The Ellipsis – Cold Cactus

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Earning plenty of praise and support for their debut EP Mind In The Sky earlier this year, and especially its dynamic single Wasted Potential Me, British rockers The Ellipsis look like repeating that success with new single Cold Cactus. A lively and meaty slice of pop rock, the song grabs ears and attention with ease; teasing with familiar spices before casting its own character of sound and imagination for just over three minutes of highly enjoyable distraction.

Since forming in 2013, The Ellipsis has played the length of the UK and graced numerous festivals including recently opening The Godiva Festival in their home-town of Coventry. Their first single White Feather caught ears and radio attention with the band sparking just as potent interest through an energetic live show which soon led the band to headlining Coventry OxJam in front of 30,000 rugby fans at the Ricoh Arena. The Mind In The Sky EP and its lead track subsequently whipped up a new swell of fans which it is very easy to see Cold Cactus matching.

About someone feeling out of place, physically and emotionally, Cold Cactus instantly grips ears with a guitar lure reminding very much of Billy Talent, that pleasing bait reinforced by the throbbing tone of Harry Green’s bass and the melody draped riffs from lead guitarist John Connearn and rhythm guitarist Henry Bristow. Framed and punctuated by the swinging beats of Alex Bonsor, the song quickly slips into its own individual guise led by the expressive and potent vocals of Bristow. Further melodic colour soon spreads from Connearn’s strings and enterprise, providing a bubbling tempting within the muscular and richly infectious proposition filling and thrilling ears.

As with Wasted Potential Me, its successor has ears and imagination roused but Cold Cactus simply has richer substance and uniqueness to its roar; a sure sign that the band’s songwriting and sound is evolving rather nicely.

Cold Cactus is out now.

UPCOMING LIVE DATES:

16th Sept – Warwick Uni (supporting The Bluetones)

1st Oct – Grosvenor Casino Coventry

14th Oct – Copenhagen (details tba)

29th Oct – Queens Hall Nuneaton

https://www.facebook.com/theellipsisuk/    https://twitter.com/TheEllipsisUK

http://theellipsis.co.uk/

Check out the video for Cold Cactus @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/video-selector/

Pete RingMaster 14/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Velvet Hands – Trains

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Creating a sound somewhere between punk, garage, and indie rock, The Velvet Hands has begun to stir up a bit of a fuss around their emergence on the British rock scene. The release of new single Trains can only add to the Cornish band’s attention luring success, its two tracks of highly flavoursome sound and temptation something to easily get a taste for.

The Velvet Hands is the creation of Toby Mitchell and Dan Able, a pair who began writing and playing together in 2014. Inspired by the likes of The Stones, Strokes, Beatles, Stone Roses, and The Clash, the band quickly drew eager ears and attention from fans and media their way with a live presences which has seen them share stages with the likes of Wild Smiles, Lost Dawn, Saturday Sun, and The Bluetones over time as well as make a handful of successful festivals appearances. The first pair of singles from the band, Games/Who Cares last October and Habit this past TVHTrainscover_RingMasterReviewMarch, stirred keen praise and support into action which Trains can only stoke up again for Mitchell and Able with Louis Willbourne and Sean Nichols alongside.

Released on 7″ white vinyl for Record Store Day through Easy Action Records, Trains opens on a swiftly potent and virulent bassline which quickly entices melodically spicy guitar and crisp beats to come and play with ears too. It is a great blend of raw pop and stylish enterprise matched by similarly textured vocals and harmonies.  The band has been suggested as being “in the grand tradition of great British bands like The Libertines and The Buzzcocks” in the past and both of those bands do come to mind a touch throughout the song; the first in its vocals and unfussy character with the latter through the nagging hooks and swinging infectiousness shaping the song.

Accompanying the track is Curtains Close, a delicious seducing crafted with surf scented melodies, acoustic enchantment, and vocal expression. Though a more relaxed character than its predecessor, the song is just as addictively catchy and beguiling; to be honest it was our favourite out of two highly enjoyable encounters.

Trains shows why people are crowding round the emergence of The Velvet Hands whilst equally pushing the band’s reputation on again to suggest this is definitely someone to keep a close ear on!

Trains is out now as a limited edition (300) white vinyl 7″ single through Easy Action Records in all good independent record stores with a digital release following April 29th.

http://thevelvethands.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/thevelvethands

Pete RingMaster 18/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Abstracts – Smells Like Summer

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Smells Like Summer is the new single from UK indie rockers The Abstracts, an emerging band no strangers to local and even stronger attention and acclaim since forming in 2013. It is a reminder as to why the Cambridge hailing band has become a potent and eagerly followed proposition on the city’s music scene, a slice of husky rock ‘n’ roll which is as accomplished as it is easy going.

The past couple of years have seen The Abstracts establish themselves as a potent live proposition with the band playing regular gigs in popular London and Cambridge venues. Equally the quartet of Felix Morgan (lead vocals/guitar), Ben Taylor (guitar/backing vocals), Ben Nunn (bass/backing vocals), and Mark Thomson (drums) has whipped up strong support from, alongside their music, being nominated for best local Indie band 2 years in a row, playing a BBC Introducing session, and 2 sold-out shows on the main stage of The Cam as well as supporting artists such as Nik Kershaw, Scouting for Girls, Dodgy, and Mark Morris from The Bluetones.

2010 saw the release of debut EP Calling Out for Strangers, inspirations from bands such as The Libertines, Green Day, and Led Zeppelin spicing their own enterprise within it, a mix again catching ears within Smells Like Summer. The single quickly coaxes ears with a melodic jangle and hazy atmosphere cast by the guitars whilst rhythms bring a darker but no less enticing shadow to the emerging body of the song. A sandy grain to the vocals of Morgan adds more potent texture to the engagement whilst the beats of Thomson swing with a smiling energy to match the track’s title.

Undemanding but firmly commanding, Smells Like Summer makes a lively and flavoursome impression on the first listen but increasingly more so with each stroll of its R.E.M. meets Libertines like shuffle. Fair to say it is not a track to whip the passions into a frenzy but one to certainly warm them up, ensuring subsequent encounters with the band will be more than likely taken under the wing of attention, The Abstracts again asking questions of national awareness.

Smells Like Summer is out now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/smells-like-summer/id1041294698?i=1041294699

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

Pete RingMaster 02/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Mark Morriss – A Flash of Darkness

Mark Morriss

     The Bluetones was a band which never really grabbed our attention, certainly nudging it numerous times across their thirteen hit singles and three Top Ten albums, but never making that incisive move to enthral as they did so many others. Former band frontman Mark Morriss though has had little problem managing to not only awaken but gripping that focus with his second solo album A Flash of Darkness. Consisting of eleven provocative flights of imaginative indie pop with a folk underbelly and soaked in evocative colour, it is a mesmeric adventure bounding eagerly and vivaciously through reflective and tempering shadows. Released via Acid Jazz Records, A Flash of Darkness is a masterful seduction and for our minds the best thing the singer songwriter has unveiled.

     The album follows Morriss’ debut album Memory Muscle of 2008, a folk-infused encounter featuring string arrangements from the legendary composer David Arnold which never really rustled up major attention. From the splitting up of The Bluetones in 2011, Morriss has engaged in successful solo tours as well as writing and performing with Matt Berry on his recordings and shows as well as creating his own prog outfit The Maypoles and writing music for David Walliams’ award winning Children’s audio books. A Flash of Darkness continues the musician’s solo adventure with a smile and swagger which enlivens the sounds and invention rippling through the release, the latter aspect a subtle coaxing rather than the loud toxicity you feel it might have been in someone else’s hands.

    The title track opens up the proposition, a song one originally written for a short-lived musical project of Morriss and Berry 1656207_635396076509138_2127819875_ncalled The Swedish Twins. A sultry Morricone bred call and ambience wraps the ears first, tower bells and whistles sculpting the scenery before the song falls into a sixties pop tasting embrace with the recognisable tones of Morriss adding their warmth to the climate. That mentioned vaunt soaks the song, a brass jazz temptation teasing greater emotion the way of the track whilst the tango of guitar invention and heated harmonies only intensify the virulently irresistible bait. Visually evocative and tenderly commanding, the opener is a sensational slice of songwriting, an artistic adventure to set things off on a real high.

    Whereas you can almost add a touch of The Wonder Stuff to the first song, its predecessor Consuela with its gentler yet no less infectious presence, has an eighties flavouring which induces thoughts of The Bluebells and occasionally The Lightning Seeds. Keys add further romance to the persuasion alongside that offered by the melodies and excellent vocal expression. Potent in sound and draped in provocative imagination fuelled hues, the track takes the passions by the hands and whisks them around that summer drenched eighties dancefloor with elegance and contagion before making way for the folkier and rhythmically punchy Guilty Again. A piano crafted beauty immediately kisses thoughts as vocals and a rhythmic prodding skirts its elegance but as with all songs it is one facet of evolving and expanding adventures. Like a lingering smooch, the track strolls with a boisterous gait flinging its happy melodies and hooks around with joyous enterprise to invite and ignite the same pleasure in its recipient.

    Both the mesmeric It’s Hard To Be Good All The Time and the enjoyable cover of The Shins’ Pink Bullets engage and treat with resourceful radiance and splendour, though neither can grip the same high level as previous songs. Despite that neither leaves satisfaction empty or provides weak enticement, diversity and ideas persistently leading the imagination into a submissive grin whilst the next infection under the guise of Low Company unveils an enveloping breeze of lyrical and melodic suasion in another sixties/seventies air to seduce from start to finish.

    Life Without F(r)iction  with its country twang is the next to lift feet from the floor, its bouncy heart unfussy and impossibly tempting before the best song on the album, This Is The Lie (and That’s The Truth), steps up to run its addiction coated fingers through the passions. An acoustic croon with Morriss offering a minimalistic lyrical and musical bewitchment, the track is pure aural manna, additional sirenesque harmonies and small bursts of energy bringing a creative virulence upon ears and emotions. It’s tempting borders on molestation but is simply melodic alchemy at play, the same toxin running through the veins of Space Cadet. The song with a wider brush of sounds and invention smothers the ears in a celestial ambience around thick and deeply permeating melodies, the result another exceptional fascination.

    The album closes with firstly another cover, this of Kavinsky’s Nightcall, which without earning the same ardour as the original material still leaves emotions enthralled, and the slow burning Sleep Song, an exceptional track which took time to make its strongest case but over time evolved into another big anthemic highlight. The pair closes up A Flash of Darkness in fine and endearing fashion leaving a return into the release a demanding option, a choice consistently rewarded each and every time by Morriss in one of the early albums of the year. Whether The Bluetones is a lure or not for you, this is one pop album you must not bypass without delving deeply into.

http://www.markmorrissmusic.co.uk/

9/10

RingMaster 24/02/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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