Best Ex – Ice Cream Anti Social

photo by ana massard

Moving from their more bracing pop punk guise of Candy Hearts to a more electro/indie pop natured proposition, Best Ex has just released their first EP under the new moniker. Offering six slices of warm, bubble gum scented catchiness Ice Cream Anti Social is a swiftly engaging encounter which belies the darker lyrical contemplations within.

Consisting of Mariel Loveland, Matthew Ferraro, and John Clifford, Best Ex have taken the poppy aspect of their Candy Hearts exploits full-on with their fresh evolution though as suggested there is still an edge to things if more in word than sound. Talking about their new EP, singer songwriter Loveland said, “Ice Cream Anti Social is sort of an ode to those moments where you’re alone in your room and reflecting on your life. As a whole, it covers those sorts of thoughts you can’t kick when you’re lying in bed about to fall asleep, or its midnight and you’re in your underwear, eating ice cream out of the carton, wondering what the heck happened to you.

It swiftly has ears and body on board with the single Girlfriend, the song a breeze of infectious warmth and electronic buzzing around the captivating voice of Loveland. Guitars bring a steelier fizz to proceedings, that slight edge courting the unbridled pop heart of the encounter. There is little to not eagerly embrace about the song even if, as its companions, it does not quite venture the realms of uniqueness as boldly as it might have. Nevertheless it is a temptation to greedily devour leading keener intrigue into the synth pop funk of Lonely Life. The eighties tinge of the opener is repeated within its successor, the track like a blend of Bananarama and The Ting Tings and again a captivating invitation on its own to take a lick of  Ice Cream Anti Social.

February 4th is a mellow reflection with poetic strings and melancholic beauty a suggestive charm while the following Someday is another instinctive catchy kiss on the ear, its electronically lined indie pop almost anthemic in its simplicity and organic temptations. It has an increasingly beguiling trait which is emulated by next up See You Again in its rough edged stroll. With a fuzzy hand from the guitars and a Belly-esque lining to the song’s character, it too has feet shuffling and hips swaying with content before Jellyfish brings it all to an appealing close with is ukulele accompanied vocal serenade.

As suggested, Ice Cream Anti Social is not as distinct as it might be or as unpredictable as you may wish but there is no escaping that it is one very flavoursome and easily enjoyable romp to get the era of Best Ex under way.

Ice Cream Anti Social is out now through Alcopop! Records across most online stores and @

 Pete RingMaster 19/07/2017

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Nachtblut: Dogma

Dogma the new album from German band Nachtblut certainly grabs the attention from its first surge of energy to the last. It is a storm of inspired black metal and symphonic industrial with strong strains of classic metal for extra flavouring to lead the ear and senses on a lively and corruptive journey. Like a festering brew of Rammstein and Deadstars with the insatiable blackness of a Cradle Of Filth or Dimmu Borgir, the album is a readily pleasing and intriguing release.  Though it does not really leave one breathless with excitement or amazement it without reservation treats one to an imaginative and compelling companionship.

Originally a solo project by vocalist Askeroth, Nachtblut meaning night of blood in English, evolved into a full line-up as the singer found like minded musicians to share his visions and imagination. Through their  love shows and the  self released  The First Supper of 2007 the band drew much attention their way. Shared stages with the likes of Immortal, Sodom, Watain, Varg, and Endstille followed as their provocative nature and sounds brought them acclaim and arguably equal despise but always attention. 2009 saw the band release their concept album Antique followed by its re-release two years later when the band signed with Napalm Records who also release Dogma. Long awaited the new album from Askeroth, guitarist Cross, bassist Sacerdos, drummer Skoll, and Lymania on keyboards, finds a defined maturity to their sound and an inspiring imagination, as well as an irresistible union between two distinct genres.

The album, opens with the title track and probably the song closest to being truly black metal on the album. The atmosphere brought from the simply keys and exploratory guitars sets the tone for the track with the blackened vocals of Askeroth as vehement as the songs is mesmeric in its emotive breath. The track is striking without leaving a lasting impression though the following Der Weg Ist Das Ziel certainly achieves that with its military like initial beats and driving riffs. Striding with a heavy metal intent and heavy symphonic air the song is a commanding and satisfying beast with extra impressive asides in the shape of the pipe like keys and melodic hooks.

The likes of the striking Rache and impressive Macht leave one further satisfied but it is with a trio of songs that the greatest highlights of the album are found. The excellent gothic gaited Ich Trinke Blut with its glorious full melodic heart aligned to a venomous intensity, the hypnotic  Eiskönigin, and the predatory industrial toned stomp of Mordlust, all easily standout. Each is a rampage of strong invention, imagination, and wanton desire to envelope the senses with an intrusive yet infectious majesty. Arguably the album as a whole does not quite live up to these songs but there is never a moment where ingenuity and compulsive listening is left wanting.

Closing on Vulva and Schritte further songs that are impossible to leave until their final notes depart, the album is an impressive fusion of styles brought in a fluid elegance and formidable might. Possibly Dogma as a whole lacks enough moments for more of its tracks to remain in thought and memory after their leaving of the ear but whilst together there is nothing less than a pleasurable and rewarding exchange of emotions and enjoyment.

Ringmaster 25/06/2012

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Doomed From Day One Interview

14th November saw the release of a titanic debut EP from Guildford metalers Doomed from Day One. The release announced to the UK and beyond the recording arrival of one of the most powerful, impressive and creative UK bands around so The RingMaster Review wanted to find out more about the band and their music.

Welcome to The Ringmaster Review and thank you for spending time to talk with us.

Could you introduce the band members?

We got vocalist Sean Scott, Charlie Griffiths and Charlie Frederick on guitar, our bassist Eifion Sweet and finally Jamie Elsey

How, when and where did Doomed From Day One begin?

In Feb 2010 Doomed From Day One started from a post on the student Portal at uni, Sean was brought in through knowing Jamie and Eifion was quite literally found at a house party.

Is the band the first for each of you?

All our members have been in bands for as long as we have been playing.

Your sound is a diverse blend of hardcore, progressive metal and death metal to simplify it. How would you class it and did it just evolve on its own or there was deliberate intent to go in this direction?

I think our sound came very naturally and to be honest, this was inevitable due to the mass variety of influences within DFDO.

You have recently released your impressive debut The Wasted World, did it come out exactly as you envisaged or surprised you a little with its quality?  

The Wasted World came out how we wanted and we are completely stoked on what the combination of the five of us produced.

How did the writing process happen, did you have clear songs going into the studio or they were realised within those four walls?

All songs were written and finished way before we even thought of heading to the studio, we like to take time over the writing of a release to enable full confidence before having to record them.

With both elements so strong within the songs which usually comes first a riff and aggressive energy or the melodic elements when writing?

We don’t tend to think of it in that way, like our sound it really is about what comes naturally.  I think that the aggressive energy is always present and it’s more whether we start with a riff or with melody.

How difficult was it to translate your renowned live energy to the recording?

The aim in the studio was create 30mins of music that was real heavy sounding but was able to still translate all the information that is contained within each song. We didn’t really set out to transfer the energy more hoped that it would just happen. The more you try to re-create something that normally comes as second nature the less it tends to work.

You recorded the EP with Andy Hayball at The Ranch, how much input did he have to the way the tracks turned out?

Andy was great in the studio and was good at putting in little things that weren’t initially present. One of his best traits was that he was able to keep us on time, in terms of keeping to the allotted schedule.

Is it too early to be talking about an album?

No not at all we have had and have been discussing the next release for a while, although it is not going to be an album but another EP. We have already written most of the tracks for it and cannot wait to get in the studio.

Coming from Guildford it is not exactly known as a hot bed of metal or giving opportunities for bands venue wise until recent years, how have you found it as a band starting out?

I would be lying if I were to say it has been easy. It’s not really a Metal kind of town but there are kids who come to shows and we have had a lot of help from contacts within ACM.

Since you started you have shared stages with the likes of Malefice, Martyr Defiled, Gallows, Silent Screams how much did you learn from those experiences that you have used for your current tour promoting the EP?

Really just making sure that our general attitudes are in check. Networking is key so we aim to chat to anyone who gives us the time of day.

How is the tour going?

Good, it’s been good to play new places as well as meeting some new bands along the way.

Give us some insight to your appearance at Guilfest this year.

It was pretty jokes to be honest, we all regularly attend festivals and so it was cool to be on the other side of the barrier for once.

If you could choose a line-up to play with tomorrow for a show who would be on the bill?

It would have to be the people we enjoy seeing the most but I think it would be different for all of us. As a whole though we would definitely agree on playing with The Black Dahlia Murder, Parkway Drive and Despised Icon.

How about influences, who has made the biggest impact on you as musicians and as a band?

Like I said with the previous question it would be different for all of us but unanimously once again The Black Dahlia Murder has had massive influence on all of us, as well as Parkway Drive. We learnt a lot from the work ethics featured in the PWD DVD and applied them to DFDO.

What is in the near future of Doomed From Day One?

More shows really, at the moment we are just pushing to play as much as we can. The video for Pretending will be released on 7/11/11 to tie in with the Wasted World Re-launch. The New Year will bring about more tours that are currently in the pipeline as well as looking ahead to the next release.

Many thanks for chatting with us. Could you leave us a final thought or comment to help all new bands?

Stay open-minded and don’t expect anything back that you’re not willing to give. Also thanks to anyone who has come to a show, read an article and bought some merch, your help is awesome.

For info on where to get The Wasted World go to  or


EP review at

RingMaster 02/11/2011 Registered & Protected


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