Dirt, spices, and rock ‘n’ roll: getting a taste of The Sourheads

If you ever have thoughts that real rock ‘n roll is on the wane a quick listen to the new album from British rockers The Sourheads will soon make you think again. Care Plan For The Soul is a nine-track debut full-length, a skilfully and passionately woven roar of classic and fresh rock diversity which snarls as it seduces, thrills as it trespasses ears and imagination. Through our friend Garry at SaN, we had the chance to dig deeper into The Sourheads with guitarist MIK CRONE, exploring the band’s origins, digging into the heart of Care Plan For The Soul, The Sourheads live and more….

Hi Mik and big thanks for taking time to chat with us.

Can you, for those yet to be invaded by your rock ‘n’ roll, first introduce the band?

Jake on vocals, Mik on Guitar, Ben on Bass and Lamb on Drums.

We are The Sourheads and we come from Wakefield West Yorkshire. We are a rock band who take influence from the greats and add our own twist. We like to think of ourselves of somewhat multi-genre and we don’t want to be seen as just one specific style of music. A career band like The Stones or The Who dip into different things but still stay true to who they are…So yea we are a rock band who give it our all live.

The band is said to have emerged in 2016 but does its seeds go further back?

The version of The Sourheads now is the result of many years building. Like Oasis the original version was Jake [Coxon]our singer and his brother Sid who played guitar. They had a string of musicians throughout a short period of time. I first came into the picture as a producer for the band. I had been working with various bands and the early version of the band struck me as a very different but awesome set of musicians. I felt with direction the band could be massive.  Around this time I was asked to join as a second guitarist and a month later Sid left. So at this point we upped our game and decided to focus on a solid tight band and work on the debut album. The Sourheads you see now emerged in 2016.

Is The Sourheads your first ventures in a band or do you all bring various previous experiences and explored styles of music to the mix?

Everyone in The Sourheads has been in other bands before and we are all have different musical influences. This has proved a major asset in creating the sound and style of The Sourheads.. I had a small amount of success with a metal band I was in. Lamb [Chris Lambert] our drummer was in a relatively successful Indi band. Ben [Taylor] has a more Pearl Jam grunge influence and has played bass forever and grew up jamming with his brother Simon (Inme) and Jake has always been a creative person singing and painting and  as I, is more 70s inspired through bands such as The Doors, Alice Cooper, Deep Purple. The combination of these different influences creates the originality of our band. We are what we are.

What inspired the band name?

A Sourhead can be interpreted a number of ways. Bitter and twisted, hungover. There is no deep meaning behind the name.

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

As a band we feel that it is easy to be stereotyped into a genre. We don’t necessarily want that as we are all influenced by different styles of music. What we want to do is wear our hearts on our sleeves and be 100% true to what we are. Our image and sound isn’t contrived, it is pure. Our front man is a character and is like that 24/7.

As a band we have evolved over time and we are now as sharp as a razor. In the last few months we have really tweaked everything so that it is the best we can offer. Little things like changing guitar sounds or what bass amp we use. We are always trying to give the best live performances we can. Through time you learn how to fine tune every aspect of the band.

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

Before I joined the band the sound was more indie influenced. When I joined we rocked it up considerably. The band used to jam and have beers and chill out more. Since we started writing the debut album and got the record deal we became more focused. It is important to be professional at rehearsals. As a result we worked on emphasising certain parts of songs, making them tighter and adding dynamics.

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

We have always tried different styles of music when we write. Some songs sound like the Rolling Stones others sound like Black Sabbath. It depends on who comes up with the first ideas, riffs etc at some point we will bring the Synths and organ back out. Everything we do usually comes from a groove, guitar riff etc

You have just released your debut album, Care Plan For The Soul. From its first breath it shares a multi-flavoured, refreshingly dirty and just a little salacious roar of sound and intent; a mix which suggests a varied range of inspirations to the band and individual members. Who particularly stands out as having an impact on your approach to making music?

We take our inspiration from different places. Jake is a massive Doors fan, Lamb is into his classic British Indi music; Ben is also a fan of different styles of music. I look up to any band that has strong songs. Stone Temple Pilots are a massive influence for me. Deftones, Queens of the Stone Age, The Cult, Shed Seven, Oasis, Clutch. We use many colours to create our art.

How would you describe your sound to newcomers?

Iggy and the Stooges mixed with the Sex Pistols thrown into a blender with The Stereophonics and Nirvana.

Classic Rock with an edge.

It feels like it just follows its nose, always prepared to embrace fresh and unpredictable flavours. Is this something you deliberately set out to purposefully develop or a sound and direction which just grew and evolved organically?

We are what we are. People either get it or don’t. One review says we are original and have rewritten the rule book of what a rock band should be. The other will say they don’t get us. Why do we look like we do and why does the artwork not match the music. Well the answer is we are totally focussed and we are 100% us. Everything is totally focused and this is what we do, our sound and direction develop naturally. Luckily our label saw this and our friends like Red Spektor saw this. So it’s better to have a loyal friendship and business partnership and have loyal listeners than to be fake and try to jump on a scene.

How long was Care Plan For The Soul in the making?

We had a lot of time rehearsing and making sure we could play the songs. We could play without vocals, with vocals, without bass or without guitar and obviously all of us together…Probably 3 months of pre-production and a week to record.

It has an instinctive snarl to its air and open rawness to its energy; at times feeling like it may have been recorded live. How did you approach its creation in the studio?

We decided early on that the band has a live energy that needed to be captured so we decided to record live and then delete the guide vocal and do a main vocal later. I also overdubbed a second guitar rhythm track to fatten the overall mix. We also added congas and cello in the overdub stage.

Can you give us an insight into the trials and pleasing surprises you found when recording the album?

We worked with a wonderful producer called Matt Knee and we used an old 70’s BBC mixing desk, this gave us a warmth that we were pleasantly surprised by. We wanted initially to record full analogue but as we wanted to play live we decided it’s may be better to do it digitally but through old analogue gear. This was due to the fact that digital is instant and we knew we had to keep in budget for our business plan to be effective. We needed to make sure everyone was comfortable and the atmosphere was good. We had incense burning and lava lamps. Pretty laid back.

It was subsequently mastered by Pete Maher (The Rolling Stones, Depeche Mode, U2) and released through German Label Kozmik Artifactz. How did those link ups come about?

Pete Maher has worked with everyone and we liked the fact that he worked within multiple genres. Katy Perry, Pink Floyd, Linkin Park are a few of his varied clientele and he had just finished mastering the LA LA Land soundtrack. We knew that attracting a big name would gain us attention and Pete does great deals for up and coming bands. It seemed like a great idea and he did an amazing job. Around this time we became close friends with Red Spektor and their manager Simon. They were saying good things about us in interviews and we were starting to get noticed. I sent a private link of the album to a number of labels and pretty much instantly Kai at Kozmik Artifactz messaged back saying ‘We don’t usually release this style but we think you would fit our sister label Oak Island perfectly so we did the deal and we are honoured to be part of the Kozmik Artifactz Oak Island family. The label is having great success with bands like Church of the Cozmic Skull and of course our brothers Red Spektor.

Can you give us the inspiration for the album title and some of the themes within its body?

We felt that the title had to reflect the song content. Our drummer Lamb came up with it. The songs are pretty intense in parts and cover lots of topics such as Demonic Possession, Marriage Breakdowns, War veterans, soul stealing creatures. When you take this into consideration and then see the album cover is a lone figure stood in the middle of the beach with his dog it’s kind of like that is the care plan for his soul. He is escaping the turmoil.

Is there a particular songwriting process within the band?

Pretty much straight forward…Ben or me write a riff or two. Lamb plays a beat. We arrange the song, record it on a phone then Jake writes the lyrics.

Apart from obvious pride and satisfaction in Care Plan For The Soul is there a particular moment within it which gives you a specific personal flush of inner pleasure?

The whole thing is a major flush of inner pleasure. We set out with a goal and we achieved it on budget and we didn’t move away from our art and vision one bit. This is amazing to us. To have a vinyl copy of the album in my hands and look at the finished product gives me goosebumps. The fact that the digital streaming numbers are good too also feels good. We want to get out to as many people as possible. From the actual recording there are a few moments I like. I think some of the vocal delivery is the best Jake has ever been.  The rush created when he shouts I am the Lotus! That’s a fan favourite moment.

Give us an insight into the live side of the band?

We are told we are extremely good live. Jake is a bare chested beast of a frontman, live truly something that has to be seen and heard. We are very tight and play as close to the album as we can get. I like the idea that we are four individual characters and that as a member of the audience you can get what you are looking for from us. We put a lot into it. I’m swinging my arm in the air and running around; Jake is in the crowd or rolling around on the floor. Ben is grooving away and lam is bashing the living daylights out of the kit.  We are an old fashioned rock band. We put on a show.

Obviously the album is in its early days inviting attention but what is next on the horizon of The Sourheads?

We are hoping to tour throughout 2018 and play some festivals. Do a couple of music videos and keep writing. We have 3 songs written for the next album already. We have also experimented with slightly different sounds. Some old school style Stones vibe.

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?

The most important thing to do is gig swap with other bands throughout the country. There are so many bands who are hometown heroes. That’s all very good if it is a hobby but not so if you want to leave a lasting impression and have your legacy respected. What we have found is the more we play the small festivals, the more the promoters share the information. There is a really healthy underground rock scene in the UK at the moment and everybody seems to be looking out for everybody else.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date; is a battle which has to be waged or a constant weapon for success?

Social media is great if the people already know about you. In the last few years the pay to get hits and advertise your band has really hurt the artist. The idea that you pay £50 to get 300 likes in Indonesia isn’t helping anybody. We have had musical instrument companies say you need so many likes on Facebook for us to consider you. This along with people not actually going on bands websites anymore means companies like Facebook and Instagram pretty much have the Monopoly on online presence. Bandcamp seems to work and I would encourage other bands to check it out if they haven’t already. Webzines like yours also help a great deal. I would say use social media but don’t let it be the basis of promoting your band.

Again many thanks for sharing your time; any last words you would like to add?

Thank you for showing interest in the band. We truly appreciate every website, magazine radio station that helps us spread our message and music. We are fans of music and do this because we love playing and creating our art. People like you keep the musical torch burning bright. There is a buzz and new found enthusiasm for rock music and we want to embrace this whole heartedly.

Check out The Sourheads further @ https://www.thesourheads.com/    https://www.facebook.com/thesourheads    https://thesourheads2.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 13/12/2017

The RingMaster Review

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The Jade Assembly – Got My Star

It has been pretty easy to breed a keen and energetic appetite for the sound of UK band The Jade Assembly over the past couple years due to their imagination grabbing singles; a temptation which has gone hand in hand with a rising reputation and acclaim. In a crowded market place for alternative and indie rock bands, it is hard to standout and consistently but a success the Manchester outfit has easily grabbed and accelerated. New single Got My Star can only push things on again, the track a tenacious and rousing slice of rock ‘n’ roll from a band simply commanding attention.

Embracing inspirations from the likes of The Stones, The Who, and Oasis, the Bolton hailing quartet has earned a strong reputation for writing tracks which roar with heart as they infest body and spirit; traits shaping previous plaudit grabbing singles such as One Last Time and Nothing Changes. Got My Star is more of the same goodness but undoubtedly a new flavour in the band’s maturing sound and creative imagination too.

Got My Star instantly has feet tapping as the rhythmic pulse of drummer Andy Watson colludes with the pulsating bass stroll cast by Danny Hayes. It is rich bait across which the spicy tendrils of Gareth Smedley’s guitar lay and which only grows as the striking tones of singer John Foster stroll in. There is a snarl in his delivery, a tenacious energy and power which further ignites an already highly persuasive encounter. With fiery textures from the guitar, imposingly infectious rhythms, and the vocal magnetism of Foster, the song simply sparks in the ears making a strong claim for the best song from The Jade Assembly yet with its imagination and web of addictive hooks.

Released on vinyl as well as digitally, the single offers up a B-side too in the shape of Save One For Me. It is a slice of semi-acoustic, emotionally fuelled balladry with its own lively canter and creative drama. Its organic air and touch simply captivates, the song feeling live as if the band were there by your side as it shines another light on the band’s instinctive ability to write and create heart bred songs very easy to connect with.

In a time when the UK music scene is blessed with some remarkable and seriously exciting propositions, The Jade Assembly once again reinforce their position as one of them with a single which has the body dancing and spirit bouncing like a puppeteer.

Got My Star is released on November 6th.

https://www.thejadeassembly.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/thejadeassembly    https://twitter.com/thejadeassembly

Pete RingMaster 27/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Plastic Barricades – Mechanics of Life

Plastic Barricades is an alternative indie rock band from the UK which has just released their new album Mechanics of Life. It is a collection of melody spun songs which entice with craft and warmth whilst strolling through a landscape of emotions embracing the beauty of romance, hope, melancholy and more.  Musically its venture is just as welcoming of varied flavours as country, rock, and indie bred essences unite in ear pleasing enterprise.

London based, Plastic Barricades consists of vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Dan Kert, bassist Daniele Borgato, and drummer Frazer Webster. Its beginnings though came in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia in 2007. Their well-received Tree of Ideas EP of 2012 was followed by Kert and original bassist, Jan Laan, relocating to the UK. A few additional members came and went before Laan left to be replaced by Italian Borgato in 2013. It was also a year which sadly saw the band’s Rome bred drummer Matteo Ippolito passed away bringing things to a standstill. In time a replacement was sought and found in Webster and the band pushed again to build on their already rising success. Numerous award nominations and successes have come with the increasing reputation of the outfit and a sound embracing the inspirations of artists such as Radiohead, Oasis, Coldplay, Muse, Keane, Razorlight, and Nirvana. Mechanics of Life is their next step in luring attention and a tempting easy to see those with an appetite for gentle yet emotionally stirring massages of melody will find very palatable.

How Goldfish Grow gets things rolling, its eager stroll and boisterous jangle instantly catchy and tempting. The song continues to tease before relaxing to cradle Kert’s vocals, though soon its lively heart jumps to its feet again with each following cycle becoming increasingly infectious. Melodies shimmer across the darker tones of the bass whilst Kert’s sonic flames add to the track’s controlled but open drama. It is a great start well backed by the slightly sturdier body of Singularity 2045 though it too is woven from warm melodies and electrified tendrils across spirited rhythms. As with its predecessor feet are a willing involvement just as ears are to the imaginative air of the song which at times has a XTC like essence.

The summery caress of Our Favourite Delusions is next, its warm simmer welcoming blues lined flames throughout; heat which matches the lyrical punches before Be the Change entices with its own radiant charm and social nurtured melancholy. It is a song which comes alive when energy and intensity erupts in voice and sound but certainly more than satisfies from its first reflective touch with the enterprise of Kert’s guitar a potent spice in it all.

As the individual melodic weaves of Around the Sun and Needles in Haystacks intrigue and award ears with their proposals, Mechanics of Life keeps unwavering attention in its hands, the pair if without quite matching the persuasive levels of those before only pleasing that focus. It is a success Shine! builds upon with its sultry climate and melodic glaze over a understated but firmly catchy gait and personality while Half of Your Soul straight after features the bewitching sigh of female vocals alongside Kert which only adds to its fascination; a lure with also just a hint of country warmth in its infectiousness.

The album finishes off with firstly the highly enjoyable and bubbly rock ‘n’ roll of Medicine Man, a boisterous canter of sound and creative drama which is followed by the similarly engaging and tempting Voices. Together both tracks establish the pinnacle of the release, the second taking favourite song honours before leaving Masterminds to close things up with its catchy folkish sortie through ears wrapped in blues kissed guitar and melody smiling keys.

There are times when there is a wish Plastic Barricades were a touch bolder in their imaginative adventures and put more of a bite into their arousing eruptions but there is no denying that Mechanics of Life more than delivers on enjoyment and enterprise.

Mechanics of Life is out now on iTunes and Spotify.

http://www.plasticbarricades.eu/    https://www.facebook.com/plasticbarricades/

Pete RingMaster 26/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Escapade – Red Sky

With the attention and praise grabbing success of their debut EP, Stepping Stones, still fresh as that of its title track as lead single, British rock band Escapade have given their strong emergence a new potent boost with their new track. Second single Red Sky is a rousing slice of melodic rock bred on the mix of Brit pop and psychedelic rock which lit up its predecessors. More than that though, it is the Leicester outfit hitting a new plateau in sound and creative energy while dishing up their most potent and rousing song yet.

Emerging from the creative linking up of singer/songwriter Sam Wyatt and guitarist/songwriter Adam Bailey, Escapade stepped forward in the autumn of 2015 with the band growing from an acoustic pairing of the two with the addition of bassist Jordan Alleston and drummer Martin Wenham the following year. Their first EP and its single stirred up a wave of praise and support the way the band, including that of Kasabian’s Tom Meighan, and is sure to be matched and easy to suspect eclipsed by the reaction to Red Sky.

The single makes a low key start, sweeping in from distance with a great flirtatious bassline and angular swipes of guitars as percussion and beats dance. Wyatt’s vocals are just as enticing, his delivery lively as the sounds around him and like them carrying an instinctive catchiness which flows from song to imagination with energy and adventure. Though inspirations to the band spring from the sixties to bands such as Oasis, The Stone Roses, Nirvana, Green Day, and Black Sabbath, Red Sky soon has thoughts casting back to eighties bands like The Mighty Lemon Drops and The House Of Love during its adventurous canter; every passing second of the song seeming to draw a new twist and flavour of sound; psych and indie rock conspiring with mod and Brit pop in a web of stirring and melodically inflamed enterprise.

Listening to Red Sky, there is a realisation that as enjoyable and striking as they were, previous tracks were missing a certain spark, one Escapade has found and ignited within their new and seriously impressive single.

Red Sky is out June 2nd

Upcoming Escapade live shows:

June 10th – The Shed, Leicester

July 28th – The Music Cafe, Leicester

http://escapadeband.co.uk    https://www.facebook.com/escapadeuk/

Pete RingMaster 02/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Norquay – Animal

norquay-artwork-squared_RingMasterReview

You may have missed it in the Xmas turmoil and festivities but Animal is one single ears and attention should still seek out as the New Year relaxes into place. The latest track from Norquay (pronounced Nork Way); the song is a boisterous and rousing slice of rock ‘n’ roll marking the next step in is creator’s budding music career.

Norquay is the solo project of Aberdeenshire hailing songwriter/musician Andrew Norquay, an artist who returns from a three year hiatus from music due to his commitments as a commercial diver with a bang in the shape of his new single and the equally striking Vices EP from which it comes. Drawing on inspirations from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Muse, Radiohead, and Oasis, Norquay creates a sound which wears familiar essences on its sleeve yet weaves them into slices of fresh anthemically honed imagination. The five-track Vices EP confirms that suggestion; Animal reinforcing the claim with its snarling riff driven, melody spiced virulence.

Casting a character somewhere between Queens Of The Stone Age and Johnny Wears Black, Animal roars from its first break of guitar casting a hook which just grips the imagination. Rhythms and keys are soon additionally engaged in the raw and tenacious enterprise crowding around the potent tones of Norquay, all uniting in a thickly infectious and magnetic persuasion.

With a stoner-esque scent to its alternative rock endeavour, the song swiftly and imposingly involves the listener physically and emotionally; a quality the best rock ‘n’ roll always carries.

Animal and the Vices EP are out now through iTunes and Amazon.

https://www.facebook.com/Norquayuk   https://twitter.com/norquaymusic

Pete RingMaster 04/01/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Righteous Reprobates – Scarlet Sky

Righteous Reprobates_RingMasterReview

Scarlet Sky is the new single from UK indie rockers Righteous Reprobates, a song which infectiously shimmers and lingeringly jangles from its first touch.

Based in London and Kent, Righteous Reprobates draw on inspirations from the likes of Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, Nirvana, The Beatles, and Led Zeppelin. Openly a nineties Brit Pop flavour escapes their sound, the quartet using it, on the evidence of Scarlet Sky, to spice up an instinctive ability to create an infectious proposal. Certainly the song wears its influences openly; a familiar character to its sound hard to escape but similarly the new single shows all the attributes and invention which has seen the band draw strong attention and radio play since emerging.

From the first breath Scarlet Sky grips ears in its glowing lure of sound, its steely texture and smouldering melodies encasing warm vocals and harmonies as rhythms frame it all with a web of catchiness. The vocals of guitarists Rob White and Jack Griffiths emerge to unite perfectly across the inviting landscape of the track, their fingers equally casting a weave of angular and melodically spicy enterprise with just a touch of the 80’s more mod inspired bands such as Purple Hearts and The Chords to it.

With bassist Jack Collier offering a pulsating stroll through his strings as drummer Charlie Kenny drives proceedings with captivating beats, it all adds up to a highly enjoyable and tasty insight into the anthemic sound and growing imagination of Righteous Reprobates.

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

Pete RingMaster 25/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Escapade – Stepping Stones

Escapade_RingMasterReview

Wearing its Brit pop inspirations on its sleeve while providing a fresh breath to embrace, Stepping Stones is the new single from British quartet Escapade. The title track from their recently released EP, the single also shows the flavoursome essence of psychedelic rock which the Leicester quartet weave into their infectious sound. It makes for an invitation to newcomers easy to get hooked by and confirmation for fans that the band is worthy of the fuss brewing up around them.

Emerging from the creative union of singer/songwriter Sam Wyatt and guitarist/songwriter Adam Bailey, two musicians meeting on Facebook after the latter replied to a message placed by the former and subsequently becoming an acoustic duo playing around Leicester, Escapade stepped forward in the October of 2015. With a line-up completed by bassist Jordan Alleston and drummer Martin Wenham, Escapade soon lit up the local live scene, making their debut at two charity music festivals followed by a slot at the Salford Music Festival. This year has seen the band take their Oasis, The Stone Roses, Nirvana, Green Day, Black Sabbath and Kasabian influenced sound to Liverpool’s Cavern Club among many eagerly welcoming venues and spark rich interest with Stepping Stones, EP and now single.

Escapade artwork_RingMasterReviewFrom an initial guitar lure wrapping its melodic tendrils around ears, the song swings into vibrant action as crisp beats and a sultry guitar jangle align to the darker hues of bass and the catchy tones of Wyatt. The prime hook cast by Bailey throughout the track steals the appetite with ease, its bait spiced by the rousing exploits around it as song takes ears and hips in hand.

There are no major surprises within Stepping Stones yet it is one of the freshest slices of Brit Pop heard in a long time and easy to breed a want for more, which the EP it comes from certainly supplies. Escapade is a band already noticeably going up through the creative gears with the potential of major things within their horizons

Stepping Stones, the single, is released August 5th via Fin Records with the Stepping Stones EP out now.

Upcoming Live Dates:

19/08/2016 – O2 Academy 3, Birmingham

20/08/2016 – 229 Club, London

02/09/2016 – Sumo Bra, Leicester

17/09/2016 – Finfest, Abbots Bromley

20/10/2016 – Nottingham University, Sutton Bonnington

http://www.escapadeband.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/escapadeuk

Pete RingMaster 04/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright