Fortunato – Black Laces (What Are You Waiting For)

Fortunato_RingMasterReview

Proving that Bury St Edmunds is a hot bed of imaginative and enjoyably individual musical invention, the This is the sound of Sugar Town compilation recently introduced and highlighted a host of the Suffolk market town’s new breed of fine and adventurous bands. Without exception all stood out in varying ways, with among them alternative rock band Fortunato who especially caught the appetite with their melodically and emotively transfixing track Utopia. To more than confirm all the good things heard and felt in their successful moment to shine upon the album, the quartet very recently released new single, Black Laces (What Are You Waiting For).

art fortunato_RingMasterReviewThe song quickly shows itself to be a compelling proposal whilst just as rapidly suggesting why Fortunato has earned strong local success and sparked an ever broadening national attention for their sound and live presence. It is a success backed by a trio of EPs, of which it is fair to say, the third Under Your Teeth has had the biggest impact to date soon reinforced by the band’s contribution to the aforementioned album, As Black Laces (What Are You Waiting For?) captivates again and again though, it is hard not to expect greater spotlights and interest coming the way of the band inspired by it and future encounters.

Released as the last EP on their own Pale Records, the song instantly cups ears with a melodic caress of guitar with the expressive tones of vocalist/guitarist Kim swiftly drawing even closer attention on the track. The subsequent bass rumble provided by Catherine and flirtatious beats of Harry soon court the initial coaxing and in turn the more emotively inflamed aspects of the song which emerge as Barny and Kim’s guitars poetically dance with the captivating vocal weave spun by the band around the feisty rhythms.

From there the track just increases its captivation through every increasingly climactic minute whilst managing to be as intimately seductive as it is boisterously anthemic.  Utopia impressed as too a hindsight visit of the Under Your Teeth EP from which it came but Black Laces (What Are You Waiting For) outshines both and inescapably sets the seeds for eager anticipation for what comes next from Fortunato.

Black Laces (What Are You Waiting For) is out now as a free download @ http://www.fortunato.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/fortunatoband   https://twitter.com/fortunato_band

Upcoming Live Dates:

9th April – w/Ghosts Of Men – The Waiting Room, Colchester

16th April – Bury Fringe w/Cathedrals & Cars – The Hunter Club, BSE

11th May – Sounds Like the Live Sessions w/CLAWS – The Hunter Club, BSE

20th May – NMG Sessions – Portland Arms, Cambridge

4th June – The Workshop – Hoxton, London

18th June – w/The Monochrome Set – John Peel Centre, Stowmarket

Pete RingMaster 04/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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deardarkhead – Strange Weather

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Rousingly fascinating is probably the best way to describe Strange Weather, the new EP from New Jersey trio deardarkhead, that and gloriously suggestive. Across six tracks as cinematic as they are emotionally intimate upon the imagination, band and release immerses the listener in its and their own sculpted exploits. The release is an anthem to the conjuring of bold imaginative adventures and a tapestry of creative virulence for ears to bask in.

The beginnings of deardarkhead go way back to 1988 since when the band has released five recordings on their own Fertile Crescent Records label with a retrospective of their early work additionally released in 2012 by Captured Tracks. Their distinctive fusion of post punk, indie rock, shoe gaze, and dream pop has been greedily devoured by an increasing many whilst their live presence has seen the band play with the likes of Supergrass, The Psychedelic Furs, Everclear and The Lilys amongst numerous other. Despite numerous compilation appearances, and that 2011 retrospective  Oceanside: 1991-1993 since last album Unlock the Valves of Feeling was released in 1998, you might say that deardarkhead have been a ‘forgotten’ treat by many; if so that is set to inescapably change with the release of Strange Weather.

Always luring inquiring interest with each release, the band has probably ignited the strongest intrigue with the new EP as it is their first without long time singer/bassist Michael Amper who left the band in 2009. His departure only seemed to ignite a hunger to explore their instrumental side as remaining members, guitarist Kevin Harrington and drummer Robert Weiss proceeded to move in that direction and perform instrumental shows after linking up with bassist Kevin McCauley the following year. The suggestion is that the band is looking for the right vocalist to bring in but on the evidence of Strange Weather, and its empowering potency, you wonder if it will be any loss not finding the right man.

art_RingMasterReviewFrom its first track Strange Weather has ears and emotions enthralled, the imagination just as swiftly ignited as Falling Upward emerges from chilling winds within a dank atmosphere. It is pulled from the wasteland by a nagging guitar, its sonic lure soon colluding with the resonating bait of the bass and crispy textured beats. With them comes a tenacious catchy resourcefulness which infectiously lines the post punk hook and bass groove which subsequently entwine and enslave ears. All the tracks to the EP spark ideas and mental imagery, ones sure to differ person to person, but a cold war like landscape is ours adventure for the opener no doubt helped by having recently watched Deutschland 83. There feels a cinematic kinship between the band’s sound and those visuals with every leap into the sonic tapestry of the song pushing the story along.

With a touch of Leitmotiv to it, the track is a riveting start, leaving ears and pleasure lively and ready to embrace the warmer jangle of Sunshine Through The Rain which follows. There is a calmer air altogether to the song, a melodic radiance which wears the scent of eighties indie pop yet contrasts it with a steely proposal from bass and hypnotic beats. Again captivation is a given to its My Bloody Valentine aired persuasion though it is soon outshone by the thrills and dramas of both Juxta Mare and March Hares. The first of the pair unveils a sultry atmosphere around a delicious melodic hook and bassline which would not feel out of play of a sixties/seventies TV spy thriller. Its lean but thick lure is the spring for an evocative weave of sonic enterprise and suggestive melodies, all courted by the dark shadows of bass and the persistently jabbing swings of Weiss.

As outstanding as it is, it too gets eclipsed by its successor, March Hares stealing the whole show. From the pulsating rhythms of Weiss to the snarling tone of McCauley’s bass, the track has ears and an already lustful appetite enslaved. Their irresistible bait is then entangled in bewitching tendrils of sonic imagination from Harrington; the song subsequently swinging along in the web of their united craft and invention to entice body and spirit further. In full stride, the track has a great feel of The Monochrome Set to it, indeed Harrington’s stringed adventure carries a touch of the English band’s guitarist Lester Square to it as a House of Love shimmer and Birdland like rowdiness add to the slavery.

Ice Age immerses the listener into chillier post punk climes next; its nippy atmosphere and almost bleak ambience tempered by the sonic elegance seeping from the guitar within the anthemic tenacity of the drums. Again it is fair to say that the song lures physical and emotional involvement with ease before Thinking Back explores a maze of reflective melodies and evocative grooves within another addictive rhythmic frame. There is an essence of Echo & The Bunnymen and Bauhaus to the track as post punk and gothic lit shadows and depths spread through sound and thoughts.

The track is an imposingly mesmeric end to a spellbinding release. Strange Weather will have you breathless, excited, reflective, and going on a myriad of imagination bred adventures with its suggestive incitement. We are no experts on deardarkhead and their releases to date but the EP has to be up there as possibly their greatest moment yet.

The Strange Weather EP is released March 25th via Saint Marie Records on Ltd Edition vinyl (100 Black / 150 White with Red Blue and Black splatter) and as a download @ http://saintmarierecords.limitedrun.com/products/567260-deardarkhead-strange-weather and http://saintmarierecords.bandcamp.com/album/strange-weather

http://www.deardarkhead.com/   https://www.facebook.com/darkheads   http://twitter.com/deardarkhead

Pete RingMaster 23/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Filthy Tongues – Jacob’s Ladder

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Seriously beguiling and theatrically suggestive, Jacob’s Ladder is the highly anticipated debut album from Scottish trio The Filthy Tongues, and a glorious adventure into the dark and magnetic underbelly of the band’s home and imagination. Consisting of eight slices of dark rock ‘n’ roll woven from an evocative tapestry of caliginous flavours and textures, tracks further infused with poetic lyrical drama, the album is an immersion into gothic cloaked and intimately alluring portraits of, in the words of the band, “a dark neo-feudal Edinburgh.”

The Filthy Tongues consists of vocalist/guitarist Martin Metcalfe, bassist Fin Wilson, and drummer Derek Kelly, a threesome who were the core-members of eighties/nineties band Goodbye Mr Mackenzie. The band, which also featured Shirley Manson as keyboardist and backing singer, evolved into Angelfish and recorded a well-received album with Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads, whose manager Gary Kurfirst gave a helping hand to the Scottish band. Subsequently Manson was lured to front a new project called Garbage whilst Metcalfe, Wilson, and Kelly became Isa & the Filthy Tongues and released a pair of albums with American-born Stacey Chavis as vocalist. Now the trio have stepped forward as The Filthy Tongues and uncaged a creative incitement which must rank up there with the finest offering to come from their creative minds and talent.

The album opens with its title track and a melancholic caress of strings which soon part for a vibrant stroll of dark bass and nagging riffs around distinctive vocals. A ripple of keys adds to the instant expressive character of the track, backing vocal lures just as potent as the track strolls along with a sinister yet mesmeric swagger. Like a mix of The Monochrome Set and Milton Star with a healthy scent of Nick Cave to it, the opener alone gives Jacob’s Ladder all the bait needed to tempt ears and appetite, whilst setting up an already eager imagination with the lust to delve into what is to come and enslave.

album_RingMasterReviewThe brilliant start continues with the rhythmically tenacious High. As the bass aligns it’s ominous yet invitingly throaty suggestiveness to the anthemic pull of beats, Metcalfe’s tones bring the narrative to pungent life like a lyrical Pied Piper within the post punk seeded and dramatic ambience of the sounds around him. It is gripping, irresistible stuff that demands increasing attention with consummate ease, much as the album and songs surrounding it, including the following Holy Brothers. Rhythms again create a bold canvas for keys and strings to share their provocative and melodic suggestiveness which in turn creates an aural sketch for vocals and words to captivate within. There is a slight feel of Fatima Mansions to that lyrical and indeed emotional prowess cast, a sharing of the descriptive and virulently compelling art of offering the imagination a fully equipped landscape to play with.

Long Time Dead brings a steely edge and attitude to its guitar crafted opening and subsequent body next, providing a dark country spiced proposal bred in the dirty back streets of life whilst Bowhead Saint swings and seduces with a delta blues kissed romancing of the imagination. Both tracks enthral and tantalise from within their individual creative skins and darkly lit hearts before Violent Sorrow shares its intimate and, as throughout the album, lyrically raw croon. Each of the trio leaves a lingering mark in their varied ways, all offering a long term flirtation with the psyche and passions.

A more physically agitated piece of rock ‘n’ roll, Children Of The Filthy keeps enjoyment and excitement as high as ever. Once more rhythms provide the irritable yet anthemic side of the song, vocals the dark scenic persuasion, and melodic and sonic imagination a bewitching poetic majesty which here is surf rock infused. The track is glorious, with Metcalfe vocally continuing to be like a Vaudevillian Poe sharing a dark tale to embrace and be inspired by. Its success is swiftly matched by the sultry exploration of Kingdom Of Ice, a song as enchanting as it is emotionally intimidating. Carrying a sound brewed with volatility, the closer is a firmly arresting proposal with as much suggestive depth and persuasion as the words it merges with, and a superb end to a similarly impressive release.

Jacob’s Ladder is destined to be one of the most acclaimed debuts of 2016, if it can truly be called a first release or simply another proposal in a long term evolution of three artists. More than that though, the record is a blend of fantasy and reality which ignites ears and emotions like a sonic poet; so being destined to emerge as one of the most acclaimed albums of the year might be the better suggestion.

Jacob’s Ladder is out now via Blokshok and available in varied formats and packages @ http://www.filthytongues.com

https://www.facebook.com/Isa-the-Filthy-Tongues-144934250476   https://twitter.com/filthytongues

Pete RingMaster 15/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Permanent Smilers – One Real Big Identity Crisis

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One Real Big Identity Crisis, the new album from UK band The Permanent Smilers, is a release with no apparent direction or framework to its intent and enterprise; a release which basically lives up to its title but boy is it a slab of irresistible fun. Through thirteen songs, band and album take on a torrent of different styles and nostalgic flavours which really should not work alongside each other as coherently as they do, and all come with a humour and mischief which adds to rather than overrides the adventure of the individual characters. It is slightly deranged but not chaotic and thoroughly unpredictable yet not messy considering the vast sounds employed from song to song. Most of all though it is simply a compelling proposition which comes from left-field, keeps its heart there, and leaves the most enjoyable experience in its wake.

There is little we can tell you about the band itself, though The Permanent Smilers is fronted by Richard Lemongrower who was the songwriter behind Norwich band The Lemongrowers, a band releasing two albums on Noisebox at some point in time. Produced with Jonny Cole and mixed by David Pye, One Real Big Identity Crisis takes little time in lighting ears and imagination, though it opens with maybe its weakest song. That is a little misleading as it takes a song to get a handle, or try to, on the release anyway but certainly Identity Crisis did not really grip attention as much as elsewhere and left thoughts with a slight wondering of what have we got ourselves into. Strongly swung rhythms and similarly intensive riffs clasp ears within the first breath of the song, their bait a jabbing lure against the unpolished yet engaging tones of Richard. It is an easily flowing and energetic slice of rock ‘n’ roll with the bass of Jonny Cole pungent bait at the centre of the stomp. Truthfully there is little wrong with the song but it lacks a spark in its presence which evades the reaction it probably deserves and is easy to imagine being found with others.

The good if unsure start is soon a thing of the past as Uh-Oh takes over with its festive folk swagger and emerging carnival like devilment. Sporting a splash of Tankus The Henge to its relaxed but vibrant stroll, the song is a constant swing of melodic hips as it moves towards an unexpected and mouth-watering slip into a Dukes of Stratosphear like ethereal psychedelic charm and climate, returning back into festive mood soon after as if it had just emerged from a dip in the sea. The song is fascinating and bewitching, and just the first of numerous adventures into different landscapes, as shown next by the punk pop devilry of You Know Where To Go. Bred from seventies power pop and carrying a mix of The Flys and The Lurkers to its hookery, the song just hits the sweet spot with its insatiable energy and mischief, before making way for the more relaxed melodic embrace of Elastic. The keys and guitars of Richard weave another enthralling web of sound here, this time with a sniff of sixties pop to it which is punctuated by the crisp beats of drummer Pete Fraser and dark bass lures of Cole. By its close, the song somehow becomes a thumping anthem without losing any of its melodic and gentle elegance, a potent feat for any song to offer.

Both Just No Good and It Doesn’t Work Anymore keep album and ears bouncing with energy and pleasure, the first using a garage rock spicing again teased by a sixties almost Doors like toxicity, whilst the second again spawning from the same kind of seeding brings a rawer punk grouchiness with its presence. Each has feet and emotions joining their rigorous coaxing before Ghosts allows a breather for the body if not the imagination with its Simon and Garfunkel meets Burt Bacharach like embrace. The brass persuasion of Dave Land seductively flames over similarly captivating keys and vocal caresses through the song but as always there is a scent of devilment to the song with thoughts wondering at times if they should be enjoying this as much as they are. There is no escaping its thick charm though.

The next pair of songs brings a rich sense of XTC to their enterprise and persuasion, Rebel broadening that over time with a seventies kissed soar of progressive fuelled psyche rock whilst its successor, Voodoo has the stamp of Andy Partridge to its flirtatious pop and virulent enterprise. The pair leaves nostalgia glazed lips licked and, through the latter especially, ears basking in psyche pop of the most delicious kind complete with jazzy brass and funk spirited unpredictability.

You Know When To Go dives straight back into punk infused rock ‘n’ roll for its brief but sparkling instrumental before Unforseen manages to conjure an encounter which recalls the quirky indie pop of The Monochrome Set and the plainer but no less tasty essence of Tom Robinson. The song alternatively stomps and swirls around ears, every passing hook and melody it conjures an intriguing and quaint yet voracious tease before it moves off into the distance allowing the outstanding See Through You to make its lingering mark. Acoustically shaped with an avalanche of panzer gun delivered rhythms, the song initially is a smouldering and majestic sway of sound. It subsequently explodes though into a tempest of energy and revelry which only lifts a great song to a heady plateau. Imagine the volatile energy of De Staat at their most devilish with the epidemic hunger of eighties punk/power pop and you get a sense of the glorious treat.

One Real Big Identity Crisis closes with the acoustic lullaby of Sleepyhead, the album ending as it started with a track which does not catch the ardour triggered elsewhere but certainly graces ears with tantalising propositions. This album is one unexpected and seriously enjoyable adventure; not breaking down boundaries or venturing into the unknown but never providing a moment when you are not surprised or wrapped up in its refreshing simplicity woven by skill and invention. There is only time left to lick lips all over again as we close off and dive straight back into The Permanent Smilers’ irresistible arms, something we suggest you do too upon release.

One Real Big Identity Crisis is released in April via IRL Records with new single Identity Crisis out in March.

http://www.thepermanentsmilers.com/   https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Permanent-Smilers/1539697962929725

RingMaster 23/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from http://www.thereputationlabel.today

Select All Delete Save As – Ultra Cultura

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It is not only a slight shift in band name which is offered by new album Ultra Cultura, but also a richer maturity in songwriting and sound from its creators Select All Delete Save As which at times catches the breath. The band’s previous self-titled debut showed selectalldeletesaveas, as their name was written in 2011, as a highly mischievous and unpredictable proposition. It was a raw and promising encounter which ebbed and flowed in success but nevertheless ignited the imagination of a great many, and a potential soaked seed which has bred the tremendous Ultra Cultura. The new ten track release from the Jersey bred duo of by Antony Walker and Terry Emm is a tantalising and eclectic persuasion which has not lost any of the pair’s devilish intent to wrong foot and constantly surprise the listener. It more impressively though shows a big leap in the quality, writing, and musical craft of the band, showing a maturity which has the potential to bring the band intensive attention.

The pair of Walker and Emm met on a music course at the University of Gloucestershire, and it was when the former was commissioned to record an album, that the two linked up with Selectalldeletesaveas, band and first album the results. With tracks recorded over a year ago, the two musicians have returned to spread their lyrical and musically revelry, Ultra Cultura a natural but to be honest far greater continuation than maybe anticipated. Linking up with sound engineer Jono McMillan, who also provided drums and percussion on most of the tracks, Select All Delete Save As has sculpted an album to steal attention and imagination from its opening seconds, something it never relinquishes until the closing of the final festival of devilment and intrigue. As with its predecessor, certain moments on the release shine stronger than others, but there is never a moment when attention gets seduced away from the release this time around.

The title track sets things off to a strikingly potent start, sparking an immediate increase in an already eager appetite inspired from the band’s last release. Electronic pulses and percussive teasing toys with ears initially, coaxing their focus ready for a raw rub of guitar. Already something feels different to the band, a more honed and concentrated enterprise stroking thoughts as mellow vocals smoulder within the brew. A stronger indie breath seizes control soon after as a shoegaze like warmth permeates the still nicely grazing texture provided by guitars. It is an absorbing persuasion which really ignites with the stunning voice of guest vocalist and fellow islander Rachael McVay. With tones which seduce note by note and a fire to her delivery, the singer ignites the already pleasing track to new levels, which in turn seemingly sparks a greater intensity in the sounds wrapping her contribution. The song is a magnetic start to the album, the first character of a multi-faceted release.

The following Human Error merges chilled electronic premise with guitar woven melodies, vocals plain and emotionless tempering the emotive flames around them. It is a more testing blend than the previous song but also growing to a proposition easily successful with the imagination, its mix of Radiohead and Joy Division coldness with expressive post rock like enticements permeating incessantly until the listener is immerged within its shadowed grin. Its place is sandwiched between the opener and the excellent Modern Life is War and does it no favours but the song easily holds its own before its successor lights another fuse of ardour. Again featuring McVay, the song makes a restrained entrance before a sizzling shot of guitar spirals across the ceiling of the emerging track. There is a feel of House Of love to the track at first which with the alignment of vocals between band and McVay sparking a broader smile of energy, the song glides sultrily across the senses like a mix of The Adult Net and Some Kind Of Wonderful era March Violets. Mesmeric and ravenously seductive, the song is an evocative breeze of indie pop and quite delicious.

Both the melancholic Temperature and the Archetypal Woman simmer in their temptations but croon and dance respectively their way into the affections, the first with the band’s skilled humour and precisely invasive melodic bait within another emotionally haunted atmosphere and the second with its jazzy meanderings and very English relish to refuse predictability and expectations. Whereas Temperature plays with a post punk seeded lack of light its successor romps like The Monochrome Set meets The Jazz Butcher, a distinct British kind of eccentricity which as its companion only expands the diversity and boundaries of the album further.

The pair of Service of the Lord and Nectar of Instruction also takes longer to wrap their persuasive toxins around the passions though imagination is soon enlisted by the temperate yet solemn caress of the first and the anti-folk smile of the latter. The evidence of their success is the lingering enticements which swim around the memory after their leaving, the jazz funk invention of guitar in the second of the two leading into an eagerly catchy chorus one of the persistent lures.

The virulent seduction of instrumental Slowcore Puck absorbs next, its impassioned climate and melody hued colours flirting with thoughts before the post punk/electronic minimalism of The Sun & his Sunglasses brings its entrancing psyche encircling hypnotism to the party. The humour of the band as everywhere simmers and spills with glee, adding to the fun and creative irreverence often at work as in closing song Charge my Pad. An infectious stroll of guitar crafted indie rock with pop spice and drama which seems seeded in The Cure, band and song turn on its audience with a great flume of Bowie inspired mischief, this passage of the song simply the illegitimate yet endearing bastard son of Starman. With blossoming keys and a constantly flavoursome throaty bass line, the song leaves album and its recipient with a gleefully wide grin.

It is probably fair to say that Select All Delete Save As is still an incitement for a certain audience but as we stated in our review of the last album, the band does not care when it comes down to it as long as they light up their own and some other hearts somewhere. Ultra Cultura is sure to recruit a great many more adventurous appetites to the band and its ever evolving presence which has really leap in impressive growth between albums.

The self-released Ultra Cultura is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/ultra-cultura/id868037607

http://www.selectalldeletesaveas.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 27/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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