Imperial Leisure – Animal

It might not be the summer quite yet but giving its playlist an irresistible first addition is the new single from UK ska punks Imperial Leisure. To be fair, Animal is an incitement for any time of the year, any random two and a half minutes of any day. It is a circus of sound and fun, a carnival of 2-tone inspired ska, pop punk, and hip hop nurtured rock ‘n’ roll; together a distinctive mix creating the individual sound at joyful play within the band’s new gem.

Born out of school friendships, Imperial Leisure has blossomed in sound and reputation across three well-received albums; the last, Lifestyle Brand in 2015 drawing potent acclaim its way. Their live presence has equally honed the band’s music and craft, the band sharing stages with the likes of Ugly Duckling, Roots Manuva, UB40, Less Than Jake, Young Blood Brass Band, The King Blues, Sonic Boom Six and a great many more along the way as well as going down a storm at numerous festivals such as Glastonbury (twice!), The Secret Garden Party and Boomtown Fair. Each year has seen the sextet and its additional brass section rise higher on the British musical landscape; 2017 sure to be another mighty nudge on the biggest spotlights if Animal is anything to go by.

As guitars clip ears, brass flames flicker with flirtatious intent, their combined tempting soon colluding with the passion stoking pulse of the bass as well as the lick of ska seeded riffs and the intoxicating smooch of Hammond-esque keys. With the infectiously captivating vocals of Denis Smith stirring things up even more, the song bounds along with an irresistible swing and mischievous swagger. It is a wonderfully busy affair but every element and seductive flame a clean spice for a swiftly greedy appetite to devour in the whole insightful and instinctively catchy encounter.

It seems like ska and ska punk has the potential of having another heyday such the number of great bands around and emerging with Imperial Leisure leading the way, though all will have to go some to rival the sheer pleasure of Animal.

Animal is out now for downloading and streaming on all platforms with a vinyl release on April 1st.

https://www.facebook.com/imperialleisure

Pete RingMaster 17/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Hostiles – Last Call

The Hostiles Promo Shot_RingMasterReview

Giving the most glorious workout to swinging hips and inexhaustible feet, as well as instinctive pleasure, Scottish Ska-punks The Hostiles recently released new album Last Call. It offers thirteen tracks of melody thick, brass clad, and feverishly delivered punk ‘n’ roll as raw and snarling as they are inescapably irresistible.

Formed in 2001, The Hostiles began with brothers Josh (guitar/vocals), and Chris Barron (bass/vocals). Growing up in the US, the pair was seduced by the sounds of west coast ska and the likes of Reel Big Fish, NOFX, and No Doubt. In their teens, the pair moved to Scotland, soon discovering the rawer energy and sounds of bands such as Capdown, Lightyear, and King Prawn. Linking up with Callum Douglas (drums) and Steve Bruce (trombone), The Hostiles was soon rousing the local live scene with in time Joe Stainke (trombone) completing the current line-up. Quickly renowned for their energetic live performances, the band’s reputation swiftly grew and spread, helped in turn by the release of debut album Always Looking Forward in 2009. Proceeding to share stages with bands such as Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake, Zebrahead, The Mad Caddies, Strike Anywhere, and many more, The Hostiles followed up their attention luring first album with the Late Nights… And Early Hours EP in 2012 and the single/video For A Good Time Call 07946058526 two years later.

Now it is Last Call drawing attention and from its first minute arousing body and spirit. From the opening intro, the album leaps upon the listener with opener Ed Knows. An attitude laden bassline stalks the initial vocal draw, both leading into a fiery lure of guitar and rapier like swings from Douglas. Quickly as the trombones share their melodic flames, the track is a contagious blaze of infectious sound with a funk infused swing and punk ingrained fuel to its roar. There is little time before the listener is adding their full contribution in voice and movement, a success matched in the following Inconsiderate. A lighter stomp of a song with Hammond flavoured keys courting its instantly open catchiness, it carries a familiar air which only adds to its thrilling appeal.

The Hostiles Cover Artwork_RingMasterReviewThe band’s inspirations are never far from the surface at times, the second song evidence but spices used to shape songs which undoubtedly have The Hostiles character, as shown again in the prowling You Liar. Swaggering alone with mischief in its creative glands, the song is confrontational but an epidemic  of big hooks and intimidating attitude, and quite superb. It reveals the great mix of pop honed and punk rock driven sounds which have sparked the band’s passions over time, all woven into another distinctive proposition before things calm a touch with I’ll Assume. It is just a touch too as the song soon shows its teeth and melodic prowess in a King Prawn like canter with exotic melodies and moody basslines entangling the ever potent vocals and swathes of mariachi hued trombone.

Both Night Out with its dirty tone and ridiculously infectious enterprise and its successor Wish You All The Best has body and soul leaping. The first is ska punk at its most creatively virulent and indeed addictive while the second is a boisterous romp shaped with smart hooks and persuasive melodies as well cast in imaginative drama coloured by rock guitar and theatrical brass.

The album continues to keep the listener on their toes with a broad grin on their face as the punk brawl of Spend My Life, the gentler sway of So, I Wonder, and the blazing exploits of Late Nights come, go, and leave ears and appetite aroused. The third of the trio especially adds another pinnacle to Last Call, all offering undeniable reasons to embrace The Hostiles adventure, with To Err Is Human providing another major highlight. The band’s latest single, it also has a hint of Mariachi El Bronx to its melodic and trombone nurtured side, a great flavour mixing with heavier punk rock attitude.

Released From Captivity uncages another addictive tempting, guitars and bass alone creating a web of hooks which snare body and heart with ease. Familiar essences come to the surface of the song but flavours simply used to shade its own individual devilment before the closing pair of encounters starting with Nobody Else. The song does not make the same impact as others within Last Call, yet has mutual participation with ease so does little wrong before the album’s title track brings it all to a cantankerous close. It is a ska infested hardcore brawl of a proposal, vocals a throated scraping challenge as brass bring a tonic to the imposingly grouchy touch of guitar and rhythms.

It makes for an unexpected and pleasing end to a release which sees ears and fingers itching to go again within seconds of its close. There are a few rather special ska flavoured punksters around right now and as proven by Last Call, The Hostiles stand by their side.

Last Call is out now on Bubble Tea Records @ http://thehostiles.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/thehostiles/   http://www.thehostiles.co.uk/

Pete RingMaster 05/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Talks – Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves

The Talks 2014 photo SJM 2 landscape

You may have already found your feel good encounter of 2014 but it is never a bad thing to keep looking right up to the closing days, especially when as winter opens its eyes you get a treat as irresistible as Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves, the new album from UK ska rockers The Talks. Bringing eleven tracks to infest feet, the body, and the imagination, the release is a stomp of addictive revelry which cannot fail to put a smile on the face and emotions.

Since the release of their debut single Picture This in 2008, The Talks have been on a steady climb with the past couple of years seeing a fevered acceleration of attention for their fusion of ska, punk, reggae, and two-tone. First album Live Now Pay Later! in 2012 awoke a fresh spotlight on the Hull quartet which last year’s Westsinister E.P and singles Can Stand The Rain, which featured Neville Staple from The Specials, and Friday Night swiftly pushed to new levels. Alongside the releases, the band’s live presence has been just as dynamic in garnering acclaim and luring the passions, the foursome of Patrick Pretorius (vocals/guitars/sax), Jody Moore (vocals/guitars/keys), Iain Allen (bass), and Richard Lovelock (drums) sharing stages with the likes of Madness, The Specials, Rancid, The Beat, and The King Blues, as well as playing festivals such as This Is Ska, Mighty Sounds, and Rebellion over time. The previous EP was a highly anticipated encounter with Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves finding itself more eagerly awaited, and again the band has surpassed hopes and expectation with their contagious exploits.

The band’s sound lies somewhere between the provocative roars of The Vox Dolomites, the punk causticity of The Members, the melodic reggae and ska charms of By The Rivers and The Beat respectively, and the virulent devilment of The Jellycats. It is a proposition though which whilst embracing familiar essences develops its own unique devilry as swiftly shown with album opener Don’t Look Behind You. The initial warm embrace of keys has ears and thoughts engaged immediately, especially as riffs chop and rhythms start leaping as keys open up a new inventive flirtation whilst the pulses and strokes of the song work on the passions. Loaded with bait feet cannot resist, the song spreads its seduction further with the mischief of vocals and bass alongside the jagged majesty of guitar stabs, hooks, and beats.

The brilliant start is emulated instantly by recent single Radio, an insatiable two tone fuelled escapade with the delicious whiff of The Selector to it. Within moments its chorus is leading the Picture 156anthemic stroll, the song’s swagger as virulent as the brass flames and exotic keys colouring it. There is a punkish air to the vocals which again reminds of The Members whilst the punchy rhythms consume the vivacious dance of the encounter like an epidemic. The track is aural addiction, a breath-taking protagonist of body and emotions leaving a tall order for the following Tear Us Apart to match up to. With sultry keys and warm harmonies its first breath, the song is soon stirring up ears and imagination with its reggae bred enterprise and melodic summer. It mesmerises with its caressing canter of sound, reminding of fellow Brits Shanty as it floats and immerses the senses in its mouth-watering adventure.

Both Fire and Ceasefire keep the thrills ablaze, the first a muscular slab of ska provocation with bulky bass lines and feisty riffs pouncing on ears with antagonistic intensity and infectious rigour. The track has its nostrils flaring from the first second but the increasingly impressive vocal melodies and dramatic brass hues tempers the roar for another riveting big boned incitement; think King Prawn meets Lazy Habits and you are somewhere near the potency of the song. Its successor which features Jonny ‘Itch’ Fox of The Kings Blues, is an immediate blur of sonic drama and rhythmic provocation, a great dirty baseline aligned to agitated beats the frame for combative vocals and smouldering melodies. Teasing with dub enterprise over a ska crafted canvas, the track bounces with confrontation and climatic resourcefulness, every twist a striking reward for ears and a spark for thoughts to match the lyrical impact.

The gentle warmth and catchy romance of Light Up replaces the previous exhilarating tension of its predecessor, the swaying proposition a melody rich call with keys and harmonies embracing another irrepressible earthy bass temptation. Its masterful charm and joy is followed by the pop punk infused All in a Day, the band regaling the album with yet another thrilling slice of diverse and creative magnetism. A mix of Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish but unique again, the song bounds along with a recognisable air around a creative humidity which fires up into an irresistible persuasion, especially once the outstanding escape of deranged keys occurs.

It is a track, as all to be fair, which feet and voice of the listener are unlikely to resist, a lure across the album which is no more inescapable as in the brilliant Hacks. New wave soaked pop punk meets the spicy flirtation of Bad Manners, the track is an ingenious enslavement of ears and passions based on a ridiculously captivating rhythmic enticing and spicy guitar tempting, all matched in expression and allurement by the punchy vocals. The song tells you all you need to know about The Talks, their inflamed imagination and diverse sound, it all encapsulated in two minutes of instinctively seductive alchemy.

The equally thrilling Tune In steps up next to seize the passions, its opening jangle of chords the lead into a melodic coaxing straight out of the Martha and The Muffins songbook ,which in turn shares its space with swipes of feisty rock and ska sculpted endeavour. As punk as it is ska and adrenaline fuelled rock pop, the song stalks ears with a predacious ingenuity before making way for the smoky presence of Sam, reggae and indie rock embracing in a humid embrace, which in turn leaves for final track Alright with Me to close things up. The last song has blues flair to its keys and a choppy texture to the guitar enterprise shaping the expressive musical narrative, a transfixing croon to bring the album to a fine end and show yet more of the variety and creative depths of The Talks.

It is impossible to listen to Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves just once in one sitting, and certain tracks many more times on top. As stated at the start it is a feel good album but more than that, it is a release from a band to which invention and uncompromising adventure is as instinctive as the rapturous infectious sounds they seem to have stockpiled up inside them.

Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves is available now via All Our Own Records now @ http://www.thetalks.co.uk/store/4575625721

http://www.thetalks.co.uk

RingMaster 25/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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