LA’s prodigal sons of alt-rock, Left of the Slash, are set to release their hotly anticipated psych-laden, grunge rock single, Never Let Go. The rising artist may take their sound seriously, but they made the track infectious from the first hit. The vocal personality is just as enticing as Cobain’s during his 1993 unplugged performance of Plateau.
With fleeting reminiscences to everyone from Modest Mouse to Pixies to Sonic Youth to Queens of the Stone Age, Left of the Slash refreshingly eclipse the golden era of grunge and no-wave while adding one of the freshest new takes on sludge pop that we have heard this year.
It would be no surprise to see Left of the Slash’s name added to the roster of artists at Sub Pop or Ipecac Records. Has someone informed Mike Patton that they exist yet?
Never Let Go will be available to stream from June 11th. Check out Left of the Slash via Facebook and Instagram.
Any fans of Mazzy Star will want to tune into Mal Hombre’s latest single, When It Rains, featuring vocals from Coco SaFir. The soft blues slides and bends in the intro give way to a creeping soundscape that will allow you to imagine what the soundtrack would sound like if Tarantino and Lynch Co-Produced a film.
Coco SaFir’s vocals perfectly complement Mal Hombre’s fragile yet resoundingly cinematic instrumental style as it flows through a myriad of stylistic twists and turns. With the soft saxophones as the track gears up for a psychedelic outro, you won’t need to smoke to get high with this 70s-inspired stoner rock track that also introduces elements of folk, jazz and synthpop.
When It Rains is one of those tragically rare singles that compels you to crank up the volume until you can’t quite tell if you’re absorbing the single or it is absorbing you. It’s quite literally a breathtaking single that we couldn’t speak more highly of.
‘Spirit City Kiss’ is the latest single released by alt-indie-rock artist KAIS, the suitably sweet grungy tones are tinted with the nuances of psych-pop and swathes of alt 90s nostalgia. If Dinosaur Jr’s 2021 album didn’t hit the spot, the hazily over-driven tones in Spirit City Kiss definitely will.
Fans of Blur, The Charlatans, The Beatles and Dinosaur Jr alike will want to delve into the psychotropic soundscape inspired by the cities that make us feel home, even if our home is on the other side of the ocean. The dreamy reverb wraps around the subversive lyrics that may sound like your usual amorous tropes at first but if you read between the lines, you’ll find that KAIS has, once again, explored ubiquitous social dynamics and tapped into a relatively unexplored part of our consciousness that yearns for our spiritual homes.
Being no stranger to international travel, the Canadian, Jordan-born singer-songwriter and instrumentalist now finds himself residing in Cyprus, where he works out of his recording studio, Hot Soap Studios.
KAIS has been travelling the globe and gracing stages since the early 00s. In 2014, he took part in the Mayor of London Big Busk. In 2014, he graduated with a diploma in Music Production and Sound Engineering (Point Blank Music College). With a full band, he performed throughout Vancouver, Toronto, and Seattle in 2016 and 2017.
With an EP in the works and due for release later in 2021, you’ll want to save a spot on your radar.
Spirit City Kiss released on May 14th; you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.
The first single from third album ‘Queen of Drama’ (due for release on 21st May 2021), German alternative five-piece Royal Incest bring us this delightful ‘Invitation’ to their ‘house of gold’, with its exquisite torture chamber of scissors, thumbscrews, and boiling oils. ‘Invitation’ bounces along on a hooky little riff, time changes and stop/starts just in the right places to catch you unawares and add to the sense of foreboding and discomfort. It’s kind of poppy-indie-feeling for the most part, but there’s some cute little ‘metal’ sections that sound a bit like Pantera or Rage, a nice wah-wah driven shredded solo, and some decent staccato drum-led parts, all of which segue nicely together into a mixture of punk, grunge, and indie-tinged rock. Founded in 1992 near Munster, ‘Queen of Drama’ is a fine return for Royal Incest; ‘Invitation’ is a great introduction to the new album, ably added to by the rather shiny official video.
You can see the video for ‘Invitation’ on YouTube. Check out Royal Incest on Facebook.
It is getting increasingly difficult for alt-rock outfits to carve a niche, yet, Utah-hailing alt-rock trio MoonSugar made light work of establishing an authentic yet nostalgically immersive sound with their debut single, ‘Spinning Out’.
Breathy tender vocals can be hit or miss, but the harmonically light vocal timbre is right on the mark as it boasts reminiscences to Big Thief, The Proclaimers and Meredith Brooks. Spinning Out wouldn’t be out of place on the Never Been Kissed OST, but with the angular definitively alt-90s guitar tones, MoonSugar pulled their sound from the mainstream with nuanced grungy textures.
Despite the easy melodicism of Spinning Out, it is a stormer of a single that will leave you with plenty of anticipation for their sophomore release.
Spinning Out is now available to stream via Spotify.
After lending his talent to various rock and blues outfits, London’s Mike Stoyanov made his solo debut on February 12th with the punchy indie garage rock track ‘Star’.
With the vocal swagger of Liam Gallagher and his fresh take on garage rock, anyone still turning to indie for their aural euphoria fixes will undoubtedly feel the dopamine flood when hitting play. It’s an unapologetic feel-good track that couldn’t have hit the airwaves at a better time. If anything can dissolve the ego, it’s enduring 12 months of pandemic times that have stifled the arts, yet, Mike Stoyanov is here with an anthemic reminder that the rock n roll persona is still as fitting as ever. He’s pretty convincing too. You’ll want him on your radar for his sophomore release.
With vocals that hit the high notes with the same precision as Matt Bellamy, the sex appeal of Deftones and classic rock licks that come with an ethereally evocative twist, it’s hard not to expect big things to come from GLASS EYE with the release of their album ‘SOMEWHERE, NOWHERE’.
PRAYERS is the perfect introduction to their sound that is so much more than an aural crumble of prominent bands that we’ve come to love across the decades. It’s a delectable invitation to witness the US-based powerhouse’s visceral authenticity that will appeal to anyone who likes their alt-rock to come with rhythmic salacious chills.
PRAYERS is just one of the singles that feature on their forthcoming album ‘SOMEWHERE, NOWHERE’, which is due for release on June 10th.
‘Black Fur’ is the latest single released by the Winchester, VA-based alt-indie-rock four-piece Azure Wolf. The ethereal emboldening earworm carries nuances of the alt 90s, especially in the cool and cutting guitar tones which carry reminiscence to Neil Halstead’s (Slowdive). You’ll also pick up on grunge textures in the dark layers of the driving and all-consuming release that tackles a subject rarely spoken of, let alone sung about.
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. That’s exactly what you’ll be reminded of as you listen to forming member, songwriter, rhythm guitarist and lead singer Victoria Backle use her powerful command of harmony to draw you into the track that was inspired by personal experience.
Her rich and warming vocal timbre is the perfect contrast to the chilling instrumental tones. If Paul Banks threw away the apathy and emanated strength in spite of suffering, Interpol would carry the same feisty atmospheric air found in Black Fur.
Black Fur is the fourth release from Azure Wolf since they made their debut in 2020 with the single, Dancing Bears. Their debut LP will arrive in the fall; before that, you can expect new singles to land regularly from this luminary artist.
Finnish rock bands seem to have a certain something – H.I.M., The Rasmus, Lordi, and of course the leaders of the pack Hanoi Rocks – so there’s quite a pedigree for Airi’s to live up to here. And for the avoidance of doubt here, live up to it they do; speedy, poppy, bouncy indie-tinged rock in the style of maybe the Killers, with a lot of Lemonheads ‘It’s a Shame About Ray’, Blind Melon, Elastica, and the Candyskins chucked in. It’s that late ‘90s/early ‘00s vibe mildly jangly rock. It’s catchy, sparky, energetic, and it’s got a great hooky little chorus that absolutely sticks in your head.
Five singles and one EP down, ‘Tranquilizing’ is a perfect introduction to Airi’s catchy little rock attack; with a debut full album planned for early next year, things are looking bright for Finland’s Airi’s right now.
Decades may have passed since alt-rock outfit, Selfish Gene garnered rave reviews and joined Sonic Youth on their Washing Machine album tour in 1996, but the Tel Aviv-hailing artist’s despondently transfixing sound is just as transfixing in the 21st century.
‘After the Rain’ is the first single to be released from their forthcoming album, produced 20 years after the original line up disbanded. With vocals which carry reminiscence to Matthew Caws (Nada Surf) and J Mascis against distorted winding guitar hooks which may as well have been played on your heartstrings, the melancholically mellifluous single is as evocative as it is innovative. Anyone who can’t get enough of alt-90s indie may finally find themselves sated by this sweetly optimistic-in-spite-of-nihilism release.
After the Rain is available to stream via Spotify.