Phoxjaw – A Playground For Sad Adults

We are not sure what it is in the River Avon and water supply of Bristol but the city is one of our favourite and persistently fruitful sources of musical invention and ear grabbing artists. It has provided a lengthy list of striking propositions over recent years alone to which Phoxjaw has added their creative name. The band has just uncaged their second EP, A Playground For Sad Adults; a collection of tracks which are as dramatic and unpredictable as they are feverishly contagious.

Phoxjaw have a sound which rebelliously defies pinning down especially within A Playground For Sad Adults. It is alternative rock bred to give it a base which made for an appealing lure in the band’s last EP, Goodbye Dinosaur… released last November. Within its successor though, it has evolved into a whole fresh and bold proposition of flavour and imagination which firmly puts the band’s first EP as well as a great many releases this year in the shade.

Released through Hassle Records, A Playground For Sad Adults opens with the brief lure of its title track; the piece sepia toned coaxing which inspired intrigue alongside trepidation as to what lurked ahead. What was waiting was one of the best tracks heard, Melt, You’re A Face Of Wax emerging from the raw shadows of its predecessor with an immediately enticing melodic strand of guitar within calm but suggestively imposing beats. Quickly the web spun by guitarists Josh Gallop and Alexander Share wraps the imagination, the bass of vocalist Danny Garland prowling the already instinctively catchy and increasingly richer and bolder incitement. A momentary calm surrounds the opening moments of the latter’s magnetic voice, the beats of Kieran Gallop still a crisp encouragement as guitar wires share their temptation. Crescendos of drama and creative theatre only add to the rousing character and a soon eager appetite for the song’s animated adventure.

The track is superb and never matched but certainly rivalled by things to come starting with Monday Man. It too took barely a breath to grip appetite and attention, bass and drums united in delicious bait before guitars sprung their own virulent enticement. In no time a pop rock energy and catchiness floods the expanding encounter, Garland’s vocals leading the tempting with zeal as melodic and sonic invention collude in equally magnetic persuasion. By the second greater urgency and dissonance emerges, firing up the roar and intensity of the song but never lessening the pull of its contagion before Whale, Whale, Whale brings its own catchy wiring and ravenous appetite to the release. Instantly a ferocious intent accompanies the senses shaking surge of incitement, a nagging groove taunting and enslaving ears within the turbulence of sound and emotion. It is a tempest though which breaks for melodic intervention and emotional reassurance but ultimately stalks and harries pleasure into inescapable subservience.

Bodiesinthewall casts another slice of unique drama within the EP, its initial presence a shadow clad and portentous calm from which a poppy stroll and mischievously catchy seduction eagerly springs. Like a blend of Maximo Park and Fatima Mansions, the song was craftily under the skin in no time and manipulating participation with just as much relish right up to the nightmarish expulsion of all its fears and discord, though that too only leads to another contrasting climate, this time a carousel of melodic and vocal enchantment.

Bringing the release to a stirring close, The Curse Of The Button Man is a cinematic yet intimately stirring slice of creative imagination. As its predecessors, the song is a cauldron of flavours and hues which defy precise labelling whilst providing a drama and experience which eagerly lingers in thought and appetite. Dark and intimidating, predacious and relentlessly infectious it is a glorious nightmare bringing a stunning release to a mighty close.

Phoxjaw gave numerous reasons to keep a close ear upon them with that first EP but a suggestion which has now become a rabid demand through A Playground For Sad Adults, one of the year’s most compelling and thrilling moments.

A Playground For Sad Adults is out now via Hassle Records; available @ https://phoxjaw.bandcamp.com/album/a-playground-for-sad-adults

https://www.facebook.com/phoxjawofficial/   https://twitter.com/phoxjaw

Pete RingMaster 02/08/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Lonely The Brave – Diamond Days EP

A handful of weeks short of its acclaim luring release a year ago, UK outfit Lonely The Brave follow their chart topping album with another new ear hugging EP. Featuring Diamond Days from the acclaimed Things Will Matter, the Cambridge quartet’s latest offering also provides two brand new songs and a haunting cover of a long time band favourite. Together they seduce the senses and spark the imagination, offering further reasons as to why people are suggesting that Lonely The Brave could be Britain’s, if not the world’s, future big thing.

Last year saw, beside the album’s triumphant release, the band play a sell-out headline tour and support Biffy Clyro on their travels across Europe. With the band currently in the midst of a UK tour supporting fellow city bred outfit Mallory Knox alongside Glasgow trio, Fatherson, Lonely The Brave with Diamond Days build on the similarly potent encounter of last Autumn’s EP, Dust & Bones; both releases not only feeding an appetite for the band’s ever brewing growth in sound and songwriting but re-energising attention on Things Will Matter with their lead tracks.

Diamond Days, song and EP swiftly captures devoted attention as a lone melody unfurls its gentle caress around ears. Soon beats add their rhythmic shuffle as vocalist David Jakes shares his distinctive and emotively honed tones. Quickly magnetic, the track only increases its potency as harmonies and further melodic enterprise from guitarist Ross Smithwick unites with the similarly potent touch of Andrew Bushen’s bass, together casting a suggestive web of temptation. Floating over the senses like a melancholic yet elegant cloud, the song haunts and bewitches in equal measure, brooding keys adding to its evocative air.

With the beats of Gavin Edgeley just as striking and lively, Two Heads follows, bringing a greater energy in gait and instinctive but controlled aggression. It is more a forcefulness than attack at the heart of the EPs second offering, but an anthemic trespass which gives greater urgency to the tapestry of infectious melodies and hungry riffs persuading an already keen appetite for the band’s sound to find a touch more greed.

Collider is a blend of the previous pair, initiating its presence with another blustery air but slowly creeping into the psyche with meandering melodies and vocal resourcefulness. Overall the song is more of a slow burner than its predecessors, its angular hooks and blossoming catchiness reserved and subtle yet ultimately the song leaves just as rich a pleasure behind as those before it eventually leaving in a blaze of emotive intensity.

As they have shown before, Lonely The Brave makes any track they cover their own, and The Rat is no exception. The Walkmen song is an emotionally exposed encounter, a haunting and haunted proposition floating solemnly across ears and thoughts as shadows brew in its lining. Their injection of drama builds into a rousing tide of emotive density ridden by Jakes’ continually impressing delivery and the melodic weaving of Smithwick. The track is superb, matching the heights of its companions if not stealing their thunder just a little as it too builds to a thrilling crescendo.

For those with the album already in their hearts, the Diamond Days EP is a new and compelling treat and for newcomers also a reason to further embrace a band and sound which is indeed evolving into something rather special.

The Diamond Days EP is out now through Hassle Records across most online stores digitally and on Ltd Ed Mint coloured vinyl; all links @ http://smarturl.it/DiamondDays_Order

Upcoming Mallory Knox/Lonely The Brave Tour Dates:

31/03/17 – Newcastle – University SU

01/04/17 – Liverpool – O2 Academy

02/04/17 – Portsmouth – Pyramids

04/04/17 – Oxford – O2 Academy

05/04/17 – London – Koko

06/04/17 – London – Koko

http://lonelythebrave.com/    https://www.facebook.com/LonelyTheBrave   https://twitter.com/lonelythebrave

Pete RingMaster 27/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright