Browsing Tag

Britpop

Music

Divisions vent their ‘Quiet Frustrations’ on post-truth politics and social division

Divisions by Divisions

If UK alt-rock five-piece Divisions had scripted 2020, they still couldn’t have come up with a more appropriate time to release their eponymous second album (due out March 12th). In preparation, they lead in with this, the opening single from the ten-track album, available via Bandcamp and with an accompanying ‘lockdown-special’ video on YouTube.

‘Quiet Frustrations’ is a powerful track, a statement around social division, post-truth politics, the frustrations of pandemic-stricken Britain, and that horrible over-arching ennui and exhaustion that’s seemed to blanket us all for the last couple of years. It’s a great song, potent, intelligent, thoughtful, and unusual yet with enough commercial nous to appeal to a wider audience; think Thirty Seconds To Mars with a little more introspection and inner-city tower-block feel, and you’re pretty much on the money.

See the lock-down video for ‘Quiet Frustrations’ on YouTube. Buy ‘Quiet Frustrations’, and pre-order ‘Divisions’, from Bandcamp.

Music

Stranger Girl show us their ‘Bad Side’ on their glorious new single.

Stranger Girl

Last year’s trio of singles from South East-based indie darlings Stranger Girl saw them, amongst other accolades, hitting BBC Introducing’s Track of the Week. Now, despite Covid, lockdown, and the dearth of gig opportunities currently threatening the music scene across the UK, they’re back with 3’10” of gorgeous, glittering alt-pop in the form of new single ‘Bad Side’.

Take a large portion of Sleeper and Elastica and a little of an imaginary female-fronted Candyskins, mix them up in a huge Britpop cauldron with a liberal helping of Blondie and The Strokes, and add in some ‘21st Century’ flavouring for good measure, and you’ve pretty much got the recipe for ‘Bad Side’. It’s sublime, an absolutely perfect slice of classic, chart-ready indie-pop. Singer Melissa sounds like Louise Wener with a side-order of Saffron from Republika and a little of the obvious Debbie Harry, the guitars shimmer and sparkle, and the sparse-but-snappy rhythm section powers and bounces the track along. There’s rawness but humour in the lyrical storytelling, but amidst the melancholy and geekiness there’s a hook that sticks in your head alongside the shouty gang vocal chorus. It’s upbeat, poppy, and just a little bit fantastic.

Check out Stranger Girl on Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Mansion Family lightens the mood with their enchantingly jangly Alt Pop hit ‘It’s Not Safe’

The artist formally known as 8uDdha Bl0od returns once more, and whilst nothing has changed, everything – everything – is different. A mix of Alt-Rock and Britpop, ‘It’s Not Safe’ is a stunning, enchanting three-minute jangly pop song in the ‘oh-so-English’ observational reflective style of Menswear, The Divine Comedy, or Pulp. Inspired by lockdown, Covid 19 restrictions, and the one-in-one-out policy of the local Tesco, ‘It’s Not Safe’ squirms and wriggles its way into your head, donning its mask and gloves on the way and gently but firmly making its presence felt.

Effortlessly tongue-in-cheek, with a delicious self-effacing humour, but still defiantly a ‘serious’ pop song rather than comedy or pastiche, ‘It’s Not Safe’ is a gorgeous little piece of refreshingly glitzy songwriting with a sublime catchy hook, delectable jangly guitars, and a crackingly nonchalant vocal delivery. Absolute, total fun-pop. That’s a thing now.

Listen to ‘It’s Not Safe’ now on Soundcloud.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Simon Husbands pulls punches with their single ‘Fighting The Man’

Simon Husbands

‘Fighting The Man’ is the first track from Simon Husbands’ new debut album ‘POP’ – after “45 years of working with other artists”. As a taster for what’s to come it’s really rather good.

A classic ‘three-and-a-half minute’ pop song, all classic indie-rock in a supercharged 90’s Britpop/punk kind of way – Ash, maybe, Cast, or the Bluetones – with some classic rock flourishes to Husband’s Les Paul-swathed guitar playing, but there’s a definite Nick Cope of the much-missed Candyskins (and now the excellent CBeebies Nick Cope Popcast) to the vocals here, too.

‘POP’ the album is released on December 4th, but you can hear ‘Fighting The Man’ on Simon Husband’s website – and it’s a perfect taster for what’s to come.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Longcoats bring out awesome indie-rock UK party starter ‘Drag’

Drag‘ from Longcoats is the fantastic new single from the top notch UK band.

Formed in 2019 by Ollie Sharp, Arthur Foulstone, Kane Pollastrone & Norton Robey, Longcoats fuse that classic British Indie Rock sound of a generation with a sprinkle of American Pop Rock for their own jaunty energetic feel and catchy hooks that make every garden party feel like Reading Festival.

2020 brings their debut EP ‘October’ on Halloween and sadly also brings the departure of two band members.  However two new members are already In place brings Austen Rudall on Bass & Ollie Bull Lifely on Drums which is an exciting new move for the band.

The sound is laid completely bare, naked in its realness and grit from the vocals that brew like a newly made cuppa tea. The band have a way of keeping your attention with their groovy riffs and dance-along style. They want you to get sweaty while listening, letting your body move in ways 2020 has taken away from our souls.

Longcoats have released two songs now and you can hear the evolution already from 2019’s ‘Used To Being Used‘. I feel like ‘Drag‘ is their best effort yet with much more to come.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Music

Britpop melodies with The Shop Window on ”Evacuate”

The Shop Window from the UK are here with their latest single and it’s a real winner called ”Evacuate”.

This new track from the British boys is all about getting away from this crazy world with that special soul. You just want to break away and get up in the sky, heading far away from the madness on earth.

The Shop Window have an indie-pop kind of feel to them and are certainly a pleasure to put up on full volume. They have a rhythmical style about them and you can’t but help notice their Britpop vibe. This is a top quality act that impress on this catchy track.

The new song is taken off debut album ”The State Of Being Human” which has just recently been completed at Raffer Studios in Kent. With a splendid sound, we can look forward to a huge release from this top UK band.

Watch the video ahead of the release on the 14th August on YouTube.

Find out more about the band here on their Facebook.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Music

KEEF – Day In Day Out: Rhythmically Enrapturing Indie Rock

“Day In Day Out” is the sweetly enrapturing upcoming single from solo Indie Rock artist KEEF which has the tangible ability to borrow you from the 21st century by dousing you in rhythmic nostalgia.

From Surf Rock rhythms to subtle hints of kaleidoscopically colourful psychedelia, to a magnetic modern Indie Rock swagger, Day In Day Out offers it all in this extremely enamouring earworm.

Perhaps what I adore the most about the single is the simplicity of the concept. Every day, we fight against the tedious waves of monotony – it doesn’t matter who you are, it’s universal. Day In Day Out serves as a gorgeously stark reminder which also hits you square in the face with the catharsis of confronting that frustration.

The Liverpool-based artist’s distinctively expressive vocals also play an extremely heavy hand in amplifying the immersive energy behind the track. It’s a hit and a rare occurrence where I’d recommend a listen for your own personal gain rather than the artist’s

You’ll have to wait a little longer before you can check out Day In Day Out for yourselves, but in the meantime, you can head on over to SoundCloud and check out their psychedelically crafted earlier singles.

Keep up to date with all the latest releases from KEEF via Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Revolution Rabbit Deluxe – Going Solo: The Rebirth of Britpop

If you’ve ever thought that the Beatles would sound better with extra crunchy reverb it’s safe to say Revolution Rabbit Deluxe’s standout single “Going Solo” from their latest album “Tales From Armageddonsville” will be right up your street.

Going Solo has a psychedelic drive complemented by the fuzzy distortion which bleeds from the electric guitar as it seamlessly yet raucously glides through the chord progressions. It’s almost a little ironic that the next track on the album is “Chords Played All Wrong”. Irony aide, with riffs which would be at home in a Metal track yet an archetypally Psychedelic Pop Rock Vocals you’re treated to a smorgasbord of elements which no one can deny is prodigal.

You can check out Revolution Rabbit Deluxe’s single Going Solo for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.

Keep up to date with the band’s latest releases by following them via Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Hani – Strange Snake: A Futuristically Indulgent Reinvention of Britpop

Have you ever listened to a Britpop track and thought that it’s missing something? Maybe just a little bit of chaotically electric synth, drum machines and pure viscerally alive energy? Well, that’s pretty much what Hani cooked up with his single Strange Snake from his latest album. To say it’s ingenious would almost be an understatement.

If anyone is still under the impression that guitar music is dead before they listen to Hani’s latest single, they definitely won’t be after the sensational sidewinding track draws to a rapturously high energy close.

With Hani taking lyrical inspiration from bands such as the Manic Street Preachers and the Smiths, there really was no wonder that I was bowled over the conceptuality of the lyricism which added to the rowdy swagger of Hani’s rhythmically indulgent mix of rock roots and futurism.

The vocalist and multi-instrumentalist clearly didn’t need too much of a hand to come up with such an explosive soundscape with his own deft abilities. The London-born artist relocated to China in 2014 and used all of his experience to create his first album, all I can say is I wish I partied with him in the years leading up to the release of this album. It’s sheer, intoxicating insanity.

You can check out Hani’s track Strange Snake from his debut album The Polar Route by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Versonic – Follow: Rhythmically Twisted Britpop

BRAND NEW MAN by VERSONIC

For all the sounds to come out of Surrey, England I wasn’t expecting this.

Versonic have recently released their blinding new single Follow from their 2018 album Brand New Man, with their release they have audibly set themselves apart from every other Indie outfit on the UK scene to date. Mainly due to the absolutely cataclysmic guitar riffs which add so much meat to the track you’re going to wish you had some gravy to dip it into. Then there’s the viscerally quiescent vocals by the award-winning songwriter Stephen Connor. You won’t struggle to see how he picked up such awards as you listen to his latest creation Follow unfold. How they managed to pack that much progression into a three minute track is still baffling. What starts out as a typically sweet indie track seamlessly explodes into an instrumental segment that you’d swear was part of a Prog Rock anthem. When the concluding chorus really kicks in it carries so much bounce it’s almost dizzying. I seriously can’t rate these guys enough. I’m putting money on it now. They’re going to be huge.

You can stream and download Versonic’s latest single Follow via BandCamp now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast