Album review by Valhala. Rating it 9/10!
The exotic and wholly improbable journey Rhett May has made since his birth in the far flung locale of Calcutta, India is the stuff that makes great movies. The influence of western music made its way to the far flung east by the mid-60’s and Rhett May, in response, formed his first band at the tender age of fifteen. The Wooly Bullys soon morphed into The Flint Stones and attracted national attention as India’s most popular musical act of the era. Their hit song “Be Mine (Happy by My Side)” was released by the HMV/EMI label and May and his young band mates parlayed that success into interest from iconic Beatles guitarist George Harrison and concert appearances in the UK. May emigrated from India in 1969 and ended up in Australia where he formed another band that went through a number of name changes before settling on the name Lucifer. Lucifer experienced significant success in the region and frequently opened for major touring acts like Queen and Ray Charles. Changing fashions knocked May’s musical career out of the box and, by the late seventies, May would find himself exiled from popular music for three decades. Four years after his return with the 2013 EP Insatiable, Rhett May’s latest full length album Creatures of the Night proves that passion never dies.
The album kicks off in a memorable way with the track “Somebody’s Watching You”. May’s talent for building tracks, following time-tested rock music dynamics, is obvious early on and makes this track a real punchy opener. There’s a brash boisterousness about this that separates Rhett May from his peers and his vocals are rough-hewn, in some ways, but energetic and intensely melodic. “Back Seat of My Chevy” has a bit of a different tenor and an obvious more personal slant while the album’s title track provides listeners with May’s first stunning stylistic shift in the collection. It’s a dark, somewhat foreboding number that finds May conjuring tremendous atmosphere without ever risking self-indulgence. “Latex Lady”, one of the album’s highlighted cuts, is a character study in essence, but it also finds May returning to familiar rock and roll ground and the mix of instruments is sure to garner a lot of attention.
“Kiss Your Mama with That Mouth” is one of the most creative cuts on Creatures of the Night. There’s an impressive sensitivity in the song that the title belies, but there’s an equal amount of attitude fueling the performance. The album’s longest track, “Elixir of the Gods”, recalls May’s upbringing in India, but the exotic textures he incorporates are never laid on too thick and there’s enough of a suggestion to make this stand out even more than the other high quality cuts surrounding this one. “Sing for Me” has some of the same personal air we’ve heard on earlier tracks, but this never strikes one as a purely confessional number. Instead, May’s songwriting serves himself and the audience alike thanks to his skills for making the personal universal. Creatures of the Night is a fantastic release and will win May countless new adherents.
Album review by Carlitos Music Blog gets 9 out of 10 stars!
The latest release from Australian based singer/songwriter Rhett May, Creatures of the Night, is a thirteen song collection solidifying his standing as one of the indie scene’s best musical artists. It’s the next bracing step in a thrilling musical journey spanning forty plus years, two continents, and brushes with iconic artists. May brings many of his formative influences to bear on the album’s songwriting but, despite his age, the tracks on Creatures of the Night bristle with modernity and an adult point of view full of vigor and imagination more commonly associated with much younger artists. The production snaps with the top flight fidelity we associate with major label acts and there’s a sharp balance achieved between the instruments that makes the thirteen songs sound like an unified, coherent listening experience. Creatures of the Night is an entertaining and highly intelligent reminder of what a quality songwriter and musician can accomplish.
The opener is such an important number from any musician or band. “Somebody’s Watching You” brings newcomers into the burning heart of May’s creative with its combination of rugged rock and roll guitars, scintillating lead work, and surprising amount of melodic value. May isn’t just a superb songwriter and musician – the song’s lyrical content is quite good and May’s observational powers shine through. The title song, “Creatures of the Night”, is one of the vivid experiments on the album and wholly successful. May’s arrangement for the song has a surprising amount of delicacy while still ably managing to conjure reams of atmosphere. “Latex Lady” is one of the stellar tracks that make Creatures of the Night really fly. The same quasi orchestrated approach May takes on the album’s most successful rock tracks hits a peak with this number and the adult subject matter of the songwriting never hits a prurient note. “Sandy Sweet As Candy” is a hard rocking number with gutsy and tough-minded guitar work – the lead guitar playing is rather fiery.
“Space Between Breaths” is another meditative, moody track tailored to a similar length as the other tracks. May’s focus throughout the release is one of the great strengths of the album and few tracks better embody that strength than the title song and this track. It takes a substantial amount of talent to bring these disparate elements together in a track with a definite shape and thrust. “Elixir of the Gods” is the lengthiest song on the album and shows off May’s wont for challenging listener’s preconceptions. Some of his eastern musical influences come through here and the exotic feel adds much to the song, but what makes it work in the end is how May combines those twists with solid fundamentals. “Lexxi Mccoy” and “Bella My Baby” are two more solid shots of pure rock and roll that are entertaining, but there’s equal parts intelligence and artistry driving these tracks. May surprises us a final time with the album’s closer. “When We Make Love” is a stab in the direction of classy jazz and doesn’t sound out of place at all with the album’s numerous rock performances. Creatures of the Night will appeal to a wide swath of fans and those introduced to its charms will bring him countless new fans.
Creatures of the night. Album review by Indie Mindy. Greatest release yet!
Creatures of the Night is a thirteen song release from Australian based singer/songwriter Rhett May. May’s long tenure in popular music has seen him experience considerable commercial success in multiple decades and his time away from the music world saw no dimming of his considerable talents. May’s career began in the mid 1960’s when he formed his first band, The Wooly Bullys, at the age of fifteen and this formative unit morphed into The Flint Stones. May and his band experienced considerable success in his native India and that notoriety spilled over to live appearances throughout the Far East and the United Kingdom as well. May left India in 1969 and moved to Australia where he formed another band, Lucifer, who logged considerable stage time opening for bands and performers touring down under – Ray Charles and Queen, among others. The popularity of disco sabotaged any further efforts to elevate their profile and May, along with many other musicians, soon found himself on the outside looking in when it came to his musical career. It wasn’t until over thirty years later that May returned with a 2013 EP release and his latest effort, Creatures of the Night, underscores how successful his return to the musical world has been.
Much of Creatures of the Night leans in the rock direction, but never falls for the standard tropes and poses that we so often rightly associate with the form. Rhett May has an energetic way of attacking those sort of songs thanks to his inspired approach to song construction and has such command over the genre’s fundamentals that it’s impossible to not find yourself drawn in. “Back Seat of My Chevy” doesn’t have such a heavy hand and whips up an assortment of recognizable imagery while still striking an individual note. The acoustic guitar opening the song soon gives way to its electric counterpart, but it never goes away and provides a firm foundation for the rhythm track. The title song has a theatrical air that May presents in just the right way and his vocals help contribute much to the performance. “Latex Lady” is the album’s first single and it has a forceful musical attack without ever overpowering the listener. May really succeeds here and elsewhere at creating characters rather than just simply concerning himself with his point of view. The drumming has a crisp snap that sets a tone from the first.
There’s a number of strong tracks during the album’s second half, but the marquee moments come with the extended piece “Elixir of the Gods”, “Symphony of Sorrow”, and “When We Make Love”. Each of these songs are radically different from one another. “Elixir of the Gods” revisits the sounds of May’s Calcutta childhood in a very credible way and its exotic tastefulness is a standout moment on the album. “Symphony of Sorrow” changes gears quite a bit and ditches the six string workout heard on other tracks and pursues a hard-hitting rhythm section approach. “When We Make Love” concludes the album with a turn to blues and jazz that many listeners will find great fun. Rhett May’s return to music has paid handsome artistic dividends and Creatures of the Night is his greatest release yet.
Rhett May’s ‘Creatures Of The Night’ Album Challenges The Current Landscape Of The Rock Music Genre.
Heavily influenced by seminal rock groups such as the Beatles, the music of singer/songwriter Rhett May is a labor of love. He has brought his unique blend of Eastern and Western music to the mainstream rock genre and conveying a message of peace and cultural equality. One of the many projects May has in the works, including a book of his over 200 written poems and another full-length LP to be released later, Creatures of the Night is a collection of 13 diverse tracks that feature May’s proficiency on vocals, sitar, and guitar. LISTEN HERE!
Victoria, Australia, August 29th, 2016 –
Much the the style of Rhett May’s music can be attributed to his upbringing. Born in Calcutta in 1950, May became part of a diverse music scene consisting primarily of Carnatic and Hindustani music that heavily feature the sitar and tabla. In addition to the native music styles of the country, the proliferation of Western music across the globe began to take hold and May was exposed to the music of rock legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Cream, The Monkees, and The Beatles.
At age 15, May formed his fist band, The Wooly Bullys, who won Battle of the Bands in 1966. After performing at notable venues of the time such as the Park Hotel, Trincas, and Mocambo’s the Bullys evolved into the Flint Stones, who became one of the most successful pop groups in India. They were featured in a number of music publications, and known for their hit single “Be Mine”, which attracted the attention of legendary Beatles guitarist George Harrison and Apple Records.
During this time, Rhett continued his musical evolution and experienced a great deal of success, which included performing for the Queen of Buhtan.
In 1969, May left his native Calcutta and headed for Australia, where he won the Perth Talent Quest as a solo artist in 1971. He then formed what would eventually become May’s most notable music outfit, Lucifer, which experienced success throughout the 1970s opening for a number of legendary artists including Queen and Ray Charles.
Fast forward to 2015 where his album ‘Fast Cars and Sitars’ broke the mould of radio rock with sounds reminiscent of The Beatles with a string of hit singles including “Rich Bitch”, “Drifting and Dreaming”, and the Grammy nominated “The Violence of Ice”.
Now, a year after ‘Fast Cars and Sitars’, May is releasing his 13-track masterpiece in the making ‘Creatures of the Night’, which he describes as an album that will showcase his breadth of songwriting abilities and set the stage for future albums.
Songs like ‘Kiss your Mama with that Mouth’, ‘Space Between Breaths’, ‘Creatures of the Night’, are absolute killers that will have you panting for more !!
The raunchy ‘Lexxi McCoy’, Sandy Sweet as Candy’ and ‘Bella My Baby’ will have you grabbing for your air guitar and banging your head and wishing for the “when the van is rocking don’t come knocking’ days of rock and roll.
A surprise or two such as the Indian influenced ‘Elixir of the Gods’ with a huge sounding layer on instrumentation and a soaring vocal that can easily take you higher when meditating…and a beautiful rendition of the heart wrenchingly poignant ‘Symphony of Sorrow’…shows that May can sing as he writes…beautifully !!
The first single off the album ‘Latex Lady’ takes you on a fast and sensual trip down the discipline lane…while ‘Back Seat of my Chevy’ is a real in your face ‘ball-tearer’.
‘Creatures of the Night’ closes with the jazz influenced ‘When we make Love’….bringing you down to earth and wallowing in an aftermath of WOW…what have I just heard ??
‘Creatures of the Night’ will be available through Musik and Film Records via the Orchard/Sony label.
Just the beginning of a busy future for May, which will include recording another LP with his childhood buddy James ‘Jimbo’ Payne…15 songs that are already written, and hopefully a book containing May’s more than 200 works of poetry.
For more information on Rhett May, check out his website at www.rhettmay.com or find him on Spotify.
Also check out his YouTube video for his track “Latex Lady”, which will appear on the ‘Creatures of the Night’ album.
Album review by Skope Magazine. Impressive listen!
“Rhett May’s “Creatures of the Night” is a perfect blend of pop and psychedelic performed with passion. Showcasing his immense talent, the guitar work is absolutely amazing as he goes from the gentle to the blistering, oftentimes within the same song. Nicely tying everything together his is affectionate lyricism heavily focused on love, lust, and the confusion that comes with relationships. “Creatures of the Night” runs the gamut from the jazzy sound of “When We Make Love” to the bombastic beautiful distortion of “Sandy Sweet as Candy”. By far the highlight of the album is the playful glam rock of “Latex Lady”. With a driving rhythm the song simply dominates, and the lyrics reveal a character study of a particularly special someone. Opting for a classic rock sound is the affectionate work of “Back Seat Of My Chevy”. Ambitious in its scope is the gargantuan sound of “ElixIr Of the Gods”..a mystical almost otherworldly feel. IMPRESSIVE LISTEN…A MUST !!” — Skope Magazine, Aug 12, 2016
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- ‘The Violence of Ice’ single has received another Music Award for Best Rock Ballad…Check it out HERE
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(FMQB Top 200)
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Press release: From the heat of Australia comes ‘The Violence of Ice’, the new single from Rhett May. Melbourne songwriter opens string of new tracks with guitar led rock song on 2nd October
Primarily influenced by the classic songwriting of John Lennon, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, Rhett May is a rock writer who has moulded his own sound over several decades in the industry. His self-produced rock is simple, raw and homemade – without over-the-top production but with plenty to say about May’s take on the modern world.
Having spent a large part of his childhood in Calcutta, India, his guitar led songs are infused with the sounds of the Indian streets, giving his music a different flavour to the majority of current, cookie cutter rock music. By blending classic sensibilities with a twist of Indian culture, he has created a string of upcoming singles, the first of which will be ‘The Violence of Ice’ – out October 2nd.
With a musical career which spans back to the seventies when his band Lucifer supported legendary rock band Queen, Rhett May is a voice of experience in a rock world which has become increasingly shallow. He’s toured the world, seen the music industry from the inside, and watched the dark side of the business consume those around him.
Throughout those experiences, Rhett May continually turned away the excesses of the industry, choosing instead to write his own story as opposed to those who fell into the clutches of addiction. His is a positive message, song writing influenced by a wide and varied backstory which took him from an orphanage at seven years old, to the streets of Calcutta in India, to settling in Melbourne, Australia as part of Lucifer.
It’s a lifetime of stories that shape Rhett May’s song writing, not to mention his work ethic – both musically and personally – which sees him answering every piece of fan mail individually.
And come the release of ‘The Violence of Ice’ on October 2nd, we suspect he’ll be answering plenty more.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01223 844 440