The Hokum – Fools, Mules and Baggage…

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Recently UK indie pop rock band The Hokum awoke a fresh wave of attention with latest single Mind Over Matter. It was one of those songs which just gets under the skin, into the psyche, and announced the band as one to pay closer notice of. That meant taking a look at their debut album Fools, Mules and Baggage… from whence the single was plucked. As enjoyable and infectious as the song was it is fair to say that it barely hinted at the adventurous variety and captivating enterprise to be found on the band’s highly enjoyable full-length.

The Hokum hails from Sheffield and emerged in 2013 and is centred round the magnetic songs of songwriting duo Jacob Stanley and Anthony Isaac Stone. As swiftly evidenced by the album, the band’s sound is a vibrant and warm blend of rock and indie pop but also merging in numerous additional spices such as folk and eighties new wave. It is an energetic mix with a swing, even in its seductive ballads, which turns the songs into little anthems of fun impossible to resist. It all starts with Gold Clock, a track which from an almost mischievous prodding of guitar turns into a striding slice of rock ‘n’ roll with stirring riffs and instantly inviting vocals. Bass and beats soon add their heavy lures as the song becomes busier in flavours and energy, stomping along with feisty textures and an increasingly bracing attitude.

It is a great start matched by the smoother swagger of Left for Dead. Opening melodies have a sixties air to their hues, a tone carrying on into vocals and the more power pop nature of the song. As its predecessor there is no escaping being wrapped up in its catchiness, feet and voice ready to comply with its reflective lyrical and musical temptation before it makes way for the blues balladry of Framed. Well we say the song is ballad like but with its folkish essences and tenacious imagination, the encounter simply takes ears and imagination by the hand for a magnetic dance of revelry whilst adding extra seduction with moments of mesmeric calm.

cover170x170     As great as the first few tracks are, they all bow down to the magnificence of Pigs. The first single taken from Fools, Mules and Baggage…, the song is an incitement which has the listener as vocal and fired up as the song itself. Its chorus is pure addiction, served well by the tangy hooks and melodic jangles which colour its way into the passions. Folk pop meets indie rock, the track bounces along with a scent of a snarl to its riffs, moodiness to its basslines, and unbridled persuasion in its contagious invention.

Thankyou has the unenviable task of following the pinnacle of the album and does so with its own caress of harmonies and melodies floating around another lively and charming sixties/seventies inspired ballad. Though it cannot match up to the previous treat, its lingering temptation and smouldering beauty ensures over time it becomes a potent offering just like the more unpredictable and compelling Six of One which follows. Rhythms jump around whilst the guitars send intrigue loaded twangs across the bows of the melody rich stroll. The fascinating song reminds of fellow UK band The Sons, but builds its own distinct identity with constant evolution and a stock of unexpected surprises in gait and imagination.

Next track Knives provides a potent presence though suffers from a raw distortion on the bass when it enters. Whether it is a flaw on the CD or production, it does a great song no favours, which is a shame though normal exciting service is resumed with Cheap and Nasty straight after. Rampant rhythms alone have ears and appetite licking lips, and even more rigorously once vocals and guitar bring their flirtatious swing and festivity to the increasing riot of creative devilry. The blast of blues guitar provides a layer of icing to the excellent aural cake, and the song another great twist in the increasingly impressive album.

Through the ridiculously addictive Duck and latest single Mind over Matter, the band ignites another fresh spark of pleasure, the first a blues/pop tempting equipped with fiery harmonica and bouncy hooks. As across the album, at varying times you get whispers of bands like The Kinks, XTC, and Split Enz to name a few, this song finding breaths of the first two certainly whilst the third is more inspired by Mind over Matter where guitars offer an electrified mischief whilst percussion and beats bring the addictive lures. It is the new wave nature of the hooks and vocal delivery though which provides the really irresistible heart of the outstanding song. As across plenty of Fools, Mules and Baggage…, there is a familiarity at play in the song which only adds to the enjoyment and creative drama, and helps the anthemic quality of songs to take even swifter hold.

The album closes with Monkeys, another thrilling eighties marked slice of punchy pop and new wave contagion with a slightly deranged imagination to its tantalising persuasion. It is a great end to an impressive album, both leaving a want for more and the need to press play again.

Fools, Mules and Baggage… will not necessarily come into your list of classics for the year but as a favourite it is a done deal, certainly once its fourth song starts its devilment.

Fools, Mules and Baggage… is out now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/fools-mules-and-baggage…/id921949091 and most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/hokum.the   http://www.the-hokum.com/

RingMaster 26/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Sons – Heading Into Land

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Appetite for the new album from UK band The Sons was certainly awoken by their recent single Relic, but to say that the warm irresistible might of Heading into Land was expected would be a little misleading. Certainly the single brought strong hopes its full-length source but not to the extent that the album would dance with the imagination and fire up the emotions. The twelve track release is vibrant refreshment for the summer, a warm consoling for darker times, and one thoroughly enjoyable romp.

Consisting of Paul Herron (vocals, piano, guitar), Steven Herron (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Roger Millichamp (drums), Stewart English (vocals, guitar), Lee Blades (vocals, bass), the 2002 formed Derby indie rock quintet has employed inspirations from the likes of Crowded House, Wilco, Paul Simon, and Fleetwood Mac into a unique sound which has already brought acclaim and floods of fans through previous albums, Visiting Hours of 2007 and its successor The Prime Words Committee four years later. Their sound fuses in elements of folk and rhythm and blues into a melodic rock presence which is varied and persistently intriguing. Heading Into Land is their next adventure, a release for which The Sons started a Kickstarter campaign in late 2012. Despite raising over £11,500, the band just missed their target but rather than sink into pity came back with their own home-grown crowd-funding campaign. It was a successful endeavour thanks to their ever supporting fanbase and innovative rewards with Heading Into Land the result, a thoroughly enjoyable encounter to those who helped bring it to be, we should all share a thank you.

The immediately engaging Right Colour Makeup sets the album off on a strong note, a piano casting melodic expression as the vocals begin parading the narrative of the song. With similarly enticing rhythms the song makes a tempting start before darker bass tones and flirting guitar designs wrap ears. At times there is a feel of XTC to the offering as well as Union Starr within the expanding melodic caress, a flavour easy to consume, as is the song in its impressive entirety.

The strong start is matched by Death Love Money, a track with a sultry air to its stroll and expressive punch to its vocal and melodic swagger. There is also a southern croon to the heart of the song which colours its magnetic canvas, a landscape again crafted through the emotive hues of keys and guitar. A familiarity is also prevalent but only to add further suasion to the tempting, an air as with most of the songs breeding immediate friendship for ears and thoughts. That flavouring in another unique character flirts from within the deliciously rhythmic temptation of Crowd Went Wild. The rhythms of Millichamp roam enticingly across senses and imagination, every beat evocatively leading thoughts into an instinctive and organic canter of smouldering melodies and vocal descriptions. It is a glorious encounter, the first of a few lofty pinnacles within the already impressive release.

Both the riveting When I Want To and the I’m Not Happy keep fun and pleasure aflame, the first with its nagging piano lure and poetic guitar melodies. There is also a drama to the easy going and flowing persuasion which makes every note and syllable a spark for the imagination whilst its successor shuffles and twists like a Caribbean bred temptress, every swing of its rhythmic hips and wrapping of melodic caresses a vivaciously simmering seduction. It is an aural cruise for thoughts to bask in and emotions to explore, a reassuring siren for the heart leading into the immensely captivating Relic. Released a short few weeks ago, the song as mentioned laid down compelling bait and still after numerous excursions of its evocative seizure of ears and imagination, continues to ignite the strongest hunger. Opening on a gentle swing of emotive keys, subtle groaning bass, and the expressive voice of Paul Herron, the track evolves into an enthralling smouldering of mouthwatering enterprise and imagination. Intrigue sculpted crescendos erupt across the song’s body, each accompanied by melodic mystique and irresistible design from guitars and keys, whilst the bass groans with riveting expression. The song quite simply is melancholic beauty which just gets better with age.

We See Stars is another song destined to be a long-term friend, its crisp rhythms courted by the ever appealing throaty voice of the bass beneath absorbing breezes of melodies and creative imagination. As the album, there is a freshness and rich melodic colour to the castings on ears, a unique vibrancy which is just as open on the folk hug of On The Corner where dark velvety string plucks of assumedly an upright bass steal the show. Both tracks embrace and invigorate, though admittedly not to the extent of the outstanding Flash And Bang which follows. With bass carvings and an electrified web of guitar, the track is an anthemic indie rocker clad in inventive mischief and boisterous revelry. With a wind of eighties new wave and a vein of Late Cambrian like power pop, the track takes top honours on the album, sinews and melodic relish ablaze to incite feet and passion with puppeteer artistry.

A southern country bred air returns to soaks the next up Hard Life, another song which consumes thoughts with a gentle but formidable potency, if without exciting as infectiously as previous tracks. It is still a highly appealing turn in the album, setting up emotions for the excellent reggae seeded stepping of Down Sometimes, a track swerving its body with melodic fantasy and quirky key stabs for a beautifully sculpted and presented stroll. Feet and voice are instant slaves to the song so that the listener goes into the final title track on a high to fully embrace its dramatic and stormy yet uplifting landscape and emotional journey. It is a fine end to an impressive album which leaves ears and pleasure basking in melodic and creative mastery.

The Sons has been described as a ‘best kept secret’ but after the so easy to recommend Heading Into Land hits shore it is easy to suspect that the term will be quite redundant.

Heading Into Land is available now!

http://the-sons.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 30/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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The Sons – Relic

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Relic is the new melancholically embraced single from UK band The Sons, a song which caresses ears in reflective words and melodies aligned to a subtlety of drama which captivates across the track’s ebbing and flowing breath. Taken from their March released third album Heading Into Land, the band’s new single is an encounter which from being simply pleasing evolves into a quite mesmeric and persistently lingering proposition.

Hailing from Derby, the quintet of Paul Herron (vocals, piano, guitar), Steven Herron (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Roger Millichamp (drums), Stewart English (vocals, guitar), Lee Blades (vocals, bass) has made a strong continually growing impression with their highly flavoursome and vibrantly designed sound since forming in 2002. Taking inspirations from the likes of Crowded House, Wilco, Paul Simon, and Fleetwood Mac, the band also enhanced their reputation through debut album Visiting Hours of 2007 and its successor The Prime Words Committee four years later. Having extensively toured the UK and Europe across their years, The Sons set about funding their third album with a Kickstarter campaign in late 2012. Though over £11,500 was pledged by fans the band failed to reach their target, to which the band tried again with their own home-grown crowd-funding campaign. Raising even more money this time around, thanks to innovative rewards, the band hit the studio last year, emerging with the eagerly received Heading Into Land.

Relic follows the first single from the album, Death Love Money, reinforcing its lure and temptation into the arms of the album. The new release opens on a gentle swing of emotive keys, subtle groaning bass, and swiftly after the great expressive voice of Paul Herron. From its first evocative seizure of ears and imagination, the song is a captivating caress, an essence of Elton John playing with senses as the potent vocals and keys reflect. It is a very decent opening, if a little underwhelming initially, but as the song explores its emotions and narratives it evolves into a riveting smouldering of creative enterprise and mouthwatering imagination. Intrigue and invention sculpted crescendos erupt within the song whilst a melodic mystique similarly seduces with its irresistible design. It is a glorious twist in the evocative stroll of the song, one accentuated by the slower passages of just voice, keys, and emotion.

The song is a vibrant and enthralling brew of indie, folk, and alternative rock honed into an infectious web of incitement distinct to The Sons. Once it has unveiled its poetic bait it is hard to not imagine a wealth of new attentive focus finding the band, as with us; keenly exploring band and album. Sometimes it needs just one song to open up a new greedy appetite and Relic certainly is thrilling proof.

Relic is released on Monday 9th June 2014 as a digital download.

http://www.the-sons.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 08/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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