The Sherlocks – Heart of Gold

The Sherlocks _RingMaster Review

Still looking barely old enough to take driving lessons, UK rockers The Sherlocks follow up their previous acclaimed single of earlier this year, Escapade, with another sure-fire attention grabber in the virulent shape of Heart of Gold. The band’s new single is a romp which continues spinning around ears and thoughts long after departure, a contagion reinforcing the growing notion that the Sheffield band is one of Britain’s most exciting emerging indie bands.

Consisting of two sets of brothers; Josh (guitar) and Andy Davidson (bass) uniting with Kiaran (vocals/guitar) and Brandon Crook (drums) late 2010, The Sherlocks have played shows at over 500 national venues these past three or so years, supporting the likes of Simple Minds, Scouting For Girls, Reverend & The Makers, The Buzzcocks, Starsailor, and The Enemy along the way, and earned great plaudits at festivals such as this year’s Isle of Wight event. Recent singles it is fair to say has pushed attention on the band to new levels, a success sure to be emulated again by Heart of Gold.

It opens on a smoky twang of sound and crisp beats, their brief jab the spark to a canter of jangly guitar and sultry guitar enterprise driven by the inescapably infectious lure and swing of bass and drums beats. Vocally Kiaran, backed strongly by the band, leads the dynamic croon adding further catchiness to proceedings in a seriously ear pleasing chorus and the great lead into it.

Band inspirations range from Arctic Monkeys and The Beatles to artists such as Libertines, Oasis, and The Jam, and fair to say there is a good scent of a couple of those in a familiar air across the mightily engaging Heart of Gold, but once again it is a spicing adding to a recipe ultimately distinct to and rousing from The Sherlocks.

To be honest there is the feeling the band has still to find its totally unique sound and voice, but with songs like this the wait can only be pleasurable.

Heart of Gold is out now @

Pete RingMaster 11/11/2015

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Niall James Holohan – New Wave (Is This Rock N Roll)

Niall James Holohan - Artist_RingMaster Review Photo (1)

Just who is Niall James Holohan, I hear you ask. Well there is little to share about the Irish born, London based solo artist and producer it seems except to say that his debut single, New Wave (Is This Rock N Roll), is a real devilment of electronic fuelled rock ‘n’ roll to get down and feisty with. Already described as being ‘reminiscent of Odelay era-Beck and Morning Glory era-Oasis with allusions to 90s hip hop and EDM’, a suggestion we can certainly half agree with, the first part, the Dubliner’s introduction is a virulent stomp of boisterously varied flavours and seriously inciting energy, and hell of a lot of fun.

Pulsating keys with a throaty tone and magnetic shimmer instantly cup ears before New Wave (Is This Rock ‘N’ Roll) erupts in a lively and eager shuffle punctured by deftly landed beats and guitar bred sonic fire. Every passing second though, brings an unpredictable jab of sound and twist of imagination, the track’s core a perpetually determined incitement in tone and shape but attracting splatters of enterprise like a magnet. Holohan’s vocals similarly have a variety to their delivery which matches the infection of hooks, subsequent spicy grooves, and the evolving web of keys.

As great as New Wave (Is This Rock N Roll) is, it is only one song so not really enough to get too carried away over in regard to the Niall James Holohan sound and invention, but just roll on its successor is the nurtured reaction and anticipation.

New Wave (Is This Rock N Roll) is out now via Black Meringue @

Pete RingMaster 23/10/2015

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The Jackals – People

band_RingMaster Review

Warm hearted and tenaciously welcoming, the sound of Scottish band The Jackals just leaves you with a smile on the face and across the emotions. Its potency is richly apparent in the band’s new album People, eleven tracks of melodic and soulful sunshine which may not ignite a riot in the passions but lingers with captivating tempting for the same kind of success. At times it serenades with smouldering radiance and in other moments has feet and hips in festive mood; in the words of the band, it is cosmic rock ‘n’ roll.

