Delicate Holly – Love • Hate • Control

Delicate Holly Online Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

   Love • Hate • Control is a release which has you nodding in acknowledgement of its strong initial introduction but over time one which increasingly impresses whilst sparking the licking of lips at certain potent moments. Whether the debut EP from UK alternative rockers Delicate Holly has enough to shake the UK rock scene into attention time will tell but certainly it is a thoroughly enjoyable entrance from a band with the potential of a big future in their creative hands.

Hailing from Cheltenham, the seeds of the 2013 forming Delicate Holly began with a trio of school friends in vocalist/bassist Reuben Lovett and guitar/backing vocalists Alec Hopkins and Dougie Stokes. Already jamming together for a while, the three eventually met and enlisted drummer Toby Jones, with Delicate Holly soon blossoming in songwriting and songs, subsequently making a striking presence on the local scene in swift time. Since then the band has played numerous shows and festivals as well as supported bands such as The Subways and Coasts. Taking inspirations from the likes of The Clash, Arctic Monkeys, Royal Blood, and Nirvana into their own invention, Delicate Holly has increasingly lured attention which the release of Love • Hate • Control through Paper Label Records can only reinforce. As suggested it may not be the break-through proposition for the band but still in their early days, the band make a tasty nudge to their presence with the EP.

Delicate Holly Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review   First track is Full Body Cast, a song quickly revealing the potent union of guitar and vocal enterprise which fuels all songs. Coaxing around a rhythmic and melodic swing, feet and neck muscles are soon involved with the track’s flirtatious canter with the bass just as vocal in luring a swerve of hips and courting of the imagination. As it continues to persuade with its catchy character and the expressive and greatly alluring vocal delivery of Lovett, the song reveals no real big surprises but quite a few almost cheeky twists, a momentary hook almost echoing The B52s’ Rock Lobster one flavoursome moment. The song’s body is lean but busy, the bass of Lovett alone an increasing drama of ear courting adventure, and all elements across the song combined, it makes a strongly engaging first look at band and EP.

The following Jaws infuses even juicier melodic enterprise into a similarly cultured canvas of sound and invention but does lack the livelier spark of its predecessor. Nevertheless with its infectious guitar jangle and broody bassline, the song leaves ears content and thoughts thickly engaged before making way for the EP’s best offering, Rain-O-Rack. From the first caustic caress of guitar there is open attitude to the song, one which lines the choppy riffs, belligerent bass sound, and tenacious vocals. Simply the track has a snarl; a punk bred carriage and psychosis which lifts it above the rest with ease. There is a feel of Mojo Fury to the encounter too; a volatile air sparked by the unpredictability and aggressive flame which sizzles in ears through the song.

Lemon Man completes the line-up with its warm melodic seducing and temptation, as well as a healthy whisper of R.E.M. in its verses and bluesy tempting to its broader landscape. The track is a fiery but composed croon of rock ‘n’ roll revealing another flavour to the Delicate Holly songwriting and sound and, as the EP itself, growing bigger and more persuasive with every listen.

With the CD treating ears to a clutch of live tracks too, Love • Hate • Control is an accomplished and alluring start from the band and the anticipated beginnings of highly enjoyable times with them.

The Love • Hate • Control EP is available from August 17th via Paper Label Records.

RingMaster 17/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Strangler Figs – Attack Of The Strangler Figs

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Having been seduced by the decidedly warped drama and infectiousness of their recent single Attack Of The Strangler Figs, there was no option than to next look at the EP of the same name . The result of talent and imagination in collision with creative mischief, the offering is the thrilling work of UK art rockers The Strangler Figs. It contains three songs which seduce ears and thoughts alike, a trio of carnivalesque adventures creating the kind of warm devilry which would suit a Tim Burton soundtrack.

The folkish theatre, almost circus like character to the band’s music has its seeds in the psychedelic rock and visual feast of Circus Maure, which band founders, vocalist/guitarist Joe Pickering and double bassist Joel Hanson were previously a part of, touring the likes of Europe, Israel, and Canada, where it headlined the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal for seven nights in a row. Their time there also saw the pair writing together, before leaving and uniting to form Leicester based The Strangler Figs. Weaving in inspirations from the likes of The Doors, Radiohead, Muse, and David Bowie into their evolving invention, the band swiftly lit up the local live scene, their first year together marked by headlining Oxjam and playing the biggest festivals in Leicester. EP and single has helped begin the spread of their presence and reputation much further afield, awakening media and fan attention on a broader scale and as the EP opener alone plays with ears and thoughts, it is easy to see why.

10419942_1592620724306431_4813869709891100291_n   The title track opens up the festivities, a lone reflective guitar around the individual voice of Pickering the first intriguing act of the song. They are immediately joined by a warm caress of keys cast by Freddie Pickering and slow evocative beats from James Lyons. With most of its elements in place and the narrative bringing theatrical colour, the song lifts up its knees and starts a lively stroll through ears and across the imagination. A little jazzy, a little funky, and a lot seductive, especially with the backing vocal lures of Rosie May Price adding to the inviting hues, the song unveils an agitated adventure of sound and ideation. Thoughts of The Jazz Butcher whisper loudly from this point on, and indeed The Strangler Figs sound definitely has a potent elements of the eighties artist to its playful resourcefulness. The song is in full contagious mode in no time, inciting feet and voice to join its devilish merriment.

The great start continues with Help me Please, the song also starting with a gentle kiss on the senses but reaching a more vivacious gait within a few more seconds. The tempting of organ and guitar, both provided by both Pickering brothers, unite in a simmering aural tale of drama and shadow wrapped emotions, this matched by his voice and the dark feel of the narrative. With mini crescendos which just grip the body, the song ebbs and flows in energy whilst stirring up the passions with its unpredictable darkly hued majesty; though do not mistake the song for anything other than a vibrant stroll of folk pop revelry. Think Tankus The Henge meets Mojo Fury and you get an idea of its excellence in sound and enterprise.

The EP closes with Hugga Wugga, an immediate seduction of noir lit textures and theatre led by the excellent throaty lures of Hanson’s double bass. Keys and beats soon align for an exotic shuffle whilst guitar and voice bring a snarl to the party, tempered by the siren-esque backing vocal smooches of Rosie May Price. Once more as the song flirts and swerves around within its jazzy landscape, an eighties essence licks ears. Whereas The Jazz Butcher raised its hints before, and does a little here also, Zanti Misfitz springs up in thoughts as the track ignites the imagination. Just light whispers but enough to give a nudge of the lesser known band.

The song is glorious, as is the EP. There is no wondering why the band has caught the attention and eagerness around their home city, just of how far the band can spread their charm and how soon. A long way and swiftly is our suggestion sparked by Attack Of The Strangler Figs alone.

The Attack Of The Strangler Figs EP and single is available now at most online stores.

http://www.stranglerfigs.com   https://www.facebook.com/thestranglerfigs

Upcoming live shows…

Orange Tree, Leicester – April 30th

O2 Academy, Birmingham – May 1st

Riverside Festival – Leicester – June 6th

RingMaster 25/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

Immigrants – Self Titled EP

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Drawing on the inspiration of bands like Faith No More, Queens Of The Stone Age, Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Barkmarket, UK alternative rockers Immigrants are ready to take a sound already whipping up enthused live reactions, to a wider audience with the release of their self-titled debut. It is not a boundary setter or a new template to ignite the imagination of contagious rock ‘n’ roll, but with ease the EP is a seriously enjoyable and adventurous introduction. Four songs which revel in their familiarity whilst presenting fresh and distinct characters, the release is a striking and rigorously pleasing encounter from a band soaked in potential.

The London based trio of vocalist/guitarist Andrew Cunningham, bassist Michael Sellar, and drummer Daniel Clifford as mentioned has found eager and greedy support of their music live as they extensively hit the London music scene since forming last year. With the band and songs fuelled by “a common anger directed against broad scale social issues such as inequality, war and oppression,” Immigrants’ music is a hard hitting and explosive force upon ears and thoughts as evidenced in their EP, and thoroughly enthralling in its ability to emotionally incite and infectiously seduce.

The EP needs little time to make an impressive persuasion of ears and thoughts, especially with tracks like Masquerade within it. From a sonic breath, a grumbling bassline and scything swipes of guitar swiftly awakens a keen appetite whilst crisp rhythms firmly punctuate the brewing bait. Rather than increasing its lure, the song then switches its attack and relaxes into a just as appetising stroll ready for the entrance of Cunningham’s expressive tones of. Sellar’s bass takes the opportunity at this point to start creatively tantalising and flirting with willing ears to increase the appealing lure of the song, a temptation which only blazes brighter with eruptions of roaring riffs and heavy beats leading into a highly infectious chorus. There is an unpredictable adventure to the song and impassioned energy in its music and vocals which captivates even further, resulting in an enthralling encounter which plays like a mix of I Plead Irony and Mojo Fury.

The track alone ensures the band is worthy of greater investigation but backed forcibly by Damage and its more pop punk revelry. With the tempered snarl of Hagfish and the melodic tenacity of Nirvana flavouring its easily engaging romp and energetic vivacity, the song is like an old friend with a new adventure. It is a great foot-stomper and again contagious gateway into the feverish enterprise of the band and its bullish sound.

The harder toned presence of Don’t Back Down shows another strong side to release and invention of the band, its formidable rhythmic enticing and moody bassline an imposing presence taking thoughts into emotive scenery of melodic reflection and intensive intimidation. There is still a virulent contagiousness to the slower stroll, an engrossing beckoning to its prowling weight and passion of the song. Though not as immediate and lingering as others on the release, it is arguably the most inventive and thickly woven proposition, and no less pleasing.

The gentle caressing melodic canter of Hole In My Heart completes the quartet of offerings, its mix of bluesy sonic endeavour and fiery emotively sculpted vocals and melodies, another rich tapestry to immerse in and keenly devour. Again there is a familiar essence to the song though less definable this time but it only adds to the drama and enjoyment of a rather fine song.

Immigrants’ EP makes a powerful opening bid to awaken attention and passion towards their presence. It suggests this is a band still evolving and finding its unique sound but that it will be an inevitable discovery with even greater results than found on this rather exciting first encounter.

The Immigrants EP is available now, for more details check out https://www.facebook.com/pages/Immigrants/563489277015507

RingMaster 20/10/2014

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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Always The Quiet Ones: Drought / Ghost In The Filament

Though only in August, our list of certain singles of the year has meant shoes and socks have had to be removed to keep a tally of our claims so far. Obviously it is too early to really make declarations though here we have a single which possibly leaves all in the shade. It comes from UK rock band Always The Quiet Ones and is formed of two tracks, Drought and Ghost In The Filament. Quite simply it is one of the most exciting and exhilarating things to come along in recent months and though we will keep a rein on claims it is hard to think to date of many singles which rival it.

Always The Quiet Ones first drew a wave of feverish attention with their debut EP Freakshow from not only us but from media and fans countrywide. It was a release which once it took hold led to a deep connection and near adoration of their sound though the new songs have ignited things to an even  higher intensity. Formed in 2010, the Liverpool quintet of vocalist Blas Barragan Jr., guitarists Joe Danher and Adam Lucas, bassist Chris Nicholls, and drummer James Lorenzo, took no time in owning audiences through their live performances which saw them sharing stages with the likes of Deaf Havana, Mojo Fury, The Safety Fire Axis Of, Turbogeist and Fighting With Wire. As mentioned their EP drew strong responses upon its release earlier this year with the band seeing heavy play on Total Rock Radio, XFM and Kerrang! Radio, as well as extensive press coverage. Already the new single has been eagerly featured on The Reputation Radio Show and upon its release August 20th is sure to fire a real acceleration of acclaim upon the band.

The promo for the release opens with the line ‘Pounding on your front door like the bastard love child of Tool and early Biffy Clyro…’, and you can definitely apply that to the song Drought though the swapping of Biffy Clyro for The Manic Street Preachers would be more accurate. The track opens with slapping beats on the senses from Lorenzo brought with the eagerness of kids playing the old classic prank though there is no running away involved. Group shouts bring the hairs on the back of the neck to attention as they scorch ears with tribal intensity, before things erupt in to a storm of feisty riffs and melodic incision to further rile up the passions. Things take a breath as the band settle into an emotive vein, the bass of Nicholls throbbing with a deep resonance amidst the sharp enticing play of Danher and Lucas. The vocals of Barragan Jr. are immense continuing on from their strong showing on Peepshow but with even greater expansive expression and control.  There is a definite James Dean Bradfield feel to his tone and delivery, the emotive feel and expressive power he brings to the songs immensely striking and impressive.  The track expands with angular strides in sound and energy as it explores its limits, its muscles and invention sprawling over the senses. The track ends as it begins to leave one breathless and fully agitated in the very best way.

Ghost In The Filament makes its introduction in a less dramatic way but with just as much infectious force with the guitars twisting and immersing the ear in sonic imagination. Again it takes a step back in intensity to let the bass stomp with its hungry breath whilst the vocals hungrily prowl and growl over the senses. Distinctly different from its companion but equally as mighty the track is a fiery captivation, its flames of imagination and intelligence igniting the deepest satisfaction. There is great rock music and there is the place where Always The Quiet Ones goes where the word brilliance seems the only appropriate one. The song as does Drought , leaves one on the edge of exhaustion and urgently eager to hear more.

Both songs show a band improving at a gallop and set to explode UK rock music into places it has not graced in a long time. Always The Quiet Ones really are that good and getting better all the time.

www.facebook.com/alwaysthequietones

Listen to Always The Quiet Ones on The Bone Orchard podcast from The Reputation Radio Show .

RingMaster 16/08/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Always The Quiet Ones: Freak Show

If there was ever a release to epitomise the term a grower than it is the new EP from Liverpool rock band Always The Quiet Ones. The first couple of listens to Freak Show and one hears a strong and well crafted trio of songs which engage instantly if not distinctly. What it does not immediately reveal is how infectious that same music is and how once one gives it more attention it will return to mind often and far away from the disc itself. Though not a perfect release subsequent plays place Freak Show deeper and firmer into the heart with especially two of the songs within its expressive walls, lifting the spirit and emotions to lofty levels.

Formed in the later part of 2010, the quintet of Blas Barragan Jr. (vocals), Joe Danher (guitar), Adam Lucas (guitar), Chris Nicholls (bass) and James Lorenzo (drums), hit the ground running with lively and ear catching live shows supporting the likes of Deaf Havana, Mojo Fury, Axis Of and Turbogeist. With a show as impressive and unforgettable as their sounds the band soon gained strong attention from fans and undergrounds media alike. With the release of Freak Show the band are surely about to stir up the UK and accelerate the enthusiasm already gaining momentum to an even greater height.

The EP opens with Sign Of The Times and no reticence in spicing up the ear with commanding rhythms, wanton riffs and melodies to tease and mesmerise. The track twists and turns with great imagination and diversity. The inventive beats of Lorenzo lead the track up and down distinct avenues whilst the bass lines of Nicholls cajole the ear to jump on board the heartily driven express train of sound. Whilst the guitars of Lucas and Danher rage and intrigue to equal measure and often at the same time vocalist Barragan Jr. rides the sound with an expressive hard rock type delivery which grabs and sets off the imagination. The song sets a stunning start to the release which leaves a formidable challenge for the next track to follow.

Valentina sadly fails to rise up to the question. The song is actually very good but with the band taking a more straight forward approach with it there is not the inspirational and originality to it as so apparent on the opener. The melodies within it are graceful and the vocals once more dripping emotive skill. Musically the band is impressive and really there is not anything wrong with the song at all, but there is something missing from it which lit up Sign Of The Times and returns with full force in the closing song on the EP. With a chorus that digs deep and guitars which scorch the senses the song is certainly one that is not easily forgotten once it lays down its last note though.

Title track Freak Show completes the trio and is the best song offered. From a momentously striking mouth watering melodic crawl the song evolves into a muscular beast that ripples attitude and might within a chorus and crescendo of sound that envelopes the ear like a tempest. Switching back to the mellower tone and intent it feels like one is in the eye of the storm soon to be buffeted again by the delicious intrusion of heavy riffs, caustic melodies and driving rhythms. The song growls and snarls at times and in others offers a mischievous but inviting smile, all intended to lead you into the maelstrom of creativity, madness, and wonderfully unpredictable sounds within.

Many seem to cite early Biffy Clyro and the likes of A Perfect Circle and Tool as influences in the sound of Always The Quiet Ones and one can see that especially with the darker elements of the latter but the one band that seems to lurk within the songs, especially the addictive and expressive side was Manic Street Preachers, throughout the way the melodies and songs attached themselves with an eager and irresistible grip echoed the Welsh band.

Freak Show is quite simply excellent and a sure doorway into the heart and vast invention of Always The Quiet Ones. With already a double-A sided single planned for just a mere few weeks ahead, 2012 could and should be the year the band twists us all to their way of thinking.

RingMaster 02/03/2012

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