Browsing Tag

Blues Rock

Be a (Bar)Fly on the Wall with Jude & The Strangers’ Standout Single Beggar’s Tavern


Some tracks ensnare you with hooks, others dig to the depths of your soul; Beggar’s Tavern by Jude & The Strangers dug into the trenches of the latter camp.

Imagine sinking beers with Bukowski, drinking in the sanctifying feeling of listening to Journey, experiencing the panoramically artistic gravitas of Father John Misty, and getting your blues rock licks as a courtesy of the Black Keys simultaneously, then you’ll get an idea of what this era-spanning Tour De Force delivers.

With all the infectious charisma of Jim Jones himself, singer-songwriter Aiden Jude doesn’t just command attention, he drenches his work in kinetic emotion. With a sonic iteration of a borstal breakout to conclude the single, it’s safe to say we’re beyond desperate to hear the rest of the Beggar’s Tavern LP which will arrive in May 2023. The New Jersey music scene won’t know what has hit it after the launch.

Beggar’s Tavern is now available to stream on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Backwoods Creek delivered the ultimate Southern soul-rock anthem ‘Alright’

Sensing cynicism in the universal waters, Backwoods Creek prescribed a potent dose of optimism with their latest single, ‘Alright’. The refreshing take on bluesy soul-swathed Southern rock played fast and loose with the genre constraints while keeping the instrumental arrangement tight enough to unravel as every rock-inclined muso’s wet dream.

Part lyrical mantra, part musical Tour De Force, the UK-based quintet exhibited ‘Alright’ as a masterclass in balancing raw, overdriven guitars and whiskey-soaked vocals with an undercurrent of hope and redemption. It’s a track that carries the dynamic energy of power pop while remaining true to its bluesy rock and roll roots.

The virtuosic cohesion of the instrumentals showcases their skill and chemistry, honed through years of friendship and collaboration, and you don’t have to buy tickets to their live shows (even though you really should) to witness their infectious energy performance energy; the band’s electrifying aura is perfectly captured in this track.

No one can deny that while life is on a downward trajectory hearing everything will be alright prises ennui out of your perception. This life-affirming hit goes beyond reassurance –  it’s transformative.

Alright will hit the airwaves on March 15; check out the release via the official Backwoods Creek website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Modern Ape blended precision with passion in their rallying rock anthem, Justified

In modern rock, few bands capture the essence of soulful anthems quite like Modern Ape. Their latest single, Justified, is a testament to their unique blend of precision and passion. Hailing from North West England, this three-piece ensemble has crafted a sound that resonates with the spirit of rock blues, yet speaks to all generations.

The instrumentals are meticulously tight, showcasing a mastery of craft that is rare and commendable. But it’s the soul that pours from the vocals that truly sets this track apart. It grips you with a fervour reminiscent of Against Me, while the guitar hooks echo the soul-stirring appeal of the Manic Street Preachers. It’s a heartfelt cry wrapped in melody that you’ll want to turn to every time you want to feel alive, and it is that universally shared craving for visceralism which lyrically propels the track forward.

Modern Ape, with their self-deprecating moniker, might not seem like your typical rock heroes, but their music tells a different story. They excel in rallying cries, and Justified is a clarion call to the masses.

Stream the official music video for Justified which premiered on January 1st on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Awake latent desire with Sometimes Julie’s arcanely empowering soul rock hit, Missed the Boat

The San Diego singer-songwriter duo, Sometimes Julie, rivalled the NYE fireworks by ending 2023 with a bang by unleashing their LP, Seven Wishes on December 31st.  Navigating the tempestuous seas of rock, Sometimes Julie’s standout single, Missed the Boat, is a clarion call to the unfulfilled dreams within us. At the helm of the journey is Monica Sorenson, whose soulful vocal prowess is akin to a lighthouse guiding through foggy doubts. Her voice, imbued with raw, emotive power, intertwines seamlessly with the universal trepidation of time slipping through our fingers.

Rick Walker, the architect of Sometimes Julie’s distinctive sound, chartered a sonic odyssey that transcends sound. His multi-instrumental mastery, reminiscent of a more rock-infused Fleetwood Mac, creates a tapestry where each note resonates with purpose and passion.

If you were looking for permission to embrace your latent desires, it lies within the cultivated blend of storytelling and melodic magnetism, where Sorenson’s voice serves as both the narrator and the protagonist. It’s a journey through self-doubt, culminating in an empowering resolution to seize the moment.

As the final notes fade, you’ll revere Sometimes Julie as storytellers of the soul; their future is as promising as the dreams they inspire.

Missed the Boat hit the airwaves on New Year’s Eve. Stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The prodigal sons of hard rock n roll SuperZero delivered outlaw poetry in motion with their latest single, You & Me

SuperZero’s latest single, You & Me, is a gasoline-soaked tribute to the raw, unbridled spirit of rock and roll. This four-man ensemble, hailing from the heart of Southeast England, crafted a siren call to all those yearning for the golden days of hard rock rancour; hit play and erase the past four decades.

From the very first note, You & Me grabs you by the collar and thrusts you into its world where the basslines growl with primal energy and Neil Abnett’s incendiary guitar work sends jolts of white-hot electricity through the progressions as The Cheesman’s drumming becomes a relentless force that drives the track forward with electrifying momentum.

At the forefront, Brandon Keenen’s vocals are a perfect blend of grit and melody, embodying the spirit of rock legends while carving out his own unique identity. Bex’s bass is the undercurrent, a dark and brooding presence that adds depth and complexity to the track.

You & Me is more than just a nod to the pioneers of rock; it’s a statement of intent from SuperZero. They’re not just following in the footsteps of giants like AC/DC and Black Sabbath; they’re blazing their own trail, fuelled by a passion for the genre and a desire to push it into new territories.

Lyrically, the track is poetry in lawless motion, the fervid lyricism feeds into the escapism of the release, which delivers a reminder of why we fell in love with rock in the first place – its ability to make us feel alive, to transport us away from the mundane and into a world of pure, unadulterated energy.

You & Me dropped on December 25th; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Nuka-Naka – Stone D: A Soul-Stirring Fusion of Avant-Garde Reggae and Reflection

Nuka-Naka’s latest single, Stone D, is a profound musical journey that transcends the conventional boundaries of reggae. As Nuka-Naka steps away from the shadows of war-torn Russia, Stone D emerges as a hauntingly beautiful confession, a blend of personal history and musical innovation.

The song reimagines reggae, intertwining staccato rhythms with melancholically avant-garde melodies. It’s a bold departure from reggae roots, inviting listeners to cast aside their preconceptions and embrace a new realm of musical expression. After leaving Russia for Georgia, Nuka-Naka composed a guilt-ridden soliloquy that speaks to the inescapable ties of one’s homeland, regardless of the physical distance.

The song captures the essence of being perpetually connected to a war that continues to echo in a mournful psyche as the fusion of soulful blues and dreamy art-rock elements meld into this candid piece creating a sonic signature that is as evocative as it is ground-breaking.

Nuka-Naka’s Stone D is a reminder of the power of music to transcend barriers and speak to the soul. It’s a track that not only showcases Nuka-Naka’s immense talent but also promises a future rich with innovative and emotionally resonant music. For those seeking a fresh, soul-stirring sound, Stone D is a beacon of hope and artistic brilliance.

Stone D was officially released on December 22. Stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Fox 2 warped the lineage of rock n roll to define its future with their debut LP, Sidewinder

Sidewinder by Fox 2

Fox 2’s debut LP, Sidewinder, is a seismic shift in the rock landscape, a thrilling fusion of reverence and revolution. From the streets of Portland, Oregon, this dynamic duo – ex-fighter pilot Paul Shamy and drumming maestro Jason Van Abrams – have unleashed a debut that doesn’t just walk the tightrope between homage and innovation; it riffs right across it.

Imagine the raw, gritty essence of grunge, the soulful depth of blues, and the rebellious spirit of punk, all colliding in a supernova of sound. That’s Sidewinder. Each track is a masterstroke of musical alchemy, where classic rock sensibilities are not just revisited but reinvented. The album is a kaleidoscope of eras and styles, yet it remains unmistakably Fox 2.

Shamy’s vocals are a revelation. He’s a powerhouse of emotion that can whisper in one breath and roar in the next. His guitar riffs are incendiary, igniting each track with a white-hot intensity. And then there’s Van Abrams, a rhythmic juggernaut whose drumming is both a foundation and a force of nature, driving the music forward with unstoppable momentum.

From the haunting melodies of The Grey to the frenetic energy of Phila, each song is a journey in itself. But it’s in tracks like Fly where Fox 2’s genius truly shines, blending bluesy undertones with garage rock grit to create something entirely new yet timelessly familiar.

Following the release of Sidewinder, the outfit is expanding their sound by strapping in bassist Pierce Guderskiand and is set to release swathes of hits in Summer 2024. Ensure Fox 2 is on your flight radar for the drop.

Stream and download Sidewinder on Bandcamp and Spotify. Follow Fox 2 on Instagram to stay up to date with their latest releases.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Gabe Kuchan got into the groove of gratitude with his euphoric riot of funk rock, When You’re Around

With contributions from Cooper Swartzentruber, Harold Cui, and Ben Fremin, the latest single, When You’re Around, by Gabe Kuchan is a riot of swanky and sun-soaked funk rock euphoria. The dazzling funk-rock masterpiece delivers a soulful essence reminiscent of Bill Withers, encapsulated in deep, groove-filled pockets constructed by the Chicago-born, Berklee College of Music-educated artist.

Driven by dynamic guitar work and the robust flair of tight rock riffs, the refreshingly nostalgic offering is a rich multi-layered soul-sating experience which sees the wild sax solos as one of the standout features around the vocal zeal as they inject an infectious energy that elevates the track to new heights.

Kuchan, frontman of Gabe Kuchan and the Funky Doctors, brings his extensive experience in funk, rock, and blues to the forefront in When You’re Around. His skill as a guitarist and vocalist, honed through years of busking and playing in various ensembles, shines through in this single. The influence of artists like Cory Wong and The Yellowjackets is evident, yet Kuchan’s unique style and interpretation make the song distinctly his own.

When You’re Not Around was officially released on November 18 stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Third Coyote poured an indie country elixir for the soul with ‘Heartland’

Third Coyote’s latest defiance of the aural ordinary, Heartland, is a testament to the timelessly alluring talents of singer-songwriter Laura Williams and her band. The experimental release refuses to pledge allegiance to any singular genre; instead, it presents a fusion of soulful melodies, bluesy depth, and rock vigour.

It’s a musical elixir that invites listeners to take a shot of pure aural escapism, promising an intoxicating journey through sound; the production allows every undertone to shine without overpowering any of the other elements in the nostalgic smorgasbord of sonic style.

The soulful underpinnings are reminiscent of an intimate blues club, while the rock components add a robust, heart-pumping energy, creating a fresh and familiar echo of the 70s and 90s. The Bay Area-rooted band’s ability to transcend genre and era is evident in every scintillating note. With Heartland, they beckon to those who seek to discover the uncharted territories of sound and emotion; pack light and prepare to take the indie country rock trip of a lifetime.

Heartland hit the airwaves on November 18; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Pump Action gave soul a potent shot of style in their alt-rock single, Blood Thinner

For their latest release, Blood Thinner, Nashville’s most dynamic alt-rock outfit, Pump Action, synthesised a cultivated-in-emotional-resonance soul-infused blend of rock, funk, and blues.

By anchoring the track in the traditions of songwriting, following the grooves into evocative territory and juxtaposing their old-school song crafting with freshly envisioned sonic style, the quartet, which came to be in the practice rooms of the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music established itself as one to watch.

After a stripped-back intro which gives the John Mayer-esque vocals plenty of room to breathe, the instrumental layers start to intricately interweave to deliver a progressively compelling testament to their naturally rhythmic talents. By never letting the introspective poetry within the ode of unfaltering passion become overshadowed by the tight driving force in the rhythm section, Pump Action became unequivocally worthy of placement on your playlists next to Allen Stone, Fleet Foxes, and Polyphia

Blood Thinner was officially released on November 10th; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast