Dark Stares – Darker Days Are Here To Stay

With a clutch of praise wearing EP’s already under their belt UK outfit Dark Stares have now raised the ante with their debut album. Continuing the open evolution of their sound across those previous encounters, Darker Days Are Here To Stay is a release which maybe smoulders more than roars but like the band’s previous releases, just captivates but with an even greater depth of adventure and seduction.

The St Albans band’s individual alternative rock tempts like a fusion of Muse and Queens Of The Stone Age but equally has drawn references to the likes of Wolfmother, Royal Blood, Led Zeppelin, and The Beatles. Formed in 2011, the quartet released their first EP, Tell Your Friends, the following year. Its well-received introduction to the band has been built upon in sound and success across the likes of Octopon and Soul Contract as well as a host an eagerly supported singles. Self-produced, Darker Days Are Here To Stay continues the band’s DIY intent with a raw magnetism and organic radiance which just commands attention.

The album opens up with Liquid Reign and a sonic limbo from which a swagger gaited groove, firm beats, and the tantalising voice of Miles Kristian Howell emerge. The track settles into an infectious swing entwined in heated sonic vines as that initial groove continues to wind around ears and appetite. Crystaline in its melody, crisp in its rhythms, the song is a warm yet invasive seduction as catchy as it is hauntingly provocative.

The following Sweet Rider 5 is also the band’s new single, a track similarly woven to the first but with a fiery lining to its golden glaze and a whiff of latter day Depeche Mode to its air. The guitar of Harry Collins casts another alluring web of sound and heat; tendrils of enterprise which tease rather than entangle the imagination but have it alive all the same as the dark tone of Brett Harland Howell’s bass and the urge of Taylor Howell’s beats tempt the body.  So absorbing it feels much shorter than it really is, the track still ends too quickly but Pedal Pusher soon has all focus on its fuzzy, enticing saunter. An electronic grumble adds inventive shadow to the mesmeric charms of guitar and harmonies and equally a raw edge courting intrigue and dark melancholy to contrast the radiance on offer.

Darker Days is next, its electronic scuzz even deeper and dirtier than in its predecessor to accentuate the candescent sounds wrapping broad and intimate shadows. Richly captivating with its own individually bold sway, the song wears the scent of post punk and neo-psychedelia in its creative sigh; a The Jesus and Mary Chain meets The House of Love kind of wash adding to its rich pull before Animal floats in on a sonic breeze. Its climate is soon a sweltering embrace easily luring ears and imagination to its exotic heart and bluesy drama. It is a track which epitomises the album, making a strong and potent first impression but only glowing brighter with every listen.

Across the likes of the more volatile rock ‘n’ roll of Ordinary Way with its scuzzy touch and unpredictable air and the irresistible Hips Don’t Shake the album just drew us deeper into its grasp. The first of the two did not connect as thickly as other tracks but its successor more than compensated with its addictive twists and infectious almost mischievous character. There is a constant Josh Homme like hue to songs if mostly a mere dash of colour but makes for a compelling ingredient in the album’s best moment.

Cruise Control equally dips into that spicing for its raw harmonic roar, Muse-esque spatial hues fusing with the song’s sonic fuzziness while So Good serenades from within its cavernous heart. The second is a tapestry of imagination, every move unexpected yet instantly embraceable as the lucent croon of the song envelops ears and a by now greedy appetite.

The pair of Their Game and Feels (So Sad) bring the album to a beguiling close with their respective indie rock and hypnotic glow of melancholic yet lustrous beauty. They complete a release which just captivates but with moments that had us drooling. Even so we still have the feeling that Dark Stares has not come close to finding the boundaries of their sound and that makes the anticipation for their next release as strong as the enjoyment found with Darker Days Are Here To Stay.

Darker Days Are Here To Stay is out now through iTunes and other stores.

https://www.darkstares.com/   https://www.facebook.com/DarkStares/   https://twitter.com/dark_stares

Pete RingMaster 22/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Escapade – Red Sky

With the attention and praise grabbing success of their debut EP, Stepping Stones, still fresh as that of its title track as lead single, British rock band Escapade have given their strong emergence a new potent boost with their new track. Second single Red Sky is a rousing slice of melodic rock bred on the mix of Brit pop and psychedelic rock which lit up its predecessors. More than that though, it is the Leicester outfit hitting a new plateau in sound and creative energy while dishing up their most potent and rousing song yet.

Emerging from the creative linking up of singer/songwriter Sam Wyatt and guitarist/songwriter Adam Bailey, Escapade stepped forward in the autumn of 2015 with the band growing from an acoustic pairing of the two with the addition of bassist Jordan Alleston and drummer Martin Wenham the following year. Their first EP and its single stirred up a wave of praise and support the way the band, including that of Kasabian’s Tom Meighan, and is sure to be matched and easy to suspect eclipsed by the reaction to Red Sky.

The single makes a low key start, sweeping in from distance with a great flirtatious bassline and angular swipes of guitars as percussion and beats dance. Wyatt’s vocals are just as enticing, his delivery lively as the sounds around him and like them carrying an instinctive catchiness which flows from song to imagination with energy and adventure. Though inspirations to the band spring from the sixties to bands such as Oasis, The Stone Roses, Nirvana, Green Day, and Black Sabbath, Red Sky soon has thoughts casting back to eighties bands like The Mighty Lemon Drops and The House Of Love during its adventurous canter; every passing second of the song seeming to draw a new twist and flavour of sound; psych and indie rock conspiring with mod and Brit pop in a web of stirring and melodically inflamed enterprise.

Listening to Red Sky, there is a realisation that as enjoyable and striking as they were, previous tracks were missing a certain spark, one Escapade has found and ignited within their new and seriously impressive single.

Red Sky is out June 2nd

Upcoming Escapade live shows:

June 10th – The Shed, Leicester

July 28th – The Music Cafe, Leicester

http://escapadeband.co.uk    https://www.facebook.com/escapadeuk/

Pete RingMaster 02/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Towns – Get By

Towns promo

When the opening track Get Me There from Towns’ debut album Get By hit the ear it must be admitted that the defences rose up just a touch as a mesh seemingly bred from the world of Madchester consumed the ears. It was not an abhorrent proposition but seemingly recalling a scene happily left lonely in our thoughts many years ago. It has to be said though that through time, even within the first encounter with the release, the Bristol based band’s first album has seduced doubts and resistance to emerge as a rather riveting proposition. It has not defused all reservations but standing as a unique proposition in sound even with its heavy essences of The Stone Roses, the Charlatans, and a Shaun Ryder-esque swoon, the album is a magnetic call within which certainly extra additives of The House Of Love and My Bloody Valentine help the persuasion.

Formed by childhood friends, Towns has had a shed load of experiences since forming to test any band’s perseverance and confidence. From being declared as the best new band of 2011 by NME after just a pair of demos and no live shows, the band endured a former booking agent running off with over £1000 of the their money to almost bring the band to a stop and after having the high of working with Owen Morris (Oasis, Verve), seeing the label paying the costs being swallowed up by a major to their detriment. It seems to have made Towns only stronger though as they continue to draw acclaim and attention. Live their performances, which have seen them alongside the likes of Paul Weller, Spiritualized, The Twang, Toy, and Eagulls, has only enhanced their presence and emergence something expectations assume Get By will accelerate.

The first impressive thing about the Towns sound and release, is the wall of scuzz seeded sound which glazes every note and imaginative Towns_-_Get_By_-_Artworkswell within their songs. It makes for an almost mesmeric wash which the smooth smouldering vocals accentuate and blossoms within, something which definitely shines from within opener Get Me There. Emerging from a sonic mist with a grinning bassline and fiery guitars, there is an immediate swagger to the song, its rhythmic shoulders swinging and confidence almost arrogant within distorted melodies. It is an appealing lure but sounding so close to earlier bands mentioned and holding a Happy Monday’s like irreverence that it lies dormant against personal appetites even if winning over attention easily. To be honest the song does become more potent and enticing over time but always there is something stopping a full recruitment to its charms as subsequently achieved by other tracks. Nevertheless with its eager gait and thick breath of sound it makes a welcoming lead into the following Marbles.

The second song springs from a scythe of feedback with a percussive shake and acidic guitar flames before settling into a tender coaxing. It is smouldering lure which erupts into climactic expulsions of intensity and raw guitar enterprise as vocals simmer and glide with mellow countenance. The bass as with the first song stands out, this time with a rapacious edge whilst the guitars scorch air and senses with impressive endeavour which a cavernous production cannot deflate. It is an intriguing and gripping track which flows seamlessly into the throaty prowl of Trip Over. Like a blend of its predecessors, the song strides with sureness in attitude and sound which worms away under the skin, the album already at this point causing a reassessment of earlier thoughts. There is causticity to the song as in the previous one, which brings thoughts of Birdland to the surface.

Both Gone Are The Days and Just Everything add new raucous invention to the album, the first unveiling a blues toxicity which permeates every riff and flaring of guitar sculpting to great effect, whilst the second brings a sultry twang to its melodic bait again to carve an engagingly infectious persuasion. The surface feel and touch of Town’s songs do carry a too familiar edge amongst themselves and to other bands previously mentioned, but in their belly a cauldron of enterprise and instinctive invention is diversely at work, you just have to look closer.

Too Tired emerges from a crystalline resonance soaked sky to sway and swirl over the senses, its body a temptress and voice a spellbinding waltz which caresses with elegant expression and warm invasive melodies before making way for the thrilling Young At Heart. Its opening tasty groove is irresistible and again has that Birdland like lilt to captivate from its first intensive note. From there the song discovers a harmonious sixties beauty to its enticing which in turn coaxes a greater richness in vocals and sonic colour from within the song. The album is at its pinnacle in its middle as evidenced by this pair and Heads Off with its delicious gnarly riffs aligned to floating melodies and vocal harmonies. In full stroll the song is a raw and abrasing treat which its soothing twists revitalise for another hungry devouring of the caustic rub of the excellent track.

The emotive call of Mirror Ghost slowly envelopes ears and thoughts next, its loud provocative whisper casting a melancholic smile which tantalises the imagination and to a lesser degree emotions. It is a slow burner which convinces in proportion to its creative growth especially the further it drifts into a sonic antagonism, and though it lacks the spark of previous songs it is impossible to not find a good appetite for it.

The final two tracks just do not have the same reach and success, Everyone’s Out which features Robin Stewart (The Naturals), Dom Mitchison (Velcro Hooks), and Richard Clarke (Scarlett Rascal) feeding rather than exciting expectations and the reflective part acoustic, part sonically messy title track, a disappointing end to what turned out to be a rather thrilling and enjoyable encounter. The last two songs will easily please other appetites though whilst Get By as a whole is a release it is fair to say brings a slice of fiery sun to anyone’s day.

Get By is available on limited 12” vinyl (100) and cd from Howling Owl Records as well as digitally from online retailers now!

https://www.facebook.com/townsband

8/10

RingMaster 02/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

 

 

Exit Calm – The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be

Exit-Calm-550x366

After a relatively quiet couple of years since the release of their debut album in 2010, UK rock band Exit Calm returned earlier this year with the well-received single The Promise and now fully step into view with the new album The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be. The nine track release of soaring epic melodies and matching textures continues on where its predecessor left off though finding a stronger emotive and compelling depth to wrap the senses and lose the imagination within. It is a skilfully crafted and beautifully imagined collection of songs, and though a release which ultimately does not ignite any real sparks and fires inside, leaves the listener with a healthy appetite and easily provoked satisfaction.

The South Yorkshire quartet of vocalist Nicky Smith, guitarist Rob Marshall, bassist Simon Lindley, and drummer Scott Pemberton, certainly stoked up a strong wealth of acclaim and hunger for their previous album and live performances which has seen them play alongside the likes of Modest Mouse, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Boxer Rebellion, and Soulsavers as well as lighting up stages at the likes of the V Festival and Tokyo’s Liquid Rooms. Embroiled in the inspirations of the likes of the moodier guitar led bands of the nineties, the sound of Exit Calm has a calming yet provocative effect on the ear and the new album is primed with plenty of fire hot impacting sounds. It is probably not too harsh to say that there is not a wealth of moments and songs which linger in the memory past their company but within their embrace the listener is immersed in some striking and potently enterprising adventures emotionally and aurally.

The first single from the album The Rapture opens things up, guitars conspiring to raise tingles with their resonating voices and sonic ec_album_covercaresses. The throatier call of the bass brings welcome shadows whilst the melodic and sonic flames lick with restraint but potency at the ear awaiting the entrance of the excellent vocals of Smith. With a scorching breath to the climactic spires of melodic and passionate intent, the song swamps the senses in a pleasing and heated hold of imaginative narrative and impacting reflective sound. There is an early U2 whisper to the track especially vocally which does it no harm, and a feel of My Bloody Valentine to its body that makes for a satisfying and beckoning temptation.

Both Albion and Fiction continue the strong start, the first a reserved but heated flame of melodic textures and evocative hues and its successor a wash of jangling guitar teases and bass shadows around a vocal and melodic expression which pulls in the essences of Jesus and Mary Chain into the band’s own distinct poetic sound. Though neither song reach the heights of the first, both cast an absorbing and magnetic lure over ear and thoughts, the second of the two almost finding a presence which leaves a mark on the memory away from its caress.

New single When They Rise adds a little Oasis like confidence to its energetic yet reined in swagger and with an Inspiral Carpets gaited infectiousness makes an obvious lure into the album for newcomers even if the track is not the strongest on show, that honour belonging with ease to Holy War which follows the quietly contagious and slowly persuading Higher Bound. The simmering ballad is ripe with tender and descriptive melodies which outshine the vocals but against the pinnacle of the album The House Of Love toned song has a fight to stand out. Holy War instantly has a drama and imposing presence to its entrance and progress, a guitar scripted blaze and rhythmic mystique making a sirenesque plea to the passions whilst the band offers an invention and entrapment which dances and incites the imagination. The melodically colour strewn song stands head and shoulders above the rest of the album and is the one time the release repeatedly makes a suggestive and vibrant return away from the record.

The Promise slips in to a sixties wrapped elegant glaze upon a shoegaze wash, though one which is unafraid to add some muscular tempting especially through the drums. This brings a Birdland toned fire to the smouldering though without the scuzzier raw aspects they were renowned for. Glass Houses equally grabs attention with an intense heat to its sonic ceiling under which guitar and bass around the fine vocals paint an emotive picture, whilst the closing Open Your Sky provides a final nostalgic tease with its opening melodic gambit raising thoughts of The Walker Brothers to evolve into an Echo & The Bunnymen sounding embrace with psychedelic flames kissing the surface.

There is no doubting that The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be is a fine and impressively crafted as well as presented release, but apart for one maybe two moments it fails to grasp and find a memorable hold on thoughts and passions away from its body. In its arms though the album is a satisfying pleasure which confirms if not stretches the already impressive status of the band.

http://www.exitcalm.net/

8/10

RingMaster 22/09/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

The Machine Room – Love From A Distance EP

Whatever is in the drinking water up in Scotland that is dripping into its musical creativity long may it continue. This especially applies to the city of  Edinburgh with bands like Letters, My Tiny Robots and Dead Boy Robotics have more than made a stir over recent months and releases. Joining them is The Machine Room who will release their new EP Love From A Distance on March 5th. The new EP follows up previous acclaimed singles Girly which formed part of a split release with a song from Dead Boy Robotics for the TAPE singles club and Camino de Soda, which finds a place also on the EP.

The Machine Room create music which soothes the senses, its dream pop/shoegaze caresses a smooth yet startling stroke across the ear and beyond. The quintet of John Bryden, Tom Adam, Adie Emanuel, Scott Hitchings, and Ryan Marinello explore and bring forth music and expression influenced by the likes of New Order, Depeche Mode, and seemingly at times with a spice of the likes of Blancmange, though The Machine Room never more than dip their toes in the easily accessible waters of electronic eighties pop.

Consisting of four quite varied songs within the overall jangly guitar and broad soaring synth sound, the EP is an expression of love gone wrong and its contemplation. The opening song Cost Of Progress immediately stands out and remains through the length of the EP the strongest and most engaging song. With a nagging bass throughout and dazzling spotlight like melodies the song sways and leans upon the ear wonderfully with more than a heavy feel of eighties band The House Of Love, and with the wonderful falsetto sound of vocalist John Bryden has a definite flavor of Shine On from the Guy Chadwick led band to it. Attentive and attention seeking the song is a glorious flight for the ear to catch a ride upon and the one song that surely will take the band to more and more hearts.

The electronic driven Your Head On The Floor Next Door comes next, dripping with an ethereal gentleness which sparkles within its harder crystalline flow; the song dazzles rather than erupts within the ear. It is another song that one can see many finding the doorway to the bands sounds through, its honest well lit journey a simple joy.

Previous single Camino de Soda fingers the senses with care and an easily pleasing nature. It is not hard to see why the song drew much attention to the band when it was released the latter part of last year but against the previous two songs it does dim in its light a little despite being an attraction the ear cannot deny.

The heavier tones and emotion of Picking Holes completes the release to further delighted satisfaction. Again with a New Order like touch the song offers an emotive mass that soaks the feelings with a melancholic density to temper the other more vibrant sounds previously unveiled on the release, though at no point can the EP be accused of being in party mode.

      Love From A Distance is a refreshing release that coaxes rather than enflames the senses. It does not hold a song with an infectious hook or hypnotic melody to easily captivate but offers a mesmeric charm and knowing arm around the shoulders for the same result. For sounds where emotion and touching sounds walk arm in arm The Machine Room is your destination.

RingMaster 28/02/2012

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected

Photobucket

The best and easiest way to get your music on iTunes, Amazon and lots more. Click below for details.