Sick N’ Beautiful – Element of Sex

pic by Stefano Mastronicola

There are some bands which instinctively allure attention and it is fair to say that Sick N’ Beautiful is one such persuasion as their recent headlining UK tour proved. Their new album Element of Sex swiftly and increasingly shows why they made a potent impact through those shows alone, a release which whilst lacking the visual theatrical drama of their live presence uncages ten virulent slices of devilish rock ‘n’ roll.

“A gang of rockin’ freakshow pirates from outer space”, Sick N’ Beautiful is a quintet creating an industrial hard rock web of intrigue and sonic animation awash with creative drama. Brewed with sci-fi and cyberpunk visuals whilst embracing inspirations from a kaleidoscope of artists including Rob Zombie, Nine Inch Nails, Alice Cooper, Kiss, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and No Doubt, the “intergalactic refugee’s” music is a cascade of flavours and enterprise within its hard rock nurtured imagination. In boldness and drama there is something of The Tubes to the band’s presence too which only adds to its magnetism live and now within Element of Sex.

Familiarity and inventive uniqueness collude from the first breath of the album with opener Fire True, an orchestral coaxing the first lure quickly infested with wiry tendrils of guitar which in turn entice the instantly rich ear grabbing vocals of Herma. Within seconds the track is an imposing wall of thick infectious sound speared by the scything swings of drummer Evey. Pop catchy and metal aggressive the track imposes and seduces in equal measure with the organic drama of the band’s imagination in every syllable, note, and twist.

It is an infectious tempest of an encounter instantly backed and eclipsed by next up Megalomaniacal. Straight away it has more urgency and greater flexibility in its attack; snarling, biting, and dancing with the senses like a carnal celebration behind the fiercely magnetic prowess of Hermes. Big Daddy Ray’s bass has a great rockabilly swing to its growl at times whilst guitarists Rev C2 and Lobo spring a trap of enterprise so easy to relish especially when the song takes a breath from its boisterous invasion.

The calmer All Wanna Go To Heaven through its initial less energetic entrance, compared to its predecessors, only leads into a snare of boldly catchy and melodically enticing temptation. The voice of Hermes once more stands tall and captivating within the song, a given proven track by track as the sounds around her cast their creative theatres. Pop, rock, and metal strands all go into its ear wrapping weave before the contagion of Hellawake continues the diversity bred within the Sick N’ Beautiful’s sound with its electro pop meets industrial punk shuffle.

Through the tempestuous roar and character of Slam! and the salacious sonic exploits of Hexxx (The Element Of Sex), the album just gets more hectic and fun, both songs a spark for ears and body with their extremely danceable antics, the outstanding second of the two especially manipulative as it grabs limbs like a puppeteer.

Cryptid similarly just opens up the throttle from its first gasp; rhythms and imposing incitement within the scuzzy tides of guitars wired with melodic and hook laced tempting. It is another where certain moments unite with ears like an old friend whilst bringing wholly new propositions alongside for a compelling mix exploited just as ably by New Witch 666 (The Rising). Its EBM-esque opening is a deceit for the dark shadows and intent lurking closely behind and a continuing enticement as those textures take rein of the devilish affair. Though its rabidity is under control for the main it is there festering in the track’s meaty body and demonic intent.

The skilfully woven Heart December (Gates II) with its dark drama and gothic rock grandeur was a slow burner for our ears, a track which never quite ignited as those before it but continues to be a compelling intrigue on ears and imagination even against the album closing blaze of C*Mmunion. Aggressive and at times musically grouchy but as greedily catchy as you could wish, it brings the album and the torrent of fun to a rousing conclusion.

And that pretty much sums up Element of Sex as a whole; insatiably infectious, relentlessly rousing, and unapologetically fun. Maybe Sick N’ Beautiful is a proposition which is at its very best live when all of its elements come together musically, visually and indeed dramatically but their new offering shows their songs make for very potent propositions all on their own.

Element of Sex is out now on the band’s own Rosary Lane Records; available @ https://www.sicknbeautiful.com/store and other stores.

https://www.sicknbeautiful.com/   https://www.facebook.com/sicknbeautifulband/   https://twitter.com/sicknb

Pete RingMaster 10/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Sun Arcana – Oblique

Sun Arcana Tom pic_RingMaster Review

A new name but with a sound which has been brewed over the past few years, Sun Arcana offer up their new single Oblique for another mesmeric persuasion by this emerging band. You may know them better as Looking For Liam but with seemingly a new moniker and shift of sound, rather than a whole new project around the songwriting of vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Tom Harper-Ward, Sun Arcana provide new evidence of the growing temptation in their individual and diverse alternative rock sound with their latest single.

Formed in 2009 by Harper-Ward, the Essex hailing project soon grew to a trio of young and talented musicians. Quickly they earned a potent reputation for their live shows and craft, gigs around London especially grabbing attention as indeed their debut EP which took them to the notice of BBC Introducing. Subsequent years has only reinforced their emergence, the band now a quartet, and the open imagination in their music as evidenced once again in the Steve Belgrave (The Killers, Jack White, Beady Eye, Katy Perry) mixed Oblique. It is a new creative call to draw fresh ears in, and with the name change, marking the beginning of a new chapter in the band’s journey.

cover_RingMaster ReviewThe single opens with a gentle shimmer of keys, though that is just a breath worth of a slim kiss before thick rhythms and crystalline guitar melodies entangle ears. Their relaxation brings the entrance of the expressive vocals of Harper-Ward amidst a warm yet melancholic ambience, it in turn soon immersed in a headier energy and emotive intensity with matching growth in sound. The song continues to ebb and flow with fluid enterprise and drama from hereon in, every nuance and bolder move potently engaging ears around the increasingly enjoyable vocal tones of Harper-Ward.

Oblique is not a song to leave you breathless or lost in lively ardour, yet it is a mesmeric companion which lingers past its time, suggesting whatever the reason for the changes in the band, it is the beginning of something even stronger and more adventurous with Sun Arcana.

Oblique is available from October 1st

https://www.facebook.com/SunArcanaOfficial    http://sunarcana.com/

Pete RingMaster 30/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Versus The World – Homesick Roadsick

LORES Versus The World _Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

If you are already a fan of US punk rockers Versus The World, new album Homesick Roadsick probably holds few major surprises and if a newcomer to the band, it will be found to healthily recall the pop punk exploits cultured and famed within California over past decades,. For all though, it will be a thoroughly magnetic proposition containing the most rounded and mature songs from the band yet. The release rumbles and strolls along with open contagion and undiluted passion to whip up attention and rich satisfaction, and though it might not prove to be the best punk release this year, it certainly reveals itself as one of the most enjoyable and memorable.

The third album from the Santa Barbara quintet sees the band returning to Kung Fu Records, the home of their self-titled debut full-length of 2004. As its predecessors, Homesick Roadsick was recorded with Bad Astronaut guitarist and producer Thom Flowers and as last album Drink.Sing.Live.Love in 2012, mixed by Ian MacGregor (Katy Perry, All-American Rejects). Fair to say that Versus The World has boldly and inventively grown in presence and songwriting since those early days, honing a vivacious sound setting them apart from the pop punk crowd, even with its recognisable inspirations. Now the line-up of band founders, vocalist/guitarist Donald Spence, bassist Mike Davenport (ex- The Ataris), guitarists Chris Flippin (Lagwagon) and Tony Caraffa (Murderland), and drummer Bryan Charlson have explored new depths and potency to it with Homesick Roadsick and conjured up another treat

It opens with The Santa Margarita, a song written by Spence for Tony Sly, the late frontman for No Use For A Name. Featuring guest Dave Hause, the track quickly has ears in a fiery embrace of raw riffs and sonic tempting driven by the forceful beats of Charlson. Hooks, musically and vocally, stir ears and attention, the song swinging along with an infectious manner and an incendiary energy in its builds to and eruptions of mini crescendos. The song is rich captivation, a rousing start continued by the less urgent but swiftly as flavoursome stirring of The Black Ocean. Heavy scythes of riffs pounce on the senses first, their inviting bait bound in tangy tendrils of guitar as the impressive tones and delivery of Spence croon with expressive passion. More a smoulder than the kind of roar expressed by the previous song, it rises to breach the same creative and gripping plateau before A Storm Like Me unveils its controlled but rousing anthem. Its chorus is an inescapable lure soon involving the listener whilst the guitars, as the vocals across the band, whips up the imagination and appetite with ease.

HSxRS_Vinyl_Front_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review     Seven Thirty One bounds in expelling emotive flames and tenacious exploits like a mix of The Ataris and Billy Talent next. It quickly sets another peak in the landscape of Homesick Roadsick, the bass of Davenport a dark seduction speared by the volatile swings of Charlson as the guitars of Flippin and Caraffa ooze spicy enticement and fiery persuasion. Further fuelled by the excellent vocal delivery of Spence, the track is raw flirtation followed by both the inventive A Brooklyn Rooftop and the addictive qualities of A Sight For Sore Eyes. Neither song can quite match up to their predecessor but each grips ears and enthrals attention with their dramatic and skilled propositions, especially the latter with its initial and lingering Ruts like jagged riff. It also has one delicious shadow rich bassline amidst a web of melodic and harmonic drama, a combination as fascinating as the songwriting bearing them.

The album’s title track is an initially headstrong rampage setting emotions and appetite aflame, and even though it dips slightly once evening out its attack as melodies and vocals emerge to climb all over ears, it remains a raucously emotive and physical tempest leaving pleasure full and greedy for the just as sizeable and persuasive presence of Bullet Train. Expectations are fed a little by the structure and invention of the track, but with another grouchily incendiary bassline, swirling guitar enterprise, and a vocal resourcefulness which only wins plaudits, the song makes a highly satisfying proposal before being overshadowed by the excellent Detox Retox. Davenport’s bass is carnivorous in tone, his adventurous and thrilling designs increasingly open and potent in the second half of the album, whilst guitars spiral from ravenous riffs into fiery entrails of sonic imagination driven by the energetic whipping of beats. It results in, as the album, an encounter which does not shake the boundaries of punk and maybe the band’s existing originality but leaves the listener encased in fresh enterprise

There is no lessening of enjoyment in the closing pair of songs either, Self Preservation Is Killing Us All first to flame with sonic and melodic dexterity before Our Song offers one final thick bellow of rock ‘n’ roll. They ensure a fine end to another invigorating offering from Versus The World. Homesick Roadsick is undoubtedly the band at its best, though there are times across the album where it seems to hold check on invention heading towards new and potentially startling doorways. It is an album to constantly please and enjoy nevertheless, and a highly pleasing success in anyone’s book.

Homesick Roadsick is available from June 23rd via Kung Fu Records digitally and on Vinyl/CD @ https://versustheworld.bandcamp.com/album/homesick-roadsick

Versus The World Summer UK/EU Tour Dates w/ Strung Out:

30.06.15 DE Berlin – Cassiopeia

01.07.15 DE Cottbus – Gladhouse

02.07.15 DE Erfurt – Eburg

03.07.15 CZ Mighty Sounds Festival

04.07.15 DE Aachen – Musikbunker

05.07.15 FR Paris – Le Petit Bain

06.07.15 UK London – Underworld

07.07.15 UK Manchester – Ruby Lounge

10.07.15 UK Brighton – The Haunt

11.07.15 BE Ostend – Elysee

12.07.15 DE Saarbrucken – Garage

14.07.15 IT Milan – Circolo Magnolia

15.07.15 CH Geneva – Usine

+ More TBA Soon!

http://www.versustheworld.com/   https://www.facebook.com/vstheworldmusic

RingMaster 23/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

 

Hopes Die Last – Trust No One

There has been quite a lot of hype building over Italian post hardcore metal band Hopes Die Last  since their formation in 2004, especially after their debut album Six Years Home of 2009, though to be fair even with their previous couple of EP’s Aim For Tomorrow (2005) and Your Face Down Now (2007) they were gathering strong interest and responses. With their second album Trust No One due for release via Standby Records on February 14th the buzz surrounding them has intensified but are they worthy and is the new album as staggering as many are claiming?

The simple answer is pretty much so, Trust No One is outstanding. To say the band is the future of post hardcore or metal is stretching things but as a release the album is a vibrant, irrepressible and deeply satisfying release. Hope Die Last have created a release that is relentless, with crushing riffs, senses scorching melodies, and high octane energy driving its heart, it excites and impresses. The album also comes with a defined intent to explore and diversity within itself and individual tracks which though it is not always completely successful is a highly commendable direction giving intrigue and unpredictability to each song.

The album as a whole is not groundbreaking but it is certainly is more adventurous and unique in thought than most other post hardcore releases. Trust No One offers something different and surprising throughout. At times these intentions work better than at other moments but there is never a song that one thinks ‘heard that before’ or easily loses focus within. From the opening explosion that is ‘Never Trust The Hazel Eyed’ to the imaginative if less successful closer ‘Keep Your Hands Off’ the album rumbles and swaggers with confidence and eagerness. The opening track is aggressive and smoothly melodic, the band finding the perfect blend allowing both avenues to expand seamlessly alongside each other. Post hardcore, metal, industrial and elements of melodic hardcore rage within its skin and with the excellent vocals of Daniele Tofan backed equally by those of bassist Marco “Becko” Calanca, their combination of  gut bursting ferociousness and a smoothly flowing clean attack impressive, the song is impossible to deny or avoid getting swept up in its energy.

The harsher ‘Sidney Shown’ and brutal power of ‘Unleash Hell’ raise the intensity and quality further, the latter of the two a brutal beast that pummels with agonistic riffs spewing from the of guitars Marco Mantovani and Luigi Magliocca and gladiatorial rhythms from drummer Ivan Panella. At times the track thrusts some electro inspired bestiality as found in the likes of The Browning into the fray without ever decreasing the bludgeoning of the ear, even the clean vocals cannot diminish the intensity.

As mentioned Hopes Die Last admirably bring diversity to each track to make the album constantly intriguing within the sweltering heat from its blistering tracks. ‘Life After Me Life After You’ offers a softer passion fuelled touch to the power whilst ‘Bill’s Got Only A Pair Of Queens’ carries distinct harmonies that dazzle over the insurgent riffs and directness beneath, and there is also the piano led ballad ‘The Same Old Fears’ which brings a respite to the aggression, all showing the thought and creativity from the band to offer something different.

Rivalling ‘Never Trust The Hazel Eyed’ and ‘Unleash Hell’ for best track is ‘Air Raid Siren’. The song is a caustic violation of the senses, its incessant riffs and acidic guitars alongside a great moody bassline wonderfully numbs the ear. The clean vocals and scorched melodies are as damaging as the assaultive barrage of power. It is a gem and these three tracks alone make the album worth a visit but Trust No One has much more to offer and all impressive. Even the cover of the Katy Perry song ‘Fireworks’ is more than agreeable.

Trust No One is an excellent release and brings a fresh breath to post hardcore. Hopes Die Last  has not opened up new avenues for the genre but has given it food for thought. The album may not hit deep enough to end up on album of the year lists come December but it will certainly make the months up to a decision thoroughly enjoyable and energetic with constant revisits.

https://www.facebook.com/hopesdielastofficial

RingMaster 02/02/2012

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