Embraces from the heart: talking with Charly&Faust

Picture by Rémy Tortosa

Tagged as indie folk rock, the Charly&Faust sound is a much richer tapestry of flavours than that hints at and a captivating seduction for ears and thought as proven by a recently released EP. We had a chance to look into the creative heart of the California based band, finding out about its origins, that new EP, creating songs and much more…

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

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

Charly: We are Charly&Faust, an Indie Folk-Rock band composed of six members. I am Charly (Marie Weill), one of the lead singers of the band and rhythm guitarist.

CH: My name is Coralie Hervé and I’m the drummer the band, I joined Charly&Faust in October 2016.

ER: Hi, I’m Eric Reymond. I play bass and do the backing vocals. I’m from Switzerland and I moved to Los Angeles to study at Musicians Institute. I met Coralie on the first day of school and she introduced me to the rest of the band because they were searching for a bass player.

NL: I’m Nathan Lorber, I play keys, and I met the rest of the band following a Facebook notice.

JF: I’m Jeff (Jefferson Fichou) the lead guitar player. I met the band at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood.

Faust: I am Faust; the other lead singer of the band. Charly and I, first met in Paris few years ago, and we started to make music together when we moved in LA. The connection between us was great, but not powerful enough yet. That is why we decided to build a band. Now, We are like a little family!

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

CH: I was in a band with some of my friends for 6 years. It was only for fun but it taught me how to play and work with other people.

Faust: It’s the first time I’m part of a band so there is for sure no impact for me.

JF: I’ve been playing in a lot of different projects here in LA and back in France. It’s important to have such experiences in the music world but everything is evolving faster and smoother with Charly&Faust.

Charly: I got bands before, but it never really worked. We were not going to the same musical direction. I have the chance to now play in two bands with people that I love working with. Charly&Faust is my main band, the one I lead with Faust, but I also play bass and sing backing vocals in another band called The Sutra. I am also working on my next solo EP now. All these experiences are complementary for me and help me to go further in my artistic process in each of them.

ER: Yes, I had two bands back home and I was playing with two other bands here when Charly&Faust asked me to join them. I don’t think it has any impact on my way of playing; I’m always trying to play everything.

NL: I have my own project called Polymorph, as well as a couple of other bands on the side.

Picture by Rémy Tortosa

What inspired the band name?

ER: It comes from the nicknames of the two singers and leaders.

Faust: We just wanted to use something that goes well together!

Charly: Like our music collaboration!

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

Charly: I think for Faust and I music is a way to express ourselves. That was the main idea behind this band. Be free to express our feelings and vision of the world. For the sound part, we are listening old and new music so we wanted to illustrate that in our sound.

Faust: When you play in a band, you feel stronger than ever. All together, we deliver a message and it has a better impact this way. We talk about several feelings from heart breaking to society topics to humanity questions.

NL: I think one of the key points of our sound is to mix a broad range of styles, both old and new.

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

Faust: Yes that’s pretty much the same. I mean the process is the same but with time the other members bring their own touch, their own way which is something I love!

JF: We’re still a pretty young band; we just started about a year ago.

Charly: The only thing that changed is that before forming the full band, Faust and I were composing our songs with an acoustic set up which sometimes was bringing guitar melodies a bit different than what we got now that we are composing with an electric set up.

How would you say your sound has evolved since its beginnings?

JF: We sound more like a band now. I mean everybody has brought some elements to the music and that’s great.

Faust: I just think that the more I practice with the band, my feelings and my way to approach music evolved. Experiencing music with them makes my personal sound evolves and this way makes the sound of Charly&Faust evolves.

CH: At the beginning, there was only Charly and Faust so it was more acoustic, folk. When the rest of us arrived, it turned more indie, rock and now we have some electronic sound added to our music.

Charly: I would say that we are starting to know each other better which allow us to play better together and go further in our creative process. We also improved a lot the vocals harmonies in my opinion.

ER: It’s way more professional now. The electronic elements are certainly a plus to make our sound more professional.

Is the creative movement within the band a more organic thing or do you go out to deliberately try and push new things?

Faust: You know we all have ideas and try to make them work all together which sometimes works really good and sometimes not but what matters is the fact we communicate a lot about it to make sure that we all go in the same direction.

ER: In general, I would say it has been always organic, but, of course, sometimes it’s nice to set boundaries to not get stuck in our comfort zone.

CH: I will say both. The first songs were already written so we kept them like they were but we experimented a lot with the new songs that we arranged all together.

Charly: I would say that it is a mix between both and that it depends of the song we are creating and its topic too.

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?

ER: Yes, Vulfpeck, Radiohead and Jack White help me to construct my bass lines stronger.

NL: A big influence for me is Pink Floyd, which also happen to be my favorite band. And the important role Rick Wright had in that band taught me how critical the role of a keyboardist is. You don’t just play melodies or chords, but are a central part of creating textures and setting up the whole atmosphere of a song.

Charly: Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zero, Imagine Dragons, Tracy Chapman, Assaf Avidan, etc.

Faust: I have so many artists who inspired me like Michael Jackson, Joan Jett, the Beatles, The Doors, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Coldplay… I have so much more but I’m gonna stop here *laughs*

CH : I am more of a hard rock/rock drummer, so it’s really interesting to play with Charly&Faust, to add some electronic sounds and find some groove which works with all the other instruments.

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

NL: It usually starts with Charly and Faust bringing lyrics and some vague structure and chords progression to the table. And from that, the whole band participates to enrich the musical and rhythmical aspects, and kind of put flesh on the skeleton.

Charly: Since Faust is the one who writes lyrics, she is usually the one coming to me with a new idea. Then, as Nathan said, we work just the two of us on the lyrics and the melody before working on it with the entire band. We started to work this way and it always worked pretty well, so even if we love having the other members ideas during the creative process, we like to have this moment just the two of us to be sure it is going where we want things to go.

Faust: I usually write the lyrics of the songs, sometimes even come up with a small melody. Charly co-write them with me, and most of our melodies are from her creativity with her guitar.

ER: Generally Charly and Faust bring the idea and we all together construct around to create the best song possible.

JF : My favorite moment is when we’re all jamming together to make a new song sounds as good as we can.

Where do lyrical inspirations more often than not reside?

Faust: Usually my inspirations come from the moments when I am by myself and feel alone.

Charly: It can come from a melody I composed, from a word or sentence one of us heard, etc.

ER: For my song It’s Weird Outside (that you can find in our EP Wild World), I based it on my personal life. But I try to write more about the story of people I know and feelings that affect us all at some point in our life.

Would you give us some background to your latest release?

Faust: Our latest release is our EP ! It is an Indie-Folk-Rock EP talking about love, heart breaking, life, society and humanity. We are very proud of this new baby!

NL: It’s been the result of the contribution of several different formations of the band, up to the current one. So this EP presents variety through its diverse contributions, yet still a strong sense of unity and consistency, since all of the songs are the brainchildren of Charly and Faust!

Charly: Anything wouldn’t have been possible without the help of wonderful people like Pease S. Nistades who did the artistic production on it and Gerhard Westphalen who mixed and mastered it. We also released our first music video No Rush directed by Mariano Schoendorff Ared and produced by Zoé Pelloux. You should definitely go check it on YouTube! We shot it on film and we are so happy of this amazing result!

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

Faust: Well it talks about how monstrous humans can get, how much you can give love to someone and how much it can hurt. You will have to listen to our EP to know more about all that!

Charly: The themes of our songs are most of the time about experiences we lived or we saw happening to people around us. It is very personal for Faust and I.

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?

Charly: We are an Indie band, so we don’t really have the choice of losing hours and hours in studio trying to figure out how a song should go. We have limited time of studio so we have to come prepared, which actually allows us to go further in our creative process. It’s not a bad thing!

Faust: We usually go in studio prepared and we record. As Charly said, no time to lose! Everything must be ready, from the lead vocals to the backing vocals.

JF: We’re adding a few elements on the spot during the recording sessions but the songs are already in their final states.

CH : For the drum part, there are already written before going to the studio so the other members have a solid base to work with. I can’t screw it up!

ER: The recording process of our EP was pretty much a mix of the two options. The main structure of the songs was established. With Coralie, we record the rhythmic section with this structure and after we add the other instruments. Afterwards there are always ideas coming up that we keep on the final version.

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

CH : I really like it, we really have a connection together and hope that people can feel it too. It’s so fun to play with people who experiment the music same as you.

Faust: Live shows are so much fun! The connection with our audience and the band members! It always feels too short!

Charly: Live is one of the best parts for sure. It allows you to share with the band and the audience what the songs really mean to you. And it can be always different depending of what happened during your day.

ER: There’s none. *laughs* No I would say when the rehearsal ends. *laughs* Seriously, my favorite aspect is the cohesion we have on stage and during rehearsals. It’s not common to find this in a band. We don’t just play with other musicians, we play with friends.

NL: It’s always a great feeling to present the result of our hard work to the public, especially considering the amazing feedback they usually give us.

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

Faust: I think the secret is playing, playing and playing music, create small buzz as much as you can, respect people and having good connections with your band members, which we are actually doing. Let’s see how it goes now.

Charly: Patience is the key word! And hard working too. You just need to be smart and work your ass off and it will eventually pay one day! You just need to get ideas that nobody thought of before you.

JF: If you have the drive, the patience and the stamina, everything is possible.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date, good or bad?

JF: Internet is a fantastic tool for new bands, we’re trying to use it as much as possible to grow our fan base and network.

Faust: I think social medias are great to build your fan base, but I don’t think that is the real bones of your success! Even if for our generation it definitely helps.

Charly: Social medias are a free way to have people talking about you and follow your actualities. It is of course just a part of what should be done for a band to promote what they are doing, but it is a really good beginning! That is your chance to share you music without waiting for music professionals to tell you if you are good enough to be heard by an audience. For example, we are now posting a new video on our YouTube channel every Thursday to make sure people can see us play live shows, do rehearsals, etc.

NL: As for a lot of young bands, the internet and social media is a central part of our communication with fans and the distribution of our music. As a matter of fact, if it wasn’t for social media, I wouldn’t perhaps be part of the band, since that’s how I got news that they were looking for a keyboard player.

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

Faust: Hey! Come join our world!

CH : Enjoy your life and do what you love.

ER: Don’t tell anyone but we have a secret project coming up 😉

JF: We’re playing often in the Los Angeles area, come say hello at our next show! You can find all the info about it on our website https://www.charlyandfaust.com/ !!

Charly: Thanks for your time! We are playing at The Mint LA on November 30th at 9:30PM, if you want to come get a beer with us!

https://www.facebook.com/charlyandfaust/    https://www.instagram.com/charlyandfaust/

Pete RingMaster 09/12/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Mala Ruckus – People Mountain People Sea

Formed in Dalian, China, consisting of 5 musicians from 4 different countries and now residing in Prague, in the Czech Republic, Mala Ruckus and their seriously captivating sound is one of the music world’s best kept secrets. Maybe and hopefully that will not be the case for longer with the upcoming release of the band’s debut album, People Mountain People Sea. It is a showcase and rich introduction to the quintet’s multi-flavoured indie folk pop/rock, a collection of songs which get under the skin like a sensuous itch and has the body and emotions bouncing like the first days of summer.

Formed in 2013, Mala Ruckus first came to our attention two years later when they introduced themselves and debut EP Make the Monkey Watch to the site. It offered three lively and swiftly magnetic songs which in hindsight certainly hinted at the wider tapestry of sound now shaping People Mountain People Sea. Those tracks make up a quarter of the album and sound as fresh and exciting amongst their new companions as the first day heard. That is the key to the band’s sound, its ability to feel as refreshing as its first listen a hundred times later, that coupled to a bold imaginative and an instinctive aptitude to be virulently infectious no matter how it comes.

Fronted by the instantly magnetically distinctive voice of Canadian vocalist/guitarist Alex Montyro, Mala Ruckus swiftly get down to business with opener Run. Straight away the melody casting strings of Montyro and Ireland bred guitarist Caolon O’Neill Forde coax ears, the crisp beats of American born drummer Sean Rollins lurking and finally adding a skip to the already boisterous song. The keys of Francis Carlisle and the bass of fellow Brit Ian James add their smiling strolls to the swinging encounter thereafter, the song like a fusion of Jim Jiminee and Arctic Monkeys and quite irresistible.

In saying that it is still eclipsed by the following Hoverboards where straightaway the medieval spiced mandolin of O’Neill Forde has ears and imagination hooked. That melodic invitation sparks a boisterous stroll of indie rock pop, rhythms tenacious bait within the track’s energetically melodic shuffle. Montyro’s vocals again just hit the spot as unerringly as the sounds around him, especially the pulsating bassline, kinetic parade of hooks, and the harmonic glaze from across the band.

Trees, Fields is next, the song a calmer but no less catchy proposition with its bold rhythms within a folkier air equipped with a sighing temptation of strings. Like an Autumn sunset, the song is a fine blend of melancholy and warmth becoming increasingly vivacious by the minute before making way for the compelling croon of Words. With a country twang and a more reserved urgency compared to its predecessors, the song sways in ears, sharing another adventurous side to vocals and melodic enterprise whilst echoing the success of those around it.

The sampled opening of Sheets sets the oppressive tone of the world but one soon calmed and evolved by the emerging melodic canter of the track. As with the previous song, its energy and spirit brews by the second, every twist and turn, each vocal and musical touch escalating in creative drama and thickening emotion. There is a Coldplay like scent to the song by its close but in a good way as it stirs the passions up ready for successor East Hastings. From its own gentle and provocative entrance complete with a Latin seeded seduction, the track rises up with evocative drama for a creative helter skelter. Revolving with fervour and diversity, the track is immense; a slice of indie rock theatre as composed and fluid as it is boldly unpredictable and the best song winner.

It is persistently rivalled to be fair, from those before and following such as the jazz funk lined Nowhere Bound with its smoky tone, soulful brass, and hazy melodies,  and in turn Take It Away. The second is a frisky carnival; its Mediterranean swing and smiling melodies pure flirtation backed as teasingly by vocals and its friskier rock ‘n’ roll side. Reminding a little of UK band JacksonsWarehouse, as a few tracks do, the song has hips swinging and spirit bouncing with zeal for four delicious minutes.

