Delayed Departure – Consequences

Delayed Departure_RingMaster Review

Consequences is a release which teases and flirts with ears and thoughts, all the time laying down potent bait until you find yourself humming hooks when alone and increasingly wanting to share news of its vibrant presence. The EP is the new encounter from UK melodic/alternative rock band Delayed Departure, and a collection of highly flavoursome songs which may not be about to turn the British rock scene on its head but will certainly offer it a fresh and tasty proposition to get teeth into.

Hailing from Hampshire towns, Delayed Departure was formed in 2013 by old school friends and guitarists Charlie Bluck and Jamie Hooks. Its line-up quickly doubled with the addition of vocalist Mike Harland and drummer Steven Kedge, growing by another before the year’s end with bassist Ollie Drapper. With particular fondness for the likes of You Me At Six, Paramore, and Don Broco, the quintet spent 2014 working on their sound and honing their live craft across a host of shows throughout the South of the UK. Now national awareness is being targeted by Consequences, with success easy to expect.

Delayed Departure Cover_RingMaster ReviewThe EP opens with the brief melodic suggestiveness of Opus, its sonic touch a resonating shimmer aligned to a just as pulsating bass throb. It is a reserved proposal but one building in intensity and drama for a roaring climax, led by the voice of Harland, which drifts off into the waiting adventure of Ocean. Guitars and bass immediately collude to create a weave of fiery enticement courted by thick melancholic shadows, their enterprising union speared by the swinging beats of Kedge and hugged by the already impressing tones of Harland. It is a strong and engaging big step into the heart of the EP with things only blossoming to new and gripping heights song by song.

Let’s Catch Fire is the first sign of that trait, its initial spicy groove immediately lighting ears and appetite before band vocal roars and rousing rhythms spearhead the robustly infectious stroll and character of the song. Hooks are laid as imaginatively as harmonies, the wiry tendrils of melodic flirtation as catchy as its anthemic rhythms as the track whips up listener involvement with its heavy rock ‘n’ roll enticement.

A calmer invitation follows with Captive; poetic melodies caressing the magnetic delivery of Harland as Drapper’s bass lurks with darker intent in the surrounding emotive shadows. Here alone, it is easy to see why bands such as Deaf Havana and Don Broco are given as hints to the Delayed Departure sound but personal thoughts are also nudged towards Able Archer and for less obvious reasons eighties band The Sound by the excellent encounter.

The underlying volatility of the latter part of the song is a bolder tempting within Synopsis next, the track almost stalking ears with its rapacious rhythms as vocals and guitars cast a hazily thick and forcibly provocative tapestry of craft and sonic suggestiveness. Tenacious twists, so often sparked by the dexterity of Drapper and Kedge, again litter a song which avoids expectations whilst making an adventurous but easily accessible and contagious proposal.

The same quality and skill applies to closing song Choices, the pinnacle of the release with its rousing crescendos and tempestuously fascinating landscape of sound and resourceful exploits. As strong and impacting as the EP is throughout, the closer is a step above all before, taking feet and bodies in hand with its boisterously infectious exploits as potently as it tantalises ears and thoughts with its evocative calms and emotive reflections. There is a brewing ferocity to the track too which ensures a powerful departure of song and EP leads to the quick return of ears.

Consequences makes for an impressive introduction to Delayed Departure with thick enjoyment for ears. As the band grows and their sound explores its own unique character, the five-piece can only get bolder and stronger too, that another pleasing thought coming out of one fine encounter.

The Consequences EP will be available through all stores and platforms from Friday 22nd January.

Pete RingMaster 22/01/2016

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Rupert Stroud: Chasing The Night

It is always great to be hit with surprises and unexpected pleasures and in many ways even more fun when it is in genres and styles of music one does not usually spend many days with. The new album from UK singer songwriter Rupert Stroud is such a release. Chasing The Night is an eager and mesmeric array of thirteen songs which please and share multiple satisfying moments with the ear and infectious musical excursions with the senses.

Chasing The Night is not quite a flawless album, the hold on the focus slipping as it reaches its latter stages though one suspects that is as much down to the play order of the songs as it is a diminish in the sharp creativity on display. Each song on the release holds its own to varying degrees and never let attention or the eagerness to stay within their call wander. It is an album that also offers great promise and firm indication that there is a one sure masterpiece within Stroud waiting to evolve. Saying that Chasing The Night is itself a fine and rewarding collection of songs that puts the majority of similar fuelled indie releases in the shade.

The album is the follow up to the self titled which first brought Stroud to the attention, but is a more mature and defined release. It brings a vibrant blend of light and dark, its warm inviting breath tinged with shadows and hidden corners that light up the senses and emotions. The great thing about it is the sound has a full and rounded body not the expected acoustic only presence and this is down to Stroud bringing in Mick Bedford on drums, Kate Peters with wonderful backing vocals, and even more importantly eminent British producer Will Jackson (The Kaiser Chiefs, Embrace, The Cribs, The Music) who also provided additional guitars and keys as well as backing vocals. Though the music is stripped down and uncluttered as one would imagine it has a rawness that pulsates throughout bringing a depth and character to the songs and one suspects that is as much down to Jackson as the artist himself.

Nothing is over complicated on the album but nor is it just a mix of obvious hooks and invitations. Throughout you get whiffs of familiarity from chords, riffs, and melodies but without a defined source which adds to the pleasure and fine spicery frequenting the release. The opening 40 Days & 40 Nights immediately brings the ear to attention with its micro drum roll and precise guitar teasing in the first few seconds. They step back for Stroud and acoustic to open up the tale before accompanying him on an eager and boisterous b even paced romp. The song takes you into its world with a sure touch and irresistible beckoning with the great voice of Peters adding a sirenesque lure behind the vocals of Stroud.

It is an impressive start followed by the electrified air of Forget You and the monotone hypnotic Take Your Time. Both songs are enjoyable and have energy within their frame that continues on from the first song but they take a step back compared to its compulsive energy.  It is from this moment though that the album unleashes its heart and fullest might with a series of outstanding songs.

Hate To Say is the brightest jewel, a song that wraps around the emotions with a steely beauty and grace that feeds the fires within. Stroud comes over like a mix of Richard Ashcroft and Adrian Borland and it is immense with the incisive melodic grip of the song as captivating as the vocals. Its suggestive driven pulse which never finds its crescendo reminds of Pounding from Doves and just adds to the pleasure.

The equally impressive darkened Heard It All Before with a further stunning dual vocal blend of Stroud and Peters, the stirring almost primitive On The Run, and the pulsating shadowy No Love Lost which ignited passions once laid at the feet of The Sound, leave the heart throbbing with breathless excitement and deepest satisfaction. If with the opener these had made up an EP it would be there as a classic contender. That is not a comment on the rest of the album just how immense these particular songs are.

The album then changes back to the strong and enjoyable stance that the previously mentioned songs that followed 40 Days & 40 Nights brought.  The likes of the unsurprising blues toned Sunday Night Blues, the excellent Hangover with its great boozy strings, and the unexpected and unpredictable Tears for Now which features vocalist Haydn Corrodus from London Hip Hop/Indie/Soul band The Stow, offer up a varied and enterprising continuation to the album. This particular song is imaginative and adventurous though whether it truly fits the album is debatable.

Chasing the Night is an excellent album with a heart of songs that stir up emotions and feelings like so few others manage. When a song brings a wave of strong emotion as it pleasures you know it is something special and there is a handful upon the album. Rupert Stroud has given the area of singer songwriters a new and impressive flavour.

RingMaster 15/05/2012 Registered & Protected

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