King Zero – Sonic

What can we tell you about US outfit King Zero? Well very little actually apart from it is a quintet from Dallas which recently released the very appetising Sonic EP and offers a bluesy melody rich sound which has drawn comparisons to the likes of Black Sabbath, Grand Funk Railroad, Tom Petty, Eagles, and Black Oak Arkansas. Anything other than that we have yet to discover but quite honestly their latest release does all the talking for them whilst casting plenty of reasons why to give them continued attention.

Made up of four tracks which suggest a brewing broadness to their sound, the Sonic EP swiftly grabbed eager ears starting with opener Black Stoned Heart. Straight away the senses are wrapped in inviting sonic strains of guitar, a groove springing lure soon joined by an eager rhythmic swing. The potent tones of vocalist Paul Renna step into the growing blues fuelled enterprise soon after, his earnest croon aligning with the melodic craft of guitarists Dave Self and Chris Jackson. As further shown by the release in general, there is an open familiarity to the band’s sound and certainly they are not reinventing the sonic wheel but as the first track alone proves, King Zero is definitely giving it a new fresh lick of craft and imagination.

It is a great start to the EP quickly backed and eclipsed by In Your Eyes. Straight away spicy hooks are cast around ears, arousing a greedy appetite as they continue to nag and seduce as vocals and rhythms collude. A stoner-esque hue adds to the song’s magnetic character and holler, the swinging beats of Todd Hatchett inciting further captivation in league with the similarly alluring dark breath of Chris Ivey’s bass. Emerging as our favourite of the four through its rapacious grooving alone, the track highlights all the essences which are beginning to draw richer attention upon the band.

 Into the Light follows with a calmer touch to its southern laced croon within a melodically flaming classic rock breath and though we cannot say that it grabbed us as richly and firmly as its companions, from vocals to melody, united to individual craft, the track more than pleased whilst adding another hue to the band’s colourful sound.

Final track, Fuel the Fire, needed little time to get under the skin in comparison, the time it took Ivey’s bass to move through its first rumbling riff enough to reel us in. The trap is soon firmly shut by grunge lined grooves which just spill temptation and a vocal prowess that lures; an attention demanding end to a release which commands the same depth of fixation.

Sonic is also an offering which blossoms further by the listen. Musically it is not particularly unique but everything about it is creatively magnetic and as fresh sounding as you could wish; as we intimated earlier they reasons enough to keep King Zero on the radar.

The Sonic EP is out now on Spotify and @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/sonic-ep/1434199784

http://kingzeromusic.net/  https://www.facebook.com/kingzeromusic/   https://twitter.com/kingzeromusic

Pete RingMaster 16/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Alive – We are Rock and Roll

It is hard to think of too many bands which perfectly sum up their spirit, energy and intent as well as sound through name and the title of their debut album. The Alive certainly do so with their moniker and first full-length, We are Rock and Roll, its title echoing simply what the band does, create instinctive rock ‘n’ roll and there is no denying it was an encounter which truly got under the skin.

Leaping out of Fort Smith, Arkansas, The Alive consists of vocalist/guitarist Taylor Glasgow, guitarist David Bateman, bassist Curtis Kennedy, and drummer Tracy Duty. From the off the quartet “knew they wanted to create fun, high energy music that you could feel deep in your bones and shake your soul making you stomp your hands and clap your feet before you even knew you were.” Additionally, according to the album’s press release, the band equally “wanted to write music that pays tribute to their influences.” We are Rock and Roll proves their success at both. The latter aim has maybe led to the band’s sound not being the most unique but it is as fresh and rousing as a hurricane and often hits with the same impact.

Signing with Eternal Sound Records this past February for the release of their Kyle Simpson produced debut, The Alive immediately set the scene and tone with album opener This Is Rock And Roll. The groove cast by the bass to set things off is pure intimation of things to come and instantly has hips swinging. A sonic trespass of guitar triggers the track’s eager stroll, Glasgow’s potent vocals quickly adding to the boisterousness flooding ears. Blues hues only add to the temptation, a slice of creative nagging which had the body bouncing and vocal chords tuning up in no time.

The excellent start only continues through the following Where Are My Animals, the track alternative rock with a classic rock nature and equally as manipulative as its predecessor. Duty’s rumbling rhythms drive song and reactions as guitar and bass incite and encourage further participation. Glasgow’s vocals again impress and incite involvement, the track captivatingly galvanic rock ’n’ roll.

