Electric Woodland – Potrero

Electric Woodland Cover Artwork

Having impressed a great many with their self-titled EP of 2011, Norwegian rock band Electric Woodland take things further into richer potency with first album Potrero. A ten track mixture of classic rock and metal infused with an equally vintage soaking of blues, the release is a magnetic lure for the imagination which though a little undulating in its heights has all the craft and invention not forgetting compelling sound, to push the Skogbygda band right up to the coat tails of the likes of The Black Keys and Them Crooked Vultures. It is an absorbing encounter which seduces the passions with an infectiousness and enterprise which at times lingers and seduces long after its departure to make for one memorable and easy to re-engage with pleasure.

Electric Woodland came to be in 2009 taking influences from the likes of The Doors, Deep Purple, and as is openly evident, The Black Keys into their fiery melodies and carefully sculpted sound. As mentioned their EP placed a certain focus and success on the quartet of vocalist/guitarist Peder Kjaernli, bassist Marius Nordby, guitarist Christian Olsen-Ruud, and drummer Emil Kjaernli, from which they have stretched and driven on their imagination and songwriting on the new album. Recording Potrero on analogue tape at the barn studio of Norwegian Grammy winners Amund and Henrik Maarud, Electric Woodland tease and seduce with the emerging album though not always to the same strength throughout admittedly. nevertheless the Snaxville Recordings release is relentlessly captivating and resourcefully appetising.

As soon as the heated guitar strokes cup the ears opener Heavy Eyes gives more than a hint of what is too come, their blues kissed tones an immediate lure caged by punchy beats and additional acidic melodic enticement  prowled through by the great bass tones of Nordby. The guitars sculpt a reserved yet stomping gait which simply magnetises the senses and imagination, a Queens Of The Stone Age swagger and seduction woven into the sonic bait with the vocals only adding to its essence. There is also a classic bred familiar sound to the song though one evading definition of its source, the band’s influences maybe simply breeding a recognisable air to the refreshing endeavour making the strongest persuasion.

The following Bad Shoe not only cements the impressive start but takes it to another level to fully open up a hunger within the already emerged appetite for the release. Once again guitars make the initial contact before vocal harmonies caress the ears and Peder Kjaernli opens up his fine voice for the brewing narrative. There is a definite rockabilly feel to the core stroll and vocal delivery, a rock ‘n’ roll stance to which melodies and sonic expression weaves and stokes its evocative flames and textures. Not for the first or last time the guitar play is constant bait alongside the mutually gripping rhythms and barbed hooks that litter the song and album throughout.

After the slow burner This House, a track which smoulders and writhes within its blues crafted opening shell before holding a breath and erupting into an excellent brazen melodic lined dusty romp of again QOTSA like scuzz filtered energy, Have You Seen My Baby pushes the blues coloured walls of the release to another diverse depth. The song with its romping rhythms led by the great throaty bass feels like a major anthem for the band within moments, the guitars and emerging keys casting a spellbinding tide of invention over the ears. Drummer Emil Kjaernli is an attention grabbing key to the song though everything about it is an irresistible hook for the passions, the track best described as Seasick Steve meets The Black Keys with Kyuss in close attention.

From here the album goes into a bit of a lull though really it is just that the likes of To You, Humbread, and Old Airplane do not manage to light the same potent fires as their predecessors like those before. All tracks are superbly written and crafted, each providing moments and lures which certainly recruit eager attention and a want to engage them again and again, especially the first two of that selection, but each lacking the spark to raise the same emotions as before. That is something the song Electric Woodland has no problem with, the song another classic to rival the opening pair. The rhythmic onslaught lays the first inescapable trap, the drums a commanding provocateur soon aided in its mission by the grizzled riffs and the ever alluring vocals. There is a predation to the song which never leaves the listener alone, a niggling persistence which you can only devour greedily as the song, safe in its knowledge it has you hooked, paints a melodic venture with stoner tendencies and blues mixed hues. It is a brilliant reminder of just how good this band is and will be.

Closing with the decent enough acoustic folk bred song Dog Without A Bone, a slight Arctic Monkeys air to its elegance, Potrero is an exciting and deeply satisfying release, one which marks out Electric Woodland as a band which has to be paid attention to. The album suggests as the band grows it is just the appetiser for greater things to come; our lips already being licked in anticipation.




RingMaster 07/12/2013

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ELECTRIC WOODLAND to unleash new album ‘Potrero’, out 9th December‏

 Electric Woodland Cover Artwork


High Flying Norwegian Rock outfit ‘Electric Woodland’ fuse an encyclopaedic knowledge of The Doors’ and Deep Purple’s back catalogues with the modern rock suss of The Black Keys and QOTSA; the result is highly engaging. Electric Woodland unleash their explosive debut album ‘Potrero’ through Snaxville Recordings and all digital stores on Monday 9th December 2013.
Formed in 2009, it didn’t take long for Electric Woodland to get itchy feet in their countryside home of Skogbygda. So the quartet decided to rebuild a henhouse into a rehearsal room, and then construct a wooden stage at a local farm, thus spawning a festival. Needless to say, Electric Woodland have a strong work ethos and an industrious attitude to their craft. Despatching a sound that supremely pitches raw, psychedelic texturings with cleverly woven guitar lines and vocal hooks, Electric Woodland are unquestionably innovative, dextrous and poignant. Continually moving forward and breaking boundaries with a willingness to evolve and progress, Electric Woodland produce music that offers an inventive twist on bands such as Wolfmother, Them Crooked Vultures and The Doors.
Following on from the successful release of their debut EP in 2011, the band went into the barn studio of Norwegian Grammy winners Amund and Henrik Maarud to record their debut album ‘Potrero’, where the foursome laid their organic sound down to analogue tape. Now loaded with ten tracks that truly shine and showcase the band’s vast array of talents, from the twisted alluring groove of their opener ‘Heavy Eyes’, to the up-tempo blues swagger of ‘Have You Seen My Baby’ and to the timeless anthemic sway of their new single ‘Old Airplane’, Electric Woodland have crafted a record that has all the ingredients to be a bona fide modern classic.

DARK STARES new EP ‘Octopon’, out 5th August‏

Dark Stares -  Online Promo Picture


Flaunting a twisted alternative rock sound that is in part influenced by the captivating hooks of the Foo Fighters, the dark angular groove of Them Crooked Vultures, and the song-writing guile of Jack White, Dark Stares are geared up to raise the bar with their stunning new EP ‘Octopon’, out Monday 5th August.
Formed in 2011, and coming from St Albans, Dark Stares are rapidly rising through the UK scene, aided by a growing army of fans and backed by a hefty diet of touring and recording. Since their formation, the alternative rock ‘n’ rollers have supported the likes of Enter Shikari and The Darkness, and have shared festival main stages with everyone from The Subways to Fun Lovin’ Criminals. The assiduous quartet released their debut EP ‘Tell Your Friends’ at the foot of 2012, which drew extensive national recognition and harnessed nationwide radio airplay on XFM Rock show. The band also released their debut single ‘Whisky’, which in turn pushed the foursome out to an international audience.
Dark Stares step up again with the release of their sophomore EP ‘Octopon’. Dispatching four blistering tracks, the record twists and pulls with real vigour, from the pounding groove of ‘Bad Machine’, to the stomping edge of their new single ‘Shinigami’, right through to the boisterously brilliant and down-right sleazy ‘Blackfyre’ and the contagious craft of ‘Steal Your Girl’. Now watch the band blow the roof off every fleapit and sweat box as they hit the road again this summer in support of the record. Hit up the band’s Facebook for tour updates.
Dark Stares - 'Octopon' EP - Front Cover

Milestone – Medicate The Night EP

Milestone Online Promo Shot

When you get a release packed with irresistible contagion of sound and passion and still is bursting with stronger promise of much more to come from its conjurers, then you know you have a band worth watching very closely. Such is the case with Welsh band Milestone and their excellent new EP Medicate The Night. The release is an insatiable rampage ignited by what is in some ways a mixed collection of songs, though when they only range from senses igniting irrepressible encounters through to hunger driven essential rock n roll drenched in pure virulence and all lead an awakened appetite into greed, you know you have been hit by passion sparking excellence.

Formed in February 2012 after meeting in college, the Bridgend quartet of vocalist/guitarist Jack Howells, bassist Adam Pain, guitarist Kris Archer, and drummer Lewis Pilling, took varied influences such as The Black Keys, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Foo Fighters, and Them Crooked Vultures into their own riff powered invention resulting in an alternative rock sound which growls at and commands the ear whilst seducing it further with a raw voice of blues laced craft. Since emerging as a band Milestone has shared stages with the likes of Exit International, The Dead Famous, Gavin Butler from The Blackout, and Neil Starr from Attack, Attack, continually picking up new fans as they pushed into the UK, and with the new EP and a planned national tour landing their presence into wider recognition, expect explosive results.

     Medicate The Night immediately lights up the ear with Dirty Knees, the bass of Pain standing within a scuzzy mist of guitar to Milestone Cover Artworkspread an epidemic of a grooved riff upon the senses, its tone offering a mischievous invitation coated in an irresistible swagger. Stomping away with glee and enterprise the compelling lure is soon joined by the caustic riffs of Archer and Howells, their wonderfully abrasive yet wholly tempting sister groove recruiting any remaining doubts about the song. Settling into a steady stride as the vocals of Howells next lay another expressive persuasion upon the song, the crisp firm beats of Pilling frame it all with equally incendiary inducement. It is a heavy slice of pure rock n roll which makes no demands apart from subservience to its riff and groove sculpted call, something which is willingly offered within the first minute.

From the scintillating start the following tracks Shoot Me Down and Blame Me have a tall order to make as big an impression and though they slip below the pinnacle set it is not without a massive fight and impressive results. The first of the pair starts with concussive rhythms scything the air before the guitars add sonic flames which burn and imprint upon the senses like sparklers in a jet black sky, their touch lingering and white hot as the vocals begin their strong narrative. There is a busy fiery energy to the song which coats an emotive embrace within the high octane breath of riffs and rhythmic caging whilst the spinal groove is less defined than in the opener but a beckoning which persists with sure success. The second of the two is similarly gaited in its individual blues veined stance, a sinew clad stroll of infectious vocals and harmonies within another wealthy charge of superbly crafted ferocity rife with raw guitar invention and rhythmic punctuation. Both tracks continue the strong grip the band initiated with the opener yet equally suggest there is much more to come from the band as they lack the knock-out blow found on the other songs. Not that they are lacking any punch or leaving anything less than total pleasure and satisfaction behind.

The title track slams in next and rips best song honours from the hands of the other tracks whilst reinforcing the quality and might of the band. Sabre like swipes of crunchy guitar and metallic beats smack the ear to rile up its hunger before bass and riffs romp all over the senses with a snarling addiction causing groove which leaves primal captivation roaming over thoughts and emotions. Even when the song lies back on its predatory ensnaring for the vocals of Howells to embrace lyrics and ear, there is an intimidating edge to the warm coaxing which flames in varied intensity throughout the outstanding piece of invention. It is a stunning song which has everything needed to promote ardour from its classic rock n roll bruising.

The closing Bless Your Soul is a slower emotive endeavour showing another string to the carnivorous bow of the band’s songwriting, its part acoustic and mellow vocal evocation the base for potent impacting sturdier invention. It is a fine finale to an excellent release, the Medicate The Night EP making a declaration that Milestone is destined to make a strong mark on UK rock if not right now certainly in the future.



RingMaster 12/05/2013

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