We Are Band Nerds – Forget Me Nots

When something is self- described as “Deftones meets Outkast” you just have to have a sniff but it was a mighty lung full we subsequently grabbed when diving into the debut album from US outfit We Are Band Nerds. That description certainly fits the Dallas sextet’s sound, though we would also suggest The Kennedy Soundtrack at times in their blend of alternative hip hop and nu metal, yet there is so much that is individual to the band that it is one imagination grabbing adventure within a debut which just demands plaudit loaded attention.

We Are Band Nerds consist of Brandon Cross (Lead Singer/Rapper), Tony Lucas (Rapper/Vocalist), Dorian “Scullie” Thomas (Guitarist), Carlos “DJ Sol*Los” Juarez (DJ/Sampler), Stephen “S Dot” Bonilla (Drums), and Santos “Sandman” Johnson (Bass). They all bring individual craft and loves into a united sound keenly embracing further diverse styles from jazz, metal, electronica, rap, and varied rock music. Within their first full-length, Forget Me Nots, it quickly proves to be a fascinating mix. Lyrically too the band transfixes, never pulling their punches whilst showing honesty fuelled insight and craft which whether with subtlety or force bewitches as firmly as the sounds around them in songs exploring the depths of everything from relationships to racism, poverty to life’s experiences.

From opener Hunger Games it grabs ears and imagination, electronics almost teasing as they suggest and lure before embracing a current of metal nurtured riffs, dancing beats, and the vocal prowess of Cross and Lucas. The snarl of the guitars is gripping and portentous; vocals matching their angst and irritability with the pair of singers and their individual styles a magnetic union.  All the while the melodic instincts of the band add a mesmeric glaze to veins of creative suggestion and the encounter’s natural rawer rapacity. It is a compelling mix of threat and contemplation in word and sound and a gripping start to the album.

The following Whore has an instinctive catchiness from its first breath of voice and bass, their natural swing controlled but bold and setting the tone for the outstanding track. Like a clock, each note ticks by with consistency and intimation, vocals matching their gait yet all the time volatility in the song’s belly is brewing and stirring, never truly erupting but adding a rousing trespass between the crystalline breaths and organically bred emotions. Like Palms meets Mudvayne in an unexpected way, it is simply glorious and reason alone to check out band and album.

Fake In You similarly has a relatively calm climate within which turbulence and intense shadows lie, essences which burn bright at times but are tempered by the atmospheric glides of the keys and the smooth blend of rap and clean vocals. That tempestuousness does take hold momentarily towards the song’s close but again is dampened down by the tranquillity and beauty of melody before Dreamer opens its heart and diminishing hopes through elegance, grace, and corrosive intensity. As with all songs, hindsight brings a sense of familiar hues within the inventive drama but there is no chance of predicting the landscape and enterprise of each encounter as hearts are shared and thoughts turned over.

Without quite stirring the passions as thickly as those before Under Water still holds attention tight with its evocative drama in sound and word amidst rapacious metal encroachments while American Trash springs from an electronic breeze of an interlude/intro into a heady windstorm of sonic manipulation and lyrical dissonance, though never breaking from its restraints to truly create a blistering tempest.  That control just makes the song though, ensuring its portentous air is a tantalising harassment behind more of the stirring blend of mellow and ire sealed vocals.

The industrial bent Hagel Trumpf is a prowling predator breeding addiction and lust for its senses preying beauty lit with nu metal stalking while Savage borders on the carnivorous, in comparison, but too holds its ferocity in an embrace of suggestion soaked harmonics and melodic intrigue. Both are mutually unique and magnificent, just two more reasons to be excited about their creators and lustfully keen to recommend the album they grace.

Forget Me Nots concludes with Fade Away, a scalding slice of rap and rock infused metal which is the band at their organically rawest on the album but once more infused into a searing irradiation of melodic beauty. It is a compelling end to an album which we can only repeat, must be checked out especially if those comparisons at the beginning hit the spot but equally atmospheric metal/rock in general.

Forget Me Nots is out now via Pavement Entertainment across most stores.

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Pete RingMaster 09/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Mid Reflection – Outcast

Reaping the rich essences of punk, rap, ska, and heavy rock for a sound which echoes the heart felt honest words it surrounds, UK quartet Mid Reflection have just released their debut EP. Outcast is a four-track incitement of creative intent and open emotion with plenty to please fans of those genres just mentioned and equally those looking for something fresh and hard to truly pigeonhole.

Drawing on inspirations ranging from Linkin Park and Sublime to Gorillaz and House of Pain, London based Mid Reflection emerged in 2016. In no time they were making a strong impression on the London and South East live scene, their reputation constantly increasing as they shared stages with the likes of Imperial Leisure, New Town Kings, and Karl Phillips. The Outcast EP is their introduction to broader attention and quickly incites that inescapable success with its opening title track.

An initial guitar melody wraps ears first, rhythms soon adding their inviting yet dark hues as frontman Matthew Bishop, aka 2T’z, raps his open reflection on some of the battles in life he has overcome. Just as quickly is an instinctive catchiness in sound and vocal delivery to which guitarist Martin Velicky spins a captivating web of melody as bassist Nathan Neumann provides a suggestively brooding shadowing. The beats of drummer David Bean add to the dark edge surrounding Bishop’s recollections of being bullied whilst Velicky’s guitar also carries a certain melancholy in its melody and defiance in its enterprise as the song makes an impressive start to the release.

Nevertheless it is soon eclipsed by the bouncing [Spunge]-esque ska pop stroll of Illusions. The track had ears and appetite hooked within seconds, its familiar yet individually fresh infectiousness and invention surrounding another lyrical probing inspiring fiery bursts of rock ‘n’ roll trespass. The old school punkiness which escapes some of its moments just adds to its strength and imagination, and the pleasure before Legalise It springs its own raw edged rock ‘n’ roll speared headed by the machine gun rap delivery of Bishop. With repetitive riffs and hooks, the song is not the most boldest on the release yet every thrust of its rhythmic incitement, blaze of sonic electricity, and roar of vocal carousing hits the spot.

Foes brings things to a close, offering up a thicker dose of The Kennedy Soundtrack spicing hinted at in the EP opener. Centred on betrayed friendships, the song is a melodic tapestry of emotion and intensity which seems to only further blossom listen by listen.

It is a great end to a release which may not forcibly put Mid Reflection on the ska/punk/rock map but will surely awaken a great many more to their presence and a rich potential which rather excites.

Outcast is out now through iTunes and Amazon.

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Pete RingMaster 29/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Energy Alchemist – Reminder EP

Adding to the list of fascinating proposals made this very year is the new EP from US quartet Energy Alchemist. It offers three tracks which within their electronic rock tagging embrace the essences and rich strains of metal, dubstep, and heavy and progressive rock amongst numerous flavours. It ensures each song is a tapestry of style and unpredictable enterprise delivered with a craft which together ensures that the release and Mendocino County, California based band stand out.

The brainchild of vocalist/guitarist/programmer Bill Hankins, Energy Alchemist is completed by vocalist/guitarist Julian Sterling, bassist Erik Koski, and drummer Matt Heath. Earlier this year they released their well-received album Ghost in the Machine, an encounter creating dramatic weaves of sound and styles upon a rhythmic adventure as bold and captivating as the imagination wrapping it; an adventure now built upon by the Reminder EP.

It opens up with its title track and instantly Reminder entangles ears with its electronically bred almost skittish beats and the tantalising tendrils of synths. As vocals join melody casting guitars in the blossoming track, a spicing akin to The Kennedy Soundtrack reinforces its lure. It is a tempting further increased by the brooding tones of bass and a scuzzier lining to keys with beats continuing to provide their hungrily persuasive and often unpredictable touch as the song twists and turns. It is a wholly magnetic affair which impresses more and more with every listen, revealing an entanglement of new creative hues and spices with UK outfit Axis Mundi brought forth at times as a hinting comparison to its electronic trance rock exploits.

The following Way Too Late similarly has attention quickly held, the two prong vocal enticement of Hankins and Sterling a potent invitation into the brewing drama of sound where metal nurtured riffs and electronic endeavour unite with a funk lined tenacity. That steel edge continues throughout the song, often giving it a bite and intensity which its predecessor lacked to take the Energy Alchemist down a fresh avenue without losing their creative fingerprint. As the guitars and bass, keys explore a broadening canvas where progressive hues combine with rave/dubstep inspired electronica to infest the imagination and match the pleasure spawned by its companions.

It is a reward especially powerful with closing track Flush, the song an apocalyptic trespass aligning strains of industrial metal and predacious heavy rock with electronic suggestion. It is also a web of warm temptation and poetic melodies which skilfully contrasts the raw heart and frame of the song, an invention further exploited by the stringed seduction and vocal dynamics interspersed within the imaginative ventures of guitars and synths.

Taking best track honours, it brings the EP to a fine and rousing close. As the other pair, it suggests that the Energy Alchemist sound is far from being the finished article but such its potential locked into the band’s already open craft and imagination and their sublime fusion of varying styles, an appetite for the band’s music is increasingly unavoidable.

The Reminder EP is out now @ https://energyalchemist.bandcamp.com/album/reminder

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Pete RingMaster 24/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Aliases – Derangeable


Obviously, it is too early to suggest what will be the best of 2016 but amongst album contenders we suggest you can expect to see Derangeable flirting with the top spot. The new and second album from British progressive tech-metallers Aliases is simply majestic, inescapably irresistible, and a proposition more than living up, in sound and imagination, to its title.

The brain-child of former SikTh guitarist Pin and fellow six-string maestro Leah Woodward, Aliases quickly whipped up attention and eager appetites from the first steps of its emergence in 2010. The band’s first year saw ear exciting single We Never Should Have Met create a potent buzz; an introduction quickly backed by the band making their live debut at Euroblast Festival in Germany and subsequently signing with Basick Records. Highly acclaimed debut album, Safer Than Reality, was uncaged in 2011 to swiftly make the band a potent presence and protagonist within tech metal and suggest the potential to rise to the stature of Pin’s former band. With a new vocalist and drummer bringing their prowess to events, Aliases easily live up to that promise and indeed have more than matched, and arguably surpassed, anything previous exploits have offered with Derangeable.

The album is a non-stop, often exhausting kaleidoscope of sound and invention; a release as technically beguiling as it is infectiously compelling and creatively mouth-watering. It is also an openly individual and unique proposal which at times borders on the loco in its dance of craft and imagination. It all starts with Find Where You Hide, a track which leaps at ears with a wall of imposing rhythms and spiky guitar coaxing as new vocalist Joe Rosser springs with equal attention grabbing zeal. From his initial dirty tones, he swiftly gives a glimpse of his melodic and harmonic diversity which increasingly shines across song and especially album. If ever a voice was perfect for an unpredictable and fluidly eventful sound, Rosser’s is it; his delivery and invention seeming to flow and prowl the inventive discord and flirtation lining every twist and turn in sound with their own striking adventure. The song itself continues to seduce and incite; the sultry addition of sax, antagonistic beats, and finally classical keys, just a few strands in the enthralling tapestry of the song.

art_RingMasterReviewEverything Is Upon Us is soon dazzling ears and thoughts with its instant busy weave. Entangling varied metal bred lures with funk, avant-garde, and nu-metal devilment, the track enslaves in seconds. The guitars of Pin and Woodward simply dance with almost schizophrenic invention whilst Joe Heaton’s bass prowls through it all like a predator equipped with resonating groans and salacious grooving. As with all songs, it is impossible to reflect the emprise of senses twisting and psyche captivating exploration going on, every second seemingly a new cascade of adventure as shown again in the beefier and equally melodically alluring Back To The Start. Shaped by the crafty swings and beats of Jof Walsh and coloured by the impressive vocal exploits of Rosser, the song emerges like a mix of The Kennedy Soundtrack, KingBathmat, and maybe unsurprisingly SikTh on the way to being something distinct to Aliases.

The pair of Smile All You Like and Deep Sea Avenue keeps attention tight and the imagination stirred; the first with its intricately woven exotic bedlam of guitar and rhythmic ingenuity ridden by the great vocal resources of Rosser and band. It is a fascination of sound and imagination emulated in an even more strikingly unbalanced way by its successor, a track that growls and leers at the listener whilst taking them through its sonic psychosis. It is an outstanding and virulent treat of sound and temptation pretty much matched in success by the lighter yet just as frenzied tango of Uncontrollable Desires. There is a touch of Korn and System Of A Down to the song; spices which simply add to the irresistible web of creative alchemy infesting body and spirit.

The commandingly intensive and barbarously engrossing Callous comes next; it a merger of contrasting shades of aggression and intent bound together by the band’s ever riveting casting of unhinged innovation in sound and idea. It completes a quartet of unmissable favourites at the centre of Derangeable, though through the agitated maze of Face For Lust, where the bass is instinctively flirtatious, and the similarly dynamic and left-field bearing Seen It All, the album and pleasure are locked closer together than ever.

The album comes to a mighty close with the grooved beauty and psyche bending resourcefulness of the wonderful Untangled Mind and finally the warm harmonic charm and mischievous eccentricity of Above The Sky. The pair provides a quite glorious and lingering conclusion to not only one of the year’s major triumphs so far but one of the most enjoyable and impressive adventures in the history of tech and progressive metal. Derangeable is one of those releases which are destined to become an inspiration to others and the best friend to ears and imagination; the tag of genius is already on the lips in reference to their glorious triumph.

Derangeable is out now via Basick Records with buying options @ http://www.basickrecords.com/releases/derangeable

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Pete Ringmaster 18/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Hacktivist – Outside The Box

Photography and editing by Perry Westphal

Photography and editing by Perry Westphal

It has been a fair time in the coming but the highly anticipated debut Hacktivist album is finally about to be uncaged. It is a rage living up to the heights and promise of the UK band‘s previous self-titled EP whilst pushing further the band‘s imaginative distinct fusion of nu/alternative /progressive metal with extreme and electronic textures aligned to rap/hip hop fuelled incitement. In some ways it is not bold enough in its exploration and creative drama. Occasionally there is the feeling that the band missed opportunities to create a landmark proposition, but truthfully from start to finish Outside The Box leaves an already established appetite for their sound more than thickly satisfied.

Emerging in 2011, it is fair to say that the Milton Keynes quintet has been leaving deep marks on the British metal/rock landscape whether through their ravenous live presence or that aforementioned EP and surrounding singles. They have been devoured by fans and media alike even with a sound naturally which is going to make as many enemies as long term friends such its unconventional and unpredictable character. Festivals have equally have embraced the band, and Hacktivist them by lighting up the likes of Reading, Leeds, Sonisphere, Rock Am Ring, and Rock Im Park these past years. So as suggested, Outside The Box has bred plenty of intrigue and expectations in the wait for its eventful arrival, a pressure it more than deals with, if without quite realising its own potential at times.

The album opens with Our Time; a track featuring Marlon Hurley which lays out a dystopian atmosphere as an emotive climate springs from keys and spoken vocals before the muscular weight and intensity of the band bears down on the senses and imagination. It is a stalking rather than an assault but with djent spicing to its teeth, the track is a waking up of attention for the following tempest of Hate. An electronic coaxing entices ears initially, though its touch is as sinister as it is magnetic, especially once the subsequently duelling and colluding vocal rapacity of J Hurley and Ben Marvin steer the descending storm. Like a cantankerous cousin to The Kennedy Soundtrack, the track lures and berates the senses; eventually unleashing its full animus with intrusive grooves from Timfy James and predatory rhythms spawned in the creative venom of bassist Josh Gurner and drummer Rich Hawking.

art_RingMasterReviewThe track is a gripping affair followed by Deceive & Defy. It is the first in a trio of re-recorded older tracks amongst eight new provocations, and features Jamie Graham from Heart Of A Coward as guest vocalist. With ambience soaked smog around a rapped narrative, the song’s entrance is restrained yet dramatic, increasingly so as firmly swung beats and agitated riffs build towards an open almost carnal hostility of sound and tone. The track swiftly and increasingly pleases yet it is one which maybe holds back and never quite delivers the raw intensity and explosive adventure hinted at and expected.

It is something Taken certainly offers; its snaky steel lined tendrils of guitar and combative mix of melodic, raw, and spat vocals firing up the passions for antagonistic confrontation alone. The band builds on that with imaginative slips into harmonious vocals and warm melodies shared by James, moments which surprise and reveal the blossoming invention of the band’s songwriting. With Rou Reynolds from Enter Shikari guesting, the song leaves ears and thoughts eagerly involved as does the instrumental, The Storm. It is an evocative moment in time reflecting the physical and emotional aspect of its name, time giving the listener time to regroup before No Way Back launches its dissension. With a scent of Heart of a Coward and Monuments to it, the track badgers and tears into the senses with its jagged stabs of guitars and barbarous rhythms, soothing the wounds with the sighing caress of keys whilst a triple threat of vocals keeps ears consumed and eager to embrace the volatile textures being blended.

A re-working of False Idols comes next, the song moving from an opening romancing to a mountain of groaning rhythms and gnarly riffs bound in viperish grooves. The track certainly pleases without making a big stir in its opening moments but as each passing minute uncages more creative and intimidating adventure, the song blossoms to impress in a way fresh to its original version, even though the differences are not as dramatic as they might have been. The track is a standard bearer all the same but eclipsed by Rotten which sees Astroid Boys and Jot Maxi involved. Weaving essences reminding of Tech N9ne and Twizted into a progressively atmospheric climate, the track simply seduces the imagination as it provides a new strain of invention and diversity to the album.

Elevate has been re-tuned for its place within Outside The Box, given new sonic oil and vocal attitude as it builds build on its first outing in the band’s earlier EP. It is a dogfight for ears and a showdown for emotions as it attacks and stirs up a bedlam of carnivorous textures and electronic trespasses. Melodic and harmonic caresses add a great tempering but they never subdue the thrilling discord and friction of sound and voice.

Lyrically the band is as sharp and incisive as expected but at times they seem to carry a chip on their shoulder which does not lie quite as well as their more politically incited targets. It is something which can be said about the album’s title track where, even with the broadening investigation of its narrative, it captivates most potently in sound.

The album is brought to an exhilarating close by firstly the volcanic and bestial enterprise of Buszy, a deft entangling of contrasting textures in a maelstrom of ire and creative intensity, and lastly by The Storm II, a melodically elegant and sonically ravenous flight into uniting emotional resonance and turbulence. Both provide a climactic and impressing close to an album which itself is only striking.

Whether Outside The Box could have been even more impressive and impacting will surely be debated, our thought being that maybe it missed a trick or two knowing the invention and craft of the band. From start to finish though, it had ears and emotions enthralled and greedy for more; a success no one can turn their nose up at.

Outside The Box is released March 4th via UNFD / Rise Records through most online stores and @ http://www.hacktivist.uk.com/store/products/outside-the-box-cd-2/

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Pete RingMaster 03/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Audio Poets – Make a Scene

artworks_RingMaster Review

Such the almost scattergun diversity escaping Make a Scene there are times you wonder how it works with such coherent unity but it does and what is on offer is one gloriously rousing and dynamically imagination incitement for ears and emotions. The new album from US rockers Audio Poets, it is a thumping merger of pop punk, alternative rock, and unbridled rock ‘n’ roll, to try and slim it down, which leaves an increasingly greedy appetite breathless for more.

Formed in Dallas as 2014 made its goodbyes, Audio Poets quickly hit the live scene the following year, playing their first show in Buffalo with Rookie of the Year. Debut EP Colours had its successful release the following month before the quartet spent the spring of 2015 recording Make A Scene. The latter months of the year saw the album uncaged and the band relocate to Los Angeles, as well as hungrily hitting the live scene across the US. The UK and Mainland Europe are now in their live sights for 2016, the band ready to pounce on the already eager reactions to the galvanic sounds and the quickly impressing adventure of Make a Scene.

Recorded with producer Geoff Rockwell (Forever The Sickest Kids, Memphis May Fire, Crown The Empire), the band’s album swiftly hits a rousing plateau with opener The Anthem. A scuzz lined guitar makes the first invitation with its sultry hues, the lead vocals of guitarist Chris Durio quickly adding their punch to the attitude loaded proposal. As the track develops there is no escaping the potent and enjoyable Rage Against The Machine essence to the track, it coming bound in just as appealing stoner-esque grooves from the fiery guitar enterprise of Bru Whitley and Durio who create a magnetic web around the increasingly defiance loaded narrative and vocal tones.

It is a riveting and contagious start to the release but soon overshadowed by the outstanding Wake Up. Straight away that variety in sound and imagination is arousing ears and thoughts, the second song bounding around with pop punk energy and revelry whilst casting an aggressive CIV like snarl and melodic tempting. There is a touch of UK band Hawk Eyes to the romping escapade too, enslaving hooks aligned to rowdy but controlled dynamics colluding excitedly with the darker inviting prowess of bassist Mike Knight and the sinew swung beats of drummer Landon Jett.

Next up Not My Time is a triumph to match the last, this time the band exploring a My Chemical Romance meets Fall Out Boy like theatre of invention and creative mischief. Feet and hips are soon seriously involved with the more restrained, compared to its predecessors, yet feistily swinging canter of the spellbinding song and its unpredictable invention. There is a serious urge to dive right back into the track after its conclusion, though that is soon diverted by the punchy roar of Burn and after that, the album’s Marilyn Mansion scented title track. For the first, Durio mixes his strong clean tones with more rap bred vocal jabbing, though this time The Kennedy Soundtrack is a closer hint to the adventure of sound and voice on offer. As the song evolves between standing toe to toe with grouchy agitation and seducing with poetic melodic infectiousness, a touch of Lost Prophets slips into the captivation, that one more arguably familiar colour which, as within every song, simply helps flavour something openly unique. Next up Make A Scene flirts with and barges across ears with a virulence of craft and sound which again has the body and emotions subservient; electronic and industrial ingredients as powerfully persuasive as the punk infused rock ‘n’ roll at its heart.

Fiery interlude Space is more the doorway into a new turn to the album than a break, its cosmic air a progressively textured tempting for the imagination before Revolution stands tall and defiant in attitude and sound. Featuring Jay Miller of Texan band Drudge, the song is a brooding maelstrom of imposing rock ‘n ‘roll spiced with melodic hardcore imagination and an array of intriguing sonic colours and styles. It easily holds attention and enjoyment tight and leaves satisfaction full though it is maybe not as inventively bold and tenacious as earlier songs, a success found by the equally weighty emotive and tempestuous embrace of Wounded Eyes. Mixing a rich blend of varied metal infused rock flavours, the track is again an encounter fulfilling all wants and hopes if without quite breaching the same plateau the album set in place early on.

Do You Feel It (Now) brings a feistier and in some ways creatively livelier proposal with its tapestry of styles soon after, vocals and sounds from every corner of the band helping draw physical participation before closer Make It Through, escorts ears into a broader electronic landscape that sees the album go out on a potent high.

For personal tastes the album produces its richest and most ingenious mastery across the first five or so tracks, exploring more emotively shadowed and intensive depths to matching success thereafter, and from start to finish Make a Scene is one irresistible and rousing temptation from a band surely heading towards major attention.

Make a Scene is out now through most online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 07/02/2016

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Smash Hit Combo – Playmore

shc_RingMaster Review

Released recently, Playmore, the new album from French rap metallers Smash Hit Combo, is a proposition loaded with familiar elements and a rugged character which seemingly wears its influences openly, yet from this breeds something enjoyably fresh and certainly fiercely rousing. It storms the senses like some recognisable tempest generating an easy persuasion without prominently feeding expectations and carries a crossover roar of sound which reminds of many, yet twists it into something that, if not majorly unique, has the Smash Hit Combo hallmark.

The Cernay hailing sextet began in 2004 with the varied background and tastes of its members creating a mesh of rap, hip-hop, and thrash lined metal. Early demo Next Level was unveiled the following year before debut album Hardcore Gamer was released in 2007, an encounter awakening stronger attention and praise from fans. Two years later its successor Nolife emerged to stronger acclaim of fans and media; the release showing a more mature and varied colour to their music which continued to grow and move on through full-lengths Loading and Reset of 2010 and 2012 respectively. Playmore shows another evolution with darker metal tones aligned to jagged djent enterprise and nu metal devilment, it all colluding with the band’s rapcore heart. As suggested it brings a familiar aspect to its body through this union of styles yet makes an invigorating proposal for ears and appetite from start to finish.

cover_RingMaster Review   Playmore opens with In Game, electro hints within a sonic mist lacing ears before the song erupts in a tenacious shuffle of biting riffs, swirling acidic guitar, and imposing rhythms, all driven by the dual vocal raps of Paul Vuillequez and Maxime Keller. As the music, the pair’s delivery shifts and turns with clean vocals additionally fuelling the warm chorus whilst subsequently gaining greater ferocity and aggression in their lyrical spits. It is a thoroughly engaging and bracing mix which continues to leap around snarling and alluring before Sous pression takes over with an initially similar regime but is quickly uncaging its own melodic and predatory mix. It does not quite have the impact of the first song yet with the guitars of Baptiste Ory and Anthony Chognard spinning an engagingly textured web made up of melodic soars of enterprise and carnivorous growls aimed at the senses, it is a perpetually enthralling offering again as impressive in its vocals and harmonies as it is in tempestuous sound.

Baka hits a major high spot for the album next; its climatic air and virulently twisted landscape complete with aggressive attitude, a bracing and throatily roaring terrain of cartilage grinding riffs and bone shuddering beats from drummer Hincker Brice. Like Meshuggah in a salacious fling with Beastie Boys and (Hed) P.E., the track is a bestial treat wrapped in sonic imagination with the bass of Matthieu Willer the most predacious element in the outstanding storm.

Both Quart de siècle and Time Attack thoroughly please, if not quite reaching the same peak as those before. The first is a melodically bred persuasion bringing thoughts of The Kennedy Soundtrack to the fore before corrupting its calm with volatile intensity then restarting the cycle over again. Its successor is a bruising seduction with an industrial like haunting to its relatively peaceful atmosphere and tortuous angst through to its primal expulsions of sound and emotion, and like its predecessor, fully captivating with new nuances revealed in every listen.

The brief melancholic and electronically sinister instrumental of B3t4 warms the imagination for the crunching touch and stark landscape of Animal nocturne, the song another ripe with volatility in its presence and heart. In certain moments it stalks the senses and in others has the psyche embroiled in a maelstrom of melodic expression and deranged djent seeded animosity, rhythms and bass enhancing the mix with their fluid swings from antagonism to gentle temptation.

An opening melodic cast serenade opens up Déphasé straight after, its opening lure soon over run by intense emotion and ravenous sound but continuing to lay its highly persuasive colours throughout the raw and oasis like calm of the excellent voracity of noise and creative attitude. Its triumph is quickly matched and then ferociously surpassed by the hellacious turmoil of Le vrai du faux, the song a furnace of scuzzy guitar, waspish grooves and barbarous rhythms, again guided by just as varied and impassioned vocals. Flirting with some Limp Bizkit contagion as it gets more ferocious, musically savage, and enterprising, the track plants another big favourite moment in the body of Playmore.

It is a pinnacle closely repeated by the technically bedlamic and compelling Irréversible, where again elegant calm and ravishing hostility in sound and energy collide in a skilled and constantly evolving union. Arguably the most involved and boldest song on the album and one of its most enjoyably fascinating, it blisters flesh and withers the senses whilst equally exciting the imagination and seizing the passions; it another best track candidate with increasing persuasion with every involvement between ears and band.

Playmore is concluded by 48H, a partly English sung offering vibrantly merging sparkling harmonies and vocal prowess with an undulating atmosphere of raw emotion and reassuring calm. It is a great end to an increasingly enjoyable release. Many tracks share closely matching tones and templates and as suggested before, each comes with sounds you can easily imagine inspirations of, but most importantly the album just holds attention and thick satisfaction in its hand from first to last note. Smash Hit Combo deserves broader spotlights and Playmore just might be the key.

Playmore is available now via Slam Disques from online stores and at the band’s Bigcartel store.

Pete RingMaster 17/09/2015

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