Only Shadows – Be Still

 

oS _RingMasterReview

Hoping to build on and replicate a highly successful 2015, UK alternative rock band Only Shadows attempt to kick its successor into similar life with new single Be Still. A teaser to the West Midlands band’s impending debut EP, the new offering suggests they can expect another lively time especially if that upcoming encounter can match the single’s rousing proposal.

Formed in 2014, the foursome of Nick Ashby, Ben Riley, Paul Wechter, and Alex Moffitt pull on the inspirations of artists such as Manchester Orchestra, Frightened Rabbit, Editors, and Queens of the Stone Age for their own creative imagination. As mentioned, last year was a potent time for the band with Only Shadows supporting numerous artists including the likes of Coasts, Young Kato, and Saint Raymond whilst also headlining their own sold-out shows in Birmingham and London.

art _RingMasterReviewRecorded as the EP with Jamie Evans and Shane Shannahan (Jake Bugg, London Grammar, The Killers) at Westpoint Studios, Be Still quickly shows why people like BBC Introducing and Amazing Radio have been vocal in their praise of the band. A resonating guitar string and emotive vocal coaxing opens things up with both swiftly backed by punchy beats and warm harmonies. As the song rises in sound and energy, anthemic textures spring from bass and drums with drama fuelling the rich enterprise of guitars and voice around them. That Editors influence is a readily noticeable hue to the song too but a spicing only colouring a bolder Only Shadows theatre of sound and emotion. The track continues to rise and fall in its intensity and sonic fire across its body, never undulating in its persuasive roar and almost feverishly successful tempting of ears.

It is a gripping offering from the band which you might argue is not overly unique in sound, yet there is plenty about the single which takes Only Shadows away from the crowd and into an appetite to hear much more. Indeed 2016 is looking like another potentially triumphant year for the band.

Be Still is released April 8th on CD and Download via Nu Breed Records.

http://www.onlyshadows.co.uk   https://www.facebook.com/onlyshadowsuk   https://www.twitter.com/onlyshadowsuk

Pete RingMaster 06/04/2016

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In Isolation – A Certain Fractal Light

In Isolation_RingMaster Review

Amongst the gifts you hopefully receive this Christmas Day, we suggest you drop big hints that one of them should be the new single from UK band In Isolation. Released on the 25th, Parlance is a riveting post punk/new wave inspired anthem for ears and emotions taken from the band’s upcoming debut album A Certain Fractal Light. To kill two birds with one stone, we are going to dive into the full-length right now, a release showing that the single is no flash in the pan in great nostalgia seeded sound and fresh imagination.

Hailing from Nottingham, In Isolation emerged in 2009 openly drawing on inspirations found within eighties post-punk and new wave. Equally though, their sound has seeds in the indie flavours of the following decade and more, with influences on the trio’s invention found in artists ranging from The Smiths, Buzzcocks, and David Bowie to Killing Joke, Editors, and Bloc Party. The years have already seen In Isolation stir strong attention, their well-received singles Film Noir Scandal and Berlin making potent impressions with the latter appearing in the 2013 Steve Best directed movie Zombie Hood alongside the track The Wrong Girl, which In Isolation performed as themselves in the opening club scene of the film. A host of other appearances for their music in movie and TV productions followed whilst live the past years have seen the band share stages with the likes of Republica, Spear Of Destiny, The Chapman Family, and Trailer Trash Traceys amongst a great many and play festivals like Out The Box with Jake Bugg and DV8 alongside Gary Numan.

Parlance cover_RingMaster Review   Having spent fair amount of 2015 writing and creating A Certain Fractal Light, In Isolation is poised to prod even bigger spotlights and appetites with their excellent Gavin Monaghan (Editors, Babes In Toyland, Paolo Nutini) recorded album and before that through Parlance, the second single from and opener to its striking adventure. The song opens with sultry caresses of guitar quickly joined by a great throaty bass tone which quickly reveals an irresistible hook all of its own. Its appearance in turn sparks the guitars to spring new zeal and colour in their enterprise; it all framed by the hypnotic beats and percussion of drummer Tony Ghost. As the vocals of Ryan Swift join the mix, his and John Berry’s guitars still casting a tangy web of temptation, there is a great feel of The Teardrop Explodes to the song but equally a pungent scent of something fresh and solely imaginative to the band with the perpetually snarling bassline the added cream.

The outstanding start makes way for the album’s title track and a similarly potent seducing of ears and appetite. Keys and guitars lay the initial tempting, warm melodies kissing the senses with a China Crisis meets Spandau Ballet like elegance as darker hues bring greater depth to the track through the bass and atmospheric shadows, both skilfully tempering the glow of the song. It is hard not to be swiftly bewitched by the familiar yet unique proposal and further excited by its successors Not Noticing and Truth Or Dare. The first of the two enters on an electronic prowl but with a bold saunter to its gait which is quickly wrapped in a siren-esque harmony. The ever delicious gnarly tone of the bass is there tempting in quick time too, offering its raw bait amongst the just as magnetic hooks of guitar and voice as exotic hues add to the great drama and contagion of the encounter. There is plenty going on to be grabbed by including an electro suggestiveness which perfectly colludes with the dark theatre of guitar and bass in a persuasion lying somewhere between The The and US band Post Adolescence.

From one striking track to another as Truth Or Dare, the first single from the album released a few weeks back, takes over to reveal a body similar to that of the track A Certain Fractal Light but one soon casting its own emotive charm and melodic imagination to swiftly seduce and enlist eager participation from the listener before Elder Statesman engages ears with another imaginative fusion of dark and light soaked textures. As all songs within the album, familiar hues and influences are bold but woven into an evocative proposition creating its own unique character, The Letter straight after, with its rawer tenacious rock ‘n’ roll heart and enveloping virulence, providing another aspect to the potent variety within the post punk inspired melodic tapestry of the album.

Strange Thoughts keeps ears inflamed next with its catchy intent and richly textured romance, female vocals reappearing to add to the resourcefully captivating song. Keys and bass alone make the broadest contrasts as they stand side by side, their union wrapped in the excellent blend of vocals and sonic flames that spring from the pen and invention of In Isolation with compelling ease.

The equally fiery but energetically controlled Ghostburn, its body a close but unique enough design to that of its predecessor, and the classically shaped Gods both keep ears treated, the latter a reflective croon merging gothic overtones and provocative melancholy with poetic melodies. Each again show another facet to the In Isolation sound and invention, before Mist brings the album to a fine close with its own individual heart bred serenade built on a lively canvas of varying and contrasting elements.

Released in March 2016, A Certain Fractal Light is a glorious fusion of old and modern imagination, nostalgia and originality uniting for a highly enjoyable waltz of light and dark adventure. Treat yourself this Christmas with Parlance we say and then really go for it a few weeks later; the single will be a big enough persuasion for deciding on the latter anyway.

Parlance is released December 25th with A Certain Fractal Light out March 2016, both via the band’s own imprint Aye Aye Records.

https://www.facebook.com/inisolationofficial   http://inisolationofficial.tumblr.com   http://twitter.com/InIsolation

Pete RingMaster 16/12/2015

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Paddy Clegg – Dancing Shoes

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A song which can be best described as a melodic smile, Dancing Shoes the new single from UK singer songwriter Paddy Clegg reinforces why there has been a healthy buzz brewing up around the17 year old. Simple yet skilfully crafted, the single is a refreshing flirtation for feet, ears, and emotions with little more in its intent than to have and give fun.

From Huyton in Liverpool, Clegg at his tender age had already earned good experience from drumming in previous bands but deciding to take up another instrument in the guitar, he began writing and composing his own songs, recording them in his bedroom before stepping out in the Liverpool live scene and surrounding areas. Earlier this year he unveiled his debut single Back To The Start which was met with praise and focus, with his music drawing comparisons to the likes of The La’s, Newton Faulkner, Jake Bugg, and Mumford & Sons. Dancing Shoes now has its moment to push the reputation and presence of the young artist further and it is hard to expect anything other than another wave of potent attention for it.

Dancing Shoes does not make an overly striking or dramatic start, a gentle strum of guitar making a melodic caress which is soon joined by the potent tones of Clegg and punchy beats. It is a track though which seems to grow before and in ears, a dark bass line and a slightly more energetic intent to the drums helping broaden its weight and lure so that before you know it the song has seduced and recruited eager assistance from feet and vocal chords. A great blaze of brass adds to the increasing colour of the song whilst the vocals of Clegg similarly increase in potency and engaging hues. It is a smart and infectious slice of songwriting and musical invention with only the fact that at only two and a half minutes long, just as you are stretching muscles and limbs for an excited sortie on the dance floor, it stops.

Keep them wanting more is a wise old piece of advice and Clegg certainly does that with Dancing Shoes. It is another hint at the potential of Paddy Clegg and his music, an emerging proposition which so far has make a very show go of an obvious talent.

Dancing Shoes is available now via Twin City Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/dancing-shoes-single/id915386236

https://www.facebook.com/paddy.clegg/

8/10

RingMaster 08/09/2104

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