Gelato – Self Titled EP

Gelato _ Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

Do you equally miss the days when Queens Of the Stone Age first teased and taunted ears and appetites with raw and undiluted rock ‘n’ roll cast in their inimitable manner? Then welcome to Gelato, a UK band openly wearing inspirations from Josh Homme and co in their feisty sound but only as one spicy ingredient in a contagious mix of punk and indie pop infused rock ‘n’ roll. Personally the biggest similarity is simply the thick tingle of excitement hearing the bands for the first time, the London trio rippling with an indefinable essence which leaves those around them seeming a much paler proposition.

The evidence to such claim comes with the band’s self-titled debut EP; three tracks of quirkily individual and addictively tenacious encounters fuelled by invention and soaked in creative devilry. Gelato consists of bassist Phil, drummer Ben, and vocalist /guitarist Drew, the latter previously of the excellent Hitchcock Blonde. 2014 saw the band make a potent breakthrough with low-key gigs across the London live scene with matching reactions and receive airplay via BBC6. Their EP though is the first major lure into broader awareness and attention, and the first step to big things we suggest.

Gelato EP cover _Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review   Recorded with Tobin Jones (Bo Ningen, Twilight Sad, Cold Specks), the EP kicks off with Get My Way, a track instantly flirting with ears as a wiry guitar hook repeats keenly on the senses amidst a thick prodding of beats. It is appetite raising bait which becomes a feisty stroll with the same sonic lure now embraced by crisp rhythms and a darkly wicked bassline. The vocals of Drew as just as inviting once they emerge too, whilst the QOTSA bred harmonies add a smiling extra to the contagiously engaging adventure. The song continues to snarl and seduce in equal measure, band and sound bounding around like a young colt with the maturity and craft of a rock veteran.

The band’s new single Room Service follows and again has ears and a now hungry appetite locked in with its first touch, this a dirty grizzled bassline which simply resonates in the senses before a spicy weave of guitar and brewing harmonies caress it and a fresh anthemic lure of beats. As its predecessor, the track from a slimmer start broadens into a heavier bewitching tapestry of sound and textures, it all infested in a contagious revelry and charm. As catchy and tangibly poppy as it is though, there is a dark predatory edge to the song especially in backing vocals and rhythms, which lights up air and imagination with further unpredictable adventure.

Ruffians brings the band’s introduction to a close, two minutes of punk filtered pop rock which has an underlying aggression as riveting and majestic as the warmer melodic tendencies wrapping its rugged spine. Arguably the least dramatically sculpted offering, the song still has little difficulty in firing up pleasure and a want for more, the band showing they can rock out or design a seriously involved temptation with matching potency.

As with any brief but impressive offering, there is only a needy want for more by the EP’s close, a wish to dive with haste into further endeavours but that is for the future. Right now we have a seriously impressive and thrilling start to devour from a band in Gelato, which one day might just be spoken of with the same stature of their prime inspiration.

The Gelato EP is available now digitally and on CD via https://gelatomusic.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.facebook.com/GelatoMusic

RingMaster 17/05/2015

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Hearts Of Red – Two Hearts EP

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What can we tell you about UK alternative rock band Hearts Of Red? Well they come from Bristol and consist of vocalist Grace Bickerton, guitarists Josh Weller and Matthew Ward, and bassist Pierre Muslimani. The rest is to be discovered about this brand new band, with plenty bound to be asked about them once their debut release, the Two Hearts EP which comes out in the near future, and from the trio of songs Pierre kindly sent over for perusal, we can say it is going to be an introduction to excite.

The three songs are loaded with potential and accomplished invention, a potent spring board for the band to leap ahead from. Their sound sits somewhere between Karn8 and Hitchcock Blonde, two bands no longer with us but leaving a gap which Hearts Of Red fill nicely with their more hard rock seeded and raucously appealing sound.

Again track order is unknown but we will start with easily the best song on the upcoming release. You Are The One drips drama and attitude from its first breath and note, an immediate hook as intimidating as it is seductive. As rhythms and riffs prowl the senses Grace croons with magnetic resourcefulness, her tones mischievous and alluring, and finding their strongest potency when she roars as the song hits its impressive crescendo of a chorus. Her delivery is enjoyably varied and as mentioned cheeky, something always good to hear whilst around her attention gripping sounds flirt and entice with energy and low key but open adventure.

Easily a choice of lead single for us, the song is backed up by Motivation and Two Hearts, neither quite matching their predecessor’s might but each adding another piece of the emerging creative jigsaw within the band. The first of the pair explores a bluesy breeding from the start, raw riffs and jabbing beats again As good as stalking vocals and listener with a predatory gait wrapped in melodic enterprise. Adding another colour to the songwriting and sound of the band, the track is a real grower, emerging as a tasty teaser but just lacking the spark and unique character of You Are The One, the same which can be said of Two Hearts. Nevertheless both leave ears and appetite hungry to know and hear more. The third of the three tracks has a musty air to its sonic persuasion, a fuzzy lilt in tone which lies well with the sharper vocals of Grace and the rapier like beats. With the bass tempting of Pierre a strong dark lure and the enterprise of Josh and Matthew inventive and unpredictable, the song is a more than solid proposition just missing a snarl or boldness to step out of the box as found in the outstanding You Are The One.

The Two Hearts EP suggests that Hearts Of Red have the chance of a rather rosy future if they realise the promise fuelling their opening shots in their upcoming debut. Keep a close eye is our suggestion. For more information check the band out @ https://www.facebook.com/HeartsOfRedUK

RingMaster 05/12/2014

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Hitchcock Blonde: Five Pounds EP

When Avenge Vulture Attack announced a reincarnation as Hitchcock Blonde it has to be admitted a slight groan escaped from within, accompanied by an audible air of worry. Would the sound follow the same route as the move from what was a snapping combative name into a more, though admittedly it carries its own intrigue and shadows, noir yet glamorous one? Would the great punk pop sounds with their impressive snarl which had captured our enthusiasm previously turn into an elegant fluffier form of pop music was the question and fear. Their debut release the Five Pounds EP now provides the answers and dispels those fears. Yes the music has changed but into a new compelling force which, yes has arguably lost the raw punk edge which wonderfully marked their previous releases, but has evolved into something just as enthralling and exciting, to make the release itself one thrilling contagion.

From London, Hitchcock Blonde consists of guitarist Drew Wynen, bassist Joss Nightingale, and drummer Ben Davies, speared by the enticing and striking voice of Ella Grace. It is a combination of skilled inventive musicians and elements which has already led the band to strong acclaim, an energetic and growing fan base, and to playing some of the top venues around the UK this past year sharing stages with the likes of The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, My Red Cell, Wrongnote, and The Mars Patrol. Comparisons with bands such as Band of Skulls, the Foo Fighters, and Skunk Anansie have been placed upon the bands though the quartet inspire other more accurate thoughts in that area whilst creating their own distinct presence and breath with songs which captivate and lead senses and bodies into a riot of infectious escapades.

Recorded with Tobin Jones (Cold Specks, The Twilight Sad), Five Pounds opens with the immediately engaging Baby Knows Best. Its initial breeze is a gentle caress rising to a crescendo of striking riffs and vibrant energy. The song then settles into a warm slow stroll with the wonderful vocals of Grace leaving extra heat with her expressive and full tones. Though arguably that previously mentioned snarl has now gone the track as it explodes into dramatic sonic explosions still offers a certain attitude from their previous guise, a bite which obviously will never abandon the creativity and heart of band and music. The song moves through unexpected and delicious breaks in pace and direction, brief seamless movements which flow perfectly and only go to make the song magnetic and impressive.

The great start is left in the shade somewhat by the brilliant Buzzkill, a song which holds many disguises within its pulsating and magnetic enterprise. It is another gentle and warm beginning with the guitar of Wynen playing the ear and heart like a harp, his play tantalising the aural taste buds and thoughts whilst the bass of Nightingale prowls around the sounds with a devilish yet unintimidating gait. As the guitar plucks with singular and hypnotic elegance, Grace offers her vocal seduction to leave one transfixed. Once immersed within its irresistible arms the song then erupts into a bristling and inciting energy safe in the knowledge you are going nowhere. The mini ‘riots’ are another shift within a song of great imagination and outstanding craft. Along its delicious body the song integrates the same elements again whilst offering further stunning delight through slow sparkling melodic kisses until it all sparks up into a fiery climax which leaves one breathless. The best song on the release, it is an excellent invention of elegant craft, unchained imagination, and controlled aggression.

Cutglass is a less provocative track, its crystal whispers next to eager rhythms from Davies is a skilful union whilst again the vocal smouldering of Grace bewitches the passions. It does not quite light up the fires as the first pair of songs but leaves one completely absorbed and satisfied with its more reserved yet potent emotive charms. The track carries a charge too which ignites its climax, an energy and intent which ripples throughout Sexy Like You, a piece of pop rock which sways and taunts with attitude and sweltering melodic majesty with a blues whisper on its lips.

The release ends with the sizzling energy and charge of Let It Go and the irresistible teasing of Animal, an exceptional track where the band venture into the punkish qualities which marked their early days. Both take one on a ride of infection and enterprise, the first a slice of sparking muscular pop with a touch of Metric to it and the second a lightly bruising piece of brilliance which comes from the same blood pumping rock n roll found within the likes of The Objek and eighties band Au-Pairs.

The Five Pounds EP is exceptional, a real pleasure to leave the heart excited and desperate for more whilst destroying those initial groundless fears. Hitchcock Band will be a band to shape the future of UK indie Pop rock and we for one cannot wait.

http://www.hitchcockblondeband.com

RingMaster 09/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

White Clouds & Gunfire – Zero to Hero EP

Zero to Hero EP the debut EP from UK pop punksters White Clouds & Gunfire warms the ear and emotions like a summer sun, its melodic radiance and infectious rays hard to resist dipping into. It is one of those releases which you can only find good things to say about, its songs accomplished and vibrant their sound refreshing and flying on heart borne enthusiasm. Unfortunately it also suffers like the majority of releases from melodic rock/pop punk female fronted bands; it sounds like many many others. The band do nothing wrong, the tracks within the release easily accessible and deeply contagious but it still spawns a likeness of sound to that section of the genre. This year alone has seen the emergence of bands such as Me & The Mountain, Hitchcock Blonde, Held By Horses and Leopards, all like White Clouds & Gunfire impressive and all seemingly borne from an overall similarity.

That is the negative out of the way with only enthused emotions inspired for every other aspect of band and release. Formed in 2008, White Clouds & Gunfire have taken time to get into their stride due to line-up instability but 2011 saw a turning point with everything coming into focus and evolving. The Peterborough quintet have drawn strong acclaim across the written press and lit up stages alongside bands such as Army Of Freshmen, Sonic Boom Six, OPM, MC Lars, The Hype Theory, and As We Climb as their enthusiastic work ethic and exciting sounds drives them to greater heights. The Zero To Hero EP is the next step, their national introduction and charge further afield with shows and presence.

You Think You Know Me opens up the release and immediately noticeable is the great growling bass of Rob Woods and the teasing vocals of Eveline Verdegaal. Both have a startling presence which only sparks full attention, though the rest of the band are no less impressive. The opening of the song is restrained in energy and invention but still forms a strong base for the vocals to flourish within. The guitars of Jake Matthews and newest member Ben Scarr (current guitarist with As We Climb) surge and rub against the ear with skill and intelligent melodic touches. The song is constantly intriguing with its additives and slight asides to keep a captivation well within it grasp.

The following Satellite takes the levels higher, its acidic sonics sharp and precise whilst the bass again grumbles magnificently, its tone the perfect temper and compliment to the golden tones of Verdegaal, the sparkling harmonies, and warm melodic flourishes. The track bounces along with unbridled energy but it is a careful mix of smart ideas and finely shaped play which with focus shines brightly. It is all driven by the thumping beats of Lewis Fountain, his powerful rhythmic frames the key to pulling it all into a tight explosion of sizzling enjoyment.

The remaining pair of songs continue to firmly engage, both Stand And Be The Hero and Turn Out The Lights burning a soft spot in the heart. It really is impossible not to have a real attraction for the band, their enchanting fiery breath and sculptured imaginative ideas an insatiable melodic kiss. The first of the pair brings a heavier intensity to its gait, the forceful beats and riffs forging a stirring spine to further fine melodic enterprise. The closing song is simply a greedy riot of catchy and hungry hooks and melodies. Though his vocals have backed up well on other songs, Scarr brings a fuller presence alongside Verdegaal to the song, maybe something to explore deeper and further ahead to set them apart from others, especially when it works this well. The song has a familiarity to it which makes it easy to accept its invitation to join in and ends the release off on a real high.

Zero to Hero is a great feel good slab of melodic rock which deserves much attention. Like other similarly fuelled releases this EP may struggle to make its distinct mark within the field but if there is a band with the talent to find that unique voice ahead it is White Clouds & Gunfire.

www.facebook.com/wcagf

RingMaster 10/10/2012

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Held By Horses: In History

Held By Horses is a quintet from Chelmsford in the UK which is starting to turn heads their way with strong and impressively delivered rock music. The Essex female fronted band now builds on their already rising stock with the release of their new EP In History. Consisting of five songs which grab attention and feed the desire for vibrant and well crafted songs, the EP without arguably bringing new startling detours in the direction of rock music, leaves one fully satisfied and looking forward to watching and hearing the future of this promising band.

Forming in the opening weeks of 2011, the band soon had their debut EP rampaging in ears and since have lit up stages alongside the likes of Mallory Knox, Mystery Jets, Johnny Get The Gun, and Our People Versus Yours. Produced by Dan Lancaster (Lower Than Atlantis, Mallory Knox), In History is their next impressive step in a steady rise as the band works their way to the fore of national recognition.

To swiftly get the obvious comment out of the way when listening to the EP, it has to be said the surface sound of the band though impressive is not groundbreaking. With other great emerging bands such as Leopards, Never The Last Breath, and Hitchcock Blonde to name just three treading the same field of sound, there is a familiar feel across them all. This makes initial impressions less dramatic then maybe is deserved and only with a closer inspection does the craft and skill of the individual come out as with Held By Horses. The trouble for bands is how many have that intent and patience? Saying that though, the band does have an emerging style which is maybe more suggested right now but it is there and destined to evolve ahead.

The release opens with You Win Some, You Lose Some. It is a song which initially under whelms with the main reason being that the vocals of Harriet Reynolds are lost within the mass of the music. It is like she is veiled but thankfully as the rest of the EP explodes in the ear her great voice and delivery is allowed the clarity to shine and hit home with vigour and passion. The song itself is a pleasing if not adventurous companion and certainly keeps one happy to check out the rest of the release.

The following Little Water is soon putting the opener in the shade. Immediately the vocal harmonies sweep one up in their charms and the incisive groove which follows has one eagerly ready to feast upon the song. The early sonic grip leads into energetic guitar play from Kyle Ginn and Will Smith which switches from a more expansive wash back to the tighter acidic groove and back throughout. Lively and persistent the song is sure to be an explosive live favourite and sets the release on track to ignite deeper pleasures.

As great as the previous track is the best song on the release steps up next in the fiery shape of The Last Word. Featuring the vocals of Renz Byrne from Never Means Maybe alongside Reynolds, the track is a feisty rampage of dusty melodics speared by thumping rhythms from drummer Scott Dillon. The muscular bass lines of Charlie O’Halloran under pin the smouldering guitar melodics and hooks perfectly to give a depth to the stirring breath of the song but it is midway when Byrne joins Reynold that glorious sparks fly, their union dazzling and impossible not to be enamoured by. The song is mighty in power and emotion, and of all the songs shows the depth of promise within the band and their writing.

     Down And Out has the envious job of following and does a fine job, the song a thumping treat of energies, air scorching melodics, and captivating vocals. It leads one keenly into the closing Virtues, another song which only has good thoughts going its way. Lively with a Paramore pop rock kiss to its attack, the song ticks all the boxes to leave one smiling. Inventive and impressively delivered it makes a strong end to a more than decent release.

In History is a strong and pleasing release showing a band finding impressive form and promise. Yes the release does not really standout on its own amongst many other similarly fuelled bands but one senses that will come. Held By Horses ensures the company of the EP is gratifying and enjoyable, really all that ever matters surely.

www.facebook.com/heldbyhorses

RingMaster 15/09/2012

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Actions! : South Of The Water single

Since receiving the promo for the debut single from UK power pop band Actions! the band has announced its demise due to personal commitments of its members. Despite this South Of The Water is easily worth checking out as the band bid their hello/farewell on a bit of a bang rather with two songs that displays much promise for what one suspects could have been a rather notable pop punk styled band.

The band started in the opening weeks of 2011 though bassist Mat Wilson and guitarist Ryan Stuart had played together from Year 9 in school and alongside drummer Laurence Mosley since 2008 when he jammed with their previous band. With the addition of vocalist Emily Cracknell last year Actions! became a complete and focused entity.  Taking open pop punk influences from the likes of Blink182 and Amberlin as well as the pop styling of a Jessie J and Pink the quartet has developed a sound which is tight, energetic, and eagerly accessible,  the single suggests the band were still yet to find their completely distinct sound but with rhythms that pump up the blood, guitar melodies which easily draw attention, and the excellent rich vocals of Cracknell  the band was easily one of the more interesting and promising pop driven rock bands to emerge in the UK, as successful supports slots with bands such as Inme, Skindred, Paige, and Not Advised proved.

Released May 21st, the two songs making up the single were recorded  at the beginning of the year and more than deserve firm attention  even if the band are no longer a breathing creature. The song South Of The Water opens with a slow enchantment from the appealing and impressive vocals of Cracknell with a subtle melodic guitar in company. As the emotive bass of Wilson steps into view with the firm and punchy beats of Mosley alongside, the song spreads its wings and pulls one into a vibrant blend of impassioned guitars and flavoursome guitar driven rock. It is Cracknell that lights up the song most, her delivery and great voice well formed and captivating. The song does not explode within the ear but swarms around and warms up the senses with a fine all round display of craft and intent.

The second track on the release is a more direct pop punk energised pleasure. One Minute Smile dances and beckons with simple riffs that spark and again excellent vocals which lead every aspect of the great song with an assured belief and confidence. As with the first the song does not stand atop a hill of originality but satisfies and entertains with an accomplished ease and ability which is just as full and pleasing.

With essences of Paramore as apparent as previously mentioned references the band fit alongside the likes of Me & The Mountain and Hitchcock Blonde in promise, sound, and creativity. That promise is strong and unmistakable from this their debut and departure so it is a shame we will not get to watch and hear a great band evolve into one suspects would have been something even more special.

     South Of The Water is a fine single that deserves plenty of attention and will leave many upon hearing it with disappointment that this is all we have from Actions! to enjoy.

www.facebook.com/actionsuk

RingMaster 08/05/2012

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