Dead City Ruins: Midnight Killer

Offering something insatiably energetic and imaginative as well as eagerly teasing the debut album from Dead City Ruins is one unexpected and impressive pleasure. It jumps all over the ear with a diversity and adventure which is refreshing and leaves one grinning ear to ear with satisfaction. Midnight Killer does not kick down any doors leading to new corridors of invention for rock n roll but it is certainly an album which is as enjoyable and invigorating as any other rock release this year and easily more impressive than most.

Formed in London in 2007, the now Melbourne based band infuse in to their core rock sound flourishing veins of classic metal, punk, and blues brought with a stoner and grunge breath. It is a brew which welcomingly leaves its eager mark long after departure to inflame an enthusiasm to constantly return. Sine their beginning the band took no time in drawing a respectful and consistently growing attention through live shows and their first EP Lost In London. 2010 though saw the band feel the need to search for a fresh and new direction which led them to move to Australia. Soon the line-up of vocalist Jake Wiffen, guitarists Tommy Teabag and Sean Blanchard, bassist Mick Quee, and Drewsy on drums came together and cylinders were firing on full high octane as the quintet ignited the likes of Australia, Dubai, England with their greedy rock n roll. Fifty plus gigs across eleven different countries saw Dead City Ruins share stages with the likes of Veins Of Jenna, Faster Pussycat, and Wraith to increasing acclaim which Midnight Killer and upcoming shows with Wolfmother, Gojira, and Mastodon can only accelerate as the band enslaves many more hearts.

Released 23rd July, the album did not initially ignite the fullest enthusiasm due to artwork which does not do justice to the quality within and an opening song which whilst strong and pleasing did not really unveil the full power and inventive engagement of the band. Opener Where You Gonna Run is fairly formulaic as a rock song but presented with an undeniable skill and energy which does only grabs attention. The track is an eager mix of Buckcherry and Wasted Sinners forged to a classic rock body and whilst it did not exactly light any fires it gives enough to keep one keen especially with some fine guitar work to dazzle the ear.

The following Damn My Eyes raises the temperature with its infectious and driving energy skewered with strong vocals from Tommy and the growling bass of Mick, whose play is the greatest lure from a multitude of irresistible beckonings across the album. With its bluesy air handing onto the scuzzy energy of My Lai Massacre the release is already a notable array of well crafted and blended flavours. Off of a pulsating and tingling electrified presence from guitar and bass the third song on the release is an exploratory handling of catchy invigorating riffs and rhythms punctuated with continually agreeable vocals and air blistering guitar imagination. The track has a smooth organic feel through all the manipulations and conjuring before the ear whilst the lyrics not exactly cutting offer a direct and open view.

The moment the heart was truly captured came as the title track takes its place before the ear, though it will be individual to all. From its opening incendiary guitar exploits the song steps into a hypnotic shadowed side street of glorious prowling basslines and wickedly tinted vocals. The beats keep the pace urgent and eager as the song storms with wonderful rages of stirring riffs and melodic hooks so impressively that even the continual thoughts of Rebel Yell cannot deflate the thrill of the song. The track is the point the band show their willingness to play with and venture into unexpected pastures and spicery to create something unique to them which they successfully do, yes there is probably nothing openly new but no one has combined and twisted it the way Dead City Ruins does so magnificently across the album.

The song is the beginning of a trio of outstanding highlights on the album. The obviously tinted Blues follows with a magnetic slow swagger and mesmeric breath to simply spark the strongest addiction. It is one of those songs which crawls mischievously through every pore to envelope one in a consuming warmth lined with aural entrapment so before you realise you are hooked for life. This glorious piece of songwriting is followed by another gem in Go To War. The song is less involved than the previous two but simply sparks up the senses with raging riffs and explosive guitar ventures. It is just unbridled rock n roll to feast upon with the added bonus of an excellent punk ending vocally Mr Lydon would be proud of.

Completed by the stomping and easy going Highway Girl and the excellent Fallen with the bass leaving us with one more gnarly orgasm of sound, Midnight Killer is just one of the most pleasurable rock albums to excite the ear this year. It is a release which lights up the senses whilst marking Dead City Ruins as possibly being one of the most important bands to emerge for the future of hard rock.

RingMaster 09/07/2012

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States of Matter: The Scheme of Things

If you are looking for some new and exciting rock sounds then maybe head over to the debut album from UK band States of Matter. With a flavoursome mix of classic and hard rock with extra spices from far and wide The Scheme of Things will more than feed the demands and senses of rock fans everywhere. Eight tracks of enthusiastic and finely crafted rock n roll it is hard to imagine many that will not be wrapped up within its energised eagerness immediately and permanently. To be honest classic and hard rock with very few exceptions fly by our tastes only receiving a cursory glance at best but this little enthused piece of sound has had a few secretive and furtive returns on top of just around the review.

Formed in September 2011, the quintet from Bournemouth is as new as the sounds they rustle up with skill and strength. Taking influences from the likes of and as wide as Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Yellowcard, Ray Charles, and Kids In Glass Houses, they have taken no time in grabbing attention with live shows around the south of England and their debut video for opening song on the album Skyline. Filmed at Bristol Filton Airport earlier in the year it offers all you need to know about States of Matter and The Scheme of Things.

Skyline emerges on a wave of electronic atmosphere as a sizzling guitar lights up its skies with a fine display of melodic invention. The song builds up its elevated presence before reaching a plateau of powerful riffs and boisterous energy which finds an even more enthused intensity within the excellent infectious chorus. The track is an immediate hook from the album, an invitation into its arms that is impossible to resist. The vocals of George Holloway are impressive and easily fit the stylish sounds surrounding him, backed by great group vocals throughout the song.

As indicated in the opener the guitars of Harrison Perks and Richard Couchman are another element of the songs which one cannot fail to be impressed with, the following Jeez Louise sealing the opinion with some fine and imaginative play from both. The song is a definite favourite on the album, another irresistible slice of strong songwriting and its contagious unleashing. Though not always as openly heard as one would like on the more raucous tracks, the bass of Iain Sheppard is a brooding growl behind the song, his obvious ability adding a groove behind the scorched guitar sounds.

The album as it progresses reveals a diversity of sound and intent which is to be admired especially as the band pulls it off each and every time. The power ballad Cassiopeia is an emotive feast for the ear of passion fuelled piano and guitar majesty, the track rising and dipping in intensity like a heavy hearted chest. The power and reach of the song explores beyond the ear to wrap tightly around senses and emotions, a masterful piece of composing brought forth with further passion.

The eighties rock flavouring of Hot Of The Press adds another taste to the album and though it is not as striking as the trio of songs before it, classic rock fans will love its easy and anthemic sounds. The track, alongside Shotaway and the closing Hit For Six, did not quite find the appeal as elsewhere here but that is down to personal taste only and the dislike of the genre that spines them. They are like the medicine that you know is good for you but has a taste that makes one reluctant to take it, for those that love older rock sounds they will drool over them.

The remaining two songs on the album are the soulful Only Lovers Left Alive with a great southern twang to its provocative charms and the excellent The Casual Company. With a splatter of sleaze to its bluesy rock stance it has a splash of Wasted Sinners to it that draws one in eagerly. The rhythms of Lloydi Gee Pearson throw the ear into a frenzied state as the bass and guitars twist and turn with exuberance and ingenuity. The track is real rock n roll brought by real rock n rollers and pure pleasure.

If you love your classic and hard rock you will adore States of Matter and if not you will still find more than enough satisfying and imaginative things within The Scheme of Things to have a great time in its company, we did.

Ringmaster 16/05/2012 Registered & Protected

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Peepshow: Brand New Breed

For all those with a fervour for the likes of Black Veil Brides, Duff McKagan’s Loaded, Backyard Babies and CrashDiet then new rock n roll rebels Peepshow will be right up your eager veins, even more so if you like a good twist of the likes of My Chemical Romance, Wasted Sinners and Motley Crue to spice things up. Juices dribbling from the corner of your anticipation?…then the new album from the band, Brand New Breed is ready to satisfy.

Brand New Breed is the follow up to the self released and acclaimed debut album from the Scottish quintet of vocalist Johnny Gunn, guitarists Rusty Gill and Dagan, bassist Hex, and Hammy on drums. From its success and praise the band moved on to supporting the likes of Duff McKagan’s Loaded, Backyard Babies, and CrashDiet, an obvious natural and ultimately successful fit. The latter of the three bands were so impressed that they had Gunn co-write three songs for their most recent album Generation Wild.

Having to date not heard their debut, we have been reliably informed that Brand New Breed moves their sound on to a fuller and more mature level without losing their eager and irrepressible energy and attitude. Less antagonistic and more melodically driven too has been mentioned especially with the addition of keys to their sound bringing a slightly more symphonic and expansive feel. What is evident is the new album is an insatiable feast of rock music which leaves no one in doubt of the adrenaline driven energy and craft it is borne from.

From an atmospheric awakening intro hailing something striking and formidable approaching, which many bands are now employing in differing styles it seems,  the album erupts with the first single from the album Let Go, an impressive and irresistible opener to excite and rile up senses and emotions. Its electro start does not quite reveal the energised attack to follow though the band soon put that right as the fine vocals of Gunn lay satisfying upon the ear. There is a slight Wednesday 13 edge to his vocals though the smoother bulk of his delivery sets him apart and ahead of most . With riffs pumping up the blood with great power and the rhythms of Hammy firm without being combative it is an instant highlight to the release.

Live Free Or Die swoops in straight after with equal satisfaction.  With pure anthemic power and a muscular hard rock vein the track leaves one struggling not to join its call. The keys sway within the stiffer aggression adding acute warmth to the insistent song. The track chugs like a veteran rock song whilst bristling with fresh and youthful exuberance making an infectious pleasure something the description and result can be placed upon the following excellent Trouble. Arguably the best song on the release it lights up the ear with sharp melodies and an acidic solo that leaves sparks in its wake.

Peepshow is unafraid to and are skilled at mixing things up in sound and delivery too, with the likes of the stomping classic rock fuelled Only A Dream,  power ballad Feed On Me, and the full emotive slow burner Irreversible, showering the ear with strong and varied creativity. The third of these is a masterful display from Gunn, he is a vocalist that will light up many songs and hearts over the time to come.

With more powerful songs like Suffer, the outstanding and contagious title track with a bass from Hex to make knees buckle, and the belligerent Waking The Dead, bringing the album to a close it fulfils all needs from the senses from start to finish. Muscular without being destructive and catchy without losing credibility, Brand New Breed is a fine and pleasing album that will find an eager swarm of hands and ears heading its way upon its release on May 28th.

Peepshow does  not make the kind of music that gets first choice on our daily playlist but with Brand New Breed they might just change that.

RingMaster 15/05/2012 Registered & Protected

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Wasted Sinners – Unleashed And Dangerous

Suffering from a lack of straight from the heart sleazy rock ‘n’ roll? Then fret no longer as UK rockers Wasted Sinners are here to fill the gap with their deeply infectious sounds and attitude derived from influences like Hanoi Rocks and Motley Crue. There is also a strong tinge of Guns ‘N’ Roses to the band’s music but not wanting to give any negativity (though I am sure the band will welcome the comparison) to what is an impressive debut mini-album from Wasted Sinners, that is the last we will mention them.

Unleashed And Dangerous is an extravaganza of honest and exuberant rock music with harder tones in all the right places. It riles up and excites with six tracks that show the strong and varied range of the band from out and out rockers to more defined melodic rock ballads, all destined to please and satisfy all classic and hard rock fans everywhere. To be fair the album does not explode with anything distinctly brand new to add to the genre but instead uses the band’s obvious influences to create a release that pulsates, throbs, and triggers off the juices.

London based Wasted Sinners began in 2008 when long time friends Dude Rock and Pete Sin, bass and drums respectively began rehearsing together. This inspired the realisation that they had to form a band as they began adding lyrics and melodies to their rhythms. After a while vocalist Roxx Hydi linked up and things began to really gel. After going through a few guitarists the talents of Gary Dainty (Dainty Rockstar) was found and added to put everything in place to start their quest to inspire the world with their rock sounds.  The end of 2009 saw the band record Unleashed And Dangerous with producer Bill Gautier and this December 12th sees the unveiling of its irrepressible and addictive sounds. The time between its recording and the album’s release was marked by the departure of Pete Sin in 2010 and his welcome return early this year to bring the original line-up back in force. With work already happening on new songs for imminent recordings Unleashed And Dangerous will pave the way for what one suspects is an unbridled wave of further enthused anticipation and following. 

If you are looking for ear bashing and senses pummelling sounds this is not the release for you, the songs from the opener  ‘Fakeness’ right through to the album’s last note, simply tease and toy with classic rock sounds to eagerly devour. With an added glam rock sensibility and hard rock power every song no matter its form of attack is an exceedingly rewarding experience. Starting on a rampant drum roll the track and its scorching guitars, leap into the ear with a stylish swagger matched by the great bragging tones of Hydi. It is also the first indication of the great throbbing bass from Dude Rock, his skilful lines and play even more prominent on the subsequent songs.

The great start to Unleashed And Dangerous is raised further by the direct and uncompromising ‘One Night’, uncompromising in the fact it just mercilessly leaps into and captures the ear then boastfully parades its trophy around on unrepentant contagious riffs and hypnotic concise guitar strikes. Two rock ballads ‘Questions’ and ‘I’m Fallin’ sandwich the release’s best track in ‘I Want More’, the first an emotive and powerful song that displays the certain writing skills of Wasted Sinners and the band’s ability to slow down their energy without losing its effect. The second of the two is a heavily G’N’R’ (damn that slipped out) flavoured song and maybe explains why though it is a strong and solid song it did not grab as deeply as the others.

As mentioned ‘I Want More’ is the standout song, though closely challenged by ‘One Night’. Making its presence known upon a glorious rumbling bassline soon followed by cutting chugging guitars the song is an instantaneous web of catchy hooks and anthemic chorus. It is the simplest song on offer but it is impossible to find any resistance to the melodic contagion it comes with.

Closing with ‘Drugs And Angels’ and its straightforward heartfelt blast of rock ‘n’ roll, Unleashed And Dangerous is a complete joy which the more one give it access to their ears the deeper it ingrains its charms, even to the point of waking with the chorus and basslines of its best track ringing around the head. There is only one thing to say, go check out Wasted Sinners, now!

RingMaster 29/11/2011 Registered & Protected


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