Dogtooth – What For?/Away

Though formed in 2013 and having a well-received debut EP out four years later, Dogtooth come to The RR as a new proposition through a new two track AA sided single. A quick introduction and visit to the Scottish band’s music and previous songs revealed that they have been a potent potential fuelled enticement for a while but the new dual temptation of What For? and Away simply outshines all the exploits that came before.

As mentioned the Breakthrough EP two years back took Dogtooth to a whole new richness of attention whilst continuing to impress with their live presence. It is easy to expect recognition and praise of the band’s indie/alternative rock bred enterprise to increase now through the bold exploits of both What For? and Away; both songs confirming that theirs is a sound which is really developing its own identity.

The Killers has been suggested as a reference to the band’s music but straight away as What For? strolls through ears and especially as it settles into its eager almost teasing temptation an Inspiral Carpets like hue rises to the fore. Even so it is simply a single flavouring in the band’s indie rock audacity as the guitar and vocals of John Hewitson swing across the rhythmic enticement of bassist Craig Morrison and drummer Robert Lang. There is a great grumble to that bass which earths the loftier melodic threads which spring from the guitar while Lang’s beats just enjoyably nag throughout.

Eagerly infectious, the song is more than matched in craft and temptation by Away; it our favourite of the two with ease without diminishing the strength and impact of its companion. The track strides in with a rapacious rhythmic intent and is immediately bound in the delicious sonic wires of Hewitson’s guitar. Quickly, the song reveals a whole fresh web of imagination and devious textures to trap and enslave attention and appetite. Each twist brings potent drama and turn sets irresistible temptation, the song something akin to a mix of Asylums, The Horrors, and Scars with a hint of The Cuban Heels and quite superb.

Evolution in the band’s sound is on-going with both tracks suggesting bigger bolder things to come but there is a new maturity in their songwriting and craft which is most striking and as exciting, Dogtooth for sure heading to bigger things.

What For?/Away is released August 16th.

http://dogtoothofficial.com/   https://www.facebook.com/dogtooth.001/   https://twitter.com/dogtooth4

Pete RingMaster 16/08/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Lee Murray – Rust

Ok let us first dispense of the elephant in the room. Lee Murray was once the drummer of nineties pop band Let Loose which had a host of hits including Crazy For You but do not hold that against him as you contemplate checking out his new solo single Rust. You will find a song which is an infectious slice of rock pop with a steely edge to its textures and acts like a magnet from start to finish.

Already renowned for his drumming, Murray is equally skilled as a composer and producer. In his own songwriting and solo sound he has drawn on inspirations ranging from Kaiser Chiefs and The Killers to Depeche Mode and Gary Numan, the latter a definite spicing to the single. Equally it has a feel of The Wonderstuff to it especially around one contagious chorus.

Straight away riffs and rhythms tenaciously invite attention, crowding enticingly around Murray’s potent tones as guitars send melodic flames across their bow. It all unites in time for a rigorously catchy surge leading to that vibrant chorus, repeating the cycle with increasing energy and a fervour which reflects the song’s theme of getting sucked into a toxic relationship which is initially exciting, but one where “you’re attracted to the danger and free spirit only to find it becomes destructive”.

We will admit we were surprised by Rust, quickly enamoured, and now rather intrigued to find out if the song is a potent sign of things to come from his solo adventure.

Rust is available to pre-order now and to download from October 6th 2017.

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Pete RingMaster 15/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Sam Ray – Next To You

sam-ray-pic-5_RingMasterReview

Creating and recording in his home studio in Portsmouth, Sam Ray is a singer songwriter beginning to make a potent impact from the alluring shores of England’s south coast. Earlier this year he drew attention with debut single Modern Art, a success now set to be backed and pushed on by its successor Next To You.

A power ballad with the infectious energy of indie pop amidst tempting eighties inspired nostalgia, Next To You is a warm caress on the senses just as able to light up the dance-floor with it instinctive catchiness. Ray’s influences include the likes of Bruce Springsteen, M83, The Cure, The 1975, and The Killers; all flavours heard within both of his singles to date though equally his new offering carries an essence of Tears For Fears within its “both super sad and danceable” proposition.

sam-ray-next-to-you-art_RingMasterReviewA “love song about a guy who can’t tell a girl he likes her”, Next To You slips into ears from a distance, swiftly waking their attention once in full presence with warm atmospheric melodies around an electronic simmering which springs the song’s subsequent catchiness. A melancholic undercurrent openly brings shadows to court the infectious elements driving the track, that sadness at the heart of its emotion a temper and incitement to the body engaging adventure lifting the encounter.

Next To You is a captivating mix of old and modern endeavour; a nostalgic yet fresh proposal which hearts for eighties and current pop will find a flavour to whet their appetite for Sam Ray.

Next To You is released November 18th.

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Pete RingMaster 15/11/2106

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Only Shadows – Be Still

 

oS _RingMasterReview

Hoping to build on and replicate a highly successful 2015, UK alternative rock band Only Shadows attempt to kick its successor into similar life with new single Be Still. A teaser to the West Midlands band’s impending debut EP, the new offering suggests they can expect another lively time especially if that upcoming encounter can match the single’s rousing proposal.

Formed in 2014, the foursome of Nick Ashby, Ben Riley, Paul Wechter, and Alex Moffitt pull on the inspirations of artists such as Manchester Orchestra, Frightened Rabbit, Editors, and Queens of the Stone Age for their own creative imagination. As mentioned, last year was a potent time for the band with Only Shadows supporting numerous artists including the likes of Coasts, Young Kato, and Saint Raymond whilst also headlining their own sold-out shows in Birmingham and London.

art _RingMasterReviewRecorded as the EP with Jamie Evans and Shane Shannahan (Jake Bugg, London Grammar, The Killers) at Westpoint Studios, Be Still quickly shows why people like BBC Introducing and Amazing Radio have been vocal in their praise of the band. A resonating guitar string and emotive vocal coaxing opens things up with both swiftly backed by punchy beats and warm harmonies. As the song rises in sound and energy, anthemic textures spring from bass and drums with drama fuelling the rich enterprise of guitars and voice around them. That Editors influence is a readily noticeable hue to the song too but a spicing only colouring a bolder Only Shadows theatre of sound and emotion. The track continues to rise and fall in its intensity and sonic fire across its body, never undulating in its persuasive roar and almost feverishly successful tempting of ears.

It is a gripping offering from the band which you might argue is not overly unique in sound, yet there is plenty about the single which takes Only Shadows away from the crowd and into an appetite to hear much more. Indeed 2016 is looking like another potentially triumphant year for the band.

Be Still is released April 8th on CD and Download via Nu Breed Records.

http://www.onlyshadows.co.uk   https://www.facebook.com/onlyshadowsuk   https://www.twitter.com/onlyshadowsuk

Pete RingMaster 06/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Conquer Rio – Be My Lady

Conquer Rio band pic_RingMaster Review

Taken from their recently released self-titled EP, Be My Lady is a stirring and magnetic lure into the melodic prowess of UK band Conquer Rio. The new single is a blaze of pop rock as infectious as it is evocatively impassioned in sound and voice, the kind of back-up to an initial introduction sure to round up another horde of eager and happy fans.

Conquer Rio artwork_RingMaster Review     The seeds of the band in many ways go back to “a pair of children meeting in nursery for the first time.” They were Tom Jordan and Lewis Melia who linked up years later to form Conquer Rio in 2011. Taking inspirations from the likes of Biffy Clyro, Twin Atlantic, The Script, The Killers, Foo Fighters, and Arcade Fire into their own invention, the Warrington hailing band has increasingly drawn attention and support over the past years. The playing of the Etihad Stadium Magic Weekend twice, the Old Trafford Super League Grand Final in 2013, and supporting Scouting for Girls at the Warrington Music Festival are amongst their highlights to date; the release of their EP and now new single sure to rank up there as moments sparking new spotlights upon the band.

With a line-up of Jake Bate, Dan Cobley, and Ben Roberts alongside Jordan and Melia, Conquer Rio swiftly have ears enticed through a great opening bassline, its throaty lure soon joined by a spicy blues web cast by guitars and emotively strong vocals. The potent start only intensifies through a quickly upon ears rousing chorus, its infectiousness spreading to other elements of the song as things blossom into  familiar yet unpredictable temptation. From a gentle but inviting start the track continues to grow and build towards a tenaciously anthemic roar of a climax, and fair to say if early on only ears are involved in the song by its end Be My Lady has the whole body rocking and roaring along.

It is true that there are no major surprises within Be My Lady but also that Conquer Rio offer a track which has their creative character all over it, attributes only confirmed by the EP spawning the single. This is a band heading towards another busy year in 2016 and with songs like Be My Lady a very successful one.

Be My Lady is out now with the Conquer Rio EP available @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/conquer-rio-ep/id1041643121

https://www.facebook.com/ConquerRio  https://twitter.com/ConquerRioMusic

Pete RingMaster 09/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Phil Lewis – Patchwork Heart

Phil Lewis_RingMaster Review

Being introduced to Phil Lewis through his highly enjoyable Age of Nothing EP, it is fair to say that we have bred an increasingly eager appetite for the pop rock prowess of the Welsh singer songwriter. Though he had already reaped a potent reputation and a healthy level of acclaim for a trio of earlier albums, the EP was the biggest nudge yet on widespread recognition. Now that potent hint has become a mighty roar thanks to the release of Patchwork Heart, a contagion of inspiring hooks and essential melodies united in some of the best pop tracks you are likely to heard this year.

Hailing from Penarth, Lewis had his musical passion seeded in “frighteningly dressed people on Top of the Pops”, and then in turn “the various genre charts in NME and Melody Maker”. It sparked the dream to have one of his own songs in the charts and in 2008 the release of his first single Just One Kiss became a very close miss on realising that dream. The first spark in an evolving and increasingly successful career came just before it though, with the unveiling of debut album Ancient Light the year before. Since then Lewis has released another pair of well-received and acclaimed full-lengths in Movements In Space (2009) and Ripples From a Small Pond (2011), with the aforementioned Age of Nothing hooking a great many more of us at the beginning of 2014.

artwork_RingMaster Review    Patchwork Heart is the next proposition from the man and in many ways the coming of age of his songwriting and pop invention. Its nine tracks provide a torrent of enslaving pop ingredients but composed and delivered with an imagination and almost mischievous energy and passion. Lyrically the album sees Lewis look with intimate honesty at the tough times he faced over past years, including the death of his father from Alzheimer’s Disease and the end of a long-term relationship as well as himself being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Musically it all comes with a hope fuelled, emotionally uplifting hug though, Lewis easy to suspect a ‘glass half full’ character with sings always seeming to veer towards the long term light.

Created again in collaboration with Ben Haynes, who produced the record and plays all the instruments, Patchwork Heart opens with Tumbling Down. Within a few breaths, the song is coaxing ears with blues spiced guitar and tenacious beats, the voice of Lewis as potent and strong as ever as things bounce and revolve around him. The track’s prime hook has an air of familiarity to it which only adds to the temptation whilst the fiery guitar endeavour of Haynes is extra tang in a rousing opener.

Things only become more infectious and gripping though as the tantalising Japan-esque Up On This Shelf swings up to the imagination. An exotic melody starts things off, a pulsating bass throb with crystalline shards of guitar quickly taking over as the tones of Lewis entice. The track is mesmeric, a sublime slice of elegant seduction with an underlying sonic eroticism. Not for the last time within Patchwork Heart, an open eighties flavouring and inspiration colour song and ears, Right on Time immediately after also providing a similar lusty hue of nostalgia kissed and undoubtedly fresh revelry. Virulent in all aspects, the song romps along on another bait of anthemic rhythms wrapped in the dramatic enterprise cast by guitar, keys, and bass. Like a blend of China Crisis, Pete Wylie, and The Killers, the track is glorious; Lewis at his pop conjuring best.

Healing Hands slips in next with a far more subdued energy to that of its predecessor as shadow toned guitar and vocals are gripped by a warm but melancholic expression. Lewis’ voice embrace ears in a reflectively intimate croon as that bright, crystal like quality to the melodies of earlier songs emerges again to resonate in the spatial climate above the intimate canvas. Over time the song’s air becomes more tempestuous leading to one highly provocative and stirring climax. The track is a powerful incitement on body and emotions, as too the following Smile in its very different way. From a synth pop start, the song is a vibrant shuffle manipulating ears and feet from the get go. The bubbly electronics continue to lure and tempt as guitars and vocals brew up an irresistible feast of pop infection backed by the great vocals of Sarah Haynes. The song takes thoughts again back to the eighties, its pop tonic hinting at the likes of Thomas Dolby and Thompson Twins, and to be honest quite impossible not to get physically involved with.

Next up is Sunshine in the Night, a song just as much a puppeteer on body and appetite which from its initial smothering of emotive beauty breeds a mouth-watering mix of repetitious teasing, contagion spewing vocal tempting, and immersive atmospherics. Rhythmically too, the track is a nonstop invitation which simply gets under the skin and leaves a big grin on the psyche.

The country spiced, fiery shimmer of Fantasy Reality bewitches next, its voice and body an alluring evocation of the heart whilst I Believe is a sixties hued offering with a good whisper of the Walker Brothers to its strolling enticement. The track’s chorus is another rousing hard to resist proposal, though that applies to most of them across the release to be honest, as proven one last time by the brilliant Be A Hero. The closer epitomises a Phil Lewis song, bold rhythms aligned to drama soaked imagination and the rich enterprise gripping ears as Lewis provides the strength of his voice. With more enthralling backing vocals, this time from Lizzie Dean, the track is a jungle of intrigue and emotive theatre, and the perfect way to end a thoroughly thrilling and impressive release.

A Phil Lewis song lies somewhere between those of the previously mentioned Pete Wylie and Colin Vearncombe (Black), and now after Patchwork Heart deserve to be contemplated in the same breath. Also out now is Digging for Earworms, a free to download best of album covering previous releases and including the riveting likes of Let’s Play, Age of Nothing, and Imprisoned. Both are albums all rock/pop fans should treat themselves to, as Lewis confirms himself as one of Britain’s brightest artists.

Patchwork Heart is out now @ http://phillewisuk.bandcamp.com/album/patchwork-heart

https://www.facebook.com/Phil-Lewis-36008838740  http://www.phillewisuk.co.uk

Pete RingMaster 24/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Sun Arcana – Oblique

Sun Arcana Tom pic_RingMaster Review

A new name but with a sound which has been brewed over the past few years, Sun Arcana offer up their new single Oblique for another mesmeric persuasion by this emerging band. You may know them better as Looking For Liam but with seemingly a new moniker and shift of sound, rather than a whole new project around the songwriting of vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Tom Harper-Ward, Sun Arcana provide new evidence of the growing temptation in their individual and diverse alternative rock sound with their latest single.

Formed in 2009 by Harper-Ward, the Essex hailing project soon grew to a trio of young and talented musicians. Quickly they earned a potent reputation for their live shows and craft, gigs around London especially grabbing attention as indeed their debut EP which took them to the notice of BBC Introducing. Subsequent years has only reinforced their emergence, the band now a quartet, and the open imagination in their music as evidenced once again in the Steve Belgrave (The Killers, Jack White, Beady Eye, Katy Perry) mixed Oblique. It is a new creative call to draw fresh ears in, and with the name change, marking the beginning of a new chapter in the band’s journey.

cover_RingMaster ReviewThe single opens with a gentle shimmer of keys, though that is just a breath worth of a slim kiss before thick rhythms and crystalline guitar melodies entangle ears. Their relaxation brings the entrance of the expressive vocals of Harper-Ward amidst a warm yet melancholic ambience, it in turn soon immersed in a headier energy and emotive intensity with matching growth in sound. The song continues to ebb and flow with fluid enterprise and drama from hereon in, every nuance and bolder move potently engaging ears around the increasingly enjoyable vocal tones of Harper-Ward.

Oblique is not a song to leave you breathless or lost in lively ardour, yet it is a mesmeric companion which lingers past its time, suggesting whatever the reason for the changes in the band, it is the beginning of something even stronger and more adventurous with Sun Arcana.

Oblique is available from October 1st

https://www.facebook.com/SunArcanaOfficial    http://sunarcana.com/

Pete RingMaster 30/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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