Puppet Kings – The Mountain

Praise and enjoyment came rather easily a couple of years back for the Very Cool and Groovy EP from UK rockers Puppet Kings and both have bubbled up just as keenly again as the duo release its successor in the shape of The Mountain. Offering four tracks revelling in the hard/classic rock bred, broadly flavoured sound which has already marked the band out, the new EP equally hit the spot very nicely.

Originally formed in Brighton but Clapham based for the past few years, Puppet Kings consists of Tomas Cochrane (guitars, bass and vocals) and Harry Lehane (drums and vocals). It is a pairing which swiftly sparked and has increasingly earned a potent reputation and eager following through their rousing live presence and just as stirring releases starting with debut EP Timebomb of 2015 and Very Cool and Groovy two years later. With each release, the band’s sound has grown in adventurous maturity and bolder imagination; a blossoming still on going with The Mountain.

The band’s sound is a mix of the familiar and individually fresh which has already produced songs which boisterously leap from the speakers with open dexterity and instinctive energy. The last EP offered up tracks which grabbed appetite and memory with ease but none as masterfully and tenaciously as The Mountain opener, The Message. The track teased and tempted the passions from its first breath, a throbbing bassline the main culprit but soon joined by the equally captivating throes of guitar and vocals alongside the skittish beats of Lehane. Their lure only escalates by note and riff, exploding in a manipulative roar within a chorus which just commands participation. Everything about the track is a rousing incitement, from its devious stroll and virulent bounce to the vocal prowess and lead of both men, the song pure rock ‘n’ roll motivation.

Such its mighty roar and success, the following three tracks sit in its shadow but fair to say there is little about each which fails to bring added pleasure to the EP. Mountain Song is the following encounter, a blues tinged groove emerging from sonic air to spark another body trespassing, keenly infectious canter. Again the vocals play a big part in any tempting but similarly guitar and rhythms imaginatively shape a song which settles rather enjoyably in the ears.

Age Of Austerity is next up, a coaxing melodic tendril luring the listener into a shadowy but just as inviting embrace of inventive infectiousness. At various times, Puppet Kings has been compared to bands such as Foo Fighters, Guns N Roses, Alice in Chains, and Royal Blood some of which echo the spicing within another compelling track but as it and the EP overall confirms, the band’s sound is becoming more individual to the pairing by the release.

Fellow UK duo, The Sea does come to mind at times across The Mountain, they another outfit unleashing honest and passionate rock ‘n’ roll and the closing roar of Bag Of Bones epitomises the power of those traits. Slowly but firmly rising to its feet with melodic and emotive intensity wrapped in blues rock nurtured grooves, that passion fuels every syllable and seductive fiery chord which erupts, charging up the track’s animated fervour and fire.

It is a fine end to another inescapably enjoyable outing with Puppet Kings, a band which just gets more compelling by the record.

The Mountain is out now.

https://www.facebook.com/puppetkings   https://twitter.com/puppetkings

Pete RingMaster 06/03/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Altitudes and Attitude – Get It Out

Just the thought of two of metal’s finest most influential bassists linking up whets the appetite; indeed a potential pleasure which pretty much inflamed said optimism with the release of an EP five years back. That teaser though has just become a full on feast of hard rock ’n’ roll pleasure with the release of Get It Out the debut album from Altitudes & Attitude.

For those yet to discover the outfit, Altitudes & Attitude is the creative union of Anthrax’s Frank Bello and Megadeth’s David Ellefson. It was a partnership sparked when the pair started touring together to lead bass clinics for the amp manufacturer Hartke in 2010.To provide backing tracks to support their demonstrations the pair began writing songs, this leading four years later to the unveiling of a three track EP. Now the link-up has brought us Get It Out and thirteen tracks which pretty much rock the life of the majority of hard rock offerings of recent times. You might say that the album is not the most unique, it openly embracing assumedly some of the hues of the pair’s own musical likes and pleasures over time, yet it has a freshness and individual character which uses such flavours rather than relies on them. At times it has a definite John Bush led Anthrax meets Foo Fighters roar but from start to finish stomps with its own voice and gait to relentlessly thrill.

Produced by Jay Ruston (Anthrax, Steel Panther, Stone Sour) and with drummer Jeff Friedl (A Perfect Circle, Ashes Divide, Filter) unleashing the driving rhythms throughout, Get It Out sees a host of guitarists guesting alongside the bass and rhythm guitar sharing of Ellefson and Bello, the latter providing the vocals and lyrical prowess. Among them is the familiar craft of Ace Frehley, Gus G (Firewind), Jon Donais (Shadows Fall/Anthrax) and Christian Martucci (Stone Sour); with all musicians involved adding to its magnetic lure.

The album opens with its title track and swiftly and easily had attention gripped as guitar bred wires entangled ears; their nagging increasingly compelling before riffs and rhythms add their persistence to the baiting of the senses. Bello’s vocals are just as potent as the track erupts into that Foo Fighters tinged roar which sweeps across the album at times. It is an outstanding track and start quickly matched by the similarly stirring and vigorous Late. The second track is less forceful in its initial tempting, almost teasing ears before hitting its muscular stride with Friedl’s beats a crisp trespass alongside the melodic caress of guitar. With a Verni like hue to its infectiousness and controlled holler, the song also effortlessly hit the spot with its multi-flavoured rock ‘n’ roll.

Lyrically, the album sees Bello open up to personal experiences and the intimate turbulence which have been part of his life; explorations just as intriguing as the sounds around them and fuelling further quick success in the likes of Out Here and Part Of Me. The first shares a delicious groove aligned to mountainous rhythms, their captivating unity matched by the harmonic call of vocals and guitar while the second is pure incitement from its gnarly bassline to thumping beats and hook springing virulence. Both tracks leave little to be desired but the latter with its imposing but galvanic trespasses was rock ‘n’ roll manna to personal tastes with a guitar solo to lap up.

The irresistible Slip ventures into a more indie rock lined hard rock stroll, vocals and melodies as infectious and manipulative as a virus while next up Talk To Me provides a relatively calmer but no less persuasive canter draped with a great Julian Cope-esque feel in voice and sound. Both tracks add to the already lofty heights of the release with creative and hearty relish before Leviathan shares more classic and heavy/progressive metal strains of enterprise. The instrumental is a magnetic detour from the thrust of the album so far adding another aspect to its increasingly varied landscape.

Cold shares some of its predecessor’s colouring within its own heavily satisfying melodic rock ‘n’ rumble with Another Day returning to shades of Dave Grohl and co with its controlled yet fiery saunter.    It was a song which maybe did not have us bouncing as lustfully as others but its magnetism was inescapable as too its hungry hooks and lures; coaxing just as thick and even more compelling within the emotively atmospheric and revealing All There Is where melodic droning and vocal intimacy blossoms.

The album concludes with bonus cuts of the songs which made up that first EP; all three remixed and re-mastered. Booze And Cigarettes has a great feral edge to its rock clamour, Tell The World a melodic almost poppy instinct to its catchiness, while Here Again is as much punk as it is heavy and hard rock bred; all three showing why Altitudes & Attitude had so many excited a few years back and anticipation for the album, they now thrillingly end, so keen.

A record which will appeal to a vast array of metal and rock fans, Get It Out is rock ‘n’ roll at its hearty best, so no more words needed just your soon to be hungrily happy ears.

Get It Out is out now through Megaforce Records.

https://www.facebook.com/altitudesandattitude/   http://www.altitudesandattitude.com/

Pete RingMaster 12/02/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

DeeVer – You Need This

If like us you were taken with Only Enemy, the recent single from UK rockers DeeVer, we can tell you and you will be excited to hear that it was only a mere teaser to the rousing goodness which makes up the band’s debut album. You Need This is a collection of contagion and imagination loaded tracks that burrowed under the skin in quick time; quite simply it is rock ‘n’ roll which more than backs up the title it roars under.

Formed by ex-Inglorious guitarist Wil ‘Billy’ Taylor in 2017, North East hailing DeeVer has bred a sound blending the rapacious essences of punk, metal, and hard rock. It is a mix of the familiar and hungrily fresh with the latter driving its enterprise and tenacity. Alongside the band’s frontman is the rhythmic prowess of bassist Phil Appleton and drummer Dan Higgins as well as the stirring exploits of fellow guitarist Stevie Stoker. Through previous singles they have garnered references to the likes of Foo Fighters, Shinedown, and The Senton Bombs; easy to understand comparisons even within what is an individual character and holler to the band’s, definitely in the case of You Need This, irresistible sound.

The album opens up with Fire At Will, a song which swiftly turns the tap to the ridiculously infectious virulence which flows through the DeeVer songwriting and album. Eager riffs lay the first lure, quickly joined by muscularly swinging rhythms and soon after the potent tones of Taylor. Already that instinctive catchiness is infesting song and ears, steering the twists and turns springing from the craft and voices of the quartet. It is a commanding start to the release casting the anthemic quality of the band’s sound quickly taken up by the following All Come Running.

The outstanding second song easily had ears gripped through the opening throaty throes of Appleton’s bass, the subsequent punk hued stabs and staggers escalating the persuasion. Soon finding a brooding groove, the song evolves into a bold and voracious croon built on wiry strands of guitar and mellower melodic coaxing; every second offering up new imaginative temptations before making way for the creative drama and exploits of Alright. Again riffs and grooves align as the track swiftly rises to its stomping feet, that organic catchiness once more flooding the blossoming adventure and hearty roar of the encounter to quickly seduce ears and appetite.

The subsequent creative manoeuvres of Back Down and Waves only back up the potent and captivating success of the album so far; the first a classic rock nurtured offering with steel in its touch and a snarl in its voice. Though not quite hitting the spot as those before it, the song effortlessly had us bouncing before its successor sparked a similar reaction with its poppier rock ‘n’ roll. There is something very familiar to the track especially within its chorus but an essence hard to pin down with its boisterous and at times rapacious deeds.

Parachute is next up bringing a blend of alternative metal and melodic rock which again had body and vocal chords quickly engaged while the voracious Only Enemy simply continued its thick persuasion as a single as another major highlight of the album. With a feral metal breeding to its punk attitude loaded roar, the track instantly gets down to business throwing rhythmic punches amidst predacious riffs. Again Taylor’s vocals draw keen involvement as easily as the whole band’s enterprise; it all bedding in the imagination and lusty appetite in quick time.

Through the equally hungry if relatively more restrained We Are and the rock pop canter of Jim, pleasure instinctively bubbled with the closing I Am The Cavalry sending the album out on another peak with its new wave meets pop/hard rock shuffle. With calm verses leading to crescendos of wolfish almost untamed sonic contagion, it is a glorious end to a similarly striking release.

When peaking at the band’s past singles we suggested that DeeVer “has all the armoury and daredevil to make a major dent on the British rock scene.” You Need This shows we may just have underestimated their impact in saying just a dent.

You Need This is out now across most online stores with hard copies available @ https://deever.bigcartel.com/products

https://www.deever.uk/     https://www.facebook.com/thisisdeever   https://twitter.com/thisisdeever

Pete RingMaster 11/02/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Static Fires – Thirteen

Static Fires have a name which seems so familiar that we were sure we had covered them before here but could find no evidence to back up that thought though it still lingers. Similarly their sound has a roar and character which feels like an existing friend but with no definition to exactly why and to be honest neither thing is particularly important anyway as the Welsh outfit has provided one richly enjoyable and enterprising offering in the shape of debut album Thirteen.

Hailing out of Swansea, Static Fires emerged in 2014; formed by old school friends in lead vocalist/guitarist Sam Randles, lead guitarist/vocalist Jack Clements, bassist Tom Gibbins, and drummer/vocalist Jack Piper. Inspired by the likes of Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Foo Fighters, and Kings Of Leon, the foursome create an alternative rock sound which indeed has led to comparisons to those prime influences but as Thirteen shows, it has a certain voice of its very own too.

The album quickly grabbed ears and keen attention with opener Rollercoaster, its opening caress of guitar a calm and suggestive invitation from within which the animated bass of Gibbins strolls bringing equally tenacious riffs and melodies from the guitars. That lining of familiarity to the band’s sound is a quick presence as the song’s swing kicks in but only adds to the enjoyment and rousing prowess of the encounter. Keenly infectious and rhythmically manipulative, the track is a dynamic start to the album, one which is maybe never quite surpassed thereon in but certainly rivalled a fair few times.

New single Black Velvet is one harrying its stature, the track a funk rock infused stroll with muscular linings to its twists and turns. Clements’ vocals, as in the first, impress and entice within an enterprising weave of sound cast over ears. A blues breath adds to its inescapable lure, the song swift and constant magnetism before Hit the Gas revs up and cruises in with thick rhythms and rousing grooves. Within seconds it had us rising to our feet as it proved itself one of those major rivals for best track honours with its virulent adrenaline fuelled, sleekly bodied rock ‘n’ roll.

Return is next, evolving from a mellow almost melancholic suggestion to a raucous blaze though its fire in heart and sound still comes with enterprising restraint while Like the Sun bounces along with a summery air and catchy dynamics. As its predecessor, it is a track which does not quite exploit the hints of lusty adventure it gives but easily gets inspires an appetite for more of the same.

The album’s title track has a steelier edge and tone to its presence, a whiff of early U2 escaping the guitars early on. It too is a song which promises big things especially in its verse and ever sharp hooks but does lose that blade a little once its chorus and roar escapes. Nevertheless, the track is pure magnetism with its devilish imagination

The final pair of Blood Red and Fix Myself complete the highly enjoyable release with their individual romps. The first is a fiery slice of rock ‘n’ roll; a tenacious and ballsy encounter with an emotive flame to its roar which soon established itself as another favourite here. Its successor has its own hearty holler this time aligned to a more ballad bred but lively presence. As all tracks it is a seriously catchy proposition and like the album as a whole one which just grows and impresses more and more by the listen.

Only true uniqueness is lacking from Thirteen yet every minute on offer is fresh and adventurous, maybe more importantly thoroughly enjoyable. It pushes Static Fires towards the biggest national spotlights and you can only sense from their release that they will thrive on the new attention.

Thirteen is available now across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/StaticFires/   https://twitter.com/staticfires

Pete RingMaster 12/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Perfect Line – Seeds

As a rule we never finalise any opinion on a release until multiple plays have passed by. It is something we learnt with the first System Of A Down album, not being taken by it on the first listen but returning to it weeks after and with increasing rigour it became one of our all-time favourite encounters. The debut album from French trio Perfect Line was a similar proposition; not that we did not enjoy its offerings on first listen but it was through numerous outings and the nagging quality and imagination the songs within Seeds revealed that it really grabbed our attention.

Paris hailing Perfect Line pretty much began in 2011 with the creative union of lead vocalist/bassist Thomas d’Arbigny and guitarist/vocalist Paul Pavillon. Inspired by an array of styles, many nineties bred, the duo’s alternative rock is a multi-flavoured proposition which commands attention. 2012 saw drummer Julien Audigier brought into the line-up and the release of a self-titled debut EP. Gaetan Allard replaced Audiger soon after and the current line-up was in place, a trio now knocking on bigger doors with Seeds.

The album opens with Everything; a slice of melodic rock with a grunge lining which coaxes and lures ears rather than grabs but soon has them attentive with its infectious exploits and accomplished air. It never makes any demands but from rhythms and enterprise to energy and aggression only entices and increasingly so as its adventurous body twists and turns. In many ways it plays like an old friend, familiar essences at play but has a freshness which urges another listen and another, much as the album.

The following Wywd opens with rhythmic bait and sonic teasing which just gets under the skin, it a prelude to a rapacious wave of inventive sound. It is a superb start which is followed by a bit of an anti-climax as the song then slips into a mellow caress though it is soon bubbling with suggestion and unpredictability which surges in varying states of eagerness. The song is a fascinating proposition; one which for personal tastes maybe promises more than it delivers yet never has a moment when you are looking for something else to explore.

Be My Guest follows, a great dark grumble courting its croon before it roars with gusto and power, d’Arbigny’s fine vocals to the fore. His bass is a pulsating throb in its midst, the biting beats of Allard swinging with relish as Pavillon’s guitar weaves a melodic and sonic tapestry, the track as much a seduction as a trespass. With a rousing blues rock lining, the song is a tenacious pleasure quickly matched in enjoyment by the contagious shuffle of Red Coach. Its gentle emotive beginning does not give a clue to the energetic dance to follow, alternative and grunge tinged rock colouring its subsequent magnetic rock ‘n’ roll. Feet and hips were soon involved once it did hit its stride, the song one of many casting persistently nagging hooks.

The imagination within the band’s songs is a rich essence to the album, Free epitomising the quality with its melancholic yet seductive strings provided by Arnaud Affolter and a tapestry of sounds and ideas which all give expectations a wide berth. Again Perfect Line entangle many styles in their aural weave and once more has attention firmly enticed as the track smoulders, saunters ,and erupts.

Through the adventurous almost loco web of Bad Boy, a song with a great Alice In Chains hue to it and the emotive balladry of Afraid the album accentuates its growing persuasion with the first of the two especially compelling though its successor has a firm grip too with its drama and emotional volatility. Even so they are still eclipsed by the virulent rock ‘n’ roll of Get Out, the track further evidence that Seeds was blossoming and getting better song by song for these ears. The track is another which seemed familiar in some way but it only added to its rousing holler and catchy prowess on the way to becoming our favourite song.

The animated escapade of Tired quickly gave it a run for its money though, the track a fusion of brooding mischief and melodic temptation around rhythms which just land with glee. It is fair to say that a grunge scent is never far away from a Perfect Line song, this embracing a Stone Temple Pilots meets Alice In Chains spicing in its increasingly hypnotic stroll.

Seeds is not an album of two halves but for us its latter tracks really hit the spot and with increasing persuasion, Space Race proof with its glorious stomp of infection loaded rock ‘n’ roll. Remember that favourite song moment, as this track plays in the background of tapping keys we might have a change of mind or at the very least a major rival. The track is glorious, a roar to ignite any day with its Foo Fighters-esque blaze.

Slow Down and At Last complete the album, the first another slice of magnetism with a joyful swagger and emotive flames around a devilish core of hooks and lures while the second is a fire of sound rising and simmering along a deviously alluring length.

Seeds might very well grab ears with a firm hand from its first listen but given time it really will take off making it a release which is very difficult to leave it alone, something we can certainly testify to.

Seeds is out now; available @ https://dooweet.bandcamp.com/album/seeds

http://www.perfectlinemusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/perfectlinemusic   https://twitter.com/perfectline4

Pete RingMaster 22/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Black Orchid Empire – Yugen

With a critically acclaimed debut album already under their belt and a strong reputation earned for their energy surging live side, Black Orchid Empire look at even greater attention with new full-length Yugen. With eleven tracks of adventurous heavy weight alternative rock embracing the familiar and individual whilst unleashing hooks so easy to get snagged upon and lithe grooves to swing from, the UK outfit’s second album is a rather tasty proposition with regular moments of imposing captivation.

Since emerging in 2011, the London hailing trio has drawn increasing attention with their fiery yet resourcefully and carefully woven sound. That well-praised first album, Archetype, put them solidly on the radar of media and new fans alike, its release in 2016 the ignition to their continuing ascent within the British rock scene sure to be escalated by Yugen. Alongside the former’s success, Black Orchid Empire has been a potent live presence, making numerous much-lauded festival appearances at the likes of Standon Calling, Planet Rockstock, Camden Rocks, and Germany’s Taubertal Festival and sharing stages with artists such as Biffy Clyro, Editors, Skunk Anansie, and Hed P.E who the threesome supported on a UK tour.

Now the band is ready to stir up fresh fuss around themselves, success which even from the boisterous persuasion of opening track of Yugen you get the feeling is close to being a done deal. My Favourite Stranger is also the new single from Black Orchid Empire, a song stirring from a distant sonic squall with a great grumbling rusty bass lure quickly bound in the wiry tendrils of Paul Visser’s guitar. As the song settles without losing those tempting elements, his equally enticing vocals step forward backed by the just as melodically fine tones of bassist David Ferguson. The band has been regularly likened to Biffy Clyro and Muse but for us and certainly with this start, their sound sits somewhere between Reuben, Sick Puppies, and Foo Fighters in varying degrees across each song.

The equally magnetic Burn follows; bass and guitar again setting an enticing canvas for vocals to spring from and the firm manipulative beats of drummer Billy Freedom to shape. In that inviting and slightly imposing proposal, the track is an animated and unpredictable web of imagination and enterprise. Twists come and go; all delivering fresh adventure and bait while the song fluidly swings between teasing seduction and a full throated roar.

Previous single Celebrity Summer is next, the opening croon of Visser and his guitar a mischievous if emotive spark to the track’s ferocity and urgency as well as another trap of hooks and sonic dexterity. A tenacious slice of vociferous rock ‘n’ roll, the track also hit the spot dead centre before Wires entangled ears and appetite in its contagious aggression lined exploits. From vocals to rhythms, melody to sonic trespass, the song is a formidable and compelling incitement uniting a host of voracious flavours, all traits colouring Yugen from start to finish.

Blacklight Shadow makes its own mellow emotive entrance after the previous blaze, its elevated croon surrounded by sonic flames before settling down again to repeat the rich cycle. That earlier mentioned Australian band certainly comes to mind in the track but again the Black Orchid Empire sound soon establishes its own character with tempestuous power.

As the likes of the muscular and invasively magnetic Pray To The Creature with its weave of senses scorching tendrils and the heart spun atmospheric balladry of Vertigo rise, variety and pleasure go hand in hand. The second of the two wears an alluring country blues scent to its impassioned voice too, more of the broad flavours the album embraces while Mouth Of The Wolf takes essences of hard rock into its seriously catchy prowl.  Emerging as album favourite here, the song nags and jabs, teases and taunts with its controlled but hungry imagination and touch, pretty much living up to the snarling intimation of its title.

A more straightforward proposal comes with Pins And Needles, maybe the album’s least bold song but another which just grips attention and pleases as Toru’s Maze waits to uncage its infectious wares; that grizzled tone of Ferguson’s bass again licking at personal pleasure here though the whole of band and song manages to stoke things up.

Ending with the quite captivating roar of Years, a track erupting from a potently alluring ballad cry into a heart unleashing blaze, Yugen is one thoroughly enjoyable and so often striking release. is there any other reason to check it and Black Orchid Empire out?

Yugen is released May 25th via Long Branch Records; available @ https://blackorchidempire.bandcamp.com/album/yugen

Upcoming live shows:

02.06.2018 UK, London – Camden Rocks Festival

03.06.2018 UK, Glasgow – Broadcast /w Black Map

04.06.2018 UK, Manchester – Gulliver’s /w Black Map

07.06.2018 UK, Donington – Download Festival

22.06.2018 UK, York – Pile Up Festival

http://www.blackorchidempire.com/   https://www.facebook.com/blackorchidempire/    https://twitter.com/orchidempire

Pete RingMaster 24/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hercules Morse – Vita Boundary

After richly enjoying their previous EPs, it was easy to discover real intrigue and anticipation for the debut album from Hercules Morse. There were also hopes that it would strongly build on the potential and enterprise of those earlier encounters with the UK outfit and we can say that Vita Boundary more than delivers, the ten-track offering a feast of magnetic and infectious melodic rock with plenty of eager snarls and sonic blazes to feast upon.

The Southampton hailing quartet emerged in 2014 and released their first EP, Edge Of Life, the following year. It was met with praise and attention as well as potent radio play; success just as easily and more keenly tempted by successor Equine Size Comparison in 2016. Their live presence has been just as potent too, Hercules Morse sharing stages with the likes of Calvin Harris, Primal Scream, Duran Duran, and The Streets alongside supporting bands such as Turbowolf, Band of Skulls, Black Peaks, Blaze Bayley, Tiger Cub, Orange Goblin, and Dinosaur Pile Up. Their reputation has grown step by step and now looks poised to be escalated by Vita Boundary.

Musically they sit somewhere between the likes of Foo Fighters, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Biffy Clyro; their sound a fusion of hard and stoner rock infused with more psych and simply melody spun imagination. Quickly as opener Everything Is Great grabs ears, the album reveals it is a sound which has grown and matured from those previous encounters whilst embracing an even broader array of flavourings. Harmonies wrap classic rock bred grooves from the off, the lead vocals of rhythm guitarist Steve George captivating within the alluring flame of sound. Guillaume Redonnet-Brown’s beats and clips tease throughout too as the guitar of Harry Gardner spins a web of familiar yet fresh enterprise. It is a swiftly magnetic affair an echo of the album in that it is not strikingly unique yet everything on offer is enticingly individual to the band.

The following War Within similarly warms the appetite with recognisable and unique adventure. The dark hues of Paul Shott’s bass cast a great shadowed but infectious lure at the heart of the song and its catchy swing; egging on its virulent instincts and in turn those within the voice of George just as potently backed by those of Gardner.

Cuckoo leaps in next with its own addictive contagion, the beats of Redonnet-Brown bounding through ears with a persuasive swagger as the guitars weave another ridiculously tempting tapestry of hooks and melodic dexterity before Talk Me Down brings an earthier proposition to contemplate but one with big rousing rhythms and melodic adventure. Within a couple of listens, if that, each seduced eager participation in the lively strolls; a trait and persuasion which fuelled the enjoyment of the whole album.

There is a slight whiff of Voyager to the following Clockwork and its melodic glide across an enjoyably bumpy rhythmic landscape while Resigned reveals a more sombre lining and composed gait to its just as captivating stroll. Though neither quite matched the heights of those before them each song left ears hungry for more, Can’t See The Sunrise providing as it steps up straight after to steal best track honours. From its initial senses entwining groove and the rapier swings of Redonnet-Brown, the track had us drooling, vocals and the grumble of bass just escalating the track’s virulence and rapacious attack. That opening hook continues to pierce and sear the song, never allowing a moment for lust to relax as the song romps all over the imagination and spirit.

It is a success pretty much matched by the infection spewing Still Singing. As potent as it is from the first note, Vita Boundary saves its greatest moments for its latter stages though of course it is down to personal tastes as to its most fertile times. For us this and its predecessor is Hercules Morse at their most inventive and fiery best but equally most bold with melodies revealing a heat and rhythms a bite which simply inflames the rest of the band’s qualities.

The calmer proposal of The Story Goes similarly ignited the passions, its blend of light and dark as invasive as it is seductive and inescapably magnetic while closing track, Go For Broke, provides a fusion of tenacious rhythms, ear caressing harmonies, and spicy melodies which just get under the skin, especially the agile temptations of Shott and Redonnet-Brown. George and Gardner are just as compelling in voice and sonic invention though as the track brings the album to a rousing conclusion.

Vita Boundary is a masterful mix of the familiar and the boldly new; a rousing incitement built in layers of magnetic enterprise from a band which just gets bigger and more enjoyable, in this case, song by song.

Vita Boundary is out now on CD and digitally @ https://herculesmorseuk.bandcamp.com/album/vita-boundary

https://www.facebook.com/herculesmorseuk   https://twitter.com/herculesmorseuk

Pete RingMaster 18/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Calming tides and mighty swells: going on board with Rusty Shipp

Riding the waves and currents of rock music at its most creatively diverse, Rusty Shipp is a rock band from Nashville, TN creating self-named “Nautical Rock’n’Roll”. Last year the band released their debut album, Mortal Ghost, a well-received adventure of sound and the high seas. Embracing influences of rock legends like The Beatles, Dick Dale, and The Beach Boys to the roar of modern classics like Nirvana, Thrice, and Foo Fighters, the band have needed little help grabbing attention so we decided to climb on board with the band to explore its maiden outing, that recent voyage and plenty more….

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

You bet!

Can you first introduce the band and tell us about the seeds to its beginning?

Sure! We are Russ T. Shipp (songwriting, guitar, vox), AJ Newton (drums), Elijah Apperson (lead guitar), and Michael Craft (bass). Russ T. started the band from scratch in 2014 when he moved to Nashville from the Washington, DC area. We’ve gone through a lot of band members over the years, finding them through Craigslist and friends of friends. But finally we’ve got a solid line-up with these guys.

Have you been or are involved in other bands? How has that shaped what you are doing now?

Yes. We’ve all been in numerous bands before of all different genres. Each of us seems to just come back to wanting to make really great rock music with catchy chord progressions and melodies. And it’s nice to be in a group of guys who are dedicated to doing something unique, rather than just coming up with something easy on the spot, or trying to sound like someone else. That’s something none of us have really had at this capacity before.

What inspired the band name?

The idea actually came to my (Russ T.) Mom and Dad who named me Russell T. Shipp, which when shortened to Russ T. Shipp resemble the words “rusty ship”. So when I moved to Nashville 5 years ago I started telling people my name was “Rusty” instead of “Russ” and when it came time for our band to pick a name we proposed several ideas but eventually the guys thought, “How can we go with anything other than Rusty Shipp?”  So the name stuck and everyone has loved it ever since. Plus, it really fits the sound our band has as well, because our music sounds rusty and grungy and also nautical like a ship!

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

We wanted something more interesting and creative than just standard rock or pop or acoustic and also allows for more raw energy. When I (Russ T.) was in high school, there was a stock music clip on the school computer that said, “Grunge” and I didn’t know exactly what grunge was up to that point, but when I heard that clip I thought to myself, “This is the ideal form of music.” And being an idealist, ever since then I’ve tried tapping into the potential that I heard there in that little sound clip.

…And the same ideas still drive the band?

It has always been and is still our ultimate goal to heal the world by creating thought-provoking music that is as creative and catchy as the rock legends.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

We’ve definitely become tighter performers. But also, as we’ve grown we’ve been able to work with more renowned producers who have been able to give us the quality of recordings that we believe our sound deserves.

Have you found such evolutions to be more organic or you all deliberately setting out to try new things?

Russ T. has been the sole songwriter so far. He’s tried out many different sounds in over ten years of writing, which has really been more a combination of organic movement of sound, and deliberately trying new things. However, once we get together as a band to lay it all out, it’s more of a deliberate movement of sound over anything else.

You mentioned your varied experiences so 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?

Well, of course each of us really care about people and want to impact peoples’ lives in a positive way. We love making and playing music and it makes it easy for all of us to reach people by doing what we love. This is a huge part of what we do as a band. It’s not just having fun (though it is). We have a bigger purpose in mind.

Is there a regular process to the songwriting?

A lot of times I (Russ T.) will be going about my daily life and I’ll see some injustice or something emotionally moving, and I feel like I’ve got to communicate a message that will inspire the world to change and to heal and become a better place, or else sometimes it’s just therapeutic, as was the case with our song Crack Baby. Other times I’ll just be inspired to do something creative, like Sea Sentinels which is an instrumental grunge-surf song with guitar riffs that sound like sea monsters talking to each other, or Devil Jonah, which I wrote after watching a documentary on the legendary ghost ship The Flying Dutchman. I wanted to make a musical piece of art that captured this mysterious, legendary feel.  And some songs are meant to just be thought-provoking and ask philosophical questions, such as Treading Water which draws attention to the fact that I don’t feel at home in this world, and how that seems to point to there being more that we humans were made for than just living and dying on this Earth.

Is there a key inspiration to the lyrical side of songs?

All of our songs are philosophically driven. We don’t just want to give people good music, but we want our lyrics to be thought-provoking and inspiring, to get people to think about the important things in life.

Can you give us some background to your latest release?

Mortal Ghost is a concept album with the songs flowing in and out of each other and having nautical interludes to create an artistic tapestry that transports you to another world, under the sea! It’s really intended to be heard from start to finish in the order it was placed. Our singles, Devil Jonah and Tip Of My Tongue are great, but the entire album is a cohesive, artistic experience meant to be listened to in its entirety.

It’s basically the best sound from every rock genre with a surf overtone to it that we like to call “Nautical Rock’n’Roll.” Every song is meant to flow into the next, but also each one stands on its own without disappointing. We’ve had fans call out every single song on the album as their favorite, so that can make it difficult at times to know which single to release next!

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?

We like to have the songs in their final state before recording. However, there are always some kind of interesting sounds that you can add in the studio with effects, or something the producer hears that you couldn’t hear on your own.

Tell us about the live side to the band?

Our live shows are different than our album quite a bit, because the album was intended to be an artistic masterpiece on its own, with a lot of production involved. When we play live it’s more of a raw, stripped-down, energy-packed jam session involving headbanging, flying jump kicks, and throwing out nautical candy to the crowd. We really try to have a good time with the audience, and it’s always fun to find new ways to incorporate our whole nautical theme into our set. Our live shows are just a ton of fun for everyone there.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally, let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it?

Being that Nashville is “Music City USA,” this is probably one of the top places in the world to make and release music. Just about everyone that you meet here is in the music business at some capacity, so it makes the opportunities endless. At this point our band has already been blessed to receive international recognition, which has given us a lot more credibility at home. Nashville has been very good to us.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?

We’ve had a lot of success with social media. The key for us has been to come up with interesting content that fans actually want to see, and then to keep consistent. When you’re first starting out the important thing is just to do it and keep doing it, and not worry about making it all perfect. You learn as you go, and you find out what works for you and your fans. It’s the only way to excel and maintain in this industry.

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

We hope everyone will take some time to listen to our album, Mortal Ghost. If you like what you hear, PLEASE send us a message on any of our social media pages, or through our website. Connecting with our listeners is extremely important to us! Thanks for hanging with us. We hope to talk with you soon!

https://www.facebook.com/rustyshippband/  https://twitter.com/RustyShipp   https://rustyshipp.bandcamp.com/releases

Pete RingMaster 09/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Valensole – Make Pace EP

Just under a year ago, British punks Valensole sparked intrigue and pleasure with their debut EP, Where We Should Be. It was a potential loaded, ear grabbing introduction to the Southampton trio suggesting a band with all the right attributes and imagination to make potent strides within the UK rock scene. Now that suggestion has been reinforced and given greater strength by Make Pace, a second EP of raw and rousing punk ‘n’ roll very easy to devour.

Embracing inspirations from the likes of Nirvana, Green Day, Sum 41, and early Foo Fighters, Valensole was formed in 2016. The threesome of vocalist/guitarist Elliott Jones, guitarist Nick Jones, and bassist Dave Parker certainly had ears and praise attentive with that first EP and such the fresh character and tone to its successor, we can only expect them to find much even greater attention upon the release of Make Pace.

With Kurt Philips providing drums throughout, the EP kicks off with Giving Up, its jumbled start instantly spawning a tasty guitar hook which soon leads into a tenacious stroll through ears. Simultaneously a new richer flavouring to the band’s punk sound begins tempting, the track merging its raw traits with infectious enterprise as it increasingly stomps around. Dave’s bass has a gorgeous dark steely tone, Elliot’s vocals matching its lure in earnest attitude as his and Nick’s guitars throw their sonic wares around. As with the first EP, we found flavouring more akin to the likes of Psychedelic Furs and The Vibrators than those earlier mentioned influences but more so the band’s own voice in sound and invention emerges this time around.

The potent start is soon matched by the following M.A.D, the track immediately getting under the skin with its opening spicy hook. Both guitars tease and tempt, uniting in a fiery lure backed by the stirring swings of drums and the grumbling stroll of the bass. There is a great vintage punk lining to the Valensole sound, one especially vocal in the rousing antics of the second song even as it slips into calmer, provocative waters. It all erupts again for a tenacious finale as physically bracing as it is catchy before So Bored moves in with its ear nagging endeavour. Carrying a whiff of Buzzcocks to its melodically scored trespass of a hook, the track soon revels in its caustic rock ‘n’ roll breeding but as its predecessor is a proposition which is unafraid to explore unpredictable twists and turns before lighting its riotous touch paper once again.

The EP ends with Don’t Let Go, a song again drawing those Richard Butler and co references while uncaging its own individuality. Equally there is a garage punk meets Generation X scent to the song, a thickly flavoursome hue adding to the unrelenting pleasure the track and indeed Make Pace overall sparks.

Valensole’s sound is on a journey, one still evolving and growing. The band’s first EP hinted at its promise, the second reveals new depth and adventure to add to that potential. When it will all come to full maturity time will tell but the ride on the way is undoubtedly going to be great fun with the anticipation of many more easily devoured treats like Make Pace.

Make Pace is released February 9th.

https://www.facebook.com/valensoleband    https://twitter.com/valensole_band

Pete RingMaster 06/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Crimson Star – Bay View

There is something very clever about the Bay View EP and the sounds it eagerly shares. Certainly the new outing from UK rockers Crimson Star sounds rather good from the off with a blaze of rock ‘n’ roll which may not dramatically impress but leaves a definite appetite for more. But like all relentless fires, it leaves little cinders in the shape of persuasive hooks and grooves which continue to catch in the imagination even in its absence. You could say the five track encounter is a slow burner in many ways despite its sizeable impact first time around and that is a success as potent as anything in our eyes.

Hailing from Birmingham, the threesome emerged in 2012 and since then has earned a rich reputation for their live presence and weighty alternative/melodic rock sound. 2016 saw the release of the Driven EP with the line-up of vocalist/guitarist James Shaw, bassist Roger Ash, and drummer Ross Edgington together. That well-received offering was recorded with producer Romesh Dodangoda (Lower Than Atlantis, Bring Me The Horizon, Funeral For A Friend), a successful union repeated with Bay View.

The EP opens with recent single The Pragmatist and straight away riffs and vocals lure attention, the increasingly grooved invitation of the guitar aligning with the equally potent scowling tones of Edgington. As it establishes its eager stroll, the song ebbs and flows in intensity without losing its instinctively infectious nature whilst always looking to evolve as melodies and the ever captivating grooves share their imagination. More addictive than it seemingly appears at the time, the song is a masterful slice of rock ‘n’ roll setting the release off to a great heavy and rousing start.

The following La Prom carries the same intent, instantly pushing through ears with a bold touch but soon revealing an atmospheric breath around crystalline melodies. Its calm has an underlying volatility which subsequently erupts as fiery grooves and raw riffs join an already laid bait of coaxing rhythms. With great fuzz to its tone and an edge to its energy, they aligning to further melodic enterprise, the song simply hits the spot.

Desert rock grooves fire up within next up Once, their spice leading to a grunge/alternative rock scowl which again is always looking to spring an unpredictable and imaginative adventure. Like its predecessor, the track does not have the immediate sparks of the opener yet grips from start to finish sowing that earlier mentioned niggle in its own way to return at will in the memory; a trait just as successful within Euthanise Me. The muscle of its grooves and rhythmic incitement courts a fine blues rock hue, a flavouring which blossoms within the following dark lit stroll the voice and bass take the imagination on. Like a blend of Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam with a slight touch of Kyuss, the song is unbridled captivation rivalling the first for best song honours.

The release is concluded by Gimme Some, another slice of intriguing rock ‘n’ roll which like the EP just grows and impresses with every listen. Grooves need little time to wrap their persuasion around ears though, melodic shadows and radiance working away on the imagination, as it brings Bay View to a magnetic close.

With double figure listens under our belt, it is fair to say that Bay View has become a keenly devoured and praised proposal. It took its time with us despite its potent start and we can only say share some of your time with Crimson Star to discover some prime heavy rock; it is hard to imagine you will be disappointed.

Bay View is released January 19th

https://www.crimsonstarrocks.com/    https://www.facebook.com/thecrimsonstarmusic    https://twitter.com/tcsmusic

Pete RingMaster 17/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright