Andreas S Jensen – Disturbed

To this point in time, Danish born, London based Andreas S Jensen has made a notable name for himself for being a guitarist in Dub Pistols, as a writer/producer whose co-writes with the likes of Kevin Lyttle, Armand Van Helden, and Nate James have sold close to a million copies, and in collaborations as remixer, producer, session player, and engineer with artists such as Dido, Rizzle Kicks, Vybz Kartel, Sam And The Womp, Beenie Man, Nerina Pallot and more. This month though sees the singer songwriter/musician make his own individual impact, expectantly what will be his biggest one yet, with the release of a debut solo album. Disturbed is an ear pleasing, imagination stroking collection of songs combining lyrical intimacy with an alluringly broad brushstroke of sound. It is a release which makes the most seductive company note to ear and then haunts the memory once departed; that in anyone’s book the sign of something special.

Jensen has already enticed praise carrying attention with his first EP Disconnected which was released at the beginning of 2014. Embracing inspirations ranging from David Bowie, Tom Petty, and Elliot Smith to Soundgarden and The Zombies, the encounter was the first step towards the lofty heights now awaiting the senses within Disturbed. For the album Jensen drew on the talent of a group of London session players he has met through his producer and session work including drummer Adam Falkner (Babyshambles/Dido), guitarist Garo Nahoulakian (Nadine Shah), cellist Ben Trigg (Arctic Monkeys, Unkle, Jamie Collum), and Antonia Pagulatos (Gorillaz, Blur) on violin and viola as well as Jesper Lind (Jack Savoretti), Nikolai Bjerre (Lamb), Jack Cowens (Dub Pistols/Bondax) and many others. The result of this union of craft and invention is a record as rampantly catchy as it is emotionally open; each song like a big brother knowingly understanding those moments in life, love, and longing we have all hugged or endured.

Disturbed opens with its new single released a week before the album and fair to say Only Die Once instantly has attention gripped. Jensen’s voice is the first enticement, his warm slightly sandy tones soon joined by a theatre of rhythms and keys as a guitar weaves its own suggestive bait. There is drama in piano and bass too whilst instinctive infectiousness fuels vocals and the melodic coaxing hooking the senses whether in a controlled smoulder or a fiery blaze. As a sign of things to come across the album, the track simply blossoms and grows with every passing second; a crowd of instruments and sounds uniting in a fanfare of imagination and enterprise.

The outstanding start is matched by next up Trust Is My Anchor, a single released earlier this year which had us on board with real anticipation right then for what Disturbed would subsequently bring. Like the first, the song makes a gentle start, acoustic guitar aligning with Jensen’s ever appealing voice and like its predecessor a proposal which just opens up its sound and invention with every breath. Soon it roars with a robust rock pop temptation which sublimely ebbs and flows in intensity whilst increasing its hold on ears and appetite second by second. There is something of Billy Momo to the subdued moments of the track and a hint of R.E.M. in its bolder expulsions; both deliveries as compelling as the other as another pinnacle within the album is exposed.

Take My Heart and Go needs barely a breath to seize ears as a glorious gnarly tendril of sound winds around the senses, a flirtatious bassline and the caress of acoustic magnetism swiftly stepping up alongside. Mixing country flavoured rock and eagerly strolling indie pop, the track has the body bouncing and hips swaying in no time with the imagination employed by word and another rich tapestry of textures and invention. For personal tastes it is probably fair to say that the track just misses the heights of the pair before it but the pleasure loaded grin our faces during its presence each and every time reveals all and alone why with every listen Disturbed  becomes more essential.

Through the electric shimmer of Another Way Of Leaving, a proposition merging sixties psych and eighties pop in its tantalising soulful croon, and the Baroque kissed Unchanged captivation is intense and greedy. The second of the two especially bewitches with its shadowy reflection and perpetually rising crescendo of sound and endeavour, the strings which magnetically colour most tracks voraciously manipulative and rousing before And She’s There calms things a touch with its vibrant canter. It too is a tenaciously catchy enticement all the same though which imagining The Everlys and Walker Brothers born as one and breaking out today gives a sense of this superb slice of contagious pop.

Thought gets the focus over body with the balladry of next up Looking Back For Something New, though it is hard not to sway to its melancholy lined tone and melodically intimate presence, while Run with at first a similar gait brews a contagion which has body and spirit rocking as again eighties funk/pop collude with electronic and creative drama. Both of the songs have a firm hand on ears and lustful attention though each is eclipsed by the bold exploits of Dangerzone, a theatre of rock pop which surely has to be the next single. Some tracks make you greedy for more, this is one for Jensen though one among quite a few to be honest but the show stealer of Disturbed for these ears.

The album concludes with I Carry My Cross, a beguiling dark folk/ country spectacle weaving in strands of gypsy, carnival and Latin rock which with its hypnotic funereal march is reason alone to take a chance on exploring one rousing release.

To be honest as much as we loved the single Trust Is My Anchor a few months back we were maybe expecting Disturbed to just back up its striking presence rather than take things to a whole new level. Boy, were we off the mark, the album a BIG must for all rock, pop, indie fans well everyone who loves boisterously catchy and emotionally honest music.

Disturbed is released September 15th with the single Only Die Once out September 8th.

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Pete RingMaster 04/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Andreas S Jensen – Trust is My Anchor

With a new album due to drop this coming September, musician/songwriter/producer Andreas S Jensen releases new single Trust is My Anchor this month, a song which alone sparks plenty of intrigue for what the upcoming Disturbed might offer.

Moving to London from his native Denmark in 1998, Jensen first started working as a session player with the band Dweeb before concentrating on writing and production and signing a publishing and management deal with Wise Buddah Music. As part of writing team The Funktuary, he co-wrote and helped put together the radio edit/remix of Armand Van Heldens club classic My My My before the team released their own well-received EP. From there he joined Dub Pistols, who he still gigs with, and released a debut solo EP in the shape of Disconnected in 2014 and over the years has worked in various ways with the likes of Kevin Lyttle, Nate James, Stefanie Heinzmann, Dido, Rizzle Kicks, Beenie Man, Nerina Pallot, and Loick Essien among numerous others.

Jensen’s own music draws on the inspirations of artists such as David Bowie, Tom Petty, Soundgarden, Elliot Smith, and The Zombies; essences you can feel more than hear within Trust is My Anchor. A fusion of melodic rock and pop balladry, the song caresses ears initially with a single guitar alongside Jensen’s emotive tones. Both entice the listener into the heart of the track and the waiting muscular roar of the chorus. It is a quickly engaging mix; the minimalistic tone of the verse a blend of melancholy and hope openly sharing the track’s plaintive cries and its sturdier crescendo a defiant response which easily arouses the spirit.

Trust is My Anchor is a firmly satisfying encounter which invites rather than demands attention but easily provides a memorable and increasingly enjoyable experience.

Trust is My Anchor is released June 23rd.

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Pete RingMaster 21/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Smash Fashion – Junkie Luck

smash fashion live_RingMaster Review

Ahead of their eagerly anticipated new album, US rockers Smash Fashion have uncaged a feistily flavoursome teaser in the shape of new single Junkie Luck. It has all the trademarks of the band’s decades bridging rock ‘n’ roll and the rousing mischief fans have come accustomed to and greedy for. It also hints at new flavours in the band’s power fuelled melodic roar ensuring intrigue for their upcoming release is all the more ripe.

Los Angeles bred, Smash Fashion has spent the past decade or so brewing up a sound merged from the raw energy of fifties rock ‘n’ roll, the hungry adventure of sixties psych and garage rock, and essences of punk ‘n’ roll forged ever since. With the salacious scent of glam and the anthemic energy of hard rock amongst other flavours also involved, the quartet create something that defies being pinned down yet has a broad familiarity which swiftly seduces ears and imagination. The creation of and driven by vocalist/guitarist Roger Deering, Smash Fashion has increasingly lured acclaim and eager attention across a trio of albums starting with A Gentlemens Guide to Sophisticated Savagery in 2006. Three years later Don’t Pet The Sweaty Things stirred things up further for the band though it was Big Cat Love in 2014 which sparked the most eager and broadest spotlights yet on both sides of the Atlantic. With a clutch of ear teasing singles and a praise garnering live presence which has seen the band share stages again on both sides of the pond with the likes of Ian Hunter, Arthur Lee and Love, The Zombies, Cheap Trick, Psychedelic Furs, The Alarm, Missing Person, Silversun Pickups, Orson, JET, and The 88 over the years backing up the success of their albums, Smash Fashion has become a greedily devoured band with songs that just make tongues lick lips; the new single Junkie Luck no exception.

smash fashion art_RingMaster ReviewFrom its firs breath Junkie Luck is a rich enticement of guitar, the strings of Deering flirting alongside the sonic lead of Lloyd Stuart Casson (ex- Rock City Angels) before the former’s recognisable and always persuasive vocals potently leads the emergence of the song’s infectious heart. The swinging beats of drummer Repo (ex-Smack) manage to cage and incite further devilment in the song, assisted in kind by the prowling lure of Scarlet Rowe’s bass, both aiding the track’s grip on the listener’s hips and involvement. Musically Junkie Love is like a fiery blend of The Cars, Cheap Trick, Turbonegro, and Sweet with a healthy punk rock attitude but it emerges with a character and uniqueness which roars Smash Fashion.

On the B-side of the single is the boisterous punk ‘n’ roll cover of Golden Earring’s Long Blond Animal, Deering and co giving it fresh attitude for a rousing impact which for personal tastes actually puts the original in the shade just a touch. A song which will not be on the forthcoming album, it alone makes the single more than worthy of being checked out; Junkie Luck itself the thicker temptation urging all to add it to their music collection.

It is probably fair to say that you know what you are going to get with Smash Fashion, a blistering good time with sounds that easily incite body and soul, yet each release to date has only surprised and impressed with its own fresh revelry. There is no reason to expect anything different from the new album, just much more of the fun offered by Junkie Luck.

Junkie Luck is out now via Electric Pudding Recordings on download and on Ltd Ed 7”red vinyl.

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Pete RingMaster 10/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Smash Fashion – Big Cat Love

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The wantonly enigmatic sound and presence of US rockers Smash Fashion has always made for a compelling and thrilling proposition since forming in 2004 and new album Big Cat Love provides no deviation in that potency. In fact it takes it to richer captivating levels with another collection of riotously varied and adventurous fusions of rock ‘n’ roll. The album sees the band again reaping the blooms of various decades and styles of raw and boisterous rock music, hard and glam rock as home within their invention as fifties rock ‘n’ roll and power pop. It makes for a tantalising proposition from the band’s third album, one which even with a couple of lulls in its persuasion is a stirring captivation from start to finish.

Hailing from Los Angeles, Smash Fashion consists of musicians drenched in experience and successes. The band is led by vocalist/guitarist Roger Deering alongside bassist Nigel Mogg (ex- London Quireboys), drummer Repo (ex-Smack), and guitarist Lloyd Stuart Casson (ex- Rock City Angels). Their previous full-lengths A Gentlemens Guide to Sophisticated Savagery and Don’t Pet The Sweaty Things in 2006 and 2009 respectively, set the band apart and into an eager spotlight for their expansive sound whilst last year’s single Blame It On The Brandy more than hinted at the promise of and raised anticipation for the new release. It was potential easily realised by the again Electricpudding Recordings released album, a confirmation of that clue and of the ever hungry invention and appetite of a band which has graced stages with the likes of Ian Hunter, Arthur Lee and Love, The Zombies, Cheap Trick, Psychedelic Furs, The Alarm, Missing Person, Orson, JET, and The 88 over the years.

A gong opens up attention and the entrance of first track Wicked Ways, a shock to ears which are soon filled with enticingly grooved big-cat-love-albumguitars and crisp probing rhythms. It is instant agreeable bait which only increases its lure with the vocals of Deering and an increasingly potent infectiousness which soaks the melodies and chorus of the song as well as the vocal delivery. You cannot say that the song is a startling protagonist for the imagination and emotions but it is a persistently persuasive stroll of finely sculpted hooks, fiery grooves, and sonic enterprise which achieves the same impact. Feeling like an old friend in new clothes in many ways, much like the album, the song is an impressive opener which is swiftly matched by Marionette. Bringing more punkish seeds than the first whilst still firmly involved with a hard rock canvas, the excellent track seduces like a mix of early days The Jam and The Vapors, easily igniting and passions. The fact that it is a reworking from an appearance on the last album makes no difference to its might and presence on the album, such its thrilling offering.

The following Strike My Fancy (Knickers Down) is as flamboyant and wonderfully sleazy as its title suggests though with a refined touch in restraint behind a melodic colour which flames around the senses as keys tease their submission. It is another excellent romp with more contagion than a strip club and just as sexy, especially with the incendiary guitar craft blazing across its body, a skill just as evident in Stay Off My La La and You Love to Suffer. The first of the pair shows its intent to rock from the first seconds, riffs and vocals a keen devilry within a sturdy frame of rhythms and dark roaming basslines. As all the songs there is something virulently catchy and anthemic to the track easily bringing feet, voice, and emotions into its grasp. Thoughts of bands like The Motors and Eddie and the Hot Rods are stirred occasionally through the song before it makes way for its successor, a smouldering ballad which from humble temptations emerges over time as a riveting enticement with dark sixties punk croon to its suasion.

The title track comes in next, starting with a mischievous almost tribal groan which sparks real intrigue but then as swiftly abandons the bait to twist into a glam/seventies pop rock which is more than decent but just does not excite like the previous songs. Like Darts meets The Quireboys it is a satisfying romp but not one to fire up any real passion in personal tastes, though the bass endeavour and climactic conclusion to the song are big pluses. The perfectly accomplished and varied Just a Kiss At the Starting Line is much the same in success though different in sound with its country rock twang and bold melodic rock stroll. The guitars and drums again ensure there is plenty to engage and run with, just not enough to spark any major ardour for.

Super Glam next builds a bold rock lure of country bred spice amidst a power pop lilt and darkly toned vocals. It is another song taking time to convince but succeeds eventually through its excellent pop swagger and hard rock veining of outstanding guitar craft and pumped rhythms. It is one of those devious songs which takes a deeper grip than first realised to be a lingering presence, though the following punk infused Aim for the Heart soon has total attention for itself, the song an outstanding fusion of the addictive hooks of Buzzcocks and rich drama of Psychedelic Furs all immersed in the kind of premise which only Smash fashion can conjure. The song is an infectious temptation with feisty intent, a mix equalled by Blame It On the Brandy right after. The song immediately has ears at attention as it opens with ridiculously addictive rhythms before settling into a brew of alluring hooks, stirring riffs, and healthily anthemic vocals. Bringing seventies glam flourishes into a tempest of blues kissed rock n roll, the excellent encounter is a mix of American rock and Thin Lizzy, and a complete joy.

The dusty climate and vocal shade to Live to Tell makes for another very satisfying if not explosive avenue to the album, its scenery a bloom of shapely guitar invention and flavoursome rhythmic wile, before Stairs to Nowhere brings Big Cat Love to a rousing close. A big boned mesh of seventies hard rock and garage punk with unsurprising but enjoyable animated energy and passion, the track makes for an eventful conclusion to a fascinating triumph. Boundaries are not worried and originality arguably left alone for the main by Smash Fashion on their album but they still present a proposition which incites pleasure and the rocker in us all and that is more than enough for us.

Big Cat Love is available via Electricpudding Recordings now!

http://www.smashfashionmusic.com

8/10

RingMaster 09/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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