Cauls: EP2

If you are looking for a band to offer something different, music which is equally challenging and rewarding than look no further than British post hardcore band Cauls. They are a band which has ignited the North East of England and beyond with their inciteful and imaginative sounds, now with the release of their new collection of stunning sounds named EP2, the band is ready to intrude on and ignite the nation.

The bio sheet for the release from the Newcastle quartet states that their sound has evoked comparisons to the likes of At The Drive–In, mewithoutYou, Deftones, and Mars Volta. It really is hard to disagree though you can add essences from others such as Fall of Troy, Sunna, and to a lesser extent The Blood Brothers, such their expansive and impactful sound. The EP is stunning, a thrilling and chilling in the respect of tingles it ignites, release which inspires mental and physical reaction throughout and beyond its leaving of the ear.

Formed in 2009, the line-up of guitarist Graham Morris, bassist Andrew McCaffery, and Chris McManus on drums, impressed and fired up hearts with their impressive live shows and muscular progressive instrumental sounds. The trio though felt something was missing and after a lengthy searched for, found and recruited vocalist Michael Marwood and the rest is glorious if still young history. Their two twin track releases in If Bored, Pull Tab Marked Tab and Crave Divan of last year set ears burning with hungry satisfaction but with the new release the band has emerges as something even more immense and mightier, the music leaping from great songs on the previous releases to extreme quality on EP2.

Released on September 24th through Blank Records, the release is astonishing and thoroughly refreshing; the band creating sounds which leaves one breathless and glowing in its uniqueness and skilled soundscapes. The release opens with Whistler, its atmospheric start emerging from a resonating primal bass twang and plunging rhythms. As the guitars singe the air with their sonic caresses the bass finds a snarl to its watchful brief, holding back its intent as the melodic mini suns and expressive heated vocals light up the haunted ambience. All the time the track is slowly evolving into a storm of blistering energy and passion for a burning climax, and an excellent start.

No Motion is an At The Drive-In/Radiohead flavoured piece of joy equipped with acidic melodies and Joy Division like discord. Maybe less dramatic than the first track it still fires up the imagination and appetite which the following Iris Brickfield eagerly and very successfully feeds. With intimidating whispers and soaring vocals the track is a hypnotic and darkened ambient clasp on the passions, ethereal and raw, warm and shadowed, and quite majestic.

After the brief melancholic instrumental The Durande, the release ends on the towering Ahsonnutli, an eight minute triumph encapsulating the magnificent musicianship, inventive songwriting, and emotional impact of the music in one perpetually evolving slab of sonic grandeur. Its starts as a riot before settling into a reflective soul, though soon it is crusading through an array of seamlessly connected and fiery sounds, the band seeding elements of doom, stoner, ambient, and aggressive rock to their progressive weave. It is startling, glorious, testing and fully rewarding.

EP2 is a masterpiece, a release which marks the band as one of the most talented and inspirational emerging bands in the UK and beyond. Cauls will burn your ears whilst treating them to the best original and gratifying sounds heard in recent years.

www.facebook.com/caulsband

RingMaster 18/09/2012

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Strangers – EP2

London dark pop trio Strangers are one of the new bands igniting the genre of electronic pop with music that carries emotions which are impossible to ignore. Their music has deep rooted echoes of 80’s electronic pop fused with a haunting modern feel and clarity, impressively evident on their new release EP 2. Set to be released on July 18th via Stranger Sounds the three track EP is a soulful and senses caressing wave of electronic sounds, music that flows over and through the listener making it not only a simple listen but an experience too.

Strangers was created and formed in 2010 by David Maddox-Jones, formerly of The Departure. They released their debut  EP1 in March of this year to strong acclaim and interest, both critical and from their growing wealth of fans. This new release should go further to compound and increase that enthusiasm. Produced by band member and renowned remixer/producer Glen Nicholls (Depeche Mode, UNKLE, Everything Everything), it finds a fine blend of a kind of nostalgic influence and today’s clean urgent electronic indie rock.

Leading off the EP is ‘It Was A Sin’, an infectious and inviting pop sound, with soaring synth swells and flows surrounding the smooth vocals of Maddox-Jones. There is an obvious Depeche Mode sound, it is undeniable and as much comes from the David Gahan like vocals as from the music, but rather than making the song something that can be passed over as a copy it expands and enhances the track, due to the bands skilful songwriting and how they use melodies and their synth hooks.

Bound By The Sea’ follows close behind carrying a vibrancy and expressiveness that makes one take notice. It has a film track feel to it and images like a video in the mind for it are rife as it plays. Again it has that 80’s feel but with a freshness of a band at the top of their game in songwriting and performance.

The triplet of satisfying songs is completed by the soulful ballad ‘Lies’. Its simplicity and the unassuming impressive vocals from Maddox-Jones take the song on a slow graceful flow that radiates emotion before exploding into a climactic starburst of orchestral like intensity. It is a glorious track that is probably the strongest of the three, a haunting melodrama of the heart that though not instantly as accessible as the lead song is powerful and rewarding.

Where EP1 placed Strangers on the radar EP2 takes the band direct to its target, the hearts of the listener. With music that takes the listener into its arms to dance or serenade them, Strangers look like a band to reignite the electronic pop world and infuse new purpose into its backward looking direction.

In addition to the digital release of EP2, Strangers will release a limited edition 7inch single, through Killing Moon Records on 4th July, featuring the lead tracks from EP1 and EP2, ‘It Was a Sin and ‘If I Found Love.
Pete RingMaster 04/07/2011

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