Puppet Kings – The Mountain

Praise and enjoyment came rather easily a couple of years back for the Very Cool and Groovy EP from UK rockers Puppet Kings and both have bubbled up just as keenly again as the duo release its successor in the shape of The Mountain. Offering four tracks revelling in the hard/classic rock bred, broadly flavoured sound which has already marked the band out, the new EP equally hit the spot very nicely.

Originally formed in Brighton but Clapham based for the past few years, Puppet Kings consists of Tomas Cochrane (guitars, bass and vocals) and Harry Lehane (drums and vocals). It is a pairing which swiftly sparked and has increasingly earned a potent reputation and eager following through their rousing live presence and just as stirring releases starting with debut EP Timebomb of 2015 and Very Cool and Groovy two years later. With each release, the band’s sound has grown in adventurous maturity and bolder imagination; a blossoming still on going with The Mountain.

The band’s sound is a mix of the familiar and individually fresh which has already produced songs which boisterously leap from the speakers with open dexterity and instinctive energy. The last EP offered up tracks which grabbed appetite and memory with ease but none as masterfully and tenaciously as The Mountain opener, The Message. The track teased and tempted the passions from its first breath, a throbbing bassline the main culprit but soon joined by the equally captivating throes of guitar and vocals alongside the skittish beats of Lehane. Their lure only escalates by note and riff, exploding in a manipulative roar within a chorus which just commands participation. Everything about the track is a rousing incitement, from its devious stroll and virulent bounce to the vocal prowess and lead of both men, the song pure rock ‘n’ roll motivation.

Such its mighty roar and success, the following three tracks sit in its shadow but fair to say there is little about each which fails to bring added pleasure to the EP. Mountain Song is the following encounter, a blues tinged groove emerging from sonic air to spark another body trespassing, keenly infectious canter. Again the vocals play a big part in any tempting but similarly guitar and rhythms imaginatively shape a song which settles rather enjoyably in the ears.

Age Of Austerity is next up, a coaxing melodic tendril luring the listener into a shadowy but just as inviting embrace of inventive infectiousness. At various times, Puppet Kings has been compared to bands such as Foo Fighters, Guns N Roses, Alice in Chains, and Royal Blood some of which echo the spicing within another compelling track but as it and the EP overall confirms, the band’s sound is becoming more individual to the pairing by the release.

Fellow UK duo, The Sea does come to mind at times across The Mountain, they another outfit unleashing honest and passionate rock ‘n’ roll and the closing roar of Bag Of Bones epitomises the power of those traits. Slowly but firmly rising to its feet with melodic and emotive intensity wrapped in blues rock nurtured grooves, that passion fuels every syllable and seductive fiery chord which erupts, charging up the track’s animated fervour and fire.

It is a fine end to another inescapably enjoyable outing with Puppet Kings, a band which just gets more compelling by the record.

The Mountain is out now.

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

Pete RingMaster 06/03/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dark Stares – Darker Days Are Here To Stay

With a clutch of praise wearing EP’s already under their belt UK outfit Dark Stares have now raised the ante with their debut album. Continuing the open evolution of their sound across those previous encounters, Darker Days Are Here To Stay is a release which maybe smoulders more than roars but like the band’s previous releases, just captivates but with an even greater depth of adventure and seduction.

The St Albans band’s individual alternative rock tempts like a fusion of Muse and Queens Of The Stone Age but equally has drawn references to the likes of Wolfmother, Royal Blood, Led Zeppelin, and The Beatles. Formed in 2011, the quartet released their first EP, Tell Your Friends, the following year. Its well-received introduction to the band has been built upon in sound and success across the likes of Octopon and Soul Contract as well as a host an eagerly supported singles. Self-produced, Darker Days Are Here To Stay continues the band’s DIY intent with a raw magnetism and organic radiance which just commands attention.

The album opens up with Liquid Reign and a sonic limbo from which a swagger gaited groove, firm beats, and the tantalising voice of Miles Kristian Howell emerge. The track settles into an infectious swing entwined in heated sonic vines as that initial groove continues to wind around ears and appetite. Crystaline in its melody, crisp in its rhythms, the song is a warm yet invasive seduction as catchy as it is hauntingly provocative.

The following Sweet Rider 5 is also the band’s new single, a track similarly woven to the first but with a fiery lining to its golden glaze and a whiff of latter day Depeche Mode to its air. The guitar of Harry Collins casts another alluring web of sound and heat; tendrils of enterprise which tease rather than entangle the imagination but have it alive all the same as the dark tone of Brett Harland Howell’s bass and the urge of Taylor Howell’s beats tempt the body.  So absorbing it feels much shorter than it really is, the track still ends too quickly but Pedal Pusher soon has all focus on its fuzzy, enticing saunter. An electronic grumble adds inventive shadow to the mesmeric charms of guitar and harmonies and equally a raw edge courting intrigue and dark melancholy to contrast the radiance on offer.

Darker Days is next, its electronic scuzz even deeper and dirtier than in its predecessor to accentuate the candescent sounds wrapping broad and intimate shadows. Richly captivating with its own individually bold sway, the song wears the scent of post punk and neo-psychedelia in its creative sigh; a The Jesus and Mary Chain meets The House of Love kind of wash adding to its rich pull before Animal floats in on a sonic breeze. Its climate is soon a sweltering embrace easily luring ears and imagination to its exotic heart and bluesy drama. It is a track which epitomises the album, making a strong and potent first impression but only glowing brighter with every listen.

Across the likes of the more volatile rock ‘n’ roll of Ordinary Way with its scuzzy touch and unpredictable air and the irresistible Hips Don’t Shake the album just drew us deeper into its grasp. The first of the two did not connect as thickly as other tracks but its successor more than compensated with its addictive twists and infectious almost mischievous character. There is a constant Josh Homme like hue to songs if mostly a mere dash of colour but makes for a compelling ingredient in the album’s best moment.

Cruise Control equally dips into that spicing for its raw harmonic roar, Muse-esque spatial hues fusing with the song’s sonic fuzziness while So Good serenades from within its cavernous heart. The second is a tapestry of imagination, every move unexpected yet instantly embraceable as the lucent croon of the song envelops ears and a by now greedy appetite.

The pair of Their Game and Feels (So Sad) bring the album to a beguiling close with their respective indie rock and hypnotic glow of melancholic yet lustrous beauty. They complete a release which just captivates but with moments that had us drooling. Even so we still have the feeling that Dark Stares has not come close to finding the boundaries of their sound and that makes the anticipation for their next release as strong as the enjoyment found with Darker Days Are Here To Stay.

Darker Days Are Here To Stay is out now through iTunes and other stores.

https://www.darkstares.com/   https://www.facebook.com/DarkStares/   https://twitter.com/dark_stares

Pete RingMaster 22/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Ugly Kings – Darkness Is My Home

Towards the tail of last year Australian blues rockers The Ugly Kings left a rather fertile and extremely tasty teaser for their debut album in the shape of two-track single Promised Land. Now we can reveal that all the hints and intimation offered then of something special coming ahead have been forcibly realised with the band’s first full-length, Darkness Is My Home. The release is a powder keg of muscular rock ‘n’ roll, a cauldron of suggestion and haunting darkness, and most of all simply one of the most powerful creative roars heard in a long time.

From the coarse grain of the delicious bass sound to the suggestive clang of the guitars and from the lyrical atmospherics to their vocal realisation, Darkness Is My Home is pure uncompromising temptation, one as dynamic as it is seductive and as cinematic as it is intimately haunting. In fact it is so much more than that outstanding first single implied, and still offering more after a multitude of listens.

Formed in 2011, the Melbourne quartet soon stirred local and subsequently national attention through their live presence and in turn 2015 mini album Of Sons. The past two years has seen the band share the stage with Rival Sons in Melbourne (2016), support Airbourne on their successful sold out 2017 east coast Australia tour and this year open for Papa Roach on their two shows in The Ugly Kings home city. Darkness Is My Home can only open bigger doors and opportunities, the album thrusting the band into the realm of the big boys without even a knock on the door.

The album opens with the outstanding Promised Land and instantly hooks ears with its initial lure of sultry guitar and vocal expression. Frontman Rusty Clark has a voice which commands attention, a musical orator you just want to listen to and backed by just as compelling sound throughout song and release. The smouldering brooding of the song is transfixing, only escalating its lure as resonating beats and the first of a tide of irresistible basslines across Darkness Is My Home breaks. Igniting into a robust stroll with a searing groove, the track is pure captivation and increasingly so as it repeats its cycle with greater lust and vigour. Rock ‘n’ roll does not come much better as this imposingly infectious and skilfully manipulative encounter though it is undoubtedly matched throughout the album.

The following Black Widow also makes an instant impact with the beats of Andy Alkemade sending ripples of resonance across the senses with every impact before Christos Athanasias’ guitar begins its prowl alongside Clark’s vocal incitement. The earthy growl of Nick Dumont’s bass is just as riveting, the four conjuring a predatory yet seductive dark romance with threat in every note and suggestion in every syllable. Influences to the band include the likes of The Doors, Jack White, Black Sabbath, and Royal Blood, flavours you can sense but as in the first and those to come the track is as unique to The Ugly Kings as you could wish.

The fiery rock ‘n’ roll of Raging Bull has a more animated gait though it comes in an ebb and flow which stabs at the senses with purpose and mischief before being uncaged in a rich blaze of melodic lava while Killing Time borders on the carnivorous with its gorgeously gnarly bassline and romantic with its melodic and vocal reflection. The uniting of contrasting textures is masterful and Dumont’s bass manna for personal tastes whilst the song’s croon is just impossible to resist. Both songs light up ears and imagination, fire up the passions though we can say that about every track within Darkness Is My Home.

Love Enemy with its slow swagger of a stroll brings calm after the clamour of its predecessor but one lined with dark provocative shadows and magnetism as sinister as it is infectious. Its catchiness is inescapable, swaying hips and over worked neck muscles our evidence with the imagination just as involved as words and tendrils of sonic enterprise entangle before You And Me brings is boozier intoxication to bear on ears. The band’s passion for the blues is a constant roar in their skilfully eclectic sound, The Ugly Kings infusing it into their own power fuelled designs, each individual to the next as proven by the volcanic heat and earnest swing of yet another gem.

Another great trait of the album is that every song feels like old friends within a couple of listens, Lazarus drawing vocal chords into play even before it finishes its first influential roar, the ballad a pyre of power and individual intensity.

The album is brought to a just as rich close by firstly Little Birdy Told Me; a cauldron of senses singed grooves and ever welcomed rhythmic trespasses aligned to the striking prowess of vocals and unpredictability, and lastly The Fire. The closer has the heat its title suggests but before it reaches that intensity, simmers and smoulders around vocal melancholy and defiance. When it catches, the track is a furnace of sound and intensity but just as powerful when it’s sonic and atmospheric kindling is just glowing.

Darkness Is My Home is quite simply glorious, a rousing beacon among already a host of great and powerful heavy rock releases. The Ugly Kings better get their passports in order because we get the feeling the world is going to want them blazing away in their backyards hereon in.

Darkness Is My Home is out now via Kozmik Artifactz; available @ https://theuglykings.bandcamp.com/ and http://smarturl.it/DarknessIsMyHome

https://www.facebook.com/TheUglyKings/   https://twitter.com/theuglykings   https://theuglykings.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 25/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Ugly Kings – Promised Land

With their debut album slated for release early next year, Australian rockers The Ugly Kings recently provided a rather flavoursome teaser for it with Promised Land. Offering two tracks cast in the band’s “power blues” sound, the EP weaves a temptation as atmospheric and haunting as it is bold and fiery, both songs rich in a potential suggesting that forthcoming full length just has to be checked out.

Formed in Melbourne in 2011, The Ugly Kings draw on the inspirations of bands such as Led Zeppelin, The Doors, The Black Keys, Muddy Waters, BB King, Black Sabbath, Dead Weather, and Royal Blood for their sound. It is a mix which brought the band’s mini-album, Of Sons, praise carrying attention in 2015 and now makes a striking invitation within Promised Land.

Though you can quibble whether a two track release is an EP or single, there is no denying Promised Land inescapably grabs ears and appetite with its title track. An opening sultry stroke of guitar courts the imagination though it is the instantly striking tones of vocalist Rusty which really hook attention; his potent presence backed by the imposing drama brooding beats of Andy. As further elements unite, the song raises to yet another level, hitting a majestic stroll which initially is almost predatory before becoming a celebratory fire of energy and suggestion.  Its masterful cycle repeats, increasing its hold on body and imagination second by second; the guitar of Christos creating a web of fiery temptation as the bass of Nick makes a grumbling, almost irritable trespass easy to greedily devour. Imposingly infectious and skilfully manipulative, the track is glorious and reason alone to explore that future album.

Even so, personal tastes just took to companion song, Wash Me Of My Sins, with instinctive lust. Like an aural equivalent of a flickering sepia hued film, the song shimmers with the twang of guitar and those ever compelling vocals. Its slow crawl is a shadow wrapped enticement more rejoice than funereal leading to an energy fuelled, spirit arousing canter which still embraces a reserved intensity in its dark country/psych rock canter. With a harmonic tapestry of voices around the ever compelling presence of Rusty, the song seduces listener involvement and imagination with sublime ease; just stealing best song honours and uniting in suggesting that the next encounter with The Ugly Kings is not to be missed.

Promised Land is out now and available @ https://theuglykings.bandcamp.com/album/promised-land

https://www.facebook.com/TheUglyKings/    https://twitter.com/theuglykings

Pete RingMaster 31/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Rival Bones – Self Titled EP

Slim line-up, big sound; this is a combination becoming even more frequent in the current rock ‘n’ roll scene and no bigger and indeed physically bolder than that offered by UK duo Rival Bones. Consisting of vocalist/guitarist James Whitehouse and former Boss Keloid drummer Chris Thomason, the band have just released their self-titled debut EP; four rousing anthems which rock hard and carry a punch a great many bands thick with personnel would beg for.

Emerging at the beginning of 2015, Rival Bones quickly drew attention with first single You Know Who You Are; radio play quickly following before subsequent singles in Robot Girl and Lost Along The Way last year matched its success and pushed forward the band’s reputation and growing presence on the UK rock scene. Their hard rock/heavy metal sound nurtured with a host of additional flavours involved was soon drawing references to bands such as Mastodon, Queens of The Stone Age, and Audioslave whilst live the Merseyside pair soon branched from local success into stirring up bigger venue audiences and festivals such as Threshold and Tramlines. Now national attention is under threat with their first EP, an attack which will bring big rewards and rousing exploits for listener and band alike.

The EP opens with Want You Madly. Its gentle beginning is a swift deception as a sonic murmuring soon becomes a wall of imposing and inviting riffs punctured by Thomason’s heftily swinging beats. The song’s commanding stroll is soon joined by the potent tones of Whitehouse, his strong voice aided by spirited shouts and in turn grooves which just demand hips and bodies get involved. The blues spicing of the track is equally intoxicating, its tonic flowing across a landscape of heavy rock ‘n’ roll bait as alone the opener makes a major statement for band and release.

Its inescapably contagious anthemic arousal of ears and imagination is quickly backed up by the calmer waters of Marceline. Note that the track placing we were sent, and follow here is different to that on the band’s Bandcamp but no matter the order, the release fiercely rocks as the second song with its similarly reserved entrance breeds an energy and tenacity which powers a similar spirited roar to that of its predecessor, if this time unleashing it in the chorus only.  Around the explosion, Whitehouse’s impressing vocals lure and involve within an equally calm temptation of melody rich sound; grooves and hooks as prevalent as in the first song and just as addictive. Those earlier comparisons are generally understandable in varying degrees but equally the second offering as in other moments within the EP has something of bands like Royal Blood and Johnny Wore Black to it.

Next up Hives gets down to business from within a sonic mist, the track soon strolling through ears with an earthier tone and confident swagger as riffs and grooves blossom while vocals once again incite further attention and involvement. Its blaze of a chorus carries a dose of grunge blues tempting, giving tang to the irresistible grooves wrapping round ears with flirtatious intent as rhythms jab and create their own infectious stirring of body and an increasingly hungry appetite for more.

The EP closes up with Running, a song sauntering in with a fuzz lined melody for company and soon after Whitehouse’s vocal invitation. A mix of blues and stoner flavouring flames within the track’s eruptions, expulsions of energy and passion surrounded by mellower but no less magnetic caresses in voice and sound. With every passing minute, the track becomes virulently catchy as it heads to a rousing crescendo followed by a last reflection of calm and in turn a final outburst of fiery provocation.

It is a superb end to a release which is sure to thrust Rival Bones to bigger and thicker attention. Their sound has an air of familiarity to it but a feeling which only adds to its potency to ignite and drive body and spirit into eager involvement with its ballsy rock ‘n’ roll; the kind of success anyone would be envious of.

The Rival Bones EP is out now on iTunes and Amazon and available @ https://rivalbones.bandcamp.com/album/rival-bones-ep

Upcoming Live Dates:

Dates:

12/05 – The Blossoms, Stockport, UK

18/05 – 81 Renshaw, Liverpool, UK

25/05 – The Cave at the Holly Tree, Addlestone, UK

26/05 – Iron Road, Evesham, UK

27/05 – The Kings – Wales (KingsFest)

28/05 – The Mulberry Tavern, Sheffield, UK

02/06 – Percy’s, Whitchurch, UK

03/06 – The Greyhound, Nottingham, UK

04/06 – The Sitwell Tavern, Derby, UK

30/06 – Sonder Festival,    Manchester, UK

21/07 – Amplified Festival – Gloucester, UK

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

Pete RingMaster 10/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Big South Market – Muzak EP

the-big-south-market_RingMasterReview

Weaving strands of hard and blues rock with grunge and stoner essences for a sound equally familiar and enterprisingly fresh, The Big South Market is an Italian band making a powerful introduction to themselves with their debut EP Muzak. Five tracks of rousing rock ‘n’ roll the encounter is an impressive offering from yet another duo showing that you do not need multiple bodies to make a mighty roar.

From Barletta, The Big South Market was formed in 2015 by vocalist/guitarist Giuseppe Chiumeo, founder of the crossover band The Rest Side, and drummer Ruggiero Ricco from thrash metallers Cancrena. Quickly they made a potent impression playing all across their homeland, broader attention now being tempted by Muzak and its fiery contents.

Opener Big Deal immediately threatens welcoming ears with thumping beats as wiry grooves wrap around. It is an intoxicating start which only blossoms in strength and sound as Chiumeo and Ricco unite their imposing enterprise. Like a blend of Gruntruck and Crobot, the song growls and seduces, getting under the skin in no time as it vocally snarls and musically sears the senses.

tbsm_cover_RingMasterReviewIt is a stunning start swiftly matched by the similarly fiery lures of Before (You Make It Deeper), itself a fine blend of stoner and blues endeavour as raw as it is imaginatively woven. As with its predecessor there is plenty which seems familiar yet more than enough to create a proposition which stands apart from the crowd, riffs and grooves a web of instinctive adventure in an imposingly big yet uncluttered roar of sound.

A southern air lines the blues rock of next up Moodrink, its grooves and rampant rhythms a spirit sparking enticement as soulful vocals roar. Hinting at the likes of bands such as Pantera, Kyuss, and Royal Blood, the track robustly croons and writhes in ears while the following Red Carpet involves its predecessor’s creative liquor in an even richer slice of virulent blues infused rock ‘n’ roll.

As it strikingly began, Muzak ends on a major highlight with Desert Motel, a slab of desert blues built on enjoyably intrusive rhythms and boozy blues tenacity around the ever potent vocals of Chiumeo. A less energetic proposal compared to earlier tracks, it replaces a full throttle charge with emotively suggestive grooves within melodic fire as an underlying intensity soaked in attitude and ferocity murmurs.

It is a fine end to a thoroughly enjoyable first look at The Big South Market, a pair showing the potential of eventually matching the stature of other great rock n’ roll duos.

Muzak is out now across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/thebigsouthmarket   https://twitter.com/tbsmofficial

Pete RingMaster 11/01/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Indigo Bones – Self Titled EP

indigo-bones-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

With a definite buzz brewing around British trio Indigo Bones, the Hull hailing outfit release their self-titled debut EP this month, an attention grabbing slab of fiery garage rock sure to add fuel to the fire.

Indigo Bones began with the linking up of vocalist/ guitarist Chris Welburn, drummer Marty Hoyle, and bassist/vocalist Mark Swan, a threesome already having collaborated together on previous projects. Drawing on inspirations said to include Jack White and Royal Blood, they soon developed and honed a sound with unique character but equally freshly embracing familiar textures and essences. A recent UK tour has pushed awareness and support of the band beyond their local fan base, the new EP now poised to build on that success such its striking presence.

It opens with the rather excellent Vertical Sleep, the band quickly and enjoyably leaning on ears with a wall of senses badgering rhythms as raw acidic melodies add their tangy lures. Welburn’s vocals soon join the affair, his tones equally as unpolished and magnetic potently backed by those of Swan as the song flourishes in its expanding stride and creative scenery. There is a great live feel to the track which only accentuates its attitude and power, a roughness perfectly tempering and accentuating the intoxicating wooziness of the guitar’s enterprise.

indigo-bones-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewIt is an outstanding start to the release which arguably is never matched though swiftly Delicate with its mischievous melodies and steamy sonic saunter gives it a bold and close try. With captivating unpredictable adventure to the vocals and bone shuddering tenacity to Hoyle’s eagerly biting beats, the song entices thick attention with sonic adventure lying somewhere between The Black Keys, Electric Woodland, and My Red Cell.

Silver Nosebleeds follows, finding a grouchier, darker feel to its tone and nature whilst spinning another web of spicy sonic suggestion over gnarly vocals and another rousing pulsating bassline from Swan. Psych boozy melodies only add to the attraction, the song’s hazy creative heat and nature laying on and lingering in ears with relish.

Indigo Bones push the pedal to the floor with Elastic Patient, an adrenaline fuelled punk clad stomp roaring across the senses seeping sonic fumes even when its energy shifts down a gear. With carnivorously tenacious rhythms as eager as the riffs and grooves entangling them, the track is a glorious incitement firmly challenging the first for top song honours.

Completed by a fine live cut of Lethal Weapons & Perfect Posture, evidence of how well the band has translated their undoubted stage fire to the studio, the Indigo Bones EP is an introduction suggesting this is a band with the potential to make a potent mark on the UK rock scene.

The Indigo Bones EP is released 16th December.

http://indigobones.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/IndigoBonesBand   https://twitter.com/IndigoBonesBand

Pete RingMaster 14/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright