Rooster Cole – Bird Don’t Sing EP

RC_RingMaster Review

Bird Don’t Sing is the second EP from UK band Rooster Cole and confirmation, if we needed it, that the man behind it all is one of Britain’s finest atmospheric and emotive song-smiths and vocalists. It offers four diverse and intensely provocative songs which just grab ears and imagination, transporting them into the heart of a sound described as ‘Bluesman Mariachi Soul’, a term which really does sum up the mouth-watering experience on offer.

Rooster Cole is the solo project of Black Black Hills frontman Mark S. Aaron, a band which itself was an acclaim garnering and feverishly devoured proposition which still has many hoping and waiting on a hint of a return. Last year saw Aaron unveil a couple of songs which swiftly whipped up keen attention, including ours, but it was debut single More Than You at the beginning of the year which nudged real focus on The Brighton based singer-songwriter’s emerging presence. That poke became a rich wake-up call as the single revealed itself to be the lead song from the similarly named first EP from Aaron. The April released More Than You EP, was a creative web of intrigue and dark adventure with a general climate as sultry and romantically dangerous as the mix of impressive and individual songs within it. Now five months on, another quartet of spicy encounters have arrived within the new EP to whisk the listener off into flirtatious shadows and emotionally haunting landscapes, and it is easy to suspect, even greater attention and rewards.

cover_RingMaster Review     The release opens with the instantly warm and lively Head Over Heels, and a dazzle of crystal melodies against the darker tempting of bass and guitar. Almost as quickly, the distinctive tones of Aaron cup ears with rich expression shaped by mariachi honed theatre. It is a magnetic sound and presence the man has; a cross between a melancholic Elvis and a mournful Roy Orbison yet with an instinctive swing and smile that simultaneously tempers and accentuates the shadows at the soul of the words and music. The song continues to bloom as guitar strings cast a weave of variety and enterprise matched by the vocals with bewitching effect. Delicious elements of unpredictable discord also come out to play whilst electronic beats, with a dulled sharpness, knock on the door of the song trying to get in. Theirs is a strange resonating touch which just works and though they would not be missed if not there such the potency of the track, they add a little more drama to contemplate.

The title track of Bird Don’t Sing follows, pulsating beats and tender melodies the first touch, the inviting voice of Aaron the second. In moments it has ears and thoughts firmly engaged, electronic tweets sparsely reverberating within the sombre but again welcoming ambience of the song. Like a fusion of The Walker Brothers and Nick Cave, the track seduces with a noir charm and elegance spiked by scuzzy eruptions which smother the senses in brief and quickly passing, but almost smoggy crescendos. It is a creative collision between textures, even if in swift moments, which unleashes the sorrow of the song in gentle persuasion and devouring intensity, again a blend which just works around the dark tale and heavy enticing voice of Aaron.

If the second song is awash with melancholy, O Darkness Come For Me right after is drenched in it, and similarly simply captivates. There is a fifties hue aligned to gothic sadness which drips from every pore of the song whilst wistful keys and a solemn piano melody court each other’s emotive beauty. It is absorbing stuff and with the ever sullen and enthralling voice of Aaron casting the narrative’s sorrow, also quite irresistible.

In saying that, it still gets outshone by final song and rousing stomp, Waiting Place. The track was one of the two songs first revealed by Aaron before the first single, and a glorious bewitchment which slowly washed over ears as its piano led walk embraced discord kissed melodies and sombre yet emotionally incendiary textures and vocals, it was too. Between its first appearance and now though, it seems like Aaron has fed it Viagra as it has returned as a far more boisterous and refreshed encounter, bouncing with the sultriness of a temptress and romping with the tenacious canter of a stallion. The track still lies under a red skied climate of suggestiveness over a dustily emotive landscape, but like a bold Ranchero baring his soul with troubadour revelry it now infests ears with a funky, discord lined and noir folk adventure in word and sound. The track is superb, managing to go from being something truly special to revealing a whole new character and intent which is still nothing less than magnificent. Simply it is dark rock ‘n’ roll at its most resourceful and invigorating.

Fair to say the final song steals the show, but from first maudlin note to its lingering last, the Bird Don’t Sing EP is majestic. If Rooster Cole has still not reached your personal playlists yet…you really are missing out.

The Bird Don’t Sing EP is available from September 18th via the Rooster Cole Bandcamp.

Pete Ringmaster 18/09/2015

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Richie Campbell – In The 876

Richie campbell_RingMaster Review

With the release of third album In the 876, Richie Campbell shows exactly why he is revered in his homeland of Portugal and becoming one of the most greedily devoured propositions in global reggae. Also infusing rich essences of soul and Latin flirtation into an array of individually distinctive songs, Campbell and album has the body bouncing and ears smiling.

Already drenched in acclaim and rabid attention which has seen the album hit the top of the Portuguese iTunes Charts within 2 hours of its European release in May, In The 876 now gets its UK unveiling with anticipated similar reactions going its way. Recorded between Kingston and Lisbon, and with a title referring to the telephone area code of Jamaica, In The 876 features numerous guests and is the next potent step in the seemingly unstoppable rise of Campbell and his creative stature. The Lisbon hailing singer/songwriter began concentrating on a solo career from 2010 having played in bands over the previous six years. Debut album My Path came out as a free download and subsequently amassed over 250,000 downloads which in turn led to Campbell playing a sold-out show at Lisbon’s Campo Pequeno Bullring. Second album Focused was just as well-received and successful, gaining a nomination in the Portuguese Golden Globes of 2013 and seeing its lead track, That’s How We Roll, awarded Song of the Year at the National Radio Awards.

Now is the turn of In The 876 to arouse thicker spotlights and awareness, in the UK and around the globe, and it gets off to a mighty bang, after its intro like title track, with I Feel Amazing. One of the singles from the album which has already earned potent radio play, the song is pure reggae flirtation. Its rhythms swagger with infectious beats aligned to bass spawned hips whilst guitars and vocals swing with virulent contagion and melodic seducing. From the off, the warmth of sunny skies around optimism rich emotions swim through ears and into the psyche, the whole song quickly an irresistible incitement to dance and smile. Though three and a half minutes long it is seemingly over in a flash, leaving exhausted but over flowing enjoyment behind to be whipped up again a by another single from the album in Best Friend.

cover_RingMaster ReviewThe second song has a mellower gait but is no less insistently catchy and melodically glowing, vocally and musically. Again keys and guitar incite a vibrant canter which has the body swaying incessantly whilst, as in its predecessor, a familiar but refreshing character only adds to its seriously persuasive climate. Vocally Campbell allows his naturally harmonic tones to entangle a more expected reggae seeded delivery resulting in something, as the music, instantly friendly and recognisable yet individual in character to most others.

The impressive start continues with Feels Like which features the wonderful gruff growl of Agent Sasco (also known as Assassin). The song is sublime temptation, its flow and melodies smooth over a canvas just rippling with character and diversity. There is a touch of New Town Kings and UB40 to the encounter and an instinctive romance between ska keys and ears. It is glorious and as it has body dancing and voice crooning, the lead thought is that this surely is a done deal as the next single.

The broader flavouring of the magnetic 25 to Life comes next, its emotive shuffle employing richer rock textures to a soul/reggae blending whilst Man Don’t Cry slips into a smouldering embrace graced with sultry backing vocals around another infectious rhythmic collusion of bass and beats. At times across the album Richie Campbell casts a sound which has familiar seeds in a musically hard to pin down landscape, and here that quality is at its most captivating best, with the song vocally and musically almost kaleidoscopic.

That’s Not Mine sees Jesse Royal guesting in its intimate yet wide social statement which has ears as absorbed by its lyrical jaunt as its aural jabbing and melodic tantalising. Thoughts of The Skints emerge as the song shows, like so many, glimpses and clearer twists of invention and imagination in all aspects before leaving full enjoyment in its wake which Get Over You uses to take ears and limbs into its own flirtatious dance. With the siren-esque beauty of Toian’s voice joining the scintillating escapade, the track boils like the surface of an aural heat wave, its relentless shimmer sizzling and pulsating surface unstoppable.

Both Give It All Away and Knock Me Out provide reasons for the imagination and body to rejoice, though neither can spark the same lusty responses as the tracks before them with personal tastes. The first is one of those songs which have the listener unconsciously lost in movement whilst its successor, which includes the guest appearance of Sara Tavares, is an embrace of soul and Latin elegance. Each fully engages but as suggested lack the same spark as the earlier adventures, something to a lesser extent which applies to the tenaciously lively and colourful Rise From We Fall and its reggae/rock pop samba.

In The 876 is concluded by firstly the excellent Standing Firm, a more formula reggae romp but given plenty of the Campbell Latin spice and vocal soul to fascinate and excite before Better than Today brings it all to a soulful close with provocative keys, emotive vocals and harmonies, and a melancholic jazz lined air. In many ways the song does not quite fit the rest of the album, or shouldn’t but it only provides a powerful end whilst revealing more of the impressive depth within Campbell’s writing and invention.

Exciting us most in its first half but only offering a thickly enjoyable time from start to finish, In The 876 shows exactly why the reggae world is excited over Richie Campbell. It is the UK’s time to explore and get involved with his riveting sound and songs now, and no doubt to get excited too.

In The 876 is released in the UK on August 28th via Chet Records.

RingMaster 27/08/2105

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Stone Foundation – A Life Unlimited

stonefoundation_RingMaster Review

With the soulful heart of The Bureau, the brass revelry of Dexy’s Midnight Runners, and hues seemingly hailing from decades of soul, funk, and jazz temptation, the new Stone Foundation album is a tonic for anyone’s day. A Life Unlimited is full-on captivation from start to finish but what sets it and the band apart is a tone and uniqueness which bonds all essences into something you just cannot hear anywhere else. It is mix which has lit up three previous acclaimed releases and now caught fire in the band’s latest provocative shuffle of sound.

Formed by vocalist/guitarist Neil Jones and bassist Neil Sheasby, Stone Foundation was not a project rushed into realisation and the public ear but one honed and pieced together as the right people were discovered and enlisted to make the eight-piece the potent temptation they have proved to be across their releases and a live presence which has seen the band ignite small and lively sweaty venues, support The Specials on a UK tour after being spotted at such a show by drummer John Bradbury, and be invited to Japan as a part of a “visit Britain” campaign by the British embassy. Their records have been just as potent in luring and breeding the band’s reputation on the soul/jazz funk scene and indeed charts, previous album To Find the Spirit their most successful and inciting release to date, well until A Life Unlimited. The band has hit a new plateau with their new ten track romance of the imagination, and a brand of sound which even has more aggressive tastes for the main enthralled.

cover_RingMaster Review     The album opens with new single Beverley, a coaxing of ears by guitar, welcoming beats, and the Ian Arnold cast Hammond bred seducing by which the band’s sound is partly renowned for. In no time the song flows like a warm breeze on the senses, the beats of drummer Phillip K. Ford and percussionist Rob Newton gently but richly magnetic as a brass embrace from Gareth John, Gary Rollins, and Adam Stevens offers fire and mesmerism. The sultry funk air of the track is just as bewitching and though other songs excite personal tastes with more pungent energy and adventure, it is the perfect lead into band and album.

The slow and reflective hug of Pushing Your Love comes next, its soulfully transfixing croon a melancholic smile of harmonies and keys whilst Something In The Light right after, has hips swaying and feet eager to shuffle around the dance-floor with its relaxed but eventful stroll. Once again keys and horns collude in a masterful kiss on ears and imagination as guitar and rhythms simultaneously spin their own invitation. As all tracks, many styles converge into one fascinating proposition, soul, jazz, and folkish enterprise uniting here under an invigorating noir hued sky.

The seventies honed swing of The Turnaround keeps the album burning brightly, even if it does not quite have the spark of its predecessors. In saying that, a great mix of vocals with Jones joined at times by female company and a bubbly texture throughout, ensures it has body and emotions well on board before the humid smoulder of the excellent Speak your Piece and the crystalline moonlit air of The Night Teller add their alluring strolls to the album’s canvas. The first, like a few others, seems to get feistier and more resourceful with every passing minute whilst its successor provides a slice of creative intimacy which only has seduction on its mind from voice to brass flaming, melodic lures to flirtatious rhythms.

Learning The Hard Way is an instant favourite with its Bobby Womack meets By The Rivers meets Fine Young Cannibals festival of enterprise but still soon outshone by the thrilling These Life Stories whose rhythmic bait alone has ears and appetite hooked. In their individual ways, both songs are inflamed by the soothing yet anthemic flame of brass and the latter by an additional dark bassline which reeks seduction. Keys and guitar only add to the webs of tempting, traps the distinctive tones of Jones further colour with expression and emotion.

The album’s title track saunters in next with its eighties northern soul air and cosmopolitan flavours to continue the new plateau the album has hit over the past couple of songs, before the melancholically enchanting instrumental Old Partners, New Dances brings A Love Uprising to an evocative close.

Stone Foundation has produced an album to romance to, reminisce and reflect with, and even chase shadows away through. A Life Unlimited also has the adventure and bite for those with the want of a more pronounced snarl in their music to get off on. Acclaim is already soaking this proposal and really it is no surprise.

A Life Unlimited is available now via The Turning Point Recording Organisation / Republic Of Music digitally and on CD/vinyl.

RingMaster 19/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Winachi Tribe – Time For Love

Picture 7_RingMaster Review

Fancy giving feet and hips a healthy work out? Then take Time For Love, the new single from The Winachi Tribe, out for a ride. Consisting of two electro funk bred shuffles as soulful as they are blessed with a varied weave of additional flavours, the band’s debut release is the perfect incitement for those with the need to dance in their heart.

The Warrington / Leeds based funk driven collective emerged earlier this year out of Northern D.Funk collective China White, entangling inspirations from the likes of Sly & The Family Stone, Happy Mondays, Black Grape, Primal Scream, Massive Attack, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and Ian Brown into their own diverse and fresh sounds. As young a band as it is, experiences across its members are deep, collaborations and tours with a range of artists from Alabama 3 and Keith Allen to The Furious Five included on the overall CV whilst percussionist Inder Goldfinger alone has been a member of Ian Brown’s band for thirteen years. With a line-up completed by vocalist Liam Croker, guitarist Jamie Mcgregor, bassist Richie Rich, keyboardist Antony Egerton, and drummer Sam Tushingham, The Winachi Tribe have hit the ground running with their first release, unleashing a soulfully infectious party at the same time.

Time For Love opens with inviting beats and a guitar jangle reminiscent of Talking Heads; The Tom Tom Club further coming to mind as percussion and vocals breathe their lively enticing into the expanding swing and flirtation of the song. A dark and pulsating bassline only adds to the draw whilst developing guitar enterprise and the ever captivating rhythms make a puppeteer to feet and body movement. The song saunters along with eighties/nineties funk revelry, the flames of horn provided by Tim Hutton alongside warm harmonies and the enticing lead vocals of Croker, further lighting up the song’s bustling scenery. With everything combined, Time For Love is a magnetism of nostalgia and originality. Manna for those with a passion of funk ‘n’ soul and pleasing temptation for those maybe less inclined to swing a hip or two.

Second song Plant The Seed, instantly offers a darker atmosphere and tone, but again with a virulence which only spreads the catchiness oozing from its second breath. Vocally Croker is soon mixing up his delivery too, enticing raps and mellow smouldering escaping his throat to match the similarly lively and varied sounds hugging his every word. As with its predecessor, a hint of Heaven 17 and additionally here Rip Rig & Panic plays with thoughts, especially around the great and thick temptation of female vocals. Emerging for personal tastes our favourite of the equally fine pair, the track reveals more of the depth and imagination within The Winachi Tribe songwriting and sound.

Completed by the Love Maze 4DD remix of Time For Love, the single is a masterful persuasion for ears and body, and an introduction to take even those of us generally lacking the keenest appetite for its style of music on a highly satisfying and eager adventure.

Time For Love is available via A1M Records from July 20th

Upcoming Live Dates:

18th July – Single launch at Water Rats, London with Alabama 3 DJ set and support from Italian Band La Strange

27th August – Vinyl launch, The Ruby Lounge

29th August – Victorious Festival, Portsmouth, opening for Primal Scream & The Flaming Lips

5th September – Manchester Met Uni, ‘The Second Coming’ with Aziz Ibrahim, The Clone Roses, Cressa (DJ Set)

7th November – Shiiine On Weekender, Minehead Arena, Somerset with Happy Mondays, Stereo MCs, 808 State

RingMaster 20/07/2015

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Rooster Cole – More Than You EP


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 @

RingMaster 30/04/2015

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The Skints – FM


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 @ and digitally

RingMaster 09/03/2015

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Shanty – Leave Me Out EP


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 @ and digitally at most major stores.

RingMaster 22/09/2014

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