Oh Captive – Two Mirrors

Oh Captive Online Promo shot

It is hard to supress a roar of frustration and disappointment when after enjoying a new and thrilling encounter from a band with all the tools and sounds to be a major presence in British alternative rock, they announce ‘on the eve’ of its unveiling they are to be no more. That is what has happened with Bristol quartet Oh Captive. Just a couple or so weeks before new EP Two Mirrors is released to light up ears and appetites, the band announced it had called it a day, though it might emerge to be more an internal evolution resulting in a name change and new direction rather than a full departure. Time will tell but whatever the outcome, they leave behind two impressive releases and a collection of vibrant and inventive songs, their latest the most captivating yet.

Formed in 2012, Oh Captive swiftly lit their local music scene and subsequently set about the whole UK scene with their energetic live presence, playing with the likes of Sonic Boom Six, UK Subs, Straight Lines, Max Raptor, Sharks, Blitz Kids, I Divide, Fighting With Wire, and Scholars along the way. Their sound has drawn comparisons to the likes of Biffy Clyro and Twin Atlantic, open and potent spices in the band’s debut EP Advance Creature, which was released in the March of 2013. It was a stirring and dynamic offering rippling with a potential which has been realised with sizeable success within Two Mirrors. The past year has seen Oh Captive supporting the likes of Marmozets and Arcane Roots, and make highly successful appearances at festivals such as Leopalooza and New Age, whilst media attention has grown as potently too. Now it may be over, but if so the band has gone out with a bang and ensured attention for their next exploits will be eagerly attentive.

Oh Captive - Cover Artwork   Two Mirrors opens with Recover, an instant ear grabbing proposition as vocalist Tim Kelly and a tangy rub of guitar combine a minimalistic but highly tempting bait to bring the song into view. It is not long before the heavy throated bassline of Tom Hitchins and the punchy beats of drummer Chris Hill leap in, accompanied by sonic flames cast by the guitars of Curtis King and Kelly. Immediately there is a drama to song and sound, light and dark textures colluding in an imposing but inviting web. Settling down a little for the continuation of the narrative from Kelly, the song increases its lure as it builds to energetic crescendos and an anthemic chorus. There are no major surprises in the melody soaked track but there is a bold invention to match its gait, which leaves expectations and predictability absent protagonists in the outstanding encounter.

The impressive start is backed with similar strength by Motion / No Motion. The second song is a rhythmically raucous stomp from its first breath with Hitchins offering a magnetic lure of a bassline. It is a dark coaxing surrounded by the concussive stick ability of Hill, a thick drawing of attention never wavering even as they are immersed in the sonic and melodic blaze of the guitars and the ever impressing tones of Kelly. There is something missing compared to its predecessor though, a small element just stopping it drawing the lustier satisfaction bred by Recover, but nevertheless the song has feet and imagination leaping in tandem with its resourceful enterprise.

Live Fast Don’t Last explores more of a croon for its creative shape and emotive intensity next. It has a slower flow and a more immersive canvas than the last songs with melodic tenacity and evocative expression from the vocals providing a deeper reflective colour and emotion to the encounter. It smoulders and tempts pleasingly as it shows another side and depth to the band’s songwriting and its creative realisation, though again cannot quite emulate the success of the first track and indeed its successor.

The EP’s title track brings it all to a lively and impressive close. Two Mirrors bounds along with another invitingly dark bassline aligned to eagerly swung beats, whilst their union is drenched in an anthemic energy and charm which the band seems to conjure at ease. Veined by richly enticing and tenacious guitar craft, the song makes a pungent end to a fine and enthralling release. If this is to be the end of Oh Captive, song and EP has seen them go out on a high and will leave fans saddened and newcomers kicking themselves for not discovering their promise and quality before.

The Two Mirrors EP is available from March 23rd through all digital outlets.

https://www.facebook.com/ohcaptive

RingMaster 23/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Syren City – Escape EP

Syren City Online Promo Photo

Seemingly labelled as post hardcore, UK rockers Syren City has a sound which almost defies tagging as it employs a wealth of rich flavours such as punk and metal through to alternative and hard rock, and that is still only scratching the surface. It makes for a rousing incitement as evidence by their new EP Escape, a release which is best described as one almighty roar. Consisting of five tracks which twist with the flair of a pole dancer and has more moves than a senses ravaging roller coaster, the band’s new proposition is quite simply a ferociously compelling and thrilling adventure.

Hailing from Bristol and formed in 2011, Syren City took little time to light up venues around Wales and England, supporting the likes of Turbowolf, The Alarm, Max Raptor, Futures, Young Legionnaire, Attack Attack, and Blitz Kids, whilst festival appearances has seen them share stages with bands such as Brand New, Don Broco, We Are the Ocean, Mallory Knox, Kids in Glass Houses, and Feed The Rhino. Their live performances and their impressive portion of a split EP with fellow Bristolians and metalcore band Koshiro, has led to keen anticipation for Escape, an appetite fully fed by the impressive collection of contagious anthems.

The band hits top gear straight away with opener Bleed. It is a rampage of a song, heavy hitting and rigorously coaxing rhythms from drummer Louis Catlett aligned to the throaty lure of Adam Armour’s bass, an irresistible entrance soon PromoImageenhanced by the scything riffs and chords provided by guitarists Ian Chadderton and Adam Hopton. Instantly there is a feel of Foo Fighters to the muscular persuasion which increases as vocalist Simon Roach reveals his strengths. With gripping backing vocals and shouts adding to the incendiary array of hooks lining the charge, there is also an essence of Max Raptor and the now defunct Always The Quiet Ones to the stomp though all mere spices to something openly distinctive to Syren City. The track continues to set a fire in ears and emotions, its unpredictable invention and side steps in its imaginative emprise as swiftly addictive as the face on tempest of aggression and melodic enterprise.

The stunning start is followed by Our Disease, another track taking mere seconds to seduce senses and passion with its vocal bellow. This bait leads into a punkish antagonism in voice and sound before it in turn evolves into a hard rock stride. As it predecessor, the song mixes up gait and attack with seamless and skilled resourcefulness, never relinquishing its grip on ears and imagination with its increasingly catchy and enterprising temptation. It does not quite match the opening triumph, due to the majesty of that song, but easily ensures that the EP continues to inflame body and emotions as does its successor Fire In Your Name. The third song unveils an enticing sonic groove straight away which rapidly makes way for the potent lead and backing vocal mix, before returning to bind a stroll of punchy beats and raw riffs. As with most songs, that earlier mentioned post hardcore essence is a rich colour to the canvas of the track, but as with all it comes soaked in variety and diversity, melodic hues and a metallic sonic veining adding to the pop punk seeded emotive howl of the song.

The treats keep coming as Long Way Down enters the affair next. The blend of raw and aggressive confrontation within Roach’s predominantly melodic coloured vocals alone make a rigorously enticing offering whilst grooves and hooks in the heavily swinging tempest of the song, only add to its addiction sparking tendencies. The track shows a more savage side to the band’s sound and songwriting whilst still embracing their melodic natures; providing yet another highlight before final song Asphodel brings it all to an infectious close. Revelling in a hard and melodic rock web of enterprise, the song bulges with rhythmic sinews and fiery sonic endeavour whilst vocally Roach impresses once more as does the contributions of the band in the same department. At times raging with nostrils flaring and in others an evocative croon, the track is a mighty end to a similarly impacting release.

Escape is a riveting encounter from a band easily living up to the buzz around them whilst even in its impressive presence and success, revealing the potential for much more in Syren City.

The Escape EP is available now @ http://syrencitymerch.bigcartel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/SyrenCity

9/10

RingMaster 15/09/2014

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Oh Captive – Advance Creature EP

Oh Captive Online Promo Shot

Disregarding the deceptive label of post punk seemingly placed upon them, certainly on the accompanying promo sheet, what UK’s Oh Captive actually cast is a magnetic brew of pop punk and alternative rock around a rigorous spine of muscular melodic rock. Presented on their debut EP Advance Creature, the band’s sound it’s an exciting blend of passion and sonic textures drenched in striking craft and undeniable potential. It is a release which sparks fires in the emotions though not always retaining the same intensity, but from start to finish provides a fuse to the imagination and ignites a keen appetite for Oh Captive now and in the future.

The Bristol quartet emerged in 2012 and took little time is awakening an eager following locally before last year striking out around the country with bands such as Sonic Boom Six, UK Subs, Straight Lines, Max Raptor, Sharks, Blitz Kids, I Divide, Fighting With Wire, and Scholars. Comparisons to the likes of Coheed & Cambria and Twin Atlantic have fallen upon the band over time, comparisons relatively easy to understand listening to their four track debut.

The release opens with Beds Of Many Ghosts and immediately has ears entangled with enticing melodies, crisp rhythms, and a coaxing Oh Captive Cover Artworkhook which lays down the first seductive bait. Settling into its confident stride, the track relaxes around the vocals of guitarist Tim Kelly but all the time is creating a virulence of hooks courted by an emerging groove. It is a striking narrative coloured further by thirsty shadows provided by bassist Tom Hitchins and the guitars of Kelly and Curtis King which weave a provocative and contagious web of enterprise. The song is an irresistible encounter, one which has a familiar air to it in many ways but steps beyond that security with bold imagination and a thoughtful swinging design from the impressive rhythms of drummer Chris Hill.

The excellent start is swiftly supported and matched by Terrible Lives. The track again shows no restraint in unleashing contagious hooks and evocative melodies around a persistent rhythmic beckoning which frames the fine tones of Kelly ably supported by those of King. The song teases with guitar and rhythms alone at times; the bass held in reserve but once involved in the suasion opens up the depths and darker textures of songs and songwriting. Like the first track, it creates a tapestry of smart twists and turns employing a skilful persistently changing gait evolving the face of the song whilst brewing an almost toxic groove to wrap the track and subsequently steal the show in a quite scintillating climax. Both songs are strongly memorable but the second really gets under the skin with that deviously addictive groove most of all.

The remaining two songs do not reach the stature of their predecessors though both only cement an impressive introduction to the band. The title track steps up next, its tender melodic start courted by a sonic mist before it expands into a rich and evocative blaze of passionate sounds and lyrical reflections. Perfectly balanced and vibrantly poised, the track courts the senses with a masterfully woven venture of dark rhythms and radiant melodies aligned to similarly captivating vocals, and though it does not entrench itself in the memory as those before, its presence only enhances the promise of the band.

The closing Retreat Being reasserts punchy rhythms and almost rapacious sinews to the skeleton of another track which is just at ease crooning at and seducing ears as it is forging a sturdier imposing persuasion. The bass of Hitchins is especially vocal and melancholic in the track to lead thoughts deep into an emotional intensity but as excellent as the song is again it lacks the spark to impact beyond its departure.

Overall Advance Creature is an EP which potently grips thoughts and emotions throughout. It is a striking entrance by Oh Captives, one soaked in a promise which suggests the band is going to have a rosy future whilst providing plenty of exciting investigations ahead.

The self-released Advanced Creature EP is available digitally from April 28th

www.facebook.com/ohcaptive

8/10

RingMaster 27/04/12014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Manhattan Coast – This One’s For You

Photo Sofa B&W

    Self-released on February 17th, expectations and suspicions are ripe with only one thought, that the This One’s For You EP will be the trigger to a countrywide awakening and passion for UK alternative rock/pop band Manhattan Coast. The evidence is bouncy and vibrant through the five irrepressible slices of revelry making up the release, and though the Bridgend quartet is not exactly carving out brand new adventures they are casting an enticement which is potent and rigorously enjoyable. The EP is an encounter which easily catches the imagination and breath with its big contagious choruses and almost spitefully effective hooks, a release showing Manhattan Coast as another in the long line of satisfaction fattening bands from South Wales.

    Formed in 2011, Manhattan Coast has crafted a fine and impressive presence and reputation locally and across the UK, tours across Britain and the release of their first two EPs, Never Tell Me The Odds and Beg, Borrow and Steal, sparking eager interest amid a constantly growing fanbase. Equally shows with the likes of Kids In Glass Houses, Blitz Kids, and Straight Lines have brought further impressed focus upon the band. Now, supported by a European tour this month and UK dates with Forever After, This One’s For You is the next stirring declaration from Manhattan Coast and a tasty piece of excitable creative persuasion it is too.

     War On The Weekend opens things up and immediately has ears under the spell of an infectious hook and punchy rhythms. MC_EP_Cover_Sml_WebInto its potent stride with the excellent vocals of Nick Lane unveiling the lyrical narrative with smooth melodic tones, the track surrounds him with those continuing firm senses tagging rhythms and additionally teasing riffs whilst a web of inventive and resourceful guitar endeavour from Geraint Rees defeats expectations to inspire even greater adventure in the infection drenched song.

    The band has been compared to bands such as The Wonder Years, Taking Back Sunday, and Man Overboard over past releases and sounds but the one band which stands out as the closest reference, certainly in regard to the contagion and inspired potency of the torrent of hooks across the EP, is Lost Prophets. Rees has mastered the ability to cause addiction with his inventive and often short but razor sharp hooks, their efficiency and potency as irresistible and admittedly at times enjoyably similar to those which littered the other Welsh band’ compositions. Second song Monsoon Season In Machine City like its predecessor offers that prime Lost Prophets like virulence with its first breath. From there the band unleashes a dense brawl of rock ‘n’ roll intensity and pop punk voracity as the song seizes the imagination and appetite as tightly as the first. The band’s songs have that mischievous quality of recruiting the listener’s passions, limbs, and voice in their adrenaline fuelled choruses, not a pretty sight in some of our cases, and this blaze of melodic rioting is no exception.

    The opening pair provides the strongest bait into the release and band for newcomers, but are soon left in a sort of shade by the title track and the following Dreams Are For. The first of the two makes a reserved entrance, vocals and melodies stroking ears as the excellent bass tempting of Adam Jones adds just the right amount of intimidation to egg on the ever forceful yet respectful beats of drummer Dan Ryan. That Lost Prophets thought is probably at its strongest across these two songs but only adds to the admittedly familiar but refreshing stomp of passion and enterprise bursting from the songwriting and its presentation. The second of the two and best song on the release, is an epidemic of melodic toxicity and feverishly presented hooks within a pop punk riot of energy and ingenuity. Constantly unpredictable and swerving into new avenues throughout with Lane providing his most potent and impressive moment yet, though that applies to all members to be fair, the song is the most complete and original track on show and the most potent gateway into the artistic heart of the band.

     Carpe Diem finishes things off in equally immense and winning style, rhythms finding their biggest sinews and guitars their strongest snarling attitude though as always melodies and harmonies aligned to deep infectiousness is the order of the moment. It completes a persistently thrilling and magnetic encounter from a band you sense is on the verge of breaking it big, certainly the This One’s For You EP suggests so. With no real flaws and maybe only a surface similarity in sound to some songs a seeming minor niggle for some i, Manhattan Coast  is set to make 2014 their year.

MANHATTAN COAST EP RELEASE TOUR:

13/02 – De Bliksem, Den Helder (NL)

14/02 – Carpe Diem, Hasselt (BE)

15/02 – De Duycker, Hoofddorp (NL)

16/02 – Blaues Haus, Mönchengladbach (GER)

21/02 – Hobos, Bridgend (UK) w/ Forever After

22/02 – Racehorse, Northampton (UK) w/ Forever After

23/02 – White Horse, Colchester (UK) w/ Forever After

https://www.facebook.com/ManhattanCoast

http://manhattancoast.bandcamp.com/album/this-ones-for-you

9/10

RingMaster 12/02/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Cold Summer – UK Tour

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Post hardcore band Cold Summer have annouced the dates to their upcoming UK tour in support of their debut self-titled album released last year.

Cold Summer are fast becoming a critically acclaimed Rock/Post-Hardcore band, reaping the rewards for some fine releases which started with the self release of two EP’s, ‘Transitions’ and ‘Wake’ during 2012, before the Yorkshire band’s
release of their acclaimed debut album album in 2013.
To promote the release the band are heading out on a week long tour of the UK in February 2014. Building on a large and growing fan base across the North of England garnered as Cold Summer played sold out shows alongside well respected bands such as Funeral For A Friend(Distiller Records), Polar (In At The Deep End) Lemuria (Bridge Nine Records), End Of A Year/Self Defense Family (Deathwish Records), Margate (Cybertracks), Blitz Kids (Redbull), Scholars (Banquet), and Aficionado (No Sleep Records) since forming.
Now is the time for more of the country to catch one of the most promising Britsh bands live and with their still passions impressing album.
coldsummertourposter
The dates for the 2014 Cold Summer UK Tour in February:
Saturday 15th – Lounge 41 – Workington
Sunday 16th – The Zombie Hut – Corby
Monday 17th – The Vault Inn – Stockton On-Tees
Tuesday 18th – The Ship Inn – Preston
Wednesday 19th – The Old Blue Last – London 
Thursday 20th – The Hobgoblin – Bath
Friday 21st – Frog & Nightgown – Worksop
 
coldsummerselftitledcover

MY FAVOURITE RUNNER UP unveil debut album,’Crossroads’ 17th February‏

My Favourite Runner Up Online Promo shot
ENERGETIC PUNK ROCKERS RELEASE DEBUT ALBUM!
 
Explosive Brit rocksters ‘My Favourite Runner Up’ drop their eagerly awaited debut album ‘Crossroads’ on 17th February through all digital outlets.
Born in Northern Wales in 2006, My Favourite Runner Up were brought together by their common affection for New Found Glory, Jimmy Eat World, and Mayday Parade. Taking cues from their influences, the band have fashioned their own take, bringing together alluring hooks crossed with cut throat riffery; and the result is sure to win over any modern day rock fan.
Their debut EP, ‘Thoughts, Feelings, Actions’, received coverage from BBC Radio One, Scuzz TV and airplay on Kerrang! Radio, as well as securing widespread acclaim including impressive reviews from Rocksound and Dead Press and a feature interview with Big Cheese Magazine. Singles lifted from the record also gained airplay on all major UK radio stations, and the video for the single ‘Let It Ride’ was play-listed by Kerrang! TV.
In addition to their steady recording output, My Favourite Runner Up have always had a healthy appetite for live shows. To date, they have shared stages with the likes of Madina Lake, Mallory Knox, Kids In Glass Houses, Blitz Kids, Save Your Breath, Bury Tomorrow, The Hype Theory and Neck Deep, and toured with ‘I Spy Strangers’ and ‘Kids Can’t Fly’. Last year was also no different for the band as they relentlessly toured throughout the UK and Europe, further cementing their place as one of the new bands to see live. After a hectic touring schedule, the quartet bedded down in the recording studio with well-regarded producer Romesh Dodangoda (Motorhead, Funeral For A Friend, Kids In Glass Houses, Twin Atlantic) at the controls once again. MFRU now release their full length debut album ‘Crossroads’ which features eleven tracks stacked with thoughtful arrangements and concise and twisted riffs that entwine perfectly with contagious vocal lines. Look out for the anthemic ‘Poison’, which is set to be released as their first video single, and keep your ears to the ground for extensive tour dates as the MFRU boys plan to further stamp their name on the UK scene.
= MY FAVOURITE RUNNER UP RELEASE ‘CROSSROADS’ ON MONDAY 17th FEBRUARY
AND NEW SINGLE ‘POISON’ ON FRIDAY 17th JANUARY=
CDBO06.pdf
 

Wolves: Cycles EP

If you were fortunate to have been assaulted by previous EP Alpha Beta Omega from UK band Wolves, then steel yourself or run for cover as they unleash the destruction that is new EP Cycles. Whereas before they tested and brought down the senses with an aggression borne of their namesakes this times Wolves go on to gnaw and corrupt the carcass with even greater and imaginative violent eagerness.

The quartet from North Wales are no strangers to acclaim, their appearances during their still relatively short life alongside the likes of The Blackout, William Control, Fei Comodo, Shadows Chasing Ghosts, Polar, Evita and Blitz Kids let alone their previous release bringing strong and positive responses their way. Wolves are a band you do not forget in a hurry or want to. They do not make it an easy experience at times to share their company but always it is a fully intriguing and ultimately rewarding one. Releasing the Alpha Beta Omega EP in February the band took no time in writing and working on its successor Cycles. With four songs in the words of drummer Tom Williams which are ‘…based on the concept of human issues and struggles’, the band entered Orange Sound Studios in Penmaenmawr at the end of May to record in just two days the EP in its entirety. That drive is openly found on not only this release but the previous one too, the band determined yet controlled in forging their intent whether in ideas, sound, or its realisation for us.

The track Divide opens up the fury and is instantly a wonderful collision of crushing riffs, antagonistic rhythms, and vocals steeped in an even deeper well of venom, spite, and angst than seen before from the band. The song has a sheer hardcore punk attack which offers something different straight away from the band, the song rampaging like an aural rioter fuelled by rage and despair upon the senses. The track in mid torrent suddenly moves into a crawl of thick emotive energy which not quite doom or sludge sounds offers some of their tendencies before once more returning a storm of intensity through the ear. Ad Robinson is as uncompromising as ever but with the added diversity to his vocal attack through the unexpected aside brings something as agreeable and inventive as the coarse assault around him.

As second song Courage Breaker draws up on an excellent heavy steeled bassline from Ben Peers one is drawn like a magnet headlong into the following gale of corrupting riffs and electrified gashes of sound from guitarist Dan Hallows. It is glorious and leaves one breathless within moments allowing the song to permeate every atom with its rape of withering sonic manipulations and relentlessly jabbing beats. By this point one realises the band has sent the melodic side of their sound to its room like a naughty school boy. It is there toning the atmosphere of the songs but in a more inspiring than direct way, the tracks almost bruising the still defined emotive and evocative side of their music into realisation. It is an outstanding new approach and shows that whether their sound works for you or not, Wolves is extremely adept in their songwriting and for a band so young that only inspires greater anticipation for where they can evolve to.

Third song has the very apt title of Linger, its crawling venom and intense black breath remaining within past the song departure. Opening on a pulsating bassline accompanied at times by drums coming to the boil it is a haunting and ominous beginning. As the near desperate vocals of Robinson scour the ears with unbridled passion in a corruptive and clean delivery, the song winds its way through the ear igniting thoughts and feelings before its emotional collapse and heart given nightmare. A song to challenge deeper than ever and one to reawaken shadows within each and every individual it is a masterful violation and malignant intrusion which rewards more and more with each play.

Cycles ends on the equally senses staggering Dead Weight, its initial serpentine stalking a scarring and dehabilitating pleasure which explodes into another punk outrage of violence given birth from the blackest resentment and energy. The evolving air to the song is again like Linger, fully immersive, venomous and just as irresistibly dangerous to sanity.

As much as the last EP left only acclaim on the breath Cycles almost makes it look lightweight in quality and power, it is that good. Wolves are still a secret to most but surely now the country will awake to their monstrous quality.

Cycles is released July 9th and will be available for free on http://wolvesuk.bandcamp.com

http://www.facebook.com/wolvesuk

RingMaster 06/07/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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