Skylephant – I Am The Ghost

In close quarters to the release of a seriously captivating debut album in Songs For The Fragile Collective, Skylephant have the I Am The Ghost EP ready to tantalise ears and lure the imagination. With its lead track taken from that critically acclaimed full-length it is a mighty teaser of that triumph but also an inescapable invitation for newcomers into the unique world of the UK project.

Skylephant is the solo project of singer/songwriter/ musician Mark Applin, an artist who locked “locks himself away in his small home studio for three and a half years, to pour himself into an album of self-penned songs.” It was a ‘solitude’ which bore a striking encounter and now a just as irresistible EP.

I Am The Ghost opens up with its title track, the song gently introducing itself with a harmonic sigh, melancholy and a sense of loneliness wrapping its opening melody. The coaxing intensifies as keys and enthralling vocal intimacy lend their magnetism to the blossoming track. Like a shadow in the shadows, Applin’s vocals continue to entrance as potently as the web of just as sadly pensive sounds around him, it all leading to a similarly calm but addictively infectious chorus. The track is superb, an enthralling and haunting twilight to happiness and isolation.

Home Alone follows; its sepia harmonies and sighs a familiar caress before electronic animation breeds a seduction of voice and melody. Once more there is an instinctive catchiness working away within the synth pop serenade, that sense of loneliness as much a kiss on thoughts and senses as a venture into sadness. Even more haunting than its predecessor, the song swiftly spellbound ears and imagination before departing on an emotive shimmer of an echo for its successor to step forward.

The EP’s final song is the Johnny T Remix of She’s Alright, another offering originally from within Songs For The Fragile Collective and a song which with a mere breath is infecting feet and body with its contagion loaded enterprise. Already a rapaciously infectious proposal, the new take leads it straight onto the dance-floor with an eighties fuelled rapture in its eager motion and lively animation.

The sound and songs of Skylephant are one of the most individual propositions out there. Applin with his heart bred and fully rounded songwriting does have something of Colin Vearncombe (Black) about him and the pop catchiness of his tracks remind a little of that conjured back in the day by Paul Haig but his own uniqueness is what makes Skylephant simply an essential pleasure.

The I Am The Ghost EP is released August 16th via Musical Bear Records across most stores.

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Pete RingMaster 16/08/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Dollyrots – Daydream Explosion

A party in the ears, romp with the body, and riot with the imagination; descriptions which can certainly be suggested upon the sound of the Dollyrots to date but definitely and strenuously applies to the band’s new release, Daydream Explosion. Across fourteen slices of the band’s inimitable fusion of punk, rock, and pop, the album incites and captivates but equally fascinates more than anything from the Los Angeles duo yet as diversity and adventure fuel an eclectic mix of contagious goodness.

With previous album, Whiplash Splash, one of the rousing treats of 2017, vocalist/bassist Kelly Ogden and vocalist/guitarist Luis Cabezas have pulled out all the creative stops to outshine that acclaimed release with Daydream Explosion. From the moment it gives its first eager breath we can declare aim accomplished and an irresistible slab of infectious enterprise bred.

Produced by the band with long-time producer John Fields, Daydream Explosion immediately had ears and attention in its hands, a teasing hook bringing in the pop ‘n’ roll of opener Animal. Ogden’s seductive tones swiftly join the broadening stomp of the track; Cabezas’ soon after and as magnetic as the rhythms and riffs which collude in a charge of flirtatious punk nurtured hooks. As catchy and inescapable as barbed wire, the song effortlessly gets the album off to a rousing start.

With beats swinging, riffs nagging, Everything steps up next and just as devilishly infests body and spirit. Again vocals simply incite participation as easily as the rhythms manipulate feet, the song’s chorus a heightened exploitation of an already fired up appetite for the record and eager subservience to its pop persuasion.

In Your Face comes with a steadier gait after but even in its shimmering sway there is a zeal and energy keen to break out which it does in another contagion of a chorus, the song’s seductive pop increasingly volatile and riveting before Naked uncages its alternative rock devilment like a pop infested Blood Red Shoes. With a rock ‘n’ roll shaped heart the track quickly builds its own character and grinning escapade to be unique Dollyrots.

As expected hooks escape the band like rocker instincts bound in one listening to the album, next up Last Ones on Earth relishes its own host of ear snaring conjuring. With a pop breath seemingly taking inspiration from an array of decades the song commands air and attention while exploring more eighties pop seeded breeding I Love You Instead follows to get the body popping all over again and sap the lungs just a little more of their willing breath. With all songs, but here especially, you can almost feel the fun and big broad grins the pair should have had creating one devilish encounter.

Through the ear smooching sixties girl group toned Watching the Storm Go By and the frenetically stomping I Know How to Party, band and album only pulled attention further away from reality, both tracks major moments among only highlights with the latter carrying a mischievous nod towards Andrew W.K. in certain moments while Kat’s Meow more than matched their glories with its virulently frisky stroll.

There is no decline in pure temptation as No Princess springs its own individual pop punk epidemic straight after nor as Flippy In My Red Dress infests hips and passion with its rampant rock ‘n’ roll seduction.  Like a mix of The Hillbilly Moon Explosion and Stray Cats but pure Dollyrots, the song is sublime, a major favourite track challenger though tested throughout the album for that honour as proven by the feisty Oblivious and Talk Too Much with its senses taunting hooks and melodic dance, a combination far too potent to resist.

The album closes up with Daisy’s Song, a final slice of punk ‘n’ rock temptation as instinctively sinful as it is masterfully manipulative and simply beguiling. And that pretty much describes Daydream Explosions as a whole, creatively wicked and unapologetically infectious and most likely the best piece of pop punk you will embrace and devour this year or possibly next.

Daydream Explosions is out now via Wicked Cool Records/ The Orchard; available @ https://thedollyrotswcr.bandcamp.com/album/daydream-explosion

http://www.dollyrots.com/    https://www.facebook.com/thedollyrots/    https://twitter.com/thedollyrots

Pete RingMaster 13/08/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Arcade Messiah – Hell By Default

After two years of pretty much silence since the release of previous release, Trilogy, Irish musician John Bassett has returned with a new slice of Arcade Messiah temptation. Hell By Default is that offering, the declaration of a new captivating breath to his sound and songwriting and an ear grabbing EP making a rather potent teaser to a new album in the works.

Already renowned before Arcade Messiah as the frontman/songwriter of KingBathmat, Bassett himself says that ‘After a couple of very difficult years, I’ve finally managed to get back to making music, the new Arcade Messiah sound is more song focused with vocals…” That was the first surprise as previously the Sligo based songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer’s project has been an instrumental adventure and news which immediately intensified the intrigue as fruitful experiences with KingBathmat and SΔCRED ΔPE as well as an acoustic album under his own name proved vocals was another potent string to Bassett’s creative bow.

Equally there is a new hue to the Arcade Messiah sound, a lighter multi-flavoured flume of melodic imagination and contagious hookery which comes with something of a KingBathmat lining but one which colludes with and enhances rather than defuses the established progressive shadow haunted explorations of Bassett’s project. Its first three albums and their union as Trilogy in 2017 provided a cathartic venture for the imagination within a kaleidoscope of suggestive sounds for ears. Hell By Default is no different yet with its broader palette of enterprise is a bold new trail of exploration for Arcade Messiah.

The EP opens with its title track, a song taken from that new and fourth album planned for release later in the year. Hell By Default rises on a siren sonic call, a lure within which a teasing melodic hook soon beckons and the tones of Bassett coax. With every note and second, the song gently but firmly accelerates its urgency and temptation, soon hitting a keen stroll soaked in drama and fiery intensity. Rock and metal essences blend in the post rock nurtured flames which boldly consume and ignite upon the senses, dark almost rapacious tints soaking the creative trespass swiftly igniting imagination and appetite. It all unites for a thickly magnetic proposition and a greedy devouring of the return of Arcade Messiah.

The following Death X-Ray strolls in with a calmer and lighter character and touch, one fuelled by an instinctive tempting and organic catchiness which instantly gripped attention. As melodic infectiousness, vocal intimacy, and rhythmic persuasion continue to flourish, the track blossomed with greater radiance. Even so a shadowy courting to the melodic radiance and emotive heart on offer brings an edge and drama which only highlights the nagging prowess of hooks and grooved melodies, the result another track which only compelled pleasure and attention.

Hell By Default concludes with its instrumental version, a piece of creative inference which led thoughts to a different adventure to that highlighted by the words of Bassett in the opener and that is another attribute proven to its creator’s craft, songs can have a dual aspect and has the imagination constantly conjuring.

It has been a perpetual pleasure for us to engage in any Arcade Messiah encounter so far and the new EP only repeats that experience though through it there is a feeling that that new album could be the biggest thrill of all.

Hell By Default is available now @ https://arcademessiah.bandcamp.com/album/hell-by-default as a name your price download.

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Pete RingMaster 09/08/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Muskets – Violent Paradise

Providing another of the year’s more tantalising offerings is UK outfit Muskets, a band which is no stranger to keen attention but on the edge of greater recognition one suggests thanks to their latest offering. Violent Paradise is a captivating collection of songs fuelled by the alternative rock/grunge sound which has made the band’s previous releases very welcome but an EP venturing into richer and varied pastures as maturity, shadows, and a broader palette of flavours flourish within a bold landscape of sound and imagination.

The Brighton hailing band has persistently nudged success and full attention since the release of their debut album Chew in 2017 via No Sleep Records who now also bring us the new outing. Numerous tracks have received extensive radio support along the way but it is not too hard to feel that Violent Paradise could and should spark even bigger reactions and success the way of the quartet of Alex Cheung, Joe Phillips, Harry Steel, and Corey Eyres.

The EP opens with the swiftly irresistible Uncertain Purpose, a track which teased and hooked ears and appetite from its slightly manic opening alone. Quickly it hit its infectious swing, guitars and rhythms a feral incitement within and the dissonance of all glorious elements mischievous. The vocals of Cheung add to the devilment of the track’s contagious trespass as hooks and grooves collude in creative delinquency. It proves a rousing slice of grunge punk with a great Asylums-esque character placing a quick and firm grip on best track honours though its briefness does prove a frustration if one soon defused by the tracks to follow.

Detention is next up, the song also sharing instant teasing quickly joined by similarly tempting melodic guitar bait before it all erupts in a lusty clamour from within which those early lures still eagerly entice. Slipping into its relaxed stroll only brings greater catchiness as pop rock instincts breed more vital hooks and grooves. It is a delicious blend of enterprise and melodic imagination which as the first is only more keenly devoured by the listen.

It was hard not to be fully engaged in the slim but potent invitation bringing Empty on Cigarettes into view next; the surf lined swelter of guitar a calm but again thick enticement from which just as sultry harmonies and melodies hug the senses. The song’s seduction is total and its darker hues intriguing and with XTC like whispers to its breath and imagination makes for another lofty highlight of the release before the EP’s title track uncages its raucous holler. Grunge pop infused rock ‘n’ roll, the track swings and stomps with inescapable tenacity, every infectious element a virulent excuse for body and vocal chords to join its boisterous romp.

The album is completed by Killjoy and Natural Selection, the pair among the most adventurous and compelling moments within the release. The first song brews a post punk climate through sonic lures and a moody bassline, drums adding to the Gang Of Four/Killing Joke hued opening. Soon the serenade of the track’s heart is smooching with the senses as again melodies and harmonies flourish in the brooding calm that follows. It is a volatile climate though which sees flames of guitar and emotive roars brewing and erupting, their senses scorching persuasion just as rousing and magnetic before the cycle thrillingly repeats.

The final track is an acoustic hug revelling in the band’s vocal and melodic prowess though it too has a tempestuousness in its heart which threatens more than escapes but brings gripping tension to the elegance and beauty breeding the transfixing encounter.

Both tracks provide an inspiring and captivating close to the EP with the latter especially beguiling, a release which has the temptation of the devil and the exploits of an imagination carrying an appetite to taste whole new adventures. Already we eagerly and greedily await the next temptation of Muskets.

Violent Paradise is out now via No Sleep Records, available @ https://muskets.bandcamp.com/album/violent-paradise

https://www.facebook.com/muskets   https://twitter.com/musketsuk

Pete RingMaster 09/08/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Kreoles – Next Stop, The Madness

Rock ‘n’ roll obviously comes in numerous shapes and hollers and for us it is when that kind of diversity finds a home within one single encounter that we find the strongest fascination. The sound and new album of Italian outfit The Kreoles is one such proposition; an encounter bred upon a fusion of varied rock and metal flavours with a healthy punk ‘n’ roll roar for extra goodness.

Next Stop, The Madness is the third album from the Como based band which was founded by producer, songwriter and guitarist Ivan McSimon in 2011 and originally was a quartet with female vocalist Valentina Merlo. With a pair of well-received albums in the 2014 released Touch The Sun (Valery Records) and two years later Psycho (Sliptrick Records), the band revealed the potent sound which has only become more individual to The Kreoles ever since. 2017 saw the foursome reduced with Merlo leaving and McSimon adding vocal duties to his prowess within the band and as McSimon subsequently began working on the new album alone, he brought in bassist NIc Angileri and drummer David Cuomo to complete the line-up with no doubt their backgrounds in numerous styles adding to the rich mix within Next Stop, The Madness.

With Jeff Waters from Annihilator additionally providing a host of solos across its tracks, the album swiftly had ears seriously attentive with opener Shiver. A swirling melodic flume escapes a guitar straight away, rising eagerly from within the wall of sound carrying it. As quickly the song twists into its rock ‘n’ roll stride, riffs and rhythms almost stalking the listener as McSimon’s vocals stroll their tempting. Already the band’s sound sets down its individual character though there is an essence which reminds of Russian rockers Biting Elbow to the song and indeed many of its companions. Equally the track revels in heavy metal and progressive rock attributes; every second one of simple captivation as the song sets the album off in fine style.

Day After Day follows, bursting from the speakers with relish as swinging rhythms collude with sonic and melodic tenacity. Its spirit and energy never dips across another stretch of alluring enterprise, McSimon steering the adventure in voice and craft, and even in the moment of relative calm there is a vigour which prevails. With a solo which just beguiled, the ear gripping track makes way for the equally magnetic It’s Time to Go, a song with a dark lining to its drama and melodic intimacy to its creative narrative. As within its predecessors, keys add another compelling and tantalising ingredient to keenly devour.

Both Deep Inside with its robust dynamics and infectious intricacies and the more classic rock/metal bred Take Off hold ears and appetite firm, each a host of catchy and at times voracious enterprise while All Alone savours its metal breeding from its first breath as again classic hues unite with fresh textures and a punk infused ferocity. All three add their own independent imaginations and personalities to the album, the steely web of the last especially striking before We Make the History shares its potent balladry.

The album’s title track follows on an enthusiastic canter, once more the band aligning metal threads to a hard rock styled canvas to effortlessly ensnare attention. Though some tracks roused the passions more than others, every song within Next Stop, The Madness left a pleasure sparking mark, this one no less than any other with its multi-flavoured roar.

The album concludes with firstly the imaginative and stylish thunder of You Can Be Sure and lastly the bold rock ‘n’ roll of The Rain. Neither song quite sparked the ardour of many before them but each left a lingering mark and rich satisfaction which only drew ears keenly back.

Next Stop, The Madness certainly pleased straight away but it is with plays and time as more of its tapestry of melodic colours and varied flavoured textures came forward that it really impressed. So quite simply, The Kreoles is one of those bands which, as indeed their new release, should definitely be checked out.

Next Stop, The Madness is out now via Sliptrick Records across most stores and @ https://www.thekreoles.com/shop/

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Pete RingMaster 05/08/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ummagma – Compass

Though any Ummagma release is welcomed with eager intrigue and anticipation by us among a great many the recent Caravan single raised the ante for the band’s new album with its captivation soaked release. The fact, though we have had numerous singles and EPs between, that Compass comes a lengthy seven years after its same day released two predecessors only added to the excitement coated suspense. What the duo’s third full-length offers is their most eclectic and rousing collection of tracks and quite simply their finest most exhilarating moment to date.

The pair of Canadian Shauna McLarnon and Ukraine hailing Alexander Kretov embraces everything from shoegaze, dream and synth pop to electronic and rock driven imagination with plenty more in the abundant enterprise of their new encounter. it is a release and collection of songs though which still revel in the atmospheric and ambient dreamscapes the Ontario based pair has earned thick acclaim and a potent reputation for. The album’s first single suggested that the Ummagma sound had evolved to a whole new tapestry of adventure and diversity, a bold aural kaleidoscope now confirmed and taken across a compelling array of individually and uniquely fresh landscapes by Compass.

The album opens up with Rolling and instantly infests the senses with its animated funk incited rhythms. Hitting its joyous stride soon after, the track bounces along dragging the listener to their feet, Kretov’s vocals a ringleader to the boisterous escapade. With its Talking Heads meets Dalek I Love You like shuffle, the track gets the release off to a thrilling start, one more than accentuated by successor Caravan.

The second track similarly had attention and instincts alive with its rhythmic introduction alone, bold tenacious beats a tribal intimation within the suggestive sonic vegetation that surround them. With body and imagination swiftly enslaved, McLarnon’s ever siren tones warmly caress as the song expands its scenically melodic emprise while the alternating blend of the duo’s voices only adds to the cinematic lure and enticing climate of the exceptional encounter.

Otherwise is next up, the song sharing another individual clime of sound and flavour as Caribbean-esque hues gently but firmly trot within an evolving dream pop serenade. More than ever it proved so easy to sink into the soundscapes of Ummagma as within just three songs Compass had unveiled a new plateau of craft, imagination, and temptation; an enticement nagging at the senses as eagerly within the electronic ambience coloured LCD. With voices as much a lively texture as the sounds courting the same evocative space, the track swept across the senses to, if not quite to the same heights as its predecessors, strongly captivate.

Equally the dream nurtured pop of Elizabeth 44 proved a beacon of persuasion and manipulation, guiding hips and attention with a knowing smile as McLarnon again beguiled, while Blown straight after was swiftly under the skin through its opening indie strokes of guitar alone. As its atmosphere grew and thickened with crystalline synth tempting and a hazy breath the track only enhanced its hold especially as cosmopolitan shapes and melodic silhouettes came forth to dance with keen rhythms and conjuring imagination.

The following predominantly instrumental F-Talking is one of those Ummagma tracks which sparks a fresh inference upon the imagination with every listen, its ambient search and discovery enthralling and interpretation never concluded with successor Galicticon, a spatial float across an expansive melodic sky of equal intimation, just as potent on ears and thoughts.

The diverse character of Compass continues at pace with Lotus strolling in on a shoegaze swing as Kretov walks its wiry threads. There is a touch of Paul Haig to the excellent song which only adds to its rich presence as too a Cocteau Twins like seducing which makes for a similarly alluring essence within the pastoral summer of High Day that follows with matching fascination.

The pair of Colors II and Cretu ensures a fair share of the imagination is cast on their adventures too, the first a slice of indie rock with a folk meets post punk shading and the second an ambient glide across mercurial and unpredictable scenery, every instrumental second a dawning of new suggestive sights to captivate thoughts and senses.

The radiant Bouquet brings Compass to a mesmeric conclusion, its hug shadow clad yet brightly seductive and breath foreboding but rousing. It is an eagerly magnetic end to an album which charmed, tantalised and absorbed from start to finish with moments of creative rapture set in between. Ummagma just go from strength to strength, from bold adventure to striking imagination releases by release; Compass the indisputable proof.

Compass is out now via Leonard Skully Records; available @ http://ummagma.bandcamp.com/album/compass

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

Pete RingMaster 31/07/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

MiXE1 – Reflections

Like so many bands, British trio MiXE1 has teased and taunted rich attention with a host of ear grabbing encounters but have yet to fully ignite the sparks set through those imaginative success deserving releases. It is easy though to suggest and expect that break through with the band’s new album Reflections; a collection of striking tracks combining to create their finest most striking moment yet.

From a solo project created in 2010 by Mike Evans (Vocals, Synths), MiXE1 has grown into a formidable creative proposition with the addition of Lee Towson (Guitars, Live Bass, Synths, Vocals) and Lee O’Brien (Drums, Synths, Samples). Similarly their sound has evolved and blossomed across EPs and a well-received debut album as electronic adventure has increasingly aligned with alternative and rapacious rock tenacity. As Reflections shows, it is music and imagination which continues to explore and discover greater depths; the new album embracing a broader canvas of sound as the snarl of metal, boisterousness of pop, and epic rock enterprise all collude with the band’s already established creative instincts.

With the release also seeing the band joined by a host of guests across its increasingly magnetic body, Reflections opens up with its title track, the song looming in from an instantly busy distance on a tide of synth and guitar to swiftly establish an inescapably tempestuous and gripping lure. Evans’ vocal roar carries a similarly ferocious edge, attitude still lining the melodic prowess which soon springs from his throat amidst the compelling storm. With hungry hooks and fiery melodies igniting the multi-flavoured and easily devoured trespass, the song continued to nag, enthral, and incite.

The following Get Out Alive rises with a similar recipe of flavours but quickly sets out its individual character woven on melody, aggression, and eager imagination. As its predecessor, its infectious breath and moves are at odds with but the perfect companion to raw ferocity; again a union which attacks and seduces within a stirring tapestry of sound and texture.

Though released a couple of years back, Don’t Break Apart could be described as the lead single of the album and has lost none of its potency over time. In many ways the moment the band’s sound marked its latest evolution with its earlier release, its potential has been fully realised across the album and still fires up the appetite as it builds on its pulsating electronic start to cast sonic virulence upon the senses. Gentle caresses lead to inflamed eruptions and compelling melodic intimation builds to dark and rapacious incitement, the track pure magnetic and intimate drama only elevated by the additional contributions of Lawrie Bayldon (Studio-X) on synths and Erlend Eilertsen (Essence of Mind) alongside Richard K (Machine Rox) on vocals.

The rousing Spectrum is next up, immediately casting a melodic web with metallic strands around a robust rhythmic canter, the track a voracious mix of pop catchiness and electro shadows all toned with flirtatious temptation while successor, the equally irresistible Align revels in vociferous industrial instincts to create its very own contagious incitement. There is a great irritable edge to the electro rock based outing, antagonism soaked in melodic tempting reminding of former UK band Ghost In The Static.

From a dystopian atmosphere Nexus steps forward next, the track another with an industrial rock breeding embracing and employing a wealth of electro and rock strands to cast its magnetic web. Rabbit Junk’s JP Anderson joins Evans on vocals, his raw antipathy a tantalising companion to the more flirtatious harmonic tones of MiXE1’s frontman. Yet again ears were gripped and vocal chords incited with Fall straight after thrusting its rapacious rock ‘n’ roll upon the senses to similarly take control of body and attention with increasing rewards if ultimately only teasing the heights of the previous tracks. Still though, it just captivated before Monochrome with Roman Marisak (Professional Murder Music, Spacetime) guesting on vocals provides the darkest and most corrosive moments of the release whilst forging another of the album’s striking propositions in sound and enterprise revealing richer depths by the listen.

Yet one more major highlight comes with next up Creations, the song casting an atmospheric suggestiveness from which emotive and melodic imagination blossom their radiance. At its volatile heart is the vocal coupling of Evans and Natasha Cox (Mankind Is Obsolete, AL1CE, Alice Underground), both pure enticement and the latter simply mesmeric within a climate which simmers, seduces, and subsequently erupts with physical and emotional turbulence.

The final pair of Authors and Quasar ensure the album’s close is as stirring and impressive as what came before; the first an eager slice of electro rock as anthemically infectious as it is intimately heart bred while the latter takes the listener across an ethereal landscape before taking a spatial flight enriched with celestial harmonics and spirit raising dynamics. It is a glorious and imaginative finale exposing yet another aspect in the creative kaleidoscope of MiXE1.

The Hertfordshire band has never been a stranger to providing striking and seriously enjoyable encounters but Reflections simply eclipses all that has come before so surely the time is ripe for MiXE1 to be embroiled in the attention and success their music if not before now definitely deserves.

Reflections is out August 9th with pre-ordering available now @ https://mixe1.bandcamp.com/album/reflections

https://www.facebook.com/mixe1   https://twitter.com/mixe1music

Pete RingMaster 23/07/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright