Panic Attack is available at:
Grunge; Rock ‘n’ Roll
IT is challenging being in this line of work and coming up with anything…
new to say. Not in a bad way: I just encounter so many bands, it is near-impossible putting a different spin on things. Whilst The Ronaynes play music with plenty of life, quality and originality: I find myself (briefly) back in Scotland. I am splitting reviews for the next week- a lot of them feature artists from Scotland and Yorkshire- so it is good to start things with a look into one of Glasgow’s best kept secrets. Before I come to them, it is worth revisiting the music emerging from Glasgow; the importance of mixing genders into a band- looking at the genres of Grunge and Rock ‘n’ Roll to complete things. So many music fans are looking around searching for those quality bands: Those that can play heavy and hard but make sure there is nuance and repeatability to be found. With so many brief and disposable bands coming through- that drop a great album only to disappear from view- the challenge is finding an act that can endure and improve. With the sheer amount of competitors flooding the market, the question is this: How do you make sure you are in the public’s attention years down the line? The simple answer is ‘you can’t’. Music today is such an overcrowded and unpredictable thing: You never know which artists are going to go the distance. That said, I can always detect an artist that has that potential: Early sounds that have the potential to lead to long-term success and acclaim. Away from the obvious avenues for new music- those big cities of England- it is great to see Glasgow producing so many terrific and unique artists. Historically, the city has produced a wide range of artists who have made their impressions on the music world. From Franz Ferdinand’s arty Rock to Primal Scream’s legendary music: Glasgow is a city that has not exactly slouched when it comes to those legends and leaders. Throw in Marmalade, Mogwai and Belle and Sebastian: Softer ‘middle-of-the-road’ acts such as Deacon Blue and The Fratellis call Glasgow home. I often speculate- when assessing a city or area- what causes the type of music and quality that emerges. Glasgow prefers to play with that core of Rock: Throwing in Electronic and Dance elements; that primal and exciting core seems to mandate a lot of the output. Whilst areas like London have more Pop and Soul artists: Glasgow has a tougher edge and more grit than elsewhere in the U.K. This can lead to some homogenisation- you have to dig deep to find great Pop, Electro.-Pop and Folk singers- but the Rock bands they are producing rank among the best of the moment. I have listed a few legends- some of them still playing today- and that is just the tip of the iceberg. Rock (or Rock ‘n’ Roll) is one of the hardest genres to make new and original. There is mobility, but due to the sheer number of bands doing the same thing, separating yourself from the pack is extremely difficult. I encounter so many bands that are cut from the same cloth: At the end of the song, you hardly come away overly impressed or surprised. Luckily, The Ronaynes have taken the time to ensure their music leaves the listener wanting more. Whilst they do wear a few influences on their sleeves, the music they are coming up with has enough verve, passion and invention to stand them in good stead. Here is a band that is building slowly and ensuring their music has plenty of nuance and appeal. I think so many acts are nervous they need to put out music: You get rushed and hurried songs that possess no depth and intelligence. The Ronaynes have grown up listening to Grunge, Rock and Indie artists- from the ‘70s/’80s legends to the upcoming acts via Nirvana and their Grunge peers. With so many boy-only bands out there- I am stunned there are so few mixed-gender acts- it is always a nice surprise finding a band with a female lead. It is 2016 but there is that depressing over-reliance on the 4/5-piece band with only men among the ranks. I guess it is not their fault: Diversity and difference always leads to stronger music, mind. With male and female members (in the band) not only will the vocals have a greater range- the music and lyrical content will have different angles and possibilities. The Ronaynes understand how important it is to distinguish themselves and not just be your run-of-the-mill band. Before I continue my point, let me introduce them to you:
Debi Mason – Singer
Guitar – Steven Mcauley
Guitar – Jamie Reid
Bass – Mark Mcguinness
Drums – Jenny Tingle
“A filthy breed of classic rock, glam and grunge with a controversial twist has the music world talking about the Ronaynes”.
The band’s description of themselves (above) is a pretty apt summation. There is no room for relaxation and Pop cliché in the ranks. With a powerful female lead- and an equally assured female percussion section- the boys’ strings nestle together in songs that have that familiarity to them. Those who love the past masters of Grunge will find a lot to love inside The Ronaynes. The Glasgow five-piece do not simply replicate the past: Their fusions of Rock and Glam are the perfect blends that make the feet move and the hairs stand to attention. Authoritative yet melodic; direct and developed: A band that hits you first time but ensure their notes stay in the head for a very long time. I am not sure what they are planning for the next few months- a new record or single- but it seems like they have enough material for an E.P. Maybe the guys have already been in the studio- recording that E.P. – but it will be interesting to see what is coming next. Having completed a series of great gigs, the band are looking forward and keeping their fans abreast. Keen to connect with their followers- keep them in the loop with regards developments and plans- I am going to be following their progress and what they have in mind. Panic Attack is a stunning insight into one of Glasgow’s best upcoming acts. They are not an act that simply throws songs about love into the ether. They investigate common and diverse concerns; they have a social coincidence and are a relevant band. In a tumultuous and uncertain time, you need musicians that are speaking for you- not those that are obsessed with their own heartbreak and misery. An honest and vintage-sounding band with modern attitude and impetus: This year will surely see them make their way into the public forum. With a loyal fan-base and solid sound: Who would bet against them taking the festival circuit by storm?
Panic Attack was originally released a while ago: It is one of the band’s newest cut and something that represents where they are at the moment. Capturing their live energy and those wonderful performances- together with a sturdy and professional production- I was keen to look back at their earlier works to see any changes and alterations. Johnny Jones mixes a Rock backbone with an emotive and impassioned vocal from our lead. The band comes together in a performance that has soulful edges and something quite melodic. When called for, the mood lifts and the harder edges come through. What the band does is have Grunge and Rock working in the back but give it a controversial twist. The emphasis is very much on distinguishing the sounds aside from expectations. Those vibrant and full-bodied vocals have huge soulfulness- and could be straight out of Motown- whilst the composition brings some gravel and pummel into the mix. The songs look at issues of love and relationships but give the areas new meaning and potential. When It Comes Around is another song that shows the band are not your average and predictable players. Every track has those captivating vocals and a rounded and multi-genre composition. It would be good to see the group stretch their subjects out across a future E.P. Whilst they tackle everyday love and relations with new angles: There are other subjects and concerns that would benefit from their chemistry and shared talents. Political unrest and modern-day social issue are not often tackled by a lot of bands. That gritty and hard-rocking music could inspire young listeners to become more involved in social and political issues. Whether The Ronaynes are settled on their current themes- tales from their lives and something more relatable- I feel they have that potential to broaden their horizons and address lesser-heard themes.
The band released the E.P., No Courage Without Fear– that brings all their previous songs together in one record- and showcases their full talents and abilities. I hope the band have another E.P. in them and continue their sterling work throughout 2016.
I love that the band has already put out in terms of quality and sound. That inimitable lead vocal and core sound has meant they are building their fan-base and growing in reputation. It would be good to see the band exploit this on future recordings and perhaps expand their palette. Having such wonderful musicians- and incredible singer- at their disposal could see them own anything they touch. Perhaps something more pained and angst- like the classic Grunge anthems- could come in or maybe something overtly Glam-Rock and danceable. It is not my job to suggest the band’s angle but I love the music they have already offered. So much confidence and authority already exist: I just know they can achieve some great things and really expand their influence. With each new release, you get something a little different and unexpected. Panic Attack takes love and day-to-day but gives it a new angle and attention. It would be great to see the guys step aside completely from relations (for a few more songs) and fully exploit their abilities and hugely powerful music.
Panic Attack begins with a rampant and meaningful charge. Reminding me a little of Elle King’s Ex’s & Oh’s– that same chugged momentum and sound- you have a track that has that Blues rooting together with a blend of Detroit Rock and Amy Winehouse-esque soul. Everything comes together in those initial moments but remains restrained and controlled- the band does not explode out of the gates too soon. The firepower and potential come out right from the start. Our heroine starts with advised a man to “keep on running”. That vocal is well-paced and ensures every word is delineated with care for emotion and setting the scene. Whilst the composition has those Blues-cum-Rock blends, the vocal is a lot more soulful than you’d expect. This is a good thing as it gives the lyrics of chase and anxiety a charm and beguiling allure. Perhaps the song looks at two lovers with very different agenda or perhaps an overall warning against panic attacks. Whilst so many of us get those feelings in our veins- a caution that is laid out on the song- maybe there is panic inside a bond that has hit the skids. You cannot ignore the confidence and passion that comes through in the vocals: It ensures each lyric has that quality and urgency desperately needed. In previous numbers, the band has experimented more with Grunge and Rock edginess. Here, that is done to a lesser degree: What you have is a song that marries Rock ‘n’ Roll of the ‘50s and ‘60s with something modern and contemporary. Tying these older and modern threads together- ensuring the track has its heart in the 21st century- will mean a multitude of listeners and music fans will appreciate the song.
Interpreting the song, we see a man that is not who he used to be. I become curious as to what has happened and compelled the song. You cannot shut this man “out of the door”. There seems to be control and something dangerous coming out. The man is hard to shift and there is that air of suffocation. When the heart “skips a beat” it is not in a romantic thing: That fear and attack has Grunge sensibility but is delivered with beehive swing and revives the swinging ‘60s Soul sound. Few bands mine the territories of Rock, Soul and Blues inside songs that investigate unsavoury characters- it works wonderfully here. Whether this song is written in the first-person- our heroine is recalling hard times from days past- or it is fictional, I am not sure. The Devil stands over her and there seems to be no room to escape. Inside the domestic unrest and entrapment, you get a song that plays a catchy and addictive beat. The percussion keeps slamming whilst the strings have groove and dance to them. From my “front to my back” that panic attack is making its feeling known. With some backing vocals- that add to that intensity- you get a song that ensures the issues and lyrics have accessibility to them. The Ronaynes are a band who has shown how hard-hitting and unique they are- the themes they explore and the sounds they unite- and here they have probably created their finest track. At every stage, Panic Attack showcases what a tight unit they are. The performances are consistently committed whilst that lead vocal ensures the right balance of light and grave danger. It is rare to find a band that deal with well-worn cores- relations and love- but push it out and tackle different sides. The desperation and need for escape keeps coming up for breath. Our heroine asks whether we heard her scream: That hopelessness and need for salvation is one of the most haunted and electrifying pleas you will hear. If the delivery lacks that necessary scream and Grunge roar, perhaps the soulful and big-bodied alternative works even better. Spooky and ill-fated, our lead seems to pray to the heavens and look for a savior to lead her away from her tormentor. Themes of domestic abuse and stress might not seem like a goldmine for musical revelation: Such is the rarity of its exposure The Ronaynes sound utterly fresh and new. There is no other band that treads the same lines with that blend of sounds and elements. The composition never relents its campaign and urgency: The percussion slams with sweat whilst the guitars and bass keep the blood flowing fast. The rough-and-tumble nature then explodes into something demonic as our heroine unleashes a single scream- the summation of her pains and harrow. The chorus remains catchy and memorable- in spite of the subjects it broaches- whilst the band ensure the final notes are as compelling as the first. At every stage, you wonder whether you have the song licked and have interpreted it right. That central figure- who started out/in the past was so nice- has now turned and showing a different side. I wondered whether the song was a personal revelation from the lead or something that distances itself from personal revelation.
The mix of ‘60s Soul and Rock/Grunge undertones makes the track such an instant thing. In future cuts, I would love to see the band ramp things up and let their Grunge animal out a little more. The lam-cum-Blues sounds unite inside Panic Attack. The testifying Soul and Rock swagger bonds surprisingly effective and ensures there is fire and rumble throughout. You cannot refute the emotion and conviction of that central performance. Debbie Mason has a mature voice that stands her apart from her contemporaries. Singers like Amy Winehouse are inspiring a wave of new artists of the moment. The combination of grit and anxiety- together with Soul power and something utterly exposed- means artists like Ella King are getting a lot of attention. Perhaps an unsurprisingly sound- given how much Winehouse meant to people- it is nice to see a female singer step away from that obvious idol. You get a bit of Winehouse but the abiding sound is a singer with native accent and love of ‘60s Soul. On Facebook, the band markets themselves as a blend of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Grunge and Glam. Whilst there is some Grunge barbed-wire and undertones, you get more Glam and Rock ‘n’ Roll emerge. Those ‘50s Rock swings- unusual for a modern band to be influenced by that genre- is given a retro. twist and lease of life. The Ronaynes are a band that take existing genres/styles and give it vitality and fresh lease. Steven Mcauley and Jamie Reid allow their guitars to give the song Rock nervousness and plenty of layers. It is not just about raw emotions and directness. With the guitars, you get danceable swing and something tender in places. The duo combines well and propels the vocal- ensuring the pained lyrics are given appropriate support and drive. Mark Mcguinness ensures his bass keeps things disciplined and ties all the threads together. With Jenny Tingle providing sturdy percussion- that pummel and constant drive- you have a drummer that perfectly injects a tormented heartbeat and spades of urgency. Together, the band ensures Panic Attack lingers in the mind and reveals its true potential over repeated assaults. Given the subject matter and nature of the lyrics, everything is dealt with maturity and intelligence.
It is always a nervous experience- for me anyone- coming up with something new to say about a band. Having reviewed hundreds of acts across the last few years- and having a very set style and way of writing- it is getting harder finding new angles and topics. Whilst Glasgow- and the words written about them- have become familiar and a little worn- the acts emerging from here are anything but. Having previously reviewed The Fables- a couple of great local bands coming shortly- it is the music and sounds that are the most important things. With the next few reviews being a challenging thing- new ways to write about Glasgow, Rock and bands in general- for today I have been captivated enough with the music on offer. The Ronaynes have only been playing for a short time but have made in-roads and created a name that has seen them amasses some loyal and dedicated fans. It is no surprise (this has happened) given the mix of sounds and the way they perform. Their songs are not predictable and the same as other acts- heartbreak tales and overly-familiar stories- whilst every performance bursts with energy and commitment. The tight-knit connection of the members can be heard in every single note. Having two female members (and three boys) in the band has resulted in a rare chemistry that allows their music to showcase depth, diversity and layers. So many bands are filled with boys and you get limitations and predictability. That strong and to-the-bone vocal is backed by incredible compositions that have instantaneous and epic status. There are Grunge bones and gristle inside Glam stomps and Rock ‘n’ Roll swagger. That blend of cool-and-spiked makes the Glasgow band a fascinating proposition.
Rebelling against the worst instincts a lot of bands show- stadium-sized songs with no depth and originality- you have a five-piece that is grittier and more real than a lot of their peers. With 2016 shaping-up to be a rather unsettling and unpredictable one- in terms of the political turmoil and violence that rages- there is anger and fear in the minds of many. The Ronaynes are a band that reflects a lot of this uncertainty inside songs that strike against the normal yet document universal feelings. Away from that, there is plenty of personal insight and familiarity: They are not a band that is too singular and restrictive. I am curious to find where the quintet is headed and what their next move is. They have unveiled a few tracks and it seems like there is definite scope for an E.P. or album. Having has a run of gigs under their belt, they will be more confident and assured than ever. Having gained that live experience- and made sure their songs have been rehearsed and well received- surely will compel them to not only record some new tracks but put the existing tracks together with them. In 2016 it is important our bands and musicians separate themselves and try and make their music as long-lasting as they can. I am worried there is that tendency to rush into making music through fear of missing out- as a result, songs seem half-baked and under-cooked. While too many bands are sticklers for Indie and Alternative sounds- they are popular so why not? – there are so many other avenues worth exploring. Dance and Electronic sounds can be thrown into Rock music- like Primal Scream did across Screamadelica– whilst Punk and Grunge are always there for the taking. The Ronaynes have ensured they are not a divisive band: By the same token, they do not want to be too familiar and predictable. While a lot of their peers make music to get the feet moving; here we have music with a much more ambitious intention. Those Glam-cum-Grunge minglings get the brain inspired and make the heart pump. The feet and arms move; the voice shouts and supports- songs that get the entire body activated and united. Glasgow has once more showed what it is capable of. There is a thriving local scene which sees bands and artists support one another. I was lead to The Ronaynes by a Scottish photographer- other Glasgow bands have pointed me to home-town favourites- so there is that desire to get the city on the map. The truth is; Glasgow has never stopped impressing and producing great acts. It is just the media and largest attention is trained to other parts of the U.K. Being so far away from the capital does not mean the music deserves to be overlooked. Maybe there is not the number of great solo artists you’d hope for- there is a tendency towards bands largely- but the groups on offer have that energy and originality the music world craves. If Punk and Grunge is not your bag then there are more subtle and studied alternatives. If you are a fan of something more artful and Pop-based then you have plenty of options available. Our Glasgow quintet has a future ahead of them and need people to support their music and help it spread. With Panic Attack currently on offer…
NOW is the time to get these guys the attention they deserve.
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