Dark Stares – Darker Days Are Here To Stay

With a clutch of praise wearing EP’s already under their belt UK outfit Dark Stares have now raised the ante with their debut album. Continuing the open evolution of their sound across those previous encounters, Darker Days Are Here To Stay is a release which maybe smoulders more than roars but like the band’s previous releases, just captivates but with an even greater depth of adventure and seduction.

The St Albans band’s individual alternative rock tempts like a fusion of Muse and Queens Of The Stone Age but equally has drawn references to the likes of Wolfmother, Royal Blood, Led Zeppelin, and The Beatles. Formed in 2011, the quartet released their first EP, Tell Your Friends, the following year. Its well-received introduction to the band has been built upon in sound and success across the likes of Octopon and Soul Contract as well as a host an eagerly supported singles. Self-produced, Darker Days Are Here To Stay continues the band’s DIY intent with a raw magnetism and organic radiance which just commands attention.

The album opens up with Liquid Reign and a sonic limbo from which a swagger gaited groove, firm beats, and the tantalising voice of Miles Kristian Howell emerge. The track settles into an infectious swing entwined in heated sonic vines as that initial groove continues to wind around ears and appetite. Crystaline in its melody, crisp in its rhythms, the song is a warm yet invasive seduction as catchy as it is hauntingly provocative.

The following Sweet Rider 5 is also the band’s new single, a track similarly woven to the first but with a fiery lining to its golden glaze and a whiff of latter day Depeche Mode to its air. The guitar of Harry Collins casts another alluring web of sound and heat; tendrils of enterprise which tease rather than entangle the imagination but have it alive all the same as the dark tone of Brett Harland Howell’s bass and the urge of Taylor Howell’s beats tempt the body.  So absorbing it feels much shorter than it really is, the track still ends too quickly but Pedal Pusher soon has all focus on its fuzzy, enticing saunter. An electronic grumble adds inventive shadow to the mesmeric charms of guitar and harmonies and equally a raw edge courting intrigue and dark melancholy to contrast the radiance on offer.

Darker Days is next, its electronic scuzz even deeper and dirtier than in its predecessor to accentuate the candescent sounds wrapping broad and intimate shadows. Richly captivating with its own individually bold sway, the song wears the scent of post punk and neo-psychedelia in its creative sigh; a The Jesus and Mary Chain meets The House of Love kind of wash adding to its rich pull before Animal floats in on a sonic breeze. Its climate is soon a sweltering embrace easily luring ears and imagination to its exotic heart and bluesy drama. It is a track which epitomises the album, making a strong and potent first impression but only glowing brighter with every listen.

Across the likes of the more volatile rock ‘n’ roll of Ordinary Way with its scuzzy touch and unpredictable air and the irresistible Hips Don’t Shake the album just drew us deeper into its grasp. The first of the two did not connect as thickly as other tracks but its successor more than compensated with its addictive twists and infectious almost mischievous character. There is a constant Josh Homme like hue to songs if mostly a mere dash of colour but makes for a compelling ingredient in the album’s best moment.

Cruise Control equally dips into that spicing for its raw harmonic roar, Muse-esque spatial hues fusing with the song’s sonic fuzziness while So Good serenades from within its cavernous heart. The second is a tapestry of imagination, every move unexpected yet instantly embraceable as the lucent croon of the song envelops ears and a by now greedy appetite.

The pair of Their Game and Feels (So Sad) bring the album to a beguiling close with their respective indie rock and hypnotic glow of melancholic yet lustrous beauty. They complete a release which just captivates but with moments that had us drooling. Even so we still have the feeling that Dark Stares has not come close to finding the boundaries of their sound and that makes the anticipation for their next release as strong as the enjoyment found with Darker Days Are Here To Stay.

Darker Days Are Here To Stay is out now through iTunes and other stores.

https://www.darkstares.com/   https://www.facebook.com/DarkStares/   https://twitter.com/dark_stares

Pete RingMaster 22/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dark Stares – Soul Contract

Dark Stares - Promo Picture

Their debut was a web of flavoursome inspirations woven into a striking introduction, its successor a more honed proposition with a less expansive but more singular and enthralling character to its sound, and now with their third EP, UK rock band Dark Stares has explored another captivating evolution in their sonic adventure. Soul Contact is a fiery and sonically spicy encounter, a handful of tracks which intrigue with a psychedelic air and feisty tenacity. It is a release which pushes the St Albans quartet and their sound on again whilst confirming the band as one of the UK rock scene’s finest emergences in recent times.

Formed in 2011, Dark Stares have been no strangers to keen attention and support since the release of the Tell Your Friends EP the following year. Its success was swiftly backed by outstanding singles Bad Machine and Shinigami later in 2012 with the former subsequently finding itself personally selected by Dave Fanning and Bono for a U2-single publicity stunt. Influences from the likes of from Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Muse, Royal Blood, and Jack White openly flavoured their early sound and still spices its openly unique invention now, as shown by Soul Contact,. As second EP Octopon began to reveal this potent evolution through its unveiling in 2013, the foursome of lead guitarist Harry Collins, and the Howell brothers, Miles Kristian on vocals and guitar, bassist Brett Harland, and drummer Taylor, continued to lure national airplay and press coverage with the likes of Metal Hammer, Rocksound, Powerplay, and XFM whilst live sharing stages with bands such as Enter Shikari and The Darkness. It is easy to expect more of that eager attention to follow the release of their excitedly anticipated new release, and an even hungrier appetite for its impressive sound.

Dark Stares - Cover Artwork   It is fair to say that Soul Contact does not dramatically leap at ears and thoughts at any time, but seduces with an unrelenting and tantalising temptation which ultimately is just as effective. There are times when it misses the spark needed to explode on the senses but with imagination and emotions of the listener thoroughly involved with that of the band’s and every encounter on the release, it is more a showing of the potential still left to be explored within Dark Stares than anything lacking. Opener Liquid Reign is the perfect example, a track which never erupts with a voracious impact but smoulders with warm melodic flames and bubbles with imaginative twists. Its initial touch is a distorted tease which leads to a slow but swinging stroll under a psyche kissed climate. The bass instantly conjures that gentle swagger, backed perfectly by crisp beats and shadowed yet inviting riffs. The effect wrapped vocals of Miles Kristian offer a mellow seduction of their own, his tones gliding over the magnetic and lively sonic enterprise of Collins. The song is as immersive as it is gently catchy, and a great start to the release.

The band’s new single Hypnotize comes next and swiftly has ears basking in a blues bred, scuzz lined temptation aligned to muscular rhythms. The most aggressive and intensive song on the release, it still merges a sultry and welcoming persuasion with a rugged and imposing rhythmic landscape. Virulently contagious and inescapably addictive, especially around its gorgeous croon of a chorus, the song also brings a rich familiarity to it. Over time it is realised as being just of the increasingly established Dark Stares sound, though with a healthy wash of QOTSA to it too. It is a great gateway into band and release, an obvious and gripping single matched by the following Ordinary Way. It too instantly hits like a previously encountered friend with another fuzzy beckoning at the start sparking recognition before a rumbling bassline and rolling beats sculpt an engrossing cage to enclose it all. It is a trap soon coloured in excellent vocal expression and texture within a sunrise of melodic wine and sonic drama. Cavernous and inescapably immersive but intimate and emotionally provocative at its heart, the song is a spellbinding embrace.

Animal floats in next on a sonic croon under a sweltering atmosphere, again easily luring in ears and imagination with bordering on exotic colours and invention. The track truly comes alive with its blues rock fire of scarring riffs and dynamic energy, an intermittent but hunger igniting expulsion across the song led to and tempered by a just as emotive melodic humidity. It is a slow burner compared to the previous pair of songs but slips firmly into thoughts and passions before the closing Cruise Control reinvents its finest Josh Homme and co inspirations for a melodic and harmonic roar coated in Muse like spatial hues and lined with compelling scuzz fired drama.

The track is an excellent end to another great and compelling offering from Dark Stares. It is not a massive leap forward from Octopon yet everything about it from songwriting and sound to imagination has been stretched with fresh creativity and passion. Dark Stares continue to impress and remind that the British rock scene has some strongly creative hands at its tiller.

The Soul Contract EP and new single Hypnotise are available from 6th April on EP and digitally through all digital platforms.

http://www.darkstares.com     https://www.facebook.com/DarkStares

RingMaster 06/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

Dark Stares – Octopon EP

Dark Stares - Promo Picture

With their debut, the Tell Your Friends EP, UK rockers Dark Stares not only impressed and raised plenty of attention in their direction but also suggested they were still in the midst of finding a unique sound. Even so, it and they stood out as something fresh and different meaning the arrival of its successor, the Octopon EP was greeted with eagerness, quizzical expectations, and a very healthy appetite to see how the band had progressed.

The four song release has stepped forward as another outstanding slice of rock ‘n’ roll from the St Albans quartet, the release a slab of accomplished and slightly dirtier rock invention that answered all questions. Whereas the previous EP seemed to be searching for that one sound with many aspects and references to other bands playing their suggestions throughout, Octopon has found a narrower stance. It still employs essences of the likes of Foo Fighters and Muse for example but that is a cloudy breath now within an almost brawling singular presence that captivates from first note to last. Arguably there is less originality to the new songs than before, possibly and predominantly from the fact that they have a similarly crafted sound and presence, but for maturity, craft, and sheer compelling persuasion the EP is a mighty and refreshing piece of invention and step forward. Dark Stares has come of age so to speak with Octopon and suggests a feisty ride ahead with the band starts here.

The combination of brothers Miles Kristian (vocals/guitar), Taylor (drums), and Brett Harland Howell (bass) alongside Harry Collins (lead Dark Stares - Octopon EP - Front Coverguitar), start things off with the mighty encounter Bad Machine. Since forming, the band has ripped up stages playing with bands such as Enter Shikari and The Darkness, and across numerous festivals, and from the opening song alone you feel they have watched, learned, and developed those experiences into their own distinctive brand of creative energy, for songwriting and performance. The track immediately surrounds the ear with thumping rhythms, concentrated abrasive guitar, and prowling basslines. The vocals of Miles bring again good expressive and keen vocals but they just glide through the brewing intensity rather than deflecting its impending climb. With a wash of scuzz to every atom of the sonic narrative, from vocals and sound through to production, the weighty edge to the presence of the song makes a mountain of a start. There is a familiarity to it also which makes the song easily accessible for limbs and voice to join the pounding treat whilst the acidic raw groove which cores it drags emotions into its richly satisfying grip with ease.

It is an excellent start soon eclipsed by the following Shinigami, the new single from the band. It launches off of the plateau set with a stronger sizzling energy and Muse toned melodic suasion, its sound again caustic but compelling, with the energy of band and song anthemic in voice and effect. The track romps across the senses and into the passions with no respite of its temptation, the excellent aside of melodic beckoning and rhythmic pouting a chance to snatch a breath whilst the temperature within still rises heartily. With a fiery crescendo bringing the song to a sudden stop, again for the listener to gain some composure, the band unleash another rising wave of noise bred rock with a burning climax that just seals the deal.

Steal Your Girl continues the excellent and intensive pleasure next, again the sound of the song holding a familiar air but without making clear declaration as to why. It strolls along with a swagger and enterprise that lifts the spirits and emotions, not to forget feet and hunger for much more. There is a touch of wantonness to its infectious charge too, reserved slightly but open to those that look, like a horny unsatisfied housewife on the prowl (the hell yeah of window cleaners everywhere ringing out right now). It is another irresistible piece of dirt clad rock ‘n’ roll that cements the new stature of Dark Stares.

Final track Blackfyre has a blues flame to its imagination, the guitars breeding from the potent source with heated intent to light up the skies around the equally emotive and flaming vocal delivery of Miles. The least raucous and instant of the four songs but arguably the most sonically poetic and creatively infused, it is a burning conclusion to the EP and shows the depth of the band still maybe yet to be explored.

Octopon is a great release which may have surprised a touch at first but left thoughts and passions alight with its skilled muscular entrapment. Dark Stares are poised to ignite UK rock; that the prime thought earned by their excellent release, oh other than excitement of course.

www.facebook.com/DarkStares

8.5/10

RingMaster 04/08/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

 

DARK STARES new EP ‘Octopon’, out 5th August‏

Dark Stares -  Online Promo Picture

RISING UK ROCKSTERS DARK STARES RETURN WITH STOMPING NEW RECORD!

Flaunting a twisted alternative rock sound that is in part influenced by the captivating hooks of the Foo Fighters, the dark angular groove of Them Crooked Vultures, and the song-writing guile of Jack White, Dark Stares are geared up to raise the bar with their stunning new EP ‘Octopon’, out Monday 5th August.
Formed in 2011, and coming from St Albans, Dark Stares are rapidly rising through the UK scene, aided by a growing army of fans and backed by a hefty diet of touring and recording. Since their formation, the alternative rock ‘n’ rollers have supported the likes of Enter Shikari and The Darkness, and have shared festival main stages with everyone from The Subways to Fun Lovin’ Criminals. The assiduous quartet released their debut EP ‘Tell Your Friends’ at the foot of 2012, which drew extensive national recognition and harnessed nationwide radio airplay on XFM Rock show. The band also released their debut single ‘Whisky’, which in turn pushed the foursome out to an international audience.
Dark Stares step up again with the release of their sophomore EP ‘Octopon’. Dispatching four blistering tracks, the record twists and pulls with real vigour, from the pounding groove of ‘Bad Machine’, to the stomping edge of their new single ‘Shinigami’, right through to the boisterously brilliant and down-right sleazy ‘Blackfyre’ and the contagious craft of ‘Steal Your Girl’. Now watch the band blow the roof off every fleapit and sweat box as they hit the road again this summer in support of the record. Hit up the band’s Facebook for tour updates.
Dark Stares - 'Octopon' EP - Front Cover
==DARK STARES RELEASE ‘OCTOPON’ ON MONDAY 5th AUGUST THROUGH ALL DIGITAL STORES==

Dark Stares: Tell Your Friends EP

Dark Stares is one of those great bands which draw multiple comparisons to a wide array of bands but really do not sound like any of them. They may at times come up with a sound or riff which echoes another band but they are mere colourful strokes within a storm of individual creativity. The quartet from St Albans in the UK, has had the likes of The Killers, Muse, Manic Street Preachers and even The Mars Volta to name a few, offered as references in varying degrees to their music. To that you could just as easily add others like Faith No More and Green Day at certain moments of individual songs, but though still a band evolving their sound and distinctiveness, Dark Stares have a sound which has its own flavour.

Tell Your Friends is the debut EP from the band and what a stunner it is a release which unleashes rock n roll at its best, energetic, towering, and with a spine of powerful riffs alongside veins of irresistible grooves. Formed in 2011, the band consists of three brothers, Miles Kristian, Brett Harland and Taylor Howell (vocals and guitar, bass, and drums respectively) alongside guitarist Harry Collins. As their first year neared its end the band found themselves with high profiles gigs under their belt including supports slots for Enter Shikari and The Darkness. 2012 has seen the band go from strength to strength and with the release of Tell Your Friends on September 10th announce their full arrival in fine style.

Dark Stares open up with the stirring Whisky which immediately has feet and senses in league with its stomping rhythms and melodically guided riffs. Its energy is raw and slightly abrasive to ignite the fullest attention which the addictive grooves and heated hooks feed with relish. Not quite a storm, the track is a powerful stomp through the ear which with its multi faceted flavouring, lights multiple fires with. The guitar play is striking and fills the skies with delicious sonic sinders whilst the melodic craft around it comes from hard rock at its best.

It is an impressive start soon surpassed by the mighty Long Live The King. The song takes no time in giving suggestions as to why bands like Muse, Manics and Queens Of The Stone Age have been mentioned in the same breath as their sounds, its presence again a flurry of elements combined for an inferno of excellence. As all the songs show, Dark Stares gets the job done without over blown theatrics, the drums and bass unleashing instinctive hard and dangerous edges whilst the guitars and fine vocals explore and light up all their shadows. It is the perfect union for an outstanding and deeply satisfying result. On this song they simply leave other rock bands in their dust, the infectiousness and addition it offers taken to illegal levels.

Third track We Are The Kings Tonight wraps around the ear with a less intense eagerness though with equal strength and skill. It offers a mid pace drive which paves the way for sharp and inciteful play amidst melodic caresses which draw sighs, manly ones of course. The vocals of MK Howell are exceptional and across the whole release he shows he is a versatile and controlled power to match and ignite the music and songs, as they do his emotive delivery.

     Invaders ends the EP on another rampage of contagion, its grooves and riffs instantly your best friend and its heart a boisterous yet passionate embrace. Anthemic and with a mischievous swagger at times the song is an immense end to the release and completes one of those rare times where every song ends up as the favourite.

Dark Stares will be like their EP, immense. They still have much to discover within their creativity and music which with the strength of Tell Your Friends makes for one exciting thought.

http://www.darkstares.com/

RingMaster 30/08/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The best and easiest way to get your music on iTunes, Amazon and lots more. Click below for details.