Nature of Wires – Modus

photo by Russ Dalen

Some releases shine like a beacon attracting ears like moths to a flame. One such lure for us is the new album from UK synth pop outfit Nature of Wires. Almost straddling every decade of its prime genre whilst teasing of future exploration but most openly seeded in eighties influence, the album proved a swift magnet of sound and temptation firmly commanding current attention.

Formed in 1986 by vocalist Andrew Stirling-Brown and synthist/programmer Gary Watts, the Herefordshire band followed the 1993 release of their debut album, Modus Operandi, by going on hiatus the following year until reforming in 2015.  A year later the band unveiled their second album, Cyber Rendezvous, with CountessM on lead vocals and now the band has Modus to tempt the imagination, a collection of songs which harken back to those early years having been written between 1986 and 1993 but carrying a modern edge though being “recreated using 21st century technology.” It is also a dual album in one package, with a second CD featuring re-imaginings of the release’s tracks from an array of inspiring artists.

Straight away Modus embraces ears like an old friend yet just as quickly establishes a presence and character which is solely Nature of Wires. As soon as opener Feel the Hunger spreads its electronic arms, there is no escaping teases to the likes of Erasure, Heaven 17, and Blancmange but the song quickly breeds its own individuality in sound and enterprise led by the alluring tones of Stirling-Brown. Striking melodies are fuelled by infectiousness whilst rhythms as good as nag with their eager canter. Fair to say we were caught up in the song’s contagion in short time, vocal chords and body swings adding to its own eager endeavours.

Time is Come steps up next, again its initial coaxing shadow lined before bursting out with radiant melodies and vocal encouragement. Equally keen pulses core the lively croon with the song’s gait and energy as bold as it is spirited, a whiff of A Flock Of Seagulls only adding to the song’s infectious captivation before Negative Resolutions emerges with a darkwave breath, bubbles of pop soon joining the tempting before synths weave a tapestry of melodic intimation over an electro grumble. When its poppiness catches the song infested the body while its darker melancholic calmer moments are alone pure fascination.

Through the crystalline design and dark throb of Seagull and the reflective heatwave of Every Single Sun, captivation with Modus only escalated, the first a spirited seduction and its successor a weave of melodic flames and balmy caresses while Harry’s House eclipsed both with its creative drama and dance-floor animation.

It in turn was slightly outshine by Madame Serena, a song with electro rock essences which reminded of bands such as Original Mirrors and Modern English whilst hinting at the pop instincts of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. With emotive shadows and a great lining of dark threat, the track soon rises as another unique Nature of Wires temptation very easy to greedily devour.

The first CD closes with the immediately enthralling First Light, a song bringing yet another shade of flavour and enterprise to the album with its rich entangle of electronic and electro rock hues. Bringing the release to a potent close if not quite igniting the passions as those before it, though ears and imagination were firmly in its charge all the same, it potently  concludes the first adventure of the release before Modus turns to the second.

CD 2 embraces that collection of remixes and re-imaginings of its songs starting with the Atomzero Nightlife Remix of Feel the Hunger. Given a darker almost tenebrific air, the track takes on a whole new persona as it does with the NoW AT4 version which takes it to the opposite light with equally enjoyable effect.

Among the host of truthfully ear pleasing encounters, the untamed rock ‘n’ roll brought to Time is Come by The Cowls, the dramatic theatre sparked within the Klammer Remix of Harry’s House, and Leaether Strip’s voraciously virulent trespass of Madame Serena especially caught the imagination. Fair to say though that Cyferdyne’s Glass Half Full Remix of Negative Resolutions, Workings of a Madman Remix of Seagull, the St Lucifer reworking of Every Single Sun as well as the Mesh Remix of First Light and Room 1985’s progressive rock interpretation of Time is Come all left pleasure rich.

And that is a declaration which tenaciously applies to Modus as a whole, a release to hungrily spend time with as we eagerly await the next chapter and exploration in the adventure of Nature of Wires.

Modus is released August 16th through Analogue Trash across most stores and @ https://natureofwires.bandcamp.com/album/modus

Upcoming Live Dates

Sep 20 BERLIN – The Mazen (with The Pink Diamond Revue, LegPuppy & e-bit)

Sep 21 LEIPZIG – Noch Besser Leben (with The Pink Diamond Revue & LegPuppy)

Oct 12 COLOGNE, Germany – Wachsfabrik (with Bandmachine)

Oct 18  BIRMINGHAM – The Mill, Digbeth (with Among the Echoes & Toyah)

Nov 8   BIRMINGHAM – Scruffy Murphy’s (with Vieon, Among the Echoes & Vain Machine)

Nov 9   LONDON – Beat:Cancer Festival 2.0, Electrowerkz

http://www.natureofwires.com   https://www.facebook.com/natureofwires/   https://twitter.com/natureofwires

Pete RingMaster 16/08/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Death Valley Dreams – Self Titled EP

Death Valley Dreams_Photo_RingMaster Review by Stephanie Martino

Ready for something special? Then we suggest taking a good deep listen to the self-titled debut EP from Death Valley Dreams. The five track treat is a gloriously rousing and dramatic roar fusing eighties seeded new wave and post punk with the kind of psyche/indie rock only modern imagination can conjure, and subsequently one riveting exhilaration of sonic contagion.

Hailing from Pennsylvania, Death Valley Dreams consists of long-time friends and band-mates, vocalist/guitarist Nick Coyle (The Drama Club, Stardog Champion) and guitarist/keyboardist Jon Nova (The Drama Club, An Albatross) alongside similarly established friends in bassist Ryan Dougherty and drummer Matt Rutkoski. Formed in the fall of 2015, it is fair to say that the quartet hit the ground running in creativity and an instinctive union of their talents as proven by this first release. The EP is a seriously accomplished and skilfully sculpted blaze of bold imagination and open passion leaving ears blissful and an appetite for more greedier than flies on a desert lying carcass.

Death Valley Dreams CD_RingMaster ReviewWords Like Fire is the first pungent temptation of ears, the song from its first breath a swarthy flame of melodic suggestion aligned to a gentle caress. Just as quickly the instantly impressing vocals of Coyle bring a new bloom to the tempting, his alluring tones joining the potent lure into the arms of tenacious riffs and scything beats. Hitting a seriously catchy and forceful stroll blessed further by the pulsating moodiness of the bass and broader anthemic vocal calls through the band, the track simply bewitches ears as it incites bodily involvement. There is a touch of The Slow Readers Club and Original Mirrors to the encounter and China Crisis to its melodic suggestiveness but ultimately the song and in turn EP has a sound strikingly unique to Death Valley Dreams.

As equally dynamic and enticing is the following blaze of The Darker Years. The song is a flowing landscape of volatile and mellow exploits spun into another virulent hug with forceful cascades of fierce yet elegant infectiousness, vocal dexterity, and electronic revelry. As its predecessor, the track is in command of feet, hips, and emotions; its flirtatious enterprise forged in a muscular tempest of energy and vigorous resourcefulness before Turn Out Those Eyes offers its own inventive arousal of the imagination. With eighties keys gently swarming over its emerging frame, the song hits a stomping striding rhythm as vocals and guitars expressively flirt with ears, each courting a dark rumble spawned from bass, drums, and melancholy.

Fiery rock ‘n’ roll is tapped into with Take A Look At Yourself, that raw texture aligning with a lusty Futureheads meets The Psychedelic Furs carnival of anthemic celebration and contagion. The track, as so many, is simply irresistible, a puppeteer to full involvement from body and voice, and in turn the passions. The EP is one of those propositions which will not take no for an answer, and certainly had us whipped up into unbridled submission even before the closing charm lit Never Meant For Anyone adds another flavour to the Death Valley Dreams alchemy of persuasion. An emotive croon laying tender but shadow wrapped hands on ears and imagination, the track is a sombre yet warmly bright serenade with sultry sonic tendrils veining dark ambience. Emotion and drama only intensify as the song exposes more of its thick sentiment and discord, it emerging as potently rousing as the energetically incendiary exploits before it.

Simply superb, the EP is an early major highlight for 2016 from a band with the potential to turn the music scene on its head. The name Death Valley Dreams may have connotations of desolate and lonely times, and lyrically some songs seem to have a similar seeding, but the music is anything but bleak or cheerless. A must have proposition.

The Death Valley Dreams EP is available digitally from January 15th worldwide.

https://www.facebook.com/DeathValleyDreams   https://twitter.com/dvdofficial

RingMaster 14/011/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Band Of Holy Joy – The Land Of Holy Joy

BOHJ_A_RingMaster Review

This past year, two singles from Band Of Holy Joy have sparked expectations of something special from their new album The Land Of Holy Joy, simply because of their own enthralling quality. Fair to say the UK band’s new release not only lives up to hopes and assumptions but leaves them looking rather inadequate. The nine track adventure of urban folk and indie rock is a blaze of ear thrilling and imagination igniting tracks ripe with unpredictable invention and the social commentary and honesty we have come to expect from the London band. Admittedly over their three decades of undeniably helping shape the British indie scene, we have not had the pleasure of devouring all of their eighteen previous albums here but of the fair few we have, Band Of Holy Joy have definitely eclipsed all with their finest moment in The Land Of Holy Joy.

The album gets off to a stunning flyer with its title track, the opener an instantly bewitching enticing of off-kilter guitar melodies from James Stephen Finn. Their discord lined twang has ears alert, whilst a swift healthy appetite licks its lips almost as quickly after as an exotic seducing from Peter Smith’s keys, matched by the flirtation cast by the bass of Howard Jacques, dances with the imagination. Like Eastern sent cosmopolitan sunshine over harsh realities hinted at by the plainer, distinctive tone of vocalist Johny Brown, the track is sensational; a provocative soundtrack perfect for the crisis felt right now by thousands upon thousands of people and Europe.

The outstanding beginning continues with the band’s last single Isn’t That Just The Life. The song enthrals like a sixties kitchen sink drama with, still for these ears, a female centred alternative to The Smith’s This Charming Man. With wistful keys, flames of sax from Smith, and great dourly resourceful harmonies, the song is an expressive croon with a swinging canter to its shadowed wrapped but surprisingly warm body, and also irresistible.

Street bred melancholy lines the following All The Girls Are Wearing Desert Boots Of Pale And Subtle Shade. It is a track which from its initial potent and gentle embrace of sombre air and emotion lifts in energy through emotive brass textures and an increasingly rousing incitement thrown by the craft of drummer William Lewington. Maybe a slow burner compared to its predecessors, the track easily has ears and thoughts hooked before making way for the funky carnival-esque theatre of Men Who Display A Different Kind Of Pain. Keys drizzle temptation and festival like drama over the senses in league with a similarly thick and colourful enticing from the guitar, whilst Brown adds rich vocal and lyrical openness in his ever pleasing mix of raw crooning and spoken narrative. More inventive and compelling with every passing minute and certainly each listen, the song is revelry of sound and honest drama coated with eighties warmth.

Another album pinnacle arrives with the brilliant Violent Drunken Strangers. Its entrance sees skipping beats aligning with a moodily captivating bassline and sultry tendrils of guitar which just seep into the psyche as Brown again varies his delivery to fine and impacting effect. The post punk like stroll and tone of the track is delicious, as too the emerging eighties funk kissed guitar and a vocal union which just ignites the passions. There are essences of bands like Bauhaus in atmosphere, Josef K in guitar jangle, and Original Mirrors to its lively revelry, and along with the title track, the song steals the show though great times simply continue as first the reflective melodic caress of Discredited Art Form cups ears and thoughts and straight after, A Good Close Friend offers its own elegant seduction and tenacious sixties fired enterprise up for eager attention. Both songs provide thoroughly enjoyable proposals whilst stirring thoughts, the second eclipsing the first but only by a spicy whiff of keys and one lively step.

A Place Called Home is another track which smoulders in ears and thoughts rather than quickly stirs them but with superb harmonies between Brown and a female vocalist, and a brass breeze which as the song has a shade of The Walker Brothers to it, lingering persuasion is the ultimate and successful result.

Closing with I’m Crass Harry, a bluesy look at a character which never gives up the fight despite enduring a constant tide of adversity, the album ends with a mighty finale. Merging spices found in the likes of reggae, punk, jazz, and other absorbing flavours into its musical tapestry around that tale of defiance, the song is Band Of Holy Joy at their best, what creatively they are and have always been about and another slice of proof as to why we say The Land Of Holy Joy is their greatest moment yet.

The Land Of Holy Joy is out now digitally and on CD via Stereogram Recordings and the Band Of Holy Joy Bandcamp.

Pete RingMaster 22/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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