Hard rockers ACE MAFIA have just released a self-titled EP, promoted through Rock ‘N’ Growl Promotion on 15th September 2018, followed a fortnight later by an official launch at the Big Red in London on 29th September. The initial seed of the band’s inception was sown way back when founding member Geos Letona arrived in London from Argentina in 2002 and met Richie Faulkner in London, via the Camden-based rock covers band METALWORKS. The pair worked on some demos but as time went on as they had trouble finding a vocalist that seemed the right fit.
In 2007, Bruno Agra, another local musician and producer initially joined the pair to work on engineering and producing Letona’s album, but was so impressed by the sound, he ended up becoming the band’s drummer! Meanwhile, Letona was already friends with K. Ghibli, and his voice and performance impressed where others had failed thus far. He joined forces with Letona, Faulkner and Agra; Ace Mafia was officially formed! The band independently released an album, ‘Vicious Circle’, in 2009, with Ben Lundy replacing Faulkner on lead guitar whilst he was off touring with LAUREN HARRIS. Following Faulkner’s return to the band, Ace Mafia toured throughout 2010 as a five-piece, keeping Lundy in the fold for his great tea-making skills as well as his fantastic fretwork! New drummer Jerry Sadowski was recruited in 2011 after Agra emigrated, but the band suffered another blow after Faulkner left to join JUDAS PRIEST in 2012, leaving Ace Mafia on long-term hiatus until January of 2018, when a meeting between Lundy, Ghibli, Sadowski and Letona stoked the old fire and prompted the recording of this new four-track EP, which features some recordings with Faulkner.
First track, and lead single, ‘Snakes ‘n’ Ladders’ is an explosive, invigorating song packed full of grungy riffs and hard hitting percussion. The deftly-produced frenetic fretwork is perfectly accompanied by powerful vocals and a driving bass beat. It’s a powerhouse introduction to the band. ‘Face to Face’ begins with a few simple piano chords in sequence, and I’m lulled into thinking this is an out and out rock ballad, but then a killer soaring riff assaults my eardrums, accompanied by swaggering thrashing drums. Intense raw vocals with emotionally-rich lyrics draw me into the story of the song, “The world fades away, can’t hear what they’re saying, now that we’re standing face to face”. The near-constant rising guitar licks, impeccable though they are, might have felt overindulgent on any other song but this…this song is an atmospheric ear worm that is utterly intoxicating.
‘Stop Loss’ is powered by the rhythm section, the meaty chugging bass, driving drums and grungy rhythm guitar, layered with primal, rough around the edges vocals and at times more melodious ones betraying the emotion in the song, and dramatic, assured riffs. Final track ‘Breathlessness’ begins with a groovy sleazy riff which doesn’t let up until the very last note of the track. Ace Mafia are determined that you won’t forget them in a hurry! This is a catchy ear worm of a song with slightly gruff and raspy vocals that really suit the song and team up beautifully with the grungy riff; this killer combo, plus the sing-a-long “do-do-do-do-do-do” has been driving me crazy for the past few days! The pounding drums and solid bass undertones are understated yet hypnotic at the same time.
Ace Mafia have produced an EP that is more than enough to whet the appetite and conveys what a cohesive and ambitious unit the band is. If you’re in the London area on 29th September, get yourself down to the Big Red and catch their EP release show, it’s free entry! The quartet are expected to announce details about a forthcoming tour and album release soon.
Ben Lundy - lead guitar
K. Ghibli - vocals/rhythm guitar
Jerry Sadowski - drums
Geos Letona - bass/backing vocals
(On the EP but not currently in the band - Richie Faulkner - lead and rhythm guitars)
‘Ace Mafia’ track listing:-
Snakes ‘n’ Ladders
Face to Face
Official website: http://www.acemafiarock.com
Facebook: http:// www.facebook.com/acemafiarock
Big Red EP launch show: https://www.facebook.com/events/283197232246094/
Watch the ‘Snakes ‘n’ Ladders’ video here: https://youtu.be/nYPtWErYiE