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

Five Mile Smile – The Truth About Dogs and Wolves

Five Mile Smile is a duo from Belfast in Northern Ireland, The Truth About Dogs and Wolves their new EP and highly infectious proof that the band creates some rather tasty blues lined rock ‘n’ roll.

Originally formed in 2000, Five Mile Smile split up three years later after a time playing extensively around Ireland and recording some well-received songs. Connecting again through Facebook, the band reformed as a trio in 2014, initially just for fun. In no time though they began writing new material and played a few small private gigs. Things have continued to grow, culminating in the release of The Truth About Dogs and Wolves; an encounter which mixes familiarity with fresh passion and mischievous adventure.

The EP opens with Brawlin in Belfast, a track “about local boxing, and small time boxers making it big.” From the announcement every boxing fan gets a tingle from, the track stomps into view with bold rhythms and a hungry tide of riffs. Quickly it slips into its rock ‘n’ roll stride, vocals roaring from the midst of the swiftly contagious proposal as fifties and sixties rock ‘n’ roll collude with fresher essences to wrap attention up in the song’s swinging antics. It is an excellent start to the release, a slice of almost feral infectiousness veined by ear enticing guitar and rhythmic craft.

Call to Arms comes next, the second track making an equally alluring start as vocals harmonically unite against the more aggressive but no less enticing jab of beats and the sonic glaze of guitar. There is a heavier gait and swing to the song compared to its predecessor and a darker air seemingly to its intent which only adds to its drama and though it does not quite match up to the heights of the first song it leaves a keen appetite for more which Beg Borrow or Steal with its dirty rock ‘n’ roll soon feeds. Again it is a song unafraid to embrace sixties inspirations, The Rolling Stones an obvious but invigorating hue in its highly enjoyable nagging infectious roar.

The lively almost salacious exploits of Working Man and the licentious deeds of Drinkin All Day keep the record rocking and body rolling; the first a raw and firmly catchy offering with highly flavoursome melodic flames licking at its virulent infectiousness. Its successor is sandwiched between a great burst of cigarette nostalgia, blazing away with blues rock passion and energy not forgetting creative enticement. Both tracks challenge the first for best song honours, the first swinging it.

The EP closes with Touch the Lightning, a song which hints at and promises more than maybe it delivers even with its eventful twists, never quite following through their boldness, but still does nothing less than please and add to the potency of a release which may not be obviously unique but has plenty to get into and more importantly really enjoy. Check out the band’s other new track This Is Not a Drill too on their Bandcamp page for more blues rock goodness.

The Truth About Dogs and Wolves is available now @  https://fivemilesmile.bandcamp.com/album/the-truth-about-dogs-and-wolves

https://www.facebook.com/Five-Mile-Smile-604400046245516/

Pete RingMaster 11/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hell Fire Jack – Chains

It is dirty, raw, and unforgiving or in the words of the band itself, “Brutal Blues” which escapes the creative throes of ‘angry bastards, loud as Hell’ British duo Hell Fire Jack. It is also one compelling trespass on the senses and emotions which has come to a glorious head in the band’s debut album Chains. Imagine Seasick Steve infested by the spirit of Lux Interior as The Hangmen infuse their own devilry and you get a sense of the rapacious roar at the heart of the band’s first full-length.

Formed in 2012, Hell Fire Jack is vocalist/guitarist Alex Trewhitt and drummer Josef Karl, a pair from Yorkshire creating addictive toxic sounds which sizzle on the senses as they get rhythmically bitch slapped. It is not for those who want their music to be a comfort; an easy going escape without danger but for those who love to feel threatened whilst rocking out like a dog in heat, Chains is a thrilling demonic puppeteer.

It is also an album which simply blossoms song by song, each bringing something fresh and varied to the blues heart which breeds their predacious incitements. It is not just the sound which lures the listener into the dark, lyrically songs find seeds in “mental instability, insecurity and a constant struggle with modern life” to provide an intimacy which works away at thoughts just as the music gets under the skin and into the psyche.

As you might have surmised, we were seriously taken by Chains, it gripping attention and appetite from pretty much the first deep breath of opener Hell-O. The coarse but inviting riffs of Trewhitt’s guitar quickly lead ears into the waiting lures of his wiry grooves and the swing of Karl’s fevered beats. The former’s vocals are soon similarly magnetic, the pair creating a rousing concussive stroll leading feet and hips into fevered antics as shadows crawl the imagination. The track is irresistible, a stirring roar of blues and garage punk trespassing air and listener with every essence shared.

Cyborg swaggers in next, every beat a shuddering lead, each riff a rapacious scour on the senses but it all as virally infectious as the vocals cruising the inescapable persuasion. As the song epitomises, there is a great nagging quality to Hell Fire Jack propositions, an imaginative persistence which has body and appetite bouncing, and success Dark Horse only emulates. Its initial atmospheric smog is soon pierced by Karl’s anthemic swipes, it all building to caustic catchiness spewed by the guitar in an In The Whale/ Dick Venom & The Terrortones spiced shuffle.

The sonic liquor of Old Whiskery echoes assumptions going by its title, a sonic intoxication which deviously flirts in groove, voice, and beat while The Hustle chugs along with many similar traits of its predecessors to equal if less striking effect. It is familiarity though which gives Hell Fire Jack its individuality and incites a greed for more as words and syllables persistently bite within it all.

A sonic liquor swollen party comes in the shape of Don’t Come Knocking next, the track harrying the senses as a rousing vocal assault grips the imagination. It swiftly has its hand on best track heights before losing that honour to the quite brilliant Mr. Sinister. The track is horror blues punk alchemy, a proposition to breed lust over even with there being something indefinably recognisable about it.

Through the controlled but open sonic fever of Take a Hold and the predatory intimation of Sunday Best the album only reinforces its potency and persuasion though neither song can quite live up to the previous slices of rock ‘n’ roll manna. Each so they just grip attention with their varied enterprise, the following Lock and Key with its old school hues and garage punk dexterity then matching their heights with its composed but incisive swing.

Another major highlight is sprung with Better the Devil, its atmospheric, haunting melodic welcome alone enough to crow about but adding the subsequent tempestuous landscape and the Danzig-esque spicing which grips its tenacious blues prowl and the track simply escalates in character and prowess as well as impressiveness.

The album’s title track brings things to a close, a song which crawls through ears and thoughts with the instinctive infection of old school rock n’ roll and the lithe meandering of blues rock, it all boiling up and igniting in sonic blazes which sear the senses. Enthralling second by second, the track is rock ‘n’ roll at its basest and most compelling and a transfixing close to one thrilling release.

Hell Fire Jack never truly hit the brakes with their high octane attack and sound but when they do give them a nudge, you get taken to the darkest most seductively menacing places. Simply put Chains is a real pleasure pretty much like no other.

Chains is released February 14th on iTunes and @ http://hellfirejack.bigcartel.com/

Upcoming live dates:

Sat Feb 17 Hell Fire Jack album launch party, Harrogate, United Kingdom

Tue Feb 27 Lending Room @ The Library, Leeds, United Kingdom

Fri Apr 6 Al’s Dime Bar, Bradford, United Kingdom

Fri Apr 20 Verve, Leeds, United Kingdom

Sat Apr 28 THE FERRET, Preston, United Kingdom

http://www.hellfirejack.com/    https://www.facebook.com/hellfirejackband/    https://twitter.com/Hell_Fire_Jack

Pete RingMaster 06/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Embraces from the heart: talking with Charly&Faust

Picture by Rémy Tortosa

Tagged as indie folk rock, the Charly&Faust sound is a much richer tapestry of flavours than that hints at and a captivating seduction for ears and thought as proven by a recently released EP. We had a chance to look into the creative heart of the California based band, finding out about its origins, that new EP, creating songs and much more…

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

Charly: We are Charly&Faust, an Indie Folk-Rock band composed of six members. I am Charly (Marie Weill), one of the lead singers of the band and rhythm guitarist.

CH: My name is Coralie Hervé and I’m the drummer the band, I joined Charly&Faust in October 2016.

ER: Hi, I’m Eric Reymond. I play bass and do the backing vocals. I’m from Switzerland and I moved to Los Angeles to study at Musicians Institute. I met Coralie on the first day of school and she introduced me to the rest of the band because they were searching for a bass player.

NL: I’m Nathan Lorber, I play keys, and I met the rest of the band following a Facebook notice.

JF: I’m Jeff (Jefferson Fichou) the lead guitar player. I met the band at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood.

Faust: I am Faust; the other lead singer of the band. Charly and I, first met in Paris few years ago, and we started to make music together when we moved in LA. The connection between us was great, but not powerful enough yet. That is why we decided to build a band. Now, We are like a little family!

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

CH: I was in a band with some of my friends for 6 years. It was only for fun but it taught me how to play and work with other people.

Faust: It’s the first time I’m part of a band so there is for sure no impact for me.

JF: I’ve been playing in a lot of different projects here in LA and back in France. It’s important to have such experiences in the music world but everything is evolving faster and smoother with Charly&Faust.

Charly: I got bands before, but it never really worked. We were not going to the same musical direction. I have the chance to now play in two bands with people that I love working with. Charly&Faust is my main band, the one I lead with Faust, but I also play bass and sing backing vocals in another band called The Sutra. I am also working on my next solo EP now. All these experiences are complementary for me and help me to go further in my artistic process in each of them.

ER: Yes, I had two bands back home and I was playing with two other bands here when Charly&Faust asked me to join them. I don’t think it has any impact on my way of playing; I’m always trying to play everything.

NL: I have my own project called Polymorph, as well as a couple of other bands on the side.

Picture by Rémy Tortosa

What inspired the band name?

ER: It comes from the nicknames of the two singers and leaders.

Faust: We just wanted to use something that goes well together!

Charly: Like our music collaboration!

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

Charly: I think for Faust and I music is a way to express ourselves. That was the main idea behind this band. Be free to express our feelings and vision of the world. For the sound part, we are listening old and new music so we wanted to illustrate that in our sound.

Faust: When you play in a band, you feel stronger than ever. All together, we deliver a message and it has a better impact this way. We talk about several feelings from heart breaking to society topics to humanity questions.

NL: I think one of the key points of our sound is to mix a broad range of styles, both old and new.

And those same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

Faust: Yes that’s pretty much the same. I mean the process is the same but with time the other members bring their own touch, their own way which is something I love!

JF: We’re still a pretty young band; we just started about a year ago.

Charly: The only thing that changed is that before forming the full band, Faust and I were composing our songs with an acoustic set up which sometimes was bringing guitar melodies a bit different than what we got now that we are composing with an electric set up.

How would you say your sound has evolved since its beginnings?

JF: We sound more like a band now. I mean everybody has brought some elements to the music and that’s great.

Faust: I just think that the more I practice with the band, my feelings and my way to approach music evolved. Experiencing music with them makes my personal sound evolves and this way makes the sound of Charly&Faust evolves.

CH: At the beginning, there was only Charly and Faust so it was more acoustic, folk. When the rest of us arrived, it turned more indie, rock and now we have some electronic sound added to our music.

Charly: I would say that we are starting to know each other better which allow us to play better together and go further in our creative process. We also improved a lot the vocals harmonies in my opinion.

ER: It’s way more professional now. The electronic elements are certainly a plus to make our sound more professional.

Is the creative movement within the band a more organic thing or do you go out to deliberately try and push new things?

Faust: You know we all have ideas and try to make them work all together which sometimes works really good and sometimes not but what matters is the fact we communicate a lot about it to make sure that we all go in the same direction.

ER: In general, I would say it has been always organic, but, of course, sometimes it’s nice to set boundaries to not get stuck in our comfort zone.

CH: I will say both. The first songs were already written so we kept them like they were but we experimented a lot with the new songs that we arranged all together.

Charly: I would say that it is a mix between both and that it depends of the song we are creating and its topic too.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

ER: Yes, Vulfpeck, Radiohead and Jack White help me to construct my bass lines stronger.

NL: A big influence for me is Pink Floyd, which also happen to be my favorite band. And the important role Rick Wright had in that band taught me how critical the role of a keyboardist is. You don’t just play melodies or chords, but are a central part of creating textures and setting up the whole atmosphere of a song.

Charly: Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zero, Imagine Dragons, Tracy Chapman, Assaf Avidan, etc.

Faust: I have so many artists who inspired me like Michael Jackson, Joan Jett, the Beatles, The Doors, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Coldplay… I have so much more but I’m gonna stop here *laughs*

CH : I am more of a hard rock/rock drummer, so it’s really interesting to play with Charly&Faust, to add some electronic sounds and find some groove which works with all the other instruments.

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

NL: It usually starts with Charly and Faust bringing lyrics and some vague structure and chords progression to the table. And from that, the whole band participates to enrich the musical and rhythmical aspects, and kind of put flesh on the skeleton.

Charly: Since Faust is the one who writes lyrics, she is usually the one coming to me with a new idea. Then, as Nathan said, we work just the two of us on the lyrics and the melody before working on it with the entire band. We started to work this way and it always worked pretty well, so even if we love having the other members ideas during the creative process, we like to have this moment just the two of us to be sure it is going where we want things to go.

Faust: I usually write the lyrics of the songs, sometimes even come up with a small melody. Charly co-write them with me, and most of our melodies are from her creativity with her guitar.

ER: Generally Charly and Faust bring the idea and we all together construct around to create the best song possible.

JF : My favorite moment is when we’re all jamming together to make a new song sounds as good as we can.

Where do lyrical inspirations more often than not reside?

Faust: Usually my inspirations come from the moments when I am by myself and feel alone.

Charly: It can come from a melody I composed, from a word or sentence one of us heard, etc.

ER: For my song It’s Weird Outside (that you can find in our EP Wild World), I based it on my personal life. But I try to write more about the story of people I know and feelings that affect us all at some point in our life.

Would you give us some background to your latest release?

Faust: Our latest release is our EP ! It is an Indie-Folk-Rock EP talking about love, heart breaking, life, society and humanity. We are very proud of this new baby!

NL: It’s been the result of the contribution of several different formations of the band, up to the current one. So this EP presents variety through its diverse contributions, yet still a strong sense of unity and consistency, since all of the songs are the brainchildren of Charly and Faust!

Charly: Anything wouldn’t have been possible without the help of wonderful people like Pease S. Nistades who did the artistic production on it and Gerhard Westphalen who mixed and mastered it. We also released our first music video No Rush directed by Mariano Schoendorff Ared and produced by Zoé Pelloux. You should definitely go check it on YouTube! We shot it on film and we are so happy of this amazing result!

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

Faust: Well it talks about how monstrous humans can get, how much you can give love to someone and how much it can hurt. You will have to listen to our EP to know more about all that!

Charly: The themes of our songs are most of the time about experiences we lived or we saw happening to people around us. It is very personal for Faust and I.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Charly: We are an Indie band, so we don’t really have the choice of losing hours and hours in studio trying to figure out how a song should go. We have limited time of studio so we have to come prepared, which actually allows us to go further in our creative process. It’s not a bad thing!

Faust: We usually go in studio prepared and we record. As Charly said, no time to lose! Everything must be ready, from the lead vocals to the backing vocals.

JF: We’re adding a few elements on the spot during the recording sessions but the songs are already in their final states.

CH : For the drum part, there are already written before going to the studio so the other members have a solid base to work with. I can’t screw it up!

ER: The recording process of our EP was pretty much a mix of the two options. The main structure of the songs was established. With Coralie, we record the rhythmic section with this structure and after we add the other instruments. Afterwards there are always ideas coming up that we keep on the final version.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably a favourite aspect?

CH : I really like it, we really have a connection together and hope that people can feel it too. It’s so fun to play with people who experiment the music same as you.

Faust: Live shows are so much fun! The connection with our audience and the band members! It always feels too short!

Charly: Live is one of the best parts for sure. It allows you to share with the band and the audience what the songs really mean to you. And it can be always different depending of what happened during your day.

ER: There’s none. *laughs* No I would say when the rehearsal ends. *laughs* Seriously, my favorite aspect is the cohesion we have on stage and during rehearsals. It’s not common to find this in a band. We don’t just play with other musicians, we play with friends.

NL: It’s always a great feeling to present the result of our hard work to the public, especially considering the amazing feedback they usually give us.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

Faust: I think the secret is playing, playing and playing music, create small buzz as much as you can, respect people and having good connections with your band members, which we are actually doing. Let’s see how it goes now.

Charly: Patience is the key word! And hard working too. You just need to be smart and work your ass off and it will eventually pay one day! You just need to get ideas that nobody thought of before you.

JF: If you have the drive, the patience and the stamina, everything is possible.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date, good or bad?

JF: Internet is a fantastic tool for new bands, we’re trying to use it as much as possible to grow our fan base and network.

Faust: I think social medias are great to build your fan base, but I don’t think that is the real bones of your success! Even if for our generation it definitely helps.

Charly: Social medias are a free way to have people talking about you and follow your actualities. It is of course just a part of what should be done for a band to promote what they are doing, but it is a really good beginning! That is your chance to share you music without waiting for music professionals to tell you if you are good enough to be heard by an audience. For example, we are now posting a new video on our YouTube channel every Thursday to make sure people can see us play live shows, do rehearsals, etc.

NL: As for a lot of young bands, the internet and social media is a central part of our communication with fans and the distribution of our music. As a matter of fact, if it wasn’t for social media, I wouldn’t perhaps be part of the band, since that’s how I got news that they were looking for a keyboard player.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Faust: Hey! Come join our world!

CH : Enjoy your life and do what you love.

ER: Don’t tell anyone but we have a secret project coming up 😉

JF: We’re playing often in the Los Angeles area, come say hello at our next show! You can find all the info about it on our website https://www.charlyandfaust.com/ !!

Charly: Thanks for your time! We are playing at The Mint LA on November 30th at 9:30PM, if you want to come get a beer with us!

https://www.facebook.com/charlyandfaust/    https://www.instagram.com/charlyandfaust/

Pete RingMaster 09/12/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Royal Podencos – Broken Bones

Released earlier this year, Broken Bones is an album well worth taking a close listen too especially if you have an appetite for boisterous garage rock. The second album from Spanish quartet Royal Podencos, it offers much more than that garage rock tag, the Santander outfit creating their sound with a  just as rich flavouring of punk, blues rock, and power pop for a proposition as fresh as it is enjoyably nostalgic.

The successor to 2014 debut What´s your plan, the eleven song strong Broken Bones needs little time to get the body bouncing and an appetite for the band’s rock ‘n’ roll brewing with opener Sexuality. The foursome of Jonny, Jota, Toni, and Hans instantly tease with a rockabilly riff, its lure aligned to a rousing hook and melodic devilry as rhythms dance invitingly in the ears. With great distinctive vocals riding its mischievous almost salacious antics, the song swiftly springs its inescapable trap to inspire the body and imagination to be as lively as its own escapade.

It is a rousing start to proceedings which is never outshone within Broken Bones but certainly rivalled like by its successor Break us down. Its own swinging flirtation and gait brings a more sixties flavoured adventure but one quickly revealing its seventies punk instincts as vocals and hooks unveil their infectious intent. As the first song it is a highly catchy and addictive proposal, a slice of pop infused punk ‘n’ roll to get the hips and spirit dancing; their energies given no respite by the following more bluesy rock ‘n’ roll of The dog you found. With a Tom Petty-esque scent and drawl to its stroll it too casts a contagious sixties power pop jangle with a truly virulent hook to grab ears and attention alike.

Though not quite finding the heights of its predecessors, Anything you want is no lightweight in persuasive rock ‘n’ roll either, its tenacious swing and sharp hooks leading the listener into eager involvement while Noone´s giving up in here, whilst keeping enjoyment full, allows a breath to be taken with its Americana kissed blues croon and suggestive guitar woven melodic web. Both tracks spread the rich flavours in the Royal Podencos sound further, each song so far revealing a different angle in the garage rock ‘n’ roll heart of the band.

A little creep has the inner bounce leaping again as it shares its pop rock contagion next, eager rhythms injecting its already enticing bait with moments of anthemic tenacity as riffs scythe across their swings before What´s wrong with you has thoughts going back to bands like Eddie and The Hot Rods, The Motors, and Tonight with its hepped up and highly enjoyable antics.

The discord lined canter of On and on hits the spot within seconds next, its punk nature and off-kilter harmony inescapable temptation against which Let me shake puts up its own blues laced raw pop ‘n’ roll to matching persuasive success. As with most tracks within the album, each has an instinctive knack in setting traps and hooks which are impossible to evade or ignore resulting in another very agreeable rock ‘n’ roll workout.

The closing pair of You got a home and Tell me why are no different even without quite hooking up with the passions as naturally as others within Broken Bones. Nevertheless, their respective individual moments of garage pop punk and classic blues rock leave pleasure high and the album impressing right up to its last breath.

While sensing something even more unique is lurking, just waiting to break out in the Royal Podencos sound, Broken Bones consistently hits the spot with moments of lustful pleasure on top. If you are looking for some new varied rock ‘n’ roll to get dancing too then Broken Bones is well worth tangling with.

Broken Bones is available now @ https://royalpodencos.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/royalpodencos/

Pete RingMaster 21/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Drive On Mak – Babylon

Creating a magnetic mix of punkabilly with blues coated rock ‘n’ roll though that just scratches the surface, Drive On Mak is a proposition, certainly with their latest EP, which teases and tempts until you cannot resist taking attention. It is fair to say that initially Babylon pleased without making a major impression but over subsequent listens where its prowess and enterprise seemed to really blossom, the release really captured the imagination.

Texas hailing Drive On Mak is the creation of U.S. Army Vet Sean Makra who in 2011 after eleven years in the forces taking in three tours in Iraq left and began focusing on pursuing his long-time musical dreams. Three years later having linked up with his brother-in-law and drummer Scott Feigh and bassist Jason Bilderback, the beginnings of what was Drive on Mak emerged. Embracing and exploring the experiences and emotions bred by those military years in his songwriting and lyrics, Drive on Mak released the Weapon EP in 2015. Now it is Babylon luring increased attention with its individual, slightly dirty and fully tenacious rock ‘n’ roll.

Babylon opens up with its title track, its initial melodic stroking of ears the tempting lead into the song’s blues kissed reggae lined stroll. Makra’s vocals make a just as alluring invitation, his tones wearing the weight of battles and sights seen without an ounce of weariness, instead coming fuelled by a lively spirit to share and express. The song continues to carry its gentle swing through ears, epitomising the release in its quality to become more potent and compelling listen by listen.

The great start is followed by the similarly boisterous Comin’ For You. Instantly it had a firm hand on attention with the flames of Feigh’s harmonica rich enticement. Its melodic heat echoes the tenacious gait of the surrounding sounds, essences of garage rock and fifties rock ‘n’ roll aligning with blues punk adventure. It is a mix and invention which escalates the strong start of the EP before Kiss Thy Hand brings more of a seventies psych rock air to its lumbering saunter. Though the song does not ignite personal tastes as potently as its predecessors it quickly feeds an appetite already brewed, nagging away with every note and fibre of its creativity to ultimately be just as memorable.

Best track comes in the shape of the cowpunk flavoured Outlaw, a dirt clad slice of punk ‘n’ roll with dust in its climate and instinctive infection in its hooked lined character. With moody rhythms courting the defiance oozing vocals of Makra’s alongside the creative shuffle of his guitar, the track is a contagion on the ear setting up the following relaxed but manipulative swing of Player. It is another which seems to find greater heights over time though tapping feet and eager hips show its no slouch at teasing involvement from the off.

Babylon concludes with When I’m Gone, a country scented proposal with Feigh again just as skilful on harmonica as in springing catchy beats. There is no escaping a slight Rancid spicing to the track either, mostly through the Tim Armstrong textures of Makra’s tones, as it canters along with a lively attitude and infectious agility.

With its songs inspired by Biblical tales and personal observations, in the case of its title track by the Heath Ledger movie A Knight’s Tale too, Babylon has little trouble in awaking interest; it is with time and more plays though that it truly comes alive …a quality only adding to many more reasons to check out Drive On Mak.

Babylon is out now @ https://driveonmak.bandcamp.com/album/babylon

https://www.driveonmak.net/home    https://www.facebook.com/driveonmak/

Pete RingMaster 14/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright