The Seduction of Noise: Twenty punk/alternative releases which ignited The RingMaster Review in 2015.

In another year of creative drama, sonic adventure, and melodic mastery across the broad sphere of sound, The RingMaster Review selects those EPs/albums covered by the site which most turned ears and imagination lustful.

TSPSI_RingMaster Review

The St Pierre Snake Invasion – A Hundred Years A Day
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/11/04/the-st-pierre-snake-invasion-a-hundred-years-a-day/

Oh! Gunquit – Eat Yuppies and Dance
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/05/02/oh-gunquit-eat-yuppies-and-dance/

Zedi Forder – Self Titled EP
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/09/03/zedi-forder-self-titled-ep/

Mr. Strange – The Bible of Electric Pornography
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/11/05/mr-strange-the-bible-of-electric-pornography/

Mr. Strange EP album cover _RingMaster Review

Billy Momo – Drunktalk
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/billy-momo-drunktalk-album/

Black – Blind Faith
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/black-blind-faith/

Los Bengala – Festivos Incluso
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/08/25/los-bengala-festivos-incluso/

The Dropper’s Neck – Nineteen|Sixteen
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/the-droppers-neck-nineteensixteen/

The Dropper's neck Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review

The Slow Readers Club – Cavalcade
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/the-slow-readers-club-cavalcade/

Los and the Deadlines – Perfect Holiday EP
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/07/13/los-and-the-deadlines-perfect-holiday-ep/

Le Butcherettes – A Raw Youth
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/09/18/le-butcherettes-a-raw-youth/

Le Butcherettes A Raw Youth Cover_RingMaster Review

Asylums – Wet Dream Fanzine EP
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/asylums-wet-dream-fanzine-ep/

Inca Babies – The Stereo Plan
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/03/11/inca-babies-the-stereo-plan/

The Barnum Meserve – Self Titled
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/04/06/the-barnum-meserve-self-titled/

Deepshade – Everything Popular Is Wrong
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/deepshade-everything-popular-is-wrong/
Deepshade Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review

Kobadelta – Open Visions
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/04/27/kobadelta-open-visions/

Dirt Box Disco – Only in it For the Money
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/04/16/dirt-box-disco-only-in-it-for-the-money/

The Migrant – Flood
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2016/01/08/the-migrant-flood/

Dick Venom & the Terrortones – SnakeOil for Snakes
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/11/09/dick-venom-the-terrortones-snakeoil-for-snakes/

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Practical Lovers – Agony
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/11/28/practical-lovers-agony/

The RingMaster Review 01/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Phil Lewis – Patchwork Heart

Phil Lewis_RingMaster Review

Being introduced to Phil Lewis through his highly enjoyable Age of Nothing EP, it is fair to say that we have bred an increasingly eager appetite for the pop rock prowess of the Welsh singer songwriter. Though he had already reaped a potent reputation and a healthy level of acclaim for a trio of earlier albums, the EP was the biggest nudge yet on widespread recognition. Now that potent hint has become a mighty roar thanks to the release of Patchwork Heart, a contagion of inspiring hooks and essential melodies united in some of the best pop tracks you are likely to heard this year.

Hailing from Penarth, Lewis had his musical passion seeded in “frighteningly dressed people on Top of the Pops”, and then in turn “the various genre charts in NME and Melody Maker”. It sparked the dream to have one of his own songs in the charts and in 2008 the release of his first single Just One Kiss became a very close miss on realising that dream. The first spark in an evolving and increasingly successful career came just before it though, with the unveiling of debut album Ancient Light the year before. Since then Lewis has released another pair of well-received and acclaimed full-lengths in Movements In Space (2009) and Ripples From a Small Pond (2011), with the aforementioned Age of Nothing hooking a great many more of us at the beginning of 2014.

artwork_RingMaster Review    Patchwork Heart is the next proposition from the man and in many ways the coming of age of his songwriting and pop invention. Its nine tracks provide a torrent of enslaving pop ingredients but composed and delivered with an imagination and almost mischievous energy and passion. Lyrically the album sees Lewis look with intimate honesty at the tough times he faced over past years, including the death of his father from Alzheimer’s Disease and the end of a long-term relationship as well as himself being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Musically it all comes with a hope fuelled, emotionally uplifting hug though, Lewis easy to suspect a ‘glass half full’ character with sings always seeming to veer towards the long term light.

Created again in collaboration with Ben Haynes, who produced the record and plays all the instruments, Patchwork Heart opens with Tumbling Down. Within a few breaths, the song is coaxing ears with blues spiced guitar and tenacious beats, the voice of Lewis as potent and strong as ever as things bounce and revolve around him. The track’s prime hook has an air of familiarity to it which only adds to the temptation whilst the fiery guitar endeavour of Haynes is extra tang in a rousing opener.

Things only become more infectious and gripping though as the tantalising Japan-esque Up On This Shelf swings up to the imagination. An exotic melody starts things off, a pulsating bass throb with crystalline shards of guitar quickly taking over as the tones of Lewis entice. The track is mesmeric, a sublime slice of elegant seduction with an underlying sonic eroticism. Not for the last time within Patchwork Heart, an open eighties flavouring and inspiration colour song and ears, Right on Time immediately after also providing a similar lusty hue of nostalgia kissed and undoubtedly fresh revelry. Virulent in all aspects, the song romps along on another bait of anthemic rhythms wrapped in the dramatic enterprise cast by guitar, keys, and bass. Like a blend of China Crisis, Pete Wylie, and The Killers, the track is glorious; Lewis at his pop conjuring best.

Healing Hands slips in next with a far more subdued energy to that of its predecessor as shadow toned guitar and vocals are gripped by a warm but melancholic expression. Lewis’ voice embrace ears in a reflectively intimate croon as that bright, crystal like quality to the melodies of earlier songs emerges again to resonate in the spatial climate above the intimate canvas. Over time the song’s air becomes more tempestuous leading to one highly provocative and stirring climax. The track is a powerful incitement on body and emotions, as too the following Smile in its very different way. From a synth pop start, the song is a vibrant shuffle manipulating ears and feet from the get go. The bubbly electronics continue to lure and tempt as guitars and vocals brew up an irresistible feast of pop infection backed by the great vocals of Sarah Haynes. The song takes thoughts again back to the eighties, its pop tonic hinting at the likes of Thomas Dolby and Thompson Twins, and to be honest quite impossible not to get physically involved with.

Next up is Sunshine in the Night, a song just as much a puppeteer on body and appetite which from its initial smothering of emotive beauty breeds a mouth-watering mix of repetitious teasing, contagion spewing vocal tempting, and immersive atmospherics. Rhythmically too, the track is a nonstop invitation which simply gets under the skin and leaves a big grin on the psyche.

The country spiced, fiery shimmer of Fantasy Reality bewitches next, its voice and body an alluring evocation of the heart whilst I Believe is a sixties hued offering with a good whisper of the Walker Brothers to its strolling enticement. The track’s chorus is another rousing hard to resist proposal, though that applies to most of them across the release to be honest, as proven one last time by the brilliant Be A Hero. The closer epitomises a Phil Lewis song, bold rhythms aligned to drama soaked imagination and the rich enterprise gripping ears as Lewis provides the strength of his voice. With more enthralling backing vocals, this time from Lizzie Dean, the track is a jungle of intrigue and emotive theatre, and the perfect way to end a thoroughly thrilling and impressive release.

A Phil Lewis song lies somewhere between those of the previously mentioned Pete Wylie and Colin Vearncombe (Black), and now after Patchwork Heart deserve to be contemplated in the same breath. Also out now is Digging for Earworms, a free to download best of album covering previous releases and including the riveting likes of Let’s Play, Age of Nothing, and Imprisoned. Both are albums all rock/pop fans should treat themselves to, as Lewis confirms himself as one of Britain’s brightest artists.

Patchwork Heart is out now @ http://phillewisuk.bandcamp.com/album/patchwork-heart

https://www.facebook.com/Phil-Lewis-36008838740  http://www.phillewisuk.co.uk

Pete RingMaster 24/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

In Fall – Delete

In Fall_RingMaster Review

From Ekaterinburg, Russia, In Fall is a gothic rock duo consisting of Shade (vocals, bass, programming) and Eric (guitar). Recently they released third album Delete, a collection of dark yet hope filled, melancholy soaked tracks that simply capture the imagination. Aligning contrasts within a blend of creative intricacies which themselves are paired with simplicity of tone and emotional openness, the release is a fascinating and increasingly enjoyable offering suggesting the band are ready to prompt broad attention.

The background to the band and its members are not openly offered in profiles and press release, but 2012 saw the first In Fall release in the shape of the Coffin shores EP whilst a year later debut album Charm appeared with its successor How can you fall in love? coming in 2014. Recently linking up with GlobMetal Promotions, In Fall now has Delete to entice and inspire the imagination, a success in motion from its first touch.

Delete cover_RingMaster Review   Sometimes starts things off, a lone piano casting a classical air as thicker sounds brew around it, guitars and rhythms a shadowy tempting courted by an even darker bass lure. The voice of Shade has a mellow but emotive intensity which lies separate to the melodic beauty and metallic intimidation around it, but links all with its potent plainer hue. For ears, the song and subsequent album provokes thoughts of bands like Sisters Of Mercy, The Mission, and Gene Loves Jezebel, though equally as the likes of the album’s title track takes over, thoughts of Type O Negative and more so an emotionally detached version of Black are also nurtured. For the main though as keys seduce and shadows encroach, vocal croon and melodies caressing within a muscular climate, In Fall create something specific to themselves becoming more impressive and enticing with every listen.

Through tracks like the climatically smouldering You say and the more tenacious rock ‘n’ roll of Wednesday ears are pulled deeper into the release and its romantic lure around ironic and openly reflective lyrics. Both songs offer individual proposals in sound and design which again only increase in persuasion as their theatre of emotion and rich textures is increasingly revealed before the post punk shaped Brainbox bewitches an already happy appetite with niggly riffs and a bestial bassline around elegant keys and subsequently seducing strings. Vocally Shade deviates little from his prime emotionally cold delivery, which at times is a temper to the flames of beauty aside him, but always he stretches it to rise and fall with the heart and intensity of a track, and as here always to great effect.

Could be similarly weaves a fusion of post punk and gothic/melodic metal resourcefulness into a haunting embrace whilst from a warm dance becoming emotively darker and physically irritable, Beautiful day crawls into the psyche and passions to take best song honours. It is a relentless prowl of ears, a magnetic spark for the imagination, and lingering sinister hug for the senses, and quite superb.

That great post punk breeding lines the melodic call of synths across More, the song a transfixing siren of sound reminding of eighties band Leitmotiv. The feel of that era is a recurring and welcome spice across certainly the post punk and gothic colouring within Delete, its provocative melancholic scent again flowing through Dust even as a carnivorous bassline seeds a volatile atmosphere which, though it never quite erupts, is a constant intensity to the enthralling drama.

The album concludes with firstly From above, a lighter and catchier affair on ears, and finally the raw emotive intensity and sonic fire of Over. Each song leaves ears and pleasure full and the impressiveness of Delete enhanced even if not quite matching up to the potency of tracks before them. They certainly add to an album which just gets stronger and more engrossing though, not forgetting one more enjoyable with every encounter.

In Fall, as previously for us, is likely to be an unknown outside of their homeland for most but that deserves to change from Delete alone, a release you seriously should be checking out.

Delete is out now.

https://www.facebook.com/in.fall.gothic

Pete RingMaster 04/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Black – When It’s Over/Womanly Panther

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Taken from the mouth-watering melodic captivation that is Blind Faith, the recently released album from Black, double A-sided single When It’s Over/Womanly Panther sends ears and imagination into a spin confirming the potency of its parent bed for fans and masterfully welcoming newcomers into the ever compelling craft of one of Britain’s finest songwriters.

Black is of course the musical non de plume of Colin Vearncombe, and the tracks making up the single, swift persuasions co-written with long-time friend and musical sparring partner Calum MacColl, the son of Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl and brother of the ever missed Kirsty. The two songs give persuasive evidence of the diversity of sound and imagination which fuels Blind Faith from start to finish, starting with When It’s Over which gently slips over ears, enticing they and thoughts with a swift wash of melodic elegance. Aligned to the distinctive tones of Vearncombe, it quickly reveals a Walker Brothers like beauty and seduction which only grows as the heart and orchestral majesty of the song blossoms. Through this seductive and rousing flame a sense of calm is kept by the dour but magnetic tones of the bass. Its masterful tempering to the soaring stringed majesty also manages to simultaneously emulate the reflective vocals, emphasising their equally fascinating persuasion and ever open charm.

The track continues to smoulder in thoughts and memory long after its departure but still gets outshone by the magnificent Womanly Panther, surely one of the best songs to hit 2015. Gliding in on a nostalgic air and siren-esque melodies wrapped in sultry temptation, the song tangos through ears, across the imagination, and into the passions with the scenic flirtation of the French Riviera glossed by the smouldering beauty of a screen queen. Strings flirt as suggestive melodies seduce, rhythms shuffle as joyful revelry fuels every trait of the wonderful serenade led by the ever descriptive tones of Vearncombe.

The pair of songs are just a snatch of the goodness flooding through Blind Faith and strong reason for those yet to embrace Black’s latest triumph to go treat themselves.

When It’s Over/Womanly Panther is out now via Nero Schwarz Ltd.

Pete RingMaster 14/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Officer – Myriads

officer_RingMaster Review

Whether gripping attention with a rousing energy or laying an evocative caress on the senses, Myriads, the debut album from British singer-songwriter Officer, is an emotionally mesmeric and invigoratingly compelling adventure for ears and imagination. It is an exhilarating introduction to one of the most exciting songwriters to emerge in recent times and more than shows why its creator’s fans took it upon themselves to help push the release and artist towards a national recognition.

Officer is the musical moniker of Dc Logan, a musician born into the raw council estate life of Glasgow before spending much of his early upbringing in Northern Ireland during the height of the troubles. With poetry, short stories, and illustration already blooming from his imagination, Logan turned to music from the moment he picked up his father’s old guitar on the night The Good Friday Agreement was laid down. Eventually a move to London ensued and the creation of punk band Colourcode, they releasing a pair of EPs and one album across five years. Also dedicating his time and effort to helping the homeless and poor, Logan’s music and songs continued to evolve and breed their own heart and voice, every experience and aspects of life he has owes and come across seemingly adding another rich hue lyrically and musically to his songs. It has earned Officer a cult following, loyal fans which without the knowledge of Logan united and set up a support network to raise funds for the artist to record and now take his music to the broadest attention. The result is Myriads; a kaleidoscope of life, emotion, and invention which simply enthrals.

The album opens with Laughing Rafters and a gentle, suggestive shuffle of melodic and ambient sound. The potent coaxing is soon embracing the strong tones of Logan, his voice as vibrant as it is melancholic and a captivating mix matching the similarly provocative sounds continuing to brew around his engaging presence. As quickly as the song entices musically, so it does lyrically, an intimacy and easy relatable reflection wrapping every word and syllable. It is a potency fuelling every song in their individual adventures, and here casting a thick croon of folk and melodic rock tempting. Like The National meets Jeff Buckley with a touch of Doves thrown in, the song is a fiercely magnetic start.

Officer cover_RingMaster Review   Glass Ceiling, also from an elegantly restrained start, builds its own drama of sound and intensity next, flowing twists through emotional calms and rousing crescendos colluding for an irresistible anthem for body, emotions, and simply one’s own energy. The song is wholly immersive but with a virulence which dictates body and energy to leave the listener on an inflamed high which the following Can We Talk? tempers with its warm serenade but also continues through its infectiously poetic musical and emotional presence. The song is pure bewitchment, thickening in tone and drama with every passing minute to also leave rich pleasure and fascination in its wake.

As impressive and thrilling as it and its predecessors are, Act of Survival strikes a new plateau of thrills and incitement. Straight away rapier like rhythms pierce strolling melody soaked riffs and chords as Logan’s voice paints another striking and gripping lyrical revelation. The track is glorious, at times finding hues which remind of The Cure and in other moments of bands like British Sea Power and Johnny Wore Black, whilst sculpting its own unique theatre of original songwriting and heart bred enterprise.

The gentle but increasingly tempestuous haunting kiss of One Day comes next, its emotive resonance a lingering hug which eventually makes way for the tenacious and lively roar of The Waters. Again early Cure springs to mind as guitars and rhythms unleash slim but inescapable lures, whilst melodically and vocally there is a Placebo like lilt to the breath-taking waltz. It is a track to get the mind turning and blood rushing through the body, all the better for the inspired almost hidden echo which simply adds an ingenious extra depth to the already full-blooded and rounded, and not forgetting quite brilliant encounter.

Both Ambulance and DATV ensure there is no noticeable dip after such a pinnacle. The first is a tantalising slice of dark folk with a sultry air around shadow wrapped strings and acoustic expression whilst its successor, from the same kind of template, explores an even darker heart enlivened with more of the haunting textures and imagination which Logan has already revealed being skilfully adept at brewing. The pair sublimely entices appetite and imagination before Elisabeth holds ears with a balladry which is as explosive as it is serene. As across every track on the album, resourceful unpredictability and inspired boldness shapes and guides the hypnotic proposal, and again a spellbinding proposition is the outcome.

   My Darling Defibrillator takes us next on another climatic and at times atmospherically sweltering flight of invention and emotional turmoil, the song absorbing the listener in raw and impassioned beauty whilst seducing ears through to psyche, with another major incitement within Myriads.

The album is completed by the thoughtful and provocative serenade of Burst and finally the sonic bordering on harrowing, emotionally imposing AFM. They are two tracks which may not find the heights of those before but bring the album to a hugely evocative closure. Many moons back certain tingles and pleasure was found in the Black debut album Wonderful Life, a solo release which has stayed in thoughts and an ever evolving personal soundtrack ever since with the same potency. Those same ‘chills’ arose with Myriads and it is easy to suspect Officer will become the same kind of persistent encounter for us and a great many more old and new hearts within his already impacting fan base.

Myriads is available from 31st July and can be pre-ordered now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/id1018844878

https://www.facebook.com/iamofficer     http://officer.uk.com

RingMaster 20/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

Black – Blind Faith

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Like for so many others, Wonderful Life is a mainstay of not only all-time favourite albums but also our weekly listening pleasure at The RingMaster Review. Its creator Black, the musical non de plume of Colin Vearncombe, has continued to incite ears and the passions since that triumph’s release in 1987, through over ten studio albums under the Black moniker and the musician/songwriter’s his own name alone, yet still that album steals the show of our personal pleasures. Now though it has a rival in the shape of the magnetic seduction of Blind Faith, Vearncombe’s first release of new songs in six years. It is a melodic smoulder and emotional caress of thirteen diverse and captivating propositions which potently reminds us that their composer is still one of Britain’s most imaginative and persistently compelling songwriters and artists.

Blind Faith was co-written with long-time friend and musical sparring partner Calum MacColl, the son of Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl and brother of the wonderful Kirsty. Recruiting a host of talented musicians to help its recording, and with Calum Malcolm (The Blue Nile/Prefab Sprout) producing, Vearncombe brings all his emotively description skills to bear from the opening seconds of first track The Love Show. A sombre yet joyful acoustic melody hits ears first, swiftly courted by a kiss of strings and in turn the ever distinct voice of Vearncombe. In no time the track is a blossoming breeze of melodic enterprise, recalling the early days of Black whilst conjuring a new evocative croon in sound and texture. The melancholy of the song is gorgeous yet its atmosphere is simultaneously the complete opposite of that, warmth and tantalising lightness providing one endearing kiss on the senses.

BF-Front-Cover     The sensational start is continued by the vibrant saunter of Don’t Call Me Honey, a mix of country and folk revelry colluding in a catchy escapade swiftly in control of imagination and appetite. The swinging beats of drummer Liam Bradley are aligned to the slightly darker but no less energetic tones of bass from Simon Edwards, their combined magnetic spine the keenest lure in the dance of the song. The proposition’s riveting call is matched by the distinctly different Good Liar, a slow stroll of vocal reflection embraced by guitar bred melodies courtesy of MacColl and a mesmeric wash of keys cast by Mikey Rowe. Ears almost float in the croon of the song before being taken on a wonderful dramatic ride in Sleep Together. This treat has a melody rich hook which is like a fine wine on the creative menu of the song and just as potent on the senses as the real thing, additionally bewitching them in the eventful mesmerism already fuelling the captivation.

Womanly Panther has the same kind of theatre to it, this time in the shape of a siren-esque sixties flame. The imagination swiftly runs with the song’s suggestiveness as vocal harmonies are hugged by ever expressive strings. Thoughts conjure images of cosmopolitan temptresses on the French Riviera, a vision only encouraged by the tones and words of Vearncombe. It is another pinnacle in the increasingly thrilling Blind Faith and yet another unique proposal in its diversity, as indeed is Who You Are with its gentle embrace. Once more a whisper of nostalgia engages ears as the song’s chorus unveils a melody and vocal lure reminiscent of early Black enticements. Around this though there is a sultry climate which is almost surf rock like in a hazy complexion which has ears and emotions spellbound.

The following Sunflower is a slightly longer to ignite smoulder but from its first breath keys and Vearncombe’s tones cup ears in potent reflection before slipping away and being replaced by the just as emotively tenacious Not The Man. As it broadens its embrace, a more lively energy flows through the track’s sound and presence, and in turn the listener setting them up perfectly for the country rock spiced and new single Ashes Of Angels. Though another slimline song in textures, there is never a lack of thick melodic ingenuity and creative adventure to any Black song within Blind Faith, and equipped with a virulent contagion of vocal and musical hooks, the song sets itself up as just one more irresistible triumph.

The smoky emotion and tone of Stone Soup holds attention firmly next whilst the eloquent orchestral grace and provocative hues of When It’s Over has ears and thoughts bound with its contrast of soaring keys and strings against a grumbling bassline. Both though are over shadowed by the closing pair of Beautiful and Parade, the first, of course, living up to its title with a shimmering reflection of voice and guitar whilst the second unveils a celestial weave of melodies aligned to matching vocal prowess, the vocals of Vearncombe ever the strongest persuasive lure. It is a sensational close to an exceptional release which definitely flirts with the description classic.

Listening to Blind Faith brings back some of the same emotions felt listening to Wonderful Life way back in time and ever since, and that realising tingle of something special having just seduced ears and more. Colin Vearncombe’s first album is still the unrivalled Black album for us but Blind Faith is right there by its side as an essential proposition for all melodic rock/pop fans.

Blind Faith is available now via Nero Schwarz Limited @ http://www.colinvearncombe.com/music/blind-faith/

http://www.colinvearncombe.com   https://www.facebook.com/blackakacolinvearncombe

RingMaster 01/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

 

Cris Pinzauti – Black

Pic by Ilaria Costanzo

If like us the name Cris Pinzauti is a mystery then we suggest you change that as soon as possible by checking out his debut solo album Black. Consisting of eight songs which all captivate ears and attention, and at times explodes into one of the most thrilling and essential acoustic rock propositions you are likely to find anywhere, the release just leaves you wanting more. It is not an encounter which always hit the sweet spot of personal tastes but when it did boy the pleasure was thick and irresistible and at those other times satisfaction was still a done deal.

The background to Pinzauti sees him born in in Florence, Italy in 1971 and from a young age writing songs before self-teaching himself the guitar at 16. From here on, Pinzauti was part of numerous musical projects, creative collaborations, and played thousands of concerts throughout Italy and Europe, many with SUZY Q the band he and his brother Marzio founded and hard rock band Devil’s Mojito over recent times. Equally as a solo artist Pinzauti has strapped on his guitar and clicked on his loop station to light up audiences for over a decade in local venues with his creative style of acoustic rock. Now Black is poised to take the singer songwriter’s sounds to broader spotlights and appetites. Recorded exclusively with acoustic guitars, acoustic bass, and additional acoustic guitars used in percussion mode, and with guest appearances on certain tracks from Marco Di Maggio (Di Maggio Connection), Jack Meille (Tygers Of Pan Tang), Francesco Bottai (Articolo 31 and Irene Grandi Band), and brother Marzio, the album is a wake-up call for us all still unaware of this captivating talent.

Themed by “the BLACK or dark side of our lives, that which society labels as “dark”, but in reality is not” and contemplating the shadows behind forbidden love, sex, loneliness, soul searching, cynicism, inner demons, and rock and roll, the album opens with The Devil in the Closet. A breaking storm heralds in the song and its narrative, a stranger walking into a vaudeville bar room springing from an imagination sparked into action by the encounter before the potent tones of Pinzauti unveil more of the expressive scene in the company of his creative fingers on guitar strings. There is a mix of delivery styles to his voice; his offering equally a theatre of characters in the brief but intriguing folk bred opener.

It is a magnetic start but not as potent as the excellent My Black Is Back which follows. The song is instantly popping with melodies against vivacious beats, the infectious coaxing soon cris coverenhanced by a gentle strum of guitar. Again Pinzauti mixes up his tones, a gruff offering turning into a much stronger and compelling clean delivery which as the elevated melodies which hug it, gives the song a new energy and pungent contagion. The string plucks equally add a fascinating fun and creativity to the outstanding encounter to match that of the adventurous vocals, which once more never settle with one line of persuasion and only add weight to the enthralling temptation.

The country lined folk croon of Wasted Years comes next and has ears and thoughts hooked with its warm melodies and reflective vocals. The song does not give expectations a hard time but has enjoyment full before the brilliant Down brings its own transfixing beauty to bear on the senses. The resonating bassline is an instant hook whilst the guitars almost flirt as they sculpt a weave of melodic enterprise. Vocally too, and as now expected, Pinzauti only impresses as he increases the infectious tenacity and persuasion of the song’s gentle yet lively stroll.

The Vampire’s Lullaby is one of those moments which still has yet to fully convince. It is again a drama, a music play for today in some ways set in two parts. Let Me In is a spellbinding instrumental narrative, the fingers of Pinzauti bewitching across the strings of his guitar as he sculpts an imagination firing suggestiveness of a gothic tale. The storm of the first track again cracks and shares its intensity as Hush comes in and Pinzauti finds his dustiest Tom Waits like tones to bleed into the dreams of the song’s recipient. The track is a skilled and fascinating offering but one which misses sparking the same reaction as other tracks despite the exceptional vintage wine like melodies he pours across the song. Primarily it is the raw vocals which do not quite do it for us, just a personal thing and for others will work a treat, just like the rest of the compelling track.

The blues flavouring of Forever Yin Forever Yang is a vibrant collusion with a funkier endeavour sure to bring the listener to their feet whilst Hellbound Train explores that country breeding again with a southern rock balladry. Both tracks are short and potent temptations continuing the impressive nature of the album, but soon surpassed by Zombie Attack. The closer is easily the pinnacle of Black, its initial sandy croon the lead into virulent revelry blending melodic rock and pop into one quite sensational triumph. Addictive and ridiculously infectious yet intricately sculpted without taking any short cuts in seducing the listener, the song slips under the skin and into the psyche with sublime craft. Experience also knows that once infected the song never goes away, not that you will wish it to of course.

Black does not quite steal the passions for the whole of its body for us yet there is never a moment you wish to pass over and when it hits its heights, Cris Pinzauti simply has us in the palms of his creative hands. The bottom-line is that this is a must check out rock ‘n’ roll album and as the last line of Zombie Attack says “If Rock is dead, we are a Zombie Attack!” and that about sums up the attitude of this album and rock ‘n’ roll period.

Black is available now via Red Cat Records @ http://www.redcatpromotion.com/ita_store.html

http://www.crispinzauti.com/

RingMaster 27/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/