Faintest Idea – Increasing The Minimum Rage

FI_RingMasterReview

Though understandably often tagged as a ska punk band, Faintest Idea definitely shows themselves to be a true punk band with a penchant for ska bred hip swinging revelry loaded with oi! inspired snarls upon new album Increasing The Minimum Rage. The eleven track stomp is an irresistible roar of politically charged songs that have no qualms in getting feet and bodies feverishly bouncing whilst thoughts and emotions are inspired by its lyrical bite. Most of all though, the British band’s new offering is simply one of the most rousing slabs of contagious rock ‘n’ roll heard in many belligerent moons and deserving of everyone’s energy and time.

Formed in 2008, the Kings Lynn hailing Faintest Idea initially was a jugular ripping punk band venting their political unrest and distrust. That attitude and defiance has never lessened even as the band began weaving in inspirations taken from two-tone, ska and reggae influences. 2013 saw the release of debut album The Voice of Treason on Manchester’s TNS Records to swift acclaim, soon potently backed by the videos for tracks such as Bull In A China Shop and Youth. Live the band has equally become an essential great time for many, the “rudeboy street punks” taking their rousing presence to shows and festivals across Europe and the UK, including in 2014, a 10 date tour of Russia.

Now the band is ready to uncage a new infectious call to arms in the shape of the Hieronymous Melchers (Capdown, Citizen Fish, King Prawn and Snuff) recorded and Massimiliano Giorgini (Anti Flag, Rise Against, Alkaline Trio, Common Rider) mastered Increasing The Minimum Rage. Featuring guest contributions from Vic Ruggiero (The Slackers) and Sean Howe (Random Hand), the album quickly reveals Faintest Idea to have a grouchier fire in their creative belly and a sound at its heaviest and angriest, musically and lyrically, yet with no detriment to their instincts to swing and inflame the listener’s body. The first track, Circling The Drain opens on a theme setting sample as horns meander in the background. From there as a guitar adds its vague musing, the song grabs a breath and leaps into a captivating stroll with Jack’s choppy riffs colluding with the flirtation of mischievous melodies amidst organ shared smiles. The brass flames of trumpeter Sara, trombonist Bobble, and tenor saxophonist Lil dan add to the infection quickly grabbing ears and imagination, creating a rich platform for the snarling vocals of bassist Dani and his dark throated bassline. There is a snarl to Jack’s guitar enterprise too and a firm hand to the beats of the other Jack but as the song’s climate gets feistier and more agitated, a rampant swing stills drives it and the listener before it slipping straight into the equally irresistible Cocktails.

Faintest-Idea-Front-Cover_RingMasterReviewThe second track similarly bounds through ears with rhythms and riffs as inescapable bait and a virulent catchiness to its energy and attitude equally matched by the band’s vocals. Throughout hooks grip and again flirt with the imagination as the song’s skittish gait takes care of the body, vocals in turn challenging thoughts at the same time as brass unveils a rich seducing in something akin to Rancid meets Random Hand meets The Members. Its mellowing departure simply simmers into the sultry embrace of Down Pressure, a funk infested and ska fuelled romp as light on its feet as it is antagonistic in voice. As its predecessors, the song defies the listener not to become fully involved, dares them not to offer their hips and support; a challenge impossible to win as the song leaps around with kinetic persuasion.

The power pop/ska punk exploits of Echo Chambre steals attention next, working its addictive charm on every aspect of a willing disciple as guitar jangles and pop punk rhythms act as ringleaders to another thrilling proposal embracing smouldering brass and lively shadows furthered nurtured by Dani’s vocal attitude. Its tenacious exploits lead to the thick energy and aggression of The Well Has Run Dry which, from its first breath, is a confrontational proposition equipped with spiky hooks and a flaming melodic coaxing courtesy of guitar and some emotive lip prowess. United it stirs up air and emotions before the outstanding Stick Em Up (Lords of War) takes a stand with its punk ‘n’ roll contagion. As jazzy and funky as it is ska and old school punk spun, the track tantalises and badgers in sound and tone. Female vocals bring a B52s spice to certain parts whilst other times the song rumbles along like a mix of early Specials and The Adicts, revealing itself as another enjoyably multi-textured adventure.

Through the Clash/ Serious Drinking like chest beating of the beguiling Throw Away The Key and the ballsy rock ‘n’ roll of No Consequences, greed and thick enjoyment for the album is only confirmed before being given another big shot in the arm by the brilliant pairing of Ouroboros and Corporation. The first of the two is a web of flavours and styles as surf rock spiced guitars entangle with ska spawned riffs and intrigue loaded progressive punk grooves whilst Dani and co take potent shots at political and social injustices. The track is glorious and swiftly matched by the dramatic theatre of its successor. With vaudevillian prowess to a sinister soaked sound, the band bring the exploits of the song’s villainous title protagonist into panto-esque but certainly not trivialised view before descending upon them with oi! fuelled animosity and anthemic incitement. The track is ingenious; pure creative theatre and heading numerous memorable moments within the album.

Closing on Tightrope with its strongly brooding persuasion of sound and imagination, Increasing The Minimum Rage makes it so easy to say it is destined to be one of the year’s highlights. From start to finish it has every aspect of the listener enthralled and involved; only increasing that hold with subsequent plays whilst showing that to stand up and be counted does not have to see an absence of unbridled fun.

Increasing The Minimum Rage is released via TNS Records on 1st April @ http://tnsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/increasing-the-minimum-rage

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Pete RingMaster 31/03/2016

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THE TiPS – TWISTS’N’TURNS

pic C_Helge_Tscharn

pic C_Helge_Tscharn

An album to get you dancing, thinking, and acting on your instincts, TWISTS’N’TURNS is a mighty reminder that its creators, THE TiPS, is a band you really need in your life, especially if reggae, ska, punk, and funk brings your ears and emotions to life. The third full-length from the German band, it is also their most eclectic and imaginative adventure yet and in turn their most rousingly enjoyable.

Hailing from Dusseldorf, THE TiPS was formed in 2009 by vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Aljoscha Thaleikis after returning back to his homeland after spending some of his formative years in the United States where he was introduced to styles of music that he was previously unfamiliar with. Having explored the merger of flavours such as soul, ska, reggae and dub with the punk rock of his roots, his return to Germany led to the creation of THE TiPS. The band’s debut album High Sobriety was released in 2011 with its successor Trippin’ unveiled two years later, both to potent success. The past two years alone has seen the trio of bassist Philip Pfaff, drummer Janosch Holland, and Thaleikis play over 130 shows, the sharing of stages with band such as The Mad Caddies, Die Rakede, Ruts D.C., The Toasters, and Jaya the Cat amongst them. Now they are poised to stir up broader and stronger attention with the Alexander Beitzke (Jamiroquai, Ed Sheeran, Florence And The Machine) produced and Pete Maher (U2, Linkin Park, Lana Del Ray Nine Inch Nails) mastered TWISTS’N’TURNS; twelve tracks which swing and stomp whilst taken a bite at issues impacting on all.

The album opens with Birds in Trees, instantly clasping ears with vocal and melodic temptation before showing its sonic and rhythmic muscles. From that wall of energy a mellower but no less magnetic stroll emerges as the song saunters with its reggae bred gait. Thicker eruptions break throughout, grooves and spicy hooks adding to the welcome trespass before things relax into captivating calm again. It is a riveting persuasion, a rich tempting only blossoming further with the distinctive tones of Skindred frontman Benji Webbe who guests on the excellent start to the album.

THE_TiPS_TWISTSNTURNS_RingMaster ReviewThe following Leaving Home gently swings in next, its sultry sway aligned to the thick brooding tone of bass and gripped by the excellent vocal presence of Thaleikis. Impossible not to be hooked by its reserved yet anthemic chorus alone, the song has a By The Rivers meets The Skints nature which simply entices, a success matched by the seductive croon of Wasting Time. Similar spices line the infectious romancing of ears, as too an equally catchy and tenacious energy which soon has hips and voice in eager involvement. Both tracks are irresistible, easy going yet imposingly compelling proposals though both are overshadowed a touch by the outstanding Chosen Fool. Stabbing riffs collude with the grouchy bass to quickly excite ears; imagination and an already keen appetite swiftly inflamed by the Ruts like punk ‘n’ roll invention which also emerges to add fresh bite and attitude to the exceptional encounter.

The band’s punk heart is given full rein for Johnny’s Song next, another striking and virulent arousal of body and emotions carrying an essence of Russian punks Biting Elbows to it. Similarly THE TiPS brew flavours which hint at a Sublime/Living End link-up, but coming up with something distinct and incendiary to themselves. It is uniqueness just as apparent in the infectiously sultry funk infused saunter of If You Want To and the noir lit landscape of City Lights. The first glides through ears with a slightly mischievous enterprise whilst the second is pure aural and emotive drama. From vocals to keys, exotic hooks to the ever pungent tone of Pfaff’s bass, the transfixing incitement is a web of intrigue with a volatility that is seemingly Skindred seeded.

Alien emerges with the same shadowy hues and emotional intensity next, flowing from the provocative shadow of the previous track. It swiftly wraps heavily persuasive and seductive tendrils around ears, at times conjuring a darker climate of intimidation to contrast and unite with the bluesy hued flames also arising from the mellower strains of the slow burning treat of an encounter.

Igniting another devouring of the band’s punk ‘n’ roll imagination straight after, Parade shares a riveting steely bass lure amongst swinging rhythms from Holland, before Do It Right prowls and flirts with its predacious ska punk devilry. Managing to be as sinister as it is irresistibility tempting, the song has body and emotions bouncing, matching all feisty movements in catchy and melodic kind. Equally, it powerfully stirs up thoughts too; an impressive knack the band has leading to full involvement from all aspects of the listener as evidenced by the Red Hot Chili Peppers spiced Back in the Days. There are some songs which are instinctive manna for the soul; encounters which simply turn on the sweet spot for an everlasting romance and this definitely qualifies as one.

Completed by the simply mesmeric, emotive serenade of Still Turning, another song which leaves a lingering imprint, TWISTS’N’TURNS is one thoroughly and imposingly thrilling union between band and ears. It is surely the release to take THE TiPS to the attention of spotlights beyond their homeland’s borders and the underground scene in general, at the very least destined to make a mark on a great many end of year favourites lists.

TWISTS’N’TURNS is out now on Long Beach Records Europe @ http://thetips.de/shop/

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Pete RingMaster 22/02/2016

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Nishe – Underlaps EP

nishe_RingMaster Review

Having impressed with the single Lose Control just a few weeks back, UK alternative rockers Nishe now back it up with the equally pleasing Underlaps EP. The single was a tenacious temptation on ears and imagination with the ability to linger in thoughts after its departure. The band’s new offering is all that times four with a quartet of songs which either eclipse, match, or closely back up their acclaimed predecessor, but all leaving pleasure rich and the reputation of Nishe further enhanced.

The London based trio first made their mark with debut EP This is Nishe early 2014, around a year after forming. It swiftly drew praise and attention as well as airplay on local and web radio, the likes of BBC Introducing included in those drawn to the band’s sound on both sides of the Atlantic. Lose Control made an even bigger impact which the threesome of Giovanni Zappa (lead vocals, guitar, electronics), Harold Wilson (bass), and Nicolas Py (drums) look like pushing on again with Underlaps.

Artwork Underlaps (EP)_RingMaster Review   The EP starts with the rousing exploits of Out Of Place, the track a wash of riffs from its first breath and a rolling rhythmic stomp a few moments later. Quickly into a robust stride complete with jangly hooks, a fuzzy atmosphere, and energetic resourcefulness, the song easily incites emotions and appetite with its angular but well-rounded rock ‘n’ roll temptation. A little scuzzy, a touch grungy, and all anthemic prowess, an impressive and dynamic start to Underlaps is made, a success continuing with Minors.

The second song breaks on ears with a bass grumble and a tempestuous air bred by Py’s rhythms and Zappa’s guitar but swiftly relaxes into a ska kissed swagger with mellow and expressive vocals. This comes with an immediate virulence which has hips and the imagination enslaved, its Fall Out Boy meets [Spunge] like adventure irresistible, but just one passage in the imagination driving the song. Blues rock, punk pop, and fiery rock all join the colour and invention shaping the majorly thrilling escapade, the track simply and powerfully another contagion fuelled slice of rock ‘n’ roll from Nishe.

Warm reggae seeded seducing lines the opening of Want It Back next, the song soon boiling up its indie rock invention to similarly potent and enticing effect. It is fair to say that the song does not reach the same heights as its predecessors yet with magnetic invention inspiring its grooves and catchy hooks, the song holds keen ears firm whilst the band’s obvious passion simply translates into the heart and captivating roar of the encounter.

Closing track (All My) Sense Blows is the most ‘reserved’ track on the EP, tempting rather than imposing on attention but with boisterously engaging rhythms, pulsating electronic flirtation, and the ever rich persuasion of the vocals and melodies, it only sparks full enjoyment with its emotive blaze. Revealing more of the depth to the band’s songwriting, the song brings Underlaps to a thoroughly satisfying and eventful close.

This year has been a strong one in the rise of Nishe but 2016 promises to be their most successful yet simply off the back of the excellent Underlaps.

The Underlaps EP is released December 11th

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

Pete RingMaster 10/12/2015

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Counting Coins – All That I Need

CC_RingMaster Review

It has been a hectic year so far for UK rockers Counting Coins; live shows and tours across the UK and Europe a source of great attention and praise for the band as well as recent single Don’t Look Down, and it continues with the unveiling of its successor. The second single taken from the Hull based quintet’s forthcoming album, All That I Need bobs along on ska bred riffs and devilish rhythms bound in spicy melodies that incite ears and imagination as potently as the equally effective vocal and lyrical incitement. It is one of those invitations impossible to refuse as it gives body and lust a rousing run out; simply one endearing and energetic romp of premeditated goodness.

artwork_RingMaster Review     Formed in 2009, Counting Coins has grown a seriously anthemic fusion of ska, gypsy punk, swing, and hip-hop over the years. From their first pair of EPs, Take the Ride and Reach for the Sky in 2010 and 2013 respectively, the band has shown a creative tenacity that wakes up the instinct to romp and stomp. Their live presence has only increased their reputation, the sharing of stages with bands such as Random Hand, Sonic Boom 6, The New Town Kings, The Talks, Jaya the Cat, Babar Luck (ex-King Prawn), The King Blues, The JB Conspiracy, and Neville Staple adding to an increasingly acclaimed reputation. A few weeks back Don’t Look Down had bodies of fans and media jumping around physically and in praise, a repeated success well within the creative grasp of All That I Need.

Opening on a lone and instantly enticing guitar, the bass soon adding its exploits, the track is quickly swinging along with a melodic smile and rhythmic temptation. The vocals of Harry Burnby just as swiftly bring another strain of infectious enterprise, his bouncy delivery matching that of strings plucked by Matty Dennison and Rob Green. In full stroll, like The Beat meets Reel Big Fish but with more variety to its hues, All That I Need swaggers with joyful tenacity as flames from trumpeter Will Chalk blaze over the throaty lure of bass and the keen swipes of drummer Sam Burnham.

It is an easy going proposal offered by the song but a virulently captivating one which has feet jumping, vocal chords exercised, and emotions flying with the outstanding encounter. The last Counting Coins single meant that interest of the band’s new album was thick and now with All That I Need doing the tempting, and with a great video in tow, anticipation is full and a touch impatient.

All That I Need is available from November 23rd across a global range of digital platforms including iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music and Deezer.

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Pete RingMaster 23/11/2015

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The Sneaky Nixons – Sex

LisaJamie_RingMaster Review

UK band The Sneaky Nixons describe themselves “as an angry, semi-political, semi-religious, part-feminist sloppy activist group who play riotous, steam-train guitar music.” From one song alone much of that is maybe not so obvious but there is no denying that new single Sex is one mighty vehicle of mass seduction. Sauntering through ears in a flirtation of punk, ska, rock ‘n’ swing, and vaudevillian theatre, the song is a confrontational mischief on ears and imagination, and quite bewitching.

HFartwork-2_RingMaster Review     Taken from the forthcoming eponymous compilation album from Across the Ocean Waves Productions, which features the most exciting bands active on Liverpool’s vibrant music scene, Sex is a slice of rock ‘n’ roll to incite and inflame. It follows a clutch of singles released this year and The Coup de Grace EP which spawned most of them, each offering tracks which reveal a different strain of The Sneaky Nixons’ sound with Sex the most devilishly impressive of the lot so far.

The single strolls in on stabbing riffs and crisp beats beneath a sultry sky lit by the blazing temptation of brass. Settling into a gentler canter initially, with a touch of Brit pop and alternative rock to the melodies and vocals, the track is soon rising up to eye ball the listener with its creative revelry and punkish intent, both bound in more of the thick ska bred infectiousness.

Like Libertines meets The Talks meets The Vox Dolomites, Sex is an aurally salacious treat with a hard hitting video to inflame the senses further, and another mightily impressive step in the rise of The Sneaky Nixons’

Sex is released November 20th via Across the Ocean Waves Productions @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/the-sneaky-nixons/id967240246

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Pete RingMaster 20/11/2015

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Random Hand – Hit Reset

Random Hand_RingMaster Review

Hands up, who also raised an expletive or two in disappointment when British punksters Random Hand announced earlier this year they were going on an indefinite hiatus to pursue other challenges in life? Well we can tell you now that the pain is going to get simultaneously better and worse thanks to the release of one of the band’s finest roars, final album Hit Reset. Whether it is because the decision has brought a freedom to the band in some way or it simply inspired a no holds barred energy to the creation of the twelve track storm as a last offering, but Hit Reset sees Random Hand at their most diverse, explosive, and passionate best with a little something indefinably extra too.

It is thirteen years ago that the Keighley quartet leap onto the British rock scene with their energetic and dynamic fusion of punk, ska, hardcore, and metal. The time since, has seen Random Hand earn the reputation as one of the UK’s best live encounters at home and further afield, and a host of varied and generally fiercely impacting releases. Now following a final flurry of shows this past summer, it all comes to an ‘end ‘ with the PledgeMusic funded Hit Reset; a giant slice of non-stop anthems which goes with the adages, “go out on a high” and “leave them wanting more”.

Random Hand - Hit Reset_RingMaster Review     Day One is the first encounter upon Hit Reset, its opening tinnitus of percussion amidst a tangy melody tempting enough but the mere appetiser to the explosion of punk metal ferocity and riffs driven by recognisable hardcore energised vocals matched in virulent strength by their clean harmonic counterparts. The swings of drummer Sean Howe seem to have new tenacity and aggression whilst the bass of Joe Tilston could just be at its most grouchy and compelling ever. It might be that ears are interpreting things in hope’s and assumption’s desired way but as the guitar of Dan Walsh weaves a web of antagonism and infection with intense enterprise and energy, that sense of freedom is a swift wonder.

As great as the opener is, the following Death By Pitchforks eclipses it with its strolling ska swing and relentless bounce. Juicy flames of trombone from Robin Leitch shoot across the addiction whilst vocals from him and the rest of the band are again as inescapably persuasive an incitement as the sounds hugging their alluring tones. It is a track which has body, emotions, and soul in relentless involvement, much as its successor Protect & Survive with its growling fury of Bad Religion tinged punk metal and a climax to arouse an empty room, and straight after If I Save Your Back… and its adrenaline powered punk ‘n’ roll stomp. The latter song also slips into some evocative dub/ska imagination and hardcore ire to add extra spice to the bracing revelry.

After The Alarm steps up next and soon forges another pinnacle for the album, its brass seared blaze and riotous stroll instant infection whipped up to greater potency by the choppy texture of riffs and the raw Reuben like contagion flying through ears for another richly inciting chorus. The track is glorious, definite final single candidate and alone a massive reason why Random Hand are going to be sorely missed; though every track upon Hit Reset spawns that feeling, Dead No Longer with its raucous thunder and Maybe It’s A Prize through its again Reuben spiced rapacity swift confirmation.

Dragging an eager body to the floor again, Pack It Up leaps and bounds into the imagination and an already lively ardour with its ska/punk ingenuity next, it too a track to whip up old and new fans alike with its busy and eventful collusion of styles and open passion.

A Clean Slate straight after is rock ‘n’ roll plain and simple, a boisterous call to arms for thoughts and bodies but a song unafraid to suddenly whip the floor from under the listener and take them through a melodic oasis of sound and tempting before entering an even more agitated and fearsome storm. It is a seriously invigorating proposition wonderfully contrasted by the addictive ska swing and rock groove of Abide which in turn makes way for more variety in the rip-roaring alternative rock/punk ‘n’ roll of Shelter As A Verb, both tracks a quick making addiction.

Closing with the no less irresistible As Loud As You Can, a song as post-hardcore as it bluesy, as punk and ska as it is old school rock ‘n’ roll, Hit Reset is a band at the height of its game, a game now sadly being put away in mothballs for a distant or possibly no further outing. Random Hand has left us with a classic though, an album which will continue to incite and excite in their absence. What a way to go!

Hit Reset is available digitally and on CD now through Bomber Music @ https://random-hand.bandcamp.com/album/hit-reset

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Pete RingMaster 05/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Bud Sugar – Blinkin’ Thinkin’

Bud Sugar_RingMaster Review

If you were sitting on a bus and a band leapt on and starting unleashing live their sounds what would your reactions be? If it was Bud Sugar it would most likely be of surprise and delight, as was the result when the British band engaged in such “guerilla marketing tactics” in their home city of Hull in collaboration with bus company Stagecoach. It is just one of the escapades the band is renowned for in supporting and promoting their emerging presence and sound. Now for a broader attention, the band is infesting ears with new single Blinkin’ Thinkin’, a song which quickly shows why such antics have only helped the band entice new fans, that and their well-received self-titled debut album of last year.

Artwork_RingMaster Review   Carrying a sound which the band self describes as “Cod Head Skank”, a fusion of ska, reggae, and swinging dance hall shenanigans, Blinkin’ Thinkin’ opens its lure with simple and gentle melodic caresses alongside distinctive vocals. With backing harmonies just as inviting, the song quickly shows it wants to throw off any reins though, which it does with joyful gaiety and energy soon after. In no time the quintet of Bacary Bax, STAN, Dyl, Live Lans, and Reason are spreading infectious rhythms and mischievous hooks around like confetti but in a tight manner which only accentuates their lures and addictiveness.

Across its vibrant body, the track ebbs and flows in its energy with every mellow seducing offered loaded with the promise of juicier treats, beats, and hooks which come the way of the adrenaline sparked roars and a vociferous festivity filled with an array of varied styles and flavours.

Blinkin’ Thinkin’ might have missed the boat in that it is easily a song for the summer but hey autumns can get quite spicy and frivolous too, so get some Bud Sugar down you is our recommendation.

Blinkin’ Thinkin’ is out now on iTunes.

http://www.budsugar.co.uk   https://www.facebook.com/BudSugar    https://www.twitter.com/Bud_Sugar

Pete RingMaster 04/10/2105

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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