Like Animals – Feral EP

Photo Credit: Travis Tiernay

Photo Credit: Travis Tiernay

Taking our introduction to Canadian trio Like Animals through new EP Feral, it did not take long for their sound to show it matched up to the release’s title; each of its five tracks an untamed slice of noisy revelry and warped imagination and all leaving the licking of lips and a taste for more.

Hailing from Orillia in Ontario, the trio of guitarist/lead vocalist Jamie Haffenden, drummer/backing vocalist Will Tennant, and bassist/backing vocalist Myke Caouette create what is declared in regard to the EP as deviant melodic math metal. Equally though, it has paws in progressive technical metal, noise rock, and hardcore ferocity we would suggest, all flavours amongst others spicing up the increasingly impressing Feral. Following previous EPs from Sweet Whispers, Plagued Ears to The Undertoad and The Wild, the latest encounter is another animal themed exploit challenging and unsettling the senses and gripping the imagination with its unbroken raw spirit and fierce exploration.

EP Cover - Like Animals - Feral_RingMaster ReviewThe EP opens with its title track and initially a low key, melancholically toned guitar coaxing which is quickly joined by Haffenden’s voice. A few moments more and Tennant and Caouette bring a bulkier incitement with their rhythms, each carrying raucous intent to their catchy nature; William English meets At The Drive-In coming to mind through it all. Subsequent jazz lined weaves of guitar and moody bass shuffles only divert the creative adventure to new thrilling detours though they never meander too far from the driving compelling core of the encounter.

Perpetually unpredictable and magnetic, the track is a gripping start to proceedings instantly backed by the Fall of Troy meets Red Hot Chili Peppers like discordance of The Lions Share. Everything from vocals to sonic tempting has an off-kilter edge and mania to it yet things never lose structure or captivation even as hardcore ferocity succumbs to advent-grade devilry, and in turn it to a punk fuelled uproar. Again expectations are left lifeless as the track continues to creatively twist and turn like a dervish before Lounge Lizard relaxes things with its unconventional balladry and skittish canvas of ear bait and invention. Every Time I Die in league with early Postcard Records era bands like Orange Juice or Josef K comes to mind at times, not for clear reasons the latter pair but close enough to suggest the ingenuity at play as the song seduces at times whilst on its way to a more volatile and explosively dynamic trespass of ears and passions.

The indie punk/technical rock discord juiced eccentricity of Caterwaul ignites ears and appetite next, bordering on frenzied reactions admittedly whipped up by its tempestuous landscape of bullish ideation and exhausting noise aligned to seductive asides and mellow trespasses. As creatively busy as it is though, The Jungle Book of Love provides an even more feverish incitement whilst bringing the heated confusion and clamorous beauty of its namesake to bear on ears and thoughts. Dipping into spices of Mars Volta and The Dillinger Escape Plan, the track is a tapestry of wilding craft and sonic, maybe slightly deranged, adventure.

That description easily applies to Like Animals as a creative force too, a thought cemented as Feral for the umpteenth time sets our passions boiling whilst words are written.

The Feral EP is released January 22nd @ http://likeanimals1.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/likeanimals/   https://twitter.com/likeanimalsOFCL

Pete RingMaster 22/01/2016

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Death Kindly Waits For Me – Wire Iron Blood

death kindly

Let us cut to the chase right away and suggest that Wire Iron Blood might just be the best and certainly one of the most exciting post hardcore debut in recent times. An introduction to UK quartet Death Kindly Waits For Me, the three track release is a striking and dramatically captivating protagonist for ears and imagination, and the fact that it suggests there is plenty more in the creative tank of the band yet to be explored and developed only increases its impact. Expressively provocative with a sound coming from the At The Drive In/Fall Of Troy end of an ever broadening genre, Death Kindly Waits For Me is a dramatic fresh breath in the British post hardcore scene.

Northamptonshire bred, Death Kindly Waits For Me began towards the beginning of 2014, taking inspirations from the likes of Thursday, Being As An Ocean, Finch, and Taking Back Sunday into their emerging invention. Their melody rich and aggressive sound was soon drawing potent attention locally and even further afield as their increasing live presence saw the foursome sharing stages with bands such as Decade, Light You Up, Devil Sold His Soul, Terraform, Emp!re, Our Hollow Our Home, Hey Vanity, Attention Thieves and Flood Of Red. Now a national attention is on the radar as Wire Iron Blood is uncaged, and it is fair to say that expectations are already confident in the band’s success in luring a wider spotlight.

The EP opens with the outstanding Cutting Room Floor, a sonic lure swiftly thrusting ears into the impassioned vocals of Adam Fitch, his clean and earnest tones instantly magnetic. Alongside him the guitar of Max Freeston slowly spreads a coarsely melodic lure whilst the heavy bass tones of Adam Cator, just as quickly adds dark haunting shadows. Pierced by the controlled and reserved but rapier like strikes of drummer Josh Miller, it is not a dramatic start yet thoroughly intriguing and awakening an appetite to hear more. Soon into a steady stride and still employing the creative weave which set things off, the song increasingly impresses as it expands its presence musically and vocally, Fitch superb with his distinctive angst fuelled tones whilst the DEath KIndly...more punkish offering of Freeston is a potent backing and the raw roars of Cator nicely caustic. An additional anthemic strength emerges in the song and though musically maybe it does not blaze with startling originality there is nothing but freshness and adventure to the opener.

The same strengths flows though the following Best Friends. It character is shadowed and emotionally dark yet it flames with a contagious energy and a rigorously exciting imagination. Vocally once more the track shines whilst riffs and melodies create an infectious proposal which, as the EP, becomes more addictively enjoyable over time. That Fall Of Troy feel is a bright whisper across the song, whilst other elements hint at the more experimental adventure of The Mai Shi at times, but as the song evolves from a raging stomp into a melancholic croon in its finale, the track is thrillingly individual to Death Kindly Waits For Me.

The closing Decade Of War continues the excellent temptation, its emotionally sober but energetically impassioned heart a canvas for great rhythmic enterprise and colourful guitar endeavour to wrap with craft and tenacity. Vocally of course the song continues a weighty persuasion amidst impressive sonic imagination and by its end it is hard not to sigh in disappointment that there is no more and to swiftly go back to the beginning again and ensure there is.

As mentioned at the beginning, Wire Iron Blood is a starting point for the band which shows that they have plenty to discover and push within themselves. There is little nothing to shade the potency of the release though, with no reflection on Cator, personal tastes would like to see a diminishing or loss of the aggressive vocal squalls as they often feel at odds with the rest of the vocal delivery and at times songs. It is a very minor thing of course in a potential drenched start by Death Kindly Waits For Me, a band hard not to get rather excited over.

Wire Iron Blood will be available from 2nd March through all digital stores.

https://www.facebook.com/deathkindlywaitsformeuk

RingMaster 02/03/2015

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Dot Legacy – Self Titled

DOT LEGACY Profile Pic

Dot Legacy is a band which teases and taunts the need for the music industry to label and pigeonhole bands. They flaunt their striking ability and inventiveness in fusing a wealth of styles and flavours into their own unique and virtually indescribable adventure. The evidence is all there on their striking self-titled debut album, a release which ebbs and flows a little in success but never relinquishes its compelling potency at creating something extraordinary for the imagination and emotions to play with.

Hailing from Paris, Dot Legacy sculpts a web of sound which expands from a canvas of stoner, noise, and post rock footing; pulling everything and anything into its kaleidoscope of enterprise. Within tracks you can find yourself striding down one avenue of aural scenery and with a swift twist of a chord or rhythmic shuffle, enter another distinctly different yet complimentary terrain of endeavour. Formed in 2009, the band has earned a strong reputation for their eclectic and intriguing propositions, which their full-length has already begun pushing towards a much wider attention.

Opening track Kennedy opens on a charming invitation of guitar swiftly joined by a darker but no less coaxing bass presence. Just as quickly again it all erupts into a surge of noise baited and discord kissed enterprise, that small moment in the album alone bringing strong hints of the unpredictability and intriguing magnetism to come from sound and release. The track is a superb and respectful cacophony of invention and sonic exploration, the guitars of John Defontaine and Arnaud Merckling as enchanting as they are ferocious, with the latter’s keys skills just as mesmeric across the album. Basking in a sultry climate with rhythmic and riff clad turbulence, the track continues to enthral as the lead vocals of bassist Damien Quintard backed feistily by the rest of the band, add further incendiary expression.

The great start is immediately surpassed by Think Of A Name, its opening enticement a blaze of stoner seeded rock ‘n’ roll with raw overtones of psychedelic fuzziness and sonic intensity. The heavy throaty tones of Quintard’s bass seduce Dot Legacy Artworkand intimidate simultaneously as the rest of the band squall impressively around it like a wind flushed fire. Imagine At The Drive It and Fall Of Troy in league with Torche and Melvins to come somewhere near the glory of the persistently evolving track.

Days Of The Week is equally as impressive and exhilarating. An initial tempest of sonic and melodic acidity entwined around a raw energy entices ears before flowing into an outstanding mellow embrace of evocative textures and vocal harmonies over expressive enterprise. A technical flair seizes its chance to shine during the smouldering beauty of the song, whilst vocals across the whole band simply tantalise and seduce to equal effect and success. The Mai Shi comes to mind occasionally during the track but again it is a unique encounter belonging only to the band. Its finale leads seamlessly into The Passage; a track which plays like its title suggests and links its predecessor and the following proposition with a tunnel of noise veined by hints of melodic expression and imposing emotion. It is an ok track but pales sharply between the previous song and the excellent Pyramid, a track which ventures into a hip hop area vocally and nu-metal seeding musically, playing like The Kennedy Soundtrack meets Limp Bizkit but with a wealth of riveting twists and additives to create another individual and scintillating offering.

The lengthy adventures of Gorilla Train Station and Rumbera bring further twists to the landscape of the release, the first a scuzz draped stroll of heavy sludge spawned riffs and similarly imposing rhythms but prone to graceful drifts into stoner bred melodies and sultry vocal persuasion. The second is an avant-garde dance of vocal and melodic flirtation, equipped with a Latin temperament, within a contagious maelstrom of thick rock endeavour courted by provocative keys. As with all tracks and their individual characters, it is hard to portray all that is going on within its walls but arguably this song is the most intrigue lit and bewilderingly addictive of them all.

   The Midnight Weirdos provides almost nine minutes of dark drama, the constantly impressing craft of drummer Romain Mottier alone setting the imagination off on a sinister journey towards the jazz and funk coloured slow prowl of the song. It is an engrossing and voraciously bewitching track with heavy metal and blues just a couple of the other tendrils of sound helping sculpt the absorbing incitement.

The album closes with 3 am, an acoustic croon of voice and guitar which feels like an anti-climax to the tempestuous triumphs at first but emerges as a fine serenade to bring the exhausting emprise of the album to a gentle end. To describe Dot Legacy’s sound is like trying to discover the core colour of a rainbow, a similarity in their perpetual blending of senses bewitching hues possibly the best way to bring some reference to the creativity of the French band. Some of the tracks are a little too long and surprisingly there at times is surface familiarity between a few songs but beneath each is a whirlpool of blistering and thoroughly compelling ideation providing an irresistible web of temptation.

Dot Legacy is available digitally and on CD via Setalight Records and @ http://dotlegacy.bandcamp.com/

www.dotlegacyband.com

9/10

RingMaster 11/09/2014

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Halfling’s Leaf – Westover

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After the irresistible bait put down by their excellent previous EPs, UK band Halfling’s Leaf has returned with not only a confirmation of their creative bedlam but a declaration of its new maturity and expansive schizophrenic ingenuity. The Stockport quartet has honed their distinctive and diversely imaginative sonic lunacy into a more concentrated yet no less boldly inventive proposition whilst turning up the aggressive rapaciousness which flirted with their earlier releases. The evidence is open and loud within Westover, the band’s new compelling and deliciously magnetic EP. Over six tracks, Halfling’s Leaf romp and stomp with propositions as ever impossible to pin down or label but fuelled with an even stronger inventive tenacity which sweeps greedily through their wide web of progressive avant garde punk ‘n’ funk devilry.

Formed in 2011, the foursome of vocalist Matt Franklin, guitarist/vocalist Mayo, bassist/vocalist Chid Seisay, and drummer/vocalist Andy Preece, soon grabbed attention with the Ain’t No Candy EP and gripped it tighter through the following High Times. Both EPs set the band apart from the rest, with especially the second release a potent lure to the media and radio shows like our own podcasts. The Daniel Buxton/ Halfling’s Leaf produced Westover is a whole new proposition though, a release which takes the seeds of the past and blossoms them into a startling and riotously captivating maelstrom of adventure and enterprise to surely push the band into a greater spotlight with that slice of fortune all bands need and here definitely deserves. Six more songs to fuel the imagination and incite the passions, Westover is a blistering warped dance to give insanity another shot of adrenaline.

Opener Sket launches itself at ears in a cacophony of bedlamic sound and vocal mayhem, instantly awakening senses and attention before a3462398769_2settling into a muscular stride with roving rhythms and sturdy riffs. That premise is immediately twisted with a sultry funk swagger within the forceful beats whilst vocals are equally steamy and fiery to match the metal and hard rock essences teasing the mix. The track continues to swerve and writhe with unpredictable endeavour before discovering a chorus which is pure toxic virulence. Essences of Mr Bungle and Red Hot Chili Peppers spice up the indefinable temptation but only to ensure thoughts are further away from finding a valid description to the sound and triumphant moment. A jazz bred psyche kissed diversion ignites the imagination next, before the bass restores some kind of order with its throaty composure, yet it is just the spark for even more delicious bewitchment as the band transforms into a mix of Oingo Boingo and the Cardiacs for a simply bewildering and seductive devilry. The track is a brilliant start but just the beginning of something quite special.

The following Faces immediately has its devil sculpted hips twisting like a dervish; the first maniacally flirtatious moments courted by jagged riffs and vocal stabs within agitated beats. The song is soon slipping into something more comfortable, a noir lit smouldering glide of melodic shimmering and harmonic crooning which envelops and seduces the senses naughtily whilst in its background rhythms and insanity collude in a caustic tango of predacious tenacity. Like a bastard son of Melvins and The Fat Dukes Of Fuck, the moment seizes feet and passions like a maniacal puppeteer, leading body and heart into another raucous exploit to scare the bland and ignite the deranged.

Smiler reunites thoughts with hints of Rage Against The Machine, which marked the last release, and also a bluesy heat which sears the senses with an absorbing stoner-esque flame within a cage of rhythmic intrigue. The track is more straight forward than its predecessors, but still hold a thick air of unpredictable mischief and contagious tempting which again has feet and thoughts dancing to its tune. It shows yet another side and quality to the band, a sinew honed might which is a challenge for any heavy rock band but equipped with a psyche spawned invention to wrong foot and spark true originality.

An unhinged relish soaks the next up Stop the Clock, the track a busy frenetic web of At The Drive In like abrasion and Fall Of Troy sounding squalling charm but filtered into an incendiary furnace of Halfling’s Leaf uniqueness and rhythmic examination. The bass nags and snarls away across the smouldering fire of sound relentlessly to light up another lustful reaction but it is the loco lure of the guitar and vocals which leaves the spiciest irresistible suasion before the glorious aural stew makes way for the similarly feverish Fair Play. The band is back in full warped funk mode here but of course with flames of melodic voraciousness and disorientated rhythms shooting from the punk infested core. Again it is hard to avoid sending hints of RATM to thoughts but also impossible to disguise the unique experimental hysteria which skilfully entwines and excitingly perverts things with unhinged majesty.

The release is completed by the exotically delirious Party Piece, a squirming orgy of sonic salaciousness and rhythmic taunting ridden by uncontrollable invention and a vocal bustle. It is one final chaotic rampage which shows more scenic detours and alluring landscapes than a mystery tour. A riveting joy to end another wonderfully unsettling and mouthwatering masterpiece from Halfling’s Leaf, it confirms why Westover belongs to the devil as well as providing the frightening realisation that as staggering as it is this band can only get better meaning our souls are certainly lost to their alchemy.

Westover is available now @ http://halflingsleaf.bandcamp.com/album/westover

https://www.facebook.com/halflingsleaf

10/10

RingMaster 25/06/2014

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Emilio Largo – In Uniform We Divide EP

Emilio Largo

As the year drifts into the frenzy of Christmas and the clutches of 2014, Scottish band Emilio Largo recently gave it a striking parting gift in the shape of their excellent In Uniform We Divide EP. Consisting of four exciting and promise drenched tracks from a band which is beginning to generate a potent little buzz around themselves, the release is a riveting and imaginative exploration of math and alternative rock with plenty of other fruitful essences spicing up its temptation. Written over eighteen months the Mark Morrow of The Winter Tradition produced EP is a declaration of a band on a creative flight set to tempt and enslave a great many to its inventive presence, and certainly the release seduced our eager hearts.

The EP is the follow-up to debut single My Hopeless Question of late 2011 and a major evolution in sound and craft to that introduction.  In Uniform We Divide employs the Edinburgh trio’s inspirations from the likes of The Mars Volta, Arcane Roots, and The James Cleaver Quintet into their own inspiring melodic and inventive sculpting. Consisting of former music students, vocalist/bassist Scott Waterson, drummer/vocalist Calum MacVicar, and guitarist/vocalist Joe Wyman who it has been announced as we write this review has just left the band, Emilio Largo has laid down a marker with their EP not only for the country to take notice of but for their own level of ideas and ingenuity. Strongly backing up their acclaimed performances with the likes of Arcane Roots, Tubelord, Bronto Skylift, Flood of Red, and Sucioperro over time, In Uniform We Divide is not a perfect release but cored by such potential in its definitely impressive invention and depths it only raises an eager appetite and suspicion of greater things to come.

The release gently strokes the ears with the beginning of In Uniform, the opener taking a reflective melodic guitar crafted 1471981_596147800434427_61011776_nentry before riffs begin to rub their design into the senses and rhythms crisply poke the ears into greater anticipation. Their awakening appetite is soon rewarded with a tempestuous surge of caustic and clean vocals which fly across the bows of the sonically bred enterprise seeping from the tall walls of the rhythmic enticement. The bass of Waterson is a dark provocateur alongside the lighter flames of the guitars and the cleaner vocal delivery, adding a great whisper of menace yet with an intriguing swagger which compliments the stroll of the track. As it moves through its inventive aural narrative there is a definite Reuben meets Baddies feel to the song and as the bass adds a funk mischief to its tantalising presence and the hooks become more jagged it is an outstanding start to the EP.

JudgeMental steps up next and instantly comes under another absorbing and irresistible prowl from the bass and intensive incendiary guitar play and riffing which with the squalling vocals has a definite Rage Against The Machine air to its antagonism. A contagious groove enters the affray soon after to accelerate the strength of the song’s potency and toxicity and though less than a minute and a half in length it is a thrilling avant-garde/math rock stomp reminding in many ways of Halfling’s Leaf. It short but triumphant persuasion is replaced by the much longer We Divide, the track also unafraid to mingle jazz and discord lit adventure with a progressive and intensive fusion of rock. The vocals again are varied and adventurous in their use but as found on the first song the purely clean vocals are weak in comparison to the other deliveries and the music. Certainly they are not badly delivered or poor but against the qualities breeding the heights in this mystique noir lit treat they pale a little too noticeably at times. It is a small issue to be fair though, the harmonies on the third track as spot on as any part of the creative maelstrom of imagination exploration.

The EP ends on another thrilling stomp in the rapacious shape of Disco Volante where the band turns to disjointed dancefloor teasing with a track which is like a stiff legged body jerking dance of noise and psyche rock brilliance. Imagine again Baddies in a conspiracy with Joy Division, We Are The Physics, and Fall of Troy, and you get a pungent whiff of the invention and contagion set to seduce your passions. Our favourite track on the EP, though all are sizeable contenders causing constant reappraisal of that nomination, it triggers another level of enjoyment. The In Uniform We Divide EP is a richly exciting and satisfying treat from a band in Emilio Largo which is easy to expect will be stepping forward to become a major contender in indie and alternative rock ahead.

https://www.facebook.com/EmilioLargoBand

8.5/10

RingMaster 16/12/2013

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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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