Black Space Riders – Beyond Refugeeum

Pressefoto BEYOND REFUGEEUM EP_RingMasterReview

It is hard to say whether Beyond Refugeeum, the new EP from space rockers Black Space Riders, is an epilogue, continuation, or parallel entity to the band’s acclaimed fourth album, Refugeeum of 2015. In varying ways it is all of those identities whilst providing a mouth-watering and spirit rousing proposal from the ever captivating imagination of the German outfit offering four new tracks to tempt with a couple of remixes.

The quartet of original recordings making their first appearance upon Beyond Refugeeum, are songs which the band deliberately kept back from Refugeeum to release separately; tracks which according to vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist JE, are “unlike what you might expect from this band. But you can still tell that it comes logically and quite unmistakably from the Black Space Riders. The songs are exalted, sometimes overwrought, vivid, and yet accessible. Much has happened in Europe and in the world since these songs were written at the end of 2014 and recorded in early 2015, but they seem to be even more contemporary and necessary than ever.

As soon as first track Willkommen engages and embraces ears, it is easy to understand his suggestion. The EP is straight away recognisably Black Space Riders invention but moving in different circles of ideas and fresh directions, and increasingly so across the release. The opener is an instrumental which starts with a gentle intent and touch, guitars coming in one by one with bass and percussion close behind. Each element has a melodic and rhythmic restraint but a provocative essence which brews and grows across the six minute encounter. Spatial yet increasingly aggressive and intimate, the track is like a psychedelic nebula, drawing in denser sounds and energy until creating its own dramatic world, or in this case an intensity fuelled sonic climax.

16_01_04 ep_beyond_refugeeum_cd-digisleeve_RingMasterReviewThe following Freedom At First Sight sees the band venture into a more nostalgic field of inspiration, post and gothic punk with new wave hues enthrallingly flavouring its magnetic presence. The vocals have a dour tone and melodies a colder air to match the ambience of the otherwise rousing roar of the song. In many ways like a mix of Sisters Of Mercy, Killing Joke, and Joy Division, it is glorious with a closing crescendo of voice and sound to get lustful for. Across their releases, Black Space Riders have created some memorable and irresistible proposals but this track might just eclipse them all.

Droneland grumbles into view next, its sonic breath a grouchy nagging which is soon accompanied and overwhelmed by the magnetic light of synths, though an underlying shadow still lingers as the track blossoms a mesmeric flight over shamanic rhythms.  The attitude loaded lure of bass adds another irresistible hue, as too the grainy vocals which soon breed great spirit-raising harmonies. Once hitting its full height, weight, and stride, the track is a forcibly rousing incitement again revealing new shades of colour and imagination to the creative palette of the band.

Just as fascinating and thrilling is Starglue Sniffer, a pulsating slice of funk rock with spatters of excitable melodic and sonic temptation across a flirtatious bass lure and exotic rhythms. The falsetto hue of the vocals catch ears by surprise whilst only pleasing though it is the thumping dynamics and almost rebellious textures of the song, as well as sultry grooves, which steal the passions most. Becoming more irritable and volatile with every passing breath, the track snarls and flirts with sublime effect, to join its predecessors in leaving ears and appetite greedy for more.

Completed by VRTX RMX, an atmospherically invasive yet alluringly droning remix of their last album’s opener Vortex Sun, and finally Gravitation, the electro club remix of the band’s Give Gravitation to the People, a song on D:REI the band’s debut album, Beyond Refugeeum is an unmissable treat for fans and newcomers. The final two tracks make great listening but it is the new songs which grab all the eager plaudits whilst revealing an array of new pastures we can only hope the band explore further. We loved the previous Black Space Riders releases, but Beyond Refugeeum might just be our favourite moment yet.

The Beyond Refugeeum EP is out now via Black Space Records on 12” vinyl, CD, and digitally@ https://blackspaceriders.bandcamp.com/

http://www.blackspaceriders.com   https://www.facebook.com/BlackSpaceRiders

Pete RingMaster 16/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Peter M. Smith – Speak No Evil

Smith _RingMasterReview

Having earned eager praise and success with a cover of Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart with JD Kelleher in the Irish rock charts, a track released to raise awareness in the lead up to Ireland’s “Yes Vote” for Marriage Equality, and with the song for the Requiem (For Fighting) on the Ireland Laid Bare compilation album, Peter M. Smith is firing up his own moment in the spotlight with new single Speak No Evil. It is a rousing and commandingly infectious proposition which suggests that the Dublin hailing singer/writer’s moment with be no fleeting period.

Taking inspirations ranging from Thin Lizzy to Lenny Kravitz into his tenacious songwriting and sound, Smith caught the attention of Lonely Child Records to whom he recently signed, no doubt helped by his already mentioned successes that has had the Irish rock scene offering eager support. Now it is Speak No Evil providing the fresh nudge on attention, a song which manages to sound boldly familiar yet similarly openly fresh and individual to Smith.

A great bassline opens up the song, its punkish tone contrasted by the sultry guitar flirting away in the background. Thick beats add to the ears and imagination sparking start, successful bait only elevated by the first showing of Smith’s vocals and the infectiousness brewing up in the already gripping proposal. As he vocally swings with the opening verse, there is a Huey Lewis meets Halls & Oates feel to the song, that strong lure soon boiling into a hard/classic rock roar for the easy to get involved in chorus.

The track continues to romp and incite participation, its tenacious rock ‘n’ roll a spark for feet and voice whilst heavily suggesting Smith is someone ears want to hear plenty more of. With recent successful shows in the UK alongside The Jokers and Emma Stevens, signing with his new label, and now the release of Speak No Evil, 2016 is looking like a big year where many more will be enjoyably discovering Peter M. Smith.

Speak No Evil is available now via iTunes.

http://www.petermsmithofficial.com/   https://www.facebook.com/petersmithsings   http://www.twitter.com/petersmithsings

Pete RingMaster 06/04/2o16

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Antigone Project – From Its Room

Antigone Project _RingMasterReview

Hailing from the creative belly of Paris, Antigone Project made a potent first impression with their self-titled EP late 2014; a debut which has only strengthened its persuasion over time and listens. It was stirring and eventful tempting, a fusion of provocative flavours which has been lifted to a whole new plateau with its successor, the From Its Room EP.

Embracing the emotive qualities of post and progressive rock in electronic and guitar conjured soundscapes whilst equally drawing on the eighties inspired post punk /synth rock essences which marked its predecessor, the EP is a bolder and more immersive adventure exploring persistently evolving and evocative rock landscapes within tempestuous sonic climates. The leap in creative maturity and indeed experimentation between releases and their individual characters is as open as the wealth of textures woven into the EP’s six striking tracks, and as thoroughly enjoyable as that first offering was, From Its Room simply leaves it in its shadow.

Antigone Project is the brainchild of vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist /songwriter Frédéric Benmussa and a project initially intended as a solo venture. Formed in 2002, the band expanded over time with bassist Manu Ventre and drummer Fred Monaco alongside Benmussa upon the latest encounter. Inspirations to the band includes the likes of Pink Floyd, Depeche Mode, Radiohead, Joy Division, Tool, and numerous more, spices which were an open spicing within that first release but far less prominent in the unique proposal of From Its Room.

art_RingMasterReviewThe EP opens with First Rush, an immediately provocative mist of keys and sonic suggestiveness surrounding the senses as the song simultaneously brews up a dramatic and tempestuous climate. Benmussa’s soaring tones soon launch across the brooding canvas, his alluringly harmonies entwining with the floating wash of keys. Both powerfully draw ears as riffs and rhythms brew up within them, the imagination firing intro leading the listener to the following creative theatre of The Black Widow. Tangy hooks and sultry surf rock bred grooves engage ears and appetite straight away as the song’s sinister but seriously alluring character blossoms. As Benmussa’s voice brings another beguiling texture into play, the track’s exotic mystique and post punk charm enjoyably increases, addictive rhythms courting the surrounding adventure cast by guitar and keys. The track is stunning, an early favourite and highlight of the EP which alone shows the new diversity of sound and creative boldness soaking the release.

A live version of Trismus comes next, the band opening with grungy guitars as gothic hued keys rise up around them and the darker lure of the bass. Earlier Radiohead was mentioned as an inspiration to the band and here there is no escaping their scent as again a sweltering sonic colouring with surf/psych rock shading escapes guitars and harmonies as cinematic drama and haunting essences collude. It is a beguiling, imagination igniting immersion of the senses and thoughts, soon matched in creative endeavour by the following Sphere.

In three parts but meant as one musical movement, it begins with MoonSphere where gothic toned keys enclose ears as poetic melodies slip from the acoustic prowess of Benmussa, both expanding their temptation with an array of warm and imposing textures as vocals and rhythms bring their contrasting elements. There is a touch of The Cure and The The to the song, that previously mentioned eighties feel showing itself in a song seemingly as much Nine Inch Nails spiced. The track’s infectious union of shadows and melodic persuasion, a dark and light side, leads into the rousing revelry of VenuSphere. Straight away the track erupts, bounding along with tenacious rhythms aligned to a just as frenetic sonic and melodic resourcefulness. Inescapably though, it is still bred from the same emotional heart as its predecessor even when involving ears in its salacious temptress like festivity. Again a skilful collusion of contrasting shades and textures, this time honed into a virulent spirit arousing canter of electro rock/pop, the track sets flows straight in the final movement in the piece, PerfectSphere.

A darkly shadowed and almost portentous coaxing of ears and imagination, its riveting theatre and emotive tapestry of sound beguiles as it inflames and though as the other two, the song does work as a single proposal, Sphere has to be played as one whole flight of sound to ensure the fall through its cinematic and fascinating depths are felt to the full.

From Its Room is a thrilling new experience with Antigone Project; as suggested a major step on from their certainly impressing debut but one still seemingly like it is only part of the way towards something bigger and bolder, of which anticipation is already brewing.

The From Its Room EP is out now digitally through iTunes and on Ltd Edition vinyl via Season Of Mist @ http://shop.season-of-mist.com/vinyl/antigone-project-from-its-room-lp

https://www.facebook.com/antigoneproject    https://twitter.com/projectantigone

Pete RingMaster 05/04/2016

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Horse Party – Horizons

Pic by Jeff Higgott

Pic by Jeff Higgott

Regular readers to The RingMaster Review will know we have enjoyed an on-going affair between ears and music with UK trio Horse Party ever since they emerged in 2012 and unveiled their first pair of songs in Clarion Call and Back To Mono.  Since then, as their sound and imagination has grown and evolved, each single, EP, and indeed debut album, Cover Your Eyes, has bred a lustier and greedier appetite for their post punk/indie rock seeded adventures. Now the Bury St Edmunds hailing band has a new album to excite and draw spotlights their way, and in Horizons, one suspects and hopes, the key to deserved major attention.

Horizons is a compilation of sorts; a collection of the tracks released by the band across 2015 through EPs and singles. For fans there is the added bonus of a previously unreleased track and for newcomers, Horizons is an A-Z to why Horse Party is for so many British rock ‘n’ roll at its inspiringly majestic best. Released via R*E*P*E*A*T Records, the album is a kaleidoscope of the imagination and dark yet vibrant sounds which the threesome of vocalist/guitarist Ellie Langley, vocalist/guitarist/bassist Seymour Quigley and drummer Shannon Hope weave into their songwriting and acclaimed live shows. The fact that the tracks are laid out in release order also reveals the growth in the band’s sound over the past twelve to eighteen months alone.

It opens with the two tracks which started 2015 off in major style as a 7” vinyl single. Out Of Sight is first and instantly entices ears with a dour yet flirtatious bass riff. From its first breath, the outstanding song prowls ears and imagination, a predacious air to bass and guitar leading the seduction as beats crisply land around the just as swiftly alluring voice of Langley. Though it broadens its expression and melodic touch, the song never loses its darkly hued and persistent beckoning, even as rawer rock flames accompany the new zeal and energy fuelling the vocals. With psych rock lighting adding to the potency, the track is inescapable anthemic rock ‘n’ roll which is quickly more than matched by Receiver.

The second track shows a fleeter foot in energy and rhythms, almost bounding into view as riffs jangle and entice around the just as thickly coaxing vocals of Quigley. A delicious nagging seeded in post punk and punk with a slither of noise rock to it, the song dances around the senses, only increasing its tempting as transfixing harmonies expose lust in an already eager appetite and hooks toy with an alternation of slim and inflamed bait. Like a mix of like Au Pairs, Joy Division, and Morningwood, the track is simply irresistible.

album cover by Kate Wood

album cover by Kate Wood

What I’d Do steps forward next, its strolling gait and intensity another reserved but vibrant beckoning with emotive hues lining voice and melodic enterprise. The steely tone of bass holds ears tight from within the hazy but openly textured song, its dark touches courting the melancholically evocative tones of Langley as well as the more sultry strains of guitar. A slice of psych/rock pop, the song has a Forever Still meets Stevie Nicks air to it, and easily casts its spell on attention before Horizons shares it’s more relaxed but no less provocative presence. Quigley again takes the vocal lead, his potent presence nestling compellingly within a landscape which uncages moments of tempestuous energy and sonic voracity. There is surprisingly a touch of The Housemartins to the song and indeed a whiff of Paul Heaton to Quigley’s expression though once more what emerges is a song as distinct to Horse Party as their name.

A brand new song in the shape of For All I Know follows and swiftly has ears engrossed and enjoyment stirred as a solemn mix of guitar and bass suggestiveness wraps the equally mellow vocals of Langley and the magnetic rhythmic enticement of Hope. It is another with fire in its belly though that is held in check for the main even with the thick nudges of Hope’s swings, the drummer as shown throughout the album, able to create anthemic incitement without disrupting the emotive flights of songs.

A hypnotic nagging steers Paydirt into ears next, its persistent jab of beats colluding with scuzz kissed riffs as minimalistic but potent grooves flirt. In full swing, the track is a bracing proposition which sonically sizzles whilst in its more mellow moments it is monotone sculpted romancing of the senses, and throughout, an addictive breath-taking stroll cast in dark emotions and predatory shadows. It just lights up air and ears, melancholy lined vocals a single seduction among many shared by the song before Animal similarly provides a rousing and compelling experience. As Langley’s almost challenging tones align with choppy rhythms, the track enforces quick submission to its expanding lures. Everything about the song provokes with aggressive intent yet only flirtation is felt as Hope harries and bass and guitars stalk and erupt. That tempting is especially arousing in the passage of surf rock seduction which has body and thoughts aflame in a moment, as echoed by the lyrics, which is like the glorious eye of an equally thrilling storm.

The acoustic hug of the darkly lit and captivating October enchants next, Langley alone and in vocal union with Quigley mesmeric within the blues expressed guitar before Money Talks saunters in on a scuzzy lure of riffs. Gentle slithers of guitar and catchy beats align with the initial tenacious draw and subsequently the siren-esque call of the vocals, it all finding extra drama in the occasional bursts of intensity which punctures the highly infectious persuasion.

Essences of noise rock and new wave creep into Rocket Science next; its canter a lively enticing within post punk shadows and blues lit sonic suggestiveness. Predictability is never an element within a Horse Party song, a point tenaciously shown here as volatile textures and energies engage with the outstanding encounter’s absorbing and seductive serenade.

Smouldering surf rock inspired melodies shape the beauty of Looking For Life next, the song an elegant and radiant shimmer of melodies and harmonies around resonating rhythms. It is a bewitchment of ears, a sonic smooching of the senses and quite delicious epitomising of another quality in the Horse Party creativity, that every listen just makes a song more compelling and impressive.

The emotive soothing of Howling At The Sun surrounds the imagination next, the twin vocal seducing as rich and dramatic as the brooding atmosphere and sounds around them whilst Gratitude Falling brings the album to a spellbinding close with its evolving tapestry of beguiling sound. From a single melody, the track courts a thick growl of bass and a sharp guitar jangle, going onto breed scuzzy expulsions of tempestuous sound whilst all the while Langley grips ears with her narrative and magnetic tones.

Horizons is simply one of the year’s musts; an essential invitation not only into the creative arms and charms of Horse Party but to one of the new breed destined to inspire the future of British rock ahead.

Horizons is released on download and CD on April 1st via R*E*P*E*A*T Records and @ http://horsepartyparty.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/horsepartyparty    https://twitter.com/horsepartyparty

Pete RingMaster 22/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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SPInnERS – Ghost

cover_RingMasterReview

SPInnERS are no strangers to the Greek underground scene but probably, as for us, an unknown quantity and indeed name further afield. With a push and an introduction here and there, that might change in the near future especially as more and more catch on to the band’s new album, Ghost. The nine track proposition is a ripe tapestry of flavours; from punk to grunge, post punk to indie rock, and plenty more, it is all infused into a raw and compelling, uncompromising and fascinating trespass on ears and imagination.

The Athens based band actually started back in 2008, making a swift impact with only their third live show coming as support to Dinosaur Jr in their home city. A three year hiatus swiftly followed though, before they returned and released debut album Everybody needs a lie in 2011. A self-titled successor lured greater attention with its release two years later, leading to a mini Balkan tour across Greece, Serbia, and the Macedonian city of Skopje. Now with the recently released Ghost sparking broader attention, the trio of vocalist/guitarist Panos, drummer Chris, and bassist Tommy O who joined the band following the departure of Vad who played on the latest album, are poised to become an eagerly talked of name on a broader expanse of lips.

First track upon Ghost is Unspoken Words and fair to say that within seconds its twisted lure of hooks and spiky grooves has ears attentive as tenacious rhythms drop agitated yet anthemic bait around them. With the plaintive nature of the vocals and indeed the melodic acidity which veins the encounter on top, the track quickly grows into a heftily alluring slice of sonic and emotive discord. It is bracing, leaning on the side of concussive and virulently gripping stuff sparking the album to a great start.

The following Same keeps ears and emotions similarly enthused; its abrasive but inviting body again speared by a potent line in imposing beats around a grouchily magnetic bassline. The vocals of Panos emotively and harmonically match the tempestuous sounds around it, flavours which unite in a post hardcore meets noise infused punk rock exploration of the senses.

The album’s title track steps forward next, its dissonant bellow carrying a more heavy rock/ grunge essence to its character whilst colluding with post punk/noise rock imagination. In many ways there is a great feel of seventies bands like Artery and The Membranes to the track, magnetic essences which continue to emerge as the likes of My dreams are dead and Mental Detox crawl over the senses. The first, from a yawning scraping of guitar string, slips into captivating sonic smog of thorny aggravation littered with addictive hooks and an almost barbarously persuasive swing whilst the second colours its matching rapacity in sound and attitude with warmer flowing melodies and group vocal roars. It too, is a song that is more an aggressor than seducer but the latter is what it emerges as for ears with its web of spicy grooves, throatily coaxing basslines, and fiercely involving rhythms.

Ghost hits its pinnacle over the next pair of songs, starting with Sick of You. A blend of old school punk and garage/noise rock, the track is irresistible as it plunders the passions with jangling lures and searing hooks, not forgetting more impossible to resist rhythmic tempting. Its triumph is emulated in Additional Expectations, another seemingly inspired by the post punk imagination of a Joy Division or Clock DVA but, as its predecessor, also sharing the infectious prowess of bands like fellow Greeks, Three Way Plane.

(The Apparition) provides a haunting breeze of melancholic sound around a poem performed by Julian Glover next, a track wrong-footing the listener but enticing the imagination before Wish me Well brings the album to a potent close with its thick tapestry of numerous styles and flavours previously mentioned in its own fresh and pleasing narrative. Arguably the most involved and unpredictable track on Ghost, and all songs defy the satisfying of expectations, the Bauhaus-esque song leaves a lingering impression and rich enjoyment as well as a want to explore the album all over again.

SPInnERS are nudging on greater and increasing attention outside of their homeland; a success if not now they will surely earn at some point with offerings like Ghost.

For more info on SPInnERS and Ghost check out https://www.facebook.com/SPInnERS-athensgr-180374258675694 and  https://spinnersathens.bandcamp.com/

SPInnERS Ghost Tour Dates;

Friday 18/3 Salonica (ypogeio) GREECE

Saturday 19/3 Kumanovo (cafe agora) F.Y.R.O.M

Sunday 20/3 Kraljevo SERBIA

Tuesday 22/3 Smederevska Palanka (Balkan rock club) SERBIA

Wednesday 23/3 Niksic (nk club) MONTENEGRO

Thursday 24/3 Podgorica (Montenegro pub) MONTENEGRO

Friday 25/3 Kosovska Mitrovica (Soho)

Saturday 26/3 Krusevac (club zamajac) SERBIA

Pete RingMaster 08/03/2016

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Practical Lovers – Agony

 

Practical Lovers_RingMaster Review

Glorious is the only word for Agony, the debut album from UK synth pop duo Practical Lovers. It might be soaked in melancholy, be the outpouring of frustration and torment bred by lost and unrequited love, but the album is simply a majestic tapestry of skilfully cultured shadows and the beauty lying within all emotions.

The band is the union of singer songwriter Jack Wiles and his long-term musical partner Mark Connell. Originally it was intended as a solo project for Wiles with a collection of songs written “in an attempt to vent some of his frustrations with love in the 21st Century.” After introducing the idea and songs to Connell, the pair creatively united and stepped forwards as Practical Lovers, this around late 2010. The band signed with Nottingham based label I’m Not From London Records the following year, releasing a couple of singles over the next three whilst earning a rich reputation for their live performances. Now they unveil their eagerly awaited debut album, a stirring incitement of vintage synths and analogue drum machines bound in nostalgic radiance, heavy and seductive emotions, and compelling enterprise.

artwork_RingMaster Review    Every track within Agony is a love song; the dark side of and fallout from inspired explorations for sure, but all seeded in love. They come with an intimacy which feels like they are echoes of their creator’s heart and experiences and makes it easy to emotionally connect with, whilst each is presented within sounds which are as infectious and hopeful as they are similarly solemn to their lyrical pleas. From the opener band and release has ears and imagination chained, and emotions basking in the pleasure given.

Put It Bluntly tempts ears with a few dark pulses of synths whilst brewing a more feisty lure in the background, that swiftly coming forward and blossoming on the strains of a deliciously grouchy bassline. The inescapable enticement of Wiles’ wonderful dour lined and magnetic tones soon adds another rich texture and hue to the already invasively infectious encounter. That element of nostalgia is often eighties spawned and here on offer is a Paul Haig meets New Order coaxing with a touch of Interpol to it, a mixture only adding to the thrilling virulence of the song.

The following Never Again brings some fiery guitar to ears, the fizzy texture invitingly colluding with poppy synths as Wiles and Connell avail an already greedy appetite of their individual prowess. The fevered stroll does not hang around, offering a bubbly simmer over two minutes of inimitable bait before Inside Job provides another diverse and fiercely captivating string to the bow of Agony. Like The The in league with The Smiths, with Wiles vocally as throughout the album creating a vocal presence somewhere between Morrissey and Ian Curtis, the song is a plaintive serenade, a vibrant croon which whips up ears and emotion within seconds and increasingly involves the listener with every passing second.

A similar hue glows within Full of You next, though the track again reveals a distinct character of its own as synths smoulder and caress with emotive expression. The mix of vocals, presumably from the two artists, adds another riveting texture, though it is Wiles and the Smiths blessed earthy elegance that seals the deal between lustful ears and song, an ardour just as eagerly given to the Joy Division coated Nobody There which follows and straight after that the post punk scented brilliance of The Work Around. Hints of Blancmange and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark emerge from within the outstanding track, and in many ways, having seen OMD live in their first days, there is a definite resemblance between the bands if not exactly in overall sound.

No Reply slips into the dark corners of its emotive heart next, that Joy Division suggestion again an easy offer as the track morosely yet enticingly prowls ears before its big success is eclipsed by the skittish energy and devilry of Restless. Think Fad Gadget meets early The Correspondents with Editors in tow and a clue to its irresistible endeavour is close to the mark whilst for Textbook Romance maybe John Foxx era Ultravox and early Cure is a good hint. To be honest, for all the references sparked, each track is a thrilling proposal unique to Practical Lovers, just enhanced by a great weave of recognisable colours, whilst the second of this pair also unveil its warm party on the senses with a hopefulness arguably not explored as fully elsewhere.

The album closes off with firstly the insatiable contagion of Falling Down and finally the melancholic serenade of Grave of Romance, a song impressing initially and just seducing the passions to greater effect over time. Both also provide another aspect to the multi-faceted sound of Agony, an album which is blossomed from some of the harshest and deepest felt emotions possible but is anything but agony to listen to.

Practical Lovers is one of the finds for our ears of 2015 and Agony one of its most thrilling and invigorating releases.

Agony is released November 27th digitally and on limited edition cassette tape through I’m Not From London Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/agony/id1051440048

https://www.facebook.com/Practicallovers

Pete RingMaster 27/11/2015

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Slow Riot – Cathedral

 

artwork_RingMaster Review

Eighties inspired post punk is seemingly on a surge right now, its seeds being blossomed into varied but distinctive incitements of sound and imagination echoing the genre’s origins. One such band making one of the most compelling persuasions is Irish band Slow Riot, a trio from Limerick who recently released an irresistible dark beauty in the shape of the Cathedral EP. The four track release is an evocation of shadows and solemn emotions cast in a creative calling on the imagination, but one equally bred with epic overtones and an emotive intimacy reflective of something found within its title’s landscape.

Formed in 2013, the threesome of vocalist/bassist Niall Clancy, drummer Paul Cosgrave, and guitarist Aaron Duff recorded Cathedral with producer Kevin Vanbergen (The Pixies, The Maccabees, Dinosaur Pile-Up, The La’s, Biffy Clyro) at the Manic Street Preachers’ Faster studio in Cardiff; additional assistance coming from in-house engineer Loz Williams and the Manics’ James Dean Bradfield through the offering of use of equipment and instruments. From the off the release stirs the senses and imagination but equally the physical body is also gripped by the forcibly rousing prowess and thick insistence of sound.

SR_RingMaster Review   The EP opens with the band’s new single Demons, the lone beats of Cosgrave luring in attention and appetite with an anthemic coaxing. The melancholic charm of Duff’s guitar is soon involving an emotive melody too, it laying evocatively over the persistent arousal of rhythms now also equipped with the solemn resonance of Clancy’s bass. His dour yet alluring vocals are close behind as the song brews more of a Joy Division meets Interpol like croon for a formidable captivation only enhanced by a more fiery nature emerging in the guitar and a flowing crystalline elegance spread by keys. Each element evolves new hues to the slim but varied layers as the track continues, it all building up into a strongly potent beginning to Cathedral.

It is a start for personal tastes quickly eclipsed by the next pair of songs though, City Of Culture the first up. A great scuzzy mix of guitar and bass aligned to boisterous beats sets song and ears off in eager union, a sparkling melody soon adding to the enticement as Clancy’s vocals’ twist around on the riveting web spun by all the already contagious elements. There is a touch of The Sound to the song but more so bands like Scars and Crispy Ambulance with the discordant clang of The Fire Engines in there for good measure. Ultimately though, these are spices only bolstering a virulent tempting unique to Slow Riot.

Just as stunning is the following Adele, a transfixing slice of dark balladry becoming increasingly infectious and addictive as sonic seduction merges with repetitious mastery around the thick potency of the vocals. A revolving incitement set somewhere between My Bloody Valentine, The Slow Readers Club, and Artery, the glorious track reveals not only more of the craft in songwriting and delivery of the band but also the depth of their sound’s imagination and diversity.

Cooper’s Dream brews a character more similar to the Joy Division-esque embrace of Demons, but again outshines the excellent start to the EP with its individual weave of sonic expression, haunting lingering hooks, and a just as enjoyably galvanic rhythmic recruitment of eager involvement. As the EP, the track worms under the skin, infects the psych leaving ingrained lures and rapture in its wake to ensure a perpetual return to its nest of climatic builds and roaring crescendos bound in melancholy entwined restraints is always a lively intent.

The track provides a superb end to a superb release, a full introduction to Slow Riot sowing the seeds to thick anticipation of their next move and lusty enjoyment in their first.

The Cathedral EP is out now via Straight Lines Are Fine @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/cathedral-ep/id1007359990

https://www.facebook.com/slowriot.theband/       https://twitter.com/slow_riot_band

Pete RingMaster 25/11/2015

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