Jane Allison – Methylene Blue

As 2017 went through its final handful of rewarding weeks, it is fair to say it produced some of its biggest musical treats, one of which was the new album from singer songwriter Jane Allison. The follow-up to her hypnotic debut album Just Another Girl three years earlier, Methylene Blue is a tantalisingly magnetic affair in its own right deserving of all the praise carrying attention it can muster.

The former vocalist of indie outfit KarmaDeva, Jane Allison Stanness to give her full name is one of those talents and voices which almost haunt the imagination. Her songwriting is an embrace of observation and intimacy, her fusion of folk and Americana a warm melancholic hug on the senses which carries you away in thought and creative seduction. Proof came with Just Another Girl and its bewitchment of emotive shadows and personal angst, attributes all the richer within the breath-taking thought courting adventure of Methylene Blue which confirms Jane Allison as one of Britain’s finest modern day troubadours, or should that be trobairitz.

Unveiling tales of “dereliction, salvation, obsession and allure, with its title track inspired in parts by the breath-taking love letters of Violet Trefusis to Vita Sackville-West”, all providing an “homage to triumph, defiance, the heroine, the daughter, and the muse”, Methylene Blue was recorded in fits and starts during Kula Shaker’s 2016 20th anniversary and K2.0 world tour. Blessed with the backing vocals of Audrey Evans from Mediæval Bæbes, the album arose at a time of great personal loss and during the devastating attack on Brussels. There is sadness at its heart but equally defiance and hope thick warmth which brews a melancholy so easy to immerse within.

The album opens up with Ain’t Wreckin’ Me, a country fuelled canter with the rich familiar twang the style often brews; its lure wrapping Allison’s enticing tones soon backed by equally beguiling harmonies. Rising from the ashes of a lost relationship, the track is a bouncy self-affirming affair getting the album off to a very potent start.

The outstanding Another Prayer follows, its mellow sighs riding a captivating swing as Allison again lures total attention with her bewitching voice and keys bred melodies. The darker pulse of bass is as compelling; its lurking presence engaging as the song with a certain Kirsty MacColl hue to it sublimely seduces ears and appetite before Hollow Rock slips in on a vibrant shuffle, growing second by second into a similarly absorbing proposal. Harmonica and guitar weave their own Americana spawned temptation but there is no denying that it is Allison’s voice and craft which takes the tightest grip.

Oh Girl is next, caressing ears with its gentle but determinedly infectious and lively serenade while its successor, For What It’s Worth shares a heart spilling ballad. From its initial breath, the first of the two is working away building towards a galvanic crescendo, Allison the fascination at its core while in contrast the second strolls along with reflection and brewing affirmation for company. Both songs simply charm in their individual ways as too the album’s title track, another skilfully catchy and soulful croon upon the ears hard to get too much of.

That is something which applies to all tracks within Methylene Blue, as the charismatic saunter of Forgotten Son and the brooding drama of Outlaw Valentine prove. The pair seizes ears and imagination with unstoppable ease, the first arresting ears with its expression and emotion, the body with its bounce while its companion takes the listener into a spellbinding landscape of long shadows and dark romance with a delicious carnival-esque hued undercurrent. The track, the best or not on the album, is undoubtedly the most enthralling.

The smiling invitation of Texas Baby blends the country joy of its named state with Nashvillian flavours before Unknown Soldier bring things to an alluring and haunting close. It is a fascinating and highly enjoyable end to an album which commands regular attention. It is fair to say that the genres at the heart of Allison’s music do not generally induce our passions but in her hands they combine to truly pleasure our ears and enrich our days.

An accomplished actress in her own right and soon to be seen in the film Slaughter House Rulez, a Simon Pegg / Nick Frost comedy horror movie directed by Crispian Mills and surely basking in plaudits for Methylene Blue, Jane Allison could find 2018 a very big year.

Methylene Blue is available now @ https://janeallison.bandcamp.com/

https://janeallison.net/     https://www.facebook.com/janeallisonmusic/    https://twitter.com/JAStanness

Pete RingMaster 10/01/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Embraces from the heart: talking with Charly&Faust

Picture by Rémy Tortosa

Tagged as indie folk rock, the Charly&Faust sound is a much richer tapestry of flavours than that hints at and a captivating seduction for ears and thought as proven by a recently released EP. We had a chance to look into the creative heart of the California based band, finding out about its origins, that new EP, creating songs and much more…

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

Charly: We are Charly&Faust, an Indie Folk-Rock band composed of six members. I am Charly (Marie Weill), one of the lead singers of the band and rhythm guitarist.

CH: My name is Coralie Hervé and I’m the drummer the band, I joined Charly&Faust in October 2016.

ER: Hi, I’m Eric Reymond. I play bass and do the backing vocals. I’m from Switzerland and I moved to Los Angeles to study at Musicians Institute. I met Coralie on the first day of school and she introduced me to the rest of the band because they were searching for a bass player.

NL: I’m Nathan Lorber, I play keys, and I met the rest of the band following a Facebook notice.

JF: I’m Jeff (Jefferson Fichou) the lead guitar player. I met the band at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood.

Faust: I am Faust; the other lead singer of the band. Charly and I, first met in Paris few years ago, and we started to make music together when we moved in LA. The connection between us was great, but not powerful enough yet. That is why we decided to build a band. Now, We are like a little family!

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

CH: I was in a band with some of my friends for 6 years. It was only for fun but it taught me how to play and work with other people.

Faust: It’s the first time I’m part of a band so there is for sure no impact for me.

JF: I’ve been playing in a lot of different projects here in LA and back in France. It’s important to have such experiences in the music world but everything is evolving faster and smoother with Charly&Faust.

Charly: I got bands before, but it never really worked. We were not going to the same musical direction. I have the chance to now play in two bands with people that I love working with. Charly&Faust is my main band, the one I lead with Faust, but I also play bass and sing backing vocals in another band called The Sutra. I am also working on my next solo EP now. All these experiences are complementary for me and help me to go further in my artistic process in each of them.

ER: Yes, I had two bands back home and I was playing with two other bands here when Charly&Faust asked me to join them. I don’t think it has any impact on my way of playing; I’m always trying to play everything.

NL: I have my own project called Polymorph, as well as a couple of other bands on the side.

Picture by Rémy Tortosa

What inspired the band name?

ER: It comes from the nicknames of the two singers and leaders.

Faust: We just wanted to use something that goes well together!

Charly: Like our music collaboration!

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

Charly: I think for Faust and I music is a way to express ourselves. That was the main idea behind this band. Be free to express our feelings and vision of the world. For the sound part, we are listening old and new music so we wanted to illustrate that in our sound.

Faust: When you play in a band, you feel stronger than ever. All together, we deliver a message and it has a better impact this way. We talk about several feelings from heart breaking to society topics to humanity questions.

NL: I think one of the key points of our sound is to mix a broad range of styles, both old and new.

And those same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

Faust: Yes that’s pretty much the same. I mean the process is the same but with time the other members bring their own touch, their own way which is something I love!

JF: We’re still a pretty young band; we just started about a year ago.

Charly: The only thing that changed is that before forming the full band, Faust and I were composing our songs with an acoustic set up which sometimes was bringing guitar melodies a bit different than what we got now that we are composing with an electric set up.

How would you say your sound has evolved since its beginnings?

JF: We sound more like a band now. I mean everybody has brought some elements to the music and that’s great.

Faust: I just think that the more I practice with the band, my feelings and my way to approach music evolved. Experiencing music with them makes my personal sound evolves and this way makes the sound of Charly&Faust evolves.

CH: At the beginning, there was only Charly and Faust so it was more acoustic, folk. When the rest of us arrived, it turned more indie, rock and now we have some electronic sound added to our music.

Charly: I would say that we are starting to know each other better which allow us to play better together and go further in our creative process. We also improved a lot the vocals harmonies in my opinion.

ER: It’s way more professional now. The electronic elements are certainly a plus to make our sound more professional.

Is the creative movement within the band a more organic thing or do you go out to deliberately try and push new things?

Faust: You know we all have ideas and try to make them work all together which sometimes works really good and sometimes not but what matters is the fact we communicate a lot about it to make sure that we all go in the same direction.

ER: In general, I would say it has been always organic, but, of course, sometimes it’s nice to set boundaries to not get stuck in our comfort zone.

CH: I will say both. The first songs were already written so we kept them like they were but we experimented a lot with the new songs that we arranged all together.

Charly: I would say that it is a mix between both and that it depends of the song we are creating and its topic too.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

ER: Yes, Vulfpeck, Radiohead and Jack White help me to construct my bass lines stronger.

NL: A big influence for me is Pink Floyd, which also happen to be my favorite band. And the important role Rick Wright had in that band taught me how critical the role of a keyboardist is. You don’t just play melodies or chords, but are a central part of creating textures and setting up the whole atmosphere of a song.

Charly: Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zero, Imagine Dragons, Tracy Chapman, Assaf Avidan, etc.

Faust: I have so many artists who inspired me like Michael Jackson, Joan Jett, the Beatles, The Doors, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Coldplay… I have so much more but I’m gonna stop here *laughs*

CH : I am more of a hard rock/rock drummer, so it’s really interesting to play with Charly&Faust, to add some electronic sounds and find some groove which works with all the other instruments.

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

NL: It usually starts with Charly and Faust bringing lyrics and some vague structure and chords progression to the table. And from that, the whole band participates to enrich the musical and rhythmical aspects, and kind of put flesh on the skeleton.

Charly: Since Faust is the one who writes lyrics, she is usually the one coming to me with a new idea. Then, as Nathan said, we work just the two of us on the lyrics and the melody before working on it with the entire band. We started to work this way and it always worked pretty well, so even if we love having the other members ideas during the creative process, we like to have this moment just the two of us to be sure it is going where we want things to go.

Faust: I usually write the lyrics of the songs, sometimes even come up with a small melody. Charly co-write them with me, and most of our melodies are from her creativity with her guitar.

ER: Generally Charly and Faust bring the idea and we all together construct around to create the best song possible.

JF : My favorite moment is when we’re all jamming together to make a new song sounds as good as we can.

Where do lyrical inspirations more often than not reside?

Faust: Usually my inspirations come from the moments when I am by myself and feel alone.

Charly: It can come from a melody I composed, from a word or sentence one of us heard, etc.

ER: For my song It’s Weird Outside (that you can find in our EP Wild World), I based it on my personal life. But I try to write more about the story of people I know and feelings that affect us all at some point in our life.

Would you give us some background to your latest release?

Faust: Our latest release is our EP ! It is an Indie-Folk-Rock EP talking about love, heart breaking, life, society and humanity. We are very proud of this new baby!

NL: It’s been the result of the contribution of several different formations of the band, up to the current one. So this EP presents variety through its diverse contributions, yet still a strong sense of unity and consistency, since all of the songs are the brainchildren of Charly and Faust!

Charly: Anything wouldn’t have been possible without the help of wonderful people like Pease S. Nistades who did the artistic production on it and Gerhard Westphalen who mixed and mastered it. We also released our first music video No Rush directed by Mariano Schoendorff Ared and produced by Zoé Pelloux. You should definitely go check it on YouTube! We shot it on film and we are so happy of this amazing result!

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

Faust: Well it talks about how monstrous humans can get, how much you can give love to someone and how much it can hurt. You will have to listen to our EP to know more about all that!

Charly: The themes of our songs are most of the time about experiences we lived or we saw happening to people around us. It is very personal for Faust and I.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Charly: We are an Indie band, so we don’t really have the choice of losing hours and hours in studio trying to figure out how a song should go. We have limited time of studio so we have to come prepared, which actually allows us to go further in our creative process. It’s not a bad thing!

Faust: We usually go in studio prepared and we record. As Charly said, no time to lose! Everything must be ready, from the lead vocals to the backing vocals.

JF: We’re adding a few elements on the spot during the recording sessions but the songs are already in their final states.

CH : For the drum part, there are already written before going to the studio so the other members have a solid base to work with. I can’t screw it up!

ER: The recording process of our EP was pretty much a mix of the two options. The main structure of the songs was established. With Coralie, we record the rhythmic section with this structure and after we add the other instruments. Afterwards there are always ideas coming up that we keep on the final version.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably a favourite aspect?

CH : I really like it, we really have a connection together and hope that people can feel it too. It’s so fun to play with people who experiment the music same as you.

Faust: Live shows are so much fun! The connection with our audience and the band members! It always feels too short!

Charly: Live is one of the best parts for sure. It allows you to share with the band and the audience what the songs really mean to you. And it can be always different depending of what happened during your day.

ER: There’s none. *laughs* No I would say when the rehearsal ends. *laughs* Seriously, my favorite aspect is the cohesion we have on stage and during rehearsals. It’s not common to find this in a band. We don’t just play with other musicians, we play with friends.

NL: It’s always a great feeling to present the result of our hard work to the public, especially considering the amazing feedback they usually give us.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

Faust: I think the secret is playing, playing and playing music, create small buzz as much as you can, respect people and having good connections with your band members, which we are actually doing. Let’s see how it goes now.

Charly: Patience is the key word! And hard working too. You just need to be smart and work your ass off and it will eventually pay one day! You just need to get ideas that nobody thought of before you.

JF: If you have the drive, the patience and the stamina, everything is possible.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date, good or bad?

JF: Internet is a fantastic tool for new bands, we’re trying to use it as much as possible to grow our fan base and network.

Faust: I think social medias are great to build your fan base, but I don’t think that is the real bones of your success! Even if for our generation it definitely helps.

Charly: Social medias are a free way to have people talking about you and follow your actualities. It is of course just a part of what should be done for a band to promote what they are doing, but it is a really good beginning! That is your chance to share you music without waiting for music professionals to tell you if you are good enough to be heard by an audience. For example, we are now posting a new video on our YouTube channel every Thursday to make sure people can see us play live shows, do rehearsals, etc.

NL: As for a lot of young bands, the internet and social media is a central part of our communication with fans and the distribution of our music. As a matter of fact, if it wasn’t for social media, I wouldn’t perhaps be part of the band, since that’s how I got news that they were looking for a keyboard player.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Faust: Hey! Come join our world!

CH : Enjoy your life and do what you love.

ER: Don’t tell anyone but we have a secret project coming up 😉

JF: We’re playing often in the Los Angeles area, come say hello at our next show! You can find all the info about it on our website https://www.charlyandfaust.com/ !!

Charly: Thanks for your time! We are playing at The Mint LA on November 30th at 9:30PM, if you want to come get a beer with us!

https://www.facebook.com/charlyandfaust/    https://www.instagram.com/charlyandfaust/

Pete RingMaster 09/12/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Vintage Calvinos – An Invitation To Infamy

Being engulfed in fascination for something is one of life’s pleasures and stepping into the kaleidoscopic world of An Invitation To Infamy is certainly both. The debut album from The Vintage Calvinos is an absorbing tapestry of sound and suggestion loaded with observation, insight, and a creative devilment which just gets right under the skin.

The band is the creation of song writer/bassist/vocalist David Baird who lured in some of the finest Scottish musicians to the Aberdeen based project and indeed, in the case of backing singer Xavia, literally just passing by talent of drawn to the pied piper-esque sounds coming through the windows of The Anatomy Rooms where the band was rehearsing. Together they have created a web of temptation in skilfully conjured word and multi-flavoured music which has the body swaying and imagination swinging in joyful enterprise and contemplation. From pop to indie, rock to folk and a host of numerous other spices, An Invitation To Infamy is a beautiful collusion drawn from the hearts of a collective of musical adventurers.

The instantly compelling rub of drama soaked strings as Prelude leaps upon ears and imagination sets the scene and tone of things to come, its vocal compulsion subsequently slipping into a warm slow waltz with a flowing energy which soon has hips leaning to and fro as guitars and strings engage with the romancing keys in entwining dulled yet potent percussive beats. The forcibly engaging piece leads into the waiting arms of Last Tango which opens with melodic drama somewhat akin to War of The Worlds. Its rich strains soon twist into a rolling stroll with more infectiousness than a viral cold and a net of creative intrigue which has ears and thoughts enslaved. Baird’s great vocals are more than matched by the backing of Xavia, both wrapped in the melodic dexterity of Paul Davidson’s guitar. With a second never wasted on predictability, the track is superb, almost reason enough alone to accept An Invitation To Infamy.

So Many People follows, the buzz of life breeding a slow carnival march, one seemingly infusing the tiredness of perpetually imposing life with the joy of being. Brass blows with an enticing clamour as rhythms throb, a welcoming cacophony parting for the melancholic spicing of Baird’s vocals and the stirring scythes of strings and in turn uniting for a creative throng which just magnetises the senses. Like a sonic pagan scented Lowry composition with a broader outlook, the track utterly seduces before new single You Are Always on My Mind infests the psyche. The striking coaxing of Mitsuki Takayama’s violin instantly grips, a hold tightening as the song evolves into a sixties pop scented canter. There is no resistance to its teasing temptations and lively catchiness, the quickly involved antics of body and vocal chords swift evidence. Davidson’s wall of keys is just as irresistible along with the theatre of strings and the rhythmic saunter of Baird’s bass and Fraser Peterkin’s drum beats.

The indie seduction of This Handsome Boy absorbs attention next. It is a track with a touch of Lightning Seeds to it at certain moments and pure pop contagion throughout led by the golden tones of Iona Macdonald and warm surges of brass expelled by trumpeter Bill Thompson, trombonist Denis Webb, and saxophonist Dave Carter. Sometimes there is something about it which feels quite familiar yet for no obvious reason as it floods ears with instinctive pleasure.

The album’s first single, No Room at The Inn released a couple of weeks ago, steps in to captivate straight after with its gentle stroll. Its proposal is low key, compared to other songs, but rich invitation into the album’s broadening musical and lyrical craft while Clouds smoulders with elegance and undiluted captivation. At times it sounds like a blend of Steely Dan and Weekend, a wistful seduction with intensity in its heart and an energetic adventure in its nature.

Through the haunting entrance and golden incestuous intimacy of Alice and the minimalistic but rich stirring of Lost, band and album continue to bewitch with adventurous diversity and creative revelry. Both tracks simply enthral whilst manipulating the body before Teardrops in My Eyes swaggers in with sorrowful melodies and sinful energy to reinforce the submission of ears and appetite before The Vintage Calvinos.

The dusky rock ‘n’ roll of Rock Dreams Part 2 is like a soundtrack to many of our musical upbringings and warm homage to its kings and quite irresistible as too after a magnetic instrumental reprise of No Room at The Inn, is closing track The Beautiful and the Damned. A shadow draped ballad to the lost and the lonely with the darkest outcome, the song is simply sultry aural beauty epitomising the craft and debut of The Vintage Calvinos.

With a host of other striking individual contributions involved in the collective creation of An Invitation To Infamy, all deserving recognition, the album is one of the year’s most essential encounters. The first listen is gold but only an appetizer to the delights and unbridled pleasures which follow with every subsequent union between ear and sound.

An Invitation To Infamy is released October 27th on Stereogram Recordings with the single You Are Always On My Mind out October 20th.

The album’s launch is to be held at Under The Hammer, North Silver Street, Aberdeen on Saturday 28th October 2017 from 2pm.

http://www.stereogramrecordings.co.uk/the-vintage-calvinos/    https://www.facebook.com/thevintagecalvinos/

Pete RingMaster 17/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Johnny Kowalski and the Sexy Weirdos – European English

Photo Credit: Kat Bennett

Like for everyone, there are a few bands which spark a moment of pure excitement when news of a new release is in the air and for us one is Johnny Kowalski and the Sexy Weirdos. Reasons why can be found in previous album Kill The Beast alone, “a wonderful deranged waltz of unpredictable adventure” but it has to be said are even more imposingly obvious within its successor European English. The album boisterously lives up to its name from start to finish, offering a skilfully crafted diverse and bold bedlam of continental flavourings within an eccentricity of sound which only we Brits can imagine. The result, a carnival of irresistible punk ‘n’ folk ‘n’ roll which has body and spirit relentlessly bouncing.

After the release of their outstanding last album, Johnny Kowalski and The Sexy Weirdos descended on Europe on a five week tour which saw the band “almost fighting children in Paris, a 14 hour van journey from Orleans to the French Mediterranean, and having bought cannabis from a police officer, the band squatted in a football club near Milan.” That was followed up by a weekend of spontaneous gigs with antifascists in Verona and dates in Trieste, Slovenia and Austria before arriving in Josefov where the majority of the new album was written, the band inspired by the Austro-Hungarian fortress town sparsely populated by Romani gypsies and its artists. Whatever the town had, it has bred a new wind in the rousing imagination bred exploits of the band and a sound which has always been original but has found true uniqueness within European English.

Welcoming the guest talents of Tamar ‘Juggernaut’ Bedward [Malarkey], Katie Stevens [Bonfire Radicals], Smut Rahkra [The Tenbags] and Anne Marie Allen across the release, the Birmingham based quintet open up the album with Megahorse. Instantly the bow of violinist John-Joe Murray is enticingly scything across strings into the imagination as Johnny Kowalski’s distinctive tones stroll, the darker tones of his guitar and Chris Yates’ bass lurking alongside as beats jab and tempt. It is a seriously inviting prelude to a lively gypsy folk romp driven by the flirtatious rhythms of drummer Matthew Osborne and the percussive tenacity of Illias Lintzos. This in turn leads to an evolving landscape of inventive sound and unpredictability never giving the body a moment to relax or attention to wander.

It is a forcibly excitable and thrilling start swiftly matched by the creative drama of Relative Rudeboy. Like a punk infused fusion of Mano Negra and Les Négresses Vertes with the grumpy rascality of the bass at its core, the song soon has hips swinging and emotions growling in league with its own attitude fuelled multi-flavoured stroll. There is no escaping its addictiveness or physical manipulation of body and spirit, the brass craft of Katie Stevens fuelling the fires, a tempting just as potent within the Balkan swing of next up Serbian Rhumba. It is a sultry flirtation on the ear, an evocative serenade with instinctive catchiness around the punk scented delivery of Kowalski.

The Sicilian Stallion is a celebratory canter mixing Celtic and Romany spices with Latin breeding in its instrumental celebration; quite simply two minutes plus of instinctive pleasure before Minor Calamities courts its own equally rich persuasion with a dark rhumba of musical and rhythmic theatre. As the tracks before it, another individual hue to the whole creative canvas of European English grabs ears and appetite; its body and tone a darker, more intense but no less infectious proposition.

In pretty much nothing but emerging favourites, Didn’t Find The Money puts its imaginative head above the firing line with compelling devilment and creative mischief. With the body instantly popping to its rapacious exploits, vocal chords swiftly locked in its virulent chorus, the song strolls along with a punk meets folk meets indie rock swagger, all unleashed with flirtatious dexterity.

The quite stunning Raggadub follows; its adventure a web of styles and sounds within a dub bred echo of invention. At times it vibrates with ripples of Ruts DC, in other moments flirts with Morcheeba-esque seductions, or snarls with King Prawn punkiness as a host of vocalists join the rapacious party; all the time increasing its hold on ears and lustful satisfaction.

The instrumental dance of Matthew Matthew provides a robust adventure of sound and international flavours, a piece which manages to simultaneously be fiery and smoulderingly seductive as rhythms cast a kinetic incitement, before Juniper brings a quite delicious recipe of temptation which teases and taunts like a blend of The Specials, Gogol Bordello, and Russkaja.

Its inescapable tempestuous virulence is followed by the instrumental elegance and grace of closing track Chinese Icicles. A melodic bloom in an initial alluring calm, the piece builds into a robustly dynamic yet still radiantly melodic saunter through scenic suggestion and oriental hues with rock edginess for company.  Eventually Kowalski’s vocals join the adventure bringing another breeze of boisterous and rowdy enterprise to the compelling end of one mighty release.

As we said earlier, every upcoming Johnny Kowalski and the Sexy Weirdos encounter brings an elevated anticipation which European English rewards tenfold. It has the body bouncing and spirit racing; what more would you want?

European English is available now @ https://sexyweirdos.bandcamp.com/album/european-english

European English Upcoming Tour Dates

21/10/17 – The Earl [Worcester]

28/10/17 – Vegan Fair [Wolverhampton]

04/11/17 – Karns Bar [Hinckley]

17/11/17 – Cafe Rene [Gloucester]

01/12/17 – Rumpus [London]

23/12/17 – Secret Location [Birmingham]

https://www.facebook.com/sexyweirdos/

Pete RingMaster 10/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

 

a blue flame – when your whole world turns to dust

Last year ears and acclaim were seriously caught up in the swinging rock pop adventures of What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remains, now a blue flame follow up its success with when your whole world turns to dust, a release which may be takes a touch longer to spark the same kind of reactions but gets there all the same.

a blue flame is the solo project of Leicester based songwriter Richard Stone and when your whole world turns to dust his third album with the first, someone else’s dreams will fill our home released in 2013 as Woodman Stone.  For his new offering Stone has ventured down the gentler melodic side of his previous album but managed to find the same eclectic flavours which marked out its praise collecting presence.  Essences of folk, swing, and cabaret peak out within when your whole world turns to dust. There are moments when it rocks with full eagerness but generally it basks in a mellower climate yet the same instinctive infectiousness which drove its predecessor again infests the new album whether tempting with an emotive croon or a spirited roar.

With a host of skilled musicians such as Andy Robertson, Adam Ellis, Damon Claridge, and Tony Robinson alongside the vocals and guitar of Stone, the album opens with Back to the Stars and immediately has the body moving to its slow sway and smouldering jazzy hug. The dark inviting prowl of the bass is courted by the seductive flames of brass, both suggestively skirting the magnetic tones of Stone. It is pure captivation setting the release off in fine style.

The following We Feel Like We Feel brings a 60’s pop scent to its melodic surf twanged breeze, a touch of The Everlys flirting with its Bit pop suggestiveness. It is a mix of essences then emulated with different flavourings within the excellent Don’t Wait where it is hard not to be reminded of The Divine Comedy, its English heart and infectious canter a tapestry of imagination and creative zeal.

A Mariachi scented Latin lure graces the show tune-esque rapture of the outstanding 21st Century Blues, a song which almost creeps up on you with its addictive chorus and imagination sparking enterprise but sure to have you making vocal contributions in no time before The Future’s a Mystery lays reflectively upon  ears and thoughts. Its calmer air and tone is an emotive caress, a melancholic serenade given greater emotive depth and texture by the cello of David Dhonan.

The acoustic cored stroll of A Better Way wears a great fifties influence to its intimate saunter, Robinson’s brass lures, as the lyrical reflection , an easy tempting to get carried off by while The Words Wouldn’t Form dances with ears and appetite draped in folkish hues. At this point we are midway through the release and Stone’s songwriting and imagination increasingly shows itself to be as ripe and magnetic as it has ever been but stepping forward with fresh maturity and boldness track after track.

The summery All We Need to Know similarly leans on English folk bred inspirations for its engaging meander, textures given more urgency and mischief in the rousing stroll of Everything’s a Lie immediately after. The second of the two also has an indie pop catchiness and joviality which takes thoughts to bands such as Jim Jiminee and The Sundays, a flirtatious element quickly grabbing feet and appetite.

The song’s energetic intent is gathered up and given further tenacity in Empty Head, the first in a pair of tracks which launch the kind of rock pop antics which lit up the last album. There is a fire in its belly and devilment in its character which simply carries the listener eagerly away into the waiting rock ‘n’ roll jaws of See What Tomorrow Brings. It too has a sixties essence in its tone, the keys as much to credit for the inviting flavouring, but equally a meatier almost rapacious edge which only inflames song and the pleasure it brings.

Completed by the smoky jazziness of Love Will Set Us Free, the increasingly compelling when your whole world turns to dust leaves real anticipation of major things, if not now, ahead for Richard Stone and a blue flame. Whether the album outshines one of our favourite releases last year in its predecessor, we are still debating but certainly it rivals it and most other melodically teasing offerings out this year.

when your whole world turns to dust is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/when-your-whole-world-turns-to-dust/id1279472334

https://www.facebook.com/ablueflame

Pete RingMaster 02/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

American Anymen – Flag Burner

With the outside looking open mouthed at his continuing and increasingly antagonistic and crazed tendencies and a growing portion of the US seemingly following suit, Flag Burner is the American Anymen reaction to Trump and his administration. The NYC-based anti-folk punk outfit are as renowned for their explorations of political and ethical issues as their multi-flavoured sound; a mix which has seen keen acclaim attached to many of their numerous releases including previous album Start My Centre and their last release, the Oui EP. Flag Burner is destined for the same, its wit and insight pretty much summing up a vast wealth of thoughts and its sound hitting the punk nurtured spot in us all.

The creation of singer/songwriter and guitarist Brett Sullivan, American Anymen is completed by guitarist/vocalist Jen Turner, drummer/vocalist Joey Patches, and bassist/keyboardist Scott Fragala and it is fair to say that the quartet immediately incited lust in us with the EP opener and title track. Flag Burner is sheer addiction; its eager strum and discord kissed clang is riveting and the vocal dance of Sullivan, with Turner just as expressively athletic alongside, magnetic. The persistent nagging of the track is delicious too whilst its melodic stroll is as compelling as the vocal and lyrical accusation echoing what feels like global accusation and disbelief to evolving things. With it all combined it is pretty much impossible not to get fully involved with the song and straight from its first play with lustier energy involved each and every subsequent meeting.

The following President II sees Chris Urban from New Jersey punk band Crazy and the Brains guesting. It casts its own eager stroll with a more punkish clamour surrounding the suggestion and tones of Sullivan. The persistent throb of the bass alone hits the spot as beats crisply dance on the senses, their combined rhythmic shuffle an inviting web around the lyrical invitation for the President to go surfing and find his harmonious side; though you feel if he did he would only stand before the waves King Cnut style.

The EP closes up with Late To The Party, a more restrained canter looking at wider political issues perpetually accosting the world. It is a folk ‘n’ roll infestation of body and thought with a great Celtic lilt to its melodic strains which again simply ignites ears and passions.

The track Flag Burner instantly had us draped in ardour, its companions soon following suit and together, the trio quite simply create one of the essential releases of 2017.

Flag Burner is out now @ https://americananymen.bandcamp.com/album/flag-burner as a free download.

https://www.facebook.com/americananymen/

 Pete RingMaster 27/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Speak, Brother – Magnificent

Ensuring the surrounding world slips from focus during its three minutes and a handful of seconds presence, it is fair to say that Magnificent is one highly memorable and bewitching encounter. The new single from British indie outfit Speak, Brother, the track is the next powerful step in the ascent of the Rugby hailing quintet and a mouth-watering teaser for the album bearing its presence, Young & Brave set to be released in Spring 2018.

Speak, Brother has already felt the touch of acclaim through a pair of previous EPs and the eager support of fans, Young & Brave being successfully crowd-funded. Magnificent alone suggests James Herring, Matthew Cotterill, Nathan Morris, Dan Smith, and Sam Oakes have seen nothing yet on both fronts though and is sure to trigger real anticipation for that upcoming full-length.

The track slides into view on a gentle melodic mist, being joined soon after by strong ear luring vocals fuelled by emotive richness around intimate words. The ethereal air of the song has a brewing intensity which erupts as guitars and rhythms bring their bold proposals to the indie folk/rock saunter. Every element now in full swing has drama in its veins, suggestive hues in its sound to match the descriptive lyrics being shared with greater expression.

With a touch of Doves to its driving stroll and almost nagging beauty, the song infests body and spirit; creating a rousing incitement hard to lessen an energetic appetite for let alone tear oneself away from. If Magnificent, a song living up to its title in every sense of the word, is a sign of what we can expect from Young & Brave, Speak, Brother is looking at a mighty 2018 which will start even earlier once the band open up their UK tour later this year.

Magnificent is released September 22nd

UK Headline Tour Dates – Winter 2017

03/11 – Big Comfy Bookshop, Coventry

04/11 – The Globe, Hay on Wye

05/11 – Costa Coffee, Barrow in Furness

08/11 – Hare and Hounds, Birmingham

09/11 – The Cavendish Arms, London

http://speakbrother.co.uk    https://www.facebook.com/speakbrotheruk/    https://twitter.com/SpeakBrotheruk/

Pete RingMaster 22/08/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright