Twister – 64 White Lies

Not quite a year ago, UK rock outfit Twister grabbed our ears and attention, like with so many others, through the Designed State of Mind EP. It was an infectious yet meaty collection of melodically woven, rousingly catchy rock pop openly rich in a potential which has since been realised and pushed again by a debut album and now new single 64 White Lies.

The Durham hailing outfit formed in 2004 and has grown to be one of the more enticing rock propositions on the British scene as well as a powerful and acclaimed live encounter. Over the years they have played with the likes of Status Quo, Simple Minds, Texas, Scouting for Girls, Ron Thal (Bumblefoot),  Jools Holland, and The Joy Formidable and finished in overall second place out of 12,000 acts in the Surface Festival. The Designed State of Mind EP was a definite nudge on bigger recognition of their powerful sound with its release last year and more than built upon by first album Combined State of Mind released this past May.

Taken from that full-length, 64 White Lies epitomises the band’s strongly written and potently crafted sound. It might not be bursting with surprises as a song but everything about it is adventurous and an adventure for the listener. From its opening melodic tease of guitar and the swiftly following wave of muscular rhythms and pressing riffs, the song has ears in the palms of its creative hands. The engaging tones of vocalist/guitarist Stevie Stoker only reinforce the temptation; his voice melodic warmth within the more volatile roar of sound and intensity.

With the strolling bassline of Matt Whitaker and the wickedly swung beats of drummer Joe Major striking bait alongside the creative inducement of guitarist Jake Grime and Stoker, the song is an instinctive surge of heart and craft as effective in its composed moments as in its fiery roar. It is a mix of the enticingly familiar and appetisingly fresh which makes a delving into Combined State of Mind and the incoming horizons of Twister an inevitable next move.

64 White Lies is released September 22nd.

http://www.officialtwister.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/TwisterUK    https://twitter.com/wearetwister

Pete RingMaster 12/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Twister – Designed State of Mind

twister-pic-2_RingMasterReview

Since forming, UK rock pop band Twister has shared stages with the likes of Status Quo, Simple Minds, Texas, Scouting for Girls, Jools Holland, and The Joy Formidable, Guns ’n’ Roses guitarist Ron Thal (Bumblefoot) on his 2015 UK tour, and finished second out of 12,000 acts in the Surface Festival. Each moment has drawn praise and vocal support, something not hard to understand whilst listening to the band’s new mini album Designed State of Mind.

Offering six vibrant and emotionally intensive affairs, Designed State of Mind catches ears with its instinctive catchiness and the imagination with its accomplished melody rich character. Straight away as opener and the band’s new single hits ears, there is an instant show of new maturity and a blossoming in the band’s sound since previous album This Isn’t Wonderland of 2014. Songs are more rounded and the united craft of the band tighter, Trees alone revelling in that growth. Quickly tangy hooks and spicy melodies entangle with the darker hues of a lively bass, beats swinging with matching eagerness as the infectious encounter descends on ears and appetite. Impossibly contagious by the time of its pop loaded chorus, the track bounces around inspiring the same in body and spirit; Jake Grimes, Matthew Whitaker, and Joe Major a lively proposition around the potent voice of Stevie Stoker.

twister-album-artwork-design_RingMasterReviewed-state-of-mindIt is a thrilling start which the EP at times equals and or closely misses but constantly sparks strong enjoyment starting with Monroe. More of as grower than its predecessor and with a touch of restraint to its seeming want to explode, the song strolls along with rhythmic shadows aligned to reflective melodies as vocals again caress ears with a firm and captivating touch. It too has a chorus which is hard not to get involved in while its melancholic air seduces before the excellent Fist Fight by the Waterside steps forward.

Once more suggestive melodies and tenacious rhythms collude with Stoker’s powerful tones as the song’s character has the spirit and punch its title might suggest. Touching on the predatory at times, the track easily rivals the opener as a main highlight and quickly matched by the mellower reflective charm of Monopolise. Reflective voice and melody coax ears before the song broadens out into an anthemic croon with feisty energy and heart to the fore. There is a touch of ABC to the song, if that band had turned to hard rock, it ending as infectiously enticing as anything on the album.

Designed State of Mind ends with the equally red-blooded Feeding Frenzy, a rousing encounter if missing the final vital spark of previous songs within the album and lastly Fortune Favours the Bold, a warm and boldly engaging song again not quite reaching the heights of before. Nevertheless the pair brings the album to a highly pleasing close adding to a want to hear more from Twister, a Durham hailing band rising up the UK rock scene with every passing success.

Designed State of Mind is out now through most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/TwisterUK   https://twitter.com/wearetwister

Pete RingMaster 10/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Impassioned roars and passing beauties: talking City of Auburn with Michael Osborn

Photo by Concert Fotos

Photo by Concert Fotos

Hailing out of McKinney, Texas, City of Auburn is a band beginning to create a stir. Originally a solo project, the band grew and expanded as its sound, emerging as an attention striking alternative rock proposal. With two EPs already under the belt, the band is currently working on a debut album for unveiling later in 2016. In anticipation, we grabbed the chance to explore and learn more about the band with founder/vocalist/songwriter Michael Osborn taking in its beginnings, releases, a girl called Auburn and much more…

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Thank you so much for having us, it means so much!

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

Well we have James Motter on drums, Jake Potter on guitar, Luke Weeks on bass, Jordan Shepherd on guitar, and then Michael Osborn on vocals. City of Auburn started when I (Michael) was in middle school. I played drums for a hard rock band at the time and I wanted to kind of do my own thing as a side solo project. That rock band broke up around the time of me going into high school and I recorded the first EP, The Achromatic World, right around freshman year. I ended up getting involved with an assortment of different bands and those really became my priority, City of Auburn became something on the back burner. Eventually the bands I was involved in started to dissemble out and I had songs written for another City of Auburn album. I released the second EP Soul Searcher in 2014 and it became my highest point of interest. I always had the thought of doing live shows with City of Auburn and making it an actual band. I didn’t want to do it solo anymore. Over the course of me being in so many different bands those past years, I made a lot of friends that supported what I did, and when they heard that I wanted to do live shows and things, they showed interest and said they’d love to be involved. I ended up having a line up laid out for me. Once we got things solidified, we started to get moving. It’s just been a new experience since then. We’re recording our full-length album right now.

What impact have those previous experiences had on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

Yes! Our drummer is actually an EDM artist and he’s got a new album out really really soon so you should check that out (iamreflekt.com), and our guitarist Jake is actually the singer of a hardcore band that I also play bass for called Crucify The Flesh (https://www.facebook.com/crucifydaflesh). I guess out of all the bands I’ve been in, there’s really only been one that really made something out of it. Before City of Auburn became my main focus, I played drums in this progressive metalcore band called Citadel. I played in that band for around 4 years. We broke up for so many reasons, but we were all just growing apart as people and some lifestyles really started to change. I barely talk to the people in that band anymore and I honestly don’t even know where they are in their lives, and that’s really weird to say. But the one thing that really pushed everything over the edge was that there was this other band called Citadel and they were this hair-metal band from like the 70’s that apparently reserved that band name back then. I’m pretty sure they haven’t even made any music in like 10 years. They sent us a message on Facebook (not even a formal email) claiming that we were infringing on the copyright over their band name and they threatened to take down our Facebook page if we didn’t change our band name in under 72 hours or something. We replied back saying we would change the band name immediately. But literally like 6 hours later our page was taken down. It was so stupid. These old farts from the 70’s picked a fight with some 20-year olds in a local band. They even called us unimaginative and unoriginal even though we were two completely different styles of music. It was almost hilarious haha. But my experience in that band really shaped what I am doing now. Metal is a cool music style, it’s just not for me anymore. I remember that the scene we were involved in wasn’t the kindest and we weren’t really growing. It always felt just really empty and I never truly, fully enjoyed it. Doing what I do in City of Auburn has already brought more opportunity and way more enjoyment than anything I’ve done before. I feel like doing what we do as a band, we can express ourselves in a new way that isn’t us writing a breakdown all the time. It stretches you lyrically, and it is really awesome to grow in something else. I’m personally having a blast.

Photo by Cindy Williams of Exquisite Photography

Photo by Cindy Williams of Exquisite Photography

What inspired the band name?

Okay, so this is probably going to sound so stupid but changing your band name after two EPs is just too much work. I started this in middle school like I said, and I was friends with this guy that was interested in this one girl named Auburn. I barely knew this girl. I probably talked to her once, but I really liked that word ‘Auburn’ so being the un-creative middle schooler I was, I was just like ‘I’m going to call my band Auburn muhahaha’ but there is actually another artist under that same name. One friend that I didn’t know really well randomly told me that I should call the band City of Auburn just because. I just went with it. The name has no significant meaning or anything, it’s literally named after some random girl I met once and apparently I made a city after her. I know; it’s embarrassing when I have to explain it.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and what you wanted it to offer?

I can’t really tell you what was going through my head starting this out in middle school, but forming this into a band, the intention has been to make something genuine and honest. I think it’s important to make music that is transparent and doesn’t follow trends. I always want to be different at heart, and I really want to connect with all those who take the time to listen to us.

Do the same things still drive the band from when it was fresh-faced?

Absolutely! I think it’ll always be that way, and I’m going to do everything in my power to keep it that way.

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

Uh, it’s evolved haha. The first EP I recorded is drastically different I think. The quality of that record isn’t that good, and just the songwriting was just everywhere. There are these really weird musical segments and, my gosh, the lyrics are just strange in some places. I don’t really talk about that album anymore because really it in no way represents what we do now. The Achromatic World is just a mess in lots of places, but I’m not ashamed of it. It’s where I started so I shouldn’t discredit that. It just doesn’t really represent what I do now. When I did Soul Searcher, it almost sounds like two different bands. Way more of a refined sound that was driving and musical compared to things I’ve done before. Vocal performance was significantly better. I guess I wasn’t going through puberty anymore so I finally found my voice. I feel like Soul Searcher was where I really began. This progression is only evolving even more with the upcoming album.

Do things move organically within the band in terms of sound and ideas or does the band deliberately go out to try new things?

I think it’s definitely been an organic thing. I matured as a person, so the music follows with it. You realize that you like different things and find different influences as you continue to make music, and that’s really translated on what I’ve done so far.

From what you said earlier about where band members came from musically, I am presuming there are a wide range of inspirations to you all; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

The thing is, with our weird history of me starting off solo to forming a band the other guys haven’t had the chance to fully collaborate on anything yet. Even with the new album, the album was finished with writing about a month before our first shows. I left room for everyone to be on the record for sure, but as far as influences on the band, we really haven’t had any because we haven’t written as a collective yet. I remember writing the new album listening to a lot of Balance & Composure and Being as an Ocean. They pretty much shaped the sound the record I think. I’ve always had the mentality that if you’re going to write another record, it has to be a step forward from your previous release. So I listened to bands that grew through their albums and you keep seeing a better record; that eventually translates on how you do things as well. One band that has impacted me so much is Falling Up, they’re just so fantastic. I love so many bands and artists to count.

Is there a process to the songwriting which generally guides your songwriting?

This is so hard for me to explain haha. It really just starts with me playing something on the guitar just to get an idea going. I usually always have something humming in my head and I’m always trying to discover those notes. If I’m liking where it’s going, I’ll imagine the next part. It just keeps going from there. It sounds really simple, but figuring out what parts go into each other becomes complicated when you’re trying to keep the whole album in perspective.

Where do you find the source of inspiration to the lyrical side of your songs most often?COA art_RingMasterReview

I think I go through phases lyrically. With The Achromatic World I talked a lot in concepts and stories. With Soul Searcher it became something that was unintentionally personal. I wrote the album out of order and looking over the lyrics, I saw that it created a personal story. It really described my life during the process of that record and that became really apparent to me. I didn’t mean to write songs about me, but that’s what it became and I’m glad that ended up happening. With this upcoming album, I was personal from the beginning and that was completely intentional. I wrote about the things I struggled in as a person, and I wrote about growing in those areas. I don’t think I’ve ever written something so personal and honest, and I can’t wait for people to see that. I think right now with starting to write more music, I want to write about people. I desire to have a heart that’s open enough to understand where people come from. Instead of trying to write about the things I’m struggling with, I want to write about what others are going through and make effort to meet on their level. I’m drawing inspiration from that right now, and it’s definitely been something new.

Can you give us some insight to the themes and premise behind your latest release?

Soul Searcher was our most our most recent release. It came out in August of 2014 and we’ve been playing those songs ever since. It’s a personal record like I said, and it really was the most organic album when I wrote it. Everything just came together when I needed it to and it was such a blast to release. It really sparked a lot into pushing this project forward.

It kind of tells a story. It outlines the events of a person that rekindles his faith and relationship with God, that person being me. I remember that I went through a lot of things that left me hurt and I felt like I was becoming bitter. My faith was put on the back burner. I didn’t want to deal with God. As I kept living out my life, I felt empty. I was surrounded by others of the same faith and even though I was scared, I did want to get right with God again. The EP is about that journey, and my faith really strengthened from that experience. The term ‘Soul Searcher’ is not about finding out who you are, it’s about finding out who you are in Christ. It’s about finding yourself in him, and knowing that he’s with you.

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?

Definitely will have songs ready to go…there might be some things that I’d like to try and experiment with when we’re actually recording, but I really see no use going into the studio to record the next part of your career and have nothing prepared or mapped out. I just feel like it is wasting time. Obviously there are exceptions like the writing process being cut short or something, but I’d rather release an album of 7 tracks and have them all be amazing then to have 12 tracks and half of them push the record down due to underdevelopment. It’s always great to go in knowing what you want and having things prepared. I think it just makes a better record.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

I just absolutely love playing live with this band. I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun playing live before. It’s really amazing to be playing with literally your best friends every night. I love making people laugh and going insane on stage. Our dynamic is really cool live because the guys in the band weren’t on the records, so when we play live you get to hear little things here and there that they add to the songs. It’s really cool because you actually get an experience that’s different from the record. The thing I probably love the most is connecting with people after the show. I love getting to be around the people who support what we do, it’s so amazing and I’m so grateful for their time.

COA_RingMasterReviewWe ask this of numerous emerging bands; it is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it and do you feel the opportunities are still there to make a mark if the band has the drive?

It’s honestly complicated where we’re from. All the venues that are close to us are really in Dallas and all the promoters/booking agents are all involved in one singular production company that’s really well known. They completely support the idea of local openers, but the thing is it is all pay-to-play shows and it becomes ridiculous. It sometimes works really well for band that already have a fan base, but for the ones starting out it can become really hard. A normal situation is that if you want to play on a show, you have to sell 25-45 tickets for $13 or $17 a piece for a Sunday night show, and you only play for 20 mins. Those are such inconvenient prices and there’s always an up charge at the door for people under 21. No one wants to go out to a Sunday night show when there’s work the next morning, so getting a minimum of 25 people out is hard to do. Above all of that, you get no money back from the money you sell from the tickets. So you put in all the work to bring out all the people on a Sunday night for a 20 minute set and the promoter leaves early when he’s collected all the money from the bands. You don’t walk away with a lot of exposure because you played in front of people you invited and a few others. We’ve been trying to do shows elsewhere because of that, touring is your friend honestly. Go out of your city; bring good appealing merch, put on a good show. You can get people’s attention really well I think. There is also that side of me that is open to be completely wrong, the system that’s set up right now could be really effective and I just haven’t seen it bear fruit yet, so who knows. There’s been a rise in DIY venues lately and there’s so much more opportunities to play because of it. It’s been a journey to figure out everything, but I’m excited to see where it all ends up.

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 the bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

I think it can go both ways. With all the marketing that goes on, your band’s ad or social media can be lost in the mix because everyone is doing it. But at the same time, if you have a developed plan and start small at first it can become really effective. Networking can become something that is so helpful, but sometimes physically playing shows instead of a YouTube ad can go a lot further. It’s hard to promote yourself when you don’t have all the resources available, but start small. It can pay off as it grows.

Once again Michael, a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add?

These were all wonderful questions, thank you so so much for having us. Check us out on Facebook and Bandcamp. We have a new album coming late this year, be on the lookout for new music soon!

Check out City of Auburn further @ https://www.facebook.com/cityofauburnmusic and their music @ http://cityofauburn.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 16/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Hollie April – Together Alone

Hollie April Photo 3

A smouldering and climactically sultry embrace for ears and imagination, Together Alone is further proof of the magnetic and striking talent that is Hollie April. The new single is a delicious evocative caress of drama and emotive seduction which whilst reinforcing the already impressive presence of April unveils a new vein of potential to her songwriting and sound, which in turn will surely leads to an inevitable increased spotlight on the lady.

The 22 year-old British singer-songwriter was born and raised in Gibraltar and from the age of 12 was performing professionally. Studying at and graduating from Leeds College of Music with a BA(Hons) in Music Production, 2013 saw April performing at an array of festivals and sharing stages with the likes of Emeli Sandé, Level 42, Texas, Lawson, and Olly Murs. Her debut EP Marionette stirred up excited attention and acclaim with its release at the tail of 2013, the song The Sun and the Sea from it especially garnering potent praise and focus. Now Together Alone is poised to open up a new charge of hungry appetites and acclaim through its mesmeric beauty and compelling imagination.Hollie April 'Together Alone' Single Artwork

A caress of guitar assisted by a minimalistic bass stroke opens up a deeply evocative breath to the song. It is a captivating entrance swiftly joined by the fascinating voice of April. As expressive as they are harmoniously intriguing, her vocals spellbind ears and thoughts immediately, flirting with the imagination and the gently coaxing sounds beneath her. It is only the start of the song though, the first passage in a masterful and inventive flow of ideas and sound. A heavy strum of guitar triggers a potent stride of rhythms and elevation in the richness of both April’s voice and passion next with thoughts of Katie Bucket and UK band Jingo immediately springing to mind, the pair sharing an organic and senses inflaming ability to melodically roar.

The song continues to ebb and flow in its energy whilst increasing the startling, dramatic air and texture of its presence and narrative. It is a glorious adventure emotionally and sonically, with April’s voice an evolving climate of charm and melodic beauty. The song is bewitching as it reveals another character to the presence and craft of April, a broad yet intimate sunset for thoughts and feelings.

Hollie on the evidence of her EP and new singles is destined to make major melodic statements within British rock and pop music ahead; she has already started to be fair with Together Alone.

Together Alone is available digitally from September 22nd

www.hollieapril.com

RingMaster 21/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

 

 

Cathexis – Shades of Apocalypse

cathexis promo

Hailing from Austin, Texas, death metallers Cathexis with their rapaciously scintillating debut album Shades of Apocalypse seem to be settling themselves for an all-out assault on the world of metal. From friends who spent numerous years listening to and absorbing a wide expanse of metal, they have developed and honed their creative natures and skills into one of the more exciting and riveting death metal introductions to come our way this year.

Now consisting of vocalist Ian Bishop, guitarists Chris Hillam and Sam Kang, and bassist Mason Weber, the band officially was launched last year and went straight to work on their debut album, the mighty Shades of Apocalypse. Self-produced and driven by technical craft and consumptive weight and intimidation, the album is a startling heralding of a band you can only assume you will hear a lot more of as they only get better, the small pockets of strong acclaim and eager responses it has already garnered showing we are not alone in that thought. The full September release of the album will only be fuel to that waiting fire one suspects if not right now certainly ahead.

The release opens with a dawning of epically suggestive rhythms and a threateningly brewing ambience, its touch and suasion the 16367_474457545936193_1122350030_nportent of something greater and soon realised when Inheritor of the Weak erupts to its full height. With riffs and rhythms dangerously provoking the ear and sonic grooves lashing themselves to the onslaught, the vocals of Bishop though as expected in many ways, reign with guttural and uncompromising supremacy whilst equally utilising a temptation which gives clarity to their venomous words and abrasive delivery. The song itself is a torrent of firm rugged beats and scarring riffs with flare for invention, and though it does not ignite any major fires as such, it is an impressive and intensive lead into the album.

From the ‘scene setter’ everything raises up a level or two with the introduction of Oscillation of Destruction. Bitch slapping the ear from the start with drums and vocals, there is also an immediate twist of tempting toxic grooves and open adventure that winds itself around the imagination, leading it through an ever shifting corridor of intensity and carnivorous antagonism lined with melodic flames and sonic paintings.  Bruising and seductive the track manhandles the passions straight into the title track which too goes for the jugular from the start, though with a more premeditated pace as it locks its muscular jaws tightly around the senses with crippling rhythms and lethally caustic riffs. Its early presence is pure predatory ferociousness drafted into a narrow vicious lure and has little problem in securing submission from ear and emotions. This is elevated by the quarrelsome bassline which is given its lead to entice the passions further before the song once again launches explosively at the listener.

Imagining that things could not get any better Prostration soon shoves that thought aside as it drags the heart to greater ardour with a web of grooves within a cage of rhythms which are lorded over by the ever impressive attack of Bishop. Almost teasing and taunting the senses with expertly sculpted sonic technicality and rhythmic enslaving before ravishing its victim with a torrent of insatiable and unrelenting riffs, the song impresses further with each twist, its merger of riveting guitar enterprise and rhythm cast invention sealing the deal with rapture the price.

Both Dethroned by the Pernicious and Immobilized by Consumption unleash their individual and exhausting intensive and ingenious wars upon the ear, the first carving its name in flesh with rigorous animosity and deceitful charm meshed into another carnally bred cyclonic fury whilst its successor rakes over the wounds with just as a violent and imaginative intent coated in barbarous invention. The textures and depths conjured and explored by the band is breath-taking but it is all done within the infernal unrelenting savagery which leaves, as with this song and album, the senses basking in blood soaked bliss.

You will not be surprised to read that the closer Celestial Pathogen continues the exceptional provocation, the track a final clawing and ravaging of the senses and passions, though strangely like the first track one which seems less prone to adventure than others. It still provides a blistering finale to a mouthwatering encounter from a band that is destined to greatness.  Cathexis and Shades of Apocalypse, two names you need to register and investigate as soon as physically possible.

https://www.facebook.com/CathexisDM

10/10

RingMaster 04/09/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com