Tess Of The Circle – Face the Changes

Tess of the Circle_RingMaster Review

Fast on the acclaimed heels of Love Is The Drug That You Crave, the first single from their upcoming second album Amplify, British rockers Tess Of The Circle unveil new track Face the Changes to make already intrigued and keen anticipation for their new full-length just that little more impatient. The new single is nothing less than an infection of guitar enterprise and vocal expression which lights up ears and indeed feet.

TOTC cover_RingMaster Review   As its predecessor produced by Gavin Monaghan, Face the Changes gives a slightly different glimpse to the new album and its hinted varied adventure whilst basking in the enterprise which marked out Love Is The Drug That You Crave as an equally rousing proposition bred on the band’s inspiration of 70’s electric rock armed with enterprising acoustic guitar riffs around biographically spawned lyrics. Fresh from 6 triumphant shows at this year’s Glastonbury Festival and strong attention and radio play for the last single, the Oxford hailing collective led by and bringing to life the songs and music of singer/songwriter/guitarist Tess Jones, share another inescapable temptation with Face The Changes.

Guitars and bass have body and imagination engaged straight away with their initial shuffle, that potent lure kept going as firm beats and the expressive tones of Jones add their own enticing to the vibrant mix. There is a kind of Michael Stipe essence to Jones’ voice, his magnetic lilt supported by further R.E.M. like melodies and the emerging dramatic air of the song. It is a much more resourceful character than that though, its bluesy textures through the guitars of Jones and Lee Clifton and a general infectiousness led by the rhythms of bassist Ben Drummond and drummer Paul Stone slightly recalling the John Butler Trio, but overall its body and buoyant enterprise creates a rousing time amidst a contagiously provocative roar which is all Tess Of The Circle.

Acclaimed debut album Thorns whipped up a wave of attention and greedy appetites previously and on the evidence of both Love Is The Drug That You Crave and now the richly enjoyable Face the Changes, the forthcoming Amplify will be doing the same.

Face the Changes is out now through most online stores.

Pete RingMaster 03/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Billy Vincent – Stand On Me

Billy Vincent_RingMaster Review

A plaintive slice of British Americana but fuelled as potently by hope as it is shadows, the new album from Billy Vincent is an ear and imagination catcher. Stand On Me brings twelve tracks of streetwise intimacy and heart bred in the darker corners and depths of London. Their seemingly personal tales entangle the listener in sound and narrative and as shadow exploring as they are, come equally built on blind optimism in a host of individual ways for a landscape of vital rock ‘n’ roll.

Stand On Me is the successor to the band’s well-received debut album She and comes via Swiss label Deepdive Records to whom Billy Vincent recently signed. As mentioned its songs are themed around dark times and shadows but also explore the light to be found in the support of others and indeed hope. Co-writers and vocalist/guitarists Billy Barratt and David Vincent talked about Stand On Me before its release, revealing “We thought it important to choose a title that represents the bigger part of the songs on the record, and Stand On Me is one of those reassuring statements that if you’re lucky, someone close to you might say to you when you feel like you’re out of options, letting you know you can lean on them and it’s all going to be alright”. They went on to say, “A lot of these songs are about that, not letting people you care about crumble and disappear with the rain, it’s a positive thing and we wanted to embrace it”.

With the line-up completed by bassist Joseph Kinsey, lead guitarist Adam Roylance, keyboardist Alex Leith, and drummer Dave Rowlands, Billy Vincent open up Stand On Me with Across My Street and a swift caress of guitar and keys spiked by crisp beats. The song soon settles into a vibrantly magnetic stride wrapped in welcoming melodies and equally alluring vocals, they courted by a darker but no less gripping bassline. A southern spice is never far from the surface of the guitar enterprise either whilst an Elvis Costello meets Pretenders air soaks the song to fine effect. Foot tapping and vocal involvement is simply unavoidable as the song offers a masterful start to the album’s persuasion.

cover_RingMaster Review  A country climate blossoms with the following Sleep When You’re Dead but equally a folkish drama and reflection makes a pungent hue in the sultry presence and emotion of the song too. As in the first track, and most to follow, there is a swing to proceedings, even in its slow croon, which just grabs the imagination as forcibly as the heart spawned lyrics. That catchiness is more unmissable in Hell For Leather. Its opening lure of vocals from across the band is like a fanfare, enticing within the mellower but no less lively stroll of rhythms and melody honed hooks. The track reveals itself to be persistently bewitching, like a snarling fusion of Following Foxes and Seth Lakeman which just gets more rousing and vocally incendiary with every passing minute.

Everybody Else is another with a Costello like texture to its melancholic heart whilst Learning To Drink casts a dark acoustically honed seduction which just grows in sound and strength as its reflective narrative becomes more fiercely soulful. There is enthralling adventure to its evolving scenery and creative drama too, providing ears and emotions with a compelling proposal which as great as it is quickly gets overshadowed by the excellent Loveless Man. With bulkier rhythms and a blues bred lilt to its guitar and melodic endeavour, the song sizzles in ears, the vocals similarly inflamed with their emotive declaration for another lingering highlight.

Both the piano lit, forlornly pensive Dark Are My Days and the crestfallen Waifs & Strays wrap ears in Americana ambience and emotional encouragement, the vocals in the latter especially rosy in their glowing harmonies whilst Cheap simply smoulders in sound and emotion. All three with distinct characters uniting to lure thick attention and pleasure to this part of the album do have to bow to the outstanding You, Me, The World though, a rousing eager stroll with a touch of Denim Snakes’ Russell Toomey to its songwriting and vocal expression. The track is irresistible, stealing top song honours so far and setting another lofty plateau in an increasingly impressive encounter.

The country folk contemplation of Black Suits & Dresses embraces more imposing shadows but immerses them in its own light of optimism and warm soulfulness, leaving the rocking Sheriff Cook to bring the album to a thrilling close. From its first breath, discord and warped strings are toying with the appetite before erupting into a southern lined shuffle of enticing rhythms and smiling melodies skipped over by great grit lined vocals. There is a rebelliousness to the song, an open hint of roguishness which ensures every note and beat has the possibility of breaking ranks and sparking mass discordance. It never happens but assists in making the track increasingly bolder and unpredictable to ultimately give Stand On Me its pinnacle.

Americana and definitely country is not a flavour which gets much attention or eagerness in giving it the opportunity to be part of our ever evolving personal soundtracks here, but Stand On Me just engrosses from start to finish, with particular moments which, as the final song, lights a blaze in ears and appetite. Billy Vincent is a band gearing up to a massive future we suggest with plenty of evidence to be found within Stand On Me.

Stand On Me is available from August 28th via Deepdive Records.

Ringmaster 27/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more independent exploration check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Helene Greenwood – Flat Roof House

H Greenwood_RingMaster Review

You like us have probably never stood back and realised, let alone explored, the mesmeric charm and elegance of elements within the walls and scenery we spend most hours within. London based singer and composer Helene Greenwood has and reveals the” ethereal moments of beauty in the domestic environment” in her forthcoming second album and before it new single Flat Roof House. Bred in the already renowned creative and perceptive fascination which fuelled her previously acclaimed propositions, the new single is a siren in sound and immersion in atmosphere, an aural free spirit of celestial seduction.

helene-greenwood-flat-roof-house-single_RingMaster Review     Composing music since the age of ten, the Dover born Greenwood went on to study with internationally acclaimed singers Nia Lynn and Anita Wardell, and particularly explore composition with John Woolrich whose words “music is made from hundreds of pebbles, and that each pebble has a different idea, and every pebble needs a special colour and quality to it” obviously stayed with and inspired her, as Flat Roof House alone suggests with its kaleidoscopic weave of sonic colour and textures. The sultry summer embrace of debut EP The Break awoke ears and awareness across fans and media to the emerging talent and uniqueness of Greenwood in 2013, with her first album Collectable You later that same year, exploring and revealing even greater evocative depth and imagination in songs devouring the diversity of flavour and texture.

Flat Roof House suggests that Greenwoods second album Exquisitely Hopeless will be certainly an equal to its predecessor’s bewitching enchantment of poetic imagination and adventurous sound, and we suspect probably eclipse it, though one song is just a note in an album’s full tune of course. From its first breath, Flat Roof House is sharing with ears a warm ambience soaked in emotive hues. It is an absorbing entrance which only blossoms as the recognisable hug of Greenwood’s vocals joins the equally expanding croon of keys. Darker strings and skimpy but inviting beats only add to the seducing air of song and its ethereal dream pop laced splendour, and fair to say that in no time ears and certainly imagination are fully lured into a dream state of melodic wonder and brightly haunting radiance. As it progresses, the track and Greenwood almost shed their creative skin as the sun at the heart of the track dissolves into rays of beauty and shimmering majesty for a vaporous sonic finale.

The track is spellbinding and Helene Greenwood a unique creative voice in ambience fuelled music with her entwining of numerous styles and colours, to simply it, so many times breath-taking and inescapably transfixing. It is proven again with Flat Roof House and no doubt will be again in a few weeks by Exquisitely Hopeless.

Flat Roof House is available from August 28th.

RingMaster 27/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright For more independent exploration check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Mordecai – Valour

mordecai 2_RingMaster Review

London based Mordecai are no strangers to stirring up the British rock scene with their rich and rousing sound, they have worked their charms on the other side of the Atlantic at times too, but fair to say they have outdone themselves with the thrilling Valour EP. Released a few weeks back, it is an anthemically dramatic and compelling collection of songs showing the diversity of the band’s songwriting and sound whilst forcibly pushing both on again from past triumphs. Quite simply it is one of the finest slabs of heavy rock/metal the band has unleashed to date and one of the essential explorations this year for all.

Though formed in 2006, Mordecai really began making a major impression from 2010 when the band’s line-up settled and solidified. They had already released a couple of EPs which were well-received by fans, but it was at this point that their Black Stone Cherry, Alter Bridge, and Black Label Society inspired sound found the spark to ignite itself and bigger attention. The band was soon exploding on stage at festivals such as Bloodstock, Bull Dog Bash, and Hammerfest over the subsequent twelve months or so and sharing stages with bands such as Black Light Burns, Bam Margera’s FFU, and Fightstar. 2012/13 saw Mordecai playing Download, one of the few unsigned bands to have ever been given two consecutive years, being invited to be part of Mark Tremonti’s (Creed, Alter Bridge, Tremonti Project), Fret12 Artist Development Program in the summer of 2012, and releasing debut album Undaunted the following year. The encounter lured keener and bolder attention from media and new floods of ears, something it is easy to assume that Valour will eclipse; to be honest it already is since it’s unveiling.

Cover   As soon as the opener to the John Mitchell (You Me At Six, Architects and Alter Bridge) recorded Valour erupts in ears, you can see why it has been kicking up dust. Fight Fire With Fire opens with a lusty roar from vocalist/guitarist Dan M Hicks and spicy licks of guitar across thick riffs. Rhythmically too, the track does not hold back, meaty beats from drummer Alex Gooders immediately landing with purpose and intensity as the bass of Mickey C grooves offloads predation and infectious bait. The contagion only increases as lead guitarist Andy Short spills hooks and grooves with craft and relish across the brawling rock ‘n’ roll being woven. Backed impressively by the band, the grisly and alluring tones of Hicks continue to hold ears whilst appetite and imagination is stolen by the sizzling tapestry of sonic enterprise and aggressive rebel rousing coursing through the exceptional start to the EP.

Latest single Just One Life, which also features John Mitchell, comes next and quickly the band reveals a mellower though no less potent side to their music and presence. There is a feel of bands like Seether and Shinedown to the song, spicy essences in a song which invites involvement rather than demands it like its predecessor. In its individual way, it also spreads a web of smart twists and catchy hooks throughout its melodic croon and though admittedly it does not emerge as one of our favourites on the EP it is fair to say it only leaves a smile of enjoyment before the metal fuelled All Wrong strides in and takes over with heavier rapacious attitude and armoury. A rolling rhythmic enticing lays down the first gripping coaxing before the song twists itself into a grouchy collusion of carnivorous riffs, toxic grooves, and another refreshing growl of vocal incitement, it all uniting in a thrilling tempest enticing body and soul to punch the air and snarl at the world.

