Tess of the Circle – Amplify

TOTC_RingMasterReview

Though a trio of exceptional singles have already provided a powerful and thrilling insight into the new album from British band Tess of the Circle, it still has not stopped Amplify from surprising and impressing beyond expectations. The eleven tracks making up the band’s second full-length offers virulent roars and irresistible croons, and a collection of rock ‘n’ roll fuelled songs which leap with zeal and passion at ears and imagination.

Rising in 2013 within the British Independent Collective, an artistic union of friends and talent in various mediums formed by singer/songwriter/guitarist Tess Jones, Tess Of The Circle soon sparked potent attention from fans and media alike with debut album Thorns. Jones’ songs soon found regular airplay which has continued since, especially with those recent singles. The past couple of years have been especially busy and successful for the band; that national radio support leading to a double figure amount of live sessions backed by a stage presence which has seen the band play five shows at Glastonbury, sub-headline the 2015 Acoustic Festival of Britain’s second stage, and headline Bear Gryll’s Festival in London. Such the might and majesty of the Gavin Monaghan (Editors, Robert Planet, Lemmy, Ryan Adams, Grace Jones) produced Amplify, all before seems like just being the prelude to bigger and bolder things for the Oxford hailing band; bigger success sparked by a release which it would not surprise if it emerged as an album of the year contender for a great many come December.

With guitarist Lee Clifton, bassist Ben Drummond, and drummer Paul Stone, alongside Jones, Tess Of The Circle get right down to business with opener Love Is the Drug That You Crave. As potent and contagious as first time heard as a single, the song is soon filling ears with the distinctive voice of Jones and scythes of guitar within an electronic shimmer. The relatively controlled start soon erupts into a feisty burst of energy and bait soaked hooks; a two prong coaxing repeated before the track hits a tenacious and rousing stroll. It is quite simply a blaze of melodic and rhythmic infectiousness; a bracing stomp only given greater depth by the great backing vocals around fiery textures cast by guitars and keys.

It takes little time for the variety within Amplify to emerge; from The Cars meets John Butler Trio feel of the first song, a Gary Numan air colours the following I’m Not Ashamed, though it is a spice predominantly cast by the vocal tone of Jones. Nevertheless, a great range of emotive and rhythmic shadows wrap the energetic canter of the song, adding weight and intrigue to the hazier lures of guitars and harmonies. As its predecessor, it takes little time to get fully involved with the grungy encounter, a swift persuasion matched by You Take Me Out of My Head and its thumping slice of bullish hard rock and anthemic rock ‘n’ roll. From its fiery jangle and imposing rhythms, the song demands attention, rewarding the submission with addictive hooks and beguiling grooves courted by the delicious throb of Drummond’s bass. Riffs are equally as formidable and persuasive; the track the perfect blend of aggression and seduction with blues enterprise for further drama.

A chance to relax is provided by the emotive croon of Believe (Into Her Arms), though ears and imagination are as busy as ever in being beguiled by the outstanding encounter. With blues hues lacing the guitars and a gravelly texture enjoyably coating Jones’ vocals, the song mesmerises as skittish rhythms entice. Even in its balladry, the track offers a catchiness which is impossible to resist as our hips and throats can attest to before they are given an even greater workout by the Nirvana-esque incitement of Mother Daughter Son. The track leaps and pokes with matching intensity; stirring up appetite and spirit with its slightly volatile revelry in a persuasion more than matched by Digging At My Bones. Like a tango, the song twists and turns, ebbs and flows in its unpredictable drama and enterprise. Emotionally more than physically tempestuous, the track uncages a theatre of sound and invention which gets right under the skin, tapping into the instincts for heart rousing rock ‘n’ roll.

The excellent Face the Changes flirts with a REM scented adventure next, its rock pop contagion a gentle but inescapable tempting, whilst Drowning Without You as good as steals the whole show with its dark and swampy rock ‘n’ roll. The brooding twang of the guitar is manna for the ear with extra spice provided by the provocative mystique infested melodies. The song nags the senses, seduces the imagination, and flirts with body and soul from start to finish, standing as album favourite with consummate ease even in the company of seriously impressing companions.

The heart blues serenade of Summer Rain is next, holding ears and enjoyment firm before allowing The Waves Break Us Down to share its intimate ballad wrapped in emotive strings and vocal melancholy. Both songs make compelling persuasions whilst adding fresh shades of creative colour to Amplify; one final hue offered by the closing beauty of This Higher Ground and its folk rock embrace of intimate sentiment and lively endeavour.

Amplify is quite sensational, not only living up to the promise of its temptation laying singles but revealing numerous more sides and imagination to the songwriting and sound of Tess of the Circle. It is not a must check out album recommendation we offer but  a must have suggestion.

Amplify is out now via Vintage Voice Records on iTunes and other stores.

http://www.tessofthecircle.com   https://www.facebook.com/TessOfTheCircle/

Pete RingMaster 26/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Jekyll – I Do What I Can

jekyll

Taken from their debut EP of a couple of months ago, I Do What I Can provides plenty of evidence as to why there is a healthy buzz around Jekyll. The band’s new single is a flavoursome mix of crisp rhythms and evocative melodies seduced by potent vocals and infectious enterprise, and though the song is not carving out new directions for melodic/alternative rock, it certainly provides a captivating and inventive flavour which sets the band apart from most of the crowd.

Formed in 2011, the Blackpool quartet of Joel Foster (vocals/guitar/keys), Jonny Chatterton (guitar/vocals), Lewis Armistead (bass), and Liam Singleton (drums) were soon grabbing attention locally and further afield with their emerging sound. Inspired by the likes of Muse, Radiohead, Kasabian, The Smiths, Nirvana, Editors, Joy Division, Maximo Park, and REM, the band followed up the well-received release of their demo, which drew strong attention from BBC Introducing and more, with their self-titled debut EP in May of this year. It too was met with an eager response. Released ahead of and in celebration of Jekyll’s appearance at The Membranes upcoming gig at the top of Blackpool Tower to celebrate the landmark’s 120th anniversary, I Do What I Can is one of those melodic parties which linger and never go home. It does not offer startling surprises and ground-breaking moments but for providing rich satisfaction it is a sure bet.

From its first second guitars are crafting an emotive melodic web as rhythms jab across them purposefully whilst the bass independently offers a potent shadow to an already melancholic air. It is a swiftly enticing blend which the vocals of Foster only brings more evocative expression to, the song now relaxing to a percussive coaxing as guitars tenderly embrace his entrance. There is a familiarity around the eventful chorus, vocally and musically, with that REM essence open but equally it flows into a sonic colour and adventure which soon has the imagination lost in originality and melodic emprise. The track continues to flirt and seduce with invention and skilful twists across its fluid narrative, and though lyrically a couple of times you have to give the song the benefit of the doubt, I Do What I Can embraces and leads ears through to emotions on a tantalising flight of creative and anthemic endeavour.

Jekyll is a band catching on with the thoughts and emotions of an increasingly growing following and I Do What I Can will certainly do no harm to their growing spotlight.

I Do What I Can is available digitally now.

http://jekyllband.wix.com/jekyllband

8/10

RingMaster 04/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Latvian Radio: Kill The Static

Kill The Static is a vibrant and infectious slice of power pop/rock from US band Latvian Radio. Their third album, the release offers twelve songs triggered according to its sleeve, by the complexities of the human condition. The album is a light but substantial array of sounds and ideas which easily find a home within the ear and makes for a frequent and welcome companion.

The seeds of the band go back to the solo work of vocalist and guitarist Patric Westoo. After releasing three albums he teamed up with long time friends in multi instrumentalist Kim Monday, guitarist Mark Poole (63 Eyes and Phantom Six), and Brian Porterfield (Cheap Truckers Speed), the quartet becoming The B-Sides in 2002. Their album Troubleshooting the following year met with strong responses to its short crisp punk and rock fired songs. For their second release the band decided on a change of name and became Latvian Radio. The line-up changed and evolved but the releases only increased the acclaim and attention upon the band. 2006 saw the release of Happiness Above A Hardwood Floor with Seven Layers Of Self Defense coming three years later, both drawing strong coverage and exposure in media and radio play as well as comparisons to the likes of Elvis Costello & the Attractions, the Replacements, Brendan Benson, Big Star, early REM, and the Decemberists.

Released via Belpid Records from Sweden, the new album is a continuation and expanse on its predecessors, the songs an insight into the psyche of prolific songwriter Westoo drenched in waves of melodic enterprise and dense energies. The title track opens things up and is a fully infectious and irresistible pleasure which grips the heart instantly with its jangly guitars and warm caressing vocals. Keys swarm with a heated elegance around the enthused core of the song adding to the expressive pop melodies and enchantment. One can see why people issue comparisons to artists like Costello when describing the music of Latvian Radio though this song reminded more distinctly of Martha and the Muffins in context of its melodic touch and buoyant keys.

The following Cigarettes & Soda has a Kinks lilt to its summery and inviting pop sounds and already shows the strong and impressive array of diversity within the sonic and melodic umbrella of incisive imagination the band are noted for. The likes of Sons & Daughters with its air lighting crystalline kisses, and the feistier power pop charge of Dead Weight continue the wide menu of sounds and invention giving pleasure all the while.

Again bringing another unique aural dish to savour, So, You Want To Make Me Believe takes the listener on a ride through surf pop, its layers of warm touches  siren like amongst the lapping waves. As the album settles further into the ear with the horn veined Out Of Your Mind and the blues gait of Inwood Park playing before closed eyes, one can almost drift off into a world of sun and glowing multicoloured skies.

The album is a fine example of power pop at its very best, intelligent and well crafted by musicians at the height of their imagination and creativity. If warm climes and golden melodies are your kind of distraction then Latvian Radio is definitely the soundtrack you need.

http://www.latvianradio.net

RingMaster 17/08/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Reticent : Le Temps Detruit Tout

     

Le Temps Detruit Tout from progressive metal North Carolina band The Reticent is one of those releases which does everything right, bringing fine invention, imagination, and thought to its impressive sounds. The only thing it is without is a lasting and memorable presence to remain once its emotive atmospheres have drifted away. This applies to the album as a whole but also to the individual tracks. It is hard to remember what you have just heard within mere moments of its passing except for the final track which is a cover of the REM track Losing My Religion. Whilst in their presence though the songs are superbly crafted and presented. They are unique whilst being familiar suggesting originality is not the over whelming breath of the release and it is fair to say the album is heavily influenced by the likes of Opeth, Porcupine Tree, A Perfect Circle and Tool but it is near impossible to criticise its intelligent creativity and passion.

The Reticent is the solo project of Chris “Mordrid” Hathcock, known for his work with The Torture Cell and Werhwolfe (who he still drums for). The project began in 2002 under the name The Seventh Circle before Hathcock renamed it and was born with the aim of bringing a coping mechanism for its creator using music to relinquish personal pain and give an expression to its release. The heart and sounds within are focused intensely on sadness and all its accompanying playmates and finds their author exploring these and his boundaries with an enveloping cloud of melancholic energy, especially on the new album.

Le Temps Detruit Tout is the successor to acclaimed second album Amor Mortem Mei Erit and builds on its deeply impressive work and expression. Like its predecessor the new album is released through Heaven and Hell Records and is sure to command great attention and response to its impressive wares. No one should immediately think the album is deeply flawed or not worth a visit from the words here as that is far from the reality of the release, it just frustrates somewhat that nothing truly stays with the ear and heart after it makes its leave.

From the pulsating and striking intro Nihil, the album wraps the ear with the melodic splendour of In Pursuit Of Redemption. Hathcock with guitar and voice is immediately mesmeric and entrancing as the track slowly weaves its charms across the senses. As the song lifts its energy that hypnotic element is transformed into a harder intensity within still overall a smooth approach. Vocally Hathcock has a definite Maynard Keenan feel so it is no surprise the frequent comparisons though in sound too there is a definite inspiration from his bands.

The following Mutually Assured Destruction is a darker and feistier track though the ambient emotive air is always the consistent essence. Arguably the best track on the album the song leaves one verging on breathlessness and fully connected with its underlying sadness and melancholy but again as soon as the album moves on it is a struggle to remember defined elements from it. It is almost an achievement to give so much pleasure at the time without finding any lingering hold though maybe not the one intended.

As Le Temps Detruit Tout progresses the likes of Enemy, the excellent and rhythmically captivating Patience, plus the a cappella With Folded Arms, a song which is a slow burn of pleasure and grows as it plays for a full captivation, inspire much pleasure and respect for the creativity and imagination let alone the songwriting and craft of the artist. Occasionally there were times where puzzlement rose as with Nihil Ex Nihilo. The song samples a scientific lecture come address about the universe and the impending demise of the sun and earth in our future but fails to combine word and music in a seamless and engaging bond.

Le Temps Detruit Tout though is an impressive and enjoyable album full of immense skill and thought and will please most who find progressive and emotional sounds enthralling. It just leaves one wondering why for all the fine work there is not a longer lasting impression.

Ringmaster 08/06/2012

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