Some Kind of Illness – Awakening

In a time where each day and every twist within it brings some form of tension or reflection of humanity’s quest for self destruction, we need a place to escape, to embrace a calming beauty within the chaos. One such place is the new album from UK duo Some Kind of Illness. The mesmeric Awakening is an oasis in the turbulence, a realm of elegant ambiences and warm melodies and though shadows and melancholy equally line the flight of the release they are all part of the evocation guiding ears and thoughts to an experience reflecting the album’s title.

Hailing from Farnworth, Some Kind of Illness is the creation of brothers Mark and Paul Hinks. The project emerged around 2014 bringing an alternative/indie guitar sound which swiftly drew positive attention especially with the release of the pair’s self-titled debut album in 2015 By then the band had become a busy proposition on the surrounding live scene and played numerous iconic venues across Manchester and Liverpool spreading out across the UK as well as shared stages with the likes of Tom Hingley and The Jackals and going into the following year, The Primitives. 2016 also saw the again highly praised release of second full-length Souls as well as the unveiling of Nick Connors’ film Northern Lights for which they wrote the soundtrack.

With Awakening, the pair has explored the qualities and depths of a retro Roland D-50 synthesizer and an 808 Drum machine around their weaving of guitar suggestion. The album also moves within a lighter climate of emotion in comparison to its predecessors, again its title echoed across tracks which are unafraid to hug shadows and darker feelings but explore the beauty in all. It opens with the instrumental caress of its title track, keys and guitars wrapping each other’s grace in a slowly revolving flume of temptation. Its hypnotic beauty is followed by the equally calm climate of Neon Glass though immediately beats are a lively lure. There is a great eighties post punk/new wave feel to the track, bands such as Human League in its first guise and Eyeless in Gaza coming to mind as the song seduces the imagination.

No More Waiting embraces similar hues within its gentle hug of ears; its ethereal atmosphere warmly clinging to the vocal declaration before the pop kiss of Violet Dream floats over the senses like the morning mist on an autumn day. The song features the enchanting tones of Hara Su, an engaging spice on the beguiling melodies of guitar and keys which tease ears. There is a hint of discord to the track too, a whiff of unsettlement which sparks thoughts as potently as the reflective prowess of word and tone.

The captivation continues through the Slowdive-esque Memories In A Window and the instrumental whispering of Ledana, both tracks an individual province of melodic suggestiveness and emotional intimation which lure ears and thoughts away from a moment of reality. They in turn are followed and matched in temptation by Cyclone which welcomes the innocence graced tones of Daisy Davies as it immerses the senses.

The dark touches of the real world continue to be eluded with the celestial flight of Icarus, its lofty beguiling atmosphere lined with darker omens as keys and vocals float across the rich captivation while with its own off world spatial hints, Snowflakes gently falls around the poetic portrait cast by Virginia Martelozzo. Each is a bewitchment which almost haunts the senses before the shoegaze shadows of Crystal Light bring the release to a lucent close. Melodies sparkle off of its energetic slumber, vocals similarly a vibrant lure into the track’s radiant depths.

It is a fine end to an album which simply grows more beguiling and impressive listen by listen. We all need an escape from the surrounding tempest, the compelling echoes and layers of Awakening just might be yours.

Awakening is available now @ https://somekindofillness1.bandcamp.com/album/awakening-lp

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Pete RingMaster 16/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Stellarscope – Standing In The Shadow Of Your Ghost

Evocatively invasive and seductive from its first to last breath, Standing In The Shadow Of Your Ghost is the new album from US outfit Stellarscope. Shaped by rousing yet darkly suggestive rhythms and driven by emotion strapped melodies within cinematically hued atmospherics, the release consumes as it ignites ears and imagination from pretty much its opening and seemingly intimate contemplation of “the pain of loss and the fear of an uncertain future.”

The creative union of vocalist/bassist/guitarist Tom Lugo and drummer Bob Forman, the band expanding with bassist/keyboardist Rob DeFlaviis and guitarist Edward Neenan live, Philadelphia hailing Stellarscope weave walls of sound from a relentlessly infectious blend of post punk, indie rock, shoegaze and more. Their music and songs devour the senses but simultaneously reveal a lively and eventful character which has the body bouncing and thoughts weaving, reactions fully inspired by Standing In The Shadow Of Your Ghost.

The album opens up with Don’t Belong and instantly has ears enthralled through a deep bass groove amidst boisterous beats as the guitar shares its fuzzy enterprise. The addition of Lugo’s voice, a delivery as warm as it is melancholic, enriches the swift coaxing and equally seems to spur a thicker scuzzy hue in the sounds around him. There is a sense of emotional desperation at times in his vocal presence too as his words reflect and explore in the fall-out of lost love. Richly captivating, like a fusion of My Bloody Valentine and Artery, the haunting trespass gets things off to a powerful and impressive start.

The following Capsized only builds on that compelling invitation, instantly gripping intrigue and a full welcome with its own distinct lure of beats and bass before opening up into a controlled stroll with moments of fever led by Lugo’s again easy to consume vocal presence. With essences of bands such as A Place To Bury Strangers and Slowdive in its instinctively catchy canter, the song is a smooth collision of emotional drama and sonic infection sparking body and appetite before Falling with its mellower gait and sultry climate offers a cosmic caress come intimately involving suffocation, one as funky and seductive as it is emotionally shadowy. As in the first, Forman’s rhythmic rock ‘n’ roll prowess is anthemic and manipulative of body and spirit whilst Lugo’s guitar and bass enterprise conjures similar involvement of emotions and thoughts with its contrasting yet mutually tempting tides of suggestiveness.

The thumping beats of Forman has speakers and body romping within a whisper of a breath as Only Strangers Now steps up next; his controlled but driving exploits alone irresistible bait. The tenacious rhythmic incitement is skilfully wrapped with a Joy Division seeded tone though that too has real liveliness to its solemn wash with vocals just as energetically flirtatious. Taking best track honours on the first listen, the band’s recent single sets up the more emotionally intense All For You perfectly, the following song’s laid back reflection fuelled atmosphere part House Of Love, part My Bloody Valentine but with the underlying sonic causticity found in Jesus And Mary Chain. Hypnotic and ghostly with a great concussive essence in its rhythmic touch, the track is another full immersion of ears and imagination within Standing In The Shadow Of Your Ghost.

So Long brings another accelerated charge and climate with its infectious adventure straight after; its cinematic and heavy atmosphere seeded in second and third album era of The Cure though melodically Ride come to mind while You Feel It Too has more of a synth pop meets noise rock meets fuzzy shoegaze serenade for the listener to explore though as with all songs, what emerges has only the Stellarscope persona all over it. Both songs leave rich pleasure a lingering memory with the first especially prone to lingering in thoughts with its tenacious escapade.

Both Nothing To Me and No Reason Why capture the imagination with ease, the first a fuzzy smog of sound and emotional openness fuelled by Forman’s ever voraciously infectious rhythms  while its successor is a slower and darker enveloping of the senses with its own alluring radiance and plaintive shadows. Though neither quite match up to those before for personal tastes they each only enrich and strengthen the depths and enjoyment of the album with the second arguably offering the release’s most intense and intriguing moment.

Completed by the raw and almost disarming This Is How It Ends with its seductively cloaked and richly enticing stark climate and emotion, Standing In The Shadow Of Your Ghost is one compelling adventure from start to finish which only grows with every listen. There are numerous essences and textures which go onto the band’s adventurous sound but as suggested, all woven into something if not fully unique as close as you would wish.

Standing In The Shadow Of Your Ghost is out now through Patetico Recordings @ https://pateticorecordings.bandcamp.com/album/standing-in-the-shadow-of-your-ghost

https://www.facebook.com/Stellarscope-42638364841/

Pete RingMaster 13/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Keep Breathing – Call Of Youth

KeepBreathing_RingMasterReview

Previously known as WTCHRS, before going on hiatus late 2013, Keep Breathing is a Newcastle hailing band which is about to present May 2016 with one of its more memorable moments. That comes in the shape of new single Call Of Youth; a flame of nostalgic and modern alternative rock which fascinates and seduces in equal measure.

Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Liam Milne, guitarist Jack Healy, bassist Thom Lewis, keyboardist Dale Knight, and drummer Alex Cook, Keep Breathing returned from their break to reimagine their sound and write new material with a new sense of purpose and creative fire, certainly if the new single is anything to go by. With shows across the UK alongside the likes of The Wedding Present, Palma Violets, The Vaccines, Drenge, and Public Service Broadcasting in its experiences, Keep Breathing had a potent base to reassess their next move from but there is no escaping a new sense of adventure and spirit accompanying their return.

Call Of Youth_Artwork_RingMasterReviewProduced by Ed Buller (White Lies, Suede, Pulp, Spiritualized, Slowdive, The Primitives), Call Of Youth is one of the early results of that time out and a striking and heavily enjoyable proposition it is too.  It is fair to say that the band’s alternative rock sound comes with plenty of other flavours and textures too, as quickly revealed in the new single. Its first few moments with Milne standing within an expressive weave of guitar and keys crafted melodies has a U2 feel to it, though that soon evolves as the rugged tone of the bass and the flowing stream of melodic and harmonic enterprise and suggestiveness brings a rich Echo and The Bunnymen air to the brewing infectious drama. Equally though, there is a distinctive character to sound and song which is all Keep Breathing; a stirring blend which with ease has ears and imagination enthralled and voice and hips involved.

It is hard to say that Call Of Youth is truly unique yet, apart from those spices mentioned, it stands alone in the crowd. It is easily accessible and boldly inviting yet stirringly individual its own way and that only helps to makes it something special.

Call Of Youth is released via End of the Trail Records on May 6th via iTunes and other stores.

KEEP BREATHING LIVE DATES:

Saturday 20th May ‐The Great Escape Festival, Brighton

Friday 28th May ‐ Sound City Festival, Liverpool

http://keepbreathing.co/   https://www.facebook.com/keepbreathinguk   https://twitter.com/keepbreathinguk

Pete RingMaster 06/05/2016.

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Scrap Dealers – After A Thousand Blows

TSD_RingMaster Review

After A Thousand Blows is the absorbing debut album from Belgian band The Scrap Dealers, a quintet unafraid to merge distinctive sounds into one immersive experience. As shown by their latest release, it is an imaginative collation of flavours which maybe not be always forcibly unique quite yet but certainly offers a fresh and fascinating captivation for ears and imagination.

Formed in 2012 in Liège, The Scrap Dealers initially emerged with a garage punk sound, releasing their attention grabbing debut EP Red Like Blood two years later. At that point though, the band began embracing a more psychedelic rock driven direction in sound; kraut and shoegaze influences amongst many similarly woven into their new explorations. Towards the end of 2014, a second offering in the shape of a self-titled EP was unveiled, the impressive release making a potent bridge between the band’s old and new blends of sound. After A Thousand Blows is another resourceful step in the evolution, but an encounter at times still enjoyably showing the rawer rock ‘n’ roll instincts the quintet of Hugues Daro, Régis Germain, Justin Mathieu, Cédric Georges, and Bruno Lecocq began with.

Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Allan Snon and Jeremy Alonzi, and released on Belgian DIY record label JauneOrange, After A Thousand Blows opens up with the instantly atmospheric Walking Alone. From its first portentous rumblings, keys and guitars entwine in a sonic mist sharing dark shadows and melancholic ambience. As bold beats enter the affair, a lighter hue begins to blossom; the catchiness of rhythms the eventual spark to warm melodies and a sultry glaze around the darker essences which remain as potent as ever. The vocals equally have a harmonic glow to them, thoughts of My Bloody Valentine and Curve emerging as the song continues to shimmer yet there is a strain of alternative and psych rock which only adds more character to the gripping start to the album.

The following I’ll Never Be Like You also emerges with a singular coaxing of sound but does not hang around before unveiling its own psych pop adventure with a persistent catchiness which infests everything from voice to guitar, bass to drums, and indeed the listener. As shown by its predecessor and all tracks to come, there is a drama in the songwriting and music of The Scrap Dealers; an intriguing undercurrent which has the imagination as hooked as firmly ears are enthralled by the virulence of sound. Here the magnetic but predacious tone of the bass is a prime instigator; enticing shadowy clouds and emotive dilemmas whilst offering addictive bait of its own backed by flirty beats and the evocative tapestry cast by the guitars.

A scent of the band’s garage rock origins comes with She Doesn’t Wanna Leave Your Mind, the track a slimmer, compared to the thicker immersions of the earlier songs, but no less emotive embrace of ears. Its raw and fuzzy textures easily engage and stir attention though the sinister air and volatile breath of Keep My Silence Safe soon puts it in the shade. There is no escaping an enticing essence of The Jesus and Mary Chain to the excellent encounter, especially as its dark invasive entrance slips into another magnetic stroll lit with psychedelic colouring and pop rock revelry. From the dark there is light, a switch of mood and texture which all the tracks seem to be built upon no matter which contrast they start from, and no more alluring than within this siren of a song.

The surf rock laced melodic rock romancing of That’s What We Call Love takes over to keep ears greedy, its tangy nature and whiff of discordance tantalising as it engagingly seduces. As potent as it is though, the ten minute adventure of I Lost My Faith in no time steals all attention from its companion. The closing track has the psyche rock mesmerism of The Horrors and the melodic enticing of Slowdive woven into its own distinct and seductive landscape of enveloping shadows and immersive beauty. Maybe a tad too long for personal tastes, the song is a riveting close to a thoroughly enthralling release, whilst The Scrap Dealers are a band who, as their sound continues to evolve, is on the path to being a potent part of the psychedelic and shoegaze landscape.

After A Thousand Blows is out now via JauneOrange in conjunction with Sick Fuzz Records, digitally and on vinyl and tape @ https://thescrapdealers.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 23/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Victories at Sea – Everything Forever

VAS_RingMaster Review

Everything about Everything Forever is noir hued; even its melodic glows and emotive beauty is wrapped in some form of portentous shadowing resulting in something highly mesmeric and provocative. The encounter is the debut album from UK band Victories at Sea, a Birmingham trio already no strangers to an excited buzz and attention around them and their sound, with plenty more sure to surface as Everything Forever seduces over time.

Musically Victories at Sea draw on inspirations ranging from the likes of Mogwai and Factory Floor to Slowdive and The Chameleons, and it is the latter in a fusion with Editors, Felt, and The Slow Readers Club which emerged in personal thoughts as a hint to the flame and suggestiveness of the band’s new release. Written over two years within an abandoned steel works in Digbeth and recorded in the damp basement of an old whistle factory, Everything Forever builds on the character of the bands’ previous EP In Memory Of. That was a release leading to keen support by the likes of NME, The Guardian, Clash Magazine, and XFM’s John Kennedy, something already being echoed in the wake of the new album’s varied and fascinating persuasion.

Artwork_RingMaster Review   Released via Static Caravan Recordings, Everything Forever opens up with Bloom, an apt title as release and sound does openly grow and blossom within the song. Synths offer the initial hug of coaxing, their mix of intense and emotive colours melancholic yet lively and increasingly inviting as they lead ears and appetite into a catchy stroll bound in sonic guitar lures. The mellow vocals only add to the warmth within a more oppressive climate as an eighties hue reminding of bands like Felt and also The Wild Swans adds to the fascinating and swiftly gripping success of the impressive opener.

The rich start continues with Florentine and there is barely a slither of difference to the sheer majesty of the first two tracks; the second, with more of that familiar nostalgic air, flirting from within another flavoursome shuffle of floating keys, harmonic vocals, and spicily melodic enterprise courted by the darker swing of the rhythms. Inescapably infectious, the track shares its attributes with the following Up, it too bridging eras of synth rock and post punk whilst bringing a big smile of infectiousness aired in a whisper of Duran Duran meets Tones On Tail. Keys and guitar entangle throughout, spinning a kaleidoscopic web of sound with minimalistic strands thick in temptation and resourceful imagination. Already the first three songs are rivalling for best track honours and to be honest they continue to chain the choice amongst themselves though many songs attempt to rival them.

The smooth celestial swing of On Your Own is one, its charming canter of sound and vocals a pulsating and contagious radiance on ears and imagination whilst DMC finds the band slip into something far more dystopian in air and suggestion. Its dark heavy climate embraces a blend of cool and warm keys, whilst its industrial spawned instrumental heart alone echoes as much the dark animus the world is in and which inspires some of the band’s lyrical exploration, as any vocalised tracks within Everything Forever.

Poles Apart is initially a low key but still boisterous affair compared to earlier tracks, vocals against skittish percussive tenacity creating a lively canvas from where keys and especially the spicy tonic of the guitars breed emotive imagination and subsequently a growing intensity which soon roars like a fire. It is compelling stuff which continues in the slightly starker but no less riveting seduction of Swim, a slice of again eighties inspired post punk that ignites the imagination as swiftly as hips and emotions. As suggested already, the Victories at Sea sound delves into the deepest shadows and darkest corners of worldly reflections and emotional intimacy yet boy is it easy to dance to, band and music built to get bodies fully involved and heading to the dance-floor.

Future Gold just epitomises that intent and success, its golden sunspot of melodic and harmonic prowess a sultry glow on another landscape crafted to tempt hips and an instinctive motion of the body. Emotionally driven by hope matched by an alluring radiance of sound, the song as so many quickly gets under the skin, leaving a welcome imprint that draws attention back again and again.

The thumping bait and virulence of Into the Fire provides one more rousing waltz of imagination and addictiveness next before album closer Sirens uncages its haunting atmospheric soundscape. The breath and design of the final song lives up to its title with ease, intimidating air and emotionally desolate scenery colluding in a post rock tinged exploration of physical dissonance; it all playing like a reflection of the same invasive discordance now gripping socially and globally. The track is darkly captivating, revealing even richer aspects of the Victories at Sea invention whilst taking the listener to yet another new place within Everything Forever.

It is easy to see why Victories at Sea are a favourite proposition for a great many right now and will be for many, many more now their album, a release not to miss out on, is working its temptation.

Everything Forever is out now via Static Caravan Recordings digitally and on vinyl/CD @ http://victoriesatsea.bigcartel.com/product/everything-forever

http://www.victoriesatsea.co.uk  https://twitter.com/victoriesatsea  https://www.facebook.com/Victories-at-Sea-272819659418258/

Pete RingMaster 16/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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