Snew – You’ve Got Some Nerve

Not having a strong taste for eighties inspired hard rock Snew is not a band which has particularly been on our radar since they emerged back in 2005. Having finally taken the plunge with their new album, You’ve Got Some Nerve, though it seems we may have missed out as the release is one thoroughly enjoyable and deviously magnetic proposition.

Founded by vocalist Curtis Don Vito, lead guitarist Andy Lux, and drummer Mark Ohrenberger, its line-up subsequently joined by rhythm guitarist Lenny Spickle, Snew has unleashed a trio of albums which have caught the imagination of hard and glam rock fans. Embracing inspirations from artists such as Motorhead, Alice Cooper, Ramones, Kiss, AC/DC, and MC5, the LA band has bred a sound which is as salaciously fun as it is openly seventies/eighties rock influenced. It also has also nurtured its own inimitable character as evidenced by their fourth full-length, You’ve Got Some Nerve; a proposition which makes you smile as you rock out whilst leaving inhibitions at the door.

You’ve Got Some Nerve opens up with UR Freaking Me Out, a track which soon had ears and attention heading the way of the release when released as a single a number of weeks back. The track is a romping stomping slab of mischief immediately flaring up with brass flames as it bursts out before settling down into one contagious stroll. From Vito’s distinctive swagger loaded growl of a delivery to the sonic revelry of the guitars and a rhythmic punch which leads hips and neck muscles like a puppeteer, the track is pure crowd rousing incitement; the kind of anthem that commands rather than invites eager involvement.

Arguably the album never quite had us as lustily involved again though it comes close but in saying that, next up Holy Hell with its blues liquor and fiery antics left no room for calm contemplation either. It too is a punchy, lustily exuberant slice of hard rock getting under the skin with a devilish intent in its veins while Acetylene Queen straight after, brings sonic lewdness to proceedings with its licentious grooves and melodic libido.

The boisterous rock ‘n roll of Put Upon eclipsed both as it had the body bouncing with fresh keenness before Sharpie had an already compliant appetite licking lips with its R&B spiced antics. Brass again just inflame swift pleasure, adding that extra spice the band’s sound seems to truly relish while helping the track seriously rival the first for best album moment.

Across the calmer almost raptorial saunter of the chant breeding You Tell Me, through the infectious enterprise of Something New Everybody Wants, and the tenser drama of Revolution is a Closed Loop, bait for close attention never dwindled even if none of the trio could reach the heights of their earlier companions. The harmonica fired heat of the last of the three though was definitely one compelling lure especially when aligned to the melodic lacing of keys.

The album’s title track completes the sonic debauchery, its hard rock carousing not particularly unique but a thick barrel of bad habit inducing fun. That applies to the album as a whole where Snew is not trying to re-invent the scene but give it something to lustfully party with; You’ve Got Some Nerve is proof of success.

You’ve Got Some Nerve is out now across most online stores.

http://www.snewyou.com   https://www.facebook.com/SNEW.official/   https://twitter.com/snew

Pete RingMaster 17/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Whirling hearts and joyous uprisings: exploring the world of Swirl

Photo by Neil Zlozower

There is an increasingly mighty roar coming out of California and it goes by the name of Swirl. This is a band really beginning to make a vocal name for themselves with their multi-flavoured, hard rock fuelled fusion of rock and metal. Welcomingly given the opportunity to get to the heart of the band with Swirl creator and guitarist Duane “DT” Jones, we talked beginnings, songwriting, successes and plenty more….

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Hello to you too. This is ‘DT” guitarist and founder of the band Swirl out of Southern California. Thank you for your interest in Swirl! We are always grateful to anyone taking an interest in what we do.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

I started the band in the Pacific Northwest in a town called Mukilteo, Washington. I had 3 other members than the current line-up; we rehearsed, wrote songs and made plans to record our debut in Santa Monica, CA. About a week before we were to leave I got a call from the drummer saying he wasn`t going to make the trip. I called my brother, Brian “Bam Bam” Jones who was playing in a band in Arizona at the time and asked him to come out to California, learn the songs and track drums to which he was all too happy to help out. That version of Swirl toured the US and Japan on a full length release titled Out Of Nowhere that was produced by former Quiet Riot and now RATT guitarist, Carlos Cavazo with former Rough Cutt bassist Matt Thorr engineering or producing tracks as well.

After those tour dates finished the band parted ways with the original singer and touring bassist. By then Brian had moved to California so I joined him there. I was introduced to current Swirl singer Alfred Ramirez and bassist Shane Carlson by former Dio keyboard player Claude Schnell who was looking to produce a demo for a band they had, however they had parted ways with their guitar player and Claude asked me to write with them so he and I could get into a studio together. After a few writing sessions we decided to go play the songs live and it was there that a friend pointed out to me that Alfred would sound really good singing Swirl songs so I asked him to go into a studio with Cinderella drummer Fred Coury and I. The end result of those sessions were the two songs Mad Disease and Time To Fly with the latter being particularly well received so tour offers followed. The natural choice was then Shane Carlson and we have been together ever since. 2018 will mark the 10 year anniversary of this line-up for Swirl.

Have you been or are involved in other bands?

My only involvement with other bands was the above mentioned writing project that introduced me to Alfred and Shane as well as one other band in California that hired me as one of their touring guitarist for a self-produced disc. That was actually my first ever “bus tour”. Actually it was a converted mobile home, but still I got the rock star treatment on that tour. It was fun, but the band broke up. As that band had already recorded their disc when I joined and there were no writing opportunities I can`t say it had any influence on my writing direction, but it was a great series of lessons on things to not do when running a band.

What inspired the band name?

Usually one look at a picture of the band is all it takes to answer that question, but it goes deeper in that we all have different nationalities and personalities that come to together to create the Swirl music.

Photo by Neil Zlozower

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

No particular theme to starting the band. I just wanted to play in a rock band that wrote songs good enough to share stages with my idols. Some of those goals have been accomplished!

And that same intent drives the band?

Absolutely! At the end of the day we enjoy what we are doing and are hell bent on capitalizing on the success Swirl has had to date. We are not where we want to be, but clearly we are on our way. The crowds are getting bigger, the stages are getting bigger and the bands we have opportunities to work with are larger, more well know bands as well.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

While I am an 80s metal head guitarist at heart I have adapted my playing to a more modern approach when it comes to writing and guitar tones. I guess the best way to think of it is “what if you took a band like Shinedown, Seether, or FFDP and put a guitarist like Jake E Lee, Warren DeMartini or George Lynch in it.

As for the reason for the evolving sound?…The credit for that goes to Brian who wanted to push the music in a more modern direction, but knew I was still going to be me on guitar and have those moments. Our first attempts at this proved very successful with a self- produced EP titled SWIRL that wound up with 3 songs being featured in a full length, 2 time award winning film called Ditch Day. Those songs are Rise Up, Spell, and We Are Alive. That movie is now out in 6 countries with more to follow. Another indicator that Swirl made a smart move in terms of musical direction is the incredible social media success we have enjoyed while being an independent band. We have a very strong online presence.

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

The change was very deliberate and I had to do my homework in listening to bands that normally I would not have given the time of day to, just to get a feel for what was going on with the guitar playing and production. I fought it at first, but in the end decided it couldn`t hurt to try. I am so glad I was open to the idea.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

Well I already touched on my 3 biggest influences on guitar and yes all four of us have very different influences that we bring to Swirl. Shane is the most “metal” of us all with his influences being bands like Korn and Metallica while Alfred cites David Bowie or Billy Idol as biggest influences for him. For Brian and I we started off as KISS fans, but he went in the direction of Rush and various jazz drummers.

For myself when producing Swirl music I lean a lot on Shinedown or Seether for production and “ear candy” ideas, but since I am not the only one working to produce/ mix the songs I am sure the other guys have their influences well represented in the final product that you hear from Swirl.

Is there a particular process to your songwriting?

Normally we start with a guitar idea that is almost a complete song then I get together with Brian to work on the arrangement before presenting it to Shane and Alfred who then add their influences to the arrangement and of course the vocals. Alfred creates them almost exclusively.

Where do you, more often than not, draw inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

I would like to start by saying that when I write lyrics it’s usually tied to a personal experience of mine or one that I have witnessed in the world we live in. I also feel what’s most import is not so much what my lyrics mean to me, but more importantly what my lyrics mean to the listener. I want the listener find their own story within the lyrics. To me that means the listener can interpret and apply them in any way they choose.”- Alfred Ramirez

Give us some background to your latest release.

The Lift is a departure in some ways from the typical writing pattern for Swirl songs and given the new heights of success we are having with it this may become the way we do things going forward. Again I had the basic structure and worked on the arrangement with Brian, before bringing it to Alfred and Shane. However Alfred and I had a separate writing session to make changes to the verse and bounce other ideas off each other. Then we got back together as a band and went from there.

During the final mix sessions Shane Carlson made some more brilliant suggestions to improve the song to let it become what you hear from us now.

Here is the lyric video for The Lifthttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaBMGg0ACYo

As Alfred is the songwriter he sets the tone for the theme of the songs. If there is one constant I have noticed when I look at the reviews we get it is that the bands “message” is a positive one. A lot of life affirming, motivational and inspirational themes go into his work and I am very happy about that. I am pretty positive person most days!

Here are some samples of reviews we have received whether they are for The Lift single…

“…everything possesses a joyous, downright celebratory spirit…the track positively teems with life”- Skope Magazine

or the SWIRL EP

“An uplifting vibe…” The Happy Headbanger

“After listening to Swirl in its entirety it has lifted me up mood wise!!”- Metal Temple

“…if you are looking for a really sweet hard rockin’ melodic band that will have you humming along and singing with the CD in just a few listens than make this new SWIRL release yours. 9/10 Stars”- The Examiner

Here is a link to our reviews- https://www.reverbnation.com/socalswirl/press/

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

What The Lift means to me is that we all need help sometimes, be it an emotional lift or a physical lift. We shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help when we need it. We also shouldn’t be afraid to offer to help when were able to. We are all on this planet together and we are all connected, so let’s help one another.

My personal Lift was given to me by “The Minor Goddess” who lifted me out of a depressed and stressed out anxious time in my life. Thank you MG! “Your words will always stay with me “. – Alfred Ramirez

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

We like to have the song pretty much done by the time we go into the studio so we can be more efficient with the recording process, but of course we leave room for those “happy accidents” that happen when tracking that are unique to a session.

One of the unique things about the sessions for The Lift is the process we used to get into the studio. We were introduced to producer Emad Alaeddin at Granted Records by Ditch Day producer Megan Waters. He suggested the band use “crowd funding” to cover the cost of the sessions. This was a first for the band and it was very successful. As an unsigned band who happens to be self- managed as well as our own booking agents we wear many hats to make Swirl the known name that is it becoming. Our fans are our record label and they decide how often we make new music and release videos or tour. We weren`t sure what to expect, but with this first attempt and the success of the campaign (we had enough money donated to book our first session in just 48 hours of activating the page at https://www.gofundme.com/launch-new-music-by-swirl-the-band ). The page will remain active. To be clear we are not opposed to record labels, management or booking agencies….we just refuse to wait on one to discover the band when we can get our music and band out to the people who support us!

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

We are a band that thrives on stage! We love being out there. Swirl is a high energy show with emphasis on the word “show”. There is always “someone doing something”. It`s actually the only way the band “fights”….we fight for the attention of the audience and are quick to let the others know who won the night after our set. It`s all in good fun and ultimately the audience is the winner.. We have been able to tour with established bands like RATT, Cinderella, Extreme, Red Dragon Cartel, LA Guns, Lynch Mob, and Slaughter just to name a few. We also headline shows in Southern California. In fact the first stop on “The Lift” tour will be in Hollywood, CA at the Whisky A Go Go on Saturday February 3, 2018.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

We firmly believe that you create your own luck so yes you can make your mark. The real question is how bad do you want it? We are, have been and remain hungry to succeed! We were recently listed by Gerry Gittleson, a writer for Metal Sludge in Los Angeles as one of three local bands that actually draw a crowd when we play.

Another way Swirl has separated itself to a degree is getting involved in licensing our music into movies and television. For example Swirl has 3 songs in the 2 time award winning Ditch Day movie that stars Emmy award winner Bill Oberst Jr. The songs are Spell, We Are Alive and Rise Up (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_RhbgL5Cv0&t=11s ).  So far that film is available in 6 counties. We are working on more licensing deals for our music from the SWIRL EP as well as The Lift.

 How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

I have no complaints about social media! Swirl is doing very well with it. We also spend quite a bit of time and effort marketing our band globally. Again it`s a how bad do you want it situation. We didn`t wake up knowing what we know and have made mistakes along the way, but we learn, we grow and we apply lessons to the next venture for the band whether its online, in the studio or on stage.

We have been able to reach people that would otherwise have had very little chance of discovering our music so we are very grateful for social media. It is a big part of the music business now and I don`t see that changing any time soon.

See for yourself here-

SWIRL website- http://www.swirltheband.com/

SWIRL Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/swirltheband/

SWIRL Twitter- https://twitter.com/Swirltheband

SWIRL Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/swirltheband

SWIRL Soundcloud- https://soundcloud.com/swirl-dt

SWIRL YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/swirlgtr

SWIRL Reverbnation- http://www.reverbnation.com/socalswirl

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Thank you for your time and interest in Swirl. Look for the band to be on tour in and out of the United States in every country where the music making an impact on radio or through movies released that feature Swirl music.

Pete RingMaster 17/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

John Thayer – Face To Face EP

JT_RingMasterReview

Recently singer songwriter John Thayer released new EP Face To Face, a handful of songs which instinctively captivate as warm and suggestive melodies unite with emotion fuelled lyrics and vocals. There is also an intimate drama to each song which often blossoms to broader heights even as Thayer keeps it personal with his introspective exploration and reflections. The result is a release which captures ears with swift success and only lights the imagination further with subsequent listens.

The brother of Tommy Thayer, the lead guitarist in Kiss, John creates a sound inspired by the likes of Yes, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Steely Dan, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and The Who and based, as suggested by his latest offering, around ear seducing melodies. 2013 saw his indie/pop rock sound quickly grab ears and support through debut album Laurel Street, released as the new EP on EON Records.

Already stirring up eager attention, latest record Face to Face was co-produced by John and singer/songwriter producer Rob Daiker (Meredith Brooks, The Fame Riot) at Commune Studios in Portland Oregon and mixed by Greg Collins (U2, Matchbox Twenty, No Doubt). Straight away it seizes ears and imagination with its title track, the opener caressing both with gentle keys and ethereal harmonies initially. That earlier mentioned drama is just as swift in working its charm, coating the emerging orchestral bred keys and vocal expression of Thayer. Equally there is an instinctive catchiness which arises through the song, riffs and hooks mellow but potent as they add inescapable infectiousness to an affair which takes little time to seduce and involve the listener while providing an impressive start to the EP.

art_RingMasterReviewNot Afraid follows and quickly eclipses its predecessor as a thick wall of dramatic rhythmic and sonic energy hits ears. The song soon relaxes as Thayer’s vocals begin sharing melodic sighs and expression though the bass continues to bring dark shadows while prowling the calmer waters, lurking and waiting to join the frequent expulsions of that initial energy with erupt. It is gripping stuff reminding of British artist Johnny Wore Black, and with great unpredictability to its twists and dark hues to its emotion easily takes best song honours upon the EP.

In many ways the song sets a plateau the release never reaches again but enjoyment and creative imagination is still a potent proposal as firstly the melancholic stroll of Really Doesn’t Matter warms the senses to be followed by the evocative serenade of Angel. As the heart bred and felt tones of Thayer slip enjoyable through ears both songs are a flame of melodic enterprise within that ever dramatic air to richly satisfy.

The EP closes with Lonely Eyes and a tapestry of string bred shadows and guitar shaped intensity entangled with suggestive vocals and poetic melodies. There is something cinematic about the song too even as again Thayer ventures into the deepest emotions of the song’s heart. With a flame of a solo and the perpetual majesty of orchestral temptation, the track provides a striking end to an increasingly captivating release.

The Face To Face EP is our first moment shared with the songwriting and sound of John Thayer and like so many others we are sure, it will not be our last.

The Face To Face EP is out now via EON Records through most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/johnthayermusic

http://www.johnthayermusic.com

Pete RingMaster 02/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Damn Dice – The Great Unknown

Damn Dice Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

If some new metal infused hard rock ‘n’ roll is on the agenda then checking out the debut album from Damn Dice would not be a bad move. Unleashing twelve tenacious slices of hard rock, a dozen slabs of fiery, adrenaline fuelled stomps, The Great Unknown easily suggests the London based rockers are a band to keep a close eye on. It starts with a bang, ends with another invigorating stretch of songs, and though for personal tastes its middle section ebbs and flows in persuasion a touch too much, the whole album leaves full enjoyment as its prime legacy.

Damn Dice began in 2011 and quickly made a potent impression and impact with a live presence which in no time had a UK and European tour supporting LA Guns on its CV. The next couple of years saw the band reinforce their strong emergence whilst luring increasing acclaim through impressing headline shows and the release of their Wild ‘N’ Ready EP in 2013. It soon had the likes of Classic Rock AOR, Powerplay, Black Velvet, and Music Week offering eager praise whilst the single/video from it, Take The Fight saw the band regulars on Scuzz TV and indeed radio. Now the band is ready to make a hefty nudge on broader attention with The Great Unknown, an encounter as rousing as it is skilfully crafted, as riotous as it is familiarly infectious.

Recently Damn Dice has grown to a quintet with the addition of Diego, but it is the foursome of vocalist Alex, guitarist Wallis, bassist Marco, and drummer Fransoa who has ears ringing with opener Power. From a controlled and sonically suggestive start, the track is soon living up to its name with a charge of bone splitting beats and hungry riffery. Aligned to the quickly impressing tones of Alex, he supported as strongly across the rest of the band, and featuring an already grouchy presence by the bass, band and song is soon a virulent anthemic temptation. Bands such as Skid Row, KISS, and Hardcore Superstar are suggested as references to the Damn Dice sound, and certainly essences of them and others are open hues in the character and energy of the song though it matters little within the rampant fun of the encounter.

Damn Dice Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review   The seriously enticing start to The Great Unknown continues with What Now? and its initial rhythmic coaxing which courtesy of the bass, borders bestial. Its growling is the spark to a great contrast of niggling hooks and infection spewing grooves with vocals and melodies just as magnetic in one of the band’s previous singles. It springs a web of addictive enticement and inventive enterprise though again there is something recognisable to the encounter which fair to say only add to its allure before Driven brings its antagonism lined classic hard rock resourcefulness to court ears. Not as immediate in its persuasion as the first two, the song eventually proves to be just as inescapable for body and voice, as too the following Down, both songs easy to lock on to anthems sure to inflame any hall or speaker over time. The fourth track has an even more old school colouring to its fresh romp but as enjoyable as it proves to be, it is from here that The Great Unknown struggles for a while to match its early prowess.

To be fair though with The Way To Go from a sizzling electro touch going on to offer a bouncing boisterous shuffle of riffs and rhythms whilst Caught In The Ride and Words uncage a snarling catchy canter and evocative flame of emotion respectively, satisfaction is left smiling and the body catching its breath in their wakes. The latter two songs also unveil a spicy sonic enterprise and melodic imagination which only lures ears before Bang Your Head hits the album’s earlier plateau again next, its full throttle charge equipped with commanding rhythms and rip-roaring riffs and enslaving vocals. Once more Damn Dice are not exactly tapping into the hard rock unknown but its weighty slavery of ears and thick tempting is unavoidable before it quickly moves over for the equally dramatic and incendiary rampage of No Fear. As a few songs on the album, its start is thrilling drama but whereas others at times never manage to live up to their entrance in the rest of their bodies, the song continues to build a theatre of craft and adventure, not forgetting an invigorating anthem that only leaves a hunger for more and more you get with the outstanding Take The Fight. Unafraid to throw in a dose of rock pop for its contagious chorus, it takes little time to see why the song raised such enthusiasm and focus when released previously, its potency just as fierce and forceful now.

The album is brought to a close by the sinew built, rhythm swinging Rock (Like You Mean It), a song which arguably feeds expectations a touch too much yet still grows to be a more flavoursome beast with every listen, and lastly the compelling croon and passion of the excellent Home, where musically and vocally Damn Dice just reinforce the diversity of their sound to give a last treat for ears.

The Great Unknown is nothing less than thorough enjoyment from start to finish with certain stretches where it really gets to grips with wants and tastes. Different songs will work for individual appetites but if hard rock and metal infused rock ‘n’ roll hits your sweet spot then Damn Dice and their album is well worthy of an hour of your time at the very least.

The Great Unknown is released August 24th through most stores.

RingMaster 24/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Blackwitch Pudding – Covered In Pudding Vol. 1

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A year ago Oregon metallers Blackwitch Pudding released debut album Taste The Pudding, a collection of tracks which the trio of Wizards ‘took back stole and diluted their invention’. The story goes for newcomers to the Portland band, is that for 600 years Blackwitch Pudding has been “conjuring evil riffs, casting spells and wreaking supernatural havoc upon this planet” only to have mortals steal their creativity for their own success. That is the short version of the tale behind the presence of the band and their striking releases which take existing songs and turn them into the beasts they feel they were meant to be. You cannot call their tongue in cheek exploits the work of a cover band because of the whole new character and twisted invention they evolve songs with as well as the new warped lyrical adventures each comes with. Simply they take an established canvas and build a new ravenous predation of doom speared with caustic stoner grooves, biting hooks, and narratives of sex, drugs, and witch bred salaciousness. Now the band has unearthed the Covered In Pudding Vol. 1 EP and another quartet of singularly compelling and questionably sinful exploits.

Opening track Night Of The Blackwitch, stemming from Roky Erickson‘s Night of the Vampire, is a dank and pestilential crawl over the senses, riffs moving with erosive rapaciousness and rhythms with a military bearing which is as deceitful as the hypnotic seduction within their malevolent intent. Psychedelically enhanced and insidiously aired lyrically and sonically, the song makes for a black soaked night of incitement complete with the rawest vocals to be found still churning syllables in a graveyard. It is doom with a ridiculously enticing core which overpowers the mischievous intent to its sculpting and devilry.

The following and irresistible Toke’n Man is equally as lumbering in its primal filth clad predation as it ‘steals’ back the essence of Rush track Working Man. You can almost taste the fumes of its hazy breath and addled imagination as Blackwitch Pudding - Covered in Pudding (web)the track seeps relentlessly over senses and imagination. Riffs make for the darkest web whilst rhythms again have a controlled frame to their corruptive endeavour but it is the bass stalked grooves and vocal recruitment of the band which makes the strongest toxic persuasion.

Kiss lose their anthem God Of Thunder to the threesome next as they unleash Gods Of Grungus and its bar room brawl of liquor soaked ferocity and devilment. Whereas the first two songs had a laid back senses consuming gait, the third track sees the band break into what can best be called a limping swagger with is muscles swinging lethargically and an energy keen to riot yet not too far away from the next swig of alcoholic poison. It like its predecessors is a magnetic treat to make you forget the source of their birth, each track so far improving on the original canvases.

Bong Hits and Lust completes the EP with an eleven minute epic doom transformation of Diamonds And Rust of Joan Baez and Judas Priest fame. It is a rabid and vicious slab of slow ear entwining doom revelry which exposes more of the undoubted skill and craft of the band members and of course their cauldron of possessed diablerie.

To be honest it is hard to know how to take the EP and album before it. Certainly it is a thoroughly enjoyable and accomplished encounter to easily recommend indulging in, but something inside for all the work and enterprise the band puts into each track wants Blackwitch Pudding to confront with something completely of their own…though maybe they already do that in another guise?

The self –released Covered In Pudding Vol. 1 is available now digitally and on 200 limited-edition, wizard-conjured cassettes @ http://blackwitchpudding.bandcamp.com/

http://blackwitchpudding.com/

8/10

RingMaster 14/08/2014

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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Scream Arena – Self Titled

Scream Arena fireplace photo

Though their self-titled debut does not offer anything to truly blow the imagination away, UK rockers Scream Arena vein their release with an essence which makes it a very appetising and easy to return to venture. Consisting of twelve tracks which breathe from a hard rock heart whilst infusing rich spices of melodic metal aligned to a swagger related to glam rock, the album is an honestly satisfying encounter; nothing to get the passions racing but plenty to have them hungry for more.

Scream Arena was formed in 2005 by vocalist/songwriter Andy Paul in response to how he felt the rock scene was floundering at the time. Moving through numerous personnel changes, the band eventually found its potency and stability with the line-up guitarists Alex Mullings and Phil O’Dea, bassist Lincoln J. Roth, and drummer Michael Maleckyj alongside Paul. It was the linking up with US rock producer/musician Paul Sabu (David Bowie, Madonna, KISS, Shania Twain, Silent Rage) for the album which has provided the final spark to grabbing a richer spotlight for their sound and presence, something the release shines with. There is a certain Cooper-esque feel to the sound soaking each track and flavours from the likes of Motley Crue, Kiss, and Extreme seem to soak into the band’s invention which makes for a familiar offering with a refreshing and heartily pleasing presence but also a lack of uniqueness which all evens out for an easily pleasing and enjoyable proposition.

Opening track Born Ready revs itself up from the first second, riffs and rhythms a solidly coaxing lure which the guitar design of the Scream Arena - coverartsong explores with eagerness. Once into a purposeful stride with flailing sonic flumes wrapping notes and ears as the gruff tones of Paul eagerly travels the road of the song; it is a magnetic anthem awakening attention and appetite for the impending adventure, which the following engagement of The Price Of Love takes into another gear. Again there is nothing flash about the song, just straight forward and accomplished rock ‘n’ roll cored by infectious short grooves and an excellent rhythmic tempting. The bass also adds to the irrepressible bait of the song, its dark throaty tones a prowling shadow to the punkish twist of the song and the fluid addictive call of the band vocals across the chorus. The song easily confirms, alongside its predecessor, the strength and potency of Scream Arena’s sound and the strength of the album though levels do ebb and flow throughout its remainder.

   Racing To The End Of Night is the first lull in the contagion of the album, its melodic balladry and sensitive sonic enterprise excellently crafted alongside the kiss of eighties bred keys but the spark which made the previous songs notable is a dull light. Nevertheless the song makes for an evocative companion before the sturdier slightly antagonistic House of Pain brings its muscular body and rhythmic caging to bear on thoughts and emotions. The song is an instantly accessible pleasure with bass and drums again stealing the limelight before the stylish skill and colour of guitar takes its fair share of the spoils. With a chorus quite incendiary on the passions the track makes for a gripping incitement which is hard to say is equalled by the cover of Heartbreak Hotel which comes straight after. The song is a mixed bag and leaves thoughts undecided. Certainly the fact that the band turns it into their own song rather than producing just a straight a cover is commendable and very pleasing but it feels like something is missing, a vital ingredient to pull all their ideas into the gem it threatens but fails ultimately to be.

Another Night in London makes for a very easy to immerse in stroll whilst the lively and boisterous Knave Of Hearts romps with feisty intent and gripping invention to steal best track honours with ease. It arguably marks a more adventurous turn in the album with the excellent Forever unleashing emotive guitar expression and skilful rhythmic enticement alongside a similarly potent vocal lure. Goodnight LA is a paler and predictable if admittedly very decent meat between the previous slice of quality and the following pair of Somewhere and the sultry Queen Of Dreams. The first of the two is a hazy breeze of evocative sonic hues and spicy melodies which cradles thoughts and emotions bewitchingly whilst the second of the two soaks the ears in a warm melodic embrace clad in a smouldering glaze of sonic temptation.

With bonus track Heart Of The Rock rigorously and enjoyably bringing the album to a close, Scream Arena has provided a weighty persuasion which marks out their potential in lively colour. It is not a powerfully dramatic introduction to the York based band but certainly leaves no doubts that they are upon a potent ascent.

The Scream Arena album is available now via Mighty Music.

http://www.screamarena.com/

7/10

RingMaster 14/05/2014

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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