John Bassett – Unearth

John Bassett pic

Having discovered the progressive rock might of KingBathmat and its founder John Bassett, admittedly far later than we would have liked but joining the legion of fervour gripped fans nonetheless with the release of their last album Overcoming The Monster, there was a definite spring of excitement upon receiving Unearth the new solo endeavour from Bassett. As distinctly different to the previously mentioned release as it is just as imaginatively gripping, the new album is an enthralling embracing of ears and mind; man and record a melancholic troubadour parading evocative reflections of life and emotional experiences. Its canvas is a rich exploration of modern psyche across acoustically crafted progressive landscapes coloured with the richest hues of emotively sculpted melodic invention. It is a masterfully sculpted journey for creator and listener, one of the most rewarding and impressive this year so far.

The multi-instrumentalist, singer songwriter, and producer from Hastings has self-released seven albums since 2003, the last few via his label Stereohead Records. Born in Walthamstow, London, Bassett first picked up an acoustic guitar as a child. He struggled at first with playing chords until when going to a guitar teacher it was realised that he was playing a right handed guitar, left handed. As soon as he picked up a left handed guitar songwriting began to flow easily and subsequently his talent. It was not long before Bassett was recording songs onto his computer; honing his skill, sound, and fluency whilst finding a good reception to his online albums, especially for the third, Fantastic Freak Show Carnival. At this point he was beginning to be offered gigs and in 2005 he put together a live band to perform his music. Arguably it has been the last two albums of the band, KingBathmat, which has brought the strongest spotlight and acclaim, both Truth Button and Overcoming The Monster critically acclaimed whilst garnering a new wave of enthused fans. His debut solo album, Unearth is a full one man creation with only additional drums from Nathan A Summers an added spice. Holding the same invigorating melodies and unpredictable intrigue which marks the band’s releases, the new album reveals new sides and aspects to Bassett’s songwriting and enveloping sound, easily rivalling his previous triumphs whilst forging new avenues.

From its first caress, a dark and instant incitement with a stringed croon and suggestive keys, Unearth sparks something instantly in the unearthsenses and imagination through opening track Stay Away. As Bassett’s vocals join the evocative melodies there is a Bowie-esque breeze cast which evolves into a warm narrative which reminds equally of ELO and Porcupine Tree whilst wrapping tenderly around the senses as a truly distinct proposition. It is a glorious enchantment which only enriches the appetite the more it crafts its seduction around the passions; guitar and keys cradling thoughts and emotions in their provocative arms as the equally mellow and persuasive tones of Bassett press forward the lyrical potency. It is arguable whether Unearth ever reaches the heights of the first song again though the album certainly gives it a stirring try starting with the following Survival Rate. Welcoming beats open up the gateway into folkish scenery of soothing melodies and similarly engaging vocals. As its predecessor, the track permeates the imagination with suggestive and more precise designs, musically and lyrically, all combining for another infectiously magnetic investigative adventure.

The outstanding start is easily continued by both Nothing is Sacred and the title track. The first has a sultriness to its colourful dance, elements of the start and body again urging thoughts of Bowie with a touch of Paul Simon this time around. Equally there are plenty of moments where the softer facets of KingBathmat come through, an obviously unavoidable spicing which only enhances the immersive mystery and enticement of the songs. Guitar and voice brings its successor into potent view, its melody driven seducing soaking every pore and thought as richly as the lyrical temptation, this and every song  proving a powerful lingering suasion in sound and word. As soothing as it is inciting, Unearth is one of those temptresses which never releases her lure and grip whether by the side of or from a distance rivalling the first as the pinnacle of the album.

The gentle jazzy smoulder of Pantomime acts outs its elegant narrative next, lighting another appealing diversion for the imagination whilst the scenic expanse of the instrumental Kylerhea provides a cinematic soundscape to explore individual and personal adventures within. Both captivate without restraint if not quite matching earlier conquests of the emotions, something TV is God soon succeeds doing with elevated success. With a delicious expressive almost acidic twang and whine to the song’s exotic climate over an indictment of technological reliance for escape and hiding from reality, the track is a riveting recruitment of senses and heart.

Both the summery realm of Keep Dear with its XTC like temptation and the equally spellbinding flight of Something that’s More Worthwhile consume ears and imagination like celestial sirens both instinctively washing receptive emotions with unrelenting seduction; melodies and harmonies invasive beauty alone and just as compelling and stimulating as the inventive musical skill and songwriting of Bassett. The pair are quite shadow free compared to other songs of the release but still kissed by a melancholic presence which makes its strongest persuasion with the closing track Comedian. Piano and guitar crafted with the ever impressive voice of Bassett shaping their evocative tales further, the song is an absorbing walk from emotional shadows and musical understanding.

Unearth is as creatively imaginative as maybe expected going by Bassett’s band releases but explores deeper emotionally imposing landscapes, involving and inspiring similarly intense aspects from the listener. It is a wonderfully intimate and evocatively expansive journey proving John Bassett as not only one of the finest British songwriters in rock music but music full stop.

http://www.johnbassettmusic.com/

https://kingbathmat.bandcamp.com/album/unearth

9/10

RingMaster 30/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

 

 

The Correspondents – Puppet Loosely Strung

 

The Correspondents pic

     …And the treats of 2014 just keep coming; in a year already endowed with some of the finest releases and debuts, Puppet Loosely Strung just might be the best of all so far. A masterful aural tapestry of sonic magnificence and unbridled imagination, the first album from UK band The Correspondents is simply stunning and quite irresistible. The creation of London based duo, producer Chucks and singer Mr Bruce, the album is a weave of intrigue, adventure, and diversity showing exactly why for the last few years the band has been drawing fevered attention and adoration for their live performances. Reaping the glories of everything from dance music to jazz, blues to electro and drum ‘n’ bass for a pop soaked exploration unique to themselves, The Correspondents is one of those bewitchments everyone needs in their lives.

    Mr Bruce and Chucks came together as The Correspondents in 2007, two South London artists taking as little as two years to find themselves playing main stages across numerous festivals. The years since their emergence has seen the band touring with the appetite of a hungry predator, small and large audiences constantly enthralled and enamoured by their invention driven sound and the band acclaimed as The Telegraph’s Top Ten Glastonbury Highlights two years in a row. With one EP, What’s Happened to Soho?, the only recorded offering until now, the band has impressively sparked a greedy appetite towards them, one which will soar as Puppet Loosely Strung seduces and provokes with its stunning radiance. Bringing in well-loved and established songs from their live set and a new breed of introspective emotive tracks, the release is the ultimate crossover album, one forging and sculpting a realm all of its very own and one sure to inspire hearts and numerous other upcoming bands.

     The self-produced, recorded, and released Puppet Loosely Strung, digs deep in the heart of its recipients from the first song The Correspondents - Puppet Loosely Strungand never relinquishes its seduction thereafter. Opener What Did I Do? initially croons the ears, the exceptional voice of Mr Bruce serenading thoughts as keys caress his presence before beats add their mildly skittish suasion to the emerging stroll. Within seconds the track is a full captivation turning into a virulent lure as its unpredictable and mischievous enterprise skirts the reflective grace of the vocals. It is a delicious sway of ingenious sound and loving imagination which whirls senses and thoughts around like an evocative carousel of thoughtful temptation.

     The striking start is soon taken to another plateau with the first single from the album, Fear And Delight. A dramatic shadowed coaxing of keys makes a mysterious entrance which moves into a feisty romp of indie rock and electronic temptation. If the first track was virulent, the second song is an epidemic, infectiousness rampaging with lustful energy and sound as the pair merge dub into drum and bass with a ska kissed melodic ingenuity. Not for the last time The Correspondents remind of little known and even quicker forgotten eighties band Zanti Misfits, the swing and quirky balance of the track the spark for thoughts. The song is pure musical alchemy, a classic stomp with irresistibly lingering bait which the rest of the album has to try and make you forget, which it soon manages with the next up Give You Better. The song lyrically is almost the warped mirror image/alternative guise to the plaintive narrative of its predecessor, even emerging from the same melodic stroke before casting is own personal persuasion. Once again the keys paint a dark drama to proceedings before the vibrant and magnetic saunter of the song brings a tempering light to the blues pleading hues of the song. As the previous tracks the urge to join in with limbs and voice to the creative trespass of the passions is impossible to resist, the already broad grin on the face and imagination now connecting ears.

    The seductive shuffle of Kind Of Love next licks temptingly over the senses, its jazz bred almost easy listening leaning call leading the senses into an electronic elegance before the instrumental skit of In The Meantime brings a cinematically emotive breather to the dance of the release. It’s enjoyable if slightly underwhelming presence in the larger scheme of things is succeeded by Devil’s Lighthouse, a song which encloses the listener in a melody rich sonic exploration which simply brings another flush of ardour towards the album. Restrained yet brisk in its step, the track pushes shadows into the arms of warm ambition and hope for another pinnacle in the continuously lofty range of majesty.

   Both Well Measured Vice and The Last Time leave a spellbound state over ears and thoughts, the first another upbeat romp with provocative colour to its melodies and vocals playing within a rhythmic and pulsating courting. The song designs riveting adventures within its fluid waltz to easily transfix whilst its successor s offers the most potent seduction with its XTC like eccentricity and occasional Andy Partridge flavoured twist in the vocals. The song is one of the few happy to simply walk around the senses and coat them with a thick breeze of varied inventive whispers before making way for the dance floor spawned Back Again. Even if missing the benchmark set, the track is another drawing a mesmeric rapture which simply draws you in without reserve, its rhythmic tantalising as potent as its melodic fascination.

    The album’s title track lays a haunted ambience around the imagination as the song and Mr Bruce explain their feelings and thoughts respectively, the song a smouldering and sultry flight into observational and inward reflection to which the keys place compelling embers and imagination shaping sparks. The enchanting journey is matched and surpassed by the latest single, the brilliant Alarm Call. Released with a video to raise awareness and funds for The Epilepsy Society, there is a definite Julian Cope feel to the song vocally, emotionally, and exploratory; it’s pulsating contagion aligned to evocative textures and thoughts pure addictiveness.

     Closing with Some Nights, another impossible catchy and passion securing musical rap of peerless prowess and excited imagination, Puppet Loosely Strung is just sensational. It is a quite brilliant investigation of lost loves, dark relationships, and shadowed reflections all wrapped up in one of the most extraordinary sirenesque designs of sound and spirit. The Correspondents is our new lust and we suggest you make them yours too.

https://www.facebook.com/TheCorrespondents

10/10

RingMaster 10/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

Hagana – One Year

 

Hagana hi-res

    British alternative rock is in a very healthy state right now and that is destined to continue for a long time when you have bands like Hagana emerging to powerfully and potently engage the imagination. Hailing from Edinburgh, the trio of Leo Fox (guitar/vocals), David Chisholm (drums/vocals) and Gary Pycroft (bass) make their introduction to the wider corners of the country with debut album One Year, an eleven track sinew fest of contagious and passion driven rock ‘n’ roll. With an enterprise to match its energy and strong diversity, the album makes a refreshing and promise filled encounter from an emerging band with very healthy horizons.

    Hagana merge essences of grunge and pop rock into their feisty endeavours, pulling on influences which they say include bands such as early Foo Fighters/Nirvana, Weezer, Queens of the Stone Age, XTC, and Cardiacs, the last two real favourites here which gave the band a head start on appreciation before a sound teased the ears to be honest. Since forming the band has earned a strong reputation for their live performances regionally as well as drawing good acclaim from their self-titled first EP. The current line-up came together in 2011 after the EP and you sense this was when the spark for a wider spotlight began brewing its intensity. 2013 saw the band touring Western Canada as well as supporting Filter back home and now with One Year about to unveil its contagious hooks and barbs it is easy to suspect that Hagana are ready to take the next tall step in their ascent.

    From the decent enough atmospheric Intro, the band rip through the ears with craft and fervour through Voice For The ONE YEAR ARTWORKVoiceless. The track takes a mere second to unload thumping rhythms and aggressive riffs, their invitation a instantly alluring provocation which settles as the vocals of Fox makes, alongside Chisholm’s, a similarly pleasing appearance. It is not long before the chorus is romping around with infectiousness dripping off its every note, the virulent temptation a mix of nineties UK band Skyscraper and Foo Fighters with the growling intensity of Therapy? adding to the bait. It is an outstanding start and doorway into Hagana, an immediate declaration of what armoury and adventure the band has within them.

     Previous single Fuzzy Punch comes next, its pop spawned enterprise less dramatic and forceful but not short on its own brewed addictiveness. Carrying a fuzzy breath to its charm and catchy gait, the song raucously dances with the ears, interspersing the stomp with a pop punk vivacity which adds to the lure of the encounter. Its irrepressible presence is next matched by the excellent Trousernose and its grunge bred tantalising. Again there is a virulently contagious incitement from the hooks and chorus, their wanton desires perfectly placed within a Nirvana-esque stroll of bulky rhythms and hungry riffs resulting in another irresistible baiting of the passions.

    The following Watch My Step merges power pop with hard rock to sculpt a song which takes longer to convince than its predecessors but emerges as an easily accessible and enjoyable if underwhelming venture before being left in the shade by the twin triumphs of Seaquest and Sparrowface. The first of the two prowls around the ears initially, its riffs leaning towards a predacious appetite whilst the rhythms equally provide a sinewed texture. Never breaking from that deliberately intimidating stance, the track pressures the senses with a preying intensity tempered skilfully by the harmonic vocals, it’s almost sixties pop enticement as potent as the musculature framing its call. Its successor is a maze of invention and imagination, a mischievous web of punk and rock again with a loud grunge coating to the magnetic causticity wrapping its pop spawned heart.

    Things take another leap forward with Wait A Minute, a riot of a song with swinging muscular hips and bruising intent. A charge of punk ‘n’ roll with a slither of rockabilly and hard rock to its voracious emprise, the track is a glorious slice of epidemically seducing heavy rock whose only flaw is it ends too soon. Its outstanding body is backed up by the equally striking Candy Boy, the song a raw, scuzz bled antagonist to keep the fires in the passions greedily aflame. That Therapy? comparison emerges here again as a loud whisper within another punk/grunge abrasion.

    The album is completed by the deceptive Friend, a song which makes an understated and less persuasive entrance but leaves with voice and emotions eagerly engaged and finally Connect 4. The closing song is a heavy rock bruising to leave things on another high, its body old school but with a combative attack of modern rock ‘n’ roll. The song completes an excellent first full-length from a band drenched in promise and potential. Hagana have cast a thoroughly thrilling and accomplished net with their rather impressive debut, one enlisting an extensive appetite and anticipation of their future,

Hagana will host an album launch party on Saturday 1st March at Opium, Edinburgh with support from local Kraut-rockers Birdhead and Dundee’s The Sparrowhawk Orkestrel.

http://hagana.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Haganaband

9/10

RingMaster 04/03/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyrigh

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

Cross Wires – Assembly EP

Cross Wires

     Hankering for a slice of post punk infused new wave with that irrepressible eighties originality? Then a healthy purchase of the exploration of the new Cross Wires EP is your next mission in life.  Assembly is a riotous stomp of energetic imagination and deliciously niggling invention, a quartet of songs bred in the birth of those genres but equally ripe with a modern psyche stirring mischief. It teases, taunts, and romps with the senses like a discord draped devil child to quite easily and unrelentingly stir up the passions.

     Hailing from Bethnal Green and Romford in the UK, the foursome of vocalist Jonathan Chapman, guitarist Peter Muller, bassist Pete Letch, and drummer Ian Clarke has been sculpting an impressive reputation for their sound and live performances since their debut at The Others in Stoke Newington in late 2010; subsequently playing across the capital and home county Essex at notable venues including the Camden Barfly, Sebright Arms, Queen of Hoxton, 93 Feet East, The Half Moon, and Hoxton Underbelly. Two EPs, Forward/Repeat and Animal Heat announced the band to a wider audience in 2011 whilst a third, Dark Water, the following year only helped cement and accelerate their emerging presence which the outstanding Assembly will surely add another enthusiastic gear to.

    Cross Wires bring inspirations from the likes of Buzzcocks, The Clash, The Cure, Gang Of Four, and Wire into their own coverinventive devilry as well as that of XTC whose song on the White Noise album, the band named themselves after. To be honest anyone reaping the influences of one of our eternally favourite bands is given a head start with us though their music obviously has to do the talking, which on Assembly it loudly does. From the beginning of the opener Stranger’s Bed, the band lays an infectious hand on the imagination and passions as they cavort with the relish of a maniacal puppeteer. Thumping anthemic drums seize instant attention, setting things up for the jangle of guitars to add their own bait around the expressive vocals of Chapman. Into its infectious stride soon after the track stomps with a rhythmic vivacity and range of hooks which the Buzzcocks would be proud of, indeed the overall sound has a rich essence of the Mancunian band as well as the discordant enterprise of Medway band Houdini. It is an undemanding and thoroughly giving slab of post punk pop with a fuzzy breath to increase the appeal.

     Acid Bath, like the first, makes the strongest entrance possible. This time it is the bass stroking the ears with a riff certainly Gang Of Four inspired, its carnivorous voice and suasion an irresistible lure which only increases with the scythes of guitar and unpolished enticing vocals. The chorus of the song loses some of that initial potency as the thrust of the track softens but replaces it with a virulent causticity which touches on The Fall. Once more band and song has feet lurching around with eagerness whilst voice and energy is seduced into action with ease, the same results achieved by the brilliant I Want To Be Your Man (Again). The best track on the EP swaggers in with a slow swerving of its hips and a persistent flexing of its sonic audacity, the track a hybrid of all the good things already gracing the release, taking those qualities and invention into a loftier frisking of the passions. It is an exhilarating exploit raising a lustful greed once thought lost to those times in the eighties.

   Final song White Dress makes a less dramatic entrance than previous songs but is soon, through a precise hook within thumping rhythms, unleashing another Shelly and co styled persuasion with the Cross Wires imprint. It traps satisfaction in a lustful romp of angular enterprise and refreshing adventure and though the weakest of the four songs, in that it does not unleash the demon inside as certainly the previous pair of tracks do, White Dress still provides a magnetic proposal to sell your dignity for and a delicious end to a thrilling release.

     If any of the bands mentioned or just simply punk, new wave, and post punk in general lifts your temperature then Cross Wires is a band to set a fire in your thoughts and emotions, though as Assembly shows, expect the unpredictable and something which is certainly seeded in those glorious older times but takes you on a new adventure. With the Assembly EP free at http://crosswires.bandcamp.com/album/assembly-ep there is little reason not to be part of this extremely promising and exciting band.

https://www.facebook.com/CrossWires

9/10

RingMaster 21/02/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

Passenger Peru- Self Titled

     Passenger Peru

    Startlingly immersive with the craft and ability to turn the listener into a castaway lost in an expansive seduction of suggestive pop majesty within a dreamy soundscape in its rawest breath, the debut album from Passenger Peru is an experience you cannot help licking your lips over before each and every encounter. It is a mouthwatering collection of warm and elegant persuasions bred in an exploration which is bold and bravely adventurous. The self-titled album is as mentioned pop in its rawest most potent form but with an inspiring scourge of creative devilry and melodic mesmerism twisted into a hypnotic and at times wonderfully demonic dance.

    Passenger Peru comes from the creative minds and passions of Justin Stivers (vocals, guitar, bass, synth, drums, drum machines) and Justin Gonzales (vocals, guitar, synth, piano, samples), the former one time bassist with The Antlers for their Hospice album. The seeds for the Brooklyn based project are said to have started four years ago when the two musicians met and evolved into the Stivers led band Pet Ghost Project. A year in preparation, Passenger Peru is mouthwatering sonic scenery composed into something unique from essences of garage rock and shoegaze, psychedelic, alternative rock and more. With plenty of peaks and very minimal lows, if any at all, the lo-fi, hi-quality flight is raucous spellbinding pop brought in its most primal and beauteous magnificence.

     The album immediately takes the listener to a scintillating pinnacle with its opening pair of songs, a height the album never passperucoverquite emulates again though it thrills consistently trying. First song Your Hunger emerges from a cinematic melodic swoon and following studio doodling launches one of the most exciting and impressively tempting starts to a song heard in a long time. Guitar and bass instantly secure the fullest attention as they virtually gnaw on the ears with the latter offering an almost carnivorous tone to its dark enticement. With mutually attractive rhythmic teasing alongside, the rapacious sound conjured by the pair continue to coax and lure in the strongest lustful reaction and hunger, a post punk essence bringing thoughts of Joy Division and Gang Of Four to mind prowling the imagination whilst framing the excellent mellow and soothing vocals. It is delicious mix with sinister spirals of cold sound amid glorious flames of melodic tenderness colliding and uniting for a quite stunning provocation. Complete with an irresistible repetitious gait to bass and rhythms alongside a quite saucy groove which also hardly veers from its prime intent, the song sets the highest plateau for the album to keep up.

    In the Absence of Snow steps up next to stroll that pedestal with ease, its opening acoustically sculpted guitar tantalising and the again snarling throaty bass tempting exceptionally addictive and successful in igniting even greater rapture in the imagination and emotions. Best described as the Jesus and Mary Chain meets House Of Love whilst the revelry of Ok Go! is at play, the bait laid down for the ears and emotions to partake in, is again virulently impossible to refuse or not find a greedy need for. Rock pop at its finest with a fiery solo and another spine of repetition kissed captivation, the track continues the album’s unassailable submission of the passions. With an impressive lyrical craft and insight also at work, which admittedly comes second best to the sound in attention taking over the first couple of plays, Passenger Peru at this point has already ignited an ardour which only a total car crash of a remaining body of songs could deflate.

    Pollen Season takes no time in showing no such disaster is on the cards though as mentioned before, the album never treads the same lofty levels again. To put that into context though the following tracks prey on and build their own benchmark which most bands would swap their grannies for, the third song on the release a beguiling proposition of organic beauty around once more a bass treat you can only enthuse over with a tendency to drool, and a percussive enterprise which does not steal focus but would leave a major whole with its absence. Seriously magnetic, the song departs the now raging appetite for the album for the epidemically engaging pop absorptions of Tiger Lilly and Heavy Drugs to take over. The first of the two has a swagger and melodic grin which teases and charms but an equally solicitous sonic and rhythmic bruising to its latter swing whilst the second is a sultry summer breeze of radiant melodies within an increasingly dark and unsettling premise.

     The second half of the album starts with Weak Numbers, again a track which ensnares thoughts and appreciation but marks a slightly less potent stretch for the album. The front five tracks leave the latter quintet in their shadow though once more in a context where Passenger Peru is on another realm with their artistry at the start of the album and a still immensely impressive level thereafter. A gentle and smouldering embrace, the song is a melancholic incitement with celestial elegance aligned to a tempestuous but contained emotive brawl. It is a transfixing companion immediately supported by the exotically imagined Memory Garden and the enthralling, intensive fascination of Health System, a song which merges heavy and light melodic and intimidating textures into a weave of emotion entangling beauty with XTC like alchemy.

     The new single from the album Dirt Nap comes next, emerging with a slight Celtic lilt to its sonic beckoning before a predominately acoustic caressing ensues with a sense of The Wonder Stuff to its snare. Initially thoughts were not over excited by the song but over time it works its way under the skin to seduce though personally not the right choice as the single to lure people into the outstanding album, a record holding back another major treat for its closing offering. Life and Death of a Band is a rowdy and antagonistic romp but equally a ridiculously endearing and alluring temptress from a maelstrom of invention and creative intrigue and a quite brilliant finale to a breath-taking slab of pop excellence.

    Passenger Peru will be massive at some point with all the evidence resting and burning away in their debut, a journey as unique and awe inspiring as their name hints at.

http://www.passengerperuband.com/

http://passengerperu.bandcamp.com/

9/10

RingMaster 05/02/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

Tom Brosseau – Grass Punks

 

TB10-IMG_6433

    Tom Brosseau is a folksinger and songwriter from North Dakota who has forged his own distinct place in the genre, a presence which, maybe still an unknown for a fair few, is one of those once bitten lingeringly enticed propositions. With a distinctive voice matched by his acoustic guitar invention earning him waves of acclaim and recognition through records and live performances, the now LA based artist releases new album Grass Punks. It is a release which crafts an appealing and at times irresistible encounter and though it does not quite light personal fires throughout, the album lures attendance and attention across its appealing endeavour.

    From learning the acoustic guitar through his grandmother whilst he was in grade school, Brosseau has gone on to perform across the US and UK, into Europe and on to the likes of Japan, Australia, and Taiwan. He has played and shared stages with the likes of John C. Reilly, Becky Stark, John Doe, Juliana Hatfield, PJ Harvey, as well as John Reilly & Friends whilst his previous releases has led to his songs being covered by artists such as Chris Thile, Silje Nes, Emily & Christy, and Mice Parade. Collaborations with Gregory Page in a duo called American Folksingers and with Angela Correa in the duo Les Shelleys which led to a Fat Cat Records released album in 2010 has also marked his career to date. All has added to the acclaim and stature of Brosseau earned by his own creativity which the new album again enhances.

      Released via Crossbill Records USA /Tin Angel Records and produced by Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek), Grass Punks takes tom-brosseaulittle time in gripping attention and a swiftly growing appetite with opener Cradle Your Device. From the dark heavy bass strum and melodic caresses around the mellow voice of Brosseau which opens up the track, an addictive potency frees its enticement to wrap around the senses and imagination. There is an eagerness and almost punk simplicity to the track which is impossible to ignore or resist, and admittedly generally move on from without a couple of replay hits before entering into the rest of the album. It is a dramatically virulent and emotive delve into a technology hampered relationship and the pinnacle of the album which instantly puts pressure on the rest of the release.

   It is a challenge most prove to be up for as after the relaxed temptation of Stuck On The Roof Again makes an enjoyable persuasion the combined lures of Tami and Today Is A Bright New Day brings reactions back up to another eager level. The first of this pair is a softly spoken increasingly infectious melodic breeze upon the ears; vocal harmonies and the poetic elegance of the guitars blending for a delightful enterprising and contagious caress. Its successor is more of a slow burner in its persuasion. Certainly it makes an appealing entrance and initial allurement but it is as passion and melodic intensity increases just a few degrees in warmth and energy that the song comes alive and strolls to almost anthemic choruses which simply invigorate the emotions.

    Both Love High John the Conqueror Root with its XTC/Andy Partridge like guitar and melodic enterprise laced with an intriguing amount of discord and Running from Zombies which simultaneously seduces and smothers to make you feel trapped and liberated such its close quarters melodic persuasion and brewing intensity, next give the imagination a blaze of impressive stimulus to devour and enjoy. They make light of the plateau set by the first song to rival it in strength and invention if not in contagion. From here on in though, the album for personal tastes does not lead the emotions to the same depths as bred by earlier tracks. Songs like Gregory Page of San Diego and I Love to Play Guitar are more than decent and skilfully sculpted pieces of songwriting and presented beautifully but fail to trigger anything more than satisfaction beyond the ears. The same applies to closing song We Were Meant to Be Together which ensures the album comes to a strong and passionate conclusion yet escapes sparking any lingering hunger for itself.

     Grass Punks is a release of two halves in many ways but one pleasing and creative adventure which entertains and impresses overall. When it is at its full potency the album is a captivating gem whilst the moments which do not spark up, what are again just personal tastes and needs, still only show a class and imaginative craft which reveals Tom Brosseau as a folk artist certain to continue to stretch and invigorate the genre.

http://www.tombrosseau.com/

https://www.facebook.com/tom.brosseau.7

7/10

RingMaster 20/01/2014

  Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

Black Checker – Fast

Black Checker

As 2013 comes to a festive close the unexpected treats just keep coming this time in the sizeable excellence of the Fast EP from Washington, DC rockers Black Checker. Made up of six rivetingly addictive and thoroughly contagious slices of hungry punk pop with a power pop excitability, the release stomps with a presence which is hard not to be captivated by and breed a keen appetite for. There is something also familiar to the band’s sound which only endears itself to the imagination, an essence which is recognisable and undeniably fruitful in furthering the EP’s appeal. Black Checker may be new to most outside of their home state but Fast suggests it is only brief situation on the band’s richly potential rise to full recognition.

The trio of vocalist/bassist Jim Cordes, guitarist/vocals Tony Porreco, and drummer/vocals Names Thompson immediately spark attention into life as opening track Bagel Girl mischievously bounces into view with great jagged ska kissed riffs and a broody bassline. There is a warmth and swagger to the track which rapidly draws out a strong hunger, the rhythmic tempting and slightly gravelled vocals of Cordes just as appealing. Thoughts of Joe Jackson and Super Happy Fun Club are sparked at times as the track continues to stroll with confidence and skilful temptation drawing in emotions, additional fiery guitar invention and an intensifying feisty energy only adding to the irresistible lure.

The following Can’t Let Go takes the impressive start up another level or two, the track a rousing feast of rock pop with Black Checker - Fast - coverstriking sinews and anthemic melodic fire. The drums of Thompson provide a hypnotically addictive frame for the charged riot of riffs and sonic endeavour to playfully incite the imagination within whilst again bass and vocals grip the ears with relish and thrilling temptation. It is a scintillating track which almost alone cements the presence and strength of the band and its sound as a new rapture in the passions. Black Checker has been tagged with comparisons to the likes of The Replacements, Cloud Nothings, Hüsker Dü, and Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, references which are easy to understand but certainly this song amongst a few suggests an even closer link to another band, unfortunately that reference evades realisation as this is written which is extremely frustrating, like trying to pick up a needle wearing boxing gloves, so close but so far.

    Never Doesn’t Mean Someday bursts in next with another riot of pop punk to greedily devour. The bass produces a great funk gait to its dancing on the ear riff whilst the guitars flirt with enthusiastic and accomplished devilry, grooves and hooks stoking the passions with addictive taunting and creative mischief. Though the song does not quite find the same heights as its predecessors it still takes the listener to an insatiable voracious rock ‘n’ roll party as hosted by Rocket From The Crypt. Its successor Blick Badger also keeps the quality and variety coming on strong, the opening range of riffs provided within a cavernous air to set up thoughts for the emerging blues kissed adventure. With a whisper of Graham Parker to its suasion the song provides another absorbing and firmly enticing recruitment of thoughts and emotions.

The jangling scythes of guitar which sculpts next up Man Enough soon has feet joining up with the bruising and thrilling urgency of its proposition. Vocals and rhythms are no weak link in the submission of the passions either whilst the melodic fire scorching every note and the rapacious energy driving the track forcibly through the ear  make virulent contagion which refuses to take no for an answer from a now lustful hunger for more.

The closing track A New Way opens with a reggae seeded gait and lilt from bass and guitars whilst the riffs and their neat hooks are close cousins to those crafted by early XTC. It is a magnetic start which then slips from its initial pedestal as the song sweeps into an emotive and restrained embrace, though the return of the opening enticements does spark things up when they interject across the track. It is an undeniably strong and superbly crafted song but against what came before pales in success and presence. Nevertheless the final song still only reinforces the impressive presence of the band and their mouth-watering sound.

Fast is a storming slab of rock pop/ power punk which excites from start to finish declaring Black Checker as one of the finest and promising first encounters for us this year. Expect to hear the name a lot more ahead.

http://blackcheckerband.com

https://www.facebook.com/blackcheckerband

9/10

RingMaster 18/12/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

The Welcome Matt – POPJUNKFLUFF&HYPE

5428698525_ba46dcfe72

Without one of our favourite albums of last year was The Panhandle Years from The Welcome Matt, an album which compiled a wealth of tracks taken from the project’s previous seven albums to introduce a very talented sound and presence to the wider world. It was a refreshing and exciting introduction for us to the band and San Francisco based musician Matt Langlois who is The Welcome Matt. Following up its impressive persuasion, comes new album POPJUNKFLUFF&HYPE, a release which quite simply carries on where its predecessor left off, inflaming the passions and creating some quite irresistible and enterprising rock pop.

Finding success and acclaim with his work with Members Of Sound from 2009 through to 2011, a musical project which released a new song every month for two years and resulted in two major CD releases from this work with an array of Bay Area musicians and producers, Langlois in many ways brought his solo project into its strongest limelight, certainly in respect of an emerging world awareness with The Panhandle Years. It was a kind of summing up of his adventure and creative journey to that point which POPJUNKFLUFF&HYPE now extends with its own delicious stomp of imaginative infection.

The Welcome Back opens up the ‘return’, lightly jagged guitars coaxing attention as the distinctive expressive vocals of Langlois wait for a moment before beginning their narrative. Into its full stride the song unveils a bluesy melodic embrace aligned to sixties tinted harmonies and melodic temptation. Lifting its knees the track eventually moves from an inviting walk into a feisty stomp, one weaving tendrils of contagious seventies pop rock and sixties charm into a gait which never truly explodes into riotousness but leaves the senses energised as the sounds toy with them. It is a mesmeric start which awakens a healthy appetite for the release and immediately feeds the anticipation bred by the album’s predecessor.

The following Key of G opens with Bolanesque strumming and vocal harmonies, the influence unmistakable and a pleasing lure into a song which evolves the inspiration into a compelling striding of inventive persuasion, guitars and keys almost wanton in their temptation whilst a throaty bass sounds has their back, it bringing shadows into the equation. It is impossible to resist its enticement; it like many of the songs breeding a familiarity within a fresh and magnetic wash of imagination. Its successor Let It Lead You, the new single from the album, is very much the same, its presence and teasing that of a recognisable friend but in a brand new enterprising suit. The rhythmic beckoning at the start instantly has feet and hunger on alert whilst the keys and vocals alongside, not for the first time upon the album, a virulently addictive groove littered with potent hooks seduces with every note and touch. It is a deviously effective pop song and catchy doorway into the album and The Welcome Matt for newcomers.

Pop Junk Fluff and Hype steps up next, a funk fed introduction taking little time in recruiting thoughts and emotions as it romps eagerly around the ears. Fiery rock guitars flame over the pop canvas whilst vocals and keys leap with energetic rigour and enterprise. It is a spellbinding mix of styles and flavours, electro and alternative rock adding to the insatiable and outstanding toxicity. Just as epidemically enthralling is Mode Of Transportation, a fusion of power pop and indie/electro rock which plays like a mix of The Motors meets Cockney Rebel with a splash of Cheap Trick. The song almost prowls around the senses and imagination even in its radiantly hued stance leading the listener into yet another impossible to ignore or resist piece of excellent rock ‘n’ roll.

A Hail Mary mischievously teases from the outset with a discord bleeding caress of chords and electronic nagging, its suasion early XTC like with a little Hot Hot Heat festivity to its riveting coaxing whilst Get Shameless is a foot stomping dance of hypnotic rhythms and frisky melodies. Keys and bass add their individual textures to the electric dance as Langlois immerses the listener in a skilled and adventurous addiction.

Both Mind Control and Lets Really Go continue the impressive exploits within the album, the first with a seemingly Sparks bred form of pop punk with hooks and a bass pulse which stick welcome barbs in deeply and the second through a devilishly compelling transfixing slice of country rock sing-a-long with slithers of punk and rock ‘n‘ roll adding their teasing.

Cast A Line brings POPJUNKFLUFF&HYPE to a Bolan/Kinks tasting and enjoyable end to conclude a thoroughly thrilling and incredible contagious encounter. It is a storming blaze of pop rock which feeds every want and need with accomplished infectious ease, and an album all should pay attention to.

http://www.welcomemattsf.com

9/10

RingMaster 18/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

PET – Talk To You

Pet pic

A song which seduces the senses and intrigues thoughts whilst taking emotions on a mesmeric dance, Talk To You the new single from German electro pop band PET, is an enchanting invitation for the upcoming album from the Berlin sextet. Released via Neun Volt Records, the song is a magnetic persuasion which as the lead track from the forthcoming Imitation of Life, makes an investigation of the band’s new album a must.

Hailing from Berlin, PET have bred plenty of acclaim and attention with their singles such as No Yes No and the albums Player One Ready (2004) and Rewind The Sofa Lady (2006). Taking influences from the likes of Roxy Music, Blondie, XTC, and Buzzcocks into their mesmeric weaves, Pet with a new line-up consisting of guitarist/vocalist Andre Abshagen, keyboardist/vocalist from Monika Martin, drummer Dodo NKishi, bassist Stefania Vacca, percussionist Eric Voss, and newest member Julie Miess on bass and keys, has evolved its trademark electro-beats and sophisticated melodic venturing to new thrilling levels, certainly on the evidence of Talk To You.

The song opens with striking electro spirals of sonic temptation over excited beats. It is an instantly enthralling invitation which having 581168_759531444072274_29682852_nawoken attention settles into an embrace of melodic caresses around soothing vocals. There is an enchantment to the delivery which kisses the ear constantly whilst the bass litters the scenery with a delicious dark shadowed tone persistently skirted by the strikes of funk gaited guitar and the fascination of keys. Virulently infectious and evocatively entrancing the song is a sirenesque call upon the dancefloor and a contagious bait for the impending full-length release.

Supported by a remix of the song by Sao Paulo based DJ, Kina, a track which stretches out the emotive punchiness of the original without losing its snap and intensive catchiness, the single is an appealing and thoroughly enjoyable encounter. Wholly hypnotic with a seeming simplicity which belies the craft and intently sculpted textures of the sounds, Talk To You is a irresistible temptation, one quite impossible to ignore the invitation from.

Imitation of Life is due for release 28th November

https://www.facebook.com/PETmusicBerlin

8/10

RingMaster 04/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

 

No Middle Name – Another Season

397966_100243813513129_717284503_n

Released on Mollusc Records, the label that brought us the exceptional imaginative sounds of the debut Mammal Hum album last year, Another Season the debut single from No Middle Name is a track which ignites the imagination as it gently swarms around the ear. Offering a lo-fi bred warm enchantment the song is a soundscape for dreams and drifting thoughts in the haze of a summer heat and quite captivating

No Middle Name is the solo project of David Bailey, one half of The Title Sequence. The tale behind the single is that Rory Mansfield of Hull’s Mollusc records gave the artist the opportunity to create No Middle Name by allowing him unlimited access to Glove Box studio to craft an album. This came after a chance meeting at a garden party in Dalston. After an intense seven week period what emerged was not the acoustic piece the label was expecting but a lo-fi dream pop album employing creative and interesting uses of samples within the charms of guitars, synthesizers and the melodic songwriting that Bailey is renowned for with The Title Sequence. After a couple of teases online, Another Season is the first official release from the project and an enthralling invitation to the forthcoming album.

Featuring the delicious ethereal vocals of Lindsay West alongside Bailey, the song emerges from a distance to gently coax and draw in the senses as vocal harmonic samples and musty keys embrace the ear. Once confidently into its stride the dual vocals loudly whisper and glide over the imagination painting an elegant warm experience on their own with the vibrant sounds and enveloping atmosphere adding richer hues to the aural kaleidoscope. Simple in its touch and exquisite in its creation, the single strolls and skips over the emotions making visual suggestions as its evocative caresses and building depths wash over the senses with dreamy temptation.The almost nagging persistence of that vocal sample which haunts the ear from start to finish reminds in effect of The Somnambulist by XTC, its constant niggling a slightly sinister shadow within the golden blaze of splendour elsewhere.

Accompanied by an excellent eccentric animated video which Bailey created using a low-budget scanner and a pad of paper, as well as a series of radio shows exploring the influences behind his new musical path and featuring tracks off the album, as well as one off tracks made exclusively for the mixes at http://www.mixcloud.com/nomiddlename, Another Season is a delicious introduction to band which raises an eager appetite for the future full length release. With a sound said to be heavily influenced by the likes of Wild Nothing and Youth Lagoon, No Middle Name is a major adventure for the musical year set to expand fully when the first album, as suggested by the single, leads thoughts and passions into new arousing sun coated pastures.

https://www.facebook.com/nomiddlenamemusic

8/10

RingMaster 10/07/2013

 

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com