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

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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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