Puppet Kings – The Mountain

Praise and enjoyment came rather easily a couple of years back for the Very Cool and Groovy EP from UK rockers Puppet Kings and both have bubbled up just as keenly again as the duo release its successor in the shape of The Mountain. Offering four tracks revelling in the hard/classic rock bred, broadly flavoured sound which has already marked the band out, the new EP equally hit the spot very nicely.

Originally formed in Brighton but Clapham based for the past few years, Puppet Kings consists of Tomas Cochrane (guitars, bass and vocals) and Harry Lehane (drums and vocals). It is a pairing which swiftly sparked and has increasingly earned a potent reputation and eager following through their rousing live presence and just as stirring releases starting with debut EP Timebomb of 2015 and Very Cool and Groovy two years later. With each release, the band’s sound has grown in adventurous maturity and bolder imagination; a blossoming still on going with The Mountain.

The band’s sound is a mix of the familiar and individually fresh which has already produced songs which boisterously leap from the speakers with open dexterity and instinctive energy. The last EP offered up tracks which grabbed appetite and memory with ease but none as masterfully and tenaciously as The Mountain opener, The Message. The track teased and tempted the passions from its first breath, a throbbing bassline the main culprit but soon joined by the equally captivating throes of guitar and vocals alongside the skittish beats of Lehane. Their lure only escalates by note and riff, exploding in a manipulative roar within a chorus which just commands participation. Everything about the track is a rousing incitement, from its devious stroll and virulent bounce to the vocal prowess and lead of both men, the song pure rock ‘n’ roll motivation.

Such its mighty roar and success, the following three tracks sit in its shadow but fair to say there is little about each which fails to bring added pleasure to the EP. Mountain Song is the following encounter, a blues tinged groove emerging from sonic air to spark another body trespassing, keenly infectious canter. Again the vocals play a big part in any tempting but similarly guitar and rhythms imaginatively shape a song which settles rather enjoyably in the ears.

Age Of Austerity is next up, a coaxing melodic tendril luring the listener into a shadowy but just as inviting embrace of inventive infectiousness. At various times, Puppet Kings has been compared to bands such as Foo Fighters, Guns N Roses, Alice in Chains, and Royal Blood some of which echo the spicing within another compelling track but as it and the EP overall confirms, the band’s sound is becoming more individual to the pairing by the release.

Fellow UK duo, The Sea does come to mind at times across The Mountain, they another outfit unleashing honest and passionate rock ‘n’ roll and the closing roar of Bag Of Bones epitomises the power of those traits. Slowly but firmly rising to its feet with melodic and emotive intensity wrapped in blues rock nurtured grooves, that passion fuels every syllable and seductive fiery chord which erupts, charging up the track’s animated fervour and fire.

It is a fine end to another inescapably enjoyable outing with Puppet Kings, a band which just gets more compelling by the record.

The Mountain is out now.

https://www.facebook.com/puppetkings   https://twitter.com/puppetkings

Pete RingMaster 06/03/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Howling Lords – Texas Medicine

Providing some blues rock liquor to re-invigorate sometimes complacent ears, Scottish trio The Howling Lords signed off November with the release of Texas Medicine. The band’s second album, it provides a captivating rumble and grumble of dirty blues bred tracks which plenty of blues and heavy rock fans should find an instinctive taste for.

Hailing from Isle of Lewis, The Howling Lords emerged late 2015 and within a handful of months lured keen ears with debut single Bad For Me. Just as eager attention and praise followed with a busy 2017 seeing the release of their self-titled debut album and the Dead Letters EP, the latter seeing the band’s sound further defined in craft and individuality which Texas Medicine now fully embraces.

From the first tease of opener Looking At Me, the album is a boozy tantalising of ears mixing the familiar with the band’s own fresh invention. The first track writhes with the intoxicated swings of a temptress, the guitar of vocalist Felix Saunders shaping its melodic inebriation as the heavy rhythmic stroll of bassist Jens Johansen shares its swagger to the crisp beats of Eoghainn Lapsley.

It is a potent start swiftly matched and indeed eclipsed by the contagious prowl of Black Dog. For two and a half minutes it as good as stalks the listener but with an invitation to its welcoming lair in every groove, vocal tempting, and rhythmic incitement.

As tracks reveal their individual prowess with garage/blues rock nurtured sounds there is no escaping thoughts of bands such as The Black Keys, Black Pistol Fire and indeed a heavily set Creedence Clearwater Revival; flavours which entice as much as The Howling Lords own raw and dirt encrusted breeding. That feral aspect is a prime essence of the excellent Moves To Keep Me, a punk blues roar which swiftly got under the skin.

Through the likes of the calmer whisky blooded Talk Like That and Green Dress with its rock ‘n’ roll ruggedness, band and album only tightened their hold on attention while subsequent tracks such as the sonically baying Howling At the Moon and the salacious She Devil brought further shots of temptation the way of ears and enjoyment.

For us it is fair to say that Texas Medicine needed a few plays for tracks to truly expose their richness and emerging individuality but more because of our less instinctive appetite for blues rock compared to other genres but with every listen came fresh pleasure as the final trio of Still Waters, Soul To Sell, and God On The Stairs proved. All three made for a firmly enticing proposition but grew by the listen, the first through its almost invasive weight and incisive grooving and its successor with melodic flames which erupt from a perpetual white hot smoulder to singe the senses.

The final track of the free is a melody bred ballad revealing another hue to the band’s creativity and sound; a track epitomising the magnetic touch of the band’s music. It completes an album which from a good impression has blossomed into one highly enjoyable and easy to return to offering.

Texas Medicine is out via all platforms on 30th November.

https://www.facebook.com/thehowlinglords   https://twitter.com/thehowlinglords

Pete RingMaster 30/11/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Silver P – Self Titled

Providing a debut album easy to suspect most heavy metal fans will find plenty within to spark an eager appetite, Silver P is the solo project of guitarist Pugnale, alias Roberto Colombini. The self-titled release though also embraces a host of rock and metal flavours to its creative heart providing an even wider range of ears a rich and intriguing experience.

Creating Silver P early 2017, Pugnale approached drummer/sound engineer Antonio Inserillo with a clutch of songs a few months later, persuading him to get on board with the emerging project. Finding a singer was a more difficult issue but eventfully Alex Jarusso was enlisted to the Italian band’s line-up, in turn becoming a quartet for the album with bassist Alessandro Cola. Their sound takes inspiration from the likes of Airbourne, Dio, and Megadeth but finds its own if not unique certainly distinct voice within a first album released through Red Cat Records.

The Deep Breath Before The Plunge opens up the release, its dramatic instrumental landscape a firmly magnetic intro to the release. The imagination easily ran with its epic and growing theatre of intimation and sound before Fields Of War erupts from its portentous air with an armoury of infectious riffs and rhythmic confrontation. The classic/eighties metal influenced delivery of Jarusso soon erupts from the battlefield and though it is a general vocal flavouring which we generally find hard to embrace as a style, his presence and prowess only adds to the track’s heavy/classic metal nurtured appeal and enjoyment.

Pugnale’s guitar craft and enterprise is another potent feature and provides even more attention grabbing enticement within next up Road To Hell, his grooves wrapping round ears with infectious intent as the rhythms of Inserillo and Cola rap and throb with flirtatious aggression. Growing into a definite best track contender it is swiftly rivalled by the blues rock lined strum of Memories; a track with a whiff of stoner rock and grunge to its relatively calm but increasingly tempestuous climate

Thrash and alternative hues colour the metal heart of The Net, wiry grooves luring quick pleasure into a just as enjoyable web of heavy and classic metal smelted invention. It is a trap as unpredictable as it is familiar in certain ways and another song adding to the album’s best passage of tracks though A Shade In Light with its opening feral riffs and nagging grooves within predacious shadows is as attention enslaving as anything around it. It never relinquishes that hold either as its dark trespass and melody woven predation continues to captivate.

Out Of This World follows and also ensures a compelling engagement with ears and appetite. It too has a darkness to its body and air which is disrupted and seared by bewitching sonic flames and melody hot tendrils and it is maybe no coincidence that for us the truly standout tracks are those bred in the shadows.

The thrash poked chug of I8 is old school metal/hard rock at its most wild and frivolous but built on open craft and adventurous mischief which seems to get more daring by the twist while Straight At The Heart closes things up by uncaging a rock ‘n’ roll holler not too hard to have body and spirit bouncing with.

Generally classic/heavy metal is a flavour others will appreciate more than us here but we cannot deny that Silver P, band and album, pleasured and captivated before getting under the skin in many ways.

Silver P is out now via Red Cat Records across all worldwide digital stores.

https://www.facebook.com/SilverPugnale

Pete RingMaster 18/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

King Zero – Sonic

What can we tell you about US outfit King Zero? Well very little actually apart from it is a quintet from Dallas which recently released the very appetising Sonic EP and offers a bluesy melody rich sound which has drawn comparisons to the likes of Black Sabbath, Grand Funk Railroad, Tom Petty, Eagles, and Black Oak Arkansas. Anything other than that we have yet to discover but quite honestly their latest release does all the talking for them whilst casting plenty of reasons why to give them continued attention.

Made up of four tracks which suggest a brewing broadness to their sound, the Sonic EP swiftly grabbed eager ears starting with opener Black Stoned Heart. Straight away the senses are wrapped in inviting sonic strains of guitar, a groove springing lure soon joined by an eager rhythmic swing. The potent tones of vocalist Paul Renna step into the growing blues fuelled enterprise soon after, his earnest croon aligning with the melodic craft of guitarists Dave Self and Chris Jackson. As further shown by the release in general, there is an open familiarity to the band’s sound and certainly they are not reinventing the sonic wheel but as the first track alone proves, King Zero is definitely giving it a new fresh lick of craft and imagination.

It is a great start to the EP quickly backed and eclipsed by In Your Eyes. Straight away spicy hooks are cast around ears, arousing a greedy appetite as they continue to nag and seduce as vocals and rhythms collude. A stoner-esque hue adds to the song’s magnetic character and holler, the swinging beats of Todd Hatchett inciting further captivation in league with the similarly alluring dark breath of Chris Ivey’s bass. Emerging as our favourite of the four through its rapacious grooving alone, the track highlights all the essences which are beginning to draw richer attention upon the band.

 Into the Light follows with a calmer touch to its southern laced croon within a melodically flaming classic rock breath and though we cannot say that it grabbed us as richly and firmly as its companions, from vocals to melody, united to individual craft, the track more than pleased whilst adding another hue to the band’s colourful sound.

Final track, Fuel the Fire, needed little time to get under the skin in comparison, the time it took Ivey’s bass to move through its first rumbling riff enough to reel us in. The trap is soon firmly shut by grunge lined grooves which just spill temptation and a vocal prowess that lures; an attention demanding end to a release which commands the same depth of fixation.

Sonic is also an offering which blossoms further by the listen. Musically it is not particularly unique but everything about it is creatively magnetic and as fresh sounding as you could wish; as we intimated earlier they reasons enough to keep King Zero on the radar.

The Sonic EP is out now on Spotify and @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/sonic-ep/1434199784

http://kingzeromusic.net/  https://www.facebook.com/kingzeromusic/   https://twitter.com/kingzeromusic

Pete RingMaster 16/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Matty T Wall – Sidewinder

It is easy to get the feeling that Matty T Wall is a well-respected and keenly supported artist in his Australian homeland, his new album carrying all the intimation and just as simple to expect its fine body of songs to push the man towards far broader international attention. Sidewinder is an imaginative and inventively accomplished proposition bred in the blues and its roots but Wall is an artist also unafraid to embrace an array of other flavours modern and past. This makes for a release which captivates and surprises with regularity; a record which is a real pleasure to join.

With bassist Stephen Walker and drummer Ric Whittle alongside, Wall creates a tapestry of genres and styles with his openly creative and individual playing. His guitar spins tales as potent as his voice, evidence immediate in album opener Slideride. The instrumental in seconds had ears gripped, the fuzz of guitar and tease of keys provided by Gordon Cant instant devilry inciting body and imagination as the track’s devilish stroll erupted into life. Flames of horns from Steve Searle just added to the manipulation, the song a swinging rousing slice of enterprise kicking the album off in magnificent style.

It is a start kept lively and potent by the album’s following title track. Blues and hard rock unite in a song which swiftly has the body bouncing, Wall’s vocals a rich ingredient in its growing engagement with ears. It has a traditional air to its flavouring but united with bold enterprise from modern imagination providing something unashamedly familiar but keenly fresh.

As suggested earlier, there is an eclectic character to the album no better epitomised than by the following Something Beautiful. A cover of the Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews track it is a glorious slice of pop shaped rock which just radiates temptation from the magnetic vocals to the uncomplicated but flirtatious tease of guitar and the understated but potent moody hues of the bass. It is a superb rival to its predecessors for best album song and in turn matched by another cover in Wall’s version of Sam Cooke’s Change Is Gonna Come; itself a firmly captivating take on a great song with the strings of Jonas Petersen an added pleasure.

Can’t Stop Thinking shares its seductive prowess next, the fiery vines of Wall’s guitar compelling heat to the darker stroll of the bass and the crisp raps of Whittle’s beats. Cant’s organ is a link between the shades, a suggestive glaze and temper to the song’s electric jazz fire. From its relative calm, the rock ‘n’ roll of the excellent Shake It had the body bouncing with ease straight after, its blues intoxication a boozy but defined incitement firmly rivalled by Going Down. The latter is a version of the Don Nix classic originally recorded by Moloch in the late sixties. It is a song given numerous outings by an array of acclaimed artists over the years and Wall’s ballsy rendition ranks high among them.

The jazzy flirtation of Aint That The Truth is a mellower but no less enticing turn in the album’s adventure; a song which lured participation in voice and hips as easily as it had ears hungry for more. Its summery swing was unadulterated temptation setting up the appetite perfectly for the rawer antics of Sophia’s Strut. Whether it was or not, the instrumental feels like an improv slice of fun taking the listener into the charged surroundings of an old school blues club, the track rocking out with Wall’s open craft and its inherent devilment.

The groove woven Walk Out The Door is an even more compelling moment in the release with its fusion of funk, jazz, and blues rock a spark to losing inhibitions as another pinnacle within Sidewinder emerged with style and relish. Bred from essences drawn from across the decades, the track swiftly proved addictive on its first listen before compliant ears were just as drawn by the intimate balladry of Leave It All Behind and its delicate melodies, evocative vocals, and the melancholy draped magnetism of strings.

The album concludes with a cover of the Chris Thomas King song Mississippi Kkkrossroads, Wall adding to its hip hop/electric blues credentials with his own rock ‘n’ roll instincts. It is a great end to an album which has increasingly impressed and aroused. Matty T Wall might be a new name to a great many outside of the Australian rock scene but not for much longer if Sidewinder gets the attention it undoubtedly warrants.

Sidewinder is out now via Hipsterdumpster Records across most online stores.

https://www.mattytwall.com/   https://www.facebook.com/mattytwall/   https://twitter.com/mattytwall/

Pete RingMaster 13/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Louis Antoniou – Rag Doll

Having been introduced to British rocker  Louis Antoniou through two-track single Lonesomeville / I Let The Rain Fall Hard this past March, it was rather easy to find a keen appetite for his flavoursome rock ‘n’ roll especially now after the release of its successor, Rag Doll. As tempting and enjoyable as those two songs are, the new track just blows them out of the water.

With his equally well-received single of February, You Ain’t The Girl, the trio of tracks this year to date revealed a great broad and imaginative canvas to Antoniou’s sound which Rag Doll stretches just a little more. The track has a tasty line in dark blues rock in its virulently infectious swing, a teasing almost sinister texture infesting the delicious groove and rapaciously tenacious character of the song.

Antoniou again shows his vocals to be a just as potent lure as his music and instinctive devilry on the guitar. This added to a rascality of unpredictability and a Queens Of The Stone Age-esque spicing made the song an irresistible lure, a devious one too as the track just seems to get bolder and more virulent by the listen.

Rag Doll is another in a planned five singles from Watford hailing Antoniou this year but after this latest offering is it being too greedy to hanker after a full album?

Rag Doll is out now.

https://www.louisantoniou.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Louisantonioumusic/

Pete RingMaster 03/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Ugly Kings – Darkness Is My Home

Towards the tail of last year Australian blues rockers The Ugly Kings left a rather fertile and extremely tasty teaser for their debut album in the shape of two-track single Promised Land. Now we can reveal that all the hints and intimation offered then of something special coming ahead have been forcibly realised with the band’s first full-length, Darkness Is My Home. The release is a powder keg of muscular rock ‘n’ roll, a cauldron of suggestion and haunting darkness, and most of all simply one of the most powerful creative roars heard in a long time.

From the coarse grain of the delicious bass sound to the suggestive clang of the guitars and from the lyrical atmospherics to their vocal realisation, Darkness Is My Home is pure uncompromising temptation, one as dynamic as it is seductive and as cinematic as it is intimately haunting. In fact it is so much more than that outstanding first single implied, and still offering more after a multitude of listens.

Formed in 2011, the Melbourne quartet soon stirred local and subsequently national attention through their live presence and in turn 2015 mini album Of Sons. The past two years has seen the band share the stage with Rival Sons in Melbourne (2016), support Airbourne on their successful sold out 2017 east coast Australia tour and this year open for Papa Roach on their two shows in The Ugly Kings home city. Darkness Is My Home can only open bigger doors and opportunities, the album thrusting the band into the realm of the big boys without even a knock on the door.

The album opens with the outstanding Promised Land and instantly hooks ears with its initial lure of sultry guitar and vocal expression. Frontman Rusty Clark has a voice which commands attention, a musical orator you just want to listen to and backed by just as compelling sound throughout song and release. The smouldering brooding of the song is transfixing, only escalating its lure as resonating beats and the first of a tide of irresistible basslines across Darkness Is My Home breaks. Igniting into a robust stroll with a searing groove, the track is pure captivation and increasingly so as it repeats its cycle with greater lust and vigour. Rock ‘n’ roll does not come much better as this imposingly infectious and skilfully manipulative encounter though it is undoubtedly matched throughout the album.

The following Black Widow also makes an instant impact with the beats of Andy Alkemade sending ripples of resonance across the senses with every impact before Christos Athanasias’ guitar begins its prowl alongside Clark’s vocal incitement. The earthy growl of Nick Dumont’s bass is just as riveting, the four conjuring a predatory yet seductive dark romance with threat in every note and suggestion in every syllable. Influences to the band include the likes of The Doors, Jack White, Black Sabbath, and Royal Blood, flavours you can sense but as in the first and those to come the track is as unique to The Ugly Kings as you could wish.

The fiery rock ‘n’ roll of Raging Bull has a more animated gait though it comes in an ebb and flow which stabs at the senses with purpose and mischief before being uncaged in a rich blaze of melodic lava while Killing Time borders on the carnivorous with its gorgeously gnarly bassline and romantic with its melodic and vocal reflection. The uniting of contrasting textures is masterful and Dumont’s bass manna for personal tastes whilst the song’s croon is just impossible to resist. Both songs light up ears and imagination, fire up the passions though we can say that about every track within Darkness Is My Home.

Love Enemy with its slow swagger of a stroll brings calm after the clamour of its predecessor but one lined with dark provocative shadows and magnetism as sinister as it is infectious. Its catchiness is inescapable, swaying hips and over worked neck muscles our evidence with the imagination just as involved as words and tendrils of sonic enterprise entangle before You And Me brings is boozier intoxication to bear on ears. The band’s passion for the blues is a constant roar in their skilfully eclectic sound, The Ugly Kings infusing it into their own power fuelled designs, each individual to the next as proven by the volcanic heat and earnest swing of yet another gem.

Another great trait of the album is that every song feels like old friends within a couple of listens, Lazarus drawing vocal chords into play even before it finishes its first influential roar, the ballad a pyre of power and individual intensity.

The album is brought to a just as rich close by firstly Little Birdy Told Me; a cauldron of senses singed grooves and ever welcomed rhythmic trespasses aligned to the striking prowess of vocals and unpredictability, and lastly The Fire. The closer has the heat its title suggests but before it reaches that intensity, simmers and smoulders around vocal melancholy and defiance. When it catches, the track is a furnace of sound and intensity but just as powerful when it’s sonic and atmospheric kindling is just glowing.

Darkness Is My Home is quite simply glorious, a rousing beacon among already a host of great and powerful heavy rock releases. The Ugly Kings better get their passports in order because we get the feeling the world is going to want them blazing away in their backyards hereon in.

Darkness Is My Home is out now via Kozmik Artifactz; available @ https://theuglykings.bandcamp.com/ and http://smarturl.it/DarknessIsMyHome

https://www.facebook.com/TheUglyKings/   https://twitter.com/theuglykings   https://theuglykings.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 25/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright