The Eastern Swell – One Day, A Flood


If one word had to be used to describe One Day, A Flood, the debut album from Scottish quartet The Eastern Swell, it has to be spellbinding. From the first listen the tapestry of genres which shape its songs catches the imagination but it is with subsequent listens that the real bewitchment blossoms. Inspired by and weaving together essences from the likes of progressive folk, experimental rock, and neo-psychedelia among numerous other flavours, The Eastern Swell combines poetic storytelling and melodic suggestiveness in one impressive captivation.

Edinburgh formed, The Eastern Swell emerged in 2014; the Anglo-Scottish foursome of guitarist/vocalist Chris Reeve, vocalist Lainie Urquhart, bassist/vocalist Neil Collman, and drummer Andy Glover first going by the name of Lainie & The Crows. With a well-received EP, name change, and the signing with excellent Scottish label Stereogram Recordings under their belts, the band set about creating their debut album with producer Pete Harvey (Modern Studies, Meursault, and King Creosote) in his own Pumpkinfield Studios. Themed by tales of “about vulnerability and the frailties of being human”, One Day, A Flood casts individual reflections linked by the underlying premise and a fluid movement from one song to another. Enjoyably working individually, the album’s tracks also impressively create a single experience which is just as potent, maybe even more so, taken in one listen. With self-admitted inspirations to the band, when creating One Day, A Flood, including the likes of Syd Barrett, Led Zeppelin, Neil Young, Fairport Convention, King Crimson, Pixies, Thee Oh Sees, Cat Power, and Gillian Welch, it is fair to say that the album is a rich collusion of styles and flavours honed into one kaleidoscope of imagination.

The album opens with the outstanding Rattling Bones, a track drenched in drama and emotive intensity. A sonic mist first encases ears, this quickly followed by a gloriously evocative riff soon joined by an equivalent lure from the bass. A sudden drop into a sombre air of melancholy with a dour but tempting melody, as the warm tones of Urquhart caresses ears and thoughts, then enjoyably wrong foots. Soon though, the track develops a lively stroll to its gait, marked by the bold roll of rhythms as provocative strings from guest Pete Harvey further toy with the imagination. The song is superb, a seamless patchwork of enterprise and creative hues setting the scene and character of the album.

the-eastern-swell-one-day-a-flood_RingMasterReviewWhat’s Done Is Done is next up; sharing the dark throated riffs and bass tone of its predecessor as essences of psychedelia and late sixties/early seventies melodic rock merge and the great blend of harmonies across Urquhart, Reeve, and Collman embrace. It oozes a seductive touch with every exotic sigh, warm surges and electric impulses uniting in a gentle but dynamic rousing of ears and spirit. The excellent proposition is followed and matched in temptation by 1000 Yard Stare where the vocal mix again grabs attention as they immediately cradle ears while psych and folk pop streams of enterprise kiss the imagination. Crescendos of lo fi intensity contrast and work perfectly with this golden glow of voice and melody, the compelling encounter almost tempestuous at times in its Wicker Man like climate and emotion.

The acoustic grace and warm melancholy of Temples is next, Urquhart’s voice uniting with the evocative strains of the cello before brighter guitar melodies and quaintly lit keys dance in ears. Its captivating low key proposal is echoed in the individually bold serenade of Muckish Mountain straight after before Too Little, Too Late reveals its own swing of rhythmic hips and melodic gaiety. Once more the fine and contrasting blend of male and female vocals seduces, a match emulated in the dark throes of the rhythms and radiant smile of guitars and keys. With a subsequent hook to lust after, the song is an intimate yet all-embracing festival of sound and energy providing another major highlight to One Day, A Flood.

The fuzzier air of Quick As A Whip makes a swift engaging between song and ears, harmonies and warm textures only reinforcing its potency before the album’s best moment arrives in the shape of Dancing Zombie Blues. Like a devilish concoction bred from The Dead Weather, Bird Blobs, and Old House Playground, the song rattles and rolls with gothic folk majesty, coming to an abrupt end from which a sonic wash brews and develops into closing enticement Run Down Country Palace. Its nature is of similar breeding though once its raw climate is set, the track’s electric veil parts for the reflective charms of vocals, strings, and a folk honed melodic appraisal. As all tracks though, things are never straight forward, The Eastern Swell creating tapestries that perpetually move and evolve.

Another reward provide is that One Day, A Flood never seems to stop growing in ears and imagination listen by listen, creating an adventure very easy to recommend from a band in The Eastern Swell that we will surely be hearing much more of ahead.

One Day, A Flood is out September 16th via Stereogram Recordings.

Pete RingMaster 15/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Happy Diving – Electric Soul Unity


Managing to scorch the senses while seducing them into matching submission, the new album from San Francisco born Happy Diving is a swamp of thick fuzz and melodic romancing; neither aspect dominant yet both overwhelming and across twelve sweltering songs, instinctively magnetic.

Formed in 2013, Happy Diving has gone through various member and location changes while breeding a rich reputation for their fiery and sonically blistering live presence. It is a quality and strength of sound now found within Electric Soul Unity, a raw and intrusive proposition which just as potently entices with emotion and evocatively smouldering melodies. The likes of Dinosaur Jr., Drive Like Jehu, and Swervedriver are offered by the press release as an indication to what lies within the album; suggestions easy to endorse though similarly someone like My Bloody Valentine infested by Birdland or Hot Snakes suits too.

It opens up with Bigger World and an incendiary wail of guitar and sonic forcefulness as inviting as it is abrasive. Throbbing bass and repetitious riffs soon join the initial squall of sound; shaping and driving the song in its expanding adventure before the warmer tone of vocals become engaged in the persuasion too. It is a wholly magnetic affair as increasingly infectious as it is bracing and without a moment to contemplate matched by Don’t Be Afraid of Love. Raw sonic trespass and melodic enterprise collude as the track engulfs ears, its rhythmic coaxing equally as catchy and rousing as the band shares all elements with individual clarity while combining every texture masterfully.

art_RingMasterReviewDrifting away, the song makes way for lead song Holy Ground, a raw and emotionally inflamed proposal searing the senses as vocals and hooks tempt the imagination and an already keen appetite for the intrusive Happy Diving sound. With anthemic rhythms whipping up further enjoyment, the song steps aside for the album’s punk fuelled title track and in turn the melodic charm of Head Spell. Both tracks hit the spot, the first with its Nirvana-esque seeded essences and its successor through gentle melodies and warm vocals in a calm reflection though its climate is volatile and erupts to fine effect throughout.

Through the fervid sonic enticing of the Pixies toned Fantasy and the sweltering smog of Shed Light, band and release simply increase their hold on a now greedy appetite, each springing a net of melodic contagion as powerful as the sonic wash around them. Their thrilling invasion is emulated again by the poppier and highly stimulating assault of Lost My Way and indeed the swinging causticity of The Call, It Thunders. There are times across the album where a similarity between songs is apparent, the second of the two an example yet throughout it whips out a hook or twist which gives individual character to its presence.

More open diversity emerges in the latter stages of Electric Soul Unity; the calm reflective beauty of Pain Country and its suggestive melodies an irresistible seduction holding court even when the song ignites while Unknown Feeling is a beguiling vocal and melody shaped serenade to drift away with.

Final track River Will Flow ensures the album leaves on a tempest of sonic agitation and temptation, but of course with its own weave of rich melodic and harmonic enticing. All three songs provide a fine end to an album which grows and impresses more with every outing. They say noise annoys, not in this case.

Electric Soul Unity is released August 26th via Topshelf Records @ and available now @

Pete RingMaster 25/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Machismo’s – Share One With A Friend


At times listening to Share One With A Friend, the new album from The Machismo’s, it is hard to decide whether it is a kaleidoscope of its author’s talents and imagination or a bedlam of the same. It is one of the most eclectic and unpredictable escapades you could wish to be confronted with and one of the most inescapably enjoyable.

The album consists of fifteen one of a kind slices of creative exploration and mischief, and the first new songs from the band in eighteen years. Its sound ranges from indie and alternative to punk and noise rock with experimentation at every turn. The band itself probably described their music and release best via their Facebook page where it says they are “Putting the Punk and the Weirdness back into Indie.” with “Now includes added poetry….” as an extra essence. It is a suggestion that they certainly live up to within Share One With A Friend.

The band itself is the brainchild of Sam Marsh, once of the compelling and irresistible Jacob’s Mouse. Initially a solo project, The Machismo’s formed in 1995 and recorded two full albums in Sam’s home cassette portastudio. Recruiting additional members for their live exploits, the band never really exploded into serious action though and disappeared with many recordings put aside unreleased as Sam moved onto other projects. Almost two decades later though, he relooked at those songs and releases that lay awaiting attention and realising their quality and worth, released the 1996 recorded debut album Good Things About To Happen in 2013 whilst also reviving the band with Rachel Marsh and Karly Stebbings. The album was a striking invitation for those of us missing the Bury St Edmunds hailing band first time around to explore, and it seems a spark for Sam himself to push The Machismo’s on with new zeal in what is a very exciting music scene within his home town right now. As mentioned, Share One With A Friend offers the first brand new tracks from the band in a long time whilst equally offering reasons to suggest that The Machismo’s is one of the most compelling propositions within the British music scene, past and present.

The album opens with the warm and fuzzy indie pop of The Loveliest, the song a sizzle of melodic guitar jangle and robust rhythms around the expressive tones of Sam. It has an echo of the tracks within that debut album as a raw and unfussy elegance captivates as potently as the catchy swing of the song. It is a straight forward start, in comparison to things to come, and an alluring one with its additional folkish hues before the unpredictable tango of Vrrrm! takes over. Beats throw their agitated lures all over the place from the start, though finding more restraint as punkish flames of guitar align with the great dual vocal persuasion. The further ears get into it, the more volatile and thrilling things become; all the time a debut album era Squeeze essence adding to the off-kilter indie punk attraction of the song.

cover_RingMasterReviewThe outstanding Collapse To Be Rebuilt grips ears and imagination next with its garage punk infused punk ‘n’ roll. With an addictive swagger as riffs and rogue voices add their unconventional roars, the Iggy Pop meets Pere Ubu like stomp has ears and body bouncing, and an already awoken appetite licking its lips and greedy to indulge in the following dark theatre of Bad Dreams.  Straight away a grumbling static storm crowds and rumbles around vocal poetry as a single slim guitar melody adds its own melancholic emotion to that of the vocals within the thickly compelling piece.

It is hard not to think of Jacob’s Mouse a little as the sultry sway and bewitching climate of When You Know It’s Real seduces ears next, its bulbous rhythmic swing the spine for flirtatious melodic vocals and the percussive imagination making equally irresistible advances within the excellent track. It has a brilliance of presence and fun which is emulated instantly by the punk devilry of Rise Again. Snarling guitars opens up and a flirtatious noir lit hook pushes on the irresistible encounter; the latter swiftly joined by the swinging vocal persuasion which as much as anything urges hips and spirit to get involved. Twanging bass groans, sonic sighs, and ear clipping beats only add to the smile inducing adventure of drooping hopes and their Viagra crafted resurrection; whilst the combined festivity of all creates one of those moments that only lingers.

Through the likes of the muggy aired and sonically bracing Should Recognise and in turn the folkish canter of Plastic Surgery, with Sam again leaning on his poetic craft as much as his musical prowess, band and album surprise and enthral, using the following Belvia to stir up an even stronger hunger with its scuzzy pop punk trespass. It has an old school punk tone to its rapacious character and energy too, a hue which only adds to the dirty and inviting bait rushing through ears.

Post punk meets indie discord is maybe the best description for the ear grabbing, pleasure giving lo fi stroll of Gotcha!, bands like The Three Johns and Swell Maps coming to mind for certain essences of the song. To be fair though, any references are hints to portray the individuality of song and The Machismo’s free and rebellious experiments of sound and imagination which continue to evade expectations with the folk laced croon of A Better Man and the addiction forging shuffle of The Storm. Like The Jazz Butcher meets Mark E. Smith but not, the latter track is manna to ears and passions; the kind of stripped back rock ‘n’ roll with a grin in its heart that all music should be bred from.

The album concludes with the trio of firstly, the melodically salty and slightly Cajun scented However Nice You Are, There’s Always Someone Who Think’s You’re A, the Pixies-esque garage punk rumble of Class A High, and finally the nursery bred and chimed ingenuity of Machismo’s 4 Tha Kids!; all three songs offering yet more fresh twists in the album’s tale to feel stimulated and refreshed by.

The Machismo’s is not exactly a new band but their presence and invention within the album feels like something that is, which of course the album’s songs are.  So if you are looking for the unconventional but something damn good too, then go Share One With A Friend.

Also worth noting as treating yourself with is The Poets Pendulum: Is It Good Or Is It Shit?, an album of Sam Marsh’s poetry which he has been bringing to the band’s live shows for quite a while to eager responses. Both albums are available as Name Your Price Downloads @ with Share One With A Friend also available on very Ltd Ed vinyl.

Pete RingMaster 21/04/2016

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Universal Thee – All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

Universal Thee_RingMaster Review

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace is a flirtation which, whilst seducing ears with its pop charm, has the body bouncing and worming around like a slinky. The second album from Scottish alternative popsters Universal Thee brings a smile to the spirit and infectious revelry to the day and whereas their critically acclaimed debut album had ears and voices seriously enticed its potential has simply been blossomed to new refreshing heights in its successor.

Formed in 2010 as a trio with “a faulty Macbook for a drummer”, Edinburgh hailing Universal Thee first took their live steps two years later with an actual drummer. It was a show which had a low-key attendance to say the least but within two years the band was sparking really sparking eager attention, with first album Back to Earth at the forefront of the new thrust in their emergence. Since then their stature has only ascended, shows supporting the likes of Ded Rabbit and an appearance on the pyramid stage at the Kelburn Garden Party potent successes enhancing further their live reputation. Such the magnetic and contagious prowess of All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, 2016 is looking like being another successful time, possibly the moment when the band’s individual sound and presence is grabbed by new and broader spotlights.

Led by the united vocal enticement of husband and wife, James and Lisa Russell, the Universal Thee has drawn references to the likes of Ash, Pixies, Weezer, and Queens of the Stone Age; they amongst many inspirations to the band as a whole and individually. There is also, by coincidence one suspects, an eighties new wave/indie pop scent to their music which reminds of bands like The Chefs, Girls At Our Best, and maybe to a lesser extent The Passions and The Chesterfields. As shown straight away with opener Why, they are all just hues to something distinct to Universal Thee.

art_RingMaster ReviewThe first song swiftly jangles in ears with alluring elegance as the beats of drummer Matt Grieve provide a feistier touch. The song soon strolls along with a fuzzy air to the melodies of guitarists Robin Spivey and James Russell whilst the bass of Andrew Perrie brings a delicious almost groaning temper to the radiance around it. The blend of James and Lisa Russell is another key element in its persuasion, their union carrying a great essence of discord which just seals the deal for ears.

Unashamedly catchy, the great start provided by the first song is continued and surpassed a little by the second. Keep Falling adds a grungy texture to its enticement whilst the bass courts a post punk appeal within a quickly captivating Weezer-esque saunter. Its hooks are as keen and inescapable as its melodic romancing and boisterous energy, a creative weave more than matched by the band’s brilliant latest single Speaker. The mellow but lively vocals from both the Russells, leads a swinging almost mischievous tempting that instantly seduces ears and feet. That earlier mentioned eighties new wave pop colouring is a rich essence to songwriting which also openly draws on the influence of Frank Black, creating a proposition easy to suspect that the Pixies man would be proud to claim as his own.

Xang is a mellower but still energetic proposal next, its shadow lined air and character a slightly melancholic and evocative caress framed by more forceful rhythms whilst Lost at Sea glides through ears with a heavier and grittier breath to its punk infused pop. Both songs keep an already happy appetite fulfilled if without, and maybe expectantly, matching their glorious predecessors, a success definitely achieved by the outstanding Hey. With tenaciously anthemic rhythms and a fiery glaze to its pop ‘n’ roll, the song is certain single material with all the addictive hooks and qualities needed. Quaint and ballsy simultaneously, the track has the body leaping to its compelling creative throes before Hamlet 3 hits the same sweet spot with its own unique Teenage Fanclub does pop punk like canter. The song simply epitomises the growth in the band’s craft and sound without any lessening of their invasive pop ingenuity and it is impossible not to be fully involved in voice and hips with the increasingly rousing encounter.

A calmer climate washes over the senses as Sail Away floats into view, though rhythmically it offers great agitated bait around which vocals and melodies provide a familiar yet indefinable lure. A romancing which breeds more volatile moments within its persistent smooch, the enthralling hug makes way for more galvanic pop ‘n’ roll in the irresistible shape of Hounds, it in turn leaving ears to the pop fascination of closing track Light On, two tracks ensuring album and emotions are left on the same high they started with through song one.

Universal Thee have the great knack of creating something you feel you already know but then you only come across exciting surprise after surprise whilst being infested with pop music to get greedy over. All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace is the sign of a band ready to step into the intensive recognition of national awareness and more; a success hard to see evading the quintet for much longer.

All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace is available from February 19th whilst the single Speaker is out now, both via Eventual Heirs Records.

Pete RingMaster 18/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Malka – The Constant State

Malka 3_RingMaster Review

Listening to the debut EP from US band Malka is like looking into a reflection within solidly disturbed clear water, eyes exploring a myriad of openly different but connected realms and possibilities. The Constant State is the equivalent for ears, each song revealing its own unique fusion of shoegaze, psychedelic rock, and dream pop but coming together for one intimate yet expansion flight of sound and imagination.

Hailing from New York, Malka consists of Darko Saric (guitars, synths, vocals), EJ DeCoske (guitars, synths, vocals), David Ciauro (bass, vocals), and Michael Dawson (drums).Emerging in 2013, it seems the quartet quickly began enticing support and acclaim with their sound locally and soon further afield, no real surprise when embracing the rich persuasive sounds of this their first release. The album is a kaleidoscope of immersive atmospheres, fascinatingly varied vocals and harmonies, and evocative melodies, all infused with lyrical explorations as intensely provocative as the sounds around them.

Malka - The Constant State cover artwork_RingMaster Review     A Flock Of Crows is the album’s first embrace, warm melodies from guitars and synths caressing ears whilst brewing a slightly volatile ambience for the captivating touch of vocals from across the band. Equally the rhythms have a darker, hungrier but welcoming edge too, the beats from Dawson especially enticing as the song merges a wistful dreamscape with energetic catchiness. There is no escaping a seventies /eighties feel to the encounter either but it is one woven into a tempting which also hugs broader essences from surrounding decades amidst a modern breath.

It is an enthralling opening to The Constant State backed and surpassed by the ethereal beauty of For Now We Live. As melodically meditative as it is atmospherically and rhythmically invasive, the song is like the first, a tenacious incitement which in many ways is imposing with its mesmeric glaze of post and psych rock infused with emotionally tense vocals and sultrily sonic hues. The song is irresistible, much as its successor the surf seeded Mientras Se Respira. The Spanish narrative is offered by the mellowest croon of voice with matching bewitching harmonies, whilst around them the guitars court an alternative rock colouring which is as much Pixies like as it is suggestive of a My Bloody Valentine or a Cocteau Twins. A smouldering kiss on the senses and imagination, the song further unveils a stirring diversity to the band’s sound and songwriting.

   Wolves And Sheep steps forward next with a pulsating shimmer to its almost festering hug of sonic light and melodic reflection. The track, as all upon The Constant State, provides a full beacon of light yet there are shadowy textures and tempering essences which only add to the drama and mystique of songs. Certainly this and its companions generally need time and many plays to truly open up for ears and thoughts to explore, but with a great trespass of sonic endeavour and expression brewing for a fiery climax, the song emulates all others in providing an increasingly magnetic and enjoyable trip through compelling atmospheric trespasses of the senses.

Both Diamond Girl and Corazon Sin Sangre keep the listener fuelled with adventure and diverse terrains of sound and imagination in potent persuasions, the first with its enslaving and increasingly dramatic sixties spawned smoulder of psychedelic pop and the second through its spatial yet intimate dark pop meets post rock drenched soar. Though each misses the extra ‘something’ of their predecessors, each song is pure temptation for album and ears from fresh and alternative soundscapes.

The release comes to a close with Swoon, easily our favourite track springing from the album. There is a familiarity to it from the first melodic breeze but it is an indefinable air which only adds to the thickening emotional theatre and climatic texture of the song. It is gentle but also lively tapestry of sound and invention, the perfect irresistible end to one potent introduction.

It would be fair to say that The Constant State, though making a strong first impression, grew into the thrilling adventure it is over time, an enticing and definitely enjoyable first touch evolving into the breeding of richer explorations and pleasure. The final thought is that Malka has the potential to bring major propositions to the British rock/ indie pop scene ahead and to be honest they already have with The Constant State.

The Constant State is available now @

RingMaster 23/07/2015

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Follow The Lion – The Candy and Gravity Motel

Follow The lion_RingMaster Review

UK alternative rock band Follow the Lion has a sound which immediately feels so right on ears whilst offering something seemingly already familiar. The latter aspect though is deceptive and arises primarily from the fact that once infected by the band’s new EP, there is very little likely you will be putting it aside just as a passing fascination. Our experience is that the band and release becomes a heavily devoured incitement from first contact, becoming an old friend in no time at all and casting that suggestion of being something recognisable simply from constant play. Bottom-line though is that consisting of three provocatively bewitching tracks, the EP is a compelling and highly seductive slice of emotionally and skilfully tenacious rock ‘n’ roll from a band surely destined for big things.

Follow The Lion began in 2013 taking diverse influences from the likes of Pixies, Massive Attack, The Beatles, Nirvana, Tricky, and King Crimson into their emerging invention and sound. The Leeds band was soon lighting up the local live scene, subsequently venues across the north west of England, and this summer festivals like Live at Leeds and Long Division. Now the Steve Whitfield (The Cure, Bill Bruford) produced and Celt Islam mastered The Candy and Gravity Motel EP is poised to work on ears and appetites nationwide and from our findings there is little chance of escaping its or band’s lure.

cover_RingMaster Review   The release opens with its title track, making a gentle entrance through a sparkling weave of guitar and keys within which a firm rhythmic coaxing from bassist Mase and drummer Danny Jay Barnett steps forward. It does not take long for a whisper of Black to nudge thoughts whilst the sonic shimmer of the track carries hints of bands like Bernaccia and Soundgarden. They are mere essences though, the song as it further opens up its contagious theatre of melodies and smouldering sonic temptation, evolving into a unique and sultry serenade but one with a snarl to its emotions and unstoppable virulence to its character. As rhythms get bolder and the sonic enterprise spicier, the glorious roar is a blaze of temptation and enthralment merging various strains of rock and creative expression.

Down By The River comes next and within its first breath offers a catchy welcoming of riffs with a low key jangle. It is swiftly in control of ears and attention, especially once the initially reserved beats link up with a brooding bassline. They spark a fiery embrace of guitar which in turn elevates the energy and vivacity of those rhythms. It is a captivating start given fresh energy and magnetism by the distinct tones of Daniel Francis, his voice expressive and evocative with potent variety to his delivery. His own guitar prowess provides a firm and enticing canvas for the rich and colourful enterprise of lead guitarist Richard Swann to further spark an already gripped imagination, his spicy tendrils captivating within the flowing caresses of Paul Smith’s keys and the darker rhythmic frame. The song is irresistible, feisty and infectious but with a thick weave of emotive drama to leave no stone unturned in thrilling the listener.

The voice of Francis, superbly backed by Smith, is like the music around it, a perpetual source of riveting incitement. He never bellows and forces the strong lyrical side of the songs upon the senses, yet seduces and provocatively roars with undiluted persuasion across every song, as shown by Low. Carrying a definite eighties air to its melodic and catchy stroll, like Colin Vearncombe meets Spandau Ballet in many ways, the closing song washes over the senses with poetic radiance though again there is a raw and dark edge to it which adds to the fullness and weight of the enthralling encounter.

There have already been many good things said about Follow The Lion and their debut EP, from Tom Robinson for one, and now lost in the arms of the spellbinding release it is easy to see why and say you too should make a reservation with The Candy and Gravity Motel.

The Candy and Gravity Motel is available from June 29th @

RingMaster 29/06/2015

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Diamond Youth – Nothing Matters

dy Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

It may be only thirty minutes in length but Nothing Matters, the debut album from US alternative rock band Diamond Youth, is jam packed with boisterously contagious songs to party hard and long to. It is a riot of fun seemingly bred on flavours inspired by the likes of Queens Of the Stone Age, Weezer, and Foo Fighters but with plenty of its own distinct characteristics and flavours to create something individual to Diamond Youth. For personal tastes the release is stronger and most tenacious in its first half but every offering within Nothing Matters is a compelling slice of pop rock equipped with feisty persuasion and a good strain of tenacious mischief.

