Mala Ruckus – Make the Monkey Watch

MR_RingMaster Review

We have a new unexpected treat to share with you, a band and release from the modern seaport of Dalian in China. They are Mala Ruckus and they have introduced themselves to us with debut EP Make the Monkey Watch. The band is a quintet which formed in 2013 with members hailing from Canada, America, Ireland, and a pair from Britain; expatriates creating their own unique captivation of alternative and indie rock with healthy essences of folk and pop. It is a sound which flirts with ears, sparks the imagination, and in the form of Make the Monkey Watch, has triggered a keen appetite and anticipation for the band’s first album which they are currently finishing up.

Since emerging the band has played in a host of Chinese cities earning a reputation and following for their energetic live shows and irresistibly engaging sound, now rife on their EP. Times are a changing though with the band now not allowed to play live in the country but if their upcoming album sounds as full and flavoursome as Make the Monkey Watch, new spotlights and openings might and should begin stirring elsewhere.

COVER   The EP opens with Run, a song quickly engaging ears in a lively melodic coaxing courtesy of the guitars of Alex Montyro and Caolon O’Neill Forde. The song quickly slips into vibrant stroll with Francis Carlisle’s smiling keys alongside intricate guitar flirtation cupping the distinctive voice of Montyro as darker rhythmic hues spun by bassist Ian James and drummer Sean Rollins provide the shuffle to entice feet and hips. It is a ridiculously catchy proposal, like Jim Jiminee meets Arctic Monkeys but with its own original voice and mischievous air, which as the music, just gets more infectious with each passing chorus and tenacious swing.

A great start is backed and eclipsed by Hoverboards, its medieval spiced mandolin entrance already a wink on the appetite and imagination before things get hectic. A rousingly anthemic slice of folk /rock pop, the track leaps and bounds on rhythmic revelry and vocal enterprise, a success matched in prowess and adventure by eager riffs, teasing hooks, and another great pulsating bassline. The band continues to tenaciously canter through ears until taking a side step into a harmonic daze, drifting with a smile on their faces before taking the listener back to the irresistible ride it came in on.

Words is the third of the songs making up Make the Monkey Watch, another captivating encounter though with more reserve and urgency to its nature than its predecessors. What it lacks in physical dynamism it more than makes up in adventurous vocals and melodic enterprise, saving outbursts solely for a loudly vivacious magnetic chorus.

It is a fine end to an excellent first look/listen with Mala Ruckus; the first of many we are already eagerly hoping. They might be living in a restrictive musical place and time right now but given the chance the band, and we suspect album, could be inciting wider spotlights very soon.

The Make the Monkey Watch EP is out now @

Pete RingMaster 06/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Rooz – Fairweather EP

The Rooz pic landscape_RingMaster Review

Whilst we might not be too taken with the name, their music is something to eagerly welcome as proven by Fairweather, the new EP from UK rock band The Rooz. The release is a slice of mature and rousing alternative rock which gives little hint of the band’s tender years, all aged between 16 and 19, but loudly declares the reasons why they are making a bit of a stir right now.

Hailing from Telford in Shropshire, The Rooz since forming has been crowned in their first year, Live Band Of The Year 2013, though no idea who by, been awarded the special Award For Innovation from Music For Youth in 2014, and found themselves invited to perform at the Brit Awards Big Music Project Final at London’s Indigo2 at O2 Arena. Alongside that and an increasing reputation for their highly energetic live shows, the band has supported the likes of Lawson, Union J, Boyzone, Alesha Dixon, and Fyfe Dangerfield as well as played the Royal Albert Hall. Fair to say it has been a lively emergence for the band supported by a trio of well-received singles and the Caught In The Sun EP. Now we have Fairweather to cement their place as one exciting prospect in British rock whilst enticing more new and eager appetites the way of The Rooz.

cover170x170_RingMaster Review     It opens with the mighty Sixpence and a brewing sonic tempting as shadowy as it is intriguing. Quickly it arrives in a burst of stirring brass and rampant rhythms before just as swiftly settling into a gentle but lively stroll with melodies from the guitar of Ralph Porrett and the piano of Louis Coupe aligning around the quickly impressing vocals of the latter. The bass of Peter Davis keeps darker hues around with its grizzly growl whilst the beats of Tom Russell are unobtrusive but firm to frame the freely flowing magnetic melodies. It is a powerful start to the EP which only increases weight and persuasion as crescendos erupt, invention flows, and the songwriting of Coupe, as his voice, enthrals.

Theatre in the speakers, the outstanding song finally takes its leave for the arrival of Sirens and its blues rock ‘n’ roll. Again there is an entrance to light ears and appetite, followed by a just as flavoursome canter of riffs and grooves entangled in anthemic rhythms. Across its infectious body, a harmonica sizzles and sonic enterprise blazes and though it does not have the level of invention as its predecessor, the track is pure rock ‘n’ roll to get very greedy and possessive over, as too its successor, the excellent Out On A Limb. More controlled but no less impassioned and fiery than the previous stomp, the song roars and charms with equal captivation whilst taking the listener on a heady ride which just gets more tenacious and boisterous with each passing rally of rhythms and flame of melodic adventure from Porrett within the inescapable vocal rebel rousing of Coupe.

The band’s recent single is next and if you want a teaser before diving headlong into The Rooz, Violins + Animals is the perfect tempting. Its first steps are less than spectacular compared to the songs before it, but soon its radiant lures in sound and voice are coaxing full attention as they lead ears into the brewing and ultimately dynamic catchiness of the chorus. Everything about the track is infection; the guitars a smiling incitement as the rhythms provide their beckoning shuffle, whilst vocally, Coupe is a blaze of expression and passion; it all rich bait for the fire of that incendiary chorus.

The release closes with Cold, though the CD version of Fairweather does also include the two tracks making up last single Lowlife. Coupe’s piano and voice open up the song, his inviting balladry the appetiser to an eventually arising swing of sound. After the first listen or two we would have said the track was a bit too show tune for personal tastes but over time there is no escaping the call of the orchestral roars, soulful rise and falls of melodies, and indeed the drama in the vocal delivery of Coupe as it ends the release in highly enjoyable style.

Fairweather is a big treat of a proposition, and an invigorating declaration of something rather special growing in the shape of The Rooz and easy to recommend.

The Fairweather EP and the Violins + Animals single are out now, digitally via iTunes and on CD through

Upcoming gigs include:

26th // Norwich / B2 / with Chasing Cadence, Speaking In Shadows and Cardinal

27th // London / Nambucca / with Chasing Cadence, Speaking In Shadows and Cardinal

28th // Birmingham / The Flapper / with Chasing Cadence, Speaking In Shadows and Cardinal

29th // Manchester / AATMA (formerly Kraak) / with Chasing Cadence, Speaking In Shadows and Cardinal

30th // Leek / Infinities / with Chasing Cadence, Speaking In Shadows and Cardinal

Pete RingMaster 06/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Armstrong – Self Titled EP

Copyright of Jade Esson

Copyright of Jade Esson

Say hello to Armstrong, a quintet from Scotland who on the evidence of their new self-titled EP have the knack in writing some rousing slices of melody thick rock ‘n’ roll. The four track release is the back up to an eagerly received debut single unveiled this past August, a thicker confirmation of its success and broader bait to a national awareness of their rather flavoursome sound.

Hailing from Glasgow, Armstrong emerged in the December of 2014; the band taking time to hone their sound before uncaging their already renowned live presence from March this year. They have lured this description from someone somewhere, “Imagine Shirley Manson fronting We Are Scientists with exciting pop melodies“. You can see where those words come from as the EP’s four tracks incite ears and appetite, but it has to be said that more so Armstrong have already developed a unique nature and air to a sound which, yes has recognisable traits for sure but in a broad and undefined sense of other indie/alternative rock exploits.

coverThe release opens with that first single mentioned, Thursday Night Club. To a gentle but nagging tingle of guitar, the song is soon swinging jabbing beats before opening out into a fuller, richer stroll though it is still a relatively relaxed and calm on the senses proposition. Frustratingly not having names to give the individual prowess of the band’s members, the voice of the band’s front lady quickly captivates and impresses, her tones a balance of beauty and a deep rooted snarl which comes to the fore in the glorious chorus which subsequently erupts. Already the song was strong enticing but this fiery outburst turns the whole thing into a thrilling anthem, it in turn seeming to spark new enterprise in the steely dark tones of the bass and the melodic tenacity of the guitars. It is easy to see why the song made such a strong impact on its release, its instinctive power and wholesome energy alone ensuring the EP is off to a mighty start and indeed worth a strong look.

Just Cause steps up next, the second encounter with the EP immediate sonic smog with melodic tempting on ears which as the last song, continues to blossom and grow in creativity and infectious virulence. The native Glaswegian lilt of the vocals adds as much enjoyable colour and character to the song as the music, the impassioned tones cleverly wrapped in flowing sways of guitar and backed by the dark nature of the rhythms. Certain elements, as across all songs, hold familiar essences but as suggested previously, any comparisons are tinges of rather than thick similarities to another proposition and something you can expect to see evolved into more fresh originality as Armstrong evolve and mature as a band.

As the opener, Bend. Buckle. Break. also grows within ears from a slim and reserved breath, brewing up its own melodic seduction with every passing second led by the ever warm and alluring vocals. It too stirs up its own individual anthem of passion fuelled by a creative energy as ripe in rhythms as it is in the guitar tapestry and united vocal roars across the band. Generally more controlled and restrained even in its headier bellows compared to those songs around it, things still get evocatively and musically fiery before departing for the closing You Are Not Alone. The final track has a reserved tone which leads to another potent roar sizzling with melodic and vocal flames, it providing a highly pleasing end to a thoroughly enjoyable introduction to Armstrong.

As all female led melodic rock bands tend to be, Armstrong, will at times no doubt be compared to Paramore but Scotland’s new young guns already offer something very different and fresh in comparison which can only blossom with greater strengths of adventure. On this showing, they have a very rosy future ahead of them; it is just up to the five-piece to go grab it. They certainly seem to have all the potential and tools to achieve that.

The Armstrong EP is available from September 28th

Pete RingMaster 28/09/2015

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Puppet Rebellion – Life is in your Hands

Puppet Rebellion new pic_RingMaster Review

Another band which hooked us by their name then backed it up with one rousing feast of sound is UK indie rockers Puppet Rebellion. Theirs is a name which incites numerous ideas and hope for their sound but quickly, certainly going by new single Life is in your Hands provides something far more eventful and mouth-watering than mere thought can conjure.

Formed in 2013, Puppet Rebellion is a Manchester quintet which has had seemingly little trouble in luring fiercely loyal fans and broad attention across the varied strains of social media. Two EPs have certainly done them no harm, both Chemical Friends and No Means Yes acclaimed offerings, whilst their live presence in their home city and further afield has earned the band a potent reputation, support slots for the likes of Catfish & The Bottlemen and Reverend and the Makers only adding to their growing stature. Now Life is in your Hands is out there catching appetites with its deceptively anthemic and intensively persuasive hooks; we alone one’s to greedily bite.

A song about “not giving up on something you believe in, even if it’s very hard to do,Life is in Your Hands instantly bathes ears in sultry tendrils of guitars as a throaty bassline with percussive bait tempts. The potency of that lure is immediate and even more forceful as the band’s new vocalist Oliver Davies adds his roaring croon to the ever expanding landscape and heart of the song. The bass of James Halliwell continues to entice across the song with its dark shadows whilst drummer Danny Moss creates a web that is not intimidating but imposingly catchy. It is a stable yet unpredictable core within the thick smog like richness of the melodic enterprise and tenacity blossoming in and escaping the guitars strings of Paul Trochowski and Craig Gibson.

That anthemic essence mentioned runs through every aspect of the track; not a recruitment as open as in other songs but one just as virulent and formidable in its unique union of expressive textures and enthralling flavours. With its creative tempest, quite simply Life is in your Hands gets the listener physically and mentally aroused and breeding a hunger for more.

Looking back at their previous EPs, Life is in your Hands is no one off but definitely the band’s finest moment to date, and very easy to see why they are becoming some of Manchester’s new favourite sons.

Life is in your Hands is out now

Pete RingMaster 10/09/2015

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Joykill Collective – Battle Cry

Joykill Collective - Pic (1)_RingMaster Review

Emerging from an artistic commune in Northampton and a “dissatisfaction with the prevalent right wing politics and media”, alternative rock band Joykill Collective release debut single Battle Cry, a roar which emotionally and physically lives up to its title. It is not a particularly aggressive incitement on the ear but is certainly a melodically evocative and atmospherically commanding proposition with the same kind of uncompromising intensity, and one potent introduction to the band.

Initially intended as a solo design for vocalist/guitarist Leif, talented friends of the musician skilled in various mediums were soon drawn to the project and its idea. The embracing of local musicians, writers, poets, and filmmakers, many of whom lived and worked in the same commune and shared an angry voice against the devastating political situation that so many find themselves in, were subsequently a vibrant part of the emerging and impassioned project . Now ahead of and taken from their first EP Liberty Taker, which is due for release in December, Battle Cry has been unveiled and fair to say is already whipping up and potently engaging ears and thoughts with its climatic presence and breath.

A lone melancholic strum of guitar engages ears first, though within seconds rhythms, melodies, and the soft mesmeric tones of Leif are also flowing warmly over the senses. It is coaxing which never dissipates but becomes infused with a volatile atmosphere as rhythms and chords grow in dexterity and intensity whilst creative sonic flames enhance the melodic lure of the guitars. Thickening with every passing second, vocals becoming more agitated and imposing too, the track is increasingly a rich blaze of emotion and creative angst which only grows in size and power, again over every fascinating moment. Bands like Doves and Biffy Clyro sort of come to mind during the song but really it is a proposition which whilst not strikingly unique refuses to be clearly referenced to anyone else as it captivates.

It is only one song so probably too early to shout about the big potential and future of the band, we will reserve that opinion until the release of Liberty Taker, but with the band and associates currently exploring roads less travelled in Kazakhstan, China, and Morocco, they might find themselves coming back to a bit of a fuss over their very enjoyable first single.

The self-released Battle Cry is out Now!

Pete RingMaster 02/09/2015

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United Highs – Talk About Us

United Highs band pic_RingMaster Review

Talk About Us, the new single from indie rock band United Highs, is as smooth and flavoursome as Cornish ice-cream, and just as easy to grow a keen appetite for. The band itself is also Cornwall bred with a sound which is not seemingly as worried about sculpting its own distinctive character yet as it is in providing a great time for band and listener. It is an intent successfully fulfilled by Talk About Us, one of those songs which just linger to please and entice long after physically has leaving the building.

Unighted highs - Talk About Us - Single artwork_RingMaster Review     United Highs is the creation of Falmouth hailing brothers Luke and Kristian Good, the sons of one of Cornwall’s most respected guitarists, the late Rod Good. Once they began experimenting with musical ideas and it became obvious that the guitar was “in the DNA” of Luke and vocalist Kristian had the flare for words, the pair and band’s musical journey was in motion. Drummer Ben Nankervis was brought into the creative fold after he came to the rescue of one of the band’s show at London’s Half Moon which was under threat due to illness. Soon recruited full-time, he was soon recording the United High’s debut album Over the Influence with the band at the legendary Sawmills Studios in Cornwall. The current line-up was completed when bassist/backing vocalist Ian Henderson joined the band, his CV at that point already including session work with Bad Company, a tour with Twisted Sister, and work with the likes of Steve Marriott and Larry Wallis as well as a host of former bands including Panik, The Love Affair, and Turbo.

Also recorded at Sawmills Studios, Talk About Us is the band’s new temptation and features the guest vocals of Abby Miles. Originally asked to provide backing vocals on the song after being heard singing at a party, Abby’s contribution is a far more potent aspect to the lively encounter than just that, her part evolving as the song grew as it was recorded to become a full union between guest and band.

The single quickly grips ears with heady beats and a dose of riffs not too far removed from the punkish air of early Sex Pistols offerings. The song soon blossoms a melodic and dramatic nature though, guitars casting a spicy web which the strong tones of Kristian and subsequently Abby harmonically explore with their swiftly riveting union.

There is something familiar to the song, different aspects hinting at an array of bands yet combining for an easy persuasion that, as suggested earlier, hangs around teasing and tempting thoughts and emotions, especially through the fiery chorus and outstanding blend of vocals which often come in waves to seduce ears.

Talk About Us is one of those songs which may not become a personal classic but we would suggest a proposition which will persistently put a smile on the face every time it steps forward, whilst United Highs is a band we should all go checkout a little closer, Abby Miles too after this.

Talk About Us is available now via the band’s Bandcamp page as a “pay what you like” download.

RingMaster 14/08/2015

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Ded Rabbit – Scarlet Cardigan

Ded Rabbit_RingMaster Review

Continuing a very healthy tradition of outshining their previous release with something even more irresistible and creatively mouth-watering, Scotland based indie rockers Ded Rabbit uncage their new single Scarlet Cardigan. It is a song which merges wonderfully raw textures with intricately inventive hooks, contagious energy with rousing vocal drama, and uniting it all in another exhilarating bellow. Ded Rabbit is a band walking the precipice of national exposure, something very easy to say after Scarlet Cardigan.

Ded Rabbit consists of four Yorkshire brothers, Eugene, Fergus, Eoin, and Donal Gaine, who moved to the Highlands in the mid-nineties, subsequently heading to Edinburgh for their studies and the moment where, in their words, that they “began taking music more seriously.” Since then as Ded Rabbit, the foursome has released a trio of increasingly acclaimed EPs, all recorded at Rocket Science Studios (Texas, Belle And Sebastian, Dougie MacLean) and earned a potent live reputation with a presence taking in shows with the likes of The 1975 and Man Made, their own headlining gigs, and festival spots at Rough Beats, Liverpool Sound City, and T In The Park where they headlined the T Break stage this year. Drawing on inspirations from bands such as Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Queens Of The Stone Age, Fugazi, Ian Dury and the Blockheads, Gang Of Four, Interpol, The Cribs, The Libertines and many more, the band’s EPs have been a just as magnetic affair, Wash Away and Wake Up In A Dream stirring up keen attention previously whilst the recently released Moving In Slow Motion has pushed even keener spotlights their way. As suggested earlier, their new release unleashes another rousing and masterful step forward in the sound and adventure of the band, Scarlet Cardigan which is the lead song from the last EP, setting a new dynamic marker.

The single instantly reveals a scuzzier air to the band’s sound, something explored more upon Moving In Slow Motion whilst also pushing the band’s cleaner melodic explorations. Vocals and hefty beats are the first union alongside slim but enticing guitar which in turn expands with melodic lures as the song itself blossoms into bolder incitement, a bulbous bass riff just whetting the appetite all on its own. The spicery of eighties new wave/post punk is at its strongest yet in the Ded Rabbit sound in Scarlet Cardigan but woven into something certainly with a whiff of Arctic Monkeys/The Cribs to it, but thrillingly original to the band. Raising crescendos of energy for its chorus and volatile calm for its agitated verse built passages, the track enthrals with unpredictability and breath-taking enterprise from start to finish.

Like a mix of Asylums, The Libertines, and The Woodentops, with at times essences of Josef K too, the free to download Scarlet Cardigan is another enslaving slice of indie rock ‘n’ roll from Ded Rabbit and another thick suggestion that the band ready to take the UK indie scene by storm.

Scarlet Cardigan is available now.

The Ringmaster Review 12/08/2015

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