The Room in The Wood – We’re The Martians, Now

photo by Mark Sant Angelo

As for most music lovers, our list of all-time favourite singles is quite extensive but one riding high is Things Have Learnt to Walk That Ought to Crawl by UK new wave/post punk outfit The Room. A couple of years short of four decades later a track by former members of the band has joined that eager line-up; Charmed from The Room in The Wood recently released before the band’s new album, We’re The Martians, Now. Its success suggested a bigger release which had the potential to capture ears and imagination alike which we can now loudly declare it does with sublime ease.

Liverpool’s The Room in The Wood is at its heart vocalist Dave Jackson and guitarist Paul Cavanagh, the former a founding member of that predominately eighties band with the latter joining them the year after the release of their 1982 debut album. Uniting again as The Room in The Wood, the pair released a self-titled first album in 2018 to critical acclaim with later that year The Mars EP more than echoing its support and potency. With twelve tracks which fascinate as they seduce, of which numerous could equally demand an attention grabbing standalone release, We’re The Martians, Now is destined to command even greater praise and success, the album one of the most captivating encounters 2020 has embraced so far.

Featuring drummer Colin George Lamont (Mark Lanegan, Dave Gahan), flutist Simon James and the celestial backing vocals of Helena Jacks, The Room in The Wood immediately compelled thick attention with album opener Diamond Clouds. The band’s sound is a tapestry of flavours; new wave, post punk, dark pop, and folk nurtured hues among them and swiftly We’re The Martians, Now revels in the rich temptation it offers. The first song saunters in on a fuzz lined melody and a rhythmic skip, Jackson’s almost stoic tones quickly walking the song’s instinctive rock bred catchiness while the angelic harmonies of Jacks make for a siren like contrast to his earthier presence, both magnetic within the flames of Cavanagh’s guitar.

Never breaking its lively amble, the track is a richly rousing affair which the following Mars (Won’t Save Us) more than matches in contagion with its post punk lined virulence. Akin to a tonic made up from the essences of The Doors and Stan Ridgway, the track is part apocalyptic insight and part celebratory flirtation and one greed eagerly took to before Stowaway lured its own healthy portion of appetite with its surf washed, dark pop/rock stroll. Warm and seductive with a gorgeous crepuscular edge, the song swiftly got under the skin, its rhythmic swing gripping hips as vocals and melodies entangle the imagination.

From one majorly favourite moment to another in Blue, a similarly shadow lit seduction haunting air and  ears alike, again something of a Mr Ridgway styled hue adding additional colour to its dark kissed intimation and breath before the album sets its title track on an already lustful appetite for We’re The Martians, Now. Again Lamont’s rhythms are eager manipulation beneath the melodic caresses of guitar and Jackson’s descriptive presence, the track another which had the body swaying and attention inescapably hooked.

Across the glistening melodic radiance of Shimmer, a song with a surface which teases volatility, and the infection loaded nostalgic bounce of Fun of the Fair, The Room in The Wood just gripped the passions tighter, the second of the two especially viral in sound and effect and  living up to its title whilst provoking thoughts. Even so they still found themselves eclipsed by the aforementioned Charmed and its esurient beauty. With a great Monochrome Set spice to its melody woven intoxication and graceful harmonies, the track is splendour in a shadow drenched world, a spark and light to the darkest day.

There is a similar tinge of Bid and co to next up Dragonfly though there is as much a XTC like breath to the folk coloured song too yet as everywhere the moment of creative glamour is as distinctive to Jackson and Cavanagh as you could wish with the flute of James a romance of fluttering gossamer wings.

The final trio of the intimately earnest and acoustically bewitching Halloween Lies, the tense indie pop lined Under the Waterfall, and the sonically aflame and rhythmically bold exclamation, The Earth is Flat ensure the album never loosened its hold from start to finish. The second of the trio carries a Wonder Stuff-esque sigh to its captivation while the last of the three is a rousing almost belligerent post punk stomp reminding a touch of bands like 1919 and Gang of Four.

And that is We’re The Martians, Now, a collection of tracks which with consummate ease simply held attention and the imagination in a realm of magnificence.

We’re The Martians, Now is out May 15th via A Turntable Friend Records; available @ https://theroominthewood.bandcamp.com/ digitally, on CD, and Limited Edition Vinyl.

https://www.facebook.com/theroominthewood/   https://twitter.com/davejacksonroom

Pete RingMaster 16/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

From streets and trees

With again thanks to our friend Shauna of the great band Ummagma and leading light of the mighty Shameless PR, we have discovered another clutch of singles sure to ignite your interest.

The Room in The Wood is centred round the creative union of guitarist Paul Cavanagh and vocalist Dave Jackson, the pair back writing and playing together again since the demise of their post-punk band The Room in 1985; a band whose single, Things Have Learnt to Walk That Ought to Crawl still finds an eager place in our ears. That alone sparked real anticipation as what The Room in The Wood might offer and as Charmed reveals, it is pure captivation.

The likes of The Doors, Burt Bacharach, Beck, Fleet Foxes, and Nick Cave have been offered up as suggestions to the band’s sound but as soon as Charmed began its suggestive balladry, it was The Monochrome Set which came to mind and escalated the natural magnetism of the song, To be fair, the track is unique to The Room in The Wood in every way but that additional scent does it no harm as neither the flighty lures of Simon James’ folkish flute and the autumn stroll of drummer Colin George Lamont’s rhythms.

Released via A Turntable Friend Records, Charmed is a slice of melodic beauty with snapping jaws at social disparity and a real joy.

Also released through A Turntable Friend Records is the latest single from the black watch, a LA-based outfit consisting of John Andrew Fredrick, Andy Creighton, Scott Campbell, and Rob Campanella. Crying All The Time is taken from Brilliant Failures, the quartet’s new album planned for release mid-2020 and no finer a teaser for the full-length are you likely to hear.

A slice of psychedelic indie pop, the song has a definite eighties scent to its enterprise; indeed in certain moments and in varying degrees bands such as Echo and the Bunnymen, The Sound, and The House Of Love came to mind though it would be wrong to say that Crying All The Time shared anything less than the black watch richness.

From the citric jangle of guitar to the rampant incitement of rhythms and Fredrick’s participation encouraging vocals, the single rides pop rock instincts with creative boisterousness. Everything about it is virulent infectiousness yet embraces an organic DIY feel which again harkens back to late seventies/early eighties invention and boldness; another of numerous reasons to swiftly check it out,

photo by DC Cane

With their new self-titled mini album set for release January 31st, Beat Hotel share the second single from it on the 3rd. Bury It Deep is a song with an indie rock jangle and melodic pop catchiness and an ear pleasing invitation to that upcoming release.

Featuring current and former members of The June Brides, The Loft, The Weather Prophets, Distractions, Mudlow, Mojo Fins, and Lolita Storm and based between Brighton and Plymouth, Beat Hotel is the long-time project of guitarist/vocalist Paul Pascoe and bassist Arash Torabi. With drummer Dave Morgan having played on records alongside the likes of Jazz Butcher, Primal Scream, Vic Goddard, and Subway Sect, there was plenty to intrigue from the band’s musical experiences alone and Bury It Deep quickly rewarded with its accomplished enterprise.

There is a touch of Lloyd Cole and the Commotions to the song’s guitars at times, a hue which escalates its natural infectiousness and the melodic prowess of Pascoe and fellow guitarist Stephen Brett. With a psych rock breath adding to the track’s shimmer against the darker lit stroll of rhythms, Bury It Deep soon had ears hooked and with increasing strength by the listen. Released through Occultation Recordings, it is a song which suggests that upcoming release will be well worth a good listen.

Also with a new album in the wings, German gothic rockers MONO INC. release a pair of singles to entice ears towards that bigger proposition.

The Book of Fire and Louder Than Hell are the opening two songs upon The Book of Fire LP which will be released January 24th via SPV / NoCut in Europe and ADA / Entertainment One in North America. The eleventh full-length from the Hamburg quartet, it is a concept album of a “time when knowledge gained over centuries was systematically erased…A time of the inquisition”, an adventure the two singles suggest will make for a fascinating exploration.

The band’s sound is a weave of gothic rock and folk scented metal evenly embracing familiarity and uniqueness. The Book of Fire is a canter of melodic dexterity and lyrical intimation and straight away coaxes attention with its melodic lures before bursting into a bolder and heavier surge. Martin Engler’s tones soon unveil the track’s shadow bound tale as the rhythms of bassist Manuel Antoni and drummer Katha Mia echo that darkness.

Louder Than Hell similarly takes the imagination into a saga of drama and darkness and with matching enterprise from its electronic enticing to robust rock exploits. With Mia’s tones a rousing company to Engler’s lead and the guitar of Carl Fornia weaving suggestion as potent as the lyrics, the track makes for a stirring encounter, eclipsing its companion on the way with both tracks joining those previously mentioned in luring intrigue and attention the way of the bigger proposals they come from.

The final single we urge you to go explore is The Delicate Balance of All Things from Beauty in Chaos featuring Wayne Hussey. The song is the first appetiser for the LA-based collective’s new album, The Storm Before The Calm, a release due February 21st via 33.3 Music Collective which as its predecessor sees the project formed/led/curated by guitarist Michael Ciravolo (Human Drama/ Michael Aston’s Gene Loves Jezebel) uniting with the craft and talent of numerous musicians.

Also a potent part of that debut, Finding Beauty in Chaos, The Mission’s Hussey joins Ciravolo in The Delicate Balance of All Things, his distinctive tones a calm and suggestive presence within the psych bred web of guitar and the melodic shimmer from their evocative strands. Craftily infectious in groove and gait and hauntingly dramatic in tone and imagination, the track simply bewitched ears and appetite while laying the seeds of eager anticipation for The Storm Before The Calm.

https://www.facebook.com/theroominthewood/  https://twitter.com/davejacksonroom    https://theroominthewood.bandcamp.com/   https://theroominthewood.bandcamp.com/track/charmed

http://johnandrewfredrick.com/   https://www.facebook.com/theblackwatchmusic   https://twitter.com/blackwatchmusic   https://theblackwatch.bandcamp.com/track/crying-all-the-time

https://www.facebook.com/Beat-Hotel-107226936009024/   https://twitter.com/paulbeat70   https://beathotel2.bandcamp.com/album/beat-hotel

http://mono-inc.com/   https://www.facebook.com/monoinc   https://twitter.com/mono_inc

https://www.beautyinchaosmusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/beautyinchaosmusic/   https://twitter.com/MichaelCiravolo

MONO INC.’s THE BOOK OF FIRE TOUR Dates

06.03.20 – Münster, Skaters Palace

07.03.20 – Köln, Carlswerk Victoria

12.03.20 – München, Backstage Werk

13.03.20 – Nürnberg, Z-Bau

14.03.20 – Wiesbaden, Schlachthof

15.03.20 – Pratteln, Z7

20.03.20 – Berlin, Columbia Halle

21.03.20 – Leipzig, Haus Auensee

27.03.20 – Oberhausen, Turbinenhalle

28.03.20 – Stuttgart, Im Wizemann

29.03.20 – Saarbrücken, Garage

03.04.20 – Hannover, Pavillon

04.04.20 – Hamburg, Sporthalle

Pete RingMaster 04/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright