By The Rivers – Vulture/This Love

By The Rivers Field July 2013_1

Re-igniting the impressive and exhilarating presence and success of their self-titled debut album last year, UK reggae band By The Rivers release new double A-sided single Vulture/This Love. Taken from the album, the songs tell you all you need to know about the melodic beauty and vibrant creativity of the band and their mouthwatering sound. It is another irresistible call for those yet to discover the splendour of the Leicester sextet and another reason for us in the know to let feet blaze over the ground with one of Britain’s most exciting bands.

Formed in 2010 by friends, Nile Barrow (lead vocals/guitar) and Jordan Birtles (drums/vocals), By The Rivers has mesmerised fans and media alike with their unique fusion of reggae/ska/soul/and afro-beat. With a line-up completed by Matt Willars (bass), Sam Read (keys/guitar/vocals), Will Todd (Tenor Saxophone), and Leo May (Trumpet), the band from their first steps were soon gracing stages with the likes of Dawn Kinnard, Neville Staples, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, and Toploader. Their swiftly growing reputation only accelerated as the six-piece continued to play with the likes of the Buzzcocks, Maxi Priest, Musical Youth, Dawn Penn, Saxon Sound, and The Specials whilst released eagerly received EPs and singles. Last year’s album through Kompyla Records thrust the band into an even more intensive spotlight with festival demand and appearances a plenty following its release.

The new single is the next dart of contagious persuasion by the band, one to have lips licked and passions romping. Vulture opens with a Graphic1 glorious wash of vocal harmonies, their touch a seductive caress before the song opens up its entrancing arms into an elegant sway and magnetic swagger. Guitars and bass dance and tease across the length of the song giving a base contagion to fall into, then once enslaved brass flames aligned to anthemic vocal and melodic lures bind the passions even tighter. It is an energetic but respectful romp leading imagination and emotions by the hand into a seductive and vivacious dance.

The musical and lyrical provocation of the song is emulated in its own distinct design by This Love, the song an evocative affair with ears and thoughts which gentle strolls as melodic tendrils and expressive passion drifts off every note and harmonious syllable. It is too easy and maybe lazy to provide UB40 as a reference to the sound of By The Rivers but it is unavoidably suitable for this flowing summer wind of a song. The heat of brass and magnetic touch of the guitars make the initial steal of the heart but as is very often the case with their songs, it is the vocals and melodies which bring the virulent infection to which there is no known cure.

With an instrumental version of Vulture completing the tracks offered, the single is another riveting triumph from By The Rivers, inescapable bait for feet, heart, and soul. Released April 21st alongside a Tom Swindell (Shy FX, Jamie Woon and Die & Breaks) directed video the same day for Vulture, the single and the band’s irresistible blend of catchy songwriting and powerful lyricism make another potent statement for one of the very best new bands here in the UK.

Vulture/This Love is available via Kompyla Records now!

https://www.facebook.com/bytherivers

10/10

RingMaster 21/04/2014

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By The Rivers – Self Titled

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Initially persuaded like so many by previous single Take Control that the 6 strong original new age reggae band By The Rivers was a unit which just had to be watched closely as their fresh and soulful melodic craft to grew into even greater things, the release of their debut self-titled album confirms and enhances all those previous thoughts and emotions. The eleven track release is a stroll through the heat of summer with all the warm caresses of the sun and the heart at tantalising play in its tender and emotively engaging arms. It shows that the previous single and releases were mere appetizers for the seductive feast of sound and invention to follow, a record which easily confirms all the acclaim and eager declarations surround the band since forming.

Formed in 2010 by friends since birth, Nile Barrow (lead vocals/guitar) and Jordan Birtles (drums/vocals), By The Rivers honed and sculpted a unique sound fusing a weave of reggae/ska/soul/afro-beat, all flavours igniting a driving passion in the duo. The cultural aspects of the sounds also aided to the influences as the pair began writing songs with a social commentary as well as just as potent love songs and positive takes on things that affect the youth of today. Joined by Matt Willars (bass), Sam Read (keys/guitar/vocals), Will Todd (Tenor Saxophone), and Leo May (Trumpet), the Leicester band was no stranger to acclaim from their first steps into view. Within their first seven gigs the band was lined up to play alongside the likes of Dawn Kinnard, Neville Staples, Fun Lovin Criminals, and Toploader, sparking an appetite within promoters and venues for their distinctive and refreshing sounds. The first year continued with the band sharing stages with the likes of The Buzzcocks, Maxi Priest, Musical Youth, Dawn Penn, Saxon Sound, and The Specials whilst continuing to earn impressed responses from people such as  Lynval Golding, guitarist and vocalist of The Specials/Fun Boy Three who declared “They are the new The Specials”. Their two EPs drew press and fan acclaim with debut single One Word and its successor Take Control both like the album released via Kompyla Records sparking up a strong anticipation for the album, a hunger which is easily fed.

The album opens with the instantly magnetic Vulture, the song a melodic blaze of vocal harmonies and expressive seduction from BTRAlbum_FrontCoverthe off, even before the music adds its compelling swagger and elegance to proceedings. An energetic but respectful romp which holds the ear and emotions by the hand as it dances across the brass flames and flashing guitar strokes, it is as infectious as it is lyrically provocative, the vocal persuasion of Barrow and co as irresistible as the perfectly sculpted melodic teasing and narrative colouring the intent of word and voice. The full combination is simply a magnet for the passions and senses setting the album off on the perfect start.

The following Make Your Own Road lifts the immense start to another plateau of excellence and steals one of the top honours spots on the album. Heralded by a restrained but bright brass call the song is soon offering a sultry stroll of deep throaty bass lures and group vocal calls as the chorus opens up the scintillating encounter. As the guitar picks and plucks the greedy heart the trumpet and sax offer a defined wantonness which enflames an already brewing ardour incited by the vocals and deliciously emotive bass sound. Every element of the song is passionate and expressive, each aspect an individual tease and narrative in tandem with each other and in union a piece of melodic alchemy which lights up every shadow and corner of thoughts, heart, and the day.

After such an immense start there was bound to be a dip in temptation but if there is it is barely recognisable as the likes of This Love, You Got It Wrong, and Don’t Look At Me with the aforementioned Take Control slipped in their midst, enchant and evoke further pleasure. Certainly the songs do not reach the same elevation of the opening pair but with the beauty of the first of the four a radiant kiss upon the ear and the persuasive ‘call to arms’ of the single with its deep temptation lined coaxing just two outstanding moments from this part of the album alone there is no slip in its fascination and strength.

The album ends as powerfully and contagiously as it begins with firstly the irresistible Rise Up stroking the ear into an enamoured rapture with its reggae honed siren call and brass fire erupting to deepen the temptation and soon matched by the Caribbean soaked rhythmic/melodic tango of Run Home, a song with an eighties whisper which reminds of Haircut 100. The closing pair though almost steal the whole show with the sweltering allurement of Don’t Say You Love Me raising the temperature with an epidemic cursed melodic enterprise and the closing Rocksteady a thrilling crescendo of ska shaped melodically grooved splendour to what is a stunning album.

By The Rivers, band and album, is a treat the summer of this and every year hence forth will adopt as its mesmeric soundtrack and the heart as its long lasting invigorating companion.

http://www.bytherivers.co.uk

9/10

RingMaster 07/05/2013

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By The Rivers: Take Control

   By The rivers

    Take Control is the new single form the highly rated UK sextet By The Rivers, a band which has already earned eager praise and a loyal following around their home town of Leicester and further afield. The single is a warm and vibrant blend of reggae and ska tinged enterprise which teases and caresses the senses into a warm and satisfied bliss.

Formed in 2010 by friends Nile Barrow (vocals/guitar) and Jordan Birtles(drums/vocals), By The Rivers has certainly been on a steady and rapid rise. Taking their passion for the sound, culture, and style of reggae and its roots, the pair soon recruited Will Todd (saxophone), Leo May (trumpet), Matt Willars (bass), and Sam Read (keyboard/guitar/backing vocals) to the mix. The first year saw the band venture into the live arena to rapturous responses and within their first seven gigs had lined up to support Dawn Kinnard, Neville Staples, Toploader, and Fun Lovin Criminals. The band was in strong demand with venues and promoters with the following year seeing the band support the likes of The Buzzcocks, Maxi Priest, Musical Youth, Dawn Penn, Saxon Sound, Neville Staple, and John Holt & The Specials. Their second EP repeated the success of their first with fans as did their debut single One Word, both earlier EPs receiving a full release as a single package in 2011, the release reaching second spot in the iTunes Reggae Album Charts, behind Bob Marley.

Released on Kompyla Records, second single Take Control shows with ease why the band is hailed as something special. Opening 1778070903-1with pulsating bass strokes and gentle yet fiery brass calls the song is an immediate temptation, its heated elegance and sinewy heart an instant magnet for the ear. A musical infection sets in even before the vocals have a place in the scheme of things with the fine tones of Barrow and Birtles elevating the existing satisfaction to greater depths. Limbs are recruited before the willing passions, both without defence to the magnetic melodic wash and inciting passion of the song musically and lyrically. It is a gentle yet formidable coaxing, a persuasive ‘call to arms’ which engages on every level, voice and thoughts willing recruits to the heart and breath of the song. Our knowledge of reggae and its history is sketchy at best but the same emotion and pleasure spawned from the best moments of UB40 and the current enterprise and emotion of Onlyjoe is prevalent throughout the song.

The track is accompanied by a remix by Radio Riddler (Fast & Frank Benibi of Fun Lovin Criminals)of the single and the excellent acoustic version of the song Don’t Stand Alone. The remix is a more than decent engagement which lights different shadows and flames from within the original song whilst the last song is a deeply impressive and pleasing wash of acoustic guitar, melodica, and the again delicious vocals and harmonies of the band founders. A fresh and uncomplicated breeze of emotive energy and mesmeric craft, the track would have made an irresistible single all on its own, the living melodic and harmonic contagion quite delicious.

By The Rivers is on the verge of big things and Take Control the compelling persuasion that it will be sooner rather than later. Just starting a tour of England, this is a band which brings something invigorating musically and emotionally to UK reggae and melodic enterprise.

https://www.facebook.com/bytherivers

RingMaster 22/01/2013

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