Bear Bone Company – Self Titled

BBC_RingMaster Review

We are always up for an artist letting their music do all the talking compared to others which spew suggestions of being the next best thing then bringing disappointment with a formula or uneventful sound, but there are some who go too far the other way and do themselves no favours by being as secretive about themselves as an orgy in a vicarage. One such band is Swedish rockers Bear Bone Company, an outfit with a sound which takes ears and body on an invigorating ride but keeps pretty much silent when it comes to self-promotion. With a stonking self-titled debut album recently unleashed via Sliptrick Records making a rich roar though things hopefully will become livelier for and with the band, a result the powerhouse of tenacious rock ‘n’ roll certainly deserves.

What we can tell you about Bear Bone Company is that they come from the Örebro area of their homeland, were formed in 2012, and now have a line-up of guitarist/vocalist B.K., bassist/backing vocalist J.Martin, and drummer Knauz. Their sound is a healthy blend of classic and modern heavy rock with spices of metal, and their first album is produced by Ronny Milianowicz (Dionysus, Sinergy, Saint Demon). More we cannot say but that is fine as the album is worthy of all the attention anyway.

bearbone-_RingMaster Review     It opens with Fade and instantly has ears entangled in a tasty groove within firmly probing rhythms. Bass and guitar only increase their individual lures as the song expands to embrace the impressive tones of B.K. and the rousing air of the song. As to be heard across the album, there is something familiar to the band’s sound, the likes of Theory Of A Deadman and Black Stone Cherry amongst a few brought to mind, yet as the song shows there is a fresh and rich edge which is distinctive Bear Bone Company, the outstanding Kiss N Tell swift confirmation. The second song enters on a grouchy rhythmic and spicily sonic stride, relaxing into a more recognisable prowl soon after whilst still retaining its initial irritated nature. The band crooned chorus offers additional Poison meets Velvet Revolver like revelry but it is the antagonistic side of the mighty song and its searing flames of guitar which stirs the imagination most.

Both the excellent Don’t Belong and the rigorously enticing Burkitt Lymphoma hold ears and attention tight, the first with a more controlled and even tempered hard rock character wrapped in fiery textures and enterprise and its successor through a steamy wash of guitar and again fearsome riffs. The latter though also slips into a more comfortable melodic prowess and catchy endeavour to keep its body unpredictable and fascinating. Once more major surprises are scarce but there is no escaping the sound is gripping and all Bear Bone Company.

The anthemic blaze of Down In Flames provides a stirring incitement next, B.K. as vocally strong and impressive as ever as the song stalks the senses and treats the ears with its bluesy intoxication whilst Bear Bone rocks like a predator in heat, grooves and riffs casting a primal rock ‘n’ roll swing as the bass venomously snarls. Both tracks hit the sweet spot before the predacious allure and presence of Way Back Home casts its sonic web over the imagination and by now a fully eager appetite for the release. Every track upon the album is in some ay a fire of anthemic tendencies, this one more of a smouldering pyre of enterprise which burns its way into the memory and a lingering appreciation.

Drinkin’ Time stomps with zeal loaded rock ‘n’ roll next, its easy presence not living up to what has come before yet still leaving satisfaction keen whilst Hangin’, another maybe promising more than delivering for personal tastes, strolls along with an infectious nature and accomplished body to easily please. Neither quite catches the imagination, though it again is just individual tastes involved, and both overshadowed by the emotive weight and call of Fallin’ Down. Its tangy grooves and persistent riffery is simply flavoursome bait alongside a similarly weighty lure of vocals, all spun around the potent rhythms of Knauz to strong success.

The final pair of songs upon the album add further tinder to its fire, Life’s About engagingly tangling classic rock and metal with soaring vocals and prowling rhythms whilst Suicide canters through ears with attitude soaking its intent and an inner fire fuelling its punk/heavy rock ‘n’ roll predation. It is a tremendous close to a rather potent and thoroughly agreeable encounter, an album easy to keep returning to and roaring along with to the neglect of others.

Hopefully the release and assumes success of the album will inspire Bear Bone Company to reveal more of themselves and even more so push their presence into the faces of potential fans as there are surely plenty of unaware heavy rock appetites waiting to be fired up by the Swedish trio.

The Bear Bone Company album is out now through most online stores via Sliptrick Records.

Pete RingMaster 12/11/2015

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Mordecai – Fight Fire With Fire

Mordecai_RingMaster Review

British metallers Mordecai continue to grow and impress as proven by their recently released EP Valour. Now with thick confirmation of the fact and to entice a new horde of eager hungry ears the band release the single Fight Fire With Fire. The opening track to the EP, it is a storming tempest of dark metal and virulent aggression loaded with a passion, and quite simply impossible to ignore.

Hailing from Croydon, the London based quartet of vocalist/guitarist Dan M Hicks, lead guitarist Andy Short, bassist Mickey C, and drummer Alex Gooders has become one of the UK’s brightest hopes over the past couple of years. Formed in 2006, the band was already stirring up some attention but it was with a new settled line-up around 2010 that their Black Stone Cherry, Alter Bridge, and Black Label Society inspired sound seem to come truly alive with enthused reactions in return. Live the band has been a potent force, making successful appearances at the likes of Bloodstock, Bull Dog Bash and Hammerfest, as well as Download where they became one of the very few unsigned bands to be invited to play on consecutive years. Alongside that the band has shared stages with bands such as Black Light Burns, Bam Margera’s FFU, and Fightstar whilst 2013 saw the release of their eagerly anticipated debut album Undaunted, a well-received incitement followed and eclipsed this year by the aforementioned Valour EP. Recorded with John Mitchell (You Me At Six, Architects and Alter Bridge)at Outhouse Studios, it too was an acclaimed and hungrily welcomed proposition unleashing some of the band’s most adventurous and explosive songs to date, one of which being Fight Fire With Fire.

The single song opens on a lusty roar from Hicks, his ravenous tones backed by spicy riffs and hefty rhythms. Soon hitting a meaty stride, the track becomes as predatory as it is sonically invigorating; ears and appetite aflame from its contagious aggression and brawling weave of colourful grooves aligned to vocal calls and rhythmic animosity. With the guitars also spinning a web of sultry melodies and suggestive hues around the swiftly gripping confrontation, the air is ripe with adventure and drama, a rebel rousing incitement coursing through the creative bodies of the band and in turn the listener.

If they are still an unknown, Fight Fire With Fire is the perfect way to introduce yourself to Mordecai. It has all the elements and flavours which makes the band for so many one continually exciting proposal of addictively tempestuous of rock ‘n’ roll.

Fight Fire With Fire is available now

Pete Ringmaster 09/09/2015

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Stone Angels – Give In To Temptation

Stone Angels Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

Give In To Temptation is a great title for the debut album from the Brighton hailing Stone Angels (not to be confused with The Stone Angels from Devon), as that is exactly what you do, inescapably submit to its eventful rock ‘n’ roll roar. Jammed with eleven fresh sounding tracks which brew up rousing exploits from admittedly pretty recognisable sounds and inspirations the album is hefty in anthems and punchy adrenaline charged stomps, and as high on that familiarity to others as it can be at times, Give In To Temptation lets no one down when it comes to thrills and enjoyment.

Stone Angels emerged in 2011 from the ever musically resourceful scene in Brighton, the experienced quartet rising from the ashes of ‘several broken’ bands. Drawing on inspirations from the classic LA rock and legendary UK rock scenes, and bands ramngimng from Alter Bridge, Black Stone Cherry, Black Spiders, AC/DC, Massive, and Rival Sons to Five Finger Death Punch, Foo Fighters, Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Slash’s Snake Pit, and King’s X, Stone Angels’ hard rock incitement has seen them become one of the UK’s most potent live propositions. Now the band is looking to awaken even broader attention with the national re-release of Give In To Temptation, a prospect you can see gathering rather potent success.

The reason being songs like Misplaced Memories and Devil’s Child, they just the first two tracks on the swiftly persuasive encounter. The opener worries ears with a torrent of hungry riffs and spiky grooves meshed into a rhythmic web cast by drummer Ben Taylor and bassist Chris Wilson. There is grouchiness to the tone of the song and instant contagion on offer with the sonic enterprise of guitarists James Innes and Niall Kersey tempering the growl a touch with melodic enticement, especially the former’s precise grooves. Kersey’s vocals also carry a dusty snarl which only adds to the easily accessible and familiar but refreshing confrontation, a blend exploited enjoyably again in the slower prowl of the second song. Bands such as Black Stone Cherry and Rev Theory get hinted at though the song has a more vintage bluesy hue to it as it backs up the album’s forcibly engaging start.

Stone Angels Album Cover_RingMaster Review   That sultry air and texture becomes richer in the following fiery melancholy of Last Goodbyes where keys deliciously add a psychedelic strain to the increasingly eventful and impressive croon, Stone Angels revealing more good variety to their sound and songwriting. Uniqueness is, as suggested earlier, not a dramatic quality to their sound and indeed the song but it matters little in its persuasive bellow and not at all in Can You? straight after. Again attitude and melodic flames fuel the track, but it is the bewitching sonic hook and easy swagger which grips most prominently, they and the vocal lure of Kersey backed potently by the rest of the band’s calls.

At only two and a half minutes, the track is a swift, bait loaded jab and the relative shortness of most songs within Give In To Temptation does add to the rapier like feel of the album and its thick success on ears and appetite, this proven again by the not much longer body of Fantasy and swiftly after in the slightly lengthier Lines In The Sand. The album is like a heavy weight poking senses and satisfaction, this pair uppercuts of rock ‘n’ roll which has energy reeling and bodies exhausted. Both tracks unveil individual grooves which induce ears and hunger to arousal amidst greedy riffs adding enticing weight to the song’s tenacious grip.

Thousand Years slips into a mellower melodic reflection within a hazy flame of emotive intensity to bring a respite of sorts for adrenaline and energy whilst Falling Down gets funky on the listener whilst unleashing another dose of predatory riffs, wicked rhythms, and spice rich, bordering on salacious, grooves across guitar and bass. The first of the pair takes longer to find the right spot but is perpetually enjoyable nonetheless whilst its successor is an immediate stomp which just has bodies swinging, an anthem no doubt igniting venues for the band and calling out to be a single.

There is a darker almost sinister shade to the imposing blues rock stroll of Devil’s Grip and a lighter glaze of stoner-esque infectiousness to Fine Day, both songs rich with tendrils of sonic imagination and the healthy spices bred by some of the band’s influences. The latter is another single prospect for these ears; its Alter Bridge meets Shinedown character tantalising before Shadows Of The Black Sun is left to bring the album to a close. Again it is ripe with a familiarity which only seems to works in the song’s favour, as indeed for Give In To Temptation’s success.

Future demands might ask for more distinctness to the Stone Angels sound next time around though you are pretty much sure of some stonking songs at the very least anyway, but for an introduction, Give In To Temptation is one enjoyable slab of rock ‘n’ roll you can only have a thoroughly good time with.

Give In To Temptation is nationally released on Friday 4th September on CD and digitally through all stores.

RingMaster 04/09/2015

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Mordecai – Valour

mordecai 2_RingMaster Review

London based Mordecai are no strangers to stirring up the British rock scene with their rich and rousing sound, they have worked their charms on the other side of the Atlantic at times too, but fair to say they have outdone themselves with the thrilling Valour EP. Released a few weeks back, it is an anthemically dramatic and compelling collection of songs showing the diversity of the band’s songwriting and sound whilst forcibly pushing both on again from past triumphs. Quite simply it is one of the finest slabs of heavy rock/metal the band has unleashed to date and one of the essential explorations this year for all.

Though formed in 2006, Mordecai really began making a major impression from 2010 when the band’s line-up settled and solidified. They had already released a couple of EPs which were well-received by fans, but it was at this point that their Black Stone Cherry, Alter Bridge, and Black Label Society inspired sound found the spark to ignite itself and bigger attention. The band was soon exploding on stage at festivals such as Bloodstock, Bull Dog Bash, and Hammerfest over the subsequent twelve months or so and sharing stages with bands such as Black Light Burns, Bam Margera’s FFU, and Fightstar. 2012/13 saw Mordecai playing Download, one of the few unsigned bands to have ever been given two consecutive years, being invited to be part of Mark Tremonti’s (Creed, Alter Bridge, Tremonti Project), Fret12 Artist Development Program in the summer of 2012, and releasing debut album Undaunted the following year. The encounter lured keener and bolder attention from media and new floods of ears, something it is easy to assume that Valour will eclipse; to be honest it already is since it’s unveiling.

Cover   As soon as the opener to the John Mitchell (You Me At Six, Architects and Alter Bridge) recorded Valour erupts in ears, you can see why it has been kicking up dust. Fight Fire With Fire opens with a lusty roar from vocalist/guitarist Dan M Hicks and spicy licks of guitar across thick riffs. Rhythmically too, the track does not hold back, meaty beats from drummer Alex Gooders immediately landing with purpose and intensity as the bass of Mickey C grooves offloads predation and infectious bait. The contagion only increases as lead guitarist Andy Short spills hooks and grooves with craft and relish across the brawling rock ‘n’ roll being woven. Backed impressively by the band, the grisly and alluring tones of Hicks continue to hold ears whilst appetite and imagination is stolen by the sizzling tapestry of sonic enterprise and aggressive rebel rousing coursing through the exceptional start to the EP.

Latest single Just One Life, which also features John Mitchell, comes next and quickly the band reveals a mellower though no less potent side to their music and presence. There is a feel of bands like Seether and Shinedown to the song, spicy essences in a song which invites involvement rather than demands it like its predecessor. In its individual way, it also spreads a web of smart twists and catchy hooks throughout its melodic croon and though admittedly it does not emerge as one of our favourites on the EP it is fair to say it only leaves a smile of enjoyment before the metal fuelled All Wrong strides in and takes over with heavier rapacious attitude and armoury. A rolling rhythmic enticing lays down the first gripping coaxing before the song twists itself into a grouchy collusion of carnivorous riffs, toxic grooves, and another refreshing growl of vocal incitement, it all uniting in a thrilling tempest enticing body and soul to punch the air and snarl at the world.

Circles slips into another calmer landscape of invention and energy next, its initial tempting hinting at bands like Life of Agony before creating rhythm sculpted crescendos that blaze in ears with a sense of nineties band Skyscraper to them. Maybe taking a little longer to take a firm grip compared to those around it, the song emerges as another major highlight with a chorus impossible not to get involved with and a presence which lingers long past its departure.

Valour is brought to an explosive end by Rise where once more the band is casting lines of addictive grooves and deeply delving hooks, sonically and rhythmically, whilst building an incendiary wall of vocal and emotive intensity that just seduces with imagination and, again have to use the word, anthemic prowess. The song is a mighty end to a magnificent release, as suggested earlier easily the best thing Mordecai have created. It will be one the best things you are likely to hear in the muscular rock ‘n’ roll scene this year so go spoil yourselves.

Valour is out now.

RingMaster 13/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Patriot Rebel – Propaganda

Patriot Rebel Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

British alternative/hard rockers Patriot Rebel provide raw and rousing rock ‘n’ roll as virulent as it is ravenously aggressive. They proved it with their outstanding Two Worlds EP in 2013 and do so again with new single Propaganda. The song is a raw and explosive confrontation, an anthem to get fully involved in straight away but emerging even stronger and more impressive with every listen.

Though formed around 2007, it was arguably when the current line-up of vocalist Paul Smith, guitarists Danny Marsh and Dave Gadd, bassist Will Kirk, and drummer Aaron Grainger came together that the Nottingham hailing Patriot Rebel found the truly potent spark to their sound and in awakening eager attention. Inspired by the likes of Stone Temple Pilots, Alter Bridge, Black Stone Cherry, and Velvet Revolver, the quintet created a musical proposal which was soon invigorating ears and appetites, shows with bands such as Tesseract, Jettblack, Skarlett Riot, Cornerstone, Earthtone9, Spirytus and Violet over the years the live proof and Two Worlds the potent studio evidence. The Matt Elliss (Black Spiders, Terrorvision, Skarlett Riot) produced EP certainly drew acclaim and keen focus from old and new fans as well as the media upon its uncaging, which the band’s live presence has only driven on and now Propaganda can only kick into greater reaction again.

Patriot Rebel Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review     The single is taken from that earlier EP but manages to hold a fresh breath and character now standing alone as the band’s new protagonist. It is also a teaser of sorts for things to come, Patriot Rebel most likely in the studio, again with Ellis, as you read this. Sometimes tracks show a new light upon their depths and presence when taken away from an album or EP, and fair to say Propaganda, for whatever reason, manages to do the same as it roars from its opening second through to its last. From an initial sonic lure of a second of two, thumping rhythms prowl and riffs stalk the senses; their intimidation crouched over by the distinctive tones of Smith. The predatory start of the song and his croon subsequently triggers the embedded contagious might and stride of the encounter, grooves and melodies entangling in an irresistible tempting still graced by the formidable and throaty nature of bass and drums.

The song is a blaze of anthemic rock ‘n’ roll, luring the listener with its verse and leads into the irresistible chorus where full involvement from band and listener is a given. There are no truly major surprises within the song, the band’s influences open spices, yet it has a resourcefulness and enterprise which leaves expectations empty and enjoyment full to bursting.

Patriot Rebel continues to impress and though Propaganda is taken from their previous release it only thrills and ensures anticipation for the band’s next exploit will be greedy. Completed by a great acoustic version of Propaganda too, and accompanied by one equally enjoyable video, this is one single for new and old fans to spend a riotous summer with.

Propaganda is available from 3rd August.

Read our interview with Patriot Rebel @

RingMaster 01/08/2015

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The Milestones – Higher Mountain-Closer Sun

Photo by Pasi Rytkonen Photography

Photo by Pasi Rytkonen Photography

We cannot say we have a natural appetite for southern and classic rock, nor an over attentive interest, but occasionally something hits the right spot and sparks a thorough investigation. The recent impressive album from Norwegian blues rockers Electric Woodland has been one and the legendary Bad Company in the past another to light a fire of interest and pleasure. Now with new album Higher Mountain-Closer Sun, Finnish southern rockers The Milestones have lit another potent appetite with their hot sultry sounds. Another reason for mentioning the first two bands is that this album comes with a healthy soak of blues/hard rock to its southern sonic climate which brings potent comparisons in many ways to the enticing sounds of those two bands. Higher Mountain-Closer Sun seems to soak up those essences and many more flavoursome spices to create its own feistily simmering proposition, an offering which seduces even our more aggression wanting tastes.

Twenty years since taking its first steps and with now four albums under the belt, The Milestones has earned a strong presence within world hard rock since the release of their debut album Vol. 1 in 1996, an album seeing a re-release later this year. Acclaimed and drawing strong interest in the States, its success and the band’s live presence led to them traveling to New York to record second album Souvenirs of 1999. This proved to be nowhere near as successful in sound and impact as its predecessor and as the promo sheet accompanying the new album states, “Ultimately it would take ten years for The Milestones to heal the wounds.”

That was when album three emerged, Devil In Men in 2009 pushing the Helsinki quintet back to the stature and acclaimed attention enjoyed before on a global scale. It was followed by tours around Scandinavia, Central Europe, and the US the band supporting the likes of Whitesnake, Deep Purple, Black Stone Cherry, Gary Moore, Raging Slab, and D.A.D. along the way. Now they uncage Higher Mountain-Closer Sun through Listenable Records, a magnetic and fiery romp of instinctive rock ‘n’ roll taking body and passions on a fevered stomp.

From the first track the album seems to have a hook deep into thoughts and emotions, the opening Walking Trouble instantly smothering ears in a blaze of sonic and melodic haze with the guitars of Tomi Julkunen and Marko 10301540_10152415122872560_6266331794037874146_nKiviluoma a seductive graze on the senses whilst the bass of Veli Palevaara roams with equally captivating enterprise and swagger. Completed by the firm beats of drummer Tommi Manninen and the dusty vocals of Olavi Tikka, whose harmonica flair also ignites a twinge of hunger, the track is a storming romp to start things off and get the listener to their feet.

Both the smouldering heat of Shalalalovers and the tarmac stomping Drivin’ Wheel keep the impressive start heading along the same plateau. The first of the two merges a great sultry climate over verses with an almost too easily accessible chorus, its lure predictable and over familiar yet irrepressibly addictive. The union works a treat with a soft spot for the harmonica well fed again before the song’s successor pulls on a Stones like blues colouring to wrap its southern bred adventure. Again there is a simple but inescapable virulence to the chorus which makes a great contrast to the more intensive creative tenacity before and after their expulsions. Both tracks incite full engagement physically and emotionally before allowing a breath to be taken with the evocative southern rock heated scenery of Oh My Soul. With a breath of gospel passion and ‘red neck’ causticity, the track is a sizzling temptation which increases its strength with every listen.

The acoustic ballad Grateful is a pleasing encounter but lacks the spark of previous songs, though that is probably more down to personal preferences for feet sparking revelry. To be fair it is a vocally and musically accomplished song which at times sounds like a mix of Elvis Costello in his country era and Bon Jovi. The following Sweet Sounds does have the body moving with intent next and again apart from its stirring chorus is another enjoyable but underwhelming offering when up against songs like the brilliant It’s All Right. The track is an insatiable rocker from start to finish, grooves and hooks as eagerly tenacious as the increasingly impressive vocals of Tikka and the addictive rhythmic bait. As with all the songs on the album, you feel you already know this bruiser of rock ‘n’ roll devilry which only adds to its invigorating and refreshing presence.

Such the strength and tremendous pull of the track it gives the likes of the energetically fevered You and the melodically and vocally reflective Looking Back For Yesterday a stiffer task to match up to, but both without quite lighting the same fire still treats ears and imagination to exciting endeavour and enflamed melodic sounds. Their success is taken to a new level by the raw and gripping drama of Damn. Again ridiculously compelling hooks and grooves vein what is a darker and sonically fevered canvas to the song. It makes a slow initial impression but emerges as another evolving into a big highlight within the album.

The scintillating Fool Me brings the main body of the album to a tremendous close, the guitars of Julkunen and Kiviluoma bordering on sonic eroticism such the potency and spellbinding strength of their grooves whilst vocals and rhythms dance with impassioned devilry around them. It is a stunning track, a show stealer on any other album.

The CD version of Higher Mountain – Closer Sun is finished by a couple of bonus tracks in Call Of The Wild and Quicksilver which sadly our promo did not contain but such the quality of the rest of the album it is easy to assume they only add to the fun. The Milestones may have taken ‘ten years to heal the wounds’ but there is little to stop them now with releases like this.

Higher Mountain – Closer Sun is available now via Listenable Records @ and

RingMaster 30/09/2014

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Fahran – Chasing Hours

Fahran Online Promo Shot

Their second album but our introduction to UK hard rockers Fahran, the band easily gives potent reason to the busy acclaim around them with new album Chasing Hours. Made up of thirteen impressively accomplished and melodically fired tracks, the release awakens a rich intrigue for the quintet. It is not an encounter which manages to ignite a fire in the belly of passions, though it has moments where it takes them on a lustful dance, but certainly from start to finish it sparks and encourages a healthy appetite for the band’s potential and magnetically flavoursome sound.

Fahran was formed in 2012 after emerging from the ashes of Toxic Federation. It was not long before the Breaston five-piece unveiled their self-titled debut album to strong and keen responses from fans and media alike. Infusing inspirations from the likes of Queen, Iron Maiden, Shinedown, Alter Bridge, and Black Stone Cherry into their expressive hard rock sound, the band has also built an attention grabbing reputation with their live performances, which has seen them successfully play the Bloodstock and Download Festivals. Last year saw the departure of bassist Alex Stroud and vocalist Nick Whitcroft but the band swiftly bounced back recruiting Josh Ballantyne and Matt Black on bass and voice respectively, before creating the crowd funded Chasing Hours. With the pair alongside guitarists Jake Graham and Chris Byrne, and drummer JR Windsor, Fahran are poised to wrap up the attention and emotions of the nationwide rock scene with their second album, and it is hard not to imagine the band finding an intensive spotlight upon them from its release.

Chasing Hours is a refreshing treat for all hard and melodic rock fans but even if those genres generally are not the staple diet of ears the band offers plenty within the album to fire up attentive interest. Opening track Long Gone Fahran Cover Artworkinstantly flirts with the imagination through a delicious and slightly melancholic strum of guitar, its tone soon assisted by the darker breath of the bass and resonating swipes of drums. A sonic bred atmosphere rises around the masterful coaxing next to fill senses and thoughts with poetic drama and emotive suggestiveness. It is a fascinating introduction to the song which brews to a greater intensity before parting for equally enticing grooves and rhythmic enterprise to stake their claim on the passions. In no time the track is launching into a feisty and melodic striding of sound and intent which without the potency of that glorious beginning still inspires a highly satisfied and eager reaction.

Straight away the band’s songwriting craft and technical skills are open within the first song, showing a maturity and invention which belies their still young years. These qualities are right away reinforced by the next up Take This City Alive. Equipped with an eighties bred vivacity and infectiousness, the song bounces along with an absorbing weave of sonic endeavour and antagonistic rhythmic aggression. It leaps at the ears and taunts them to embrace the swing and boisterous familiarity of its body, which even with an aversion to its seed era is not easy to refuse. A Thousand Nights is one of those classically fuelled rock songs where again the band do not hide their inspirations as it flames around ears. It does not come up to the same levels of the first couple of tracks but with riveting guitar enterprise and ideation from Graham and Byrne locked within the intimidating rhythmic bait of Windsor, the track offers increasingly inviting bait within melodic rampancy.

Current single I Heard A Joke Once unloads a muscular and sonically alluring proposition with riffs a contagious beckoning across the track. It is a forceful suasion though again, for personal tastes, lacks the spark of the opening pair and many of the subsequent tracks on the album, including the following title track. A sinew sculpted slice of rock balladry with a whiff of country rock and classical seduction to its emotive narrative, Chasing Hours is a smouldering slice of enjoyment which maybe does not set emotions raging but has them simmering very nicely before making way for the boldly pleasing pair of Cased In Steel and You Could Be Mine. The first of the two finds more rugged scenery to soak in earnest vocals and melodies whilst the second is a similarly sturdy with a raw canvas of persuasion coated in evocative sonic hues and the persistently impressing vocals of Black. The song also reminds forcibly that the band really know how to cast enslaving grooves and rhythmic baiting.

As good as those songs and the highlights before them are, they are mere appetisers for the true pinnacles of the album. First up comes the brilliant Some Kind Of Family, a storming stomp of a track which from its first riotous breath also entwines ears in emotionally coloured melodies and sonic adventure to enthral and potently feed the imagination. Hooks and grooves are short yet deeply entrenching whilst Black and band find their most mesmeric vocal strength yet, all within the ever spicy and gripping rhythmic web of Windsor and Ballantyne. Its magnificence is swiftly equalled by Are We Free, a fiery rampage of scorched grooves and menacing beats all honed into a blaze of seductively bruising rock ‘n’ roll with more than an air of Black Stone Cherry and Seether to it. The bass of Ballantyne stalks with predatory instincts across the song for his finest moment but again it is the pleasingly nagging grooves and their irresistible toxicity which seal the deal with a greedy appetite.

Back To Me with its wonderful almost folkish opening suggests it is a rival to the might of the previous pair, guitars and vocals a spellbinding union. But without admittedly losing its hold on attention and satisfaction, it does slip into a more formulaic hard rock offering, though with it continually flirting with those initial lures it finds a ready welcome anytime. Prison is similar in that success, its elegant melodies and emotive hues a transfixing enticing which gives the song its tightest grip on the passions yet the powerful and climactic expulsions, where Black shows his richest delivery in the song, despite making a striking impression still lose the early hold the track had. Nevertheless it is a potent and continually growing proposition but soon left pale against the metallic enticement and melodic rock invention of the outstanding Black Mirror. Another major moment of the release, the song proves the band can merge gentle caresses with raucous intensity for an exhilarating incitement.

Completed by the highly agreeable if underwhelming Storms We Ride, the album is a persistently engaging and rigorously captivating encounter. Chasing Hours has moments where it ebbs and flows in its success, though to be fair that is as much down to personal tastes as anything, but also dramatic moments where Fahran show they have the potential to take UK hard rock to a new world awakening level. It is hard not to be excited about the future of this band.

Chasing Hours is available from Monday 11th August through all digital outlets.


RingMaster 09/08/2014

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