Elevant – Normal Life EP

We cannot say why but the new EP from UK rock band Elevant kept reminding of fellow Liverpudlian Pete Wylie. It certainly was not in the music, the band and one of their home city’s most essential musical inspirations creating music as similar as night and day yet it was a nagging thought throughout the Normal Life EP. Moving on though, the trio’s new release is a dark and often emotionally imposing proposal but equally one open to infection loaded grooves and an instinctive rock ‘n’ roll catchiness which manages to accentuate rather than temper its shadow clad themes of “love, war, disillusion and displacement.”

Consisting of lead vocalist/guitarist Michael Edward, bassist/vocalist Hannah Lodge, and drummer/vocalist Tom Shand, Elevant has grown since emerging in 2014 to be a potent part of the Liverpool music scene as a band and in its support, Edwards fresh from organising and playing the successful Wrong Festival in Liverpool which also featured the likes of Bo Ningen, The Wytches, Part Chimp, Heck, Evil Blizzard and numerous more. They have also released a trio of increasingly well-received and praised albums with the third, There is a Tide especially lauded. Now it is the Normal Life EP casting its reflections and imaginative exploration upon ears and body, and a fine evocation of both it is too with its web of heavy and alternative rock, psych and krautrock, and grungier elements infused with plenty more spices.

Recorded at Abbey Road by Sam Jones and mastered by Pete Maher (Jack Jones/Scissor Sisters/U2), Normal Life opens with Acral Affection and instantly had ears and appetite enticed with a delicious post punk bassline carrying a funky inclination to its nature as slithers of guitars spark and scythe enticingly across its bows. With firmly skipping beats, the coaxing is swiftly addictive and only compacted by the equally inviting tones of Edwards before a momentary crescendo erupts, the cycle revisited quickly after again. Imagine a collusion between Pere Ubu, Artery, Modern Eon, and Japanese Fighting Fish and you get a glimpse of the song but not the whole picture of its enjoyably but ultimately truly hard to pin down sound.

And that broad tapestry is pushed again by the following Slow, its jazzy funk kissed entrance wrapped in a beguiling atmosphere blossoming further with post rock essences and noise rock trespasses as vocals add their enticement. With melodies courting more Beatles like hues throughout, it is an intriguing affair, slowly working its lures compared to the more direct bait of its predecessor but seeping into and lingering in psyche and appetite with each passing twist and fascinating layer, each helping building up the ingredients and invention of a desert rock/psychedelia shaped finale.

The outstanding Stabs has the body bouncing and imagination weaving with its enslaving post/garage punk nagging around Edwards’ expressive croon, all gaining greater volatility and tempestuousness syllable by note as the track draws on wider flavours for its alluring irritability and spiky trespass. The bass of Lodge is brooding and gripping, the swings of Shand invasive and anthemic as Edwards springs another round of provocative hooks and emotive insights.

The prowling shadows of next up Somewhere Safe uses mere breaths to seduce the senses, its shimmering seventies psychedelia nurtured melodies swiftly absorbing the imagination. It is with the muscular incursion of rhythms and riff led energy though where the track really ignites, an eruption leaving a touch of its intensity in the subsequent return of that initial smouldering air. The track is a fascination for ears and thoughts, not quite matching up to its predecessors for personal preferences but captivating from start to finish before the EP’s title track rumbles and grumbles to bring the release to a stirring conclusion. The final song’s aggressive nature is not adverse to melodic flames and harmonic warmth though, both coating the track’s more feral instincts.

It is a great end to an EP which grabs attention first time around and only incites greater involvement and hunger for its intriguing web of sound and creative drama thereon in.

The Normal Life EP is out now on Loner Noise @ https://elevant.bandcamp.com/

https://elevantband.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Elevantmusik/    https://www.instagram.com/elevantmusik/

Pete RingMaster 03/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Gelato – Daydream EP

© Chris Patmore Music Photographer

© Chris Patmore Music Photographer

Having made a potent and impressive introduction to themselves with their self-titled debut EP earlier this year, UK rockers Gelato more than back up its success and potential with successor Daydream. The three track release again ignites ears and energies with a sound openly inspired by the likes of Foo Fighters and early Queens of the Stone Age, whilst pushing its own diverse character further to the fore. It is a tantalising and relentlessly infectious adventure and further confirmation of a new exciting prospect for the British music scene.

Made up of vocalist /guitarist Drew Wynen, bassist Phil Harris, and drummer Ben Welburn, London hailing Gelato emerged in 2014 and quickly lured attention through a vibrant and energetic live presence. Airplay via BBC6 was not long in the coming either though it was that Tobin Jones (Bo Ningen, Twilight Sad, Cold Specks) recorded first EP, released this past March, that really woke up ears and awareness for the band. That broader attention is set to be pushed further with Daydream, an encounter offering more of the melodic and catchy delights which marked its predecessor so enjoyably but also venturing into an even wider expanse of flavouring to wrap the pungent hooks and grooves Gelato have already shown themselves so skilled at.

GELATO - DAYDREAM_RingMaster Review    Daydream opens with its title track and straight away has ears and imagination engaged with its first lure of guitar. Straight away the sultriness of the invitation has the scent of Josh Homme and co, but it soon becomes entangled in the imaginative twists and enterprise of Gelato; rousing hooks and tenacious riffs colluding with eagerly swiping beats and the darker bait of the bass. There is a touch of Eagles of Death Metal to the song too when it is raising its intensive punkish stomp whilst throughout, the melodic craft of the band is an invention of unpredictable and seductive prowess.

The excellent start to the EP is matched and surpassed by the outstanding Salivating, the second song floating in on an ethereal ambience veined by a gliding melody as a grounding bassline strolls below the magnetic climate. Into its enthralling stride, the track keenly merges melodic and pop infectiousness in a psych rock embrace, but it is a warm and riveting hug equipped with boisterous energy and swing. KingBathmat and An Entire Legion come to mind as the song continues to flirt and dance with ears and imagination, taking best songs honours upon the EP at the same time.

The release is brought to a fine close by Grey For Good, the lead song for the EP with its new video. Though it might have not been personal choice for single one, all three tracks potent candidates to be fair, the track saunters and pulsates with a bluesy colour to its harmonic and fiery textures, increasingly honing them into richer persuasion and inventive resourcefulness. As with all tracks, stylish hooks grip with ease as rock ‘n’ roll instincts fuel a muscular canter and sonic roar, the result another instinctive pleasure.

From the vocal and stringed craft of Wynen, to the rapacious invention of Harris and the anthemic strengths of Welburn, Daydream is a perpetually compelling and gripping offering. It is also a release which only grows more impressive over time, though it needed few plays to confirm suspicions that Gelato is a fresh breath for UK rock.

https://www.facebook.com/GelatoMusic    http://gelatomusic.bandcamp.com  http://twitter.com/gelatomusicyeah

Pete RingMaster 03/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Gelato – Self Titled EP

Gelato _ Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

Do you equally miss the days when Queens Of the Stone Age first teased and taunted ears and appetites with raw and undiluted rock ‘n’ roll cast in their inimitable manner? Then welcome to Gelato, a UK band openly wearing inspirations from Josh Homme and co in their feisty sound but only as one spicy ingredient in a contagious mix of punk and indie pop infused rock ‘n’ roll. Personally the biggest similarity is simply the thick tingle of excitement hearing the bands for the first time, the London trio rippling with an indefinable essence which leaves those around them seeming a much paler proposition.

The evidence to such claim comes with the band’s self-titled debut EP; three tracks of quirkily individual and addictively tenacious encounters fuelled by invention and soaked in creative devilry. Gelato consists of bassist Phil, drummer Ben, and vocalist /guitarist Drew, the latter previously of the excellent Hitchcock Blonde. 2014 saw the band make a potent breakthrough with low-key gigs across the London live scene with matching reactions and receive airplay via BBC6. Their EP though is the first major lure into broader awareness and attention, and the first step to big things we suggest.

Gelato EP cover _Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review   Recorded with Tobin Jones (Bo Ningen, Twilight Sad, Cold Specks), the EP kicks off with Get My Way, a track instantly flirting with ears as a wiry guitar hook repeats keenly on the senses amidst a thick prodding of beats. It is appetite raising bait which becomes a feisty stroll with the same sonic lure now embraced by crisp rhythms and a darkly wicked bassline. The vocals of Drew as just as inviting once they emerge too, whilst the QOTSA bred harmonies add a smiling extra to the contagiously engaging adventure. The song continues to snarl and seduce in equal measure, band and sound bounding around like a young colt with the maturity and craft of a rock veteran.

The band’s new single Room Service follows and again has ears and a now hungry appetite locked in with its first touch, this a dirty grizzled bassline which simply resonates in the senses before a spicy weave of guitar and brewing harmonies caress it and a fresh anthemic lure of beats. As its predecessor, the track from a slimmer start broadens into a heavier bewitching tapestry of sound and textures, it all infested in a contagious revelry and charm. As catchy and tangibly poppy as it is though, there is a dark predatory edge to the song especially in backing vocals and rhythms, which lights up air and imagination with further unpredictable adventure.

Ruffians brings the band’s introduction to a close, two minutes of punk filtered pop rock which has an underlying aggression as riveting and majestic as the warmer melodic tendencies wrapping its rugged spine. Arguably the least dramatically sculpted offering, the song still has little difficulty in firing up pleasure and a want for more, the band showing they can rock out or design a seriously involved temptation with matching potency.

As with any brief but impressive offering, there is only a needy want for more by the EP’s close, a wish to dive with haste into further endeavours but that is for the future. Right now we have a seriously impressive and thrilling start to devour from a band in Gelato, which one day might just be spoken of with the same stature of their prime inspiration.

The Gelato EP is available now digitally and on CD via https://gelatomusic.bandcamp.com/releases


RingMaster 17/05/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Devilman: Self Titled

Beauty comes in many forms and shapes, it can be gently unassuming ,strikingly up front or in the case of the self titled album from noise abusers Devilman it can just be plain destructive. Actually what they create defies beauty but is just as compelling and magnetic as any seductive vision or touch. Consisting of eight nasty merciless tracks, the album is stunning, a corrosive infection which leaves you struggling for sanity whilst basking in a pool of blood from its ferocious sonic confrontation. Bringing the devastating industrial sonic violation of The Devilzwork in to a union with the inventive towering sounds of Morkobot spiced by the insane bedlam of Melt Banana, plus plenty of dub ingenuity to unsettled any balance which might try to settle in, Devilman creates sounds and experiences which are unique and unrelenting, and quite irresistible.

Devilman is the weapon of mass delirium from a trio of London-based Japanese musicians. Shigeru Ishihara on bass heads the noise terrorists ably aided by the savage drum programming and dub control of Gorgonn Amanita of Dokkebi Q and the psychotic squalls of vocal manipulation of Taigen Kawabe from the band Bo Ningen. Following their recent introduction to the world through the track Bakan Q and its Hiroo Tanaka aka Inumikaku directed accompanying short film, the band and album treats the passions to a fury of unbridled invention and violence. Released through Small But Hard Recordings, the album is glorious, the reason pain and pleasure was invented.

The previously mentioned track opens up the synapse twisting sonic impregnation, it alone easily bearing an unadulterated passion for its ingenious corruption. Sometimes you immediately know when something is right for ear and heart and this is one of those times. Right away there are the babbling bedlamic vocal squalls of Kawabe accosting the ear, his unintelligible but textured manic mischief the cause of the Melt Banana comparison earlier though even they would struggle to find the same delirious asylum destined might. Thumping beats duel with and punctuate the vocal storm and blistering ambience brewed and finally unleashed. As it expands the drums and rhythms just swell in sound and effect whilst the harmonic whispers temper the slowly stomping and ravenous energy of the track. It is a storm of abuse but holding a restraint and mercy which is less willing to appear elsewhere on the album.

From the staggering start Elephant Dub steps forward to offer a settled rhythmic and weighty presence, its insistence incessant and intense though again not an unbridled greedy assault. It is a constant thumping upon the senses which resonates like a jackhammer and as it passes over to the following 21 Seiki Dub an audible sigh is impossible to squash, not that the new piece of inspiring enterprise is going to let one off the hook. It simply replaces the massive rhythms of its predecessor with its own threatening rhythmic abuse just in a different tone. The track is masterful, a bewitching mix of aggressive rhythms and sonic majesty, if anyone says there are no true melodies within the album this track is the proof to the contrary. It is an intriguing and imaginative piece which evokes visions and sucks the senses into a maelstrom of energies.

The emotive dark wave  chills of Ross with its haunted organ ambience does not quite match the tracks around it but makes for a provocative track all the same whilst Noise Step is an industrial abrasion without any melodic sonic lubricate to sooth the generated bruising. Harsh and unforgiving the track scorches with every note, if they can be accused of being such, whilst burning up the atmosphere to suffocate any chance of a reprieve from its suffocating splendour.

The unique and welcome vocals of Kawabe return firstly with the excellent 93, a track which is like being violated by a whole steel works, and Nirvana Dub whose only intent is to see how much innovative caustic vehemence you can endure, not that a limit is in place and there is a safety word to escape with. It has to be said that as great as every track truly is, when Kawabe adds his maelstrom of vocal sounds a song finds another immense personality to add to an already existing wealth of facets.

After the creeping industrial teasing of Tunnel Dub the album sets free its biggest act of devastation in the brutal Last Black Emperor.  The track chews up the senses from start to finish, its deeply drilling sonics churning up flesh and feelings, its static acid burning every hope of relief and respite within its opening seconds. It is a banshee squall which leaves mush in its wake if you never suffered from tinnitus before will surely induce its onset.

If noise annoys then give Devilman a wide berth though you will be missing out on one of the real highlights of the year, simply an outstanding album from a quite exhilarating band.


RingMaster 05/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright