Rooster Cole – Swan Song EP

First the sad news…Swan Song is most likely the last outing from Rooster Cole and the good news? It is one seriously irresistible collection of tracks which epitomises the instinctive talent in songwriting and craft of its creator.

It is not the last we will be hearing of Mark S. Aaron either, the man behind the project and frontman for British outfit Black Black Hills which are still sorely missed, as he is moving on to new adventures with his next project, Mount Sinai. The Swan Song EP is a farewell which is much more than a goodbye as it is sure to awaken new ears to the history of Rooster Cole and previous triumphs like the More Than You and Bird Don’t Sing EPs as well as hopefully into the waiting arms of Black Black Hills before.

Aaron is one of Britain’s most individual and unique songwriters and artists, every note and syllable created and delivered with a dramatic flourish and imagination fuelled enterprise.  Within Swan Song alone, you can hear and feel the time taken and heart fuelling every aspect and moment of songs. It is aural theatre which invades the listener’s ears and imagination within a sound which resembles in its unique way the likes of Scott Walker, Roy Orbison, Nick Cave, and The Doors. To its particular grandeur though is an intimacy which takes you right into the blues bred soul of artist and song. Rooster Cole is a magnetic affair which has been no more seductive than with Swan Song.

The EP opens with 3102, a vibrant stroll with instantly catchy rhythms and a flirtatious hook. Guitar and bass share their magnetism around the distinctive tones of Aaron, all almost dancing with each other and indeed the listener as they head to a chorus no one could resist getting involved in. Every syllable dropping from Aaron’s lips is wrapped in emotion and suggestion, each note draped in melodic poetry as rhythms continue to guide hips and shoulders with their percussive swing. A warm stroll for the lover in us all, the song is pure manna for ears and emotions.

Animal Kingdom follows with its own instinctive sway and devilry. A fifties doo wop like lure instantly beckons aside Aaron’s rich emotive tones, that nostalgic scenting continuing to colour the appetite as harmonies and low key but magnetic melodies gather.  It too makes it simply impossible not to get caught and fully drawn into the song’s embrace, infesting body and spirit with energy rich melancholic beauty.

A post punk tinge comes with next up In Line, sonic twinges springing across a rhythmic shuffle as vocals croon with eager tenacity. With every word and expression, an intimate desperation flows from the throat of Aaron, its outbreak fire on the repetitive lure of the music. It is a heat which in turn fuels the magnetic flames of guitar which erupt as the superb song sizzles to its climax leaving ears and lust hungry almost desperate for more.

The release concludes with the emotive drama of It Is You, a serenade which gathers its thoughts and emotive heat line by line, chord by chord to flame with candescent majesty. It is a song which maybe does not strike as forcibly as its companions on the first listen but blossoms into an essential richly emotive hug which sums up the exciting adventure with Rooster Cole these past years perfectly.

Though it is not the last we will be blessed with the imagination of Mark S. Aaron, it is hard not to have a sense of sadness that this is most probably the end of Rooster Cole. As with all great relationships, good memories will prevail and great songs continue to linger in the passions, Swan Song offering a heady dose of both.

The Swan Song EP is out now on iTunes and @ https://roostercole.bandcamp.com/album/swan-song-ep

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Pete RingMaster 17/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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/

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RingMaster 30/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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