Scant Regard – Skipping Over Damaged Area

Pic by Thomas Triton

A body infesting, imagination twisting kaleidoscope to the hope and insanity of the world we shape, Skipping Over Damaged Area is the senses ravishing new captivation from Scant Regard. An album of unscrupulous hooks, electronic virulence, and guitar carved intimation, it surges through ears casting a realm of suggestion and reflection as devilish as the themes inspiring its creative antics leaving hope, fear, and sheer pleasure in its wake.

Scant Regard is the solo project of London-based guitarist/writer/producer Will Crewdson. He is a musician few can have failed to have been consciously or unknowingly pleasured by. Whether with the rock escapades of Rachel Stamp, which he co-founded, and She Made Me Do It or through his work with the likes of Adam Ant, The Selecter, Johnette Napolitano, Flesh for Lulu, Bow Wow Wow and numerous other bands he played guitar for, Crewdson is a guitarist who has been in demand because of his instinctive ability to incite and bend the imagination as well as simply ignite songs and ears alike. Scant Regard has been an adventurous showcase for his craft and skills across four previous albums, Skipping Over Damaged Area a riveting new addition to their ranks.

Exploring various shades in an overall theme “of the apocalyptic destruction and devolution of the planet we live on”, Skipping Over Damaged Area is a tenacious maze of styles and flavours glazed with a sci-fi nurtured intrigue. At times it is like a warped soundtrack to a seventies TV show such as UFO, Space: 1999, or Doomwatch but with a dark lining in its every move; corrupting hope and light at a turn, tempering their threat in the next.

The album opens up with the swiftly addictive Mostly Accidental, electric pulses exploding on impact as it swaggers into view with an almost predacious swing. Instantly electronic suggestion and animation dances and flirts on the senses, thick doomy hues underlining the brewing Westworld-esque imagery conjured in thoughts by the instrumental piece which fully comes alive once Crewdson’s guitar explodes on the imagination.

It is an outstanding beginning, one to be honest we had to listen to twice before moving on upon our first listen to Skipping Over Damaged Area but quickly matched in strength and temptation by Fuck Everything. Repeated samples of its title float across a landscape of attitude, another electronically woven tale which immerses the listener in an evolving cascade of light and dark, fun and irritancy driven by inspiring shards of guitar.

The following Ill Gotten Gains is a corruption of sound and reflection; an addiction breeding ground with melodic lures aligned to dark deeds. At times it lies somewhere between the evolution of Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh’s project British Electric Foundation into their band Heaven 17 but with thicker shadows and dare we say even more infectious boldness.

Similarly Destroy (We’re Here to) has an eighties electronic edge to it around hooks and melodies which border on the salacious. Like the musical voice to a modern day Mars Attacks, the track waltzed over the senses, sending them spiralling as the imagination conjures. Simultaneously feet and hips were given a good smile wearing work out before BIGBLACKSHADES creates a conspiracy of sound and suggestion with its cold wave meets industrial espionage. Electronics and guitar again unite in a dark interpretation of life, its funkiness contrasting yet complementing the song’s voracious dynamics.

A lighter climate accompanies the outstanding Car Crash on Pluto, the track like something akin to Fred Schneider colluding with Helldorado as they glide the cosmos upon surf rock fuelled winds, while Hemi Demi courts indie rock tenacity within its electro pop enterprise as again seventies flavoured hues spice its rock ‘n roll.

Through the celestial smoulder of Traits, a track with lava hot melodies veining a volatile shimmer, and the hook carrying electro smoking canter of Sublineage Blues, ears and imagination are drawn into further incendiary drama while Posthistoric springs a more intensive atmosphere and adventure to navigate as a bubbling undercurrent of catchiness snaps, crackles and pops. All three simply tantalise and captivate as the imagination fantasises, Crime and Retribution in turn sparking the same responses with its brooding electronic groans and emerging guitar spun cold war clamour.

The album closes with Blue Moon Juice, a collage of vivacious sounds woven into a canvas of rockabilly bred devilry; imagine a psychobilly Yello and you get a hint of the track’s irresistible lure as it brings the album to a forcibly magnet conclusion.

Skipping Over Damaged Area is a prismatic insight and incitement for body and thoughts. It impacts on numerous levels, pleasures on every one. Crewdson is no stranger to attention and acclaim and can expect plenty more with what just might be his finest moment yet.

Skipping Over Damaged Area is out now on download and CD @ https://scantregard.bandcamp.com/album/skipping-over-damaged-area

https://scantregard.com    https://www.facebook.com/scantregardpage   https://twitter.com/scantregard

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Contemplating Leaving Eden

le-3-11-16_RingMasterReview

It is quite simple. Leaving Eden is a band which demands attention with a sound and creative flair that persistently captures the imagination drawing an ever growing following simultaneously. Their ear catching and thought provoking music has help lead the band to sharing stages with hundreds of the biggest national bands in the world and tours across numerous countries. We managed to grab some time with Eric from the band to learn more about Leaving Eden and what makes them tick…

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

Can you first introduce the band?

Hi, great chatting with you also.

Eve: Lead Vocals

Ryan: Manning Drums

Johhny V: Bass

I’m Eric Gynan: Guitarist, vocals, Keys.

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

Yes we’ve all been in various bands along the way and learning from the past always gives you a jump on the future.

What inspired the band name?

Leaving Eden came to be simply that this planet is like the Garden of Eden right, with all of its corruption; wouldn’t it be nice to take off and go somewhere else to visit? Lol.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it to offer and does that intent still drive the band or has it evolved over time?

Definitely we have evolved. I think you have to in order to change with the times so long as it’s better. It’s important though to maintain your individuality. For us we set out to be different. Quick story here, we went to this huge studio once where bands like Seven Dust, The Rolling Stones and Boston recorded. The person there brought out a white board in the conference room and drew a box. They said you are here, pointing outside the box and you need to be here, pointing inside the box. I immediately said wait, are you telling us we need to be in that box?  They said well yes I guess I am. I said thank you very much and got up and walked out. I get it, if you wanna ride a wave and be like everyone else on that moment of time, they can easily slip you into a genre. For us though it’s hard to just slip us in to any particular genre. We won the best Hardcore act in New England and I thought that was funny because they couldn’t find the appropriate Genre for us. We stay true no matter what the times may change to our roots, Rock Music.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved and has that been an organic movement or you guys deliberately heading in certain directions?

I think being a recording artist, endlessly recording and working with some incredible recording engineers like Johnny K (Disturbed, Pop Evil) you learn what it really takes. When they say they will go through your music with a fine tooth comb, they mean that literally that down to the 64th beat your music will be scrutinized for perfection. Ya know good bad or indifferent, when you listen to the radio, you may not like the band you’re listening to but aside from that, you will NEVER hear something that’s not polished. It’s gotta be perfect or you’ll never make it to the radio. With this on mind, you take this knowledge of being tight to the live performance and it makes all the difference in the world. This is why some bands may record a great album but when you see them live, it’s just not the same. We try and stay true to our recordings.  We also evolve in that area after the recording we may change it up live where we may think we’ve built upon that foundation.

art_RingMasterReviewPresumably 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?

I think all of us are inspired by what we like as far as taste in other bands music. For us what greatly inspires us is that organic sound that manifests itself in a way that is kind of like connecting the dots. We feel that Leaving Eden learns from the past, encompasses the present and forges the future. Any band that has been in the gutters not in the limelight, they’re the ones whom always forged the future. This is why we named our last album Pinnacle…Because it’s at that pinnacle where trends will be forged.

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

Sure. For me I connect with the Universe in a way that opens my mind to listening. I use my fingers as kind of line antennas to pick up the frequencies, as strange as that sounds, if you listen, you can hear the music that lyrics, melodies and harmonies completely produced. Just gotta transfer that info to the recording. Then the rest of the band puts their stamp on it and presto, there’s a new song. I’ve even felt the influence of dead poets coming through. Sometimes I feel like I really can’t even take credit for the songs as they’ve come from somewhere else. It’s a deep meditative state of mind that brings these ideas into fruition.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Great question… Our songs speak from experience, life’s experiences…Sometimes good but mostly bad lol. Bad in the way of getting screwed, for instance our song Tied and Bound comes from the frustration of the music industry; “We’ve been screwed overcharged underpaid and abused, exploited avoided and falsely accused, we’ve been cut down let down fucked around tied and bound, but nothing can take the music away”

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

Pinnacle released by Rock Avenue Records USA, was completely written before we got to the studio. We like to do pre-production first, be prepared so to speak, so that we aren’t wasting valuable time and money. Pinnacle is really an eclectic array of song themes and music. We tried to keep it again organic so you won’t hear all these extra vocal harmonies for instance that we could never do live. Yes there is harmony, but it can be done live.

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

That is where one should shine right?  I feel it is our live sound which is one of our trade marks. It’s so hard in the studio to capture that live performance primarily because it’s a one sided energy exchange. When you have a crowd, that’s where the sharing of the energy happens, therefore it really helps to put you on top of your game. You can’t see the band for instance when listening to an album, so that performance is so necessary.  Can the band reproduce that sound live? With Eve in front, she is clearly universal and really takes control of the room or festival, really just connecting with the crowd.

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?14195978_1274693589207580_3294288122701219788_o

Correct. We’ve been fortunate, lucky, graced, whatever you’d like to call it. Our motto has always been that we will play anywhere, anytime, any way we can so long as we can. This philosophy has led us to share the stage with some of the biggest bands in the world with;  Lacuna Coil, In This Moment, Black Sabbath (Heaven & Hell), Ronnie James Dio,  Rob Zombie, 5 Finger DeathPunch, Disturbed, Marylyn Manson, Alice Cooper, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZTop, Puddle of Mudd, Korn, Killswitch Engage, BuckCherry (Jefferson Starship, Big Brother and The Holding Company, Country Joe, 10 Years After, 40th Anniversary Woodstock) Shinedown, Dropkick Murphy’s,  Alice in Chains, Papa Roach, Bret Micheals, Halestorm, Theory of a Deadman, Avenged Sevenfold, Seether, Hell Yeah, Trapt, Dope, Soil, Fuel,  Queensryche, Saving Abel, Hinder, Damage Plan, 7Dust, Sebastian Bach, SoulFly, Days of the New, NonPoint, DrowningPool, The Misfits, The Butcher Babies, Collective Soul, MushroomHead, Mudvayne, Chevelle, Godsmack, Powerman 5000, 10Years, Taproot, Gin Blossoms, Michael Schenker (UFO, MSG & The Scorpions) Herman Rarebell (The Scorpions), Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden), Kittie, One eyed doll, Uncle Kracker, Tremonti (Creed/Alterbridge) Lamb of god, Slayer, Stone Sour, Motorhead, Blackstone Cherry, HOOKERS & BLOW Featuring GUNS N’ ROSES, QUIET RIOT, W.A.S.P. Members, Steven Tyler, Ted Nugent, Lita Ford, LA Guns, Trixter, Warrant, Apocalyptic Review (featuring members of Godsmack) and many more..  This has led us to Winning The New England Music Awards & The Pulse Magazine Worcester MA Music Awards and Touring The USA, UK & Canada. If we didn’t get out there we would have never found these opportunities. There’s usually someone there that can help move you forward.

Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

Absolutely…In fact I believe bands who haven’t “made it” have more of an opportunity. Let’s take a band that has made it whether it was one song or many. As time passes, for whatever reason, they stopped making hits. It’s very rare for them to have another hit song or even get on the radio. It’s very strange but true. As a new artist you have more of a chance because again you’re at the pinnacle forging ahead.

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

I find this very interesting. In a moment you can be heard all over the world. It’s absolutely amazing. Back in the day I feel bad for the artists before the internet that never had that chance. Shit, back then you couldn’t even stay connected with different states via phone. It was too expensive to make a phone call so you were quite limited as far as how far you could reach. Now, our music is flying through the airways, our unreleased song Out of the ashes says; digging deeper underground faster than the speed of sound

I can see the light of day, darkness fades away”. This just says as a band that’s not superstars, they are basically underground in the gutters spreading like swill in the harbor of slime lol. God some of the venues we’ve played have been the scum of the earth. Shit when we went to UK, there was a dirt floor. But in order to really appreciate where you may end up you’ve got to crawl through the slime in the gutters. If I for instance just started a band, had lots of money, related to someone big in the industry, getting signed immediately and becoming famous overnight, how then could I appreciate where I came from? When you come from the bottom of the barrel and make your way to the top, you never forget where you came from.

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

This was fun. Please excuse my unorthodox replies here and appreciate your time. Leaving Eden will be touring the USA, Canada and Europe. Hopefully South America as well, where our management/touring Co. Alpha Omega/Darkside Entertainment has offices in Europe, USA and South America we feel honored to be part of the family there. We hope to see all of you soon!! For all Leaving Eden Info go to http://www.leavingeden.com

And see us on Facebook Leaving Eden and Peace and Harmony to all!!  I say harmony because this planet, the universe, everything in it works in perfect harmony accept one species, Humans. WTF is that about right? Let’s make it happen.

https://www.facebook.com/bandleavingeden

Pete RingMaster

The Ringmaster Review 01/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Nine Miles South – Self Titled EP

Nine Miles South promo_RingMaster Review

It is proving to be a rather exciting year for UK rockers Nine Miles South which is coming to a thrilling head with the release of their self-titled debut EP and a couple of big shows, all sure to confirm that their groove loaded southern rock ‘n’ roll is ready to awaken the broadest attention. Their three track release is an invigorating and exciting slab of resourcefully varied hard rock; heavy and contagious, creatively aggressive and addictive, it has body and appetite on red alert by track one, seduced by the third and though it weaves plenty of familiar sounds and textures into its persuasion, the EP just hits the sweet spot that lies within all rock fans.

Nine Miles South was founded by Danish bred Seb Mikkelsen, the band forming after the vocalist/guitarist had moved to the UK from his homeland. Based in Guildford and with a line-up completed by guitarist Jon Antony, bassist Andy Sleigh, and drummer David Wilson, Nine Miles South took little time in awakening strong support and awareness through their tenacious live presence. Shows with bands such as Kobra And The Lotus as well as their own gigs and strong festival appearances have marked the band out leading to good radio play. After a couple of recently highly successful London shows and ahead of the band playing Hard Rock Hell in Wales on November 13th with amongst many, Black Label Society, UFO, Helloween, Pat Travers, and Gun, and also supporting Skinny Molly at the North Devon Arena in Ilfracombe on November 18th, Nine Miles South release their first EP, an easy to suspect spark to increasing and eager attention.

NMS FRONT COVER EPP_RingMaster Review   Produced by Samuel Burden, the EP opens with The Reckoning, a mighty anthem for ears and emotions. A slightly reserved beginning cups ears first, a sultry climate of guitar and melody backed by the vocal twang of Mikkelsen swift enticement which only grows more gripping as thick fisted rhythms join the increasing energy and roar of the song. It is still not in top gear but casting an inescapable anthem for body and voice which only blossoms into virulence as grooves twist and entwine the psyche and hooks lurk in very corner and evolution of the outstanding song. As suggested the overall sound has a recognisable air but it only adds to the drama and potency of the tempting, especially which sixth gear is finally unleashed for a boisterous finale.

The excellent start is backed well by Leave Me Be, another making its entrance on a gentle melody from the guitar whilst quietly brewing a more intensive character which erupts soon after. A more emotively coloured and controlled stroll, the bluesy track spins a weave of melodic and vocal expression wrapped in low key but pungent grooves, these further punctured by firm rhythms. The bass of Sleigh has a great growl whilst the guitars of Antony and Mikkelsen create a croon of enterprise to match the resourceful vocal tones of the latter, backed well by Antony and Sleigh. Without quite matching the heights and irresistibility of its predecessor, the song has ears and attention riveted before Fingernails brings the release to a rousing close.

The third track has the imagination drifting off to dusty, country blues rock lands within seconds, grooves and riffs instantly sculpting a southern seeded canvas to lose oneself in, before shadowed rhythms lined with spiky beats and grooved invention build tantalising scenery. Imagine a mix of Bad Company, Down, and The Bastard Sons and you get a whiff of the excellent climax to one thickly enjoyable encounter.

The last few months has seen a new wind of attention and buzz around Nine Miles South which can only get bolder and louder with the release of their first EP. It is rock ‘n’ roll with a twang and very easy to suggest you go get some.

The Nine Miles South EP is available from September 7th

Pete Ringmaster 07/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Dendera – Pillars Of Creation

Album line-up

Album line-up

UK metallers Dendera whipped up plenty of eager attention and acclaim with their debut album The Killing Floor two years ago and now with its successor Pillars Of Creation poised to ignite ears and appetites with its own unique character, it is easy to expect the Portsmouth band doing the same again with greater success. Embracing a fresh roar of modern rock and invention with their heavy/classic metal breeding in their new offering, Dendera has honed a more distinct sound to themselves, not one to reinvent genres but undoubtedly one to really set the band apart from the tide of likeminded bands.

Since releasing their first encounter, the We Must Fight EP in 2011, it is fair to say the band has had the attention of fans and media alike, a ready to praise spotlight elevated by the release of The Killing Floor in 2013. Live too the band has earned a potent reputation and stature, touring and sharing stages with the likes of Saxon, UFO, Fozzy, Skindred, Firewind, Alestorm, Unearth, The Sword, Orange Goblin, Grand Magus, Ill Nino, POD, Soulfly, Kobra and the Lotus and….well the list goes on. Now the quintet of vocalist Ashley Edison, guitarists Stephen Main and Tony Fuller (the latter having left the band after the album’s recording to be replaced by David Stanton), bassist Bradley Edison, and drummer Andy Finch return with a seriously mighty slab of metal and with ease the band’s finest moment yet.

Dendera cover_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review     Pillars Of Creation opens with Claim Our Throne and quickly has intrigue and imagination awake with the track’s opening melodic suggestiveness. Its entrance sets the scene, casting a rich and welcoming landscape yet one with an initial melancholic air which as its depths and scenery builds and expands, evolves into a more intimidating presence. Eventually riffs and rhythms build imposing walls whilst hooks and grooves colour the increasingly compelling emergence of the track with inescapable temptation. In full stride the song roars with the impressive vocals of Edison leading the way as guitars and bass lay down magnetic bait through riffs and enterprise. The old school essences of bands like Iron Maiden and Saxon, which heavily coloured the band’s first album, are still clear hues in song and album but more spices now in a bolder and more creatively individual proposal from Dendera. It is not ground-breaking stuff as mentioned but the band has cultured something rich in variety and resourceful in exploration, and as shown by the starter and reinforced by subsequent songs, created a sound which will send fans into bliss whilst offering plenty for those who maybe do not have an appetite for a classic form of metal to have eager interest in.

The impressive start is matched by Bloodlust, the song straight away living up to its name and exploding with a far more raw and predatory presence than that of the previous song. Thrash spiced riffs are rampaging through ears from its first breath, they and rhythms whipped up by the confrontational vocals. It is a tenacious and grouchy encounter which mellows out for its melodically fiery chorus, but is soon back stirring up air and blood with the same insatiable surges of intensity and sound which it first erupted with. Its blend of contrasts is a fluid and alluring invitation, a persuasion emulated again in the stormy nature of In High Tide. A cantankerous tempest of rock ‘n’ roll, the track aligns sonic croons with bestial snarls and rugged hostility, their fluid passage making for a fascinating and increasingly anthemic incitement on ears and emotions.

Already across three songs, Dendera has infused elements from groove and melodic thrash to varied heavy rock, an involvement never diminishing just evolving and changing across every song starting with the stalking of senses that is Disillusioned. Another song reeking attitude and carrying an almost primal swagger, it prowls ears with an intimidating air driven by the ever impressive and masterful rhythmic webs of Finch. Groove wise there is a definite Pantera edge and swing to the track’s core lure, one in many ways copied in the excellent vocal persuasion of Edison and potently backed by the band’s roars and the guitar endeavours of Main and Fuller, especially with a seriously tasty and incendiary solo.

The Daylight Ending is a sweat and spit encounter, rhythms and the delicious bass bait of Bradley Edison a barbarous proposal matched by riffs whilst guitars and vocals carry an aggressive

new line-up

new line-up

nature to their provocative and inventive craft. The song is a gallop for the main, a relentless foraging of body and imagination leaving an even hungrier appetite which The Chosen One feeds with its dark and heavy trespass of the senses. The song does not quite grip as other tracks, missing an indefinable spark to ignite personal tastes but there is no denying or not enjoying its invention and adventure, especially it’s contagious and at times brutal gait.

The explosive sonic flames and melodic passion fuelling Unholy sparks a lick of lips within a few explosive moments next, riffs and grooves almost swarming over the senses and into the passions as bass and vocals virtually prowl with their own inescapable persuasion. The beats of Finch are a bully but a welcome protagonist as again he sculpts an addictive frame and engine room for a song.

Pillars Of Creation is brought to a close by Edge Of Tomorrow, a fire of aggression and passion within a sonically tempestuous soundscape. It fiercely pleases on first touch but, as the album, just impresses and draws keener lustful reactions with every listen. The release is a must for all classic and heavy metal fans but such the new adventure and variety the band has woven into their songwriting and sound, there is much for all metallers including, us among them, those without an instinctive taste for old school roars. In fact it very likely will, as here, emerge as a favourite of the year for fans and newcomers alike.

Pillars Of Creation is available via Metalbox Recordings from June 22nd @ http://www.denderauk.bigcartel.com/

http://www.dendera.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/DenderaUK

RingMaster 22/06/2015

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://www.reputationradio.net

 

Antagonising the quiet: an interview with Fuckshovel

F-shovel

February 18th sees the release of an album from powerful and incendiary UK rock band Fuckshovel, which is quite simply a masterful brawl of irresistible rock n roll. An insatiable muscular pleasure, This Is What We Are incites and thrills with every rampant note to leave the listener breathless, exhilarated, and ready to take on the world. The London quartet has worked long and hard to bring the album to the world and such its impressive quality it feels like it will be the trigger to a massive year for the band. Obviously we wanted to find out more about band and album so did not need asking twice when offered the opportunity to question the band…

Hi Guys and welcome to The RingMaster Review. We are on the eve of the release of your debut album ‘This Is What We Are‘, how are things emotionally in the Fuckshovel camp?

We’re just about holding it together! It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride making this album. It’s taken a long time and we’ve put so much into it both physically and mentally. For us up to now it has always seemed like it’s on the drawing board, so to finally be putting it out there seems bizarre, like the end of an era. Maybe the release is the closure we need to get on with the next album!

The first single from the album Schizophonic certainly brewed up a fevered anticipation for the album, as represented by the enormous reception when playing the track on The Bone Orchard podcast. Has its success and deserved acclaim, made you less tense and more confident for the album’s introduction to the world?

Well to be honest, we know that the playing is good and we’re confident in the songs so the only thing we’re really concerned about is finding enough people who agree with us! Reviews and the like are so subjective it’s not something we can control so we try not to worry about it too much.

Before talking more about ‘This Is What We Are’, tell us how Fuckshovel began and those early days starting out?

The original plan was basically Jon, Ian and another mate (Kermit) getting together with a couple of mates and playing for a bit of fun. For various reasons this never really happened so John and Dave were recruited to the good ship Shovel. We started writing and gigging immediately and got some good reviews and feedback but it was quite difficult to settle on a sound that we were all happy with. Eventually we parted company with Kerm and began writing material that suited the remaining four of us.

What is the history of the band members previous to the band?

Many and varied: Dave (Virago – drums) played with Cradle of Filth, did the MTV Awards with Basement Jaxx and more recently appeared with Dizzee Rascal. John (Faulkner – bass) was formally with Latch and played on a couple of tracks on the first Plan B album, Ian (Fisher – guitar) was in Decimator and before doing this Jon (Stone – vocals) was working with Laurence Archer (Phil Lynott’s Grand Slam & UFO).

Many bands have been raised as having essences in your music, including Discharge, Anthrax, and Ministry. For us your distinct ??????????sound held strong whispers of Therapy?, The Wildhearts, and definitely Ruts. Any of those fair and what are the major influences which inspired you as musicians and band?

As you can see from our previous histories we’ve got quite a disparate bunch of influences. For instance, Ian is into old school thrash, punk and Eminem! Jon likes Thin Lizzy, Soundgarden and Killing Joke. John would cite Deftones, Rage Against The Machine and the Bronx while Dave is a big Pantera and Alice In Chains fan. And we all agree on Slayer. And Peter & The Test Tube Babies! From our first rehearsal we wrote new stuff without ever knowingly incorporated any of our influences into the overall Shovel sound so whatever we sound like is just us playing what we enjoy; which is generally the sort of noise made by the bands you mention. So yeah, those references are fair in as much as Therapy? and The Wildhearts go for an aggressive sound with strong melodies, which is something we aim for.  The Ruts is a niche reference but we’ll take that – Babylon’s Burning is one of the very few covers we’ve ever bothered to learn!

Obviously we have to ask about the brilliantly provocative band name. It smacks you in the face like your sounds with energy and mischief, any problems or restrictions come because of it though, especially in the regard of radio play?

It can be slightly problematic! As most bands will tell you the hardest thing to agree on is the name – we had the name before we’d even rehearsed so we were lumbered with it from day one! We’ve had radio play from BBC Radio 6 (Bruce Dickinson’s show), XFM (Ian Camfield and John Kennedy) and the likes of Total Rock so it’s not impossible but they do tend to call us F-Shovel which might make us slightly harder to track down. We had the video for Long Time Dead on Headbangers Ball quite regularly too so it can be done.

You have already grabbed strong attention both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, how did you come to play over in America?

Quite simply, we applied to showcase at SXSW and got accepted. It was a bit of a shock! We did it all off our own back so we probably didn’t get as much out of it as the more established bands… having said that, we did get a big crowd at the main showcase and a really good reaction too. It was great fun but not as fruitful as we’d hoped.

Fuckshovel cover artworkBack to This Is What We Are, an album which for us ‘is a riotous storm of rampant rock n roll with no intent to compromise or accept mere appreciation of its forceful sounds, it is all or nothing’. Do you have any set intent when writing songs?

Mainly we try to write to keep all four of us happy and as the meeting of our influences is generally in the aggressive section of the Venn diagram that’s what usually comes out. Plus, obviously, being called Fuckshovel does tend to mean we weed out the power ballads quite early in the writing process!

There is an open defiance and inciting attitude to your music, what predominately inspires your ideas?

People and politics (with a small ‘p’. And sometimes a big ‘P’). Basically, anything we get worked up about. Lyrically they deal with subjects like the nanny-state (Portia’s Box), people letting their lives drift by (Long Time Dead) and the mongrel nature of society (Schizophonic). Germs of Empire is a line from the novel Heart of Darkness and is about the nature and genesis of tyranny (or so Jon tells us!)

 Did the tracks and album emerge from the studio how you envisaged going into its realm or did they evolve further?

Well, this is the second time we’ve actually recorded the album so they’ve definitely evolved! We originally had the album pretty much done and nearly dusted but when we listened back we’d got so immersed in the whole studio technology thing that we’d lost the band, so we scrapped it, which was quite time-consuming… And expensive! We went back to basics, took the songs apart, reworked some, dropped others completely and started again.  So when we began tracking we were pretty sure we had all the sections as we wanted them. We allowed ourselves one week for all the tracking and did the vocals and overdubs later.  The vocals were predominantly recorded in our rehearsal space which gave us time to play around and experiment with them so they definitely evolved.

How did you record the album? The songs have such a live and organic feel it suggests they maybe were recorded live so how did you lay down the tracks?

That was the initial aim. As we mentioned earlier, we were very concerned with capturing the sound of the band playing live. Long Time Dead and Skull &Bones were definitely done live. The rest were a combination of live and layers.  Although, we did institute a 3 takes rule for everybody. And sometimes we stuck to it.

Is there any particular moment on the album which brings the deepest tingle and feeling of pride personally?

Probably the little things that you wouldn’t notice or know about if you hadn’t been involved in making the album:

Our children all shouting ‘You’re not one of us!’ in Auslander, the various musical parts all played by different people visiting the studio e.g. Jon’s daughter on the wah pedal in Schizophonic and remembering the atmosphere at various different times in the studio during recording. When we tracked Vegas Nerve (which used to be called God) the lights were really low in the studio and there was an epic thunderstorm that shone through the sky-light in the studio ceiling. There are also the one-offs such as Johnboy’s high-pitched scream in All You Got, a total random one-off fluke that has and will never be replicated. If you go on youtube you can see quite a lot of footage taken during tracking, for example Randy (Ian Fisher) in the vampire cape recording Auslander – that one in particular lives fond in the memory.

The artwork for ‘This Is What We Are’ comes from the legendary Jamie Reid. How did that link up come about and did he have a free rein to interpret your songs visually?

Jon and Ian know his agent (who used to do A&R for Poison Idea trivia fans). We asked him if he thought Jamie would be interested and were told to write to him and ask. So we drafted up a begging letter, sent him some lyrics, a couple of tracks and the track-listing and he said yes. He came back with a choice of 4 or 5 ideas and we got to pick the ones we wanted. It was quite surreal!

Usually we are asking bands what they learned from working with renowned and acclaimed producers, but here we have to ask did FuckshovelJamie offer something other than his art which impacted on you?

Well, due to his schedule the process from start to finish took about 6 months so we definitely learned patience! And the fact that it’s okay to refine and re-do until something works. A good idea’s a good idea but it doesn’t mean you can’t make it better.

What is in the immediate future for Fuckshovel in association with the album?

It’s due to be released on the 18th February so we’re pushing to get as many people as possible to be aware of it. We’ve got some gigs already confirmed and we’re actively looking for more. It’s all about searching out people who agree with us!

We imagine, not having the joy yet to see you live, that your gigs are brawls of energy and attitude. How do you approach each show, like it might be the last one and give it your all every time one assumes going by the album.

Yeah, pretty much. These aren’t the sort of songs you can play half-arsed so no matter how many people we’re playing to we tend to go at it full-tilt. The aim is get everyone into it and singing along with Portia’s Box by the end.

Many thanks for sharing time to talk with us. Any parting words you would like to set free?

We’ve probably said too much already!

Lastly give us some of the most important albums which shaped your personal musical direction.

Killing Joke (2003 album with Dave Grohl on drums)

Velvet Revolver– Contraband

Peter and The Test Tube Babies – Loud Blaring Punk Rock

Read the review of This Is What We Are @

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/fuckshovel-this-is-what-we-are/

The RingMaster Review 13/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Mothership: Self Titled

Mothership Live

    The bio for the self-titled album from US rock band stated the band Mothership had a sound which ‘satisfies like a steaming hot stew of UFO and Iron Maiden, blended with the southern swagger of Molly Hatchet and ZZ Top’. Now that statement is enough to send an army of classic rock fans across battlefields and sultry deserts to grab an ear full of the promise suggested and in this instance they would not be disappointed upon arrival. The trio from Dallas is a formidable and impressive unit which knows the richest essences of rock n roll and how to brew them into feisty and fiery melodic encounters.

Founded by brothers Kelley (guitar) and Kyle (bass) Juett, the band fuses stirring elements of hard rock, stoner, blues, and classic rock into a thrilling guitar driven sound all of their own. The pair grew up on the seventies record collection of their father John, who they recruited on drums as their rock project emerged in 2010. Creating songs bursting with raucous riffs and melodic flames, the band knowing the contribution of their father was temporary began searching with his help for a permanent replacement who came in the shape of Judge Smith late 2011. The following year saw the band enter the studio to record their debut which was then self-released later in the year. Now given a re-release though Ripple Music, and following a successful end of last year supporting bands such as Prong, Red Fang, Gypsyhawk, Earthen Grave, and Lo-Pan, Mothership is set to ignite 2013 for all heavy rock fans.

The album opens with the mesmeric instrumental Hallucination, a track which emerges from a spacey ambience through firm Ripple Music - RPL2188beats and a sultry guitar glaze upon the ear. Its early presence is a slow smouldering enticement of sonic caresses and sinewy rhythms which equally burn and kiss the ear to capture the imagination, a union which goes into overload once the track instantly shifts up a couple of gears to rock the air out of the passions. It is an enthralling encounter to announce the album and ensure only a riveted focus is at play for the rest of the release.

With barely time to lick the lips of the prospects to come the following Cosmic Rain engages the ear with punchy rhythms and spires of sonic persuasion. Within seconds it has feet and emotions in league with its passionate gait and heated expanse. As the fine vocals of Kelley launch from the musical fire to add to the already anthemic stoner swing, the track rampages as a delicious agreement of blues and rock wrapped in heart driven energy. Mid-way the song takes a step into an aside full of bass beckoning to intrigue and elevate the already submissive senses further before returning to its uncomplicated and fully enthralling revelry.

As the songs City Nights and Angel of Death open up their hard rock hearts with craft and eagerness there is a continued variety under the overall pulsating lick and hook raining skies of the album. Though neither song steps onto the same lofty plateau of their predecessor, both crowd the ear with inciting blues guitar mastery and refreshing winds of instinctive and satisfying rock n roll, with the second of the two especially rife with a seventies brilliancy recalling the likes of Thin Lizzy.

Adding another step into new avenues Win Or Lose is a strolling treat of heavy rhythms and unavoidable intensive energy veined by a niggling sonic insistence and melodic elegance. Within its expressive stance the track moves through levels of pace and creative heat whilst offering moments of simmering beauty, rampant guitar crafted pulses, and heavyweight rumblings all delivered with invention and passion. It is a tremendous track which makes way for the equalling spellbinding and explosive Elenin and the towering closer Eagle Soars.

The final track is a masterful treat of lung bursting energy driven by robust rhythms and scintillating sonic seduction. The song rides the passions with majestic ease and accomplished skill as it immerses the senses in searing sonic bait and wickedly tempting melodic glamour. It is a final triumph which directs one straight back into the arms of the album, the lure of diving right back in to the release too irresistible.

Mothership, band and album, are encounters any fan ranging the likes of Red Fang to Orange Goblin and Black Sabbath to Thin Lizzy will find an ardour for as the band primes itself for a massive year.

http://www.facebook.com/mothershipusa

8/10

RingMaster 12/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Xander Demos: Guitarcadia

Let us open with the admittance that guitar virtuosity has never been high on requirements for our tastes at The RR, the infernal indulgences and flamboyant intricacies no substitute to our preferences for riotous passion and inciteful riffing. That said there are a few artists which have emerged recently to show over blown excesses are not necessarily needed to create impressive and expressive guitar driven music. One such artist is UK guitarist Jay Parmar and now there is Pittsburgh musician Xander Demos. Both bring a more stable and balanced approach  for these tastes and though Demos especially does walk the line of excess at times it has a restraint which leaves us enjoying it more. Of course this is just personal and easily Guitarcadia, the new album from Xander Demos, is more than a vibrant feast for guitar lovers to purr over.

Demos is an artist who seemingly likes to keep busy as not only does he have his own solo band who back him on the album, he also plays in Into The Arena, the top cover band in his home city which he formed in 2006, and has recently joined the new East Coast chapter of the Sabbath Judas Sabbath project. With his own band, Demos has shared stages with the likes of Neil Zaza, UFO, The Dio Deciples, Lizzy Borden and Kip Winger over the past year or so and with the release of Guitarcadia through Rock N Growl Records, he is set to find his name open to international awareness.

Backed by bassist Matt Williams, drummer Chris Batten (with Dean Minerva and Mike Stover appearing on some tracks),

Art by OneTwoTree Designs

and Adam Heuesy on keyboards, Demos ignites the air which what is impressively inventive and intelligent artistry. It may not always trigger our deepest responses but there is no denying his craft and heart which drips off every note. The album opens with Right Angles, a track with an eighties rock feel which flavours the wash of sonic skill which coats the ear from first note to last. The song reaches out to caress with scorched melodies and enticing harmonic mastery whilst the drums form a powerful frame to hold it all in place. In his bio the influences of Shawn Lane, Eric Johnson, Steve Vai, and Vinnie Moore are listed amongst the main inspirations, and their essences can easily be heard in his inventiveness on the song alone.

The following Nothing Major again reaps essences from early guitar rock especially with the keys adding their own nostalgic embrace. It is a piece of music which feels like the soundtrack to a larger than life TV show or movie, it does not quite work for us but again Demos shows he is a manipulating wizard with fingers to make any girl sigh.

Many of the tracks for us have the same result, their impressive songwriting and play obvious and easy to applaud but they do not ignite any real sparks, the likes of Chase The Sun, Metagalactic, and Lady In Red, heated pleasures at the time without firing up any real passions. With our unfortunate for him different preferences we brought in a couple of independent opinions who love guitar playing extravaganzas to give a balance, and both found the songs and album an impressive and inspiring treat.

There were some notable moments on the album though which also had us licking our lips, firstly the first of two songs out of the ten which had vocals. Under A Darkened Sky is a melodic rock gem which is still eighties based but has a classic metal energy and presence to captivate fully as well as further show the eclectic breath of the album. The second vocal track is a cover of Boys Of Summer by Don Henley. Sadly it does not work and is the only unsatisfying track on the album. Musically it is imaginative as Demos energises it into a speedy metallic surge but the vocals are weak in comparison and the production even worse, there is a lack of clarity overall whilst the layers of sound do not blend so everything sounds clumsy and unrelated.

As said it is an exception and with the further consecutive highlights of the excellent White Knuckle Driving , Guitarcadia, and  Woodshed Sonata of such stature and compulsive quality is a mere blip. The first of the three is a feisty storm of incendiary melodic enterprise which dazzles consistently. It is the best song on the album though closely rivalled by the other pair, the title track a guitar player’s wet dream and the latter a piece of music which is as mischievous as it is muscular and absorbing.

Obviously Guitarcadia is not really the type of music which is best served by our personal likes but we can say if artistic invention and eye watering guitar skills lights your fires you should have a raging inferno inside over the new album from Xander Demos.

www.XanderDemos.com

RingMaster 24/08/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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