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.

https://www.facebook.com/officialleemurray/    http://twitter.com/leemurraymint

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.

http://www.samraymusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/samraymusic/   https://twitter.com/samraymusic

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

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

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

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

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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The Fuse – Alamein

the fuse_RingMaster Review

It is fair to say that the journey to the release of Alamein, and that of its creators The Fuse themselves, has been a platform of trials and issues to which many other bands would have probably thrown the towel in over long ago. Eight years on the UK rock scene has seen the band suffer member instability and changes, label collapses, and their manager struck down with cancer. The band’s new album in the thoughts of many was destined to never see the light of day, but with an attitude matching and title seemingly inspired by the Winston Churchill quote, ‘Before Alamein, we never had a victory. After Alamein, we never had a defeat’, the London band’s offering is ready to captivate grip ears.

Formed in 2006, The Fuse soon began enticing ears and interest for their alternative/indie rock sound, and within a year they was heading over to LA to record their debut album after Russ Regan, who discovered and signed Elton John, had heard their single Everybody Knows The Way and signed the band up. In the financial crisis of 2008 though, his Velocity Entertainment went bust leaving no release ready and the band returning to their home city. Back in England, The Fuse continued to lure attention and support with their shows, especially after playing one with Coldplay cover band Coldplace. This triggered more gigs around the UK and in 2010, a tour of Holland supporting Coldplace as well as the sharing of a stage with UB40 and numerous festival spots. More tours and shows in Europe were followed in 2012 by the band headlining the Pembrokeshire Fish Week Festival and Richmond World Music Festival, and the next year playing a couple of shows with Foreigner. Now the quartet of Alex Lato, Simon Bowker, Ed Thorne, and Simon James White have their first album on the launch pad, an fair to say, the Javier Weyler (ex-Stereophonics) produced album reveals a collection of songs which just grab the imagination.

CD_CBwallet_The Fuse_12_06_2015_RingMaster ReviewAlamein opens with the outstanding Black Lion, a song tantalising with almost tribal enticing from its first breath and a cascade of harmonic vocal roars, which in turn sparks a seductive stroll of meaty rhythms and tangy grooves. The song is soon strolling with a swagger and mischievous enterprise, drums and bass a prowling shadow against the bright temptation of the guitars and quickly alluring vocals. The full result is a contagious and increasingly compelling romp inventively setting the album off on a major high and setting a lofty bar for the following Misfit to match. It is a test quickly passed as an electro shimmer of an entrance evolves into a dark Stan Ridgway like pop canter, the track proceeding to flirt with spicy hooks and sparkling melodies over another tenaciously rhythmic adventure. Its colourful mix of sound is matched by a great variety of vocals across the band too, their unions a festival of creative revelry around a lively reflective narrative.

Oxygen steps up next, treating ears to a post punk bass line and matching ambience before the vocals, with melodies in tow, awaken a ray of energy and warmth. As in the first pair of songs, imagination is soon adding little twists of sound and character to the engaging and increasingly emotionally inflamed proposition. Feet and appetite are simply bewitched by the track and indeed Sleuth which shares its resourceful vivacity next. Inside once more contrasts unite, the snarl of the bass and punch of drums tempering but more so complimenting the bubbling keys and vocal vibrancy, it all bound in fiery guitar endeavour. It is a fresh breath of drama and aural heat which is continued through the mellower White Shark and the elegant croon of Rainbows. Neither song quite spark personals tastes as strikingly as their predecessors to be honest, but each, and especially the increasingly rousing latter, grows into a potent and provocative blossom of sound and persuasion.

A twangy tone of guitar quickly makes 3AM an inviting proposal, the song growing with every passing chord into a magnetic blaze, still cored by that great initial bait and increasingly breeding a catchiness which lingers long after its boisterous departure. There are many tracks which wear single on their temptation, this certainly amongst them as too Paint This Town which actually has already had that position and unsurprisingly drawn a great many newcomers to The Fuse. Bounding in on a Blondie-esque dance of melodic flirting, the song swiftly builds its own distinct, infection soaked incitement for body and emotions. Its body of hooks and pop leaded tenacity has the musical shine of bands like Super Happy Fun Club and at times The Killers, whilst providing another pinnacle for Alamein.

The album closes with firstly the emotive and melodic smouldering of Phantom, a song which suggests that Coldplay is certainly amongst the band’s inspirations, and lastly In This World. The final song opens with a Lennon-esque tone to vocals and piano, subsequently growing into another of the slow burning persuasions on the release which builds into a richly satisfying theatre of sound and emotion which finds a potent resemblance to Queen like adventure.

Both songs offer an enjoyable end to a highly pleasing album and long last, proper introduction for the world to The Fuse. There is no doubting their journey to now has been worthwhile and creatively well spent, Alamein emerging as a very rosy addition to the melodic/indie rock discography of 2015.

http://www.thefuse.london/    https://www.facebook.com/thefusemusic/

RingMaster 05/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright