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

Feral Kizzy – Slick Little Girl

Phote by Luke Fisher

Phote by Luke Fisher

The debut album from Californian dark poppers Feral Kizzy is simply an aural playground, a landscape of musical roundabouts spinning through modern tenacity and invention and creative swings whooshing across eighties new wave and jangle pop. Slick Little Girl is soaked in originality and nostalgia, a mix providing a riveting and thrilling treat ultimately cast as something unique to the Long Beach quintet; and something very easy to get addicted to.

Formed in 2010, Feral Kizzy consists of five musicians uniting a rich variety of inspirations in the band’s sound. References have been made to Patti Smith, Concrete Blonde, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and The Cure, though the one band which comes to the fore more than most, whether an influence or not, is eighties US band Pylon, especially their first album Gyrate. As suggested all spices and essences are evolved into something new but there is certainly a potent and enjoyable similarity in textures, sound, and unpredictable invention. With some guest contributions from bassist Hannah Smith Keller and Hannah Blumenfeld (Jail Weddings, White Murder) on violin and cello, the five piece of vocalist Kizzy Kirk, keyboardist/vocalist Brenda Carsey, guitarist Johnny Lim, drummer Mike Meza, and bassist Kevin Gonzalez perpetually explore their and the listener’s imaginations within Slick Little Girl, and fair to say they leave major pleasure in their wake.

Opener Lapdog Apparition needs little time to lure ears and appetite with its potent charms, a thumping initial beat casting the first hook swiftly assisted by a jangle of guitar and the saucy shimmer of keys. Quickly into a magnetic stride the song swings along with sharp twists, subsequently slipping into a more fluid and mellower enticement then just as easily coming out of it and starting the cycle again. A tinge of the Au Pairs flirts with thoughts as it continues to dangle bait and enterprise through ears, though it is the delicious B-52s like detour which seals a lustful deal with emotions through its Rock Lobster like tease.

Feral-Kizzy-Slick-Little-Girl-Cover__RingMasterReview   The track is creatively irresistible, a major flirtation matched by the band’s new video/single Community Service. A throbbing Cure like bassline sets things in motions, whispers of guitar lining the entrance of vocals with Kirk alone an enthralling invitation and in union with Carsey, inescapable tempting. The song proceeds to spin a web of tantalising vocals and hooks as its rhythms offer a shadowed prowl against the more celestial flight of the keys. It is captivating stuff, an inventive weave of textures and melodic infection, with the description of Xmal Deutschland meets Throwing Muses and indeed Pylon a canny hint.

The Way We Are has a fine line in guitar jangle and spicy melodic imagination backed by another addictive dark rhythmic baiting from Meza and Gonzalez, whilst vocally a Debbie Harry like whisper clings to the expressive roar of Kirk. Matching the invention and lures, Carsey breeds a pungent waltz of persuasion with fingers on keys too, it all colluding in a busy and thick dance of jangle pop before making way for the melodic caress of Sally and the Emcee. A gentle saunter equipped with rawer, incisive edges, the song is a provocative croon which thickens with every passing chord and beat until filling air and ear like dense melodic smoke. It persistently smothers the senses and seeps into the psyche, seducing with increasing effect over every play.

With a similarly sculpted canvas Lament comes next quickly breeding its own distinct character with a bluesy tang and citric adventure of spatial keys. The track is mesmeric but with a fire in its belly leading to a feisty rock tenacity driven by masterful riffs and hooks from Lim. Again sounds from earlier decades entwine with a modern invention and freshness, culturing something as much psyche pop as it is punk rock. From one album pinnacle to another with the scuzzier Life Associates which straight away is a more forceful and rugged proposition through the snarl of bass and guitar alone. Again there is a punkish element to the song’s roar and a sultry kiss to the melodic endeavour on offer, something like Siouxsie and the Banshees merged with Martha and The Muffins a strong reference, though as across the release, songs come with Feral Kizzy originality which argues against any comparisons as much as it sparks them.

More blues bred twangs grip the guitar enterprise in Not My Mind, the spicy coaxing quickly engulfed in the melodic poetry of keys and attention grabbing vocals. Though it does not quite light the same rich fire in ears and thoughts as its predecessors, the track reveals yet another side and depth to the songwriting and invention of the band, its body a volcanic fusion of sounds and textures which never erupts but is a constantly imposing and gripping incitement unafraid to unleash the heat of its heart.

The Dinosaur flirts and sways with sixties garage pop captivation and indie rock mischief next, flirting with body and thoughts from start to finish and never relinquishing its tight vivacious hold until passing the listener over to the just as ingeniously compelling tempting of The Skin Is Thick. A darker but no less boldly imaginative encounter, the song winds around ears like a lithe temptress, constantly stirring up shadows and deep rooted instincts through heavy seductive tones of bass and enchanted keys spilled drama. With vocals also on a resourceful intent to enthral and enslave, the song makes an impressive and exciting warm-up act for the closing show stopper What Are You Doing? All the lures and creative theatre of its predecessor is taken to a new level, every second of the song a controlled but rich blaze of skilled and impassioned endeavour. It is an epic bellow from the imagination and creative depths of the band only enhanced further by the sensational presence of Kirk and the intense incitement of the orchestral coloured strings, their spicy lure bringing echoes of Sex Gang Children back in the day.

Feral Kizzy is superb at uniting slim and often repetitive textures with thick tapestries of ingeniously woven enterprise, the last song epitomising that craft and success which flows across the whole of Slick Little Girl. The album is a thrilling adventure; one bred across the years in many ways but solely of the now, and Feral Kizzy a band surely looking at big things ahead.

Slick Little Girl is available from June 26th on LP/CD/Tape/Digital via eliterecords @!webshop/cst1

RingMaster 25/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Whisky Smile – The Eagle Has Landed

whiskey smile

    Whisky Smile is a mischievous lot, a band who likes to toy with your expectations and ears whilst treating them to some of the best heavyweight riffs and cantankerous rhythms you would wish to be accosted by. Their debut EP The Eagle Has Landed is a thumping confrontation which reaps the best essences of heavy rock and metal and sculpts them into a riotous brawl of contagious enterprise and that wicked fun. It is certainly not a release stretching existing boundaries but for thrills, spills, and downright devilment you could not wish for a better companion.

Hailing from Penrith, Western Sydney, Whisky Smile is a quintet on the march, a band with bar room fumes rising above their heads and passionate rock ‘n roll oozing from every inventive pore. Their sound is uncompromising, hard, and the instigator of sonic brawls which leave you invigorated and ready to take on all-comers, though equally at times it just ignites the biggest grin in the best possible way to have you wholly defenceless to their Aussie charm.

Self-released, The Eagle Has Landed was recorded at BearClaw Productions with the duo Chris Blancato and Jono Peters. 485498_594197923933295_314993657_nConsisting of five tracks which snarl at and ravage the passions with irresistible rhythmic incitement, air stretching grooves, and scarring riffs, it is the kind of release which only makes you hungrier minute by minute and never allows a lull in the intensity and pleasure to play for one second, though the very first breath of the release did certainly the first time leave doubts. As mentioned Whisky Smile is a band which seemingly likes to tease and the opening of Cheap And Easy certainly does that even if maybe it was not the band’s intent, only they know. The start of the first song is a progressively inspired piece of music which suggests we are entering into another post-hardcore effort, and though that is not a bad thing the intro is rather uninspiring. We soon learn to know better and make no assumptions with this band as mountainous rhythms enter to herald the start of a brewing intensity and epic laced melodic exploits. This is still not the truth of it though and it is not until the band groups all its riffs into a chug fest ridden by the wonderful grizzly vocal exploits of Mick Palmer that clarity is achieved and emotions lifted to new heights. His lyrical description of the song’s central character never fails to raise a chuckle and hold attention as equally riveting grooves wind around the senses from guitarist Glen Soper, their sonic spines gripping deep whilst the riffs of rhythm guitarist Nathan ‘Skitz’ Gittoes carnivorously devour any remaining doubts. The track is an impressive introduction to the band, but one soon matched by the following provocations.

Ernie Dingo’s Got My Baby instantly slaps its sinews on the ear as sonic flames and dark bass tones from Kurt Wilson give no time for a breath of air to be swallowed. Assumingly inspired by Ernie Dingo, an Indigenous Australian actor who was accused of having affairs in a few controversies, the track rumbles along with a hard rock urgency and uncomplicated but potently efficient riffs  whilst the rhythms of drummer Gareth Jones are an intensive instigator of greedy relish as they steer  the song through the ear. As blues lit guitar fire graces the surface of the song towards its anthemic climax, the track raises another notch to secure its place to the fore of the EP alongside its predecessor, but it is a busy place as right after A Shallow Grave stakes out its pitch too. There is only one thing you can say about the song as a description, Motorhead like. It is a dirty insatiable slab of rock ‘n’ roll, vocals taking on a grittier Lemmy like grazing and riffs burning the flesh of ear and body. With grooves that dance with a virulently tempting swagger through it all and an attitude that will not take no as a reply to its rugged enticement, the song is a towering treat, one rife with sonic seduction and wonderfully bad aural behaviour.

     Green Eagle also stares down on the listener from the loftiest heights, sending shards of acidic sonics and rabid rhythmic bombs cascading down on to the senses whilst the terse riffs soften up the ear for easy access. It is another piece of aggressive stimulation leaving only the call for more in the passions.

It has to be said that the closing song took us by surprise but emerges as maybe the biggest treat of the release and that is no detriment to the rest of the glorious assaults. The track is a version of the B-52s classic Rock Lobster and it is up there with one of the best covers ever. The band make it their own by using all the irrepressible essences of the original and twisting them within a stunning explosion of incendiary rock and metal passion. Whisky Smile retain all the rascality from its creators too but have taken it into devil mode whilst simultaneously creating an intense and seriously crafted triumph. It is a brilliant piece of thought and interpretation complete with a loudly announced breakdown which is any head bangers dream.

    The Eagle Has Landed is just exhilarating and the start of something major for Whisky Smile hopefully. Ok the EP musically makes no real demands on breaking the back of originality but when it sounds as exciting and galvanic, let alone superbly crafted, as this there are no complaints here.


RingMaster 24/07/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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