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

Scott Swain – Like Nothing Else

From the dark country drama and sultry intrigue of last year’s single Oil!, Scott Swain casts his imagination into even more deceptive corners with its successor Like Nothing Else. The song is a gentle yet brooding encounter; warm and seductive yet with darkness in its lining which as much blossoms into a provocatively mesmeric enticement as the melodic warmth within, .

Making use of the downtime from his bands How to Dress a Monster and Fire at Night to explore his personal writing and songs, Swain unveiled his solo project last year and released the irresistible single Oil!, a song showing hints of inspirations ranging from Elliot Smith and Mark Lanagan to cult cinema. As its predecessor, which was inspired by There Will be Blood, his new track was written about a movie, Event Horizon the spark for Like Nothing Else.

The opening caress of acoustic guitar is an earthy yet celestial lure, Swain’s warm vocals adding to the song’s elevating flight of melody and temptation. With rhythms laying shadows in close quarter to the radiance embracing vocal and lyrical reflection, the song swiftly becomes an easy transfixing of ears and imagination. Simmering with creative and suggestive theatre, the track slowly but openly builds in emotion and intensity from there, its journey into an understated but rousing crescendo a gripping realisation before a final kiss of melodic and harmonic sighing lies poetically on the senses as the song drifts away.

Throughout its evolution, Like Nothing Else is pure captivation and confirmation that Swain’s solo side is heading towards major attention.

Like Nothing Else is released 28th April.

Upcoming Live Dates:

23/04/2017 Craft Beer Company, Brixton, London.

26/04/2017 The Cellar, The Finborough, Earls Court, London.

08/05/2017 Spice of Life, Soho, London.

18/05/2017 The Bricklayers Arms, Hitchin.

28/05/2017 Opium Bar, Edinburgh.

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

Pete RingMaster 19/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Little Lapin – Wake Up With The Sun

There are many obvious things which are evidence of being in the throes of a seductive summer, most you will need no reminding of but there is something else which equally has emotions wrapped up in the beauty of its warmth and that is a new release from British singer-songwriter Little Lapin. Just short of two years ago, the Cornwall based songstress entranced and impressed with debut album Remember The Highs, repeating the event a year later with its even more striking successor Holding Out For The Kicks. Their collection of heart bred, spirit stroking songs firmly imprinted their creator on the indie folk/ alt country scene. Now third album, Wake Up With The Sun, is a day or so away from living up to its title and sparking a new melodic summer for the senses and imagination to bask in.

Quite simply Wake Up With The Sun puts its predecessors in the shade; easily eclipsing both impressing releases as Little Lapin’s (Lucy Hill) reveals her most potent, accomplished, and creatively imaginative and elegant songs yet. She is no stranger to acclaim, those releases and surrounding singles as well as her live performances drawing eager praise and attention. From radio shows to the scribbles of music blogs and magazines, plaudits have gathered as too a worldwide fan base through her shows and tours across Britain and New Zealand as well as New York. Wake Up With The Sun is also the call to the rest of the world to take notice with its season of melodic seduction.

Initially and no doubt continued to be inspired by the likes of Regina Spektor, The Cranberries, Florence & The Machine, Laura Marling, PJ Harvey, The Cure, and The Pixies, Little Lapin has persistently nurtured her own character of sound and songwriting; its current pinnacle and uniqueness coming within Wake Up With The Sun. From its first breath, the album smiles and kisses ears; opener and album title track stroking ears with the tender touch of acoustic guitar. That in turn sparks a skip of eager guitar and bass, their perky stroll wrapped in the warm caress of LL’s ever captivating voice.  A slice of pop folk, the song proceeds to radiate like its namesake; rays of energy and senses inciting warmth infusing body and spirit.

My Complexion follows, swiftly sharing its own infectious gait and nature as LL courts ears and thoughts with her evocative words and enticing voice. Its unique spice adds a delicious tang to her melodic prowess, essences emulated in the blend of jaunty guitar and jazzy bass alongside.  An eruption of fiercely fragrant guitar only adds to the temptation, a one off moment not to be repeated but lingering as long as the song’s general spring and beam.

Just as potent in its reluctance to leave ears and thoughts is the delicious animated serenade of Isn’t Life for Living, a blossom of beauty simultaneously sharing a smouldering flame and frisky waltz as it ignites feet and hips as easily as a lustful appetite for its virulent pop.  As throughout the album, there is a sixties/seventies scent, a whisper but giving the song another endearing hue to get hooked on as it sublimely captivates with its keen and poetic vivacity before latest single Narrabeen adds its own catchy enterprise and bold imagination to the release. With the haze of harmonica and a suggestive rumble interrupting its tenacious country spiced swing, the track is a sultry and dusty Kiwi hued adventure and, as its predecessor, just riveting.

Through the delicate melancholy lit Luna and the reflective hug of A Song for Alex, the album lures the listener deeper into its majestic yet intimate arms while Need a Change of Scene has the body on its feet again shuffling round with tenacious versatility to the song’s wonderfully unpredictable invention and evolving landscape. Like a mix of Laura Marling and Imelda May, LL has ears and imagination enslaved whilst revealing another aspect to the diversity shaping Wake Up With The Sun.

LL simply bewitches once more within Radio Nocebo, her tang lined voice an appetite inflaming siren and storyteller within the sparkle of hearty and innocence spun melodies. Captivation is swift and inescapable as the song provides another peak to the loft range of the album; its triumph followed by the final wash of warmth and melodic intimacy provided by closing song I Told You So. It is a last kiss on the lips of pleasure as Wake Up With The Sun leaves the listener wistfully bound in the hug of creative grace.

It is probably fair to say that Little Lapin has yet to ignite the biggest spotlights so far but it is easy to suspect that global attention will be stirred, as the sun, by her new and quite simply gorgeous album.

Wake Up With The Sun is released April 14th across most online stores.

http://www.littlelapinmusic.com/    https://www.facebook.com/littlelapin/    https://twitter.com/1littlelapin   https://littlelapin.bandcamp.com

Pete RingMaster 13/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright