Oh Captive – Two Mirrors

Oh Captive Online Promo shot

It is hard to supress a roar of frustration and disappointment when after enjoying a new and thrilling encounter from a band with all the tools and sounds to be a major presence in British alternative rock, they announce ‘on the eve’ of its unveiling they are to be no more. That is what has happened with Bristol quartet Oh Captive. Just a couple or so weeks before new EP Two Mirrors is released to light up ears and appetites, the band announced it had called it a day, though it might emerge to be more an internal evolution resulting in a name change and new direction rather than a full departure. Time will tell but whatever the outcome, they leave behind two impressive releases and a collection of vibrant and inventive songs, their latest the most captivating yet.

Formed in 2012, Oh Captive swiftly lit their local music scene and subsequently set about the whole UK scene with their energetic live presence, playing with the likes of Sonic Boom Six, UK Subs, Straight Lines, Max Raptor, Sharks, Blitz Kids, I Divide, Fighting With Wire, and Scholars along the way. Their sound has drawn comparisons to the likes of Biffy Clyro and Twin Atlantic, open and potent spices in the band’s debut EP Advance Creature, which was released in the March of 2013. It was a stirring and dynamic offering rippling with a potential which has been realised with sizeable success within Two Mirrors. The past year has seen Oh Captive supporting the likes of Marmozets and Arcane Roots, and make highly successful appearances at festivals such as Leopalooza and New Age, whilst media attention has grown as potently too. Now it may be over, but if so the band has gone out with a bang and ensured attention for their next exploits will be eagerly attentive.

Oh Captive - Cover Artwork   Two Mirrors opens with Recover, an instant ear grabbing proposition as vocalist Tim Kelly and a tangy rub of guitar combine a minimalistic but highly tempting bait to bring the song into view. It is not long before the heavy throated bassline of Tom Hitchins and the punchy beats of drummer Chris Hill leap in, accompanied by sonic flames cast by the guitars of Curtis King and Kelly. Immediately there is a drama to song and sound, light and dark textures colluding in an imposing but inviting web. Settling down a little for the continuation of the narrative from Kelly, the song increases its lure as it builds to energetic crescendos and an anthemic chorus. There are no major surprises in the melody soaked track but there is a bold invention to match its gait, which leaves expectations and predictability absent protagonists in the outstanding encounter.

The impressive start is backed with similar strength by Motion / No Motion. The second song is a rhythmically raucous stomp from its first breath with Hitchins offering a magnetic lure of a bassline. It is a dark coaxing surrounded by the concussive stick ability of Hill, a thick drawing of attention never wavering even as they are immersed in the sonic and melodic blaze of the guitars and the ever impressing tones of Kelly. There is something missing compared to its predecessor though, a small element just stopping it drawing the lustier satisfaction bred by Recover, but nevertheless the song has feet and imagination leaping in tandem with its resourceful enterprise.

Live Fast Don’t Last explores more of a croon for its creative shape and emotive intensity next. It has a slower flow and a more immersive canvas than the last songs with melodic tenacity and evocative expression from the vocals providing a deeper reflective colour and emotion to the encounter. It smoulders and tempts pleasingly as it shows another side and depth to the band’s songwriting and its creative realisation, though again cannot quite emulate the success of the first track and indeed its successor.

The EP’s title track brings it all to a lively and impressive close. Two Mirrors bounds along with another invitingly dark bassline aligned to eagerly swung beats, whilst their union is drenched in an anthemic energy and charm which the band seems to conjure at ease. Veined by richly enticing and tenacious guitar craft, the song makes a pungent end to a fine and enthralling release. If this is to be the end of Oh Captive, song and EP has seen them go out on a high and will leave fans saddened and newcomers kicking themselves for not discovering their promise and quality before.

The Two Mirrors EP is available from March 23rd through all digital outlets.

https://www.facebook.com/ohcaptive

RingMaster 23/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Norm And The Nightmarez – Psychobilly Infection

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     “From within the thighs of hell’s most wanton temptress, a tempest of psychobilly grooves and rockabilly hooks will converge upon mankind to turn its existence into one incessant stomp of devilish predation and virulent demonic revelry.”

Obviously that is not one of the more well-known pestilences deemed suitable to be included in religious teachings but if it was, it would go under the name of Norm & The Nightmarez and debut album Psychobilly Infection. Thirteen tracks of wickedly contagious and warped rock ‘n’ roll cultured with rockabilly seeded guitar and psychotic imagination, the release is a storming slab of rapacious psychobilly which sets a new provocative and sinisterly sculpted template for emerging genre bands.

Hailing from Birmingham, Norm And The Nightmarez is the creation of vocalist/guitarist Norm Elliot. From first band The Phantom Zone in the eighties, the musician has played in a few bands, last year most notably Mickey & The Mutants where he linked up with ex-Meteors/ex-Guana Batz bassist Mick White and Sharks drummer Paul ‘Hodge’ Leigh. The trio released the outstanding album Touch The Madness, a release it was hard to see anything bettering in UK psychobilly for a long-time to come but then we did not foresee Norm & The Nightmarez preying on the passions. Completed by drummer Frank Creamer (ex- Colbert Hamilton & the Hellrazors) and double bassist Mark Bending (ex-Sgt Bilko’s Krazy Combo) for the Western Star released album, the band embraces the decades of rockabilly infusing their ripest essences into the insatiable jaws of old school bred psychobilly irreverence and invention. It is a varied and riveting incitement which steals the will of everything from feet through to emotions, taking all on a skilful and hungry romp of mischievous enterprise.

Produced by Alan Wilson, the album is straight away gnawing on the senses with opener Stompin in My Grave, its initial earth encrusted riffs immediate potent bait to which the wrist flicking rhythms of Creamer and the dark hearted slaps of Bending add even juicier lures. Unfurling around a repetitive hook led by Elliot’s guitar, his potent vocals colour the imagination with their lyrical enticement. A flame of melodic scorching also adds a rich hue before the song takes a breather, allowing the listener’s body one too before it revs up its hypnotic suasion all over again.

The addictive start is swiftly matched by The Mischief Maker, a dark hearted slice of intimidation with robust basslines and sultry grooves which enslave attentions whilst beats slowly bruise the senses. Whether unleashing a keen gait normandthenightmarezpsychobillyinfectioncdor stalking ears, the track is an incendiary protagonist to give a blissful appetite further hungry urges which are rapidly fed by the acidic twang of The Lights Went Out. There is a scorched country-esque lilt to the invigorating prowl, the guitar of Elliot entwining ears with citric melodies and pungent hooks whilst vocally he snarls with a grizzled tone which sparks perfectly off of the heated climate of the song. The track has whispers of Tiger Army and The Quakes to its rich imposing breath but as with all songs no matter the hints it stands alone as something distinct to album and Norm And The Nightmarez.

The title track, though living up to its title, is rockabilly spawned even with its slight punkish nature. The bass and guitars sculpt a weave of riff and lures which play with body and soul like a sly puppeteer, twisting and turning imagination and passions inside out for a fevered submission. Its contagion lingers far beyond its stay though both Nightmare and Ton Up ensure in their company it is a distant memory at least. The first of the two right away triggers thoughts of The Reverend Horton Heat and Matchbox with flavourings of Johnny Burnette and Hasil Adkins also spicing the fiery encounter. Rhythmically and sonically the song entrances before the adrenaline rampage of its successor rumbles across the senses. Beats descend on ears with an unrelenting coaxing whilst the bass call of Bending brings delicious dark textures to the irresistible road trip. Elliot as ever commands the scenery with his vocals and guitar exploits whilst the trio unite for another ridiculously compelling and magnetic parade of roguish rockabilly incitement.

The flirtatious Sex Kitten teases senses with a salacious sexuality next, its smouldering grooves and sensual melodic curves as infectious as they are seductive. There is no denying a certain Stray Cats swagger to the song but also a danger to its stroll which could be compared to something with the edge of Guana Batz and addictiveness of Gene Vincent. It is an inescapable persuasion though one soon left in the shadow of the wonderful instrumental Devil Girl From Mars. There is something poetic to an intensively crafted piece of psychobilly music with its primal predation and sonic toxicity, and certainly it comes with no finer shape and beauty than here. Imagine a blend of The Tornadoes and The Frantic Flintstones and you get a whiff of its virulent might.

Both Pardon Me and The Past is a Place that I Just Can’t Go have energies and passions in a raw riot of pleasure, the first with its caustic sonic grazing and thumping rhythmic enticement whilst the following track stretches a menacing bait over ears again with jagged riffs, pulsating throaty slaps, and ear crowding beats. As impressive as its predecessor was, the second of the pair is another merciless encroaching on freedom with its rhythmic slavery, melodic venom, and vocal rapacity. It is impossible to choose a track which stands out over the rest on the album but this is always a forceful contender.

The fun filled Elvis Was a Zombie keeps things stomping along nicely and though it lacks the spark of other tracks for personal tastes it is impossible to dismiss because of that mischief and its rhythmic badgering. Its paler presence is soon swamped by the brilliant closing of the album. Massacre at Devils Plain with its Native American croon and howls over a gritty stride of sonic stabs and heavy footed rhythms, sets the imagination alight next whilst final song The Man with the X-Ray Eyes, leaves Psychobilly Infection on arguably its highest pinnacle. Bursting from a sample from the film of the same name, the track is a psychobilly irritant at its most potent and brilliant. It is a predator of a track, rhythms climbing all over the senses whilst guitar and vocals stir up the imagination with rich imposing hues. It is fair to say the song has elements of The Meteors all over it; The Hills Have Eyes springing to mind, but again Norm And The Nightmarez defuse any comparisons with their distinct invention and adventure.

From start to finish there is no escaping the might and sheer glory of Psychobilly Infection and the emergence of a brand new creative devil in our midst, though whether the UK, come to that the world is ready for Norm And The Nightmarez and their hellacious tempting only time will tell.

Psychobilly Infection is available now via Western Star Recordings @ http://www.western-star.co.uk/western-star-releases—cds_36/psychobilly-infection—norm-and-the-nightmarez_146.aspx

https://www.facebook.com/Normandthenightmarez

10/10

RingMaster 29/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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OH CAPTIVE DROP THEIR NEW VIDEO!‏

Oh Captive Online Promo Shot

OH CAPTIVE RELEASE BRAND NEW STAND ALONE SINGLE !

 

Rising Bristol post-punk quartet ‘Oh Captive’ have nationally unleashed their debut EP ‘Advance Creature’ and they now charge forward with their brand new stand alone video single ‘Tricking Us’  which you can view now @

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-MwVnpTwbY

 Hailing from the South West, Oh Captive produce innovative music that rails against the din of predictability and still rings true with compelling clarity. Sparking glowing comparisons to the likes of Coheed & Cambria and Twin Atlantic, Oh Captive have crafted a sound of their own.

Originally formed less than two years ago, Oh Captive cut their teeth with countless hours in grimy rehearsal rooms before BBC Devon Introducing beckoned in early 2013. By the year’s end, Oh Captive had shared stages across the UK with Sonic Boom Six, Straight Lines, Max Raptor, Sharks, Blitz Kidz, I Divide and Scholars. The foursome fully honed their songs in the live arena in anticipation for completing a debut EP that would prove to startle and sparkle in equal measure.

 

The post-punk outfit have just released their debut EP ‘Advanced Creature’, which has already picked up widespread national praise. Big Cheese Magazine have featured the band in their April 2014 issue with an exclusive interview and Rocksound have recently reviewed the record and have placed a track on their covermount CD. The EP has already notched up key online and radio support, notably from XFM.

Now with their brand new stand alone single in the shape of ‘Tricking Us’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-MwVnpTwbY ), which is out now , the foursome are set to hit new heights, and with UK shows in the pipeline throughout the year, just watch them soar.

www.facebook.com/ohcaptive

 

Oh Captive – Advance Creature EP

Oh Captive Online Promo Shot

Disregarding the deceptive label of post punk seemingly placed upon them, certainly on the accompanying promo sheet, what UK’s Oh Captive actually cast is a magnetic brew of pop punk and alternative rock around a rigorous spine of muscular melodic rock. Presented on their debut EP Advance Creature, the band’s sound it’s an exciting blend of passion and sonic textures drenched in striking craft and undeniable potential. It is a release which sparks fires in the emotions though not always retaining the same intensity, but from start to finish provides a fuse to the imagination and ignites a keen appetite for Oh Captive now and in the future.

The Bristol quartet emerged in 2012 and took little time is awakening an eager following locally before last year striking out around the country with bands such as Sonic Boom Six, UK Subs, Straight Lines, Max Raptor, Sharks, Blitz Kids, I Divide, Fighting With Wire, and Scholars. Comparisons to the likes of Coheed & Cambria and Twin Atlantic have fallen upon the band over time, comparisons relatively easy to understand listening to their four track debut.

The release opens with Beds Of Many Ghosts and immediately has ears entangled with enticing melodies, crisp rhythms, and a coaxing Oh Captive Cover Artworkhook which lays down the first seductive bait. Settling into its confident stride, the track relaxes around the vocals of guitarist Tim Kelly but all the time is creating a virulence of hooks courted by an emerging groove. It is a striking narrative coloured further by thirsty shadows provided by bassist Tom Hitchins and the guitars of Kelly and Curtis King which weave a provocative and contagious web of enterprise. The song is an irresistible encounter, one which has a familiar air to it in many ways but steps beyond that security with bold imagination and a thoughtful swinging design from the impressive rhythms of drummer Chris Hill.

The excellent start is swiftly supported and matched by Terrible Lives. The track again shows no restraint in unleashing contagious hooks and evocative melodies around a persistent rhythmic beckoning which frames the fine tones of Kelly ably supported by those of King. The song teases with guitar and rhythms alone at times; the bass held in reserve but once involved in the suasion opens up the depths and darker textures of songs and songwriting. Like the first track, it creates a tapestry of smart twists and turns employing a skilful persistently changing gait evolving the face of the song whilst brewing an almost toxic groove to wrap the track and subsequently steal the show in a quite scintillating climax. Both songs are strongly memorable but the second really gets under the skin with that deviously addictive groove most of all.

The remaining two songs do not reach the stature of their predecessors though both only cement an impressive introduction to the band. The title track steps up next, its tender melodic start courted by a sonic mist before it expands into a rich and evocative blaze of passionate sounds and lyrical reflections. Perfectly balanced and vibrantly poised, the track courts the senses with a masterfully woven venture of dark rhythms and radiant melodies aligned to similarly captivating vocals, and though it does not entrench itself in the memory as those before, its presence only enhances the promise of the band.

The closing Retreat Being reasserts punchy rhythms and almost rapacious sinews to the skeleton of another track which is just at ease crooning at and seducing ears as it is forging a sturdier imposing persuasion. The bass of Hitchins is especially vocal and melancholic in the track to lead thoughts deep into an emotional intensity but as excellent as the song is again it lacks the spark to impact beyond its departure.

Overall Advance Creature is an EP which potently grips thoughts and emotions throughout. It is a striking entrance by Oh Captives, one soaked in a promise which suggests the band is going to have a rosy future whilst providing plenty of exciting investigations ahead.

The self-released Advanced Creature EP is available digitally from April 28th

www.facebook.com/ohcaptive

8/10

RingMaster 27/04/12014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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OH CAPTIVE to release ‘Advanced Creature’, out 28th April‏

Oh Captive Online Promo Shot

 
Oh Captive’s STUNNING DEBUT EP RELEASED!

 

 

 

Rising Bristol post-punk quartet ‘Oh Captive’ nationally unleash their debut EP ‘Advanced Creature’ through all digital outlets on Monday 28th April.

 

 

Hailing from the South West, Oh Captive produce innovative music that rails against the din of predictability and still rings true with compelling clarity. Sparking glowing comparisons to the likes of Coheed & Cambria and Twin Atlantic, Oh Captive have crafted a sound of their own, and the evidence can be heard on their brand new hotly-tipped EP entitled ‘Advance Creature’.

 

 

Originally formed less than two years ago, Oh Captive cut their teeth with countless hours in grimy rehearsal rooms before BBC Devon Introducing beckoned in early 2013. By the year’s end, Oh Captive had shared stages across the UK with Sonic Boom Six, Straight Lines, Max Raptor, Sharks, Blitz Kidz, I Divide and Scholars. The foursome fully honed their songs in the live arena in anticipation for completing a debut EP that would prove to startle and sparkle in equal measure.

 

 

Advance Creature peddles a firecracker brand of intensely melodic post-punk, where concise hooks pierce the air with disarming force. There’s honesty and maturity to Oh Captive; their sound is raw but emotionally redolent, ferocious but refined. The oft-kilter phrasing of the songs has enough to engage even the most discerning ears. Although the band never once crosses the border into over-indulgence, they still manage to create an effective ruse for a pop sensibility that’s ripe for FM playlists. And in Tim Kelly, Oh Captive have a frontman whose infectious, yet understated vocal delivery throws the spotlight on compelling vocal melodies. Behind that await rousing choruses, the dovetailing guitar melodies of Curtis King and an airtight rhythm section compromised of Tom Hitchins and Chris Hill. The post-punk outfit have a record that is sure to raise them to new heights, and with UK shows in the pipeline throughout the year, just watch them soar.

 

 

Oh Captive Cover Artwork

 

 

 

Mickey & The Mutants: Touch The Madness

picture by Cathy Bloxham

picture by Cathy Bloxham

If anything from psychobilly to fifties rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly to rhythms & blues gets your feet and heart eagerly moving than we just might have the album of the year for you in the mighty shape of Touch The Madness, the debut release of UK rockers Mickey & The Mutants. Multi-flavoured and insatiably contagious, the album is a storming slab of mutated rock ‘n’ roll brought with all the craft and devilish guile you would expect from the experience and invention of its creators.

Mickey & The Mutants is made up of double bassist/vocalist Mick White (ex-Guana Batz and ex-Meteors from the Mutant Rock/Wrecking Crew and arguably best era of the band), guitarist/vocalist Norm Elliott, and Sharks drummer Paul ‘Hodge’ Leigh. It is a trio which on past history we admit we here had greedy expectations of but with Touch The Madness they surpassed everything wished for with a wonderful devilment borne from honest uncomplicated rock music. Formed in the summer of last year the band, on the evidence of their debut, only has the single intent and that is to provide an unforgettable, high quality, bruising party for the senses and passions, something they succeed in doing within the first three songs alone and reinforce time and time again across the twelve track release.

The title track opens up the excursion through the ‘bedlamic’ enterprise’ and imagination of the band, a lone guitar and distant WSRC072_300psychotic wails displaced by a barrage of rumbling beats from Hodge and sabre like riffs from Elliott. Amongst their instant persuasion the nimble fingers of White bring throaty bass slaps into the mix and slightly crazed vocals which within the devil bred brew being cast recalls The Orson Family in touch. The song is pure psychobilly and an evocation of primal urgency to join its hungry commanding mood. The track also gives portent of the album ahead, its body a twisting and varied temptation that has limbs and voice offering their well in our case, feeble blasphemous help.

The following Elvirista (Queen Of The Dead) teases with again a single coaxing of guitar before once more the rhythmic potency of the thumping drums and belligerent bass provoke and fill the song with such depth and menace you feel you are about to succumb to aural voodoo. The vocals of this time Elliott, the vocalist within songs being who penned them, have a dark demonic shadow to their narrative which like and with White before, brings great character to each slice of devilry and the release as a whole. The track smoulders with wanton seduction and enchanting intimidation which again receives no resistance as it takes passions into realms of rapture.

These Ol’ Bones explores a country rock seeded field of compulsion which sounds like a mix of Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers and The Screaming Blue Messiahs, whilst veining itself with some tantalising blues guitar licks and flames which ignites further the immense pleasure the impossibly addictive song has already sparked. It completes one of the strongest starts to any album in a long time, but it does not sit back on its laurels or take a rest as the excellent Jacob And The Well Of Love and its successor Something Bad’s Comin’ Outa The Ground soon show. The first also walks with a rhythm & blues swagger and lilt to its mesmeric stroll whilst the second of the pair is a slow canter around another blues narrative that leaves the lips of satisfaction licking feverishly.

Adrenaline soon opens its boosters again as the old school stroll of Blonde Haired Assassin takes the ears in its Gene Vincent/Blue Cats like palm of sound. Not for the first time on the album the guitar of Elliott is a delicious blaze across the sky of the song whilst White leaps over the senses with his upright skills and Hodge simply hypnotises from start to finish with instinctive rhythmic bait.

If the album stopped here it would be fair to say acclaim would still only ooze from these words but thankfully it is only midway into its rewards and soon raises the temperature further with firstly the contagious punk driven Rock n Roll Messed Up My Mind and even more so with Phantom Of The Opera. The second of the two is to all extent and purposes a cover of the Meteor gem on their Wreckin Crew album of 1983, though as it was written by White anyway maybe cover is the wrong word,  nevertheless he has just reowned it with the stunning version on Touch The Madness which we would suggest surpasses the previous version, it is that good and still one of the most riveting psychobilly songs of all time.

Burn You Sinners Burn just stomps over the already seduced heart with another dark toned piece of rockabilly majesty, White and Hodge creating a menacing wrap of rhythmic menace psychotically ridden by the vocals of Elliot and his sweet toned guitar caresses. It is pure aural manna which is sidled up to in quality by the sultry and dangerous mystique of Kiss Of The Spider Woman. Winds of surf rock wash over mariachi whispers to draw out a sweltering ambience which soaks every pore of the body and senses.

The album ends on the twin psychobilly enticement of Zombie where every aspect of band and sound stalks the passions with all the relentlessness of the risen dead, the song feeding off on the eagerly given submission to its virulently infectious jaws, and the insatiable Mind Control, the only time the band really reminded of The Meteors. It has to be said expectations to like Touch The Madness were strong but to the depth that we did was wholly unexpected and greedily taken. Mickey & The Mutants has opened its account with a killer album, one which is not quite up there with the major genre classic but easily one of the very best rock ‘n’ roll albums heard in a long time.

https://www.facebook.com/MickeyAndTheMutants

10/10

RingMaster 23/07/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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