Spirytus – The Fundamentals EP

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     An invigorating splatter fest of styles upon a nu-metal canvas, The Fundamentals EP from UK metallers Spirytus is one of those slaps around the chops reminding you just how thrilling the core genre to their sound is when explored with imagination and a snarl which ignites the primitive inside. The use of the word splatter in our description should not be read as meaning it is a random approach with flavours by the Nottingham and Leicester based band as they thoughtfully and skilfully weave those spices into a voracious attack which constantly hits the sweet spot. Not since those halcyon days of Korn at their best and when early Drowning Pool gripped attention has nu-metal sounded this good.

      As mentioned there is plenty to entice and seduce in the band’s sound, its funk rapaciousness showing seeds bred in the likes of Limp Bizkit and Sugar Ray whilst their almost carnivorous side and the spicy elements of the sound holds a close relation to bands such as Rage Against The Machine and even more so Clawfinger. It is a scintillating mix which the The Fundamentals EP brings in feverishly exciting encounter even if one you feel does not quite reap all the potential you suspect is brewing in the band’s inventive belly. It is a magnet of an EP all the same from a band which formed in 2004. though it was three years ago they truly erupted into action. Their self-titled debut album of 2010 sparked keen critical attention upon their presence with the band equally earning an impressive reputation for their live performances which has seen them alongside the likes of Skindred, Panic Cell, Breed 77, Ill Nino, Wolf, Evile and many more. Since that debut Spirytus has brought a shift in their sound through the loss of a guitarist and the welcome of a turntable master in 2012, a move which has only added depth and diversity to an aggressive and mouthwatering confrontational sound. The EP is the first seduction since the album and simply a masterful treat of metallic grooving.

      The quintet of vocalist Ryan Walton, guitarist Alistair Bell, bassist Ben Edis, drummer Ben McAlonan, and Daniel Jones on the Spirytus Cover Artworkturntables from an opening sample go straight to the passions with a sturdy rapacious snarl of riffs and equally intensive rhythms. The bass craft of Edis immediately stands out, intimidating and skilled but it is fair to say the guitar and drums similarly steals their share of the imagination whilst the excellent vocals of Walton toys with air and syllables in a varied and thoroughly enjoyable vocal delivery and incitement which never relents across opener Fundamentals and the whole EP. The track bounces and twists with a creative rabidity around its sinew driven spine of almost disorientating rhythms and predatory riffery. It is an incendiary mix for senses and emotions which to the rear of the song dips into a restrained yet still urgently excitable passage allowing the vocals clear rein to tease and coax. It provides the icing on the feisty cake whilst the British feel to the band’s sound where most might and do emulate the American tone and breath of the genre, is a final potent ingredient to the blistering triumph.

     The following Qandahar strolls in on a resonating throaty bassline before sending streams of riffs and sonically cast grooves around the ear. In seconds though the track is roaming thoughts with a simple but inciting reserve of guitar and vocals before all collude for a fiery infectious chorus which brings not for the last time on the release that Clawfinger reminder. Though not as explosively gripping and dramatic as its predecessor the song is another to swing funk clad hips and forge a groove sculpted swagger which sees the already awoken appetite licking its lips.

     Next up comes the outstanding forthcoming single Mandem, a track also with an accompanying video to eagerly latch onto. A Korn like sonic nagging opens the track whilst the bass again lays down irresistible bait before the song leaps out forward with melodic flames and the ridiculous potency tempting turntable skills of Jones. The antagonistic flow of vocals and the surrounding gritty sonic invention reminds of Hed (PE) at times whilst the groove and table splattering taunts as well as the alternative infectious air of Walton’s delivery is definite Limp Bizkit bred but all soaked in a juice and invention all of Spirytus’ own making. The guitar craft of Bell not for the first time is impressive and perfectly controlled furthering the virulently contagious lure of the song.

     Horses Will Bleed is an eyeballing blaze of provocation and again a track which merges intensity and clarity into a compelling mix which is incredibly addictive and powerfully resourceful without bludgeoning the ears with an overload of greedy ideas. The challenging breath of the song develops another funk toxicity which is irresistible and only the guitar solo, which this time feels a little like showing off and a little at odds with the track, a minor niggle.

     The senses carving electro start to Patience Of A Saint is another thrilling entrance to a song on the EP, an invitation which the track takes through a melodically fuelled smouldering, which again merges Clawfinger and Sugar Ray like essences, plus a pinch of early Papa Roach, into a sultry sonic heat rife with plenty of biting vocals. A slow burner of a track compared to those previous triumphs on the EP, it emerges as one of the most exhilarating and inventive propositions on the release to steal top honours.

     The final stretch of the release does not tempt and grip as strongly and feels like a lost opportunity. The brief instrumental/sample piece Horses is fun but wasted whilst All Because Of Me though again impressively presented and crafted lacks the spark and fire of the previous songs; not a filler but a song too far for this particular release and not really offering anything new upon it. It makes way for the Tribal Riot Edit of Fundamentals featuring Dave Chavarri of Ill Nino; it a more percussive endowed version of the great track which reprises the towering start without really stretching it further, but it is such a thrilling song there are no complaints here.

    The Fundamentals EP is an excellent slab of nu and funk metal devilry, a release soaked in old inspirations but forging its own path. Spirytus have re-ignited an arguably forgotten genre and are right on course to become one of its most inspirational tempters. This is a breath-stealing release from a thoroughly impressive band and they can only get better.

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9/10

RingMaster 13/01/2014

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FireFallDown: These Wounds

Excitable and bursting with a plethora of things to share and as many sounds to pleasure with, the debut album from UK funk punk band FireFallDown is an infectious and thrilling treat. These Wounds has an insatiable hunger to leave everyone partying and broadly grinning, taking them into an elevated emotional state and fulfilled in heart and thoughts. With a passion and an impressively crafted collection of songs the album is a refreshing and vibrant dynamo of great imaginative sounds and unbridled boisterous energy.

London based Filipino-British trio FireFallDown began in 2006and took no time in inciting attention with a relentless and persistent touring of the UK, Philippines, Poland, and the U.S., building on the immediate attraction and lure their expressive and tightly melodic fusion of pop punk, high energy rock  and jazzy funk has upon the ear. Two singles garnered them further concentrated acclaim whilst support slots for Coheed and Cambria only raised their profile further. Now with the release of These Wounds as well as the band headlining the 150 Fest UK-wide tour next spring there is a sense they are about to explode and draw in a great many more to their sonic mission.

Released through the newly formed Small Town Records sub-label Love Music Movement on May 21st, These Wounds immediately introduces itself to the ear with the roisterous energy of Mr. Rockstar. A pop punk song with irresistible funk tendencies it riles up the senses with open and honest addictive melodies and stirring riffs.  It is a song that refuses to be ignored, exhilarating with persuasive and impossible to deny energy veined with fun warm melodic hooks and passion driven lyrical and musical intent. The band openly state their influences as the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Blink 182 and at times throughout the album that is easy to hear but another predominate flavour that comes through here is Alien Ant Farm, though FireFallDown have a tighter and more defined infection than the Americans ever cultivated.

The album from a strong start just gets better and better as each track teases and pleases. From the following Jimmy Eats World meets NOFX like punk sounds of Commissioned, through the excellent rampaging single and title track from the album, to the mesmeric Dear Mom And Dad with its Green Day spicery, the album ignites and sparks welcomed emotions. The trio know how to captivate their audience through a combined intelligence of songwriting and thoroughly intriguing and surprising array of sounds. No song is alike but always distinctly FireFallDown and though it carries many tastes that one can find as seeds from other bands all is twisted into their own recipe of impressive and expressive funkcore.

These Wounds is exceptional and an album which works itself deeper into the heart the more it is allowed to wrap its enthusiastic creativity and incessant charms around the senses. Without a weak track or an ounce of predictability the release is a consistent gift to the senses. Strong and giving throughout there is a trio of consecutive tracks where it reaches its fullest height and satisfaction. I Am The Way races in on mischievous rhythms from Andrew to lead one straight into the incendiary guitar of Jon who lights things up further into the song with an explosive solo. His vocals as throughout the album are excellent and welcoming with a bite and edge ensuring one pays attention to his words. The bass of Joel is a prowling brooding creature which again as with the other two enhances each song with well crafted lines and play. Another Alien Ant Farm like song with traces of Sugar Ray it is immediately followed by the equally immense Stand Tall. This is an aggressive rock track recalling the Red Hot Chili Peppers when they were at their best with a punk intensity that kicks open the way for the song to release its raucous muscular energy.

Logic and Fallacy completes the three exceptional peaks with another heavier rock driven power and sturdy spine. It further shows the diversity within the band and their creativity offering a fuller Incubus/ Bad Religion lined slice of punk rock. It is triumphant and as with every song on These Wounds sets FireFallDown out as a band that inspires and lights up all who welcome it into their individual worlds.

These Wounds is excellent; a release that the more you allow it to entertain incites thrills that go deeper and deeper. Simply FireFallDown are the future of UK pop punk with their inspiring multifaceted sound.

FireFallDown have donated all the proceeds from the album launch, Heal These Wounds towards the medical expenses of their close friend Brittany Kamruddin in her fight against Lyme disease, for more info go to their website www.firefalldown.com    

RingMaster 10/05/2012

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