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

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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

Rock ‘n’ Sulphur; talking with Avalanche

Roaring out of Smithfield, Western Sydney Avalanche are a 4 piece hard rock band playing heart-racing, gut busting, roof crashing, fast paced Rock ‘N’ Roll courtesy of the devil himself. The Australian outfit recently sat down and shared with us their origins, new album, inspirations and plenty more….

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

Veronica ‘V’ Taleski: My name’s Veronica I play lead guitar.

Ryan Roma: I’m the drummer.

Arthur Divis: Rhythm guitar.

Steven Campbell: And I’m Steven, lead vocalist and bass player. I know that Ryan and Veronica have been jamming together for a few years, she went to school with his sister and that’s how they met, they had another rhythm guitarist and bass player at the time and eventually reached out to me as they needed a singer. Soon enough, the rhythm guitarist gave up, the bass player stopped showing up so I thought I’d take up bass too, and after a whole string of rhythm guitarists we eventually found Arthur. But yeah I think what brought us all together was a love of heavy rock music, particularly stuff from the 60s, 70s and 80s, were all young but we’re all into that kind of music and we were lucky enough to find others to share that interest with.

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

Veronica: For me and Ryan, this is our first band, pretty much from our first time playing together we both knew we wanted to start a band and take it as far as it could possibly go. For us our biggest influences has always been bands like AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, Motörhead and the like, bands that are just bare bones rock n roll, with a bit of blues a bit of early rock n roll but heavy and loud and BIG, yet simple and not overly complicated. That’s always been the kind of music we want to play, while we may have other influences and play different styles sometimes, we know always just need to bring it back to that paradigm.

Steven Campbell: I’ve been in and out of bands since I was about 13-14 starting with an acoustic duo me and my best friend started, I’ve been in all sorts of bands, heavy metal all the way to psychedelic funk. But rock and roll has always been my favourite music, I feel like all my past experience in bands though gave me a much needed leg up on how bands and gigs are actually run which has helped us in a lot of a situations, and it goes to show if you want to play music especially in a band, you just can’t take no for an answer.

Arthur Divis: I haven’t ever played in another band. It’s interesting though because I remember when I was learning I sort of moved away from open chords to bar chords and would also mess around with pedals and distortion and the like so got extremely use to playing like that. But in this band, following what V does, she has a very particular way of playing, inspired a lot by AC/DC to get the most massive sound possible without a lot of effects, so no pedals, very little distortion, and going back to open chords and hitting the strings as hard as possible, it was all a bit awkward at first but feels good now haha.

What inspired the band name?

Steven Campbell: My dad, Adrian Campbell was actually in a band called Avalanche in the 70s and the 80s, they used to belong to the same management company as AC/DC; they have even played with them before and some other major bands at that time, we thought it was an awesome sounding name and wanted to keep the rock and roll family tradition going so after going through a lot of other names, we decided to name our band Avalanche.

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

Veronica: Yeah as mentioned me and Ryan came into this wanting to be a bare-bones hard rock band. We didn’t wanna write ballads or slow songs or political songs or songs with a whole wall of effects and distortion on ‘em, we wanted to be a guitar band and we wanted to write music that you could have a good time too. If it’s heavy, loud or fast then it’s good enough for us. I think it was Slash or somebody who said that a good rock song has either gotta make you want to fight of fuck. So that’s what we try to do.

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

Veronica: Yeah pretty much. Of course with bringing new members in, they’re gonna bring their own influences and ideas in as well, but in our cases, all that’s done is add to the sound rather than take away from it, we’re still a hard rock band and that’s not gonna change anytime soon. And we’re still hell bent on taking this band to the ends of the earth, even more so now than before I’d say.

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

Ryan: We’re definitely more tighter and more aggressive I’d say. A lot more used to playing with each other and anticipating each other. Our songs have become more dynamic and more unique as we’ve begun to find our voice and bring in each other’s influences. But it’s still all good old fashioned rock n roll.

Have changes and growth in sound etc. Been more of an organic movement or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

Steven: Well its funny Veronica and Ryan tend to be very firmly rooted in the hard rock, rock and roll sound and I’ve spent so much time playing in different genres that sometimes it comes together in a way that we may not usually have thought of because of that. We tend to be a lot more towards the organic rock sound but very occasionally there are a few weird things I manage to get into the final mix haha

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?

Steven: I think one of the biggest inspirations I like to add into my own musical approach, is the way Bon Scott would write his lyrics. How he would subvert the listener’s attention in certain ways and make you think that he was talking about something completely different. I like that sort of mystery in my writing, sort of keep everyone guessing.

Veronica: AC/DC is probably the biggest inspiration for me, and learning their songs has impacted my playing quite a bit, there’s a reason I now have 2 Gibson SG’s and counting. They have taught me that you don’t have to keep building a riff up to make it great, it’s better to strip it down to its bare bones; like back in black, highway to hell, long way to the top, they are very simple but very catchy and complex riffs and those songs will never go away. They also taught me that it’s often what you don’t play that makes a song, the space between the notes that makes it rock…And not to play filler material or play a note for the sake of it. And I try to take those lessons into this band as well.

Ryan: Playing different genres across the rock/metal spectrum has helped me quite a bit I think, I like my thrash and death metal as much as my hard rock, but other than that, I think a drummer shouldn’t be afraid of playing 4/4. Look at Sent From Hell, he can play 4/4 better than anybody on the planet and I hope one day to be as good as him as well.

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

Steven: It’s very collaborative. Usually one of us will come up with a riff or a title or some kind of idea and bring it in to rehearsal and then we’ll work on it with the rest of the band. Sometimes it’s very spontaneous and we can work out a whole song together on the spot at rehearsal, other times, me or Veronica will go home and work on it by ourselves and structure it in our own time and then bring it back to the band to complete, and were constantly trying to get it as close to perfect as possible. We just think if you go through the trouble of writing a song, why not try to make it the best song it can be?

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

Steven: Just From life experience really, a lot of the times I tend to hide what I’m really talking about with a variety of different stylistic features. But there’s always a general theme for a song that I write to, and a lot of them come from life experiences. A lot of them are about sex also.

Give us some background to your latest release.

We just released our debut Double EP, Sent From Hell, it’s a wild and raw rock n’ rock record about sin, sex and good times. It’s a mix of 4 studio recordings, including our 2 single releases, and 4 live recordings taken from one of our gigs in December. It’s fast and heavy and it’s LOUD!

Could you give some insight to the themes behind it and its songs?

Steven: Well we didn’t actually realise it was all under a general theme until we finally put them all together. But it stems from a bit of a stereotypical sense of being a rock band; we just reimagine it in our own way. The whole Hell theme for a lot of rock bands I think comes from a general sense that you aren’t accepted, either by society or musically in some way or another, but we sort of just went with that and realised a lot of our songs were about that too.

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?

Veronica: I don’t think any band who aren’t already millionaires can really afford to work out songs in the studio, it’s expensive too record, we spent about 9 months working on material and perfecting all our songs and choosing the best of those to record for our EP so we wouldn’t be wasting any time and can focus on making the song sound as good as possible rather than writing the song from scratch. Of course you do develop it a bit while you record and may add or take away things you didn’t think off before, but if you’ve already worked it out and rehearsed the shit out of it before you even think about recording it, it does make everything a lot easier and faster.

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

Steven: So the live show is something we’ve spent a lot of time working on and still are improving every time we play, but I feel it’s just a thing you have to jump into, because the best way to learn it is by doing it, making those crucial mistakes and realising what it takes to have that amazing live show. It’s something a band has to find just as much as they have to find their own sound, and believe it or not, I find it perhaps the most fun part.

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 or vice versa as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success?

Steven: I mean it’s just one of those things isn’t it, I feel every industry will go through changes and end up evolving. But with new challenges comes new experiences and I feel like everyone is pretty accepting of the new digital aspect of the music industry. Sure it’s hard to get noticed in a market that kind of revolves itself around self-saturation but it’s also the easiest time in history to be heard. There’s always gonna be ups and downs in an industry I guess it’s just up to the person themself if they want to put in the effort to learn that industry.

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

If you’re in Sydney, be sure to catch us at one of our shows over the next few months for Sent From Hell. We also recently spent some time recording at the Grove Studios for our next project so keep your eyes and ear peeled we have plenty more to come!

https://www.facebook.com/Avalanche2018Official   https://avalanche2018.bandcamp.com/   https://www.instagram.com/avalanchebandrock/

Pete RingMaster 27/07/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Spunk Volcano and the Eruptions – Double Bastard

This month sees the release of the fourth album from UK rockers Spunk Volcano and the Eruptions and like with all its predecessors just the news of that had us drooling in anticipation of its sure to be boisterous antics. Like so many others, the rousing exploits of the band to date ensured such eagerness and we can confirm right here and now no one will be disappointed. We will not announce Double Bastard the band’s finest offering to date such the thrills and spills within the likes of Injection, Shit Generation, and Not Wired Up Right before it and that is ignoring their equally rousing EPs, but it is right up there and insistently increasing its right to be announced top dog by the listen.

Ever the prolific songwriter vocalist/guitarist Spunk Volcano, also like drummer Maff Fazzo of Dirt Box Disco revelry, has filled the belly of Double Bastard with twenty five slabs of the band’s inimitable multi-flavoured punk ‘n’ roll. Expectantly his songs swing hooks like a predatory angler whilst lustfully ensnaring ears and participation with lung rousing choruses and virulently anthemic hollers and as ever their hearts are inspired by the intimate, social or simply everyday items and other sources of fun. But predictability and echoes of past shenanigans never rear their heads across the double album only mischief, craft, and pleasure.

With so many tracks within its bulging walls let’s get the fillers out of the way first…..OK that’s done! Truly every moment with Double Bastard is an essential incitement of rock ‘n’ roll with Teenage Teenagers the first to exploit an admittedly already in waiting appetite. From its first breath the song is an infectiously eager clamour, vocals leading the manipulation as Fazzo’s beats and Joey Strange’s throaty bassline direct its catchy stroll. The guitars of Tom ‘G Force’ Batterbee and Stew Page weave their own melodic temptation into the familiar SV and the Eruptions mix but one wholly individual proposition.

Swiftly the deliciously rapacious lures of Marvellous Manifesto and the rhythmically animated and sonically devilish Fixtures and Fittings infested eager ears with their voracity in heart and tenacious catchiness. The instinctive rock ‘n roll of each track is just as bold and persuasive before Plasticine playfully prowls ears and imagination with the barely diminishing nostalgia and lure of its inspiration, a song as memorable as it is devilish in presence.

It feels mean to pick out certain songs over others as all simply pushed the album to further greatness but among the contagion loaded and diversely flavoured likes of Shit Excuse, Edging on the Side of Caution, TCP, and Spare Room, persistent peaks were set by the sinisterly sauntering, deviously compelling Super Dooper and the voracious trespass of Independent Fire. The metallic edging of the hardcore bred first is accentuated in the punk/thrash toned foray of the second yet both reveal so much more in their sound and flavouring than that suggests,.

Similarly Red Rings with its engulfing melancholy and the irritable uproar of Road Rage brought new heights to the release just as potently matched by the pandemic melodic rock temptation Old Wives Tales with Fazzo‘s skills alone inescapable bait, the track bringing CD 1 to a magnificent close.

In many ways CD 2 shares a more feral side to the band’s sound, their punk instincts gloriously festering in the raucous hearts of tracks just as infectious and variously flavoured as their album companions before them. Death or Glory and Sucking Up quickly instil that feeling, the first track just muscular in every riff and heavily landing beat, biting hooks and rowdy vocals adding to its punk ‘n’ roll rampancy before its successor bares its old school punk snarl and seventies pub rock disorder like a brawling mix of Eddie and The Hot Rods, The Damned, and Motorhead.

The nagging prowess of Here Come the Zombies proved pure manna to personal tastes, the track building on the just as irresistible punk brawl of Dirty Pictures before it, the latter the definitive epitome of the band’s sound from day one and its perpetual evolution ever since; like a whiff of every release is embraced in its own particular bedlam.

Inevitably some tracks burrowed under the skin further than others, the insatiable almost savage onslaught of Personality Black Hole as mercilessly addictive as Inbred with seventies punk irreverence flooding its hooks is carnally seductive and Scared of Needles is effortlessly manipulative on spirit, body, and vocal chords.

Even so the likes of the 99% with its varied weave of melodic rock, the antagonistically anthemic Sick of Saying the Same Things, and the pop punk tunnelling rock ‘n’ roll of Daft as Brushes ignited the passions with no trouble or resistance.

The album is brought to a close by firstly the hard rock/pop punk infested melodic bellow of Blinded and then You Think Your Rock n’ Roll But You’re Not, one final punk ‘n’ roll blitz on ears and inhibitions which both fell in seconds for its cacophonous contagiousness.

Double Bastard is prime yet wholly fresh Spunk Volcano and the Eruptions and just another stomp with the nefariously enterprising quintet we can only loudly recommend.

Double Bastard is released via Avenue Recordz on 21st June.

https://www.facebook.com/spunkvolcano/   https://spunkvolcano.com/   https://twitter.com/SpunkVolcano

Pete RingMaster 03/06/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Puppet Kings – The Mountain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Mountain is out now.

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

Pete RingMaster 06/03/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Altitudes and Attitude – Get It Out

Just the thought of two of metal’s finest most influential bassists linking up whets the appetite; indeed a potential pleasure which pretty much inflamed said optimism with the release of an EP five years back. That teaser though has just become a full on feast of hard rock ’n’ roll pleasure with the release of Get It Out the debut album from Altitudes & Attitude.

For those yet to discover the outfit, Altitudes & Attitude is the creative union of Anthrax’s Frank Bello and Megadeth’s David Ellefson. It was a partnership sparked when the pair started touring together to lead bass clinics for the amp manufacturer Hartke in 2010.To provide backing tracks to support their demonstrations the pair began writing songs, this leading four years later to the unveiling of a three track EP. Now the link-up has brought us Get It Out and thirteen tracks which pretty much rock the life of the majority of hard rock offerings of recent times. You might say that the album is not the most unique, it openly embracing assumedly some of the hues of the pair’s own musical likes and pleasures over time, yet it has a freshness and individual character which uses such flavours rather than relies on them. At times it has a definite John Bush led Anthrax meets Foo Fighters roar but from start to finish stomps with its own voice and gait to relentlessly thrill.

Produced by Jay Ruston (Anthrax, Steel Panther, Stone Sour) and with drummer Jeff Friedl (A Perfect Circle, Ashes Divide, Filter) unleashing the driving rhythms throughout, Get It Out sees a host of guitarists guesting alongside the bass and rhythm guitar sharing of Ellefson and Bello, the latter providing the vocals and lyrical prowess. Among them is the familiar craft of Ace Frehley, Gus G (Firewind), Jon Donais (Shadows Fall/Anthrax) and Christian Martucci (Stone Sour); with all musicians involved adding to its magnetic lure.

The album opens with its title track and swiftly and easily had attention gripped as guitar bred wires entangled ears; their nagging increasingly compelling before riffs and rhythms add their persistence to the baiting of the senses. Bello’s vocals are just as potent as the track erupts into that Foo Fighters tinged roar which sweeps across the album at times. It is an outstanding track and start quickly matched by the similarly stirring and vigorous Late. The second track is less forceful in its initial tempting, almost teasing ears before hitting its muscular stride with Friedl’s beats a crisp trespass alongside the melodic caress of guitar. With a Verni like hue to its infectiousness and controlled holler, the song also effortlessly hit the spot with its multi-flavoured rock ‘n’ roll.

Lyrically, the album sees Bello open up to personal experiences and the intimate turbulence which have been part of his life; explorations just as intriguing as the sounds around them and fuelling further quick success in the likes of Out Here and Part Of Me. The first shares a delicious groove aligned to mountainous rhythms, their captivating unity matched by the harmonic call of vocals and guitar while the second is pure incitement from its gnarly bassline to thumping beats and hook springing virulence. Both tracks leave little to be desired but the latter with its imposing but galvanic trespasses was rock ‘n’ roll manna to personal tastes with a guitar solo to lap up.

The irresistible Slip ventures into a more indie rock lined hard rock stroll, vocals and melodies as infectious and manipulative as a virus while next up Talk To Me provides a relatively calmer but no less persuasive canter draped with a great Julian Cope-esque feel in voice and sound. Both tracks add to the already lofty heights of the release with creative and hearty relish before Leviathan shares more classic and heavy/progressive metal strains of enterprise. The instrumental is a magnetic detour from the thrust of the album so far adding another aspect to its increasingly varied landscape.

Cold shares some of its predecessor’s colouring within its own heavily satisfying melodic rock ‘n’ rumble with Another Day returning to shades of Dave Grohl and co with its controlled yet fiery saunter.    It was a song which maybe did not have us bouncing as lustfully as others but its magnetism was inescapable as too its hungry hooks and lures; coaxing just as thick and even more compelling within the emotively atmospheric and revealing All There Is where melodic droning and vocal intimacy blossoms.

The album concludes with bonus cuts of the songs which made up that first EP; all three remixed and re-mastered. Booze And Cigarettes has a great feral edge to its rock clamour, Tell The World a melodic almost poppy instinct to its catchiness, while Here Again is as much punk as it is heavy and hard rock bred; all three showing why Altitudes & Attitude had so many excited a few years back and anticipation for the album, they now thrillingly end, so keen.

A record which will appeal to a vast array of metal and rock fans, Get It Out is rock ‘n’ roll at its hearty best, so no more words needed just your soon to be hungrily happy ears.

Get It Out is out now through Megaforce Records.

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Pete RingMaster 12/02/2019

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