Kilkovec – Plunge


Following up their eagerly praised EP, Sick Of This, British trio Kilkovec make an even louder knock on real attention with its successor Plunge. Again built on the band’s feisty mix of alternative and punk rock, the new EP takes the band’s sound, imagination, and presence to a new level, one demanding that people take notice.

Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Daniel Wilson, bassist/vocalist Matt Stroud, and drummer Tom Longwater, Hampshire hailing Kilkovec emerged in 2012. Hitting the local live scene with relish, they released debut EP Name Your Place to good reactions in the underground scene though it was Sick Of This last year which sparked critical and broader fan acclaim the way of the threesome. As Plunge roars and twists around in ears it is easy to suggest and suspect even greater plaudits hitting the band’s creative shores, praise to match the rich reputation earned by their live prowess which over the years has seen the sharing of stages with the likes of Yearbook, Seething Akira, Flood of Red, Bad Sign, Press to Meco, Black Foxxes, and The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.

The EP’s brief title track kicks things off, its atmospheric instrumental setting a schizophrenic scene from which the following Change whips out an initial provocative guitar groove swiftly joined by portentous beats and in turn predatory bassline. As much as it carries dark danger, the coaxing has spicy warmth drawing the imagination further into its depths and the potent waiting tones of Wilson. As it develops, raw infectiousness brews and blossoms within the track’s tempestuous punk ‘n’ roll making its irritable charms even more compelling and its unpredictable enterprise pure magnetism.

kilkovec-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewIt is a great start to the release setting the agenda for the adventure and invention shaping Plunge and next up Just Get Better. Rolling in on great rhythmic agitation with just as alluring tides of riffery, the track quickly grips ears and appetite, throwing itself rhythmically around with muscle and attitude as vocals roar and grooves entangle the senses. Its fiery rock ‘n’ roll takes no prisoners though again its virulent catchiness perfectly tempers the raw aggression.

Somerset Cottage brings a mellower proposal straight after though it’s underlying steel and angst is soon flowing through the song’s creative veins as both sides of its character interact with imagination around the impassioned vocals of Wilson. Again there is nothing predictable about the song and its twists; even if the chorus has a familiar feel ensuring participation with it is easy. Littered with groaning grooves, the track is an increasingly captivating spectacle matched by the more straightforward punk infused rock of 40,000 Leagues and Counting. It may not have the boldness of its predecessors but the track only satisfies with its growling nature, anthemic heart, and melodic acidity.

Constructive Criticism is another short instrumental, creative doodling before the outstanding Go On (and on and on) brings its Fatima Mansions meets letlive. like creative drama to bear on ears and thoughts. At times it is a suggestive croon, in others a caustic brawl and increasingly an inescapable lure for the imagination leaving Here’s to You to close things off with its tenacious mix of engaging melodies, rousing vocals, and barbarous rhythms.

It is a thoroughly enjoyable end to a similarly agreeable release suggesting that Kilkovec are not too far away from getting their hooks into nationwide recognition, if not even bigger spotlights.

Plunge is released 27th January.

Pete RingMaster 25/02/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hunter Kill Hunter – II


Building on its well-received predecessor of 2015, the new EP from British alternative rock quintet Hunter Kill Hunter is a striking affair. II is evidence of a band settling into their creative skin if yet to lure out the truly unique aspects of their sound though from start to finish the release captures ear and imagination alike. It is a bold and creatively tenacious affair which leaves a definite appetite for more from this emerging outfit.

Formed in 2015, the London five-piece soon drew attention with their live presence, which has gone on to see the band play with the likes of Jonah Matranga and The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and find their debut EP Find A Way Home well received. Merging post hardcore roars with infectious alternative rock bred enterprise, Hunter Kill Hunter offer an emotionally charged, tempestuously intense affair which has found a new strength and maturity to fuel its visceral yet openly catchy tempting in the new EP.

Opening with the harmonically coloured enticing of Intro, band and release soon up the ante physically and emotionally with Too Much To Take. Instantly a snarling air grips ears and the textures of the song but equally catchiness is abound as vocalist Justin Jackson, revealing both his raw and melodic side, uncages the song’s heart backed by the similarly potent tones of Stuart May and his and fellow guitarist Kieran Harper’s adventurous enterprise.  It is a trait which infests the whole of the song, its twists and turns often seemingly familiar yet driven by a fresh imagination which ensures there is nothing predictable about the fine encounter.

hunter-kill-hunter-ii-cover_RingMasterReviewSinking From Within swiftly uncages a rhythmic proposal which demands attention next, the growling air of Rhys Kirby’s bass in league with the eagerly swung beats of Joe Lanigan. It is a formidable enticing as inviting as it is predacious and the lead into another potent blend of rapacious intensity and melody honed angst. There is a touch of Billy Talent to the song at times mixing in with further unexpected moments of Hunter Kill Hunter invention as once more expectations are evaded by the excellent track.

The reflection bred embrace of The Hunted is a mellower encounter but too equipped with an instinctive almost tempestuous edge which erupts in sonic crescendos between the plaintive warmth of the vocals. More of a grower against the more quickly impacting prowess of its predecessors, the song grows into another truly engaging affair with a lingering infectiousness before They’ve Traded Us For Gold finds an even calmer landscape for its resourceful proposition. As with the last song, its calm is interrupted with fiery expulsions of sound and energy, each outburst escalating an impressive hug of melodic and harmonic enterprise.

The imposing intensity and volatile climates of earlier tracks is enjoyably exposed again in the outstanding We Are The Blame, its eventful drama stirring ears and spirit in swift time while closing track Neverlasting Light is the darkest, arguably most intense moment within II as heart and sound expose their rawest qualities and honesty in a turbulent and pleasingly imposing tempest.

Another track growing to its full height with subsequent listens, it provides a thickly satisfying end to a highly enjoyable encounter with Hunter Kill Hunter. As suggested earlier, there are many familiar aspects to the EP yet it would not be wrong to say each is twisted or employed in something building towards a character of sound distinct to the band, and something rather easy to want more of.

II is out now @

Pete RingMaster 17/01/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Highlives – Misguided Youth

Highlives Promo 1_RingMaster Review

A defined uniqueness might be absent but there is no turning up of the nose for the rousing exploits of Misguided Youth, the new EP from UK pop punks Highlives. The five track proposition invites and pleases ears with highly enterprising and increasingly alluring songs themed by the conflicting guidance and influences that young lives come up against and affect their decisions for good and bad. As suggested there are plenty of familiar hues and flavours to the Highlives sound but it does not stop the band providing thoroughly enjoyable and potent confrontations.

Another band coming out of the great Bristol music scene, Highlives caught ears with the release of their two-track EP Through Vacant Eyes in the middle of 2014, its success backing up a strong reputation and support already earned on their local landscape. The end of that year saw a well-received split release with Edmonton band Nothing Gold Can Stay lure new appetites the way of the band, though easy to suspect nothing to what Misguided Youth has the potential of sparking.

Highlives Cover_RingMaster Review   It opens up with Wake Me Up, a song instantly filling ears with robust rhythms within a thick blaze of sonic energy. Things do relax a touch as vocalist Liam Edwards adds his lyrical and emotive weight to proceeding, his potent expression and delivery backed by the equally strong tones of guitarist Ben Lucas. Fair to say though that hooks are alluring and riffs grouchy from hereon in but wrapped in melancholic air and a melodic charm which tempers and unites with the more bullish nature of the track. It is not a majorly remarkable beginning to the EP but certainly a richly engaging and attention holding one with its stylish craft and emotion, a touch of the Mayday Parade to its air not doing any harm either.

The strong start is quickly eclipsed by the following Heavy Weight, the best track on the release grabbing ears and appetite within its first clutch of seconds. A gentle rub of Lucas’ guitar is the spark to thicker endeavour, his swiftly bolder catchy bait joined by the snarling bass of Mark Prouse, both powered by the anthemic swings of drummer Steve Parks. With the vocals leading the infectious energy and temptation, body and emotions are soon fully involved with the excellent song, that bass grouchiness continuing to incite extra lust in an all-round treat of an incitement.

   Twenty-Two steps up next, offering a generally calmer proposal in energy and sound though it is no less emotionally tempestuous as it releases rawer musical outbursts. For the main the song is a lively croon showing the Highlives ability to create expressive melodies and warm harmonies fuelled with reflective angst. It is another strongly enjoyable offering matched in success by the feistier contagion of Walking Blind. As with Heavy Weight, there are discernable essences of bands like The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and New Found Glory to the roar but also a low key and coincidental spice of Hagfish which only adds to the fun as the track leaves satisfaction full once again.

New single/video Better Days completes the release, it a more bruising and intensive snarl but no slouch in catchy hooks and gripping drama either. It is easy to see why it was chosen for the lead track from the EP, though personal thoughts wonder if the second song would be even more successful, and easy to get hooked by its tenacious energy and invention as well as the intensive emotion running through its infectious chest beating anthem.

Highlives is another great potential loaded band not yet finding a sound which truly standouts in pop punk, a success few can maybe really claim, but Misguided Youth shows they are going in the right direction, providing some keenly enjoyable and impressing songs as evidence.

The Misguided Youth EP is available as a free download from the band’s Bandcamp now.

Pete RingMaster 11/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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