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Precious McKenzie – Robot Vultures EP: A Compilation of Devilishly Celestial Alt Rock

Aaand they’re back. Finally. After an agonising break Precious McKenzie have once again reared their histrionic heads with their much-anticipated 5-track EP Robotic Vultures which will be released May 25th, 2018. In which their enigmatic genre-mashing flirts with Post-Punk and Grunge alongside incorporating an eclectic array of other influences. Slapping a genre on Precious McKenzie is as equally difficult as portraying their rampantly visceral sound in words, where every comparative seems an understatement. Thanks to the grinding rhythmic guitars, a vocalist that could knock the dust off James Dean Bradfield’s voice box and the ingenious amount of wit that went into the lyricism of this EP it’s hard not to dub it as just a little bit sexy. The 5-track EP packs in a vast array of stylised angst which is almost as astounding as the hostile catharsis offered to you in each display of versatility.

The EP kicks off with Ratfucking; if you’re expecting something crass, prepared to be disappointed in the relentlessly rhythmic bouncing progression of the track. Although if you can imagine a deeper, more thunderous roll than Mudhoney created with the riff to Touch Me I’m Sick and you’re almost there. I don’t find myself in awe of guitarists very often, but when the riffs are that catchy it’s hard not to commend such emphatic persecution of rhythm. Then there’s the vocals, my God the vocals which project palpable angst upon the already veracious beat to create a concordantly harsh aural animosity.

Cassie Wright; Chuck Palahniuk fans and debauched people alike, and you’re going to be in heaven with this one. It would seem that Precious McKenzie may just be the band that makes Alternative music filthy again, it may not be fit for radio, but thankfully, we have the internet to enjoy listening to such beautifully depraved verses. With a switch up from the vocal style in the first track, you can expect a Punk rendition of the salacious lyricism tinged with a beautiful Post-Punk snarl. The instrumentals toy with a Kula Shaker-esque intro before breaking into a raunchily popping harmony proving there aren’t many soundscapes they can’t dominate.

Sunrise Comes; After you’ve thoroughly enjoyed the evocative nature of the first two tracks, Precious McKenzie hit you with a ballad, and suddenly you’re in the middle of an emotional rollercoaster. There are few tracks which will resonate so deeply, but Sunrise Comes bleeds pure empyrean soul. The kind that catches in your throat. The amount of progression packed into the 6-minute track is surreal as Rob’s vocals cut through the riffs which gain momentum until you’re so far away from the beginning of the track you almost feel lost after the track crashes to a blinding close.  Fans of Manic Street Preachers, or just fans of good music in general, you’re going to be in love this one.

I may have to call My Elastic Wit my standout favourite track of the EP; for anyone with a penchant for spoken word poetry, you may very well make the same call. When was the last time you heard spoken word poetry wrapped around a reverberatingly blissful orchestration of Grunge? I suppose, you can’t really classify the piercing instrumentals on this track as Grunge. As each throbbing chord may as well be the rhythm of your palpitations as distortion is cast aside and you’re treated by every rolling rhythm. It’s in My Elastic Wit you get a true taste of drummer Luke’s fluid, almost primal style around Andy’s basslines which very much had the Mr Bungle effect on me. If Rob’s wit & lyrical prowess weren’t enough Precious McKenzie teamed up with the sardonically charismatic spoken word artist Joseph Gardiner, who versed some of the most poised and poignant poetry that almost left me stuck for words in beguilement of his own. As the momentum of the extended track builds, as does the animosity in Joe’s succinctly distempered delivery, yet never coming close to Rob’s consistently forceful vocals as he projects his own penetrating lyrics onto the rhythmic bliss courtesy of the instrumentals.

My Elastic Wit may have been my favourite track on the EP, but Skeleton Dance is by far the sexiest. In fact, I struggled to recall a sexier more relentless guitar riff, the Cramps & Velvet Revolver come relatively close. Then the bassline gets thrown in to add insult to injury to create that feeling of horripilation which is almost impossible to find in any track released this side of 2000. The track sees yet another switch up in Rob’s vocals as you’re treated to a gorgeously animated, amplified rendition of his cheery lyrics in a track about body dysmorphia. With a lyrical style akin to Richey Edwards, it was impossible not to fall in love with Skeleton Dance.

By this point I’m digressing, no amount of flowery vernacular could encapsulate the rampantly idyllic alchemy created by the cohort of sickeningly talented Manchester based musicians. So, check out Precious McKenzie’s latest Robotic Vultures EP for yourself via Spotify & BandCamp from May 25th.

You can connect with the charming miscreants and tell them how amazing they are yourself by following them via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They’re everywhere. The take over is imminent.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Danny Mortimer – Anything but Silent: Ethereal Acoustic Melodies

Danny Mortimer’s latest Alt Rock single Anything but Silent is one of the most raw, honest and charismatic tracks I’ve heard this year. It takes some serious guts to project such personable, strong lyrics into the mic. Which left me in awe of Danny Mortimer’s approach to music before the first verse was even through.

The sweet ethereal melody reverberated in the fuzzy reverb of the melodic track, yet Mortimer still found the space for soaring riffs and succinct instrumental breakdowns. The Scottish singer songwriters emotive Indie approach to Alt Rock is a sound that I will never tire of, the lyrics are steeped in romantically melancholic regret, and in my not so humble opinion, there aren’t enough tracks that deal with the real emotions.

You can check out Danny Mortimer’s latest track Anything but Silent which was released April 17th, 2018 on SoundCloud now. Connect with Danny on Facebook to stay up to date with his latest releases. I’ve especially fallen in love with his acoustic renditions. He’s the kind of acoustic artist that you wouldn’t be annoyed at sharing a campsite with, unhindered by the limit of chord progressions his ability to draw you in with the acoustic resonance is quite frankly stunning.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Abandoned Mansion – Wake Me Up: A Riddle of Grinding Funk & Groove Written in Pop Rock Lines

If you like your Prog Rock with a pinch of raucous aggression, look no further from Abandoned Mansion, with his latest track Wake Me Up he created a nostalgically guitar-driven Alt Rock track that deserves to sit in the contemporary charts.

Not content with just being a stunning recording artist, the genius behind Abandoned Mansion also dabbles in poetry alongside his stunning compositions of sound. If you could imagine if Queens of the Stone Age were incepted in the 80’s you’d get a good idea of Abandoned Mansion’s latest track Wake Me Up. The artist creates music born out of pure passion, and that’s a pretty rare feat these days. That’s without mentioning the tangible amount of talent which is written into the lines of the grindingly glorious track through the licks of the guitar against the reverb fuelled vocals.

If you’re a fan of Alternative Pop Rock you can check out Abandoned Mansion’s single Wake Me Up from their 2018 album Alien Radio on Spotify now.

To stay up to date with Abandoned Mansion’s latest releases follow him on Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Tim Spriggs – As They Say: An Intricate Weaving of Resonant Alt Rock

If you spliced Interpol & The Levellers, I’m fairly certain that you’d get a sound reminiscent to Tim Spriggs latest single As They Say. The Alt Rock artist released As They Say on April 26th, 2018, and I for one can say I’m glad he did.

The waves of soft Jangle Pop wash over you in waves of lucidity whilst his poignant and poised vocals exude just the right amount of melancholy. There isn’t a flaw to be picked in the resonant composition which is composed of intricately weaved instrumentals creating an almost haunting melody through their succinct synergy. Despite the pensive nature of As They Say the ultimate aura was one steeped in uplifting resonance. Tim Spriggs is almost certainly an artist for the audiophiles.
I said the track was flawless, and I wholeheartedly stand by that, yet, a part of me itched to hear a shift in energy from Tim Spriggs during the build up and hear him lose himself in the angst that he so pensively penned.

You can check out Tim Spriggs latest track As They Say on YouTube, if you’re in love with the track as I am, you can pre-order his upcoming EP ‘Something Else here.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

 

Music

Spritzen voted band most likely to reclaim the world alternative

Abstract Centrefold, despite being a great title for a song, is a lovely slab of grunge infused, alt-rock, the sort of thing that used to be called college rock and which immediately conjures up iconic bands such as The Pixies and Sonic Youth, with a few dark Velvet Underground vibes making their way through the cracks too for good measure.

In that circular way that music has of playing the fashion game, for all its nods to the past, with the way that alternative rock has become formalised into fairly predictable musical fayre where black clad skinny jeaned guys with complicated hair play commercialised heavy indie music at one extreme whilst at the other black clad skinny jeaned guys with complicated hair play something resembling metal, this feels like a step forward rather than a step back.

It is full of groove, full of hook, full of melody but more than that it is full of potential, a potential that could just see them leading a charge that sees the whole genre growing a new set of teeth and reclaiming the word alternative back from the clutches of the record industry clutches. You can but hope.

Music

Djyololife – Th3 cOOL K!Dzzzzz: Pioneeringly Strange Lo Fi Reggaetron Soundscapes

I’m not exactly sure what I listened to, can I get away with just saying it was different? Probably not, but you’d expect that from an Alt Rock artist called Djyololife that named one of his tracks Th3 cOOL K!Dzzzzz right?

As much as I wanted to be put off by the Reggaetron artists questionable choices when it comes to naming his sound and his music, I can honestly say, it was a positive experience that I’m 100% sure I will never forget. The Californian based artist’s Lo Fi approach to his Alternative sound was almost reminiscent of one of my much loved (if not slightly out there) bands The Gothsicles with their almost EDM style. Yet, nothing could quite come close to Djyololife’s style.

The experimental analogue sound, isn’t one that you’ll hear every day, so to everyone looking for a pioneeringly strange sound head on over to SoundCloud where you can hear (or should that be experience?) Djyololife’s single Th3 cOOL K!Dzzzzz.

Head on over to Facebook to connect with Djyololife.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Ginger and the Glowsticks – Desire: Move Over Shirley Manson

As a massive Garbage and 90’s female-fronted Pop Rock fan, it’s safe to say I was in heaven with Ginger and the Glowsticks timeless Alt Rock sound. With the help from an insanely talented band Ginger has just released her much-anticipated EP Vortex of Fire which included her standout single Desire.

Through Ginger’s vocals she exudes an elegantly empowering domineering edge that draws you into the narrative of the track which as you can expect is about desire. Her textured organic sound has all the reminiscence of 90’s recording artists, yet, it has to be said that her band really helped her to step it up a notch instrumentally. The instrumental breakdowns are packed full of synergetic energy and rhythmic melody. There isn’t a flaw to be found in Ginger’s resounding sound. The guitar riff that draws the track to a close is as shatteringly blissful as they come.

You can check out Ginger and the Glowsticks latest single Desire on SoundCloud now, or follow Ginger on Facebook & keep up to date with all her new releases and tour dates.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Great Music Coming Your Way Courtesy Of Andrew Masseurs

Sweet spot music, that’s what this is! Yes, it has many other labels applied by any number of, quite frankly, lazy journalists –  power-pop, pop-rock, alt-pop, whatever but labels are very subjective so better to consider what the music is rather than merely what we are going to pigeon-hole it. Sweet spot because Come My Way sits at a wonderful point where the accessible meets the discerning, rock muscle meets pop addiction, where rawness is tempered by melody, familiarity is balanced by inventiveness. Rock music devoid of the usual cliche, pop music with a new set of teeth.

This single from Andrew masseurs is that great polymath song, it doesn’t come with the bombastic baggage and cliche of the rock set but delivers a sound powerful enough to take your head clean off. It has the hook and zing of pop but with a depth that the genre rarely explores. Indie? Sure…you could even consider it dance in the broader sense of the word, will boogie music at least, try not tapping your foot to this! Pop was never this intimidating and rock was never this smart…looks like a third option is back on the menu.

https://soundcloud.com/andrewmasseurs/andrew-masseurs-come-my-way

Music

Richard Quarren Turns Pain Into Pleasure

No More Pain is definitely rock but it seems to be such a mercurial blend of styles, that is isn’t easy to fit it squarely in one sub genre or another. It broods with a grunge intensity, is finished with almost proggy and technical flourishes, tips its head briefly to the old-school whilst full embracing alt-rock’s new take on the genre. It wanders low ended sonic pathways and hits some soaring peaks and crescendos. Yes, it is certainly rock music but of a type that is new but built from familiar components.

It is heavy but understands that density and strength comes from proper construction rather than just bulk. It is dark and brooding but without resorting to the schlock-shock of the current gothic scene, the grunge by numbers that often passes for alt-rock or the easy route of melancholic machinations. Above all it is intelligent and conceptual but without the trappings that have often made progressive rock an easy target of ridicule. Whichever way you look at it and whichever part of the rock spectrum you prefer to stand in, Richard Quarren is an artist who is embracing the post-genre possibilities of the modern music paradigm and more than delivering the goods.

Music

Pilot Run – Ghost of Me: The Ultimate Anthem of Alt Rock Angst

As far as Alt Rock anthems go, it doesn’t really get much better than Pilot Run’s latest debut Ghost of Me, their single dropped April 2018 and proved to be an elementally furious yet amiably mix of Pop Punk and Post Hardcore sound.

Pilot Run are an Essex, UK based outfit who pride themselves on their guitar-driven instrumentals to create some of the most raucously immersive breakdowns. It only takes seconds when the first verse to hit you to fall in love with the vocalist’s resonant vocal range as he verses the lyrics that project pure beautiful venom over the up-beat Pop Punk anthemic rhythm section. With Ghost of Me Pilot Run have reinvigorated the Alt Rock scene, and I can’t recommend checking out their pensively aggressive sound on SoundCloud enough. I found an infinite amount of catharsis through listening to the track which skates around issues such as anger, grief, loss and death, sounds pretty deep right? Yet still somehow Pilot Run keep their anthemic melodies lighter than air.

Keep up to date with Pilot Run’s new releases by following them on Facebook

Review by Amelia Vandergast

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