Rooster Cole – More Than You EP

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If you had to choose one word to describe the music of Rooster Cole it would have to be dramatic. Given a couple more to use then evocative and spellbinding would be next in line. As evidenced by recent debut single More Than You, the band’s sound and presence is pure aural theatre, transportation to sultry and emotional adventures which simply seduce ears and imagination. Now a four track EP with the last single as its title track has been unveiled to declare Rooster Cole as one of the most exciting and magnetic propositions in the British music scene today.

Rooster Cole is the solo project of Black Black Hills frontman Mark S. Aaron, a band itself igniting the music landscape before seemingly going on a hiatus. With a sound described as Bluesman Mariachi Soul, hard to think of a more accurate description either, Aaron unveiled a couple of songs last year to whet the appetite before releasing, as mentioned, his first single a few weeks back. It was a song which not only expanded on the potential of those early tasters but opened up a new web of intrigue and promise which now the EP has been taken to even greater depths and thrilling exploits.

MORE THAN YOU EP blue     The EP opens with Up To The Teeth and swiftly with its spicy caress of guitar and more sombre bass tone, has ears alert and the imagination intrigued, especially when the expressive drama lined vocals of Aaron begin the narrative. Only a few seconds in and a swarthy climate soaks the senses and song whilst a spicy flavouring spills from the melodic enterprise of the guitar and an evocative tang seeps from the keys. Its ambience is just as humid and provocative whilst vocally Aaron paints a potent picture for thoughts and emotions to embrace. His voice and presence is pure magnetism, as his songwriting and musical craft, and imagining Nick Cave and Roy Orbison as one unique person will only take you closer to the impact and qualities of the man. For all its shadowed feel and dark drama there is catchiness to the song which is just as gripping, its chorus especially magnetic with its melodic and vocal roar.

     More Than You steps up next and from its first breath has the listener under a sweltering sun scorched sky, a Tarrantino meets Morricone ambience colouring the broad yet intimately suggestive soundscape of song. It is exotic in air and rousing in touch but equally with discord lined sonic winds also bringing their temptation, the track is an unpredictable and compelling adventure. Aaron once again croons ears into submission, every word and syllable a conjuring of the imagination with his distinct and mesmeric delivery; if there is a finer descriptive and evocative vocalist right now we cannot think of them.

Whereas the first two songs are gentle immersions, even if each also brews stirring and intoxicating crescendos, third track River Deep strolls in on an immediately lively swing and energetic shuffle. The sway of the song is simply hypnotic and the rhythmic enticement a lure to listener involvement in feet and body. Thoughts and emotions are in turn taken care of by the voice and rich melodic enterprise of Aaron, aided by the feel of eighties bands like Heaven 17 in the feisty pop energy of the song. As always, Rooster Cole songs are a blend of light and dark and the latter, with its bluesy rock embrace, offers up The Doors and Bernaccia like whispers, though it all emerges as one unique Rooster Cole emprise.

Final song Evelyn is a ballad of haunting emotion and beauty, an inescapable magnet for ears and unbridled seduction for the imagination. Strings caress the senses with their melodic croon whilst Aaron strokes thoughts with every line of the dark romance, it all gently prowled by the throaty tone of the bass. Brief but sending a tingle down the spine, the song is a glorious end to a stunning release.

Aaron had us awoken to his voice and songwriting with Black Black Hills, further impressed and excited with his recent single and now lustfully inflamed through the More Than You EP. Rooster Cole is now on course to be the future of dark mournful rock ‘n’ roll.

The More Than You EP is out now @ https://roostercole.bandcamp.com/

http://www.roostercole.com/     https://www.facebook.com/roostercolemusic

RingMaster 30/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

The Skints – FM

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There are numerous and varying essences which make a great record, elements which create an escape or certainly a potent diversion from everyday issues and drudgery. There are some which go even further, capturing the imagination as forcibly as ears and emotions whilst taking the listener into a landscape that is familiar in some and many ways to their own personal life’s scenery. These are the standout moments in music and FM is without doubt one of those. The third album from UK reggae/dub quartet The Skints, the release is a fascinating and seriously thrilling adventure, an encounter from the band drawing on their own personal pleasures growing up and in turn connecting with the listener’s. FM is an inescapable thrill fuelled by fun, fierce enterprise, and ridiculously contagious imagination…oh there are some rather bewitching sounds involved too.

Following on from their previous acclaimed albums, Breathe. Build. Believe. and Part & Parcel, of 2009 and 2012 respectively, FM is a tantalising proposition which in some ways can be described as a concept album. The release from the East London quartet of Jon Doyle (bass), Marcia Richards (keys/sax/flute/melodica/vocals), Jamie Kyriakides (drums/vocals), and Josh Waters Rudge (guitar/vocals), takes the listener into the heart of an imaginary London pirate radio station, The Big FM / Frequency Murderation, 103.Skints. Across its length we are entertained by four radio shows with the DJ Mr Versatile Breakfast Show, the alter-ego of Tippa Irie, setting the album’s broadcast off. The release is a tribute to the radio culture the band and indeed we have all loved as music fans, whatever our tastes, an ‘education’ and experience arguably lost in the modern internet age. FM is quite simply spellbinding in premise and invention, the songs finding The Skints at another creative plateau yet unafraid to give a nod to their early inspirations and own rawer sound whilst weaving diverse tapestries from roots reggae, dub, rocksteady, punk, Motown, grime, garage, and soul plus much more.

FM is summer in one excitable embrace and instantly steals ears and passion with This Town which follows the opening Breakfast Show skit. Featuring Tippa Irie and Horseman, the song is an immediate seduction. Vocals caress ears as guitar and pulses stroke with equally engaging intrigue. It is potent bait swiftly given greater colour by the irresistible tones of Marcia Richards. The image001song has attention and appetite instantly in its hands right away as a skittish air only adds to its compelling aural smile. London life has never been so warmly and magnetically shown but it is just the start. Both guests add their distinctive and captivating vocal adventures to the invigorating stroll, it all leading to a croon of a chorus which surely no one can resist. The track is spellbinding leaving a huge grin on heart and face and pleasure ready for what is to follow.

In The Night steps in next, its melodies and harmonies gliding over the senses, serenading ears with aural poetry. Elegant and reflective, the song also shows a darker yet unthreatening side, Horseman again adding his rich deep tones as energies brew heavier attitude around him. Imagine By The Rivers meets The Clash and you get a sense of the great contrasts colluding in beauty, though admittedly not the real uniqueness of the offering. Its mesmeric elegance is followed by Come To You, a summery waltz in ears with Richards as vocally enchanting as the pop bred melodies and steamy prods of keys and guitar. You can easily visualise or imagine a video of the song such its cinematic air, for us the singer spreading her melodic romance from the open carriage of a London park situated steam train, its wheels dancing around a track in the sultry heat of summer.

The excellent My War brings a darker edge to the release, the song a cover of the Black Flag track. It is still a fascinating melodically enhanced invitation but has a snarl to its voice and attitude lined swing that breeds an additional intriguing edge to the provocative narrative and shadows. The track is the end of the first show, Dancehall Dilemmas with Dr. Ranking Pegasus (aka. Horseman) opening up the stations next clutch of offerings. Featuring a ‘call from listener Danny’ it evolves into the excellent Friends & Business, another song with an addictive swagger and punchy rhythmic enticing commanding feet and passions with consummate ease. Ska bred with a soulful nature to its heart and vocals, the track also has a mischievous almost vaudeville moment which only adds to the addiction spawned by the slice of rock pop.

Both the feisty sway and swing of Where Did You Go? and the more serious presence of Tazer Beam keeps album and listener aflame with invention and pleasure. The first is yet another call of the summer with intimate melodies and irresistible rhythmic and percussive lures courted by bewitching vocal prowess across the band. As with many songs by The Skints, you feel you know the proposition ahead of ears yet everything about it is fresh and unpredictable, a skill sparking greater lustful reactions. The second of the two songs, explores a darker and grittier premise, looking at gun and associated violence on both sides of street culture. Tippa Irie returns to bring his pungent style to the immersive tones of song and band, contrasts again sublimely crafted in sound and lyrical expression by the band.

After the melodic spell of The Forest For The Trees, sorcery of vocals from across the band kissing ears as words and reggae honed strokes work on the imagination, the Grime Hour With Rivz (aka MC Rival) welcomes Eyes In The Back Of My Head. Also featuring the ‘DJ’, the track almost prowls ears, the hip hop incitement of Rival an alluring and compelling protagonist against the similarly imposing sounds surrounding his spits. Tempering it though, keys and vocals from the band bring their own smouldering seduction; whilst seemingly inspired by the tense streets being explored, the guitar reveals noir lit drama in its creative designs. The track gets under the skin, constantly evoking thoughts and emotions before Got No Say provides its own distinctive and individual flirtation of eagerly simmering keys, siren-esque melodies, and another thrilling and adventurous vocal union. In many ways the song might be the most pop of them all on FM, though as ever it never allows itself to settle into one singular premise of sound.

DJ Mr. Versatile Evening Session is the final show of the broadcast and gives us the mouth-watering beauty of Tomorrow. The song epitomises everything impressive about The Skints. Songwriting alone as enchanting and immersive as the melodies and imagination fuelling every slice of ingenuity held within FM. We have obviously repeatedly mentioned the thrilling melodies and harmonies which ignite songs, but have to also point out the dark throbbing lines cast by Doyle’s bass, the instrument and its dramatic strings perpetually casting additional theatre within the tracks.

It is a masterful end to a stunning release. The band’s previous albums were the mark of a band persistently finding new heights and depths in its sound and invention. Now FM is yet another landmark for not only The Skints but indeed reggae seeded ingenuity as a whole.

FM is available from March 9th via Easy Star Records @ http://easystarrecords.shop.musictoday.com/Dept.aspx?cp=115_68927 and digitally https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/fm/id962280939

http://www.theskints.co.uk/     https://www.facebook.com/theskints

RingMaster 09/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

Shanty – Leave Me Out EP

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Alongside attention grabbing live performances, seven piece party-reggae collective Shanty stirred up plenty of attention earlier in the year with their first single Blackout. Now the UK band release their highly anticipated debut EP Leave Me Out, a four track creative stomp fusing classic roots reggae with soul, hip hop, and many more enticing flavours.

Hailing from northwest London, Shanty has through their tantalising and inventive sound found themselves appearing at the likes of Glastonbury, Boomtown Fair, Secret Garden Party, and Leopallooza, with equal success and acclaim coming through the sharing of stages with the likes of The Skints, Prince Fatty, and Neville Staple of The Specials. Blackout kicked open a wider awareness of the band with its eagerly received release but it is through the fascinating Leave Me Out that you feel Shanty is poised to leap into the strongest spotlight.

The EPs title track sets things off , its opening blaze of heat from trombonist Ross Moore and trumpeter Kenneth Brown a coaxing wind to which the choppy temptation of Sam Raywood’s guitar, aided by the dark tones of Jake Butler’s bass, clip_image001provides a more intimate enticing. Soon settled into a relaxed and magnetic stroll, the bass becomes more creatively vocal as the keys of Mindaugas Juozapavicius flirt with the imagination and beats of Luke Bunce keep the pace even and controlled. The song fully comes alive with the final thread of its seductive weave, the fine vocals of Ben Willis. Quietly but inescapably infectious, the track is unafraid to leave its core reggae bred canter to explore electronic corners and intriguing sonic exploration before returning with renewed energy and enterprise into its masterful embrace. With the vocals of Willis especially tantalising in the superb gentle swagger of the track, it is a riveting start to the release.

     Bohemian Soul steps in next to continue the EPs strong persuasion. With a resourceful swing to its canter and flickers of dub temptation which reminds of Ruts DC, it is a warm and contagious seduction. Keys and brass swiftly immerse ears into the heat of the song’s sultry climate whilst vocals and rhythms work on the imagination and feet respectively, everything resulting in a thoroughly engaging and intrigue adventure matched straight away by the excellent Rise Up. Casting an anthemic lilt to its swirling enterprise and melodic temptation, the track spins a soulful tapestry of genre fusing sounds with a rich smouldering climate of reggae expression veined by a gloriously pulsating dub crafted resonance.

The EP is brought to a close by the shadow kissed creative spell of One More, the song a cinematic noir hued romance for the senses which simply radiates flirtatious melodies and seductive brass flames across a canvas of delicious dark bass suggestiveness and shimmering keys. It is a spellbinding encounter enriched by the excellent expressive vocals of Willis and the understated yet potent teasing of guitar from Raywood, not forgetting the jabbing weight of Bunce.

Leave Me Out is a tremendous proposition from a band which can only get stronger and more innovative going by the craft and potential locked inside the EP. Shanty is going to be big, mark our words.

The Leave Me Out EP is available now on CD @ http://tinyurl.com/kxerkn2 and digitally at most major stores.

http://www.shantyband.org

RingMaster 22/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright


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Arcelia – Wrap Your Bones

arcelia pic Lee Thompson

With the accompanying press release our only introduction to UK acoustic folk/soul trio Arcelia it is fair to say that the mesmeric seducing encountered within Wrap Your Bones was startlingly unexpected. As with any promo piece words were in praise of the release and quotes glowing, but neither truly hinted at the charm and tantalising glory of the album. Consisting of thirteen songs which bask in striking songwriting fuelled by shapely vocal and melodic harmonies, the release is a serenade for the senses and an evocative summer for the imagination; and the ears get rather wonderfully treated too.

With a name taken from an old Spanish word meaning ‘treasure chest’, Arcelia (pronounced Ah – KELL- ia) brings three striking musicians and voices together at its core. Simon Foster is a member of legendary acapella band The Flying Pickets and Teresa Gallagher a well-known voice artists who has appeared in a wealth of BBC Radio 4 plays and voiced countless characters in animated series such as The Octonauts, Noddy, Mr Men, and Gumball. Alongside the pair is accomplished songwriter and guitarist Gavin Alexander, completing a threesome which create a unique and virulently persuasion engagement through evocative sounds and bewitching vocals, as evidenced by their debut album. Coming together in 2012 the Kent based band’s sound has seemingly been feverishly embraced leading to their sharing tours and stages with the likes of Chris Difford, Mark Nevin, Mike Lindup (Level 42), Hamish Stuart (Average White Band), and Coope Booyes & Simpson. Wrap Your Bones is the band’s step into a wider sure to be keenly attentive spotlight and you suspect the start of a heady ascent.

The inspiring fusion of voice, guitar, cajon, and percussion from the trio, with just as flavoursome instrumentation from guest musicians to arcelia covercolour the acoustic elegance, Wrap Your Bones takes little time in tenderly wrapping ears in a lingering coaxing. Opener 45 Seconds instantly merges with emotions as a guitar dances through ears beneath almost as instantaneous harmonies. A piano is soon adding its evocative hues as the sandy tones of Alexander embrace the lyrical narrative and subsequently a swiftly established appetite for it. It is a masterful lure but one which reaches deeper into the passions through the melancholic call of the cello aided by the dark throat of a double bass as a southern breeze is touched by banjo and dobro guitar, all adding to the sultry atmosphere cast by the album’s entrance.

The following Long Man sees the simultaneously husky and dramatically melodic voice of Foster leading an emotive croon wrapped in again irresistible dark cello seduction. Though not quite as gripping as its predecessor initially, the slow burner steals thoughts and emotions with sublime ease eventually providing an essence of The Christians within its soulful suasion before making way for the Gallagher led Petal. With her warm sirenesque vocals a powerful caress alone, the song spreads melodic and enterprising hues across its easy going gentleness. The whole album sees one of the three core protagonists providing the lead vocals on individual songs but it is the balmy harmonies the three conjure together within songs as here which very often leave ears and emotions bewitched.

As impressive and enjoyable as the songs are to this point Cupid brings the first pinnacle, its shadowed strings against the riveting vocals of Alexander, a delicious flirtation for the passions over the simple percussive pull and irresistible harmonies. The song is a blaze of enticement but within an inventive restraint which plays the imagination and emotions as resourcefully as Phil Mulford and Ben Trigg do the double bass and cello respectively.

Both the humid emotive landscape of the Busking Birds, sculpted by guitar and Foster alone, and the summer glazed She’s Not Lost coat ears in a fascinating thought washing weave of inciting beauty, the second of the pair a mesmeric breeze of vocal addiction. They each thrill and seduce but are themselves put into the shade by the infectious romp of Another Song. There is a Buddy Holly like simplicity and irresistible hooking to its opening and ever persistent lure which enslaves right away before expanding into a catchy web of vocal and melodic bait. The word alchemy has been used in describing the prowess and ingenuity of Arcelia’s sound elsewhere, and right here it is hard to find any other word to describe the track’s majesty.

Through the poetic soul bearing Blossom and the emotionally beguiling This Time pleasure continues to ooze from the album whilst Save Your Soul offers a mouthwatering captivation, Gallagher uniting with a soulful guitar and a transfixing cello call for a breath-taking kiss on the senses. It is another heady peak in the lofty range of passion drawing songs, readily supported if not quite to the same level, by the provocatively twanged Lovely Bones and the outstanding aromatically melody flavoured Heaven which brings a pungent blues touched soul flame to ignite ears all over again. The latter of the two is a spellbinding encounter with all vocalists combining and aligning their specific beauty together in an equally dramatic weave of sound.

The album is closed by bonus track Broken, another slice of aural mesmerism which leaves a broad smile of pleasure and temptation on the face of ears and passions. It is a riveting temptress which just epitomises the quality and beauty of the band’s songwriting and sound as it brings a quite wonderful album to a potent end. Arcelia is one of those treats which you do not come across often, a band which can seduce the most riotous tastes and hearts as easily as those hungry for a gentle seducing whilst providing a quite arresting encounter.

Wrap Your Bones is available now.

http://www.arcelia.co.uk

9/10

RingMaster 23/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Molotov Jukebox – Carnival Flower

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It has already been firmly established that if you want your feet and body exhausted but blissfully contented then colourful UK revellers Molotov Jukebox are your puppeteers, their previous pair of EPs already the launch pad for riotous hips and gaping grins. Now the band parade their debut album, Carnival Flower, an eleven track festival of lyrical adventure and lustful melodies framed in a rhythmic escapade which frees inhibitions and ignites the raw dancer inside. It is a release which tempts and smoulders, caresses and incites as it takes the imagination on boldly hued and energetically fuelled romps. Unlike their previous releases there may be no real killer tracks at large, songs which virulently ignite the passions, but instead the release has a perpetual seduction which just as potently brews an enraptured submission.

Molotov Jukebox is a six-piece celebration of passionate aural festivities merging styles such as Latin soul, calypso, gypsy, swing, and dubstep into a unique revelry which has been tagged as gyp-step. Led by the distinctive sultry tones of Natalia Tena (an actress renowned for her roles in Harry Potter and Game of Thrones), and comprising of guitarist Adam Burke, bassist Tom Wilson, drummer Max Burnett-Wain, trumpeter Angus Moncrieff, and violinist/vocalist Sam Apley alongside her, the band has constantly garnered acclaim whilst inspiring an ever growing and feverish fanbase with their vibrant sound and equally vivacious live shows. Both their debut EPs, Double Dare and especially its successor Bang thrust the band into a concentrated spotlight feistily backed by unrelenting festival appearances, certainly in the past eighteen months or so. Now with the release of Carnival Flower there will be no surprise to see the London based band taking country and bodies further afield by the scruff of the neck and leading them to filling streets and dance halls with swerves and sexual dance moves, all to the sound track of Molotov Jukebox.

As soon as rhythms hit to mark the entrance of opener Tread Softly, an itch begins in the toes. The punchy beats of Burnett-Wain hold a Mol juksmile to their swing which is as infectious as the soon to join warn embrace of strings and the vocal persuasion of accordion caressed into life by Tena. It combines with whiffs of sonically crafted guitar and a percussive coaxing into an even tempered but inciting romp brought further to life by the seducing vocals of Tena within sober blazes of trumpet. It is not a riotous start but an eager persuasion which twists and flirts with sound and ideas to waken attention, appetite, and imagination with ease.

From the slightly annoying fade-out of the song, just a personal gripe in a liking for proper finales to songs, temperature and bait is increased thr0ugh Don’t Wanna Know. A vocal croon by Tena courted by excellent group harmonies beside her, kiss the ears initially providing a sexy flirtation which evolves into an agitated stomp with melodic skirts swishing over the senses as pulsating bass riffs use salacious tempting under the climactic flames of trumpet. As its predecessor, the song is not a full-on stampede of aural diablerie but holds an irresistible anthemic lure which enlists body and passions without resistance. The song simmers and at times almost taunts with rhythmic enterprise and string plucking, everything combining to design an evocative and humid template for addiction.

The band’s new single, Neon Lights steps up next, again gentle sexually inviting suasion starting things off before trumpet and vocals soar gloriously across the ceiling of the song. Veining the flight the bass strolls with inviting shadows whilst keys and accordion add their intrigue and mystique to the noir shaded scenery. It is a sumptuous blaze of colour and sound, a track which just grows and grows in the psyche and memory the more it infests the ears. That is true of the album to be fair, first impressions impressed and keen but a new breed of appreciation and ardour emerges given time; previous releases were an instant lust but the album takes a different longer route but with the same result.

The following Can’t Find You is another slow starter on emotions though a swift temptress of ears and thoughts. Almost like a formula for the album, the song also opens up with reserve and a melodic flutter of its lashes before throwing off its hood for a fleet footed waltz of provocative melodies and wanton hues. A mix of pop and swing, it moves around imagination’s dancefloor arm in arm with flailing hooks and elegant harmonies casting a robust yet sensual toxicity over the senses.

The jazz lounge like bred Punchlines weaves and glances across ears with a rich and soulful fondle lighting up thoughts. It is a graceful flame of emotional melodies and sixties harmonies which leaves satisfaction bulging if passions simmering, though they are soon aflame with the brilliant House Fire Smile. The first surprise emerging from the heralding blaze of trumpet and electro additives is that the lead vocals are taken by Apley, an inspired move as his vocals are impressive and make a brave and successful twist to the album. There is a feel of Lazy Habits and Dizraeli and the Small Gods to the song, a whisper of hip hop toying with the heart of the song as a reverse of the norm vocally throws a deliciously unpredictable and magnetic new coal in the fire of the album. The song has a bounce and swagger to its relatively considered stroll though there is always the feeling it wants to explode. Tena’s voice and a niggling guitar toxin only add to the riveting call of the song, an encounter which steals top honours on the album.

Both the frisky Sexfoot and the smouldering Nina keep hunger lively though both are openly pale against certainly the previous triumph. The first of the pair is like a tempered foxtrot with moments where it unleashes its inner devil whilst its successor with the smokey voice of Tena stroking every syllable and the senses in a steamy seduction courted by a classically bred Latin hearted acoustic guitar sends the imagination into a romantic encounter.

From the exotic gala of Tropical Badboy where even the dead could not resist its carnivalesque voracity, the album comes to a close with firstly the dynamic and atmospheric jubilee of No Lady, a track which finds an eighties whisper of bands like Pigbag to its determined sway of melodic curves and rhythmic hips, and lastly a reworking of Trying, a song previously on the Bang EP. The song is a masterful tempting which just has that instinctive lure to inspire full allegiance and union with its potent musical poetry but it has to be said that the new treatment does not quite work as well as the original. Despite that the track is outstanding and the perfect end to a quite impressive and incendiary release for body and heart.

Though Carnival Flower does not quite live up to definitely Bang, it is an open and thrilling doorway into Molotov Jukebox, both a proposition you need to explore at least once in your life, though be warned as one bite is all it takes to be lost to the temptation of the band.

The self-released Carnival Flower is available now!

http://www.molotov-jukebox.co.uk/

8.5/10

RingMaster 28/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Steaming Satellites – Slipstream

Steaming Satellites

Following their highly acclaimed debut album The Mustache Mozart Affaire a year ago, Austrian band Steaming Satellites unveil its successor Slipstream, a release which one suspects with easily  match the strength of response certainly amongst their fans. Eleven indie/alternative rock/electronic tracks which at times seem deceptively simple but are crafted with precise thought and imagination, the album easily shows why the Salzburg quartet is earning such eager reactions even if it does miss out on provoking a continual potent wash of ardour for its offerings.

Reliably informed that the band began around 2005, they began seducing their local and homeland crowds soon after before venturing farther afield with a US tour with Hello Electric in 2009 followed by another with Portuguese band The Man the next year. 2012 saw not only the release of their first full-length but more tours across Scandinavia and Spain with Two Gallants whilst strong festival appearances including the Eurosonic Festival in Groningen brought this year to life. The foursome of vocalist/guitarist Max Borchardt, bassist Manfred Mader, keyboardist/bassist Emanuel Krimplstätter, and drummer/programmer/keyboardist Matthäus Weber have built on their previous release with Slipstream, bringing an arguably grittier and more caustic breath to its presence though melodies and electronic elegance are still given full rein.

Released via The Instrument Village, the album opens with its title track, a cosmic heralding instrumental with sinister suggestiveness and295486_10151678988644741_1044438872_n dawning melodic grandeur. Seemingly seeded in 2001: A Space Odyssey, it is a decent enough beckon which leads into Another Love, the song instantly grabbing attention with its Sicilian keys temptation. Soon joined by the distinctive tones of Borchardt the lure only gets stronger especially when the brewing drum and bass persuasion grips tightly to ignite a wash of passion. There is a soulful fire to the vocals which again is focus pulling whilst once into its stride the song saunters along with evocative colour and melodic enterprise.

The next up Notice raises things another level, keys again opening up the path for the fine vocals and melodic sun of the song to stroll along. A rich bluesy lilt to the guitars has thoughts alert whilst the now bold swagger of the track and its harmony led festive energy has ears dancing to their soulful tune. A foot and emotion puppeteer of a track, there is a certain Black Keys feel to the song which seems at odds with the suggested comparisons to Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Bob Dylan which accompanied the release, though you can at times understand that idea. The following Another Try also brings a different thought, this time of the Alex Turner led band as it evokes a reflective and provocative narrative within the imagination. The synths sculpt an inciting ambience whilst the drums vein it with an honesty which alongside the excellent gnarly snarling bass lines ensnares a real hunger for their presence.

The intriguing ballad So I Fell Down brings again that Arctic Monkeys feel especially vocally, with Procol Harum like keys reaping the seeds of the seventies to mesmerise mind and emotions. Like the album as a whole, the song takes time to make its persuasion, taking numerous plays before it fully declares its riches it is the epitome of a slow burner forging a long term recruit for its glory.

Both Timezone and No Sleep for the Damned engage easily with the ear without quite matching what came before, though the blues drenched croon of the second of the two skirted by a great rhythmic taunt holds more than enough to pull one back into its depths time and again. The next up Rudder ebbs and flows within the passions, its evocative electro weaves and vocal harmonies making a magnetic breeze across feisty rhythmic waves of temptation which traps the listener in its creative snare. It like many does not light any raging fires inside but smoulders in thoughts and memory potently enough to make another strong impression, something you can lay at the door of Slipstream as a whole.

Shadows Collide is another more than decent ballad where again Weber steals most attention, which is then left firmly in the shade by the best song on the album, Anyone. There is a mischievous look on its tempting face from the start; keys, guitars, and rhythms courting the emotions like a pack of festival hounds before stretching their arms to welcome a delicious flaming shower of brass. The song takes no time in securing total ardour but then raises the game again with a step midway into mellower sway of invention and energy speared by hot coals of sonic invention and melodic fire.

Concluded by Gone and its melancholic poise, Slipstream is a very enjoyable and appetising album which as mentioned makes it clear as to why the band has come under such positive declarations, though it does not exactly spark a rapturous passion inside.  Steaming Satellites does bring plenty of appetising and easy to indulge in sounds and imagination though and undoubtedly will leave their fans new and old blissfully content.

http://www.steamingsatellites.com/

8/10

RingMaster 02/09/2013

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By The Rivers – Self Titled

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Initially persuaded like so many by previous single Take Control that the 6 strong original new age reggae band By The Rivers was a unit which just had to be watched closely as their fresh and soulful melodic craft to grew into even greater things, the release of their debut self-titled album confirms and enhances all those previous thoughts and emotions. The eleven track release is a stroll through the heat of summer with all the warm caresses of the sun and the heart at tantalising play in its tender and emotively engaging arms. It shows that the previous single and releases were mere appetizers for the seductive feast of sound and invention to follow, a record which easily confirms all the acclaim and eager declarations surround the band since forming.

Formed in 2010 by friends since birth, Nile Barrow (lead vocals/guitar) and Jordan Birtles (drums/vocals), By The Rivers honed and sculpted a unique sound fusing a weave of reggae/ska/soul/afro-beat, all flavours igniting a driving passion in the duo. The cultural aspects of the sounds also aided to the influences as the pair began writing songs with a social commentary as well as just as potent love songs and positive takes on things that affect the youth of today. Joined by Matt Willars (bass), Sam Read (keys/guitar/vocals), Will Todd (Tenor Saxophone), and Leo May (Trumpet), the Leicester band was no stranger to acclaim from their first steps into view. Within their first seven gigs the band was lined up to play alongside the likes of Dawn Kinnard, Neville Staples, Fun Lovin Criminals, and Toploader, sparking an appetite within promoters and venues for their distinctive and refreshing sounds. The first year continued with the band sharing stages with the likes of The Buzzcocks, Maxi Priest, Musical Youth, Dawn Penn, Saxon Sound, and The Specials whilst continuing to earn impressed responses from people such as  Lynval Golding, guitarist and vocalist of The Specials/Fun Boy Three who declared “They are the new The Specials”. Their two EPs drew press and fan acclaim with debut single One Word and its successor Take Control both like the album released via Kompyla Records sparking up a strong anticipation for the album, a hunger which is easily fed.

The album opens with the instantly magnetic Vulture, the song a melodic blaze of vocal harmonies and expressive seduction from BTRAlbum_FrontCoverthe off, even before the music adds its compelling swagger and elegance to proceedings. An energetic but respectful romp which holds the ear and emotions by the hand as it dances across the brass flames and flashing guitar strokes, it is as infectious as it is lyrically provocative, the vocal persuasion of Barrow and co as irresistible as the perfectly sculpted melodic teasing and narrative colouring the intent of word and voice. The full combination is simply a magnet for the passions and senses setting the album off on the perfect start.

The following Make Your Own Road lifts the immense start to another plateau of excellence and steals one of the top honours spots on the album. Heralded by a restrained but bright brass call the song is soon offering a sultry stroll of deep throaty bass lures and group vocal calls as the chorus opens up the scintillating encounter. As the guitar picks and plucks the greedy heart the trumpet and sax offer a defined wantonness which enflames an already brewing ardour incited by the vocals and deliciously emotive bass sound. Every element of the song is passionate and expressive, each aspect an individual tease and narrative in tandem with each other and in union a piece of melodic alchemy which lights up every shadow and corner of thoughts, heart, and the day.

After such an immense start there was bound to be a dip in temptation but if there is it is barely recognisable as the likes of This Love, You Got It Wrong, and Don’t Look At Me with the aforementioned Take Control slipped in their midst, enchant and evoke further pleasure. Certainly the songs do not reach the same elevation of the opening pair but with the beauty of the first of the four a radiant kiss upon the ear and the persuasive ‘call to arms’ of the single with its deep temptation lined coaxing just two outstanding moments from this part of the album alone there is no slip in its fascination and strength.

The album ends as powerfully and contagiously as it begins with firstly the irresistible Rise Up stroking the ear into an enamoured rapture with its reggae honed siren call and brass fire erupting to deepen the temptation and soon matched by the Caribbean soaked rhythmic/melodic tango of Run Home, a song with an eighties whisper which reminds of Haircut 100. The closing pair though almost steal the whole show with the sweltering allurement of Don’t Say You Love Me raising the temperature with an epidemic cursed melodic enterprise and the closing Rocksteady a thrilling crescendo of ska shaped melodically grooved splendour to what is a stunning album.

By The Rivers, band and album, is a treat the summer of this and every year hence forth will adopt as its mesmeric soundtrack and the heart as its long lasting invigorating companion.

http://www.bytherivers.co.uk

9/10

RingMaster 07/05/2013

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