Calling All Astronauts – Life As We Know It

lawki_RingMasterReview

With their second album still drawing wide acclaim, British electro punks Calling All Astronauts ensured 2016 left in fine style with Life As We Know It. Their ninth single and taken from Anti-Social Network, the song is more enticing evidence to the variety in the band’s sound and their ability to get the body grooving as eagerly as the spirit devours their rousing sounds.

Backed by three remixes of the single, the proposition is more an EP than single and a fine end to another increasingly successful year for the London based trio of vocalist/keyboardist/programmer David B, guitarist JJ Browning, and bassist Paul McCrudden. Earlier single Empire reached the No.2 spot on the Official European Indie Chart while the band twice hit top spot in the Hype Machine Twitter Chart, success capped by CAA headlining the Bandstand Stage on the final night of Beautiful Days Festival.

Released on Supersonic Media, Life As We Know It is an encounter hard for hips and the imagination to resist. It is a warmer, mellower affair compared to the band’s usually eclectic but attitude loaded sound; irresistibly catchy with a nostalgic air bringing thoughts of bands like The The and B-Movie whilst being distinctly CAA. Few bands create a sound truly unique to themselves but the threesome persistently achieves that while still pushing their creative boundaries. With suggestive melodies colluding with punchy beats and David B’s uniquely captivating tones, the song is an offensive of melodic charm and funk spiced basslines wrapped in tempting guitar and caressing keys, all fuelled by a contagion which as suggested has feet and bodies at its mercy; manna for any dance-floor.

The remixes bring bold new shades to the song with the Daak Sun Remix especially striking. Darker bordering on sinister as it rumbles in sound and atmosphere, the track is a far more physical proposal which if anything has the body and imagination even more frenetically involved.

Surrounding it the Naked Highway Remix is a fuzzy stroll under a spatial sky, its bassline earthily scuzzy as keys radiate a cosmic revelry while the Malandrino Remix is a seductive sunset, intimately exotic as keys dance evocatively through ears to the bouncy beat of the rhythms like a tropical Thompson Twins.

Together they all add up to another richly enjoyable outing with Calling All Astronauts with the original slice of Life As We Know It further evidence of a band deserving the keenest attention.

Life As We Know It is out now through Supersonic Media across most online stores.

http://www.callingallastronauts.com    https://www.facebook.com/CallingAllAstronauts/     https://twitter.com/CAA_Official    https://callingallastronauts1.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 11/01/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire – Swithering

RHLF_RingMasterReview

With its Scottish meaning of uncertainty about things a contrast to the decisiveness ears and passions find for its imagination bred proposal, Swithering is quite simply an album glorious in every essence. The new full-length from Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire, it is a kaleidoscope of flavours and inspirations hinting at  some of Scotland’s most potent bands and more besides yet any influence feels a coincidence rather than a drawn spark for a release eclectic, unique, and increasingly irresistible.

Embracing the songwriting craft and class of vocalist/guitarist/pianist Roddy Hart, the Glasgow hailing septet band is completed by bassist Scott Clark, guitarists John Martin and Gordon Turner, drummer Scott Mackay, pianist/organist Geoff Martyn, and keyboardist Andy Lucas, with pretty much all also offering vocals and harmonies to the album as captivating as the melodies and lyrical adventures helping shape it.

With their critically acclaimed 2013 released self-titled debut album nominated for the Scottish Album of the Year and sparking US TV host Craig Ferguson to invite the band to perform on The Late Late Show on CBS that same year, that leading to a 5-night residency playing to a combined audience of over 12 million viewers, Hart and co had already plenty to live up to with their next move. A Scottish Variety Award for International Breakthrough Artist of The Year and a nomination for Best Band at the Spirit of Scotland Awards were followed by the band performing at the opening party for the Commonwealth Games and a celebrated show with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Their reputation as a mighty live proposition was quickly established alongside their successes and relentlessly cemented by each further show and their yearly self-curated Roaming Roots Revue for Celtic Connections. For most of 2015, the band predominately concentrated on writing and recording songs now making up Swithering, a release co-produced by Paul Savage (Mogwai, Emma Pollock, Admiral Fallow) about whom Hart says, “He was key to adding a sense of perspective – and calm – to it all, allowing the madness of this new working relationship forming between us to unfold in the most creative way possible.”

art_RingMasterReviewIt is a creativity which looms impressively upon ears and thoughts from the opening strains of first track Tiny Miracles and persistently blossoms to greater heights across song and its subsequent companions. The opener flirts with the senses instantly, its initial guitar melody soon holding hands with Hart’s alluring tones and the rising caress of atmospheric keys. Quickly the track is strolling along with the darker shadows of bass riding the anthemic lure of drums as melodies and harmonies seduce from all angles. It’s controlled but enthused liveliness is as insatiable as the hunger of ears to devour it, an essence of Lightning Seeds coming to mind as the song grabs hips and imagination with consummate ease.

The diversity of Swithering is quickly established as the colder haunting charms of Berlin closes in on the senses. As Hart expresses his thoughts, the song reveals the city is much more than just a destination vocally and emotionally for the songwriter’s heart. There is a persistent eighties flavouring across the album, here the band creating a provocative flight through a Thomas Dolby meets James Cook tempting with Thompson Twins like revelry to its rhythmic enticing. The song is entrancing and again infected with a catchiness which takes a growingly incisive hold, a quality just as open and commanding as that shared by the Talking Heads spiced Low Light, a song also prompting comparisons to Bill Nelson as it dances provocatively in ears.

Again though, as those around it, it emerges as something distinct and individual to Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire, a trait only backed by the melancholic beauty and drama of No Monsters and recent single Violet. With keys and piano alone conjuring a palette for the imagination to conjure with, backed by the sweltering sighs of guitar and the vocal hug, the first of the pair gently but firmly bewitches before its successor with its own mellow countenance entices with an increasingly infectious swing.

Next up Dreamt You Were Mine is another song with a deceptive virulence which grows and breeds a welcome trespass loaded with an abandon which only consumes and inspires the listener while straight after Faint Echo of Loneliness shows Josef K invention in its indie pop/post punk like character. Both tracks broaden the creative landscape of the album while binding ears and appetite closer to its adventurous intent, though they are soon eclipsed by the majestic roar of In the Arms of California, surely a highly tempting single in the waiting with the suggestive flair of Pete Wylie and raw pop allurement of Orange Juice in its melodic serenade and impassioned blaze.

Through the haunted climate and reflective release of I Thought I Could Change Your Mind, a song slipping under the skin with every passing imaginative minute and in turn the climactic Strange Addictions, the album pours on the instinctive variety and invention within its creators. The latter is a tempest of emotion and sound as forcibly contagious as it is rousingly evocative and sublimely tempered yet complimented by the more composed but just as catchy canter of Sliding. Like so many of the tracks within Swithering, it almost instantly has highly persuasive claws into the listener, gripping tighter as it brews even bolder catchiness in its imposing intent.

Concluded by the dark, almost melodramatic carnival folk flavoured We’re the Immortals, a song musically and lyrically as intimate as it is majestically radiant and suggestive, Swithering is an adventure and event for body and spirit; a success epitomised by that final treat of a track. Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire are no strangers to attention and acclaim but nothing to what Swithering will surely spark.

Swithering is out now across most stores and on all formats, including limited edition 180g vinyl, through Middle of Nowhere Recordings.

http://rhlf.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/RoddyHartandtheLonesomeFire/   https://twitter.com/RHLFband   https://twitter.com/roddyhart

Pete RingMaster 13/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Winachi Tribe VS Sense Of Danger

Print_RingMaster Review

With feet and hips, not forgetting imagination, still sweaty from the rousing temptation of last year’s impressive single Time For Love, the increasingly addictive charm and invention of The Winachi Tribe has set out to work them up all over again with its successor Sense Of Danger. The band’s new single is a magnetic and almost imposingly infectious shuffle of pulsating electronics and skittish rhythms woven into a tapestry of evocative vocals and flirtatious melodies; a proposal which simply confirms The Winachi Tribe as one of Britain’s most mesmeric contagions.

Emerging last year out of Northern D.Funk collective China White, the Warrington/Leeds based band create a funk fuelled, soul bred, dance party which has quickly drawn references to the likes of George Clinton, Massive Attack, and The Happy Mondays, they amongst inspirations to the band which equally include Sly & The Family Stone, Primal Scream, Ian Brown, and The Rolling Stones. As Time For Love and its companion Plant The Seed eagerly showed as the band’s first single, even with those spices The Winachi Tribe only uncages unique proposals and infections of sound which gets right under the skin and into every corner of the body; a quality vocalist Liam Croker, guitarist Jamie McGregor, bassist Richie Rich, keyboardist Antony Egerton, drummer Sam Tushingham, and percussionist Inder Goldfinger have escalated for Sense Of Danger.

The song opens with the raspy but inviting tones of Croker, their echo warming the way for the pulsating rhythms and electronic radiance which swiftly link their hypnotic motion with the obeying reactions of the listener. Within a few breaths the track is in control of body and thoughts, its flirtatious movement and rhythmic dexterity colluding with the atmospheric and provocative textures of keys, guitar, and voice. At certain moments it is a Tom Tom Club meets Thompson Twins incitement and in other times leaning towards a darker The Happy Mondays/Talking Heads hue but all the time an irresistible lure impossible to resist.

Accompanying the track is I Sense Danger (Everybody’s Got Their Price – Remix); a more energetic and flirtatious take on the lead song replacing the it’s shadows with livelier shards of electronic tempting and energetic tenacity. Its predecessor was a magnetic saunter, a seductive crawl through ears whereas the second song blossoms into a boisterous canter with matching elegance and compelling revelry for similar responses.

Both tracks feed body and soul, and each suggest they are just the next step in the inevitable ascent of The Winachi Tribe into one of the UK’s most greedily devoured bands.

Sense Of Danger is out now digitally on iTunes with a Ltd Edition Hard Copy also available.

http://thewinachitribe.com/   https://www.facebook.com/thewinachitribe   https://twitter.com/winachitribe

Pete RingMaster 04/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Phil Lewis – Patchwork Heart

Phil Lewis_RingMaster Review

Being introduced to Phil Lewis through his highly enjoyable Age of Nothing EP, it is fair to say that we have bred an increasingly eager appetite for the pop rock prowess of the Welsh singer songwriter. Though he had already reaped a potent reputation and a healthy level of acclaim for a trio of earlier albums, the EP was the biggest nudge yet on widespread recognition. Now that potent hint has become a mighty roar thanks to the release of Patchwork Heart, a contagion of inspiring hooks and essential melodies united in some of the best pop tracks you are likely to heard this year.

Hailing from Penarth, Lewis had his musical passion seeded in “frighteningly dressed people on Top of the Pops”, and then in turn “the various genre charts in NME and Melody Maker”. It sparked the dream to have one of his own songs in the charts and in 2008 the release of his first single Just One Kiss became a very close miss on realising that dream. The first spark in an evolving and increasingly successful career came just before it though, with the unveiling of debut album Ancient Light the year before. Since then Lewis has released another pair of well-received and acclaimed full-lengths in Movements In Space (2009) and Ripples From a Small Pond (2011), with the aforementioned Age of Nothing hooking a great many more of us at the beginning of 2014.

artwork_RingMaster Review    Patchwork Heart is the next proposition from the man and in many ways the coming of age of his songwriting and pop invention. Its nine tracks provide a torrent of enslaving pop ingredients but composed and delivered with an imagination and almost mischievous energy and passion. Lyrically the album sees Lewis look with intimate honesty at the tough times he faced over past years, including the death of his father from Alzheimer’s Disease and the end of a long-term relationship as well as himself being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Musically it all comes with a hope fuelled, emotionally uplifting hug though, Lewis easy to suspect a ‘glass half full’ character with sings always seeming to veer towards the long term light.

Created again in collaboration with Ben Haynes, who produced the record and plays all the instruments, Patchwork Heart opens with Tumbling Down. Within a few breaths, the song is coaxing ears with blues spiced guitar and tenacious beats, the voice of Lewis as potent and strong as ever as things bounce and revolve around him. The track’s prime hook has an air of familiarity to it which only adds to the temptation whilst the fiery guitar endeavour of Haynes is extra tang in a rousing opener.

Things only become more infectious and gripping though as the tantalising Japan-esque Up On This Shelf swings up to the imagination. An exotic melody starts things off, a pulsating bass throb with crystalline shards of guitar quickly taking over as the tones of Lewis entice. The track is mesmeric, a sublime slice of elegant seduction with an underlying sonic eroticism. Not for the last time within Patchwork Heart, an open eighties flavouring and inspiration colour song and ears, Right on Time immediately after also providing a similar lusty hue of nostalgia kissed and undoubtedly fresh revelry. Virulent in all aspects, the song romps along on another bait of anthemic rhythms wrapped in the dramatic enterprise cast by guitar, keys, and bass. Like a blend of China Crisis, Pete Wylie, and The Killers, the track is glorious; Lewis at his pop conjuring best.

Healing Hands slips in next with a far more subdued energy to that of its predecessor as shadow toned guitar and vocals are gripped by a warm but melancholic expression. Lewis’ voice embrace ears in a reflectively intimate croon as that bright, crystal like quality to the melodies of earlier songs emerges again to resonate in the spatial climate above the intimate canvas. Over time the song’s air becomes more tempestuous leading to one highly provocative and stirring climax. The track is a powerful incitement on body and emotions, as too the following Smile in its very different way. From a synth pop start, the song is a vibrant shuffle manipulating ears and feet from the get go. The bubbly electronics continue to lure and tempt as guitars and vocals brew up an irresistible feast of pop infection backed by the great vocals of Sarah Haynes. The song takes thoughts again back to the eighties, its pop tonic hinting at the likes of Thomas Dolby and Thompson Twins, and to be honest quite impossible not to get physically involved with.

Next up is Sunshine in the Night, a song just as much a puppeteer on body and appetite which from its initial smothering of emotive beauty breeds a mouth-watering mix of repetitious teasing, contagion spewing vocal tempting, and immersive atmospherics. Rhythmically too, the track is a nonstop invitation which simply gets under the skin and leaves a big grin on the psyche.

The country spiced, fiery shimmer of Fantasy Reality bewitches next, its voice and body an alluring evocation of the heart whilst I Believe is a sixties hued offering with a good whisper of the Walker Brothers to its strolling enticement. The track’s chorus is another rousing hard to resist proposal, though that applies to most of them across the release to be honest, as proven one last time by the brilliant Be A Hero. The closer epitomises a Phil Lewis song, bold rhythms aligned to drama soaked imagination and the rich enterprise gripping ears as Lewis provides the strength of his voice. With more enthralling backing vocals, this time from Lizzie Dean, the track is a jungle of intrigue and emotive theatre, and the perfect way to end a thoroughly thrilling and impressive release.

A Phil Lewis song lies somewhere between those of the previously mentioned Pete Wylie and Colin Vearncombe (Black), and now after Patchwork Heart deserve to be contemplated in the same breath. Also out now is Digging for Earworms, a free to download best of album covering previous releases and including the riveting likes of Let’s Play, Age of Nothing, and Imprisoned. Both are albums all rock/pop fans should treat themselves to, as Lewis confirms himself as one of Britain’s brightest artists.

Patchwork Heart is out now @ http://phillewisuk.bandcamp.com/album/patchwork-heart

https://www.facebook.com/Phil-Lewis-36008838740  http://www.phillewisuk.co.uk

Pete RingMaster 24/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Lettie: Good Fortune, Bad Weather

Lettie might predominantly be tagged as electro pop but as her new album proves there is so much more depth and diversity to her sound and creativity. The UK artist is an imaginative and instinctive songwriter who weaves sounds and emotions with mesmeric and irresistible flourishes and skill. Unpredictable, insistently contagious, and persistently the cause of pure pleasure tingles within the senses, the new release Good Fortune, Bad Weather is a masterful and delightful feast for the heart.

To simplify a back story for an artist who has as many tales and sure to be inspiring moments to her life and career as the album, Lettie is a Suffolk girl who for the past decade has played in various bands and recorded solo material with Anthony Phillips (ex- Genesis) for Universal Publishing. It was in 2006 though that she met composer/producer David Baron and together it led to the recording of two albums in America. Things suddenly started to happen from this point with both Age Of Solo and Everyman without any real promotion gaining strong attention and acclaim. These led to a session for the BBC, special guest appearances on the tour of ex- Bauhaus frontman Pete Murphy in 2009 and also the following year, as well as guest slots with Chris Difford (Squeeze) and Roger O’Donnell (The Cure).

Personal tragedies surrounded the release of the albums for both Lettie and Baron and she returned to the UK, where she worked with a writer and producer in Oxford on her third album Other Days which never saw a completion as problems continually stood in its progress. A call from Baron led her back to America to work on a new, an invitation that has benefitted everyone given the wonderful result that has emerged in Good Fortune, Bad Weather.

From the moment opening song Swirl wraps around the ear there is a sense that something unique and special is on the horizon and the track takes no time to insist that feeling will be realised. From the brooding dark synth start with her sparking vocals on top, one is immediately drawn to an eager attention. A line mentions ‘the puppet master’ in an open swipe at a certain TV personality, television producer, entrepreneur etc, yeah him, but that term easily represents the skill with which Lettie caresses and weaves her sounds and ideas. Only difference is there is no self serving intent or dark lining to her creativity. Funny thing is if she was in front of the man you know he would not recognise the talent and pure artistry on offer.

Lucky steps up next with a beckoning graceful stomp across the ear, piano and guitar as melodically captivating as her stunning vocals. Nothing is forced, the song an organic summer upon the ear and thoughts that warms as it pleases.

The sensational Bitter actually puts what came before in the shade somewhat, great songs they are this track is simply delicious, a perfect slice of inventive, thoughtful and passionate. As with the album nothing is predictable or assumed, each note , harmony, and spiral of melody an inspiring and heart igniting joy. With a simple pulse but deep atmosphere the track explodes upon the senses like the brightest sun.

The addictive and pulsating electro Never Want To Be Alone sparkles in sound and lyrical poetry but has to make way for another of the strongest highlights on the album in the shape of 80’s electro pop flavoured Sanctuary. It brings the warm harmonies of Bat For Lashes alongside the hypnotic melodies of Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark though at times it could be Thomas Dolby and Shakespeares Sister partying with Propaganda. Yes it is that mesmeric and irresistible.

There is no weakness on the album, only varying heights for the continuous peaks of wonder. The sensational Digital with its Thompson Twins spice and sneaky Jona Lewie lurking melody both radiating nothing but pleasure, and the indie jewel that is Pandora with its jangly guitar and sultry flow, further incite a stronger an accumulating affection for Good Fortune, Bad Weather with ease. They also show the eclectic nature of the album, each song distinctly varied to each other and irrepressibly enthused with multiple flavours as the folk hearted Mister Lighter, the reggae pulsed title track, and Gwen Stefani pop of Aluminium Man show impressively.

Every song on the album deserves a mention but that is for you to discover as Lettie pleasures your very soul, though we have to mention Crash And Burn, another major highlight which lights up skies with shooting aural flashes and siren borne melodies. This is admittedly our first introduction to Lettie but it will not be the last, we want much more of this sensational stuff.

http://www.lettiemusic.com

Ringmaster 15/05/2012

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