Fertile Reptile – EP

Life’s trials and tribulations can be said to be character building and certainly it is easy to feel that about the Fertile Reptile sound. An acoustic parade of craft, passion, and energy, it is a rousing affair with a definite emotive edge as eagerly shown by the trio’s new EP, cryptically named, EP.

The band is based in Co Cavan Ireland, a place already tattooed on our eager senses through another threesome, The Radioactive Grandma. Large in space, small in populace, the county has a music heart which cannot be ignored, for us that band and now Fertile Reptile stand right at the centre. Both bands have an acoustic rock bred sound and there is no escaping thinking of the sadly demised Radioactive Grandma when listening to the Fertile Reptile EP, that band’s Johno Leader indeed mixed and mastered the quartet of tracks, but it swiftly and firmly proved the latter has its own distinct sound. It is a proposition which also teased with essences sparking thoughts of The Wonderstuff and The Woodentops in varying degrees which equally only added to its rich captivation.

As mentioned the band’s journey to date has not been plain sailing. Formed early 2009, the trio of vocalist/guitarist Peter Denton, bassist Jamie Byrne, and drummer Dwayne Kiernan leapt into the local live scene taking punk, metal, and ska influences into their intimately themed songs. “Due to mental and physical health difficulties” though the outfit disbanded towards the close of the following year but their friendship endured and saw them coming together to jam from time to time and work on other projects. In 2015, Kiernan underwent surgery for a rare spinal disorder but complications left him with brain injury and mobility issues leading him to have to give up playing drums. Music will have its day though and he turned to the bodhrán and in 2018 the three came together with a couple of acoustic tracks in Denton’s pocket and emerged as Fertile Reptile; his electric guitar swapped for an acoustic incitement to join the electric enticement of bass and that, as within their first EP, quickly addictive intimately manipulative bodhrán.

To be honest everything about the band’s EP got under the skin and quickly, its first track, Can’t Feel Anything, invading with a swing no hip or foot could ignore. Denton’s guitar is a smiling enticement, the darker hues of Byrne’s bass the perfect companion as Kiernan’s rhythm on goatskin, or whatever his bodhrán wears, dances. Denton’s vocals equally had ears and thoughts keenly involved as the song eagerly strolled all the time inviting and receiving enthused participation.

Virulently infectious it is a tremendous start to the release and quickly matched in catchiness and enterprise by Forget About It. It was with this magnet of a song that The wonder Stuff spicing more firmly revealed itself and similarly there is a tint of XTC to its gleeful canter. Like a spirited embrace of summer around reflective words, enlivened even more by the violin of Christophe Capewell, the track had body and appetite bouncing before making way for the equally irresistible Abusement Park. The rawer rock heart of the band’s sound fuels and shapes the character and imagination of the song, its emotive dispute and physical boisterousness together rather than at odds in its galvanic shuffle; Kiernan’s zestful backing vocals another alluring texture in the contagion.

There is a calmer pose to closing track, Tubby Lad, though there is no avoiding its instinctive catchiness and inherent spirit. Again lyrics tap into intimate thoughts as melody and harmonies caressed an already greedy appetite for the band’s sound, the song a powerhouse of incitement and vibrancy even in its reposeful gait.

We have had the pleasure to check out some truly enjoyable and thrilling treats this past year and the Fertile Reptile EP stands tall among them.

The EP is out now; available @ https://fertilereptile.bandcamp.com/album/ep

 

https://www.facebook.com/fertilereptile/    https://twitter.com/ReptileFertile    https://www.instagram.com/fertilereptile/

Pete RingMaster 07/11/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Fond Of Rudy – The Line

fond-of-rudy_RingMasterReview

It is never a bad sign when a song almost haunts the memory from the first meeting and that is an ability the new single from British indie poppers Fond Of Rudy possesses. Like Orange Juice caught in the Caribbean sun, The Line is a refreshing dose of summer goodness as virulently flirtatious as it is feverishly energetic.

Creating Calypso infested pop, the Brighton/London hailing members of Fond Of Rudy emerged a couple of years ago, taking their time honing their sound and line-up before this past January the foursome of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Matt, lead guitarist Ross, bassist Otto, and drummer Si became and found the final piece of the creative jigsaw.

fond-of-rudy-artwork_RingMasterReviewTaken from an EP set for release early 2017, The Line will be the introduction to a great many to the band’s lively and easily captivating sound and it needs a mere handful of seconds to make a strong impression. From its opening harmonic coaxing within a brewing harmonic atmosphere, the song has attention held, gripped even tighter as its bounty of spicy hooks and warm melodies surround a great blend of Matt’s potent voce as keenly backed by those of Ross and Otto.

Beats are crisp and the bassline the right engaging shade of shadow alongside the raw magnetism of guitar and harmony fuelling the whole riveting encounter. That earlier suggested eighties flavouring is pure magnetism with the virulence of the track’s catchiness carrying something reminiscent of The Woodentops in its irresistible and hungry temptation.

We are among those hearing of Fond Of Rudy for the first time through The Line and sure to be with a great many too already breeding a real eagerness to hear more of their tantalising music.

The Line is out now.

Upcoming Live dates:-

5th November – Tram & Social, London

12th November 2016 – Printers Playhouse, EASTBOURNE

http://www.fondofrudy.com/   https://www.facebook.com/fondofrudy   https://twitter.com/fondofrudy

Pete RingMaster 28/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Alphabet Backwards – The Things We Did To Pass The Time EP

thethingswedidtopassthetime_RingMasterReview

British quintet Alphabet Backwards completed their aim to write and record three separate releases in a year without the need of studios or labels with the recent unveiling of The Things We Did To Pass The Time EP. Containing three songs bubbling with the warm and melodically flirtatious sound that the band is becoming increasing renowned for, the release is a fine end to an aim and success which has provided a host of rather irresistible feel good songs.

Consisting of Josh, Steph, Paul, Bob Tom, and James, the Oxford bred Alphabet Backwards have been luring closer and stronger attention for quite some time now, making their first potent mark with a self-titled debut EP in 2009. The trio of EPs, The Superhero in 2010 with The White Russian and British Explorer following the next year, raised the momentum and praise cast the way of the band’s emergence with debut album Little Victories in 2012 putting the band’s fusion of indie and electro pop firmly on the landscape of the UK music scene.

It might be fair to say though that this past threesome of releases starting with Fingertips/Indian Summer, unveiled March 30th 2015, has raised the profile of the band most of all. The two track offering was fuelled by their most infectious and imaginatively creative adventure yet, subsequently built upon and pushed again by the Book About Foxes EP last September. Now to show that the three releases in a year also meant a continuation of the resourceful and inventive prowess soaking the band’s music, The Things We Did To Pass The Time released the end of this past March has ears joyful and spirits dancing.

Alphabet Backwards weaves a sound which simply puts a smile on the face and though the songs within the new EP might not be their most virulent catchy, each has a new depth in warmth and melodic revelry which ignites the same satisfied smile and thick enjoyment. It opens up with The Glass and straight away has ears fully engaged as the now familiar vocals of the band walk amongst a melodic jangle and jabbing beats. As much as the band’s music entices so does their vocal prowess and expression, male and female tones coming together as alluringly as keys and guitars caress a thicker rhythmic tempting. The song continues to caress and seduce with its flirtatious gait and melodic enterprise, warming ears and imagination perfectly for the rolling canter of Escape Artist.

Straight away the second song reminds a little of eighties band The Woodentops, its flirty rhythms and strolling melodic shuffle matched in magnetic kind by the vocals. That nostalgic feel continues as keys bubble and rhythms take their moment to entice as moments of slim but infectious relaxation break. The song predominantly though is a lively affair and quite superb, emerging the favourite amongst a trio of seriously addictive proposals completed by the vivacious waltz of Television. The last song’s swing is pure pop and its intimate textures almost folkish; a combination which simply lights ears and emotions as guitars and keys swirl and smoulder around more of those captivating vocals.

Alphabet Backwards is proving to be a band that induces real anticipation with every upcoming release; The Things We Did To Pass The Time EP showing exactly why.

The Things We Did To Pass The Time EP is out now via iTunes and other stores.

http://www.alphabetbackwards.net/   https://www.facebook.com/alphabackwards   https://twitter.com/alphabackwards

Pete Ringmaster 19/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Ded Rabbit – Scarlet Cardigan

Ded Rabbit_RingMaster Review

Continuing a very healthy tradition of outshining their previous release with something even more irresistible and creatively mouth-watering, Scotland based indie rockers Ded Rabbit uncage their new single Scarlet Cardigan. It is a song which merges wonderfully raw textures with intricately inventive hooks, contagious energy with rousing vocal drama, and uniting it all in another exhilarating bellow. Ded Rabbit is a band walking the precipice of national exposure, something very easy to say after Scarlet Cardigan.

Ded Rabbit consists of four Yorkshire brothers, Eugene, Fergus, Eoin, and Donal Gaine, who moved to the Highlands in the mid-nineties, subsequently heading to Edinburgh for their studies and the moment where, in their words, that they “began taking music more seriously.” Since then as Ded Rabbit, the foursome has released a trio of increasingly acclaimed EPs, all recorded at Rocket Science Studios (Texas, Belle And Sebastian, Dougie MacLean) and earned a potent live reputation with a presence taking in shows with the likes of The 1975 and Man Made, their own headlining gigs, and festival spots at Rough Beats, Liverpool Sound City, and T In The Park where they headlined the T Break stage this year. Drawing on inspirations from bands such as Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Queens Of The Stone Age, Fugazi, Ian Dury and the Blockheads, Gang Of Four, Interpol, The Cribs, The Libertines and many more, the band’s EPs have been a just as magnetic affair, Wash Away and Wake Up In A Dream stirring up keen attention previously whilst the recently released Moving In Slow Motion has pushed even keener spotlights their way. As suggested earlier, their new release unleashes another rousing and masterful step forward in the sound and adventure of the band, Scarlet Cardigan which is the lead song from the last EP, setting a new dynamic marker.

The single instantly reveals a scuzzier air to the band’s sound, something explored more upon Moving In Slow Motion whilst also pushing the band’s cleaner melodic explorations. Vocals and hefty beats are the first union alongside slim but enticing guitar which in turn expands with melodic lures as the song itself blossoms into bolder incitement, a bulbous bass riff just whetting the appetite all on its own. The spicery of eighties new wave/post punk is at its strongest yet in the Ded Rabbit sound in Scarlet Cardigan but woven into something certainly with a whiff of Arctic Monkeys/The Cribs to it, but thrillingly original to the band. Raising crescendos of energy for its chorus and volatile calm for its agitated verse built passages, the track enthrals with unpredictability and breath-taking enterprise from start to finish.

Like a mix of Asylums, The Libertines, and The Woodentops, with at times essences of Josef K too, the free to download Scarlet Cardigan is another enslaving slice of indie rock ‘n’ roll from Ded Rabbit and another thick suggestion that the band ready to take the UK indie scene by storm.

Scarlet Cardigan is available now.

The Ringmaster Review 12/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Department – Alpha

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Like an A-Z of synth and electro pop bred in a parallel universe, the debut album from Swedish/British synthwave band The Department is one of those introductions which simply absorbs attention. A feisty mix of nostalgia and fresh imagination with a perpetually virulent infectiousness, Alpha blossoms with familiarity and new invention, embracing past decades whilst opening up new adventures. Two years in the making it is mostly though, one fascinating and exciting proposition leaving ears and pleasure with seriously greedy appetites.

The Department is the creative project of Londoner Rob Green (vocals / synth), who used to make progressive house records in the mid-nineties under several monikers, and Gothenburg musician Magnus Lindström (synth) who also plays in Swedish electro band called Mr. Jones Machine. United as The Department in 2012, the pair has since played with the likes of Naked Lunch, The Woodentops, Ekkoes, and Kids On Bridges, and at such venues as Romo Night club in Sweden, the 100 Club, Analogue Nights, The Hope & Anchor, and The Macbeth, all to increasing attention and acclaim. As mentioned they have spent the past two years working on Alpha, a release which in return immediately thrusts the duo into the full gaze and frontline of modern electro rock and pop.

From the first embrace of opener Don’t Give Up, the band’s album is a revolving kaleidoscope of recognisable sounds and flavours crafted into original and bracing exploits. Song one makes a slow and suggestive entrance as electronic percussive coaxing brings a slightly portentous feeling to the immersive and stark breeze of the synths. As their presence and melodic expression expands, so does a warmer underbelly to the emerging song, spreading and intensifying with every passing melody and hook. Not only musically but also through the Dave Gahan like vocals of Green, there is no escaping the Depeche Mode essences flirting from within the melancholic yet vibrant landscape the song. It is a transfixing spice embraced by the expressive and evocative imagination of The Department.

The potent start to the album is straight away reinforced by both Take My Hand and Glass Houses, the first of the two opening with chilled synthesiser minimalism reminding of The Normal. Its industrial lilt leads to broader endeavour and a breath of early Human League to tempt the imagination, and if you had to pick any general if loose reference to describe Alpha, the late seventies era of the Sheffield band alongside Fad Gadget would be our choices. The song itself is a wonderfully small yet again busily lively encounter, sparking in ears and the imagination with its gentle revelry whilst its successor provides a more anthemic pulsing and melodic catchiness which offers hints of the synth pop days of Al Jourgensen and Ministry. It too remains a restrained and reserved romp of energy yet has plenty to urge feet into action, and at barely two and a half minutes long, is one sublime slice of synth pop.

16470_584444331690660_2953593570011598044_n  Come Inside has a great steely twang to its opening rhythms and opening hook, their union making for a compelling lead into another minimalist terrain as pungent and provocative as any full-blooded sonic rampage. Infection loaded, a given with every track upon Alpha, the song has a swing to its body and energy to its melodies which is almost Heaven 17 like, a whisper backed by the equally catchy essence of Green’s vocals.

The album’s debut single As If Transformed comes next, a captivation of cyber drama driven by effect wrapped vocals, sonic niggling, and a fuzzy bluster of electro wind around an endearing weave of melodies. The repetitive nature of lyrics and sound only adds to the theatre and shadowed heart of the encounter, an emotional edge which definitely has a Frank Tovey like exploration to them. Its dark fascination is mesmeric but instantly outshone by the tenacious beauty and vibrancy of Days Of Liberty, a song on an addictive rhythmic march whilst draped in just as irresistible and vivacious melodic radiance. It is pure addiction with NEXT SINGLE all over it.

Through the cooler air and emotion of Not For You and the wonderfully sinister seduction of Skin Vultures, the album’s magnetism is only compounded. The first of the pair provides a mellower tone and smoother flow to its presence compared to the previous song, with synths gliding over the senses as the baser elements of the track pulsate with heavy emotion and suggestiveness matched by Green’s equally expressive tones. The second of the two is seeded with a Fad Gadget like provocative drama, every slither of electronic bait and melodic entangling of ears, offering new avenues of reflective and emotive exploration. It is a dark caress of a song but again magnetically loaded with bewitching echoes and touches of warmth and captivating light.

The enchanting beauty and shadowed emotion of Slow Down keep thoughts and emotions gripped next, its elegant sonic poetry followed by the just as finely textured and enthralling Let It Go. It too opens its heart with a merger of light and dark, continuing the personal and musical intimacy which veins the whole album and arguably finds the most dramatic and traumatic depths within The Waiting Room. There is a thick Martin Gore feel to the songwriting and voice of the song; it’s haunted dark tones a seemingly volatile yet firmly bound incitement within the inescapable threads of melodic temptation lighting the gripping encounter. The track is gorgeous, a croon come dark serenade earning its place as the pinnacle of the album and as the most immersive and incendiary proposal for ears and imagination.

Even The Sun offers a potent and pleasing encounter next, though after the last song it is a paler incitement through no real fault of its own. It still feeds appetite and satisfaction nicely before The Gothenburg Reprise Remix of As If Transformed brings the album to a close. Anticipation for Alpha from fans has been eager and no one has been left short in pleasure and enjoyment by the outstanding release. The Department had some big expectations to live up to but they surpassed those with ease whilst giving us all a very welcome dose of nostalgia.

Alpha is available from March 27th via Hard Cell Records, digitally and on CD @ https://hardcellrecords.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.thedepartment-official.com/   https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Department/248106308657799

RingMaster 26/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Radioactive Grandma: Self Titled

What do you get if you take two guitars, a box, and vocal harmonies? Well in the case of acoustic rock band The Radioactive Grandma, you get a storm of beautifully crafted melodic masterpieces brought with an energy and passion most electrified bands fail to capture. Their debut self titled album is a collection of such songs, a stirring riot of emotion and enterprise to ignite every essence of pleasure imaginable. Aware of the band from the excellent video of an even greater song Another Wasted Line, there were strong expectations going into the album but even the quality of that song did not prepare one for the full force and immense triumph of the release.

The trio from County Cavan, Ireland, with members originally from Dublin and Peterborough in the UK, formed in February of 2011 and have built an impressive reputation and following across Ireland with their alternative indie rock brought in their own unique acoustic and energetically driven way. Consisting of Johno Leader (guitar, vocals), Peter Donohue (guitar, vocals), and Ben McCarthy (cajon, percussion, vocals), the band produce a volume of intensity and sound which belies their number and choice of instrumental strength (live and in the studio). The heart and feisty passion brought to each and every song combines to brew up a towering and irresistible presence which is simply impressive.

The album immediately lights up the ear with the opening harmonies and guitar caresses of The Game, the song a warm invitation into the album. It soon erupts into an energised emotive charge to ignite the senses fully, voices and guitars shimmering with harmonic elegance and lifted intensity.

From the impressive start the album reaches and finds greater heights with the following Don’t Look Down and Another Wasted Line. The first agitates the air with earnest vocals and teasing riffs aided by an electrified nibbling behind.  Into its full stride the track explodes with an anthemic emotive charge to make the word infectious seem lightweight. With the rampaging energies and harmonic drive, the band reminds of eighties band The Woodentops, their structure of sounds and insatiable melodic contagion of equal and similar breath. The second song no matter how many times heard incites nothing but adoration and participation. It is a song impossible to pass by without hands, feet, and voice adding their eagerness, its choppy and thumping pulse a contagion to be devoured and shared greedily.

Every song on the album is just majestic, the album full of immense and varied slices of songwriting and musicianship. Songs like the mesmeric Chasing My Tail with its sharp electric strikes and the gentle Robot Song trigger their own individual flames with a softer and more mellow touch though still generate an aural heat to mesmerise and deeply please. In many ways the diversity of the album was a surprise from the limited instrumentation used but there is never an end to imagination and the band certainly have that.

The outstanding Waves is a giant of a song, its rising crescendos impossible not to adore and melodic hook a lure no one can escape from. Another song which rocks the balls off many other fully armoured up releases so if anyone tells you acoustic rock is feeble send them towards The Radioactive Grandma.

What Are You Running From, Fly With The Crows, and Not Soon Enough all send the senses into further rapture with their intelligent and beautifully crafted souls. They all carry their own personal charms and stirring gaits, and each with ease lift the heart again and again. There is a heavier electric presence in the latter two of the trio which adds a bite and different energy but no song veers away from its acoustic core and impassioned heart.

Ending with The Walls Have Ears, a final Supergrass like brawl of dynamic melodies and boisterous energy, the album is easily up with the best to be released this year. It is quite brilliant and The Radioactive Grandma, even with their deceptive name, a band you must have and need in your musical world.

https://www.facebook.com/The.Radioactive.Grandma

RingMaster 04/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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