Turning on the LoveSick Radio

US rockers LoveSick Radio “bring a distinctive blend of unapologetic rock guitar coupled with pop melodies and a little hip-hop swagger, creating a fresh sound all their own. “ The words of their bio are swiftly backed up by a sound which infests body and spirit and a live presence which has had halls bouncing long before the likes of All-American Rejects, Bon Jovi, Dorothy, Bobaflex, Scott Weland of Stone Temple Pilots, Justin Bieber, Blue October, Kid Rock, Steel Panther, Three Days Grace, Hinder, Twenty One Pilots, Safety Suit, Paramore, Dead Sara and New Found Glory have followed the band on stage.

A short while back we had the pleasure thanks to the guys finding out more with the band, chatting about origins, their sound, songs, and much more…

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

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

David (Guitar):  Thanks for having us! We are LoveSick Radio & we play honest rock & roll with a touch of blues/punk. This line-up started when I reached out to Troy, our singer. I asked him if he wanted to sing on a track I had & he was game. Oddly enough we have known each other forever but can’t remember how we met. That song snowballed into bringing in Glenn & the Matts. We’ve been writing & touring ever since.

Were you involved in other bands previously? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe style or direction?

Glenn (Bass): All of us have played in a bunch of bands prior to coming together and doing this one. We’ve all brought a lot of what we learned in the other bands, as far as what makes a band work and what doesn’t and what we want out of music, to this band. Everyone’s past musical experiences have really shaped the way this band operates. Being in a band is like a relationship: you have to go through some tough ones to discover what you want.

What inspired the band name?

Matt B. (guitar): Our previous drummer was going through a breakup. Whilst on his way to rehearsal he kept hearing all these songs about heartbreak on the radio & when he got to rehearsal he made a comment about how the radio seemed lovesick & everyone thought it sounded cool so we went with it.

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

Matt S. (Drummer): I wouldn’t say there were any specific ideas about forming the band.  We are just 5 guys who vibe well with each other musically, have an almost obsessive passion for music, and the drive to write and play day in and day out.  All of us have differing backgrounds musically, but at the heart of it, we love rock and roll.  The sound is a culmination of the individual influences of all of us, but more importantly, we just want to write good songs.  A good song is a good song, regardless of the genre.  Some might sound heavier, more twangy, or more soulful than others, but that’s all of our personalities coming out.

Do the same things still drive the band from those fresh faced days or have they evolved over time?

Matt B.: Essentially writing great songs that we get off on performing & connecting with an audience has always been the driving force within the band.

As the band evolves the drive to widen our reach & get our music out to the masses becomes stronger & stronger

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

Troy (Singer): “Early days” kinda makes me laugh as I still feel like we are in our “early days”, but as far as evolution I think that honestly happens from song to song. Not just in our sound, but as a band overall…getting more comfortable with one another and for me as a vocalist pushing myself to new places. I think evolution has started since day one for us.

Are those things, that evolution, something organic or more the band deliberately setting out to try new things?

Matt S.: We aren’t afraid to try new things or experiment musically.  It just depends on the mood of the song and what makes sense.  We don’t just follow a music equation, but obviously we want our music to be accessible to everyone.  From the time that someone shares an idea, we build on it, we practice it, and we finally record it, the song could be almost completely different.  I’d like to think it happens organically.  When we get in the studio, that’s where the fun and experimentation begins.   On the current album we are working on, we have instruments which we do not have live on stage (strings, keys, horns), the band plays kazoos and sings gang vocals, we stomp, we clap, we play instruments that we have never played before, just to get the sound and vibe that we hear in our heads.. 

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; 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?

David: Yes everyone in the band love a million different things but I think the artist the inspire our approach are Aerosmith, AC/DC, The Stones, LED Zeppelin, Sex Pistols, The Rival Son & Stereophonics to name a few. These are all iconic bands & that’s what we strive to be one day. So we are constantly pushing ourselves to be the best we can be.

Is there a particular process to your songwriting?

Troy: There are always gonna be some variations, but music usually comes first…typically a killer riff. I’ll take a rough demo and live with it for a while…usually spend time driving around coming up with ideas and bring them to rehearsal where everyone chimes in. So in the beginning it’ a very “isolated” process but as we get things worked up, the band as a whole will bring in all the different influences.

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

Troy: Inspiration for me is always life…either something I lived or something I am watching someone go through. The only time it would vary is if I am asked to write for a specific TV or movie thing, but even then I have to draw from personal experiences…As an introvert I spend a lot of my time just watching people. I write what I see.

Please give us some background to your latest release.

Glenn: Our latest release is a song called “Young Hurricane”. It’s written kind of like a poem in the way the vocals are structured. Basically it’s just about sticking’ to your guns and doing what you know is right (kind of a metaphor for playing rock n roll in 2019). A lot of the really cool elements of the song came together in the studio when we had a chance to really sit down and play with different ideas to build the song.

Give us some insight to the collective themes and premise behind songs.

Troy: I think it is fair to say we have some pretty universal themes with all our tracks…def some self-reflection and overcoming, some rebellious middle finger flipping and of course love and loss. I’d say our next release “Bloodshot Eyes” falls in the self-reflecting/ overcoming category but doing the reflecting in some smokey bar if those still exist…haha

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?

David: It happens both ways in the studio. But a lot of time we will have the music done to a certain point & start tracking before the vocals are finished. The bed tracks might influence Troy to do something different then what we had for the rough demo. We are never married to an idea. We are always changing or rewriting trying to get the best out of the song.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

With the live show we want to sound like a freight train going a full speed. So we work on dynamics, power & energy. We want you to feel it when you come to a show.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods?

Matt S.: Like any other band, you have to put in the time.  We have played for empty rooms, we have played for packed houses, and we have played festivals where you can’t see the end of the crowd.  People seek out good music.  The hard part is introducing it to them (luckily the internet exists).  I feel that we have the sound and energy to lure people in, and to keep them coming back to shows.  It doesn’t matter if it is regionally or worldwide.  As long as you connect to the crowd, you will build a following.  Whether it is a home show or something across the country, we put on the same game face each night and try to win over every crowd we play for.  We have found that people like the resurgence of good old fashioned rock and roll everywhere we go, so everywhere feels comfortable and like our neck of the woods.

Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands and talking of the internet how has social media impacted on the band to date?

Glenn: Absolutely. It all comes down to a band’s desire and willingness to push themselves and go outside of their comfort zone to grow and do something cool and original. Social media and the internet are a great thing for bands because it allows us to reach people all over the world as independent artists. Without the internet, we might not have the opportunity to do this interview!

Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

Troy: I think there will always be both negative and positives whether being the “underdog” band on the come up, or at the top trying to stay there. I think the internet and social media will always have the ugliness and trolls looking to tear you down, no matter what your status….however, the positive of how many people can be reached is hard to argue. Honestly with this band being started in the “new world” of technology, it’s really all we’ve known so is kinda our new normal.

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

David: Thank you again for having us!!

If you would like to check out us & the music you can go to these links. See you on the road!

AppleMusic: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/lovesick-radio/203509719

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/feels-so-good-single/1436316245

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/7zca83vBdFEDg0119J8thJ?si=4bw6zx7-RL-fbpKajO1aHw

YouTube: Youtube.com/lovesickradio

Instagram: @lovesickradio

Twitter: @lovesickradio

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LoveSickRadioBand/

 & anywhere else you stream & download music

Pete RingMaster 03/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

High Down – Moving On

Suggesting they might be the ones to give the British pop punk scene an invigorating new breath, Portsmouth hailing High Down have just released their first EP. Moving On offers five slices of ear pleasing infection carrying punk rock, each bearing a sound with a spikiness which alone commands attention and further investigation.

Emerging last year, High Down made a potent mark with debut single Family & Fiends, the track recorded with producer Matt O’Grady (You Me At Six/Deaf Havana). Its impact was followed by the band playing slots at the likes of Seasick Fest, Butserfest, and Teddy Rocks Festival as well as share stages with bands such as WSTR, Roam, and Like Pacific. It is fair to say that things are beginning to stir for the quartet, a motion sure to gain momentum through Moving On.

The EP opens up with new single Life Lessons, guitars instantly luring ears with their catchy invitation. It is an infectiousness which is as instinctive in the vocal prowess of Luke Smithson and the rhythmic stroll of bassist Tim Hoolahan and drummer James Grinter who it appears has since left the band. The energy of the song is bold but with an enterprising restraint, it constantly pulling on the reins throughout but blossoming from that same reflective control. Feet and ears are soon lost to its temptation, appetite to its mix of harmonic warmth and again reserved but open irritability.

Making History backs up the fine start with its own line in melodic suggestion and rhythmic persuasion, it too keeping a hold on its boisterousness but giving enough of a rein to stir the spirit especially within another rousing chorus. The guitars of Darrell Ellis and Joe Soar weave a captivating web of sonic adventure with the former’s vocals potently backing the lead tones and expression of Luke Smithson. There are no big surprises yet each moment of accomplished endeavour increases the song’s draw, a quality just as inescapable in next up All On You. High Down has been given comparisons to artists such as Blink 182 and New Found Glory, the third track with its high kicking beats and nagging riffs a contagious example of why. There is a greater fire in its belly than in its predecessors and similarly an even more imposing catchiness that commands attention and response as smart hooks and harmonic dexterity relentlessly tempt.

The acoustic seduction of Rescue Me follows with vocals and guitar crooning knowingly with thought and emotion. The song features the guest tones of Nottinghamshire singer Christina Rotondo, her vocal beauty a striking essence in the union with the similarly impressing presence of Smithson. With a rawer edge to its gritty finale, the track grows in intensity and emotion to truly hit the spot before making way for the pinnacle of the release. The best track on offer for these ears, Against The Tide instantly winds wiry tendrils of guitar around ears, their steely touch alone a keen lure but only tightening their invitation with their niggling prowess, one matched in dexterity and persuasive trespass by the muscular swings of Grinter and the growling bass of Hoolahan. It is a dynamic and imposing yet again seriously infectious proposal to bring the highly enjoyable encounter to a fierce close.

In many ways there is nothing overly remarkable about Moving On yet every moment it shares is rich in enterprise and energy whilst being backed by a potential which suggests High Down can have a big presence on the UK if not European pop punk theatre.

Moving On is out now and available @ http://highdownuk.bigcartel.com/

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Pete RingMaster 05/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

As The Sun Sleeps – As Good As Gold

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The As Good As Gold EP from British pop punksters As The Sun Sleeps might be lacking a couple of ingredients or so to evade being truly spectacular but there is no escaping that the five-track offering is highly enjoyable. The band’s sound is warm and decidedly catchy, in many ways living up to the EP title in its general niceness. It could benefit with real attitude and belligerence to its character for personal tastes but with rousing choruses and bouncy energy there is little to stop an appetite blossoming for the band’s sound and open potential.

Based in Swindon, the seeds to As The Sun Sleeps were sown in 2013 with the creative union of vocalist/bassist Joe Beck and drummer Tom Shrimpton. By the end of the following year the band found its stability with the addition of guitarists James Broadbank and subsequently Tom Rees. The single Nostalgia sparked fresh interest in the quartet which the Never Stars EP at the start of 2016 pushed to greater heights alongside a growing reputation for their energetic live shows which included a tour with Junior. As Good As Gold is the band’s most accomplished and striking release yet, the growth in the band’s sound and writing swiftly evident.

as-the-sun-sleeps-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewOpener and the band’s new single Beering quickly grabs ears with its cheerful air, guitar and the melodic tones of Beck its initial coaxing quickly joined by the singer’s meaty basslines and Shrimpton’s swinging beats. As the track hits its bouncy stride, riffs and hooks flirt with the imagination as Broadbank’s backing vocals offer strong support to Beck. As most tracks there is something familiar to the encounter, a New Found Glory meets [Spunge] spicing teasing away in this case, but it adds to rather than defuses the inviting and captivating potency of the song.

Florida follows with Shrimpton’s arms a blur as beats eagerly lay down potent bait as riffs and Rees’ melodic leads entangle ears. Again there is no evading the infectiousness of the feel good proposal and particularly its rhythmic tenacity as it takes best song honours before Forever Sick uncages its own lively and firmly catchy enticement. Again Beck’s bassline grabs attention but so too the spidery web of melodic enterprise from Rees amidst enjoyably punchy beats and the strong if growl lacking vocals.

The only thing stopping What Matters Most from making a matching impact is its similarity in melody and air to its predecessors yet still it has feet shuffling and pleasure awake with its emotively honed poppy endeavour while closer Nothing But Net simmers and bubbles as fiery melodies and energy light its croon. The final pair provides the weakest songs on the release but leave satisfaction full with that earlier mentioned potential again boldly apparent.

The As The Sun Sleeps is missing a snarl or two and the band has yet to find its uniqueness but with songs like As Good As Gold offers, it is going to be a fun ride as the band targets that destination.

As Good As Gold is released January 20th.

https://www.facebook.com/asthesunsleeps   https://twitter.com/asthesunsleepss   https://asthesunsleeps.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 18/01/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Safe, So Simple – Too Close To Closure

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Hailing from Arizona and increasingly inviting ears with their mix of easycore/pop punk energy and tenacity, Safe, So Simple is ready to take big steps into stronger attention with the release of new EP, Too Close To Closure. It offers five bold and lively tracks rich in swinging melodies and boisterous energy but also carry a volatility which adds a great shade of unpredictability to a sound unafraid to openly wear its inspirations. In short it is an attention grabbing proposal from a band many feel is heading towards big things.

Hailing from Benson, Safe, So Simple weave essences of bands such as Chunk! No, Captain Chunk, These Hearts, A Day to Remember, Blink- 182, Taking Back Sunday, and New Found Glory into their feisty sound. They are spices, as suggested earlier, which are easy to pick out but only add to something which, if not yet majorly unique, is certainly a potent lure on ears as shown by the band’s previous releases and now Too Close To Closure.

The Cameron Mizell (Sleeping with Sirens, Hands Like Houses) and Matt Good (of From First to Last) produced EP opens with the short and fiery Within Reach, a track which picks and jabs at the senses as the band creates a raw and bracing introduction. It awakens ears and imagination with its brief tenure before Ghost In My Backseat whips up body and spirit with its frenetic but composed revelry. Featuring Joe Candelaria, the song is a swift stirring built on the bruising rhythms of drummer Derek Ausseresses and a rapacious bassline from Benny Garcia and further shaped by the wiry and at times ferocious hooks and grooves of guitarists Josh Striffolino and Derrick Fenn. For those influences previously mentioned, there is also a touch of Hagfish meets CIV to the song, a scent only aided by the great blend of vocals from across the band which equally drive the song.

art_RingMasterReviewTeeth Like Sharks is a matching collision of flavoursome and varied textures to its predecessor, one casting an arguably even more virulent line in melodic and harmonic enterprise. The busyness of songs in voice and sound bring that enjoyable unpredictability which gives Safe, So Simple something a little different to other like sounding propositions, the band’s new single/video vibrant evidence of its potency.

The aggressive bounce of Welp, Better Luck Next Year is next, band and song creating a tempestuous incitement for body and appetite which again crafts a great mix of concussive and seductive resourcefulness to grip the imagination as firmly as its wilful sounds grabs ears.

Closing with the inescapably infectious Do Or Do Not, There Is No Try and another roar of pop and hardcore punk involvement that challenges as pleasingly as it captivates with an unbridled catchiness, Too Close To Closure is an encounter which simply grows with every listen, only blossoming further in presence and its persuasion of thoughts and appetite over time.

Too Close To Closure might not be the most unique release you will come across this year but, given time, it will become a slice of punk devilry you are likely to strap on and enjoy more often than most.

The Too Close To Closure EP is released March 11th across most online stores and physically @ http://www.safesosimple.bigcartel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/safesosimplemusic/

Pete RingMaster 11/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Highlives – Misguided Youth

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A defined uniqueness might be absent but there is no turning up of the nose for the rousing exploits of Misguided Youth, the new EP from UK pop punks Highlives. The five track proposition invites and pleases ears with highly enterprising and increasingly alluring songs themed by the conflicting guidance and influences that young lives come up against and affect their decisions for good and bad. As suggested there are plenty of familiar hues and flavours to the Highlives sound but it does not stop the band providing thoroughly enjoyable and potent confrontations.

Another band coming out of the great Bristol music scene, Highlives caught ears with the release of their two-track EP Through Vacant Eyes in the middle of 2014, its success backing up a strong reputation and support already earned on their local landscape. The end of that year saw a well-received split release with Edmonton band Nothing Gold Can Stay lure new appetites the way of the band, though easy to suspect nothing to what Misguided Youth has the potential of sparking.

Highlives Cover_RingMaster Review   It opens up with Wake Me Up, a song instantly filling ears with robust rhythms within a thick blaze of sonic energy. Things do relax a touch as vocalist Liam Edwards adds his lyrical and emotive weight to proceeding, his potent expression and delivery backed by the equally strong tones of guitarist Ben Lucas. Fair to say though that hooks are alluring and riffs grouchy from hereon in but wrapped in melancholic air and a melodic charm which tempers and unites with the more bullish nature of the track. It is not a majorly remarkable beginning to the EP but certainly a richly engaging and attention holding one with its stylish craft and emotion, a touch of the Mayday Parade to its air not doing any harm either.

The strong start is quickly eclipsed by the following Heavy Weight, the best track on the release grabbing ears and appetite within its first clutch of seconds. A gentle rub of Lucas’ guitar is the spark to thicker endeavour, his swiftly bolder catchy bait joined by the snarling bass of Mark Prouse, both powered by the anthemic swings of drummer Steve Parks. With the vocals leading the infectious energy and temptation, body and emotions are soon fully involved with the excellent song, that bass grouchiness continuing to incite extra lust in an all-round treat of an incitement.

   Twenty-Two steps up next, offering a generally calmer proposal in energy and sound though it is no less emotionally tempestuous as it releases rawer musical outbursts. For the main the song is a lively croon showing the Highlives ability to create expressive melodies and warm harmonies fuelled with reflective angst. It is another strongly enjoyable offering matched in success by the feistier contagion of Walking Blind. As with Heavy Weight, there are discernable essences of bands like The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and New Found Glory to the roar but also a low key and coincidental spice of Hagfish which only adds to the fun as the track leaves satisfaction full once again.

New single/video Better Days completes the release, it a more bruising and intensive snarl but no slouch in catchy hooks and gripping drama either. It is easy to see why it was chosen for the lead track from the EP, though personal thoughts wonder if the second song would be even more successful, and easy to get hooked by its tenacious energy and invention as well as the intensive emotion running through its infectious chest beating anthem.

Highlives is another great potential loaded band not yet finding a sound which truly standouts in pop punk, a success few can maybe really claim, but Misguided Youth shows they are going in the right direction, providing some keenly enjoyable and impressing songs as evidence.

The Misguided Youth EP is available as a free download from the band’s Bandcamp now.

https://www.facebook.com/highlivesuk  https://twitter.com/HighlivesMusic

Pete RingMaster 11/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Dora Nadine – Summer EP

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Pop punk unafraid to add a raw snarl every now and then, the sound of British rockers Dora Nadine makes for a friendly and rather appetising encounter, a description which also perfectly fits new EP Summer. Containing a handful of songs which as the EP title are full of infectiousness and warm revelry, the release is a thoroughly engaging and magnetic encounter. The fact that it does not over excite and get the emotions as elevated as it might have, feels like a missed opportunity but when it lures a frequent return to its enjoyable presence it is fair to say that it is doing plenty right.

Dora Nadine hails from Anglesey in North Wales, and since forming within the closing weeks of 2012, has consistently made an increasing impression on the rock scene. Debut EP Welcome To Hollywood in the January of the next year, sparked a potent spotlight towards the band from fans and media alike whilst their emerging live presence only lured further eager attention, especially through shows with the likes of Mallory Knox and Tonight Alive last year. As the new EP dances with ears and imagination it is unsurprising to see that influences to Dora Nadine’s sound include New Found Glory and You Me At Six, yet they only add to the appealing and to be fair diverse colour of the band’s sound. Hooks snare the listener at every turn as melodies entwine ears with energetic revelry, and with muscular rhythms aligning to punk bred riffs, Summer is a sizeable, undemanding enticement for feet and pleasure.

The EPs title track sets the party going, a lone riff swiftly igniting a thrust of rampant beats and sonic enterprise, these swiftly punctuated by infectious hooks and just as catchy melodies and vocal escapades from the band. The main lead of Dewi Thomas makes an instant good impression too; his voice holding a tinge of former Hagfish frontman George Stroud Reagan III to it, and indeed across the EP essences of that band, amongst others, also hint away. There is a heavy tenacious energy and core to the track also which works perfectly with the lighter contagion flirting Dora Nadine 'Summer' EP Artworkwith ears. Imagine CIV around their second album fused with New Found Glory and you get a healthy glimpse of the impressive opener, if not of all of its potency.

The inescapable bounce and infection continues into the following 2 Step, a song similarly sculpted to its predecessor but with even thicker addictive hooks and spicy grooves across an anthemic rumble of rhythms from drummer Karl Hargreaves and bassist Osh Williams. The underlying groan to basslines and the more aggressive scrub of riffs cast by guitarists Tomi Hargreaves and Matthew Newbigging make a great companion and temper to the melodic flames lighting the track, those bred by keys especially tasty as everything from the band combines to enslave body and thoughts.

The beginning to Save Your Breath emerges as one of our favourite moments upon Summer next, its opening melody straight out of The Mighty Lemon Drops songbook. It is a lip licking start to the reflective and lively balladry of the song, an entrance swiftly reinforced by Thomas and the catchiness already laying its hands on ears from voice and rhythms alone. Into its stride the song expands into a more, not exactly predictable, but certainly recognisable premise though it cannot prevent the pop croon from leaving ears fully content and ready for Bow For The Crown which flows right out of it. That continuation means the song again has a similar template to the one before but is soon dousing it with its own melodic wine and rhythmic agitation. It is a mix capturing the imagination but as the last song, surprises are few even if satisfaction is high; that missed opportunity as mentioned at the start applying to this pair of tracks whilst they still make a highly pleasing offering.

Far Too Long bounds in with charm and energy next, at times tempering its initial urgency with a gentle melodic caress though for the main it is a buoyant rock pop romp featuring the outstanding tones of guest vocalist Lily Green alongside Thomas. It is a great union which arguably is not used enough in the outstanding song but a minor quibble soon forgotten as the closing Our Last Scene leaves the EP and listener in strong if again familiar territory. Even with this recognisable breath, the track is a heftily pleasing proposition, raw vocal squalls in the background of swirling melodic adventure and rhythmic confrontation bringing new drama.

There is a hidden track on the release, a version of The Fall which again only has good feelings roaming ears and emotions with its thrilling attributes and appetite for hooks and imposing riffs, not forgetting lofty harmonies. Dora Nadine on the evidence of Summer feels like a band just a few steps away from sparking major spotlights and in creating a release which will seduce all. This EP is a great appetiser in the meantime.

The Summer EP is available digitally now via http://doranadine.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.doranadine.com/

RingMaster 09/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Not Tonight Josephine – Self Titled EP

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Released the same week as the new self-titled EP from Not Tonight Josephine, the debut release from UK band Death Kindly Waits For Me ignited a fresh breath in the post hardcore scene. It set down, even in its raw but potential drenched proposition, a new adventure for the genre which for us made a marker all other offerings would now have to match up against. The Florida hailing quintet are the unfortunate ones to step up next and within hours of that striking release, the first to have to impress new demands and hopes. It is fair to say that Not Tonight Josephine do a fine job, their six track encounter might not have that special ingredient we found so thrilling but it out crafts and out shines most other post hardcore proposals over recent months to leave thick pleasure in its wake.

The band has been working on the new release since mid-2014, creating songs to push their sound on again from its acclaimed successor, the Common Gold EP released the previous year. With a more aggressive and voracious character to it, the band has certainly achieved that with the EP and it is right to suggest the release is their finest moment yet. Not Tonight Josephine formed in 2008 and has consistently lured in praising attention locally and across broader spotlights leading up to that previous EP. Live too they have earned a potent reputation, shows with the likes of A Day To Remember, Underoath, Ice Nine Kills, Rise Against, New Found Glory, and The Colour Morale only adding to that. Common Gold followed a line-up change and seemed to find that flush of heavier and arguably rawer adventure which now roars from within the Not Tonight Josephine EP. As mentioned at the start, for us the bar has been raised recently, but it is all relative to personal tastes and definitely this new protagonist leaves only the fullest satisfaction and impressed reactions.

Recorded with From First To Last duo Taylor Larsen and Spencer Sotelo, the EP opens with brief instrumental 😉 . It is an atmospheric forty seconds which intrigues but is really the intro to the following ReEmerge. Why it has its own track listing it is hard to know but it is soon a thought of the past as the new track erupts with thumping beats and aggressive riffs bound in an instantly inviting melodic enterprise. Even as the song settles in to its tempestuous stride, the swings of drummer Christian Turt show no mercy, only impressing with their weight and tenacity. The raging image005vocal squalls of frontman Danny Garry and bassist Evan Foley also have a potent angst and attitude to them but it is the clean delivery of Garry that really impresses and steals the attention. It is fair to say that post hardcore bands have been predominantly impressing and grabbing our plaudits through the melodic side of their attack vocally, maybe too much of the same caustic shouting talking its toll on our patience and simply feeding expectations, and there is no doubting the might of that area in Not Tonight Josephine matched by the creative enterprise evolving round them. The use of strings and production twists only add to the drama and increasing success of the song, unpredictability an open weapon in the great start.

The following Nothing To Show is a brawl of vocal hostility and antagonistic sounds from the off, riffs and beats a delicious baiting as they intimidate and lead the listener into a maelstrom of vocal deliveries and twang lit grooves under a thunderous sky of attitude and sound. Not quite having the individuality of its predecessor or the imaginative punch, the song still intrigues and persuades with its mix of almost metalcore hostility, djent bred ferocity, and melodic expression woven by the skills of guitarists Scott Vallina and James Purcell. Whereas the last song broke ranks, this feeds expectations for the post hardcore sound, something you can say about Eyes which follows. Featuring a guest performance from Spencer Sotelo too, the track bellows and revolves with ear seizing adventure and satisfaction breeding pugnacity. It is wholly enjoyable but again does not surprise which is a real want in our admittedly demanding tastes.

Don’t Hold Your Tongue though is another matter, a fairer and mellower croon, it is bewitching. It is melodic rock at its captivating best, the balladry of sound and Garry’s outstanding vocals spellbinding and another excuse for us to say less caustic styling ahead please; save just for textural use. Song and band reveal a fresh charm to their songwriting and composing through it, with only the ever fiery beats of Turt offering dark and complimenting intensity.

The final song finds the band back in turbulent mood. Barefaced also shows the band to have the kind of invention and skill to help drive their genre on to new heights. The song is sensational, the EP’s top temptation where even the aggressive squalls work perfectly within the unbridled animosity and inventive spite of the encounter. It is a predator of a song but also an inescapable seduction, tearing the senses asunder then soothing the wounds with a vocal and harmonic caress. It has something special, a heavy dosage of startling and exciting imagination in thought and sound which reignites, what are becoming, tired ears for the standard post hardcore template.

Not Tonight Josephine band and EP is a highly enjoyable and impressing encounter; yes we know we have become picky and did pick here, but we come away from the release with satisfaction full and hopes for new creative blood in this genre re-energised a little more.

The Not Tonight Josephine EP is available from March 3rd

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

RingMaster 03/03/2015

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