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

Nine Dart Finish – The Misadventures of…

Nine Dart Finish is a British outfit drawing on the wide influences of the likes of Weezer, Supergrass, Queen, and Ian Dury for their pop fuelled rock ‘n’ roll; The Misadventures of… is their debut album which unapologetically has the body bouncing as fun floods every pour of its magnetic enterprise. The trio from Birmingham has already lured potent attention from fans and media alike with a handful of singles especially potent; appetites for their boisterous sound which their first album can only multiply.

Consisting of former Coffeeshop member in lead vocalist/bassist Daz Yardley, guitarist/vocalist Christopher Mobbs, and drummer Andy Proudman, Nine Dart Finish first drew ears with debut EP Fall To Pieces late 2015. Since then their hook loaded pop ‘n’ rock has grown and become more creatively mischievous by the song. The Misadventures of… brings all the enticing dynamics and lusty grooves of the band’s sound as well as those devilish hooks the threesome seems to instinctively conjure together in one rousing enjoyable place.

Bringing the lively antics of recent singles, highlights of that first EP and new tracks together in one captivating union, The Misadventures of… roars into view with the outstanding The Cut of Your Jib. The track is wild rock ‘n’ roll, almost feral in its energy as riffs and rhythms harry ears just as eager vocals blaze. As the album continues it is easy to see why certain tracks were chosen and potent as singles and teases for the full-length but for personal tastes it is tracks like the raucous rock bred opener which trapped the keenest attention and passions. With a touch of Queens of the Stone Age to its contagious tempest, the track is a garage rock lined clamour getting the album off to a magnificent start.

The following Fall to Pieces is a far calmer proposition as a melodic jangle colludes with vocal harmonies before the track settles into its warm catchy swing. There is no preventing the quick shuffle of feet to its stroll, keys adding to its summery scent as vocals and melodies entangle before In the City uncages its own rock ‘n’ roll flame. Within its slightly rawer attack, hooks tease and tempt as riffs nag, Proudman’s beats striking with relish as they drive the infectious escapade.

Recent single Kicking & Screaming is next, a song which blossomed by the listen as its organic rumble aligns to melodic enticement. The former gives the otherwise gentle seduction a volatility which imposes without truly erupting, a combination gripping ears within a grunge pop like proposal while Charlie Bonkers offers up a melody woven slice of Brit Pop nurtured enterprise. It is fair to say that the song did not impact as potently as those around it on our tastes yet as honest to admit it had the hips swinging and vocal chords playing without any trouble.

You Don’t Bother Me similarly did not quite grab as strongly as many of its companions with its sixties hued pop but again involvement in its enticement was unavoidable as with the blues kissed rock of Falling for You. Both tracks epitomises the band’s knack at weaving varied and seriously catchy adventures though each is swiftly overshadowed by the album’s finest moment consisting of its final three songs.

From its initial melodic caresses Fabio’s Overture blossoms into a truly mesmeric slice of pop rock, emotive strands in voice and sound entangling another lure of virulent catchiness as inescapable whether the song is ablaze or simply smouldering. Its thick enticement leads into the rousing devilry of You’re so Cool. As again pop floods its bold rock ‘n’ roll, the track nags and taunts attention with relish. With something of UK duo The Sea about it, the track is superb rivalling the opener for best song honours though they are equally matched by the tenacious stomp of album closer London. There is a certain mod like hue to the song which only adds to its outstanding character and roar.

Though as mentioned there are some tracks which undoubtedly eclipsed others for us, The Misadventures of… is one thoroughly enjoyable involvement from start to finish. Nine Dart Finish have a sound with open growth in every new song so expect many more lustily fun times ahead as well as right now with their new offering.

The Misadventures of… is out now through iTunes and other stores.

http://ninedartfinish.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/NDFmusic/   https://twitter.com/ndfmusic

Pete RingMaster 17/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Lotus Interview

The Lotus is a rock band with its roots in Italy but is currently based in Manchester, UK. It is also a creative adventure which embraces an array of flavours and styles in “a visionary and characterful musical journey”. With a new album in the works, we threw a host of questions at the band to discover its beginnings, latest release, what fuels their creativity and 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?

Hi everyone and thank you for interviewing The Lotus. The band started in 2004 when first Rox met Luca: we initially began playing some covers as many kids do but we immediately realised we wanted more and we immediately started working on some ideas and riffs.

That’s how it started really: in 2008 Kristal and Marco joined the band and that was the real start of a professional band as we decided to record and release our first album, which eventually came out in 2011.

Have you been or are involved in other bands? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now?

Apart from Luca, actually all of us are still playing with many other bands! Mostly metal and rock bands though and I think that always influenced our music in same way.

Rox is playing with Italian prog rockers InnerShine and UK progressive metal band Prospekt, and also with pop folk singer and songwriter named Sukh. Marco is the drummer of two of the most famous Italian metal and rock bands, which are Elvenking and Hell In The Club, and Kristal is the lead singer of melodic death metal band called Lost Resonance Found.

What inspired the band name?

The band’s name was chosen randomly by our first guitarist who was in love with R.E.M.’s song Lotus. We liked it and we realised then, that it was the perfect name for us. A few months later we also found out its meaning of purity and rebirth and we realised that was the name we really wanted.

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

As we said before, as soon as we got confident in playing together we immediately started to feel the need of composing our own songs and being rock stars! LOL

Regarding the sound, well, that’s a tricky one: we have never had an established sound or a path we wanted to follow, we just write songs we like and lyrics from experience and feelings we have during our own life.

If you listen to our songs you can really understand there’s something that binds everything which is not the genre.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

We would say we’ve evolved as musicians and composers rather than our music’s evolved. We’re still writing what we want, without any boundary and we love what we’re doing: we’re just better in what and how we play and write!

Has the growth within the band in music, experiment etc. been an organic process or more the band deliberately setting out to try new things?

We always wanted to try new things so actually nothing’s changed since 2004 from this side: probably being mature musicians affected our way to play and compose music and you can probably hear that on our latest releases.

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?

We grew up with completely different music backgrounds and this colourful music palette brought the unique sound we have today. We are big fans of Queen and Muse, as you might have already understood :), but also Pink Floyd, Metallica, System Of A Down, U2, Depeche Mode, or even some heavier stuff like Slipknot.

Is there a particular process to the songwriting within the band?

Normally Rox brings the main ideas and Luca some lyrics inspiration: back to our earlier days we used to mainly compose our songs in the rehearsal room but now, thanks to technology we often produce full demos on the computer.

We actually have to do this way also because Marco and Kristal are living in Italy and rehearsing would be definitely not very much affordable. 🙂

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Lyrics are mostly inspired by our everyday experiences and translated into a more poetic and hermetic way.

We talk about love and death, and human life: as we do for our music, we don’t have any limit in our lyrics’ themes as well!

Could you give us some background to your latest release?

We’ve released our latest EP in June 2015 just before we moved to the UK. Its name is Awakening and is actually a mini concept album. It’s an ambient Prog Rock opera which will delve into your inner core.

We are currently producing our new album with Muse early producer Paul Reeve (Showbiz), and we have already released three new singles: Mars-X, Perfect Love and Five Days To Shine. They are very different from our past works, simpler song structures, more melodic but still very ‘creative’. Someone said: ‘If Muse and Deftones met in a pub and had a cheeky couple of Sambucca’s and hit the town and ended the night with a ride on a spaceship, that’s exactly what this song sounds like.’

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

Our latest song, Five Days To Shine, is very personal and we think the more you listen to it (or watch the video) the more you understand that. It basically talks about a man who waits for five days to know his fate with his girl. He thinks that’ll be alright but he knows the future isn’t bright.

We made the video representing this man as a kind of ‘creator’, who’s trying everything to restore what he’s lost but eventually he gives up. We filmed it in a stunning place in Manchester called Hulme Hyppodrome.

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?

We used to go into the studio with rough demos and we’ve always struggled to work with limited time. That’s why now we tend to basically go to record with all the songs pretty much finished, so that we can concentrate on instruments’ sound and performances.

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

We’d define our live shows as heavy metal. Even though our music is mainly rock, The Lotus as a live act is more energetic, more aggressive. I think that’s one of our main strengths. We have played more than 120 shows in our career but we’re definitely looking for doubling it within the next few years!

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?

We are coming from a different background which is in Italy, so we’ve definitely found a more fertile place to keep on growing our seeds.

However, these days it seems more and more difficult to have a solid fan base which follows you everywhere ‘physically’ and not only on social media.

If you’re not convinced on what you’re doing it’s better you choose another job!

Talking of social media, how has the internet impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success?

We think internet and social media are both good and bad thing.

They really give anyone the opportunity to get out from the anonymity and be the star you always wanted to be, but the problem starts when music is not enough anymore. You really need to let everyone come into your life. Everyone must know who you are, what you are doing, when you are doing it. Even all the pretty small things you want to keep secret; just let them go and share them with everyone. We find this a bit scary but that’s what it is now, so you have to get used to it. And we are getting used to it!

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

2018 will bring a lot of new things: we will go back to the studio to finish recording the album between March and April. Then we are expecting to release the fourth single as soon as we have everything in its place and the album immediately after that. If you want to be updated on what we’re doing you can visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thelotusofficial  or our website www.the-lotus.com . Thank you!

Pete RingMaster 08/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

The Sourheads – Care Plan For The Soul

Since forming in the Spring of 2016, UK rockers The Sourheads has drawn increasing attention and support through their live presence, singles, and most of all their dirty, multi-flavoured rock ‘n’ roll. Now the band has added another accelerant to their emergence with the release of debut album Care Plan For The Soul. Offering nine slices of rowdy but skilfully woven incitement embracing classic and fresh rock diversity, the release thrusts the listener into a grubby cellar of salacious intent and irreverent sound; a temptation the body gets the urge to dance to and appetite the need to increasingly devour.

Hailing from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, The Sourheads embrace an array of inspirations in their sound ranging from Deep Purple, Kasabian and The Doors to Kyuss and Clutch. It is a web of punk and garage to psych and classic rock which is just as grungy as it is melodically enticing and within Care Plan For The Soul an incitement which makes a potent first impression but really grows in persuasion listen by listen. Mastered by Pete Maher (The Rolling Stones, Depeche Mode, U2), the album swiftly grabs ears and appetite with opener Demon. Straight away it is enticingly grumbling in ears, bass and riffs an irritable lure soon bound in sonic tendrils as familiar and new endeavours collude in the blossoming growl capped by the slightly gnarly tones of Jake Coxon. The bass of Ben Taylor continues to be a belligerent presence in the caustic captivation, guitarist Mik Crone and drummer Chris Lambert adding their bold touches to the ever evolving roar maybe best described as Turbonegro meets The Senton Bombs meets Guns n’ Roses.

It is a great start to proceedings which Morally High continues with its spicily grooved stroll. Carrying similar essences and flavours to its predecessor in its own individual way, the track is equally as infectious and magnetic with again classic and modern textures rubbing excitedly again each other within its controlled yet salacious swing. As the music, Coxon has a snarl to his croon, attitude dripping from every syllable and note before My Rock And Roll steps up to coax bad behaviour with its blues skinned devilry entangled in more of the great guitar enterprise which veins the whole of Care Plan For The Soul.

Power Of Addiction shares some of that psychedelic influence next; keys and melodies a sultry tempting while Rag And Bone Man has a great scruffy feel and character to its predacious gait and rhythmically rousing proposal. The song alone sums up the variety of flavours within The Sourheads sound, a host of rock bred essences embroiled in its inescapable command of body and imagination. It all adds up to one of the biggest highlights of the release, one quickly matched by the voracious punk ‘n’ roll of Don’t Get Caught (I Am The Lotus). Like The Stooges and Eddie and The Hot Rods caught in the act by The Vibrators as AC/DC hold the camera, the track is superb, taking best song honours with its manipulative temptations and craft.

Both Secret Cigarette and Warbird take a firm grip of release and listener next, the first an invasive but seductive fire of blues and classic grooves with punk bred kindling while its successor merges sullied rock ‘n’ roll with some of the most addictive melodic hooks and enterprise within the album for another pinnacle. As with many songs, it openly draws on some classic punk hooks and teases but equally shares psych rock imagination for the album’s most imaginative moment to stand alongside its best.

Care Plan For The Soul concludes with Mad Dog, a song rising from an initial Queen/Skid Row like invitation into an invasive and volatile ballad which becomes more captivating by the minute and listen, much as the album itself.  Indeed just as many will take to the release within seconds many others will need time to explore and discover its qualities; the big rewards for the attention we can vouch for as too the finding of a potential of even greater fun and adventure ahead with the Sourheads.

Care Plan For The Soul is available now through Oak Island Records on CD, Vinyl and Digitally.

https://www.thesourheads.com/    https://www.facebook.com/thesourheads    https://thesourheads2.bandcamp.com/

 Pete RingMaster 23/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Exploring the roar of The Erkonauts with Ales Campanelli

ales_RingMasterReview

With their recent signing with Kaotoxin Records, those of us who missed it first time around had the very welcome chance to grab the debut album from Geneva’s The Erkonauts. Quickly devoured on its first self-released outing, the world-wide re-release of I Did Something Bad has allowed those slow to the presence and roar of the band to explore their ferociously diverse and increasingly fascinating tempest of genre varied flavours and sound. The album was a rousing and invasive slab of voracious, the kind of incitement that “heavy duty recommendations swarm to.” As the quartet prepares to create their already highly anticipated follow-up, we eagerly grabbed the chance to talk with bassist/vocalist and ex-Sybreed, Ales Campanelli about the band and their first album whilst looking for clues and spoilers about their next offering.

Hello Ales and thanks for talking with us.

Before we get on to your recently re-released and rather tasty debut album, can you tell us about the beginnings of the band; its seeds and birth etc.

We started really existing in early 2014, so there isn’t much history yet. We come from different bands in Geneva, and the timing was right for us to meet around this project. Everything was very organic. The Erkonauts are a natural free flowing occurrence.

Did you have any specific intent and ideas with band and sound at the start?

I think so yeah. We really wanted this Metal blend with a punkish progish touch. Mostly, we wanted to have fun. And tour. You gotta have tours.

The Erkonauts_RingMasterReviewIt is fair to say that your sound fears no boundaries and hungrily embraces a multitude of flavours. For newcomers how would you best describe it?

Well thank you very much! I like to describe what we do as Progressive Punk. But I guess it can be confusing because we wander in the Metal genre, and all these words have various meaning in the mind of people. We have been placed in so many different categories that we lost track of it. So in the end, full circle…I go back to Progressive Punk, for the oxymoron.

As I mentioned, recently your debut album I Did Something Bad was unleashed again, this time via the outstanding Kaotoxin label. Originally released in 2014 in limited amounts, it is probably fair to say that there has been a horde of appetites waiting to get their hands upon it too. Did you sense this and was it one of the main reasons for its re-release?

We released a second batch in 2015, and this one also sold out, which is fantastic. We were convinced that the album still has a lot to offer, and would benefit greatly from a worldwide exposure, which it did. We discussed it with the indeed outstanding Kaotoxin and they agreed to insert it in their catalogue. In the long run, it keeps the album easily available, and it gives it an “official” touch. It is part of the band history as an official release instead of deluxe demo. So it’s all good things and we are truly grateful.

Tell us about its creation and the premise behind its themes.

We felt the urge to release some no bullshit rock n roll. Without going in too many details, some of our previous musical endeavours became more about complicated and uninteresting stuff than about music. It was boring and hurtful. I Did something Bad is all about tension release. It’s pure freedom. Sincere and heartfelt. The themes are mostly urban, and revolve in many occasions about the need to compare ourselves to others, to reach standards we don’t care for and to live in envy. Of course this isn’t true for all the songs. 9 is better than 8 is about nine being better than eight for instance.

Were songs and ideas all fresh since the formation of The Erkonauts or were there some things going further back which have been lying in wait within the imagination and subsequently woven into the band’s invention for I Did Something Bad?

That’s a very relevant question. The vast majority of the content was new, and created specifically for this album. There is however here and there the occasional riff that I had for a long time without finding a proper use for it. I can recall that it is the case in the beginning of Gog.

You are working on its successor I believe also to be released via Kaotoxin? How far along is the album?

You are very correct! We are currently in the writing process, which should be over soon. The recording will start around the end of spring and will take about two months. We’re going back to the Downtone studio in Geneva, since the last experience was such a pleasant one.

Any spoilers you can offer to whet the appetite further?

Well we don’t have much to say right now. We intend to keep a video journal of the recording and share the whole process. There will most likely be a music video further along the way. Of course the spirit of the band will remain unchanged.

Have you approached the album any differently to its predecessor in the writing or recording?art_RingMaster Review

I don’t think so. We have the habit of working almost every day on the songs. Rethinking and rearranging them constantly, until… we’re too late and have to record them. I joke, but we like to take time for the arrangements to shape the song in a comfortable way. So the process is, at least at the moment, the same.

How would you say your sound has evolved between those first songs and those on the forthcoming release?

I kinda think it’s too soon to tell for that. We’re too involved in it to see that clearly right now. Maybe we’ll know a lot more about that when the rehearsals will start.

What did you learn with the first album which you have employed or pushed further for the new encounter?

We know that we will record in a safe environment which will allow us the possibility to experiment on a few things and even do some last minute arrangements. This is a pure treasure to us.

Can you give any clue of a possible release date?

It’s going to be in 2017, not much else is set in stone I’m afraid.

Other than working on the album what else has The Erkonauts got in store for 2016?

Well the making of the album and rehearsals will probably take most of our summer, but after that, it’s all about touring. We have plans to travel in Europe and Russia in fall, something in Asia seems to be shaping up. And of course, we’d love to visit the US again!

My thanks to you again for sparing time to talk with us. Any last thoughts you would like to add?

Well thank you very much for the interview and the sweet sweet review!

The Erkonauts2_RingMasterReviewAnd finally, give us an insight into the records and artists which could be claimed to have most inspired your own creative life.

Well I can’t talk for the whole band on that matter. We each have our own distinct tastes. But as far as I’m concerned, it’s definitely going to be bands from the 70s. On the top of my head I can think of Uriah Heep or Queen. The album In Trance from the Scorpions is one I consider a timeless masterpiece.  On more recent acts, Suicidal Tendencies, Primus, Faith No More, New Model Army… There are so many. And of course, a Swiss, it is our sworn duty to mention Coroner and Samael 🙂 which both had a huge impact on my childhood.

Read our review of the Kaotoxin Records released I Did Something Bad @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/the-erkonauts-i-did-something-bad/

https://www.facebook.com/theerkonauts    http://www.erkonauts.com

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 25/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Fahran – A Thousand Nights

Fahran_RingMasterReview

Giving another potent nudge on attention for their excellent and increasingly impressive second album Chasing Hours, British rockers Fahran release the track A Thousand Nights with another slice of the album in Take This City Alive for company. Both tracks epitomise the creative and rousing qualities to be found in the full-length and the Nottingham hard rock band’s sound as a whole.

Formed in 2012 out of the ashes of Toxic Federation, Fahran soon made a potent impression with their self-titled debut album which embraced inspirations ranging from the likes of Queen, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy, Shinedown, Alter Bridge, and Black Stone Cherry into an expressive and dynamic hard rock sound. With a just as attention grabbing live presence which has seen them successfully play Bloodstock and Download, the band made a bigger and bolder statement with the 2014 released Chasing Hours, again a success backed by their tenacious live exploits.

Now the single gives a potent reminder of album and the Breaston quintet’s enticing sound with one of its highlights. A Thousand Nights wraps ears in a sonic seducing straight away, riffs and rhythms collecting around the sonic coaxing before springing fiery grooves and classic rock bred flames around ears. Inspirations are an open colouring to the classically honed encounter, the guitars of Chris Byrne and Jake Graham a snarling captivation alongside the impressive vocal tones of Matt Black. Major surprises are not a bold element of the song but more than covered by the melodic seducing and rhythmic intimidation shaping it. Within Chasing Hours, the song was one which took longer to convince to the same stature as others but persuade it did and now seems to shine even more as a lone temptation.

Alongside it, Take This City Alive is a far more ballsy and hungry offering, a slice of rampant rock ‘n’ roll with delicious grooves entwining JR Windsor’s anthemic beats and bassist Josh Ballantyne’s throaty lures, not forgetting that powerful vocal prowess of Black. Inescapably infectious with a creative and physical swagger to match, the track roars with sonic endeavour and rhythmic aggression, teasing and pleasing ears with its boisterous swing and lively hard rock vivacity.

Both tracks provide all the best reasons to check out Chasing Hour, if it is not a friend already, but more so to give yourself the best kind of night out by seeing Fahran live.

A Thousand Nights is available now.

Upcoming Live Dates:

March 24th – Grand Central, Manchester

March 27th – The Prince of Wales, Kettering

April 16th – The Cellar, Oxford

May 1st – Dementia Aware Fest, Birmingham

May 21st – The Woolpack, Doncaster

June 5th – The Rock Bar, Tamworth

June 25th – The Birdwell, Barnsley

July 14th – Carnfield Hall, Alfreton

September 10th – Redemption Festival, Wakefield

https://www.facebook.com/Fahranmusic/   https://twitter.com/fahranmusic

Pete RingMaster 18/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

No holds barred rockin’: talking Jackson Firebird with Dale Hudak

JF2_RingMaster Review

   2014 saw Australian rockers Jackson Firebird unleash a riot of distinct rock ‘n’ roll across Europe through debut album Cock Rockin’. Heftily acclaimed and greedily devoured, it quickly repeated the success already found by its storming tracks in the duo’s homeland. A year on and the pair of guitarist/vocalist Brendan Harvey and drummer/vocalist Dale Hudak has repeated the incitement with second full-length Shake The Breakdown. Not needing to be asked twice if we wanted to get back in touch with the guys to learn about the new release we thrust a host of questions at Dale with the following insight into Jackson Firebird, album, and studio antics.

Hi Dale, welcome back to The RingMaster Review

Last time we talked with you was after the European release of debut album Cock Rockin’ last year. Apart from the obvious being your new album Shake The Breakdown in the making and releasing, what have the months since also brought the way of Jackson Firebird?

Hey Pete, thanks for the great questions mate. Lately most interviews have been aimed squarely at Brendan’s sex change operation so this is refreshing. We recorded the new album late in 2014 so it’s been almost a year. We have been just itching to get it out there and tour the balls out of it. Other than an Aus tour earlier in the year and the odd show, we have had a quiet 2015. Personally I have learnt to throw together quite a delicious cheesy potato bake and mastered a recipe for a triple choc brownie. But somehow we have managed to find the time to jam our arses off and now just want to get out there and play!

Now the dust has fully settled on that first album, what are your thoughts looking back at its success outside of your homeland?

We started off jamming in the family bakery just as an excuse to get together with mates, make some noise and get drunk on a Tuesday night. We never considered success outside of our small town let alone out of the country. Success comes to me in the form of people wanting to come to our shows, stick around and party with us. That feeling of being able to hold a whole room or watching someone picked up and thrown about on a crowd while losing their shit makes us feel like we’ve done good. We saw a bit of that last time we were in Europe.

What kind of doors, if any, has it opened for the band?

I am now able to get the best table at any McDonalds restaurant in Mildura. So there’s that.

JFcover2_RingMaster ReviewAs we just said second album Shake The Breakdown has been recently uncaged. How did you approach its creation compared to Cock Rockin’?

We went into Cock Rockin as having a bunch of songs that we wanted to record so we could have something to sell at gigs and show the grandkids and stuff. We mostly produced it ourselves and recorded and paid for it in drips and drabs. Shake the Breakdown started with a trip over to Austin TX for SXSW in 2013 where we had a chance to record a few songs with legend producer Chris Frenchie Smith. He was totally on our wavelength and found the sound we were chasing so it made sense to go back and finish it off with him. Frenchie’s production was the big difference between Cock and Shake. He shoved us when we needed a push and pulled us when we needed a tug. He definitely got more out of us than if we were to do it by ourselves again. Talking about creative input, not about semen you dirty bugger.

If you had to nail down the major differences and the evolution between the two albums what would they be for you?

I think with Cock Rockin we managed to get a live sounding album that sounds bigger than just two people. With Shake the Breakdown it’s taken up a few notches but in a way that we can still achieve live with just the two of us. We still tried to keep our music simple stupid stripped back rocking but now it’s centered by a wall of noise. We probably got a bit more adventurous with the style of some of the songs on the new album. Not on purpose, just “Hudak:   Harvey, I got a riff I think you should sing this one”. “Harvey: SCREAMS!!!!!”

Get Away is finished.

As the first album and as you just implied, Shake The Breakdown feels like its songs are a live encounter for ears but did you change anything in the recording approach this time around or where did you certainly evolve things?

Just like Cock Rockin we recorded every song on the new album with both of us belting it out in the same room as if we were playing live. All the rhythm guitar at least was laid down at the same time as the drums. Harvs was more than patient with my continual fuck ups but there were a few times he had to dodge a flying drum stick aimed at his head. We used a Moog synth to get some of the fat bass sounds and over dubbed geet leads and stuff but tried to keep the songs as live as possible.

There is more variety in the sound of Shake The Breakdown too, were there any specific inspirations which might attribute to the adventure at play?

We never really have anything particular in mind before writing a song other than it’s got to be fun and a challenge to play live. Riffs and melodies can come from anywhere at any time so my phone’s voice memo is choca block full of humming or stupid guitar voices or just singing. It’s all gold at the time, but when you revisit at jam it’s more what was I thinking? Wait, was I actually taking a shit during that one? The fact that I sing a few more songs on this album may attribute to the variety in sound. The writing process remained the same but my style of singing takes some of the songs in different directions.

I believe the first album consisted of songs which had been around a while in the Jackson Firebird armoury just waiting to be unleashed; how about with Shake The Breakdown, are these fresh JF1_RingMaster Reviewfrom the pen encounters other than the covers of course?

The song Shake the Breakdown is actually one of the first songs we wrote together. We recorded a demo of it ages ago but it wasn’t until we got together with Frenchie that we considered giving the song a better go in the studio. It’s a song I play on the bottle bin and a permanent fixture to the JF set list so it was important to have on an album. All of the other songs are newbies.

As always the band’s humour runs wild across the release as the great sounds, particular stories which have inspired songs?

The Headache Mantra stemmed from my love of the show Monkey Magic. For those who haven’t seen it, it’s about an arrogant bad motherfucker monkey king who takes on heaven and wins. In short, the Buddha makes him follow around a ladyboy and kicks heaps of demon arse along the way. The headache mantra is the chant that makes Monkey’s head ring tighten. This made him yelp in a way not unlike what happens in the song. It’s hard to explain; watch it, 80s cheese in all its glory!

We mentioned the covers on the album. Your take on Queen’s Fat Bottomed Girls was a treat but the version of the Shirley Ellis classic, The Clapping Song had the room in a riotous union, as indeed many others tracks to be fair. You did not seem to dissect and twist them about too majorly yet found a character to them which was wholly different. What was the idea behind firstly of choosing the pair and of how you approached them?

Fat Bottomed Girls was suggested by Frenchie when we had some time up our sleeves in the studio. We thought he was taking the piss but his vision was to totally under think the track. Queen made such a brilliant rock song and the lyrics are all a bit tongue in cheek so we humored Frenchie. Harvs was practically watching a YouTube tutorial on how to play the song while we were recording it. Frenchie was pummelling the Moog and jumping around like a man possessed and I was just cracking up as it went down. My biggest stress with the song was even attempting Freddie’s vocal. But I had the megaphone set up next to the drums so Frenchie asked me to lay down a guide vocal. That ended up being the vocal we used and the track was finished in half a day. I think it’s this rawness that gives our version its flavour.

The Clapping Song was a song Kmart used in their advertising for a good six months in Australia so it was hard not to hear it whenever the TV was on. It was stuck in my head on a daily basis so we jammed in it. Kmart to thank for that.

Is there any particular moment within Shake The Breakdown which has you especially smiling inside?

Mostly in Fat Bottomed Girls when Harvs was trying to nail the guitar break short solo bit. He got so pissed off that he just kind of sloppily slaps the strings randomly and Frenchie goes “perfect!” and we move on. Listening to the wrongness of that part makes me smile a bit inside.

jf4_RingMaster ReviewYou are already out there uncaging the album on stage? What is on the horizon live wise?

There is some pretty intensive touring on the near horizon before the end of the year, both in Australia and Europe. Not all of the dates have been confirmed yet so check out our website or Facebook for updates. We are playing a killer festival on the 3rd of Oct called Chopped Rod & Custom which is full of crazy old cars, rev heads and rock n roll. Drag racing all day can’t wait!

What is left in store for 2015 from Jackson Firebird?

Touring and more touring and playing our tits off touring and going to watch that new Star Wars movie.

Thanks again for sharing your time with us, any final thoughts you would like to leave on?

If you get a chance come and see us play we’ll have cracker of a time!

Oh and finally, there are a few great duos creating blood boiling rock ‘n’ roll right now, we mentioned a couple in our review of Shake The Breakdown. Are there any which ignite your personal flames of passion?

Yes!!!! The Fumes, The Black Keys (early days), Local H, The Mess Hall King of the North, and Royal Blood are all sick bands.

https://www.facebook.com/jacksonfirebird       http://www.jacksonfirebird.com/

Read our review of Shake the Breakdown @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/09/08/jackson-firebird-shake-the-breakdown-2/

Pete RingMaster 04/10/2015

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