Two Skies – Feel

Two skies band pic 1

As mesmeric as it is provocatively shadowed, Feel the new single from UK rock band Two Skies, explores a soundscape which as immersive as it is, also shows a haunting almost sinister essence to its body. It is a mix which captures ears and imagination with consummate and intriguing ease, taking both on a flight of dark adventure soaked in melodic temptation. Certainly there is nothing overly aggressive and menacing about the song’s character but its emotions and climate are compellingly shadow bred.

Hailing from Sheffield, the trio of vocalist/guitarist Dan Cutts, bassist Jamie Cheetham, and drummer Oliver Harrap create a blend of alternative and psyche rock entangled in numerous other potent flavours. It is a sound which has been luring attention since the release of the track Quiet Stones in the final weeks of 2011. A couple of releases in 2012/2013 has similarly gained good responses whilst last year saw the band release the Red EP and a two track 7” vinyl encounter in the shape of Stay / Ocean. Each basked in the fusion of warm and light tones to rawer dark textures, some revealing a fresh predatory element entering the band’s already potent sound and songwriting.

a2232955837_16     Feel has a more seductive baiting to its tempestuous side this time around, its tenebrific breath a floating shadow within the sultry air of the song. A lure of keys makes the first welcome, opening the door for flames of guitar to enter and entice against the melancholic yet vibrant lure of bass, its lines and hooks reminiscent of Michael Dempsey in the early days of The Cure. The late seventies/eighties feel does not end there, the melodic enterprise captivating ears and thoughts offers a scent of Julian Cope to further spice up a swiftly impressing and bewitching song.

The psychedelic fuzziness and swarthier tone of rhythms and accompanying textures continue to merge and entwine across the song, its livelier essences an expansive flirtation for feet and ears whilst slower, more blues hued emotions firmly hold and work on thoughts. The song is a fascinating and thrilling affair, Two Skies’ finest evocative sculpting of sound and emotion yet, and easy to imagine being the wake-up call to much larger attention.

Feel is available from May 11th on download @ https://twoskies.bandcamp.com/album/feel-broken-hearts and on Ltd cassette via https://blakhandrecords.bandcamp.com/

http://www.twoskies.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/pages/Two-Skies/20306313311?fref=ts

UPCOMING LIVE DATES:

May 21 – Carsons, Middleton

May 30 – Opium 10, Barnsley supporting Blossoms

July 3 – Kraak, Manchester supporting The Cult of Dom Kellar

July 24 – Tramlines Festival, Sheffield

July 25 – Karma, Leeds

RingMaster 11/05/2015

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

 

Voyager – V

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Breath-taking and ravenously compelling, V the new album from Australian metallers Voyager, is one of those releases which just steals thoughts and emotions from the surrounding world, enslaving ears and imagination with no respite until its incitement is done. It is a powerful and intensive encounter, one demanding attention with a creative rabidity which fuels the thumping rhythms and raging riffs which sculpt the thirteen designs of the album. Equally though a mesmeric beauty radiates and shimmers with a kaleidoscope of sonic colour and melodic emotion across the release in riveting invention to consume everything from ears to passions. The album is a magnificent beast, which puts most other offerings in the shade.

As you can assume from its title, V is the fifth album from the Perth quintet and finds in our humble opinion their unique fusion of melodic and progressive metal with a wealth of other essences at its finest yet. Following the rigorously acclaimed The Meaning of I of 2011, the new album shows Voyager ascending to new heights not only in songwriting and sound but also in the way they texture and align every essence of a song into a flaming tempest which has the unbridled contagion of pop linked to an exploratory progressive imagination metal and locked into the predacious voracity of metal. Fan-funded via Kickstarter and recorded with producer Matt Templeman, V leaves similar genre clad bands in the starting blocks, though to be honest few if any come to mind as comparisons to the rich colour and sound of Voyager right now.

The release opens with its two singles from the album, and through the pair alone rapture and devotion for the release is virtually 654367989302 UPC-Vguaranteed. The new single Hyperventilating instantly soaks ears in an electro mist which is secretive of things ahead, though the wait to find out what is pending is mere seconds as djent bred vivacity strides through ears. The guitars of Scott Kay and Simone Dow prey on the senses right away as the rhythms of Ashley Doodkorte jab and puncture with just as intense voracity. Around them though it is the keytar seduction of Daniel Estrin which is mesmerising the imagination ready for his equally impressive vocals to charm and infest thoughts. Less than a minute in and the song is in full command; its earnest and dramatic stance magnetic whilst the climactic chorus is pure virulence. It is a gloriously anthemic merger of antagonism and seducing, dark and light, the bass snarl of Alex Canion, who also provides excellent backing vocals, a pronounced protagonist. Veined with an Eastern mystique well onto its adventure, the track is aural alchemy, an enslaving epidemic to which there are no cures.

The following Breaking Down continues the outstanding start. Featuring guest vocals from Daniel Tompkins (In Colour, Skyharbor, ex-TesseracT), the song from an orchestral caress launches into a fiery and enthralling blaze of heavy metal riffs, progressive enticement, and melodic expression. As it predecessor there is an uncaged hunger to the charge of the song but urgency cloaked in pungent emotive melodies and immersive enterprise which again isolates ears and mind from any outside interference. It is a monster of a song swiftly matched by A Beautiful Mistake which hosts another guest in UK born, Perth living vocalist Zemyna Kuliukas. A sinister gurning of sound opens up the song before again gnarly guitar endeavour casts their bait as the continuing to truly impress vocals of Estrin explores ears. Only three songs in and it is hard not to think the musician is providing his mightiest moment yet as a singer. There is a snarl and belligerence to the under belly of the song which is translated in the rhythms and jagged riffing, but under the elegance and evocative flames from vocals and keys it is just another rich texture to a delicious weave, within which Kuliukas potently shines.

The very brief rhythmic and atmospheric narrative of the excellent Fortune Favours The Blind leads into the just as imposingly dramatic and thrilling You, The Shallow, the track a rapacious predator cloaked in the robust hues of a blazing sunset which dance emotively over the senses. Thumping rhythms build a towering intimidating frame which the sonic drizzle and blistering enterprise of the guitars hangs absorbingly from, but it is again the ravenous almost savage agitation of the riffs and the exceptional vocal qualities which brings the deepest submission.

The diversity of the songs from each other also makes a mouth-watering tempting across the album, the roaring pop flames of Embrace The Limitless within a swirling pool of electronic light and the electro rock marauding of Orpheus straight away adding to the rich landscape of the album. The pair permeates every pore and synapse with their simultaneously raw and polished beauty before making away for another major pinnacle in nothing but mountainous highs. Domination Game is a warrior of a song, its sinews charged and rippling on the rhythms and battle hardened riffs which bring the track to bear on senses and imagination. Within their cage the vocals stalk and light thoughts with their own specific intent. It is a confrontation in many ways but one where the fire of passion and searing melodies temper any pungent emotion poised to unleash its venom. It is an outstanding slice of ingenuity with not for the first or last time, an eighties synth/indie pop breath within its metallic canvas.

The pair of Peacekeeper and It’s A Wonder impress instantly but take a little longer than other songs to reveal their full hypnotic beauty and toxicity, though there is no particular reason why it is so. The first of the two reminds in small ways of fellow Australians Circles as well as UAE band Absolace as it explores its deep emotional depths with a slow expansive wash of heart sculpted reflection whilst its successor stakes its narrative out on another raging surge of crushing rhythms and senses entangling riffs and bewitching grooves. The song is another stunning spike in an unrelenting line of pure brilliance across V, a track which casts its own unique epic tale of light and shadows within the triumphant broad narrative of the album. It has an unrelenting evolution to its premise too, a horde of styles and flavours unleashed so that as many songs, it feel so much bigger, longer, and lingering than the mere five minutes it needs to capture the passions.

The industrialised air of The Morning Light around a symphonically embracing melodic bathing of invention is followed by the brilliant piano and vocal incitement of Summer Always Comes Again. Poetic strings wrap the song in their evocative flourishes as the song grows into another major treat of the album. Estrin has been likened to Duran Duran’s Simon LeBon by Deftones’ Chino Moreno, which you can understand but here song and vocal style is sheer Julian Cope, both aspects a pleasing resemblance of the great arguably undervalued man. It makes the song glow as a piece, and that essence also seeps vibrantly into the closing metallic pop excellence of the closing Seasons Of Age. It is an inferno of pop majesty and metal causticity, combining for a final exceptional summit of a sensational album.

To be honest only ears not words can truly relay the quality and brilliance of V and everyone behind it, so a recommendation to go explore a definite album of the year contender just cannot be forceful enough. In fact you might as well give the title to Voyager now as it is going to take something very special to eclipse their triumph.

V is available now digitally and physically via Bandcamp at: http://voyager.bandcamp.com/

http://voyager-australia.com/

10/10

RingMaster 03/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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The Correspondents – Puppet Loosely Strung

 

The Correspondents pic

     …And the treats of 2014 just keep coming; in a year already endowed with some of the finest releases and debuts, Puppet Loosely Strung just might be the best of all so far. A masterful aural tapestry of sonic magnificence and unbridled imagination, the first album from UK band The Correspondents is simply stunning and quite irresistible. The creation of London based duo, producer Chucks and singer Mr Bruce, the album is a weave of intrigue, adventure, and diversity showing exactly why for the last few years the band has been drawing fevered attention and adoration for their live performances. Reaping the glories of everything from dance music to jazz, blues to electro and drum ‘n’ bass for a pop soaked exploration unique to themselves, The Correspondents is one of those bewitchments everyone needs in their lives.

    Mr Bruce and Chucks came together as The Correspondents in 2007, two South London artists taking as little as two years to find themselves playing main stages across numerous festivals. The years since their emergence has seen the band touring with the appetite of a hungry predator, small and large audiences constantly enthralled and enamoured by their invention driven sound and the band acclaimed as The Telegraph’s Top Ten Glastonbury Highlights two years in a row. With one EP, What’s Happened to Soho?, the only recorded offering until now, the band has impressively sparked a greedy appetite towards them, one which will soar as Puppet Loosely Strung seduces and provokes with its stunning radiance. Bringing in well-loved and established songs from their live set and a new breed of introspective emotive tracks, the release is the ultimate crossover album, one forging and sculpting a realm all of its very own and one sure to inspire hearts and numerous other upcoming bands.

     The self-produced, recorded, and released Puppet Loosely Strung, digs deep in the heart of its recipients from the first song The Correspondents - Puppet Loosely Strungand never relinquishes its seduction thereafter. Opener What Did I Do? initially croons the ears, the exceptional voice of Mr Bruce serenading thoughts as keys caress his presence before beats add their mildly skittish suasion to the emerging stroll. Within seconds the track is a full captivation turning into a virulent lure as its unpredictable and mischievous enterprise skirts the reflective grace of the vocals. It is a delicious sway of ingenious sound and loving imagination which whirls senses and thoughts around like an evocative carousel of thoughtful temptation.

     The striking start is soon taken to another plateau with the first single from the album, Fear And Delight. A dramatic shadowed coaxing of keys makes a mysterious entrance which moves into a feisty romp of indie rock and electronic temptation. If the first track was virulent, the second song is an epidemic, infectiousness rampaging with lustful energy and sound as the pair merge dub into drum and bass with a ska kissed melodic ingenuity. Not for the last time The Correspondents remind of little known and even quicker forgotten eighties band Zanti Misfits, the swing and quirky balance of the track the spark for thoughts. The song is pure musical alchemy, a classic stomp with irresistibly lingering bait which the rest of the album has to try and make you forget, which it soon manages with the next up Give You Better. The song lyrically is almost the warped mirror image/alternative guise to the plaintive narrative of its predecessor, even emerging from the same melodic stroke before casting is own personal persuasion. Once again the keys paint a dark drama to proceedings before the vibrant and magnetic saunter of the song brings a tempering light to the blues pleading hues of the song. As the previous tracks the urge to join in with limbs and voice to the creative trespass of the passions is impossible to resist, the already broad grin on the face and imagination now connecting ears.

    The seductive shuffle of Kind Of Love next licks temptingly over the senses, its jazz bred almost easy listening leaning call leading the senses into an electronic elegance before the instrumental skit of In The Meantime brings a cinematically emotive breather to the dance of the release. It’s enjoyable if slightly underwhelming presence in the larger scheme of things is succeeded by Devil’s Lighthouse, a song which encloses the listener in a melody rich sonic exploration which simply brings another flush of ardour towards the album. Restrained yet brisk in its step, the track pushes shadows into the arms of warm ambition and hope for another pinnacle in the continuously lofty range of majesty.

   Both Well Measured Vice and The Last Time leave a spellbound state over ears and thoughts, the first another upbeat romp with provocative colour to its melodies and vocals playing within a rhythmic and pulsating courting. The song designs riveting adventures within its fluid waltz to easily transfix whilst its successor s offers the most potent seduction with its XTC like eccentricity and occasional Andy Partridge flavoured twist in the vocals. The song is one of the few happy to simply walk around the senses and coat them with a thick breeze of varied inventive whispers before making way for the dance floor spawned Back Again. Even if missing the benchmark set, the track is another drawing a mesmeric rapture which simply draws you in without reserve, its rhythmic tantalising as potent as its melodic fascination.

    The album’s title track lays a haunted ambience around the imagination as the song and Mr Bruce explain their feelings and thoughts respectively, the song a smouldering and sultry flight into observational and inward reflection to which the keys place compelling embers and imagination shaping sparks. The enchanting journey is matched and surpassed by the latest single, the brilliant Alarm Call. Released with a video to raise awareness and funds for The Epilepsy Society, there is a definite Julian Cope feel to the song vocally, emotionally, and exploratory; it’s pulsating contagion aligned to evocative textures and thoughts pure addictiveness.

     Closing with Some Nights, another impossible catchy and passion securing musical rap of peerless prowess and excited imagination, Puppet Loosely Strung is just sensational. It is a quite brilliant investigation of lost loves, dark relationships, and shadowed reflections all wrapped up in one of the most extraordinary sirenesque designs of sound and spirit. The Correspondents is our new lust and we suggest you make them yours too.

https://www.facebook.com/TheCorrespondents

10/10

RingMaster 10/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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Father Murphy – Pain Is On Our Side Now

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     It is fairly safe ground to state that Father Murphy and new release Pain Is On Our Side Now is not going to be for everyone whilst plenty of those brave enough to completely immerse in its scalding sonic explorations will need therapy of some descript right after. The band has consistently transfixed ears and psyche with challenging, at times uncomfortable, provocations but their new incitement disorientates and consumes the listener in their most hellacious nightmare yet. Released via Aagoo Records/Boring Machines and coming in two single-sided 10” vinyl incitements containing two movements intended for simultaneous play, Pain Is On Our Side Now is beauteous mental and sonic bedlam, Receiving a digital promo for the release meant we could only experience the four tracks consecutively and that was startling, intimidating, and haunting enough so playing the tracks in the way intended maybe having a psychiatrist on speed dial would be a good pre-plan.

      Consisting of Freddie Murphy, Chiara Lee, and Vittorio Demarin, the Venice born Father Murphy have released a trio of albums with numerous EPs and limited releases alongside which started with a debut album crafting twisted psychedelic pop. Their sound has evolved across each subsequent release, their 2008 second full-length And He Told Us To Turn To The Sun exploring a concept of heresy and a darker predacious sound. Gaining praise on both sides of the pond from an acclaiming media and fans such as Julian Cope, Deerhoof, and Michael Gira, the trio has constantly pushed their and our imagination and shadows. Pain Is On Our Side Now follows acclaimed 2012 album Anyway, Your Children Will Deny It, and a remix album titled Father Murphy: Heretical Review which featured interpretations of tracks on its predecessor from artists such as Black Dice, Philippe Petit, Sic Alps, Indian Jewelry, Thulebasen and E.M.A. Like its predecessor, the EP was recorded and produced by Greg Saunier from Deerhoof, and with its concept of failure guiding its tortuous ingenuity, makes for a frightening but thoroughly captivating violation.

     Opening track Let The Wrong Rise With You is a hell bred snarling beast of an incitement, a sonic predator with slavering -3noise sculpted jaws and deviously deceptive intent. A slow stalking yet voraciously breathing mix of industrial like scarring and psychedelic ambient seared with melodic cinders, the piece envelops the senses and emotions, its dawning and slowly towering presence revealing the bowels of hell and the beauty of submission. A mid-way calm or rather respite is the doorway into an even stronger haunt, choral breezes soaked in discord flirting within the dank once hallowed now corrupted jowls of the song’s cinematic intent. You almost feel the band has missed its time in a way as they would have made the perfect complement and antagonist to the films of Dario Argento.

     The first song on the second disc is They Will All Fail You, which played together with the opener creates a new disturbance under the name Let Them All Fail With You. Violence is soon followed by a discordant drone and sampled female vocals/shouts/cries. It reaps the darkest nightmarish possibilities but with a restraint which threatens and plagues the imagination whilst allowing some sense of escape. That is until the demonic beats and a howling sonic slow ravishment emerges to deepen the mental mire. You can only imagine the result of the combination of songs without the physical forms to toy with but it certainly does not promise to be healthy but you suspect will be enthrallingly invigorating.

     The second pairing sees Bones Got Dry and Despite All The Grief laying upon each other for Grieving for our Bones. The first of the two is a rasping, ground dwelling pestilential sonic scraping of the senses with a heightened drama to its walls and climate. It is a chilling and cold fall into the darkest, blackest Gehenna which the second piece you can only see accentuating and deepening with its own pit spawned humming and heavy background malevolent drone.

     Pain Is On Our Side Now is a startling and insidious confrontation when taken as single tracks and you suspect must come with an intensity to leave whimpering a suitable response when combining those elements. Father Murphy is a band to devour and cower from, a proposition which can only do you harm and good, if you dare brave their invitations.

http://fathermurphy.blogspot.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/fathermurphyband

9/10

RingMaster 06/02/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.audioburger.com

Charlie Winston: Running Still

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    The opportunity to review the new single from British singer-songwriter Charlie Winston came up recently, a track which is easily one of the freshest dazzles of elevated pop to come along recently, but such its impressive heart and sound the urge to check out instead the recent album it came from burned brighter and what a rewarding decision it was. Running Still is exceptional, an eclectic feast of sounds and passion which ignites the heart.

France based Winston took to music at an early age, learning the drums at age eight, moving to the piano at ten, and within two years was writing his own songs. Growing up in a Suffolk hotel, which had a constant tide of itinerant artists, orchestras, actors, and thespians, added to his love and understanding of the performing arts so really it is no surprise his heart fuelled accomplished and imaginative creativity can openly be seen on his album. At seventeen he relocated to London to join brother, Tom Baxter, whilst studying music at Brunel. The next three years saw the pair playing in their band Baxter, with Winston on bass, and finding him writing and playing music for short films, dance productions, and TV adverts as well as producing and recording records with various artists. He continued to sing or play with many different bands on either bass, piano or percussion, whilst for the first time exploring the guitar.

In 2003 whilst recording bass on his brother’s album at Real World Studios, Winston was introduced to Peter Gabriel. Friends with his daughter, Winston eventfully decided to introduce his new EP to her father which led him to being signed to Real World Records, the label of Gabriel, for debut album Make Way, as well as supporting the man on his 2007 European tour. Moving to France next, Winston caught the attention of record label Atmosphériques, and through them linked up with to Mark Plati (David Bowie, The Cure, Louise Attaque) who produced his acclaimed second album Hobo. Released in 2009, the album topped the French charts and drew intense attention and responses in France and adjacent European areas though still back home he was and arguably still is an unknown, well until Running Free, via Real World Records, touches on the nation one suspects.

The album coaxes the listener in with opening guitar strokes and expressive vocals from Winston as first track Hello Alone gently AlbumArt_{8ECE16C4-E3E6-4B3E-81E4-2EB0AEA1118E}_Largesaunters into view. With shimmering sonics and a folk swagger, the song leads the ear and emotions into a mesmeric dance of heated brass, tingling keys, and excitable melodic sultriness. It is a compelling and glorious beginning which instantly raises the anticipation of what is to follow.

Immediately the flirty Speak to Me takes over, a mesh of big pulsating rhythmic seduction and semi-rapped vocals skirt the senses before engaging them in an enthralling unexpected big boned stomp. The track instantly reminds of Gabriel to be honest with additional elements of Talking Heads and though arguably it is an easy unchallenging composition for the listener it is nothing less than incitingly absorbing.

The previously mentioned single, Where Can I Buy Happiness?, ignites a furnace of pleasure and passion, its smouldering heat and sexiness a lure of the richest potency and fired elegance. It has a familiarity about it which is hard to pin point and certainly only adds to its triumph whilst its soulful plea connects with an inner understanding all can relate to. The quizzical bassline is exceptional and strolling within the glaze of emotive keys and again fine vocals adds to the compelling breath of a quite stunning song.

Already the diversity of the album is loud and continues throughout each subsequent track. The Great Conversation is a wonderful encounter of the dramatic, its weave of nostalgia and modern sensational. The song is a quirky English stroll through European classical intrigue complete with whispers of steampunk and totally delicious. The piano driven ballad She Went Quietly without sparking the passions of previous songs is a thoughtful evocative caress whilst Unlike Me is another tender amble across thoughts with its padding of rhythmic feet and mournful yet smiling strings, guitars, and harmonies.

The balmy soul of Until You’re Satisfied lifts the passions again to previous elevations, though they never ever dip into anything less than excitable at any point, before the southern blues soaked steamy encounter Wild Ones trips the light fantastic over the senses with steamy melodics and insatiable mischief. It is another major highlight which makes the perfect invitation and companion to another piano ballad in Making Yourself so Lonely, a song with a big breath and grander emotion.

Rockin’ in the Suburbs with its breathless excitement ,which transfers to and erupts within the listener, begins the closing straight for the album, the infectious and agitated rock n roll within its walls undemanding and generous with its rewards. Completed by the pop romp of Summertime Here All Year, a song with a touch of Julian Cope/Black about it, and a final emotive hug from Lift Me Gently, the magnificent Running Still is a lingering and continually returning treat which swirls around thoughts and memories long after its final kiss. If after its release Charlie Winston is still a mystery to the UK even the world at large, than something is seriously wrong.

http://www.charliewinston.com/

9/10

RingMaster 27/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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Arc and Stones: Self Titled EP

Arc and Stones 4

Bursting with incendiary melodies, towering rhythms, and a passion which could heat oceans, the self-titled debut from alternative rock band Arc & Stones is a startling and compelling drama of imagination and craft. It is one of those releases which leave a lasting impression alongside a greedy hunger for much more. Fusing the richest elements of indie and rock with flames of blues and soul, the EP just fires up the imagination and captivates the heart from start to finish even though it equally suggests there is still much more to come from the Brooklyn quartet.

Driven by the twenty year energies and passion of Dan Pellarin (lead vocals/ rhythm guitar/keys) and Ben Cramer (lead guitar/vocals) alongside the equally dynamic energies of Eddy Bayes (bass/vocals) and Joe Doino (drums), the band has in its short time already lit up stages at major venues such as the Bowery Electric, Arlene’s Grocery, the Red Lion and the Bitter End. Their rise is in a rapid ascent which this release is sure to accelerate and build upon the great reception to their first video for the track Silence, directed by Eddy Bayes, the song which opens up the EP.

Silence initially drifts through the ear with a sultry breath and shimmering melodic caress whilst the vocals of Pellarin tease and album final frontcoax emotions into the open heart of the song. Soon thumping rhythms join the affair as energies and emotions hit climactic highs. Into its stride the song has a familiar stance, which you can apply to the whole release, but brings it with a fresh and invigorating style which marks Arc and Stones as something different. Unleashing big melodies and an epic atmosphere the track is a thrilling and enthralling invitation to the band and their compelling sound, its bluesy whispers and soulful kisses within its perpetually tall walls of passion and sound irresistible.

After the tremendous start the band show their diversity with two slower even more emotive gems in firstly Say Goodbye and then Let Me Down. The first again has a familiarity which is immediate and pleasing but remains outside the realisation of who it resembles. In many ways you could call it a power balled, its feverish emotive zeal wrapped in again large melodic washes and rhythmic rampancy, though at times it also gently persuades with elegance and finesse musically and vocally. Its urgent exciting rush into its melancholic final lines just sets the passions alight to set one up for the following stroll of soul and beauty within Let Me Down. With an acoustic kiss and brewing powerful atmospheres, the song is a passional fire for the senses and thoughts. For personal tastes neither track finds the triumphant elevation of their predecessor and the songs to follow but still engage with a force which stays long after their departure.  Arc and Stones when rocking it with every ounce of energy they can muster is quite breathless but also when they lay their whole musical heart out is as magnetic as anyone.

The best track on the EP is She’s Mine, a song which from its sizzling blues opening evolves into a sensational and insatiable riot of rock n roll with a ruthless feisty groove and powerful infectious barbed hooks side by side with flames of melodic contagion. Recently we reviewed the re-release of St Julian by Julian Cope, an album and songs which burst with massive contagious hooks and melodic blazes, this song has the same anthemic grandeur and unbridled passion and too can be labelled classic.

The release closes with another energetic and agitated rhythmic splendour in the alluring shape of Rise. Less thunderous in tempo than the previous song but no less addictive and catchy, especially in its charged chorus and inflamed guitar solo, the track leaves a real appetite for more.

If there is any ‘flaw’ on the release it is that every song has as mentioned that familiar stance or lush spices found elsewhere but it is so rich in quality and inventive interpretation that to be fair it just adds to the enjoyment rather than diminishing it. There is no doubt Arc and Stones will evolve their own uniqueness in time and give us even more deep rooted pleasure to that found on this excellent debut.

www.arcandstones.com

www.facebook.com/independentmusicpromo

8/10

RingMaster 14/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

www.audioburger.com

 

Julian Cope: St Julian

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    Musically many great things have spawn from the city of Liverpool with some obviously making major impacts on the direction and life of music. One giant moment is often overlooked or under- appreciated though and that is the formation and subsequent demise of Crucial Three. The punk rock band was a swift breath in the history of UK music which left without posing any footprint in the dirt of rock or a live note explored in its six weeks of existence. What it did do was make the first step for three important figures to ignite their creative imagination. From its brief life came forth singer Ian McCulloch obviously to be famed with Echo & the Bunnymen, guitarist Pete Wylie who went on to make equally impressive sounds and flavours through the varied guises of Wah and his solo work, and the ‘genius’ Julian Cope. The future Teardrop Explodes frontman maybe a flawed genius but lyrically and musically deserves to be placed within those realms. Equally there will be as many who will offer the other extreme of opinion on the ‘eccentric’ artist but for those he ignites the passions of he is one of the true greats.

The re-release of his St Julian album in a deluxe edition triggers all the rapture and pleasure which was rife around the man at the time and through those heady Teardrop Explodes days of the late seventies. Bringing forth arguably his finest moment as a solo artist certainly commercially, complete with a second disc of B-sides and re-mixes which graced the singles from the album, the release is a potent reminder of the often puzzling but always dramatic imagination and intriguing talent of a man who turned pop rock into an art form, even if often it was not seemingly appreciated sadly.

From those fleeting moments at the very start Cope formed UH? and A Shallow Madness with McCulloch which led to a permanent rift and antagonistic relationship between the two when Cope sacked the latter from the group, and also Nova Mob with Wylie, all again short lived bands. 1978 saw the formation of The Teardrop Explodes with drummer Gary Dwyer, organist Paul Simpson and guitarist Mick Finkler. Cope was the principal songwriter and bassist with a vocal delivery which was as magnetic as it was striking. Two impressive albums and a clutch of acclaimed singles, including Reward which achieved their highest chart entry of 6, followed as did instability in line-up as well as an indulgence in drugs. Cope himself verged on teen idol from the enterprising and successful debut album Kilimanjaro but the band failed to replicate the same triumph with the darker and more expansive Wilder and after a failure to make a third album and a disastrous tour, they split in 1982. The following year Cope began working on his first solo album World Shut Your Mouth, a release which left fans satisfied but failed to spark great positivity from elsewhere though it contained songs which generally held the pop spark of the Teardrops releases whilst being something which seemed to expose personal depths and the struggles of Cope whilst attempting to clean himself up. The 1984 record failed to sell with any strong purpose as did its successor Fried which arrived six months later. It offered a rawer side of his creativity and something new but repeated the lack lustre performance of his first in drawing appreciation and sales outside of his core fan base. Its failure led to Cope being dropped by Mercury Records who had released both albums.

With a new manager Cally Callomon encouraging his final clean-up and a new image and attitude, Cope signed with Island Records UMG_CD_BOOK_SADDLE_JUL00.qxtand released in 1986 St Julian. With a line-up of guitarist Donald Ross Skinner, drummer Chris Whitten ( ex-The Waterboys), and bassist James Eller (ex- Teardrop Explodes) beside him, Cope emerged with a ‘rock god’ persona though even at the time there seemed a delicious tongue in cheek mischief to it all. The songs within the album were big hearted encounters with bulging rhythms, insatiable hooks, and a drama which was compelling. It is one of the classic pop records of the era and anyone who begs to differ should indulge in the rampaging energy and swagger of World Shut Your Mouth, the sultry and compelling elegance of Planet Ride, and the belligerent rock track Pulsar with its Stranglers like snarl all over again. Singles like the fiery Spacehopper, a track which was borne out of writing sessions with Ian McCulloch years earlier, and the pulsating Trampoline, as the album as a whole, stood tall and above the majority of the other now termed classic eighties pop tracks of the time without puzzlingly retaining the retrospective and deserved grand acclaim the rivals bask in.

In hindsight surveying the mass of work from the man since and his apparent and exploratory ‘drive’ to go against the grain and stretch the underground pleasures of sound and creativity, as well as the B-side tracks which supported the singles from St Julian, one wonders if Cope was truly comfortable in this period though with songs rich in his always dramatic and evocative lyrics and sounds which invigorate and thrill with intelligence and instinctive contagiousness, you could never tell. The second disc at times supports the thought with songs like the Celt folk rock voiced Disaster, the mesmeric Almost Beautiful with its ambient majesty , and the dirge toned post punk challenge Warwick The Kingmaker delving into other provocative areas of Cope’s songwriting and invention. A mention for the brilliant cover of the Pere Ubu track Non-Alignment Pact has to be made, the song a classic already given an equally towering breath from Cope to have the passions sparking.

The years and releases since has seen Cope rightfully not compromising in his artistic vision and invention whilst keeping to the shadows to produce music which has ebbed and flowed in stature but is always riveting. Real success has eluded him musically though one senses he is not bothered and is more at ease with his creative powers than in those earlier times. He has also carved out a big and probably more recognition soaked career as a writer of underground music critique/ exploration and on the wide investigative scope of Archaeology and antiquarianism. St Julian is his finest moment for a great many and as the tracks swoop like gods to rile up and split open the heart into rapture it is hard to disagree.

http://www.headheritage.co.uk/

10/10

RingMaster 04/02/2013

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