Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles – Always Something

Pic credit Martin Singleton

A year after the release of their acclaimed debut EP, Bide Your Time, UK quartet Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles have a new single to tempt similar reactions. Always Something is a peach of a song, melodic rock swiftly engaging ears and inciting the body while revealing a fresh step of invention and adventure in writing and sound.

The band is the project of singer/songwriter Billy Bibby, founding and former member of Catfish and the Bottlemen whose debut album, The Balcony, achieved Platinum status last year. Leaving the band after seven years in 2014, he spent the following year writing and undertaking a solo acoustic tour before recruiting a full band with the help of Simon Jones, bassist for The Verve. Their first single, Waitin’ for You, grabbed potent attention before Bide Your Time made a striking impression at the beginning of last year. 2016 saw the outfit busy with their live endeavours taking in over 70 shows and festival appearances around the UK. This year looks like following suit, getting off to a potent start with the release of Always Something.

 The single immediately consumes ears with its tide of rousing rhythms and riffs entangled in melodic flames. It soon settles into a more controlled but still eager stroll as the guitars of Rob Jones and Bibby dance around the latter’s warm and inviting vocals. With the infectious beats of Mike Pearce colluding with the pulsing throb of Matt Bassy’s bass, the song easily has hips and appetite enticed by its infectious rock ‘n’ roll.

A smart and fluid variety in energy and imagination only adds to the persuasive prowess of the song, as too sultry keys flirting from the background as Bibby’s voice draws it all into making one captivating proposal through the guidance of his songwriting and inviting voice.

Always Something maybe not be breaking new ground but it is a new striking step in the Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles sound and a thoroughly enjoyable four minutes; a winner in our book.

Always Something is set to be released March 31st

Upcoming live Dates:

MARCH

18th – Adam Smith Theatre – Kirkcaldy

19th – Nice n Sleazy – Glasgow

25th – The Rocking Chair – Sheffield

31st – The Assembly, London

April

6th – The Magnet, Liverpool

14th – The Lincoln Imp, Scunthorpe

15th – Fleecetonbury Fest – North Allerton

MAY

6th – Sound Control, Manchester

10th – The Horn – St Albans

12th – Focus Wales Festival

17th – Portland Arms, Cambridge

http://www.billybibby.com/   https://www.facebook.com/billybibs20   https://twitter.com/billybibs20

Pete RingMaster 17/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

MountainJam – Waiting

image1_RingMasterReview

Following the success of recent single Lemon and Lime, which itself cemented the prowess and potency of MountainJam as first discovered within the band’s debut EP and its singles of last year, the UK band now have its successor Waiting in line to please ears. The new single reveals another shade to the band’s persistently enticing sound, an emotively sculpted landscape of melodic rock with just a tinge of Americana to its alternative bred rock ‘n’ roll.

There also seems a broader depth to the flavouring building the sultry climate of sound and atmospheric enterprise and climate embracing ears. It is nothing overwhelming but as suggested a new shade of melodic and sonic colour to intrigue, fascinate, and as it proves again, excite. Influences to the Midlands hailing quartet of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Dean Dovey, lead guitarist Andy Varden, bassist Nick Roberts, and drummer Pez include the likes of The Rolling Stones, The Doors, Neil Young, Small Faces, Cream, The Verve, The Stone Roses, and The Who. Many are influences which arguably make a stronger showing within Waiting than some of the band’s previous songs to date, aiding the new hue to the becoming renowned MountainJam sound.

Emerging on the warm ambience of keys, the song soon strolls through ears with a melodic smoulder to its trails of sultry guitar and a feisty edge to its rhythmic tempting. Dovey as so often in songs becomes a potent focal point upon his entrance, but as usual too, his expressive voice is soon hugged by the strength of the sounds which here reveal a touch of psyche rock lacing and an almost sweltering atmosphere through guitar and keys.

With it all, also comes an infectiousness which, especially in the rousing roar of the chorus, has body and imagination as involved as the sonic swathes of sound which seduce in the track’s mellowest moments.

It is fair to say that Waiting does not infest the psyche as immediately as other MountainJam songs, though ears are thoroughly contented in moments, but with its magnetic layers and almost epic structure of emotion and sonic enterprise, the single is another richly and increasingly enticing lure to a band which just seems to grow with each and every track written.

Waiting is out now through most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/MountainJam2015   https://twitter.com/mountainjam2015

Pete RingMaster 29/02/2016

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MountainJam – Lemon and Lime

MJ_RingMaster Review

Having lured attention with their first pair of singles last year and even more when those tracks came together with further new offerings to form a debut EP, UK rock band MountainJam has more than suggested they are an emerging talent to keep a close eye and ear upon. The release of the Tamworth/Hinckley quartet’s new single Lemon & Lime only adds weight to that intimation and the sizeable potential already showing its potency within the band’s captivating sound.

A boisterous rock ‘n’ roll stroll bred with the spicy strains of alternative and indie rock aligned to fiery blues flames, Lemon & Lime shows another shade to the colourful tenacious weave of melody, harmony, and rousing energy which predominantly shapes a MountainJam song. Inspirations to the band comes through the likes of The Rolling Stones, The Who, Small Faces, The Doors, Cream, The Verve, The Stone Roses, and Neil Young, and as in previous songs here they are spices which, if not openly fuelling the encounter, reveal some of the sources to its imagination and invention. Formed early 2015, the foursome of Dean Dovey (vocals, rhythm guitar), Andy Varden (lead guitar), Nick Roberts (bass), and Pez (drums) soon caught ears and appetite with their double A-sided single debut Jealous Of Me/Lust last July and its quickly following successor Lord of My Hours. They subsequently became part of the release simply called EP which ignited even stronger awareness of MountainJam, an awareness which Lemon & Lime can only successfully reinforce.

The song cups ears in a sonic mist initially, intriguingly holding the senses as a pungent union of sonic tendrils from the guitars and resonance fitted bass tempting gets involved. With firm beats in the mix too, the track soon blossoms a heated mesh of enterprise against which the potent vocals of Dovey begin sharing the lyrical persuasion. In turn catchy hooks and a swinging groove join in the sweltering fun, bringing greater blues essences into the flowing and evolving landscape of a track. Such the resourcefulness of the songwriting and imagination, every roaming riff and twist of that evocative bait loaded groove seems to find another dimension within the song’s design, a shimmering psyche rock breath and pop rock tenacity further aspects breaking out within the festivity to prove the point.

For personal tastes Lemon & Lime does not quite match up to previous tracks The Lord of My Hours or Lust yet as all offerings from MountainJam to date, it leaves pleasure full and anticipation of more rife. If you are yet to explore the rock escapades of MountainJam then Lemon & Lime is the perfect tonic to get enticed by.

Lemon & Lime is available now

https://www.facebook.com/MountainJam2015/    https://twitter.com/mountainjam2015

Pete RingMaster 13/01/2016

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The Jackals – People

band_RingMaster Review

Warm hearted and tenaciously welcoming, the sound of Scottish band The Jackals just leaves you with a smile on the face and across the emotions. Its potency is richly apparent in the band’s new album People, eleven tracks of melodic and soulful sunshine which may not ignite a riot in the passions but lingers with captivating tempting for the same kind of success. At times it serenades with smouldering radiance and in other moments has feet and hips in festive mood; in the words of the band, it is cosmic rock ‘n’ roll.

Edinburgh bred, The Jackals quickly earned a reputation for blistering live performances and songs combining “cryptic lyrics with expansive guitars, underpinned with the solid grooves of the bass and drums.” Their double A-sided single Holding All The Roses/L.E.A.R.N of last year was the spark which really began luring greater and broader attention the way of the band. Recorded with legendary producer Owen Morris (Oasis, The Verve), who returns for the new album too, the release was a highly appetising forerunner to People, which in turn provides a full meal of pleasure.

cover_RingMaster Review     From opening track Eyes Awaken, the album is awash with a fusion of psych and surf rock soaked in sixties pop essences. That is of course simplifying their sound as at times it is as much folk toned as it is indie rock as it is all the flavours mentioned combined. It is an engaging mix which can catch fire in a boisterous revelry or just caress the senses with warm temptation and as the first song shows is highly persuasive. Eyes Awaken gently strokes ears initially, crystalline melodies from keys aligning with a similarly glowing kiss of guitar as they await the mellow vocal tones of Scott Watson. His and Gary Quilietti’s guitars continue to entice as darker rhythms begin flirting with thoughts and strings cast slithers of melancholy. Eventually a livelier energy escapes as the catchy chorus looms from where, like waves lapping on ears, all the ingredients of sound and invention entwine to fascinate and seduce. As a few songs on the album, it was not a swift persuasion but grows with every listen into a rich tonic of feel good enterprise within a sweltering psych rock ambience.

The following Raspberry Moon similarly makes its entrance with a slow kiss on ears, those emotive strings returning to compelling effect as skittish beats from Paddy McMaster begin to find their and the listener’s feet. In no time the song is cantering along with a country twang and folkish air reminiscent of Irish band Raglans. We cannot say the inspirations sparking The Jackals’ musical endeavours but it is easy to suspect from the second track alone that possibly The Beatles are amongst them and maybe Scottish bands like Orange Juice and Aztec Camera too.

United band vocals open up Call Out Mellobird next as ears are entangled in melodic enticement from the guitars and flirted with by the darker tones cast by bassist David Panton. It is a magnetic affair equipped with a soulful smile and web of alluring melodies that along with boisterous beats set up ears for the outstanding Ghost Soul Traffic. Straight away the tangy sixties groove escaping the guitar has lips licked, its surf rock breeding and early sixties tone reminding of bands like The Ventures is bewitching and just as alluringly backed by a matching nostalgic climate of harmonies and acoustic riffs. Hips and feet are quickly under the song’s spell whilst an early contented appetite gets hungrier for more which it gets in the equally seducing Can’t Leave the City and its gentle sway within another instinctively melancholic but refreshing atmosphere. Once more a vintage melodic wine runs through the host o spicy grooves and hooks slipping easily from the guitar and again ears and imagination are engrossed.

Just To Pass The Pleasant Time strolls along with a mix of folk and sixties psych pop after whilst Dancin’ Round The Nails explores a thick emotionally textured landscape, its croon reflective and a touch sombre but with a liveliness which gives it an edge and potency. Both songs satisfy without matching those before them, each joining the list of tracks which just grow and become more tempting over time, something definitely not applying to Two Heads. The track instantly has ears alive with its opening bait of hooks and harmonic vocals, they leading to an alluring jangle and rhythmic shuffle which just lights the passions. Bass and guitars continue to weave their infectious and almost teasing enterprise as beats and voice dance with feet and imagination respectively as the emotions are taken on a feistily feel-good ride from start to finish by almost four minutes of joy.

The more humid air and emotive croon of Where the Face of Angels Lay takes over from the best track on the album next, its smooth balladry emulated but then taken into more intimate and cosmopolitan scenery by Gold Gift from Paris straight after, it’s Hammond seeded kisses additionally pleasing hues in its exotically toned flight of sound. Both songs join those taking time to reveal their full character and persuasion but only impressing with every listen and always setting up the rousing merger of country rock, folk, and indie pop that is Waiting On The Man With the Sun perfectly. The track brings those rich essences into a spicy and addictively boisterous dance with the masterful rhythms of McMaster stealing the show in a glorious anthemic tirade of incitement midway.

Closing song Dust is drenched in psychedelic mystique and low key but open funk grooving for a pulsating smog like rhapsody of sonic and melodic imagination laying on the senses as its title might suggests. It is a fine end to a thoroughly enjoyable release, an encounter which seems to get more absorbing and headier with every passing listen. It is easy to see why there is a fuss brewing around The Jackals, a band which will be surely only creating bigger and bolder things ahead.

People is available from September 14th digitally and on vinyl with an additional cassette release through Burger Records.

Pete RingMaster 14/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Watchmakers – Illumination

The Watchmakers pic

A captivatingly immersive sonic embrace, the single Illumination from UK based The Watchmakers reveals why the glowing praising over the band over recent times. A mesmeric haze of seductively swirling psychedelic evocation tempered by a cooler post punk rhythmic stability, the song is a fascination magnetism inviting full use of imagination and emotions upon its unique canvas.

Hailing from Manchester, the foursome of vocalist/guitarist Rich Maitland, guitarist Adam Lewis, bassist Andy Lewis, and drummer Ian Maitland were soon drawing attention and acclaim with their demos Before Questions Became and Waves, and a neo-psychedelia sound wrapped in the inspirations of bands such as Velvet Underground, 13th Floor Elevators, The Beatles from the sixties and the more modern explorations of others such as The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Primal Scream and The Verve. As evidenced by the single there is a dual pronged persuasion at work within the band’s music, creativity seemingly unafraid to push theirs and the listener’s boundaries.

The band has played with the likes of The Pretty Things, Jacco Gardner, Dark Bells and Exit Calm over time as well as selling out two The Watchmakers sleeveheadline appearances at Psychedelic Happenings in Manchester, whilst earlier this year they were invited to a Showcase for BBC 6. This June now sees the release of a pair of songs Carpe Diem and Illumination, their first releases for Loaded Soul Records.

Illumination opens upon a wistful humid breeze, soulful warmth colluding with a melancholic breath courted by an Indian mystique. It is an intriguing coaxing which explodes with riveting potency as guitars unveil a web of intoxicating sonic endeavour and sweltering melodic hooks within an expanding synth bred ambience. It is immediately climatic and provocative, especially with the expressive vocals which add to the emerging narrative. Into its full temptation, the song is a bracing adventure painting with emotional melodies and descriptive sonic hues but it is the spine of rigid bass luring and hypnotic rhythmic bait which brings the depth and weight of the track alive, its dulled post punk persistence the catalyst to the tempestuous alchemy above it.

Intense in sound and atmosphere, the song is equally oppressive and feverishly seductive, a striking declaration of a new exciting presence in the potent shape of The Watchmakers. From the song alone it is easy to feel great things lie in wait for us and the band ahead, breeding a healthy anticipation as we go off hungrily to find Carpe Diem which was not included in our promo.

Illumination is available via Loaded Soul Records now and available as limited edition vinyl and digitally.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Watchmakers/191134494286879

8.5/10

RingMaster 12/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Raglans – Self Titled

raglan pic

A dance for feet, imagination, and emotions, the self-titled debut album from Irish band Raglans is a magnetic introduction to a band which has already brewed up approaching feverish attention around home city Dublin and the wider landscape of Ireland. That spotlight is sure to be expanded as the infectious adventure of their album takes the hands of UK passions and leads them in its thrilling melodic waltz. The eleven song blaze of captivating sounds and insatiable energy provides all the reasons as to why the indie-folk quartet has swiftly made a major mark back home and will soon have wider fields spellbound you suspect.

Forming in 2010, Raglans took little time to create a potent following and reputation for their live performances and sound, an encounter which charges up the passions as much through its flavoursome breeding from the varied heavier, punky, and folkish tastes of the band’s members as it does from the virulently addictive hooks veining the release. Multi-instrumentalist and lead vocalist Stephen Kelly linked up with bassist Rhos Horan first before enlisting drummer Conn O’ Ruanaidh and lead guitarist Sean O’Brien soon after as the band took its first steps as Raglan, its name taken from a famous Patrick Kavanagh poem, On Raglan. The first year saw their demo track Down make its entrance before the band was invited to spend a week producing and recording with Boz Boorer, renowned for his collaborations with Morrissey. That spawned the eagerly received Long Live EP of 2012 as well as a couple of videos with young filmmaker Finn Keenan to accompany songs on the release. A pair of singles, Digging Holes and Natives drew even greater acclaim and hunger for their sound helping the foursome to land support slots with the likes of The Courteeners and HAIM.

Produced by Ivor Novello nominee Jay Reynolds (Elton John, Pulp, The Verve) and mastered by Grammy award winning Brian Lucy (The raglans coverArctic Monkeys, The Black Keys, Beck), Raglans’ album is the next step on the rapid ascent of the band. As soon as the rhythmic and vocal revelry of opener Digging Holes seizes ears, thoughts and emotions similarly come under the spell of song and band. Almost tribal and certainly anthemic, the track is under the skin within seconds, continuing to forge a deeper toxicity with the rhythmic enterprise of Ruanaidh rampant within the emerging melodic guitar and keys colouring of the festivity. Vocally the band is just as potent, the great tones of Kelly perfectly backed and aided by the rest of the band. As the song evolves through changing gaits and twists around its core infectiousness, it provides one of the best rock pop encounters to bounce into and flirt with the passions over recent years.

The irresistible start is soon backed up potently by both (Lady) Roll Back The Years and the following Fake Blood. The first is again a melody soaked flame of insistently persuasive hooks and teasing rhythms aligned to sonic adventure and punchy imagination. With whispers of blues and folk rock to its feisty energy and weight, the track is an insatiably compelling stomp with a keen swagger to match. Its successor brings a more relaxed attitude to its suasion though there is still a purpose and passion to it which is of a heavier rock base, and though it is less dramatic and insistent than its predecessors, the song still adds another layer to the immense satisfaction welcoming the album. Another pleasing aspect to the songs, certainly to this point, is how the band ends them, each stepping from the ear as vivaciously and dramatically as at any other point in a track to add an additional lingering thrill in the mix.

Before Tonight saunters in next with a melodic smile in its heart, its folk pop stroll a warm summer chorus of harmonies and elegant hooks, whilst Natives uncages another anthem of virulent pop with a reserved but fully loaded temptation of guitar hooks, rhythmic enslavement, and vocal enticements. As with many songs there is something familiar playing with ears and thoughts but only to the benefit and potency of the rich thrilling bait.

The album continues to incite greater pleasure and allegiance to its inventive charm and melodic grace, the likes of the rigorously catchy blues kissed rocker White Lightning and the emotively sculpted Not Now raising more appealing weaves of thoughtful craft and delicious melodies whilst the more than decent High Road, if without sparking similar depth of ardour, pushes a wider gape to the grin inside the release and listener.

Keeping another pinnacle for its latter stages, the album then launches the brilliant romp of The Man From Glasgow on ears and passions, the track a vivacious rival to the first for best song. It is an energy pumping feast of guitar and bass endeavour alongside perfectly incendiary rhythms and similarly enslaving harmonies all drawn into a tempestuous pop song with more than an essence of pop punk breeding to its rampancy.

The album is closed out by firstly Down, the song another merciless proposition of harmonic enterprise and crafty indie coaxing stealing more of the passions, and lastly the refreshing Born In Storms, a track which does not spark the strongest rapture but certainly confirms album and band as something to loudly recommend. It is easy to see why the release of Down way back in its demo state awoke attention in so many whilst the last track simply reinforces the clever seduction of the band’s songwriting and sound. Raglans will be a small name making big impressions on the lips and thoughts of the UK as their album works its inevitable way into the hearts of a great many, becoming a presence as full and voracious as their sound.

https://www.facebook.com/Raglans

9/10

RingMaster 24/03/2014

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Bernaccia – Cinema EP

Bernaccia pic

    Triggering that gut instinct that you are witnessing the birth of something special, the Cinema EP from UK neo-psychedelic blues rockers Bernaccia is one of those magnificent surprises which has you catching your breath in excitement. Hailing from Newcastle upon Tyne, the band has already reaped an eager attention with a pair of previously released songs. As good as they certainly were though, there is something extra and exceptional about this new release in presence and quality. Bernaccia casts a fusion of blues, folk, and rock which is deliriously captivating; a riveting sculpting of atmospheres, rhythmic slavery, and melodic seduction which is simultaneously expansive and intimate, and simply irresistible.

     The quartet of Jonny Noble, Stew Falkous, Chris Cox, and Kieran Healy drew great critical responses and success last year with the release of the track The Keeper, a song followed and equalled in strength and success by No Club. The second track pushed the band into a greater spotlight, helping pave the way for the band to support slots bands such as Wolf People, Twisted Wheel, and Royal Blood, but it is Armada and its two companions making up the new EP that look destined to dramatically push and accelerate the emergence of Bernaccia such their riveting temptations

     From its opening breath Armada has intrigue soaking senses and imagination as a sonic whisper brews into a breeze as the a1189779621_2distinct tones of Noble begins the expressive narrative. As anthemic beats from Cox join the richly coaxing emergence of the song, its atmosphere and seduction intensifies becoming irresistible as the striding dark bass tones delivered by Healy and the equally eager guitar strokes from Falkous and Noble join the transfixing suasion. The song transports the imagination into imagery of chain gangs, passionate resistance in the face of oppression, and simply lives making their way through unavoidable trouble and suffocation, the power of the song inspiring thoughts to go beyond its own theme and intent. The song is a delicious blaze of sultry, smouldering drama punctuated by those striding rhythms, a bold drama soon matched by its successor.

     Circuit Ryder takes the sinewed rhythms of its predecessor and pushes them into bigger bulging enslavement, their towering call supported just as loftily by a pulsating bass beckoning and the guitar shaped emotive hues of the song. There is a western ambience embracing the track, more Native American than Morricone like and enthrallingly magnetic amongst the folk and rock seeded blues exploit. Essences of The Doors play with thoughts but equally that of Helldorado and the Dennis Hopper Choppers with more than a whisper of The Verve too at times. Accompanied by a new video from Melting Point Media, the song is simply sublime, bordering heroic and apocalyptic.

   Final song No Home For The Buffalo reaps the same climate as the previous track, its body bringing an even more potent blues flame as a scuzz kissed edge excitingly teases through the guitars. As across the other songs there is an unrelenting anthemic call to its determined yet controlled stroll, the track spawning a shamanic/ soulful drone which envelops and takes over it’s recipient like an epidemic. It is another outstanding venture standing side by side with its fellow protagonists to ignite and invigorate thoughts and passions, a union of tracks which as mentioned thrusts the band into a whole new realm of success and expectations.

   Armada is the first of a single a month sequence from Bernaccia which will make up the Cinema trilogy, each track connected to a piece of exclusive artwork which will be available as an early bird exclusive to the debut download Armada. It is a little confusing to our simple minds especially with this release already being called Cinema, but whether by that name or using Armada in your search, this is an evocative adventure which simply must not be missed.

https://www.facebook.com/BernacciaMusic

10/10

RingMaster 26/02/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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