New single Beast of our Babylon brings a more sombre breeze to the adventure but with no less captivation and pleasure involved. It is a folk nurtured ballad with melancholic strings and acoustic elegance round the emotive tones of Montyro which just thickens and captivates second by second, maybe missing the mischief of other encounters within the album but rich in creative beauty to spark just as much pleasure.

The following pair of Fire and Ghosts ignite their own dose of lusty acclaim, the first a prime snappy fusion of the band’s folk/indie rock recipe and quite beguiling while the second is the perfect crescendo of energy and spirit. Its build from an emotive kiss and melodic caress is simply sublime, rhythms a brewing tour de force driving the increasing tempo and rousing air looming upon the senses, and its arrival into a virulent rock ‘n’ roll escapade irresistible.

The album departs with Barmaid, a raw sepia hued slice of lively folk seduction which has feet tapping, hips swaying, and vocal chords humming in seconds. Its sorrowful sigh is just as warming as its harmonic tempting and rhythmic teasing providing the perfect way to drift off into the sunset of People Mountain People Sea.

All the promise of that first EP has been exploited within the album but taken to a level not anticipated back then. It is quite wonderful and the fact that the common words coming from those hearing it with us is “Damn this band is good” says it all.

To keep abreast of the release date of People Mountain People Sea and gig news check out https://www.malaruckus.com/     https://www.facebook.com/malaruckus/      https://twitter.com/malaruckus

Pete RingMaster 01/12/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Slipping through the Plastic Barricades

Just recently we had the fun of exploring Mechanics of Life, the new album from London alt indie trio Plastic Barricades, finding it a ‘collection of melody spun songs which entice with craft and warmth’. Offered the chance to get to the core of album and band we had the pleasure of quizzing Dan Kert, the Plastic Barricades vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist and one of the band’s founders, exploring the heart of their writing, sound, and album amongst many things…

Hi Dan, can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

I had several different line-ups under Plastic Barricades moniker over the good part of the last decade, the current line up with Daniele Borgato on bass and Frazer James Webster on drums is active for 4 years. We’ve met through mutual friends at the ICMP (Institute of Contemporary Music Performance) in North-West London and dived straight into gigging and recording.

Have you been or are involved in other bands before? If so has how has that impacted on what you are doing now?

We’ve all played in different bands before, still mainly rock music. All those experiences definitely find their way into our current sounds, helping us to explore new territories.

What inspired the band name?

We’ve once built a fort out of plastic cups in the studio, the rest is history….

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

[The] Desperate need to write, record, and perform music. You cannot really do it on your own, unless you are called Ed.

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

Pretty much…We are in a band because we always wanted to be in a band. But we’ve learned a lot of life lessons along the way and try to find fresh angles to approach certain things, like tour booking, recording or songwriting, for example.

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

This is very hard for us to judge. But if you go to our website (http://www.plasticbarricades.eu/ ) you can hear everything we’ve ever released over the last 10 years, there is a lot of diversity in there.

Would you say your sound organically grows and evolves or moves more because the band deliberately goes out to try new things?

I would say it’s both. We all tend to get bored very quickly, so we do like to experiment. At the same time we are growing as musicians and people, so that reflects in the music for sure.

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?

Kurt Cobain and his sincerity definitely had a big impact on me personally and on PB as a band. But also the staggering emotional intent of The Shins, Death Cab for Cutie, Razorlight, Coldplay, Muse, Biffy Clyro and others.

How does the songwriting process work within the band?

There are two main approaches…record the jam, then edit the bits we like and rework them into a song. This is how several songs on Mechanics of Life LP were conceived. But most of the time it is a chord progression and a vocal melody with lyrics. The song has a title and the meaning well before it is finished musically.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

The world around us has so many inspiring and thought-provoking stories, that all you have to do is just let them in, absorb and breathe them into songs. But some songs of the Mechanics of Life album have been inspired by the genius of Hemingway, Orwell, Huxley, Murakami and others.

Could you give us some background to your new album?

Mechanics of Life, released digitally worldwide on the 14th of September, is a culmination of about 3 years of work in our backyard Shed Studio. It is a collection of 11 stories that take the listeners through the world we live in today, gently poke them and ask them to step up their game, go out and make a difference. Like our dear Dani (bass guitar) once said – “Humans didn’t come with a manual, so we came up with one“.

How about a closer insight to the themes behind it and its songs?

The album starts with the song we usually end our gigs with called How Goldfish Grow. It is based on a simple fact that if you take a goldfish and you find a big tank for it – it will grow BIG! The environment affects the size of the goldfish, the same way as our environment affect our own growth. There is a funny animated music video for this song on our YouTube channel. Then we sing about artificial intelligence helping humans get their s**** together (Singularity-2045), being able to reinvent yourselves again and again (Our Favourite Delusions), caring about the environment and throwing all the mindless consumerism away (Be the Change), looking back and overthinking it instead of moving forward (Around the Sun), searching for meaning (Needles in Haystacks), shining a light to show others the way (Shine!), finding the one intended for you (Half of your Soul), Big pharma conspiracy (Medicine Man) and mental illness (Voices). The last song of the LP – Masterminds – kind of summarises the whole experience, reminding everyone that they are the ones responsible for the things happening around them – and they can take back control!

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?

We usually have basic parts in place (guitars, bass, drums, vocals) but we do add textures and layers on the go, depending on what the actual song needs. It is interesting how different the same song can sound live vs. recorded. We try to work with the recording, giving the song everything it deserves. Sometimes it is pretty hard to figure those things out, so this arrangement process can take months.

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

We try to gig as much as we can, playing shows all around the country. I believe that any band needs to go through a lot of Level 1 gigs before they will be capable of playing bigger stages and appreciating the unique opportunities they are getting. It is like building a structurally solid house from the ground up – you can only start working on interior design when the rest is in place. Unlike so many other bands, each gig we tell stories, because we want our audience to think about certain things, then come home, go to sleep and wake up with this brilliant idea, maybe a purpose, maybe just a promise to oneself. Our gigs are less about drinking and jumping around and more about the inner dialogue.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it? Are there definitely the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

I do believe that nothing worth doing in life is ever easy. Music needs to come from the heart. You also need people around you with big hearts and bright shining eyes. Then even if you are lost in the dark, they will illuminate the way. It is not easy at all – but it is still the best job in the world!

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something key to increasing success with those which fail to make it work are simply lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage or is it ultimately more of a curse?

Knowledge is key obviously. My friend was recently talking to me about SEO (Search engine optimization). For years I thought that is all about putting the right keywords to the right articles. It is so so so much more than that. Internet is a vice and a virtue, and it all depends on whether a band can accept that all that social media work is part of the deal. You can write brilliant songs and even record them nicely, but if you need to share them with the world – you have to work very hard for it.

A big thanks Dan for sharing your time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

It is a very special time in Plastic Barricades camp. Our Mechanics of Life album finally came out and we will be touring UK on and off till the end of October. We will be very happy to see you guys there! Meanwhile, here are all the links:

And here is how a goldfish can conquer the world: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYpBYXMzwOg

Mechanics of Life album OUT on iTunes and Spotify on the 14th of September!

You can hear the album here: https://open.spotify.com/album/71tNyY0qX5fNgTsoXD0r3t

You can download our full press-kit with 320kbit mp3s, artwork, lyrics and HQ pictures at https://goo.gl/ogBdjm

Tour dates: http://www.plasticbarricades.eu/index.php/live

http://plasticbarricades.co.uk    https://www.instagram.com/plasticbarricades/

https://facebook.com/plasticbarricades    https://soundcloud.com/plasticbarricades

Check out our Plastic Barricades album review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2017/09/26/plastic-barricades-mechanics-of-life/

Pete RingMaster 28/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Plastic Barricades – Mechanics of Life

Plastic Barricades is an alternative indie rock band from the UK which has just released their new album Mechanics of Life. It is a collection of melody spun songs which entice with craft and warmth whilst strolling through a landscape of emotions embracing the beauty of romance, hope, melancholy and more.  Musically its venture is just as welcoming of varied flavours as country, rock, and indie bred essences unite in ear pleasing enterprise.

London based, Plastic Barricades consists of vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Dan Kert, bassist Daniele Borgato, and drummer Frazer Webster. Its beginnings though came in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia in 2007. Their well-received Tree of Ideas EP of 2012 was followed by Kert and original bassist, Jan Laan, relocating to the UK. A few additional members came and went before Laan left to be replaced by Italian Borgato in 2013. It was also a year which sadly saw the band’s Rome bred drummer Matteo Ippolito passed away bringing things to a standstill. In time a replacement was sought and found in Webster and the band pushed again to build on their already rising success. Numerous award nominations and successes have come with the increasing reputation of the outfit and a sound embracing the inspirations of artists such as Radiohead, Oasis, Coldplay, Muse, Keane, Razorlight, and Nirvana. Mechanics of Life is their next step in luring attention and a tempting easy to see those with an appetite for gentle yet emotionally stirring massages of melody will find very palatable.

How Goldfish Grow gets things rolling, its eager stroll and boisterous jangle instantly catchy and tempting. The song continues to tease before relaxing to cradle Kert’s vocals, though soon its lively heart jumps to its feet again with each following cycle becoming increasingly infectious. Melodies shimmer across the darker tones of the bass whilst Kert’s sonic flames add to the track’s controlled but open drama. It is a great start well backed by the slightly sturdier body of Singularity 2045 though it too is woven from warm melodies and electrified tendrils across spirited rhythms. As with its predecessor feet are a willing involvement just as ears are to the imaginative air of the song which at times has a XTC like essence.

The summery caress of Our Favourite Delusions is next, its warm simmer welcoming blues lined flames throughout; heat which matches the lyrical punches before Be the Change entices with its own radiant charm and social nurtured melancholy. It is a song which comes alive when energy and intensity erupts in voice and sound but certainly more than satisfies from its first reflective touch with the enterprise of Kert’s guitar a potent spice in it all.

As the individual melodic weaves of Around the Sun and Needles in Haystacks intrigue and award ears with their proposals, Mechanics of Life keeps unwavering attention in its hands, the pair if without quite matching the persuasive levels of those before only pleasing that focus. It is a success Shine! builds upon with its sultry climate and melodic glaze over a understated but firmly catchy gait and personality while Half of Your Soul straight after features the bewitching sigh of female vocals alongside Kert which only adds to its fascination; a lure with also just a hint of country warmth in its infectiousness.

The album finishes off with firstly the highly enjoyable and bubbly rock ‘n’ roll of Medicine Man, a boisterous canter of sound and creative drama which is followed by the similarly engaging and tempting Voices. Together both tracks establish the pinnacle of the release, the second taking favourite song honours before leaving Masterminds to close things up with its catchy folkish sortie through ears wrapped in blues kissed guitar and melody smiling keys.

There are times when there is a wish Plastic Barricades were a touch bolder in their imaginative adventures and put more of a bite into their arousing eruptions but there is no denying that Mechanics of Life more than delivers on enjoyment and enterprise.

Mechanics of Life is out now on iTunes and Spotify.

http://www.plasticbarricades.eu/    https://www.facebook.com/plasticbarricades/

Pete RingMaster 26/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Unbridled arousals and stomps: exploring The Conniption Fits.

The Conniption Fits_RingMasterReview

Formed in 2004, The Conniption Fits create their own ear catching mix of alternative, progressive, and indie pop; rock ‘n’ roll which rouses the senses and imagination and has so across a host of releases. Drawing comparisons to the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Green Day, Foo Fighters, Silversun Pickups, U2, The Police, and David Bowie and having shared stages with artists such as Weezer, Panic at the Disco, Kings Of Leon, Train, 3 Doors Down, Fastball, Mighty Bosstones, 7 Mary Three, Blue Oyster Cult, Mountain, Warrant, and Cinderella among many over time, the New Hampshire hailing trio make a noise which easily sparks the appetite. Grabbing the chance to learn more about the band, we had the pleasure of chatting with member and The Conniption Fits co-founder Stevens.

Hello and thanks for taking time out 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?

That’s a long story.  I’m Stevens Blanchard, lead singer guitar player for The Conniption Fits.  The drummer, Shawn Snyder and I met back when we were kids.  My current band needed a drummer and he was a friend of a friend, not to mention a fantastic drummer with tons of attitude.  When that band broke up, we founded The Conniption Fits.  Jamie Hosley, or bass player, came along when we were looking for a new bassist.  Again, he had a reputation as being “the man” when it comes to bass, naturally we had to have him.

So The Conniption Fits is not the first band for you? Has previous projects had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

I think I just answered that above, but yes.  We had a previous band, Motorplant, which did quite well for about 8 years.  You can still find all of the music that Motorplant produced all over the web including iTunes and Spotify.  When Motorplant disbanded, we wanted to head in a slightly more alternative direction.

What inspired the band name?

If the conniption fits, wear it.

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

Far from it…We just enjoy playing and entertaining.  As far as the sound goes, I just want to create ear candy.  Songs with depth sonically and lyrically that are accessible and a bit unpredictable at the same time.

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

Always evolving…You can tell album to album.  Every record seems to represent where our minds were at musically at that period of time.  I’m always hearing new bands that are doing really cool things that we want to incorporate into our own stuff.  I’d say we listen as much, or more, than we play.

TCF2Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

We deliberately try new things.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.  On our second album, A Heaping Helping of Perspective the guys thought it would be cool if we recorded live without a click track.  I hated the idea, being a stickler for tempo.  It led to a different album and different songs for sure.

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?

Too many to mention, from Jazz to Metal…Speaking for myself I’d say bands like Nothing But Thieves, The Shins, Bear Hands, Coldplay, Eve6, Green Day, Foo Fighters, Kongos…  I love creative rock/pop/alternative songs that still have a hook, but avoid the same four chords and progressions that are so typical.

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

I am usually the idea man then we flush it out as a group.  Sometimes I’ll record the whole song then we will replace the drums and bass later. I’m into results; I don’t care how we get there.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Life; I’ll sing lyric variations to a demo while I’m out for a run.  I usually find cool ideas that way.  I also hear the parts that suck and need to be changed.

Can you give us some background to your latest release?

I Need You (Ay-O) is an old relate that became new again when it started treating on-line. We’ve always loved the song and are happy to have it finally breaking through the “clutter”.

Give us some insight to its theme.

I need you is about wanting to leave a relationship, but continuing to be drawn back in; then dealing with the fact that needing somebody can be for very different reasons.

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?

I own the studio we record in.  It’s an amazing luxury because we are not “on the clock” burning money.  So we just show up with nothing and play.  Often I’ll have scraps of ideas ready to jump off from.

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

Yeah, live is where we bring it.  We entertain.  We always have a great time and that usually transfers to the audience.  It’s also the only real way we’ve made any money.  So we play live to survive, and we love it.

It is not easy for any band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?TCF_RingMasterReview

Not easy, but work hard and offer something great.  It doesn’t even have to be unique, just great.  Make people say “holy shit!”, and you’ll do fine.

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

The internet grants everyone access, even the garbage.  I think we handle it well, but there is that constant drive needed to stand out in all the noise.

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

Check out our website, http://www.conniptionfits.com/ to listen to all of our songs for free and look for our new EP this summer!

https://www.facebook.com/conniptionfits/  https://twitter.com/conniption_fits

Pete RingMaster

The Ringmaster Review 01/07/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Whitecliff – 5 Minutes / ’Till The End

Whitecliff_RingMasterReview

It is fair to say that British rock band Whitecliff is gaining a reputation as rich and inescapable as their drama soaked sound has proven to be, and it is safe to say that it will only increase with the release of new single Five Minutes. The two song offering is a captivating example of the band’s indie/melodic rock imagination with even bolder exploration coming in the atmospherically thick ’Till The End which accompanies the lead track. Released via 25 Hour Convenience Store, the label of The Libertines’ Gary Powell, the single has all the qualities to spark another successful year for the band to match 2015.

The first band signed to 25 Hour Convenience Store, Whitecliff first lured attention with debut single Everybody Knows, its success backed and pushed last October by the Young Lovers EP. Both releases grabbed ears with their fresh and vibrant sounds, in turn drawing potent media attention and support across terrestrial and internet radio. Live too, the band has grown from strength to strength, supporting The Libertines at one of their sold out Alexandra Palace shows and playing London’s Old Blue Last and the Notting Hill Arts Club amongst highlights so far.

art_RingMasterReviewReuniting on the new single with producer Ken Nelson (Coldplay, Paolo Nutini, Badly Drawn Boy) and for mixing Dan Grech (Lana Del Rey, The Vaccines, Circa Waves), both handling the previous EP too, Whitecliff need mere seconds to grip ears with 5 Minutes. Its initial guitar jangle alone has the imagination engaged whilst the subsequent thick bassline of Paul Bates and the skittish beats of Tom Taylor soon spring hips and head bobbing into action. Vocalist Olli Nagy as potently as ever exudes confidence and charm whilst guitarist Jonny Ball gives a new wave character to his flirtatious dance of pick and imagination on strings.

The track is an addictively infectious and provocatively rousing proposal easily whipping up an eager appetite for its prowess before ’Till The End sees the band slip into atmospheric waters with the resonance of bass colouring the poetic suggestiveness of guitar. As Nagy then lays his beguiling tones on the emotive canvas, a Muse/Coldplay like scent arises in sound and tone though pleasingly Whitecliff hone it into something individual to them. Almost prowling ears with its slow gait, the track is a fascinating look at another side to the band’s songwriting and invention; a new strain of variety sure to flourish across future releases.

As much as the Young Lovers EP solidly impressed, both 5 Minutes and ’Till The End outshine any previous Whitecliff endeavour. The single is a rousing and transfixing proposal across its two tracks and yes with it as evidence; it might be safe to say that 2016 is going to be another potent year for the band.

5 Minutes / ’Till The End is released April 8th via 25 Hour Convenience Store /Believe Digital through most online stores and @ http://whitecliffband.bigcartel.com/product/five-minutes-single

http://www.whitecliffband.co.uk     https://www.facebook.com/WeAreWhitecliff

Pete RingMaster 05/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

States of Emotion – Black & White To Gold

soe_RingMaster Review

The journey of UK rock band States of Emotion and indeed debut album Black & White To Gold has been fraught with obstacles and disappointments, but it is fair to say that it has been well worth the fight and determination. Centred around vocalist/guitarist Olly Hookings and bassist Bonzai, States of Emotion has finally stepped into the fullest spotlights with a debut album which is destined to be one of the most tantalising and increasingly magnetic propositions this year.

The first days of States of Emotion go back to 2001 with Essex hailing school friends, Hookings, Bonzai, and drummer Luke Lloyd linking up to play “bad Green Day covers in the summer house at the bottom of Olly’s grandmother’s garden.” Within eight years, the band was playing the likes of the Great Escape Festival, Offset Festival, and Glastonbury’s Introducing Stage. It was at this point they also began recording their debut album with producer Greg Haver with their self released debut single, The Unsung stirring up eager appetites with its outing in 2010.Its success saw the band deciding to sign with urban label Rinse but though a successful tour with The Enemy followed there was little else apart from a half-hearted promotion of next single The Way That I’m Wired by the band’s label. With much frustration to the band, the album was of seemingly little interest to their label and with that lack of action and support highlighted by the “half-baked single release that wasn’t marketed properly”, they decided to walk away from Rinse.

This was followed by Lloyd and fourth member Brick leaving the band, and the premature announcement of the end of States of Emotion. Thankfully Hookings and Bonzai then decided to carry on working on the album, writing new tracks, often sparked by the past issues and departures, to go with those already nurtured. This in time led to the pair creating their own Label White Room, through which after five or so years, Black & White To Gold finally gets its unveiling.

art_RingMaster ReviewWith the Rag n Bone Men EP offering a tasty teaser of the album a few weeks back, anticipation for the release was heightened and is quickly rewarded by outstanding opener I Broke The Mould. Straight away guitar brewed drama envelopes ears; a potent lure of dark bass led shadows and vocal expression from Hookings which only blossom further as melodies and anthemic tenacity bursts in the irresistible chorus. With keys caressing the imagination in alignment to tangy hooks from Hookings, the track smoulders and sizzles on ears and appetite with a prowess and majesty which reminds of bands like Doves and The Mighty Lemon Drops, the latter a regular thought across the album, especially in the following Lena.

The second track has a brighter climate and warmer melodic breath with matching rhythmic enterprise whilst bass and guitar again unite their contrasting tones and textures. In tandem it all makes for a catchy canvas for the excellent vocals of the band to dance upon with emotive flirtation. Feet and hips are as quickly enamoured as ears with the encounter, a persuasion easily matched by the album’s moodier title track. With Bonzai’s bass a rumbling incitement against the interlocking melodic intimacy and orchestral character of the song, it is a fiery serenade tightening the album’s early grip on ears.

Through the romancing sonic flights of Inside Out and Brooksys Box, the album continues to hold the listener close to its creative breast, the first an evocative swirl of melodic resourcefulness and its successor a celestially laced yet robust slice of balladry. Both carry a deliciously dark vein enriched by infectious basslines and openly anthemic fuel and each is increasingly impressive and highly alluring, as too in its more personal way Back to Back, where piano and vocals steal attention before Seeking Oblivion engagingly wraps ears in its guitar driven electronic seducing.

The album at this point is in a magnetic flow, each song like an inventive continuation and emotionally related follow on from its predecessor. The band raises the ante again with Rag & Bone Men though, the track a bold and boisterous adventure which saunters in with electronic beats and siren like keys around the melancholic but inviting coaxing of Hookings’ voice. All the time a low key but building virulence is at work, brewing and enhancing the swing of the song until it releases a chorus with the persuasive mastery any hypnotist would be proud of. The song is glorious, equipped with little twists and dramatic hooks that just pull the imagination deeper into its galvanic temptation.

Slowly has a Coldplay like scent to its calm but suggestive embrace next whilst Into The Dream Catcher uncages a melody rich rock ‘n’ roll stroll which as all the pinnacles on the album, draw emotional reflections and gentle tempting into an energetic and subsequently anthemic roar which is pure contagion and insistently memorable. It is an elegant flame of a song with the right amount of intensity to create an even feistier stir.

The final pair ensures Black & White To Gold ends on the kind of high it started on. She Cuts Shapes is first, casting rhythmically infectious bait within an equally zealous rock pop roar which again shows the band’s skill at creating a landscape of ebbing and flowing energy which in turn breeds gripping crescendos. Its superb revelry is instantly matched by the slower melancholic beauty of My South Drive. Possibly the most contagious track on the album with its welcome trespass of melodic and harmonic seducing, it provides the album with a last major triumph and the listener with a song which simply lingers.

Black & White To Gold may have had to bide it’s time to introduce itself but it needs little time to announce States of Emotion as a band no one with a melodic heart will want to ignore.

Black & White To Gold is out now via Label White Room @ http://labelwhiteroom.bigcartel.com/product/states-of-emotion-black-white-to-gold-signed-cd-album-pre-order

https://www.facebook.com/brooxhq   http://www.labelwhiteroom.com

Upcoming States Of Emotion Dates:

Wed 24th Feb – BRISTOL Thekla w/ The Rifles

Thu 25th Feb – PORTSMOUTH Wedgewood Rooms w/ The Rifles

Sat 27th Feb – LONDON Roundhouse w/ The Rifles

Pete RingMaster 22/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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