And the Wasters – State Of Repair

The State Of Repair EP is the first offering since UK band Will Tun and the Wasters became simply And the Wasters last year. The change seems to have sparked a new fresh swing and adventure to their sound too; the band’s new release a vibrantly infectious romp with lyrical insight and worldly reflection in tow. It is ripe with the fusion of ska, folk, and punk with dub and Latin overtones the band has also seen acclaim for, but in their boldest most rounded and adventurous proposal yet.

Already with a clutch of well-received releases and a fine reputation for their live antics under their belts, And the Wasters followed their moniker change in 2016 with attention grabbing main stage appearances at festivals such as Bearded Theory and Boomtown Fair, an extensive Europe tour, and now with the name your own price release of State Of Repair.

It is a celebration of cosmopolitan sound with attitude and a snarl in its heart as songs reflect on the “sense of sadness, anxiety and uncertainty faced in the modern world, while also promoting an empowering message of solidarity, friendship and collective action.” As suggested, it also finds the band involve their broadest wealth of flavours and imagination yet for a rousing and infectious escapade sure to edge And the Wasters closer to major attention.

The septet of Dan Kemp, Ivo Johansen, Jared Dyer, Celeste Cantor-Stephens, Danny Epstein, Jack Kitchen and Jo Dobraszczyk, who we truly thank for bringing the EP to our attention, gets things stomping with opener Lion’s Share. Vocals and melody tempts ears first, their warm invitation soon joined by boisterous rhythms and strolling riffs as brass and the alluring charms of Dobraszczyk’s accordion flirt. As swiftly as the sounds engage ears, the track’s swing has feet shuffling and hips grooving, its individual ska/punk mixed proposal carrying essences of bands like Faintest Idea, By The Rivers, and Gogol Bordello to great effect.

It is a stirring start straight away matched by the dynamic throes of Small Victories. In some ways the song is a mellower proposition than its predecessor yet has a rivalling bounce and lively passion leaving exhausted pleasure in its wake. There is a touch of French band Les Négresses Vertes to the swagger and flavouring of the track but equally its punk edge hints at the likes of Operation Ivy and Sonic Boom Six; more evidence of the new diversity in the band’s sound.

Thoughts of the Paris outfit are prompted again with Reduce, Reuse, Rebel, especially as it enters with a captivating dance of accordion spun melody. Diversity of vocal aggravation and incitement is a potent temper to the charm of the sounds gaily strolling around them, attitude and beauty uniting in a magnetic collusion. Unpredictability is also a ripe trait; the unexpected slip into sombre calm with the siren-esque lures of a trumpet for company wrong-footing but an enjoyable lead into the folk bred canter which has body and spirit launched with zeal once again, rowdy punk intent subsequently to the fore.

Bound as One is another kaleidoscope of sound and texture, a boisterous stroll with the heart and liveliness of a carnival as voice and word call on unity. It is a captivating close to an increasingly rewarding and enticing release; though State Of Repair actually ends with the two minute sway and pulsing of Intro Dub which you wonder might have been rewarded with better attention if placed earlier within the EP, as the urge at the end of its fourth song is primarily to leap back to its first.

And the Wasters are ready to breach the biggest spotlights with a sound which, as the thoroughly pleasurable State Of Repair suggests, is blossoming into something rather special.

State Of Repair is available now @ https://andthewasters.bandcamp.com/album/state-of-repair-and-the-wasters as a free/ pay as you feel download.

https://www.facebook.com/willtunandthewasters

Pete RingMaster 15/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

THE TiPS – TWISTS’N’TURNS

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An album to get you dancing, thinking, and acting on your instincts, TWISTS’N’TURNS is a mighty reminder that its creators, THE TiPS, is a band you really need in your life, especially if reggae, ska, punk, and funk brings your ears and emotions to life. The third full-length from the German band, it is also their most eclectic and imaginative adventure yet and in turn their most rousingly enjoyable.

Hailing from Dusseldorf, THE TiPS was formed in 2009 by vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Aljoscha Thaleikis after returning back to his homeland after spending some of his formative years in the United States where he was introduced to styles of music that he was previously unfamiliar with. Having explored the merger of flavours such as soul, ska, reggae and dub with the punk rock of his roots, his return to Germany led to the creation of THE TiPS. The band’s debut album High Sobriety was released in 2011 with its successor Trippin’ unveiled two years later, both to potent success. The past two years alone has seen the trio of bassist Philip Pfaff, drummer Janosch Holland, and Thaleikis play over 130 shows, the sharing of stages with band such as The Mad Caddies, Die Rakede, Ruts D.C., The Toasters, and Jaya the Cat amongst them. Now they are poised to stir up broader and stronger attention with the Alexander Beitzke (Jamiroquai, Ed Sheeran, Florence And The Machine) produced and Pete Maher (U2, Linkin Park, Lana Del Ray Nine Inch Nails) mastered TWISTS’N’TURNS; twelve tracks which swing and stomp whilst taken a bite at issues impacting on all.

The album opens with Birds in Trees, instantly clasping ears with vocal and melodic temptation before showing its sonic and rhythmic muscles. From that wall of energy a mellower but no less magnetic stroll emerges as the song saunters with its reggae bred gait. Thicker eruptions break throughout, grooves and spicy hooks adding to the welcome trespass before things relax into captivating calm again. It is a riveting persuasion, a rich tempting only blossoming further with the distinctive tones of Skindred frontman Benji Webbe who guests on the excellent start to the album.

THE_TiPS_TWISTSNTURNS_RingMaster ReviewThe following Leaving Home gently swings in next, its sultry sway aligned to the thick brooding tone of bass and gripped by the excellent vocal presence of Thaleikis. Impossible not to be hooked by its reserved yet anthemic chorus alone, the song has a By The Rivers meets The Skints nature which simply entices, a success matched by the seductive croon of Wasting Time. Similar spices line the infectious romancing of ears, as too an equally catchy and tenacious energy which soon has hips and voice in eager involvement. Both tracks are irresistible, easy going yet imposingly compelling proposals though both are overshadowed a touch by the outstanding Chosen Fool. Stabbing riffs collude with the grouchy bass to quickly excite ears; imagination and an already keen appetite swiftly inflamed by the Ruts like punk ‘n’ roll invention which also emerges to add fresh bite and attitude to the exceptional encounter.

The band’s punk heart is given full rein for Johnny’s Song next, another striking and virulent arousal of body and emotions carrying an essence of Russian punks Biting Elbows to it. Similarly THE TiPS brew flavours which hint at a Sublime/Living End link-up, but coming up with something distinct and incendiary to themselves. It is uniqueness just as apparent in the infectiously sultry funk infused saunter of If You Want To and the noir lit landscape of City Lights. The first glides through ears with a slightly mischievous enterprise whilst the second is pure aural and emotive drama. From vocals to keys, exotic hooks to the ever pungent tone of Pfaff’s bass, the transfixing incitement is a web of intrigue with a volatility that is seemingly Skindred seeded.

Alien emerges with the same shadowy hues and emotional intensity next, flowing from the provocative shadow of the previous track. It swiftly wraps heavily persuasive and seductive tendrils around ears, at times conjuring a darker climate of intimidation to contrast and unite with the bluesy hued flames also arising from the mellower strains of the slow burning treat of an encounter.

Igniting another devouring of the band’s punk ‘n’ roll imagination straight after, Parade shares a riveting steely bass lure amongst swinging rhythms from Holland, before Do It Right prowls and flirts with its predacious ska punk devilry. Managing to be as sinister as it is irresistibility tempting, the song has body and emotions bouncing, matching all feisty movements in catchy and melodic kind. Equally, it powerfully stirs up thoughts too; an impressive knack the band has leading to full involvement from all aspects of the listener as evidenced by the Red Hot Chili Peppers spiced Back in the Days. There are some songs which are instinctive manna for the soul; encounters which simply turn on the sweet spot for an everlasting romance and this definitely qualifies as one.

Completed by the simply mesmeric, emotive serenade of Still Turning, another song which leaves a lingering imprint, TWISTS’N’TURNS is one thoroughly and imposingly thrilling union between band and ears. It is surely the release to take THE TiPS to the attention of spotlights beyond their homeland’s borders and the underground scene in general, at the very least destined to make a mark on a great many end of year favourites lists.

TWISTS’N’TURNS is out now on Long Beach Records Europe @ http://thetips.de/shop/

http://thetips.de/   https://www.facebook.com/thetipsofficial

Pete RingMaster 22/02/2016

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The Klik – Find My Way

The Klik_RingMaster Review

The Klik sounds like it should be the name of some indie pop band, even a bland boy band, but it is thankfully the moniker of a rather fine rock band from Essex in the UK. Creating a vibrant and transfixing fusion of rap, hip hop, and melodic rock, the sextet of Toggz (rapper/ vocals), Cobez (rapper/ vocals), Ellis (vocals), Ross (guitar), Rob (drums), and Nat (bass) are releasing their new single Find My Way early December. It is a masterful temptation that twists and seduces with craft and enterprise, creating a weave of flavours and textures that quickly dance with the imagination whilst just as swiftly exciting the body.

The Klik cover_RingMaster Review   Approaching three years as a band this coming January, The Klik released their debut EP Stress Levels mid-2014, a three track encounter awakening new appetites beyond their local scene to their captivatingly imaginative sound. With Find My Way now ringing in our ears, expectations are that the band’s upcoming single with stoke up a more national spotlight and hunger for their creative adventure. Its sound lays somewhere between Great Imitation and Lazy Habits but with its own character the prime temptation, and on the evidence of its lively persuasion alone, thoughts are that The Klik are ready to entice far bigger spotlights.

From an opening caress of voice and guitar, the song has ears enticed with full attention just as swift. As the song opens up into a swinging stroll, dark throaty bass lures collude with melodic expression from the guitars. Blossoming in strength and attraction through the impressive mix of vocals across its three frontmen alone, the track is an infection of striking textures courted by tenacious tones and enterprise. Rhythms flirt and melodies entice throughout; each as perpetually engaging as the vocals, whilst a subsequent essence of By The Rivers adds a little something more to the seriously tantalising mix

As suggested, the new single has the potential of breaking The Klik into a broader and hungrier spotlight, attention easy to suggest Find My Way more than deserves.

Find My Way will be released on December 7th via Myrmidon Records with pre-ordering available @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/find-my-way-single/id1056677080

https://www.facebook.com/TheKlikUK

Pete RingMaster 17/11/2015

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Stone Foundation – A Life Unlimited

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With the soulful heart of The Bureau, the brass revelry of Dexy’s Midnight Runners, and hues seemingly hailing from decades of soul, funk, and jazz temptation, the new Stone Foundation album is a tonic for anyone’s day. A Life Unlimited is full-on captivation from start to finish but what sets it and the band apart is a tone and uniqueness which bonds all essences into something you just cannot hear anywhere else. It is mix which has lit up three previous acclaimed releases and now caught fire in the band’s latest provocative shuffle of sound.

Formed by vocalist/guitarist Neil Jones and bassist Neil Sheasby, Stone Foundation was not a project rushed into realisation and the public ear but one honed and pieced together as the right people were discovered and enlisted to make the eight-piece the potent temptation they have proved to be across their releases and a live presence which has seen the band ignite small and lively sweaty venues, support The Specials on a UK tour after being spotted at such a show by drummer John Bradbury, and be invited to Japan as a part of a “visit Britain” campaign by the British embassy. Their records have been just as potent in luring and breeding the band’s reputation on the soul/jazz funk scene and indeed charts, previous album To Find the Spirit their most successful and inciting release to date, well until A Life Unlimited. The band has hit a new plateau with their new ten track romance of the imagination, and a brand of sound which even has more aggressive tastes for the main enthralled.

cover_RingMaster Review     The album opens with new single Beverley, a coaxing of ears by guitar, welcoming beats, and the Ian Arnold cast Hammond bred seducing by which the band’s sound is partly renowned for. In no time the song flows like a warm breeze on the senses, the beats of drummer Phillip K. Ford and percussionist Rob Newton gently but richly magnetic as a brass embrace from Gareth John, Gary Rollins, and Adam Stevens offers fire and mesmerism. The sultry funk air of the track is just as bewitching and though other songs excite personal tastes with more pungent energy and adventure, it is the perfect lead into band and album.

The slow and reflective hug of Pushing Your Love comes next, its soulfully transfixing croon a melancholic smile of harmonies and keys whilst Something In The Light right after, has hips swaying and feet eager to shuffle around the dance-floor with its relaxed but eventful stroll. Once again keys and horns collude in a masterful kiss on ears and imagination as guitar and rhythms simultaneously spin their own invitation. As all tracks, many styles converge into one fascinating proposition, soul, jazz, and folkish enterprise uniting here under an invigorating noir hued sky.

The seventies honed swing of The Turnaround keeps the album burning brightly, even if it does not quite have the spark of its predecessors. In saying that, a great mix of vocals with Jones joined at times by female company and a bubbly texture throughout, ensures it has body and emotions well on board before the humid smoulder of the excellent Speak your Piece and the crystalline moonlit air of The Night Teller add their alluring strolls to the album’s canvas. The first, like a few others, seems to get feistier and more resourceful with every passing minute whilst its successor provides a slice of creative intimacy which only has seduction on its mind from voice to brass flaming, melodic lures to flirtatious rhythms.

Learning The Hard Way is an instant favourite with its Bobby Womack meets By The Rivers meets Fine Young Cannibals festival of enterprise but still soon outshone by the thrilling These Life Stories whose rhythmic bait alone has ears and appetite hooked. In their individual ways, both songs are inflamed by the soothing yet anthemic flame of brass and the latter by an additional dark bassline which reeks seduction. Keys and guitar only add to the webs of tempting, traps the distinctive tones of Jones further colour with expression and emotion.

The album’s title track saunters in next with its eighties northern soul air and cosmopolitan flavours to continue the new plateau the album has hit over the past couple of songs, before the melancholically enchanting instrumental Old Partners, New Dances brings A Love Uprising to an evocative close.

Stone Foundation has produced an album to romance to, reminisce and reflect with, and even chase shadows away through. A Life Unlimited also has the adventure and bite for those with the want of a more pronounced snarl in their music to get off on. Acclaim is already soaking this proposal and really it is no surprise.

A Life Unlimited is available now via The Turning Point Recording Organisation / Republic Of Music digitally and on CD/vinyl.

RingMaster 19/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Skints – FM

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There are numerous and varying essences which make a great record, elements which create an escape or certainly a potent diversion from everyday issues and drudgery. There are some which go even further, capturing the imagination as forcibly as ears and emotions whilst taking the listener into a landscape that is familiar in some and many ways to their own personal life’s scenery. These are the standout moments in music and FM is without doubt one of those. The third album from UK reggae/dub quartet The Skints, the release is a fascinating and seriously thrilling adventure, an encounter from the band drawing on their own personal pleasures growing up and in turn connecting with the listener’s. FM is an inescapable thrill fuelled by fun, fierce enterprise, and ridiculously contagious imagination…oh there are some rather bewitching sounds involved too.

Following on from their previous acclaimed albums, Breathe. Build. Believe. and Part & Parcel, of 2009 and 2012 respectively, FM is a tantalising proposition which in some ways can be described as a concept album. The release from the East London quartet of Jon Doyle (bass), Marcia Richards (keys/sax/flute/melodica/vocals), Jamie Kyriakides (drums/vocals), and Josh Waters Rudge (guitar/vocals), takes the listener into the heart of an imaginary London pirate radio station, The Big FM / Frequency Murderation, 103.Skints. Across its length we are entertained by four radio shows with the DJ Mr Versatile Breakfast Show, the alter-ego of Tippa Irie, setting the album’s broadcast off. The release is a tribute to the radio culture the band and indeed we have all loved as music fans, whatever our tastes, an ‘education’ and experience arguably lost in the modern internet age. FM is quite simply spellbinding in premise and invention, the songs finding The Skints at another creative plateau yet unafraid to give a nod to their early inspirations and own rawer sound whilst weaving diverse tapestries from roots reggae, dub, rocksteady, punk, Motown, grime, garage, and soul plus much more.

FM is summer in one excitable embrace and instantly steals ears and passion with This Town which follows the opening Breakfast Show skit. Featuring Tippa Irie and Horseman, the song is an immediate seduction. Vocals caress ears as guitar and pulses stroke with equally engaging intrigue. It is potent bait swiftly given greater colour by the irresistible tones of Marcia Richards. The image001song has attention and appetite instantly in its hands right away as a skittish air only adds to its compelling aural smile. London life has never been so warmly and magnetically shown but it is just the start. Both guests add their distinctive and captivating vocal adventures to the invigorating stroll, it all leading to a croon of a chorus which surely no one can resist. The track is spellbinding leaving a huge grin on heart and face and pleasure ready for what is to follow.

In The Night steps in next, its melodies and harmonies gliding over the senses, serenading ears with aural poetry. Elegant and reflective, the song also shows a darker yet unthreatening side, Horseman again adding his rich deep tones as energies brew heavier attitude around him. Imagine By The Rivers meets The Clash and you get a sense of the great contrasts colluding in beauty, though admittedly not the real uniqueness of the offering. Its mesmeric elegance is followed by Come To You, a summery waltz in ears with Richards as vocally enchanting as the pop bred melodies and steamy prods of keys and guitar. You can easily visualise or imagine a video of the song such its cinematic air, for us the singer spreading her melodic romance from the open carriage of a London park situated steam train, its wheels dancing around a track in the sultry heat of summer.

The excellent My War brings a darker edge to the release, the song a cover of the Black Flag track. It is still a fascinating melodically enhanced invitation but has a snarl to its voice and attitude lined swing that breeds an additional intriguing edge to the provocative narrative and shadows. The track is the end of the first show, Dancehall Dilemmas with Dr. Ranking Pegasus (aka. Horseman) opening up the stations next clutch of offerings. Featuring a ‘call from listener Danny’ it evolves into the excellent Friends & Business, another song with an addictive swagger and punchy rhythmic enticing commanding feet and passions with consummate ease. Ska bred with a soulful nature to its heart and vocals, the track also has a mischievous almost vaudeville moment which only adds to the addiction spawned by the slice of rock pop.

Both the feisty sway and swing of Where Did You Go? and the more serious presence of Tazer Beam keeps album and listener aflame with invention and pleasure. The first is yet another call of the summer with intimate melodies and irresistible rhythmic and percussive lures courted by bewitching vocal prowess across the band. As with many songs by The Skints, you feel you know the proposition ahead of ears yet everything about it is fresh and unpredictable, a skill sparking greater lustful reactions. The second of the two songs, explores a darker and grittier premise, looking at gun and associated violence on both sides of street culture. Tippa Irie returns to bring his pungent style to the immersive tones of song and band, contrasts again sublimely crafted in sound and lyrical expression by the band.

After the melodic spell of The Forest For The Trees, sorcery of vocals from across the band kissing ears as words and reggae honed strokes work on the imagination, the Grime Hour With Rivz (aka MC Rival) welcomes Eyes In The Back Of My Head. Also featuring the ‘DJ’, the track almost prowls ears, the hip hop incitement of Rival an alluring and compelling protagonist against the similarly imposing sounds surrounding his spits. Tempering it though, keys and vocals from the band bring their own smouldering seduction; whilst seemingly inspired by the tense streets being explored, the guitar reveals noir lit drama in its creative designs. The track gets under the skin, constantly evoking thoughts and emotions before Got No Say provides its own distinctive and individual flirtation of eagerly simmering keys, siren-esque melodies, and another thrilling and adventurous vocal union. In many ways the song might be the most pop of them all on FM, though as ever it never allows itself to settle into one singular premise of sound.

DJ Mr. Versatile Evening Session is the final show of the broadcast and gives us the mouth-watering beauty of Tomorrow. The song epitomises everything impressive about The Skints. Songwriting alone as enchanting and immersive as the melodies and imagination fuelling every slice of ingenuity held within FM. We have obviously repeatedly mentioned the thrilling melodies and harmonies which ignite songs, but have to also point out the dark throbbing lines cast by Doyle’s bass, the instrument and its dramatic strings perpetually casting additional theatre within the tracks.

It is a masterful end to a stunning release. The band’s previous albums were the mark of a band persistently finding new heights and depths in its sound and invention. Now FM is yet another landmark for not only The Skints but indeed reggae seeded ingenuity as a whole.

FM is available from March 9th via Easy Star Records @ http://easystarrecords.shop.musictoday.com/Dept.aspx?cp=115_68927 and digitally https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/fm/id962280939

http://www.theskints.co.uk/     https://www.facebook.com/theskints

RingMaster 09/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

By The Rivers – Vulture/This Love

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Re-igniting the impressive and exhilarating presence and success of their self-titled debut album last year, UK reggae band By The Rivers release new double A-sided single Vulture/This Love. Taken from the album, the songs tell you all you need to know about the melodic beauty and vibrant creativity of the band and their mouthwatering sound. It is another irresistible call for those yet to discover the splendour of the Leicester sextet and another reason for us in the know to let feet blaze over the ground with one of Britain’s most exciting bands.

Formed in 2010 by friends, Nile Barrow (lead vocals/guitar) and Jordan Birtles (drums/vocals), By The Rivers has mesmerised fans and media alike with their unique fusion of reggae/ska/soul/and afro-beat. With a line-up completed by Matt Willars (bass), Sam Read (keys/guitar/vocals), Will Todd (Tenor Saxophone), and Leo May (Trumpet), the band from their first steps were soon gracing stages with the likes of Dawn Kinnard, Neville Staples, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, and Toploader. Their swiftly growing reputation only accelerated as the six-piece continued to play with the likes of the Buzzcocks, Maxi Priest, Musical Youth, Dawn Penn, Saxon Sound, and The Specials whilst released eagerly received EPs and singles. Last year’s album through Kompyla Records thrust the band into an even more intensive spotlight with festival demand and appearances a plenty following its release.

The new single is the next dart of contagious persuasion by the band, one to have lips licked and passions romping. Vulture opens with a Graphic1 glorious wash of vocal harmonies, their touch a seductive caress before the song opens up its entrancing arms into an elegant sway and magnetic swagger. Guitars and bass dance and tease across the length of the song giving a base contagion to fall into, then once enslaved brass flames aligned to anthemic vocal and melodic lures bind the passions even tighter. It is an energetic but respectful romp leading imagination and emotions by the hand into a seductive and vivacious dance.

The musical and lyrical provocation of the song is emulated in its own distinct design by This Love, the song an evocative affair with ears and thoughts which gentle strolls as melodic tendrils and expressive passion drifts off every note and harmonious syllable. It is too easy and maybe lazy to provide UB40 as a reference to the sound of By The Rivers but it is unavoidably suitable for this flowing summer wind of a song. The heat of brass and magnetic touch of the guitars make the initial steal of the heart but as is very often the case with their songs, it is the vocals and melodies which bring the virulent infection to which there is no known cure.

With an instrumental version of Vulture completing the tracks offered, the single is another riveting triumph from By The Rivers, inescapable bait for feet, heart, and soul. Released April 21st alongside a Tom Swindell (Shy FX, Jamie Woon and Die & Breaks) directed video the same day for Vulture, the single and the band’s irresistible blend of catchy songwriting and powerful lyricism make another potent statement for one of the very best new bands here in the UK.

Vulture/This Love is available via Kompyla Records now!

https://www.facebook.com/bytherivers

10/10

RingMaster 21/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Hidden Cameras – Age

AGE album cover

    Providing the sumptuous musical bounty The Hidden Cameras are already recognised for whilst stretching the boundaries further with a spicy array of sounds and styles, Age the new album from the Canadian indie pop band irresistibly seduces and incites the imagination and emotions. It is an expansive and welcomingly invasive evocation which thrillingly drowns the listener in feverish temptation and enthralling colour drenched invention. Every corner, twist, and adventure explored emotionally and aurally, leaves a lingering persuasion and mark whilst Age as a whole shapes itself up as an early melodically sculpted pinnacle of the year.

      The brainchild of the perpetual creative driving force behind the ever enticing project, songwriter/frontman Joel Gibb, The Hidden Cameras has continued to challenge and impress musically and emotionally since being founded in 2001. From debut album Ecce Homo that first year, the Toronto hailing Gibb has pushed boundaries and thoughts through five acclaimed full-lengths with this the sixth being no exception. Igniting a dormant even non-existent music scene in his home city, Gibb became the first Canadian artist to sign with Rough Trade. Now Berlin based, the unique imagination and craft of the man has forged another questioning and spotting of sexual prejudices and social inadequacies in the Evil Evil released Age, a record which is a kind of coming of age investigation with undoubted personal incites and in the words of Gibb an album which “deconstructs my musical roots”.

     That deconstruction gives the expansive flavouring and diversity which openly calls out from Age, and is soon absorbing attention and appetite with opener Skin & Leather. Immediately vocals croon as a brewing electronic shadow looms up from behind their invitation, a potent lure soon aided by guitar stroking and the lyrical voice of Gibbs. It is a gentle and mesmeric start; a warm magnetic bait seizing the imagination easily getting it ready for the impending explosion of bulging rhythms and climactic melodic fire. Instantly contagious and sublimely tempting with the orchestral aspects the band is renowned for weaving an evocative beauty to immerse within without restraint, the song engulfs the listener in a wind of poetic beauty and feisty energy. Not for the last time there is an eighties indie pop essence, the melodic endeavour and almost raging anthemic gloriousness of the song sparking thoughts of bands like The Wild Swans and Bourgie Bourgie.

    Bread for Brat matches the impressive start with its own riveting imagination and incendiary tempting. Its brilliant start of acidic violin swipes alongside a deliciously moody cello coaxing which almost snarls at the ears is irresistible and only strengthens its potency as the smooth and expressive vocals of Gibbs opens up a provocative charm. Thick in drama delivered in a reserved gait though admittedly with a bold attitude, the track is an enthralling and luxurious baroque like encounter which bewitches an already strongly bred hunger before the following pair of Doom and first single from the album Gay Goth Scene add their vital stimulus.

     The first of the pair emerges from a dark brooding affair, synths and orchestral inducements flirting closely with melancholic intensity. Once the melodic electro grace and vocal harmonies spread their warm embraces, the song still cloaked in emotional shadows unveils a heated dance of lively adventure with folk undertones. Not as immediate as other tracks but equally as impacting and thrilling its presence it makes way for its outstanding successor. A song which apparently was written ten years previously and you assume addresses the times in Toronto for Gibbs when he staged what became legendary nights in Churches of the city, the single like its predecessor smoulders as it first comes into view, like a breaking dawn slowly filling the senses and imagination with strong vocals within tender orchestral bait. It is another strong breath of magnetic power which digs deeper with its lure once energy and intent raise their urgency through rapacious beats and vivacious electronic seduction. Add the increasing exertions physically and inventively from the strings and the wonderful wailing witchery of guest artist Mary Margaret O’Hara and Gay Goth Scene makes the most compelling and dramatic incentive for the album.

    The diversity of the release is already in full swing and takes another striking turn with the reggae lilted Afterparty, a track which saunters and breezes through the ears like a combination of the dub craft of Ruts DC meets the reggae seduction of By The Rivers. It is a mesmeric entrapment for thoughts and emotions revealing more of the inspirations which have impacted on Gibbs, more assumedly coming with the next up Carpe Jugular. An eighties seeded alchemy of synth pop and new wave exploration, the song resonates with a toxically infectious electro enticing. It plays like a cross between Heaven 17 and later Dalek I Love You providing a tantalising brightly glowing slice of melodic suasion. Bringing the kind of incandescent and virulently captivating melody driven weaves which marked the songwriting of Martyn Ware and Ian Marsh (Human League/Heaven 17), the song simply romances and invigorates the senses.

     The folkish element returns in Ordinary Over You, a song which also adds drama to rich flames of evocative enterprise in its short presentation, before final track and recently released new single Year of the Spawn brings the release to a stunning conclusion. As with all of the songs there is something engagingly familiar to the sound and heart of the track but this only adds to the fullness of pleasure and satisfaction. With strings and vocals painting an ensnaring allurement alone, a fascination which only increases through the blaze of strings and brass around a heady and sturdy piano scripted emotional narrative, the song is a mouthwatering evocation.

     Age is a magnificent confrontation, an album which makes love to the senses whilst awakening thoughts and emotions to wider issues and drama clad textures. Whether it is the best The Hidden Cameras album to date can be debated but certainly it is at the fore and a real treat to get the year really rolling.

http://thehiddencameras.com/

9/10

RingMaster 23/04/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Drop – Turning Around EP

The Drop 3

As their debut album nears completion and subsequently it’s unveiling, UK reggae band The Drop are releasing the Turning Around EP as a free download.  Consisting of five tracks to entrance and ignite the imagination it is a quite seductive tempting for the forthcoming full-length and a thrilling gift to help end the year.

The nine piece band from London and Reading began at the beginning of 2009 and was soon grabbing attention with their distinct fusion of reggae with refreshing elements of dub and rock. Their first year saw The Drop become a regular on stages across the festival circuit as their contagious and skilled employment of virulent hooks and virulent melodies within heavy reggae based imagination worked its addictive toxicity upon those before them. Since forming the band has played with the likes of as Toots and the Maytals, Lee Perry, Zion Train, Don Letts, and The Dub Pistols, supported The Skints on their 2012 sell-out UK tour, appeared at Glastonbury, Soundwave in Croatia, Secret Garden Party, and Boomtown Fair, and received strong radio play. It has led to a strong anticipation of the band’s first album which Turning Around will not exactly appease but certainly bring a temporary halt to the impatient wait though equally it could just accelerate the hunger.

As soon as the opening tease of prowling bass licks at the ears from the title track you sense something magnetic is brewing, an coverassumption soon confirmed and elevated as the song seduces with a virulence which is just irresistible. With a knowing swagger to the riffs, precise bait from the rhythms, and a warm coaxing from the trumpet the song enslaves the imagination and emotions, and it has not yet got into full stride. A collaboration between The Drop and long-standing roots reggae producer and promoter Satchi Dubworks, the track is soon pouncing with greater allure with the pumped rips of guitar and tantalising keys ably backed by brass kisses, but it is the riveting vocals of Dandelion which seal the already destined to linger deal, his vocals a smooch on the ear with delicious expression coating every syllable he shares. With an eager tempo to its rocksteady romp and energy the song is sheer manna for the senses and imagination.

Up next comes CCTV, a track bred by the band from a track originally written by Dandelion and Hyperdub’s well-established production quartet LV in dubstep form. Washed in an absorbing ambience and smouldering keys crafted radiance the track slowly burns away at the passions for the fullest reception, its magnetic roots seeded breath mesmeric in touch and charm. In many ways the track feels like a mix of By The Rivers and Ruts DC, thoroughly captivating and wholly seductive.

The following Waiting For unveils a similarly transfixing offering, its bewitching weave of vocal harmonies, elegant keys, and mouthwatering trumpet heat a scintillating warmth to beguile thoughts and emotions, like a mix of UB40 with the indie incitement of a Bedouin Soundclash. Imagination floats over and through the song as it gently entices emotions and thoughts to play with its aural and vocal fascination, the song another infection dripping piece of melodic emotive alchemy.

Completed by a great dramatic yet restrained dub version of CCTV by roots veteran Nick Manasseh and a radio mix of Waiting For, the Turning Around EP is pure inventive temptation which makes The Drop’s impending album a must check out. Our impatience for it is already brewing agitation.

Get the Turning Around EP  as a name your own price release @ http://thedropmusic.bandcamp.com/album/turning-around-ep

https://www.facebook.com/thedropmusic

9/10

RingMaster 20/12/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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Video Filmed by Stand & Stare Media

By The Rivers – Self Titled

BTR Nile hand over mouth B_W - IMG_0996

Initially persuaded like so many by previous single Take Control that the 6 strong original new age reggae band By The Rivers was a unit which just had to be watched closely as their fresh and soulful melodic craft to grew into even greater things, the release of their debut self-titled album confirms and enhances all those previous thoughts and emotions. The eleven track release is a stroll through the heat of summer with all the warm caresses of the sun and the heart at tantalising play in its tender and emotively engaging arms. It shows that the previous single and releases were mere appetizers for the seductive feast of sound and invention to follow, a record which easily confirms all the acclaim and eager declarations surround the band since forming.

Formed in 2010 by friends since birth, Nile Barrow (lead vocals/guitar) and Jordan Birtles (drums/vocals), By The Rivers honed and sculpted a unique sound fusing a weave of reggae/ska/soul/afro-beat, all flavours igniting a driving passion in the duo. The cultural aspects of the sounds also aided to the influences as the pair began writing songs with a social commentary as well as just as potent love songs and positive takes on things that affect the youth of today. Joined by Matt Willars (bass), Sam Read (keys/guitar/vocals), Will Todd (Tenor Saxophone), and Leo May (Trumpet), the Leicester band was no stranger to acclaim from their first steps into view. Within their first seven gigs the band was lined up to play alongside the likes of Dawn Kinnard, Neville Staples, Fun Lovin Criminals, and Toploader, sparking an appetite within promoters and venues for their distinctive and refreshing sounds. The first year continued with the band sharing stages with the likes of The Buzzcocks, Maxi Priest, Musical Youth, Dawn Penn, Saxon Sound, and The Specials whilst continuing to earn impressed responses from people such as  Lynval Golding, guitarist and vocalist of The Specials/Fun Boy Three who declared “They are the new The Specials”. Their two EPs drew press and fan acclaim with debut single One Word and its successor Take Control both like the album released via Kompyla Records sparking up a strong anticipation for the album, a hunger which is easily fed.

The album opens with the instantly magnetic Vulture, the song a melodic blaze of vocal harmonies and expressive seduction from BTRAlbum_FrontCoverthe off, even before the music adds its compelling swagger and elegance to proceedings. An energetic but respectful romp which holds the ear and emotions by the hand as it dances across the brass flames and flashing guitar strokes, it is as infectious as it is lyrically provocative, the vocal persuasion of Barrow and co as irresistible as the perfectly sculpted melodic teasing and narrative colouring the intent of word and voice. The full combination is simply a magnet for the passions and senses setting the album off on the perfect start.

The following Make Your Own Road lifts the immense start to another plateau of excellence and steals one of the top honours spots on the album. Heralded by a restrained but bright brass call the song is soon offering a sultry stroll of deep throaty bass lures and group vocal calls as the chorus opens up the scintillating encounter. As the guitar picks and plucks the greedy heart the trumpet and sax offer a defined wantonness which enflames an already brewing ardour incited by the vocals and deliciously emotive bass sound. Every element of the song is passionate and expressive, each aspect an individual tease and narrative in tandem with each other and in union a piece of melodic alchemy which lights up every shadow and corner of thoughts, heart, and the day.

After such an immense start there was bound to be a dip in temptation but if there is it is barely recognisable as the likes of This Love, You Got It Wrong, and Don’t Look At Me with the aforementioned Take Control slipped in their midst, enchant and evoke further pleasure. Certainly the songs do not reach the same elevation of the opening pair but with the beauty of the first of the four a radiant kiss upon the ear and the persuasive ‘call to arms’ of the single with its deep temptation lined coaxing just two outstanding moments from this part of the album alone there is no slip in its fascination and strength.

The album ends as powerfully and contagiously as it begins with firstly the irresistible Rise Up stroking the ear into an enamoured rapture with its reggae honed siren call and brass fire erupting to deepen the temptation and soon matched by the Caribbean soaked rhythmic/melodic tango of Run Home, a song with an eighties whisper which reminds of Haircut 100. The closing pair though almost steal the whole show with the sweltering allurement of Don’t Say You Love Me raising the temperature with an epidemic cursed melodic enterprise and the closing Rocksteady a thrilling crescendo of ska shaped melodically grooved splendour to what is a stunning album.

By The Rivers, band and album, is a treat the summer of this and every year hence forth will adopt as its mesmeric soundtrack and the heart as its long lasting invigorating companion.

http://www.bytherivers.co.uk

9/10

RingMaster 07/05/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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By The Rivers: Take Control

   By The rivers

    Take Control is the new single form the highly rated UK sextet By The Rivers, a band which has already earned eager praise and a loyal following around their home town of Leicester and further afield. The single is a warm and vibrant blend of reggae and ska tinged enterprise which teases and caresses the senses into a warm and satisfied bliss.

Formed in 2010 by friends Nile Barrow (vocals/guitar) and Jordan Birtles(drums/vocals), By The Rivers has certainly been on a steady and rapid rise. Taking their passion for the sound, culture, and style of reggae and its roots, the pair soon recruited Will Todd (saxophone), Leo May (trumpet), Matt Willars (bass), and Sam Read (keyboard/guitar/backing vocals) to the mix. The first year saw the band venture into the live arena to rapturous responses and within their first seven gigs had lined up to support Dawn Kinnard, Neville Staples, Toploader, and Fun Lovin Criminals. The band was in strong demand with venues and promoters with the following year seeing the band support the likes of The Buzzcocks, Maxi Priest, Musical Youth, Dawn Penn, Saxon Sound, Neville Staple, and John Holt & The Specials. Their second EP repeated the success of their first with fans as did their debut single One Word, both earlier EPs receiving a full release as a single package in 2011, the release reaching second spot in the iTunes Reggae Album Charts, behind Bob Marley.

Released on Kompyla Records, second single Take Control shows with ease why the band is hailed as something special. Opening 1778070903-1with pulsating bass strokes and gentle yet fiery brass calls the song is an immediate temptation, its heated elegance and sinewy heart an instant magnet for the ear. A musical infection sets in even before the vocals have a place in the scheme of things with the fine tones of Barrow and Birtles elevating the existing satisfaction to greater depths. Limbs are recruited before the willing passions, both without defence to the magnetic melodic wash and inciting passion of the song musically and lyrically. It is a gentle yet formidable coaxing, a persuasive ‘call to arms’ which engages on every level, voice and thoughts willing recruits to the heart and breath of the song. Our knowledge of reggae and its history is sketchy at best but the same emotion and pleasure spawned from the best moments of UB40 and the current enterprise and emotion of Onlyjoe is prevalent throughout the song.

The track is accompanied by a remix by Radio Riddler (Fast & Frank Benibi of Fun Lovin Criminals)of the single and the excellent acoustic version of the song Don’t Stand Alone. The remix is a more than decent engagement which lights different shadows and flames from within the original song whilst the last song is a deeply impressive and pleasing wash of acoustic guitar, melodica, and the again delicious vocals and harmonies of the band founders. A fresh and uncomplicated breeze of emotive energy and mesmeric craft, the track would have made an irresistible single all on its own, the living melodic and harmonic contagion quite delicious.

By The Rivers is on the verge of big things and Take Control the compelling persuasion that it will be sooner rather than later. Just starting a tour of England, this is a band which brings something invigorating musically and emotionally to UK reggae and melodic enterprise.

https://www.facebook.com/bytherivers

RingMaster 22/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright