Dirt Box Disco – Bloonz

 Holly Monroe Photography

Holly Monroe Photography

With more individual anthems than the amount likely to be heard at the upcoming Commonwealth Games, UK punk rockers Dirt Box Disco are poised to unleash their new album Bloonz. By now with their third album you could be tempted to think that the Burton-on-Trent quintet might have matured and grown up into a big boys sound but thankfully the band has refused to be swayed by the sensible side, the result another immense and irrepressible riot of prime cut punk ‘n’ roll. Do not make the mistake of thinking the band has not pushed their sound and craft though, it is just their devilry and imagination which has refused to mature as confirmed by the voice of the track King Of The Castle on Bloonz. The album is their most richly flavoured and spicily inventive mischievous incitement yet, the kind of stomp infamy licks its lips over.

Formed in 2009, Dirt Box Disco has been unrelentingly climbing the ranks of punk rock since making their first startling mark with riotous live performances and the Are You Ready? EP of 2011. One of the most turbulently energetic and mercilessly fun bands on stage, their reputation and stock has risen insatiably especially over the past couple of years, aided no end by the release of their debut album Legends and its successor Peoplemadeofpaper. Both releases were deservedly soaked in acclaim and generated waves of new appetites and attention upon the band, a track from the second of the two finding itself the soundtrack to a recent big cosmetic advert. It is hard to imagine Bloonz not only emulating their success but firmly slapping the band onto the top table of European punk and rock ‘n’ roll.

As soon as the first breath of Standing In A Queue hits the ears you know you are in for another thrilling and exhausting ride with the Printband sound, the track frisking from the outset with the devilishly coaxing vocals of WEAB.I.AM as the urgent riffs of DANNY FINGERS and SPUNK VOLCANO lay down an irresistible instant tease. With the crisp beats of MAFF FAZZO aligned to throaty lures provided by bassist DEADBEATZ CHRIS and the whole band backing up on anthemic vocals, it is Dirt Box Disco back doing rock as only they can. That is only part of the tale though as sound wise the first signs of a flavoursome expanse is apparent, the song fusing in a virulent strain of pop punk with more than a whisper of early Green Day if given a make-over by the equally early years of The Damned to it. The track is an outstanding stomp which grips feet and nether regions in a salacious charge of energy and contagion.

The following We Are The Rejects lets rawer sinews have their moment whilst an infectious toxin permeates every note and syllable. The guitars open with a scuzz lit antagonism, slowly scowling before raising their rabidity and energy whilst creating a caustic lure with raw metallic spicery. Surging guitar squalls and adversarial rhythms drive the song forcibly across the senses and feverishly into the imagination, the expected full addictiveness of the chorus and its lighter croon unable to stop the track from being the heaviest imposing treat on the album and probably from the band ever.

Rewind And Eject takes its lead from its predecessor, again finding a more violent voice to its breath and scrub of opening guitar, an intimidation stood over by the ever rebel rousing tones of WEAB.I.AM. From its sterner start the song opens up with flowing melodies and inescapable vocal hooks, though the guitars still stalk with an acidic dispute to their sound and essence. Though not as dramatically gripping as the first two songs, it grows into another inescapable suasion before being pushed aside by the muscularly striding Bullshit. Gripped by caustic grooves which sear the senses within a cage of muscle bound rhythms and cantankerous riffs, the track forges another diverse presence, one which steps out as an accusing predator with lingering hooks and anthemic griping draping every twist of its fierce body. Providing further proof of the evolving invention of the band across the album, that intimidation is then strapped by an ingenious sonic binding, rich grooves winding tightly around the passions for Skids like tempting lining the ’77 bred core of the song.

We are only four songs in and already have experienced a quartet of individually sounding triumphs, the fifth soon stealing the show as King Of The Castle explodes in the ears. Lurching into a rumble of agitated rhythms, corralling vocals, and predatory basslines, band and song stomp and taunt with impossibly contagious exploitation of the already submissive passions. That Green Day spice is again at play but similarly you can suggest essences of Bad Religion and Turbonegro in varying degrees to the unrelenting addiction brewing rampage. With guitars blazing with craft and incendiary relish, rhythms rousing up pulse rates, and vocals charming up the defiance and immaturity in us all, the track is another glorious pinnacle of Bloonz.

Both 9 Lives and Welcome To Hell settle into easily accessible and eagerly inspiring slices of attention stealing rock ‘n’ roll. Neither set the fires burning in the belly as certainly the previous track, but both show that when Dirt Box Disco are simply roaming comfortably within their own creative walls they are still looking down on the invention and presence of most other modern punk bands. The two songs leave lips licked and greed happy, the second especially notable with its foraging of garage punk corners for a blues kissed sonic fire of appetising rioting, before the excellent pair of I Swapped My Brain and Supreme And Gobshite decide to take their hefty portion of the plaudits. The first of this two is fuelled by a mix of The Ramones and Radio Stars, an incorrigible brew obstructing any resistance of its head on riot whilst its successor latches onto a Buzzcocks bred synapse scything groove, riding it hard for a boisterous and combative bruising employing thumping rhythms and sedately savaging riffs. The most aggressive anthem on the release, the track burns and riles as it seduces, riling passions to stand up and roar their approval. It is another twist in the mouthwatering variety of the album, again a song where despite all the comparisons offered, it and all tracks are pure Dirt Box Disco.

   She Goes Out captivates the senses next with uncomplicated riffs and searing flames of melodic and vocal enterprise, all courted by sonic invention. As eager in its unbridled anthemic call as in the creative heat of its solo the song is a siren, its potent bait soon repeated in another guise by Golden Frame. Less forceful in its still merciless enticement, the song simmers and worms relentlessly under the skin. The grouchy growl of bass is the first potent trap swiftly followed by feisty riffs and tightly binding solos, all guided by the excellent legion of harmonious vocals. It all combines for aural slavery of the senses feeding an admittedly already biased appetite for the band until it breeds a new level of hunger.

The album is closed by one final brawl of sound and intent with the thrilling We’re Going Out Tonight. Punk n’ roll at its most commanding, hungry, and epidemically infectious, the track is a blistering finale and sums up the good bad things about the band. To be honest we were expecting good things from Bloonz simply on the evidence of the previous Dirt Box Disco albums but it leaves those thoughts seeming very reserved in their hopes. It is an album which just gets better and motivates greater bad habits the more you spend in its diablerie; the choice protagonist for all rockers everywhere.

Bloonz is released via STP Records on April 26th and available @ http://www.stprecords.co.uk & dirtboxdisco.bigcartel.com

http://www.dirtboxdisco.co.uk

10/10

RingMaster 23/04/2014

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Gaz Patterson – King Of You

King Of You Artwork

    Gaz Patterson will probably be a name most are unaware of at this moment in time but as debut album King Of You unleashes its enthused stomp and impressively accomplished swagger you have a niggling suspicion that this secrecy will not be a long running status for the British punkster. Creating a boisterous party of melodic and pop punk, the Bedlington, Northumberland hailing musician has made an introduction which captures the imagination. The album is not bursting with originality it has to be said but comes with vitality and a refreshing passion which only accentuates the promise bursting across the eight track storm of enterprise.

As soon as a big bass groan ignites the first seconds of opener Walking Backwards there is a sense of something potent waiting to seduce the ears, a hint soon brought into realisation as riffs flame around the ear and rhythms romp with sinews to the fore through the emerging track. As it hits its stride with the smooth tones of Patterson adding to the persuasion there is a familiarity to the song but one which only adds to the strong lure being laid before the imagination. Comparisons to the likes of Blink 182 and current Green Day have been placed upon Patterson’s sounds and as the track charges contentedly, it is easy to see why especially in regard to the former of the two.

The strong start is matched by the following Last Round, again the throaty voice of the bass standing out from the start whilst the guitar casts a skilled temptation within the pleasing encounter. Slightly more restrained but of the same breed as its predecessor, the track strolls with a purpose and appealing presence if without quite sparking a major fire for its resourceful offering. The same to some extent applies to the next up Broken Hearts On Parade, the track a brief rampant blaze of punk ‘n’ roll with a great fiery solo and combative rhythms.

Going Out My Mind is another pungent tempting of addictive hooks and magnetic melodies ridden by the easy on the ear vocals of Patterson whilst the bass provides its own irresistible vaunt to compliment the enterprise and inflate an already awakened appetite for the release. In many ways the tracks to this point have all come from the same well of textures and invention though with individual faces to their presences, but it is all shaken up pleasurably by the melancholic embrace of Elona. The slow smouldering ballad is an ambient emotive wash of acoustic guitar, softly delivered vocals, and a stringed caressing which is absorbing. With keys adding to its evocative plot, the track debatably is out of place on the album but a thrilling aside to the thrust of the album earning an acclaimed place.

The pinnacle of the album comes with the title track, the song a riff clad, rhythmic tempest of punk rock which from its first chord has mind and heart enlisted in its compelling adventure. An element of The Ramones adds its enthusiasm to the fever whilst an Offspring like bustle encourages the belligerent lyrical content, it all uniting for a thumping ride of a great punk song.

    See You In The End and Pieces Of Two complete the album in fine style, choppy riffs and cantankerous rhythms driving the first of the two directly into the senses, vocals harmonies adding to the punk pop purity whilst the closing track provides a lingering convincing of melodic rock which seals the success of the album and reaffirms the promise of the artist with another varied slice of enterprise.

     King Of You as mentioned is not going to take you down new avenues but instead explores existing ones with an energy and investigation which marks Gaz Patterson out as one to watch closely.

http://gazpatterson.bandcamp.com/album/king-of-you

https://www.facebook.com/GazPattersonMusic

7.5/10

RingMaster 04/12/2013

 

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Miss Vincent – Creepy

Miss Vincent pic

After getting over the disappointment that Miss Vincent was not a psychobilly band, their debut EP’s cover and title as well as the band name all the clues adding up to that deceitful assumption, the UK pop goth punk band turned out to be a rather enjoyable proposition which in Creepy they have a release which is more than a decent ride of melodic persuasion and feisty energy. Emerging as a hybrid of Alkaline Trio and Fall Out Boy with some healthy genes of NOFX, AFI, and Social Distortion spliced in for extra flavour, the Guildford quartet have introduced themselves with a release which without lighting fires leaves  a wash of satisfaction and promise behind which cannot be ignored.

Formed in 2012, the foursome of vocalist/guitarist Alex Marshall, guitarist Lawrie Pattison, bassist Owain Mainwaring, and drummer Jack Donnelly has earned themselves a solid reputation and potent fan base around the southeast of the country. The Creepy EP has all the charm and infectious persuasion to send the band into passions much further afield. It will not be lighting new pyres of adventure for pop punk certainly but should place Miss Vincent in the watch closely column of the media and future fans alike.

The release opens with Deadlock, a firm and well-crafted invitation but one which leaves the passions a little underwhelmed. From the 998130_579896398741788_2057771635_nstrong vocals to incisive web of riffs and sonic invention, the song makes an appealing companion with hints of unique imagination whispering from within, but ultimately it lacks the spark to ignite anything more than a passing interest and respect for its predictable but accomplished offering. The following I Don’t Want This has no such problem, the temptation from its opening charge of jagged riffs and contagious groove is an instant awakening for ear and thoughts. True there is little new to devour but the song has the fuse and fuel to grip full attention and breed an equally keen appetite. With a strong whisper of Green Day and slighter spice of Against Me! to its stomp, the encounter is a vibrant and energetic persuasion, the bass of Mainwaring a prowling throaty shadow which seduces whilst the great harmonies of the bassist and Pattison make a great backdrop to the delivery of Marshall.

Planning To Fail, with the rhythms of Donnelly crafting out a sinew framed cage for the song to wrap around, lies somewhere between the opening pair, at times leaving a lack of fulfilment on the taste buds and in other moments showing an invention and imagination which adds a hearty confidence to their promise and future creativity. It has more than enough to light a deeper intrigue over their horizons though as does its successor Carry On, a track which surges from the start with a magnetic fire of riffs merging into virulently infectious melodies and hooks. It is an excellent romp which takes best track honours on Creepy and leaves the emotions keener and greedier than before.

The closing Testing Times is bred from the same seed box as its predecessor, the opening riot of rapacious melodic flames and taunting riffs veined by crisp rhythms is irresistible as it leads the ears into the again impressive vocals of Marshall. There is a sense of Billy Talent to the construction of the song, hooks and sonic barbs littering its passage to ensure no one escapes the song’s addictive claws and adventurous enterprise, which actually leaves the previous tracks seem lacking. It is a great conclusion to a release which sets down an opening marker for Miss Vincent that should see them as they evolve take to loftier plateaus and recognition.

It may not provide anything to get your teeth of originality into but as the ground floor of something with all the possibilities of major things rising from within, Creepy is well worth a slice of your time and enjoyment.

Grab the Creepy EP as a buy now name your price release at www.missvincent.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/missvincentband

7.5/10

RingMaster 25/09/2013

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Valentiine: Self Titled

valentiine pic

With the single Love Like having already teased and lit up our senses a few weeks back it is fair to say that anticipation for the debut album of Australian band Valentiine had a real hunger to it, especially after the unveiling of the brilliant new single Chucky in the past few days. The self-titled release has now stepped forward to not only live up to the suggestiveness of the pair of aural temptresses posing as singles but elevated the trio to one of the most thrilling and still richly promising bands to emerge this year. It is a predator of an album that toys with and manipulates the passions for a riotous and magnetic flame of bruising seduction.

Hailing from Melbourne, the threesome of Vanessa V (guitar/vocals), Erica E (bass/vocals), and Shelly K (drums/vocals) have a sound which is to simplify things a blend of garage rock and punk. Direct and emotively intrusive it also has a grunge seeded melodic fire which sears senses and thoughts whilst rhythmic badgering deviously diverts the attention. It is a sound which has a strong familiarity but equally lays a distinct hand on the passions directly bred from the band. Since forming Valentiine has not only left their homeland enamoured but persuaded fans across Europe and the UK with their powerful and contagious sounds. A successful 22 date European tour last year was followed by the band signing with UK independent, Integrity Records (Million Dead, Reuben, Katastrophy Wife), the two singles and now album a following potent step towards world domination one suspects.

Imagine a mix of The Breeders, Spinnerette, and Veruca Salt with a healthy snarl of L7 as well as a strong pop imagination, and you artworks-000050495136-39ybnn-t500x500get a strong impression of what Valentiine ignite the passions with. As mentioned it is a sound which has a welcoming familiarity but infuses it into their singular potent invention musically and lyrically. The songs hold narratives of everyday life and situations, honestly and often starkly presented with a dark mischievousness, and all veined with addiction causing hooks and infection sparking enterprise which is impossible to resist.

     Love Like opens up the encounter, the track an even paced roam through the ear with intimidation and steel to its riveting presence. Rhythmic sinews cage the senses as the guitar unleashes sonic fire, the combination gripping attention as the excellent and varied vocals of Vanessa V coax further with a mix of riled attitude and melodic seduction. It is an outstanding introduction to the album, a caustic caress seeded in fire borne intensity and a song that secures instant attraction, though it is soon surpassed by new single Chucky. Recounting the ladies own ‘morning after’ hangover blues in graphic detail, the track first teases with guitar and vocals before stomping into a fascination of bubble gum pop and shadow clad punk ‘n’ roll. It is ridiculously addictive; its easy yet perfectly honed enticement a blend of Green Day and The Shangri-Las which leads the listener into an insatiable dance of rhythmic temptation and pop punk wantonness.

Now into the stride of the release it begins to stretch out its darker tones and imaginative ingenuity, both Birthday and Finch opening new diversity to songwriting and sound. The first is a slow burner with the grunge growl of a Nirvana or Hole, its lingering and building intensity a dramatic smack across the senses, whilst the second tenderises with a sonic niggle and drum battering within restrained emotive incitement and sirenesque cheerleader like sultry harmonies. Both are again rich and drama clad musical treats though they do have to surrender to the even greater triumphs of firstly the smouldering When You Want, a track with a more than loud Pixies whisper to its inventive crawl, and secondly the venomous Hates Me. This track is pure L7 meets Puddle Of Mudd filtered through a malevolently spiced vat of spiteful punk, its bite dangerous but alluring with epidemic charm.

As the musicianship and imagination of the band conjures more insatiable devilment and virulent enticements it is impossible not to fall for the call of the album, though when it continues to offer such glories as the scintillating Never Forget You and its twisting metallic tentacles of guitar and bass entrapment, and the rapacious and brilliant Animal, submission was always a done deal.

As the variation and thrills keep coming with further major highlights coming from the Pixiesque Better For Me and the gnarly Kick It, the album stakes its claim as on of the most impressive releases this year. Every song leaves a lingering branding on the passions and thoughts whilst satisfaction and entertainment are delivered aural manner by the twelve, it has to be said, brilliant triumphs. Valentiine will be a major band, no doubts, and their debut album destined for the classic shelf.

http://www.valentiine.com/

10/10

RingMaster 22/06/2013

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Black Tie Vendetta‏ – Length Of An Ocean

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    Length Of An Ocean is an album which is as intriguing as it is pleasing, a release which without breaking down new musical doors still plays with and denies expectations with a collection of songs oozing diversity and imagination. Unleashed by Dallas rock band Black Tie Vendetta, the album shifts continually from heavy and thunderous to melodic and seductive, often combining the two for engaging and riotous experiences, and though it does not completely maintain the fiercest fire of a response to its offerings the flames do burn brightly with each magnetic track.

Consisting of vocalist Brandon Callies, guitarists Dustin Morrison and Dustin Baugh, bassist Joe Bandy, and Johnny Sillers on drums, Black Tie Vendetta has over the years forged a strong name and presence across their local scene and further afield. Latest release Length of an Ocean has energised that stature with its invigorating enterprise and sounds, and though it has still not quite found a place in the widest array of ears yet, listening to its deeply satisfying songs you can only feel the promise of the band is close to the fullest awareness, if not for this album for future creativity.

The album explodes into view with the bulging rhythms and rampaging energy of Armed And Ready. Immediately the song is 73239_151504728227422_8131457_ncarving up the senses with carnivorous riffs and firmly punching drums whilst the vocals of Callies ride the track with expression and potency. With the infectiousness of a Foo Fighters and the sinews of a Hell Yeah, the track ignites the passions with ease and sets the adrenaline firing for the rest of the album, its uncompromising yet familiar stance a virulent persuasion for release and band.

From the heavy rock charge of the opener the band switch to an alternative rock voice for the following Carries Me Away, though again the bass snarls and rhythms cage with the same intensity and power. The immense force of beats from Sillers and the growling resonance of Bandy’s bass offer intimidation and predatory hunger whilst the heavy duty riffs add their own formidable menace for a stirring and impacting encounter but alongside them the melodic coaxing of the vocals and guitar imagination tempers the onslaught with inviting and inventive caresses. The song continues the impressive start with ease, but things stall slightly with next up Under The Same Sky. The potently crafted song is a melodic ballad with the vocals of Callies emotive and passionate to warm the ear alongside equally impassioned sounds and there is no doubting the quality and appeal of the song, but it does break the charge of the album and feel a little out of place despite its fine voice.

Things are back in swing with the likes of Through A Whisper and In The Eyes, the first another melodic rock song with a core of heavy duty temptation and an aggressive prowl within the resourceful and melodic textures of the song. The additional female vocals bring a sirenesque charm to the warm atmosphere of its quietest moment to further stretch the vision and magnetic lure of the track. The second of the pair again fuses the rugged side of the band with its mesmeric melodic entrapment for a fury of a song with accomplished restraint and barbed hooks as loud as the contemptuous aural tones, the excellent result akin to a cross between Green Day and Sick Puppies.

Alongside the first track another two of the album’s greatest pinnacles come with the hypnotic The Burning Sea and the riotous Caught In A Crowd. The first is another emotive piece of ingenuity, the flaming ambience with a slightly destructive whisper a sweltering embrace to wrap the outstanding vocal display from not only Callies but the re-appearance of the female vocals. Whereas the earlier ballad felt lost amidst the other songs as does in some ways the following Keeps Me There, this stands tall, potent and vibrant, its addition an instinctive instigator to the evolving sound and flavour of the album. It is an excellent and lingering treat which along with many other songs gives rise to anticipation as to how great this band could be. Caught In A Crowd is a punk infused storm of caustic guitar strokes, greedy rhythms, and ferocious energy all led by the again impressive vocals alongside flames of melodic venom and vindictive insistence from the might guitars of Bough and Morrison. An anthem for the passions as well as the voice, the track is another thrilling slab of variety from album and band.

The release closes on the acoustic ballad The Raging Storm, another which is well devised and presented but for personal tastes an anti-climax after what came before. Length Of An Ocean is a very appetising and exciting album overall though and Black Tie Vendetta a band sure to enthral a great many given the chance.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Black-Tie-Vendetta/151500488227846

8/10

RingMaster 13/04/2013

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Feud: The Singles

Since having the pleasure of reviewing their first album Waterdog, rock band Feud has held a captivation for us ensuring a constant    engagement with their fine release and earlier EP, Out From The Inside. So there was great anticipation and excitement when the band approached with a release of three new singles to check out. Released together mere days ago, the songs retain all the essences and qualities which make the band one of the more thrilling in the UK right now but elevates them into a stronger punching storm of muscular and infectious sounds. If you thought Feud could capture the imagination and heart with the best of them before they have returned to show previous outings were mere teasings and that now they have the ammunition to succumb any rock n roll heart.

Originally founded by South African brothers Greg (vocals/guitar) and Guy (drums/vocals) Combrinck, the band truly became a forceful entity with the relocation of the men to the UK and the joining up with Ian Harper (guitars/vocals) and Tom Syrett (bass/vocals). As well as the aforementioned acclaim releases the High Wycombe based quarter has matched the likes of Cancer Bats, Young Guns, Jettblack and Days In December whilst sharing stages with them, getting stronger and more inventive with every moment of their four years of existence. The band has always brewed a feisty mix of rock with heavy grunge essences and the new songs are no different though all explore new and even more incendiary aspects of their sound and songwriting making for three original and stirring slabs of essential music.

Floater opens with a crystalline tangle of sharply noted guitar coaxing, the lure an immediate tingle which takes one back initially to the likes of Mighty Lemon Drops and House Of Love. The track though as expected was not going to tenderly stroke the ear for long and soon brings in thumping rhythms and a delicious velvety deep bass sound. There is still a controlled restraint to the track even with its elevated pace and intensity but eventually it cannot stop fiery crescendos of sound and chorus from breaking out. It is a staggering track which plays like an emotive riot within the heart and raging fire in the ear brought from a union of Nirvana, Foo Fighters, and Sick Puppies. From the pulsating bass and incisive drums through to the enthralling melodic flames of guitars and vocals, the track is immense and declares alone that Feud is back, bigger and, better than ever.

With instantly infectious drums laying a hypnotic cage for an unleashing of its adrenaline soaked energy, Medicine stomps through the ear for a meaty thrill of punk n roll. With rampant intent and a Green Day like soaking of the ear, the track chews and romps with classy sonic enterprise and bruising urgency for an irresistible punk rock classic. Though the American trio is unmistakable as a spice to the song, there are elements which would grace any Stone Sour or Gruntruck track but distinct only to Feud and impossible not to devour with greed. Again every member of the band brings a contagious breath to their skilled and imaginative contributions, which only goes to make for a song which leaves the heart raging in ardour.

The final single is the less intense Miles Away, though that is in its attack and not passion, the heart of the song as insatiable and unrelenting as the other pair of triumphs. From another strolling start of rhythms and guitar behind the expressive vocals, the song hits its stride to create a furnace of scorching sonic riffing and barbed hungry hooks. With its arguably less tenacious assault the song offers a diversity of sound to the other two which touches on the likes of Seether, Stone Temple Pilots, and Bush. It is another tasty bite which enflames the appetite for much more from the band which will evolve into no doubt impatience the longer the wait for more new impressive tempests of excellence is.

If this foursome has yet to spark up your passion than any if not all of these wonderful singles will leave you a breathless and exhilarated bundle of fully satisfied energy. Feud creates high energy quality rock music and as Floater, Medicine, and Miles away show, this is a band which just get better and better.

Get the singles @ http://www.feudmusic.com

RingMaster 19/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dark Stares: Tell Your Friends EP

Dark Stares is one of those great bands which draw multiple comparisons to a wide array of bands but really do not sound like any of them. They may at times come up with a sound or riff which echoes another band but they are mere colourful strokes within a storm of individual creativity. The quartet from St Albans in the UK, has had the likes of The Killers, Muse, Manic Street Preachers and even The Mars Volta to name a few, offered as references in varying degrees to their music. To that you could just as easily add others like Faith No More and Green Day at certain moments of individual songs, but though still a band evolving their sound and distinctiveness, Dark Stares have a sound which has its own flavour.

Tell Your Friends is the debut EP from the band and what a stunner it is a release which unleashes rock n roll at its best, energetic, towering, and with a spine of powerful riffs alongside veins of irresistible grooves. Formed in 2011, the band consists of three brothers, Miles Kristian, Brett Harland and Taylor Howell (vocals and guitar, bass, and drums respectively) alongside guitarist Harry Collins. As their first year neared its end the band found themselves with high profiles gigs under their belt including supports slots for Enter Shikari and The Darkness. 2012 has seen the band go from strength to strength and with the release of Tell Your Friends on September 10th announce their full arrival in fine style.

Dark Stares open up with the stirring Whisky which immediately has feet and senses in league with its stomping rhythms and melodically guided riffs. Its energy is raw and slightly abrasive to ignite the fullest attention which the addictive grooves and heated hooks feed with relish. Not quite a storm, the track is a powerful stomp through the ear which with its multi faceted flavouring, lights multiple fires with. The guitar play is striking and fills the skies with delicious sonic sinders whilst the melodic craft around it comes from hard rock at its best.

It is an impressive start soon surpassed by the mighty Long Live The King. The song takes no time in giving suggestions as to why bands like Muse, Manics and Queens Of The Stone Age have been mentioned in the same breath as their sounds, its presence again a flurry of elements combined for an inferno of excellence. As all the songs show, Dark Stares gets the job done without over blown theatrics, the drums and bass unleashing instinctive hard and dangerous edges whilst the guitars and fine vocals explore and light up all their shadows. It is the perfect union for an outstanding and deeply satisfying result. On this song they simply leave other rock bands in their dust, the infectiousness and addition it offers taken to illegal levels.

Third track We Are The Kings Tonight wraps around the ear with a less intense eagerness though with equal strength and skill. It offers a mid pace drive which paves the way for sharp and inciteful play amidst melodic caresses which draw sighs, manly ones of course. The vocals of MK Howell are exceptional and across the whole release he shows he is a versatile and controlled power to match and ignite the music and songs, as they do his emotive delivery.

     Invaders ends the EP on another rampage of contagion, its grooves and riffs instantly your best friend and its heart a boisterous yet passionate embrace. Anthemic and with a mischievous swagger at times the song is an immense end to the release and completes one of those rare times where every song ends up as the favourite.

Dark Stares will be like their EP, immense. They still have much to discover within their creativity and music which with the strength of Tell Your Friends makes for one exciting thought.

http://www.darkstares.com/

RingMaster 30/08/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Ghost Of The Highway: Self Titled

From the moment the song So Sick from UK rock band Ghost Of The Highway, was submitted to and heard on The Reputation Radio Show, a review of the forthcoming mini album it came from was a must. When the track was recently broadcast the eager acclaim towards its vibrant and powerful sounds by the audience of the show was expressive and full, something the band will surely become used to with the release of their impressive album on September 1st.

From Guildford, Ghost Of The Highway consists of vocalist and guitarist Jon Lett (The Black Zetas, Calico), bassist Jack Williams, and Jack Summerfield on drums. The band began in 2010 when Lett met Summerfield in a bar. Drinks, reflections of the state of local music with probably more drinks in tow, led to the linking of their musical creativity. Working hard on songs and going through a pair of bassists, the band released the demo Hope and Other Four Letter Words through bedroom label Specky Records the following year. It was well received drawing much acclaim to its heavy rock energies and sounds. Later in the year Williams was recruited and now stable the band entered the studio with producer Paul Frost to work on the album. Earlier this year saw the release of previously mentioned single So Sick, it again pulling in nothing but great and enthused responses.

The song opens up the album and instantly has the word infectious at the ready for its excited and greedy hooks and melodic enterprise. The guitars electrify the air initially with a blistering scuzzy energy whilst larger melodic strokes flash within its bristling presence. In full flow the song is soon offering intensive rhythms and a great bass prowling from Williams whilst the vocals of Letts, also with that distorted tinge to their breath, impress. The track is aggressive without resorting to force or being over demanding, its energy and appetite enough to stir up the senses. The band comes from the home of the Reuben and though Ghost Of The Highway do not quite have the intensity they hold the same ability to create compelling and addictive riffs and hooks as that great band.

The following Preacherman starts with a gently caressing melodic whisper of guitar and voice before the song unleashes a punk rock lined piece of rock n roll. The song is excellent though slightly frustrating as at times it feels like it wants to explode into an unbridled storm but to be fair if it had gone that way it is doubtful the well crafted and defined song would have worked quite as well. Not for the first time the band have a Green Day feel about their sound which though an easy comparison is accurate.

The steely Vultures is an outstanding piece of rock music with a seventies garage blues gait alongside its melodic pulse whilst the bass of Williams has a vibrant yet niggled sound, his lines gnawing on the ear wonderfully. With its slight stoner air too, the track is a thrilling contagion showing a wider variation to the music of the band.

Punk spices the excellent Second Rate next, another song which like the opener hits all the right buttons to have senses, limbs, and heart rate in active accompaniment. There is an underlying grunge flavour to add extra texture to the song and once more Ghost Of The Highway shows its ammunition is diverse and potent.

The last pair of songs ensure the album maintains its high levels to the very end, March Of The Pigs and Another Pretty Boy leaving only pure satisfaction behind. The first again finds the band with an American Idiot era Green Day lilt to its inciteful heart whilst the closing second single from the release opens like a sensitive crystalline ballad. Of course the band cannot maintain their restraint and the song soon steps into a slice of emotive catchiness which excites the ear and warms the senses.

With their self titled album, Ghost Of The Highway step forward to show themselves as one of the more inventive and inspiring bands in UK rock music right now and one who all should get to know in September.

http://www.ghostofthehighway.com/

RingMaster 24/08/2012

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You Had Me At Hello: Take It Off EP

Is there any room for yet another pop punk band, especially a British one with a definite American feel to them? Well when they sound as good as You Had Me At Hello the answer is a resounding yes.  With their debut EP Take It Off the quartet from Keighley, West Yorkshire more than prove their status as one of the best emerging punk rock bands in the UK.

Take It Off is a feisty little collection of songs with a passion and energy to make it catchy and undeniably consistent on the attention and ear. Yes maybe one would have liked a little more originality to the release to set it and the band apart from a multitude of new power pop punk bands  but there is an essence and promise to the music suggesting that will come and soon.

Formed the end of 2009 You Had Me At Hello consisting of vocalist Dan Hyde, guitarist Adam Doveston, bassist Jason Doveston, and Alex Riley on drums, took no time in finding themselves sharing stages with the likes of Army Of Freshman (who also produced the EP), Lethal Bizzle, Utah Saints , and Young Knives. February of last year saw the band over in Ventura California to record Take It Off as well as lighting up venues such as the O2 Academies in Newcastle and Leeds back home. With now a tour of Texas under their belt as well the EP marks the next step in their step onto the wider stage of music something the release suggests is a formality success wise.

The release hits the mark from the off with the contagious opener Diamonds & Pearls, the track bustling in with purpose and eager energy to rile up the senses. Enthused riffs and striking melodic enterprise alongside the immediately appealing hook of the song ensures nothing but warm satisfaction. With a video in the works to go with the song it is an obvious and infectious doorway into the band and their sounds though you can say that about a few of the songs on the EP.

The following Breathless continues the irrepressible drive of band and music, the melodies and harmonies stirring up a dust of pleasure at every twist and turn. The bass of Jason is a dark energy behind the song to add a depth whilst the vocals of Dan soar with a strength and smooth quality ably backed by the rest of the band. The track does not offer anything ground breaking though it is hard to remember many songs from similar fuelled bands that has left as good an impression.

The tracks Pull That Trigger, Say It Ain’t Much, and Kill The Catch do more than a fine job in satisfying the ear with their varying degrees of infectiousness especially the third of the trio with its more than keen Green Day like breath but it is the closing Carry On Regardless which pulls the release back to the heights of the opening duo of songs. Spined by an irresistible winding groove the song wraps its melodic arms around the ear with excitable emotion whilst the rhythms of Alex have their finest hour on the release, his play a hypnotic and bustling treat.

Take It Off is an great debut to mark the band as one to keep a keen eye upon. With an extra infusion of distinction to their sound it is hard to imagine anything less than growing success and status for You Had Me At Hello.

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RingMaster 28/05/2012

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Athel: Open Your Eyes To Society

Really striking pop punk bands seem to be on the wane these days, there are some great bands but with uniformity to their sound which is great at the time of listening but soon lost from the memory until the next visit. Chicago band Athel with their debut album Open Your Eyes To Society seems like a band that might buck that trend. The songs on the release are vibrant and contagious and offer a fresh breath which lingers far longer than the sounds from the majority of their contempories. It openly brings familiar spices and flavours well known to the genre but places them within an invention and contagion that most others struggle to define their creations with.

Consisting of trio vocalist and guitarist Justin King, bassist Comron Fouladi, and drummer Christian Navarro, Athel bring strong traits of classic rock and metal to their punk hearted music too which adds to the distinct variety and strength the album grips the ear firmly with. Comparisons of Foo Fighters, Rise Against, and of course Green Day have been placed upon their songs and these are not hard to miss though the band probably sits nearer to the rock fuelled likes of Sum 41 with melodic insertions of a Good Charlotte or All American Rejects veining the constantly engaging sounds.

Signed to Mortal Music after the band came to the attention of co-owner and SOiL bassist Tim King, the band seems destined to rile up more than passing attention with their first full length release. The follow up to their previous couple of EPs, Open Your Eyes To Society swaggers and saunters through the ear with a sure confidence and stylish ability to excite the ear. From the opening Radio the release has no intentions other than to offer a good and flavoursome party. Mildly aggressive, vaguely intrusive, and wholly infectious the album leaves one fulfilled and with a satisfied grin. The opener sums the album up immediately, the song an easy going and pleasing invitation for the limbs and any anthemic tendencies within. It cruises through the ear with robust and eager riffs, fine harmonious vocals, and inserted rock guitar spikes to further excite, all brought with a full energy and imaginative hand.

The following vibrant These Are The Times continues the release in similar fashion, easily appealing and undemanding but it is with the next trio of songs that the album shows its true depths and strengths. All That I Am starts it off and is a gem. With a hypnotic melodic hook the Buzzcocks or Undertones would be proud of, and a Jimmy Eat World like chorus infection it is irresistible and alone offers the promise mentioned at the start.

Kara’s Carousel and Paranormal Abstract Of Everyday Life complete the triple slice of consecutive magic. The first of the two a rock textured blend of stirring metallic riffs and strikingly melodic vocals. The song suggests it might venture into pop punk or hard rock throughout but remains firmly steered between the two and is deeply impressive for it despite the fade out suggesting a lack of an ending. The other song is a muscular contagion with great acidic classic rock guitars adding a slight progressive feel. More hard rock than punk music wise, the song exhilarates and leaves one with increased adrenaline and raised eagerness to hit replay before moving on. Along with These Are The Times the pair are the biggest highlights on the album and the undeniable evidence of a band on a sharp rise.

Though the album continues with peaks and slight lulls which are still more inventive and impressive than most other similar veined releases, the album never gives less than pleasure and reward. The likes of the energetic Their Shoes alongside the melodic excellence of Me, Myself, & I and the crystalline grace of Oceans leave smooth and invigorating caresses upon the senses whilst brewing up emotions with their insistent anthemic energy.

Ending on bonus track Keep Me Awake, a song so addictive it should come with medical assistance, Open Your Eyes To Society is an excellent release that achieves what it set out to do, to leave one thrilled, energised, and eager for more. Athel still feel like they have a way to go to make that step into totally unique territory within the genre but they are well on the way and bringing great pleasure as they go.

RingMaster 18/05/2012

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