Circles slips into another calmer landscape of invention and energy next, its initial tempting hinting at bands like Life of Agony before creating rhythm sculpted crescendos that blaze in ears with a sense of nineties band Skyscraper to them. Maybe taking a little longer to take a firm grip compared to those around it, the song emerges as another major highlight with a chorus impossible not to get involved with and a presence which lingers long past its departure.

Valour is brought to an explosive end by Rise where once more the band is casting lines of addictive grooves and deeply delving hooks, sonically and rhythmically, whilst building an incendiary wall of vocal and emotive intensity that just seduces with imagination and, again have to use the word, anthemic prowess. The song is a mighty end to a magnificent release, as suggested earlier easily the best thing Mordecai have created. It will be one the best things you are likely to hear in the muscular rock ‘n’ roll scene this year so go spoil yourselves.

Valour is out now.

RingMaster 13/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Slytones – Shake The Cage

slytones_RingMaster Review

There is no precise way to describe the rich sound of The Slytones and no way to stop it crawling under the skin and enslaving the psyche. This has been proven over previous releases but is at its most seductive and darkly magnetic in new single Shake The Cage. The song and the accompanying Thomas Thumb making up the release cast a kaleidoscope of ravenous flavours, styles, and warped imagination whilst their characters are as relevant to the carnival as they are to voodoo bred escapades. They both epitomise the heart of The Slytones sound whilst simultaneously creating their own new and unique imagination romancing adventures.

The British band began as a trio, expanding its line-up over time whilst quickly alluring keen appetites with their The Psychedelic Sounds of EP in 2011. It is fair to say that the Brighton hailing sextet of Ashley Edwards (vocals/guitar), Bradley Wescott (lead guitar), Chip Phillips (vocals/keys), Freddie Hills (drums), Chris Warren (vocals/bass), and Robin O’Keeffe (percussion) have drawn comparisons, in an attempt to describe their sound, as broad in the diversity of bands as the mix of ingredients colluding to ignite their individual incitements. There are few bands which can conjure such variety within a single song let alone a whole release, but as Shake The Cage proves it is child’s play to The Slytones.

The striking of a match sparks a fanfare of enticement, its blowing out the trigger to a feisty stomp built on ska clipped riffs and jazz seeded swing. Keys and guitars instantly have feet and hips involved whilst the dark tones of the bass along with the infectious hooks, simply work on the imagination. The track continues to stroll along with 12 Stone Toddler/ Mynie Moe like devilry, a flowing torrent of unpredictability lighting up and bewitching from every move taken before it all gets turned on its head for a garage rock prowl reminiscent of Th’ Legendary shack Shakers. Grisly barker like vocals leads the fresh parade of sinister carnival-esque flirtation, keys and rhythms an insatiable romp in the shadow soaked shuffle now toying with ears and brewing even thicker enjoyment. All the time the song is still weaving a virulent swing and psychotic drama, every passing minute an adventure of individual design with superbly woven styles but always leading back to the rich contagion of its original psych kissed and energetically rabid swing.

As if one irresistible treat was not enough, Thomas Thumb brings its own maze of ingenuity in sound and invention. Opening with a gospel seeded dose of harmonies and ambience around the leading edge of the main vocals and narrative, the song subsequently opens into mystique lined psychedelic scenery brimming with creative theatre and picturesque tempting. Like a blend of The Doors, Arthur Brown, Rocket From The Crypt, and Tankus The Henge, the song swarms over ears with invasive magnetism, every touch a slight evolution from the last before the track bursts into a sturdy garage rock canter which steers towards a Queens Of The Stone Age meets Faith No More/6:33 devilment.

Both tracks are glorious, a must for anyone with a taste for avant-garde and psychedelically warped adventure, but songs which flow with a natural and skilfully infectious, and wonderfully unpredictable, waltz. The Slytones is a carnival of invention, mischief, and most of all unstoppable fun so do yourself a favour and check them and especially Shake The Cage out.

Shake The Cage is out now.

Dates for The Slytones and Moulettes tour this September! :

16th September                   Southport                     Atkinson

17th September                   St Helens                       Citadel

18th September                   Halifax                           Square Chapel

19th September                     Morecambe                  Hothouse

20th September                   Ramsbotton Festival   Manchester

http://www.facebook.com/theslytones    https://twitter.com/theslytones

Ringmaster 01/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

Eva Plays Dead – Sounds of the Written Word

EPD Light-7468_RingMaster Review

UK rockers Eva Plays Dead have been stirring up plenty of attention and praise loaded support over the past couple of years through a potent live presence and a host of songs and debut album fuelled by with impressing adventure and the potential of even greater things to come. The Sounds of the Written Word EP continues the band’s potent emergence and evolution of sound with five rousing slices of undiluted rock ‘n’ roll. It is an encounter which confirms the Nottingham/Derby bred quartet as ones to watch and to find plenty of flavoursome enjoyment with, but also suggests that they are still only at the beginnings of exploring their creative depths.

Formed in the January of 2013, Eva Plays Dead weave inspirations from the likes of The Dirty Youth, LostAlone, Marmozets, Joan Jett, and QOTSA into their diversely spiced sound. Thick strains of metal, hard and alternative rock, and even punk are entangled and fused together as proven by the band’s new encounter, which relentlessly entices and holds attention. Live the band has frequently drawn acclaim too whilst supporting the likes of We Are The Ocean, LostAlone, Max Raptor, Canterbury, and also across their own country wide tours. The band’s 2013 album Guilt Trips & Sins equally drew its plaudits though it took the single of earlier this year, Wonderland to spark and lure in the increasing focus of the likes of Team Rock and Kerrang. The song was a rich taster of Sounds of the Written Word which itself is already creating a bit of a feisty stir since its release via SoundHub Records.

EP Artwork_RingMaster Review     The EP opens with Live Again and a rich torrent of fiery riffs, pungent rhythms, and a sonic enticing impossible to ignore. In fact the whole song is a wall of persuasion, especially once the rich voice and expressive delivery of Tiggy Dee joins the muscular party. Her tones wrap syllable and ears with tenacious seduction yet carries a raw edge which only adds to the aggressively creative enterprise of sound around her. The guitar of Matt Gascoyne is just as lively in its imagination and craft, its melodies and Dee’s siren-esque roar in turn trapped by the masterful and fiercely magnetic rhythmic cage cast by bassist Zach Shannon and drummer Seb Boyse.

The tracks’ bluesy air and hard rock enticing continues in the more predatory Bad Girl, the song with the sinister persuasive lure of a temptress prowling the listener musically and vocally. It is dark, dirty, and a weave of sonic resourcefulness seeded in classic and alternative rock. As its predecessor, the song is firmly infectious whether roaring with full passion or delving into more concentrated tapestries of thick texture and invasive spicing. It easily continues the strong start to the release, though both songs get outshone by Wonderland. From its first dark rumble, the track is sheer addictiveness, riffs and grooves a flirtatious confrontation over the anthemic twist of rhythms and subsequently stalking beats. Dee again sits astride the magnetic drama at play, her voice attitude fuelled yet with a raw regal air as the equally riveting sounds dance around her with bright invention and raucous energy. It is no surprise that the song stirred up ears and appetites as a single as here it pretty much steals the show, though it is quickly rivalled by the closing pair of songs on the EP.

We Ain’t A Family uncages its own virulent hooks and tangy grooves in short time, rhythms showing more restraint amidst the melody rich proposal though again the bass finds an intimidating snarl to drool over. Like the last track, it shows an eagerness to explore an undulating landscape of ideas and evolving sound, crescendos of energy and skilful ebbing and flowing of intensity and passion alone an enthralling tempting.

Final track 1950’s Woman has a similar template to the previous pair but finds its own individual character within a familiar bellow of rigorous sound and bewitching vocal theatre. The song maybe does not define its distinctiveness as much as others on the EP, but when it leaves ears basking, imagination smiling, and emotions hungry for more, there is little more you can ask of it.

There is definitely the sense that Eva Plays Dead has more in the locker than shown on Sounds of the Written Word which only makes their future something to keenly anticipate. This is a band to keep close attention on with an EP to thoroughly enjoy.

Sounds of the Written Word is available now via SoundHub Records through most online stores

http://www.evaplaysdead.com/     https://www.facebook.com/EvaPlaysDead

RingMaster 31/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

Rum Thief – Reach For the Weatherman

Picture 8_RingMaster Review

Want something to get excited about? Then check out Rum Thief and superb second EP Reach For the Weatherman. There has already been an eager buzz about the band from live shows and especially last year’s debut EP Clouded Mind, but we suggest nothing compared to what will be stirred up by this new outstanding encounter.

Rum Thief is the solo project of Manchester bred Jot Green, a musician who after a decade plus of playing drums in bands decided to bring his own songs to light. He surrounds himself with friends live, currently guitarist Johnny Brown, bassist Iain McGowen, and drummer Chris Hobs joining Green on stage, whilst the EP’s are all the man alone. As mentioned, Clouded Mind awoke attention and helped spark a potent local appetite for the band’s live presence, its sounds and a just as lively and provocative lyrical side luring acclaim and radio play. Now making a roar at a national spotlight, Reach For the Weatherman builds on its predecessor’s strengths and lures, matching its power and success whilst bringing an even more honed and vital breath to melodies, hooks, and simply the open passion fuelling songs.

cover_RingMaster Review   Reach For The Weatherman opens with its title track, a moody yet vivacious bass coaxing aligned to choppy ska seeded riffs marking the swiftly enticing entrance of the song. Just as quickly spicy hooks and jabbing beats join the escapade, whilst the gripping and distinctive tones of Green’s vocals add further irresistible drama to the increasingly contagious proposal. Sonically fiery with a scent of surf rock to its chorus, the song is a multi-flavoured, feverishly coloured stomp; rock ‘n’ roll leading to addictions and lustful inclinations. It is glorious, small but striking twists amidst a tapestry of vocal and musical imagination stirring up body and emotions from start to finish.

The exceptional start is potently backed by Stitch In Time, though it cannot quite reach the same heights and spark the same slavery as its predecessor. Nevertheless with a pungently forceful stroll in gait and rhythms within tangy guitar caresses, the song magnetically swings along leading ears across a landscape of emotive expression and vocals alongside a vibrant flame of melodic tenacity. The Arctic Monkeys essence which only whispered in the first song, is a stronger enjoyable hue here, but just one spice amongst many strands of varied rock flavours colluding to create something unique and again riveting.

New single Dirty Shoes kicks it all up again to epidemic proportions, its initial union of acoustic guitar and the ever alluring vocals of Green, the lead and spark to a precocious shuffle of rockabilly like rhythms and hooks amongst tendrils of melodic and grooved devilry. The track just grows in the ear, its body maturing and basking in the seemingly simple yet skilfully woven fusion of sound and heart driven energy. The song is as the first, an epidemic of contagion and adventure; both tracks stealing the show from the grasp of equally exciting encounters.

The acoustic seduction of My Friend closes up the EP, it also part of the double A-sided new single with the previous song. Keys are soon snuggling up to the vocal and guitar embrace starting things off, whilst emotive and intimate tones line every syllable and chord as the song brews up a fuller and more intensive, though never imposing hug. It is a fascinating end to an outstanding release, another glimpse at the strong and diverse songwriting flowing from the imagination of Green.

Having missed Rum Thief’s first EP, a look back shows it to have been a striking first step for Green and his project but just the taster for the masterful and mighty appearance of Reach For the Weatherman. As asked at the start of this piece, want to get a buzz on? Then this EP will fully satisfy and much more. There are very big things ahead for Rum Thief we suspect.

The Reach For the Weatherman EP is available from July 27th

EP Launch Party, 21st August @ Night and Day Cafe, Oldham St, Manchester in association with Scruff of the Neck Records.

https://www.facebook.com/RumThief

RingMaster 27/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net