Imperial Leisure – Animal

It might not be the summer quite yet but giving its playlist an irresistible first addition is the new single from UK ska punks Imperial Leisure. To be fair, Animal is an incitement for any time of the year, any random two and a half minutes of any day. It is a circus of sound and fun, a carnival of 2-tone inspired ska, pop punk, and hip hop nurtured rock ‘n’ roll; together a distinctive mix creating the individual sound at joyful play within the band’s new gem.

Born out of school friendships, Imperial Leisure has blossomed in sound and reputation across three well-received albums; the last, Lifestyle Brand in 2015 drawing potent acclaim its way. Their live presence has equally honed the band’s music and craft, the band sharing stages with the likes of Ugly Duckling, Roots Manuva, UB40, Less Than Jake, Young Blood Brass Band, The King Blues, Sonic Boom Six and a great many more along the way as well as going down a storm at numerous festivals such as Glastonbury (twice!), The Secret Garden Party and Boomtown Fair. Each year has seen the sextet and its additional brass section rise higher on the British musical landscape; 2017 sure to be another mighty nudge on the biggest spotlights if Animal is anything to go by.

As guitars clip ears, brass flames flicker with flirtatious intent, their combined tempting soon colluding with the passion stoking pulse of the bass as well as the lick of ska seeded riffs and the intoxicating smooch of Hammond-esque keys. With the infectiously captivating vocals of Denis Smith stirring things up even more, the song bounds along with an irresistible swing and mischievous swagger. It is a wonderfully busy affair but every element and seductive flame a clean spice for a swiftly greedy appetite to devour in the whole insightful and instinctively catchy encounter.

It seems like ska and ska punk has the potential of having another heyday such the number of great bands around and emerging with Imperial Leisure leading the way, though all will have to go some to rival the sheer pleasure of Animal.

Animal is out now for downloading and streaming on all platforms with a vinyl release on April 1st.

https://www.facebook.com/imperialleisure

Pete RingMaster 17/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Japanese Fighting Fish – U Ain’t Gonna Win This

JFF_RingMaster Review

It has been a long two years since UK psyche twisters Japanese Fighting Fish set ears and passions ablaze with their album Day Bombs; a time where the band has never been far away from ears at The RR to be fair but too long to wait for something new from a band who to that point had only brought something unique and invigorating to the British music scene. Finally the wait is over though with the extremely anticipated single U Ain’t Gonna Win This about to uncage its devilry, and guess what… Japanese Fighting Fish are still amongst the most imaginative, inspiring, and yes warped bands around today.

Really that is no surprise as their 2011 debut album Just Before We Go MAD was a bold and virulent escapade of creative devilment and sonic psychosis too; rich enslaving qualities taken to another level by Day Bombs two years later. It is a surprise that they alone have not made the Leeds-born, London-based outfit a house hold name and passion, and if you add an impressive live presence which has seen them play with the likes of Space Hog, Wild Beasts, The Stranglers, De La Soul, and UB40, as well as ignite venues in their own name and right, it is a mystery. Now with the exotic spicery and revelry of U Ain’t Gonna Win This things might and should be about to change.

Front Cover_Win This_RingMaster Review   A teaser for their next album Swimming with Piranhas which is scheduled for release at the end of March 2016, U Ain’t Gonna Win This takes all the prize elements of those previous albums and their hosts of singles, and twists and hones them into a new kind of JJF temptation. From its first step of its erotic prowl, the bass is sonically gurning and guitars splattering spots of sonic tempting on the senses and imagination. The distinctive inviting growl of Karlost is just as swiftly to the compelling mix; his unique tones courting sound and ears as beats from Al jab and probe the same. The virulent bounce to the track’s carnival-esque stalking has feet and hips involved from the off; its funk spawned gait and noir jazz air simply chains of seduction, whilst slithers of noise rock, alternative pop, and psych punk only thrill as they entangle the maelstrom of imagination and enterprise to matching success.

An exploration of split personalities whilst also making a “homage to boxing greats like Ali, and Rocky “, the song is an alchemy of devilment, an infestation of crazed ingenuity that creeps into and manipulates every pore and brain cell. The same applies in a different way to its companion on the single Queen Marilyn, the song a dirty grunge seeded blaze of desert rock with more than a scent of Queens Of The Stone Age to it, if a psychotic and bedlamic version. The track rumbles along, throwing out increasingly gripping hooks like sonic confetti, rhythms barging away within the mix too as Karlost spreads his sandy tones.

As in U Ain’t Gonna Win This, the guitars of Gareth Mochizuki Ellmer and Karlost captivate and provocatively suggest whilst the bass of Matt creeps with salacious intent through the swinging raps of Al. It is a combination united by the band’s off-kilter imagination and craft into creating arguably the best single of 2015 and an already impatient anticipation for Swimming with Piranhas.

The Japanese Fighting Fish are back and irrepressibly better than ever, and even more inventively deranged.

U Ain’t Gonna Win This is released November 13th via CDbaby @ http://bit.ly/1SNr0wL

http://www.japanesefightingfish.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/Japanesefightingfishuk  https://twitter.com/jffuk

Pete RingMaster 13/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Richie Campbell – In The 876

Richie campbell_RingMaster Review

With the release of third album In the 876, Richie Campbell shows exactly why he is revered in his homeland of Portugal and becoming one of the most greedily devoured propositions in global reggae. Also infusing rich essences of soul and Latin flirtation into an array of individually distinctive songs, Campbell and album has the body bouncing and ears smiling.

Already drenched in acclaim and rabid attention which has seen the album hit the top of the Portuguese iTunes Charts within 2 hours of its European release in May, In The 876 now gets its UK unveiling with anticipated similar reactions going its way. Recorded between Kingston and Lisbon, and with a title referring to the telephone area code of Jamaica, In The 876 features numerous guests and is the next potent step in the seemingly unstoppable rise of Campbell and his creative stature. The Lisbon hailing singer/songwriter began concentrating on a solo career from 2010 having played in bands over the previous six years. Debut album My Path came out as a free download and subsequently amassed over 250,000 downloads which in turn led to Campbell playing a sold-out show at Lisbon’s Campo Pequeno Bullring. Second album Focused was just as well-received and successful, gaining a nomination in the Portuguese Golden Globes of 2013 and seeing its lead track, That’s How We Roll, awarded Song of the Year at the National Radio Awards.

Now is the turn of In The 876 to arouse thicker spotlights and awareness, in the UK and around the globe, and it gets off to a mighty bang, after its intro like title track, with I Feel Amazing. One of the singles from the album which has already earned potent radio play, the song is pure reggae flirtation. Its rhythms swagger with infectious beats aligned to bass spawned hips whilst guitars and vocals swing with virulent contagion and melodic seducing. From the off, the warmth of sunny skies around optimism rich emotions swim through ears and into the psyche, the whole song quickly an irresistible incitement to dance and smile. Though three and a half minutes long it is seemingly over in a flash, leaving exhausted but over flowing enjoyment behind to be whipped up again a by another single from the album in Best Friend.

cover_RingMaster ReviewThe second song has a mellower gait but is no less insistently catchy and melodically glowing, vocally and musically. Again keys and guitar incite a vibrant canter which has the body swaying incessantly whilst, as in its predecessor, a familiar but refreshing character only adds to its seriously persuasive climate. Vocally Campbell allows his naturally harmonic tones to entangle a more expected reggae seeded delivery resulting in something, as the music, instantly friendly and recognisable yet individual in character to most others.

The impressive start continues with Feels Like which features the wonderful gruff growl of Agent Sasco (also known as Assassin). The song is sublime temptation, its flow and melodies smooth over a canvas just rippling with character and diversity. There is a touch of New Town Kings and UB40 to the encounter and an instinctive romance between ska keys and ears. It is glorious and as it has body dancing and voice crooning, the lead thought is that this surely is a done deal as the next single.

The broader flavouring of the magnetic 25 to Life comes next, its emotive shuffle employing richer rock textures to a soul/reggae blending whilst Man Don’t Cry slips into a smouldering embrace graced with sultry backing vocals around another infectious rhythmic collusion of bass and beats. At times across the album Richie Campbell casts a sound which has familiar seeds in a musically hard to pin down landscape, and here that quality is at its most captivating best, with the song vocally and musically almost kaleidoscopic.

That’s Not Mine sees Jesse Royal guesting in its intimate yet wide social statement which has ears as absorbed by its lyrical jaunt as its aural jabbing and melodic tantalising. Thoughts of The Skints emerge as the song shows, like so many, glimpses and clearer twists of invention and imagination in all aspects before leaving full enjoyment in its wake which Get Over You uses to take ears and limbs into its own flirtatious dance. With the siren-esque beauty of Toian’s voice joining the scintillating escapade, the track boils like the surface of an aural heat wave, its relentless shimmer sizzling and pulsating surface unstoppable.

Both Give It All Away and Knock Me Out provide reasons for the imagination and body to rejoice, though neither can spark the same lusty responses as the tracks before them with personal tastes. The first is one of those songs which have the listener unconsciously lost in movement whilst its successor, which includes the guest appearance of Sara Tavares, is an embrace of soul and Latin elegance. Each fully engages but as suggested lack the same spark as the earlier adventures, something to a lesser extent which applies to the tenaciously lively and colourful Rise From We Fall and its reggae/rock pop samba.

In The 876 is concluded by firstly the excellent Standing Firm, a more formula reggae romp but given plenty of the Campbell Latin spice and vocal soul to fascinate and excite before Better than Today brings it all to a soulful close with provocative keys, emotive vocals and harmonies, and a melancholic jazz lined air. In many ways the song does not quite fit the rest of the album, or shouldn’t but it only provides a powerful end whilst revealing more of the impressive depth within Campbell’s writing and invention.

Exciting us most in its first half but only offering a thickly enjoyable time from start to finish, In The 876 shows exactly why the reggae world is excited over Richie Campbell. It is the UK’s time to explore and get involved with his riveting sound and songs now, and no doubt to get excited too.

In The 876 is released in the UK on August 28th via Chet Records.

RingMaster 27/08/2105

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more independent exploration check out http://www.zykotika.com/

The Fuse – Alamein

the fuse_RingMaster Review

It is fair to say that the journey to the release of Alamein, and that of its creators The Fuse themselves, has been a platform of trials and issues to which many other bands would have probably thrown the towel in over long ago. Eight years on the UK rock scene has seen the band suffer member instability and changes, label collapses, and their manager struck down with cancer. The band’s new album in the thoughts of many was destined to never see the light of day, but with an attitude matching and title seemingly inspired by the Winston Churchill quote, ‘Before Alamein, we never had a victory. After Alamein, we never had a defeat’, the London band’s offering is ready to captivate grip ears.

Formed in 2006, The Fuse soon began enticing ears and interest for their alternative/indie rock sound, and within a year they was heading over to LA to record their debut album after Russ Regan, who discovered and signed Elton John, had heard their single Everybody Knows The Way and signed the band up. In the financial crisis of 2008 though, his Velocity Entertainment went bust leaving no release ready and the band returning to their home city. Back in England, The Fuse continued to lure attention and support with their shows, especially after playing one with Coldplay cover band Coldplace. This triggered more gigs around the UK and in 2010, a tour of Holland supporting Coldplace as well as the sharing of a stage with UB40 and numerous festival spots. More tours and shows in Europe were followed in 2012 by the band headlining the Pembrokeshire Fish Week Festival and Richmond World Music Festival, and the next year playing a couple of shows with Foreigner. Now the quartet of Alex Lato, Simon Bowker, Ed Thorne, and Simon James White have their first album on the launch pad, an fair to say, the Javier Weyler (ex-Stereophonics) produced album reveals a collection of songs which just grab the imagination.

CD_CBwallet_The Fuse_12_06_2015_RingMaster ReviewAlamein opens with the outstanding Black Lion, a song tantalising with almost tribal enticing from its first breath and a cascade of harmonic vocal roars, which in turn sparks a seductive stroll of meaty rhythms and tangy grooves. The song is soon strolling with a swagger and mischievous enterprise, drums and bass a prowling shadow against the bright temptation of the guitars and quickly alluring vocals. The full result is a contagious and increasingly compelling romp inventively setting the album off on a major high and setting a lofty bar for the following Misfit to match. It is a test quickly passed as an electro shimmer of an entrance evolves into a dark Stan Ridgway like pop canter, the track proceeding to flirt with spicy hooks and sparkling melodies over another tenaciously rhythmic adventure. Its colourful mix of sound is matched by a great variety of vocals across the band too, their unions a festival of creative revelry around a lively reflective narrative.

Oxygen steps up next, treating ears to a post punk bass line and matching ambience before the vocals, with melodies in tow, awaken a ray of energy and warmth. As in the first pair of songs, imagination is soon adding little twists of sound and character to the engaging and increasingly emotionally inflamed proposition. Feet and appetite are simply bewitched by the track and indeed Sleuth which shares its resourceful vivacity next. Inside once more contrasts unite, the snarl of the bass and punch of drums tempering but more so complimenting the bubbling keys and vocal vibrancy, it all bound in fiery guitar endeavour. It is a fresh breath of drama and aural heat which is continued through the mellower White Shark and the elegant croon of Rainbows. Neither song quite spark personals tastes as strikingly as their predecessors to be honest, but each, and especially the increasingly rousing latter, grows into a potent and provocative blossom of sound and persuasion.

A twangy tone of guitar quickly makes 3AM an inviting proposal, the song growing with every passing chord into a magnetic blaze, still cored by that great initial bait and increasingly breeding a catchiness which lingers long after its boisterous departure. There are many tracks which wear single on their temptation, this certainly amongst them as too Paint This Town which actually has already had that position and unsurprisingly drawn a great many newcomers to The Fuse. Bounding in on a Blondie-esque dance of melodic flirting, the song swiftly builds its own distinct, infection soaked incitement for body and emotions. Its body of hooks and pop leaded tenacity has the musical shine of bands like Super Happy Fun Club and at times The Killers, whilst providing another pinnacle for Alamein.

The album closes with firstly the emotive and melodic smouldering of Phantom, a song which suggests that Coldplay is certainly amongst the band’s inspirations, and lastly In This World. The final song opens with a Lennon-esque tone to vocals and piano, subsequently growing into another of the slow burning persuasions on the release which builds into a richly satisfying theatre of sound and emotion which finds a potent resemblance to Queen like adventure.

Both songs offer an enjoyable end to a highly pleasing album and long last, proper introduction for the world to The Fuse. There is no doubting their journey to now has been worthwhile and creatively well spent, Alamein emerging as a very rosy addition to the melodic/indie rock discography of 2015.

http://www.thefuse.london/    https://www.facebook.com/thefusemusic/

RingMaster 05/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

The Machismo’s – Good Things About To Happen

Sam Marsh portrait by Michael Smith

Sam Marsh portrait by Michael Smith

Earlier this year we were treated to the re-releases of the first EP and album from the mighty under acclaimed early 90s alt-rockers Jacob’s Mouse and now if that was not enough to feast upon, also via Sturm Und Drang Recordings we are being blessed by Good Things About To Happen, the solo album of Bury St Edmunds-based songwriter/producer Sam Marsh, and the vocalist/drummer of said previous band. Under the name The Machismo’s, Marsh started writing and recording around the time of the demise of Jacob’s Mouse in 1995. He recorded two full albums in his home cassette portastudio subsequently whilst assembling a live band to take the music to the masses. It was seemingly not a ‘serious’ intent as Marsh moved onto other projects and the songs and albums were put aside unreleased. Thankfully twenty years on the man re-looked at this work and realising their quality and worth has brought 1996 debut album Good Things About To Happen to the world, a gift to us all with its exceptional songs and invention, the release easily one of the most enjoyable encounters this year.

The Machismo’s is very different to the almost psychotically arranged sounds of Jacob’s Mouse, but like that band the album has a seed of discord brilliance and startling yet thoughtfully composed simplicity that is just riveting and the spring board for thoughts and passions, from him and in us. Also like his previous band, the presence of The Machismo’s is impossible to place just in one box, or at times even find a pigeonhole for. A blend of acoustic and folk caresses placed in an experiment of noise pop and synapse teasing enterprise, the best we can do in description, Good Things About To Happen instantly tells you all you need to know about album and artist with its opening title track, and it has to be said that its seductive sting is instant and lingering.

The first song almost lumbers into view as heavy acoustic riffs and equally weighty rhythms introduce themselves but there is a vibrancya0731346688_10 and energy to it that draws limbs and emotions to their eager feet. Composed and performed by Marsh alone, as is the mixing and production, the song takes a mere breath to impress, the range of guitar tones and vocal invention side by side each other irresistible whilst the dark twang of chords and the almost sinister throaty bass stalking of the senses just delicious. As mentioned discord adds its fingertips to the surface of all aspects too, adding a richer tang to the aural spice that tempts reactions into aural lust. Infectious and hypnotic, the track is a thrilling introduction to something which expectations and hopes came nowhere near in assumption.

The following Macho Theme and Jilt compliment the start potently, even if they miss gripping the opening plateau set by a whisker. The first is a sonic wash of caustic garage rock with punk shadows, guitars slashing across the ear with fire bred intensity and sinew clad rhythms caging senses in an enslaving web of beats and intimidation. Its successor then comes in to slowly swarm over the body with slightly acidic melodic hugs aided by a rhythmic shuffle. As with most songs, Marsh offers a twin vocal attack that is quite riveting and here mesmeric in its charm and persuasion, matching the mix of beauty and cutting invention veining the sounds. With a barbed groove that is rich in familiarity and a melodic toxin, the track is a slow burner that creeps up on and steals the passions over numerous plays. The great thing about the album and emphasised by this track alone, is that the seeming familiarity is so often from songs and bands coming after the writing of the never released album two decades ago, coincidence can be a tease at times.

From the immense start there is another elevation in excellence starting with Down The Drain, the track a sauntering slice of sonically sculpted R&B with the individuality, in not so much sound but unique composition and fusing of discordant fuel and melodic fire, that marks the solo work of Frank Black, and also the contagiousness. There is dark blues sultriness to the track too which brings Black Keys/Jack White essences to bear. After next up Ickworth Park Song, another track which took time to persuade with its noir elegance, Loosen Up strolls down the senses into the heart with its rhythmic trot. Across its stroll the guitar forges a repetitive coaxing that is irresistible whilst the UB40 like prowl of the song carved by the excellent bass lure and dark almost carnivorous second guitar is a blissful counter to the again excellent dreamgaze like vocals of Marsh, though they too have a steel and raw edge.

A pinnacle though it is, Good Things About To Happen only moves on to greater things as surrounding the supremacy of the tautly harmonious New Start and the intriguing Rogue Males, there are the show stealers When You Know It’s Real and The Storm. The first of the two struts with an opening reggae seeded lope of guitar cuts and roaming heavy bass drawl, both ridden by the drifting vocals of Marsh. Teasing upon dubstep, the song evolves into an imagination capturing leisurely drift that has thoughts climbing all over the idea that the song is like World Domination Enterprises and Shriekback playing together under a summer haze with Dalek I Love You and The Gist. It is a glorious amble for the passions easily matched by the final song. The Storm is sheer brilliance, a track which again suggests others though damned if they come to mind within its familiar presence.  Crafted with a virulently addictive heart stroking mesh of repetition, vocal evocation, and rhythmic conjuring, it is a stunning end to an equally majesty release.

We may have unknowingly had to wait a long time to devour creativity of this quality but Good Things About To Happen is now here to make our hearts and the world a better place. Roll on album two.

www.facebook.com/themachismos

9.5/10

RingMaster 04/08/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com