The Moods – Missing Peace

Let us start with the bottom line about Missing Peace, the debut album from UK collective The Moods; and that is be sure to make another space on your list of album of the year contenders because quite simply it is one essential exploration for ears and thoughts. Offering twelve slices of virulently infectious, politically sharp incitements bred in a fusion of drum & bass, reggae, hip-hop, and EDM with more besides, Missing Peace relentlessly grabs body and imagination with its unique tapestry of sound and creative contagion.

The album’s release caps off an already potent and successful year for the ten-piece of producers, poets, and musicians from Manchester and the North West. Their debut single, Joy, was a critically acclaimed outing sparking hungry attention from media and fans alike while live the 2014 emerging project has thrilled and increasingly elevated their reputation and sound, the latter with the addition live this year of classically-trained violinist Alice. That first single also spawned a video featuring Steve Evets (Looking for Eric) which has been entered for the BFI London Film Festival while two of The Moods’ songs have been grabbed for the sound track of British movie Strangeways Here We Come, a film starring Michelle Keegan, Elaine Cassidy, Lauren Socha, and Nina Wadia set for release in the spring of 2018. Missing Peace though is the pinnacle of the band’s year and indeed their rise within the UK music scene to date; an attention demanding, spirit rewarding proposal seriously hard to pull away from once infested with its viral sounds.

Cored by the four pronged temptation of vocalists Mark Cunningham and John Horrocks alongside rappers Kolega and Explicit, The Moods instantly gets under the skin with their new single P.O.P (Profit Over People). The album’s opener throbs in ears with vocal prowess and electronic bubbling, beats soon adding their thick pulse to the rousing coaxing. The keys of Paul Holmes continue to entice as insight loaded rapping strides through the atmospheric catchiness, melody throated tones following as the song magnetically twists and turns; every moment suggestive bait to greedily devour.

The following Inception is no different, the flames of brass and reggae/ska kissed keys smouldering lures upon the rhythmic shuffle of drummers Phil Horrocks/Chris Barrett and Dave O’Rourke’s darkly toned bass. The vocal unity once again simply captivates, words and expression a snappy reflection matched by the crackle of the sounds around them whilst the song’s chorus is pure listener involvement enticement.

The misty entrance of next up Keep Your Powder Dry breeds a pulsating trespass of electro punk, another strain to The Mood sound fuelled by instinctive infectiousness. Its raw instincts and tone is masterfully temped by the interrupting harmonic turn and the electronic shimmer which glistens throughout, casting an irresistible spell before Bad Boy with its haunting piano within a streetwise stroll enthrals. Caught in the golden glazed tendrils of Will Earl’s trumpet, the song has something of Dizraeli and the Small Gods to its lively evocative adventure.

The shadowy saunter of Black Triangle taunts and entices next, Kolega and Explicit exchanging their lyrical contemplations before Cunningham and Horrocks merge their harmonic intimation; this all within a psyche haunting smoulder of sound and suggestion. The song with a whisper of Lazy Habits to it is delicious, dramatic and seductive and sharing yet another aspect to The Moods sound and imagination, a multi-faceted proposition expanded again by the pop infused and insistently compelling Gotta Get A Hold.

Joy as ever is a beacon of the band’s sound and invention, a flirtatious wave of warm melodies and skittish rhythms within a climate of floating harmonies, all over a rhythmic throb which alone arouses feet, hips, and spirit. Some songs are destined to haunt the memory and passions; this is decidedly one with addiction in its hands.

The unpredictable nature and ever turning sound of Atmosphere is more of a slow burner on the appetite but simply grows in persuasion and potency with every eventful listen while Hidden making a similar initial impression with its individual pop infused sway equally grows in strength over time if never quite to the heights of those around it in personal tastes.

Speaking Tongues though needs mere seconds to get under the skin. It too rises from gentle electronic dew on the senses; a rhythmic pulsing driving things with its dark thud as vocals provoke and suggest. With a dirty lining to its heart and drama, the track imposes and arouses; its subsequent intrusive canter an instinctive stirring of body and emotions.

Missing Peace concludes with firstly the reggae courting Together We Will Fight Them, a sultry defiance nurtured suasion with teeth to its nature and fire to its heart, and finally its title track, a similarly woven companion in style and tone but with its own individual and highly irresistible lobbying of body and mind. The track is superb, sharing everything magnificent about The Moods sound and creativity in its own original anthemic adventure.

We can easily carry on waxing lyrical about Missing Peace but will leave with a full and lively suggestion that you check it and The Moods out with haste; you will not be disappointed.

Missing Peace is out now via A1(M) Records digitally and on CD/Vinyl.

http://themoods8.wixsite.com/themoods    https://www.facebook.com/themoodsmanc    https://twitter.com/themoodsmanc

Pete RingMaster 02/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Me For Queen – Iron Horse

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It has to be admitted that the thought of an album set around two wheeled exploits was intriguing but did not exactly spark eager anticipation, but readers do not let that colour any decision to check out the bewitching and thrilling embrace of Iron Horse, the debut album from Me For Queen. Themed by the adventure of cycling in the city, exploring and inspired by events and emotions found by experiences of the band founder’s on a bike, the release lays down an inescapable seduction which bewitches ears and imagination right through to the passions.

Originally the solo project of Talk In Colour’s Mary Erskine, Me For Queen has subsequently grown to a full engagement with the addition Will Dollard, Nick Bowling, and Andy Paine. Last year saw the release of the Live at Red Gables EP, a well-received release sparking strong interest in this following Pledge Music funded release. Talking about Iron Horse, Erskine explained that “there are tracks about the freedom of cycling, the rage and fear you sometimes feel on your bike when surrounded by cars, and a white bike tribute”, going on to add “You’ll like it whether you cycle or not.” That last declaration is certainly very easy to agree with. Equally the album’s tales can be translated to more general experiences in everyday life, how people connect and live within each other’s space for example. It is a fascination of sound merging various flavours into one bike inspired festival of creative enterprise, the album’s sound and presence as cosmopolitan as the pastime and scenery it colours.

The tempting of wheels starts off album and opener The Deer and The Dark, voices from surrounding scenery adding to the atmosphere of the song. Soon though, the attention grabbing voice of Erskine breaks its air with rich mesmeric charm, swiftly joined by a rhythmic coaxing coloured by radiant keys. The song swiftly turns into a funk seeded stroll weaving enchanting melodies into its dramatic lyrical and ambient sunset. Employing samples and riveting brass temptation, the track provides a glorious canter of enterprise and endearing harmonies for one scintillating entrance into the album.

Its glory is matched straight away by Bike With No Name, male vocals taking the lead fully backed by the increasingly transfixing voice of Erskine. With a folk intimacy to its again funky gait, the song idles up to the imagination and 10553901_829249350419623_3979257569886355370_ocaresses it with a seductive blend of vocals and flirtatious melodies from guitar and keys. A darker throat of bass only adds to the infectious bait but it is the pair of vocalists which ignites emotions most prominently and potently. Though music wise there is a distinct difference, vocally and in the impact and quality of their union, the two singers remind of Dizraeli and Cate Ferris from Dizraeli and The Small Gods.

An intriguingly enticing bass lure opens up the next up Zebra, its tone kissed by discord blessed resonance. It is soon joined by both sets of vocals as a jazzy climate and seducing comes over the senses. The song is a delicious blend of distinctively different shades, melodic flames and light slowly grazing on the emotions whilst the darker shadows of bass and a slightly twisted invention to certain chords and notes add a mouth-watering and unpredictable texture to the sultriness. Its glorious presence is matched straight away by Traffic Light Crush, an irresistible croon with romantic tones and catchy revelry in its magnetic dance. Thoughts of eighties band Jim Jiminee easily come to the surface as the brief track sets down another majestic pinnacle on the album, its tango of sound and imagination refusing to leave even after the song has departed ears.

The first single from the album, Slow Jam (Look Out) comes next, its soulful swing of melodies and emotion revealing vocals a gentle and elegant kiss on the senses. As the album, it is impossible not to be thoroughly captivated and mesmerised by it, every aspect from the breath-taking vocals of Erskine to the smouldering flame of trumpet, and the velvet hug of bass to the sizzling harmonies, a poetic toxicity seducing and immersing blissful ears and thoughts. Its gentleness is emulated by the funkier flight of Freewheel, a melodic glide which strokes thoughts and passions from start to finish with a lean structure within provocative beauty.

Both Wobbly and White Bike add new tantalising hues to the release, the first a wash of emotive melodies over a skittish percussive tempting, which itself is hand in hand with the heavier, ever enticing tone of bass. There is a relaxed giddiness to the song too, imagination swirling in its creative sun and similarly flowing sounds before moving on to its successor. The second of the pair slips into something even more leisurely comfortable energy and gait wise whilst turning up the heat with its impassioned and earnest climate lyrically and emotionally as it fully enchants the senses.

For personal tastes the first half of the album is the strongest with its array of lively explorations but there is no escaping or dismissing the spellbinding beauty and majesty of the two songs, and also the following Rat Race. With bubbly electro spicing starting things off before vocals and bass soon lay down their catchy lures, the track is a compelling portrait of fleet footed life. Sounds almost flit across ears, each a different personality in the vibrantly moving scenery whilst the lead vocals provide a singular almost out of sync view inside the tunnel flowing fast around them.

The album is brought to a close by firstly the emotive balladry of Road Out, a track which brews and grows into an imposingly drawn ambience as its melodies and vocals immerse ears, and lastly Wheelie. The final track is a fifty second electro jazz funk romp which hits straight away like The Tom Tom Club but leaves before you can really get your teeth into it. It is a final smile though to an exceptional release.

Iron Horse is simply majestic, a richly hued collection of sounds crafted into an unforgettable and virulently infectious soundscape of adventure. Me For Queen may not have you turning to peddle power with their album but will surely have you breeding a hungry appetite for their sensational sounds.

Iron Horse is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/iron-horse/id913647443

http://cargocollective.com/meforqueen

9/10

RingMaster 12/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Johnny Kowalski and The Sexy Weirdos – Kill The Beast

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How best to describe the sound of Johnny Kowalski and The Sexy Weirdos which runs virulently threw the veins of new album Kill The Beast. Well if you take a fusion of Tankus The Henge and Gogol Bordello and spice it up with healthy doses of Les Négresses Vertes, The Pogues and Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers, you get a fair flavouring of the fun found within the band’s second full-length. The ten track release is a magnetic energetic party of varied sounds and flavours brewed into the band’s own riveting “carnival punk” proposition, it one rigorously exciting and enjoyable encounter. Essences of gypsy punk, ska, swing, and straight forward punk also add to the irrepressibly captivating mix, the result a wonderful deranged waltz of unpredictable adventure.

Johnny Kowalski and the Sexy Weirdos spent their early years honing and shaping their sound on the live arena before unveiling debut album Victory for the Monsters in the October of 2012. Acclaimed the release was followed by the band striking out on tour across France, Belgium, Germany, and the Czech Republic, again to strong and eager responses. Returning to Europe again last year, the Birmingham based band courted the passion of countries such as Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg in the course of their next tour, whilst appearances at festival such as Boomtown, Y Not, Tramlines, Nozstock, Wychwood, and Swingamajig as well as a third European excursion has only strengthened their presence and reputation, breeding strong anticipation for their new album. Produced by Gavin Monaghan (Editors, The Destroyers, Robert Plant), Kill the Beast seizes attention from its first breath refusing to release its hold until the final note of the last song. It is a release which like all punk bred incitements, which it really is in so many ways, the album challenges and thrills with mischief and antagonistic wantonness, rewarding with a feel good factor other bands can only imagine.

Nailbiter starts things off and is instantly throwing its body through ears, revelling in its boisterous energy as brass inflames the air and rhythms march resourcefully over the senses. Eventually settling into a more controlled yet still rebellious stride with a sultry mystique to its evolving sound, the song seduces and incites the imagination with the violin of John-Joe Murray a potent lure within the strong rhythmic frame provided by drummer Matthew Osborne and bassist Chris Yates. A devious swagger breaks out from within the captivating stomp, the guitar of Kowalski stirring things up before his raw vocals add to the striking dance. There is a fairground barker drama to his delivery, expelling forcibly the narrative as strings and brass colour the scenery further, the trombone croon of Ellie Chambers and trumpeting pouts of Simon Noons rich hues to immerse within. Building up to an explosive crescendo which wickedly never materialises, the track is a glorious start to the album setting a high bar for the other songs to match.

The following When the Time Comes makes a worthy attempt, growing potently from its reserved opening stroll with flumes of brass warming a rhythmic scattering and the more reserved delivery of Kowalski. It is a spicy romp, which like a smouldering temptress sways and swerves with melodic curves and energetic tendencies over the senses, teasing with its seductive nature. It does not match its predecessor’s heights but still leaves emotions and ears enraptured as the Tequila Song stands poised to inflame their ardour once again. As you can probably imagine from the title the song is a festival in the ear; liquor kissed revelry which stomps with rhythmic knees high and infectious melodies bordering on salaciousness. The brass again almost taunts with their evocative blasts, adding to the mischief breeding every note and syllable uncaged by Kowalski and the backing shouts of Osbourne and Murray.

Next up Question the Answers strides with a rhythmic tantalising courted by a great throaty bass lure and punctuated by again fiery stabs of brass. There is a sense of unrest to the sound and feel of the song, a troubled sigh locking onto the rigid contagious press of rhythms. As vocals and subsequently violin bring their unique flavours to the developing evocative landscape, the track absorbs attention and appetite, twists of guitar and acidic stringed invention spearing the enveloping premise. The track is more restrained and arguably straight forward than the earlier tempests of adventure but no less gripping, much like Same Mistakes which swiftly adds its bold canter to the terrain of the release. Again it is a more reined in protagonist but with plenty to engage the ears if without sparking the same strength of fire in the passions as certainly the first and third song.

The excellent folk/gypsy vaunt of Raggle-Taggle Gypsy comes next to bring a traditional treat with a sense of the Pogues to its exhaustive imagination infesting polka before making way for the instrumental ‘shanty’ of What Shall We Do With a Blonde?, another track which lifts spirits and feet like a maniacal puppeteer for the fullest of pleasures. The album sees the additional dark charm of the tuba from David Yates across its body, and here he is at his exhilarating best perfectly matched by the mouthwatering skill of Murray.

     Another major treat comes with the carnival-esque sortie of That’s the One, brass and violin casting a picture of circus swing which the expressive vocals and gypsy punk spawned heart of rhythms and guitar paint in their own rich textures. In its full stride the song is an addictive tempting which as others steals control of feet and soul but it is not maintained throughout to the same potent effect leaving the listener feeling the song missed an indefinable trick somewhere. It is still a vivaciously pleasing track which the punkish The Good Shark builds from. Like The Clash meets Mano Negro in many ways, the song is a feverish provocateur which impresses and excites even more when from its fire flailing romp it hits a vein of dub/ska haunting sparking that Strummer and Co reference and thoughts of Ruts too. Finishing on the same brash and vigorous exploit it started with, the track is a wonderful slab of fun.

The title track brings the album to a strong hypnotic close with plucked violin strings around a resonating beat immediate bait and trap to devour greedily. That enticement is soon accentuated as Murray spreads the charm of his craft pushing deeper the core temptation of the song. The track as it explores its walls has a feel of Dizraeli and The Small Gods, not so much in sound but the way the song is constructed and blossomed, though the guest vocal skat of Call Me Unique itself holds some similarity to the other band’s Cate Ferris. It is a maelstrom of sound and imagination providing a final blast of fun and adventure to a tremendous album.

     Kill the Beast is a scintillating treat which even in its less lofty moments still leaves appetite and emotions raging. Johnny Kowalski and The Sexy Weirdos are the minstrels of ‘Body Snatching Carnival Punk’ and if coming to a graveside near you are well worth gripping tightly on to.

Kill The Beast is available now@ http://sexyweirdos.bandcamp.com/album/kill-the-beast-2

http://www.sexyweirdos.co.uk/

9/10

RingMaster 26/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Molotov Jukebox – Carnival Flower

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It has already been firmly established that if you want your feet and body exhausted but blissfully contented then colourful UK revellers Molotov Jukebox are your puppeteers, their previous pair of EPs already the launch pad for riotous hips and gaping grins. Now the band parade their debut album, Carnival Flower, an eleven track festival of lyrical adventure and lustful melodies framed in a rhythmic escapade which frees inhibitions and ignites the raw dancer inside. It is a release which tempts and smoulders, caresses and incites as it takes the imagination on boldly hued and energetically fuelled romps. Unlike their previous releases there may be no real killer tracks at large, songs which virulently ignite the passions, but instead the release has a perpetual seduction which just as potently brews an enraptured submission.

Molotov Jukebox is a six-piece celebration of passionate aural festivities merging styles such as Latin soul, calypso, gypsy, swing, and dubstep into a unique revelry which has been tagged as gyp-step. Led by the distinctive sultry tones of Natalia Tena (an actress renowned for her roles in Harry Potter and Game of Thrones), and comprising of guitarist Adam Burke, bassist Tom Wilson, drummer Max Burnett-Wain, trumpeter Angus Moncrieff, and violinist/vocalist Sam Apley alongside her, the band has constantly garnered acclaim whilst inspiring an ever growing and feverish fanbase with their vibrant sound and equally vivacious live shows. Both their debut EPs, Double Dare and especially its successor Bang thrust the band into a concentrated spotlight feistily backed by unrelenting festival appearances, certainly in the past eighteen months or so. Now with the release of Carnival Flower there will be no surprise to see the London based band taking country and bodies further afield by the scruff of the neck and leading them to filling streets and dance halls with swerves and sexual dance moves, all to the sound track of Molotov Jukebox.

As soon as rhythms hit to mark the entrance of opener Tread Softly, an itch begins in the toes. The punchy beats of Burnett-Wain hold a Mol juksmile to their swing which is as infectious as the soon to join warn embrace of strings and the vocal persuasion of accordion caressed into life by Tena. It combines with whiffs of sonically crafted guitar and a percussive coaxing into an even tempered but inciting romp brought further to life by the seducing vocals of Tena within sober blazes of trumpet. It is not a riotous start but an eager persuasion which twists and flirts with sound and ideas to waken attention, appetite, and imagination with ease.

From the slightly annoying fade-out of the song, just a personal gripe in a liking for proper finales to songs, temperature and bait is increased thr0ugh Don’t Wanna Know. A vocal croon by Tena courted by excellent group harmonies beside her, kiss the ears initially providing a sexy flirtation which evolves into an agitated stomp with melodic skirts swishing over the senses as pulsating bass riffs use salacious tempting under the climactic flames of trumpet. As its predecessor, the song is not a full-on stampede of aural diablerie but holds an irresistible anthemic lure which enlists body and passions without resistance. The song simmers and at times almost taunts with rhythmic enterprise and string plucking, everything combining to design an evocative and humid template for addiction.

The band’s new single, Neon Lights steps up next, again gentle sexually inviting suasion starting things off before trumpet and vocals soar gloriously across the ceiling of the song. Veining the flight the bass strolls with inviting shadows whilst keys and accordion add their intrigue and mystique to the noir shaded scenery. It is a sumptuous blaze of colour and sound, a track which just grows and grows in the psyche and memory the more it infests the ears. That is true of the album to be fair, first impressions impressed and keen but a new breed of appreciation and ardour emerges given time; previous releases were an instant lust but the album takes a different longer route but with the same result.

The following Can’t Find You is another slow starter on emotions though a swift temptress of ears and thoughts. Almost like a formula for the album, the song also opens up with reserve and a melodic flutter of its lashes before throwing off its hood for a fleet footed waltz of provocative melodies and wanton hues. A mix of pop and swing, it moves around imagination’s dancefloor arm in arm with flailing hooks and elegant harmonies casting a robust yet sensual toxicity over the senses.

The jazz lounge like bred Punchlines weaves and glances across ears with a rich and soulful fondle lighting up thoughts. It is a graceful flame of emotional melodies and sixties harmonies which leaves satisfaction bulging if passions simmering, though they are soon aflame with the brilliant House Fire Smile. The first surprise emerging from the heralding blaze of trumpet and electro additives is that the lead vocals are taken by Apley, an inspired move as his vocals are impressive and make a brave and successful twist to the album. There is a feel of Lazy Habits and Dizraeli and the Small Gods to the song, a whisper of hip hop toying with the heart of the song as a reverse of the norm vocally throws a deliciously unpredictable and magnetic new coal in the fire of the album. The song has a bounce and swagger to its relatively considered stroll though there is always the feeling it wants to explode. Tena’s voice and a niggling guitar toxin only add to the riveting call of the song, an encounter which steals top honours on the album.

Both the frisky Sexfoot and the smouldering Nina keep hunger lively though both are openly pale against certainly the previous triumph. The first of the pair is like a tempered foxtrot with moments where it unleashes its inner devil whilst its successor with the smokey voice of Tena stroking every syllable and the senses in a steamy seduction courted by a classically bred Latin hearted acoustic guitar sends the imagination into a romantic encounter.

From the exotic gala of Tropical Badboy where even the dead could not resist its carnivalesque voracity, the album comes to a close with firstly the dynamic and atmospheric jubilee of No Lady, a track which finds an eighties whisper of bands like Pigbag to its determined sway of melodic curves and rhythmic hips, and lastly a reworking of Trying, a song previously on the Bang EP. The song is a masterful tempting which just has that instinctive lure to inspire full allegiance and union with its potent musical poetry but it has to be said that the new treatment does not quite work as well as the original. Despite that the track is outstanding and the perfect end to a quite impressive and incendiary release for body and heart.

Though Carnival Flower does not quite live up to definitely Bang, it is an open and thrilling doorway into Molotov Jukebox, both a proposition you need to explore at least once in your life, though be warned as one bite is all it takes to be lost to the temptation of the band.

The self-released Carnival Flower is available now!

http://www.molotov-jukebox.co.uk/

8.5/10

RingMaster 28/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Semitt Falls – I Know Bear Heads

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Like a great many we were impressed and excited by Monkey See, Monkey Do Doo, the debut album from UK band Semitt Falls. It was an unpredictable and inventive twisting of flavours and imagination which marked out a band with the potential to rise to major things. It also set a high benchmark for the band to follow but for the only time they meet expectations the Stockport quartet easily take that plateau and lose it in the wake of their scintillating new EP I Know Bear Heads. The four track release is a tremendous weave of captivating invention and busily flavoured enterprise which makes the earlier album look like mere foreplay to the main event. Fusing electro metal with more of its muscular cousins and then aligning them with a breath-taking web of genres such as drum and bass, hip-hop, dub, reggae, and dubstep, the band conjures a kaleidoscope of sound which tantalises and seduces whilst sparking a riot in the passions.

Semitt Falls was formed in 2012 by Paul Kendrick (guitar, vocals and programming) and Jay Kane (vocals, synths) after the demise of their previous band Halt Under Heavy Fire. Linking up with ex-Fortune Favours Nothing member Danny Houghton (drums) who since the EP release has left the band, and subsequently ex- Son of Shinobi Craig Gilroy (bass , vocals) after a few line-up changes, the quartet evolved an initially post-hardcore sound into a more electronic rock sculpted persuasion, a sound which has continued to move and change with every song and release. The release of Monkey See, Monkey Do Doo in May of last year thrust the band into a wider focus of attention with its intensive diversity and mouthwatering adventure but as mentioned it now seems just an appetiser for greater things from the band, a mightier exploration starting to confidently flex its muscle and invention upon I Know Bear Heads. With a line-up for the EP seeing bassist Sidge Rushton replacing the departed Gilroy, Semitt Falls have unveiled a riotous temptation which just will not take no for an answer.

The EP seizes ears, imagination, and passion right away with opener FIRE!FIRE!FIRE!, a track also featuring G.R.I.M. Folderfrontman Lance Hargreaves. Funnelling through a distantly starting corridor, riffs and vocals emerge in a flood of energy and transfixing sonic confrontation. Once fully exposed and immediately into its rampant stride the song sees mixed vocal squalls igniting the senses whilst resourceful riffery and a rhythmic cage sculpt compelling narratives to secure a swiftly brewed appetite for the song’s presence. Ripe with swipes of hip hop vocals, dubstep conjuring, and a metal bred antagonism the track is an irresistible rampage merging the electronic addictiveness of Pendulum with the punk metal of The Prodigy and Skindred. It is a thrilling introduction to the release breeding a keen hunger and greed for what is to come.

The following We Be Dinosaur takes little time in offering something different, a quality repeated from their previous album, every song a unique and individual character and proposition to the next. Opening with an evocative electronic caress with shards of crystalline causticity, the track at first has an Enter Shikari like coaxing to its offering though it is soon evolved into a stomp of ska and reggae fusion guided by excellent darker vocals and a delicious trombone croon from Rushton and Andy Jones. Adding some punk rapaciousness and electronic teasing to the impressive spread of vocals and exhilarating invention, the track roams and incites the passions like a mix of King Prawn, Hadouken, and Daft Punk with adding essences of Dizraeli and the Small Gods. It a glorious landscape of pleasure and imagination which takes the impressive start of the release up another notch or two in thought and creative wantonness.

The title track brings a less urgent presence to tempt the senses, vocals and guitars showing a more deliberate restraint to their enticement which the keys and vocals wrap in an evocation of sound and absorbing soak of emotion. With samples also adding their unique touch to the flowing musical narrative it is a strong and engaging encounter but one just failing to match the heady heights and quality of its predecessors. Nevertheless the song embraces focus and appetite tightly warming them up for the closing exploits of Global Warning. The final track retains the smouldering charms of the previous song whilst inviting the more predacious energy and snarl of the first two tracks, the result another incitement to launch a fresh breath of ardour for band and release even if again despite its glowing elegance and magnetic craft it just misses hitting those early plateaus.

Immediately a gripping and entrancing tempest of imaginative excitement, the EP just gets better and stronger with every traverse of its easily impressive body. Semitt Falls has all the potential and promise to be the next big thing in electro rock experimentation, something rigorously confirmed by I Know Bear Heads.

http://www.semittfalls.com

Get the I Know Bear Heads EP as a buy now name your price at http://semittfalls.bandcamp.com/album/i-know-bear-heads-ep

9/10

RingMaster 17/12/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Senser – To The Capsules

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It is always hard not to have an extra buzz to the anticipation of a new Senser release and the unleashing of their fifth studio album To The Capsules is no exception. Following the Biting Rhymes EP, an interim covers release between albums, the new ten track tempest from UK’s crossover legends shows the band at its most eclectic yet. Experience and maturity has certainly not diluted their want and intent to stretch their boundaries and on the evidence of the new release Senser have openly taken their consistently adventurous confrontational enterprise and inventive provocation to new levels. The debate is still going on in thoughts as to whether the album is their finest moment to date but certainly with a compelling expanse of imagination within a sumptuous storm of metal, hip hop, and electronica to simplify it all alongside the as expected political and social lyrical confrontation from the sextet, To The Capsules is a bright blaze in a fiery musical year.

Fan -funded through a highly successful Pledgemusic campaign and released via Imprint Music, the self-produced album takes the strong base established on the band’s comeback record How To Do Battle of 2009, and expands it into an intensive, incendiary, and satisfaction filling encounter. With a live presence which has accelerated into one of most exciting and inspiring over the past couple of years, Senser stir things up to another tempestuous height with To The Capsules, a record returning the band to the fore of genre merging invention and antagonistic ingenuity.

Big bulging magnetic rhythms open up the release, the initial pulsating lure of Devoid an immediate seizure of ears and thoughts. Senser-To-The-Capsules-cover-hi-resSoon after the guitar of Nick Michaelson is sending scars of searing sonic temptation across the rhythmic slavery, the merger only accelerating the hunger already brewing from the album’s entrance. Taking a stand of classic metal seeded enterprise alongside the still compelling rhythms, vocalist Heitham Al-Sayed unleashes his distinctive and passionate narrative delivery. It is prime Senser at this point but with a growl and predation which is as fresh a bait as ever laid down by the band. The album features guest vocalist iMMa across its length, the excellent vocalist having toured with the band since founding member Kerstin Haigh stepped down last year, and even as support on the song through the chorus raises the temptation and sultriness wrapping the metal bred intensity. As the predatory bass stalking of James Barrett and the outstanding drum exploits of Johnny Morgan, as well as the desk twisting skills of Andrew Clinton (aka DJ Awe) conjure greater shadows and traps for the listener to be enthralled by, the track is an immense and memorable lure into To The Capsules.

The following Time Travel Scratch drips intrigue and simmering seduction from its opening sample and coaxing, the DJ craft of Clinton stalked by the bestial bass sound conjured by Barrett immersed in a psychedelic funk kissed weave of imaginative persuasion. The track at times reminds of nineties UK rap group Honky, its grooves and senses mesmerising rhythms a similar toxicity wrapped in a soul and jazz funk fusion. The invigorating dance makes way for another lofty peak for the release. Witch Village with more than a whispered element of the weight and might of debut album Stacked Up to it, courts groove metal vengefulness and classic rock melodic enterprise for a result which is an aggressive and fearsome blaze of aural exploration and lyrical incitement.

The brilliant Wounded Spectre continues the torrent of diversity already rampaging across the album, its hardcore/punk rabidity linked to an alternative metal invention. Riffs are a carnivorous instigator of the passions whilst the sonic noise rock like stabs from Michaelson fall like shards of aural manna around the vocal vociferousness provided by Al-Sayed and iMMa. It keeps the album at its highest plateau, and is soon backed by the scintillating Break The Order, the track two and a half minutes of thrash ‘n’ punk fury. Take a pinch of Motorhead, The Grumpynators, Fuckshovel, and maybe a little Five Finger Death Punch and you have another piece of Senser alchemy to bask within.

The sultry sirenesque beckoning of iMMa within Alpha Omega and its sweet Eastern bred toxicity only increases as the track unveils intensive sinews and spite and melodies as virulently tempting as any release this year, whilst its successor Liquidity is a beguiling fluid heat of rap vocals, scratching squeals, and a psychedelic wash with a flavour of Dizraeli and the Small Gods to it. Neither track triggers the intensity of passion as their predecessors but both leave appetite greedy and satisfaction full to continue the raging pleasure.

Echelon features Kerstin Haigh on vocals alongside Al-Sayed and is another which just fails to reach earlier heights but for unpredictable and exhausting adventure is on the frontline, the track a bruising and uncompromising scorching fire of metal and hard rock rapaciousness. In its distinct character Chemtrails which has UK hip hop artists Junior Disprol and Manage guesting on its offering, also has a hunger which toys with rabidity within its electronic swamp and brass irresistibility. It is a challenging swarm of aural fascination, a glorious investigation which adds another startling aspect to the album whilst setting up the closing seven minute epic, Let There Be War. Despite the track epitomising all the strengths and invention of Senser it is a little disappointing, lacking that essential spark though like the other songs which slip below the album’s fullest heights, it is more down to the quality surrounding them on the album than any major shortcomings within its skilled and provocative walls.

      Nevertheless To The Capsules is a thrilling and richly exciting release and Senser back as one of the most innovative and boundary worrying bands in British rock, metal, rap….well within any genre they wish to employ.

http://www.senser.co.uk/

9/10

RingMaster 25/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ix9QEZ4lUjI

Sculpting voices: an interview with Grace Savage

GS David Gilkinson photography

One of so many highlights from the recent Dizraeli & The Small Gods gig at The Boileroom Guildford was supporting artist Grace Savage. Singer songwriter and beatboxing champion, Grace mesmerised and thrilled the audience with her skills in the craft of beatboxing but also with a wonderful and engaging vocal performance which radiated from her equally impressive songs. Knowing next to nothing about the lady before she stepped on the stage that night, we thought we would learn more by letting Grace herself reveal all in an interview which she very kindly agreed to.

Hi Grace, thank you for taking time to chat with us.

Having just seen your wonderful performance at The Boileroom in Guildford supporting Dizraeli & The Small Gods, the first question has to be where have you been hiding up until now? 

I’ve been working with Producer Dee Adam in the studio over the past year, developing the sound of the album and doing very low key gigs around London…I’m just about being unleashed into the big wide world of announced gigs now!

What inspired your hunger for music and also beatbox?

Most of my performance experience is rooted in theatre; I started going to stage school at about eight years old and it was there that I had my earliest experiences of learning and performing music. It was around that same age that became interested in writing creatively and even a few songs… inspired by my biggest musical influence of the time – The Spice Girls. I even started my own girl band ‘Flash’ and auditioned people during lunch times at primary school!  I’ve not really had any formal training in music; I think I have grade one in piano, grade 5 in classical singing and had a few guitar lessons but I always eventually lost interest once it came to being assessed and graded. That all changed when I discovered beatboxing! There were a few beatboxers in the little town of Crediton where I grew up in Devon and I was lucky to be mentored by one of them who happened to also be my good friend and 2009 World Beatbox Champ, Bellatrix. She taught me the basic noises when I was about 16 and I caught the beatbox bug instantly. Two years later I found myself performing my first gig on stage at the QEH, Southbank Centre in London with Shlomo and The Boxettes for 2,000 people!

…And your biggest inspirations?

As a young girl with a serious lack of role models in the media, I have always been inspired by strong women in music. Early influences include Beyonce, Amy Winehouse, Jill Scott, Lauryn Hill, Eva Cassidy, Alanis Morrissette, India Arie and Pink. As for the beatboxing, Bellatrix and Shlomo certainly played a big part in my development but right now, my biggest inspiration is probably Reeps 1 because he is seriously changing the game and pushing the boundaries of beatboxing. My inspiration for rhythms and beats comes from listening to a lot of hip-hop, dubstep and drum and bass but equally can come from everyday noises, if I hear something: a door, a police siren or a phone buzzing, I feel compelled to imitate it…I think it’s a syndrome!

I am right in believing you were singing and playing music long before you developed your other immense talent?gs3

I was playing guitar in an all-girl rock band at the age of 14 (with Bellatrix!) and was taking classical singing exams throughout my later school life but music was never a career choice or serious ambition for me. I went on to study theatre at Leeds University and that was what the path I had always planned on following. Things changed when I started working on projects as a beatboxer throughout my final year at university, as a result of that I decided to move to London and have a go at being a professional beatboxer. It was tough at first but I soon met producer Dee Adam and before I knew it I went from singing privately in my bedroom to singing on stages and officially pursuing a musical career! I had never actually sung in public until a couple of years ago. The thought of it terrified me. So it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster to say the least 🙂

From the gig alone we can see you are trying to combine the beatboxing and your songwriting and performance, is it an easy mix or two aspects you have to carefully craft in to a union?

It’s been a learning process for sure, especially in the studio. As far as the beatboxing is concerned, it was a challenge to find the right balance; we wanted it to sound authentic and recognisable as a human mouth but didn’t want this to compromise the overall muscle and punch of the songs.  Most are a mixture of beatboxing and programmed drums and so work together to create an organic but still hard hitting sound. Having said that, some songs have no beatboxing in them at all which is just as important to me as having it in – Beatboxing is a unique aspect of the music but the strength in the records comes from the left field production, emotive lyrics and soft vocal tones; first and foremost I want to be seen as a singer. The Beatboxing will have the most impact as part of the live Grace Savage experience. Ha. Did I just say that?!

First can we talk about the beatbox side, when did you ‘crack’ it so to speak and beyond being a UK female Beatbox champion which you were last year is there a limit to its potential musically?

I can’t remember a specific time when I suddenly felt like I had cracked it. It’s just something that comes with practice, it’s a gradual process and the more you do it the better you get. Getting over nerves and stepping on the stage to perform live is half the battle because beatboxing when you are short of breath is not easy! Being relaxed and feeling the groove is one of the most important things to remember when first learning, when I started relaxing I definitely started getting better. Whenever I start to think there might be a limit to beatboxing, someone does something to prove me wrong and the new generation of beatboxer’s are a clear example of that. Technically things have advanced an incredible amount over that last few years because as music changes and becomes more technical/electronic so does beatboxing. Reeps 1 just posted a video called ‘metal jaw’ where he beatbox’s heavy metal music which I never thought was possible! Having said that, unless you are absolutely exceptional, I do think there is a limit to beatboxing as a solo act. The beatboxers that are most successful and doing the most interesting work (in my opinion) are those that experimenting in different areas, theatrical shows, developing notation for classical concertos, dance shows, incorporating technology.

One imagines it takes constant work and practise to stay at the heights you have achieved, does this impact or distract from your other musical invention at all?

You have to be very disciplined if you want to get better and no matter how good you are you can always get better. I’m nowhere near where I want to be with it. I’m competing for the title of UK Champ again this summer and will need to start putting the hours in soon to refresh my material, construct new routines and learn new covers. But I have been so focussed on my singing, loop station and guitar playing recently; I have kind of neglected beatbox practice. Naughty Savage. Inspiration comes in waves!

Does it also place stress on what is your powerful and soaring vocal beauty, or is there a mutual use of vocal factors in both aspects?

Only certain noises in beatboxing are harmful to your vocal chords, usually involving throat bass which I avoid anyway…mostly because it sounds terrible when I attempt it! The physical power of Beatboxing comes from the plosive and percussive sounds made by the lips and tongue, breath is achieved quickly and often taken in whilst making a noise ( inward snare noise for example) whereas the power from singing is made using a different breathing technique entirely, deep and from the diaphragm.  So although I am using my voice and body as an instrument for both singing and beatboxing, they are very different disciplines to learn technically.

I will be honest and say I was expecting just a display of beatboxing on the night, not knowing of you before, so was wonderfully surprised by your outstanding vocal performance and stirring songs. Who has inspired that side of your invention musically and personally the most?

Within the beatboxing community creativity is respected and imitation is not, it forces you to be original and that mentality has certainly transferred into my music as well so I wouldn’t say there is anyone I am significantly inspired by in terms of musical or singing style.  People love to make comparisons and I’m sure they will but I really am just trying to be myself and hoping that will be enough. I wouldn’t be able to do that if it wasn’t for Dee Adam, she is a seriously talented producer and songwriter and her sensitivity & creativity combined with my odd little mind, we have managed to find the sound of Grace Savage, which I believe is something quite unique. But we will have to wait and see!

GSAre you a lone songwriter or do you work with others to create songs?

I’ve been keeping a diary most of my life and started scriptwriting a few years ago so have always been in the habit of observing people and recording my thoughts. Initially it starts as a lone process, sometimes it’s an idea, a verse, a title, an image or a story I’ve heard but once I take this to the studio it very much becomes a collaborative process and I’m very lucky to have developed such a strong song-writing partnership over the past couple of years with Dee.

Where do you get your inspiration for songs predominantly?

Relationships. I know, how predictable. Since working in the studio over the past year or so I have had a few for want of a better word ‘dramatic’ experiences within my relationships, these experiences have naturally bled into the mood and lyrics of the songs that we write.

Do you place a rich personal element onto your compositions then?

It’s important to me that the lyrics are personal and that I am singing from a place of truth.  A few writing sessions have turned unexpectedly into therapy sessions over that past few months! However, if every song related to a personal experience, it could become a bit emotionally exhausting. ‘By a Bullet’ is one of my favourite songs lyrically and that was written about the last woman to be hung in England, which I obviously have no personal connection with but we had to get into the head of her as a character in order to write the story. As a singer, sometimes you are bearing all and sometimes you are simply telling a story, lyrics can be a personal diary or a fabricated script and therefore sometimes you have to act.  Either way, if you are good at it, the audience will never know and I think that is fine, we all project our own emotions onto songs and create our own meanings for them anyway.

I believe your debut album is on the near horizon?

Yes, nothing happens overnight though!

What can we expect from the release?  Any clues or details you can reveal?

Beatboxing. Big Chorus’s. Freshness.

How did the link-up with Dizraeli and the gang come about?

I was asked by the promoter if I could perform as a solo beatboxer, I sent them my music as an alternative and they liked it. I actually know Dizraeli through Bellatrix (who plays bass for them) and also worked with him teaching workshops in primary schools a couple of years ago so it was a real nice vibe at the gig.

Tell us about your two companions on stage; are they a factor in your work beyond the live shows?

Yes, we write together too, it’s a really great team we have and I’m so lucky to be working with such talented and generous people.

Apart from the album what is next for and from you?

I’m performing at The Social on May 13th, As One In The Park festival 26th May and have just been confirmed to play at Kent Uni summer ball alongside Chase and Status, Labrinth and MistaJam in June! I have a music video for Wrecking Ball which is being released soon and I am performing at The National Theatre’s new space ‘The Shed’ throughout August as part of a verbatim musical piece called ‘Home’. It’s all go!

Once more many thanks for giving us an insight into Grace Savage.

Any last thoughts you would like to share?

Just a cheeky social network plug if I may 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/gracesavageofficial

http://www.twitter.com/_GraceSavage

And lastly…who did that ironing board belong to? 😉

The keys player from Dizraeli’s crew!

Check out the live review of Grace Savage and Dizraeli & The Small Gods  at The Boileroom Guildford@ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/disraeli-the-small-gods-guildford-boileroom-saturday-march-30th/

The RingMaster Review 17/04/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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