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

 

Andreas S Jensen – Disturbed

To this point in time, Danish born, London based Andreas S Jensen has made a notable name for himself for being a guitarist in Dub Pistols, as a writer/producer whose co-writes with the likes of Kevin Lyttle, Armand Van Helden, and Nate James have sold close to a million copies, and in collaborations as remixer, producer, session player, and engineer with artists such as Dido, Rizzle Kicks, Vybz Kartel, Sam And The Womp, Beenie Man, Nerina Pallot and more. This month though sees the singer songwriter/musician make his own individual impact, expectantly what will be his biggest one yet, with the release of a debut solo album. Disturbed is an ear pleasing, imagination stroking collection of songs combining lyrical intimacy with an alluringly broad brushstroke of sound. It is a release which makes the most seductive company note to ear and then haunts the memory once departed; that in anyone’s book the sign of something special.

Jensen has already enticed praise carrying attention with his first EP Disconnected which was released at the beginning of 2014. Embracing inspirations ranging from David Bowie, Tom Petty, and Elliot Smith to Soundgarden and The Zombies, the encounter was the first step towards the lofty heights now awaiting the senses within Disturbed. For the album Jensen drew on the talent of a group of London session players he has met through his producer and session work including drummer Adam Falkner (Babyshambles/Dido), guitarist Garo Nahoulakian (Nadine Shah), cellist Ben Trigg (Arctic Monkeys, Unkle, Jamie Collum), and Antonia Pagulatos (Gorillaz, Blur) on violin and viola as well as Jesper Lind (Jack Savoretti), Nikolai Bjerre (Lamb), Jack Cowens (Dub Pistols/Bondax) and many others. The result of this union of craft and invention is a record as rampantly catchy as it is emotionally open; each song like a big brother knowingly understanding those moments in life, love, and longing we have all hugged or endured.

Disturbed opens with its new single released a week before the album and fair to say Only Die Once instantly has attention gripped. Jensen’s voice is the first enticement, his warm slightly sandy tones soon joined by a theatre of rhythms and keys as a guitar weaves its own suggestive bait. There is drama in piano and bass too whilst instinctive infectiousness fuels vocals and the melodic coaxing hooking the senses whether in a controlled smoulder or a fiery blaze. As a sign of things to come across the album, the track simply blossoms and grows with every passing second; a crowd of instruments and sounds uniting in a fanfare of imagination and enterprise.

The outstanding start is matched by next up Trust Is My Anchor, a single released earlier this year which had us on board with real anticipation right then for what Disturbed would subsequently bring. Like the first, the song makes a gentle start, acoustic guitar aligning with Jensen’s ever appealing voice and like its predecessor a proposal which just opens up its sound and invention with every breath. Soon it roars with a robust rock pop temptation which sublimely ebbs and flows in intensity whilst increasing its hold on ears and appetite second by second. There is something of Billy Momo to the subdued moments of the track and a hint of R.E.M. in its bolder expulsions; both deliveries as compelling as the other as another pinnacle within the album is exposed.

Take My Heart and Go needs barely a breath to seize ears as a glorious gnarly tendril of sound winds around the senses, a flirtatious bassline and the caress of acoustic magnetism swiftly stepping up alongside. Mixing country flavoured rock and eagerly strolling indie pop, the track has the body bouncing and hips swaying in no time with the imagination employed by word and another rich tapestry of textures and invention. For personal tastes it is probably fair to say that the track just misses the heights of the pair before it but the pleasure loaded grin our faces during its presence each and every time reveals all and alone why with every listen Disturbed  becomes more essential.

Through the electric shimmer of Another Way Of Leaving, a proposition merging sixties psych and eighties pop in its tantalising soulful croon, and the Baroque kissed Unchanged captivation is intense and greedy. The second of the two especially bewitches with its shadowy reflection and perpetually rising crescendo of sound and endeavour, the strings which magnetically colour most tracks voraciously manipulative and rousing before And She’s There calms things a touch with its vibrant canter. It too is a tenaciously catchy enticement all the same though which imagining The Everlys and Walker Brothers born as one and breaking out today gives a sense of this superb slice of contagious pop.

Thought gets the focus over body with the balladry of next up Looking Back For Something New, though it is hard not to sway to its melancholy lined tone and melodically intimate presence, while Run with at first a similar gait brews a contagion which has body and spirit rocking as again eighties funk/pop collude with electronic and creative drama. Both of the songs have a firm hand on ears and lustful attention though each is eclipsed by the bold exploits of Dangerzone, a theatre of rock pop which surely has to be the next single. Some tracks make you greedy for more, this is one for Jensen though one among quite a few to be honest but the show stealer of Disturbed for these ears.

The album concludes with I Carry My Cross, a beguiling dark folk/ country spectacle weaving in strands of gypsy, carnival and Latin rock which with its hypnotic funereal march is reason alone to take a chance on exploring one rousing release.

To be honest as much as we loved the single Trust Is My Anchor a few months back we were maybe expecting Disturbed to just back up its striking presence rather than take things to a whole new level. Boy, were we off the mark, the album a BIG must for all rock, pop, indie fans well everyone who loves boisterously catchy and emotionally honest music.

Disturbed is released September 15th with the single Only Die Once out September 8th.

http://www.andreassjensen.com/    https://www.facebook.com/AndreasJensenMusic    https://twitter.com/andreassjensen

Pete RingMaster 04/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Braddock Station Garrison – A Hint of Recognition

BSG_RingMaster Review

Last year US rock band Braddock Station Garrison gave a strong and enjoyable introduction to their rock ‘n’ roll with debut EP/mini album High Water. Exploring all the best bits of that release whilst honing other potential but previously less striking elements in their sound, the Washington DC quartet has recently unveiled its successor, A Hint of Recognition. Still carrying a flavoursome Americana tang to their no frills rock ‘n’ roll, Braddock Station Garrison have produced another highly magnetic and creatively organic proposition with their second full-length to thoroughly enjoy. It is probably not a game changer in stirring major awareness of the band by wider spotlights, though it has enough to make a stir if given the chance, but A Hint of Recognition is definitely going to entice new fans as they show they are heading in the right creative direction for bigger rewards ahead.

Formed by vocalist/guitarist Steve Schillinger and lead guitarist Tom Soha in 2011; Braddock Station Garrison take inspirations from the likes of Tom Petty, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith, Johnny Cash, and The Smithereens into their openly growing sound. Completed by drummer Michael Chapman and bassist Michael Haddad, a line-up in place since mid-2014, the band released High Water last year to keen responses. Its fusion of classic and modern sounds was a highly appetising if unspectacular proposal which left a richness of pleasure in its wake. A Hint of Recognition continues the groundwork it laid but with more inventive tenacity, bolder imagination, and depth of sound. It is still not the offering to make an explosive impact but it definitely guarantees a thoroughly enjoyable time with every listen and who can say no to that.

cover_RingMaster Review   The album opens with Forgotten Teenage Dream, a contagious little number with jangly riffs and a great alluring bassline alongside the ever distinctive and appealing tones of Schillinger. With crispy beats adding to the easy going stroll, the song rather than providing a big splash to start things off is more a catchy coaxing, a warm up to bigger and brighter things. Nevertheless grooves and melodies offer a pleasing tempting which the more relaxed and emotive She’s Too Cool employs with relish in its more fifties rockabilly seeded stroll. As in its predecessor and the band’s sound generally, there is a masterful simplicity at work; leanness to the invention which ensures only the choice cuts of sound and imagination get involved in the song whilst avoiding unnecessary embellishments.

Things really takes off from the album’s third track, Lies, where once more a fifties breeding is carried by the tantalising air of the song, and initially through another tasty bass lure and the rich vocals. It is a flavour continued by sultry melodies and welcoming riffs cast by the guitars whilst a raw cascade of intensity only adds to the drama and unrelenting addictiveness of the song. Its success seems to spark something extra in its following companions too, Hey Cindy spinning a web of sonic tendrils across its body within a great rhythmic beckoning next. To this the guitars spray a creative smog like contrails behind a plane, with both Chapman and Haddad laying down gripping bait before Never In Danger emulates the earlier Lies with its own dark rock hues, though this time they touch upon a R.E.M. colouring in the song’s evocative swing. Infectious from first breath to last, the track is a reserved but lively seduction adding more warmth to the satisfaction already brewed by A Hint of Recognition.

More heady bass temptation brings a grin to lips as Any Day Any Way opens up, the enticement persistent as guitars spread fuzzy causticity across a punkish encounter unafraid to change tact and energy at the drop of a note. More inventive and fiery with each passing minute, the track is another striking high point which Stop and Reflect struggles to match right after, though its country twang and melodic smoulder only feeds a happy appetite before Johnny Stone Stole My Girl brings things to a rocking close. Its unsurprising yet irresistibly catchy shuffle feeds all wants from a slice of rock ‘n’ roll, especially with more of that flavoursome old school fifties tone to please personal tastes; a pursuit of which would definitely go down well and add something more to future Braddock Station Garrison songs it is easy to suggest on the evidence of A Hint of Recognition. More of the very solid and enjoyable sounds found on the band’s new album would be quite fine too.

A Hint of Recognition is out now via the Braddock Station Garrison Bandcamp.

https://www.facebook.com/BraddockStationGarrison   https://twitter.com/BSGRockNRoll

Pete RingMaster 29/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Tess Of The Circle – Face the Changes

Tess of the Circle_RingMaster Review

Fast on the acclaimed heels of Love Is The Drug That You Crave, the first single from their upcoming second album Amplify, British rockers Tess Of The Circle unveil new track Face the Changes to make already intrigued and keen anticipation for their new full-length just that little more impatient. The new single is nothing less than an infection of guitar enterprise and vocal expression which lights up ears and indeed feet.

TOTC cover_RingMaster Review   As its predecessor produced by Gavin Monaghan, Face the Changes gives a slightly different glimpse to the new album and its hinted varied adventure whilst basking in the enterprise which marked out Love Is The Drug That You Crave as an equally rousing proposition bred on the band’s inspiration of 70’s electric rock armed with enterprising acoustic guitar riffs around biographically spawned lyrics. Fresh from 6 triumphant shows at this year’s Glastonbury Festival and strong attention and radio play for the last single, the Oxford hailing collective led by and bringing to life the songs and music of singer/songwriter/guitarist Tess Jones, share another inescapable temptation with Face The Changes.

Guitars and bass have body and imagination engaged straight away with their initial shuffle, that potent lure kept going as firm beats and the expressive tones of Jones add their own enticing to the vibrant mix. There is a kind of Michael Stipe essence to Jones’ voice, his magnetic lilt supported by further R.E.M. like melodies and the emerging dramatic air of the song. It is a much more resourceful character than that though, its bluesy textures through the guitars of Jones and Lee Clifton and a general infectiousness led by the rhythms of bassist Ben Drummond and drummer Paul Stone slightly recalling the John Butler Trio, but overall its body and buoyant enterprise creates a rousing time amidst a contagiously provocative roar which is all Tess Of The Circle.

Acclaimed debut album Thorns whipped up a wave of attention and greedy appetites previously and on the evidence of both Love Is The Drug That You Crave and now the richly enjoyable Face the Changes, the forthcoming Amplify will be doing the same.

Face the Changes is out now through most online stores.

Pete RingMaster 03/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Delicate Holly – Love • Hate • Control

Delicate Holly Online Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

   Love • Hate • Control is a release which has you nodding in acknowledgement of its strong initial introduction but over time one which increasingly impresses whilst sparking the licking of lips at certain potent moments. Whether the debut EP from UK alternative rockers Delicate Holly has enough to shake the UK rock scene into attention time will tell but certainly it is a thoroughly enjoyable entrance from a band with the potential of a big future in their creative hands.

Hailing from Cheltenham, the seeds of the 2013 forming Delicate Holly began with a trio of school friends in vocalist/bassist Reuben Lovett and guitar/backing vocalists Alec Hopkins and Dougie Stokes. Already jamming together for a while, the three eventually met and enlisted drummer Toby Jones, with Delicate Holly soon blossoming in songwriting and songs, subsequently making a striking presence on the local scene in swift time. Since then the band has played numerous shows and festivals as well as supported bands such as The Subways and Coasts. Taking inspirations from the likes of The Clash, Arctic Monkeys, Royal Blood, and Nirvana into their own invention, Delicate Holly has increasingly lured attention which the release of Love • Hate • Control through Paper Label Records can only reinforce. As suggested it may not be the break-through proposition for the band but still in their early days, the band make a tasty nudge to their presence with the EP.

Delicate Holly Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review   First track is Full Body Cast, a song quickly revealing the potent union of guitar and vocal enterprise which fuels all songs. Coaxing around a rhythmic and melodic swing, feet and neck muscles are soon involved with the track’s flirtatious canter with the bass just as vocal in luring a swerve of hips and courting of the imagination. As it continues to persuade with its catchy character and the expressive and greatly alluring vocal delivery of Lovett, the song reveals no real big surprises but quite a few almost cheeky twists, a momentary hook almost echoing The B52s’ Rock Lobster one flavoursome moment. The song’s body is lean but busy, the bass of Lovett alone an increasing drama of ear courting adventure, and all elements across the song combined, it makes a strongly engaging first look at band and EP.

The following Jaws infuses even juicier melodic enterprise into a similarly cultured canvas of sound and invention but does lack the livelier spark of its predecessor. Nevertheless with its infectious guitar jangle and broody bassline, the song leaves ears content and thoughts thickly engaged before making way for the EP’s best offering, Rain-O-Rack. From the first caustic caress of guitar there is open attitude to the song, one which lines the choppy riffs, belligerent bass sound, and tenacious vocals. Simply the track has a snarl; a punk bred carriage and psychosis which lifts it above the rest with ease. There is a feel of Mojo Fury to the encounter too; a volatile air sparked by the unpredictability and aggressive flame which sizzles in ears through the song.

Lemon Man completes the line-up with its warm melodic seducing and temptation, as well as a healthy whisper of R.E.M. in its verses and bluesy tempting to its broader landscape. The track is a fiery but composed croon of rock ‘n’ roll revealing another flavour to the Delicate Holly songwriting and sound and, as the EP itself, growing bigger and more persuasive with every listen.

With the CD treating ears to a clutch of live tracks too, Love • Hate • Control is an accomplished and alluring start from the band and the anticipated beginnings of highly enjoyable times with them.

The Love • Hate • Control EP is available from August 17th via Paper Label Records.

RingMaster 17/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Citizen – Curtain Call

band pic

Proving a fascinating proposition to mull over, Curtain Call is a release which at times simply blows ears and thoughts away and in other moments still has them fully engaged just without that extra excitement. The debut album from Italian melodic rockers The Citizen, the ten track encounter as a whole though is a thoroughly enjoyable weave of anthemic rhythms, impassioned vocals, and blazing melodies which suggests that this is a band to make major creative statements ahead.

Hailing from Salerno, the quartet of brothers Franco (bass and backing vocals) and Ciro ‘Ace’ Amoroso (vocals, guitar, synthesizers), Noam Radetich (guitar, piano, synthesizers), and Roberto Coscia (drums, percussion) seemingly draw on inspirations from the likes of Cold Play, Muse, Pink Floyd, and The Police for their own mix of melodic/alternative rock. Equally though, there is an air of bands like R.E.M. and 30 Seconds to Mars in their tone and creative touch. They are flavours bringing a spicy essence to the band’s highly anticipated first album, an enthusiasm sparked by a self-titled EP and the release of a couple of videos, the one for the album’s title track alone seeing 50000 views come its way in just a few days. Now released via My Kingdom Music, one of many suitors for its release, Curtain Call is in line to awaken even keener widespread attention upon the band. It might not be a full introduction to The Citizen that will set the world alight but it is certainly one destined to spark a hungry appetite for more of their sparkling sound.

The Citizen cover     After an intriguing and potent enough opening through the brief welcome of Intro, the album gets down to exciting ears with System Zero. From its first breath guitars are spinning a melodic and spicy web of melodies quickly reinforced by the expressive tones of Ace and the potent calls of the band. Riffs and hooks have a pop punk infectiousness whilst rhythms roam across its magnetic landscape with commanding and heavily persuasive energy. It is a great rousing start to the album, a song brimming with ideas and anthemic tendencies which has ears and emotions eager for a feisty adventure.

The album’s title track follows and with an endearing melodic luring and again thumping beats it too gets off to an attention grabbing start. This is a mellower proposition though, and whilst the rhythms especially from Coscia provide a constantly imposing incitement, vocals and harmonies alongside evocative melodies wrap around ears with gentler tempting. It does have the dramatic qualities of its predecessor, rising crescendos of energy and emotion bringing a more volatile climate to the song’s provocative canvas and expression.

     Panic Attack comes next and it too explores an overall less fiery energy but similarly as the last song, expels moments of creative and emotional intensity which brings the track alive. For personal tastes they are definitely needed as the song lacks the ‘snarl’ of the previous pair until those eruptions, and if there is any ‘negative’ of the whole release it is just that, its calmer reflective parts lacking the impressively alluring bite and compelling theatre of the explosive twists and almost raging ideation around them.

The emotive and sonic shimmer of You And I embraces the senses straight after, a breath of Americana not for the first or last time on the album emerging and bringing more variety to the colour of the album. It is just one scent in the enticing bloom of provocative balladry, a bluesy air wrapping the great guitar invention alongside the tenacious alternative rock hues of Michael Stipe and co. The song holds ears and attention firmly as does its successors This Time and Relax. The first of the two has a similar croon like enticement to the last track, vocals and melodies washing gently over ears as a sonic incitement is cast by guitar. Both songs also have a pungent rhythmic incitement which sparks greater emotional arousal but in the excellent This Time it also seems to ignite every aspect of the track to explore new creative and passion fuelled drama. Relax is bred from the same template but cannot quite find the same rigorously impact despite a blaze of enterprise from the guitar which just sizzles in the ear.

The elegant emotional reflection of Something Left with its piano lead keeps ears and thoughts satisfied next before The Way You Change provides a stirring proposal again loaded with rigorously stimulating rhythms and intoxicating emotional power matched by melodic and sonic endeavour. With just the brief instrumental Outro to end things, the track is the true climax to the album and a song which rings across the senses and lingers in the emotions.

It is a fine end to a great first major offering from The Citizen, an album which provides a potent base for the band to explode from. That is something easy to expect, an assumption that the band will write and create even bigger, more dramatic and inspiring adventures easy to nurture, and that is many ways even outshines Curtain Call in excitement.

Curtain Call is available on CD and digitally now via My Kingdom Music @ http://mykingdommusic.bigcartel.com/product/the-citizen-curtain-call-cd

https://www.facebook.com/TheCitizenOfficial

RingMaster 05/05/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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parker BOMBSHELL – The Hours Down EP

parker BOMBSHELL The Hours Down

Ahead of a new EP due towards the end of June, we catch up with its predecessor The Hours Down EP which came out just three or so weeks ago. Consisting of five magnetic encounters from the individual imagination of Canadian band parker BOMBSHELL, the release is a captivating eighties bred dance which leaves feet eagerly agitated and thoughts thoroughly engaged. The band has evolved dramatically since its early days as just Parker, but has always reaped the richest essences of original synth pop and modern indie pop for a contagious enticement, which easily sums up The Hours Down EP.

The adventure of Toronto duo singer/songwriter Tom McNeil (also renowned for his podcast Addictions & Other Vices at Audioburger.com) and songwriter/singer/producer Thomas Ryder Payne, parker BOMBSHELL bring inspirations of the likes of Peter Gabriel, Elvis Costello, R.E.M., Billy Bragg, The Cure, The Smiths, Squeeze, Blondie and many more into their own elegant offerings. The latest release is the first in a series of four EPs which will make up debut album The Hours Down, each examining the five steps of recovery from depression and trauma. On the evidence of The Hours Down EP its full-length namesake promises to be an intriguing and absorbing experience.

Latest single Dust opens up the EP, and immediately casts a celestial sparkling of key spawned notes. The enchanted air is soon thickened with coaxing melodies and welcoming harmonies as a brewing energy builds behind the temptation. The track is soon settles into a slow but purposeful stroll, McNeil laying down his rich baritone yet mellow tones upon the musicianship of Payne to great effect and success but it is when the mesmeric voice of guest Rebekah Higgs comes into view that the song truly catches the imagination. With echoing harmonies and robust pulsating beats accompanying her entrance, tingles are sent down the spine as a seductive tempting spreads its bait before being embraced by the full weight and enterprise of the encounter again. The song as potent as it is initially is also a slow burner which just gets stronger and more welcomingly intrusive over each taking of its riveting creative emprise.

The following Long Drawn Out Goodbyes has a task indeed to follow the impressive start and it does itself no harm with an initial jangle of China Crisis like guitar amidst expressive breath of keys. The song moves into a potent stride soon after led by again punchy beats under an umbrella of evocative melodic expression sculpted by keys and synths. As expected that eighties spice is a prevalent enticement, elements of OMD and again eighties synth pop seeping into the colour of the song. Like a few of the tracks on the EP it does not explode or erupt as expected, and at times hoped, but gently smoulders with a melancholic like allure until reaching its more pungently enriched climax, a finale soaked in an enthralling drama and intensity.

Another Great Depression sweeps in next, a dark resonance the breeding ground for shadowed keys and great niggling guitar to beckon over which synths tantalise and tempt. Through the heart of it the vocals of McNeill smoothly unveil the narrative and emotive shadows of the song, his voice holding sway against the evolving textures and enterprise of Payne, whose darker throated tones add a menacing depth to the emerging landscape of the song. Like the first track it is a proposition which only grows and impresses more over time, and even though its initial encounter is not as impacting as that of Dust, it eventually puts that right to add another rich aspect to the release.

The brief but decent ballad Stuck Here comes next; voice and keys primarily casting emotive hues for thoughts to run with. It does not spark the same appetite as other songs, feeling like it is either unfinished or an intro to a song, though not its successor on the EP I would suggest. It is strong and appealing but out of place where it is, neither working as an interlude nor as mentioned as a lead into the last track Sucking Retail. The closer is a mixed bag of irresistible magnetism and towering temptation, but an offering which ebbs and flows in potency and success at times. Its crescendos are magnificent, contagious enticements which enslave the passions with nostalgic but fresh enterprise and vivacity but the moments in between, whilst laying out engaging bait, lack the dynamics and sheer drama of its better moments.

Nevertheless it is a fine end to a very appetising release which fans of organic synth pop will find plenty to enjoy in. It is a strong start to the emerging debut album from parker BOMBSHELL; time will tell if it is sustained but right now it is easy to be confident about that.

The Hours Down EP is available now @ http://parkerbombshell.com

7.5/10

RingMaster 18/06/2014

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