Hello Bear – I Don’t Know… It’s Fun Though, Isn’t It?

hello-bear-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

A trap waiting to grab your imagination and energy, I Don’t Know… It’s Fun Though, Isn’t It? more than lives up to its title with its bouncy persona and rousing spirit. The new EP from British quartet Hello Bear, the four-track stomp is a sparkling burst of power/punk pop which may not carry major surprises but is as fresh and vibrant as anything escaping the year so far.

Formed in 2010, the Norwich bred band take inspiration found in the likes of Weezer, Pavement, Los Campesinos!, Refused, The Bronx, Presidents of the USA, McFly, Johnny Foreigner, and Dananananaykroyd into their own highly flavoursome exploits. Invigorating as a live presence which has seen Hello Bear play with bands such as Los Campesinos, Coasts, Darwin Deez, The Futureheads, and The King Blues, their sound is an ear grabber which now refuses to be ignored within the band’s new offering. The press release accompanying the EP suggests it carries “their most exciting material to date.” Being our introduction to Hello Bear it is hard to confirm or argue, but exciting the Lee Batiuk (Deaf Havana, Trash Boat, Hopeless Records) produced release is and relentlessly enjoyable.

I Don’t Know… It’s Fun Though, Isn’t It? opens up with new single We Held Hands Once, But Then She Got Embarrassed, the collective energy and enterprise of Luke Bear (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Mary Bear (guitar), Tom Bear (bass), and Daryl Bear (drums) hitting the floor running. A lone strum entices first being quickly joined by the potent tones of Luke before the song jumps on ears with eager riffs and canny rhythms. In no time it is into an infectious stroll with hooks and melodies uniting to charm attention before brewing and finally expelling a virulent contagion through its irresistible chorus. There is no escaping joining those offering Blink 182 meets Weezer as a reference for the tenaciously lively sound of song and band; add a touch of Super Happy Fun Club and The All-American Rejects though and the mix is even closer to the rousing incitement.

hello-bear-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewThe following Mmm Cheque Please! makes a just as striking entrance, another single strain of guitar bait making the first lure, rampant beats and Luke’s inviting vocals the next  before it all blooms into another infectious canter. Daryl’s beats resonate as they land and Tom’s basslines grumble as much as they seduce while Mary and Luke share a tapestry of hooks and melodic endeavour which only leads to a greater appetite for song and release. Admittedly the track lacks the final spark which ignites its predecessor but leaves pleasure bubbling eagerly as does Dirty Weekend with its more restrained but wholly magnetic presence. Repeating a prowess which confirms Hello Bear masterful at creating big choruses and ripe hooks which simply infest the psyche, the song lays lustfully upon the senses.

The EP ends as its starts with a track which just whips up the passions. Attack Hug Influences is addiction for the ears, a slice of rock pop which seizes hold of body and spirit in a breathless romp complete with spicy hooks, tenacious rhythms, and a vocal coaxing which virtually forces listener involvement.

It is a boisterous end to a release which demands a party is woven around its presence each and every time. No moments of major uniqueness, all irresistible fun fuelled ingenuity; that is I Don’t Know… It’s Fun Though, Isn’t It?, one of the most enjoyable adventures this year.

I Don’t Know… It’s Fun Though, Isn’t It? is released November 11th

http://www.hellobear.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/hellobear/    https://twitter.com/hellobearband

Pete RingMaster 08/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Fuse – Alamein

the fuse_RingMaster Review

It is fair to say that the journey to the release of Alamein, and that of its creators The Fuse themselves, has been a platform of trials and issues to which many other bands would have probably thrown the towel in over long ago. Eight years on the UK rock scene has seen the band suffer member instability and changes, label collapses, and their manager struck down with cancer. The band’s new album in the thoughts of many was destined to never see the light of day, but with an attitude matching and title seemingly inspired by the Winston Churchill quote, ‘Before Alamein, we never had a victory. After Alamein, we never had a defeat’, the London band’s offering is ready to captivate grip ears.

Formed in 2006, The Fuse soon began enticing ears and interest for their alternative/indie rock sound, and within a year they was heading over to LA to record their debut album after Russ Regan, who discovered and signed Elton John, had heard their single Everybody Knows The Way and signed the band up. In the financial crisis of 2008 though, his Velocity Entertainment went bust leaving no release ready and the band returning to their home city. Back in England, The Fuse continued to lure attention and support with their shows, especially after playing one with Coldplay cover band Coldplace. This triggered more gigs around the UK and in 2010, a tour of Holland supporting Coldplace as well as the sharing of a stage with UB40 and numerous festival spots. More tours and shows in Europe were followed in 2012 by the band headlining the Pembrokeshire Fish Week Festival and Richmond World Music Festival, and the next year playing a couple of shows with Foreigner. Now the quartet of Alex Lato, Simon Bowker, Ed Thorne, and Simon James White have their first album on the launch pad, an fair to say, the Javier Weyler (ex-Stereophonics) produced album reveals a collection of songs which just grab the imagination.

CD_CBwallet_The Fuse_12_06_2015_RingMaster ReviewAlamein opens with the outstanding Black Lion, a song tantalising with almost tribal enticing from its first breath and a cascade of harmonic vocal roars, which in turn sparks a seductive stroll of meaty rhythms and tangy grooves. The song is soon strolling with a swagger and mischievous enterprise, drums and bass a prowling shadow against the bright temptation of the guitars and quickly alluring vocals. The full result is a contagious and increasingly compelling romp inventively setting the album off on a major high and setting a lofty bar for the following Misfit to match. It is a test quickly passed as an electro shimmer of an entrance evolves into a dark Stan Ridgway like pop canter, the track proceeding to flirt with spicy hooks and sparkling melodies over another tenaciously rhythmic adventure. Its colourful mix of sound is matched by a great variety of vocals across the band too, their unions a festival of creative revelry around a lively reflective narrative.

Oxygen steps up next, treating ears to a post punk bass line and matching ambience before the vocals, with melodies in tow, awaken a ray of energy and warmth. As in the first pair of songs, imagination is soon adding little twists of sound and character to the engaging and increasingly emotionally inflamed proposition. Feet and appetite are simply bewitched by the track and indeed Sleuth which shares its resourceful vivacity next. Inside once more contrasts unite, the snarl of the bass and punch of drums tempering but more so complimenting the bubbling keys and vocal vibrancy, it all bound in fiery guitar endeavour. It is a fresh breath of drama and aural heat which is continued through the mellower White Shark and the elegant croon of Rainbows. Neither song quite spark personals tastes as strikingly as their predecessors to be honest, but each, and especially the increasingly rousing latter, grows into a potent and provocative blossom of sound and persuasion.

A twangy tone of guitar quickly makes 3AM an inviting proposal, the song growing with every passing chord into a magnetic blaze, still cored by that great initial bait and increasingly breeding a catchiness which lingers long after its boisterous departure. There are many tracks which wear single on their temptation, this certainly amongst them as too Paint This Town which actually has already had that position and unsurprisingly drawn a great many newcomers to The Fuse. Bounding in on a Blondie-esque dance of melodic flirting, the song swiftly builds its own distinct, infection soaked incitement for body and emotions. Its body of hooks and pop leaded tenacity has the musical shine of bands like Super Happy Fun Club and at times The Killers, whilst providing another pinnacle for Alamein.

The album closes with firstly the emotive and melodic smouldering of Phantom, a song which suggests that Coldplay is certainly amongst the band’s inspirations, and lastly In This World. The final song opens with a Lennon-esque tone to vocals and piano, subsequently growing into another of the slow burning persuasions on the release which builds into a richly satisfying theatre of sound and emotion which finds a potent resemblance to Queen like adventure.

Both songs offer an enjoyable end to a highly pleasing album and long last, proper introduction for the world to The Fuse. There is no doubting their journey to now has been worthwhile and creatively well spent, Alamein emerging as a very rosy addition to the melodic/indie rock discography of 2015.

http://www.thefuse.london/    https://www.facebook.com/thefusemusic/

RingMaster 05/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Earthist – Lightward

Earthist Official Photo

Hailing from Italy, alternative rockers Earthist have announced themselves on a wider landscape with a debut album which is full of surprises, invention, and most of all thoroughly enjoyable encounters. Lightward has moments where things are not as imposingly convincing as in other thrilling parts but from start to finish it is fair to say that the Parma quartet has presented one captivating, potential drenched introduction.

The band was formed in 2012 by young musicians whose ages (20 to23) are a deception to the maturity of their invention and sound. Drawing on a diverse array of influences and flavours to spice up their own imagination (folk, progressive, and Britpop amongst them), Earthist swiftly found eager support in their homeland for their Now. Here. Or Nowhere. EP of 2013, which in turn helped open up opportunities for the band to spread out live and subsequently play alongside numerous other emerging and better known bands from within and outside of Italy at important festivals. A critically acclaimed feature film by Emanuele Valla called Dreaming Alaska also featured some of the band’s songs, but now with the worldwide release of Lightward via Epictronic, the foursome of Federico Ronchini (lead vocals / guitar), Francesco Parrino (lead vocals, keys), Giacomo Giuffredi (guitar / backing vocals), and Alberto Tanara (drums) are knocking on broader attention, and with its unpredictable invention and smiling imagination it is easy to suspect potent success coming their way.

Opener Not Today is a swift melodic anthem in the ear, its rhythms and riffs a sturdy initial wall of tempting within which keys dangle bright temptation. A great bassline emerges from a following calm, its throaty lure in thick contrast to the just as engaging vocals which if you did not realise the band was Italian give no real hint to the band’s nationality. As the song’s shadowed but summery stroll continues, guitar and keys offers sparkles of light hooks and teasing enterprise over the stirring core drive of that bass and accompanying similarly intensive riffs. The band has been compared to the likes of Biffy Clyro and Mumford and Sons and it is easy to see why, especially in reference to the first of the two in this track alone.

Earthist _ Lightward   The following Miracle moves into view with a coaxing of jagged chords before inviting crisp beats and another dark throated and catchy bassline. Emerging as a flavoursome slice of indie rock it also has a pop punk air to its chorus and aligning vocals, whilst across its whole length the song almost teases with its busily creative nature. The same can be said of Sirens Sing within its own unique presence. Creaking wood is a suggestive start to the song before an acoustic caress of guitars and growing melodies across keys and strings snuggle provocatively upon ears and imagination, each voicing the haunted romance of some kind inside the track’s elegant presence. The song, as the album, increases its potency and appeal with every listen, blossoming from an enjoyable first encounter to another peak within the album.

A spatial atmosphere instantly engulfs the senses and next song The Astronaut, keys a celestial breeze from which the song suddenly slips into an energetic and vivacious indie pop romp. Hooks gleam as they take and sonic endeavour shines as it entwines the infection posing as a song. Like a mix of Super Happy Fun Club and Good Charlotte, nineties and more current essences collude for a fiery anthem, inciting a new flush of hunger in the appetite before Brighter Later and after it Fox When The Night show another twist in the nature of the release. The first of the two is a rock pop serenade with a feisty heart and lively tenacity whilst the second with an equally lusty energy, explores a more new wave/indie inventiveness. Neither quite lives up to the previous songs yet each provides moments of richly pleasing ideation in a constant feel good proposition, the second of the two especially engaging a smile of satisfaction.

Classically seeded keys and a great earthy bass tone make Step Out Of The Shade an especially flavoursome proposition next, though the great vocals and a Beatle-esque whiff to the chorus certainly help its appeal too, whilst Helicon straight after, is another slow to light the emotions encounter. To be honest it never quite finds the spark needed to truly excite but enjoyment is never in doubt whilst in its increasingly tempestuous company. Neither song can match up to Jolly Roger (A Pirate’s Tale) though, the track from its opening boot on wood rhythmic march gripping body and thoughts. It reinforces the opening gambit with a radiant piano coaxing and a guitar crafted seducing. Vocals again impress and add new texture and quality, their joyful swing matching the shanty like swagger of the track. Bass snarls and folk revelry only colour the full blooded adventure further, all alluring hues going to make the pinnacle of the album. Revealing yet another new facet to album and songwriting the band’s imagination shows an experimental side easy to hope they explore much more ahead.

Sealance (In My Eyes) provides a raucous flight of radiant keys and thumping rhythms within an intensive sonic embrace next whilst Time For A Fight manages to weave strains of Muse, The Doors, and Weezer into a blustery and again increasingly magnetic collusion of sixties, seventies, and a more current festivity. Their satisfying sounds make way for The Lighthouse, a more than decent close to the album with a Coldplay like croon within a lively simmering melodic landscape. Like its predecessor, the track pleases without setting fires yet each have something within their presence which is nothing short of pleasing.

The album is a treat of a first glimpse into the creative world of Earthist, a realm sure to only grow and breed new thrilling experiments and creative emprises ahead. We for one cannot wait and suggest fans of melodic contagion do not either by taking a punt on Lightward right now.

Lightward is available now via Epictronic/Plastic Head Distribution LTD @ http://www.plastichead.com/item.asp?ex=fitem&target=EPIC005 and https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/lightward/id958116679

https://www.facebook.com/Earthistmusic

RingMaster 31/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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