Indie as a genre has been pretty well defined for a while now. Having evolved from its original political meaning within the music industry to become a genre label in its own right, it generally indicates pop aware melody and musical adroitness, that fine line between commerciality and underground cool, between accessibility and integrity. But what does the band of 2018 do to stand out from the pack?
One answer is to do what Hyperschmitt does. Forget warping genres and cross-pollinating your sound with the tricks and trappings of other genres to gene-splice indie into some sort of modern musical Frankenstein’s monster. It isn’t about subverting expectations, it is about feeding them but if you can do both simultaneously, all the better. For whilst you will find a lot here that is familiar, shimmering guitar work, dance fuelled grooves and instantaneous melodies, it is how they fashion those elements together that is the real skill. The building blocks may be familiar but the resulting sonic architecture is dazzling nonetheless. Slightly mathy, hypnotic electronic patterns dance around solid backbeats in a place where indie, EDM, pop and alt-rock all overlap, embrace each other and then throw a party. One that you are all invited to.
Northwest Indiana based Alt Rock band WAVES have just dropped their latest 4 track EP ‘AFTER THOUGHTS’ IV, contained on that EP is an absolute gem of a track that you just can’t help falling in love with before the chorus even hits. The Indie Electro style vocals cut sharp across this track as the female vocalist absolutely steals the show, even above the riff-soaked instrumentals in the track. Lucie Ashmore’s talent is one that stands against the veracity of vocalists such as Angel Olsen, Florence & The Machine and Hannah Reid from London Grammar. Yet, WAVES style is so fresh, it’s like nothing you’ve heard before. There’s such a synergy behind the collective’s sound that it creates a high-vibe aura that’s hypnotically stunning. The succinct harmonies take place over crystal clear arrangements that prove just what a powerhouse of talent WAVES really are.
Baby Champagne is the 3rd song from the Alternative Rock outfit Clean Dirty Clean’s debut album Resistor. You only have to listen to the Morgantown, West Virginia’s sound to taste their palpable enthusiasm for Rock, Indie, Britpop, Garage Rock & Punk. In fact, being across the pond, I’m pretty embarrassed that Clean Dirty Clean smashed the Britpop sound better than some of the original British bands from the 90’s. The relentless Janglepop guitar riffs would have even made Johnny Marr proud as guitarists Neal Humphries & Wes Thomas use a hook that forgivably sounds like it’s straight out of You Handsome Man by the Smiths. Yet Baby Champagne is no mere assimilation of sound, and it’s pretty evident how they came to their band name for their chaotically explosive instrumental arrangements. Baby Champagne shifts between sweet succinct harmonies to splintering cacophonies, reminiscent to bands such as The Stokes, Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster & Super Furry Animals.
Check out Baby Champagne on SoundCloud using the link below:
As a 90’s Alt Rock aficionado I was absolutely blown away by this track. Growing up on Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, Babes in Toyland and Jack Off Jill enabled me to fine tune my definition of a good Alt guitar lick, and Fortune’s Folly sound may just be the epitome of that definition.
The 4-piece band’s sound comes alive through it’s transgressions of high-energy Rock, Riot Grrrl and palpable elements of Funk. The band have an electrifying synergy that bleeds through into their latest track Wouldn’t Make You Mine which was released on February 9th, 2018. I have no doubt that the instantly lovable lead vocalist Cheyenne and her band that will get signed in the very near future. The world simply can’t ignore a sound this dynamic and that’s not all that the Eugene, Oregon based band have to offer. Their enthusiasm and love that they have for their fans is overwhelming.
Check out the official video you Wouldn’t Make You Mine on YouTube:
The sound behind Saso Sandic comes curtesy of a New York based collective of Alternative Rock aficionado’s that don’t mind lending elements of sound from other genres to create their insanely pioneering sound that demands to be played on repeat. Sandic’s voice is almost too beautiful against the Blues Pop Rock sound that’s fused with extra Funk through the track’s R&B Harmonies. The sound of the acoustic guitar floats throughout the track, even against the attack of the Jazz Funk style bass that bleeds contemporary euphoria into the debut mix.
The genius behind the project lies in singer, song writer and guitarists mind. Through his music he transcends superficiality and explores an enticing array of themes such as evil and gender, which explains part of the resonance behind Pity Boys. Every track that Sandic has orchestrated has been utter perfection, but Pity Boys is a charismatic wonder of a hit that’s playfully emasculating, music sounds pretty sweet when the shoe is on the other foot.
Check out Pity Boys on SoundCloud using the link below:
Trying to be cutting edge musically is a fine thing to aim for but neither is there anything wrong with sticking to comfort zones, both are necessary elements to the music scene as a whole. The reality though is that whilst the former are off conducting brave genre splicing experiments to varying degrees of success, the latter playing it safe but not really bringing anything new to the table, the most interesting music is being forged in the middle ground. Between the safety net of established rock classicism and the forward thrust of more recent genres, the perfect blends of old and new sound are being shaped into great music. It is here that you find Megalithic.
Chemistry 101 is a wonderful slice of hard grooving classic rock re-imagined through a nu-metal lens and then pushed even further into the here and now to create a sound which it would be hard to imagine not finding favour with any rock fan. It is big, brutal and thunderous, back beats pound, bass lines throb and salvos of white hot, jagged guitar riffs form the perfect sound clash whilst battle cry vocals lead it all into the music fray. Denim clad old schoolers, dystopian nu-metallers, anti-fashion grungers and alt-rock warriors alike are going to be right behind it.
MǾǾD dropped his latest track Vegas 4 ThWeekend just as 2017 drew to a close, offering fans the most twisted mash-up of Dancehall, Electronic and Alternative Rock one could possibly hope for. Forget reaching across genres, MǾǾD’s latest track transcends the foundations of sound by creating his own delectable mix of resonance that regardless of your musical persuasions is a pleasure for you to sink your teeth into.
The talented Singer Songwriter & Producer has utilized his penchant for old-school Alternative Rock with his infinite command over music production to create some of the most fulfilling beats on the Alternative Dance scene today. MǾǾD uses his eclectic list of influences of acts such as Drake, Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco & Frank Sinatra to bring his soulful renditions to life. The production to the sound is highly powered by a euphoric mix of Hip Hop Electronica.
In just 5 months, MǾǾD released an album along with 3 mixtapes, in 2018 he’s made it his mission to release a new album every month in 2018, it will be interesting to see if he pulls it off, but with that commitment to the cause, it’s hard to see where the uniquely talented artist can go wrong.
Vegas 4 ThWeekend is just one of the stand out tracks off his latest EP ‘The MǾǾD Life Vol. 1 which you can listen to on SoundCloud now:
As alt-rock has become a testosterone fuelled battle ground trying to be the hardest, heaviest and most alternative, one thing has been lost along the way. Melody! No matter what you think of classic rock…the thing that alt-rock inversely defines itself against, you could sing along to it at least. What if a band came along that blended the modern alt musical trappings with the accessibility of music from an older time. Well, The Chance do just that.
Won’t Let You Go sits in a sweet spot for rock music, the tune is memorable, the vocals infectious, and the melodies pass the acid test of lingering in the brain long after the track has finished. But it also has enough modern grit and rough edges to appeal to the black clad modern age rocker. This isn’t alternative rock at all, this is evolved rock, rock music which has learnt the lessons of the past and moulded it to the fashions and tastes of the modern music fan. How hard was that? Consider yourself schooled.
Describing their music as “break up music for tough guys, ” Phantom Drive are the perfect blend of alt-rock muscle and classic melodies, the traditions of rock music past and the potential of where it goes next. Somewhere along the line as rock chased the commercial dollar rather than the creative urge, it seemed to have lost its way somewhat, lightened the load and lost its bite. Thankfully bands like Phantom Drive are putting it firmly back on the menu.
If the stadium filling, crowd pleasing rock of the 21st century has become the equivalent of a church picnic, all smiles and etiquette, best crockery and best behaviour, this Floridian musical gang are more akin to a back alley fist fight. The music oozes swagger and attitude, inherent menace and bristles with energy and whilst it is easy to see their sonic family tree passing back through any number of classic and alternative rock icons, such an approach never really goes out of fashion. After all there is nothing more exciting, than courting danger and this is indeed dangerous territory.
King in The Belly is an Aussie/Brazilian rock band like no other, their sonorously sweet sound is ablaze with contemporary pounding vision. Their style makes Buck Cherry sound squeaky clean. The band’s sound lusciously archaic with a strong Punk Rock undertone.
The vocalist’s natural lyrical ability goes lulls you into a false state of serenity before the track kicks in with a sneaky instrumental soaked verse. It starts out sounding like any other Shoegaze Indie Track. I was set for 4 minutes of melancholy, nothing could prepare me for the gripping ensemble of chemistry King in The Belly cooked up; the pounding drum rolls, the heavy flow of the bass, and the effortless command of the guitar combined with some 90’s grunge angsty lyrics.
Even before the instrumental riff exploded I’d already added this band to my Alternative Rock playlist. Their debut album is due out early next year, I already know that’s not a sound that I want to miss out on.