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Alt Rock

Jennings Couch speaks for the overtly headstrong in his Americana-Esque Indie-Pop-Rock amalgam, No Hands

NYC-born, London-residing alternative artist Jennings Couch is putting every artist in the assimilation game to shame with his viscerally unique approach to genre-fluid ingenuity.

If you can imagine what it would sound like if Post Malone and Imagine Dragons met somewhere in the middle, you will start to get an idea of the innovation that melodically sparks through the entire duration of his transfixing track, No Hands.

The Americana-Esque instrumental amalgam of indie, pop and rock, creates a solid platform for the deadpan yet rhythmically sharp vocals that will tattoo themselves in your mind from the first hit. Lyrically, the track is for the overtly headstrong so intent on making their own way they don’t realise the distance they’ve created from the people that leave their hands outstretched to hold. The way the singer-songwriter approaches the lyrical concept is nothing short of genius.

No Hands will officially release on January 27th. You can catch it yourself on Spotify and SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The waters of surf rock darkened under the psychedelic experimentalism of DETHHAUS in their latest single, And You

Take a psychedelic trip with the single, And You, from DETHHAUS’ double A-side, deathaus 2. Every time you think you’ve got their sound pinned down, there’s another aural curveball to broadside you and deliver you from the sonic monotony of easily pigeon-holed music.

if you can imagine what it would sound like if you slipped a tab of acid under the tongue of surf rock, implanted a few polyphonic grooves under the waves and threw in the crux of Zappa’s eccentricity, you’ll get an idea of what alchemically awaits when you hit play on this murky mesmeric feat of experimentalism.

After starting as a bass-centred surf rock duo, consisting of Johnny Void (X-Ray Youth) and Justin Welsh (Elastica), DETHHAUS indoctrinated Raiko Mud and his keys to start a new venture that would take the outfit across borders as they recorded this new single between Central Florida and England.

Stream And You on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

NY’s JShell teamed up with rock royalty for his post-punk spliced hit, Haunted

To kick off 2023, rock-inclined NY multi-instrumentalist, JShell, will be releasing 15 music videos in 30 days from his hotly anticipated audio and visual album, IN MY HEAD, featuring members of rock royalty, including Steve Hackett (Genesis) and Katie Jacoby (The Who).

We were lucky enough to get a sneak preview of Haunted, featuring Karen Abrams, Fernando Chirinos, and Sofie Jane. The single starts with a dramatically suspenseful horror score before giving way to the gravelly post-punk basslines and vocals that flow in the same biting vein of PIL and Magazine to bring in a nuclear explosion of rock.

The female vocals bring a shot to the heart of Joan Jett glamour before the maniacal riffs extend the progressive nature of the hit that throws curveball after curveball. It’s not rock n roll as you have known it before, but anyone with an affinity for experimental rock will want to get acquainted with this riotous feat of ingenuity.

The official video for Haunted will premiere on January 25th. Catch it on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

BackIVBlood – Cuts: Cowboys from Cwmbran

The recently forged South Wales metal three-piece, BackIVBlood, is laceratingly sharp in their debut single, Cuts. With elements of Pantera, Drowning Pool and Static X all legible in the adrenalized off-kilter ride through their progressive furore, it’s impossible not to get sucked into their grungy alt-metal antagonistically cathartic antics.

The caustically sharp vocals rail across the consistently evolving instrumentals that lustfully flirt with nu-metal in the rhythm section, stylise the ferocity with dynamic hard rock guitar licks and add nuanced layers of industrial metal to the fresh production, which unravels as an amalgam you’ve never tested the capacity of your neck with before.

Based on this exceptionally promising debut alone, the juggernautical powerhouse can count on me to be at the front row on their future tour dates.

Listen to Cuts on Spotify and YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Niky Pasolini has unleashed her illuminating indie dream-pop single, Light On

Alt-Indie singer-songwriter, Niky Pasolini, will release her debut album, Update, on January 20th. We were lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the standout dream-pop single, Light On; from the first ring of the alt-90s guitars and bleeding Shoegazey vocals, we were hooked into the vulnerably delicate self-produced hit. With engrossing reminiscence to Sixpence None the Richer in the guitars and the sense of sentimentality Light On is as illuminating as the title alludes.

The London-based artist wrote, created and recorded the entirety of the album in a makeshift studio in her basement to provide a refreshing antithesis to the extensively produced plastic pop that does little more than scratch at the superficial surface lyrically.

Light On will be available to stream with the rest of Niky Pasolini’s debut album, which documents her coming-of-age story, on January 20th via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Slip into the sanctum of 80s rock with Deadbeat Superheroes’ elegantly assured single, By the Side of the Road

‘By the Side of the Road’ is just one of the blissfully melodic singles from Toronto’s premier powerhouse, Deadbeat Superheroes’ latest 4-track EP, Edmonton, produced and engineered by Marek David (QOTSA, Dr Dre, Sheryl Crow).

Inspired by the ambience of Brian Eno’s delay-filtered guitars, the nuancedly 80s track allows you to slip back into the orchestrally heightened assured ease, which knows just what direction to take you in for you to arrive at a destination of mellowed catharsis.

After performing as a violinist in the outfit for the past seven years, the EP is the first release to utilise the soulfully warm vocal beguile of Julie Sun Lee, who carries all the harmonised mesmerism of Stevie Nicks, with none of the assimilation.

After hearing the almost tear-jerking elegance and artistry between the orchestral swells in By the Side of the Road, it is easy to regain lost faith in humanity. If you want proof that humans are still capable of curating awe-inspiring beauty, hit play.

Listen to the full EP on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Urban Cafe Crew launched a riotous pop-rock attack on society’s most blindly entitled generation with ‘Hey There Boomer, It’s Not OK’

Australia’s wittiest pop-rock outfit Urban Cafe Crew launched a riotous attack on the generation that set every subsequent one up for failure with their latest single, Hey There Boomer, It’s Not OK.

Every millennial and Gen Z can derive vindicating catharsis from the playfully scathing track that finds an antagonistically hooky way of relaying every boomer sin that has left the earth scorched and financial security out of reach for the majority.

But hey, the boomers had it the worst, right? Their determination to make the world worse for their offspring is warranted, right? They have a right to see any signs of social progression and drag it back with their knuckles that have scarcely been lifted off the floor since 1989, right?

Hey There Boomer, It’s Not OK was officially released on January 14th; check it out on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

One More Weekend will meet you at the crossroads in their latest alt-rock hit, Opportunity

Melbourne’s premier alt-rock outfit, One More Weekend, has unveiled their latest chill-inducing single, Opportunity. The opening pop-rock vocals are thick with insular malaise but there is plenty of sanctity in the jangle pop guitars that counter the ennui before the progressive track bursts into a fervid feat of riff-driven rock that will reel you in, overdriven hook, line, and sinker.

The only thing more visceral than the emotion within Opportunity, which offers an olive branch of resonance to the disenfranchised, is the distinction in their sound. The luminary outfit pays homage to Birds of Tokyo, Foo Fighters and The 1975 before stratospherically blasting into a distinctively refreshing pop-rock amalgam.

After performing hundreds of shows across Australia and racking up their streaming stats to achieve almost viral status, One More Weekend is one to watch.

Opportunity will officially release on January 19th. Hear it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Robots! Attack! break free through a bitter-sweet epiphany in their melodic rock hit, Tangled

Robots! Attack! by Robots! Attack!

Taken from their debut eponymous LP, the standout single, Tangled, from the Memphis-based fourpiece, Robots! Attack! is a reverently evocative rhythmic trip back to the alt-90s.

The breeze of the midwestern melodies is brought down to earth by southern grit in the grungy amalgam of punk, rock and harder-to-pin-down alternative inclinations that allow the outfit to carry fleeting reminiscences to Incubus and Deftones in their magnetically imploring vocal harmonies and the softly angular guitar lines that are never all too far away from an off-kilter breakdown.

While the lyrics allude to our tendency to fictionalise the characters in our own stories and give them far greater roles than they were destined for, the accordance-soaked instrumentals abstract any bitterness from the bitter-sweet epiphany of realising that time with some protagonists is always finite.

Tangled is available to stream and purchase via Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Knottie Boys released the ultimate punk-rock chagin soundtrack with ‘Sadsquatch’

Taken from their garagey punk-rock EP, A Face Fulla Dirt, the standout single, Sadsquatch, from The Knottie Boys is a melodically hook-rife exposition of reclaimed shame. By allowing the chagrin-deep lyrics to unravel as a series of confessions rooted in quirky indignity, Sadsquatch projects intimate disclosures in the same breath as lamenting about public knowledge of them.

It was an ingeniously bold move from the New York-hailing fourpiece, who have released two EPs and a studio album since forming in 2019. By pulling influence from CBGB headliners to folk-punk to the percussive fills of marching bands to the acts who made the 2007 Warped Tour infamous, the bitterly sweet powerhouse has carved out a niche and filled it to precision.

If Neutral Milk Hotel formed as a punk-rock outfit, they’d boast the same appeal as The Knottie Boys, who have exactly what it takes to be one of the premier NYC punk bands in 2023. Watch this space before they pour ennuitic resonance into it.

A Face Fulla Dirt is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast