Bag of Nickels – Amen

art_RingMasterReview

Amen is the first release since US rockers Bag of Nickels returned from a recent hiatus and an encounter to work neck muscles and hips. Creating an indie rock sound with a penchant for infectious hooks and rousing vocals, the Wilmington, Delaware bred band is not stretching boundaries with their new offering but it is certainly a release to light the day and heart.

Coming together in 1995, the life of Bag of Nickels has seen several breaks as its members worked on side and solo projects and to defuse the effect of “the grind of playing shows, working 9-5s, and inner turmoil.” The band’s previous albums, Soul Change and Mantequilla, coincided with potent local success and the earning of a strong live reputation which in time has seen the band venture into North Carolina and play several shows in New York.

Amen suggests a band returning from a break re-energised and with intent and the energy to stir up ears and bodies. Produced by Dennis Prado and co-produced and mixed with Grammy-award winning engineer Mike Tarsia, the album immediately gets to work with Hold Your Form. Riffs and whining guitars instantly grip ears as rhythms beat out a captivating lure. The bass is a great throaty element too, its dark grooves contrasting perfectly with the infectious vocal delivery and throbbing nature of the song. It is a great start to Amen quickly engaging body and appetite as familiar yet fresh hues escape the band.

The following Impurities wears more hard rock like essences with its less urgent but as rhythmically empowered character. Again guitars weave a web of enticement combining whining grooves and spicy melodies for two minutes of nothing less than highly enjoyable fun before making way for the Mike Tarsia Remix of Trapper Keeper. Without matching the snappy nature of its predecessors, the song slips easily through ears into an already keenly waiting appetite to hear what is next within Amen, pleasing with every second as the variety across the album blossoms and continues with the equally satisfying funk seeded and blues lined heart of The Set Up.

The rawer rock ‘n’ roll of Liquidation Sale forges a new peak within the album, its feistier melodies and rhythmic incitement compelling as again vocals impress and draw greater listener involvement while rhythms entice feet to share their energy.  More potent with every listen it still finds itself in the shadow of the excellent Speedball, a slice of fiery rock ‘n’ roll with hungry riffs and swinging beats not forgetting another juicily heavy and flirtatious bassline. There is a whiff of Foo Fighters meets The John Baker Trio to the track but as throughout the album any familiar essences collude with the band’s own invention and for the main are not so easy to pin them down.

The gentler hug of the album’s title track is next, guitars and harmonies a warm breeze across the evocative textures of bass and drums, vocals again drawing the imagination with their expression and words. The song is an enthralling encounter, another highlight with a volatility which sparks and erupts to fine effect across the album’s most exciting time, a success which continues to its close.

Amen is concluded by firstly the exotically hued Refrain, another mesmeric and rousing piece of melodic incitement matching the might and imagination of the previous song, and lastly with the bewitching adventure of Sex. Carrying a great XTC feel in their English Settlement era to it, the track glides through ears, stroking the imagination with its folkish yet boisterous melodies as another rhythmic escapade enslaves body and spirit.

Strong and enjoyable from the start but simply irresistible in its closing stretch, Amen easily warrants close attention from bigger spotlights. As suggested Bag of Nickels might not be venturing into unknown pastures with their album and sound but both leave a thick pleasure and keen want for more behind, a success many other bands can only dream of.

Amen is out now @ https://bagofnickels.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/BAG-OF-NICKELS-127836390586804/    https://twitter.com/bagnickelsband

Pete RingMaster 02/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Asylums – Killer Brain Waves

Photo by the Cool Thing Records sparkplug Kana Waiwaiku

Photo by the Cool Thing Records sparkplug Kana Waiwaiku

Amongst the most highly anticipated releases this year here in the office, maybe the most eagerly awaited was the debut album from UK sonic punksters Asylums. Having been hooked on the Southend-on-Sea hailing quartet’s frenetic and devilish jangle since being infested by Wet Dream Fanzine EP within the first throes of 2015, a more than keen and impatient appetite has been brewing and now we can say it has been well worth the hours pacing the floor waiting for Killer Brain Waves.

Taking a snap at any and everything with a mischievous smile on their creative faces, band and release is the kind of sonic devilment ears and music were evolved for. Offering twelve tracks which flirt and bite, tease and seduce, with an imagination and eccentricity found in Bedlam, Killer Brain Waves announces Asylums as one of music’s most essential and even more so irresistibly thrilling propositions. It is a collection of songs within which sarcasm and discontent are frequent visitors as too a virulent dose of humour and fun driven imagination. Musically, Asylums recall in heart and enterprise the likes of Swell Maps, The Dickies, and Supergrass. At times essences also remind of bands such as Weezer and We Are The Physics but as shown a dozen times over, all are hues in a devilry uniquely Asylums.

art_RingMasterReviewMixing a handful of treats from their previous EPs/singles with new slices of angular revelry, the foursome of vocalist/guitarist Luke Branch, guitarist Jazz Miell, drummer Henry Tyler, and bassist Michael Webster open up Killer Brain Waves with the mighty Second Class Sex. Its first breath brings a senses swamping tide of meaty rhythms and nagging riffs engaged in a toxicity of sound which simply infests the psyche. Though its spreads its body into a more expansive tempting, that energy never diminishes. Webster’s bass groans and growls in ears; a great lure matched by the swinging intent of Tyler as the swirling sonic seduction of the guitars lay their trap. With vocals just as potent and a touch of White Noise era XTC to the mix, it is a stunning start to the release, and one not losing a beat as I’ve Seen Your Face In a Music Magazine steps up next.

The second track is just as eager to invade body and thoughts, using a lower gear energy wise as a spicy wiry groove entangles ears and rhythms cast in another rousing and pulsating enticement. Melody and discord court the outstanding tone and delivery of Branch, each adding to the glorious trespass with a tangy hook just icing on the cake. New wave meets pop punk to give some clue to its ingenuity, the song departs so Joy In a Small Wage can share its ‘mellower’ charms. The track almost floats over the listener, keys washing its path though equally there is a darker edge in tone and another beguiling bassline to keep song and ears on their toes. That Weezer reference is arguably at its most potent here but again the result is, within a near perfect pop song, something belonging only to one band.

Bad Influence rumbles as it croons next, plaintive vocals and dirty riffs aligning with a heavy bass enticing to create another epidemic of swinging enterprise before the even more magnificent Wet Dream Fanzine leaps in. It is impossible not to join in with every Asylums song, and especially with this gem. Hips and instincts are grabbed straight away by the opening hook and swinging rhythms, vocal chords soon after as Branch leads a jangle of rhythmic agitation and funk infested bouncing clad in another fiercely tantalising weave of Miell’s sonic invention. A favourite since its appearance on that same named EP last year, the song continues to ignite tingles; as too the following The Death of Television. A nest of sonic vipers and stabbing beats, all with rebellious intent in their hearts, the song is one minute and twenty six seconds of creative agitation demanding similarly off kilter movement and involvement in return for its rare incitement.

The heavy punk ‘n’ roll of Monosyllabic Saliva comes next, its body a prowling beast tempered perfectly by the harmonic quality of Branch’s voice. Fuzzy with a thick feel to its atmosphere, the track is a brooding slice of pop rock veined by the ever insistent grooves and sonic tendrils escaping the guitars. Its dark tone is contrasted by the pop punk saunter of Born To Not Belong, a song which feels like it’s an already known friend as it makes its first proposal but simultaneously adds another string to the albums creative harp.

Necessary Appliances soon has ears greedy, the song twisting and turning with a more conservative sound compared to its companions but still unveiling a tapestry of imagination fuelled endeavour before Sunday Commuters and Missing Persons keep the thrills going. The first of the pair is another more controlled slice of pop rock with great sixties inspired harmonies taking the listener on a stroll of excitable rhythms and fuzz lined tempting while the second seduces with its Weezer/Supergrass hued canter around another commanding bassline and crisply landed beats.

The album closes with the outstanding punk raw challenge of Slacker Shopper, a grouchy and thickly aired proposal which as so many just hits the spot. The band’s most aggressive and irritable offering yet, it is a brilliant end to Killer Brain Waves providing a final new shade to their sound and invention, one we hope to hear more of. There is also a hidden track which we will call Butterfly just because the word is repeated most often. It too shows a fresh side to the Asylums sound; imagine the Beach Boys or Walker Brothers doing shoegaze and you get a hint of the great extra gift within the album.

We expected good things from Asylums with Killer Brain Waves but the album simply out does any expectations with ease. For fans and newcomers, Asylums and their first full-length are simply a must.

Killer Brain Waves is our now via Cool Thing Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/killer-brain-waves/id1105949093 and other stores.

http://www.asylumsband.com   https://www.facebook.com/asylumsuk   https://twitter.com/Asylumsband

Pete RingMaster 24/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Astral Cloud Ashes – Too Close to the Noise Floor

Album Art_RingMasterReview

With three attention grabbing and imagination sparking singles under the belt, Astral Cloud Ashes unveil debut album Too Close to the Noise Floor. It is a collection of songs which arouse and serenade the senses, often simultaneously as the project’s mesmeric songwriting and emotive melodic elegance seduces.

Astral Cloud Ashes is the new project of Jersey bred songwriter/musician Antony Walker, previously better known as one half of the Channel Islands hailing Select All Delete Save As. Having already created music under the name ALPA, amongst other monikers, Walker quickly sparked attention to his latest project last year with first single Too Close To The Noise Floor, the now title track to the new album. Primarily a solo project but with backing vocalist Jason Neil a permanent fixture in the band, Astral Cloud Ashes draws on inspirations ranging from The Cure, Bloc Party, Interpol, At the Drive In, Mars Volta, and Say Anything as well as flavours bred in indie and alternative rock/pop. Equally though, the album shows bold ventures into more progressive and post rock pastures without losing the instinctive catchiness and melodic romancing found in those earlier propositions.

Mixed across its tracks by Gareth [The Fold], Edd HartwellPaul Miles, Daniel Szanto,  and Walker himself, with the mastering undertaken by Tim Turan, Too Close to the Noise Floor opens with The Man I Had To Become. Instantly a temptation of bubbling guitar captures ears, the coaxing quickly joined by a wave of rhythmic jabbing and a thicker weave of melodic guitar and harmonious vocals. It is a gentle yet boisterous affair easily whipping up the imagination and spirit with Walker’s distinctive tones the mellow flame within a more combustible web of enterprise. It is a great mix which marked those early singles but already seems to have blossomed within the album into a more adventurous and confident entangling of the listener.

The great start is followed by the album’s title track, Too Close to the Noise Floor showing a rawer, more imposing energy as it takes the imagination into the intimacy and adventure of cosmonautics but equally involves “family values and unwanted first-world paranoia” in its energetically hugged theme. Punching its rhythmic and contagious essences home, it also carries a hazy climate to its atmosphere with the bass a deliciously throaty lure amongst nothing but virulent temptation. Embracing a XTC feel and Melvins like revelry, the track has body and appetite eagerly involved in swift time.

Grateful for the Ghost In Our House steps forward next and as the last track showed a more formidable presence to its predecessor, this song reveals a fiercer predation to its opening and subsequent invention within another wash of suggestive melodies and smouldering dynamics. Though not in the actual sound, it is easy to see where an influence of The Cure comes into play, Walker creating an emotional and musical drama which has the senses riding a roller coaster.

Recent single Get Real follows, strolling along with the ever present catchiness which Walker conjures with seeming ease across every track. Guitars pop and bubble throughout the song as rhythmic tenacity creating an anthemic frame to the vocal and melodic ingenuity before Flashback takes over. A calmer and mellower engagement but even more emotively forceful, the song caresses ears with a lone guitar melody before being joined by a heavily shadowed bassline aligned to a broader floating melodic enterprise. Vocally, Walker provides an introspective narrative as provocative as the poetic almost volcanic fuzziness of his guitar. Adding another individual shade and hue to the album, the track shows the broader landscape of Walker’s songwriting and an intimacy, whether personal or observational, which fuels his words.

With drummer Max Saidi guesting, Avant Blah! strolls boldly in next, its lo-fi pop ‘n’ roll blending Weezer infection with Pavement-esque invention while its successor Lites almost lumbers into view in comparison with the brooding bass and irritable riffs to the fore. In all songs there is a great repetitious quality brewed by Walker, here almost coming over drone like to great effect around the solemn melody and the similarly melancholic vocals. As it expands though, a wave of rich textures and rousing energies flood the song, returning throughout the low-key yet thickly enjoyable, almost imposing encounter.

The excellent This Once Great Place has an air of The Cure again with its atmospheric landscape, reminding of the A Forest/Pornography era of the trio across its own captivating journey before the equally impressive Housing in a Bubble makes a grab for best track with its more punkish/grungy roar of sound. Everything about it has a snarl not heard on the album previously; revealing more of the diversity the release carries whilst stirring up a fresh greed in ears and pleasure.

Our Holiday brings Too Close to the Noise Floor to a sombre and enthralling close, the track initially a dark sigh but soon building its own catchy canter loaded with spiky hooks and spicy melodies around another slightly foreboding and compelling bassline. Once more thoughts of Robert Smith and co are sparked but again as a flavour in something individual to Astral Cloud Ashes. It is a riveting end to a striking and increasingly impressive first album from Walker.

The clues to the project’s potential were there in its first trio of singles, and now confirmed and partly realised by Too Close to the Noise Floor. The feeling is that there is plenty more to come and to be explored within that promise, and going by the strength of this thoroughly enjoyable offering, we are all in for many treats ahead.

Too Close to the Noise Floor is released July 11th @ http://apple.co/1RFvoL8

https://www.facebook.com/astralcloudashes   https://astralcloudashes.bandcamp.com/   https://twitter.com/AstralCloudAsh

Pete RingMaster 08/07/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Japanese Fighting Fish – Swimming with Piranhas

Photo by Scott M Salt Photography

Photo by Scott M Salt Photography

The highly anticipated third album from British aural dramatists  Japanese Fighting Fish is uncaged this week, a release which not only confirms that there is no other proposal like the London based quartet but shows the band hitting another plateau in their breath-taking sound and invention. There are few with the musical craft and adventure to match an imagination as daring as it is inimitable but Japanese Fighting Fish have it all in abundance and in full enthralling flow within Swimming with Piranhas.

Formed in Leeds in 2009, Japanese Fighting Fish had a great many hooked, including us, by the release of debut album Just Before We Go MAD two years later. A release experimenting with South American rhythms as raw vocals and dirty guitars played, its compelling success was eclipsed by its successor, the punk infused Day Bombs of 2011. Releases and years have seen the band draw comparisons to the likes of Faith No More, System of a Down, QOTSA, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Primus, and Frank Zappa, but as evidenced once more by their latest triumph,  Japanese Fighting Fish really do stand alone in character and sound. Mastered by Tim Young (Massive Attack, The Clash, Sex Pistols, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Elbow, and The Beatles ‘Love’ Album), Swimming with Piranhas is the band at its most eclectic yet and offering a collection of funk infested, theatrical exploits; quite simply rock and roll with the devilry and boldness of creative insanity.

Inspired in title by the real life wild experiences of vocalist Karlost Thompson and drummer Al Sweetman whilst staying in Ecuador with a Quechan tribe where they took a dip in the Amazon River, Swimming with Piranhas has ears and imagination swiftly gripped with its opening title track. A lone spicy groove teases first, it soon joined by broader sonic sighs and boisterous rhythms as the song increasingly expands into a hip swinging, rhythmically riveting magnet. Once the familiar, ever expressive and captivating tones of Karlost complete the line-up of creative cast, the imagination is taken on a beguiling off kilter ride. With kinetic beats and baroque scented organ shaped theatre adding to the ever shifting gait and mood of the encounter, the opener is sheer captivating as fiery and infectious as it is thought provoking and a great sign of things to come.

art_RingMasterReviewThe excellent start continues and hits another level with Egyptian Sunrise, the song a sultry tango of exotic mystique upon the driving throaty bassline of Matt McGuinness and the swinging bait of Sweetman. Impossible to resist getting physically involved, the song leads the body a merry dance with the imagination caught up in the creative tones and lyrical incitement of Karlost. Also swathed in the equally suggestive invention of Gareth Frederik Ellmer’s guitar, the song is a mouth-watering exploit soon matched in creative theatre by Provocative Cat. Funky with Parisian hues, the song flirts and dances with ears as the bass masterfully groans and Karlost paints the imagination like a vaudevillian showman.

New single For Queen Marilyn comes next, sauntering in on a raw riff and rumbling beats as vocals spread their instinctive drama and ascending energy. Soon its rapacious rock ‘n’ roll is ablaze with intensity amidst a hearty roar, switching between calm and volatile waters before making way for Close The Gate. An encounter which seems to mellow as it reaches climactic moments and erupts when you expect it to slip into alluring calms, the unpredictable song is a twisted treat but one soon outshone by previous single U Ain’t Gonna Win This. An exploration of split personalities also making a “homage to boxing greats like Ali, and Rocky “, the song is a fleet footed shuffle with another deeply contagious gurning  bassline from McGuinness courting the vocal waltz of Karlost and band. Taking addiction to a fresh level, the track mixes sweltering melodies and grungy textures with sonic guitar splatters and a virulent carnival-esque bounce.

Hard To Resist is a matching enslavement of body and appetite, its lazy yet snarling bass swing and gripping croon just two of the irresistible elements in what must be the next single. The track is glorious, reminding of little know eighties band, Zanti Misfitz as it throws its creative temptation around. A slip into a deranged XTC like pasture only adds to the fun and increasing seduction too.

Another funk sculpted adventure follows in the shape of I Got Time; its Red Hot Chili Peppers like romp infused with a Talking Heads like prowess, while On A Fall sonically shimmers as the eager beats of Sweetman fuel the pulsating balladry of voice and Ellmer’s resonating guitar enterprise. Increasingly more provocative and gripping with every listen, the track is yet another thrilling twist in the varying style and sound within Swimming with Piranhas.

The album is brought to an equally exciting and inventive close by firstly Dr. No-Sense and its noir spiced and increasingly bedlamic intensity. It is followed by the similarly deranged but skilfully reined imagination and creative resourcefulness of I Caught You Wandering for a bewitching end to another superb offering from Japanese Fighting Fish. Swimming with Piranhas takes the band and their one of a kind proposition to a whole new plateau, not just for them but for the British rock scene. Why Japanese Fighting Fish is not a name on so many more eager lips already is a bit of a mystery, now they might just be with this beast of a proposal doing the persuading.

Swimming with Piranhas is released 17th June across most online stores.

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

Pete RingMaster 17/06/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Falls – One Hundred Percent Strong

FALLS Promo_RingMasterReview

We all have bands, and no doubt many, which almost with their first creative breath spark an instinctive and lustful affair between their sound and ears. For us UK noise poppers Falls is one such union, a riotous quartet which spins webs of invention so contagious that they make the common cold seem lazy. Back in 2014, the band had us hooked with their self-tagged gash pop/fuck rock via the Dirtbox EP. Now they have unleashed its successor, One Hundred Percent Strong; a bigger, bolder, and even more devilish affair to rapture over.

Formed in 2013, Falls has been a hungry and irresistible live presence from day one, tours and shows with the likes of Allusondrugs, Shikari Sound System, God Damn, Blacklisters, Press To MECO, and Black Peaks among their own headlining conquests. The Dirtbox EP equally sparked attention upon its release, eclipsed the next year by the band’s two track single Mastiff which saw a host of radio play and support from the likes of Huw Stephens, Zane Lowe, Steve Lamacq, Alex Baker, and Sophie K. Ahead of a co-headlining tour with I Cried Wolf and an appearance at ArcTanGent in August, Falls is now uncaging One Hundred Percent Strong, a four-track stomp sure to outshine its predecessors in acclaim to match the leap in sound and invention.

There is a more mature and accomplished feel to the songs with the band’s latest offering, but without defusing the loco imagination and quick fire twist and turns which have already marked out their sound and imagination. In fact those elements have been honed with an even keener creative devilment to keep ears and the imagination as busy as the song’s instinctive rock ‘n’ roll does the body. With everything combined, Falls’ music is like a mix up in a noise infested pop factory blending early XTC with Hawk Eyes as seepage from Melvins adds a thrilling contamination.

front cover one hundred percent _RingMasterReviewIt all starts with the kinetic shuffle of Get Well Soon; a track instantly accosting ears with throbbing bass grooves and rolling beats as the guitars of Martin Gallagher and Philip Kelsall perpetually cast wiry hooks and teasing riffs. That alone is enough to infest the psyche and lift the spirit, but add the rousing vocals of the band, with one of the three string pickers leading though no idea which, and you have instant emotional arousal. The track continues to swing and thump, even as its pop fuelled chorus dances provocatively on the imagination. It is simply glorious; we all find manna for the ears in certain songs and this is ours.

Though it is quickly matched by the even more tenacious and slight psychotic Shady Nasty. Again grooves and hooks are swift bait around the lively inviting beats of Steff Jones with the band’s vocals further harmonic and mischief making fun. There is also a volatility to the encounter, at times it almost intimidating ears with the resonating snarl of Ben Griffiths’ bassline a prominent enticement though it is just as compelling in the warmly flirtatious moments too.

SWARM comes next and lives up to its name as riffs crawl incessantly through ears, though there is no particular urgency to their incitement. Instead the song writhes around with steely grooves and off-kilter exploits within a web of punk hooks and noise rock sensibility. Ultimately, it is as funky as it is ferocious, as poppy as it is cantankerously inventive and pure alchemy for the senses and at this point our very greedy appetite for the release.

There is no relaxing of the twisted tempting and addictive ingenuity with closing track Death In Disco Shoes either, the track leaping around like a hyperactive sugar fuelled teenager not knowing whether to party hard or be creatively responsible and doing both with unbridled zeal.

It is an exhilarating end to one of the year’s major propositions so far and no doubt will remain so. Falls and One Hundred Percent Strong are noisy, raucous, and prone to addictive habits; the very best kind of rock ‘n’ roll.

The One Hundred Percent Strong EP is out now via Venn Records digitally and on 7” vinyl @ https://www.vennrecords.com/shop/music/fallsvinyl/

https://www.facebook.com/fallsband   http://www.fallsband.co.uk

Pete RingMaster 13/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

WE-ARE-Z – Easy

Wearez _RingMasterReview

Yet again showing themselves the puppeteer of hips and funk in induced revelry, UK based indie poppers WE-ARE-Z release new single Easy this month, a song that pulls you to your feet to share moves probably best kept under wraps. The song is a virulently persuasive little number, something for ears to wear and inhibitions to depart for from a band making a habit of turning the world into an eager dance-floor.

Formed in 2012, the London based Anglo/French quintet merge individual experiences of playing with artists such as Beyonce, The Waterboys, Pharell Williams, and James Morrison with inspirations ranging from David Bowie, Serge Gainsborough, Talking Heads and Blur to The Clash, Devo, XTC, and Sparks. The band’s debut track Airbrush sparked potent interest in 2014 though fair to say Walkways the following year was the real attention grabber. With its success backed up by tracks like Knucklehead and a live presence which leaves everyone out of breath, you might say that WE-ARE-Z and their songs have become one of UK pop’s eagerly anticipated adventures.

art _RingMasterReviewThe new single pulsates into view, its initial electronic tempting soon joined by rhythmic throbs and vocal bait. The ripe coaxing, speared by the purposeful swings of Guillaume Charreau, increasingly grows as sultry hues caress ears, their lures aligning with a just as potent melodic and harmonic drama. In no time body and imagination are lost in the flirtatious and riveting theatre of the song with the dark rhythms, led by a gorgeously throat bassline cast by Marc Arciero, alone just irresistible. The keys and guitars of Clément Leguidcoq and Drew Wynen sparkle and dance as they entangle with each other around the ever welcoming and tenacious vocals of Gabriel Cazes, he like the ringleader to a band of sonic mischief makers with a delivery which simply lures the listener deeper into the party playing with their ears.

As with previous songs from WE-ARE-Z, our thoughts bring the likes of Shriekback and Franz Ferdinand coming to mind but also there is a touch of Sparks and Talking Heads to a song which, at the end of the day, really only sounds like another highly enjoyable and rather naughty WE-ARE-Z soirée.

Easy is released April 8th via Sputnik Records.

http://www.we-are-z.com/    https://www.facebook.com/WeAreZmusic   https://twitter.com/WeAreZmusic

Pete RingMaster 06/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

New Keepers of the Water Tower – Infernal Machine

Photo by Soile Siirtola

Photo by Soile Siirtola

Infernal Machine, the new encounter from Swedish “cosmic rock” band New Keepers of the Water Tower is a concept album based on the classic Joe Haldeman written sci-fi novel The Forever War, a story of an interstellar war between Man and the Taurans. Equally, it is a compelling incitement enabling the listener to invent their own dark and highly involved escapades within a musical soundscape which simply stirs the imagination and enslaves ears. It is enjoyably impossible to pin down the Stockholm band’s sound but very easy to suggest that Infernal Machine will become one of the year’s major triumphs.

Formed in 2006 as New Keepers, extending the name three years later, the band creates a proposition entwining a tapestry of varied and contrasting flavours with an epic canvas predominantly progressive and space rock bred. As shown by fourth album, Infernal Machine, even that description is a scratch on the surface. Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Rasmus Booberg, guitarist Victor Berg, bassist Björn Andersson, keyboardist Adam Forsgren, and drummer Tor Sjödén, New Keepers Of The Water Towers has the ability to transport the imagination into the focus and heart of its theme with its music alone; Infernal Machine their most devilish and sublime success yet.

The album opens with The Forever War, a track luring the listener into the centre of dark times and persistent dangers from its opening sonic pulse. Keys quickly unveil a portentous invitation, rhythms adding an intimidating drama soon after as guitars dangle evocative bait before ears. Then Booberg’s immediately impressing vocals swiftly begin unfurling the track’s rich narrative, his tones mellow and mesmeric whilst the sounds around him are predatory. It is a superbly designed blend of contrasting incitement which simply enthrals as it manipulates the psyche and imagination. At times the track is like a grungy XTC, in other moments a sonically bracing and fascinating merger of King Crimson and KingBathmat like essences, and all the time an absorbing and irresistible entrance into album.

art_RingMasterReviewIts dramatic presence and mighty temptation is matched and pushed further by the gripping adventure of Tracks Over Carcosa next. Initially, it is an echo of a cold and desolate place, a lonely place within whose shadows a pulse beats with increasing relish, emerging to pull the song into a contagious stroll lined with swinging surf rock grooves. Around it a sultry and tantalising atmosphere descends, stirring up even more infectious tenacity in rhythms and melodic enterprise. Hypnotic does not do the track justice; its instrumental air has a cinematic lure and intrigue which you can akin to sixties cold war/spy thrillers and only adding to an impossible to resist alchemy of persuasion.

Towards its departure, the track slips into a solemn noir tinged calm which continues in different form into the following and as thrilling Tachyon Deep. With the returning vocals casting a mist of seducing harmonies as rhythms reveal an almost shamanic nature to their shuffle, the song glides exotically over the senses. Thoughts run through its poetic glade of melodies and vocal caresses, immersing in the scenic expression and spellbinding landscape of the track. That deceptive calm and peace also has hidden dangers, progressively unveiling them with every twist and turn within eventfully its imposing jungle.

Misantropin Kallarv is a brief, relative to the tracks around it, respite to the intensive adventures before and after; like shelter in a soulless building or moment but one which holds secrets behind the turbulence and unrelenting pressure found in the likes of next up Escape Aleph Minor. Its successor also has a less incendiary and demanding nature to its sound and energy but certainly does not lack thick drama in sound and air or the collage of hooks and sonic seduction which incite body and thoughts. From the melodic seduction and discord of guitars and keys to the tribalistic potency of bass and drums, the song is a carousel of suggestiveness.

A slow piano sculpted gait with classical melancholy to its touch ends the track, wistfully floating away into the waiting melodic smoulder of Jorden and a lumbering, emotionally heavy engulfing of ears. More sludge than doom, the track is a rapacious and darkly poetic suffocation of the senses which may not match the impact of others within Infernal Machine but undoubtedly has the imagination conjuring away as eagerly as anywhere upon the album.

The Infernal Machine completes the release; the track with every passing minute growing and evolving whilst providing a kaleidoscope of cosmopolitan and tribalistic incitement. Its repetitious strands and drone like nagging is simply delicious, around them the craft of guitars and lure of sonic imagination mouth-watering as the album ends as majestically and thrillingly as it started. A bass led passage midway of post punk seeded virulence, the cream on the cake of the song.

Infernal Machine has so much for fans of every kind of rock and melodic/progressive metal. Those with the appetite for bands ranging from Pink Floyd and King Crimson to Goblin and The Ocean to Arcade Messiah, to hint at its diverse appeal, will find plenty to devour, though by the middle of its opener the only name on their mind will be New Keepers of the Water Tower.

Infernal Machine is released on 4th March via Listenable Records across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/NewKeepers

Pete RingMaster 04/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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