Puppet Kings – The Mountain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Mountain is out now.

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

Pete RingMaster 06/03/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Bang Bang Firecracker – Welcome To The Slaughterhouse

With a title like Welcome To The Slaughterhouse we were bound to be naturally drawn to the debut album from UK metallers Bang Bang Firecracker, being a sucker from blood promising drama, and it was an instinct quickly rewarded by a collection of tracks which grabbed ears and attention with ease.

Bang Bang Firecracker is the solo project of guitarist/vocalist Kieron “K” Berry, a musician who previously has added to the successes of bands like Razorwire, Pain Control, Extreme O.D, and Enemo-J. On leaving the latter Berry took time to recharge, though it proved a brief break once he answered an advert for a ‘Musician Wanted’, which led him to support one of his guitar heroes in Chris Holmes (W.A.S.P.). This inspired Berry to write and make music again, recruiting old friends in Marcus Wrench and Russ Gwynne to provide bass and drums respectively to a sound nurtured in the rich essences of metal, classic and modern rock. With Charlie Cooper now behind the swinging sticks, Welcome To The Slaughterhouse is the first encounter with Bang Bang Firecracker and provides all the reasons and ingredients to find an appetite for the prowess and potential of the band.

The album’s opening title track is like a contemplative dawn, the lone intimation of piano provided by guest Shaun Lowe an evocative coaxing leading to the fiery eruption of metal tenacity. Berry hollers as his guitar casts a web of rapacious riffs and sonic dexterity, all the while rhythms giving the blaze a darkly predacious and compelling imposition. With inspirations ranging from AC/DC and Ozzy Osbourne through to Slayer and Guns N’ Roses, there is openly something familiar to Berry’s sound across the album but it swiftly shows itself a fresh and individual incitement.

The great start is followed by The Non Believers, a song instantly prowling the senses with Wrench’s bass a great growling scowl within its barbarous air. It is a disposition just as potent in Berry’s vocals and makes for a great contrast to the melodic prowess of his guitar, a craft and agility which gets the following All Thriller No Filler off to a captivating start. Again the bass provides a great dark alter-ego to the melodic caresses and flames of the excellent track though it too has an instinctive coaxing rather than irritability to its presence; a mix which continues across the evolving and gripping lure of one of the album’s major highlights.

Devil Dolls is pure drama from its first breath, the initial swipes of Cooper’s beats addictive corruption matched by another delicious bass grumble. Soon bound in the sonic and acidic melodic strands of Berry’s guitar, the song echoes the success of its predecessor in its own individual manner before Immortalized swaggers in with its voracious classic meets groove meets thrash metal tinted holler. It is that fusion of flavours which gives the band’s such its familiar yet freshly adventurous lure and the song its rousing impact.

Through the rapacious bordering on grievous but keenly contagious stroll of Witch Proof and the even more carnivorous antics of Tasting Hatred, the album continued to hold its grip on ears. Both tracks for all their feral instincts equally cast a manipulative melodic enterprise and inescapable infectiousness, traits just as potent within next up Hellbent For Pleasure; a track with Gwynne providing drums, unapologetically embracing classic hues from the styles it weaves its confrontation from.

Ending on a gang baiting call, Welcome To The Slaughterhouse hit the spot with ease. Originality is maybe a breath more than a wind at times but that earlier mentioned freshness fuels every current and an appetite soon found for the Bang Bang Firecracker uproar.

Welcome To The Slaughterhouse is out February 22nd.

https://www.facebook.com/Kieron.Berry.Guitar/

Pete RingMaster 22/02/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Introducing Sonic Kharma

This past September Swedish rock band Sonic Kharma unveiled their debut album Too Much is Not Enough. Swiftly finding an eager reception at home, it and the band with the ever potent PR/ radio pluggers Pluggin’Baby alongside are beginning to stir just as keen attention with it in the UK. They have now just pushed two tracks forward as a teaser to that release and themselves upon British ears, songs which are already stirring up strong radio play and rich words.

Hailing from the northern town of Umeå, Sonic Kharma was formed in 2013. Their sound is built on the creative union and songwriting of guitarist Michael Blomqvist and vocalist Henrik Brännlund, though as these two tracks alone prove; every member of the band is a vital and rich part of the mix. Inspirations to their melodic rock bred sound range from bands such as Nomads, Guns N’ Roses, and AC/DC to Foo Fighters, Millencollin, and Sator. There sound is not maybe the most unique proposition yet there is real freshness and imagination to it which makes ears pay closer attention. There is also a finely crafted edge to the songs which suggests a band taking time to take things to their creative limits, a suggestion backed by the fact that the band recorded Too Much is Not Enough twice, not content with the first recordings.

New Day is an instant temptation in ears, its opening melody a beckoning finger into the waiting alternative rock meets grunge like stroll. The guitars of Jonas Edvardsson and Blomqvist entangle the imagination in melodic tendrils and encouraging riffs whilst the swinging beats of PerOlof Tellegård rousingly align with the alluring groan of Kevin Valberg’s bass. Embraced by Brännlund’s strong and emotive tones, it is a superbly infectious proposal with muscle in its movement and seduction in its voice with the veining of nagging melodies and sharp hooks only adding to that attraction and success.

Keep Calm and Carry On has more of a pop punk hue to its rock ‘n’ roll and certainly its opening canter has an Offspring feel to it. The individual traits of Sonic Karma soon take over though as the song hits its stride, again a natural infectiousness flowing through its lively twists and contagious chorus. Spinning its own brand of ear pleasing melodies and imagination snagging hooks, the song backs up its outstanding companion with its own thickly alluring enterprise headed by the pulsating bait of Valberg’s bass.

Both tracks leave pleasure ripe as they do their job of introducing their creators to a new audience; a sonic announcement which does not so much invite further exploration of Sonic Karma as command it.

Find out more about Sonic Karma and their album Too Much is Not Enough @ https://www.facebook.com/sonickharma/ & https://twitter.com/SonicKharma

Pete RingMaster 02/12/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Sourheads – Care Plan For The Soul

Since forming in the Spring of 2016, UK rockers The Sourheads has drawn increasing attention and support through their live presence, singles, and most of all their dirty, multi-flavoured rock ‘n’ roll. Now the band has added another accelerant to their emergence with the release of debut album Care Plan For The Soul. Offering nine slices of rowdy but skilfully woven incitement embracing classic and fresh rock diversity, the release thrusts the listener into a grubby cellar of salacious intent and irreverent sound; a temptation the body gets the urge to dance to and appetite the need to increasingly devour.

Hailing from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, The Sourheads embrace an array of inspirations in their sound ranging from Deep Purple, Kasabian and The Doors to Kyuss and Clutch. It is a web of punk and garage to psych and classic rock which is just as grungy as it is melodically enticing and within Care Plan For The Soul an incitement which makes a potent first impression but really grows in persuasion listen by listen. Mastered by Pete Maher (The Rolling Stones, Depeche Mode, U2), the album swiftly grabs ears and appetite with opener Demon. Straight away it is enticingly grumbling in ears, bass and riffs an irritable lure soon bound in sonic tendrils as familiar and new endeavours collude in the blossoming growl capped by the slightly gnarly tones of Jake Coxon. The bass of Ben Taylor continues to be a belligerent presence in the caustic captivation, guitarist Mik Crone and drummer Chris Lambert adding their bold touches to the ever evolving roar maybe best described as Turbonegro meets The Senton Bombs meets Guns n’ Roses.

It is a great start to proceedings which Morally High continues with its spicily grooved stroll. Carrying similar essences and flavours to its predecessor in its own individual way, the track is equally as infectious and magnetic with again classic and modern textures rubbing excitedly again each other within its controlled yet salacious swing. As the music, Coxon has a snarl to his croon, attitude dripping from every syllable and note before My Rock And Roll steps up to coax bad behaviour with its blues skinned devilry entangled in more of the great guitar enterprise which veins the whole of Care Plan For The Soul.

Power Of Addiction shares some of that psychedelic influence next; keys and melodies a sultry tempting while Rag And Bone Man has a great scruffy feel and character to its predacious gait and rhythmically rousing proposal. The song alone sums up the variety of flavours within The Sourheads sound, a host of rock bred essences embroiled in its inescapable command of body and imagination. It all adds up to one of the biggest highlights of the release, one quickly matched by the voracious punk ‘n’ roll of Don’t Get Caught (I Am The Lotus). Like The Stooges and Eddie and The Hot Rods caught in the act by The Vibrators as AC/DC hold the camera, the track is superb, taking best song honours with its manipulative temptations and craft.

Both Secret Cigarette and Warbird take a firm grip of release and listener next, the first an invasive but seductive fire of blues and classic grooves with punk bred kindling while its successor merges sullied rock ‘n’ roll with some of the most addictive melodic hooks and enterprise within the album for another pinnacle. As with many songs, it openly draws on some classic punk hooks and teases but equally shares psych rock imagination for the album’s most imaginative moment to stand alongside its best.

Care Plan For The Soul concludes with Mad Dog, a song rising from an initial Queen/Skid Row like invitation into an invasive and volatile ballad which becomes more captivating by the minute and listen, much as the album itself.  Indeed just as many will take to the release within seconds many others will need time to explore and discover its qualities; the big rewards for the attention we can vouch for as too the finding of a potential of even greater fun and adventure ahead with the Sourheads.

Care Plan For The Soul is available now through Oak Island Records on CD, Vinyl and Digitally.

https://www.thesourheads.com/    https://www.facebook.com/thesourheads    https://thesourheads2.bandcamp.com/

 Pete RingMaster 23/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Theia – Back In Line

There are few guarantees in music but one thing you can be sure of is having a good time with anything from UK rockers Theia, a theory proven yet again with the band’s new album Back In Line. It is not just another rousing outing with the Burton upon Trent trio though; everything about it is bigger and bolder than anything from the band, and bursting to unleash nothing less than prime meat rock ‘n’ roll.

Since emerging in 2012, Theia has laid a boisterous hand and infectious imagination on hard rock through a rousing live presence and some attention grabbing, pleasure raising releases. The success of their first two potential loaded EPs in 2013, Theia I and II, was clearly eclipsed by the potency and impact of debut album Take The Pill two years later. It was an encounter slamming the band on the national heavy rock map with a bang. Now broader horizons are in their sights with Back In Line, the album simply one of the most virulently infectious and robustly rousing encounters of recent times from a band openly raising their game on songwriting, craft, and anthemic prowess.

With drummer Jake Dalton linking up with band founders in lead vocalist/guitarist Kyle Lamley and bassist/vocalist Paul Edwards in 2016, Theia quickly reveal the new maturity and creative zeal in their music within the album’s first full track which follows the opening atmospheric intro of Keezheekoni. Scenic within a brooding southern air, its suggestive instrumental coaxes ears into the waiting jaws of My Poison. Instantly rhythms slam down their muscular intent as a Billy Talent spiced riff taunts an already keen imagination. The snarling tone of Edwards’ bass is a stirring predator within the growing hard rock blaze of the track, always there adding a threat as Lamley’s guitars lays down fiery melodic flames and vocals lead a just as swiftly imposed catchiness where familiar and fresh hues unite within a resourceful roar.

Next up Whiskey Business is a barroom romp shaped by melodic liquor and jabbing beats as vocals add their own boisterous antics. There is a touch of Extreme to the song especially in its funkier groove woven moments, virulent turns far too easy to get involved with to avoid addiction before the album’s title track prowls with an eager swagger through ears. Riffs and rhythms stalk with a contagious smile to their trespass, Lamley’s melodic vocals just as inviting as the tenacious smoulder of the Black Spiders scented song sears and seduces the senses with increasing dexterity and rigour.

The outstanding Just Go has a calmer air initially, its eighties hued climate still punched through by hungry rhythms before the fire in the song’s belly inflames subsequent melodies, wiry grooves, and the whiff of pop punk which colludes with the song’s hard rock breeding. Carrying another irresistible, incendiary chorus, the track hits the spot with relish while its successor Signed Sealed Cemented brings a similar template of sound before creating its own southern tainted rock ‘n’ roll fuelled proposal.

The swinging exploits of following Paper The House has the body back on its feet, though it never has a moment to sit across Back In Line up to this point to be honest; the track brewing up another instinctively infectious captivation with lithe grooves, throbbing veins, and invention moulded twists with inescapable temptation. The song is superb, a dirty little temptress no man, woman, or hound could resist.

The melodic croon of Sparkplug comes next, its acoustic stroking of the senses the canvas for Lamley’s impressing vocals and the tease of drama sharing strings. Sharing the band’s inspirations in artists such as Guns N’ Roses and Buckcherry, the track easily captures the imagination, only blossoming into greater persuasion with every passing minute before the acoustic balladry of Home hugs ears. Though missing the richer inventive sparks of its predecessor, the song simply enthrals, growing more essential with every listen.

Sharing a more intensive and stormier evolution of the climate in the album’s intro, Afterglow emotionally and in tone murmurs and groans before hitting its irritable rock ‘n’ roll stride where again sinewy grooves, rapacious riffs, and lead loaded rhythms demand attention; all coming with another tide of infectiousness which, as vocals anthemically entice, tempers their volatility superbly.

It is a fine end to a release impossible to ignore, get out of the head, and to find any restraint in heartily enthusing about. It is fair to say that rock ‘n roll is safe in the hands of bands like Theia and relishing the adventure certainly Back In Line offers.

Back In Line is out now through WDFD Records.

Upcoming shows:

15th July – Uttoxeter Rocks, Uttoxeter

21st July – Collop Gate Farm, Rochdale

22nd July – BurtonFest, Burton Upon Trent (afternoon)

22nd July – Sempiternal Warm-up, Cannock (evening)

26th August – Rockwich Unplugged, Northwich

27th August – Giff-fest, Wolverhampton

2nd September – B2, Norwich

3rd September – The Black Heart, London

8th September – The Hut, Corby

9th September – The Station, Cannock

http://theiauk.com/    https://www.facebook.com/THEIAofficial/    https://twitter.com/theia_uk/

Pete RingMaster 05/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

One Last Shot – Even Cowboys Have Sundays

Pretty much three years after impressing with their debut EP, French rockers One Last Shot have unleashed their first album to once again have ears and plaudits aroused by their dirt encrusted sound. Even Cowboys Have Sundays is a roar of thrash nurtured ferocity and sonic southern rock liquor but an incitement as punk as it is metal as it is unbridled rock ‘n’ roll.

With their musical instincts and passions raised on nineties thrash metal, the Paris quintet soon stirred local support after emerging with a sound soon drawing comparisons to the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Motörhead, and Guns N’ Roses. It was the First Gear EP in 2014 which sparked broader attention at home and further afield; its bold character and bruising sound as contagious as it was aggressive. Even Cowboys Have Sundays follows in the same vein; bringing a host of flavours, familiar yet forcibly fresh, in a strain of rock ‘n’ roll self-termed as dust metal. Equally though, the album reveals a richer vein of individualism in sound and imaginative songwriting as maturity and adventure collude in a clutch of tracks which feel like old friends in some ways but a voracious new adventure in many more aspects.

Opening with The Gambler, One Last Shot swiftly has appetite and imagination caught, its opening sultry lure of guitar an intoxication soon swallowed by a wall of wiry riffs and robust rhythms. Yet there is a control to the assault which seamlessly embraces more of a prowling than demanding gait as vocals add their own raw but captivating texture to the mix. An unpredictable nature to its overall attack is just as appetising though the song never releases its full aggressive venom, preferring to seduce with melodic and sonic enterprise with its own persuasive toxicity.

One Last Shot – Even Cowboys Have Sundays

A great start is quickly matched and pushed on by One Night Stand, a blaze of classic rock and punk ‘n’ roll with a touch of UK band The Senton Bombs to its irritable contagion. As with its predecessor, and indeed most tracks, involving the listener in body and voice is swift; the encounter another lustfully catchy proposal with a slew of rapacious hooks and swinging energy across its dirty holler before Embrace The Fire draws on old school rock ‘n’ roll for its particular rousing romp. Like a blend of Volbeat and Grumpynators, the song harasses and seduces the instincts to beat one’s rock ‘n’ roll chest; the senses entangled in the melodic rapacity of the guitars as bass and drums drive things with matching zeal. The track is superb, rock from the fifties through to modern day seemingly bullied into one compelling stomp.

The variety of sound and ideation within the album is already apparent by the fourth song and continued as Thou Shall Be Drunk creates a proposition part melodic metal and part grunge punk, all with a nineties toning while Join The Club offers a merger of punk metal and sinuous heavy rock. Both songs are twisted and moulded into seriously enticing temptations with the first especially anthemic and irresistible.

The excellent Hell Mariachi (A Mexican Interlude) takes the imagination into the heart of the desert heat, the two sides of The Bronx mixed with East Coast trash for another mouth-watering and seriously compelling exploit within Even Cowboys Have Sundays; that new maturity and bold imagination within One Last Shot united in an eager charge.

That thrash breeding within the band is in full voracity within Live Fast And Die Young and indeed It’s All About Speed straight after. The first of the two is a chug fest of nagging riffs bound in lustful grooves as vocals, single and mob handed, arouse the spirit even further with an anthemic roar as lustful and unapologetic as the sounds around them. With the guitars weaving a glorious web of melodic dexterity, the song simply rocks before its successor uncages its grubby rock ‘n’ roll to continue the manipulation of the listener’s body and spirit; the track a potent persuasion  even if missing some of the vital and unique sparks of earlier tracks.

Closing up with the fiery fusion of predatory metal and imposing heavy rock of We Don’t Call 911 and lastly the groove entangled bellow of I Feel Alright, the song a tenacious web of resourceful and eventful enterprise, Even Cowboys Have Sundays leaves the spirit alive and just a little over excited. The album is a charge of commanding adventure built with recognisable and original textures and bound in a fresh and striking imagination. Their First Gear EP, stirred up a form appetite for their sound, now the album has unlocked a lust which will surely infest many others and deservedly install One Last Shot as someone to heartily recommend to all.

Even Cowboys Have Sundays is out now via JFF Records and available @ https://onelastshotofficial.bandcamp.com/album/even-cowboys-have-sundays

http://olsband.com/    https://www.facebook.com/onelastshotofficial    https://twitter.com/OLSBANDOFFICIAL

Pete RingMaster 20/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Fragile Things – Broken Sun

fragile-things-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

Formed last year, British rockers Fragile Things have already began luring close attention and are intent on making 2017 a big year with a full UK tour for starters. They kick it off before that though with a reboot of their debut EP Broken Sun; four tracks of heavy rock bred in the inspirations of bands such as Alice In Chains, Guns ‘N’ Roses, Black Stone Cherry, Velvet Revolver, Audioslave, and Pearl Jam.  It presents a sound as familiar as it is refreshing; a proposition proud in its influences but showing signs and potential of its own individual character.

fragile-things-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewFeaturing former members of Heaven’s Basement and Endless Mile, Milton Keynes based Fragile Things have recently completed a host of dates alongside the excellent Slam Cartel and are now, as suggested, concentrating on breaking national exposure starting with Broken Sun, a proposal getting straight down to action with its opener Enemy Is I. With acidic riffs and robust rhythms, the song bounds in from a distance with vocalist Richie Hevanz leading the charge, his tones impressive and expressive. Once in full view, it settles into a feisty stroll with tangy grooves from Mark Hanlon lighting up crunchy beats and steely riffs, all subsequently entwined in fiery melodies. Group vocals are the rousing icing on the infectious enticement, the track not particularly surprising but richly satisfying to start things off.

Its striking traits are just as potent within the following Open Cage; its body heavier and darker though as the grumbling bass of Steve Lathwell colludes with the hefty swiping beats of Hugo Bowman. With a snarl in its heart and touch, the song swiftly has body and spirit involved; its anthemic prowess inescapable as it brings both to the boil ready for the EP’s title track. Showing another slight shift in the style and design of the band’s sound, the track is a web of hooks and mouth-watering grooves around less forceful but commanding rhythms; vocals again striking a chord in word and touch. As those around it, those earlier mentioned influences are easy to pick out but again flavouring adding to the potency of song and release.

Closing with So Cold, a track which takes longer to persuade as fully as its companions but only ever satisfies, the Broken Sun EP is a strong and highly enjoyable introduction to Fragile Things.  It is easy to hear why the foursome is persistently grabbing new fans and spotlights and if they can build on this strong start that broader recognition should be a given.

Broken Sun is out now.

https://www.fragilethingsofficial.com/     https://www.facebook.com/fragilethingsofficial/

https://twitter.com/fragilethings_

Pete RingMaster 22/02/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright