Diamond Days – We’ve Come A Long Way


Swiftly proving the growing buzz around them is bred from rich potential and an invigorating sound, UK alternative rock band Diamond Days are poised to release their We’ve Come A Long Way EP. Made up of four songs which burst with creative vitality and exuberant invention, the encounter is a captivating proposition which reveals there is still plenty more to uncover within the band but that they are knocking on the broadest spotlights already.

Bursting out of Liverpool, Diamond Days took time from forming to hone their sound before unleashing debut single Start It From The End. It was from there that the clamour over them began, the track drawing over 60,000 views and more than 20,000 followers across YouTube and Twitter swiftly from its unleashing. Backed up by a hunger to play live and just as potent stage performances, the band has earned a growing fan base and acclaim, being compared to the likes of You Me At Six and Fall Out Boy. Diving back into the studio to record their EP alongside producer Seb Berrios, Diamond Days have taken the next impressive step in their ascent, a rise which though still early days you can see finding rich horizons.

The EP opens with the outstanding Let Go, a track emerging from a distant and potent enticing to stride with sinew driven rhythms and drama clad riffs. It is soon exploring inventive scenery as electro spiced keys and sonic intrigue lurk to tease the imagination as the impressive vocals of guitarist Alex Fearn open up the narrative. He swiftly proves himself to be a stylish and accomplished provocateur as he leads the senses into a virulently catchy chorus, whilst his and the guitar of Tom Shepherd continually provide a fiery weave of melodies and sonic intrigue across the track which the rhythmic enticing of bassist TJ Jackson and drummer Mark Highdale punctuate and spear with skilled and energetic tenacity. The track, which has to be a single at some point, is an inescapable contagion for feet and emotions, its blend of ferocious and seductive adventure superbly marshalled by the vocals and crafted by the invention of the band.Diamond Days

The following Home (A Million Miles Away) also has a punch to its entrance and body though it is not quite as instantly commanding as its predecessor. With electro essences around a spicy and wiry tapestry of guitar endeavour, the song is soon taking its share of attention and emotions though. It has a bounce and confident swagger in all aspects which shines like a beacon in the heart of the encounter, whilst its infectious character is as sublimely persuasive as the song’s melodic textures and theatre

Featuring Harry Radford of Yashin, I Rewind lays down its own striking slice of melodic incitement and addictive vivacity next. Evolving around a great throaty bassline, the song flames and soars with vocal and sonic voracity, exploring new flavours and creative shades along the way. It creates a compelling web which is like Dead Til Friday meets Always The Quiet Ones, whilst is pop punk dynamics have a spice of Jimmy Eat World to them. Its rampant enticing leads into final song You’re Not Alone, an undemanding but again intriguing pop rock escapade revealing more of the inventive and melodic resourcefulness of the band. Though it does not quite have the spark of its predecessors, due to their impressive qualities, the track still leaves appetite wanting more and anticipation boiling up for the next encounter.

We’ve Come A Long Way is a treat of a bigger introduction to Diamond Days which without quite showing the band with a distinctly unique voice right now, has all the evidence to suggest it is coming and that we are set for more hunger feeding adventures ahead.

The We’ve Come A Long Way EP is available from 17th November via http://diamonddaysuk.bigcartel.com/


RingMaster 16/11/2014

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Embracer – My Father’s Will


Three months ago Imminence Records announced the signing of US indie rock/post-hardcore band Embracer and this week sees the unveiling of their label debut, the rather flavoursome and captivating My Father’s Will EP. Consisting of five imaginative and passionately presented tracks, the release is a rigorously enticing proposition from a band with the potential to make big strides ahead.

The West Virginian band initially began in 2010 as a hardcore fuelled encounter and with the name World Famous, but a name change with the release of the Dreamers EP came in 2011 revealed an emerging shifting and growth in the band and sound. Line-up changes and evolution in ideas and invention, before and from that time, saw the band begin its development into the fiery melodic rock proposal before us with My Father’s Will. Inspired by the likes of Johnny Cash, Miles Davis, Circa Survive, Polyneso, Balance and Composure, and This Will Destroy You, Embracer has been a determined force, battling the less than supportive Charleston music scene. They have continued though to brew up attention and a potent fan base which the Matt Malpass (Dance Gavin Dance, Hey Monday, Relient K, Manchester Orchestra) recorded My Father’s Will can only reinforce and accelerate.

It is always important to make a good first impression in any aspect of life, and it is fair to say that Embracer makes a striking one with opener A Man Without Country. A sultry twang of melodic guitar coaxes ears at first to be swiftly joined by the impressive tones of vocalist Jordan Bradley, his voice expressive and potent ensuring lyrics and emotions get a clear airing from within songs. Guitarists Karl Shaver and Ryan Pullin cast enticing chords and melodies around him whilst drummer Zakk Garcia and bassist Dylan Costinteen build an unimposing but sinew lined frame across and through it all. Essences of melodic and alternative rock also colour the post hardcore fuelled track, every moment a fascinating and unpredictable portrait of sound and emotion.

It is an outstanding start swiftly matched by the following Downtrodden. There is a similarity in the cavernous production of the vocals at certain times and the ebbing and flowing of the intensity across the powerful encounter, but polaroid 1500 suqare 300 dpisimilarly there is an individual presence and drama to the gripping adventure. The song reminds of now demised Dead Til Friday across its inventive temptation, never a bad comparison, and also in its smouldering infectiousness of Able Archer, the track even in is restrained gait discovering a persistent bounce.

My Sons My Brothers sidles gracefully up to ears next, again a single guitar stroking senses and thoughts with its evocative melodies before the track expands its expressive and creative breath. By the third song it is easy to see that there is a familiarity between songs if not quite a firm similarity, structures and textures never straying from a seemingly shared template. Despite that though, there is little to defuse the lure and potency of songs, this track a melancholic but vibrant and thickly emotive offering of predominantly instrumental skill and enterprise.

Band and release continue to impress with the emotionally full-blooded Anastasia and finally its punchy title track. The first of the two is a thrilling and pungent wash of raging melodies and vocal emotion. The most inventively colourful and flirtatious track on the release, it steals the passions like no other, almost alone making Embracer a prospect to nail to the radar. It’s mouth-watering quality and provocative beauty makes way for the rich passion and inflamed emotive hues of the last song, My Father’s Will a tender but rugged blaze of melodic fire and stirring expression across an equally intense skeleton of rhythms and bracing shadows. It is a fine end to an excellent first look for us at Embracer, an encounter which already has bred keen anticipation for their next endeavour.

There are no major negatives to conjure up about the release though certainly tracks are closely related in many ways to require closer focus to stop a few merging. There is also for personal tastes an overuse of the hollow effect on Bradley’s vocals across the album which niggles rather than lures, and he certainly does not need any assistance from technology to impress it should be noted, but these are small things which will iron out as the band grows. Right now Embracer is a highly promising and definitely enjoyable proposition, the evidence is all there in My Father’s Will.

The My Father’s Will EP is available now via Imminence Records @ http://imminencerecords.bandcamp.com/album/my-fathers-will


RingMaster 05/11/2014

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The Karma Party – Illumination EP

TKP High Res 1

Last year The Karma Party unleashed one of the most thrilling confrontational propositions with the Dark Matters EP and now they return with another voraciously captivating and antagonistic incitement in the shape of the Illumination EP. Continuing the ferocious blend of punk, dub, and hardcore infused with plenty more invigorating flavours, which marked out their last release as an essential moment of 2013, the UK quintet has honed their ‘punk-step’ incitement into an even more inventive and evocative adventure. Without losing the snarl and bite of their politically charged lyrical intent, there is a new maturity and exploration within their songwriting and sound as evidenced on the new EP, an evolution which again results in an irresistible stirring up of thoughts and emotions.

Hailing from Blackpool, The Karma Party as mentioned made a potent and imposingly striking introduction with Dark Matters last year, surrounding and following it with a live presence which was as much a lure to the passions of fans as their release. Touring extensively with bands such as Random Hand, Dirty Revolution, and Jaya the Cat, the band in between EPs additionally recruited guitarist James Routh, also the bassist for Sonic Boom Six, into the line-up of vocalist Marc ‘Merc ‘ Walker, guitarist Liam Carroll, bassist Dave Cowley, and drummer Luke Hesketh. Now The Karma Party as expected go for the jugular with their new release, a commanding encounter which sets ears aflame, thoughts provoked, and passions stirred.

Opening track World War instantly proves the band has lost none of its antagonistic prowess musically and lyrically, emerging from distant scenery with electro enticing it erupts into a muscular imposing of jarring rhythms and jagged TKP Illumination 1500x1500riffs entwined with sonic grooves. Shards of electronic expulsions litter the growing landscape of the song all the time whilst the vocals of Walker and the band prowl with provocative intent across the brooding drama. It is not as dramatic an entrance as you might surmise but a severely compelling one which soon adds extra seduction through the smooth croon of Walker before unleashing a sinew clad bounce of contagiousness for the chorus. There is an edge of King Prawn to the track once into its full stride as well as the insatiable revelry of Sonic Boom Six which maybe was inevitable with Routh producing the DIY release, but also a rawness which adds an extra lacing of causticity and attitude. The song continues to engage ears with shifting invention and thoughts with its firm yet not preachy lyrical narrative for a thoroughly captivating and potent start to the release.

It is a beginning soon taken to another level with the following Under Surveillance. A track which carries an air of Asian Dub Foundation from around their Punkara album, it opens with a delicious carnival like tease of sound which is soon stomping with contentious resourcefulness and devilry. It is a mesmeric introduction enhanced by the riveting throaty sound of Cowley’s bass. Into its keen punchy stride, the song stalks and inspires the imagination addictively, vocals pushing the honest narrative whilst guitars and keys create a web of infectious mischief and commanding intimidation which like the emerging invention simply ignites the senses. Easily one of the most imaginatively virulent persuasions to come along this year, the track steals the passions with ease.

Democracy offers its own belligerent sound and scathing vocal incitement next, the track as raw as it is adversarial. From a relatively underwhelming start, compared to its predecessors anyway with the production less sharp than elsewhere especially around the vocals, the track brews up a punk bred endeavour which soon takes its own specific slice of the emotions. Riffs and hooks almost taunt with their temptation whilst keys and melodies bring a toxicity which flourishes within the punk challenge and a subsequent dub- step enterprise. It is a strong and rigorously convincing track but one which feels pale against the previous tracks and the next up End of an Empire. With a ska seeded jangle of riffs and pungently probing swipes of rhythms aligned to thought challenging vocals, the track toys with band harmonies and floating melodies from the keys to impressive effect before building a climax which fires up the senses with agitated energy and sonic vivacity.

The EP is closed by its title track, arguably the most boldly inventive song on the encounter. Piano and vocals with reflective expression and melodic balladry open up the track before growing a bloom of energetic pop infused incitement which is as catchy as it is surprising. The track reminds of now demised band Dead Til Friday who themselves crafted a spellbinding melodic seduction of a song which startled from the band’s more expected direction. The Karma Party though is not a band to let the listener settle easily, turning the elegant poise and magnetic suasion of their song into a fury driven rabidity to match the attack of the lyrical side of the track. With metallic riffs and badgering beats crowding ears as forcibly as the vocals, the song is a dramatic treat which until its last breath persists in wrong footing and exciting its recipient.

It is a strong and potential loaded shift in the band’s sound, and one which probably takes a little longer to tightly grip than the songs which raged in first release. But with a striking boldness to their growing invention and that ridiculously captivating flair The Karma Party has for igniting everything from ears to feet, imagination to emotions, Illumination is another excuse to hail its creators as one of the UK’s seriously impressive and exciting bands.

Illumination EP is available now digitally @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/id904057478 and physically @ http://thekarmaparty.bigcartel.com/



RingMaster 12/08/2014

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Interview with Adam McKee of Dead ‘Til Friday

The moment the video for The Longest Year from Belfast band Dead ‘Til Friday grabbed our attention with its unbridled fun and enthused aggression further investigation of the band was a no brainer. Their current EP Water further impressed and set the band as one to watch closely over the year ahead with their stirring blend of rap metal and inventive rock sounds igniting a strong anticipation for future sounds from the quintet. Wanting to know more about Dead ‘Til Friday we had the pleasure of getting vocalist Adam McKee to answer our questions about the band and their music.

Hello and welcome to The RingMaster Review

Firstly would you introduce the band and members?

I’m Adam I sing, we’ve also got Conhuir and Steve who play guitar, Jonny on bass and Colin on Drums.

How and when did the band begin?

The band began in around 2007/2008 but there’s been a few line-up changes since then and the band has only really been this formation for the past year or so.

Is Dead ‘Til Friday the first band for you all?

Not at all, we’ve all been in previous bands before, myself and Conhuir we’re in a band called Acidtone, Steve played alongside us in other local bands for a few years, also Colin and Jonny have been in a few local bands before too.

What was the influence for the band name?

The band name came from a random conversation on a night out between Colin and our previous vocalist/guitarist, they joked a bit about it and said it would make a great band name, and hey, it stuck!

Your sound is a feisty blend of rap metal, muscular riffs and infectious melodic choruses what are the influences that have added shape to your music?

Feisty? Haha, cool! Yea, I myself have been singing and rapping like this for years now. We listen to a VERY large spectrum of music between us all. The metal side of things isn’t normally what I would listen to myself in my free time. All in all it’s a great thing because when it comes to writing we’re never stuck for ideas, melodies or riffs.

You and another great metal band Gacy’s Thread come from Belfast so what is the metal and rock scene like there for bands and fans?

The metal scene at the moment is great! We’ve also recently proved it by heading a short distance outside of Belfast and the amount of bands looking to play Belfast is exciting. The bands and band members look out for each other, which is awesome; we definitely all help each other and do our best for the scene.

Is there a bond between the bands in Belfast that bands in other cities especially in the rest of the UK do not have with each other?

Yes and no, haha, we would definitely be more tight knit being on an island with other bands compared to the likes of America or Europe where everyone is so much further apart. We can also relate to the same struggles you go through trying to get touring and travelling overseas as much as possible. If we don’t all help each other out then we all kind of lose out at the end of the day.

As you mentioned you formed around 2008, how has the band evolved over the subsequent four years or so?

Our sound is one of the big things that has definitely evolved, especially through the line-up changes I mentioned earlier. A different vocalist and song writer definitely changed things up a lot, but this line-up and sound is very solid now, it takes any band a little time to find this and we’re excited! 🙂

The last two years appear to have been the biggest to date for the band, touring alongside bands Your Demise and Lower Than Atlantis, sharing the stage with the likes of Skindred, And So I Watch You From Afar and Forever Never, plus a prestigious slot at the Tennent’s Vital Festival to name a few notable moments. Has this time felt like a sudden intense elevation for you as a band in the same way that it appears to us on the outside?

Definitely, it’s a whole world of emotions all at once, fear, excitement, joy etc… but the key thing it has given us all is the hunger for it, every one of the opportunities and shows you mentioned gave great clarity to why we’re doing what we’re doing.

Tell us more about the Tennent’s Vital Festival; I believe you played to 50,000 with a slot between Jimmy Eat World and The Kaiser Chiefs?

Yea, we were nervous, but I think we certainly held our own. It was both surreal and exciting all at once, it’s a little hard to put into words almost! We got an amazing response to our heavier sound we have was great! We’d do it all again in heart beat! Haha!

Last year saw the release of your excellent EP Water, but I am led to believe there was an earlier release before that?

Thank you! Yeah there was a few EPs previous, but they were from a previous line-up or formation of the band, it certainly doesn’t represent us now.

Water grabs the attention with its great hard hitting insatiable sounds; did it exceed your expectations response wise?

Every time new ears hear it with touring we’re overwhelmed by the response! We love all our fans and it’s amazing to see it mean so much to people we don’t even know. Even simple things like people taking off work to come to one of our shows just blows our minds.

The Longest Year is the song from the EP which really grabs the listener by the throat and wonderfully demands attention; it must be a big crowd favourite at your live shows?

It definitely gets a sing along that’s for sure. We found the video release helped immensely for people to identify with it live.

Can you tell us about that video of the same song?

Sure. We shot the video with the very talented Darren Lee of Maverick Renegade Productions in an old abandoned warehouse in Downpatrick. We spent a day of filming close up, slow-motion and all the band shots, then to top it all off we even brought down some of our mates for the crowd shots and made them go mental.  We must have heard the same song 200 times, haha, but it was a lot of fun.

Turning back to the Water EP, you usually seem tagged as a rap metal band but the release shows a much more diversity to your sound. Do you feel frustrated at the more limiting tag you seem to be generally given?

Not at all, we find people need to give a name or tag to something these days so we just tend to go along, we’ve seen it called many different things, which is great cause it shows us people are taking an interest at least.

How does the songwriting process work within Dead ‘Til Friday?

Our guitarist Conhuir usually starts the ball rolling with a good riff and initial structure then ideas flow from there. We all then help out with structure, lyrics and other wee ideas usually.

With the band having a strong reputation and following across both sides of the border in Ireland it seems, is the UK the next centre of attention for you or are you looking further afield for 2012?

Definitely! We travelled to the UK last year and done a few days and met some new friends on the way, we could only hope we can keep going back and making strong connections and see some interest grow.

You are known for a firm DIY approach as with the EP release, is this something you always intended or simply the only option available to you right now?

A whole lot more of the first, we are lucky to have such a talented producer (Conhuir) in the band already we didn’t really feel the need to splash out on studio time etc.

I believe you are working on your debut album? How is that going and when are we likely to feel its pleasures?

We are indeed! It’s going great and we’re spending a lot of focused time on it at the moment. You can feel some of its pleasures now in our live show, but for the actual release we’ll be aiming for sometime mid to late 2012 after our over the top quality control gets a look at it, haha!

What is next for Dead ‘Til Friday as we move further into 2012 apart from the album?

The album is our main focus at the moment, but we have a few other things planned for around that time too.

Have you given yourselves any aims or objectives as a band for the coming year?

Haha, other than knuckling down and keeping doing what we’re doing not really. We’re going all out on the new album and focusing all our attention to it to try and make it the best it can possibly be!

Thanks so much for talking to us.

Would you like to finish by telling people who find you in a venue near them why they MUST come watch you?

It’s a no brainer! We’ll wreck the place and let them join in on the action! 😉

The Ringmaster Review 29/02/2012

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