Tailblock – Think Or Be

As much as instant slavery of ears goes down a treat with us offerings which take their time to blossom and accelerate their temptation are just as enjoyable. Think Or Be, the new EP from British trio Tailblock manages to be as good as both. It is a six track roar which easily grabbed the appetite from its first attack but only grew and flourished with greater and in turn keener attention play by play. High praise took to its predecessor couple years back and it is unlikely it will be a stranger this time around either.

Hailing from Dartford in Kent and emerging in 2016, Tailblock released debut EP, Burn Your Bridges, at the close of that first year. It was produced by Ian Sadler (Anavae, Roam), who returns to add his touch to Think Or Be, and as said earned numerous plaudits. Inspirations to the band include the likes of Glassjaw, Hundred Reasons, Rival Schools, and Reuben and it is the latter which most comes to mind in varying shades across the new EP. Even so, the threesome of Jak Coleman (bass guitar/backing vocals), Martyn Kingsmill (drums/percussion/backing harmonies), and Gary Ptaszek (guitar/lead vocals) hold their own individuality in a release which sees their post hardcore nurtured sound much more assured, diverse, and adventurous than in that first encounter.

The EP opens up with its title track and an immediately insistent tide of riffs and rhythms from which a delicious hook springs to quickly be joined by the strong tones of Ptaszek. In no time it is a rousing roar, even in its calmer moments a spirit sparking incitement from within which that infernal hook has ears and lust dangling.

It is a seriously infectious and muscular start to the release firmly backed up by Heavy Arms. The band’s latest single it too teases and tempts with a hook which just gets under the skin, this time the band using it from the first second to nag and tempt. There is a more controlled gait to the song and a swing which had the body moving in unison, Jamie Lenman and co an easy comparison to its opening infection. There is also an underlying volatility which does not quite ignite but definitely adds a great feral quality around the pure catchiness of the song. A mix of pop, punk, and alternative rock, the track is thick contagion with the backing vocals of Coleman and Kingsmill as potent as Ptaszek’s lead and all three’s musical prowess.

Rocket follows quickly establishing its heavier presence as the wires of the guitar and throbbing lines of the bass surround the thumping beats of Kingsmill. It too has a catchiness which cannot fail to incite feet but did miss the particular spark of its predecessor for our ears. Its emotive edge though is a strong hue, an increasingly persuasive one which leaves nothing on the table within the ferocious Blisters. A fiery attitude soaked offering as inescapably catchy as it is imposingly aggressive it soon steals favourite track honours especially with its melodically seductive climax.

The EP concludes with firstly Listen, a song rising from a rockabilly-esque temptation to another emotionally charged yet controlled saunter. Even so its melancholic elegance erupts in moments of sonic fire with its mercurial landscape a ride of heart bred turbulence and tenacious enterprise. Its successor, 100, similarly has a great unpredictable air and touch to its character, acoustic coaxing and vocal reflection leading to melodic infection and spirited release in emotion and sound.

It is a fine end to a proposition which grows and further impresses by the listen. From the start we rather liked it, now it is one we fiercely recommend. There can never be another Reuben, one of our all-time loves at The RR, but in their own distinct way that gap just might be filled by Tailblock; Think Or Be suggests so.

Think Or Be is released July 13th digitally and on CD.

https://www.facebook.com/tailblockband

Pete RingMaster 05/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Black Orchid Empire – Yugen

With a critically acclaimed debut album already under their belt and a strong reputation earned for their energy surging live side, Black Orchid Empire look at even greater attention with new full-length Yugen. With eleven tracks of adventurous heavy weight alternative rock embracing the familiar and individual whilst unleashing hooks so easy to get snagged upon and lithe grooves to swing from, the UK outfit’s second album is a rather tasty proposition with regular moments of imposing captivation.

Since emerging in 2011, the London hailing trio has drawn increasing attention with their fiery yet resourcefully and carefully woven sound. That well-praised first album, Archetype, put them solidly on the radar of media and new fans alike, its release in 2016 the ignition to their continuing ascent within the British rock scene sure to be escalated by Yugen. Alongside the former’s success, Black Orchid Empire has been a potent live presence, making numerous much-lauded festival appearances at the likes of Standon Calling, Planet Rockstock, Camden Rocks, and Germany’s Taubertal Festival and sharing stages with artists such as Biffy Clyro, Editors, Skunk Anansie, and Hed P.E who the threesome supported on a UK tour.

Now the band is ready to stir up fresh fuss around themselves, success which even from the boisterous persuasion of opening track of Yugen you get the feeling is close to being a done deal. My Favourite Stranger is also the new single from Black Orchid Empire, a song stirring from a distant sonic squall with a great grumbling rusty bass lure quickly bound in the wiry tendrils of Paul Visser’s guitar. As the song settles without losing those tempting elements, his equally enticing vocals step forward backed by the just as melodically fine tones of bassist David Ferguson. The band has been regularly likened to Biffy Clyro and Muse but for us and certainly with this start, their sound sits somewhere between Reuben, Sick Puppies, and Foo Fighters in varying degrees across each song.

The equally magnetic Burn follows; bass and guitar again setting an enticing canvas for vocals to spring from and the firm manipulative beats of drummer Billy Freedom to shape. In that inviting and slightly imposing proposal, the track is an animated and unpredictable web of imagination and enterprise. Twists come and go; all delivering fresh adventure and bait while the song fluidly swings between teasing seduction and a full throated roar.

Previous single Celebrity Summer is next, the opening croon of Visser and his guitar a mischievous if emotive spark to the track’s ferocity and urgency as well as another trap of hooks and sonic dexterity. A tenacious slice of vociferous rock ‘n’ roll, the track also hit the spot dead centre before Wires entangled ears and appetite in its contagious aggression lined exploits. From vocals to rhythms, melody to sonic trespass, the song is a formidable and compelling incitement uniting a host of voracious flavours, all traits colouring Yugen from start to finish.

Blacklight Shadow makes its own mellow emotive entrance after the previous blaze, its elevated croon surrounded by sonic flames before settling down again to repeat the rich cycle. That earlier mentioned Australian band certainly comes to mind in the track but again the Black Orchid Empire sound soon establishes its own character with tempestuous power.

As the likes of the muscular and invasively magnetic Pray To The Creature with its weave of senses scorching tendrils and the heart spun atmospheric balladry of Vertigo rise, variety and pleasure go hand in hand. The second of the two wears an alluring country blues scent to its impassioned voice too, more of the broad flavours the album embraces while Mouth Of The Wolf takes essences of hard rock into its seriously catchy prowl.  Emerging as album favourite here, the song nags and jabs, teases and taunts with its controlled but hungry imagination and touch, pretty much living up to the snarling intimation of its title.

A more straightforward proposal comes with Pins And Needles, maybe the album’s least bold song but another which just grips attention and pleases as Toru’s Maze waits to uncage its infectious wares; that grizzled tone of Ferguson’s bass again licking at personal pleasure here though the whole of band and song manages to stoke things up.

Ending with the quite captivating roar of Years, a track erupting from a potently alluring ballad cry into a heart unleashing blaze, Yugen is one thoroughly enjoyable and so often striking release. is there any other reason to check it and Black Orchid Empire out?

Yugen is released May 25th via Long Branch Records; available @ https://blackorchidempire.bandcamp.com/album/yugen

Upcoming live shows:

02.06.2018 UK, London – Camden Rocks Festival

03.06.2018 UK, Glasgow – Broadcast /w Black Map

04.06.2018 UK, Manchester – Gulliver’s /w Black Map

07.06.2018 UK, Donington – Download Festival

22.06.2018 UK, York – Pile Up Festival

http://www.blackorchidempire.com/   https://www.facebook.com/blackorchidempire/    https://twitter.com/orchidempire

Pete RingMaster 24/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Counterpoint – If Not Now, Why?

Almost demanding attention, UK rockers Counterpoint provide a thumping introduction to themselves with their debut EP. If Not Now, Why? offers five slices of rousing thickly flavoured alternative rock, tracks which has the body bouncing as eagerly as it has the appetite keen to savour plenty more from the Liverpool formed, Manchester based quartet.

Spawned from the ashes of their previous band, Operation: AEON, Counterpoint was formed by vocalist Dominic Lucock and guitarist Martin “Ted” O’Neil in 2015. Numerous ears were enticed by an early demo track in Borrow Your Past, Steal Your Future, including producer Jim Pinder (Bullet For My Valentine) who offered an interest in working with the band on their first release. Cementing a praise earning live presence since then, with a recent show with Crazy Town only pushing their increasing reputation, Counterpoint subsequently joined Pinder and Dan Jeffries in Treehouse Studios with If Not Now, Why? the potent outcome.

It opens up with Leave It All Behind, an immediate tease of sound and anthemic intent which looms up and envelops the senses. Swiftly it finds its muscular stroll, the swinging beats of Ed Sutton inciting alongside the throbbing canter of Mikey Gaffney’s bass and O’Neil’s lively riffs and grooves. At the same time Lucock blends raw and melodic enterprise in his vocal enticement, it all coming together for an inescapably catchy yet energetically imposing proposition.

The great start continues through Honestly, it too gathering its attributes in its initial breath before gripping ears with its subsequent enterprise. Ebbing and flowing in its aggression, perpetually captivating in its resourceful dynamics and imagination, the song creates a tapestry of melodic intrigue, emotive suggestion, and tempestuous energy which just beguiles the imagination. References to the likes of letlive, Papa Roach, Deftones, and While She Sleeps have been offered before the Counterpoint sound and easy to understand why with the EP’s opening pair of encounters.

The following Between You And Me has a great irritability to its heart and raw air which does not defuse its infectious virulence and harmonic prowess; a trait and creative agility which reminds of Reuben in some ways. Every handful of seconds brings a fresh twist and a hungry surge of persuasion, each combining with the other to match the heights of its predecessor’s triumphs, in certain moments eclipsing them before next up DownDownDown boldly swaggers in. It too reveals a skilfully woven mix of rapacious aggression and melodic seduction in its boisterous stomp in creating its own inescapably catchy and stirring incitement.

The EP closes up with One Sided Conversations, a calmer melody tempting serenade with power in its voice and intensity in its heart which inflames the song’s increasing urgency and zeal. It is a fever which soon has the track storming the senses but with the ability to slip into mellower breaths for sublimely captivating moments.

It is a fine end to a striking first listen to Counterpoint, If Not Now, When? a release suggesting a band with all the traits to make a rich impact on the UK rock scene if they realise and develop its bold potential and easy to greedily enjoy sound.

If Not Now, When? is released February 9th

https://www.facebook.com/UKCounterpoint/

Pete RingMaster 09/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Frauds – With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice

It cannot be just coincidence that year on year December brings some of the relevant year’s best and often most dramatic releases. Maybe it is just that they generally come within a concentrated two week burst with the year’s final pair of weeks more likely to be party time for all so that it is more noticeable than in other equally productive months but there does seem to be a real gathering of striking encounters  as the year makes its departure. The debut album from UK duo Frauds simply adds to the evidence, With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice a glorious cacophony of noise bred rock ‘n’ roll infested with post punk and post hardcore rapacity.

Formed in late 2012, Croydon hailing Frauds consists of Chris Francombe (drum/vocals) and Mikey Alvarez (guitar/vocals), a musical partnership which seems to hail from well before their latest venture burst into life. Inspired by the likes of Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Sonic Youth, Fugazi, Mclusky, Hot Snakes, and Drive Like Jehu, the pair initially began jamming together again with the intent of only playing covers. Soon though their own imagination and creativity took over and new songs emerged. Since then the band has become a potent presence on the capital’s live scene sharing stages with the likes of Idles, Life, HMLTD, Tigercub, Demob Happy, Kagoule, USA Nails, Slaves, Blacklisters, Queen Kwong and site favs The St. Pierre Snake Invasion along the way. Fresh from tour dates alongside ex-Reuben front man Jamie Lenman, Frauds are poised to nag national attention with Morning Toast & Jam & Juice, a niggling hard to see failing such its raw majesty.

Let’s Find Out kicks things off, a riveting tendril of guitar winding around ears and soon joined by the thump of Francombe’s beats. Second by second the web expands, Alvarez’s guitar creating a clamorous jangle with post punk hues to its sharp spice. Vocals equally have a caustic edge, courting the repetitious magnetism of the encounter with punk attitude and ferocity. Sonic shimmers and distortions only add to the virulent nagging, the track as much an intro as a complete offering luring ears and instinctive attention into the waiting depths of the album.

Next up, Smooth instantly twists and turns around the senses, its post punk/alternative rock antics as invasive as they are seductive. Like the spawn of a union between The Three Johns, The Droppers Neck, and Mclusky, the song swings along drawing the listener deeper into its feral majesty before The Feeding Frenzy envelops ears with its noir clad atmospheric drama. Sonic smog devours as vocals provoke, the underlying volatility brewing a ravenous toxic drone as flirtatious as it is debilitating.

From its virulent inhospitality, the mischievous exploits of Sandwiches emerge, the song a rash of hooks and rhythms around brash vocals; all carrying a liquor of humour and captivating causticity. Again there is an eighties post punk discordance in allegiance with modern creative antipathy and again everything uniting in a corrosion of punk irritability which simply sparks ears and an instinctive appetite for noise rock. As it evolves with increasing imagination, the track feeds ears with a delicious groan of bassoon-esque guitar; its barracuda tone pure manna for these senses and matched in addictiveness by the duo’s vocal lures. There are numerous major moments within the album but this is the pinnacle with ease.

The psychotic rock ‘n’ roll of Just Come Of Age comes next to be a strong rival though, beats a kinetic psychosis matched by the wandering tendrils of guitar and vocal theatre. The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster easily comes to mind as the song plays with the imagination, crawling over the senses with predacious glee and tenacity.

Suck Jobs keeps the thrills high with its senses scathing sonic enticements and vocal abrasions, the song mercurial in air and relentless in infectious dynamics while Doom prowls and seeps through the body with grievous intent. Its suffocating tones devour mood and thoughts, dragging attention by the throat into a finale which is pure punk ferocity. The track is one of the least easily accessible trespasses provided by the album but joining all in leaving pleasure brimming.

With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice concludes with firstly Could’ve, Should’ve, Would’ve, another carnally tart and compelling stroll with an Engerica hue to its visceral contagion, and finally through the transfixing saunter of Give In. Rhythmically hypnotic and melodically haunting with a just as appetising acrid edge, the song slowly entangles the senses, its own individual drone like bait viral persuasion becoming more chafing and disturbing second by second.

With a hidden scar of punk as its actual final breath, With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice leaves pleasure high and anticipation for their next move lustful. As earlier mentioned there have been numerous really stirring propositions this year yet it is hard to remember many as glorious as the debut from Frauds.

With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice is available now through Till Deaf Do Us Party Records and available @ https://fraudsfraudsfrauds.bandcamp.com/album/with-morning-toast-jam-juice

https://www.facebook.com/fraudsfraudsfrauds/

Pete RingMaster 19/12/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Never Found – The Human Condition

Having laid down ear pleasing foundations with their debut EP, British outfit Never Found build bigger lines of attention with its successor The Human Condition. The release sees the Oxford / Bridgend hailing band take their punk infused, metal seeded sound to new throes of adventure and enterprise. It is not a proposition which exceptionally startles but certainly excites whilst whetting imagination and appetite for the future of Never Found with its rousing songs and raw energy.

With their first EP, Sorrow & Cyanide, coming in 2015 not long after the emergence of the band at the tail of the previous year, Never Found has continued to build a potent and loyal fan base and an increasingly strong reputation for a live presence which has seen them support Aiden on tour and share stages with the likes of Fearless Vampire Killers, William Control, and Annisokay among many to date.

The Human Condition is the next step in the band’s ascent through the UK rock scene, a push which quickly gets down to business as the instrumental of its title track sets an atmospheric and imposing scene. Its dangers and vocal statement pulls the listener into the waiting jaws of new single Come To Me. Comparisons to bands such as A Day To Remember, Funeral For A Friend, and Bullet For My Valentine have been placed upon Never Found but the track openly has a potent Reuben feel to it; an irritability which colludes perfectly with the melodic trails of the guitars and the harmonic lure of Daniel Barnes’ vocals. With the stabbing beats of Kieran Ivey in league with the brooding tones of James Sweeten’s bass, the song is a lure and trespass of the senses in equal measure.

The lead guitar of Samuel Redmayne continues to weave a flavoursome web in next up Favourite Mistake, the riffs of Barnes strolling invasively alongside his own vocals with raw throated and melodically nurtured tones as similarly united as the guitars. The track has the infectious instincts of its predecessor and the aggression but misses out on its richer adventure. Pleasure is still a given though and its cinematic heart provocative before The Monster Remains steps in to part steal the show. The band’s metal inspirations instantly fuel riffs and a predacious air, keen bait which only expands and blossoms as the contagious exploits of the band bound in with punk spirit and imagination. It is a great blend with Barnes heading great vocal variety within the virulent roar.

Anyone But Me brings its own catchy and tenacious strain of metal bred rock ‘n’ roll with tempting hooks amidst emotional and vocal discord. There is something openly familiar to the track but plenty to reinforce the growing individuality of the band’s sound though it is quickly eclipsed by the mighty throes of My Grave. It is the other half of the two prong pinnacle of the EP, an aggravated and mercurial trespass which manages to flirt with the passions whilst chewing on the senses with its punk metal nurtured tempest. For its dark side and temperament, the song is as irresistibly infectious as anything on the release and another easy excuse to keep Never Found under close attention ahead.

The EP closes with the equally boisterous Misanthropy (A General Hate), a track with its own crabby tone though tempered by the song’s melodic dexterity. It is a fine end to an encounter which just blossoms with every listen while suggesting that Never Found is a proposition riddled with more than just potential.

The Human Condition is out now and available @ http://www.neverfound.bigcartel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/weareneverfound    https://twitter.com/weareneverfound    https://www.instagram.com/weareneverfound/

Pete RingMaster 09/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Zebedy – Set The Pace

British alternative rockers Zebedy have been on a steady and upward climb since emerging in 2008, previous releases alone establishing the North Wales outfit as one of UK’s most promising propositions. Now they have new EP, Set The Pace doing the persuading; a release which sees the band pushing their sound and invention to new heights to make the biggest nudge on major spotlights yet.

From Conwy, Zebedy initially comprised of guitarist/vocalist Jonny Harding-Smith, bassist/vocalist Dave Harding-Smith, and drummer Tom Dyson and through their jams created progressively nurtured instrumental soundscapes. Subsequently adding vocals, the trio also expanded ranks with the addition of guitarist/vocalist Ben Chamberlain. 2011 saw the release of debut album Exist, its release supported by an extensive UK tour. Its well-received outing was followed by the This Is My City EP which only increased their reputation with second album Marionette subsequently making an even bigger impact. Embracing inspirations from the likes of Karnivool, Reuben, Fightstar, and Biffy Clyro for a multi-flavoured rock and metal bred sound as unpredictable as it is rousing, and coming off successful shows alongside the likes of Psychostick, Soil, Closure In Moscow, COMA, and Brutai, Zebedy look ready to take things to the next level with Set The Pace to the fore.

The EP opens up with its title track, distant vocals running to ears with emotive urgency before guitars spin their wiry web and rhythms rumble with boisterous imagination. Pretty quickly it is easy to see where those Reuben and Karnivool influences come in, though in many ways the song offers a lively enterprise more akin to At The Drive In meets The Martini Henry Rifles. The track continues to twist and turn keeping the listener hooked and guessing, every change an organic shift from what was before. Vocals singularly and together impress as potently as the sounds and craft building the EP’s striking start with the antics of the bass a particularly appetising essence to personal tastes.

The following Of Revelations has a more controlled and restrained body compared to the tempestuous character of its predecessor but equally its blend of metal toned grooves and heavy rock riffs build a highly tempting canvas for the track’s progressive and melodic enterprise to conjure greater adventure. It is a slice of muscular rock ‘n’ roll which also swings from one imaginative endeavour to another, never staying in one style of attack or flavouring for long but making each a memorable moment to greedily lock on to.

The brief instrumental of In is pretty much the lead into final track Bloom, its melodic suggestion a stirring appetiser for the compelling drama of its successor where a tempest of rhythms trespass as sonic espionage grabs and twists the imagination. Within that trap ears bask in a cauldron of technical dynamics and impassioned energy and fair to say, as with all tracks, the more time they spend with the proposal the greater richness of its layers and the fresh nuances they bring are discovered within another truly captivating experience.

For all their bold moves and rich textures, the songs are also virulently infectious, the band sealing a real catchiness to their enterprise which has the body bouncing as ears explore. The thoughts of others are that Zebedy is about to break into the biggest attention and we can only say that Set The Pace offers nothing to derail that suggestion.

Set The Pace is available from September 15th @ https://zebedy.bandcamp.com/album/set-the-pace

https://www.facebook.com/zebedymusic/

Pete RingMaster 15/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Kovax – If There Was Ever Any Doubt

Since emerging around the time 2015 turned into its successor, UK outfit Kovax has been busy creating and earning a potent reputation for their alternative rock nurtured sound. Now they release If There Was Ever Any Doubt, a debut EP which suggests busy will become hectic as the Leeds hailing quartet awakens the ears of national attention and more.

Musically, the band sits creatively between the likes of Japanese Fighting Fish, Black Peaks, Refused, and Reuben and as for so many, they caught our ears with the release of their two track debut single Godot soon after coming to light. It was an offering drenched in potential now boldly realised within their first EP; an ear pleasing enterprise which If There Was Ever Any Doubt pushes to new imagination. Since that first encounter, Kovax has released its successor in Monkeys to a similarly potent welcome and shared stages with the likes of Youth Man, I Cried Wolf, and Nova Hands across the UK. Last December, Pete Freeth, Joe Phillips, Isaac Turner, and Dan Hey entered the studio to record If There Was Ever Any Doubt, its release in May surrounded by the band’s ever busy live exploit.

Breathe starts things off, the song instantly dousing ears in a tide of melody infused riffs as Freeth’s distinctive voice provides an expressive growl to already appetising proceedings. Dropping into mellower moments with keen hooks the track continues to grab attention, the calm leading to rousing crescendos which seem to become more inflamed with every outburst. With rhythms commanding and backing vocals eager, there is little escape from the song’s temptation, its more tempestuous air adding greater bait to devour before Atlas strolls through calmer waters. It is a restrained climate though still holding a volatile air in its surroundings, shadows which at times ignite with punkish tenacity and energy around equally controlled vocals and melodic persuasion.

It is a strong back-up to the impressive start to If There Was Ever Any Doubt but both tracks are eclipsed by the final pair with Waves first up. From its great nagging lure of riffs to its imposing rhythms and striking vocal dexterity, the irresistible encounter has ears and imagination enslaved.  There is mischief in its voice and hooks, devilment in its boisterous interplay of textures with even the more controlled moments having their own strain of punk fuelled enterprise; a mix which simply leaves a greed for more.

Final track Kennel is not slow in satisfying the hunger, its voracious collusion of angular hooks and spiky riffs aligning with grumbling rhythms and a theatre of voice amidst calmer suggestion. It all makes for an almost schizophrenic tapestry of sound and enterprise driven by a similarly volatile energy and invention. As its predecessor, the track rigorously impresses. The two tracks are easily the finest proposals from Kovax to date backed by another pair which do not lag behind on infectious invention and creative zeal either.

Their first two singles suggested big things could be on the horizon from Kovax, their debut EP confirms it but with the promise of even broader success ahead of them if they continue in the inventive and compelling vein of If There Was Ever Any Doubt.

If There Was Ever Any Doubt is out now on iTunes @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/if-there-was-ever-any-doubt-ep/id1219359665 and other online stores.

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

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright