The Ugly Kings – Darkness Is My Home

Towards the tail of last year Australian blues rockers The Ugly Kings left a rather fertile and extremely tasty teaser for their debut album in the shape of two-track single Promised Land. Now we can reveal that all the hints and intimation offered then of something special coming ahead have been forcibly realised with the band’s first full-length, Darkness Is My Home. The release is a powder keg of muscular rock ‘n’ roll, a cauldron of suggestion and haunting darkness, and most of all simply one of the most powerful creative roars heard in a long time.

From the coarse grain of the delicious bass sound to the suggestive clang of the guitars and from the lyrical atmospherics to their vocal realisation, Darkness Is My Home is pure uncompromising temptation, one as dynamic as it is seductive and as cinematic as it is intimately haunting. In fact it is so much more than that outstanding first single implied, and still offering more after a multitude of listens.

Formed in 2011, the Melbourne quartet soon stirred local and subsequently national attention through their live presence and in turn 2015 mini album Of Sons. The past two years has seen the band share the stage with Rival Sons in Melbourne (2016), support Airbourne on their successful sold out 2017 east coast Australia tour and this year open for Papa Roach on their two shows in The Ugly Kings home city. Darkness Is My Home can only open bigger doors and opportunities, the album thrusting the band into the realm of the big boys without even a knock on the door.

The album opens with the outstanding Promised Land and instantly hooks ears with its initial lure of sultry guitar and vocal expression. Frontman Rusty Clark has a voice which commands attention, a musical orator you just want to listen to and backed by just as compelling sound throughout song and release. The smouldering brooding of the song is transfixing, only escalating its lure as resonating beats and the first of a tide of irresistible basslines across Darkness Is My Home breaks. Igniting into a robust stroll with a searing groove, the track is pure captivation and increasingly so as it repeats its cycle with greater lust and vigour. Rock ‘n’ roll does not come much better as this imposingly infectious and skilfully manipulative encounter though it is undoubtedly matched throughout the album.

The following Black Widow also makes an instant impact with the beats of Andy Alkemade sending ripples of resonance across the senses with every impact before Christos Athanasias’ guitar begins its prowl alongside Clark’s vocal incitement. The earthy growl of Nick Dumont’s bass is just as riveting, the four conjuring a predatory yet seductive dark romance with threat in every note and suggestion in every syllable. Influences to the band include the likes of The Doors, Jack White, Black Sabbath, and Royal Blood, flavours you can sense but as in the first and those to come the track is as unique to The Ugly Kings as you could wish.

The fiery rock ‘n’ roll of Raging Bull has a more animated gait though it comes in an ebb and flow which stabs at the senses with purpose and mischief before being uncaged in a rich blaze of melodic lava while Killing Time borders on the carnivorous with its gorgeously gnarly bassline and romantic with its melodic and vocal reflection. The uniting of contrasting textures is masterful and Dumont’s bass manna for personal tastes whilst the song’s croon is just impossible to resist. Both songs light up ears and imagination, fire up the passions though we can say that about every track within Darkness Is My Home.

Love Enemy with its slow swagger of a stroll brings calm after the clamour of its predecessor but one lined with dark provocative shadows and magnetism as sinister as it is infectious. Its catchiness is inescapable, swaying hips and over worked neck muscles our evidence with the imagination just as involved as words and tendrils of sonic enterprise entangle before You And Me brings is boozier intoxication to bear on ears. The band’s passion for the blues is a constant roar in their skilfully eclectic sound, The Ugly Kings infusing it into their own power fuelled designs, each individual to the next as proven by the volcanic heat and earnest swing of yet another gem.

Another great trait of the album is that every song feels like old friends within a couple of listens, Lazarus drawing vocal chords into play even before it finishes its first influential roar, the ballad a pyre of power and individual intensity.

The album is brought to a just as rich close by firstly Little Birdy Told Me; a cauldron of senses singed grooves and ever welcomed rhythmic trespasses aligned to the striking prowess of vocals and unpredictability, and lastly The Fire. The closer has the heat its title suggests but before it reaches that intensity, simmers and smoulders around vocal melancholy and defiance. When it catches, the track is a furnace of sound and intensity but just as powerful when it’s sonic and atmospheric kindling is just glowing.

Darkness Is My Home is quite simply glorious, a rousing beacon among already a host of great and powerful heavy rock releases. The Ugly Kings better get their passports in order because we get the feeling the world is going to want them blazing away in their backyards hereon in.

Darkness Is My Home is out now via Kozmik Artifactz; available @ https://theuglykings.bandcamp.com/ and http://smarturl.it/DarknessIsMyHome

https://www.facebook.com/TheUglyKings/   https://twitter.com/theuglykings   https://theuglykings.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 25/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Embraces from the heart: talking with Charly&Faust

Picture by Rémy Tortosa

Tagged as indie folk rock, the Charly&Faust sound is a much richer tapestry of flavours than that hints at and a captivating seduction for ears and thought as proven by a recently released EP. We had a chance to look into the creative heart of the California based band, finding out about its origins, that new EP, creating songs and much more…

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

Charly: We are Charly&Faust, an Indie Folk-Rock band composed of six members. I am Charly (Marie Weill), one of the lead singers of the band and rhythm guitarist.

CH: My name is Coralie Hervé and I’m the drummer the band, I joined Charly&Faust in October 2016.

ER: Hi, I’m Eric Reymond. I play bass and do the backing vocals. I’m from Switzerland and I moved to Los Angeles to study at Musicians Institute. I met Coralie on the first day of school and she introduced me to the rest of the band because they were searching for a bass player.

NL: I’m Nathan Lorber, I play keys, and I met the rest of the band following a Facebook notice.

JF: I’m Jeff (Jefferson Fichou) the lead guitar player. I met the band at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood.

Faust: I am Faust; the other lead singer of the band. Charly and I, first met in Paris few years ago, and we started to make music together when we moved in LA. The connection between us was great, but not powerful enough yet. That is why we decided to build a band. Now, We are like a little family!

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

CH: I was in a band with some of my friends for 6 years. It was only for fun but it taught me how to play and work with other people.

Faust: It’s the first time I’m part of a band so there is for sure no impact for me.

JF: I’ve been playing in a lot of different projects here in LA and back in France. It’s important to have such experiences in the music world but everything is evolving faster and smoother with Charly&Faust.

Charly: I got bands before, but it never really worked. We were not going to the same musical direction. I have the chance to now play in two bands with people that I love working with. Charly&Faust is my main band, the one I lead with Faust, but I also play bass and sing backing vocals in another band called The Sutra. I am also working on my next solo EP now. All these experiences are complementary for me and help me to go further in my artistic process in each of them.

ER: Yes, I had two bands back home and I was playing with two other bands here when Charly&Faust asked me to join them. I don’t think it has any impact on my way of playing; I’m always trying to play everything.

NL: I have my own project called Polymorph, as well as a couple of other bands on the side.

Picture by Rémy Tortosa

What inspired the band name?

ER: It comes from the nicknames of the two singers and leaders.

Faust: We just wanted to use something that goes well together!

Charly: Like our music collaboration!

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

Charly: I think for Faust and I music is a way to express ourselves. That was the main idea behind this band. Be free to express our feelings and vision of the world. For the sound part, we are listening old and new music so we wanted to illustrate that in our sound.

Faust: When you play in a band, you feel stronger than ever. All together, we deliver a message and it has a better impact this way. We talk about several feelings from heart breaking to society topics to humanity questions.

NL: I think one of the key points of our sound is to mix a broad range of styles, both old and new.

And those same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

Faust: Yes that’s pretty much the same. I mean the process is the same but with time the other members bring their own touch, their own way which is something I love!

JF: We’re still a pretty young band; we just started about a year ago.

Charly: The only thing that changed is that before forming the full band, Faust and I were composing our songs with an acoustic set up which sometimes was bringing guitar melodies a bit different than what we got now that we are composing with an electric set up.

How would you say your sound has evolved since its beginnings?

JF: We sound more like a band now. I mean everybody has brought some elements to the music and that’s great.

Faust: I just think that the more I practice with the band, my feelings and my way to approach music evolved. Experiencing music with them makes my personal sound evolves and this way makes the sound of Charly&Faust evolves.

CH: At the beginning, there was only Charly and Faust so it was more acoustic, folk. When the rest of us arrived, it turned more indie, rock and now we have some electronic sound added to our music.

Charly: I would say that we are starting to know each other better which allow us to play better together and go further in our creative process. We also improved a lot the vocals harmonies in my opinion.

ER: It’s way more professional now. The electronic elements are certainly a plus to make our sound more professional.

Is the creative movement within the band a more organic thing or do you go out to deliberately try and push new things?

Faust: You know we all have ideas and try to make them work all together which sometimes works really good and sometimes not but what matters is the fact we communicate a lot about it to make sure that we all go in the same direction.

ER: In general, I would say it has been always organic, but, of course, sometimes it’s nice to set boundaries to not get stuck in our comfort zone.

CH: I will say both. The first songs were already written so we kept them like they were but we experimented a lot with the new songs that we arranged all together.

Charly: I would say that it is a mix between both and that it depends of the song we are creating and its topic too.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

ER: Yes, Vulfpeck, Radiohead and Jack White help me to construct my bass lines stronger.

NL: A big influence for me is Pink Floyd, which also happen to be my favorite band. And the important role Rick Wright had in that band taught me how critical the role of a keyboardist is. You don’t just play melodies or chords, but are a central part of creating textures and setting up the whole atmosphere of a song.

Charly: Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zero, Imagine Dragons, Tracy Chapman, Assaf Avidan, etc.

Faust: I have so many artists who inspired me like Michael Jackson, Joan Jett, the Beatles, The Doors, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Coldplay… I have so much more but I’m gonna stop here *laughs*

CH : I am more of a hard rock/rock drummer, so it’s really interesting to play with Charly&Faust, to add some electronic sounds and find some groove which works with all the other instruments.

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

NL: It usually starts with Charly and Faust bringing lyrics and some vague structure and chords progression to the table. And from that, the whole band participates to enrich the musical and rhythmical aspects, and kind of put flesh on the skeleton.

Charly: Since Faust is the one who writes lyrics, she is usually the one coming to me with a new idea. Then, as Nathan said, we work just the two of us on the lyrics and the melody before working on it with the entire band. We started to work this way and it always worked pretty well, so even if we love having the other members ideas during the creative process, we like to have this moment just the two of us to be sure it is going where we want things to go.

Faust: I usually write the lyrics of the songs, sometimes even come up with a small melody. Charly co-write them with me, and most of our melodies are from her creativity with her guitar.

ER: Generally Charly and Faust bring the idea and we all together construct around to create the best song possible.

JF : My favorite moment is when we’re all jamming together to make a new song sounds as good as we can.

Where do lyrical inspirations more often than not reside?

Faust: Usually my inspirations come from the moments when I am by myself and feel alone.

Charly: It can come from a melody I composed, from a word or sentence one of us heard, etc.

ER: For my song It’s Weird Outside (that you can find in our EP Wild World), I based it on my personal life. But I try to write more about the story of people I know and feelings that affect us all at some point in our life.

Would you give us some background to your latest release?

Faust: Our latest release is our EP ! It is an Indie-Folk-Rock EP talking about love, heart breaking, life, society and humanity. We are very proud of this new baby!

NL: It’s been the result of the contribution of several different formations of the band, up to the current one. So this EP presents variety through its diverse contributions, yet still a strong sense of unity and consistency, since all of the songs are the brainchildren of Charly and Faust!

Charly: Anything wouldn’t have been possible without the help of wonderful people like Pease S. Nistades who did the artistic production on it and Gerhard Westphalen who mixed and mastered it. We also released our first music video No Rush directed by Mariano Schoendorff Ared and produced by Zoé Pelloux. You should definitely go check it on YouTube! We shot it on film and we are so happy of this amazing result!

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

Faust: Well it talks about how monstrous humans can get, how much you can give love to someone and how much it can hurt. You will have to listen to our EP to know more about all that!

Charly: The themes of our songs are most of the time about experiences we lived or we saw happening to people around us. It is very personal for Faust and I.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Charly: We are an Indie band, so we don’t really have the choice of losing hours and hours in studio trying to figure out how a song should go. We have limited time of studio so we have to come prepared, which actually allows us to go further in our creative process. It’s not a bad thing!

Faust: We usually go in studio prepared and we record. As Charly said, no time to lose! Everything must be ready, from the lead vocals to the backing vocals.

JF: We’re adding a few elements on the spot during the recording sessions but the songs are already in their final states.

CH : For the drum part, there are already written before going to the studio so the other members have a solid base to work with. I can’t screw it up!

ER: The recording process of our EP was pretty much a mix of the two options. The main structure of the songs was established. With Coralie, we record the rhythmic section with this structure and after we add the other instruments. Afterwards there are always ideas coming up that we keep on the final version.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably a favourite aspect?

CH : I really like it, we really have a connection together and hope that people can feel it too. It’s so fun to play with people who experiment the music same as you.

Faust: Live shows are so much fun! The connection with our audience and the band members! It always feels too short!

Charly: Live is one of the best parts for sure. It allows you to share with the band and the audience what the songs really mean to you. And it can be always different depending of what happened during your day.

ER: There’s none. *laughs* No I would say when the rehearsal ends. *laughs* Seriously, my favorite aspect is the cohesion we have on stage and during rehearsals. It’s not common to find this in a band. We don’t just play with other musicians, we play with friends.

NL: It’s always a great feeling to present the result of our hard work to the public, especially considering the amazing feedback they usually give us.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

Faust: I think the secret is playing, playing and playing music, create small buzz as much as you can, respect people and having good connections with your band members, which we are actually doing. Let’s see how it goes now.

Charly: Patience is the key word! And hard working too. You just need to be smart and work your ass off and it will eventually pay one day! You just need to get ideas that nobody thought of before you.

JF: If you have the drive, the patience and the stamina, everything is possible.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date, good or bad?

JF: Internet is a fantastic tool for new bands, we’re trying to use it as much as possible to grow our fan base and network.

Faust: I think social medias are great to build your fan base, but I don’t think that is the real bones of your success! Even if for our generation it definitely helps.

Charly: Social medias are a free way to have people talking about you and follow your actualities. It is of course just a part of what should be done for a band to promote what they are doing, but it is a really good beginning! That is your chance to share you music without waiting for music professionals to tell you if you are good enough to be heard by an audience. For example, we are now posting a new video on our YouTube channel every Thursday to make sure people can see us play live shows, do rehearsals, etc.

NL: As for a lot of young bands, the internet and social media is a central part of our communication with fans and the distribution of our music. As a matter of fact, if it wasn’t for social media, I wouldn’t perhaps be part of the band, since that’s how I got news that they were looking for a keyboard player.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Faust: Hey! Come join our world!

CH : Enjoy your life and do what you love.

ER: Don’t tell anyone but we have a secret project coming up 😉

JF: We’re playing often in the Los Angeles area, come say hello at our next show! You can find all the info about it on our website https://www.charlyandfaust.com/ !!

Charly: Thanks for your time! We are playing at The Mint LA on November 30th at 9:30PM, if you want to come get a beer with us!

https://www.facebook.com/charlyandfaust/    https://www.instagram.com/charlyandfaust/

Pete RingMaster 09/12/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Indigo Bones – Self Titled EP

indigo-bones-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

With a definite buzz brewing around British trio Indigo Bones, the Hull hailing outfit release their self-titled debut EP this month, an attention grabbing slab of fiery garage rock sure to add fuel to the fire.

Indigo Bones began with the linking up of vocalist/ guitarist Chris Welburn, drummer Marty Hoyle, and bassist/vocalist Mark Swan, a threesome already having collaborated together on previous projects. Drawing on inspirations said to include Jack White and Royal Blood, they soon developed and honed a sound with unique character but equally freshly embracing familiar textures and essences. A recent UK tour has pushed awareness and support of the band beyond their local fan base, the new EP now poised to build on that success such its striking presence.

It opens with the rather excellent Vertical Sleep, the band quickly and enjoyably leaning on ears with a wall of senses badgering rhythms as raw acidic melodies add their tangy lures. Welburn’s vocals soon join the affair, his tones equally as unpolished and magnetic potently backed by those of Swan as the song flourishes in its expanding stride and creative scenery. There is a great live feel to the track which only accentuates its attitude and power, a roughness perfectly tempering and accentuating the intoxicating wooziness of the guitar’s enterprise.

indigo-bones-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewIt is an outstanding start to the release which arguably is never matched though swiftly Delicate with its mischievous melodies and steamy sonic saunter gives it a bold and close try. With captivating unpredictable adventure to the vocals and bone shuddering tenacity to Hoyle’s eagerly biting beats, the song entices thick attention with sonic adventure lying somewhere between The Black Keys, Electric Woodland, and My Red Cell.

Silver Nosebleeds follows, finding a grouchier, darker feel to its tone and nature whilst spinning another web of spicy sonic suggestion over gnarly vocals and another rousing pulsating bassline from Swan. Psych boozy melodies only add to the attraction, the song’s hazy creative heat and nature laying on and lingering in ears with relish.

Indigo Bones push the pedal to the floor with Elastic Patient, an adrenaline fuelled punk clad stomp roaring across the senses seeping sonic fumes even when its energy shifts down a gear. With carnivorously tenacious rhythms as eager as the riffs and grooves entangling them, the track is a glorious incitement firmly challenging the first for top song honours.

Completed by a fine live cut of Lethal Weapons & Perfect Posture, evidence of how well the band has translated their undoubted stage fire to the studio, the Indigo Bones EP is an introduction suggesting this is a band with the potential to make a potent mark on the UK rock scene.

The Indigo Bones EP is released 16th December.

http://indigobones.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/IndigoBonesBand   https://twitter.com/IndigoBonesBand

Pete RingMaster 14/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Sun Arcana – Oblique

Sun Arcana Tom pic_RingMaster Review

A new name but with a sound which has been brewed over the past few years, Sun Arcana offer up their new single Oblique for another mesmeric persuasion by this emerging band. You may know them better as Looking For Liam but with seemingly a new moniker and shift of sound, rather than a whole new project around the songwriting of vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Tom Harper-Ward, Sun Arcana provide new evidence of the growing temptation in their individual and diverse alternative rock sound with their latest single.

Formed in 2009 by Harper-Ward, the Essex hailing project soon grew to a trio of young and talented musicians. Quickly they earned a potent reputation for their live shows and craft, gigs around London especially grabbing attention as indeed their debut EP which took them to the notice of BBC Introducing. Subsequent years has only reinforced their emergence, the band now a quartet, and the open imagination in their music as evidenced once again in the Steve Belgrave (The Killers, Jack White, Beady Eye, Katy Perry) mixed Oblique. It is a new creative call to draw fresh ears in, and with the name change, marking the beginning of a new chapter in the band’s journey.

cover_RingMaster ReviewThe single opens with a gentle shimmer of keys, though that is just a breath worth of a slim kiss before thick rhythms and crystalline guitar melodies entangle ears. Their relaxation brings the entrance of the expressive vocals of Harper-Ward amidst a warm yet melancholic ambience, it in turn soon immersed in a headier energy and emotive intensity with matching growth in sound. The song continues to ebb and flow with fluid enterprise and drama from hereon in, every nuance and bolder move potently engaging ears around the increasingly enjoyable vocal tones of Harper-Ward.

Oblique is not a song to leave you breathless or lost in lively ardour, yet it is a mesmeric companion which lingers past its time, suggesting whatever the reason for the changes in the band, it is the beginning of something even stronger and more adventurous with Sun Arcana.

Oblique is available from October 1st

https://www.facebook.com/SunArcanaOfficial    http://sunarcana.com/

Pete RingMaster 30/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Paul Menel & The Essentials – They Call Her Leaf

Paul Menel pic 1_RingMaster Review

It is always a great move to tempt intrigue for your album with a slice of irresistibility, whether in single form, a video, or whatever and that is certainly what Paul Menel & The Essentials have down with new song They Call Her Leaf. Taking from their forthcoming album Spare Parts for Broken Hearts, the new single is a mighty lure of melodic, progressive, and classic rock that just captures ears and imagination.

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Paul Menel is no newcomer to the rock scene. He was the frontman of prog rock band IQ from 1985 to 1990, and for two of their albums in the shape of Nomzamo and Are You Sitting Comfortably? in 1987 and ’89 respectively. After leaving the band he ‘rested’ for a few years, concentrating on a growing family and writing new songs. These subsequently became his debut album Carpenter From Nazareth Seeks Joiners, an encounter earning great plaudits amongst many. Its release and success in reviews led to producer Gav Monaghan (Robert Plant/Jack White/Peter Gabriel) getting in touch and persuading Menel to record at his Magic Garden Studio from where the acclaimed Into Insignificance I Will Pale emerged in 2012. Now with a new band also consisting of bassist Steve Swift and drummer Tim Churchman, Menel is poised to releaser their first album, Spare Parts For Broken Hearts, and before it this new rousing single.

The forthcoming album also features a host of guests including Monaghan, Julianne Bourne, and on They Call Her Leaf, Menel’s long-time friend Vix Vox of Fuzzbox. Inspired by the sense of hope when all seems hopeless and portrayed through Leaf, an “ethereal spirit who drives us on, unseen but ever present”, the song opens on a melodic coaxing which swiftly builds into a rich and pungent blend of crisp beats, dark bass tones, and elegant melodic endeavour. Already though there is enthralling thickness to the textures and flavours combining to fascinate ears and grip the imagination, an enthralling blend vivaciously embracing the vocals of Menel which bring a Peter Gabriel like hue to the colourful affair just to add a little more captivation to it all..

With folkish dew dripping off certain moments and the siren-esque tones of Vox a perpetual seducing throughout as her warm tones perfectly mix with the restrained but open roar of Menel, They Call Her Leaf just ignites body and thoughts. As suggested, there is a depth and extensive weave of sound and instrumentation to the song which ensures it proceeds to grow in strength and persuasion with every listen, musically and vocally.

They Call Her Leaf is pure temptation and if Spare Parts For Broken Hearts has more songs to match its beauty and anthemic roar, then we might potentially have a modern classic on our hands.

They Call Her Leaf is out now via most online stores.

Pete Ringmaster 14/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Cave Mouth – Deep Water

cavemouth_RingMaster Review

Devon is not renowned for its swamps but they must be there as only that kind of landscape could have bred the deliciously sinister and addictively magnetic hues soaking the new single from UK band Cave Mouth. Quite simply Deep Water is a glorious slice of dark rock ‘n’ roll; swamp meets delta blues in the arms of instinctive funk swing and knowledgeable seduction of century old sirens.

cover_RingMaster Review   Influences to Cave Mouth (or CaveMouth, both used by band and all) come from the likes of Prince, ESG, Busta Rhymes, Leadbelly, Jack White, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Jethro Tull, with lyrical inspirations found in the world around the band from politics and religion to nature, and we would suggest the darkest delights to be found anywhere. There are so many potent attributes to the almost primal air and spellbinding invention of the band’s sound, from the bewitching dual vocal union of guitarist Sketchy Lex and bassist Ms. Mo to the primal rhythms stomped down by she and drummer Wreckless Richie, and equally the psyche twisting web of salacious coaxing cast by the flaming saxophone of Mr. Duncan ‘The Hook’ Hook and Lex’s guitar, everything smoulders with temptation. Deep Water is the darkest and most thrilling proposal from the band to date, but one in a line of simply spellbinding traps laid by the band’s mix of blues, funk, and African music infused adventures which includes last year’s excellent Pagan Blues EP.

Bass and beats instantly grab ears, as too the smoky breath of guitar and sultry caress of sax with their almost immediate evocation of the senses. The slight snarl to the voice of Lex perfectly colludes with the rich texture of Ms. Mo’s, whilst in the irresistible chorus a gnarly additional voice evokes dark bordering on demonic mischief from the heart of the song. Like My Baby meets Kobadelta in a coven lorded over by Old House Playground, the song swaggers from chord to thick chord and beat to wicked beat with the instinctive knowledge that it will have the listener enslaved and in rapture from its first touch, and fair to say it does with its melodic tonic and darkly hued resourcefulness, and especially that incendiary chorus and vocal union.

We have many lusts going on at The RR, and Cave Mouth has just become the cause of another.

Deep Water is available from August 19th

RingMaster 19/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dark Stares – Soul Contract

Dark Stares - Promo Picture

Their debut was a web of flavoursome inspirations woven into a striking introduction, its successor a more honed proposition with a less expansive but more singular and enthralling character to its sound, and now with their third EP, UK rock band Dark Stares has explored another captivating evolution in their sonic adventure. Soul Contact is a fiery and sonically spicy encounter, a handful of tracks which intrigue with a psychedelic air and feisty tenacity. It is a release which pushes the St Albans quartet and their sound on again whilst confirming the band as one of the UK rock scene’s finest emergences in recent times.

Formed in 2011, Dark Stares have been no strangers to keen attention and support since the release of the Tell Your Friends EP the following year. Its success was swiftly backed by outstanding singles Bad Machine and Shinigami later in 2012 with the former subsequently finding itself personally selected by Dave Fanning and Bono for a U2-single publicity stunt. Influences from the likes of from Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Muse, Royal Blood, and Jack White openly flavoured their early sound and still spices its openly unique invention now, as shown by Soul Contact,. As second EP Octopon began to reveal this potent evolution through its unveiling in 2013, the foursome of lead guitarist Harry Collins, and the Howell brothers, Miles Kristian on vocals and guitar, bassist Brett Harland, and drummer Taylor, continued to lure national airplay and press coverage with the likes of Metal Hammer, Rocksound, Powerplay, and XFM whilst live sharing stages with bands such as Enter Shikari and The Darkness. It is easy to expect more of that eager attention to follow the release of their excitedly anticipated new release, and an even hungrier appetite for its impressive sound.

Dark Stares - Cover Artwork   It is fair to say that Soul Contact does not dramatically leap at ears and thoughts at any time, but seduces with an unrelenting and tantalising temptation which ultimately is just as effective. There are times when it misses the spark needed to explode on the senses but with imagination and emotions of the listener thoroughly involved with that of the band’s and every encounter on the release, it is more a showing of the potential still left to be explored within Dark Stares than anything lacking. Opener Liquid Reign is the perfect example, a track which never erupts with a voracious impact but smoulders with warm melodic flames and bubbles with imaginative twists. Its initial touch is a distorted tease which leads to a slow but swinging stroll under a psyche kissed climate. The bass instantly conjures that gentle swagger, backed perfectly by crisp beats and shadowed yet inviting riffs. The effect wrapped vocals of Miles Kristian offer a mellow seduction of their own, his tones gliding over the magnetic and lively sonic enterprise of Collins. The song is as immersive as it is gently catchy, and a great start to the release.

The band’s new single Hypnotize comes next and swiftly has ears basking in a blues bred, scuzz lined temptation aligned to muscular rhythms. The most aggressive and intensive song on the release, it still merges a sultry and welcoming persuasion with a rugged and imposing rhythmic landscape. Virulently contagious and inescapably addictive, especially around its gorgeous croon of a chorus, the song also brings a rich familiarity to it. Over time it is realised as being just of the increasingly established Dark Stares sound, though with a healthy wash of QOTSA to it too. It is a great gateway into band and release, an obvious and gripping single matched by the following Ordinary Way. It too instantly hits like a previously encountered friend with another fuzzy beckoning at the start sparking recognition before a rumbling bassline and rolling beats sculpt an engrossing cage to enclose it all. It is a trap soon coloured in excellent vocal expression and texture within a sunrise of melodic wine and sonic drama. Cavernous and inescapably immersive but intimate and emotionally provocative at its heart, the song is a spellbinding embrace.

Animal floats in next on a sonic croon under a sweltering atmosphere, again easily luring in ears and imagination with bordering on exotic colours and invention. The track truly comes alive with its blues rock fire of scarring riffs and dynamic energy, an intermittent but hunger igniting expulsion across the song led to and tempered by a just as emotive melodic humidity. It is a slow burner compared to the previous pair of songs but slips firmly into thoughts and passions before the closing Cruise Control reinvents its finest Josh Homme and co inspirations for a melodic and harmonic roar coated in Muse like spatial hues and lined with compelling scuzz fired drama.

The track is an excellent end to another great and compelling offering from Dark Stares. It is not a massive leap forward from Octopon yet everything about it from songwriting and sound to imagination has been stretched with fresh creativity and passion. Dark Stares continue to impress and remind that the British rock scene has some strongly creative hands at its tiller.

The Soul Contract EP and new single Hypnotise are available from 6th April on EP and digitally through all digital platforms.

http://www.darkstares.com     https://www.facebook.com/DarkStares

RingMaster 06/03/2015

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