Puppet Kings – The Mountain

Praise and enjoyment came rather easily a couple of years back for the Very Cool and Groovy EP from UK rockers Puppet Kings and both have bubbled up just as keenly again as the duo release its successor in the shape of The Mountain. Offering four tracks revelling in the hard/classic rock bred, broadly flavoured sound which has already marked the band out, the new EP equally hit the spot very nicely.

Originally formed in Brighton but Clapham based for the past few years, Puppet Kings consists of Tomas Cochrane (guitars, bass and vocals) and Harry Lehane (drums and vocals). It is a pairing which swiftly sparked and has increasingly earned a potent reputation and eager following through their rousing live presence and just as stirring releases starting with debut EP Timebomb of 2015 and Very Cool and Groovy two years later. With each release, the band’s sound has grown in adventurous maturity and bolder imagination; a blossoming still on going with The Mountain.

The band’s sound is a mix of the familiar and individually fresh which has already produced songs which boisterously leap from the speakers with open dexterity and instinctive energy. The last EP offered up tracks which grabbed appetite and memory with ease but none as masterfully and tenaciously as The Mountain opener, The Message. The track teased and tempted the passions from its first breath, a throbbing bassline the main culprit but soon joined by the equally captivating throes of guitar and vocals alongside the skittish beats of Lehane. Their lure only escalates by note and riff, exploding in a manipulative roar within a chorus which just commands participation. Everything about the track is a rousing incitement, from its devious stroll and virulent bounce to the vocal prowess and lead of both men, the song pure rock ‘n’ roll motivation.

Such its mighty roar and success, the following three tracks sit in its shadow but fair to say there is little about each which fails to bring added pleasure to the EP. Mountain Song is the following encounter, a blues tinged groove emerging from sonic air to spark another body trespassing, keenly infectious canter. Again the vocals play a big part in any tempting but similarly guitar and rhythms imaginatively shape a song which settles rather enjoyably in the ears.

Age Of Austerity is next up, a coaxing melodic tendril luring the listener into a shadowy but just as inviting embrace of inventive infectiousness. At various times, Puppet Kings has been compared to bands such as Foo Fighters, Guns N Roses, Alice in Chains, and Royal Blood some of which echo the spicing within another compelling track but as it and the EP overall confirms, the band’s sound is becoming more individual to the pairing by the release.

Fellow UK duo, The Sea does come to mind at times across The Mountain, they another outfit unleashing honest and passionate rock ‘n’ roll and the closing roar of Bag Of Bones epitomises the power of those traits. Slowly but firmly rising to its feet with melodic and emotive intensity wrapped in blues rock nurtured grooves, that passion fuels every syllable and seductive fiery chord which erupts, charging up the track’s animated fervour and fire.

It is a fine end to another inescapably enjoyable outing with Puppet Kings, a band which just gets more compelling by the record.

The Mountain is out now.

https://www.facebook.com/puppetkings   https://twitter.com/puppetkings

Pete RingMaster 06/03/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Watch Rome Burn – Vox Heretic

Seattle has been one of the most refreshing conveyor belts of musical pleasures over the decades and shows no signs of slowing down as from its dirtiest grunge punk depths it brings us the inimitable sound of Watch Rome Burn. The two brother outfit has just uncaged their new album and it has swiftly become something we for one cannot get enough of.

Last year the pair of guitarist/vocalist Drew and drummer Jestyn Cummings lured eager plaudits with Now on VHS, an attention grabbing encounter laying the seeds for the rapacious roar of its successor Vox Heretic. The new release escalates the dirty crust-esque punk aspect of its predecessor but equally embroils itself in the grunge and alternative rock side of that first proposition but drawing on the rawest breath and predacious intent of both to leave the former laying in its dust.

Vox Heretic immediately had ears and imagination hooked as a sonic drawl brought opener Consumed into view. Its broiled shimmer in turn triggered a rhythmic prowl aligned to an equally skulking vocal prowess, all the time that sonic dissonance pulsating. Never particularly deviating from its initial intent but rich in intimation, the track is superb; pure creative devilry setting up the promise and adventure of things to come.

The following Thief is soon into its carnal swing, its unapologetically raw air and flesh instantly magnetic and bawling away with proto punk causticity. As with the first, there is an inherent catchiness which had the body bouncing even when tempered by the song’s feral garage rock belligerence. Abrasive and bracing, the track just hit the spot as too unerringly did next up Motley. Like a mix of a proto punk Queens Of the Stone Age meets the hungry rock ‘n’ roll of The Sea, the song is another predatory trespass which simply aroused body and spirit.

On The March flares up with an industrial hue next but is soon into a rock ‘n’ roll stride with Jestyn’s rhythms manipulating song and listener as Drew further incites both with his electric intrusion and vocal dexterity. Imagine a punk ‘n’ roll Therapy? and you get a whiff of the outstanding stomp.

The duo showed they can glow with undiluted melodic enterprise too, though Crystallized straight after equally has a fried haze to its coruscating glow while with Be What You Want they caused inescapable addiction. Its caped crusader tinted swing instantly got under the skin, vocal enticement adding to the potency as similarly the wired almost uptight grooves which escape the strings of Drew’s guitar.

The release is brought to a delicious close by firstly War Blues, a track surely bred from illicit blues stills hidden in the shadows of the band’s home city. Its melodic liquor is intoxicating punk blues soaked in the contagion which flavours every track within Vox Heretic; a blend which had the body worked like a puppet before things are finally concluded by the melodic seduction of Up Here. Uncluttered but as rich in flavour as you would wish, the song is a captivating sundown on the album, a final surf kissed glow and sigh which only lures ears right back into the release.

Vox Heretic is Watch Rome Burn knocking on major attention, a door which surely cannot stay closed much longer against the indisputable roar and often corrosive but ever alluring raw charm of their sound.

Vox Heretic is out now and available @ https://watchromeburn.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/jointheburnlegion/

 Pete RingMaster 22/09/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Nine Dart Finish – The Misadventures of…

Nine Dart Finish is a British outfit drawing on the wide influences of the likes of Weezer, Supergrass, Queen, and Ian Dury for their pop fuelled rock ‘n’ roll; The Misadventures of… is their debut album which unapologetically has the body bouncing as fun floods every pour of its magnetic enterprise. The trio from Birmingham has already lured potent attention from fans and media alike with a handful of singles especially potent; appetites for their boisterous sound which their first album can only multiply.

Consisting of former Coffeeshop member in lead vocalist/bassist Daz Yardley, guitarist/vocalist Christopher Mobbs, and drummer Andy Proudman, Nine Dart Finish first drew ears with debut EP Fall To Pieces late 2015. Since then their hook loaded pop ‘n’ rock has grown and become more creatively mischievous by the song. The Misadventures of… brings all the enticing dynamics and lusty grooves of the band’s sound as well as those devilish hooks the threesome seems to instinctively conjure together in one rousing enjoyable place.

Bringing the lively antics of recent singles, highlights of that first EP and new tracks together in one captivating union, The Misadventures of… roars into view with the outstanding The Cut of Your Jib. The track is wild rock ‘n’ roll, almost feral in its energy as riffs and rhythms harry ears just as eager vocals blaze. As the album continues it is easy to see why certain tracks were chosen and potent as singles and teases for the full-length but for personal tastes it is tracks like the raucous rock bred opener which trapped the keenest attention and passions. With a touch of Queens of the Stone Age to its contagious tempest, the track is a garage rock lined clamour getting the album off to a magnificent start.

The following Fall to Pieces is a far calmer proposition as a melodic jangle colludes with vocal harmonies before the track settles into its warm catchy swing. There is no preventing the quick shuffle of feet to its stroll, keys adding to its summery scent as vocals and melodies entangle before In the City uncages its own rock ‘n’ roll flame. Within its slightly rawer attack, hooks tease and tempt as riffs nag, Proudman’s beats striking with relish as they drive the infectious escapade.

Recent single Kicking & Screaming is next, a song which blossomed by the listen as its organic rumble aligns to melodic enticement. The former gives the otherwise gentle seduction a volatility which imposes without truly erupting, a combination gripping ears within a grunge pop like proposal while Charlie Bonkers offers up a melody woven slice of Brit Pop nurtured enterprise. It is fair to say that the song did not impact as potently as those around it on our tastes yet as honest to admit it had the hips swinging and vocal chords playing without any trouble.

You Don’t Bother Me similarly did not quite grab as strongly as many of its companions with its sixties hued pop but again involvement in its enticement was unavoidable as with the blues kissed rock of Falling for You. Both tracks epitomises the band’s knack at weaving varied and seriously catchy adventures though each is swiftly overshadowed by the album’s finest moment consisting of its final three songs.

From its initial melodic caresses Fabio’s Overture blossoms into a truly mesmeric slice of pop rock, emotive strands in voice and sound entangling another lure of virulent catchiness as inescapable whether the song is ablaze or simply smouldering. Its thick enticement leads into the rousing devilry of You’re so Cool. As again pop floods its bold rock ‘n’ roll, the track nags and taunts attention with relish. With something of UK duo The Sea about it, the track is superb rivalling the opener for best song honours though they are equally matched by the tenacious stomp of album closer London. There is a certain mod like hue to the song which only adds to its outstanding character and roar.

Though as mentioned there are some tracks which undoubtedly eclipsed others for us, The Misadventures of… is one thoroughly enjoyable involvement from start to finish. Nine Dart Finish have a sound with open growth in every new song so expect many more lustily fun times ahead as well as right now with their new offering.

The Misadventures of… is out now through iTunes and other stores.

http://ninedartfinish.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/NDFmusic/   https://twitter.com/ndfmusic

Pete RingMaster 17/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Colony House – When I Was Younger

Colony House new pic_RingMaster Review

Recently US indie rockers Colony House released their first UK single in the feisty and captivating shape of Silhouettes to coincide a host of live dates across Europe with Ohio quartet Walk The Moon. Fair to say a healthy buzz was bred and earned by both the shows and the single which was taken from the band’s debut album When I Was Younger; a fuss easy to expect leading to further potent success this side of the pond with the assumed release of the album here too.

Hailing from Nashville, Colony House was formed by Caleb and Will Chapman, the sons of Contemporary Christian pop superstar Steven Curtis Chapman, with Scott Mills who the pair met through a cousin. Initially called Caleb, the band switched to the name of Colony House in 2013, continuing to work on their first album which they began in 2012 and completed that following year. Its songs are a bold and openly intimate look at issues and experiences observed and felt by the band, the accidental death of the brother’s 5-year-old adoptive sister Maria Sue in 2008 one such tragedy. Their songs, as shown by the album, also explore a hope and understanding within the raw elements theming their bodies, their sounds similarly nurtured to accentuate and emphasize their themes with rich success.

artwork_RingMaster Review     The new single opens up the album and swiftly has ears enticed and gripped, Silhouettes swinging in with energetic rhythms and jangly guitar within a warm atmosphere led by the potent vocals. There is an instant familiarity to the sound of the song, nothing specific but recognisable hues welcoming an appetite for vibrant pop rock. It also comes with a thick drama and magnetic virulence, the song bridging melodic intimacy and rousing incitements with a stirring quality that soaks the album throughout as shown by the track’s successor Second Guessing Games. Again hearty and gentle caresses with a catchy intent lead into boisterous exploits with matching infectiousness, their persuasions alternating and entwining across the dynamic swing of the equally impressing track.

Variety is a constant across When I Was Younger too, the sultry and persistently revolving mix of electronic imagination and indie seduction colouring Caught Me By Surprise and the shadowed eighties toned theatre of Roll With the Punches quick evidence. Both of the excellent encounters steal attention with ease, the second especially compelling within its China Crisis meets Editors like weave of emotive melodies and immersive atmospherics around the ever impressing vocals and craft of the band.

There is a touch of UK band The Sea to the Colony House sound, an element hinting throughout but especially coming to mind within the tenaciously resourceful Keep On Keeping On, one of many tracks which just linger in the memory with its gentle but inescapable hooks and a wonderfully unpredictable imagination merging tender elements with fiery textures and emotional intensity. There is also a natural roar to the song and many of its companions which you can easily visualise being a potent force live, the album, we are assured by those in the know, a strong reflection of the band’s rich energy and power on stage.

Through the lively and heartfelt croon of Waiting for My Time to Come and the bluesy tonic of 2:20, band and album continue to enthral and offer spicy variations, the surf rock lined exploits of guitar in the second of the two especially invigorating before Learning How to Love lowers the intensity with its melodic romancing of the senses. It is a potent caressing which still has a rhythmic agitation to keep an eye on, one sparking increasing volatility as the song grows into its smouldering bellow of melodic temptation without breaking its controlling reins.

Through the acoustic serenade of Won’t Give Up and the evolving energy and creative landscape of Moving Forward, satisfaction and enjoyment is full even if neither quite lights the fires as forcibly and long term as earlier tracks or as constantly in the case of the latter. Glorious has a similar success, making a heavily pleasing and increasingly magnetic companion with every listen but not leaving the same seeds to entice an urgent return as say Silhouettes or Caught Me By Surprise.

The album closes out with Lose Control, another skilled theatre of sound and expression weaving in melancholic strings, dramatic rhythms, and the ever bracing mix of melodic and vocal heart. It is an anthemic end to an excellent introduction to the UK of Colony House, and easy to see why they are a healthily devoured proposal back home.

We have no details of the UK release of When I Was Younger but it seems it is on the cards with Silhouettes a more than exciting teaser worth big attention.

The UK and US releases of Silhouettes and When I Was Younger respectively can be found through most online stores.

http://colonyhousemusic.com   https://www.facebook.com/colonyhousemusic

Pete RingMaster 16/12/2015

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New York Tourists – Call

NYT_RingMaster Review

Whether being described as Queens of The Stone Age meets Foals is a true colour to the New York Tourists sound we are still debating but it does hint at the rich flavour and textures within it, qualities ripe in the band’s new single Call.

cover_RingMaster Review    It is fair to say that the British alternative rock quartet has been garnering hefty praise in reviews and attention since the release of their debut EP, Thankyou & Goodnight late 2012, its track Chew Me Up, Spit Me Out, selected as one of BBC Introducing’s top 10 tracks of 2013. Its success helped lead New York Tourists to support slots for the likes of The Subways, The View, The Sunshine Underground, and Buzzcocks whilst also headlining the Alternative Stage at Blackburn Festival. Second EP Dead Man’s Leather was unveiled in 2014 via London based label Kittiwake Records, and more acclaim and attention flew their way as well as opportunities to play with band such as We Are Scientists, The Cribs, and Shed 7 soon after. Having begun recording their successful Kickstarter funded debut album earlier this year and playing Hogton Tower in Preston as the main support to Status Quo in front of 12,000 people, the foursome of vocalist/guitarist Gary Taylor, guitarist Carl Rutherford, bassist Adrian Mckenzie, and drummer Joe Mooney have had an exciting year, one only continuing with Call, the band whetting and inflaming the appetite for their album at the same time.

The single opens with the falsetto prowess of Taylor, his lofty tones backed by more earthbound hues, presumably also his own, as guitars cast their magnetic lure over ears and around the lively rhythmic frame of the song. With a scent of psych rock and post punk/new wave spice to its invitingly volatile climate and body, the track canters along with an engaging melodic character and busy energy around an impressive vocal tempting. Rhythmically the song reminds of fellow Brits The Sea, whilst its vocal and inventive heart offers a familiarity hard to pin down but certainly with seeds in more adventurous Brit Pop.

Leaving a certain want for more, Call is a potent tempter for the New York Tourists album whenever that comes along, and if its songs can match up to the single, more highly enjoyable times are afoot.

Call is released October 24th

Upcoming Live Dates:

30th October – Camden Barfly

13th November – Ferret, Preston

19th November – Wharf Chambers, Leeds

http://www.new-yorktourists.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/NEW-YORK-TOURISTS-188920262416/   https://twitter.com/newyorktourists

Pete RingMaster 23/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Jago – The Wicked Try

jago-the-wicked-try

Though it was released mid-December we would be failing if we did not give you the heads-up about the debut single from UK vocalist/producer Jago. The Wicked Try is a simply scintillating anthemic slice of dub/reggae alchemy, a rapture inducing waltz of melodic endeavour and creative swagger which leads the ears and imagination down a path of insatiable aural seduction. Already renowned for his work as one half of production duo Hylu & Jago, the artist steps forward alone as a magnetic proposition in his own right.

      Also one of the vocalists of the brilliant reggae band Onlyjoe, it seems fair to say that Jago shines in everything he puts his undoubted talents into right now and his first single is no exception. Released via Hundred Years, only the second release since the label recently formed with the first the debut Galak Spiritual EP, the single also features contributions from Ghost Writerz (the acclaimed duo of Harry ‘Sleepy Time Ghost’ Metcalfe and Jason ‘Jimmy Screech’ Bradshaw), Junior Dangerous, and Serocee, all bringing an expertise and individuality which adds extra spice to the tantalising.

     Produced by one of Britain’s most inventive producers The Sea, The Wicked Try is pure undiluted temptation from first note to last. The song takes little time in charming the ears, a rasping breath making way for a teasing percussive nod and a dub infused brassy sound from keys which dance around and seduce the imagination like an over flirty lap dancer whilst he vocals equally lay down a vibrant charm offensive. It is not long before the epidemically infectious chorus makes its appearance as the rhythms and keys simultaneously trifle with the affections. Strolling along its course with insatiable and skilled revelry, the subsequent cast of vocals exploit the already bred ardour from the emotions with virulent ease. The track just does no wrong, every aspect and tempter irrepressible persuasions as The Wicked Try courts the imagination and leaves a long term persuasion in its wake.

     The track alone would have made the most compelling purchase but it comes with a pulsating dubbed out hip hop mix from DJ Vadim and a rich dub version, both forcibly attractive alternatives to the original but truthfully they cannot steal the passions from their first infatuation. Released digitally and as a 12” vinyl The Wicked Try though released a couple of weeks before the close of 2013 is really this year’s first essential single, a song to set new standards and claim a love affair with the passions.

https://www.facebook.com/hyluandjago

https://www.facebook.com/hundredyearsrecords

10/10

RingMaster 09/01/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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https://soundcloud.com/hundredyears/jago-feat-ghost-writerz-jnr-3?in=hundredyears/sets/jago-the-wicked-try-previews#t=0:00

The Sea – High On…

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There is always a twist of excitement when approaching a new release from UK rock band The Sea, fresh anticipation which has yet to be let down across their singles and especially their excellent album of last year, Rooftops. New EP High On… continues the immense satisfaction continually bred by the band though this time it offers their greatest moment yet in power, passion, and fiery invention.

      High On… is a muscular release which explores the rock and blues elements which was sniffed at on the eclectic Rooftops, though there is still a place for melodic charm and emotive enchantment. Like its predecessor the EP is unafraid to mix up its sound and ideas to keep intrigue and captivation as lively as the energetic storm which cores the release. Consisting of brothers Alex (vocals, drums) and Peter D’Chisholme (vocals, guitar, piano), the duo from  Newquay, Cornwall has leapt upon the passions of rock pop with an insatiable enterprise and fire which is hungrily devoured by their growing legion of fans worldwide. Since forming in 2007 the pair has ignited Europe, US, and Canada with their fevered stage performances, whilst drawing potent acclaim for their releases including debut single Love Love Love, first album Get It Back, and of course the mighty Rooftops, all like the EP released on their own Lusty Records label. The band has a desire and greed when it comes to music which translates into their thrilling sounds, a drive which sees them relentlessly gigging including sharing stages with bands such as Muse, The Kills, The Enemy, and James Morrison, and overcoming in 2011 a freak surfing accident which saw Alex breaking his neck. Surprising all, especially as he faced the possibility of being unable to even walk again, the drummer was back touring within months and as the new release shows is back more formidable and feisty than ever.

High On… finds The Sea igniting their passion for dirty rock n roll with influences of the likes of MC5, The White Stripes, and the 165038_474051125966824_242022999_nStooges, all essences which make strong whispers across the EP though the band undoubtedly trigger their own unique presence through it. It also sees the band stripping down their sound to one guitar, a set of drums, and impassioned vocal squalls, the result a fire as raucous and commanding as anything on their previous releases with their more expansive armoury, but with an intensity and contagion which with ease declares the release as the best thing from The Sea yet.

Opening track Letter Bomb takes mere moments to ravage the ear with towering rhythms from Alex and a blaze of sonic persuasion from the guitar of Peter. It is an incendiary start which though settles into a less demanding gait with picky riffs and tempered beats once into its stride still, it agitates and excites with a sinew of aggressive intent. The vocals of Peter equally flame upon their entrance to offer a scintillating glaze to proceedings whilst the combination with all elements burning eagerly for the chorus is a brawling treat leaving senses and heart wrung out with passion. At its heights there is also a definite Rage Against The Machine intensity to the breath of the song with the blues gaited guitar solo raising temperatures further.

The following Run steps back on the directness though still refuses to bring a calm gait to its encounter. It is a hard rock/blues inducement with a furnace of emotive fire swaggering through sounds and vocals. It does not quite live up to the stunning opener but with the guitar offering a sure temptation and the energy of the track merciless in its smouldering soaking, you can only bask in its impressive heat.

The EP is, as is expected from the band, a diverse creature even within this heavy rocking direction bloomed on the release, Number One a gentle rock croon musically and vocally which barely makes a minute and a half in length yet still raises hairs on the neck in its brief presence, another magnetic twist of sound. Its short stay is more than just an interlude and makes a perfect lead up to the best track on the EP, Get Up Stand Up Die. The song is a monster of a rock tune with again the drums of Alex caging and igniting the senses with a rapid storm of beats to start things off before the guitar lays a sturdy rub of coarse and infectious riffs into the mix. It is an explosive fury of contagious confrontation which leaves one exhausted and grinning from ear to ear, even if like its predecessor the track is too damn short, but then again the best punk rock tracks usually are.

Completed by another triumphant tempest of exhausting energy, massive beats, and vicious guitar enchantment in the ferocious treat Lost It/ Never Had It and the pulse pumping slow burner Wednesday Trap which is as near to a rock show tune you could wish for and get wonderfully away with, High On… is another sensational creative bomb of a treat from the best emerging rock band in the UK right now. The Sea is destined to the greatest heights but why wait when there is this mighty feast of sound to enjoy right now.

https://www.facebook.com/theseauk

http://www.theseasounds.co.uk

9/10

RingMaster 09/04/2013

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The Sea : Shake Shake

June 25th sees the release of the second single from the album Rooftops from the continually impressive UK indie band The Sea. Released as a free download through their own Lusty Records, Shake Shake is sure to further fan the fires of acclaim which were ignited by their excellent new album and previous single the epic sounding New York.

Brothers Alex (vocals, drums) and Peter D’Chisholme (vocals, guitar, piano) are currently on a tour of the UK with selected dates supporting James Morrison scattered amidst them. The release of Shake Shake with its outstanding indie rock sounds is a fully infectious celebration to light up ears and to inspire more attention for their acclaimed and thrilling live shows.

The song rumbles from the first note with thumping beats from Alex alongside the eager guitar of Peter, his strokes electrified slices across the ear. With vocals as energised and enthused as the sounds, the song expands into an insatiable weave of classic blues rock and greedy indie pop. The chorus is instantly infectious and the energy of the song irresistible bringing a full and compulsive union with heart and limbs. As mentioned there is a full rock breath to the song which brings a flavouring of seventies psychedelic garage sounds, a n essence which is being re-invented by more and more bands either in their overall sound or as here in a particular track, and few have managed to capture and use it as impressively as The Sea.

Shake Shake is another fine example of the diversity and inventive command The Sea have with melodically flowing and energy charged songs in their varied forms. Impossibly catchy and irrepressibly addictive the song simply confirms The Sea as one of the most imaginative and exciting indie bands in the UK right now.

https://www.facebook.com/theseauk

RingMaster 19/06/2012

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Interview with Peter D’Chisholme of The Sea

If you thought all forms of op music was insipid and oppressively bland you have not come across the new album Rooftops from UK indie band The Sea. Consisting of brothers Alex and Peter D’Chisholme the band released a collection of songs which were infectiously imaginatively inventive and distinctly varied pulling in essences of pop, rock, show tunes, soul, and the blues to name a few of the flavours bursting from within Rooftops. As soon as we were offered we jumped at the chance to speak with the band to find out more, asking Peter about them, the album and life in The Sea.

Hello and welcome to The Ringmaster Review. Thank you for talking with us.

Firstly for those still not aware of you, please introduce yourselves and describe the band.

Hello there, we are two brothers (Alex and Peter), guitar and drums – making rough pop music. Lots of energy and lots of love.

What inspired you to make music and your sound in particular?

Couldn’t tell you what actually inspired us to start, it’s always been there with us and we kinda fell into it. The sound just came naturally and due to the fact there are only two of us. Whatever we’d lose from there being only two of us we more than match with the energy of our live show.

 At what point did you think your music had something that would appeal to others as much as you enjoyed creating it?

Haha, when other people told us?! It’s never really been a major issue for us; we’ve always made the music we wanted to regardless of what others say.

Did you grow up with music, always music in the family household?

Yeah absolutely, our Dad is a guitarist and was in several covers bands when we were kids. There was always a guitar in the house and The Beatles were always on the stereo.

Was the band name pretty inevitable with your other love haha?

Er, yes I suppose it was really. We were sat on the beach one day talking about what we should call ourselves, when Alex said, “How about ‘The Sea’?” and that was that.

As surf fanatics too how hard was it to blend the two and to initially give your music the dedication it needed when the waves were calling?

Very hard indeed, and us moving to London pretty much says it all really doesn’t it? There are no waves here, man! So the band took priority. However we do watch all the ASP contests when we’re on the road – for us it’s our football.

You began in 2007 out of your parents garage your bio said, was that the point you actually started making music or the point you decided you were a band?

The point that The Sea came about… We were in another band before, that fell apart and we found ourselves just jamming at Mum and Dad’s place and we were like “yeah this works”.

Your acclaimed debut single Love Love Love came out as 2009 started on your own Lusty Records, as have your releases since. Was doing it DIY always your preference or the only way at the time to get something released so no real option?

Well, we were advised if you want to keep full control of your output you should set up your own label so we did. Since then we’ve licensed the releases to various other labels all over the world so I don’t think we were worried about not getting signed to other labels.

Could you see Lusty Records widening to help other artists at some point?

Yeah don’t see why not. Not yet though.

2008 and 09 seems like they were very hectic and full years in many ways for you, though most years could be classed the same it seems for you haha. Was it as much of a whirlwind at the time as it seems from the outside?

It’s more of a whirlwind now I’d say. Fuck man, it’s all a blur to be honest (not in a druggy way, just constantly touring or recording). It’s been a great few years that’s for sure.

You were invited to play the MJ Festival in the US during this period, please tell us how that came about.

Really don’t know. We’ve played twice actually. They just contacted us and asked us. This has happened a lot to us, most unsigned bands don’t tend to believe you, but most of the good stuff that has happened to us is not through us pushing for it. Getting signed in Europe, supporting big bands – all of it is because others have contacted us.

Your debut album Get It Back was released in April 2009 also again to strong and eager acclaim. In a time already going very well what impact or extra difference did it make to the already impressive responses you were getting critically and at your constant shows and touring?

I think it was a case of the gig attendance went up massively, almost overnight. People just started turning up! Haha!

It seems like the album came out in the middle of touring was that actually what happened or there was a lull around it?

No, it happened mid-way through touring. It was very hectic. We didn’t really have any management in place in those days, so we were running everything. It’s a lot more organised for this album. Kind of had to be because we’re touring even more this time!

Moving on to your excellent new album Rooftops. How has it and the sound you have now, changed and evolved from your debut?

Well, if we have changed it’s more of an unconscious decision in the sense that we just gave each song what we felt it demanded. If we heard horns or strings in our heads we’d put it down. I guess this record is more pop than “Get It Back”. That’s not to say the next album will be like “Rooftops” though.

Did Rooftops emerge exactly as you envisaged going into it or did it bring an extra breath and depth that even surprised you a little?

Good question! I guess it did surprise us a little bit. The songs seemed to take on a life of their own. It was like they were speaking to us saying “give me strings, give me horns”.

Listening to the album there are so many flavours that suggests many influences without sounding exactly like any either. As songwriters how aware or how much thought if any goes into wondering where some chords or riffs come from and how much they may sound like something else or is that never an issue?

I don’t think that’s ever really been an issue to be honest, if it sounds good then we’ll do it and just hope that someone tells us before we release it if we’ve ripped off someone else! Our merch guy is like a musical encyclopaedia he knows every riff ever written, when in doubt ask Ben. That’s our motto!

Rooftops is very varied too, from the big glorious sounds of New York, the wonderful soulful ballad Cry, to the garage punk energy of Panic On The Streets Of Dalston. How have you created this diversity but made it fit seamlessly within the overall charm of Rooftops without it being disjointed?

That’s a big compliment, thank you! We spent a lot of time in the studio discussing how the songs were put together – months in fact. Our producers Julian Diggle and John Cornfield wanted to get the story of the songs to flow into each other. In many ways it’s a concept album of falling in love in London and the whole album maps out that summer when it all happened.

Could you give some background to Panic On The Streets Of Dalston our favourite song on the album?

I (Peter) was at the time living at my friend’s house in Shoreditch and my friend turned up early from work saying, “Have you heard about the shooting in Dalston?” At that time The Smiths song ‘Panic’ was on the TV, so I just went into my room and out it came! I also wrote ‘Where’s The Love’ on the same day!

Also tell us about the distinct and hypnotic closing track to the album is Emily’s Waltz?

Well that’s THE song for us on this record. It’s the realisation of falling in love and letting everything else in your life just disappear. I still ‘well up’ when I sing it live sometimes. It’s about hope and the risk of starting a new life.

As you mentioned you got producer John Cornfield (XTC, Muse, Supergrass, Oasis, Razorlight) in to work with you on Rooftops. Why did you feel he was the right man to help realise your new ideas and sounds?

Well he’s a fellow Cornishman, so we knew each other and love all the albums he’s ever done. He’s got a real ability to get the best out of you.

You were writing the album in 2010 and you recorded it then too?

Yeah the recording, mixing and mastering went through 2010 and 2011. We were lucky to be given such a long time to make it.

Rooftops has taken quite a while to be released then and obviously that is also down to the terrible accident Alex had whilst surfing in 2011. That must have put music well away from the thoughts at the time?

Yeah, the accident put the release back by pretty much a whole year. But to be honest it was the last thought in our minds at the time. We were told by various industry people that this could really damage our career (such a long time between albums). But any suggestions to continue without Alex were met with a very swift ‘FUCK OFF’. There are more important things than what some wanker in the music industry thinks.

Can we ask the extent of Alex’s injuries and the prognosis for him at the time?

OK, as I (Peter) am doing this interview I can only tell you the facts. The surf was pretty average, certainly not big; a freak accident ‘duck diving’ (look it up) pushed Alex’s neck into the shallow sand, rendered him unconscious underwater, breaking his neck and slipping a vertebra out of place. It looked for a while that he’d have to have surgery and initially at least we were not sure if he’d ever walk ever again let alone play the drums. He’d lost the use of his left arm totally.

Could anyone other than a drummer have made the remarkable return to strength and the drum kit that he did haha?

Haha, probably not! Even the doctors were astounded by his recovery. As the swelling reduced the vertebrae slipped back into place, his left arm started working and he slowly got back to normal.

Is he back to full strength now, and has surfing take a back seat now?

Yes, thank God! You’d never know now, everyone that saw The Sea before the accident that sees us now will tell you he’s playing better than ever. It’s truly incredible. He still goes just as hard when he surfs as he did before too!

Before and after the accident The Sea were touring extensively and I believe the same is ahead for 2012?

That’s right. This year is the biggest ever!

 I believe you played 250 gigs in just two years, was this a target you aimed for playing as many shows as possible or just how it turned out from the demand for your music?

Demand really, but can’t say we were complaining. I think we’re doing more this year though.

I have to ask how do you get the large and majestic sound to your songs like on the single New York to translate live though just a duo?

Well mostly it’s the energy we put into the performance. The horns are on laptop (I don’t think there is any shame in it, everyone does it these days). Come and see us and then you’ll know!

After the album what are the next plans for The Sea?

Touring in UK, Europe, USA and Canada. Release another single in the summer. Supporting some bigger acts in the summer too. Recording album no. 3 in the winter, and repeat the whole thing again next year.

Thank you again so much for talking with us.

Would you like to leave any final words or thoughts?

Our pleasure. Final thoughts – no matter what is put in your way don’t stop believing in your dreams, it can happen. Take it from someone that knows.

And lastly with New York following previous single Don’t You Want Me by being featured on UK TV show Hollyoaks; do you have a fan on their production crew haha?

Haha! Honestly, I don’t even have a TV that works so it’s rare that we even see it. But it’s very flattering. The money is of some comfort too.

Read the Rooftops review@ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/the-sea-rooftops/

The RingMaster Review 11/05/2012

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onlyjoe: Revolution EP

The voice of change and standing up with purpose has never sounded as good as it does with the new EP from UK reggae band onlyjoe. Led by the absorbing single Revolution, the five track release brings a message and uplifting energy in unison with a fine craft and emotive heart. It sweeps one up in a rising emotion and intent that is impossible not to be inspired by as the infectious and stirring sounds within Revolution flow and pulsate.

      onlyjoe is a nine strong London band which has lit up stages with their highly energetic shows and sounds alongside the likes of Tippa Irie, Mad Professor, Aba Shanti-I, Solo Banton, Zion Train, Demolition Man, Congo Natty and more. A force and notorious for ripping up the dance floor, onlyjoe has established a formidable reputation and presence amongst underground parties, clubs and major festivals throughout the UK. Revolution is the first sure step in taking it to the fullest level of awareness and audiences, something it is hard imagining from this release alone will not be successful.

The title track squeals in on sonic breaks as the band begins littering and spotting the ears with tempting melodies alongside glorious and warm brass sounds. The song commences to sway and bob with eager teasing riffs and boisterous beats, the rhythms and melodies the kinder with the song the fuse and match to spark and ignite the senses. The smooth mesmeric vocals of Zico grab the emotions and draw them in for the excellent gravelly tones of Jago to bring an inciteful intensity and defiance. It is a perfect mix that ripples within the hypnotic quality sounds surrounding them. Revolution was written just before the London riots and prophetically seems to soundtrack the rest of the year from after that particular moment

The EP also includes an instrumental dub version from Hylu and a trio of remixes from artists that have inspired the band. The first is from Bristol based dubstep don, RSD. He sends the track into different heights with his intriguing and inspired manipulations, his version having a pulsating darker vein that resonates throughout. This is followed by a mix from UK hip-hop legend Skitz in collaboration with the excellent The Sea. It is a version which seems to pull the light and dark sides from the song to place them to the fore in an enthused and dazzling battle. In what are all absorbing remixes this is the best and most fulfilling. A jungle version from Unit 137 family member Sleepy Time Ghost closes off the release in a strong and pleasing rapture of sounds.

Every track on Revolution is a brew of invention and sounds whilst the impressive original version of the song brings energy and thought to drive and inspire each and every day. It is compulsive and deeply effective with onlyjoe the freshest and most vibrant voice in UK reggae.

Be sure to check out the video for Revolution below which features their performance at Occupy London at the end of 2011.

https://www.facebook.com/onlyjoemusic

RingMaster 04/05/2012

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