Valensole – Make Pace EP

Just under a year ago, British punks Valensole sparked intrigue and pleasure with their debut EP, Where We Should Be. It was a potential loaded, ear grabbing introduction to the Southampton trio suggesting a band with all the right attributes and imagination to make potent strides within the UK rock scene. Now that suggestion has been reinforced and given greater strength by Make Pace, a second EP of raw and rousing punk ‘n’ roll very easy to devour.

Embracing inspirations from the likes of Nirvana, Green Day, Sum 41, and early Foo Fighters, Valensole was formed in 2016. The threesome of vocalist/guitarist Elliott Jones, guitarist Nick Jones, and bassist Dave Parker certainly had ears and praise attentive with that first EP and such the fresh character and tone to its successor, we can only expect them to find much even greater attention upon the release of Make Pace.

With Kurt Philips providing drums throughout, the EP kicks off with Giving Up, its jumbled start instantly spawning a tasty guitar hook which soon leads into a tenacious stroll through ears. Simultaneously a new richer flavouring to the band’s punk sound begins tempting, the track merging its raw traits with infectious enterprise as it increasingly stomps around. Dave’s bass has a gorgeous dark steely tone, Elliot’s vocals matching its lure in earnest attitude as his and Nick’s guitars throw their sonic wares around. As with the first EP, we found flavouring more akin to the likes of Psychedelic Furs and The Vibrators than those earlier mentioned influences but more so the band’s own voice in sound and invention emerges this time around.

The potent start is soon matched by the following M.A.D, the track immediately getting under the skin with its opening spicy hook. Both guitars tease and tempt, uniting in a fiery lure backed by the stirring swings of drums and the grumbling stroll of the bass. There is a great vintage punk lining to the Valensole sound, one especially vocal in the rousing antics of the second song even as it slips into calmer, provocative waters. It all erupts again for a tenacious finale as physically bracing as it is catchy before So Bored moves in with its ear nagging endeavour. Carrying a whiff of Buzzcocks to its melodically scored trespass of a hook, the track soon revels in its caustic rock ‘n’ roll breeding but as its predecessor is a proposition which is unafraid to explore unpredictable twists and turns before lighting its riotous touch paper once again.

The EP ends with Don’t Let Go, a song again drawing those Richard Butler and co references while uncaging its own individuality. Equally there is a garage punk meets Generation X scent to the song, a thickly flavoursome hue adding to the unrelenting pleasure the track and indeed Make Pace overall sparks.

Valensole’s sound is on a journey, one still evolving and growing. The band’s first EP hinted at its promise, the second reveals new depth and adventure to add to that potential. When it will all come to full maturity time will tell but the ride on the way is undoubtedly going to be great fun with the anticipation of many more easily devoured treats like Make Pace.

Make Pace is released February 9th.

https://www.facebook.com/valensoleband    https://twitter.com/valensole_band

Pete RingMaster 06/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Valensole – Where We Should Be

valensole-promo-shotSum 41, Green Day, Nirvana; all bands which have been an influence in an eclectic bunch on the Southampton trio. All are flavours easy to understand being used but for us just as potent, maybe even more so, are references to others such as Psychedelic Furs, Reuben, and Pennywise

The debut EP from British punksters Valensole has been recommended as for fans of the likes of Sum 41, Green Day, Nirvana; all bands which have been an influence in an eclectic bunch on the Southampton trio. All are flavours easy to understand being used but for us just as potent, maybe even more so, are references to others such as Psychedelic Furs, Reuben, and Pennywise. What it shows is that there are many rich essences in a sound which still is finding its feet and ultimate identity on the evidence of the band’s debut EP, Where We Should Be but a mix and imagination of sound which also ensures that their introduction is an impressive and thickly enjoyable one.

Embracing the punk DIY ethic, Valensole have unleashed their first self-released outing alone, vocalist/guitarist and primary songwriter Elliott Jones taking on mixing duties. The result is a raw and pleasingly dirty affair which it is easy to imagine captures the band’s live presence much more than most encounters do their creators. It leaps from the blocks in potent style with opener Staple Waster. Spicy riffs collude with concussive beats initially, their slim but irresistible bait the intro into a muggy affair of fuzzy riffs and biting rhythms. Jones soon gets involved vocally, that Psychedelic Furs spicing arising as his tones remind of Richard Butler from said outfit with a whiff of Billy Idol too. The track continues to impose and tease with attitude and flirtatious hooks; boisterous punk rock invading and pleasing ears and a quickly forming appetite for the Valensole sound.

valensole-cover-artworkSum 41, Green Day, Nirvana; all bands which have been an influence in an eclectic bunch on the Southampton trio. All are flavours easy to understand being used but for us just as potent, maybe even more so, are references to others such as Psychedelic Furs, Reuben, and PennywiseDon’t Follow Me leaps in next, its body and character just as aggressively relishing the trespassing of the senses. Managing to prowl around at the same time as devouring them with rapacious energy, the song snarls and growls with the hooks of lead guitarist Nick Jones inescapable and the bass taunts of Dave Parker gripping, his backing vocals to Jones just as persuasive.

An immediately tempting hook spears next up Believe, its salacious tease erupting amidst another scuzzy wash of sound and vocals with a tinge of The Heartbreakers to it. Rolling, rumbling beats are just as virulent in the fiercely infectious slice of rough ‘n’ ready pop punk quickly followed by the band’s new single and EP title track. Where We Should Be taps into an early Generation X scented countenance, riffs and rhythms a magnetically caustic and intrusive yet seductive trespass in a boisterous song quickly involving the listener.

Completed by the enjoyably abrasive and just as often melodically tempered Inside Out, a concluding slab of easy to devour rock ‘n’ roll, Where We Should Be only leaves a want and hunger for more. It is soaked in strength of potential matching its already very agreeable attributes, a mix providing a great first contact with Valensole and intrigue loaded anticipation for their subsequent growth and releases.

The Where We Should Be EP is released through all stores on March 3rd.

https://www.facebook.com/valensoleband/   https://twitter.com/valensole_band  https://www.instagram.com/valensole_band/

Pete RingMaster 02/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Big Jesus – Oneiric

Pic cred: Chris Sullivan

Pic cred: Chris Sullivan

Imposingly dreamy, Oneiric is a proposal which simply infests, seduces, and lingers with increasing potency listen by listen. The new album from Atlanta bred outfit Big Jesus, the transfixing Oneiric is a warm serenade of the senses but equally has a predacious side to its shadows and rhythmic weight which hooks eager attention. Mellow and raw, seductive and fiery, the band’s sound sits somewhere between My Bloody Valentine and Deftones, Smashing Pumpkins and Palms but is all the time weaving its own distinct adventures now collected on one gripping album.

According to vocalist/bassist Spencer Ussery, the Big Jesus sound was bred on inspirations found in nineties rock;  everything from metal, psychedelic pop, shoegaze, hip hop, and classical piano music impacting on the ideas and music of the band. It is a mix which lured potent interest in the band with the release of their debut album One, and is set to escalate as the Matt Hyde (Deftones, Slayer, Monster Magnet, Sum 41, Alkaline Trio) produced Oneiric swarms over more and more ears.

Bringing four tracks from their earlier release with six new encounters, Oneiric quickly grabs ears and imagination with opener SP, the song instantly a writhing mix of fuzzy melodies and hungry grouchy riffs. It is imposing yet inviting, especially as the warm tones of Ussery float across the feisty landscape of the song. Guitarists CJ Ridings and Thomas Gonzalez cast a great web of warm and aggressive enterprise too, riffs and grooves a conflicting yet beautifully united adventure which with the ethereal nature of Ussery’s voice offers a House Of Love meets Smashing Pumpkins enticing.

art_RingMasterReviewThe snarling air of Ussery’s bass and the intensively swinging beats of Joe Sweat make a matching powerful lure, their driving energy and dark nature as virulent in the following pair of Always and Lock & Key. The first of the two is a ridiculously catchy affair, it’s relentlessly twisting grooves and rhythms a feistily contagious invitation wrapped in magnificent psychedelia/ shoegaze spiced vocals while its successor musically ventures down the same creative avenue to create its own tempting while caressing the senses with romantic melodies as sonic suggestiveness warms with celestial hues. Again there is heaviness and intensity involved which sublimely tempers the bright air and only increases the potency on ears and imagination.

Through the rapacious directness and melodic meanderings of Floating Past You and the gentle yet intrusive and slightly melancholic croon of Fader, the album transfixes with ease while their successors, the sonically incendiary Shards and the heavy metal hued Oneirica only tighten the pull of one increasingly engaging encounter. The latter is another song which fizzes with infectious vitality and a rhythmic boisterousness which seems to inspire all the other elements making up the outstanding and seriously enjoyable multi-flavoured track.

Shrimp caresses the senses with its melodic and vocal gossamer next; a golden kiss on ears with a fiercer underbelly. it is an irresistible calling on appetite and emotions before Felt In Reverse coaxes the senses with magnetic reverberation into another sonically flaming and vocally seductive fire of sound and imagination. As at times across the album, surface elements of the song seem a touch similar to that of other tracks but with closer focus and each subsequent play, the song reveals its own mesmeric and often wonderfully volatile character of craft and invention.

Concluded by Heaviest Heart and its mix of irritable predatory riffs and airy almost diaphanous melodies and harmonies, Oneiric is pure temptation in your speakers. As suggested, the album simply grows and further entangles the listener with every listen, unveiling plenty to satisfy fans of rock music from psych and melodic rock to shoegaze and grunge.

Oneiric is out now via Mascot Label Group / Mascot Records and available across most online stores and @ http://www.mascotlabelgroup.com/big-jesus/

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Pete RingMaster 07/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Attack The Day – Felons EP

Pic Michal Spigiel

Pic Michal Spigiel

Attack The Day is another of those bands with a sound which defeats exact tagging due to its nature and eagerness to weave in a host of diverse flavours. The Northern Ireland hailing quintet, though it might be that they have lost a member since recording their new release,  are generally classed as alternative metal/rock but as Felons shows, they have the snarl of punk, the rousing tenacity of raw metal, the swing of funk, and the unpredictable character of post rock in their invention. The band’s second EP is an ear pleasing, imagination sparking encounter which captivates more and more with every listen.

Formed in Enniskillen in County Fermanagh in early 2012, Attack The Day soon developed a hunger to play live and soon had their local scene won over. Inspirations come from the likes of Sum 41, Mallory Knox, Maximum The Hormone, Slipknot, The Blackout, Gob, and Korn which alone gives you a hint to the variety in their sound. Last year saw debut EP This Is How It Ends released, its singles finding play and support on various radio stations such as IUR FM and RTE 2XM. 2015 also saw the band touring Ireland and play support to Suddenly Human. Now it is Felons poised to stir up further attention, a success easy to assume with its creative step on from its predecessor.

ATD - _RingMasterReviewFrom its opener, the EP shows a new expansion and invention in the Attack The Day sound as We Are The Change grabs ears with a sonic clamour and a tide of group roars. From there the lead vocal of Dáithí Murphy steps forward within a busy hustle of riffs and firmly jabbing rhythms which is part punk, part heavy rock, and quickly infectious. There is no mistaking the appetite sparking attitude soaking the song, but a challenge bound in spicy grooves from guitarist Mark Cadden as Ciaran Fitzpatrick’s bass throatily prowls the intimidating beats of Shane McGovern. Not for the last time, the punkish hue to a song within the EP, hints at a Stiff Little Fingers like growl to add further temptation for ears to embrace.

It is fair to say that the first song is a relatively and enjoyably straight forward slice of raw rock ‘n’ roll, something its successor Bridges I Burn certainly embraces while revealing the more off kilter imagination of the band. Its relatively mellow start is soon a lively funk fest of grooves and energetic rhythms, but a revelry which in turn sparks vocal animosity and imposing metal bred intensity. It is a passage of invention which repeats with increasing potency, every round revealing a fresh essence and spice within the adventurous exploits.

Epidemic follows that compelling proposal, bringing its own creative captivation with elegant melodies and suggestive beauty, the instrumental a warm yet melancholic caress of the imagination and senses before Part To Play springs its irritable metal and post hardcore causticity on ears. The slightly dour tones of Murphy work a treat against the fiery nature of sound and the band’s bullish harmonies, but the unpredictable character of the song soon has ears and thoughts buzzing in other ways. Slips into ska seeded swings and atmospheric caresses are great moments matched by the contrasting and corrosive winds of sound and intent which also wash across the senses, each providing a fascinating and successful piece in the inventive jigsaw of the track.

The EP is concluded by the boisterous rock stomp of Who We Are, a song emulating the first in providing an anthemic punk ‘n’ roll charge which just hits the spot. It is a great end to a thoroughly enjoyable second encounter with Attack The Day. Fiercely agreeable on the ear, the release also highlights the potential within the band, a promise and quality hard not to see making a bigger impact on the British rock scene ahead.

The Felons EP is released 20th May, available @ https://attacktheday.bandcamp.com/releases

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Pete RingMaster 18/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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On The Open Road – Storyteller

On The Open Road Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

With pop punk releases seeming to be coming thick and fast already in 2016, Storyteller is another well worth giving some attention to. The new EP, or should that be album with its eight boisterous tracks, comes from UK punksters On The Open Road. It is a collection of rousing and openly accomplished tracks which may not veer on the side of uniqueness but certainly provides plenty to be thoroughly satisfied by.

Formed at the beginning of 2013, the Nottingham hailing On The Open Road began as the school friend trio of vocalist/guitarist Tom Hawk, bassist Dan Abey, and drummer Ollie Green. The release of their debut EP was not long in coming or soon after, the decision to grow with the addition of lead guitarist Jack Dutton. Musically the band draws on inspirations taken from the likes of Blink-182, Sum 41, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! and A Day To Remember, a mix flavouring a sound which quickly ensured the band was an eagerly followed live proposal. Last year, the quartet released the Harm’s Way EP to potent responses, a success easy to expect being emulated by Storyteller.

Chump! starts things off, band vocals leaping into ears straight away amidst an antagonistic yet welcoming collusion of rhythms and riffs. It is an enjoyably rowdy start which slips straight into the like-minded and similarly sounding No Rush. The opener is really an extensive ‘intro’ to the second track which soon involves ears in its own boisterous canter interspersed with calmer strolls and emotive escapades. Retaining its aggressive energy and highly catchy anthemic prowess throughout, the song provides a tenacious slice of high energy pop punk with a familiar wrapping to a fresh heart in sound and enterprise.

On The Open Road Cover Artwork_RingMaster ReviewThe following Smooth Sailing Is A Fool’s Thought makes a heady entrance too, quickly arousing ears with its infectious temptation driven by a vocal energy and variation from Hawk and band. It is a potent element matched by the predatory riffs and rhythms badgering and inciting the sonic flames and piercing hooks also trespassing on the senses. Though it holds a similarity to songs around it, a trait all tracks have to good and at times frustrating effect, and entangles ears in recognisable spices from elsewhere, the song is a roar to greedily and regularly devour.

The grouchier tone and inescapable contagion of Regret Me Not hits the sweet spot quickly too. Again it is easy to offer up comparisons such as Blink 182 and The All-American Rejects but equally there is no stopping the track’s irresistible lures and a rich enjoyment of its sparkling character and revelry.

Current single Rainy Days steps up next with rapier like beats and bulky riffs stalking ears first before vocals and melodies wrap suggestively around the song’s bracing bellow. It is a potent invitation into the release though for personal tastes it is outshone by the thick qualities of the previous pair of songs, each suitable as an attention grabbing single. Nevertheless it leaves a want to hear more which Bedrock keenly provides. Starting with a melodic seducing which rises into a voracious tempest of hooks and imposing rhythms driven by the vocal eagerness of Hawk, the track is a resourceful and pleasing confrontation which, as the release itself, impresses more with every listen.

The enjoyable This Is Goodbye (I Tried) keeps things ruggedly energised and attention still firmly in the hands of On The Open Road before letting The Worst Guy bring things to a ferocious close. Featuring Adam Connor, the track is a minute and a half of blistering punk rock with highly welcomed primal and hostile tendencies which stands up there with Smooth Sailing Is A Fool’s Thought and Regret Me Not as the major highlights of Storyteller.

On The Open Road has yet to find a sound which stands unique to the crowd but they do have an ability to create seriously catchy and anthemic exploits which stir up an appetite for more. A success so many others would kill for.

Storyteller is released on February 26th via all outlets.

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Pete RingMaster 24/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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UK POP PUNKERS, ON THE OPEN ROAD, UNVEIL NEW VIDEO!

Brit pop punk crew ‘On The Open Road’ have dropped their killer new video ‘Rain Days’ on, lifted from their forthcoming new EP ‘Storyteller’, out on Friday 26th February.

You can watch ‘Rain Days’ right now at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxA5HDh_Poc&feature=youtu.be

On The Open Road Online promo shot_RingMaster Review

Finding inspiration from a range of influences, On The Open Road have pulled from legendary punks such as Blink-182 and Sum 41, through to contemporary kings like Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! and A Day To Remember. The industrious crew have broken down the truest essentials of the genre and have produced a signature sound of their own that is punchy, energetic, and without doubt contagious.

Born in 2013 and hailing from Nottinghamshire, On The Open Road started life as a trio with school friends Tom Hawk on lead vocals and guitar, Dan Abey handling bass, and Ollie Green pounding on the drums. The three piece soon put out their debut EP, but it became clear that the band needed another guitarist to really raise their sound to the next level. New found friend Jack Dutton stepped up to fill the void on lead guitar. With a formidable live sound and an extra dimension to their music, the band extensively hit the road and started work on their next record.

The foursome release their new EP ‘Storyteller’ later this month, and it’s bursting with eight tracks of blistering pop punk. The first video single to be released is the anthemic ‘Rainy Days’ , which is a firecracker of a cut, loaded with a refrain that you just can’t shake. With tour dates lined up for the first part of the year, 2016 promises to be a gargantuan year for the band.

ON THE OPEN ROAD LIVE:. FEBRUARY – Saturday 13th – Mansfield (The Intake) – Diamond Days headlining; Friday 19th – Manchester (The Zoo Bar) – Pre-Deadbolt club night show – Six Time Champion headlining. Sunday 26th – Nottingham (Rescue Rooms) – ‘Storyteller’ EP release show – OTOR headlining. MARCH – Saturday 26th – Derby (The Victoria Inn) – Less Than Three Festival – WSTR headlining.

https://www.facebook.com/ontheopenroaduk    https://twitter.com/ontheopenroaduk

If I Die Today – Cursed

If I Die Today_RingMaster Review

There is a torment in the heart of the new album from Italian post-hardcore band If I Die Today, and a tempestuous air which lives up to any ideas inspired by the name Cursed. There is also an invasive and at times punishing darkness and emotional trespass coursing through the veins of the encounter but equally an imagination loaded, gripping enterprise which ensures it easily stands out against any other similarly sculpted and bred offerings. Cursed is destined not to be for everyone, and will frighten many off with its searing intensity and emotion  but there is no escaping that it announces If I Die Today as one of the more fascinating incitements in the post and hardcore scene.

If I Die Today emerged in Mondovì in 2007 and by the early months of the following year had released their self-titled debut album through Wynona Records. The release enabled the quintet to tour their homeland and share stages with numerous bands, that success reinforced by the You Are Alone EP in 2009, again unveiled to strong and positive reactions. It was the same with second album Liars the following year, its potent presence luring greater attention and acclaim cross Europe, the band following it with shows across Italy, Hungary, France, and the UK as well as playing alongside artists such as Sum 41, Offspring, No Use For A Name, Simple Plan, Face To Face, Taking Back Sunday at Bologna’s Independent Days Festival. The band’s workload and reputation continued to grow as 2012 saw the release of the Postcards From The Abyss EP and If I Die Today playing with bands like Every Time I Die, Good Riddance, and H2O as well as going on a tour taking in Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and venues back home. Since then more venues and countries have been scorched by the band’s sound, before and after the recording of Cursed last year, which with its worldwide release through Sliptrick Records sets a new chapter in the rise of If I Die Today.

image1_RingMaster Review     It’s opening handful of seconds are an inviting temptation but in no time Jesus becomes a searing sonic wind blowing over thickly jabbing rhythms and coming loaded with spicy hook lined enterprise from the guitars. Vocalist Marco Fresia roars just as swiftly and intensely in the tempest whilst the caustic breath and heart of the track is perfectly tempered by the magnetic lure of the throaty bassline from Morgan Ferrua and the controlled rhythmic dance cast by drummer Davide Gallo. There is no escape from the sheer energy and emotional turmoil of the song though or its flesh scarring sound with its virulent onslaught as gripping as it is intimidating.

In the sheer wind tunnel like delivery of the song there are essences of bands like Kabul Golf Club, KEN mode, and Statues in its creative adventure and tenacity, a potent mix continuing in Adams which is another instant arousal of attention and appetite with thumping bold beats and bracing vocals. Settling down a touch once established, though still a bruising confrontation, the guitars of Antonio Aresu and Michele Testa spin a web of raw aggression and intricate sonic seducing whilst the bass creates another deliciously alluring and individual line of bait. As its predecessor, the song is an epidemic of punishing and invigorating incitement, pure abrasive adventure to get your teeth into and drool over before it fluidly flows into Lucifer and its own exhausting tempest of scarring emotion and increasingly volatile and creative ferocity.

Through Patrick and Elisabeth, band and album continues to wither flesh and create emotional tension but again with plenty of fresh twists and adventure to their canvases. The first of the enthralling pair comes in a hostility lit slow shuffle with numerous expulsions of energy and vocal angst but also tendrils of flirtatious grooves and addiction breeding rhythms. There is no compromising with an If I Die Today proposal and no chance of being subjected to anything mundane or predictable as shown by this and its successor. Elisabeth maybe offers less uniqueness within the album than other tracks but it too is ripe with seriously enticing slithers and caresses of sonic ingenuity and melodic seducing, all resulting in less than two minutes of exciting violation.

Faustus borders on barbarous with its bestial weight of sound and energy but counters it with a tapestry of punkish hooks and twisted sonic imagination that simply whips the passions into a maelstrom of lust whilst The Ancient Mariner prowls the psyche and taunts ears with its fusion of noise rock and punk in stormy hardcore antagonism. Both tracks are glorious, adding their full thrilling and inventive weight to the unrelenting persuasion of the album.

An even fiercer punk venom courses through Vincent, the song openly revealing the inspirations of the band with its Every Time I Die meets Converge like onslaught. There is plenty more in the depths and brutish body of the song of course, lots to get greedy over before the album’s title track gives Cursed a whole new climate to explore. The band is tagged as post-hardcore but the closer is the one song which perfectly fits that billing, the rest a wonderful bedlam of styles and flavours. With a blackened and frosty air to its invasive ambience over hauntingly cold scenery, the track is an inhospitable drift through a dark and emotionally tortuous landscape compellingly bringing the album to a highly provocative and startling end.

Instantly gripping, Cursed only gets more powerful, persuasive, and emotionally penetrating with very listen. It certainly lingers and leaves scars in its wake too, but only to please and make demanding reasons to go back into its merciless majesty. If I Die Today is one of the truly exciting bands in the post and neat hardcore scene, Cursed shows exactly why.

Cursed is out now through Sliptrick Records.

RingMaster 12/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright