Calming tides and mighty swells: going on board with Rusty Shipp

Riding the waves and currents of rock music at its most creatively diverse, Rusty Shipp is a rock band from Nashville, TN creating self-named “Nautical Rock’n’Roll”. Last year the band released their debut album, Mortal Ghost, a well-received adventure of sound and the high seas. Embracing influences of rock legends like The Beatles, Dick Dale, and The Beach Boys to the roar of modern classics like Nirvana, Thrice, and Foo Fighters, the band have needed little help grabbing attention so we decided to climb on board with the band to explore its maiden outing, that recent voyage and plenty more….

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

You bet!

Can you first introduce the band and tell us about the seeds to its beginning?

Sure! We are Russ T. Shipp (songwriting, guitar, vox), AJ Newton (drums), Elijah Apperson (lead guitar), and Michael Craft (bass). Russ T. started the band from scratch in 2014 when he moved to Nashville from the Washington, DC area. We’ve gone through a lot of band members over the years, finding them through Craigslist and friends of friends. But finally we’ve got a solid line-up with these guys.

Have you been or are involved in other bands? How has that shaped what you are doing now?

Yes. We’ve all been in numerous bands before of all different genres. Each of us seems to just come back to wanting to make really great rock music with catchy chord progressions and melodies. And it’s nice to be in a group of guys who are dedicated to doing something unique, rather than just coming up with something easy on the spot, or trying to sound like someone else. That’s something none of us have really had at this capacity before.

What inspired the band name?

The idea actually came to my (Russ T.) Mom and Dad who named me Russell T. Shipp, which when shortened to Russ T. Shipp resemble the words “rusty ship”. So when I moved to Nashville 5 years ago I started telling people my name was “Rusty” instead of “Russ” and when it came time for our band to pick a name we proposed several ideas but eventually the guys thought, “How can we go with anything other than Rusty Shipp?”  So the name stuck and everyone has loved it ever since. Plus, it really fits the sound our band has as well, because our music sounds rusty and grungy and also nautical like a ship!

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

We wanted something more interesting and creative than just standard rock or pop or acoustic and also allows for more raw energy. When I (Russ T.) was in high school, there was a stock music clip on the school computer that said, “Grunge” and I didn’t know exactly what grunge was up to that point, but when I heard that clip I thought to myself, “This is the ideal form of music.” And being an idealist, ever since then I’ve tried tapping into the potential that I heard there in that little sound clip.

…And the same ideas still drive the band?

It has always been and is still our ultimate goal to heal the world by creating thought-provoking music that is as creative and catchy as the rock legends.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

We’ve definitely become tighter performers. But also, as we’ve grown we’ve been able to work with more renowned producers who have been able to give us the quality of recordings that we believe our sound deserves.

Have you found such evolutions to be more organic or you all deliberately setting out to try new things?

Russ T. has been the sole songwriter so far. He’s tried out many different sounds in over ten years of writing, which has really been more a combination of organic movement of sound, and deliberately trying new things. However, once we get together as a band to lay it all out, it’s more of a deliberate movement of sound over anything else.

You mentioned your varied experiences so presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

Well, of course each of us really care about people and want to impact peoples’ lives in a positive way. We love making and playing music and it makes it easy for all of us to reach people by doing what we love. This is a huge part of what we do as a band. It’s not just having fun (though it is). We have a bigger purpose in mind.

Is there a regular process to the songwriting?

A lot of times I (Russ T.) will be going about my daily life and I’ll see some injustice or something emotionally moving, and I feel like I’ve got to communicate a message that will inspire the world to change and to heal and become a better place, or else sometimes it’s just therapeutic, as was the case with our song Crack Baby. Other times I’ll just be inspired to do something creative, like Sea Sentinels which is an instrumental grunge-surf song with guitar riffs that sound like sea monsters talking to each other, or Devil Jonah, which I wrote after watching a documentary on the legendary ghost ship The Flying Dutchman. I wanted to make a musical piece of art that captured this mysterious, legendary feel.  And some songs are meant to just be thought-provoking and ask philosophical questions, such as Treading Water which draws attention to the fact that I don’t feel at home in this world, and how that seems to point to there being more that we humans were made for than just living and dying on this Earth.

Is there a key inspiration to the lyrical side of songs?

All of our songs are philosophically driven. We don’t just want to give people good music, but we want our lyrics to be thought-provoking and inspiring, to get people to think about the important things in life.

Can you give us some background to your latest release?

Mortal Ghost is a concept album with the songs flowing in and out of each other and having nautical interludes to create an artistic tapestry that transports you to another world, under the sea! It’s really intended to be heard from start to finish in the order it was placed. Our singles, Devil Jonah and Tip Of My Tongue are great, but the entire album is a cohesive, artistic experience meant to be listened to in its entirety.

It’s basically the best sound from every rock genre with a surf overtone to it that we like to call “Nautical Rock’n’Roll.” Every song is meant to flow into the next, but also each one stands on its own without disappointing. We’ve had fans call out every single song on the album as their favorite, so that can make it difficult at times to know which single to release next!

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

We like to have the songs in their final state before recording. However, there are always some kind of interesting sounds that you can add in the studio with effects, or something the producer hears that you couldn’t hear on your own.

Tell us about the live side to the band?

Our live shows are different than our album quite a bit, because the album was intended to be an artistic masterpiece on its own, with a lot of production involved. When we play live it’s more of a raw, stripped-down, energy-packed jam session involving headbanging, flying jump kicks, and throwing out nautical candy to the crowd. We really try to have a good time with the audience, and it’s always fun to find new ways to incorporate our whole nautical theme into our set. Our live shows are just a ton of fun for everyone there.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally, let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it?

Being that Nashville is “Music City USA,” this is probably one of the top places in the world to make and release music. Just about everyone that you meet here is in the music business at some capacity, so it makes the opportunities endless. At this point our band has already been blessed to receive international recognition, which has given us a lot more credibility at home. Nashville has been very good to us.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?

We’ve had a lot of success with social media. The key for us has been to come up with interesting content that fans actually want to see, and then to keep consistent. When you’re first starting out the important thing is just to do it and keep doing it, and not worry about making it all perfect. You learn as you go, and you find out what works for you and your fans. It’s the only way to excel and maintain in this industry.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

We hope everyone will take some time to listen to our album, Mortal Ghost. If you like what you hear, PLEASE send us a message on any of our social media pages, or through our website. Connecting with our listeners is extremely important to us! Thanks for hanging with us. We hope to talk with you soon!

https://www.facebook.com/rustyshippband/  https://twitter.com/RustyShipp   https://rustyshipp.bandcamp.com/releases

Pete RingMaster 09/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Calling Apollo – Hunter |Gatherer

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Though not a slow burner, the five track encounter making a potent impression first time around, it is fair to say that Hunter |Gatherer from UK quintet Calling Apollo just gets bigger and more impressive over each and every listen. It is a proposition which suggests that its creators is still a band evolving and discovering their ultimate sound but powerfully hinting that when they do it will be something to get very excited over. To be honest Hunter |Gatherer is already an attention grabbing proposal which whips up a keen appetite and anticipation in return for its mix of familiarity and fresh invention; the EP a potent step in the full emergence of one very promising band.

Rising from Cardiff towards the end of 2012 as a quartet, the band spent time creating and honing their sound inspire by artists such as Deftones, The Cure, Funeral For A Friend, Thrice, The Doors to Kings Of Leon, Nine Inch Nails, and Muse amongst many. Vocalist Christian James Neale was recruited early the following year before the five-piece hit the live scene, starting with a show in Newport which earned rave reviews. This was followed by the release of the band’s debut EP Vessels; an encounter self-recorded in a tiny box bedroom in Barry and released as a free download to great responses. In 2014, Calling Apollo ventured into the studio for the first time, recording the Clone City/1945 single. It was a greedily received offering by fans and underground media alike, a success easy to see repeated and more by Hunter |Gatherer.

Picture 133   The release opens with the meaty tones of Hunter, riffs and rhythms a pungent proposal from the off entwined with inviting melodic strands of guitar. Though there is a recognisable air to the song quite early, its busy enterprise and imagination means there is a strong unpredictability to the encounter. The vocals of Neale instantly hold attention, his presence with a melodic embrace around him bringing a Placebo essence to wrap the robust rhythms of drummer Zak Woolf and bassist Luke Walters. The pair in turn provide an anthemic but also tempestuous canvas for the guitars of Kevin Williams and Dan Hughes to colour and spiral from whilst rawer backing vocals compliment Neale to good effect. The song does not leap out at the imagination and emotions as maybe it should have given its creative endeavour, but it certainly awakens keen interest which is more heavily inspired as each subsequent song comes forward.

The following In This City makes a gentle guitar caress on ears initially, its melodic romance swiftly reinforced by the mellow tones of Neale. As it entices, the pairing breeds a rising intensity which erupts in a controlled but tempestuous stroll of agitated rhythms and sonic tenacity. Once in full swing the track is a captivating contagion of emotive expression, revealing the one reference which dominates all when describing the band’s sound. Though there is a great variety to the music, it is Billy Talent which this and following songs most remind of, Calling Apollo sculpting the same impassioned, hook loaded adventure the Canadian band is so adept at

The outstanding encounter makes way for Chemical Breaker, a song which also makes a restrained entrance equipped with radiant melodies and stirring rhythms before boiling up into a more turbulent and engrossing proposal. Though it does not constantly have the same dramatic spark as its predecessor, it is a track which becomes more volatile and fascinating minute by minute and over time, setting up emotions and a now hungrier appetite nicely for the closing pair of richly enticing songs.

Monsters has moments where its potency is more diluted than in other instances within its body but when bounding along with boisterous and dynamically striking enterprise it is a mouth-watering exploit. Even its less fiery essences provide an enthralling incitement to be held firmly by. Melodies and vocals never lack emotive energy whilst the more controlled aspects of the song where the band for personal tastes could have pushed themselves into darker more unpredictable waters, do not hang around long enough to defuse the aggression and voracity of sound and song.

Enjoyable as it is though, Gatherer quickly outshines its predecessor, its opening breeze of melodic coaxing around a shadow kissed bassline tantalising. The lure only thickens as floating harmonies and the voice of Neale open up the narrative, bringing one irresistible hook in voice alone to the chorus. The absorbing song continues to hug the web of guitar intrigue and craft wrapping ears, its reflective elegance a warm breeze eventually heading into a more rugged wind of energy and intensity to bring even greater pleasure. The track is a fine end to a thoroughly engaging release.

Produced by Romesh Dodangoda (Kids In Glass Houses/Funeral For A Friend), Hunter |Gatherer is a highly satisfying next step for Calling Apollo. It comes loaded with potential and a hope that the band really kicks on and boldly explores their already quite individual sound. Those hints of uniqueness within the release, combined with more familiar yet potent influences, makes EP and band a must check out recommendation.

Hunter |Gatherer is available now via Signal and the Noise Records via https://callingapollo.bandcamp.com/album/hunter-gatherer

https://www.facebook.com/CallingApollo

RingMaster 26/05/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Maxstone – The Decade EP

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Having ten years or so to hone a flavoursome and attention grabbing sound around Southern Saskatchewan and beyond, Canadian rockers Maxstone finally released their debut a few months back, a stirring encounter going under the name of The Decade EP which all fans of metal and punk infused rock ‘n’ roll should add to their must investigate lists. Bringing two older songs with a couple of newer written encounters, the release is a seriously enjoyable bruise of the ears bringing a mix of Strung Out, Red Tape, and Thrice like ferocity to their rugged party. At times there is even a hint of Reuben to the creative fire of songs and though the EP is not flushed with striking originality, it only leaves thick satisfaction and fierce appetite for more in its wake.

Made up of Nathan Fafard, Gelvis Sheldon, Brett Marit, and Jordan Godson, Maxstone sets things off with Battle and immediately guitars are a blaze of sonic enterprise amidst a bracing provocation of rhythms. It is a sturdy ear catching entrance which soon embraces similarly raw and impassioned vocals without breaking stride. Punk at its heart but with a delicious veining of a3310393465_2metal seeded grooves and sharp hooks, the energetic and at times almost chaotic bluster of the song is as appealing as the technical craft and imagination flirting from within the impressive opener.

The following Mystery Whiskey is built from the same template, its intensity and passion as forceful and busy as in its predecessor. Musically there is less of a roar in the second track than the first, but with the vocals losing none of their thick expression and the chorus finding stronger virulence, the song keeps the EP on a potent and magnetic course before being eclipsed by the final pair of songs.

Panic stomps in first, beats a scything provocateur against the spicy grooves of the guitars. Vocally there is a slight restraint which works a treat as bass and guitars cast their web of melodic punk and metal seeded sonic enterprise. Group calls back up these potent aspects as the song progresses, its anthemic strength accentuated by their roars within another enjoyable weave of fierce melodies and punchy rhythms. Completed by a brief but great classic metal toned solo, the track makes way for the outstanding Greed. The best track on the release it is a blast of punk hostility and heavy rock predation driven by the blistering and skilled force of the drums. Full to the brim with searing sonic hooks and throaty bass grooves aligned to another dose of anthemic vocal persuasion, the track is a rampant incitement which only increases its lure, weight, and intensity as it heads into a heady climax fuelled by the exhausting and scintillating assault of the drums.

The Decade EP is an impressive start to the band’s recording career, the first of many potent encounters a great many will be hoping as it gains broadening attention. It is not going to set the world on fire but for heart felt antagonistic punk ‘n’ roll it will leave no one wanting, only hungry for more Maxstone.

The Decade EP is available now @ http://maxstone.bandcamp.com/album/the-decade-e-p

https://www.facebook.com/maxstonerock/

RingMaster 12/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Void of Kings – Stand Against The Storm

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Released in 2011, the If Ever Hades Spoke EP made for an imposing and attention grabbing debut from US metallers Void of Kings. Raw and slightly flawed in small areas it still impressively insisted that its creators were kept under close watch and that the potential of greater things ahead was inevitable. A couple of singles the following year confirmed that suggestion and more but only hinted at the might and furiously thrilling encounter which has emerged as their first album. Stand Against The Storm is a beast of a confrontation, a proposition bursting with exhaustive fury and enthralling invention around a spine of uncompromising metalcore voracity. It shows a growth in sound and songwriting which not only irons out any earlier ‘issues’ but reveals there is still plenty more to be discovered and tapped within the band in the future.

Since forming in 2011 and alongside their previous releases, the Baltimore quintet has similarly drawn acclaim with their live presence, playing alongside the likes of Periphery, Impending Doom, and Becoming the Archetype as well as making highly praised appearances on the 2011 Thrash and Burn tour with bands such as Winds of Plague and playing the main stage at Scream the Prayer Tour a year later. Now Void of Kings unleashes their most potent and broadest temptation yet with Stand Against The Storm. Recorded with Will Beasley (Emarosa, Handguns) at Salad Days Studio (Darkest Hour, Senses Fail, Sky Eats Airplane, Converge, Thrice), the album is a statement of intent and alarm call to the world of the inescapable venom swinging, imagination driven storm that is Void of Kings.

The first breath of opener Crossing the Acheron is a thick expulsion of pungent riffs and imposing rhythms bound in a sonic spicing which has ears and appetite immediately and seriously interested. This bait only increases as the rich scowls of vocalist Brian Behm roar and rage whilst the abrasing and enticing craft of guitarists Grant Rizzi and Dan Maloney add their weight to the persuasion. One of the comments we had about the band’s previous EP was the strong and enjoyable but unadventurous vocal presentation which is swiftly left in the past as Behm explores a varied and thrilling diversity across song and album. His antagonistic incitement is a constantly enthralling twisting of tenacity and imposing narrative whilst the clean vocals of Richards equally light up the thrillingly unpredictable brute of a song.

The stunning start is continued with Wounds, another going for the jugular from its first second with tendrils of sonic tenacity courting the dramatic punches of drummer Jake Livingston and 1911882_983788448302453_5892065009981890503_nthe bass predation of Nick Richard. More vicious and intensive than its predecessor, the song stomps across and stalks the senses with a ravenous rabidity and riveting invention, raising another spring of hunger in the appetite which both Scars and Pathways feed with ease. The first of the pair has an almost serpentine edge to its vocals and melodic toxicity but equally a thunderous and at times lumbering intensity which adds to a beauty and the beast contrasting presence. Again the spread of vocal enterprise is exciting whilst the rhythmic and melodic invention has the passions licking their lips in satisfaction and the anticipation of more, straight away provided by the song’s rapacious successor. There is a hunger and instinctive savagery to Pathways which engrosses as potently as the technical and sonic prowess skirting the anthemic roar of the encounter thrills.

Though neither The Darkest Place and the slightly over long H.O.P.E. quite live up to the peaks before them, each provides creative adventures which add easy to devour intrigue and flavour to the album, especially the latter of the two with its delicious gentle opening weave of evocative melodies and mellow emotive vocals. Lined against a brooding bassline from Richard, it is a richly tantalising entrance which fascinates as it evolves into a torrent of thrash spiced riffery within fierce sonic flaming. The song is a perpetual lure but just lacks the final spark to be the pinnacle it could have been, though to be fair it only impresses more and unveils greater depths with every listen, much as the album.

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress looms over the listener next within the artillery of testing rhythms and caustic riffery ridden by the eventful vocal scourging of Behm. A hardcore spicing adds extra character to the drama and lure of the transfixing incitement before it makes way for the mightily bracing and anthemically challenging Conviction, which in turn departs for the outstanding Foreverwar to unveil its triumph. The band’s current single, it is a web of bass tenacity, vivaciously swung beats, and vocal raging within which guitars and clean tones flirt with mouth-watering designs.

Stand Against the Storm is completed by firstly the dark and heavy suasion of Surrender (Bleach the Flag) and lastly the toxic furnace of Serotinous Seed, both tracks exacting and compelling offerings reasserting the strength of the album and the new creative stature of Void of Kings. It may have come in the final weeks of the year but Stand Against the Storm has staked its claim as certainly one of our favourite metal offerings this year and right there on the front line of the best unleashed. More importantly it declares Void of Kings as ready to steal the passions of the world, a theft it is hard to see the band not pulling off.

Stand Against The Storm is available now on CD from http://voidofkings.bigcartel.com/ and digitally @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/stand-against-the-storm/id947137489

http://www.VoidofKings.com

RingMaster 23/12/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Amsterdam Red Light District – Gone For A While

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With a mouthful of a name and a flavoursome depth to their captivating sound, French rockers The Amsterdam Red Light District unleash their new and highly anticipated album Gone For A While. It is a striking encounter which intrigues and pleases at every turn, the band’s mix of alternative rock in a fusion of melodic punk and hardcore, ensuring a persistent drama and vivacity to each and every track. That it does not ignite the passions as rigorously as it maybe should have is a mystery and probably a personal thing, but certainly the eleven track proposition provides a tasty stomp for ears and imagination to invest a real appetite in.

Seemingly with members based in Lyon and California, The Amsterdam Red Light District since forming in 2005 has earned a potent reputation and recognition for their sound and live presence. Employing inspirations from the likes of Refused, The Bronx, The Ghost of a Thousand, and The Bled into their own distinct ideas and invention, the band has made striking marks through debut album Dear Diary in 2010 and the I’m Not Insane EP two years later, their success backed by a live presence which has seen The Amsterdam Red Light District play all over Europe with great regularity, feature at festivals such as Groezrock, Mair1, Resurrection, Sylak and Rockstorm, as well as play with bands such as Refused, Anti-Flag, Thrice, 36 Crazyfists, Comeback Kid, and Slayer. In July this year the band set about recording second full-length Gone for a While, its release like the first with Red Light Records, now upon us and likely to only intensify the spotlight on the band.

Opener Time Flies swiftly has ears and feet involved in its feisty stomp, riffs and rhythms an immediate frenzy bound in enticing grooves. Vocalist Elio Sxone is a commanding presence within the raucous persuasion from his first syllable, whilst guitarist Maxime Comby is soon complimenting his caustic riffs with sonic enterprise. Arguably there are no real surprises within the song but equally it is a refreshing and magnetic offering with real power to its energy and persuasion capped by the great Red Tape like vocal roars alongside the velvety shadowed tones of bass provided by Gregory Clert.

The attention grabbing start is surpassed by the fascinating Just Have A Good Time, its initial Southern rock/Cajun twang the lead into a ferociously fiery and impressive incitement. Swiftly the_amsterdam_red_light_district_hb_251114revealing more of the depths and diversity to the band’s sound, the heavy rock fuelled track stomps with contagious and aggressive intent driven forcibly by the imposing skills of drummer Julien Chanel. The song though is still as welcoming and catchy as its predecessor, whilst the blend of raw and melodic vocals work a treat across song and subsequently the album, their union as bracing as the contrasting sounds igniting the beast of a song.

   Million Miles Away is no slouch in getting the blood running hungrily through band and listener either, its on-going charge littered with spicy hooks aligned to harsh and melodic elements of punk. Fuelled with a torrent of barbed and addiction forging twists, with further outbreaks of chunky riffing and virulent grooving piling on the temptation, the song keeps the album flying high before handing over ears and emotions to the similarly compelling and voraciously sculpted A Chance To Change. Its energy is as full and insatiable as in its predecessor, and with a thick melodic tempting to its rigorous tenacity, provides another weighty slab of punk hunger and irrepressible contagion.

The brief evocative presence of Final Boarding Call is underwhelming, the track seemingly an intro into the album’s following title track but lacks anything to halt the urge to simply move straight to Gone For A While, itself a song lacking something compared to the first quartet of encounters but reinforcing the craft and imagination surging through the album with ease, if not the earlier adventure shown. Its gentler caresses definitely make for a satisfying companionship before Behind Your Sunglasses unveils its fiercer presence and emotion. Still missing that spark of bold inventiveness, the track impresses as it bawls and croons simultaneously, the vocals especially gripping within the tasty web of chords and hooks.

Both These Kids That Your Parents Warned You About and Come Closer leave ears and appetite full of lingering pleasure, the first with gnarly bass tones and bordering on hostile rhythms, a grouchy and thrilling protagonist. Its growl is wholly infectious, as is the return of that bolder inventiveness which marked the start of the album as the track shows itself to be another lofty peak in the landscape of the release. Its successor is built from the same template, a hearty snarl coating every predatory note and heavily swung beat, not forgetting the raw vocal side of the band, whilst grooves and hooks find their own unique venom to infest the imagination.

The two songs has body and thoughts back hungrily engaged before making way for the addiction causing Set The World On Fire, the track one of those anthemic stomps which only a loss of hearing can deter. Its muscular brawl of a seduction is followed by closing track Waiting For So Long, an encounter featuring Justin Schlosberg from Hell Is For Heroes. A final blaze of rugged and melodic punk vitality which maybe misses truly lighting the passions, it nevertheless gives the album a furnace of a send-off whilst egging on the urge to dive right back into the heart of Gone For A While.

At the start we said that the album did not inflame the strength of ardour that it probably should have. It is hard to define why, certainly there is not an abundance of surprises but there is plenty to enthral and spark a greed for more. It is easy to expect Gone For A While to be a major trigger for the passions in a great many though, and for the rest of us it has to be said The Amsterdam Red Light District has placed a strong enough grip with the album that anticipation for their next endeavour is unavoidable.

Gone For A While is available now via Red Light Records, digitally @ https://itunes.apple.com/fr/album/gone-for-a-while/id918599363 and on CD @ http://tarld.bigcartel.com/

http://www.tarldtheband.com/

RingMaster 26/11/2014

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Quartered – Eyes And Ears

Quartered - Press Photo - Credit Tyler Branston

The first thing to say about the Eyes And Ears EP from Canadian band Quartered, is it gives no real evidence to why the band self-describes themselves as progressive metal. Now genres and tags never truly represent the complete sound of a band but unless we have misunderstood what progressive metal is, it is no way the suggestion we would give to the potent sound running through the band’s release. Now call it alternative metal with a metalcore tendency and you are closer to the captivating persuasion fuelling a highly accomplished and satisfying proposition. Though not something rigorously unique, the Vancouver quartet’s sound stands as an individual incitement for ears and thoughts but most of all, it is simply potential soaked and highly enjoyable.

Quartered has earned an acclaimed reputation locally and further afield since its four friends came together around six or so years ago. Taking inspirations from the likes of Deftones, Tool, and Thrice, the band has become accustomed to praise for their live performances which has seen them play with the likes of Lamb of God, Testament , Slapshock, Bif Naked, Kobra and The Lotus, Ninjaspy, and Over The Coals through numerous festivals, tours, and shows. Their 2010 album Walks Like A Ghost equally garnered strongly positive responses and ensured that once news of Eyes And Ears broke, anticipation was fiercely keen.

The release opens with the excellent Blink Blink Flash, a track swiftly stirring up ears and appetite with its raw sonic entrance and coaxing. The guitar of Jeff Wang scorches the small hairs on flesh as it heads to the senses, laying down fine bait before the vocal roar of Greg Williams explodes with energy and passion alongside the rhythmic incitement of drummer Scotty Miller. It is a formidable start which only seems to find greater intensity as Williams explores his excellent clean delivery and the bass of Craig Rudder unveils its throaty drama. Twists in the vocal attack and jabbing hooks increase the intrigue and potency of the song and though it never explodes as it hints it might, the inventiveness and unpredictable tenacity of the song easily ignites imagination and passions. It is easy to feel the Deftones influence even in a song which is distinct to Quartered and it does the impressive protagonist no harm at all.

The following Call Me Crazy is a mellower proposition, melodies instantly wrapping ears within an evocative ambience before post hardcore like vocal and riffery adds its antagonism. It is a pungent beginning which loses some of its lure Album Cover - Quartered - Eyes And Ears - 2014with the strong but not this time as striking smooth and melodic vocals, which in turn inspires a more relaxed pressure around them. When the song rages with nostril flared though, it is a mighty slice of provocation and another aspect to the promise of the band. Its successor Violent Love, like the first track, provides a virulent temptation and pleasure as a harsh caustic assault is merged with respectful and harmonious warmth. It works perfectly, the track at ease and full potency either snarling and gnawing on the senses or seducing them. It is fair to say that the band is not setting new templates with the song and their sound but for a thoroughly exciting and impressive incitement, it is an undeniable treat.

Speak of the Devil similarly provides a riveting and thrilling encounter, its melodic rock charm and more rugged angst fuelled passion a radiant and resourceful flame of craft and enterprise. Its captivation is succeeded by the infectious She Sees Colour, a catchy and emotive caress on ears which enchants and provokes satisfied emotions with Palms like vivacity. It is a song which again does not quite catch fire as it might but easily provides another major highlight on the increasingly impressing release.

Neither Take Me There Tonight nor Echoes can match what comes before, yet with its predacious touch and tone aligned to skilled musical and vocal design, the first of the pair makes for a compelling and persistently pleasing encounter. The second of the two is a flight of emotion and hungry endeavour which evolves from a gentle caress to a raw and caustic emotional rage. It also leaves thoughts and appetite hooked but pales against the qualities of earlier songs and the closing success of Ricochet.

The final song on the EP is the most groove infested encounter on the release, fusing that irresistible spice with the now expected excellently thought out and presented vocals amidst a commanding rhythmic framing courted by superb guitar invention. It is a powerful end to a strong and absorbing encounter. Though it is easy to feel there is more to come and be discovered by Quartered to really forge a unique place in metal, Eyes and Ears is an impressive step on the way and very easy to want to keep coming back to.

The self-released Eyes And Ears is available now @ http://quartered.bandcamp.com/album/eyes-and-ears

http://www.Quartered.ca

RingMaster 09/10/2014

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In Progress – North Atlantic Echoes

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Bracing, seductive, and thoroughly captivating, the sound of US progressive/experimental rock band In Progress is an absorbing evocation which works on the imagination just as potently as ears and emotions. It is a proposition impossible to pin down but easy to embrace as proven by the band’s sophomore album North Atlantic Echoes. Consisting of seven tracks which combine cinematic adventures with emotively driven moods and sultry climactic landscapes, the band’s new release leads senses and thoughts into evocative embraces, enveloping them in atmospheric caresses and imposing yet welcoming ambiences. The closest comparison which comes to mind is Scottish band North Atlantic Oscillation, an encounter the title of the album points at whether intentionally or by coincidence, though ultimately In progress crafts a presence which is distinct to them.

The New York/Los Angeles based band consists of John Dillon (vocals, guitar, bass, programming, and additional keyboards) and Jake Rosenberg (keyboards and additional programming), who take inspirations from artists such as Nine Inch Nails, Tool, Devin Townsend, Faith No More, Thrice, Ulver, Chroma Key, and OSI into their inventive explorations. Their debut album Signal Failure of 2011, which featured drummer Mark Zonder (Warlord, Fates Warning, Slavior), drew good responses from fans and media which with its release a couple of weeks ago, North Atlantic Echoes andits own special guests, most notably keyboardist Kevin Moore (ex-Dream Theater, co-founder of OSI, Chroma Key) and even more experimental and expressive designs has already started emulating.

The warm touch of Tones From a Twisting Verse opens up the immersive embrace of the album, its poetic musical tones immediately caressing senses and thoughts. Keys cast a reflective ambience around the ears, their orchestral grace and smouldering shadows an emotive colour enhanced by the vocal harmonies in flight within. Its scenery unveils within a piano narrative soon joined by the slightly monotone yet warm and melodic delivery of Dillon. The song envelops and leads the imagination into a melancholic and enchanting evocation darkly coloured by the emotional prowess of the duo and their mesmeric sound.

The following Thunderstorms is similarly dark in feel and shadows with a bright bewitching core which glows like a beacon of hope with reflective flames; it a look back to inspirational moments seemingly lost in the drifts of time. As maudlin as its predecessor in many ways, it is also a livelier lucent hug for the imagination; the excellent mellower vocals as transfixing as the inciting words it delivers and the shimmering sounds around them. The song merges dark and light with poise and glorious temptation, becoming a richer potent persuasion with each taking of its provocative account.

The intriguing nintendo-esque rhythmic coaxing of next up Chasing Ghosts, which opens up the track and persists with its kinetic smile throughout, pleasingly leaves expectations lost for words. The track is an evolving drama but an inventively reserved premise for vocals and lyrics to colour with stimulating endeavour. As its predecessors and the album as a whole, the song again grows melancholic seeds into a sonically luminous blossom, its shading and smouldering fire stoked by the additional craft of Moore, the song the first of the trio he joins the band on. Cloudburst straight after is the second. The track has a portentous air to its emergence, epically throated electro expulsions clouding the sky with imposing textures as keys flit through its mass with shards of light and mystery. Dillon is joined vocally by the sirenesque voice of Hwei Ling Ng, their vocal extremes a compelling enticement within an equally captivating climate of sound. With an additional mystique to its melodic waltz and emotional fascination, the track absorbs senses and passions with rhapsodic beauty, its presence urging thoughts at times of Nine Inch Nails and Ministry in their very early synth pop days.

Both North Atlantic and Thorn Yard engulf body and mind in glistering textures and melodic kisses, the first initially glancing across the senses with glimpses of the soon to evolve ambient pop enterprise. It is a firm first touch but feeling more of a caress as the heavier yet and equally celestial embrace of the song takes hold. Graced by the angelic harmonies of Lauren Edwards above and around Dillon and a potent sense of loss which soaks sound and lyrics, this theme common across the release in many personal and easy to relate to guises, the song is another enchantment to drift from reality within. Its climactic build to a somber last hug draws in thoughts and memories ready for its successor whose opening piano and vocal union with a rosy dramatic air to their union sparks thoughts of eighties artists Black, and though its fails to rise to the same heights of earlier songs, the unpredictable flames of effects and fiery crescendos simply enthral.

North Atlantic Echoes is an album which certainly makes a strong suasion in its first encounter but grows into something immensely epic and irresistible over time, final song Graveyard Snowfall with guest touches from again Moore and Edwards, bringing evocative hues to an already spellbinding romance of shadows and lost loves, closing up the tremendous adventure potently. As mentioned the album needs as much time as you can give to reveal the extent of its passions infecting potency but rewards with creative experimentation and emotive emprise which is quite beautiful.

You can stream the album or name your own price for the download at the following link: http://inprogressofficial.bandcamp.com/

 

https://www.facebook.com/inprogressofficial

9/10

RingMaster 03/04/2014

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