The Spiritual Leaders – Albania Away

It may not be as obvious as Manchester, Liverpool, or Bristol for producing great bands but over recent years we have found that Cavan in Ireland has been doing just that, our ears captivated by the likes of The Radioactive Grandma, Juggling Wolves, Ape Rising and Fertile Reptile among many. Now we add The Spiritual Leaders to the list, an indie rock trio which as their new mini album shows offer a rich and varied palette of sound.

The Spiritual Leaders consists of vocalist/guitarist David Reilly, lead guitarist/bassist/keyboardist Fergus Brady and drummer Cathal Brady. The band released a self-titled debut album in the closing weeks of 2012, a record introducing a sound seeded in the inspirations of artists such as The Smiths, Radiohead, Joy Division, New Order, Whipping Boy, Pixies, Stone Roses, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jeff Buckley, and Van Morrison but as within latest offering Albania Away bears its own individuality.

Recorded and produced by Rob Newman (Therapy?, Pet Crow) in Snug Recording Studios, Derby, Albania Away quickly fascinated with opener Picture on the Wall. An electronic thread led to a lively rhythmic shuffle and subsequent melodic jangle with an eighties indie hue. As Reilly’s vocals join the temptation the swing of the track is in full command, the song catching the imagination with its Lloyd Cole tinged character and boisterous sound.

Fatten the Calf follows and it too embraces an eighties indie/new wave lining around its infectious swing led by the seriously magnetic bass. Though seemingly slim in its textures, the wonderfully unpredictable song is a thick weave of enterprise and post punk nurtured suggestion while next up You Know Me bristles with more muscular rock ‘n’ roll attitude and a matching physical touch yet also has tinges of that post punk breeding within discord spun enterprise akin to The Pixies.

Predominantly instrumental, the outstanding Bell Jar is a captivating slice of melodic intimation with XTC-esque radiance to its atmospheric stroll while Temporary, which features Barra McGuirk on lead guitar and synthetic strings, made for beguiling acoustic companion, its stringed serenade a haunting pleasure.

Underwater With You superbly completes the release, initially an electronic teasing which is soon bound in melodic guitar wires alongside subtle but equally fertile rhythms and voice. It too has an evocative quality, an atmospheric air coloured by the band’s craft and imagination.

With every listen Albania Away captivated and fascinated with increasing strength, ears increasingly seduced by each passing minute; The Spiritual Leaders giving more proof that though still a relative secret beyond its borders Cavan is a hot bed of unique sound and real pleasure.

Albania Away is out now; available @ https://thespiritualleaders.bandcamp.com/releases and https://open.spotify.com/album/0nwrKNcbi3xF03VMQYUjqF

https://www.facebook.com/thespiritualleadersrock/

Pete RingMaster 14/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

The Sectile Interview

Hi and thank you for sparing time to chat with us.

Gabriel Gaba (Vocals): Of course, the pleasure is ours!

Could you first introduce the band and tell us how it came to be?

GG – I am Gabriel Gaba, the singer of Sectile, 5-piece prog metal band from Dublin, Ireland. The band started in 2016 when Mark O’Reilly (guitars) and Cormac Hennigan (bass), who have been friends since school but had never been in a band together, decided to meet and jam some ideas at the beginning of 2016. The creative juices started to flow and once they had a couple of demos made, they started looking for potential band members online. That’s how they found me and then later on Zachary Newman (drums). Things started a bit slowly at first, with the four of us meeting occasionally to play around with the demos. The band only became an official thing in November of that year, that’s after we found a 2nd guitarist, came up with the name, recorded a home-brewed demo and created our band profiles on social networks!

How would you define not only your sound but the creative character of the band?

GG – Probably one of the hardest tasks for a musician is to define their own sound! We usually just do our thing without worrying much with labels and let people decide for themselves. That being said, we still think progressive metal is the best ‘easy way’ to inform others of what we do. We try to combine our various influences to craft tunes that have enough complexity in them to keep things interesting, but still have really cool and beautiful chords and melodies, hooky choruses and a good contrast between heavy and quiet sections. We generally focus a little less on technical displays (though there’s plenty of that for those who dig it) and more on simply writing tunes that we would love to enjoy as listeners. We are definitely a songwriting driven band, at the time of this interview, our first album is not even released yet and we are already hard at work at writing the second, and let me tell you, it is sounding very exciting so far!

Are there any previous musical experiences for band members and how have they been embraced in what you do now?

GG – All of us have had previous bands, in various subgenres of rock and metal, and that experience stays with you. Prog metal is the common denominator in our taste for music but each of us lets their influences seep into Sectile. Speaking for myself, I grew up enjoying heavy metal and hard rock in equal measure, bands like Aerosmith, Skid Row and Guns n’ Roses are among my favourites, up there with classic metal such as Iron Maiden and Savatage. I played hard rock in cover bands for years! Sectile doesn’t really sound like any of those bands, but I believe the influence comes through in the vocals, especially with the presence of high notes. I played in pop-rock oriented bands too, and I believe it gave me valuable insight in terms of writing good hooks, which is something we definitely explore in the context of Sectile.

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

GG – It varied over time, but it’s usually up to our guitarist Mark to do the bulk of the writing. We have an online drive where he saves the song ideas and the rest of us will listen to that and think of our parts. But the magic really happens at practices, when we put everything together and jam those ‘drafts’ with our drummer Zachary. Zach is more of a ‘in the moment’ guy rather than someone who does a lot of homework, and he comes up with unbelievable stuff on the spot, which in turn affect the guitars and everything else. So the process is very organic, with the five of us exploring a lot of ideas during those jams, guided by the song drafts Mark writes. For the vocals I will often mumble something over while the boys are playing to create the basic vocal melodies and later on write lyrics that fit those melodies.

Would you tell us about your latest release?

GG – Our debut full-length album is coming out on the 25th of February, it is titled ‘Falls Apart’ and it has 7 songs. One of the songs on it, ‘The Hunt’ was launched as a single about a year ago, and we have another single and video – ‘Black Cloud’ – ahead of this release, on the 4th of February. We are beyond excited to finally have a full album out, it is something that we worked hard to achieve and we’re very proud of the result! We hope people love it as much as we do.

What are the major inspirations to its heart and themes?

GG – The album covers a wide spectrum, from light to dark. The melodies that appeal to us the most tend to be melancholic, and the lyrics also reflect that, as we speak of themes that pertain to the darker aspects of the human psyche. I am a big fan of sci-fi and horror books and movies, but we try not to be too obvious about it in the lyrics, they’re more metaphorical. We also have a lot of savage riffs and big choruses in the songs, we like that contrast!

I am always intrigued as to how artists choose track order on albums and EP’s and whether in hindsight they would change that. What has been the deciding factor for you or do songs or the main do that organically?

GG – That’s a great question! On Sectile, as a new and largely unknown band, we strive to balance our artistic integrity with strategic thinking when making those kinds of decisions. A band with an established fanbase has more freedom, as they can count on people checking out the full album either way. An unknown band doesn’t have that luxury, so you have to make sure the first song will grab the attention of many different types of listeners from the get-go, because if it doesn’t, you may never get another chance. So the first few songs have to be some of your best, and the more ‘demanding’ songs can come later once the listener has already decided to give you their time. It’s also important to finish with a banger to leave a positive lasting impression!

What do you find the most enjoyable part of being in a band and similarly the most cathartic?

GG – There are many great things about being in a band! To me it’s always been a way to keep my sanity and blow off some steam, so I suppose it is not only a pleasure but it’s also ‘therapeutic’ in a way. When you’re in a band with people you genuinely like, and you’re creating music together, that’s an incomparable kind of satisfaction. As for cathartic moments, those tend to be when you play live and you see the crowd really getting into the music and what you’re trying to do. It’s a really phenomenal feeling!

For anyone contemplating checking you out live give some teasers as to what they can expect.

GG – A local reviewer said at one of our first gigs that “Sectile is a band that needs to be seen live”. We really work hard into putting on a great show. There are a lot of times where we let the songs speak for themselves but when things get energetic, so do we! It’s actually very hard for me to stand still on stage, growing up I was fascinated with that 70’s – 80’s type of rockstar frontmen who really owned the stage, and started to emulate that, even at practices to really get the hang of it. Bruce Dickinson is my number one influence there, he’s the number 1 metal frontman of all time for me.

What has been your most thrilling moment on stage to date?

GG – Just recently we decided to organise our own headline gig at a local bar that’s not exclusively a rock / metal venue, we had never played there before. Right before we started, the place suddenly got full, most people were total strangers who didn’t know they were at a prog gig. Anyway, we finished our set with an epic 13-minute long tune, and even so the crowd immediately started to chant “one more tune”! That was absolutely unexpected under the circumstances and totally exhilarating!

Do you have live dates coming up?

GG – Absolutely! We are back in Dublin’s Fibber Magees for Metal 2 the Masses again, and we’re really excited about it. We also have our album launch party in The Grand Social on February 28th with a cracking support line-up. That’s going to be a great night we think!

What else can we expect in the near future from you guys?

GG – 2020 is really going to be all about our new album. We plan to work our hardest to share this music with as many people as we possibly can, through promotion and through live performances. With this album in hand we are really aiming to broaden the Sectile name, and we really can’t wait to find out what people think of it!

What are the major inspirations to you sound wise and as a musician?

GG – This answer can change for any of the band members depending on what day you ask them! But, I find that there are a number of bands we always circle back around to when we’re songwriting or discussing musical ideas collectively. Bands like Opeth, Leprous, Porcupine Tree, Symphony X, Pain of Salvation and TesseracT would be some of them. To me personally, in addition to those I could mention Savatage, Iron Maiden, Skid Row, Angra, Marillion, Jeff Buckley, Devin Townsend, Guns n’ Roses and Jimmy Gnecco from Ours.

And finally what song or release would you say was the spark to your passion for music?

GG – It’s hard to say! I’ve been into music for as long as I can remember, rock and metal captured my attention early on. More than a specific song or album, perhaps I should mention the first time I saw a live gig, it was my brother’s rock covers band with his high school mates, that day really changed my life because I was absolutely blown away to see that it was possible to get on a stage and play a gig in front of people. I decided then that I would pursue the same thing, part of me is probably still yearning for the thrill I felt that day as a child.

Many thanks once again; anything else you would like to add?

GG – First of all, thanks for the interview! I would like to invite everyone to check out our new single and video ‘Black Cloud’ (available from February 4th) as well as the ‘Falls Apart’ album, out on February 25th. We love to interact with our audience so please drop us a message on social media telling us what you think of the album! You can find it on all platforms for streaming and / or for purchase on digital and CD formats – just look for Sectile on your preferred service. Thanks for listening!

check Sectile out further @…

https://www.facebook.com/sectile/   https://twitter.com/SectileOfficial   https://www.instagram.com/sectileofficial   https://sectileofficial.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 27/02/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Lauren Hoffman and The Secret Storm – Family Ghost

lauren-hoffman_RingMasterReview

Often there is nothing more seductive in music than emotional and creative melancholy, a thought wonderfully backed up by Family Ghost, the debut album from Lauren Hoffman & the Secret Storm. Coming from the latest project of songwriter/vocalist/musician Hoffman, no stranger to acclaim through her solo releases, Family Ghost is an imagination stoking dark theatre of word, emotion, and beauty, or as potently suggested by its press release, “A whirl of cabaret, broken ballads, and indie rock, it is a collection of heart-bending narratives that double as emotional exorcism.”

Hoffman’s songwriting was already alive but was further nurtured by Jeff Buckley after she met him backstage while waiting for her father. He became her mentor up until his death in 1997, just one month before she released her debut solo album. Released by Virgin Records, Megiddo was critically acclaimed and subsequently followed by just as evocative and striking encounters. Hoffman assembled the Secret Storm a few years ago with its intimately and personally open Family Ghost built on songs written over a decade ago as well as newer explorations by their creator.

The release opens with Don’t Look Back, a tantalising serenade with wistful melodies and a brush of rhythmic coaxing around the enticing tones of Hoffman. The shadowy groans of cello from Cathy Monnes (of the indie-pop Sally Rose Band) are as potent and persuasive as the imagination of keyboardist Ethan Lipscomb, both bewitching textures in a swiftly riveting encounter. Its thicker crescendos of sound and evocation just reinforce the persuasive majesty of the song while all the time Hoffman’s vocals sublimely capture ears and thoughts.

family-ghost-artwork_RingMasterReviewFrom its gothic, funereal spiced enterprise, the band unveil a lighter gait and atmosphere with second offering Feel It All, though again the darker hues of cello and brooding tones of Jeff Diehm’s bass provide rich drama against the livelier air cast by guitarist Tony Lechmanski (Bella Morte) and Kevin Ardrey’s boisterous beats. Though less pronounced the vaudevillian touch of its predecessor colours the track to captivate before Let The Waves Crash On Me hugs the senses with its country rock/folk lit embrace. Its reflective heart and rich weave is a kiss on the ear, Hoffman a beacon at its core.

Sick With Love radiates in melancholic intimacy and vocal openness next while In The Sun bewitches as it grows in gentle but open intensity and imagination with each passing second. Both tracks easily excite but find themselves outshone by the following I Just Broke Up With A Guy Who Looks Kinda Like You. Carrying a Young Marble Like Giants like minimalistic air and seduction as bass and guitar entangle their descriptive prowess, the irresistible song blossoms into a tenaciously catchy slice of pop ‘n’ roll with spicy melodies and swinging rhythms. Even its magnificence though has to play second fiddle to the album’s title track which seduces straight after. There is drama in every riff, theatre in each ear flirting hook, while rhythms and vocals bring their own creative imagination to the compelling tapestry. Like a siren, the song lures the listener into its busy evocation of spirit and emotion.

Through the noir lit stroll of Fast Lane there is no let-up in the album’s grip on body and appetite. The song is as funky as it is jazzy, as folky as it is poppy; its dark rock ‘n’ roll nurtured croon simply haunting infectiousness. It is majestic in an understated but bold way, a success matched by the similarly catchy saunter of Broken. A thin but rich melody initially courts the magnetic presence and tones of Hoffman as the track offers another slim yet thickly provocative adventure and insight to get seriously caught up in.

The exotic bordering sinister hug of The Dragon comes next, the track a shadowy seductress in air, intent, and voice increasingly infesting and seducing body and psyche from its first provocative breath. There is also volatility in its nature which only adds to its might on the way to taking best track honours.

Family Ghost is concluded by the calm yet emotionally inflamed Til It Lasts, a fine end to a release which is Lauren Hoffman at her most creatively adventurous and open, backed by a band with as much suggestiveness in their sounds as in the singer’s heart bred words. It is darkly magical and sure to be on the favourites lists of a great many.

Family Ghost is out now on iTunes and other stores.

http://www.thesecretstorm.com/   https://www.facebook.com/laurenhoffmanmusic/   https://twitter.com/ShhSecretStorm

Pete RingMaster 07/02/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Officer – Myriads

officer_RingMaster Review

Whether gripping attention with a rousing energy or laying an evocative caress on the senses, Myriads, the debut album from British singer-songwriter Officer, is an emotionally mesmeric and invigoratingly compelling adventure for ears and imagination. It is an exhilarating introduction to one of the most exciting songwriters to emerge in recent times and more than shows why its creator’s fans took it upon themselves to help push the release and artist towards a national recognition.

Officer is the musical moniker of Dc Logan, a musician born into the raw council estate life of Glasgow before spending much of his early upbringing in Northern Ireland during the height of the troubles. With poetry, short stories, and illustration already blooming from his imagination, Logan turned to music from the moment he picked up his father’s old guitar on the night The Good Friday Agreement was laid down. Eventually a move to London ensued and the creation of punk band Colourcode, they releasing a pair of EPs and one album across five years. Also dedicating his time and effort to helping the homeless and poor, Logan’s music and songs continued to evolve and breed their own heart and voice, every experience and aspects of life he has owes and come across seemingly adding another rich hue lyrically and musically to his songs. It has earned Officer a cult following, loyal fans which without the knowledge of Logan united and set up a support network to raise funds for the artist to record and now take his music to the broadest attention. The result is Myriads; a kaleidoscope of life, emotion, and invention which simply enthrals.

The album opens with Laughing Rafters and a gentle, suggestive shuffle of melodic and ambient sound. The potent coaxing is soon embracing the strong tones of Logan, his voice as vibrant as it is melancholic and a captivating mix matching the similarly provocative sounds continuing to brew around his engaging presence. As quickly as the song entices musically, so it does lyrically, an intimacy and easy relatable reflection wrapping every word and syllable. It is a potency fuelling every song in their individual adventures, and here casting a thick croon of folk and melodic rock tempting. Like The National meets Jeff Buckley with a touch of Doves thrown in, the song is a fiercely magnetic start.

Officer cover_RingMaster Review   Glass Ceiling, also from an elegantly restrained start, builds its own drama of sound and intensity next, flowing twists through emotional calms and rousing crescendos colluding for an irresistible anthem for body, emotions, and simply one’s own energy. The song is wholly immersive but with a virulence which dictates body and energy to leave the listener on an inflamed high which the following Can We Talk? tempers with its warm serenade but also continues through its infectiously poetic musical and emotional presence. The song is pure bewitchment, thickening in tone and drama with every passing minute to also leave rich pleasure and fascination in its wake.

As impressive and thrilling as it and its predecessors are, Act of Survival strikes a new plateau of thrills and incitement. Straight away rapier like rhythms pierce strolling melody soaked riffs and chords as Logan’s voice paints another striking and gripping lyrical revelation. The track is glorious, at times finding hues which remind of The Cure and in other moments of bands like British Sea Power and Johnny Wore Black, whilst sculpting its own unique theatre of original songwriting and heart bred enterprise.

The gentle but increasingly tempestuous haunting kiss of One Day comes next, its emotive resonance a lingering hug which eventually makes way for the tenacious and lively roar of The Waters. Again early Cure springs to mind as guitars and rhythms unleash slim but inescapable lures, whilst melodically and vocally there is a Placebo like lilt to the breath-taking waltz. It is a track to get the mind turning and blood rushing through the body, all the better for the inspired almost hidden echo which simply adds an ingenious extra depth to the already full-blooded and rounded, and not forgetting quite brilliant encounter.

Both Ambulance and DATV ensure there is no noticeable dip after such a pinnacle. The first is a tantalising slice of dark folk with a sultry air around shadow wrapped strings and acoustic expression whilst its successor, from the same kind of template, explores an even darker heart enlivened with more of the haunting textures and imagination which Logan has already revealed being skilfully adept at brewing. The pair sublimely entices appetite and imagination before Elisabeth holds ears with a balladry which is as explosive as it is serene. As across every track on the album, resourceful unpredictability and inspired boldness shapes and guides the hypnotic proposal, and again a spellbinding proposition is the outcome.

   My Darling Defibrillator takes us next on another climatic and at times atmospherically sweltering flight of invention and emotional turmoil, the song absorbing the listener in raw and impassioned beauty whilst seducing ears through to psyche, with another major incitement within Myriads.

The album is completed by the thoughtful and provocative serenade of Burst and finally the sonic bordering on harrowing, emotionally imposing AFM. They are two tracks which may not find the heights of those before but bring the album to a hugely evocative closure. Many moons back certain tingles and pleasure was found in the Black debut album Wonderful Life, a solo release which has stayed in thoughts and an ever evolving personal soundtrack ever since with the same potency. Those same ‘chills’ arose with Myriads and it is easy to suspect Officer will become the same kind of persistent encounter for us and a great many more old and new hearts within his already impacting fan base.

Myriads is available from 31st July and can be pre-ordered now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/id1018844878

https://www.facebook.com/iamofficer     http://officer.uk.com

RingMaster 20/07/2015

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 Floodgates – You

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The Floodgates is a young acoustic rock band which, if debut single You is any indication, is looking at a rather healthy and rewarding future. The song is a transfixing and intensely pleasing proposition which dances and emotionally engages with ears and imagination with impressive ease and creative charm. There is a bit of a buzz brewing up around the band and it is easy to see why through this introduction.

Hailing from Tunbridge Wells, The Floodgates consists of vocalist/guitarist Martin Stenning, guitarist/bassist Tim Fullbrook, and keyboardist Alex Wane, a trio bringing inspirations from the likes of Mumford & Sons, Bruce Springsteen, Jeff Buckley, and Tom Odell into their own ideation and invention. Since emerging not so long ago, the band has already notched up an array of successful shows, played the ColdHarbour Festival 2013, and been invited to play at the open a0944602616_2day of Heavyweight boxing champion David Haye’s gym after being spotted whilst busking. You is their big prompt for national attention and it is hard to imagine it not lighting up a keen and hungry spotlight on the band.

Emerging from warm yet haunting keys, guitars and beats are soon strolling with a smiling gait and melodic temptation whilst Stenning lays down an equally impressive caress of vocals. The song is instantly catchy and inviting, every aspect a gentle yet potently bulky enticement in individual and united engaging charm. The quaint vintage tone of the keys midway especially adds a drama and tone to the already vibrant and resourceful folk seeded scenery evocatively colouring ears and thoughts, but it is the enterprising elegance and virulent passion of the song which makes the richest connection and leaves a lingering persuasion behind.

You is an impressive entrance and though only one track to cross our gaze so far from the band, it is hard to resist suggesting that The Floodgates has the potential to make big and eventful moments ahead to excite us all.

You is available now @ https://thefloodgatesmusic.bandcamp.com/track/you-single

http://www.the-floodgates.co.uk

RingMaster 14/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

 

Melodic fire and raw passion: an interview with Kyle MacKenzie of 7stbaby

7stbaby - Promo Image

The turn of 2014 saw the unleashing of the debut album from UK rock band 7stbaby. Control swiftly announced a band to keep close attention on with their gripping blend of varied styles into a riveting stoner and grunge veined blast of heavy melodic rock. Garnering strong support and acclaim, the band’s album was a potent statement for 7stbaby and their emerging presence in the UK rock scene. Ahead of the band’s new single Horses, we grabbed the chance to talk with one of the band’s founders and vocalist/guitarist Kyle MacKenzie. Looking at the origins of the band, Control and the new single as well as his and his band members other project, Kyle led us to the heart of 7stbaby.

Hey Kyle welcome to the site and thanks for taking time to talk with us.

Thanks for having us

For those yet to discover the delights of your sound, introduce 7stbBaby to the readers for us.

7stbaby is a project Ben and I (Kyle) had decided we wanted to do several years ago while writing for the first Static Plan EP. There were lots of riffs and song ideas which were not fitting with SP’s style, but that we still really liked and wanted to use. In August 2013 we finally got round to doing something about it, Ben basically moved into my place for a couple of weeks and we wrote and recorded Control. We then asked Greg to join us on drums for the album, and he was happy to be involved. Although we didn’t want to pigeon-hole ourselves genre-wise, we are a project that is definitely coming from a stoner rock viewpoint, just with anything we like thrown in!

Can you give further background to the band too, exploits before and alongside the band for its members.

Hilariously, line up wise 7stbaby is basically Static Plan, so 7stbaby’s background for the members is pretty much exactly the same. Ben and I met years ago while we were studying at university, when I answered an advert for a rock band looking for a vocalist. That then became Static Plan with Jonno on guitar duties, and after several drummer changes we finally ended up with Greg, who changed the dynamic of the band for the better. We gigged our balls off for a couple of years while writing and recording as many demos as possible.

7stbaby then came to the forefront as Static Plan began to wane a bit. Member changes, money issues and health and personal problems stopped us from carrying on the great momentum we had built, but we still wanted to make music and get it out there. So Control was about creating without the pressures we had experienced over the last couple of years.

Your music as evidenced by debut album Control earlier this year, is unafraid to employ a wealth of styles and flavours in its roaring recipe. How would you describe your musical canvas?

7stbaby is about doing whatever we want to do musically. If people love it that’s great, but if people hate it, then so be it. We created a concept album in a very short space of time with the tools that were available to us at the time, and because there was an ‘anything goes’ attitude, we approached it with no fear. 7stbaby’s musical canvas is anything that we want it to be.

It suggests you guys have a wide range of inspirations personally too, what are some of the more potent influences on your sound and ideas?c

Yeah we have quite a diverse range between us I think. I love artists and bands such as Martin Grech, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, Porcupine Tree, Karnivool, QOTSA, Alice In Chains etc. Honestly there are just too many to list! I am inspired by great songwriting and great musicianship. Ben has a slightly more ‘alternative’ influence list than I have, loving bands like Gorgoroth, Mortiis, Mayhem, Mondo Generator, Sonic Youth etc. By no means are we limited to these bands or genres, I think we both have a healthy appreciation of music and its influence over us.

I read that Control was written in just three weeks, was that the reality or were some songs already around in some form or idea before that?

There were some riffs and parts floating about from writing the SP EP a while before, but the vast majority of the album was written in three weeks

Control deservedly garnered eager praise and acclaim upon release, did that surprise you in some way the vocal support and enthusiasm it received?7stbaby - Horses Single Cover

Ha-ha it did a bit! I think I was expecting it to either get distinctly average reviews or none at all, I didn’t think anyone would understand what we were trying to do! But the reviews were great to read and made me realise that people did understand what the album was about. Some of the reviews were just emphatic, and really brought some joy to me after a difficult couple of years making music.

Give us some insight to its creation and how you fitted it in with your other projects like Static Plan.

Static Plan at the time had ground to a complete halt after a couple of line-up changes. Ben and I had some free time during the school holidays and we just decided to get it done. It was incredibly fun and made us really want to start work on the Static Plan album.

September 26th sees the release of your new single, Horses. Taken from Control, it is one of the album’s biggest highlights for us. Was it an obvious choice for a single?

I think it’s a heavy song on the album, and probably the kind of song that most people can respond to without hating it ha-ha! We debated for a while which song was going to be released actually, and Horses at first didn’t seem like the obvious choice to me, I thought Leave Me To Bleed would be the better single after releasing Somebody’s Bitch. After a while of debating I realised that Ben was absolutely right, Horses is just the right single; it’s much more immediate!

Have you tinkered with it for the single release?

We have not; it’s as pure as it was

Horses, as the album, is out on Got Wrong Records; your own label?

Yes it will be a pay what you want digital only release on my label Got Wrong Records on September 26th. Available at https://gotwrongrecords.bandcamp.com

Can you give us some insight to the inspiration and theme of the song?

Horses is about conquering the power someone can have over you, and breaking out of the cage you confine yourself to when you let them control you. It’s the climax of the album for me

Horses sparked thoughts of Life of Agony for us, its provocative nature and intimate energy reminding of the great US band. Is that something you can feel?

Yeah I can see that. They’re aggressive and melodic, and that’s what Horses is in its simplest form. We really wanted to get the emotion across in the vocals, so hopefully we have done that if you’re comparing Horses to Life of Agony 🙂

The song is accompanied by a great video, who was that filmed by?

The video was filmed with a lovely chap called Sam Sheridan. Ben and I wrote some music for a short film he made several years ago, and we lost contact afterwards. As we were hunting for a director to make the video for Somebody’s Bitch we got chatting and got him involved. He has done an amazing job with incredibly little budget and filming was an absolute riot. Our lead man Alex Netting absolutely smashed it as well, bringing some intensity and humour to the whole thing.

It looked like a fun day out ha-ha; I am imagining that the central character (Alex) drew plenty of attention from the passing throng during filming?

It was a hilarious day for sure! Amazingly every person that interacted with us on the day was very positive; they loved the idea, loved the make-up and loved the character. We definitely got a lot of attention that day.

You guys are in two bands to my knowledge 😉 It is hard for any band to make an impression in the current state of music, so how have you found it juggling and driving forward with your projects?

Yep it’s hard, that’s just the way it is. I think it’s always been hard though. The key is to keep going and enjoy the small victories I think. It’s definitely possible to juggle everything and find the time if you are committed enough; you just have to want it bad enough.

How do you see the current state of music especially the catch 22 effect of the internet with its usefulness and detriment for bands.

I think that even though there are always things we can complain about, bands and artists are in a much better position nowadays for people to hear their music than say 20 years ago. It’s incredibly difficult to earn a living from it, but there’s no change there really. Hopefully in the years to come, with organisations like the Musicians Union working on behalf of musicians, fairer deals can be made on behalf of musicians on the likes of streaming royalties.

10505283_311135829045859_3576936077197922227_nIs it hard to hold your enthusiasm at times, or does the music always hold sway over the emotions?

Personally I go through high and lows on a daily basis. Sometime I can struggle to bring myself to pick up a guitar and other times I can’t tear myself away to go to bed.

What is ahead for 7stbaby?

Not a clue! We’ll have to have to have a chat about that at some point ha-ha

…And from your other projects?

I’m currently working on albums for Static Plan and Outpost Zeta, and Ben is working with Ventenner and Exquisite Ending.

Thanks again for sharing time with us. Any last words you wish to share?

Thanks very much Pete, we really appreciate the support! My last word shall be check out www.gotwrong.com for a free EP/Album from Static Plan, Outpost Zeta and 7stbaby, and spread the word 😉

https://www.facebook.com/7stbaby/

Read our review of Control @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/7stbaby-control/  and of Horses @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/7stbaby-horses/

Pete RingMaster

The Ringmaster Review 23/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

 

 

Jacko Hooper – For You

Photo - Nicolas Primout

UK singer songwriter Jacko Hooper has come a long way since emerging in his school days with The Rylics, a trio of school friends. It has been interesting and enjoyable watching his progress as a songwriter and musician over the years, the different twists and turns in his evolution which whilst not always fed personal tastes always left attention and appetite for his endeavours intrigued. For You is the brand new EP from Hooper, his first official solo release and an impressively potent and appetising proposition.

As mentioned the journey for Hooper started in his schooldays and even then he and the band were drawing strong attention especially when from the ashes of the first band, IAM:YOURHERO emerged. The band drew a keen and attentive following of fans and underground media exposure like from our own Audioburger Radio whilst at the same time Hooper was working on his own solo acoustic material. IAM:YOURHERO subsequently became Kai with the threesome continuing to draw praise and a greater following but you could also sense interest in the solo work of Hooper was gaining impetus. Recent years has seen that side take centre stage with Hooper to continued success, his music gaining YouTube views of over half a million and self-released CDRs in 500 runs being sold out in just six days. Inspired by the likes of Jeff Buckley, Bon Iver, Thomas Dybdahl, and Fink, his songwriting and folk teased sound has hit a plateau, with For You the clear evidence.

Funded through KickStarter and recorded with producer Paul Steel over the space of eight weeks, For You steals ears and thoughts within moments of its first song. Eggs Shells caresses ears from its first stroll of chords wrapped in a1353093189_2an elegant melody. It is an immediate enticing which only grows its call with the incoming smooth tones of Hooper’s vocals, their mellow first embrace growing with the song to show the greater texture and power of his voice already realised in the rockier premises of his previous bands. The acoustic stroking of the song is a quality tempting but once the song opens up arms of strolling rhythms and bass shadows within the ever expressive design of guitar, it truly blossoms into a flame of emotive beauty. As the release, the song looks at love and fear and shows that whilst there has always been an intimacy to the music of Hooper which was in advance of his years, there is a real genuine maturity to his songwriting now.

The following November 5th Song also moves from a gentle coaxing into a firmer revelry of beats and vocal adventure amidst vibrant melodic enticing and atmospherically sown emotion. Also as its predecessor, the track grows and swells with poetic expression and a bulging bewitchment of melodic energy and passion spawned energy for an almost rigorous and wholly absorbing stomp of infectious invention. The earlier solo material of Hooper impressed but felt like it was still too deep in its growth and evolution to make a real mark at the time but the first two songs alone on For You show that the Brighton hailing Hooper has not only come to the end of that cycle to fulfil the potential seen vividly within him but opened up another wave of potential to be explored and realised ahead.

Run Away With Me is a guitar and vocal croon which comes drenched in intimacy and shadows, the occasional growl and constant angst of Hooper’s vocals enough to expose the raw emotion of the song. It does not match the might of the first two songs but then it is a different proposition with its open lean canvas beneath an emotive colouring. The closing live cut of Roaming is the same, guitar and vocal reflection at one in an evocatively lighted spotlight within scenery of crowding shadows. It is a fine song but one which may not stand out as strongly in the hands of another, the bluesy scent which soaks Hopper’s delivery bringing it character and irresistible body.

Despite the success earned and found previously, this feels like the point where Jacko Hooper has arrived and is about to trigger the real ascent of his emerging career.

The For You EP is available now via One Inch Badge on Ltd Edition 7″ vinyl and digitally @ http://jackohooper.bandcamp.com/album/for-you

https://www.facebook.com/jackohoopermusic

9/10

RingMaster 16/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

 

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