Monkey Ranch – Alone

MR_RingMasterReview

Nestling in what certainly appears to be a potent time in the Italian rock/metal scene right now is Pistoia hailing outfit Monkey Ranch. Fuelled by a multi-flavoured alternative rock styled sound, the band’s debut album Alone is an ear pleasing introduction to a band ready to nudge attention beyond their homeland’s borders.

Monkey Ranch was formed in 2012 by vocalist/guitarist Iacopo Ferrari, bassist Jacopo Geri, and drummer Alessio Petrucci with its current line-up of guitarist Francesco Ceccarelli and drummer Iacopo Sichi alongside Ferrari and Geri in place during the following year. Their sound is a grunge/hard rock based proposal rich in blues nurtured textures and lyrical incitement. It is a captivating mix not always overly unique within Alone but persistently providing plenty to find strong enjoyment in.

The album opens up with The Butcher, grooves instantly winding themselves around ears grabbing attention as they lay the ground for the potent tones of Ferrari. From there the song swiftly reveals the spice in the band’s sound, blues nurtured grooves and plaintive melodies colluding with bold, aggression laced rhythms and a raw grunge bred character. It is a fiery mix with few surprises but much to grab and satisfy ears with.

art_RingMasterReviewWithout Chains follows with a less forceful nature as warm melodies coax attention while vocals again make a strong lure, the track’s emotive heart blossoming with every second. Its magnetism is equal to the first song though, a Pearl Jam like essence only adding to its appeal before Danny Boy and Freedom swing and stroll through ears respectively. The first has grouchiness in its blood which compliments the infectiousness in its gait and fire in its grooves while its successor is a captivating blend of warm harmonies and melodic enterprise also driven by an instinctive catchiness which has hips and imagination swiftly and eagerly involved.

Recent single Renegade steps forward next, a country rock scented twang slipping into melodic endeavour to nicely mix with a feistier grunge growl as its natural swagger easily tempts. It is an instinctively welcomed persuasion matched in its own individual way by Unhappy Stories. The song is a smouldering roar which makes it very easy to find a keen appetite for. With familiarity on its side to add to its stylish presence, the song nurtures a tenacious snarl in bass and riffs; a grouchy edge erupting throughout the encounter but never defusing its emotive angst and melodic seduction.

Picture of You steals best track honours straight after, its punk lined rock ‘n’ roll a thumping arousal of ears and appetite with an irritably delicious bassline which alones demands a lusty reaction. As great as other songs are, it stands for us head and shoulders above all though the country spiced stroll of Dance of the Witch is no light weight in sealing eager attention next, or indeed Remember Me after that with its hard and blues rock flames around punchy rhythms.

The album comes to a potent close with This One, an initially atmospheric lure all the time breeding a tapestry of blues rock which slowly but surely catches flame winy melody by moody rhythm and vocal expression. At over ten minutes, the song does outlast personal preference but there is no escaping the craft and imagination in its depths ensuring Alone ends strongly.

Monkey Ranch will be making their presence known for the first time with a great many through Alone and such its highly enjoyable offering, it is a union destined to be repeated again and again as the band grows from this potent start.

Alone is released February 3rd on Red Cat Records.

https://www.facebook.com/monkeyranch4

Pete RingMaster 31/01/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The unification of diversity: exploring the heart of Divided We Stand

divided-we-stand_RingMasterReview

Since forming in 2011, US rockers Divided We Stand has persistently and increasingly grabbed ears and attention with their creative roar and adrenaline fuelled live presence. Quickly making a potent impact locally, they have continued to spread their heavy, rousing sound nationally while sharing stages with the likes of Hoobastank, Pop Evil, All That Remains, SOiL, Mushroomhead, Nonpoint, Papa Roach, and Three Days Grace along the way. As their latest single draws acclaim and appetites globally, we grabbed some of the band’s time to look at the track, the origins of Divided We Stand, what makes them, tick and much more….

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to its beginnings?

Formed in December 2010, the Knoxville, TN based hard rock band Divided We Stand is a modern heavy rock band that combines haunting melodies, infectious grooves, tightly synched guitar riffs and clean, melodic vocals to create a crowd pleasing experience. Its line-up consists of Mike Russell (Drums), Randy Krouse (Bass), Jake Wilson (Guitars), Phil Zimny (Guitars/Vocals), and Joe Turner (Lead Vocals)

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

We all have been in past bands with very different sounds. It makes it harder to write because of all the different viewpoints but we have very good songs to show for it. Randy was in a few really heavy metal bands prior to this. Phil and Mike started off playing for their churches and then found other projects later on as their talents grew. Joe started busking while he was in the military and then found some other artists and bands to perform with. Jake has played in various projects as well. We all grew up around music and it’s our life no matter what direction it takes us.

Is there a specific meaning behind the band name?

We have such different views and ideals. While we were in the first phases of our band we had so many different ideas of what direction to go in. Someone said don’t be so divided and it dawned on us “Divided We Stand”.

dws_RingMasterReviewWas there a particular idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted your sound to offer?

It started out with Mike Russell and Phil Zimny, they had written some songs together that had a heavy but melodic sound. After looking for musicians to fill in the roster they added Randy after a random try out. They liked his heavy edge and his unique double slap bass style. Joe Tuner was just hanging out with the band one night and asked to play a song for us. To our surprise he had a golden voice. We had a few rhythm guitar players leave to pursue other ventures.  Jake Wilson had played in some of the bands we had shows with; his stage presence and clean guitar playing caught our attention and we knew he was a perfect fit for the role.

Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

We all came into this band with great talent but little knowledge of the music industry. You earn each step with your failures and your successes. It’s hard to go out on the road months on end and come up with five to ten thousand to record, publish, and distribute each year. But we have determination to make a way. Either you do it or you don’t.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

Well Phil and Mike had written a few songs. With the addition of Randy and Joe they quickly morphed into full songs. Some changes happen when you add or subtract a member. We started with second guitar player named Trevor Tucker for our first two EPs Civil Unrest and Deception. When Trevor left the band we added Chris Whitt for our newest single New Era and our sound changed. Some songs sounded better with him and some didn’t work out. Next we added Jake Wilson after Chris left and our sound is changing again. You always need to evolve as a musician.

Have changes been more an organic movement or more the band deliberately trying new things?

For us it was out of necessity. We started out writing, then playing local shows, then touring nationally as well as putting out our EPs and music videos out and it takes up a lot of you time and you have to work a job. Trevor moved on to pursue other ventures because of the hectic schedule. So we got a friend who is really good at guitar to try out. Chris was good and filled the role well and recorded with us and toured but he ended up getting really sick. He wasn’t able to play anymore so we had a few fill in guitar players help us out and went on tour dates for us until we found a replacement. We added Jake Wilson and he has got to play a few shows so far.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music?

We listen to music all day long but when we write we try to focus on where our emotions lead us instead of a specific sound or band. There are a lot of musicians we learn from as we grow as a musician. Some of our favorite bands our Stone Temple Pilots, Avenge Seven Fold, U2, Fear Factory, Dio….this list could go on forever.

Talking of songwriting, is there a particular process to it within the band?

We have tried many approaches to writing material for the band. We put everything under the microscope and only the best ideas pass. Recently we have all been writing and we have tons of ideas so we started recording our ideas and if everyone wants to put a layer on the track they do if not we move on to the next one.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Joe writes most of his own material. If he has trouble we give him our ideas for harmonies, patterns, poetry, or anything really. If he likes it he runs with it, if not he keeps moving forward until he finds something. A lot of times you can start with a basic idea and build on it.

Can you give us some background to your latest release?dws-art_RingMasterReview

We went to Spider Studios in Cleveland, Ohio for our single New Era. Tony Gammalo was our producer for the track. He has worked with artist like Chimera and Machine Gun Kelly. He even did the Freddy vs Jason soundtrack. It took us a few days to record but it takes a while to get the finished product. We shot a music video with Post Retro Productions. Then we released our single and video to I-tunes, Spotify, Fuse and a million other places. We feel the music industry is starting to gravitate towards singles instead of albums. No one buys physical copies anymore. They want the best songs for their playlist digitally so getting on as many sites as possible is key.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

We usually have played our song live a thousand times before we record so it is well rehearsed before we go record. Sometimes your part changes in the studio for certain reasons like the producer wants you to do it a little different or you find a slight mistake.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

We have a high energy performance where we jump and throw our guitars around. Joe has such a great presence as a front man. We put our whole selves into the music and don’t hold back. Before and after we play we love to hang out with the crowd and other bands. We love to travel and perform at such different venues with different sounds and random stages.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

We live really close to Nashville the music city. There is music everywhere but for metal bands it can be a challenge to find a place to play. Times change and you have to adapt to the sound people want here while keeping your musical integrity. The internet is a big tool for success in the music industry. Getting published and distributed through online service is a must. Social media is another tool to get the word out about all your adventures. Share videos and picture as much as possible. You do have to spend a little money to move forward sometimes. Save up or maybe a loan.

Big thanks for sharing time with us guys; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

We just wanna thank The Ringmaster Review for giving us and all the unsigned artists a shot. It is publications like this one that keeps music alive by giving young talent a voice.

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialDividedWeStand   http://www.dividedwestand.ninja/   https://twitter.com/DividedWeStand0

Pete RingMaster 21/01/2017

Uncaging the snarl: exploring the roar of The Fill Ins

the-fill-ins_RingMasterReview

Officially breaking out in 2013 after three years in the building, US rockers The Fill Ins is one of those anthemic rock incitements built on an instinctive creative roar. Their journey has been as lively as their sound as they worked towards the line-up which has drawn potent acclaim through recent singles alone. With an explosive live show which has seen them open for the likes of The Reverend Horton Heat, Koffin Kats, GBH, Total Chaos, Joe Buckyourself, and Wednesday 13, The Fill Ins is a coming force and we had the pleasure of getting to the heart of things with the band, exploring its origins and journey to date, those tenacious singles, and much more….

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

ALEX: For me personally, I always wanted to create the ultimate Rock n Roll band and I feel with each passing year, we get a little closer to that goal as we find band members that also share that same vision. The band today consists of Mikey Black on lead guitar, James “Captain” Nunn on bass, newcomer Adam Patterson on drums, and myself (Alex Stiff) on lead vocal and rhythm guitar. We’ve come a long way in the 5 or so years we’ve been going at it, but in many ways it still feels like “Day 1” with our new sound and image.

Have you been involved in other bands before and if so has that had any impact on what you are doing now?

ALEX: Alongside of The Fill Ins; I also play bass in a punk band called Biggy Stardust And His Wretched Hive. I’ve always grown up with punk and rock music around me, so that is always my main inspiration. Whenever we have to get a new band member (for whatever reason), it will change the flavor of the band a bit and I think that is a good thing. Though I wouldn’t say the things we do outside the band have much influence; we’re a very driven band and have a clear view of who we are and what we are.

ADAM:  I’ve been playing in bands since I was 14 years old but as far as relevant bands go that I’ve played in was a band called HEADSNAP that I played in from 2002-2009, I also play in a band called DEADLOCK with my brother, and I play in another local cover band called The Dead Ins.

JAMES: I had several bands in TN before I moved to Charlotte, and I was always a guitar player. This was my first band that I ever played bass in, and I took what I knew about playing with more than one guitar player and applied it to my bass playing. Since then, I have continued to build my craft as a bass player, and have been recording and performing with another band in Charlotte called No Power No Crown as their bassist when I’m not working with The Fill Ins.

What inspired the band name?

ALEX: The original line-up that started in Roanoke VA consisted of a bunch of different members from bands I had played with up ‘til that time. All of them had been let go by the bands they were a part of and decided we’d start our own band. Someone threw out the comment; “We’re all just a bunch of fill ins, aren’t we?” and it just stuck. Even though (aside from myself) none of those members are in the band today, we still hold true to the “fill in” mentality. We’re a little bit of the black sheep in our town, so we just fill in the missing gaps with our brand of rock-n-roll, and people are starting to pay attention, which is awesome!

tfi3_RingMasterReviewDid the band have a specific idea it what you wanted your sound to offer?

ALEX: The 4 of us that started it in Roanoke just wanted to play music, regardless of what it was. Once Jason (ex-vocalist / guitarist) and I started writing more, it became very clear where our heads were at; stripped down hard rock with some punk and metal flair here and there. Over the years and with the addition of Mikey Black on lead guitar really bringing the songs to the next level, the band has only gotten better the longer we do this. I would say we still hold the same mission statement: knock em’ dead.

We’re also not a political band; we’re not going to tell you who to vote for or how you should live your life, we just want you to enjoy the life you have and have great tunes to go along with it.

Are you driven by that same original spark?

ALEX: I still get all happy and excited when I see new plays on Soundcloud or see that someone we don’t know shares our music video; I don’t think that could ever go away. I still get excited when we finish a band practice and we have the workings of a great new song, get photos back from a shoot; regardless of what it is, it all still makes me happy and excited.

JAMES: The drive and the excitement have only gotten stronger for me, because I think we’re getting better and better, and we’re so comfortable with each other as performers as well.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

ALEX: Early on, songs would eventually have more of a punk edge to it because of my songwriting style; and because the VA line-up never officially recorded any demos, I had all the time in the world (about 2 years) to re-work and tweak those songs to my exact liking before bringing them to a new line-up of the band once I relocated to Charlotte NC. All those songs became the groundwork for our 1st album Hipster Killers (released summer 2014) and they really do have a punk edge to them simply because a good 3/4ths of the album was written before that line-up recorded it. That line-up consisted of Mikey, James and long-time drummer Matt McCoy. Shortly after recording that album, we went hard to work writing the follow-up record 5th Time’s The Charm in which Mikey and James had a lot more songwriting contributions due to the fact we were working with a blank slate. Now with our new singles Saturday Night and Hit The Gas, we are a lot more of a collaborative effort and I love where we are right now.

JAMES: We’ve played together for long enough now so we know what skill set works the best for certain parts of songs. But we’re also not scared to throw some curveballs at rehearsals and find out what comes out of it, because more often than not, that’s what leads to some our best material.

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

ALEX: I think every band wants to do better than their last release; but you have to want it the correct way. If we were to come out and do a complete 180 of what we have done before, it wouldn’t seem genuine and fans can see right through that. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that the longer you play in a band, the better you get at your craft at the same time, so if you use that to your advantage smartly, you’ll start doing “new things” that fit in with what you’ve done before, helping you build your craft even more.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal ideas to creating music?

ALEX: I take things I hear from artists I admire and find ways to apply them to myself and the band; whether that is in songwriting, how to conduct yourself professionally, how to market yourself and the band, etc. I’d like to think that The Fill Ins are a Frankenstein of all things good about rock n roll and punk rock all rolled into one.

JAMES: Going to live shows for me is always inspiring because sometimes I’ll be impressed with a local show, and it’ll just further my desire to make our band the best live group that it can possibly be.

Is there a particular process to the songwriting?

ALEX: Early on, I wrote a good 90% of the finished product you hear on Hipster Killers; but after that, I had the confidence in the band to hand over songwriting credits to the other guys since we had a good clear-cut path of our sound and attack. One of Mikey’s early contributions eventually turned into our first hit, Spit In My Face which I could have not been more proud of.

Today; the songwriting process isn’t too different than it was before. James could come in with part of a riff that could eventually be used for something, Mikey could bring in a semi-complete demo for us to take and refine a bit…Or we could be riffing on something at practice and by the end of the day have the blueprints for a new song. I prefer it when it happens like that; the more organic, the better.

Where do you draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

ALEX: For me, lyrics are the hardest thing for me to write and usually it’s the last thing finalized before hitting the studio (or during recording). It’s easier to write political songs because they just flow, but I almost see that as a cop-out. I’d rather spend months or weeks writing lyrics for something that resonates on a larger platform than spend a few days writing some politically charged message that only a few may get behind. I usually write about what I know; partying, drinking, love, hate, heartbreak, the annoyances of social media, etc.

Would you give us some background to your latest release?tfi4_RingMasterReview

ALEX: Our new singles Hit The Gas and Saturday Night have been a long time coming, making it through setbacks and line-up changes in the process. We started working on new songs shortly after the release of 5th Time’s The Charm in 2015 for a 6 song EP to be released in mid-2016. Going through some old demos we had but never used, I heard this one riff Mikey was playing and I cut just that portion out and sent it to him asking him to refine the riff and see what he can come up with. During that time, James was working on another project with drummer at the time Matt McCoy and our producer for 5th Time’s The Charm (Steve Coleman) and came up with a rough demo cut of Saturday Night. Mikey finished coming up with the groundwork for what would soon be called Hit The Gas and we were off to the races. We started working on a few more new ones and booked studio time in early 2016 to record the 6 songs.

After a few pre-production sessions and some demos, we had to put the band on hold as our drummer’s personal life was eating up his time that would be used to work with the band. After a few months of inactivity and suggested by Matt; we got long-time friend Adam Patterson on drums and abandoned our plans for an EP release this year.

Our main focus with Adam was to make sure he was tight on our old material before trying to write with him so he had a good grasp on our sound and how the song structures work; though I did send him all the demos we had recorded just to make sure he had them and to show we are ready to start writing again. After the 3rd practice, he asked if we wanted to work on any of the new songs we had been writing and suggested we try out Saturday Night. After a few run throughs, we realized this guy picks up on stuff like he had been playing it all his life; so we started working on that and Hit The Gas.

After that, the stars aligned just right and we were able to get both of the songs recorded and released this year just by the skin of our teeth.

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind the single Hit The Gas in particular.

ALEX: Hit The Gas is a rebirth for us. The band kept with a certain look and sound for the first few years in VA and NC, then once the full band was fully reformed in Charlotte NC in 2014, we redesigned our logo and image to reflect the next chapter unfolding. With the release of Hit The Gas in November of this year and the addition of a new drummer, it was clear that The Fill Ins have matured a lot within the last year and with that, it felt that a new look and logo was needed. This logo is the first one to completely break the usual mould /redesigns we’ve had for the last 4 or so years, but so does the music. Hit The Gas really displays each member’s strengths; full of groovy bass lines, heavy drumming, one of the best solos Mikey has written to date and I feel it’s probably my best vocal performance in a long time recorded. The song has a message everyone can rally behind; “Just turn it up, and get it loud! It doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad, just back it up with attitude, and hit the gas, cause it’s going down!”; everyone loves to have a good time and that’s what we’re all about!

Do you hit the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

ALEX: Up until Hit The Gas, everything was written in full before going to the studio. This time, we had about 90% of it written and just hopped right in the studio and started playing around. We had all the drums, bass and rhythm guitar written but Mikey’s leads and some of my lyrics needed working on. Our producer Jeff Long (TrapDoor Recordings) could tell where we wanted to go with the song and he offered up some great ideas and insights into how we could make the track better; helping guide Mikey in giving the best performance possible and really pushing me on my vocals. I think both have their place in writing music, it just really depends on what works best for the group as a whole (and if you can afford to write in the studio).

tfi2_RingMasterReviewTell us about the live side to the band, presumably the band’s favourite place to be?

ALEX: The stage is my home. If I’m not playing live music, I’ll go crazy. I crave the stage, regardless if 2 people are watching or 2,000. We are also a very high energy band; we don’t stand still when we play, we run around and act a fool and I think that sets us apart a little bit more than most bands we see live locally… No one can put on a live show like THE FILL INS can. During the time earlier this year when The Fill Ins could not perform or practice, James and I started a side project called The Felons which consists of the 2 of us playing old country tunes and a few Fill Ins songs re-worked. It’s a fun way to fill in the gaps when we as a full band can’t play during the week. Anything that gets me playing music is a good thing.

JAMES: This band and my other group that I mentioned, No Power No Crown, are easily the most exhausting groups I’ve ever performed with, but they are also the most rewarding at the same time. With this band, the chemistry and dynamic between all of us that we share on stage is just as fun as anything I have ever experienced.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods?

ALEX: If I’m being completely honest; we’ve had some trouble getting our footing locally, people outside our town seem to have understood us and supported us stronger early on rather than the immediate locals. Mainly because we have very strong personalities and don’t play the political games that other bands can be found guilty of. It may have hindered us a little, but integrity and passion drives this band; and unless we can support it fully, we won’t do it. That’s not to say we don’t have a strong and loyal fan-base, because we do; but I would say we’ve gotten a much slower start in comparison to our peers.

We also have trouble building a fan-base in a town that is more geared towards liking metal and crust punk bands; not many people I know support “rock” anymore… partly spanning the inspiration for the song Save The Rock (Hipster Killers).

JAMES: I am thankful for the support that we have gotten here so far, though while it may not be very huge locally, certain people have mattered the most in our development and have supported us since day one have played a big part in providing some great opportunities here as well.

How has the internet and social media impacted on and helped the band to date? Do you see it as something always destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

ALEX: I think social media as an idea is a fantastic thing; being able to connect with people all around the world at the click of a button, you know the bands of yesteryear would have killed for this sort of technology when booking tours or promoting albums! The problem lies with the programmers and what they feel is best for the platform as a whole, sometimes forgetting that there are people still trying to use places (like Facebook) to promote their own businesses / companies and their algorithms prevent those posts from showing up in people’s timelines unless you pay for the post to be seen; dubbing it as a “Sponsored Post”. I’m not a big fan of stuff like that, but it’s pretty unavoidable at times…

It’s also no mystery that the internet has killed physical album sales tremendously; which does sadden me a bit because I still get excited when a band releases something on vinyl; so maybe groups should re-evaluate their product packaging and find ways to draw in the new generation that prefers a download to a CD. We still love being able to chat with our fans all over the world, so I would say all in all it’s a great thing…At least for right now.

JAMES: It’s definitely a double edged sword, but part of the excitement for me IS the fact that it is the Wild West for new bands like us, which allows us to get very creative with different marketing and promotional ideas.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add?

ALEX: Just want to pass on a big thank you to The RingMaster Review for having us on! Our new single Hit The Gas can be found on iTunes, Amazon Music, and our online store (http://store.thefillins.com/ ). We’ll be releasing a split 7in vinyl of Hit The Gas sometime in the Spring of 2017 (through No Profit Records) as we lead into getting ready for our next release for late 2017!

https://www.facebook.com/TheFillIns   https://twitter.com/TheFillIns   https://www.instagram.com/thefillins/

Pete RingMaster 16/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Raising Jupiter – Standing in the Light EP

raising-jupiter-new-pic_RingMasterReview

Around this time last year British rockers Raising Jupiter were catching ears and attention with the Chrome EP, a release which confirmed that previous debut album A Better Balance  of 2014 was no flash in the pan in offering highly flavoursome melody rich  rock ‘n’ roll. Now they have the Standing in the Light EP luring old and new appetites with two tracks which enjoyably grumble as they seduce the senses.

Cored by vocalist/guitarist Dave Aitken, the Cork outfit sees drummer Kieran O’Neill linking up with the songwriter for the again Beau Hill mixed and mastered new EP. It has resulted in another duo which seems to just click and breed rock ‘n’ roll that feeds natural instincts for fiery and melodically blazing sounds.

raising-jupiter-ep-artwork_RingMasterReviewLead track Drive On (I Wanna Know) opens up the release, a song inspired by and in homage to members of the 27 Club, artists like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, and Kurt Cobain who have all passed away in tragic circumstances aged 27. Straight away the track grips ears and imagination with a growling bassline which just ignites the passions. Its irritable but fiercely alluring texture is joined by firmly swung beats before Aitken adds his melodic vocals and flames of fuzz lined guitar. Swiftly a Queens Of The Stone Age feel blossoms but equally hard/classic rock hues emerge as the song grows, captivates, and only increases its impressive presence.

Easily the finest song from the band’s songbook to date, it is accompanied by Take The Fall, a more mild mannered proposal but no light weight on snarling riffs and forceful rhythms alongside searing melodies and infectious hooks. It too has a catchiness which needs little time to show its persuasion as Aitken fills the melodic rock canvas of the track with his potent sonic enterprise and vocal expression. O’Neill is equally a striking element with his rhythmic prowess, each providing nothing flashy but openly accomplished craft combining for a highly enjoyable slice of rock ‘n’ roll.

With a fuller version of Drive On (I Wanna Know) completing its line-up, the Standing in the Light EP is Raising Jupiter hitting a new plateau in their alternative/melodic rock invention and reminding all that they are a band deserving of close attention.

Standing in the Light is out now via iTunes and Amazon.

Upcoming Live Dates:

November 11th – Luna Lounge London

November 12th – Opening for Ellipsis (Venue TBC) UK

November 18th – The Live Room Bru Bar, Cork

http://www.raisingjupiter.com    https://www.facebook.com/raisingjupiter   https://twitter.com/raising_jupiter

Pete RingMaster 04/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Beauty and the thorn: exploring Scorching Winter

raf_RingMasterReview

Formed in 2012, Scorching Winter is a female-fronted quintet hailing from Melbourne, Australia. With a hard rock based sound which weaves in an array of flavours, Scorching Winter is beginning to lure proper attention beyond their borders. Ahead of their new album Victim, we were excited to have the chance find out more about the band and that upcoming proposition with guitarist Rafael Katigbak. Subsequently exploring the band’s background, heart, and more…

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

My pleasure… Thanks for having me.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how you came together?

The band started in 2012 when I got together with Nick (drummer) to jam on a few songs I have written. We liked the way it sounded so we decided to put a band together. The band has gone through a few line-up changes since but we’ve had our current line-up for almost two years now and the chemistry is the best it has ever been.

scorching-winter_RingMasterReviewHave you all been involved in other bands before?

We have all been in other bands and music groups previously but nothing serious. I was in an old school heavy metal band before this and there are a couple of songs I had written in while I was on that band that I carried over to Scorching Winter. Although we sound very different now, my time with that band will always have an effect on my playing and writing.

What inspired the band name?

We wanted a name that is ironic because our music and our artworks are somewhat like that. It is heavy music with melodic female vocals, beautiful and evil, brutal and elegant. It also has a bit of medieval / gothic sound to it which we really liked.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

I am a fan of prog metal. I really like the technicality and the freedom to incorporate different styles of music. I think it is important that the music is first and foremost interesting to the musician playing it. But I also love melodic and catchy vocals which are characteristic to mainstream rock and metal bands. So basically the aim is to make music that is both interesting to play but also fun to sing.

Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

Yes. Making music is still the reason we do what we do. We keep it fresh by constantly pushing ourselves to take things further. Our last EP was a big step up from the single before that, and this album is a step above the EP again. There is a consensus within the band that unless it’s something we haven’t done before, we’re not interested in doing it.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

Our earlier works are probably a bit more hard rock / old school metal. As with a lot of musicians, there will be songs that will always be part of our set list and some songs which we’ll probably never play again. Our new album is heavier, darker, more progressive. When we first heard it we thought that this is the sound we’ve always been going for but we’ll probably say that with the next one as well when we change sound again. Haha.

Has it been an organic movement of sound or has the band deliberately set out to try new things?

Several factors affected the evolution of the music. There is the change in line-ups, maturity as a song writer, exposure to new music and just personal development as musicians. But there is also a conscious decision to change the style a bit to challenge ourselves and keep things interesting.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating music?

While we all have our different subgenres of metal that we are in to, there are bands that are common favorites such as Metallica, Dream Theater, Iron Maiden.

How does the songwriting work within the band?art_RingMasterReview

Our songs normally start out as instrumentals. I write a song and send a demo out to the other guys who then add their bits to it. The singer then writes the lyrics and vocal melody for it.

Where are the lyrical inspirations generally drawn from?

With our previous songs, the lyrics are based on the singers’ own personal experiences. Although the songs start out as instrumentals, the singer interprets what the song sounds like and relates that to her own personal experiences.

Give us some background to your latest release.

The new album is called Victim and it’s an 8-track concept album. The story is about a girl who is raped and beaten by a group of men but was saved by a demon who gives her powers to get revenge. However, nothing ever comes for free as she would later find out.

The album started out with the story line. It was then divided into different chapters which correspond to each song. The music was then written then the lyrics. While it is a concept album, we also made sure that each song is strong on its own so any of them can be listened to as a single.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Yes. We really like to be sure we are 100% happy with the songs before we book recording time. In saying that, there are still some minor things that you find doesn’t quite work when you get there so you have to make some adjustments.

Tell us about the live side of the band?

I know that the other members love the performing part the most. I personally enjoy the writing part more. Anyway, with regards to our live shows, our set-list is always dynamic. We arrange the songs so we take our audience on a journey from start to finish instead of staying at one level throughout. We like to start with something a bit soft and eerie to get the mood going and then come in loud and heavy to let everyone know this is the start of a rock show. It then goes through different levels throughout the show.

SW_RingMasterReviewIt is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How was it for Scorching Winter?

Unfortunately, it is not an easy path with no certainty of reward. It is a big commitment financially and on your personal life. We’ve all heard of internationally known bands whose members live below minimum wage, or who lose tens of thousands of dollars on tours. If you really love making music and performing, you will keep doing it regardless. If you’re in it because you have ambitions of fame and fortune, you may need to be realistic about your expectations.

How about the internet and social media, what impact has it had on the band to date?

I think it is very positive. Most of the following we have built are overseas and we haven’t even toured there. It provides you an opportunity to reach people in places you wouldn’t normally get to. I remember the first fan mail we received from overseas, I think it was from Canada, that’s when we thought, this is getting real!

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Thanks for having me and please check out our new album Victim which is available for pre-order now through bandcamp. Official release date is on the 29th of October. You will not be sorry.

https://www.facebook.com/ScorchingWinter   http://www.scorchingwinter.com/

Pete RingMaster 13/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Idlewar – Impulse

idlewar tour_RingMasterReview

Managing to make a strong and firmly enjoyable impression on the first listen and blossoming into an even more striking proposition thereon in is Impulse, the debut album from American rockers Idlewar. The trio from Orange County caught attention and plaudits with their first EP, Dig In last year; its sound and success though was just an appetiser for the rousing prowess of Impulse and its suspected zeal loaded critical and fan reception.

Consisting of vocalist/bassist James Blake, guitarist Rick Graham, and drummer Peter Pagonis, Idlewar have quickly shown a knack for creating boisterously infectious and creatively dramatic proposals bred on an expansive range of rock ‘n’ roll from hard and classic rock to stoner and even grungier essences. It is an ability certainly fuelling Impulse and its diverse collection of songs.

Mastered by Brian Lucey (Ghost ‘Meliora’, Black Keys ‘El Camino’, Arctic Monkeys ‘AM’) Impulse quickly grips attention and imagination with opener Stone in My Heel. The twangy riffs which touch ears first instantly have an endearing swagger to them, their invitation soon joined by the just as appetising groan and lure of Blake’s bass; both in turn courted by the swinging beats of Pagonis. Choppy riffs and sweaty grooves escape and entangle an already keen appetite for things as Blake’s gravelly roar of a voice adds a more classic rock hue to a song also twisting within the throes of noise, alternative, and darker strains of rock ‘n’ roll.

impulse-cover_RingMasterReview16The track is superb, the perfect introduction and quickly backed up by the stoner/blues sultriness of Soul. Like Stone Temple Pilots engaged in psych rock flavoured escapades, the song croons and prowls the senses; the grooves of Graham especially flavoursome before it all makes way for the lighter infectious stroll of Criminal. Again grooves and hooks create a web easy to get caught up in, the heavier rhythmic enterprise an additional cage keeping ears and enjoyment in close attendance.

All That I Got is a slow burner in comparison. Starting with a slow emotive cloud of melody and vocal which certainly intrigues but lacks the potency of earlier tracks, the track grows in heavy emotion and intensity, finding a richer presence though it never quite hooks personal tastes as firmly as the songs around it. The variety and range of songwriting it brings does add to the powerful character of the album, as too does Innocent with its rhythmic enterprise, Pagonis laying down a captivating bed of feisty and resourceful beats over which Blake’s bass snarls, and in turn the classic rock revelry of Glory. With a great line in R&B to its body, the track is another which really grows over listens.

Band and album are back in seriously engaging gear with the rhythmically carnivorous Apathy next, it a track predatory in riffs and spidery grooves as Blake leads with his potent tones. The bass is at its most bestial in tone on the album, an infectious threat cleverly tempered by the fiery craft of Graham. Providing a certain highlight of the album, it is eclipsed by another in the catchy hip swinging devilry of Damage. With hooks to incite bad habits and a growing blaze of stoner seeded roars, the song is the cause of addiction in four minutes of mouth-watering rock ‘n’ roll.

Impulse is completed by first of all Burn All This, another song which almost stalks the listener as rapacious rhythms align to sinister riffs with the strength of catchiness which shapes the whole of the album. Grungy yet lined with a great dark blues tone and moments as heavy as they are seductively mellow, the excellent encounter is followed and album closed by On Our Knees and its feverish rock ‘n’ roll. Incessant and rousing, it is a fine end to a great debut full-length from Idlewar. It has a raw edge with mixes well with the open craft of the band members and their lively imagination plus a suggestion that the band is still developing and has plenty more to creatively discover within themselves, something to eagerly look forward to whilst enjoying Impulse.

Impulse is released September 30th via PHD.

http://www.idlewar.com/   https://www.facebook.com/idlewartheband/   https://idlewar.bandcamp.com/releases   http://www.twitter.com/idlewar

Pete RingMaster 30/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Berserkers – Lock & Load

groupe_RingMasterReview]

French rockers Berserkers have a sound it is simply impossible not to find a healthy appetite for. Hard rock in character with captivating and open traces of seventies/eighties bred rock led by the magnetic enterprise of keys; it is a masterfully compelling tapestry of sound and lively adventure flooding the band’s new album Lock & Load.

The Bordeaux band’s sound is certainly at odds with expectations when approaching a proposal called Berserkers and a release titled Lock & Load but swiftly persuades as the 2009 formed outfit entangle ears and imagination in their flavoursome energy and enterprise.  Founded by bassist/vocalist Julien “Julius” Logeais and keyboardist Julien “Judy” Rosello, the band’s original line-up was completed by guitarist Julien “Pix” Lamy, guitarist Arthur Orsini, and drummer Leo Calzetta. 2013 saw the departure of Rosello and the addition of Hammond organ toting Valentin “Val” Sarthou with the debut Berserkers album unveiled the following year. Following its release, the quintet became a quartet with Lamy leaving to concentrate on another project, Lock & Load the first encounter from the foursome and a striking offering it is too.

The album grabs ears from the off, starting with a bang as Outlaw lures attention with a great bait of drums quickly joined by the glorious and distinctive flavour of Sarthou’s Hammond. Swiftly the full flavour of the band and album’s sound is coursing through ears, the songs bluesy and seventies spiced hard rock ‘n’ roll a swirling yet punchy kaleidoscope of sound. It is a dramatic opening to the album which simply captivates body and imagination with ease; virulent and aggressive funk/blues ‘n’ roll rather easy to breed a forceful appetite for.

5-album-lock-load_RingMasterReviewThe following Blind Taste is of the same ilk but instantly revealing its own funky swagger and melodic character led by Logeais’ fine vocals and the ever persuasive enterprise of Sarthou’s keys. A touch more restrained than its predecessor yet with an energy and zeal to its magnetic stroll, Orsini’s guitar adds extra sonic endeavour to the weave of grooves and melodies courted by robust rhythms before the outstanding Vampire Lady teases and taunts with its seventies blues ‘n’ soul hued dance.

The brooding tone of Logeais’ bass is one highly appetising feature of It’s Up To You next; it’s swinging shadowed bound presence even outshining the flavoursome weave of the Hammond and matched by the energetically boisterous swings of Calzetta amidst the flaming exploits of Orsini’s guitar. For personal tastes Lock & Load is at its peak across the first quartet of songs but still providing plenty to be highly pleased by from hereon in starting with The Foolish Man and its almost prowling gait and in turn the feisty romp of Rock Save The World which pretty up lives up to expectations cast by its title. The track is an unrelenting rocker; a powerfully infectious anthemic stomp even if its originality is less apparent than other tracks within the album.

The song’s rousing presence is followed and contrasted by the calmer waters of Heroes Are Back In Town though it too has an eager nature which gives the song real energy as vocals give it catchiness and keys charm. With Orsini’s craft on guitar highlighted in another great solo, the song is another which is thickly enjoyable if not quite matching those earlier tracks while Starlight City shows itself a tenacious and powerfully infectious proposition almost bubbling with the band’s flavoursome rock ‘n’ roll once more richly coloured by the inventive presence of the Hammond.

Completed by the rhythmically enslaving and melodically sultry Hangöverhead, a song bringing the album to an as potent and compelling a close as it started, Lock & Load is thorough and lingering enjoyment across a collection of songs which light ears and imagination. It needs little time to tempt and persuade while suggesting it is just the very tasty appetiser for bigger and bolder things ahead from Berserkers; something to definitely recommend seventies and hard rock fans check out.

Lock & Load is out now across most online stores.

http://www.berserkers.eu/    https://www.facebook.com/berserkersofficial

Pete RingMaster 21/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright