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alt rock

Music

Speak, Memory – Trails: an instrumental art-rock exploration of unrequited love

Speak, Memory

Oklahoma-residing alt-indie artist, Speak, Memory are set to release their highly-anticipated EP ‘Adirondack’, which allows the listener to see the beauty in shared experiences – no matter how harrowing they may be to endure on a personal level.

‘Trails’ is the first of three singles on the live-recorded EP to explore the torrid emotions surrounding unrequited love through instrumentals alone. After waves of spiritual reverb ease you into the soundscape, angular jangly indie-pop guitars start to cut through the accordance until the track builds up an all-consuming wall of guitars that could rival My Bloody Valentine’s sonic constructions.

It’s a track that you can’t help getting caught up in, making it impossible not to get excited about the future of this artfully astute outfit.

You’ll have to wait a little longer before you can check out Adirondack for yourselves. In the meantime, head over to their official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music Rock

Find catharsis in our hyperNormalised world with Cosmic Order’s searing protest track ‘Burn It All Down’

Cosmic Order

If turning on the news leaves you with the wish to see the corrupt economic system crash as the pathological liars we call politicians are held accountable, Cosmic Order’s old school rock track, ‘Burn It All Down’, is definitely for you.

After seeing the duality between the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan compared to the raw beauty of the Sicilian countryside, the one-man-machine, Angelo Silvio DiPippo found himself holding a unique perspective, which he has shared through his latest album, ‘Duality’.

Burn it All Down is the perfect example of the awakening tracks that you will find on his latest LP. Along with the tight rock n roll grooves, you’ll hear lyrics serving an essential reminder that, for the most part, we’re sleepwalking through a hyper normalised hellscape.

Burn It All Down can be streamed and purchased via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

The Robot’s Guide to Living – Prizefighter: pop-punk that lives and breathes radical energy

Mayday by The Robot's Guide to Living

Last year, Utah’s most lyrically poignant pop-punk outfit, The Robot’s Guide to Living, hit the airwaves with their life-affirming single, ‘Prizefighter’, which opened up with the line; “What’s the point in being scared? My bloodline contains more than disappointment.” If that doesn’t seismically shift your perspective on everything we have endured over the last 12 months, I’m not sure anything will.

With “You’ll find me asleep, in better company” as one of the choral hook lines, you’ll be adrenalized by the relatability in the lyricism as much as the furore that emits from their nuanced take on old school pop-punk.

Prizefighter comes free from snotty self-apathy; it’s a record that lives and breathes radical energy, like many of The Robot’s Guide to Living’s fans, we’re here for it. Existentialism is easy; overcoming adversity and doing it with finesse isn’t – and that’s exactly what you’ll get to experience here.

Prizefighter is now available to stream and download via Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

New Plague Radio’s single, ‘Methamphetamine Dance’, from their debut EP, ‘The Beeswax’.

If any hip hop track has the force to throw you right back to the 90s, it’s New Plague Radio’s single, ‘Methamphetamine Dance’, from their debut EP, ‘The Beeswax’.

By mashing up Beastie Boys-style rap vocals with cutting guitars that would be right at home in an Incubus track, it’s a riotous amalgamation of 80s – 00s culture. If New Plague Radio were the first band that came to mind when nu-metal and rap-rock genres were mentioned, the genre would get plenty more respect.

With the dynamic energy deftly carved by the chaos in the instrumentals combined with smooth rock vocals and existential rap aggression, if you don’t feel your heart rate quicken as New Plague Radio’s single unravels, you might want to check for a pulse.

New Plague Radio’s debut EP is now available to stream via Spotify.

You can check out the official music video for Methamphetamine Dance that was funded by their (well-invested) stimulus money via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music Rock

Louden Swain – climbing out of the ‘Basement Of No Hope’

Louden Swain

2020 has been hard for performers the world over, but bands have arguably suffered more than solo singer-songwriters purely through the added constraints of isolation and lockdown preventing even rehearsals, recording, or shared-room writing. Couple that with cancelled gigs and missed tour dates, and Covid 19 sounded the death-knell for a number of less adaptable collectives.

Not so LA-Based Louden Swain, though, who simply parcelled up the new music they’d been working on, switched – like many bands – to Zoom collaborations and emails, and began the mammoth task of trying to piece together a new album by proxy. In January this year they set themselves the challenge of releasing a new single every month for as long as it took to get back out on the road in support of that album.

The first – title-track – single is this: ‘Basement Of No Hope’, and what a single it is, too. Reminiscent of The Struts, Neon Animal, or White Reaper – that mix of seventies and eighties glam stylings combined with modern rock sensibilities, with perhaps some Huey Lewis and the News-style mainstream radio rock groove in there for good measure. There’s a punkiness underlying some of the guitar work, melodic and thumping in equal parts, tuneful and with a genuine ear for songwriting.

Whilst no-one wants lockdown to continue for a second longer than necessary, there’s a part of us that are – on the basis of ‘Basement Of No Hope’ – intrigued to hear what else Louden Swain might come out with before the world returns to normal.

You can listen to ‘Basement Of No Hope’ via Louden Swain’s website, or follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Slip into the phantasmal furore of Mary Bleeds’ post-punk track, ‘Seal’.

If you’ve always preferred the darker side of post-punk, slip into the phantasmal furore in Dublin-based alt-rock outfit Mary Bleeds’ latest single, ‘Seal’.

Living in Manchester, I’m no stranger to post-punk revivals, but Mary Bleeds succeed in stamping down their signature style and despondency with an unassimilated level of cool. With nods to John Dwyer in the guitar work, hints of the Cramps’ salacious swagger and a touch of Bauhaus, Poison Ivy and Glen Branca in the production and vocals, it’s a full-frontal exhibition that will still leave you eager to see even more.

With their debut album, produced & engineered by Julie McLarnon (Vaselines, Lankum), due for release digitally and on vinyl on May 30th, Mary Bleeds aren’t just ones to watch; they are one to add to your record collection.

The album is available to pre-order via their official website.

You can check out the live recording of Seal via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Giant Buddha give us all the hurry-up with ‘Better Do It Now’

7 More by Giant Buddha

There’s a rich vein of ‘the right bands’ running through the Giant Buddha’s bio – Oasis, The Cure, Bauhaus, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and the Stones. Now, that by itself doesn’t guarantee a killer track – owning a great record collection doesn’t, of course, automatically translate to creating great original music – but what we have in ‘Better Do It Now’ is a trippy, hippie, stoner grind full of layered guitar crunch and hazy vocals, snippets of harmonica and a droning, driving wall-of-sound groove that’ll be familiar to anyone brought up on B.R.M.C. and Black Market Karma.

There’s a little bit of Velvet Underground garage rock in all of us.

Check out Giant Buddha on BandCamp and Facebook.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Ernesto Carlos has released their eccentric feat of cosmic pop, ‘Ontem eu matei trinta pessoas’

After releasing their 2020 single, ‘Silencio’, Brazilian artist Ernesto Carlos has continued to enamour listeners with their eccentric sound that proves expression doesn’t have to be serious to add nuance on the airwaves.

The standout track, ‘Ontem eu matei trinta pessoas’ from his debut album ‘Jorge’ exhibits the best of Ernesto Carlos’ high vibes and disregard for creative constraints. With all of the aural insanity of the Talking Heads, the easy rhythms of ska reggae and a futuristic infusion of 8-bit, it’s safe to say that you’ve never heard anything like the smorgasbord of euphoria on offer here. There’s even the echo of the 60s psych-pop within Ontem eu matei trinta pessoas to ensure that it unfolded as vibrantly as possible.

Unilingual English minds unable to decipher the lyrics will still be able to take plenty away from this energetic feat of cosmic pop.

Ontem eu matei trinta pessoas is available to stream with the rest of Ernesto Carlos’ debut album via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Feel the love emanating from Jade Moede’s psychedelic synth-rock track, ‘Shine Your Love’.

Jade Moede

We first met US singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jade Moede through their raucous feat of retro rock, ‘No More lies’, their upcoming release, ‘Shine Your Love’, exhibits a very different facet of their ability to manipulate emotion through music.

While most love songs work on the assumption that the listener is already affably sated, Jade Moede went in a completely different direction. His psychedelic synth-rock track reminds the listener of the infinite nature of love – you’ll find plenty of it within the unapologetically eccentric production that’s an extension of what the Beatles had to offer. But there’s something utterly stunning about Jade Moede’s determination to make sure that love emanates through the track orchestrated for his drum teachers, Jack Brand and Stuart Miller who have both since passed. Something tells me they’d be just as proud of his MO as his technical ability.

You can check out Jade Moede via Spotify and by heading over to his official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Brian Perrone delivers artfully sonic shoegaze in their third single, ‘GOTTA GET AWAY’

After their last single, Be This Way, refused to stop haunting us after we’d heard it, we eagerly delve into Brian Perrone’s latest single GOTTA GET AWAY which captures the claustrophobia of a situation that will cage you if you don’t start to push against the bars.

By starting with reverb-soaked synths, an archetypal feat of pensive 80s pop is teased before choral shoegaze guitars creep into the mix and build momentum in the track that almost becomes theatrical behind the curtain of alchemic genre-melding.

If you can imagine what it would sound like if Freddie Mercury, The Smiths, Muse, Editors and My Bloody Valentine had a stunning lovechild, you’ll get an idea of what to expect when you hit play on GOTTA GET AWAY.

Experiencing any form of intensity is a pleasure in lockdown times, but the sonic smorgasbord of alternative culture is so much more than a reminder that you still have the capacity to feel. It is an affirmation that we have an exceptionally talented artist in our midst who deserves celebrating. The Detroit singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist is obsession-worthy.

GOTTA GET AWAY is now available to stream via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast