Static Daydream – Self Titled

SD cover_RingMaster Review

Ever had that dream where you are submerged in a thick and ravenous atmosphere haunted by the darkest predatory and invasive shadows, a little like the climate in the Silent Hill games? Listening to the new album from Static Daydream is like being immersed in that except everything about it from its raw breath and melodic discord is seriously invigorating and welcome. Carrying tracks bred in the bracing winds of noise and psych rock and equally cultured in shoegaze and dream pop beauty, the debut album from the US duo of Paul Baker (founding member of Skywave and Ceremony) and girlfriend/musical partner Jamie Casey is a tempest of sound and emotion to simply bask in.

Taking inspirations from 60’s girl groups alongside 80’s and 90’s British noise-pop, the pair began recording The Only One EP, their first release, in 2012. Earning strong critical acclaim upon release in 2014 on Moon Sounds Records, it was a swiftly devoured proposition instantly laying down the seeds of major anticipation for the band’s debut full-length. Released through Saint Marie Records and Moon Sounds Records, that encounter is here, eleven tracks igniting ears from the very start with reverb infested melancholic sound matched in potency by vocal and lyrical prowess within senses disorientating, discord fuelled roars. Within that ‘storm’ too ravishing melodic beauty and creative elegance shines. It is a fusion which has a sense of familiarity yet defies any real pinning down as to why, despite any references to others which may be suggested, for a unique and virulently contagious offering which just grows and strengthens in persuasion with very single listen.

The album opens with the immediately rousing More Than Today, a song which starts with a raw flame of guitar hinting at the raw punk hues of Birdland before blossoming a warm and caustic breeze of noisy but mellow pop with shades of House Of love. The dual vocals of Baker and Casey just entwine perfectly within the fuzzy climate of keys and the continuing sonically punk guitars. It is a stirring start matched by the slightly harsher air of Nowhere To Hide, a song fusing My Bloody Valentine like charm with the coarser haunting sonic ambience of Ceremony. The song gets darker and more energetically rabid with every passing minute, its already tenaciously fiery body just bristling with intensity and turbulence by its exciting close.

Run Into The Night grumbles with rhythms and riffs as it harmonically serenades next, its touch a fierce simmer on the senses and urgent spark for the imagination. Continuing to show a new aspect to the character of the album and Static Daydream’s sound, the song becomes a fire of noise and persuasion though it is quickly over shadowed by the outstanding Blue Tambourine Girl. Ears and emotions were enslaved almost instantly as a glorious Simon Gallup/Cure like bassline colludes with just as magnetic hooks and melodies to set things in motion, resonance wrapped vocals and firmly delivered beats only adding to the again seemingly recognisable but distinct theatre. That bass seducing continues to grip attention and ardour yet never takes away from the other just as masterful and spellbinding sounds aligning with it. The track is aural slavery and the pinnacle of the album, though there are many subsequent close-runs coming to snatch its title.

Just Stay is one such rival, its rhythmic and melody honed shuffle Jam like whilst as a mesmeric shimmer of reverb fascination and splintered but captivating dark rock grooves evolve alongside. The track is brimming with compelling hues which just hang around to light up an irresistible incitement on ears and rich pleasure, even when it brews up its own individual bluster of noise and dark romantic energy.

There is a similar canvas to the following Until You’re Mine, though its landscape is far busier and comes rapaciously inflamed as harmonies and melodies smoulder in the face of a wall of reverberation and scuzz spewing resonance. Throughout the album, Static Daydream weave in enticing essences of post punk, but this is the first song alone which virtually wears the flavour as it continually slips through a soundscape of fresh scenery and emotive atmospheres for another major highlight to the release.

The pair of Another Rainy Night Without You and When I Turn Around You’re Gone keeps ears and appetite aroused, the first with its dirty Jesus and Mary Chain pungency over glowing psych rock melodies and ethereally coloured vocals. Its successor flirts with more seemingly Cure inspired hooks and revelry, smothering them in dramatic sonic clouds veined by acidic grooves and deeply biting hooks, and a bassline which again has nostalgia and salacious seduction in its armoury.

One thrilling and inspiring trespass is followed by another and the eighties spiced The Only One. At times it is a fiercer provocative than its predecessor but in other moments a gentler heatwave of sound, the extremes fluidly united and continually matching inescapable sirens on ears It is a success only continuing with the gloriously aching noise haze of When She Falls and indeed last song I’ve Destroyed Everything. The album’s closer is sweltering smog of sound and emotive intensity with again post punk flavours woven into an alluring cacophony of discordance and sonic spicery breeding impassioned vocals and bristly melodies.

The final triumph helps suggest that Static Daydream’s album is arguably stronger in its second half than first but the difference in invention and certainly enjoyment is marginal at any time. The feeling coming out of the band’s label Saint Marie Records, is that they are rather excited about this release and fair to say they have plenty of reasons to be. If the thought of fuzzy, indeed seductively scuzzy sounds with vibrant imagination excites, then Static Daydream, band and album, is one offering you need to be checking out.

Static Daydream is available from August 28th on Vinyl, CD, and digitally via Saint Marie Records and Moon Sounds Records.

Pete RingMaster 28/08/2015

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Presents For Sally – Wishawaytoday

presents-for-sally-wishawaytoday-artwork-_RingMaster Review

Whatever the weather outside it is hard not to feel just a touch summery whilst embraced in Wishawaytoday, the new single from UK indie band Presents For Sally. The song is a lively hug of nineties indie pop and warm shoegaze ambience, united in an energetic and dynamic stroll which simultaneously provides a flirtatious romance for ears and imagination.

The two track release is the teaser for the trio’s forthcoming new album Colours & Changes, both via Saint Marie Records. Presents For Sally have been no strangers to acclaim and attention since forming in the late nineties, a host of singles and debut album A Touch of Joy, A Touch Of Sadness luring in fans and media alike. Sound wise Matt, Anna, and Phil have created a kaleidoscope like feel to their music, every twist of a song rearranging similar essences into new captivating designs and as you may rightly assume, Wishawaytoday and its companion Hits Like Kisses are no different.

Wishawaytoday swiftly saunters along with melodic and sonic flames tempered by a lovely dark and brooding bass tone. Once the vocals join the persuasion, things mellow a touch whilst still retaining and exploring a compelling fusion of light and dark. The heart and flow of the song is feisty though, the track, as it simmers boldly and smoulders tenaciously with melodic heat, a commandingly catchy incitement melding together whispers of bands like House of Love, My Bloody Valentine, and We Ghosts.

It alone wakes up an intrigued and keen anticipation of the upcoming full-length which the following Hits Like Kisses reinforces with its own individual theatre of sound. It opens with a lullaby like caress of melodies and harmonies which together create a celestial hug rich in radiance and emotive reflection. Around it though, a tempestuous air slowly brews; its own body intensifying with every passing second before erupting in a seemingly volatile but mercilessly enthralling wind of thick enticement, ridden by the still mesmeric and harmonious vocals and driven by crackling rhythms and fuzzy energy.

The first song is the eye candy and the second the drama of the single, and together the two mouth-watering encounters weave an inescapable tempting for Presents For Sally’s next rich endeavour.

Wishawaytoday is available now via Saint Marie Records digitally and as a 7” single @ and

RingMaster 17/07/2015

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Maff – Self Titled EP

banda_piso_RingMaster Review

It is not too hard to guess some of the bigger influences upon Chilean band Maff whilst listening to their self-titled debut EP, the likes of The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Pixies, Sonic Youth, and My Bloody Valentine amongst them, yet fair to say the Santiago quartet weaves it all into songs which reveal their own distinct characters. Bred from an evolving fusion of shoegaze, alternative rock, noise pop, and indie to try and pin down the mix, sound and songs are a striking and tenacious shimmer on the senses which it easy to find yourself getting a touch greedy over. The release is a captivating introduction to a band with all the potential and imagination to evoke a worldwide appetite if not now surely ahead.

Maff began in 2012, formed by Richi Gómez (vocals/bass/guitar) and Nicolás Colombres (drums), two childhood friends who had previously played together in various punk rock bands. The line-up expanded with the addition of Nicolás’ brother Martín (guitar) in 2014 and was completed earlier this year by Talo Correa (guitar/bass /vocals/synth). Creating, recording, and producing their EP in their own studio, Maff has already sparked potent reactions to their music, dreampop duo Ummagma already amongst those enamoured, recognition which should now ignite through the EP’s release. Exploring themes such as innocence, mysticism, true love, loss, drugs, freedom, and timelessness within its songs, the Maff EP is a sultry romance for ears but one unafraid to ignite an unpredictable blaze or two in sound and energy.

The EP opens with Act 1, a spatially atmospheric instrumental evolved from post punk and eighties alternative rock which swiftly brings the imagination to the boil with its evocative soundscape which is best described as Joy Division meets My Bloody Valentine. It is a dramatic and rousing start to the release, an incitement of dark rhythms and sonic exploration wrapped in vibrant freshness and familiarity.

Maff - Maff Cover Art_RingMaster Review     Its potent persuasion is followed by the just as invigorating Linger Around, a hearty stroll of riffs and beats which relaxes a touch but simultaneously increases its fiery atmosphere and dark shadows as the mellow effect lined vocals of Gómez step forward. That influence of The Jesus and Mary Chain is a spicy ingredient to the gripping incitement swiftly seducing ears, adding thick hues to a provocatively crafted blend of almost prowling dark tones and emotions aligned with melancholic beauty and shimmering resonance.

Walking On Fire slips in next on a slim and radiant melody, the simple coaxing soaked in childlike innocence and radiance. It is soon courted by pulsating beats and a darker celestial climate though as the song’s entrance increasingly captivates, the atmosphere and scenery becoming more inflamed and hazy respectively. Vocal harmonies are as much about texture as narrative here, more so in many ways as the song’s chorus revolves around bewitching singular repetition with the end result as all unite together, a magnetic piece of composing and enterprise which inspires body and mind from start to finish.

     A more indie toning comes with Million Year Picnic, the guitars exploring a richer creative clang against another enthralling lure of post punk seeded bass and crisp jabs of beats. Vocally and melodically the song still immerses in shoegaze imagination but its canvas has stronger clarity from clearer air for the craft and individual incitements of the band to weave their combined tapestries of temptation. The House of Love essence to the song just adds to its lure and sets up of ears nicely for the ethereal charm of Someday. Featuring guest vocals from Francisca Morandé alongside Gómez, the supernal seduction of the song’s warm balladry simply drifts over the senses, immersing ears in an electronically sizzling Lush like embrace.

A fuzzy courting of the senses with a deeply rooted growl comes next in the shape of You, its shapely and slightly scuzzy rock ‘n’ roll rumble toying with aggression and causticity whilst casting a sultry anthemic enticing. Its dirtier air is the perfect taster for the outstanding Planet Wave, an inventive maelstrom of garage and surf rock embroiled in a just as thrilling alignment of space and psychedelic revelry. It is the most exciting and exhilarating offering on the EP, standing out amidst a collection of tracks which are certainly not lacking in those resourceful traits either.

The release is finished off by the rhythmically forceful and sonically bracing Blue Seas. As all around it, varied strains of flavours combine to create an inviting web, though primarily the encounter is more indie rock with potent hues of rock, grunge, and electronic rock. Even if not whipping up the passions as much as other tracks, it is a highly satisfying ‘end’ to the EP, though the actual final track is a radio edit of Walking On Fire.

For a debut Maff makes a striking statement and as they and their sound evolve, it is probably safe to assume more and greater offerings and enjoyment are ahead.

The Maff EP is available now via

RingMaster 07/07/2015

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Flyying Colours – ROYGBIV EP

Flyying Colours_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

Like a favourite candy, the ROYGBIV EP from Australian shoegaze popsters Flyying Colours, is richly flavoursome, addictively captivating, and impossible not to treat oneself to another portion of. It is a delicious slice of aural contagion wrapped in inescapable melodic seduction, and one addiction it will always be ok to indulge in.

Hailing from Melbourne and formed in 2011, Flyying Colours cite My Bloody Valentine and Fleetwood Mac as influences to their own sonic explorations and with the former an immediate spicing and the latter becoming more apparent over listens, they make a healthy spicing to something individual to the band. Similarly the compelling beauty of a Lush and the psych pop seducing of House Of love also nudge comparisons yet there is a bolder, almost bruising texture to the Flyying Colours sound which adds stronger uniqueness to the creative theatre of songs and EP. 2013 saw the release of their self-titled debut EP, a full introduction to their attention grabbing, raw beauty clad sound which came after the first teaser of the single wavygravy. Its qualities and lures are now explored with new intensity and adventure through ROYGBIV, a success with the potential of awakening a really broad spotlight upon their presence.

Flyying Colours EP_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review     Single songs and the EP as a whole, are as rich in aural colour as its title suggests, but an evolving kaleidoscope of sound rather than a structure of individually layered hues just lying against each other. It all has a changeable and transfixing quality which starts with I Don’t Want To Let You Down. A sonic jangle works on the senses initially with its bait quickly joined by the thick beats of drummer Andy Lloyd Russell. The persuasion of guitar expands the moment the two meet and collude in awakening imagination and appetite, a sonic smoulder with a lively underbelly casting its spell on ears as the equally magnetic vocals of guitarist Brodie J Brümmer caress. The song continues to stroll with warm intent, getting feisty at times especially in a vivacious chorus which sees second guitarist Gemma O’Connor add her siren-esque tones to the mix. The bass of Melanie Barbaro is arguably the most laid back thing on the increasingly fiery encounter, yet her strings only add thick seduction through their thickly magnetic shadows within the blaze of the song.

It is a potent and infection clad track quickly backed and surpassed by the voracious shimmer of Running Late. Guitars jangle and dance in ears, offering a feel of British eighties indie pop a la Orange Juice and Josef K, whilst both vocalists twin up their mellow tempting to stroke ears. There is an unmissable sparking between textures in the song, igniting the thick sonic haze of the encounter further and indeed a sway of bodies and movement of feet and emotions before it.

The increasingly impressive adventure and ascent of the release continues with Not Today, and straight away the song has ears and thoughts spellbound as an opening melodic mist is pierced by one invigorating and tantalising bassline. Its groove is matched by those of the guitars and also in the more low key post punk vocal delivery of Brümmer. That post punk essence is throughout the EP but especially here makes the most delicious lure, suggesting that if Joy Division had gone funky with their sound it would have been something akin to this hex of contagion. Spicy hooks and a rhythmic swagger relentlessly feed a quickly hungry appetite and impassioned lust for the incitement and it is no surprise the song is the lead invitation to the EP, and indeed a favourite across the band’s recent UK tour with Pinkshinyultrablast.

In The End emerges from the closing strains of the triumph, swiftly laying down its own virulent persuasion though reining in the dramatic urgency of its predecessor just a touch as it wraps ears in a thicker smooch. Like the last track though, it barely takes a minute before full involvement of the listener is enticed, the still tenacious energy of the song inescapable incitement to the body as feet tap rigorously and hips swerve to the flow of the proposal.

Final track Leaks almost bludgeons its way into view in comparison to other tracks, the muscular snarl of bass and matching jabbing beats a heavily boisterous lure courting a caustic yet bewitching sonic mesh of sound from the guitars, it all coloured again by the immersive vocals. It is a fiery end to the release, and another irresistible song showing, as each proposition within ROYGBIV, another twist to the sound and invention of the band.

Flyying Colours is cast as shoegaze but their outstanding EP proves that there is much more to their voraciously bubbling shimmer of sound, plenty to appeal to fans of melodic and psychedelic rock as well as those of psych and lo-fi pop.

The ROYGBIV EP is available via Club ac30 in the UK @ and in the US on Shelflife @ now!

RingMaster 18/05/2015

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The Cathode Ray – Infinite Variety

Picture 19

The energy around the arrival of and anticipation for Infinite Variety, the second album from Scottish band The Cathode Ray, ensured that intrigue and enthusiasm of a great many was high going into the release. It is fair to say that the proposition not only lives up to hopes and expectations placed upon it but leaves them lightweight against its kaleidoscope of fun, sound, and adventure. What was not predicted here was the nostalgic impact it had on ears and thoughts, as well as memory, for our first time with the band. Musically it weaves in essences from the seventies and eighties into an invigorating modern tenacity but it was finding out the background to the members which inspired us to first trawl through cases of vinyl on a nostalgia trip to relive old favourites ashamedly neglected over time.

Formed in 2006, The Cathode Ray was initially a song-writing collaboration between Jeremy Thoms and ex-Josef K frontman and solo artist Paul Haig, a band and solo project straight away dug out for a reprise in the ears. A couple of well-received singles followed before Haig left the project in 2009. Taking it over Thom enlisted guitarist Steve Fraser once of Edinburgh post punk band the Scars, another enslaving proposition for our passions way back, and alongside him drummer David Mack and bassist Neil Baldwin to complete a new line-up, the latter bringing another search through boxes to relive the glories of the disgracefully under-rated Bluebells and post-punk group TV21. Once that was out of the system it was full-steam ahead with Infinite Variety, an album swiftly living up and more to anything its creators may have helped craft before.

The album’s landscape uses various decades of sound as its palette, twisting and shaping them into unique and colourful proposals with a lyrical exploration to match. Said to loosely be a concept album, Infinite Variety visually and aurally references the natural world whilst looking at emotions involved with the human condition. The songs are kind of bundled into three areas; ‘fear, paranoia, lust and betrayal’ spicing the first few songs before looks at ‘transformation, honesty and realisation’ and subsequently love in various light and dark forms flavour the tracks. Like in a kaleidoscope though, it all seems to disarrange and evolve with every twist of a track to provide an on-going and increasingly fascinating adventure.

10425081_1014104828616219_3923383927065033299_n   That diversity to songs is one of many potent aspects to the album and it all starts with the outstanding Backed Up. A simple rub of guitar and accompanying cowbell prods make first contact, soon joined by crisp beats and an expanding coaxing of melodic enticing. The expressive tones of Thoms join the widening incitement next, his entrance awakening bolder enterprise in the guitars, whilst riffs and hooks come with a great post-punk spicing. The reserved but lively melodic invention provides a sultry colouring which the dark bass tones wonderfully temper whilst vocally Thom drives it all with a voice which is like a mix of Pete Shelley and Ste McCabe to offer another rich texture within the potent album starter.

It is a strong beginning straight away eclipsed by the outstanding Resist, one of the most addictive slices of warped pop you will come across this year. Its hooks instantly get under the skin and into the psyche, swiftly followed by the vocals and the thick bass bait. The song’s infectiousness is simply virulent bringing a whiff of The Revillos to its power pop stomp, a passing scent not as strong as the Buzzcocks like catchiness which oozes from the following Nowhere At All. Again it is merely a spicing though, this time to a captivating stroll of imaginative percussion, imposing rhythms, and addictive enterprise, all soaked in inescapable contagion.

Don’t Waste Your Words strides in next to bring an addictive lure of hip swinging rock ‘n’ roll. Feet and ears are an early submission, whilst the capture of the imagination is barely a drum stick swing away in the riveting temptation of the song. It is not alone in offering hooks and a presence which are indelible in thoughts and emotions even after the album’s departure, but it is probably the most intoxicating though matched straight away by the excellent Buck The Trend, a song with a healthy breath of Tom Verlaine and Television to it. Keys and guitar spin a gorgeous eighties web for the rhythmic and vocal prowess of the song to pull this way and that, a combination sculpting another major highlight in the album. There are times across Infinite Variety, like here, where thoughts wonder if the band may have missed the boat with their sound in the fact that The Cathode Ray would have surely been a big inspirational player in the eighties. Every time that suggestion raises its head though band and album almost in anticipation provides evidence to differ, like No Holds Barred which comes next, proving that they are definitely a perfect fit for the now. The song is a slower but similarly infectious offering with a held in check energy which still has body and emotions swaying feistily with its low key and thoroughly addictive swagger. Once more riffs and melodies combine to create a fresh twist and distinct romp of sound and invention in the album.

The brilliant Eureka Moment! is simply a montage of eighties goodness crafted into a transfixing and exotic jungle of imagination fuelled rhythms, Scars like sonic sweeps, and Bluebells bred melodies. It feels like a song dipping into its creators past exploits and those of others whilst equally drawing on new ingenuity. The John Foxx led version of Ultravox comes to mind as does The Creatures as the track seduces and incites but again they are just particular hues in an new enthralling and thrilling aural conjuring by the band.

This Force Of Nature brings its flowing melodic breeze next, female vocals seducing alongside the tones of Thoms, whilst Torn Apart explores an immersive and haunting cavern of sonic reflection which in many ways has seeds to the likes of House of Love and My Bloody Valentine. The absorbing and mesmeric encounter, as so many songs, keeps the album turning over in imagination and invention, as well as variety, before making way for the post punk croon of The Eyes Are The Window To The Soul. With a bassline which recalls early Cure and an Orange Juice like jangle to its chords, the song is bewitching and engagingly dramatic like a modern day Associates.

The album is closed by the elegant reflection of Saving Grace, a semi-acoustic ballad which simply whisks ears and thoughts off into hope soaked clouds under a smouldering exotic sun of melodic temptation. The song is spellbinding but also only telling half the story at this point. Around mid-way the calm is suddenly infused with ominous rhythms and sinister keys, nothing over imposing but certainly a brewing provocation which is soon ripe with surf rock tendrils of guitar and a tempestuous air. As if warning that good times still offer a stormy adventure, the track is irresistible manna for ears and imagination with seven minutes of sonic alchemy.

Infinite Variety is quite breath-taking, leaving thoughts basking and appetite hungry for much more. There have been many releases and bands recently creating real triumphs of nostalgia and new invention, but The Cathode Ray tops the lot.

Infinite Variety is available through Stereogram Recordings now on CD and download via

RingMaster 21/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Tapes Runs Out – Friends/Flowers


Pic Lauren Marsh

Pic Lauren Marsh

A serenade for the ears and imagination, the new single from UK indie pop rockers Tape Runs Out suggests we have a rather fascinating and tantalising proposition on our hands with the Cambridge quintet. Obviously one song does not reveal all, or two in this case, but both offerings making up the band’s first release, Friends/ Flowers certainly spark an instantly keen interest and enjoyment of their opening persuasion.

The band’s debut double A-side single is a beguiling tapestry of dream pop, electronic rock, shoegaze and numerous other spices and textures within their majestic flights. Tape Runs Out itself began as an electronic solo project of Liam Goodrum-Bell (vocals/guitar/samples), before expanding to a full-band and releasing the Covered In Tape EP in 2013. It was given a gentle release but seemingly a well-received one before things changed again and the current line-up came to be mid-2014. Consisting of Richard Barker (guitar), Hélène Dufour (bass), Yasmin Prebble (keyboard/melodica/glockenspiel), and Ellie Winter (hammered dulcimer/backing vocals) alongside Goodrum-Bell, Tapes Runs Out now make their most open and broadest official introduction with Friends/Flowers via Ear to Ear Records.

a0018462225_2     Friends is the first encounter and swiftly sparkles in ears with its elegant enticement of guitar and keys. Melodies seduce and blossom within a breath of the track’s entrance, soon accompanied by the excellent mellow vocals of Goodrum-Bell backed as vibrantly by the harmonies of Winter. The song is a summer stroll basking in wistful rays of sonic light and reflective emotions, a romancing hug of sound which flirts with whispers of bands like My Bloody Valentine and House Of Love whilst creating a jangle of modern imagination. It is mesmeric company; that is until it just stops and leaves body and emotions hanging. Actually it is a great end to an outstanding song but greed determines that there is not enough of its beauty to be fully satisfied.

Flowers is another matter, its four minutes plus a plentiful bounty to embrace and immerse within. It is a far more sober landscape explored though no less warm and intriguing. Wrapped in a psychedelic haze and an even richer melancholic ambience than its predecessor, the song floats and swirls around the senses and imagination like a wispy dream. Though not as instant as Friends on the ear, the song slips into the psyche and makes a lingering temptation whilst revealing far more about the songwriting and invention of Tape Runs Out compared to its impressive seduce and run companion.

Though Friends grabs the biggest plaudits, both songs provide a thoroughly engaging and enjoyable first real glimpse at Tape Runs Out, a band we can expect and already want to hear and see plenty more of ahead.

Friends/Flowers is available via Ear to Ear Records from March 30th @

RingMaster 30/03/2015

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Surf City – Jekyll Island


There are times when it is easy to get lost in a realm of fantasy, moments in life and indeed music when physically and mentally you can escape the hum drum and explore new landscapes. One such escape is the sultry adventure of Jekyll Island, the new and third album from New Zealand psychgazers Surf City. Basking in a sultry surf rock seeded climate wrapped in the summery smile of shoegaze and the sonic beauty of psyche rock, the release is a mesmeric lure for ears and imagination.

The successor to their acclaimed album We Knew It Was Not Going To Be Like This of 2013, Jekyll Island is a fascinating flight of sound and emotion. Songs again come soaked in the warm magnetic fuzziness which the band is becoming renowned for but equally feel more precisely sculpted and resourcefully rounded propositions. It is open growth and evolution in the Surf City songwriting but an emerging potency which defuses none of the band’s already rich and tantalising qualities; basically a maturity of existing prowess exploring fresh and vivaciously new adventure. Simply songs and album offer pure pop presented in summery embraces of charm and beauty.

The album is also an imposing grower on ears and passions, its early touches engaging and magnetic but continual exposure leads to anything from lustful rapture to lingering seduction. The first track though is an immediate enslavement of ears and emotions on its first ever touch. From its opening exotic web of percussive and sonic enticement, Beat The Summer Heat has imagination and appetite hooked; especially as from that opening shuffle a rhythmic contagion unleashes irresistible bait. Jabbing with their own individual swing, beats forge an addictive lure at the heart of the track, taking ears and pleasure by the hand as guitars swarm over their enticement with vivid colours and a lively shimmer. Vocally too Davin Stoddard is a beacon of warmth and magnetism, riding the contagion with radiance. The track is glorious, almost alone worth the cost of your ticket for the album’s compelling ride.

Surf City - Jekyll Island   There is no major drift in quality and temptation as the following Spec City takes over, it a song with a bubbling electro underbelly and a radiating surface of melodic and harmonic splendour. The song is a courtship of the senses, a My Bloody Valentine like caress making an unrelenting seduction as a Yo La Tengo like vibrancy brings livelier action to the romance. It is a tempting swiftly backed and taken into new explorations by Jekyll Island and the Psycosphere and in turn Hollow Veins. The first of the two is a fascinating mix of eighties new wave bred pop and nineties inspired psychedelic enterprise, but also littered with post punk hooks and a Happy Monday’s like devilry. The song is pure mesmerism and perfectly contrasted and complimented in tone by the darker rockier revelry of its successor. It romps through ears like a meeting of The Horrors and House Of Love engaged in a vintage surf rock revival, its touch and breath raw yet overwhelmingly seductive.

The guitars of Stoddard and Jamie Kennedy weave an infectious web of fuzz induced rock pop next in One Too Many Things, its twang offering a country whisper whilst its catchy tenacity has a Brit pop lilt to its tempting, whilst its successor What They Need expands the already potent variety within the album again. It opens with a droning tang of a sound you might expect from the band’s part of the world, a scuzz lined whiny lure which persists invitingly around the additional minimalistic yet weighty hug of sound filling its persuasion.

That constant tweaking of flavours has Leave Your Worries unveiling an anthemic infectiousness which plays like a the offspring of a union between The Mighty Lemon Drop, The Lightning Seeds, and Kitchens of Distinction, but as in all songs it emerges as unique to Surf City.

The delicious heavy bass seducing and just as enticing beats offered by Mike Ellis and Andy Frost at its start makes Indian Summer straight after, irresistible all on their own but infused with the melodic lustre of the guitars and the resonating touch of Stoddard’s vocals, it only proceeds to steal attention and the passions further. It is a charmer from start to finish, one carrying the right amount of mischief and excitement but an incitement which ultimately places the listener in a fulfilling and richly satisfying calm. That is a description suiting the whole of Jekyll Island to be honest, and especially the gorgeous pop of Thumbs Up which romps with ears and emotions next. Whether it is possible to ever write the perfect song is debateable but it is possible to come close and this is certainly a serious contender. Melodies reek of innocence yet are inflammatory on the ear whilst harmonies and rhythms simply engage in lustful and infection breeding temptation.

The album is brought to a just as thrilling end by firstly the more sober, in comparison to its predecessor, but raucously energetic dance of The End and lastly through the meditative glamour and brilliance of Jesus Elvis Coca Cola. Sixties kissed and soaked in aural sunshine, the track is a majestic sea of expressive harmonies and poetic melodies soaked in a wash of psychedelic humidity.

It is a transfixing end to an increasingly mouth-watering encounter. There is a great familiarity to Jekyll Island but only as a rich spice in the unique ambience and masterful imagination of Surf City. Psyche/shoegaze pop has rarely sounded better.

Jekyll Island is available via Fire Records now and digitally, on CD, and on black vinyl @

RingMaster 25/03/2015

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Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @