Scream Blue Murder – Rock Bottom

Certainly with their debut album three years back, metallers Scream Blue Murder more than teased our attention; a release which coaxed strong praise around the metalcore scene. Now the band has just uncaged its predecessor and the teasing upon our personal attention is over, replaced by a forceful grip from an encounter which confirms the Coventry quartet one as one of the UK’s most striking proposition.

Formed in 2014, Scream Blue Murder quickly gained eager support through their first EP, a release leading to the band signing with Stay Sick Recordings. It was that debut full-length two years later which really stirred things up, Hollow Stories a collection of imagination soaked and boldly delivered songs. Since its success, the band has toured the USA three times and cross EU/UK countless times sharing stages with the likes of Bury Tomorrow, Crossfaith, Of Mice And Men, We Are The Ocean, Cancer Bats, The Defiled, I, The Breather, With One Last Breath, The Red Chord and so many more. Rock Bottom though is a whole new ball game, the new strength and maturity in songwriting matched by the new depth of adventure and imagination fuelled its tracks.

The album opens with Death Sentence, Aaron Bloomer‘s easily engaging vocals kissed by a warm melody in the song’s shadows. It is a potent invitation which soon catches light as the song looms nearer and erupts in a fiery melodic metal roar. Intensity and aggression soon joins the growing tempest, but one which ebbs and flows in its assault as the band’s melodic and harmonic prowess entangles the core volatility of the encounter.  As it expands its landscape atmospheric intimation brings another compelling exploration within the already infectious proposition, the guitar of Jack Roddy constantly shaping and entangling the inescapable tempting with rich enterprise.

Inside follows and immediately confronts and trespasses the senses, the hefty swings of drummer Jamie Bloomer driving its incursion. Even so, the invasive proposal is infectiously wired, again raw and clean vocals to the core of a virulence embracing the untamed nature of some of the surrounding sounds. Jacob Houghton’s bass adds a thick moodiness as well as its own rousing endeavour, the song all the while, as its predecessor, aligning mellow and melodic intimation with metal irritability and creative hostility.

The album’s title track and new single lays out its own particular magnetism next, Rock Bottom eventually seeing its opening melancholic sea bubbling up with harsher emotion and intensity. Every wave crashes in with instinctive catchiness amidst intimate self-reflection, drama soaking every note and syllable before recent single Bury Me eclipses its haunting success with unbridled virulence. Bass and guitar collude in a swiftly tempting web of riffs and grooves but a mere twist in the emerging landscape of imagination and enterprise creating one of the album’s major highlights. Every angle of the song is devious in its captivation and incitement, anxiety and angst soaking the fluid union of prickly attitude, spirited aggression, and calm repose.

Light It Up is just as dramatic and potent straight after, it too equipped with inescapable hooks and delicious grooves within a tapestry of texture varied adventure. Easily the most infectious moment within the release despite the contagious might of so many others, the song just manipulated and enslaved participation from body and throat whilst relishing the band’s open imagination does miss the target yet with its tetchy air and keys bred melodic climate offering plenty to become engaged in, striding rhythms and vocal contemplation adding to its persuasive fuel, it leaves thick satisfaction in its wake before The Anchor offers up its own inventive web, rancor and splenetic emotion lining its harsher threads alongside causticity less catchiness. It too took a touch longer to fully tempt but with a rousing chorus and individual flair constantly uniting for a rich recipe of sound it left little else to be desired.

A new harshness and irascibility soaks the latter part of the album, Friends Like Judas ear grabbing proof yet that fractious increasing does nothing to diminish the instinctive catchiness of songs and choruses which just light up the senses. Another big highpoint within Rock Bottom, it leaves a hunger for more in its wake as it makes way for the equally imposing and spitefully enticing Over the Line where every dynamic breath and inventive turn left another layer of praised for release and band.

Victims of Violence completes the line-up of pleasures, its haunting intimation and threat soon a fertile tempest of craft and emotive volatility whilst providing a striking and thrilling end to a just as potent release.

There is something familiar about the Scream Blue Murder sound at times across Rock Bottom yet it is hard to define and is more than tempered by the bold uniqueness which surrounds it. From their more metalcore beginnings, the band has evolved a rich multi-flavoured sound which inspires as it thrills. The fact that it feels like Scream Blue Murder are still to fully tap into their potential means it is hard not to be rather excited for times ahead whilst enjoying this triumph of a release.

Rock Bottom is out now via Stay Sick Recordings; available @ https://screambluemurderofficial.bigcartel.com/

Upcoming live dates…

May 17th – Coventry – Kasbah (Hometown show)

May 18th – Kingston – Fighting Cocks

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Pete RingMaster 01/05/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

First Signs Of Frost – The Shape Of Things To Come

Pic Ben Ashton

The Shape Of Things To Come is the first EP since British rock band First Signs Of Frost emerged from a hiatus a couple of years back; its title as much a declaration of the fresh blossoming sound and creative chapter within the band as the themes it explores across five absorbing tracks.

Formed in 2004, the quartet of guitarist/vocalist Owen Hughes-Holland, guitarist Adam Mason, drummer Will Gates, and bassist Dan Oehlman grabbed keen attention with their debut EP, In Our Final Chapter. 2007 saw Daniel Tompkins join up as lead vocalist before the acclaimed release of first album Atlantic and a period see the band play alongside the likes of Deaf Havana, Enter Shikari, Architects, You Me At Six, We Are The Ocean, Senses Fail, Devil Sold His Soul and many more. Before the fuss had settled around the release, Tompkins left to join TesseracT. His departure left a gap the band struggled to fill; thus their hiatus until Hughes-Holland resurrected the band in 2015. Linking up with Mason again as well as bassist Andy C Saxton (ex-Cry For Silence), vocalist Daniel Lawrence (ex-Kenai / All Forgotten), and drummer Alex Harford, the London quintet immediately sought to explore and push their sound to new imaginative heights with The Shape Of Things To Come the first glimpse of their success.

Immersing inspirations from the likes of Deftones, Tool, Further Seems Forever, and Glassjaw into their invention, First Signs Of Frost swiftly lures ears with opener Meat Week. Its atmospheric calm is a quick enticement, the gentle caress of guitar a matching lure before the brooding air also there sparks a bolder expulsion of sound. Lawrence’s vocals immediately impress, his melodic expression matched by the colluding warm and wiry textures of the sounds around him. An infectious energy is equally as persuasive within the song, every element bold without being forceful but making a strongly emotive and technically alluring temptation on ears and imagination.

The following White Flag potently backs up the great start; its enterprise similarly resourceful and ear catching without making over aggressive trespasses upon the senses. There is elegance to the First Signs Of Frost sound which charms as the craft of the individuals captivates; again making for a gentle almost smouldering seduction carried in a contagious and skilfully conjured proposal.

Latest single Look Alive Sunshine is next up with its own individual melodic rock venture veined by djent scented progressive metal intricacies. There is jaggedness which bites as the vocals and melodies hug the senses; a union which grips and lingers even if the song just fails to touch the plateau of its predecessors before the evocative climate and atmospheric ambience of Atlantis drifts in with the superb vocals of Lawrence and keys to the fore. An instinctive emotional intensity rises within the song, simmering down again before repeating its cycle within the graceful serenade.

The EP closes with Sharks; it too an initially serene coaxing but one soon revealing its djent nurtured teeth and creative volatility within a subsequent sea of melodic and technical but emotionally inflamed tranquillity. It is a fine end to a fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable release. The Shape Of Things To Come feels like the first step towards something bigger and bolder but is a full pleasure in its own right; a mix which makes First Signs Of Frost a band which just has to be followed closely.

The Shape Of Things To Come is out now via Basick Records and available @ https://basick.supplies/collections/first-signs-of-frost or http://music.basickrecords.com/album/the-shape-of-things-to-come

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Pete RingMaster 15/08/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Rhyn – Absence EP

Rhyn Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

With an emotive potency to match a rich tapestry of sound, the Absence EP from British alternative rock quartet Rhyn, is an encounter which simply makes ears stand up and pay attention. That is merely on the first play, subsequent listens revealing new depths and imagination which ensures it becomes an increasingly impressive proposal. It starts with a bang, mellows out into a less forceful but certainly engaging seduction before offering a song which simply ingrains itself in thoughts and emotions. Absence is a release which warrants persistent attention offering accumulating rewards in return.

Formed in 2010, Rhyn hails from Buckinghamshire and initially emerged as the trio of lead vocalist/pianist Chris Black, guitarist/vocalist Guy Johnston, and bassist Dan Marr. After the release of their first demo, the band expanded to four, going through many drummers until finding in 2012 the right one to stabilise the line-up in Rhys Coombs. Video/single Finite Bodies sparked an increase of attention with its release in 2014, the band feverishly backing it live across London before last year heading into the studio with producer Jason Wilson (You Me At Six, Fightstar, We Are The Ocean) to record the Absence EP. Luring comparisons in different ways to bands such as Biffy Clyro, Muse, and Nirvana, the foursome show with their latest encounter that their sound has its own individual character too, one unafraid to roar or sombrely explore emotive reflections.

Rhyn Cover Artwork_RingMaster ReviewThe EP opens with the rousing incitement of Elegy. Instantly a wall of eager riffs and punchy rhythms descend on ears, stirring up an appetite which is only increased by the great vocal drama and expression of Black as well as the unpredictable nature of the music around him. It is easy to understand the Muse references as an imposing rhythmic shuffle colludes with a web of guitar courted by captivating bass predation. Managing to be aggressive and experimental in a single moment, a raw seducing aligned to boisterous rock ‘n’ roll in another, and that is just a couple of aspects of the gripping and inventive landscape of the song, it has the imagination enthralled and ears fascinated from start to finish; it the kind of majestic anthem which bands are marked by.

The following Fall Away is equally energetic but with a mellower climate to its emerging croon. The keys of Black lay an emotive hand on ears as rhythms again find a skittish quality to their bait, whilst vocals once more impressively bring the heart of the song out, Johnston as potent as Black. Such the potency of its predecessor, the song was bound to slip a touch for personal tastes yet its melodic elegance and sonic craft leaves only a rich enjoyment which is echoed by Finite Bodies straight after. Keys lay a classically coloured coaxing before ears from its first breath, guitar and vocals adding their emotional hues into the embrace swiftly after. There is a fire to the song even then though which simmers and bursts into bolder life as it broadens its almost volatile nature and boldness.

Victory reinforces the satisfaction gained so far into its almost prowling incitement of ears, providing another surge of sonic theatre and emotive angst in thick flames of sound. It too is seamless in its merging of calmer explorations and feisty eruptions, spawning a catchiness which proves to be a constant in the band’s songs and has the listener as fully involved as the creativity breeding each encounter within Absence.

A slow burner that only becomes more persistent with every listen; it is unavoidably over shadowed by the outstanding might of The Only Place. The best track on the release, its opens with a croon of celestial keys and harmonic anguish which again draws swift thoughts of Muse. A rhythmically sparked energy slowly brews from that first breath too, erupting from a sombre sigh into a contagion of hooks and a melodic roar driven by the rich tones of Black. Imagining Faith No More doing a Bond theme is a hint to the scintillating chorus and thick weave of textures at play on ears and imagination. The likes of Porcupine Tree and The Palms equally can be suggested as a clue to the superb arousal of the senses, but again what emerges is something simply and masterfully Rhyn.

Concluded by the pleasing acoustic serenade of Believe In Ghosts with Black simply magnetic, the Absence EP is the declaration of a band ready to climb up into richer spotlights of attention. From its first moment to last, the release compels attention giving full enjoyment in return, with two particular moments which as good as leave ears awe struck.

The Absence EP is available from February 19th @ http://music.rhyn.eu/album/absence

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Pete RingMaster 18/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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This City Limits – Here’s To Hoping

This City Limits Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

Much as recent single Too Scared To Swim took its time to seduce and fully tempt, so too does the new EP from UK melodic punks This City Limits. As that first teaser for its release, Here’s To Hoping ultimately succeeds in awakening a very healthy appetite for and strong enjoyment of its vibrant clutch of songs. This City Limits has a sound which maybe is unlikely to blow ears away first time around, but it rouses attention, tempts further investigation, and as found at The RR, becomes a lingering enticement; a success any band would embrace with eagerness.

Formed in 2014, the Leeds band consists of brothers Will (vocals, guitar) and George Turner (guitar), alongside Rob Burns (bass) and Josh Peters (drums). Their debut EP Brittle Brass & Broken Bone raised potent attention which was further inflamed by the singles, Amputate, Colourblind, and most of all, the aforementioned Too Scared To Swim. Each has lured fan and media attention, good radio play too which is sure to continue as Here’s To Hoping works its charms. Produced by James Hill, the EP is an accomplished slice of pop ‘n’ roll with attitude and steely endeavour its fuel.

This City Limits Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review   It begins with Thief and an immediate tempting of melodic guitar amid an emotive wash of sound. That parts as the enjoyable vocals of Will bring harmonic warm and emotional reflection to the emerging hug of gentle sound, though both aspects soon brew up into a fiery nature and flame brightly against the darker hues of bass. It is a magnetic affair luring ears and imagination with ease, even if maybe not exploding fiercely enough in its angst lined expulsions of passion. Growing with every passing minute in potency and impressiveness, the track seizes an appetite for its enterprise before allowing the infectious rousing of Too Scared To Swim to stir things up even more. With understated but strong hooks lining the melodic and harmonic walls of the certain crowd pleaser, the song canters along with a feel good factor in its heart and feisty nature to its energy, resulting in a stroll of pop punk to get fully involved in.

The calmer emotive croon of Runaway follows; its air intense and melodies inflamed whilst passion runs through it. Without setting a major fire, ears and emotions find themselves coaxed and drawn into the heart of the song, more often than not, vocal chords adding plaintive tones to those of the band as the track makes a smouldering and infectious persuasion. Equally there is no escaping the individual skills of band members; from vocals to guitar, bass to drums, each texture and imaginative twist is built for seduction as shown again by the final pair of tracks.

Neither song ignite personal tastes as fully as those before them yet with its provocative vocal and sonic hues aligned to robust rhythms, Saltwater fascinates and fully pleases whilst the melancholic serenade of So This Is Home, from a string blessed initial sigh, grows into a tenaciously dramatic and dynamic outpouring of craft and sound. It is fair to say that both songs only leave satisfaction full and enjoyment gripped, a success now expected as a minimum from any This City Limits endeavour.

Each listen to Here’s To Hoping leaves it impressing more but still there is feeling that they are in the midst of their journey to uniqueness and the realisation of all their potential. Theirs is a sound looking towards coming of age at some point, a potential and possibility ensuring each upcoming encounter will be keenly anticipated by a great many. Right now though, if bands like Mallory Knox, Lower Than Atlantis, and We Are The Ocean appeal than This City Limits’ EP is very worthy of attention.

The Here’s To Hoping EP is released November 13th through all stores.

http://www.thiscitylimits.com   https://www.facebook.com/thiscitylimits   https://twitter.com/ThisCityLimits

Pete RingMaster 13/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Eva Plays Dead – Sounds of the Written Word

EPD Light-7468_RingMaster Review

UK rockers Eva Plays Dead have been stirring up plenty of attention and praise loaded support over the past couple of years through a potent live presence and a host of songs and debut album fuelled by with impressing adventure and the potential of even greater things to come. The Sounds of the Written Word EP continues the band’s potent emergence and evolution of sound with five rousing slices of undiluted rock ‘n’ roll. It is an encounter which confirms the Nottingham/Derby bred quartet as ones to watch and to find plenty of flavoursome enjoyment with, but also suggests that they are still only at the beginnings of exploring their creative depths.

Formed in the January of 2013, Eva Plays Dead weave inspirations from the likes of The Dirty Youth, LostAlone, Marmozets, Joan Jett, and QOTSA into their diversely spiced sound. Thick strains of metal, hard and alternative rock, and even punk are entangled and fused together as proven by the band’s new encounter, which relentlessly entices and holds attention. Live the band has frequently drawn acclaim too whilst supporting the likes of We Are The Ocean, LostAlone, Max Raptor, Canterbury, and also across their own country wide tours. The band’s 2013 album Guilt Trips & Sins equally drew its plaudits though it took the single of earlier this year, Wonderland to spark and lure in the increasing focus of the likes of Team Rock and Kerrang. The song was a rich taster of Sounds of the Written Word which itself is already creating a bit of a feisty stir since its release via SoundHub Records.

EP Artwork_RingMaster Review     The EP opens with Live Again and a rich torrent of fiery riffs, pungent rhythms, and a sonic enticing impossible to ignore. In fact the whole song is a wall of persuasion, especially once the rich voice and expressive delivery of Tiggy Dee joins the muscular party. Her tones wrap syllable and ears with tenacious seduction yet carries a raw edge which only adds to the aggressively creative enterprise of sound around her. The guitar of Matt Gascoyne is just as lively in its imagination and craft, its melodies and Dee’s siren-esque roar in turn trapped by the masterful and fiercely magnetic rhythmic cage cast by bassist Zach Shannon and drummer Seb Boyse.

The tracks’ bluesy air and hard rock enticing continues in the more predatory Bad Girl, the song with the sinister persuasive lure of a temptress prowling the listener musically and vocally. It is dark, dirty, and a weave of sonic resourcefulness seeded in classic and alternative rock. As its predecessor, the song is firmly infectious whether roaring with full passion or delving into more concentrated tapestries of thick texture and invasive spicing. It easily continues the strong start to the release, though both songs get outshone by Wonderland. From its first dark rumble, the track is sheer addictiveness, riffs and grooves a flirtatious confrontation over the anthemic twist of rhythms and subsequently stalking beats. Dee again sits astride the magnetic drama at play, her voice attitude fuelled yet with a raw regal air as the equally riveting sounds dance around her with bright invention and raucous energy. It is no surprise that the song stirred up ears and appetites as a single as here it pretty much steals the show, though it is quickly rivalled by the closing pair of songs on the EP.

We Ain’t A Family uncages its own virulent hooks and tangy grooves in short time, rhythms showing more restraint amidst the melody rich proposal though again the bass finds an intimidating snarl to drool over. Like the last track, it shows an eagerness to explore an undulating landscape of ideas and evolving sound, crescendos of energy and skilful ebbing and flowing of intensity and passion alone an enthralling tempting.

Final track 1950’s Woman has a similar template to the previous pair but finds its own individual character within a familiar bellow of rigorous sound and bewitching vocal theatre. The song maybe does not define its distinctiveness as much as others on the EP, but when it leaves ears basking, imagination smiling, and emotions hungry for more, there is little more you can ask of it.

There is definitely the sense that Eva Plays Dead has more in the locker than shown on Sounds of the Written Word which only makes their future something to keenly anticipate. This is a band to keep close attention on with an EP to thoroughly enjoy.

Sounds of the Written Word is available now via SoundHub Records through most online stores

http://www.evaplaysdead.com/     https://www.facebook.com/EvaPlaysDead

RingMaster 31/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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This City Limits – Too Scared To Swim

This City Limits Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

It is quite rewarding when a song does not initially make a big impact but leaves something behind, a lingering and persistent nudge saying ‘hold up, you might be missing out on something here’. So it was with Too Scared To Swim, the single from UK melodic punks This City Limits. It was certainly an enjoyable first meeting or two, but something continued to nag from it, elements repeating in the mind when away from its presence to lure attention back. It still does not compete as one of our very favourite songs uncaged this summer, but it ensures, whilst constantly pleasing ears, that the band’s upcoming second EP will be under close scrutiny.

Formed last year, the Leeds hailing quartet of brothers Will (vocals, guitar) and George Turner (guitar), Rob Burns (bass) and Josh Peters (drums) quickly made a potent statement with their debut EP Brittle Brass & Broken Bone. It easily lured the appetite of a growing number of fans with its potency, backed by the single Amputate which in turn stirred up greater media attention across national press and radio. Now it is the turn of James Hill produced Too Scared To Swim, as mentioned ahead of a new EP later this year, to rouse up national awareness with the support of a summer of shows and festival spots.

Vocals and guitars instantly descend on ears as the song opens up, both cast with emotion and open craft. Bass and drums are quickly there too, stirring up air and appetite with their feistier endeavour and attitudes as the melodic acidity and lure of the song blossoms a provocative and potent proposal. There are few big surprises in the song yet its contentment in switching its intensity and attack around is enjoyable and seamless. It has all the hallmarks of accomplished songwriting and skilled interpretation, two traits increasingly open in This City Limits.

Exploring a creative avenue reminding of bands such as Mallory Knox and We Are The Ocean at times, Too Scared To Swim suggests that This City Limits is still on the journey to find a standout sound distinct to them but they have found a presence and creativity which is not that far away. Maybe the new EP will unleash that next step, but if it is as likeable as Too Scared To Swim there will be few complaints anyway.

Too Scared To Swim is available from July 27th with accompanying video.

http://www.thiscitylimits.com/     https://www.facebook.com/thiscitylimits

RingMaster 27/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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THIS CITY LIMITS show their ‘Too Scared To Swim’.

This City Limits Promo Shot

Yorkshire based Melody-Punksters ‘This City Limits’ have hurled out their breathtaking new video and single ‘Too Scared To Swim’.

You can view the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=df4uKEVNf_Y&feature=youtu.be

Pitching the likes of ‘Brand New’ against modern British rock groups such as ‘Mallory Knox’, ‘Lower Than Atlantis’ and ‘We Are The Ocean’, ‘This City Limits’ serve up a delectable balance of musical power and energy, and sensitive melodic expression. ‘This City Limits’ genuinely offer a fresh take on the currently over-saturated punk-pop genre.

Formed last year and hailing from Leeds, the band consist of blood brothers Will Turner (Vocals, Guitar) and George Turner (Guitar), along with Rob Burns (Bass) and Josh Peters (Drums). Throughout 2014, the animated upstarts unveiled their debut four-track EP entitled ‘Brittle Brass & Broken Bone’, and last April, the quartet released the follow-up single, ‘Amputate’, which marked a turning point for the band, as they garnered attention from national press and radio. The band then spent the latter half of the year playing as many shows as possible, gathering support from Christian Carlisle of BBC Radio Sheffield and Tom Robinson of BBC 6 Music, and enhancing their ever growing fan-base.

This City Limits are now ready to up the ante with the release of their new single ‘Too Scared To Swim’, which was recorded at Steel City Studios with producer James Hill. The track is taken from the band’s second EP, which will be out later this year. ‘Too Scared To Swim’ is an enticing hook heavy affair brimming with alluring melodies and complete with driving guitar work and pounding drums. With shows and festival appearances lined up for the summer, the band are poised to make a name for themselves on the national scene by the end of the year.

THIS CITY LIMITS HAVE RELEASED ‘TOO SCARED TO SWIM’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=df4uKEVNf_Y&feature=youtu.be

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@thiscitylimits