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Alternative Rock

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Andrew Masseurs – ‘Yeah Yeah’: The One-Man Alt Rock Powerhouse

If you’ve not checked out Andrew Masseurs debut album ‘Origins’ yet, there’s really no excuse not to. ‘Yeah Yeah’ is just one of the sensational tracks which adds to the overwhelming diversity of the Alt Rock multi-instrumentalist’s album. It’s not all too often you’ll come across an album with no skippable tracks, if that’s not the mark of a talented artist, I don’t know what is. With Yeah Yeah, you’re treated to a more stripped back sound which almost has a slight U2 reminiscence. Having said that, I’m sure he’s an infinitely better person than Bono could ever be. Any fans of Classic Rock, Prog Rock and Experimental will be in absolute heaven with the sweet reverb which lifts the track into an anthemically light, yet intricately heavy composition.

You can check out Yeah Yeah for yourself by heading over to SoundCloud now. I have no doubt that you’ll revel in wonderment trying to understand how Origins was created as a solo project.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Ransoms – Tonight: A Crisply Anthemic Cacophony

I stand firm by my statement that music as ethereally edgy as Ransoms first single Tonight could only be born out of the UK. The Colchester based band deliver punchy Pop Punk rhythm through their guitar riffs which bore a glorious reminiscence to guitarists such as James Dean Bradfield (Manic Street Preachers). The sound that Ransoms created with their debut single prove that they are one of the strongest powerhouses of talents to broach the Alt Rock scene in 2018. I found an infinite amount of resonance within the vocals and the casually romantic lyricism of the track.

The amount of the reverb in Tonight almost allowed the Ransoms sound to meander into a Shoegaze arena, yet the high-vibe of the soaring lead guitar provided a crisp anthemic cacophony full of hooks that are all to easy to get snared by. It was an emotional experience. One you should all revel in, it’s rare that a band create such an evocative first hit. Their malleable, elastic sound is surely enough to catch the attention of Radio 2. Who wants to listen to Oasis anymore when there are emerging artists as stunning as Ransoms?

You can check out Ransoms new single Tonight on SoundCloud

Head on over to Facebook where you can connect with Ransoms & keep up to date with their latest releases.

Review by Amelia Vandergast.

Music

Casey Wickstrom – Hollywood & Vine: Meet the Next Jangle Pop Virtuoso

I never thought I would encounter a better lyricist than Nick Cave, well, it looks like I just have after listening to Casey Wickstrom’s latest anthemic Alt Rock single Hollywood & Vine. Along with being quite the wordsmith Wickstrom also has an ethereally raw organic edge to his vocal prowess. Not many singer songwriters will admit to ‘fucking stuff up’, yet Casey Wicktrom makes no bones about it in Hollywood & Vine.

As Acoustic Alt Rock goes, it doesn’t get much more progressive than Hollywood & Vine, the high-energy feel switches from a Lo Fi reminiscence to Jangle Pop guitar riffs that even Johnny Marr would be proud of, in fact, one of the riffs may well have been inspired by The Smiths – This Charming Man.  Either way, the Californian artists natural rhythmic talent on the guitar absolutely made the track for me. It’s rare that acoustic guitarists have a standout style these days.

You can check out Hollywood & Vine which was released earlier in 2018 on SoundCloud now, I’m stoked to hear more from Wickstrom in the future.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Chasing Ella – Nashville rock meets west coast pop

Chasing Ella may be based in Nashville, Tennessee but there is certainly something of the West Coast about the weave of indie-pop infused alt-rock that they produce, or should I say he, as despite the rich, wide screen cinematic sound that the band makes, surprisingly it is really a one man, solo musical vehicle. There is something of the sun-soaked California haze drifting through the song, something of its psychedelic past and the cosmic vibes that seems to infect its music often unbidden.

Jet Lag seems to pull musical strands from all the best music sources, Byrds-esque jangling guitars are underpinned by more robust rock guitar, ethereal pop harmonies sit alongside indie grooves and there is a wonderfully blend of accessibility and otherness which may seem an impossible combination but one listen to its clever sonic choices and you will understand how that works. Jet Lag is a song which seems to come from everywhere and nowhere simultaneously. How do you even do that?

Music

Grand Lotus – Hangover: A Hangover Has Never Sounded So Sweet

Alternative Rock collective Grand Lotus have just released their latest pearlescent soundscape of pure harmonious melody Hangover. Things had got a little quiet on the musical front for Grand Lotus over the past year, yet with Hangover no one could dispute the band are right back on form with their hauntingly Indie sound. There’s a major instrumental focus to Hangover which gave Grand Lotus a little Shoegaze vibe, yet the reverb was minimal to allow you to hear every succinct strum of the guitar, with the odd Jangle Pop melody thrown in for good effect.

Whilst there is nothing especially pioneering about Grand Lotus’ music thanks to the overcrowded Alt Indie scene, their latest track Hangover is pretty much like having a cuddle. It’s warm, cosy, and makes you feel slightly better than before it started. So, all in all, I’d totally recommend that anyone with an Indie sensibility listens to this soaring sweet Indie anthem.

You can check out Grand Lotus’ debut 2018 track on SoundCloud  or through their official website now

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Andrew Masseurs – Ghost: Melancholy has a New Alt Rock Edge

Andrew Masseurs Alternative Rock edge is incomparable with pretty much every other soundscape from the genre. His debut single Ghost, could almost be accurately described as U2’s synthy cousin, within his slightly pensive Ambient Electro Pop style he merges a solidly rhythmic bassline, with crisp snapping beats and sonorous vocals under a swirling harmony. The New Zealand Pop Rock artist reaches pioneeringly fabulous adventurous sounds.

On his musical journey, he has branched off from New Zealand band AMMP to create a sound that would surely resonate with any Billy Corgan fans. Yet, there’s something uniquely beguiling about Andrew Masseurs style that words can’t touch upon. After learning that Andrew plays all his own instrumentals and mixes his own tracks, it’s impossible to not be a little bit in awe of his eclectic talents.

So if you want to mix up your Alt Rock play lists you can check out Andrew Masseurs debut hit Ghost on SoundCloud

To stay up to date with all Andrew Masseurs melancholic mixes follow his official Facebook page.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

The Neighbors – Happiness and You: Acoustic Has Never Sounded So Soulful

There aren’t too many Alternative Rock acts that can stand up to the pure sensuality of The Neighbors. Even iconic acts such as Arctic Monkeys and Black Keys could only dream of achieving such sultry rhythm-soaked licks. The vocals to Happiness and You exude a pioneeringly gritty rendition of Soul around the blissful lyrics that draw you even further into the track. The acoustics of the track make for an angelically light Pop-Rock sound that I have no doubt will be universally adored. The majority of The Neighbors talent falls from the deft hands and sweet vocal sensibilities from Mike Thurston who also provides the deep bassline, tight drum cacophonies and lead guitar rhythm. So, I suppose Thurston could only be described as a powerhouse of talent alongside Stefan Mraz.

Happiness and You is a sensational EP comprising of three short but sweetly immersive tracks and was first released January 15th, 2018.

You can check out The Neighbors debut track from their latest EP ‘Happiness and You’ on BandCamp

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Hyperschmitt – Indie Comes Of Age!

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.

Music

WAVES – IV: Hauntingly Poetic Alternative Rock

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.

Check out IV on SoundCloud using the link below:

https://soundcloud.com/officialwavesband/iv-1

Follow WAVES on Facebook & keep up to date with all of their future releases & live shows:

https://www.facebook.com/OFFICIALWAVESBAND/

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Clean Dirty Clean – Baby Champagne: The Chaotically Explosive Instrumentals of a Fusion Between Britpop & Punk

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:

https://soundcloud.com/cleandirtyclean/baby-champagne

Connect with the band on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/cleandirtyclean/

Review by Amelia Vandergast

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