The Shapers – Reckless Youth

The Shapers Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

Having gotten their melodic punk claws into other parts of the world, French trio The Shapers are now concentrating on the UK with the uncaging of new EP Reckless Youth which is set to be followed by a British tour. The release offers a captivating collection of songs bred from the heart of punk rock and brought up embracing its numerous strains. It is punk ‘n’ roll to breed a hungry appetite for and an encounter which starts with a bang and, though it arguably does not always maintain its initial impact, only leaves a want for more.

Hailing from Toulouse, The Shapers emerged in 2009 from the union of vocalist/guitarist Anthony Cauvin, bassist/backing vocalist Raphaël Bouissière, and drummer Benoit Holin. Quickly unleashing a hunger to play live, by 2011 the threesome was touring China and Indonesia to such success that the band retuned again in 2015 to eagerly awaiting fans, adding the likes of Thailand to their global CV. Two years after that first tour, The Shapers was going around North America where they shared stages with NOFX and Pennywise, the prize for winning a ‘best up-and-coming band’ competition. With the release of debut Everybody Needs To Have A Dream in 2012 equally drawing potent acclaim to go along with shows alongside the likes of The Flatliners, Silverstein, Face To Face, and Dream on Dreamer over time, The Shapers have been on a unstoppable roll set to continue with Reckless Youth.

The Shapers Cover Artwork_RingMaster ReviewThe EP opens with a gentle caress of guitar as Can’t Forget slips into view. Within a few more breaths it is rumbling through ears with sturdy beats and ravenous bass riffs as band shouts crowd the voice and guitar enterprise of Cauvin. Initially there are few surprises but certainly an alluring dose of hooks and anthemic prowess which has the body bouncing and energies aroused. Subsequently though, an electro hinting broadens its presence to sizzle and provoke, the song from an opening Blink 182/Pennywise like character with a hint of Buzzcocks to it revealing a fiery G.R.I.M scented invention. Melodies and adventurous twists only add to the increasing creative drama and virulent persuasion of the song, resulting in a superb and invigorating introduction.

The outstanding start continues with Secrets and straight away it is taunting with beats as the guitar enjoyably hassles the senses with its spicy intimidation. The grooved bait of the bass only adds to the swiftly gripping tempting, as too an excellent mix of lead and group vocals. Carrying a fuzzy electro pop mischief into its imagination and urgency, the song reminds of Russian band Biting Elbows in a punk ‘n’ roll stomp that only gets the body and emotions fully involved.

The following Another Chance equally shows its muscle and catchiness early. The bass offers the menace whilst beats and hooks uncage the infectiousness which fuels the songs’ surge into attention and a keen appetite. Again maybe uniqueness is not as high on the agenda of the song as stirring up a good time, but whilst lacking some of the spark of its predecessors, the track only pleases with its feverish enterprise and refreshing energy loaded revelry.

The instrumental Lonely Moments comes next with an acoustic guitar hug of melodic charm which is enjoyable but does not quite fit in with the company of the songs around it, something which No Regrets has less problem with. It too is an acoustic bass croon with Cauvin as potent as ever vocally and impressively backed by band harmonies. It also misses the same elements which made especially the first pair of songs so captivating but again it only leaves satisfaction full before Youth Disaster takes over with its grumbling riffs and skittish percussion around more of Cauvin’s engaging. Offering a tenacious landscape of classic rock laced, punk seeded rock ‘n’ roll, the track plays like a mix of Good Charlotte and Sum 41, blossoming from a strong start into an inescapable, almost stormy roar thick with anthemic persuasion.

Ending almost as powerfully as it certainly started, Reckless Youth is one of those releases easy to find yourself drawn back to time and time again. As mentioned The Shapers have their eyes on the UK now and going by the potency of their EP, it is hard to see them failing to stir up another wave of eager fuss.

The Reckless Youth EP is available from Friday 26th February through all digital platforms.

Pete RingMaster 24/02/2016

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European trio ‘The Shapers’ set loose their spanking new EP ‘Reckless Youth’, through all digital platforms on Friday 26th February. Look out too as the gritty rockers prepare to tour the UK in 2016

The Shapers Online Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

Currently residing in Toulouse, France, Euro punk rockers ‘The Shapers’ delectably embrace the garage rock vibes of ‘The Hives’ and ‘Nirvana’, merged with the early urgent delivery of ‘Green Day’ and ‘A Day To Remember’. Born in 2009 and consisting of Anthony Cauvin (Lead Vocals/Guitar), Raphaël Bouissière (Bass/Backing Vocals), and Benoit Holin (Drums), this power trio have certainly undertaken the punk rock DIY ethos. With a keen zest for touring and adventure, the band headed out to China and Indonesia in 2011 to play a series of highly successful shows, and because of the response and support, the threesome returned the following year and again last year. In 2013, The Shapers won a ‘Best up-and-coming band’ competition, lapping up a prize to tour throughout North America where the alt-punks shared stages with punk rock legends NOFX and Pennywise. Last year, the band again toured, this time in Thailand. The three piece were overwhelmed with responses and will tour South East Asia again next year.

As well as a hearty diet for touring across the far reaches of the world, the band have also extensively played throughout France, and are currently planning their attack on the UK. Blessed with a CV that boosts support shows with The Flatliners, NOFX, Silverstein, Pennywise, Face To Face, and Dream on Dreamer, and critical acclaim for 2012’s debut album ‘Everybody Needs To Have A Dream’, which picked up rampant praise across the board, the band show no signs of letting up.

The Shapers dropped their video single “Can’t Forget”, directed by Mayol (media director of Vans, who has worked with successful bands like the Foo Fighters, among many others) this summer. The single is the opening track from the band’s hotly anticipated new EP ‘Reckless Youth’, which is unleashed this February. With six cuts of scuzzy punk, the record is a true calling to all fans of Punk in its varied forms. Drawing from the early vigour of Blink 182 and the raw power of Nirvana, marinated with a hint of The Subways, this EP is destined to break the band to the UK.

The_Shapers_Cover_Artwork.jpg_RingMaster Review

If I Die Today – Cursed

If I Die Today_RingMaster Review

There is a torment in the heart of the new album from Italian post-hardcore band If I Die Today, and a tempestuous air which lives up to any ideas inspired by the name Cursed. There is also an invasive and at times punishing darkness and emotional trespass coursing through the veins of the encounter but equally an imagination loaded, gripping enterprise which ensures it easily stands out against any other similarly sculpted and bred offerings. Cursed is destined not to be for everyone, and will frighten many off with its searing intensity and emotion  but there is no escaping that it announces If I Die Today as one of the more fascinating incitements in the post and hardcore scene.

If I Die Today emerged in Mondovì in 2007 and by the early months of the following year had released their self-titled debut album through Wynona Records. The release enabled the quintet to tour their homeland and share stages with numerous bands, that success reinforced by the You Are Alone EP in 2009, again unveiled to strong and positive reactions. It was the same with second album Liars the following year, its potent presence luring greater attention and acclaim cross Europe, the band following it with shows across Italy, Hungary, France, and the UK as well as playing alongside artists such as Sum 41, Offspring, No Use For A Name, Simple Plan, Face To Face, Taking Back Sunday at Bologna’s Independent Days Festival. The band’s workload and reputation continued to grow as 2012 saw the release of the Postcards From The Abyss EP and If I Die Today playing with bands like Every Time I Die, Good Riddance, and H2O as well as going on a tour taking in Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and venues back home. Since then more venues and countries have been scorched by the band’s sound, before and after the recording of Cursed last year, which with its worldwide release through Sliptrick Records sets a new chapter in the rise of If I Die Today.

image1_RingMaster Review     It’s opening handful of seconds are an inviting temptation but in no time Jesus becomes a searing sonic wind blowing over thickly jabbing rhythms and coming loaded with spicy hook lined enterprise from the guitars. Vocalist Marco Fresia roars just as swiftly and intensely in the tempest whilst the caustic breath and heart of the track is perfectly tempered by the magnetic lure of the throaty bassline from Morgan Ferrua and the controlled rhythmic dance cast by drummer Davide Gallo. There is no escape from the sheer energy and emotional turmoil of the song though or its flesh scarring sound with its virulent onslaught as gripping as it is intimidating.

In the sheer wind tunnel like delivery of the song there are essences of bands like Kabul Golf Club, KEN mode, and Statues in its creative adventure and tenacity, a potent mix continuing in Adams which is another instant arousal of attention and appetite with thumping bold beats and bracing vocals. Settling down a touch once established, though still a bruising confrontation, the guitars of Antonio Aresu and Michele Testa spin a web of raw aggression and intricate sonic seducing whilst the bass creates another deliciously alluring and individual line of bait. As its predecessor, the song is an epidemic of punishing and invigorating incitement, pure abrasive adventure to get your teeth into and drool over before it fluidly flows into Lucifer and its own exhausting tempest of scarring emotion and increasingly volatile and creative ferocity.

Through Patrick and Elisabeth, band and album continues to wither flesh and create emotional tension but again with plenty of fresh twists and adventure to their canvases. The first of the enthralling pair comes in a hostility lit slow shuffle with numerous expulsions of energy and vocal angst but also tendrils of flirtatious grooves and addiction breeding rhythms. There is no compromising with an If I Die Today proposal and no chance of being subjected to anything mundane or predictable as shown by this and its successor. Elisabeth maybe offers less uniqueness within the album than other tracks but it too is ripe with seriously enticing slithers and caresses of sonic ingenuity and melodic seducing, all resulting in less than two minutes of exciting violation.

Faustus borders on barbarous with its bestial weight of sound and energy but counters it with a tapestry of punkish hooks and twisted sonic imagination that simply whips the passions into a maelstrom of lust whilst The Ancient Mariner prowls the psyche and taunts ears with its fusion of noise rock and punk in stormy hardcore antagonism. Both tracks are glorious, adding their full thrilling and inventive weight to the unrelenting persuasion of the album.

An even fiercer punk venom courses through Vincent, the song openly revealing the inspirations of the band with its Every Time I Die meets Converge like onslaught. There is plenty more in the depths and brutish body of the song of course, lots to get greedy over before the album’s title track gives Cursed a whole new climate to explore. The band is tagged as post-hardcore but the closer is the one song which perfectly fits that billing, the rest a wonderful bedlam of styles and flavours. With a blackened and frosty air to its invasive ambience over hauntingly cold scenery, the track is an inhospitable drift through a dark and emotionally tortuous landscape compellingly bringing the album to a highly provocative and startling end.

Instantly gripping, Cursed only gets more powerful, persuasive, and emotionally penetrating with very listen. It certainly lingers and leaves scars in its wake too, but only to please and make demanding reasons to go back into its merciless majesty. If I Die Today is one of the truly exciting bands in the post and neat hardcore scene, Cursed shows exactly why.

Cursed is out now through Sliptrick Records.

RingMaster 12/08/2015

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Static Fiction – All In

Static Fiction

US pop punks Static Fiction have been compared to Green Day most consistently since, well emerging in 2011 really. For us maybe Nerf Herder would be an even closer reference but it has to be said that there are certain moments within new EP/mini album All In, that you cannot help imagining that if The Beach Boys were breaking now with a punk inspired sound, they would not be too far apart from this Californian quartet.

Their six track romp is a thoroughly captivating encounter, with half its songs impressive and the other offerings irresistible adventures of sound and enterprise. Influences to the band include indeed Green Day alongside the likes of Weezer, NoFx, Bouncing Souls, Bowling For Soup, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, and…well the list is long and it is fair to say that many are openly worn on the sleeves of songs. What sets the band apart from the current pop punk crowd though is an additional power pop tenacity and a flood of hooks which are simply fresh and uniquely imaginative. All In still feels like it had more to give but could not quite realise all of its promise, though in turn it rigorously hints that there is the potential for a killer album from Static Fiction in the future.

The Huntington Beach band released their very well-received debut self-titled EP at the very end of 2012, a proposition recorded with award winning producer/engineer Ryan Greene. The band were determined to enlist the man’s services, hitting up a Authority Zero gig in Arizona and pleading with that band’s lead singer for Greene’s number. It led to a link up which has been repeated with All In, a release which is a thick thrilling leap on from its predecessor. The time between releases has seen a change in the Static Fiction line-up too, another fresh and potent element we would suggest helping make All In one unforgettable tempting.

STATIC FICTION_ALL IN_Reputation Radio/RingMaster ReviewUM COVERThe release opens up with Main Street and straight away hits ears with feisty rhythms and excited riffs, both entwined with swiftly gripping hooks and flavoursome melodies. The vocals of guitarist Paul Lapinsky are just as impacting from the off, welcoming backing contributions across the band and song to similar success. The more grizzled bassline of Ryan Brown is another spicy lure but then again everything from the thumping beats of drummer Derek Goodwin to the smiling enterprise of guitarists Noah Dunbar and Lapinsky just colludes in an incendiary endeavour of fun. There are also little twists and creative additives vocally and musically which provide shards of unpredictability to the encounter and shows that the Static Fiction songwriting is just as boisterous and eventful as their sound.

The strong start is instantly matched by the following Keep It Moving. Arguably less unique than the opener, the bright stroll and energetic swagger of the song is still a magnetic and infectious proposition with its addictive chorus especially enslaving. There is a touch of Blink 182 meets Face to Face to the track which does it no harm at all, though it and indeed the previous track have to bow down to the exceptional Temporary which comes next. It is pure addiction, a cage of hooks and mischievous enterprise impossible to escape brought with a simply contagious creative grin. A sonic lure richly teases first before the song slips into a virulent amble of vocal enticing and infection clad hooks from across the whole line-up. The bass has a steely lure and beats a dramatic intent whilst the guitars just roll out a stream of temptation and incitement. Even the mellow caress of harmonies and melodies for the chorus has a certain unpredictable glint to its persuasion, though it is the bold and punchy ingenuity with a whisper of Billy Talent creativity to it, which particularly ignites ears and imagination.

     Something Amazing is soon doing its best to match the pinnacle of the release and with its summery warmth and vivacious stride is not far from hitting a similar mark in the passions. With flowing harmonies and evocative melodies against a sturdier rhythmic shuffle, that Beach Boys essence is most vocal here, though as anything suggested it is just another colour in the overall blend of rich flavours and textures within tracks. There is little chance of not finding feet agitated or indeed bodies leaping around to the song either, a persuasion emulated in the following Amra and its insistently catchy and energetic tale of The Graduate like attraction.

All In closes with Till the End, an acoustic proposal seeing Lapinsky and guitar alone in reflection. It is a very enjoyable track and is definitely placed in the right position on the release but just is a little bit of an anti-climax after the creative rioting before it, leaving that dulled feeling felt just after the party has ended and peace descends.

It is fair to say that we have not enjoyed a pop punk offering more in recent times and the fact that it also infers that there is definite potential for even greater exploits ahead with Static Fiction, it is exciting times….

All In is available now via most online stores.

RingMaster 19/05/2015

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The Vox Dolomites – Self-Titled


British punk has been at a feisty high for a couple of years now and just gets more potent which each emerging band and release. At the heart and criminally not getting the attention deserved is The Vox Dolomites, a quartet which turns the seeds of punk rock and ska into lyrically and musically gripping dramas. Their songs and EPs have proven the band has an instinctive knack at inciting feet and thoughts with energy and skill. Just recently the Stockport based band released their self-titled debut album, a release which surely will finally draw the keenest spotlight upon their presence.

Formed in2011, The Vox Dolomites is a tenacious and voracious creative stomp driven by guitarists/vocalists Ant Walsh and Will Farley, bassist/vocalist Chris O’Donnell, and drummer Simon Dunnington. The band soon grabbed attention, including ours, with the release simply called First Demo 2012. Their introduction was a blaze of punk and ska revelry which instantly made with its raw and inventive presence, an instant and lingering impression. It was a success subsequently emulated by tracks like No Split Ends and the Down For Three / Joan & Frank single of 2013. Live too the band has earned a renowned reputation for their ferocity of sound and drive, playing acclaimed shows not only at home but across the globe where especially in Japan, the band is feverishly devoured. This was no more evident than in The Dirty Work Tour 2012 movie which came out last year. Filmed by Chalkman Video it honestly followed the band on tour out East, revealing everything about the connection between band and their fans. Working hard on their first album through the first half of 2014, The Vox Dolomites has now opened the cage to a stomping release which declares that the band has hit their sweet spot creatively and unleashed their most adventurous and eclectic songs yet.

Choppy riffs make an instant potent tempting as opener Backtrack steps forward, their lure accentuated by the stroke of piano which sparks a flavoursome stroll of shadowed bass and keys wrapped in expressive melodies. A breath is swiftly taken before vocals and songs rouse up the imagination with their spicy enterprise and punk tenacity. It is a riveting mix, raw punk and melodic rock colluding for an infectious proposition equipped with essences of Rancid and NOFX for extra flavour. Making a striking start to the album, the richly pleasing track is surpassed by the outstanding Battle Scars, a feisty roar with thicker sinews and predatory intent compared to its predecessor, cored by the gripping throaty bass of O’Donnell amidst an acidic blaze of guitar. One of the band’s early songs which graced a previous EP, the track has been revamped and given a new antagonistic tenacity so it stomps as a new beast

Both Down For 3 and Alone In Mexico keep the adventure and quality of the album flying, the first of the two a ska rock dance with the crisp beats of Dunnington coring a flirtatious bass enticement and the radiant devilry of keys. Vivacious and exhaustive for feet and emotions, the song is a virulent bounce infused with sixties garage rock seduction and insatiable melodic charm. The second of the pair explores a sterner old school punk attitude and sound, the switching of two vocal attacks an alluring graze to compliment the similarly harsh sounds. The song still develops an imposing catchiness though which is as irresistible as the brooding fury within its depths and narrative.

The brilliant No Split Ends comes next, a pop punk provocateur with ferocity to its jangling riffs and punch to its intimidating rhythms. Again the busy energy and intensity of the track is a breath-taking onslaught but also it is ripe with a seriously addictive lure and temptation which snarls as it seduces. As the previous older song, the track has been revitalised and twisted into an even greater slice of punk alchemy to take top song honours and reinforce reasons why those in the know wax lyrical about the band.

As mentioned there is strong and highly pleasing variety to the album as shown by the melodic and hard rock infused 6AM Rain. Fiery but simultaneously a gentler stroll, the track comes with skilled melodic endeavour and blues rock imagination whilst still showing its punk breeding. Whereas the previous song had a sense of Russian punks Biting Elbows and also [Spunge], this whispers a calm Turbonegro and Bad Religion fusion whilst still sounding distinct to the Brits. Without sparking as certainly its predecessor, the track is an intriguing and pleasing different side to the band’s evolving sound, as is the more ruggedly bruising ALA where again heavier rock riffs and that increasingly delicious carnivorous tone of bass bind attention and appetite. The stirring and muscular brawl of punk ‘n’ roll is an inescapable imposing setting up the passions perfectly for the impossible addictive Horrorshow. Ska punk with a growl to vocals and riffs tempered by the melodic seducing of keys, the track is one of those stomps which once infested by never leave thoughts and passions. Bands like Face To Face and Operation Ivy have helped drive the style of music employed, but whether either has crafted a track as potent and irresistible as this is debateable.

I Fought The Lawyer brings us back to old school punk fury with Clash like attitude within raw rock ‘n’ roll whilst the gnarly Kojak With A Kodak with stabbing riffs and a rumbling bass lining, takes ears into yet another new aspect in the band’s punk ingenuity and exploration. A slow burner compared to other songs on the album, even with its eager gait, the track reveals itself to be a fascinating and richly creative persuasion unveiling a little more to its depth and lure with every listen.

The album goes out with a bang through firstly the mouth-watering aggressive stomp of Break Down The Walls, the song another long-term lust in the making, and lastly the ridiculously contagious and body igniting Losing Hands. Punk does not come any better than these last two songs, well apart from the other tracks on this excellent rampage of an album. It seems we are praising The Vox Dolomites more and more with every release and there is no reason to change with this seriously impressive album. They are a band which deserves the keenest spotlight and hopefully now they have found the trigger to such attention and recognition.

The Vox Dolomites is available now via STP Records @ on CD with a vinyl version scheduled for 2015.

RingMaster 06/11/2014

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Top Buzzer – The Sprollie EP


It has been two years since pop punksters Top Buzzer paraded their irresistible talents and mischievous sounds on debut album Outside Is a World, twenty four months or so full of impatience certainly in the past half a year waiting for more of their devilish goodness. Finally the London based quartet has returned to tease and rummage in our ears with a new energetic slice of punk rock devilment in The Sprollie EP. Consisting of four songs which in many ways continues where the album left off whilst bringing another fresh sail to their contagious flights of creative fancy, the release does not exactly surprise in any shape or form but as an encounter which leads the passions and body into a compelling dance of pleasure, it is one thrilling riot of enterprising infectiousness.

Hailing originally from Jersey and formed in 2011, the band has driven their own path from day one, creating their own label Back2Forward Records as they made their debut with The Hands Up EP and forging an impressive reputation for their live performances especially once they relocated to London. First single Remission and the aforementioned album took the band into the media awareness of everyone home and in the US from Kerrang, Rock Sound and Big Cheese in the written press, Kerrang, Q Radio, BBC Introducing, KROQ, and Marky Ramone’s Punk Rock Blitzkrieg show on the radio, and internet forging shows like and The Bone Orchard. The new EP follows their stunning contribution to the 2012 Rebel On The Underground – A Tribute To X-Ray Spex compilation, a release in aid of the US charity Sweet Relief, and sees original members vocalist/bassist Dukey, guitarist/vocalist Becksi, and drummer/vocalist Welshy joined by newest member on guitar and vocals Soni.  Alongside the release of The Sprollie EP, Top Buzzer are currently playing European shows with Californian legends Face To Face and CH3 leading to their appearance at the Rebellion Festival. They have never been away really despite our opening line, with a wealth of gigs but something tangible in hands and ears for everyday use is what was yearned for and now satisfied by this delicious treat.

First to accost and light up the ears on the release is Mannish Girl, an irrepressible piece of pop punk with the distinctive Top Buzzer a0483369368_2stamp of irritatingly addictive hooks and tongue in cheek intent, though that part of the song’s anatomy does wander to lick at and incite everything from ear and senses to thoughts and passions. From the opening flurry of riffs and rhythmic beckoning the song launches straight into its tempting chorus which lays its lures in two parts before Dukey begins the simple and irreverently appealing narrative. Flames of grooves and melodic barbs swing out from within the hungry drive of the song, the guitar sculpted persuasion reminding of The Vibrators whilst the vocal mix and melodic suasion offers a mix of Baddies and seventies band The Flys from within something wholly Top Buzzer.

The following Look At You initially gallops into view with hooks and riffs open before finding a canter of fiery imagination ridden by the ever boisterous delivery of Dukey vocally and on bass matched in eagerness by the rhythms of Welshy and the great group backing vocals. There feels something different to those to be honest, whether that is the presence of Soni adding his tones we will find out in due course , but there is a great variety behind the lead delivery which captures the imagination as much as the heated guitar play around them.

We Are Merely Filters has the sense of early Buzzcocks to its initial impression, the again virulently infectious call of the song leading energies on a rampant swagger of invention and rascality. Midway the song slips into a blues/ska smelling stroll which for personal tastes pulls the charge of the song up into a near stall though its creation and craft is excellent, but back into the romping pace and energy which set off the track it leaves only the strongest taste and pleasure in its feisty wake.

Final track Wet Pets is one minute of Dickies like shenanigans, a burst of punk roasting with the anthemic heights of a bunny girl. It is pure bliss and completes another scintillating release from one of Britain’s best punk rock bands. The Sprollie EP is a real joy and rock ‘n’ roll at its infectious best, and as the release plays in greedy ears whilst writing another thought comes to life…maybe in all the best senses of the description Top Buzzer is the twenty first century reincarnation of The Leyton Buzzards…just a thought.


RingMaster 29/07/2013

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The Vox Dolomites – Dirty Work: Japanese Tour EP

UK punk rock band The Vox Dolomites is a band which without fail ignites the passions with each release and every show they unleash. Earlier this year their debut demo EP came out to thrill and raise the temperature within UK punk, and immediately sent the anticipation for more from the band into fever pitch. October sees the next instalment of their creativity when the band releases their Japanese Tour EP, Dirty Work to coincide with a five date tour of the country. The EP is a Japan only release through Modernedge Records, but with the four songs within its vibrant body, as well as those which made up that first demo, to be re-recorded and included on their forthcoming debut album in the autumn, it is definitely worth covering and exalting about.

From Stockport, the quartet of Antony Walsh (guitar, vocals),Will Farley (guitar, vocals), Chris O’Donnell (bass, vocals) and Simon Dunnington (drums) came together as The Vox Dolomites in 2011, its members already ‘veterans’ at making good punk/rock music previously in the bands One Man Stand, The Leif Ericsson and Spiteful WayModernedge Records,. Their music is a feisty mix of punk and ska though ‘not combined in the same song’ the band is keen to point out. Whichever gait their songs do come they are created and delivered with accomplished skill, but it is fair to say the ska/ska-core sounds the band create do have a feistiness and attitude to them which is borderline ska punk.

The EP opens with the excellent Battle Scars, a song which fires up the engines from its first electric riff. The track is a bruising and hungry brew of eager energies and sonic enterprise brought with combative guitars, mighty rhythms, and passionate anthemic vocal harmonies. Fully infectious yet bristling with confrontational sounds to wake up and ignite the ear and passions, the track is a Rancid/ Hagfish/Dog Eat Dog like mix and arguably a slab of American punk though distinctly brought with a British flare. It is a mighty heart racing start which has one mentally if not physically, punching the air and stomping around in union with the track.

The following Frank And Joan shows the other side of the band, its warm ska caresses and addictive sonic strokes soon deeply sunk within the heart. As the guitars tease and fire up the senses with their choppy and heated play alongside the heavy rhythms and the absorbing bass tones of O’Donnell, it is impossible not to be swaying along with the swagger of the song and captivated by the unfurling grisly tale. The tonic for the soul sound of the keys light up every shadow within the song to further captivate and thrill, and though merely two and a half minutes company the song is a glorious mischievous companion.

The Human Condition steps up next, again with a ska driven breath within its eager to incite the passions riot. Smacking of the likes of [Spunge], Random Hand, and Mad Caddies, without distilling the distinct Vox Dolomites presence, the track is a storming rub to trigger the fires of sheer contentment.

The release closes with the excellent No Split Ends, a song which like an old not seen for years buddy comes at the ear with a familiar but fresh and explosive keenness. The most catchy of all the songs with its vocal chorus and magnetic chops of guitar and jabs of beats, the track is and ignites pure insatiable addiction. Imagine Face To Face meeting The Clash in a frenzy of ska spliced punk and you have the mighty triumph that is No Split Ends.

The EP is easily the best advert and teaser for the forthcoming album possible, a release which if it does not appear in the near future will have impatient riots on its hands. The Vox Dolomites are easily one of the most exciting bands in not only UK punk but its music as a whole, and with a preview track from the EP available to tease the heart, now is the time to make your introduction to a great band.

RingMaster 12/09/2012

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