The Eastern Swell – One Day, A Flood

the-eastern-swell_RingMasterReview

If one word had to be used to describe One Day, A Flood, the debut album from Scottish quartet The Eastern Swell, it has to be spellbinding. From the first listen the tapestry of genres which shape its songs catches the imagination but it is with subsequent listens that the real bewitchment blossoms. Inspired by and weaving together essences from the likes of progressive folk, experimental rock, and neo-psychedelia among numerous other flavours, The Eastern Swell combines poetic storytelling and melodic suggestiveness in one impressive captivation.

Edinburgh formed, The Eastern Swell emerged in 2014; the Anglo-Scottish foursome of guitarist/vocalist Chris Reeve, vocalist Lainie Urquhart, bassist/vocalist Neil Collman, and drummer Andy Glover first going by the name of Lainie & The Crows. With a well-received EP, name change, and the signing with excellent Scottish label Stereogram Recordings under their belts, the band set about creating their debut album with producer Pete Harvey (Modern Studies, Meursault, and King Creosote) in his own Pumpkinfield Studios. Themed by tales of “about vulnerability and the frailties of being human”, One Day, A Flood casts individual reflections linked by the underlying premise and a fluid movement from one song to another. Enjoyably working individually, the album’s tracks also impressively create a single experience which is just as potent, maybe even more so, taken in one listen. With self-admitted inspirations to the band, when creating One Day, A Flood, including the likes of Syd Barrett, Led Zeppelin, Neil Young, Fairport Convention, King Crimson, Pixies, Thee Oh Sees, Cat Power, and Gillian Welch, it is fair to say that the album is a rich collusion of styles and flavours honed into one kaleidoscope of imagination.

The album opens with the outstanding Rattling Bones, a track drenched in drama and emotive intensity. A sonic mist first encases ears, this quickly followed by a gloriously evocative riff soon joined by an equivalent lure from the bass. A sudden drop into a sombre air of melancholy with a dour but tempting melody, as the warm tones of Urquhart caresses ears and thoughts, then enjoyably wrong foots. Soon though, the track develops a lively stroll to its gait, marked by the bold roll of rhythms as provocative strings from guest Pete Harvey further toy with the imagination. The song is superb, a seamless patchwork of enterprise and creative hues setting the scene and character of the album.

the-eastern-swell-one-day-a-flood_RingMasterReviewWhat’s Done Is Done is next up; sharing the dark throated riffs and bass tone of its predecessor as essences of psychedelia and late sixties/early seventies melodic rock merge and the great blend of harmonies across Urquhart, Reeve, and Collman embrace. It oozes a seductive touch with every exotic sigh, warm surges and electric impulses uniting in a gentle but dynamic rousing of ears and spirit. The excellent proposition is followed and matched in temptation by 1000 Yard Stare where the vocal mix again grabs attention as they immediately cradle ears while psych and folk pop streams of enterprise kiss the imagination. Crescendos of lo fi intensity contrast and work perfectly with this golden glow of voice and melody, the compelling encounter almost tempestuous at times in its Wicker Man like climate and emotion.

The acoustic grace and warm melancholy of Temples is next, Urquhart’s voice uniting with the evocative strains of the cello before brighter guitar melodies and quaintly lit keys dance in ears. Its captivating low key proposal is echoed in the individually bold serenade of Muckish Mountain straight after before Too Little, Too Late reveals its own swing of rhythmic hips and melodic gaiety. Once more the fine and contrasting blend of male and female vocals seduces, a match emulated in the dark throes of the rhythms and radiant smile of guitars and keys. With a subsequent hook to lust after, the song is an intimate yet all-embracing festival of sound and energy providing another major highlight to One Day, A Flood.

The fuzzier air of Quick As A Whip makes a swift engaging between song and ears, harmonies and warm textures only reinforcing its potency before the album’s best moment arrives in the shape of Dancing Zombie Blues. Like a devilish concoction bred from The Dead Weather, Bird Blobs, and Old House Playground, the song rattles and rolls with gothic folk majesty, coming to an abrupt end from which a sonic wash brews and develops into closing enticement Run Down Country Palace. Its nature is of similar breeding though once its raw climate is set, the track’s electric veil parts for the reflective charms of vocals, strings, and a folk honed melodic appraisal. As all tracks though, things are never straight forward, The Eastern Swell creating tapestries that perpetually move and evolve.

Another reward provide is that One Day, A Flood never seems to stop growing in ears and imagination listen by listen, creating an adventure very easy to recommend from a band in The Eastern Swell that we will surely be hearing much more of ahead.

One Day, A Flood is out September 16th via Stereogram Recordings.

 http://www.stereogramrecordings.co.uk/artists/the-eastern-swell  https://www.facebook.com/theeasternswell/   http://www.theeasternswell.com/

Pete RingMaster 15/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Horse Party – Cover Your Eyes

Horse Party by Kate Wood

Horse Party by Kate Wood

Their previous singles teased and seduced but now UK indie band Horse Party go straight for the heart with their debut album Cover Your Eyes. Its eight varied and shapely tracks provide a raw and flavoursome adventure which simply captures the imagination with no respite whilst simultaneously asserting the Bury St Edmunds trio as one of the brightest emergences in recent times.

The birth of the band goes back to a drunken night in a church where drummer/vocalist Shannon Hope and guitarist/vocalist Seymour Quigley badgered guitarist/ vocalist Ellie Langley through ‘abusive messages’ to join up with them. Fuelled by a mutual passion for the likes of Bjork, Fugazi, Cat Power and terrible films, Horse Party came in existence and soon pulled in strong acclaim with debut track Clarion Call, a free release which took the band to the attention of BBC Suffolk Introducing whilst sparking numerous support slot offers including one with Dingus Khan. A second single and a live EP called Scarlet & Blue followed to increase the weight of their emergence whilst last year saw the trio playing over fifty shows which including sharing stages with bands such as Tunng, Pinkunoizu, Shonen Knife, Heartless Bastards, Ghostpoet, The Nightingales, and Vuvuvultures, perform a live broadcast via BBC Introducing from the new John Peel Centre for Creative Arts, and release their third single through new label Integrity. It was certainly a fruitful and busy year for the band, one set to continue in this with already the album release and a tour currently being undertaken proving a striking success.

The album opens with Back To Mono, a track which instantly jabs at the ears with fuzz lined guitar strokes with a more than  Horse-Party-CD-case-web-versionBeatle-esque tempting to their dramatic coaxing. The jagged tease is soon aligned to an equally compelling melodic exploration and feisty rhythms whilst Ellie’s vocals cast a stirring lure over the lot. It is not an explosive track but one which is unrelenting in its repetitive incitement and insatiable in its want to charge up the imagination. The firm almost imposing beats continue to drive on the track, never relinquishing their potent bait even in the more open and blustery chorus. The song is merciless with its enticements, band vocals a glorious web to lay their narrative and the sonic designs veining the song irresistible colour, but it is that blinkered core of the song which steals the biggest rapture.

Clarion Call makes a less striking entrance but with its minimalistic guitar bait equally draws a keen tempting which flourishes further with the addition of the distinct vocal of Ellie and against lively beats. Before they bring their rich hues there is a feel of Young Marble Giants to the song which then develops into a broader deeper catch of sixties garage rock and chilled indie persuasion. The further it extends its body the stronger and fuller the track evolves, guitars again painting evocative textures which the vocals and chilled harmonies wrap themselves around. Already the album has attention and appetite seduced which Scarlet & Blue reinforces with its smouldering caress and sultry air. Though it is a simmering melody crafted temptation there is fire in the belly of the temptress, incendiary raw clashes of percussion and riff providing imposing crescendos within the graceful and mesmeric immersion of the senses. Live the track is masterful but now having heard in from a studio breeding, it shouts with the emotive beauty and innovative invention of Horse Party.

The following Inbetween with a skittish percussive invitation brings a Fleetwood Mac elegance and flight to its equally vivacious energy. It is a tremendous mix, soaring melodies and mellow vocals tempering but egging on a racy energy and brisk rhythmic provocation. It is another infectious and inciting pleasure easily matched and surpassed by What Do You Need. From a great first impression when released at the tail of last year, the single has grown in weight and potency over time for us and sitting within the album seems in its element as it boldly opens with drama and intensive seducing which outrivals even the first track. A restrained strum is punctuated with deliciously heavily weighted drum thumps, their dynamic pokes spearing the maze of melodic intrigue spiralling across the canvas of the song. Their forceful intent is tempered once the vocals unveil their expression within the weave of the song, though within that restraint they wait to pounce again, which they do with a slow but certain relish as the song stretches and explores its boiling textures and imaginative corners. The busy chorus brings thoughts of Alanis Morissette but only to flavour another original and frisky encounter from the band.

The next up Six returns to a sweltering climate, its thick heat and evocative atmosphere enveloping ears and thoughts with emotive tenderness whilst guitars and bass carve absorbing shadows. Passion flows as animatedly as the sonic sculpting which fires up the jazzy expulsions of the song whilst that sixties feel permeates yet again with a garage rock blaze to the sweltering air lying invitingly over the enthralling creative landscape.

     Let The Man Die catches expectations by surprise not only, as the songs, with its immensely tasty sounds and invention but also by Quigley taking the lead, his tones a potent variation to the album. The song is pure rock pop, the most accessible track for newcomers proving that the strings to their creative bow are as wide as they are diverse. The track is unafraid to add a little post punk beauty especially in its climax either, just to tease and reassure that intrigue is never too far away from the heart of the songwriting.

Closing with the acoustic To Know You Less, a very decent gentle caress to end the show, Cover Your Eyes is pure aural majesty. Singles alone have suggested that Horse Party is a very special proposition but together with their new companions they declare the band as one of the UK’s most exciting and original prospects. Remember it is still early days for the band too so horizons look very rosy for them and us.

Cover Your Eyes is available digitally now via Integrity Records with a gatefold CD version with 16-page booklet released on Monday 12th May 2014.

http://www.horsepartyparty.co.uk

9/10

RingMaster 23/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.audioburger.com

 

Horse Party – Scarlet & Blue EP

HP

Following up the success of previous singles Clarion Call and Back To Mono earlier this year, UK trio Horse Party now treat our senses with the Scarlet & Blue EP, a three track release recorded live at The Hunter Club, Bury St Edmunds, UK, on Saturday 4th May 2013. It is a release which easily shows why the band is so warmly talked and enthused about for their live presence as much as their recorded material. It is a mesmeric encounter which wraps around the ear as if you were there and sweet talks the passions into being seduced by the magnetic garage rock lures of the band.

Hailing from Bury St Edmunds, Horse Party came together in the latter part of last year with drummer/vocalist Shannon Hope and guitarist/vocalist Seymour Quigley recruiting vocalist/guitarist Eleanor Lou (Ellie Langley) to join their project. Taking inspirations from the likes of Bjork, Fugazi, Cat Power and terrible films into their unique vision, the three piece immediately drew attention with that debut single Clarion Call in January soon joined and exceeded in success by April release Back To Mono.

As the singles, the new EP is released through Sturm Und Drang Recordings and starts off with Back To Mono, its opening guitar a0259051376_2strikes seemingly steeped in the Beatles track Get Back. It is an immediately luring start backed eagerly by the punchy rhythms of Shannon Hope. Simple but as potent as you could wish for the band hold their audience and listener in their musical palms especially when the fine vocals of Eleanor Lou offer a further melodic smouldering ably assisted by the strong tones of Seymour Quigley. It is one of those songs which calls the heart with instinctive understanding of what it needs to find its flame and live its potency is arguably even more powerful.

The following Scarlet & Blue smoulders tenderly in the ear as the vocals and guitar place melodic arms around the shoulders of thoughts and senses. This warm suasion is a constant temptress but has to give way to an equally satisfying raw clash of percussion and riff blaze offering enticing crescendos. Again you can almost feel the mesmerised audience drifting away on the evolving winds of the song such its dominant but reserved temptation.

Final track Six with its sultry air and evocatively heated melodic caresses completes a hat-trick of thoroughly absorbing treats with guitars and vocals, drums and warmth all pouring from the stage through the speakers with creative passion and energy. Alongside its fellow instigators of the passions, the song leaves a lingering impressiveness in its wake to confirm Horse Party as one of the really exciting bands to emerge in the UK in recent months. Available as a free download from http://horsepartyparty.bandcamp.com/ the Scarlet & Blue EP is an invitation you really should not pass up.

Catch Horse Party Live 2013 @ Sat 13th July – Bury St Edmunds Hunter Club w/The Vitamins • Sat 31st Aug – Bury St Edmunds Homegrown Festival • Sat 7th Sept – Stowmarket John Peel Centre w/Shonen Knife

https://www.facebook.com/horsepartyparty

9/10

RingMaster 10/07/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.audioburger.com

Horse Party – Back To Mono

HP

Stomping with mischief and anthemic invitation whilst holding hands with melodic enterprise and expelling a fiery breath, Back To Mono the debut single from UK band Horse Party is an intriguing and thrilling introduction. A mild riot with reservation to its still vibrant energy and potent temptation, the song immediately marks the band as an exciting new tease for the passions with a matching confident swagger.

The Bury St Edmunds trio ventured forth in September of last year after guitarist and vocalist Eleanor Lou (Ellie) was ‘badgered’ into joining the band set up by drummer/vocalist Shannon Hope and guitarist/vocalist Seymour Quigley, which according to the band bio happened having got drunk together in a church and sending ‘abusive messages’ to Ellie ‘ordering her to join a band whose primary goal would be to make or lose a million pounds.’ With a mutual passion and inspiration from the likes of Bjork, Fugazi, Cat Power and terrible films fuelling their creativity the threesome released the song Clarion Call at the beginning of the year as a free download, a track which drew the attention of BBC Suffolk Introducing and support slot offers, including one with Dingus Khan.

Release through Sturm Und Drang Recordings, their first official single instantly lures the listener in with an opening Beatlesque hook1317436922-1 of fuzzy guitar strokes and mutually resonating bass entrapment and once the great vocals of Ellie add their warm beckoning, Back To The Mono has a firm grip on the ear and emotions. The almost lo-fi touch of the song, its breath raw yet perfectly defined as a persuasion, brings a delicious organic feel whilst the blues soaked guitar hook and magnetic chorus only furthers its claim to the passions. A track which has no desires to create a tempest of evolving textures but instead offers a continual and solid prowl of the ear, it still manages to bring a heat and absorbing adventure which rivals and more often outshines the majority of similarly gaited and clothed indie tracks erupting out this year.

Standing somewhere between the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Morningwood, and Cradle, band and single inspire such promise that the wait for more from Horse Party is going to have a taste of impatience about it.

www.horsepartyparty.bandcamp.com

www.facebook.com/horsepartyparty

8.5/10

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.audioburger.com

RingMaster 15/04/2013

 

Shannon Hope: Self Titled EP

Shannon Hope by White Robot Photography

Shannon Hope by White Robot Photography

Consisting of six undiluted and naked brief snap shots of reflective emotion and musical sincerity, the self-titled debut EP from UK singer songwriter Shannon Hope is an enchantment which is impossible to pull away from. The release is a piece of honesty which is straight from the heart and as such is not ashamed in presenting its warts and all creative passions. It is not perfect but still a release which enchants and connects with thoughts and experiences with a knowing veracity.

Bury St Edmunds-based Hope first came to note at the closing period of the last decade as one half of boy-girl riot-punks Glory Glory, providing vocals and drums as well sharing the songwriting. The band drew strong plaudits for its DIY enterprise but upon its demise Hope moved back to her hometown and immersed in the local scene, as the vocalist/drummer for Rats As Big As Dogs and Horse. Richly inspired by the likes of Cat Power and Bjork she also began writing for herself, with the EP her first bewitching persuasion.

Released through Sturm Und Drang Recordings, the EP offers loud whispers of contemplative personal truth, smouldering voices of Shannon Hope EP coverrelationships and personal feelings wrapped in uncluttered and equally pensive sounds. Opening track A Part Of Me gently approaches the ear with shuffling percussion, a melancholic guitar, and the expressive elegant voice of Hope. From a slowly strolling melodic musing the song rises to its feet from time to time to tease the senses but never releases its emotive restraint or compelling lure. As with all the tracks there are shadows never far away to cast shade over the suggested and sometimes strong flickers of hope inspiring light, their union crafted with passion and intelligence.

The following I Could Do Without This again entwines varied eagerness of gait though never lifts a foot far from the dejected floor of the song.  Whilst rhythms scuff their way through the downcast mood of lyrics and breath, Hope once more holds sway over the listener with her mesmeric tones. The song is barely two minutes though seemingly passes much quicker within its presence, but ignites the passions with the strongest temptation on the release only matched by the opener.

Life’s Memorabilia and Any Road both lay bare their wounds in full gaze of ear and thoughts with the guitar of Hope at its most potent on the release, especially in the second of the two. There is no pretence or fussiness about the songs or EP overall either which immediately connect the emotions and thoughts of the artist to those of the listener, the simplicity of sound and honesty allowing one to feel part of Hope and her life. As to how personal the songs are the weeks ahead will reveal no doubt but within the embrace of the songs you only feel every note and word has been dramatically lived.

Closing songs Block You Out and Time Goes Too Fast bring a fine end to the encounter, the first with energy and drive which for the first time on the release does breaks sweat whilst the final song, without finding the same depth of engagement elsewhere, makes for a pleasing last caress. The production on the EP is minimal which perfectly complements the verity of the songwriting and sound. It maybe is not a release to ignite raging fires inside but nevertheless is an inviting and strongly satisfying pleasure.

www.shannonhope.bandcamp.com

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Shannon-Hope/190665394412245

7/10

RingMaster 18/03/2013

 

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

www.audioburger.com