The Refusers – Disobey

“An album called Disobey by a group called The Refusers – you can’t get any more defiant than that, and that is exactly what rock and roll is supposed to be.”

The words of band founder, vocalist, guitarist, songwriter Michael Belkin tells all about the heart and intent of the band’s new and third full-length, indeed their sound overall. It is a collection of songs which snarl with defiance and irritability yet infest ears and incite the body with broadly flavoured rock ‘n’ roll in decades courting styles. Lyrically it reflects and attacks with incisive honesty and rigour while musically it has the body bouncing; a combination which makes the upcoming release of Disobey one compelling proposal.

Formed in 2010, Seattle hailing The Refusers sparked real attention with their 2016 album Wake Up America. It was a release which reflected and roared at a corrupt and twisted political and social world. It is fair to say things have not changed for the better in the world over the past two years and Disobey equally preys on its perverse habits and immoral practices. It focuses on the bad heart of America but as we all know it is a ruin reflected across the world from corner to corner.

Belkin links up with a host of musicians for the new album including bassist Steve Newton, drummers Sebastian Belkin (Michael’s son) and Brendan Hill from Blues Traveler, and keyboardists Joe Doria and Eric Robert, who has performed with John Oates, Keb’ Mo’ and Lucky Peterson. Disobey opens up with Playing With Fire and immediately lures ears with its blues tinted groove and potent rhythmic shuffle. Belkin’s vocals are soon joining the bold mix, adding accusing sparks as the track burned its presence upon the imagination. It is an intriguing start to the release, a song which did not explode on the senses but got under the skin by the second to arouse attention and an anticipation of things to come.

The following Why Do They Lie strolls in next with a deceptively calm swing, keys a tantalising lure in its developing melody nurtured rock ‘n’ roll. An instinctive catchiness soon had hips swaying as feet tapped; the track a swift persuasion before the album’s title track aroused the senses with its classic rock meets The Cars like canter. As lyrics focus and ensnare thoughts great hooks and fire bred grooves ignite the appetite, Hammond keys a tasty companion to the magnetism.

Eruption brings a call for change on a great funk ‘n’ roll saunter next, guitar and keys again a masterfully alluring incitement to accentuate rather than temper the lyrical charge while My Baby Loves Rock And Roll is a mischievous contagion echoing its title. It is a romp of the familiar and fresh which just hit the spot, swaggering along like an old inhibition evading friend.

Across Disobey, there is a seventies/eighties glaze to its rock ‘n’ roll, the following Fake News epitomising that essence with its melodic rock though to pin down straight comparisons is difficult thanks to The Refuser’s individual character of imagination and sound. The track was another which had us hooked early though the album was just as effective at pleasing ears with a more persistent almost nagging temptation as through Government Slave, another classic/hard rock nurtured proposal with tenacious hooks and teasing grooves.

The final pair of Free The Captives and Emancipation close the album up; the first a calmer but no less assured slice of rock balladry wrapped in the ever appealing embrace of keys. Its successor is a final cut of addiction flirting captivation; its chorus especially irresistible. As the album, there is something of Midnight Oil to the track, more in lyrical insight but also a little in its sound even with its more classic rock breeding, which just adds to the appealing hues at work.

Defiance and rock ‘n’ roll go hand in hand; always has and always will. The Refusers mix both with craft and adventure within Disobey; an album which may not be the most unique but leaves its rich mark rather enjoyably.

https://therefusers.com/   https://www.facebook.com/TheRefusers/

Pete RingMaster 12/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Robben Ford – Into The Sun

PRD74542_450

With over 35 albums under his belt, attention has to be given when Californian guitarist Robben Ford describes his new release as “one of the top recordings I’ve ever done.” It is a statement potently backed up by Into The Sun, a collection of songs entangled in flavours such as blues, rock ‘n’ roll, rock pop, and jazz. The album reveals a fresh diversity to Ford’s songwriting and musical adventure, taking the established potent essences of his renowned prowess into new feel good exploits. Most of all though Into The Sun is simply fun; inventive and as expected technically and creatively superb but most of all it is sheer enjoyment.

With a host of guests across the release, the Provogue Records album opens up with Rose Of Sharon, and an immediate sonic caress across a blues bred gait with slowly strolling rhythms to match. Keys and vocals quickly add to the smouldering tempting of ears and imagination, Ford quickly immersing the listener in the landscape and reflective heart of the song through voice and his already beguiling guitar enterprise. The track is a charming smooch of a song, an evocative sunrise to the album which shines with a brighter smile through Day Of The Planets. There is a great sixties breath to the second song, a rock pop essence with R&B spicing which soon has ears firmly enticed and appetite awake, whilst its classic nostalgic hooks just seals the deal .

     Howlin’ At The Moon brings a dusty blues snarl to its sultry presence, capturing the imagination in a new adventure, whilst the following Rainbow Cover strolls into a creatively scenic rock pop exploit with landmarks as expected sculpted by the resourceful fingers and strings of Ford. Both tracks ignite the senses but are shaded by the excellent Justified featuring with Keb’ Mo’ and pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph. The track has a gorgeous nostalgic feel to its otherwise vibrant character, a blues tone from decades past bringing rich hues to the mix of vocals and piano led sounds. Harmonies add further flaming whilst the craft of Randolph is a shimmering seduction amidst the excellent proposition.

The magnetic Breath Of Me with ZZ Ward comes next, the twining of Ford and Ward’s vocals alone worth the admission price whilst High Heels And Throwin’ Things which finds Gov’t Mule and Allman Brothers guitarist Warren Haynes guesting, has one of those inventive shuffles and fiery landscapes which even in its subdued air has ears and thoughts gripped. Great vocals and the ever sweltering adventure of guitars has one virtually reaching to wipe a bead of perspiration from the brow such the thick exotic climate of the song, whilst across the album the melodic heat conjured more than lives up to its title.

A delicious heavy and lusty bassline marks out next up The Cause Of War first of all, it’s dark lure perfectly backed by firmly swung rhythms, a rich weave of simmering keys, and the contagiously diverse mesh of guitar textures and enterprise. The track takes favourite song honours, though it is constantly challenged as shown by the captivating So Long 4 U and its quaint stroll of keys. The track needs little time to seduce ears, especially when you add six-string slide legend Sonny Landreth to the line-up, though if I am honest it is that vintage twang of the keys which lights the biggest emotions.

The album comes to a close through firstly the spicy adventure of Same Train and finally the heavily enticing Stone Cold Heaven which features Southern rock musician Tyler Bryant. The song is ablaze with guitar craft and vivacity, bringing a fine album a potent finale.

Into The Sun shows a different aspect and direction to the Robben Ford sound in many ways but has all the heart and glowing essences of his sound, and of course all the technical majesty. For full enjoyment though…do play loud!

Into The Sun is out now via Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group @ http://www.mascotlabelgroup.com/robbenford-intothesun.html

https://www.facebook.com/RobbenFordOfficial   http://robbenford.com/

RingMaster 26/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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