Create To Inspire – Home Is Where My Heart Dies

 

CTI_RingMasterReviewBuilding on the success of their debut EP, British melodic hardcore quintet, Create To Inspire, are poised to release its successor in the rousing shape of Home Is Where My Heart Dies. It is the band’s first offering since signing with Basick Records at the turn of the year; a pungent roar of emotion and imposing sound showing potent depths of invention and imagination beneath its impressing surface.

There are no major ground-breaking moments in the band’s new EP, the release more of a confirmation and expansion on the potential already offered by predecessor Halfway Home, yet predictability is noticeable by its absence while freshness in confrontational textures and accomplished craft is a persistent persuasion. From emerging in 2012, it is fair to say that the Essex hailing band has perpetually and increasingly drawn attention and praise their way; a success, it is easy to expect, set to reach another pinnacle with their latest release.

2014 saw the band win the Red Bull Studios Live At Download competition, subsequently playing alongside the likes of Aerosmith, Linkin Park, Avenged Sevenfold, and more, before the Halfway Home EP really stirred up ears and appetites. Since then they have toured alongside While She Sleeps and Giants, they particular highlights of a busy 2015, and following the release of Home Is Where My Heart Dies, Create To Inspire are set to make their debut tour into Europe in support of Skywalker, before returning to again hit the road with While She Sleeps. 2016 is looking another eventful year for the band starting here with Home Is Where My Heart Dies.

art_RingMasterReviewThe EP opens up with History and immediately has ears under a rhythmic cosh with predatory riffs for company. Thereafter the song uncages a tide of hungry riffs amidst the vocal ire of Sean Midson, subsequently expanding and blossoming its catchy rhythms and melodic endeavour with every lyrical snarl and sonic scythe.  The hefty swipes of drummer Luke Taylor continue to punctuate the track whilst inciting ears alongside the similarly intrusive tones of Dan Fuller’s bass. They also make a forceful impact on the senses whereas the imagination is held by Midson’s potent mix of attack and the web of enterprise cast by guitarists Jack Morris and Connor McLeod. The track is a potent start to the release; an ear grabbing proposal lining familiar hues and flavours with the band’s own stirring invention.

Counting Days steps forward next and instantly reveals its punk origins with its hardcore bred opening, a bracing bellow of voice and sound. Forceful as it is, the song also keeps one hand on the reins so melodic endeavour can flow seamlessly from within its brooding tempest. As aggressive and abrasive as it is melodically and harmonically infectious, the track is a striking roar of volatile and emotive intensity, and the EP’s strongest moment.

A gentle melodic caress brings Don’t Let Go into view next, its melancholic charm joined by the rawer expression of Midson’s vocals as beats land with determination. It is a highly suggestive start which is only accentuated by the infectious hooks and swinging energy which follows before the process is repeated with an even more irritable air coating the song’s subsequent energetic expulsion. It is another memorable encounter, maybe the one which lingers most from the EP though it’s title track has plenty of creative and catchy moments to its storm that hang around in thoughts and enjoyment.

It is another inflamed proposal of sound and emotion which masterfully shows off the vocal variety and sonic resourcefulness of the band , and the rhythmic imagination which steer the songs. As the EP generally, the closing track is not rich in ear catching surprises but has a multitude of alluring sounds and ideas in its equally pleasing body. Home Is Where My Heart Dies as a whole is an impressive continuation of the first Create To Inspire EP and confirmation that this is a band with the potential to make great strides within the UK music scene.

The Home Is Where My Heart Dies is released March 25th via Basick Records.

https://www.facebook.com/createtoinspireuk

Pete RingMaster 23/03/2016

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Giants: These Are The Days

British punks Giants have just raised the intensity of their already ascending rise to the fore of UK rock music with their new mini album These Are The Days. Raw and abrasive yet melodically smouldering and as expected fully anthemic, the release is a thumping explosion of melodic, skate and hardcore punk which elevates an already impressed view of the band.

The Essex quintet still approaching two years into its life, first grabbed wider attention with their debut self released EP, as well as their storming sets alongside the likes of The Bled, This Distance, The Ghost Inside, This is Hell, For The Fallen Dreams, More Than Life, Azriel, and Haste The Day, each show and step creating a honed sound and an irresistible energised experience for a growing following. The new release is set to accelerate the rate of their ascent to what one can only see is national recognition.

These Are The Days opens on the thumping clash of sound and energy which is Did It Mean So Much To You, the track a fiery riot of muscular riffs, coarse vocals and scarring melodies. It is a hungry and forceful assault brought with craft and unbridled passion, the guitars leaving a smoking trail whilst the bass is simply a deliciously heavy dark predator throughout. It is a mighty start to the release and already shows a deeper strength and maturity to the sound of Giants which the following songs all endorse.

The following song When It Comes Down To It is a continuation of the aggression, its raw breath a scraping rub upon the ear smartly soothed by heated harmonies from excellent clean vocals amongst caustic shouts and sharp incendiary melodies. The track bristles and swaggers throughout before launching into one of the best finales in a song for a long time, its united shouts and driving thrust irresistible.

The tempest of attitude which is Snakes with its snarling bass intro next leaves one breathless and sets things up powerfully for the first of two tracks which are easily the best on the release. Won’t Be Told is an immediate anthem for voice and heart with group chants and metallic intrusive riffs riling up the senses. The following melodic vocals amongst further squalls of spite and knee buckling rhythms  as the song moves forward, are sparking and rabid making for a storm of total pleasure. Violent and merciless it lights up the air with fine craft and imagination.

Another Day, Another Year (Wasted) is similar in structure to its predecessor and alongside it steals the honours on this impressive release. Once more the bass is a real highlight, its tones a bestial and immense presence within another metal driven slab of punk rock. The band fusing multi genres with great skill without losing their core drive of sound.

With the brief instrumental Bottled Up leading in to the tempestuous closer Boneless, the EP is an energising and fully pleasing release which deserves every good word and acclaim it is destined to receive. These Are The Days shows that British punk rock is back at a forceful high with Giants right to the fore.

https://www.facebook.com/giantsuk

RingMaster 16/09/2012

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In Place Of Hope – Self Titled EP

If of a sensitive disposition than stay clear of the new self titled EP from hardcore/metalcore band In Place Of Hope. Though it does not neglect the melodic and cleaner side of metal it first with no compulsion to be nice obliterates defences and stretches the ear to extremes. It does at times with an out stretched hand offer to pick one up again but only to allow it to knock ten bells out of its victim all over again. The release is a formidable trio of songs which whilst not turning over new rocks for the genre kicks them around the place with impressive skill.

Formed in 2010 down  in Southampton, the quartet of Matt Dennison (Vocals), Russ Barnes (Lead Guitar), Rob Arthur (Vocals/Guitar), Dave Sands (Bass), and Mike Hill (Drums) took an inspiration influenced by the likes of Parkway Drive, Bring Me the Horizon Alexisonfire, and Killswitch Engage and twisted it into their own aggressive and impressive sound. 2011 saw the band matching and upstaging the likes of Evita, Giants, Odessa, Despite My Deepest Fear, and Brotherhood of the Lake in gigs across the South of England, all the while accumulating strong respect and notice further afield. With the release of their EP it is hard to imagine they will not be taking larger and swifter steps up the metal ladder as more fall beneath its thunderous might.

Obviously not a band with an ounce of mercy or desire to take it easy on people within them, In Place of Hope attacks the senses like a tornado from the off with the brilliant Lifelines. The song instantly became a favourite for song of the year with the barrage of violent drums and monstrous riffs that leaves one shell shocked. Many songs do this but once the sinister infectious groove begins to wind itself around the heart, the satanic growls spray venom with every syllable and the clean vocals swarm eagerly all over the debris, the song rises to majestic and impervious to complaint. The drums stomp all over the senses with obvious delight whilst the guitars play with the damaged goods left and it is so satisfying. The song has everything to make it a permanent fixture in all metal hard hearts and sets the band alone ahead of the plethora of emerging metalcore bands.

After such an impressive start there had to be a drop in levels or even intensity. Maybe there is but it is hardly note worthy, the remaining explosions of Bridges and Dark Roads & White Knuckles more than capable of holding their own. The first opens with just clean vocals and guitar to bring a frown but within a few breaths the song erupts into more splintered intense riffs and captivating melodies. The mix of growls and clean vocals favour the latter more in contrast to the opener but the band brings them both together in a defined and seamless mix which many bands struggle to understand or do. The song as does the latter of the two shows the expansive sound and ability within the songwriting and vision of the band and though no song offers anything brand new to leave one awe struck you know it will come, that In Place Of Hope have all the armoury and creativity.

As Bridges closes with sparkling melodic guitars winding down, Dark Roads & White Knuckles muscles its way in with stirring riffs and commanding rhythms. The show is less brutal than the opener despite the bitterly harsh growls, well that is until the band cannot hold back any longer and unleash a thunderous assault bombarding the ear with heavy artillery that breaks knees ability to stand. Once out of their system the band resumes the original intent the song started with, again it is seamless and the switching back and forth exhilarating.

      Lifelines may lead the way and set the pace on the EP but overall it is an impressively solid and deeply satisfying release that ensures In Place of Hope have the attention of everyone.

RingMaster 06/03/2012

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The Stranglers: Giants

With Rattus Norvegicus the very first album purchased by my own eager pennies The Stranglers and any release they offer up always makes the heart skip a touch and the juices of anticipation seep. Over their almost forty years in existence  the band never compromised in attitude or sound, and even if some releases did not match certainly the glories of the first decade or so, the band never offered half hearted or formulaic releases. The previous two albums Norfolk Coast (2004) and Suite XVI (2006) gave strong suggestion that the band were returning to the form that saw them as consistently one of the leading punk/rock bands. New album Giants not only confirms that feeling but announces The Stranglers have returned to being again a fiercely formidable band that easily can fire up the heart.

Giants is stunning, a release that dips into the strength and elements of previous releases to manipulate them into fresh sounds, alongside this the quartet go down new avenues and ideas for the creation of an eclectic album that impresses and excites. Since the days of Dreamtime albums have to a varying extent left one feeling hungry and dissatisfied, Giants though not only feeds the appetite fully it treats it to an excess of  quality and essential Stranglers.

Not only is the creative heart of the band back to full strength so is the bass of JJ Burnel, not that it has ever gone away but that element that makes one tingle right down into the deepest corner when its throaty grumbles erupt is back to its glorious muscular strength. The album opens with the first instrumental from the band for years and an instant notification that the band still is eager to incite the senses. Like a velvet clad grater the bass crawls over the ear whilst the guitar of Baz Warne lays its bluesy fingers firmly and wonderfully around the senses ably accompanied by keys from Dave Greenfield which courts the time of No More Heroes. The track though uncomplicated captivates from first note to last and sets up Giants perfectly.

The album never lets up in giving songs which wrap themselves eagerly and effectively around the senses. Whether vibrant and light or darker and with a firmer intent the tracks satisfy deeply with honesty and genuine imagination. Freedom Is Insane opens with waves upon the beach as emotive keys float through the air, with vocals from Burnell to match the song slowly dawns before exploding into a driven energy and depth reminding of the Raven days. Jet Black as always directs with the surest and firmest of hands whilst the keys of Greenfield call to the soul under his wizardry, it has been a while since his playing and conjurations sounded this wonderful.

Two songs in and the heart is won which the likes of the title track with its nostalgic prowl and solar powered melodies against gutsy vocals and basslines plus My Fickle Resolve only go to reinforce and increase the enthusiasm and desire to fall into the albums charms. The second of the two songs sways with a confident swagger as it strolls through the ear with a vibrant mesmeric English sound. The song radiates warmth and swings with a groove which takes one by the hand to encourage involvement physically and mentally.

Giants hits the deepest and most potently on two songs especially. Lowlands is a pulsating accosting of the ear with a resonance and chilled steel right out of Black And White. It barely takes a breath in its consistent pace and energy with Burnell and Warne in fluid unison musically and Greenfield treating us to more sounds that make the senses weak at their knees. It is one of those songs where its three minutes feels as brief as a thought swiftly flickering in the head to be gone before one can fully appreciate its power, songs like this is why replay was invented. Equally impressive, though the whole album is to be fair, is Time Was Once On My Side. A rock tune with seeds in the Meninblack period it leads one into new radiant pastures and creative wells within the band. The swift Madness ska pop moment raises a deep grin to add to the glow the song has already instigated.

With all four members exploring new avenues within themselves and re-energising past influences The Stranglers show they not only retain the strength and creativity we knew they had but are just as inspirational and important as ever. Giant is without doubt going to go down as a classic, with songs like Mercury Rising with its pop/rock blend of coarse and mellow and the Spanish sung metal tango of Adios (Tango), not forgetting the quirky simplicity of Boom Boom just as startling and thrilling as those mentioned.

In many ways with no disrespect to the band the album is a surprise though the band suggested they were always able to bring something special out in the previous releases. It is thoroughly exhilarating and pleasing to the highest degree, go find out for yourselves, you will not regret it. The Stranglers are back!

RingMaster 29/02/2012

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