Heartbreak Remedy – Midnight Groove

Heartbreak Remedy Promo _RingMaster ReviewShot

Embracing a host of flavoursome flavours in their energy loaded sound, UK quartet Heartbreak Remedy create rock ‘n’ roll which just rolls with the instincts to party. The weight of proof comes in their self-released debut album Midnight Groove, a collection of tracks which may have found variable success with personal tastes at times but all left an appetite for more of their feisty enterprise.

Hailing from Cumbria, Heartbreak Remedy emerged in 2013 with the intent of merging LA’s classic rock sound with seventies bred grooves. The band’s founders, vocalist/bassist Matty Penn and drummer Stephen Jackson soon linked up with guitarists Callum Glynn and Luke Blair, that union the springboard for Heartbreak Remedy and a live presence which began with a debut show at Trillians in Newcastle playing alongside Enuff Z’nuff. 2014 saw the band playing across the UK, their own potent gigs beside support spots with the likes of The Quireboys, The Electric Boys, Kory Clarke/Warrior Soul, The Burning Crows, Bad Touch, Falling Red, and Knock Out Kaine. A full UK tour with The Last Vegas only added to their emerging presence and reputation whilst with two well-received EPs also under their belts, the band more recently has shared stages with Hardcore Superstar, Keri Kelli, and Brad Gillis, and played the Hard Rock Hell Road Trip in Ibiza. Now with its national release, it is the turn of Midnight Groove to awaken new ears.

Heartbreak Remedy seemingly gets referenced to the likes of Mötley Crüe, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Deep Purple most often, something relatively understandable as the opening track of Midnight Groove erupts in ears. There is certainly something familiar to their sound and seemingly no real intent to be dramatically adventurous but for heart bred rock ‘n’ roll there is little to dismiss the album over or first song Convoy. As soon as a single groove entangles ears attention is awake and seriously intrigued, especially once increasingly anthemic rhythms pave the way for a vocal bellow from Penn and the riff driven stroll it sparks. The beats of Jackson become even crispier bait as the bass of Penn offers a great grumbling lure whilst with acidic hooks and sparkling guitar endeavour wrapped in blues rock hues dancing in ears, the track gets more adventurous and compelling with every passing minute.

Heartbreak Remedy Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review  The following Already Gone is a slightly mellower proposition energy wise and in tone, and maybe because of this lacks the same spark as its predecessor, though the guitars again potently entice with their melodic narrative before Cocked and Loaded from a great devilish bassline emerges as another fiery slice of blues/hard rock. Vocally Penn is a touch wayward at times but equally more expressive as the track dangles spicy grooves and magnetic bait from the bass in ears.

Things really pick up with Tell Me Why, the track a sonic floozy of southern grooves and seventies seeded funk ‘n’ roll. Rhythms add a dark edge to the encounter, the muscular tones of the bass aligning to jabbing swipes from Jackson as the guitars of Glynn and Blair weave a contagious temptation of sultry grooves and riffs. Quickly establishing itself as a major highlight of the album, it seems to ignite something in the release as the following pair of All You’ll Ever Be, with its tangy lining to a nest of writhing grooves, and the pulsating Girl At The Bar keep the new plateau of good times rolling. Both tracks enjoyably explore contrasts and essences of discord, with the latter also slipping into something more eighties glam rock coloured to pleasing effect. The fact that there is a constant raw almost punkish surface and inner flame to the band’s sound only adds to the potency of indeed all three tracks and those to follow.

The skittish beats and southern seducing of Heartbreaker provides feet and imagination with the base for a good time which the southern/seventies hard rock textures of Southside recruit in its own dusty stroll before Rose clams things down with its soothing melodic croon. Guitars cradle ears with their tantalising melodies and evocative reflection whilst Penn almost mesmerises with his emotive croon. The song reveals more of the depth and diversity in the band’s sound, than arguably all the previous songs added together, simultaneously adding another high point to the release.

Next up Perfect Crime reveals more of the punk essence which lies within the band’s sound, fusing it with a dirtier hard rock proposal before its successor Thrill Me. Kill Me musically snarls around more restrained but nicely diverse vocals and Ice Queen sizzles in a bluesy climate, its guitars a sonically bubbling and hazy protagonist around funky rhythms and plainer vocals. It is a slim yet rich fusion of contrasts which works a treat though is over shadowed by the album’s closing triumph it is fair to say.

Like Rose earlier, Far Away is a captivating ballad with Penn really coming into his own as acoustic guitars embrace every syllable and escape of emotion. An increasingly impressive treat, it is a fine end to a rather enjoyable proposition from Heartbreak Remedy. Midnight Groove suggests at times that maybe the band’s sound is more potential than realisation right now, but to that offers the promise and excitement of bigger and bolder things ahead.

Midnight Groove is released on Friday 11th September through all stores.

Pete Ringmaster 10/09/2015

Jackson Firebird – Shake The Breakdown


Last year saw the global release via Napalm Records of Cock Rockin’, the debut album from Australian rockers Jackson Firebird. Already stirring up eager appetites in their homeland, its riotous expanse of multi-flavoured and feistily raw rock ‘n’ roll quickly went to work on a new expanse of ears and appetites with great success. Now the duo of guitarist/vocalist Brendan Harvey and drummer/vocalist Dale Hudak unleash its successor Shake The Breakdown, another riotous explosion of blistering heavy rock that incites the instincts to have a ball.

Things get swiftly hot and heavy with opener Mohawk Bang!, the track spewing tangy grooves and firm handed rhythms from its first breath. Vocals similarly leave nothing in the locker as they shuffle with zeal on the riotous stride increasingly brewing within the rousing encounter. Southern rock with a splatter of Rage Against The Machine spicing, the track is a storming start to the release, revealing new maturity and prowess in the band’s sound without losing any of the raw tenacity and incendiary texture which gripped throughout the band’s first album.

Get Away twists and grumbles next with a dirtier air and coating to its grouchy presence. Growling somewhere between Motorhead and Nirvana, the track is a web of insatiable grooves and rapier like beats luring a just as hungry appetite from the listener before New Wave parades its heavy hard rock revelry to again anthemic effect. Its skin also has an earthy tone whilst the fingers of Harvey create blues tinged squalls of sonic enterprise to lick lips over within the adrenaline driven charge of the song.

cover_ringmasterreviewFunk inspired grooves writhe throughout the blues spawned High Love next, its rockabilly seeded shuffle alone inescapable addiction but just as mightily matched by the searing contagion spawned by the guitar and speared by the scything rhythms of Hudak. Musically and vocally the track agreeably reminds of US duo, In The Whale, leaving slavery in its tail wind for the thick delta blues bred tempting of Sin For Your Lovin to reinforce, which it does with in fine swamp style before the first of two covers on the album teases ears. The first is a version of Queen’s Fat Bottomed Girls, Jackson Firebird turning it into a distortion soaked rock ‘n’ roll bellow which leaves a smile and potent satisfaction behind, if not the option to add it to the favourites within Shake The Breakdown.

Devil’s Door soon has ears and hips swinging next with a The Black Crowes meets Turbonegro swaggering within a sonic witchery, whilst Voodoo pushes those tones into even more eventful and resourceful endeavours through a creative maelstrom flirting with the recognisable essences of bands such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Black Keys, and Pearl Jam. The song equally creates its own character and essence to powerfully entice with before stepping back for the punk ‘n’ roll devilry of Headache Mantra to have its moment of glory lined with a compelling glam metal, rap metal, and noise rock lunacy.

The slow sultry shimmer and stroll of Sick ´n Tired soaks ears next but is soon providing expulsions of heavy boned riffs and commanding rhythms which free themselves from the bluesy climate from time to time. It is an incitement loaded with ‘deceit’ too, the song expressing being “sick ´n tired of playing the blues” and confirming it with Zack de la Rocha and co inspired eruptions.

The album’s second cover is its penultimate track too, Jackson Firebird just stirring up the passion with its rousing take on the Shirley Ellis classic The Clapping Song. Grooves are as virulent and addictively flavoursome as the organic anthemic instincts of the song and verse itself are overwhelming, the union ensuring there is no escaping the breathlessness grasping lungs and body by its close, not that the spidery sonic web of the album’s title track cares as it wraps the listener in a mouth-watering fuzz ball of blues temptation and rhythmic incitement which just gets more furious, tenacious, and compelling across its fiery body.

As its predecessor, Shake the Breakdown leaves a lustful want of more whilst pushing the band’s instinctive diversity of sound and heart fuelled hunger to rock ‘n’ roll to new heights. The bottom-line is that this is another encounter which demands it should be added to that must have list of 2015.

Shake The Breakdown is available now via Napalm Records.

Pete RingMaster 08/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Nine Miles South – Self Titled EP

Nine Miles South promo_RingMaster Review

It is proving to be a rather exciting year for UK rockers Nine Miles South which is coming to a thrilling head with the release of their self-titled debut EP and a couple of big shows, all sure to confirm that their groove loaded southern rock ‘n’ roll is ready to awaken the broadest attention. Their three track release is an invigorating and exciting slab of resourcefully varied hard rock; heavy and contagious, creatively aggressive and addictive, it has body and appetite on red alert by track one, seduced by the third and though it weaves plenty of familiar sounds and textures into its persuasion, the EP just hits the sweet spot that lies within all rock fans.

Nine Miles South was founded by Danish bred Seb Mikkelsen, the band forming after the vocalist/guitarist had moved to the UK from his homeland. Based in Guildford and with a line-up completed by guitarist Jon Antony, bassist Andy Sleigh, and drummer David Wilson, Nine Miles South took little time in awakening strong support and awareness through their tenacious live presence. Shows with bands such as Kobra And The Lotus as well as their own gigs and strong festival appearances have marked the band out leading to good radio play. After a couple of recently highly successful London shows and ahead of the band playing Hard Rock Hell in Wales on November 13th with amongst many, Black Label Society, UFO, Helloween, Pat Travers, and Gun, and also supporting Skinny Molly at the North Devon Arena in Ilfracombe on November 18th, Nine Miles South release their first EP, an easy to suspect spark to increasing and eager attention.

NMS FRONT COVER EPP_RingMaster Review   Produced by Samuel Burden, the EP opens with The Reckoning, a mighty anthem for ears and emotions. A slightly reserved beginning cups ears first, a sultry climate of guitar and melody backed by the vocal twang of Mikkelsen swift enticement which only grows more gripping as thick fisted rhythms join the increasing energy and roar of the song. It is still not in top gear but casting an inescapable anthem for body and voice which only blossoms into virulence as grooves twist and entwine the psyche and hooks lurk in very corner and evolution of the outstanding song. As suggested the overall sound has a recognisable air but it only adds to the drama and potency of the tempting, especially which sixth gear is finally unleashed for a boisterous finale.

The excellent start is backed well by Leave Me Be, another making its entrance on a gentle melody from the guitar whilst quietly brewing a more intensive character which erupts soon after. A more emotively coloured and controlled stroll, the bluesy track spins a weave of melodic and vocal expression wrapped in low key but pungent grooves, these further punctured by firm rhythms. The bass of Sleigh has a great growl whilst the guitars of Antony and Mikkelsen create a croon of enterprise to match the resourceful vocal tones of the latter, backed well by Antony and Sleigh. Without quite matching the heights and irresistibility of its predecessor, the song has ears and attention riveted before Fingernails brings the release to a rousing close.

The third track has the imagination drifting off to dusty, country blues rock lands within seconds, grooves and riffs instantly sculpting a southern seeded canvas to lose oneself in, before shadowed rhythms lined with spiky beats and grooved invention build tantalising scenery. Imagine a mix of Bad Company, Down, and The Bastard Sons and you get a whiff of the excellent climax to one thickly enjoyable encounter.

The last few months has seen a new wind of attention and buzz around Nine Miles South which can only get bolder and louder with the release of their first EP. It is rock ‘n’ roll with a twang and very easy to suggest you go get some.

The Nine Miles South EP is available from September 7th

Pete Ringmaster 07/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Southern Badass – Raised In Blood

Raised In Blood cover_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

Over two years ago, French rock band Southern Badass impressed with debut album Born In Mud, a warts and all release revealing a rich sound and potential which lit ears and a keen anticipation for the band’s evolution. Now it returns with second full-length Raised In Blood, a dirtier, grittier proposal infusing an even broader array of styles and flavours to its core southern rock/stoner bred sound with the same pleasing success.

Southern Badass is the solo project of Perpignan hailing multi-instrumentalist Arno Bechet, who seemingly draws on the likes of Black Label Society, Down, Black Sabbath, and Corrosion Of Conformity amongst many for his blend of heavy metal, stoner, sludge, and southern rock. Debut album Born In Mud certainly awoke potent attention with is release in 2013, a focus sure to replicated and surpassed by the tighter, more mature and fiery Raised In Blood. Again it is a proposition unafraid to be raw whilst embracing any small issues it may carry, but is openly a sparkling step forward from its accomplished predecessor.

The album opens with its title track, Raised in Blood quickly spilling a mist of sonic incitement led by bulging rhythms and abrasive riffs. Grooves are never retired in the music of Bechet, and straight away a juicy one is encircling and enticing ears before the song settles into a thick and steady stride. The vocals are as raw and at times as strained as on the first album, sometimes pushing their limits too much and in other moments providing the perfect roar to the brewing intensity and persuasion of sound. Fair to say, Bechet may not be the best and most natural vocalist but his musicianship is a gripping affair, more grooves and wiry riffs in the song potent proof alone.

The enjoyable swaggering start to the album continues with Burn into Eternity as resonating rhythms and electronic beats provide the spark to flames of guitar and vocal expression, Bechet finding a stronger more consistent delivery on the quickly persuasive encounter. The track has an earthy dark groove as its temptress, its thick lure embracing the more volatile and imaginative elements of the song and only stepping back for a low key and captivating melodic passage just after midway. Ending on a pungent blaze of a finale, the track is followed by the sharp southern rock tang of When I’m Dead. A mix of heavy and hard rock, it begins the strong variety of sound also emerging across the album, though it still has that inbred stoner core to its strong stroll.

Both Under the Red Sun and Last One Standing keep things interesting and satisfying, the first of the two slowly growing from a shadow rich reflective croon of Guns N’ Roses coloured, blues kissed rock into a full and impassioned rock ‘n’ roll bellow. It still holds a reserved gait for the main though, the guitar craft and enterprise of Bechet again the attention grabber before its successor gets down and dirty with aggressive riffs and grouchy vocals. It too holds court on ears; grooves and rhythms especially dominate in the pleasing engagement, though both songs are outshone by the sultry tempting of La Marche des Morts. French sung, the song has the atmospheric heat of a Morricone composed landscape and the muscular threat of a Mastodon bred proposal, and is thoroughly riveting.

As good as the first half of the album is, from this excellent track on Raised In Blood seems to hit another level. House of the Swolen Goat is next and with Black Tusk like grooves and a new direction in vocals within a smouldering sonic glow, instantly stands above earlier songs, even its impressive predecessor. A rich and heated tapestry of rock tenacity, the track makes way for the dark country enticing of Down by the River. There is a haunting air to its dark shimmer and an incendiary impact to its subsequent volcanic expulsions of guitar and vocals, the song shadowed wrapped balladry to get greedy over.

   The Lesson is just as thrilling; its opening rhythmic bait and cantankerous bass moan anthemic might escalated by the driving charge of riffs which quickly bring feisty energy and magnetism to the excellent encounter. The track eventually spreads into a more controlled and expansively laid southern tinged rock ‘n’ roll, its potency and lure evolving rather than diminishing as Bechet lets his guitar craft also run a creative riot over ears and appetite.

Completed by Sphere of Io, a song which makes a messy start but turns into another sinew driven rampancy of heavy riffery and grooved slavery, Raised In Blood is another very enjoyable and accomplished slab of ravenous rock ‘n’ roll from Southern Badass. It has issues and as mentioned has a second half which leaves the first in the shade but if looking for some honest and organic heavy rock/metal this is definitely well worth a good hard listen.

Raised In Blood is out now digitally and as a double disc vinyl @ https://southernbadass.bandcamp.com/album/raised-in-blood


RingMaster 19/06/2015

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Bonz – Broken Silence


With Stuck Mojo deeply entrenched in the passions maybe it is no surprise that Broken Silence, the debut album from BONZ, immediately felt like an old friend returning to stir up trouble and the passions. Led by the original frontman of the former, and welcomingly dosed with all the recognisable tones, raps, and roars vocalist Bonz offered in the major protagonists sculpting and ferociously driving rap metal forward, band and album swiftly set a lively spark in the passions. Around him though the sounds offer plenty more than an echo of former glories; twisting rap, nu, and southern bred groove metal into one riveting and ridiculously contagious proposition. Think Stuck Mojo, Body Count, and (Hed) PE in a passionate collusion with The Union Underground and you get a colour of the creative blaze of BONZ. It is familiar in many ways but still dramatically fresh and best of all, ridiculously anthemic and instinctively compelling.

The band came about after Bonz played with ex-Primer 55 guitarist/bassist Curt Taylor in Killer in the Workplace in 2009. With the band coming to an end in 2011, the pair wanted to continue working together and BONZ was the outcome. Early demos suggested something tasty was brewing, a realisation now openly unleashed on the world through Broken Silence. Last year saw the band sign with Germany’s Eternal Sound Records and the creating of the band’s imposing full-length debut, showing in the words of their bio that “the “Mouth of Mojo” is indeed back in fine form.”

If any album in recent times has started with as potent and irresistible a stomp as Broken Silence we missed it. Opener Sinister Grin is pure virulence, from the wonderful earthy lone bassline which sets it in motion, the song is the seeds to addiction. It is almost rockabilly in tone at the start but just the simple lure into the furnace of rap metal tenacity which explodes upon the listener soon after. Grooves are as immediate in appearance and captivation as the distinctive provocations of Bonz, their united bait framed by the punchy rhythmic trap laid by drums and bass. Body and thoughts are increasingly seduced as the track romps with anthemic fury and enterprise, every lyrical spit and tangy hook the inescapable kindling to a fiery ardour for the punk infested 4PAN1Ttempest.

Such a powerful gripping entrance was bound to be followed by a slight dip, not that Comes Over Me gives it much room to breed with its mustier breath and heavier rock infused protestation. Slim but strong diversity from the vocals adds to its inviting drama whilst the guitars scrub up a great dusty atmosphere to the riled encounter. It keeps the potency of the album high as does the excellent Godshine which follows. A thick vine of southern rock flaming veins the track, infusing the stormy attitude and intensity of the encounter with a sonic colour which flames nicely against the infectious vocal conflict.

The album’s title track like the opener is baiting and binding ears and imagination within seconds, this time with another delicious toxic groove which is belligerently unrelenting in its persistence. It cores the track from start to finish, shifting its shade of colour only as Bonz almost duels vocally with the listener. The rhythmic stomp of the track is just as gripping and incendiary, beats punching ears with a middleweight’s consistency and accuracy as bass and guitar prowl and flirt respectively. There is no denying you cannot escape the Stuck Mojo comparisons but it is hard to remember that band finding the same depth of swagger and epidemic like temptation in as many songs on a single release as already shown upon Broken Silence.

30 Seconds To Swat is a punk metal brawl, the bass providing a dirty groove whilst riffs blister and inflame the air with a budding fury. Not as unique as other tracks but a thoroughly absorbing incitement to neck muscles, the song makes way for the exceptional stalking that is Take It Personal. Bass and riffs prowl around the listener, leery and combat ready. They do step back for the rap of Bonz though, the bass accompanying his vocal contention as beats equally slow their assault. It is going to erupt at some point of course and does in the ridiculously addictive chorus which has voice engaged in its call within one round of its rivalry. The track sets another pinnacle in the heady heights of the album, easily sparking thoughts that if live audiences bellow for one song it would be this mighty antagonist.

There is enough diversity to the album to make Broken Silence more than a rap metal revival, the great melodic charm and chant of Sour Diesel teasing with a bluesy groove and Insane Clown Posse like vocal sway whilst Bad News stamps and seduces with a feisty fusion of hard and melodic rock. Jared Gomes and Co come to mind during the song but equally a loud whisper of P.O.D. shows itself, both mere spices to the rock ‘n’ roll roar. Their pleasing successes are surpassed by the great punk causticity and dirty rock ‘n’ roll bellow of Bad Love, where essences of hardcore and melodically infested rapcore collide within the furious climate of the song.

Completed by a great live version of Take It Personal, it is easy to suggest Broken Silence will be sheer joy for fans of rap and nu metal, and for sure those of Stuck Mojo even as BONZ unravel their own identity with their debut. If you are looking for flaws, maybe not enough striking diversity to the delivery of Bonz could be offered, though why change something which works, and surprisingly the release never gets as nasty and spiteful in its anger as expected. When it is this much fun and thrilling though, it simply does not matter.

Broken Silence is available now via Pavement Entertainment/ Eternal Sound Records @ http://eternalsoundrecordsshop.bigcartel.com/product/ltd-cd-digi-pack-pre-order-bonz-broken-silence-ltd-cd-didi-pack-2015-release-date-13-02-2015


RingMaster 11/02/2015

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The Milestones – Higher Mountain-Closer Sun

Photo by Pasi Rytkonen Photography

Photo by Pasi Rytkonen Photography

We cannot say we have a natural appetite for southern and classic rock, nor an over attentive interest, but occasionally something hits the right spot and sparks a thorough investigation. The recent impressive album from Norwegian blues rockers Electric Woodland has been one and the legendary Bad Company in the past another to light a fire of interest and pleasure. Now with new album Higher Mountain-Closer Sun, Finnish southern rockers The Milestones have lit another potent appetite with their hot sultry sounds. Another reason for mentioning the first two bands is that this album comes with a healthy soak of blues/hard rock to its southern sonic climate which brings potent comparisons in many ways to the enticing sounds of those two bands. Higher Mountain-Closer Sun seems to soak up those essences and many more flavoursome spices to create its own feistily simmering proposition, an offering which seduces even our more aggression wanting tastes.

Twenty years since taking its first steps and with now four albums under the belt, The Milestones has earned a strong presence within world hard rock since the release of their debut album Vol. 1 in 1996, an album seeing a re-release later this year. Acclaimed and drawing strong interest in the States, its success and the band’s live presence led to them traveling to New York to record second album Souvenirs of 1999. This proved to be nowhere near as successful in sound and impact as its predecessor and as the promo sheet accompanying the new album states, “Ultimately it would take ten years for The Milestones to heal the wounds.”

That was when album three emerged, Devil In Men in 2009 pushing the Helsinki quintet back to the stature and acclaimed attention enjoyed before on a global scale. It was followed by tours around Scandinavia, Central Europe, and the US the band supporting the likes of Whitesnake, Deep Purple, Black Stone Cherry, Gary Moore, Raging Slab, and D.A.D. along the way. Now they uncage Higher Mountain-Closer Sun through Listenable Records, a magnetic and fiery romp of instinctive rock ‘n’ roll taking body and passions on a fevered stomp.

From the first track the album seems to have a hook deep into thoughts and emotions, the opening Walking Trouble instantly smothering ears in a blaze of sonic and melodic haze with the guitars of Tomi Julkunen and Marko 10301540_10152415122872560_6266331794037874146_nKiviluoma a seductive graze on the senses whilst the bass of Veli Palevaara roams with equally captivating enterprise and swagger. Completed by the firm beats of drummer Tommi Manninen and the dusty vocals of Olavi Tikka, whose harmonica flair also ignites a twinge of hunger, the track is a storming romp to start things off and get the listener to their feet.

Both the smouldering heat of Shalalalovers and the tarmac stomping Drivin’ Wheel keep the impressive start heading along the same plateau. The first of the two merges a great sultry climate over verses with an almost too easily accessible chorus, its lure predictable and over familiar yet irrepressibly addictive. The union works a treat with a soft spot for the harmonica well fed again before the song’s successor pulls on a Stones like blues colouring to wrap its southern bred adventure. Again there is a simple but inescapable virulence to the chorus which makes a great contrast to the more intensive creative tenacity before and after their expulsions. Both tracks incite full engagement physically and emotionally before allowing a breath to be taken with the evocative southern rock heated scenery of Oh My Soul. With a breath of gospel passion and ‘red neck’ causticity, the track is a sizzling temptation which increases its strength with every listen.

The acoustic ballad Grateful is a pleasing encounter but lacks the spark of previous songs, though that is probably more down to personal preferences for feet sparking revelry. To be fair it is a vocally and musically accomplished song which at times sounds like a mix of Elvis Costello in his country era and Bon Jovi. The following Sweet Sounds does have the body moving with intent next and again apart from its stirring chorus is another enjoyable but underwhelming offering when up against songs like the brilliant It’s All Right. The track is an insatiable rocker from start to finish, grooves and hooks as eagerly tenacious as the increasingly impressive vocals of Tikka and the addictive rhythmic bait. As with all the songs on the album, you feel you already know this bruiser of rock ‘n’ roll devilry which only adds to its invigorating and refreshing presence.

Such the strength and tremendous pull of the track it gives the likes of the energetically fevered You and the melodically and vocally reflective Looking Back For Yesterday a stiffer task to match up to, but both without quite lighting the same fire still treats ears and imagination to exciting endeavour and enflamed melodic sounds. Their success is taken to a new level by the raw and gripping drama of Damn. Again ridiculously compelling hooks and grooves vein what is a darker and sonically fevered canvas to the song. It makes a slow initial impression but emerges as another evolving into a big highlight within the album.

The scintillating Fool Me brings the main body of the album to a tremendous close, the guitars of Julkunen and Kiviluoma bordering on sonic eroticism such the potency and spellbinding strength of their grooves whilst vocals and rhythms dance with impassioned devilry around them. It is a stunning track, a show stealer on any other album.

The CD version of Higher Mountain – Closer Sun is finished by a couple of bonus tracks in Call Of The Wild and Quicksilver which sadly our promo did not contain but such the quality of the rest of the album it is easy to assume they only add to the fun. The Milestones may have taken ‘ten years to heal the wounds’ but there is little to stop them now with releases like this.

Higher Mountain – Closer Sun is available now via Listenable Records @ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Higher-Mountain-Closer-The-Milestones/dp/B00ILWB4VS and http://www.levykauppax.fi/artist/milestones/higher_mountain_closer_sun/#cd


RingMaster 30/09/2014

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Tyson Leslie – Train Wrecks, Havoc and Heartbreak

Tyson Leslie Promo 2

US musician Tyson Leslie has been a vibrant part of the Kansas City music scene for over twenty years, playing in cover bands such as Karma, Baloney Ponyz, and 90 Minutes, whilst also aiding onstage the likes of Corey Taylor (Slipknot/Stone Sour), Gavin DeGraw, Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big), Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge, Rod Stewart,), and George Lynch (Dokken/Lynch Mob), as well as recently touring as a temporary member of Red Line Chemistry. Train Wrecks, Havoc and Heartbreak is the debut of his own material after two decades of playing other people’s music and such its irresistible infectious charm and masterful anthemic might, you have to ask why it took so long for the man to thrust his own songwriting talents forward. Merging a tasty mix of rock pop, country rock, and melodic invention, the album is an exciting romp to set ears and passions firing.

Leslie provides everything from song writing and production to the multi-instrumentation and vocals on the release with only KC drumming legend Go-Go Ray a constant addition. Train Wrecks, Havoc & Heartbreak does also see guest back-up vocals from people such as  David George (David George & A Crooken Mile), Laura Roach (Solus), Jacklyn Unruh amongst many, as well as guest solos from Tory Stoffregen (Enuff Z’ Nuff/New Black Seven), Josh Johnson (The Slowdown/Wonderfuzz), Freddie Francis (Saucy Jack), and Samantha Fish. It is a vibrant proposition which from its opening seconds is dancing with the senses.

From a failed attempt to start its motor, Little Green Honda bursts into life with vivacious riffs and crisp beats, hooks immediately taking tysonleslietrainwreckscoverarta welcome grip. The strong vocals of Leslie soon join the ride, his delivery clean and potent to match the surge of the power pop heart of the song. With keys winking throughout and grooves flirting with ears, the track is an infectious romp with a familiar yet refreshing presence. Not for the last time, Leslie veins a song with skilful guitar craft engaging enterprise ensuring the album gets off to a thumping start.

The following Crazy All Over provides a rich country rock twang to its initial caress, keys and melodies equally southern rock heated and inviting. Undemanding yet irrepressibly resourceful in sound and vocals, the track strolls with a commanding swagger and coaxing rhythmic mischief sparked further by magnetic sonic endeavour before stepping aside for the equally enjoyable She Danced Under Lights. The third song on the album brings a choppy eighties riffery to its entrance and similarly timed breath to the vocals. The sharing of an excellent female delivery with that of Leslie to lead the song is potent as the expressive sound, the resulting warm seduction rife with feisty attitude playing like a meeting of Nick Lowe and T’Pau.

Selective Amnesia bounces in next with jaunty keys and punchy rhythms within a rock ‘n’ roll dance which easily reminds of Dave Edmunds, never an unwelcome inspiration for a song to embrace. The track leaps and bounds through the ear with an appetite to rock which triggers the same in the listener, its anthemic lure contagious and unstoppable. It is an exploit to get pulses racing which A Mourning To Lament brings back to a more stable rate with its melodic breeze and emotive caress. A gentle yet keen song in gait and invention, the track makes a pleasing stop on the journey of the album, keys an emotive narrative, but does slip in impact against the tremendous presence of the album to this point. Nevertheless it is an engaging song feeding the greedy attention inspired, a success matched by the ballad Goodbye To The Rain. Once again piano and vocals craft the evocative narrative which is further strengthened by flames of guitar and emotion.

The thumping drive of Suckerfish has the release flipping up the gears again, guitars and rhythms guiding the imagination into an epidemic dance of insatiable addictiveness pushed by again outstanding vocals and harmonies from Leslie and guest. Its mighty temptation is taken one better by the Costello-esque croon Stranger, a song which plays like an old friend with recognisable habits and brand new deeply gripping hooks. It is a masterful piece of rock pop matched by the distinctly differently guised but similarly delicious Wasted Time. Power pop at its best, the song has feet and voice recruited early on with passions close on their tail.

Both If He Comes Home and Blanket For Your Soul provide further proof of the varied flavour to Leslie’s songwriting, expression, and humour, the pair engagingly crafted melodic suasion in their respective rock and bluesy offerings. Their pleasing if underwhelming, again only in comparison to the weight and power of songs around them, presences are soon paled by the excellent 88 MPH, its urgently fuelled energy and rhythmic grin another impossible to resist adventure within Train Wrecks, Havoc and Heartbreak. The final song with its Lennon and McCartney like make-up, The Last Word, provides a closing ‘lullaby’ with its fine sounds and lyrical enticement, a last kiss from the strengths which have bloomed across the album.

    Train Wrecks, Havoc and Heartbreak is an excellent introduction to the solo side of a highly respected artist. Better late than never they say, and it certainly applies to the Tyson Leslie.




RingMaster 27/03/2014

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