Never A Hero – UnEvolution

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Bursting with variety, so much so that at times you are not sure where the band’s intention with their sound is going, it has to be said that UnEvolution is one rather enjoyable and memorable encounter. The second album from UK alternative rock band Never A Hero explores a much broader landscape of sounds and imagination than that tagging suggests. It does not always come off as potently in places as in others, and the album is soaked in a familiarity assumedly bred from inspirations, but still the release is one fun and highly appetising enjoyment.

Never A Hero emerged in 2009 when members from two bands came together to write and create new music well away from their usual styles. Debut EP Socially Awkward was recorded and unveiled in 2010, its re-release two years later awakening even greater attention. Between its outings though, the band were already finding radio airplay as well as TV coverage through debut single From Heroes To Angels, a success pushed on by second single Trippin’ On Speed and its video in 2011. Their first album Bleed Between The Lies was released at the end of 2012 to potent responses as subsequent singles taken from it like Burning Skies. Now they have just uncaged its successor UnEvolution, laying down rich bait for its arrival on a UK tour, and already it is making an open stir on the British rock scene.

The post hardcore like A Thousand Days Wasted opens things up, the track just glancing past one minute in length but in that turbulent time already hinting away that there may be much more lying in wait in the depths and invention of any song than revealed on its surface. This is soon evidenced by Mr Munchausen, an energetically striding slice of rock ‘n’ roll from its first breath and swiftly bringing metal and other heavy textures into play. Electronic tempting flirts away in the scenery of the evolving melodic rock encounter too, adding unpredictable and tantalising hues to the enjoyable roar of the song. Vocalist Phrixus has an excellent expression and quality to his voice and is just as strongly backed by the tones of guitarist Mickey Thin and bassist KB. As suggested there is a strong element of familiarity to songs on the album and rampant here but it only adds to the satisfaction. Sick Puppies and Fall Out Boy come to mind in varying ways, always good spices in a blaze of a song.

Never A Hero Artwork   A breaking storm and the drama of strings opens up Nightboy next, the track soon striding purposefully with feisty riffs and warm melodies, heading to a potent chorus which it maybe me but amazingly has a healthy feel of Bryan Adams to it. Never thought healthy and that name would escape these fingers together. The guitars of Thin and Kaji 2.0 recruit keen attention to the song alone but with the scything beats of drummer Daisy Lai and the ever alluring vocals of Phrixus, it is another easily accessible and pleasing proposition.

Not Too Cool To Dance takes another turn in the album, its electro punk like stomp almost Hollywood Undead like whilst the rapping vocals has a touch of bands like G.R.I.M and Hadouken to them . It is a stonking start which loses its allure a touch with the following melodic relaxation, strength soon regained as a mix of styles creates a reserved but tempestuous proposal. Again the song wins out and joins the opening pair in leaving ears and thoughts thoroughly contented before making way for the electro meets alternative rock exploits of It’s The Way. Hard rock textures and melodic flames add to the tempting, as do excellent female vocals leading to a touch of Forever Still to the encounter, but ultimately the track does not have the spark of those before it and feels a little safe to be honest. Nevertheless it keeps the album’s potency high as does the electro/hard rock mixed offering The Crow That Follows You Home, it too not sparking the same flame of emotion as the first trio of songs but leaving ears and appetite for the release more than happy.

The orchestral piece God Is Complex brings an interlude next though its epic and evocative presence which rather than allow a breath to be taken brings new theatre and anticipation to the imagination before it embraces the following Kramer. Electro rock with a whiff of Nintendo-core merges with melodic rock, a blend the band increasingly does well and makes strong persuasions with across UnEvolution it has to be said. The track proceeds to stomp and bellow as guitars stir up its canvas and the bass provides a great dark almost sinister attitude to the boiling vocal emotion. It is a great track re-igniting early pleasures whilst again making you wonder what is the prime Never A Hero sound or it starting point.

The more classic hard rock embrace of Falling Up is next and has ears aligned with ease before The Idiots Are Winning bounds around with its tempestuous and openly infectious revelry. Once again a wide twist of styles are tangled to create a recognisable but contagiously magnetic slice of pop rock, this the best way to generally describe the album maybe. The theatrical Succubus sees a clash of mature melodic rock with a more basic street punk narrative, but with guttural roars, grooved infestations, and psyche lit drama breaking out, the song is nothing but thrilling persuasion, especially when it breaks into a fiery swing at one point.

The album ends with the Time To Crucify, a song though individual feels like a reprise of all that came before in one final tapestry of sound and flavours. It is a good end to an increasingly enjoyable encounter. Bands with vast diversity are the most exciting and potentially important bands in music, and that part of Never A Hero makes a good album a great offering. UnEvolution might not be the best album to hit the year so far but it is one of the more enjoyable and that works for us.

UnEvolution is out later this year @ http://www.neverahero.net/shop

http://www.neverahero.net   https://www.facebook.com/neverahero/

RingMaster 17/04/2015

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Freaks Like Me – Philosophies For The Modern Ant

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It is probably no surprise that there is a healthy essence of Kurt Cobain and co to the Freaks Like Me sound, considering its members also make up the world’s No.1 Nirvana tribute band Nervana, but that is only part of what is a rather compelling and enjoyable proposition on offer in the trio’s debut release. The Philosophies For The Modern Ant EP is a contagious and rigorously captivating encounter which has body and imagination leaping in tandem with its energetic and invigorating enterprise. As mentioned there is no escaping the rich familiarity of the band’s main inspiration across the songs but with its grunge sounds merged with punk ferocity and melodic rock tenacity, what emerges is an admittedly less than original but easily more than richly satisfying incitement. Think Nirvana meets Sick Puppies in the embrace of early Bush and you get a great hint of what is on offer.

Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Jon O’Connor, bassist Dave Eve, and drummer/backing vocalist Steve Kilroy, Freaks Like Me emerged when the threesome decided it was time to explore and offer something different and fresh from their highly successful and acclaimed Nervana presence which has been going since 2009. The seeds of their union go back much further though, Eve and Kilroy meeting in the early 2000s in London while recording an EP with Gods Little Joke. Playing together in Ireland in 2007, the pair met O’Connor in Dublin after a show, reconnecting with him later when looking for a vocalist for their new project. The rest is history, with a new turn and direction in its narrative coming with Freaks Like Me.

1. FLM EP - COVER_FRONT - FINAL   Recorded in London, Boston and Holland, Philosophies For The Modern Ant, on the back of successful shows in Europe and the US, instantly has ears and attention gripped as opener Better Off Blind sets things off. Hefty riffs and similarly intensive grooves encase ears initially before the song relaxes into a more familiar grunge bred tempting. Melodies and a snarl equipped bassline court the slightly grizzled tones of Jon O’Connor, his voice sharing the raw essence of again Cobain and similarly Gavin Rossdale, it all creating a restrained but open drama to the song. It is fair to say that the EP starts with a recognisable and unsurprising offering but equally a captivating one which like the warm up act to the main show, gets anticipation and appetite in the mood.

All In A Lie is a different beast of a proposition, its instant almost predatory splatter of riffs and sonic discord within a carnivorous assault of bass led rhythms, immediately irresistible. It is a riveting and thrilling entrance loaded with rugged hooks and ravenous grooves. Submission to its raw and imposing suggestiveness is swift, especially with the effect drizzled vocals which are soon riding the tempestuous and aggressive onslaught. Bearing down on the senses with seemingly increasing creative turmoil, urgency, and seduction, the intoxicating tempest is quite outstanding, sparking as its successor at times thoughts of UK based band Feud along the way.

If the bass exploits of Eve have already seduced the passions across the first two tracks, he steals them outright within Cynical. A dirty repetitious temptation from his manipulation of strings is simply irresistible as it provides the start and spine to the raucous and fiery encounter. It is an old school punk lure in many ways, a resonating simplicity which steers song and its creativity to striking endeavours. It again has many recognisable twists and aspects to its adventure but this time of a more post punk seeded comparison a la Gang of Four.

Both Down and Idol Fall keep EP and pleasure blazing, the first with virulently infectious expulsions masked as choruses. As in the previous song there are glimpses of a post punk flavouring, hints of Flesh For Lulu spicing the melodic radiance spilling from the heart of the otherwise thickly Nirvana-esque swamp of abrasive rock ‘n’ roll. The second of the two is again drenched in the flavours of the band’s other project, but it is spicery twisted and woven into fresh and inventive imagination which easily enthrals thoughts and ears, especially in its unexpected and transfixing psyche rock detour.

Closing song Poppies and Rain provides an absorbing croon to end on, but a shadow wrapped one with portentous rhythms and haunting sonic suggestiveness crowding its melodic and melancholic elegance. The song is a bewitching finale to an excellent debut from Freaks Like Me. Certainly there is little startling new about Philosophies For The Modern Ant but it is potently fresh and stirringly invigorating, and most of all thoroughly enjoyable. What more could anyone want?

Philosophies For The Modern Ant is available from April 7th via Pavement Entertainment through most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/freakslikememusic

RingMaster 07/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Evenline – Dear Morpheus

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Hailing out of Paris, melodic metallers Evenline recently released their debut album and in the process made a rather potent impression. Richly enjoyable and impressively accomplished, Dear Morpheus is a sizeable persuasion of alternative rock and metal bound in the inspirations of bands such as Alter Bridge, Creed, Metallica, and Nickelback. It is a captivating proposition which lights a richly contented glow in ears and emotions whilst showing a potential of even greater things ahead as the band find their own distinctive sound and presence, which is not quite there on the album. It certainly makes for a pleasing companion, its familiarity to others a warm and easily accessible embrace to be fair, helping lead to a thoroughly satisfying engagement.

Formed in 2009, Evenline first made a mark in with their first release, The Coming Life EP the following year. The band continued to build an increasingly attentive support and attention with their shows, including supporting Alter Bridge in Luxembourg in 2011, before the quartet settled down to record their debut full-length with producer Jim Dewailly. Its arrival in the flavoursome shape of Dear Morpheus, suggests the band is on the brink of a much wider recognition, something the release which without setting new standards firmly deserves with its eleven melodically crafted and emotionally eventful songs.

The album makes a swift persuasion on ears and imagination, the evocative opening to Misunderstood, a melodic caress matched by the potent tones of vocalist Aarno Gueziec. There is an almost hazy glaze to his voice which adds to the expressive start of the first song, a coaxing which eventually roars with passion and intensity as riffs break out with raw energy. Imposing rhythms match this emerging sturdy incitement whilst vocally there is also a powerful evocative flame to the delivery which captivates ears. With a Seether meets Breaking Benjamin like feel to its creative potency and easily pleasing sound, the track makes a gripping beginning to the release, especially with the sonic flame of enterprise from guitarist Fabrice Tedaldi which erupts across the encounter.

Without You keeps the album flying high with its almost rabid gait and energy, choppy riffs and magnetic grooves winding masterfully around ears as the beats of Olivier Stefanelli provide an equally compelling frame. With a virulently Album Covercontagious chorus and similarly rampant urgency to its whole body, the song romps with a Sick Puppies bred swagger and suasion, one loaded with passion and occasional outpourings of caustic growls and sonic fury. It is an outstanding slice of melodic metal increasing the appetite ready for the following Letter to a Grave and Insomnia. The first of the pair is an emotionally charged stroll with an enjoyably enticing throaty call from the bass of Thomas Jaegle through a cascade of vocal harmonies and fiery riffs. Gueziec provides an emotive croon to the skilled web of invention in the song which from a slow start increasingly impresses. Its successor flexes its sinews for an agitated and tenacious exploit which like its predecessor does not quite match the opening two tracks but provides another satisfying turn to the album. It is hard to avoid comparisons to Alter Bridge, Three Days Grace and the like, but such the craft and prowess of songs and band from vocals to sound, it does not defuse the enjoyment offered by the different songs.

Both the resourcefully catchy Over & Over and the heavily emotive Already Gone leave ears and thoughts richly contented if not surprised before the excellent title track weaves its intriguing enterprise. From a haunting atmospheric opening, a sultry melody flirts with the imagination. It is aided by the equally suggestive mystique of the bass, both laying a warm canvas for the excellent vocal skill and strength of Gueziec to further colour. It is a transfixing offering, the most inventive and unpredictable song on the album with its inventive rhythms and sonic exploration, and the pinnacle of Dear Morpheus.

The aggressive Hard to Breathe ignites the senses next, pounding beats the forerunner to carnivorous riffs and cantankerous grooves which are tempered by infectious vocals and the anthemic ingenuity of the raucous exploit. It is a quick match to the heights of the previous song and those setting things off, but also another weighty twist in the character of the songwriting and presence of the release.

The next up Judgement Day is no slouch in inflaming ears and emotions either, though it lacks the spark and lingering potency of those before it, even with its imagination entwining grooves and suggestive melodies. The same applies to the enthralling power balladry of You Should Have Left Me, a perfectly crafted and melodically coloured proposition but one which despite all its impressive elements is an exciting proposal in its company but soon forgotten away from its charms. Nevertheless both only add to the potential of the band before the closing slow croon of Eternal Regrets provides a gentle and mesmeric conclusion to the album with its emotive strings and acoustic hues.

Dear Morpheus might not be ground-breaking in originality but with its inventively sculpted songs and the open skill and imagination of the band, it is a very enjoyable reason to check out Evenline and their journey to finding that distinctive presence.

Dear Morpheus is available now via Dooweet Records @ http://store.dooweet.org/en/home/133_evenline-dear-morpheus.html

http://www.evenline-music.com/

RingMaster 18/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Cole Childers – Aurora EP

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Providing an intriguing and seriously captivating blend of hard and alternative rock with also a slight tendency for metal, the Aurora EP is one of those potential soaked treats which catches you by surprise and opens up a certain appetite for more. The debut solo release from Cole Childers, the impressive six track encounter is a bed of drama and evocative enterprise which roars and seduces with equal potency. It is not a proposition to explore new avenues for fiery melodic rock but certainly one making a tasty addition to its ranks whilst marking Childers out as a striking presence to contemplate and keep a keen eye on ahead.

The Bainbridge Island, Washington hailing, now Seattle based musician brings his experiences from being a member of the United States Navy since 2000, as well as other personal moments and insights into his songwriting, lyrically and in sound songs gaining a dark and often challenging texture to their incitement. Returning from a six month deployment in 2006, Childers formed rock band Chasing Corona which released the critically acclaimed album Black Eye and Candlelight as well as going on to share stages with artists such as Motley Crue, George Clinton, Creed, and Joan Jett. In 2010 he left the band and also since leaving the military, found in his words that “I was able to move back to where it all began, with new purpose and clear direction.”

As soon as the opening track from Aurora embraces ears there is recognition of that passion you sense in the man running through the release in sound and vocal delivery. Save Me straight away casts a wall of demanding riffs and ImageProxy.mvcrhythmic swipes which awaken attention and imagination instantly. It is a feisty entrance by the song which is soon entwining senses in taught grooves before relaxing into a melodic and emotive caress clasped by evocative shadows. It is a fiery relaxation though which is soon aflame as the rigorous chorus erupts with similar vocal causticity from Childers. It all combines for a gloriously magnetic lure aided by the great throaty prowl of the bass and those firm swinging rhythms which punctuate every twist and emotional expulsion of the song. As lyrically gripping as it is in sound, the song is like a mix of Johnny Wore Black and Sick Puppies, and a scintillating start to the release which alone fires up a hungry appetite for more in the passions.

Childers latest single comes next to continue the immense presence of the EP, Fall With Me also entangling the senses in raw and strongly imposing scythes of guitars at first before Childers begins unveiling the emotively striking and stirring premise of the song. It along with an accompanying video, potently tries to portray the turmoil and sacrifice in war which goes unrecognised or certainly felt by those on the outside. It has a metal edge which makes for a predatory essence whilst a 3 Days Grace like angst and expression adds further rich hues to the incendiary and thrilling encounter. There is equally a skill and poise to the musicianship of Childers which hones the emotion and aggressive flavours that drive the heart of the song into a thought sparking proposition.

The evocative balladry of Addict is next, keys and voice making a captivating embrace which flourishes further as Childers explores a flowing harmonious presence whilst embraced by shadow kissed strings. An electronic agitation adds its resonance across the brewing climate of the song, a whisper of Linkin Park spicing up a Pearl Jam/Breaking Benjamin like croon. It is a mesmeric blaze of dramatic enticement which makes way for the tempestuous air and energy of Run Away. Again Sick Puppies comes to mind as hooks sparkle and riffs rub their captivating bait on ears whilst a raw energy colours the song’s emotional bellow. As with all the tracks, there is an inescapable contagion and ferocious beauty which wraps and ignites the imagination whilst forming a lingering lure in the passions.

The EP is completed by firstly the heavy rock fuelled Impossible, a track which lacks the spark of its predecessors yet still has plenty to ensnare and draw back eager attention, especially the potent and increasingly impressing vocals and expression of Childers. It is followed by the title track to being things to a potent close. The acoustically cast track looking at a broken relationship and its twist, is a smouldering caress of a song where vocally Childers again shines and melodically is an evocatively flaming sunset of sonic richness and emotive endeavour. It is an excellent finale to an outstanding release which just gets better with every listen. As mentioned at the start, Aurora is not setting new plateaus to emulate but definitely provides one captivating promise drenched adventure which suggests to expect big things from Cole Childers ahead.

The Aurora EP is available now via Vanity Digital Music on iTunes, Amazon, Google Music and other digital download sites.

colechilders.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 13/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Wovenwar – Self Titled

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Pic by Ty Watkins

The events around and causing the imprisonment of As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis is a well-publicised happening which does not need our commentary. It also left the rest of the band with a major decision. No strangers to success and acclaim, the remaining quartet of guitarists Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso, bassist Josh Gilbert, and drummer Jordan Mancino had to decide their next step and thankfully chose with music their life and calling, to strike forward with a new project and what a stunning proposition it has turned out to be. Recruiting lifelong friend and ex-lead guitarist/vocalist of Oh, Sleeper, Shane Blay, the quintet emerged as Wovenwar and has just unleashed a monster of a debut, in their fifteen track self-titled album. Exploring with muscular ferocity and passionate tenacity the melodic metal side of their imagination, the band has created a proposition as distinctly different yet equal in quality and temptation to anything their previous triumphs have unveiled.

Recorded with producer Bill Stevenson (Descendents, Rise Against, NOFX, Black Flag) and mixed by Colin Richardson (Slipknot, Machine Head, Trivium), the album also reaps with sinew driven voracity the rich essences of hard rock to create blazes of sound and enterprise which stand astride genres whilst offering recognisable flames within fresh adventures. On top of that there are the, at times breath-taking and always tantalising vocals of Blay, his clean tones which helped shape his previous band given full expansive rein here to excel and show the strength and weight of the man’s power and craft. It is a magnetic and persistently surprising mesh of sound and ideation which courses the album and immediately awakens attention and appetite through All Rise which follows the opening intro of Foreword. A drama instilled prelude to the creative emprise ahead, the opening track makes for a potent coaxing before the second track explodes with a thumping roll of rhythms, agitated riffs, and a sonic shaping of melodic intent. It is a busy entrance soon enhanced by Blay and the heavy throated predation of the bass. The track is swiftly as anthemic as it is technically bewitching, guitars and drums nimble footed yet leaving heavy impressions with their stormy endeavour.

Death to Rights erupts with similarly intensive and rugged energy and adventure next, jagged riffs and demanding rhythms evolving into scorching weaves of melodic passion and sonic intrigue, though that only hints at the fluid Covermovement and invention within the blistering encounter. As the album, every aspect of the song calls out with invigorated energy and refreshing ideation, raw and almost antagonistic power crowding in with sultry melodies and rapacious infectiousness. It is probably unfair to say the members of the band have found a new lease of life with Wovenwar but certainly there is a freedom and elation to the sound and passion behind it which is as magnetic as the songs themselves.

Through Tempest and The Mason, band and album continue to impress with no restraint. The first of the two finds a carnivorous tone to the bass which alone ignites the passions but also makes a shapely blend of that aggression with an elegant melodically tempering countenance to remind of a more ferocious Sick Puppies. The second of the pair digs into a more furious breath in sound and personality, though the rich tones of Blay never allows the primal intent and fury beneath his vocals to have complete reign with their glorious causticity. The same applies to Moving Up and Sight of Shore, though they are more even tempered naturally with easily pleasing and flawlessly accomplished if less imposingly striking presences compared to previous songs on the album. Each leave a greedy appetite well fed nevertheless before Father Son makes its claim for best track notoriety. The song is simply bewitching, its soothing melodic opening caress over a metronomic lure, irresistible coaxing which increases in temptation as soon as Blay opens up his deliciously mesmeric tones. With keys an evocative ambience over the picturesque narrative of the guitars, and both colourful scenery in a mountain range of epic rhythmic enticement, the track is pure poetry as it leads to its mouth-watering climactic crescendo of a finale.

Profane then thrusts ears into a tempestuous exploit with thunderous rhythms and scathing riffery, the track the rawest and anthemically volatile track on the album yet still holding a seduction which wraps around the aggression and vocal roars which Blay unveils within ever formidable delivery. It is a beast of a track which along with its predecessor puts the likes of Archers and Ruined Ends under pressure to deliver. Neither falls at the hurdle though, the first a voracious blaze of entwining sonic rages, passion drenched vocals, and flavour fuelled melodies whilst its successor is a deeply satisfying mix of abrasing textures and contagious designs ridden by earnest and heated vocal expression.

Things take a bit of a breather with Identity, its well sculpted and unquestionably impressive presence also lacking the spark of those leading up to its moment, though again to be fair there is nothing to leave disappointment a chance to breed. Matter of Time is in its own individual way the same, which offers the suggestion that maybe the album was a couple of songs or so too long but with its compact yet weighty intimidation and stormy air leaving senses and thoughts contented, you feel to omit it and other tracks would be to our real loss.

The album is completed by the acoustically opened Prophets, another spellbinding matching of Blay’s voice and melodic guitar enticing as group harmonies float engagingly over the poetic scenery which works into a climactic landscape of equally thrilling provocation, and lastly the cinematic instrumental Onward which gives the imagination one final flight to immerse in. It enjoyably concludes a scintillating proposition which proves that every cloud has…etc. Though its members are no newcomers to creating inspirational metal, Wovenwar has made a debut which definitely is startling and leaves anticipation for their next step afire, and the passions right now basking.

Wovenwar is available via Metal Blade Records now @ http://www.indiemerch.com/metalbladerecords/band/wovenwar

http://wovenwar.com/about

9/10

RingMaster 08/08/2014

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

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Of Allies – Tempers EP

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It might not set heartbeats racing and get thoughts animatingly blazing, but UK alternative rockers Of Allies provide a potent introduction with their Tempers EP. The debut release from a band still in its infancy after only forming last year, makes a strong and potential drenched statement, gripping attention with a quintet of richly satisfying tracks. With a sound which merges alternative and indie rock with strains of melodic metal, EP and band show plenty to excite the senses whilst raising a keen appetite for their future explorations.

Emerging from the depths of Yorkshire, the Hull based quartet of vocalist/guitarist Rich Nichols, guitarist/vocalist Tom Hewson, bassist Nick Tyldsley, and drummer Danny Barrick has already been drawing keen attention since their emergence a few short months ago. First single and video, Ghosts caught the eye and ears of BBC Introducing whilst their live performances has only recruited more and more eager followers. The Matt Elliss produced Tempers EP is the band’s nationwide entrance and it is hard not to expect seeing Of Allies coming under a much stronger spotlight because of it.

From its first expressive caress of vocals over a lone melody, opener Ghosts intrigues and holds the imagination tight. It is a gentle start which is swiftly enhanced by a rumbling of rhythms and an emerging web of guitar crafted melodic rsz_temperscover2enticement. The potent entrance is soon aflame with sturdier intensity and a sonic blaze whilst a somewhat familiar glaze washes over the brewing drama. Comparisons to the likes of Deaf Havana and Twin Atlantic have been cast over the band but across this outstanding starter, thoughts of Three Days Grace and more so Sick Puppies definitely comes to mind. The song grows in stature within its virulent call and across subsequent listens, its weighty persuasion and the band’s creative tenacity increasingly irresistible bait.

The following Our Decay is less immediate in its entrance, though the early sonic groove and throaty bassline sparks another smacking of lips in an already awoken appetite for the release. Rhythms again ooze sinew built temptation to steer thoughts and emotions skilfully into the emotive heart of the song, a core with a passionate roar and musical ferocity. Across its body the track continues to swarm engagingly over ears with melodic elegance aligned to evocative textures, gliding into those climactic and incendiary crescendos time and time again. Another big highlight of the release, the excellent encounter is followed by In Screens, a track offering scythes of sonic coaxing across a moody almost predatory bass sound at its start. Its subsequent emotively driven presence does not have the strength and potency of its predecessors but still takes ears and thoughts on a stirring ride of passion soaked melodies within a dramatic cloud of restrained crisp rhythms and inviting sonic squalls. It is a pleasing and easy to digest venture providing further evidence of the band’s impressive songwriting and craft, both reinforced by the mellower and sultrily aired In Stasis. Again it is a proposition which does not light fires but immerses the listener in a rich and captivating wash of emotion and creative intensity to leave a flavoursome mark.

The closing Play Dead hugs ears with a beauty clad vocal and guitar elegance, kissing the senses before forging a net of sonic insistence and rhythmic drama to which melodies and fiery guitars expel a strikingly passionate and contagious wind of suasion. It is an outstanding end to the release, a song which out of them all most openly shows the depth and richness of the potential within Of Allies.

The excellent The Tempers EP is not going to set volcanic ripples within British rock but has all the armoury and quality to earn a strong spotlight on its impressive entrance and leave a keen smouldering intrigue for the band’s next move.

The self-released Tempers EP is available now!

http://ofallies.com/

8/10

RingMaster 08/07/2014

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Of Us Giants – Nova Scotia

Of Us Giants Photo by Kitten Cabada Photography

Of Us Giants Photo by Kitten Cabada Photography

    You know when you get so excited you drool a little well Nova Scotia is one of those albums which figuratively achieves the same result. The prize offering from California alternative rock band Of Us Giants, the eleven track release is an energy driven vivacious stroll of melodic and expressive rock brought by a band you can only expect to hear much more of in the future. Impressive and infectiously enjoyable from song to potent song, the album strikingly builds on the band’s acclaimed debut release the Stitch EP, a record which has drawn comparisons to the likes of Balance and Composure, Manchester Orchestra, and Brand New to the Of Us Giants sound.

   Formed in 2012, the Turlock hailing trio of vocalist/guitarist Dustin Andrews, bassist/vocalist Jonathan Jennings, and drummer Sam Battista has found a healthy buzz around themselves, in no small part because of the aforementioned EP. Anticipation for their debut full-length has been eager to say the least and now with its digital and vinyl release via numerous labels and exclusively here in the UK by Close To Home Records, feeds and transcends all expectations.

     Opener Liar takes a mere second to entrap attention and an instantly brewed appetite, its rhythmic enticement a potent ofusgiants_novascotiabeckoning soon enhanced by rich guitar bred hooks and bass spawned throaty temptation. Once the excellent expressive tones of Andrews add their presence the song makes a strong suasion which only increases its power and heights with an anthemic spiral of dual vocals and fiery melodics at its heart. It is a song which you just do not realise how much it has infected the imagination and memory until it has passed by, it an irresistible weave of sinews, rhythmic and emotionally, with evocative melodies and soaring sonics.

     The immense start is not quite equalled by the next up Sycamore Tomb, certainly initially but again it is a devious little treat which just grips and lingers longer in the psyche the more you initially embrace it. Whereas its predecessor had a touch of Placebo to it, the second song with choppy scythes of guitar and intensive bass prompting shows where those Brand New references emerge from. Agreeably anthemic in all the right places, no note of breath wasted without a full dose of temptation, it is succeeded by Iron Boat. The first of two songs featuring the vocals of Lindsey Pavao, a semi-finalist in the US version of The Voice apparently, the song saunters with a swing to its rhythmic hips and fire to its sonic invention. It is a relatively straight forward slice of melodic rock without any startling element or dramatic hook to its gait to be honest but still offers a vocally varied and pleasing piece of refreshment before the album raises its game again with Take It Home. Sultry melodic guitar coaxing first leads thoughts into its emotive hug with the dual vocals of Andrews and Jennings impressing. Soon though passionate arms lyrically and musically open up to release flames of resourceful melodic rock with a rawer muscular trait which makes the band a potential attraction across all of the general genre’s sub sections.

     The smouldering persuasion of Dying and the mesmeric enchantment of All of My Daughters brings another absorbing variation to Nova Scotia, the first a passion fuelled slowly building tower of intensity which plays like a blend of Three Days Grace and Sick Puppies whilst its successor with a ridiculously addictive hook to its first few seconds against another dark bassline, casts a spellbinding shadow wrapped irresistible beauty over ears and heart. There is a familiarity to the song which equally niggles and excites, as it is hard to exactly define its source, but it cannot derail the potency and quality of the encounter, it and the previous song virulently infectious pleasures.

  Around the Furline is sculpted with the same kind of irrepressible incitement and bait without losing any individuality against the other songs around it, a Skids like riffing and sonic bait a major toxicity within that trap, whilst the following A Beam Offshore whilst stalking a similar groove to its foregoer flirts further with the passions through strong vocals and eloquent melodic endeavour.

     The more restrained and arguably richer in emotional intrigue presence of Stone Hands is the first moment where the album struggles to raise the same strength in hunger and attention, though it is impossible to deny it is a superbly crafted and musically exposed presence. Its successor Machine Heart also takes time to convince; that is until it expels a punk infused rampancy and bruising to its pop laden adventure where it moves into being another strong proposition.

    The title track completes Nova Scotia and invites Lindsey Pavao for the second time into its midst. An acoustically honed country touched stretch explodes into a fire borne furnace of emotion and intensive sonic design in a song which catches the imagination though again maybe not the passions as forcibly as elsewhere. It does provide a richly satisfying end to an openly outstanding release all the same, an album which declares Of Us Giants as one rather exciting and impressive rock proposal destined to bright horizons.

 

http://ofusgiants.bandcamp.com/

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9/10

RingMaster 27/01/2104

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