Embraces from the heart: talking with Charly&Faust

Picture by Rémy Tortosa

Tagged as indie folk rock, the Charly&Faust sound is a much richer tapestry of flavours than that hints at and a captivating seduction for ears and thought as proven by a recently released EP. We had a chance to look into the creative heart of the California based band, finding out about its origins, that new EP, creating songs and much more…

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

Charly: We are Charly&Faust, an Indie Folk-Rock band composed of six members. I am Charly (Marie Weill), one of the lead singers of the band and rhythm guitarist.

CH: My name is Coralie Hervé and I’m the drummer the band, I joined Charly&Faust in October 2016.

ER: Hi, I’m Eric Reymond. I play bass and do the backing vocals. I’m from Switzerland and I moved to Los Angeles to study at Musicians Institute. I met Coralie on the first day of school and she introduced me to the rest of the band because they were searching for a bass player.

NL: I’m Nathan Lorber, I play keys, and I met the rest of the band following a Facebook notice.

JF: I’m Jeff (Jefferson Fichou) the lead guitar player. I met the band at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood.

Faust: I am Faust; the other lead singer of the band. Charly and I, first met in Paris few years ago, and we started to make music together when we moved in LA. The connection between us was great, but not powerful enough yet. That is why we decided to build a band. Now, We are like a little family!

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

CH: I was in a band with some of my friends for 6 years. It was only for fun but it taught me how to play and work with other people.

Faust: It’s the first time I’m part of a band so there is for sure no impact for me.

JF: I’ve been playing in a lot of different projects here in LA and back in France. It’s important to have such experiences in the music world but everything is evolving faster and smoother with Charly&Faust.

Charly: I got bands before, but it never really worked. We were not going to the same musical direction. I have the chance to now play in two bands with people that I love working with. Charly&Faust is my main band, the one I lead with Faust, but I also play bass and sing backing vocals in another band called The Sutra. I am also working on my next solo EP now. All these experiences are complementary for me and help me to go further in my artistic process in each of them.

ER: Yes, I had two bands back home and I was playing with two other bands here when Charly&Faust asked me to join them. I don’t think it has any impact on my way of playing; I’m always trying to play everything.

NL: I have my own project called Polymorph, as well as a couple of other bands on the side.

Picture by Rémy Tortosa

What inspired the band name?

ER: It comes from the nicknames of the two singers and leaders.

Faust: We just wanted to use something that goes well together!

Charly: Like our music collaboration!

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

Charly: I think for Faust and I music is a way to express ourselves. That was the main idea behind this band. Be free to express our feelings and vision of the world. For the sound part, we are listening old and new music so we wanted to illustrate that in our sound.

Faust: When you play in a band, you feel stronger than ever. All together, we deliver a message and it has a better impact this way. We talk about several feelings from heart breaking to society topics to humanity questions.

NL: I think one of the key points of our sound is to mix a broad range of styles, both old and new.

And those same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

Faust: Yes that’s pretty much the same. I mean the process is the same but with time the other members bring their own touch, their own way which is something I love!

JF: We’re still a pretty young band; we just started about a year ago.

Charly: The only thing that changed is that before forming the full band, Faust and I were composing our songs with an acoustic set up which sometimes was bringing guitar melodies a bit different than what we got now that we are composing with an electric set up.

How would you say your sound has evolved since its beginnings?

JF: We sound more like a band now. I mean everybody has brought some elements to the music and that’s great.

Faust: I just think that the more I practice with the band, my feelings and my way to approach music evolved. Experiencing music with them makes my personal sound evolves and this way makes the sound of Charly&Faust evolves.

CH: At the beginning, there was only Charly and Faust so it was more acoustic, folk. When the rest of us arrived, it turned more indie, rock and now we have some electronic sound added to our music.

Charly: I would say that we are starting to know each other better which allow us to play better together and go further in our creative process. We also improved a lot the vocals harmonies in my opinion.

ER: It’s way more professional now. The electronic elements are certainly a plus to make our sound more professional.

Is the creative movement within the band a more organic thing or do you go out to deliberately try and push new things?

Faust: You know we all have ideas and try to make them work all together which sometimes works really good and sometimes not but what matters is the fact we communicate a lot about it to make sure that we all go in the same direction.

ER: In general, I would say it has been always organic, but, of course, sometimes it’s nice to set boundaries to not get stuck in our comfort zone.

CH: I will say both. The first songs were already written so we kept them like they were but we experimented a lot with the new songs that we arranged all together.

Charly: I would say that it is a mix between both and that it depends of the song we are creating and its topic too.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

ER: Yes, Vulfpeck, Radiohead and Jack White help me to construct my bass lines stronger.

NL: A big influence for me is Pink Floyd, which also happen to be my favorite band. And the important role Rick Wright had in that band taught me how critical the role of a keyboardist is. You don’t just play melodies or chords, but are a central part of creating textures and setting up the whole atmosphere of a song.

Charly: Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zero, Imagine Dragons, Tracy Chapman, Assaf Avidan, etc.

Faust: I have so many artists who inspired me like Michael Jackson, Joan Jett, the Beatles, The Doors, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Coldplay… I have so much more but I’m gonna stop here *laughs*

CH : I am more of a hard rock/rock drummer, so it’s really interesting to play with Charly&Faust, to add some electronic sounds and find some groove which works with all the other instruments.

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

NL: It usually starts with Charly and Faust bringing lyrics and some vague structure and chords progression to the table. And from that, the whole band participates to enrich the musical and rhythmical aspects, and kind of put flesh on the skeleton.

Charly: Since Faust is the one who writes lyrics, she is usually the one coming to me with a new idea. Then, as Nathan said, we work just the two of us on the lyrics and the melody before working on it with the entire band. We started to work this way and it always worked pretty well, so even if we love having the other members ideas during the creative process, we like to have this moment just the two of us to be sure it is going where we want things to go.

Faust: I usually write the lyrics of the songs, sometimes even come up with a small melody. Charly co-write them with me, and most of our melodies are from her creativity with her guitar.

ER: Generally Charly and Faust bring the idea and we all together construct around to create the best song possible.

JF : My favorite moment is when we’re all jamming together to make a new song sounds as good as we can.

Where do lyrical inspirations more often than not reside?

Faust: Usually my inspirations come from the moments when I am by myself and feel alone.

Charly: It can come from a melody I composed, from a word or sentence one of us heard, etc.

ER: For my song It’s Weird Outside (that you can find in our EP Wild World), I based it on my personal life. But I try to write more about the story of people I know and feelings that affect us all at some point in our life.

Would you give us some background to your latest release?

Faust: Our latest release is our EP ! It is an Indie-Folk-Rock EP talking about love, heart breaking, life, society and humanity. We are very proud of this new baby!

NL: It’s been the result of the contribution of several different formations of the band, up to the current one. So this EP presents variety through its diverse contributions, yet still a strong sense of unity and consistency, since all of the songs are the brainchildren of Charly and Faust!

Charly: Anything wouldn’t have been possible without the help of wonderful people like Pease S. Nistades who did the artistic production on it and Gerhard Westphalen who mixed and mastered it. We also released our first music video No Rush directed by Mariano Schoendorff Ared and produced by Zoé Pelloux. You should definitely go check it on YouTube! We shot it on film and we are so happy of this amazing result!

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

Faust: Well it talks about how monstrous humans can get, how much you can give love to someone and how much it can hurt. You will have to listen to our EP to know more about all that!

Charly: The themes of our songs are most of the time about experiences we lived or we saw happening to people around us. It is very personal for Faust and I.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Charly: We are an Indie band, so we don’t really have the choice of losing hours and hours in studio trying to figure out how a song should go. We have limited time of studio so we have to come prepared, which actually allows us to go further in our creative process. It’s not a bad thing!

Faust: We usually go in studio prepared and we record. As Charly said, no time to lose! Everything must be ready, from the lead vocals to the backing vocals.

JF: We’re adding a few elements on the spot during the recording sessions but the songs are already in their final states.

CH : For the drum part, there are already written before going to the studio so the other members have a solid base to work with. I can’t screw it up!

ER: The recording process of our EP was pretty much a mix of the two options. The main structure of the songs was established. With Coralie, we record the rhythmic section with this structure and after we add the other instruments. Afterwards there are always ideas coming up that we keep on the final version.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably a favourite aspect?

CH : I really like it, we really have a connection together and hope that people can feel it too. It’s so fun to play with people who experiment the music same as you.

Faust: Live shows are so much fun! The connection with our audience and the band members! It always feels too short!

Charly: Live is one of the best parts for sure. It allows you to share with the band and the audience what the songs really mean to you. And it can be always different depending of what happened during your day.

ER: There’s none. *laughs* No I would say when the rehearsal ends. *laughs* Seriously, my favorite aspect is the cohesion we have on stage and during rehearsals. It’s not common to find this in a band. We don’t just play with other musicians, we play with friends.

NL: It’s always a great feeling to present the result of our hard work to the public, especially considering the amazing feedback they usually give us.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

Faust: I think the secret is playing, playing and playing music, create small buzz as much as you can, respect people and having good connections with your band members, which we are actually doing. Let’s see how it goes now.

Charly: Patience is the key word! And hard working too. You just need to be smart and work your ass off and it will eventually pay one day! You just need to get ideas that nobody thought of before you.

JF: If you have the drive, the patience and the stamina, everything is possible.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date, good or bad?

JF: Internet is a fantastic tool for new bands, we’re trying to use it as much as possible to grow our fan base and network.

Faust: I think social medias are great to build your fan base, but I don’t think that is the real bones of your success! Even if for our generation it definitely helps.

Charly: Social medias are a free way to have people talking about you and follow your actualities. It is of course just a part of what should be done for a band to promote what they are doing, but it is a really good beginning! That is your chance to share you music without waiting for music professionals to tell you if you are good enough to be heard by an audience. For example, we are now posting a new video on our YouTube channel every Thursday to make sure people can see us play live shows, do rehearsals, etc.

NL: As for a lot of young bands, the internet and social media is a central part of our communication with fans and the distribution of our music. As a matter of fact, if it wasn’t for social media, I wouldn’t perhaps be part of the band, since that’s how I got news that they were looking for a keyboard player.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Faust: Hey! Come join our world!

CH : Enjoy your life and do what you love.

ER: Don’t tell anyone but we have a secret project coming up 😉

JF: We’re playing often in the Los Angeles area, come say hello at our next show! You can find all the info about it on our website https://www.charlyandfaust.com/ !!

Charly: Thanks for your time! We are playing at The Mint LA on November 30th at 9:30PM, if you want to come get a beer with us!

https://www.facebook.com/charlyandfaust/    https://www.instagram.com/charlyandfaust/

Pete RingMaster 09/12/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Kabbalah – Spectral Ascent

For everyone there are certain encounters which forge an instinctive union with personal tastes; records which more than most tap into the creative imagination. We have come across a great many over recent years, having the privilege to listen to and assess a constant flood of offerings, but few have made the immediate lustful impact as Spectral Ascent, the new album from Spanish psych/doom trio Kabbalah. The release is a siren for the senses, an enchantress for the imagination, and one of the most desirable proposals heard in recent times.

Kabbalah is the creation of Carmen and Marga, former members of Pamplona rock band Las Culebras. 2013 saw the well-received release of their self-titled debut EP, its success followed and backed by the Primitive Stone EP fourteen months later. Both lured keen attention towards the band’s fusion of occult rock, 70s retro, and classic heavy-psychedelic sounds of the late 60s; a mix creating a cauldron of temptation and dark suggestion, a snarling trespass of predacious uniqueness nestling often irritably under the beauty of alluring vocals and swarming harmonies. With Alba completing the current line-up in 2015, Kabbalah sound has blossomed again for Spectral Ascent, hints of its fascinating evolution coming in the 2016 single Revelation and earlier this year its successor Phantasmal Planetoid, both prominent lures within nothing but across the album.

Spectral Ascent quickly coaxes attention with its opening title track; a short intro of melodic flirtation with a shadowy undercurrent which plays like a music box enticing entrance to an alluring dark realm. It’s elegant if sinister coaxing leads into the equally beguiling lure of Resurrected where from the heavy throb of bass and the magnetic pull of vocals the song has ears and appetite swiftly engaged. Guitars similarly draw the senses with their melodic sparkling, teases leading into the more formidable and imposing heart of the track. Never deviating from its seductive swagger though, the song twists and crawls through ears right into the psyche, moments of almost carnal intensity and calmer flows of romancing melodies igniting the imagination and body like few other encounters.

The sheer drama of the outstanding proposition continues through next up Phantasmal Planetoid. Its climate is instantly darker and more formidable as the bass snarls, never losing its heavy trespass as the song moves on to court a boisterous gait with turns of tetchier growls. It is masterful stuff, stoner and doom essences colluding with those earlier mentioned flavours as vocals and harmonies soar. No lightweight on addiction loaded hooks either, the song is manna for ears and instincts, a consuming persuasion also bred in the voracious antics of The Darkest End and immediately after within The Reverend. The first of the two aligns carnivorous riffs and bass irritability with spell spun grooves and the ever bewitching vocal union across the band. It resembles a fusion of Blood Ceremony and Jess and The Ancient Ones, yet is as individual to Kabbalah as you could wish for. Its successor is almost punk like at times, an underlying crabby edge flaring up across its psych and post punk spiced tapestry like a hybrid growth from a union of Au Pairs, Cradle, and Deep Purple.

Following their triumph, The Darkness of Time offers a funk fuelled swing of psychedelic rock, its body a web of heavy and classic rock honed enterprise which might miss the more predatory traits of its predecessors but has body and spirit wrapped up with ease. Its occultist lure only adds to its relentless charm; bait which is taken to more threatening places within the outstanding Dark Revelation. Its first breath has a garage punk taste, the subsequent canter more of that Au Pairs like post punk tempting before Kabbalah turns it all into a compelling and virulent, almost unruly, tango of creative flirtation.

The Shadow slinks up to ears in its own inauspicious way, tempting and warning with portentous charm before its fires break from an initial smoulder into a white hot rock ‘n’ roll stroll while the album closing Presence shares a calmer though no less heated weave of retro and modern nurtured adventure to further enthral. The dancing prowess of the drums, not for the first time, is almost consuming in its rousing and resourceful drive of the magnetic sounds bringing the album to a masterful conclusion.

The need to go again is controlling as Spectral Ascent drifts away, and the pleasure in doing so ever rewarding. The album is immense and rich food for a passion for psych/doom infused rock ‘n’ roll. Some bands feel destined for greatness from their first moments; Kabbalah is one and their new offering commandingly intensifies that belief.

Spectral Ascent is out now via Twin Earth Records and available @ https://kabbalahrock.bandcamp.com/album/spectral-ascent

https://www.facebook.com/Kabbalahrock/

Pete RingMaster 12/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Blood Ceremony – Lord Of Misrule

pic_Ester Segarra

pic_Ester Segarra

Dancing on the imagination like a village maiden in the throes of a pagan celebration, the new album from Canadian quartet Blood Ceremony is a bewitching and evocative adventure to get wrapped up in. It is called Lord Of Misrule; its title inspired by “a tradition that dates back to Late Antiquity, the Lord Of Misrule or “Abbot Of Unreason” was the doomed figure elected to preside over the Feast Of Fools, an annual Saturnalian bacchanalia in which masters became servants and servants masters, while drunken revelry and strange entertainments pervaded Britain and parts of mainland Europe for 30 days. At the end of the month’s festivities, the Lord Of Misrule’s throat was cut in sacrifice to Saturn.

Its body is a collection of highly provocative and melodically fiery encounters; aural rites and mystical endeavours awash with psychedelic/ acid-folk imagination amidst doom and progressive rock scented landscapes. Exploring the secret corners and depths of rural villages and pagan practices, it is an encounter playing like a sonic Wicker Man of dark festivities from across the decades in tradition and sound.

Recorded to analogue tape with producer Liam Watson, Lord Of Misrule opens on The Devil’s Widow, a song slipping into view upon an inviting guitar spun melody. Its tantalising lure is soon joined by crisp percussion and the magnetic caress of keys, then in turn by the throbbing resonance of bass. It is a masterful beckoning leading into a feistier stroll with vocalist/flautist/organist Alia O’Brien at the helm in voice and melodic craft. The wiry tendrils of Sean Kennedy’s guitar adds fire to the proposal, its rawer touch backed by the dark tones of Lucas Gadke’s bass and the swinging beats of Michael Carrillo. Recently Kennedy called Lord Of Misrulea very English album”, and straight away it is easy to hear what he means as particular British folk hues spice the vivacious energy and melodies sweeping through ears on the wind of the O’Brien’s  flutist craft.

album cover_RingMasterReviewLoreley is next to entice and please ears; electronic pulsing early attraction alongside O’Brien’s ever potent vocal presence and style before a catchy rhythmic swing sparks a livelier saunter to the song. Perpetually, Blood Ceremony fuses sixties, seventies, and other decades of rock ‘n’ roll into their music, the first pair the seeds to the refreshing colour and blues scented shade of this track’s gentle but pungent creative drama.

A fiery air to flaming textures shape the following exploits of The Rogue’s Lot, its darker shadows equipped with sinister threat and hidden dangers as O’Brien and the melodic enterprise of guitars embrace lighter infectious essences in their captivating persuasion. Twisting and turning in energy and dramatic flavours, the track is glorious; a rousing slice of rock ‘n’ roll easy to free a lively spirit and lustful appetite for, much as with the album’s title track which smoulders and tempts next. With raw blues touches colluding with the almost Horslips meets Jethro Tull like folk enchantment which shines within the track’s dark landscape and tale, ears and thoughts are quickly bound up in a theatre of sound and suggestiveness.

An earthy character is shown by Half Moon Street straight after; its air carrying a dirty tone around a less joyfully tempered nature, though hooks and melodies again have a shine to their invitation. With the flute like rays of sun skipping across the darker strains of endeavour, band and song commands full attention before The Weird Of Finistere slips in with an evocative climate of sound and voice becoming catchier and more, if gently, tenacious with every passing minute without ever breaking from its reserved sway.

The wonderful sixties pop inspired Flower Phantoms takes over and quickly steals ears and the spotlight. Carrying a Crystals meets The Ronnettes glow to its contagious pop enterprise, the song flirts and seduces with inescapable success, its warm magnetic revelry aligned to flames of raw guitar and sinew brought beats, and quite delicious.

The album closes with the blues rock fuelled Old Fires and lastly by Things Present, Things Past; two tracks which individually provide resourceful and unpredictable drama within the recognisable Blood Ceremony invention. The first is another spirit arousing incitement whilst its successor is an acoustic hug which simply serenades body and soul for an enthralling end to another highly flavoursome offering from the Toronto foursome.

There is no apparent blood shed at the end of Lord Of Misrule as the tradition dictates but for stirring creative and tenacious fun under the glare of a full moon or dusk shaded sun, the album more than fits the bill whilst increasingly thrilling.

Lord Of Misrule is released March 25th via Rise Above Records.

Upcoming Live Dates:

April

15 – Paris, France – Backstage by The Mill

16 – Tilburg, Netherlands – Roadburn Festival

17 – Hamburg, Germany – Rock Café St. Pauli

18 – Berlin, Germany – Privatclub

19 – Vienna, Austria – The Chelsea

20 – Munich, Germany – Backstage Club

21 – Madonna Dell’alberto, Italy – Bronson

22 – Milan, Italy – Legend

23 – Olton, Switzerland – Coq D’or

24 – Nurnberg, Germany – Hirsch

25 – Frankfurt, Germany – Nachtleben

26 – Cologne, Germany – MTC

28 – Manchester, UK – The Deaf Institute

29 – Glasgow, UK – Audio

30 – Birmingham, UK – The Rainbow

https://www.facebook.com/bloodceremonyrock

Pete RingMaster 24/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

The Minerals – Ball Of String

art_RingMaster Review

As crystalline as the band’s name might suggest, The Minerals’ sound is a kaleidoscope of warm and organic textures woven into a hazy seduction of melodic drama. It may only be two songs, but their new single Ball Of String is fascinating evidence of the fact, and further proof that the magnetically emerging Welsh band is one exciting prospect.

Based in the South Wales Valleys and formed in 2014, The Minerals is the creative union of Colenso Jones and Jodie Gibson. Drawing on inspirations found in the a range of artists from The Vaselines and Leadbelly to Mogwai and Nick Drake, the duo quickly bred their own tantalising sound from a blend simplified as folk and country rock meets electronic and psychedelic exploration. Past experiences have seen the pair being involved in punk bands throughout their teens and early twenties which too in DIY attitude alone simply adds to the invention of The Minerals.

The winter of 2014 saw a collection of songs written by the band in the remote hills of Southern France, songs which were to become their self-titled debut album which was released last June through Staylittle Music. Ball Of String and its companion on the single, Lo-Fi are taken from the eight track full-length and as potent a lure into that full body of songs as you could wish for.

Ball Of String takes little time to grab attention as guitar strums and bass seduction collude to lure ears into the impending embrace of vocal repetition. Lyrically the song is a rotation of a couple of lines, but such their delivery and simple but pungent make-up, the listener is drawn into full involvement. Around them the initially calm but lively climate of sound becomes not exactly volatile but more robustly shadow filled as if building to a major outbreak of intensity. It never goes that far but the drama created is as irresistible as the sounds woven into its insatiable virulence.

The track is glorious, a galvanic whipping up of the passions masterfully backed by Lo-Fi. Once again, a guitar caresses ears initially as a flirtatious bassline mixes with firmer beats. This time around Gibson takes the vocal lead, though both songs are a splendid union of hers and Jones’ potent tones. Musically a stronger psychedelic air lines each suggestive melody from guitar and keys as well as coats the floating harmonies which entice with siren-esque beauty.

Like a mix of Jingo and Jess & The Ancient Ones in many ways, especially the second, both songs leave ears in rapture and a need to hear more as ripe as the enterprise inspiring that greed.

Ball Of String is released February 26th via Staylittle Music @ http://themineralsband.bandcamp.com/album/ball-of-string

Upcoming Live Dates:

April 15th – The Moon Club, Cardiff (supporting Rusty Shackle)

April 16th – Snails Deli, Rhiwbina, Cardiff

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

Pete RingMaster 25/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

The Scrap Dealers – After A Thousand Blows

TSD_RingMaster Review

After A Thousand Blows is the absorbing debut album from Belgian band The Scrap Dealers, a quintet unafraid to merge distinctive sounds into one immersive experience. As shown by their latest release, it is an imaginative collation of flavours which maybe not be always forcibly unique quite yet but certainly offers a fresh and fascinating captivation for ears and imagination.

Formed in 2012 in Liège, The Scrap Dealers initially emerged with a garage punk sound, releasing their attention grabbing debut EP Red Like Blood two years later. At that point though, the band began embracing a more psychedelic rock driven direction in sound; kraut and shoegaze influences amongst many similarly woven into their new explorations. Towards the end of 2014, a second offering in the shape of a self-titled EP was unveiled, the impressive release making a potent bridge between the band’s old and new blends of sound. After A Thousand Blows is another resourceful step in the evolution, but an encounter at times still enjoyably showing the rawer rock ‘n’ roll instincts the quintet of Hugues Daro, Régis Germain, Justin Mathieu, Cédric Georges, and Bruno Lecocq began with.

Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Allan Snon and Jeremy Alonzi, and released on Belgian DIY record label JauneOrange, After A Thousand Blows opens up with the instantly atmospheric Walking Alone. From its first portentous rumblings, keys and guitars entwine in a sonic mist sharing dark shadows and melancholic ambience. As bold beats enter the affair, a lighter hue begins to blossom; the catchiness of rhythms the eventual spark to warm melodies and a sultry glaze around the darker essences which remain as potent as ever. The vocals equally have a harmonic glow to them, thoughts of My Bloody Valentine and Curve emerging as the song continues to shimmer yet there is a strain of alternative and psych rock which only adds more character to the gripping start to the album.

The following I’ll Never Be Like You also emerges with a singular coaxing of sound but does not hang around before unveiling its own psych pop adventure with a persistent catchiness which infests everything from voice to guitar, bass to drums, and indeed the listener. As shown by its predecessor and all tracks to come, there is a drama in the songwriting and music of The Scrap Dealers; an intriguing undercurrent which has the imagination as hooked as firmly ears are enthralled by the virulence of sound. Here the magnetic but predacious tone of the bass is a prime instigator; enticing shadowy clouds and emotive dilemmas whilst offering addictive bait of its own backed by flirty beats and the evocative tapestry cast by the guitars.

A scent of the band’s garage rock origins comes with She Doesn’t Wanna Leave Your Mind, the track a slimmer, compared to the thicker immersions of the earlier songs, but no less emotive embrace of ears. Its raw and fuzzy textures easily engage and stir attention though the sinister air and volatile breath of Keep My Silence Safe soon puts it in the shade. There is no escaping an enticing essence of The Jesus and Mary Chain to the excellent encounter, especially as its dark invasive entrance slips into another magnetic stroll lit with psychedelic colouring and pop rock revelry. From the dark there is light, a switch of mood and texture which all the tracks seem to be built upon no matter which contrast they start from, and no more alluring than within this siren of a song.

The surf rock laced melodic rock romancing of That’s What We Call Love takes over to keep ears greedy, its tangy nature and whiff of discordance tantalising as it engagingly seduces. As potent as it is though, the ten minute adventure of I Lost My Faith in no time steals all attention from its companion. The closing track has the psyche rock mesmerism of The Horrors and the melodic enticing of Slowdive woven into its own distinct and seductive landscape of enveloping shadows and immersive beauty. Maybe a tad too long for personal tastes, the song is a riveting close to a thoroughly enthralling release, whilst The Scrap Dealers are a band who, as their sound continues to evolve, is on the path to being a potent part of the psychedelic and shoegaze landscape.

After A Thousand Blows is out now via JauneOrange in conjunction with Sick Fuzz Records, digitally and on vinyl and tape @ https://thescrapdealers.bandcamp.com/

http://thescrapdealers.tumblr.com/   https://www.facebook.com/TheScrapDealers

Pete RingMaster 23/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Jess & The Ancient Ones – Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes

Photo_ Jarkko Pietarinen

Photo_ Jarkko Pietarinen

After an impressive introduction through their self-titled debut album back in 2012, there is always a potent twinge of excitement when whispers and news of something new from Finnish psychedelic rockers Jess & The Ancient Ones comes forward. It happened with their impressive occult surf metal EP Astral Sabbat in 2013 and again now with second full-length Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes. It is fair to say though that as keen the anticipation it was not really expecting the full majesty and fascination which envelops ears from the band’s latest triumph. Spreading open psychedelic inspirations bred from the late sixties/seventies, Jess & The Ancient Ones boldly embrace a host of other ripe styles and rich flavours too, creating one of the year’s most breath-taking offerings in the process.

Formed in 2010 as a septet, the band has slimmed by one over recent times and broadened their sound to weave in as suggested earlier, a new kaleidoscope of distinct styles. There is also less of the occultist intensity found in the new album’s predecessor as a more earthly magical theming seems to fuel the lyrical exploration of Second Psychedelic Coming. The new album is certainly as raw and seductive as anything before, the creative heart of the band unashamedly honest and unworried about sounding overly polished as again ears are provided with a gritty and organic character to the encounter and the instinctive way that the Kuopio sextet grip ears and incite the imagination. With the striking new aspects and imagination to the band’s sound though, it all unites in either fiery roars or invasive serenade of sound, most songs a collusion of both and more.

artwork_RingMaster Review     It is fair to say that within seconds band and album had its first inescapable claw into the passions through opener Samhain. Moving in on ears via the potent rhythmic stroll cast by Yussuf, attention is grabbed and appetite sparked, especially as a provocative sample makes a lead for a web of surf bred guitars and sultry keys to offer the next mighty lure of the song. It is instant persuasion, especially once virulent hooks step from that smouldering hug, they in turn sparking unbridled infectiousness in energy and tone emphasized by the caped crusader like groove flirting at the heart of it all. The distinctive and ever compelling voice of Jess is soon in the midst of the thick tempting of course, wrapped alluringly in the guitar enterprise of Thomas Corpse and Thomas Fiend as a mischievous bass canter sculpted by Fast Jake and the flowing suggestiveness of Abraham’s keys bring more creative tonic for the imagination to work with. Quite simply the album gets off to a glorious and irresistible start, offering a joyful pagan and dramatic celebration to get lusty with.

The Flying Man steps up next, it too an immediate contagion of tenacious rhythms alongside a tantalising sonic weave. Soon the track shares a bluesy breeze in air and melodies as its body exudes folkish/Celtic hues, whispers of Jethro Tull/Horslips teasing throughout the pungent smog of evocative and sonic heat. The undiluted fascination conjured continues with In Levitating Secret Dreams, it also entwining surf and psychedelic invention with enthralling imagination. As the first track, the song has a keen catchiness which quickly has body and appetite enlisted in its adventure, that success the springboard for warm harmonies to surround Jess’ vocal bellow but equally a maze of classic and blues rock resourcefulness through the guitars, which with the inflamed theatre of the keys and of course vocals, takes the listener into a uniqueness of creative splendour.

The addictive invention of the album never misses a beat or a moment to grip attention through the rhythmic slavery perpetually sculpted by bass and drums, another of its variations setting the tone and potent entrance of The Equinox Death Trip. With keys carrying a great Dave Greenfield of The Stranglers colour to their psych rock imagination, the track blazes away in ears and emotions. Jess powerfully leads the fire as things feverishly rumble and sizzle on the senses in another major highlight in nothing but across the album, though its mighty presence is still eclipsed by that of Wolves Inside My Head. The track is a beast, flexing its energy loaded and creatively provocative muscles from its first breath but just as swiftly exploring an eventful tapestry of keen hooks, spicy blues mystique, and melodically incendiary flirtation, all matched in kind by bass and drums. Again samples are a strong additive, though it is the wonderful vaudevillian air to song and backing vocals that add the most irresistible glaze. A whiff of delta blues also spices the encounter but comes much more pronounced and tempting within the following Crossroad Lightning. A climatic croon with tempestuously restrained sounds, the song is pure bewitchment with a healthy glow of My Baby to its shamanic and melodic sultriness.

Through the blues infested psych funk of The Lovers and the jazz spiced psych theatre of Goetia of Love, ears and pleasure are full, each presenting an inimitable shadow kissed carnival of diverse sound and a temptation as nostalgic as it is incessantly fresh. The latter of the two is a real siren of enterprise and evocative brilliance leading the listener into the epic affair of Goodbye To Virgin Grounds Forever. At twenty minutes plus, the closer is a flight of perpetual evolution and imagination in its own right. Classical and melancholic flavours collude with voracious and contagion carrying exploits, they just a few of the aspects sculpting the ever changing canvas and experimentation of the spellbinding proposal. From voice to rhythm, individual craft to combined melodic seduction; the track is an unpredictable and increasingly magnetic journey which alone ensures Second Psychedelic Coming has to be declared one of the must investigations of 2015.

The potential and triumph of the first Jess & The Ancient Ones album led expectations of bigger and bolder things from Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes. It lets no one down!

Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes is out now via Svart Records and @ https://jessandtheancientones.bandcamp.com/album/second-psychedelic-coming-the-aquarius-tapes

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Pete RingMaster 07/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Pacers – Losing Touch

Pacers_RingMaster Review

Merging sixties garage rock and psychedelic inspirations into their own inbred punk seeded invention, UK rockers The Pacers make a rather potent introduction to themselves with their debut single Losing Touch. It is a tantalising slice of suggestiveness which shimmers in melodic colour and sonic temptation like an aural kaleidoscope. Their name feels like it is a friend before a note is heard, something familiar now backed up and pushed deeper into the psyche through the captivating Losing Touch.

The Pacers Cover_RingMaster Review     The Pacers was formed in the late summer of 2013 by vocalist/guitarist Alexander Friedl and lead guitarist Harry Stam, the pair meeting initially under “mysterious circumstances”. Uniting their shared interest in all things sixties, the duo began writing songs, subsequently enlisting bassist Jay Creswell and soon after drummer Jamie Yuan to the band. The quartet soon set about getting their sound and claws into the London live scene, playing venues primarily in north and east London and building up a quickly fevered and loyal following. Now a national appetite is about to be stoked with the release of the band’s first single, an encounter sure to catch the imagination of fans of The Stooges and The Stones amongst many more.

Losing Touch opens on a glorious eastern seducing cast by Stam, darker hues soon aligning to its fiery spicing on the senses. It is a bewitching start which becomes more eventful and resourceful as the expressive vocals of Friedl add engagingly dour textures to the quickly mesmeric and fascinating adventure. The more solemn lures of bass and beats similarly bring subtle but contrasting colour to the sonic tendrils perpetually climbing over ears and imagination with psych elegance and mystique. There is no doubting that the song enthrals from start to finish or that it relentlessly coaxes the listener into eager involvement.

In contrast to its more reserved seducing, accompanying track I’m Down is working away on feet and energy from its first breath; scythes of fuzzy guitar quickly courting the rolling rhythms of Yuan and moodier bait of Creswell’s bass. The instantaneous infectiousness of the song swiftly colludes with the rawer tone and air also enticing within its contagion, again The Pacers skilfully merging distinct flavours and tenacious endeavour in an increasingly persuasive tempting.

As relevant to modern rock ‘n’ roll as its sixties seeds, Losing Touch is a vibrant and magnetic first look at The Pacers and with a swift perusal at other songs on their Soundcloud account, the first of many we suspect.

Losing Touch is released October 22nd with a release show @ The Hawley Arms, Camden, London the same night.

https://www.facebook.com/ThePacersBand https://twitter.com/thepacersband

Pete RingMaster 21/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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