The Longsands: Little Britain

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    Little Britain is the third single from The Longsands’ excellent debut album Meet Me In Spanish City and once more it offers the mightiest persuasion as to why the band is so highly rated and passionately followed by their fans. The Northumberland quintet has earned an impressive reputation for their passionate and fiery live performances and a wealth of acclaim for their singles and album. The new release will be no exception, the song a potent and attentive inciting companion for thoughts and emotions.

Emerging from as guitarist Ian Barnes said in our interview with him, “…mucking about with a few tunes in 2006 and it was more of a hobby…”, the band went from winning a national unsigned competition to selling out local venues the following year and touring Greece with a commission from Sony music and Jack Daniels.  With the line-up of Barnes, vocalist Trevor Cox, lead guitarist David Stanyer, bassist Gary Ormston, and drummer Paul Stephenson in place from this point, The Longsands has continued to ignite audiences across the UK, gaining notable fans in the shape of Steve White of The Style Council and Bruce Foxton of The Jam, who the band supported on a tour, and gained support and exposure through the likes of Bob Harris, Dave Stewart, and Simon Fowler of Ocean Colour Scene, who The Longsands have just completed a February tour with.

     Little Britain is a smouldering fire which grows and impresses the more you allow its anthemic and rich defiant fire to burn upon the ear. Emerging from a guitar stroke of the ear which is laced with elements of The Jam even in its brief unaccompanied moment, the song is soon a brewing passion of licking guitar flames and the continually impressive expressive vocals of Cox, Soon a velvety growl of bass from Ormston brings its shadows to bear accompanied by the firm rhythmic frame engineered by the forceful beats of Stephenson. Fully into its stride the track evolves into a heart driven melodic tempest of confrontation and impassioned intensity of emotive elegance and political honesty.

The song is a call to arms for thoughts and emotions in league with an irresistible temptation for the passions to feed lustily on its glorious melodic feast and enrapturing crescendos of power and craft. Whilst reviewing their album we as suggested earlier found the song a slow burner but it soon stood and still stands as a track which ignites the richest emotions inside with each welcome meeting.

Completed by the engaging An Affair In Manchester and an instrumental version of the single, Little Britain inspires a real passion for itself and the band which their album accelerates further. With an accompanying video for the single which features Howard Marks, the release should finally see The Longsands find the deserved break into the widest recognition, they certainly burn brightly on our and a great many others radar already.

www.thelongsands.co.uk

8/10

RingMaster 23/02/2013

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BlakCan: Dark Daze

Shadowed and uplifting, the new single from UK dark electronic indie pop band BlakCan is a vibrant and enjoyable introduction to the Wolverhampton quartet. Dark Daze is a song which grabs the attention and takes it on a ride of infectious melodies, incisive lyrics, and impassioned emotions from arguably all shades of life and the heart.

Consisting of vocalist/percussionist Ash Bradley, Jon Nash on keys and synths, and Ryan Deakin on guitar and synth, alongside drummer Mudie and bassist Adam hall, BlakCan has created their impossible to ignore sounds for the past eighteen months and drawn strong responses and acclaim for their live performances, which included supporting The Twang at the opening of the new 02 Academy in Birmingham. The band has already firmly began to turn a growing wave of heads their way and the new single, taken from their forthcoming album Flat Pack Nation, will be and is the next big step in their rise.

Produced by Gavin Monaghan (Editors, Twang, Ocean Colour Scene) and released through Big Industry Records, Dark Daze instantly sweeps the senses up in an energetic yet controlled breath. The slowly brewing keys wrapping gently around the ear as the vocals start their emotional questioning, ignite warmth which the track never loses but does test with the chilled ambience and shadowed whispers which make their presence known throughout. It is though a magnetic song overall with hooked melodies which playfully light the heart and guitars which chip away with slight mischief and heated enterprise.

An intriguing mesh of sounds which would have settled nicely in the works of Blancmange, Fad Gadget, early Depeche Mode and Joy Division with more current traits of a Calling All Astronauts or Strangers to flavour things, Dark Daze is a pleasing and infectious treat which not only keeps its too brief a time fully engaging but makes the anticipation for the album strong and keen.

http://www.blakcan.com

Ringmaster 18/09/2012

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Sound Of Guns: Antarctica/Killing Moon

Following up their acclaimed and impressive album Angels & Enemies released this past March UK alternative rockers Sound Of Guns release new single taken from it, the powerfully lunged and anthemic Antarctica. With an air of grandeur and an immense sound to justify it, the single is pure heart food, an impassioned feast of emotive power and energy.

Produced by Dave Eringa (Manic Street Preachers, Ocean Colour Scene) at The Distillery in Bath, the single heats up the atmosphere from June 18th through Distiller Records and is already feeling eager attention with the track having been used as the leading song on Sky Sport’s 2012 Champions League coverage. It is no surprise that it was chosen, the enveloping and epic sound of the song as well as the anthem fuelled heart within its frame the perfect soundtrack for any passionate and consuming endeavour.

Within seconds of the opening chimes and majestic symphonic sounds the song lifts the heart to heights most songs have never imagined whilst offering an infectious melodic caress, inciteful rhythms, and the expected excellent vocals from Andy Metcalfe. The track feels like an old friend, its sturdy arms and powerful energy the lift and invitation to push oneself whether physically or emotionally. Like the best songs of this character it leaves one breathless but fully enthused, its impressive songwriting and outstanding realisation an incendiary for and to ignite emotions.

Antarctica is accompanied by a cover version of the Distiller Records classic Killing Moon, and to be honest there was a groan when it came to attention here. Some songs should not be touched their original greatness impossible to emulate and can only be scarred, Killing Moon is such a song.

Well Sound of Guns never read the script and went and produced a version which is truly magnificent. No, it does not match the original nothing could but it comes pretty close and as all covers should be treated they have interpreted the song with their own unique version and not merely copied as most covers seem to do. The track like an early morning mist envelopes the ear with a graceful and emotive atmosphere vocally and musically, Metcalfe finding a similar touching emotion to that of Ian McCulloch. Throughout its first half the song teases with a suggestion it will ignite into something larger but it continues to tenderly weave around the ear as the band light little fires of melodic sparks around the vocals. It is haunting and dare one say finds a more intrusive breath than the original. When the song does expand its musical arms the band simply intensifies the already irresistible enchantment. It really is an excellent version and puts the doubters, yes holding hands up, in their place.

As the band make the UK their playground with a tour with The View throughout the month and into July and festival appearances ahead, Sound Of Guns are at the point where they will surely soon be the name on all indie rock fans lips, Antarctica another mighty step on route.

http://www.soundofguns.com

RingMaster 15/06/2012

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The Modern: Dream Nights E.P

Recently the audience to The Reputation Introduces Radio Show heard for the first time and with an eager reception a song from UK band The Modern called SamePeople. The track was an older song so as soon as the band completed their brand new EP Dream Nights we dived right in to its depths to check out the fresh slices of sound from the bands creative minds.

The quartet from Worcester formed in 2009 and soon found them with a loyal fan following from their exciting live shows. The following year saw the band release their debut album Where Did All The Good Times Go? to good acclaim. Recorded  by Gavin Monaghan (Ocean Colour Scene/The Twang/Editors) at his Black Country-based Magic Garden Studios, the release showed off the band sound and energy to good effect. Their music carries a Madchester sound base, the songs emerging with a definite Stone Roses feel and elements of Happy Mondays, the band being a big fan of Shaun Ryder, and Inspiral Carpets.

Dream Nights starts with the title track, a song almost in two parts. It gently lifts off with a smooth soulful touch, the guitars twisting around the ear from Connor McMinn as vocalist Luke Morris delivers the lyrical content in a way that gently works its way into the thoughts though it comes with a hollow slight echo type production that takes a little time to get used to. Notable is the vibrant bass play from Will Lawrence who leads the track on with firm support from drummer Sam Ryan. The track exudes bursts of eager excitement at certain points but stays restrained until mid way when it thrusts forward with a delicious intense electrified guitar crescendo which dominates to great effect.

Previous download single Featherstone comes next, an initial gentle track which increases into a strong canter as it progresses. It has an 80s feel again but reminds more of bands like an electrified Farmers Boys or The Bluebells. The song swings gently across the senses  and still with this slightly hollow production comes over as an impressive pop song. With two tracks down the production does become a notable thing about the EP, and  though it may just be down to preference this echo like handling especially on the vocals is slightly distracting and becomes even more so as the EP proceeds, a shame as the songs despite this show good quality.

The EP’s best track is I Need You, a gem and crying out to be a single. The guitars play enthusiastically with a jangly scuzzy sound as Morris once more swarms over the track with good mellow but incisive vocals. The band do not try at all to hide their influences using these to great effect though maybe it is fair to say the band have yet to find a distinctive sound that makes people think of them before those artists the songs remind of.

Dream Nights is a fine release completed by more strong songs like Quick On The Draw with its easily digestible grace, the stoked energy of Start The Day, and the bluesy Stuck on Friday. Musically teach member of the band is accomplished bringing elements that grab attention whilst lyrically the band without becoming over complicated, avoid the obvious. It has to be said that the production does firmly hinders the overall effect of the EP especially regarding the vocals where they often feel unattached to the music, which is a shame as all elements are there to show The Modern is a fine band with good ideas destined to become even better. The EP without question though is definitely worth checking out for its satisfying sounds and a fusion of nostalgia and modern attitude.

https://www.facebook.com/themodernuk

RingMaster 11/01/2011

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