Astral Cloud Ashes – Too Close to the Noise Floor

Album Art_RingMasterReview

With three attention grabbing and imagination sparking singles under the belt, Astral Cloud Ashes unveil debut album Too Close to the Noise Floor. It is a collection of songs which arouse and serenade the senses, often simultaneously as the project’s mesmeric songwriting and emotive melodic elegance seduces.

Astral Cloud Ashes is the new project of Jersey bred songwriter/musician Antony Walker, previously better known as one half of the Channel Islands hailing Select All Delete Save As. Having already created music under the name ALPA, amongst other monikers, Walker quickly sparked attention to his latest project last year with first single Too Close To The Noise Floor, the now title track to the new album. Primarily a solo project but with backing vocalist Jason Neil a permanent fixture in the band, Astral Cloud Ashes draws on inspirations ranging from The Cure, Bloc Party, Interpol, At the Drive In, Mars Volta, and Say Anything as well as flavours bred in indie and alternative rock/pop. Equally though, the album shows bold ventures into more progressive and post rock pastures without losing the instinctive catchiness and melodic romancing found in those earlier propositions.

Mixed across its tracks by Gareth [The Fold], Edd HartwellPaul Miles, Daniel Szanto,  and Walker himself, with the mastering undertaken by Tim Turan, Too Close to the Noise Floor opens with The Man I Had To Become. Instantly a temptation of bubbling guitar captures ears, the coaxing quickly joined by a wave of rhythmic jabbing and a thicker weave of melodic guitar and harmonious vocals. It is a gentle yet boisterous affair easily whipping up the imagination and spirit with Walker’s distinctive tones the mellow flame within a more combustible web of enterprise. It is a great mix which marked those early singles but already seems to have blossomed within the album into a more adventurous and confident entangling of the listener.

The great start is followed by the album’s title track, Too Close to the Noise Floor showing a rawer, more imposing energy as it takes the imagination into the intimacy and adventure of cosmonautics but equally involves “family values and unwanted first-world paranoia” in its energetically hugged theme. Punching its rhythmic and contagious essences home, it also carries a hazy climate to its atmosphere with the bass a deliciously throaty lure amongst nothing but virulent temptation. Embracing a XTC feel and Melvins like revelry, the track has body and appetite eagerly involved in swift time.

Grateful for the Ghost In Our House steps forward next and as the last track showed a more formidable presence to its predecessor, this song reveals a fiercer predation to its opening and subsequent invention within another wash of suggestive melodies and smouldering dynamics. Though not in the actual sound, it is easy to see where an influence of The Cure comes into play, Walker creating an emotional and musical drama which has the senses riding a roller coaster.

Recent single Get Real follows, strolling along with the ever present catchiness which Walker conjures with seeming ease across every track. Guitars pop and bubble throughout the song as rhythmic tenacity creating an anthemic frame to the vocal and melodic ingenuity before Flashback takes over. A calmer and mellower engagement but even more emotively forceful, the song caresses ears with a lone guitar melody before being joined by a heavily shadowed bassline aligned to a broader floating melodic enterprise. Vocally, Walker provides an introspective narrative as provocative as the poetic almost volcanic fuzziness of his guitar. Adding another individual shade and hue to the album, the track shows the broader landscape of Walker’s songwriting and an intimacy, whether personal or observational, which fuels his words.

With drummer Max Saidi guesting, Avant Blah! strolls boldly in next, its lo-fi pop ‘n’ roll blending Weezer infection with Pavement-esque invention while its successor Lites almost lumbers into view in comparison with the brooding bass and irritable riffs to the fore. In all songs there is a great repetitious quality brewed by Walker, here almost coming over drone like to great effect around the solemn melody and the similarly melancholic vocals. As it expands though, a wave of rich textures and rousing energies flood the song, returning throughout the low-key yet thickly enjoyable, almost imposing encounter.

The excellent This Once Great Place has an air of The Cure again with its atmospheric landscape, reminding of the A Forest/Pornography era of the trio across its own captivating journey before the equally impressive Housing in a Bubble makes a grab for best track with its more punkish/grungy roar of sound. Everything about it has a snarl not heard on the album previously; revealing more of the diversity the release carries whilst stirring up a fresh greed in ears and pleasure.

Our Holiday brings Too Close to the Noise Floor to a sombre and enthralling close, the track initially a dark sigh but soon building its own catchy canter loaded with spiky hooks and spicy melodies around another slightly foreboding and compelling bassline. Once more thoughts of Robert Smith and co are sparked but again as a flavour in something individual to Astral Cloud Ashes. It is a riveting end to a striking and increasingly impressive first album from Walker.

The clues to the project’s potential were there in its first trio of singles, and now confirmed and partly realised by Too Close to the Noise Floor. The feeling is that there is plenty more to come and to be explored within that promise, and going by the strength of this thoroughly enjoyable offering, we are all in for many treats ahead.

Too Close to the Noise Floor is released July 11th @ http://apple.co/1RFvoL8

https://www.facebook.com/astralcloudashes   https://astralcloudashes.bandcamp.com/   https://twitter.com/AstralCloudAsh

Pete RingMaster 08/07/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Maths and The Moon – Familiar Strange

MATM_RingMasterReview

This month sees the release of the eagerly awaited second album from UK alternative rock trio Maths and The Moon. It has been not too many weeks short of three years since their debut full-length, Night Train Daydream caught and captivated ears and imagination with its tapestry of droning seduction and fire drenched melodies spun with uncompromising invention. Familiar Strange is the natural and bold evolution of its predecessor’s sound and character; a generally calmer proposal with fascination and maturity flowing through every pore yet still creatively, an unpredictable and forcibly adventurous exploit.

Southampton bred and made up of vocalist/guitarist/principal songwriter Andy Fielder, drummer Luke Taplin, and bassist Matt Hirst, Maths and The Moon has persistently provided sounds and sonic explorations which have challenged as powerfully as they have enthralled. Formed around 2010, the band made its live debut supporting the legendary Can frontman Damo Suzuki, building on that thick interest sparking moment thereon in before sparking rich acclaim with Night Train Daydream in 2013. The album was an experimental fusion of psych rock and post punk with plenty more involved. Familiar Strange similarly embraces those hues but with an even richer array of equally dramatic flavours involved. It provides a sound and experience which is less spiky than on the first album, even more welcoming melodically and emotionally in many ways, yet still immerses the listener in landscapes as imaginatively scenic as they are emotionally invasive.

The trio has honed their sound and ideas into aural tales, where words and notes collude to cast individual glimpses into shadowed hearts and emotive reflections whilst, to use the words in the album’s press release, losing the listener “in the forest with nothing but shadows, memories and strangely familiar characters.” It all begins with recent single Futurist, a song instantly imposing on ears through the rumbling bass and some heftily swung beats as the guitar spreads an evocative jangle. That relatively forceful first touch soon mellows into a calmer incitement, the song prowling on its rhythms as the inviting tones of Fielder croon over the web of sonic enterprise and drama. The volatility which persistently courts the track does erupt in its chorus to fine effect, arousing ears and appetite further before the song swings through its merger of all aspects while smouldering harmonies and melodic flames colour the fiercely infectious encounter.

Familiar Strange _RingMasterReviewThere is a touch of Muse about the opener, but just a passing whiff before a Pixies-esque spicing emerges in the following Magic. Again it is a scent in an offering uniquely Maths and the Moon; a track which merges a charming sonic irritability with tenacious beats and the spiny lure of the bass. As with the first, the song is inescapably contagious, inciting body and ears with equal prowess and success whilst its fuzzy air and emotive drama seals the imagination’s involvement. Across its length, it blossoms an increasingly blistered surface to its melodies and voice, flirting with a Jesus and Mary Chain meets scorched shoegaze like glazing, while superbly continuing the impressive start to the album with a success quickly backed up by Amongst Trees and its shadow grasped balladry. It is a subdued and mesmeric persuasion where poetically suggestive guitar and voice hug ears as drums and bass build a pulsating frame around them. A thicker stroll of psych rock does emerge within the track, another enticement as catchy as it is soothing in the album, which in turn breeds a rolling rhythmic incitement which provides the hook for celestial harmonies and sultry melodies to hang around.

Howling is another with that alternative meets indie rock essence to its persuasion, the Maths and The Moon seemingly inspired again by the Frank Black kind of songwriting in the creation of their very own addictive tango on the ear. A sizzling slice of dark pop, the track hits the sweet spot dead centre, an accuracy matched by the outstanding In The Ellipse. The track is a ten minute instrumental providing a rhythmic canter with suggestive melodies and lively enterprise in its creative mane. The virulent ride has the scent of The Cure to it, their kind of emotive theatre laid in a tenaciously sculpted and offered gallop though an ever shifting and descriptive landscape.

From the warm and bright emprise of the last track, The Collector envelops ears with a haunting and intimately melancholic sigh. As with the previous ballad, the song is a minimalistic proposal coaxing ears and emotions, but luring full attention with an underlying infectiousness to compliment the maudlin shadows and the great repetitive coaxing around Fielder’s magnetic vocals.

In the band’s first album, Wire often came to mind but not with Familiar Strange, not until Boomerang anyway which weaves some colder steely hues reminiscent of the great band into its low key but snarling seduction of the senses. It is simply just another texture though, taken and twisted to suit and fit what, the album continues to prove, is their most distinctive and robustly compelling sound yet.

Familiar Strange is brought to a close by firstly the solemn acoustic balladry and heart of As The Crow Flies, though a song building a pyre of emotion and sound which burns with more intensity by its departure, and finally, the haze soaked psychedelic saunter and mesmerism of Psych-Seeing. Providing a riveting end to a thrilling encounter, the track glows and resonates across the senses like charmed smog with a melody spilling lighthouse at its heart.

It is fair to say that Night Train Daydream impressed and still does but Familiar Strange is Maths and The Moon on a whole other plateau offering their most exciting and accessible but still invigoratingly experimental proposal yet.

Familiar Strange is released May 20th @ http://mathsandthemoon.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 19/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Winter 1982 – Worry

Winter1982_RingMasterReview

Another duo to pay some attention to, among many potent ones around right now is Winter 1982, a British folk/indie pairing from Birmingham who, on the evidence of new single Worry, have the knack of uniting soulful melodies and emotions with ear catching yet haunting adventure.

Made up of vocalist/guitarist Phil Barber and pianist/bassist Luke Phillips, Winter 1982 released the Ghosts EP last year, its presence going some way to luring subsequent support from the likes of Amazing Radio and BBC Introducing. It is Worry now doing the enticing on new ears and spotlights with a suspected similar success awaiting it, such the persuasion of its melancholic yet uplifting character and melodic beauty.

Initially, the keys of Phillips hug the emotive tones of Barber, echoing his melancholic sentiment before guitar and bass bring their more intense flames to the quickly blossoming landscape. Equally swinging beats add new textures and energy too, crafting an instinctive catchiness which becomes a constant presence even in the moments where the song returns to its solemn elegance in tone and gait.

It is a captivating affair and increasingly so with every listen; Worry making a highly persuasive argument for keeping a close ear on Winter 1982, something a great many more will surely be doing from hereon in.

Worry is out now @ http://winter1982.bandcamp.com/track/worry

art_RingMasterReview

https://www.facebook.com/winter1982band

Pete RingMaster 16/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Falls – One Hundred Percent Strong

FALLS Promo_RingMasterReview

We all have bands, and no doubt many, which almost with their first creative breath spark an instinctive and lustful affair between their sound and ears. For us UK noise poppers Falls is one such union, a riotous quartet which spins webs of invention so contagious that they make the common cold seem lazy. Back in 2014, the band had us hooked with their self-tagged gash pop/fuck rock via the Dirtbox EP. Now they have unleashed its successor, One Hundred Percent Strong; a bigger, bolder, and even more devilish affair to rapture over.

Formed in 2013, Falls has been a hungry and irresistible live presence from day one, tours and shows with the likes of Allusondrugs, Shikari Sound System, God Damn, Blacklisters, Press To MECO, and Black Peaks among their own headlining conquests. The Dirtbox EP equally sparked attention upon its release, eclipsed the next year by the band’s two track single Mastiff which saw a host of radio play and support from the likes of Huw Stephens, Zane Lowe, Steve Lamacq, Alex Baker, and Sophie K. Ahead of a co-headlining tour with I Cried Wolf and an appearance at ArcTanGent in August, Falls is now uncaging One Hundred Percent Strong, a four-track stomp sure to outshine its predecessors in acclaim to match the leap in sound and invention.

There is a more mature and accomplished feel to the songs with the band’s latest offering, but without defusing the loco imagination and quick fire twist and turns which have already marked out their sound and imagination. In fact those elements have been honed with an even keener creative devilment to keep ears and the imagination as busy as the song’s instinctive rock ‘n’ roll does the body. With everything combined, Falls’ music is like a mix up in a noise infested pop factory blending early XTC with Hawk Eyes as seepage from Melvins adds a thrilling contamination.

front cover one hundred percent _RingMasterReviewIt all starts with the kinetic shuffle of Get Well Soon; a track instantly accosting ears with throbbing bass grooves and rolling beats as the guitars of Martin Gallagher and Philip Kelsall perpetually cast wiry hooks and teasing riffs. That alone is enough to infest the psyche and lift the spirit, but add the rousing vocals of the band, with one of the three string pickers leading though no idea which, and you have instant emotional arousal. The track continues to swing and thump, even as its pop fuelled chorus dances provocatively on the imagination. It is simply glorious; we all find manna for the ears in certain songs and this is ours.

Though it is quickly matched by the even more tenacious and slight psychotic Shady Nasty. Again grooves and hooks are swift bait around the lively inviting beats of Steff Jones with the band’s vocals further harmonic and mischief making fun. There is also a volatility to the encounter, at times it almost intimidating ears with the resonating snarl of Ben Griffiths’ bassline a prominent enticement though it is just as compelling in the warmly flirtatious moments too.

SWARM comes next and lives up to its name as riffs crawl incessantly through ears, though there is no particular urgency to their incitement. Instead the song writhes around with steely grooves and off-kilter exploits within a web of punk hooks and noise rock sensibility. Ultimately, it is as funky as it is ferocious, as poppy as it is cantankerously inventive and pure alchemy for the senses and at this point our very greedy appetite for the release.

There is no relaxing of the twisted tempting and addictive ingenuity with closing track Death In Disco Shoes either, the track leaping around like a hyperactive sugar fuelled teenager not knowing whether to party hard or be creatively responsible and doing both with unbridled zeal.

It is an exhilarating end to one of the year’s major propositions so far and no doubt will remain so. Falls and One Hundred Percent Strong are noisy, raucous, and prone to addictive habits; the very best kind of rock ‘n’ roll.

The One Hundred Percent Strong EP is out now via Venn Records digitally and on 7” vinyl @ https://www.vennrecords.com/shop/music/fallsvinyl/

https://www.facebook.com/fallsband   http://www.fallsband.co.uk

Pete RingMaster 13/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Josh Mellor – Same Bed

art_RingMasterReview

Josh Mellor is a young British singer-songwriter bred in Ipswich and now based in London. He is also poised to release debut single, Same Bed, a poetic melodic caress around honest lyrics and heart fuelled vocals making an ear pleasing introduction to an artist with promise on open show.

Establishing his live presence in local Suffolk venues, Mellor moved to London last September, taking “a large portfolio of material” to the capital and quickly hitting its live scene. With over 40 gigs a month, he soon made a mark on the night life there, a success and reputation already being furthered by Same Bed with the single being picked up and supported by the likes of Express FM, Shoreditch Radio, and Croydon FM among others.

As this first single suggests, Mellor’s music has its roots in folk, musically and in the simply but clear portrayal of “emotions and feelings through the eyes of everyday people.” With bassist David Dupuis and drummer Leo Martin alongside, Same Bed and Mellor quickly have ears engaged as melodies float from his guitar as easily as expression with his distinctive vocals. There is an immediate emotive edge to his voice which at times almost defuses its consistency yet only adds to the heart and suggestiveness of word and song.

Against the darker hues of the bass, melodies and harmonies blossom with a spicing of keys being equally involving of the imagination as increasingly energetic beats invite hips to sway to the song’s infectious manner.

The single makes for an enjoyable first listen to Mellor, leaving many clues as to why he has been so successful on the London live scene.

Same Bed is out now @ https://joshmellormusic.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/joshmellormusic   https://joshmellormusic.com/

Pete RingMaster 13/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com

The Ellipsis – Wasted Potential Me

The Ellipsis_RingMasterReview

The Ellipsis is a young British band with a very easy on the ears ability to weave melodies which sing in the imagination while a virulent catchiness springs upon the body. The evidence is in their recently released debut EP Mind In The Sky and now their rousing new single Wasted Potential Me. Taken from that EP, it is a spirit raising, energy enticing wake up call to newcomers and a confirmation for those in the know that the Coventry hailing indie rockers are the real deal.

With its seeds sown when guitarist John Connearn and drummer Ben Eardley formed their first musical project as twelve year olds, The Ellipsis, with bassist Harry Green and vocalist/rhythm guitarist Henry Bristow completing the line-up, has become a potent presence not only on their local live scene but spreading across the UK. Their emergence has been more than helped by potent tracks like debut single White Feather and impressive live performances at the likes of the Wychwood festival, when headlining Coventry OxJam, and in front of 30,000 rugby fans at the Ricoh Arena. Radio play has been a courting support too and it is easy to expect the band to have more with Wasted Potential Me stirring up ears and further attention.

From its first seconds and a great bait of eager guitar, the song is soon in command of ears and appetite, the swinging beats of Eardley and strolling dark tones of Green’s bass alone thick temptation. Into a seriously catchy stride and character, with the rhythms continuing to jab and incite feet and hips, warm harmonies and Bristow’s engaging vocals soon enjoyably collude with spicy grooves and flirtatious melodies.

At times there is a touch of The Vapours to the song, The Farmer Boys meets Lightning Seeds too; a slight whiff of nostalgia which only adds to the captivation and inescapable addictive roar of the song.

Wasted Potential Me is no one off in The Ellipsis sound, having checked out their EP on the back of it for proof, but it is one of their most dynamic slices of distinctive pop rock which all should think about adding to their impending summers.

Wasted Potential Me is out now @ https://theellipsis.bandcamp.com/

Upcoming Live Dates

Sat 4th June – Coventry, Motofest

Fri 1st July – Coventry, Godiva Festival

Fri 7th July – Napton Music Festival

Sat 8th July – Nuneaton, Nunfest

https://www.facebook.com/theellipsisuk/   https://twitter.com/TheEllipsisUK

Check out the video for Wasted Potential Me @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/video-selector/

Pete Ringmaster 12/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Lemonhaze – Mercury

lemonhaze_RingMasterReview

Continuing their ascent within the British underground towards broader cast spotlights, Scottish quartet Lemonhaze recently released new single Mercury. Pulsating and roaring with the blending of indie and alternative rock with Neo-psychedelia hues, the song shimmers like a sun breaking from dark emotive shadows to transfix and infect the senses.

In many ways, the single offers few surprises in that it is another slice of the rich and adventurous sound the Paisley band is already becoming renowned for. But as with all their releases to date, there is new freshness in air and character from that of its predecessors as Lemonhaze continue to push their songwriting and boundaries.

Formed late 2012/early 2013, Lemonhaze consists of Gerald Doran (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Steven Hillcoat (lead guitar and vocals), Jonny Adams (bass and vocals), and Jamie McLachlan (drums and percussion). Their first year saw the band become a keen supported live presence on the Glasgow music scene, its successor marked by the band expanding their presence and over time gracing venues such as Manchester Academy, King Tuts, Oran Mor, Maggie May’s and many more. The Say Goodbye to Felix EP of 2013 poked at even wider recognition which subsequent singles have only added their creative weight to. Now it is Mercury working its lively melodic charm with no doubt more success and attention waiting for the band through it.

Keys caress ears on the song’s first breath, guitars and rhythms leaping in on the third with the pulsating bassline of Adams especially vocal and inviting. Doran’s vocals equally have the kind of natural invitation to them which is hard to ignore, both rich elements enticing within the melodic smoulder of keys and the elegant jangle of the guitars. Those keys also bring a great eighties spice to the mix whilst the celestial harmonies which seduce throughout hold a hint of The Communards to them.

The track continues to busily provide a tapestry of textures and infectious enterprise, its eager stroll enticing feet and hips to get as involved as ears and imagination by the time of the song’s departure; to be honest well before it takes its leave.

Mercury is a song impossible not to take a real liking to, the kind of rock pop which even if their style is not someone’s prime cup of tea is likely to still get under the skin with craft and virulent temptation.

Mercury is out now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/mercury-single/id1107635218

http://www.lemonhaze.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/lemonhazeMUSIC   https://twitter.com/lemonhazeband

Pete RingMaster 11/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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