Browsing Tag

90’s Grunge

The alt-rock originator, djamesk13, struck again with his grungy proto-punk single, And That’s Where It Ends, And So It All Begun

And That’s Where It Ends, And So It All Begun” is the latest tonally sublime single released by the London-based alt-rock originator djamesk13 (David Kemp).

If Dinosaur Jr veered away from grunge and towards proto-punk and made a pit stop at 90s Britpop to pick up a bit of extra guitar swagger, the sonic result would be in a similar vein to this nostalgically produced hit.

The distortedly and poetically orchestrated single provides a definitive discourse on the nature of our lives which runs through like pre-determined chapters of destiny. Lament it or live it to the max, but that’s the nature of being, captured in the lyrical hooks in this epitomisingly sludgy earworm.

And That’s Where It Ends, And So It All Begun was officially released on November 19th. Catch it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Outside Kids call for salvation in their grungy pop-punk visceral earworm, Hey God

https://open.spotify.com/track/5737H7NcEed6lBKA1bBCCW?si=7b0132d7a82043f8

With their Sub Pop record deal-worthy dynamic edge, The Outside Kids made us suckers for their cutting-edge nostalgic kicks through the lead single, Hey God, from their debut LP, Dirty Faces.

By implanting Green Day-style pop-punk hooks and a little RHCP melodicism in the 90s Seattle sound, the alt-rock duo found the perfect formula for earwormy infectious appeal in the contemporary rock scene. Sparked by a shared influence of Against Me! and Frank Turner, the duo’s symbiotically tight propensities entwine with their socially conscious edge to make their sound that little bit more soulfully gripping. The original icons of pop-punk got plenty right, but with evasive morality, the records will always resonate as bitterly juvenile; The Outside Kids brought the maturity the scene has always been deprived of.

The loud reprise of “can you hear me now” paired with the title of Hey God is a powerful allusion to the frustration we all feel when we forget that the world isn’t happening to us, we just happen to be here for the ride. Embrace the chaos with this perfect hit.

Hey God is now available to stream on Spotify with the rest of The Outside Kids’ album, Dirty Faces.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ruby Sue resisted the silence of alienation in her coming-of-age alt-rock debut album, The Need

https://open.spotify.com/album/0GTsIwcpwdU4RC7IYIlyKx?si=qNQdALpoR2OeVPaPraq6LQ

The Riot Grrrl attitude is living vicariously through Ruby Sue’s debut album, The Need, but make no mistake, she is an icon of her own making. The true definition of punk is a little hazy these days, but if it doesn’t encompass an artist bringing classical strings into a visceral protest of alienation, what is even the point?

Usually, there is little resonance to be found in coming-of-age albums for anyone that isn’t… coming of age, but The Need extends a sense of compassion for the unheard that can stretch across the generations. Even at 32 years old, the singles, especially the title single, struck a raw note within me.

The sweet melodious temperament of Taylor Swift, the nostalgic comfort of Brandi Carlile and the protestive grungy furore of Courtney Love all fuse together to make The Need an LP that is as cathartic as it is anarchically emboldening. The Minneapolis singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist clearly has a natural talent when it comes to consoling expression with her lyricism that lays it all bare in true rock star fashion.

With some of the singles, such as the mostly instrumental Let Me Out, the violin and viola strings bring an extra edge of cutting emotion, ensuring that there’s no getting to the end of this LP until you’ve felt an unholy amount of empathy for anyone enduring the process of growing into adulthood in these times that can send you off-kilter in a single heartbeat.

In her own words, here is what Ruby Sue had to say about her debut album:

“During my gap year between high school and college last year, I was feeling lost and trying to find myself; I found music. I’ve always been a musician, but music was the only thing that felt right when everything else felt off. The lyrics and melodies rushed out of me like a burst dam.

The Need tells a true story of needing to be seen, heard and experience life. Growing up isn’t easy; it can feel daunting and lonely; the ultimate message is that if you feel the need to be seen, you are not alone.”

The Need is now available to stream on Spotify.

Follow Ruby Sue on Instagram and TikTok.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Dirty Modal Souls went in search of adequate vernacular in their Brit-Grunge anthem, What’s the Word?

https://open.spotify.com/track/1FPdxomcmBp6e1mir8octf?si=0b04357c1d6e4d4d

In their first release of 2022, the Brit-Grunge trio, Dirty Modal Souls, catapulted us right back to the alt-90s. Lyrically, What’s the Word? is a snarlingly electric hook-constructed continuation of Cameo’s Word Up. Instrumentally, it’s a transatlantic riot of rugged basslines, cataclysmic breaks and guitars which express as much chagrin as the rancorous guitars.

If Faith No More hailed from this side of the pond, their earlier work would carry ample reminiscence to What’s the Word, which doesn’t lose the quintessentially British style of lament. That riled energy rubs up against the Seattle sound to create universal appeal.

What’s the Word is now available to stream on Spotify and purchase on Apple Music.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Elegant Chasers went off-kilter with the grungy panache in their sophomore single, Sunshine Mourning.

The Elegant Chasers

The Elegant Chasers brought their grungy panache back to the airwaves with the release of their sophomore single, Sunshine Mourning. We’d scarcely lost the earworm that was implanted through their debut single, Lets Ride, but we found ourselves gripped by Sunshine Mourning in a completely different capacity.

This time, the post-punk tinged track is as caustic as one of Sonic Youth’s most discordant releases in the verses and hooky enough in the choruses to give that stadium-filling effect that resonates as volatile gravitas once you get caught up within it.

The one-man powerhouse is taking full advantage of his independent artist freedom. Instead of attempting to appease moguls by pandering to the mediocrity in their tastes, he opted for an off-kilter track that splices together Nirvana-reminiscent drums, cleverly distorted vocals (we are talking Mike Patton level clever here) and guitars that are pliant enough to make your head spin. It is the epitome of an alt 90s aural riot. We can’t wait to hear what follows in his debut album.

Sunshine Mourning will officially release on February 11th. You can check it out for yourselves via SoundCloud and Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

Take Me Back: Cardiff’s The Vanities cure our souls sadness with ‘London’

https://open.spotify.com/album/7CEAI9Oig817kXpfnN7Hx2?si=f5qHNrw5SKKsps6CZb50tA

Taken off their hungrily-awaited 11-track magnum opus that has had our previously-cold mindsets feeling dragon-like recently on ‘2001‘, the extraordinarily appealing The Vanities help us heal from all preceding sadness with one of most entertaining tracks so far this year on ‘London‘.

The Vanities is a Cardiff, Wales-based 90s grunge and 80s synth/electro-pop/rock-inspired duo who have a real purpose ingrained into their veins that you can hear rumbling assuredly in their creatively-stimulated sound.

Combining a love of 90s grunge & 80s synth-pop, the band were a staple of the burgeoning South Wales music scene at the turn of the millennium, with highlights including a release on cult Cardiff-based label Boobytrap Records, selection for the late Tony Wilson’s influential In The City conference in Manchester, not to forget a bizarre collaboration with 80s icon Tony Hadley.” ~ The Vanities

After sparking our daydreams alive with the sunglasses-packed track that marked their rising above the ashes from hiatus on ‘HOLLYWOOD HILLS (INTERMISSION)‘, they further cement their name as one of the bands to listen to in 2021 with another glorious Gareth Bale-like 89th minute winner against England-type performance here. You can certainly see why BBC Radio Wales have wisely placed the band on their highly-prestigious Welsh A-List recently.

London‘ from fantastic Welsh indie synth-pop/rock act The Vanities plus a few extra friends who joined them on this one, is an imaginative and euphoric experience that is packed with pulsating piano, sexy sax, catchy whistling, travel thoughts, and lots of love for a city that has so much to see. The vocals here gush through your heart like a healing waterfall on a tired body, and this is just truly spectacular. The lovable Welsh duo has produced such pure joy yet again and for that, we truly thank them.

Hear this silky gem on their Bandcamp or Spotify and find out more about the likeable lads on FB.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Francis Botcherby brought the Seattle sound to morally bankrupt British shores with ‘Parliament of Wolves’

Francis Botcherby

Cambridge, UK-based alt solo artist, Francis Botcherby, has been honing in on his sound for over a decade; his music has featured on BBC Cambridgeshire amongst many stations. His most popular music video to date has racked up over 100,000 streams, and he has counted plenty of other successes in between.

His latest single, Parliament of Wolves, carries the same protestive lyrical edge as Billy Bragg, but stylistically, Botcherby brought the sound of Seattle to UK shores. With bassline growls that will evoke nostalgia for Soundgarden’s grungy licks and enigmatic vocals that carry a touch of the Mike Patton magic, there’s a fair amount of nostalgia but there is something incredibly refreshing about his shimmering guitars and grooving rhythms that throw further back to the days when Hendrix reigned supreme.

Francis Botcherby’s single Parliament of Wolves was officially released on December 3rd. You can check it out for yourselves via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

We’re infatuated, while Fred Whitacre, JR is ‘Less Smitten’ in his sonic Grunge single.

Fred Whitacre, JR’s latest indie grunge earworm, Less Smitten, acts as a TARDIS with one destination, the alt 90s. The over-driven distorted guitars eclipse the Seattle sound as Whitacre lends from heavier genres to ensure that the sticky-sweet melodies in Less Smitten hit with bruising impact.

If you could imagine the sweetly sentimental sound of Nada Surf, the disquiet chaos of Nirvana and the experimentalism of Pavement all rolled into one high-octane anthem where the buzzsaw riffs cut with a hint of pop-punk, you’ll get an idea of what is in store when you hit play. Quite honestly, I couldn’t be more infatuated with Less Smitten, which feels like quite the paradox, but it isn’t every day new grunge artists emerge with sludgy tones that lead to a spike of serotonin.

The official music video for Less Smitten is now available to stream via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

”Miniature Cyclops” from California Punk band Dads Under Where rock in with eccentric release

https://open.spotify.com/album/4PL88uC19ikuuNfIXoza8I?highlight=spotify:track:4RAAsUGkdjBRFdrmv379FC

Dads Under Where is a psychedelic rock band from Sacramento with punk, grunge, and math rock influences featuring manic theatrics that uncovers your inner rock n’ roller. ”Miniature Cyclops” .

The Californian 3-piece full of long shaggy hair and gritty guitar riffs, ice up with some gruff vocals illuminates the speakers. ”Miniature Cyclops” is a very eccentric song full of old school 90’s punk rock sounds. That era was a real top shelf time to be listening to this type of music. Dads Under Where would of fitted in well during this time as their music is fantastic.

With drums, vocals and guitar being the centerpieces here, the Sacramento outfit slam in sliding on the greasy dance floor. Dads Under Where bring back the fun of punk rock with a raving set up drums to set up the mood splendidly on ”Miniature Cyclops”.

Stream this new rocking track here on their Spotify music channel.

Check out the band’s Facebook page to find out more.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen