The Dollyrots – Mama’s Gonna Knock You Out EP

dollyrots_RingMaster Review

Currently romping around the UK alongside Bowling For Soup on their How About Another Round Tour, Californian pop punks The Dollyrots certainly got things off in fine style with the release of new EP Mama’s Gonna Knock You Out. The three track escapade is a prime slice of the band’s melody fuelled, hook enriched bubblegum punk, and a piece of tempting sure to entice a great many more to the host of dates already past and ahead.

Formed in 2001 and centred round vocalist/bassist Kelly Ogden and guitarist/vocalist Luis Cabezas, the Los Angeles band has released over twenty increasingly potent proposals across a host of singles and EPs as well as a clutch of eagerly received and devoured albums over the past decade. For a great many, the band’s last album Barefoot and Pregnant breached a new plateau in attention and their distinctive sound which their new John Fields produced EP rousingly continues, starting with opener Save Me.

MGKYO - cover_RingMaster ReviewBeats and guitar strikes immediately tempt with the nagging melodic prowess of the band at close quarters, they setting the scene for the mischievously toned vocals of Ogden to begin leading the revelry within. Her bass provides a shadowy tempering to voice and the vibrancy around it, especially when the song relaxes into a reflective moment, whilst the fiery enterprise cast by the strings of Cabezas collude fluidly with electronic spices additionally colouring the song’s infectious theatre.

The seriously energetic and engaging lure of pop ‘n’ roll is matched in kind by the punkier flirtation of Little Medusa. Buzzcocks like hooks soon emerge as the track breaks into a virulent canter lit again by the ever drawing tones of Ogden with guitar and keys courting her persuasion with matching temptation. If The Shangri-las were a punk band it is easy to suggest they would sound like The Dollyrots, especially listening to pop contagion like this.

Closing romp Sweaty Hug My Love is the rawest of the three encounters within the EP but still an inimitable hug on ears and appetite as the band creates something which incites like a mix of UK band The Poly-Esters and The Go-Go’s with a Bikini Kill snarl to the sonic beauty. Feisty and knowingly devilish, the track is a superb end to another invigorating stomp of feel good rock ‘n’ roll from The Dollyrots.

With a live CD/DVD release called Family Vacation scheduled for March, 2016 is already looking like another exciting year for band and fans wherever they are.

The Mama’s Gonna Knock You Out EP is available now @ https://thedollyrots.bandcamp.com/album/mamas-gonna-knock-you-out-ep

Remaining dates on the 2016How About Another Round UK Tour featuring Bowling For Soup, The Dollyrots, Lacey, and MC Lars.

10 Feb – Guildford G Live

11 Feb – London Roundhouse

12 Feb – O2 Academy Bournemouth

13 Feb – Southampton Guildhall

14 Feb – Cardiff Great Hall

15 Feb – O2 Academy Bristol

https://www.facebook.com/thedollyrots   https://twitter.com/TheDollyrots   http://www.dollyrots.com/

Pete RingMaster 08/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Smilex – La Petite Mort

Smilex

Part devious, part psychotic, and all compelling, La Petite Mort is an album which revels in uncompromising and distraught rock ‘n’ roll. It is an encounter which sits easily alongside recent gems from imaginative UK protagonists like Mojo Fury, The Dropper’s Neck, and Japanese Fighting Fish, from a band crafting and inciting for over a decade garnering a sizeable reputation. Oxford quartet Smilex now look ready to stand alongside the greats of the UK scene with their new album under their thrilling creative wing. It is a mouthwatering adventure, one which is wonderfully unpredictable and occasionally meandering in its success but most of all it is a masterful persuasion which makes the world great and urges the mind to explore its insanity.

La Petite Mort follows several well-received and acclaimed releases on, like the new album, Quickfix Recordings, as well as compilations, a collaboration with MC Lars, and a split release with the mighty Young Knives. Equally renowned for their live performances which has seen the band share stages with the likes of The Damned, The Datsuns, and The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, the latter you suspect an inspiration on the band going by the new album, Smilex has enslaved their locale and surrounding areas with their gripping sound. Now with the weightily flavoured La Petite Mort you can sense that the rest of the country and further afield are about to fall before them too.

Mixed by numerous contributors including Ace of Skunk Anansie with whom the band has worked before, the album from its first covermoment is immersing ears and imagination in an ever evolving and twisting array of styles and maniacal enterprise for a blisteringly potent and striking adventure. To be honest its start bred reservations before ardour, 9hz not making the dramatic impact certainly initially as expected though it wins its case ultimately. A single guitar teasing starts things off and is soon joined by the great earthy voice of the bass and keenly unpredictable rhythms. It is a gentle coaxing which invites attention, especially with the addition of the expressive delivery of Lee Christian. It is not a dramatic entrance to grip the imagination though it is fair to say that the bass skills of Jen Acton (replaced in the band since the album by Olivia Luce) seduce and floating restrained harmonies bewitch. Into its narrative with the guitar of Tom Sharp and his supporting vocals bringing extra spice, the song has an air of The Eagles to its emotive breath whilst simultaneously a brewing weight of shadows and intensity grows and intimidates as a fiery raw surface for the senses to be wrapped in emerges. It is an engagingly and impressively designed proposition but one which fails to find that spark to greatness.

That trigger is found and pulled with both Deadman’s Dirge and Wasted Youth, the pair instantly adding new character and anthemic urgency to the release. The first explodes with a punk tenacity and hunger as well as power pop meets noise rock vivacity. It is a delicious slice of psyche twisting ingenuity, the vocals ensuring the ride is testing and enthralling whilst the rhythmic skills of Pat Holmberg again thoroughly impress. As it caustically seduces there is a feel of The St Pierre Snake Invasion to the brawl as well as a sniff of Melvins to its intrusive imagination, a mix which ignites anticipation for its successor. The second of the two like the first, saunters in on a gentle breeze shaped by guitar and rhythms around the slight angst kissed vocals. Young Knives comes to mind swiftly, though to be fair as it flares and erupts, the song soon has something unique to offer. It is a raw and acidically sultry persuasion which though not quite matching its predecessor sets another appetite provoking flirtation in motion.

Revive The Revival similarly has a abrasing edge to its melodic dance and enticing body, but also a thrilling invention which means ears and emotions are treated to fondling melodies, noise bred rapaciousness, and a rhythmic examination which leaves senses exhausted and blissful. As deceitfully contagious as it is menacingly disarming, the track is a glorious tempest of primal rock ‘n roll to set the passions ablaze once again.

The following What Is It You Actually Do Again?! enters on a reflective emotive caress of guitar accompanied by bas and rhythms and vocals, a start the band seem to like almost too much as it does offer a little predictability. To counter that though the elegant starts are more often than not followed, as here by varied and incendiary sonic hues and enthralling drum manipulations as sparking spears of sound and invention also escape into and from the very decent start. The track itself twists and turns like a Eastern dancer, sinews and rippling melodic flesh enslaving the imagination.

The carnivalesque mystique of La Valse Macabre makes another entrancing canvas upon which the imagination in its painting joins up with guitars and vocals, a wealth of rhythmic and harmonious hints adding their distinctive colours along the way. Merging a folkish indie essence with raw rock and metallic hunger, the track is a dark landscape which seduces with persistently shifting voracity, in many ways preparing the way for the outstanding Evil. With robust intensive rhythmic work from the excellent Holmberg and carnivorous stabs and riffs from Sharp, the track is instantly riding the passions with its metal spawned rock ‘n’ roll. It is a predator of a song but one determined to have fun as it explores a blues rock and melodic metal scenery to keep things unpredictable and rigorously captivating. It is a beast of a suasion, almost toying with the listener as it seamless merges metal and stoner-esque predation for an exceptional creative ferocity.

The lofty heights continue with the haunting atmosphere and melodies of Manatee, a mermaid of a song which lures and seduces with siren like beauty but equally is cloaked in shadows and heavy emotions to endanger and threaten. It is a masterful aural portrait inspiring thoughts and feelings whilst providing an intensely smouldering landscape to bask within and escape into. From vocals to bass, guitars to drums, the track steals the listener away, examining and inciting with every note and syllable.

The release is completed by the terrific garage punk stomp of Please Do Not Feed The Drug Child, a brilliant bruise of punk infused rock which is virulently infectious, and One Woman Man. The final song provides stretches of nagging rhythms and niggling riffs around emotive vocals and reflective melodies with further inventive passages of reserve and rabidity. It is a track which takes longer to win over thoughts but given time emerges as a wonderful creative tango furthering the potential and weight of the songwriting and its realisation. The track makes a fine end to an outstanding album, one which even with moments which do not quite meet personal requirements more often than not has those same wants overfed and even greedier. Smilex is the future of British rock ‘n’ roll in tandem with a wealth of other psyche reshaping bands, are you ready?

La Petite Mort is available digitally and physically via Quickfix Recordings now @ www.smilex.co.uk

8.5/10

RingMaster 13/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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White Clouds And Gunfire – For All The Non Believers

White Clouds & Gunfire Online Promo Shot

For those looking for some fresh melodic rock with pop punk overtones heading over to For All The Non Believers, the debut album from UK band White Clouds And Gunfire, would be a definite recommendation. Comprised of eight extremely well crafted and impressively presented songs from musicians which undoubtedly knows how create flavoursome melodies, the release makes a richly promising wider introduction of a band which has already been making ripples ensuring that the album’s appearance September 2nd has for a great many been eagerly awaited.

Formed in 2009, the Peterborough band went through a time of line-up instability during its first eighteen months or so before finding a steady plateau to build upon late 2011. Subsequent support slots and the sharing of stages with bands such as We Are Fiction, Mallory Knox, Army Of Freshmen, Sonic Boom Six, OPM, MC Lars, and The Hype Theory have increased the stature and reputation of White Clouds & Gunfire whilst their first EP, Zero To Hero was home to acclaim from the underground through to the likes of Rocksound and Big Cheese. Now the quintet of vocalist Eveline Verdegaal, guitarists/vocalists Byron Marr and Alex Cox, bassist/vocalist Rob Woods, and drummer Lewis Fountain, stand poised to make a major impression and statement with For All The Non Believers.

From the first minute of opener Bruised Not Broken you have a full declaration of what you are getting from the band, impressively White Clouds & Gunfire Cover Artworkwritten and presented songs with a more than loud whisper of Paramore about them. There are many other names you could place before them but the American band is the loudest call for sure, though White Clouds And Gunfire does suggest that in their armoury the band has the means and invention to create something more unique ahead. Starting with evocative keys leading into a vibrant and energetic start, the song takes little time in bringing feet and senses alive, the outstanding vocals of Verdegaal backed well by other members of the band, instantly magnetic whilst the guitars of Marr and Cox paint a provocative narrative around the driving drums and roaming bass lines. Harmonies also soar throughout the track to open up strong hunger for the release and help make it a rather impressive start to the album.

Same Old Town and You Can’t Bring Me Down continue the strong beginning, the first of the pair offering a reminder of eighties band The Photos at times as it strolls melodically and energetically through the ear. Again the vocals stand out whilst the guitars flame and dance with imaginative poise to spark the appetite further whilst its successor brings a more anthemic breath to its persuasion with the rhythms of Fountain alongside the pressing intensity of Woods creating a commanding and potent cage for the rest of the band to flourish within.

The exciting riot of drums which opens up next track Poison immediately has lips licked though in some ways the full expansion of the song is underwhelming in comparison, though still another well-defined and warm romp which is as emotive and tender as it is frenetic and greedy for attention. As ever the vocals steer the ship magnificently and the drums crash through defences with skill and predaciousness but equally at this point on the album you realise there is a familiarity and similarity across the release which is louder than the individual traits of songs. It means a deep focus to truly pick out those singular attributes is often needed though in many ways not a major issue on this release  such the quality of the songs and their temptation but certainly it  might be an issue ahead. The promise bred by the album and the already open creativity and skill of the band suggests this uniqueness will organically evolve, though time as always will tell.

The best songs on the release step up side by side next starting with Pebbles. With an excellent effected start the track gains pace by the second until exploding into a full on punk pop tease with a simultaneous snarl and melodic elegance. Finding a gentler though still rowdy presence, thanks to the again crispy powerful drums, the guitars weave a sonic maze of enterprise around Verdegaal, their flames licking at the walls of the song with invention and riveting adventure. It is probably fair to say the track is again close to the songs before but it has that indefinable something which lifts it above the others and into the passions. Reflection too has that extra element setting it apart, Verdegaal simply enthralling and the guitars poetic in their melodic fire whilst the keys and the stronger and lengthier male vocal contribution are an inspired touch setting the track as the pinnacle of the album and debatably the first to truly stand out.

Dreams and Since You Were Gone complete the album with both in full control of attention and limbs. The first holds a thumping attitude and creative swagger with the bass of Woods finding a new and its finest voice on the release. The track in full stride offers an irresistible hungry stomp which leaves lungs breathless whilst its companion makes a fiery finish with gang shouts and melodic drizzles of entrancing colour which help add that ear catching element all great songs have.

For All The Non Believers is a thrilling and extremely satisfying album from a band which has a massive future awaiting them if they want to seize it. Admittedly it lacks that killer song which lingers and shapes your heart and as mentioned the band still has not that distinctive presence to ensure they stay in thoughts away from view, but White Clouds & Gunfire write and create songs which you cannot dismiss such their passion, imagination, and expertise, and that can take them a long way. Watch this space is our suggestion…

www.facebook.com/wcagf

8.5/10

RingMaster 31/08/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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White Clouds & Gunfire release new video!‏

White Clouds & Gunfire Online Promo Shot
HOTLY TIPPED MELODIC ROCK CREW WHITE CLOUDS & GUNFIRE RELEASE NEW VIDEO SINGLE!
Up and coming Punk pop five-some ‘White Clouds & Gunfire’ are braced to stake their claim as one of the break through acts of the year with the release of their brand new video single ‘Poison’, out 22nd July. The single is taken from the band’s forthcoming album, ‘For All The Non Believers’, which drops this September.
White Clouds & Gunfire are rapidly making new friends and fans throughout the UK for their engaging amalgamation of Punk Pop which combines unbridled energy with copious monstrous hooks. The band’s debut album, ‘For All The Non Believers’ is packed with eight slabs of alluring spirited melodic rock and includes the spanking new single ‘Poison’.
Hailing from Peterborough and originally formed in 2009, the first eighteen months of the band’s life was hampered by changes in personnel. However, all of this shifted by the end of 2011, as the band solidified and soon began to prosper. Now with a steady ship consisting of Eveline Verdegaal on vocals, Rob Woods and Lewis Fountain respectively handling the bass and drums, Bryon Marr on guitar and new boy Alex Cox on second guitar, the five-some have started to make their mark. Support slots with everyone from We Are Fiction, Mallory Knox, Army Of Freshmen, Sonic Boom Six, OPM, MC Lars and The Hype Theory have followed, along with the release of their debut EP ‘Zero To Hero’, which was recorded at Regal House Studios (home to Deaf Havana and Young Guns). The record garnered extensive national praise and the likes of Rocksound and Big Cheese both handed the band widespread acclaim and support.
WC&GF are now poised for national exposure with the release of their new single ‘Poison’, taken from their stunning debut album ‘For All The Non Believers’. ‘Poison’ perfectly illustrates the band’s deft ability to dish up a delectable slice of modern rock marinated with killer hooks, ideally complimented by Marr and Cox’s layered guitar riffs. The energetic rocksters are also touring throughout the summer in support of the record and are primed to break by the end of 2013!
++ WHITE CLOUDS & GUNFIRE NEW VIDEO FOR ‘POISON’ CAN BE VIEWED NOW AT http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHty_6ZQaug ++
 
 

WHITE CLOUDS & GUNFIRE New ‘For All The Non Believers’, out Monday 2nd Sept‏

 White Clouds & Gunfire Online Promo Shot
RISING HIGH OCTANE ROCK CREW UNLEASH THEIR DEBUT ALBUM AND PREPARE FOR UK TOURING!
 
White Clouds & Gunfire are rapidly making new friends and fans throughout the UK for their engaging amalgamation of Punk Pop which combines unbridled energy with copious monstrous hooks. The band’s debut album, ‘For All The Non Believers’ is packed with eight slabs of alluring spirited melodic rock and it’s poised to propel the Brit-rockers to the vanguard of the UK scene.
 
Hailing from Peterborough and originally formed in 2009, the first eighteen months of the band’s life was hampered by changes in personnel. However, all of this shifted by the end of 2011, as the band solidified and soon began to prosper. Now with a steady ship consisting of Eveline Verdegaal on vocals, Rob Woods and Lewis Fountain respectively handling the bass and drums, Bryon Marr on guitar and new boy Alex Cox on second guitar, the fivesome have started to make their mark. Support slots with everyone from We Are Fiction, Mallory Knox, Army Of Freshmen, Sonic Boom Six, OPM, MC Lars and The Hype Theory, have followed along with the release of their debut EP ‘Zero To Hero’, which was recorded at Regal House Studios (home to Deaf Havana and Young Guns). The record garnered extensive national praise and the likes of Rocksound and Big Cheese both handed the band widespread acclaim and support.
WC&GF are now braced to stake a claim with their explosive debut album ‘For All The Non Believers’, and it’s a true gem. Eveline Verdegaal’s vocals soar into orbit from the get-go, as opener ‘Bruised Not Broken’ takes flight. ‘You Can’t Bring Me Down’ picks the pace and delivers a beast of a refrain aided by Lewis Fountain’s stout drumming and Rob Wood’s chucky bass work. The forthcoming video single ‘Poison’ is next up, and illustrates the band’s deft ability to dish up a perfect slice of modern rock marinated with killer hooks, ideally complimented by Marr’s and Cox’s layered guitar riffs. The quintet then brings proceedings down a notch with the blissful ‘Reflection’ before attacking your aural senses again with the buoyant energy of ‘Dreams’ and the brisk beatings of the closer ‘Since You Were Gone’. The energetic rocksters are touring throughout the summer in support of the album and are primed to break by the end of 2013!
 White Clouds & Gunfire Cover Artwork
 

White Clouds & Gunfire – Zero to Hero EP

Zero to Hero EP the debut EP from UK pop punksters White Clouds & Gunfire warms the ear and emotions like a summer sun, its melodic radiance and infectious rays hard to resist dipping into. It is one of those releases which you can only find good things to say about, its songs accomplished and vibrant their sound refreshing and flying on heart borne enthusiasm. Unfortunately it also suffers like the majority of releases from melodic rock/pop punk female fronted bands; it sounds like many many others. The band do nothing wrong, the tracks within the release easily accessible and deeply contagious but it still spawns a likeness of sound to that section of the genre. This year alone has seen the emergence of bands such as Me & The Mountain, Hitchcock Blonde, Held By Horses and Leopards, all like White Clouds & Gunfire impressive and all seemingly borne from an overall similarity.

That is the negative out of the way with only enthused emotions inspired for every other aspect of band and release. Formed in 2008, White Clouds & Gunfire have taken time to get into their stride due to line-up instability but 2011 saw a turning point with everything coming into focus and evolving. The Peterborough quintet have drawn strong acclaim across the written press and lit up stages alongside bands such as Army Of Freshmen, Sonic Boom Six, OPM, MC Lars, The Hype Theory, and As We Climb as their enthusiastic work ethic and exciting sounds drives them to greater heights. The Zero To Hero EP is the next step, their national introduction and charge further afield with shows and presence.

You Think You Know Me opens up the release and immediately noticeable is the great growling bass of Rob Woods and the teasing vocals of Eveline Verdegaal. Both have a startling presence which only sparks full attention, though the rest of the band are no less impressive. The opening of the song is restrained in energy and invention but still forms a strong base for the vocals to flourish within. The guitars of Jake Matthews and newest member Ben Scarr (current guitarist with As We Climb) surge and rub against the ear with skill and intelligent melodic touches. The song is constantly intriguing with its additives and slight asides to keep a captivation well within it grasp.

The following Satellite takes the levels higher, its acidic sonics sharp and precise whilst the bass again grumbles magnificently, its tone the perfect temper and compliment to the golden tones of Verdegaal, the sparkling harmonies, and warm melodic flourishes. The track bounces along with unbridled energy but it is a careful mix of smart ideas and finely shaped play which with focus shines brightly. It is all driven by the thumping beats of Lewis Fountain, his powerful rhythmic frames the key to pulling it all into a tight explosion of sizzling enjoyment.

The remaining pair of songs continue to firmly engage, both Stand And Be The Hero and Turn Out The Lights burning a soft spot in the heart. It really is impossible not to have a real attraction for the band, their enchanting fiery breath and sculptured imaginative ideas an insatiable melodic kiss. The first of the pair brings a heavier intensity to its gait, the forceful beats and riffs forging a stirring spine to further fine melodic enterprise. The closing song is simply a greedy riot of catchy and hungry hooks and melodies. Though his vocals have backed up well on other songs, Scarr brings a fuller presence alongside Verdegaal to the song, maybe something to explore deeper and further ahead to set them apart from others, especially when it works this well. The song has a familiarity to it which makes it easy to accept its invitation to join in and ends the release off on a real high.

Zero to Hero is a great feel good slab of melodic rock which deserves much attention. Like other similarly fuelled releases this EP may struggle to make its distinct mark within the field but if there is a band with the talent to find that unique voice ahead it is White Clouds & Gunfire.

www.facebook.com/wcagf

RingMaster 10/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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