Vie Jester – All In Jest

It was around two years ago that L.A. trio Vie Jester grabbed ears and impressed with the Etches In Aether EP, a collection of multi-flavoured and imaginatively sculpted melodic/alternative rock bred songs. Recently drummer Cliff Conway got in touch to introduce the band’s latest offering, All In Jest, to our ears. Another EP sized clutch of songs, it was gratefully received especially once discovering the new adventure and maturity shaping the band’s sound and even more striking new offering.

As much as it left a greedy appetite for the Vie Jester sound, Etches In Aether is forcibly eclipsed by the exploits of All In Jest. Everything about the band has grown and matured with its five songs giving dramatic evidence within their skilfully woven episodes of enterprise and imagination. Magnetically melodic but with a snarl which may ebb and flow but always lurks to add greater depth, All In Jest is an inventive roar unafraid to lyrically take a bite at intimate and social issues.

It opens up with new single Please and one of the best starts to any release this year. The track is immense, rising from a calm but portentous melodic yawn into a muscular yet inviting spire of sonic nagging. The guitar of vocalist Kyle Guerrero needs mere seconds to tempt, his powerful vocal prowess just as swift in persuasion once gracing a song already revealing an unpredictable and adventurous body. Vocally backed by both Conway and bassist Jaime Salas with matching potency, Guerrero’s niggly citric tendrils addictively persist though stepping back nicely at times as the track blossoms from one twist and idea to another with increasing magnetism.

It is a magnificent start which hints at bands like Voyager, Tool, and Karnivool in its own individual adventure; a blend echoed in the equally creative Sunburn & Moonshine. A gentle melody wraps its suggestion around ears first, harmonic whispers adding their elegance before Guerrero’s expressive tones join the already bubbling adventure brewing within the catchy encounter. Embracing an engaging intimacy as it brews up emotive crescendos, the track just seduces ears and attention. It does lack the tempestuousness of its predecessor but replaces it with melodic flames and warm infectious tenacity for similar if not quite as spectacular success.

Enigmata follows quickly catching expectations unaware with its electronic tempting as vocals gather. The same essences continue as they are joined by the imaginative enterprise of guitar, rhythms, and vocals; the song evolving with every passing note and idea with enticing endeavour. Its relative calm and boisterous expulsions are similarly gripping whilst the array of flavours and textures within its body only captivate. It has the boldness guiding the whole release to the fore but with its richest invention in play as the song explores it simply demands plaudits.

The release is concluded by firstly The Punchline, an ethereal caress with volcanic tendencies, and lastly through the rousing endeavours of Colourblind. Both tracks keep pleasure and ears intensely involved with the second of the two especially gripping with its stylish touch and creative tapestry framed by Conway’s rhythmic prowess. It is probably fair to say that neither quite lights the major fires in personal passions as those before them but both inflame an already installed appetite for the Vie Jester invention whilst pushing the new craft and imagination shaping their sound.

Vie Jester has always deserved greater attention and they should get it with All In Jest; certainly they and it warrant a moment of your concentrated time.

All In Jest is available now @ https://viejester.com/album/548219/all-in-jest

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Pete RingMaster 07/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Zebedy – Set The Pace

British alternative rockers Zebedy have been on a steady and upward climb since emerging in 2008, previous releases alone establishing the North Wales outfit as one of UK’s most promising propositions. Now they have new EP, Set The Pace doing the persuading; a release which sees the band pushing their sound and invention to new heights to make the biggest nudge on major spotlights yet.

From Conwy, Zebedy initially comprised of guitarist/vocalist Jonny Harding-Smith, bassist/vocalist Dave Harding-Smith, and drummer Tom Dyson and through their jams created progressively nurtured instrumental soundscapes. Subsequently adding vocals, the trio also expanded ranks with the addition of guitarist/vocalist Ben Chamberlain. 2011 saw the release of debut album Exist, its release supported by an extensive UK tour. Its well-received outing was followed by the This Is My City EP which only increased their reputation with second album Marionette subsequently making an even bigger impact. Embracing inspirations from the likes of Karnivool, Reuben, Fightstar, and Biffy Clyro for a multi-flavoured rock and metal bred sound as unpredictable as it is rousing, and coming off successful shows alongside the likes of Psychostick, Soil, Closure In Moscow, COMA, and Brutai, Zebedy look ready to take things to the next level with Set The Pace to the fore.

The EP opens up with its title track, distant vocals running to ears with emotive urgency before guitars spin their wiry web and rhythms rumble with boisterous imagination. Pretty quickly it is easy to see where those Reuben and Karnivool influences come in, though in many ways the song offers a lively enterprise more akin to At The Drive In meets The Martini Henry Rifles. The track continues to twist and turn keeping the listener hooked and guessing, every change an organic shift from what was before. Vocals singularly and together impress as potently as the sounds and craft building the EP’s striking start with the antics of the bass a particularly appetising essence to personal tastes.

The following Of Revelations has a more controlled and restrained body compared to the tempestuous character of its predecessor but equally its blend of metal toned grooves and heavy rock riffs build a highly tempting canvas for the track’s progressive and melodic enterprise to conjure greater adventure. It is a slice of muscular rock ‘n’ roll which also swings from one imaginative endeavour to another, never staying in one style of attack or flavouring for long but making each a memorable moment to greedily lock on to.

The brief instrumental of In is pretty much the lead into final track Bloom, its melodic suggestion a stirring appetiser for the compelling drama of its successor where a tempest of rhythms trespass as sonic espionage grabs and twists the imagination. Within that trap ears bask in a cauldron of technical dynamics and impassioned energy and fair to say, as with all tracks, the more time they spend with the proposal the greater richness of its layers and the fresh nuances they bring are discovered within another truly captivating experience.

For all their bold moves and rich textures, the songs are also virulently infectious, the band sealing a real catchiness to their enterprise which has the body bouncing as ears explore. The thoughts of others are that Zebedy is about to break into the biggest attention and we can only say that Set The Pace offers nothing to derail that suggestion.

Set The Pace is available from September 15th @ https://zebedy.bandcamp.com/album/set-the-pace

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Pete RingMaster 15/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

White Noise Radio – Cosmos

Offering an eagerly tenacious union of hungry riffs and resourceful grooves, Cosmos is the second EP from UK outfit White Noise Radio. The band’s ear catching alternative rock owes plenty to inspirations ranging from Porcupine Tree and Karnivool to Incubus and Opeth but proven across four eventful tracks to carry a host of distinctive and potential carrying attributes likely to set the Bristol quintet a couple of steps  aside from the crowd.

Formed in 2014, White Noise Radio has forged a potent reputation and stature across the South-West, pushing broader awareness with their self-titled debut EP last year. Recorded at the legendary Sawmills Studio in Cornwall, Cosmos is poised to draw greater attention the way of the band with its captivating tapestry of melodic and sonic enterprise around a clutch of choruses which simply demand involvement.

The EP opens with the excellent Siren, a song instantly baiting ears with a fine percussive lure, their clipping touch an inviting dance to which melodies and the dark throb of Mark Detre’s bass add even greater potency. Soon the song opens up a teasing web cast by the guitars of Antoine Maas and Ben Lampard, a draw intensifying in weight and trespass before the lead vocals of Lampard grace a mellow breath coming forth within the encounter. There is still a dark edge to the song, the rhythms of drummer James Gill and Detre almost as portentous as they are progressively funky. It is a bold and compelling mix, only increasing its snarl and draw as the song blossoms across a more tempestuous yet controlled and always evolving landscape, with adventure in its creative hills.

Without knowing their influences it is not too difficult to guess the touch of bands like Karnivool and Incubus but similarly that individual character of the White Noise Radio sound is apparent and just as vocal within the equally striking Gone Inside. The wiry riffs of its entrance again make for a richly appetising lure, the guitars and bass seductive and sinister as they continue their invitation whilst subsequent mystique lined grooves flirt alongside before a heavier breath sweeps through it all. As its predecessor, the track twists and turns through a revolving spiral of aggression and intensity, each bringing new textures and drama to easily embrace as the five-piece technically and creatively weave with increasing dexterity.

Latest single, Dawning is next, the song a calmer proposal with a celestial tone to its melodies and bouncy energy to its rhythmic enticement. Vocally Lampard again swiftly impresses, his guitar play also engaging alongside the suggestive flare of Maas. A mellower encounter in comparison to the first pair, it too has a fire in its belly which erupts in sonic bursts and though for personal tastes lacking the final bite and boldness of the first two songs, the encounter has ears and appetite bound in no time.

Wires bring things to a similarly collected close, its Tool-esque tranquillity almost deceitful of the emotional and fiery energy waiting to break at certain times. Throughout there is a dark almost predacious edge to the bass and riffs, a fine tempering to the spiralling sonic lights of the guitar and the ever harmonious and inviting tones of Lampard just as magnetically backed by Maas. With a Bush like scent also seeping from the song, it makes for a fiercely gripping conclusion to a firmly pleasing release.

White Noise Radio has not quite found their unique voice yet but Cosmos suggests it is coming whilst offering songs which quickly get their highly enjoyable hooks into the psyche. The fact the EP only gets stronger and more impressive over listens just adds to the fun.

The Cosmos EP is out now and available @ https://whitenoiseradio.bandcamp.com/album/cosmos

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Pete RingMaster 18/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Figures – Chronos

Barely giving the acclaim laden dust time to settle after the release of their self-titled debut EP this past February, Australian outfit Figures have just unleashed its predecessor in the similarly striking and fiercely enjoyable shape of Chronos. Offering five more slices of the Melbourne quintet’s alternative rock/melodic metal blend, the EP also has a new fresh breath and seeming richer maturity which defies the mere four months between releases. Obviously we cannot say when the songs of either release were written but the step is maybe surprising but greedily taken as Chronos eclipses the equally outstanding first offering from the band.

Formed as 2013 turned into its successor, Figures has risen up the ranks of attention with notably increasing success in recent times due to that critically acclaimed first EP and a dynamic live presence which has already seen the band  share stages with the likes of Caligula’s Horse, Twelve Foot Ninja, and Superheist. Broader focus and support for the band has without doubt been aroused these past handful of months and is sure to escalate again as Chronos is discovered by more and more. Instantly it has ears and attention in the palms of its creative hands as opener Recoil raggedly simmers into view and proceeds to uncage a gnarly groove as primal as it is magnetic. The guitar continues to growl and tempt as the lively rhythms of drummer Josh Sforzin and Jen Fletcher’s moody bassline join the blossoming affair; vocalist Mark Tronson soon in the mix with his agitated roar. Predatory and magnetic, the track needs mere seconds to entrap the senses and imagination, sealing the deal as Tronson’s melodic prowess unites with his rawer tones as steely metal and melodic rock textures equally collude.

The stunning start is matched by the equally dramatic and even bolder exploits of Alpha. Guitarists Paul Callow and Simon Edgell spring a lure of wiry riffs and sonic temptation around the harmonic delivery of Tronson, though as the music he allows harsher textures to escape his throat to keeps things unpredictable. Virulently infectious and persistently imaginative, the song is pure captivation; its heart earnest and body a tapestry of melodic and sonic intrigue with just the right richness of volatility to keep things intensely fascinating.

Tied Around follows, winding brooding grooves around ears as Fletcher’s bass groans with matching seduction while again Tronson enthrals with his impressive vocals. There is an agitation in the riffs and beats of Sforzin which is transferred to the steely grooves but tempered by the elegant beauty of melodies and harmonies floating across the song’s inner oasis. As with the first pair, creative magnetism is at play sparking an elevated greed which Point of Doubt feeds with its cosmopolitan almost shamanic nature. Sultrily exotic melodies align with anthemic rhythms within the song’s fiery blaze, its riveting landscape tempestuously sharing warm and irritable climates.

The EP concludes with Crying Door, a mellow melancholy lined croon shaped by keys and voice and their suggestive beauty, Tronson again a magnet in its midst. Darker hues walk the song’s edge, bassy shadows lurking as skittish beats court a more portentous edge. It is an entrancing close to a second seriously striking encounter with Figures. Musically the band has been compared to the likes of Incubus, Deftones, and Karnivool, all justified but add a touch of Voyager and possibly even Porcupine Tree and you get a fuller impression of what, to be honest, is a sound distinct to one truly exciting proposition.

Chronos is out now @ https://figuresbandofficial.bandcamp.com/album/chronos and other online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 21/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Voyager – Ghost Mile

There is no denying the eager grin which broke upon faces here when the new Voyager album was sent through, having been seriously tempted by the band since their second album uniVers in 2007 and lustfully hooked through their fourth and fifth in the acclaimed shapes of The Meaning of I and V. The later in 2014 set a plateau it was easy to wonder if the Australian band could eclipse thereon in. Hopes and a quiet confidence have just been realised with the release of Ghost Mile, an album which brings a truly fresh breath to progressive metal as instinctively catchy and virulent as it is technically and inventively imaginative.

The success of the Perth quintet’s last album saw the band invited to perform at major festivals such as ProgPower USA, Euroblast Festival in Germany, and the ProgPower Europe Festival in The Netherlands as well as sharing stages with the likes of Deftones, Opeth, Leprous, Protest The Hero, Nightwish, Epica, Oceans of Slumber, and Coheed and Cambria. Voyager ended last year touring Australia with Deftones and Karnivool and being further invitations to play Euroblast and Progpower EU this year, the latter as headliners. Now with Ghost Mile driving things, it is hard to imagine 2017 being anything other than a really busy adventure, one no doubt littered with praise lured by their stunning new album alone.

Mixed by Matthew Templeman and mastered by Simon Strutters, Ghost Mile opens up with Ascension. A golden melody kisses ears first with the warmth and intrigue of a dawn sun, its suggestive air tempting the imagination before bolder rhythms add their bait. Djent teased enterprise is soon joining the blossoming affair, their steely tenacity paving the way for another caress of elegance around the radiant tones of Danny Estrin. As magnetic as ever, his presence is swiftly joined by sturdier textures whilst being the ringleader to an irresistible infectiousness soon fuelling the chorus and body of the evolving encounter. With the suggestive heat of his keytar matched in craft and magnetism by the guitars of Scott Kay and Simone Dow, the song is pure captivation, only increasing its potency as breaks of predacious intent and aggression escape.

The quite stunning start is quickly continued by the equally outstanding Misery Is Only Company. From the off, it has a harder core to its presence, a latent but open intensity which lines jagged riffs and the brooding air of Alex Canion’s bass. There is no containing the instinctive catchiness within songwriting and imagination though, the swinging beats of Ashley Doodkorte inciting similar boisterousness in the resourceful and technical enterprise across the band. Deftones’ Chino Moreno recently likened Estrin’s voice to Duran Duran’s Simon LeBon, something at times easy to agree with and indeed at times the song has something of the British outfit to its pop sensibilities, infectiousness aligning with more predatory essences to masterful effect.

Next up Lifeline initially lays another sunny shimmer on the senses, its progressive aptitude soon courting metallic rapacity though as melodies radiate and vocals warmly croon. Relaxing into a gentle stroll, there is still a constant snarl to the guitars and bass which breeds alluring unpredictability and waiting volatility, the latter never truly having its moment but keeping the calm honest whilst giving the progressive/ pop rock adventuring a threat. As with its predecessors, physically involving the listener is a quick given and with increasingly lust.

The provocative nature of Fragile Serene seduces next, its climate a mix of melancholy and joy with one addictive hook at the heart of a fusion of rich temptations which almost swarm over the senses into the imagination before To The Riverside carries the same fantasy off in its evocative piano led flight towards the waiting more capricious embrace of the album’s title track. From the first second, Ghost Mile has an agitated eagerness which infects body and spirit, the carnivorously laced bass growling beautifully within the fiery but composed roar of the track. Like sonic and melodic alchemy, the song turns four minutes or so into a cauldron of heavy and light, dark and luminous adventure; contrasts uniting rather than battling for the album’s pinnacle.

What A Wonderful Day pretty much sums up the feeling during its three minutes plus, its pop nurtured rock ‘n’ roll as contagious, additive, and arresting as anything heard this year so far. Its warm dance though does have predacious overtones lurking in its shadows, their semi-vocal presence more realised in the tenebrous texture of the following Disconnected, though it is never devoid of the light and vibrancy instinctive to the Voyager imagination. With industrial breath seeping into the track’s progressively nurtured and invasive metal challenge, there is nothing to deter a quick and full submission to its rousing and often caustic incitement.

The enchanting fascinating of This Gentle Earth simply beguiles next, the union of piano and vocals alone sheer seduction and only escalated as rhythms probe and drama floods every rising texture and tendril of contagion sharing sound; an infectiousness belying the emotional reflection of disconnection.

The album finishes with the fiercely charismatic As The City Takes The Night, a track growing from an absorbing tango into a blaze of heart and intensity which smoulders, simmers, and boils across its eventful reflection without ever seemingly taking the same route twice. As the album, the song is a fascination giving more and more with every listen, rewards including pure pleasure.

Expectations of Voyager are always high because of previous triumphs but again left short by an album which will take some shifting from being one major contender for this year’s greatest moment.

Ghost Mile is out now via Nova Distribution across most stores.

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Pete RingMaster 17/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Figures – Self Titled EP

Figures_RingMasterReview

Melbourne is one of those cities persistently producing exciting new musical proposals and another to strongly add to the long list is Figures. Firmly established and acclaimed in the Australian rock scene, the quintet now have their sights on much broader attention with their self-titled debut EP leading the way. Offering four tracks of melodic/alternative metal with numerous other strains of rock involved, the release is a striking and seriously accomplished encounter with a sound very easy to find a healthy appetite for.

Formed in 2014, Figures has shared stages with the likes of Caligula’s Horse, Twelve Foot Ninja, Superheist and many others since then, luring heavy praise along the way. Their first single Filter equally courted acclaim and attention the way of the band, it taking them across to the US to perform at MUSEXPO’s Global Rock Summit in Los Angeles. Taken from the EP it made for an attention poking lead and gets the release off to a mighty start.

The song’s first touch is a gentle melodic caress, Filter coaxing ears as the guitars of Paul Callow and Simon Edgell wind up their energy and enterprise for the subsequent fire of riffs and grooves. Quickly the swiftly impressive vocals of Mark Tronson shine in their midst as the similarly enticing groan of Jen Fletcher’s bass and the swinging prowess of drummer Josh Sforzin add darker depth and texture to the already compelling blaze. The band has been compared to the likes of Incubus and Karnivool and in some ways you can suggest Circles, Voyager, and to a lesser extent Shattered Skies too though Figures quickly establish their own character in song and release.

cover_RingMasterReviewEqually fiercely robust and enticingly elegant, the song is a formidable introduction strongly backed by its companions starting with Desolate. Quickly the second song sounds very familiar though we cannot remember hearing it prior to the EP yet it cannot stop the fiery serenade of the track seducing ears and passions. Its melodies and harmonies caress the senses, its snarling riffs and boisterous rhythms raising the spirit and though it takes a touch longer to tempt as its predecessor, it blossoms into its equal.

Again making initial contact with a warm lure, Vice soon looms over ears with a web of wiry grooves and intrusive hooks as raw riffs and rapacious rhythms court the ever impressing mix of vocals and harmonies. There is aggression fuelled attitude at the heart of the song, giving it great underlying irritability as its mellower textures spread their charm, a blend sublimely igniting all four songs in varying ways with the closing Emoticonic no exception.

It gets straight down to offering growling confrontation though it is quickly interrupted and thereon in interspersed by washes of melodically inflamed imagination. The spiral of metallic tendrils really hits the spot though from start to finish, the whole song only feeds an already hungry appetite bred by the EP for what Figures have on offer right now and anticipation for their continuing growth.

Already 2017 is proving to be an exciting and impressive surge of emerging bands tempting bigger spotlights with Figures right there on the frontline.

The Figures EP is out now and available @ https://figuresbandofficial.bandcamp.com/releases

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Pete RingMaster 01/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Target Renegades – Gallows Humour EP

tr-band_RingMasterReview

With their previous acclaim luring Dark Sounds EP pushing the band’s sound to another level, UK rockers Target:Renegades ended 2016 with another proposition revelling in new growth in their fiery mix of alternative and hard rock loaded with punk belligerence. The Gallows Humour EP provides a quartet of songs which roar and command attention whilst showing new variety in the Warrington outfit’s writing and sound. Compared to its predecessor and its immediate explosive grip of ears and imagination, Gallows Humour is more of a smouldering tempting but one working its way to the same kind of success and persuasion .

Following their 2012 released debut EP Corruption For Beginners, Target:Renegades really courted awareness with first album [Press Start] two years later. Its impressive collection of songs eagerly pleased ears yet suggested that there was plenty left in the creative tank for the band to discover and explore. With an explosive live presence earning them further praise and support and seeing the band sharing stages with the likes of The Vibrators, Sumo Cyco, and I Am Giant among many over time, Target:Renegades realised much of that potential with Dark Sounds and have tapped into even more imagination and variety with Gallows Humour, an encounter ready to ignite a new flood of plaudits and followers.

The EP opens with the instantly compelling Jump Overboard, its initial nagging groove alone enough to grip ears and appetite as the lures of Dan Fido’s guitar squirrel themselves into the psyche. With the beats of Matt Reid just as eager as the bass of Jack Hamnett magnetically groans, the song soon hits a controlled yet fiery stride with vocalist Adam Hulse commanding further attention. Its chorus is simple but as catchy as anything the band has sculpted while its surrounding saunter is muscle and menace bound in a composed groove layered air. With hooks which drive the song further under the skin, it is a masterful and addictive start to the release.

tr_RingMasterReviewA heavy bass groan opens up the following A Curse Ensues, melodic strands from Fido soon wrapping the senses as the track grows and blossoms into a proposal distinct to the band. The second track reinforces the thought that the band has discovered a sound which roars only Target:Renegades though inspirations from the likes of Deftones and Karnivool are additional hues in its canvas of imagination. Hulse excels as he shares the song’s landscape with earnest prowls and emotional roars, both backed by Fido’s potent tones and inventive guitar spun enterprise.

I Concede steps up next, coaxing ears with a melodic caress as rhythms gather in the background before shaping the track’s subsequent melancholic stroll. Its low key gait and touch is a suggestive proposition as vocals potently share an emotion bred heart; an alluring offering ignited further by ferocious bursts of fiery sound and raw intensity. Whether guttural vocal growls work as well as they could have can be argued but the song only reinforces the potency of the release so far with strength and invention.

The EP is concluded by This Isn’t Revenge, another instantly recognisable to the band which backs the suggestion of real distinctiveness in their writing and music breached by Target:Renegades. The song maybe lacks some of the sparks of its predecessors but hones a melodic prowess and beauty which leads it to be as tempting as anything else within Gallows Humour.

The new EP is a different beast to Dark Sounds but an equal in adventure and energy with a new blossoming of maturity breeding the most rounded songs from Target:Renegades yet and inescapable evidence of a band ready to embrace bigger and more imposing spotlights.

Gallows Humour is out now across most online stores.

http://www.targetrenegades.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/TR.UKMusic   https://twitter.com/TargetRenegades

Pete RingMaster 24/01/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright