Sonic Tides: talking Oceans with guitarist Tom Hollands

The release of a new EP suggests 2018 is set to be a potent and busy year for Brighton, UK based Oceans. It is a multi-flavoured, ear grabbing incitement of the band’s post hardcore and alternative rock blended sound building on their previous encounters whilst venturing into new imagination. We recently had the pleasure to dive into Oceans and their new offering with guitarist Tom Hollands, exploring their beginnings, fresh endeavour and more….

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

Much like the actual Oceans, we are a band made up of 5 mostly water based entities: Zach Silver – vocals, Conor Hyde & Tom Hollands – guitars, Jack Warren – bass and James Gillingham – drums. We all either lived, partied or performed alongside each other before the current line-up was formed, that and our shared desire to create made Oceans happen!

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

Collectively we’ve all played in bands or made music of many different genres. Perhaps without being fully aware of it we draw on this when writing – We’re all quite different as musicians too so I think we’re bound to end up with quite an eclectic sound.

What inspired the band name?

We came to Brighton and based it on things we saw – So it was either something to do with seagulls, falafel (love it), or the ocean… No unfortunately that’s not true; our guitarist Conor got it from a Mallory Knox song!

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

The idea has always been to try to make music that we love and hopefully others do too, and to do this as a career – We always strive to be somewhat original yet familiar enough to still fit into a scene.

Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

Most of us didn’t have any real direction until we decided to pursue music. We also love playing live and like most bands can’t wait to hopefully play to bigger crowds and do more tours!

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

We’re evermore critical with our songwriting and I’d say we’re starting to really refine our sound – The music has grown darker sonically and thematically and we’ve tried to strike a balance between more poppy hooks and heavier riffs.

This has been more of an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately trying new things?

Although it’s felt like a natural progression, we’re actively trying to make the best songs we can and sometimes that means tearing apart or scrapping ideas we’ve worked on for ages and doing something completely new instead.

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 all have rather different tastes in music; artists that have had a considerable impact on us are Incubus, Don Broco, Black Peaks, Deftones, Marmozets… There’s so many. We’ve heard of some bands that will try dozens of different melodies or ideas before settling so we’re just trying to be as critical as possible!

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

We don’t have a set method, however it usually starts with guitar riffs written at home and then built upon bit by bit in rehearsals. We all have a say in every part of the process so it really is a collective effort. Now we do demos and backing tracks to try out synths and things like that.

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

Our singer Zach writes the lyrics – Subject matter is usually based on personal struggles or stories relative to what’s happening in our lives (get over ourselves, right?) – We try to leave things open to interpretation, we want our audience to be able to relate.

Could you give us some background to your latest release?

Our new EP, Far From Composure dropped on March 13th. It’s available on practically all platforms and we see it as a big milestone for Oceans.

How about some insight into the themes and premise behind it and its songs?

Thematically the EP spans elements of coping with mental instability and it’s causation due to physical condition, relationships with yourself/others, escapism… The premise of this EP was to really capture our progression as a band from previous works and most importantly create something very emotive that connects with listeners. We also wanted to write big riffs, hit stuff and make loud noises.

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?

Our intention has always been to enter the studio with finished songs, however we always end up adding bits and pieces and coming up with extra ideas – We actually recorded a whole extra song last time!

Tell us about the live side to the band?

We play with a lot of energy and really like to throw ourselves about, I’d like to think if you don’t enjoy our recorded music at first our live set would… Captivate you… (Pun FFO Marmozets…)

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

It can be tough for any new band to branch out from their hometown and it certainly hasn’t been any different for us. It helps being driven for sure – We lost count long ago of the amount of gigs we’ve played around trying to make a name for ourselves. We’ve had our fair share of bad luck but we’ve found that the harder you work the more chance of creating positive opportunities you have – Though there are many other factors to consider!

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

Social media has played a big part in enabling us to reach people we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. However, working round changing algorithms and the like can be difficult when trying to connect with fans (Or gain new ones). It’s a big discussion, though now it’s pretty much a necessity for new artists to engage in social media. Like with anything, it’s really about figuring out how to utilize it most effectively for your band, we’re definitely still learning! I’d say do what you can without losing sight of what’s important, the rock and/ or roll (or whatever genre you play). Cliché I know…

For further dips into Oceans check them out @

https://www.facebook.com/pg/oceansukband   https://twitter.com/oceansukband     http://instagram.com/oceansukband   http://oceansuk.bandcamp.com

Pete RingMaster 13/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Saltlake – Medicate Me

As much as talent and craft helps a band step out from the crowd having a sound with distinct character to it is just as potent a weapon. On the evidence of their new EP, UK alternative rock trio Saltlake has found that key. It may not have true uniqueness yet but there is no escaping a captivating prowess and enterprise which commands attention.

One of the first things the Medicate Me EP hooks ears with is the depth and expanse of its sound, a soundscape of electronic and electric drama which belies the slim number of the band’s personnel. It comes drenched in emotional intensity and a hungry energy which again only adds to its potency. Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Henry Gottelier, bassist Liam Quinn, and drummer John Godly, Saltlake emerged from within the Sussex countryside and London suburbs in 2013. Medicate Me is our introduction to the band and takes short time in sparking an appetite to hear more.

It opens up with Badlands, keys and rhythms looming up on ears bringing a tide of riffs and melodic intrigue. The robust and enticing rhythms of Quinn and Godly probe and incite as Gottelier’s strong and alluring tones roar. As quickly familiar essences grab thoughts but only adding to the richness of the track in sound and tone as it simmers and boils with creative and emotive enterprise. Comparisons to the likes of Young Guns, Mallory Knox, and Bring Me The Horizon have been made with the threesome and it is easy to hear why through the EP opener.

The following Sympathy Apathy entices initially in a similar way to its predecessor if with less of an imposing trespass. It too casts a dramatic tapestry of sound swiftly upon ears, melodic suggestion wearing an early U2-esque hue to whet the appetite before Saltlake weaves their own individual theatre of sound and adventure. As with the first, there is a mix of the familiar and the fresh entwined to catch the imagination; creating a song which mixes unpredictable and recognisable flavours to push the release to another level.

Hourglass simmers and erupts next with melodic persuasion and emotive intensity, vocals as reflective as keys and guitars against the more formidable touch of rhythms. It is a track which just blossoms from moment to moment and listen to listen. The drama of synths and melody are matched by the prowess of voice and creative imagination fuelling a song where though there is something familiar nagging away with one of its key hooks, though still to be exposed in realisation as to why, it soon steals the limelight within Medicate Me.

The EP closes with its title track, a proposal rising from an electronic mist around a dark bass throb into an atmospheric heart bred croon prone to more volatile, ear grabbing cries of emotion and intensity. Even with its thick haunting air the song is as catchy as anything before it and brings things to a highly enjoyable conclusion.

As suggested, Medicate Me is a mix of the familiar and individual which increasingly impresses over time from a band which is heading the right way towards real attention.

Medicate Me is available through all stores now.

https://www.saltlakeuk.com/     https://www.facebook.com/SaltlakeUK     https://twitter.com/saltlakeuk

Pete RingMaster 16/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Witterquick – Fire & Ice

With a sound which sits rather nicely yet individually among the likes of Brand New, Young Guns, and Mallory Knox, UK outfit Witterquick has been stirring up plenty of praise carrying attention their way over the past year or so which new EP Fire & Ice can only re-energise. Offering four slices of their melody rich, emotion thick, forceful rock ‘n’ roll, the release confirms the band’s rising presence in the British music rock scene.

With success and acclaim already stoked by their debut EP, Beneath the Spinning Lights, and a sold-out UK tour with Nothing But Thieves among their own shows, Witterquick linked up with producer Romesh Dodangoda (Bring Me the Horizon, Lower Than Atlantis, Twin Atlantic) for Fire & Ice. Straight away it hints at the reasons for the increased attention upon the band, opener Shattered Suns skipping in on a summery breeze before rhythms pounce and the voice of Will Alford impressively grabs ears. The simmer of keys flirt among the tide of riffs and rhythms, guitarists Ben Chanter and Sean Davey creating a web of melody and hooks which tempt infectiously within the invitingly imposing strikes of Andy Lewis’ drums and the brooding tones of Ollie Chanter’s bass. Swiftly infectious and increasingly so as Alford impressively leads the way with his potent voice, the song grips attention and appetite.

A single which has already earned the band eager radio play, Lie To Me follows with its gentle but catchy swing and warm melodic embrace. There is a more caustic edge to the song which swarms its shadows to add further depth to its presence, but it is the emotive tide and melodic dexterity of the band and songwriting which fuels its character to great effect. Though for these ears its predecessor is a mightier lure into the EP, there is no denying the track gets under the skin and into the hips with its accomplished heat and tenacious catchiness.

Hiding Place brings a rockier swagger with its robust presence next, rhythms almost assaulting the senses with their forceful nature. It is a pleasure emulated in the fiery textures erupting from the guitars as the harmonic strengths of Alford are matched by his enterprise on keys. Emotionally and musically anthemic, the track really hits the spot in swift time, it too a perfect lure into the creative heart of Witterquick.

The release is closed up by the gentle fires of I Need A Friend Tonight, a melancholic reflection with crescendos of intensity and emotion which really blossoms over listen. It epitomises the band’s intelligent songwriting and layered sounds, over time breeding the same kind of infectiousness its rowdier companions generate more quickly.

It would be wrong to say that Fire & Ice blew us off out feet yet every moment with it has brought thick pleasure and an intrigue flooded hunger for more and there is nothing wrong with that at all.

Fire & Ice is out now and available @ http://witterquick.bigcartel.com/

http://www.witterquickband.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Witterquickband    https://twitter.com/witterquickband

Pete RingMaster 17/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

All Tied Up – Breaking Silence

Entwining the energy and urgency of pop punk with the rousing guile of alternative rock, UK outfit All Tied Up have provided one enterprising vehicle for it to shine in the shape of their new EP. Breaking Silence features five tracks which pretty easily has the body bouncing and the imagination held, each also ripe with a potential which whets the appetite for the evolution of the  band’s already intriguing sound.

From Milton Keynes, All Tied Up have persistently nurtured a broadening eagerly loyal fan base as well as increasing praise across a debut album and a pair of EPs as well as with their live presence which has seen the quartet shares stages across the country with bands such as The Ataris, [SPUNGE], Kenneths, Big D and the Kids Table, Whitmore, and Sonic Boom Six. Recently they linked up with new indie label, Stack-in-a-box Records, for the Andy Davies produced and Joe LaPorta (David Bowie, Foo Fighters, Mallory Knox) and Katie Tavini (Sonic Boom Six) mastered Breaking Silence, a union which should see potent fruits from their joint endeavour.

The EP opens up with So Enthusiastic, a song which from a gentle thoughtful melody gathers its rhythmic tenacity and eager energy to burst into a boisterous stroll. In its lively canter there is a steely edge to the bass of Leebo, a darker hue which equally clads the swings of drummer Nick Freeman. The guitars of vocalist Dave Palfreyman and Billy Norman though flirt with melody around a hook which just teases the passions as the former’s vocals, with their engaging twang, cap the captivation. The band’s new single, the song simply hits the spot and soon commands a deeper look at the EP.

Whether the remaining tracks live up to the first is debateable such its impressive proposition but certainly the following Better Day swings along with ear pleasing endeavour and a melodic spicing which only satisfies. Its rhythmic shuffle is similarly adventurous working away on feet as too the ruggedly dancing beats and bass grumble coring the increasingly addictive and next up Asbestos Box. Though leaving no sense of dissatisfaction in its first play, the track simply grows listen by listen; its unpredictable character and infectious heart relentlessly getting under the skin and if there is one song which rivals the first, this is it.

The EP’s title track romps along with its own eagerness and dexterity, ebbing and flowing in the energy of its attack but always a flood of catchiness which also blossoms over time if still lacking the bolder creative sparks of its predecessor. In saying that, enjoyment is a given as emotive hues entangle pop punk; a mixture just as assertive and magnetic in closing track Master Of Disguise. It too is a great mix of reflective calm and spirited dynamics which again, and this applies to the whole EP too, just becomes more persuasive and alluring with every encounter.

There is deep potential to the All Tied Up sound which demands further attention and a readymade attraction which makes Breaking Silence a thoroughly enjoyable encounter which anyone with a taste for pop punk and infection loaded rock should find quite flavoursome.

Breaking Silence is out now via Stack-in-a-box Records on all major online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/alltiedupband    https://twitter.com/alltiedupband

Pete RingMaster 01/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Lonely The Brave – Diamond Days EP

A handful of weeks short of its acclaim luring release a year ago, UK outfit Lonely The Brave follow their chart topping album with another new ear hugging EP. Featuring Diamond Days from the acclaimed Things Will Matter, the Cambridge quartet’s latest offering also provides two brand new songs and a haunting cover of a long time band favourite. Together they seduce the senses and spark the imagination, offering further reasons as to why people are suggesting that Lonely The Brave could be Britain’s, if not the world’s, future big thing.

Last year saw, beside the album’s triumphant release, the band play a sell-out headline tour and support Biffy Clyro on their travels across Europe. With the band currently in the midst of a UK tour supporting fellow city bred outfit Mallory Knox alongside Glasgow trio, Fatherson, Lonely The Brave with Diamond Days build on the similarly potent encounter of last Autumn’s EP, Dust & Bones; both releases not only feeding an appetite for the band’s ever brewing growth in sound and songwriting but re-energising attention on Things Will Matter with their lead tracks.

Diamond Days, song and EP swiftly captures devoted attention as a lone melody unfurls its gentle caress around ears. Soon beats add their rhythmic shuffle as vocalist David Jakes shares his distinctive and emotively honed tones. Quickly magnetic, the track only increases its potency as harmonies and further melodic enterprise from guitarist Ross Smithwick unites with the similarly potent touch of Andrew Bushen’s bass, together casting a suggestive web of temptation. Floating over the senses like a melancholic yet elegant cloud, the song haunts and bewitches in equal measure, brooding keys adding to its evocative air.

With the beats of Gavin Edgeley just as striking and lively, Two Heads follows, bringing a greater energy in gait and instinctive but controlled aggression. It is more a forcefulness than attack at the heart of the EPs second offering, but an anthemic trespass which gives greater urgency to the tapestry of infectious melodies and hungry riffs persuading an already keen appetite for the band’s sound to find a touch more greed.

Collider is a blend of the previous pair, initiating its presence with another blustery air but slowly creeping into the psyche with meandering melodies and vocal resourcefulness. Overall the song is more of a slow burner than its predecessors, its angular hooks and blossoming catchiness reserved and subtle yet ultimately the song leaves just as rich a pleasure behind as those before it eventually leaving in a blaze of emotive intensity.

As they have shown before, Lonely The Brave makes any track they cover their own, and The Rat is no exception. The Walkmen song is an emotionally exposed encounter, a haunting and haunted proposition floating solemnly across ears and thoughts as shadows brew in its lining. Their injection of drama builds into a rousing tide of emotive density ridden by Jakes’ continually impressing delivery and the melodic weaving of Smithwick. The track is superb, matching the heights of its companions if not stealing their thunder just a little as it too builds to a thrilling crescendo.

For those with the album already in their hearts, the Diamond Days EP is a new and compelling treat and for newcomers also a reason to further embrace a band and sound which is indeed evolving into something rather special.

The Diamond Days EP is out now through Hassle Records across most online stores digitally and on Ltd Ed Mint coloured vinyl; all links @ http://smarturl.it/DiamondDays_Order

Upcoming Mallory Knox/Lonely The Brave Tour Dates:

31/03/17 – Newcastle – University SU

01/04/17 – Liverpool – O2 Academy

02/04/17 – Portsmouth – Pyramids

04/04/17 – Oxford – O2 Academy

05/04/17 – London – Koko

06/04/17 – London – Koko

http://lonelythebrave.com/    https://www.facebook.com/LonelyTheBrave   https://twitter.com/lonelythebrave

Pete RingMaster 27/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Deadset Dream – Snakes and Ladders

Photography by Elliot Young.

Photography by Elliot Young.

Following a 2015 which saw the band earn great attention, British alternative rockers Deadset Dream are keeping that same success going on stage and recently through the release of new single Snakes and Ladders. The track is a rousingly infectious slice of melody thick rock ‘n’ roll driven by the warm jangle of guitar aligned with emotively shaped vocals, and very swiftly is very satisfying.

ARTWORK_RingMasterReviewFormed on 2013, Sheffield hailing Deadset Dream has bred and honed their sound into a flavoursome proposition matched in strength by the interest it has sparked. As mentioned earlier, last year was the most potent yet for the quintet of vocalist Shiney Lingwood, guitarists Dan Burridge and Alex Hudson, bassist James Yeaman, and drummer Conor Burridge. Live, the band supported the likes of Funeral for a Friend, Roam, and Autumn Ruin as well as selling out Sheffield’s Corporation towards its end. The release of The Fall, a single taken from Battlecry, the band’s first EP in three years, only added to Deadset Dream’s success with their reputation growing in tandem.

Surging into 2016 with the same live intensity, Deadset Dream gives attention another firm nudge with Snakes and Ladders. The single initially caresses ears with a guitar jangle before Lingwood counts down to an immediately catchy and evocative flow of riffs and melodies around his following plaintive vocals. With rhythms framing all with their own infectious drama, the track croons and rumbles as it sweeps ears up in its anthemically toned adventure.

There is a feel of Mallory Knox and Bring Me The Horizon to the song, open hues which add to an overall roar which fires up the appetite for the Deadset Dream sound. Produced by James Pinder of Treehouse Studios, who lists the likes of Bullet For My Valentine and Fightstar on his CV, Snakes and Ladders suggests this year is more than capable of matching the last in the ascent of Deadset Dream.

Snakes and Ladders is out now with Deadset Dream playing the Kaya Festival in Wales August 7th.

https://www.facebook.com/deadsetdreamband   https://twitter.com/deadsetdreamuk

Pete RingMaster 04/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Syren City – Paradise In The Dirt

Syren City Promo Shot_RingMasterReview

Almost two years ago, UK rockers Syren City laid a hefty punch on attention with the Escape EP, five tracks of multi-flavoured rock ‘n’ roll which was as compelling as it was thrilling. Now the Bristol quintet returns with its successor Paradise In The Dirt and three more encounters which leave ears ringing with pleasure and an appetite for more simply greedier.

Formed in 2011, Syren City swiftly bred a sound from essences drawn across the likes of post hardcore, punk, metal and alternative rock. The 2014 Escape EP quickly showed it was a formidable and striking mix, echoing the band’s live reputation earned through festival appearances and shows with the likes of Turbowolf, The Alarm, Mallory Knox, Max Raptor, The Hell, Roam, Black Foxxes, Futures, Young Legionnaire, Attack Attack, and Blitz Kids. The release of their new proposition shows that the band’s sound has continued to expand and indulge in greater adventurous traits, increasing in magnetism with equal measure. The first in a series of EPs which have a conceptual thread and link, Paradise In The Dirt captures ears and imagination with swift deftness of enterprise and a rousing boisterousness, never relenting upon or releasing the listener until its final note has shared its mighty bait.

Syren City Cover Artwork_RingMasterReviewIt opens up with It’s Morphine Time, a song which descends on the senses like a tempestuous challenge from its first breath, but a threat just as quickly seducing ears and appetite as riffs and rhythms launch their hungry persuasion. In no times wiry grooves are entangling song and listener while anthemic vocal roars across the band find a great Beastie Boys feel to them. As it proceeds, the scent of bands such as Rage Against The Machine and Refused also colour the encounter, with frontman Simon Roach taking vocal charge as the barbarous rhythms of bassist Sam Leworthy and drummer Mat Capper badger and incite. It is a virulent infectious affair with the enterprise and fiery grooves of guitarists Ian Chadderton and Josh Mortazavi arousing, aiding and shaping the songs twists and turns as its metal/heavy rock antagonism and inescapable catchiness fuels pleasure, the song alone surely ensuring the EP’s certain success.

It is quickly backed up by its companions though, Danielle coming next and opening on a melodic caress which inspires the following vocals and flirtatious gait of the song. Little time passes before again a volcanic quality and energy erupts, its theatre creating a My Chemical Romance like attraction before things slip back into the captivating calm and the repeat of the galvanic cycle. As within its predecessor, there is a kind of tempestuousness to ideas and intensity which only adds to the riveting drama provided before 10,000 Knives steps forward to grab its share of the plaudits. Initial riffs and lures have a slight Therapy? feel before the punk heart of band and song grips and adds a Reuben meets Taking Back Sunday hue to the outstanding encounter.

All three tracks are uniquely distinct to each other but fuelled by a sound with a character all Syren City’s. The band impressed with their last release and have only made a bigger impact with Paradise In The Dirt, a release sure to be the favourite EP of 2016 for a great many.

The Paradise In The Dirt EP is out now through all stores-

https://www.facebook.com/SyrenCity  https://twitter.com/SyrenCity  http://instagram.com/syrencitymusic

Pete RingMaster 30/06/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright