song exposes an even grittier and volatile side to the band’s sound. Arctic Monkeys like in devilry, Freeze The Atlantic like in energy, and Able Archer like in creative grandeur, the track grows into a rich bellow of voice and sound for another major highlight of Class.

A fiercely shimmering persuasion comes with All Gone next, another with a predacious edge to its rhythms and character backed by a great rapping stroll from Okan but maybe for the only time on the album a strong impact slips as the melodic and harmonic side of the song flows. Nevertheless the track captivates and solidly pleases if without finding the spark which ignited earlier songs, an ingredient the outstanding Window Seat has in strength. A more smouldering persuasion, it takes time to reveal all its rich levels and qualities but over time becomes a mighty peak of the album. It is an intense slice of emotional balladry built on a muscular frame, this draped in quite superb and mesmeric vocal strengths. It might be ballad like but there is a tempest at its heart which makes the song a volcanic croon and just irresistible.

Enjoyable but less dramatically engrossing is All She Knows, an easy going and arguably formula song in respect to the band’s songwriting. It is relatively unique to outside references but finds it difficult to stand out in the richness around it, though again to be fair the track is only enjoyment for ears, something which again applies to Paper Chase. Its eighties indie pop essences definitely add something fresh but once more the track struggles to linger like the insatiable successes elsewhere upon Class.

The album closes with the thick and shadow enriched caress of Pull Me Back, keys a melancholic but dramatic expression against the anthemic beats of McCaughey. They are a mere moment in the ever evolving landscape of the excellent song of course, every second, note, and syllable from across the band just inventive theatre.

It is a fine end to a thoroughly exciting release. Certainly there are moments when Class slips from its loftiest perch but it is generally down to the brilliance of some songs in comparison than the failures of others. As suggested, the first album from The LaFontaines has been long and greedily awaited and now here it undoubtedly lets no one down.

Class is available now via 889 Records from most online stores

Ringmaster 17/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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