New Town Kings – Pack Up Bye Bye

newtownkings-packup_RingMaster Review

New Town Kings has more than earned the reputation as one of the UK’s most exciting new reggae propositions, through their irresistible live presence and just as potently last year’s outstanding Pull Up & Rewind EP, which drew as much rich attention upon its reboot earlier this year. Now the Essex based nine-piece are poised to grip national awareness and energy with new single Pack Up Bye Bye, a contagion of Jamaican reggae/ska pop which if there is such a thing as the sound of summer, has it ingrained in every vibrant pore.

Pack Up...cover_RingMaster Review   Formed in 2007, New Town Kings has lit up the UK and European live scene with their inventive and tenacious sound. They have been declared Britain’s greatest traditional Ska band, a claim backed up by shows with the likes of Reel Big Fish, The Slackers, The Skints, Congo Natty, and just recently Neville Staple. Acclaimed festival appearances have also only reinforced and increased the Colchester band’s stature over the years whilst the Pull Up & Rewind EP, as suggested earlier, set out a new statement of creative intent and success for the band. It was a declaration and ascent in sound which is now poised to whip up a new surge of fresh and broader appetites through Pack Up Bye Bye.

From its first rhythmic click the song flirts with ears and imagination, quickly taking them on a warm dance of catchy hooks, warm bubbly keys, and a vocal enticing from Dabs Bonner which just lures closer attention. Swinging with a reggae groove lined with choppy ska clips of guitar, the track just commands involvement from the listener, especially when unveiling its anthem of a chorus. The song is pure addiction from start to finish but that crescendo of virulence is simply irresistible, a sultry temptress offering the richest seduction within the lively simmer fuelling the rocksteady sculpted alchemy.

With a summer ahead of exciting festival and show endeavours, Pack Up Bye Bye with its open look at the angst of relationships, is the strongest, most vocal reason why New Town Kings should be on the agenda for all event goers and your new daily soundtrack.

Pack Up Bye Bye is available now as a free download @ https://soundcloud.com/newtownkings/pack-up-bye-bye-1

Upcoming New Town Kings live dates…

August 1st – Brightlingsea Music Fest (UK)

August 6-9th – Rebellion, Blackpool (UK)

August 13-16th – Boomtown, Winchester (UK)

September 11th – Colchester Arts Centre (UK)

September 12th – Norwich Arts Centre (UK)

September 17th – Cluney2, Newcastle (UK)

September 19th – Borderline, London (UK)

September 22th – Lille (F) – Venue tbc

September 23rd – Berlin (GER) – SO36 (w/ THE SLACKERS)

September 24th Hamburg (GER) – Hafenklang (w/ THE SLACKERS)

September 25th Cologne (GER) – Underground (w/ THE SLACKERS)

October 30th – Skalloween, New Cross Inn, London (UK)

October 31st – Aalst, (Belgium)

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

RingMaster 24/07/2015

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New Town Kings – Pull Up & Rewind EP

NewTownKings colour

Released earlier this year, UK band New Town Kings give their Pull Up & Rewind EP a reboot on December 8th, a second outing for the thrilling encounter sure to mop up the appetites of those missing its first coming. Consisting of four tracks combining traditional Jamaican reggae and ska adventure with fresh invention and enterprise, the release shows exactly why the Colchester nine-piece band are no strangers to rich attention and acclaim.

Formed in 2007, New Town Kings has become an eagerly devoured live presence, playing shows across the UK and Europe on their way to being acclaimed as Britain’s greatest traditional Ska band. Shows with the likes of Reel Big Fish, The Slackers, The Skints, Congo Natty and numerous more, as well as this past summer successful appearances at Boomtown Fair and Rebellion have only seen the band’s reputation and stature grow whilst their two albums, Sounds Of The New Town in 2008 and M.O.J.O 4 years later, have potently reinforced their captivating presence and adventure. The first release featuring new vocalist Dabs Bonner, Pull Up & Rewind persistently smooches with the imagination musically whilst thoughts are engaged with more politically aware lyrics from the band, and feet well they have no escape from the EP’s flirtation of rich reggae spicing.

The release opens with Changes, a song which as soon as its first flame of brass crosses ears has full and keen attention. Jabbing prods of guitar from Stuart McClung and John Maynard soon add their potent bait whilst the throaty bass lure of Tommy Marchant makes an instant temptation as the song strolls with vibrant energy. The warm tones of Bonner ensure that though his words challenge with provocative lyrical bait they are a firm but gentle persuasion rather than a demand which suits the sultry climate of the track perfectly. Erupting further with the heated craft of Rory Sadler’s sax and Rob Landen’s trumpet, the song is an irresistible anthem with the power to ignite thoughts and inflame passions.

As impressive as it is though, Luna Rosa soon adds a bit of shade to its success, the second track sheer melodic and infectious beauty. Rising on a brass coaxing which in turn sparks a jumpy Digital-Artstride of spiky riffs and another delicious bassline, the song is soon riding the passions with an impossibly contagious chorus amidst a pungent waltz of colourful Hammond sculpted temptation from Scott James. It is an inescapable enticement aligning to slightly more aggressive vocals from Bonner and the wonderfully skittish yet controlled beats of drummer Sky Roskell-Cheale and the percussive enterprise of Rob Band which themselves simply captivate. The song is a party in the ears and emotions, a sultry temptation with Latin hues and addictive intent.

Things mellow with Grabbed My Hand, a smouldering reggae bred kiss on the senses with enough lively vivacity to it making a just as potent persuasion on swaying bodies before it. Bonner again simply impresses, his addition to the band opening up new textures to explore with as here robustly flavoured and inventive sounds. The dark tones of bass contrast perfectly with the summer tones of the keys and harmonies whilst between them, jangling guitar hooks and thick soulful brass calls only intensify the unveiling emotion clad lyrical narrative.

Closing track Cool The Pressure Down is another with little trouble stirring up lustful movements in the listener, Marchant’s bass Barry White to the warm Four Tops seducing of guitars, keys, and multi-flavoured vocals. It is a festival of humid summer sounds and as its predecessor, though not matching the brilliance of the opening pair, leaves ears wholly enraptured with its ska fuelled temptation.

New Town Kings is one of those feasts greed was invented for with Pull Up & Rewind making a very tasty snack as we await the next full plate of the band’s distinctive and irrepressible invention.

Pull Up & Rewind is available from December 8th

http://www.newtownkings.com/

RingMaster 04/12/2014

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onlyjoe – Play With Fire

onlyjoe

Three EPs in and it is fair to say that UK reggae band onlyjoe just get better and more compelling with each release, the undeniable proof coming with new and fourth EP Play With Fire. It is a magnetic blaze of seductive invention and incendiary intent which leaves senses and thoughts fully awake whilst emotions eagerly accept and join the sultry ride. Consisting of the title track and three remixes, the release from the London based ten piece continues the impressive emergence of the band through their self–titled debut and even more so the Revolution and Wicked Lands EPs. It brings the heart and creative fire of the band openly into view yet again whilst moving those self-same elements on to greater potency. The buzz around the band and anticipation for this new release has been an eager hunger and Play With Fire soon tells you why.

Since emerging onlyjoe has earned a strong vibrant reputation for their inventive sound and open passion, as well as their appearances and adventures alongside the likes of Tippa Irie, Mad Professer, Aba Shanti-I, Solo Banton, Zion Train, Demolition Man, Congo Natty and many more, which has seen them grow into a formidable proposition. Play With Fire as it recruits the passions seems like the key to the next level of plateaus and awareness, a release reaping the seeds set by its predecessors to prospectively bloom into a new realm of acclaim. Of course time will tell but it is hard to suggest anything to the contrary will emerge.

The title track saunters in with a smouldering ambience to its air and vocals whilst brass and keys drizzle their individual temptations square_160across the riveting expanse to help accelerate the pull of the track. The triple vocal juggle is masterful bait alone; Jago, Zico, and Galak all different and distinct lure for ears and emotions within the guitar caresses and rhythmic enticement. Add the flames of sax and trumpet whilst the bass pulsates with just the right shade of shadow and contemplation, and you have a sizzling provocation alongside a thought provoking narrative, quite simply you have a lingering persuasion. The track slowly disperses rather than ends ensuring its touch and voice remains to the very last second as an impacting suggestion, the track overall a unique and powerful merger of modern and traditionally seeded reggae.

The remaining tracks on the EP come in the shape of remixes by Dubkasm, DJ Madd, and the Sleepy Time Ghost & Hylu remix. All in their individual premises and approaches bring new reflections and looks from the original version, though all miss its stature and potent success as an instigator and seducer. They do bring fresh ventures to embrace though even if you always turn back to their inspirer for the real deal.

Released through Unit 137, Play With Fire is a single all reggae lovers need to investigate with full satisfaction and pleasure guaranteed, whilst onlyjoe show it is a band destined to the mightiest of horizons.

http://www.onlyjoe.co.uk

9/10

RingMaster 13/10/2013

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onlyjoe: Revolution EP

The voice of change and standing up with purpose has never sounded as good as it does with the new EP from UK reggae band onlyjoe. Led by the absorbing single Revolution, the five track release brings a message and uplifting energy in unison with a fine craft and emotive heart. It sweeps one up in a rising emotion and intent that is impossible not to be inspired by as the infectious and stirring sounds within Revolution flow and pulsate.

      onlyjoe is a nine strong London band which has lit up stages with their highly energetic shows and sounds alongside the likes of Tippa Irie, Mad Professor, Aba Shanti-I, Solo Banton, Zion Train, Demolition Man, Congo Natty and more. A force and notorious for ripping up the dance floor, onlyjoe has established a formidable reputation and presence amongst underground parties, clubs and major festivals throughout the UK. Revolution is the first sure step in taking it to the fullest level of awareness and audiences, something it is hard imagining from this release alone will not be successful.

The title track squeals in on sonic breaks as the band begins littering and spotting the ears with tempting melodies alongside glorious and warm brass sounds. The song commences to sway and bob with eager teasing riffs and boisterous beats, the rhythms and melodies the kinder with the song the fuse and match to spark and ignite the senses. The smooth mesmeric vocals of Zico grab the emotions and draw them in for the excellent gravelly tones of Jago to bring an inciteful intensity and defiance. It is a perfect mix that ripples within the hypnotic quality sounds surrounding them. Revolution was written just before the London riots and prophetically seems to soundtrack the rest of the year from after that particular moment

The EP also includes an instrumental dub version from Hylu and a trio of remixes from artists that have inspired the band. The first is from Bristol based dubstep don, RSD. He sends the track into different heights with his intriguing and inspired manipulations, his version having a pulsating darker vein that resonates throughout. This is followed by a mix from UK hip-hop legend Skitz in collaboration with the excellent The Sea. It is a version which seems to pull the light and dark sides from the song to place them to the fore in an enthused and dazzling battle. In what are all absorbing remixes this is the best and most fulfilling. A jungle version from Unit 137 family member Sleepy Time Ghost closes off the release in a strong and pleasing rapture of sounds.

Every track on Revolution is a brew of invention and sounds whilst the impressive original version of the song brings energy and thought to drive and inspire each and every day. It is compulsive and deeply effective with onlyjoe the freshest and most vibrant voice in UK reggae.

Be sure to check out the video for Revolution below which features their performance at Occupy London at the end of 2011.

https://www.facebook.com/onlyjoemusic

RingMaster 04/05/2012

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