Rocketsmith roll out feelgood-rock forged in friendship

When you consider that Rocketsmith’s roots trace back to the rural town of Pickering – which, per head, probably has one of the most vibrant music scenes in the UK – the formation of a band of this ilk makes perfect sense. In a place where there’s little else to do other than go to the pub, play music and be in bands (in this case, all three!), they embody the very nature of reet-good rock’n’roll. A fact that is reflected in the title of the EP ‘Balancing Act‘, which nods to balancing their hectic work lives with their desire to perform.

Collectively they are consummate performers both live and in the studio but strip away the rock’n’roll and you’ll find that Andy is an egg farmer, Hank is a painter and decorator, Anth is a tiler and Matt is an electrical engineer. Between them, they’ve played in countless bands over the years, but have always known of their desire to step out of the shadows with their own original material. A family friendly bunch, led with the track ‘Give Love‘, which stands as a resounding proclamation of all people really need to give to one another – Be it a smile, a laugh, a hug or any simple gesture that can change someone’s life for the better.

Andy has commented how, on a personal level, Rocketsmith helped him through a trough of depression and elevated his sense of self-worth and confidence. In the true essence of what forming a band is all about, that love for meeting new people and that feeling of winning over a crowd are in equal parts overwhelming.

The EP ‘Balancing Act‘ (Out Now) was written over the autumn of 2018 and early 2019, incorporating two previously recorded tracks ‘Hope in the Beat‘ and Give Love backing up Jenny, Chasing Ghosts, Beautiful Soul and Real Life – six songs that the band feel are the strongest material they’ve recorded to date.

See Rocketsmith Live

July 13th – Rocking All Over the Wold, Easingwold

August 18th – Rocketsmith live at Tribfest! Tribfest, Driffield

September 13th – Apollo Bar, Scarborough

September 15th – The Little Angel, Whitby

September 22nd – Sun Inn Beer Festival, Pickering

November 23rd – The Little Angel, Whitby

December 7th – The Lettered Board, Pickering

December 20th – Market Hall, Scarborough

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rocketsmithuk/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rocketsmithuk1

Website: https://www.reverbnation.com/rocketsmith

Cruel intentions brought to life in Transylvanian rock opera

On 22nd October this year, Troxy Theatre in London will host a special ‘one night only’ performance of Romanian playwright Tibor Molnar’s rock opera Cruel. In the tale of an almost impossible love affair between a married man and a libertine girl dying of cancer, the audience will explore the emotional universe of four characters in a journey through their thoughts, doubts and temptations, with an acute focus on their psyche and inner turmoil.

Tickets are available here: https://dice.fm/event/6evab-cruel-the-rock-opera-22nd-oct-troxy-london-tickets

Musically staged combining a church organ with a full rock band, a string quartet and four of Transylvania’s top rock vocalists, Tibor Molnar’s original script will be brought to life through the vision of artistic director Cezar Ghioca – the only Romanian theatre director specialising in musicals having studied in the United States while also holding a Ph.D in theatre from the Bucharest National University of Theatre Arts and Film. Ahead of the performance, he has already laid out some of his overall guidelines for how the performance will be orchestrated.

Drawing on influences ranging from Schubert to death-metal, the performance is largely staged as a rock concert – visible scaffolding, lights, smoke and projections, but, as a play, less importance is given to the narrative plot with a larger focus on the overall explorative process of the themes being portrayed. In utilising a small cast of characters, this affords the Mise-en-scène greater potential for exploring their emotional universe. The staging will employ similar-bodied dancers to project the alter-egos of the characters through their choreography, further emphasised utilising video-wall projections as either a subjective mirror, to convey personal memories or simply to heighten the illusion of a ‘dream space’.

Aural and visual factors will have equal and fluid importance. At any time – the band, the projections, the singers or the dancers can take precedent in what will be constructed as a surreal narrative. Theoretically, this is envisioned to harmoniously bring about a variety to the performance and flesh out the same organically created world.

The show promises a high degree of originality. With little to no experience or tradition in musical theatre coming from Romania, and therefore this, in turn, extends itself to the highly ambitious nature of the project. Cruel is set to be a stage experience that no-one will forget.

Created by Tibor Molnar

Directed by Cezar Ghioca

Soloists:

Raluca Stoica – soprano

Andy Ghost – baritone

Alexandru Arnautu – tenor

Sara Hajdu – alto

Chordis string quartet

Lehel Lorinczi – organist

Pink Milk redefine shoegaze and post-rock with their emotive new single ‘Heart of Fire’

”A fluid, loose, almost drunken drawl that you can imagine playing in the background of one of those misty bar scenes in Twin Peaks” – Wonderland

Hailing from the far north and east of Sweden and offering a treat for fans of bands like My Bloody Valentine and Cocteau Twins, duo Pink Milk are back with their new single Heart of Fire – a track that exceeds the high expectations anticipated following the release of their critically acclaimed 2017 album ‘Purple’. 

Known for their captivating use of guitars and bass and Maria’s spacey, transcending vocals, Heart of Fire comes as a devastatingly powerful shoegaze ballad with heaps of cinematic soundscape and a towering magnitude of noise. Lyrically the song is fueled with emotion, written for Maria’s recently born first child their latest track comes with a tenderness that isn’t always displayed in songs of rock genre.

With the past year presenting Pink Milk with nominations for best rock / metal of the year in the prestigious P3 Gold-award, Album of the Year and Breakthrough of the Year in Gaffa, WOW of the Year in Rockskallen Music Awards and Shoegaze album of the Year on the US radio channel DKFM the duo are set for a good year ahead.

Click on the links below to listen further!

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/pinkmilktheband

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvRWoJAz6IGcGmuw3qqah9A

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pm_theband

Website: http://www.pinkmilkmusic.com

 

Alt-Blues Diva, Rasha Jay, takes the ‘High Dive’ to Bring Soul to Modern Rock

Taking precedent from the likes of Big Mama Thornton and Sister Rosetta Tharpe before her, Rasha Jay is an artist who’s not afraid to stride beyond convention and make music that’s true to herself. This is music that harks back to a previous time where blues and rock bounced in tandem, and women wailed with no apology. Her raw soul vocals and songwriting ability combined with blues based alt-rock – as seen in her forthcoming EP ‘High Dive‘, she has managed to take rock back its roots while also managing to keep her sound simultaneously fresh and urgent.

Thinking figuratively about how a person protects themselves from love, the underlying themes emanating through lead track ‘Red Coat‘ have been meticulously crafted to bring out elements that show just how dark, murky and conflicted love can be. Speaking about the record as a whole, she explains: “The EP ‘High Dive’, is a continuation of that exploration, the tangled mess of relating to each other, if and when to dive in, jump out, and the audience that’s always waiting to see what happens.

Rasha’s mantra stems from one of looking to encourage all artists who are unsure of their own writing ability, or those who are lacking the confidence to write anything at all. From her own heart comes a raw, thunderous love for performing. To her, singing is like another language where you use the same words differently – it’s like learning to speak all over again, and once learnt there’s no turning back.

In order to typify the feeling Rasha is endeavouring to portray, everything is enveloped in a raw state. Her voice, the music – all the elements are kept as simple as possible with the sole aim of getting the message across. Furthering this, Rasha offers some insight on her lyrics: “I am in love with words, how they sound, nerdy things like syllable counts, inflection and assonance. But that adoration comes through in my songs, I hope.

Away from the limelight, Rasha Jay has also been an active member of her community – volunteering for various non-profit organisations as either a mentor or helping homeless young adults. Her passion for words also extends to reading. Coupled with her love for using her voice, she’s also spent time reading to children at story time and in various other settings and has also notably stepped neatly into a voice-over role having narrated Talk Show Wendy Williams‘ audiobook ‘Hold me in Contempt‘, back in 2014.

Rasha Jay typifies a very niche selective of African-American alt-rock artists. She has not gone on record to say that she is looking to break down walls or to change anyone’s perceptions of the genre, this is merely the style that feels most appropriate and true to herself, and from that foundation she will endeavour to sing her heart out.

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/c/RashaJay4816

Facebook: www.facebook.com/rashajaymusic

Twitter: www.twitter.com/rashajay

Instagram: www.instagram.com/rashajaymusic

Website: www.rashajay.com

The Lost Relic of Rock – The ‘Wailing Recluse’ has Risen

Seemingly having emerged from a deep sleep since the early part of the 1970’s, Wailing Recluse – a Sabbathian resurrection from the musical mind of Richard Terris, is channelling the legendary pipes of Robert Plant, Paul Rodgers and Ian Gillan to re-capture the essence of an iron-forged heritage, while also reflecting a cathartic edge carved from personal experience. With a sound etched from the obelisk of the vintage stalwarts of Blues and Heavy Rock, comparisons with the likes of Cream, Free and Led Zeppelin are inescapable but fall short of the resurgent energy and excitement the self-titled record brings to a modern audience.

Though shouldering a firm belief that the best art comes from a dark place, this record harnesses these emotions as a means of stirring up creative energy. Despite several line-up changes, an uncompromising single mindedness dragged this project to life. With a framework in place to emphasise a sound that’s close to his heart, Terris utilised the experience of session musicians to record the album. And with the initial ideas he laid out suitably enriched throughout the process, Wailing Recluse took formation with a sound that may have sprung from a dark place, but will resonate with audiences in the truest and most honest fashion for it.

In a similar vain to Led Zeppelin, Wailing Recluse adopts an creative philosophy that evokes the finished product of the album should be considered the complete package, as opposed to cherry-picking singles to give listeners a flavour of what’s to come. In true 70’s tradition, the Wailing Recluse record pivots around the “mid-gig experience”, 2 acoustic tracks which bring a different ambience to the record when viewed from afar and help accentuate the high and lows of the journey being undertaken.

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6ThQFTsvOak6xcCS6nRIOP

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1muVnjweuFaLp–0Iy7Eog

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wailingrecluse/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wailingrecluse

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wailingrecluse/

Website: https://wailingrecluse.com/

An Introspective Gaze Through the Music of Charlie Rees

The raw emotive value that any kind of music can bring forward has a healing quality in itself. Scotland’s own Charlie Rees is an interesting architect for evolving emotional experiences from his own life into a medium, by which, catharsis enables both the artist and listener to share in a moving experience that dissolves its topicality, and transcends its meaning. Through dissection of the upcoming single ‘Hourglass’, we can see how this process came to life.

Charlie Rees - Hourglass

Exploration of this kind of inward analysis has given rise to a confident assertion of his trauma through healthier means. By the Rees’ own admission, the song was written at a time when he was in a very bad place:

“I was in a toxic relationship…slipping down into previous depression that I thought I had recovered from… When I decided to look back on my relationships with others… I had to come to terms with the facts…it’s better that we part ways before we become more hurt than we already are, so we can move on and help better ourselves and our lives.”

‘Hourglass’ offers a more introspective look than previous single ‘Bitter Taste’, which was crafted with a much more confrontational attitude in mind. The opening notes of the track hit you square on with a summation of the core themes that comprise the feeling of the record. There is a real sense of an arc through the track, of overcoming personal strife to reach salvation through reflection. By the time the chorus reprises there is an overwhelming sense of a comforting hand reaching out to you to lift you from something darker in tone.

Having first earned his stripes as a musician as the vocalist for Oceans Collide, Rees then went on to drum for Cerberon before taking steps to release this solo project.

Exposing and confronting old wounds are a challenge that most of us will come across in life and by challenging his melancholy, Rees has found a means by which his desire to inspire and help people has found tangible form.

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/1XJ9l44up83djiBzsDtptS

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cuHqQh63qQ

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CharlieReesOfficial/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/RealCharlieRees

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/charlieare/

Ben Katzman’s DeGreaser Welcome Back Guilt-Free Shredding!

Building up from the rawest foundations, the element which holds the truest translation to musical competency is fire. Fire is synonymous with belief, and perhaps the most identifiable embodiment of belief is the guitar. Founder of Boston’s BUFU record label and sole fixed member of DeGreaser, Ben Katzman has been looking to bring the glory of feel-good rock back to the masses.

Self personification is paramount to success, and at the heart of the philosophy he wants to portray. So what does that entail? For one, individuality is the most valuable commodity that a musician can possess. Stemming from a mantra at the forefront of success is to remember that music is about having a good time above all else, and that you shouldn’t be afraid to be yourself.

From the humble beginnings of being a 9 year old full of anger, problems mounting due to struggling with an inability to express one-self, Ben found an outlet for his frustration through writing music. Now returning for his second full-length solo project -“Quarter Life Crisis”, there is no self-evident baggage of turbulent meaning weighing down what is in essence a straight up rock record.

Indeed, his label seemed to begin from similar territory. Ben had enrolled in Boston’s Berklee College of Music, but had remained unable to relate to the lessons being taught as a means to flourish musically. Starting out with making tapes out of his dorm room, BUFU has worked its way up to being an internationally distributed source, with material sitting in stores all over the world. Now, a number of albums have received note from independent to major press outlets such as Sub Pop and Warner Brothers.

Above all else, Ben respects any band whose success wasn’t handed to them. DeGreaser is a concept that is proud to be what it is. Having felt that rock has become a genre that now takes itself too seriously – losing that sense of ridiculousness from its forefathers, what’s on offer is diverse and plentiful, and above all seemingly a very honest interpretation of the man himself.

 

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIhoC557bGpA-TJTQR2cD2Q

Facebook: www.facebook.com/chillinmadhard

Instagram: @bkdegreaser69

Website: www.benkatzman.com

Sixty Seconds on Songwriting with Heronimus Fin

Underground rockers, Heronimus Fin, release their new album on 20th August and with it introduce a heavier side to the band. After four albums of hugely acclaimed psychedelic and folk adventures, they present ‘The Pharmacist’, a concept album following the tragic life of an individual addicted to prescription drugs. We catch up with the quintet to find out more…

Tell us more about the concept behind The Pharmacist and where it originated from.

The concept is based loosely on my own situation having been on prescription medication for 30+ years due to chronic migraines and now finding the medication has become the problem, the addiction…I think this has become a major issue for many people today who look for a solution to an ailment then the solution becomes the problem..ironic really!

Your songs are anchored by strong lyrical content, what’s on the spectrum of topics you’ve covered so far?

We’ve written about such things as high school shootings/gun culture, political mismanagement, conspiracy theories, deaths through recreational drug use, prophecy, historical stories, animal cruelty.

Which acts do you cite as a source of inspiration?

Musically our influences are late 60’s/early 70’s psych prog rock bands such as Budgie, Black Sabbath, Golden Earring, Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper.

You’ve pivoted to a new realm of rock on this album. What can you tell us about the production?

It was co produced at Woodbine Studios, Leamington by John Rivers (who did The Specials – Ghost Town/ Ocean Colour Scene), it’s very 60’s/70’s influenced rock production.
Follow Heronimus Fin:

Sixty Seconds on Songwriting with Pat and the Pros

There’s not a corner of this world that music can’t reach, Pat and the Pros are proof of that. Hailing from a remote part of the Indian Ocean, Réunion Island’s Patrice Pouzet is surrounded by the kind of scenery which only exists in holiday brochures and photoshopped desktop backgrounds, yet he has single-mindedly forged a music career completely at odds with his surroundings. We get in touch with ‘the Robinson Crusoe of Rock’ to find out more…

Did you write “Hey Ooo I A O” with the intention of it becoming an earworm?

I wrote this song because I had “Hey Ooo I A O” going in loops in my head! Each time I play this song it stays in the listeners head, that’s why the lyrics end with “now in your head”.

Which acts have inspired you to create music?

Pink Floyd,  Tears for Fears, Simple Mind, U2, Kings of Leon, Sound Garden, Supertramp, EWF, Christopher Cross, Led Zep, Aerosmith, AC/DC, America, Brian Ferry …

You’ve had a lengthy career in music, tell us some of your biggest achievements.

Winning Battle of the Bands in London (at the Fountain) in September 1999 with my previous band from Reunion Island (Parallele). We also managed to play at venues/places like the Garage, The Kings Head, Orange, in London in 1999. In Reunion Island we played at : Theatre de Saint Gilles, Theatre du Tampon, Palaxa which are three of the top theaters/venues.

Follow Pat and the Pros:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/pat-and-pros

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/20El8slB9lQ1AoKSaxBZdB

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClrPeeAmYwSa2tpxQUN1Wlw

Facebook: www.facebook.com/PatAndThePros/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pat_and_the_pros/

This is what A Flock of Seagulls song ‘I Ran (So Far Away)’ sounds like as seven different genres

Everyone’s favourite 80’s new wave band, A Flock of Seagulls, are making a comeback!
For the first time since 1984, all four original members of the band appear on-record together for brand new album ‘Ascension’. To celebrate their return, we’re re-living the best covers of the band’s smash hit ‘I Ran (So Far Away)’. What’s clear from the variety of versions is that there’s not a corner of the music industry A Flock of Seagulls haven’t touch with their calling card hit. From stripped-back piano renditions, to pop-punk covers, and a rap homage, there’s a little something for everyone below.

Tori Amos

This renowned songstress covered the hit on her Original Sinsuality/Summer Of Sin tour in Denver, during Piano Bar Time, after confessing she had ‘gotten into this weird 80’s thing’. Despite worrying aloud that her cover might not be up to scratch, she later released the version along with the rest of the show in the 3rd CD of The Original Bootlegs. This video is a live audio recording from her show at Paramount Theatre, Denver, CO on 19 April 2005.

Buy Tori Amos – The Original Bootlegs here.

Bowling For Soup

The pop punk heroes put their stamp on the single for the 2003 reissue of Drunk Enough to Dance and their Punk Rock 101 single. Both the original and the punk cover are the theme song of the American DiC dubbed version of Saint Seiya, also known as Knights of the Zodiac. The cover is also featured in the film National Lampoon’s Van Wilder: Freshman Year.

Buy Bowling For Soup – Drunk Enough to Dance here.

Hidden in Plain View

This New Jersey five-piece gave I Ran (So Far Away) the post-hardcore treatment for covers compilation album Punk Goes 80’s under Fearless Records. It’s not miles away from the Bowling For Soup cover, but if you’re looking for a little more grit and a little less bounce, this is the cover for you.

Buy Punk Goes 80’s here.

Darude & Blake Lewis (Gareth Emery remix)

Well, you never have to wonder what it would sound like to cross a platinum-selling Finnish DJ, an American Idol finalist, and a trance legend with 80’s new wave. Darude and Blake Lewis covered the tune in 2008, before Gareth Emery got his hands on it, turning it into this floor-filling banger.

Nickleback

The titans of rock aired their no-frills, high-octane version during several dates of their Dark Horse tour in 2010, with guitarist Ryan Peake on lead vocal duties.

Lonely Island

The comedy duo contributed this unbeatable cover for an SNL skit entitled ‘Iran So Far’. Andy Samberg serenades Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadeinejad (Fred Armisen) with a song about their undeniable love, while Maroon 5’s Adam Levine lends his vocals for the ‘I Ran’ chorus. If you’re not sold on that information alone, know that there’s also a cameo by Jake Gyllenhaal.

Slim Thug

You’ve heard the pop punk covers, the stripped down piano versions, and the comedy takes, now it’s time to hear the rap version. American spitter Slim Thug adds a taste of the streets with his cover ‘I Run’. The track, which was featured on his 2009 album Boss of All Bosses, interpolates through his bars.

Grab a copy of Wishing: The Very Best and remind yourself of A Flock of Seagulls biggest and best.