Estetica Noir – Purity

EN_RingMasterReview

There is no need of any written text to realise the inspirations to the sound of Italian band Estetica Noir, strong flavours which openly line each song within their debut album Purity. They weave haunting and atmospheric, frequently addictively infectious, proposals which court the imagination as easily as ears; all eighties new/dark wave influenced encounters as familiar as they are refreshingly fuelled by twenty first century imagination. The result is a sound which demands attention and a thoroughly enjoyable first album.

Hailing from Torino, Estetica Noir was formed by vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Silvio Oreste and bassist Rik Guido in 2013. Their self-titled first EP came out in 2014 with a re-mastered re-release coming two years later, its body showing more of the electronic spicing which now adds to the tapestry of sound shaping Purity. With their track I Will Kill You making a potent addition to the For The Bats compilation and another in Beautiful Absence part of the third instalment of the series, the songs nesting between offerings from the likes of The March Violets, The Eden House, and The Danse Society, Estetica Noir have only lured increasing interest and support to match a praise drawing live presence seeing the quartet share stages with bands such as Christian Death and The Chameleons. Last year, Estetica Noir linked up with Italian label Red Cat for the release of Purity, both sure to come under greater spotlights due to the album’s captivating presence and character.

With its line-up completed by guitarist/backing vocalist Guido Pancani and drummer Paolo Accossato, Purity swiftly grabs ears with opener Hallow’s Trick. An initial electric shimmer of guitar is the spark for a great crystalline melodic hook within a fuzzy keys bred seducing around a swinging rhythmic coaxing. It is an instantly successful persuasion increased by the expressive tones of Oreste. Like Thomas Dolby meets the synth pop version of Ministry, the track strolls magnetically into the imagination, its virulent chorus inescapable bait for participation as it makes a powerful introduction to the release.

art_RingMasterReviewNext up Plastic Noosphere is no less a tempting; its own instinctive catchiness immediately grabbing body and appetite as guitars and keys conjure individually descriptive enterprise for a B-Movie meets She Wants Revenge like offering with a nagging rhythmic persistence from Guido and Accossato recalling the likes of Leitmotiv. As its predecessor, the song has ears in the palm of its creative hand before In Heaven provides a fiery romancing of ears with its steely guitar bred melodies, melancholic yet inviting bassline, and fuzzy keys. A thicker intensity and drama does little to lessen an inbred infectiousness in the Estetica Noir sound, rather showing the variety and imagination nurturing it, echoed again in the likes of Suicide Walk and I Hate.

The first of the two creeps around ears like atmospheric fog, almost prowling with its instrumental suggestiveness as a melodic radiance glows at its heart while the second straight away flirts with the senses through bold but controlled and imagination serenading melodies. It is just the opening shadow to another rampantly catchy escapade with lively beats and a just as tenacious brooding bassline calling from inside a web of feisty electronic and guitar spun temptation.

The outstanding Polarized brings its electro pop spiced exploit next, complete with another irresistible hook and smouldering keys in something akin to Nine Inch Nails meets Blancmange while Deluxe Lies Edition reveals the strength of inspiration the band find in The Cure, its dark climate and emotive shadows as inspired by Robert Smith and co as Oreste’s vocals. Both tracks captivate and inspire ears and imagination respectively, the adventure in the Estetica Noir creativity here and across Purity compelling.

Hypnagogia is a second instrumental which like its earlier companion is a provocative piece, its piano cored emotional shadow intriguing before the band gives its own touch to the Pet Shop Boys written, Eight Wonder track I’m Not Scared. It is another easy to embrace offering but lacks something the band’s own penned songs have, as emphasized by A Dangerous Perfection which follows. Laying somewhere between Modern English and again The Cure and early Ministry, the track throbs with rhythmic and melodic theatre as an epidemic of creative infection swarms through ears.

Completed by the melancholy haunted You Make Life Better, an imaginatively twisting and turning track as fascinating and persuasive as anything on the album, Purity leaves nothing but lingering pleasure in its wake. As mentioned, its influences are a strong texture in its body and songs but it is a ‘lack of uniqueness’ which matters little in the unbridled enjoyment found. If any of those influences mentioned hit the spot, checking out Estetica Noir is a must.

Purity is out now via Red Cat Records through most online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 31/01/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Astral Cloud Ashes – Too Close to the Noise Floor

Album Art_RingMasterReview

With three attention grabbing and imagination sparking singles under the belt, Astral Cloud Ashes unveil debut album Too Close to the Noise Floor. It is a collection of songs which arouse and serenade the senses, often simultaneously as the project’s mesmeric songwriting and emotive melodic elegance seduces.

Astral Cloud Ashes is the new project of Jersey bred songwriter/musician Antony Walker, previously better known as one half of the Channel Islands hailing Select All Delete Save As. Having already created music under the name ALPA, amongst other monikers, Walker quickly sparked attention to his latest project last year with first single Too Close To The Noise Floor, the now title track to the new album. Primarily a solo project but with backing vocalist Jason Neil a permanent fixture in the band, Astral Cloud Ashes draws on inspirations ranging from The Cure, Bloc Party, Interpol, At the Drive In, Mars Volta, and Say Anything as well as flavours bred in indie and alternative rock/pop. Equally though, the album shows bold ventures into more progressive and post rock pastures without losing the instinctive catchiness and melodic romancing found in those earlier propositions.

Mixed across its tracks by Gareth [The Fold], Edd HartwellPaul Miles, Daniel Szanto,  and Walker himself, with the mastering undertaken by Tim Turan, Too Close to the Noise Floor opens with The Man I Had To Become. Instantly a temptation of bubbling guitar captures ears, the coaxing quickly joined by a wave of rhythmic jabbing and a thicker weave of melodic guitar and harmonious vocals. It is a gentle yet boisterous affair easily whipping up the imagination and spirit with Walker’s distinctive tones the mellow flame within a more combustible web of enterprise. It is a great mix which marked those early singles but already seems to have blossomed within the album into a more adventurous and confident entangling of the listener.

The great start is followed by the album’s title track, Too Close to the Noise Floor showing a rawer, more imposing energy as it takes the imagination into the intimacy and adventure of cosmonautics but equally involves “family values and unwanted first-world paranoia” in its energetically hugged theme. Punching its rhythmic and contagious essences home, it also carries a hazy climate to its atmosphere with the bass a deliciously throaty lure amongst nothing but virulent temptation. Embracing a XTC feel and Melvins like revelry, the track has body and appetite eagerly involved in swift time.

Grateful for the Ghost In Our House steps forward next and as the last track showed a more formidable presence to its predecessor, this song reveals a fiercer predation to its opening and subsequent invention within another wash of suggestive melodies and smouldering dynamics. Though not in the actual sound, it is easy to see where an influence of The Cure comes into play, Walker creating an emotional and musical drama which has the senses riding a roller coaster.

Recent single Get Real follows, strolling along with the ever present catchiness which Walker conjures with seeming ease across every track. Guitars pop and bubble throughout the song as rhythmic tenacity creating an anthemic frame to the vocal and melodic ingenuity before Flashback takes over. A calmer and mellower engagement but even more emotively forceful, the song caresses ears with a lone guitar melody before being joined by a heavily shadowed bassline aligned to a broader floating melodic enterprise. Vocally, Walker provides an introspective narrative as provocative as the poetic almost volcanic fuzziness of his guitar. Adding another individual shade and hue to the album, the track shows the broader landscape of Walker’s songwriting and an intimacy, whether personal or observational, which fuels his words.

With drummer Max Saidi guesting, Avant Blah! strolls boldly in next, its lo-fi pop ‘n’ roll blending Weezer infection with Pavement-esque invention while its successor Lites almost lumbers into view in comparison with the brooding bass and irritable riffs to the fore. In all songs there is a great repetitious quality brewed by Walker, here almost coming over drone like to great effect around the solemn melody and the similarly melancholic vocals. As it expands though, a wave of rich textures and rousing energies flood the song, returning throughout the low-key yet thickly enjoyable, almost imposing encounter.

The excellent This Once Great Place has an air of The Cure again with its atmospheric landscape, reminding of the A Forest/Pornography era of the trio across its own captivating journey before the equally impressive Housing in a Bubble makes a grab for best track with its more punkish/grungy roar of sound. Everything about it has a snarl not heard on the album previously; revealing more of the diversity the release carries whilst stirring up a fresh greed in ears and pleasure.

Our Holiday brings Too Close to the Noise Floor to a sombre and enthralling close, the track initially a dark sigh but soon building its own catchy canter loaded with spiky hooks and spicy melodies around another slightly foreboding and compelling bassline. Once more thoughts of Robert Smith and co are sparked but again as a flavour in something individual to Astral Cloud Ashes. It is a riveting end to a striking and increasingly impressive first album from Walker.

The clues to the project’s potential were there in its first trio of singles, and now confirmed and partly realised by Too Close to the Noise Floor. The feeling is that there is plenty more to come and to be explored within that promise, and going by the strength of this thoroughly enjoyable offering, we are all in for many treats ahead.

Too Close to the Noise Floor is released July 11th @ http://apple.co/1RFvoL8

https://www.facebook.com/astralcloudashes   https://astralcloudashes.bandcamp.com/   https://twitter.com/AstralCloudAsh

Pete RingMaster 08/07/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Electric Modern: Motives EP

The new EP from UK indie rock band The Electric Modern is one of those rare breeds of releases that plays like it is quite familiar, a returning friend but actually does not sound like anyone else either. It has a newness and freshness that for a first introduction to the band is a pleasing and remarkable thing. The three track Motives EP puts a welcoming arm around the shoulders as it pleasures the ear with fluid and flowing melodies, emotive lyrics and vocals, plus an energy that is wholly vibrant. Whether it carries any ‘life changing’ songs or sounds is debateable but it certainly dazzles with music that brings a warmth to the day.

Formed in 2008, The Electric Modern has gradually built up a strong name with their live shows and self titled debut album of last year. Since a line-up change in the spring of 2011, the band now consisting of Dean Canty (vocals/guitar), Adam Sullivan (guitar/synth/vocals), Henry Marsden (Bass) and Jon Mytom-Hart (Drums), has found a new focus and direction to their sound. Motives is the first evidence of this new design so to speak from the Hertfordshire quartet and it has to be said without knowing what came before the release, it is a very enjoyable and promising EP.

The release opens with Let’s Get Away, a song which starts with soaring vocals and a slightly subdued feel. That is until the band explodes into eager beats and warm guitar strikes whilst the bass of Marsden confidently walks through the graceful keys and impressive vocals of Canty. The song lies in its own melodic sun at times, basking in the glow before raising the energy to bundle forth once more with an eagerness and intent to excite the senses.

It is a strong start soon eclipsed by the excellent Time To Reflect. With a video imminent for the track this is the lead song that should ensure a strong wave of interest their way; though as a whole the EP will instigate that just as easily. The track carries a sharp melody throughout that reminds of The Cure, and in many ways Canty also brings a vocal style not too far removed from Robert Smith emotively. The song is infectious, the swarming graceful synths of Sullivan weaving between the incisive guitars and the firm rhythms of Mytom-Hart and Marsden. You know the song is good when it is still playing with and appearing in the head minutes to hours later.

Too Much To Ignore completes the release just as agreeably. Another easy to digest and mesmeric tune as its predecessor and if there is only one gripe it is that it sounds very similar to Time To Reflect at times. Despite that the song is joyfully vibrant and as with all the three tracks offers an anthemic invitation which is impossible to refuse.

The Electric Modern is on the start of a journey which will take them to higher places without doubt. Motives right now does not venture into startlingly new plains for indie rock as such but more than provides the suggestion that the band will at some point. The release is very satisfying offering a feel and energy that lights up the song within the senses and heart, why not go wake yourself up with Motives too.

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RingMaster 13/03/2012

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