The Heights – Drag Race On The Moon

the heightspromo1

Hailing from Toronto, Canadian pop rock band The Heights are set to make the summer a warmer and more melodic place with their new EP Drag Race On The Moon. Made up of five vibrant and enterprising alternative/melodic rock songs which flirt with the ear from start to finish, the release is sure to bring the band to a stronger and wider spread attention.

Initially a solo project for Gavin Sutton (vocals / guitar / piano), The Heights soon expanded to a full encounter with the addition of guitarist Nick Dooley, bassist Colin Jacques, and Tyler Jones on drums. The self-titled and Bonacres EPs from the band set appetites alight but it is Drag Race On The Moon which looks set to make the quartet a name on a greater array of lips and passions. Employing inspirations from the likes of Coldplay, City and Colour, and John Mayer, which are open whispers in their clean cut and honed sound, there is a freshness and invention to the band which is impossible to dismiss even if they do not find the spark to ignite your passions. Earning further acclaim for their live performances which has seen them play with bands such as Set Your Goals, Silverstein and Fireworks to name a few, The Heights with the release of the EP stand at the door to greater recognition, whether it is the actual key the next months will tell but certainly the band offers everything available within them to provoke success with their new offering.

Opening song Soldier is an immediate rich attraction, its initial atmosphere brewing behind the emotive and excellent vocals of drotmcoverSutton as intriguing as the keys which also add their voice. Those impacting lures open up a deeper bait for the senses as drums and bass walk around and cage the melodic flames beginning to lick at the ear. Once its chorus erupts for the first time there is a contagion at large which wraps tightly around thoughts and emotions and continues throughout the rest of the song. Reminding of UK band Candidate23 though arguably not quite as virulently addictive, band and song add further drama and energy to the excellent track and secure certain acclaim well before its final note kisses the ear.

The following Some You Give Away has a sense of The Wonder Stuff to its first melodic caresses but then evolves into a boisterous and energy fuelled pleasure complete with jangly guitar strokes and evocative keys. Again the vocals are outstanding and ably aided by the rest of band in voice and inventive sound. A track which prods and leaps through the ear at times,  it is a heated blaze of melodic imagination and impressively crafted songwriting continuing the strong start with ease.

Both Devil and Spinning Webs unveil their feisty yet elegant depths, the first another song with punchy rhythms and sonic crescendos which ignite around the chorus as the keys spread a resourceful and smouldering ambience to the emotive tones of vocals and words. With an element of Doves to it the track passes the baton on to its successor who runs with a piano led narrative which is coated in a melodic beauty which demands total clarity. That the band gives as harmonies lead in sultry bass persuasion and rhythmic tenderness to support another great vocal and keys invitation. Maybe not as impacting as previous more energy driven songs it is still a treat of honed and sculpted excellence.

Closing song You Make Me is the weakest on the release, though still a more than satisfying encounter, which lacks the individuality of earlier songs to set the band and release apart from the rest but with strong craft and passion coaxed enterprise it makes a more than decent conclusion to a fine EP nevertheless. It is hard to say that Drag Race On The Moon got our passions excited enough to ignite any lingering ardour but undoubtedly it got feet dancing and sparked lively reactions in its eager company which is not a bad thing.

www.theheightsofficial.com

8/10

RingMaster 09/07/2013

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Candidate23 – Recurring Dreams EP

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Having strongly impressed with their previous EP Stay Awake, UK indie band Candidate23 has just unleashed their new offering to again show how exciting a band they are whilst bringing a vibrant evolution in their already thrilling creativity. As with their other releases the quintet from the North West of the country have sculpted a sound of undefined familiarity but one which employs it in an encounter which leaves the passions gasping and imagination fiery through open originality and carefully honed craft.

Formed in 2010, the Liverpool based Candidate23 have only made good impressions, their allure and temptation growing more potent with each release and live performance which has seen the band alongside the likes of Funeral for a Friend, Young Guns and The King Blues. There breakthrough to the widest national awareness is overdue and deserved but still biding its time, teasing us and them but with Recurring Dreams that lock just might and should have the right key finally. With references to the likes of The Wombats and Foals upon them, to which we would add Placebo, Mind Museum, and in some ways Doves, and sewn within their own distinct sound anticipation of a big year for the band from this EP alone is unavoidable.

The title track is a brief brewing ambient beckoning to introduce the release and draw one into the following mighty temptress of a song in Float Away. The track is a sparkling explosion of melodic colour and winding expressive atmospheres veined by rolling rhythms which cage the ear for the vocals of Will Hayes to gentle stroke forth the lyrical heart of the song. The singer instantly impresses, as he has on previous releases, his words and delivery seductively dancing across the vibrant mingling of tantalising enterprise from guitarists Alex McIntyre and Andy Perrin and those still energetic rhythms of drummer Jono Tringham side by side with the rumbling basslines of Ryan Dennett. The emotive lure of the song is never far away or lost in the energy and steps forward most potently for the closing breath of the track as it passes over to next up Until It’s Cold.

From a gentle wash of emotional keys and the soaring tones of Hayes the song rises to its feet with again the beats of Tringham framing the warmth with rich firm persuasion which invites limbs into the affair as much as the emotions. Though the song does not explode with the same intensity as its predecessor it packs a colourful punch in its superbly crafted melodies and equally compelling harmonies to leave extra hunger in the keen appetite already encouraged by the EP.

I’ve Been Here Before is a slow burning delight, a song which took time to make its full declaration before the senses but emerged as one of the most powerful and lingering gems on Recurring Dreams. A smouldering lullaby for the heart with a rising intensity to its breath and enveloping heat, the track offers familiarity in a brand new guise which covers the senses like an old friend which will never lack a welcome but equally intrigues with an undiscovered emotional depth. As with the whole EP, there is nothing not to love about the song as the band show they are as adept and imaginative in slowly crooning the passions as they are igniting them with an infectious anthemic fuse.

The final pair of songs confirms an already done deal between release and ardour, the outstanding I Want You a stirring almost riotous slice of aural contagion, the virulent call of the chorus the perfect climax to the magnetic verse and the call of vocals and sound which rage with invention and lush beauty. The closing First Steps matches what came before with elegant sonic caresses within its enthralling fascination of energy and rhythmic keenness. Though arguably not the most dynamically capturing song on the release it makes a final declaration of just how impressive and thoroughly pleasing Recurring Dreams is.

Available as a free download by a band generous in sound and invention, their new EP has all the weaponry and class to be the trigger for national domination before taking on the world. Candidate23 has provided the mighty tools for all to enjoy and spread the word.

http://candidate23.bandcamp.com/

http://www.candidate23.com

9/10

RingMaster 07/05/2013

 

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Candidate23: Stay Awake EP

Photo @ copyright Jeb Smith

The new EP UK indie band Candidate23 graces the ear like a breath of fresh air, its masterful weave of striking melodies, expressive vocals, and heart borne invention instantly making one stand up and take a focused attentive look which many other releases fail to achieve. All bands deserve and get from music lovers a respectful attention but some demand a little bit more by offering something extra. Upon their Stay Awake EP  the quartet do just that to take one on a fulfilling emotional ride from first note to last, the vibrant experience a complete and joyful pleasure.

Hailing from North West England the band formed in 2010 and have already made a noticeable mark through sharing stages with the likes of Funeral for a Friend, Young Guns and The King Blues as well as with debut single One For You in the November of their formation year and its successor Confusion, both riding high in the iTunes Rock Chart in 2011. Their sound is tagged as indie pop but there is a height and depth to it that goes much further in sound and within the listener.

The release starts off with Mona (I’m not leaving) and an immediate engagement with the ear is achieved through its persistent yet unobtrusive guitar welcome and keys that soar with style around the ear. As vocalist Will Hayes adds his impressive tones the song takes a deep breath before swelling with a purring bassline from Ryan Dennett alongside firm beats from Jono Tringham and the expressive guitar play of Alex McIntyre and Andy Perrin. With a flavour that reminds a little of Mind Museum and Post Adolescence the song leaves the emotions pumped and eager for more.

The title track steps up next with a less boisterous flow from the first but with just as satisfying results. Vocalist Hayes within two songs shows what a fine talent he is, his vocals strongly expressive and with a depth that is controlled and easily impressive. The song does not grab as firmly as the opener or as those that follow but more than provides the evidence of the songwriting skills of the band and the realisation of their well rounded and imaginative ideas.

10 Minutes Of Fame is an emotive song which caresses the ear with a textured drama and weight that pulls one deep within its captivating heart. The song opens up the band to nothing but praise, the song though less instant as maybe the others taking the senses on an impactful stroll through the artistry and passion of Candidate23.

The best song on the release closes things up beautifully. Karma is majestic, its glowing soundscape a warm and vibrant field of sound to share feelings and thoughts with. The picky guitars play the senses like a harp whilst the rhythms and bass add a bubbling vein to the song, and the orchestral sounding expanse that washes over at times adding to the wonder and magic of the song.

Candidate23 at times remind of other bands but one can never truly pinpoint who or how but there are moments on Stay Awake when thoughts of bands like Placebo, The Verve, and Doves flit through. Their sound has a friendliness which seems familiar but has a distinction which is fully their own. We will hear a lot more of Candidate23 as they make what is surely a rapid rise and an eager anticipation is in full flight after this release.

http://www.candidate23.com

RingMaster 29/03/2012

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