Ensnaring The Snarl: Dirty ol’ Crow Interview

Hi and thank you for sparing time to chat with us.

Filippo Monticelli (guitar): no problemo, thanks for having us.

Could you first introduce the band and tell us how it came to be?

We are a five piece hard rock band; we have Liud Carter on drums, Dom on bass, Michi and me on guitars and Vikki Totten on lead vocals. We formed in spring 2017 in London and we released our debut EP early this year.

How would you define not only your sound but the creative character of the band?

Raspy and direct. However, we do work quite a while on each song, until we are all pretty much happy on every part and on the overall feel and sound.

Are there any previous musical experiences for band members and how have they been embraced in what you do now?

Most of us where in various bands prior to this one. All the experience accumulated through the years now is at the service of Dirty ol’ Crow

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

Most of the times some of us would present a complete or nearly finished song idea, after which we try to find the right arrangement for all the instruments and the right melodies for the vocals. Other times however songs were born just out of jam sessions in the rehearsal room… either way we try to take our time to refine every aspect of the song before we play it live.

Would you tell us about your latest release?

Our latest release is also our first. It’s a six song EP basically containing all our originals until that point. It’s raw and fast-paced, and it quite well reflects the identity of the band during our first year and a half together. The name “Strangers’ Nest” came from the realization that we all were a bunch of strangers to pretty much each other, and then we got together in the same band and also in the same house for a while.

What are the major inspirations to its heart and themes?

Musically, the inspirations are surely our influences, and how they shape our musicality. Lyrically, the themes revolve around life experiences and struggles, but the “have a good time” theme is also very prominent.

I am always intrigued as to how artists choose track order on albums and EP’s and whether in hindsight they would change that. What has been the deciding factor for you or do songs or the main do that organically?

Yeah, the track order on the EP has been topic of discussion, if you know what I mean. First we were thinking of copying the order of our live sets. However, we realized that it wasn’t necessarily the best option. We decided to open the EP with what was our newest song at the time (which live was usually towards the end of the set) as we recognized it had a great opening riff, catchy and driving. This was “Mistress of Sin”. Funny enough, our live set opener (“Johnny Boy”) became the second last song in our EP. The main idea was to start the EP powerful and catchy, keep it groovy with the second song (“Old Man’s Hatchet), go into the single/sing-along with “Sex Dictator”, then slow down the pace a tiny bit with the bluesy vibes of “Dirt Stained” and finishing off with two in-your-face tracks (“Johnny Boy” and “Queen of Rats”). In the end I think that’s a pretty effective track order.

DoC – Francesca Guidi Photo Studio

What do you find the most enjoyable part of being in a band and similarly the most cathartic?

Well for me is just being able to create new music and play it live to people. It’s always a thrill. Especially when you have a good day, the sound is great and you really get “in the zone”, it’s just an amazing feeling. Doesn’t matter if it’s in rehearsal or live when you really get those notes just right together with your band mates, it feels so good.

For anyone contemplating checking you out live give some teasers as to what they can expect.

Expect energy! You can never quite tell what’s gonna happen as things tend to get unpredictable at times, our singer might decide to half-strip, I might jump in the audience, you never know… But you can expect an energy-charged show.

What has been your most thrilling moment on stage to date?

Oh that’s a tough one. Sometimes it’s just thrilling to play a brand new song you know… But I can say that when we played our biggest stage yet (The Dome, in London UK) that was pretty thrilling. But the same when we played a smaller venue for our EP launch party: the place was so packed and the audience responded so good to our music; that was a thrilling experience too. I guess the next step I’m looking forward too is playing an outdoor festival stage!

What else can we expect in the near future?

We have a few gigs before the year is over (you can stay up to date by following us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dirtyolcrow/ ), after which we will focus on finishing off the demos for our first full length album and getting into a studio to record them properly. We plan to release to album at some point next year. Also we are planning to do some dates abroad next year; Germany and Italy are definitely on the radar.

What are the major inspirations to you sound wise and as a musician?

Personally speaking, my strongest guitar influences are probably Slash and Zakk Wylde. However I find inspiration in many different styles, such as blues, country, flamenco, folk music (just to mention a few).

And finally what song or release would you say was the spark to your passion for music?

Well, for me it all kinda started with Michael Jackson, I would say the albums “Bad” and “Dangerous” really hit me deep.

Many thanks once again; anything else you would like to add?

Thank you very much for having us. Keep on rocking, people. The world needs it.

https://www.dirtyolcrow.com/   https://twitter.com/dirtyolcrow

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 14/12/2019

Monster Truck – Sittin’ Heavy

pic by Brooks Reynolds

pic by Brooks Reynolds

Yet again Monster Truck lives up to the suggested weightiness of their name with their sound in new album Sittin’ Heavy. The eleven track encounter is a rousing rock ‘n’ roll roar embracing a landscape of bold styles and flavours. It is an adventure the Canadian band’s fans have become accustomed to and helped lead their Juno Award nominated debut album Furiosity to rich acclaim and hordes of new appetites two years or so back. Sittin’ Heavy carries on the muscular work of its predecessor, unleashing broad and robust rock ‘n’ roll you can only give full attention to.

The Hamilton, Ontario hailing Monster Truck quickly began stirring up local attention and support when emerging in 2009, backing it up with the release of their Gus Van Go and Werner F (The Stills, Priestess, Hollerado) produced self-titled EP the following year. The band linked up with producer Eric Ratz (Billy Talent, Cancer Bats, Three Days Grace) for its successor, The Brown EP in 2011, with surrounding singles pushing the band into the Top 10 on Canadian Rock radio. That initial live success has only accelerated and grown across the years too; tours across North America and Canada as well as supporting shows and festival appearances seeing the quartet sharing stages with the likes of Slash, Deep Purple, Guns N’ Roses, The Sheepdogs, Alice in Chains, ZZ Top, Buckcherry, Rival Sons and many more.

Furiosity put Monster Truck on bigger heavy rock/metal maps with its release in 2013, something the again Ratz recorded/co-produced Sittin’ Heavy will surely stir up and exploit further. Their first offering since signing with Mascot Records, the album charges at and through ears with opener Why Are You Not Rocking. Jabbing beats instantly grip attention before being quickly joined by fiery grooves around hungry riffs. Hitting its rousing stroll in moments, the track is a contagious stomp with the lead vocals of bassist Jon Harvey growling and enticing from within the busy web of Jeremy Widerman’s grooves and the seriously coaxing organ lures of Brandon Bliss. With drummer Steve Kiely inciting further involvement through his rapier like swings, band and song has hips, appetite, and energies ablaze with ease.

art_RingMasterReviewSittin’ Heavy is off to a mighty start which continues as Don’t Tell Me How To Live steps up next; its blues spiced grooves and tenaciously pressing riffs offering potent bait as they crowd the robustly snarling tones of Harvey. The song’s air is almost woozy with the melodic liquor fuelling the richly enticing grooving, their flirtation the lead into the suggestiveness of Widerman’s sonic endeavour and imagination. As the first, the track is a magnetic affair pleasing and simultaneously setting up the emotions and appetite for the even thicker weave of spicy textures and sultry invention that is She’s A Witch. As its predecessor, the song has a groove built net which quickly envelops ears as hips and feet are tempted and urged by the funk infused hooks and flighty flames of blues resourcefulness.

A southern seeded celebration is laid out by For The People next, its character and sound a familiar persuasion yet distinctly sculpted with Monster Truck invention and passion whilst Black Forest allows a rest for the body and inspiration for the imagination with its mellow yet still slightly tempestuous air and reflection. As with the last song, there is a sixties/seventies scented essence to the song; hues which align to a modern heartfelt blues seducing before having to make way for the wonderful discord twisted introduction of Another Man’s Shoes and subsequently its muscularly imposing and evocative body. The track is rock ‘n’ roll at its feverish yet controlled best, another skilful tapestry of textures and energies which Monster Truck, in this album alone, show themselves so accomplished at weaving.

From one pinnacle to another as Things Gets Better strides in with a keys sparked swagger that infests every aspect of the song. There is no escaping the unrelentingly persuasive and anthemic prowess of a song which never breaks into a riot of energy and sound but has the senses and spirit as aroused as if it had. The track also adds more of the flavoursome variety that makes up the album. As great as it is though, it and every song making up Sittin’ Heavy, gets outshone by the sensational incitement of The Enforcer. Straight from the big swinging rhythms which bound in under the control of Kiely, submission to its fiery charm is inevitable and even more assured as the soulful fire of sound and harmonies unite to seduce and stir the spirit. Grooves are almost toxic such their winy intoxication whilst the vocals of Harvey, backed by the rest of the band, simply provide virulent bait. Add biting riffs, piecing hooks, and more creative swing led by the bass revelry of Harvey, and you have one of the most incendiary tracks you are likely to hear this year.

To The Flame takes ears into a tantalising mix of sludge and stoner-esque adventure next. The track almost crawls over the senses whilst leaving a glaze of volcanic seduction, led by Widerman’s sonic lattice and the smothering allure of Bliss’ keys. Compelling the listener into full involvement, the track’s sweltering landscape adds another peak to the lofty range of the album, its success matched and surpassed by the devilishly creative and expressive throes of New Soul. The song has all the hectic and inflamed elements that makes the Monster Truck sound; elements which collude with individual craft and anthemic mastery for lusty rock ‘n’ roll to get hot and sweaty to.

Completed by the gentle, in relation to other songs, emotive embrace of Enjoy The Time, the irresistible Sittin’ Heavy is a band revelling in the varied strains of rock ‘n’ roll and their imagination in uniting them with their own invention. That in turn has ears and emotions similarly making feverish merry to the results.

Sittin’ Heavy is out now via Mascot Records, available digitally as well as on CD and Vinyl (which includes bonus track Midnight) across most online stores.

http://www.ilovemonstertruck.com/   https://www.facebook.com/ilovemonstertruck   https://twitter.com/monster_truck

Pete RingMaster 07/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Martyr De Mona – Siege Mentality

Martyr De Mona Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

Eager to keep the momentum going of the past couple of years, especially since the release of their acclaimed second album Impera, UK band Martyr De Mona are poised to release new video single Siege Mentality. Taken from the band’s highly successful release, which itself built upon the band’s well-received and eagerly devoured self-titled debut album of 2011; the single is a roar of intent built upon another magnetic fusion of rock and metal from the Stourbridge hailing quartet.

Martyr De Mona Cover Artwork_RingMaster ReviewSince forming in 2010, Martyr De Mona has drawn full praise and an ever increasing horde of fans with their dramatic weave of sound. They have shared stages with the likes of Guns N’ Roses, Black Sabbath, Avenged Sevenfold, Slash, Black Stone Cherry, Skillet, and Alter Bridge, won a Best British Band of the Year award, lit up Bloodstock, and had numerous tracks added to the rotation of national UK and US radio stations and shows. Fair to say that the Romesh Dodangoda (Motorhead, Funeral For A Friend) produced Impera has made the biggest impact on the music scene for the band; one powerfully backed up by its clutch of singles which now includes the rousing Siege Mentality.

Opening with hefty grooves and just as commanding rhythms, the song fires up ears and appetite within seconds with the vocals of guitarist Louis Hale standing powerfully in the midst. From there, the riffs and grooves from he and fellow guitarist Joshua Jones only increase in virulence, aligning with a melodic prowess from them which equally is no lightweight in persuasion either, especially when colouring a calmer passage within the weave of alternative metal and boisterous, grunge lined rock ‘n’ roll. With the scything swings of drummer Ashley Leatherland a more volatile support, the bass of Josh Wooldridge adds a darker temperament and shadowing to the emotive heart of the song, that melancholic hue a potent wash in the keys lit close of the song.

Technically and emotionally, the song is masterful but equally it provides an anthemic persuasion which Martyr De Mona has proven to be so adept at nurturing across their music to date. It looks like being another busy and successful year for the band in 2016, especially if Siege Mentality has its way.

Siege Mentality is released on Friday 19th February through Eagle Two Records.

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

http://www.martyrdemona.com/

Pete RingMaster 18/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

In The Whale – Nate & Eric

InTheWhale R! 2

This week sees the release of the Nate & Eric, a fireball of rock ‘n’ roll from US duo In The Whale. The album is actually the putting together of the band’s last two EPs and if they have escaped your attention this is an encounter you should urgently add to your collection of crucial sounds. As eclectic as they are ferociously contagious, the songs making up the release are encounters bred in everything from old school rock ‘n’ roll and punk through to blues, garage rock, and plenty more. It is uncompromising, honest, balls out rock ‘n’ roll, and quite simply irresistible.

Formed in 2011, the Denver band consists of Nate Valdez (vocals and guitar) and Eric Riley (drums and backing vocals), a pair which much like Canadians The Black Frame Spectacle, turn two sources of roaring instrumentation into a full-on rapacious beast of sound and energy. In 2012 In The Whale unleashed debut EP Cake, a well-received proposition which was followed by a just as impressive live presence, which has seen the band play with the likes of Murder by Death, Local H, Reverend Horton Heat, and Electric Six as well as The Airborne Toxic Event, Agent Orange, Bob Log III, The Pack A.D. and Slash. Second EP Eric hit ears in the latter stages of 2013 with its successor Nate being unveiled earlier this year. Now the last EPs come together to create one of the most inspiring and mouthwatering propositions of 2014.

Nate & Eric opens up with the Nate tracks, and specifically Robert Johnson. From its first breath a flame of energy and intensity hits image10-5the ears through intermittent strikes of raw riffs and punching beats beneath the equally imposing vocal call of Valdez. Bluesy air oozes from all aspects too before the track settles into a predatory dance of raucous riffs and anthemic rhythms to which the vocals burn and roar passionately. The track is like a mix of the previously mentioned Canadians, Reverend Horton Heat, and Eagles of Death Metal, and just as devilish as that mixture suggests. It is Devil music and unapologetically irreverent in its infectiousness and psyche twisting charm.

If the starter was mercilessly tempting than the following Wedding Bells should be labelled as dangerous, its initial southern psychobilly twang toxic bait to which the band erupts into a garage punk enslavement with impossibly addictive pop punk relish. For less than a minute and a half, the track stomps with nagging rhythms and agitated riffs, leading into a ridiculously commanding chorus; this all under the again gripping vocals of Valdez. It is a fiery mix that Valdez and Riley conjure; alchemy of sound sculpted with an adrenaline fuelled inventive voracity through simply one predacious guitar, an antagonism lit drum kit, and flaming vocals.

Both the hard rocking Lake of Fire with its again blues kissed rabidity and the feverish brawl of Grandpa Pete keep passions and ears greedy, the first a frenetic blaze of stoner-esque heavy rock with punk urges. Acidic melodies and darkly shadowed chords equally add their potency to the fire dance, hooks and grooves just as prevalent and mischievously compelling too. There is a little tint of Wall of Voodoo to the song, though admittedly for indefinable reasons whilst its successor is pure punk revelry with metallic appetite. Holding a touch of I Am Duckeye and Melvins in its barging garage punk tenacity and devilment, the track is pure aural addiction.

The Eric half of the album begins with On A Roll and immediately a scrub of blues guitar swiftly joined by muscular rhythms and honky-tonk piano covers the senses. As Valdez opens up the narrative everything settles into an ordered yet disruptive canvas of unpredictable rhythms and searing melodies beneath those dramatically expressive vocals. There is a rich feel of Queens Of The Stone Age to the riot but only as a potent spice in a loudly individual proposition. Its triumph is followed by the best track on the release, The Clash seeded Girlfriend. Beats set out a plain but gripping frame for both men to lay down their anthemic vocal call before the track explodes into a blistering punk temptation. The Vibrators meets Rocket From The Crypt with that Strummer and co blooding, the song is an incendiary trap to dive into head first for the greatest pleasure and lustful satisfaction.

The release closes with Sunbeam where again the pair step into a stoner landscape but this time with coarse rock ‘n’ roll and seventies garage rock scenery. It is a smouldering abrasing of sound and sonic tempting, keys again adding richer colour to the riveting and shifting terrain of the magnetic provocation. It is a glorious end to a sensational release, as mentioned one which if the EPs individually have evaded your sweaty hands, is a must have, do not dawdle purchase. In The Whale expels rock ‘n’ roll in its purest yet adventurous form, a furnace to get persistently and brilliantly burnt by; the proof is all there on Nate & Eric.

The self-released Nate & Eric is available now!

www.inthewhalesucks.com

10/10

RingMaster 27/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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