Kudzu – Defeated

With a sound as eclectic and unpredictable as it is ravenously catchy, US synth pop duo Kudzu have just released their new album, Defeated. It is an infestation of infectious hooks, flirtatious synths, and rousing escapades but to tag it merely as synth pop is an injustice to its diversity, the album a stirring web of post punk, electro punk, industrial and more across its seriously magnetic body.

Springfield based Kudzu consists of Seth Goodwin (vocals, synth, and drum programming) and Mark Gillenwaters (vocals and guitar). Inspirations to the project include the likes of Tears For Fears, The Cure, Spectrum, Guided by Voices, Sympathy Nervous, and This Heat but as suggested, their sound has a much broader tapestry which is as bred in the seventies/eighties synth landscape as the creative now. It makes for a proposition which is as familiar as it is boldly fresh and one massive treat of a listen.

It opens with the punk assault of Some Cops, a track bursting from its electronic shimmer with zeal and urgency soaked in creative dissonance. At the same time it is a virulently catchy incitement, its fuzzy fumes leaving the senses as woozy as the bone shuddering beats. Like Calling All Astronauts meets Artery at its core, the song equally embraces psych rock winds in its contagious turbulence to provide Defeated with one ear grabbing start.

Straight away the variety of the album is at play as the following and quite superb No Backbone breaks the dividing peace with electro pulses straight out of the early Mute Records catalogue. Instantly thoughts of bands like The Normal arise but are soon pushed to the background as guitar spun melodies and harmonic vocals tease and caress respectively.  The hook Gillenwaters casts with his strings is simply delicious, a psyche enslaving lure soon backed by the darker pulsation of keys and the snapping resonance of rhythms; kind of like a fusion of B-Movie, The Cure, and Modern English yet unique from start to finish.

The album’s title track brings a scuzzier breath to ears; its post punk irritability echoed in the John Lydon textured vocals but again there is a repetitious coaxing teasing and tempting at the centre of the fuzz ball which necessitates only submission to its infectious demands. As its predecessor, it brings another hue to Defeated as does next up Burn Yourself, though its electro punk surge is akin to the opener. With the increasingly magnetic vocals almost gliding over the tides of noise springing from synths and guitar, it was so easy to be swept up in the raw yet skilfully nurtured arms of the track as thoughts colluded with its lyrical insight. Defeated is described as “a reaction to mounting disappointments and frustrations with increasingly frustrating and disappointing realities” and with intimacy and a worldly observation its often dissonant words hit the spot whilst almost arguing with the rousing catchiness of their vehicles.

The mesmeric Balking the Grave is next, the song a riveting post/gothic punk shadow bound serenade which almost seeps under the skin with its slow drawl and bordering concussive clang while Sleep in Disguise is a boisterous slice of synth pop/new wave with the scent of bands like Mr.Kitty, OMD, and early Human League to its bright if slightly caustic breeze.  Both tracks border the irresistible yet still get slightly outshine by One Purpose with its flirtatious Blancmange like melodies and climate.

One definite peak in the lofty heights of Defeated is followed by the ear grabbing proposal of When You Were Mine. The song is almost like a weave of the best traits of its predecessors, a tenacious pop song with attitude and seduction in its raw charms which manages to grumble and serenade in the same breath before leaving to allow B.I.Y.E. to bring things to a transfixing close. With its cold scenery and instinctive bounce, the song merges the alluring traits of a Joy Division and Modern Eon in its industrially edged and melodically draped canter. It is a fine end to an album which we are finding hard to shake off as new propositions to look at build up. That is never a bad aspect to have and as Defeated is so enjoyable we are certainly not complaining.

Defeated is out now via Push & Pull Records; available @ https://kudzukudzukudzu.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/kudzuspringfield/    https://twitter.com/kudzuzudukudzu

Pete RingMaster 09/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

SΔCRED ΔPE – Self Titled

We are among many claiming Sligo based songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer John Bassett as one of the most inspiring and refreshingly imaginative composers/songwriters around today and the first album from his new project gives no reason to pull back on that acclaim. SΔCRED ΔPE is Bassett’s, the founder and driving force of KingBathmat and post/progressive metal solo project Arcade Messiah, exploration into electronic/synthwave bred adventures. It is a bold new avenue to pursue for artist and listener but a continuation of the kaleidoscopic sound and visually stimulating artistry within his eager imagination.

As poppy as it is progressive, as emotive as it is instinctively infectious, the SΔCRED ΔPE album needs little time to infest an eager intrigue for something new from its creator; as instantly exciting the senses and involving thoughts and more physical involvement. In many ways, it is his most accessible offering yet though attracting and gripping attention and pleasure has never seemed to be something needing a great deal of time across any of his releases to date. It has a freedom suggesting Bassett is embracing his own electronic loves seemingly with an eighties breeding; playing with inspiring sounds and textures with zeal but weaving them into pieces suggestively complex and intimate and, especially in the album’s pair of instrumental soundscapes, cinematically pregnant though all tracks have just as potent passages.

The album opens with its first instrumental, Horn and swiftly has ears and appetite entangled with its electronic coaxing equipped with virulent melodic hooks. Intrigue coats every note and their emerging collaboration, sonic shadows dancing with melodies and repetitious seduction like an aural cousin to the imagery at the start of the old British TV show Tales of the Unexpected. Spatial yet sinisterly terrestrial, bright but with an almost cold war like drama, the track is a virulent transfixing of ears and imagination and just irresistible.

Asleep At The Wheel (Part 1) follows, contrasting its predecessors light frenetic gait with a heavier almost prowling slow stroll. There is a weight to its air and emotion, a thoughtful pondering soon emulated in the vocals of Bassett. Again melodies escaping synths rise to a celestial atmosphere yet laden with those ever present shadows to temper the climate before Birds Fall From The Sky pulsates with sonic palpitations. From within the animated lightshow a glorious darkwave scented groan, for want of a better word, erupts and swaggers into the passions. With surrounding melodic revelry and an overall creative drama at play in sound and lyrical word, there is a touch of OMD to the song; a flavouring adding to a familiar Bassett design yet as ever one of singularly fresh enterprise.

As a tangy melody steers in next up I Want To Go Back To The Happy House, a Blancmange like lure teases ears continuing to attract as the song broadens its landscape and voice with more of a Kraftwerk meets Giorgio Moroder inspiration. The instrumental floats across and surrounds ears like a summer haze with electronic imagery indistinctly but evocatively flirting from within; easily sweeping the listener up in its flight if without quite igniting the same lustful reactions as those before it.

Through the reflective embrace and dark pulsations of Season Of The Damned and the compelling theatre of Walking On Ice, Bassett has enjoyment and manipulation of the imagination in the palms of his hands; both tracks individual slices of ethereal synth pop with an earthier heart and spine to their explorations with the first a warm hug of temptation. Its outstanding successor though, brings the darker suggestion of the first into a more tangible touch on ears and thoughts creating a John Carpenter like cinematic espionage of suggestion creeping upon and infesting the senses as melodic infection gathers. It is a catchiness which soon leads the way but never diminishes the darker threat alongside resulting in the kind of mouth-watering blend Frank Tovey (Fad Gadget) was so skilled at weaving.

The album concludes with the lullaby-esque Asleep At The Wheel (Part 2), an epilogue of melancholy fuelled, melody woven inference with a childlike clockwork skeleton. It is a sigh of emotion which bursts into greater weight and drama midway and again simply captivates from its first to last breath.

It is too easy to expect big things from John Bassett because of past experiences with his music and it is an instinct sure to continue with SΔCRED ΔPE adding another impressive and seriously enjoyable string to his creative bow. It is an aspect in his creativity we fiercely hope he continues to explore and we are certain in that wish we will not be alone.

The SΔCRED ΔPE album is out now and available @ https://sacredape.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.johnbassettmusic.com   https://www.facebook.com/arcademessiah/

Pete RingMaster 02/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dollhouse – Dawning and Rolling Around/Laudanum

Dollhouse_RingMaster Review

Allow us to introduce you to UK band Dollhouse, a quartet from Stroud with a sound that whilst still brewing and evolving is already showing the potential of becoming something special. To be fair, as the pair of newer songs we are looking at show, there is a compelling imagination and potency to the band’s music already. It is a sound bred from potent essences from Krautrock and garage rock but again on the evidence of Dawning and Rolling Around and Laudanum alone, the prime heart of their creativity is post punk.

There is little background we can offer about Dollhouse, except that the band consists of vocalist Zak Thomas-Akoo, guitarist/backing vocalist Will Ainsley, bassist Nick Browning, and drummer Tom Stevens. Inspirations to the band include the likes of Massive Attack, Groove Armada, Portishead, Can, Hot Chip, and Joy Division, the latter and similar genre influences the most open flavouring to certainly this riveting pair of songs, though a look at the band’s SoundCloud account sees those other spices woven into a handful of diversely sounding songs.

   Dawning and Rolling Around quickly grips ears and our ever ready appetite for post punk with its opening resonance of beats aligned to a brooding bass lure. As a slim and potent sonic lure of guitar joins the plain but effective vocals, there is no escaping the feel of Ian Curtis and co, a swiftly enjoyable haunting which only increases its grip as rhythms twist and the guitar moves through its shades of melodic colour and emotive expression. At the same time an infectious swing grows, emerging halfway with an Artery meets Crispy Ambulance like temptation, hooks and bass bait still undeterred in their creation of aural addiction. The track is outstanding, the recommended doorway into the emerging adventure of Dollhouse, though Laudanum is strong on the art of tempting too.

Again beats and guitar make an early beckoning but with them comes a slightly warmer and alluring air which further opens up as a catchy hook lined stroll breaks out along with a less intensive, compared to the other track, flow and tone of the vocals. Keys suggest as they caress the imagination with mellow vocals and restrained but potent rhythms fuelling the sonic web increasingly wrapping ears and appetite. Like a chilled mix of Modern Eon, The Associates, and OMD, the song enthrals and intrigues, and though it takes longer to ignite the same level of greed in body and thoughts as Dawning and Rolling Around, it too becomes a lingering slice of thorough enjoyment.

It is only the beginning for Dollhouse, and as their SoundCloud shows there is plenty of experimentation going on as the band develops into their own sound. With more propositions like this pair of tracks though, they are certainly heading towards stirring up strong attention with a following to match, for sure amongst post punk fans.

Explore the Dollhouse sound @ http://www.soundcloud.com/bewildereduk

https://www.facebook.com/thedollhouseband

Pete RingMaster 11/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Mr Darklight – Into The Fury

Original DL_RingMaster Review

If the name Mr Darklight is familiar it is likely because you have already discovered his part in the electronic pop infection that is Masters of the Radio. Now the electronic musician/producer has unveiled his debut solo track in the shape of the captivating adventure of temptation, Into The Fury. It is a strange title as the piece of music never suggests turbulence ahead or within its heart, so possibly it is one moment in a larger journey, but what it does supply is a warm flight of imagination for ears and feet to feast on whilst casting cinematic suggestiveness for thoughts to run with.

Inspired by the likes of Daft Punk, Devo, Fatboy Slim, Gary Numan, Giorgio Moroder, Jean Michel Jarre, John Williams, Kavinsky, and Mike Oldfield as well as going by the nature of Into The Fury film scores, Mr Darklight quickly fills ears with the emotive tones of the piano. Its poetic breath and touch is the seed to a gentle but purposeful stroll through an instrumental landscape ripe with melodic essences of OMD and Depeche Mode. Thoughts are soon whisked into a magnetic flight by synths as they spread their broad ambience around the continually enticing evocative hues of the piano.

In a way the piece is like a travelogue of internal reflection or external air bound adventure, all depending which way the imagination goes with the track’s electronic clues as the guide with each listen. It is an absorbing and thoroughly enjoyable first meeting with the solo Mr Darklight, and hopefully the beginning of many such outings ahead.

Into The Fury is free to stream now.

Pete Ringmaster 24/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Glamour Assassins – Ain’t So Young

GA_RingMaster Review

The lure starts with a great name and becomes a vibrant persuasion with a debut album that gets feet moving and hips swaying. Glamour Assassins is that first bait, a title reflected perfectly in the melodic beauty and imposing potency cruising their music, and Ain’t So Young the captivating introduction to the Connecticut hailing band. The release offers a host of songs seeded in eighties new wave and synth pop but equally embracing dance punk and an indie rock flavouring. It is an encounter which has at times thick familiarity to it but also a striking freshness which combines for a persistently enjoyable proposition.

Hailing from New Haven, Glamour Assassins consists of Jared Savas, Nick Post, Jose Novo, Carrie Martinelli, and Gil Morrison, a group of musicians with a combined experience of playing with artists such as Dragonette, Matt & Kim, Plushgun, Freezepop, the Postelles, and Greg Hawkes of The Cars under their belts. As Glamour Assassins, they have earned a weighty reputation for an intense live presence which their album is now looking to back up with its theatre of striking songwriting from Savas and a sound which just wants to make you move as it feeds the imagination.

Produced by Joey Mascola and mastered by Grammy-nominated Emily Lazar, Ain’t So Young gets off to a rousing start and never really looks back. The Day Rock & Roll Died is the initial temptation, a song slipping through ears on a single guitar cast melody as keys and atmospheric tempting brews. It is soon into a catchy stroll, wiry hooks and a deep bass line colluding with punchy beats as the track quickly awakens attention and the first breath of involvement by the listener, especially when the vocals bring their strong persuasion to the mix with additional harmonies just as engagingly in tow. The track does not make a seemingly dramatic impact but swiftly the body is lending its moves and feet jabbing the floor as more enterprise blossoms in the increasingly infectious encounter.

cover_RingMaster Review    The rousing swing of the track is replaced by the emotive serenade of Hate Song Part I (Exile), a female delivered vocal caress on the senses awash with evocative keys and a laid back, shadow built bass prowl. It is a slither of a song at a breath over a minute but a transfixing set up for the electronic adventure of Phantom of the Disco. The band’s latest single is a bubble of dance bred electronica and varied impassioned vocals. There is a whisper of OMD to it, as too of Thomas Dolby and Blancmange, but they are mere essences in the thick ambience and emotional shadows fuelling the impressive drama.

Already there is no escaping the diversity to the album and Glamour Assassins’ sound, a quality continuing with the soulful roar of Sex Life. Synths once more envelop ears in a suggestive hue whilst the minimalistic beats and groaning bass lures bring the funk. Vocals and guitars add extra catchy and resourceful enticement in a track which you can easily offer hints of Duran Duran and Tears For Fears too. That recognisable air is in many guises a constant to the band’s sound it is fair to say, and just as honest to admit it only adds to the success and virulence of songs as proven by first the album’s title track and straight after London Fog. The first of the two thrusts indie tenacity and raw sinews into the mix, bouncing along with attitude and feisty energy as crystaline keys court jangly guitars across jabbing rhythms. In contrast its successor sculpts an aural theatre with an epic atmosphere which evolves into a more intimate and sinister proposal over time. Musically it is like eighties era Ultravox meets The Slow Readers Club with another bewitching range of vocals building unique adventure to the narrative. The track is as immersive as its title suggests if not as muggy with keys providing a shining provocative light throughout.

Indie pop ‘n’ roll has voice and limbs heavily involved next through Scumbag, bands like Late Cambrian coming to mind, whilst the contagion soaked Never Get Caught draws from Visage like territory for its pulsating seducing, though to this the band fuels the vocals with a rapacious edge and angst as the guitars spin a riveting web of sonic and melodic imagination which is seemingly Cure inspired. Once more Glamour Assassins turn familiarity into something of their very own though, just with an old friend like nature.

The album closes with Hate Song Part II (Death or Love), a track which kind of sums up the album and the band’s invention in one go. Part rock, part synth pop, and bursting with an array of crafty hooks, alluring grooves, and an infectiousness which never leaves ears and appetite alone, it is an impressive end to a thoroughly enthralling and enjoyable release.

Eighties new wave and synth pop seems to be having a strong influence on numerous emerging bands right now, of which Glamour Assassins is one of the most exciting and potential flooded propositions. Their album…well if you want to dance to some old school but freshly inventive contagion then Ain’t So Young hits the spot.

Ain’t So Young is available now

Pete RingMaster 10/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Masters Of The Radio – Origin of Radio

MoftheR

Masters Of The Radio is another band which tangles nostalgia and new strands of sound into fascinating and highly enticing slices of modern invention. It is an increasing trend it seems, especially within electronic and synth pop, and capable of producing some rather flavoursome and enjoyable propositions such as the UK band’s Origin of Radio EP. We had a striking taster of it with the single Radio Forever, released a few short weeks back, and now get the whole increasingly captivating meal with its four tracks of electro pop drama.

Hailing from Widnes, Masters of the Radio was founded in 2008 by vocalist/writer Paul Ventux. The line-up within the band has changed a few times over the years but this past January saw Ventux enlist new personnel in the creative shapes of bassist Taylor Manwo, drummer Murphy the Destroyer, and keyboardist Mr Darklight. The combination has ignited a spark in the energy and impetus of the band it is fair to say, one fanned by the aforementioned single and now in full flame with Origin of Radio.

10406701_10153744529814392_6293799804298505228_nThe EP opens up with You’ll Never Be Famous, a darkly hued song which from its first breath brings a noir lit landscape to its ambience and emotion. Within that though keys cast melodic warmth and intrigue which feeds both the light and darker elements of the song as rhythms almost prowl around the scenery. They carry no ill intent but certainly offer more depth to the shadows within the song. Despite those shades, it is a vibrant and catchy proposal bred on seeds of bands like OMD and early Human League, and swiftly has feet and imagination wrapped up in its presence.

The magnetic instrumental adventure of The Drive comes next, the steely bass lures of Manwo sparking appetite and imagination first and continually across the piece whilst Giorgio Moroder flavoured keys cast a seductive and lively spatial incitement sure to immerse thoughts whilst the bouncy rhythms will have bodies courting the dancefloor. A flight of melodic temptation with cinematic enticing, the track is a bewitching waltz ripening the passions up for the closing song. Before getting to it though there is the brief interlude of Intermission/Coming of the Light. Whether an introduction or warning, not too sure how to describe it honesty makes us admit it is skipped with most listens from a hunger to get to the enjoyable devilry of Radio Forever.

Like a mix of The The and Paul Haig, the song flirts straight away with an irrepressible melodic smile and an infectiousness to match. As melodies broaden and greater creative colour soaks the twists and vivacious rhythmic shuffle of the song, that early contagion just increases especially in the inescapable call of the chorus. It is a tremendous end to a thoroughly enjoyable release, and still the song which most suggests that Masters Of The Radio has the potential of seeing big horizons come their way ahead.

The Origin of Radio EP is available now

https://www.facebook.com/mastersoftheradio     https://twitter.com/

RingMaster 28/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

Rosenthal – Heart EP

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Managing to sound invitingly nostalgic and refreshingly new, the Heart EP is a captivating full introduction to Rosenthal, a Danish band already drawing a healthy buzz around themselves. Consisting of five tracks which can be described as being bred from a merger of new wave, dream pop, and shoegaze with a psychedelic colouring, the band’s debut EP is an intriguing and increasingly enjoyable embrace for ears and imagination.

Rosenthal is the brainchild and project of Copenhagen-based songwriter and producer Jeppe Kiel Revsbech. Last year saw the release of two singles, both Lashes and Afraid of Stairs sparking keen attention and enthused reactions to the band’s presence and sound. Now fresh off their successful first UK tour, the band is set to reinforce and push forward again their emerging presence in a wider arena with the Magnus Vad produced Heart EP, and with Ask Kjærgaard (guitars) and Kasper Nyhus Janssen (drums) alongside Jeppe Kiel Revsbech (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Rosenthal is continuing 2015 in fine style.

The EP’s title track starts things off and sets an early pinnacle for the encounter. The resonating yet earthy bass tone which opens the track is alone an instant irresistible persuasion. It has the same dark flavouring which gave depth and potent shadows to the early sounds of The Cure and equally Joy Division. In no time guitars add their minimalistic but expressive colour too whilst the floating vocals of Kiel Revsbech glance over ears like Green Gartside of Scritti Politti. The emerging melodic elegance of the song is a radiant hue, uniting with the mellow and sizeably infectious air of the song to incite an eager appetite in response. It is a fabulous start to the release, mesmeric yet holding a slight agitation which only adds to its compelling presence.

The following April Eyes has a lighter and airier breath to its bouncy energy and presence. From the off melodies are caressing ears whilst the bass toning again carries a dark shade to its otherwise less heavy tempting, both courted by an imagination and unpredictability throughout which sees the song easily slip from its energetic stroll into a reflective calm. This peaceful passage though is soon at the centre of a brewing emotive and sonic tempest, a brooding climate which never erupts but certainly brings an edge and drama to its landscape.

The acoustic charm of the brief instrumental An End to the Trial comes next, the stringed caresses of guitars an evocative spark for the imagination before Void wistfully seeps into ears and thoughts, again guitar expression the leading colour. Its folkish, provocative simplicity makes the perfect canvas for the similarly reserved yet vibrant vocals. It is a simmering sunset of sound and emotion but as darker hues add their tints it evolves into a tempestuous atmosphere of dark alternative pop. From a potent start it grows into a bewitching proposal for ears and thoughts, spicy hooks and tangy melodies expelling mouth-watering noir bred temptation. The song is an enjoyable slow burner but grows even more thrilling in its latter climatic stages.

The closing A Dream is like the first song, one seeded in the post punk and dark pop of previous days whilst casting its own fresh character of sound. Resourcefully bred from a New Order/Bauhaus seeding, dark wave shadows ignite the passions instantly whilst the emerging Billy Momo like folk charm and Cocteau Twins like ethereal melodies, simply absorb and accentuate the whole unique adventure. Keys also add suggestiveness to the mix, an OMD spicing working within their poetic ambience. It is a tremendous song and end to the EP, Heart bookended by its best two tracks but with plenty to eagerly embrace in between.

As the final song slowly drifts away it leaves ears and thoughts keen to immerse once again in the Rosenthal sound. Heart is not exactly going to bowl you over with listen one but it lingers, luring the listener back time and time again, a rich success in any one’s book.

The Heart EP is available now via Afterimages via most digital stores.

https://www.facebook.com/rosenthalsite

RingMaster 10/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/