The Idol Dead reveal their ‘Dark Little Hearts’, on 5th May‏

The Idol Dead Online Promo shot

 

UK ROCKERS THE IDOL DEAD RE-RELEASE STUNNING NEW ALBUM!

 

Leeds rock crew ‘The Idol Dead’ spit out a heady amalgamation of infectious Rock ‘n’ Roll and spiky punk which tips its hat to the likes of Guns ‘n’ Roses, Foo Fighters and The Wildhearts. Pinning sledge hammer riffs against gargantuan choruses backed by thunderous drumming, The Idol Dead are poised to bring their sound to the masses in the shape of their blistering new album ‘Dark Little Hearts’, which is rebooted on 5th May, through the band’s own RAAA! Records label.

Born out of a mutual love for blistering riffs, The Idol Dead sport a varied collection of influences stemming from Rachael Stamp, Foo Fighters and Sex Pistols, to David Bowie and Queen. It’s no wonder that, given their eclectic tastes, the 5 piece offer something different – their own brand of big booted rock n roll!

Formed in 2008 and consisting of Polly Phluid (Vocals), Nish Gonsalkorale (Drums,) KC Duggan (Guitar), Tim Jeffs (Guitar) and Dan Sugden (Bass), the five-some soon became the best of friends. After honing their live set, the quintet began to play throughout the UK and swiftly earned a hearty reputation for delivering explosive live performances. The band have gone on to share stages with the likes of Killing Joke, Sebastian Bach, Buckcherry, Evil Scarecrow, Blackfoot, Warrior Soul, Molly Hatchet, Hatebreed, Pitchshifter, Laika Dog and Spear of Destiny, to name just a few.

The Idol Dead also have a strong DIY ethos which led them to form their own label, Raaa! Records. The label spawned the release of their debut album ‘Die on my Feet or Live on my Knees’, which was totally self-funded. However, the band decided to utilise the pledge platform for their sophomore album ‘Dark Little Hearts’, and within six weeks, they had what they needed in order to complete the album. Needless to say, The Idol Dead were simply blown away by the dedication and support of their fans.

Now with ‘Dark Little Hearts’ recorded and prepped for a national release, the sky is the limit. The band’s album certainly delivers on all fronts. From the urgency and cut throat riffery of ‘Blue Skies’, to the buoyant vigour of ‘Hey Girl’ and the radio friendly melodic brilliance of ‘I’m Drowning’, the five piece have everything in line and are set to battle it out for their place as one of the new breed of Brit Rock bands set to break in the UK!

 

Check out The Idol Dead live: 21st March – Sitwell Tavern, Derby; 30th April – The Duchess, York; 3rd & 4th May – Noize Level Critical, The Maze, Nottingham; 9th May – 360 Club, The Library, Leeds; 24th & 25th May – TBFM 5th Birthday Bash, The Snooty Fox, Wakefield; 31st May – The Riverside, Selby.

The Idol Dead Cover Artwork

www.facebook.com/theidoldead

Gifted Kings – Lose What Makes You

gifted kings pic

    It is hard to say that Lose What Makes You, the debut album from Scottish rockers Gifted Kings, ignited a fire in the passions for their accomplished and soulful sound, but certainly the 2012 formed band sparked an appetite and satisfaction with their enjoyable release which many emerging bands can only dream of. Consisting of eleven impressively crafted and expressive songs, the release makes a potent and promising introduction to a band we are sure to hear and enjoy a lot more of in the future.

    Hailing from Glasgow and consisting of two sets of brothers, Derek (guitar/vocals) and Andy Murray (lead guitar) alongside Gary (drums) and Paul Smith (bass), Gifted Kings build on the undeniable potential and presence of first single Dead End Road, which has just received its video release also, in fine attention grabbing style with the album. It is not unfair to say that the band’s sound has a rich familiarity to its presence right now, not of any specific band but in general which defuses some of its ability to surprise and stoke those emotional flames, but there is little else to raise a quizzical and disapproving eyebrow over. Recorded with producer Nick Brine (Oasis, The Darkness, Bruce Springsteen) at the same studio which housed the making of Oasis’ What’s the Story Morning Glory and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, and mastered by Pete Maher (U2, Depeche Mode), the album proves its case with a stirring presence and potency which easily awakes positive reactions and attention to match that already brewing as far afield as Russia, Ukraine, Thailand, and India over the band. With their music already gracing several shows on Channel 4, S4C, ITV1, and Sky Sport as well as being adopted for advertising campaigns by Ripcurl and O’Neill Sports targeting the USA, Australia, and Asia, the quartet are on a rapid visible ascent which What Makes You Lose has all the qualities to accelerate.

     The album makes an instantly engaging and gripping start with Rains Will Come, its opening a sonic intrigue of guitar which expands with a rhythmic jabbing and fiery melodic glaze as company. It is not a startling entrance but one which secures full focus especially as the expressive vocals of Derek Murray joins the already pulsating lure of the song. Thoughts of Bristol band Mind Museum offer a suggestion whilst essences of Placebo also hint throughout the increasing emotive brewing of the track; all to a positive effect. The only strange thing about the song is that it never explodes, just simmers as if an intro to the album rather than a stand-alone proposition. Nevertheless it is a great start matched right away by The Last Time. A heavy throaty bass sound and imposing rhythms make the initial temptation as the guitar’s thoughts crowd around in a sonic breeze before making inviting weaves of melodic endeavour around the incoming vocals. Again there is something recognisable about the encounter, though it just makes it an easier ride to immerse within, which with its especially persuasive rhythmic enticement just infects.

     Both No One Knows and Drive keep the album bubbling in thoughts and emotions if missing the heights of the previous pair. The first is embraced by powerful emotive melodies and crescendo like rises in energy and passion as melodic veining arguably inspired by the previously mentioned Mancunians works away, whilst the second strolls with a reserved and enticing alternative rock weight and texture to draw in the imagination. Neither sets sparks to tease the passions into major action but definitely each provides a healthy offering for the appetite to chew over and enjoy, as equally does Dead End Road with its alluring and richly expressive narrative and sound. Though definitely not the best song on the album it is still easy to see why it has drawn such eager responses the band’s way since being released as the first single from the album.

     The following pair of Tell Me Something and Fortune In The City return the release to the commanding and contagious levels it started on, controlling rhythms and rich melodic fire rigorously and anthemically tempting the senses within the first whilst its successor explores another evocative climate with an inventively gripping groove and an infection clad chorus within an unpredictable exploratory landscape. Both tracks alone reveal the depth and potential of the band in sound and songwriting, reach easily lighting keen anticipation for future endeavours.

   From the pleasing and very decent creative exploits of Last Trace Of The Sun and the sonically colourful, not forgetting contagious Wait, the album’s best moment is brought with Neon, a song built on addictive nagging riffs and crisp rhythms which persist until full submission is given for their vivacious bait. Once more the band casts a virulent infection over the ears and imagination which is impossible not to find a lingering hunger for, it’s dramatic touches and blues kissed strikes quite irresistible. Alongside the closing and strong if underwhelming in comparison Written On The Wall, the pair bring Lose What Makes You to a thoroughly entertaining conclusion.

     Gifted Kings has laid the strongest base with their debut, the first of many potent and impressing encounters ahead you suspect.

http://www.giftedkings.com/

8/10

RingMaster 23/02/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Stranger than brutality, bloodier than fiction: an interview with Morgue Orgy

Morgue Orgy Dispose-of-the-evidence

If you have not come across UK metallers Morgue Orgy yet, then you have missed out on one scintillating violation of your psyche and person. But it is never too late to catch up on the brutal beatings especially as the Birmingham sextet has just released their debut album The Last Man On Earth, to savage the senses and all for free. Creating a malevolent pestilence of inventive and melodically blackened death metal, the band is one of the rising forces in British metal, a mischievous scourge to tempt the deepest passions. Offered the chance to delve deeper into the mayhem and creative bloodshed, we greedily gathered up questions to feed Carter, Tris, and Ben from the band, subsequently learning about the beginnings of Morgue Orgy, the new album, live exploits, a passion for a certain American punk rock band and much more…

Welcome Gentlemen and many thanks for taking time away from the mayhem and brutality to talk with us.

Tell us about the history of you guys pre- Morgue Orgy through to the early days of the band.

Carter – Gray, Prok, Ben and I were in a thrash/punk horror band before Morgue Orgy. Gray and Prok asked me to join the band in 2000 and Ben joined in 2005. We got a large following in Birmingham, but we only played a handful of shows outside our hometown. The band was a lot of fun, but when our drummer quit in 2007 we decided to start something new. Gray wrote a couple of songs (that would end up as The Black of Hearts and The Arkham Waltz from The River & I EP) and suggested we name the new band Morgue Orgy. Gray used to sing and play bass in the previous band, but he wanted to concentrate solely on vocals with Morgue Orgy, so he asked Tris to join on bass. It took us a year to find a new drummer and when we auditioned Tom we knew immediately he was the man for the job.

What was the spark or intent in the band at the beginning and has that original ‘purpose’ of the band remained the same or evolved over the past five years?

Carter – The main intention for us is to have fun, and I think we’re enjoying being in the band more than ever! When we started Morgue Orgy, we wanted to write heavier music than we’d done before, and just focus on metal, instead of the endless genres (including ska, drum & bass and funk rock) we’d bounce between with our old band. Our sound has definitely evolved as we didn’t really know what we were doing when we wrote The River & I, we were experimenting and learning.

What are the inspirations you have taken into the band musically and lyrically?

Carter – We all listen to a wide spectrum of genres, none of us are metalheads, as such. We are inspired by a lot of different artists, for example Gray takes a lot of influence from rap artists, as he tends to write quickly-bellowed lines with a shit-load of syllables to fit in. Of course we take a lot of inspiration from bands such as At The Gates, Anaal Nathrakh and Dissection, but we also influenced by the likes of Queen, Rancid and Bartok.

Am I right in thinking some of or the band as a whole has a bit of a passion for Bad Religion?

Carter – HAHA yeah they’re fucking awesome! We give free merch to anyone that comes to our gig in a Bad Religion shirt.

Musically you are tagged as melodic death metal but as the new album shows there is much more in your maelstrom of invention Morgue Orgy 1and sound. How would you describe it to newcomers to give the closest representation?

Tris – I don’t think we can tag ourselves specifically as melodic death metal, we end up with all sorts of sub-genres in there but maybe because of ignorance of these ridiculously specific sub-genres on my part I have no idea how to even class it. People seem to think we genre hop a lot and don’t seem to be able to comprehend what they’re listening to sometimes but we’re not exactly Mr Bungle! There’s shouting, d-beats, blast beats, minor bar chords, shredding, keyboard melodies, the odd proggy(ish) bit and if you listen closely enough – I got my bass to sound satisfyingly like the bass tone on the recent Sick of it all re-recordings album! The album is free on our website anyway – download it and make up a genre for it!

Your first pair of EPs The River & I and Murders Most Foul made a potent statement musically for the band and were seemingly greedily received; with your debut album freshly unleashed this month how do look back at them in comparison to The Last Man On Earth?

Carter – We think the River and I is a bit shit now, to be honest. Maybe it’s because they are our oldest songs and we’re bored of them. As I’ve mentioned, the first couple of years for the band was a learning period and there’s a massive difference in quality between The River and I and The Last Man On Earth. I still enjoy Murders Most Foul and I especially love playing 70 Dead and Scared To Death Of My Own Face, I think they’re great songs. Our new album though is much better in my opinion. Each member has improved vastly over the last couple of years and our progress is evident when you listen through our discography.

So how has your sound and presence changed then in the period between your first release and the new album in your eyes/ears?

Tris - We’re still kind of the same band but we’ve improved so much at playing our instruments that we’ve basically ended up a lot faster and heavier. A constant evolution in music taste also plays an effect without you even necessarily realising. We’re all getting back into punk now which I know I haven’t really listened to in a good few years. Just wait for the next album we’re going to end up sounding like the Descendents.

The Last Man On Earth as we mentioned has just been released, an album we said was ‘a toxic torrent of maliciousness fuelled by a rabid expanse of intensively magnetic flavours and styles from within a brutally predatory imagination’. You must be proud of its invention and impact as well as what seems to be a full on soak of acclaim from fans and media alike?

Carter – We are immensely proud of this record. We worked long and hard to create this beast but we never imagined it would be so well received. It has filled us with confidence and justified our direction.

Please give us some insight into the evolution of the album from its first seeds to the final impressive scourge?

Carter – We definitely took our time with putting the album together; the first song that was written for the album was 4 Days, which Tris wrote shortly after recording Murders Most Foul. We used Guitar Pro to demo the riff ideas and would upload them to SoundCloud for the rest of the band to listen and give feedback. Once a song had a rough structure, we’d take that track into the practice room and go from there. We recorded with Ow Davies of Loud Noises Production, who recorded our previous EPs too. We love working with Ow because he gets the most out of us in the studio and he enjoys a good laugh too! He’s got better and better over time and you can hear that on this record, the production quality is outstanding and that is all down to Ow.

1535704_454685597971479_1209997831_nDid the album emerge from the studio exactly how you envisaged going into its recording?

Ben – YES! We had nailed each song from start to finish in the recording studio and as a rhythm section knew exactly how the songs were to sound. The synth/keys were put down later on and tied it together in the way that Carter wanted them to, and it works!

So you are a band which has songs as good as finished before their recording or still prefer to let them develop in the studio?

Carter – The bulk of the songs were fully written before going into the studio, but some vocal deliveries from Gray were altered at times, and he’d improvise recording random noises to add atmosphere/comedy. The sound effects were all put down in the studio once the instruments were tracked. Our guest sax-player, Colin Mills, came in and improvised on Barnum & 399 and the title track, which was fucking awesome. Dunc from Fukpig co-wrote the lyrics for Castle Freak, but we hadn’t heard his vocals for the song until he recorded them.

The Last Man On Earth can be described as psychotic, schizophrenic, and masterfully vicious; three traits you were aiming for or simply the natural emergence of the band’s characters? ;)

Ben – We were all really really angry. Not really! We don’t actually know why our music comes out so brutal. We are all stupid idiots who go out dancing to 90s pop and listen to Bad Religion so why we are even a metal band is beyond any of us. It seems to work though!

You released the album initially as a free download before Christmas, what was the thinking behind the decision and giving what is sure to be a top contender for best of year lists in twelve months so generously away?

Ben – When an audience of people don’t even want to part with £2 for your 5 track EP’s you know you are in a fickle scene. So when that happened several times it was time to think outside the box.

 Carter – Free music is so easily accessible now it seems naive to fight against it. If you can’t beat them, join them. Our main focus during this release is to gain awareness of the band, and charging for the album would have been a limitation.

We also mentioned in our review a mischievous or maybe that should be rascality to the band and the album in our review, this is a major part of your intentions as a band to have fun and grin in the sonic bloodshed?

Tris – Absolutely! Basically we’re a bunch of idiot mates who decided to form a ridiculous metal band with a bit of inspiration from the horror films that we (well actually just Gray) watch. Somehow I think we’ve managed to put that across in our music. People seem to think us pricking about is a gimmick but it’s just what we’re like. We recently released a dildo because we thought it would be funny – If anyone gets irritated and thinks we’re not metal enough for doing so…that is also funny. If you come and see us play a gig we definitely don’t take ourselves too seriously. You’re more likely to see me do squats at 220BPM with a smile plastered on my face than headbang, act like a serious rock star and pretend I’m not enjoying myself.

Tell us about your live shows then and why people need to join the orgy.Morgue Orgy We-play-in-a-band

Carter – Our live shows are all about letting loose and having a good time. We act like idiots on stage and encourage the crowd to do the same. If everyone is smiling by the end of the show, we’re happy.

What has been your stage highlights so far as a band and personally?

Carter – It would have to be playing Bloodstock Festival in 2010, we worked really hard to win the ‘Metal To The Masses’ competition in order to play the festival and the turnout for our set was amazing. I really enjoy playing hometown shows, in front of friends and fans that have watched us for years. We’ve played a couple of really fun gigs in Rugby, Leeds, and Torquay, but I don’t think there are many stand-out shows for me… as long as the audience are enjoying themselves and the sound guy isn’t a prick, I have a great time!

Your bio describes the band as ‘the UK metal scene’s last hope for melodic death metal.’ Do you feel that it is as that suggests on its last legs or maybe it just has not really erupted from a relatively sleepy state?

Ben – We do tend to be one of few bands in this scene who actually think of melody as being important. Perhaps the trend to revolve a song around a beat down has killed off peoples’ brains. We come from the Pantera/Bad Religion/Take That end of the musical scale, where melody is as important as crush!

2014 looks like being a busy and major year for the band, what is next for Morgue Orgy?

Ben – We hope to push our album out to labels and to find a good booking agent to push us further than we could possibly do ourselves.

Once again big thanks for putting aside the bodies for us, any thoughts you would like to leave the listeners contemplating?

Carter – A female bed bug doesn’t have a sexual orifice, so the male has to traumatically inseminate the female by piercing her abdomen with his penis. So if you ever feel depressed remember it could be worse, you could be a female bed bug being fucked in the belly.

Ben – Bad Religion

Morgue Orgy Little-shit-dogAnd finally give us your top five ways in the disposal of bodies.

Now we’re guessing in this scenario you’re assuming we’ve done the killing? Because if you just happen to stumble across a dead body you should probably alert the authorities who can launch a full investigation into what has transpired. Also, we are not actually morticians and couldn’t give you advice on disposal if you are looking to start your own morgue. Again you should alert the professionals who will be able to give you proper advice. But if you’re asking for actual murder tips I suppose we can take a guess but don’t take this as an excuse to start doing it…

Carter – 1. Grind them up and mix them in with the kebab meat 2. Use their bones to make a go-kart and their skin to make a nice coat, throw the rest in the bin 3. Leave them outside a hospital with a note saying ‘for science’. They’ll be grateful for it, honestly 4. Drill them into the sea 5. Package them and label it with any address, Royal Mail will just lose it in the post!

 Ben – 1. Feed them to the ducks 2. Kill them twice 3. Horses 4. Find a keen worm 5. Sit on them until they hatch

 Tris – 1. Drill it over the fence 2. Drill it into the sea 3. Leave it out with the dirty dishes in the kitchen and eventually someone will get annoyed enough to clean it up for you 4. Seal it within a mattress and leave it on the drive for your local council to fail to collect 5. Get Prok to discuss his guitar solos with it and it should get up and leave of its own accord.

Get Morgue Orgy’s debut album The Last Man On Earth @ www.morgueorgy.com and read the review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/morgue-orgy-the-last-man-on-earth/

Pete Ringmaster

The RingMaster Review 11/02/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Emperor Chung – Self Titled

Emperor Chung Online Promo Shot

If their self-titled debut album is a sign of things to come, UK rock band Emperor Chung is going to be one impressive and incendiary proposition for British rock music. The eleven track release is a riveting introduction to a band which has been causing quite a stir with their fresh and diverse sound. It is an album which does miss the opportunity to be an instant classic but as a reservoir of promise and the seed of expectations of big things to come, it is a striking and potent triumph.

Coming from Ilkeston in Derbyshire and formed in late 2011, Emperor Chung has taken little time in making their mark locally and further afield with a sound which has drawn comparisons to those such as Queen, Thin Lizzy, Coheed & Cambria, and Alter Bridge in various ways. Consisting of vocalist Martin Jackson, guitarists Danny Beardsley (formerly of Isolysis) and Richard Shaw (also of NG26), bassist Dan Hayes, and drummer Eddie Hodgkinson (formerly Eight Idle Hands), all bringing strong experience from their previous exploits, Emperor Chung has been on a rapid and impressive rise which their album is sure to accelerate. Their performance at Download earlier this year set the country’s rock scene on full alert, which the album creatively reinforces and with appearances at the YNOT festival with The Darkness, Macmillanfest with Tesseract, and numerous other shows taking the year into the next you can only feel their ascent is picking up speed.

The wintery scene to the start of I Vow This Day brings in instant drama and menace which has thoughts licking their lips, especially whenEmperor Chung Cover Artwork a tight inviting groove from the guitar beckons. The impressive vocals of Jackson soon make their appealing mark also and when the chorus with Beardsley adding his strong tones moves over for an even greater lure to that original groove, the track has full eager attention. From there it does not exactly hold its grip but with good sonic displays and feisty rhythms perpetually nagging the ear, it is a pleasing if not striking start to the album.

The following To Bring Justice and Downpour soon raise levels as the band and release begins to stretch their creativity and adventure. The first is a smouldering heat of strong vocals and melodic imagination which from its stirring opening flexing of sinews and emotive intensity evolves into a tantalising weave of progressive rock and evocative colour crafted by the guitars and veined by the throaty call of the bass and the snarling riffs. It is the first pinnacle of the album and does makes its predecessor look a little pale. The classic rock sculpted build of its successor provides a muscular and equally warm sonic blaze. The track creates a contagious web around the ears but as a few times on the album just does not take that final step or bite to secure a lingering slavery of the passion; nevertheless the song as the album is a richly appetising encounter which leaves satisfaction full.

The album is themed by a story of an Emperor Penguin, Chico Chung who is hunting down the members of the Chinese zodiac who murdered his father. It sounds a little Kung Fu Panda like taken out of context but the wrap of the bands enterprise, which starts with the outstanding artwork around the album to the lyrical fun and craft not forgetting gripping sounds, brings the premise successfully within the potent persuasion of tracks, like the next up My Next Foe and Pyramid. Both tracks in their individual landscapes paint an evocative progressive/melodic narrative which explores the imagination, and though neither grips the plateaus of some of the other songs they leave a brewing hunger in their wake for more, which the likes of No Mercy and the band’s first single The Bloodline supply with accomplished craft and inventive temptation. The first of these two has a familiarity to it and often reminds of Coheed & Cambria whilst the second offers a slowly building melodic caress from guitars and vocals which takes little time to seduce attention and thoughts. It is an obvious lead into the album for newcomers if not the best track on the release.

That honour belongs to Our Weaknesses, a scintillating track which from its intriguing guitar mystique at the start soon expels a technically teasing and invigorating fire of intensity and invention which reminds of Tesseract though across the enthralling song and not for the first time on the album, there is also a strong breeze of Manic Street Preachers coating its irresistible flames. It is the best thing on the album by far, which considering the strength of all songs gives an idea of its majesty, guitars carving out an addictive entrapment which the great rhythmic predation and snarling vocals stalk and ignite further.

The impressive Victory’s Calling and the mouth-watering Apex bring the album towards an intensely enjoyable close leaving Free At Least and its melodic yet rapacious suasion to conclude a thoroughly thrilling and impressive release. As impressive as it is you do feel there is an element of a lost opportunity with not enough songs fulfilling their open potential but with all drenched in unmistakable and infectious promise it is only a matter of time before Emperor Chung do create a ‘classic’ you feel. For now their debut is a wholly enterprising and hunger sufficing treat from a band destined to major things.

http://emperorchung.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TheEmperorChung

8.5/10

RingMaster 14/10/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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EMPEROR CHUNG video single The Bloodline, out now!‏

Emperor Chung Online Promo Shot

EMPEROR CHUNG’s NEW VIDEO SINGLE TAKEN FROM UPCOMING DEBUT ALBUM AVAILABLE NOW!

 
Taking from the givings of past rock masters such as Queen and Thin Lizzy fused with modern classics such as Coheed & Cambria, Alter Bridge, Derbyshire five-some Emperor Chung are here to run rampant through the UK scene.
With a sound that boasts captivating vocals lines with infectious grooves and thunderous riffery separated by delectable dual-lead melodies, Emperor Chung are quickly making friends and have already garnered support from Scuzz TV and Team Rock Radio, as well as recently wooing crowds at this year’s Download Festival.
Hailing from Ilkeston in Derbyshire, and born at the tail end of 2011, all members of Emperor Chung previously served their time doing the rounds throughout the local scene. It wasn’t until they collectively formed Emperor Chung, that everything really started to click for the talented quintet. Intense gigging and rehearsals soon followed, and by the end of the year, the band had enough quality material to record their debut album.
The ascending crew recently played the YNOT festival with The Darkness, Macmillanfest with Tesseract and have more dates lined up throughout the UK this Autumn; along with having recently released their self-titled album and with the release of their spanking new video ‘The Bloodline’, the unstoppable are poised to break, and with support building for the band with Rocksound, Classic Rock, Powerplay and Scuzz TV, this year is sure to be a colossal one for this rising rocksters!
 

Stuntman Mike – Triangles

stuntman mike pic

UK alternative rock band Stuntman Mike has brewed a potent rising reputation for their vibrant sound since forming around three years ago, a certain trigger coming with the release of debut song Triangles. Following on from the keen promise of the single Blackout Revolvers released at the tail of last year, the trio from Glasgow now unleash their debut album, also called Triangles, to make a strong and enjoyable statement about a band finding their creative and enterprising feet. The release offers a collection of accomplished and passionate songs which leaves an eager appetite for their persuasion in place. The album it is fair to say is not one stretching the boundaries of uniqueness for the genre but certainly adds a fresh and heart bred spice.

Taking inspiration from the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Black Sabbath, Kasabian, The Police, and Queen into their ideas and organic sound, the trio of vocalist Scott Hetherington, guitarist Billy Mulholland, and drummer/backing vocalist Affy Ahmad have earned an impressive reputation live which has included shows alongside the likes of Kassidy, The Dykeenies, The Damned Things, Gun, Barry Hyde (The Futureheads) and the Virgin Marys. Their previous self-released singles have also garnered great support and acclaim with the song Secret Forces winning Rock Recording of the Year at the Scottish New Music Awards. Continuing to be passionately DIY, the band is primed to brand a deeper mark with the album, an evocatively fuelled release recorded with famed Scottish producer Stuart McRedie (The Fratellis, Pete Doherty, The Dykeenies, Codeine Velvet Club).

Coming in new to the band, it has to be said their name is not the most inviting for some reason but that is soon forgotten as the 1098022_623813610973427_2105731101_nalbum’s opening track Buffalo confidently strolls up to the ear. Crisp beats and fiery melodic guitar teases immediately draw in attention whilst the brewing intensity and excellent vocals add further potent persuasion. It is not long before a Manic Street Preachers feel emerges from within the song, a flavour which with the band’s own invention makes for a sizzling and impressive invitation. Hooks continue to scythe a deep lure in the imagination whilst sonic hues stand side by side with the delivery of Hetherington to incur greater temptation upon the passions. New ground is not being laid with the song but satisfaction is undoubtedly thick in its presence.

The following Great Exploitations with its fizzing electronic spices and vocal harmonics finds a Muse tint to its magnetic temptation. The stomping core of the song leads the emotions on a heady venture beneath the continually shifting and exploring melodic weave and anthemic breath to forge an encounter which like its predecessor just lifts and ignites the appetite and passions. It continues the impressive start which is not quite matched by next up Modern Glory and Promise, both songs lacking the spark which marked the first pair. Neither lack craft and imagination though, the first having a Mind Museum like emotive energy to its narrative and the second an infectious if not quite tightly griping call to its encroaching cloud of sonic intensity and provocative adventure. Taken alone the tracks leave a lingering impression but on the album pale against the surrounding opening twosome and next up We Say Fire. This song is a sinew sculpted confrontation with a feisty swagger to match. Not neglecting the melodic flames and skill the band already unveils on the album, the track is a storm of rapaciousness and restraint, the extremes brought in a seamless and compelling alignment.

Through the likes of Cartel with its broody guitar and bass probing and the tantalising Roses and Razors, the band continue to hold thoughts and attention in their direction but into its second half the album loses that fire which earlier songs seduced with. Again though these and tracks like Ashes and Champagne Wolves are never less than pleasing and enjoyable in their company, just not lingering once departed.

Closing with the enterprising romp of Kingdom to provide a strong finish to its enjoyable presentation, Triangles marks out Stuntman Mike as a band to keep an eye on. The album does not reach the peaks found by some of its tracks consistently enough across its length to fire up the passions intensely but with all songs soaked in promise and adventure it makes a healthy base for the band to spring from.

http://www.stuntmanmike.co.uk

7.5/10

RingMaster 29/09/2013

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EMPEROR CHUNG debut album out Monday 14th October‏

Emperor Chung Online Promo Shot

EMPEROR CHUNG DEBUT ALBUM NATIONALLY UNLEASHED!

 
Taking from the givings of past rock masters such as Queen and Thin Lizzy fused with modern classics such as Coheed & Cambria, Alter Bridge, Derbyshire five-some Emperor Chung are here to run rampant through the UK scene.
 
With a sound that boasts captivating vocals lines with infectious grooves and thunderous riffery separated by delectable dual-lead melodies, Emperor Chung are quickly making friends and have already garnered support from Scuzz TV and Team Rock Radio, as well as recently wooing crowds at this year’s Download Festival. The ascending quintet are also set to play the YNOT festival with The Darkness, Macmillanfest with Tesseract and more dates throughout the UK this Autumn and with the national launch of their self-titled album, out Monday 14th October, the band’s climb is infinite.
Hailing from Ilkeston in Derbyshire, and born at the tail end of 2011, all members of Emperor Chung previously served their time doing the rounds throughout the local scene. It wasn’t until they collectively formed Emperor Chung, that everything really started to click for the talented quintet. Intense gigging and rehearsals soon followed, and by the end of the year, the band had enough quality material to record their debut album. The rock crew will now release their debut self titled album this Autumn to a national audience, and it’s a real belter.
The record boots off with an explosive opener in the shape of ‘I Vow This Day’; already marked as a future single, the track is a powerful slab of alluring modern heavy rock that aptly opens proceedings. Next up, ‘To Bring Justice’ pitches Martin Jackson’s impressive vocal gymnastics against the dual-lead guitar melodies of Danny Beardsley and Richard Shaw. As the album moves on, the punchy riff assault of ‘My Next Foe’ showcases the band’s stout rhythm section as tub thumper Eddie Hodgkinson and Dan Hayes bond tightly, providing a colossal basis for the track’s soaring chorus to really shine. The weaving vigor and gritty ‘Pyramid’ is next, and it comes over you like an earth-shattering tidal wave. Their debut single ‘The Bloodline’ truly displays the band’s songwriting dexterity with its shifting dynamics and layered guitar lines that glide effortlessly with a killer refrain. While ‘Our Weaknesses’ takes the album forward with gargantuan riffs and luscious melodies, before ‘Free At Last’ closes the record with its captivating cadence and infectious refrain. From start to finish, Emperor Chung have crafted a truly engaging record that is enterprising, dynamic and jam-packed with killer hooks!
 Emperor Chung Cover Artwork
 

No fear just imaginative provocation: an interview with Dale Crover of Melvins

melvins

Any real rock fan knows that the legendary Melvins never shy away from invention, exploration, and mischief within their continually impressive creativity and releases. Three decades have seen the Washington band ignite the senses and imagination as well as music itself with their one of a kind ingenuity, and the release of Everybody Loves Sausages presented yet another album to lift the emotions and provoke the senses. Consisting of cover songs from bands which the members of Melvins have a passion for themselves and featuring an array of guest vocalists the album is one of the biggest sparks to strike 2013. Intriguing to find out more about the album and its creation we had the pleasure of asking drummer Dale Crover about the release, particular songs, and some of those additional friends helping bring the album to life.

Hi Dale and many thanks for sharing your time to talk with us.

You have just released your excellent album Everybody Loves Sausages, a collection of cover tracks. Did the fact that the songs were not yours originally bring a different emotion and feeling compared to your previous releases as it’s unveiling to the world loomed?

We started recording cover song with the idea of releasing them as singles. It wasn’t until we had a bunch of songs done that we realized we had a decent albums worth of material. We didn’t treat this record any differently than any other release.

Did its recording also offer up a different type of fun just because they were songs which you had no involvement in the writing of?

We’ve always done cover songs since day one and we’ve always liked playing covers. Almost every record we’ve ever done has a cover song on it. If we’re going to do a cover, we try to own it like we wrote it. We either try to improve it or at least do it justice.

The time and attention given to each track and your interpretation suggests the songs and bands were ones which had a strong impact upon yourselves, is that the case and the reason for their choosing?

Well yeah, these are all songs by bands that we really dig!

Was there an extended debate within the band over chooses or the songs were relatively unanimously agreed on from the start?

No! We’re all in agreement here. We have pretty much the same musical tastes. I don’t know if Coady and Jared knew much about The Fugs, but they seemed like they were into it. That’s a band that has a pretty big influence on us. Listen to that song, and then our song Black Bock and maybe you’ll hear it.

In the choice of tracks was there any element of mischief, making choices to catch people off guard maybe?16315_10151432583720939_1671142432_n

We thought going from Venom’s War Head into Queen’s Best Friend would throw people for a loop. From totally aggro to I love you! It works perfectly! We weren’t trying to be ironic doing either of those songs though. We really do love the Queen song! It’s a great tune!

You are no strangers to doing cover songs as you said but how big a step did it feel making a full length album of them and did it offer experience or problems which your own compositions do not inspire?

In case you haven’t noticed by now, there’s nothing we’re afraid of doing. I’ve read reviewers say that we did a covers record because we have nothing left to say. Obviously these people haven’t been paying attention to what we’ve been doing. In a space of a year we put three releases by three different versions of the band, toured across Canada, did a record setting tour of the US, released a series of split 12″, toured Europe twice and now put this record out. I’m sure I’m probably forgetting about something as well.

The album also sees a wealth of your friends vocally adding their individual touch to many of the tracks, was it a concentrated decision before the start who you would bring in for what or did the tracks almost invite obvious choices for you?

Some of them we’re well planned. Mark Arm from Mudhoney doing Scientists for example, or Jello Biafra doing Roxy Music. I think we had a few different ideas for Jim Thirwell. He chose Bowie.

Did you give them precise directions to approach the songs especially vocally or let them run with the idea and ball? I ask as our favourite track on the album In Every Dream Home A Heartache, which sees Jello Biafra transforming the Bryan Ferry bred shadows in an organic almost improv like evolution before the ear.

We worked with these different people because we like what they do. We wouldn’t dare tell anyone what to do, or how to sing. I did however tell Clem Burke from Blondie that he was going to do a drum solo. He asked what type of solo to play. My only instructions were to “freak out”!

How long did the album take to make and was it all recorded in one studio or across varied stages with all the guests involved?

We did most of the tracking the winter before last, mostly at Sound Of Sirens studio. A few things were recorded elsewhere.

Is there any particular song or moment which lit your personal fires a little more intensely on the album than most?

Hmm, that’s hard to say. I like hearing the songs when they start to gel. Usually that happens in the overdub process, after I’m done with the basic structure of a song. That’s when I start to get ideas or hear parts in my head. That’s the moment for me where I feel the most creative and exited.

I have to ask about The Jam track Art School which features Tom Hazelmeyer on vocals with a great tongue in cheek cockney accent to song and the following skit end. Was it coincidental that his closing fun felt like a mischievous pop at the middle class background of the great band riding the supposed anarchy of the punk movement in their early days?

Less coincidental and more whiskey fuelled. The English are an easy to target to poke fun of.

180178_496925000938_3202216_nIs the album something you would look at doing again, have already ideas of songs to cover prompted thoughts in that direction?

We recorded way more than what’s on the record. For the vinyl we’re going to release each song as a single with unreleased B sides.

Melvins is an iconic band who has inspired so many bands across your influential years, what inspires your creativity most potently?

Everything that surrounds us.

Will you be taking the album or tracks on tour and if so will your friends on Everybody Loves Sausages be lured to make their part too?

I doubt it, but I would like to play some of those songs live.

What is next on your horizons as a band and individually?

We’re doing our 30 year anniversary tour of the US this summer. After that I’m not sure. Probably more of the same. Hopefully I’ll get to produce more records. Our engineer Toshi Kasai and myself produce bands under the name Deaf Nephews. We recently worked with the bands Qui and Federation X. Toshi has a studio now and we’re for hire to produce and perform on projects.

Once more a big thank you for sparing time for us, any last thoughts or temptations for the readers?

Yes, I know what the real meaning of life is, and its…

Read the review of Everybody Loves Sausages @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/melvins-everybody-loves-sausages/

http://themelvins.net/

The RingMaster Review 16/05/2013

 

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Melvins – Everybody Loves Sausages

Melvins Everybody Loves Sausages hi res

Bands doing covers is always an intrigue if only to see what one assumes has inspired them but when it comes to whole albums of bringing forth hopefully re-invented versions past experiences usually show it is just a lead to disappointment. So many bands just produce the original in their own voice without seemingly using a thought to actually making the songs their own. Approaching Everybody Loves Sausages from the Melvins though there was only excited intrigue with doubts given no breathing space just because it was the Washington band, a group who has never just painted by numbers.  Of course there could still be a chance they would fall the way of so many others but the thirteen track triumph soon puts that notion to bed. The album is magnificent, a window into the as vocalist/guitarist Buzz Osborne explains, “This record will give people a peak into the kind of things that influence us musically.” Melvins do make the songs theirs and even those they approach using the template of the original it still offers twists and seditious creativity which only leads to lustful wonder.

Released via Ipecac Recordings, Everybody Loves Sausages as expected has a mischief across its length though also an open respect for the sounds and artists which inspired them. It is impossible to imagine the original creators of the songs being anything other than impressed and thrilled by the release even when some of the tracks actually outstrip the originals. The album sees the full line-up of Osborne, Dale Crover, Jared Warren and Coady Willis on the album though there are a trio of tracks with the Melvins Lite incarnation of the band on Osborne, Crover and Trevor Dunn.  It also sees plenty of guest appearances to add extra texture and riveting enterprise to the release.

The release opens with Warhead, the band faithfully brewing the seeds of the Venom black metal classic with the bite of Scott Kelly of Neurosis rearing its might on vocals and guitar. It is an immediate lure into the potently eclectic album, its abrasive snarl as anthemic and tempting as the original setting the senses off on a rush of anticipation as the following Queen track (You’re My) Best Friend steps forward with a surprising Nintendo like 8-bit beckoning. With Caleb Benjamin from Tweak Bird handling the vocals wonderfully, the song is a mellow caress with the veins of Mercury and co wrapping the ear from within the seductive and fiery touch of the Melvins. Though not as flamboyant as the original though with a broader pop invitation, it still brings a grandeur and showy embrace forth which leaves the listener warm and energised for more.

After the impossible to disapprove of take on the Ram Jam track Black Betty, the album breaks out its real glories starting firstly with Set It On Fire, an excellent track of The Scientists revived and given a fresh growl with Mark Arm of Mudhoney adding his ever outstanding vocals. It is an excellent aural scowl upon the ear which is then pushed into the shade by the stunning Station To Station. Already haunting and experimental in the hands of Bowie, Melvins turn it into a deeper more intimidating corrosive beauty. The opening industrial malevolence of everyday intensity stalks and congests the ear, a sonic ambience stinging the senses within the restrained yet bedlamic shadowed fuelled wash enveloping the listener and thoughts. From within a lone melodic figure steps forward accompanied by a carnivorous bass provocation before the guitars send sonic flames across the roof of the psyche bending track. With vocals from JG Thirlwell of Foetus bringing the narrative to vibrant life within the scuzzy cavernous texture, the eleven minute song is wonderful, its busy snarl a step into everyday life torture never investigated in the excellent original.

Further intense highlights to rival the pair come in the likes of the punk grazing Attitude with Clem Burke of Blondie joining the band on the Kinks song, the excellent Timothy Leary Lives, one of the tracks with the Melvins Lite line-up and a song which plays like a mix of Stan Ridgway and The Dickies, and an abrasive punk version of The Jam song Art School featuring Tom Hazelmeyer (founding member of Halo Of Flies and the proprietor of Amphetamine Reptile) on vocals and guitar. The last of the trio borders a Spinal Tap moment but pulls it off brilliantly with the fake cockney accent coming over like Danny Dyer playing Jimmy Pursey but recruiting the passions and sending them off with the devilment of the closing almost valid piss-take. To be honest every track is a gem, the choice of material and its re-working contagious with even tracks which held no place in the passions before now finding an elevated status in the arms of the Melvins.

Two more great moments come with the closing take of Throbbing Gristle’s Heathen Earth, the band re-inventing its existing brilliance and the stunning In Every Dream Home A Heartache. The Roxy Music track features Jello Biafra and ex-Melvins bassist Kevin Rutmanis, and is a delicious dark entry on the album and psyche. Opening on a funereal doomy entrancement with Biafra adding an irresistible psychotic lilt to the already shadowed provoking song, the band ignites further sonic flames and intense energies to stretch its chilling presence.

Everybody Loves Sausages is pure joy and an album to set standards for all others contemplating covering other’s material, with first key being do it with passion, something Melvins do everything with.

http://themelvins.net/

9/10

RingMaster 29/04/2013

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Emerging Canvas: an interview with artist Anja Tvrtkovic

AnjaT

For every album, single, book, or DVD there is a cover or accompanying piece of art to portray what is within and tempt the emotions into the heart of the host. Always looking out for emerging independent artists The RingMaster Review had the pleasure to come across a young artist from Serbia, Anja Tvrtkovic, whose work has already grabbed thoughts and attention. Such the potency of the few things seen we felt the need to find out more about the lady and her work.

Hello Anja and thank you for talking with us.

Hello, and thank you for the interview!

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a person that likes to  do too many things interested in art and music. I am a student of University of Applied Arts studying Animation. In my free time I work art designs for bands, t-shirt designs and illustrations for younger children. I am playing bass and back vocals in an all-female band called Plump (named after a song played by Hole). Two months back I ended up in a band called Jailbait (an all-girl band that is a tribute to the Runaways and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts)! And I don’t know what else to say and not end up sounding like an egoistic person  haha :))

When did art first catch your imagination and who were your early influences?

When I was a kid, it was my passion, so most of the time I was watching Flight of Dragons, The Last Unicorn, The Railway Dragon and many more cartoons in that style of drawing! Of course those were the times of VHS so I would record a lot of cartoons and watch them over and over. I can’t say who would be my influence as a person. I was more in my world at the time, with an idea of dragons and dinosaurs in my head.

How would you describe your style of art?

My style? Hmmmm, I always wanted to look badass with my drawings and make people go into “WOAH!” effect, but I would always end up drawing something cute and attractive to a child’s eye. But there are the times when I get into my more serious state, but I never published it.

Is there any particular medium you prefer or find better for your ideas?

Digital art. Definitely. I am too clumsy to work traditional and would always end up all in colours and not satisfied.

artwork2What inspires your work and ideas predominantly?

Other people, friends, but mostly artists all over the world. Internet is a great tool in meeting other styles and techniques.

Music is obviously also an important thing in your life?

Oh yes, very! My bass and love for singing also helps and inspires!! Music is a big part of my life, the thing that gets me going. Every time I stay up late, working for my University, I crank up some good old grunge and metal so I could get through.

What bands and genres are your favourites?

There are too many but, there are some times when I am into grunge, rock, sometimes punk, sometimes I end up in heavy, death and some older thrash. Few of the favourite bands would be: Gojira, System of a Down, Black Sabbath, Offspring, Nirvana, Queen, Deep Purple, Slayer, Kultur Shock, Babes in Toyland Hole, L7, Guano Apes….
I have many local bands that I love and support so I would include them too: NoYz?, Hatred, Uneven, Fandango, Seljačka Buna, Cannot and many more!

When and how did the two mediums come together with you designing art work and posters for bands?

When I was in high school. Because it was a school of Design, a lot of projects were designing CD covers and posters. I was always glared down by my teachers because of doing a design for Opeth, System of a Down and a few more local bands haha.

If given just one choice would you choose working in music or illustrating for children’s books etc?

I would probably find myself more in illustrating then in music. Drawing is more my thing, I would leave music making to more talented people :)

I believe you are creating the artwork for the forthcoming album from Serbian band Noyz?

Yes! I am doing the cover and booklet for upcoming album. It is a lot of work, but that is a dream of every artist. To work with a band that  you love, and gets you easily inspired. So I am the lucky one :)

Can you give any insight as to what it will be like?

Well, Sharkey(frontman and guitarist) and I had a long talk about the album, and I know very well all the songs (yeah I am a big fan), so there is going to be greyish, a little bit dark, but with symbolic elements. I will try to keep the grunge spirit that Noyz have!

What other artists have you worked with or are looking at in the future?artwork1

I haven’t had a chance to work with other artists, but I hope I will! I like collaborations! But if you think for music artists I worked with tons!

You create music yourself so what do you feel is the biggest similarity between creating pieces of art and making music?

I literally did just one part of a song in collaboration with my friend and Sharkey, as a gift to one dear friend. I  always have a blockade in my head when I am starting to do something. Even for this song I had a blockade, I had to make the melody and lyrics and couldn’t do it. Few days later it just hit me, out of nowhere! That is the same process I am having with my art. So yeah there is a big similarity :)

Have you an aim or ambition for your art ahead?

I can’t say there is an aim. I am still in the shell, I don’t have goal in my life, maybe dreams, but those are still far away!

Where can people see your works of art?

For now, I don’t have an online portfolio, and my deviant art page is old and hasn’t been updated in a long time, but I am hoping in making a site as soon as possible! Some of my really old stuff can be seen here: http://njanjadesign.daportfolio.com/

Once again many thanks for talking with us.
It was my pleasure! The questions were fun! :)

Would you like to end with three of your favourite works of art and three favourite albums?

I would end up with: From Mars to Sirus – Gojira; Bleach – Nirvana;  Diabolus in Musica – Slayer.

The RingMaster Review 06/04/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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