Sandness – Higher & Higher

We cannot say that seventies/eighties metal and hard rock are flavours which light our fires too often but it is fair to say that Higher & Higher, the new album from Italian outfit Sandness ticked many boxes of enjoyment whilst embracing exactly those styles. It is a release which initially struggled to spark the imagination but song by song, listen by listen, grew to be a thoroughly engaging and pleasurable affair; not without flaws but inciting an appetite to hear more from and follow the band as they realise the open potential within the release ahead.

Hailing from Rovereto in southern Trento, Sandness started out in 2008; formed by teenage friends, bassist/vocalist Mark Denkley and drummer/vocalist Metyou ToMeatyou. Inspired by the likes of Mötley Crüe, Crashdiet, Poison, Hanoi Rocks, W.A.S.P., The Ramones, Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath and the likes, the band soon honed its eighties toned sound. A few line-up changes ensued before the current line-up was secured with the addition of guitarist/vocalist Robby Luckets in 2009. Subsequent years has seen the trio support the likes of Adam Bomb, L.A. Guns, and Tygers Of Pan Tang, play across their homeland as well as undertake several European tours and take the stage at the renowned Glam Fest in France. Two demos, Return To Decadence in 2010 and especially Life Without Control the following year, lured strong attention though it was debut album Like An Addiction in 2013 which really sparked a more global awareness of their sound. Now Higher & Higher, released as its predecessor by Sleaszy Rider Records, is stoking up a new wave of fans and though we might not be leading the surge, reasons are readily apparent as to why its fresh success in persuasion .

The album opens with You Gotta Lose, a track which failed to tempt the first time and still labours trying to convince. Opening with a blast of group vocals and predictable eighties riffery, the song soon reveals a snarl which grabs attention but one as quickly tempered by the again familiar harmonic wash of voices.  It is hard to pin down exactly what is lacking within the track other than it just does not appeal to personal tastes but it is a decent start swiftly left sounding pale as the album takes off starting with next up Street Animals. The second song similarly offers a recognisable melodic welcome but is soon spinning its own web of hooks and twists; some unique some familiar but a great fusion creating flavoursome rock ‘n’ roll. Without reading the influences on Sandness, they are easy to guess from this song alone and as suggested eagerly employed by the band in their blossoming character of sound.

The individual prowess of each member is just as open in the track and equally next up Hollywood. Prowling ears initially, it soon whips out some Billy Idol spiced hooks and other moments which are vaguely System Of A Down like in nature. As the album, it is a song which grows and seduces more and more with every listen, its increasingly imaginative nature richly engaging before the melodic croon of Promises in turn captivates. With an increasing fire in its belly inciting a great bass grumble, the song quickly establishes itself as a major highlight of the release, musically and vocally hitting a high.

Through the vocally unstable but ultimately enjoyable Sunny Again and the boisterous hard rock of One Life there is little not too like even if neither can live up to their predecessor while the short poetic instrumental of Light In The Dark captivates before Heat lives up to its name with some quite irresistible fiery grooves against another great grouchy mix of bass and drums, the former the persistent provider of potent bait across the whole of Higher & Higher. With its blues scented flames, the song is another peak in the album as too the power pop rock romp of its successor Perfect Machine. There are no major surprises but a stream of hooks and flirtatious tempting which has body and voice quickly involved and enjoying every second.

The album is at its best by this point, Monster Inside Me backing up the previous two with its own tenacious glam/heavy metal stomp and mix of imaginative features and matched in potency by the groove woven Play With Fire, its prime lures striking as the band revels in its eighties inspirations once again.

Closing with the hearty and increasingly volatile balladry of Will You Ever, a song like the opener it was hard to connect with personally, Higher & Higher provides an increasingly compelling proposition easy to suggest fans of eighties metal and rock especially take a close look at. Sandness is never going to be the first thought when choosing the soundtrack for our day but with Higher & Higher they are going to be considered more than many others bands, for others they will be a long term involvement.

Higher & Higher is available now through Sleaszy Rider Records @ http://www.sandnessofficial.com/shop/ and other online stores.

http://www.sandnessofficial.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Sandnessband

Pete RingMaster 19/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

CRNKSHFT – Self Titled EP

Photo Credit – Alex Barredo

We surely have a soft spot for things carrying real punch and that is exactly what the new self-titled EP from Canadian outfit CRNKSHFT has in sound and presence. The four track offering is an imposing roar of hungry and varied metal but equally shows a blaze of hard and melodic rock ‘n’ roll, a trait even more compelling in the successor to their previous well-received debut EP helping stir up a very healthy appetite for the band’s fierce and rousing attack.

Hailing from Vancouver, CRNKSHFT (pronounced crankshaft) have begun waking attention far beyond the local scene they have already been devoured by. Support slots for the likes of Lordi, Prong, Grim Reaper, and The Veer Union have capped a powerful live presence and reputation to date, one like their releases beginning to stir broader spotlights. Providing the evidence, their recent single Systematic won an award from the Academia Awards Academy in Los Angeles and there seems little to stop the Daren Grahn (Metallica, Hedley, Mötley Crüe, Bon Jovi) produced EP nudging greater focus their way.

That single opens up the EP, Systematic instantly stroking ears with grouchy riffs before a wave of tenaciously swung beats and wiry grooves join the initial wave of snarling guitar and the mutually striking tones of vocalist Shane Jolie. With equally rapacious melodic strands breaking through the aggressive trespass driven by Josh Lauze’s potent beats, the song develops a Nonpoint meets Five Finger Death Punch like incitement loaded with the band’s own fresh and inventive attributes. The infectious growl and stride of the song is inescapable, guitarists Geoff Way and Sebastian Mark Pulse casting a web of voracious enterprise as intrusive as it is flirtatious; a union the song embraces as a whole.

The following Tears Me Apart bursts into life with its own antagonistic yet welcoming blaze next, riffs and rhythms ravishing the senses but equally content to pause for melody warm breaths. The calmer moments still have a shadowy air as the bass of Trevor Miles courts the peace while Jolie springs his own diversity of magnetic attack throughout. With unpredictable essences emerging, occasionally with a Korn like nature, the song leaves pleasure full before Old Habits has its go at exciting ears. Another of the singles tempting anticipation the way of the EP, the song assertively simmers and boils; its robust imagination lined body a raw fire of Three Days Grace/ Bring Me The Horizon like dexterity and adventure.

Again, it is a song with something individual to CRNKSHFT in its dynamics, a welcome trait even bolder in the dark prowl of Breaking The Silence; a track virtually stalking ears from its start before its emotive and volcanic heart erupts, a cycle then repeated with fluid craft and invention. The most unpredictable moment on the release, it is as cantankerous as it is melodically reflective in tone. Fierce and venomous whilst contagiously engaging in touch, the song ensures the EP ends on the same major high it started with, heights closely nudged in between.

With familiar textures and essences in its design, the CRNKSHFT’s sound and EP do not quite find major originality but the signs are there, as strongly proven by its closer, whilst enjoyment is already a done deal. Things are looking good for band and ears.

The CRNKSHFT EP is out now across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/crnkshft/   http://www.crnkshft.com/

Pete RingMaster 27/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

L.A. Knights – Psychoanalyze

LAK_RingMasterReview

Wearing inspirations and musical passions on their sleeve, whilst creating fresh and riotous stomps for all, is Akron, Ohio rockers L.A. Knights. Certainly that is the case with their new album Psychoanalyze, a riot of rock ‘n’ roll that only wants to, and unstoppably does, party. Embracing rock sounds from the past handful of decades onwards into their tenacious brew of hard rock, L.A. Knights prove to be a band which replaces major surprises within their sound with honest, balls swinging creative energy and passion; a quality which simply leaves satisfaction full to bursting.

L.A. Knights began in 2011, formed by Jozey who was the bartender and manager of The Bunker, a bar where rock band Bang Tango was booked to play a show. The lead guitarist brought together the first line-up of L.A. Knights to support the LA headliners that night; it subsequently continuing as a covers band inspired by the likes of Mötley Crüe and Guns N’ Roses from there. As the chemistry within the band grew, Jozey was reluctantly persuaded by vocalist Dave Fanz to explore the writing of their own material, a venture quickly producing fan impressing results. Since then, the band has shared stages with the likes of Faster Pussycat, Jackyl, Bullet Boys, L.A. Guns, Cinderella and many others, a success matched by debut album Rubber City Meltdown, whose regional triumph led LA Knights to the attention of, and signing with, Chicago label Independent Ear. Now, the quintet is poised to wake up stronger and broader attention with their April released Psychoanalyze.

The album opens up with Are You Ready and immediately stirs ears with thumping beats and voracious rhythms matched in imposing kind by riffs. As quickly as it hits its robust stride, so the enterprise of Jozey and rhythm guitarist Jeff Curry unveils rich enticement as they embrace the vocal incitement of Fanz. The song’s question is swiftly answered by feet and energy as it proceeds to further reveal a resourceful bassline from Troy Poder amidst the rapier like swings of drummer Michael Gallagher, as melodies and sonic tempting collude around them.

art_RingMasterReviewFrom one highly infectious anthemic persuasion to another in the tenacious shape of Dance. Early on a spicy groove has the appetite on board whilst the feisty rumble of rhythms backed by group shouts arouses body and spirit. The guitarists only add to the healthy persuasion as choice riffs and hooks become embroiled with the craft and imagination of Jozey’s sonic endeavours. As the first, the track is a spark to unbridled revelry, a boisterous party which continues as the album’s title track growls and prowls ears next. Though a less demanding proposal, the song matches its predecessors in prime catchiness, backing their impressive start with its own thoroughly enjoyable presence before Devil On My Heels reveals its classic rock prowess. Featuring Tim “Ripper” Owens, the song bristles and growls as it links some addiction forging hooks and melodic flames with a great union of vocals.

L.A. Knights continue to share a variety of rock ‘n’ roll hues; the blues tinged air of For The Girls a rebel rousing declaration whilst Tattooed and Scarred offers an even more colourful hug of acoustic and sultry blues rock enticement. Both songs, as indeed the album, grow in presence and enjoyment with every listen; the second especially galvanic even with its mellower character compared to songs like the fiery and sweaty Trainwreck and the hair metal roar of That Girl. Both tracks are undiluted and unfussy rock ‘n’ roll offering an invention of bold hooks and descriptive melodies that simply captivate ears and imagination.

As suggested earlier, the band’s sound is less concerned with re-inventing the rock wheel then providing listeners with a rebellious and incendiary time which both Time Wounds and Whiskey Drinking Fool more than deliver on. The first is hot bed of classic metal strikes within an equally nostalgic heavy rock thunder whilst its successor simply turns the temperature up to furnace and uncages a volcanic slab of dirty, liquor incited rock ‘n’ roll. Both the tracks leave the body alive and exhausted, and in hungry mode for the closing treat of a cover of The Beatles’ Hard Days Night. Quite simply L.A. Knights infuse it with adrenaline and punkish contagion to create a great end to an increasingly enjoyable album.

Psychoanalyze will not persuade you that L.A. Knights is going to take metal ‘n’ roll to new places or bold creative heights, but it will convince that the band is one hell of a incitement for a salacious rumble/party or two.

Psychoanalyze will be released April 8th via Independent Ear with pre-ordering available now @ http://www.independentear.com/store/la-knights-psychoanalyze-pre-order

https://www.facebook.com/LA.Knights.Band   http://twitter.com/@laknights16

Pete RingMaster 08/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Whisky and ferocity; downing the metallic liquor with Down In One

Down In One_RingMasterReview

If you thought heavy metal was on the wane with modern invention, then you obviously have not come across UK metallers Down In One. Hailing from Nottingham, the quartet unleashes what they declare as “Whisky fuelled, heavy-goddamned-metal”, and their fans roar as being bruising, exhausting, and irrepressible rock ‘n’ roll. Sent their way by a man with an ear for talent, Andrew of Stencil PR, we grabbed a moment or four with vocalist Gon who, with guitarist Jonny offering further insight into the band, let us get to the root of this emerging force from the Midlands.

Hello and thanks for sharing time with us.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started and what brought you all together?

Sure thing! I’m Gon and I’m the vocalist. We’ve got Jonny, our resident guitarist, Rich on the bass and Jimmy on drums. The four of us make up Down In One and we like to call ourselves whisky fuelled heavy-goddamned-metal. Meghan Trainor might think it’s all about that bass, bass, bass but for us it’s all about them riffs, riffs, riffs!

I met Jonny a couple years back through work and we quickly realised we had a mutual passion for loud metal and getting stupidly drunk, forming a band was clearly the logical progression! Jonny was looking for a vocalist at the time and as luck would have it my last band had just called it quits.

Jonny then met Rich through his next job and we got together and talked about the band over cheap whisky and an outdoor showing of Batman. It was a good evening! Lastly, I’ve known Jimmy since we were fresh faced 16 year olds. We used to play in a band years and years ago so I asked him if he wanted to come and jam with us, he was in the band that first sesh!

Photo by John Daykin

Photo by John Daykin

So you have been involved in other projects before? Has that experience had any impact on what you are doing now; in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction for example?

I’ve been playing in bands since I was 14 and I’m 27! I think previous bands are a lot like previous relationships, every band I’ve been in has taught me something and had an impact on who I am as a musician now. The biggest impacts so far are from two of my previous bands. I was the guitarist and main songwriter for my first band Diyu, with Jimmy, and I try to use that experience when we write as a band in Down In One. You never forget your first love either and I’ll always remember the good old days of my youth, when we were a bunch of scene kid teens trying to be brutal! (OK, so maybe I was the only scene kid, but let’s gloss over that point…)

After a couple of short-lived projects, I then joined RH Conspiracy as a frontman with next to no experience as a frontman. I think I’d only played two gigs as a frontman by that point. RH Conspiracy had been going for a while before I’d joined and the guys in the band were way, WAY more experienced than me. The first few times I jammed with them definitely felt like a sink or swim kind of situation! But I thrive on that kind of situation and I think the whole jumping into the deep end thing made me work damn hard to catch up. RH Conspiracy really helped shaped the frontman I am now.

As for changes of style, I’ve tried to move away from what I used to do and become more versatile as a vocalist. I used to be a full on screamer/growler and I’ve shed most of the anger that fuelled most of that, though I guess I used the experience and technique from before to build on.

What inspired the band name?

Like a lot of important band decisions we decided on the band name while drunk! We were down at our local haunt one night, mulling over what name to christen our new found band with, and Jonny suddenly bursts in and goes “Guys! I’ve got it, Down In One! Because y’know, drinking!”

So in a word: Booze!

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band at that moment in time and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

I think the why of forming the band was simply because we love playing loud metal, getting drunk and partying hard! If there’s one thing about the band that I love (and trust me, there are many things to love!) it’s the passion we all have for music and the genre. An old friend of mine once said that being in a metal band is a labour of love and he’s absolutely right. If we wanted to take the easy route we could have been something radio friendly like indie but no, we love metal. We live for metal. We breathe and bleed metal and we’d fucking die for metal! I’d rather stop playing music altogether than write and play something just because it was popular!

We didn’t really have a specific sound we wanted to go for when we formed, it was more general than that. We just wanted something heavy and riff driven, music that you can get drunk and party to! And really that’s what we wanted to offer; we love to entertain and nothing puts a bigger smile on my face than when I see a crowd headbanging, dancing and singing along.

I imagine then that the same things still drive the band as back when it was fresh-faced, or have they evolved over time?

We’ve only been going a couple of years so far, but I’d say the same things definitely still drive us. The love of music and that passion I talked about keeps the fire burning bright; we want to get out there, entertain on stage and party like mad bastards after!

How would you say your sound has evolved over those couple of years?

The main way our sound has evolved is half because our skills as musicians have improved and half us finding our sound. I’ve said this before but I’ll gladly say it again; I am incredibly honoured to be playing in a band with such a talented group of lads, we’ve all improved so much since we started and now our earliest stuff sounds so different to how we play it now! It’s not that we’re not happy with our songs; it’s just that we’re always improving them. We record a song and then within a week we’ve changed this and that, it’s a never ending march of self-improvement!

For me personally I’ve tried to really make my vocal style my own. Before Down In One, my vocal style was basically screams and growls. After RH Conspiracy I’d shed the anger that fuelled that and the lyrics I was writing at the time began to reflect that. Not only did I want a new vocal style to better suit and explore what I was writing but when Jonny showed me some of the new riffs he was working on I knew I definitely needed something different, the style of music was completely different to anything I’d done before! So on our first EP I was still finding my feet with this new vocal style I’d only really been using for a few months by that point. A lot of it was me testing out what I could do. A couple years on and I now have much better control of my voice and I’ve definitely developed what I sound like, but I’m always pushing myself to do new things.

It been more of an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

It’s definitely been an organic movement of sound, we’re always pushing ourselves and each other and as we’ve improved new things have come about naturally, we’ve never really sat down and thought “We should do X thing”.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations aside your early projects; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

Pic Vapour Trail photography

Pic Vapour Trail photography

See, that’s another thing I love about this band, there’s a huge range of inspirations both inside and outside of metal driving what we do.

It’s funny because nearly all of my inspirations aren’t metal and I’m the vocalist for a metal band! My main inspirations when writing would have to be H. P. Lovecraft and Aesop Rock. The way Lovecraft writes and crafts this immensely oppressive atmosphere of dread in his stories is amazing. When I write lyrics I like to tell a story and I love trying to create the same magnitude of atmosphere, giving the story and lyrics life. Aesop Rock is an utter genius when it comes to manipulating and crafting the English language into metaphor and imagery. I love toying with language and I always try to make my lyrics interesting, I’m nowhere near as good a writer as Lovecraft or Aes but I damn well try!

Mötley Crüe has had a huge influence on my performance, it’s the whole entertainment thing and that’s something I always keep in mind on stage. When Mötley Crüe play, it’s not just four dudes on stage playing their songs, it’s a full on show y’know? I want to be the embodiment of rock ‘n’ roll when I’m on stage, holding nothing back and going fucking crazy is the name of the game!

Jonny: I think we all have our own inspirations and things that impact us as individuals but one thing that always sticks out more and more the longer we have been together, is that the way we approach writing and letting these influences flow is exactly the same. Somehow we all seem to be able to get our different ideas, styles and influences to complement each other nicely. My favourite moments are when we’re just dicking around at practice and someone will just come out with an idea that someone else will chuck another idea onto and then you get that electric moment when you know something awesome is about to happen and it all clicks. Pretty much all of our tracks have been written this way and it seems to work for us pretty well so far! I’m pretty sure that, other than a few obvious staple bands, if you were to go through our individual member’s music collections you’d get pretty much every genre out there! It’s something that I’m pretty proud of really.

You talked of songwriting there, is there a particular process which generally guides the writing of songs?

We do most of our writing at band practise; usually one of us will come in and play a riff or hum an idea and then another one of us will go “Do that again, I’m gonna try this…” and it just builds up from there. We all work off each other really well when it comes to writing, as soon as we get going ideas start bouncing back and forth until we get a basic song structure down. Then I write some lyrics for the structure we’ve got down, we jam the song with the lyrics and see what needs tweaking or if anything needs adding. After that we just keep improving and tweaking!

DIO art_RingMasterReviewWhere do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

My biggest source of inspiration is personal experience. As I said, I love to tell a story and I can put so much more into my voice and performance if it’s something connected to me. I also like to write songs about things I’ve read or seen that interest me, so for example The Call, from our first EP, is based on The Call of Cthulhu by Lovecraft.

Give us some background to your latest release.

So our latest release is going to be the Mad Gun / Elena EP. We recorded the two tracks a while ago with our good friend Mr. Kev Simpson and I think the two tracks really represent what our sound is becoming. I do love what we put down on our first EP, but that was sort of us four finding our footing and style; we’ve changed how we play the songs on that first EP a lot. These two new tracks are absolutely fucking huge and I’m massively excited to release them!

We also recorded a video for Mad Gun, which we can’t wait to release either. We’re currently planning on releasing that very very soon; keep an eye on our Facebook and YouTube channel!

As an early spoiler, can you give some insight to the themes and premise behind the songs.

Mad Gun is all about how much I love going on wild nights out, drinking myself stupid and saying a massive “Fuck you” to the consequences and how drinking myself stupid should be something I enjoy rather than how I deal with my problems, a lesson I learnt very slowly…

Elena is based on the real story of Count Carl von Cosel and Elena de Hoyos. For years Carl had visions of his true love during his dreams and in the 1930’s he met and developed a morbid obsession for Elena, as he recognised her as that vision. Unfortunately she died from tuberculosis in 1931, but Carl’s obsession was so great that he dug up her corpse nearly two years after she died, wrapped her in plaster and lived with her corpse for seven years. It’s one of my favourite weird stories.

Back to the music side and are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

I’d say we go into the studio with songs in a state where we’re happy to record them, definitely not in their final state though! We do tend to make a fair few changes or tweaks when we record. I find inspiration always strikes when you can sit back and listen back to something you play instead of actively playing it. And the ideas start to flow like water when the four of us are sat around listening! Kev, who recorded all of our stuff so far, always has good ideas too.

Tell us about the live and maybe one of your major favourite sides to the band?

Oh hell yeah! I absolutely love playing live; one of the things Jonny always says is that what we record is great, but you really need to see us live to see and hear what we’re all about. I think a band’s live performance is every bit as important as the music itself, I’ve seen a lot of bands who’ve recorded great music but they just stand there on stage going through the motions and it’s honestly not very inspiring. I love to see the passion behind the music and on stage is where that passion for what we do can come out. We never do things by half measures, especially on stage!

We most definitely pay for our live shows the next day as well, finding odd bruises and injuries is the norm, as well as a horrific bangover that feels like whiplash to accompany the hangover! You’d think we’d gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson with the state of us the next day!

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

I’ve been playing in bands in Nottingham since I was 16 and I’ve gotta say, the music scene here is absolutely fantastic. We’ve got loads of rock pubs/venues like The Tap, which are run by people who absolutely love what they do. A lot of the local venues here do “Introducing” nights, where they give local bands a chance to shine. We’ve also worked with some fantastic promoters from Nottingham, people like Phil of Torturous Promotions and Mick Devlin always put on amazing shows that we always have fun playing. There is definitely loads of opportunities for new bands to make a mark!

City to city has been a little harder though, every city has its own scene and players; trying to break into that local scene can be a little difficult. But we’ve gigged with a lot of bands from around the country and that’s been great for meeting new folks and swapping gigs to get us out there to other cities.

I’ve not had a gig yet where I’ve thought “Christ, we really went down like a lead balloon” with Down In One (amusingly there was the time a promoter booked my last band RH Conspiracy, a very heavy metal band, to play on an indie night. We went down about as well as you’d expect…). The crowds we’ve played to have always been fantastic and enthusiastic, and that’s not just in Nottingham! A lot of boring, miserable, cynical people like to bitch and moan about how the scene is dead and how it was better back in their day, but honestly? The scene is alive, well and rocking like a bastard!

Jonny: I think bands these days have it harder than ever, with downloading and everyone wanting their music for free. That said this ain’t no sob story and we aren’t the kinda people to sit back and whinge about it! The same can be said for promoters, venues, and almost anyone involved in the underground music scene in any town or city. Despite the challenges, there are people out there doing great work to keep their local scenes alive and that is definitely true here in Nottingham. We have been lucky to have worked with some great promoters so far and gigged some fantastic venues and we are truly grateful every time we are offered the chance to play and show what we can do.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing Down In One2_RingMasterReviewsuccess or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

Christ, I’m going to sound like such an old man now but back in my day when I started playing and gigging MySpace was still relevant! Shit, I suppose most kids nowadays won’t even know what MySpace is! But anyway, old man rambling aside, I cut my teeth during a time when every band already HAD to have a social media presence. I think I’ve been responsible for social media for every band I’ve been in so far! For the most part, social media has had a great impact on being in a band. Social media has allowed us to easily get out there in front of a near limitless audience and connect with fans and promoters while keeping them updated on what we do. It’s a very useful tool if, as you’ve touched on in the question, you know how to use it. My favourite thing about social media is the interaction with fans; we can get the banter on and hopefully entertain some people off stage! I also like how social media gives every band a level playing field. Any band, no matter their technical proficiency can get started with it and get themselves out there.

But it’s definitely a double edged sword. I’ve never seen social media as the be all and end all of being in a band and the thing I dislike the most about social media is that we all have to have it. I can’t think of one underground band I’ve ever met that have actively avoided social media and being able to keep going. While it’s a useful tool, the fact that we all have to be on social media has fostered this culture now where a lot of the music scene is focused way too much on metrics. There’s an obsession with likes, views, followers and all that shit and I think that pulls us away from grassroots and the point of being in a band in the first place; the music. Metrics are exactly like social media, they’re a useful tool yeah, but they aren’t the be all and end all. We shouldn’t be measuring our worth as a band or as a musician by random numbers, especially when you do need a fair bit of knowledge to use social media “properly”. It’s exactly as you said, if a band lacks the knowledge and desire to keep their social media going then they’re at an automatic disadvantage.

Once again a big thanks guys for sharing your time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

No worries! It’s been a pleasure, thanks very much for having us! As for anything to add…drink booze liberally, fuck authority, listen to loud music and support your local scene!

Check out Down In One and their music further @ http://downinone.bandcamp.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/downinoneband

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster review 28/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Crossing Rubicon – No Less Than Everything

CR_RingMasterReview

Roaring out of Connecticut, Crossing Rubicon is a band tagged as hard rock but has plenty more to their potent sound as evidenced by new album No Less Than Everything. Entwining incisive strains of metal and variations of classic rock with their own modern rock ‘n’ roll adventure, the Bristol hailing band makes grabbing attention look like child’s play. Their debut full-length is the proof; twelve songs which for the main just leap out. At times they provide a familiar incitement of sound and other moments offer a rich bloom of the uniqueness openly brewing within the band. Throughout though, No Less Than Everything is a sonic charge of passion and craft which demands to be taken notice of.

Since being formed by in 2009 by vocalist Scott Anarchy (Wawrzyniak) when linking up with Pete Ahern (Red China Blue), and soon after drummer Brandi Hood, Crossing Rubicon has been through a few line-up changes whilst emerging as a generally recognised impressive live proposition. Before and since the release of first EP, In Pains Of Sleep in 2012, the five-piece has opened for and shared stages with the likes of Motley Crue, Queensrÿche, Bret Michaels, Tantric In This Moment, Nonpoint, Pop Evil, Saving Abel, Rev Theory and the list goes on. Their live presence has been a reputation building success which, with the band’s potent sound, has ensured No Less Than Everything was a highly anticipated proposition.

Straight from the off, band and release reward that eagerness. The quintet of guitarist/vocalists Zach Lambert and Jesse Near, bassist/vocalist and former All That Remains member Jeanne Sagan, and the pair of Anarchy and Hood, immediately entice ears with Tomorrow Never Comes. Flames of guitar provide the first inviting bait; they quickly joined by punchy beats and a throaty bassline, which in turn welcome the full and quickly impressing tones of Anarchy. Hitting its stride, the thrash tinted, riff driven persuasion has body and appetite hooked, with the imagination gripped by the front man’s rich vocals and emotions grabbed by the great band provided backing vocals and simply the virulent contagion flowing through the opener.

CoverArt_RingMasterReviewA great start is pushed on again by the outstanding Unhinged. Its initial sonic shimmer holds a sinister air which relaxes as the vocals come forward, though the gait and nature of the song remains predatory if skilfully restrained. A mix of vocals, with presumably Sagan one half of the two prong dark temptation alongside Anarchy, adds to the track’s intimidating seduction. It is enthralling stuff which blossoms further as spirals of guitar shared melodic enterprise wraps prowling rhythms, their magnetic alignment ridden by the increasing strength of the fiercely alluring vocals.

Never Again has the hard task of following the great encounter, living up to the demands from its initial lead of Hood’s heavily scything swings before casting its own predacious stalking of the senses. Enticing melodic suggestiveness soon infests the track, though its instincts remain grouchily confrontational before the mellower but still fiery charms of The Fallen and Bittersweet Day step forward. For personal tastes, neither can match up to their predecessors, though both leaves ears involved and satisfaction lively with their accomplished hard rock croon and classic rock blaze respectively.

Grooves create a web of tempting within Cut Deep next, the band weaving alternative metal and stoner-esque spices into the song’s pungent and devilish confrontation of variety soaked rock ‘n’ roll whilst with Who’s Gonna Save You, with a gorgeous growl of bass leading the way, they are back sizing up the listener with a predatory intent. This comes with venomous riffs which crawl through ears and the stirring up of attitude loaded revelry by the ever enjoyable vocals. As for the rhythms, they simply stalk the listener. The track is another major favourite to emerge, especially with the subsequent addition of an exotic mystique courtesy of the guitars, and another of a number of particular pinnacles across No Less Than Everything.

Crossing Rubicon continue to reveal diversity in sound and imagination within the release. Violet Carson reveals itself a track which is almost ritualistic in its dark character and emotive fire whilst Reason to Beg is a slice of sinew sculpted rock ‘n’ roll entangled in searing strands of sonic tenacity and uncompromising attitude, in word and emotion. It would be fair to say that the songs, as the album, create something fresh and fascinating from the use of recognisable flavours on familiar templates at times, but invigorating and enticing it ultimately is as proven again by the classic rock infused, plaintive rumble of Do We Not Bleed and straight after, the similarly woven and magnetic I’m Here. Neither of the pair quite lives up to the major high points of the release, but both potently please before Return to Atlantis brings the album to a close of rich sonic enterprise upon an eighties bred melodic rock landscape.

The track provides an increasingly impressing album with a rich climax summing up all the qualities and infectiousness of the Crossing Rubicon sound and imagination. As the band’s sound evolves, expectations are of bigger and bolder things to build on, what is right now, a thoroughly enjoyable adventure and a thick nudge on the broadest attention, No Less Than Everything.

No Less Than Everything is out now via Pavement Entertainment through most online stores and @ https://crossing-rubicon.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.crossingrubiconband.com/   http://www.facebook.com/CrossingRubiconRocks   http://www.twitter.com/RubiconCT

Pete RingMaster 28/02/2016

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Heartbreak Remedy – Midnight Groove

Heartbreak Remedy Promo _RingMaster ReviewShot

Embracing a host of flavoursome flavours in their energy loaded sound, UK quartet Heartbreak Remedy create rock ‘n’ roll which just rolls with the instincts to party. The weight of proof comes in their self-released debut album Midnight Groove, a collection of tracks which may have found variable success with personal tastes at times but all left an appetite for more of their feisty enterprise.

Hailing from Cumbria, Heartbreak Remedy emerged in 2013 with the intent of merging LA’s classic rock sound with seventies bred grooves. The band’s founders, vocalist/bassist Matty Penn and drummer Stephen Jackson soon linked up with guitarists Callum Glynn and Luke Blair, that union the springboard for Heartbreak Remedy and a live presence which began with a debut show at Trillians in Newcastle playing alongside Enuff Z’nuff. 2014 saw the band playing across the UK, their own potent gigs beside support spots with the likes of The Quireboys, The Electric Boys, Kory Clarke/Warrior Soul, The Burning Crows, Bad Touch, Falling Red, and Knock Out Kaine. A full UK tour with The Last Vegas only added to their emerging presence and reputation whilst with two well-received EPs also under their belts, the band more recently has shared stages with Hardcore Superstar, Keri Kelli, and Brad Gillis, and played the Hard Rock Hell Road Trip in Ibiza. Now with its national release, it is the turn of Midnight Groove to awaken new ears.

Heartbreak Remedy seemingly gets referenced to the likes of Mötley Crüe, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Deep Purple most often, something relatively understandable as the opening track of Midnight Groove erupts in ears. There is certainly something familiar to their sound and seemingly no real intent to be dramatically adventurous but for heart bred rock ‘n’ roll there is little to dismiss the album over or first song Convoy. As soon as a single groove entangles ears attention is awake and seriously intrigued, especially once increasingly anthemic rhythms pave the way for a vocal bellow from Penn and the riff driven stroll it sparks. The beats of Jackson become even crispier bait as the bass of Penn offers a great grumbling lure whilst with acidic hooks and sparkling guitar endeavour wrapped in blues rock hues dancing in ears, the track gets more adventurous and compelling with every passing minute.

Heartbreak Remedy Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review  The following Already Gone is a slightly mellower proposition energy wise and in tone, and maybe because of this lacks the same spark as its predecessor, though the guitars again potently entice with their melodic narrative before Cocked and Loaded from a great devilish bassline emerges as another fiery slice of blues/hard rock. Vocally Penn is a touch wayward at times but equally more expressive as the track dangles spicy grooves and magnetic bait from the bass in ears.

Things really pick up with Tell Me Why, the track a sonic floozy of southern grooves and seventies seeded funk ‘n’ roll. Rhythms add a dark edge to the encounter, the muscular tones of the bass aligning to jabbing swipes from Jackson as the guitars of Glynn and Blair weave a contagious temptation of sultry grooves and riffs. Quickly establishing itself as a major highlight of the album, it seems to ignite something in the release as the following pair of All You’ll Ever Be, with its tangy lining to a nest of writhing grooves, and the pulsating Girl At The Bar keep the new plateau of good times rolling. Both tracks enjoyably explore contrasts and essences of discord, with the latter also slipping into something more eighties glam rock coloured to pleasing effect. The fact that there is a constant raw almost punkish surface and inner flame to the band’s sound only adds to the potency of indeed all three tracks and those to follow.

The skittish beats and southern seducing of Heartbreaker provides feet and imagination with the base for a good time which the southern/seventies hard rock textures of Southside recruit in its own dusty stroll before Rose clams things down with its soothing melodic croon. Guitars cradle ears with their tantalising melodies and evocative reflection whilst Penn almost mesmerises with his emotive croon. The song reveals more of the depth and diversity in the band’s sound, than arguably all the previous songs added together, simultaneously adding another high point to the release.

Next up Perfect Crime reveals more of the punk essence which lies within the band’s sound, fusing it with a dirtier hard rock proposal before its successor Thrill Me. Kill Me musically snarls around more restrained but nicely diverse vocals and Ice Queen sizzles in a bluesy climate, its guitars a sonically bubbling and hazy protagonist around funky rhythms and plainer vocals. It is a slim yet rich fusion of contrasts which works a treat though is over shadowed by the album’s closing triumph it is fair to say.

Like Rose earlier, Far Away is a captivating ballad with Penn really coming into his own as acoustic guitars embrace every syllable and escape of emotion. An increasingly impressive treat, it is a fine end to a rather enjoyable proposition from Heartbreak Remedy. Midnight Groove suggests at times that maybe the band’s sound is more potential than realisation right now, but to that offers the promise and excitement of bigger and bolder things ahead.

Midnight Groove is released on Friday 11th September through all stores.

Pete Ringmaster 10/09/2015

Silent Jack invite fans to ‘Play The Game’!

SJ PTG PR Photo

Silent Jack To Release  ‘Play The Game’

 

 Birmingham based hard rockers Silent Jack are ready to unleash a hail of hard rock with debut album ‘Play The Game’! The follow up to 2012’s ‘Snakebite’ EP is thirteen tracks of pure, unfiltered rock straight from the home of heavy metal. Under the expert guidance of veteran producer Alex Cooper at Arkham Studios, the band has spent the best part of a year distilling the power of their live shows into a single full-length release.

 Playing balls-out hard rock in the vein of classic acts such as Guns N’ Roses, Mötley Crüe, Whitesnake and Led Zeppelin, Silent Jack bring it all to the table. ‘Play The Game’ features the crushing riffs and clean vocals that have wowed audiences around the country, with fan favourite tracks like ‘Too Many Women’ and ‘Whisky And Me’ joining newer cuts such as ‘I Am The Law’ and ‘Make It Right’. Rockers around the world will definitely find something they like on the album and Silent Jack can’t wait to unleash it.

 The band have been firing on all cylinders this year, reaching the finals of both the Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses competition (Birmingham, July 12th) and the Hard Rock Hell Highway To Hell competition (Sheffield, September 5th-6th), and have recently been announced for the Saturday of this year’s Degeneration Fest (Nottingham, August 28th-30th).

‘Play the Game’ is set for release in September this year, and the band will be hosting a launch party at The Roadhouse in Birmingham on September 13th.

 

http://www.Silent-Jack.com     http://www.facebook.com/silentjackband    http://www.twitter.com/silentjackband