The Blacktones – The Day We Shut Down The Sun

If a band name was ever perfect for the music it represents, The Blacktones is at the head of the field. The Italian outfit create a fusion of alternative/melodic metal and sludge thick stoner rock awash with the heaviest darkest shadows and emotions. It is invasive yet inescapably infectious as it snarls and ruggedly seduces in equal measure and especially magnetic within the band’s latest album, The Day We Shut Down The Sun.

Though in some ways feeling like a concept album, the band says The Day We Shut Down The Sun is “not a true concept, but every song represents a step by step journey to the losing of all the qualities of a human being. Following the tarots (starting with the pope, the fifth card) we represent the losing of faith, wisdom, genius, knowledge and finally, trough the Mage, we become the Fool, embracing the primordial chaos.” It is an alluring feel across the release bound in a thick collusion of hungry riffs, muscular rhythms, and melodic and vocal dexterity. Not always boldly unique, it is perpetually a proposition with individual character and enterprise which grabbed keen attention.

The band itself hails from Cagliari, formed in 2011 as an instrumental encounter by guitarist Sergio Boi and bassist Gianni Farci. Subsequently the line-up and creative intent evolved with the addition of drummer Maurizio Mura and vocalist Simone Utzeri, debut EP Distorted Reality arriving in 2012 before Aaron Tolu replaced Utzeri as frontman two years later. Their well-received self-titled debut album with guitarist Paolo Mulas bringing the band to a quintet drew potent interest with its release, as now its successor, via Sliptrick Records in 2015.It sowed the seeds for the richer and more rounded proposition of The Day We Shut Down The Sun and its more individual escapades.

Throughout the album, there are experimental darkly atmospheric intros, each counting down to the end of existence; the first in V – The Pope drawing ears and imagination into the waiting jaws of The Upside Down. Immediately a tide of sonic and vocal ferocity launches at ears, an instincts sparking groove infesting body and appetite within as rhythms pounce. Tolu’s vocals are just as rousing as the sounds around him, riffs adding a swing to their rapacity to match the tenacious endeavour of the increasingly contagious groove. Adventure and unpredictability blossoms as the song continues, bold sound and voice shaping one striking incendiary slab of metal.

The following Ghosts unveils a less imposing introduction but just as compelling with its suggestive intrigue and musical temptation. Down like grooves spread their lures from within the growing incitement, more aggressive traits emerging in all aspects but equally a tantalising melodic suggestiveness in guitar and harmonics which lures the imagination deeper into the ever present shadows.

The album’s title track makes an equally ear grabbing entrance, a predacious one as it prowls the senses with doom loaded rhythms amidst a slow tenebrific groove. Deep in its clutches you feel the lack of light, its thick weave a suffocating enveloping of the senses yet everything about it is contagious starting with Tolu’s ever enticing vocals. There is something certainly familiar about the excellent track yet plenty more fresh aspects in its trespass to demand praise carrying attention before Not The End backs its power up with its own pleasure brewing tempest. With a tinge of One Minutes Silence to it at times, the song twists and turns with an irritability in tone and sound as much a threat as it is a tempestuous seduction with stoner bred grooves and carnivorous basslines entwining for an even bigger lure.

Alone Together crawls over the senses, lumbering grooves and primal riffs enticing before dissipating for the melodic heart of the track to coax even closer attention. When they return with even greater weight and intensity as well as imagination, a lustful appetite was reeled in and only increased by the expressive and inventive journey taken while I.D.I.O.T.S. creates a web of stoner veins around metal antipathy to keep enjoyment just as intensive. Infectious and corrosive, the track is a great blend resembling Corrosion of Conformity meets Clutch and another highlight of the increasingly enjoyable album.

The Day We Shut Down The Sun is brought to a just as potent and mercurial conclusion by Nowhere Man and Broken Dove, the first a scorched and searing proposition as virulent in its calm predacious stroll as in its senses broiling blaze with its successor a more restrained but no less volatile collusion of sonic and emotional dissonance aligned to its own sonic furies. Both songs leave ears and pleasure entangled in their creative roars and each reinforces greater keenness in The Blacktones growth.

With a final pair of cards leaving the listener lost in the void, The Day We Shut Down The Sun is a release which should be checked out. It certainly grabbed attention first time around but really blossomed as an experience and pleasure thereon in.

The Day We Shut Down The Sun is available now through Sliptrick Records and @ https://theblacktonesband.bandcamp.com/album/the-day-we-shut-down-the-sun

https://www.facebook.com/TheBlacktonesBand   https://www.twitter.com/BlacktonesBand   https://www.instagram.com/theblacktonesband/

Pete RingMaster 14/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dirt, spices, and rock ‘n’ roll: getting a taste of The Sourheads

If you ever have thoughts that real rock ‘n roll is on the wane a quick listen to the new album from British rockers The Sourheads will soon make you think again. Care Plan For The Soul is a nine-track debut full-length, a skilfully and passionately woven roar of classic and fresh rock diversity which snarls as it seduces, thrills as it trespasses ears and imagination. Through our friend Garry at SaN, we had the chance to dig deeper into The Sourheads with guitarist MIK CRONE, exploring the band’s origins, digging into the heart of Care Plan For The Soul, The Sourheads live and more….

Hi Mik and big thanks for taking time to chat with us.

Can you, for those yet to be invaded by your rock ‘n’ roll, first introduce the band?

Jake on vocals, Mik on Guitar, Ben on Bass and Lamb on Drums.

We are The Sourheads and we come from Wakefield West Yorkshire. We are a rock band who take influence from the greats and add our own twist. We like to think of ourselves of somewhat multi-genre and we don’t want to be seen as just one specific style of music. A career band like The Stones or The Who dip into different things but still stay true to who they are…So yea we are a rock band who give it our all live.

The band is said to have emerged in 2016 but does its seeds go further back?

The version of The Sourheads now is the result of many years building. Like Oasis the original version was Jake [Coxon]our singer and his brother Sid who played guitar. They had a string of musicians throughout a short period of time. I first came into the picture as a producer for the band. I had been working with various bands and the early version of the band struck me as a very different but awesome set of musicians. I felt with direction the band could be massive.  Around this time I was asked to join as a second guitarist and a month later Sid left. So at this point we upped our game and decided to focus on a solid tight band and work on the debut album. The Sourheads you see now emerged in 2016.

Is The Sourheads your first ventures in a band or do you all bring various previous experiences and explored styles of music to the mix?

Everyone in The Sourheads has been in other bands before and we are all have different musical influences. This has proved a major asset in creating the sound and style of The Sourheads.. I had a small amount of success with a metal band I was in. Lamb [Chris Lambert] our drummer was in a relatively successful Indi band. Ben [Taylor] has a more Pearl Jam grunge influence and has played bass forever and grew up jamming with his brother Simon (Inme) and Jake has always been a creative person singing and painting and  as I, is more 70s inspired through bands such as The Doors, Alice Cooper, Deep Purple. The combination of these different influences creates the originality of our band. We are what we are.

What inspired the band name?

A Sourhead can be interpreted a number of ways. Bitter and twisted, hungover. There is no deep meaning behind the name.

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

As a band we feel that it is easy to be stereotyped into a genre. We don’t necessarily want that as we are all influenced by different styles of music. What we want to do is wear our hearts on our sleeves and be 100% true to what we are. Our image and sound isn’t contrived, it is pure. Our front man is a character and is like that 24/7.

As a band we have evolved over time and we are now as sharp as a razor. In the last few months we have really tweaked everything so that it is the best we can offer. Little things like changing guitar sounds or what bass amp we use. We are always trying to give the best live performances we can. Through time you learn how to fine tune every aspect of the band.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

Before I joined the band the sound was more indie influenced. When I joined we rocked it up considerably. The band used to jam and have beers and chill out more. Since we started writing the debut album and got the record deal we became more focused. It is important to be professional at rehearsals. As a result we worked on emphasising certain parts of songs, making them tighter and adding dynamics.

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

We have always tried different styles of music when we write. Some songs sound like the Rolling Stones others sound like Black Sabbath. It depends on who comes up with the first ideas, riffs etc at some point we will bring the Synths and organ back out. Everything we do usually comes from a groove, guitar riff etc

You have just released your debut album, Care Plan For The Soul. From its first breath it shares a multi-flavoured, refreshingly dirty and just a little salacious roar of sound and intent; a mix which suggests a varied range of inspirations to the band and individual members. Who particularly stands out as having an impact on your approach to making music?

We take our inspiration from different places. Jake is a massive Doors fan, Lamb is into his classic British Indi music; Ben is also a fan of different styles of music. I look up to any band that has strong songs. Stone Temple Pilots are a massive influence for me. Deftones, Queens of the Stone Age, The Cult, Shed Seven, Oasis, Clutch. We use many colours to create our art.

How would you describe your sound to newcomers?

Iggy and the Stooges mixed with the Sex Pistols thrown into a blender with The Stereophonics and Nirvana.

Classic Rock with an edge.

It feels like it just follows its nose, always prepared to embrace fresh and unpredictable flavours. Is this something you deliberately set out to purposefully develop or a sound and direction which just grew and evolved organically?

We are what we are. People either get it or don’t. One review says we are original and have rewritten the rule book of what a rock band should be. The other will say they don’t get us. Why do we look like we do and why does the artwork not match the music. Well the answer is we are totally focussed and we are 100% us. Everything is totally focused and this is what we do, our sound and direction develop naturally. Luckily our label saw this and our friends like Red Spektor saw this. So it’s better to have a loyal friendship and business partnership and have loyal listeners than to be fake and try to jump on a scene.

How long was Care Plan For The Soul in the making?

We had a lot of time rehearsing and making sure we could play the songs. We could play without vocals, with vocals, without bass or without guitar and obviously all of us together…Probably 3 months of pre-production and a week to record.

It has an instinctive snarl to its air and open rawness to its energy; at times feeling like it may have been recorded live. How did you approach its creation in the studio?

We decided early on that the band has a live energy that needed to be captured so we decided to record live and then delete the guide vocal and do a main vocal later. I also overdubbed a second guitar rhythm track to fatten the overall mix. We also added congas and cello in the overdub stage.

Can you give us an insight into the trials and pleasing surprises you found when recording the album?

We worked with a wonderful producer called Matt Knee and we used an old 70’s BBC mixing desk, this gave us a warmth that we were pleasantly surprised by. We wanted initially to record full analogue but as we wanted to play live we decided it’s may be better to do it digitally but through old analogue gear. This was due to the fact that digital is instant and we knew we had to keep in budget for our business plan to be effective. We needed to make sure everyone was comfortable and the atmosphere was good. We had incense burning and lava lamps. Pretty laid back.

It was subsequently mastered by Pete Maher (The Rolling Stones, Depeche Mode, U2) and released through German Label Kozmik Artifactz. How did those link ups come about?

Pete Maher has worked with everyone and we liked the fact that he worked within multiple genres. Katy Perry, Pink Floyd, Linkin Park are a few of his varied clientele and he had just finished mastering the LA LA Land soundtrack. We knew that attracting a big name would gain us attention and Pete does great deals for up and coming bands. It seemed like a great idea and he did an amazing job. Around this time we became close friends with Red Spektor and their manager Simon. They were saying good things about us in interviews and we were starting to get noticed. I sent a private link of the album to a number of labels and pretty much instantly Kai at Kozmik Artifactz messaged back saying ‘We don’t usually release this style but we think you would fit our sister label Oak Island perfectly so we did the deal and we are honoured to be part of the Kozmik Artifactz Oak Island family. The label is having great success with bands like Church of the Cozmic Skull and of course our brothers Red Spektor.

Can you give us the inspiration for the album title and some of the themes within its body?

We felt that the title had to reflect the song content. Our drummer Lamb came up with it. The songs are pretty intense in parts and cover lots of topics such as Demonic Possession, Marriage Breakdowns, War veterans, soul stealing creatures. When you take this into consideration and then see the album cover is a lone figure stood in the middle of the beach with his dog it’s kind of like that is the care plan for his soul. He is escaping the turmoil.

Is there a particular songwriting process within the band?

Pretty much straight forward…Ben or me write a riff or two. Lamb plays a beat. We arrange the song, record it on a phone then Jake writes the lyrics.

Apart from obvious pride and satisfaction in Care Plan For The Soul is there a particular moment within it which gives you a specific personal flush of inner pleasure?

The whole thing is a major flush of inner pleasure. We set out with a goal and we achieved it on budget and we didn’t move away from our art and vision one bit. This is amazing to us. To have a vinyl copy of the album in my hands and look at the finished product gives me goosebumps. The fact that the digital streaming numbers are good too also feels good. We want to get out to as many people as possible. From the actual recording there are a few moments I like. I think some of the vocal delivery is the best Jake has ever been.  The rush created when he shouts I am the Lotus! That’s a fan favourite moment.

Give us an insight into the live side of the band?

We are told we are extremely good live. Jake is a bare chested beast of a frontman, live truly something that has to be seen and heard. We are very tight and play as close to the album as we can get. I like the idea that we are four individual characters and that as a member of the audience you can get what you are looking for from us. We put a lot into it. I’m swinging my arm in the air and running around; Jake is in the crowd or rolling around on the floor. Ben is grooving away and lam is bashing the living daylights out of the kit.  We are an old fashioned rock band. We put on a show.

Obviously the album is in its early days inviting attention but what is next on the horizon of The Sourheads?

We are hoping to tour throughout 2018 and play some festivals. Do a couple of music videos and keep writing. We have 3 songs written for the next album already. We have also experimented with slightly different sounds. Some old school style Stones vibe.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods?

The most important thing to do is gig swap with other bands throughout the country. There are so many bands who are hometown heroes. That’s all very good if it is a hobby but not so if you want to leave a lasting impression and have your legacy respected. What we have found is the more we play the small festivals, the more the promoters share the information. There is a really healthy underground rock scene in the UK at the moment and everybody seems to be looking out for everybody else.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date; is a battle which has to be waged or a constant weapon for success?

Social media is great if the people already know about you. In the last few years the pay to get hits and advertise your band has really hurt the artist. The idea that you pay £50 to get 300 likes in Indonesia isn’t helping anybody. We have had musical instrument companies say you need so many likes on Facebook for us to consider you. This along with people not actually going on bands websites anymore means companies like Facebook and Instagram pretty much have the Monopoly on online presence. Bandcamp seems to work and I would encourage other bands to check it out if they haven’t already. Webzines like yours also help a great deal. I would say use social media but don’t let it be the basis of promoting your band.

Again many thanks for sharing your time; any last words you would like to add?

Thank you for showing interest in the band. We truly appreciate every website, magazine radio station that helps us spread our message and music. We are fans of music and do this because we love playing and creating our art. People like you keep the musical torch burning bright. There is a buzz and new found enthusiasm for rock music and we want to embrace this whole heartedly.

Check out The Sourheads further @ https://www.thesourheads.com/    https://www.facebook.com/thesourheads    https://thesourheads2.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 13/12/2017

The RingMaster Review

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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