The Howling Lords – Texas Medicine

Providing some blues rock liquor to re-invigorate sometimes complacent ears, Scottish trio The Howling Lords signed off November with the release of Texas Medicine. The band’s second album, it provides a captivating rumble and grumble of dirty blues bred tracks which plenty of blues and heavy rock fans should find an instinctive taste for.

Hailing from Isle of Lewis, The Howling Lords emerged late 2015 and within a handful of months lured keen ears with debut single Bad For Me. Just as eager attention and praise followed with a busy 2017 seeing the release of their self-titled debut album and the Dead Letters EP, the latter seeing the band’s sound further defined in craft and individuality which Texas Medicine now fully embraces.

From the first tease of opener Looking At Me, the album is a boozy tantalising of ears mixing the familiar with the band’s own fresh invention. The first track writhes with the intoxicated swings of a temptress, the guitar of vocalist Felix Saunders shaping its melodic inebriation as the heavy rhythmic stroll of bassist Jens Johansen shares its swagger to the crisp beats of Eoghainn Lapsley.

It is a potent start swiftly matched and indeed eclipsed by the contagious prowl of Black Dog. For two and a half minutes it as good as stalks the listener but with an invitation to its welcoming lair in every groove, vocal tempting, and rhythmic incitement.

As tracks reveal their individual prowess with garage/blues rock nurtured sounds there is no escaping thoughts of bands such as The Black Keys, Black Pistol Fire and indeed a heavily set Creedence Clearwater Revival; flavours which entice as much as The Howling Lords own raw and dirt encrusted breeding. That feral aspect is a prime essence of the excellent Moves To Keep Me, a punk blues roar which swiftly got under the skin.

Through the likes of the calmer whisky blooded Talk Like That and Green Dress with its rock ‘n’ roll ruggedness, band and album only tightened their hold on attention while subsequent tracks such as the sonically baying Howling At the Moon and the salacious She Devil brought further shots of temptation the way of ears and enjoyment.

For us it is fair to say that Texas Medicine needed a few plays for tracks to truly expose their richness and emerging individuality but more because of our less instinctive appetite for blues rock compared to other genres but with every listen came fresh pleasure as the final trio of Still Waters, Soul To Sell, and God On The Stairs proved. All three made for a firmly enticing proposition but grew by the listen, the first through its almost invasive weight and incisive grooving and its successor with melodic flames which erupt from a perpetual white hot smoulder to singe the senses.

The final track of the free is a melody bred ballad revealing another hue to the band’s creativity and sound; a track epitomising the magnetic touch of the band’s music. It completes an album which from a good impression has blossomed into one highly enjoyable and easy to return to offering.

Texas Medicine is out via all platforms on 30th November.

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

Pete RingMaster 30/11/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Ugly Kings – Promised Land

With their debut album slated for release early next year, Australian rockers The Ugly Kings recently provided a rather flavoursome teaser for it with Promised Land. Offering two tracks cast in the band’s “power blues” sound, the EP weaves a temptation as atmospheric and haunting as it is bold and fiery, both songs rich in a potential suggesting that forthcoming full length just has to be checked out.

Formed in Melbourne in 2011, The Ugly Kings draw on the inspirations of bands such as Led Zeppelin, The Doors, The Black Keys, Muddy Waters, BB King, Black Sabbath, Dead Weather, and Royal Blood for their sound. It is a mix which brought the band’s mini-album, Of Sons, praise carrying attention in 2015 and now makes a striking invitation within Promised Land.

Though you can quibble whether a two track release is an EP or single, there is no denying Promised Land inescapably grabs ears and appetite with its title track. An opening sultry stroke of guitar courts the imagination though it is the instantly striking tones of vocalist Rusty which really hook attention; his potent presence backed by the imposing drama brooding beats of Andy. As further elements unite, the song raises to yet another level, hitting a majestic stroll which initially is almost predatory before becoming a celebratory fire of energy and suggestion.  Its masterful cycle repeats, increasing its hold on body and imagination second by second; the guitar of Christos creating a web of fiery temptation as the bass of Nick makes a grumbling, almost irritable trespass easy to greedily devour. Imposingly infectious and skilfully manipulative, the track is glorious and reason alone to explore that future album.

Even so, personal tastes just took to companion song, Wash Me Of My Sins, with instinctive lust. Like an aural equivalent of a flickering sepia hued film, the song shimmers with the twang of guitar and those ever compelling vocals. Its slow crawl is a shadow wrapped enticement more rejoice than funereal leading to an energy fuelled, spirit arousing canter which still embraces a reserved intensity in its dark country/psych rock canter. With a harmonic tapestry of voices around the ever compelling presence of Rusty, the song seduces listener involvement and imagination with sublime ease; just stealing best song honours and uniting in suggesting that the next encounter with The Ugly Kings is not to be missed.

Promised Land is out now and available @ https://theuglykings.bandcamp.com/album/promised-land

https://www.facebook.com/TheUglyKings/    https://twitter.com/theuglykings

Pete RingMaster 31/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Forty Feet Tall – Red Dressed

You know you are on to a good thing when songs continue to repeat themselves in thoughts long after enjoying a close and personal encounter. Such is the way with the Red Dressed EP from US rockers Forty Feet Tall. Offering four slices of blues fuelled rock ‘n’ roll, the release is a wholly magnetic affair loaded with grooves which just do not know when to stay away; not that there is any wish for them to do so.

Formed in 2011 when four fifths of the band were in high school, Los Angeles based Forty Feet Tall has earned potent support and reputation across Southern California, leading to the band playing a host of prestigious venues such as The Troubadour, Club Nokia, The Roxy, and the Grammy Museum as well as the main stage at Topanga Days. Their first EP, 4AM released at the beginning of 2014, was swiftly eclipsed in success and attention by the band’s self-titled debut album later that same year. It revelled in inspiration taken from the likes of Pearl Jam, Jimi Hendrix, The Black Keys, The Strokes, Led Zeppelin, Dawes, and Howlin’ Wolf whilst offering its own breath of imagination, an essence blossoming to greater heights within Red Dressed.

Its title track sets things in motion, a resonating bassline the first beckon soon joined by percussion with a sense of hunger to it as to the eager strokes of guitar soon joining in. The lively simmer becomes an energetic dance, the keys of Charlie Sehres a captivating bloom alongside the enterprise of his brother Jack and vocalist Cole Gann’s guitars. With rhythms just as boisterous in the stop start bounce and subsequent fiery waltz, the track simply infects ears and appetite for spicy rock ‘n’ roll.

It is a superb start to the Chris Garcia produced EP, a moment just revelling in the band’s blues rock instincts with magnetic energy and craft as equally Gann’s vocal prowess, just as lively in the following Make It Hum. At first holding its self-back in a flirtatious prowl lined by tempting riffs as a melodic breeze wraps Gann’s just as subtle croon, the song’s simmer continually builds, igniting in a ballsy crescendo which still barely breaks the track’s relaxed gait. With a touch of bands like Black Tusk to its increasingly heavyweight eruptions, Guy Moore’s bass a great throaty growl through it all, and fire in the veins of the grooves wrapping the senses, the song is a sonic seduction aligned to an earthy rumble and thorough pleasure.

 Two Shots is next with its bouncy gait and bass grumble, both entwined by more flirtation soaked grooves as Steven Driscoll’s laid back swinging beats punctuate the brewing blaze, a fire in the belly intensifying with increasing dynamism and incitement across the song. Once more Gann adds expressive colour and passion to the mix, though it is the tangy grooves which spark the biggest lust.

A fine cover of the Creedence Clearwater Revival track Run Through The Jungle brings things to a magnetic close, its roots and psych rock scented swagger and overall character, a radiant endeavour in the hands of Forty Feet Tall. It completes a release as fresh as it is a bubble of recognisable flavours and influences, a celebration of a band drawing up their own personality with thoroughly enjoyable results.

The Red Dressed EP is available now @ https://fortyfeettall.bandcamp.com/album/red-dressed

https://www.facebook.com/FortyFeetTall/

Pete RingMaster 29/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Magnetic reflections: looking into Black Mirrors

We were aware of the buzz building up around Belgian band Black Mirrors so eagerly anticipated checking out their new EP release with Napalm Records. Fair to say that Funky Queen more than lived up to the praise gathering around its release, revelling in the myriad of flavours behind its bluesy rock ‘n’ roll. Offered the chance to find out more about band and release we fired questions at vocalist Marcella Di Troia and guitarist Pierre Lateur.

Hi guys and thanks for talking with us.

Firstly can you give us the background to Black Mirrors; its beginnings and how you all met?

, c Nanna Dis 2016

Marcella: During summer 2013, I wanted to create a female band. I found a drummer and a bass player but found it difficult to find a female guitar player. I was looking for someone who could play like Pierre the actual guitar player. I was fond of his sound. I couldn’t find a girl who could do that. So, I asked Pierre to join the band. After some jamming, we wanted to work harder and to start to write our own songs but the girls didn’t have time to invest in the project. So we forgot the idea to have an (almost) female band and invite two old friends, Gino and Edouard to join the band as bass player and drummer. We used to play with them in other bands before Black Mirrors.

We recorded our first EP and did our first gigs with this line up late 2013.

What inspired the band name?

Marcella: The name Black Mirrors came up with the TV show Black Mirror, a really cool English series which shows how technology is progressively changing our world. People are more distant to one another by being connected to the virtual world. We do not want to judge anybody, it’s just that we are witnesses of that change in our society and it touches us.

You sound is seemingly bred in garage rock but, as your new EP Funky Queen shows, flames with much broader rock ‘n’ roll diversity. What are the kinds of inspirations which have lit your musical imaginations most prominently?

Marcella: All the bands we are listening to were influenced prominently by blues masters such as Bessie Smith, Leadbelly, Robert Johnson, BB King, Muddy Waters, Blind Willie Johnson… So I would say the blues.

Pierre: Apart from the blues, we have a lot of different influences like the stoner scene, the late 60’s and early 70’s rock music like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zep, Janis Joplin and even the early Pink Floyd, the revival scene like The White stripes, Rival Sons and The Black Keys, some elements of soul/funk music and a bit of desert-blues like Tinariwen.

The Funky Queen EP has just been released through Napalm Records; how did that link-up come about?

Marcella: During summer 2015, we were invited to play in Germany at «Out and Loud» festival. Napalm was there as they opened the festival with a Napalm label night. Some of Napalm’s bands played there and they found us a slot to play. That was our first contact. We stayed in touch with them for a year and last summer we sent them our new songs. They liked it and Napalm offered us a deal.

It is being described as the band’s debut EP but am I right in thinking it has a self-titled predecessor released in 2014 which new fans to the band will want to know about?

Marcella: Yes, you’re completely right! Three years ago, we released our very first EP. We recorded it a couple of months after having started the band because we wanted to play live shows as soon as possible. This first EP is now sold out.

How would you say the Black Mirrors’ sound has evolved over its first handful of years?

Pierre: The basic sound didn’t change that much. Since the beginning, we wanted to create a music which will be a mix of all our influences. In 2013, our songs were already a mix of blues/rock, stoner and a bit of psychedelic music with a vintage approach.

But if we speak of the sound more specifically, the guitar sound became wilder with the years and our first drummer left the band. He was replaced by another one who came with his sensibility, approach and specific sound. So these two elements influenced a bit the final result.

With all artists, there is a specific intent fuelling their first steps. What was the driving force for Black Mirrors?

Pierre: Nothing more than being happy and thankful to play together. We are friends for such a long time and we’ve started the band to enjoy creating music together. We never had a big statement like « We want to play this kind of music, like very pure blues or a specific kind of stoner. » It was always about playing anything we had in mind without thinking too much. Maybe it’s the reason why there’re a lot of different influences in our music.

Listening to the EP there feels like there is a strong collaboration between the band in its songs birth and character. How does the band’s songwriting generally work?

c, c Nanna Dis 2016

Pierre: Most of the time I create basic ideas like a riff or two and show it to Marcella. We work together on a first version of the song, she composes her vocal part and we work on a basic structure. We show this draft to the band. With them we give the tune his final form. We often create new parts, remove others; jamming around the sound. Because of all this process, the song’s final version is sometimes totally different than the first idea.

Can you give the readers some insight to the background and themes to Funky Queen?

Funky Queen, which opens our EP, is about addiction. Funky Queen is the queen that confronts everyone with one’s own demons.

The second song is Kick Out The Jams, a MC5 cover. We wanted to put it on our first EP as it’s represent very well the general energy of our music.

The Mess is a song about messy feelings you get after you broke up a very bad love relationship. Sometimes, you’d rather not see things than to be destroyed for your entire life.

And finally, Canard Vengeur Masqué to end up…It is a song who talks about the missing of one of your parents after a divorce, the way you can feel forsaken in this situation as a child.

Funky Queen has a great cover to match its sounds. Who is behind the artwork and indeed the band’s excellent logo?

Pierre: It’s Sebastian Jerke, a German artist who worked with My Sleeping Karma and Colour Haze to name a few. We really like his job. We got in touch with him and he appeared to have several great ideas for the artwork.

Apart from the likes of Front 242, dEUS, Soulwax, Enthroned, Triggerfinger, Steak Number Eight, and the excellent King Hiss, I cannot say we know too much about the Belgian rock scene. It is a healthy place right now, especially in its underground?

Well, it depends if it is in the French speaking part of Belgium or the Flemish part. We think Flanders gives more chance to underground music. Just by seeing bands you named, most of them are from Flanders. We are coming from Wallonia where the rock scene is a bit shy. Unfortunately, you barely see a rock band as highlight on a festival poster in Wallonia.

What is next in the immediate future of Black Mirrors?

Going on tour with Horizont and ’77 and record our full length album.

Once again our big thanks for sharing your time with us.

Check out our review of Funky Queen @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2017/03/03/black-mirrors-funky-queen/

http://www.blackmirrorsmusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/blackmirrorsmusic   https://twitter.com/BlackMirrorsmus

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Indigo Bones – Self Titled EP

indigo-bones-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

With a definite buzz brewing around British trio Indigo Bones, the Hull hailing outfit release their self-titled debut EP this month, an attention grabbing slab of fiery garage rock sure to add fuel to the fire.

Indigo Bones began with the linking up of vocalist/ guitarist Chris Welburn, drummer Marty Hoyle, and bassist/vocalist Mark Swan, a threesome already having collaborated together on previous projects. Drawing on inspirations said to include Jack White and Royal Blood, they soon developed and honed a sound with unique character but equally freshly embracing familiar textures and essences. A recent UK tour has pushed awareness and support of the band beyond their local fan base, the new EP now poised to build on that success such its striking presence.

It opens with the rather excellent Vertical Sleep, the band quickly and enjoyably leaning on ears with a wall of senses badgering rhythms as raw acidic melodies add their tangy lures. Welburn’s vocals soon join the affair, his tones equally as unpolished and magnetic potently backed by those of Swan as the song flourishes in its expanding stride and creative scenery. There is a great live feel to the track which only accentuates its attitude and power, a roughness perfectly tempering and accentuating the intoxicating wooziness of the guitar’s enterprise.

indigo-bones-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewIt is an outstanding start to the release which arguably is never matched though swiftly Delicate with its mischievous melodies and steamy sonic saunter gives it a bold and close try. With captivating unpredictable adventure to the vocals and bone shuddering tenacity to Hoyle’s eagerly biting beats, the song entices thick attention with sonic adventure lying somewhere between The Black Keys, Electric Woodland, and My Red Cell.

Silver Nosebleeds follows, finding a grouchier, darker feel to its tone and nature whilst spinning another web of spicy sonic suggestion over gnarly vocals and another rousing pulsating bassline from Swan. Psych boozy melodies only add to the attraction, the song’s hazy creative heat and nature laying on and lingering in ears with relish.

Indigo Bones push the pedal to the floor with Elastic Patient, an adrenaline fuelled punk clad stomp roaring across the senses seeping sonic fumes even when its energy shifts down a gear. With carnivorously tenacious rhythms as eager as the riffs and grooves entangling them, the track is a glorious incitement firmly challenging the first for top song honours.

Completed by a fine live cut of Lethal Weapons & Perfect Posture, evidence of how well the band has translated their undoubted stage fire to the studio, the Indigo Bones EP is an introduction suggesting this is a band with the potential to make a potent mark on the UK rock scene.

The Indigo Bones EP is released 16th December.

http://indigobones.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/IndigoBonesBand   https://twitter.com/IndigoBonesBand

Pete RingMaster 14/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Seprona – Trap Door

Seprona_RingMaster Review

Emerging in 2014, British indie pop/rock band Seprona is proving to be one of the new breed of bands lighting up the Liverpool music scene. Certainly they are one of the eagerly talked about and recommended propositions thanks to songs like new single Trap Door. A lively melodic romancing of ears with a catchiness to take care of the physical side of persuasion, the track is a broader invitation focusing on national ears to back up the fine live reputation already earned.

Initially locking themselves away in an abandoned pub on the outskirts of Liverpool city centre where they practised and honed their sound in conjunction with a prolific writing of songs, Seprona soon made their first step and subsequently mark on the local live scene. Since then they have ignited numerous venues like Sound City last May where they played with the likes of The Flaming Lips, The Vaccines, and Belle & Sebastian and at festivals such as FestEVOL alongside Serpent Power and Dave McCabe & the Ramifications. Musically inspirations from the likes of Arctic Monkeys, The Black Keys, Interpol, and Radiohead into a sound, go into their sound, spices which, going by the new single alone, nurtures an individualism which is also instantly ear friendly.

artwork_RingMaster ReviewNow in a development deal with Rooftop Records, a label owned by Parr Street Recording Studio’s Chris Taylor, which gives Seprona access to recording time as well as valuable mentoring, the band is ready to whip up more attention with Trap Door. A crystalline melody erupts around a pulse of beats first to entice ears, a coaxing soon enhanced as a brief cinematic sample emerges alongside the throbbing groan of Tom Larkin’s bass. Within another breath, the potent tones of Daniel Badger lay invitingly upon the melodic veining spreading across the song, his and fellow guitarist Sammy Issa’s poetic enterprise a gentle but potent suggestiveness for the imagination and emotions to embrace.

As boisterously mellow as it is, the song also has an infectiousness which is impossible to ignore. It is perpetual bait which is only highlighted further by the great framing rhythms of drummer Joe Grove, and with everything combined, plays its part in a weave of sound which, even as brief as the song is at under three minutes, leaves a lingering imprint.

Enthralled by the tantalising touch of Trap Door it is fair to say that we, as many more, are very much looking forward to hearing more from Seprona, something you cannot say about every embrace of sound you meet.

Trap Door is out now via Rooftop Records from iTunes and other online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/seprona/   https://twitter.com/SepronaMusic

Pete RingMaster 26/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

The Mojo Slide -Twist Your Bones

 

mojo slide_RingMaster Review

Uniting blues and rock ‘n’ roll, and many other colours with their own feverish climate of imagination and dirt encrusted textures, UK rockers The Mojo Slide release their first album this month, an encounter as fiery and sonically smoky as an alcohol fuelled barbecue. Twist Your Bones offers eleven faces of blues scented dark rock ‘n’ roll, each song a fresh twist on another whilst breeding their own distinctive dose of contagious devilry.

It is an infection loaded flavouring which has captured loyal and eager support for the Cambridge, St Neots, and Cambridgeshire hailing quintet since they formed in 2011. Locally and further afield, The Mojo Slide has built a rich reputation for their live stomp, an earned stature backed by a clutch of singles leading to the release of their gripping full-length debut, it a proposition easy to imagine pushing the band to national attention with the potential for much more.

Twist Your Bones opens with the glorious Addicted, a song which from its first breath of scuzzy guitar seizes ears and attention. In a few moments more rhythms are strolling with carnival-esque revelry as the voice of Mark Wilks stands astride sharing the track’s narrative like a side show barker. With quaint keys courting the thick enticing of Mike Fenna’s guitar backed in potency by the prowess of rhythm guitarist Matt Legg, the song swings along with vaudevillian virulence, simultaneously riding a rhythmic contagion cast by bassist Danny Savage and drummer Michael Graham. There is a touch of Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers to the impressive opener which continues into the just as thrilling Jesus Don’t Love Me. The second song similarly opens on thick guitar bait, scything riffs aligning with a throaty bassline too as an instant catchiness comes the way of the vocals. Again as its predecessor, the outstanding track has its and the listener’s hips swinging with zeal whilst it roams the imagination with a jazz/funk bred tenacity entwined in warped rock ‘n’ roll.

The Mojo Slide - Twist Your Bones - Front Cover art_RingMaster Review     From an old single to the band’s new one in the warm embrace of Smiling. Just released to make a potent teaser for the album, the country bloomed croon gently glides along on a southern twang and again highly enjoyable vocals, that union alone brewing a catchy tempting under the track’s sultry air and blues seamed The Black Keys type serenade. Though not as dramatic as the first two, the song reveals the depth and adventure to the band’s songwriting and sound whilst indeed laying down a strong invitation for Twist Your Bones.

The following High is a blaze of harmonic and sonic causticity and again an inescapably addictive persuasion, with Wilks the ringleader of a gloriously compelling chorus and the energetic bubbling of blues acidity around it. As many songs, there is a sense of recognition to the inspirations and flavours within the song, yet brewed and boiled up into a distinctive swagger. Norwegian rockers Electric Woodland do come to mind during already another big highlight of the album but as suggested, only a welcoming spice in The Mojo Slide stomp.

     Make You Bleed is similarly styled sound wise but leaning more towards a Rolling Stones meets White Stripes flame of sonic seduction whilst previous single Bad In Every Bone, is a slice of delta blues inspired tempting spun by the conflagrant craft and enterprise of the guitars. Stalked by the throaty shadows of bass and intimidating beats, the track seduces as it prowls, adding a funk infused essence to its blues which definitely has a tang of Red Hot Chili Peppers to it. Both tracks impress and get the body keenly moving, with the latter a real incendiary incitement before Rattlesnake Humbug Blues gets feet and hips bursting with further energy with its classic Jerry Lee Lewis toned rock ‘n’ roll.

A transfixing dance of vintage/modern keys brings a captivating texture and enticement to The Ballad Of Satan The Devil next, at times the song laying a Doors like touch on ears whilst in other moments eighties electro pop nudges as an Arctic Monkeys like spicing lurks in the heated roar of the song. It is another shade of sound and creativity in the album, as mentioned its diversity an enjoyable trait continuing in the Dylan-esque canter of Little Bird and in turn the soul blues meets rockabilly, bluegrass seeded Drunk Dog Blues. If an appetite for the album was wavering, something highly unlikely as we found, the track chains it back up again in rich style, quickly backed by the closing psych rock burn of The Sky Is Falling In, a sizzling ramble of rock ‘n’ roll also searing ears and exciting the senses.

For those with a bent for blues and firebrand rock ‘n’ roll, Twist Your Bones is a must, but equally it has a twisted and slightly psychotic tinge to its voice and invention which will appeal to those with a taste for bold alternative adventures. Our recommendation is to go find out if it is for you anyway as fun is a sure fire reward.

Twist Your Bones is released November 14th @ http://www.themojoslide.com/music–2

http://www.themojoslide.com   http://www.facebook.com/themojoslide   http://www.twitter.com/themojoslide

Pete RingMaster 11/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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