The Beauty of Noise: The Gaa Gaas Interview

As a fresh decade takes its first breath there was only one place to start a new series of interviews with some of the most exciting independent bands and artists and that was with one of our major faves here at The RR. So with big thanks to band founder Gavin Tate welcome to The Gaa Gaas…

Hi Gavin and thanks for sharing your time with us once more.

It has been a long while in the planning but you have just unveiled the band’s debut album. What have been the prime emotions in its build up and now final and highly anticipated release?

GT: Bonjour, mettez-vous à l’aise. The honest truth is that as well as the unfortunate circumstances of label battles, finance was a huge factor for the reason it took so long to release a full album. I was abused as a child at a detention centre in my home island of Jersey where I was illegally locked up in solitary confinement for sometimes months at a time and was beaten. I received a big compensation from the Government that I’ve put into the physical side of the album release out on our own label Movement-2 Records. It’s a fantastic feeling to know the album is finally out there, the response has been amazing! 

 For those new to The Gaa Gaas could you reveal how the band began and its history since?

GT: I attended a tour in 2002 that consisted of 3 pinnacle groups of the time which were Ikara Colt, The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, and The Parkinsons. That show in Brighton inspired me to form The Gaa Gaas made up of members that I had met at a club night called Bomp! (a weekly event that was held in our birth town of St Helier). The band relocated to Brighton in the mid 2000’s and we’re now mainly based in London. Prior to the album we had released two 5 track EP’s, a few singles, a couple of split singles and have been featured on many compilations since! We have also been given the opportunity to play some big name festivals alongside bands such as Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Primal Scream, The Stranglers, Happy Mondays, and Richard Ashcroft.

What were the inspirations which most sparked your own musical adventure and also the band’s sound?

GT: I think a lot of it was to do with attending gigs and festivals. I always wanted to be on stage and behind the scenes because that side of it felt more appealing to me when I was just a young lad. The sound of the group has been developed and matured through observation and experimentation. We love lots of different styles and even though this band has had many members over the years, we’ve still managed to maintain the same sound throughout. It’s post-punk more than punk, but can still be classed as rock. We’ve stayed true to our name by making it a bit nutty as well.

 Turning back to the album; a powerful collection of songs to tempt newcomers it also in a way works as a round-up and compilation of the creative adventures existing fans have devoured over the years. How did you approach it to make it strikingly fresh, which it is, to all?

GT: There was the option to record the album with completely new songs and leave what we had already done behind, but our fan base would have been completely thrown off as songs like ‘V.O.L.T.A.I.R.E.’ and ‘Close Your Eyes’ are strong enough album tracks. It was decided to have our previous singles included on the release along with the best tracks of both EP’s and a studio outtake that we well and truly underestimated titled ‘The Type of Mood’, which has had the most radio interest, something we never expected at all. ‘Indian Giver’ album version was kept behind as we knew we wanted it for the release and it works being the only instrumental on the menu. No one counted on it and that’s what we wanted. We’ve now created more anticipation as the next album will follow up in 2020 with songs no one has yet heard and I tell you hand on heart, the new stuff wipes the floor with anything we’ve done before.

 It does feel like the closing of a chapter before The Gaa Gaas unveil a new adventure ahead, is that how you see it in some ways?

GT: We’re not the most organised band in the world, but we make up for that with enigma. No one ever knows who’s actually in the band as every time we play live there’re always new members. We are like today’s equivalent of The Fall. Not by choice either. Maybe I’m a difficult person to work with, maybe they are. Also we’ve had some almost fatal hardships within the group that has led to cancellations of planned shows and tours. Every band goes through bad experiences, but you just have to soldier on. The new decade will see us actually jumping in vans and doing the circuit again, something our fans have been really gunning for, and plus with the new material it will be like a complete reincarnation

 Obviously some of the songs within the album were written way back, are you someone who has had the self-will to leave them alone or over the years have found yourself nagging away at them in some ways?

GT: I just think those songs really deserved to make an album. I’d love to see our first record stacked alongside stuff like Damned Damned Damned and Never Mind The Bollocks in the bargain shelf at Wax Factor Record Shop in Brighton one day. That to me would feel like more of an achievement than seeing it in the racks at Rough Trade. Everything’s too polished these days. We are as true to punk rock as the innovators and that attitude in music needs to come back hard ‘cause the industry is mostly made up of rich geeks and there’s no flare like there used to be. I believe those songs carry some of that old skool sensibility!

 As you mentioned the band has been based between Jersey, Brighton and London over those same years, putting aside now with the album’s release, which has been the most potent moment for you in The Gaa Gaas emergence?

GT: I think the release of ‘V.O.L.T.A.I.R.E.‘ was monumental to the band. As soon as that came out we were getting booked to play everywhere…The coolest club nights throughout the UK and Europe, being played on Radio 1 on MTV 2. At that point I thought we were going to explode as Island Records were interested and we were playing shows every week. But it’s like anything. People inside and outside of the group had misconceptions and doubts about where it was all going, but I’m still on that boat of the best is yet to come.

Have you found that it has become easier for a DIY fuelled independent band to find opportunities to play and find a release for their art or harder?

GT: Groups such as The Cramps did everything themselves. Pressed their own records, designed their own fanzines, organised their own shows and tours. In the end the best thing about that is you’re not owing an advance to any labels. DIY and the independent side of the business is where most of the bands and labels we all know and love first began, but inevitably everything gets snapped up by the majors because people need money for bigger projects, for security, and a lot of the time for their own Cocaine fuelled ego’s. Not needing to be under anyone’s wing or supervision is no chore to us. We would quite happily carry on independently until our livers pack in, our lungs collapse, and our nostrils fall off. Even then we would probably still keep going!

 And how hard has it been to keep the passion and determination going in making music across the long life of the band?

GT: The great thing is people never know what to expect from us. Maybe that forms some sort of excitement in itself. Music is always being written and recorded. There’s so much that has never seen the light of day and now that we have a functional record label of our own we can look at more frequent releases. We are going into the new decade with a much more experienced head on our shoulders. As well as for our own passion and our own urges, we would really love to put Jersey on the musical map of producing great bands in the same way The Parkinsons did for Portugal.

 I know there are new songs poised to bring bold new Gaa Gaas adventure to UK music; can you give us some idea of what they will reveal?

GT: If you enjoyed the political vision of ‘Close Your Eyes‘, let’s just say the 2nd album will hold more of that fire. We are going more electronic the next time around massively influenced by Ultravox, but also taking inspiration from greats such as U.K. Subs and The Damned, also stuff like Tool which I’ve only really just adapted to thanks to our new guitarist Simon. The next wave of songs will be a massive step up from what anyone has previously heard. That’s all I can give you!

So what is on the horizon for The Gaa Gaas live and recording wise?

GT: Our first show of 2020 will be a headline slot at 93 Feet East in London’s Brick Lane as a release party for the first album with support from some of our current faves. Robert King of legendary Scottish post-punk band Scars will also be DJing. From then on we’ll be playing constantly the same way we were this time 10 years ago. The live shows are where it’s at with this band. As soon as we came off at Weekender Festival last year, we just wanted to do it again and again. We were tempted to over step Stereo MC’s slot, that’s how much we enjoyed it. As for recording the next venture will be album number 2.

The Gaa Gaas have been a band which has perpetually excited us at The RR, is there a particular moment which has given you the biggest satisfaction and pleasure in its time to date?

GT: I think it would have to be performing at Drop Dead Festival cause it was the furthest we’ve ever travelled to play. Right on the outskirts of Russia and we got billed alongside bands such as Zounds, Specimen, Sex Gang Children, Noisy Pig, and Stereo Total. It was an honour to be invited to play at that event. We still can’t believe we made it there in one piece.

 Again big thanks for chatting with us, anything else you would like to add?

Please donate anything you can to Crisis UK and get behind the Musicians Against Homelessness campaign organised by Emma Rule. Let’s try and get Britain back to a much better state by forming unity and becoming a more humane place to live.

Check out The Gaa Gaas further @ http://www.thegaagaas.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/TheGaaGaas   https://twitter.com/The_Gaa_Gaas and read our recent review of their excellent self-titled debut album @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2019/12/06/the-gaa-gaas-self-titled/

Pete RingMaster 04/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Aren Drift Interview

For those who may not know who you are, introduce yourselves quickly.

Radka Nemcova – Vocals, Rhythm Guitar

Matt Plumley – Lead Guitar

Dominic Cahillane – Drums

Theo Corcoran – Bass

Describe your sound in as few words as possible.

RN: Progressive rock, international vibes, heavy melodic riffs, contralto vocals, cinematic sound.

DC: Vibrations

MP: Female fronted prog rock

TC: I’d say our sound is best described as heavy progressive rock with international influences, I’ve heard the word melodic chucked around a bit as well.

Who are your three biggest influences as a band?

RN: It’s hard to name just three bands as there are many bands we love but I would definitely mention Perfect Circle, In This Moment, Queen of the Damned soundtracks. (The first choice I would choose for the technical side and second two choices I love for the production side.)

What’s the meaning behind your band name?

RN: AREN is made of my initials (‘RN’ = phonetically ‘aren’) I used Aren D. as my artistic / musical pseudonym as no one was able to remember or pronounce my name haha. I chose the second word ‘drift’ because I like to drift and our music should make you drift too.

We came up with lots of different names but everyone liked Aren Drift so we kept it as a band name.

How did you approach our latest release in terms of writing and recording?

RN: Writing is my favourite part so it was just a fun bit for me. I love it. Recording was good but mixing was the difficult part of the whole process.

I am very creative person and I have very strong visions in music and art and I imagine things how they look and sound before they are actually written or filmed. Mixing itself is very creative process and we struggled to get the sound we wanted. However, it was a great learning curve and I’m already excited to apply everything we learnt into our next recordings.

MP: In terms of the recording, we were on a budget, four days in total for five songs, some unreleased at this moment in time. We pretty much had the parts written before we recorded, but somehow ended up re-recording most of the guitar parts at my home studio. When you are on the clock you don’t have time to mull that sound over and try different amps, settings, different guitars, you literally stick a mic in front of your amp and off you go. So that meant we weren’t quite happy with the sound we had. It was a big learning curve for us; we have plans to do things differently next time.

Do you have any personal favourite songs on the release?

RN: Snow Queen. I think the song determines Aren Drift’s unique style.

DC: Light Hole

MP: Sun Goes Down for me.

TC: I’d say my favourite song of the new EP is light hole, it’s one of my favourites to play live as well, but I do also really like “snow queen”.

Explain the meaning behind the album title.

RN: ‘Beneath The Surface’ – We want the listener to go deeper at all the levels while listening our music. Some of the reviews we received say that you need to listen the songs a few times until it fully reveals their potential. I was actually very glad to read that because that’s what I love about music.

The artwork represents what’s beneath your skin, inside of the Earth’s core, inside of you.

Tell us about the video for Snow Queen and its concept.

RN: Snow Queen music video was partly filmed in Czech mountains and partly in England. I wanted to produce something powerful and arty. A music video which captures a story as well as the feelings.

Sun Goes Down music video is solely my arty outlet.

I don’t want to say anything else. Just watch it J

Do they tie in with the themes around the song? If yes, why? If not, why not?

RN: It does. I don’t want to reveal everything. Let’s say you need to listen to the lyrics and watch the video.

Were they fun to shoot or proved to be quite a challenge?

RN: When we were shooting Snow Queen, I was two days in the mountains in -20°C wearing a dress. It was snowing and I thought my hands and nose will fall off so yeah… it was fun haha.

I believe everyone enjoys shooting the music videos. But post production is proper hard work. I believe the devil is in the details and I have very strong visions so I usually spend long time working on the post productions. I produced both videos myself in co-production with Ollie Dolling. It was great working with him. I’m already excited to work on our future videos.

MP: Definitely one of my bands highlights and the results were way beyond what I expected.

Do you have any live shows lined up at present?

RN: Follow us on Facebook. We are planning 2020 UK tour! All the dates will be there.

We were also booked at Concorde 2 in Brighton in June 2020 which will be an epic show.

In regards to the closer dates I would recommend you a gig at Black Heart in Camden, London on 20th September. We are supporting Esoterica. But if you want a ticket, be quick as the show might be sold out soon 😉

What are your favourite songs to perform live?

MP: Our new song Sirens, I love it and the response we had to it at the EP launch which was the first time we played it live, was very moving, loved it.

RN: I really enjoy playing Sirens. It is our new song and by my opinion it is musically the best piece which I’m very proud of. At the moment I’m playing with a thought to write trilogy for Sirens. I have whole concept in my head + the ideas for the video so let’s see if we can do something about that.

DC: Porcelain Dolls has a nice few changes where I can bring a few different styles in the song. For all out energy, Passion Kills is always the track I’m scanning the set list for.

TC: As I said, light hole is one of my favourite songs to play live, as well as one of our new songs called Delirious.

What are the best and worst shows you’ve played to date?

DC: I think it varies for each of us; I’ll leave it down to the fans

TC: I’d say the worst show I’ve played with Aren Drift was my first one with the band, I was slightly nervous, which is odd for me, and I just didn’t quite gel with the music! But our best show in my opinion was our EP release, the sound was great, the crowd was amazing and we were all playing at the top of our game!

If you could open for anyone, who would it be?

DC: Tool would be immense

RN: Deftones, Korn, Marilyn Manson, Perfect Circle, Alice in Chains, In This Moment

MP: Wolf Alice, lead singer is a girl and they rock, great live band from what I can tell on YouTube, I’d then get a chance to watch them in the flesh every night J

Oh yeah and Faith No More, they are still rocking, check out SuperHero from the Radio 1 sessions on YouTube.

Any comical stories from your time as a band you can share with us?

DC: Now that would be telling, shame on you. 🙂

Any closing comments?

Thank you for your support. We appreciate every single person who goes to the live gigs and support the local music in general. Thank you.

Check Aren Drift out further @…

https://www.arendrift.com/    https://www.facebook.com/arendrift/    https://www.instagram.com/aren_drift/

RingMaster Review 06/11/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

All the means TO AN END

With a persistent taste for Australian metal in any guise we recently had the pleasure to check out Melbourne outfit To An End, talking with guitarist Matt Turner and vocalist Al Gammie about the band’s origins, their current album, opportunities and much more…

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

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to the beginnings of the band?

(Matt)To An End comprises Al on vocals, myself on guitar, Yiorgs on bass and Shane on drums. The band initially began as a project where myself (Matt) and Al wrote all of the songs and completed a full album studio recording. Then, it was easier to find band members once the album was completed and we could show people exactly what we were all about.

Were you involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now?

Each member has been in various bands over the years but we really feel like this is the band we have been waiting for. We can’t wait to get our songs out as far and wide as possible! This band has elements familiar to each member, but is quite different if compared to our previous bands side by side.

What inspired the band name?

The name was one of many for consideration at the time. It was quite difficult to find something that firstly, wasn’t already taken and secondly, sounded good and was decent as a logo. We think ‘To An End’ ticks the boxes!

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

As the band started out as a project it was really a matter of just starting the recording process and seeing where it would all end up. There was room for genre jumping and just having fun with it. Once the album was done, we were absolutely certain we needed to be an active band playing frequently…and here we are!

Do the same things still drive the band from when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

Given we all have a history of playing in other bands and we aren’t too ‘fresh-faced’ anymore ha-ha, the band is definitely serving our passions and we are driven to make sure it’s fun for us and our fans. Anyone who comes to see us live will see all of that translate on stage!

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

We just released our debut album in November 2018 so we are still promoting that. In the background we are writing and doing demos for another album which we are excited about. There will be evolution and only time will tell to see where it all ends up.

It is an organic exploration within the band sound wise or you setting out to try new ideas etc.?

We are flexible musicians, so I think we’ll always have a mix of melody/heavy and soft/loud over the course of an album. There will definitely be some more evolution and experimentation for the next album.

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?

Our individual music tastes range from Journey, Pantera, Glassjaw, Faith No More, Tool, Slayer, Meshuggah to 80’s rock to death/black metal. As a band, we feel we’ve been influenced by heavy music with melody so there are elements of Metallica, Killswitch Engage, Stone Sour, Sevendust and Disturbed. Personally, I’ve always gravitated towards song writers and great riffs so my heroes are Metallica, Pantera, Lamb of God, Alice In Chains, Tool. Way too many to mention though!

Do you have a particular process to your songwriting?

The songs will usually start as a completed demo and then we let the song evolve naturally in the rehearsal room with all of the individual personalities and play styles shining through.

Please give us some background to your first album?

We think we have a great collection of songs on the debut album Redefine and there is certainly something there for everyone whether you are into rock and/or metal. We have some heavy songs like our single Wasteland, plus Hear No Evil which features a killer guitar solo from Christopher Amott (formerly of Arch Enemy) to more rocking songs like Fracture and Left Untold. There is also a piano/acoustic song as well that closes out the album.

…And an insight to its themes?

(Al) The instrumentation and feel of the song really dictates to me where I need to go lyrically and I feel we covered a lot of different ground on the album. There are songs like Fracture and Wasteland – the world is becoming more and more confusing, turbulent and extreme – I wanted to remind people that they have a voice and need not conform. There’s the horror film-inspired Out Of My Hands which touches on violent imagery, although is tongue-in-cheek also. Of course there’s plenty of pent up aggression to express throughout, and the personal moments like From Grace Until Demise and Collide are where I can get deeper and more sombre rather than just yelling in key!

You talked about demos in the songwriting process, so you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty with their character set or prefer to let it develop as you record?

(Matt) We’ll go into the studio fully prepared and ready to go. I think being well rehearsed is key, given studio time is costly. Plus the more efficient you are in the studio, the more chance you have trying a few ideas on the fly.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably a favourite aspect of the band?

With our live show, we aim to be tight and on point musically but not at the expense being too clinical in our playing and not enjoying ourselves. We hope that the crowd enjoys our music as much as we love playing it. That back and forth energy is contagious.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

Whilst the heavy music scene in Australia would be considered to be small in relation to the US and Europe, there are super dedicated fans who are enthusiastic about the scene and music in general. I think it is hard for a new band to make a mark no matter what, but we are fortunate to be located in Melbourne where there is a thriving live music scene and plenty of opportunities to play in front of new people. We also love playing regionally and interstate where there are always people willing to come out and support local music. Every band was local at one point, so we are more than happy to get out as much as possible and we are fortunate to team up with other amazing bands to put on local shows.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date also? Do you see it as something negative or positive overall?

The internet and social media has allowed a low barrier to entry to get music out to people however, the challenge is navigating through such a crowded space. It is difficult to break through it all however I think the positives outweigh the negatives. As a new band we are able to share our videos, live clips, our album, photos, interviews, reviews etc. at the click of a button which allows us to connect with fans really easily. I would say determining a bands worth through how many Likes they have and dismissing a band just based on a particular number next to a thumbs up icon is unfair….but it is a reality. We think that the connection to the fans is the most important thing and we’ll just concentrate on being the best band we can be within our control. Hopefully when people hear our music we’ll get inundated with all those Likes ha-ha!

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

We just want to say thanks for the support and opportunity for chatting with us and hope your readers will check us out on all digital platforms (Spotify, iTunes, Google etc.) just search To An End Redefine. Also, you can check out the video to our debut single here: https://youtu.be/KodUFu2shKw

More details available at our Facebook page and https://toanend.com/

Questions Pete RingMaster 04/05/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

TREP – Lucian EP

Since forming two years back, Welsh metallers TREP has earned potent support and reputation across South Wales. Now they are hoping to spark similar reactions further afield with the release of their debut EP, Lucian and with it offering up five slices of imaginatively woven alt-metal it is not too hard to expect decent success in the intent and hopes of the Cardiff based trio.

Lucian revels in the band’s mix of classic and modern alternative metal, its character nurtured in melodic dexterity and rousing choruses gifted with individual craft. Freshly breathed and individually natured it also embraces inspirational hues of bands such as Muse, QOTSA, Mastodon, Tool and Breaking Benjamin; the first pair openly spicing the EP and its song’s inventive flavouring.

The first of two EPs which together unveil an elaborate story with themes looking at “dystopia, a dictatorship, and the use of technology for a chance at a better world…but at what cost?” the swiftly fascinating Lucian opens up with the single Silence the Crows. Immediately a guitar cast wire entangles ears, winding around their flesh with intimation and dexterity as rhythms gather their bait and in turn the quickly captivating vocal blend of guitarist Rhys Evans and the supporting tones of bassist Sam Green and drummer Max Hill steps forward. There is a flirtatious touch and lure to the song from its first breath but equally a snarl in its melodic almost deceitful smile, an edge which is as much threat as it is sonic enterprise as Evans guitar reveals greater flavouring and invention by the passage.

It is easy to hear why the song made a more than decent lure to attention when released as a demo in 2017, and is now flourishing in the band’s growth in sound and the surroundings of the EP; its rich presence matched by that of next up The Time You Have Lost. There is something familiar to the track which only adds to its swift lure and bold enterprise whilst welcoming an array of melodic and sonic hues to its creative breast. Arguably even more virulent than its infectious predecessor, the song equally has its own volatile instincts which just add to its drama and increasingly captivation.

The EP’s best track is followed by the equally enticing It’ll Never Happen. Rising on a calmer breeze of sound and attack, it strolls with inescapable catchiness but all the while is brewing up the next twist and turn which then breeds another moment of fluid but unpredictable adventure. Maybe more of a grower than its predecessor despite its swift persuasion, the song rises to set down one more highlight of Lucian before another potent bloom in Architect spins its own dextrous and resourceful web around ears. Classic metal spicing accompanies its rise, Avenged Sevenfold coming to mind a little as the song broadens its tempting but also there is something to it which carries an eighties rock/new wave flavouring. It is an essence which teased within earlier songs but is a rich scent here even if a direct comparison still evades our ears.

The outstanding Better World brings the release to a close, the song an alluring mix of melodic metal and stoner infused rock ‘n’ roll with rich grooves and versatile rhythms offering to references to the likes of Mastodon and Red Fang. Again the great vocal mix of the trio is a magnet within the captivation of the sounds set on casting their own adventure and eager temptation.

Impressive from the off and only increasing its stature and potency over time and listens, Lucian is a striking and rousing first proper introduction to TREP; so much so we are already greedily anticipating the next chapter in the sonic story.

The Lucien EP is out now; available @ https://trepmerch.bigcartel.com

https://www.facebook.com/TrepBand/

 Pete RingMaster 21/03/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Down To The Bunker – Misery

A growling, snarling beast of a release, Misery is the debut album from Swiss quintet Down To The Bunker and an encounter which marks them out as one richly promising, indeed already impressive proposition. Offering up nine tracks of alt metal predation merged with heavy rock contagion and hardcore dissonance it all delivered with potent technical prowess and an uncaged heart, the release is one wake-up call to and declaration of intent from one rather exciting outfit.

Formed in 2012, the Genève hailing band has worked through years of line-up instability as it searched for the right personnel. It is a time though the band equally used to explore and hone a sound which is as unpredictable as it is varied and adventurous. A self-titled EP in 2015 drew keen attention though its support live was a struggle with again a changing line-up trespassing the next steps for Down To The Bunker. Now though things seem to have settled and with the band’s strongest line-up to date, the stability relishing result being the striking Misery.

Embracing a sound which sees the likes of Tool, Korn, Rage Against The Machine, Meshuggah, Gojira, Promethee, and Code Orange amongst its inspirations, Misery is an album which arouses as it challenges. Almost every moment has attention glued to its lures, the thrill of the unexpected rearing its head throughout an encounter which twists the familiar into its own pattern of fresh imagination and invention. Certainly there are moments where it ebbs and flows in the intensity of its temptation but there are few if any moments where it allows the listener to impulsively drift off elsewhere.

From the opening bait of first track Mother, the album was burrowing under the skin; sonic lures straining against the speakers urgently wanting out. The guitars of Matt and Jerem continue to bait the senses as heavier and darker strands join them, the bass of Arnaud a predatory taunt alongside the considered but imposing swings of drummer Léo. Completed by the fine tones of vocalist Jo, the track swiftly grows into a formidable and compelling incitement, imagination and unpredictability increasingly fuelling its enterprise and inescapable persuasion.

The increasingly magnetic and impressive start is easily continued by the album’s title track. It too springs from a seductive sonic lure if one which lances the senses rather than caresses them. The emerging web of guitars ensnared ears with swiftly nagging and devious intent; a strength of coercion matched in voice and rhythm. There is a touch of Mudvayne to the track at times which does it no harm or indeed the atmospheric winds which bring haunting melodies amid seemingly calm but dark aural intimation.

With the twisted canvas of The Asylum a refreshing bedlam of sound and individual craft shaped into another tantalising captivation come threat and the, at times, even more creatively unhinged and similarly fascinating Chrysalis, there is no let up on attention and enjoyment. Each track lured and trapped both with a creative greed which alone marks Down To The Bunker out, a dexterity in thought, songwriting and adventure which equally infests next up Ethics. As with all songs, it is a writhing collusion of sonic vines and metallic dissonance matched in vocal and lyrical dispute, and like each a blend of the barbarous and seductive as a cast of styles and flavours join up to ignite the band’s imagination and sound. There are moments of deceptive and corrupted calm which maybe disrupt the flow and impact of the track but it is that unexpected ideation which also makes it as potent as anything within Misery.

Through the intimately reflective and melodically evocative Waves, a quest with its own underlying snarl, and the sonically invasive and haunting Lost In The Desert, there was no let up on bold enterprise and striking intimation. The latter is like a senses suffocating limbo which slowly but surely reveals it’s waiting demons and distortions resulting in an experience which gloriously tests and provokes.

a final pair of bonus tracks in Machine and Alive brings the album to a dramatic and imposing close. The first and another major highlight of the release openly wears familiarity in its holler yet it would be hard to say it is anything other than a Down To The Bunker creative clamour while its successor prowls, pretty much crawls through ears with a great mix of heavy grunge and rapacious metal bound in melodic volatility.

It is a great end to an album which just pleasures and grows more impressive over time. In their seventh year Down To The Bunker will be making their first introduction to a great many with Misery but it is easy to believe they will be no strangers to them and major spotlights hereon in.

Misery is released February 22nd via Tenacity Music; available @ https://tenacity-music.bandcamp.com/album/misery

https://www.facebook.com/DownToTheBunker

Pete RingMaster 20/02/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Wheel – The Divide EP

Pic by Jonna Ohrnberg

With time seemingly at a premium in all aspects of life, especially free time to do as one wishes it is far too easy to be acquainted with bands and artists in name and reputation but not through the real attention they quite possibly deserve. Finnish progressive rockers Wheel is such an outfit with us. The release of The Path EP last year sparked potent acclaim for the 2015 founded band; praise that reached us here even though its sounds evaded close focus. We have not made the same mistake this time around though with its successor, The Divide EP a collection of tracks which roar and seduce with craft and enterprise whilst enthralling the imagination in their complexities, intricacies, and emotive landscapes.

Helsinki based, Wheel weave a sound which is as familiar as it is fresh and bold. It is easy to suggest comparisons to bands such as Karnivool, The Pineapple Thief, and Tool though none are an exact match or true clue to the powerful sound within the release. There is a touch of all in its tracks but each swiftly proven individual to Wheel with the outstanding voice of English vocalist James Lascelles at their heart.

Produced and mixed by Jesse Vainio (Apocalyptica, Poets Of The Fall, Sunrise Avenue), The Divide opens with Please. Immediately the dark growl of Mikko Määttä’s bass entices ears and attention, the crispy beats of Santeri Saksala enticing alongside. The pair is soon joined by the flavoursome lures of the guitars, a mix settling into a suggestive stroll as Lascelles tones step forward. There is a slight Bush like scent to the song at this point, its tempting tendrils and intimation a flirtation easy to grab with hunger. Lead guitarist Roni Seppänen weaves a web of adventure and craft as the track grows, Lascelles backing him with string and voice as the tempestuous heart of the song erupts with increasing rigour. As suggested earlier, there is something recognisable about the song yet every twist is unexpected and each of its emerging textures and turns a spark for the imagination.

Powerful in tone and voice and coming in two versions on the EP, radio edit and extended cut, the track is an easy pleasure to devour and pretty much matched in strength and adventure by Pyre. It is aflame from the off, rhythms and guitar colluding in a tenacious proposal as muscle and enterprise unite in persuasive voracity, vocals equally blazing alongside. As in the previous track there is a grunge bred lining which adds to its richness and magnetic layers. Similarly there are also the expected detours and twists, all fluid and imaginative as the track continues to melodically holler and emotively croon over instinctive volatility.

Completing the line-up of songs is It’s Over Now, a compelling ballad aligning melancholic strings and Lascelles’ similarly magnetic vocals to the melodic poetry of the guitars. Compared to their dynamic shaping of the other tracks, rhythms provide a calm almost reserved presence but one just as suggestive in their shadowed touch.

If like us Wheel has yet to make it upon the radar we can only suggest, indeed urge The Divide EP is given keen attention, the rewards as the pleasure are quite addictive.

The Divide EP is out now via Umbrella Productions / Warner ADA.

http://www.wheel.band/   https://www.facebook.com/wheelband/

Pete RingMaster 05/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Vie Jester – All In Jest

It was around two years ago that L.A. trio Vie Jester grabbed ears and impressed with the Etches In Aether EP, a collection of multi-flavoured and imaginatively sculpted melodic/alternative rock bred songs. Recently drummer Cliff Conway got in touch to introduce the band’s latest offering, All In Jest, to our ears. Another EP sized clutch of songs, it was gratefully received especially once discovering the new adventure and maturity shaping the band’s sound and even more striking new offering.

As much as it left a greedy appetite for the Vie Jester sound, Etches In Aether is forcibly eclipsed by the exploits of All In Jest. Everything about the band has grown and matured with its five songs giving dramatic evidence within their skilfully woven episodes of enterprise and imagination. Magnetically melodic but with a snarl which may ebb and flow but always lurks to add greater depth, All In Jest is an inventive roar unafraid to lyrically take a bite at intimate and social issues.

It opens up with new single Please and one of the best starts to any release this year. The track is immense, rising from a calm but portentous melodic yawn into a muscular yet inviting spire of sonic nagging. The guitar of vocalist Kyle Guerrero needs mere seconds to tempt, his powerful vocal prowess just as swift in persuasion once gracing a song already revealing an unpredictable and adventurous body. Vocally backed by both Conway and bassist Jaime Salas with matching potency, Guerrero’s niggly citric tendrils addictively persist though stepping back nicely at times as the track blossoms from one twist and idea to another with increasing magnetism.

It is a magnificent start which hints at bands like Voyager, Tool, and Karnivool in its own individual adventure; a blend echoed in the equally creative Sunburn & Moonshine. A gentle melody wraps its suggestion around ears first, harmonic whispers adding their elegance before Guerrero’s expressive tones join the already bubbling adventure brewing within the catchy encounter. Embracing an engaging intimacy as it brews up emotive crescendos, the track just seduces ears and attention. It does lack the tempestuousness of its predecessor but replaces it with melodic flames and warm infectious tenacity for similar if not quite as spectacular success.

Enigmata follows quickly catching expectations unaware with its electronic tempting as vocals gather. The same essences continue as they are joined by the imaginative enterprise of guitar, rhythms, and vocals; the song evolving with every passing note and idea with enticing endeavour. Its relative calm and boisterous expulsions are similarly gripping whilst the array of flavours and textures within its body only captivate. It has the boldness guiding the whole release to the fore but with its richest invention in play as the song explores it simply demands plaudits.

The release is concluded by firstly The Punchline, an ethereal caress with volcanic tendencies, and lastly through the rousing endeavours of Colourblind. Both tracks keep pleasure and ears intensely involved with the second of the two especially gripping with its stylish touch and creative tapestry framed by Conway’s rhythmic prowess. It is probably fair to say that neither quite lights the major fires in personal passions as those before them but both inflame an already installed appetite for the Vie Jester invention whilst pushing the new craft and imagination shaping their sound.

Vie Jester has always deserved greater attention and they should get it with All In Jest; certainly they and it warrant a moment of your concentrated time.

All In Jest is available now @ https://viejester.com/album/548219/all-in-jest

http://www.viejester.com/     https://www.facebook.com/viejester    https://www.instagram.com/viejester/    https://twitter.com/viejester

Pete RingMaster 07/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright