Rooster Cole – I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus / Winter Wonderland

artwork_RingMaster Review

Ever wondered what the Christmas feeling would be like in the sultry heat of a drama soaked desert or within the rich smoulder of a suffocating climate? Rooster Cole provides the answer with his pair of festive offerings in the provocative shapes of I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus and Winter Wonderland.

Those aware of the Rooster Cole sound know the solo project of Mark S. Aaron (Black Black Hills) is a rich and evocative immersion of mariachi toned dark rock ‘n’ roll creating its own distinct place somewhere between Nick Cave, Roy Orbison, and Eighteen Nightmares at the Lux. His two festive offerings are no different, each classic song given a striking and imaginative makeover fuelled by the unique Rooster Cole sound and imagination.

cover_RingMaster Review     I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus is a romance of the senses with sultry resonance and echoes of nostalgic temptations for ears similarly caressed by the emotively expressive tones of Aaron. Equally there is a haunting and unpredictable drama to the encounter too but not enough to lose the festive warmth and glow of the song as it serenades with increasing creative theatre.

Similarly Winter Wonderland is a weave of those same heated textures yet provides its own unique mesmerism from its first breath, creating an immersive hug through its imagination intrusive sound. It carries a climatic air to its evocative body and intimate croon too, one becoming more wonderfully invasive and dramatic as the track grows and seduces the senses.

Fair to say Christmas songs traditionally leave our spirit and expectations of finding even a slither of pleasure in them dead but this year there has been a bit of a shock to the system. Already we have had stirring and irresistible offerings from both The Elfish Presleys and Venus de Vilo, and now with these two exotic treats from Rooster Cole, we may have to concede that all is not lost for festive musical temptation after all.

Both I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus and Winter Wonderland are out now and ready to make your Christmas soundtrack @ http://roostercole.bandcamp.com/

http://roostercole.com/

Pete RingMaster 21/12/2015

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Rooster Cole – Bird Don’t Sing EP

RC_RingMaster Review

Bird Don’t Sing is the second EP from UK band Rooster Cole and confirmation, if we needed it, that the man behind it all is one of Britain’s finest atmospheric and emotive song-smiths and vocalists. It offers four diverse and intensely provocative songs which just grab ears and imagination, transporting them into the heart of a sound described as ‘Bluesman Mariachi Soul’, a term which really does sum up the mouth-watering experience on offer.

Rooster Cole is the solo project of Black Black Hills frontman Mark S. Aaron, a band which itself was an acclaim garnering and feverishly devoured proposition which still has many hoping and waiting on a hint of a return. Last year saw Aaron unveil a couple of songs which swiftly whipped up keen attention, including ours, but it was debut single More Than You at the beginning of the year which nudged real focus on The Brighton based singer-songwriter’s emerging presence. That poke became a rich wake-up call as the single revealed itself to be the lead song from the similarly named first EP from Aaron. The April released More Than You EP, was a creative web of intrigue and dark adventure with a general climate as sultry and romantically dangerous as the mix of impressive and individual songs within it. Now five months on, another quartet of spicy encounters have arrived within the new EP to whisk the listener off into flirtatious shadows and emotionally haunting landscapes, and it is easy to suspect, even greater attention and rewards.

cover_RingMaster Review     The release opens with the instantly warm and lively Head Over Heels, and a dazzle of crystal melodies against the darker tempting of bass and guitar. Almost as quickly, the distinctive tones of Aaron cup ears with rich expression shaped by mariachi honed theatre. It is a magnetic sound and presence the man has; a cross between a melancholic Elvis and a mournful Roy Orbison yet with an instinctive swing and smile that simultaneously tempers and accentuates the shadows at the soul of the words and music. The song continues to bloom as guitar strings cast a weave of variety and enterprise matched by the vocals with bewitching effect. Delicious elements of unpredictable discord also come out to play whilst electronic beats, with a dulled sharpness, knock on the door of the song trying to get in. Theirs is a strange resonating touch which just works and though they would not be missed if not there such the potency of the track, they add a little more drama to contemplate.

The title track of Bird Don’t Sing follows, pulsating beats and tender melodies the first touch, the inviting voice of Aaron the second. In moments it has ears and thoughts firmly engaged, electronic tweets sparsely reverberating within the sombre but again welcoming ambience of the song. Like a fusion of The Walker Brothers and Nick Cave, the track seduces with a noir charm and elegance spiked by scuzzy eruptions which smother the senses in brief and quickly passing, but almost smoggy crescendos. It is a creative collision between textures, even if in swift moments, which unleashes the sorrow of the song in gentle persuasion and devouring intensity, again a blend which just works around the dark tale and heavy enticing voice of Aaron.

If the second song is awash with melancholy, O Darkness Come For Me right after is drenched in it, and similarly simply captivates. There is a fifties hue aligned to gothic sadness which drips from every pore of the song whilst wistful keys and a solemn piano melody court each other’s emotive beauty. It is absorbing stuff and with the ever sullen and enthralling voice of Aaron casting the narrative’s sorrow, also quite irresistible.

In saying that, it still gets outshone by final song and rousing stomp, Waiting Place. The track was one of the two songs first revealed by Aaron before the first single, and a glorious bewitchment which slowly washed over ears as its piano led walk embraced discord kissed melodies and sombre yet emotionally incendiary textures and vocals, it was too. Between its first appearance and now though, it seems like Aaron has fed it Viagra as it has returned as a far more boisterous and refreshed encounter, bouncing with the sultriness of a temptress and romping with the tenacious canter of a stallion. The track still lies under a red skied climate of suggestiveness over a dustily emotive landscape, but like a bold Ranchero baring his soul with troubadour revelry it now infests ears with a funky, discord lined and noir folk adventure in word and sound. The track is superb, managing to go from being something truly special to revealing a whole new character and intent which is still nothing less than magnificent. Simply it is dark rock ‘n’ roll at its most resourceful and invigorating.

Fair to say the final song steals the show, but from first maudlin note to its lingering last, the Bird Don’t Sing EP is majestic. If Rooster Cole has still not reached your personal playlists yet…you really are missing out.

The Bird Don’t Sing EP is available from September 18th via the Rooster Cole Bandcamp.

Pete Ringmaster 18/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Rooster Cole – More Than You EP

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If you had to choose one word to describe the music of Rooster Cole it would have to be dramatic. Given a couple more to use then evocative and spellbinding would be next in line. As evidenced by recent debut single More Than You, the band’s sound and presence is pure aural theatre, transportation to sultry and emotional adventures which simply seduce ears and imagination. Now a four track EP with the last single as its title track has been unveiled to declare Rooster Cole as one of the most exciting and magnetic propositions in the British music scene today.

Rooster Cole is the solo project of Black Black Hills frontman Mark S. Aaron, a band itself igniting the music landscape before seemingly going on a hiatus. With a sound described as Bluesman Mariachi Soul, hard to think of a more accurate description either, Aaron unveiled a couple of songs last year to whet the appetite before releasing, as mentioned, his first single a few weeks back. It was a song which not only expanded on the potential of those early tasters but opened up a new web of intrigue and promise which now the EP has been taken to even greater depths and thrilling exploits.

MORE THAN YOU EP blue     The EP opens with Up To The Teeth and swiftly with its spicy caress of guitar and more sombre bass tone, has ears alert and the imagination intrigued, especially when the expressive drama lined vocals of Aaron begin the narrative. Only a few seconds in and a swarthy climate soaks the senses and song whilst a spicy flavouring spills from the melodic enterprise of the guitar and an evocative tang seeps from the keys. Its ambience is just as humid and provocative whilst vocally Aaron paints a potent picture for thoughts and emotions to embrace. His voice and presence is pure magnetism, as his songwriting and musical craft, and imagining Nick Cave and Roy Orbison as one unique person will only take you closer to the impact and qualities of the man. For all its shadowed feel and dark drama there is catchiness to the song which is just as gripping, its chorus especially magnetic with its melodic and vocal roar.

     More Than You steps up next and from its first breath has the listener under a sweltering sun scorched sky, a Tarrantino meets Morricone ambience colouring the broad yet intimately suggestive soundscape of song. It is exotic in air and rousing in touch but equally with discord lined sonic winds also bringing their temptation, the track is an unpredictable and compelling adventure. Aaron once again croons ears into submission, every word and syllable a conjuring of the imagination with his distinct and mesmeric delivery; if there is a finer descriptive and evocative vocalist right now we cannot think of them.

Whereas the first two songs are gentle immersions, even if each also brews stirring and intoxicating crescendos, third track River Deep strolls in on an immediately lively swing and energetic shuffle. The sway of the song is simply hypnotic and the rhythmic enticement a lure to listener involvement in feet and body. Thoughts and emotions are in turn taken care of by the voice and rich melodic enterprise of Aaron, aided by the feel of eighties bands like Heaven 17 in the feisty pop energy of the song. As always, Rooster Cole songs are a blend of light and dark and the latter, with its bluesy rock embrace, offers up The Doors and Bernaccia like whispers, though it all emerges as one unique Rooster Cole emprise.

Final song Evelyn is a ballad of haunting emotion and beauty, an inescapable magnet for ears and unbridled seduction for the imagination. Strings caress the senses with their melodic croon whilst Aaron strokes thoughts with every line of the dark romance, it all gently prowled by the throaty tone of the bass. Brief but sending a tingle down the spine, the song is a glorious end to a stunning release.

Aaron had us awoken to his voice and songwriting with Black Black Hills, further impressed and excited with his recent single and now lustfully inflamed through the More Than You EP. Rooster Cole is now on course to be the future of dark mournful rock ‘n’ roll.

The More Than You EP is out now @ https://roostercole.bandcamp.com/

http://www.roostercole.com/     https://www.facebook.com/roostercolemusic

RingMaster 30/04/2015

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Helldorado – Bones In The Closet

Helldorado pic

Basking in the sultry heat and sweltering ambience of Bones In The Closet, the new album from Norwegian narrators of scintillating murder stories and rapacious shadows Helldorado, the overriding thought whilst within its seductive devil spawn arms is that you are being cradled by one of the major contenders for album of the year. The twelve track release is sensational, evocative beauty and dark intent saddling the senses for a Tarantino/ Morricone sculpted ride of the purest pleasure and imagination.

Bones In The Closet is the fifth album from Helldorado and again draws on a startling and provocative mix of blues, country folk, rock, and shadowed misdemeanours with a stroll through Mexican deserts and tequila soaked climes for this release. As across their previous releases the cinematic lures of their music is as potent as its sensory incitement and here leaves the listener perpetually wiping the dust from their eyes and pulling their mental stetson/sombrero down whilst chewing on a cigar Eastwood style. There is strong diversity running through the release too though, from walking through the smokey hauntings of a hanging man scenario down in the south you can find yourself breaking into a garage rock soundtrack to a Russ Meyer film or a blues bar atmosphere with whiskey in hand. It is a thrilling and evolving encounter which with essences of the likes of Johnny Cash, Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Stan Ridgeway joining those of Mariachi El Bronx, Guano Padano, or Dennis Hopper Choppers, never gives the passions a moment to grab their breath.

The trio of Dag S. Vagle (lead vocal, guitar, organ, piano, autoharp, mellotron), Hans A. Wassvik (bass, backing vocal) and Morten Bones in the ClosetJackman (drums, saw, percussion), immediately cast the long arms of the sun onto the neck with opener Gallow´s Bird whilst sizzling the surrounding air with a blaze of brass persuasion from the trumpet of Ole Ellingsen which springs from an instantly inviting drum burst. The guitars gather in the senses with devilish temptation whilst the bass of Wassvik adds its individual prowl to the dawning scene soon narrated by the excellent tones of Vagle. Passionate and soulful he bellows out with emotive glory whilst the guest backing vocals of Pål Jackman play co-conspirator in drawing thoughts deeper in to the compelling song. Virtually dripping sweat from the humid embrace driven by vocal and musical fire, there is an instantaneous ardour bred with the track such its intensive might and rasping charm.

As the following Misery And Woe boldly steps forward with melodramatic keys framing the door into its expressive heart and Vagle cast his spellbinding delivery upon the ear again, it still is hard after many listens to the album and previous tracks that the band is Norwegian. They make the likes of Chris Issak sound less American than Helldorado and it just enriches the imagery and adds the deepest depth to the transportation of thoughts into their aural paintings. The second song is a slowly burning reflection of despair and regret, the tale of an unavoidable destiny with thick emotion swamping every syllable and melodic beauty from the cursed soul.

Dead World with its garage rock stomp switches the scenery for a sonic kaleidoscope of psychedelic colours and mutually vibrant emotions, the keys dazzling the ear whilst the guitar twists and turns with melodic enticement. With harmonic squalls thrilling with rich textures of The Stones to their crowd and The Doors like bait of the keys, it is a raucous and vital storm of blistering joy and an exciting temper between the surrounding songs. Its successor John McMiller like the second song on the release is a powerful and demandingly evocative piece of songwriting and staggering realisation. Another dark hearted soul laying open his past and looking for an end to his life’s previous purpose, the track carries his declaration forward on a gait which is a shadowed romp, its lively surges breaking out from more restrained and arguably redemption searching melodic caresses though the centre of the tale is not asking for such. It is another varied and staggering discharge of invention and imagination which is rewarding with further rapture from the heart.

Only four songs in and no more convincing is needed to the triumph before the ear but the release just continues to exhaust the passions, the likes of the feisty and magnetic Please Come Back which again features Pål Jackman on support vocals, the brilliant and irresistible Times of Trial a true authentic  mariachi classic, and the title track with its muggy noir corners and western sparks, continuing the impossible addictive influence of the album whilst Two Headed Horseman with its garage punk tipped crescendos within more sun-baked glamour and the sixties lilted road trip of ´69 Camaro just rip further furnace hot lust from the heart in their and the album’s direction.

Completed by a final trio of brilliance in the haunting Lost Highway Motel a place home to lost souls of all inclinations, the black tale of love and violence Johnny´s Song, and a delicious version of the Morricone piece Sixty Seconds To What?, there is little left to say but sigh like an overfed diner and declare Bones In The Closet one of the major highlights of the year so far and will certainly be acclaimed so by the closing of its eyes too. With a mention also for the slide guitar contribution on the album from Ry Krüger required, this is a release everyone should dive into without reservation, and Helldorado a cemented lustful passion for this site.

http://www.helldorado.no

https://www.facebook.com/HelldoradoOfficial

10/10

RingMaster 25/04/2013

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