The Vintage Calvinos – An Invitation To Infamy

Being engulfed in fascination for something is one of life’s pleasures and stepping into the kaleidoscopic world of An Invitation To Infamy is certainly both. The debut album from The Vintage Calvinos is an absorbing tapestry of sound and suggestion loaded with observation, insight, and a creative devilment which just gets right under the skin.

The band is the creation of song writer/bassist/vocalist David Baird who lured in some of the finest Scottish musicians to the Aberdeen based project and indeed, in the case of backing singer Xavia, literally just passing by talent of drawn to the pied piper-esque sounds coming through the windows of The Anatomy Rooms where the band was rehearsing. Together they have created a web of temptation in skilfully conjured word and multi-flavoured music which has the body swaying and imagination swinging in joyful enterprise and contemplation. From pop to indie, rock to folk and a host of numerous other spices, An Invitation To Infamy is a beautiful collusion drawn from the hearts of a collective of musical adventurers.

The instantly compelling rub of drama soaked strings as Prelude leaps upon ears and imagination sets the scene and tone of things to come, its vocal compulsion subsequently slipping into a warm slow waltz with a flowing energy which soon has hips leaning to and fro as guitars and strings engage with the romancing keys in entwining dulled yet potent percussive beats. The forcibly engaging piece leads into the waiting arms of Last Tango which opens with melodic drama somewhat akin to War of The Worlds. Its rich strains soon twist into a rolling stroll with more infectiousness than a viral cold and a net of creative intrigue which has ears and thoughts enslaved. Baird’s great vocals are more than matched by the backing of Xavia, both wrapped in the melodic dexterity of Paul Davidson’s guitar. With a second never wasted on predictability, the track is superb, almost reason enough alone to accept An Invitation To Infamy.

So Many People follows, the buzz of life breeding a slow carnival march, one seemingly infusing the tiredness of perpetually imposing life with the joy of being. Brass blows with an enticing clamour as rhythms throb, a welcoming cacophony parting for the melancholic spicing of Baird’s vocals and the stirring scythes of strings and in turn uniting for a creative throng which just magnetises the senses. Like a sonic pagan scented Lowry composition with a broader outlook, the track utterly seduces before new single You Are Always on My Mind infests the psyche. The striking coaxing of Mitsuki Takayama’s violin instantly grips, a hold tightening as the song evolves into a sixties pop scented canter. There is no resistance to its teasing temptations and lively catchiness, the quickly involved antics of body and vocal chords swift evidence. Davidson’s wall of keys is just as irresistible along with the theatre of strings and the rhythmic saunter of Baird’s bass and Fraser Peterkin’s drum beats.

The indie seduction of This Handsome Boy absorbs attention next. It is a track with a touch of Lightning Seeds to it at certain moments and pure pop contagion throughout led by the golden tones of Iona Macdonald and warm surges of brass expelled by trumpeter Bill Thompson, trombonist Denis Webb, and saxophonist Dave Carter. Sometimes there is something about it which feels quite familiar yet for no obvious reason as it floods ears with instinctive pleasure.

The album’s first single, No Room at The Inn released a couple of weeks ago, steps in to captivate straight after with its gentle stroll. Its proposal is low key, compared to other songs, but rich invitation into the album’s broadening musical and lyrical craft while Clouds smoulders with elegance and undiluted captivation. At times it sounds like a blend of Steely Dan and Weekend, a wistful seduction with intensity in its heart and an energetic adventure in its nature.

Through the haunting entrance and golden incestuous intimacy of Alice and the minimalistic but rich stirring of Lost, band and album continue to bewitch with adventurous diversity and creative revelry. Both tracks simply enthral whilst manipulating the body before Teardrops in My Eyes swaggers in with sorrowful melodies and sinful energy to reinforce the submission of ears and appetite before The Vintage Calvinos.

The dusky rock ‘n’ roll of Rock Dreams Part 2 is like a soundtrack to many of our musical upbringings and warm homage to its kings and quite irresistible as too after a magnetic instrumental reprise of No Room at The Inn, is closing track The Beautiful and the Damned. A shadow draped ballad to the lost and the lonely with the darkest outcome, the song is simply sultry aural beauty epitomising the craft and debut of The Vintage Calvinos.

With a host of other striking individual contributions involved in the collective creation of An Invitation To Infamy, all deserving recognition, the album is one of the year’s most essential encounters. The first listen is gold but only an appetizer to the delights and unbridled pleasures which follow with every subsequent union between ear and sound.

An Invitation To Infamy is released October 27th on Stereogram Recordings with the single You Are Always On My Mind out October 20th.

The album’s launch is to be held at Under The Hammer, North Silver Street, Aberdeen on Saturday 28th October 2017 from 2pm.

http://www.stereogramrecordings.co.uk/the-vintage-calvinos/    https://www.facebook.com/thevintagecalvinos/

Pete RingMaster 17/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Rat Fancy – Suck A Lemon EP

There is nothing artificial about the saccharine sound of Californian trio Rat Fancy or indeed excessively sweet yet a particular tooth is still a requirement for their sugary melodies and the intimate affability of their music. An instinctive almost sour look at life and its fake lures, often found in the Los Angeles climate the band springs from, ensures things never get too sickly and a similar underlying discordance to their music which ensures intrigue and unpredictability is a potent essence.  It all comes nicely together within Suck A Lemon; the band’s new captivating EP.

Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Diana Barraza (ex-Sweater Girls), guitarist/keyboardist Gregory Johnson, and drummer Gavin Glidewell and formed last year, Rat Fancy has already blessed 2017 with a trio of tracks via their Bandcamp. Each has been a fresh breeze of their shoegaze glazed indie pop now blowing even more eventfully within Suck A Lemon. Across the EP, the threesome resemble a fusion of eighties band Weekend and The Pixies with a light Belly-esque scent to it all; a mix emerging as something deceptively familiar yet distinct to Rat Fancy.

The release opens with I Can’t Dance To The Smiths Anymore and swiftly has ears drawn to its guitar jangle and the sweet tones of Barraza. Keys equally cast an amiable lure as the guitar weaves a magnetic twee toned melody; it all uniting in an infectiously lively serenade at times reminding of another British band from times past, The Freshies.

It is a bright and tempting start which is built upon by the more boisterous exploits of Five Fingers. Rhythms are a tenacious guide into the raw melody woven web of the song, everything from voice and sharp words to a wandering keys bred warble offering enticing hooks taking the EP to another level in no time.

It is a height backed up by the title track, the first of two versions found within Suck A Lemon. This first take has an energetic swing to its melodic carousel and bare sonic dance; a rawness which exposes all of their alluring attributes with honesty as Barraza’s vocals again captivate.

Beyond Belief is a gentle frank caress in sound and emotion with a smouldering melancholy in its charm while About You seduces with a Young Marble Giants like minimalism and beauty which with an emerging darker snarl to the guitars, takes best track honours. Both songs leave intrigue with a greedier focus; the second especially memorable even in its brief tenure of ears.

The EP closes with an equally impressive offering in a slower version of Suck A Lemon and boy does the already strong song blossom in this alternative guise. It is a siren of ears and imagination, so much more than simply a tempering of its earlier energy with Rat Fancy finding a richer presence and allure in its slimmer but more radiant variation.

Rat Fancy make a proper introduction to themselves with the Suck A Lemon EP, a thoroughly enjoyable encounter offering the promise of adventurously bright times ahead with the band.

The Suck A Lemon EP is out now through HHBTM Records and available @ https://ratfancy.bandcamp.com/album/suck-a-lemon and http://hhbtm.com/item.php?item_id=639

http://www.ratfancyla.com/    https://www.facebook.com/ratfancyla    https://twitter.com/ratfancyla

Pete RingMaster 12/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Capsules – Northern Lights & Southern Skies

The Capsules

If you are looking for a soundtrack for those sultry summer nights where you lay on the grass staring up at the stars contemplating then Northern Lights & Southern Skies from US electro pop band The Capsules is a more than suitable applicant for the position. It is not an album to ignite any hungry fires in the passions but as an emotive colour for your thoughts and feelings at that moment in time it certainly provides a satisfying backdrop.

Hailing from Kansas originally, now Dallas based, The Capsules emerged out of the band Shallow formed by Julie and Jason Shields, the pair a couple in high school who went on to marry and unite musically. Drummer Kevin Trevino was brought in for the new incarnation of their musical creativity and the trio soon drew strong attention and acclaim through their sounds, recordings, and shows, including fans such as SpongeBob SquarePants creator Steven Hillenburg who asked them to write a song for the show. Northern Lights & Southern Skies comes after three previously successful and well received albums, and shows alongside the likes of The Flaming Lips, Garbage, Mercury Rev, and Low. It sees a different emphasis rather than direction to their music with the band moving away more from guitar sculpted songs to electronic and keys bred persuasions. At times the album is mesmeric company, with the distinct vocals of Julie a warm and eager embrace on the ear, but also it can drift over the senses without any lingering impact, though those moments still wrap a pleasing warm evocative arm around the reflective shoulder.

Opening track Across The Sky instantly brings an eager but restrained stroll of electro pop energy and warm atmospherics 579064_10151282738766346_27646499_naround the ear, the whispering almost stark air of the song a background to the throaty bass enticement and electronic shimmering around the vocals of Julie. Suggested here and reinforced across the album, there is a bewitching lure to her voice which seduces like a mix of Alison Statton (Young Marble Giants/Weekend) and Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays), and musically at times the release also offers glimpses of their bands. It is an enchanting sound which glides through the songs with a sultry narrative to unite with thoughts and emotions whilst musically, especially on this first song, the band envelope her potent delivery with equally persuasive sounds.

     From The Start steps forward next with the bass of Jason a singular lure alongside the voice of Julie before things open up slightly. As heated guitar sculpting lights the smouldering croon of the song and electro snatches tease the gentile ambience it is a pleasing sway of invention which is soon left in its place by the fiery Our Apocalypse. This track sizzles with electro electricity whilst rhythmic provocation is firm if not forceful, but once more the vocals weave their charms around the evocative suggestiveness to offer sirenesque bait from within the song. As with all it is not a song which lays the deepest hooks into the passions but still easily commands attention and full keen focus whilst in its vibrant company.

Through the likes of the cantering With Signs Repeating with its fluidity in creating graceful melodic flames around rhythmic protests, the excellent and tantalising Time Will Only Tell with again the bass and drums framing the melodic temptation with understanding and punchy appetite reminiscent of The Cure, and the post punk tasting Test Drive The Other Side, the album continues to engage the emotions with a sure and confident temptation, the last two of the three highlights of the release.

Where It All Begins is another excellent venture through sky bound exploration, melodic and vocal harmonies an angelic kiss across the irresistibility of the contagious swing and swagger of what is the best song on Northern Lights & Southern Skies. It leaves the senses and passions ignited for arguably the only real time, though consistently the album does leave nothing but energised reactions and pleasure in its wake, the engaging All At Once a definite creator of strong responses to confirm that claim.

Closing on the emotive sophistication of Magnetic Fields, the album provides a more than enriching experience which is easy to return to and pass on to others. The Capsules have not produced a release to leave you burning with fevered desire but for those warm teasing steamy evenings it makes for a very rewarding encounter.

http://www.thecapsules.com/

8/10

RingMaster 08/07/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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