Chasing Dragons – Faction

There is no doubt there has been plenty of eager anticipation for the debut album from British rockers Chasing Dragons, especially since the release of their last EP, Faction: Prologue, a couple years back. It was a kind of teaser for the band’s first full-length, unsurprisingly called Faction, which built on their earlier offerings and successes whilst peering into a whole new landscape of sound and imagination, indeed intimation now fully explored and expanded within the new encounter where we would suggest, the Chasing Dragons sound has come of age.

The time since the last EP has also seen the Leeds outfit truly establish themselves on the UK live scene with a big reputation to match, Chasing Dragons sharing tours and stages with the likes of Stone Broken, The Qemists, Skid Row, SikTh, InMe, Diamond Head, Aaron Buchanan and The Cult Classics, Courage My Love, Skarlett Riot, Theia and many more. Featuring nine new songs along with re-recorded versions of the three tracks from the Faction: Prologue EP, the album swiftly ignites attention and imagination with opener Factionless. Part intro part full intimation, the track stretches up from its initial arousal on the ever striking tones of vocalist Tank. Like a flame within unsettled atmospherics, her potent presence is a rich lure and spark for the outstanding piece’s subsequent shadow bound predacious stroll. Portentous yet virally inviting, the track masterfully erupts before making way for the melodically inflamed How The World Went Black. Guitarist Adam quickly spins a web of metallic temptation woven with melodic rock enterprise whilst the track bites through the determined beats of Katie, they courted by the dark rumble from Murf’s bass. Progressive hues emerge as the song evolves, technical craft lining its invention as all the while Tank radiates with her powerful and impressive delivery.

Amongst the band’s influences stand artists such as Halestorm, Avenged Sevenfold, and Bullet For My Valentine, all open spices to the band’s individual recipe as proven again by the melodically vociferous roar that is Parasite and the dramatic exploits of Like Gravity. The latter is a tempest of textures and flavours carrying a volatility which accentuates its warmth and elegance rather than devours them. As many tracks, it is a proposition which grows by the minute through new twists and avenues, all unpredictable and each an imaginative turn along the track’s magnetic journey.

 Through the equally tense Bareknuckle Lover, the mercurial attack of the track as alluring as it is resourceful, and the lively emotive roar of For Kingdom For Glory, Chasing Dragons continue to add fresh adventure to their release. The second of the two in some ways promises more than it delivers, certain inventive moments not exploited as much as personal tastes wished yet is still a gripping snare of sound.

The calmer climate and croon of This Time Is Ours allowed a breath as it simply enthralled though it too has a sprightly nature which eventually catches fire with Adam casting another striking blaze veined with mazy temptation before the riveting Devil In Her Eyes wound eager attention around its tantalisingly creative fingers and in turn The Connection takes ears on a saunter through gothic lined shadows and emotionally suggestive caresses before subsequently erupting into a furnace of muscular sonic theatre. The second of the trio is especially irresistible, every moment a clever thread into the next unexpected and virulent turn of the song though then pretty much matched in glory by its successor.

As the classic seeds of the similarly impressing I’m No Devil (I’m Just A Girl) catch fire within its metal/heavy rock drama and Whitehorse teases and fascinates, the album continues to reveal new aspects in sound and craft; the latter’s haunting opening passage an especially mouth-watering incitement for ears and imagination which hints at new corners and corridors for the band to explore ahead.

We Are The Wall concludes the release, the track a ravenous onslaught of sound and intent driven by rapacious rhythms and coloured by wiry grooves and rich melodies as Tank for a final time powerfully incites thoughts as she potently roars.

It is a fine end to an equally ear-catching album which as suggested declares Chasing Dragons at a new level in songwriting, sound, and performance, a plateau teasy to suspect the metal/rock world will be unable to ignore.

Faction is available now across most online stores.

Chasing Dragons November 2018 Faction Headline Tour

 2nd – Manchester – Satan’s Hollow – support Ward XVI, Soul Desire, Fear Me December

3rd – Croydon – Croydon Rocks Fest

4th – Southampton – Joiners – support Novacrow + TBC

6th – Norwich – Brickmakers  – support The Killing Culture + TBC

7th – Birmingham – Hammer & Anvil – support Novacrow + TBC

8th – Nuneaton – Queens Hall – support Novacrow + Simai + Fleer

9th – Stamford – Mama Liz’s – support Synthetic + Black Hawk Down

10th – Wakefield – Black Mass – support Novacrow + The Sourheads + Seas Of Scarlet

https://www.chasingdragons.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/chasingdragonsuk/   https://twitter.com/xchasingdragons

Pete RingMaster 18/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Tijuana Death Shot – Generation Y

TDS_RingMasterReview

Formed last year, there is not a lot of info to share about UK rockers Tijuana Death Shot but on the evidence of their first demo and now new video/single Generation Y, the Manchester trio is heading the right way to ensure the British rock scene is well and broadly aware of them.

We mentioned that Tijuana Death Shot emerged in 2015, though their bio also suggests the band stepped into the light a year earlier, formed by lead vocalist/bassist Jo Quincy and drummer Tom Harris. With guitarist/vocalist James Binnie completing the line-up, the trio were soon creating raw and contagious heavy rock roars cast from a pool of blues and punk rock alongside glam and a more varied ferocity of sound. A three track demo last year awoke a wider expanse of attention, including ours, with the ear grabbing proposals of Disco Killer, This is the Rainbow Blackout, and Smoke & Liquor, whilst live, the band hit a hungry stride across 2015 continuing into this, adding the sharing of stages with a host of emerging and more established bands, including recently Novacrow, Stone Angels, Keto, Dischord, and The Stupids.

Now it is Generation Y stirring up a new tide of eager ears and support, primarily through a great video bringing the song’s salacious qualities to visual light in the Quincy and Sarah Brady directed film.

Stabbing beats and guitar make first contact, they triggering a slim but catchy stroll as the distinctive tones of Quincy entice within the web of Binnie’s grooves. A more forceful edge is carried by Harris’ anthemic swings, inciting a bigger roar from all in the chorus which is given extra punk ‘n’ roll ferocity by the enjoyable confrontational surrounding shouts of Binnie before the track bounces across its range of energies and sonic enterprise.

As shown on their previous demo, Tijuana Death Shot have a great range of unpredictable and imaginative, often off-kilter, twists to their songs; here the listener subsequently facing a rhythmic shuffle wrapped in blues flames or a sultry croon of melodic rock seduction within what is overall a rousing canter. Every element of the song also carries a mischievous devilment which will see Tijuana Death Shot, with their creative boldness, going a long way in making a potent impact on the diversity of British rock ‘n’ roll.

The Generation Y video can be seen @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbpNktZ_uXA or https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/video-selector/ with the song a teaser to a new EP to be released later this year.

https://www.facebook.com/TJDeathShot   https://twitter.com/TJDeathShot   https://soundcloud.com/TJDeathShot

Pete Ringmaster 10/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Grooves and zombies: getting close and personal with Novacrow

novacrow_RingMasterReview

According to the band, Novacrow is “a four-piece of zombie-punching, hard-rock sleazeballs.” What they certainly are is a hard rock seeded roar which is earning a mighty reputation for their eclectic sound and EP Black Syrup has only backed and reinforced their striking emergence on the British rock scene. With the supporting of bands such as Skarlett Riot, Heonias and Green Jellÿ also under their belts, the EP feels like the spark to bigger things and attention upon Novacrow so we seized the opportunity to get to know the band and its hungry heart with big thanks to vocalist/guitarist Kitty Synthetica and bassist/backing vocalist/producer Federico Spera.

Hi guys, thanks for taking time out to talk with us

No worries, thanks for the interview!

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

Federico: The band consists of the following sex gods: Kitty Synthetica on vocals/guitar/kazoo, Jonyx on lead guitars, Freddy on bass/backing vocals, and Torben Schmidt Hansen on the drums. We all got together when Kitty and John wanted to form a band; they met Torben and I through mutual friends and cosmic forces.

Have you been/are involved in other bands?

Federico: The others have all been in bands before and I studied music in university, so I’ve always been part of different bands in some form…The so called “Mistress Bands”.

Kitty

Kitty

How have previous experiences impacted on what you are doing now?

Federico: It’s kind of hard to say, obviously with us all having been in bands before you’d think we’d be super pros, but the truth is that there’s no set way to work together. It depends entirely on the bands and the people in them. But being in other bands definitively taught us how to promote ourselves and our releases, what works and what doesn’t, etc.

Kitty: I’ve been playing gigs since I was 16 and it really helps giving you ‘live experience’. Shows can be tough and crowds can be unforgiving, but you need that to make you a better performer. In terms of the impact on my music, in previous projects, I was solely focussed on writing metal, which tended to limit my creativity. I listen back to demos I had scrapped for ‘not being heavy enough’ and think “Oh nice, I want to use that now!”

What inspired the band name?

Federico: The legend says that John one day just picked a word out of a dictionary and fused it with an animal. The idea of a bird on fire must have appealed to him I guess, so he stuck with it.

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

Federico: Kitty had a few songs already written when she originally formed the band, but that’s about it. I think ultimately we just wanted to rock out with our cocks out, and that was the main premise behind the band.

Kitty: I had a very different project in mind! I wanted an all-girl band, but these guys were the closest thing to women that I could find. Haha. No, I love this band and how well we all work together. One big creepy happy family!

Do the same things still drive the band from its first days or have they evolved over time?

Federico: The drive of the band is still rooted in the desire to be outrageous and we’re very much a success driven band. However, the way we focus that drive has definitely matured throughout our time together.

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

Federico: I’d say it has evolved for the better. If you listen to our old demos there were some nice ideas, but they weren’t particularly well mediated and executed. I’d like to think that as time goes on, we manage to find the right balance between being ridiculous and writing good songs as opposed to doing one or the other, which is a significant sign of evolution for our sound.

Would you say that change has been more of an organic movement of sound or have you gone out with new things you wanted to specifically try?  

Frederico

Frederico

Federico: It has always felt quite organic. I don’t think there’s a single song which we’ve had to force into existence.

Kitty: Because Novacrow is so unrestricted when it comes to genre, there’s no ‘wrong sound.’ I have a few juicy riffs in the pipeline though.  I am also a big fan of vocal harmonies, (Alice in Chains get this SO right) so I’ll be looking for opportunities to use some interesting melodies.

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?

Federico: With the exception of Black Syrup (which was inspired by the burlesque goodness of Pussy Liquor by Rob Zombie), I wouldn’t say there’s been a conscious influence on any of our songs or approach. We mainly base our inspiration for songs on vibes and energies as opposed to songs or artists. Instead of saying “We should write a Machine Head-esque riff in C phrygian”, we’ll say “We should write an angry and crushing powerhouse of a song”.

Kitty: There are some awesome female musicians that have inspired me massively. Brody Dalle of The Distillers, Tairrie B of My Ruin, Joan Jett, Grog of Die So Fluid, Otep, Alissa White-Gluz- to name a few. From the earliest days of getting into rock and metal, I would seek out bands with powerful female figures and I always wanted to emulate the same sort of commanding presence they had onstage.

Musically, I only ever learnt guitar as a means to write songs. I’ve never had an interest in replicating tracks; if I love a song, I have no urge to reproduce it identically. But, I do love deconstructing a track that I adore and putting together a new cover, something I have been doing on YouTube since 2009. It’s a fun challenge and a way of paying homage to songs I love.

Is there a particular process to the songwriting which generally seems to emerge?

Federico: Generally, one of us (usually Kitty) will have a whole song idea in their head, which they’d bring to a rehearsal room and we bounce ideas off each other. Each song is then mediated in a different way. I’d say the biggest exception to this is The Mantra, which was almost a completely different song when Kitty first showed it to me for pre-production.

Kitty: For a lot of songs, I think that the melody is the most important part- and by this I mean the vocal tune combined with the central guitar riff. That will always be the starting framework of any song I write. In my opinion, if you strip back everything else, but still retain that central vocal/guitar, it needs to be strong enough to make an impact on its own.

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

Kitty: It completely depends on the song. In a lot of cases I fixate on a phrase and use it for a title first (Black Syrup and Fat Frog for example), or the lyrics drive the rest of the track entirely (I think this is particularly the case in The Mantra).

Fight The Horde!!! was very much video game inspired. The lyrics loosely follow the storyline of The Last of Us, whilst the title is a reference to Left 4 Dead. I wanted something fast and heavy, with epic soaring choruses, perfect for kicking ass.

I wrote the lyrics to Set in Stone and Colourless whilst reading a lot of Haruki Murakami novels. I love how he creates such fantastic vast images and creates these prophetic journeys of self-fulfilment for average characters.

Novacrow EP 2016 - Blacky Syrup Cover Art_RingMasterReviewGive us some background to your new release and some insight into the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

Federico: Our latest release is the panty-dropping powerhouse of an EP called Black Syrup. It really captures the vibe of the band effectively, opening with the kazoo filled drunk anthem Fat Frog to get them booties shakin’ (which is about getting shitfaced and party-hardying). That’s followed by Fight The Horde!!!, which is a zombie-apocalypse based thumper of a song inspired by the game Last of Us. Then comes the title track Black Syrup, which is inspired by sticky black goo. Set in Stone is next, which gives the listener a peak into our more melodic side. The whole EP is brought to an end by Colourless, an easy listening instrumental piece.

Kitty: I love focussing on big over-the-top themes. Most of the time, I write the majority of a song in my head before picking up an instrument, so it’s very much a ‘visual’ experience. I deliberately wanted a set of very different songs for the EP, each with a completely different vibe and based on very different vivid scenarios.

Do you enter the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or use that scenario to bring songs to their final character?

Federico: For all of our releases so far, we’ve gone through intensive pre-production, so when it comes to recording we know exactly what we’re doing. The pre-production usually consists of recording high quality demos, so if we want to develop an element of the song we can use that as a reference point.

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

Federico: Ooh, there’s so much to talk about here, but I’ll do my best to sum it up. We don’t believe in “over-the-top”, so we pretty much do what we want on stage, which usually means somebody is gonna make an ass out of themselves. We’ve brought inflatable crows on stage, did a kazoo cover of My Heart Will Go On, chugged pints mid songs, and done all sorts of stupid shit when performing. It’s the biggest form of release for some of us, so we’re not gonna hold anything back on stage.

Kitty: Performing is everything. I love to make people laugh, I love writing songs and I love goading a crowd. Word of our onstage stupidity is definitely our biggest pull to shows and makes us appeal to promoters. Basically, we’re just a bunch of attention seekers, that aren’t talented enough to earn praise for doing great deeds, so have to resort to being a bunch of performing chimps. AND WE LOVE IT.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally or further afield. How have you found it?

Federico: Like you said, it’s not easy. We’ve definitely not even scratched the surface. It’s hard because you want to celebrate every little insignificant bit of success that you achieve, but as soon as you do then it sort of means you’re satisfied, and then your efforts diminish. This is an EXTREMELY tough industry, and unless you’re giving it you 10000% then there’s virtually no chance of getting anywhere in it. We’ve found it extremely tiring at times, especially whilst trying to balance the band with our “normal” life, but at the end of the day we can’t show any signs of stopping otherwise we won’t get anywhere.

Kitty: The music industry today is highly saturated with competing artists, in a field where very few people are willing to spend money on music. Every small victory is important to me, as I wouldn’t be making music if I didn’t enjoy it. In the grand scheme of things, I’m not under any false impressions of earning world notoriety, but I am grateful for every show, every sale and every person who takes the time to let us know how much they love the music. Hard work is everything though.

Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?Novacrow_RingMasterReview

Federico: Absolutely. You gotta play to win. It’s gonna be extremely hard, and even if you put your 20000% into it then there’s still no definitive chance to “make it”, but it’s the best chance you’ve got. As soon as you stop trying then you lose any opportunity you might have. It’s just a matter of persistence and not letting the odds get you down and eventually you’ll find yourself in a good place.

Kitty: There’s no guarantees, at all, but if you’re going to go for it, there’s no point half-assing it. You have to treat a band like Walter White treats meth; you need to believe in your ‘product,’ market it intelligently and push it like CRAZY.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?

Federico: We’ve started the band at a point in which internet and social media became crucial to a band’s success. We’ve started using Kitty’s YouTube “fame” to fuel traffic to our various pages and so far it has worked very well, people who like Kitty’s covers tend to like Novacrow as well. So far, it has had a great impact!

Kitty: Social media is such a fantastic platform for bands, but I don’t think everybody appreciates just how hard you have to work to harness it. It is survival of the fittest. You can’t just moan about how small your post’s ‘reach’ on Facebook might be, you need to fight to get people’s attention.

The internet is incredible for musicians. I love looking at the insight statistics on YouTube and our website and seeing how people all over the world are listening to us. I had to send out all of our EP pre-orders this week, and there’s Novacrow CDs flying out all over the globe!  To an extent, social media gives you a chance to reach an audience without borders or limit. As a listener, you have an endless supply of incredible music at your fingertips.

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?

Federico: Probably the former. People don’t realise exactly how much work needs to go in just to have the tiniest chance of success, and so they don’t work for it. And then they get annoyed when they can’t draw a crowd to their gigs, or get any decent support slots, until they eventually give up. How hard do you think you need to work to get anywhere with your band? Welp, that’s wrong, you have to work EVEN harder than that.

And that’s when we whip out the kazoos and zombies. We know how to work hard yet still entertain ourselves.

Kitty: You have to MAKE people want to see you. Give people a reason to want your music and look forward to your gigs!

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

Federico: Hell yeah, thanks for the interview! Check out our EP Black Syrup, I guarantee you will be more aroused than you’ll have ever been in your life! And keep an eye out on our various pages for more music, pictures, videos, and tips on world domination!

https://www.facebook.com/novacrowofficial/    https://www.novacrowofficial.com/

https://twitter.com/novacrowband   https://www.instagram.com/novacrowband/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 21/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Novacrow – Black Syrup EP

Novacrow_RingMasterReview

Giving their own distinct riff driving snarl to hard rock, UK rockers Novacrow are another band beginning to grab attention right now; partly through a sound which grabs the spirit with anthemic tenacity and in many ways through a stage presence, already renowned for its high octane anything goes nature, which promises “an energetic and erection-inducing live show”. Add the recent release of the band’s debut EP, Black Syrup, and it is easy to see a snowball effect on new fans and acclaim being incited by their sleaze coated and blood strewn, rebellion in the belly rock ‘n’ roll.

Formed late 2013, Liverpool hailing Novacrow quickly sparked local attention whilst last year saw an already expanded presence sparking national spotlights as the band played gigs all over Britain and lit up the web with the release of their zombie-spoof horror music video for the track Fight The Horde!!!

Now they are truly introducing themselves with their eagerly awaited debut EP; five slices of raucously melodic rock ‘n’ roll keen to nudge the broader UK rock scene into closer attention. From the opening track, it is a success easy to see; the groove infested Fat Frog getting kicking things off in virulent style. A throaty riff is the first lure, it soon igniting a prowling entanglement of fiery grooves and predacious rhythms with mischief in their creative eye. The sultry flame of Jonyx’s guitar sizzles as it wraps the song’s already established dark hues and in turn the swiftly emerging tones of  Kitty Synthetica (Staunton). There is the air of a temptress and the snarl of a fighter in her expression and delivery; a union rhythmically matched by bassist Federico Spera and drummer Torben Schmidt-Hansen. Continuing to crawl over the listener with spicily enticing grooves within a stoner-esque hued devilment, the track boldly rumbles and forcibly entices with its anthemic irritability and sonic enterprise; the increasingly magnetic vocal presence of Synthetica sitting at the helm.

Novacrow EP 2016 - Blacky Syrup Cover Art_RingMasterReviewFight The Horde!!! engulfs the listener in a voracious zombie outbreak with a tide of hungry riffs from Synthetica and Jonyx courted by Spera’s predatory bass cast bait. Hooks and rhythms catch ears and imagination at every turn whilst the vocals and melodic flames add further magnetic drama. Again the band fluidly mix contrasts of textures and aggression, seducing and assaulting with an eager and accomplished prowess before unleashing the EP’s title track, a re-recorded version of a big fan favourite. This too prowls and stalks ears as flirtatious vocals and winding sonic tendrils almost ooze over the senses whilst rhythms jab and grooves smoulder. Spera’s bass bait is especially grouchy and in turn irresistible, adding a threat around the sultry tones of Synthetica and the similarly suggestive exploits of the guitars. A blend of hard and alternative rock with classic and surf rock hues, the track keeps the impressive tempting and imagination of the release on a lofty high.

Warm melodies and captivating harmonies colour the following Set in Stone, the song a less invasive proposal than its predecessors as it shows another side of invention and ideation to songwriting and sound. It still carries an irritable essence to its riffs and adventurous rhythms though whilst exploring a melody rich tapestry resulting in arguably the most inventive and adventurous song on the EP and definitely one of its most striking and enjoyable.

Closing on the brief evocative instrumental of Colourless, band and EP leave ears gripped and enjoyment full. It is fair to say that the Black Syrup EP might not be embracing major originality as a whole but it has plenty of fresh and exciting twists and turns that suggest Novacrow are on the right path to finding the ingredient which will truly set them apart. Certainly from start to finish, the release is nothing less than thorough rousing fun; the kind of quality which makes a first look at any band standout.

The Black Syrup EP is out now digitally and on CD @ http://www.novacrowofficial.com/ep

http://www.novacrowofficial.com   https://www.facebook.com/novacrowofficial   https://twitter.com/novacrowband

Pete RingMaster 22/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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