Seething Akira – Airstrike

Cruisin'_RingMaster Review

Like a raid on the senses and a mass riot for the body, the new single from UK rockers Seething Akira sets the world on fire in just three volatile minutes. Setting out the kind of tempest fans to the band’s fusion of alternative and heavy rock with electro and hardcore dub step are accustomed to, Airstrike equally thrusts its hellacious mitts into a richer and deeper vat of anthemic intensity and psyche twisting tenacity for one ferocious devilry.

Hailing from Portsmouth, and with inspirations from the likes of Prodigy, Senser, and Enter Shikari joining their own rebellious ideation, Seething Akira was soon inciting a potent and loyal local support when emerging in 2011. First EP, You Missed The Show that year showed the band was loaded in potential but it was from the Transmission EP a year later that they hit their stride in sound and broader persuasion. Live the band has only earned an acclaiming stature, the quintet taking in shows with bands such as Hacktivist, The Algorithm, Senser, Don Broco, Black Futures, Sonic Boom Six, Max Raptor, PWEI, and Heart Of A Coward over the years. Last year the Aggro Vito EP reinforced and pushed on the band’s sound and presence but for us Airstrike is the band’s most exciting and ridiculously involving offering yet.

Airstrike_RingMaster Review     Airstrike allows no escape for feet and emotions, let alone voice, stirring them up in its first seconds and then dragging them into its maelstrom of energy and attitude. It spews increasing slavery through voracious rhythms, psychotic enterprise, and a vocal assault which makes the term incitement seem lightweight. The thumping beats of Stu Mealcliffe alongside the pulsating synth stabs of Charlie Bowes cast the first lure, their union unrelenting until the subsequent vocal roars of Kit Conrad and Bowes add their united antagonistic charm. The metal spawn riffs of Harvey Sneezeface Ware aligned to the predatory prowl of Terry Brown’s bass instantly turns the already virulent temptation into a beast of a proposal, their entrance sparking greater intensity and aggression elsewhere too. The landscape of the song continues to evolve and unpredictably shift, sinister melodic endeavour from the guitars sparking a similar air to keys before the dynamics at the heart of the song explode once again in a torrential and commanding cascade of techno trespasses, heavy duty rhythmic and riff induced incitements, and vocal belligerence.

Airstrike is a brawl impossible to resist and it is easy to imagine Pendulum being offered as a hint to the song’s might. But more so it has the hues of bands like G.R.I.M, Axis Mundi, and a dirtier Pop Will Eat Itself to it. Those flavours do bring a certain familiarity to it at times but that is countered and overwhelmed by the sheer energy and unique enterprise of Seething Akira. This is a band which just gets bigger and better whilst persistently knocking on the fullest spotlights.

Airstrike is available from July 27th

Upcoming Seething Akira tour dates:

July 31st O2, Islington, UK *

Aug 1st Downstairs, Aberdeen *

Aug 2nd Audio, Glasgow, Scotland *

Aug 3rd Bannermans, Edinburgh, Scotland *

Aug 4th Warehouse 23, Wakefield *

Aug 5th The Asylum, Birmingham *

Aug 6th Academy 3 Manchester, UK *

Aug 7th Waterfront, Norwich, UK *

Aug 11, Knust, Hamburg, Germany *

Aug 12 West Park Eventhalle, Inglostadt, Germany *

Aug 13 Little Devil, Tillburg, Netherlands *

Aug 14 Hypothalamus, Rheine, Germany *

October 3rd, MAMMOTHFEST, Brighton

* Main support to Mordred on EU tour

RingMaster 27/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Unswabbed – Tales From The Nightmare Vol.1


Not breaking the banks of originality but brewing up a rousing storm of metal and rock, Tales From The Nightmare Vol.1, the new EP from Unswabbed, is an encounter which easily inspires a very healthy appetite for more. Unveiling a new twist in sound and its direction from the French veterans, the five track release binds thick strains of melodic and nu metal with a harder rock voracity resulting in a proposition which holds no real surprises but has ears and attention fired up and greedy for the band’s fascinating adventure.

Hailing from Lille, Unswabbed began in 1995 with a harder and more voracious rock and metal fusion than found on the new EP. A couple of early demos bred an attentive fan base for the band which their 2004 self-titled debut album pushed to a wider spotlight. Two years later its successor Instinct was uncaged with a third full-length in the shape of In Situ coming a year later, both to critical acclaim. Across the years the band has also earned a potent live reputation and found responses for shows alongside the likes of Cavalera Conspiracy, (Hed)P.E. , Caliban, Senser, Empyr, Pleymo, Mass Hysteria and many more. The album Intact was unveiled in 2011, and following a decision  in 2013 to explore new musical landscapes and inventions, the quartet set about creating Tales from the Nightmares Vol. 1. Themed by individual stories spawned by nightmarish incitements, and written and sung in English, a first for the band, the self-released EP is a stirring slab of metal fusion. Not dramatically overwhelming or as mentioned casting brand new explorations it easily ties up senses and emotions in a thoroughly captivating and thrilling temptation.

The release opens with the excellent Come to me, a dynamic and gripping encounter which takes little time to ignite thoughts and emotions. A sonic coaxing is soon rife with magnetic riffs and thumping rhythms as the track bursts into life, to which an additional almost punkish coaxing aligns itself. The start alone has body and imagination involved which is only accentuated by the sturdier beats and rugged riffs which accompany the excellent clean vocal suasion. Essences remind of bands like Mudvayne and Nonpoint as the song continues to flare up and cast tight melodic lures across its invigorating and emotionally charged body. It might not be offering something new but boy the song is exhilarating.a2298760115_2

The following Wake me up employs a chorus of children chants initially which return throughout the release though maybe to a less convincing success compared to its opening pitch. The song itself is soon commanding thoughts and attention, keys brewing up a haunting ambience as guitars and bass carve out another magnetic web of persuasion. It is like a mix of (Hed) PE and Korn fed through the metal contagion of Fear Factory, and just as riveting as its predecessor even if taking longer to convince. Its potent enticement makes way for the darker croon of Hold the line. Expelling angst and drama with every note and vocal expression, the song slowly expands across the senses with thick exhales of caustic energy blended with gentle melodic caresses. Lacking the spark of the first two songs, it still leaves an inescapable enslavement over ears and emotions, luring both back time and time again.

Dead end zone is a hard rock romp with an open vein of rock pop to its joyful swing and anthemic beats. It is impossibly catchy from its first touch, hooks and grooves as irresistible as the continually impressing vocals and unpredictable invention which ensures no song is anything less than an event. It also shows another side to the heart of the release and the evolving sound of the band, and though it is probably fair to say the song is less adventurous than the other tracks in its character, when it sounds and feels so addictively good there is little to complain about.

The EP is brought to a scintillating end by Pull the trigger again, a track like the first which leaves the strongest bait to stalk the release time and time again. Cloaked in emotional shadows from its first enticing chord, the song is the dark to the light of the last song. Riffs from guitar and bass weave a brooding canvas over which expression drenched vocals and sonic suggestiveness brings intimidating yet simultaneously welcoming hues. It is an emotionally pungent and rigorously captivating track which at times stalks the imagination as it scorches the senses with its poetic melodies and sonic colour. It is a might end to a similarly impressing release.

Unswabbed is not carving out truly original ideation with their new direction but they are unleashing a highly rewarding and persistently thrilling proposal which leaves any familiarity to others redundant.

Tales From The Nightmare Vol.1 is available now @


RingMaster 02/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Rhoda May – Sessions

Rhoda May Online Promo Shot

    The info sheet accompanying the promo for Sessions, the debut EP from UK progressive rock instrumentalists Rhoda May, waxes lyrical about band and it has to be said that after being washed over by its absorbing potency and imaginative aural narratives the release offers, you can only agree with rather than doubt the claims made. The six track release is a magnetic slice of sonic majesty, a sextet of songs which tease and ignite the imagination without ever over doing anything. The tracks tempt and hint rather than paint exact pictures and with an uncluttered sinewed beauty only seduce the imagination and passions to a full acceptance and hunger for EP and band.

    The Surrey trio of guitarist Will Pain, bassist Andy Page, and drummer Mark Sanger originally conceived the idea of Rhoda May mid-2012 but it was not until last year that the long-time friends officially formed the band after a local venue promoter who happened to overhear the band rehearsing asked them to support UK hip hop/metal pioneers Senser. From that debut show the threesome has gone on to support the likes of Heights, Freeze The Atlantic, and Three Trapped Tigers, all the time increasing their emerging presence. Their first release consists of the 347 and 589 live sessions recorded with producer Jason Wilson (We Are The Ocean, Reuben, Dinosaur Pile Up) and James Kirk respectively. All tracks were recorded as live takes for a series of live videos filmed & directed by Emma Dalesman and now get their appearance together as an EP release, six songs which cast a mouth-watering adventure of modern rock.

     All the tracks upon Sessions are simply numbered which allows the listener to interpret the songs without any prompting or Rhoda May - Cover Artworknudging which even a song title can do; the slices of absorbing creative invention the only persuasion  upon thoughts and emotions. As opener #3 strolls into view with the guitar of Pain jangling seductively around the ear as the gentle rhythmic incitement of Sanger coaxes equal attention, there is an instantaneous connection as a familiarity and mesmeric bait washes the senses. The bass of Page offers a no less potent lure, again with an initial reserve and provocative tone which sparks attention. There is a surf rock essence to the melodic guitar sculpting throughout which is an easy appetiser but it is merely one spice in the melodic rock enticement emerging tantalisingly. Overall the track is a flight through rugged yet radiant climes and textures, never so thick in sounds and structures to threaten or slow its fluidity and riveting adventure but using the simplicity that a mere three instruments can produce to transfix and almost belie the undoubted craft and intensively shaped enterprise.

    It is a masterful start soon equalled by the scorched sonic landscape of #4, a track which smoulders with heavy rock rapaciousness whilst conjuring a melodic luminance which sways and bewitches like a fire bred temptress. As with its predecessor the piece is unafraid to slow its muscular power to offer tender superbly crafted enticements or once comfortable licking and teasing the passions to rile things up and open the gates to another surge of sonically forging metallic endeavour.

     Both #7 and #5 continue the powerfully impressive entrance of release and band, the first an evocative melodically poetic piece of predacious rock which delivers a slight eighties goth rock breath to the guitar whilst the latter is a scuzz kissed fuzz rock persuasion to eagerly indulge in and imaginatively contemplate. As mentioned earlier there is at times a familiarity which coats elements and passages of tracks, this pair being no exception, but it only adds to the strength and colour of the tracks as they spark mind and passions with their delicious bait and rigorous creative charm.

      #8 takes the listener by the hand and leads them into a compelling soar through weather battered rocky terrain lit by melodic beauty and invention which again simply ignites the senses and imagination with sublime ease. Rhoda May perform musical alchemy at times across the EP and especially within this engrossing and mentally invigorating venture. Its triumph is almost shaded by the excellent closing track #9. From its mischievously nagging entrance of jagged riffs and alluring sixties bred guitar enchantment the track expands to build an emotionally textured soundscape, drums and bass crafting heavy dark infused skies beneath which emotive and provocative mastery urges thoughts to build their own adventure. It is a scintillating end to an outstanding debut.

     It is fair to say that Pain primarily grabs attention with his guitar skill and invention but do not assume that Page and Sanger are part players, the trio converging as Rhoda May to create something which needs and exploits every element to create an impressive stunning sound. With thoughts of bands such as Deftones, KingBathmat, Palms, and early Cure amongst others showing their prompts throughout but never to overwhelm something that is original and fascinating, Sessions gives evidence of Rhoda May’s PR claim that they could be “the next band to nationally break.”


RingMaster 06/01/2014

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Senser – To The Capsules


It is always hard not to have an extra buzz to the anticipation of a new Senser release and the unleashing of their fifth studio album To The Capsules is no exception. Following the Biting Rhymes EP, an interim covers release between albums, the new ten track tempest from UK’s crossover legends shows the band at its most eclectic yet. Experience and maturity has certainly not diluted their want and intent to stretch their boundaries and on the evidence of the new release Senser have openly taken their consistently adventurous confrontational enterprise and inventive provocation to new levels. The debate is still going on in thoughts as to whether the album is their finest moment to date but certainly with a compelling expanse of imagination within a sumptuous storm of metal, hip hop, and electronica to simplify it all alongside the as expected political and social lyrical confrontation from the sextet, To The Capsules is a bright blaze in a fiery musical year.

Fan -funded through a highly successful Pledgemusic campaign and released via Imprint Music, the self-produced album takes the strong base established on the band’s comeback record How To Do Battle of 2009, and expands it into an intensive, incendiary, and satisfaction filling encounter. With a live presence which has accelerated into one of most exciting and inspiring over the past couple of years, Senser stir things up to another tempestuous height with To The Capsules, a record returning the band to the fore of genre merging invention and antagonistic ingenuity.

Big bulging magnetic rhythms open up the release, the initial pulsating lure of Devoid an immediate seizure of ears and thoughts. Senser-To-The-Capsules-cover-hi-resSoon after the guitar of Nick Michaelson is sending scars of searing sonic temptation across the rhythmic slavery, the merger only accelerating the hunger already brewing from the album’s entrance. Taking a stand of classic metal seeded enterprise alongside the still compelling rhythms, vocalist Heitham Al-Sayed unleashes his distinctive and passionate narrative delivery. It is prime Senser at this point but with a growl and predation which is as fresh a bait as ever laid down by the band. The album features guest vocalist iMMa across its length, the excellent vocalist having toured with the band since founding member Kerstin Haigh stepped down last year, and even as support on the song through the chorus raises the temptation and sultriness wrapping the metal bred intensity. As the predatory bass stalking of James Barrett and the outstanding drum exploits of Johnny Morgan, as well as the desk twisting skills of Andrew Clinton (aka DJ Awe) conjure greater shadows and traps for the listener to be enthralled by, the track is an immense and memorable lure into To The Capsules.

The following Time Travel Scratch drips intrigue and simmering seduction from its opening sample and coaxing, the DJ craft of Clinton stalked by the bestial bass sound conjured by Barrett immersed in a psychedelic funk kissed weave of imaginative persuasion. The track at times reminds of nineties UK rap group Honky, its grooves and senses mesmerising rhythms a similar toxicity wrapped in a soul and jazz funk fusion. The invigorating dance makes way for another lofty peak for the release. Witch Village with more than a whispered element of the weight and might of debut album Stacked Up to it, courts groove metal vengefulness and classic rock melodic enterprise for a result which is an aggressive and fearsome blaze of aural exploration and lyrical incitement.

The brilliant Wounded Spectre continues the torrent of diversity already rampaging across the album, its hardcore/punk rabidity linked to an alternative metal invention. Riffs are a carnivorous instigator of the passions whilst the sonic noise rock like stabs from Michaelson fall like shards of aural manna around the vocal vociferousness provided by Al-Sayed and iMMa. It keeps the album at its highest plateau, and is soon backed by the scintillating Break The Order, the track two and a half minutes of thrash ‘n’ punk fury. Take a pinch of Motorhead, The Grumpynators, Fuckshovel, and maybe a little Five Finger Death Punch and you have another piece of Senser alchemy to bask within.

The sultry sirenesque beckoning of iMMa within Alpha Omega and its sweet Eastern bred toxicity only increases as the track unveils intensive sinews and spite and melodies as virulently tempting as any release this year, whilst its successor Liquidity is a beguiling fluid heat of rap vocals, scratching squeals, and a psychedelic wash with a flavour of Dizraeli and the Small Gods to it. Neither track triggers the intensity of passion as their predecessors but both leave appetite greedy and satisfaction full to continue the raging pleasure.

Echelon features Kerstin Haigh on vocals alongside Al-Sayed and is another which just fails to reach earlier heights but for unpredictable and exhausting adventure is on the frontline, the track a bruising and uncompromising scorching fire of metal and hard rock rapaciousness. In its distinct character Chemtrails which has UK hip hop artists Junior Disprol and Manage guesting on its offering, also has a hunger which toys with rabidity within its electronic swamp and brass irresistibility. It is a challenging swarm of aural fascination, a glorious investigation which adds another startling aspect to the album whilst setting up the closing seven minute epic, Let There Be War. Despite the track epitomising all the strengths and invention of Senser it is a little disappointing, lacking that essential spark though like the other songs which slip below the album’s fullest heights, it is more down to the quality surrounding them on the album than any major shortcomings within its skilled and provocative walls.

      Nevertheless To The Capsules is a thrilling and richly exciting release and Senser back as one of the most innovative and boundary worrying bands in British rock, metal, rap….well within any genre they wish to employ.


RingMaster 25/11/2013

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Hacktivist – EP+

© Tim Tronckoe

© Tim Tronckoe

If you missed out on their impressive self-titled debut EP released almost a year ago to the day, UK metallers Hacktivist give you another chance to grab and explore its triumphant thrills with its re-release via Wake To Reality. Containing an additional four bonus tracks to the five which ripped attention forcibly in their direction, the Buckinghamshire reassert the promise and scintillating invention forged in their long sold out first CD and deleted digital format. Re-mastering the original songs whilst recruiting their latest single and unreleased tracks into the EP’s line-up, Hacktivist reminds fans of their dynamic presence and future whilst surely recruiting a new legion of fans to their exhilarating blend of metal, djent, grime, and hip hop.

Formed in 2011 by guitarist/vocalist/producer Timfy James (ex- Heart of a Coward) and rapper J Hurley, Hacktivist took little time in gripping the intrigue and imagination of fans with the release of Cold Shoulders in the January of the following year via YouTube, its entrance gaining over 100,000 views in its first week. From there the band continued their striking emergence by igniting stages at home and in Europe with their exhausting performances, shows which has seen them alongside Enter Shikari and appearing on the Warped Tour Europe and Warped Tour UK. The first appearance of the EP took the band up another stride into acclaim and recognition in 2012 whilst new single Elevate earlier this year as well as a full UK tour supporting Enter Shikari ignited another wealth of attentive passion from media, radio, and fans alike. Appearances at the likes of Download, Reading /Leeds, T in the Park, Rock Am Ring, and Sonisphere France this year has equally pushed the stature of Hacktivist to new levels which the re-release of EP+ can only feed and accelerate.

The EP opens with the provocative call of New Age, its opening potent breath brewed into a thick and evocative atmosphere of H_sleeve_visual_2013sound and intent veined with stalking rhythms and the immediate irresistible lure of the vocal tempting of Hurley and Ben Marvin, James also lurking with and adding his tones across the release. A staggered rhythmic fury from drummer Rich Hawking proceeds to assassinate the air and provoke the senses as it fuels the absorbing verging on debilitating djent craft of James skirted by the predatory antagonism conjured by the bass of Josh Gurner. Barely two minutes in length the track sets up the EP and introduction to the band perfectly, the riveting assault sparking an immediate appetite soon wrapped in hunger as the song’s successor uncages its might.

     Unlike Us equally takes little time in persuading a total submission to its creative narrative, its initial restrained yet busy tempestuous mix of riffs and spicy grooves punctuated by a rhythmic web and the excellent throaty bass lines of Gurner. The track snarls and seduces in equal measure, the dark rabid elements of the track aligned to a sonic elegance and temptation which toys with thoughts and emotions. Merging radiant melodic ambience and lures with a rapacious aggressiveness, the track has the intensive growl of The Browning, the vocal infectiousness of Hadouken, and the belligerent confrontation of early Senser. It is a striking and wholly captivating adventure thrusting the release up another level of quality and persuasion.

Both Blades and Hacktivist continue the immense coaxing and presence of the release, both tracks magnetic and imaginative. The first retains the crippling prowling gait of its predecessor but layers a glorious sweeping clean vocal across its sinewy shoulders before providing the bands distinctive and pleasing hip hop inspired vocal confrontation. The song ebbs and flows in its challenging ingenuity, always ensuring unpredictability and enthralling adventure is leading its predation and skilled invention firing up the listeners greed for more. Its successor twists and turns from its first seconds, lurching powerfully through the ears with the same almost violent enterprise sculpted by guitars, bass, and drums. Rigorously anthemic in a deceptive way and potently tempting through its sonic tantalising and melodic richness the song washes the senses in a breath-taking passage of ingenuity and imaginative exploration, and taking this song as an example it is easy to offer bands as references for certain moments and twists delivered but there is no-one which creates and presents sounds close to those of Hacktivist.

    Cold Shoulders brings another slice of diversity to the EP, its atmospheric dawning through colour rich keys an ever presence evocative coaxing whether alone or whilst underlying the severe and animalistic intensity coating the crippling rhythms and bestial riffing. There is also an element of rapcore to the song, an added spice bringing a Hollywood Undead essence to certainly the vocals, and though the song is arguably the weakest on the EP you can easily see why it lured in a fever soaked fanbase for Hacktivist. The following Elevate makes a play for the best track on the release whilst showing the evolving exploration and strength of the band’s songwriting. Its muscular frame is a cage for excellent expressive invention which itself spawns transfixing melodic and sonic bait around the ever impressive vocals and the stringent crescendos of aggressive combat.  Showing the genre pushing and crossing depths of the songwriting there is also a punk/hardcore breath within the creative maelstrom which pricks thoughts of band like Lazy Habits and the Janice Graham Band and adds extra temptation.

The release is completed by the more than Shikari Sound System Remix of Elevate, though the original easy steals its glory, the Ndread Mud Remix of Unlike Us, and a great live version of Blades, the track easily showing why the band has a formidable live reputation and why all should go see them given the chance.

The re-release of EP+ easily confirms that Hacktivist is one of Europe’s most exciting and dramatically promising metal bands, a force which brings a burning spark of originality and excitement to an array of styles. The band has given all a second chance to experience the beginning of their certain ascent, an opportunity not to be missed this time.


RingMaster 13/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Three Way Plane: Fire EP

by Ntalakas Gkantemoglou

photo Ntalakas Gkantemoglou

Hailing from the cities of Athens and Thessaloniki in Greece, Three Way Plane is a band which leaves the listener slightly mystified and arguably a little confused such their diversely composed sound, but all afire with passion for the deliciously eclectic and rampant sounds the band creates. The Fire is the new EP form the band, a quartet of songs which excites and incites the heart into a full musical rebellion and wantonness.

Three Way Plane formed in the last weeks of 2003 and from their first show in the following February have shared stages with the likes of Savage Republic, Senser, and Gallon Drunk to name a few. In 2006 the band self-released their debut EP Bright Days to good responses with the song My Best Friend being featured on the second Spinalonga Records compilation, In The Junkyard Vol 2. The same label released the first album from the band in 2010, Give us something new to shout, intensifying the attention surrounding the band and their dramatic sounds. Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Stratos, bassist John, and Dio and Geo both on drums, the band have now unleashed a deviously addictive slab of an EP in Fire which is poised to thrust the band into a further elevation of awareness and acclaim.

Old School Chum opens with shards of brass flames from guest musicians Kostas (trombone) and Nikos (trumpet), theirs a coverprovocative blaze of entrapment which captures the imagination just as the thumping drum beats resonate through ear and bone. Within a breath of the time of the rhythms making their stance, fiery guitar riffs rampage and strong inviting vocals add their lures. From an initial funk/latin beckoning the track brews up into a storm of punk infused noise rock with numerous teases from varied sources to further whet the appetite. Richly infectious with the perfect depth of abrasion and melodic seduction as well as the continuing to tempt brass hooks the song makes the strongest persuasion with craft and devilment.

The following Freeze Me at first lays down a welcome of enticing guitar strokes which are instantly joined by exalting predatory bass growls which instinctively has one licking their lips in satisfaction. With a blend of Wire/Artery post punk to its mischievous swagger of attitude and noise bewitchment the track leads the listener by the ear into a maelstrom of energetic and vaguely rabid enterprise as well as an even deeper ardour.

The EP is in full flow now in sound with an intensive addictive grip on the senses and heart, if innovative and adventurous prepared to experiment noise raise the temperature Three Way Plane is aural manna which finds another tasty recipe to offer with Fall In Love. Featuring the voice of Stefania, who opens the song with her fine vocal caresses alongside a lone guitar, the track then shifts into a dusty atmosphere of bruising rhythms and stoner grooved riffs whilst the two vocalists duel words. From its gentle opening the storm of sound is the most aggressive and riled encounter on the EP though it, as is constantly he want of the imagination of the band, transfers its ideas into varied expanses of asides and inventive sounds throughout its thrilling course.

The closing Queen Misery completes the very impressive release with another forceful and inventive feast of flavoursome energetic imagination and passion igniting sounds. Like the other trio of songs, the track offers so many hooks and barbs which entrench deep and linger long after the song departs that it is almost impossible to remember whole songs but their intrusive and intoxicating elements take a deep and constantly pervading hold on thoughts and heart.

The Fire EP is one of those releases which does everything right at the right time and for the right reasons, the rewards all reaped by the listener. As a free download from: this is a must have release.


RingMaster 12/03/2013

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Shrikes: The Ruiner Of All Things Good EP

Shrikes is a band which quite simply defies labelling or any straightforward comparisons, their sound and creativity from a world and mindset of its very own. Their exciting debut release The Ruiner Of All Things Good EP is borne of this uncharted land, an unrelenting maelstrom of ideas, sounds, and distinctly different flavours which in most hands just would have no right or ease being alongside each other. Shrikes though is a band with invention and imagination found in so few and their EP one of the most exhilarating and inspiring releases heard in a long time.

With the demise earlier in the year of the outstanding Great Imitation there was a heaviness left in many hearts. The return of frontman James Scott-Howes though has not only filled the gap with something completely new and unexpected but with something which is even more impressive. The additional great thing about the undisputedly excellent release is it offers an equal and immense promise of even more orgasmic musical moments ahead.

Each track on The Ruiner Of All Things Good fuses an electronic/hip hop core into unpredictable and perpetually evolving aural breaths and directions brought by their own mouth watering uniqueness to ensure nothing merely matches expectations instead leaving those limitations to others to exploit. At times the sounds and ideas are as lethal and destructive as the inspiration for the band name whilst in others they enflame with a grace and disrupting discordance to leave safety nets redundant. For those who need a sure footing in their music Shrikes may be a challenge too far but life is nothing without adventure and intrigue and this release has it all in abundance.

The biggest highlight in a release of nothing but heights to give vertigo sufferers nightmares comes in the mighty form of Applauding With A Handful Of Snapped Fingers. From a glittering caress surrounding the forceful tones and aggression of Scott-Howes the track spreads its arms with a warm discordance coated sound and vocals. Scott-Howes is as unique as the music, his tones challenging notes wonderfully finding and stretching their limits to bring weaves of textures and energy around his spoken and more regular hip hop delivery. The song itself as on the release as a whole, envelopes the senses through shadowed atmospheres and ambiences, its course choosing sinister and insecure avenues to flourish within which most other bands do not see let alone venture. As the track surges with the added weight of punk attitude and metallic muscle to the sonic experiment the sense and awareness of something truly new emerging grows and strengthens.

The dark and disturbed Mare Aux Sange sets senses and synapses on full alert at the beginning of the EP, its disorientating ambience and corruptive intent intrusively provocative and suggestive whilst Third Eye Pinioned teases and envelopes the ear with an initial slightly industrial macabre before taking a breath to step in a acoustic melodic presence which has a distinct inviting hook. The song then explores and ripples with multi flavoured majesty again combining diversity and expressive ingenuity. As mentioned it is hard to truly represent with comparisons the sound the band create but imagine a brew of hip hop, eighties melodic prowess as of The Jam with slithers of Senser, World Domination Enterprises, and Great Imitation and you get a slight whisper of what Shrikes conjure.

Completed by the brief and arguably least successful track Milk With Knives, well in comparison to the other songs, and the tantalising I SAMSA, the EP is pure excellence and quite possibly the start of something special for UK music. The latter of the two tracks is one where a more direct comparison or influence can be offered up with a sound which reminds of Pop Will Eat Itself whilst with all the others songs combines to make the EP something all should pay attention to.

As much as Great Imitation will be missed by many Shrikes will and possibly already does transcend their promise with The Ruiner Of All Things Good. It is a release so remarkable that surely only the shallow and mundane will fail to response to its stunning and explosive glory. Lyrically and musically it leaves one open mouthed and wanting more and more and with its release as a free download from makes a play for most original and striking EP of the year so far.

RingMaster 24/07/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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