Roars within shadows

Courtesy of the similarly talented Shauna McLarnon (Ummagma/Shameless PR), we have a collection of tracks which not only deserve attention, they simply demand it.

NYC-based, The 1865 has already left an ear gripping mark on 2019 with the release of their debut album, Don’t Tread On We!, and are ensuring it is leaving with a just as potent  slice of their inimitable sound through new single, John Brown’s Gat.

Formed in 2017, The 1865 embrace influences from the likes of Bad Brains, Jimi Hendrix, Muddy Waters, and Minor Threat to their sound and listening to the new single it is easy to imagine that X-Ray Spex are another to inspire their creative instincts. Taken from their first full-length, the track was written in honour of John Brown, “a white man who believed that African Americans should not be enslaved and eventually he lost his life on behalf of his Nubian brothers and sisters.”

Instantly the guitar of band founder Sacha Jenkins (The White Mandingos, The Wilding Incident) teases ears, its sonic nagging swiftly joined by the bold rhythms of drummer Chuck Treece. It is a compelling start only more irresistible once the tones of vocalist Carolyn “Honeychild” Coleman (Apollo Heights / The Veldt, Badawi) stirs up even greater enterprise and animation in the song. Constantly twisting and turning in unpredictability and contagious imagination, the song swept us up in its creative theatre and punk rock rapacity; emerging  as one of the best singles to pleasure our ears this year.

Just as captivating in its own unique way is the debut single from dark electronic collective Dispel. Rising in a senses embracing fusion of darkwave, synthpop, and gothic rock, Modal Consequence is an atmospherically caliginous hug of sound and intimation providing an enthralling teaser to the band’s first album due early next year.

Dispel is the creation of Scott Dispel, a founding member of hardcore band Face Value and also currently the drummer for TEXTBEAK. Within the band, he is joined by vocalist Ravensea and Sean Gallows, the trio reaping inspirations from artists such as Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, Clan of Xymox, Depeche Mode, VNV Nation, Delerium, The Misfits and The Cramps for a sound within the single which openly aligns familiar hues to bold new imagination.

Taken from their debut full-length, Lore, and “the moment where the Hero/Heroin takes that first step into that dangerous realm of the unknown” in their journey, Modal Consequence quickly envelops the listener in its dark hues, suggestive textures which prove as instinctively catchy as they are hauntingly sunless. Within that rich allure, the siren-esque tones of Ravensea captivate as she shares the drama and unknown horizons of the song’s protagonist.

With an Evanescence meets Nightwish breath to its electronic adventure, Modal Consequence quickly and firmly had us absorbed and keenly anticipating the arrival of Lore.

Another artist with a new album due early 2020 is Atlanta songstress K Michelle DuBois and she presents a magnetic appetiser in the shape of new single Feast or Famine. She admits she is not sure yet if the latest track will be part of the album’s collection of offerings yet such its inescapable captivation and another example of its creator’s instinct for exploring new and eclectic adventures, the song only provides a thick lure for its larger successor.

With guitarist Dan Dixon and drummer Chandler Rentz alongside on the song, DuBois weaves a sound enfolding eighties pop and electro inspirations in indie rock and darker textured flavours. There is a Stevie Nicks hue to her presence and the seduction of the music itself and equally echoes of the Blondie and Divinyls influence she welcomes though here too something individual arises from a rich blend and, within Feast or Famine, effortlessly enthrals.

The track harmonically shimmers into view, quickly catching its infectious stride as synth and rhythms unite in a catchy stroll over which DuBois’ vocals easily captivate. The electro pop heart within the rock bred body of the song pulsates, its charm a beacon for the bolder rock ‘n’ roll traits of the track to latch on to like a moth and from start to finish, it all together provides one riveting contagion.

Whether the track makes the final line-up of that upcoming album we will find out soon but it only sparks keen anticipation of that impending release as too does its predecessor, Waves Break, it similarly a virulent like of electro pop ‘n’ roll, with both available at https://kmichelledubois.bandcamp.com/track/feast-or-famine

Finally we eagerly suggest checking out the new EP from US shoegazers, The Veldt. The arresting Thanks to the Moth and Areanna Rose bears another collection of tracks soaked in the band’s distinct and soulful sound and infectiously takes ears and imagination on atmospheric adventures.

Consisting of identical twins Daniel (vocals, guitar) and Danny Chavis (guitar), Hayato Nakao (bass), Marvin Levi (drums) and Alex Cox (guitar), The Veldt has consistently sparked our imaginations since their releases first emerged in the late eighties/early nineties. Some have fired us up more than others but each flight of their mood thick sound has been a source of fascination and reward with Thanks to the Moth and Areanna Rose one of the most potent.

The band’s sound is bred on the essences of shoegaze, dream pop, and soul and woven into soundscapes which seduce as they envelop, almost devour the senses. They are emotive affairs as proven by the new EP which come thick in intimation, rich in intimacy, and drenched in catchiness. EP opener, The Color Of Love Is Blue immediately proves the suggestion, its initial melodic invitation an echo of eighties indie pop but wrapped in the atmospheric density and emotion which marks The Veldt sound and an individuality which we can only slightly compare to the little known and now demised Japanese band, Tokyo Chaos City.

From its great start, the EP only pulled us in with richer potency, the bewitching Black and Blue and its fuzz infested climate and Fit to be Tied through its virulent romance of ears wrapping greater seduction and pleasure on the senses. From Daniel’s compelling tones to every aspect of the band’s invasively spellbinding endeavours, the tracks tantalised and ensnared; traits which persist across one of the band’s most absorbing releases yet, both Camus and Dakini smothering infatuated ears with their own imagination consuming charm and drama as emotional intensity comes in equally hypnotic waves.

Completed by the A.R.Kane Mix of I Like The Way You Talk and a Carlos Bess / Jason Furlow Mix of Dakini, the relentlessly absorbing Thanks to the Moth and Areanna Rose is the epitome of captivation and indeed pleasure.

And that is a roundup of some striking offerings which to ignore will only mean missing out on some real pleasure.

 

Both John Brown’s Gat and Don’t Tread On We! from The 1865 are out now, available digitally via Apple Music, Spotify and directly from the band via Bandcamp, as well as numerous other online stores.

Upcoming live dates for The 1865:

Dec. 07, 2019 New York – The Kingsland (with H.R. and Human Rights, MAAFA, The Screws, Rebelmatic, Universe Ignore Her, Foxtails) – 18+ event

Jan. 09, 2020 New York – Max Fish (with Rebelmatic)

Jan. 18, 2010 New York – Brooklyn Academy of Music BAM Cafe ||| Black Rock Coalition Celebrates MLK (with Major Taylor) – All Ages / Free and Open To The Public

https://www.facebook.com/the1865band   https://twitter.com/the1865band   https://twitter.com/the1865band

Dispel’s Modal Consequence is available now @ https://dispelmusic.bandcamp.com/releases  as a free download with Lore set for release on January 10th, available on vinyl and CD, as well as digital download with pre-orders taken now @ https://www.dispelmusic.com/Album/

https://www.facebook.com/DispelMusicdotcom/

https://www.kmichelledubois.com/   https://www.facebook.com/KMichelleDuBoisMusic   https://twitter.com/kmichelledubois

Thanks to the Moth and Areanna Rose is available now @ https://theveldtmusic.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.theveldtmusic.com   https://www.facebook.com/VeldtThe/   https://twitter.com/veldtthe

Pete RingMaster 26/11/2019

The Virgance – Paradigm 3

The_Virgance_Paradigm_3_promo_pic_1.jpg_RingMaster Review

Looking for an escape from the turbulence of the modern world, from the grind and imposition life so often brings the day? UK artist The Virgance is one who provides such opportunity through his new album Paradigm 3, a celestial post-rock fuelled instrumental flight on the wings of shoegaze expanding through immersive ambiences which just suck you right in. Close your eyes and drift in thought and the album simply transports ears and mind to another fascinating and warm landscape, though it too has shadows to intrigue the imagination and stir the emotions. The release is a fascinating exploration, one which occasionally ebbs and flows in potency from time to time with personal tastes but one which from its first mesmeric note through to its final wash of atmospheric beauty, leaves a rousing glow in its wake.

The Virgance is the solo project of Colchester hailing Nathan Smith, former guitarist of UK indie band Ripley and the co-producer of electronica outfit Loveless. Early 2014 saw Smith emerge with his debut album Lost Continent, a release luring critical acclaim and eager awareness the way of The Virgance. Its successor in the January of this year only lured greater plaudits and attention, Hiko Shrine reinforcing the reputation and expansive nature of Smith’s composing and sound which Paradigm 3 now explores to richer success.

cover_RingMaster Review   From opener 25 Years ears are entranced and the imagination ignited by the almost ravenous kaleidoscope of sound and textures slowly and magnetically swamping the senses. The guitar craft and enterprise of Smith is as lively and enthralling as the ambiences and beauty oozing from the keys, and equally the darker hues and character of drums and a bass which at times are virtually stalking the psyche from within the sonic drenching of track and air. For us the best instrumentals, even within an open theme or inescapable atmospheric suggestiveness making major hints on the imagination, are those allowing thoughts to conjure new and different exploits with each and every listen and certainly that is the case with Paradigm 3 and each individual emprise of sound and invention.

Through both the rockier Epiphony and the haunting Sequester Smith ‘traps’ the listener in a cloud of sonic seduction and less prominent but equally alluring rhythmic contrasts. The first of the two pieces blossoms with its great subtle repetition within an absorbingly crafted sonic journey whilst the second is like an evolving spatial mist, an enthralling brewing of slightly sinister tinged intensity in sound emerging within noir toned drama.

From one big highlight to another and the more minimalistic and earthbound Moonolog. A simple union of bass and guitar alone has ears gripped and thoughts involved whilst around them a tension slowly but clearly grows in the lining and atmosphere of the track. Calm and warm sonic caresses ultimately keep any volatility at bay but the hints are there to ensure the track continues to dispel expectations and predictability.

There is a great raw edge, and at times thicker expulsions, within Paradigm 3; another underlying constant which chooses its moments to temper the universal flight and fiery elegance within the likes of the senses smothering Saturnine which embraces controlled causticity to fine effect. In contrast, Down The River leaves rougher traits under wraps as its siren-esque swelter and ethereal vocal bewitchment, courtesy of Shauna McLarnon of dream pop duo Ummagma, swallow ears and emotions. The first single from the album, it sparks thoughts of new worlds and old civilizations but again terrains with fresh scenery every listen.

The album is completed by firstly Dissipate, a brief and fiercely potent stretch of sound and imagination which is as strangely harrowing as it is mystically compelling and finally No Return, itself a darker and seemingly harsher environment initially, but emerging like a celestial butterfly shredding warm resonance with every melodic flutter, though again darker elements bring an extra resourceful slither of intrigue.

   Paradigm 3 is spellbinding, an exploration you will only be glad you have not missed. It is best heard in one full odyssey of sound and stimulation though admittedly that does run the risk, if not paying attention, of tracks merging into one and another and losing some of their defining features. However you embrace the album though, it is a proposition that shoegaze and post rock fans especially will find great rewards in.

Paradigm 3 is out now on CD through El Vals del Conejo and as name your price download via The Virgance Bandcamp.

Pete RingMaster 22/09/2015

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