Whirling hearts and joyous uprisings: exploring the world of Swirl

Photo by Neil Zlozower

There is an increasingly mighty roar coming out of California and it goes by the name of Swirl. This is a band really beginning to make a vocal name for themselves with their multi-flavoured, hard rock fuelled fusion of rock and metal. Welcomingly given the opportunity to get to the heart of the band with Swirl creator and guitarist Duane “DT” Jones, we talked beginnings, songwriting, successes and plenty more….

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Hello to you too. This is ‘DT” guitarist and founder of the band Swirl out of Southern California. Thank you for your interest in Swirl! We are always grateful to anyone taking an interest in what we do.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

I started the band in the Pacific Northwest in a town called Mukilteo, Washington. I had 3 other members than the current line-up; we rehearsed, wrote songs and made plans to record our debut in Santa Monica, CA. About a week before we were to leave I got a call from the drummer saying he wasn`t going to make the trip. I called my brother, Brian “Bam Bam” Jones who was playing in a band in Arizona at the time and asked him to come out to California, learn the songs and track drums to which he was all too happy to help out. That version of Swirl toured the US and Japan on a full length release titled Out Of Nowhere that was produced by former Quiet Riot and now RATT guitarist, Carlos Cavazo with former Rough Cutt bassist Matt Thorr engineering or producing tracks as well.

After those tour dates finished the band parted ways with the original singer and touring bassist. By then Brian had moved to California so I joined him there. I was introduced to current Swirl singer Alfred Ramirez and bassist Shane Carlson by former Dio keyboard player Claude Schnell who was looking to produce a demo for a band they had, however they had parted ways with their guitar player and Claude asked me to write with them so he and I could get into a studio together. After a few writing sessions we decided to go play the songs live and it was there that a friend pointed out to me that Alfred would sound really good singing Swirl songs so I asked him to go into a studio with Cinderella drummer Fred Coury and I. The end result of those sessions were the two songs Mad Disease and Time To Fly with the latter being particularly well received so tour offers followed. The natural choice was then Shane Carlson and we have been together ever since. 2018 will mark the 10 year anniversary of this line-up for Swirl.

Have you been or are involved in other bands?

My only involvement with other bands was the above mentioned writing project that introduced me to Alfred and Shane as well as one other band in California that hired me as one of their touring guitarist for a self-produced disc. That was actually my first ever “bus tour”. Actually it was a converted mobile home, but still I got the rock star treatment on that tour. It was fun, but the band broke up. As that band had already recorded their disc when I joined and there were no writing opportunities I can`t say it had any influence on my writing direction, but it was a great series of lessons on things to not do when running a band.

What inspired the band name?

Usually one look at a picture of the band is all it takes to answer that question, but it goes deeper in that we all have different nationalities and personalities that come to together to create the Swirl music.

Photo by Neil Zlozower

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

No particular theme to starting the band. I just wanted to play in a rock band that wrote songs good enough to share stages with my idols. Some of those goals have been accomplished!

And that same intent drives the band?

Absolutely! At the end of the day we enjoy what we are doing and are hell bent on capitalizing on the success Swirl has had to date. We are not where we want to be, but clearly we are on our way. The crowds are getting bigger, the stages are getting bigger and the bands we have opportunities to work with are larger, more well know bands as well.

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

While I am an 80s metal head guitarist at heart I have adapted my playing to a more modern approach when it comes to writing and guitar tones. I guess the best way to think of it is “what if you took a band like Shinedown, Seether, or FFDP and put a guitarist like Jake E Lee, Warren DeMartini or George Lynch in it.

As for the reason for the evolving sound?…The credit for that goes to Brian who wanted to push the music in a more modern direction, but knew I was still going to be me on guitar and have those moments. Our first attempts at this proved very successful with a self- produced EP titled SWIRL that wound up with 3 songs being featured in a full length, 2 time award winning film called Ditch Day. Those songs are Rise Up, Spell, and We Are Alive. That movie is now out in 6 countries with more to follow. Another indicator that Swirl made a smart move in terms of musical direction is the incredible social media success we have enjoyed while being an independent band. We have a very strong online presence.

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

The change was very deliberate and I had to do my homework in listening to bands that normally I would not have given the time of day to, just to get a feel for what was going on with the guitar playing and production. I fought it at first, but in the end decided it couldn`t hurt to try. I am so glad I was open to the idea.

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 and playing music?

Well I already touched on my 3 biggest influences on guitar and yes all four of us have very different influences that we bring to Swirl. Shane is the most “metal” of us all with his influences being bands like Korn and Metallica while Alfred cites David Bowie or Billy Idol as biggest influences for him. For Brian and I we started off as KISS fans, but he went in the direction of Rush and various jazz drummers.

For myself when producing Swirl music I lean a lot on Shinedown or Seether for production and “ear candy” ideas, but since I am not the only one working to produce/ mix the songs I am sure the other guys have their influences well represented in the final product that you hear from Swirl.

Is there a particular process to your songwriting?

Normally we start with a guitar idea that is almost a complete song then I get together with Brian to work on the arrangement before presenting it to Shane and Alfred who then add their influences to the arrangement and of course the vocals. Alfred creates them almost exclusively.

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

I would like to start by saying that when I write lyrics it’s usually tied to a personal experience of mine or one that I have witnessed in the world we live in. I also feel what’s most import is not so much what my lyrics mean to me, but more importantly what my lyrics mean to the listener. I want the listener find their own story within the lyrics. To me that means the listener can interpret and apply them in any way they choose.”- Alfred Ramirez

Give us some background to your latest release.

The Lift is a departure in some ways from the typical writing pattern for Swirl songs and given the new heights of success we are having with it this may become the way we do things going forward. Again I had the basic structure and worked on the arrangement with Brian, before bringing it to Alfred and Shane. However Alfred and I had a separate writing session to make changes to the verse and bounce other ideas off each other. Then we got back together as a band and went from there.

During the final mix sessions Shane Carlson made some more brilliant suggestions to improve the song to let it become what you hear from us now.

Here is the lyric video for The Lifthttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaBMGg0ACYo

As Alfred is the songwriter he sets the tone for the theme of the songs. If there is one constant I have noticed when I look at the reviews we get it is that the bands “message” is a positive one. A lot of life affirming, motivational and inspirational themes go into his work and I am very happy about that. I am pretty positive person most days!

Here are some samples of reviews we have received whether they are for The Lift single…

“…everything possesses a joyous, downright celebratory spirit…the track positively teems with life”- Skope Magazine

or the SWIRL EP

“An uplifting vibe…” The Happy Headbanger

“After listening to Swirl in its entirety it has lifted me up mood wise!!”- Metal Temple

“…if you are looking for a really sweet hard rockin’ melodic band that will have you humming along and singing with the CD in just a few listens than make this new SWIRL release yours. 9/10 Stars”- The Examiner

Here is a link to our reviews- https://www.reverbnation.com/socalswirl/press/

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

What The Lift means to me is that we all need help sometimes, be it an emotional lift or a physical lift. We shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help when we need it. We also shouldn’t be afraid to offer to help when were able to. We are all on this planet together and we are all connected, so let’s help one another.

My personal Lift was given to me by “The Minor Goddess” who lifted me out of a depressed and stressed out anxious time in my life. Thank you MG! “Your words will always stay with me “. – Alfred Ramirez

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 like to have the song pretty much done by the time we go into the studio so we can be more efficient with the recording process, but of course we leave room for those “happy accidents” that happen when tracking that are unique to a session.

One of the unique things about the sessions for The Lift is the process we used to get into the studio. We were introduced to producer Emad Alaeddin at Granted Records by Ditch Day producer Megan Waters. He suggested the band use “crowd funding” to cover the cost of the sessions. This was a first for the band and it was very successful. As an unsigned band who happens to be self- managed as well as our own booking agents we wear many hats to make Swirl the known name that is it becoming. Our fans are our record label and they decide how often we make new music and release videos or tour. We weren`t sure what to expect, but with this first attempt and the success of the campaign (we had enough money donated to book our first session in just 48 hours of activating the page at https://www.gofundme.com/launch-new-music-by-swirl-the-band ). The page will remain active. To be clear we are not opposed to record labels, management or booking agencies….we just refuse to wait on one to discover the band when we can get our music and band out to the people who support us!

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

We are a band that thrives on stage! We love being out there. Swirl is a high energy show with emphasis on the word “show”. There is always “someone doing something”. It`s actually the only way the band “fights”….we fight for the attention of the audience and are quick to let the others know who won the night after our set. It`s all in good fun and ultimately the audience is the winner.. We have been able to tour with established bands like RATT, Cinderella, Extreme, Red Dragon Cartel, LA Guns, Lynch Mob, and Slaughter just to name a few. We also headline shows in Southern California. In fact the first stop on “The Lift” tour will be in Hollywood, CA at the Whisky A Go Go on Saturday February 3, 2018.

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

We firmly believe that you create your own luck so yes you can make your mark. The real question is how bad do you want it? We are, have been and remain hungry to succeed! We were recently listed by Gerry Gittleson, a writer for Metal Sludge in Los Angeles as one of three local bands that actually draw a crowd when we play.

Another way Swirl has separated itself to a degree is getting involved in licensing our music into movies and television. For example Swirl has 3 songs in the 2 time award winning Ditch Day movie that stars Emmy award winner Bill Oberst Jr. The songs are Spell, We Are Alive and Rise Up (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_RhbgL5Cv0&t=11s ).  So far that film is available in 6 counties. We are working on more licensing deals for our music from the SWIRL EP as well as The Lift.

 How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

I have no complaints about social media! Swirl is doing very well with it. We also spend quite a bit of time and effort marketing our band globally. Again it`s a how bad do you want it situation. We didn`t wake up knowing what we know and have made mistakes along the way, but we learn, we grow and we apply lessons to the next venture for the band whether its online, in the studio or on stage.

We have been able to reach people that would otherwise have had very little chance of discovering our music so we are very grateful for social media. It is a big part of the music business now and I don`t see that changing any time soon.

See for yourself here-

SWIRL website- http://www.swirltheband.com/

SWIRL Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/swirltheband/

SWIRL Twitter- https://twitter.com/Swirltheband

SWIRL Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/swirltheband

SWIRL Soundcloud- https://soundcloud.com/swirl-dt

SWIRL YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/swirlgtr

SWIRL Reverbnation- http://www.reverbnation.com/socalswirl

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Thank you for your time and interest in Swirl. Look for the band to be on tour in and out of the United States in every country where the music making an impact on radio or through movies released that feature Swirl music.

Pete RingMaster 17/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Backtrack Lane – In Fine

Four years after the release of their well-received debut album Black Truth & White Lies, French rockers   Backtrack Lane return with new EP, In Fine. Offering six creatively robust and impassioned tracks, the EP revels in a new energy and flair of enterprise in the Paris quartet’s sound; it a mix of the familiar and the captivatingly fresh sparking rich enjoyment with ease.

Formed in 2009, Backtrack Lane has played hundreds of gigs across their homeland, moving from small local stages to some of the most prestigious venues whilst playing alongside the likes of Black Star Riders, Gotthard, and numerous more. 2011 saw the release of first EP, It’s Not Like…, the national attention stoking Black Truth & White Lies album appearing two years later. The multi-flavoured alternative rock of In Fine is Backtrack Lane poking even bigger and broader spotlights while being for many a potent introduction to a band which knows how to rock ‘n’ roll.

With its lack of real uniqueness more than countered by the passion and energy at its enterprising heart, In Fine is a magnet in the speakers swiftly grabbing ears with opener Fifteen Minutes. Straight away the steely riffs of Adrien Crestey and Stefan Gatti spark the appetite, the heavier dark throb of vocalist Raphael Gatti’s bass zoning in on the instincts for predatory sound. Their collusion is instantly joined by the latter’s vocal prowess; his energy in delivery matched in the sounds blossoming up around him. With keys melodically shimmering behind the forceful yet invitational web created by the foursome, Gui O’Crest’s rapier like beats are like a punctuation to each strand of temptation. The song continually expands and grows note by note, blues filtered grooves only adding to the creative prowess working on body and imagination while familiar hues, with a suggestion of Sick Puppies/3 Days Grace to them, simply accentuate the lure and adventure of the encounter.

Underground is no less of a temptation with a vine like groove instantly wrapping around ears as desert rock seeded melodic enticement brews around another great vocal beckon from Raphael Gatti. A definite Josh Homme air creeps across the songwriting and character of the track, its slightly tempestuous climate and energy as irresistible as its sonic dexterity and spicy melodies with Crestey’s lead enticement teasing with a Billy Idol hue. As its predecessor, the song might be missing majorly unique surprises as feet and spirit are keenly manipulated yet expectations are left empty by its adventure and fresh breath, qualities just as rampant within next up Perfect Motion. Though there is more restraint in its first touch than those before, its zeal to stomp is soon in charge and throwing rapacious grooves and boisterous rhythms at ears as vocals add their own catchy exploits. Once more Queens Of The Stone Age is an inescapable clue to the bold and potent sound inciting something which simply is a thick pleasure.

Breaking the Rules has a broader hard/alternative rock landscape to its sound, Stefan Gatti and Adrien Crestey blending their hook littered designs with infectious prowess as rhythms stroll and vocals roar. Ultimately the song misses matching the lofty peaks of those before it but thorough enjoyment and involvement is a given as with the blues lined inevitably catchy prowl of the following Stray. An energetic slice of pop rock with a broad smile in its air and nature plus a snarling bassline to get greedy over, the song saunters without distractions into eager ears and spirit with its lively romp.

The EP is closed off by After the Rain, another song with a sizzling blues rock nurtured spicing and instinctive contagiousness in its creative veins. Once more things are familiar yet full of an adventure with a seduction and craft hard to not be taken by. In Fine delivers rock ‘n’ roll which feeds all the wants; fun, energy, and passion all served with something extra driven by imagination.

In Fine is available now.

http://www.backtracklane.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Backtrack-Lane-143002764878/    https://twitter.com/backtracklane

Pete RingMaster 30/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Sandness – Higher & Higher

We cannot say that seventies/eighties metal and hard rock are flavours which light our fires too often but it is fair to say that Higher & Higher, the new album from Italian outfit Sandness ticked many boxes of enjoyment whilst embracing exactly those styles. It is a release which initially struggled to spark the imagination but song by song, listen by listen, grew to be a thoroughly engaging and pleasurable affair; not without flaws but inciting an appetite to hear more from and follow the band as they realise the open potential within the release ahead.

Hailing from Rovereto in southern Trento, Sandness started out in 2008; formed by teenage friends, bassist/vocalist Mark Denkley and drummer/vocalist Metyou ToMeatyou. Inspired by the likes of Mötley Crüe, Crashdiet, Poison, Hanoi Rocks, W.A.S.P., The Ramones, Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath and the likes, the band soon honed its eighties toned sound. A few line-up changes ensued before the current line-up was secured with the addition of guitarist/vocalist Robby Luckets in 2009. Subsequent years has seen the trio support the likes of Adam Bomb, L.A. Guns, and Tygers Of Pan Tang, play across their homeland as well as undertake several European tours and take the stage at the renowned Glam Fest in France. Two demos, Return To Decadence in 2010 and especially Life Without Control the following year, lured strong attention though it was debut album Like An Addiction in 2013 which really sparked a more global awareness of their sound. Now Higher & Higher, released as its predecessor by Sleaszy Rider Records, is stoking up a new wave of fans and though we might not be leading the surge, reasons are readily apparent as to why its fresh success in persuasion .

The album opens with You Gotta Lose, a track which failed to tempt the first time and still labours trying to convince. Opening with a blast of group vocals and predictable eighties riffery, the song soon reveals a snarl which grabs attention but one as quickly tempered by the again familiar harmonic wash of voices.  It is hard to pin down exactly what is lacking within the track other than it just does not appeal to personal tastes but it is a decent start swiftly left sounding pale as the album takes off starting with next up Street Animals. The second song similarly offers a recognisable melodic welcome but is soon spinning its own web of hooks and twists; some unique some familiar but a great fusion creating flavoursome rock ‘n’ roll. Without reading the influences on Sandness, they are easy to guess from this song alone and as suggested eagerly employed by the band in their blossoming character of sound.

The individual prowess of each member is just as open in the track and equally next up Hollywood. Prowling ears initially, it soon whips out some Billy Idol spiced hooks and other moments which are vaguely System Of A Down like in nature. As the album, it is a song which grows and seduces more and more with every listen, its increasingly imaginative nature richly engaging before the melodic croon of Promises in turn captivates. With an increasing fire in its belly inciting a great bass grumble, the song quickly establishes itself as a major highlight of the release, musically and vocally hitting a high.

Through the vocally unstable but ultimately enjoyable Sunny Again and the boisterous hard rock of One Life there is little not too like even if neither can live up to their predecessor while the short poetic instrumental of Light In The Dark captivates before Heat lives up to its name with some quite irresistible fiery grooves against another great grouchy mix of bass and drums, the former the persistent provider of potent bait across the whole of Higher & Higher. With its blues scented flames, the song is another peak in the album as too the power pop rock romp of its successor Perfect Machine. There are no major surprises but a stream of hooks and flirtatious tempting which has body and voice quickly involved and enjoying every second.

The album is at its best by this point, Monster Inside Me backing up the previous two with its own tenacious glam/heavy metal stomp and mix of imaginative features and matched in potency by the groove woven Play With Fire, its prime lures striking as the band revels in its eighties inspirations once again.

Closing with the hearty and increasingly volatile balladry of Will You Ever, a song like the opener it was hard to connect with personally, Higher & Higher provides an increasingly compelling proposition easy to suggest fans of eighties metal and rock especially take a close look at. Sandness is never going to be the first thought when choosing the soundtrack for our day but with Higher & Higher they are going to be considered more than many others bands, for others they will be a long term involvement.

Higher & Higher is available now through Sleaszy Rider Records @ http://www.sandnessofficial.com/shop/ and other online stores.

http://www.sandnessofficial.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Sandnessband

Pete RingMaster 19/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Love Frame – Forgiveness

love_frame_RingMasterReview

Creating a fiery and rousing alternative rock roar, Love Frame is a quartet from Milan beginning to whip up some eager attention for themselves. They have provided a potent persuasion in sound and craft for a while with their debut album Forgiveness self-released back in 2014, but a success recently given a bigger vehicle to tempt from with its global release via the excellent Italian label Sliptrick Records. Offering eleven varied and dynamically arousing songs, the seriously accomplished release has constantly picked up new recruits to its melodic adventure and shows no hint of slowing down as band and album continue to reach new ears.

Love Frame began in 2008, releasing a mini EP the following year which soon brought the band to the attention of the Italian underground scene. The single/video Night drew stronger attention with its release in 2010 while its successor Run With Us two years later, only confirmed the strength of the band in sound and resulting support. Live too, they have continued to grow and earn increasing praise in Italy and Europe. Beginning to record their first album in the December of 2013, Forgiveness was released in the October of 2014, the band consisting of vocalist Giulia Lupica, guitarist Laerte Ungaro, and drummer Giuseppe La Gala at this point with the trio assisted by bassist Giuseppe Greco, who became a permanent member post album, on the recording.

Influences for Love Frame include the likes of HIM, Placebo, Billy Idol, Alter Bridge, and Hardcore Superstar; flavours which in varying degrees show their inspirations across Forgiveness, starting with opener Halo. From its first second riffs spicily crowd ears as the harmonic tones of Lupica flame up, her voice a swiftly impressive and suggestive proposal. As rhythms find a firmer touch and the bass grumbles, the song opens up its virulent temptation with those early riffs still enjoyably nagging the senses. They never do relent in their great persuasion across the song, just changing their sonic hues as each twist and turn arrives within the striking Forever Still meets Djerv like triumph.

The following Mine has an even more fiery air and character to its presence; the bass again an appealing throaty temper to tenacious riffs and grooves as well as the rhythmic agitation cast by La Gala. Strolling along with a catchy swing to its gait, the song is an ear grabbing flame with Lupica’s vocals hanging emotive tones from every lively incident within its creative drama; an enthralling quality backed by the delicious imagination of guitar and bass.

coveralbum_RingMasterReviewA Stevie Nicks air accompanies the vocals as the melodic caress of Real Love Exhibition simmers and boils next; its initial lure a tender charm which flows across the song with moments of greater intensity and volatility providing sweeping crescendos across its magnetic landscape. It is a bewitching offering then eclipsed by the outstanding Lie To Lie. An early burst of vocal tempting sets up an eager appetite for the infectious blaze of voice and melodic dexterity, the song in many ways epitomises the album itself; easily accessible whilst being anthemically rousing and bursting with adventurous twists and imaginatively skilful turns.

Through the emotive and rhythmic drama of Heart Box and the melodically snarling Maybe, ears continue to be offered forceful captivation. The first of the pair is as charming as it is imposing, dark rhythms and emotionally charged melodies colluding with vocal flames and stirring enterprise, whilst the second also brings contrasting textures together for its own thrilling and galvanic incitement. There is grouchiness to the riffs and equally the basslines skirting their bait and a sizzling surface to Lupica’s ever impressing and enthralling vocals yet it is all woven into a melodic waltz as elegant as it is fierce.

Lupica offers a vocal kiss on the senses as she opens up Blue next, her emotively reflective caress a mesmeric coaxing into the slightly more feisty body of the song With her delivery rising in intensity to match the blossoming sounds, the song is pure seduction, one of the album’s major highlights and instant evidence of Love Frame’s tremendous ability to blend warm and tender textures with livelier and more imposing incitement.

Escape has band and listener lured into a much more tempestuous moment next, its opening rub of riffs alone enough to whet the appetite before the song expands into another memorable escapade which might not quite match up to its predecessors but leaves a want for more the only wish before Save Me provides a commanding serenade which again has a strong and enjoyable air of Danish rock band Forever Still to it.

Completed by the resourceful adventure and sounds of Start Looking For and finally the acoustic romancing of ears and imagination that is Rakkaus On Ikuista, Lupica as beguiling as ever, Forgiveness is a real treat which only increases the enjoyment felt and impressive thoughts nurtured in its company.  It may not be a strictly new release to ponder but it is one all melodic and alternative rock fans should really consider introducing themselves to.

Forgiveness is out now via Sliptrick Records through most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/loveframepage    http://www.loveframe.net/   https://twitter.com/loveframeband

Pete RingMaster 04/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Sick Side – Born to Kill

cover

Bracingly raw and with an attitude and character as mischievous as it is antagonistic, Born To Kill the debut album from Spanish rockers The Sick Side, is like one of those companions you know you should not hang out with as they will only get you into trouble but you just cannot resist the anarchic and brazen seduction. A brawl of hard rock and heavy metal with a very healthy fuelling of punk rock, the release is a potential soaked riot of fun, unclean rock ‘n’ roll from a band which breeding a keen appetite for is very easy.

Storming out of Montblanc, a town in the Catalonian province of Tarragona, the quartet of Xavi Granados (vocals /guitar), Xavi Nuez (vocals /guitar), Sergio Martinez (bass), and Joan Pérez (drums) equip their album with a middle finger driven sound and adventure which demands and commands attention. Formed in 2012 and conducting their first rehearsals and song writing exploits in a garage right next to a cemetery, the perfect landscape for the creation of their devilish brew of sound it is easy to suggest, The Sick Side spent the following year working towards and on Born to Kill. Recorded at the Más Allá Studios in Valls, the album is an instant ear grabbing and furious incitement of energy and tenacity. As mentioned it is a raw and rough around the gills encounter but one we suggest fans of filthy punk and rock ‘n’ roll will get a real kick out of.

The album’s first track Looking For quickly lays down a tasty indication of what is in store within Born to Kill. Though not the strongest track on the release, its snarling vocal led weave of sonic enterprise and thumping rhythms within a caustic wall of riffs is a flavoursome appetiser for bigger things. Essences of Judas Priest like metal, Motorhead bred antagonism, and melodic toxicity collude from within the song to add further bait to the not remarkable but solid opening, an entrance backed forcibly by the Turbonegro like She Is A Whore which follows. As the first song, the craft and imagination of the band is captivating bait within the caustic rock ’n’ roll shaping the proposition, but there is a brighter spark of energy to it which sets up ears and appetite perfectly for the next step forward which comes in the fiery shape of Hanging Around.

The album’s third track has feet and emotions hooked from its opening lure of bass and a swiftly aligning roll of beats. Both Granados and Nuez share the vocal lead across the album, a mix and variety which only adds to the unpredictable nature and adventure of songs, and as shown here when those vocals come in hand in hand with a spicy blaze of guitar sculpted sonic design it works a treat. The hints of punk which whisper in the opening pair of songs is a broader and louder anthemic roar here too giving a great simplistic balance to the skilled and inventive veining of guitar endeavour alongside. Ramones meets Crashdiet; the track is a contagious stomp pushing the album up yet another notch with ease.

Both the heavy rhythmic stride and imposing presence of Jenny and the tangy blues shading of Alice hold ears and appetite firmly bound in catchy intriguing persuasion. The first of the two has a more serious nature to its character, parading a less rebellious and slightly more composed weight to its presence whilst its successor toys the senses with a blues garage rock spicing, both adding variety and fresh adventure to the album. Each also has glimpses of a more Billy Idol like glam punk spicing at their hearts, just whispers but proving more colouring to their resourceful and pleasing offerings.

Things continue to grip body and thoughts as Lights Are Always Bright romps with pop punk devilment, well pop punk caked in scowling vocals and riffs which collude with unpolished barbed littered hooks. It results in a tightly grabbing contagion which is emulated by a song called Track 1, where again heavy rock and melodic punk unite to create an abrasing confrontation with searing heavy metal veining alongside attention holding craft from the band. Both tracks keep things moving along enjoyably before the devilry of A Crime Against Humanity with its distinctive vocal delivery and addictive rhythms, steps up to forge another peak in the presence of Born To Kill, a new level reinforced by the album’s title track and the outstanding War. With a touch of hardcore punk teasing in the first, and heavy metal rabidity colouring the brilliance of the second of the three, the band leave the third to add the juiciest onslaught of the album. War is a belligerence of riffs and rapier like beats from its first breath, the band uniting them and the subsequent roar of vocals and bass predation in a thrash inspired stalking of the senses with a nice feel of Testament to its voracious heavy rock tempest.

   The final two songs of Lady Pheromon and The Sick Side impressively and easily ensures Born To Kill ends of a high. The first is an addiction forging slice of punk rock with another chorus to swiftly succumb to whilst the latter stomps around with stirring attitude and a punk metal swagger helped along by another excellent dark bassline courting a potent weave of riffs, hooks, and acidic grooves.

The two tracks make an enjoyable and ruggedly persuasive end to an outstanding introduction to The Sick Side. The album is unpolished and hostile, organic and ready to tear your head off, exactly as all dirt smothered rock ‘n’ roll should be from a band which can only grow and develop an even more striking and dangerous nature…something to eagerly anticipate on the evidence of Born to Kill.

Born To Kill is available now as a name your price download @ http://thesickside.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Sick-Side/535224796532994

RingMaster 19/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Peter Tinari: Embrace The Darkness

Regular readers will know we do not have much enthusiasm for guitar led instrumental music, the eager slips into indulgence that are nearly always rife eternally unwelcome. Earlier in the year though we came across guitarist Jay Parmar who whichever music he presents, instrumental or with full vocals has a craft and discipline that has no need for inane fiddling. Now we have come across another in Californian Peter Tinari. His latest album Embrace The Darkness is not brand new out but fresh to us and it is an inspiring and inventive piece of work that lights up all the right fires with style and discipline.

From Burbank Tinari has created a release of seven pieces of music which leave one inspired and deep in thought. Yes admittedly at times he veers towards the excesses that bring shivers of disdain to our senses but without fail he always reins it in to offer compositions that find an eager sanctuary within the ear. Tinari brings the entire guitar and bass sounds which light up the sonic skies though the opening song This Chosen Ground also features Matt Contino, and is aided throughout by the atmospheric and emotive keys of Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Planet X, Yngwie Malmsteen, Billy Idol, Black Country Communion) and the formidable drum work of Enzo DiPaolo (Black Dawn). Together they bring forth a mighty collection of tracks that will thrill and ignite the hearts of all rock fans.

Musically the album has it all from classic and hard rock through to metal and progressive rock and from the initial atmospheric beckoning of This Chosen Ground the album seizes firm attention. The track reveals its muscle and mesmeric charm within moments and surges through the ear whilst caressing with melodic grandeur. In combination with the equally expansive and imaginative key sounds the song elevates to rain down scorched interplay and classy sonics. With essences of symphonic metal sweeping through the progressive weave the song has one on the edge of their seat. It is an impressive beginning but before long left in the shade by what follows.

The wonderful Now I Lay Me Down is the first track to bring a full immersion its breath flooding the mind with imagery and emotions. Starting with a simple toy box sirenesque beckon wrapped in ambient keys and heaven staring harmonies a sense of warm solitude pervades. Before long though the guitars stride in causing the ambient temperature to rise dramatically and the escapade is afoot. Like the dreams and imagination of the young where there are quests and adventures at every corner and in each shadow the track offers a soundscape of soaring skies, breathless ebbs and flows, and reflective provocation.

The drama and depths of Emphatic Universe provide a different journey upon a wave of continually evolving sounds and feelings, its drive firm and unpredictable, its heart enveloping and shadowed. The track leaves one full from its feast of invention and ingenuity but it is merely the appetiser for the brightest jewel on the album in Celestial Shadows. The title says it all; the piece has its home in the skies, the stars the source of its soul and irresistible warmth, but beneath and throughout there is a dark and tempering energy to leave an uncertainty and black energy in the air. There is a sense of chaos and conflict in the clouds but one that has always been and forever will be, its presence underlying the light and sun of the world the music is borne from.

Closing on the epic feel of Death By Proxy the album is a rewarding and thoroughly eventful piece of composition. The journey it takes is vast and surprising, never a dull moment or expected turn in sight. Peter Tinari is a masterful player and songwriter complemented by others with equal talent and vision to create in Embrace The Darkness a pleasure that ensures the deepest enjoyment. Whether you are a fan of Dream Theater, Yngwie Malmsteen, Paradise Lost, Dimmu Borgir….the list goes on, you will find immense satisfaction with Peter Tinari.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Peter-Tinari/165770380143530

RingMaster 18/05/2012

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