MiXE1 – Reflections

Like so many bands, British trio MiXE1 has teased and taunted rich attention with a host of ear grabbing encounters but have yet to fully ignite the sparks set through those imaginative success deserving releases. It is easy though to suggest and expect that break through with the band’s new album Reflections; a collection of striking tracks combining to create their finest most striking moment yet.

From a solo project created in 2010 by Mike Evans (Vocals, Synths), MiXE1 has grown into a formidable creative proposition with the addition of Lee Towson (Guitars, Live Bass, Synths, Vocals) and Lee O’Brien (Drums, Synths, Samples). Similarly their sound has evolved and blossomed across EPs and a well-received debut album as electronic adventure has increasingly aligned with alternative and rapacious rock tenacity. As Reflections shows, it is music and imagination which continues to explore and discover greater depths; the new album embracing a broader canvas of sound as the snarl of metal, boisterousness of pop, and epic rock enterprise all collude with the band’s already established creative instincts.

With the release also seeing the band joined by a host of guests across its increasingly magnetic body, Reflections opens up with its title track, the song looming in from an instantly busy distance on a tide of synth and guitar to swiftly establish an inescapably tempestuous and gripping lure. Evans’ vocal roar carries a similarly ferocious edge, attitude still lining the melodic prowess which soon springs from his throat amidst the compelling storm. With hungry hooks and fiery melodies igniting the multi-flavoured and easily devoured trespass, the song continued to nag, enthral, and incite.

The following Get Out Alive rises with a similar recipe of flavours but quickly sets out its individual character woven on melody, aggression, and eager imagination. As its predecessor, its infectious breath and moves are at odds with but the perfect companion to raw ferocity; again a union which attacks and seduces within a stirring tapestry of sound and texture.

Though released a couple of years back, Don’t Break Apart could be described as the lead single of the album and has lost none of its potency over time. In many ways the moment the band’s sound marked its latest evolution with its earlier release, its potential has been fully realised across the album and still fires up the appetite as it builds on its pulsating electronic start to cast sonic virulence upon the senses. Gentle caresses lead to inflamed eruptions and compelling melodic intimation builds to dark and rapacious incitement, the track pure magnetic and intimate drama only elevated by the additional contributions of Lawrie Bayldon (Studio-X) on synths and Erlend Eilertsen (Essence of Mind) alongside Richard K (Machine Rox) on vocals.

The rousing Spectrum is next up, immediately casting a melodic web with metallic strands around a robust rhythmic canter, the track a voracious mix of pop catchiness and electro shadows all toned with flirtatious temptation while successor, the equally irresistible Align revels in vociferous industrial instincts to create its very own contagious incitement. There is a great irritable edge to the electro rock based outing, antagonism soaked in melodic tempting reminding of former UK band Ghost In The Static.

From a dystopian atmosphere Nexus steps forward next, the track another with an industrial rock breeding embracing and employing a wealth of electro and rock strands to cast its magnetic web. Rabbit Junk’s JP Anderson joins Evans on vocals, his raw antipathy a tantalising companion to the more flirtatious harmonic tones of MiXE1’s frontman. Yet again ears were gripped and vocal chords incited with Fall straight after thrusting its rapacious rock ‘n’ roll upon the senses to similarly take control of body and attention with increasing rewards if ultimately only teasing the heights of the previous tracks. Still though, it just captivated before Monochrome with Roman Marisak (Professional Murder Music, Spacetime) guesting on vocals provides the darkest and most corrosive moments of the release whilst forging another of the album’s striking propositions in sound and enterprise revealing richer depths by the listen.

Yet one more major highlight comes with next up Creations, the song casting an atmospheric suggestiveness from which emotive and melodic imagination blossom their radiance. At its volatile heart is the vocal coupling of Evans and Natasha Cox (Mankind Is Obsolete, AL1CE, Alice Underground), both pure enticement and the latter simply mesmeric within a climate which simmers, seduces, and subsequently erupts with physical and emotional turbulence.

The final pair of Authors and Quasar ensure the album’s close is as stirring and impressive as what came before; the first an eager slice of electro rock as anthemically infectious as it is intimately heart bred while the latter takes the listener across an ethereal landscape before taking a spatial flight enriched with celestial harmonics and spirit raising dynamics. It is a glorious and imaginative finale exposing yet another aspect in the creative kaleidoscope of MiXE1.

The Hertfordshire band has never been a stranger to providing striking and seriously enjoyable encounters but Reflections simply eclipses all that has come before so surely the time is ripe for MiXE1 to be embroiled in the attention and success their music if not before now definitely deserves.

Reflections is out August 9th with pre-ordering available now @ https://mixe1.bandcamp.com/album/reflections

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Pete RingMaster 23/07/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Mr. Strange – WTF

As the world, whilst strolling along the path to self-destruction, becomes more and more fuelled by chaos, dissonance and bigotry, so rises up dissenting voices and alternative fractions in all walks of life.  UK hailing outfit Mr. Strange is one such proposition, a band which vaunts the alternative and freak show of life with a sound just as bold, brazen, and bare-faced celebratory and in full and irresistible chorus within new album WTF.

A 3-piece electro-rock outfit from the Isle of Wight, Mr. Strange began in 2006, a creative offshoot to the criminally unrecognised but glorious cult circus/steampunk-rock band, The Shanklin Freak Show which was led by vocalist/songwriter Mr. (Saul) Strange. With a handful of studio albums under the belt bookending TSFS, Mr. Strange became a rousing live proposition out of the former’s demise. We find ourselves among a vast flock already hooked and compelled by the creative parade escaping the talents of all members over the years so as a best of album WTF was only going to have the body bouncing and spirit racing. Featuring 20 “fan favourites and live staples” including many updated and revamped, the album is a summing up of past glories and the doorway to a trepid new adventure; quite simply the perfect introduction and invitation to the multi-styled electro rock escapades of Saul Strange, bassist/guitarist Ant Strange, and live drummer Damian Strange.

For existing fans of the band there will be a strong tinge of sadness listening to WTF as so many of its tracks feature the work of Gary ‘Stench’ Mason, an accomplished and creatively potent guitarist as well as a true gentleman and friend sadly no longer with us. The album is as much a legacy and celebration of his craft as the band’s voracious sound and Saul’s manipulatively skilled songwriting and it sets out a massive lure from the off with Wonderful World of Weird. It is a truly magnetic summoning, getting under the skin from its initial hum before leading the body on a rousing swing thereon in as it marches into the hectic imagination and prowl of the band’s kaleidoscopic musical.

It’s quirky flirtation and bidding is matched by that of the following Carousel, a track bridging the antics of The Shanklin Freak Show and Mr. Strange with nagging boisterousness. Its dark circus is the obverse shade to the mischievous tone of its predecessor, a like-minded but heavier, caliginous counter-part just as devious in its lure of body and vocal chords before the same kind of full captivation is repeated through the electro sizzle of Disco Bitch.

As Brain Dead Boogie greedily infests limbs with its skilfully frantic rock ‘n’ roll and Clockwork Man lays its own haunting bait and grip on ears and imagination, it is already hard to imagine many resisting the album’s devilish cure; even more so as the latter’s sinister metronomic crawl shares a subservient body with the shameless declaration and electro dance of I Like Girls…, it yet another inescapable musical voluptuary.

Twisted Family brings the freaks all together in its Tartarean gathering next, again sharing a celebration of the aberrance in man swiftly prowled by the predacious Lizard Man 3.0 which immediately sets about weeding out the wonder rich anomalous from the corrupted inflexible. Both tracks are bred in the circus rock of TSFS but evolved to greater calls with the ever exploratory prowess of the Mr. Strange sound, the second especially blossoming into a fresh thrilling beast.

From album to album Mr. Strange has explored individual directions and distinct flavours, each unique to another but as proven across WTF any song sit easily amongst each other no matter their breeding as shown by the seamless way the disco pop of Addiction nestles against the ravening exploits of the previous pair and the surf ‘n’ roll of the exceptional Psycho Surfing a Go-Go,. One of our all-time Strange anthems, the track is pure addiction, a compulsive stomp woven on the purest essences of rock ‘n roll and all its deviancies.

In turn the rapaciously creeping psychotic saunter of Anti-Light lends its tenebrific lures to the coquettish shadows and reflection of the band’s cover of the Pet Shop Boy’s It’s A Sin which then lies comfortably against the untamed serenade of Music Box. All three feed the diversity and untypical prowess of the release, the middle track, which its creators never quite had us hooked with, finding a whole new level of persuasion.

Deviant Ritual is another song which became a major infestation within the Electric Pornography album and stands a major incitement within WTF, its mutant electro waltz pure slavery not too distantly matched through the iniquitous ramble of Sodom Nights featuring the vocal charms of Bridget Gray and immediately after courtesy of the eerily atmospheric, Stygian beauty clad Playground Twist, this another essential offering from the Mr. Strange songbook. It is one of four songs which are exclusive to the download version of the album and as much as a physical copy is forcibly recommended you do not want to miss out of any of the quartet either.

Through the body using swing of Exile and the similar electronic exploitation uncaged by Villain, participation and pleasure drips lust and even more profusely for the album’s previously unreleased track, an insatiably rousing merger of Dead Or Alive’s Spin Me Round and the band’s own just as tenaciously vampy Do It Like Pete Burns.

The glorious celebration of Mr. Strange concludes with the duskily wistful and radiantly mesmeric There’s Consequences, a final slice of instinctive temptation. WTF provides all the evidence needed to declare songwriter and band one of the truly fresh and exciting trespasses on the senses and imagination around. It does breed slight disappointment as other tracks like the truly wonderful Jonathan and the seriously anthemic Fire were not included but that is just down to personal favourites of which we will all have plenty we could easily add to all the deserving proposals within WTF.

There are some bands which are almost guaranteed to enthral and recruit just given the chance, Mr. Strange is one and here to provide the perfect doorway to their unique spectacle of unquenchable goodness is WTF, you just have to enter through its threshold.

WTF is available now across most stores. For more info and Mr. Strange check out…

http://www.mrstrangemedia.com   https://www.facebook.com/Official.Mr.Strange   https://twitter.com/MrStrangeTweets   https://www.youtube.com/user/MrStrangeMedia https://www.instagram.com/_mr_strange_/

Pete RingMaster 02/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Jupiter in Velvet – Beautiful New Day

Six albums down and Jupiter in Velvet continues to nurture fresh ingredients in a sound which just seems to grow and evolve by the release. The US bred, UK residing singer songwriter has persistently refused to make it easy to pigeonhole his sound and Beautiful New Day, his seventh full-length, has mischievously not made it any easier. It is a rocking stomping slab of rock ‘n’ roll bred on all the rich essences of previous decades whilst casting more than a few new ones of its very own.

Jupiter in Velvet adds everything from pop and psych rock to indie and electro rock to a classic/hard rock hearted sound, one also just as adept at grabbing metal hues as it is at being a punk. The latest album certainly bears classic rock inclinations maybe more so than previous encounters but with a hunger for any flavour and style which allows the contagion within tracks to truly roar.

Beautiful New Day opens up with Heavy Like A Brick and immediately gripped ears with insurgent strikes of guitar; their guerrilla scythes nothing other than pure temptation. That nagging lure swiftly breaks into a prowling swagger loaded stroll as the richly individual tones of Jupiter add their own swinging persuasion. A track which just tempts more and more by the listen, it is a web of seventies and eighties rock and pop lined with strands of current day devilry; a proposition unapologetically infectious though that instinctive contagion reveals itself to be even more viral like numerous times more across the release.

Next up, Can’t Get It Right is one such instigator; the song a mix of Bowie-esque, INXS infected catchiness with a roar in its breath and angst in its heart. Its controlled swing simply manipulated hips whilst the guitar sparked the appetite with senses stabbing riffs and sonic flames. A feral edge to its tone and catchiness added further magnetism before Monsters took over and uncaged its predacious pop ‘n’ roll. As with most tracks there is a mix of familiarity and individual enterprise which grabs ears and attention and like each, the song springs hooks and melodic tempting with the hand of the Devil.

From one outstanding track to another as latest single Metanoia grips the imagination next. An irresistible blend of indie pop and melodic rock, the track bounces in with a bold and catchy gait but one which only builds greater manipulation of body and appetite when it unleashed a blazing romp of a chorus that is something akin to T-Rex meets The Wildhearts. Again hooks and grooves entangle to tempt and enslave as vocals add their own thick persuasion to another of the album’s finest moments.

The diversity within the Jupiter in Velvet sound is no better epitomised than within The Day I Fell From The Stars and its electro rock bred, celestially shimmering serenade. It is a thrilling Bowie scented courting though which boils as its simmers become tenacious flames of guitar and emotive intimation, a tempestuousness rising up and relaxing throughout without losing the song’s intensity and invention before fading away for the attitude lined punk ‘n’ roll of U Can’t Beat Me. There are flickers of bands such as The Motors, The Stones, and Iggy Pop to a rhythmically compelling, sonically tempting romp which as all tracks there is no option of ignoring.

Across the blues kissed, hard rock bopping Spare Me and the swarthy, humid melody woven balladry of With A Whole Lotta Heart, variety and magnetism only further blossoms. Neither song quite fired up the passions as their predecessors yet both enjoyably lingered in the memory after providing a body sparking, voice recruiting companion; a double tempting even more inescapable with the rapaciously strolling Take Control though it’s surf coloured psych rock ‘n’ roll is in turn eclipsed by teasing lures of Kiss The Flame. It is a coaxing though which almost becomes carnivorous as the track expels its untamed and hungrily magnetic clamour with eager imagination.

The album concludes with out and out rocker Fight 4 Your Life, a track which embodies the inspirations and kaleidoscope of flavours not forgetting craft and fun which makes up the Jupiter in Velvet sound.

Relentlessly rousing, Beautiful New Day is old school, new day rock ‘n’ roll which simply and eagerly feeds what we all want; something to boisterously rock out to.

Beautiful New Day is available now as a name your own price download @ https://jupiterinvelvet.bandcamp.com/album/beautiful-new-day

  

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 Pete RingMaster 20/01/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Spookshow Inc. – Visions Of The Blinded World pt I & II

 

Four years after Part I unleashed its “furiously agitated entrapment of industrial, metal, and electro rock”, a rousing accompaniment to an impending apocalypse, Part II of Visions Of The Blinded World is here to not only continue the arcane adventure but take it into a whole new level of dark deeds and senses trespassing contagion. The project is from Norwegian trio Spookshow Inc., a band which has been curiously ignored by bigger attention so far, a blind eye which if continuing after the full release of Visions Of The Blinded World will be criminal.

The beginning of Spookshow Inc. goes all the way back to 2003 when Lucky Spook (guitar, programming, songwriting, producer) and Soltex (vocals) came together and began creating and nurturing their individual fusion of industrial and heavy metal with electro rock. As proven by the 2014 released Visions Of The Blinded World pt I, there are plenty of other rich flavours to the band’s asylum of sound, Middle Eastern hues alone an inescapably alluring ingredient. With the band’s line-up completed by bassist/keyboardist Sharaz who featured on the final few songs recorded for its predecessor, the second part of Visions Of The Blinded World is an even richer affair of sound and styles, a bolder adventure in an already eager collusion of essences sure to appeal to any appetites for the likes of Pink Floyd, Prodigy, Rob Zombie, KMFDM, NIN, and Pitchshifter.

Visions Of The Blinded World pt I & II has been released as a complete package and should be listened as one to grasp its full dark majesty though each part firmly captivates alone too. It makes for a journey which leaves ears, body and imagination as aroused as they are disturbed, as inspired and animated as they are haunted. As we have covered part I previously, which you can read here, we will explore the second part of the creative emprise, a canter through the haunting shadows and ravenous dissonance of a dystopian landscape lost in extinction luring bedlam. Note though that the first ‘side’ of the album contains two brand new tracks in the shapes of the Seven Trumpets, a track sparked by the biblical legend of the same name but an echo of a split personality, and the horror movie like Lizard Eyes.

Pt II opens up with Virtual Insanity, electronic sparkling the gateway to an infernal surge of electro rock predation as ravenously hungry as it is virulently catchy. Even so, its instinctive urgency has an underlying premeditation of devious intent, melodies and calmer but darker twists adding to the track’s inescapable invasion. Something akin to Rabbit Junk meets Fear Factory, the track instantly has the project’s second part off to a flyer but also connects seamlessly to the nature and presence of the first part of Visions Of The Blinded World.

Already breathless from the superb thickly rousing start, the band show no mercy as Devil’s Triangle surges in with similarly uproarious energy and intent, Spook’s guitar gnawing away at ears as beats swipe at the senses,  Soltex’s vocals in turn matching their boisterous appetites with eagerness and attitude. Again momentary detours bring darker trespass rather than a chance to take a breath, it all adding up to another galvanic assault.

Next up Mindgame does bring calm, its melodic caresses courted by demonic tones of voice and intimation, a sonic Garden of Eden oasis in some ways. Featuring XRC, the track smoulders with toxic beauty; those Eastern hues enticing with siren-esque seduction as darkness await new arrivals. Enthralling and haunting in its distraction, the song slips away for the advancing savage addiction and voracious heavy swing of Little Pill. Eating away at thoughts and senses from its initial original cinematic drama to its esurient stalking, evil soaking every note and castigating syllable, the track with Subliminal Mentality guesting equally got under the skin and nagged away thereon in.

Blackbird From Karachi with D.Tschirner involved is a deceptive creature; evolving from its initial serenade into another predatory confrontation courting chaos and corrosion with almost pernicious incitement, every moment unpredictable and disturbing before the outstanding Prison Planet casts its specific trap. A galactic tango which had the body bouncing and imagination conjuring as intrigue and espionage fuel every contagious touch, it in turn departs to encourage the emotionally harmful but physically infectious dance of Falling Down Pt. I. All three tracks simply hit the spot, repetition occurring across the whole of the album as proven yet again by the dark carnival of Cold Frantic Boy, this another track mixing flirtation and catchy harassment with cinematic intimation as cold vocals bring their own toxic fascination pretty meaning submission to its dark glamour was inevitable.

Across the likes of Match Of The Century / A. Crowley Vs. A. Einstein with its increasingly volatile and ominous disquiet around a hypothetical chess game between the two protagonists and Kissing In Graveyards featuring Underworld, another slice of aural insidiousness, the album continued taking ears and pleasure into new dark corners, the release magnetically broadening its maze of sound and creative villainy before stretching it again with the glorious Midnight Tango, a mesmeric psych surf piece with a caress of The Doors and Calling All Astronauts to its dark rock ‘n’ roll.

The final pair of Follow Me, a carnal trespass of pestilence-laden temptation, and Battle For Babylon with R. Carey (an English- New Zealand based artist better known as Fiery Jack (The Teapot Goblins)) a guest in its stark yet rousing smouldering epilogue, provide a compelling conclusion to the relentlessly enthralling release. In some ways they lack the rousing bait of their predecessors but in just as many are cast in mutually potent lures of dark emotive suggestion.

As suggested the biggest rewards come from listening to Visions Of The Blinded World pt I & II as one but certainly not essential as proven by the individual galvanic prowess of each track. Spookshow Inc. has created a landscape bred in the world’s turbulence and destruction; Part I made us want to know more, the stunning Part II sparked the desire to be lost in its impeding tempest with the band’s sounds for company.

Visions Of The Blinded World pt I & II is available now @ https://spookshowinc.bandcamp.com/album/spookshow-inc-visions-of-the-blinded-world-pt-i-ii

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Pete RingMaster 02/11/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Lara Smiles – All For You

There are times when you can only expect plaudits and ears to come chasing an encounter and one such moment is surely to surround the release of the debut album from British singer songwriter Lara Smiles. A truly magnetic festival of resourceful sounds and lively imagination, All For You is as rich in its variety and enterprise as it is determined in its aim to get the body bouncing and involved in inhibition losing fun. It is a treat of an introduction which just seems to get more impressive and manipulative by the listen.

With music never far from her ears and passion since a young child, seeds laid by the sounds her parents were playing, Lara has grown to embrace a host of styles and flavours which has nurtured the variety and diversity in her own writing and music. Among a host of major inspirations, the likes of Tina Turner, The Beatles, Paul Simon, Queen, Prodigy, The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Muse, Beth Ditto, Green Day and Middle Eastern music heavily feature yet as her first full-length reveals, they have only gone to spark her own musical individuality. Since emerging she has also become a praise drawing presence on the UK live scene supporting the likes of Pete Doherty and playing some of the biggest festivals, including Glastonbury four times, the Isle of Wight Festival, and The Great Escape as well as also finding herself collaborating with The Orb, guesting on the new Shed Seven album, Instant Pleasures, and singing with The Australian Pink Floyd Show for the past eight years.

Mixed by Jamie Grashion and legendary producers Michael Rendall and Martin Glover aka Youth (Primal Scream, The Orb, Pink Floyd), her self-produced debut album is poised to thrust Lara into the limelight in her own rights. That is our expectations here and every venture through All For You only cements our thoughts.

© Hannah Smiles

Breeding a boisterous and tenacious, often ferocious blend of alternative rock and contagion loaded pop with a just as eager appetite for punk, electro and industrial rock with plenty more besides, the album opens up with the swiftly and increasingly magnetic Coincidence. A spiral of electronic enticement entangles ears first as crisp beats pounce, their combined lure soon reinforced by the hungry riffs of Lara’s guitar. Instantly intrigue and drama lines every emerging tendril turning, it evolving crystalline glamour and beauty as the song breaks into a melodic stroll alongside the seductive tones of Lara. The mercurial edge to the track though continues as its writhes around like a creative dervish, tantalising and fascinating at every turn whilst getting the release off to a tremendous start.

It is an overall inescapable enticement which continues through the following Save Yourself. Bubbling electronics and boisterous guitar align to the darker stroll of Joe Singfield’s bass as the rustle of Sara Leigh’s beats tease before leading the song in its own individual canter. In turn there is a devious urgency and aggressiveness which breaks out as the chorus escapes a calmer build up though that too has a dramatic edge which just sparks the imagination as potently as ears. Lara’s vocals have rich variety which relish her imagination and the equally diverse tapestry of sounds she ventures forth across this track alone it emerging as a compelling slice of punk lined pop ‘n’ roll.

The album’s title track comes next, bounding in on an irresistible incitement of a bassline which continues to manipulate as vocals and melodies dance. Ridiculously infectious and persuasive to hips and vocal chords, the track simply seduced compliance and participation whilst igniting an already firmly placed appetite for the release before Dictate Peace explores a whole new landscape of Eastern spiced teasing and imagination. Its summery stroll and breeze radiates captivation but also the darker shadows and strains of drama which impose their intrigue throughout; it all adding to a riveting invention which sees the listener taken through a web of creative espionage.

And It Hurts follows with its initial gentle elegant charms to the fore. They continue to entice as the fire in the heart and belly of the song smoulders and ignites note by note. With its blaze increased, energy erupts but so too another striking collusion of textures and flavours with the track continuing the great unpredictability of its predecessors and their instinctive contagion.

The folkish grace and melodic beauty of Oh How is pretty much aural intoxication straight after, Lara’s voice intimation carrying seduction and radiance while Disconnected provides a controlled but virulent contagion of pop rock with a compelling blend of spikiness and winning grins to its stomp. In turn, Zombie preys on the senses and body with its emotive irritability and electro funk catchiness. Like all tracks, it soon reveals its individually inventive escapade of unexpected twists which only accelerate its slavery of ears and involvement.

Penultimate song, The Fightings Over, needs mere seconds to have everything robustly involved in its punk ‘n’ rock bred bounce as thoughts align to its lyrical exploration, a tempestuousness in its air and attitude only adding to the incendiary theatre perfectly setting up the contrasting mellow and glowing yet melancholic repose of final track, Turn It Around. The individuality of this pair alone songs epitomises the variety thick All For You as a whole and of Lara’s songwriting which seems so effortlessly to cast real diversity and adventure.

There have been a few releases which have truly inspired and aroused us here this year, a couple this month alone and All For You sits boldly alongside giving real undiluted pleasure. Whether it sees Lara Smiles a household name we will see but it will surely establish her as one of our most exciting and unique talents.

All For You is released September 7th via iTunes and other stores with its album launch show @ the Sebright Arms, London August 30th.

http://www.larasmiles.com/   https://www.facebook.com/larasmilesmusic/   https://twitter.com/LaraSmilesMusic

Pete RingMaster24/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Sick N’ Beautiful – Element of Sex

pic by Stefano Mastronicola

There are some bands which instinctively allure attention and it is fair to say that Sick N’ Beautiful is one such persuasion as their recent headlining UK tour proved. Their new album Element of Sex swiftly and increasingly shows why they made a potent impact through those shows alone, a release which whilst lacking the visual theatrical drama of their live presence uncages ten virulent slices of devilish rock ‘n’ roll.

“A gang of rockin’ freakshow pirates from outer space”, Sick N’ Beautiful is a quintet creating an industrial hard rock web of intrigue and sonic animation awash with creative drama. Brewed with sci-fi and cyberpunk visuals whilst embracing inspirations from a kaleidoscope of artists including Rob Zombie, Nine Inch Nails, Alice Cooper, Kiss, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and No Doubt, the “intergalactic refugee’s” music is a cascade of flavours and enterprise within its hard rock nurtured imagination. In boldness and drama there is something of The Tubes to the band’s presence too which only adds to its magnetism live and now within Element of Sex.

