Ten Cents Short – Major Steps, Minor Setbacks

For us it seems difficult and increasingly so for new pop punk bands to stand out from the crowd but one who is making a potent fist of that is US outfit Ten Cents Short. That is not to say that the Massachusetts quintet is majorly steering away from recognisable and well-worn genre flavours but as their new EP shows, they are certainly adept at conjuring hooks and imaginative twists which sets them apart from the many. Major Steps, Minor Setbacks is a thoroughly flavoursome and highly enjoyable encounter which pretty much reflects its title in sound alone; the array of those striking hooks and an open melodic enterprise lifting them above the flock while familiar but equally appetising recognisable strains take them back a little closer.

Major Steps, Minor Setbacks was recorded with Chris Piquette (Trophy Wives, Lions Lions) at No Boundaries Studios, all except lead single Beggars which was co-written with and produced by Alan Day from Four Year Strong who they met at the 2014 Warped Tour when attending that band’s meet and greet, passing over their CD to Day who a couple of months later invited them to record with him.

The EP opens up with Draw The Line first, and swiftly has ears more than attentive and the imagination grabbed as vocal flirtation beckons behind fiery riffs and a quite deliciously grimy bassline to get things rolling. In no time wiry hooks are adding to the rich and soon irresistible bait, each element evolving into similarly alluring enterprise as the song hits its swinging stroll with the potent tones of vocalist/bassist Aaron Couto to the fore. With the band vocally backing and the guitars of Austin Peterson and Dave Case casting a web of stabby riffs and flowing melodic revelry, the track just hits the spot, those still eagerly sculpted hooks raising the ante with every spirited and spirit sparking outburst

The lively beats of drummer Jonathan Costa are another mighty lure within the song and similarly its successor Higher Powers. Making a far gentler entrance with an acoustic melody holding hands with a steely accomplice, the track soon flicks its own energised switch with riffs and rhythms tenaciously crowding around Couto’s voice. It is the sudden turns into calmer and in turn more boisterous eruptions which lifts an already pleasing proposal and though it lacks the final sparks of invention of its predecessor, which never relinquishes best track honours throughout the EP, it has the body bouncing and a swiftly growing appetite for the Ten Cents Short sound greedier.

The aforementioned single Beggars is next, the song blessed with another gnarly bassline and a slightly irritable nagging of riffs; discontent which seeps into vocals and Jonathan Costa’s senses nipping beats too.   Soaring harmonies and spicy melodies add to the ear striking encounter, its mix of warmth and agitation thick captivation intensified by the matching roar of the track’s vocals and emotive heart.

Setback steps forward next with chugging riffs and scything beats as Couto casts spirited thoughts with equally energy. Into its heated bouncy stride, there is no losing of ears and appetite. In many ways, the song is the least individual upon the EP, weaving familiarity into its roar yet there is a freshness and verve which simply grabs body and spirit and leaves real satisfaction in its wake.

The EP closes up with Make It, an anthemic cry cored by an entanglement of punchy beats and snarling bass wrapped in melodic adventure and vocal animation. As with all songs, it has the body dancing and energies lifted as Major Steps, Minor Setbacks comes to a potent conclusion; that ability on its own a plus in anyone’s book.

Listening to their new endeavour, there is no escaping that Ten Cents Short has that little extra to set them aside; an extra which has the potential to blossom into real uniqueness and greater adventure as the band truly makes a name for itself.

Major Steps, Minor Setbacks is released May26th and available @ http://tencentsshort.bigcartel.com/product/major-steps-minor-setbacks

https://tencentsshort.squarespace.com/    https://www.facebook.com/tencentsshort/   https://www.twitter.com/tencentsshortMA    https://www.instagram.com/tencentsshortMA/

Pete RingMaster 26/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Eureka California – Wigwam EP

With the success and acclaim of their last album, Versus, still pretty much ringing in ears since its release just short of a year ago, US garage rock/pop duo Eureka California break up the  time before its successor with a new EP. Offering three slices of the band’s garage rock infused pop ‘n’ roll, the Wigwam EP is as sonically dysfunctional and magnetic as the Athens, Georgia hailing band’s last full-length but with a rawer quality which just hits the spot.

Wigwam is DIY old school, a flip back to the seventies with its design, recording, and release. Created with Dave Barbe (Sugar / Mercyland / Dave Barbe & the Quick Hooks) at his Chase Park Transduction Studio in Athens, the EP was recorded and mixed in just one afternoon. The two new songs and a cover of Superchunk’s Slack Motherfucker which emerged from that session come covered in self-made art and between them, band and HHBTM Records have set its price at virtually cost. It is a throwback in many ways to when passion and fans came first though fair to say, the music is the biggest pull with it.

The EP’s title track swiftly draws ears into its hands with a wash of initial sonic smog from which a rhythmic pulse begins laying down even richer bait. A single elegant melody soon wraps its charm around song and imagination too, another potent teaser heading towards the subsequent fuzzy squall of Jake Ward’s guitar and Marie A. Uhler’s stirring rhythmic enticement. As the former’s vocals make their plaintive case, the track’s energy and intensity begins to accelerate, its punk instincts rising for a tremendous crescendo of a finale.

With ease, Wigwam’s great start is matched by the scuzzy power pop of Only Birds (No Feathers). Within seconds Marie’s jabbing beats alone ensure the song has its hooks deep in a rock ‘n’ roll appetite, their nagging trespass surrounded by the hooks spilling exploits of Jake’s fuzz yielding strings. It is a commandingly catchy affair, a rousing incitement as seemingly familiar as it is certainly fresh and inescapable fun.

The final sonic roar of Slack Motherfucker is equally as captivating, Eureka California managing to give the track greater instinctive energy as well as melodic dexterity without defusing the causticity of the original. It is a fine end if over shadowed by the band’s original songs on Wigwam, itself a very intriguing teaser for what is to come in the future from Eureka California while being a highly satisfying romp for the now.

The Wigwam EP is out now on 7” vinyl through HHBTM Records.

http://eurekacaliforniaband.com/     https://www.facebook.com/eurekacalifornia     https://twitter.com/eurekacalifone

Pete RingMaster 25/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Imperial Leisure – Animal

It might not be the summer quite yet but giving its playlist an irresistible first addition is the new single from UK ska punks Imperial Leisure. To be fair, Animal is an incitement for any time of the year, any random two and a half minutes of any day. It is a circus of sound and fun, a carnival of 2-tone inspired ska, pop punk, and hip hop nurtured rock ‘n’ roll; together a distinctive mix creating the individual sound at joyful play within the band’s new gem.

Born out of school friendships, Imperial Leisure has blossomed in sound and reputation across three well-received albums; the last, Lifestyle Brand in 2015 drawing potent acclaim its way. Their live presence has equally honed the band’s music and craft, the band sharing stages with the likes of Ugly Duckling, Roots Manuva, UB40, Less Than Jake, Young Blood Brass Band, The King Blues, Sonic Boom Six and a great many more along the way as well as going down a storm at numerous festivals such as Glastonbury (twice!), The Secret Garden Party and Boomtown Fair. Each year has seen the sextet and its additional brass section rise higher on the British musical landscape; 2017 sure to be another mighty nudge on the biggest spotlights if Animal is anything to go by.

As guitars clip ears, brass flames flicker with flirtatious intent, their combined tempting soon colluding with the passion stoking pulse of the bass as well as the lick of ska seeded riffs and the intoxicating smooch of Hammond-esque keys. With the infectiously captivating vocals of Denis Smith stirring things up even more, the song bounds along with an irresistible swing and mischievous swagger. It is a wonderfully busy affair but every element and seductive flame a clean spice for a swiftly greedy appetite to devour in the whole insightful and instinctively catchy encounter.

It seems like ska and ska punk has the potential of having another heyday such the number of great bands around and emerging with Imperial Leisure leading the way, though all will have to go some to rival the sheer pleasure of Animal.

Animal is out now for downloading and streaming on all platforms with a vinyl release on April 1st.

https://www.facebook.com/imperialleisure

Pete RingMaster 17/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

My Son The Bum – Mad Man (Playing in a Mad World’s Game)

 

my-son-the-bum-mad-man-artwork_RingMasterReviewWe are all partial to a treat or two, especially if it comes with little cost. So we offer up Mad Man (Playing in a Mad World’s Game), the new free to download single from US band My Son The Bum. The track is a tasty slice of infectious rock ‘n’ roll as poppy as it is instinctively grouchy and one of those devilish things which never seems to leave you alone even after its physical parting.

My Son The Bum is the creation of Oceanside, New York hailing songwriter/guitarist Brian Kroll. Bringing it to life in 2007, the band has proceeded to explore and weave into its music almost every style of music under the sun, persistently keeping fans guessing and so far keenly satisfied. It is something not likely to change in the near future either going by the latest single.

Alongside Kroll has been a host of like-minded musical friends including John O.Reilly of Trans-Siberian Orchestra West who has been the exclusive My Son The Bum drummer to date, vocalist Mike Wuerth, bassist Mike Frost, and Matt Graff.

From metal to rock, punk to pop, My Son The Bum has uncaged a host of strikingly individual albums, to each other and to the crowd around them. Mad Man (Playing in a Mad World’s Game) itself is a rousing adventure into pop punk ‘n’ roll but with a fine strain in heavier rock essences making one meaty and compelling proposition.

From the wonderful earthy groans of bass and the equally heavy wiry signs of what seems like something cello related to the alluring spicy grooves and melodies around the song’s rapacious stroll, it has ears and appetite hooked. Add the keen lure of the vocals and beats which with relish flick out their bait, and you have a song which only leaves a hunger for more.

It is impossible to predict what will come next from My Son The Bum but taking Mad Man (Playing in a Mad World’s Game) alone, it is going to be well worth waiting for.

Mad Man (Playing in a Mad World’s Game) is free to download now @ https://mysonthebum.com/home

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

Pete RingMaster 09/02/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

As The Sun Sleeps – As Good As Gold

as-the-sun-sleeps-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

The As Good As Gold EP from British pop punksters As The Sun Sleeps might be lacking a couple of ingredients or so to evade being truly spectacular but there is no escaping that the five-track offering is highly enjoyable. The band’s sound is warm and decidedly catchy, in many ways living up to the EP title in its general niceness. It could benefit with real attitude and belligerence to its character for personal tastes but with rousing choruses and bouncy energy there is little to stop an appetite blossoming for the band’s sound and open potential.

Based in Swindon, the seeds to As The Sun Sleeps were sown in 2013 with the creative union of vocalist/bassist Joe Beck and drummer Tom Shrimpton. By the end of the following year the band found its stability with the addition of guitarists James Broadbank and subsequently Tom Rees. The single Nostalgia sparked fresh interest in the quartet which the Never Stars EP at the start of 2016 pushed to greater heights alongside a growing reputation for their energetic live shows which included a tour with Junior. As Good As Gold is the band’s most accomplished and striking release yet, the growth in the band’s sound and writing swiftly evident.

as-the-sun-sleeps-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewOpener and the band’s new single Beering quickly grabs ears with its cheerful air, guitar and the melodic tones of Beck its initial coaxing quickly joined by the singer’s meaty basslines and Shrimpton’s swinging beats. As the track hits its bouncy stride, riffs and hooks flirt with the imagination as Broadbank’s backing vocals offer strong support to Beck. As most tracks there is something familiar to the encounter, a New Found Glory meets [Spunge] spicing teasing away in this case, but it adds to rather than defuses the inviting and captivating potency of the song.

Florida follows with Shrimpton’s arms a blur as beats eagerly lay down potent bait as riffs and Rees’ melodic leads entangle ears. Again there is no evading the infectiousness of the feel good proposal and particularly its rhythmic tenacity as it takes best song honours before Forever Sick uncages its own lively and firmly catchy enticement. Again Beck’s bassline grabs attention but so too the spidery web of melodic enterprise from Rees amidst enjoyably punchy beats and the strong if growl lacking vocals.

The only thing stopping What Matters Most from making a matching impact is its similarity in melody and air to its predecessors yet still it has feet shuffling and pleasure awake with its emotively honed poppy endeavour while closer Nothing But Net simmers and bubbles as fiery melodies and energy light its croon. The final pair provides the weakest songs on the release but leave satisfaction full with that earlier mentioned potential again boldly apparent.

The As The Sun Sleeps is missing a snarl or two and the band has yet to find its uniqueness but with songs like As Good As Gold offers, it is going to be a fun ride as the band targets that destination.

As Good As Gold is released January 20th.

https://www.facebook.com/asthesunsleeps   https://twitter.com/asthesunsleepss   https://asthesunsleeps.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 18/01/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Storm Harbour – Self Titled EP

storm-harbour-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

Offering their, if not unique, very agreeable creative boisterousness to the British pop punk scene, Storm Harbour release their self-titled debut EP to back up a quickly growing reputation for their energetic live presence. Consisting of six raw edged, tenaciously enterprising melody bound punk proposals, the EP is an accomplished and enjoyable introduction to the Stockport quintet.

Formed in the summer of 2015, Storm Harbour has made a potent impression on the North West live scene, one they are hoping to spark and emulate across the UK through their first EP; and it gets off to a bang with opener Backbone. From the first wiry groove eagerly winding itself around ears and appetite, the song just grabs attention, cementing its instant lure with robust rhythms and prowling riffs. The swinging beats of Charlie Armstrong resonate and entice with their anthemic prowess; bait courted and matched by the earthy growl of Dan Slann’s bass. In no timer the song is sauntering along with a familiar character to its body but a refreshing attitude in its creative weave of those recognisable influences sparking thoughts of bands such as All Time Low and Neck Deep. With vocalist Ally Bowie equally a potent draw within the stylish web cast by guitarists Adam Johnson and Matt Watson, the track makes for a highly enjoyable start.

Its strong temptation is backed firmly by that of next up Alchemy, a song strolling along with reflective lyrics and fiery melodies but also and only adding to its enterprising presence greater restraint in its energy compared to its predecessor. It is a laid back essence which is translated in the textures making up the encounter, their keen embrace of varied melodic and pop shaping another highly enjoyable offering within the release and arguably it’s most unpredictable moment.

storm-harbour-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewPersistent At Best returns to the robust gait the EP opened with though it too has variable energy which keeps expectations on their toes as the guitars spin an imagination tapestry of riffs and melody nurtured hooks. Though surprises are few yet again the song carries freshness and potential which commands attention before Sink Or Swim saunters in on a collusion of nagging riffs and a gnarly bassline as Armstrong’s beats bite. Engaging from the off and only blossoming with the great harmonic vocal union across the band, the song is another potent temptation adding to the impressive nature of the Storm Harbour sound and craft.

The acoustic vocal/guitar start to Breaking Point adds another strong ingredient to the release with Slann unloading yet one more memorable throaty bass lure as the song quickly gets into its wilful stride. Ultimately though, the song does not quite connect with personal tastes as its companions but still has plenty to happily devour whilst confirming the promise already found in the EP.

Strolling in on contagious beats, closing track Calm Down similarly lacks all the sparks of the earlier songs within the release but only satisfies and backs up the imagination found throughout with its suggestive keys and emotive passion.

Storm Harbour is a band on the rise, one yet to find its own character of sound but already showing the instincts and imagination to uncover it sooner rather than later while for a first impression their debut encounter is more than satisfying.

The Storm Harbour EP is out now through iTunes and other stores.

https://www.facebook.com/Stormharbourofficial   https://www.instagram.com/storm_harbour/

Pete RingMaster 13/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Tirade – Self-Titled EP

tirade_RingMasterReview

With its virulent pop swing, it is hard to say that the Tirade sound lives up to the fierce tone of the band’s name, but certainly it makes a sizeable, attention grabbing impact going by their richly enjoyable debut EP.  Consisting of seven eventful and resourceful tracks, the self-titled release is a feisty and bubbling fusion of alternative rock and pop punk which employs familiar strains and textures in something potently fresh and increasingly enjoyable.

Hailing from Manchester, the quartet of lead vocalist/bassist Jake Tilley, vocalists/guitarists Josh Pearl and Alex Young, and drummer Stevo Somerset draw on inspirations ranging from Lower Than Atlantis, Press To Meco, and Don Broco to We Are Carnivores and Reuben for their praise luring sound and songs. Formed last year, Tirade are becoming the eager whisper on an ever growing wave of lips, a secret we expect soon becoming an open and loud shout as their EP nudges national awareness.

With moments of really striking moments, the EP is a consistently enjoyable encounter opening up with a band. Snakes and Social Ladders quickly has ears and appetite engaged as jabbing beats and nagging riffs collude. Soon the song is boldly romping, springing sonic intrigue and tasty hooks all the while across its body. It does hold its full energy in relative restraint, turning it into a gripping infectiousness as the guitars create a repertoire of sinewy, melodically endowed enterprise further coloured by Tilley’s impressive vocals and equally strong harmonies.

tirade-tirade-front-cover_RingMasterReviewThe great start is soon eclipsed by the following theatre of Punch?, a song which is as unpredictable as it is catchy. From its first breath sing-a-long vocals unite with sonic espionage as the guitars twist and turn with technical revelry and math rock spiced invention. The rhythms of Tilly and Somerset drive the song relentlessly, adding to its infection as the imagination of the band, not always as forceful elsewhere, has a field day.

Knives In Your Eyes entangles ears in another flavoursome hook within seconds, its spice surrounded by fiery suggestiveness before the song settles into a calmer stroll expelling that initial heated drama throughout. As with the last song, there are essences which spark thoughts of Swound!, a spiky invention aligned to the melodic prowess of Jimmy Eat World/ Lower Than Atlantis. From start to finish, the track hits the spot with ease as too its successor We’re Having Fun. As rhythms punch, harmonies shine with a trio of voices that blend perfectly across another slice of real catchiness. Even with its contagious instincts though, there is a bite to the Tirade sound, a creative snarl as bold as anything within this tenaciously captivating stomp of a song.

For personal tastes, the sparks which help its previous songs spark a lusty appetite for the release are less prominent from hereon in upon the EP though there is no doubting the appeal and enjoyment found in Travel Agent for Guilt Trips and the following, increasingly compelling Optimism. Again both tracks are a marriage of thumping rhythms and harmonic warmth bound in ear pleasing dynamics but lacking the stronger inventiveness and snap of their predecessors.

The EP concludes with The World Isn’t On Your Side, another highlight closing the release as impressively and raucously as Snakes and Social Ladders opened it. Cantankerously bold, the outstanding track is the heaviest moment of the release, almost predacious as Tirade reveals another string to their creative bow.

It is hard not to think Tirade as a band on a certain rise after this fine release, and once the potential shown here is realised as something truly distinct and unique in sound and songwriting, that loud whisper just might become a raging roar.

The Tirade EP is out now @ https://tiradeuk.bandcamp.com/album/tirade

https://www.facebook.com/TIRADEbanduk    https://twitter.com/tiradeband?lang=en-gb

Check out the video for We’re Having Fun @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/video-selector/

Pete RingMaster 29/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright