After dropping their raunchy funk-sliced prog rock debut single, Promises, the Upstate SC outfit Cash Machine subverted our expectations entirely with the sophomore follow-up, Digital Zeus.
The seamlessly progressive single starts as a smoky, lounge-y feat of late-night bluesy soul before progressing into a riff-led prog rock epic that would leave any Genesis fans kneeling at Cash Machine’s unholy alter.
The screeching guitar riffs to the almost thrashy percussion builds an immersive 70s prog-tinted crescendo before the timbre temporarily winds back down to a Jeff Buckley-style serenade. Naturally, we can’t wait to hear what follows this solid feat of ingenuity and technical ability.
Digital Zeus officially released on September 28th; check it out on all major platforms via this link.
Born and raised New Jersey native Marc Ambrosia created the breakup track to end all others with his latest single, Cold Shoulder, which captures the sweetness of freedom in the spicey lyrics which go in the opposite direction of sentimentalising.
With resonantly devilish lines such as “Misery loves company, but I hate that you’re so close to me” and “too much of a good thing, was it any good at all? you can’t help but fall in love with his realist uninhibited candour.
With the same fiery energy of Pat Benatar’s Hit Me with Your Best Shot in the chorus, the intricately bluesy rock meets power pop single is a surefire way to pull anyone out of a self-pity pit. His lyricism is god-tier level, and his hooky instrumental loops aren’t far behind that celestial plateau.
Catch Cold Shoulder on SoundCloud and await the third LP, EDGE, which is set to drop on October 28th.
The UK live music scene may be on its knees. But on October 15th, a near-capacity crowd flocked to Gorilla in Manchester to kneel at the unholy alter of The Virginmarys as the Macclesfield-hailing band played the home leg on their tour of their critically acclaimed EP, Devil Keeps Coming.
With it being my first Virginmarys show amongst their devout fans, I was unsure of their ability to cut through the usual awkwardness of live music in the new normal. From the very first note of The Meds, any sense of cynicism slipped away. The crowd was instantaneously thrown into animation. Yet evidently, this was no average punk rock pit. Euphoria fuelled the momentum in place of the usual boozy weight-throwing aggravation. Something I’ve scarcely seen unless Riot Grrrl icons and their descendants are gracing the stage. As a testament to how much adoration The Virginmarys garner from their fans, one couple made the 3,000+ mile journey from Ohio to witness the deafening duo tearing up the turf in their hometown.
One thing I will never forget is how it wasn’t just the blues mainlined through punk veins with holy rock n roll reverence that gripped the crowd through the symbiotic dynamism between Ally’s guitars and Danny’s Bonham-Esque drum fills. In every direction, I saw how viscerally the lyricism resonated and psyched the crowd into a frenzy through the wit-deep lines that strip the alienation from political disillusion and mental precariousness.
The acoustic rendition of Sleepwas also a tear-jerking memorable feat of the hit-after-hit setlist, which forwent the egocentric inclusion of an encore. I’m fairly convinced that in Ally’s past life, he was a tortured soul from Tennessee. His uninhibited songwriting skills are only matched by his ability to get to the crux of emotions that mostly go unspoken.
If you get a chance to catch them on the remaining legs of their UK tour, take it. You won’t regret it.
Keeping the wheels turning on rock n roll, deep from Chicago’s south suburbs, Arbor Creek is set to release their debut album, Thanks for Wading, featuring the nostalgically bluesy hit, Make Your Mind Up.
Immune to the allure of modern rock gimmicks, Arbor Creek is committed to keeping the warm overdriven vintage tones of rock n roll alive, and pouring soul into each of their tracks which are sure to appeal to any fans of The Rolling Stones, Muddy Waters, Freddie King and Buddy Guy. For the outro, Make Your Mind Up gives John Bonham a run for his legendary money; the nostalgically rich progressive single keeps on giving as it gradually builds in saturated analog momentum.
Thanks for Wading will officially release on August 26th. Check it out for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.
There is your average indie rock nostalgic peddler, and then there’s the Boston-based originator, The Viennese School, with their hauntingly archaic reinventions of American roots, folk, and gospel.
Their self-titled debut LP, featuring the standout single, Dr. Irving, tells the parallel stories of an army doctor, their brother soldier and the demise of a student found beneath a frozen river. You’re pulled into the narrative as much as the Avant Garde soundscape, featuring spacey psychedelic synthetics, old-school crooned vocals, blues rock solos and almost pornographically warm saturated analog tones.
Something is evidently in the Bostonian water if it bred The Viennese School as well as Amanda Palmer, who runs in the same histrionic direction as the artful innovator. What Ryan Murphy is to the small screen, The Viennese School evidently is to the airwaves. We’re officially obsessed.
Jon Fritz’s latest single, The Pool, is a hellbent power-pop bop, and I may as well name the earworm it left me with; it isn’t going anywhere soon.
With the same hyped-up choruses as delivered by the Foo Fighters around the Stonesy swagger in the verses, The Pool is practically a shot of sonic adrenaline. Finding out how the single came together contextualises the energy contained within it. The track was recorded all in one take by a band that had never heard the song before. The result is a riff-driven feat of pure, unbridled raucous momentum under Fritz’s blues-rock meets college radio rock vocals.
Given that nothing is a given except the unrelenting presence of change, Firebug’s latest rock single on the very subject of it is perhaps one of the most universally resonant tracks you can drift into.
The Joshua Tree-hailing artist left enough ambiguity within the lyrics to let you implant your own meaning and laments of the ever-influx facets of existence that can turn nostalgia into mourning and grief. Yet, through Juliette Tworsey’s haunting-in-spite-of-stridence vocals and the dusty blues-rock guitars, Firebug was in complete control of your emotional impulses as you listen to the plaintively painted in sepia single.
Every time we hear Firebug, we’re even more assured that they are amongst the few artists worth following in the time we’ve found ourselves within. In gorgeously subversive fashion, Change shows us how naive we were to ever anticipate ‘the new normal’.
Listen to Firebug’s latest album, No Return, for yourselves on Spotify.
Austin’s scuzz rock troubadours Dr Todd got intoxicatingly punch drunk in their latest off-kilter hit, Give Me a Shot. The riotously clever cocktail of no wave and blues-rock is potent enough to rival the frenetic fever of the Cramps and the Legendary Shack Shakers, but all reminiscences are extremely fleeting in the hedonistic anthem, which unravels to the tune of heavy distortion, resonator guitars, rock n roll attitude and whiskey fumes.
Based on Give Me a Shot alone, if you have the chance to see Dr Todd live; take it. Or at the very least, imbibe in the high energy catharsis.
Give Me a Shot hit the airwaves in May 2022 through Romgod Records. It is now available to stream on SoundCloud.
Ahead of his fourth album, Revival, the NYC roots-rocker, Brian Lindsay, teased the modernity-weary, whiskey-soaked soul within it by giving us a sneak peek of the title single, which throws you right back to the time when lighters were held in the air instead of iPhones.
His virtuosic yet humble approach to songwriting is one of the best escapes from the 21st-century that you could possibly ask for. Between the deep yearning romanticism and the swoon-worthy soaring guitar licks, you get the affirmation that Brian Lindsay is the real revival deal. As much as he taps into Springsteen and Ryan Adams-Esque high energy melodicism, he leans into his signature rugged yet smooth intoxicating aural juxtaposition style.
Revival was officially released on May 20th. You can check it out for yourselves by heading over to Spotify or via his official website.
There is no love affair like the one an artist can have with their craft. For definitive proof, turn to the sultry, swinging blues-rock proclamation of passion, Married to the Art, by the Italian born and raised singer-songwriter & busker Nina Duschek.
The Setzer-Esque genre crumble knows exactly when to drip a little salacious magnetism before switching it up through the playful reggae-infused guitar rhythms. As for the vocals, Duschek is one of the most beautifully unapologetically authentic artists to have appeared on our radar this year. Her vibrant free-spiritedness is organically infectious. Naturally, we can’t wait to hear what follows.
Married to the Art is now available to stream via Spotify.