Maths and The Moon – Familiar Strange


This month sees the release of the eagerly awaited second album from UK alternative rock trio Maths and The Moon. It has been not too many weeks short of three years since their debut full-length, Night Train Daydream caught and captivated ears and imagination with its tapestry of droning seduction and fire drenched melodies spun with uncompromising invention. Familiar Strange is the natural and bold evolution of its predecessor’s sound and character; a generally calmer proposal with fascination and maturity flowing through every pore yet still creatively, an unpredictable and forcibly adventurous exploit.

Southampton bred and made up of vocalist/guitarist/principal songwriter Andy Fielder, drummer Luke Taplin, and bassist Matt Hirst, Maths and The Moon has persistently provided sounds and sonic explorations which have challenged as powerfully as they have enthralled. Formed around 2010, the band made its live debut supporting the legendary Can frontman Damo Suzuki, building on that thick interest sparking moment thereon in before sparking rich acclaim with Night Train Daydream in 2013. The album was an experimental fusion of psych rock and post punk with plenty more involved. Familiar Strange similarly embraces those hues but with an even richer array of equally dramatic flavours involved. It provides a sound and experience which is less spiky than on the first album, even more welcoming melodically and emotionally in many ways, yet still immerses the listener in landscapes as imaginatively scenic as they are emotionally invasive.

The trio has honed their sound and ideas into aural tales, where words and notes collude to cast individual glimpses into shadowed hearts and emotive reflections whilst, to use the words in the album’s press release, losing the listener “in the forest with nothing but shadows, memories and strangely familiar characters.” It all begins with recent single Futurist, a song instantly imposing on ears through the rumbling bass and some heftily swung beats as the guitar spreads an evocative jangle. That relatively forceful first touch soon mellows into a calmer incitement, the song prowling on its rhythms as the inviting tones of Fielder croon over the web of sonic enterprise and drama. The volatility which persistently courts the track does erupt in its chorus to fine effect, arousing ears and appetite further before the song swings through its merger of all aspects while smouldering harmonies and melodic flames colour the fiercely infectious encounter.

Familiar Strange _RingMasterReviewThere is a touch of Muse about the opener, but just a passing whiff before a Pixies-esque spicing emerges in the following Magic. Again it is a scent in an offering uniquely Maths and the Moon; a track which merges a charming sonic irritability with tenacious beats and the spiny lure of the bass. As with the first, the song is inescapably contagious, inciting body and ears with equal prowess and success whilst its fuzzy air and emotive drama seals the imagination’s involvement. Across its length, it blossoms an increasingly blistered surface to its melodies and voice, flirting with a Jesus and Mary Chain meets scorched shoegaze like glazing, while superbly continuing the impressive start to the album with a success quickly backed up by Amongst Trees and its shadow grasped balladry. It is a subdued and mesmeric persuasion where poetically suggestive guitar and voice hug ears as drums and bass build a pulsating frame around them. A thicker stroll of psych rock does emerge within the track, another enticement as catchy as it is soothing in the album, which in turn breeds a rolling rhythmic incitement which provides the hook for celestial harmonies and sultry melodies to hang around.

Howling is another with that alternative meets indie rock essence to its persuasion, the Maths and The Moon seemingly inspired again by the Frank Black kind of songwriting in the creation of their very own addictive tango on the ear. A sizzling slice of dark pop, the track hits the sweet spot dead centre, an accuracy matched by the outstanding In The Ellipse. The track is a ten minute instrumental providing a rhythmic canter with suggestive melodies and lively enterprise in its creative mane. The virulent ride has the scent of The Cure to it, their kind of emotive theatre laid in a tenaciously sculpted and offered gallop though an ever shifting and descriptive landscape.

From the warm and bright emprise of the last track, The Collector envelops ears with a haunting and intimately melancholic sigh. As with the previous ballad, the song is a minimalistic proposal coaxing ears and emotions, but luring full attention with an underlying infectiousness to compliment the maudlin shadows and the great repetitive coaxing around Fielder’s magnetic vocals.

In the band’s first album, Wire often came to mind but not with Familiar Strange, not until Boomerang anyway which weaves some colder steely hues reminiscent of the great band into its low key but snarling seduction of the senses. It is simply just another texture though, taken and twisted to suit and fit what, the album continues to prove, is their most distinctive and robustly compelling sound yet.

Familiar Strange is brought to a close by firstly the solemn acoustic balladry and heart of As The Crow Flies, though a song building a pyre of emotion and sound which burns with more intensity by its departure, and finally, the haze soaked psychedelic saunter and mesmerism of Psych-Seeing. Providing a riveting end to a thrilling encounter, the track glows and resonates across the senses like charmed smog with a melody spilling lighthouse at its heart.

It is fair to say that Night Train Daydream impressed and still does but Familiar Strange is Maths and The Moon on a whole other plateau offering their most exciting and accessible but still invigoratingly experimental proposal yet.

Familiar Strange is released May 20th @

Pete RingMaster 19/05/2016

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Slow Riot – Trophy Wife

Photo by Steve Gullick Photography

Photo by Steve Gullick Photography

Earning thick acclaim and attention with their Cathedral EP, Irish trio Slow Riot are now poised to release their new single and a fresh inventive colour to their already magnetic sound. Their previous release and singles worn an open post punk inspiration drawing likenesses to bands such as Gang of Four, Television, and Wire, as well as a shoegaze scented melodic charm. Though Trophy Wife is still embracing such seeds, it swiftly shows a new adventure of swinging rhythms and imagination tantalising hooks with a vivacity to match that of the driving energy fuelling its body. The result is a compelling affair which still springs from an eighties spawned heart but with the tenacious urgency of the now.

art_RingMasterReviewFormed in 2013, Slow Riot consists of vocalist/bassist Niall Clancy, drummer Paul Cosgrave, and guitarist Aaron Duff. 2015 saw the band release their first pair of singles in City Of Culture and Demons, two intrigue sparking songs which made a bigger impact as part of the attention grabbing Cathedral EP last October. The time between its release and the new single has seen a new twist and exploration in the band’s sound which Trophy Wife is already showing as being a great fresh step.

As the last EP, the single was recorded with Kevin Vanbergen (The Pixies, The Maccabees, Dinosaur Pile-Up, The La’s, Biffy Clyro) at Brighton’s Park Studios and quickly gets to work persuading and exciting ears with its initial surge of beefy rhythms and sonic incitement. Guitars spring a melodic web from there as the bass invitingly prowls, the first cradling the warm tones of Clancy and his harmonic delivery. Almost straight away, that previous post punk spicing emerges as a more new wave hued character, nudging thoughts of bands like B-Movie and Modern English whilst the pounding drive of the song and its intensive undercurrent of virulence offers a Doves meets Editors like tempting.

The track is a vivacious captivation accompanied by B-side Awake For Days; a more laid back proposition revealing another shade in the new palette of enterprise used by Slow Riot in songwriting and sound. Though hopes are that the band do not entirely free themselves of the darker post punk hues found in their debut EP, there is no denying that Trophy Wife offers something just as exciting and easy to find a healthy appetite for.

Trophy Wife is out on April 15th via Straight Lines Are Fine @

Upcoming live dates:

18/04 – Opium Rooms, Dublin w/ Mission Of Burma

23/04 – Kasbah Social Club, Limerick

25/04 – The Waiting Room, London (free show)

Pete RingMaster 14/04/2016

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Little Lapin – Californian Sun

ARt LL_RingMasterReview

It was almost a year ago that Devon bred songstress Little Lapin seduced ears and attention with her seriously well-received album Remember the Highs and its lead self-titled single. To build on their success, this July sees the release of the already eagerly awaited Holding Out For The Kicks and before it the captivating single Californian Sun. The lead track from the upcoming release, the single is a bewitching and melodically sultry teaser which easily ignites all the warm emotions and eager appetite experienced with Little Lapin’s music before as well as a very keen anticipation for what is on the near horizon.

Know to her parents as Lucy Hill, the Devon hailing Little Lapin is no stranger to luring eager ears and praise. Emerging in 2012, she has enticed and transfixed UK audiences and equally those over in New Zealand and across in the US on stage and through her previous singles and a self-titled EP, before stirring greater success up last year with Remember the Highs. Inspired by the likes of Regina Spektor, The Cranberries, Florence & The Machine, Laura Marling, PJ Harvey, The Cure, and The Pixies, the Falmouth residing singer songwriter creates songs and sounds which certainly embraces those spices but, as proven yet again with Californian Sun, she weaves all flavours into a vocal and melodic adventure which is uniquely Little Lapin.

Little Lapin invites ears to Californian Sun with a gentle acoustic caress before slipping into the pool of sultry melodic suggestiveness and rhythmic vivacity woven around her voice and strings by lead guitarist Alex Hill and drummer Harry Harding. In no time the song has the imagination involved, its emotive smoulder and dark rock ‘n’ roll merging with a sixties psych rock twang as Little Lapin’s distinctive tones provide their own evocative texture and expression to the almost cinematic poetry of the song.

Bordering on bewitchment, the warmly glowing Californian Sun has ears basking and the imagination conjuring in its arms, with anticipation for Holding Out For The Kicks quickly following the last smouldering note.

Californian Sun is released April 14th with Holding Out For The Kicks following on July 16th @

Upcoming live dates:

Apr 16 The Stable, Newquay, UK

Apr 17 Ben Tunnicliffe, Penzance, UK

Apr 22 Bar 35, Bude, UK

Apr 23 Ben Tunnicliffe, Penzance, UK

Apr 29 The Stable Plymouth, Plymouth, UK

Apr 30 The Drewe Arms, Exeter, UK

May 05 Ben Tunnicliffe, Penzance, UK

May 06 Rick Steins Fistral, Newquay, UK

May 07 Bystro at the Bank, St. Austell, UK

May 08 The Rock Inn, Devon, UK

May 11 George Inn Brailes, Banbury, UK

May 14 Rough Trade Nottingham, Nottingham, UK

May 15 Lamplighter, Northampton, UK

May 20 Pakhuis De Zwijger, Amsterdam, Netherlands

May 27, Mobile Blues Club, Hamburg, Germany

Pete RingMaster 04/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Veldt – The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation Mixtape EP

photo credit Ed Marshall

photo credit Ed Marshall

The Veldt is one of those projects which really does offer something a little different and for a fair while now. It is no different in regard to new encounter, The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation Mixtape EP either. Consisting of five immersive tracks bred in the band’s fusion of indie, dream-gaze, soul, and immersive ambiences, the release simply grabs the imagination in a creative adventure pretty much unlike any other.

Formed by North Carolina hailing twins, Daniel and Danny Chavis, The Veldt has had success capturing ears and attention since the eighties with their individual atmospheric sound. Already performing as children and taking inspirations across the likes of gospel, Motown, and Pink Floyd into their personal pleasures and thoughts, the pair emerged then as The Veldt, a name taken from a Ray Bradbury story. To simplify the following years, the duo has worked with the likes of Robin Guthrie, A.R. Kane, Mos Def, and Lady Miss Kier and shared stages with artists such as My Bloody Valentine, The Pixies, Cocteau Twins, Oasis, Living Colour, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and TV on the Radio as well as released a host of acclaimed offerings. A name change to Apollo Heights occurred around the mid-nineties followed by a permanent link up with bassist Hayato Nakao in 1999; that a move which brought a new dynamic to the band’s sound. Eventually a return to the name of The Veldt ensued and its re-emergence is now marked by the release of The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur, it the forerunner to new album Resurrection Hymns to be released later this year via SonaBLAST! Records.

With its title borrowed from an E.E. Cummings poem, the EP opens with new single Sanctified. Emerging on a gentle but sonically misty air soon welcoming the bass throb of Nakao, the song quickly blossoms into a warm yet atmospherically muggy embrace. It is an evocative hug of ears and the impressive vocal expression and prowess of Daniel, in turn a fiery but controlled trespass of the imagination built on an array of melancholic textures, transfixing melodic drones, and sonic layers shaped by the imaginative suggestiveness of Danny’s guitar. With additional vocals from Marie Cochrane to accentuate the emotive harmonies, the track is an inescapably engaging proposal to start things off.

The Veldt - The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur (cover)_RingMasterReviewIn a Quiet Room follows and quickly provides a less intensive and crowded proposition but one still as rich with emotional flames amidst guitar and keys shared drama. The vocals alone ensure attention is a given but add the thick tapestry of sound and trance seeded imagination, and the song as EP almost traps the listener in soulful beauty.

Both Token and One Day Out of Life take ears and thoughts on sultry flights through distortion lined sonically soupy climates; the first swaying and floating with ethereal elegance around more tenebrific rhythms. Its successor is a slower fall into provocative seas of sound becoming a senses smothering and engaging immersion around hypnotic rhythms. What grips the imagination most though, is the theatre of shadows which prowls alongside or courts the radiance of these and all songs; a shade perpetually reflecting and accentuating matching hues within their lyrical and emotional depths.

The EP is closed by the classically soulful and slightly familiar yet rigorously fresh And It’s You. It also has single written all over it; hooks and melodies as tantalising as the vocal and atmospheric shimmer which soaks the song as bolder rhythms pulsate with evocative temptation.

It is a fine end to a compelling release; an encounter which offers fresh intrigue and new enterprise with every listen. As suggested at the start, The Veldt creates music which stands alone; the evidence being The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation Mixtape EP.

The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation Mixtape EP is released March 18th via Skully Records @

Pete RingMaster 17/03/2016

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Astral Cloud Ashes -Too Close To The Noise Floor


Antony Walker is one half of the Channel Islands hailing Select All Delete Save As, a band we have taken a shine to especially after the release of their 2014 album Ultra Cultura. The Jersey bred musician has also created music under the name ALPA, amongst other monikers. Now though he has unveiled a new project and a debut single which suggests he is tapping into a new vein of fascinating adventure in songwriting and sound.

The band is called Astral Cloud Ashes; predominantly a one man project though it occasionally features Jason Neil also. Musically tagged as future-core, the band’s sound on the evidence of the new single is an imaginative weave of indie and alternative rock but equally involves elements of noise and pop rock. To be honest, Too Close To The Noise Floor enjoyably makes it hard to pin down the music but if a mix of The Pixies, Swell Maps, Weezer, Bloc Party, and early Cure appeals, then it is a song to seriously explore.

Mastered by Tim Turan, Too Close To The Noise Floor takes the imagination into the intimacy and adventure of cosmonautics but equally involves “family values and unwanted first-world paranoia” in its energetically hugged theme. Guitars and rhythms descend on ears from its first breath, creating a hazy breeze which relaxes as Walker’s warm tones lay engagingly across songs and ears with some great vocal backing adding to the appeal.

There is punchiness to the song too, beats and bass jabbing and prowling respectively alongside the spicy melodies and vibrant hooks that entice. There is raw feel of XTC to the song in particular moments, maybe a whiff of Melvins too, all going to provide a refreshing hip flirting and pleasure inciting proposition.

With a debut album scheduled for later in the year to be anticipation wrapped from hereon in, Too Close To The Noise Floor is a thoroughly enjoyable and attention grabbing introduction to Astral Cloud Ashes, and potentially what could be Walker’s most successful project yet.

Too Close To The Noise Floor is released March 7th across all major online distributors.

Pete RingMaster 29/02/2016

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The Red Fuze – Bazooka Circus EP

Red-Fuze_RingMaster Review

There is an air of rebellion to the sound of Swedish rockers The Red Fuze, a devilry which gives their songs a great unruly and feisty character as shown by new EP Bazooka Circus. The release is a handful of fiery garage rock/blues bred tracks bursting with the passion of the sixties /seventies and the tenacious hunger and enterprise of the now. It is a slab of boisterous rock ‘n’ roll easily stirring the body and emotions, an incitement lying somewhere between White Stripes and In The Whale leaving an intrigue and want for more.

The Red Fuze is the creative partnership of vocalist Randy Wild and guitarist/producer Raimond Raio Geezer, a duo from opposite ends of Sweden who met through an online Bandfinder page. Once connecting, the pair began writing and recording music via email, text message, and phone calls; not physically meeting until the release of their self-titled debut EP last year. As suggested, musically they have nurtured a sound seeded in blues and garage rock but are many other essences from psychedelic rock to more punk inspired hues which are just as potent. It is an attention grabbing potion now lighting up second EP Bazooka Circus to fine effect.

Bazooka Circus EP-Cover2_RingMaster Review   The EP opens with its title track, Bazooka Circus swinging in on a surf rock blossomed sonic enterprise aligned to a similarly woven repetitious groove. It is a seriously enticing entrance increasingly in temptation as Wild’s vocals ride the tendrils of tantalising sound like a sideshow barker, he backed by restrained but anthemic rhythms and wrapped in the sublimely quirky wash of captivating keys and guitar.

By its end ears are hooked, appetite sparked, and the imagination waiting to be treated again, Dance Now quickly obliging with its spicy weave of guitar amidst mesmeric keys, both speared by jabbing beats. Wild’s vocals have a mellower tone compared to the first song, but with a great raw edge which growls perfectly against the smoother persuasion of keys and melodies. As soon realised, every track from The Red Fuze has volatility to it, an incendiary spark which is always near the surface and often breaking its skin to blaze and add even richer tempting for ears to bask in.

Black Mustang unveils a stirring web of tangy grooves and fuzz filtered guitar next, the track romping around with fifties rock ‘n’ roll breeding and a noise/indie rock imagination which is not that far removed from a Pixies or a Thee Exciters. There is wildness to its nature and rowdy rock ‘n’ roll intent to its heart which inspires the throwing off of the shackles of inhibition and get involved, an offer impossible to refuse again when made by Kitchen of Love. The fourth track is a funk infested, blues scented stomp with swinging rhythms and saucy sonic tempting, both working away on feet and hips with swift success. As with Dance Now, there is a fiercely infectious quality to the song, a rich enticement seizing body and emotions with consummate ease.

The EP is closed by Blue Girl, another scuzz kissed lure of captivating and bluesy invention which seems to know just what ears and emotions need to have a good time. It is a thoroughly pleasing flame of sound to end a great release, and though admittedly the Bazooka Circus EP is not necessarily showering the listener with major originality there is plenty about it that is truly fresh and distinct to the band, and a whole which that leaves pleasure the overriding reaction.

The Bazooka Circus EP is out now @

Pete RingMaster 01/12/2015

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Slow Riot – Cathedral


artwork_RingMaster Review

Eighties inspired post punk is seemingly on a surge right now, its seeds being blossomed into varied but distinctive incitements of sound and imagination echoing the genre’s origins. One such band making one of the most compelling persuasions is Irish band Slow Riot, a trio from Limerick who recently released an irresistible dark beauty in the shape of the Cathedral EP. The four track release is an evocation of shadows and solemn emotions cast in a creative calling on the imagination, but one equally bred with epic overtones and an emotive intimacy reflective of something found within its title’s landscape.

Formed in 2013, the threesome of vocalist/bassist Niall Clancy, drummer Paul Cosgrave, and guitarist Aaron Duff recorded Cathedral with producer Kevin Vanbergen (The Pixies, The Maccabees, Dinosaur Pile-Up, The La’s, Biffy Clyro) at the Manic Street Preachers’ Faster studio in Cardiff; additional assistance coming from in-house engineer Loz Williams and the Manics’ James Dean Bradfield through the offering of use of equipment and instruments. From the off the release stirs the senses and imagination but equally the physical body is also gripped by the forcibly rousing prowess and thick insistence of sound.

SR_RingMaster Review   The EP opens with the band’s new single Demons, the lone beats of Cosgrave luring in attention and appetite with an anthemic coaxing. The melancholic charm of Duff’s guitar is soon involving an emotive melody too, it laying evocatively over the persistent arousal of rhythms now also equipped with the solemn resonance of Clancy’s bass. His dour yet alluring vocals are close behind as the song brews more of a Joy Division meets Interpol like croon for a formidable captivation only enhanced by a more fiery nature emerging in the guitar and a flowing crystalline elegance spread by keys. Each element evolves new hues to the slim but varied layers as the track continues, it all building up into a strongly potent beginning to Cathedral.

It is a start for personal tastes quickly eclipsed by the next pair of songs though, City Of Culture the first up. A great scuzzy mix of guitar and bass aligned to boisterous beats sets song and ears off in eager union, a sparkling melody soon adding to the enticement as Clancy’s vocals’ twist around on the riveting web spun by all the already contagious elements. There is a touch of The Sound to the song but more so bands like Scars and Crispy Ambulance with the discordant clang of The Fire Engines in there for good measure. Ultimately though, these are spices only bolstering a virulent tempting unique to Slow Riot.

Just as stunning is the following Adele, a transfixing slice of dark balladry becoming increasingly infectious and addictive as sonic seduction merges with repetitious mastery around the thick potency of the vocals. A revolving incitement set somewhere between My Bloody Valentine, The Slow Readers Club, and Artery, the glorious track reveals not only more of the craft in songwriting and delivery of the band but also the depth of their sound’s imagination and diversity.

Cooper’s Dream brews a character more similar to the Joy Division-esque embrace of Demons, but again outshines the excellent start to the EP with its individual weave of sonic expression, haunting lingering hooks, and a just as enjoyably galvanic rhythmic recruitment of eager involvement. As the EP, the track worms under the skin, infects the psych leaving ingrained lures and rapture in its wake to ensure a perpetual return to its nest of climatic builds and roaring crescendos bound in melancholy entwined restraints is always a lively intent.

The track provides a superb end to a superb release, a full introduction to Slow Riot sowing the seeds to thick anticipation of their next move and lusty enjoyment in their first.

The Cathedral EP is out now via Straight Lines Are Fine @

Pete RingMaster 25/11/2015

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