Victoria+Jean – Divine Love

V-J-_RingMasterReview

From the gorgeous artwork by Russian artist Oleg Dou through to the cinematic seducing which escapes each and every song, Divine Love is creative beauty involved with an imagination which simple leaves the listener lost in fascination. The imagination comes from Victoria+Jean, the episodes of aural drama from their debut album, and the brooding romance between listener and artist from instincts that just know when something transcends just ear food.

The band is the artistic and romantic union of Swedish born vocalist Victoria and Belgian guitarist Jean. Brought up in London and moving to Paris where she began her first career as a model, Victoria was a musician at heart and was signed as a solo artist aged 16 by a French major label, though she broke her four-album deal before releasing her debut, unable to make the compromises demanded upon her by the label. Moving to Belgium she met Jean and the couple began a career “motivated by encounters, travels and sound.” We have simplified the background for and leading to the project and union of the pair, with not for the first or indeed last time, Divine Love demanding to be the focus of attention.

art_RingMasterReviewIn creating the album, the duo sent their 12 tracks to their favourite producers with the request of collaboration for the release. The list included the likes of John Parish (PJ Harvey, Goldfrapp), Rob Kirwan (The Horrors, Depeche Mode), Christopher Berg (The Knife), Ian Caple (Tricky, Kate Bush), Joe Hirst (Stone Roses), Alistair Chant (PJ Harvey & John Parish), and Lucas Chauvière (De La Soul). As evidence of things being meant to be, each freely chose the same track Victoria+Jean had intended and hoped for them; a move and success which only adds to the album’s vastly diverse and eclectic character.

Divine Love opens with its title track and the duo’s new single. Within seconds the electronic mystique and ambience of the track has ears and imagination enthralled, the sixties cinematic drama in tone and air providing a great sense of mystery reinforced by the celestial caresses of Victoria’s mesmeric vocals. The gentle and elegant jangle of guitar equally brings rich suggestiveness to the enveloping theatre of dark charm and atmospheric tempting. There is no escaping a Portishead like essence to the bewitching encounter though equally artists like Propaganda and in a small way The Sugarcubes also offer their scent to its evocation.

It is a glorious start followed by the ridiculously irresistible Holly. From an initial lure of fuzzy guitar and mischievous beats, the song soon swings along with a virulent infectiousness which barely needs a handful of seconds to have hips swaying and spirit smiling. Victoria’s voice dances upon the compelling strands of sound, mixing composed moments with soaring harmonics as rhythms dance with addictive tenacity. As provocative in word as it is in sound, the track is sensational; growing with each twist of its musical theatre and lust inspiring alchemy.

Big Billie comes next, coaxing ears with raw blues guitar before thumping rhythms surround the tangy expressive tones of Victoria. Jean’s imagination continues to weave a sultry web of sound and enterprise to surround the tribal beats and descriptive vocals; a provocative blend playing like a mix of The Creatures and My Baby. Enthralling and igniting the senses it makes way for Until It Breaks and its brooding climate of sinister shadows and electronic espionage. As all songs, it has the imagination casting its own adventures to align with that of the song itself, sparking closer involvement between ears and song which is echoed again by Why Won’t You and its delta blues laced tango.

Across the fiery sonic and rhythmic trespass of Your Baby Don’t Know Me and Firecracker, things only get more boldly flirtatious and grouchily confrontational. The first is a prowling beast of a track with a touch of De Staat to its predacious noise rock infested waltz whilst its successor, while employing a similar dark rhythmic throb, courts techno fuelled ingenuity. It is a collusion which just gets more dynamic, agitated, and schizophrenic across its three body involving minutes, like its predecessor inciting a greedier appetite for Divine Love before a haunting beauty cast with a vibrant calm hugs ears through Härligt Sverige. Tantalising harmonies float around the poetic tones of Victoria, they skirted by resonating beats and the low key repetitive niggle of guitars. Winy tendrils vein the piece too; Jean creating an increasingly climactic drama matched by the vocal emotion equally gripping attention.

Ears and pleasure become engrossed in more blues bred invention through Takes You Like A Rose and Where We Belong next, the latter tempering the flavour with a bewitching folk seeded hug of melody and harmony before creating a tempestuous showdown of sound and emotive theatre. It is a glorious slice of aural cinema, again visual interpretation quickly inspired by the song and indeed Pull The Trigger which follows. Rhythms and percussive enterprise tease and play with ears before hitting an imposing stride entangled in sonic and vocal imagination. Anthemic and intimate within every writhing twist and turn of its excellent proposal, the track is like a hex on body and thought.

Closing with the epic spatial and atmospheric romancing of Define Love, an immersion into electronic and vocally harmonic reflection, Divine Love is one of the most enthralling and in turn invigorating releases heard in a long time. Every song provides an individual and compelling exploration still revealing fresh rewards after numerous listens. The album has plenty for fans of blues and rock ‘n’ roll, ambience and electronica, pop and dance and with a host of videos also accompanying each song, Divine Love is nothing less than essential listening and viewing.

Divine Love is released April 29th via FY Records at https://itunes.apple.com/be/album/divine-love/id1089239770?app=itune and across most online stores.

http://www.victoriaplusjean.com   https://www.facebook.com/victoriaplusjean

Pete RingMaster 26/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Virgin Kids – Greasewheel

VK_RingMasterReview

Having more than teased with their self-titled EP in the November 2014, UK garage rockers Virgin Kids have unleashed their full sonic flirtation with debut album Greasewheel. Breeding their off kilter rock ‘n’ roll from an entangling of garage and post punk with psych and fiery pop rock, the London based trio cast an intoxicating enticement posing as an album which swiftly arouses the spirit and colludes with the imagination.

Formed as a bedroom project by Asher Preston, Virgin Kids fully emerged as a band late 2014 with childhood friend Paul Rosser and ex-Fawn Spots drummer Sean Hughes alongside the band’s frontman. Since then and the release of the aforementioned EP, the threesome has gained a potent live reputation, an adventure which has seen them share stages with the likes of whilst Jacuzzi Boys, The Coathangers, Kim and The Created, and Dirty Fences amongst others to date. Numerous comments about the band on stage talks of a “fevered intensity”, an element Virgin Kids has seemingly tried and for the main succeeded in now representing across Greasewheel.

The album opens with Bruised Knees, a kinetic jangle of guitar and contagious vocal urging from the first second. In no time, the song climbs over the senses, dark rhythms mixing with a fuzzy entrapment of ears in something which provokes thoughts of The Sonics, early Horrors, and The Hives in devilish union. A lively spark for the spirit, the track provides a great start to the revelry of the album, quickly backed by the more reserved but no less magnetic Cracks In A Colour. The band’s new single, it immediately swings with a graceful gait infused with appealing bass cast shadows. Soon that sixties seeded enterprise becomes a busier eruption of sound and energy, returning to the song’s initial melodic and controlled romancing before alternating between the two from thereon in.

art_RingMasterReviewFrom one pinnacle to another as My Alone stands tall from the off with its own individual sonic flirtation and seduction of ears. Like The Dickies meets Love Buzzard meets Asylums with a touch of Buzzcocks to its hooks and melodic grooves, the song is a glorious blaze of garage rock/pop, with a virulent harmonic invitation as inescapable as the anthemic rhythmic tenacity the track rolls along on before Never Nude slips in with a healthy whiff of seventies punk to its Thee Exciters/The Fleshtones like scent.

Both tracks on their own make Greasewheel an epic must listen, and are powerfully backed by the chaotic punk ‘n’ roll of Crook and the acidic Horrors-esque smooching of Shrink. The first of the two is another high point, its scuzzy heart and raw crescendos delicious tempering and companion to addictive grooves and melody sculpted hooks. Its successor proceeds to writhe with sonic temptation from its first breath, mellowing out into a psych pop seducing seemingly brewed from a blending of shoegaze and psychedelic pop. Equally there is a darker lining to the track which emerges more as it develops and spins a tangy web of guitar crafted suggestiveness littered with heavier rhythmic trespasses.

After the melodic lure of Shrink Wrap, a very brief epilogue like follow-up to its predecessor carrying a Teardrop Explodes air to it, the album concludes with the feisty pop jangle of Be Your Friend. Whipping up energy in body and voice to unite with its own, the song is an irresistible close to a similarly thrilling release. Greasewheel builds on the dramatic introduction of Virgin Kids’ first EP whilst creating its own unique character of sound and potential for bigger and creatively rowdier things to come. We for one cannot wait for their fruition over future releases whilst being a perpetual companion for this treat of a proposition.

Greasewheel is out now on cd, vinyl, and digitally through Fluffer Records in the UK and Burger Records in the US.

https://www.facebook.com/virginkidsband   https://twitter.com/virginkids

Pete RingMaster 14/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

The Gaa Gaas – Close Your Eyes

art gaa gaas_RingMasterReview

It has been a long time in the waiting and an increasingly anticipated moment; that being the time when something new from The Gaa Gaas would step forward to infest ears. That occasion is now with the release of new single Close Your Eyes, an irresistible taster of the new evolution and adventure in the UK band’s exploration of sound. Showing a rich vein in flavour and sonic variety without losing the hypnotic insistence of their earlier successes, the track is simply going to have old fans drooling and a host of new followers entangled.

Formed after a garage punk night event at a venue in St Helier on Jersey in the Channel Islands, by vocalist/guitarist Gavin Tate, The Gaa Gaas spent their first two years honing their sound and becoming a potent live proposition on the island, before relocating in 2005 to Brighton, then later London from where they switch between the two. Their hunger to play live took the then trio, across the UK and Europe with shows and tours, a success in turn building an eager fan base stretching outside Britain as far as France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, and Sweden. The following years saw the release of two EPs to strong success and the embracing by internet radio shows and stations alone, of songs like the 2010 James Aparicio (Nick Cave, Mogwai) produced and Robert Harder (Brian Eno, The Slits) mixed and mastered debut single Voltaire and the equally devoured Hypnoti(z)ed.

As suggested, recent times have been a quieter affair with the band though work on their first album has been an on-going adventure. Now with an inescapable new maturity to their sound and bold expansion to its tapestry, the foursome of Tate, keyboardist Peter Hass, bassist Jamey Exton, and drummer Stewart Brown, have a new piece of virulent temptation ready to entice and thrill. Like a gift placed in the hand by a loved one making that certain request to prolong the surprise, Close Your Eyes had an air of excitement to it even before a note is heard, something all their fans will no doubt equally feel.

The Ali Gavan (former member of The Electric Soft Parade) produced song strokes the ears with a single raw caress of guitar first, its resonance remaining as a sonic mist brews up around it. It is a swift and firm coaxing which soon parts from the inside, opening the way for the eager stroll of the song to bound through. With a punkish rockabilly like swagger to its rhythms and hooks, the track instantly has ears gripped; only strengthening its hold as Exton’s bass flirts with, Brown’s beats jabs, and the sonic web the band is renowned for envelops the senses. With Tate’s vocals potently leading the lure, a new melodic infectiousness reveals its growth within the band’s sound. It is a tempering to the caustic nagging potency the band has always shared but another compelling hue only adding depth and might to the great post punk/noise pop catchiness which coats the swing of the proposal.

Like a mix of The Horrors, Wire, The Adverts, and The Three Johns, yet openly individual to The Gaa Gaas, Close Your Eyes worms under the skin and into the psyche in no time. As suggested, it has the prime recognisable sound of The Gaa Gaas at its heart but feels like the key to a whole new adventure which the band has obviously been working on across that recent calmer period in their emergence.

Backing the single is the siren-esque Indian Giver. Originally composed as an instrumental, the track has become an even richer provocative embrace of the senses since Tate’s dissonance scented harmonic vocals have merged with the song’s sonic imagination and early Cure/Artery like atmospherics. The result another dramatic incitement of the psyche through seductive tempting and provocative majesty.

With both tracks taking the listener into unique and individual landscapes of suggestiveness , all that is left to say is roll on their new album set for later this year and roll on the big bold spotlights surely set to crowd in on The Gaa Gaas if the single is the sign of glories to come.

Close Your Eyes is released February 29th via Movement-2-Records @ https://thegaagaas.bandcamp.com/album/close-your-eyes

For more info check out https://www.facebook.com/TheGaaGaas and to hear more of the band’s new songs head over to https://www.facebook.com/events/1034320063257409/1047980888557993/ at 23:00 GMT also on the 29th February.

https://twitter.com/The_Gaa_Gaas

Pete RingMaster 29/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Panic Island – Cabin Fever EP

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First track catches ears and imagination by excited surprise, the second has both locked in a blaze of pungent rock ‘n’ roll, and by its third, Cabin Fever the debut EP from Panic Island has made a clear statement that UK rock has another potential ridden and magnetic proposition emerging from its midst. The three track release is a magnetic roar of alternative and melodic rock, a weave of pungent riffs and sinew swung rhythms entwined with creative and anthemic dexterity. Maybe not yet the release to suggest that Panic Island will be amongst those to the fore driving the ever changing face of British rock ‘n’ roll, the EP is definitely an impressive introduction for the band to spring on from and tempt those kind of heights.

image003     Panic Island is centred round the North London songwriting duo Arron Sans and Vinnie Shimia, two musicians which first met at a gig by The Cult in Spain in 2012. Sans had already “dabbled in acting and film production” before exploring music and songwriting whilst Brazilian born Shimia had developed a romance with the guitar since the age of 13, and moved to the capital from his homeland to pursue his aspirations in music. Their individual abilities and strengths going by Cabin Fever have certainly gelled and openly flourished musically and lyrically since the pair creatively united, openly evidenced by their first release. Produced by Paul Tipler (Idlewild, The Horrors, Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster), the EP is a storming adventure of sound and dark emotional exploration, a release which has you sonically gripped within a few choice moments and persistently thought provoked across each infectious proposal.

The EP starts with the outstanding We Start Fires, a thick lure of bass the first enticing quickly joined by jabbing beats and in another breath, an electronic teasing. Coming cold into the band and letting the music be the first indication of their sound, the latter element immediately sends expectations down the wrong avenue, with punchy beats the almost techno like tempting sparking thoughts of a dance-floor escapade to come. The great vocals of the pair soon begins dispelling that, their attention grabbing presence the trigger to a more volatile lure of rhythms and a stroll of pungent riffs and striking heavy rock hooks. There is a slight punk edge to things too, whilst grooves and vocals increasingly cast a more aggressive and flavoursome web of hard rock and melodic tenacity. The early electro devilment also continues to flirt with the imagination, from time to time coming to the fore but never for long as the unpredictable and thrilling anthemic stomp of a track continues to bound through and ignite ears.

The excellent start is followed by new single Temples, a song providing a more settled landscape of melodic rock but one equally as fiery and alluring from the off. Because of its more uniform canvas of sound, the emotive potency of word and voice has a stronger and clearer sounding board to spring its passion and angst from. This aligns perfectly with the just as magnetically imposing drama of melodies and craft of guitars. It is a combination offering a feel of Bristol band Mind Museum to the provocative nature of the song which excels again within closing song City Screams.

As the previous encounter, it too is a swiftly catchy and enticing proposition with raw feeling in the vocals and raucous enterprise in the heart of the music. It also shows that any of the three songs upon Cabin Fever can be a potent single for the band, each in their individual ways intense and incendiary slices of drama with the emotional climate expected in the consuming premise of the EP title.

Panic Island do everything right with Cabin Fever, and though their sound is not yet holding a truly unique character it is not an issue, just part of the evolution of the band’s creativity to that expected success. Anyway the release is a gripping slice of exciting rock ‘n’ roll and that more than works for us.

The Cabin Fever EP is available from May 18th via Flat 4 Records at http://amzn.to/1QTpAQH and http://panicisland.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.panicisland.com     http://panicisland.bandcamp.com/releases

RingMaster 17/05/2015

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://www.reputationradio.net

 

 

 

Broken Chords – Rock & Stone EP

 copyright Broken Chords/Niall Lea Photography

copyright Broken Chords/Niall Lea Photography

Bursting with fiery rock ‘n’ roll to throw your inhibitions out the window to, the eagerly anticipated Rock & Stone EP from UK rockers Broken Chords is finally here to set the rock scene roaring with raucous revelry and insatiable temptation. Bulging with four tracks which have been seeded in the instinctive bed of classic rock, bred with the ferocious devilry found in the likes of Rival Sons and Turbonegro, and honed in the ways of modern rock ‘n’ roll, the releases is a welcomingly familiar and invigoratingly fresh incitement under the banner of real and bawdy rock ‘n’ roll.

Formed in 2013, the Essex/Herts hailing Broken Chords swiftly became an attention grabbing encounter on the local live scene, soon spreading their lure nationally. Their hunger to play live and share their sounds saw them play over sixty shows a year initially expanding to a full UK tour whilst 2014 found the band sharing stages at major venues with artists such as Bernie Torme and Australian rockers Electric Mary, as well as sealing a headline slot on the second stage at Hard Rock Hell Helloween. Last year also saw debut single Get Some embraced by radio, media, and new fans alike. It has all led to the licking of lips of a great many for the release of the Rock & Stone EP. Recorded with producer Paul Tipler (Idlewild, The Horrors, Placebo) and coming after a successful tour of Poland and Ukraine by the band, the release provides one of those rock riots which lights up ears and days.

The title track opens things up and instantly has the senses bound in a spicy groove to devour greedily and a vocal persuasion from guitarist Joe Finnigan and bassist Aiden Eggenton impossible to escape joining in on. Riffs and rhythms only add to the immediate infectious and rowdy proposal offered, a blaze unafraid to twist itself into alternating slimmer and broader strains of ferocious temptation. Its title sums up the song perfectly, its body a swinging explosion of rock ‘n’ roll built on an immoveable rhythmic imposing and intensive energy.

04769447-15ed-4c44-990c-2d60d46e7797The following Your Moves springs next with a great blues rock flavouring from its first breath, one thickening in spice and enterprise as the track develops its magnetic character and adventure. The jabbing rhythms of drummer Jamie Wilsdon provide potent bait whilst vocals and basslines bring their own expressive lures to play with the imagination, but it is the spicy hooks and fiery grooves which seal the colourful deal and inflame further the impressive start to the release.

Tell Them Of Us, described as the band’s “tribute to the fallen of 1914-18”, entangles ears with a resourceful web of invention vocally and musically, one embraced by melodic flames soaked in creative drama. It is a skilfully controlled and restrained encounter compared to the more volatile air of its predecessors but equally has that element of incendiary energy and imagination which erupts at certain times and in expressive ideation.

The EP is closed by the outstanding Wild Child, a song you can easily see being a fan favourite, and swiftly one of ours truth be told. Once again ears and attention are gripped by an irresistible opening groove, its irrepressible temptation swiftly backed by thumping beats and voracious riffs bound in glam/classic rock devilry addictiveness. Teasing with moments of discord, throaty basslines, and anthemic instinct, the track is a thrilling stomp, taking best song honours along the way.

Everything about the Rock & Stone EP has familiarity and originality ingrained, a fine line skilfully walked with invention whilst casting rock ‘n’ roll so easy to create a real kinship with

The Rock & Stone EP is available from April 6th @ http://brokenchordsmerch.com/album/235634/rock-stone-ep

Upcoming live dates

Wed 15th April     Cardiff, The Globe, (Supporting Kyshera)

Thu 16th April     Brighton, The Albert, (Supporting Kyshera)

Fri 17th April     Harlow, The Square, (Supporting Kyshera)

Sat 18th April     London, Underworld, (Supporting Kyshera)

Tue 21st April     Wolverhampton, Robin 2, (Supporting Kyshera)

Thu 23rd April     Nottingham, Rock City, (Supporting Kyshera)

Fri 24th April     Selby, The Riverside, (Supporting Kyshera)

Sat 25th April     Sheerness, The Ivy, (Supporting Kyshera)

Wed 13th May London, Surya

Thu 14th May Brighton, The Great Escape Festival

Sat 16th May Sheffield, Mulberry Tavern (supporting Kyshera)

http://www.thebrokenchords.com   https://www.facebook.com/brokenchordsofficial

RingMaster 06/04/2015

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/

Surf City – Jekyll Island

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There are times when it is easy to get lost in a realm of fantasy, moments in life and indeed music when physically and mentally you can escape the hum drum and explore new landscapes. One such escape is the sultry adventure of Jekyll Island, the new and third album from New Zealand psychgazers Surf City. Basking in a sultry surf rock seeded climate wrapped in the summery smile of shoegaze and the sonic beauty of psyche rock, the release is a mesmeric lure for ears and imagination.

The successor to their acclaimed album We Knew It Was Not Going To Be Like This of 2013, Jekyll Island is a fascinating flight of sound and emotion. Songs again come soaked in the warm magnetic fuzziness which the band is becoming renowned for but equally feel more precisely sculpted and resourcefully rounded propositions. It is open growth and evolution in the Surf City songwriting but an emerging potency which defuses none of the band’s already rich and tantalising qualities; basically a maturity of existing prowess exploring fresh and vivaciously new adventure. Simply songs and album offer pure pop presented in summery embraces of charm and beauty.

The album is also an imposing grower on ears and passions, its early touches engaging and magnetic but continual exposure leads to anything from lustful rapture to lingering seduction. The first track though is an immediate enslavement of ears and emotions on its first ever touch. From its opening exotic web of percussive and sonic enticement, Beat The Summer Heat has imagination and appetite hooked; especially as from that opening shuffle a rhythmic contagion unleashes irresistible bait. Jabbing with their own individual swing, beats forge an addictive lure at the heart of the track, taking ears and pleasure by the hand as guitars swarm over their enticement with vivid colours and a lively shimmer. Vocally too Davin Stoddard is a beacon of warmth and magnetism, riding the contagion with radiance. The track is glorious, almost alone worth the cost of your ticket for the album’s compelling ride.

Surf City - Jekyll Island   There is no major drift in quality and temptation as the following Spec City takes over, it a song with a bubbling electro underbelly and a radiating surface of melodic and harmonic splendour. The song is a courtship of the senses, a My Bloody Valentine like caress making an unrelenting seduction as a Yo La Tengo like vibrancy brings livelier action to the romance. It is a tempting swiftly backed and taken into new explorations by Jekyll Island and the Psycosphere and in turn Hollow Veins. The first of the two is a fascinating mix of eighties new wave bred pop and nineties inspired psychedelic enterprise, but also littered with post punk hooks and a Happy Monday’s like devilry. The song is pure mesmerism and perfectly contrasted and complimented in tone by the darker rockier revelry of its successor. It romps through ears like a meeting of The Horrors and House Of Love engaged in a vintage surf rock revival, its touch and breath raw yet overwhelmingly seductive.

The guitars of Stoddard and Jamie Kennedy weave an infectious web of fuzz induced rock pop next in One Too Many Things, its twang offering a country whisper whilst its catchy tenacity has a Brit pop lilt to its tempting, whilst its successor What They Need expands the already potent variety within the album again. It opens with a droning tang of a sound you might expect from the band’s part of the world, a scuzz lined whiny lure which persists invitingly around the additional minimalistic yet weighty hug of sound filling its persuasion.

That constant tweaking of flavours has Leave Your Worries unveiling an anthemic infectiousness which plays like a the offspring of a union between The Mighty Lemon Drop, The Lightning Seeds, and Kitchens of Distinction, but as in all songs it emerges as unique to Surf City.

The delicious heavy bass seducing and just as enticing beats offered by Mike Ellis and Andy Frost at its start makes Indian Summer straight after, irresistible all on their own but infused with the melodic lustre of the guitars and the resonating touch of Stoddard’s vocals, it only proceeds to steal attention and the passions further. It is a charmer from start to finish, one carrying the right amount of mischief and excitement but an incitement which ultimately places the listener in a fulfilling and richly satisfying calm. That is a description suiting the whole of Jekyll Island to be honest, and especially the gorgeous pop of Thumbs Up which romps with ears and emotions next. Whether it is possible to ever write the perfect song is debateable but it is possible to come close and this is certainly a serious contender. Melodies reek of innocence yet are inflammatory on the ear whilst harmonies and rhythms simply engage in lustful and infection breeding temptation.

The album is brought to a just as thrilling end by firstly the more sober, in comparison to its predecessor, but raucously energetic dance of The End and lastly through the meditative glamour and brilliance of Jesus Elvis Coca Cola. Sixties kissed and soaked in aural sunshine, the track is a majestic sea of expressive harmonies and poetic melodies soaked in a wash of psychedelic humidity.

It is a transfixing end to an increasingly mouth-watering encounter. There is a great familiarity to Jekyll Island but only as a rich spice in the unique ambience and masterful imagination of Surf City. Psyche/shoegaze pop has rarely sounded better.

Jekyll Island is available via Fire Records now and digitally, on CD, and on black vinyl @ https://surfcitymusic.bandcamp.com/track/hollow-veins

https://www.facebook.com/killsurfcity

RingMaster 25/03/2015

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/

 

Finister – Suburbs of Mind

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The Italian rock and metal scene is ripe with striking emerging talent right now and proven by their new album, one of the most exciting of the impressive bunch of artists is Florence bred Finister. Debut full-length Suburbs of Mind is a ten track adventure of sound and imagination sculpted upon a progressive/psychedelic rock canvas and coloured with an array of diverse rock essences. It is an instantly captivating proposition with a collection of striking songs which just get more compelling and enjoyable with every listen. The band’s sound can be described as something like Muse meets The Horrors but there is plenty more to its body in flavour and originality which perpetually adds to the rich introduction of the band through their thoroughly impressive album.

Formed in 2009, Finister made a potent impression locally and within the Italian underground scene with a couple of EPs but it was their third release, the Nothing Is Real EP that they ignited stronger attention. It showed a new thrust and exploration in their sound, an evolving imagination and adventure with broader flavouring and imagination. It is a direction pushed into even greater psychedelic spiced landscapes through the progressively honed creative offering within Suburbs of Mind. Released via Red Cats Records, the album is a fascinating and immediate temptation for ears and thoughts from a band still young in years. Such its maturity in songwriting and sound though, and the impressive craft shaping it, it is impossible not to anticipate a big future for and from the band ahead.

The album opens with a wistful flame of sax against a sturdier stroking of guitar, both creating a melodic and sombre coaxing which easily enthrals ears before emerging jab of beats, a pungent dark bassline, and equally melancholic vocals. Within a few chords and seconds The Morning Star has the imagination lit, especially as it slowly expands and almost taunts the listener with its minimalistic but potent sonic tempting. The guitar and voice of Elia Rinaldi is soon holding reign over the evocative sounds which at times seem to be prowling his vocal delivery. It is a scene continually shifting and evolving though, the keys of Orlando Cialli, with his sax skills, as well as the rhythms of drummer Lorenzo Burgio providing an unpredictable and fluid stroll of adventure.

It is a strong start to the album, those Muse spices already adding enjoyable hues to the offering, but things are soon taken up a notch with the following Bite the Snake. Also the band’s new single, the track is a predatory bait of creatively agitated beats and sonic causticity aligned to a great grizzly bassline from Leonardo Brambilla. There is a primal essence to the encounter though one tempered by the mellower tones of Rinaldi and a melody rich caress of keys. Alternative rock, with an extra snarl of punk, the track lights ears and emotions instantly, but subsequently surpasses its early glories with an exotic dance of keys and sultry melodic enterprise which erupts from its contagious presence.

The Way (I Used to Know) breezes in on a melodic haze next; skittish rhythms providing a smiling additive to the opening and smouldering croon of the song. Guitars and sax soon add to 51QQyJUGhnL._SS280the sultriness of atmosphere and sound, embracing the senses whilst Rinaldi again shows endearing expression and potency in his voice and delivery. Addictive drama emerges to coat the track as it evolves; the sax of Cialli an especially inflammatory essence in the inventive theatre of the increasingly bewitching track.

Already three songs in and the diversity of sound and imagination in the album is striking and continued in the more volatile yet addictively mesmeric A Decadent Story. Feeling like it is going to explode in a muscular rage at any moment, the song instead seduces and sways with harmonic and melodic ingenuity as its progressive heart explores an almost chivalric psych fuelled canter. In brief glimpses a sense of Hawkwind makes a suggestive spice in the infectious proposition whilst its passage of pure peace midway is the appetiser to a rich Muse like ascent of voice and sound which leads to a gripping climatic finale.

Both the fiery and dramatic progressive croon of My Howl and the spellbinding Levity grip ears and attention next, the first from an understated but alluring start building to another tempestuous and enthralling confrontation with the cello of guest Lea Galasso a potent tinge to the exploration. Its successor is a glorious flight of intrigue and addictive drama. Opening with a scuzzy climate of guitar and keys it soon creates a web of sinister yet rigorously tempting hooks and melodies. They are noir lit, like moments of cinematic espionage within enticing sonic smog and accentuated by again expressive vocals and technical enterprise. The track is sheer temptation, creative intrigue for ears and imagination to immerse in and the latter to sculpt its own theatre for alongside the lyrical reflection of the song.

One of the major pinnacles of the release, it is contrasted in tone by the balladry of Oceans of Thrills but matched in appeal. The song is an engrossing melancholic yet warm embrace with shadows brought by the cello of Galasso and the bass of Brambilla entwined by the melodic poetry of Davide Dalpiaz’s violin courted by the keys and sax of Cialli. As all the tracks there is much more going on than first recognised, this song alone a maze of twists and imagination which increasingly enthrals and impresses over time.

Another exotic tempting is unveiled with The Key, the song a mix of psych pop and alternative endeavour kissed by a blues whisper and jazz bred ambience, though again that is only part of the colouring boldly seducing ears and emotions. The song is another hypnotic tantalising, maybe not as immediately persuasive as previous tracks but ultimately enslaving emotions and appetite for another big success.

Suburbs of Mind is brought to a close by firstly the classically charmed and melodically tempting Here the Sun, the keys of Cialli a play all on their own but a seamless fit in the accompanying drama of guitars and vocals. This again is a slower burner in thoughts but also with a seriously merciless persuasion before final song Everything Goes Back shimmers with psychedelic radiance and smoky atmospheres to bring the album to a turbulently enchanting close. With a flurry of dramatic and towards its end explosive textures, it is one final lingering ride into the full spectacle of the band’s sound and invention.

Suburbs of Mind is one of those unexpected treats and delights which startle from out of the blue, its creators announcing their presence on the largest stage in impressive style. As mentioned Finister is young in age but with a mature presence and craft which belies that. You can only feel there is more to come from and be discovered within themselves though, an excitement and anticipation for which is already ripening nicely here.

Suburbs of Mind is available from March 16th via Red Cat Records on CD and digitally @ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Suburbs-Mind-Finister/dp/B00UDB9WPK

https://www.facebook.com/finisterband

RingMaster 16/03/2015

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