Sandness – Higher & Higher

We cannot say that seventies/eighties metal and hard rock are flavours which light our fires too often but it is fair to say that Higher & Higher, the new album from Italian outfit Sandness ticked many boxes of enjoyment whilst embracing exactly those styles. It is a release which initially struggled to spark the imagination but song by song, listen by listen, grew to be a thoroughly engaging and pleasurable affair; not without flaws but inciting an appetite to hear more from and follow the band as they realise the open potential within the release ahead.

Hailing from Rovereto in southern Trento, Sandness started out in 2008; formed by teenage friends, bassist/vocalist Mark Denkley and drummer/vocalist Metyou ToMeatyou. Inspired by the likes of Mötley Crüe, Crashdiet, Poison, Hanoi Rocks, W.A.S.P., The Ramones, Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath and the likes, the band soon honed its eighties toned sound. A few line-up changes ensued before the current line-up was secured with the addition of guitarist/vocalist Robby Luckets in 2009. Subsequent years has seen the trio support the likes of Adam Bomb, L.A. Guns, and Tygers Of Pan Tang, play across their homeland as well as undertake several European tours and take the stage at the renowned Glam Fest in France. Two demos, Return To Decadence in 2010 and especially Life Without Control the following year, lured strong attention though it was debut album Like An Addiction in 2013 which really sparked a more global awareness of their sound. Now Higher & Higher, released as its predecessor by Sleaszy Rider Records, is stoking up a new wave of fans and though we might not be leading the surge, reasons are readily apparent as to why its fresh success in persuasion .

The album opens with You Gotta Lose, a track which failed to tempt the first time and still labours trying to convince. Opening with a blast of group vocals and predictable eighties riffery, the song soon reveals a snarl which grabs attention but one as quickly tempered by the again familiar harmonic wash of voices.  It is hard to pin down exactly what is lacking within the track other than it just does not appeal to personal tastes but it is a decent start swiftly left sounding pale as the album takes off starting with next up Street Animals. The second song similarly offers a recognisable melodic welcome but is soon spinning its own web of hooks and twists; some unique some familiar but a great fusion creating flavoursome rock ‘n’ roll. Without reading the influences on Sandness, they are easy to guess from this song alone and as suggested eagerly employed by the band in their blossoming character of sound.

The individual prowess of each member is just as open in the track and equally next up Hollywood. Prowling ears initially, it soon whips out some Billy Idol spiced hooks and other moments which are vaguely System Of A Down like in nature. As the album, it is a song which grows and seduces more and more with every listen, its increasingly imaginative nature richly engaging before the melodic croon of Promises in turn captivates. With an increasing fire in its belly inciting a great bass grumble, the song quickly establishes itself as a major highlight of the release, musically and vocally hitting a high.

Through the vocally unstable but ultimately enjoyable Sunny Again and the boisterous hard rock of One Life there is little not too like even if neither can live up to their predecessor while the short poetic instrumental of Light In The Dark captivates before Heat lives up to its name with some quite irresistible fiery grooves against another great grouchy mix of bass and drums, the former the persistent provider of potent bait across the whole of Higher & Higher. With its blues scented flames, the song is another peak in the album as too the power pop rock romp of its successor Perfect Machine. There are no major surprises but a stream of hooks and flirtatious tempting which has body and voice quickly involved and enjoying every second.

The album is at its best by this point, Monster Inside Me backing up the previous two with its own tenacious glam/heavy metal stomp and mix of imaginative features and matched in potency by the groove woven Play With Fire, its prime lures striking as the band revels in its eighties inspirations once again.

Closing with the hearty and increasingly volatile balladry of Will You Ever, a song like the opener it was hard to connect with personally, Higher & Higher provides an increasingly compelling proposition easy to suggest fans of eighties metal and rock especially take a close look at. Sandness is never going to be the first thought when choosing the soundtrack for our day but with Higher & Higher they are going to be considered more than many others bands, for others they will be a long term involvement.

Higher & Higher is available now through Sleaszy Rider Records @ http://www.sandnessofficial.com/shop/ and other online stores.

http://www.sandnessofficial.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Sandnessband

Pete RingMaster 19/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

L.A. Knights – Psychoanalyze

LAK_RingMasterReview

Wearing inspirations and musical passions on their sleeve, whilst creating fresh and riotous stomps for all, is Akron, Ohio rockers L.A. Knights. Certainly that is the case with their new album Psychoanalyze, a riot of rock ‘n’ roll that only wants to, and unstoppably does, party. Embracing rock sounds from the past handful of decades onwards into their tenacious brew of hard rock, L.A. Knights prove to be a band which replaces major surprises within their sound with honest, balls swinging creative energy and passion; a quality which simply leaves satisfaction full to bursting.

L.A. Knights began in 2011, formed by Jozey who was the bartender and manager of The Bunker, a bar where rock band Bang Tango was booked to play a show. The lead guitarist brought together the first line-up of L.A. Knights to support the LA headliners that night; it subsequently continuing as a covers band inspired by the likes of Mötley Crüe and Guns N’ Roses from there. As the chemistry within the band grew, Jozey was reluctantly persuaded by vocalist Dave Fanz to explore the writing of their own material, a venture quickly producing fan impressing results. Since then, the band has shared stages with the likes of Faster Pussycat, Jackyl, Bullet Boys, L.A. Guns, Cinderella and many others, a success matched by debut album Rubber City Meltdown, whose regional triumph led LA Knights to the attention of, and signing with, Chicago label Independent Ear. Now, the quintet is poised to wake up stronger and broader attention with their April released Psychoanalyze.

The album opens up with Are You Ready and immediately stirs ears with thumping beats and voracious rhythms matched in imposing kind by riffs. As quickly as it hits its robust stride, so the enterprise of Jozey and rhythm guitarist Jeff Curry unveils rich enticement as they embrace the vocal incitement of Fanz. The song’s question is swiftly answered by feet and energy as it proceeds to further reveal a resourceful bassline from Troy Poder amidst the rapier like swings of drummer Michael Gallagher, as melodies and sonic tempting collude around them.

art_RingMasterReviewFrom one highly infectious anthemic persuasion to another in the tenacious shape of Dance. Early on a spicy groove has the appetite on board whilst the feisty rumble of rhythms backed by group shouts arouses body and spirit. The guitarists only add to the healthy persuasion as choice riffs and hooks become embroiled with the craft and imagination of Jozey’s sonic endeavours. As the first, the track is a spark to unbridled revelry, a boisterous party which continues as the album’s title track growls and prowls ears next. Though a less demanding proposal, the song matches its predecessors in prime catchiness, backing their impressive start with its own thoroughly enjoyable presence before Devil On My Heels reveals its classic rock prowess. Featuring Tim “Ripper” Owens, the song bristles and growls as it links some addiction forging hooks and melodic flames with a great union of vocals.

L.A. Knights continue to share a variety of rock ‘n’ roll hues; the blues tinged air of For The Girls a rebel rousing declaration whilst Tattooed and Scarred offers an even more colourful hug of acoustic and sultry blues rock enticement. Both songs, as indeed the album, grow in presence and enjoyment with every listen; the second especially galvanic even with its mellower character compared to songs like the fiery and sweaty Trainwreck and the hair metal roar of That Girl. Both tracks are undiluted and unfussy rock ‘n’ roll offering an invention of bold hooks and descriptive melodies that simply captivate ears and imagination.

As suggested earlier, the band’s sound is less concerned with re-inventing the rock wheel then providing listeners with a rebellious and incendiary time which both Time Wounds and Whiskey Drinking Fool more than deliver on. The first is hot bed of classic metal strikes within an equally nostalgic heavy rock thunder whilst its successor simply turns the temperature up to furnace and uncages a volcanic slab of dirty, liquor incited rock ‘n’ roll. Both the tracks leave the body alive and exhausted, and in hungry mode for the closing treat of a cover of The Beatles’ Hard Days Night. Quite simply L.A. Knights infuse it with adrenaline and punkish contagion to create a great end to an increasingly enjoyable album.

Psychoanalyze will not persuade you that L.A. Knights is going to take metal ‘n’ roll to new places or bold creative heights, but it will convince that the band is one hell of a incitement for a salacious rumble/party or two.

Psychoanalyze will be released April 8th via Independent Ear with pre-ordering available now @ http://www.independentear.com/store/la-knights-psychoanalyze-pre-order

https://www.facebook.com/LA.Knights.Band   http://twitter.com/@laknights16

Pete RingMaster 08/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Devilstrip – Rise

Devilstrip Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

This month sees Rise, the debut album from US rockers Devilstrip get its UK release and show what those over the pond and especially in Akron, Ohio know, that the trio is one thickly enjoyable hard rock roar. The ten track encounter offers an infectious and rousing proposal rich in heavy grooves and melodic tenacity upon robust rhythms; the result being rock ‘n’ roll to get eagerly close up and personal with.

Formed in the closing weeks of 2012, Devilstrip consists of lead vocalist/guitarist Marc Wasmund, bassist/vocalist Graig Lindgren, and drummer/vocalist Jimmy Gray. Drawing in inspirations from the likes of Black Stone Cherry, Live, and Foo Fighters, the threesome soon set about penning tracks built on the intent to “create something original, yet accessible”. Debut single Go lit ears first, its well-received release also the touch paper to the band’s hunger to play live, an appetite seeing them share stages with bands such as Europe, Buckcherry, Jared Weeks, Girl on Fire, Saving Abel, and L.A. Guns amongst many over time. Fair to say, Rise only reinforced the band’s emergence in the US underground scene, drawing plaudits from critics, media, and fans alike. That success is surely to be expected in the UK moving into Europe now as the Devilstrip sound makes its invitation through Rise.

Not What You Need is the first slice of bait from the album, its initial low key and atmospheric sonic coaxing a deceptive lead into the swiftly fiery and boisterous heart of the song. Riffs and rhythms are soon a choppy lure over which the potent tones of Wasmund entice as agreeably as the slim grooves and melodic tempting also exposed. It is easy to see where that Black Stone Cherry spicing comes into the band’s music in the opener alone, though it is not an overpowering essence in the broader heavy rock character of the song.

Devilstrip Cover Artwork_RingMaster ReviewIt is a thoroughly enjoyable start but quickly outshone and played by Go. From the off, flirtatious grooves and melodic charm holds ears as country rock meets grungy hard rock flavours colour the track and imagination. In no time hips twist as eagerly as those grooves and feet dance as tenaciously as rhythms, Wasmund the vocal ringleader to it all in the increasingly varied proposition. More irritable and antagonistic as it goes, the track has ears hungry for more which Including Me more than feeds with its outstanding revelry. For all the references offered as hints to the band’s sound, this track is like Terrorvision at their inventive best; a tone and spicing which does the song no harm at all. Across Rise, there are many familiar scents and essences of bands and supposed influences yet, as here, they only add to the nature and infectious weight of the album.

Both the swinging temptress that is Are You Ready and the punkish Kill The Headlights keep album and ears in thick unity, the first an insatiable flirtation of grooves and anthemic theatre whilst the second stomps and swaggers around one delicious throaty bassline. Its punk n’ roll flavoured canter come prowl is a lively affair with the right mix of devilment and intimidation to have feet leaping and emotions cornered in preparation for the resourceful confrontation of To The Enemy. A great steely bassline opens things up, its irresistible bait soon joined by sonic flames and stabbing beats before all three collude in a predatory courting of ears. Things relax a smidgeon as the vocals reflect the song’s lyrical heart but always there is a volatile atmosphere to sound and voice sparking feistier evocative eruptions of emotion and energy.

The crunchy presence and emotive reflection of Ugly comes next, its pleasing if slightly unadventurous offering allowing no lessening of attention, as neither does Light Up The Room straight after. Again there is a punk hue to the air of the subsequent power ballad spiced encounter, more essences showing the flavoursome and varied songwriting of the band before Love, Hate, Die backs all thoughts with its potent croon and melody soaked intensity. Like its predecessor and indeed the following She Said, there are plenty of aggressive turns within scenery draped in melodic charm and prone to angst fuelled roars, and as the other pair, plenty to be captivated by. With She Said enjoying a great tempestuous climate, the trio conclude Rise in fine style, though for personal tastes, the album is at its loftiest in the first half dozen tracks where they seem to have much more character to their imagination and devilry.

Nevertheless Rise is a gripping slab of hard rock from a band we can only hope to hear and see more of this side of the Atlantic from hereon in.

Rise is released in the UK on January 22nd Through All Stores.

http://www.devilstriprocks.com   https://www.facebook.com/Devilstripband   https://twitter.com/devilstriprocks

Pete RingMaster 22/01/2916

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Devilstrip to “Rise” in January 2016

Devilstrip_Cover_Artwork_RingMaster Review

US ROCKERS DEVILSTRIP UNLEASH THEIR DEBUT ALBUM TO THE UK THIS WINTER!

Devilstrip are a hard-rock power trio from the rust-belt of Akron, Ohio, USA. Comprised of Marc Wasmund (lead vocals/guitar), Graig Lindgren (bass/vocals), and Jimmy Gray (drums/vocals), the three piece tug from the inspirational powers of Black Stone Cherry, Live, and Foo Fighters, with critics already describing the band as “melodic, raw stadium rock with a bit of punk rock sensibility”. Stocked with hefty riffs, soaring melodies, and an explosive debut album in the shape of ‘Rise’, which drops on Friday 22nd January, the band are destined to break in 2016.

Born December 2012, the three piece had a strong desire to create something original, yet accessible, and instantly set to work, soon penning their debut single ‘Go’. Intense rehearsals and extensive writing followed, along with a gigging schedule which has seen the DIY rocksters grace stages with everyone from Europe, Buckcherry, Jared Weeks, Girl on Fire and Saving Abel, to the L.A. Guns. The band have also recently filmed an episode of the hit TV show “Bar Rescue”, which will air on Channel 5 later this year.

With the trio’s blossoming live reputation, Devilstrip decided to turn their attention to crafting their debut album ‘Rise’. Independently mixed and produced, the record is a call to arms for anyone and everyone that has an affinity with burly riffs and earnest songwriting. The layered depth of their debut album is evident as hammering drums and probing guitars, entwined with alluring hooks, cleverly wind their way deep into your core. Tracks such as the mighty ‘Go’ and the emotive ‘She Said’ are sure to light up radio airwaves. Devilstrip will tour the UK in the Spring, so latch onto the band now before they explode in 2016.

-DEVILSTRIP RELEASE ‘RISE’ THROUGH ALL STORES ON FRIDAY 22nd JANUARY-

https://www.devilstriprocks.com  https://www.facebook.com/Devilstripband  https://twitter.com/akrondevilstrip

Underground Ocean – Get Me Out

Underground Ocean_RingMaster Review

Get Me Out is the debut single from UK rock band Underground Ocean and it is fair to say that the strong and seriously agreeable encounter sets a very potent base from which the band can spring forward from. It is an attention sparking introduction, not a song to set a fanfare ringing in the head, but one easily suggesting Underground Ocean are moving in the right direction to becoming a very viable rock success.

The Worcester quartet began early 2014, breeding their sound from inspirations ranging from Foo Fighters, The Police, and Manic Street Preachers to Stereophonics and Fleetwood Mac. The foursome of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Stuart McDonnell, lead guitarist Matt Beddoes, bassist George Parker, and drummer Lee Evans all come into the band with experiences of playing across the UK with various bands, Evans alone a part of outfits supporting the likes of L.A. Guns (Both), Ratt, Twisted Sister, Poison, Vince Neil, Bang Tango, Skid Row, Faster Pussycat, and Dirty Penny over the years. Experience is always a plus factor and you can feel that kind of knowledge and prowess soaking the new single, its creator’s learning of craft in the field so to speak, bringing as much to the maturity and rich songwriting fuelling the band’s sound and indeed Get Me Out, as the undoubted individual skill and invention of its members.

cover_RingMaster Review    Get Me Out emerges on a sonic lure, quickly unveiling a weave of melodic and rhythmic enterprise ready for the warm tones of McDonnell. With everything in place as the song hits a vibrant and punchy stride, a familiar air washes over the track yet it brings no distinct comparisons, just a general glaze of melody rich rock and quickly enjoyable endeavour. There is also real catchiness to the song which has feet tapping and voices involved in its easy going chorus, that infectiousness enhanced by the great shadowed feel of the bass which bring an opposing and a similarly rounded depth to the song as the vocals.

Recorded with Gavin Monaghan at Magic Garden studios and originally released last December, the re-release of Get Me Out feels like it is in the right place at the right time to awaken greater awareness of Underground Ocean and their persistently engaging sound. The song does not have you sparking into rigorous declarations about the band just yet but ahead of their new single I See Through You in September and their first EP later this year, it inspires definite intrigue to hear more.

Get Me Out is out now on iTunes and most other major platforms.

Upcoming Underground Ocean live dates…

7th August, Worcester Beer, Cider and PERRY FESTIVAL – Pitchcroft, Worcester

22nd August, Boars Head – Kidderminster

http://undergroundocean.com/  https://www.facebook.com/undergroundocean

RingMaster 13/07/2015

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

 

Raised Emotionally Dead – Memo

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     When we say that the sounds you hear on Memo are nothing you have not really heard before do not take this as a slight or criticism as the debut from Canadian hard rockers Raised Emotionally Dead is one of the most enjoyable releases to come along this year. It is pure metallic rioting, with songs and music to turn any occasion or hour into an adrenaline soaked, sonically sculpted thrilling storm. There is also a distinctive breath and tone to the album which does go against our opening line but simply if you are already seduced by the sounds of say early Marilyn Mansion, Murderdolls, Rob Zombie, and Dope you are going to have a ball with this Toronto quintet.

    Raised Emotionally Dead was born from the earlier project of vocalist Jezla and guitarist ZeeDee called The Hellz Kitchen Show. 2011 saw the pair build their own recording studio and start Red Channel Records as they sought to discover and perfect their own unique sound. Now you could happily argue that uniqueness is one of the less immediate attributes of Memo but to be fair it is hard to think of anyone who presents the familiarity in the same breath-taking way that these gentlemen do. With a line-up completed by ex-Zeroscape guitarist Specializt, ex- Papa’s Delicate Condition bassist Nibz, and drummer Naz, the band has opened for the likes of Marilyn Manson, L.A.Guns, John Corabi, Vince Neil, Gilby Clark, The Birthday Massacre, DOPE, Faster Pussycat, Dog Fashion Disco, Trash Light Vision, Carnival Diablo, Nash the Slash and many more. Memo is the next major step and one with luck which will open them up to the hunger of the metal/rock world.

     The release opens with one of the most contagious songs heard in a long time. Channel Radio stomps all over the senses the moment it leaps from the initial sample, drums thumping with antagonistic provocation whilst the guitars eagerly grind through the ear with compelling riffs and vigorously seductive grooves. With the throaty bass adding its devilry to the mix and the vocals of Jezla scowling over it all like an expressive tempest,  the track takes mere seconds to tempt thoughts and passions into joining its bruising cause. Every second and atom of the song is pure contagion, a wicked device to have the limbs, voice, and energy of its recipients expelling their enthused participation. Ok it has that call of recognition to it but the likes of Dope, Mansion, and Wednesday 13, whom the song reminds most of, have not had this effect and persuasiveness about them in a long time, if at all for some.

   The outstanding start is soon complemented by the equally hungry and tempting sounds of Shed It, guitars carving up the air with muscle clad riffs alongside an infectious rhythmic menace. The hard rock voice of the song is a clear call which suggest elements of G ‘N’ R whilst vocally again that confrontational squalling tone of Jezla assisted by great group calls, rides the torrent of aggressive energy like a sinewy surfer, syllables and words caught in the appealing wake. As the song and its successor Selfish Inc. rampage with varied intent and enterprise it is hard not to be wrapped up in the fun and energy of it all, whilst that openness of resources just makes it easier to engage and participate with the lure of each track.

     Whilst the previous two songs slip slightly below the immense opener both Resistance and Code Red have little trouble in staking their claim for top honours on the release. The first of the pair has a slight industrial lilt to its enticement which makes for a NIN/Pitchshifter like incitement with an extra unintended nod to Italian band Houston! which only adds to the imaginative craft and adventure of the song. The track also continues to push the diversity within the album beneath that surface recognition, something the second of the two equally reinforces with creative ease. There is a feel of Gruntruck at times here as the guitars shape the body of the song and rhythms cast their cage over the senses to appease further the greedy appetite slavering now over every song.

     The underlying mystique of Faceless makes an enthralling temptress next, even if the song falls short of the pinnacles set, whilst the likes of Out Of Control with its Jane’s Addiction like groove and the slow burning Messenger captivate with a virulent toxin that leaves nothing less than rich satisfaction.

   Closing on the fiery and reflective Applaud, a song which arguably is the weakest on the album yet still enlists full union with its badgering rock sounds, Memo is an album that leaves you exhausted but enriched in pleasure. Yes the band probably need to explore for a distinct voice ahead but right now they have delivered one undeniable treat.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Raised-Emotionally-Dead/191217410892909

http://www.raisedemotionallydead.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 24/03/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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