The Sourheads – Care Plan For The Soul

Since forming in the Spring of 2016, UK rockers The Sourheads has drawn increasing attention and support through their live presence, singles, and most of all their dirty, multi-flavoured rock ‘n’ roll. Now the band has added another accelerant to their emergence with the release of debut album Care Plan For The Soul. Offering nine slices of rowdy but skilfully woven incitement embracing classic and fresh rock diversity, the release thrusts the listener into a grubby cellar of salacious intent and irreverent sound; a temptation the body gets the urge to dance to and appetite the need to increasingly devour.

Hailing from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, The Sourheads embrace an array of inspirations in their sound ranging from Deep Purple, Kasabian and The Doors to Kyuss and Clutch. It is a web of punk and garage to psych and classic rock which is just as grungy as it is melodically enticing and within Care Plan For The Soul an incitement which makes a potent first impression but really grows in persuasion listen by listen. Mastered by Pete Maher (The Rolling Stones, Depeche Mode, U2), the album swiftly grabs ears and appetite with opener Demon. Straight away it is enticingly grumbling in ears, bass and riffs an irritable lure soon bound in sonic tendrils as familiar and new endeavours collude in the blossoming growl capped by the slightly gnarly tones of Jake Coxon. The bass of Ben Taylor continues to be a belligerent presence in the caustic captivation, guitarist Mik Crone and drummer Chris Lambert adding their bold touches to the ever evolving roar maybe best described as Turbonegro meets The Senton Bombs meets Guns n’ Roses.

It is a great start to proceedings which Morally High continues with its spicily grooved stroll. Carrying similar essences and flavours to its predecessor in its own individual way, the track is equally as infectious and magnetic with again classic and modern textures rubbing excitedly again each other within its controlled yet salacious swing. As the music, Coxon has a snarl to his croon, attitude dripping from every syllable and note before My Rock And Roll steps up to coax bad behaviour with its blues skinned devilry entangled in more of the great guitar enterprise which veins the whole of Care Plan For The Soul.

Power Of Addiction shares some of that psychedelic influence next; keys and melodies a sultry tempting while Rag And Bone Man has a great scruffy feel and character to its predacious gait and rhythmically rousing proposal. The song alone sums up the variety of flavours within The Sourheads sound, a host of rock bred essences embroiled in its inescapable command of body and imagination. It all adds up to one of the biggest highlights of the release, one quickly matched by the voracious punk ‘n’ roll of Don’t Get Caught (I Am The Lotus). Like The Stooges and Eddie and The Hot Rods caught in the act by The Vibrators as AC/DC hold the camera, the track is superb, taking best song honours with its manipulative temptations and craft.

Both Secret Cigarette and Warbird take a firm grip of release and listener next, the first an invasive but seductive fire of blues and classic grooves with punk bred kindling while its successor merges sullied rock ‘n’ roll with some of the most addictive melodic hooks and enterprise within the album for another pinnacle. As with many songs, it openly draws on some classic punk hooks and teases but equally shares psych rock imagination for the album’s most imaginative moment to stand alongside its best.

Care Plan For The Soul concludes with Mad Dog, a song rising from an initial Queen/Skid Row like invitation into an invasive and volatile ballad which becomes more captivating by the minute and listen, much as the album itself.  Indeed just as many will take to the release within seconds many others will need time to explore and discover its qualities; the big rewards for the attention we can vouch for as too the finding of a potential of even greater fun and adventure ahead with the Sourheads.

Care Plan For The Soul is available now through Oak Island Records on CD, Vinyl and Digitally.

https://www.thesourheads.com/    https://www.facebook.com/thesourheads    https://thesourheads2.bandcamp.com/

 Pete RingMaster 23/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Widows – Oh Deer God

As kids on a rainy day there was nothing better than coming home caked in the dirt rich antics of the day; being mud splattered after playing and revelling in the organic filth on offer. The sound and new album, Oh Deer God, from UK stoner/heavy rock outfit Widows is the sonic equivalent; a dirty, scuzzy plaything which sticks to the senses whilst offering a tank full of just as instinctive pleasure.

Over seven tracks bulging with rabid grooves, ravenous riffs, and vocals that instinctively wear irritability with pride, Widows has unleashed their heaviest and dirtiest escapades yet but without losing the body inciting grooving which helped debut album Death Valley Duchess grab attention back in 2012. The five years between releases has seen the band in their words trade “the desert worship for some more sludgy/doomy elements and it’s definitely a much darker affair.” It has also seen new bassist Phil Emblin come in and link up with vocalist Adam Jolliffe, guitarist James Kidd, and drummer Ze Big; another move which seems to have given fresh depth and weight to a sound bred on the inspirations of artists such as Down, Kyuss, and Clutch. It has been a fair time since the band formed in 2008 and released debut EP Raise the Monolith two years later, a passage which on the evidence of Oh Deer God has seen them become one of Britain’s mightiest purveyors of infestation.

The Nottingham band swiftly has Oh Deer God eagerly fingering the senses with its title track. First the guitar strokes ears, the bass quickly joining in as beats add their imposing bite and Jolliffe growls with an almost toxic intent from the midst of it all. Strolling along with a controlled but feral gait, the song breaks its stride with moments of instinctive boisterousness but then slips back into its natural prowl. Melodic strains simply add to the raw temptation of the track, its stoner breeding complimenting the primal heart driving things. With a touch of Northern Ireland outfit Triggerman meets Clutch to it, the song brings things to the boil superbly before parting for the one minute plus fury of its successor.

Caffeine and Hatred is a short swift violation that just ignites the senses and passions, its punk tempest and web of sonic trespasses, accentuated by the lethal swings of Ze Big, irresistible pleasure. The song is as musically horny as it is quarrelsome, the kind of rabid assault greed flocks to before taking on the rhythmically big boned and sonically compelling Heresy and Venom. As with the first, the song has hips swerving to its grooves and the inner punk grabbing on to its senses puncturing stabs with glee whilst the rocker inside swings from its stoner nurtured tendrils of intoxication. There is a great element of discord in the mix too, an unpredictability which increases the slavery of the imagination.

More familiar essences and designs are woven for the tangy exploits of next up Blue Tuna but wrapping a rhythmically agitated skeleton dancing with more of that expectations squashing enterprise already shaping the album while Ride To The Realm Of Coitus gets to the grain of dirty rock ‘n’ roll with its crawling motion and grubby textures. With the bass a soiled flirtation, the song initially stalks the senses before flicking a switch into a feistily energetic and volatile canter with tart melodic seduction veining a rapacious character built on predacious grooves and riffs.

The blues infested grooving of Baron Greenback Blues across a spine of wonderfully dishevelled rock ‘n’ roll has things hungrily bouncing next, the track a wild and wily incitement of body and spirit with another seriously carnal and glorious bassline stealing the passions before making way for Germanium Buzz which brings things to a fine close. Almost clean cut in comparisons to things before it, the song is the one track the stoner rock tag fully fits though it too is soon uncaging muscular dexterity and body trespassing instincts seeded in other strains of sound, merging both sides with increasingly captivating tenacity.

You can call Oh Deer God and the Widows sound stoner rock, sludge, or heavy rock but quite simply it is just undiluted rock ‘n’ roll and the reason the band’s latest album is one essential slab of prize pleasure.

Oh Deer God is out now through UMC Recordings and available @ https://widows666.bandcamp.com/album/oh-deer-god

https://www.facebook.com/widows666/

Pete RingMaster 24/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Colours of the blues: exploring King Colobus with vocalist/guitarist Stewart MacPherson

kc_RingMasterReview

2017 has started with a bang, certainly in regard to introductions to and debut releases from fresh and truly striking bands. One of those making the biggest impressive impact is UK rockers King Colobus. Recently their self-titled first EP was rebooted into national attention, a release to steal one of the lines in our own review providing a “four-track theatre of blues and alternative rock [which] trespassed and seduced the imagination and passions.”

With thanks to Garry at SaN PR we leapt on the chance to learn more about the EP and its creators with King Colobus vocalist/guitarist Stewart MacPherson also touching on their beginnings and other aspects of being in a band…

Hi, thanks for sharing time to talk with us.

Your bio says the band officially began in 2015 but I believe its origins and seeds began long before then. Tell us about its beginnings and lead up to stepping out as King Colobus.

The first ideas started in a 3 piece band called BIBLE JOHN AND THE REPTILES, which included me (Stewart), GRIFTER bassist Phil Harris and former BROTHERHOOD OF THE LAKE drummer Rich Robinson. We spent months rehearsing and just before taking things live, Rich started to have back problems. The whole thing capitulated until James Bailes moved back to the South West. He and I had jammed out demos and worked together on various projects when we both lived in London. We got together and started to share ideas that we thought really deserved a life…and so KING COLOBUS was born.

The re-location to Devon of yourself and James from London seems to have been one of the sparks to the birth of King Colobus. Was that just coincidence or there was something you found down there, apart from meeting Gavin and Simon, which instigated the band?

The main thing that changed for both James and I was fatherhood. We both wanted our kids to grow up in a better environment and having both come from the South West, I guess this felt like the best option. There is also a great opportunity down here to create an alternative music scene. It has been blighted for far too long with tribute bands and folk music and venues like THE JUNCTION are starting to put alternative music firmly on the map again. There’s a lot of talent down here, but it just needs to get its fair share of the opportunities.

kc2_RingMasterReviewIs there a specific meaning or inspiration to the band’s name?

A King Colobus is a monkey that changes colour when coming out of childhood. I found this intriguing.

It is fair to say that your sound is a tapestry woven from a variety of musical textures and styles. How would you describe it to newcomers?

I would say that it is very much rooted to blues, with a heavy dose of trucker rock and grunge. There are so many pleasant, yet sometimes surprising comments we get from people regarding what they can hear in us, we encourage you to listen and draw your own conclusions!

Is there any particular inspiration you would say has helped shape your music as a band and individually?

I think if you heard 3 or 4 of our tracks, you would hear elements of Sabbath, Alice in Chains, Queens of the Stone Age, Clutch, Rage Against The Machine, Soundgarden, Interpol, and Johnny Cash…but to name a few. The likes of Bowie, Radiohead, and Morrissey have always provided a lot of lyrical inspiration, as they tend to tell stories that interest and make you dig a bit deeper into what is being said.

You recently re-released your self-titled EP to swift acclaim it has to be said. How did you approach its uncaging this time around compared to its first outing?

When it was first released, we did it just so that people could have something to take home at gigs if they liked us. After a while, it started to get a great response and people started getting in touch to order it online. It was at this point where we thought that it should be given broader exposure.

Can you personally put your finger on why it has caught the imagination of press and fans alike with great force?king-colobus-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

I think PR has a lot to do with it! You can have the best EP in the world, but it needs PR to get heard…then it needs to sound good for people to talk about it!

As broad as its songs in many ways are in sound there is an intimacy at the heart of the EP which suggests certainly lyrically personal experiences provides their seeds. Where do you draw inspiration most often for your tracks?

Everything I sing about is personal, or it is based upon something I know about. Sometimes looking at personal experiences of those who are closest to me provides for a better story. There’s no point in talking about California if you get me.

How does the songwriting predominantly work within the band?

Most songs are written acoustically at first. I perform solo acoustic gigs around the South West and ‘test’ things out before approaching the band with the idea. It’s a great way to test out the dynamics of a song, without the frills. I think it also helps us all to look at each track from a different perspective, without some massive riff dominating the landscape.

Can you give us some background to the tracks within the EP and their themes? king-colobus-cover-artwork_RingMasterReview

GET UP was actually written around the time of the 2012 Olympics. I lived in Hackney Wick at the time, so it was right on my doorstep. The track was based on the idea of it being used for Olympic Games footage. Needless to say, it didn’t, but it still made for a good track!

The self-titled KING COLOBUS track is based on my teenage years in Plymouth, so it’s a very personal outlook on my experiences throughout the nineties.

TITS AND TEETH is generally about how disposable the music industry has become and how we find ourselves absorbed by TV judging panels, who apparently know what they are doing.

WAIT is borne from a political platform. We keep on telling ourselves that if we vote a different way, things are going to change for the better. We need to believe this to keep going, but it’s far from the truth.

Live you have shared stages with the likes of with Sea Sick Steve, Band Of Skulls, Crazy Arm, and one of our favourites De Staat and that alone shows the diverse appeal of your sound. What is it you think about the band in sound and live which tempts such an array of artists and their fans into the world of King Colobus?

I think good music will always be just that and hopefully we have gained some new fans through doing our best to put on a good show when we play live. All of these bands are genuine, as are we.

Talking of Sea Sick Steve, the last time we saw him highlighted the trend it seems of people going to shows not so much to watch the artist but to socialise, certainly at higher profile events and venues. The sound of chatting often intruded on the music. If you have come across this, how as a band do you mentally deal with it on stage?

I think it’s our job to try and capture the audience’s attention. If we don’t, we need to do something about that! Sea Sick Steve was a really nice guy to talk to and he gave us so much great advice; I wish I brought a notepad! At the end of the day, you are in a bubble when you are in a band, so audience chatter really doesn’t bother me if it happens…but it rarely does!

What is next for King Colobus live and release wise?

We are just starting to branch out of the South West, as we are really keen to get involved in other musical pockets around the country. We’ve been busy scheduling this, as well as festival dates. As we deal with this ourselves, it is quite challenging. We also go into the studio again this Summer to record another 4 track EP, so this will be out way before the end of the year.

Big thanks again for talking with us. Anything you would like to add?

If there are any towns/cities which would like to see King Colobus, let us know!

Check out our review of the debut King Colobus EP @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/king-colobus-self-titled-ep/

http://www.kingcolobus.com/    https://www.facebook.com/kingcolobus/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Welcome Back Delta – Sucker

WBD_RingMasterReview

As commandingly infectious as it is resourcefully muscular, Sucker is one of those propositions which just demands attention. The second album from British rockers Welcome Back Delta, the album is a spicy brew of classic and blues rock with a stoner/grunge scent to its captivating aroma. It embraces familiar flavours and textures but in a creative devilment and character all of the Welcome Back Delta making.

Hailing from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, Welcome Back Delta emerged in 2011 and quickly made an impact on their local music scene. Since then they have toured the UK several times and supported the likes of Clutch, Nick Oliveri’s Death Acoustic Tour, And So I Watch You From Afar, Lionize, and Karma to Burn. 2014 saw the well-received release of debut album Shocker, a success sure to be eclipsed with style and strength by Sucker.

Band and album get straight down to business with opener Beast Mode where from an initial ear catching ear spun hook and a swiftly joining rally of beats attention is hooked, riveted as Clutch like grooves and great group vocals uncage their catchy and dirty exploits around the lead and enjoyable slightly grouchy tones of vocalist/guitarist Joe Kelly. With the brooding bassline of Phil Davies carrying its only steely nature to align with the potent lures of Rob Duncan’s grooves, the track is soon in command of ears and appetite with a rousing chorus to complete the persuasion.

The bluesy tendrils of the following Snake In The Grass keep the commanding start going, grooves a smouldering lure of classic and familiar blues infection luring the listener into another potent chorus of group vocals. Caged by the firm and magnetic rhythms of drummer Steve Roberts, the song strolls along with a swagger and melodic glint in an intoxicating combination sparking listener participation with ease before the heftier weight and growl of Thrones takes over. Again there is no lack of contagiousness to its boozy grooves and imposing presence as ears and imagination are ignited alike again.

cover_RingMasterReviewGood variety across Sucker is another potent attribute, the country blues drama of Arms Dealer, which features guest Damon T, providing a flavoursome turn in the album’s landscape while Dadgerous featuring Bison Steed wraps itself in a Kyuss meets Red Fang-esque roar. The track is outstanding, a virulent trespass of the senses which ignites the spirit and energies of those it touches.

Jeremy’s Iron rumbles and grumbles next, its heavy riffs and cracking rhythms colluding with more of the smouldering grooves and instinctive catchiness Welcome Back Delta conjures at will while The Magic Of Flight shows the band is as adept at serenading ears, the track a tantalising mix of darkly grained vocals and simple but suggestive melody courted by the shadowed air of bass. It is hard to say that either is overly unique but both tracks, as the album, simply tempt and persuade with a sublime touch and invention.

More of that country breeding infests the lively Black Tie next with the following Preacher entangling itself in a web of blues endeavour and though neither quite match up to songs before them, each leave satisfaction thick and ears hungry for more which the closing and fiery rock ‘n’ roll of Don’t Hold It Against Me, Unless It Gets Hard provides in fine style. With rampant rhythms and tangy grooves it leaves a lingering taste of the album and the inspiration of a swift return into the rousing triumph of Sucker.

Sucker might not be the most unique slab of rock ‘n roll heard this year but it is one of the most enjoyable so we dare you to take a punt on Welcome Back Delta.

Sucker is out now and available @ http://welcomebackdelta.bandcamp.com/

Upcoming Live Dates

11th November- HARD ROCK HELL Festival

26th November- The Exchange, Bristol (Supporting Planet of Zeus)

http://welcomebackdelta.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/Welcomebackdelta

Pete RingMaster 22/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Growls and grooves: talking with The Devil In California

The Devil In California_RingMasterReview

“Hailing from the broad, cracked streets of West Oakland, California,” The Devil In California is a band uncaging rock ‘n’ roll which rumbles with attitude and adventurous enterprise. Since forming they have swiftly forged their own identity with a rousing hard/heavy rock sound which devours as it masterfully involves the senses and imagination. Currently working on their second album, we grabbed the opportunity to talk with the heavy rockers to explore The Devil In California past, present, and ahead.

Hi and many thanks for sharing your time to talk with us.

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

Tony Malson – We are The Devil In California; formed in 2013. Our drummer Eddie had an ad out that attracted Jamie (guitar), who brought in Matt (bass) to jam and see what was up. Eddie gave me a call and asked if I wanted to check out the project. I loved the tunes and The Devil was born. Snake was added to the project after mixing our first tunes. The line-up was then complete. We all share a passion for heavy hitting hard rock with influences galore.

Have you been/are involved in other bands before?

Tony – I moved to the bay area in 94 and have been singing in Bay Area bands ever since. Bands like AngryInch, Fiksate, The Servants, Mavalour and played drums/sang in Insecto and Monte Casino to name a few; all an artistic pathway leading to The Devil In California.

Jamie Cronander – Most of us have played in quite a few bands. Some you’ve probably heard of. Some of us have side bands. Some rock bands, metal bands, industrial bands, tribute bands, even trumpet in a brass band. We prefer that the Devil be thought of in its own light.

Has past experiences had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

Tony – Every musical experience I’ve had in other acts has contributed to how I approach writing/singing in The Devil. And I’m still exploring different avenues and genres to broaden my musical horizons; so much to learn.

Jamie – TDIC is its own inspiration thing. We draw influence from a lot of things, and most importantly from each other. You’d probably find that all of our other music, be it present or past, does not sound like the Devil.

What inspired the band name?

Eddie Colmenares – I came up with it when doing the initial planning.

Tony – Eddie came up with the name and I liked it right away; perfect for this band.

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

Eddie – There was. I really wanted to put together a heavy, hard rock band that had that southern, slide guitar vibe to it.

Jamie – Matt and I were working on a project that kept getting put on hold by the other members. We wanted to do something that was more heavy, old school, and southern influenced. Alice In Chains, Corrosion Of Conformity, Skynyrd, Pantera, Clutch, STP, Allmans, etc. We had plenty of time, so we started a couple ideas and were directed to Eddie’s ad almost immediately.

Tony – I think the idea of a swampy, heavy, melodic, hard rocking 5 piece was the idea from the beginning. I came in after Jamie, Eddie and Matt had jammed a bit so it changed a bit from there but we all have a similar vision.

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

Eddie – It’s a mix. First, we aren’t that old of a band, so nothing is ‘too much of the same’ yet. And we are moving up pretty fast – it’s a lot coming at us at once, which in turn drives us more.

Tony – I’ve always been very musically driven personally. My passion to play music and get that music out to the world hasn’t really swayed in the last twenty plus years. I’ve always got the same vibe from the band in that regard. But you can’t grow without change and we tend to evolve in a very natural upward spiral. Has our music changed? Yes. Does it still encapsulate TDIC? Absolutely!

Since those first days, how would you say your sound has equally evolved?

Jamie – Definitely an evolution, but a young one; we have some prettier stuff coming, and some harder stuff coming. We’ve only got the one record out. But if you dig it, fear not. The next record will be just as hard hitting and sing-alongy, but will not be a repeat of the first.

Tony – I’ve always enjoyed the band “process” of learning to play with new musicians and finding that absolute sweet spot where everyone’s talents, technical abilities, and musical emotions come together as one. This process takes years and is a constant evolution. And in my opinion it’s really coming together with The Devil.

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

Jamie – A lot of it is that Snake joined later in the process of the first record. He still had a heavy hand in the songs on the record, but the structure was mostly in place. Snake and I work VERY well together, so now that we’re able to do the whole process of guitars together, I think the band is really blooming into something better as we become one.

Tony – Definitely more of an organic flow towards our sound and what feels good.

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

Tony – Everything from Prince to Pantera inspires me. I’m a huge fan of the Seattle sound that was so instrumental in the 90’s. Alice in Chains have always struck a deep chord with me; Soundgarden as well for that matter. Chris and Layne were and are my top vocal heroes.

Jamie – Alice In Chains is a big common thing for all of us. Their ability to be as pretty and acoustic as they get or ugly and heavy as they get, is intense and the vocal harmonies…so important. For me personally; Corrosion Of Conformity, Pantera, Stevie Ray, Nirvana, Sonic Youth, STP, Allman Bros., CCR. They’ve all changed the way I think about the guitar.

Is there a process to the songwriting which generally guides the writing of songs?TDIC_RingMasterReview

Tony – In this band the riffs usually come first. We formulate the tune based on that then I begin to add lyrics and melodies. I prefer to wait until I hear a song and digest the riff before I start to head in a lyrical direction. You never know where inspiration will come from so you can’t fall in love with a preconceived idea.

Jamie – Usually it stems from me and Snake bringing in riffs we’re having fun with. We’ll hash them out at home a bit, record the ideas, send it to the guys on line, and then bang on it all together in the studio.

How about the lyrical side of your songs, where do you, more often than not, draw inspirations from?

Tony – My lyrics are largely derived from the life experiences of myself and those that surround me. Inspiration can take many forms. I’m always open to a new vibe or sound or riff. It’s kept me coming back for years on end. I love writing and recording new material.

Can you give us some background to your current release, Longer Ride Down?

Eddie – We only have the debut release out, so really, the background is “we formed, and wrote a record in a year”. We go back into the studio this winter for the follow-up.

Tony – It’s a hands down, kick ass, hard rockin’, heavy grooved, melodic, ear bender. If you dig heavy riffs with harmony and soul all wrapped up in emotion then you’re in!

Can you give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

Tony – I’ve always gravitated towards the darker side of musical tastes. The beauty in expressing that space is undeniable. It can be very moving and haunting at the same time. That being said, positivity needs to reign supreme in your approach to life as well as music. You usually have to traverse the darkness to see the light.

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

Eddie – Oh lord, hahaha… they are final final final, and then we still change things. All songs are prepped long before we are in the studio.

Tony – We always do a pre-production round of recording before we do the final tracking. 99% of our changes to our songs happen in prepro. Then we are super close to the final product when doing the final version in the studio.

Jamie – We usually end up pre-producing songs in full three times at least. The first takes are to nail tempos, and see if we feel like they need anything, like additional breaks, leads, backups, etc. As for the finals, we record them just guitar, bass, and vox, lay drums over them, then redo the instruments over the drums.

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

Tony – We want you to walk away from our live show saying, “That was one of the best bands I’ve ever seen”. So our approach is filled with intensity and vigor. We all have a professional approach to our live show but realize that without a little danger and spontaneity it’s hard to take it to the next level.

TDIC_RingMasterReviewIt is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it?

Tony – We have made a good splash in the Bay Area. It’s not an easy place to play music as the people and crowds are so diverse. This diversity is what we love but it also lends to many different kinds of music being played out live. There is no “one scene” in the bay so you have to fight a little harder for your rock and roll piece of the pie; which only makes you a better act in the end.

Eddie – The San Francisco / Bay Area is a fickle place. If you want to do well locally, you better be really good out of the gate, and then keep it coming. Fortunately we have some great, loyal fans. We’re at that stage where when we are playing and I look out at the audience, I don’t even know 70% of the people. That’s awesome.

Are there still the opportunities to make a mark there if the drive is there for new bands?

Tony – Absolutely! There are always opportunities to take advantage of. No excuses. Get out there and attack the scene. Write good tunes, play a great live show, and leave it all on the stage. You will see results.

Eddie – Yes, but it’s a whole new paradigm now. Be ready to work your ass off if you want to do anything other than play your local bar. Nobody is going to come along and hold your hand these days. No label is going to show up at your local show and whip a contract out of their suitcase to hand you. That is absolutely over – doubly so if you are not in an “urban” act, or are a rapper. We do pretty much everything in house, and it’s a just as much a job as it is a band.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?

Tony – The music industry is an ever changing beast due to the internet and social media today. You have to get on board and ride that bitch to your benefit or it will leave you behind in an instant. There is always more to be done but we are benefiting from it for sure.

Eddie – I think social media was far bigger of a deal just a few years ago than it is now. The stream of having said that, at least 80% of our exposure is through some sort of social media interaction.

Jamie – The internet is basically the only way to discover music these days. If you’re not on FB, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and everything else, you’re not putting in the work. People do still buy physical CDs, but usually they’ve been watching your video before that.

Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

Tony – It’s a positive in the end. It has to be. You need to make it so and will it to be. Even a bad situation offers lessons towards a positive outcome. Ask questions. Investigate all the solutions. If you’re not failing in some arena then you’re not trying hard enough.

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

Tony – Thank you! And yes, our new album is in the works and due out this winter. We have some more touring this summer going down as well. Keep an eye out for some new videos and some surprises from The Devil. Let’s Rock!

Eddie – Thanks! And please stay tuned – more is coming!

All – Please follow us on your favorite social media site!

https://www.facebook.com/thedevilincalifornia   https://twitter.com/eldiabloencali

https://www.instagram.com/thedevilincalifornia   https://www.youtube.com/thedevilincalifornia

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 10/06/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Iron Jawed Guru – Mata Hari

iron jawed guru_RingMaster Review

With all the curvaceous moves and intrigue fuelled exploits its title suggests, Mata Hari is an encounter which simply and irresistibly entices ears as it infests the psyche. The new album from West Virginian instrumental groove rockers Iron Jawed Guru, it is creative espionage of the most rewarding order offering seven songs bursting with grooves that writhe like seductive snakes and a rhythmic intimidation as imposing as it is dynamically compelling. Without reserve, Mata Hari is a delicious incitement that the more you struggle to resist and move on, the deeper you get entangled up in it.

Iron Jawed Guru is the pairing of multi-instrumentalist Mike Lorenzen and drummer Roy Brewer; a Morgantown hailing project which emerged in 2013, though both members first met nine years earlier. Originally a trio with Eric Clutter, who later went on to join Karma To Burn, Lorenzen and Brewer continued as a duo from his departure evolving their fiery and rapacious psych/stoner rock sound. It is a proposition which singes the senses as it flirts with the body, its heavy yet salaciously inviting weave of grooves and riffs aligning with rousing rhythms to create the fiercely captivating and anthemic blaze that is Mata Hari.

cover_RingMaster ReviewFirst up on the album is Quake and straight away its impacting rhythms and dusty grooves echo the ferocity and agitation suggested by the name. As a sonic, almost smog like, embrace is cast, Brewer not for the last time swiftly has the senses on edge and energies ignited with his dynamic presence whilst Lorenzen only expands the flame of sultry grooves and intrusive hooks to increase the virulence of the song. An explosive yet controlled incitement, the song is more than matched by the heated aftermath of Aftershock. Toxic and flirtatious, the track is a maelstrom of contrasting and supporting textures again built on the commanding beats of Brewer and shaped by the tenaciously creative fire of Lorenzen. Bands such as Clutch and Kyuss have often been mentioned as a reference for Iron Jawed Guru, and it is easy to see why from this alone.

The deceptively wiry and full-bodied intoxication of the album’s title track is next, it expelling a sinister and tempestuous air around the undisguised salaciousness that ignites every swinging groove and deeply rooting hook. The song is a devious temptress, a predatory romance stealing breath and soul before Gemini and its mercurial saunter lays bold hands on the imagination. With sinews again flexed in every rhythmic swipe and jab as dark volatility lines the sultry climate of sonic suggestiveness, the track has thoughts leaning towards serial killer like imagery rather than astrological based tales such its rich spiral of dark and intensive adventure.

Navajo brings the hues of the dust hugged West next with its smouldering heatwave of melody inflamed enterprise amidst a web of senses scorching grooves whilst Tremors rumbles and grumbles as it descends ravenously on ears with a horde of robustly explosive rhythms matched with equally abrasive riffs. Both tracks in their individual ways are increasingly veined and bound in the ever forceful invention and irresponsible grooves of Lorenzen; they reckless because there is no doubt that hips will never be the same after indulging in the thick devilry of Mata Hari.

Unsurprisingly Vesuvius is a volcanic prowl of sound with lava-esque drama from the guitars and the expected and enterprising bone shuddering swings from Brewer. Its sizzles upon and burns the senses whilst igniting the passions from start to finish; its gripping and increasingly rabid rock ‘n’ roll the perfect exhausting finale to one increasingly thrilling release.

Mata Hari is pure manna for anyone with a groove fetish; for anyone who loves to be flirted with by swinging strains of guitar and rebellious rhythms whilst Iron Jawed Guru is a band surely on the way to recruiting a rampage of hungry appetites and spotlights.

Mata Hari is available now digitally and on CD via Grimoire Records @ https://grimoirerecords.bandcamp.com/album/mata-hari

https://www.facebook.com/IJGrock/

Pete RingMaster 09/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Curse of the North – Curse of the North: I

COTN8_RingMaster Review

There are some releases where it is difficult to imagine anyone not being gripped by their proposals and such a triumph is the new self-titled album from US metallers Curse of the North. It is a beast of instinctive and addictive virulence that blends the ripest essences of heavy and classic metal with the muscular invention of modern rock ‘n’ roll. It is an encounter which seems to hone in on personal tastes, taps into the psyche to discover its deepest pleasures and then unleashes them across eight rigorously rousing encounters. Quite simply it is one of the most invigorating albums this year to set ears and passions alight.

Born in Seattle, Curse of the North currently consists of vocalist/guitarist Christiaan Morris, former 3 Inches of Blood member Nick Cates on bass, and Burke Thomas of McKagan’s Loaded and Vendetta Red on drums. Formed in 2010, the band has toured and shared stages with the likes of Red Fang, The Sword, Eyehategod, Destruction, Death Angel, Lord Dying, Valient Thorr, Kadavar, The Shrine, and Gypsyhawk whilst 2011 saw the release of their Matt Bayles (Mastodon, The Sword, Botch) produced first EP Revelations. A few line-up shuffles have also been part of the band’s growth which now unleashes Curse of the North: I. Produced by Morris and mixed by Kurt Ballou (Converge, High on Fire, Toxic Holocaust), with mastering undertaken by Ed Brooke, the album leaps on the listener from its first moment, the opening and every subsequent breath a roar of thick temptation.

Sleep While You Can is the first slab of persuasion, its start alone pure magnetism as Thomas creates a web of rhythmic arousal to set things in motion. Flames of guitar cross the compelling drum bait as the vocals of Morris spring their own enticing, a Glenn Danzig flavouring lining his tones and equally the shadows within the emerging tenacious metal canter of the track. Classic metal hues dance on ears too as a modern fusion of riffs and hook laded enterprise courts the imagination, the result being one terrific groove veined stomp.

COTN cover_RingMaster Review   It is a mighty start taken another level by Wheel of Swords, another track with an irresistible start to its creative alchemy. A great nagging from riffs as rhythms tumble vivaciously coaxes ears first, their lure replicated in varying tones as sterner grooves and muscular predation swiftly looms up with the again potent vocals of Morris at their helm. Like Black Tusk meets Baroness with a spicing of Sabbath and Clutch to it, the song has energy and pleasure in its hands with quick ease, handing over an exhausted and rapturous body to the following Into The Trees and its mellow climate around melodic prowess. Keys emotively caress as the guitars strokes the senses with elegant suggestiveness to match the melancholic voice of Morris. The first half of the song is wrapped in this mesmeric beauty, its second a rugged landscape of again incendiary rhythms amidst tangy classic metal/rock endeavour and striking vocals.

As good as everything is to this point, the best song on the album in The Tower eclipses it. Building up its intensity and hunger through early scythes of sound, the track quickly releases its handbrake and charges through ears like Therapy? on steroids. Its torrent of riffs and ravenous hooks storms the barricades like a transatlantic cousin to anything on Troublegum from the Northern Ireland trio, its contagiousness and vocal furor similar whilst creating its own uniquely irresistible tempest. The song is breath-taking, seemingly knowing where the personal sweet spot is and hitting it relentlessly, even when slipping into a dark theatre of sinister gothic intrigue.

Thomas is rhythmically imperious on the track, as everywhere to be fair, continuing his enslaving web of craft in The Electric Wall and especially the outstanding Blessed Burning. Morris and Cates are an equal incendiary match though as the first of the two tracks sees the band creating a High on Fire/Kyuss like mountain of creative tenacity and heavy rock ‘n’ roll seduction whilst its successor, from another hypnotic rampant rhythmic trap, strolls across Queens Of The Stone Age/ Mastodon toned terrain of sonic and vocal passion. The references given across all songs are mere colours in something distinctly Curse of the North, especially emphasized when as here the guitars spin a bluesy imagination as an intimate atmosphere soaks the song.

Oceans Rise lowers the intensity if not the emotive temperature next, well certainly for its opening moments as soon it too is a cauldron of thickly jabbing beats and sonic ferocity. Along its riveting length, the assaults and aggression ebbs and flows to fluid and powerful effect, the song an undulating roller coaster of a confrontation which, as the album, just gets richer and more imposingly enjoyable over time.

The album comes to an end through the sultry blues/surf rock seducing of Faceless Killers, a sonic and melodic bewitchment which too only blossoms to greater heights with every partaking of its sweltering, increasingly volcanic landscape. It is a stunning end to simply one of the major treats of 2015; a leviathan of rock ‘n’ roll to get seriously lustful over.

Curse of the North: I is out October 23rd via Static Tension Recordings.

https://www.facebook.com/curseofthenorth    http://www.curseofthenorth.com

Pete RingMaster 22/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/