Browsing Tag

Alt 90s

Nestle into the safe chasm of alt-90s nostalgia with I’ve Tried Sleeping’s single, Without the Faintest Idea

With a moniker as defiantly dejected as I’ve Tried Sleeping, we knew we’d find ourselves head over heels when we dug into their eponymous debut album.

The standout single, Without the Faintest Idea, unravels as though Bob Dylan wrote The Truman show. Sonically, the single is an intersection between the college radio rock vibes of R.E.M., the striking viscerality of the Cranberries and to perfectly round off the single, there’s plenty of unadulteratedly classic rock riffs that drive the searing hot tones right into your synapses while they uplift you from the drudgery of the modern age into the safe chasm of alt-90s nostalgia.

If anyone has a chance of making it in the sorry state the music industry is in, it is the five-piece outfit fronted by Charlie Edwards. They’re a powerhouse, but that doesn’t get in the way of their effortless affability, which makes their tracks a pleasure to endlessly play on repeat. They get better with every listen.

Stream I’ve Tried Sleeping’s debut LP for yourselves on Spotify and Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

DC’s 90s indie rock renegades, Spunk Davies, delivered a fuzzed-up blast from the past with ‘High Tide’

Almost 30 years after their inception, the Washington D.C.-transpiring fuzzed-up rock n roll renegades, Spunk Davies, are launching their album, Your Turn to Scheme: Best of Spunk Davies 1993-97. Comprising of freshly mastered hits and material that has never before hit streaming platforms.

The seminal scuzzy indie rock meets garage rock track, High Tide, is the perfect introduction to their relic of a release that swarms with mid-alt-90s nostalgia and stays true to their dive bar-esque brand of hard, fast, and loud indie that has filled iconic venues, such as the 9:30 and the Black Cat in DC.

Their sound is one that countless bands are keen to derivatively assimilate, but notably, there’s nothing like the real deafening deal that Spunk Davies assertedly delivered in the infectious energy of High Tide. If you remembered them from the 90s, prepare to fall back in love with their erratic riff-gasmic frenetic edge. If, like me, Spunk Davies are new to your ears, set your expectation for one of the most authentic indie acts you’ve heard in the last decade.

The official music video for High Tide premiered on October 15th. Catch it on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Fearless Liars bring the groove in their alt-electro-rock promise of perpetuity, Always

Electro alt-rock provocateurs, Fearless Liars have remained a firm fixture of the Denver music scene since 1999. With their 2021 self-titled debut album, their groove-led guitar music gave international aficionados of experimentalism something to sink their melody-loving teeth into.

Retaining their alt-90s sound, the standout single, Always, made a playful promise of perpetuity through the rolling basslines, funk-chopped guitars and analogue synths that will be a hit with any Bis fans. Fearless Liars may not sound like a loveable outfit but after just one hit of Always, we’re obsessed with their enigmatic energy, which makes it easy to see why the independent DIY outfit has never fallen short of adoration in their long-spanning career.

Check out Fearless Liars on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Condition Baker delivered a tenacious exposition of coming-of-age disillusion with their pop-punk hit, One Thing

The Holbrook, MA three-piece, Condition Baker, lace their pop-punk sound with an alt-90s twist; their latest single, One Thing, is the perfect introduction to their uniquely grungy and punchy sound distortion.

The infectious coming of age of lament unfurls around massive guitars fed through layers of frenetic distortion, drumbeats inspired by the Seattle grunge era and lyrics that are hooky enough that you can hang your coat on them before you head to the pit and enjoy the classic pop-punk choruses that keep on giving with every listen.

Any fans of Dookie-era Green Day, Jawbreaker, Descendants and Alkaline Trio will undoubtedly want to delve into this tenacious exposition of adulthood disillusion and exhaustion.

One Thing is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Kablamo traverses the otherworldly in their post-punk-y indie release, Unnatural

Kablamo self-proclaims their debut self-titled EP to be personal, genuine and, at times, indulgent; I can fully attest to the indulgence being universal once you slip into the seminal single, Unnatural.

Unnatural unravels through dreamy guitar melodies, glassy synths and ragged post-punk basslines beneath the dream pop vocals which mellifluously breeze through the sentimentally heartfelt release, which all too readily imparts the emotion. An evocative response to the kaleidoscopic colour of Unnatural is non-optional.

Any fans of Deerhunter, Beach House, Tame Impala and Wild Nothing will undoubtedly want to sink their teeth into this paradoxically ambiently striking release.

The debut self-titled EP hit the airwaves on September 9th. You can hear it for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Miss Kill sharpened their knives in their evocatively jagged alt-90s revival EP, Don’t Tell Me Twice

Few artists create a route back to the 90s as creatively as the Bristol sister duo, Miss Kill. Their debut EP, Don’t Tell Me Twice, hits the sonic Seattle mark just as well as it channels the emotional energy of the golden era of raw, sludgy anthems.

I’ve seen countless bios attesting to the influence of Hole, Pearl Jam and Placebo from artists too evocatively inadept to revive that clawingly consuming candour, not Miss Kill. Even the non-lexical vocals are a skeleton key to insecure soul. Each track on the 5-track release affirms the power of their tenaciously heart-breaking songwriting talent that feels so viscerally comforting in a time of such little relative comfort.

One of the lead singles from the EP, All You Gotta Do, kicks up a tumultuous storm of frustration around artful alt-rock instrumentals while the vocals unfalteringly stretch across the melancholic landscape that deserves to be firmly implanted on the playlists you turn to in protest to the exhausting unfulfillment of life and everything it has to throw at you.

Don’t Tell Me Twice was officially released on September 16th. Sink into it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

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

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

Scottish alt-rock pioneers her picture showed us ‘The Nature of It’ with their debut single.

Scotland’s freshest 4-piece alt-rock ensemble, her picture showed us what originality sounds like in 2022 with their debut single, The Nature of It. Their citation of Ben Howard and Pink Floyd as their influences barely scratches the riff-powered surface of their blend of colourful reverb-dripping ambience and intensely overdriven rock.

Just as the records from My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, and The House of Love demand to be listened to at maximum volume, the hauntedly beckoning vocals over the artfully proggy instrumentals that throw cataclysmic breakdowns at you at the drop of a hat were built for complete audiophilic immersion. I’m yet to hear another more visceral alt rock debut this year.

The Nature of It is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: KAIS is artfully transcendent in his new EP, Hot Air Balloon

The alt-90s are definitively alive in the latest EP from the multifacetedly talented artist and songwriter KAIS. From his studio in Cyprus, the award-winning and BBC-favourite artist delivered three melodic singles that toe the line between artful ingenuity and meditative transcendence.

The opening single, Horizon, carries reminiscences of BETA BAND, but via a 25-year wormhole with its languid guitar licks, groovy trip-hoppy drums and blissful boyband-style vocals.

Track two, Turning to Gold, is enough to throw you right back to the not-too-distant nostalgia of Doves’ There Goes the Fear with its lush, laid-back, bluesy laments and heartbreaking swoonsome melodies.

The final and eponymous track, Hot Air Balloon, boasts a more dynamic, choppy funk, which echoes The Bends era Radiohead via Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ more melodic syncopations.

Putting the context behind his singles, KAIS said

“Horizon is a Citizen Cope / David Gilmor-esque inspired ode to tapping into one’s inherent free spirit, which commonly unearths in the lovers’ bond. It paints an image of a man that once swam with his beloved in the magic of a summer night’s sea and attempts to reconnect with the ubiquitous “baby how’s your day?”

Turning to Gold is a hymn of lovers as they traverse life’s highs and lows. It reaches into metaphysical spheres while weighing on the fact that bliss cannot be found when one is merely dreaming.

Hot Air Balloon is a metaphor for pregnancy. As the process unfolds, whereby a spirit permeates and rises into the boundless world, a Hot Air Balloon rises into the ether (where our thoughts drift and amalgamate).”

If any contemporary can unwrite all the false premises of capitalist romanticism and affirm that the beauty of love and life lies in the simplest of moments, it is KAIS. He knows just how to bring his epiphanous concepts to life so that the sonic end result is just as mind-bending as his laureate-like revelations.

The Hot Air Balloon EP is now available to stream on Spotify, Bandcamp and YouTube.

Follow KAIS on Facebook & Instagram

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Mystical Hot Chocolate Endeavors delivered a prodigal prog-rock evocative firestorm through their single, MU-TH-UR

I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting a band under the moniker The Mystical Hot Chocolate Endeavors to sound like, but as sexy as Deftones & Kyuss wasn’t high on the list.

Fresh from the release of their MU-TH-UR EP, they sucked us into the atmosphere of the title single, which catapulted us across the spectrum of human emotion with the tightly tumultuous post-rock gravitas.

There is something endlessly sweet about the melancholy-tinged harmonies, which run in the same vein as Incubus, creating a bridge over the proggy furore that can’t be pinned down with any discernable accuracy. MU-TH-ER was the result of pure unbridled experimentation. Yet, with the stellar songwriting talent, The Mystical Hot Chocolate Endeavors makes it easy to enjoy going along with the ride that hits you with crescendo after curveball after breakdown. Considering that gas prices are at an all-time high, you may as well expand your horizons with the hypnotic propensities in the progressions in MU-TH-ER. We know we will. Repeatedly.

MU-TH-ER is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast