Inca Babies – The Stereo Plan

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From the days when the devil thrust his evil designs into music, dark rock ‘n’ roll has been a persistent and endearing temptation. From the leather clad hip and vocal lures of Sweet Gene Vincent to the modern psychotic seductions of Dedwardians, it is a delicious trespass of ears and imagination that continues to evolve rich adventurous psyche twisting pastures. The likes of The Doors, The Cramps, The Birthday Party, Bone Orchard, The 69 Eyes, Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, The Dropper’s Neck to name a few, have continued to expose the senses to new ravenous depths of sinister sonic exploration over the decades. One band which from their emergence in 1982 has also sculpted a perpetual warped seduction is Inca Babies. Their almost serpentine invention and dark musical incitements have continued to inspire and invigorate, even during the near on twenty years they were absent from the music scene, but since returning in 2007 you can only suggest that the UK trio must have shaken hands on a new deal with Lucifer as they have risen to truly become one of the leading lights and template setting protagonists of British rock ‘n’ roll.

The evidence is already boldly apparent in their two albums since reforming, the acclaimed Death Message Blues and Deep Dark Blue of 2010 and 2012 respectively. Both releases ignited an already ravenous gothic rock scene and duly deserved all ardour given but each in many ways was just an immense but leading appetiser for the glory of The Stereo Plan. Released towards the end of 2014, the band’s seventh studio album is a masterpiece of the dark aural arts. The third instalment of their death blues trilogy, its fourteen-track proposal twists and turns through the primal essences of post punk, surf, garage punk, trash blues, and every other dark flavour available, but bred in the imagination of Inca Babies transforms into a recipe of ingenious alchemy. It is a transfixing and slightly menacing proposition which has everything from feet to the passions ablaze.

Listening to The Stereo Plan is almost like immersing in a greatest hits collection of songs, every encounter of such irresistible and impressive invention and contagion that there is no time to take a breath and reflect until the final note of the release drifts away. It all starts with the album’s title track and its opening tangy lure of surf bred toxicity. It is an instant inescapable invitation for ears and imagination, the percussive shuffle which soon adds its bait only increasing an enticement which deepens again with the thick bass prowls of Vince Hunt. Continuing to bind ears in his guitar’s delicious spicery too, Harry Stafford pounces with his vocal and lyrical dance, as everything in the song colludes to create satanic rock ‘n’ roll majesty, especially as rhythms grow in intensity and devilment with the vocals to arouse an even lustier persuasion.

How to follow such a magnificent start would have many bands in a cold sweat but not Inca Babies as they match its majesty with a just as compelling incitement going by the name of Scatter. Stereo Plan Front 1The swinging beats of drummer Rob Haynes recruits eager attention right away, swiftly adding appetite as riffs and bass grooves unite with his anthemic beats and the incoming catchy vocal delivery. Into its stride the song expels a punk causticity around its driving rhythmic spine, the fingers of Stafford continuing to dance over the strings of his guitar to create a web of sonic addiction. The aforementioned Dewardians comes to mind as the song bounces with venomous mischief and also Eighteen Nightmares At the Lux with its scuzzy textures.

The salty smoulder of Damnation comes next, an Orson Family like countrified shimmer fuelling the temptation of guitar and rolling beats. As the opening pair of songs, psychobilly bred rapacity coats the song but also here a more garage punk tenacity emerges and grows to an even more potent persuasion in the following River To the Centre of the World. A haunting slice of upbeat balladry with a chorus which simply infests the senses, the track is dark poetic manna for ears and imagination. It also continues the mouth-watering diverse landscape of the album, each song a blossoming of individual and unique gothic theatre bred in sinistrous ideation.

The Cajun cast spell of Stand Down Lucifer keeps listener and album in lustful realms next, its sinuous shimmer and invention a creeping and inescapable seduction whilst Feast With Panthers strolls in with stalking rhythms and demonic hooks within again a fine and alluring vocal proposal. Like Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers meets The Screaming Blue Messiahs, the latter a band easy to offer varying degrees of comparison to across the album, the track swings it frame and flirtation with mischief in its eyes and a wicked lick on its melodic lips. The Stereo Plan began on a lofty pinnacle and this pair again sublimely ensures that there is no slip from such heady heights.

   Last Flight Out of Saigon with its pulsating bassline and acidic sonic veining croons suggestively in ears next, its minimalistic yet cavernous presence a mesmeric hex before the garage pop feistiness of Absolute Leader of the World leaps at the senses. Holding a great raw seventies/eighties punk essence to its contagion, the song is a sweetly caustic roar of blues rock which re-ignites body and energies after the resourceful ‘rest’ found in its predecessor.

Returning to the insidious charms which festered wonderfully in the early songs, Devilfish Anarchy stalks and romps with that gothic blues meets psychobilly predation and devilry. Beats and basslines are the instigator to lust fuelled whiplash as vocals and melodic toxins work away on thoughts and emotion. It is an exhausting pleasure whose rigorous nature is swiftly tempered and contrasted by the funereal stance and classical elegance of Still Mountain, a bewitching ballad wrapped in imposing and provocative shadows.

A dirtier yet restrained heavy rock pushes the walls of Damn Our Hides next, its persuasion not as instant as elsewhere, though swiftly a captivating companion for ears, but slowly burning away behind the scenes and repeatedly nudging thoughts after the event, as so many other songs on the album. Its enduring temptation is another striking aspect of The Stereo Plan, each twist of its design able to return at leisure and with potency, just as the heated jazziness of Ghost Ship. The track is ablaze with sultry trumpet flames, filthy basslines, and delirious sonic enterprise combining for a fiery musical sunset on an apocalyptic landscape.

The album is finished off by the excellent psyche/ surf rock stomp of Blacktop Speedway and finally the garage rock serenade of Late Night Frankie Brittle, a croon which simply grows in weight, intensity, and sonic rabidity with volcanic imagination. The pair makes a thrilling end to one irresistible encounter.

Admittedly having a soft spot for the type of sounds Inca Babies revel in went in their favour, but also it brings more demands but once again the Manchester trio stand tall over them as they again help lead British rock ‘n’ roll into new and exciting explorations.

The Stereo Plan is available now via Black Lagoon Records

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

RingMaster 11/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

Los Trasgos Muertos – Eponymous EP

Los Trasgos Muertos Logo (1)

Creating garage rock with a psyche rock aspiratory system, or is it psyche rock with garage rock blood…however you wish to describe it, UK rockers Los Trasgos Muertos have woven a seriously compelling encounter with their self-titled debut EP. Consisting of four-tracks which simply whisk the imagination away into a kaleidoscope of seventies seeded adventure whilst immersing ears into a web of bluesy sonic curiosity, the band’s first offering is quite simply a delicious introduction.

Los Trasgos Muertos hails from Manchester and consists of Captain Reed (bass/vocals/organ), Von Beek (guitar/vocals), and Il Fleishe (drums), three protagonists no strangers to each other from their individual time and experiences in varied bands over the years in their city’s music scene. Once united, the band whilst taking inspirations from the likes of Billy Childish, Thee Oh Sees, Hi Ho, and Ty Segall into their own invention was soon clutching a horde of songs ready for recording, which they did at Eve Studios in Bredbury. Now the sultrily flamed first encounter is upon us all and what a treat it really is.

It all kicks off with Fire In The Sky, a song swiftly binding ears in a spicy blues crafted groove and bass grumbles as beats flash their sinews across the senses. It is soon striding with tenacious energy and creative enthusiasm, hooks and the ever increasing lure of the grooves as tangy and contagious as the lively vocals and melodic endeavour. There is an earthiness to the song which easily grabs ears whilst equally there is a drama to every psychedelic clothed note and anthemic swing. The track continues to bluster like an autumn wind, warming the bones whilst offering haunting shadows and pagan like unpredictability.

The following Step One makes a less spectacular entrance but soon has senses and thoughts wrapped in its opening mesmeric melodic shimmer and vocal embrace. Soon a sixties beat feel adds Picture 84it’s tempting to the garage rock stomp as the song hits the ground with a lively gait. As its predecessor the virulently catchy encounter swiftly ignites an even greater appetite and satisfaction whilst being relentlessly fascinating though its expectations defeating adventure, a quality which is even more exploited by It Rises!

The third track makes the best entrance of all, its initial slap of beats the trigger to a winy blues rock bred groove which coincidently is almost straight out of the major seduction that is the Karn8’s song Sick. It was an essence extraordinary there and just as irresistible here with its particular haunting colouring. Around it the smouldering tapestry of the song flows like sonic honey, sticky and flavoursome melodies gluing their lures to ears and emotions as the increasingly impressive vocals add their distinct spice to the brilliant proposition. Sometimes there is no escape from the touch of a song no matter what and here is one of the most stirring examples.

The release closes with the dark romance of Roll With The Punches, a track merging the garage punk of The Orson Family and the fuzzabilly styling of Eighteen Nightmares At The Lux with the garage rock styling of The Electric Eels and the psyche temptation of The Doors. It is an enthralling almost intrusive embrace of body and thought, a mouth-watering and riveting end to an outstanding debut.

The Los Trasgos Muertos conjure their own world and psychological adventure with their strangely familiar but openly unique sound; one already ears and appetite are impatiently waiting for more of.

The Los Trasgos Muertos EP is available from February 2nd

http://lostrasgosmuertos.com/

RingMaster 02/02/2015

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Brain Pyramid – Chasma Hideout

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As impressive debut albums go, Chasma Hideout from French psych rockers Brain Pyramid is right up there amongst the most enthralling and scintillating propositions. The seven track sonic exploration is a transfixing adventure of ear bending, mind warping psychedelic revelry, but one equally bred on the finest stoner rock grooving and experimental mischievousness. At times it feels like one massive glorious jam but throughout there is an enterprise and inventiveness which just as potently leaves senses basking and passions greedy. If the album is your introduction to Brain Pyramid, be prepared for one ruggedly spellbinding ride.

The Rennes band was formed in 2012 by guitarist Gaston Lainé and drummer Baptiste Gautier-Lorenzo drawing on inspirations from the likes of Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, Sabbath, Motorhead, and Blue Cheer alongside those of Kyuss, Sleep, Nebula, Earthless, and Orange Goblin. Last year’s well received Magic Carpet Ride EP put ears and attention on notice but now with bassist Ronan Grall of Huata alongside the founding duo, Brain Pyramid is ready to really stir things up with their thrilling offering.a0031606373_2

The earth bound spatial adventure is started by Living in the Outer Space, a country twang and kick over of a truck engine the lift off to a groove driven flight through sultry skies and flaming sonic landscape. Instantly riffs draw a raw canvas framed by an unpredictable rhythmic incitement. It is a compelling coaxing but it is the similarly unpolished vocals and senses entwining grooves which brings the strongest colour to the contagion. A flirtation with a noir wrapped jazzy seduction provides a new twist of pleasure before the fiery surface and enterprise of the song re-establishes a forceful and gripping presence. Continuing to surprise and enthral, the song is a sizzling and immersive treat but only the beginning of the fun.

The following Lazy instantly unveils its funk seeded heat and tenacity, the lure bubbling with relish and energy the more the song reveals itself. Grooves and rhythms make a flavoursome embrace whilst the bass with its throaty temptation offers intriguing shadow soaked hues. It is a roaring blaze of melodic and sonic toxicity, the song worming under the skin through the excellent slightly deranged craft of Lainé and the irresistible heavy stoner-esque stroll of the track. Its success is soon surpassed by the even hotter creative breath and climate of Landing on the Pyramind. Soaked in tenacious and intensive blues flavouring, the song twists and entwines ears with serpentine agility through scorching grooves and another deliciously imposing bass tone. It is a big boned temptress with all the moves and invention to enrapture anyone with a lust for dirty riffs, thunderous rhythms, and caustic sonic beauty.

The pair of Lucifer and Twin Headed Giant provides strong individual temptations, the first a mesh of lumbering intensity and sci-fi noise which leads into a smouldering psychedelic wash of sinister persuasion. This in turn slips into something ferocious and fiery, heavyweight riffing and destructive beats punctuating burning grooves; The Doors meets Orange Goblin and Desert Storm if you will. Though it does lack something compared to its predecessors, the track’s dark demonic texture and presence leaves ears enthralled before its successor draws on even stronger seventies psychedelic and heavy rock inspirations to cast its pulsating and pleasingly raw mind-bending adventure. Guitars and keys radiate hallucinogenic sonic colours aligned to a warped imagination whilst rhythms just as voraciously impose upon and stalk the psyche with the gripping cleaner vocal delivery.

  

The song is a fireball of sound but even its qualities and potency cannot match up to the album’s pinnacle, Into the Lightspeed. The instrumental is sensational; an impossibly addictive and infectious stampede of hooks and grooves bound in another seemingly organic and improvised majesty. Its opening is a riotous almost chaotic coaxing which flirts with disaster as eagerly as the senses before settling into a gloriously robust and hungry swagger of rhythms from Gautier-Lorenzo. Every swing resonates through to the bone even when Hammond-esque keys wind around its spine with taunting relish and the bass of Grall adds its own irrepressible throaty resonance. Spicy grooves and deeply rooting hooks are no strangers either as the piece continues to grow and increase its enslavement on ears and emotions. The track is a mind-bending, thought twisting journey and quite brilliant.

   Chasma Hideout sees its title track bring its triumph to a close. Flowing out of the previous track, its celestial exploration proceeds to soar across an expansive melodic and cavernous ambience, guitars and bass slowly swaying with evocative radiance and imposing enterprise as the good ship Brain Pyramid fuels its flight with a transfixing creative sonic illumination. The song leaves listener and album on a high, its energy and incitement continuing to increase with every second of its creative hunger and technical urgency.

The track is a captivating end to an awe inspiring release. Managing to impress and offer more with each and every listen, Chasma Hideout is one of the year’s real treasures and Brain Pyramid a band destined to leave psychedelic rock aflame now and ahead.

Chasma Hideout is available now via Acid Cosmonaut Records @ http://acidcosmonautrecords.bandcamp.com/album/chasma-hideout

https://www.facebook.com/brainpyramid

RingMaster 02/10/2104

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Agency – Of Ghosts

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Regaling tales of gothic breeding and devilish intent, Of Ghosts the new album from UK folk/rock band The Agency is one of the most compelling releases you are likely to hear this year. It is not a release which leaps from the speakers, though it has individual moments which are inescapable, but over time casts a captivation which through slow and potent persuasion makes for a captivating proposition. Like a hybrid mix of Nick Cave and a folk version of Southern Death Cult with extra shadowing from Coil, the band’s sound and album is a riveting adventure. It maybe does not ignite the fires as much as it should but never relinquishes an enticing grip on appetite and imagination from start to finish.

Formed in 2012, The Agency started out as a large musical collective before slimming down to a five piece core, though the Newcastle upon Tyne band still invites guests and friends from the beginning to add their flavouring to their sound, Of Ghosts seeing Fraser Smith (Little Man Tate/Shed Seven), pianist Scott Wall (My Exit Music), and Jim Ward contributing to its offerings. Debut album For the Brave and Troubled the band’s first year raised strong attention around the band but it is with this successor that the quintet of Andy Ludbrook (bass), Steven K Driver (singer/songwriter/guitar), Steve Beyer (guitar), Garry Cosgrove (drums), and Kerry Ramsay (vocals) will surely breach a nationwide spotlight.

The album opens with She and instantly has ears and thoughts tied up in the song’s attractive coaxing. Teasing rhythms and a dark flirty bassline entice first before the plain yet alluring vocals of Driver unveil the first narrative of the release. The song slowly sways and embraces senses and imagination, its sultry climax increasing in colour as melodies swim elegantly across ears and the siren-esque harmonies of Ramsay float across the growing sinister scenery. The song is glorious, a sonic and emotional emprise to immerse in whilst an ever present mischief within the band plays.

Next Child So Careless gently shuffles in on a keen rhythmic lure aligned to another melancholic bass temptation and varied guitar revelry. There is no real urgency to the song but it still strolls with an energy and feistiness which brings Picture 73feet to life and has ears rigorously attentive. It is a thrilling encounter with brightly shimmering melodies within a smouldering climate of emotive and dramatic heat, reminding in some ways of fellow city kinsmen Bernaccia. Keeping the impressive start of the album going, the song moves over for the less immediate hugs of ballads For The Daughter and Border Song. Though both take time to seize thoughts compared to their outstanding predecessors, each explore enthralling landscapes of sound and intrigue to place a steady hand on a growing appetite for the release. The first is a warm yet haunting, almost funereal croon with strings an emotionally inspiring hue alongside the dourly expressive vocals whilst the second slips into an even more sobering atmosphere of melancholy and sonic radiance for a less successful but still enjoyable proposition.

The organ fuelled Fast raises the album’s strongest lure again, its thick drama and minimalistic touch a tender and sonically blistering incitement which would fit a Twin Peaks episode perfectly. It is only part of the story though as a funky folk festivity breaks out with melodies and vocals flirting with Wickerman like devilry. The track is engrossing, a pinnacle of the album and a doorway into the darkest corners of the band’s songwriting.

Through the colourful journey musically and lyrically of The Traveller and Sad Parallel which holds a tone and presence which can almost be described as Mark Lanegan meets The Doors, The Agency hold the imagination in the palms of their creative hands. Without lighting obvious fires, the tracks majestically get under the skin with lingering temptation before an atmospheric reprise of For The Daughter leads into the irresistible call of The Temple. The track is a warped dance of vocal and melodic contagion brushed with sonic causticity and addictive rhythmic bait. Simultaneously intimidatingly dark and vibrantly light, the song is a scintillating eventful stroll.

Of Ghosts is brought to a more than decent end by the evocative vocal and guitar led croon of Jack and Spade, a blood soaked reflection of gothic expression. It is a fine end to a release which simply grows and seduces with every listen. The Agency have a masterful ability to tell and colour tales from the darkest shadows for richly satisfying explorations for imagination and emotions, and their album an enthralling portrait of that skill.

Of Ghosts is available digitally and on CD now on Solarbear Records and @ http://theagency1.bandcamp.com/album/of-ghosts

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Agency/235291636504985

RingMaster 29/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Kobadelta – Remain Distracted EP

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Having been enthralled by their rousing EP, The Hidden Door earlier this year, there was keen anticipation waiting for the release of its successor Remain Distracted. Both EPs come from the creative minds and resourceful imagination of UK band Kobadelta, and each provides a fascinating climate of sound and excitement to greedily immerse within. Remain Distracted takes the strengths and potency of its predecessor into new emotive and adventurous sonic flights, pushing the potential and emerging presence of the band into riveting and sultry landscapes. In some ways it is a slow burner compared to the last release but through a quartet of fiery and seductive songs, sets down the most potent and heady pinnacle from the band yet.

The release of Remain Distracted comes in a potent year for the Newcastle quintet which has seen them chosen to play Newcastle’s Evolution Emerging festival, as well as Stockton Weekender (with Happy Mondays and Public Enemy headlining) and Split Festival (with Maximo Park, The Cribs and Dizzee Rascal). Added to that there has also been a live session for BBC Introducing as well as numerous successful shows with bands like Allusondrugs. The new release adds another strong moment in the band’s year and one more irresistible enticement to develop a rich hunger over.

As soon as the sultry stroke of guitar from Alex Malliris opens up first track Siam, there is a potent temptation at work, its smouldering yet ripe lure a swift caress and announcement of the dark psychedelic invention the band is already acclaimed for. Another breath sees the hypnotic throaty basslines of Jon Marley join the evolving enticement of the guitar and the enterprising rhythmic framing of Chris Malliris. It is a glorious flame brought further to life by the mellow yet nicely raw tones of vocalist Dom Noble, all this against the already tantalising weave of melodic expression cast by the keys of Jordan Robson. It is a stunning track, elements of The Doors colluding with other whispers of bands like early The Horrors, 13th Floor Elevators, and Thee Exciters in an original fire of sound equipped with infectiously imposing hooks and grooves.

Repetition steps up next and instantly finds a heavier growl to its riffs, though that weight is not quite transferred to the crisp beats and elegant bassline. That restraint on some aspects and the mix of dark and light within the song works kobadelta epa treat all the same; its steady but feisty canter evolving through a sultry slow flight of immersive keys before breaking back with increasing tenacity in energy and attack. The Birthday Party like song is an intriguing shadow blessed proposition, not as dramatically gripping as its predecessor but growing into another absorbing and incendiary involvement of the imagination and emotions.

Its successor is less slow in gripping the passions, They Can’t Hurt Me floating in on another delicious almost sinister bassline. Its dark tone inspires a haunting essence to the minimalistic melody of the guitar and vocal croon of Noble, the merger offering a noir wrapped sultriness in presence and sound. There is a definite Cramps essence to the song as well as that of Jim Morrison and co, as well as hints of Damn Vandals and The Dropper’s Neck, but with an ingenious addiction sparking bait from bass and guitar aligned to similarly anthemic beats, the track is a slice of brilliance distinct to Kobadelta and their greatest song yet since forming.

The EP is closed by The Heretic, a sizzling sway of sonic causticity and melodic temptation driven by a swaggering rhythmic and riff crafted enterprise. As in other songs there is a prime hook which is inescapable for ears and passions, its coaxing leading the senses into the scorching haze of guitar and atmospheric heat of the keys. With the delivery of Noble again parading the song’s narrative with an unfussy but magnetically expressive texture, the song is a mesmeric consumption of the senses and a fine end to another impressive release from Kobadelta.

The band just gets better and better as evidenced by Remain Distracted ensuring whatever comes next from Kobadelta will be met with greedy anticipation.

The Remain Distracted EP is available from September 26th @ http://kobadelta.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Kobadelta/

RingMaster 26/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Singing forest bred blues: an interview with Electric Woodland

Electric Woodland

    Weaving an inescapable and thrilling lure of blues, heavy metal, and classic rock into something organically unique, Norwegian rock band Electric Woodland has been earning eager attention and acclaim through their stunning debut album Potrero. It is a rigorously tantalising encounter which seduces the passions through its skilful infectiousness and riveting old school bred and modern fuelled enterprise. The quartet is making rich marks with their sound and now release so we had to find out more. Thanks to guitarist Christian N. Olsen-Ruud, we explored the origins of Electric Woodland, the making of its first full-length release, opportunities for band in their homeland and much more…

Hi Christian and welcome to the site. Thank you for sharing your time with us as we explore all things Electric Woodland.

Firstly can you tell us about the beginnings of the band, how you all met etc.?

Well, Peder (vocals, guitar) and Emil (drums) are brothers, and Marius (bass) is their cousin, so they didn’t have much of a choice. I (Christian, guitar) first got to know Peder when we both went to the same secondary school and started hanging out. The band started when a mutual friend had built a porch, and asked Peder and I if we wanted to bring a couple of acoustic guitars over and break it in. All of a sudden people started to say that they wanted to come as well, and before we knew it, we had 150 people who were going to show up. We built a stage, Marius and Emil joined, and since every festival around seemed to have closed, we started both the band and a festival called Runerock (Rune is the name of the guy with the porch).

How did the great band name come about?

We come from a place called Skogbygda, which sort of translates to Woodville or Wood village. Growing up in rural Norway and Skogbygda has had a great impact on us, so I guess we wanted to give it a little homage. The other half of the name is from one of our other passions, classic rock, blues rock, and one of the great masters, Jimi Hendrix. As well as giving homage to Skogbygda, we thought that mixing Electric Ladyland in there would sort of define what we wanted to do. Down to earth hard blues rock from the Norwegian forests.

Is Electric Woodland the first musical endeavour for you all?

We’ve all had more or less serious bands before, but Electric Woodland is the first band where we’ve really worked with song writing and recording in the way that we’ve done now. The EP was also the first real studio work we’ve done, but luckily we’ve had great people working with us for both the EP and the album, who have helped us out a lot.

Your music is boldly flavoursome with numerous essences of different styles adding to the mix. What are the predominant inspirations for the band and you as musicians?

As you say, our inspirations are many, and it’s a mix of everything from Robert Johnson, through 70s classic rock, to newer stuff like Queens of the Stone Age. In essence it’s a mix of everything we’ve loved when we grew up. When we get asked about this we usually go with the big bands that everyone knows like Queens of the Stone Age, The Doors, Deep Purple, etc., but our biggest influence over the last couple years has probably been a local artist called Amund Maarud. He’s not only helped us out a lot while recording and through Snaxville records, but he’s got a lot of the same influences as us and blends them together into some really cool stuff.

You recently released your debut album Potrero which follows your well received self-titled EP of 2009. How do you see the progression in your sound and songwriting between the two releases?Electric Woodland cover

The four songs on the EP were basically the first four songs we wrote as a band. When it came to Potrero, we wanted to use a bit more time to develop our own sound. While both have a lot of the same influences, Potrero is a bit darker, and both a bit more bluesy and heavy at times.

The album feels a confident and mature collection of songs but with plenty of potential for even greater heights; is that how you feel about it now it is out there drawing in acclaim and new hearts?

Definitely… Although we started to experiment with our own sound on Potrero, it was still only our second recording ever. I do feel we are gaining momentum as song writers and as a band. After recording Potrero, we kind of know more of what we enjoyed recording and what we enjoy playing, so the next album will hopefully reflect that and show some more progression.

Tell us about the recording of Potrero, I believe it was recorded onto analogue tape?

We recorded it at Snaxville Studios in Skogbygda, with the help of Amund and Henrik Maarud. It’s a top, modern studio, but they record everything on analogue tape before any modern technology touches it. We did it in a couple of sessions with some time in between, so that we could think about what we had done and do adjustments in the song writing for the remaining songs if they needed it.

What was behind the decision which it has to be said works a treat in defining the album’s sound.

Again, a lot of our inspiration comes from old blues artists and 60s and 70s rock, so to get that genuine dirty and gritty old school sound, this was what we had to do. The general feeling of recording on tape just felt right as well. You don’t get a million takes when recording on tape, and I think that is a good thing. Each take gets more focused. In a way, it’s also what you always imagined a studio to be. Not just plugging the instruments into a laptop and there’s your album, but you get the whole studio ritual that gets you ‘in the zone’.

Did you go old school/vintage in other aspects of the recording and creating of the album?

A lot of the equipment we use is either vintage or new but made to sound vintage. Some of the pedals we use are clones of old legendary pedals that people like Hendrix, Gilmour and Iommi used, and that’s sort of where we want to go. In addition, a lot of the other equipment in the studio was vintage, form old 70s tape delays to microphones that were used by the BBC in the 60s and 70s.

Is this something you will look to do again or have you already new ideas to explore with the next release?

I think it is important to try to evolve the sound in some way, but in our case it will probably be to try to dive even deeper into that way of working. We really enjoyed it, and really like that type of sound as well. We just need to push it one step further.

There is a raw and gritty texture to the songs on the album, was this deliberately sought or an organic success which just happened?

It was definitely on purpose. We listened to different stuff before recording, and decided that this was what we wanted to do. It’s the sound that we felt the songs needed.

How does the songwriting work within the band?

Usually Peder does most of the writing. He often comes to rehearsals with riffs and lyrics, and we arrange it together into finished songs. Peder and Emil tries out a lot of stuff when they’re both home as well (we rehearse in their old hen house!).

Bad Shoe and the song Electric Woodland steal top honours on the album for us amongst only great tracks. Give us some background to the pair.

They’re two very different songs that’s for sure. Bad Shoe is a rather happy-go-lucky, straight forward, feel good song, where Peder wrote most of it and just brought it to a rehearsal. Electric Woodland is a lot grittier and heavier, and a lot more jam based. It is also without a doubt the song that has evolved the most of all our songs. Some of it was actually some of the first material we produced, and it was almost on the EP as a very straight forward rock song. We started working on it as a band, and suddenly we had new riffs, parts and vocals that took it in a completely different direction.

Is there a particular moment on the album which gives you an extra satisfied tingle inside?

One of the things I’m most pleased with in the response to the album is that everyone seems to have a different favourite song on it. I think that Electric Woodland is probably my pick of the bunch. It’s one of my favourite songs to play live, and the way we just jammed to make it into what it became was a great moment for us as a band. It also has great energy.

Electric Woodland 2Obviously Norway is your home, a place where different music seems to find a place but black metal and folk based styles seem to be what people most assign to the country. What is the reality as a band from there and have you found a ready appetite there for your blues seeded sounds?

There’s a lot of melancholic music in Norway. Maybe it’s the long, depressing winters, but if it’s pop, rock, blues or black metal, there’s often a hint of melancholy in there somewhere. It’s certainly true for Norwegian folk music and black metal, and of course, for blues as well. A lot of people also like a bit of rock and classic rock, so I think we fit in nicely!

We get the feeling that across Europe and now starting in the UK recognition and attention is awakening to your presence, how are you seeing this now Potrero is out?

We do feel we’re starting to build up steam. You feel that gradually things are beginning to move, with an interview here and there, some radio plays here and there, gigs at a bit bigger venues, etc. We’re in this band because we love creating and playing music, but getting some recognition and that people enjoy what you do feels great. It’s something we spent a lot of time and effort on, and take a lot of pride in, so that people don’t think it’s just bullshit really helps!

Is Electric Woodland an active live proposition at home and what are the prospects of seeing you tour across Europe and the UK at some point?

We’ve been a bit unlucky with some health issues in the band this year, so we haven’t been able to do as much as we’ve wanted to, but we’ve still managed to get quite a few gigs under the belt. All of us have other jobs, so we try to do a gig whenever we find the time. We hope to do a bit more though, and a tour of the UK and Europe would be great at some point. So tell your local promoter!

For all bands the internet has been full of pros and cons for their musical journey, how have you found it so far?

When four guys can sit and play what can be pretty introvert music, in a forest in the middle of nowhere in Norway, and suddenly have about 200 fans on Facebook from India, you see what a powerful marketing tool the internet can be. It also makes everything so much easier and gives you so many more options when it comes to producing and publishing records. Bands no longer need a record label’s financial backing to be able to produce something, which can mean that you get a bigger variety of bands out there for people to listen to. You get music in all shapes in all shapes and forms, which can be both good and bad, I guess.

What is next for Electric Woodland and across the rest of 2014?

Hopefully, we’ll get the time to write some more music. We’ve got a couple rough drafts of songs for the second album that we want to keep working on, as well as doing a few more gigs this year.

Thanks again for taking time to chat with us.

Any last words you would like to leave us with?

If you get the chance, check us out on Spotify, give us a like on Facebook, and tell us what you think!

And lastly putting yourself in the place of an interviewer what question would you most like to ask to who?

Black Sabbath and the question would be if they needed an opening act!

www.electricwoodland.com

Read our review of Potrero @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/12/07/electric-woodland-potrero/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 25/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Goldray – Self Titled

Goldray Press shot 3

Ahead of the band’s first full-length later this spring, we take a look at Goldray’s self-titled debut mini album which was released earlier this year. Consisting of four mesmeric and dramatic soundscapes bred in early seventies psychedelic temptations within fiery rock embraces, the release is an enthralling encounter fuelling the imagination and emotions whilst laying down the most compelling bait for the upcoming album.

Goldray is the project of Reef guitarist Kenwyn House who formed the band in 2010 when teaming up with vocalist Leah Rasmussen (Hydrogen, EMI, Bedrock, Renaissance). Sharing the vision to create music ‘blending psych and prog experimental arrangements resulting in a dynamic that took them towards psychedelic rock’, the pair enlisted Kula Shaker drummer Paul Winter-Hart and bassist Sinah Blohberger in 2010 and 2011 respectively. The band’s second year saw Andy Treacey (Faithless) take over the sticks whilst in 2012 Geoff Laurens (The Resistors) joined the band to take over bass duties. Financed via Pledge Music, the mini album features performances from both the previously mentioned drummers as it revels in the inspiration of the psych rock tradition of the late-sixties and early-seventies. House has commented on that influential period by saying “That era is so avoided by most of the media and the musical orthodoxy which is strange considering how powerful that time was for music and culture. Much of what was being said then – freedom, war, environment – is just as relevant, if not more relevant, today. It’s such a rich area to draw on.

Co-produced by Clive Martin with House and Rasmussen, with final touches provided by Brit Award-winning producer Pedro Ferreira, the Goldray_Artmini-album saw its first ‘soft’ release to pledgers last November with an official release on the band’s own Akashic Records late January. It is a proposition which washes over the senses with melodic flames which seduce as potently as the almost siren like voice of Rasmussen, though she only leads the imagination into inciting adventures of sonic invention within evocative landscapes rather than any destructive intent. Opening song Outland instantly transfixes attention with an initial caress of thick sonic coaxing, a firm and strong yet gentle beckoning. With a darkly resonating bass tone joining in with the celestial caresses of Rasmussen’s delivery, a sultry air and heat envelops the senses as the band paint its intensive canvas. The track continues to drift and entwine around thoughts and emotions but with a bordering on exhaustive intensity and drama which enflames ears to imagination, passions to appetite. It is an immersive flight which challenges and seduces with equal strength before leaving the psyche in the hand of the closing glance of Instrumental: The Arrival, it a lingering spice which only increases the already awoken anticipation for the album as it closes the first song.

The following Calling Your Name emerges from dark imposing shadows and a menacing rhythmic stalking, a discord kissed surface to the guitars an additionally sinister taste to the portentous entrance. The voice of Rasmussen provides a beacon through the darkness, holding back the dark nightmares and drawing in breaking shafts of melodic warmth and magnetic beauty. It is a glorious evocation soon surpassing the potency of its predecessor. Its towering and slightly threatening walls frame an unpredictable and transfixing waltz, rhythms and bass continuing their heavy persistence whilst vocals sublimely entrance within their cage. The best track on the release it is a delicious danger and seduction rolled into one.

Indigo Sky courts a warmer climate though shadows and intensive incitement are no stranger to the soundscape either. As Rasmussen soars through the evocative textures and expansive sonic painting, guitars and rhythms unveil rich provocative hues and inventive temptations to bewitch and push the senses whilst the bass again lays down a dark lure which only adds to the engrossing call of the journey.

The closing Diamond Road is in many ways the most strongly sixties influenced offering, its body and melodic soul seemingly more impacted by those evocative flavours of the time  especially with the delicious Doors like keys, though just as boldly it embraces a richly coloured modern sonic fire. Completed by the brief Instrumental: The Busking Magician, the track is an epically enthralling conclusion to a similarly compelling release. Goldray’s first official offering is a strikingly full and fulfilling encounter which if a hint of the upcoming album provides the strongest enticement possible.

http://www.goldrayband.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 27/03/2014

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