Ron McElroy – Japanese Song

Ron McElroy pic

Earlier this year London based singer/songwriter/guitarist Ron McElroy impressed with his debut single World At War, so much so that a definite anticipation for his first full-length album All Her Kisses which is to be released soon, was sparked. Now he releases the second single from the impending album in the intriguing form of the Japanese Song. It is a track which raises questions as well as confirming the promise previously triggered, but overall it still adds to the appetite for his debut album.

With the experience of working and playing with the likes of Juliette Lewis, Isabella Summers (Florence & the Machine), Sian Evans (DJ Fresh, Kosheen), Trouble Over Tokyo and Amber Bella Muse, the artist has come a long way from receiving a simple hand-me-down guitar given to him by a friend, and striving to master its charms and develop his own unique style with inspirations from the likes of Jimmy Hendrix and Miles Davis.

From the more eager anthemic rock intent of his first single, Japanese Song is an arguably less accessible and certainly more of a slowly persuasive piece of invention. The lone acoustic guitar declaration is an instantly lure whilst the soon joining oriental percussive suggestion adds a joint mystique and question in thoughts. The distinctive vocals of McElroy soon add another texture to the narrative and at this point senses and imagination are consumed with whether the combination works or not for them, and debatably the song does not quite engage as may be  it should at this point. As great vocal harmonies and the simple but evocative guitar tempting wrap their further suggestion around the ear you soon discover a smouldering persuasion working and soon providing a compelling answer to any questions being raised. The song by its end has left a nicely composed rock/folk ballad which does not light fires but still offers enough to tempt a check out of the forthcoming album.

Definitely a song which makes a stronger suasion with each listen though it does not feel like the natural temptation for newcomers to investigate the album ahead, Japanese Song is another wind of intrigue to the talent of McElroy and certainly well worth a listen or two.


RingMaster 15/09/2013

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Ron McElroy – World At War

Ron McElroy 1

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Ron McElroy has earned a wealth of experience from years playing with other artists such as Trouble Over Tokyo and Amber Bella Muse, as well as making notable collaborations with the likes of Juliette Lewis, and Isabella Summers (Florence & the Machine), and writing songs with people such as with Sian Evans (DJ Fresh, Kosheen). Now ahead of his debut album All Her Kisses which is set for an Autumn release, he unveils the first single from the forthcoming release, World At War. A more than capable rock song with the ability to easily satisfy, the track is an open invitation to the man and his sounds which without ripping up trees certainly ensures that attention for his full length is going to be very alert.

The London based musician steps into his own light having helped ignite that of so many others and it has to be said that the single certainly captures the imagination. It is a song which slowly persuades, its initial grabbing of nodding approval soon tempting the listener to add their dollar of effort for a pleasing and lingering union. As mentioned it does not ignite fires of passion with its melodic rock presence but undoubtedly sparks a continuing welcome for its catchy and honest presence.

Starting with big beats and a smokey blues kiss from the guitar, World At War is immediately a warm stroll with anthemic whispers just waiting to jump out. The vocals of McElroy are decent enough without being openly impressive but his skilled and engaging guitar craft certainly is a striking call from the heart of the track, his playing a richly appetising feature. Once the song hits a fiery sonic blaze of things take a further lift with the subsequent second strain of vocals making a better impression and filling the walls of the song with an infectious warm energy. Easy to join and enjoyable to the ear, the track is a fine teaser for the album, and though it is not without elements which do not quite work as well as others World At War makes the upcoming appearance of All Her Kisses an intriguing prospect.


RingMaster 22/04/2013

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Kosheen: Independence

Five years after previous album Damage, British electro/rock band Kosheen return with Independence, a release to set them again to the fore of electronic manipulation and melodic grandeur. The album will be an irresistible treat for fans of the band and electro music, the exciting and adventurous soundscapes and sparkling pop excursions within, a teasing and magnetic delight. For those like arguably us who prefer their electronic sources to intimidate and force reactions rather than invite like Kosheen, there is still more than plenty to enthuse over and recommend to more eagerly devouring hearts.

Consisting of sound conjurors Markee Substance and Darren Decoder alongside vocalist Sian Davies, the trio in the intervening years between albums have been working on other projects and in the case of Davies, collaborating on songs as a guest with varied producers, including DJ Fresh for the track Louder. The time has also seen the band leave their label to set up their own, Kosheen Recordings, and taking charge of their own destiny.

Independence immediately seizes attention with its warm charm whilst offering an enterprising sheet of ideas and imaginative sounds track after track. It opens with Addict, a song which has a familiarity from its initial emerging shadowed whispers through to its rich creative sounds and glorious vocals. It is hard to say the track sounds like anyone or thing else but it certainly sways in the ear like a previously introduced and welcome companion. The mesmeric kiss of the track is irresistible whilst the darker pulses add a luring depth to keep things balanced and wholly intriguing. The voice of Davies is as ever just sensational, her vocal caresses worth the admission fee on their own whilst the compulsive eighties early Human League aural kisses equally ignite a feverish appetite for their potent sound.

First single from the release, Get A New One, follows to leave one enamoured and breathless, its electronic spotlights and meandering weaves dazzling one into subservience. As much as one tries to stay away from the reference there is a certain Eurythmics spice to the track which dances like a flaming beacon within the pulsating and delicious sounds. The song stomps with sultry teases and melodic pouts whilst hypnotizing senses and passions with rapture seeding mastery. It is easily the best track and the perfect invitation to ensures delving into Independence is the minimum thing to do in regard to the band.

Tracks like Tightly with its celestial shimmering and the brilliant Bella Donna only elevate the majestic creativity and enchantment, both aural roses in bloom with sensationally vibrant colours and fragrances with the second in particular just a siren but with a heart to leave only rapture from its embrace. At this point the album is already showing strong diversity as it pulls the ear into the pounding dance excursion of Dependency. Initially it appears to be unveiling sinister dangers for the senses to enjoy and contemplate but midway evolves into a mellower soulful melodic declaration before merging the two. For those previously mentioned harsher preferences, the song offers much but delivers less, though it is impossible to say it does or offers anything wrong, or is less than impressive.

From here on in the album is arguably more inventive as a perpetually twisting affair but loses the contagious command and appeal of the opening parade of songs, for again personal desires. Manic is an acutely crafted flight through chilling shadows and heated shafts of melodic sun whilst the instrumental Zone 8 is a canvas of evocative manipulations and striking cosmic expulsions which in its relatively short journey works extremely well. Neither leave one entranced as with previous songs but like the remainder of the album are an array of intriguing ideas and contagious tapestries. Tracks like the glorious Something New, which emerges as a definite favourite, and the summery hazy pool of sound that is Out There as well as the early Depeche Mode like Waste, do though ignite strong emotions and the intent to return often, showing there is easily more than enough quality to draw in again these sonically blood thirsty tastes.

It is fair to say Kosheen have returned stronger than ever. Whether Independence is their finest hour is for their fans to say but certainly it is an album which exposes a well of pleasure with ease.

RingMaster 29/10/2012

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