Familiarity and inventive uniqueness collude from the first breath of the album with opener Fire True, an orchestral coaxing the first lure quickly infested with wiry tendrils of guitar which in turn entice the instantly rich ear grabbing vocals of Herma. Within seconds the track is an imposing wall of thick infectious sound speared by the scything swings of drummer Evey. Pop catchy and metal aggressive the track imposes and seduces in equal measure with the organic drama of the band’s imagination in every syllable, note, and twist.

It is an infectious tempest of an encounter instantly backed and eclipsed by next up Megalomaniacal. Straight away it has more urgency and greater flexibility in its attack; snarling, biting, and dancing with the senses like a carnal celebration behind the fiercely magnetic prowess of Hermes. Big Daddy Ray’s bass has a great rockabilly swing to its growl at times whilst guitarists Rev C2 and Lobo spring a trap of enterprise so easy to relish especially when the song takes a breath from its boisterous invasion.

The calmer All Wanna Go To Heaven through its initial less energetic entrance, compared to its predecessors, only leads into a snare of boldly catchy and melodically enticing temptation. The voice of Hermes once more stands tall and captivating within the song, a given proven track by track as the sounds around her cast their creative theatres. Pop, rock, and metal strands all go into its ear wrapping weave before the contagion of Hellawake continues the diversity bred within the Sick N’ Beautiful’s sound with its electro pop meets industrial punk shuffle.

Through the tempestuous roar and character of Slam! and the salacious sonic exploits of Hexxx (The Element Of Sex), the album just gets more hectic and fun, both songs a spark for ears and body with their extremely danceable antics, the outstanding second of the two especially manipulative as it grabs limbs like a puppeteer.

Cryptid similarly just opens up the throttle from its first gasp; rhythms and imposing incitement within the scuzzy tides of guitars wired with melodic and hook laced tempting. It is another where certain moments unite with ears like an old friend whilst bringing wholly new propositions alongside for a compelling mix exploited just as ably by New Witch 666 (The Rising). Its EBM-esque opening is a deceit for the dark shadows and intent lurking closely behind and a continuing enticement as those textures take rein of the devilish affair. Though its rabidity is under control for the main it is there festering in the track’s meaty body and demonic intent.

The skilfully woven Heart December (Gates II) with its dark drama and gothic rock grandeur was a slow burner for our ears, a track which never quite ignited as those before it but continues to be a compelling intrigue on ears and imagination even against the album closing blaze of C*Mmunion. Aggressive and at times musically grouchy but as greedily catchy as you could wish, it brings the album and the torrent of fun to a rousing conclusion.

And that pretty much sums up Element of Sex as a whole; insatiably infectious, relentlessly rousing, and unapologetically fun. Maybe Sick N’ Beautiful is a proposition which is at its very best live when all of its elements come together musically, visually and indeed dramatically but their new offering shows their songs make for very potent propositions all on their own.

Element of Sex is out now on the band’s own Rosary Lane Records; available @ https://www.sicknbeautiful.com/store and other stores.

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Pete RingMaster 10/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Seething Akira – Sleepy Skeletor

Since emerging back in 2011 within the sea faring surroundings of Portsmouth, British crossover outfit Seething Akira has been teasing away at rich attention with increasing success. We suggest though that it has been a mere nagging compared to the hunger the band can and should expect with the release of debut album Sleepy Skeletor. It is a web of alternative metal and electro rock imagination with plenty more to entice and ensnare. It is a sleepless affair rousing body and spirit which even in its calmer moments has the body bouncing and imagination feasting.

Created by Charlie Bowes (songwriter/keyboardist/vocalist) and Kit Conrad (lead vocalist), the band has leap from local success to national recognition through their sounds and a dynamic live presence which over the years has seen them shares stages with the likes of Skindred, The Qemists, Hacktivist, Senser, Don Broco, and Pop Will Eat Itself as well as play Bloodstock Festival, Victorious Festival, Breakout Festival, Mammothfest amongst others. This year the band was chosen as one of five upcoming bands, alongside, Saint Apache, Damn Dice, The Rocket Dolls and The Sixpounder, to support Pitchshifter on their first UK tour in ten years. The Incoming Transmission EP of 2012 was when our fascination with Seething Akira began, it becoming so much keener as for so many others through their acclaimed 2015 single Airstrike, a song frequently eclipsed and more than matched by the offerings within Sleepy Skeletor.

Walking a fine balance between alternative metal, industrial rock, and electro punk; never fully committing to any but always entangling the richest traits of all and more, Sleepy Skeletor opens properly with The Monster from Brussels. Instantly the synths of Bowes provide an infectious pulse, the guitar of Harvey Ware swiftly adding its lure before the rest of the band jump in with fevered energy to create a Senser like confrontation. Thick and imposing, it is a captivating wall of temptation creating a grooved stroll alongside a Beastie Boys inspired vocal arousal rather easy to become addicted to, its tenacity interrupted by melodic washes of intimation and seduction.

It is an outstanding start quickly matched by recent single Matching Poles of Magnets. With steelier textures to its electro metal predation, bands like Axis Mundi and Silent Descent coming to mind, the track twists and turns with instinctive and rapacious adventure before Half Empty brings a warm calm to the senses. Immediately vocals echo this mellow breath with their melodic unity but equally a rising discontent in the heart of the song brews as things become more intense and irritable. It never reaches an aggressive state though, revolving through melancholic elegance and emotive exposure as a weave of rich enterprise wraps vocal reflection.

I Am The Devil, another single released earlier this year follows, instantly infests ears with its electro metal rumble and a hook which needs meres seconds to have us lustfully wanting more. Something akin to G.R.I.M meets dirt encrusted Pop Will Eat with the rousing catchiness of Hadouken, the track throbs and snarls as the rhythmic prowess and incitement of bassist Richard Ellis Speaight and drummer Stu Radcliffe manipulate.

Featuring Olly Simmons from Brighton band The Qemists, Backlash is next up and similarly merges heavy almost dissonant attitude and sound with electronic trespass as it prowls the senses. It is a predacious edge which never dissipates across the track’s mercurial but persistently invasive landscape. Another of the songs released prior to the album as a single in 2018 ensuring its anticipation was heightened; the absorbing encounter passes over attention to the outstanding Pack Animals. It too has a whiff of Senser to its emotionally and lyrically charged incitement; synth and guitar weaving an intimation of intrigue and danger around the threat of the rhythms as once again vocals irrepressible entice.

The character of successor Paralysed is similarly natured and conjured but swiftly evolving into a melodic croon and seduction which inspired even greater participation before the cycle repeats with greater volatility but equally greater elegance in its respective moments.

The album ends with firstly Even Angels Break Hearts which sees Dani Uziel guesting and finally Disconnect. The first of the two is a fluid blend of sonic antagonism and melodic beauty with Uziel’s tones simply beguiling, she almost like a siren luring ears into Conrad’s feral attack and the song’s tempestuous depths. The second provides three and a half minutes of electro punk metal thick in attitude and malcontent but equally rich in rousing energy and adventurous imagination.

Major attention upon Seething Akira has been a little overdue to our mind; Sleepy Skeletor should remedy that, arousing a whole new tide of fans to their insatiably and dramatically potent sound.

Sleepy Skeletor is out now; available on all major streaming platforms.

Upcoming shows:

Sleepy Skele-tour:

July 6th – Anvil, Bournemouth (Album release show)

July 7th – The 27 Club, Liverpool

July 8th – Mulberry Tavern, Sheffield

July 9th – Satan’s Hollow, Manchester

July 10th – The Underground, Plymouth

July 11th – Fat Lil’s Bar, Witney

July 12th – The Unicorn, Camden

July 13th – The Junction, Ashford

July 14th – The Sussex Arms, Tunbridge Wells

July 15th – The Joiners, Southampton

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August 25th – Electrowerkz London supporting CUBANATE

August 26th – BYLINE FESTIVAL, Pippingford Park, Ashdown Forest with Pussy Riot, Badly Drawn Boy, The Vapors, The Blow Monkeys, John Cleese, Hugh Grant, Alexie Sayle…

November 19th – Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth supporting PITCHSHIFTER

http://www.seethingakira.com/   https://www.facebook.com/seethingakira   https://twitter.com/SEETHINGAKIRA

Pete RingMaster 03/07/2018

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