Leatherjacks – The Lost Arks Of Rock And Roll + singles

As the band get to work on its successor, we take a look back at the Leatherjacks debut album as well as subsequent singles as an introduction to their inventive rock ‘n’ roll. From São Paulo, Brazil and formed in 2016, Leatherjacks is the creation of singer, songwriter, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist Mauro Cordeiro and it was through his personal introduction that we were guided to the band’s first album, a flavoursome slab of heavy metal infused hard rock which has raised an eager anticipation for its upcoming successor.

With the inspiration of bands such as Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Thin Lizzy, George Benson, and Stray Cats among many others shaping his own musical imagination, The Lost Arks Of Rock And Roll was pretty much a solo project for Cordeiro despite attempting to find like-minded musicians to realise his intent. For the second album he has realised his hopes for a full band line-up with the addition of bassist Marcos Brandão and guitarist Rapha Gusto; a drummer still being sought as we write.

The Lost Arks Of Rock And Roll opens up with People (We’re Chosen Ones) and instantly had ears keenly attentive with its swinging groove and fiery touch. Riffs and rhythms simultaneously launch an infectious lure, the vocals of Cordeiro adding to the swift captivation. Certainly the song is not over ripe in uniqueness but quickly blossomed with fresh and imaginative enterprise through the open craft of its creator; that blending of classic and heavy metal with rousing hard rock providing a highly flavoured proposition which easily caught the appetite.

Next up Crocodile’s Heart has a more controlled gait and sonic calm though its simmer bubbled rapaciously throughout. An eighties metal spicing brings a catchy hue to the song which though it did not ignite ears as forcibly as its predecessor, left its pleasurable mark especially through Cordeiro’s guitar enterprise before Burning Wire grabbed attention with its web of wiry grooves and rousing rhythms honed into a manipulative slice of heavy rock ‘n’ roll with a deft melodic touch. Cordeiro has a passion for rockabilly among other sounds, a hue definitely behind the track’s tenacious and quickly addictive stomp.

Taking best track honours it is followed by the muscular roar of the track LeatherJacks. Once more heavy metal and imposing hard rock are blended for a proposal which almost preys on ears as it pleasures them; its tone as predacious as it is arousing before Emotions On Sale explores a more tender, ballad like side to the Leatherjacks invention. It still comes with a fire in its belly though; one which inflames its voice and intensity throughout a magnetic presence to forge another high point in the album’s already compelling body.

The Slammer was a song which did not quite hook up with personal tastes yet Cordeiro has a style and touch to his guitar play and songwriting which easily tempts as proven not for the first or last time by Do You Fucking Pay My Bills?, a raucous but defined rock ‘n’ roll assault riff armed and melody inflamed with attitude oozing every note and syllable.

The following instrumental MotoCross is a delicious metal ‘n’ roll incitement, craft and adrenaline fuelling its addictive antics before the album concludes on its title track. The final song was another which did not quite ignite the juices as those before but again bouncing to its contagion and returning to its fire for more was never in doubt.

The Lost Arks Of Rock And Roll is a highly enjoyable and accomplished release with really impressive moments which have only been built upon by subsequent singles; tracks hinting of bigger and bolder things to come with its successor. The end of 2017 saw Leatherjacks release I Hate To Fall In Love. A melodic romance with that ever present fire in its heart and lining, the song has a freshness to it which inescapably entices. It is a song written decades earlier but stands the test of time and with its new enterprise firmly pleasures though not as majorly as Persona Non Grata. A track presumably set to appear on the second album, which we believe will be called Songs For The Strangest Ones, it is superb. Immediately it reveals its infectious swagger, guitars and rhythms uniting in a flirtatious canter as vocals melodically share the song’s heart. Again familiarity and fresh endeavour do collude yet a union which invades ears and imagination with eager intent and adventure. The track is accompanied by the song Spells and Zombies Through the Night, an even bolder, more raucous offering which suggests that this new album once realised will eclipse all before.

The Lost Arks Of Rock And Roll and those singles are all available via iTunes.

http://www.leatherjacksofficial.com/    https://www.facebook.com/pg/leatherjacksofficial

 Pete RingMaster 12/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Sparks and passions: Calling All Astronauts 2018

Calling All Astronauts have been no strangers to attention and acclaim for their multi-flavoured and adventurously eclectic electro punk nurtured sound; albums and singles sparking eager ears and support with persistent success. They have inflamed the senses and zealous praise yet again with new EP, Influences; the London trio sharing some of their keenest inspirations in their own inimitable way. Thinking it was high time we caught back up with the band to talk about the EP, a new album and plenty more, we had the pleasure of grabbing some of vocalist David Bury’s time….

Hi and welcome back to The RingMaster Review.

It has been almost two years since we last talked with you, around the release of your album Anti-Social Network. Could you bring us up to date with all things CAA?

We released loads of singles from Anti-Social Network, all of them were really well received, as per usually we did loads of remixes and our ubiquitous low budget videos. We actually wanted to release every track as a single, but in the end didn’t want to be accused of flogging a dead horse, so there are still some absolute gems, that only people who bought the album will know

You have just released the Influences EP made up of a quartet of covers. What was the spark to its idea?

We started writing our next album early last year, however, my wife and I (David) had our first baby in August, so time was kind of against me, but we really wanted to release something new, so we thought it would be a good idea to record versions of four tracks, this then evolved into the idea that we’d make it a “Quadruple A-Sided” single, so we made videos for all four tracks, and had them staggered two weeks apart on the streaming sites and YouTube, having to send promo out on four releases two weeks apart has been crazy, and really not something I would recommend to anyone J

Would you talk a little about each track for those yet to hear the release?

First of all is a drum and bass meets metal version of Gary Numan’s (Tubeway Army) Are ‘Friends’ Electric?, we managed to get synth sounds that are quite similar to the original, but it’s now at 176PBM, with noisy guitars all over it, next is a stripped down version of T-Rex’s Metal Guru, we’ve really slowed it down, to an atmospheric post-industrial type sound, thirdly we’ve taken on the legend that is David Bowie, and put own stamp on his song Scary Monsters; far be it from me to say our version rocks more than the maestro’s original, but you can if you want J, and last but definitely not least, we’ve absolutely brought Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water screaming into the 21st Century, it’s like Skinny Puppy, Rammstein, Ministry all rolled into one, according to the reviews; I’m not sure it is, but I’m happy if that’s what people are saying.

Many bands play covers but most just seem to approach them in the same way the original artists did and maybe hope their own sound comes across. You seem to have gone far deeper into the songs and taken the CAA imagination to certain aspects; the result tracks which are as much yours as their creators. How did you approach each track and decide what way to go with them?

We approached them exactly like we do when we are writing our songs; we kind of got an idea of how we wanted to do them, started off with drum patterns and then layered everything on top of the drums, we didn’t really have any trouble with any of them, the fill before the verse on Scary Monsters was a bit of a challenge, but I came up with that kind of dubstep drop and it all came together nicely.

Obviously the theme to the EP is in its title but in its case is it the songs which were primarily the influences or the artists, and if the latter why these particular tracks from their arsenal of persuasion?

I think it was a bit of both; they are four artists that we liked as kids, and still as adults, in fact Gary Numan’s two most recent albums are awesome, I can’t recommend them strongly enough. I was a big T-Rex fan as a kid and regularly drive past the spot where Marc died; there are so many of his songs to choose from, we wanted to pick songs that we liked but were not too obscure, you know. If we’d done Fad Gadget, Cabaret Voltaire, Japan and Psychedelic Furs tunes, they would still have sounded like us, but only people of a certain age would know the originals, so we picked four tunes, we felt had been significant to us that other people would know.

For us it was a brave move to take on four not only well-known but legendary tracks which virtually everybody knows and so many reveres. It has obviously proved a great move as fan and critical praise has quickly gathered but did you have any doubts at any point in taking on such classics?

We did obviously worry that we could face a backlash, or just get dismissed as, “another rock band doing covers” but after finishing them, we felt that we had, as they say on TV talent shows, made them our own, however unlike TV talent shows, I don’t think we have ruined any of them, I hope we have given a modern flavour to them, that will hopefully make some of our listeners revisit or even visit for the first time the artists that original wrote and recorded these songs.

Has the buzz, support, and acclaim for the EP surprised you in its swiftness and richness?

It’s truly been astonishing, we have honestly never done so many interviews before on any release, I’m feeling there isn’t the stigma associated with covers that there used to be (The Dickies excepted); people seem to have embraced it in the spirit that it’s intended, and for that we are very grateful.

Was there any specific intent in unveiling the four tracks within Influences one by one over a handful of weeks rather than as a single entity?

The original idea was to just release it as an EP, but when we got them back from Max, our mastering engineer, we were like, these are just too good to promo as a group; tracks are going to get lost. We thought it would be a shame if that happened, so we came up with the idea of 5 different release dates, 1 for each single and a final one for the EP as a whole, I’m glad we did it this way, because different DJs have had different favourites, so we’ve ended up getting an amazing amount of radio play

Tell us about the videos accompanying each song.

Here we are, confession time, as you know we have very small budgets, so we commissioned two of the video’s on Fiverr, the Scary Monsters lyric one and the Smoke On The Water one; for Scary Monsters, we just sent her the lyrics, told her we’d like it to be scary, paid her $12 and that’s what she came up with. The SOTW one, cost a little more, $30 I think, we gave the director carte blanche to do what he wanted and what he came back with, though quite surreal, works perfectly. Are ‘Friends’ Electric? was a little different. We have a friend called Stevie Mac, he makes animations for video games. He had a short story of around 90 seconds that he’d done, that wasn’t owned by any of his employers. He kindly said we could use it, so I cut it together with royalty free footage that Paul found online. Metal Guru is a whole other story. A Twitter friend of ours in Texas offered to make us one for Metal Guru, he was making a stop animation video for us but as release date loomed it became obvious he wasn’t going to get it done in time, so he came up with this one. He did go back and re-edit it as there where a few scenes towards the end that were quite disturbing, but all in all to come up with four videos for less than fifty quid, is a right result J

Was there anything about recording the EP which was more difficult than creating your own music?

I wish I could say there was something, but Paul and J are such accomplished musicians, they got their parts down really quickly and everything just fit into place. The mixing is always the hardest part for us, because we always have bass, kick drum, sub bass and bass synth sitting in the same part of the audio spectrum, so a lot of use of lo-pass and hi-pass filters is always needed.

Is there a possibility of an Influences Part 2 in the future?

Without a shred of a doubt, we will revisit this; we’ve just had so much fun with it. Don’t ask me when, there’s album three to finish first

Any hints to songs or bands which might be considered, I know you guys have eclectic tastes and inspirations.

We have tried a lot of other songs; we did Adele’s Someone Like You [but] my vocal was so out of tune, I cried with laughter’ I’d like to cover some things that nobody would ever expect us to, maybe The Shirelles’ Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? or The MVPs Turning Your Heartbeat Up. Who knows, we will just have to wait and see.

As you mentioned, the band is working on their third album. How is that actually coming along and have you a timescale to its release?

We have 16 songs so far in various stages. It’s sounding enormous, and as eclectic as you would expect from us; it goes from drop D metal circa Lamb Of God to expensive anthems almost reminiscent of early Simple Minds. The 16 songs we have so far will probably not all end up on the album; we will undoubtedly write some more, amalgamate some of them, and probably save some for singles B-Sides

I also heard there could be a release for a previously unreleased album from J’s previous band Caffeine on your label, Supersonic Media; could you tell us more?

They had a couple of albums which are now on Supersonic from when they were touring with the likes of The Offspring, AFI, New Found Glory etc. Alain their original single left and the recruited Scott who is now in the Candle Thieves, they recorded an album with Andy Hawkins from Midget producing. It’s a fantastic album that never got released; it’s quite reminiscent of Jimmy Eat World or Alkaline Trio. For fear of sounding like Trump, it really is fantastic, super, terrific, maybe it’ll do well in Mexico J

Our big thanks David for taking time out to come chat with us; anything you would like to add?

Thank you for having us.

People can check out every aspect of our new EP at http://smarturl.it/Influences-EP

Explore Calling All Astronauts further at:

http://www.callingallastronauts.com/    https://www.facebook.com/callingallastronauts   https://twitter.com/CAA_Official

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 06/04/2018

 

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Calling All Astronauts – Influences EP

Repetitiously providing some truly striking times with their own songs, UK trio Calling All Astronauts do it again by giving an insight into the sounds and artists which have lit their individual fires through their new release, the Influences EP. Offering four tracks simply echoing the EP title, the threesome of vocalist/programmer David B, guitarist J, and bassist Paul McCrudden take on four highly familiar, indeed legendary songs with their instinctive imagination and sound. The result is a hell of a lot of fun and a release which pays enterprising homage in unique style.

West London based, Calling All Astronauts create a fiery mix of alternative rock, electro punk and numerous other flavours in a sound which is truly individual to the band. The question for us when news of their new release broke was would it transfer to songs which pretty much everyone knows and so many idolise and more so could they give them a new character rather than just replicate like so many bands do with covers. The answer was soon escaping the speakers with pretty much a loud vocal yes. Certainly the band has not dissected and reassembled the songs in their own ‘image’ but each has been given a deep makeover which sparks the imagination.

Described as more of a quadruple A-side single, Influences opens up with a glorious version of Tubeway Army’s  Are ‘Friends’ Electric?. From its first breath there is a sense of urgency to the track if one initially restrained. When it does free its shackles, it brings a drum and bass meets metal contagion to its zealous stroll, though keys still shimmer with the original’s elegant yet melancholic gait; the contrasting attacks perfectly merged by CAA in one delicious encounter. You cannot say that the band has eclipsed Gary Numan’s creation but they have certainly given it a new energy and breath which deserves to be pushed as a full standalone single.

Following it is a take on the T-Rex classic Metal Guru. Here CAA has taken the essences of the song and immersed them in their own atmospheric invention. Whereas they pumped up the first, its successor has been slowed to allow its shadows and dark shades to dance with the imagination. We will admit that at first the song did not quite catch with ears but over time it has made a compelling persuasion and will surely emerge as a favourite for a great many within the release.

With a song like Scary Monsters it is hard to redesign what is an almost perfect template so CAA don’t but they do inject Bowie’s gem with their own dark intent and electro instincts to elevate its raw captivation and rock rabidity resulting in another thumping slice of rock ‘n’ roll with a fresh tang and organic energy where shadows seem even more alive.

Finally the release sees CAA give an electro/post punk work out for Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water. To be honest this is a song which never lit our fires but CAA have more then made it far more palatable with the flames of J’s guitar searing the growl of McCrudden’s bass and the electronic infused punk ‘n’ roll both court.

We always love to hear influences taken on by artists, a treat which seemed to grace many a B-side back in the day, just a shame so many do not try to bring something of themselves to them just as Calling All Astronauts have magnetically done.

The Influences EP is released March 30th via Supersonic Media.

http://www.callingallastronauts.com/    https://www.facebook.com/callingallastronauts   https://twitter.com/CAA_Official

Pete RingMaster 28/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Sourheads – Care Plan For The Soul

Since forming in the Spring of 2016, UK rockers The Sourheads has drawn increasing attention and support through their live presence, singles, and most of all their dirty, multi-flavoured rock ‘n’ roll. Now the band has added another accelerant to their emergence with the release of debut album Care Plan For The Soul. Offering nine slices of rowdy but skilfully woven incitement embracing classic and fresh rock diversity, the release thrusts the listener into a grubby cellar of salacious intent and irreverent sound; a temptation the body gets the urge to dance to and appetite the need to increasingly devour.

Hailing from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, The Sourheads embrace an array of inspirations in their sound ranging from Deep Purple, Kasabian and The Doors to Kyuss and Clutch. It is a web of punk and garage to psych and classic rock which is just as grungy as it is melodically enticing and within Care Plan For The Soul an incitement which makes a potent first impression but really grows in persuasion listen by listen. Mastered by Pete Maher (The Rolling Stones, Depeche Mode, U2), the album swiftly grabs ears and appetite with opener Demon. Straight away it is enticingly grumbling in ears, bass and riffs an irritable lure soon bound in sonic tendrils as familiar and new endeavours collude in the blossoming growl capped by the slightly gnarly tones of Jake Coxon. The bass of Ben Taylor continues to be a belligerent presence in the caustic captivation, guitarist Mik Crone and drummer Chris Lambert adding their bold touches to the ever evolving roar maybe best described as Turbonegro meets The Senton Bombs meets Guns n’ Roses.

It is a great start to proceedings which Morally High continues with its spicily grooved stroll. Carrying similar essences and flavours to its predecessor in its own individual way, the track is equally as infectious and magnetic with again classic and modern textures rubbing excitedly again each other within its controlled yet salacious swing. As the music, Coxon has a snarl to his croon, attitude dripping from every syllable and note before My Rock And Roll steps up to coax bad behaviour with its blues skinned devilry entangled in more of the great guitar enterprise which veins the whole of Care Plan For The Soul.

Power Of Addiction shares some of that psychedelic influence next; keys and melodies a sultry tempting while Rag And Bone Man has a great scruffy feel and character to its predacious gait and rhythmically rousing proposal. The song alone sums up the variety of flavours within The Sourheads sound, a host of rock bred essences embroiled in its inescapable command of body and imagination. It all adds up to one of the biggest highlights of the release, one quickly matched by the voracious punk ‘n’ roll of Don’t Get Caught (I Am The Lotus). Like The Stooges and Eddie and The Hot Rods caught in the act by The Vibrators as AC/DC hold the camera, the track is superb, taking best song honours with its manipulative temptations and craft.

Both Secret Cigarette and Warbird take a firm grip of release and listener next, the first an invasive but seductive fire of blues and classic grooves with punk bred kindling while its successor merges sullied rock ‘n’ roll with some of the most addictive melodic hooks and enterprise within the album for another pinnacle. As with many songs, it openly draws on some classic punk hooks and teases but equally shares psych rock imagination for the album’s most imaginative moment to stand alongside its best.

Care Plan For The Soul concludes with Mad Dog, a song rising from an initial Queen/Skid Row like invitation into an invasive and volatile ballad which becomes more captivating by the minute and listen, much as the album itself.  Indeed just as many will take to the release within seconds many others will need time to explore and discover its qualities; the big rewards for the attention we can vouch for as too the finding of a potential of even greater fun and adventure ahead with the Sourheads.

Care Plan For The Soul is available now through Oak Island Records on CD, Vinyl and Digitally.

https://www.thesourheads.com/    https://www.facebook.com/thesourheads    https://thesourheads2.bandcamp.com/

 Pete RingMaster 23/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

NimfoniA – Vicky White

The echo of the experience involving lost love, Vicky White is the new single from Hungarian outfit NimfoniA. It is a song as sultry as it is melancholic; a serenade of beauty and immersive shadows bred of an emotional tempest we have all experienced.

Consisting of guitarist/vocalist Zozo Debreczy, bassist Gábor Vermes, keyboardist Krisztián Kun, and drummer Zsolt Jánky, NimfoniA draw on the broad inspirations of artists such as The Beatles, Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Judas Priest, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and The Doors in their multi-flavoured sound. The latter pair most comes to mind as Vicky White seductively crawls through ears with the surf spicing of the guitar also resembling a reflective mix of The Shadows and Thee Oh Sees. It makes for a magnetic affair around a lyrical heart borne from the “sweet nightmare” Debreczy experienced in love with a girl named Vicky.

The track opens with the inviting strum of guitar, its gentle invitation lying within the similarly subdued but enticing mist of keys. Within their lure Debreczy’s dark Nick Cave meets Tom Waits tones unfurl emotional self-reflection, the sturdier gait of rhythms rising alongside to further capture the imagination.

Easily infectious and atmospherically compelling, Vicky White blossoms into a captivating siren of a song fuelled by love and tragedy; a memorable moment with a band you get the feeling we will be hearing a lot more about ahead.

Vicky White is available from September 15th.

http://nimfonia.com/    https://www.facebook.com/NimfoniA    https://twitter.com/nimfonia

Pete RingMaster 12/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Kabbalah – Spectral Ascent

For everyone there are certain encounters which forge an instinctive union with personal tastes; records which more than most tap into the creative imagination. We have come across a great many over recent years, having the privilege to listen to and assess a constant flood of offerings, but few have made the immediate lustful impact as Spectral Ascent, the new album from Spanish psych/doom trio Kabbalah. The release is a siren for the senses, an enchantress for the imagination, and one of the most desirable proposals heard in recent times.

Kabbalah is the creation of Carmen and Marga, former members of Pamplona rock band Las Culebras. 2013 saw the well-received release of their self-titled debut EP, its success followed and backed by the Primitive Stone EP fourteen months later. Both lured keen attention towards the band’s fusion of occult rock, 70s retro, and classic heavy-psychedelic sounds of the late 60s; a mix creating a cauldron of temptation and dark suggestion, a snarling trespass of predacious uniqueness nestling often irritably under the beauty of alluring vocals and swarming harmonies. With Alba completing the current line-up in 2015, Kabbalah sound has blossomed again for Spectral Ascent, hints of its fascinating evolution coming in the 2016 single Revelation and earlier this year its successor Phantasmal Planetoid, both prominent lures within nothing but across the album.

Spectral Ascent quickly coaxes attention with its opening title track; a short intro of melodic flirtation with a shadowy undercurrent which plays like a music box enticing entrance to an alluring dark realm. It’s elegant if sinister coaxing leads into the equally beguiling lure of Resurrected where from the heavy throb of bass and the magnetic pull of vocals the song has ears and appetite swiftly engaged. Guitars similarly draw the senses with their melodic sparkling, teases leading into the more formidable and imposing heart of the track. Never deviating from its seductive swagger though, the song twists and crawls through ears right into the psyche, moments of almost carnal intensity and calmer flows of romancing melodies igniting the imagination and body like few other encounters.

The sheer drama of the outstanding proposition continues through next up Phantasmal Planetoid. Its climate is instantly darker and more formidable as the bass snarls, never losing its heavy trespass as the song moves on to court a boisterous gait with turns of tetchier growls. It is masterful stuff, stoner and doom essences colluding with those earlier mentioned flavours as vocals and harmonies soar. No lightweight on addiction loaded hooks either, the song is manna for ears and instincts, a consuming persuasion also bred in the voracious antics of The Darkest End and immediately after within The Reverend. The first of the two aligns carnivorous riffs and bass irritability with spell spun grooves and the ever bewitching vocal union across the band. It resembles a fusion of Blood Ceremony and Jess and The Ancient Ones, yet is as individual to Kabbalah as you could wish for. Its successor is almost punk like at times, an underlying crabby edge flaring up across its psych and post punk spiced tapestry like a hybrid growth from a union of Au Pairs, Cradle, and Deep Purple.

Following their triumph, The Darkness of Time offers a funk fuelled swing of psychedelic rock, its body a web of heavy and classic rock honed enterprise which might miss the more predatory traits of its predecessors but has body and spirit wrapped up with ease. Its occultist lure only adds to its relentless charm; bait which is taken to more threatening places within the outstanding Dark Revelation. Its first breath has a garage punk taste, the subsequent canter more of that Au Pairs like post punk tempting before Kabbalah turns it all into a compelling and virulent, almost unruly, tango of creative flirtation.

The Shadow slinks up to ears in its own inauspicious way, tempting and warning with portentous charm before its fires break from an initial smoulder into a white hot rock ‘n’ roll stroll while the album closing Presence shares a calmer though no less heated weave of retro and modern nurtured adventure to further enthral. The dancing prowess of the drums, not for the first time, is almost consuming in its rousing and resourceful drive of the magnetic sounds bringing the album to a masterful conclusion.

The need to go again is controlling as Spectral Ascent drifts away, and the pleasure in doing so ever rewarding. The album is immense and rich food for a passion for psych/doom infused rock ‘n’ roll. Some bands feel destined for greatness from their first moments; Kabbalah is one and their new offering commandingly intensifies that belief.

Spectral Ascent is out now via Twin Earth Records and available @ https://kabbalahrock.bandcamp.com/album/spectral-ascent

https://www.facebook.com/Kabbalahrock/

Pete RingMaster 12/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Monster Truck – Sittin’ Heavy

pic by Brooks Reynolds

pic by Brooks Reynolds

Yet again Monster Truck lives up to the suggested weightiness of their name with their sound in new album Sittin’ Heavy. The eleven track encounter is a rousing rock ‘n’ roll roar embracing a landscape of bold styles and flavours. It is an adventure the Canadian band’s fans have become accustomed to and helped lead their Juno Award nominated debut album Furiosity to rich acclaim and hordes of new appetites two years or so back. Sittin’ Heavy carries on the muscular work of its predecessor, unleashing broad and robust rock ‘n’ roll you can only give full attention to.

The Hamilton, Ontario hailing Monster Truck quickly began stirring up local attention and support when emerging in 2009, backing it up with the release of their Gus Van Go and Werner F (The Stills, Priestess, Hollerado) produced self-titled EP the following year. The band linked up with producer Eric Ratz (Billy Talent, Cancer Bats, Three Days Grace) for its successor, The Brown EP in 2011, with surrounding singles pushing the band into the Top 10 on Canadian Rock radio. That initial live success has only accelerated and grown across the years too; tours across North America and Canada as well as supporting shows and festival appearances seeing the quartet sharing stages with the likes of Slash, Deep Purple, Guns N’ Roses, The Sheepdogs, Alice in Chains, ZZ Top, Buckcherry, Rival Sons and many more.

Furiosity put Monster Truck on bigger heavy rock/metal maps with its release in 2013, something the again Ratz recorded/co-produced Sittin’ Heavy will surely stir up and exploit further. Their first offering since signing with Mascot Records, the album charges at and through ears with opener Why Are You Not Rocking. Jabbing beats instantly grip attention before being quickly joined by fiery grooves around hungry riffs. Hitting its rousing stroll in moments, the track is a contagious stomp with the lead vocals of bassist Jon Harvey growling and enticing from within the busy web of Jeremy Widerman’s grooves and the seriously coaxing organ lures of Brandon Bliss. With drummer Steve Kiely inciting further involvement through his rapier like swings, band and song has hips, appetite, and energies ablaze with ease.

art_RingMasterReviewSittin’ Heavy is off to a mighty start which continues as Don’t Tell Me How To Live steps up next; its blues spiced grooves and tenaciously pressing riffs offering potent bait as they crowd the robustly snarling tones of Harvey. The song’s air is almost woozy with the melodic liquor fuelling the richly enticing grooving, their flirtation the lead into the suggestiveness of Widerman’s sonic endeavour and imagination. As the first, the track is a magnetic affair pleasing and simultaneously setting up the emotions and appetite for the even thicker weave of spicy textures and sultry invention that is She’s A Witch. As its predecessor, the song has a groove built net which quickly envelops ears as hips and feet are tempted and urged by the funk infused hooks and flighty flames of blues resourcefulness.

A southern seeded celebration is laid out by For The People next, its character and sound a familiar persuasion yet distinctly sculpted with Monster Truck invention and passion whilst Black Forest allows a rest for the body and inspiration for the imagination with its mellow yet still slightly tempestuous air and reflection. As with the last song, there is a sixties/seventies scented essence to the song; hues which align to a modern heartfelt blues seducing before having to make way for the wonderful discord twisted introduction of Another Man’s Shoes and subsequently its muscularly imposing and evocative body. The track is rock ‘n’ roll at its feverish yet controlled best, another skilful tapestry of textures and energies which Monster Truck, in this album alone, show themselves so accomplished at weaving.

From one pinnacle to another as Things Gets Better strides in with a keys sparked swagger that infests every aspect of the song. There is no escaping the unrelentingly persuasive and anthemic prowess of a song which never breaks into a riot of energy and sound but has the senses and spirit as aroused as if it had. The track also adds more of the flavoursome variety that makes up the album. As great as it is though, it and every song making up Sittin’ Heavy, gets outshone by the sensational incitement of The Enforcer. Straight from the big swinging rhythms which bound in under the control of Kiely, submission to its fiery charm is inevitable and even more assured as the soulful fire of sound and harmonies unite to seduce and stir the spirit. Grooves are almost toxic such their winy intoxication whilst the vocals of Harvey, backed by the rest of the band, simply provide virulent bait. Add biting riffs, piecing hooks, and more creative swing led by the bass revelry of Harvey, and you have one of the most incendiary tracks you are likely to hear this year.

To The Flame takes ears into a tantalising mix of sludge and stoner-esque adventure next. The track almost crawls over the senses whilst leaving a glaze of volcanic seduction, led by Widerman’s sonic lattice and the smothering allure of Bliss’ keys. Compelling the listener into full involvement, the track’s sweltering landscape adds another peak to the lofty range of the album, its success matched and surpassed by the devilishly creative and expressive throes of New Soul. The song has all the hectic and inflamed elements that makes the Monster Truck sound; elements which collude with individual craft and anthemic mastery for lusty rock ‘n’ roll to get hot and sweaty to.

Completed by the gentle, in relation to other songs, emotive embrace of Enjoy The Time, the irresistible Sittin’ Heavy is a band revelling in the varied strains of rock ‘n’ roll and their imagination in uniting them with their own invention. That in turn has ears and emotions similarly making feverish merry to the results.

Sittin’ Heavy is out now via Mascot Records, available digitally as well as on CD and Vinyl (which includes bonus track Midnight) across most online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 07/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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