Zebedy – Set The Pace

British alternative rockers Zebedy have been on a steady and upward climb since emerging in 2008, previous releases alone establishing the North Wales outfit as one of UK’s most promising propositions. Now they have new EP, Set The Pace doing the persuading; a release which sees the band pushing their sound and invention to new heights to make the biggest nudge on major spotlights yet.

From Conwy, Zebedy initially comprised of guitarist/vocalist Jonny Harding-Smith, bassist/vocalist Dave Harding-Smith, and drummer Tom Dyson and through their jams created progressively nurtured instrumental soundscapes. Subsequently adding vocals, the trio also expanded ranks with the addition of guitarist/vocalist Ben Chamberlain. 2011 saw the release of debut album Exist, its release supported by an extensive UK tour. Its well-received outing was followed by the This Is My City EP which only increased their reputation with second album Marionette subsequently making an even bigger impact. Embracing inspirations from the likes of Karnivool, Reuben, Fightstar, and Biffy Clyro for a multi-flavoured rock and metal bred sound as unpredictable as it is rousing, and coming off successful shows alongside the likes of Psychostick, Soil, Closure In Moscow, COMA, and Brutai, Zebedy look ready to take things to the next level with Set The Pace to the fore.

The EP opens up with its title track, distant vocals running to ears with emotive urgency before guitars spin their wiry web and rhythms rumble with boisterous imagination. Pretty quickly it is easy to see where those Reuben and Karnivool influences come in, though in many ways the song offers a lively enterprise more akin to At The Drive In meets The Martini Henry Rifles. The track continues to twist and turn keeping the listener hooked and guessing, every change an organic shift from what was before. Vocals singularly and together impress as potently as the sounds and craft building the EP’s striking start with the antics of the bass a particularly appetising essence to personal tastes.

The following Of Revelations has a more controlled and restrained body compared to the tempestuous character of its predecessor but equally its blend of metal toned grooves and heavy rock riffs build a highly tempting canvas for the track’s progressive and melodic enterprise to conjure greater adventure. It is a slice of muscular rock ‘n’ roll which also swings from one imaginative endeavour to another, never staying in one style of attack or flavouring for long but making each a memorable moment to greedily lock on to.

The brief instrumental of In is pretty much the lead into final track Bloom, its melodic suggestion a stirring appetiser for the compelling drama of its successor where a tempest of rhythms trespass as sonic espionage grabs and twists the imagination. Within that trap ears bask in a cauldron of technical dynamics and impassioned energy and fair to say, as with all tracks, the more time they spend with the proposal the greater richness of its layers and the fresh nuances they bring are discovered within another truly captivating experience.

For all their bold moves and rich textures, the songs are also virulently infectious, the band sealing a real catchiness to their enterprise which has the body bouncing as ears explore. The thoughts of others are that Zebedy is about to break into the biggest attention and we can only say that Set The Pace offers nothing to derail that suggestion.

Set The Pace is available from September 15th @ https://zebedy.bandcamp.com/album/set-the-pace

https://www.facebook.com/zebedymusic/

Pete RingMaster 15/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Smash Fashion: Blame It On The Brandy/Marionette

Whatever the shade or flavour which sparks up our individual fires, we all love a bit of music nostalgia. Arguably a major chunk of current music harkens back to earlier times in some way, whether a band inspired by the first days of death metal, another by the psychedelic sounds of the sixties or one investigating the post punk discord of the eighties. There are others Like US rockers Smash Fashion who openly and eagerly attempt to re-ignite and re-energise a style which gave breath to their love of music.

LA based quartet Smash Fashion is, in their description, a power pop rock n roll band, in our description the band is quite simply rock music at its best, honest, enthused, and here to aurally molest with the wink of a devil. The band show with a passion their distinctive dandy rock in their current single Blame It On The Brandy/Marionette, two songs which pull you back to the seventies with a fine mix of power pop, hard rock, and a spattering of glam. The tracks play like a fusion of The Motors, Sweet, Cheap Trick and most of all Thin Lizzy brought up to date and given a fresh heart. The single follows two acclaimed albums, A Gentlemens Guide to Sophisticated Savagery of 2006 and Don’t Pet The Sweaty Things which came out three years later, all through Electricpudding Recordings.

The band is fronted by the iconic Roger Deering, a man with a swagger in attitude and songwriting not to mention vocally. With him the band has a line-up which could almost be called a super group. The guitars are brought by ex glam/punk band Rock City Angels member Lloyd Stuart Casson, whilst on bass there is Nigel Mogg, ex member of British hard rock band The Quireboys, known in the US as London Quireboys. Completing the line-up is drummer Repo (Reijo Kauppila), once of Finnish glam rock legends, Smack. The four come together to create sounds which resurrect feelings and thoughts from earlier times whilst turning them into a thrilling proposition with its place firmly in the now, the result a evocative feast for the senses.

Blame It On The Brandy is first up and immediately has the senses at attention with the thumping and anthemic rhythms of Repo pounding at their door. The track then settles in a keen yet reserved brew of infectious hooks, stirring riffs and pulsating rhythms. The vocals too have a welcoming draw which invites one to unify in voice with the chorus whilst group harmonies further light the air. The track is pure rock n roll tinged with contagious seventies glam flourishes especially mid way in, and a closing crescendo of burning guitar play which is hard rock at its best. The song is an evolving pleasure starting with an American rock introduction moving through that a glam rock teasing and ending with a guitar climax which would fit smoothly into any Thin Lizzy set. It is a seamless flow which takes the infectiousness of the song deeper until it is a raging presence in the head long after the last note has drifted away.

Marionette is a dirtier and feistier track, the band adding a punk rub to their sound. Though the song ruffles the ear more than its companion it again is instantly engaging with immense satisfaction left in its wake. The rawer air to the song brings a heavier and more mischievous adventure to the ear, its attitude combative yet respectful. The song, a reworking of a track on Don’t Pet The Sweaty Things, has glances of The Damned and Dead Boys to it and having checked out the original for comparison, the band definitely bring a strength and roundness maybe lacking in the original to the song for a fuller impact. From the rhythms and hypnotic basslines to the expressive vocals and searing guitar invention, the song hits the spot dead centre and arguably is the better of the two tracks.

If Smash Fashion is a band which has eluded your ears then there is a no better entrance into their naughty, hungry, and exciting world than through Blame It On The Brandy/Marionette. They are a long overdue treat no one should be denied.

http://www.smashfashionmusic.com/

RingMaster 18/08/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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