If I Could Save You and Its Hard Enough So Why Do You Wanna Be Alone Tonight quickly shows that The Alive can also write tracks with calmer control and thicker emotion. Another easy to devour offering, the first of the two certainly has an eager swing to its gait and energy in its heart but reined in with enterprise which does not defuse its inherent catchiness. A slight Sick Puppies scent does it no harm either while the second is an evocative ballad which grew more compelling by the listen if without quite reaching the heights of its earlier companions.

Through the melodic canter of Mad World and the tenacious All The Way To Babylon enjoyment is only concentrated, both tracks the kind of contagion which welcomingly lingers. Even so each is eclipsed by the darker prowl of All My Friends Are Vampires, a hard rock infused proposal with a predacious edge to its emotive declaration.

While next up Lemon Crush could not evoke the same lusty reactions as other songs, it had the body bouncing and ears firmly keen in its lure before Perfect Plastic brought yet another flavour to the release with its grungy holler. Winding around ears with its rich grooves as a dirty lining merges with the flames of keys, the track seductively saunters but all the time intimating a volatility which never escapes but magnetically simmers across the excellent track.

Closing with firstly the blues rock kissed croon of City In The Sky and finally a cover of Aerosmith track Dream On as a bonus, both songs leaving thick satisfaction in their wake, We are Rock n Roll is one of those encounters so easy to spend time with and to give plenty to whilst announcing The Alive as a rather promising proposition on the international rock scene.

We are Rock and Roll is out now via Eternal Sound Records across most major online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/thealiverocks/

Pete RingMaster 25/09/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Primals – All Love Is True Love

The outcome of a collision between the raw essences of crust lined garage punk and pop infused grunge accosted by noise baiting metal, All Love Is True Love is the fierce new album from LA based rockers The Primals. Though it bears hungry ferocity it is equally as infectious and catchy as it is invasive; it all making for one of the year’s most irresistible debuts.

The Primals is a trio made up of Darkest Hour vocalist/guitarist John Henry, former Dead To Fall member in bassist Chad Fjerstad, and drummer Andrew Black who previously was part of The Explosion, and Title Tracks. Exploits within those outfits has meant anticipation once The Primals’ first release was announced has been keen among a great many and we can say that though there have been a fair few introductions this year which have simply ignited attention and excitement with plaudits in close quarter, All Love Is True Love is ahead of most of the field.

Produced by John Reis (Rocket From The Crypt, Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes), All Love Is True Love immediately descends on ears with Hello Cruel World. Instantly a guitar gnaws on the senses, in turn triggering a caustic wave of noise as contagious as it is a visceral trespass. Even in its carnal insurgence there is an instant catchiness of pop sensibility which surges through the confrontation, vocals riding that temptation with a melodic snarl. Similarly soliciting is the predacious quality the band’s sound carries, one which permeates the whole album to compelling effect.

It is an outstanding rousing start as potently backed by the relatively gentler antics of Dead Predators. A web of noise fuelled clamour, earthy bass led swing, and sonic enterprise, the track quickly beguiles and tempts hips and imagination into an animated collusion before Another World To Call Your Own launches its own untamed will upon the listener. Across the three tracks alone there is no escaping a strong whiff of bands such as Nirvana and The Pixies, a breeze teasing throughout the release yet already there is a distinct character and presence which is all Primals as epitomised by their latest single which is next up.

Pity City saunters in on a rhythmic swing; flames of guitar crossing its lure as the melodic calm of vocals add infectious charm. The track simply becomes an insistent radiance spilling invitation where contrasting textures unite in imagination; a pop song in its rawest most accessible state before Fortune & Sons shares its punk ‘n’ roll animation with rapacious relish. It too has an inherent infectiousness which borders the viral and an equally belligerent breath which growls discontent as easily as it brews seduction.

Next up The Wayward Impaler is untamed pop rock which similarly melodically tempts as it shares sonic agitation while It’s Personal saunters in straight after with a heavy drawl and shadowed intentions before unveiling its own pop natured virulence within those persistent trespasses. Both tracks swiftly get under the skin, the latter especially laying a mighty hand on best track honours before Together Whatever has its say with its Sonics-esque, old school punk holler. Rhythms stomp and guitars abrase as the track incited body and the passion, another slice of quick addiction with a potent claim on the top dog title.

The album concludes with firstly the slow crawl of Save Me, Baby; a plaintively melancholic croon with rhythmic tempestuousness and lively pop rock animation, and through the rousing grunge punk ferocity of I’m Coming Home. The final track is pure threat and seduction, each in equal measure invading the senses in a “we are united, love you all and fuck the world” like declaration.

It is a stirring and tremendous finale to an album which has all the elements and deeds to re-invigorate already hungry or alternatively any stale appetites for rock music. It is a gem, simple as.

All Love Is True Love is out now via Southern Lord and available @ https://theprimalssl.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/ThePrimalsLA

Pete RingMaster 24/09/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Watch Rome Burn – Vox Heretic

Seattle has been one of the most refreshing conveyor belts of musical pleasures over the decades and shows no signs of slowing down as from its dirtiest grunge punk depths it brings us the inimitable sound of Watch Rome Burn. The two brother outfit has just uncaged their new album and it has swiftly become something we for one cannot get enough of.

Last year the pair of guitarist/vocalist Drew and drummer Jestyn Cummings lured eager plaudits with Now on VHS, an attention grabbing encounter laying the seeds for the rapacious roar of its successor Vox Heretic. The new release escalates the dirty crust-esque punk aspect of its predecessor but equally embroils itself in the grunge and alternative rock side of that first proposition but drawing on the rawest breath and predacious intent of both to leave the former laying in its dust.

Vox Heretic immediately had ears and imagination hooked as a sonic drawl brought opener Consumed into view. Its broiled shimmer in turn triggered a rhythmic prowl aligned to an equally skulking vocal prowess, all the time that sonic dissonance pulsating. Never particularly deviating from its initial intent but rich in intimation, the track is superb; pure creative devilry setting up the promise and adventure of things to come.

The following Thief is soon into its carnal swing, its unapologetically raw air and flesh instantly magnetic and bawling away with proto punk causticity. As with the first, there is an inherent catchiness which had the body bouncing even when tempered by the song’s feral garage rock belligerence. Abrasive and bracing, the track just hit the spot as too unerringly did next up Motley. Like a mix of a proto punk Queens Of the Stone Age meets the hungry rock ‘n’ roll of The Sea, the song is another predatory trespass which simply aroused body and spirit.

On The March flares up with an industrial hue next but is soon into a rock ‘n’ roll stride with Jestyn’s rhythms manipulating song and listener as Drew further incites both with his electric intrusion and vocal dexterity. Imagine a punk ‘n’ roll Therapy? and you get a whiff of the outstanding stomp.

The duo showed they can glow with undiluted melodic enterprise too, though Crystallized straight after equally has a fried haze to its coruscating glow while with Be What You Want they caused inescapable addiction. Its caped crusader tinted swing instantly got under the skin, vocal enticement adding to the potency as similarly the wired almost uptight grooves which escape the strings of Drew’s guitar.

The release is brought to a delicious close by firstly War Blues, a track surely bred from illicit blues stills hidden in the shadows of the band’s home city. Its melodic liquor is intoxicating punk blues soaked in the contagion which flavours every track within Vox Heretic; a blend which had the body worked like a puppet before things are finally concluded by the melodic seduction of Up Here. Uncluttered but as rich in flavour as you would wish, the song is a captivating sundown on the album, a final surf kissed glow and sigh which only lures ears right back into the release.

Vox Heretic is Watch Rome Burn knocking on major attention, a door which surely cannot stay closed much longer against the indisputable roar and often corrosive but ever alluring raw charm of their sound.

Vox Heretic is out now and available @ https://watchromeburn.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/jointheburnlegion/

 Pete RingMaster 22/09/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ace Mafia – Self Titled EP

Without doubt for The RR one of the year’s surprises and exciting events has been the return of UK rockers Ace Mafia from a six year hiatus. Unexpected, it instantly raised anticipation, eager questions, and intrigue now fed by the release of a new self-titled EP. Offering up four slices of the band’s rousing hard/melodic rock, the release took us back to the days when we first discovered the London hailing band as if they had never been away.

Emerging in 2007, the beginnings of Ace Mafia were pretty much sown when Argentinian born bassist Geos Letona relocated to the UK and subsequently met guitarist Richie Faulkner. Writing and recording demos together, the pair in time enlisted drummer/producer Bruno Agra and vocalist/rhythm guitarist Kay Ghibli. With the line-up in place, Ace Mafia was officially uncaged and soon luring praise and attention with 2009 debut album Vicious Circle. Faulkner was already a well sought after guitarist and due to touring commitments with Lauren Harris stepped back leading to the band bringing in Ben Lundy. Faulkner’s eventual return brought the band to a quintet with the emigration the following year of Agra seeing drummer Jerry Sadowski added to the line-up. Even with their reputation ever growing though, the band eventually went on a temporary hiatus after Faulkner was recruited by Judas Priest.

Now Ace Mafia is back, a quartet of Letona, Lundy, Ghibli, and Sadowski though the new EP also features the craft and invention of Faulkner on lead and rhythm guitar. It took mere seconds to find the band rocking as boldly and enterprisingly as ever, the EP opening up with new single Snakes ‘nʼ Ladders. Its first breath unleashes a trespass of predacious riffs and intrusively imposing rhythms yet with a contagiousness which is only escalated by the distinctive tones of Ghibli. A great Stone Temple Pilots hue adds to the track’s instinctive and flavoursome hard rock nature, it’s harrying of ears and appetite very easy to swiftly succumb to with guitar imagination icing on the captivating and arousing proposition.

With its tracks seemingly written before the band went away it is maybe no surprise that the EP feels like a continuation of previous releases but as the opener and the following Face To Face alone show there is also a distinct fresh adventure revealed. The second track opens with the gentle but earnest invitation of keys, melancholy lining their charm before its main body rises up. Settling into its weighty but controlled saunter, the song smoulders with emotive and physical intensity; its heat erupting with fiery flames and guitar spun tendrils as emotional intimacy springs its own captivation.

The instantly infectious Stop Loss is a mix of the predatory and contagious, the spring in its grooves and riffs tempered by the formidable swipe of Sadowski’s beats and the brooding bassline of Letona. Grungy in its hard rock exploits, animated in its compelling exploits, the track quickly had ears hooked especially when Faulkner’s web of temptation caught light.

Closing track Breathlessness also has an ominous prowl to its magnetic seduction, instinctively tempting grooves and melodic enterprise matched by vocal and rhythmic prowess. A bouncing body and eager participation was the quick outcome to its eager suggestiveness, the song rivalling the EP’s other book end for best track honours.

Not so much more of the same but certainly more of what Ace Mafia does best their new EP is a welcome joy as is their return. There are also hints of new adventures to come which are just as compelling but just having the band back roaring is one of the year’s major pluses.

The Ace Mafia EP is out September 15th.

https://www.acemafiarock.com/   https://www.facebook.com/acemafiarock   https://twitter.com/AceMafiaBand

Pete RingMaster 14/09/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hot Sauce Pony – Burnt Ends

With the debut album from Hot Sauce Pony prowling anticipation, the UK outfit unleash its first lure in the shape of the carnally seductive Burnt Ends. The track is a ravenous teaser of that forthcoming self-titled offering, a song which has calm, beauty, and ruin colluding for a frustratingly but imperiously short one minute plus.

Formed in 201, the London band consists of vocalist Caroline Gilchrist, guitarist Ross Davies, bassist Stephen Gilchrist, and drummer Anna Dodridge. Their sound is a unique fusion of noise and punk rock with grunge, post punk, and hardcore hues. They call it Avant Hard; we call it in regards to the new single feral sensuality. The track and the upcoming Steve Albini (Pixies, Nirvana, PJ Harvey) album follow a first single in Fenced In which aroused rich attention and intrigue. Burnt Ends more than builds on its ear grabbing success and thick potency with a moment where extremes unite to devour the senses with beauty and ruin.

From its first breath Burnt Ends had us licking lips, the charred growl of the bass a bestial temptation matched by the just as roasted snarl of the guitar. Swiftly the melodic siren tempting of Caroline’s vocals drew ears deeper into the cremated offering, the slow manipulative swing of Anna’s beats just as irresistible. Like a fusion of Horse Party, Morass Of Molasses, and Mudhoney with a whiff of Young Marble Giants yet firmly individual, the track just got under the skin and into the psyche as hips continued to sway to its primal groove.

Such the pleasure, it really does frustrate when the track stops suddenly and without warning barely a clutch of seconds past its first minute. It leaves nagging, teasing fingers though as its elements continued to echo in thoughts long after departure.

Leave them wanting more is the key to success some say, and without doubt the hunger for the band’s eponymous debut album is on the point of rabidity thanks to Burnt Ends.

Burnt Ends is released June 22nd via Brixton Hillbilly. The band also has first single Fenced In available as a free download  @ https://soundcloud.com/brixton-hillbilly/fenced-in-by-hot-sauce-pony

Upcoming Hot Sauce Pony live dates:

23rd June Club 85, HITCHIN

30th June Betsy Trotswood, LONDON

16th August – HY-Brazil, BRISTOL

https://www.facebook.com/hotsaucepony/

Pete RingMaster 20/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Head On – Ubik

photo by Aggeliki Mourtzouchou

Cold and calculating yet atmospherically immersive and at times invitingly suffocating, the debut album from Greek outfit Head On is a sonic trespass of the senses which simply commands attention. It is an invasive confusion of noise skilfully and deliberately woven to entangle and distract, disturb and invade; one which ignited the imagination at virtually every turn.

Head On are a quartet from Athens which creates a post punk bred sound infested with the raw snarls of grunge and heavy expansive climates of post rock. In fact it is a sound which embraces the causticity and dark depths of many flavours for its physical and emotional dissonance. Ubik is the band’s first album; an introduction quite easy to see taking the band’s presence far beyond their local borders.

Produced by the band with Iraklis Vlachakis, Ubik swiftly takes hold of close attention with opener Entropy. The instrumental is a rousing invitation into the release immediately revealing the aural palette the band creates from; its drifting waves of post rock nurtured sound lapping a post punk hued landscape. In no time the imagination was keenly involved and even more so as the track slips into the nagging prowess of next up Σήψη (Decay). Riffs and dark grooves collude in its similar swells of sound, casting hooks for ears and appetite to be ensnared by as vocals prowl the murky intimation for something akin to a blend of Joy Division and Leitmotiv and quite addictive by its close.

Lexicon follows with its own arsenal of compelling textures and trespasses. As vocals again almost stalk proceedings, the bass uncages a delicious dark nagging on ears around which guitars spin a rapacious web of grooved bait. It is highly magnetic and even more so when the track twists into grunge lined punk rock, the captivation only more tempting in its second cycle before Dylarama springs its own punk infused challenge on ears and an already greedy appetite. The track is a lime pit of varied rock ‘n’ roll; scorching and eating away at the senses with its sonic tides and attitude, a PiL like glaze liquor in its tart toxicity.

The stark soundscape of Imipolex G is next, a track with a hint of Alien Sex Fiend to its dissonance and Sex Gang Children to its emotive character. Harsh and corrosive yet with a melancholic elegance which boldly simmers up at certain moments, the song grips ears with ease if not quite to the intensity of successor Life Seems Johnny Rotten. It’s Bauhaus seeded groove and spirals of guitar swiftly enthral, the subsequent vocal drone and melody infested post punk stroll elevating the song’s thick magnetism. A kaleidoscope of sounds and hues, the song is glorious expanding its lure as its tight senses encroaching tunnels of noise erupt into expansive sonic scenery.

Across the great irritant that is No Harm, a track which niggles and nags the senses into easy submission, and the rich rock ‘n’ roll of Broom of the System the album just accentuates its potency and variety in sound. Both embrace a mix of flavours with the second especially making a bold side step from post punk instincts with its heavy and classic rock spiced escapade though it still retains the steely repetitious instincts of that core genre in its depths.

Closing out the album is Scum Manifesto, a sonic scalding which boils from imposing calm into an acrimonious flood of noise and intent. It entices until it is ready to unleash its venom, which it does like pouring boiling oil on the senses. It is masterful end to an album which increasingly impressed play by play.

If not with Ubik, though the album has everything needed to lure rich praise, Head On is facing the prospect of real attention within the European rock scene. How their sound will evolve is intriguing and already keenly anticipated here but more of the striking same next time around will do very nicely too.

Ubik is available now digitally and on 12” vinyl @ https://headongreece.bandcamp.com/album/ubik

Upcoming UK tour dates.

Jun 28 The Pig and Fiddle, Bath

Jun 29 New Cross Inn, New Cross

Jun 30 The Pipeline, Brighton

Jul 01 The Old England, Bristol

https://www.facebook.com/Head0n/

Pete RingMaster 06/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright