Ten Percenter – I Could Never Say

Ten Percenter Promo Shot

It might not be a release to blow you away but the I Could Never Say EP from UK alternative rockers Ten Percenter certainly leaves a warm satisfaction and happy appetite for the band and their mellow, melodically creative sound. Consisting of four tracks bringing variety and accomplished enterprise to bear on ears and thoughts, the release makes a strong slice of evidence of a band sculpting a potent presence.

Devon hailing Ten Percenter began in 2006, taking inspirations from the likes of Dinosaur Jr., Weezer, and Counting Crows into their ideation and sound. With four previous releases under their belt, the trio of brothers Jay and Thom Brown, two of the founding members of the band, and Mykel Heath have returned after a brief hiatus with a new clutch of songs, their own label, and a release which again marks the band out as one to watch. As mentioned the EP does not leave set a raging fire for alternative rock but will have it simmering feistily with a presence employing familiar essences for the genre but in a fresh and imaginative style.

The Neil Haynes produced EP opens with the keenly catchy title track, a song shimmering with elegant melodies and emotive vocals once it emerges from fiery riffs aligned to an instantly luring hook. It is a potent start which only adds to Ten Percenter Cover Artworkits enticement with the strong vocals of Jay and a melodic resourcefulness soaking every twist of the track. It does not challenge expectations but the recognisable flavouring of the song only adds richer hues to an ear and appetite pleasing encounter.

Everything about the song impresses, from individual skills and invention to the crystalline ambience of the song, but it lacks the last spark to set ablaze in imagination and passions. Its successor Against The Grain is similar in its individual presence. The vocals of Jay and Thom blend and unite with warmth and quality whilst again a melodic sultriness wraps every chord and hook with appealing endeavour. An inventive breath of keys also colours the song’s engaging canvas, their atmospheric and melodic hues providing further strength and character to a magnetic song.

The final two songs come from live session recordings and are just as potent, Let The Juice Flow especially gripping. Treating ears to a firm rhythmic shuffle and infectious hooks, the song flirts with the imagination instantly. A spicy melodic strand next entwines the listener, the guitar tempting with its acidic tone whilst vocals again offer enticing warmth to the increasingly gripping proposition. The track is the gem of the release, its reserved but open swagger and grunge like spicing all combining for a song you can only imagine being a fan favourite live.

Riot brings the EP to a close, the track a slower croon of an encounter which reveals more of the efficient and diverse songwriting within the band. It does not light up ears as swiftly as those before it but still grows to be a pleasing and strong offering.

Ten Percenter is still a band in the making but all the signs, going by their new release, are pointing to the emergence of another exciting band in the British alternative rock scene.

I Could Never Say… is available from October 6th on Rainwood Records digitally on all stores and on Ltd CD @ http://www.tenpercenter.co.uk/store.asp

http://www.tenpercenter.co.uk

RingMaster 06/10/2014

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Mars Red Sky – Stranded In Arcadia

mars red sky

When the worst you can say about a release is that some of its tracks are merely outstanding it is fair to assume you are in the presence of something special, as in Stranded In Arcadia, the new album from French band Mars Red Sky. The release is a glorious mesmeric adventure casting smouldering and melodically sultry landscapes brewed from stoner and psychedelic rock/pop with a healthy breed of doom seeded shadow to its depths. Even that description does not exactly colour the enthralling and spellbinding encounter, the eight tracks an immersion casting more evocative hues than a hazy summer sunset.

Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Julien Pras, bassist Jimmy Kinast, and drummer Matgaz, Mars Red Sky made their first acclaimed impact with their self-titled album in 2011. It put the band in a certain spotlight which led them to share stages with the likes of Kyuss Lives!, Dinosaur Jr, and Sleep around Europe and light up numerous festivals such as Eurockéennes de Belfort, Roadburn, SXSW, and Desertfests in London and Berlin. A spilt release in 2012 with Year Of No Light only added to their swiftly accelerating rise, an ascent cemented by their Be My Guide EP last year as well as a tour across Europe and shows in Latin America. Stranded In Arcadia though makes all that seem like mere appetisers for its glorious unveiling and If the band was busy and renowned before its release it can expect a tsunami of attention from now on.

A lone guitar caresses ears first, its distant presence an instant coaxing leading towards a senses plundering leviathan built by the bass and mars red sky coverheavy slow rhythms. It is an imposing proposition but one soon tempered by the soaring vocals harmonies which paint the song’s sky. The Light Beyond provides an enthralling start to the album, intrigue and sonic mystique enveloping the imagination whilst the drums conjure rhythms with invention and adventure. The voice of Pras brings another smouldering texture to the developing scenery, his smooth flowing syllables sparking fiery guitar enterprise amid greater intensity as the weight of the track bears sizeably down around the stalking bass predation within the constantly evolving terrain of the song.

It is a bewitching proposition challenging and seducing with skill and dramatic poise and swiftly matched in stature by Hovering Satellites. An immediately more rapacious encounter in riffs and intent, the song stomps with a voracious energy aligned to an infectious festivity. It leads the listener into dark intimidating avenues but with a vivacious smile to its melodies, vocals, and atmosphere which shields from the dark realms of the premise. It is a thrilling encounter but soon left looking paler by the following Holy Mondays. It is sheer majesty straight from its opening jazz lent guitar temptation courted by lean rhythms and percussive coaxing. The sultry but subdued start is soon strolling boldly with contagious riffs and an addictive groove before levelling out its gait for a warm caress of vocals and psyche driven guitar. It is a mesmeric treat but still waiting to unleash its strongest lure, a sirenesque chorus of psychedelic pop with glam rock essences swinging their hips within its compelling flame. More anthemic than a gun to the head, the song becomes a virulence which is inescapable, a lingering seducing which has you smiling broadly as you anticipate its return as a slower beauteous fire plays with the imagination. That stomp does leave another dose of aural manna, seizing even greater control of feet and passions to shape another plateau for the album.

The dark almost antagonistic entrance of Join the Race pushes the diversity and walls of the album further still, its slightly funereal gait retaining a small swagger to its devilment as vocals and melodies tease its stubbornness. To the united contrasts the band weaves expressive designs to embrace and lace thoughts, leading the imagination into a new world of spatial heights and cavernous depths. The band’s skill at interweaving light and dark, peace and danger is exceptional and even more impressive ins their ability to entwine it around a rhythmic frame which never feeds expectations.

The celestial spice of the song is spread more intensively with Arcadia, an instrumental sculpting a psychedelically lit passage of exploration through sizzling sonic expression and dark stalking reflections, guitar and bass an evocative merger haunting and soothing thoughts and visions like puppeteers. All tracks have the same potency, but in particular this provides an episode to mentally and emotionally investigate with fresh rewards through every flight of its journey.

Circles explodes and infects the psyche next, its blues scented sonic phrasing an absorbing narrative alone but graced by the soft smooching of vocals and the dazzling rhythmic conjuration, the song is a melodic hymn for body and soul. It is an irresistible tantalising but soon left in the wake of the quite brilliant Seen a Ghost. The strongest stoner essences welcomes its opening gambit, guitars crooning teasingly as rhythms shuffle rigorously and adventurously through the continually growing canvas of the track. Already an ardour is awakened but it is the cultured stroll and punchy rhythms clad in a breath-taking melodic infection which ignites their full allegiance. Interlocked with expressively ambient bred passages, twisted stoner enticements, and melody seeded ravages, the chorus provides climatic yet calm crescendos which simply set the track into a new ferocity of ingenuity. Not only is it the best track on the album, it is the best song heard this year so far and leaves a touch of frustration when it transforms into the closing track Beyond the Light, a rich and sonically distorted instrumental which washes the senses with its tempestuous finale to the album.

     Stranded In Arcadia is sensational, a giant of an album in sound, songwriting, and presence. Whether psychedelic/stoner/heavy rock has ever sounded this good is a question which Mars Red Sky now has us asking.

Stranded In Arcadia is available via Mrs Red Sound / Listenable Records now!

http://www.marsredsky.net/

10/10

RingMaster 29/04/2014

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Geva Alon: In The Morning Light

Bringing a freshness and passion to the folk rock genre, In The Morning Light from Israeli singer songwriter Geva Alon is a thoroughly engaging and striking album. With a confident and imaginative grip it takes the listener through warm and near sultry climes with songs which inspire and are borne from the heart of the individual and life itself. The album is gentle, a flood of melodic caresses, and most of all a lake of enveloping emotion to comfortably immerse within.

From his days with his indie rock band The Flying Baby and playing with Shay Noblemen, Alon has grown through his solo work into a major presence in the music and ears of his homeland. Through his debut album Days of Hunger of 2006 and subsequent releases The Wall of Sound the following year and Get Closer of 2009, he has garnered a persistently and eager acclaim and following. His shows has found him playing alongside the likes of Paul Weller and Yo La Tango whilst tours has brought him an ever increasing enthused following through Israel, Spain and the UK.

Released through 2B Vibes Music/ADA Global July 16th, In The Morning Light finds Alon unveiling a rich and lush melodic beauty within his songs which simply and easily captivates. Personal preference dictates that some of the songs may not ignite passions as much as others but all deserve and get an embrace of attention and willingness to give their persuasion a chance. Produced by Thom Monahan (The Jayhawks, Silver Jews, Dinosaur Jr.), the album is a vibrant weave of light and at times shadows brought with a perpetual warmth and open heart.

The recent excellent single The Great Enlightenment opens up the album and still stands as one of the best songs to wrap itself around the ear this year. From its instantly striking atmosphere woven by stirringly emotive guitars and attentive rhythms, the track spreads its keen arms through the hypnotic vocals of Alon and a delicious melancholic bass moodily permeating the air. The song with their presence finds a dramatic edge to its lively ambience to leave an almost unsettling and quirky yet fully irresistible lingering glamour after its departure.

The album finds alongside Alon the prowess and ability of guitarist Daniel Hyndman from folk band Vetiver, Rufus Wainwright bassist Jeff Hill, and drummer Otto Hauser, and others. From the opener right through to the final song there is a unity which offers the suggestion they have been playing alongside each other for years, which is not the case but does show the strength and ability of the songwriting and all involved to find that consistent and natural understanding.

The variety across In The Morning Light is another pleasing aspect, the release from the indie rock start moving into the Americana tinted I See The Love and its successor the blues veined Carolina. The first song is a rounded earnest piece which with its Southern melodic twinges and dusty heated sun brings a different kind of but equally mesmeric pull for the emotions whilst the second simply induces a compulsion to delve into its walls born from the reflective lyrics and slightly plaintive sounds.

As mentioned consistency of the highest level spines the album but alongside the single the songs of I Wonder If She’s Fine, Come Here Anytime and She Calls My Name, steal the show. The first pair of songs has similarity in sound and essence without actually being alike. The best way to describe them is a sultry mix of The Walker Brothers and The Smiths, both carrying a sixties energy and innocence veined by inspirational barbed melodies and inspirational emotive class. Alongside the voice of Alon the guitars light up the ear in both, their scorched touch and welcome nothing less than infectious.

She Calls My Name is an outstanding disturbed pop song releasing shadows and heartbreak with a persistent hook which makes the term melodic addition feel weak. It reminds of eighties band The Mighty Lemon Drops and leaves one simply grinning with pleasure.

Geva Alon with the single The Great Enlightenment suggested his new album would be something worth investigating, In The Morning Light in fact goes beyond deserving a mere look to emerge as a must for all melodic passionate indie rock fans.

RingMaster 08/07/2012

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Geva Alon : The Great Enlightenment

With his fourth album due for release in July Israeli singer songwriter Geva Alon could not have given a better teaser and enticement to the forthcoming release than with his new single The Great Enlightenment. A senses caressing yet emotionally haunting song it sets up a definite anticipation and enthused interest for new album In The Morning Light due July 16th.

From playing with his indie rock band The Flying Baby for many years and Shay Noblemen, Alon has over the past few years become a major name in his homeland from his solo work and live shows which have seen him play alongside the likes of Paul Weller and Yo La Tengo and more recently wider afield acclaim with a Spanish and Israeli tour alongside Depedro, the new project from Calexico collaborator Jairo Zavala. His debut solo album of 2006 Days of Hunger brought his country-flavoured acoustic guitar inspired sounds to notice, the following releases The Wall of Sound in 2007 and Get Closer of 2009 which was produced by Thom Monahan (The Jayhawks, Silver Jews, Dinosaur Jr.) as are the new single and album, strengthening his ever growing recognition and acclaim. From the evidence of the new single his new album will only accelerate things again in and outside Israel as will a series of live shows in the UK this month.

The Great Enlightenment emerges upon the ear with an instant striking atmosphere brought by the emotive guitars and attentive rhythms. With a lovely melancholic bass moodily permeating the song there is an immediate sense of drama to the dreamy ambience. As the excellent tones of Alon expand the song brings a dawning of realisation within the warm lingering yet slightly unsettled air. The song is outstanding and draws thoughts and feelings which could quite easily have been inspired by a Twin Peaks episode. Alon vocally has been compared to the likes of Neil Young and Nick Drake and it is probably the most accurate description though his voice has a class and uniqueness all of its own which sets him apart.

The guitar prowess of Alon and fellow guitarist Daniel Hindman from folk band Vetiver is ear catching, both aided and complimented by the fine talent of Rufus Wainwright bassist Jeff Hill and drummer Otto Hauser, the quartet coming together to create a mesmeric song which inspires and enchants equally.

If you had any second thoughts or uncertainty about investigating In The Morning Light upon its unveiling just listen to The Great Enlightenment, it has all the reasons and persuasion you need.

Ringmaster 18/06/2012

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