Creative gunslingers and seductive melodies: exploring the world of Prime

Prime has been a rising incitement of attention and pleasure within the British underground rock scene since emerging in 2014 and it is fair to say that the Nottingham outfit is only just beginning to arouse a broader and richer following and support for their multi-flavoured melody rich sound. Following the recent release of their new single and ahead of an upcoming EP we had the pleasure of finding out more about Prime with vocalist Lee Heir exploring the outfit’s origins, sound, latest single and  much more…

Hello Lee and thanks for taking time out of your day to talk with us.

My Pleasure.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all?

The band is currently myself on vocals, Kieran Hill on lead guitar, Daniel Ison on bass guitar, and Zero on drums. We’re looking to add a bad-ass guitar player over the summer so we shall see what happens.

Some of the band are recent recruits, has that had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

It has… I think we were about to get a bit soft before Kieran and Zero bought so high-impact, flamboyant playing to the table. Every song-ending now sounds like it’s veering off the end of a cliff! And Dan is looking for a certain level of intricacy in the music, he wants to build quiet and loud song structures and tell a 4-5 minute song through those theories.

What inspired the band name?

I wanted something big, a bit like T.REX, as Marc Bolan was a massive influence on me starting out. I got the name from the Lee Marvin film Prime Cut – it was in the TV guide one day when I was flicking through the film listings.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of Prime and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

There were no grand plans. It originally started off as a studio project, we recorded a studio album in 2014, but I suppose it was more like a solo project as most of the guys didn’t end up playing live with us, guys like Dan Ryland, who was a very creative drummer. The lads who played on the early recordings were all great, I just wasn’t happy with the mixes of the production at times.

Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

Well Kieran is still fresh-faced, he’s only just turned 20! I think the lads are all the same as me: I’m driven by more musical challenges, I just wanted to make pure rock music originally, which in a way, we still do, but there’s more subtlety there now and more interesting songs.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

Everything is better in my eyes. Zero instantly knows where he wants to take a song as a drummer, he has such an ear for which direction he sees our songwriting. Dan, for such a cocky bastard, doesn’t rate his own abilities as highly as he should: he is an excellent songwriter. The sound was more based in garage and punk, and although I love that stuff, with the exception of The Seeds or The Clash or Gang Of Four, they were never the most musical of genres.

Across Prime it sounds like there is a wide range of inspirations so as a particular process in the songwriting emerged to generally guide the writing of songs?

No particular process, it used to be jam out in the studio, so that’s why it was maybe more punky and frenetic and less subtle. Now most songs come from me or Kieran, or sometimes me and Dan, sitting down with a pint and thinking a bit more.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Everyday life, concepts, theories… Chris (Munton), our original bassist said to me “I try and write songs that give people direction and some meaning”, I suppose I do that to a degree, in more of a layered, subtle – or sometimes in your face! – way.

Could you give us some background to your latest release, out soon, the Bye Bye EP.

Well Bye Bye, our latest single and video are out now online on the usual places, so we’ve decided to enhance it with some tracks recorded live at the o2 Leicester and a remix by a really good electronic artist called Roger Portas who has previously remixed Donna Summer and has a project called Video Tape Machine. The track Bye Bye originally started off as a simple demo, it just sounds like pretty fuzzy rock with my vocal quite impassioned – or unlistenable I prefer to say! – I think I’ve improved on it a little bit since thank God!

What are the themes and premise behind Bye Bye?

It’s a very confused song about a broken relationship, and how people go round in circles until they just come to a dead end and realise that they are never going to be together.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

We haven’t recorded in over a year, but it’s always best to go with the most complete song possible and put finishing touches to it, such as finish lyrics off, or add nice guitar overdubs and backing vocals, done by Shirena Ingram, who is a lovely girl and a really nice singer. We road test everything we record live, for many months before recording. If it doesn’t go down well live it’s pretty silly recording it; although Bye Bye was a rare exception to that rule.

You mentioned tracks live at the o2… tell us about Prime live?

We go out there to entertain first and foremost, if you come watch Prime anywhere in the country, you’ll never get the same show twice. I don’t think you get that with bands like Arctic Monkeys, from what I hear they’re pretty boring live.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

We’ve had more interest and luck up North I would say, our sets have gone down a storm in venues like The Wardrobe in Leeds. Christian Carlisle on BBC Sheffield has played us and seems to like what we do, although certain stations in the East Midlands don’t seem to, they seem to be more interested in plucking fifteen-year-old girls from obscurity… that’s their prerogative. I’ve been a bit frustrated by certain venues when we have gone down clearly very well to bigger crowds, yet a lack of follow up is done – the system is definitely flawed at times, but we push on. Next stop is London.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

I don’t see apart from the very poor royalties on streaming sites – virtually non-existent from sites like Soundcloud and Spotify – that the internet can be a bad thing. People from around the world can find out about Prime. That’s a great thing. Main problem is the lack of quality control, there’s a lot of shit content and bad music – from the kinds of bands you just mentioned -getting in the way of people finding us too.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

I’ll just say thank you for your time and thank you to your readers for supporting new or unsigned music. Without your support, new bands can’t exist, so keep doing it!

https://www.facebook.com/ukprime/    http://www.thepublichousebrand.com/prime

The RingMaster Review 13/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Blacklist Union – Back To Momo

blacklistunion_RingMaster Review

A few short weeks back, US rockers Blacklist Union unleashed their single Alive N Well Smack in the Middle of Hell, a magnetic stomp of a song providing an inviting teaser to the band’s new album Back To Momo. If you too took up its enjoyable invitation to rebel rouse let us tell you now, as good as it actually was, it barely touched on the might and enterprise flooding the band’s fourth full-length. It is persistently rivalled and at times just outshine by the thrilling incitements offered by Back To Momo, which tells you just how outstanding the album is.

Formed in 2004 by frontman Tony West, the Los Angeles hailing Blacklist Union was soon stirring up attention, especially from the 2006 release of debut album After The Mourning. The band’s reputation and stature continued to grow as the band emerged on the US rock scene, second album Breakin’ Bread With The Devil two years later luring keener fan and media focus which its well-received successor Til Death Do Us Part in 2012 pushed much further. Now it is the turn of Back To Momo to try and breach the broadest spotlights, a success hard to bet against such its rebellious and anthemic might.

BLU-Momo-Cover-smBlacklist Union - Back To Momo   With guitarist/bassist Todd Youth and drummer Matt Starr alongside West, Blacklist Union opens up Back To Momo with that aforementioned single, Alive-N-Well Smack in the Middle of Hell. A lone guitar stirs the air first, it’s coaxing soon pierced by a vocal shrill and joined by tangy grooving. Part hard rock, part punk ‘n’ roll, the song hits its stride with a swagger and a closet full of irresistible hooks and sonic enterprise from the guitars. Addiction is the order of the day with the song and as it has feet and emotions fully involved, it is easy to think rock ‘n’ roll does not get much better than this, but oh yes it does, and often across Back To Momo.

The following Shake It Off has a more restrained canter to its blues washed hard rock, and a sense of familiarity which is only enriched by the excellent delivery and vocal attitude of West. Expectations are fed a touch by the song, surprises less bold than on tracks around it but again it has ears and enjoyment settling into a keen appetite before the outstanding Mirror, Mirror on the Wall turns the creative heat up. Erupting in a surge of rhythms and sonic flames, the track quickly swings boisterous hips and frees contagious resourcefulness as an equally riveting vocal adventure jumps in. The track is glorious, a rousing blend of The Stooges, Turbo Negro, and Jane’s Addiction with just the right amount of glam metal, and easily the best incitement upon the album, and the next single surely?

Both the actual upcoming single Evil Eye and Superjaded keep things fiercely bubbling. The first is a scintillating swamp of prowling beats, nagging riffs, and blues bred hues with again an irresistible vocal tempting from West whereas its successor merges the infection of rock pop with the tenacity of punk and the revelry of hard rock, it all contained in a vibrant but restrained embrace which only seems to intensify the invention of the song. Both tracks come with a wealth of flavours and styles, another great feature across the rock ‘n’ roll of the album, and maybe it is no surprise they do given inspirations to the band range from Guns N’ Roses to David Bowie, Bad Brains to Bauhaus, T Rex to The Mission and The Ramones, to name a few.

With a title like Rock N Roll Outlaw you pretty much have an idea of the type of sound on offer and true to pleasing form, the song is an enticing blend of southern and classic rock coated in that twang that gets the taste buds grinning. The music itself does not hold the biggest key to the song’s success, as flavoursome as it is, but the invention and mischievous twists the band put into it is what excites the imagination most before the album’s title track uncages some more punk lined rock ‘n’ roll which simply radiates belligerence within a anthemic blaze. With a skeleton of pulsating rhythms within melodic and infection oozing creative flesh, the song entwines echoes of Alice in Chains, New York Dolls, and Shark Tape.

We Are Not Saints, as It’s All About You right after, flirt with some invigorating strains of garage rock for their individual designs, the former twisting it into a predatory prowling of the senses and serious ignition of the instincts to rock ‘n’ roll whilst the latter, taking an even richer dose of sixties/seventies garage ferocity, weaves a tonic for body and soul bristling with sonic tendrils, sparkling hooks, and psych rock breeding. The rhythms from both bass and drums are wicked seduction whilst West again shows he is one of the most magnetic and dynamic frontmen/vocalists in rock right now.

Things remain infectiously hot with the enthralling Meet Me on Zen Street, a song veering on the brink of horror punk at times, and again through the dirty scuzz lined Graveyard Valentine. Rock ‘n’ roll needs a healthy dose of filth and attitude, and there is plenty on show in voice and sound in this irresistible proposal, the grouchy deep throated bass leading the way. Punk again rears its welcome head, and not for the first time on Back To Momo, there is a touch of Canadian duo The Black Frame Spectacle to the thrilling stomp.

The album is completed by firstly the niggling temptation of Wined, Dined, & 69’d, the song simply classic bred, glammed up rock ‘n’ roll, and lastly Read Between the Lines, a track which again prowls the listener with dazzling lures and spicy enticements. It does not quite live up to earlier peaks yet as all songs, only leaves a licking of lips and want for more.

Back to Momo is not bulging with sounds that are unfamiliar yet from start to finish it is commandingly fresh with an insatiable spark sure to ignite any day. The single Alive N Well Smack in the Middle of Hell was and still is a mighty way to join the Blacklist Union, whilst the album shows it has much more to thrill and incite with. . After this if the band has not breached major attention then world rock is a fool.

Back To Momo is available now via BLU Records.

Ringmaster 13/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Runaway Orchestra – Self Titled

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Approaching the self-titled album from Runaway Orchestra it would be fair to say eager anticipation was not really in abundance. The thought of a collection of cover songs was not off-putting but certainly did not fire up any real excitement or strong intrigue. The ten track album proceeded to take barely two songs to slap any doubt or lethargy towards it down to the floor and firmly transfixed and mesmerised thoughts from there on in.  Certainly not every track found the same strength of passion towards it as did others but the album as a whole was one shapely and magnetic pleasure equipped with a powerful and lingering lure to re-join it often.

The album is the work of Tam Nightingale who enlisted the sultry tones of solo artist Sophie Madeline to explore and bring sirenesque radiance to the re-imagination of classic songs. Also featuring musicians from The Divine Comedy, UNKLE, and Cinematic Orchestra, the result is a delicious warm stroll through the charms of an aural sun and its seductive warmth.  Released through Mr Bongo, the album brings the melodic beauty of Madeline and the folk caresses of the music in a summers day worth of luxurious luminance, the release basking and offering a full journey of hazy elegance from its vibrant sunrise to its dreamy sunset. It certainly emerged as a real surprise, a mouth-watering treat easily putting those earlier thoughts in shameful exile.

The release opens up with its potency fully unrefined from the start through the stunning tracks Happy Together and Life’s A Gas. The first, a re-working of The Turtles track, is simply irresistible, the song instantly mesmerises with the bewitching voice of Madeline and the stringed emotive kiss securing an immediate ardour upon impact. Opening up its arms to a full orchestral embrace with compelling textures coaxing further rapture, the song is wonderful and overall steals the show despite the mighty efforts of the other tracks. From its magnetic presence the song passes on to the following T-Rex song and yet another irresistible temptation. The acoustic touch of the guitar and as proves to be a permanent pleasure, the heart thrilling vocals, make an invitation impossible to decline before the track expands into another feast of orchestral light and melodic enterprise with vocal harmonies and the throaty bass shadow adding yet more unbridled enticement. Whereas its predecessor for these simple preferences easily outshone the original, this song does not surpass the richness of the Bolan version, but comes so close it is dazzling.

After such a start there had to come a point where the album loosened its grip but with next up For Lovers the time was not ready, the striking and thrilling cover of the Wolfman and Pete Doherty 2004 hit injecting an energy and vivacity into the tune without losing the originals emotive depths. Within three songs the release shows artists who do even singular covers how to make songs engrained in the heart of the world their own with craft and imagination without losing the seed and core which gave them their stature in the first place.

Tracks like the take on Bob Dylan’s If Not For You and the Lisa Lougheed/ Racoons theme song Run With Us do slip below the immense plateau already reached though both still leave a full pleasure especially with the ukulele craft of Madeline in the second of the two, whilst splitting the pair is a great version of It’s A Beautiful Day, another senses grasping wash of melodic grandeur with a restrained heat but wholly seductive charm from voice and sound.

The next major highlight comes with a storming cover of The Beat Goes On, the band turning the Sonny and Cher song into a hypnotic alchemy of primal beats and angelic glamour, its melodic reserve and celestial harmonies eager conspirators with the pulsating heart of the track to total submission of the passions. It is stripped down mastery elevated into something more powerful and impacting through imagination bred craft soaked in whispers of longing.

The final trio of songs do not quite live up to what came before though again it is just the brilliance of the likes of the just mentioned track which confines their appeal rather than any shortcomings. Nevertheless songs like Daniel Johnston’s True Love Will Find You In The End and the closing Two Of Us with a full dual vocal presence for the first time only ensure the album ends on a satisfying high.

If you have any doubts about Runaway Orchestra project or album allow us to say dismiss them and enjoy one impressive musical attraction.

8/10

www.facebook.com/RunawayOrchestra

RingMaster 15/04/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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T-Rex: Electric Warrior Deluxe Edition

April 23rd sees the release of multi format editions of Electric Warrior by T-Rex to help mark the year which is the 40th Anniversary of Glam Rock. The album comes as a single CD, a deluxe edition 2 disc edition, or a triple CD Super Deluxe version. Marc Bolan and his band was without doubt the most important artist of the genre and age, but though most acclaim him sometimes his far reaching influence to bands and musician through the following years until now gets unrecognised or forgotten. Electric Warrior was and still is a mighty album, a release that twangs the heart and stirs up the emotions through classic track after another. The new release celebrates that fact, the band, he and the anniversary of the genre, it is an album that has touched and will continue to inspire musicians and fans alike, new or old.

One has to be honest when first hearing and approaching this package there was not a complete enthusiasm for it. Listening to it first before researching the full details left one feeling enthused yet confused initially, not so much on the content but why, who it was for, and was there an element of taking advantage of fans of the band. The more one looked into it an understanding and appreciation dawned and grew for each individual version.

The single CD version of the album is a must have for anyone who has a feeling for the band. The album topped the UK album charts twice, from December 18th 1971 to January 29th 1972 and again from February 5th to February 19th 1972. It is bursting with songs we all know to heart and the disc is a refreshing reminder of the talent and wealth of quality the album gave. This Tony Visconti’s re-mastered version has the complete album plus four bonus tracks, the b-sides There Was A Time / Raw Ramp, King Of The Mountain Cometh and Woodland Rock, plus the brilliant single Hot Love. At around £6.99 this album is a definite must have.

The two disc Deluxe edition is where at first there was a reticence until realizing it is geared for existing fans with an already deep hearted love for the band, though there is much there for the passer by too. Alongside the single album the second disc offers up an array of for the most previously unreleased demos and out-takes. With tracks ranging from the Electric Warrior Poem (a rare us radio promo), through working versions of songs like Electric Boogie, Monolith, and Life’s A Gas, to home acoustic versions of Planet Queen  and Get It On. There are twenty one tracks that for enthused fans will thrill and please immensely and after giving it a mass of deliberate attention it has to be said there is enough to interest and satisfy less ardent fans too such as the excellent studio out-take cover of the rockabilly classic Honey Don’t by Carl Perkins. At a cost of around £12.99 for the deluxe version it is a good price for a different look into Bolan and this music as well as having the original album with its treats.

The Super Deluxe on top of the two CDs contains a DVD consisting rare and unreleased TV performances and promos including the only two surviving Top of the Pops performances from the BBC archive, live performances of Life’s A Gas and Cosmic Dancer, plus promos for Jeepster and Get It On plus more. It also comes with a 32-page hardback book featuring a brand new essay from Bolan biographer Mark Paytress, a poster, a coaster and more all wrapped  in a lavish box which is foil blocked and de-bossed. This will be around £30 and on reflection is still an agreeable amount for the substantial sounds and physical elements within.

There are also a special double LP vinyl version and digital exclusive editions available so something for your preference. As mentioned earlier first thoughts upon the initial introduction and listen to the release was mixed with a thought of exploitation of die-hard fans being involved but the package dispelled that after close focus, its contents and admittedly the pricing truly being a celebration of an icon and era.

To celebrate Record Shop Day on April 21st there is also an especially produced very limited edition T-Rex box set of vinyl singles, Electric Sevens, containing four 7” singles pressed on heavy weight vinyl and featuring unique sleeves.

RingMaster 18/04/2012

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