Mala Ruckus – People Mountain People Sea

Formed in Dalian, China, consisting of 5 musicians from 4 different countries and now residing in Prague, in the Czech Republic, Mala Ruckus and their seriously captivating sound is one of the music world’s best kept secrets. Maybe and hopefully that will not be the case for longer with the upcoming release of the band’s debut album, People Mountain People Sea. It is a showcase and rich introduction to the quintet’s multi-flavoured indie folk pop/rock, a collection of songs which get under the skin like a sensuous itch and has the body and emotions bouncing like the first days of summer.

Formed in 2013, Mala Ruckus first came to our attention two years later when they introduced themselves and debut EP Make the Monkey Watch to the site. It offered three lively and swiftly magnetic songs which in hindsight certainly hinted at the wider tapestry of sound now shaping People Mountain People Sea. Those tracks make up a quarter of the album and sound as fresh and exciting amongst their new companions as the first day heard. That is the key to the band’s sound, its ability to feel as refreshing as its first listen a hundred times later, that coupled to a bold imaginative and an instinctive aptitude to be virulently infectious no matter how it comes.

Fronted by the instantly magnetically distinctive voice of Canadian vocalist/guitarist Alex Montyro, Mala Ruckus swiftly get down to business with opener Run. Straight away the melody casting strings of Montyro and Ireland bred guitarist Caolon O’Neill Forde coax ears, the crisp beats of American born drummer Sean Rollins lurking and finally adding a skip to the already boisterous song. The keys of Francis Carlisle and the bass of fellow Brit Ian James add their smiling strolls to the swinging encounter thereafter, the song like a fusion of Jim Jiminee and Arctic Monkeys and quite irresistible.

In saying that it is still eclipsed by the following Hoverboards where straightaway the medieval spiced mandolin of O’Neill Forde has ears and imagination hooked. That melodic invitation sparks a boisterous stroll of indie rock pop, rhythms tenacious bait within the track’s energetically melodic shuffle. Montyro’s vocals again just hit the spot as unerringly as the sounds around him, especially the pulsating bassline, kinetic parade of hooks, and the harmonic glaze from across the band.

Trees, Fields is next, the song a calmer but no less catchy proposition with its bold rhythms within a folkier air equipped with a sighing temptation of strings. Like an Autumn sunset, the song is a fine blend of melancholy and warmth becoming increasingly vivacious by the minute before making way for the compelling croon of Words. With a country twang and a more reserved urgency compared to its predecessors, the song sways in ears, sharing another adventurous side to vocals and melodic enterprise whilst echoing the success of those around it.

The sampled opening of Sheets sets the oppressive tone of the world but one soon calmed and evolved by the emerging melodic canter of the track. As with the previous song, its energy and spirit brews by the second, every twist and turn, each vocal and musical touch escalating in creative drama and thickening emotion. There is a Coldplay like scent to the song by its close but in a good way as it stirs the passions up ready for successor East Hastings. From its own gentle and provocative entrance complete with a Latin seeded seduction, the track rises up with evocative drama for a creative helter skelter. Revolving with fervour and diversity, the track is immense; a slice of indie rock theatre as composed and fluid as it is boldly unpredictable and the best song winner.

It is persistently rivalled to be fair, from those before and following such as the jazz funk lined Nowhere Bound with its smoky tone, soulful brass, and hazy melodies,  and in turn Take It Away. The second is a frisky carnival; its Mediterranean swing and smiling melodies pure flirtation backed as teasingly by vocals and its friskier rock ‘n’ roll side. Reminding a little of UK band JacksonsWarehouse, as a few tracks do, the song has hips swinging and spirit bouncing with zeal for four delicious minutes.

New single Beast of our Babylon brings a more sombre breeze to the adventure but with no less captivation and pleasure involved. It is a folk nurtured ballad with melancholic strings and acoustic elegance round the emotive tones of Montyro which just thickens and captivates second by second, maybe missing the mischief of other encounters within the album but rich in creative beauty to spark just as much pleasure.

The following pair of Fire and Ghosts ignite their own dose of lusty acclaim, the first a prime snappy fusion of the band’s folk/indie rock recipe and quite beguiling while the second is the perfect crescendo of energy and spirit. Its build from an emotive kiss and melodic caress is simply sublime, rhythms a brewing tour de force driving the increasing tempo and rousing air looming upon the senses, and its arrival into a virulent rock ‘n’ roll escapade irresistible.

The album departs with Barmaid, a raw sepia hued slice of lively folk seduction which has feet tapping, hips swaying, and vocal chords humming in seconds. Its sorrowful sigh is just as warming as its harmonic tempting and rhythmic teasing providing the perfect way to drift off into the sunset of People Mountain People Sea.

All the promise of that first EP has been exploited within the album but taken to a level not anticipated back then. It is quite wonderful and the fact that the common words coming from those hearing it with us is “Damn this band is good” says it all.

To keep abreast of the release date of People Mountain People Sea and gig news check out https://www.malaruckus.com/     https://www.facebook.com/malaruckus/      https://twitter.com/malaruckus

Pete RingMaster 01/12/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Bottle Next – Bad Horses

Bottle Next is a hard folk band from the French music scene. It is a tag which is maybe unique to the band not having come across it before but only partially touches on their sound. Weaving seriously engaging songs from the imaginative threads of everything from indie and pop, through progressive blues and hard rock to folk and indeed any mischievous form of rock ‘n’ roll you wish to suggest, Bottle Next make for a tantalising proposition which within debut album, Bad Horses, persistently encroaches upon rich fascination and aural seduction.

There is a real sense of fun within and with the duo of guitarist/vocalist/saxophonist Pierre Rettien and drummer/vocalist Martin Ecuer; a feistiness and devilment which openly fuels their music. From the release of their first single in 2011, the pair has drawn increasing attention and support with a pair of EPs surrounded by other individual tracks and videos as well as an energetic live presence which has seen them play across France and further into Europe; sharing stages with the likes of Triggerfingers, Lofofora, Zebda, Mass Hysteria, Didier Wampas, and No One Is Innocent as well as appearing at festivals such as Rock’n’Poche Festival, The Festival du Chien à Plûmes, Musikmesse in Germany), Belgium’s Mannrock (Belgium) and the Swiss Zikamart Festival.

Released a few weeks back, Bad Horses is an announcement for a wider range of ears and spotlights of the presence of Bottle Next; the Daniel Bergstrand (Meshuggah, Soilwork, In Flames) mixed release swiftly making the most of the opportunity with its opener Break Down the Door. The initial twang twisted strums of Rettien have an instinctive striking swing to their nature, a zeal matched in the senses rapping beats of Ecuer. That energy is equally as frantic in the delivery and character of the former’s vocals; together the duo creating a body inciting, spirit dancing slice of tenacious melodic rock as garage raw as it is hungrily infectious.

It is a thickly enticing start matched in memorable heights by next up Choices, the song a swagger loaded stroll of blues tinged rock ‘n’ roll sharing a Queens Of The Stone Age meets In The Whale like adventure. There is a rapacious essence to the grooves winding around ears and an atmospheric suggestiveness to the keys which interrupts the urgency of the canter whilst emerging folkish revelry has a funk seeded grin encapsulated by the earthily sultry lures of sax.

From one mouth-watering escapade to another as next up, Running Herd, takes ears in its grips with stabby riffs and agitated beats, both entangled in a volatile web of melody and vocal dexterity. As with its predecessors, involvement in its tenacious shuffle is instinctive; voice and hips giving quick submission to its imaginative multi-flavoured dance before Revolution shows the grittier hard rock side of the band’s sound. It too though weaves in a lure of melody and pop scented indie enterprise topped by a chorus wearing sixties/seventies pop rock catchiness.

A slightly calmer air drifts over Age of beauty; the song tempting and vivaciously crooning like a mix of XTC and Be Bop Deluxe though like all songs it never settles for one idea or style for much longer than it takes the imagination to adopt one of the moments of creative chicanery.  At times it is an almost punchy encounter, the next a floating caress and consistently a captivating proposal before the outstanding Overthere grabs an already keen appetite for the release’s romp with its heavier touch and spikier climate. Again a grunge seeded essence runs alongside the song’s heavier rock instincts, colluding in a slimline, impulsively addictive temptation smoking in its shadows with a wealth of additional flavoursome scents.

The album’s title track is a more kinetic and wiry caper, guitars and drums magnetically nagging and popping as the track’s rock heart and vocals roar; pure rock ‘n’ roll its creative mantra while Machines courts a matching breeding in its mellower, blues rock tinged pop ‘n’ roll. Both offerings make swift deals with ears and imagination, More Humane matching their success with its folk/indie rock enticement brewing up from within initial suggestive smog of melodically nurtured atmospherics; funk and progressive keys born revelry growing across its enthralling body sparking canter.

The melody woven infection of The Lift off straight after is no less an inducement of physical participation, its warm and boisterous invitation a fest of inventive festivity for limbs and energy. The same equally comes with closing song The Woody Man where its folkish colour and melodic charm takes the track’s kinetic nature in hand, giving it a great layer of restraint without defusing its multi-style embracing devilry and impact on body and spirit. It is a great end to a rather fine album which it is fair to say had us leaping and grinning from start to finish, no track anything less than an imaginative galvanic romp. Bad Horses offers something really fresh in its familiar flavours and boundless enterprise in its bold and playful quest to simply rock ‘n’ roll. The best album you will hear this year, maybe or maybe not; destined to be one of the most enjoyable, without question.

Bad Horses is out now @ https://bottlenext.bandcamp.com/album/bad-horses

http://bottle-next.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Bottlenext/

Pete RingMaster 30/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Me Like Bees – There Will Be Time

promo photo_RingMasterReview

It might only be four songs, but there have been few as vigorous work-outs for neck muscles and hips than There Will Be Time, the new EP from US indie rockers Me Like Bees. Feet and voices too are easily involved and pushed to their lusty limited by the quickly addictive offering from the Joplin, Missouri quartet. The EP is quite simply a summer’s party in the ears and an excuse for the spirit to find something to smile about in any day.

Formed in 2009, Me Like Bees has devoured the American landscape over the years playing hundreds of shows across states. Equally from the release of their self-titled  EP in 2011 through their acclaimed debut album The Ides two years later, the band has had only keen attention and a lively growing fan-base for their virulent indie rock/pop proposals. That same year saw the band begin the route to winning the Ernie Ball Music Man Battle of the Bands whilst 2015 was marked by Me Like Bees playing a leg of the Van’s Warped Tour. More success and eager spotlights are sure to turn the way of the band this year with the release of There Will Be Time alone. Recorded with award-winning producer, John Feldmann (Five Seconds of Summer, The Used, Panic! at the Disco, Goldfinger, Good Charlotte, Plain White T’s), the EP just infests ears and emotions, infects the psyche and body, and takes the listener on a tenaciously contagious ride.

TWBT Large Cover _RingMasterReviewOpening with Changes, band and release instantly have a wiggly body and attentive ears on its hands, the song flirting with harmonies and melodic jangles as keys add their smiling spice to the coaxing. The engaging tones of vocalist Luke Sheafer simply add to the tempting as the darker lure of Nick Bynum’s bass prowls with mischief in its intent. The song’s swing is relatively gentle but becoming more tenacious as twists and turns grip the transfixing encounter, Timothy Cote’s beats a pungent incitement to the web of melodies and jangles cast by the guitars of Pete Burton and Luke Sheafer. Like a mix of Billy Momo, Arcade Fire, and Late Cambrian, the track simply enslaves before Tundraland slips in with voice and melody as another rich enticement.

A folk pop vivacity fuels the second song, though as with the first, the band weaves an array of flavours into their seriously catchy drama of sound and persuasion. Again vocals are as impressive and potent at whipping up attention and eager involvement as the vibrant sounds around them; a blend producing the kind of pop ‘n’ roll that given the chance will have crowded landscapes bouncing.

The EP’s title track is the next to seduce ears; vocals and an acoustic romancing the first kiss as an array of wispy and flirtatious sounds are glimpsed around them before throbbing beats bring the full creative heart of the song into full view. Even at its broadest moment the song is a bubbling smoulder but equally as infuriatingly and yes thrillingly catchy as anything on the release before drifting away for the excellent Southern twanged folk rock stomp of Hymns and Blues. Again check for a pulse if anyone listening to it is not bouncing in their seats or on their feet, the track a Class A addictive stirring up of bodies and spirit; a feel good factor does not even cover it.

It is a brilliant end to an equally invigorating and exciting proposition. There has been a few releases we suggest have the summer soundtrack written all over them, but There Will Be Time has put most if not all in the shade.

The There Will Be Time EP is released April 8th through most online stores.

http://www.melikebees.com   https://www.facebook.com/melikebees   https://twitter.com/MeLikeBees

Pete RingMaster 07/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Mala Ruckus – Make the Monkey Watch

MR_RingMaster Review

We have a new unexpected treat to share with you, a band and release from the modern seaport of Dalian in China. They are Mala Ruckus and they have introduced themselves to us with debut EP Make the Monkey Watch. The band is a quintet which formed in 2013 with members hailing from Canada, America, Ireland, and a pair from Britain; expatriates creating their own unique captivation of alternative and indie rock with healthy essences of folk and pop. It is a sound which flirts with ears, sparks the imagination, and in the form of Make the Monkey Watch, has triggered a keen appetite and anticipation for the band’s first album which they are currently finishing up.

Since emerging the band has played in a host of Chinese cities earning a reputation and following for their energetic live shows and irresistibly engaging sound, now rife on their EP. Times are a changing though with the band now not allowed to play live in the country but if their upcoming album sounds as full and flavoursome as Make the Monkey Watch, new spotlights and openings might and should begin stirring elsewhere.

COVER   The EP opens with Run, a song quickly engaging ears in a lively melodic coaxing courtesy of the guitars of Alex Montyro and Caolon O’Neill Forde. The song quickly slips into vibrant stroll with Francis Carlisle’s smiling keys alongside intricate guitar flirtation cupping the distinctive voice of Montyro as darker rhythmic hues spun by bassist Ian James and drummer Sean Rollins provide the shuffle to entice feet and hips. It is a ridiculously catchy proposal, like Jim Jiminee meets Arctic Monkeys but with its own original voice and mischievous air, which as the music, just gets more infectious with each passing chorus and tenacious swing.

A great start is backed and eclipsed by Hoverboards, its medieval spiced mandolin entrance already a wink on the appetite and imagination before things get hectic. A rousingly anthemic slice of folk /rock pop, the track leaps and bounds on rhythmic revelry and vocal enterprise, a success matched in prowess and adventure by eager riffs, teasing hooks, and another great pulsating bassline. The band continues to tenaciously canter through ears until taking a side step into a harmonic daze, drifting with a smile on their faces before taking the listener back to the irresistible ride it came in on.

Words is the third of the songs making up Make the Monkey Watch, another captivating encounter though with more reserve and urgency to its nature than its predecessors. What it lacks in physical dynamism it more than makes up in adventurous vocals and melodic enterprise, saving outbursts solely for a loudly vivacious magnetic chorus.

It is a fine end to an excellent first look/listen with Mala Ruckus; the first of many we are already eagerly hoping. They might be living in a restrictive musical place and time right now but given the chance the band, and we suspect album, could be inciting wider spotlights very soon.

The Make the Monkey Watch EP is out now @ http://malaruckus.bandcamp.com/releases

http://malaruckus.com/   https://www.facebook.com/malaruckus   https://twitter.com/malaruckus

Pete RingMaster 06/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Two Beats Apart – Aim, Fire

Two Beats Apart Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

Two Beats Apart are no strangers to everyone but now the rest of us yet to enjoy their charms get to hug their magnetic folk rock sound through the release of their debut EP Aim, Fire. Three tracks of intimate seduction, the release is a vibrantly captivating proposition which suggests the duo of vocalist/pianist Tasha Alice and guitarist Steve Hart are ready to pierce the fullest spotlights.

It was a chance encounter between mutual friends in 2013 which provided the spark for Two Beats Apart, from there Tasha and Steve swiftly uniting their musical craft and ideas. The past year has seen the St. Albans pair work with the likes of Chrissie Hynde, Reeves Gabrels (The Cure/David Bowie), and Billy Lunn (The Subways), whilst finding their own music on the live scene acclaimed and media wise getting praise from the likes of Kerrang! and Front Magazine, earn national radio play, and be featured on Channel 4’s prime time show Hollyoaks. Fair to say there is a bit of a fuss brewing round Two Beats Apart and after Aim, Fire it is easy to see and hear why.

Two Beats Apart Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review     The EP opens with Aim, an instantly alluring fusion of voice and guitar. A gentle strum from Steve lays the canvas for the immediately enticing tones of Tasha to wrap lyrical and harmonic warmth round ears and imagination. The air of the song is enriched again by restrained but nicely melancholic strings with never impose but add more emotive colour to the blossoming heart of the encounter. Across its body, energy ebbs and flows to great effect whilst keys and compelling harmonies add to the inescapable seduction of Tasha’s voice and emotive delivery.

It is a fine start matched by the following Fire, this time vocals and piano uniting in a shadow draped yet increasingly warm serenade for the senses. Vocals again grab the attention though fingers on keys are just as poetic and descriptive whilst an outstanding harmony sculpted chorus just seems to get more potent and calmly anthemic with every round of its temptation. The song is bewitching in every quarter, a gentle but firm siren for ears before TwentyFour brings the release to an impressive close.

Its slow engaging start is quickly ripe with strings, keys, and rhythms as the tones of Tasha tempt; they backed by harmonies which float with a haunted but celestial beauty. As enthralling and enjoyable as the song is, it initially lacks the full allure of its predecessors but once the guitar of Steve explores a bluesy adventure, it breeds another wash of temptation to transfix and spark the same depth of pleasure. Another depth to the sound and songwriting is openly revealed by the EP’s finale, another source of adventure sure to be explored by band and ears ahead.

Aim, Fire is an excellent first persuasion from Two Beats Apart; a national entrance to entice fresh ears and appetites for the band’s glowing sound and a strong start to surely a certain ascent towards major things for them.

The Aim, Fire EP is available from September 18th through all digital platforms.

Pete RingMaster 18/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Billy Vincent – Stand On Me

Billy Vincent_RingMaster Review

A plaintive slice of British Americana but fuelled as potently by hope as it is shadows, the new album from Billy Vincent is an ear and imagination catcher. Stand On Me brings twelve tracks of streetwise intimacy and heart bred in the darker corners and depths of London. Their seemingly personal tales entangle the listener in sound and narrative and as shadow exploring as they are, come equally built on blind optimism in a host of individual ways for a landscape of vital rock ‘n’ roll.

Stand On Me is the successor to the band’s well-received debut album She and comes via Swiss label Deepdive Records to whom Billy Vincent recently signed. As mentioned its songs are themed around dark times and shadows but also explore the light to be found in the support of others and indeed hope. Co-writers and vocalist/guitarists Billy Barratt and David Vincent talked about Stand On Me before its release, revealing “We thought it important to choose a title that represents the bigger part of the songs on the record, and Stand On Me is one of those reassuring statements that if you’re lucky, someone close to you might say to you when you feel like you’re out of options, letting you know you can lean on them and it’s all going to be alright”. They went on to say, “A lot of these songs are about that, not letting people you care about crumble and disappear with the rain, it’s a positive thing and we wanted to embrace it”.

With the line-up completed by bassist Joseph Kinsey, lead guitarist Adam Roylance, keyboardist Alex Leith, and drummer Dave Rowlands, Billy Vincent open up Stand On Me with Across My Street and a swift caress of guitar and keys spiked by crisp beats. The song soon settles into a vibrantly magnetic stride wrapped in welcoming melodies and equally alluring vocals, they courted by a darker but no less gripping bassline. A southern spice is never far from the surface of the guitar enterprise either whilst an Elvis Costello meets Pretenders air soaks the song to fine effect. Foot tapping and vocal involvement is simply unavoidable as the song offers a masterful start to the album’s persuasion.

cover_RingMaster Review  A country climate blossoms with the following Sleep When You’re Dead but equally a folkish drama and reflection makes a pungent hue in the sultry presence and emotion of the song too. As in the first track, and most to follow, there is a swing to proceedings, even in its slow croon, which just grabs the imagination as forcibly as the heart spawned lyrics. That catchiness is more unmissable in Hell For Leather. Its opening lure of vocals from across the band is like a fanfare, enticing within the mellower but no less lively stroll of rhythms and melody honed hooks. The track reveals itself to be persistently bewitching, like a snarling fusion of Following Foxes and Seth Lakeman which just gets more rousing and vocally incendiary with every passing minute.

Everybody Else is another with a Costello like texture to its melancholic heart whilst Learning To Drink casts a dark acoustically honed seduction which just grows in sound and strength as its reflective narrative becomes more fiercely soulful. There is enthralling adventure to its evolving scenery and creative drama too, providing ears and emotions with a compelling proposal which as great as it is quickly gets overshadowed by the excellent Loveless Man. With bulkier rhythms and a blues bred lilt to its guitar and melodic endeavour, the song sizzles in ears, the vocals similarly inflamed with their emotive declaration for another lingering highlight.

Both the piano lit, forlornly pensive Dark Are My Days and the crestfallen Waifs & Strays wrap ears in Americana ambience and emotional encouragement, the vocals in the latter especially rosy in their glowing harmonies whilst Cheap simply smoulders in sound and emotion. All three with distinct characters uniting to lure thick attention and pleasure to this part of the album do have to bow to the outstanding You, Me, The World though, a rousing eager stroll with a touch of Denim Snakes’ Russell Toomey to its songwriting and vocal expression. The track is irresistible, stealing top song honours so far and setting another lofty plateau in an increasingly impressive encounter.

The country folk contemplation of Black Suits & Dresses embraces more imposing shadows but immerses them in its own light of optimism and warm soulfulness, leaving the rocking Sheriff Cook to bring the album to a thrilling close. From its first breath, discord and warped strings are toying with the appetite before erupting into a southern lined shuffle of enticing rhythms and smiling melodies skipped over by great grit lined vocals. There is a rebelliousness to the song, an open hint of roguishness which ensures every note and beat has the possibility of breaking ranks and sparking mass discordance. It never happens but assists in making the track increasingly bolder and unpredictable to ultimately give Stand On Me its pinnacle.

Americana and definitely country is not a flavour which gets much attention or eagerness in giving it the opportunity to be part of our ever evolving personal soundtracks here, but Stand On Me just engrosses from start to finish, with particular moments which, as the final song, lights a blaze in ears and appetite. Billy Vincent is a band gearing up to a massive future we suggest with plenty of evidence to be found within Stand On Me.

Stand On Me is available from August 28th via Deepdive Records.

Ringmaster 27/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more independent exploration check out http://www.zykotika.com/

The Hokum – Fools, Mules and Baggage…

11032057_613642075433744_7117761752705165766_n

Recently UK indie pop rock band The Hokum awoke a fresh wave of attention with latest single Mind Over Matter. It was one of those songs which just gets under the skin, into the psyche, and announced the band as one to pay closer notice of. That meant taking a look at their debut album Fools, Mules and Baggage… from whence the single was plucked. As enjoyable and infectious as the song was it is fair to say that it barely hinted at the adventurous variety and captivating enterprise to be found on the band’s highly enjoyable full-length.

The Hokum hails from Sheffield and emerged in 2013 and is centred round the magnetic songs of songwriting duo Jacob Stanley and Anthony Isaac Stone. As swiftly evidenced by the album, the band’s sound is a vibrant and warm blend of rock and indie pop but also merging in numerous additional spices such as folk and eighties new wave. It is an energetic mix with a swing, even in its seductive ballads, which turns the songs into little anthems of fun impossible to resist. It all starts with Gold Clock, a track which from an almost mischievous prodding of guitar turns into a striding slice of rock ‘n’ roll with stirring riffs and instantly inviting vocals. Bass and beats soon add their heavy lures as the song becomes busier in flavours and energy, stomping along with feisty textures and an increasingly bracing attitude.

It is a great start matched by the smoother swagger of Left for Dead. Opening melodies have a sixties air to their hues, a tone carrying on into vocals and the more power pop nature of the song. As its predecessor there is no escaping being wrapped up in its catchiness, feet and voice ready to comply with its reflective lyrical and musical temptation before it makes way for the blues balladry of Framed. Well we say the song is ballad like but with its folkish essences and tenacious imagination, the encounter simply takes ears and imagination by the hand for a magnetic dance of revelry whilst adding extra seduction with moments of mesmeric calm.

cover170x170     As great as the first few tracks are, they all bow down to the magnificence of Pigs. The first single taken from Fools, Mules and Baggage…, the song is an incitement which has the listener as vocal and fired up as the song itself. Its chorus is pure addiction, served well by the tangy hooks and melodic jangles which colour its way into the passions. Folk pop meets indie rock, the track bounces along with a scent of a snarl to its riffs, moodiness to its basslines, and unbridled persuasion in its contagious invention.

Thankyou has the unenviable task of following the pinnacle of the album and does so with its own caress of harmonies and melodies floating around another lively and charming sixties/seventies inspired ballad. Though it cannot match up to the previous treat, its lingering temptation and smouldering beauty ensures over time it becomes a potent offering just like the more unpredictable and compelling Six of One which follows. Rhythms jump around whilst the guitars send intrigue loaded twangs across the bows of the melody rich stroll. The fascinating song reminds of fellow UK band The Sons, but builds its own distinct identity with constant evolution and a stock of unexpected surprises in gait and imagination.

Next track Knives provides a potent presence though suffers from a raw distortion on the bass when it enters. Whether it is a flaw on the CD or production, it does a great song no favours, which is a shame though normal exciting service is resumed with Cheap and Nasty straight after. Rampant rhythms alone have ears and appetite licking lips, and even more rigorously once vocals and guitar bring their flirtatious swing and festivity to the increasing riot of creative devilry. The blast of blues guitar provides a layer of icing to the excellent aural cake, and the song another great twist in the increasingly impressive album.

Through the ridiculously addictive Duck and latest single Mind over Matter, the band ignites another fresh spark of pleasure, the first a blues/pop tempting equipped with fiery harmonica and bouncy hooks. As across the album, at varying times you get whispers of bands like The Kinks, XTC, and Split Enz to name a few, this song finding breaths of the first two certainly whilst the third is more inspired by Mind over Matter where guitars offer an electrified mischief whilst percussion and beats bring the addictive lures. It is the new wave nature of the hooks and vocal delivery though which provides the really irresistible heart of the outstanding song. As across plenty of Fools, Mules and Baggage…, there is a familiarity at play in the song which only adds to the enjoyment and creative drama, and helps the anthemic quality of songs to take even swifter hold.

The album closes with Monkeys, another thrilling eighties marked slice of punchy pop and new wave contagion with a slightly deranged imagination to its tantalising persuasion. It is a great end to an impressive album, both leaving a want for more and the need to press play again.

Fools, Mules and Baggage… will not necessarily come into your list of classics for the year but as a favourite it is a done deal, certainly once its fourth song starts its devilment.

Fools, Mules and Baggage… is out now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/fools-mules-and-baggage…/id921949091 and most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/hokum.the   http://www.the-hokum.com/

RingMaster 26/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net