Diamond Youth hails from Baltimore, emerging around 2010 with a line-up featuring members of Trapped Under Ice, Terror, and Down to Nothing; all sharing a common background of art, design, skateboarding, and of course music. Influences range from band such as Pixies, The Nerves, and unsurprisingly Queens Of The Stone Age, and it is fair to say that the quartet has increasingly lured attention through a host of EPs starting with DMND and Don’t Lose Your Cool in 2011. It is Orange in 2013 and Shake a year later, both as the new album released via Topshelf Records, which provided the spark to greater focus and acclaim enveloping the band, in turn sparking strong anticipation for the band’s debut full-length. It will leave no one disappointed and is destined to not only recruit another wave of eager spotlights and fans whilst simply creating a fun time for all.

Recorded with engineer Dave Warsop, the album starts with its title track, swiftly entrapping ears and appetite with stirring rhythms and spicy hooks encased in vocal and melodic revelry. Quickly, especially as the vocals impressively cast their tempting on proceedings, that QOTSA air is an open breeze bringing even greater catchy bait to the vibrant persuasion. It is the tangy hook though which brings the biggest smile in the emotions, that and the adventurous ideation lining the song from first note to last.

Nothing-Matters-Cover Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review     The excellent opening to Nothing Matters is quickly matched by Thought I Had It Right, another song with thick hooks and entrancing harmonic tempting. Slightly more restrained in energy compared to its predecessor, the song saunters and sways with a rich Muse like sultriness to sound and voice. Every syllable comes coated with a spice of angst whilst melodies like a fine wine just become more seductive and effective on the senses with very passing moment. There is also a volatile edge to the contagion posing as a track, its sonic presence flirting with causticity as it forcibly infests and ignites ears through to the imagination.

Spinning steps up next with an even more reserved nature though melodic and vocal passion in turn create a blistering roar courted by a snarl of a bassline. Fair to say that it might be the least feisty song on the release so far but it is the most tempestuous and fascinating, and subsequently quite irresistible as also the following Far Away from Earth. Rhythms straight away lay down an anthemic potency before quickly finding themselves skirted by a deliciously grizzled bassline and a brewing sonic mist of guitar. The mellow croon of vocals does bring a magnetic tempering but ultimately only seems to inflame the growl and rebellious attitude of the song as it erupts in a cauldron of pop infectiousness and rock ‘n’ roll predation. Crunchy and warmly smouldering simultaneously, it teases the psyche like Josh Homme toying with Muse as it creates yet another instant pinnacle upon the album.

A more summery swagger comes with Succulent next, a surf rock/ garage pop colouring the sweltering climate of the bewitching instrumental. Its heated charm and warm elegance are emulated in next up In the Clouds, a bubbling shimmer of sound and harmonies which takes the listener by the emotions and leads them on a dance of addictive devilry. Six tracks in and five of them are easily single potential, an instrumental having little chance of being chosen let’s be honest.

From Riptide onwards, band and album seems to explore a different avenue with a lessening of the agitated sonic invention and an increasing of more immersive melodies and warm radiance. Tracks as this compelling ballad still have a fire in their belly but such the alchemy of virulence in earlier songs they just miss, and it is just, casting the same persuasive spark. Nevertheless the song has ears engrossed and satisfaction full whilst the static kiss and melodic coaxing of No Control and the post punk like rhythmic lure of The Nothing, ensure only the keenest attention is given. The second of the two especially has thoughts and enjoyment lit before Deep Love explores some dark pop beauty. It has a feel of UK artist Rooster Cole to it, with its sombre ambience encased in an excitable adventure of sound. The track is superb, a match for anything before and without doubt also a song on its own sure to trigger greedy reactions.

The album closes with The Difference, itself a humidly aired release of emotional and musical drama, and a fine end to an increasingly impressing encounter. Diamond Youth has taken the qualities nurtured in previous releases to new thrilling and at times spellbinding heights. Whether you want an out and out romp to party with or something with a melodic embrace to sink into, Nothing Matters delivers one very enjoyable time.

Nothing Matters is available now via Topshelf Records @ or

RingMaster 20/05/2015

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