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Alternative

Music

Max Diaz – Mr. Manson: A Snarling Furore of Fuzzed Up Alt-Rock

American solo artist Max Diaz has already racked up over 1-million streams with their visceral take on alt-rock, based on their standout track, ‘Mr. Manson’; he is still criminally under-appreciated.

It has been a while since a feat of alt-rock allowed my curiosity to pique so intensely, but this snarling furore of macabre garage rock reels you in hook, line and sinker by using Manson’s infamous line, “I’m nobody, I’m a tramp, a bum, a hobo, I’m a boxcar and a jug of wine and a straight razor …if you get too close to me”, as a prelude. What kind of outlier could resist that Kerouac-style resonance?

It’s a fuzzed-up obsession-worthy track that fans of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are going to appreciate. Although it is safe to say that the distortedly electric choruses are infinitely more infectious. Instead of retaining an (archetypal) rebellious sense of ‘cool’, Diaz opted for no-wave aural insanity, allowing the soundscape to match the unstable state of Manson’s mind.

Of course, a track like Mr. Manson wouldn’t be complete with a burst of sonic guitars forming a wall, but this wall of noise comes wrapped in razor wire It really wouldn’t be a surprise to see Max Diaz signed to Ipecac Recordings or Sub Pop soon.

Mr. Manson is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

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 Pop

Mikaela Seegers & KOLA take us on a cinematic journey with ‘Inside Out’.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more captivatingly heartfelt pop track that hit the airwaves in 2021 than Mikaela Seegers & KOLA’s single, ‘Inside Out’, which was co-written and produced by Karan Wadhwa for his short film, ‘THE DUO’. You’ll also be able to see Wadhwa’s work in the official Inside Out music video. With every progression in Inside Out, you’ll be as emotionally connected as you are rhythmically arrested in the cinematic release. Paired with the music video, Inside Out is enough to swallow your consciousness entirely.

Mikaela Seegers’ pop vocals spill poetic imagery to paint a picture of a tainted, torrid romance with affection as KOLA’s rap bars lay down harsh unfiltered truths to provide powerful duality. It’s a single which gets better with every listen; one that compels you to squeeze every ounce of powerful meta wisdom from it.

You can check out the official video to Inside Out that has already garnered 23,000+ streams since its premiere on February 26th via YouTube.

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

MYB served a cocktail of pop, blues and jazz with their latest soul-filler, ‘Pessimistic Panorama’.

MYB

If singles charted on the strength of their titles alone, the Michigan-duo, MYB’s single, ‘Pessimistic Panorama’ would be a chart-topper, but that’s not to say the seductively upbeat soundscape itself isn’t aural gold.

The experimental artist who take influence from The Beatles, Prince and Journey deviated from archetypes when orchestrating this uniquely enamouring hit which is a minefield of aural curveballs. While we could never have anticipated being thrown into a jazz-blues style instrumental breakdown, we more than appreciated the jazz piano progressions jaunting next to the soaring guitar riffs; they seemed to parallel the enigmatic soul which MYB effortlessly exuded in their latest single.

You can hear MYB on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

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

Abandon the Fall – Compass Rose: Relentlessly Mesmerising Instrumental Alt Rock

‘Compass Rose’ is just one of the interstellar instrumental tracks to feature on Abandon the Fall’s latest alt-rock EP ‘Infinite Seasons’.

With the morosity of the National resonating in the quiescent interludes, when the track builds up to the breaks, you’ll be on the edge of your seat as Abandon the Fall plays havoc with your emotions and takes control of rhythmic pulses.

Compass Rose is a relentlessly mesmerising single that never leaves you feeling over-faced by the layers of viscerally-charged instrumentals. Instead, it leaves you leaning deeper into the soul of the single which is easy to find in the distinctive guitar notes which linger over atmospheric electronic effect.

Compass Rose is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast