Midday Committee – Girls In Open C

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UK pop punks Midday Committee continue their steady and increasingly impressive emergence with new release Girls In Open C, a six track plus intro mini album of melody rich emotively designed pop songs with a raw edge to their presence and energy. There has certainly been a buzz around the Portsmouth quartet across the south of England for their vibrant presence, shows with Kids In Glass Houses, Lower Than Atlantis, Mallory Knox and Verses adding to their strong stock, but with a newer grazing glaze to their sound that attention threatens to spread much further afield through the new release. Arguably there is nothing dramatically new to the songs upon the release, a familiarity always making its hints to stop the band from distinctly standing apart from other similarly genre clad bands, but equally there is a craft and passion not forgetting creativity to the foursome which ensures they are not just another easily forgettable proposition. With songs which linger and hooks that dig in deeply to prolong the potency of tracks long after they have finished their declarations, Midday Committee warrant eager attention.

Formed towards the end of 2010, the band has been through the expected line-up changes in its initial growth as well as less assumed happenings like near fatal accidents involving Jet Ski’s to build a presence with the prowess to turn heads and light fires as their increasingly potent fanbase proves. Their previously two EPs, Nice Kids, Bad Judge Of Character in 2011 and I’m Sure Someone Mentioned A Cheque the following year, marked out the band for acclaim and attention but it is fair to say that the Matt O’Grady produced Girls In Open C sees the band at a new level in songwriting, sound, and craft. As all good pop punk proposals, the songs making up the release are as anthemically infectious as they are melodically bewitching, whilst the heart and passion of the band soaks every note and syllable so that the release may not be unique but it is undeniable contagious and a long term engagement.

From a fourteen track Intro which maybe has been given a track listing of its own just to say there are seven offerings on the release (too Frontcynical?), things start properly with I Swear To God I’m Going To Pistol Whip The Next Guy Who Says Shenanigans, a track which emerges from the coaxing of that potent brief starting piece. The guitars of Rich Sanders and Keiran Heath cast a pleasing graze of riffs and sonic tempting across the ears but it is the great throaty tone of Adam Hall’s bass which steal the initial focus most of all. That is until the excellent vocals lay their compelling hand on the suasion. Whether it is Sanders or Heath which leads the narrative, both driving the vocals together across the release, we cannot say but it is hard not to take to the delivery as keenly the potent sounds around them. With the drums of Kurtis Maiden a respectful but thumping protagonist to it all, the song makes a powerful marker for the release to follow. Melodies and hooks do not demand but command a healthy appetite towards them whilst the accomplished stance and flavoursome weave of enterprise just catches the imagination.

Maybe I Should opens up with a similar melody to its predecessor though it is soon courted by distinctly different rhythmic bait and guitar sculpted endeavour. As the first everything from the individual skills and united melodic enticement is easily accessible and infectious though the track does lack the spark of its predecessor, that little something to lick at and tease the passions into a stronger submission. Nevertheless with precise hooks and good group vocal calls the track continues the strong start with ease which Casino through a slower emotive showing matches. The shadowed dark tones of the bass once more seduces whilst the emotionally atmospheric caress of vocals and guitar bring senses and emotions thoughtful satisfaction which is lit further by the ever catchy choruses.

The pair of the virulently infectious and inventively bright Hometowns and the eagerly vivacious in energy and charge Game’s Been Called, keep spirits lively and pleasure intense, both rife with addictive hooks and ear seducing melodies all coming with a bite and edge to captivate further. Again there is that definite surface familiarity across songs which prevents some tracks leaping out as they should but beneath that with focus there is plenty simmering and subtly inventing within songs which ultimately stand out, and in the case of the second of these two with an open blaze of dramatically imaginative persuasion leaning into a classic closing vocal lure.

The release is finished by the excellent Just Me And You which features Christina Rotondo of the also impressive and well worth checking out Searching Alaska. The song starts out as an acoustic embrace with simply bewitching dual vocals which alternately embrace the senses. The track is a delicious encounter which if remaining in this state would have brought the curtain down to a rousing applause but once the vocals hold hands and the rest of the band flesh out their emotive hues, the track becomes an evocative fire.

It is easy to see why Midday Committee is highly thought of by a great many and with Girls In Open C expect them to move into a more intensive and deserved spotlight. The release also suggests that the band is still evolving with plenty left in them to discover and explore which has anticipation already quite excited.

Check out the video for Hometowns @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUQwO5_evP8

https://www.facebook.com/Middaycommittee

http://middaycommittee.bandcamp.com/

8/10

RingMaster 07/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Nemecyst – Our Burdens Will Bury Us

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Though arguably only flirting with a sound which is wholly distinctive, Scottish metallers Nemecyst certainly show and offer all the potential to forge a future unique position within British melodic metalcore with new EP Our Burdens Will Bury Us. Consisting of four ferocious and fiery blazes of aggressive endeavour and impacting potency, the release is an attention grabbing slab of provocation, a confrontation which puts a spotlight of the Glasgow quintet even if without lighting any real fire in the passions for its accomplished ferocity.

From its formation in 2010, Nemecyst took little time in awakening senses and attention locally with their music and live performances. A home-produced demo of early material in 2012 also set down a marker of promise for those coming across the band, even if still the band was a secret hidden from most of us. You can only feel as it chews on the senses that Our Burdens Will Bury Us will rip apart the shadows which closed the band off from the country and start an ascent which the release certainly suggests is a looming potent possibility. Released via the newly formed Radicate Records, the Nick Scholey (Yashin, Lower than Atlantis) produced EP definitely puts Nemecyst on the front foot as they attempt to get their juggernaut of sound and intensity rolling across the country to plague and thrill ears nationwide and beyond.

Opener Through Blind Eyes, which has just seen its video also unleashed, has no time for niceties, riffs and rhythms Album Art - Our Burdens Will Bury Usimmediately falling upon the ears guided by a vocal squall from James Bartolini. Its entrance slaps attention around the face and its way before settling into an intensive weave of melodic rock and rousing metallic provocation. Drummer Blair Hutcheson offers an instant enticement, his skills a senses rummaging rampant fury of venomous rhythmic intent courted by the equally predacious throaty croon of Jason Ingram’s bass. Together they give a dark intimidating depth and attack to the track which is malevolently complimented and rivetingly tempered by the sonic sculpting provided by guitarists Sam Allan and Danny O’Donnell, their invention rife with acidic melodies and evocative hues. Ridden by the clean yet slightly coarse tones of Bartolini it makes a strong and inciting start.

Place Your Bets steps up next with tendrils of sonic flames from the guitars wrapping around the ears before the rhythms uncage another intense rabidity to their persuasion. Bartolini offers a very pleasing blend of clean and aggravated growls to mix things up, though the production slightly defuses the venom and snarl in his caustic delivery a little too much for personal tastes, but a minor niggle in a second impressive encounter on the EP. The track, as the vocals, flows easily between angst fuelled rapaciousness and descriptive beauty, each member on the song showing impressive individual craft whilst uniting for an equally powerful enterprising brawl of sound.

The remaining pair of I’m Just An Exterminator and Pulling Me Under continues the flair and intensity rippling within the release, a more progressive expanse permeating both colour packed sonic landscapes. The first of the two is the favourite which emerged here, the continually evolving and exploratory nature of the track a seamless journey which ensures intrigue and unpredictability are the leading aspects even if debatably there is nothing truly new on offer to that anywhere else within harsh melodic metal. Nevertheless the song is an absorbing adventure soon matched by its successor, this track again unafraid to play with and merge extremes into one strongly pleasing, promise full sonic pot.

With thoughts of bands such as Trivium, All That Remains, Bury Tomorrow, and As I Lay Dying raising their knowing heads as references throughout its presence, Our Burdens Will Bury Us lacks that something, a spark to dramatically fire up the passions but certainly leaves Nemecyst as a force to find an eagerness for and to watch closely for an anticipated explosive future.

www.facebook.com/nemecystmusic

8/10

RingMaster 10/12/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Touchstone – Oceans Of Time

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Highly anticipated, Oceans Of Time the new album from UK progressive rock band Touchstone is a release sure to delight and excite their fans. It brings a wave of creative sounds and mesmeric temptation which is  destined to also recruit more passionate followers and though admittedly this was our first introduction to the quintet,  it took little time in becoming a compelling and beautifully crafted persuasion to meet expectations which were bred from being aware of their well seeded reputation,   a good strength of anticipation which the album met with its expressive presence. Whether it lit enough major fires in thoughts and emotions is still under debate but undoubtedly the ten song melodic evocation bred a desire to investigate  previous releases with its riveting premises and absorbing touch.

The Hear No Evil/Cherry Red Records released Oceans Of Time according to its promo, continues the Wintercoast story which began in their acclaimed 2009 album of that name and has continued through subsequent title tracks of the equally welcomed The City Sleeps of 2011 and the new release. Also to be found upon the album is the final part of the Shadow trilogy, which started with 2007 release Discordant Dreams. Obviously if this is your first time with the band this means little apart from adding to the retrospective intrigue but as all songs are easily standalone suasions it makes little impact on the end thoughts. Produced by John Mitchell (You Me At Six, Lower Than Atlantis, Funeral For A Friend), Oceans Of Time combines the purest essences of progressive and melodic rock with a wealth of flavours and spices which brings a magnetic and enthralling call from the songs. Not all of the tracks are as successful as others but throughout each it is impossible to journey their expanses without finding elements and ideas which ignite the imagination, even if often the songs fail to follow up those moments so that overall it draws strong satisfaction and appreciation rather than lingering passion.

There is no problem with the opener though, the new single from the album. Flux is a scintillating introduction and aural temptress TS_OOT_Artwhich expels an electro breath before it takes a mere second to unveil a stomping gait and glorious melodic embrace, riffs scything through the air with poise and sonic bait whilst rhythms make a crisp platform for the sirenesque vocals of Kim “Elkie” Seviour. Backed by the tones of keyboardist Rob Cottingham it is an elegant and smouldering long kiss on the ear within a vibrant flame of sound and energy. This album version of the song takes the listener on a fuller expressive and pulsating stroll with enthralling melodic asides which builds on the punchiness of the single edit to provide stronger atmospheric and evocative pastures to immerse within. Neither stands above the other ensuring that if you have the album it is well worth picking up the single also.

From the excellent start the following Contact with an almost dance seeded initial beckoning emerges into a sultry climate heated by the again outstanding vocals, a constant over the album, and the precise guitar invention of Adam Hodgson. It is an enchantment given substance and depth by the bass prowl of Moo and the strong yet respectful rhythms of Henry Rogers. Like many of the tracks on Oceans Of Time it suggests and hints at more than it delivers but nevertheless with the rhythmic skill and potency of the drums the track is a thoroughly engaging and enticing continuation of the fine start of the release.

Next up Tabula Rasa has a light almost eighties coaxing to its tenderly touching melodic lures whilst vocally Seviour holds a Stevie Nicks caress to her tones which matches the Fleetwood Mac like enterprise and flavour of the song. Like its predecessor the track fails to live up to the opener but leaves plenty to be enjoyed and devoured greedily by ears and thoughts whilst its successor Fragments rises to and stretches beyond the great heights which was laid down initially. Fragments is rhythm heaven, the opening big boned tantalising web of Rogers’ adventure immediate slavery of the passions, especially aided by Seviour walking its tendrils with her beguiling voice. The drums hold their irresistible lure throughout the song whilst it evolves its narrative exploring exotic Middle Eastern climes and transfixing beauty through melodic sceneries which change and emerge to greater seduction before the ears. It is a magnificent track; the highest pinnacle of the album which gives the rest of the release a tall order to contend with.

Both Spirit Of The Age and Shadow’s End create charms to wrap the senses in for full satisfaction though they understandably fall short of the target just set. The first is a gentle melodic evocation which like many songs juggles the passions, at times holding them tight and in other moments letting them slip through less efficient persuasions  though like the album with time and attention it does make stronger convincing declarations. The second of the pair also has times where it sparks up riveted interest and then loses the strength of its hold to leave a satisfied smiling but eager to move on appetite. The same applies to Solace, the song a reworking of the song from Wintercoast. It is a strong and pleasing track but one which still has yet to really seduce the imagination and thoughts, it raising more uncertainties than appreciation in many ways.

The rhythmic devilry of Rogers triggers keen anticipation as Through The Night steps into view, again his craft and invention a virulent tempting. The song itself once into its flow does not live up to the fascination though again maybe one which ebbs and flows in its creative captivation but still makes a provocative companion. The guitars and vocals alongside the drums dance with some stirring imagination across the offering which cannot be resisted but at the end of the day like parts of the album it has no lingering enticement to leave behind.

The closing title track has veins of undefined familiarity running through it which instantly pricks interest from its start and with whispers of those earlier eastern winds, is an arresting conclusion. Masterly constructed and impressively presented the song epitomises the album, a song which at times walks the edge of rapture but in the end never crosses the line to bother such intense flames. Oceans Of Time is definitely a richly appealing and enjoyable album, but one which missed its potential and certainly for these emotions fails to light major fires in the passions, then again it triggered a want to discover previous albums so Touchstone certainly had some strong success.

http://www.touchstonemusic.co.uk

8/10

RingMaster 11/10/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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All To Ruin – Parables EP

All To Ruin Online Promo Shot

Unleashing melodic metal which has essences seeded in the likes of Friend For A Friend and Protest The Hero and a snarl and venomous aspect which you might find in an August Burns, UK band All To Ruin unveil their debut EP Parables. It is a release rife with potent promise and explosive craft, a record which maybe is low on offering something to right now set the bad truly apart from numerous other emerging bands stalking the same genre of sound, but a collection of impressive tracks which undoubtedly grab attention and stoke an appetite to see where the band go from their strong and pleasing debut.

Hailing from Port Talbot, South Wales, the quintet of vocalist Aaron Roberts, guitarists Luke Curran and Rhodri Williams, bassist Andrew Pope, and drummer Tom Richardson first drew attention with not only their live shows around their local area but a demo recorded in 2011 with Martyn ‘Ginge’ Ford and Matt Bond who have earned a big reputation for their work with the likes of Slipknot, Trivium and Bullet For My Valentine, the pair also handling the new EP. Shows alongside the likes of The Gallows, Young Guns, Deaf Havana, This Is Hell, Lower Than Atlantis, The Blackout, Fei Comodo, Funeral For A Friend, Heart Of A Coward, Heights, Sylosis, Revoker, Bury Tomorrow and many more has only enhanced their reputation of a young fired up and creatively striking band. Recorded early last year, Parables is the next thrust forward for the band and one which though still searching for that unique voice you only suspect will take All To Ruin up another rung or three.

Opener As We Exit takes little time to take a grip on ear and thoughts, searing melodic grooves and thumping rhythms instantly makingAll To Ruin - Parables Cover Artwork a potent persuasion aided by the raw caustic riffs and throaty menacing basslines, it all ridden by the excellent clean yet fiery vocals of Roberts. Before assumptions can be made that this is possibly nothing new the band and song unleash a lethally addictive groove and unbridled intensive passion to its sound and vocals. It is a striking and rampant start but one with thought and emotive craft which ensures an intriguing and enterprising ride. Each listen sees the song make a louder stronger declaration which leaves a lingering claw in passions and hunger.

The following A Part Of the Line certainly has fire in its belly but a less intimidating presence to start things off, guitars and vocals making an almost desperate emotive plea with their heart coloured narratives. Speared by the ever impressing beats and rhythmic caging of Richardson, the track is a strong if paler successor to the first though that is also left in the shade of the best offering on the EP, The King Is Dead. This is a song which shows that time could very well deliver a distinct standalone presence for the band, soaring vocals and raging rhythms within exhaustingly enticing grooves a rapaciously addictive and enthralling flood of expression and aggressive emotion. Virulently contagious without losing its stirring inventive potency, the track is a blaze of niggling burrowing beneath the skin riffs and sonic teases framed in another rhythmic trap by Richardson who also adds some strong melody tempering growls.

     Under The Shade steps forward next with what is arguably the most expansive sound and flavour of all the tracks on Parables. There is a definite familiarity across the chorus though the exact reference to whom eludes recognition, but then again all tracks for their only real issues have a breath and voice which is similar to others. Nevertheless the song is another burning fire of craft and melodic flame which impresses before allowing the grouchy Vultures to conclude the release. The most destructively aggressive and antagonistic of all the songs it still makes room for the continuing to impress vocals and inventive guitar weaves to bring their rich adventures and feelings. Without the same clarity as in other songs, the brawling atmosphere and the compact thickness of its sound only enhances the intensity and effective assault.

Parables is an impressive debut which only lacks that standout element or presence to step aside many other equally strong bands. That is not always the easiest thing to achieve but the promise offered by All To Ruin suggests it is within their imagination, though as ever time will tell.

www.facebook.com/alltoruinmetal

8/10

RingMaster 22/09/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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ALL TO RUIN Debut EP ‘Parables’, out 23rd Sept

All To Ruin Online Promo Shot

FAST RISING MELODIC METAL OUTFIT ALL TO RUIN RELEASE DEBUT EP!

Pulling from early FFAF, Killswitch Engage and a sliver of August Burns Red, All To Ruin deliver a potent sound that merges thunderous riffs and contagious hooks; the end result is both dominant and anthemic. The hotly-tipped five piece ink hearty slabs of melodic metal, penning their music with the earnest intent and real passion that demands and warrants attention. Look out for the band’s debut EP ‘Parables’, out Monday 23rd September.
Born in the blue collar steel works town of Port Talbot, South Wales, All To Ruin were formed during the summer of 2011 with Aaron Roberts on vocals, Luke Curran serving up lead guitar, Rhodri Williams handling rhythm guitar, Andrew Pope pounding on the bass and Tom Richardson hammering the drums. Coming from a close kit community, all five members had known each other from time served in previous bands, and quick to forge a strong bond, they soon began to rattle out tunes in their rehearsal room.
After a series of successful regional shows, the band went into the studio at the tail-end of 2011 to record their first demo at Newport’s Nottin’ Pill Studio with Martyn ‘Ginge’ Ford and Matt Bond, who’s previous credits include Slipknot, Trivium and Bullet For My Valentine. The demo pushed the metallic tunesmiths out of their local area and also secured national coverage in Kerrang! magazine, as well as helping the five-some play a host of shows throughout the country. To date, the bands’ career spanning accolades include shows with The Gallows, Young Guns, Deaf Havana, This Is Hell, Lower Than Atlantis, The Blackout, Fei Comodo, Funeral For A Friend, Heart Of A Coward, Heights, Exit Ten, Textures, Viatrophy, Continents, Sylosis, The Chariot, Revoker, The Casino Brawl, Twin Zero, Bury Tomorrow and Yashin.

At the start of 2012, ATR headed into the recording studio, again with ‘Ginge’ and Matt Bond at the controls, to begin work on their first official release. The band came out of the studio with their brand new EP ‘Parables’, and it’s mighty impressive. From the blistering opener and new video single ‘As We Exit’, to the whiplash riffery and anthemic craft of ‘Vultures’, the quintet have rammed together an engrossing EP that cunningly balances melodic hooks with crushing riffage. The melodic metal crew will now take their killer tuneage to the far reaches of the UK; keep tabs on the band via their Facebook and watch them break later this year!
FOR FANS OF: Funeral For A Friend, Protest The Hero, Killswitch Engage, August Burns Red.
All To Ruin - Parables Cover Artwork
 

ALL TO RUIN release spanking new video!‏

All To Ruin Online Promo Shot
 
Taking from early FFAF, Killswitch Engage and a slice of August Burns Red, All To Ruin deliver a hearty sound that blends thunderous riffs and contagious hooks; the end result is both dominant and anthemic. The fast-rising five piece ink hearty slabs of melodic metal, penning their music with the earnest intent and real passion that demands and warrants attention. Look out for the band’s debut EP ‘Parables’, out Monday 23rdSeptember and new video for ‘As We Exit’, out now and viewable here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LwpsYK1Z0w .
 
With an impressive CV that boasts an array of support shows with The Gallows, Young Guns, Deaf Havana, This Is Hell, Lower Than Atlantis, The Blackout, Fei Comodo, Funeral For A Friend, Heart Of A Coward, Heights, Exit Ten, Textures, Viatrophy, Continents, Sylosis, The Chariot, Revoker, The Casino Brawl, Twin Zero, Bury Tomorrow and Yashin, All To Ruin are quickly making new friends. Look out for the band’s brand new EP ‘Parables’. From the blistering opener and new video single ‘As We Exit’, to the whiplash riffery and anthemic craft of ‘Vultures’, the quintet have rammed together an engrossing EP that cunningly balances melodic hooks with crushing riffage. The melodic metal crew will now take their killer tuneage to the far reaches of the UK; keep tabs on the band via their Facebook and watch them break later this year!
 
 Regards, 

ElevenEleven: Life EP

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The Life EP is a delicious emotive storm of post hardcore from a band which has already garnered strong acclaim and support since forming in 2009. From the North East of Scotland, ElevenEleven has taken a major step forward from already impressive earlier releases with their new EP to give the genre in the UK a new tempest of creativity. It is an expansive mass of passion which without inventing new tools uses existing genre weaponry to fresh and adventurous heights.

Since their first days the quintet has shared stages with the likes of Lower Than Atlantis, Flood of Red, Heights, The Elijah and Don Broco, made their own successful national tours, and released to acclaimed reactions the Memoirs (Part One) EP in 2010 and a two track release The Light/Dark Sessions in 2011. Last year though was one which brought a few obstacles the way of the Aberdeen band in the shape of serious illness, a line-up change and the subsequent collapse of their intended second EP. The band has on the evidence of Life though emerged a greater and even more imaginative force and by marking their return with the EP as a free download, has opened one expects the doors to greater recognition.

Life is seemingly inspired by the previous months for the band, its themes of love, loss and life trials maybe not directly reflective but coverit feels as if it is charged and emotionally sculpted by events. It is an atmospheric wrap with is intrusive and weighty whilst offering a captivating shadowed beauty. As the release agreeably scores the senses the obvious comparison is Deftones but to that you can add essences of Funeral For A Friend, Thrice and Devil Sold His Soul, with dark whispers of muse and Incubus for extra spice. It is a dense engagement lit by melodic invention and sonic skill, and an encounter which as soon as Lost unleashes its passionate heart finds a fulfilling connection to the listener. The opener stages a dramatic initial contact with bruising rhythms from the drums of Ross Senkbeil and the intimidating bassline of Stuart Ritchie within caustic flames of guitar from Eliot Leonard and Euan Wilson. It is a striking start which with the entrance of the fine vocals of Chris Spencer entwines and exchanges its intense gait with another of smouldering mellow ambience, the ‘respite’ itself also carrying a charge of passion which ignites thoughts.

The following Iscariot offers a similar stance though is still distinct in presence, soaking one in further intensity and thick melancholy to challenge and reward equally. As with the first, it is a song with a haunting shout to its voice and a coarse defiance which erupts in scowls of vocal rage at times alongside the increasing impressiveness of Spencer. At this point as one wonders if the whole release would offer a similar breath to is passion, the band shifts into a harsher aggressive tact with The Other Side. The song is an energetic badgering of the ear with an irresistible groove and questioning air. It is an excellent provocation which shows another side to the band whilst stretching their invention and skills in a new direction. Probably the most accessible of all the tracks it leaves one glowing in satisfaction to the same depths of the previous songs but with an openly different aspect.

The release is completed by the expressive rich sonics of Chemical Dreams and the slowly emerging passion of The Ocean. Both songs again venture down new soundscapes and songwriting craft whilst making seamless connections to the other tracks. The latter is a rising torrent of emotion which like the subject of the title ebbs and flows, rises and sweeps over the senses in powerful waves. It is an exceptional end to an excellent release which at times makes you work with it to discover all its wonders but ensures only a wealth of pleasure in return.

ElevenEleven provide something fresh and inventive to a genre which has seen many new bands step forward this year, but this quintet is the one you feel will go the furthest.

Grab the Life EP for free @ http://officialeleveneleven.bandcamp.com/album/life-ep

http://www.facebook.com/OfficialElevenEleven

RingMaster 13/12/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Forever After: Pictures EP

This year has seen many impressive and promising pop punk bands emerge but the majority offer the same conclusion, still to find a distinct personal voice to their sound. These bands share a similarity to each other and those before them to make the moment enjoyable but the future the canvas where hopes of standing out from the crowd, or not will play out. UK band Forever After is one of those rare exceptions, not only does the band ooze great promise ahead with the impressive EP Pictures but already has stepped into a unique place of their very own.

The bio for the Essex quartet states ‘for fans of Lower Than Atlantis, Deaf Havana, and The Maccabees. You cannot argue against that but easily can add the likes of Buzzcocks, Undertones, and Hagfish, such the feisty new wave and original punk essences which tantalise and molest the passions wonderfully throughout. Though not quite perfect Pictures is outstanding, an immediately exciting treat to fire up the heart which just gets better and better with every play.

Formed at the beginning of the year, Forever After soon had audiences baying for more with their live shows which included playing alongside bands including Mallory Knox and Ten Second Epic. Released earlier as a free download, Pictures too only excited a crowd looking for something different and with its official appearance November 5th, as the band prepare to record its follow up, a wider recognition seems inevitable once the four tracks thrust their wanton hook smart dance on more and more eager ears.

Touring The Map opens the release up with fiery riffs and thumping beats, as most pop punk songs do. It pulls attention its way without startlingly offering anything new, leaving expectations exactly where they are when being confronted by another pop punk effort. Into its stride the track whips out teasing hooks, beckoning melodic weaves, and the excellent distinct voice of guitarist Dom Littler. Suddenly you realise you are in the midst of a sonic storm of originality and outrageous infectiousness, the beats of drummer Craig Mcqueen persistently probing the ear whilst bassist Harry Stokley prowls the song with throbbing intent whilst adding his own fine vocals to back up Littler. This alone would certainly ensure a fresh sound and experience but with the excellent guitar invention of Sam Byford, his melodic weaves bordering on lustful irreverence, the song is an irresistible piece of aural mischief, the thing sonic wet dreams are made of.  The song is brilliant, one which leaves one breathless whilst in full union with its passion physically and vocally, and the beginning of one of the bigger musical indie thrills this year.

The following (Old) School, is as it says on the tin, well in part as original punk flavours vein this great slab of rock n roll. Slightly grittier than its predecessor but equally as contagious, the song is a kind of mix between Bad Religion, Radio Stars, and Maximo Park but again belongs to no one but Forever After. A more abrasive affair the hooks easily captures the imagination whilst the vocal harmonies and melodic flames from the guitars just ignite further thrills and appetite for much more form the band. Like the first, the song is a shifting beast of pleasure, the rhythms erupting into excited bursts and bass offering a swagger which sets it apart from but perfectly in league with the charge of the guitars.

The third track called Interlude is just that. It is an ok instrumental but out of place on the release and just feels like a filler which is needless on a brief EP. Saying that though it leads perfectly into final track Say It True so maybe just reinventing it and making it a proper intro to another great song would be a rewarding thing to look at. The closing track is a riot of manic guitars, anthemic energy and shouts, and challenging rhythms all wrapped in irresistible invention and magical enterprise. The track just kicks up a storm of pleasure from which escape is impossible and full engagement willing.

Pictures is outstanding, simply as, and Forever After a band destined to make the future one thrilling and explosive punk rock adventure.

www.facebook.com/foreverafteruk

http://foreverafter.bandcamp.com/album/pictures

RingMaster 04/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Held By Horses: In History

Held By Horses is a quintet from Chelmsford in the UK which is starting to turn heads their way with strong and impressively delivered rock music. The Essex female fronted band now builds on their already rising stock with the release of their new EP In History. Consisting of five songs which grab attention and feed the desire for vibrant and well crafted songs, the EP without arguably bringing new startling detours in the direction of rock music, leaves one fully satisfied and looking forward to watching and hearing the future of this promising band.

Forming in the opening weeks of 2011, the band soon had their debut EP rampaging in ears and since have lit up stages alongside the likes of Mallory Knox, Mystery Jets, Johnny Get The Gun, and Our People Versus Yours. Produced by Dan Lancaster (Lower Than Atlantis, Mallory Knox), In History is their next impressive step in a steady rise as the band works their way to the fore of national recognition.

To swiftly get the obvious comment out of the way when listening to the EP, it has to be said the surface sound of the band though impressive is not groundbreaking. With other great emerging bands such as Leopards, Never The Last Breath, and Hitchcock Blonde to name just three treading the same field of sound, there is a familiar feel across them all. This makes initial impressions less dramatic then maybe is deserved and only with a closer inspection does the craft and skill of the individual come out as with Held By Horses. The trouble for bands is how many have that intent and patience? Saying that though, the band does have an emerging style which is maybe more suggested right now but it is there and destined to evolve ahead.

The release opens with You Win Some, You Lose Some. It is a song which initially under whelms with the main reason being that the vocals of Harriet Reynolds are lost within the mass of the music. It is like she is veiled but thankfully as the rest of the EP explodes in the ear her great voice and delivery is allowed the clarity to shine and hit home with vigour and passion. The song itself is a pleasing if not adventurous companion and certainly keeps one happy to check out the rest of the release.

The following Little Water is soon putting the opener in the shade. Immediately the vocal harmonies sweep one up in their charms and the incisive groove which follows has one eagerly ready to feast upon the song. The early sonic grip leads into energetic guitar play from Kyle Ginn and Will Smith which switches from a more expansive wash back to the tighter acidic groove and back throughout. Lively and persistent the song is sure to be an explosive live favourite and sets the release on track to ignite deeper pleasures.

As great as the previous track is the best song on the release steps up next in the fiery shape of The Last Word. Featuring the vocals of Renz Byrne from Never Means Maybe alongside Reynolds, the track is a feisty rampage of dusty melodics speared by thumping rhythms from drummer Scott Dillon. The muscular bass lines of Charlie O’Halloran under pin the smouldering guitar melodics and hooks perfectly to give a depth to the stirring breath of the song but it is midway when Byrne joins Reynold that glorious sparks fly, their union dazzling and impossible not to be enamoured by. The song is mighty in power and emotion, and of all the songs shows the depth of promise within the band and their writing.

     Down And Out has the envious job of following and does a fine job, the song a thumping treat of energies, air scorching melodics, and captivating vocals. It leads one keenly into the closing Virtues, another song which only has good thoughts going its way. Lively with a Paramore pop rock kiss to its attack, the song ticks all the boxes to leave one smiling. Inventive and impressively delivered it makes a strong end to a more than decent release.

In History is a strong and pleasing release showing a band finding impressive form and promise. Yes the release does not really standout on its own amongst many other similarly fuelled bands but one senses that will come. Held By Horses ensures the company of the EP is gratifying and enjoyable, really all that ever matters surely.

www.facebook.com/heldbyhorses

RingMaster 15/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Milestones: Entropy

Raw, abrasive, and deliberately confrontational, Irish post hardcore band Milestones is already well on the way to making a dent not only in their homeland but further afield, something their new release can only reinforce. Their new EP Entropy is an impressive swipe of aural brutality, one bruising bully to endure but be fully rewarded by. It leaves one clutching a support under its onslaught but full of complete satisfaction from its violent presence.

The quintet from Dublin rose from the ashes of Out of Nowhere in April 2011. With the band name came the Blood demo, a three track release which marked the new direction and set in motion the growing attention and power the band has since triggered. Two tracks The Boats and Gone With The Wind followed, each pulling further acclaim, whilst the band consistently destroyed stages alongside the likes of US band Bury Your Dead, Betrayal and Stick Around. Entropy is evidence of the band growing quickly and finding a depth to their music within songs of sheer towering intensity and undeniable quality. Released as a limited tape cassette via Savour Your Scene Records, just 100 units available, and as a download, the six track release is one to rupture senses and fry thoughts whilst igniting both into action just as equally.

Still Organs scrapes raw from its opening graze upon the ear and is soon probing the wound with a fury of tumultuous riffs and spiteful vocals. The delivery of Peter Kealy, backed by Jack Marmion and Rafino Murphy, simply crushing notes into being with plaintive cries and earnest shouts to match the inciteful guitar play of the other pair. The track is barely in excess of a minute but is a corruptive and stirring beast.

The following Premonitions carries the great start to even more intense heights. Again vocals and guitars strip flesh with their caustic might whilst the drums of Keith Davis rifle and plunder the ear with strong challenging beats and the bass of Keith Fish is a predatory stalker within the sonic violence. Again short, the song is an impact which leaves lingering marks to satisfy all with its extreme musical vehemence.

Needing an extra focus to delve beneath the surface acid, the EP is a varied and intelligent piece of songwriting. It is not an easy listen at times admittedly, and probably too harsh for some, but given time it unveils some of the freshest and more invigorating music to emerge in post hardcore for a long time. The outstanding Old Hands and arguably even better Graveside, leave the air sizzling as their venom is squeezed out through confronting rhythms and incendiary melodic enterprise all brought within a tight sonic whipping. There is a definite punk vein pulsating throughout, especially in the second of these two songs, which adds to the temper and cantankerous attitude of the music and rubs that little bit harder on its target.

Entropy ends with the riveting manipulative tones of Pound OF Flesh, a track which takes a different though no less intense journey than before and the brawling nasty Ladders. The second is a concussive blistering which takes its time to emerge out of an initial chaotic storm to evolve into an infectious and compulsive weave of emotion and expressive rock.

Influences for the band come from the likes of Comeback kid, Defeater, Everytime I Die, and Lower than Atlantis, and to that elements of bands like Gallows and Ghost Of A Thousand also emerge as the EP plays. Milestones has a distinct energy and sound which with Entropy sure to recruit more and more wasted contented ears, pretty much means there will be no stopping them.

https://www.facebook.com/milestonesdublin

RingMaster 27/08/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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