Matt Finucane – Disquiet EP

Following the release of Ugly Scene this past May, an “abrasive, noise-heavy protest” of an encounter, British alt rock troubadour Matt Finucane has its successor, Disquiet, poised for unveiling. Living up to its name, the EP is a collection of songs which as mellow and intimate as they are, come soaked in discord and melodic dissonance. They all breed a mix of challenge and seduction but most of all a fascination leaning towards needing more.

Having come across Finucane back in 2012 through his acclaimed album, Glow in The Dark, an encounter which had us simultaneously absorbed and confused, pleased yet unsure and most of all compelled to pay attention to its creator ahead, there has been constant intrigue to follow how things evolve. Fair to say feelings around Disquiet have not ventured too far away yet the enjoyment of his sound has certainly continued to grow through the offerings between both releases and is now at its most eager with the latest encounter.

As all his propositions, Disquiet is a DIY cast summons on ears and imagination as raw as it is creatively animated with opener Ulterior Motives quickly establishing Finucane’s distinct character of enterprise. Its acoustic/electric indie pop dances and flirts with ears though biding its time disharmony haunts the shadows brewing its infestation by the chord until eventually sparking a low key but inescapable cacophony for a captivating incursion of senses and song. The track epitomises the indefinable nature of his music; art and punk rock possible tags, wonk pop and dark folk others but honestly it is in a corner of its own.

The darker woozy presence of Happy Chains continues the contradiction and temptation, it’s off kilter shimmer and Finucane’s equally divisive vocals infesting melodic radiance like disorientating haze over a sunspot while the following People Move On exposes its fuzz seeded instincts. There is something akin to the kind of music artists like Frank Black and Pere Ubu have spread to Finucane’s sound, certainly a hue in its want and need to unsettle the expected and orthodox.

The EP concludes with firstly the warped melodic reflection of Always A Shadow, a track which feels like the aural side of a distorted mirror, and finally the seven minute plus journey of Dead Men Sing Us To Our Rest. In a cavernous embrace of echo and distortion, emotively and physically, the track is a malaise of frictious harmony, melodic discrepancy, and pretty much unnerving beguilement.

There is no doubt that the music of Matt Finucane is not going to sit easy with a great many but for those with a penchant for disturbing adventure and the song of the asylum, it and Disquiet should definitely be checked out.

The Disquiet EP is out October 19th via Crude Records; available @ https://mattfinucane.bandcamp.com/album/disquiet

 https://mattfinucane.net/   https://www.facebook.com/Matt.x.Finucane/

 Pete RingMaster 19/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Tommy And The Commies – Here Come

Entangling the addictive hooks of Buzzcocks, the pop contagion of The Undertones, and the punk irreverence of The Cortinas with the early mod punk instincts of The Jam sounds like one rather tasty aural recipe; a mix which the imagination does not have to merely ponder as it is at the heart of the irresistible sound of Canadian outfit Tommy And The Commies. Their debut release, Here Come, soon proves there is much more of an individual character and flavouring to the band’s sonic holler though, a sound which you just feel would have been as potent back in the late seventies as it will undoubtedly be now.

From Sudbury, Ontario, Tommy And The Commies is the united exploits of Jeff Houle (Strange Attractor), his brother Mitch, and frontman Tommy Commy. Together they create “hooliganistic mod-punk” as nostalgic as it is rigorously fresh and in raucous evidence within the Slovenly Records released Here Come. The album immediately erupts with opener Devices, vocals and guitar colluding in instant temptations as rhythms boisterously roll. Very quickly we found ourselves agreeing with the Howard Devoto spicing to Tommy’s vocals as suggested by the album’s press release, but as within the music individuality soon wins through. The track continues to romp and stomp with punk/power pop infectiousness inciting body and vocal chords from start to finish, success only matched and escalated across the remaining slices of viral boisterousness and tenacity.

The following Straight Jacket shares its own virulent catchiness; from its first breath getting under the skin with excited riffs and melodic enterprise. Slightly more restrained in urgency than its predecessor, the track is still an unbridled bundle of energy and creative uproar bounding along without inhibition before Permanent Fixture springs its Dickies scented revelry. Again riffs and hooks collude in its excitable endeavour as rhythms robustly stir and bite within a full fusion of the familiar and new.

Something akin to 999 meets The Vapors,  Hurtin’ Boys provides another major highlight in nothing but across the album; its jagged stroll swift and a constant incitement on body and spirit before new single Suckin’ In Your 20’s entangles raw seventies power pop with modern day indie dissonance to similarly manipulate hips and throat.

A definite hint of The Ramones teases within the wiry antics of Throwaway Love, the guitar laying a mesh of hooks and melodic niggling which just brought lust to the appetite as rhythms simultaneously worked away on a body just as much badgered and inspired by the infectious clamour of So Happy where a Pixies like hue adds to inescapable temptation.

The release closes up with Reggie Rocks, another irrepressible slice of mod infused pop punk which is all mischief and noisy attitude wrapped in instinctive enterprise and contagion; a track which throughout epitomises the fun and energy of the band let alone their creative animation.

For us the best releases leave you feeling alive and inspired; Here Come does that and more.

Here Come is out now via Slovenly Records; available @ https://slovenly.bandcamp.com/releases

 https://www.facebook.com/TOMMYSCOMMIES/

Pete RingMaster 06/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

12 Stone Toddler – Idiolalia

Whilst it is hard to believe wishes generally do come true we have to question that when a long time hope has just been realised with the release of a new album from one of the UK’s most unique and irresistible bands, 12 Stone Toddler.

The band created two of the last decade’s most essential albums for us in the 2007 released Does It Scare You? and its successor two years later, Scheming. They also uncaged a host of tracks which defined the inherent brilliance and unpredictability of their songwriting and sound including The Rabbit, a song which first had us deviously hooked on the band and has never escaped our personal playlist ever since. Though thickly wrapped in acclaim, the band never quite had the rich attention and recognition they deserved outside of their more local surroundings and subsequently seemed to step back into the shadows as its members explored other projects. It is a band though which we know has been the inspiration to a great many artists, all who will be rejoicing with us and fans at their return and a new album in Idiolalia which is 12 Stone Toddler craft and goodness at its most inimitable and mischievous.

With a new line-up seeing guitarist Helen Durden and drummer Robin O’Keefe alongside founder members and songwriters in keyboardist Ben Jones and bassist/vocalist Chris Otero, the Brighton hailing band has linked up with Freshly Squeezed Music for the release of Idiolalia. Immediately as its opener teases ears there is affirmation of what we already knew, the 12 Stone Toddler sound is impossible to pin down or make assumptions about. Musically the band embrace and indulge in strong flirtations with everything from and within rock, pop, and indie to swing, jazz, and more vaudevillian hued exploits; every emerging track individual in character and sound but united in the quartet’s one of a kind touch and imagination.

My Machine starts things up and once its mechanical workings are in order springs a swagger led stroll which needed mere seconds to get under the skin. With a steam punk like breath, the track continues to swing and sway on a manipulative rhythmic pulse, carnival-esque melodies escaping keys to spice guitar bred hooks as the familiar and potent tones of Otero provide a ringmaster like touch. It is an irresistible and irrepressible start to the album instantly setting down a rich marker in the second chapter of 12 Stone Toddler.

The following Give Me the Creeps is just as rousing and magnetic, building its own inescapable lure over a handful of seconds before casting an individual appraisal of life with melodic charm and fascination stirring enterprise. As with their music, the band has always conjured imagery and sparked the imagination with their lyrical prowess and as shown by the first two tracks alone they have lost none of that dexterity.

The animated surf swing of the outstanding Piranha just captivated and mastered inhibitions in hips and feet next while Mirrorball latches fifties seeded breeding to jazz nurtured devilment in its swingbeat flavoured gait for matching success. Add the insatiable rock ‘n’ roll of Just Enough Rope and the almost somnambulistic canter of Carried Away, a track which just blossoms by the listen with its melodic radiance creating something akin to Skylarking era XTC, and you have the kaleidoscopic nature and sound of 12 Stone Toddler in a beguiling nutshell and their ingenuity. The third of that foursome of treats is a wonderfully nagging proposal, its groove niggling away as keys squirt their melodic spicery across the fevered body infesting jive invading the passions.

Across the eager eventful waltz of Heavy Sleeper and the smouldering and increasingly heated melodic sunspot of Nice Surprise, ears are only pleasured by instinctive temptation. Both though still find themselves eclipsed by the following pair of Ride a Donkey and Runaway Train. Neither track was included in the promo sent our way but found to be joining the rest within the album and together providing another major highlight. The first teases with its air scything lures alongside Otero’s enticing vocals before the track’s swarthy landscape embroils country sighs with seaside town quaintness before its simply superb successor takes the listener on a journey of sound and voice escalating the intimation of its title note by syllable.

The final trio of tracks leave no second of sound or pleasure void of bold adventure and imagination, Dig a Hole kicking off the home straight with its virulent manner and step before the senses romancing saunter of The Borrowing Song serenades with the theatre and unpredictability you can actually expect from a 12 Stone Toddler offering. The album closes with one half of the band’s current double-A sided single, Heaven Was Closed, the other part of that teaser opening up Idiolalia. It is a warm and sultry piece of pop rock which simply seduced by the play.

It has been a long wait for 12 Stone Toddler to stir back into life but an intermission in their creativity well worth enduring as they are back as inventive, compelling, and intoxicating as ever.

Idiolalia is out now via Freshly Squeezed across most major stores.

http://www.12stonetoddler.com/   https://www.facebook.com/12stonetoddler   https://twitter.com/12stonetoddler

Pete RingMaster 06/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Moonshot – Last Train Home

Try tracking them down in Google and UK bred Moonshot is an eagerly evasive proposition but musically they are one warmly welcoming pleasure especially courtesy of new album, Last Train Home.

Consisting of Dan Kent and Rich Wolfe, Moonshot is an electronica weaving melancholy embracing duo which have been no strangers to praise and recognition through previous releases. Last Train Home is our introduction to their sound which has been described as “Depeche Mode meets Pet Shop Boys and Hurts at Massive Attack’s house party!” You may easily add other eighties nurtured artists to that list yet the London and Margate hailing pair have a sound which is as potently individual as it is at ease revealing its likely inspirations. With radiance burning vocal harmonies and a melodic enterprise which almost physically resonates through every vein of the band’s writing, their new album has proved an unexpected and at times breath-taking treat.

It opens with the lively shimmer of Winter Within, instantly alluring electronic dew glimmering in ears before the song springs into its creative canter around falsetto set vocals. As another burst of energy is triggered, the duo’s truly captivating harmonic union descends perfectly tempered by the darker tone and pulsation of rhythms. Contagion soaks every aspect of the track, its lushness and shadowed intimation a cradle for the band’s vocal prowess and its own suggestiveness.

The following Winter Will Pass is a warmer glaze to the slight chill of its predecessor, again a crystalline soundscape conjured this time with a hue easy to hear why Depeche Mode has especially been mentioned in reference to the Moonshot sound. It too has a dark breath to its often cool caresses and is just as inescapably entrancing before the melancholic sombre of Dark Clouds floats across the senses and imagination. Kent and Wolfe are a sunspot of harmonious beauty, their vocal craft and ethereal dynamics the real sun and heart of the album but as here keenly backed by the understanding adventure and at times climatic contrast of their music. Like a fusion of The Radioactive Grandma and Ladytron the song is irresistible.

The steelier presence of next up Too Much makes just as potent an impression with its rockier ambience soaked saunter, guitars and synths gently swinging to the earnest croon of the vocals while Speak No Words offers a cinematic allusion to its shadow hearted intimacy. The latter also has an instinctive catchiness in its belly which erupts in a chorus which simply beguiles from within the song’s otherwise darkly lit slightly heavy climate. To be honest there are so many major highlights within Last Train Home, and though this may not consistently be one for personal tastes that chorus is aural alchemy.

Illuminations has its own distinct drama, its initial melodic crystals subsequently discoloured and revitalised by the dark atmospheric shadows and headier heavier touch of evocative rhythms. Vocals counter the song’s bold trespass with their usual harmonic radiation, seeping under the skin and into the imagination as richly as the apocalyptic theatre around them.

We did not take to the album’s title track as keenly as other songs yet its melodic luminance as unsurprisingly the band’s vocal enticement is impossible to gloss over as it entices on its way to passing satisfied ears over to Hunting Down the Hunter. You would not say the track was predatory but it definitely has a certain dark edge to its tone and touch even as its dance and infection creating instincts collude and escape into a broadening landscape of persuasion.

The final pair of The Way To Go, a caress of acoustic guitar and vocal reflection within an electronic misting which in certain moments rises to its dramatic feet with compelling tenacity, and the similarly accomplished Angels in the Snow ensures the album’s conclusion is a hug of captivation. The closer is a fascinating slice of storytelling adding just another dark meets light shade to the album’s creative landscape.

Truthfully we did not expect to enjoy Last Train Home anywhere as much as we did due to that fusion of comparisons earlier mentioned, but it was a surprise we have only greedily devoured. There is every chance you will too especially if electronic, pop, harmonic, and atmospheric enterprise is your particular treat.

Last Train Home is available now via F&G Records @ https://fandg.me/independent-label/shop

https://twitter.com/m00nshot

Pete RingMaster 06/09/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Lara Smiles – All For You

There are times when you can only expect plaudits and ears to come chasing an encounter and one such moment is surely to surround the release of the debut album from British singer songwriter Lara Smiles. A truly magnetic festival of resourceful sounds and lively imagination, All For You is as rich in its variety and enterprise as it is determined in its aim to get the body bouncing and involved in inhibition losing fun. It is a treat of an introduction which just seems to get more impressive and manipulative by the listen.

With music never far from her ears and passion since a young child, seeds laid by the sounds her parents were playing, Lara has grown to embrace a host of styles and flavours which has nurtured the variety and diversity in her own writing and music. Among a host of major inspirations, the likes of Tina Turner, The Beatles, Paul Simon, Queen, Prodigy, The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Muse, Beth Ditto, Green Day and Middle Eastern music heavily feature yet as her first full-length reveals, they have only gone to spark her own musical individuality. Since emerging she has also become a praise drawing presence on the UK live scene supporting the likes of Pete Doherty and playing some of the biggest festivals, including Glastonbury four times, the Isle of Wight Festival, and The Great Escape as well as also finding herself collaborating with The Orb, guesting on the new Shed Seven album, Instant Pleasures, and singing with The Australian Pink Floyd Show for the past eight years.

Mixed by Jamie Grashion and legendary producers Michael Rendall and Martin Glover aka Youth (Primal Scream, The Orb, Pink Floyd), her self-produced debut album is poised to thrust Lara into the limelight in her own rights. That is our expectations here and every venture through All For You only cements our thoughts.

© Hannah Smiles

Breeding a boisterous and tenacious, often ferocious blend of alternative rock and contagion loaded pop with a just as eager appetite for punk, electro and industrial rock with plenty more besides, the album opens up with the swiftly and increasingly magnetic Coincidence. A spiral of electronic enticement entangles ears first as crisp beats pounce, their combined lure soon reinforced by the hungry riffs of Lara’s guitar. Instantly intrigue and drama lines every emerging tendril turning, it evolving crystalline glamour and beauty as the song breaks into a melodic stroll alongside the seductive tones of Lara. The mercurial edge to the track though continues as its writhes around like a creative dervish, tantalising and fascinating at every turn whilst getting the release off to a tremendous start.

It is an overall inescapable enticement which continues through the following Save Yourself. Bubbling electronics and boisterous guitar align to the darker stroll of Joe Singfield’s bass as the rustle of Sara Leigh’s beats tease before leading the song in its own individual canter. In turn there is a devious urgency and aggressiveness which breaks out as the chorus escapes a calmer build up though that too has a dramatic edge which just sparks the imagination as potently as ears. Lara’s vocals have rich variety which relish her imagination and the equally diverse tapestry of sounds she ventures forth across this track alone it emerging as a compelling slice of punk lined pop ‘n’ roll.

The album’s title track comes next, bounding in on an irresistible incitement of a bassline which continues to manipulate as vocals and melodies dance. Ridiculously infectious and persuasive to hips and vocal chords, the track simply seduced compliance and participation whilst igniting an already firmly placed appetite for the release before Dictate Peace explores a whole new landscape of Eastern spiced teasing and imagination. Its summery stroll and breeze radiates captivation but also the darker shadows and strains of drama which impose their intrigue throughout; it all adding to a riveting invention which sees the listener taken through a web of creative espionage.

And It Hurts follows with its initial gentle elegant charms to the fore. They continue to entice as the fire in the heart and belly of the song smoulders and ignites note by note. With its blaze increased, energy erupts but so too another striking collusion of textures and flavours with the track continuing the great unpredictability of its predecessors and their instinctive contagion.

The folkish grace and melodic beauty of Oh How is pretty much aural intoxication straight after, Lara’s voice intimation carrying seduction and radiance while Disconnected provides a controlled but virulent contagion of pop rock with a compelling blend of spikiness and winning grins to its stomp. In turn, Zombie preys on the senses and body with its emotive irritability and electro funk catchiness. Like all tracks, it soon reveals its individually inventive escapade of unexpected twists which only accelerate its slavery of ears and involvement.

Penultimate song, The Fightings Over, needs mere seconds to have everything robustly involved in its punk ‘n’ rock bred bounce as thoughts align to its lyrical exploration, a tempestuousness in its air and attitude only adding to the incendiary theatre perfectly setting up the contrasting mellow and glowing yet melancholic repose of final track, Turn It Around. The individuality of this pair alone songs epitomises the variety thick All For You as a whole and of Lara’s songwriting which seems so effortlessly to cast real diversity and adventure.

There have been a few releases which have truly inspired and aroused us here this year, a couple this month alone and All For You sits boldly alongside giving real undiluted pleasure. Whether it sees Lara Smiles a household name we will see but it will surely establish her as one of our most exciting and unique talents.

All For You is released September 7th via iTunes and other stores with its album launch show @ the Sebright Arms, London August 30th.

http://www.larasmiles.com/   https://www.facebook.com/larasmilesmusic/   https://twitter.com/LaraSmilesMusic

Pete RingMaster24/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Stone Angels – Self Titled EP

We first came across The Stone Angels when researching for a piece on the debut album from fellow Brits, Brighton hailing Stone Angels in 2015. This subsequently led us to checking out for pleasure the first full-length from the Torquay in Devon trio, Spirit, Love & Higher Meanings upon its release the following year. It proved to be an ear pleasing melodic rock bred endeavour which ensured attention, reaching well beyond us, found and stayed upon the band. Now the threesome has unveiled their new self-titled EP offering up more highly enjoyable slices of their lively sound.

Described as the ‘South West’s best kept secret’, The Stone Angels consists of guitarist/vocalist Dan Nathan, bassist Nathan Hughes, and drummer Sam McIver. It is fair to say that their so called ‘anonymity ‘ has not stopped their reputation and fan base swelling through that debut album and performances at numerous well-known festivals and appearances on BBC Introducing in Devon. With a UK tour across September following their new EP, we suggest that the band will feel another increase in attention as they continue their strong emergence on the British rock scene.

The EP opens up with To The Light and immediately ears are faced with forceful but inviting riffs and firm rhythms to which spicy grooves add their lures. Electronic enticement joins the track’s threads of enterprise as it settles into a calmer stroll, a reserved moment building towards a fiercer expulsion and a quickly virulent and rousing chorus.  Providing a strong and ear grabbing start to the released, the song only increases its captivation by the minute and listen; its rock ‘n’ roll not particularly unique but oh so contagious.

The following Animal matches its predecessor in imagination and potency, unveiling its chorus early on with equal catchiness involved. With Nathan providing magnetic backing to Dan’s similarly strong lead vocals, the track infests ears and body movements with its bold classic meets hard rock stroll. The grumble of the former’s bass is just as manipulative to rock ‘n’ roll instincts as the swinging raps of McIver; it all together providing another seriously enjoyable offering.

With its acoustic entrance Fear easily entices attention, firmly gripping it with its evolving pop rock saunter. There is a main hook at its middle which just dares you to ignore it, an impossible task, while melodies and keys weave their own warm come-on to the imagination as the track establishes its infectious character and prowess.

A cover of The Human League’s Don’t You Want Me follows. As it is a song which we have always instinctively and totally disliked, it would be unfair to pass judgement but the trio do grab it with a firm hand without making it their own before closing the EP up with Set Me Free. The final song brings the release back on track with its pop catchiness and bold rock ‘n’ roll tenacity, a slight Spandau Ballet hue only adding to its robust attraction.

Thoroughly enjoyable from the off and increasingly impressing by the listen, The Stone Angels EP confirms the band as ones to keep a keen ear upon especially as their individuality maybe hinted at here blossoms ahead.

The Stone Angels EP is released August 24th.

http://www.thestoneangels.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/TheStoneAngels   https://twitter.com/thestoneangels

Pete RingMaster24/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dave Barbarossa – Mudsharks

Some musicians have the most distinctive style and enterprise that it is easy to know who they are just from a burst of sound. When it comes to drummers for us here it is not so easy but one man has a touch and style to his rhythmic imagination that it is impossible not to recognise. That artist is Dave Barbarossa and he has just released a rather irresistible new EP as part of the Icon Series.

2013 saw the publishing of Dave’s excellent debut novel Mud Sharks and the new EP adds its apparent connection through its title. The Mudsharks EP provides three instrumentals uniting his trademark style with electronic intimation and endeavour; at times marrying the rhythmic sound which ignited so many musical journeys in the seventies with his just as potent exploits through more recent projects such as Cauldronated.

The EP opens with Buttercup Girl, a slice of tenacious dance music with summer fervour in its keys and melody and flirtatious incitement in its rhythms. Like a flight through spatial climes but with earth bound muscularity pulling at its exploration, the track has the body bouncing and imagination conjuring in no time.

It is a rousing start though one for us swiftly eclipsed by the following pair of tracks. First up is Keep Walking, a piece which strolls along with relentless tenacity through cosmopolitan air over a more defined urban landscape. Dave’s rhythms just shape the imagination; suspense and drama fuelled by his web of swings as a cinematic weave is cast by electronics and synths. Quickly addictive and more so by the listen, the song reveals itself a viral persuasion.

The closing arousal of the EP’s title track is the perfect union of nostalgia and new. MudSharks harkens back to the irresistible rhythmic exploits of Bow Wow Wow but incitement draped in thick electronic intimation and drama amidst the floating lures of vocal harmonies. As its predecessors, it masterfully lures thoughts into painting adventures whilst turning hips and feet into its puppet.

Dave Barbarossa has been integral in numerous major treats and now the Mudsharks EP can be added to the list.

The Mudsharks EP is out now on download and Ltd. Edition Cassette Tape via Icon Series.

https://www.facebook.com/dave.barbarossa   https://www.facebook.com/iconseriesrecords/

Pete RingMaster 13/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright