The Refusers – Disobey

“An album called Disobey by a group called The Refusers – you can’t get any more defiant than that, and that is exactly what rock and roll is supposed to be.”

The words of band founder, vocalist, guitarist, songwriter Michael Belkin tells all about the heart and intent of the band’s new and third full-length, indeed their sound overall. It is a collection of songs which snarl with defiance and irritability yet infest ears and incite the body with broadly flavoured rock ‘n’ roll in decades courting styles. Lyrically it reflects and attacks with incisive honesty and rigour while musically it has the body bouncing; a combination which makes the upcoming release of Disobey one compelling proposal.

Formed in 2010, Seattle hailing The Refusers sparked real attention with their 2016 album Wake Up America. It was a release which reflected and roared at a corrupt and twisted political and social world. It is fair to say things have not changed for the better in the world over the past two years and Disobey equally preys on its perverse habits and immoral practices. It focuses on the bad heart of America but as we all know it is a ruin reflected across the world from corner to corner.

Belkin links up with a host of musicians for the new album including bassist Steve Newton, drummers Sebastian Belkin (Michael’s son) and Brendan Hill from Blues Traveler, and keyboardists Joe Doria and Eric Robert, who has performed with John Oates, Keb’ Mo’ and Lucky Peterson. Disobey opens up with Playing With Fire and immediately lures ears with its blues tinted groove and potent rhythmic shuffle. Belkin’s vocals are soon joining the bold mix, adding accusing sparks as the track burned its presence upon the imagination. It is an intriguing start to the release, a song which did not explode on the senses but got under the skin by the second to arouse attention and an anticipation of things to come.

The following Why Do They Lie strolls in next with a deceptively calm swing, keys a tantalising lure in its developing melody nurtured rock ‘n’ roll. An instinctive catchiness soon had hips swaying as feet tapped; the track a swift persuasion before the album’s title track aroused the senses with its classic rock meets The Cars like canter. As lyrics focus and ensnare thoughts great hooks and fire bred grooves ignite the appetite, Hammond keys a tasty companion to the magnetism.

Eruption brings a call for change on a great funk ‘n’ roll saunter next, guitar and keys again a masterfully alluring incitement to accentuate rather than temper the lyrical charge while My Baby Loves Rock And Roll is a mischievous contagion echoing its title. It is a romp of the familiar and fresh which just hit the spot, swaggering along like an old inhibition evading friend.

Across Disobey, there is a seventies/eighties glaze to its rock ‘n’ roll, the following Fake News epitomising that essence with its melodic rock though to pin down straight comparisons is difficult thanks to The Refuser’s individual character of imagination and sound. The track was another which had us hooked early though the album was just as effective at pleasing ears with a more persistent almost nagging temptation as through Government Slave, another classic/hard rock nurtured proposal with tenacious hooks and teasing grooves.

The final pair of Free The Captives and Emancipation close the album up; the first a calmer but no less assured slice of rock balladry wrapped in the ever appealing embrace of keys. Its successor is a final cut of addiction flirting captivation; its chorus especially irresistible. As the album, there is something of Midnight Oil to the track, more in lyrical insight but also a little in its sound even with its more classic rock breeding, which just adds to the appealing hues at work.

Defiance and rock ‘n’ roll go hand in hand; always has and always will. The Refusers mix both with craft and adventure within Disobey; an album which may not be the most unique but leaves its rich mark rather enjoyably.

https://therefusers.com/   https://www.facebook.com/TheRefusers/

Pete RingMaster 12/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Shriekback – Why Anything? Why This?

In music it is so easy to be adulterous to one’s first love; to gather a harem of lustful attractions just as fevered though the one is always the prime affection. For us XTC was and is that irreplaceable ardour but the years obviously have seen hordes of infidelities seducing across a multitude of sounds and styles. One of the earliest sprung from that virgin ardour and one of its former members Barry Andrews. It was Shriekback which following one of its founder’s ear grabbing solo sounds teased with its debut EP, baited with the singles My Spine (Is The Bassline) and Lined Up, and enslaved through their first two albums in Care and Jam Science. Admittedly over the following three and a half decades we have dipped into their creative escapades more than been relentlessly attentive but never shy to explore. That initial hunger for their sound has just been truly re-ignited now though with the release of new album Why Anything? Why This?; one of their finest encounters ever.

Shriekback was formed in 1980 by vocalist/ keyboardist Andrews and ex- Gang Of Four bassist Dave Allen, the pair quickly enlisting guitarist Carl Marsh from Out On Blue Six into the fold. The ear grabbing Tench EP and those aforementioned singles introduced the band’s unique sound which blossomed further upon the 1982 released Care. The next year saw drummer Martyn Barker (King Swamp, Billy Bragg) brought into the band’s line-up with Jam Silence coming in 1984 followed by a move to Arista Records and the release of their acclaimed third album Oil & Gold. The band’s next couple of albums over the subsequent two years or so centred around Andrews with Allen and Barker linking back up with him for the 1992 full-length Sacred City, a release which appeared to be the band’s last breath. They returned though in 2000 with Naked Apes and Pond Life, following it three years later with Having a Moment, the album seeing the band’s original line-up in place again with Barker, and Lu Edmonds alongside. Four more albums over a decade, seeing numerous musicians involved, leads us up to Why Anything? Why This? the band’s 14th studio album coming three years after its predecessor and what can only be suggested as one of the band’s most compelling adventures.

Around the core prowess and imagination of Andrews, Barker, and Marsh, the album also features bassist Scott Firth of P.i.L and regular Shriekback backing vocalists Wendy and Sarah Partridge. Instantly it had its fingers in ears and appetite, teasing and tempting as opener Shovelheads inserts a heavy infectious lure led by deceptively flirtatious rhythms. The vocals stand just as magnetic upon the strands of sound and words, electronic currents lapping the sizzling threads of guitar as the rhythms continue to throb. It is a great start, an imposing hint of things to come which rather than hungrily infesting ears and imagination inescapably nags them.

The band’s latest single And The Rain follows, a virulent slice of dark rock with atmospheric seduction and manipulative rhythmic shadows. It is a tenebrific contagion matched in voice and word; an intrigue loaded proposal getting under the skin like Tone on Tails meeting The Filthy Tongues. The track is superb, drama and deviously catchy enterprise colluding in dark temptation before the equally tantalising Catmandu preens its own darkly nurtured theatre with melodic elegance and revelry amidst electronic and rhythmic devilment.

Such, Such Are The Joys is a serene yet tenacious  funk ‘n’ roll croon, its slow swing hypnotic to hips and darksome air pure intimation to the imagination only aided by lyrics, tone, and the siren call of the backing vocals. Pure seduction with the beauty of danger in its lining, the song just bewitched while Wriggle And Drone swiftly showed itself a puppeteer with its rhythmic suggestion and percussive scenery alone. The song took us back to those early tracks of the band which had us hook, line and sinker; infusing that instinctive bait with fresh ingenuity.

Next up The Painter Paints is just poetry from start to finish in sound and lyrical invention, conjuring just as its protagonists might with every fibre,  its captivation more than matched by the brooding post punk kissed sway and raw dark folk balladry of Useless Treasure. Even so, their major allure is only eclipsed by the album’s final trio; each creative alchemy.

The Church Of The Louder Light is first, rising from distant mists with vocal enticement and in turn rhythmic and sonic flirtation. Its hearty roar grows from a simmer to full voice in no time, its spirit and passion uncaged to inspire the same in the listener. It is a glorious trespass which after a momentary breath just returns bigger and bolder and more influential as Sons Of The Dirt also shows itself to be, it too building its energy and infection with increasing boisterousness as its predacious rock ‘n’ roll sizzles and blazes.

The album concludes with Thirty Seven, our favourite moment within Why Anything? Why This? with its gothic glaze over dark folk intimation and post/garage punk drama. The track is simply total fascination, aural witchery as seductively claustrophobic as it is mercurially radiant.

Since day one Shriekback has been pretty much a magnet for our ears, as for so many others, and to high praise from fans and media alike; perpetually a source of captivation but it is hard to say they have been any more compelling and essential than right now with Why Anything? Why This?.

Why Anything? Why This? is out now across most digital stores and @ https://www.shriekback.com/store

https://www.shriekback.com/   https://www.facebook.com/shriekback    https://twitter.com/shriekbackmusic

Pete RingMaster 28/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Immersing in the climate of Dark Rain

We recently had the pleasure to be introduced to US rock band Dark Rain and now, through guitarist/vocalist Dudley Leavitt and drummer Devin Mallard, them to you in interview with us….

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

Hi we are Dark Rain, we hail from Brunswick, Maine. We are a five piece sonically charged melodic rock band. We originally formed back in 2000but broke up a short time later. We reconnected in 2011 and have been going strong since.

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so did they have any influence on what you are doing now?

Devin: Yes in a couple that were very heavy or industrial but this is more like my goal sound here in dark rain

Dudley: Yes was in a couple bands Dark Rain marked a move to the sound I was looking for.

What inspired the band name?

It’s also the name of a song we play and it’s about nuclear fallout.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

We were friends just wanting to play music, and it turned into a lifelong bond like family, we wanted our sound to have no limits, no boundaries.

Has that core intention evolved over time?

Dudley: Obviously as we’ve aged time becomes more pressing; we still want to be a touring band, and expand our base.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

Devin: A lot cleaner less sloppy, more precise.

Dudley: I think it’s a lot more complex and has better written parts; the lyrics are more mature subject matter.

Have changes been more of an organic seeding or more the band going out to try new things?

Definitely organic, we have no preconceived notions of what we’re going to write stylistically or lyrically.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

Devin: Not necessarily, I have some small style traits I picked up from several drummers like Vinnie Paul, Joey Jorganson, the guy from Five Finger Death Punch. My musical influences, like bands RATM, Pantera Tool, give me the vibe that influences how I play I’d say

Dudley: Some of my influences bleed through in my songs I write. I have little flairs of some of the 80’s players, and some of the classic rock; my most peculiar influence is surf music that I didn’t even know I had but can be heard in solos on Burn and The Cage.

Is there a particular process to the songwriting in the band?

Dudley: There never was before but if started musically and not lyrically, it’s usually the guitar and drums writing riffs similar to Metallica in the old days, then fleshing it out.

How about the lyrical side of your songs; predominate inspiration?

Dudley: Usually it’s about life relationships, loss or in rare occasions, world events. Sometimes it’s just a story like 40 oz.

Can you give us some background to your latest release?

Devin: Our 3rd CD, my first with the band is called The Illusion Fades which will be out this year…the songs are deep

How about some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs?

Dudley: The Illusion Fades is a personal meaning for the band; our first never released CD Illusions In The Clouds, our unrealized dream of making a CD.  Illusion refers to a person who is gone from our lives and the subject of many songs on the cd

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Devin: We have been writing some as we go because we have the luxury of our own studio we’re building.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably a favourite aspect of the band?

Dudley: We do love playing live; I love traveling to new places meeting new people and showing our songs.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact locally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it? Do you think the opportunities to make a mark are still there if the drive is there for bands?

Devin: Yes drive is essential to being able to make a mark

Dudley: I think making a big start out of the gate helps for newer bands, and building from there.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?

Devin: I think it’s all about what you put for time and effort

Dudley: I think for us we’re always looking for new ways to blend social media into our promoting arm.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

YES buy our CD in a local record store.

Explore Dark rain further @…

https://www.darkrain.us/  https://www.facebook.com/pg/darkrainofficial/   https://twitter.com/darkrainmusic

Pete RingMaster 26/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Sendwood – Fist Leaf

“Forget about it; let the two of us be a band!”

That was the beginning of French outfit Sendwood; a declaration roared when guitarist/vocalist Kriss Wood (ex-The Real Mc Coy) and drummer/vocalist Alex Mc Wood (Harmonic Generator) found themselves alone in rehearsal without any sign of their band mates. It is a spontaneity and defiance which equally fuels their music and a debut album which just makes you want to get involved.

From the first breath of Fist Leaf, there is a sense that anything could happen, that the pair themselves did not have a firm grip on where their imagination at the time of recording would take them or want to place one. The result a collection of songs which explode like a sonic scatter bomb on ears with the intent of fun, mischief, and rock ‘n’ roll. Last year saw the release of the duo’s first EP, Log Face, a potent introduction to their feral blend of blues, metal, punk, and rock which is off the leash within Fist Leaf.

The first of three tantalising instrumentals starts the album off, Riffocephalus Minus a lure of crisp magnetic beats and meaty riffs swiftly bursting into a fiery proposition, though just as quickly that in turn slips into a harmonica led flirtation before evolving once again. It is a sign of things to come, of the unpredictable devilish antics on offer.

Demon immediately bursts from its predecessor; rapacious riffs and grooves colluding with more of Mc Wood’s rousing swings to grab ears and appetite. It is rock ‘n’ roll to the core, a ferocious slab of infectious enticement easy to roar along to as also the following Needle. Gnarly riffs hit the spot straightaway, beats and vocals taunting as they bait lustier attention, the song uncaging a wild incitement of garage punk ‘n’ roll again needing just a mass of seconds to get under the skin as untamed stoner lit grooves entwine.

Then the virulent catchiness of Leash consumed ears, its grungy stroll and contagious swing an insatiable persuasion with, as in all tracks, imagination rousing detours of varying potency along the way, next up Gotham proving the point. The second of the two is an asylum of wiry grooves and nagging riffs driven by rhythmic manipulation and a vocal unity which share lyrics which may not be the most inventive in the city but has you hollering along with matching energy.

Riffocephalus Medius is a scuzzy slice of sound and temptation, a brief but potent piece of enticement setting up the snarling presence of Penny, a song as seductive as it is unbroken. As so many within Fist Leaf it just pulled ears into eager attention and pleasure in tandem with an increasingly greedier appetite for the album and its hungry sounds. Gun is no different, the track a compelling trespass of concussive yet well-balanced rock ‘n’ roll simultaneously chewing upon and caressing the senses.

The album concludes with firstly the viral exploits of Ber, a track which as the album is maybe not looking to breed uniqueness but is as fresh and as hungry to arouse as anything around. It is followed by final instrumental, Riffocephalus Rex; a piece of captivation which is deceptively calm but with a carnival in its heart which subsequently erupts into a dirty clamour before easing into its cycle all over again.

Both make for a superb end to a thoroughly enjoyable encounter. Rock ‘n’ roll should be fun yet imposing, flirtatious but aggressive and Fist Leaf, indeed Sendwood pretty much tick all the boxes.

Fist Leaf is out now across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/sendwoodwtf/

Pete RingMaster 22/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Chris Mullin – Sooner or Later

Last year Chris Mullin, the bassist/co-songwriter of Liverpool outfit The Sums, took time out to explore the solo side of his musical imagination, the result a debut EP which was as richly enjoyable as it was heartfelt. This year he has done the same. Momentarily taking time away from recording The Sum’s third album, Mullins has created and unveiled a new collection of tracks in the shape of the Sooner or Later EP, an encounter which simply puts its impressive predecessor in the shade.

Also former member of Hurricane #1, Mullin has been a potent part of his home city’s current musical fabric through The Sums, his other projects and writing and also producing. As shown by the previous Myself Fooling Me EP, his solo side music has the potential to be just as impacting; indeed the introduction to his own sounds easily drew acclaim and attention. As suggested, Sooner or Later builds on and eclipses the emotively woven and sensitively delivered sounds of its predecessor. It has a spring in its step contrasting the melancholic gait of the first release but still embraces its calm and intimacy with fresh adventure and imagination.

Released on his self-owned Nowhere Music, Sooner or Later opens up with the immediately infectious Lonely Fools. Its initial melodic clang easily tempted ears, the subsequent reflective stroll centred by bass, voice, and guitar captivating them as melodic shimmers and sonic caresses surround the Mullin’s lure. Though not exactly in sound, there is something of Pete Wylie to the outstanding track, a slice of indie pop intimation and infection which just lit our ears and appetite.

The following Just Want You to Know is equally as magnetic, its instinctive catchiness aligned to personal openness in tone and word. Rhythms again entice as keys suggest and guitars weave, vocals making their earnest declaration with equal allurement and sincerity. As the first, the song is nothing less than contagious pleasure, third song, Dissatisfied Mind, enticing from the same instinctive template. Its shadows come with hopeful light, its emotional insecurity with a vibrancy that wants to escape within a weave of sound which just seduced ears.

The track completes easily the three best songs from Mullin’s solo work yet, a trio alone making Sooner or Later one irresistible proposition with the icing on the cake being its title track. An acoustic croon with imagination embracing orchestration, bold adventure, and organic catchiness understated but lively as it infests the spirit, the track just enthrals as it pleasures; those few words pretty much summing up the Sooner or Later EP as a whole.

The rumour is that Mullin’s next offering might be a full-length adventure; we for one are not only up for that, after Sooner or Later, we are greedy for it.

Sooner or Later is out now on Nowhere Music, available as download only from most stores and https://chrismullin.bandcamp.com/album/sooner-or-later

https://chrismullin.net/   https://www.facebook.com/chrismully   https://twitter.com/chrismullin74

Pete RingMaster 24/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hercules Morse – Vita Boundary

After richly enjoying their previous EPs, it was easy to discover real intrigue and anticipation for the debut album from Hercules Morse. There were also hopes that it would strongly build on the potential and enterprise of those earlier encounters with the UK outfit and we can say that Vita Boundary more than delivers, the ten-track offering a feast of magnetic and infectious melodic rock with plenty of eager snarls and sonic blazes to feast upon.

The Southampton hailing quartet emerged in 2014 and released their first EP, Edge Of Life, the following year. It was met with praise and attention as well as potent radio play; success just as easily and more keenly tempted by successor Equine Size Comparison in 2016. Their live presence has been just as potent too, Hercules Morse sharing stages with the likes of Calvin Harris, Primal Scream, Duran Duran, and The Streets alongside supporting bands such as Turbowolf, Band of Skulls, Black Peaks, Blaze Bayley, Tiger Cub, Orange Goblin, and Dinosaur Pile Up. Their reputation has grown step by step and now looks poised to be escalated by Vita Boundary.

Musically they sit somewhere between the likes of Foo Fighters, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Biffy Clyro; their sound a fusion of hard and stoner rock infused with more psych and simply melody spun imagination. Quickly as opener Everything Is Great grabs ears, the album reveals it is a sound which has grown and matured from those previous encounters whilst embracing an even broader array of flavourings. Harmonies wrap classic rock bred grooves from the off, the lead vocals of rhythm guitarist Steve George captivating within the alluring flame of sound. Guillaume Redonnet-Brown’s beats and clips tease throughout too as the guitar of Harry Gardner spins a web of familiar yet fresh enterprise. It is a swiftly magnetic affair an echo of the album in that it is not strikingly unique yet everything on offer is enticingly individual to the band.

The following War Within similarly warms the appetite with recognisable and unique adventure. The dark hues of Paul Shott’s bass cast a great shadowed but infectious lure at the heart of the song and its catchy swing; egging on its virulent instincts and in turn those within the voice of George just as potently backed by those of Gardner.

Cuckoo leaps in next with its own addictive contagion, the beats of Redonnet-Brown bounding through ears with a persuasive swagger as the guitars weave another ridiculously tempting tapestry of hooks and melodic dexterity before Talk Me Down brings an earthier proposition to contemplate but one with big rousing rhythms and melodic adventure. Within a couple of listens, if that, each seduced eager participation in the lively strolls; a trait and persuasion which fuelled the enjoyment of the whole album.

There is a slight whiff of Voyager to the following Clockwork and its melodic glide across an enjoyably bumpy rhythmic landscape while Resigned reveals a more sombre lining and composed gait to its just as captivating stroll. Though neither quite matched the heights of those before them each song left ears hungry for more, Can’t See The Sunrise providing as it steps up straight after to steal best track honours. From its initial senses entwining groove and the rapier swings of Redonnet-Brown, the track had us drooling, vocals and the grumble of bass just escalating the track’s virulence and rapacious attack. That opening hook continues to pierce and sear the song, never allowing a moment for lust to relax as the song romps all over the imagination and spirit.

It is a success pretty much matched by the infection spewing Still Singing. As potent as it is from the first note, Vita Boundary saves its greatest moments for its latter stages though of course it is down to personal tastes as to its most fertile times. For us this and its predecessor is Hercules Morse at their most inventive and fiery best but equally most bold with melodies revealing a heat and rhythms a bite which simply inflames the rest of the band’s qualities.

The calmer proposal of The Story Goes similarly ignited the passions, its blend of light and dark as invasive as it is seductive and inescapably magnetic while closing track, Go For Broke, provides a fusion of tenacious rhythms, ear caressing harmonies, and spicy melodies which just get under the skin, especially the agile temptations of Shott and Redonnet-Brown. George and Gardner are just as compelling in voice and sonic invention though as the track brings the album to a rousing conclusion.

Vita Boundary is a masterful mix of the familiar and the boldly new; a rousing incitement built in layers of magnetic enterprise from a band which just gets bigger and more enjoyable, in this case, song by song.

Vita Boundary is out now on CD and digitally @ https://herculesmorseuk.bandcamp.com/album/vita-boundary

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

Pete RingMaster 18/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Louis Antoniou – Rag Doll

Having been introduced to British rocker  Louis Antoniou through two-track single Lonesomeville / I Let The Rain Fall Hard this past March, it was rather easy to find a keen appetite for his flavoursome rock ‘n’ roll especially now after the release of its successor, Rag Doll. As tempting and enjoyable as those two songs are, the new track just blows them out of the water.

With his equally well-received single of February, You Ain’t The Girl, the trio of tracks this year to date revealed a great broad and imaginative canvas to Antoniou’s sound which Rag Doll stretches just a little more. The track has a tasty line in dark blues rock in its virulently infectious swing, a teasing almost sinister texture infesting the delicious groove and rapaciously tenacious character of the song.

Antoniou again shows his vocals to be a just as potent lure as his music and instinctive devilry on the guitar. This added to a rascality of unpredictability and a Queens Of The Stone Age-esque spicing made the song an irresistible lure, a devious one too as the track just seems to get bolder and more virulent by the listen.

Rag Doll is another in a planned five singles from Watford hailing Antoniou this year but after this latest offering is it being too greedy to hanker after a full album?

Rag Doll is out now.

https://www.louisantoniou.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Louisantonioumusic/

Pete RingMaster 03/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright