The NX – Night Heaver

Photo Credit_ Robbie Shakeshaft Radcliffe Studios

Hitting the listener like a venomously swung sledgehammer in its first breath and proceeding to increase in hostility and brilliance from thereon in, Night Heaver simply blows thoughts and emotions away. The debut EP from British hard rock/metallers The NX, the four track onslaught is a dramatic and breath-taking introduction to a band sure to make a major impact on the UK music scene if their first trespass of the senses is any evidence.

Possibly the strength and quality of Night Heaver could be expected as The NX features former members of The Casino Brawl in its line-up; nothing is ever guaranteed though and the band swiftly show they are a unique and potential drenched proposition in their own right with the EP. Formed a few years ago in the north east of England, The NX soon bred a potent reputation and following as they proceeded to ignite venues with their live presence, which over the years has seen them play with the likes of The Chariot, This Is Hell, Enter Shikari, Bring Me The Horizon, Penknife Lovelife, Heights, Yashin, Job for A Cowboy, The Casino Brawl, Deaf Havana, Devil Sold His Soul amongst many more. Returning from a prolonged hiatus, the band unleashed their creative fury again from the end of 2013, a new line up and appetite to create more contagiously aggressive shows and sounds driving the band’s return, which has included so far successful tours with Funeral For A Friend, Hacktivist, and The Blackout. It has all added to a growing anticipation for the band’s debut EP, and there is no doubt that Night Heaver feeds all hopes and wants with ease whilst providing much more.

Lonnie Johnson’s Greatest Hit is an immediate raging bellow in the ears but equally a compelling web of heavy rock grooves and spicy hooks with a tempestuous rhythmic incitement. Quite swiftly like a blend of Every Time I Die, Turbonegro, and Cancer Bats with its own distinctive roar, the track takes no prisoners. The venomous vocal squalls of Warby Warburton intrude and entice with rasping causticity whilst the spicy hooks and scorching grooves of Mark Thirtle seduce and scar with equal tenacity. There is also great unpredictability to the track which shines out, PromoImagethe sudden twists and dips into intriguing and at times sinister invention, mouth-watering and ear catching.

It is a potent start but personally just an appetiser for bigger and better things to come, starting with The Great Unwashed. The second track immediately has a dirty air to its breath and opening riffs, an antagonistic nature which is urged in by the great bassline cast by Glen Holmes and spread with intensity through the swiftly following blaze of guitar punctured by the viciously swung beats of drummer Luke Walker. Every syllable spat from Warburton comes with a soaking of malice, a rancor matched by the rest of the track though it too is unafraid to offer catchy hooks and anthemic vocal calls against the clanging steely tone of the guitars and an overall merciless ferocity.

Yet another plateau is breached with the following The Day It Rained Forever, the opening grouchy coaxing of another irresistible bassline aligning to thumping beats for the first potent bait from the song. Soon though it is prowling and seducing as great cantankerous vocals, which initially hold a sobering air, add their interest in proceedings before they are venting with rich malevolence amidst a web of tangy grooves and psychotic rhythmic enterprise. As hardcore punk as it is metallically infused, the song is a glorious maelstrom which twists and turns as if it has the creative mania of St. Vitus Dance. Equipped with a closing noise fostered chorus which is impossible to leave alone, the track is one big reason for suspecting The NX will take their history to new major climes.

It is a suspicion done no harm by the other songs and especially the raging Let Sleeping Dogs Lie which brings the EP to an immense close. In a way opening in similar fashion to how its predecessor parted, the track brawls and violates the senses with another hardcore bred ferocity and corrosive inventiveness. Every riff scowl and hostile vocal expression exhausts and smothers the senses which in turn are invigorated by an incitement of hard rock melodies and spiky hooks which erupt and surge from time to time across the ever evolving provocation.

The song is an outstanding end to a tremendous release, the kind of debut fans were hoping and delivering a startling and thrilling adventure which declares The NX as a new inescapable force in British rock ‘n’ roll.

The Night Heaver EP is available from February 23rd on EP and digitally via Footloose Records and all stores.

https://www.facebook.com/thenxofficial

RingMaster 23/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Medusa – Headcase’s Handbook

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It is fair to say that Medusa’s last album Can’t Fucking Win kicked up a potential drenched storm which grabbed the attention of a great many. It was a potent and thrilling stomp with a fiery character and a middle finger raising attitude which pushed the London trio into a broader spotlight. Its successor Headcase’s Handbook is spawned from the same belligerent seeds but comes with a new richness of adventure, songwriting, and quite simply creative maturity. It is fuelled by punk fired rock ‘n’ roll and makes another pungent step in the ascent of the inventive tempest that is Medusa.

Formed in 2006 by vocalist/guitarist Julian Molinero, Medusa swiftly made an impression with their self-titled album which came out in a matter of weeks after the start of the band. It was an eighties inspired entrance which made a strong base from which the band’s sound and eventually second album Can’t Fucking Win was bred. Recorded with producer Romesh Dodangoda, Medusa’s 2011 sophomore album showed an evolution in all aspects of the band yet still held onto the striking raw and honest core which lit up its predecessor. That same breath of sound frequents Headcase’s Handbook but as before comes with another leap in depth and growth which is as open and forceful as it is mouth-wateringly enterprising. Recorded with producer Lee Batiuk (Deaf Havana) at Regal House Studio, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, the album roars and flirts with salacious intent and imagination, the band unleashing a hungry and bracing dose of honest rock ‘n’ roll.

The RingMaster Review was honoured to be the band’s first port of call with the album within days of its completion, and we were instantly hooked and gripped by a broad smile as the release began its feisty persuasion with opener Sid and Nancy. A whine of guitar leads into choppy riffs and the expressive tones of Molinero, the combination an immediate lure which only flares with stronger persuasion when the track brings out its punk antagonism in voice and riffs. Instantly contagious and increasingly more so as the bass of Milo De Nack flirts with ears and the imposing beats of drummer Stefan Hale, the track is a raw and insatiable riot starting things off explosively, one with a poise and resourcefulness which right away highlights the band’s evolution between releases.

Things take another step up with Lip Service, a track bringing again that punk rock tenacity into a hard rock web of spicy guitar craft from Molinero, a weave completed with equally tangy riffs and hooks. This is courted by a just as coverinfectious rhythmic and vocal adventure, neither bursting their boundaries but both aspects bringing the heart of the track rich and catchy expression. It is an outstanding song continuing the impressive start to the album, a loft plateau which is not quite matched by either the following Absinthe Minded or Luxury Crisis. Both tracks though reveal further intriguing and inescapably appealing facets and twists to the character of album and sound for a lingering satisfaction. The first merges melodic country kissed rock with a blues flaming for a tantalising caress of provocative and imaginative endeavour complete with evocative washes of guitar and mandolin like vivacity. Though it lacks the spark of the first songs, it grips ears and appetite with ease much as its successor, a song with an inventive canvas of rolling and roaming rhythms picked at by a repetitive sonic plucking. This is coloured by the impassioned vocal delivery of Molinero and melodic enterprise extending from that riveting initial guitar temptation.

Lydia stomps in next, riffs and beats almost furious in their strength and voracity before relaxing into a more controlled but no less fiery stroll. Not for the first or last time there is a feel of Hagfish to the punkier edge and contagion of the song whilst the melodic enticing of the encounter has a classic lilt which comes with a whisper of Turbonegro in its texture. The track almost brawls with the senses leaving them greedy for more, a want fed by the different but just as flavoursome Call of the Abyss. Again predominantly punk and hard rock meet in a rigorous collision of catchy and unfussy rock ‘n’ roll, though there is plenty more spicing the song’s unpredictable and passionate presence as it tightly grips thoughts and emotions.

As masterful and compelling as the two tracks are they are overshadowed a little by The Sweetest Elixir and its thrilling temptation. Electronic toning wraps ears first before heavily striding beats and velvety basslines join the successful coaxing. Lording over this is the excellent vocal lure of Molinero, his smoother delivery drawing the listener swiftly in to the track’s narrative. As it weaves and swerves with bass and guitar imagination, the song swells in potency and invention, becoming the pinnacle of the album with its melodic emprise. It is a delicious song, as mentioned a major peak in the release, setting a touch challenge for the following track to try and rival, a test which Black Snow more than takes in its bordering on deranged stride. A maelstrom of disorientated rhythms and sonic bluster sets the persuasion in motion before it breaks free to establish a predatory and intimidating shadowed clad prowl. With vocals back on more crazed intent and the bass finding its throatiest intimidation yet, the track rages and roars with irresistible animosity and persuasion. It is a fury though which ingeniously explores more reserved and experimental tendencies too and an emotional veracity and ire, the result one more seriously impressing proposition.

The album closes with firstly the more restrained rock ‘n’ roll of Think It Over, a track not bursting with surprises but loaded with anthemic potency and finally the acoustic ballad Cherry Red. The song is a strong end to close out the album on a high, even if not one getting the blood boiling. There is little to dismiss it for though, and it ensures Headcase’s Handbook departs on a lingering touch.

Medusa gets better and bigger with every release, Headcase’s Handbook proof and easily their finest moment to date. It should be a break-through release for the band and if it just misses out on that success, whilst surely drawing a wealth of attention and acclaim its way, you can be sure the band will make that strike sooner rather than later.

Headcase’s Handbook is available now via Cyberpunk Records and @ http://medusaworld.bandcamp.com/album/headcases-handbook

http://www.medusaworld.co.uk

RingMaster 02/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Alone With Wolves – The End of Nothing EP

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Fusing an impressive and striking fusion of heavy rock with a voracious metal intensity, UK band Alone With Wolves has a sound which sits easily within the varied shades of metalcore and post-hardcore as well as quite simply rock and metal. The proof is in the band’s new The End of Nothing EP, a five track collision of flavours which combine for a passion drenched and thoroughly captivating tempest of sound and emotion. The band on the evidence of their impressive second release, fuse the strongest essences of those previously mentioned styles into something which has a familiarity to its angst and presentation but an individual freshness which sets the Hertfordshire sextet apart from most of the crowd.

Formed in 2011, Alone With Wolves were swiftly into a charge of shows across the South of the UK, including sharing stages with the likes of Hildamay and Mallory Knox. The band was soon recruiting a passionate fan base and following, which their self-titled EP of 2012 only reinforced and pushed on. Their sound is simultaneously melodic and ferocious, as mentioned combining a varied weave of flavours inspiring comparisons to bands such as Alterbridge, Architects, 30 Seconds to Mars, and Deaf Havana. Alone With Wolves has certainly been brewing up potent attention to date which the new EP has the potential and power to take to a nationwide spotlight.

It launches itself with a sonic enticement as Cutting Ties sizes up ears before expanding into an imposing but inviting mix of raw riffs and melodic enterprise driven by sinew swinging rhythms and a great throaty bass sound. It is not a 13606_925710967443706_5848660365238708299_ndramatic but certainly appetite awakening start which the combined persuasion of vocal roars from guitarist Lewis Watson and the clean magnetic melodic tones of Danilo Fiocco are soon colouring with emotion. The track is as antagonistic as it is enticing, two sides merging for a fiercely potent and adventurous blaze of sound which ebbs and flows in its rage and intensity. It never settles into a less than voracious stance though, the rhythms of drummer James Noble and bassist Mark Stanford fuelling a creative hostility whilst guitarists Watson and Kieron Baker craft an enthralling narrative of riffs and melodic endeavour.

The strong start is followed by the raw opening brawl of the title track which is soon sharing the suasion of a great contagious and melodic weave aligned to Fiocco’s impressive delivery backed by Stanford and rivalled by the squalling tones of Watson. The song is an appetising encounter which feeds expectations at first but a sudden shift into rugged metal territory and subsequently a seductive flight of expressive melodies soon has intrigue and unpredictability as vocal as the passion and enterprise drenching the track.

My Life In Your Hands has a more metalcore cored explosiveness to its presence but again the at times almost duelling vocals and emotive ideation of guitars takes the song to a powerfully satisfying adventure. The least dramatic of all the tracks, it still potently feeds an open hunger inspired by its predecessors, the invention of Baker impressing especially, before the outstanding enticement of The Change takes over. A more tempered and melodic hug from the start but with a sturdy intent to the muscular rhythms framing the impassioned drive of the expressive hues and vocals, the song croons with an intimacy which is arguably less open in other tracks. It is no lightweight though, jagged riffs and thumping beats a demanding proposition caging the raw beauty within. With only the fade out of a quite climactic finale annoying, it is the biggest highlight of the encounter.

The closing With You In Mind is an intensively imposing onslaught of rhythmic provocation and senses bruising aggressiveness which still embraces a mouth-watering flame of sonic and melodic invention. It is as mesmeric as it is challenging and an enthralling tempest of invention and passion to bring The End of Nothing to a climactic conclusion.

It is fair to say that The End of Nothing EP did not ignite a raging fire in the belly for it but it is one of the most invigorating metalcore/post hardcore releases this year and the spark to a real hunger to hear more from a band with a very healthy future ahead.

The End of Nothing EP is available from September 1st and available through all good digital outlets.

https://www.facebook.com/alonewithwolves

http://awwofficial.bandcamp.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 31/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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ALONE WITH WOLVES find the ‘End Of Nothing’ on 1st September.‏

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ALONE WITH WOLVES ANNOUNCE NEW EP

Hertfordshire metal outfit ‘Alone With Wolves’ are rapidly carving a prominent name for themselves, as they launch out of the underground and aim for the jugular of the UK scene, loaded with their brand new EP ‘The End Of Nothing’, out 1st September.

Hailing from the depths of Hertfordshire and North London, ‘Alone With Wolves’ were born in 2011 and despatch a sound that tips its hat to everyone from Alterbridge and Architects, to 30 Seconds to Mars and Deaf Havana. With aggressive and bouncy riffs that contrast the rich and gentle sections of their songs, Alone With Wolves produce music that is accessible, yet original. Fronted by Danilo Fiocco, who shows off his beautiful Brazilian flair with infectious melodies that will cling to you for eons, and pitched against Lewis Watson’s raw and brutal screams, they have unearthed a stunning partnership.

The rising post-hardcorers have a strong work ethic and have gigged extensively throughout the South playing with the likes of Hildamay and Mallory Knox along the way. The quintet also recently won the M2TM battle of the bands contest, and as such, earned themselves a slot at this year’s Bloodstock Festival. Now the band is geared up to take the masses by storm, with the irresistible weaponry of their sound and brand new EP ‘The End Of Nothing’.

‘The End Of Nothing’ is rammed with cut throat riffery, thoughtful phrasing, and explosive and engaging vocal lines. From the blistering opening of the stunning ‘Cutting Ties’ and the pounding full-throttle hammerings of the EP’s namesake ‘The End Of Nothing’, to the dynamic and majestic ‘The Change’, and the explosive unbridled vigour of ‘My Life In Your Hands’, ‘The End Of Nothing’ is proof that Alone With Wolves are sure to be a prominent force in the UK scene for many years to come.

- ALONE WITH WOLVES RELEASE ‘THE END OF NOTHING’ ON MONDAY 1st SEPTEMBER -

https://twitter.com/AWW_UK          https://www.facebook.com/alonewithwolves

 

Of Allies – Tempers EP

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It might not set heartbeats racing and get thoughts animatingly blazing, but UK alternative rockers Of Allies provide a potent introduction with their Tempers EP. The debut release from a band still in its infancy after only forming last year, makes a strong and potential drenched statement, gripping attention with a quintet of richly satisfying tracks. With a sound which merges alternative and indie rock with strains of melodic metal, EP and band show plenty to excite the senses whilst raising a keen appetite for their future explorations.

Emerging from the depths of Yorkshire, the Hull based quartet of vocalist/guitarist Rich Nichols, guitarist/vocalist Tom Hewson, bassist Nick Tyldsley, and drummer Danny Barrick has already been drawing keen attention since their emergence a few short months ago. First single and video, Ghosts caught the eye and ears of BBC Introducing whilst their live performances has only recruited more and more eager followers. The Matt Elliss produced Tempers EP is the band’s nationwide entrance and it is hard not to expect seeing Of Allies coming under a much stronger spotlight because of it.

From its first expressive caress of vocals over a lone melody, opener Ghosts intrigues and holds the imagination tight. It is a gentle start which is swiftly enhanced by a rumbling of rhythms and an emerging web of guitar crafted melodic rsz_temperscover2enticement. The potent entrance is soon aflame with sturdier intensity and a sonic blaze whilst a somewhat familiar glaze washes over the brewing drama. Comparisons to the likes of Deaf Havana and Twin Atlantic have been cast over the band but across this outstanding starter, thoughts of Three Days Grace and more so Sick Puppies definitely comes to mind. The song grows in stature within its virulent call and across subsequent listens, its weighty persuasion and the band’s creative tenacity increasingly irresistible bait.

The following Our Decay is less immediate in its entrance, though the early sonic groove and throaty bassline sparks another smacking of lips in an already awoken appetite for the release. Rhythms again ooze sinew built temptation to steer thoughts and emotions skilfully into the emotive heart of the song, a core with a passionate roar and musical ferocity. Across its body the track continues to swarm engagingly over ears with melodic elegance aligned to evocative textures, gliding into those climactic and incendiary crescendos time and time again. Another big highlight of the release, the excellent encounter is followed by In Screens, a track offering scythes of sonic coaxing across a moody almost predatory bass sound at its start. Its subsequent emotively driven presence does not have the strength and potency of its predecessors but still takes ears and thoughts on a stirring ride of passion soaked melodies within a dramatic cloud of restrained crisp rhythms and inviting sonic squalls. It is a pleasing and easy to digest venture providing further evidence of the band’s impressive songwriting and craft, both reinforced by the mellower and sultrily aired In Stasis. Again it is a proposition which does not light fires but immerses the listener in a rich and captivating wash of emotion and creative intensity to leave a flavoursome mark.

The closing Play Dead hugs ears with a beauty clad vocal and guitar elegance, kissing the senses before forging a net of sonic insistence and rhythmic drama to which melodies and fiery guitars expel a strikingly passionate and contagious wind of suasion. It is an outstanding end to the release, a song which out of them all most openly shows the depth and richness of the potential within Of Allies.

The excellent The Tempers EP is not going to set volcanic ripples within British rock but has all the armoury and quality to earn a strong spotlight on its impressive entrance and leave a keen smouldering intrigue for the band’s next move.

The self-released Tempers EP is available now!

http://ofallies.com/

8/10

RingMaster 08/07/2014

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Out For Tomorrow – You’ll Find A Way

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There seemed to be a rather healthy wave of anticipation for You’ll Find A Way, the debut album from UK alternative rockers Out For Tomorrow and now having had its collection of melodically bred encounters roaming around ears and imagination it is easy to understand why. Consisting of ten skilfully crafted and passionately delivered songs which manage to seduce and incite with resourceful enterprise and vivacious energy, the release provides a richly promising and impressively accomplished full introduction to the Bristol quintet. It is fair to say that the album does not light big fires in the passions at any point across its flowing adventure but it certainly captured the imagination and bred a keen appetite for itself and the band’s horizons.

Taking inspirations from You Me At Six and Taking Back Sunday into their own ideation, influences which make the most potent comparisons across the album also, Out For Tomorrow soon after forming had attentions turning their way with their feisty live performances which including sharing stages with the likes of Lower Than Atlantis and Deaf Havana and then their first EP World On Your Side last year. The release sparked a bigger spotlight across the country and was followed by Bring Me The Horizon guitarist Lee Malia getting in touch with the band, leading to them working on new material together alongside producer Phil Gornell of Steel City Studio. The result is the impressive You’ll Find A Way, an album which stirs up a sizeable impression for itself.

Opening track White Noise emerges with a ticking coaxing, its entrance a timed fuse to an evocative and emotionally intense premise OFT - Cover - Low Res #1which does not explode but offers a captivating and potent first caress with a magnetic initial lure of chipping stabs and melody soaked flames from guitarists Jack Isaacs and Ashley Scott. The thumping but restrained rhythms of drummer Ben Havercroft also make a strong bait for thoughts and appetite to seize hold of; it all combining for an appealing enticement prowled by the slightly covered but impacting bass of Lee McGarel. The song swells and flows engagingly around the senses but it is the impressive voice and soaring tones of Ben Lumber which seal the deal for a striking start, a beginning just as powerfully and enjoyable continued by Give Me A Reason which flows from within the first song. Holding a punkish breath and sinew to its body, the track like the first casts a potent impression and as it proceeds, it’s stretching arms of melodies and vocal harmonies within a cage of provocative textures only reinforcing the reactions. There is rich infectious air to the song too which persists even within the fiery intensive moments that consume ears.

Both the radiantly contagious Your Shining Star and the vigorously smouldering One Last Time inspire a stronger hunger for their sounds, the first a pop punk seeded croon which again is more than happy to strength its walls with a muscular frame entwined in inventive sonic charm whilst the second spreads from a sultry opening suasion into an emotive blaze which roars and simmers alternatively to tease out reflections. Both songs keep enjoyment high and the album under a firmly attentive gaze, and though originality is not as vivid as the sounds it’s lacking is impressively replaced by the craft and inventive endeavour of the band.

   Strike A Match is another song which arrives on a stirring train of intrigue and thrilling enterprise though unlike many others it holds onto its striking character and temptation once the heart bred melodies and harmonies blow hot and powerfully across the landscape of the track. Infusing an almost metallic incitement to its riveting body, the track is a virulent fire of contagiousness and expression which subsequently provides the pinnacle of the album.

The brief You Belong With Me makes for a mesmeric and enchanting interlude before the throaty triumph of If I Could Have You, with another unveiled impressive bass stroll matching the similarly colourful guitar hues, and the climactic You Are Your Own Enemy lie lingering persuasions upon thoughts and emotions. Again there are no major surprises but over time and numerous adventures with the album, unpredictable twists and underlying creative invention emerge to increase the weight and strength of the propositions.

The album closes with two more highly pleasing encounters in the immensely effective shapes of The Nicest Thing and Take My Place, the pair again carefully and passionately crafted songs which leaves the release as a memorable finale. With You’ll Find A Way, Out For Tomorrow has easily appeased any anticipation and expectations likely to have been awaiting its release and though it does not quite light a fire in the belly of voracious thrills it easily uncages the strength and potential of the band and like so many others for sure we will be watching them very closely.

The self-released You’ll Find A Way is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/youll-find-a-way/id868159995

https://www.facebook.com/outfortomorrow

8/10

RingMaster 06/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

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I Divide – Last One Standing

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Expect the healthy buzz around UK melodic rock band I Divide to take on a stronger accelerated urgency as the band unleash their debut album Last One Standing. Containing eleven impassioned anthems crafted upon poetic melodies and stirring emotionally driven energy, the album lights up ears and imagination with consummate and accomplished ease. Whether the band is providing anything new to digest can be debated, comparisons to the likes of You Me At Six, Mallory Knox, and Deaf Havana very apt, but they create a thoroughly compelling and imaginative persuasion which cannot be denied or for the most resisted. It is an album destined to thrust the band into an intensive spotlight and recruit a fervour soaked increase in fans.

Out of Exeter and formed in 2011, the band first drew attention with their nine track release What’s Worth More that same year before pushing it wider by winning of the Red Bull Bedroom Jam in 2012. This led to numerous festival appearances at the likes of Download, Slam Dunk, and Hevy soon followed by a second Download appearance and playing the Reading and Leeds Festivals. It has been an impressive emergence helped further by touring with Funeral for a Friend and their own successful headline run. The release of the single Follow Me last year helped raise a strong anticipation for the band’s album, hopes and expectations now rewarded with a masterful collection of songs and imaginative enterprise.

The aforementioned single opens up the album; the emotive vocal cries of Tom Kavanagh, ably backed by those of guitarist Josh Wreford, LOS Packshotmoving in from a distance whilst keys caress the ears around them. It is a tempered but potent coaxing which soon launches its full energy through broad rhythmic punches from Dave Mooney and the increasing tempting sonic suasion of Wreford and Henry Selley. There is little time taken by Follow Me in hooking its contagious bait into the imagination, the dark bass of tones from Kristen Hughes more reserved in their presence but an equally dramatic colour to the impressive track. As is proven by all the songs, you need to settle and really dive into the track to fully unveil all of its mature and skilful essences with the surface gloss and attractive craft only half the story.

The following Tell Me Something has a similar feel and initial premise to its predecessor and if there is any nagging thing about the album it is the closeness some tracks are to each other in sound and structure, though again a closer detailed look reveals much more. The song wraps the ears in a finely textured and smoothly flowing breeze but against that there is a great snarl to the riffs and rhythmic intent which pleasingly complements and challenges the clean blaze of vocals and sonic endeavour. Once more the infectiousness of the track commands whilst the emotive expression of the vocals and guitar designs fully engage before making way for the new single from the album, I’m Not Leaving. Opening with a ballad kissed vocal and classical like keys, the song slowly bewitches the senses until bursting with a great chorus. There is something very familiar to the virulently catchy moment, whether from having heard the song previously and not realising, its closeness to other songs, or just evidence that the band is yet to find a unique voice for itself, but it is a magnetically captivating tempting which makes the whole song.

The sturdier Monster in Me shows the variety to the band’s invention , its sinews and towering rhythmic confrontation a welcome twist in the album though with the smooth and impressive vocal delivery, the track was going nowhere else than into another thoroughly pleasing melodic rock enticement. Arguably the first really open song of inventive adventure in its songwriting it is a major highlight on the album instantly matched by the rampant Cold at the Bottom, the song another to slowly unwind its body from an emotional slow caress before charging with purpose and colourful enticement across the passions. Again there is a richer adventurous invention to the song, marked by the swift and scorching solo which only pushes the album deeper into appreciation and the rather keen appetite sparked by the album.

Living in a Hurricane keeps heat and attraction from the album high, even if it slips back into that very agreeable but more familiar stance of songs before 27 Down, featuring the excellent tones of Rebecca Need-Menear from Anavae, explores another distractive variation. In many ways it is the vocal union which seals the honours but the song is a superbly crafted and creatively presented tempting from start to finish egging a hungry licking of the lips before both  Run Away and Say It Isn’t So take over and provide a feisty emotive anthem and mellow croon respectively.

The album comes to a close with firstly the bouncy energy and eagerness of Let Go, a track which brings another virulent lure to seduce feet and passions with, and lastly the excellent Look at Me Now. The final track is thick in drama, bass and guitars uncaging shadows for the melancholic tones of Kavanagh to lay his potent narrative. Tension builds across the song, rhythms adding their haunted drive before the song rather than exploding as expected relaxes into a stable continuation of that initial portentous enveloping. The climax of the song does increase in intensity and dramatic atmospheres, its closing hand almost early Cure like. It is a tremendous end to the release which almost alone shows the depths the band can still explore and its rich potential.

Last One Standing is an album you feel you already know and have heard before but it cannot stop itself and the band being one highly enjoyable and impressive proposition… and something to firmly recommend.

Last One Standing is out now via Destroy Everything Records

http://www.idivideband.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 14/04/2014

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