Old House Playground – 21st Century Glory

OHP_RingMaster Review

Having already seduced 2015 with their dark blues honed rock ‘n’ roll courtesy of The Great Escape EP, UK homed Old House Playground do it again with their new single 21st Century Glory. Continuing the compelling and fiercely alluring sound of their last release, the Manchester based trio take ears and imagination into another shadow built and gothic aired adventure, a creative escapade as seeded in “the songwriting culture of traditional Greek folk music” as it is the noir spawned recesses of modern blues rock. The result is a pair of songs which bewitch and inspire, and a single sure to add pressure on the richest spotlights to wake up to the impressive band.

Athens bred, Old House Playground relocated to Manchester in 2009, to “experiment with new musical paths and forms of expression.” Consisting then of vocalist/guitarist Tryfon Lazos, drummer Andreas Venetantes, and bassist Conor Loughran, the band drew on inspirations from the likes of Tom Waits, Django Reinhardt, Nick Cave as well as Greek artists Psarantonis and Marcos Vamvakaris as their sound’s character and voice evolved. After the departure of Loughran, the remaining pair recorded debut album God Damn That Gold with producer/musician Chris Evans, its release coming in 2013 through Evening Economies/Fat Bob Records. Well received and praised, the full-length led to a collaboration with Durutti Column, that leading to Lazos singing onstage alongside Vini Reilly. The addition of bassist Jago Furnas was made in 2014, with the threesome going on to record, and earlier this year release, The Great Escape.

21st Century Glory Artwork_RingMaster Review   Now it is the turn of 21st Century Glory to whip up ears and appetites, a success quickly in motion as the track opens with flames of brass upon strolling rhythms and fiery guitar coaxing. The distinctive tones of Lazos are soon adding to the temptation as the song itself entwines strands of blues and jazz into its emerging sultry swing within an imagination driven intent. As with their previous release, strong hints of artists like Tom Waits, Nick Cave, and The Doors collude with the scent of others like Eighties B-Line Train Disaster and Bernaccia, yet what emerges is a mischievous proposal that stands alone as an Old House Playground incitement. The virulent nature of the song continues to enslave, even as the guitar at times creates a fuzzy sizzle of persuasion; that underlying catchiness perpetual and inescapable bait throughout.

The song is bewitching; a lively shuffle of gothic intrigue and tenacious sultriness, matched in kind by the accompanying Love And Other Demons. A slower rockabilly coloured saunter, the song courts ears and imagination with the guile of The Stray Cats and the tangy noir scent of Chris Isaak, whispers of Gene Vincent and Harry Connick, Jr. also lighting its presence as it swaggers along with poise and charm. As restrained as it is in comparison to its companion, there is zeal to its persuasion and presence which seems to know it is something special as it infests the psyche.

Like a great many, Old House Playground is proving to be a band we cannot get enough of, so if you have yet to be infected by their majestic dark alchemy, we suggest 21st Century Glory is the perfect way to be first bitten by them.

21st Century Glory is out now via Horus Music.

http://www.oldhouseplayground.net/   https://www.facebook.com/oldhouseplayground  https://twitter.com/oldhouseplay

Pete RingMaster 17/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Old House Playground – The Great Escape EP

Picture 49_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

Listening to The Great Escape EP, thoughts wondered whether if Edgar Allan Poe was around today creating dark literary masterpieces, would he be listening to and most likely involving the music of UK based Old House Playground somewhere. Four tracks of dark rock ‘n’ roll bred with provocative blues climates and gothic imagination, all “with roots in the songwriting culture of traditional Greek folk music”; the band’s new seriously compelling EP suggests quite possibly yes as it thrills with its ripe bewitching drama and imposing atmospheres.

It was in 2009 that Old House Playground moved from Athens to Manchester to, in the words of their bio, “experiment with new musical paths and forms of expression.” Vocalist/guitarist Tryfon Lazos, drummer Andreas Venetantes, and bassist Conor Loughran were soon weaving inspirations from the likes of Tom Waits, Django Reinhardt, Nick Cave and Greek artists Psarantonis, and Marcos Vamvakaris into their own unique vision of an alternative rock/blues sound. The departure of Loughran before its recording saw debut album God Damn That Gold the creation of the remaining duo overseen by producer/musician Chris Evans. Its 2013 release via Evening Economies/Fat Bob Records was keenly received and praised, as too a UK tour in support of its unveiling. The band also ignited the attention of Vini Reilly through the band linking up with Sugar House production, leading to a subsequent collaboration seeing Old House Playground and Durutti Column together for the latter’s first Manchester performance for five years and Lazos singing onstage alongside Reilly that night. With bassist Jago Furnas enlisted last September, Old House Playground now release the magnificent tempting of The Great Escape, an encounter to inspire the imagination and feed a greedy appetite for dark treats.

Picture 47_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review   Opener Polite Fiction immediately has ears and attention sparked with its initial psychobilly coated groove, and gripped with the quickly joining blend of vocals and spicy guitar enterprise. The tones of Lazos are a rich enticing and attention grabber, even as the song becomes a perpetual awakening of new sounds and textures sparking ears with embraces of fiery sax and brooding basslines amongst many things. An unbridled captivation with a predatory stride, the song blossoms into a sultry, jazz kissed seduction of Bernaccia and Tom Waits like essences courting the warped swagger of Eighties B-Line Train Disaster and the raw croon of Nick Cave. It is a delicious web of temptation, ears and thoughts embroiled in the swinging lures and smouldering drama cast by the openly inventive and descriptive craft of the band.

The exhilarating start is followed by Stardance, a similarly potent slavery of blues intoxication and rhythmic devilry bound in tangy grooves and vocal enterprise. Like its predecessor, the song has a flirtatious devilry to its sauntering gait and swinging energy, and like the first track provides an irresistible tapestry of darkly cultured hues entangled in delta bred blues persuasion. It is the devil’s music for sure and even more ridiculously addictive when exploring off kilter twists of sonic and melodic ingenuity aligned to the perpetual noir lit jazziness fuelling its inventive breath.

A western twang creeps in with the inviting caress of guitar bringing All Day Today into view next, the song’s country-esque acoustic folk charm enhanced further by the ever potent and alluring vocals of Lazos. Reminding in some ways of Swedish band Billy Momo and in others of Milton Star, the song is three minutes of dark seduction sparking ears and thoughts further before making way for the EP’s closing title track. Sweltering with sultry melodies and heated sonic mystique, the song is pure aural alchemy conjuring a majestic tapestry of wiry chords and acidic grooves within a suggestive landscape as intimate as it is evocatively expansive.

The track is a brilliant end to a seriously thrilling release. Old House Playground may have been in the shadows for many before the release of The Great Escape EP but it is easy to suggest the only dark hues around them will be those they seed, blossom, and embrace their music with from hereon in.

The Great Escape EP is available via Horus Music from 22th June @ http://oldhouseplayground.bandcamp.com/album/the-great-escape, digitally and as Limited Edition 10″ vinyl with 2 bonus tracks!

http://www.oldhouseplayground.net/   https://www.facebook.com/oldhouseplayground

RingMaster 22/06//2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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