The Watchmakers – Illumination

The Watchmakers pic

A captivatingly immersive sonic embrace, the single Illumination from UK based The Watchmakers reveals why the glowing praising over the band over recent times. A mesmeric haze of seductively swirling psychedelic evocation tempered by a cooler post punk rhythmic stability, the song is a fascination magnetism inviting full use of imagination and emotions upon its unique canvas.

Hailing from Manchester, the foursome of vocalist/guitarist Rich Maitland, guitarist Adam Lewis, bassist Andy Lewis, and drummer Ian Maitland were soon drawing attention and acclaim with their demos Before Questions Became and Waves, and a neo-psychedelia sound wrapped in the inspirations of bands such as Velvet Underground, 13th Floor Elevators, The Beatles from the sixties and the more modern explorations of others such as The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Primal Scream and The Verve. As evidenced by the single there is a dual pronged persuasion at work within the band’s music, creativity seemingly unafraid to push theirs and the listener’s boundaries.

The band has played with the likes of The Pretty Things, Jacco Gardner, Dark Bells and Exit Calm over time as well as selling out two The Watchmakers sleeveheadline appearances at Psychedelic Happenings in Manchester, whilst earlier this year they were invited to a Showcase for BBC 6. This June now sees the release of a pair of songs Carpe Diem and Illumination, their first releases for Loaded Soul Records.

Illumination opens upon a wistful humid breeze, soulful warmth colluding with a melancholic breath courted by an Indian mystique. It is an intriguing coaxing which explodes with riveting potency as guitars unveil a web of intoxicating sonic endeavour and sweltering melodic hooks within an expanding synth bred ambience. It is immediately climatic and provocative, especially with the expressive vocals which add to the emerging narrative. Into its full temptation, the song is a bracing adventure painting with emotional melodies and descriptive sonic hues but it is the spine of rigid bass luring and hypnotic rhythmic bait which brings the depth and weight of the track alive, its dulled post punk persistence the catalyst to the tempestuous alchemy above it.

Intense in sound and atmosphere, the song is equally oppressive and feverishly seductive, a striking declaration of a new exciting presence in the potent shape of The Watchmakers. From the song alone it is easy to feel great things lie in wait for us and the band ahead, breeding a healthy anticipation as we go off hungrily to find Carpe Diem which was not included in our promo.

Illumination is available via Loaded Soul Records now and available as limited edition vinyl and digitally.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Watchmakers/191134494286879

8.5/10

RingMaster 12/06/2014

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Velvet Morning – Velvet Moon

 

Velvet-Morning-Velvet-Moon-620x612 

    Immersed in the heat haze of sonic endeavour and melodic mesmerism that is Velvet Moon, atmospheric seduction its engulfing breath, it is hard to resist the temptation of pronouncing UK band Velvet Morning as one of the most compelling and impressive propositions to emerge in recent times. Their six track sultry breeze of guitar based psychedelia and intensive shoegaze temptation is a masterful embrace, one which soars around the senses whilst wrapping around the imagination with a thick and wonderfully intrusive persuasion. Suspenseful and meditative, enthrallingly droning, and simply a sublime coaxing of the emotions, the release is a transfixing debut statement from a band you will be hearing a lot more from we suggest.

     Hailing from Southend-on-Sea, the quartet of vocalist/guitarist Samuel Jones, bassist John Kirkwood, guitarist Luke Elgar, and drummer Chris Richardson seemingly embrace the richly evocative invention of bands like The Jesus and Mary Chain, Spacemen 3, and The Brian Jonestown Massacre, infusing it into their own imaginative incitement of sound whist equally showing a uniqueness which sets them apart from those mentioned. At times it is a creeping rather than raging individualism which strokes ears but one which instinctively slides under the skin and into the psyche igniting a long term enjoyment and passion for their presence.

    As soon as the first croon of bass and guitar tenderly handles the ears as opener Paranoia steps into view there is a feeling of something very appetising approaching, the first irresistible hook unveiled that strong and infectious. The song glides with a romantic gait to its slow melodic caress and rhythmic shuffle, its enveloping narrative like a restrained yet potent flame for thoughts and passions with the excellent expressive drawl of Jones a similarly impacting and descriptive tonic for the imagination. The track is a slow dance of contagious invention, nothing ever hungry enough to want to explode or explore a rigorous technical or intensive weave but built on textures and a breath-taking ambience that are thoughtfully cast and ingeniously developed.

    The following Octocity brings a gentle swagger to its entrance whilst the smouldering warmth and entwining adventure of its predecessor moves into a lighter poppier flight on the song, drawing thoughts of House Of Love into the equation. With shadowing percussive intrigue flirting with the climactic euphoria drifting alongside the sonic humidity, the song bewitches an already eager appetite for the release which the next up Black Velvet Morning sends to new rapture. Immediately capturing the imagination with a dark almost Joy Division like throaty bass sound and a rasping sonic bluster, both again relatively subdued with their shadow bred threat, the track sways before the senses, entrancing them whilst a ridiculously spicy melodic hook takes care of everything else. Merging raw and beauteous narratives the track is a glorious adventure, post punk mystery meets psychedelic incursions for a masterfully magnetic journey.

   She’s A Live Wire takes the listener back into a sweltering sea of lush melodies, minimalistic yet imposing textures, and vocally driven simmering atmospheres. There is an even greater laid back feel and energy to the song than anything before but despite an open skill in the musicianship and sonic colouring soaking the tale, there is also a less dramatic spark to the scorched landscape compared to those around it. It cannot defuse the impressive impact of the EP so far but does lose itself in the shadows of the previous song and the excellent Blue Jean Baby. The track, as the release overall, is an aural drug, an addictive bathing of the senses which leaves imagination painting a scenery and emotions simply reflecting.

    Closing track I Got You provides a final lingering emotive waltz to investigate and bask in, its slow motion enslavement of body and soul another abduction of the passions. There is a rapturous expression and stroll to the track which reflects the heart of the release vividly. It makes the perfect finale to a quite absorbing and exciting first bow from Velvet Morning. Certainly you have to dive deeply within the songs to discover all of the intricacies and vibrant hues, some of their successes submerged within a slightly similar surface presence of some songs, but the rewards for the patience and endeavour are mouthwatering. The Velvet Moon EP is glorious, an encounter which easily inspires full submission into its tranquil fire of lustful intent.

https://www.facebook.com/Velvet.Morning.band

9/10

RingMaster 23/03/2014

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