Animal Noise – Sink or Swim

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The description on Facebook for Animal Noise describes the band as “a three from SE England as an experimental indie outfit, creating moody swamp songs.” The last three words especially sum up the tone of the seriously captivating songs making up their latest EP Sink or Swim. It offers four tracks of dark rock ‘n’ roll as ripe with folkish charm as they are vibrant with indie rock tenacity and blues infused drama. Like a rousing mix of Common Tongues, Billy Momo, and Milton Star; sound and EP leap on ears and ignite the spirit and imagination with consummate ease; the result a fun and rousing time for all.

Since releasing their debut album Run Loose in 2012, it is fair to say that the Colchester hailing trio of Josh, Birdy, and Jack have been the keen recipients of regular attention and praise. The release of their well-received album soon led to Animal Noise performing at the likes of Bestival and T in The Park whilst their songs have found a potent place in the playlists of radio shows  hosts like Greg James, Huw Stephens, Sara Cox, Scott Mills, and Tom Robinson through the extensive support of BBC Suffolk Introducing. Working with producer Tom Donovan on new songs in recent times has led to the arrival of the four-track Sink Or Swim EP which will be released on limited edition vinyl as part of Record Store Day on 15th April.

cover_RingMasterReviewRecently unveiled single and EP title track, Sink Or Swim is the first lure of the release and instantly it tantalises ears and imagination with its flirtatious and slightly agitated web of melodic enterprise. There is funkiness to guitar and bass as they align with skittish beats around the swiftly impressing vocals. The seriously engaging start is soon a heftier stroll of boisterous endeavour and energy, beats a beefy incitement within the feisty blaze of guitar and bass stringed revelry. Though it relaxes at times throughout, that first expulsion of creative zeal fires up the rest of a song thereon in; a contagion which simply gets under the skin with the great expressive character of the vocals leading the way.

The acoustic and rhythmic rumble of How Can You Love Me is next; its dark and sultry country air a lively shuffle of nagging riffs and tenacious beats again graced by potent vocal drama and similarly enthralling harmonies. As the first, even with it’s slightly darker and imposing character, the song has feet and emotions bouncing and fully engaged in its shadowed tale in no time, before the galvanic adventure of Alright provides a darkly hued croon over rhythms which still will not settle down. For whatever reason, the track reminds, as indeed other moments within the EP, of Eighteen Nightmares At the Lux. Admittedly the reason as to why is vague but there is a kinship in off-kilter dark rock ‘n’ roll ingenuity both bands share in their openly individual sound and writing.

The band saves it finest moment for closing track Bag Of Bones. Guitar and vocals offer the first persuasive proposal within the song, percussive enticing soon making an additional invitation to the already anthemic air of the track. With each passing second, there is a sense of energy and devilment brewing, thrilling dynamics which explode in a seriously rousing chorus driven by the tenacious urgency and roar of vocals backed again by bold harmonies. Ending on a finale which whips up feet and vocal chords, the outstanding song has a highly enjoyable feel of The Woodentops to it whilst bringing a thoroughly enjoyable EP to an epic end.

Sink Or Swim is an encounter which just leaves ears and appetite greedily wanting more; a hunger easy to assume Animal Noise will continue to happily and impressively feed ahead.

The Sink Or Swim EP is released April 15th.

Upcoming Live Dates:

April 28th, Paper Dress London

April 29th,  Colchester Arts Centre

April 30th, The Swan, Ipswich

May 1st, Cosmic Puffin Festival

http://www.animalnoise.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/animalnoise   https://twitter.com/animalnoise   https://www.instagram.com/animalnoise/

Pete RingMaster 15/04/2016

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Following Foxes – Self Titled EP

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When an artist or band has a background which involves in part the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford, there is always an intrigue to learn more, partly because the town is a part of our musical heritage too and mostly because of some of the talent which has been nurtured at the ACM. From one of the UK’s most potent and impressive place of musical education, the likes of Newton Faulkner, Guy Davis who was part of the UK’s finest alternative rock antagonists Reuben, Joe Butterworth of Talanas, and Alexis Demetriou who formed the criminally unrecognised rockers Lost In Wonderland, have made varying impacting but potent marks on the British music scene. It is a long list also including members of Lawson and some bloke named Ed Sheeran, successes to which you can now add home town boys Following Foxes.

With its members all meeting at ACM, Following Foxes formed in 2013 and having a strong past year on the live scene now release their self-titled debut EP to nudge a broader attention to their presence. The five track release is a captivating introduction to the quartet, a handful of songs bred in a melodic caress of folk and indie/acoustic rock which energetically and skilfully bring a summery and creatively tenacious proposition to the senses. Drawing in inspirations from bands such as Biffy Clyro, Mumford & Sons, City and Colour, and Pink Floyd, Following Foxes shows themselves to be a thoroughly magnetic proposal and their EP more than likely to pick up wider media attention to back up already eager play on local radio stations across the South East of the UK.

The band’s new single, Almost Lost It is first up and right away with punchy bass lures from Mike Chapman and a great shuffle of beats within a caress of guitar, has ears and imagination paying close attention. The song relaxes soon after to welcome the strong vocals of Gid Sedgwick, his tones as warm and alluring as the melodic venture already shown by his and Alex Hill’s guitars. Subsequently with ears transfixed, another bait of thick beats from Steve Price adds fresh adventure before the song settles into a vibrant stroll loaded with a folkish revelry and melodic

Artwork by Harry Murr @ Roberts Clothing

Artwork by Harry Murr @ Roberts Clothing

swagger. There is still plenty of variety to gait and sound across the song though, sometimes more subtle than in others but a great unpredictable essence which grips the appetite and certain enjoyment.

The following I Saw, You Saw Me Back makes a less dramatic entrance though Sedgwick immediately holds court with his melodic croon and lyrical intimacy. It is still a strongly appealing first touch though which expands into a feisty but composed dance of voice and rhythms within a melodic seduction. As its predecessor, the track soon worms under the skin and into the psyche, a Lennon and McCartney whisper spicing part of the song whilst others times it romps along like a mix of Knots, Common Tongues, and The Radioactive Grandma.

Waiting for Someone, like those before it, simultaneously manages to be a warm reflective hug and a fiery little rocker, the great vocals across the band and occasionally a rigorously driving rhythmic thrust respectively igniting another memorable and increasingly enjoyable offering. It does not quite match up to the first pair such their might, but leaves satisfaction full before making way for Mother Brother. Though you cannot describe any of the songs as aggressive, there is a definite edge to the song when it steps up its energy around harmonically and melodically seductive embraces. It is a compelling end to a fine release; well not exactly an end as there is the brief melodic Outro to come but the party has ended by this point, its atmospheric haunting that drifting away of guests and excitement like after any slice of major fun.

Following Foxes has made a very impressive first step with a release which could straight away set them on a potent journey towards sparking the country’s attention. If not now it is impossible not to think or expect it will happen eventually but seems silly to wait, so go check out this highly pleasing release.

The Following Foxes EP is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/following-foxes-ep1-ep/id964894157

https://www.facebook.com/FollowingFoxes     http://followingfoxes.com/

RingMaster 02/03/2015

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Rivertairs – Jack

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Flirting with the imagination like a mix of Common Tongues, Tankus The Henge, and Johnny Foreigner, the debut single from UK band Rivertairs is an introduction which does not instantly make your mind up about their presence but certainly ensures there is an appetite to hear more of their obvious potential. Carrying a flavoursome blend of varied rock spices as dramatic hues of folk rock and indie pop enterprise add their lures to the aural shuffle, Jack is a captivating and seriously intriguing proposition.

Hailing from Manchester, Rivertairs first explored their expressive and expansive design of sound with the 2013 three-track demo, Fool’s Parade. It was supported and followed by numerous shows across the north of England which included sharing stages with bands like Space. Now ready to break into a broader spotlight the band is releasing their first single, a “tongue-in-cheek vignette on the infamous Jack the Ripper”.

Jack opens with swarthy strikes of guitar which in turn are joined by a dark bassline and crisp beats. There is an instant creative and striding swagger to the song which grows in boldness as the vocals begin unveiling the song’s narrative and melodic flames wrap around the infectious enterprise. There are essences of folk and indie pop to the rock based offering and even more varied colour to the imagination spicing up every tenacious sway and seductive caress on show.

The track almost prowls with its adventure and has a theatrical relish to its inventive mischief which keeps ears and imagination gripped and intrigue greedy. As mentioned one song is never enough to decide if a band is for the long-term in thoughts and emotions but Jack has plenty to make Rivertairs a prospect needing thorough exploration ahead and an enjoyable companion right now.

Jack is available as a free download from www.rivertairs.com now!

RingMaster 11/11/2014

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Common Tongues – Beasts

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UK indie folk band Common Tongues continue to impress with their releases and now look at the end of the year with another thoroughly enjoyable single. Beasts is a magnetic little slice of melodic enticement, a song which reinforces all the good work built through previous unveilings and confirms the rising stature of the Brighton band.

From the release of their outstanding debut, the Jumping Ships single of 2011, Common Tongues has grabbed the imagination of fans and media alike across their live performances and releases. 2013 though has been their biggest year to date, the Solitary Thinker single starting it off in impressive style. The band built on that with critically acclaimed performances at the Secret Garden Party and Cambridge Folk Festival, as well their own successful shows and recently playing support for The Villagers. Now Beasts ensures the year comes to a pleasing close for the band and their fans.

An emotive ambience spreads around the ear at first instantly joined by the impressive vocals. It makes a compelling introduction to Beasts, a start which is enhanced by the slow dark call of the bass and gentle vocal harmonies, both eager yet restrained. With keys and guitars stepping forward with a suggestive breeze and country twang respectively, the song is soon filling the imagination and emotions with a mesmeric array of small but distinct twists and musical turns within a folk bred enterprise. The song never erupts into the festivities hinted at but just tenderly coaxes the senses and passions to enlist in its magnetic persuasion.

Beasts is a fully enticing treat, maybe not the strongest release from the band but one which continues with strength the impressive fascination of Common Tongues.

http://www.commontongues.co.uk

7.5/10

RingMaster 09/11/2013

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Common Tongues: Solitary Thinker

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    Bewitched and enchanted by their 2011 debut single Jumping Ships, UK indie folksters Common Tongues has kept a candle in the passions vibrantly burning as they unveiled more delicious pop folk majesty through songs which continually smoulder and ignite the passions. Their new single is no exception, the song an emotive caress upon thoughts and emotions which first seduces before leading the listener into a sizzling yet tender melodic romp of contagious energy.

The Brighton band was formed in 2010 by childhood friends Tom Anderson and Oli Hinkins, who grew up together in Cambridge. With a line-up completed by Andrew Stuart-Buttle, Dan Somers, and James Drohan, the band released first two track single Jumping Ships via Something Nothing Records to a strong eager response following it up over the past couple of years with impressive appearances at numerous festivals including Bestival, and the Secret Garden Party, as well as support performances alongside the likes of Beth Jeans Houghton, Michelle Stodart, Juan Zelada, The Miserable Rich, and Alice Gold. Citing influences from the artists such as Yann Tiersen, Villagers, Radiohead and Brian Wilson as inspirations, the band creates sounds which tempt and persuade like sunshine whilst evoking and inspiring like her alluring touch.

Taken from their new April released EP, Solitary Thinker is the perfect teaser, a song which triggers a rich appetite for more ctwhilst igniting flames of pleasure to make the short wait for much more bearable. The song emerges from a brewing breath with acoustic guitar and melancholic violin weaving gently across the senses, their stroke tender yet powerfully suggestive. The feeling of loneliness is accentuated as the vocals add their weight and expression though the music equally offers a little dance of light and hope throughout the emotive heart. Mid-way through the track entertains rhythmic teases which raise and incite the temperature and intent of the song into a feisty launch of energy which sparks further rapture as the building crescendo of expertly crafted sounds and anthemic vocals explodes within the heart.

The song walks the perfect line between emotionally intense and light and whimsical, achieving both without unbalancing the passion or fun of the track. Musically too the track merges more forceful sounds which maybe are a rarity in folk pop with traditional majestic beauty in harmonies, melodies, and expression. It is a glorious song which will ensure an even more focused and maybe impatient anticipation for the upcoming EP.

www.commontongues.co.uk

www.facebook.com/commontongues

8.5/10

RingMaster 23/02/2013

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