A Blue Flame – What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remain

A Blue Flame_RingMasterReview

Three years after the release and success of a debut album, A Blue Flame has released successor What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remains, a collection of songs which musically tug at the imagination and lyrically at the emotions.

A Blue Flame is the solo project of British songwriter Richard Stone, a Leicester based artist who has been stirring attention these past months through a host of suggestively ripe and ear pleasing singles. What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remains follows his 2013 cast first album someone else’s dreams will fill our home; an offering released under the name of Woodman Stone. As suggested, it was a proposition which grabbed ears and plaudits alike, its lead song Does Madonna Dream of Ordinary People especially drawing strong support and airplay across the likes of BBC 6Music and BBC Leicester with Tom Robinson calling Stone’s music: “wonderful unashamed pop music that comes with an inbuilt English Pop sensibility running through to its very core“.

Featuring some of Leicester’s best musicians including co-producer Adam Ellis on guitar and Tony Robinson from The Beautiful South on keys and brass, What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remains is now whipping up even more loud attention. It needs little time to make a potent impression with When Time Slowed Down first up and readily caressing ears. Stone’s sound is a folk scented mix of British flavouring from pop and Brit Pop to a more rock hued proposal. The album’s opener is a gentle folk coloured slice of enterprise, a flavoursome coaxing gently drawing the listener into a release which just grows in strength and stature song by song. Keys and guitar cradle the dusty tones of Stone, a jazzy whisper coating every note and tone of the engaging start.

ablueflame_RingMasterReviewEveryday Yesterday similarly makes a low key entrance though there is a latent sturdiness from its start. With the firm beats of drummer Damon Claridge leading the way as guitar and keys amidst warm harmonies colour the track’s sky, a captivating catchiness descends on ears.  It is a quality ever present in Stone’s songs, making an increasingly vocal present here and in the following The Girl Inside of You. The new single, the track is a rousing slice of melody thick revelry embraced in Brit Pop meets folk rock flavouring. Increasingly addictive with every listen, the song has bodies bouncing and thoughts thickly involved as Stone’s lyrical and vocal prowess works on the imagination. A thumping proposition setting an early peak to the album it is also the spark to a new plateau within What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remain.

Next up is Our Memories Fade, a less energetic endeavour initially which grows in energy and emotion as sultry guitars glow across crisp beats. It too has an instinctive infectiousness, an organically appealing swing wrapped in Americana-esque charm while Stone grips attention with his words and inviting vocal style. Its highly pleasing endeavours make way for Be Kind To Yourself, a smouldering ballad which might not have the same spark as its predecessors but simply beguiles with its fifties hued cry.

Earthy punk infused rock ‘n’ roll treats ears next in the shape of the excellent I Don’t Know, another imposingly enjoyable sing-a-long canter with Skids like fuzzy guitar, while the equally compelling Out There Somewhere shares its own piece of rock where again a Stuart Adamson comparison arises as the song has a touch of Big Country to it. Both tracks increase an already eager appetite for the release, a satisfaction which From God on Down feeds with even greater strength. Flirting ears with a twist of reggae inspired devilry and slight dub effect within its formidable rock ‘n’ roll, the track takes top honours.

A Julian Cope feel shades the inescapable magnetism of Marlborough Park Avenue, a scent which only adds to its bewitching prowess and success whilst The Sun Refused To Shine dips into the fifties/early sixties again with its teasing melodies aligned to another potent Stone croon and alluring harmonies. The two songs alone reveal the diversity of sound and invention which frequents the album, a variety continued by the country twanged folk of Feeling The Same and finally Goodbye as What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remain goes out with the same poetic gentleness it began with, if with greater melancholy involved.

Enjoyable on the first couple of listens and near on essential thereon in, What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remain announces A Blue Flame and Richard Stone as one of Britain’s most compelling propositions and exciting songwriters.

What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remain is out now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/a-blue-flame/id1078425623 and http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ABlueFlame across most online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 25/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Righteous Reprobates – Scarlet Sky

Righteous Reprobates_RingMasterReview

Scarlet Sky is the new single from UK indie rockers Righteous Reprobates, a song which infectiously shimmers and lingeringly jangles from its first touch.

Based in London and Kent, Righteous Reprobates draw on inspirations from the likes of Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, Nirvana, The Beatles, and Led Zeppelin. Openly a nineties Brit Pop flavour escapes their sound, the quartet using it, on the evidence of Scarlet Sky, to spice up an instinctive ability to create an infectious proposal. Certainly the song wears its influences openly; a familiar character to its sound hard to escape but similarly the new single shows all the attributes and invention which has seen the band draw strong attention and radio play since emerging.

From the first breath Scarlet Sky grips ears in its glowing lure of sound, its steely texture and smouldering melodies encasing warm vocals and harmonies as rhythms frame it all with a web of catchiness. The vocals of guitarists Rob White and Jack Griffiths emerge to unite perfectly across the inviting landscape of the track, their fingers equally casting a weave of angular and melodically spicy enterprise with just a touch of the 80’s more mod inspired bands such as Purple Hearts and The Chords to it.

With bassist Jack Collier offering a pulsating stroll through his strings as drummer Charlie Kenny drives proceedings with captivating beats, it all adds up to a highly enjoyable and tasty insight into the anthemic sound and growing imagination of Righteous Reprobates.

http://www.righteousreprobates.com   https://www.facebook.com/righteousreprobates

Pete RingMaster 25/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Stand Alone – Nothing Is Forgotten

Stand Alone Promo Shot_RingMasterReview

As the band play a host of festival dates with an UK tour to follow, Bradford hailing trio Stand Alone have just rebooted their debut EP, Nothing Is Forgotten. Offering five tracks of lively, meaty rock ‘n’ roll, the EP is a highly enjoyable fusion of anthemic roars and rousing choruses with forceful rhythms and mighty riffs.

Formed in 2013, Stand Alone has been a constant presence on the UK live scene, playing and touring across the country while honing their muscular and infectious sound. Comparisons to the likes of Biffy Clyro and Alter Bridge have come the way of their heavy rock ‘n roll and though it might be fair to say that the band’s sound has yet to find its unique voice, for pleasure and imagination the threesome of lead vocalist/guitarist Gavin Stevenson, bassist Luke Harrison, and drummer Tom Durrans hit the spot.

The EP opens up with False Beginnings, a track which slips in on a fuzzy melody with heavy rhythms close behind. It is a potent start intensified by the strong tones of Stevenson in turn backed by the harmonic voices of Harrison and Durrans. The song continues to tempt as riffs create moments of antagonistic enterprise but never quite ignites, rather smouldering as the craft of the band and a great solo show their prowess.

Stand Alone Cover Artwork_RingMasterReviewIt is a very solid opening to Nothing Is Forgotten quickly eclipsed by This Is Ours with its thicker sinews and grouchy bassline. An easy to embrace hook emerges and leads into a lively chorus with eager voices and melody warm flames which radiate further across the increasingly virulent encounter, every element adding up to a song which alone demands attention and marks the band out as one to watch.

Easier Said Than Done continues the step up in invention and enjoyment, even if it lacks the snap of the last song, though that is to do with the strength of its predecessor than any shortcomings within it. With keys and some enjoyably unpredictable turns within its catchy body, the track captures the imagination with ease, the vocals and melodic invention especially catching the ear.

Things get heavier and more imposing again with Control, the band binding the senses in a web of hooks and spicy grooves around the eagerly muscular swipes of Durrans and another predacious bassline and tone from Harrison. Led by Stevenson, the union of vocals only impresses again before the EP closes on yet another high and the band’s latest single.

Demons is a muscle bound proposal which from an initial rapacious bassline uncages a net of hefty rhythms and growling riffs  which in turn lead to a seductive lure of warm melodies and suggestive whispers. It is a might end to the release and though as all songs there is something firmly familiar to its sound and some of its moments, there is no denying such recognisable hues only add to the rich satisfaction and enjoyment found.

Stand Alone is another band on the rise but yet to discover their individual voice; Nothing Is Forgotten suggests that when they do the British rock scene might have something special on its hands.

The Nothing Is Forgotten EP is out now across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/standaloneuk/   http://www.standaloneuk.com/   https://twitter.com/Stand_Alone_UK

Pete RingMaster 21/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Raging Speedhorn – Lost Ritual

Lost Ritual Artwork_RingMasterReview

Eagerly awaited, the fifth album from British metallers Raging Speedhorn, and the first since their return around two years ago, rips into ears and senses looking to make up for lost time. Lost Ritual has all the venom, spite, and intensity that the Corby in Northamptonshire hailing sextet is renowned for, and the quality, but all honed into their most potent and savagely stylish proposition yet. As expected Raging Speedhorn is a beast on the album, their sound an uncompromising trespass, and Lost Ritual simply the most invigorating tempest.

The past couple of years have seen the band prove themselves a live encounter no metaller should miss, continuing where they left off eight years earlier whether destroying smaller intimate venue audiences or mass crowds at festivals such as Sonisphere, Bloodstock, and Damnation. The successor to 2007 album Before The Sea Was Built, the crowd funded Lost Ritual is the first album to feature guitarist Jim Palmer and also sees vocalist Frank Regan returning nine years after his last appearance on 2005 album How the Great Have Fallen.

An anticipation feeding teaser to the Russ Russell recorded album was offered earlier this year as part of a DesertFest split with Monster Magnet via H42 Records. Fair to say, Halfway To Hell grabbed the throat and ravaged the senses to get the juices flowing for Lost Ritual and the album swiftly shows it is not a lone highlight with opener Bring Out Your Dead. Instantly a plaintive groove winds around ears, its lure quickly joined by the meaty grizzle of Dave Thompson’s bass and the mighty swipe of Gordon Morison’s sticks on skin. Right there too are nagging riffs, their tempting courting the ever gripping grooves; guitarists Jamie Thompson and Palmer casting an inescapable web. Completed by the contrasting spite loaded growls of John Loughlin and Regan, song and band devours the senses and spirit, sparking each to new heights of pleasure simultaneously. The track is a debilitating anthem, a rousing roar as contagious as it is violent and Raging Speedhorn at their very best.

Halfway To Hell takes over and now a familiar companion to ears because of its previous release again only ignites body and appetite with ease. Again riffs and rhythms unite and collide as grooves wind and vocals blaze. The band has never been low key in creating the most essential hooks in their encounters and the second song is one has some of their ripest yet, addictive twists and turns inescapable even in the passage of slow predatory enterprise stalked by bestial throat grazing snarls which emerges.

There is no let-up in force, temptation, and virulence as Motorhead erupts in ears next, the track living up to its namesake in tone and sonic dirt while as ever reaping the unique Raging Speedhorn character to big success. A brutal treat, the track makes way for the rapacious prowl of Evil Or Mental. Again the listener is quickly entangled in intrusive grooves and bruising rhythms as vocals crawl over the senses with open ill-will. They are just part of its skilfully woven net of sonic malignancy and enterprise, the encounter rocking like an antagonistic bear before its closing sonic lancing leads into the imposing and thrilling seduction of Ten Of Swords. This is no sweet talking temptress though, the song a lumbering concentrated invasion of tenebrific sound and provocative craft fuelled by a rancorous heart and appetite feeding ingenuity.

It glorious scorn gives may to the raw punk ‘n’ roll of Dogshit Blues, the track an exhausting and exhilarating stirring of body and spirit, and in turn the thick aural incitement of The Hangman. In tone alone, the song is a dark and murderous affair, voice and emotion only adding to its cancerous impact and though musically, it maybe lacks the cache of hooks and twists found in many of its companions, the track cannot help offering another lofty peak within Lost Ritual.

The next up Shit Outta Luck is pure belligerent and inflammatory rock ‘n’ roll, a chest beating incitement for body and soul that will leave all out of breath in energy and bliss. With swinging grooves, lethal beats, and fiery intent, the track is magnificent and swiftly equalled in success by the compelling toxicity and invasive invention of Comin’ Home.

Completed by the enthralling Unleash The Serpent, the darkest and most imaginative track on the album, Lost Ritual shows Raging Speedhorn bigger, bolder, and more creatively belligerent than ever. It is also one of the year’s mightiest rewards from a band world metal needs more than ever.

Lost Ritual is out now digitally and on CD and vinyl @ https://ragingspeedhorn.bandcamp.com/album/lost-ritual and other stores.

https://www.facebook.com/ragingspeedhorn

Pete RingMaster 12/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Chambers – Disappear

Chambers Online Promo Shot_RingMasterReview

Labelling themselves as “Sister Doom”, British duo Chambers is one of those propositions it is simply hard to ignore. With a distinctive character and emotive prowess to their sound, certainly that should be the case with new single/video Disappear. Consisting of guitarist/vocalist Aeris Houlihan and drummer Ellie Churchill, Chambers create moodily brooding, grunge toned rock ‘n’ roll which demands attention while igniting the imagination musically and lyrically.

Formed in 2014, Leeds hailing Chambers proceeded to hone their own individual sound with the guitar enterprise of Houlihan and the songwriting imagination of both uniting to create something openly different to most similarly potent duos. With recent shows with the likes of Shopping, Black Honey, Gap Dream, Sister Mantos, The Mirror Trap, and The Black Delta Movement under their belts, Disappear is the fresh evidence of the girls’ success in creating that individual proposition.

Chambers_Cover_Artwork_RingMasterReviewA lone lure of scuzzy guitar tempts ears first, its broadening body and tone soon joined by the infectious rhythmic swings of Churchill. Just as swiftly the expressive tones of Houlihan add to the affair, it all a flirtation of ears as gnarly and raw as it is contagiously seductive. There is a feel of now demised Karn8 to the song, its catchy hooks and dark temptations a similar enticing as too the heavier rock ‘n’ roll which is ventured into at times by the song. Placebo meets Soundgarden like essences also frequent the track but like spices only add to the distinct character of the Chambers invention

Accompanying Disappear is Love Song, a web of stoner/heavy rock grooves and wiry grunge inspired riffs all soaked in punk rock attitude. As instinctively virulent as its companion, the track shows another aspect to the Chambers songwriting and imagination; taking the listener into the darker, dirtier side of their creative adventure.

Both songs leave a lingering impact and powerfully why Chambers is finding a swell of potent recognition building up round them.

Disappear is out now via Warren Records.

https://www.facebook.com/ukchambers/  https://twitter.com/ukchamberss

Pete RingMaster 12/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Furian – What’s Up

Photo by Megan Geddes Photography

Photo by Megan Geddes Photography

Furian is one of the emerging bands being highly spoken of within the UK rock scene and they certainly do their growing reputation no harm with new single/video What’s Up. The track is a powerful slice of the band’s post hardcore flavoured rock ’n’ roll, a fierce and imaginative encounter which suggests this is a band worth checking out further.

Formed in 2014, Furian quickly lit up the Liverpool music scene with their live presence and debut single/video Now I Know. Since then, the quartet of vocalist/guitarist Dan Martin Hall, guitarist Joe Strode, bassist Abhi Tee, and drummer Damien Campbell have released a well-received EP, undertaken a UK tour and shared stages with the likes of They Say Fall and Vanity Draws art_RingMasterReviewBlood. What’s Up is Furian’s next step in their rise, a proposition fuelled by potential hard to ignore.

The song instantly descends on the senses with a wall of hefty rhythms and ear entangling sonic confrontation driven by the raw vocal attack of Hall. It is ferocity though with an underlying infectiousness and melodic intrigue which blossoms as clean vocals and harmonies float with warm melodic enterprise. The band continues to combine both extremes across the song, increasingly venturing into the mellower invention of their imagination with guitars and voice a mesmeric proposal perfectly contrasted by the harsher expulsions of sound and emotion.

There is an essence of Deftones to the ‘milder’ side of the track and Hall’s calmer vocals and a fierceness ventured into by vocalist and song which hints at the likes of Underoath and Hopesfall, yet combined it emerges with a freshness all of the Furian making.

What’s Up is maybe not a game changer for Furian but it certainly adds to their rising stock and reputation while hinting of greater things to come.

What’s Up is out now via PYAR Records.

https://www.facebook.com/furianmusic       https://twitter.com/furianuk

Pete RingMaster 05/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Astral Cloud Ashes – Too Close to the Noise Floor

Album Art_RingMasterReview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pete RingMaster 08/07/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright