Johnny Wore Black – Ultra Violent Light

Pretty much enamoured with the Johnny Wore Black sound and creative adventure since its first couple of singles way back in 2012, the past two to three years have been seemingly rather quiet for the band. It has as ever been a busy time for the project’s creator and vocalist/writer Jay Coen though, the man throwing his stuntman body and audacity around in a number of features you may have heard of which include Game Of Thrones, Ready Player One, Spectre, Hitman’s Bodyguard, Rogue One, Spiderman-Far From Home and more. Now the band has returned with new album Ultra Violent Light, a simply compelling release which shows that Coen has also been rather busy these past months growing, honing, and exploring his project’s already established musical prowess.

Released in two parts over the course of 2014, Johnny Wore Black’s debut album, Walking Underwater, deservedly drew acclaim and a major flood of fans the way of the band. It was a tapestry of melody wired metal and rapacious rock as contagious as it was imaginative and emotively provocative. Ultra Violent Light is more of the same yet a whole new realm of craft and invention across every aspect making its predecessor so captivating.

Coen’s continuing link up with Megadeth bassist David Ellefson is as alive and potent as it has ever been within Ultra Violent Light too, for which he has also enlisted the creative courage of Earthtone 9 members in drummer Simon Hutchby and guitarist Gez Walton, the latter also producing the album alongside David Bottrill (Tool, Stone Sour, Dream Theater), to realise his new collection of songs.  Additional enterprise from keyboardist Cameron Daniel William Hill, cellist Kate Shortt, vocalist Adam Sedgewick, and bassist/vocalist George Donahue only adds to the bold and imaginative canvas of the release.

Ultra Violent Light opens up with latest single Gun True Love and instantly had attention wrapped up as Coen’s vocals come entangled in the evocative wires cast by the guitar. It is a coaxing which respectfully nags but with an intimation of darkness which expands as the track erupts with muscular dexterity. The tone of Ellefson’s bassline is growling manna to these ears but just as magnetic is the web of melodic enticement and vocal harmonics which tempts from within the more volatile climate of sound and emotion.

Straight away there is a richer depth and feel to songwriting and music in comparison to previous releases, a realisation compounded by next up One Sexy Scar. Carrying drama from its very first note, the song breaks from its slightly tempestuous entrance into a composed stroll with warm keys and melodic caresses. Even so there is a perpetual lining of volatility which simmers and boils up as the mercurial character and air of the track persistently enthrals before the following Plastic Ocean creates its own tantalising yet stormy captivation of sound and character. It is a moment of seduction as threatening and imposing as it is flirtatious, in so many ways a predator and relentlessly alluring.

Honey Club is similar in nature with the big swings of Hutchby an instinctive incitement even when adding restraint to their trespass and the wiry intimation of Walton’s guitar as provocative as the grizzled voice of Ellefson’s bass. Another track bewitchingly capricious, Coen’s ever individual tones croon and richly lures the listener into the heart of the song, a contender for best track with its unapologetically resourceful touch and darkly brooding imagination.

Through the likes of the arguably less bold but just as infectious and dark RIP Mr Man and Boy Soldier with its melancholic grace, emotive intimacy, and turbulence corrupted tranquillity, band continues to expand the emotion fuelled storytelling and creative emprise of the release. It is an adventure which reveals more by the listen, the deeper into its heart you venture the more it expresses its richness and agility as proven yet again by the similarly composed Southern Storm, a song with a seemingly intensely personal heart amidst a military rhythmic bearing. It has echoes of Big Country to its inventive scenery and an Americana/folk whisper to its breeze in a proposition becoming more powerful and compelling with each listen.

Broken uncages an anthemic tempest of metal infested rock ‘n’ roll next, the track an robustly eventful and muscular affair with a virulent catchiness and evocative twists of thoughtful calm to its armoury while the album’s following title track borders on the carnivorous with its rhythmic spine and senses prowling riffs, but a predatory stalking aligned to vocal and melodic charisma lined with emotional angst.

The album closes with Ultimate Fighter which deceptively opens with Coen’s magnetic tones alongside Hutchby’s spirited beats under a sonic sigh aligned to a shadow courting grumble of bass. It subsequently ignites in a chained tempest with beats exploring even greater tenacity as guitars flame and vocals roar. It never explodes into the beast expected but becomes a just as dynamic and imposing anthem with invention in its enterprise and zeal in its release of that adventure.

It is truly an outstanding finale to a release which thrilled from the off but really came to life and magnificence by the subsequent ventures into its imaginative lair, becoming a seriously must explore encounter along the way.

Ultra Violent Light is out now via EMP Label Group across most stores.

http://www.johnnyworeblack.com/   https://www.facebook.com/johnnyworeblack   https://twitter.com/johnnyworeblack

Pete RingMaster 31/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Rival Bones – Self Titled EP

Slim line-up, big sound; this is a combination becoming even more frequent in the current rock ‘n’ roll scene and no bigger and indeed physically bolder than that offered by UK duo Rival Bones. Consisting of vocalist/guitarist James Whitehouse and former Boss Keloid drummer Chris Thomason, the band have just released their self-titled debut EP; four rousing anthems which rock hard and carry a punch a great many bands thick with personnel would beg for.

Emerging at the beginning of 2015, Rival Bones quickly drew attention with first single You Know Who You Are; radio play quickly following before subsequent singles in Robot Girl and Lost Along The Way last year matched its success and pushed forward the band’s reputation and growing presence on the UK rock scene. Their hard rock/heavy metal sound nurtured with a host of additional flavours involved was soon drawing references to bands such as Mastodon, Queens of The Stone Age, and Audioslave whilst live the Merseyside pair soon branched from local success into stirring up bigger venue audiences and festivals such as Threshold and Tramlines. Now national attention is under threat with their first EP, an attack which will bring big rewards and rousing exploits for listener and band alike.

The EP opens with Want You Madly. Its gentle beginning is a swift deception as a sonic murmuring soon becomes a wall of imposing and inviting riffs punctured by Thomason’s heftily swinging beats. The song’s commanding stroll is soon joined by the potent tones of Whitehouse, his strong voice aided by spirited shouts and in turn grooves which just demand hips and bodies get involved. The blues spicing of the track is equally intoxicating, its tonic flowing across a landscape of heavy rock ‘n’ roll bait as alone the opener makes a major statement for band and release.

Its inescapably contagious anthemic arousal of ears and imagination is quickly backed up by the calmer waters of Marceline. Note that the track placing we were sent, and follow here is different to that on the band’s Bandcamp but no matter the order, the release fiercely rocks as the second song with its similarly reserved entrance breeds an energy and tenacity which powers a similar spirited roar to that of its predecessor, if this time unleashing it in the chorus only.  Around the explosion, Whitehouse’s impressing vocals lure and involve within an equally calm temptation of melody rich sound; grooves and hooks as prevalent as in the first song and just as addictive. Those earlier comparisons are generally understandable in varying degrees but equally the second offering as in other moments within the EP has something of bands like Royal Blood and Johnny Wore Black to it.

Next up Hives gets down to business from within a sonic mist, the track soon strolling through ears with an earthier tone and confident swagger as riffs and grooves blossom while vocals once again incite further attention and involvement. Its blaze of a chorus carries a dose of grunge blues tempting, giving tang to the irresistible grooves wrapping round ears with flirtatious intent as rhythms jab and create their own infectious stirring of body and an increasingly hungry appetite for more.

The EP closes up with Running, a song sauntering in with a fuzz lined melody for company and soon after Whitehouse’s vocal invitation. A mix of blues and stoner flavouring flames within the track’s eruptions, expulsions of energy and passion surrounded by mellower but no less magnetic caresses in voice and sound. With every passing minute, the track becomes virulently catchy as it heads to a rousing crescendo followed by a last reflection of calm and in turn a final outburst of fiery provocation.

It is a superb end to a release which is sure to thrust Rival Bones to bigger and thicker attention. Their sound has an air of familiarity to it but a feeling which only adds to its potency to ignite and drive body and spirit into eager involvement with its ballsy rock ‘n’ roll; the kind of success anyone would be envious of.

The Rival Bones EP is out now on iTunes and Amazon and available @ https://rivalbones.bandcamp.com/album/rival-bones-ep

Upcoming Live Dates:

Dates:

12/05 – The Blossoms, Stockport, UK

18/05 – 81 Renshaw, Liverpool, UK

25/05 – The Cave at the Holly Tree, Addlestone, UK

26/05 – Iron Road, Evesham, UK

27/05 – The Kings – Wales (KingsFest)

28/05 – The Mulberry Tavern, Sheffield, UK

02/06 – Percy’s, Whitchurch, UK

03/06 – The Greyhound, Nottingham, UK

04/06 – The Sitwell Tavern, Derby, UK

30/06 – Sonder Festival,    Manchester, UK

21/07 – Amplified Festival – Gloucester, UK

http://www.rivalbones.com/     https://www.facebook.com/rivalbones/   https://twitter.com/rivalbones

Pete RingMaster 10/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

John Thayer – Face To Face EP

JT_RingMasterReview

Recently singer songwriter John Thayer released new EP Face To Face, a handful of songs which instinctively captivate as warm and suggestive melodies unite with emotion fuelled lyrics and vocals. There is also an intimate drama to each song which often blossoms to broader heights even as Thayer keeps it personal with his introspective exploration and reflections. The result is a release which captures ears with swift success and only lights the imagination further with subsequent listens.

The brother of Tommy Thayer, the lead guitarist in Kiss, John creates a sound inspired by the likes of Yes, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Steely Dan, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and The Who and based, as suggested by his latest offering, around ear seducing melodies. 2013 saw his indie/pop rock sound quickly grab ears and support through debut album Laurel Street, released as the new EP on EON Records.

Already stirring up eager attention, latest record Face to Face was co-produced by John and singer/songwriter producer Rob Daiker (Meredith Brooks, The Fame Riot) at Commune Studios in Portland Oregon and mixed by Greg Collins (U2, Matchbox Twenty, No Doubt). Straight away it seizes ears and imagination with its title track, the opener caressing both with gentle keys and ethereal harmonies initially. That earlier mentioned drama is just as swift in working its charm, coating the emerging orchestral bred keys and vocal expression of Thayer. Equally there is an instinctive catchiness which arises through the song, riffs and hooks mellow but potent as they add inescapable infectiousness to an affair which takes little time to seduce and involve the listener while providing an impressive start to the EP.

art_RingMasterReviewNot Afraid follows and quickly eclipses its predecessor as a thick wall of dramatic rhythmic and sonic energy hits ears. The song soon relaxes as Thayer’s vocals begin sharing melodic sighs and expression though the bass continues to bring dark shadows while prowling the calmer waters, lurking and waiting to join the frequent expulsions of that initial energy with erupt. It is gripping stuff reminding of British artist Johnny Wore Black, and with great unpredictability to its twists and dark hues to its emotion easily takes best song honours upon the EP.

In many ways the song sets a plateau the release never reaches again but enjoyment and creative imagination is still a potent proposal as firstly the melancholic stroll of Really Doesn’t Matter warms the senses to be followed by the evocative serenade of Angel. As the heart bred and felt tones of Thayer slip enjoyable through ears both songs are a flame of melodic enterprise within that ever dramatic air to richly satisfy.

The EP closes with Lonely Eyes and a tapestry of string bred shadows and guitar shaped intensity entangled with suggestive vocals and poetic melodies. There is something cinematic about the song too even as again Thayer ventures into the deepest emotions of the song’s heart. With a flame of a solo and the perpetual majesty of orchestral temptation, the track provides a striking end to an increasingly captivating release.

The Face To Face EP is our first moment shared with the songwriting and sound of John Thayer and like so many others we are sure, it will not be our last.

The Face To Face EP is out now via EON Records through most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/johnthayermusic

http://www.johnthayermusic.com

Pete RingMaster 02/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

11Dead – Walk With Me

art 11dead_RingMasterReview

No excuses, we are a touch late to the release of this single a couple of months or so back, but without doubt Walk With Me is worthy of gracing ears so better late than never we say. The addiction forging single is from UK rock band 11Dead, a Leicester bred project centred round its only full-time member Si.

The band was conceived by Si last year, inspired by and out of the love of listening to and seeing the likes of System Of A Down, Slipknot, and Marilyn Manson live. Sound-wise, 11Dead has a more hard rock seeded base but involving the intrigue and creative adventure of other flavoursome styles and textures in its design. The first track revealed was Bleed, a brooding and mesmeric stroll of inventive and emotive drama with an increasingly tenacious adventure to its body and heart which soon caught the ears and attention of many radio shows and fans.

Successor Walk With Me is a more lively encounter but one with an almost predatory air and intent to its prowling. Equally an almost cinematic air to its rock ‘n’ roll drama soon emerges too as well as a garage rock essence to the song. It is a gripping affair with plenty of unpredictable moves within its imaginative melodic rock, a creative theatre which in some ways reminds of fellow British artist, Johnny Wore Black.

The song continues to enthral and incite involvement from swaying hips and eager voice; alone sparking a real interest and appetite for what comes next from 11Dead. With new material being written and prepped for further encounters, the time is right to get on board with what just might be a heady and lively ride for Si and 11Dead from hereon in, especially if he can build on the impressive and contagious start provided by his first pair of songs.

Check out Walk With Me and 11Dead @ http://11dead.com/music

https://www.facebook.com/11DEAD   https://twitter.com/11DEADUK

Pete RingMaster 29/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Hedfuzy – Self-Titled

Catching up on another release appearing towards the rear of 2015, we offer up the self-titled album from Hedfuzy as a proposition to seriously consider investigating, especially if progressive rock gets the juices flowing.

Hedfuzy is the solo project of Irish multi-instrumentalist Pat Byrne and its debut album a captivating progressive adventure of melody thick and magnetically tenacious rock ‘n’ roll with a rousing contagion to it. The musical history of the Limerick musician includes touring at the age of 17 with Celtic Fusion, followed by experience building exploits touring and recording with bands such as rockers Kraven and reggae outfit Jeffonesta as well as playing bass on some of Delorean Suite’s current release Two Lives. Now Byrne is ready to ignite attention and ears with his own solo proposal, recruiting additional talent from Shardborne’s Ben Wanders, Delorean Suite keyboardist Graham Conway, guitarist Graham Keane of The Vicious Head Society, and guitarists Mike Moriarty and Cameron Allen to bring his seriously engaging songs to life.

Mixed and mastered by Chris Collier (Prong, Lynch Mob, KXM), the Byrne produced album opens with Sing which quickly coaxes ears with an enticing lure of guitar. Settling into an energetic stroll as Byrne’s potent vocals sit invitingly upon his blend of melody fuelled guitar and keys, the song soon begins to swing with a gripping catchiness aligned to a darker shade of similarly lively and eager bass led rhythms. With eighties seeded air reminding nostalgically of Modern English and currently David J Caron veined by fiery progressive enterprise, the track is a rousing start to the album quickly backed by the muscular persuasion of Snakes. Melancholic keys offer the first suggestive caress, Byrne’s vocals swiftly adding to the alluring start and in turn followed by a thicker smothering of riffs and rhythmic theatre. It is a potent collusion of textures which again has infectiousness running through it as heavier and darker shadows envelop the senses.

Hedfuzy - Self-Titled_RingMaster ReviewThe creative and physical skills of the artist persistently ignites ears in the song and album but always without offering any indulgence to temper their strength or the organic creativity impresses in the likes of How To Tear Your World From My Head. As the third song begins to flows through ears, initially bass pulses the lone dark protagonist in a misty glaze of harmonic and melodic tempting, things quickly come to boil as rugged rhythms and gravelly riffs collude with wistful keys, provocative guitar, and jazzy bass. The result is an eventful and at times volatile landscape of stirring invention and compelling craft keeping the imagination as busy as ears whilst pushing the already impressing stature of the album to new heights.

Mine brightly shimmers with melodic and vocal expression next, it an alluring serenade of melodic rock with the flavoursome essence of UK band The Inner Road to it as it settles enjoyable between the more raucous and dynamic exploits of the previous roar and The Death which follows. Not as dark as expected, the new track is another beacon of resourceful composing and boisterous musicianship lined with a craft and imagination which has body and emotions eagerly engaged.

The emotive croon of When I Come Back Down is open evidence of that core prowess in songwriting and emotion, and diversity as with This Broken Throne, a grouchy but again wholly virulent roar of aggressive rhythms and sonic adventure laced with the impressing vocal tones of Byrne. A thrilling and fluid mix of Squidhead like cantankerous metal soaked in a warmly reflective exploration of melody and voice, the track is as absorbing as it is anthemic before a mellower proposition in Name comes in. With winy melodies and atmospheric drama within again an intensive proposal of bass and rhythmic confrontation, the song carries a touch of Johnny Wore Black to it, captivating and stirring the senses from start to finish before leaving the album’s outstanding title track to bring things to a ferociously dynamic close. The instrumental is glorious, a brawling seducing collage of sound and textures woven into an anthemically fiery and exhaustingly exhilarating tempest as virulently incendiary as it is dramatically provocative.

Hedfuzy is an album to light up any day and the band a project which, even with Byrne seemingly perpetually in demand, the man soon appearing on the debut album from Irish progressive metal band The Vicious Head Society alongside keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Black Country Communion) and drummer Kevin Talley (Chimaira, Suffocation), we can only hope to hear a lot more from.

The self-released Hedfuzy is out now via Amazon.

https://www.facebook.com/Hedfuzy

Pete RingMaster 13/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Inacoma – Isn’t That True

Inacoma - Single artwork_RingMaster Review

Following the release of their self-titled debut EP, Swedish rockers Inacoma back its success up with the uncaging of new single Isn’t That True, a heavy stomp of a track which gets ears, attention, and an appetite for more easily excited. Taken from their first release, the song croons and rumbles, flirts and roars with anthemic persuasion to confirm Inacoma as a band with a very healthy future ahead of them.

Inacoma began in 2013 in Stockholm, formed by multi-instrumentalist Adam “O” Olsson who had previously played guitar in pop/rock band called No Definite Time. He subsequently linked up with vocalist Cristo Hage, a former lead guitarist in metal band The Last Providers, with the band line-up completed by drummer Jonathan Olsson. The trio soon had honed a mix of hard and alternative rock which, as evidenced by their EP and now the new single, brings feisty hooks and fiery grooves in line with whipping rhythms and ravenous riffs. It is a stirring proposal carrying something familiar yet in a presence as fresh as it is energetically creative and tenacious.

Isn’t That True is the perfect gateway onto the band’s sound, its vivacious and muscular presence virulently infectious but with a bruising intensity which is just as easy to devour. From a distance with a groove already working away, the song looms in to fill ears with flavoursome melodic and sonic tempting veined by more intimidating but no less magnetic rhythms. Like a mix of Foo Fighters and Soundgarden merged with a healthy slice of Johnny Wore Black and Creed, the track is a snarling consumption of body and appetite. It offers a design of guitar enterprise entangling riffs and hooks which are only there to seduce but with inventive unpredictability across the song and great vocal variety, it all unites in something fresh and spicy.

Isn’t That True is three minutes of prime rock ‘n’ roll from a band which you know will only get bolder, hungrier, and more compelling. Inacoma is the name, so go check out now.

Isn’t That True is released on July 6th

https://www.facebook.com/weareinacoma

RingMaster 01/07/2015

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

 

Johnny Wore Black – Comfy Slippers

jwb

Taken from the breath-taking album Walking Underwater Pt. 2 which gave British melodic/alternative rock an inspiring and thrilling fresh breath last year, the new video/single from Johnny Wore Black whilst making another potent nudge at newcomers to the band’s stirring release, reminds the rest of us just how provocatively powerful the band’s sound is. Comfy Slippers also confirms just how creative and exciting it is too and why Johnny Wore Black has been stirring up fans and media alike around the world these past couple of years.

The band is the brainchild of London based songwriter/producer and stuntman (Les Miserables, The Dark Knight Rises, Fast and Furious 6, Fury) Jay, and a vehicle for his invention and imagination which has been no stranger to acclaim thanks to the previously mentioned album and its predecessor, Walking Underwater Pt. 1 the previous year. With a wealth of attention grabbing and appetite igniting singles around both releases too, some of those and a few within both albums co-written with Megadeth bassist David Ellefson as well as also featuring his renowned musical talent, Johnny Wore Black has been an emerging force awakening not only the British music scene but also a far wider and attentive global spotlight. Comfy Slippers quickly reveals why, its anthemic and equally intimate resources inescapable evidence to their increasing success.

Awakening in a thick flaming of melodic guitar around welcoming riffs and crisp beats, the song soon settles into a magnetic enticement led by the smooth and emotive vocal tones of Jay. His voice is a gentle caress but with a steely edge which perfectly reflects the emotional drama and clarity of the lyrical narrative. Musically the song holds check allowing voice and words to paint the stirring picture but all the time it is also building an equally potent and tempestuous air. This only reinforces the strength of the song’s heart whilst creating its own captivating tapestry of sonic enterprise and striking adventure.

Comfy Slippers is an irresistible slice of Johnny Wore Black for fans and a masterful doorway into the creatively incendiary world of the band for newcomers. If you are yet to take that step then the band’s new single is the perfect and thrilling opportunity with its outstanding video, which we will leave for you all to explore without spoilers, an equally great starting place.

Comfy Slippers is unveiled June 15th with additional track and video Firefly also available.

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

RingMaster 15/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

 

Chasing Ghosts – Everything Changes

Chasing Ghosts cover

Not even touching six months as a band, Chasing Ghosts is already stirring up the UK rock scene and online radio interest with their epic sounds and now new single Everything Changes. London based, the quartet create a melodic rock propositions which certainly on the evidence of their latest song is as imposing as it is seductive and as atmospherically provocative as it is creatively intensive. The buzz around is that Chasing Ghosts is a band on the march and there is nothing about Everything Changes to bring doubt to that claim.

Formed as 2014 became its successor, Chasing Ghosts draw on inspirations from the likes of Paradise Lost, Therapy, Metallica, Alice In Chains, Moonspell and more for their dark and adventurous evocative sounds. Bassist/keyboardist Lee Brueton and guitarist Harry Mitten had already played together for four years in the band Embersfire and once united again they proceeded to write a trio of songs before booking Chapel Studios in Lincolnshire to record them. Next step was to find the rest of the band, an unusual way round of doing things but with the addition of vocalist James Marsh and drummer John Watt, plus the impressive adventure of Everything Changes alone, the band obviously knew best. A three track demo recorded with Enter Shikari engineer Tim Morris resulted from the session and brings us the band’s new single, whilst the other songs This Fear and From Depravity show themselves to be both similarly impressive explorations.

The single opens on a dawning wave of dark shadows and sounds, their invitation swiftly erupting into a thick wave of melodic persuasion and earthy rhythms as immersive as they are imposing. You sense some of the essences of those earlier mentions influences as the song expands and evolves, but the one band which really comes forward as the rich endeavour of song and sound engulfs ears and imagination, is Johnny Wore Black. Both he and Chasing Ghosts are openly adept at aligning dark emotive shadows and fiery beauty into physically and mentally stimulating propositions. The flowering provocative sounds of the keys and guitars back this up, almost entwining around each other across the song with fluid and impacting enterprise whilst the vocals of Marsh become as transfixing as the emotionally tempestuous sounds around him.

    Everything Changes is an exciting introduction to Chasing Ghosts, a striking doorway into their sound and potential soaked presence. It is a promise already coming to fruition across the three songs making up their demo and most potently revealed in the single, but one hinting at even greater adventures ahead.

Everything Changes is out now.

http://www.chasingghosts.co.uk/     https://www.facebook.com/Cghostsmusic

RingMaster 20/04/2015

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 Top Twenty Metal/Rock releases which most excited The RingMaster Review in 2014

In a year of some seriously and gloriously anthemic, not forgetting creatively inspiring releases The RingMaster Review picks out twenty metal and heavy rock releases covered by the site which gave us that extra tingle of excitement in 2014.

 

EYE_CoverArt_Kallisti

01. Empty Yard Experiment – Kallisti

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/empty-yard-experiment-kallisti/

02. Escapethecult – All You want To

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/08/19/escape-the-cult-all-you-need-to/

03. The House Of Capricorn – Morning Star Rise

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/the-house-of-capricorn-morning-star-rise/

04. Hollow – Mordrake

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/hollow-mordrake/

05. Voyager – V

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/voyager-v/

06. Nexilva – Eschatologies

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/nexilva-eschatologies/

Arcade Messiah Album Cover

07. Arcade Messiah – Arcade Messiah

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/arcade-messiah-self-titled/

08. We All Die (Laughing) – Thoughtscanning

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/we-all-die-laughing-thoughtscanning/

09. Goatcraft – The Blasphemer

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/goatcraft-the-blasphemer/

10. Destrage – Are You Kidding Me? No

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/destrage-are-you-kidding-me-no/

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11. Void of Kings – Stand Against The Storm

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/12/23/void-of-kings-stand-against-the-storm/

12. No Sin Evades His Gaze – Age of Sedation

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/08/22/no-sin-evades-his-gaze-age-of-sedation/

13. Dioramic – Supra

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/dioramic-supra/

pigeon lake

14. Pigeon Lake – Tales of a Madman

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/pigeon-lake-tales-of-a-madman/

15. Imbroglio – The Struggle in Pursuit

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/imbroglio-the-struggle-in-pursuit/

16. ICOSA – The Skies are Ours

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/icosa-the-skies-are-ours-ep/

17. Mars Red Sky – Stranded In Arcadia

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/mars-red-sky-stranded-in-arcadia/

18. Anti Clone – Hands Sewn Together

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/anti-clone-hands-sewn-together/

jwb walkingunderwaterpt2

19. Johnny Wore Black – Walking Under water Parts 1 & 2

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/johnny-wore-black-walking-underwater/

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/johnny-wore-black-walking-underwater-pt-2/

20. The Body Politic – Egressor

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/the-body-politic-egressor/

Casting reflections and dispersing shadows: talking Johnny Wore Black with band founder Jay

jwbnew3-hires

  2014 has been a big and flavoursome year for British melodic and alternative rock, and in no small part thanks to UK band Johnny Wore Black. The brainchild of London based songwriter/producer and stuntman (Les Miserables, The Dark Knight Rises, Fast and Furious 6, Fury ) Jay, the project on the back of a host of attention grabbing singles and videos over the past eighteen months or so, has released two acclaimed and enthralling albums this year. Walking Underwater Pt 1 and 2, the second released barely two week ago, encounters which and immerses ears and imagination in an evocative embrace, thought provoking propositions which infuse passionate creative roars with poetic melodies and fiery textures. Both albums reinforce the emerging stature and recognition of Johnny Wore Black as one of Europe’s most exciting and innovative songwriters and rock artists. With the kind sharing of Jay’s time, we delved into the heart of the man, band, and particularly the fresh majesty of Walking Underwater Pt 2.

Hi Jay, thanks for sharing time to speak with us.

My pleasure…thank you for listening.

You have just released second album, Walking Underwater Pt 2; how were feelings as the unveiling swiftly approached?

It’s always a strange time around release, in a way exciting and in a way a test of patience as in reality it’s about waiting to see how the product is received. As an artist, the reviews are important to gauge how good a job you have done!

Are there different emotions and expectations this time around after the acclaim and success of Walking Underwater Pt 1 earlier this year?

Walking Underwater Pt.1 was an opening, a beginning if you like so it will be interesting to see how Walking Underwater Pt.2 is received and how the journey develops in other people’s jwbnew1-hires2eyes and ears. It’s important to make music for yourself first and yet in reality, once released its journey becomes a public experience. My expectations are for people to enjoy it and find the right environment to use the music.

How should people look at the two releases, as two parts of one whole entity or the new release as an evolution and unique exploration from the themes and narrative fuelling the first album?

It is a new release of course, and yet a journey too. Honestly people will make of it what they want. Personally there is a journey there, a cleansing and an exorcism of past demons…to make way for new ones maybe?!

Before we look deeper in to the new album, can we ask about your history musically and other aspects before Johnny Wore Black?

Childhood poems then set to music when learning to play the Spanish guitar, pretending it was electric! Onwards, days in studios as birthday presents from my dad when I was fifteen and sixteen. Johnny Wore Black is the conclusion of life experience, being a singer songwriter, being in bands, and generally loving music.

What was the spark bringing the band to life?

The spark was a need to express my songs in a new way, to attempt to get closer to the music that turns me on and lights my fire!

The band name inescapably brings thoughts of Johnny Cash, is there a meaning behind the title?

I like the analogy of why Johnny Cash wore black, to identify with those less fortunate than himself. My dad called me Johnny and my grandmother Evelyn bought me a black suit, which I wore at my Dads funeral when I was seventeen. So, you see, life and all its shards of dark and light.

What would you say are your major inspirations?

A Perfect Circle, Karnivool, Tool, Depeche Mode, Metallica, Stone Sour, Johnny Cash…to name but a few.

jwb walkingunderwaterpt2Because of the success and potency of your first album anticipation and expectations of Part 2 are probably over demanding. Has this added any pressure for its creation?

In a way yes, but to be honest most of the pressure is self-inflicted. My goal is to make great music, who can say when that has happened? Really, I see it as a never ending journey.

With the close proximity to the release of the two albums, it is easy to assume both sets of songs or certainly many over both albums have been bred from around the same time. What is the time frame in that area and if they were written around the same period how did you decide which song went on which release?

I tried to put together songs that felt good together in order to create the story. There are songs here spanning a ten year period, hence why they needed to be cleared in order to move on.

Did you learn anything on Part 1 which you took into its successor to help its emergence or give it something different recording wise?

The process included working with guitarist James Coppolaro and drummer Simon Hutchby whilst David Ellefson and I also collaborated in more depth than before so that was a rewarding experience.

Listening to Part 2 we felt there was even greater personal intimacy to certain tracks than on the last; how close are the seeds of your songs to your life and experiences?

Some songs are closer personally than others but it’s interesting which songs individuals feel are intimate.

The album as you mentioned again sees you collaborating with David Ellefson, of course of Megadeth, in writing and playing. How did you guys meet and when did the link up musically begin?

We met backstage at Download in the UK some years ago. We started chatting music and immediately kind of bonded. I then began sending David songs in progress and he agreed to play on the first Johnny Wore Black single, All The Rage.

When you come to songwriting together, is it an even contribution or does David look towards the rhythmic side more?

It does vary per track. So far, on some David has sent riff ideas, like Firefly and on Gift of Desperation he sent a lyric, which I then developed. Writing is a very fluid process with no rules.jwbnew2-3-lo-res

There often seems to be a different kind of spark to songs you too have created together, not bigger or lesser than on other tracks, just strikingly different. What would you put that down to?

I suppose that’s just two minds rather than being the dominant decision maker however I’d be interested to ask you that question back and see what you feel is strikingly different about those tunes?

Tell us about the new album; is there a specific underlying theme to its lyrical explorations?

Each track has a different theme so really would need to answer this on a track-by-track basis. My lyrics explore people, the world and our continued need to understand.

How did the recording go; was it an all meet up situation or more technology driven coming together of the band for the album?

Some of the album was musicians in a studio, old skool style, and some via Skype and Dropbox. This was an international project via the USA, UK, Canada and Croatia.

Walking Underwater Pt 2 also features Croatian singer Sara Renar on the track Shine On and Loretta Heywood on a cover of her own track Winter in July. How did those guest appearances come about, especially with Loretta. Was she instantly open to you taking on her song?

Sara and I met on the set of Game of Thrones in Croatia some years back. We stayed in touch and I have followed her musical career. She has a unique quality to her voice I felt complimented Shine On, on the album. She was happy to contribute once she heard the song, and recorded her parts in a studio in Split, Croatia.

Now Walking Underwater Pt 2 is out there wooing the world, what is next in store for Johnny Wore Black, alter ego ha-ha, and band?

There is work to do, releasing singles and creating more music videos. We are having discussions about hitting the stage and seeking to break the back of the USA. Oh and by the way, another album is due next year, totally new material and bigger than Texas!

jwbnew2-hiresA big thank you for chatting with us again, any last thoughts you would like to share?

Just that I am truly grateful for your time and interest in Johnny Wore Black and thank you for providing a platform to help spread the gospel according to Johnny Wore Black.

And lastly I cannot go without asking about the film samples which graced the first album. Can you tell us about them and why you did not use them for the new release too?

The first ones were from a documentary my late father directed back in 1967 called The London Nobody Knows. The samples fitted the music, the songs and were a tribute to him. I will say, we are currently in discussion about producing The London Nobody Knows Revisited to mark its anniversary. I liked the idea of samples a-la-Floyd to be part of Walking Underwater Pt2 but decided to just focus on the songs.

Read the review of Walking Underwater Pt2 @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/johnny-wore-black-walking-underwater-pt-2/

http://www.johnnyworeblack.com

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 05/12/2014

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