Rum Thief – Reach For the Weatherman

Picture 8_RingMaster Review

Want something to get excited about? Then check out Rum Thief and superb second EP Reach For the Weatherman. There has already been an eager buzz about the band from live shows and especially last year’s debut EP Clouded Mind, but we suggest nothing compared to what will be stirred up by this new outstanding encounter.

Rum Thief is the solo project of Manchester bred Jot Green, a musician who after a decade plus of playing drums in bands decided to bring his own songs to light. He surrounds himself with friends live, currently guitarist Johnny Brown, bassist Iain McGowen, and drummer Chris Hobs joining Green on stage, whilst the EP’s are all the man alone. As mentioned, Clouded Mind awoke attention and helped spark a potent local appetite for the band’s live presence, its sounds and a just as lively and provocative lyrical side luring acclaim and radio play. Now making a roar at a national spotlight, Reach For the Weatherman builds on its predecessor’s strengths and lures, matching its power and success whilst bringing an even more honed and vital breath to melodies, hooks, and simply the open passion fuelling songs.

cover_RingMaster Review   Reach For The Weatherman opens with its title track, a moody yet vivacious bass coaxing aligned to choppy ska seeded riffs marking the swiftly enticing entrance of the song. Just as quickly spicy hooks and jabbing beats join the escapade, whilst the gripping and distinctive tones of Green’s vocals add further irresistible drama to the increasingly contagious proposal. Sonically fiery with a scent of surf rock to its chorus, the song is a multi-flavoured, feverishly coloured stomp; rock ‘n’ roll leading to addictions and lustful inclinations. It is glorious, small but striking twists amidst a tapestry of vocal and musical imagination stirring up body and emotions from start to finish.

The exceptional start is potently backed by Stitch In Time, though it cannot quite reach the same heights and spark the same slavery as its predecessor. Nevertheless with a pungently forceful stroll in gait and rhythms within tangy guitar caresses, the song magnetically swings along leading ears across a landscape of emotive expression and vocals alongside a vibrant flame of melodic tenacity. The Arctic Monkeys essence which only whispered in the first song, is a stronger enjoyable hue here, but just one spice amongst many strands of varied rock flavours colluding to create something unique and again riveting.

New single Dirty Shoes kicks it all up again to epidemic proportions, its initial union of acoustic guitar and the ever alluring vocals of Green, the lead and spark to a precocious shuffle of rockabilly like rhythms and hooks amongst tendrils of melodic and grooved devilry. The track just grows in the ear, its body maturing and basking in the seemingly simple yet skilfully woven fusion of sound and heart driven energy. The song is as the first, an epidemic of contagion and adventure; both tracks stealing the show from the grasp of equally exciting encounters.

The acoustic seduction of My Friend closes up the EP, it also part of the double A-sided new single with the previous song. Keys are soon snuggling up to the vocal and guitar embrace starting things off, whilst emotive and intimate tones line every syllable and chord as the song brews up a fuller and more intensive, though never imposing hug. It is a fascinating end to an outstanding release, another glimpse at the strong and diverse songwriting flowing from the imagination of Green.

Having missed Rum Thief’s first EP, a look back shows it to have been a striking first step for Green and his project but just the taster for the masterful and mighty appearance of Reach For the Weatherman. As asked at the start of this piece, want to get a buzz on? Then this EP will fully satisfy and much more. There are very big things ahead for Rum Thief we suspect.

The Reach For the Weatherman EP is available from July 27th

EP Launch Party, 21st August @ Night and Day Cafe, Oldham St, Manchester in association with Scruff of the Neck Records.

https://www.facebook.com/RumThief

RingMaster 27/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

Abel Raise the Cain – Black Swans

Picture 31_RingMaster Review

With its video already hitting number one in the Beat 100 music chart, Black Swans, the new single from British indie band Abel Raise the Cain, is already making a potent teaser for the band’s upcoming debut EP, For Strangers Only. The song is an atmospheric embrace but one with a bubbling underbelly and raw intensity which potently captivates. The Northeast band has already lured strong praise and support through their previous release and fair to say, Black Swans is going to do their ascent no harm either.

Picture 33[1]_RingMaster Review   Formed towards the end of 2012, Abel Raise the Cain quickly took inspirations from the atmospheric and epic soundscapes of bands like Arcade Fire, Sigur Ros, and Editors into their own immersive weaves. The double A-sided single Too Late/The Promise in 2013 grabbed the attention of fresh fans and radio stations across the UK, subsequently backed by second single Waiting later that same year. Live the Teeside seven-piece has bred a strong reputation playing with the likes of Happy Mondays, Primal Scream, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Spiritulized, Kodaline, and Skaters alongside their own successful shows. Now with its video as mentioned already setting down a marker, Black Swans, ahead of a highly anticipated EP confirms Abel Raise the Cain as a band destined to welcomingly hit your radar at some point.

The single gently but keenly sweeps in with synths and keys a provocative coaxing around the plain but inviting tones of vocalist and rhythm guitarist Sean Crichton. As the anthemic beats of drummer Adam Hicks stirs things more energetically and the violin seducing of Saerla Murphy adds more emotive and suggestive hues, the song becomes a compelling fusion of different and you would imagine conflicting textures but everything unites and flows seamlessly. The track continues to roar with melancholic emotion and lively passion with each passing minute, the keys of Gaz Murray a warm and emotive incitement to the sonic enterprise cast by guitarists Phil Bailes and Andy Grange whilst the bass of Gary Hughes tempers it all with a dark tone which reflects the heartbreak fuelled the lyrical and emotive hue.

The track is a symphony of sound and emotional turbulence; not a song which initially grabs as potently as it eventually grows to do and one maybe missing a moment or two of wrong-footing the listener to bring further drama and strength to an already climatic presence. To be fair though that is just nit-picking to please personal tastes, for Black Swans only and increasingly satisfies, suggesting the forthcoming For Strangers Only is going to be something well worth checking out.

Black Swans is available from July 27th

http://www.abelraisethecain.com/   https://www.facebook.com/AbelRaiseTheCain

RingMaster 27/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

 

Rousing carousels: an interview with Woody Woodgate

 

woody_RingMaster Review

This past week saw the highly anticipated debut solo album from Woody Woodgate released, a pop adventure lighting ears and imagination at every captivating turn. In Your Mind is an encounter which put a smile on our faces whilst often providing evocative hues to reflect and linger over. We had to delve a little deeper into the album and with the kindness of the man himself we explored one of this summer’s treats…

Hi Woody and many thanks for sparing time to chat with us.

Let us get straight to the main reason for taking a slice of your time, debut solo album In Your Mind. With your long creative career in music it feels a little surprising it has taken so long for a solo project to emerge from you. Has this been bubbling in thoughts for quite a while or something which suddenly erupted inside because of a break in other endeavours?

After releasing the Magic Brothers album The Magic Line with my brother Nick, I wanted to take our songs to another level. Quite simply I wanted to work with other musicians. My brother Nick and I have been writing songs together for years. Songs that are appropriate for Madness, go to Madness, songs that I love, but aren’t appropriate for Madness I’ll work on. It’s no good if they don’t see the light of day. Nothing’s been bubbling; it’s all been coming out for years in different guises.

The diverse tracks and sounds within the album is something distinctly different to Madness and indeed Magic Brothers for me. I think I read they were originally planned for the second Magic Brothers album, is that so and how much did you develop further once they were destined for In Your Mind?

They were destined for the Magic Brothers, but it wasn’t really a Magic Brothers project once I got Dan Shears (vocals) and Tim Maple (guitars, and Keyboards) on board. I also took over all the arranging and producing, so it became increasingly my project.

woodywoodgate_inyourmind-_RingMaster ReviewWere there any particular musical inspirations which might have sparked flavours woven into In Your Mind?

I’m a kid from the seventies so it’s packed with influences from the Beatles, ELO, Supertramp, 10cc, through to Pink Floyd, and Jimi Hendrix. Not forgetting my 37 years of Madness, which is my default setting when writing 3 minute pop songs?

Obviously writing and developing songs within a broad line-up like Madness must be very different to composing and creating in Magic Brothers and your solo release. Have you found there is a kind of freedom coming with writing your own music and songs without having to I guess compromise more?

It’s very rewarding being able to put in rock guitar riffs, solos, multi-layered vocals, and do soppy love songs, but it’s also quite hard in the sense that you don’t have anyone to tell you whether or not you’re going up your own jacksy. Self-indulgence can be a dangerous thing, if not checked.

As much as the songs and sounds captivated us here so did the wave of nostalgia it sparked, memories of being a small excited and innocent kid going on that big adventure on a holiday etc. I am assuming it was those kinds of experience and memory for you inspiring songs and album?

If I can put across my experience, I guarantee there’s someone out there who can relate. I also think that lyrics can mean different things to different people, and that’s the beauty of music. The simple fact that you were captivated, and conjured up visions of “a small exited and innocent kid on that big adventure on a holiday etc.” says it all. You (as a listener) were transported into another world though the music, drawing on your own imagination. Hence, “In Your Mind.”

How personal and intimate are the songs to your childhood and experiences?

It’s a mixture of one’s own experience, and imagination.

Was it easy to expose a real part of you as a person and your experiences in life into the album?

I didn’t know I had? So I suppose the answer is “Yes.”

Music was a big part of your upbringing and your brother Nick’s too?

Very much so…It was pivotal.

One of the reasons behind the album was the time allowed because the second Magic Brothers album had to be postponed because of Nick’s “on-going battle with mental health issues” to quote the press release for the album. May I ask what kind of impact his problems have brought to Magic Brothers and In Your Mind in regards to its tones, reflective depths, and lyrical themes?

To be honest, the only thing that was affected by Nick’s illness was his ability to perform live, and take the new album on the road. Nick thought it was only fair that we try out other singers, as the pressure was getting to him, and pressure can set off psychotic episodes. When I found Dan Shears, the pressure on Nick was lifted, and he was able to go back to what he’s best at, and that’s writing great songs. When it comes to writing songs Nick’s illness isn’t a problem, it doesn’t impair his ability to write, and his lyrics very rarely touch on his psychosis, they’re more about his relationships. In all respects he’s just a songwriter, like anyone else. It’s just he’s a very good one, who happens to have schizophrenia.

So though not to the fore Nick’s creative hand is more involved in the album than we might initially imagine?

The album would be nothing without Nick. He is the catalyst to all the songs. I simply reconstruct the dinosaur from the scraps of bones I’m given. Granted there is a lot of interpretation involved, but all in all we complete each other.

Tell us about the link up with Dan, how did you meet and what inspired you to get him involved?woody_RingMaster Review

I worked in a school ten years ago teaching Music Technology and Media Studies, and Dan was a student doing his A-levels. He stood out from the crowd, and was clearly a special talent, with a great voice, and musical sensibility. A part from that we really got on well, and he made me laugh. When I was trying out new singers for the album the one thing that became apparent was their lack of range. I hadn’t seen Dan for ten years, but he kept cropping up in my thoughts, as he was the one singer I knew could do the job, but I had no idea where he was, or what he was doing with his life. Ironically he contacted me on social media to say that he was releasing a solo album, and would I be interested in giving it a listen? I put it to him that I too was doing an album, and would he sing on it? The rest is history.

His voice reminded us of a mix between Ian Broudie and Ste McCabe, and really stoked and matched the feel of the music and their intimate revelry well.

Interesting? Queer Core Lightening Seeds. Not something I envisaged, but I can see where you’re coming from.

How involved was he, other than vocally of course?

Involved in as much as he was encouraged to be himself, and to put his own inflections into the vocal performance

Is there any particular moment within In Your Mind which gives you a certain tingle of satisfaction or pleasure etc.?

Only that it sounds great on radio…Which gives me a buzz from a technical point of view.

Now it is out luring acclaim and attention, is there a thought inside that you should have done this sooner?

I couldn’t have done it sooner, I wasn’t ready. I had too much to learn. Now is the perfect time. I’m ready.

Time allowing, will exploring further solo adventures possibly be on the cards?

Absolutely!

woody and dan from In Your Mind video_RingMaster ReviewI love the video for the song In Your Mind, a song relating to Nick’s issues I believe? Who is behind and created its captivating and evocative look?

Tom Johnson, another of my brilliant students back in the day created the video, but you’re wrong about the subject matter. It’s not about Nick, and in a way you have fallen into the trap of stigmatising him. Just because the video is surreal, and the title is ‘In Your Mind” you are presuming it’s about mental illness. It is in fact about getting lost in your imagination, the way children do when they play, and how we get carried away in a book, or story. We can be transported to another world in our minds. It’s as simple as that.

(In our defence it was the press release stating the song “was an ode to a younger brother battling his demons” which led our thoughts to that conclusion and only in regard to that one track)

Is there a chance any of the songs within In Your Mind might get a live airing at some point, somewhere?

I’m going to try and put in a gig or two, in between Madness commitments. We’ll see.

Once again big thanks for taking time out for us. Is there anything you would like to leave us with?

My advice to anyone listening to the album is to take out of the equation the fact that my brother is a schizophrenic, and judge it on its merits alone. You may hear the album in a new light, and it won’t cloud or prejudice your thinking.

Lastly, I know you are working with the charity Rethink Mental Illness. Would you like to give details/links people can go to learn more and offer their support?

Twitter: @rethink or www.rethink.org

http://www.woodywoodgate.co.uk/

Read the In Your Mind review@ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/woody-woodgate-in-your-mind/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 16/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

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 http://maffmusica.bandcamp.com/album/maff-2

http://www.maffmusica.com/   https://www.facebook.com/maffmusica

RingMaster 07/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

 

The LaFontaines – Class

The LaFontaines_ Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

Tagged as Scotland’s biggest independent band, there is no doubting that anticipation for The LaFontaines’ debut album has been in full swing on the back of acclaimed releases and a live presence seeing the band headline shows in New York, tour the UK and Europe with Watsky, and play their biggest headline sold out show to date at Glasgow’s ABC amongst numerous successes. The majority of that happened in a triumphant 2014 for the band but it is easy to expect bigger, more forceful spotlights upon the band in this with the release of the thrilling and fascinating Class.

static1.squarespace.com_ Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review   Formed in 2010, the Motherwell hailing quintet first snatched attention with the All She Knows EP in 2013, following its success the following year with the similarly eagerly received Under The Storm EP. The absorbing diversity and sounds of the Matt O’Grady (You Me At Six/Don Broco) produced Class now blends the qualities of those previous releases with a new adventure of invention and enterprise. It is at times a startling release, persistently a striking one, and even when its persuasive energy slips a touch, album and indeed band just enthral as they brew up an impassioned and tenacious incitement. The words of frontman Kerr Okan probably describes it best when he says, “We’ve spent the past 3 to 4 years leading up to this point. Everything we’ve seen on the road or experienced together as a band has finally made its way onto record. It’s guaranteed to shock those who assume we’re simply just the best live band in Scotland. There’s so much depth to these songs, a load of pain and struggle, but underlying throughout all of the writing, is some real grit and determination.

There can be few albums this year with as rousing a start as Class offers through Slow Elvis. From a distance the song looms on ears, hitting them on arrival with pungent anthemic rhythms and fiery riffs. It is not particularly aggressive or explosive yet within seconds the opener has ears and appetite seriously aroused and hanging onto its swing. Spatial sonic endeavour fills air quickly too, surrounding the swaggering vocal rap of Okan as bass and drums intensify their bait with a snarl and punchy attitude. Additional vocal calls and melodic revelry only adds to the incendiary brew, the track evolving into a Rage Against The Machine meets Lazy Habits encounter wrapped in the sultry hues of Muse.

The sensational start is quickly backed by the similarly electrifying Under The Storm, a burst of guitar sparking handclaps and melodic vocals with fire in their breath. The track is soon shrugging off any restraint and with sinews flexing, it strides resourcefully through ears behind scythes of guitar and bass which in turn are led by the stirring mix of clean and rap cast vocals from bassist John Gerard and Okan respectively. Though openly unique compared to its predecessor, that description of references again applies, and like the first song is twisted into something unique to The LaFontaines. Unpredictability also is a ripe asset to both songs, and indeed the album, that and the great Scottish lilt fuelling the jabbing potency of the rapping.

     The album’s title track comes next, a gentle caress of melodic temptation crooning over the senses as rhythms fling their enticement around in a robust dance. Once more the mix of vocals is a magnetic tempting in the indie seeded and lively serenade of the song, the melodic lure of Gerard as potent as the creative jangle of guitar from Iain Findlay and Darren McCaughey. Revealing more of the depth and imagination in the band’s songwriting and sound alone, it is replaced and emulated by Castles. This too has a reserved touch yet its heart is a blaze of sonic expression and evocative intensity. A sizzling start slips into a mellower embrace around Okan’s delivery, both taking ears and thoughts by the hand and leading them into new eruptions of emotional drama. Without quite matching the plateau of the first few tracks, the song easily steals full attention with its Biffy Clyro meets The Kennedy Soundtrack like canvas evolved into something distinct to this new breed of Scottish rock ‘n roll.

King steps up next, its great bluesy guitar twang an immediate tasty enticing to which a throaty bass groan from Gerard and the punchy spits of Okan bring their own irresistible tempting. Featuring guests Luke Prebble and Michael Sparks, the song whilst wrapped in the tangy keys of McCaughey and vocal harmonies prowls rhythmically and emotionally. Gospel like in ambience, mischievous in imagination, the track has ears and appetite hungry, their need fulfilled by Junior Dragon. Not for the first or last time, drummer Jamie Keenan stirs up body and emotions with his skilled incitement from which the song exposes an even grittier and volatile side to the band’s sound. Arctic Monkeys like in devilry, Freeze The Atlantic like in energy, and Able Archer like in creative grandeur, the track grows into a rich bellow of voice and sound for another major highlight of Class.

A fiercely shimmering persuasion comes with All Gone next, another with a predacious edge to its rhythms and character backed by a great rapping stroll from Okan but maybe for the only time on the album a strong impact slips as the melodic and harmonic side of the song flows. Nevertheless the track captivates and solidly pleases if without finding the spark which ignited earlier songs, an ingredient the outstanding Window Seat has in strength. A more smouldering persuasion, it takes time to reveal all its rich levels and qualities but over time becomes a mighty peak of the album. It is an intense slice of emotional balladry built on a muscular frame, this draped in quite superb and mesmeric vocal strengths. It might be ballad like but there is a tempest at its heart which makes the song a volcanic croon and just irresistible.

Enjoyable but less dramatically engrossing is All She Knows, an easy going and arguably formula song in respect to the band’s songwriting. It is relatively unique to outside references but finds it difficult to stand out in the richness around it, though again to be fair the track is only enjoyment for ears, something which again applies to Paper Chase. Its eighties indie pop essences definitely add something fresh but once more the track struggles to linger like the insatiable successes elsewhere upon Class.

The album closes with the thick and shadow enriched caress of Pull Me Back, keys a melancholic but dramatic expression against the anthemic beats of McCaughey. They are a mere moment in the ever evolving landscape of the excellent song of course, every second, note, and syllable from across the band just inventive theatre.

It is a fine end to a thoroughly exciting release. Certainly there are moments when Class slips from its loftiest perch but it is generally down to the brilliance of some songs in comparison than the failures of others. As suggested, the first album from The LaFontaines has been long and greedily awaited and now here it undoubtedly lets no one down.

Class is available now via 889 Records from most online stores

http://www.thelafontaines.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/thelafontainesmusic

Ringmaster 17/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

 

 

Vienna Ditto – Circle

Vienna Ditto _Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

With every song and single released, UK duo Vienna Ditto has enhanced the seductive hex they have laid on certainly our ears since being infected by the band’s Ugly EP in 2013. Now the pairing of Hatty Taylor and Nigel Firth has set free their long awaited and highly anticipated debut album, and fair to say that their melodic voodoo has just got seriously enslaving. Bringing some old fan favourites together with re-workings of older releases and brand new slices of sonic devilment, Circle is a bewitching romance of sultry atmospheres, bordering on sinister melodic beauty, and psychedelic sunspots of harmonic alchemy.

Originally meeting when Firth taught Taylor the guitar when she was 11 years old, the duo began writing and creating together in 2009 after meeting by chance again in the street. Within a week of that moment, they recorded an electronic version of the Johnny Cash classic Ring of Fire and in a matter of another seven of so days created and unveiled their own first song Long Way Down. This quickly managed to find itself played on Huw Stephens’ Radio One show, leading to Vienna Ditto playing the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury. 2011 saw the band’s self-titled debut EP get a well-received release, its temptation the beginning to greater attention and responses earned by a couple of singles and more so the Liar Liar and Ugly EPs two years later. With further singles only enhancing and confirming the duo’s potent emergence and increasing evolution of sound, there has been a greedy appetite brewing amongst a great many for this first album. Now here it is easy to say that no-one will be disappointed and for newcomers, well simply welcome to a new musical lust.

The encounter opens with This Is Normal, a song instantly luring ears through a minimal but potent bassy riff and the siren-esque tones and expression of Taylor’s voice. As crispy beats and additional guitar enticing joins the mix so the song’s energy also elevates, though it is quickly back into the low key gait so things continue to be potently intriguing and unpredictable. As electronic invention springs its bait next, the track eventually slips into a magnetic stroll with Morningwood like revelry but yet again things only get twisted and turned around to relentlessly excite ears and imagination.

Owly circle_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review    The irresistible start is emulated and surpassed by the following Feeling Good. With garage rock hooks colluding with surf and sci-fi shimmers, the song is quickly teasing and flirting like a sixties Venusian temptress. Also though there is simultaneously a climatic and sultry air enveloping the senses whilst beneath it a smouldering Tarantino cultured landscape becomes the home for an irresistible dance of vocals and grooves. The song is pure musical and emotional drama, an infection getting under the skin and into the psyche whilst providing the first major pinnacle of the album.

A melodic calm caresses ears next through the mellow charm of Wintertime. Comparisons to Portishead have been a regular offering since Vienna Ditto began and easy to see why with the golden kiss of charm offered by the tantalising third song on the album. It has its own intimacy and individual, almost raw innocence and beauty though as it casts a lingering peace which eventually makes way for the off kilter cosmopolitan enticement of A Happy Car is a Stolen Car. With a ska shaped bassline and exotic melodic hues within a spatial atmosphere, the song is a fascinating waltz of warped imagination and enterprise. The effect hugged vocals of Taylor court the bedlamic shuffle of the song and again a sixties pop hued psyche rock twisted soundscape. It takes a couple of listens or so to fully explore and understand the wonderful turbulence of ideas and bold adventure at work but rewards patience with another major highlight within Circle.

The band takes ears back into the dusty climes of a Morricone like terrain next through Pale Horse Rider, voice and strained guitar strings a compelling lead into a continually evolving and absorbing immersion of sound and emotion. Beauty again is the keenest description to lie at its door before the first of the band’s two current singles step forward side by side. Oh Josephine which we are led to believe is a tribute to dancer and civil rights icon Josephine Baker, has a haunting and pulsating shine to its air, a glow which resonates across every aspect as rhythms and the simply catchiness of the song steal body swerves and lustful thoughts from the listener. The following Long Way Down is an epidemic of addictiveness and brilliance. Primarily garage punk and rock across its numerous strands of temptation, the song also weaves a funk and synth pop lure encased in psychedelic salaciousness. Think Chick Quest meets MGMT with a touch of Jingo for good measure and you have a closer clue to the brilliance of the song.

     Both the hypnotic almost oppressive psychedelic wash of A Wheel Within a Wheel and the bulging devilry of Hold On enthral and thrill; the first a song bordering on psychotic with its kaleidoscope of sonic colour and melodic seducing aligned to off the wall ingenuity. The second of the two is jazz/funk pop twisted out of shape and stretched on muscular rhythmic sinews, then infused with guitar jangles and electronic mania before being given to Taylor to bind in her ever alluring vocals. The result is one virulent dance of unbridled infection and enjoyment though it is soon overshadowed by the sensational Hammer and a Nail. Opening with a caress of southern guitar and the endearing tones of Taylor, the song soon spreads into again Morricone seeded scenery within a dusty hot ambience. It is a transfixing maelstrom of mystique kissed sounds and emotional drama which toys with ears and imagination. The more revealed the darker the track becomes, its rapacious throat and intensity an encroaching clouding over the open beauty and sultry resonance of voice and melodies. As a single this incitement was glorious but reshaped and re-coloured for the album it is simply majestic.

The gentle croon of Liar Liar Quietly is almost an anti-climax initially after the previous glory but soon has ears and thoughts firmly in its soft and persuasive melody soaked hands. It is a spellbinding kiss with a need to spill eighties post punk like invention from within its serenade, again the band reaping seeds from earlier decades to enrich their own scintillating invention.

The album closes with a smouldering slice of gospel bred psyche balladry; I Know His Blood Will Make Me Whole another cast in the dark country of psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll. As expected the track spins a mesh of perpetual unpredictability and off beat exploration which just gets darker, bolder, and more addictive with time and age.

There is also a bonus track on certainly the digital version of Circle called Squeaking Wheel and it too is a sensational romp, one built on a blues sound and craft wound in creative mischief and ingenuity. Whether this or I Know His Blood Will Make Me Whole completes the album, Circle is easily one of the most scintillating and invigorating thrills of the year so far. Full of surprises and originality, album and Vienna Ditto deserve all your attention with the only losers being those not taking a listen.

Circle is available now @ https://viennaditto.bandcamp.com/album/circle

http://www.viennaditto.com/ https://www.facebook.com/viennaditto

RingMaster 16/05/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

Backslashes And Bad Ideas – Sad Is The New Black

DSC_0196_2_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

Recently signing with Imminence Records, US quintet Backslashes and Bad Ideas have just released a limited edition 7” single Sad Is The New Black via MKT Records to spark fresh attention. Containing the songs Mid Twenty Something and its title track, the release gives a potent example of why the Staten Island hailing band has been grabbing attention since forming in 2010 whilst setting the scene of their pungent sound for newcomers.

The band’s music is a blend of indie invention, emo angst, and aggressive pop punk contagion, and in full roar on the new release. Consisting of vocalists/guitarists Nick DePalo and Josh Cronopulos, guitarist Ricky Abolt, bassist Rob Castiglione, and drummer Ed Mone, Backslashes And Bad Ideas self-released their debut EP Nothing Left To Give in October 2012 to strong responses. The following year its successor There’s No Place Like Home came out to even greater reactions and now with the linking up with Imminence Records, the time looks right for the band to break into broader and wider spotlights.

Cover_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review   The single opens with Mid Twenty Something and straight away the band are awakening ears with a guitar caress and stronger vocal persuasion. In no time the track saunters along with striking rhythms and expressive sonic enterprise but really hits its true persuasive and appealing stride once it unleashes its full energy and passion. From start to finish the song has ears gripped but it is the rich weave of rhythmic tenacity and melodic flames when in full swing that turns a good if underwhelming song into something with a real punch.

The following Sad Is The New Black similarly makes a low key entrance but is quicker in finding its hearty creative resourcefulness and adventure. Hooks and melodic lures quickly spin a web of intrigue and enterprise whilst the dual attack of vocals has an even more defined and fluid union on the second song to also immediately impress. The sonic interplay between guitars around a tempestuous spine of riffs equally shines whilst the drama of the track emotionally and musically just builds a richer compelling success.

The first of the two tracks is highly enjoyable but simply overshadowed by its companion, though both only spark an interest and anticipation for the band’s next offerings with their new label. If new to Backslashes And Bad Ideas now is the time to introduce yourself to their lively and powerful sound, with the potential of bigger, greater things to come included.

Sad Is The New Black is available now via MKT Records on 7” vinyl @ https://backslashesandbadideas.bandcamp.com/ in a choice of Black Vinyl (ltd to300 copies), Orange, Green and Black Half Splatter Vinyl (100), and Teal and Black Half Splatter Vinyl (100)

https://www.facebook.com/backslashesny

RingMaster 16/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net