Mindset X – Oceans

Mindset X_RingMaster Review

Since emerging in 2006, US band Mindset X has never been slow in enticing ears with hook laden and inventively melodic songs, creating anthems which grip the body as firmly as the imagination. Equally though the past years and releases have seen the New Hampshire trio explore a more progressively seeded enterprise as their sound and songwriting has evolved and matured. It has been a perpetual time of potent songs and attention grabbing releases luring frequent acclaim, praise forcibly matched by their live presence and hunger. Now the Manchester band has set down another benchmark with new album Oceans, a fascinating, imagination fuelled concept album unveiling band’s most expansive and emotionally intimate sound yet.

The eleven track encounter is an absorbing proposition which around body manipulating escapades, immerses ears and thoughts in a soundscape of emotional turbulence and discovery wrapped in atmospheric and progressive rock suggestiveness. Each track has its own tale, its own unique narrative of sound and word, uniting for one gripping incitement. As most releases, certain moments have bigger success with personal tastes than others but at no point does Oceans lose its hold on the adventurer sharing its journey or leave a quickly triggered appetite feeling unfulfilled.

cover_RingMaster Review       Recorded with multiple Grammy Award winner Jay Frigoletto and featuring guest appearances from Paul Bielatowicz and Simon Fitzpatrick of The Carl Palmer Band and John Wesley of Porcupine Tree, Oceans opens with the brief Zero 220. The track sets the album’s scene, the charm and solitude of coastal waves lapping the senses as a gentle melody courts the air. The imagination is on alert and quickly fed with the hard rock grooves and bluesy spicing of I Imagine straight after. Typical Mindset X in that it is a swiftly engaging stroll of inventive hooks wrapped in a melodic wine that intoxicates as it colours the growing context of the song. The distinctive voice of Steven Haidaichuk is as equally expressive as his guitar enterprise whilst the swiping beats of drummer Adam Cote provide a textured grounding to match the throaty growl of Paul Davidson’s bass.

It is an accomplished and highly enjoyable full start to the album but soon outshone by the band’s new single Shockwave. Striding in on a rhythmic magnetism cast by Cote, the track soon entangles ears in spicy sonic scythes and a moody bassline, all as contagious as they are suggestive. A fresh snarl lines the tones of Haidaichuk as he proceeds to prowl the persuasive web cast by the predator like encounter. Two thirds in and an apocalyptic aftermath sizzles, providing more food for thought with the lyrical side, before things are back in a virulent swing hard to resist let alone ignore.

From one peak to another and the glorious incitement of Flatline where again bass and drums spring a highly compelling and provocative trap that thoughts grip greedily, before a gentle caress of guitar hugs emotive vocals. The hypnotic lure of the track increases as crescendos erupt and caustically sizzle on the senses, the tribalistic rhythms continuing to provoke and bewitch as the heart of the protagonist theming Oceans melancholically flows out.

An electronic ambience makes a thicker presence in Island next, the keys of Davidson shadowing the melodic and emotion drenched croon of the classic rock spiced song. Though it does not quite light the same spark inside as its predecessor, the track is a ripe bloom of resourceful invention and creative colour which only feeds ears and mind with lingering enjoyment. Being placed within the might of the previous song and The Bends which follows does it no favours though; the new track a spellbinding wash of sinister atmospherics and sonic intrigue around more personal and intimate introspection from the album’s character voiced impressively by Haidaichuk. Around him, keys and guitar create a cloud of temptation, a climate stalked by the moody lure of the bass and graced by subsequent celestial harmonies.

The infectious rock ‘n’ roll of You and Me takes over next, its easily accessible yet precisely sculpted swagger a quick and unshakeable persuasion leading to a brewing addiction whilst the initial exotically sultry ambience of War and Crime lights a fresh fire in the passions with its smouldering seduction before breeding a glorious infestation of grooves and spiky hooks for gnarly rock ‘n’ roll drawing on angst and social inspirations for its virulent tempting.

The flowing elegance and melodic prowess of Castaway is another which does not tickle personal tastes as firmly but still leaves ears full of potent temptation. For others it will undoubtedly be one of the highlights and easy to see why with its emotional charm and melodic beauty, but for us The Great Divide Part I quickly steals attention from it with its instrumental theatre whilst setting up the imagination for the triumph of The Great Divide Part II. The closing song on Oceans, it is also the most inventive and experimental, Mindset X spinning a tapestry of numerous styles and flavours into an emprise of craft and heart which just gets stronger and more delicious, not forgetting irresistible, with each and every listen. The pinnacle of a consistently thrilling album, it is also quite possibly the best any song written by the band, ingrained favourites aside, a slice of invention as emotionally provocative as it is contagious. At times it is raw rock ‘n’ roll, in other moments a cinematic adventure, and persistently a progressive lined exploration to enthral and incite.

Mindset X has had a potent and increasingly growing sound for a fair few years now but they have tapped into something deeper and fresher within their imagination with Oceans, with us the listener reaping the rewards.

Oceans is out now through most online stores with the single Shockwave available as a free download @ http://mindsetx.bandcamp.com/track/shockwave

http://www.mindsetx.com  http://www.twitter.com/mindsetxband   https://www.facebook.com/mindsetx

Pete RingMaster 06/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Mongrel – Evolution

MONGREL - Evolution - front cover - scaled

Towards the end of last year US punk metallers Mongrel released the single Snakes to provide a very appetising taster for their next EP whilst simultaneously reconfirming themselves as unique and passionate provocateurs of antagonistic punk rock and dirty metal. The band now unleashes that highly anticipated Evolution EP, a release which surely places them on the precipice of a well-deserved intensive world spread spotlight. Sealing a spot on an impending cover mounted CD of the renowned Terrorizer magazine as well, The Boston quartet are poised to make the next big step in recognition. It is an ascent their releases have threatened to spark for the past couple of years but it is easy to feel and expect that Evolution will be the potent fuse that achieves the breakthrough.

Formed in 2003 by guitarist Adam Savage, Mongrel has earned themselves the reputation of one of the hardest working and increasingly acclaimed bands in the underground of metal and punk rock. Each one of their releases has thrust the band on another lofty step though it was the addition of vocalist Jessica Sierra in 2010 where things truly clicked into place and the arguably dormant fire in their already impressive sound and presence erupted. From The New Breed of Old School EP of that year through the following Declamation EP in 2011, there was a new potency and venom on the grooves, hooks, and rhythms which core Mongrels’ invention. Alongside these successes the band live has earned a reputation most bands could only dream of, their sharing of stages with the likes of GWAR, Korn, Otep, Sepultura, Prong, Halestorm, Wednesday13, Fu Manchu, Dizzy Reed, Misfits FEAR, Blitzkid, Trashlight Vision, Michale Graves, Mindset X and hordes more garnering tides of fans and recognition. The Reclamation album of 2012 saw the band ascend to new heights in songwriting and imagination which now Evolution pushes further forward. Recorded with Jim Foster (POD, Nullset, Sully Erna), mixed by Dave Fortman (Slipknot, Evanescence, Godsmack), and mastered by Howie Weinberg, (Metallica, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pantera), the EP is a stirring anthemic brawl which is as contagious and addictive as it is raw and lyrically uncompromising.

Snakes opens things up and as soon as the initial controlled blaze of guitar from Savage hits the ears there is a sense of impending infection which is soon confirmed by the crisp beats of drummer Mike Hogan and even more so by the riveting vocals of Sierra. With the pulsating bass groan from Michael Ariza added to the mix, the song is rapidly into a potent stride heading towards its virulently compelling chorus. The band takes little time in enslaving the imagination, treating it further with a seamless drift into a smouldering sultry passage with emotive guitar rubs and a glow to the voice of Sierra, a lady who seems to own ears, thoughts, and songs whether she is roaring with antagonism or seducing like a temptress. Building up its energy and passions throughout the lighter flight, the song creates a dramatic crescendo of a finale which leaves appetite licking lips and emotions looking at a lustful hunger.

Mongrel have a certain distinct sound which never deceives its source but within that the band with Evolution seems to be exploring their punk side this time around, the first song giving a major hint which the following Oxygen Mask elaborates on within a still heavily insatiable metal toxicity. An acidic groove hits ears first, though rhythms and a great gritty bassline is courting its coaxing. Pulled together by the commanding vocals, the track twists through a predatory intensity and gait, Savage spearing the air with metallic vines of sonic bait. Persistently turning with singular moments for the bass and guitars to flirt with ears, the song recalls essences of Siouxsie and the Banshees, certainly if they had embraced metal. Imposing but respectfully forceful the track backs up the immense start easily even if without matching its heady heights.

That first plateau is equalled by Consumed; a deliciously abrasive enticement of caustic hooks and senses burrowing grooves. Guitars worm under the skin within seconds with rhythms swinging punches soon after, the combination a hungry platform for the dark hearted bass sounds and rich vocals to colour their canvas. Unleashing a swagger to match the almost brutal energy, the song stomps with epidemic irresistibility, those spiteful grooves especially inescapable whilst sonic hues sculpted by Savage in an engrossing solo provide further rigorous colour to the outstanding incitement.

Best Revenge has the hard task to follow the triumph which it does with a rawer hostile punk enticement, the bass finding a carnivorous throat to its presence and the guitar a combative attitude to its riffs and squalling flames. Once again though it is caged by great controlled rhythm work by Hogan and led by the expressive might of Sierra. The track is not as immediate as others on Evolution but emerges as another pinnacle with punk nostrils flaring and metallic muscles challenging.

The release is concluded with another sizeable success with the riotously catchy Over And Over. An addiction forging bassline sparks ears first before riffs and rhythms cascade upon the lure to build a rampant canter of punk rock. Hooks and grooves from both stringed antagonists grip with a constant temptation whilst Sierra swings syllables and intent into their barbed scenery with the expected but never under-appreciated skill and passion she brews. It is an exhilarating conclusion to a tremendous encounter, leaving ears, thoughts, and passions bursting with greed for more.

Guiding their sound to a side step in many ways from that taking Reclamation to such heights, Evolution stands side by side with its predecessor’s undoubted success and quality, though with a heart for well-crafted punk rock if pushed the EP shades it. What is clear for all though is that Mongrel just goes from strength to strength whilst evolving with a constant flair and voraciously appetising enterprise. It really is about time the band was known worldwide and Evolution might just be the trigger.

Evolution is available on iTunes on May 20th and via all major online retailers and streaming services from June 3rd with physical copies available through Mongrel, Unable Records and Amazon.

http://www.MongrelBand.com

http://mongrel.bandcamp.com

9.5/10

RingMaster 16/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Noyz?: 12 Jinxes

It has been a long while since we have heard anything from Serbian rock band Noyz? but the wait is over as the band return with their new single 12 Jinxes and what a mighty comeback it is. The single is outstanding, a thrilling brew of alternative metal, rock and grunge wrapped in a heated attitude drenched energy.

Noyz? was formed in 2004 by vocalist/guitarist Stevan ‘Sharkey’ Radoičić and found good success and acclaim for its infectious and well crafted sound, though arguably it was outside of Serbia where people were really connecting with the band, their homeland unable or unwilling to support and give real and full attention to metal and rock, a statement many muscular genre bands from the country make. The band worked hard, constantly gigging around their country and participating in festivals Around Europe to again great if not sustained responses. Around Europe though their music was lighting ears and the band through songs like the outstanding Happy- Hour In A Junkyard, Dreams, and The Sky Is Falling found a strong welcome and prolonged radio play, their music appearing regularly on shows like The Reputation Radio Show.

It is fair to say though disillusion with the scene back home won out and the band split in 2011. Sharkey is never one to stop making music though and finding a determination and resolve not to let the apathy back home win out, he has returned with the excellent 12 Jinxes taken from a forthcoming debut album. With bassist Ana “Anki” Joševski (ex-Synapse, Alhemia, Svartgren, Fandango) alongside him, the songwriter shows his sounds and writing craft is better than ever, the single the first step in the new fighting presence of the band in rock music and a truly impressive tease for the album ahead.

The song immediately shows its muscles with sturdy riffs and heavy probing bass lines. In to its stride the track is soon barging through the ear with a punk metal like presence bringing a mix of the urgency of an NOFX or Mindset X with the aggression of an Anthrax or Bloodsimple, though as ever Noyz?just sound like themselves. As the track explodes with sharp and mischievous lyrics and an irresistible wider fusion of sounds, it stirs up a grungier breath to its charge. The song fuels deeper infection through this further spicery recalling bands like Sick Puppies and Jane’s Addiction, and leaves one with no option but to press play again and again upon each ending note.

The song is a pure enthused pleasure and will ensure the wait for the new album will be impatient and very eager. 12 Jinxes is like the band has never been away and with the luck all bands need it will finally be the spark to trigger deserved wider recognition at home and abroad for the band.

To get your free copy of the track go to http://nocturnemagazine.net/vest/1546/noyz-preuzmite-numeru-12-jinxes and listen out6  and listen out for more sounds from Noyz? on The Bone Orchard podcast from The Reputation Radio Show.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/NoYz/23126157757

RingMaster 18/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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