Andy J Gallagher – Boy Racer / I Don’t Wanna Be Like You

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If Andy J Gallagher, once of punky avant-Britpop band The Shopkeeper Appeared, sparked real anticipation for his new album with previous double A-sided single Because We Are/ Sheena’s Big Night Out, he has brought real lust to the wait for Ego with its successor. Again offering two tracks which leap from the speakers with relish, Gallagher’s new proposal is as fresh as it is nostalgic with punk and new wave instincts colluding with indie nurtured rock ‘n’ roll daring.

Though it has been seven years since releasing his well-received debut album Helicopter, Dolphin, Submarine, Gallagher has stayed busy playing live and creating in the studio. The past months have seen him link up with like-minded talented musicians for the upcoming Ego and also ex-The Damned member Roman Jugg who produced, as its predecessor, the album. As mentioned, the last single alone awoke an eagerness for the forthcoming full-length which the twin attack of Boy Racer and I Don’t Wanna Be Like You only concentrates.

andy-j-gallagher-artwork-boy-racer_RingMasterReviewBoy Racer traps ears with its opening hook, a delicious lure soon joined by punchy beats and a groaning bassline. Opening up its vocal and melodic enterprise, the song teases and flirts like a mix of Television Personalities, BabyShambles, and Ste McCabe; continuing to surprise and entice with whiffs of seventies punk pop and rock ‘n’ roll for extra spice of Buzzcocks meets Showwaddywaddy like mischief.

The track is pure infection, minimalistic in body and sharp in touch and swiftly matched by I Don’t Wanna Be Like You. With a rawer breath and more forceful attitude, the song similarly springs inescapable hooks amidst rapacious riffs and rhythms. Like the ringleader to the devilry, Gallagher further stirs attention vocally in the midst of the forcibly magnetic and enjoyably dirty romp with its uncompromising persuasion. Again it is a fusion of eras and styles honed into something unafraid to bare its inspirations but present a unique temptation; both tracks sharing that success.

Fair to say Ego cannot come soon enough with the promise of some more great adventures to relish. Andy Gallagher has not really been away but certainly he is back in the public ear thanks to two mighty singles providing a quartet of irresistible treats, the latest two set to draw bigger spotlights for creator and album all on their own.

Boy Racer / I Don’t Wanna Be Like You will be released March 17th.

http://www.andyjgallagher.com/    https://twitter.com/andyjgallagher

Pete RingMaster 21/02/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Andy J Gallagher – Because We Are/Sheena’s Big Night Out

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It has some major anticipation to live up to thanks to one spectacular appetiser but if Ego the forthcoming album from Andy J Gallagher can match the promise of his new single, a major treat is on the way.  Double A-sided Because We Are/ Sheena’s Big Night Out is simply one irresistible teaser; two tracks which inspires body and spirit alike with their punk infused rock ‘n’ roll and leaves an eager hunger for their upcoming source.

andy-j-gallagher-art_RingMasterReviewIt has been seven years since Gallagher released debut album Helicopter, Dolphin, Submarine, a proposition produced by ex-The Damned member Roman Jugg who upon hearing Gallagher’s new demos at the time insisted on working with him on the album. As lyrically sharp and irresistible as ever and with Jugg again producing Ego, Gallagher enlisted a host of musicians to help bring the 2017 album to life and before it two songs which leap upon the listener with the raw defiance of punk, the anthemic prowess of old school rock ‘n’ roll, and the instinctive insight of folk.

Because We Are accosts ears with rampant rhythms and melodic tenacity from the start, Gallagher’s raw harmonic cries pure bait to match the persuasive virulence of the sounds brewing and erupting around him. Hitting its insatiable stride within a few more seconds, the track romps and stomps like a mix of Glenn Hodge Banned, Ste McCabe, and The Sums, drawing the listener into and enslaving them with its relentless creative revelry.

There is no let up with Sheena’s Big Night Out either, the song less imposing in its energy but as ridiculously catchy and involving physically and vocally. There is a touch of Captain Sensible to it which does no harm while as its companion, lyrically and vocally Gallagher sublimely hooks the imagination and an ever keen appetite for descriptive humour.

Punk, pop, folk punk, rock ‘n’ roll; all are involved in a pair of tracks which ensure that Ego just cannot come soon enough.

Because We Are/ Sheena’s Big Night Out is out now on iTunes and other stores.

http://www.andyjgallagher.com/   https://twitter.com/andyjgallagher

Pete RingMaster 06/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Woody Woodgate – In Your Mind

Woody with Dan_RingMaster Review

It is a bit of a surprise that Madness drummer Woody Woodgate has only now unveiled a debut solo album, though given the busyness of the man over the years with various projects as well as of course with the Nutty Boys similarly it is not. Anyway the time has come and the enjoyably charming In Your Mind does not disappoint.

Taking the opportunity to hit the studio with fresh ideas whilst the Magic Brothers has been put on hold due to an on-going battle with mental health issues for his brother Nick, the other half of the acclaimed band, Woodgate has created a collection of melody rich pop songs which vivaciously dance on the senses and imagination. They also carry an openly personal and intimate aspect to them, playing like a kaleidoscope of reflections from the life of their creator whilst shimmering on and seducing the ears.

With vocalist Dan Shears aligning his unique and captivating tones to the sounds of Woodgate, contributions from guitarist/keyboardist Tim Maple, bassist Dan Drury, Madness’ brass section The Brass Monkeys, wife Siobhan Fitzpatrick, and brother Nick bringing their skills to the magnetic release also, In Your Mind swiftly has thoughts engaged as it opens with This Is It. The track is a brief scene setter, a glimpse of life breeding the spark to go on ‘romantic’ escapades, they starting with the following Magic Train. Instantly the song, through keys and a jazzy air, is an escape from the mundane into vibrant adventure, melodies and grooves flirting with the imagination whilst beats dance with ears and feet. The expressive tones of Shears bring their alluring colour to the ‘trip’ soon after, his voice courting songs like an enjoyable mix of Ian Broudie and Ste McCabe, and indeed here but more so across the album strong whispers to The Lightning Seeds kiss the music too. Becoming richer and thicker with every passing temptation, the song is an inescapable infection getting the album off to a strong and highly pleasing start.

woodywoodgate_inyourmind-_RingMaster Review     A spicy tang coats the following Something, guitar and keys bringing a smattering of country rock to their enterprise whilst vocals and harmonies swing with catchy revelry throughout. A bluesy tone also adds to the energetically creative waltz of the song whilst the brass seducing is simply the cream on the top of another captivating persuasion before the bewitching stroll of the album’s title track slips in. Bred in a sixties pop smile and melodies which quickly bring the sounds of Kirsty MacColl to mind, the song is a serenade for the summer, a warm kiss of pop which simply blossoms in strength and persuasion with every listen, in sound and the just as potent intimacy fuelling the lyrics.

Come To Me is just as irresistible straight after, though admittedly taking longer to find the same depth of reactions as other songs upon the album. There is a strong resemblance to UK indie pop band The Tonics in the song at times, but once the brass free their rich flames, the song soars into celestial climates. One of the numerously pleasing aspects of songs is the ‘simplicity’ of the lyrical side, a repetitious flare which just works, in choruses especially, but never defuses the thick emotive strength of words and intent as it graces the tenaciously spun web of catchy sounds.

The Beach marks our arrival at the seaside, its joyful lure the lead into the warm embrace and festivity of We’re All Going To Brighton. Everything about the track from the smouldering brass caresses and swaying vocals to the energetic but relaxed rhythms says escape, relief from the pressures and boredom of life’s normal days whether as a child or adult we have all felt, its charm and presence sublimely relating those emotions and excitements.

The ska seeded Friday Night To Sunday Morning saunters through ears with a dreamy glaze to its poetic pop hug. The song almost glistens as guitars, harmonies, and brass venture into their imaginative exploits, rhythms in turn bringing their own pulsating shadow, wrapped bait to the sultriness of the song. There is no escaping a feel of Madness to the rich atmosphere and happy-go-lucky sway of the song either, or another potent slice of distinct variety within the album as also on offer in Everything Is Sunshine and its tantalising croon awash with an eighties pop lure which occasionally whispers Squeeze and The Bluebells. The track quickly has the listener involved though it is soon outshine by the excellent Flower and its psyche pop beauty. ELO has reportedly been an inspiration to the songs within In Your Mind, and for sure the legendary Birmingham rock pop band is a delicious hue to the siren-esque majesty of the album’s best track, though that choice does vary from listen to listen if we are honest.

The funky psychedelic tango of Mother comes next, the song a sweltering breath of seventies inspired blues/pop rock which at times feistily simmers and in other moments enflames with tenacious ingenuity. Its success is followed by the electro rock exploration of Shaman where within its relatively gentle hug on the senses drama bubbles away, creative and emotive shadows colluding with emotive energies for a fascinating and invigorating theatre of sound.

The album is brought to a close through Thank You and its melancholic yet vibrant balladry of emotional textures and words. You can feel the heart of Woodgate fuelling its presence and sentiment, portrayed potently by Shears and only accentuated by the expanding and evocative sounds around him.

It is a fine end to an increasingly enthralling and enjoyable proposition. It is easy to assume something similar to Madness from the encounter but In Your Mind swiftly sets that thought straight and just grows with every listen. At its height it is majestic and throughout is one nonstop summer of nostalgic incitement and warm enjoyment, an encounter you firmly resolve to hurry back to time and time again even before it runs its first course.

In Your Mind is available now via DW Records

http://www.woodywoodgate.co.uk/

RingMaster 07/07/2015

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

 

Glenn Hodge Banned – Family Man

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Awoken to the punk folk, to give it a name, prowess of Glenn Hodge Banned through the outstanding Iconoclast EP last year, it is fair to say we had a tingle of excitement going into the London based musician’s new single Family Man. Carrying on the infectious adventure crafted by the previous release, the new song is an equally irresistible stroll of lyrical and creative revelry taking another honest and striking look at a slither of life.

Originally from Ashford in Kent, Hodge was brought up in East Anglia but it was once moving to the capital that his musical adventure really began. Surrounded by inspirations to breed his catchy and often mischievous folk seeded songs, the singer songwriter soon built a potent reputation on the city’s live scene before releasing the well-received single Faces on Tables in February of last year. Its success led to keen anticipation of the acclaimed Iconoclast EP, a collection of magnetic songs from Hodge looking at city life and personal relationships with honest social commentary, an exploration as mentioned continuing in Family Man.

cover     The single opens with a strum of guitar which quickly becomes a constant coaxing as Hodge begins his magnetic narrative. It is a lively acoustic start with voice and lyrics easily the focal point but wrapped perfectly in the lean sounds around them. Things expand and reveal greater colour when harmonies caress a moment of calm with their enticing presence whilst after another inviting passage like at the start, the rigorous chorus adds a moment of boisterous energy to the already gripping persuasion. Things continue to ebb and flow in energy but not in magnetism, the song musically and lyrically taking an increasingly tighter hold on ears and imagination as it explores the protagonist of its title and dark secrets.

Family Man just lights up the senses, reinforcing the impact of the last EP and confirming Hodge as one of UK’s brightest and resourceful songwriters/musicians. If the likes of Billy Bragg, Ste McCabe, and Frank Turner catch your ears then Glenn Hodge Banned is an exciting must.

Family Man is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/id990246719

http://www.glennhodge.com/   https://www.facebook.com/GlennHodgeBanned

Upcoming live shows:

11th June      Upstairs at the Ritzy, Brixton, London
4th July        The Spice of Life, Soho, London
17th July      Brentwood Festival, Brentwood, Essex
23rd July     Ambition Festival, Matthews Yard, Croydon, supporting Beans on Toast
23rd August Beautiful Days Festival, Devon

RingMaster 06/05/2015

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

Ste McCabe – Brains of Britain

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Punk rock for body, imagination, and the passions to relish and parade their wanton sides, the vivacious sound of singer-songwriter Ste McCabe has been a constant source of acerbic lyrical prowess and salacious musical enterprise since his emergence. His virulently contagious and biting political pop songs have provoked and thrilled across three absorbing and acclaimed albums, and his unrelenting hunger to gig, but with his new full- length Brains of Britain, McCabe has brewed up a new pinnacle in his creatively mischievous and lyrically striking assault on thoughts and emotions. It is a glorious stomp of punk, art-pop, and electronic devilry, an incitement which never gives the senses and imagination time to lay dormant.

With the vocal magnetism and melodic flair of Pete Shelley, the inventive agitation and social snarl of Mark E Smith, and the infection spewing invention of Pete Wylie, McCabe brews up a presence and sound which is individual yet carries a familiarity to gloriously feast upon. There is an inescapable charm and raw honesty to his confrontations, an almost anthemic call which finds even greater irresistibility and strength within the Maneki-Neko Music released Brains of Britain.

It is fair to say as that as soon as the big bulging electro pulse of opener Fool hits ears a lustful twinge shot through thoughts and emotions, its resonating call pungent bait reminding of Blancmange. It is a forceful and vibrant lure which is lifted further by the distinctive tones of McCabe, his expressive toning as always an easy liking to the Buzzcocks frontman. The initial electro beats soon break into a thumping stride beneath the vocals whilst synths spread a melodic breath and glaze over the brewing abrasion of punk guitars, it all creating an irresistible blaze of electro punk loaded with lyrical causticity.

The thrilling start is continued by Cockroach, a darkly shadowed, post punk spiced slab of provocative expression which features Billy Bragg who superbly alternates his equally distinctive presence and lyrical antagonism with that of McCabe. It is a song which crawls over senses and psyche, bass a lingering toxicity upon which light but scarring riffs and the outstanding vocal mix flourish. There is no avoiding the fallout of the exceptional song, its heavy radiance and gripping drama a lingering spark in thoughts and passions from the very first infestation.

Mantos ’99 moves in next with dark electro flirtation aligned to slight but potent scythes of guitar. It is another song with a minimally dressed landscape and intensive attraction, though it just misses the heights of its predecessors, even a2655639157_2with the increasing confrontation of its manner and energy. Again a post punk tempting ingrains the electronic wind of the song for a fulfilling helping of sonic bewitching around vocal devilry but it is soon left in the shadows of The Family Values Song. Imagine Swell Maps in league with Buzzcocks for a far too brief and exhausting but most of all scintillating blast, and you get sense of this riotous treat.

The pair of Chinless Wonders and Don’t We Have Nice Hair spark ears and imagination on new thrilling escapades next, the first a flight across an exotic climate of synth melodies and an evocative narrative painted by vocal variation, both aspects around a spine of heavy pulsation. Glistening before and creeping over the senses it is a magnetic prowl and seduction setting up an already greedy appetite for the second of the two. The track is a punk growl coated in a post punk chill of melodic melancholia. Barely two minutes long but flying by within a blink of the eye, the track croons and infects like a delicious mix of Television Personalities and Magazine with an OMD emotional discharge.

The spiky I’ll Do It sets up its contagion next, again a short burst of electro punk irreverence immediately irresistible to feet and emotions but no more so than the gripping PiL like sonic tempest of Go Polski Boy! Thrusting that caustic sonic radiance into a voracious electro and ravenous trance bred stomping, the track flexes and pulsates with creative gluttony and glorious insatiability. It sets another plateau for the album but itself is surpassed by the brilliant Them There Different People, the most potent art punk song you could wish to be seduced by. With a more than passing whisper of The Vibrators to it and the rawer agitation of 999, the track stomps and swaggers with an almost primal persuasion, leaving ears through to the heart enslaved.

The album finishes with the equally epidemic temptation of What Are You Worth, a track which has control of body and soul from its first predatory bass hook and electro niggling. Also expelling a moment of corrosive energy and sonic causticity, the song is a repetitive and merciless baiting which leaves the release on a high and fingers eager to press start and set in motion the whole thrilling adventure again.

Brains of Britain is easily one of our favourite albums of 2014 but also one of its best. Venomous and naughty, challenging and irrepressibly addictive, Ste McCabe has cast punk alchemy in its most creative and inspirational form. If there is one album you get before the year closes its eyes, it is easy to recommend that it is this one.

Brains of Britain is available from October 20th via Maneki-Neko Music @ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Brains-Britain-Ste-McCabe/dp/B00MU9374A or http://stemccabe.bandcamp.com/album/brains-of-britain

http://www.ste-mccabe.co.uk/

RingMaster 13/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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