High Tiny Hairs – LP

HTH_RingMasterReview

It is fair to say that High Tiny Hairs do not waste too much time thinking about names for their releases, their introduction being called EP and a debut album going by the name of LP, their names the distinction between two self-titled proposals. Where they do centre their attention is on a sound which tantalises and captivates. Creating a compelling mix of garage and psych rock as sultry as it is infectious, the band captured ears and imagination with their first EP, a tempting which has blossomed into something even more beguiling in its full-length successor.

The beginnings of High Tiny Hairs came in the spring of 2014, the band starting out as a solo project for Minneapolis songwriter/vocalist/guitarist Ben Bachman. He recorded and produced the High Tiny Hairs EP soon after before joining US garage rock band Fuck Knights on their European tour prior to its release. It was on the Spanish leg of that adventure where he met Spanish troubadour Cristina Mirica and found a union in music and loves. They kept in touch after his return to America, an emotional bond growing which Bachman put down to the cure to his writers block. Towards the end of that year, he returned to Spain and Mirica, the pair also creatively uniting for what stands before us, the band’s magnetic first album.

Mixed by Ross Nueske, the album opens up with Bcna, guitars quickly wrapping engagingly around ears as the warm serenade of keys flirt with the senses. Seriously catchy from its first breath, the song only grows in tempting as Mirica’s warm tones joins the swagger of bass and crisp beats. There is a surf rock scenting to the track alongside its sixties flavoured garage pop, a mix which has hips and appetite dancing and all warmed up for the just as lively and enjoyable stroll of Upside Down. Hooks and melodies entangle as rhythms bound with an irresistible swagger, Bachman’s vocals and keys sauntering along the infection loaded encounter.

As Night Walking engages ears next it is clear that the punk essences of that first EP have been more or less replaced with a richer wash of variety, the song’s warm and seductive swing embracing psych blues and broader rock elements. There is no escaping getting hooked up in its masterful sway or the seventies glam pop flavoured rock ‘n’ roll of the following Rattlin. With more than a passing nod to bands like Sweet, the song romps along with ear enslaving virulence as Bachman’s guitar weaves a web of melodic enterprise around beguiling vocals.

art_RingMasterReviewRolling Smoke dips back into the seeds of sixties garage rock next while Stained smoulders with psych rock imagination from the same era straight after; both tracks as diverse and unique as they are mutually captivating and creatively stylish. They are qualities which again shape the hazy canvas of My Mind, a track with a whiff of bands like The 13th Floor Elevators and The Electric Prunes to its dark pop romancing.

The album is completed by firstly On a Plane, a humid summer of psych and garage rock with underlying tempestuousness, and finally Sunset. The closer is a riveting controlled stomp of punchy beats, brooding bass, and exotic melodies aligned to just as hazy vocals and steamy keys. It is a delicious end to an album which is just as flavoursome and more as a whole.

With a line-up now expanded by the addition of Coda’s Guillem Gabarró and Raül Romero of Flashback Five, High Tiny Hairs is looking at a rather exciting year on the back of one rather fine release.

The High Tiny Hairs LP is out now @ http://hightinyhairs.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/HighTinyHairs   http://hightinyhairs.wixsite.com/hightinyhairs

Pete RingMaster 25/02/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Discomister – Cool Is Dead

digi_album_RingMasterReview

In its celebration of “uncertainty, vulnerability, and authenticity”, Cool Is Dead is one of the year’s first mouth-watering surprises. From its first moments and touch, the debut album from British duo Discomister had our ears and imagination ablaze with eager intrigue, sparking lustier pleasure with each subsequent listen of its psych rock ‘n’ pop nurtured adventure.

Anticipation in a great many for the band’s first album had been sparked by a pair of limited edition 7” coloured vinyl singles over the past year, both featuring songs destined to make up part of its magnetic proposal. For us newcomers to the creative imagination of Robin Parmiter and Ian Wilson, Cool Is Dead is an unexpected pleasure which swiftly inspires captivation and an eager appetite to know more.

The York based two open up the album with the outstanding Magical, a tasty slice of feisty rock ‘n’ roll just as tempting in its mellow moments as its fiery roar. A thrust of guitar makes first contact, its squeaky grooves and rousing riffs paving the way for melodic vocals and seductive tone of bass as the song slips into calmer waters. All the while it is secretively prowling the listener though, building its drama and energy for another raw crescendo as infectious as it is raw. Vocal harmonies only add to the potency as too their lyrical dance, the track simply a riveting participation commanding treat.

Feed The Rich quickly follows with its own dynamic tempting, guitars poking at the senses as exotically nurtured melodies mingle with ears. Rhythmically also, the track anthemically picks its spot, jabbing away as it incites feet whilst vocal cries spark the spirit. Lyrically crawling over the state of education, the track is pure magnetism, hips and vocal chords as drawn as thoughts and energies in its persuasive stomp before Dissolve allows a small breather, though it too is ultimately a seriously catchy and compelling offering. A psychedelic tinge colours melodies and atmosphere within the song, its lure carrying a mix of Billy Momo and Rain Parade in its intoxication with further eighties new wave flavouring in its bolder twists.

Thoughts of Billy Momo are again inspired by next up I Am You; though only as a shade in the full melodic palette of the seriously superb slice of flaming pop while The Cool Cowboy takes the imagination on a psychedelic ride through a Doors meets The Monochrome Set theatre of suggestion and sound. Its creative lines are a shimmering, haze soaked beauty, the track glorious and as its predecessor, a proposal which if it connects with personal tastes is manna for the senses.

The gentler caress and romancing melodies of Your Faults charms ears next, its alluring minimalistic body perpetually evolving and brewing broader, stronger adventure and intensity with each of its four passing minutes. Its increasing inner fire is magnetically tempered by again inescapably catchy harmonies before it all sizzles out for the advancing revelry of Let It Roll. There is something indeterminably familiar to the song which only adds to its warm and welcoming acoustic hug, a seduction with its own emerging creative and emotional snarl only adding to the already thickly impressive character and presence of the album.

Middle Eastern spices breed another fresh trespass of the imagination in Kettle, its sultry air and exotic hues irresistible within a landscape as strange and sinister as it is beguiling. Track by track, the band and album twists the kaleidoscope of adventure and invention on offer into new designs, the track and its successor, Traitors & Saints no exception, the latter providing a blend of melody coaxed elegance and rhythmic predation in a slowly burning but increasingly bewitching incitement.

Cool Is Dead closes its journey with its title track, a radiant croon of melancholy with its own spiral of psych seeded mystery and temptation heading towards a dramatic blaze of intensity in a rousing climax. It is a gripping close to a slavery of fun and imagination, Cool Is Dead to the fore of the most enjoyable and impressive encounters in 2017 so far and though we have barely touched the closing walls of January it is hard to see that changing over the next eleven months.

Cool Is Dead is out now via Traitors & Saints Records, digitally on iTunes and on CD @ http://discomister.bigcartel.com/product/cool-is-dead-signed-cd-album-free-between-spaces-ep-download fully signed and in full colour card gatefold packaging with artwork by Rachael Burnett and coming with a FREE Digital Download of the Between Spaces EP, written  by the band during the 2016 Cool Is Dead European Tour.

https://www.facebook.com/discomister/    https://twitter.com/discomisteruk

Pete RingMaster 25/02/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Maths and The Moon – Familiar Strange

MATM_RingMasterReview

This month sees the release of the eagerly awaited second album from UK alternative rock trio Maths and The Moon. It has been not too many weeks short of three years since their debut full-length, Night Train Daydream caught and captivated ears and imagination with its tapestry of droning seduction and fire drenched melodies spun with uncompromising invention. Familiar Strange is the natural and bold evolution of its predecessor’s sound and character; a generally calmer proposal with fascination and maturity flowing through every pore yet still creatively, an unpredictable and forcibly adventurous exploit.

Southampton bred and made up of vocalist/guitarist/principal songwriter Andy Fielder, drummer Luke Taplin, and bassist Matt Hirst, Maths and The Moon has persistently provided sounds and sonic explorations which have challenged as powerfully as they have enthralled. Formed around 2010, the band made its live debut supporting the legendary Can frontman Damo Suzuki, building on that thick interest sparking moment thereon in before sparking rich acclaim with Night Train Daydream in 2013. The album was an experimental fusion of psych rock and post punk with plenty more involved. Familiar Strange similarly embraces those hues but with an even richer array of equally dramatic flavours involved. It provides a sound and experience which is less spiky than on the first album, even more welcoming melodically and emotionally in many ways, yet still immerses the listener in landscapes as imaginatively scenic as they are emotionally invasive.

The trio has honed their sound and ideas into aural tales, where words and notes collude to cast individual glimpses into shadowed hearts and emotive reflections whilst, to use the words in the album’s press release, losing the listener “in the forest with nothing but shadows, memories and strangely familiar characters.” It all begins with recent single Futurist, a song instantly imposing on ears through the rumbling bass and some heftily swung beats as the guitar spreads an evocative jangle. That relatively forceful first touch soon mellows into a calmer incitement, the song prowling on its rhythms as the inviting tones of Fielder croon over the web of sonic enterprise and drama. The volatility which persistently courts the track does erupt in its chorus to fine effect, arousing ears and appetite further before the song swings through its merger of all aspects while smouldering harmonies and melodic flames colour the fiercely infectious encounter.

Familiar Strange _RingMasterReviewThere is a touch of Muse about the opener, but just a passing whiff before a Pixies-esque spicing emerges in the following Magic. Again it is a scent in an offering uniquely Maths and the Moon; a track which merges a charming sonic irritability with tenacious beats and the spiny lure of the bass. As with the first, the song is inescapably contagious, inciting body and ears with equal prowess and success whilst its fuzzy air and emotive drama seals the imagination’s involvement. Across its length, it blossoms an increasingly blistered surface to its melodies and voice, flirting with a Jesus and Mary Chain meets scorched shoegaze like glazing, while superbly continuing the impressive start to the album with a success quickly backed up by Amongst Trees and its shadow grasped balladry. It is a subdued and mesmeric persuasion where poetically suggestive guitar and voice hug ears as drums and bass build a pulsating frame around them. A thicker stroll of psych rock does emerge within the track, another enticement as catchy as it is soothing in the album, which in turn breeds a rolling rhythmic incitement which provides the hook for celestial harmonies and sultry melodies to hang around.

Howling is another with that alternative meets indie rock essence to its persuasion, the Maths and The Moon seemingly inspired again by the Frank Black kind of songwriting in the creation of their very own addictive tango on the ear. A sizzling slice of dark pop, the track hits the sweet spot dead centre, an accuracy matched by the outstanding In The Ellipse. The track is a ten minute instrumental providing a rhythmic canter with suggestive melodies and lively enterprise in its creative mane. The virulent ride has the scent of The Cure to it, their kind of emotive theatre laid in a tenaciously sculpted and offered gallop though an ever shifting and descriptive landscape.

From the warm and bright emprise of the last track, The Collector envelops ears with a haunting and intimately melancholic sigh. As with the previous ballad, the song is a minimalistic proposal coaxing ears and emotions, but luring full attention with an underlying infectiousness to compliment the maudlin shadows and the great repetitive coaxing around Fielder’s magnetic vocals.

In the band’s first album, Wire often came to mind but not with Familiar Strange, not until Boomerang anyway which weaves some colder steely hues reminiscent of the great band into its low key but snarling seduction of the senses. It is simply just another texture though, taken and twisted to suit and fit what, the album continues to prove, is their most distinctive and robustly compelling sound yet.

Familiar Strange is brought to a close by firstly the solemn acoustic balladry and heart of As The Crow Flies, though a song building a pyre of emotion and sound which burns with more intensity by its departure, and finally, the haze soaked psychedelic saunter and mesmerism of Psych-Seeing. Providing a riveting end to a thrilling encounter, the track glows and resonates across the senses like charmed smog with a melody spilling lighthouse at its heart.

It is fair to say that Night Train Daydream impressed and still does but Familiar Strange is Maths and The Moon on a whole other plateau offering their most exciting and accessible but still invigoratingly experimental proposal yet.

Familiar Strange is released May 20th @ http://mathsandthemoon.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 19/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Slumdogs – Lost and Found

TS_RingMasterReview

Formed in the September of 2015, British alternative/indie rock band The Slumdogs is looking like making their first full year together a potently successful one. Hailing from Blackpool, the band has already spread its presence and eager fan base into the likes of Liverpool and Manchester; luring ears further afield too through their first tour of England, a thirteen adventure last December. It is fair to say that the quartet hit the floor running and have only intensified their nudge on broader awareness through shows and the recent release of debut single Lost and Found.

front-cover-single_RingMasterReviewReleased through Shropshire based label Hartfield Records, Lost and Found is a swift arousal of ears and imagination. From a gentle guitar caress it blossoms into a lively stroll shaped by spicy melodies, energetic rhythms, and eager vocals. There is no escaping an Arctic Monkeys meets The Libertines air to the track, a rich flavour but one woven into something as freshly Slumdogs as anything familiar. As the song continues to swing along taking appetite and hips with it, guitars cast a blend of emotive and flirtatious melodies around the grumble of the bass and a lure of tenacious beats, it all under the leadership of the excellent vocals.

Accompanying the highly enjoyable track is Slumdog, a self-titled encounter revealing an even thicker glimpse into the imagination and variety to be found in the band’s music. Sultrily hued melodies shimmer around the seductive dark temptation of the bass, their radiance a psych pop wrap to the shadowy lure of the rhythms. Swiftly enthralling ears, the song brings additional Doors like essences into its increasingly flirtatious pop ‘n’ roll, closing on a spirited climax as much surf rock and sixties garage rock as it is a bold new twist of modern indie rock.

The track is glorious, a thrilling extra to the magnetic prowess of Lost and Found, and together the duo provide an introduction to The Slumdogs which few are going to be able to ignore.

Lost and Found is out now via Hartfield Records @ http://www.hartfieldrecords.co.uk/product/slumdogs-lost-found/

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Pete Ringmaster 18/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Bloody Knives – I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This

BK_RingMasterReview

The tone of its title, I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This, pretty much sets you up for the emotional trespass and sonic attitude of the new album from Texan trio Bloody Knives. It is a dark invasive suggestion echoed throughout the eight tracks’ scarred nihilistic hearts and a sound which crawls over and smothers the senses. Equally, it comes fuelled by melancholy thicker than Victorian London fog which at times is just as oppressive and invasively enveloping as the caustically natured sounds and as compelling as the raw beauty also invading ear and imagination.

Consisting of Preston Maddox (bass, voice, keyboards, samples, programming), Jake McCown (drums, noise, programming, art), and Jack O’Hara Harris (guitars, noise), Bloody Knives creates soundscapes which immerses the imagination in the darkest corners of life and emotion, into the harshest shadows within fiercest betrayals and deeds. Trying to accurately pin down their sound, lyrically and emotionally, is like trying to grab air, music and album simply a dense kaleidoscope of flavours and thought grasping dramas. The trio certainly find the coldest and rawest aspects of styles like dream pop, shoegaze, and psych pop to weave into intoxicating tempests also shaped by essences of post punk and industrially honed ethereal droning. It is a mesmeric and disturbing mix stealing attention instantly within the opener of the Maddox and Ian Rundell (Dead Space, Ghetto Ghouls, Xetas) recorded and Adam Stilson (New Canyons, Airiel, The March Violets) mixed and mastered I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This.

The album opens with Cystic, an instantly blistering nagging on the senses as guitars and keys sizzle venomously around the infectious stroll of the bass and Maddox’s morosely inviting and solemnly mellow vocals. Like a mix of My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and Crispy Ambulance yet, as all tracks, something uniquely Bloody Knives, the song bites, grumbles, and entices with an inescapable virulence before it evolves into the following Blood Turns Cold. There is an even darker, almost desperation hued emotion and air to the second track, its character uncompromising and ravenous as icy melodies and melancholic vocals lace the transfixing drone of the encounter.

art_RingMasterReviewA bolder, antagonistic post punk undercurrent runs through the next up Reflection Lies, the bass leading those magnetic textures within another imagination sparking smog of sonic and melodic dissonance cast by guitar and synth, while Black Hole swings and rumbles with celestial and almost carnivorous washes of sound and emotion, each evolving and expanding in the ears with every passing minute. Both tracks majorly beguile and intimidate in varying ways and each ignites the senses, but the second of the two with its punk growl and techno flirtation within ravenous atmospheric explorations is especially irresistible.

Through the plaintive tone and sonic trespass of Static, where a great catchy Leitmotive like nagging emerges, and the dark, deranged almost funereal waltz of the instrumental —-, ears and thoughts continue to be potently challenged and eagerly involved whilst Poison Halo offers an even fiercer  wall of aural and emotional density. As ever the raw and suffocating hues of sound are expertly tempered by the coldly engaging delivery of Maddox and the often seemingly toxic melodies, the bass again sparking the contagiousness underpinning every song in one way or another.

Finishing with Buried Alive, a captivating assault of sonic and emotional discordance equipped with keenly edged scythes of guitars, psyche invading keys, and that ever successful rousing bass tenacity not forgetting the fiercely persuasive vocals, I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This is a thrilling confrontation and adventure. It takes the listener to new, invasive places in body and emotion yet rewards with spirit arousing challenges. With only the drums having their bite dulled by the swamp of sound around them as a minute niggle, I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This is simply one easy recommendation.

I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This is out now via Saint Marie Records @ https://saintmarierecords.bandcamp.com/album/i-will-cut-your-heart-out-for-this available digitally and on Vinyl limited to 500 (200 Black and 300 Ox blood / Electric Blue)

https://www.facebook.com/thebloodyknives

Pete Ringmaster 16/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Vienna Ditto – Ticks EP

Pic Wildblanket Photography

Pic Wildblanket Photography

Bringing their most eclectic sound and irresistible hex yet to follow up an eagerly acclaimed debut album, British duo Vienna Ditto are about to unveil new EP, Ticks. It is seven tracks of fiercely diverse and mesmeric aural imagination; a collection of encounters embracing voodoo rhythms, electrified blues temptation, and beguiling vocal dexterity honed into a septet of unique psyche twisting proposals.

From being child student and guitar teacher in 2000, creatively reuniting a decade later, vocalist/synthist Hatty Taylor and guitarist Nigel Firth have become one of the most intriguing and imaginatively unpredictable encounters within the British underground rock scene. The Oxford hailing band through EPs and singles since their first, a self-titled EP in 2011, has explored, nurtured, and uniquely spun a sound which has always fascinated but become increasingly more fascinating and spellbinding release by release. That growth and exploration accumulated in the release of their feverishly praised debut album, Circles, last year. With the release of Ticks and some hindsight though, the impressive album now feels like it was the end of the band’s first chapter, a rounding up of early ideas and successes providing a springboard into even darker and boldly adventurous escapades to experiment with, such as those making up the sensational Ticks.

The EP opens with its title track, a slice of quirky pop with wonky melodies and smouldering rhythmic grooves around the immediately siren-esque tones of Taylor. Beats play as a settling lure until the song opens up with an even darker tang to its grooves and new wave like hues to its hooks and excitable energy. Slipping back into that initial seductive coaxing, things down settle again though a lingering volatility is there waiting to fuel another round of the addictive chorus and the subsequent sinister emotive waltz and mischievous musical tango which begin entangling each other. The track is glorious and, as the EP, simply more infectious and imposingly addictive with every listen.

art_RingMasterReviewTiny Tambourines follows up the thrilling start with a gentler melodic kiss on ears, though tantalising electronic incitement and an off-kilter rhythmic shuffle are also there courting the warmer hues of sound and Taylor’s ever evocative voice. The track is a fuzzy romancing of ears and imagination, again with a great tempestuousness which means unpredictability lurks at every twist and turn before the brilliant warped bossanova of Frank Account takes over. From the first strains of guitar, ears sense a festival is waiting to pounce, a few seconds more brings confirmation as strolling beats and swinging harmonies surround Taylor and the flirtatiously jazzy grooves and devilish hooks of Firth. Like a slightly deranged hybrid of The BeauBowBelles and Molotov Jukebox, the song bewitches and enslaves; taking body and imagination on a lively and provocative adventure.

The mesmeric blues croon of Motherless Child comes next, the song a melancholic serenade lined with sultry yet unsettling shadows within a brewing portrait of loneliness and loss cast by voice and melodic discordance. It is spellbinding stuff, becoming more potent with every listen; a quality admittedly every song holds including the haunting cinematic drama of My Way of Missing You. Maybe best described as Portishead meets Morcheeba whilst lost in a dark world shaped by Lydia Lunch or The Sugarcubes, or not, the song has thoughts drifting off into shadowy exploits as ears fall for its invasive and hypnotic beauty.

The band’s sound switches to a spirit sparking gospel character for next up Go Down Moses, an incitement with loco guitar revelry and twisted gothic blues ingenuity to create a sure fire passion igniting protagonist. Its dark rock ‘n’ roll joins the long list of momentously rousing songs and moments within Ticks quickly joined by closing track Come Back and its busy and sinuous landscape of textures and craft within a cosmopolitan theatre of sound. Alone leaving ears and appetite greedy for more, the song brings Ticks to a sensational end while revealing yet another aspect to the creative sorcery breeding the release.

Vienna Ditto is a band which keeps on impressing and providing adventures which continually surprise and excite as they themselves become bolder and more dramatically imaginative.

The Ticks EP is released 13th May 2016 via Ubiquity Project Recordings @ https://viennaditto.bandcamp.com/

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

Pete RingMaster 12/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Phobophobes – No Flavour

 

Photo by Keira Cullinane

Photo by Keira Cullinane

Phobophobes is a British quintet releasing their debut single this month and though it is only one song heard, it is hard not to join the clamour of suggestion that the Londoners are going to provide the UK music scene with a new and fresh spark over coming years.

No Flavour is the name of the band’s first single, a track which shares its virulent psych pop/garage rock enterprise with a vaudevillian like mischief whilst instantly shedding light on many reasons why the band is causing a stir. Formed in 2014 within the creative belly of Brixton, Phobophobes consists of vocalist Jamie Taylor, guitarist George Russell, bassist Elliot Nash, drummer Dan Lyons who played in the original line-up of Fat White Family, and keyboardist Chris OC also plays in Meat Raffle. Fair to say, the band has earned a glowing reputation across the capital and beyond for their stage presence and sound, something sure to blossom just as eagerly elsewhere once No Flavour escapes the shadows.

Thick swinging beats hit ears first, their resonance as enticing as the fuzzy edge to the emerging guitar. Once keys dance in with flirtatious melodies, that carnival-esque hue is working away on ears and imagination, being only enhanced by the controlled barker like tones of Taylor. The virulence of sound is echoed in the vocals, especially in their broader prowess in a chorus for which there is no antidote for its incitement of listener involvement.

Continuing to bounce and enslave, the song swings and thrills like something akin to The Doors meets early Horrors meets Tankus The Henge, with added Cardiacs like mischief, to match that of the lyrical side, for keen measure. The track is manna to ears and imagination, with no complaints from feet and hips either. Coupled with a reportedly “extraordinary version” of Leonard Cohen’s Tower of Song on the B-side, a pleasure we have yet to hear, No Flavour is a mighty introduction to Phobophobes, a band as mentioned earlier, it is easy to suggest has a very potent future ahead of them.

No Flavour is released March 25th on 7” vinyl and download on BAM Records (via Republic of Music).

https://www.facebook.com/Phobophobes/   https://twitter.com/PPhobes

Pete RingMaster 21/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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