Edinburgh bred, The Jackals quickly earned a reputation for blistering live performances and songs combining “cryptic lyrics with expansive guitars, underpinned with the solid grooves of the bass and drums.” Their double A-sided single Holding All The Roses/L.E.A.R.N of last year was the spark which really began luring greater and broader attention the way of the band. Recorded with legendary producer Owen Morris (Oasis, The Verve), who returns for the new album too, the release was a highly appetising forerunner to People, which in turn provides a full meal of pleasure.

cover_RingMaster Review     From opening track Eyes Awaken, the album is awash with a fusion of psych and surf rock soaked in sixties pop essences. That is of course simplifying their sound as at times it is as much folk toned as it is indie rock as it is all the flavours mentioned combined. It is an engaging mix which can catch fire in a boisterous revelry or just caress the senses with warm temptation and as the first song shows is highly persuasive. Eyes Awaken gently strokes ears initially, crystalline melodies from keys aligning with a similarly glowing kiss of guitar as they await the mellow vocal tones of Scott Watson. His and Gary Quilietti’s guitars continue to entice as darker rhythms begin flirting with thoughts and strings cast slithers of melancholy. Eventually a livelier energy escapes as the catchy chorus looms from where, like waves lapping on ears, all the ingredients of sound and invention entwine to fascinate and seduce. As a few songs on the album, it was not a swift persuasion but grows with every listen into a rich tonic of feel good enterprise within a sweltering psych rock ambience.

The following Raspberry Moon similarly makes its entrance with a slow kiss on ears, those emotive strings returning to compelling effect as skittish beats from Paddy McMaster begin to find their and the listener’s feet. In no time the song is cantering along with a country twang and folkish air reminiscent of Irish band Raglans. We cannot say the inspirations sparking The Jackals’ musical endeavours but it is easy to suspect from the second track alone that possibly The Beatles are amongst them and maybe Scottish bands like Orange Juice and Aztec Camera too.

United band vocals open up Call Out Mellobird next as ears are entangled in melodic enticement from the guitars and flirted with by the darker tones cast by bassist David Panton. It is a magnetic affair equipped with a soulful smile and web of alluring melodies that along with boisterous beats set up ears for the outstanding Ghost Soul Traffic. Straight away the tangy sixties groove escaping the guitar has lips licked, its surf rock breeding and early sixties tone reminding of bands like The Ventures is bewitching and just as alluringly backed by a matching nostalgic climate of harmonies and acoustic riffs. Hips and feet are quickly under the song’s spell whilst an early contented appetite gets hungrier for more which it gets in the equally seducing Can’t Leave the City and its gentle sway within another instinctively melancholic but refreshing atmosphere. Once more a vintage melodic wine runs through the host o spicy grooves and hooks slipping easily from the guitar and again ears and imagination are engrossed.

Just To Pass The Pleasant Time strolls along with a mix of folk and sixties psych pop after whilst Dancin’ Round The Nails explores a thick emotionally textured landscape, its croon reflective and a touch sombre but with a liveliness which gives it an edge and potency. Both songs satisfy without matching those before them, each joining the list of tracks which just grow and become more tempting over time, something definitely not applying to Two Heads. The track instantly has ears alive with its opening bait of hooks and harmonic vocals, they leading to an alluring jangle and rhythmic shuffle which just lights the passions. Bass and guitars continue to weave their infectious and almost teasing enterprise as beats and voice dance with feet and imagination respectively as the emotions are taken on a feistily feel-good ride from start to finish by almost four minutes of joy.

The more humid air and emotive croon of Where the Face of Angels Lay takes over from the best track on the album next, its smooth balladry emulated but then taken into more intimate and cosmopolitan scenery by Gold Gift from Paris straight after, it’s Hammond seeded kisses additionally pleasing hues in its exotically toned flight of sound. Both songs join those taking time to reveal their full character and persuasion but only impressing with every listen and always setting up the rousing merger of country rock, folk, and indie pop that is Waiting On The Man With the Sun perfectly. The track brings those rich essences into a spicy and addictively boisterous dance with the masterful rhythms of McMaster stealing the show in a glorious anthemic tirade of incitement midway.

Closing song Dust is drenched in psychedelic mystique and low key but open funk grooving for a pulsating smog like rhapsody of sonic and melodic imagination laying on the senses as its title might suggests. It is a fine end to a thoroughly enjoyable release, an encounter which seems to get more absorbing and headier with every passing listen. It is easy to see why there is a fuss brewing around The Jackals, a band which will be surely only creating bigger and bolder things ahead.

People is available from September 14th digitally and on vinyl with an additional cassette release through Burger Records.

Pete RingMaster 14/09/2015

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The Bluebook Project – Take Me Away EP

The Bluebook project_RingMaster Review

Having been forcibly grabbed by their single Hurricane Blues a short while back we just had to beg a copy of the EP from whence it came just to explore UK rockers The Bluebook Project that little bit more. Thanks to the band itself and Emma of Pluggin’ Baby, we are now in the position to say that if the Bedfordshire hailing quartet had you leaping and smiling with their single you will be wearing the broadest grin after the incitement of Take Me Away.

The four track release is a punk infused slab of attitude driven rock ‘n’ roll which manages to bully and seduce the senses from start to finish. Weaving in inspirations from bands such as Iggy Pop, The Who, and The Ramones through to Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, and The White Stripes, into their own rousing imagination, The Bluebook Project create an anthemic confrontation that leaves feet exhausted and passions wanting just that little bit more. Formed in late 2013, the band spent a huge chunk of last year touring the UK as well as earning shows supporting bands such as Slaves and Coasts. The tail of 2014 also saw the release of debut EP Out of the Blue, a well-received and praised offering now beginning to be surpassed in acclaim and attention by Take Me Away, and as the first track alone rouses up body and emotions, it is easy to see why the growing buzz around The Bluebook Project.

cd_RingMaster Review   It is indeed the single Hurricane Blues which opens up Take Me Away, a song which in the words of vocalist/bassist Dan Thorn is “…about someone suffering from anxiety and how through their frustration and insecurity they are overcome by anger and lose control“. From the first hefty swings from drummer Benn Davis-Gregory, his arms throwing thick addiction casting beats, the song is badgering and enticing ears, commanding real attention as scuzzy scythes of guitar align to the distinctive tones of Thorn, both reinforcing the early irresistible bait. Continuing to throw up an aggressive haze of sonic enterprise via guitarists Jordan Smith and Dan Watson, spicy grooves a seductive toxicity within, and dirty rock tenacity through bass and drums, the track growls like a mix of The Senton Bombs and The Screaming Blue Messiahs fuelled by primal punk rock ferocity.

The song still hits the sweet spot after hordes of listens and sets the EP off in mighty fashion before Anxiety Drownin’ throws its irritable rumble of antagonism and fiery tenacity into an increasingly eager attention. There are ’mellower’ textures to the song compared to its predecessor, though it still snarls like a predator and shakes like a dog in heat as it creates a two minute explosion of garage and punk rock contagion. Hooks also are maybe not as sharp as in the first song but led by the magnetic tones of Thorn, and his angsty basslines, the track takes the listener on a riveting ride of infectious adventure.

Pockets of Dirty Change steps up next, swinging its rhythmic shaped, groove clothed hips with the knowledge it is one cool protagonist certain to have feet and imagination in salacious rapture. The guitars offer a swarm of flirtatious hooks and virulent grooves but equally the more direct element of riffery and rhythms carry an inescapable catchiness which is only matched by the delivery of Thorn and the organic dirtiness of the outstanding song.

The best track on the release is followed by its closer, the fiery Regrets Gone By. It is not a song to rival top slot on the EP but alone casts a seriously appetising theatre of inventive and inflamed rock persuasion that only has ears increasingly hungry for more. It is a potent close to a real blast of old school punk meets modern rock ‘n’ roll from a band you can only feel is heading to truly big things.

The Take Me Away EP is available now via iTunes

Pete RingMaster 02/09/2015

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The Sherlocks – Escapade

The Sherlocks

Bursting with bulging rhythms and just as rigorously captivating sonic invention, new single Escapade reveals exactly what Sheffield has been shouting about for quite a while; that The Sherlocks is one rather exciting band.

The UK rockers is bred from family and friendship, emerging in 2010 after brothers Josh and Andy Davidson, guitar and bass respectively, moved in next to the grandparents of vocalist/guitarist Kiaran Crook and his drummer brother Brandon. The quartet were soon bonding over football and music, uniting over favourite artists such as Arctic Monkeys, The Beatles, Libertines, Oasis, and The Jam. This led to jamming sessions where they discovered, explored, and honed their sound, and subsequently gave birth to The Sherlocks. Since then the quartet has played over 500 gigs, sharing stages with the likes of The Enemy, Simple Minds, Scouting For Girls, Reverend and The Makers, The Buzzcocks, Twisted Wheel, Tom Hingley, and Steve Cradock thesherlocksescapadeartworkalong the way, and in 2013 released debut EP First Bite Of The Apple.

The well-received EP, as their following top 100 single Live For The Moment, set down a marker in sound and adventure which Escapade now runs with in fine anthemic style. From the first spicy breath of guitar, the song has ears and emotions leaping to attention, especially once potently jabbing beats and a flush of riffs add to the initial coaxing. The lure of the song then just gets stronger and more virulent as a gripping hook emerges from the start and swiftly binds imagination and emotions in its wine of a temptation. The strong vocals also add appealing expression and energy to the song, never imposing but just helping increase the catchiness of the track.

A great throaty bassline flirts across the song too, but it is the overall contagion of the encounter and its inventive dance which most enthrals and has feet and voice seriously involved in the creative commotion. Ground-breaking the song is not but certainly it is invigorating revelry of the irresistible kind and a reason alone to keep The Sherlocks under a tight spotlight.

Escapade is available now @

The Sherlocks are touring the UK with remaining dates at…

20/02/15 Soundcontrol MANCHESTER

27/02/15 The Cookie LEICESTER

28/02/15 Talk Tea Rooms BIRMINGHAM

05/03/15 The Picture House HUDDERSFIELD

07/03/15 The Joiners SOUTHAMPTON

21/03/15 The Lemon Factory SWANSEA

10/04/15 Buskers DUNDEE

11/04/15 Stereo GLASGOW

18/04/15 Plug SHEFFIELD

25/04/15 Corner Flag SUNDERLAND

01/05/15 The Maze NOTTINGHAM

02/05/15 Club Academy MANCHESTER

16/05/15 Studio 2 LIVERPOOL

20/06/15 The Leadmill SHEFFIELD

RingMaster 17/02/2015

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The Delta Rhythm – Break The Surface EP


It seems blues rock is alive and blushingly well in Birmingham, and that is down to UK band The Delta Rhythm. The proof comes with their new three-track EP Break The Surface, a release which provides a satisfaction and captivation which is as lingering as it is refreshing. Combining the rich essences of Americana, blues, indie, and hard rock into a sound which is not dramatically unique but still able to stand distinctly tall within any emerging crowd of bands, The Delta Rhythm is a proposition drenched in potential and skilled craft which it is hard not to anticipate even greater things from.

Formed in the first weeks of 2012 and taking inspirations from the likes of Canned Heat, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Oasis, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, The Sword, and Clutch, the band was soon supporting bands like Pint Shot Riot at Birmingham’s 02 Academy 3 and subsequently lighting up festivals like the Lightwoods Park May Day Festival in Birmingham which saw the band perform before a 10,000 strong crowd. Now consisting of vocalist/pianist Sami Cornick, guitarist Gregg Freeman, bassist Ben Adams, and drummer Martyn Todd, The Delta Rhythm’s new EP follows the well-received Rebels Redemption and The Rain Will Take Us All EPs, pushing the band to a new level which you would suspect leads to nationwide attention.

The release opens with Ticking Bomb, the song in turn starting with a singular gentle scrub of guitar before being joined by crisp Break The Surface EP Coverrhythms and soon after the throaty bass of Adams and the fine vocals of Cornick, her voice an instant draw. The song strolls keenly once established, guitars and rhythms an easy accessible bait upon which blues/country rock melodies and enterprise colours ears and imagination. The production has Cornick to the fore which depletes some of the potency of the music around her but such her obvious power and vocal talent it is hard to raise any real complaints. Across its body, the song continues to sway and twist with appealing guitar designs and excellent vocal harmonies, never erupting to the heights expected but worming deeper into the psyche and emotions to be just as potently effective.

The following Singing The Blues opens with a strum of guitar chords which is vintage rock ‘n’ roll, a moment which could fit any song from Eddie Cochran to Johnny Cash or Free to Jack White and sets the track off in fine style. There is a swing and swagger to the song which recruits feet and passions right away, an enslavement only strengthened by the undemanding melodies and anthemic rhythms. Once again though it is the vocals of Cornick which seal the deal and you sense she still has plenty in reserve if required. Her keys also bring a flavoursome hue and expression to the excellent song before it makes way for the similarly impressive Better Things, another easy blaze of blues rock but with a stoner caress and hard rock vivacity. As its predecessors, the song is pure infectiousness, not a song to inspire a riot but an encounter with plenty of seduction to get its way.

It is a strong and appealing conclusion to a similarly impressing release. Certainly the production is good but it does prioritise Cornick and inspires a slight niggle about the subservience of the music. You at times just wish it would catch fire, find a spark to give it more of a snarl. It is almost as if the music is laying a base for the excellent vocals rather than embracing them on mutual terms but this is a band in progress and you can easily feel this will all come good eventually. Even if not, when a proposition is this enjoyable it is impossible to be dissatisfied in any real size or form. Watch out for The Delta Rhythm, they have the wares and skills to make a big name for themselves.

The Break The Surface EP is available now from


RingMaster 13/06/2014

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Gifted Kings – Lose What Makes You

gifted kings pic

    It is hard to say that Lose What Makes You, the debut album from Scottish rockers Gifted Kings, ignited a fire in the passions for their accomplished and soulful sound, but certainly the 2012 formed band sparked an appetite and satisfaction with their enjoyable release which many emerging bands can only dream of. Consisting of eleven impressively crafted and expressive songs, the release makes a potent and promising introduction to a band we are sure to hear and enjoy a lot more of in the future.

    Hailing from Glasgow and consisting of two sets of brothers, Derek (guitar/vocals) and Andy Murray (lead guitar) alongside Gary (drums) and Paul Smith (bass), Gifted Kings build on the undeniable potential and presence of first single Dead End Road, which has just received its video release also, in fine attention grabbing style with the album. It is not unfair to say that the band’s sound has a rich familiarity to its presence right now, not of any specific band but in general which defuses some of its ability to surprise and stoke those emotional flames, but there is little else to raise a quizzical and disapproving eyebrow over. Recorded with producer Nick Brine (Oasis, The Darkness, Bruce Springsteen) at the same studio which housed the making of Oasis’ What’s the Story Morning Glory and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, and mastered by Pete Maher (U2, Depeche Mode), the album proves its case with a stirring presence and potency which easily awakes positive reactions and attention to match that already brewing as far afield as Russia, Ukraine, Thailand, and India over the band. With their music already gracing several shows on Channel 4, S4C, ITV1, and Sky Sport as well as being adopted for advertising campaigns by Ripcurl and O’Neill Sports targeting the USA, Australia, and Asia, the quartet are on a rapid visible ascent which What Makes You Lose has all the qualities to accelerate.

     The album makes an instantly engaging and gripping start with Rains Will Come, its opening a sonic intrigue of guitar which expands with a rhythmic jabbing and fiery melodic glaze as company. It is not a startling entrance but one which secures full focus especially as the expressive vocals of Derek Murray joins the already pulsating lure of the song. Thoughts of Bristol band Mind Museum offer a suggestion whilst essences of Placebo also hint throughout the increasing emotive brewing of the track; all to a positive effect. The only strange thing about the song is that it never explodes, just simmers as if an intro to the album rather than a stand-alone proposition. Nevertheless it is a great start matched right away by The Last Time. A heavy throaty bass sound and imposing rhythms make the initial temptation as the guitar’s thoughts crowd around in a sonic breeze before making inviting weaves of melodic endeavour around the incoming vocals. Again there is something recognisable about the encounter, though it just makes it an easier ride to immerse within, which with its especially persuasive rhythmic enticement just infects.

     Both No One Knows and Drive keep the album bubbling in thoughts and emotions if missing the heights of the previous pair. The first is embraced by powerful emotive melodies and crescendo like rises in energy and passion as melodic veining arguably inspired by the previously mentioned Mancunians works away, whilst the second strolls with a reserved and enticing alternative rock weight and texture to draw in the imagination. Neither sets sparks to tease the passions into major action but definitely each provides a healthy offering for the appetite to chew over and enjoy, as equally does Dead End Road with its alluring and richly expressive narrative and sound. Though definitely not the best song on the album it is still easy to see why it has drawn such eager responses the band’s way since being released as the first single from the album.

     The following pair of Tell Me Something and Fortune In The City return the release to the commanding and contagious levels it started on, controlling rhythms and rich melodic fire rigorously and anthemically tempting the senses within the first whilst its successor explores another evocative climate with an inventively gripping groove and an infection clad chorus within an unpredictable exploratory landscape. Both tracks alone reveal the depth and potential of the band in sound and songwriting, reach easily lighting keen anticipation for future endeavours.

   From the pleasing and very decent creative exploits of Last Trace Of The Sun and the sonically colourful, not forgetting contagious Wait, the album’s best moment is brought with Neon, a song built on addictive nagging riffs and crisp rhythms which persist until full submission is given for their vivacious bait. Once more the band casts a virulent infection over the ears and imagination which is impossible not to find a lingering hunger for, it’s dramatic touches and blues kissed strikes quite irresistible. Alongside the closing and strong if underwhelming in comparison Written On The Wall, the pair bring Lose What Makes You to a thoroughly entertaining conclusion.

     Gifted Kings has laid the strongest base with their debut, the first of many potent and impressing encounters ahead you suspect.


RingMaster 23/02/2014

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