The Veldt – The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation Mixtape EP

photo credit Ed Marshall

photo credit Ed Marshall

The Veldt is one of those projects which really does offer something a little different and for a fair while now. It is no different in regard to new encounter, The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation Mixtape EP either. Consisting of five immersive tracks bred in the band’s fusion of indie, dream-gaze, soul, and immersive ambiences, the release simply grabs the imagination in a creative adventure pretty much unlike any other.

Formed by North Carolina hailing twins, Daniel and Danny Chavis, The Veldt has had success capturing ears and attention since the eighties with their individual atmospheric sound. Already performing as children and taking inspirations across the likes of gospel, Motown, and Pink Floyd into their personal pleasures and thoughts, the pair emerged then as The Veldt, a name taken from a Ray Bradbury story. To simplify the following years, the duo has worked with the likes of Robin Guthrie, A.R. Kane, Mos Def, and Lady Miss Kier and shared stages with artists such as My Bloody Valentine, The Pixies, Cocteau Twins, Oasis, Living Colour, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and TV on the Radio as well as released a host of acclaimed offerings. A name change to Apollo Heights occurred around the mid-nineties followed by a permanent link up with bassist Hayato Nakao in 1999; that a move which brought a new dynamic to the band’s sound. Eventually a return to the name of The Veldt ensued and its re-emergence is now marked by the release of The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur, it the forerunner to new album Resurrection Hymns to be released later this year via SonaBLAST! Records.

With its title borrowed from an E.E. Cummings poem, the EP opens with new single Sanctified. Emerging on a gentle but sonically misty air soon welcoming the bass throb of Nakao, the song quickly blossoms into a warm yet atmospherically muggy embrace. It is an evocative hug of ears and the impressive vocal expression and prowess of Daniel, in turn a fiery but controlled trespass of the imagination built on an array of melancholic textures, transfixing melodic drones, and sonic layers shaped by the imaginative suggestiveness of Danny’s guitar. With additional vocals from Marie Cochrane to accentuate the emotive harmonies, the track is an inescapably engaging proposal to start things off.

The Veldt - The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur (cover)_RingMasterReviewIn a Quiet Room follows and quickly provides a less intensive and crowded proposition but one still as rich with emotional flames amidst guitar and keys shared drama. The vocals alone ensure attention is a given but add the thick tapestry of sound and trance seeded imagination, and the song as EP almost traps the listener in soulful beauty.

Both Token and One Day Out of Life take ears and thoughts on sultry flights through distortion lined sonically soupy climates; the first swaying and floating with ethereal elegance around more tenebrific rhythms. Its successor is a slower fall into provocative seas of sound becoming a senses smothering and engaging immersion around hypnotic rhythms. What grips the imagination most though, is the theatre of shadows which prowls alongside or courts the radiance of these and all songs; a shade perpetually reflecting and accentuating matching hues within their lyrical and emotional depths.

The EP is closed by the classically soulful and slightly familiar yet rigorously fresh And It’s You. It also has single written all over it; hooks and melodies as tantalising as the vocal and atmospheric shimmer which soaks the song as bolder rhythms pulsate with evocative temptation.

It is a fine end to a compelling release; an encounter which offers fresh intrigue and new enterprise with every listen. As suggested at the start, The Veldt creates music which stands alone; the evidence being The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation Mixtape EP.

The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation Mixtape EP is released March 18th via Skully Records @ https://theveldtmusic.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/The-Veldt-154526351270221   https://twitter.com/veldtthe

Pete RingMaster 17/03/2016

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Zen Juddhism – Private Banks (So Cold) Feat. Opkar Hans

Zen Juddhism -Pic (2)

Ensuring an incitement for feet and emotions, Zen Juddhism release new single Private Banks (So Cold) this week, a contagiously rowdy slice of punk ‘n’ roll with a healthy feel of Fountains Of Wayne to it. Taken from the band’s self-titled debut album, the song is an openly familiar and virulently catchy proposition, not trying to bend boundaries or reinvent the wheel, but delivering what always goes down a treat, honest rock ‘n’ roll.

Zen Juddhism is the new music project from Southampton based guitarist /songwriter Jude Ωne Eight, formerly of Cold Forge and better known as part of HYBRID 6.0. Drawing on a lifetime of influences which shaped his personal tastes, from rock and metal to soul, folk, and pop acts, the guitarist wrote a host of songs inspired by the artists most prominent on his playlist in the past year, including Metric, Led Zeppelin, Garbage, Fountains Of Wayne, and TV On The Radio. Enlisting the assistance of friends such as Lord Lav, Andy Thomas, Marlene Rodriguez, Naomi Terry and many more, Jude recorded the previously mentioned self-titled album at the renowned River Studios with its subsequent release on his own Loosh Rote Records. Now Private Banks (So Cold) which features Opkar Hans is here to make an inescapable invitation to check out the album and indeed Zen Juddhism.

A raw caress of guitar with percussive enticing makes the first bait, its lure a mere moment before a blaze of grungy toned punk ‘n’ roll aggression and virulence takes over. Riffs blaze and hooks swing within the rowdy encounter, all adding further captivating bait to the infectious stomp. Its chorus takes ears into a more pop bred persuasion, that Fountains Of Wayne reference a loud whisper but equally you can sense a Ramones like essence equally fuelling the addictive nature and lure of that particular aspect of the song.

As mentioned Private Banks (So Cold) flirts with a familiar and energetic tempting, not really caring about creating new templates but eager to provide a boisterous and anthemic roar of voracious rock; an aim realised with enjoyable results for all.

Private Banks (So Cold) is out now via Loosh Rote Records with the Zen Juddhism also available @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/zen-juddhism/id943656548?ign-mpt=uo%3D4

http://zenjuddhism.com/   https://www.facebook.com/ZenJuddhism

RingMaster 31/03/2015

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Ed Zealous – Wired

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    Unveiled on the back of three singles which certainly raised an eager appetite for its appearance, Wired the debut album from electronic pop band Ed Zealous easily confirms and reinforces all the promise and radiant enterprise brought from those early releases. The February 3rd released ten track album is a feisty adventure of energetic electro/ dance enterprise and guitar crafted indie pop, a record soaked in a busy sound seemingly seeded in eighties electronic endeavour yet constantly taunting and careering thrillingly through the ear with a modern rock rapaciousness. Arguably the sound of the Belfast quartet is not breaking in new ground to explore but there are few others striding confidently down the same interpretative path of already discovered invention as this richly promising and powerfully enjoyable band.

     Consisting of vocalist Steve McAvoy, guitarist Andrew Wilson, bassist Pete Lloyd, and drummer Paul Irwin, Ed Zealous as mentioned has stirred up very potent attention and anticipation for their album through the trio of singles released in 2013. One by one Medicines, Thanks A Million, and Telepaths have washed creative juices around the passions to breed a hunger for Wired, an appetite the album feeds with ease and more. Forging emotively fuelled synths with fiery guitar temptation within a rhythmic punch which never relinquishes its addictive bait whilst drawing on influences which come from the likes of David Bowie, Talking Heads, Pulp, and TV On The Radio the band look set to make 2014, like the last, another year to mark a rapid ascent in their striking emergence. Predominantly recorded with engineer Rocky O’Reilly with additional production by Eliot James (Bloc Party, Noah and The Whale and Does It Offend You, Yeah?), Wired is an exhaustive magnetic party of creative rampancy and contagious adventure; not necessarily ripe with pure originality but undeniably bulging with excitement and riveting imagination.

     As soon as the opening suspenseful drama of 147 hits the ear you sense there is something special brewing. Synths lure in the 400573_10152084633124304_1585922415_nimagination right away before the song settles into a mellow yet intensive persuasion with thumping rhythms and moody dark tones puncturing the electronic wash. It is an instantly engaging and provocative encounter but one which goes more directly for the passions once the guitars and bass temptation strides and erupts across the song around the expressive enjoyable vocals of McAvoy. At times unashamedly anthemic and constantly stirring up the imagination with a melodic craft which helps fuel an already hungry appetite for the release, the track is an urgently persuasive introduction to the album setting a high bar for it to maintain.

     Something it definitely does with the following Thanks A Million, the one song on the album recorded with producer Rich Jackson. As soon as its initial melodic narrative wraps around the ear followed by a lush groove, there is a familiarity to the song which only pleases and takes thoughts to eighties electronic pop essences. A definite Thomas Dolby feel emerges with the senses wrapping synth imagination yet equally you are reminded of the current sounds of James Cook and Does It Offend You, Yeah? whilst the track sculpts its own identity to devour eagerly. A track which manages to impress immediately and also slow burn its way deeper into the emotions over time through its big bruising bass tones and gripping melodic coaxing, it is dark temptation immersing the ears in a sizzling evocative wash.

    The devilishly infectious Medicines steps up next to deepen the lure of the album, its Blancmange like electro pop excitement and bordering on wanton energy insatiably seductive whilst the infection clad chorus and vocal call only grips satisfaction tighter for a lingering and compulsively addictive encounter. Recent single Telepaths breathes the same contagion as its predecessor, guitar and synths driven by outstanding vocals luring senses and feet to a feverish submission for the raucous electro rock party. Both tracks continue the high range of peaks established by the album and light the fuse to even greater suspicions as to how good and successful Ed Zealous could become.

     I Will Destroy You is a perfectly placed track, its melodramatic and emotive textures aligned to a slower gaited temptation exploring new depths and enterprise within the band and their songwriting. Though not as immediate to persuade as those before, the song enslaves keen attention for its thoughtful shape and evocative hues and allows a breath to be taken whilst it’s subtle and inventive majesty works its way into the imagination. The following Talk With Your Hands also takes time but with its David Byrne like creative swagger and heavy rhythmic caging it also secures full satisfaction and hungry attention over numerous exploits.

     There is something infuriately familiar to the start of Diamonds For Eyes yet it evades definition even after plenty of adventures with the dancefloor hugging track whilst These Words reaps those eighties influences yet again as its magnetic body inspires thoughts of China Crisis. Both songs stretch and add to the fascination of Wired with skill and mischievous flair before making way for the outstanding Videohead, a track which emerges as the favourite here. Adding an electro punk element to its fuzzy electronic flaming, the song is like a mix of Calling All Astronauts, B-Movie, and at times the John Foxx led Ultravox, the band again bringing a touch of nostalgia into a more aggressive modern exertion and invention. It is an enthralling and addiction causing maelstrom of ideas and sonic sculpting brewed into a contagious provocation of epidemic proportions.

    Completed by the funk ripped It’s Only The End, a song which you feel would ignite the dancefloor of any era such its blend of irrepressible decade crossing melodies and electronic virulence, Wired is an exceptional first album from Ed Zealous, one which impresses right away and only increases its strengths and stature over time. This is a band you can see creating new boundaries for electronic pop ahead and becoming a well-worn name over time.

http://edzealous.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ed-Zealous/89457839303

9/10

RingMaster 06/01/2014

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Ed Zealous – Medicines

Ed_Zealous_Press_shot

    A feisty energetic explosion of electro rock and dance pop, Medicines the new single from indie electro band Ed Zealous is an irresistible dance for the senses. The glittering piece of melodic temptation is devilishly infectious and even if their chosen genre does not normally excite the passions, the wanton lure and mischievous sun of the song makes it impossible for anyone not to have a hunger to immerse within its compelling warmth.

The Northern Ireland quartet creates a dazzling and seductive persuasion from a magnetic blend of synths, punchy rhythms, and vibrant cassios; add vocals which swagger with harmonic relish and ridiculously addictive melodic hooks, and submission to their sound and especially the new single is a foregone conclusion. Their influences come from the likes of David Bowie, Talking Heads and Pulp, as well as A-Trak, Boys Noize and TV On The Radio, though the song itself just as easily brings essences of Blancmange and Does It Offend You, Yeah?  to the fore. Recorded with producer Eliot James (Bloc Party, Noah and The Whale, Does It Offend You, Yeah?), and taken from the Ed Zealous forthcoming debut album, the Label Fandango released Medicines is a thumping heart attack of eager urgent beats and greedily drooling melodic keys which simply ignites the dancer and playfulness in all. Having started the year supporting Two Door Cinema Club at their homecoming show in Belfast, and now the release of this stunning single, with of course the album to follow, 2013 is looking a radiant year for the band, and us.   Medicines_Cover_Art

The single immediately sizzles upon the ear with slightly acidic but fizzy synths teasing the senses whilst further electro pops explode with a smiling intent. A shadowed heavy pulse forges its presence at the core of entrancement, spreading its embrace further within the expansive heat of the chorus. As the vocals add their mutual quality and sultry blaze to the song, the heart of the track is a furnace of sweltering energy and electro passion. Simply it is electronic pop at its very irresistible best.

As the final humid note takes its leave and the foursome of Steve McAvoy, Andrew Wilson, Pete Lloyd, and Paul Irwin make their last potent persuasion, the only prevalent thought is that the album cannot come soon enough.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ed-Zealous/89457839303

8.5/10

RingMaster 06/04/2013

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