Horse Party – Horizons

Pic by Jeff Higgott

Pic by Jeff Higgott

Regular readers to The RingMaster Review will know we have enjoyed an on-going affair between ears and music with UK trio Horse Party ever since they emerged in 2012 and unveiled their first pair of songs in Clarion Call and Back To Mono.  Since then, as their sound and imagination has grown and evolved, each single, EP, and indeed debut album, Cover Your Eyes, has bred a lustier and greedier appetite for their post punk/indie rock seeded adventures. Now the Bury St Edmunds hailing band has a new album to excite and draw spotlights their way, and in Horizons, one suspects and hopes, the key to deserved major attention.

Horizons is a compilation of sorts; a collection of the tracks released by the band across 2015 through EPs and singles. For fans there is the added bonus of a previously unreleased track and for newcomers, Horizons is an A-Z to why Horse Party is for so many British rock ‘n’ roll at its inspiringly majestic best. Released via R*E*P*E*A*T Records, the album is a kaleidoscope of the imagination and dark yet vibrant sounds which the threesome of vocalist/guitarist Ellie Langley, vocalist/guitarist/bassist Seymour Quigley and drummer Shannon Hope weave into their songwriting and acclaimed live shows. The fact that the tracks are laid out in release order also reveals the growth in the band’s sound over the past twelve to eighteen months alone.

It opens with the two tracks which started 2015 off in major style as a 7” vinyl single. Out Of Sight is first and instantly entices ears with a dour yet flirtatious bass riff. From its first breath, the outstanding song prowls ears and imagination, a predacious air to bass and guitar leading the seduction as beats crisply land around the just as swiftly alluring voice of Langley. Though it broadens its expression and melodic touch, the song never loses its darkly hued and persistent beckoning, even as rawer rock flames accompany the new zeal and energy fuelling the vocals. With psych rock lighting adding to the potency, the track is inescapable anthemic rock ‘n’ roll which is quickly more than matched by Receiver.

The second track shows a fleeter foot in energy and rhythms, almost bounding into view as riffs jangle and entice around the just as thickly coaxing vocals of Quigley. A delicious nagging seeded in post punk and punk with a slither of noise rock to it, the song dances around the senses, only increasing its tempting as transfixing harmonies expose lust in an already eager appetite and hooks toy with an alternation of slim and inflamed bait. Like a mix of like Au Pairs, Joy Division, and Morningwood, the track is simply irresistible.

album cover by Kate Wood

album cover by Kate Wood

What I’d Do steps forward next, its strolling gait and intensity another reserved but vibrant beckoning with emotive hues lining voice and melodic enterprise. The steely tone of bass holds ears tight from within the hazy but openly textured song, its dark touches courting the melancholically evocative tones of Langley as well as the more sultry strains of guitar. A slice of psych/rock pop, the song has a Forever Still meets Stevie Nicks air to it, and easily casts its spell on attention before Horizons shares it’s more relaxed but no less provocative presence. Quigley again takes the vocal lead, his potent presence nestling compellingly within a landscape which uncages moments of tempestuous energy and sonic voracity. There is surprisingly a touch of The Housemartins to the song and indeed a whiff of Paul Heaton to Quigley’s expression though once more what emerges is a song as distinct to Horse Party as their name.

A brand new song in the shape of For All I Know follows and swiftly has ears engrossed and enjoyment stirred as a solemn mix of guitar and bass suggestiveness wraps the equally mellow vocals of Langley and the magnetic rhythmic enticement of Hope. It is another with fire in its belly though that is held in check for the main even with the thick nudges of Hope’s swings, the drummer as shown throughout the album, able to create anthemic incitement without disrupting the emotive flights of songs.

A hypnotic nagging steers Paydirt into ears next, its persistent jab of beats colluding with scuzz kissed riffs as minimalistic but potent grooves flirt. In full swing, the track is a bracing proposition which sonically sizzles whilst in its more mellow moments it is monotone sculpted romancing of the senses, and throughout, an addictive breath-taking stroll cast in dark emotions and predatory shadows. It just lights up air and ears, melancholy lined vocals a single seduction among many shared by the song before Animal similarly provides a rousing and compelling experience. As Langley’s almost challenging tones align with choppy rhythms, the track enforces quick submission to its expanding lures. Everything about the song provokes with aggressive intent yet only flirtation is felt as Hope harries and bass and guitars stalk and erupt. That tempting is especially arousing in the passage of surf rock seduction which has body and thoughts aflame in a moment, as echoed by the lyrics, which is like the glorious eye of an equally thrilling storm.

The acoustic hug of the darkly lit and captivating October enchants next, Langley alone and in vocal union with Quigley mesmeric within the blues expressed guitar before Money Talks saunters in on a scuzzy lure of riffs. Gentle slithers of guitar and catchy beats align with the initial tenacious draw and subsequently the siren-esque call of the vocals, it all finding extra drama in the occasional bursts of intensity which punctures the highly infectious persuasion.

Essences of noise rock and new wave creep into Rocket Science next; its canter a lively enticing within post punk shadows and blues lit sonic suggestiveness. Predictability is never an element within a Horse Party song, a point tenaciously shown here as volatile textures and energies engage with the outstanding encounter’s absorbing and seductive serenade.

Smouldering surf rock inspired melodies shape the beauty of Looking For Life next, the song an elegant and radiant shimmer of melodies and harmonies around resonating rhythms. It is a bewitchment of ears, a sonic smooching of the senses and quite delicious epitomising of another quality in the Horse Party creativity, that every listen just makes a song more compelling and impressive.

The emotive soothing of Howling At The Sun surrounds the imagination next, the twin vocal seducing as rich and dramatic as the brooding atmosphere and sounds around them whilst Gratitude Falling brings the album to a spellbinding close with its evolving tapestry of beguiling sound. From a single melody, the track courts a thick growl of bass and a sharp guitar jangle, going onto breed scuzzy expulsions of tempestuous sound whilst all the while Langley grips ears with her narrative and magnetic tones.

Horizons is simply one of the year’s musts; an essential invitation not only into the creative arms and charms of Horse Party but to one of the new breed destined to inspire the future of British rock ahead.

Horizons is released on download and CD on April 1st via R*E*P*E*A*T Records and @ http://horsepartyparty.bandcamp.com/

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

Pete RingMaster 22/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Roaring flames: Introducing This Burning City

This Burning City

One song does not make a band but it certainly is enough to pay close and eager attention upon one and so it is with Ignorance the debut single from Canadian hardcore rockers This Burning City. The teaser for an upcoming EP, the track is visceral and sonically compelling introduction with a vicious contagion to match. Not wanting to wait until the upcoming EP to learn more, we grabbed the chance to fire off a few questions at the band to discover their background, influences, and more….

Hi guys and thanks for talking with us.

Can we start by asking about the band and its background?

Hey there RingMaster. Thanks a lot for opportunity to chat. This Burning City is a hardcore band from the small town of Gananoque, Ontario. We all knew each other from school and came up with the idea of getting together and making noises. Nothing serious but as time went by we loved what we did and This Burning City formed. We’ve been together for roughly 3 years now, but have jammed together for longer.

You have had a few changes in personnel since forming, the norm for plenty of bands but how has that impacted on your hardcore fuelled sound along the way?

No major changes, but a few bumps in the road really. I think in the beginning we didn’t really have any direction or idea of what we wanted. We looked up to bands and said “We want to be THAT” and wrote what we could. After the line-up changes, I think everyone was finally on the same page on what we wanted and we finally could start writing the music that we really wanted to put out. So to answer your question I’d say yes, it has influenced our hardcore sound, but in a good way.

Who would you list as the biggest influences on the band’s sound and you as individual musicians?

It’s extremely safe to say that our biggest influences as a band are Ritual (Ex. Dead And Divine), Stray From The Path, and The Chariot. Other than these three, we all really take influence from Prophets, Holly Springs Disaster, Of Temples, and The Color Morale. You can hear most of these bands in our music, and the influence is pretty clear and direct.

Tell us about the single Ignorance which was released earlier this year, is it a thick example of your sound generally for newcomers to get an idea of what This Burning City is all about?

Ignorance was selected as our single to lead into the EP that we have in the works. When writing music for the EP, we made this song and absolutely HAD to put it out. It was designed to give people a taste of what we had to come, the new direction we were going in, and keep people waiting for the EP. It was recorded in a small basement by Jordan Bulhoes of Suns Of Static and it was mixed and mastered by Jordan Valeriote who has worked on some really huge bands such as Silverstein, Neck Deep, Structures and many others. It’s a very good example of what’s to come, but since writing the single, we’ve written some truly outstanding music that will blow away anyone who enjoys the single.

What about the EP, any info you can share?

We just finished some gruelling days in the studio with Zane of North Of Princess studio to put together a really, really amazing EP. Right now we’re waiting for some early mixes and then it’s off to become truly magical.

Can you give us a spoiler as to its sound and direction?

All I can say at this time is that the sound is going to be huge, the melodies are going to be magical, and to those who have heard us before, it is going to be unlike anything we’ve ever released. Honestly, we all couldn’t be more excited.

You seem to be getting a potent reputation for your live presence also and have played with a horde of bands including the likes of Horizons, Atlas, Fairview, End Of Crisis, and With Blood Drenched Hands. On stage is where the band is most at home?

The stage is definitely our home. When we entered the studio, we looked like deer in the headlights. We didn’t know what to do. But the moment we need to hit the stage, we’re like a well-oiled machine. It’s the place where we let loose, connect with the people we play with, and try our hardest to create a memorable experience. It’s all energy and smiles when we’re up there.

You have a show coming up with He Is Legend and Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster as well as others. How are feelings as it looms closer and this is one of your biggest shows to date?

Well first and foremost we are excited to be sharing the stage with such amazing bands. But at the same time, we are a bit nervous. Kingston, Ontario has the bad tendency to not give these bands the attention they really deserve. I hope the locals will come out and support them. I know we’ll be a bit nervous to open, but like every time, we’ll get over it and truly kick the shit out of the performance.

What else has the band in store for the rest of the year leading into next?

Lots of big plans! Once the EP is out, we’re going to do our best to get it into the hands of people we don’t know and get the name out. Touring is a definite possibility. And of course, we’re always looking ahead to the next big step: our album. The ball is always rolling with us.

Thanks again for sharing your time, anything you wish to shout out to finish off with?

Thank you again for the questions! All I have to say is we are This Burning City! Check us out at www.facebook.com/ThisBurningCity or go to our website at www.ThisBurningCity.com. Check us out at a show near you and listen to the newest single, Ignorance.

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 14/11/2014

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Reaper In Sicily: Horizons

   Reaper In Sicily Promo Shot

    Combining powerful and contagious energy with intensive melodies and squalling passion, the new single from UK rock band Reaper In Sicily is a potent lure to their debut album Islands due for release in June. The album has been the focus of strong anticipation and the first single from it, Horizons certainly does nothing but cement the strength of expectations and intrigue for what it will unleash.

Formed in 2009, the Aberdare quintet took no time in making a mark, the band winning the best unsigned live act award in Kerrang! Magazine. With a sound which has been compared to the likes of The Blackout and Rise Against, their first acclaimed single We Are The Show received strong radio play and its video good TV exposure. Unfortunately in 2010 guitarist Matthew Jenkins was Reaper In Sicily Single Cover Artworkdiagnosed with leukaemia so the band went on a hiatus until he was well enough to re-join and play with them again. On their return they lit up the Reading and Leeds festivals with impressive performances and continued their growing stature with the Eden EP. This was followed with equal success by the Chapters EP and extensive tours around the UK with bands such as Kids In Glass Houses, The Subways, Max Raptor, Attack! Attack!, Mallory Knox, Hawthorne Heights, Fightstar, The Xcerts, Straight Lines, I Spy Strangers, Evarosa, and Hildamay. The end of 2012 saw Reaper In Sicily enter the studio with Romesh Dodangoda (Funeral For A Friend, Kids In Glass Houses) to record Islands with Horizons the first striking piece of enticement.

The single takes mere seconds in filling the ear with thumping rhythms from drummer Damon Miles accompanied by the thick tones from the bass of Mike Evans. This potent core is wrapped in fiery guitar coaxing from Jonny Chappell and Jenkins their instinctive sounds caressing and provoking in equal measure. With the expressive vocals of Rhys John Bernardo bringing their emotive lilt to the enticing encounter, there is a continual strength of variety and passion to the song which alongside the thoughtful songwriting, enthralling weave of inventive, and emotionally heated sounds ensures a full engagement with its heart and inviting surface.

The song is catchy without being obvious and intensive without losing its melodic fluidity and richness. Arguably the song also lacks a truly distinct voice to step far from other similarly forged bands but such its strength and imaginative intent it is right now certainly not an issue. Most importantly the fine song leaves no option but to investigate Islands upon its release and keeps the rise of Reaper In Sicily boiling nicely.

https://www.facebook.com/reaperinsicily

7.5/10

RingMaster 22/03/2013

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Seasons Collide – Horizons

Seasons Collide is a melodic metalcore band…not another I hear you cry…but there is something different about this quintet from the UK to easily set them apart from other emerging similarly fuelled groups. There undoubtedly have been some great examples of the genre introducing themselves this year but it is hard to remember any as accomplished, rounded, and sure of imagination than Seasons Collide. Their debut EP Horizons is a monster of a release which only impresses on every level. For sure it still indicates further promise within the band to be explored and still areas to move forward, but for a first release it is something quite special and thrilling.

The band formed in early 2011 when guitarists/vocalists Adam Clarke and Josh Gernon, bassist Dan Lawley and drummer Nathan Engel, all ex-Fooled By Chance members, began working with former State of the Enemy frontman Joshua Buckland. As they began working on songs there was a chemistry which grew and flourished and turned into great songs which went on to become the Horizons EP. During recording Buckland left ‘to focus on other things in his life’ and was swiftly replaced by Liam “Leemo” Carmichael, formerly of Faint Young Sun and BiPoLaR Disposition. What has emerged from it all is a release which hits aggressively and forcibly but with fine craft and inspired imagination to perpetually intrigue and satisfy. The band has been called the UK answer to the likes of Killswitch Engage and Periphery, whether that is fair yet is arguable but certainly those influences vein the blend of metal the band creates from genres such as metalcore, hardcore, and djent. It is a stirring and impressive sound brought with skill, style, and plenty of invention.

The Essex band opens up the release with the title track and instantly engages the ear with coarse vocals and striking riffs. Into its pace with the rhythms bustling the senses, twin clean vocals duet with the squalling growls to great effect. The whole release shows the band have this aspect spot on. Many metalcore bands either offer clean vocals too sappy for the intensity or harsh deliveries which unbalance the whole thing but Seasons Collide have it perfect, the union seamless and organic. To be honest the opener is the least successful, but still impressive, in that area and overall on the EP but still easily marks the band out from the rest. Musically the song is a well designed and fluid stroll through firm beats, surging guitar play, and a very agreeable breakdown. It is a strong start but less dramatic and impactful than the rest of the release.

The following Tides Of Change initially immerses the ear in acidic sonic enterprise before rifling them through them with djent triggered riffs and rhythms. It is not long before the track is challenging the senses with sharp crystalline melodies and abrasive energies to light up the passions. In its four minutes or so there is so much going on but never to the point of burdening the ear, everything greedily and gleefully devoured. Again the vocals leave one breathless whilst the sounds around them ignite thoughts and riled energy.

The Long Road Home is the highlight of the release, its tempest of classic metal tones, bruising hardcore intensity, and melodic grandeur irresistible. The clean vocals are imperious within the ever shifting sounds and ideas whilst the caustic delivery riles up the rhythms and explosive riffs like a venom driven general. The track shows all its influences in an inspired and wonderfully crafted piece of metal rioting. Alone it shows the quality and vision of the band have already in their songwriting and sound, an ever evolving song which is so natural you never see anything coming.

The release ends with Run For Your Life and Saviour, both tracks a thunderous expanse of combative beauty on the senses. The first conjurors a mix of multi styles and flavours as one inciting and tremendous storm with a melodic eye which is glorious whilst the second is a song dripping in passion and emotive fire, its more even pace and intensity the base for barbed assaults and startling harmonies a within fiery melodic invention. The most experimental of the songs it shows so much more is within the band to be explored.

Horizons is an exciting and mighty beginning for the band. It is fair to say they have yet to find their full identity but already Seasons Collide have stepped to the fore of the brewing mass of metalcore fired bands which are stirring up British metal.

https://www.facebook.com/SeasonsCollide

RingMaster 07/10/2012

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Witness The Fall: Self Titled EP

Since their formation in 2007, Scottish metalers Witness The Fall have pulled in a constantly increasing attention and acclaim for their extreme sounds and aggressive intensity. Through their debut demo and shows with the likes of The Casino Brawl, Horizons, and Scar My Eyes the band have left deep marks and good impressions to ensure people took notice. Their self titled second EP should bring an even stronger focus upon them with its blend of metalcore and straight metal, intrusive sounds and demanding intensity.

Upon the EP, Witness The Fall hit hard and ruthlessly with a sound borne from the likes of Killswitch Engage and Shadows Fall. The quintet from beginning to end treat the ear to towering riffs and merciless rhythms, which combined with the intrusive acute melodies also on offer makes the release an experience that is uncompromising and intriguing.

The release starts strong and only gets better as it muscles its way through to the excellent closer. For extreme metal fans there is plenty within the release to excite and draw from but for those less inclined to being bashed from pillar to post the melodic play and invention within is also plentiful and pleasing. To be honest the only criticism that can be placed upon its shoulders is that the music is not particularly original, of a high quality and constantly engaging it is without doubt but lacking in the sparks to set the band apart from similar fuelled bands. The indication though is that it is only a matter of time and not so far ahead.

Opening track An End To Darkness sets a blistering start with riffs to bludgeon the ear and drumming from Dilkie that demands attention. The guitars of Tony and Chris leave scorch marks with their melodic play and bruises with their stomping riffs whilst vocalist Nels growls with spite challenging with each word and syllable. A good start if not remarkable but things instantly pick up when the following song Victory assumes control.

The track is brutal, a devastating assault which grips tight steely fingers around the throat as it forces scorched melodies, violent riffs, and rhythms that leaves one staggering under their weight.  The song also fully shows the great creative bass play of Jason, an aspect not so obvious in the opener.  Though the song does not give as much diversity in melodic and sharp guitar invention it is a firmer and deeper satisfying track than the first.

The following The Dying Art Of Integrity and The Tragedy Of Man are insatiable slabs of metal which further show the band as fine musicians and sure in their delivery and creativity. There is little to dismiss about either with each song a formidable treat to digest but at this point the lack of diversity and uniqueness is clearer. Saying that though there are moments in the second of the two which border on escape into something substantially different but they never quite make the move, something the closing two tracks are bolder about.

Righteous Kill with its use of sampled words and a groove which demands obedience offers strong and intriguing diversions within the expected and pleasing aggression. This is a great step forward and improved upon further by Darkest Hour (No Surrender). The song is masterful bringing knee bending riffs, controlled and powerful rhythms plus an unrelenting intensity which overwhelms and manipulates. The song is unpredictable and apart from the vocals there is no certainty to it which is the key to why it is so impressive.

Witness The Fall , band and EP is a must check out for all metal fans extreme or not, and though as mentioned one feels the band has yet to discover its distinct voice they more than satisfies the fires within right now with this release.

RingMaster 02/03/2012

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