Sheafs – Vox Pop

With rebellion in its heart and every senses trespassing riff that it unleashes, Vox Pop is the debut EP from UK outfit Sheafs and we suggest one of the most rousing and truly exciting encounters you will be likely to come across this year.

Formed in 2015, Sheffield hailing Sheafs has certainly teased and tempted attention with their songs and live presence which has seen them support the likes of The Amazons, The Coral, IDLES, and Greta Van Fleet but they have now made a full-blooded demand on scrutiny and recognition with Vox Pop which surely will prove impossible for the masses to ignore. Produced by Dead Nature/Spring King talent Tarek Musa and Jonathan Hucks, the EP pounces on ears from its first breath, its indie rock/pop punk nurtured sounds insatiable in their aggressive virulence and defiant condemnation loaded words “confronting the frustrations of a consumerist world that profits from people’s low self-esteem and self-doubt” a potent incitement.

Thinking Out Loud bursts from EP and speakers first, the track rhythmically pounding out an invitation to which guitars add rich impetus with their inviting grooves. Once a thick bassline joins the enticement, the song was in full control of attention, vocalist Lawrence Feenstra completing the fertile lure with a delivery as striking as the hooks which litter the already irresistible song. The guitars of Chris Goodacre and Charles Mellor spring a web of riffs and melodic wiring, clarity and fuzziness aligning within its irrepressible trap. The song is superb, addiction spilled with every note and syllable as the band’s already proving individual sound leapt upon ears and appetite.

As reinforced by next up World Is Falling Apart, the distinctiveness of Sheafs‘ sound is inescapable though there is something of an Asylums meets Baddies breath to it at times. The EP’s second track shows more restraint in its energy though every aspect is a boisterous incitement from its intoxicating groove to the rhythmic shuffle cast by the bass of Callum Wright and Charlie Eastap’s beats. A psych rock spice wraps each melody and seeps into every atmospheric intimation bred in the open imagination of the quintet as again inherent infectiousness fuels every intensity soaked moment uncaged before the band’s new single Total Vanity erupts. Straight away rhythms and riffs seize the moment, each pounding out audacious virulence incitement as Feenstra’s tones and words spring their own inimitable motivation upon ears and thoughts. The track is raucous splendour, a slice of fearless irresistibility sure to lead fresh hordes to the mutiny of Sheafs.

Shopping equally gripped from its first call, a post punk nagging at the heart of another unapologetically virulent tempting. As with all tracks there is a delicious tempestuousness which boils up in varying degrees but always adds riveting drama and energy to the contagion of in this case consumer exploitation.

With the just as magnificent Care Less bringing the EP to a close, the incendiary track an insatiable infestation of punk bred, dissent soaked rock ‘n’ roll, Vox Pop is an explosion of sound which certainly stopped us in our tracks. New music consistently grabs attention and excites but few things spark real anticipation of major things ahead; Sheafs and their full introduction is one of those rare moments so are you ready?

Vox Pop is out now via Blood Records.

https://www.sheafs.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/sheafsband   https://twitter.com/sheafsband

Pete RingMaster 13/03/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

The Hector Collectors – Do the ‘Ad Hominem’ with the Hector Collectors!

Thanks to previous releases there is no denying the grin which natural materialises when approached by a new encounter with Scottish outfit The Hector Collectors. As proven by their acclaimed previous album of 2018, it is a smile which more than lingers across their releases and was possibly at its widest yet whilst we romped with Do the ‘Ad Hominem’ with the Hector Collectors!, the quartet’s new EP.

Since dropping their first slice of mischief, debut album Straight Outta Comprehensive (Fully Comprehensive Edition) back in 2001, The Hector Collectors has stood as one of music’s more boldly unique propositions. Certainly it has been easy to offer up bands such as Television Personalities, The Freshies, and Half Man Half Biscuit as hints to their sound but across all their offerings and as their previous full-length, Remember the Hector Collectors? ..You Won’t Believe What They Sound Like Now!!!!!, established they weave a creative rascality that stands aside of the rest.

We do not know for sure but presumably still embracing the line-up of vocalist A.J. Smith, guitarist I.D. Smith, bassist Joseph Greatorex, and drummer Gavin Dunbar, The Hector Collectors open up their latest devilment with The Ad Hominem 2020. It is a track which featured on that last album but has been given a work over for this year and quickly gets down to business with its unapologetically catchy pop ‘n’ roll. It is one of those sing-a-longs which is just as persuasive in sound as it is in vocals, every essence encouragement to lose inhibitions and dance with body and voice.

It is a great start to the EP, one impossible to resist leaping on board with though, for us, is soon and persistently slightly outshone by those to follow starting with Podcast. The second track like all have a definite eighties spicing which reminds of one of Scotland’s musical heydays. There is a whiff of early Orange Juice meets Josef K to the indie pop shenanigans and another chorus which just seduces eager participation.

The App Did Everything For Me is next up and similarly instantly unleashes a virulently catchy swing through bass and guitar which provides puppet strings to movement. A.J.’s vocals are just as manipulative, the cheek of his lyrics as beaming as the song’s melodic whimsy with its Pastels-esque tint while next up Publicly Shamed manages to be even more contagious in its own swing and vocal incitement. With rhythms boisterously rolling and a Johnny Cash country folk simmered lilt to its boisterous stroll, the song quickly burrowed under the skin to be another commanding limb and vocal chords.

Remember When Twitter Was Really Spiffing? brings things to a close, the track proving our favourite of the five with its seaside carousel sashay. Casting social media observation into its eager bound as rhythms energetically prowl and vintage keys ‘chatter’, the track is superb and an irresistible, fun bursting end to another just as tantalising and thoroughly enjoyable outing with The Hector Collectors.

We all need to spring a smile or two upon our lives and The Hector Collectors provide plenty of reasons to as well as songs which relish a creative will and instinct which as we said is rather unique and proving persistently welcome.

Do the ‘Ad Hominem’ with the Hector Collectors! is out now as a name your price download; available @ https://thehectorcollectors.bandcamp.com/album/do-the-ad-hominem-with-the-hector-collectors

https://www.facebook.com/thehectorcollectors/   https://twitter.com/hcollectorsband

Pete RingMaster 18/02/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Ben Wood and The Bad Ideas – Cora Cora Cora

You will forgive us, like the band we hope, for bringing this single to your attention a little late but it is a must for all those with a bold adventure in their indie rock hearts and rapacious fever in their indie pop instincts. The track is Cora Cora Cora and it comes from UK outfit Ben Wood and The Bad Ideas, and the first song in a planned project which if all prove as striking will make 2020 a highly busy and successful time for the UK band.

January saw the launching of a 12 month campaign which will see the London based band release a single per month for that period, songs set to feature guest performances from the likes of drummer Nick Maybury (Juliette Lewis & The Licks/ Scott Weiland Band) and prog pioneer Billy Ritchie (Clouds/ The 123) on keys alongside lead vocalist/guitarist Wood, lead guitarist Andy Duke (Flesh Tetris), bassist Ed Sonsino, and drummer Clive Bissell.

Cora Cora Cora as mentioned is their first offering and sees the legendary Dave Barbarossa (Adam & The Ants/ Bow Wow Wow) featuring on drums. Fair to say the track immediately gripped ears with its almost sinister melodic lure which emerged from the initial blast of rhythmic temptation. That fruitful hook continues to wind across the song, increasing its intoxication as Woods potent tones swing on the creative threads of the band led by Duke’s ever magnetic craft.

It is a captivating encounter which is only grips tighter with its post punk seeded shadows and rhythmic nagging and erupts to greater heights with its enlivened chorus and increasingly virulent sound.

The track is superb and a thrilling introduction to the band’s proposed endeavour so go grab now before its greedily anticipated successor is uncaged. Ben Wood & The Bad Ideas are out to grab your ears and attention and already it is easy to feel it could be a done deal.

Cora Cora Cora is available now via Back2Forward Records.

https://www.facebook.com/BenWoodTheBadIdeas/

Pete RingMaster 16/02/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

She Made Me Do It – Scorched

She Made Me Do It is a band which weaves compelling adventures not only in sound and the web of flavours making up its character but also from the rich shadows within the depths of both and the duo’s imagination. Across a host of releases and tracks it has provided a kaleidoscopic landscape of intimation and contagion which has maybe been no more compelling than within new EP, Scorched. Its five tracks share intense enterprise and rich drama, the release a bold venture into the outfit’s creative psyche and one eagerly tapping into the cinematic conjuring of the listener.

The successor to their acclaimed Drenched EP, Scorched finds the twosome of Shaheena Dax (Rachel Stamp) and Will Crewdson (Rachel Stamp, Adam Ant, Scant Regard, The Selecter, Bow Wow Wow, Flesh For Lulu) infesting their alternative electronic rock with the richest tapestry of genre varied threads to escape the London based pair yet. Theirs has been a proposition always embracing the ripest essences of punk, new wave, post punk but the new encounter borders on the ravenous in its seizing of fresh diversity.

Scorched opens with the band’s new single, Love’s Demise bounding in on a tide of voracious rock riffs and swinging rhythms before the swiftly joining tones of Dax show just as much hunger in their melodic enticement. Crewdson’s guitar continues to snarl as its infectious nature aligns with that of Dax, hard and punk rock spices taunting as electronic fingers tease in the riotous but controlled stomp.

The rousing start is only accentuated by Fun and Games, a track which lit up the airwaves with its uncaging as one of last year’s best singles. A calm but keenly coaxing electronic pulse dances in ears first; it’s subdued but apparent skittishness soon surrounded by a contagion of air splattering beats and attention burrowing hooks, it all courted by the delicious dark bassoon-esque grumble of the bass. The infection loaded stroll is soon equipped with greater temptation as Dax brings her perpetual craft and captivation, alt pop and punk insisting on uniting with the track’s rock instincts to dig deeply and relentlessly under the skin.

Throughout both, shadows lurk if in a subdued state but now flood the sounds within the EP’s stunning third track and our senses. It is a cover of The Cure’s Three Imaginary Boys, a slice of already undeniable greatness given a whole new breath of drama and potency. Crewdson and Dax draw out the anxiety and tension of the original, increasing both as they escalate the post punk heart of the original. It is pure drama, emotions caught in a dense spiral of apprehension and inescapable contagion as the band equip the song with a cinematically claustrophobic air soaked in an emotional cold war amidst a crepuscular soundscape.

The equally exceptional Poison Aura follows, it too a dark senses consuming address of ears and thoughts even with the golden glow of Dax’s voice an absorbing light across the track’s caliginous tone and post punk nurtured landscape. The encounter ignited the imagination as much as ears as again a theatre of intimation provided a palette of suggestion so easy for the imagination to paint with.

For all the thick ravenous shadows the band breeds, each track is a surge of greedy catchiness too, the band’s pop instincts fuelling the heaviest dark and equally the most boisterous light, final track Fatal Confidante epitomising all in its esurient virulence and pop punk featured tenacity. As much as the EP’s tracks infest ears and imagination with the creator’s craft and fascination, all invade feet and body with a matching zeal, the last song on offer unscrupulous in getting the listener bouncing.

With a cover any band on a similar endeavour will have to truly go some to match and a striking quartet of inimitable and unique She Made Me Do It goodness, the sensational Scorched confirms the duo as one of the UK’s most exciting and imaginative encounters; one we have already been enslaved by and do not apologise for urging all to check out with even greater lust.

The Scorched EP is out now, available @ https://shemademedoit.bandcamp.com/album/scorched-e-p

https://www.shemmdi.com/   https://www.facebook.com/shemademedoitpage   https://twitter.com/SheMMDI

Pete RingMaster 05/02/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Waco – Human Magic

With requests for its attention coming from various directions including one from an old friend of The RR in the band’s very own Welshy who previously swung the sticks in one of our all-time fav bands, Top Buzzer, we just had to take a gander at the new album from UK outfit Waco. It is a move which brought immediate rewards and pleasure, both increasing by the listen so much so that we just had to introduce you to Human Magic and its riot of anarchic punk infested rock ‘n’ roll.

From song to song, Waco reveals a sound which rebels against expectations and wanders into an imagination which is as feral as the sounds it produces yet comes with a prowess and mischief as skilfully woven as it is organically bred. Describing the band’s sound is easy for a minute or two but soon deviates from any suggestion offered within the next but maybe imagine a fusion of Rocket from the Crypt, Jaya The Cat, and Japanese Fighting Fish and you get an on-going clue to the character of it and in turn debut album Human Magic.

Providing songs “laced with metaphysics, conspiracy theories and spirituality”, 2014 founded London hailing Waco consists of the inimitable lead vocals of guitarist Jak, the hook laded exploits of fellow guitarist Tom, and the addiction crowding endeavour of bassist James around the ever manipulate and bold rhythms of Welshy. Human Magic also features the just as fertile enterprise of former bassist Chris who sadly passed away late 2018 and was an integral part of attention and plaudit grabbing EPs the band released over the years.

 Human Magic opens up with The Jersey Devil and immediately had intrigue hooked as a spicy sax rose up around the bold tones of Jak, a lure instantly erupting in a bold and rousing stomp. There is a vein of seventies pop punk come power pop to the track too which escalates its infectious deeds, Welshy’s  beats landing with an eagerness only echoed in that contagion and the enterprise around them.

It is a spirit rousing start quickly backed up by the just as devilish Levenshulme Lover, a slice of indie rock meets pop punk that revels in the raw breath and mischievous nature of both. Rhythms again had the body pumped as vocals engaged with the song’s own holler; a touch of Buster Shuffle like revelry joining a bluesy finale to give greater dexterity to the song before N15 saunters in with a summery glow and instinctive catchiness swiftly emphasized by Tom’s melodic touch. Again a sax shares richly flavoursome flames to emulate the heat of the guitar while the union of vocals across the band and more accentuates the radiance of the song.

The album’s title track is a brief cosmic glide, a golden instrumental sunset before the senses bouncing, spirit rousing holler of Anthony. Firm heady beats lead the second track’s entrance, splashes of guitar igniting the air as the bass tenaciously growls and strolls through song and ears alike. Jak’s vocals match the sounds around them in hooks and almost rapacious tempting, everything aligning to provide a thumping virulent rock ‘n’ roll roar with that previously mentioned Rocket From The Crypt like essence icing on the raucous cake.

Next up Daydream has a touch of Flogging Molly playing Elvis Costello to its balladry, a piano shaping its emotive hug before things increasingly grow rowdy with Jak sharing his inimitable expression and presence in its midst while My Brother, We’ll Rise Again surrounds ears in a dark rock embrace hinting of bands such as The Filthy Tongues or The Ugly Kings in its short sultry and soulful croon. Both only further stretch the varied sound and landscape of the album, an endeavour further pushed by the indie pop rock contagion of The Valleys.

As the psych rock scented Smalltown Goths tempts and in turn rocks ears with its own dose of infection and Six Feet Under straight after serenades the same welcoming guests with its country folk lined dance, it is fair to say that Human Magic slipped deeper under the skin, then burrowing just a layer or two further as By My Side serenaded with its lively pop drama and glorious mix of vocals and definitely more so through the boisterous antics of Catbrain. The latter is superb stealing favourite song honours from the moment Welshy’s deviously addictive beats burst from a concussive entrance to infest feet and musical instincts with guitars spinning a web of matching temptation around Jak’s and the band’s devilish vocals and intent.

Completed by Tomorrow’s Gorgeous Globe and its magnetic poetry, Human Magic more than lives up to its suggestive name and all the reasons from many as to why we should have checked it out. To be honest all leasing words only touched on the magnificence of the album and we can only add our own summons to theirs for you to share real attention its way.

 Human Magic is out now via Standby Records.

http://www.wacoband.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/Wacouk/   https://twitter.com/wacobanduk

 Pete RingMaster 27/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

The Lighthouse – Whatever Comes Our Way

Photo – BAARD Photography

Hailing from the indie pop landscape of Belgium, The Lighthouse describes their music as offering “Songs that feel like Fridays.” We cannot say we exactly understand what they mean by that description but if they suggest it comes with a kind of smile loaded freedom that is felt from escaping the demands of an insatiable working life for most on the close of that particular day than we can only agree. The band recently released their debut album, Whatever Comes Our Way, a collection of songs which more so echo the bright and cheery feeling you get as another summery day breaks upon the senses; each uniting in a collective warmth and infectiousness which just makes you want to get up and sway, dance, and enjoy the day.

There is not a great deal we can tell you about The Lighthouse except that through their sound, songs, and live shows they have been gaining greater and thicker attention across Belgium and the Netherlands as well as further afield earning over 2 Million streams on Spotify on the way. As revealed within Whatever Comes Our Way their sound has a lively mellowness which arouses the senses and a boisterous spirit which gets into feet with ease. There is a certainly coincidental resemblance to the music of US band Paper Jackets, each creating a liberating catchiness and warmth in indie pop orientated sounds unafraid to embrace electronic and various other essences though there the similarities for the most stop.

Whatever Comes Our Way immediately hugs ears with opener Cover Story, the keys of Willem Schellekens an instant caress to which the firm and boisterous beats of drummer Bastiaan Jonniaux and the resonating lure of Yannick H’Madoun’s bass add keen temptation. Simultaneously the guitars of Bram Knockaert and Nick Socquet cast a blend of ear clipping bait and melodic enticing as the combined vocals of Schellekens and Knockaert gather with polyphonic prowess. It all makes for a rousing and striking encounter and a mix which provides the template for the album and its host of boldly individual songs.

Catch Fire is the second temptation on the record, its gait more relaxed and swing less urgent but a track which easily had hips swaying to and ears firmly attentive in its organic catchiness and melodic seduction before the following School’s Out shared its eighties synth pop appreciation and spirited pop instincts. As those before it and indeed those to come the song almost teases with its hooks and rhythms before springing a chorus which is impossible to ignore and rather hard not to participate in.

Next up Tel Aviv is the same, its movement infectious and melodic tempting pretty much irresistible while just leading to another rousing chorus which tested the soprano in us but not the eagerness to try before the two parts of Redwing stepped forward to epitomise the variety and depth of the band’s writing. From its atmospheric opening Pt. 1 blossomed into a predominately electro pop instrumental which hinted at bands such as Ladytron and Bastille before a coaxing of vocals gathers as the track evolves into Pt. 2, it too a thickly atmospheric serenade woven on a reflective tapestry of almost haunting musical and vocal melody.

Pretty Classy is another which revels in the rich almost dense atmospheric side of the band’s sound and its broad adventure whilst relishing the contagious nature of their instinctive touch while Something In The Air equally crafts it’s tempting in that natural catchiness while blending it a more forceful dynamic which again had the body bouncing.

Across the similarly manipulative and buoyant Hear Me Out and the bubbly Vitamin K with its animated energy and enterprise there was no denying the contagious urging of the band, Easygoing backing up their persistence through it’s less vigorous but certainly no less fertile twilight lit stroll.

The album is completed by the seductive serenade of Tundra, a song bountiful in melodic suggestion and creative adventure as it weaves a landscape as rich as that its title suggests. It is a potent end to an album which radiates sunshine and feel-good spirit as well as prime cut pop songs; it all together a pleasure to raise the spirit in a dark world.

Whatever Comes Our Way is out now.

http://thelighthousesound.com    https://www.facebook.com/TheLighthouseSound/   https://twitter.com/TLHsound

Pete RingMaster 27/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

The Cathode Ray – Heightened Senses

Four years and a few months on from being wholly captivated by our introduction to The Cathode Ray through the release of their second album, Infinite Variety, the Scottish outfit has done it all over again with its successor, Heightened Senses. It offers a collection of songs which revel in the band’s evolving sound and imagination, a proposition more unique by the release and as proven by their new release, more compelling.

The history of the members of The Cathode Ray, a project emerging from an initial writing collaboration between songwriter/vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Jeremy Thoms and former Josef K frontman Paul Haig, reveals a landscape of enterprise and influential bands. Numerous essences of those earlier exploits could be heard as a rich spicing across the last album which only added to its temptation but its successor has truly found its own unique presence and character, building on the majesty of the last album whilst exploring new individual adventure. Heightened Senses is a sublime set of indie pop songs, though that barely covers the wealth of flavouring they embrace, which so many bands new and existing could learn much from and be inspired by.

Released on ever exciting Scottish label, Stereogram Recordings, Heightened Senses sets out its tone and inescapable persuasion with Memories Of The Future. The first track swiftly gripped attention as an opening thoughtful sonic sigh welcomes the skilled swipe of steel strings amidst the melodic intrigue of guitars. As quickly the darker throb of Neil Baldwin’s bass joins the already magnetic affair, riffs and melodic enticement closely following to fully grip ears and appetite. Thoms’ tones soon stroll the song’s tempting wiring, infectiousness coating every note and syllable as a T-Rex meets Television hue spreads further goodness. The track is superb and if there is such a thing as the perfect pop rock song it has to be a contender.

The following Love and Death soon shows it is just as able to ignite body and imagination, its opening Orange Juice-esque jangle and Bluebells like swing across pungent dance-floor natured rhythms just the beginning of a contagiousness which advances through ears effortlessly as guitarists Phil Biggs and Steve Fraser match Thoms’ creative dexterity and join the synth prowess of guest Alex Thoms. With the beats of David Mack a perpetually welcome hounding of movement, the song simply had us bouncing before Another World seduced with its swaying croon of melodic temptation. With a chorus which almost mischievously had vocal chords in participation in between times of haunting radiance with its own instinctive catchiness, the song beguiled with ease.

 A Difference Of Opinion brings funk scented boisterousness to its melodic shuffle next, a whiff of Talking Heads spicing its flirtatious body. There are so many aspects to The Cathode Ray’s sound which draws you in, here guitars and harmonies leading the way with their tender touches amidst contagious enterprise. As those before it, there is only a compulsion on body and instinct to join the fun while Days Away with a similar effect on hips seduces with a gentler but no less virulent slice of pop imagination. Both tracks had us keenly involved and greedy for more yet are still slightly eclipsed by the album’s Arctic Monkeys/ Scritti Politti tinted title track. The band’s new single teases as it tempts, arouses as it dances in ears with Thom’s vocals as ever across the release a coaxing very easy to line up with.

Though it is hard to pick a favourite track within Heightened Senses, the Pixies meets Weezer antics of Make Believe and the ska ‘n’ pop of Before The Rot Sets In each set a firm grip on such choice. The first featuring the backing vocals of Robin Thoms is cast within post punk shadows but is as bountiful in melodic light and dextrous contagion as anything heard this year whilst its successor with a Police like shimmer courts and enslaves pleasure and imagination from start to finish as guitars spread their new wave/ rock ‘n’ roll hooked webbing around a chorus, graced by the additional tones of Laura Oliver-Thoms , refusing to take no to its consuming catchiness.

The Past Is A Foreign Land completes the line-up of temptation with its heartfelt balladry nurtured on melancholy and hope. It is a song with sixties breeding to its breath and melodic seduction in its voice. A song maybe without the invasive agility of many of its companions but seduced to similar heights nonetheless.

To be honest there was a thought at the time that The Cathode Ray would struggle to match let alone outdo previous Infinite Variety ahead but a thought very quickly thrown aside by the exceptional Heightened Senses.

Heightened Senses is out now Stereogram Recordings; available at https://stereogramrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/heightened-senses

Upcoming Live Shows:

Friday 1st November 2019. The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh

Thursday 28th November 2019. Audio, Glasgow, supporting B Movie

Friday 28th February 2020. Mono, Glasgow, supporting The Monochrome Set

Saturday 29th February 2020. Beat Generator Live! Dundee, supporting The Monochrome Set

https://www.stereogramrecordings.co.uk/artists/cathode-ray/   https://www.facebook.com/thecathoderay/

Pete RingMaster 11/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright