1919 – Bloodline

This is a moment no one likes to contemplate let alone undertake, reviewing something from an artist and exceptional musician who has sadly just been untimely taken from music and the world. It also though gives fingers and thoughts a chance to pay homage especially when the subject of the piece is such a striking and rousing slice of creativity.

Bloodline is the new album from gothic/post punks 1919, a band formed at the tail of 1980 which proceeded to break the charts with a trio of singles, record one of the genre’s inspirational albums, and make appearances on the John Peel sessions twice before disbanding. Founding guitarist Mark Tighe

Mark Tighe RIP

began bringing the band back to life in 2014, its line-up sealed the following year with original drummer Mick Reed and bassist Karl Donner joining Tighe and vocalist Rio Goldhammer; the quartet subsequently releasing the ‘Madness Continues Sessions’ live album and in turn the self-released Death Note EP.

This past night of January 27th, Mark passed away; a deep loss for family, band, and fans but equally for music generally. His playing was distinctive, like a single individual colour in a vast palette of hues, able to create haunting melodies and moments as evocative and captivating as the incisive grooves and hooks from him which so freely and uniquely gripped body and imagination. The evidence is no more powerful and true than on Bloodline. He was also a wholly loved man to whom music was his life’s fuel and a true gentleman for all those who knew and met him.

Bloodline is a thrilling way to remember and enjoy Mark’s craft and potent presence; an album which grips physically and imaginatively from its first breath, increasingly winding appetite and lust around its creative fingers track by track. The foursome quite simply cements themselves as still one of the essential post punk incitements with it, almost as if they had never been away as a presence yet pushing themselves into new fresh realms of creative drama and aural adventure.

The album’s title track is first up, chugging riffs swiftly turning into wiry tendrils as percussion teases. Once the brooding bassline enters, things become eagerly catchy with the song blossoming into a PiL meets Leitmotiv like lure with Rio’s tones showing a certain Lydon-esque tinge to them. Feet and hips cannot avoid being involved as sultry melodies weave their temptation and a repetitious Killing Joke scented nagging growls in its belly.

Drama seeps from the electronic coaxing bringing next up This Vanity into view, its raw industrially kissed smoulder continuing to hug the senses as the bass unveils a gorgeous lure. Alongside, Mark’s guitar spins a spiral of melodic suggestion as Mick’s rhythms instinctively roll, a Gene Loves Jezebel like breeze soon floating over the provocative landscape to seep into every emotive crevice as vocals plaintively croon. Quickly absorbing the senses, the track makes way for the outstanding, rhythmically tenacious canter of Inquest. There is no escaping thinking of Jaz Coleman and co as Karl and Mick unite their flirtatiously anthemic designs but as throughout Bloodline, 1919 soon breed their own distinct character of sound and imagination. Magnetic harmonies and intoxicating melodies proceed to vine the ridiculously virulent encounter drawing the listener further into its creative theatre where just as riveting treats lay like its successor Retrograde. Like a puppeteer, it has the body bouncing while its spicy maze of melody is a sunspot of temptation contagiously matched by the snarling bass and hungrily leaping beats; Rio the ringmaster to its rousingly provocative and exhilarating waltz.

Even darker depths are drilled by the bass next in Legacy, its gnarly breath echoed in the caliginous air of the song though it too has a rampant catchiness which tempers and suits its shadowy presence. Imagine Bauhaus in league with Play Dead and the song can be visualised but still only a glimpse of its invasively compelling adventure, success matched by that of the wholly different presence of Zeitgeist. Again the first of the just mentioned pair of references is a prime clue to its tenebrific air and almost vampiric temptation, Rio carrying a Pete Murphy air to some of his persistently highly enjoyable, ever moving delivery. Mark’s imagination spins another labyrinth of melody and haunted sound too, evolving textures as radiant as they are emotively darksome to seduce and ensnare.

Through the galvanic punk rock of Disassociation and the intrigue soaked flirtation of Waiting For God ears are thrilled and the album’s variety stretched with the latter revolving its charms in ears and imagination like a temptress whilst wearing Theatre of Hate/ The Danse Society sourced inspiration as another alluring spice to its own spellbinding and tenacious revelry. Both tracks whip up body and spirit with sublime yet forceful ease, being quickly and as boldly matched in results by the slightly calmer and heavier fascination of Trespass. Maybe the most pop lined song on the album it just as openly shares raw shadows whilst boisterously serenading the listener, and as those before, it only sparks emotional and physical participation.

Bloodline closes with Life Is.., its tribal incitement of rhythms alone enough to incite allegiance, bewitchingly assisted by the fuzzy glow of melodies and variety coated vocals. Something akin to a fusion of Calling All Astronauts and Inca Babies but not, the wonderfully niggling song saunters and swings with increasing infection; an aural epidemic from which there is no escape as it brings one very fine release to a tremendous conclusion.

You cannot evade sadness listening to Bloodline but neither the joy sparked by its simply stunning presence.

Bloodline is out now through Westworld Recordings.

Video Dir. Carl Arnfield / ChalkmanVideo.com

https://www.facebook.com/1919official/

Pete RingMaster 06/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Mayflower Madame – Observed in a Dream

MayflowerMadame_RingMasterReview

When looking back at the end of the year, we suspect that April will be noted as one of the most fruitful months for stunning albums, with a great many of them striking debuts. To a list running into double figures we can add the outstanding first full-length from Norwegian band Mayflower Madame. The band’s sound is a captivating weave of post punk, shoegaze, and psych rock textures but given its own distinct character by the imagination of the Oslo quartet, and Observed in a Dream a release which commands attention with a presence slightly nostalgic but as fresh as the dew on a spring morning, and as radiant.

Formed in 2011, Mayflower Madame has already drawn potent attention and praise with the Into the Haze EP in 2013 and last year their single Lovesick. Comparisons to bands such as My Bloody Valentine, Bauhaus, Spacemen 3, and The Jesus & Mary Chain have readily been offered, and understandably with the band’s provocative dark and sensuous sound. Live they have earned a strong reputation too, sharing stages with the likes of Crystal Stilts, Night Beats, La Femme, Disappears, Crocodiles, and Moon Duo along the way and making successful appearances at Norway’s largest festivals, Oya and Norwegian Wood. Now released on their own Night Cult Records and Custom Made Music in North America, Observed in a Dream is ready to wake up the biggest and most attentive spotlights upon the band.

As soon as opener Confusion Hill envelops ears it is a success easy to imagine, and then be sure of as each track seduces imagination and appetite. The first song emerges from a haunted atmosphere with already slightly portentous shadows to its air. Its approaching tempest though is quickly turned into a strolling seduction upon arrival, psych and surf rock flavours shining, almost sighing, over the infectious darkly hued prowl of Petter Gudim Marberg’s bass and Ola Jørgen Kyrkjeeide’s crisp beats. The guitars of Rune Øverby and Trond Fagernes swiftly spin a bed of evocative colour and suggestiveness too as the latter’s also quickly impressing vocals lay emotively upon the strands of sound. It is easy to see where those Bauhaus and Jesus & Mary Chain references come from, though the bigger and bolder the song becomes it reminds more of Gene Loves Jezebel, echoes and resonance on voice and melodies a delicious shimmer.

art_RingMasterReviewAn outstanding start is still eclipsed by its successor Lovesick, a song which plays second fiddle to no one. From its beguiling dark rock ‘n’ roll strum, the song canters along with a devilish swing led by another highly flavoursome throaty bassline and catchy riffery matched by flirtatious beats. Think The Birthday Party meets Helldorado and Tones on Tails as a clue to the track’s virulent alchemy; a song with as much fascinating drama as it has addictive infectiousness.  Its exceptional incitement is as good as matched by that of Self-Seer; another track rolling along on an enslaving rhythmic tenacity and ingenuity. It explores a mellower climate of sound yet still has an energy and sonic clang to physically stir the spirit. If looking for another hint, Echo and The Bunnymen would be a suggestion for the otherwise unique rock ‘n’ roll of the mouth-watering proposal.

A sixties instrumental twang adds to the seduction of Upside Down (The Death Loop), guitars a sultry lure with again a surf rock like tone to their imagination whilst within their searing elegance a cinematic drama infests rhythms and hooks. As much as there is variety to the sound within Observed In A Dream, so too the vocals craft similar diversity, here harmonies glowing with a hazy beauty around the matching delivery of Fagernes.

Latest single Weightless rumbles in next, carrying a far heavier tone and intent in its creative espionage and welcome trespass. A Play Dead/ Sisters Of Mercy like breath soaks the song, its heavy shadows and provocative textures as invasive as they are seductive. Personally, it is not the song we would choose to lead into the release of Observed in a Dream with other more irresistible options, yet the song in its brief moment is a thrilling and rousing protagonist only making the appetite for album and sound greedier.

The calmer landscape and presence of Into The Haze (Redux) hugs ears next, the song a gentle but again lively adventure into noir lit pastures with more cinematic lures whilst the album’s title track, which follows, from a similar template casts its own tantalising and riveting psyche embedding web of sound and emotion which at times is like The Shadows in collusion with House Of Love and Flesh For Lulu.

The album closes with the psychedelically atmospheric Forever//The End Of Everything, a track which equally expresses post punk discord and causticity within its pulsating and bewitching theatre of sound and emotion. It is a powerful end to a tremendous first introduction to most of us to Mayflower Madame. They and Observed In A Dream grab attention, grip tighter with every pleasure giving twist and turn, and emerge as a reason why Mayflower Madame is one of the most exciting bands to make their mark on 2016 so far.

Observed In A Dream is out now via Night Cult Records in Europe and Custom Made Music in North America as an Ltd Ed vinyl, CD, and Download. All options available @ http://mayflowermadame.bandcamp.com/

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

Pete RingMaster 29/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

In Fall – Delete

In Fall_RingMaster Review

From Ekaterinburg, Russia, In Fall is a gothic rock duo consisting of Shade (vocals, bass, programming) and Eric (guitar). Recently they released third album Delete, a collection of dark yet hope filled, melancholy soaked tracks that simply capture the imagination. Aligning contrasts within a blend of creative intricacies which themselves are paired with simplicity of tone and emotional openness, the release is a fascinating and increasingly enjoyable offering suggesting the band are ready to prompt broad attention.

The background to the band and its members are not openly offered in profiles and press release, but 2012 saw the first In Fall release in the shape of the Coffin shores EP whilst a year later debut album Charm appeared with its successor How can you fall in love? coming in 2014. Recently linking up with GlobMetal Promotions, In Fall now has Delete to entice and inspire the imagination, a success in motion from its first touch.

Delete cover_RingMaster Review   Sometimes starts things off, a lone piano casting a classical air as thicker sounds brew around it, guitars and rhythms a shadowy tempting courted by an even darker bass lure. The voice of Shade has a mellow but emotive intensity which lies separate to the melodic beauty and metallic intimidation around it, but links all with its potent plainer hue. For ears, the song and subsequent album provokes thoughts of bands like Sisters Of Mercy, The Mission, and Gene Loves Jezebel, though equally as the likes of the album’s title track takes over, thoughts of Type O Negative and more so an emotionally detached version of Black are also nurtured. For the main though as keys seduce and shadows encroach, vocal croon and melodies caressing within a muscular climate, In Fall create something specific to themselves becoming more impressive and enticing with every listen.

Through tracks like the climatically smouldering You say and the more tenacious rock ‘n’ roll of Wednesday ears are pulled deeper into the release and its romantic lure around ironic and openly reflective lyrics. Both songs offer individual proposals in sound and design which again only increase in persuasion as their theatre of emotion and rich textures is increasingly revealed before the post punk shaped Brainbox bewitches an already happy appetite with niggly riffs and a bestial bassline around elegant keys and subsequently seducing strings. Vocally Shade deviates little from his prime emotionally cold delivery, which at times is a temper to the flames of beauty aside him, but always he stretches it to rise and fall with the heart and intensity of a track, and as here always to great effect.

Could be similarly weaves a fusion of post punk and gothic/melodic metal resourcefulness into a haunting embrace whilst from a warm dance becoming emotively darker and physically irritable, Beautiful day crawls into the psyche and passions to take best song honours. It is a relentless prowl of ears, a magnetic spark for the imagination, and lingering sinister hug for the senses, and quite superb.

That great post punk breeding lines the melodic call of synths across More, the song a transfixing siren of sound reminding of eighties band Leitmotiv. The feel of that era is a recurring and welcome spice across certainly the post punk and gothic colouring within Delete, its provocative melancholic scent again flowing through Dust even as a carnivorous bassline seeds a volatile atmosphere which, though it never quite erupts, is a constant intensity to the enthralling drama.

The album concludes with firstly From above, a lighter and catchier affair on ears, and finally the raw emotive intensity and sonic fire of Over. Each song leaves ears and pleasure full and the impressiveness of Delete enhanced even if not quite matching up to the potency of tracks before them. They certainly add to an album which just gets stronger and more engrossing though, not forgetting one more enjoyable with every encounter.

In Fall, as previously for us, is likely to be an unknown outside of their homeland for most but that deserves to change from Delete alone, a release you seriously should be checking out.

Delete is out now.

https://www.facebook.com/in.fall.gothic

Pete RingMaster 04/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

James Stevenson – Everything’s Getting Closer To Being Over

JS

With a long list of notable and successful musical exploits on his CV, guitarist James Stevenson finally uncages his debut solo album, Everything’s Getting Closer To Being Over and a richly pleasing sultry slice of blues bred rock it proves to be. Hailing from London, the man has enhanced and fired up more bands, tours, and records than runs made by English batsmen this winter, but it is surprising in many ways that it is only now that his first full-length has emerged to make a persuasion, something it does with skilful ease.

Stevenson first made his mark when joining UK punks Chelsea in 1977, his addition to the band not the last time he would be called and thrust into the deep end when joining outfits over the years. Picking out some highlights on his long resume, Stevenson from playing on the band’s first two albums, numerous singles, and undertaking many tours around the UK and Europe, moved to featuring on Charlie Harper of the UK Subs first solo single Barmy London Army before joining Generation X. This was a short lived time as Idol a few months after quit the band to start his own solo career in the US. Stevenson then played in the emerging Kim Wilde’s backing band and formed Hot Club with ex-Pistol/Rich Kid Glen Matlock and ex Deaf School / Original Mirrors singer Steve Allen. Already we are missing out plenty of other projects and artists the guitarist was involved with to this point and will continue to as further choice moments in his career saw him after the band’s split joining Gene Loves Jezebel in 1985 to replace the band’s guitarist who had a nervous breakdown as their first US tour was underway. Filling in at the eleventh hour, Stevenson joined the band permanently at the end of the tour playing and helping write subsequent albums such as Discover, The House Of Dolls which contained The Motion Of Love, the band’s biggest UK hit, and Kiss Of Life which was released after the twins Jay and Michael Aston fell out and the latter departed the band. With the world of GLJ rumbling on with releases and messy disputes between the twins to simplify things, Stevenson also played with The Cult on their 1994 world tour, The Alarm on shows and recordings, on Gene October’s solo album which he also produced, and was part of the reforming of Chelsea.  This is just the surface of all the work Stevenson has been involved in over the years leading up to and around Everything’s Getting Closer To Being Over, shows and tours with The Cult, GLJ and The International Swingers which also features vocalist Gary Twinn (Supernaut), bassist Glen Matlock, and drummer Clem Burke (Blondie, Slinky Vagabond, Magic Christian), on-going adventures.

Stevenson’s album confirms and builds on the promise of the The Shape Of Things To Come EP which came out earlier this year, opening track Suzi’s Problem an immediate heat of tempting melodic flames and sizzling persuasion. The gentle blues rock swagger which drives its breath is a compelling enticement soon flourishing to greater effect with smouldering vocals and harmonies alongside shimmering expressive keys. The potent guitar style of Stevenson shines within the evocative textures woven to add to the impressive and riveting start, an introduction which is gently anthemic and magnetically absorbing.

The following Go Mister! takes things up another plateau, the initial guitar bred bait and coaxing vocals harmonies provided as across the whole album by The Sexpistilettos, a shadowy radiance. There is a definite gothic rock air to the song, a blend of Sisters Of Mercy/March Violets seduction with a punkier intent fused into a stirring melodic rock allurement. The song is a masterful and irresistible encounter which lingers and almost alone provides the album with a potential heady stature amongst the year’s wealth of rock albums.

Both the blues rich Twilight Riders with its great heavy nagging riffs and melodic passion, and the slowly burning Come On People stroke the imagination, the second finding a funk bred lilt to its tempting which is accentuated in Give It Up, a track which shuffles and dances with the emotions through agitated rhythms and exotic melodic enterprise from keys and guitar, not forgetting the ever mesmeric harmonies. Though the songs along with the emotive Why Am I Still Waiting For You and the equally evocative Been A Long Time Now, fail to find the heights of the opening few songs they leave a healthy appetite eager to feast on the album time and time again.

Another major highlight comes in the sinewed shape of Naturally Wired, a track sculpted with a deliciously growling bass and fiery sonic endeavour cast into a thrilling dark and absorbing stretch of intensive rock ‘n’ roll. There is also an air of hard and glam rock wrapping the grooves and glowing keys which only ignites the passions further as the heat of the track sizzles the air.

Completed by the gentle temptations of the title track and the acoustic led Been A Long Time Now, two songs which again give imagination and hunger enough to find strong satisfaction within, Everything’s Getting Closer To Being Over is a thoroughly enjoyable presence for ears and thoughts. To be fussy the vocals of Stevenson do not always manage to rival the sounds and there is a bigger leap between the pinnacles of the album and the other still magnetic tracks than one would wish, but the enjoyment it offers is full and long term. It may have taken time to get there but James Stevenson has made his debut album one to enthuse over and recommend wholeheartedly.

http://www.jamesstevenson.info/

8/10

RingMaster 10/12/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com