Crepuscular calm: the Dark Serenity Interview

Introducing hard rock trio Dark Serenity

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

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

We are Dark Serenity, composed of members Zach Barnes (bass), Kate Emrich (guitar and vocals), and Mike Bergamo (drums). We started writing music in Kate’s basement back in high school, which is where we met each other. We were brought together by a similar level of ambition in addition to the obvious shared interest in being in a band and creating music.

Had you been in other bands before?

We haven’t been involved in other bands before, but we went through a few line-up changes until we discovered which members would stick. I’m sure it led to a change in style and direction, because we are a group that values the insight of each individual member.

What inspired the band name?

The band name means that there is light in the dark, and more specifically that the motivation for life and light lies within the reality that death and darkness are inevitable.

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

We didn’t approach the formation of the band with the intention of sounding a certain way. We wanted to create a sound that sounded like us, one where each one of us used our respective influences to make our own sound.

And that instinct still primarily drives the band now it is more experienced or has new aspects evolved over time?

I would say the same things still drive us. Those things being the intent to succeed in our field and inspire others to do the same, as well as to live our own lives the way we want to.

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

I would say our sound has matured, basically, as we have as musicians. We write in different song structures and utilize our instrument’s capabilities more fully. We can write parts that complement the other instrumentals more effectively, and more clearly communicate our messages.

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

It’s both. When you deliberately try new things you tend to find a more of an organic movement and vice versa.

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?

We are inspired by the creations of many of the greats, such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, the Jimi Hendrix Experience and the Who. That being said we’ve never deliberately practiced their songwriting approaches.

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

Yes, typically we write by picking a key and a time signature, then doing an improv session within those specifications. The body of the song usually comes first, with the bass and drums; then the guitar, and then the vocals are written last.

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

More often than not our lyrics cover subjects that include and challenge societal norms. We have songs about deviating from said norms.

Could you give us some background to your latest release?

Our latest release is our debut album that we released last year. It’s called ‘Memento Mori’ and is eight tracks. It was a live tracked album, which we did on purpose to emulate the experience of a live performance.

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

The themes we mentioned discussing our commonly used lyrical themes are the themes we applied to the tracks on this album.

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 go into the studio with our songs completed. We don’t like bringing unfinished material because there’s no guarantee you will come out with something you’re happy with. When a song is complete there’s not really a question as to whether or not it will turn out like you had hoped.

Tell us about the live side to the band, obviously a favourite aspect of being in the band?

Live we deliver an animated and authentic performance. We’ve been told that our passion for what we do is obvious and felt throughout the room. We want to deliver the best version of ourselves.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it?

We have found it difficult yet worthwhile. We are lucky to have been brought up as musicians in the metro Detroit area where there are a lot of music fans and a decent number of live venues. It’s arguably harder to get your foot in the door when there are several other groups going for the same goals as you. However, in addition to that difficulty, you also find the most support from the other musicians. You have to work hard, break a sweat, then gain respect…But the respect that you gain is worth it.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something positive within a realm flooded with artists and a short attention society or more of a necessary trial?

Bands nowadays need to utilize social media to their advantage, just like any other form of entrepreneur. You’re selling yourself as the product, basically, and in today’s market, you need to unapologetically market yourself with the tools everybody else is using to have a shot at mainstream success. So yeah, not being able to properly use social media can hurt your career, but most likely, will stunt your growth overall. There are obviously always exceptions to a rule, though.

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

Thank you for having us! We just want to add that you can find our music on every streaming platform, and that you can find us on Facebook or Instagram. Please show us your support!

https://www.darkserenityofficial.com   https://www.facebook.com/pg/darkserenityband   https://www.instagram.com/darkserenityband  https://twitter.com/Dark__Serenity

Pete RingMaster 06/11/019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Turning on the LoveSick Radio

US rockers LoveSick Radio “bring a distinctive blend of unapologetic rock guitar coupled with pop melodies and a little hip-hop swagger, creating a fresh sound all their own. “ The words of their bio are swiftly backed up by a sound which infests body and spirit and a live presence which has had halls bouncing long before the likes of All-American Rejects, Bon Jovi, Dorothy, Bobaflex, Scott Weland of Stone Temple Pilots, Justin Bieber, Blue October, Kid Rock, Steel Panther, Three Days Grace, Hinder, Twenty One Pilots, Safety Suit, Paramore, Dead Sara and New Found Glory have followed the band on stage.

A short while back we had the pleasure thanks to the guys finding out more with the band, chatting about origins, their sound, songs, and much more…

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

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

David (Guitar):  Thanks for having us! We are LoveSick Radio & we play honest rock & roll with a touch of blues/punk. This line-up started when I reached out to Troy, our singer. I asked him if he wanted to sing on a track I had & he was game. Oddly enough we have known each other forever but can’t remember how we met. That song snowballed into bringing in Glenn & the Matts. We’ve been writing & touring ever since.

Were you involved in other bands previously? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe style or direction?

Glenn (Bass): All of us have played in a bunch of bands prior to coming together and doing this one. We’ve all brought a lot of what we learned in the other bands, as far as what makes a band work and what doesn’t and what we want out of music, to this band. Everyone’s past musical experiences have really shaped the way this band operates. Being in a band is like a relationship: you have to go through some tough ones to discover what you want.

What inspired the band name?

Matt B. (guitar): Our previous drummer was going through a breakup. Whilst on his way to rehearsal he kept hearing all these songs about heartbreak on the radio & when he got to rehearsal he made a comment about how the radio seemed lovesick & everyone thought it sounded cool so we went with it.

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

Matt S. (Drummer): I wouldn’t say there were any specific ideas about forming the band.  We are just 5 guys who vibe well with each other musically, have an almost obsessive passion for music, and the drive to write and play day in and day out.  All of us have differing backgrounds musically, but at the heart of it, we love rock and roll.  The sound is a culmination of the individual influences of all of us, but more importantly, we just want to write good songs.  A good song is a good song, regardless of the genre.  Some might sound heavier, more twangy, or more soulful than others, but that’s all of our personalities coming out.

Do the same things still drive the band from those fresh faced days or have they evolved over time?

Matt B.: Essentially writing great songs that we get off on performing & connecting with an audience has always been the driving force within the band.

As the band evolves the drive to widen our reach & get our music out to the masses becomes stronger & stronger

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

Troy (Singer): “Early days” kinda makes me laugh as I still feel like we are in our “early days”, but as far as evolution I think that honestly happens from song to song. Not just in our sound, but as a band overall…getting more comfortable with one another and for me as a vocalist pushing myself to new places. I think evolution has started since day one for us.

Are those things, that evolution, something organic or more the band deliberately setting out to try new things?

Matt S.: We aren’t afraid to try new things or experiment musically.  It just depends on the mood of the song and what makes sense.  We don’t just follow a music equation, but obviously we want our music to be accessible to everyone.  From the time that someone shares an idea, we build on it, we practice it, and we finally record it, the song could be almost completely different.  I’d like to think it happens organically.  When we get in the studio, that’s where the fun and experimentation begins.   On the current album we are working on, we have instruments which we do not have live on stage (strings, keys, horns), the band plays kazoos and sings gang vocals, we stomp, we clap, we play instruments that we have never played before, just to get the sound and vibe that we hear in our heads.. 

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?

David: Yes everyone in the band love a million different things but I think the artist the inspire our approach are Aerosmith, AC/DC, The Stones, LED Zeppelin, Sex Pistols, The Rival Son & Stereophonics to name a few. These are all iconic bands & that’s what we strive to be one day. So we are constantly pushing ourselves to be the best we can be.

Is there a particular process to your songwriting?

Troy: There are always gonna be some variations, but music usually comes first…typically a killer riff. I’ll take a rough demo and live with it for a while…usually spend time driving around coming up with ideas and bring them to rehearsal where everyone chimes in. So in the beginning it’ a very “isolated” process but as we get things worked up, the band as a whole will bring in all the different influences.

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

Troy: Inspiration for me is always life…either something I lived or something I am watching someone go through. The only time it would vary is if I am asked to write for a specific TV or movie thing, but even then I have to draw from personal experiences…As an introvert I spend a lot of my time just watching people. I write what I see.

Please give us some background to your latest release.

Glenn: Our latest release is a song called “Young Hurricane”. It’s written kind of like a poem in the way the vocals are structured. Basically it’s just about sticking’ to your guns and doing what you know is right (kind of a metaphor for playing rock n roll in 2019). A lot of the really cool elements of the song came together in the studio when we had a chance to really sit down and play with different ideas to build the song.

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

Troy: I think it is fair to say we have some pretty universal themes with all our tracks…def some self-reflection and overcoming, some rebellious middle finger flipping and of course love and loss. I’d say our next release “Bloodshot Eyes” falls in the self-reflecting/ overcoming category but doing the reflecting in some smokey bar if those still exist…haha

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?

David: It happens both ways in the studio. But a lot of time we will have the music done to a certain point & start tracking before the vocals are finished. The bed tracks might influence Troy to do something different then what we had for the rough demo. We are never married to an idea. We are always changing or rewriting trying to get the best out of the song.

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

With the live show we want to sound like a freight train going a full speed. So we work on dynamics, power & energy. We want you to feel it when you come to a show.

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?

Matt S.: Like any other band, you have to put in the time.  We have played for empty rooms, we have played for packed houses, and we have played festivals where you can’t see the end of the crowd.  People seek out good music.  The hard part is introducing it to them (luckily the internet exists).  I feel that we have the sound and energy to lure people in, and to keep them coming back to shows.  It doesn’t matter if it is regionally or worldwide.  As long as you connect to the crowd, you will build a following.  Whether it is a home show or something across the country, we put on the same game face each night and try to win over every crowd we play for.  We have found that people like the resurgence of good old fashioned rock and roll everywhere we go, so everywhere feels comfortable and like our neck of the woods.

Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands and talking of the internet how has social media impacted on the band to date?

Glenn: Absolutely. It all comes down to a band’s desire and willingness to push themselves and go outside of their comfort zone to grow and do something cool and original. Social media and the internet are a great thing for bands because it allows us to reach people all over the world as independent artists. Without the internet, we might not have the opportunity to do this interview!

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?

Troy: I think there will always be both negative and positives whether being the “underdog” band on the come up, or at the top trying to stay there. I think the internet and social media will always have the ugliness and trolls looking to tear you down, no matter what your status….however, the positive of how many people can be reached is hard to argue. Honestly with this band being started in the “new world” of technology, it’s really all we’ve known so is kinda our new normal.

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

David: Thank you again for having us!!

If you would like to check out us & the music you can go to these links. See you on the road!

AppleMusic: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/lovesick-radio/203509719

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/feels-so-good-single/1436316245

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/7zca83vBdFEDg0119J8thJ?si=4bw6zx7-RL-fbpKajO1aHw

YouTube: Youtube.com/lovesickradio

Instagram: @lovesickradio

Twitter: @lovesickradio

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LoveSickRadioBand/

 & anywhere else you stream & download music

Pete RingMaster 03/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ringing the changes: 21 Taras Interview

21 Taras is a rock band from Littleton, Colorado which having sparked keen attention through previous releases has ventured into new directions in sound and adventure. This evolution is at the heart of their new album, Change. Wanting to now more we recently chatted with the band learning…

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

4 out of the 5 of us went to school together. James and Alec shared some classes and started the band, then shortly after recruited Jimmy. James went up to the first person he saw; who just so happened to be Jimmy; and asked if he played bass. Austin was later introduced to the band in a similar fashion. I (Julian) moved to Colorado in 2014 and met James online on some band finder website. They sent me some songs to throw some vocals on and we played our first show just a couple weeks later.

Have you been or are involved in other bands? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

We all have been playing music for a while now in one way or another, but this is pretty much our first real band. I had a project back when I lived in Alaska with one of my good friends Rio, but it was just the two of us. James and Alec had gone through a few other line-ups under a different band name, but as of late 2014 the line-up has been set and that is when the final name change to 21 Taras ensued.

What inspired the band name?

It comes from Buddhism. They have 21 different forms of Tara, all based around self-empowerment and self-enlightenment. The name stands for how we try to continually grow as not only musicians, but also as people through our music and songwriting.

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

We just want to continue evolving. Just about four years in, and we have changed so much already. I don’t think we ever try to plan for where things go; it just sort of happens. We’ve tried to dictate things before but that is a good way for things to end up forced.

Do the same things still drive the band from its first steps or have they evolved over time?

I think now having a full music studio at our disposal has greatly changed everything. It allows us to be more creative as we are working on our time. Our mentor/producer Jim Boyd deserves a lot of credit for our last record. With him opening up his studio to us, it really led to the growth of the songs and the overall freedom the album possesses.

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

We started out with more of a hard rock and grunge presence, and it has evolved rather quickly to more of a 60s and 70s influenced sound. Things are getting more and more psychedelic influenced as we speak.

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

A bit of both, I think everyone was starting to get a little burnt out and I think we just had a lack of direction. We were kind of floating in one area with no real progression occurring. We all had a big free flowing discussion back in February with the main message being about trying new things. Just taking more outside influences and putting them to use. It really has led to some very diverse songs for us.

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?

A big one for us is the Beatles. Right around Rubber Soul is when they really started to branch out and grow their sound. I just love how one band can have so many songs from different ends of the spectrum, from Honey Pie to Helter Skelter, they really changed the confines of a particular album mould. Other bands that do this are Queen and the Beach Boys. As a band we all share so many influences with each other. For James he brings a lot of the heavier side such as bands like Earthless and Red Fang, while Alec is more of a classic aficionado with bands like Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. Austin and Jimmy probably have the most eclectic tastes, although we all tend to enjoy a bit of everything. It is a good problem to have as it leads to a diverse palette.

Is there a particular process to the songwriting?

Every song is different really, some songs are written by one or two guys while others we all sit and write together. Sometimes one guy will write a section and bring it to the group, while other songs may be more fleshed out by the time it reaches the rehearsal room.

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

I write the lyrics and more often than not it is usually dictated by the music itself. There have been times however where I will write the lyrics first and the music will follow.

Give us some background to your latest release.

Our latest release is called Change and the name is to be taken quite literal. It marks several big changes for us as a band, such as our sound but also our songwriting processes and just our overall growth as a group.

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

The album starts off rather straight forward musically, and by song two we go to a very new place, for both the listener and the band itself. Gettin’ Hungry (track two) is very jazz influenced number featuring a good friend Mia Klosterman on backing vocals. The song and much of the album takes you through some of the mental hardships I was going through at the time. I tried to have the bridge of the song represent what I was going through internally during a very distressed time in my life being away from a loved one.

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?

With a studio at our disposal, it allows us to do both simultaneously. The songs are constantly being devolved and modified.

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

Performing has changed so much for us with the growth of our songs. With the new album containing so much depth and there being just five of us in the band, it creates a fun challenge to reproduce the music. We are always looking at new ways to reinvent the songs and create more of a cohesive show that really tells a story. It really is theatrical in a way.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it?

If the drive is there, it is always possible. We are very driven and determined, but we also genuinely love doing it. So even the smallest of impacts are very satisfying for us. We just have to keep going.

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?

Times and technology change and the only option is to adapt to your surroundings whether you like it or not. Social media is part of our generation and there isn’t really a way around that. There are both negative and positive aspects to that but one really big positive is that it allows for bands to connect directly with their fans and have a whole new reach that would have never been possible before. Of course this leads to over saturation, which is a whole other discussion, but you have to always find the good in a bad situation no matter the circumstances. Speaking of, here’s a shameless plug of our website! https://www.21tarasband.com/

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

We put a lot of time into our new album Change and our goal is to take you on a journey through some of our favorite periods in music. The album focuses heavily on the mid to late 60s, as well as 70s with a bit of early jazz influence as well. You can listen to the band’s new album Change here: https://21tarasband.bandcamp.com/album/change

https://www.facebook.com/21tarasband   https://twitter.com/21TarasBand

Pete RingMaster 07/12/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Leatherjacks – The Lost Arks Of Rock And Roll + singles

As the band get to work on its successor, we take a look back at the Leatherjacks debut album as well as subsequent singles as an introduction to their inventive rock ‘n’ roll. From São Paulo, Brazil and formed in 2016, Leatherjacks is the creation of singer, songwriter, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist Mauro Cordeiro and it was through his personal introduction that we were guided to the band’s first album, a flavoursome slab of heavy metal infused hard rock which has raised an eager anticipation for its upcoming successor.

With the inspiration of bands such as Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Thin Lizzy, George Benson, and Stray Cats among many others shaping his own musical imagination, The Lost Arks Of Rock And Roll was pretty much a solo project for Cordeiro despite attempting to find like-minded musicians to realise his intent. For the second album he has realised his hopes for a full band line-up with the addition of bassist Marcos Brandão and guitarist Rapha Gusto; a drummer still being sought as we write.

The Lost Arks Of Rock And Roll opens up with People (We’re Chosen Ones) and instantly had ears keenly attentive with its swinging groove and fiery touch. Riffs and rhythms simultaneously launch an infectious lure, the vocals of Cordeiro adding to the swift captivation. Certainly the song is not over ripe in uniqueness but quickly blossomed with fresh and imaginative enterprise through the open craft of its creator; that blending of classic and heavy metal with rousing hard rock providing a highly flavoured proposition which easily caught the appetite.

Next up Crocodile’s Heart has a more controlled gait and sonic calm though its simmer bubbled rapaciously throughout. An eighties metal spicing brings a catchy hue to the song which though it did not ignite ears as forcibly as its predecessor, left its pleasurable mark especially through Cordeiro’s guitar enterprise before Burning Wire grabbed attention with its web of wiry grooves and rousing rhythms honed into a manipulative slice of heavy rock ‘n’ roll with a deft melodic touch. Cordeiro has a passion for rockabilly among other sounds, a hue definitely behind the track’s tenacious and quickly addictive stomp.

Taking best track honours it is followed by the muscular roar of the track LeatherJacks. Once more heavy metal and imposing hard rock are blended for a proposal which almost preys on ears as it pleasures them; its tone as predacious as it is arousing before Emotions On Sale explores a more tender, ballad like side to the Leatherjacks invention. It still comes with a fire in its belly though; one which inflames its voice and intensity throughout a magnetic presence to forge another high point in the album’s already compelling body.

The Slammer was a song which did not quite hook up with personal tastes yet Cordeiro has a style and touch to his guitar play and songwriting which easily tempts as proven not for the first or last time by Do You Fucking Pay My Bills?, a raucous but defined rock ‘n’ roll assault riff armed and melody inflamed with attitude oozing every note and syllable.

The following instrumental MotoCross is a delicious metal ‘n’ roll incitement, craft and adrenaline fuelling its addictive antics before the album concludes on its title track. The final song was another which did not quite ignite the juices as those before but again bouncing to its contagion and returning to its fire for more was never in doubt.

The Lost Arks Of Rock And Roll is a highly enjoyable and accomplished release with really impressive moments which have only been built upon by subsequent singles; tracks hinting of bigger and bolder things to come with its successor. The end of 2017 saw Leatherjacks release I Hate To Fall In Love. A melodic romance with that ever present fire in its heart and lining, the song has a freshness to it which inescapably entices. It is a song written decades earlier but stands the test of time and with its new enterprise firmly pleasures though not as majorly as Persona Non Grata. A track presumably set to appear on the second album, which we believe will be called Songs For The Strangest Ones, it is superb. Immediately it reveals its infectious swagger, guitars and rhythms uniting in a flirtatious canter as vocals melodically share the song’s heart. Again familiarity and fresh endeavour do collude yet a union which invades ears and imagination with eager intent and adventure. The track is accompanied by the song Spells and Zombies Through the Night, an even bolder, more raucous offering which suggests that this new album once realised will eclipse all before.

The Lost Arks Of Rock And Roll and those singles are all available via iTunes.

http://www.leatherjacksofficial.com/    https://www.facebook.com/pg/leatherjacksofficial

 Pete RingMaster 12/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dark Stares – Darker Days Are Here To Stay

With a clutch of praise wearing EP’s already under their belt UK outfit Dark Stares have now raised the ante with their debut album. Continuing the open evolution of their sound across those previous encounters, Darker Days Are Here To Stay is a release which maybe smoulders more than roars but like the band’s previous releases, just captivates but with an even greater depth of adventure and seduction.

The St Albans band’s individual alternative rock tempts like a fusion of Muse and Queens Of The Stone Age but equally has drawn references to the likes of Wolfmother, Royal Blood, Led Zeppelin, and The Beatles. Formed in 2011, the quartet released their first EP, Tell Your Friends, the following year. Its well-received introduction to the band has been built upon in sound and success across the likes of Octopon and Soul Contract as well as a host an eagerly supported singles. Self-produced, Darker Days Are Here To Stay continues the band’s DIY intent with a raw magnetism and organic radiance which just commands attention.

The album opens up with Liquid Reign and a sonic limbo from which a swagger gaited groove, firm beats, and the tantalising voice of Miles Kristian Howell emerge. The track settles into an infectious swing entwined in heated sonic vines as that initial groove continues to wind around ears and appetite. Crystaline in its melody, crisp in its rhythms, the song is a warm yet invasive seduction as catchy as it is hauntingly provocative.

The following Sweet Rider 5 is also the band’s new single, a track similarly woven to the first but with a fiery lining to its golden glaze and a whiff of latter day Depeche Mode to its air. The guitar of Harry Collins casts another alluring web of sound and heat; tendrils of enterprise which tease rather than entangle the imagination but have it alive all the same as the dark tone of Brett Harland Howell’s bass and the urge of Taylor Howell’s beats tempt the body.  So absorbing it feels much shorter than it really is, the track still ends too quickly but Pedal Pusher soon has all focus on its fuzzy, enticing saunter. An electronic grumble adds inventive shadow to the mesmeric charms of guitar and harmonies and equally a raw edge courting intrigue and dark melancholy to contrast the radiance on offer.

Darker Days is next, its electronic scuzz even deeper and dirtier than in its predecessor to accentuate the candescent sounds wrapping broad and intimate shadows. Richly captivating with its own individually bold sway, the song wears the scent of post punk and neo-psychedelia in its creative sigh; a The Jesus and Mary Chain meets The House of Love kind of wash adding to its rich pull before Animal floats in on a sonic breeze. Its climate is soon a sweltering embrace easily luring ears and imagination to its exotic heart and bluesy drama. It is a track which epitomises the album, making a strong and potent first impression but only glowing brighter with every listen.

Across the likes of the more volatile rock ‘n’ roll of Ordinary Way with its scuzzy touch and unpredictable air and the irresistible Hips Don’t Shake the album just drew us deeper into its grasp. The first of the two did not connect as thickly as other tracks but its successor more than compensated with its addictive twists and infectious almost mischievous character. There is a constant Josh Homme like hue to songs if mostly a mere dash of colour but makes for a compelling ingredient in the album’s best moment.

Cruise Control equally dips into that spicing for its raw harmonic roar, Muse-esque spatial hues fusing with the song’s sonic fuzziness while So Good serenades from within its cavernous heart. The second is a tapestry of imagination, every move unexpected yet instantly embraceable as the lucent croon of the song envelops ears and a by now greedy appetite.

The pair of Their Game and Feels (So Sad) bring the album to a beguiling close with their respective indie rock and hypnotic glow of melancholic yet lustrous beauty. They complete a release which just captivates but with moments that had us drooling. Even so we still have the feeling that Dark Stares has not come close to finding the boundaries of their sound and that makes the anticipation for their next release as strong as the enjoyment found with Darker Days Are Here To Stay.

Darker Days Are Here To Stay is out now through iTunes and other stores.

https://www.darkstares.com/   https://www.facebook.com/DarkStares/   https://twitter.com/dark_stares

Pete RingMaster 22/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Gianluca Magri – Reborn

Reborn is the debut EP from Italian guitarist Gianluca Magri; five tracks of instrumental rock which courts and runs with the imagination. Never showing off but proudly sharing the craft and enterprise of its creator, it is a record which just dances on the ear.

Teaching himself guitar at the age of 17, Magri subsequently studied at Cortina d’Ampezzo music school and at the MMI in San Biagio di Callalta. The years since has seen him as well as teach at the Music Area Academy in Belluno and at the Music and Soul school of Venas di Cadore play live with his solo band and with a couple of covers bands and from 2011 to 2016 play in metal outfit Phaith who released the well-received album Redrumorder. The autumn of 2017 saw Magri record Reborn, uniting since with Red Cat Records Inst Fringe for its recent release.

With its songs inspired by the likes of Gary Moore, Joe Satriani, Leslie West, Led Zeppelin, and Whitesnake, Reborn begins with its title track. Instantly its boisterous gait and infectious invitation had feet tapping and ears attentive, Magri entwining the latter with spicy grooves and tenacious melodies brought with a deft touch on his strings. Across the songs on the release, Magri is joined by bassist Diego Maioni and drummer Raffaele Fiori, their rhythms skilfully grounding the adventure of the guitar and egging on the listener’s physical participation with the growling tone of the bass adding a nice dark contrast to further grip attention. Just as Magri never over indulges his swiftly obvious ability, his songs never dally or linger, the opener just stirring up the senses and appetite, feeding both, and leaving with as enterprising punch.

The following Cloudbreaker brings a calmer climate though soon shows a lining of volatility which never quite erupts but adds drama and colour to the imagination nurturing encounter. Magri again weaves a magnet picture of sound, hips eagerly swaying to his composition as the imagination plays with rhythms adding earthier texture to his lofty and often fiery but always composed enterprise.

Snowballed is next up, the piece a fresh and boisterous affair with mischief in its smile and energy in its stroll while A.D.R. has a thicker body and touch but still one with a spirit warming brightness to its melody and air. Both songs spark ears and thoughts, thoughts easily conjuring alongside the sonic intimations as enjoyment of Reborn only thickened.

The EP closes with acoustic track Atlas Bound, Magri’s fingers gliding over his ‘canvas’ with suggestive craft and firm magnetism. It is a captivating end to a fine debut encounter with the guitarist. It is fair to say that we are quite fussy in our enjoyment of instrumental music and maybe have not yet defined what it is that lights our personal fires. We thoroughly enjoyed Reborn though across its every note and second so maybe the answer lies within; certainly pleasure does.

Reborn is out now via Red Cat Records Inst Fringe and available @ https://gianlucamagri.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/gianlucamagriguitar

Pete RingMaster 29/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Ugly Kings – Promised Land

With their debut album slated for release early next year, Australian rockers The Ugly Kings recently provided a rather flavoursome teaser for it with Promised Land. Offering two tracks cast in the band’s “power blues” sound, the EP weaves a temptation as atmospheric and haunting as it is bold and fiery, both songs rich in a potential suggesting that forthcoming full length just has to be checked out.

Formed in Melbourne in 2011, The Ugly Kings draw on the inspirations of bands such as Led Zeppelin, The Doors, The Black Keys, Muddy Waters, BB King, Black Sabbath, Dead Weather, and Royal Blood for their sound. It is a mix which brought the band’s mini-album, Of Sons, praise carrying attention in 2015 and now makes a striking invitation within Promised Land.

Though you can quibble whether a two track release is an EP or single, there is no denying Promised Land inescapably grabs ears and appetite with its title track. An opening sultry stroke of guitar courts the imagination though it is the instantly striking tones of vocalist Rusty which really hook attention; his potent presence backed by the imposing drama brooding beats of Andy. As further elements unite, the song raises to yet another level, hitting a majestic stroll which initially is almost predatory before becoming a celebratory fire of energy and suggestion.  Its masterful cycle repeats, increasing its hold on body and imagination second by second; the guitar of Christos creating a web of fiery temptation as the bass of Nick makes a grumbling, almost irritable trespass easy to greedily devour. Imposingly infectious and skilfully manipulative, the track is glorious and reason alone to explore that future album.

Even so, personal tastes just took to companion song, Wash Me Of My Sins, with instinctive lust. Like an aural equivalent of a flickering sepia hued film, the song shimmers with the twang of guitar and those ever compelling vocals. Its slow crawl is a shadow wrapped enticement more rejoice than funereal leading to an energy fuelled, spirit arousing canter which still embraces a reserved intensity in its dark country/psych rock canter. With a harmonic tapestry of voices around the ever compelling presence of Rusty, the song seduces listener involvement and imagination with sublime ease; just stealing best song honours and uniting in suggesting that the next encounter with The Ugly Kings is not to be missed.

Promised Land is out now and available @ https://theuglykings.bandcamp.com/album/promised-land

https://www.facebook.com/TheUglyKings/    https://twitter.com/theuglykings

Pete RingMaster 31/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright