Sandness – Higher & Higher

We cannot say that seventies/eighties metal and hard rock are flavours which light our fires too often but it is fair to say that Higher & Higher, the new album from Italian outfit Sandness ticked many boxes of enjoyment whilst embracing exactly those styles. It is a release which initially struggled to spark the imagination but song by song, listen by listen, grew to be a thoroughly engaging and pleasurable affair; not without flaws but inciting an appetite to hear more from and follow the band as they realise the open potential within the release ahead.

Hailing from Rovereto in southern Trento, Sandness started out in 2008; formed by teenage friends, bassist/vocalist Mark Denkley and drummer/vocalist Metyou ToMeatyou. Inspired by the likes of Mötley Crüe, Crashdiet, Poison, Hanoi Rocks, W.A.S.P., The Ramones, Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath and the likes, the band soon honed its eighties toned sound. A few line-up changes ensued before the current line-up was secured with the addition of guitarist/vocalist Robby Luckets in 2009. Subsequent years has seen the trio support the likes of Adam Bomb, L.A. Guns, and Tygers Of Pan Tang, play across their homeland as well as undertake several European tours and take the stage at the renowned Glam Fest in France. Two demos, Return To Decadence in 2010 and especially Life Without Control the following year, lured strong attention though it was debut album Like An Addiction in 2013 which really sparked a more global awareness of their sound. Now Higher & Higher, released as its predecessor by Sleaszy Rider Records, is stoking up a new wave of fans and though we might not be leading the surge, reasons are readily apparent as to why its fresh success in persuasion .

The album opens with You Gotta Lose, a track which failed to tempt the first time and still labours trying to convince. Opening with a blast of group vocals and predictable eighties riffery, the song soon reveals a snarl which grabs attention but one as quickly tempered by the again familiar harmonic wash of voices.  It is hard to pin down exactly what is lacking within the track other than it just does not appeal to personal tastes but it is a decent start swiftly left sounding pale as the album takes off starting with next up Street Animals. The second song similarly offers a recognisable melodic welcome but is soon spinning its own web of hooks and twists; some unique some familiar but a great fusion creating flavoursome rock ‘n’ roll. Without reading the influences on Sandness, they are easy to guess from this song alone and as suggested eagerly employed by the band in their blossoming character of sound.

The individual prowess of each member is just as open in the track and equally next up Hollywood. Prowling ears initially, it soon whips out some Billy Idol spiced hooks and other moments which are vaguely System Of A Down like in nature. As the album, it is a song which grows and seduces more and more with every listen, its increasingly imaginative nature richly engaging before the melodic croon of Promises in turn captivates. With an increasing fire in its belly inciting a great bass grumble, the song quickly establishes itself as a major highlight of the release, musically and vocally hitting a high.

Through the vocally unstable but ultimately enjoyable Sunny Again and the boisterous hard rock of One Life there is little not too like even if neither can live up to their predecessor while the short poetic instrumental of Light In The Dark captivates before Heat lives up to its name with some quite irresistible fiery grooves against another great grouchy mix of bass and drums, the former the persistent provider of potent bait across the whole of Higher & Higher. With its blues scented flames, the song is another peak in the album as too the power pop rock romp of its successor Perfect Machine. There are no major surprises but a stream of hooks and flirtatious tempting which has body and voice quickly involved and enjoying every second.

The album is at its best by this point, Monster Inside Me backing up the previous two with its own tenacious glam/heavy metal stomp and mix of imaginative features and matched in potency by the groove woven Play With Fire, its prime lures striking as the band revels in its eighties inspirations once again.

Closing with the hearty and increasingly volatile balladry of Will You Ever, a song like the opener it was hard to connect with personally, Higher & Higher provides an increasingly compelling proposition easy to suggest fans of eighties metal and rock especially take a close look at. Sandness is never going to be the first thought when choosing the soundtrack for our day but with Higher & Higher they are going to be considered more than many others bands, for others they will be a long term involvement.

Higher & Higher is available now through Sleaszy Rider Records @ http://www.sandnessofficial.com/shop/ and other online stores.

http://www.sandnessofficial.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Sandnessband

Pete RingMaster 19/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Cris Pinzauti – Black

Pic by Ilaria Costanzo

If like us the name Cris Pinzauti is a mystery then we suggest you change that as soon as possible by checking out his debut solo album Black. Consisting of eight songs which all captivate ears and attention, and at times explodes into one of the most thrilling and essential acoustic rock propositions you are likely to find anywhere, the release just leaves you wanting more. It is not an encounter which always hit the sweet spot of personal tastes but when it did boy the pleasure was thick and irresistible and at those other times satisfaction was still a done deal.

The background to Pinzauti sees him born in in Florence, Italy in 1971 and from a young age writing songs before self-teaching himself the guitar at 16. From here on, Pinzauti was part of numerous musical projects, creative collaborations, and played thousands of concerts throughout Italy and Europe, many with SUZY Q the band he and his brother Marzio founded and hard rock band Devil’s Mojito over recent times. Equally as a solo artist Pinzauti has strapped on his guitar and clicked on his loop station to light up audiences for over a decade in local venues with his creative style of acoustic rock. Now Black is poised to take the singer songwriter’s sounds to broader spotlights and appetites. Recorded exclusively with acoustic guitars, acoustic bass, and additional acoustic guitars used in percussion mode, and with guest appearances on certain tracks from Marco Di Maggio (Di Maggio Connection), Jack Meille (Tygers Of Pan Tang), Francesco Bottai (Articolo 31 and Irene Grandi Band), and brother Marzio, the album is a wake-up call for us all still unaware of this captivating talent.

Themed by “the BLACK or dark side of our lives, that which society labels as “dark”, but in reality is not” and contemplating the shadows behind forbidden love, sex, loneliness, soul searching, cynicism, inner demons, and rock and roll, the album opens with The Devil in the Closet. A breaking storm heralds in the song and its narrative, a stranger walking into a vaudeville bar room springing from an imagination sparked into action by the encounter before the potent tones of Pinzauti unveil more of the expressive scene in the company of his creative fingers on guitar strings. There is a mix of delivery styles to his voice; his offering equally a theatre of characters in the brief but intriguing folk bred opener.

It is a magnetic start but not as potent as the excellent My Black Is Back which follows. The song is instantly popping with melodies against vivacious beats, the infectious coaxing soon cris coverenhanced by a gentle strum of guitar. Again Pinzauti mixes up his tones, a gruff offering turning into a much stronger and compelling clean delivery which as the elevated melodies which hug it, gives the song a new energy and pungent contagion. The string plucks equally add a fascinating fun and creativity to the outstanding encounter to match that of the adventurous vocals, which once more never settle with one line of persuasion and only add weight to the enthralling temptation.

The country lined folk croon of Wasted Years comes next and has ears and thoughts hooked with its warm melodies and reflective vocals. The song does not give expectations a hard time but has enjoyment full before the brilliant Down brings its own transfixing beauty to bear on the senses. The resonating bassline is an instant hook whilst the guitars almost flirt as they sculpt a weave of melodic enterprise. Vocally too, and as now expected, Pinzauti only impresses as he increases the infectious tenacity and persuasion of the song’s gentle yet lively stroll.

The Vampire’s Lullaby is one of those moments which still has yet to fully convince. It is again a drama, a music play for today in some ways set in two parts. Let Me In is a spellbinding instrumental narrative, the fingers of Pinzauti bewitching across the strings of his guitar as he sculpts an imagination firing suggestiveness of a gothic tale. The storm of the first track again cracks and shares its intensity as Hush comes in and Pinzauti finds his dustiest Tom Waits like tones to bleed into the dreams of the song’s recipient. The track is a skilled and fascinating offering but one which misses sparking the same reaction as other tracks despite the exceptional vintage wine like melodies he pours across the song. Primarily it is the raw vocals which do not quite do it for us, just a personal thing and for others will work a treat, just like the rest of the compelling track.

The blues flavouring of Forever Yin Forever Yang is a vibrant collusion with a funkier endeavour sure to bring the listener to their feet whilst Hellbound Train explores that country breeding again with a southern rock balladry. Both tracks are short and potent temptations continuing the impressive nature of the album, but soon surpassed by Zombie Attack. The closer is easily the pinnacle of Black, its initial sandy croon the lead into virulent revelry blending melodic rock and pop into one quite sensational triumph. Addictive and ridiculously infectious yet intricately sculpted without taking any short cuts in seducing the listener, the song slips under the skin and into the psyche with sublime craft. Experience also knows that once infected the song never goes away, not that you will wish it to of course.

Black does not quite steal the passions for the whole of its body for us yet there is never a moment you wish to pass over and when it hits its heights, Cris Pinzauti simply has us in the palms of his creative hands. The bottom-line is that this is a must check out rock ‘n’ roll album and as the last line of Zombie Attack says “If Rock is dead, we are a Zombie Attack!” and that about sums up the attitude of this album and rock ‘n’ roll period.

Black is available now via Red Cat Records @ http://www.redcatpromotion.com/ita_store.html

http://www.crispinzauti.com/

RingMaster 27/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

Night Demon – Self Titled EP

NDBandPic

Hailing from California and breathing the sounds of NWOBHM, Night Demon is a trio beginning to make a ripple across the world of metal. Well beginning is not quite right as not long after formation in 2011 the band was drawing attention amongst fans of their chosen genre, especially online where through Bandcamp especially, their success and appearance led to the organizers of Germany’s Keep It True Festival offering Night Demon a place on the fest’s 2014 line-up. Their debut self-titled EP brings four teases influenced by the likes of Diamond Head, Angel Witch, Tygers of Pan Tang, and Iron Maiden to a wider platform brought with the snarl and fuel of modern confrontation.

Released via Shadow Kingdom Records, the EP opens with the track Night Demon. It is an instant appealing riot of riffs and crisp rhythmsuntitled ridden by melodic flames from the guitar and strong clean vocals. Consisting of Jarvis Leatherby, Brent Woodward, and John Crerar, the latter pair also in The Fucking Wrath, Night Demon envelops the ear in old school metal and fresh energy. It is not a sound breaking down barriers, nor even stretching them, but for passionate and intense heavy rock ‘n’ roll strapped to insatiable melodic metal, song and release provide a rich encounter to lose oneself within.

The strong start is built upon by The Chalice, the track entering on the back of an excellent bass beckoning soon joined by roaming riffs and sonic temptation. The thumping rhythms equally make a compelling invitation and frame the accomplished sonically coloured heart of the song as the vocals again make an expressive hue which only enhances the aural narrative. It is easy to see as the song wraps its well-crafted charms around the ear why the band has drawn an eager following and attention, it an easily accessible and welcoming blaze of modern nostalgia and enterprise.

Ancient Evil chugs along like an express train from its opening seconds but with a gait that is in no rush to miss the sights. The guitars sculpt a scenic route for song and ears whilst the bass treads the sinew clad road provided by the drums with a heavy and eager intensity. As with all songs on the EP, there is a familiarity which arguably deflects it from developing the strongest impact, but the call of all tracks is easy to respond to and join in league with, even if they do not offer a lingering persuasion that remains without their company.

The closing Ritual ensures the release ends on a high whilst reinforcing the promise and stance of the band. Its groove littered flight of incendiary melodic craft and pressing riffs an appetising suasion whilst the muscular prowl of bass and prompting drums cages it all with a firm and determined hand. The best song on the EP, it completes a very pleasing and invigorating introduction to a band we are destined to hear much more of and from. Night Demon has risen and one suspects will have claws in a legion of passionate followers quite soon.

www.nightdemon.net

8/10

RingMaster 06/08/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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