Bullets And Octane – Riot Riot Rock N Roll

With US hard rockers Bullets And Octane you pretty much know what you are going to get, spirit rousing air punching rock ‘n’ roll yet that familiarity has not prevented each of their albums evolving a sound increasingly slapping down  its own individual character and roar; one which certainly has got deeply under our skins, as for so many others. Riot Riot Rock N Roll is no exception, the band’s new album living up to its title with relish to be the most aggressive and compelling offering from them yet.

Predecessor Waking Up Dead stirred a whole new width of global attention with its release two years back and led to 5 European Tours and a US tour for the St. Louis originating quartet as well as shows with the likes of CKY and numerous festival appearances. Bullets and Octane did extensive touring for the album while opening slots for CKY and festival appearances at Malmo Festival in Sweden and Call Of The Wild in the UK only built upon an already rabid fan base. During that time on the road the band wrote their new album and you cannot help feeling that the adrenaline of such intensive gigging has been an inspiration to the almost pugnacious energy and lusty boisterousness behind Riot Riot Rock N Roll.

The album drives in on a barrage of beats, each a bitch slap on the senses as riffs equally gear up for the attack of its title track. When it erupts full force it is a demandingly infectious affair; an immediately gripping groove wrapping a contagion only accentuated by the familiar and rousing tones of vocalist Gene Louis. The infection is in full virulence across the quickly erupting chorus, gang vocals adding to the anthemic incitement as the track’s manipulation descended upon and used body and vocal chords like a puppet. The song is superb, guitarist Felipe Rodrigo casting web of hook littered temptation as the rhythms of bassist Zachary Kibbee and drummer Jonny Udell direct the rousing affray.

The stunning start is quickly matched by new single Ain’t Gonna Be Your Dog a song co-written with ex-Buckcherry guitarist Keith Nelson. It too instantly had a firm grip on attention, its vocal and sonic blast taking hold to pave the way for a subsequent more controlled but no less captivating stroll equipped with senses clipping riffs and crisp beats.  That reserve also hugs Louis’ vocals though unsurprisingly it only leads to a chorus which erupts like a fire dosed up with gasoline before the cycle returns with fiercer melodic flaming and boisterous catchiness.

The Devil springs its robust rock ‘n’ roll on ears next, riffs and beats colluding with a meaty appetite inflaming bassline as again vocals anthemically holler. As with the previous pair, there is no escaping the call and want to join its howl and swing to its creative clamour before Give Me A Reason brings something akin to pop punk meets alternative rock infection to its hard rock shuffle. Four tracks in and each has trespassed the passions with individual voices and enterprise, a trait just as potent within the deviously addictive As The Bombs Fall. Reminding a little of UK’s own Senton Bombs, the track also fuses rock pop catchiness to its muscular stomp; rhythms a punchy manipulation in the voracious bait offered and again devoured.

A touch of glam rock is courted by next up Addicted To Outrage, old school rock ‘n’ roll also embraced by its instincts as the predacious song prowls ears before swinging to its own viral dynamics and exploits to breed another major highlight which Heaven Can Wait matches with a less intimidating but no less aggressive saunter bound in lively hooks and melodic dexterity all matched by the vocal prowess of Louis and the band.

From its first surprise carrying breath Chaos was manna to the ears, the track a boozy, body swinging flirtation that infested the passions like a Central European enchantress with all the fire and vitality of a warrior. It sealed favourite track in mere moments, bawling at and romping with anyone around it leaving Rooftop Tears plenty to do to pick up an exhausted companion which it surely did in no time as Kibbee’s heavily breathed bassline stomped through ears amidst the similarly tempting sentiment loaded tones of Louis. There is a touch of Grumpynators to the track which only added to its pull and the rock ‘n’ roll pleasure feasted upon.

The album comes to a close with Lost Crazy Psycho, a track with a title that tells you all you need to know about the slice of galvanic schizo rock quickly leading the listener into inhibition free shenanigans. It is also another song which revels in the craft and imagination of a band which has uncaged their most eclectic and unique not forgetting thrilling album yet.

So do you really want to miss out on the riot?

Riot Riot Rock N Roll is out April 24th via Bad MoFo Records / Cargo Records across most online stores.

https://www.bulletsmusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/bulletsandoctane/   https://twitter.com/Bullets_And_O

Pete RingMaster 24/04/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

The Outfit – Viking

Two years ago, US rockers The Outfit had us greedily devouring a debut album which merged familiarity with fresh individuality. It was a seriously rousing incitement which ensured an eager anticipation of what would follow would lie in wait and now erupt with the release of sophomore album, Viking. It had one striking release to follow and build upon so ripe intrigue surrounded us as we leap into its sounds. In some ways, the ten track encounter is more of the same but in many more traits another attention gripping roar that is bolder, eagerly boisterous, and far more unique.

The quartet of brothers Mark (drums) and Matt Nawara (guitar), Andy Mitchell (vocals/guitar) and Mike Gorman (bass) have relentlessly reinforced the success of their self-titled first album, their live presence and reputation alone pushing the band towards major attention with the past year seeing them sharing stages with the likes of SOiL, Accept, Flaw, and Saving Abel. Mixed by multi-platinum producer Ulrich Wild (Breaking Benjamin, Static-X, Deftones, Pantera, and White Zombie), Viking is another mighty jab at widespread recognition, a rampant release easy to see a fresh horde of new fans charged up by their inspiriting sounds.

Viking opens up with the band’s new single, Come Alive and immediately imposing and inviting rhythms are bound in guitar cast wiring. It is a fusion continuing to trespass and light up the air as the familiar infectious tones of Mitchell venture into a lyrical dimension bearing passed loved ones. With rich melodic lacing around the track’s muscle, the song is instantly recognisable as The Outfit with its seeds and strengths bedded in classic and hard rock across the decades.

That classic breeding is even more pronounced in the following Midnight Moses; a soulful and hearty incitement needing mere seconds to entice ears and involvement. The bass casts an earthy rumble throughout the song, beats and percussion dancing on its spine as the guitars again spring a web of melodic and sonic enterprise. As the first, the track is pure contagion effortlessly drawing voice and movement before Believe calms the air a touch with its emotive flame across another catchy landscape. As with all tracks in varying degrees, it feels like a familiar friend in part and fertile originality in plenty more ways, the striking Carnival in turn emphasizing that feeling with its voracious surge and esurient holler not forgetting a groove which entwines ears like a sonic succubus.

One of the album’s major highlights is followed by another in the melodic siren that is Bleed in the Dark, a slice of seduction carrying dark shadows as magnetic as the honest reflection of its words and harmonic lighting. A track which touched with certain intimacy, it is matched in craft and potency by the album’s title track; Viking almost sneaking up on the shores of the senses on a sonic wave before plundering ears and appetite with predacious riffs and equally hungry grooves. From menacing rhythms to vocal arousal, the track drove under the skin consuming all with a contagion again wholly unique to the band.

Sirens almost stalks the listener with its bluesy grooves and devious prowl, embroiling them in a web of steely grooves and compelling endeavour while Little Bit serenades ears with similar gusto and enterprise if less intensity. As within all tracks, the band’s hooks and melodies instinctively tempt as Mitchell’s creative thoughts and words tease the imagination, a combination just as potent within its successor, Wolves. The track is a beguiling moment within the mighty lure of Viking, an evocative and thought rendering proposal which wraps around ears like a lover to spark insecurities and emotions within a melodic kaleidoscope which just seduced as it cast our favourite moment within the album.

The album ends with Sitting Here Alone, another song which provoked intimate emotions whilst stirring the senses and body with its intrepid almost predatory character and dynamics.

It is a fine end to another glorious moment with The Outfit. The band’s music embraces a host of rock flavours and a few from outside the genre uniting them all in rock ‘n’ roll which simply brings the day alive.

Viking is out now through Pavement Entertainment across most stores.

http://theoutfit.rocks/    https://www.facebook.com/TheOutfitrock/    https://twitter.com/theoutfitrock

Pete RingMaster 03/04/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Servant Leader – Raised by Wolves – Part 1

The promo received tagged Raised by Wolves as set in the hard rock genre but it took little time to prove much more diverse and ambitious than that suggests, and also that it is one aggressively enjoyable encounter.

Raised by Wolves is the first of two EPs from Servant Leader, the solo project of Leigh Oates (vocalist of Xilla, Soldierfield, Rise To Addiction and Ninedenine). Offering five ear grabbing tracks, it is boldly fertile with a sound as much grunge and metal as it is rock bred. It makes for a potent and powerful proposition which swiftly had ears gripped through EP opener Daybreak.

Initially the first track rhythmically entices, from a distance shaping intrigue until a few seconds later it stands eye to eye with the senses and uncages its full hungry presence. As those rhythms continue to bite, grooves and melodic enticement is woven around the distinctive and ever magnetic tones of Oates. With keys just as enterprisingly involved and hooks unleashed with almost feral intent, the track proved immediate captivation and only tightened its hold with melodic and harmonic dexterity, a Soundgarden meets Skyscraper scenting around its worldly observation extra irresistibility.

Boundaries quickly follows, a roar erupting from its first breath in voice and sound to instantly engage keen attention. With boisterous energy, eager rhythms set the tone of its contagion, guitars and bass aligning in suggestive enterprise as Oates ignites the air with his resourceful tones. Again there is a certain grunge nurtured graining to its melodic rock bred body, the subsequent melody spun twists virulent captivation in nothing but riveting enticement.

Immediately August Parade stamped its authority on attention, the melodic twang of guitar soon followed by the swing of heavy beats and the richer wiry lures escaping guitars as vocals set their insightful contemplation within an Alice in Chains-esque sunset of sound and vibrancy. As its predecessor, the track sets a striking moment within the EP, success quickly emulated by next up Siamese with its rousing and voracious metal steeled rock ‘n’ roll. At times melodic winds temper the tempest but only to escalate the song’s addictive nature and imagination, the later a perpetually evolving treat in a similarly twisting body.

Raised by Wolves closes out with That Girl, a track which maybe has a touch of Stone Temple Pilots to it but proves as individual and rousing as those before it. By now it was proving no surprise that Oates was embroiling a host of varied flavours in his invention wolfish and sound whilst entangling his esurient tones sounds and no surprise that again ears were feasting on a moment in time which left a lingering and enterprising mark on thoughts and a greedy appetite for more which hopefully will soon come our way courtesy of the now highly anticipated Part 2.

Raised by Wolves – Part 1 is available now.

http://www.servantleaderband.com

Pete RingMaster 26/03/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Dirt Box Disco – TV Sex Show

As a certain virus continues to overwhelm lives, society and the world, moments of feel good interjection can only be hungrily seized upon or in the case of the new Dirt Box Disco album, greedily devoured. The release gripped from its first breath and swiftly had the body bouncing with rapacious energy, all the while simply confirming DBD as UK’s maybe even the world’s finest rock ‘n’ roll band.

Step into TV Sex Show and unsurprisingly, if already a fan, you find a horde of tracks which arouse and incite with mischievous intent. The album is a raucously anthemic assault on apathy and despondency, a ‘go get ‘em’ insistence fuelled by the band’s inimitable punk rock bred sound which even in this moment of global self-isolation will get you at the very least hollering at the world from within any confines. As proven by previous releases like its predecessor, Immortals, the band’s sound even with its familiar individualism continues to grow and embrace; TV Sex Show uncaging Dirt Box Disco’s fullest, broadest and richest skilled cacophony of devilment and flavouring yet.

It is also the first encounter with the band since the departure of singer WEAB.I.AM, a change which raised intrigue but not panic as guitarist/songwriter Spunk Volcano has embraced the frontman role now something he has already proven magnetically accomplished in with his own solo project, Spunk Volcano and The Eruptions. With drummer Maff Fazzo, lead guitarist Danny Fingers, and bassist Deadbeatz Chris again unleashing their own esurient craft and revelry too, all three as motivating in their backing vocal roars, Dirt Box Disco grabbed ears and rock ‘n’ roll instincts from the first surge of TV Sex Show and not for the first time left us breathless and ridiculously grinning by the album’s final breath.

The release opens up with Unstoppable, Dirt Box Disco announcing and declaring their intent and defiance with the band’s combined vocal lure an immediate spark for personal vocal chords to unite in, the first round of solidarity quickly followed by a contagion of riffs and hooks aligned to just as virulent rhythms. With the same creative and catchy swing in Spunk’s vocals, the song had the body and spirit flinging energetic shapes and emotions like a master puppeteer.

Further ignited by Danny’s melodic wiring, the track is an exceptional start to the album which the following Insomniac ensures never drops with its heavier, more predacious punk ‘n’ roll. Relentless in its rhythmic harrying, incessant in cantankerous riffery and primal grooving, the song had us shouting with knowing unity while Barebones from its initial sonic nagging and rhythmic jabbing soon insisted and received similar participation in its punk nurtured call out.

A moment of intimate reflection or personal observation, I want out in many ways echoes the situations we find ourselves in right now as well as experiences all have felt at some point in time. Its calmer gait and energy still has a tempestuousness which equips the infectious chorus which DBD for years have proven so crafty at igniting listeners with.

Dickhead and the hype is next up, its punk rock meets hard rock swell pure anthemic encouragement refusing defiance, though great and addictive as it swiftly proves is still outshone by The Count of Monte Cristo lives in San Francisco. It’s initially reserved but still highly catchy saunter through ears is almost a tease of things to come, a hint to the voracious virulence which soaks another chorus only the deaf may be able to resist. That opening stroll returns and continues to light up attention between the surges, its melodic luring sparking the imagination before those eruptions grip throat and body.

The old school seeding of Reminisce got under the skin within seconds, the track brewing another potent fixation with something of a Vibrators meets UK Subs meets Mud lining to its still DBD individuality, the same agility easily said of 3 bottles down which again from a calm reflective opening brews an incitement which nags as much as it inspires full and eager involvement.

As often with relish, DBD turn the spotlight on a certain type of character we have all come across through Bitch full of stitches, a track which had us rocking with the kind of zeal its protagonist frequently shares in their own way with Vdtv for a minute and a half bitch slapping the senses while equally inflaming them with primal punk rock predation. It is a relentless assault built on the individual prowess of the band and their united contagion, a unity just as impressive and manipulative within successor Simple but effective. A middle finger parading response to ‘the haters’, again body  and vocal chords as well as spirit were keenly slung into the song’s vociferous yell and once more TV Sex Show proved itself irresistible.

The truly magnetic Ain’t life grand completes the line-up of pleasure, its intimacy as open as its gentle but persistent infectiousness. Grab the CD version of the album though and find the added pleasure of two bonus tracks in Tizwatitiz and Wake up. The first of the pair is another pure punk rock nurtured surge of temptation wired by many other flavours, its voracious instigation of eager complicity prime DBD while the second is a slab of rock ‘n’ roll contagion owing as much to the likes of Showaddywaddy as the seventies punk instigators it also hints at in its feral punk ‘n’ roll clamour.

So that is TV Sex Show, another glorious riot with Dirt Box Disco which leaves spirit and body ready to take on any challenge and pleasure boiling over. I am sure we have said this before with a DBD album and probably a few times but this might just be their finest moment yet.

TV Sex Show is released April 18th via Avenue Recordz; available digitally, on CD and on Ltd Edition “Mystery” coloured Vinyl.

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

Pete RingMaster 26/03/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Syteria – Reflection

With a touch of annoyance that we missed their debut album three years back we can only urge you to check out Syteria through its successor, Reflection. That irritation stems from the fact that the band’s new full-length is rock ‘n’ roll at its virulent best; a spirit rousing, feel good release fertile in energy, fun, and creative agility.

Formed in 2015, Syteria is the brainchild of Girlschool lead guitarist Jackie ‘Jax’ Chambers. With Argentina born vocalist Julia Vocal and bassist Keira Kenworthy alongside, the band released the Wake Up EP in 2016 its permanent line-up completed later that year with drummer Pablo Calvo, the younger brother of Julia. A successful Pledge campaign in 2017 saw their broadly acclaimed debut album Rantobot born, its success leading to numerous festival and show opportunities. Last year saw Steph Dawson (Scream Of Sirens) replace the departing Keira on bass and the Yorkshire based band work on Reflections whose release now leaves an indelible mark on 2020.

Album opener, Make Some Noise, pretty much sums up the character of Reflection in its title though the album’s moniker echoes the lyrical prowess emulating in its look at the world and more intimate explorations. The song initially entices with a potent strand from Jackie’s guitar before rhythms and melodic hooks entangle ears in their own bait. Julia’s instantly captivating tones come potently backed by the 4 part harmonies which make up the first of the album’s irresistible choruses. A mix of pop rock, metal and punk, the track swiftly and instantly got under the skin to swiftly be joined by so many of its following companions.

Goodbye World follows and quickly shares eighties new wave like infectiousness, an insistent catchiness which never dilutes its temptation even as hard rock instincts bring the track further alive before another viral chorus is uncaged while the album’s title track bounds in with an insatiable rock ‘n’ roll appetite and rhythmic swing which alone had spirit and body bouncing. Again melodies and hooks almost deviously tempt and arouse, the band’s harmonies just as manipulative and galvanic as Julia’s words share knowing support.

The spidery touch of the melodic wires escaping Jackie’s guitar ensures next up Asylum has a grip on ears and appetite within its first breath, Pablo’s firm beats cementing that capture though it is the vocal dexterity across song and band which creates one of the album’s major pinnacles before latest single, Gossips, shares its pop infused rock on already eager ears. As within those around it, instinctive catchiness lines every note and syllable, aligning with the band’s creative imagination to again get under the skin.

Both Sorry with its gentle yet zestful and seriously stirring dynamics and the punk lined hard rock of As If left no room for attention to wander while the classic rock spiced Back Off and in turn Moving Forward (Angels & Demons) only accentuated the album’s grip and Syteria’s magnetic enterprise, the last of the four staking a claim on best track with its animated moves and rhythms beneath another vocal tempting from Julia and band impossible not to eagerly add to.

The dexterity of the bands flavour rich sound around fertile craft and imagination only continued to impress and animate the passions through the outstanding I Want It All and the equally inspiring Plastic Fantastic with the tenacious rock ‘n’ roll of Guilty backing up every anthemic aspect and electrifying quality with matching appetite as it brought the album to a rousing close.

Reflection is quite simply pure unapologetic rock ‘n’ roll with an adventure which alone will turn heads and Syteria a band surely heading to the loftier heights of the global rock scene.

Reflection is out now.

https://syteria.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/syteriaband/   https://twitter.com/syteriaband

Pete RingMaster 24/03/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Molly Karloff – Supernaturalation

Two years after their acclaimed debut EP, Dancing for Money, UK rockers Molly Karloff have uncaged its successor in the fiery shape of Supernaturalation, a collection of songs which quite simply and hungrily demand attention.

Oxford based, the trio of vocalist/guitarist Simon Guilliard, bassist Dan Podbery, and drummer Jowie Adkins has bred and earned a strong reputation for their high-energy performances and a similarly energetic sound bred on hard rock, grunge, and punk ‘n’ roll inspiration. The Dancing for Money EP back in 2018 more than alerted the UK rock scene of their rousing presence and though it has taken a couple of years to follow that potent introduction, Supernaturalation not so much builds on the success of its predecessor than leaves it in its dynamic wake.

Unleashing a vocal dispute with the issues life endures, Supernaturalation swiftly rips into attention with its title track, the EP opener dangling an instant hook impossible not to bite on as bass and drums add further thick bait. It is an entrapment which continues to grip as Guilliard’s similarly potent and energetic tones erupt. Familiarity and individuality collude in the track’s rousing roar, boldness of imagination which only grows more fertile across the release adding greater drama to the enterprisingly crafted encounter.

It is a great start to the EP which She Said, its lead single only reinforces. With slightly less energy but just as magnetic intensity, the track builds its might and roar resulting in a chorus which explodes on the ears as a rich climax to appetite nagging verse and creative escalation.

As stirring and thickly enjoyable as both tracks are, the pinnacle of the release for these ears comes across the next pair of Do You Wanna? and Do It Again. The first of the pair is pure virulence, bursting upon the senses with insatiable hunger with its riffs as predacious as they are contagious. A ferocious fusion of grunge lined hard rock and primal punk rock, the track swiftly proved irresistible, hooks a passion scything lure and rhythms a ravenous incitement within an enterprise which only grew more adventurous by the twist while its successor in its own individual vein proved just as viral driven and shaped by the swinging beats of Adkins and Podberry’s brooding bassline. That rhythmic unity quickly got under the skin, an addiction which bound in the guitar wiring and coaxed by the vocal prowess of Guilliard only escalated.

The Other Side brings things to a close, its funk nurtured swing the seed to another individual slab of Molly Karloff hard rock as keen to get the body bouncing as challenging, in this situation, taboos. With a fire in its belly and roar in its throat, the track provides a powerful and thickly enjoyable conclusion to one impressive and equally thrilling release.

The best rock ‘n’ roll leaves an indelible mark and incites the rebel inside, both fiercely potent traits of the Supernaturalation EP

Supernaturalation is available now through Roulette Media; available on CD and vinyl @ https://mollykarloff.co.uk/super-ep/

https://mollykarloff.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/MollyKarloff/

Pete RingMaster 13/03/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Cruel Juno Interview

 

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 and what brought you all together?

When I moved back to my old hometown in Texas a few years ago, I couldn’t find a local band to join. So I thought I’d ask the musicians on some of my favorite albums if they’d be willing to record with me remotely from their home studios. Amazingly, they were interested, and CRUEL JUNO was born. With Italian guitarist Luca Princiotta (DORO, BLAZE) and Sicilian vocalist Gandolfo Ferro (Heimdall) signed on as special guests, I produced the first single, “Swallow My Medicine” – and then went in search of additional artists to work with, such as Fabio Lione (RHAPSODY, ANGRA, VISION DIVINE), Oliver Palotai (KAMELOT, EPICA), Gian-Andrea Costa (DREAMSHADE), and Jasio Kulakowski (KOBRA AND THE LOTUS). And there’s still more people I’d like to work with! I sometimes think of the project as “My Avantasia,” since it’s more of a collection of guest musicians than a band.

Have you been/are 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?

I’ve only done the typical bar band scene, playing clubs and parties. The rest of the guys, of course, are kick-ass pros, and it’s their music that I’m listening to most of the time, which is influencing what I’m writing…Creates a bit of a circle really.

What inspired the band name?

I am a huge fan of Heimdall’s concept album “Aeneid” – which is based on the epic poem by Virgil. (That’s how I discovered Gandolfo Ferro, who lends his amazing voice to most of our songs.) The name CRUEL JUNO is a direct reference to the Aeneid, and is also meant to honour Gandolfo and Luca being from Italy/Sicily.

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

I had an idea for both the sound. I wanted CRUEL JUNO to be straight up full-throttle hard rock. Loud at any volume! Drum-wise I play single bass, and it was a very purposeful decision. I want the songs to sound wild through the music itself, not because I’m just slamming double bass underneath it. I want each song to sound like a car swerving down a narrow road.

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

Well, I’m running low on great monsters – although I’m currently wrapping up collaboration with Jasio Kulakowski (KOBRA AND THE LOTUS) to do one about Medusa.

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

I am open to the ideas that each musician brings to the table. “Wound Too Tight” – our most recently finished song – was the first song I’ve done with Oliver Palotai on keyboards. His contribution really transformed the song – adding a melody that didn’t previously exist and just beefed everything up. The song evolved simply by having him on board. And now with the Medusa collaboration, Jasio is taking the song in a much different direction than what I’d originally written. I love that about the song-writing and production process – the song takes on a life of its own as other people bring their own ideas and insights into it. Medusa will sound like nothing we’ve done so far.

So it is all pretty much organic as things change and evolve?  

It happens naturally. There is no deliberate effort to make changes. Instead it’s simply a result of what happens when various combinations of ideas and people are brought together.

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 and playing music?

I interviewed session drummer Victor Indrizzo for the December 2013 issue of Modern Drummer. He plays for Alanis Morissette, and on a good percent of the pop music that’s on the radio. That interview, though, was life-changing for me. He laid out his blueprint for playing with a click, using backing tracks, working in a studio, etc., and overall opened my mind to a whole new way of making music. None of this music that I’m making would exist without Victor.

Is there a process to the songwriting which generally shapes songs?

Preparation is key. I record my own acoustic drums, but I have to know what I’m going to play for it to sound good. And so I start with EZDrummer2 in my DAW (Reaper) and I sequence what I intend to record, note for note, by painting each note into the piano roll. This lets me listen to what I’m planning to play and see how well it actually fits. Once I have a perfected sequenced file, I will remove EZDrummer2 from the FX, but keep the MIDI I sequenced, so that I basically have a drum chart (or map) of what I need to record – it simply won’t generate any sound. And then I can place my laptop where I can easily view it while playing, open the MIDI in full screen, and I basically have a self-scrolling drum chart that I can watch while I record my acoustic drums. It’s a process that works really well!

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

For the most part, I follow Helloween’s model of writing cool metal songs that are not evil. Wound Too Tight, for instance, can simply be a song about a mummy, or for someone looking for a deeper meaning, it can be about someone struggling to understand the purpose of their existence, contemplating suicide, and choosing to live. I don’t like getting preachy, though, but the message is in there for people who like to look for one.

Give us some background to your latest release.

Our first EP, “Playing With Monsters” was released January 10. Available on Spotify and everywhere else online. I also have a very limited number of CDs. People can email us through http://crueljuno.com/ if they’re interested in a CD.

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

When I started out, I wanted to tie all of our songs together, not as a concept album, but using a general theme. I mentioned our first song, “Swallow My Medicine.” It had an overall Jekyll/Hyde feel, so I decided that each song would represent a classic monster: Jekyll/Hyde, Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Mummy. The monster theme also provided a great way to have quality music videos. I’d edit old monster movies and set them to our music. They’re fun to watch, and it’s really the only affordable option when musicians are spread all over the world. – Although for the new mummy single “Wound Too Tight” released mid-December, there was really not enough footage of mummies in any old mummy movie, so I had to shoot my own video. I bought a spandex bodysuit mummy costume and filmed myself in front of a tomb backdrop. It was all going OK until the zipper broke midway through the take. Ever worn a spandex bodysuit? Let me tell you a secret: They’re just like Cinderella. You have until the twelfth stroke of the clock to get home before you’re naked, because those suits will literally just peel off your body once the zipper fails. The suit was ruined, so I had to reuse the first half of the take I’d filmed, making the mummy video I filmed genuine B-Movie material. Rock and Roll!

Here’s the links to our brand new “Wound Too Tight” lyric video on Facebook and YouTube:

FB: https://www.facebook.com/crueljuno/videos/2433587356904085/ and YT: https://youtu.be/9p8JXWTxpCI

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 record one song at a time, from our home studios, in our spare time. It’s the only way I can afford this project. I pay the musicians, and then pay for mixing and mastering. It all adds up. And I never add it up! Don’t tell me the cost! LOL

Tell us about the live side to the band?

CRUEL JUNO only exists as a recording project. We are spread across the world, and the various guest musicians are all involved in their own much larger projects.

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?

Reaching people is the hardest part. I know that there are large numbers of people who would be interested in this project if they knew we existed. For instance, my “vampire” song with Fabio Lione reached about 6,000 people. That same week, he released his first single with Turilli Lione Rhapsody, and they had over 100,000 views within a few days. I can’t help but think that those 100,000 would have also listened to his song with us if they’d known about it. And so I am not aiming locally or regionally at all. I need a way to let global audiences know when their favourite musicians are recording a single with us.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something 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?

Our audience is 100% through social media. I don’t necessarily like their rules, though. Facebook does not like posts that send people outside their platform. And so if I try to promote a YouTube link, Facebook will downplay it. I end up having to upload the video within Facebook, which results in zero traffic to YouTube. So if you look at our video counts on Facebook, we’re doing pretty well, but our YouTube clicks are abysmal. It’s a nut I’m still trying to crack. If you have the solution, let’s talk!

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

This project is unlike any other that I know of. I’m an ordinary guy who decided to hit up the people on his favourite albums to see if they’d be willing to jam with him. So for all of you who are banging away on your drums or grinding on your guitar in your bedroom wishing you could jam with your favourite band, I’m here to tell you, it is possible!

Check Cruel Juno out further @

http://crueljuno.com/   https://www.facebook.com/crueljuno/   https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLSvLBp3Ds-9bzGNhDKeaQg/featured

Pete RingMaster 12/02/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

The Self Titled – Bears and Bulls EP

A rich reputation and a broad recognition of existence do not always go hand in hand and so it is with UK rockers The Self Titled. They are no strangers to thick and eager acclaim and have grown to be one of British music’s most rousing propositions yet still so many prospective fans have yet to discover their prolific presence. The band has just unleashed a new EP but can it address that absence of wide spread attention? Of course time will tell but if anything can be the spark, the mighty Bears and Bulls EP has all the right ammunition and striking qualities to be the trigger.

It was from the moment that the band reformed back in 2010 that they stamped a certain mark on the UK music scene with their rapacious blend of rock and metal and a work ethic which has seen them literally play shows non-stop, sharing stages with the likes of Kobra And The Lotus, Breed 77, Forever Never, Zico Chain and Sarah jezebel Deva, One Machine, Def Con One and many more along the way. It was their impressive debut album, Defaced, in 2012 that we came across the Kent outfit, a release establishing the band as one of the most exciting emerging encounters around. The double track Airlock EP two years later only confirmed the potential and potency of the band which Bears and Bulls EP now exploits to even greater heights, impressiveness, and we suspect success.

Bears and Bulls opens up with Disintegration and straight away guitars are harrying the senses with anthemic energy as rhythms prowl ears and the potent tones of vocalist Tom Procter. The swinging beats of drummer Paul Brander orchestrate the predatory tone of the song with the growl of Steve Burwell’s bass keenly adding to that trespass yet everything about the track is pure contagion, guitarist Philipp Hall weaving a web of hooks and riffs as antagonistic as they are rapaciously catchy.

It is a powerful and potent start to the release swiftly built upon by the following Breathe. Groove carrying riffs provide the first tasty lure, the rumble of bass adding it’s particular growl before uncaging its own body infesting groove. The band pull the heaviest most voracious essences of metal and heavy rock for their inimitable sound with the EP’s second track grabbing a healthy punk snarl to its nu and alternative flavoured confrontation. There is an open Rage Against The Machine edge to the track but imaginatively bound to the band’s melodic prowess in a song which relishes plenty of other metal and rock spawned flavours.

Fear and Loathing is next up, echoing the diversity of sound in its impressive predecessor within its own individual endeavour. Almost crawling over the senses, the track slowly unwinds its quickly addictive bait and enterprise, grooves predatory as they seduce with a matching snarl to that lining Proctor’s and the band’s vocals.  A grunge essence only adds to the infectiousness and richness of the song before the EP’s title track brings to a similarly rousing conclusion.

The final song saunters in on a rhythmic shuffle before unleashing more of the band’s rap/nu metal prowess and hard rock dexterity aligned to melody fuelled contagion. Bluesy flumes only add to the intoxication but as ever in a song bursting from The Self Titled, agitation and aggression at world issues provoke as they arouse.

It is about time the world woke up to The Self Titled roar, Bears and Bulls might give them no choice.

The Bears and Bulls EP is available now @ https://music.apple.com/us/album/bears-and-bulls-ep/1462839970

https://www.facebook.com/TheSelfTitled/   http://www.theselftitled.com/  https://twitter.com/theselftitled

Pete RingMaster 20/12/2019

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Rainium – Sounds Of Berlin

Having thoroughly enjoyed their new single, the offer from Rainium themselves to check out their debut album was easy to take up. So with thanks and help to guitarists Rainer Krenzke and Jay Parmar we did just that and discovered in Sounds Of Berlin another of this year’s pleasures.

Rainium is an Anglo/German endeavour created by Krenzke in 2017. With a swift link up with vocalist Michael Voss (Mad Max, Casanovo, ex-Bonfire), the emerging project was soon the host of new songs, demos, and a line-up subsequently completed by bassist Marco Tardanico (ELA) and British lead guitarist Jay Parmar (Eden’s Curse, Iron Knights, The Inner Road). Musically, Rainium weave a sound bedded in a fusion of classic and hard rock and alive with individual craft. As that first single and its title track revealed, the album revels in a blend of familiar and wholly fresh ingredients though across a dozen tracks Sounds Of Berlin quickly and firmly unveils a far richer adventure of sound and enterprise.

The brief attention luring invitation of ET (Et Toujours) leads eagerly into the waiting arms of Two Friends which welcomes ears with big swinging beats amidst rapacious threads of guitar. Quickly it opens up a web of melodic threads and vocal incitement, both as persuasive on ears and body as the continuingly infectious rhythms. Edging on the side of snarling, riffs drive the song’s catchy stroll whilst the melodic prowess of Krenzke aligns with Parmar’s skilled intricacies and invention until it all rousingly unites with the anthemic incitement of the band’s combined vocals.

It is a potent start to the album which the band’s current single wraps itself as it shares its own individual enticement. From the enclosed theatre of the subways, Sounds Of Berlin hits its catchy stride with a boisterous appetite, setting up classic rock nurtured riffs and hooks in a catchy and tempting embrace at the same time. Tardanico’s bass throbs magnetically under the song’s skin as Parmar’s stylish weave wraps a body teasing with almost industrial hued flavours at times though its chorus is pure eighties rock natured.

In The Dead Of Winter strides in next, confident in its temptation and indeed it takes mere seconds to get under the skin as rhythms pounce and vocals hook. It is a wicked start which softens a touch as its equally contagious chorus shares keen energy, the cycle just as virulent the second time around. With Parmar again enthralling in his craft and enterprise, the track lays down a strong best track claim before Farewell slows things a little but adds greater intensity and emotion in its metal infused canter. Melodically haunting as drama lines every moment entangled in the emotive intimation of the guitars, the song makes for one of the album’s most absorbing moments.

Another big highlight of the release comes with Right Here Right Now, a song which starts with almost predatory intent as its initial riffs strike but soon simply seduces attention as the instantly captivating tones of Ilo Schnittchen (Isle Of Rock) nestle in the melodic embrace of the song. With rousing eruptions in the heart of the temptation, the track proved increasingly irresistible and firmly one of our favourite moments.

Both Just The One with its open nineties rock seeding and the wild almost salacious antics and suggestiveness of Gypsy had the body bouncing if neither could quite rival the success of its predecessor while Wake Up stakes its own claim on one of the album’s major moments with its prowling intrigue and drama. From the compelling throaty lures of Tardanico’s bass to the subsequent almost new wave nurtured melodic captivation which wraps the imagination, the song enthralled and embroiled us in its gentle swing.

With Parmar’s steel strings as poetic as ever, it is a fine close to the collection of seriously engaging and forcibly memorable songs though Sounds Of Berlin still has the pleasure of three bonus tracks to please ears with. The first is another version of Right Here Right Now which sees Schnittchen and Voss in more of a duet across its highly magnetic body, its treat followed by an instrumental demo of In The Dead Of Winter and a demo take of Just The One.

From the moment an idea, which was to become Rainium, escaped Krenzke’s imagination it has been three years of inspiration, passion, and endeavour from all members, traits shaping and fuelling a release we can only suggest needs a lusty checking out.

Sounds Of Berlin is available now.

 http://rainium.com   https://www.facebook.com/RainiumBand   https://twitter.com/jayparmarguitar

Pete RingMaster 05/12/2019

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Illusions of Grandeur – The Songs of the Siren

Today we offer up for your attention one of the most striking and impressive debuts you are likely to hear this year. It comes from theatrical hard rock/fantasy metal band Illusions of Grandeur and goes by the name of The Songs of the Siren. Quite simply it is one of the most fascinating and rousing releases we have come across with all the reasons on display as to why the band has such a devoted following.

Hailing from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Illusions of Grandeur have drawn rich praise, support and attention with their live shows, each soaked in energy and drama now vocal within their first album. The Songs of the Siren is the first release in the grand tale of The Siren Saga. The album takes the listener on epic adventures with the Siren and her warriors, their perils and triumphs revealed through fact and fiction “combining Greek and Norse Mythology, Sirens, Warriors, Archangels, and Kharon “The Ferryman.” It is a rich adventure immersed in just as fascinating and rousing sounds bred on a tapestry of flavours which proves hard to define but easy to devour.

Illusions of Grandeur and The Songs of the Siren are ‘led’ by the presence of The Siren with one of the most compelling voices to grace these ears in recent times. Alongside her warriors of sound consist of bassist Archangel Michael, drummer Mercury, and guitarists Taranis and Thano, a quintet which together cast a tempest of sound as varied, imaginative, and contagious as it is formidable and insatiable. As waves break upon the album’s creative shore and a lone melody casts its melancholic sigh intrigue made a swift companion, opener Fallen/Awakening instantly a potent lure but only just beginning to cast its spell. Quickly an even more enticing thread of guitar is coaxing ears, an invitation soon inescapable as The Siren shares her irresistible tones. To say we were hooked within the tracks opening minute is an understatement and only further enthralled and enslaved as the song proved one of the most devilishly captivating musical moments. Its controlled and virulent bait only intensifies as sonic flames erupt and the track’s springs its full rapacious trespass, the track setting the striking character and thrill of the album.

Mayhem follows, guitars weaving their melodic prowess as rhythms firmly land. Metal and heavy rock hues collude in its rapacious stroll, The Siren’s vocals a web of narration and agility matched by the exploits of the band alongside. There is a Nightwish meets Otep like breathe to the track but as proved by every track, like next up Three Two Three, Illusions of Grandeur have conjured true individuality in their sound. The album’s third track rises on a resonating drone, its thick draw devoured but still throbbing within the song’s erupting drama and intensity. Soon after writhing grooves slowly entangle the predacious heart at its core as vocals again lure moth like ears to their bright flame, the track seducing with its every invasive breath.

Proving just as irresistible, Red Sky Morning enters with a swagger in its rhythmic tread and temptation in its vocal enticement. A subtle but instinctive snarl coats every essence exuding from its esurient body as again a kaleidoscope of flavours combine in its dark rapture while The Archangel provides a tenebrous capture of ears and imagination with its instrumental intimation before Silent Suicide reveals its tempestuous drama with voracious enterprise and breath. Its call is inescapable and fearsome, inevitability in its temptation and persuasion as again Illusions of Grandeur simply commanded attention with craft and imagination.

As Breathe bestows its Stygian shadows and creative crawl and Lullabies sprung its fusion of melodic radiance and raw ferocity, the album only placed a tighter grip on already greedy ears with the band’s invention and individual craft taking care of the imagination. Their successor, The Voyage, only accentuated that triumph as it hauntingly floats the listener down its caliginous waters with Through The Styx waiting to welcome and prey on the senses with its Tartarean embrace. The song highlights all the qualities and temptations within the creative emprise of Illusions of Grandeur and the rich web of flavours at its behest.

With a handful of radio edits of some of its finest moments as a bonus, The Songs of the Siren just lit our fires and for the second time in week we can only declare an album one of the year’s essential encounters.

The Songs of the Siren is out now via Pavement Entertainment.

https://www.iogmusic.com   https://www.facebook.com/IllusionsOG/    https://twitter.com/IllusionsOG

Pete RingMaster 06/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright