Tess of the Circle – Amplify

TOTC_RingMasterReview

Though a trio of exceptional singles have already provided a powerful and thrilling insight into the new album from British band Tess of the Circle, it still has not stopped Amplify from surprising and impressing beyond expectations. The eleven tracks making up the band’s second full-length offers virulent roars and irresistible croons, and a collection of rock ‘n’ roll fuelled songs which leap with zeal and passion at ears and imagination.

Rising in 2013 within the British Independent Collective, an artistic union of friends and talent in various mediums formed by singer/songwriter/guitarist Tess Jones, Tess Of The Circle soon sparked potent attention from fans and media alike with debut album Thorns. Jones’ songs soon found regular airplay which has continued since, especially with those recent singles. The past couple of years have been especially busy and successful for the band; that national radio support leading to a double figure amount of live sessions backed by a stage presence which has seen the band play five shows at Glastonbury, sub-headline the 2015 Acoustic Festival of Britain’s second stage, and headline Bear Gryll’s Festival in London. Such the might and majesty of the Gavin Monaghan (Editors, Robert Planet, Lemmy, Ryan Adams, Grace Jones) produced Amplify, all before seems like just being the prelude to bigger and bolder things for the Oxford hailing band; bigger success sparked by a release which it would not surprise if it emerged as an album of the year contender for a great many come December.

With guitarist Lee Clifton, bassist Ben Drummond, and drummer Paul Stone, alongside Jones, Tess Of The Circle get right down to business with opener Love Is the Drug That You Crave. As potent and contagious as first time heard as a single, the song is soon filling ears with the distinctive voice of Jones and scythes of guitar within an electronic shimmer. The relatively controlled start soon erupts into a feisty burst of energy and bait soaked hooks; a two prong coaxing repeated before the track hits a tenacious and rousing stroll. It is quite simply a blaze of melodic and rhythmic infectiousness; a bracing stomp only given greater depth by the great backing vocals around fiery textures cast by guitars and keys.

It takes little time for the variety within Amplify to emerge; from The Cars meets John Butler Trio feel of the first song, a Gary Numan air colours the following I’m Not Ashamed, though it is a spice predominantly cast by the vocal tone of Jones. Nevertheless, a great range of emotive and rhythmic shadows wrap the energetic canter of the song, adding weight and intrigue to the hazier lures of guitars and harmonies. As its predecessor, it takes little time to get fully involved with the grungy encounter, a swift persuasion matched by You Take Me Out of My Head and its thumping slice of bullish hard rock and anthemic rock ‘n’ roll. From its fiery jangle and imposing rhythms, the song demands attention, rewarding the submission with addictive hooks and beguiling grooves courted by the delicious throb of Drummond’s bass. Riffs are equally as formidable and persuasive; the track the perfect blend of aggression and seduction with blues enterprise for further drama.

A chance to relax is provided by the emotive croon of Believe (Into Her Arms), though ears and imagination are as busy as ever in being beguiled by the outstanding encounter. With blues hues lacing the guitars and a gravelly texture enjoyably coating Jones’ vocals, the song mesmerises as skittish rhythms entice. Even in its balladry, the track offers a catchiness which is impossible to resist as our hips and throats can attest to before they are given an even greater workout by the Nirvana-esque incitement of Mother Daughter Son. The track leaps and pokes with matching intensity; stirring up appetite and spirit with its slightly volatile revelry in a persuasion more than matched by Digging At My Bones. Like a tango, the song twists and turns, ebbs and flows in its unpredictable drama and enterprise. Emotionally more than physically tempestuous, the track uncages a theatre of sound and invention which gets right under the skin, tapping into the instincts for heart rousing rock ‘n’ roll.

The excellent Face the Changes flirts with a REM scented adventure next, its rock pop contagion a gentle but inescapable tempting, whilst Drowning Without You as good as steals the whole show with its dark and swampy rock ‘n’ roll. The brooding twang of the guitar is manna for the ear with extra spice provided by the provocative mystique infested melodies. The song nags the senses, seduces the imagination, and flirts with body and soul from start to finish, standing as album favourite with consummate ease even in the company of seriously impressing companions.

The heart blues serenade of Summer Rain is next, holding ears and enjoyment firm before allowing The Waves Break Us Down to share its intimate ballad wrapped in emotive strings and vocal melancholy. Both songs make compelling persuasions whilst adding fresh shades of creative colour to Amplify; one final hue offered by the closing beauty of This Higher Ground and its folk rock embrace of intimate sentiment and lively endeavour.

Amplify is quite sensational, not only living up to the promise of its temptation laying singles but revealing numerous more sides and imagination to the songwriting and sound of Tess of the Circle. It is not a must check out album recommendation we offer but  a must have suggestion.

Amplify is out now via Vintage Voice Records on iTunes and other stores.

http://www.tessofthecircle.com   https://www.facebook.com/TessOfTheCircle/

Pete RingMaster 26/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Slow Riot – Trophy Wife

Photo by Steve Gullick Photography

Photo by Steve Gullick Photography

Earning thick acclaim and attention with their Cathedral EP, Irish trio Slow Riot are now poised to release their new single and a fresh inventive colour to their already magnetic sound. Their previous release and singles worn an open post punk inspiration drawing likenesses to bands such as Gang of Four, Television, and Wire, as well as a shoegaze scented melodic charm. Though Trophy Wife is still embracing such seeds, it swiftly shows a new adventure of swinging rhythms and imagination tantalising hooks with a vivacity to match that of the driving energy fuelling its body. The result is a compelling affair which still springs from an eighties spawned heart but with the tenacious urgency of the now.

art_RingMasterReviewFormed in 2013, Slow Riot consists of vocalist/bassist Niall Clancy, drummer Paul Cosgrave, and guitarist Aaron Duff. 2015 saw the band release their first pair of singles in City Of Culture and Demons, two intrigue sparking songs which made a bigger impact as part of the attention grabbing Cathedral EP last October. The time between its release and the new single has seen a new twist and exploration in the band’s sound which Trophy Wife is already showing as being a great fresh step.

As the last EP, the single was recorded with Kevin Vanbergen (The Pixies, The Maccabees, Dinosaur Pile-Up, The La’s, Biffy Clyro) at Brighton’s Park Studios and quickly gets to work persuading and exciting ears with its initial surge of beefy rhythms and sonic incitement. Guitars spring a melodic web from there as the bass invitingly prowls, the first cradling the warm tones of Clancy and his harmonic delivery. Almost straight away, that previous post punk spicing emerges as a more new wave hued character, nudging thoughts of bands like B-Movie and Modern English whilst the pounding drive of the song and its intensive undercurrent of virulence offers a Doves meets Editors like tempting.

The track is a vivacious captivation accompanied by B-side Awake For Days; a more laid back proposition revealing another shade in the new palette of enterprise used by Slow Riot in songwriting and sound. Though hopes are that the band do not entirely free themselves of the darker post punk hues found in their debut EP, there is no denying that Trophy Wife offers something just as exciting and easy to find a healthy appetite for.

Trophy Wife is out on April 15th via Straight Lines Are Fine @ http://www.thegenepool.co.uk/artists/SLOW+RIOT.htm

Upcoming live dates:

18/04 – Opium Rooms, Dublin w/ Mission Of Burma

23/04 – Kasbah Social Club, Limerick

25/04 – The Waiting Room, London (free show)

https://www.facebook.com/slowriot.theband   https://www.instagram.com/slowriot.theband/   https://twitter.com/Slow_Riot_Band

Pete RingMaster 14/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Only Shadows – Be Still

 

oS _RingMasterReview

Hoping to build on and replicate a highly successful 2015, UK alternative rock band Only Shadows attempt to kick its successor into similar life with new single Be Still. A teaser to the West Midlands band’s impending debut EP, the new offering suggests they can expect another lively time especially if that upcoming encounter can match the single’s rousing proposal.

Formed in 2014, the foursome of Nick Ashby, Ben Riley, Paul Wechter, and Alex Moffitt pull on the inspirations of artists such as Manchester Orchestra, Frightened Rabbit, Editors, and Queens of the Stone Age for their own creative imagination. As mentioned, last year was a potent time for the band with Only Shadows supporting numerous artists including the likes of Coasts, Young Kato, and Saint Raymond whilst also headlining their own sold-out shows in Birmingham and London.

art _RingMasterReviewRecorded as the EP with Jamie Evans and Shane Shannahan (Jake Bugg, London Grammar, The Killers) at Westpoint Studios, Be Still quickly shows why people like BBC Introducing and Amazing Radio have been vocal in their praise of the band. A resonating guitar string and emotive vocal coaxing opens things up with both swiftly backed by punchy beats and warm harmonies. As the song rises in sound and energy, anthemic textures spring from bass and drums with drama fuelling the rich enterprise of guitars and voice around them. That Editors influence is a readily noticeable hue to the song too but a spicing only colouring a bolder Only Shadows theatre of sound and emotion. The track continues to rise and fall in its intensity and sonic fire across its body, never undulating in its persuasive roar and almost feverishly successful tempting of ears.

It is a gripping offering from the band which you might argue is not overly unique in sound, yet there is plenty about the single which takes Only Shadows away from the crowd and into an appetite to hear much more. Indeed 2016 is looking like another potentially triumphant year for the band.

Be Still is released April 8th on CD and Download via Nu Breed Records.

http://www.onlyshadows.co.uk   https://www.facebook.com/onlyshadowsuk   https://www.twitter.com/onlyshadowsuk

Pete RingMaster 06/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Ghosts Of Social Networks – Love Potion

art gosn_RingMasterReview

A dark seduction for the senses and a provocative adventure for the imagination, Love Potion is the debut single from UK band Ghosts Of Social Networks. It is not always easy to spark real attention with your first offering on unsuspecting ears, but the Manchester outfit certainly have no trouble with their magnetic fusion of post punk, indie rock, and neo-psychedelia.

Produced by Gavin Monaghan (Editors, Scott Matthews, Robert Plant, Paolo Nutini), the song is a dark tale of unrequited love and the use of alcohol as a way of getting close to someone. Embraced by a potent emotive exploration; its provocative narrative is more than match by thick waves of sultry and haunting sound which wash imposingly yet engagingly over the senses. With bold textures and lingering sonic caresses, the track openly bears the band’s inspirations from the likes of The National through to The Jesus & Mary Chain, with Echo & The Bunnymen the overriding scent especially when melodies and harmonies entangle and fuzzily smoulder in a fiery seduction. Despite those colours, the song reveals a distinct character belonging to the band, one which greedily enthrals as it sublimely slips into the psyche.

Love Potion is one half of an AA sided offering; its companion Mockingbirds, a similarly dark and provocative proposal looking at those imitating celebrity culture rather than carving out their own identity. The first side of the single is our first glimpse at Ghosts Of Social Networks though, providing a mystique soaked romancing of ears and imagination within a tempest of emotion and instinctive adventure from a band already suggesting they are going places.

Love Potion/Mockingbirds will be released digitally through all major sites May 6th on Integrity Records (INT 054).

https://www.facebook.com/GhostsOfSocialNetworks

Pete RingMaster 22/03/2016

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Colony House – When I Was Younger

Colony House new pic_RingMaster Review

Recently US indie rockers Colony House released their first UK single in the feisty and captivating shape of Silhouettes to coincide a host of live dates across Europe with Ohio quartet Walk The Moon. Fair to say a healthy buzz was bred and earned by both the shows and the single which was taken from the band’s debut album When I Was Younger; a fuss easy to expect leading to further potent success this side of the pond with the assumed release of the album here too.

Hailing from Nashville, Colony House was formed by Caleb and Will Chapman, the sons of Contemporary Christian pop superstar Steven Curtis Chapman, with Scott Mills who the pair met through a cousin. Initially called Caleb, the band switched to the name of Colony House in 2013, continuing to work on their first album which they began in 2012 and completed that following year. Its songs are a bold and openly intimate look at issues and experiences observed and felt by the band, the accidental death of the brother’s 5-year-old adoptive sister Maria Sue in 2008 one such tragedy. Their songs, as shown by the album, also explore a hope and understanding within the raw elements theming their bodies, their sounds similarly nurtured to accentuate and emphasize their themes with rich success.

artwork_RingMaster Review     The new single opens up the album and swiftly has ears enticed and gripped, Silhouettes swinging in with energetic rhythms and jangly guitar within a warm atmosphere led by the potent vocals. There is an instant familiarity to the sound of the song, nothing specific but recognisable hues welcoming an appetite for vibrant pop rock. It also comes with a thick drama and magnetic virulence, the song bridging melodic intimacy and rousing incitements with a stirring quality that soaks the album throughout as shown by the track’s successor Second Guessing Games. Again hearty and gentle caresses with a catchy intent lead into boisterous exploits with matching infectiousness, their persuasions alternating and entwining across the dynamic swing of the equally impressing track.

Variety is a constant across When I Was Younger too, the sultry and persistently revolving mix of electronic imagination and indie seduction colouring Caught Me By Surprise and the shadowed eighties toned theatre of Roll With the Punches quick evidence. Both of the excellent encounters steal attention with ease, the second especially compelling within its China Crisis meets Editors like weave of emotive melodies and immersive atmospherics around the ever impressing vocals and craft of the band.

There is a touch of UK band The Sea to the Colony House sound, an element hinting throughout but especially coming to mind within the tenaciously resourceful Keep On Keeping On, one of many tracks which just linger in the memory with its gentle but inescapable hooks and a wonderfully unpredictable imagination merging tender elements with fiery textures and emotional intensity. There is also a natural roar to the song and many of its companions which you can easily visualise being a potent force live, the album, we are assured by those in the know, a strong reflection of the band’s rich energy and power on stage.

Through the lively and heartfelt croon of Waiting for My Time to Come and the bluesy tonic of 2:20, band and album continue to enthral and offer spicy variations, the surf rock lined exploits of guitar in the second of the two especially invigorating before Learning How to Love lowers the intensity with its melodic romancing of the senses. It is a potent caressing which still has a rhythmic agitation to keep an eye on, one sparking increasing volatility as the song grows into its smouldering bellow of melodic temptation without breaking its controlling reins.

Through the acoustic serenade of Won’t Give Up and the evolving energy and creative landscape of Moving Forward, satisfaction and enjoyment is full even if neither quite lights the fires as forcibly and long term as earlier tracks or as constantly in the case of the latter. Glorious has a similar success, making a heavily pleasing and increasingly magnetic companion with every listen but not leaving the same seeds to entice an urgent return as say Silhouettes or Caught Me By Surprise.

The album closes out with Lose Control, another skilled theatre of sound and expression weaving in melancholic strings, dramatic rhythms, and the ever bracing mix of melodic and vocal heart. It is an anthemic end to an excellent introduction to the UK of Colony House, and easy to see why they are a healthily devoured proposal back home.

We have no details of the UK release of When I Was Younger but it seems it is on the cards with Silhouettes a more than exciting teaser worth big attention.

The UK and US releases of Silhouettes and When I Was Younger respectively can be found through most online stores.

http://colonyhousemusic.com   https://www.facebook.com/colonyhousemusic

Pete RingMaster 16/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Practical Lovers – Agony

 

Practical Lovers_RingMaster Review

Glorious is the only word for Agony, the debut album from UK synth pop duo Practical Lovers. It might be soaked in melancholy, be the outpouring of frustration and torment bred by lost and unrequited love, but the album is simply a majestic tapestry of skilfully cultured shadows and the beauty lying within all emotions.

The band is the union of singer songwriter Jack Wiles and his long-term musical partner Mark Connell. Originally it was intended as a solo project for Wiles with a collection of songs written “in an attempt to vent some of his frustrations with love in the 21st Century.” After introducing the idea and songs to Connell, the pair creatively united and stepped forwards as Practical Lovers, this around late 2010. The band signed with Nottingham based label I’m Not From London Records the following year, releasing a couple of singles over the next three whilst earning a rich reputation for their live performances. Now they unveil their eagerly awaited debut album, a stirring incitement of vintage synths and analogue drum machines bound in nostalgic radiance, heavy and seductive emotions, and compelling enterprise.

artwork_RingMaster Review    Every track within Agony is a love song; the dark side of and fallout from inspired explorations for sure, but all seeded in love. They come with an intimacy which feels like they are echoes of their creator’s heart and experiences and makes it easy to emotionally connect with, whilst each is presented within sounds which are as infectious and hopeful as they are similarly solemn to their lyrical pleas. From the opener band and release has ears and imagination chained, and emotions basking in the pleasure given.

Put It Bluntly tempts ears with a few dark pulses of synths whilst brewing a more feisty lure in the background, that swiftly coming forward and blossoming on the strains of a deliciously grouchy bassline. The inescapable enticement of Wiles’ wonderful dour lined and magnetic tones soon adds another rich texture and hue to the already invasively infectious encounter. That element of nostalgia is often eighties spawned and here on offer is a Paul Haig meets New Order coaxing with a touch of Interpol to it, a mixture only adding to the thrilling virulence of the song.

The following Never Again brings some fiery guitar to ears, the fizzy texture invitingly colluding with poppy synths as Wiles and Connell avail an already greedy appetite of their individual prowess. The fevered stroll does not hang around, offering a bubbly simmer over two minutes of inimitable bait before Inside Job provides another diverse and fiercely captivating string to the bow of Agony. Like The The in league with The Smiths, with Wiles vocally as throughout the album creating a vocal presence somewhere between Morrissey and Ian Curtis, the song is a plaintive serenade, a vibrant croon which whips up ears and emotion within seconds and increasingly involves the listener with every passing second.

A similar hue glows within Full of You next, though the track again reveals a distinct character of its own as synths smoulder and caress with emotive expression. The mix of vocals, presumably from the two artists, adds another riveting texture, though it is Wiles and the Smiths blessed earthy elegance that seals the deal between lustful ears and song, an ardour just as eagerly given to the Joy Division coated Nobody There which follows and straight after that the post punk scented brilliance of The Work Around. Hints of Blancmange and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark emerge from within the outstanding track, and in many ways, having seen OMD live in their first days, there is a definite resemblance between the bands if not exactly in overall sound.

No Reply slips into the dark corners of its emotive heart next, that Joy Division suggestion again an easy offer as the track morosely yet enticingly prowls ears before its big success is eclipsed by the skittish energy and devilry of Restless. Think Fad Gadget meets early The Correspondents with Editors in tow and a clue to its irresistible endeavour is close to the mark whilst for Textbook Romance maybe John Foxx era Ultravox and early Cure is a good hint. To be honest, for all the references sparked, each track is a thrilling proposal unique to Practical Lovers, just enhanced by a great weave of recognisable colours, whilst the second of this pair also unveil its warm party on the senses with a hopefulness arguably not explored as fully elsewhere.

The album closes off with firstly the insatiable contagion of Falling Down and finally the melancholic serenade of Grave of Romance, a song impressing initially and just seducing the passions to greater effect over time. Both also provide another aspect to the multi-faceted sound of Agony, an album which is blossomed from some of the harshest and deepest felt emotions possible but is anything but agony to listen to.

Practical Lovers is one of the finds for our ears of 2015 and Agony one of its most thrilling and invigorating releases.

Agony is released November 27th digitally and on limited edition cassette tape through I’m Not From London Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/agony/id1051440048

https://www.facebook.com/Practicallovers

Pete RingMaster 27/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Victories at Sea – Everything Forever

VAS_RingMaster Review

Everything about Everything Forever is noir hued; even its melodic glows and emotive beauty is wrapped in some form of portentous shadowing resulting in something highly mesmeric and provocative. The encounter is the debut album from UK band Victories at Sea, a Birmingham trio already no strangers to an excited buzz and attention around them and their sound, with plenty more sure to surface as Everything Forever seduces over time.

Musically Victories at Sea draw on inspirations ranging from the likes of Mogwai and Factory Floor to Slowdive and The Chameleons, and it is the latter in a fusion with Editors, Felt, and The Slow Readers Club which emerged in personal thoughts as a hint to the flame and suggestiveness of the band’s new release. Written over two years within an abandoned steel works in Digbeth and recorded in the damp basement of an old whistle factory, Everything Forever builds on the character of the bands’ previous EP In Memory Of. That was a release leading to keen support by the likes of NME, The Guardian, Clash Magazine, and XFM’s John Kennedy, something already being echoed in the wake of the new album’s varied and fascinating persuasion.

Artwork_RingMaster Review   Released via Static Caravan Recordings, Everything Forever opens up with Bloom, an apt title as release and sound does openly grow and blossom within the song. Synths offer the initial hug of coaxing, their mix of intense and emotive colours melancholic yet lively and increasingly inviting as they lead ears and appetite into a catchy stroll bound in sonic guitar lures. The mellow vocals only add to the warmth within a more oppressive climate as an eighties hue reminding of bands like Felt and also The Wild Swans adds to the fascinating and swiftly gripping success of the impressive opener.

The rich start continues with Florentine and there is barely a slither of difference to the sheer majesty of the first two tracks; the second, with more of that familiar nostalgic air, flirting from within another flavoursome shuffle of floating keys, harmonic vocals, and spicily melodic enterprise courted by the darker swing of the rhythms. Inescapably infectious, the track shares its attributes with the following Up, it too bridging eras of synth rock and post punk whilst bringing a big smile of infectiousness aired in a whisper of Duran Duran meets Tones On Tail. Keys and guitar entangle throughout, spinning a kaleidoscopic web of sound with minimalistic strands thick in temptation and resourceful imagination. Already the first three songs are rivalling for best track honours and to be honest they continue to chain the choice amongst themselves though many songs attempt to rival them.

The smooth celestial swing of On Your Own is one, its charming canter of sound and vocals a pulsating and contagious radiance on ears and imagination whilst DMC finds the band slip into something far more dystopian in air and suggestion. Its dark heavy climate embraces a blend of cool and warm keys, whilst its industrial spawned instrumental heart alone echoes as much the dark animus the world is in and which inspires some of the band’s lyrical exploration, as any vocalised tracks within Everything Forever.

Poles Apart is initially a low key but still boisterous affair compared to earlier tracks, vocals against skittish percussive tenacity creating a lively canvas from where keys and especially the spicy tonic of the guitars breed emotive imagination and subsequently a growing intensity which soon roars like a fire. It is compelling stuff which continues in the slightly starker but no less riveting seduction of Swim, a slice of again eighties inspired post punk that ignites the imagination as swiftly as hips and emotions. As suggested already, the Victories at Sea sound delves into the deepest shadows and darkest corners of worldly reflections and emotional intimacy yet boy is it easy to dance to, band and music built to get bodies fully involved and heading to the dance-floor.

Future Gold just epitomises that intent and success, its golden sunspot of melodic and harmonic prowess a sultry glow on another landscape crafted to tempt hips and an instinctive motion of the body. Emotionally driven by hope matched by an alluring radiance of sound, the song as so many quickly gets under the skin, leaving a welcome imprint that draws attention back again and again.

The thumping bait and virulence of Into the Fire provides one more rousing waltz of imagination and addictiveness next before album closer Sirens uncages its haunting atmospheric soundscape. The breath and design of the final song lives up to its title with ease, intimidating air and emotionally desolate scenery colluding in a post rock tinged exploration of physical dissonance; it all playing like a reflection of the same invasive discordance now gripping socially and globally. The track is darkly captivating, revealing even richer aspects of the Victories at Sea invention whilst taking the listener to yet another new place within Everything Forever.

It is easy to see why Victories at Sea are a favourite proposition for a great many right now and will be for many, many more now their album, a release not to miss out on, is working its temptation.

Everything Forever is out now via Static Caravan Recordings digitally and on vinyl/CD @ http://victoriesatsea.bigcartel.com/product/everything-forever

http://www.victoriesatsea.co.uk  https://twitter.com/victoriesatsea  https://www.facebook.com/Victories-at-Sea-272819659418258/

Pete RingMaster 16/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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