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Dark Rock

PRESSURE inspect the sands of time in their rock ballad, AM I TOO OLD.


The Stockholm-based powerhouse PRESSURE is set to drop their hard-hitting rock ballad, AM I TOO OLD, which tears through the self-doubt that starts to manifest in our mortal coil when youth has been lost. In true rock opera style, PRESSURE touches on raw issues veraciously while letting the atmosphere consume you in the intensity of the emotion.

I’ve lost count of the people that have come to me with ageism-inspired anxiety in the industry; the truth of the matter is that experience will be a better friend than youth ever was. I mean, you’ve heard of the Rolling Stones, right?

AM I TOO OLD is a stellar track, in every conceivable way. The theatrics of the track will take you right back to the time when we spent far too long thinking about what Meatloaf wouldn’t do for love.

AM I TOO OLD is due for official release on October 15th, 2021. You can hear it for yourself on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Cagri Raydemir takes us on with ‘Choosing Your Own Battles’

Opening up with a descending acoustic guitar line and some suitably doom-laden lead work, ‘Choosing Your Own Battles’ is taken from independent musician and producer Cagri Raydemir’s fourteenth (yes, fourteenth) record, and the second of two EPs, ‘Outlasting The Opposite Pole’; loosely alt-metal, there’s elements of System Of A Down to the guitar work and Raydemir’s vocal delivery, mixed in with dashes of prog and some bluesy flourishes. It’s unsettling, moody, and heavy without resorting to the sort of ‘everything louder than everything else’ distortion that lesser artists might use to imply ‘heaviness’, relying instead on a relatively clean guitar tone, vaguely ‘Eastern’-sounding scales (think Led Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’ or some of Jerry Cantrell’s drop-D tuning-based work), and the power of the lyrics and subject matter to give it gravity and depth. And more power to it, that restraint and emphasis on phrasing and ‘grunt’ giving it a potency that would be lost with a more overdriven sound. It’s solid, powerful, and over far too quickly; a very tasty opener that gives a perfect introduction to the EP.

You can hear ‘Choosing Your Own Battles’, and the rest of the ‘Outlasting The Opposite Pole’ EP, on Spotify.

Review by Alex Holmes

The Urban Sombreros put a theatric twist on industrial electronica with their single, ‘BAD’.

The Urban Sombreros have put a baroquely theatrical twist on industrial electronica with their latest single, BAD (Michael Jackson). As Marilyn Manson falls, The Urban Sombreros rise.

The coarse and distorted vocals, beatboxing, bluesy angular guitar riffs and trance-style interludes ensure that you’ve never heard a feat of electronica quite like this before – no matter how obscure your playlists are. It’s manic, but The Urban Sombreros’ playfully charismatic mania is one that you’ll easily get on board with.

The Cambridge, UK-residing artist is easily one of the most experimentally bold, infectiously addictive artists we have heard this year. We can’t wait to hear how they’ll follow on from BAD.

BAD released on June 9th; you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Crimson Spirit – Poor Little Boy: The Darkest Alt-Rock Earworm You Will Hear This Year

Crimson Spirit

German-based rock revivalists Crimson Spirit are set to release their most absorbing single to date. After a Post Punk-Esque intro, Violet’s vocals creep into the soundscape with a timbre that haunts with the same phantasmal presence as Sophe Lux and Angel Olsen.

Poor Little Boy is an epic alt-rock track that teases empathy while allowing a sardonic undertone to run under the compassion. The instrumentals artfully and progressively mimick slips of patience in the realistically hard-hitting release that tackles tendencies to turn to self-destructive vices.

The founding members, Alexander Stieben and Jana Krieger (aka Violet Rigby), are experienced musicians; before assembling Crimson Spirit, they were part of black metal and psych bands, but Crimson Spirit captures both of their work at its most experimental. Their sound is inspired by the 80s and 90s alternative eras, stylistically, they dabble with elements of classic rock, hard rock, avant-garde rock, grunge and metal to forge their own alchemically immersive signature sound.

Poor Little Boy will be available to stream on all platforms, including SoundCloud, from June 18th.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

GLASS EYE – PRAYERS: Salaciously Ethereal Alt-Rock


With vocals that hit the high notes with the same precision as Matt Bellamy, the sex appeal of Deftones and classic rock licks that come with an ethereally evocative twist, it’s hard not to expect big things to come from GLASS EYE with the release of their album ‘SOMEWHERE, NOWHERE’.

PRAYERS is the perfect introduction to their sound that is so much more than an aural crumble of prominent bands that we’ve come to love across the decades. It’s a delectable invitation to witness the US-based powerhouse’s visceral authenticity that will appeal to anyone who likes their alt-rock to come with rhythmic salacious chills.

PRAYERS is just one of the singles that feature on their forthcoming album ‘SOMEWHERE, NOWHERE’, which is due for release on June 10th.

You can check out GLASS EYE via their website and on Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Judge Silver is coming off the bench with ‘Angeline’

‘Angeline’ is taken from Judge Silver’s debut album ‘Still On The Bench’, nine tracks of relatively gentle alt-flavoured-rock with a lyrical bent and a certain nod to football-related metaphors here and there. There’s some synth and dancey bass across the album, along with the more ‘rock’ flavoured guitars – think Orange Juice and Edwin Collins, a little of the Presidents of the USA, and maybe a touch of Tin Machine-era Bowie, and a little of Amigo The Devil in the vocal delivery.

It’s perhaps a little self-consciously ‘self-effacing’ when it comes to the lyrics, but in between the tongue-in-cheek there are some killer couplets, and in ‘Angeline’ an albeit unconventional love-song.

You can check out ‘Angeline’, and the rest of Judge Silver’s debut, on Soundcloud. Follow Judge Silver on Facebook.

Review by Alex Holmes

Finish Me: Pacific Northwest hard rock band Thirty Seven ask for all the pain to end on ‘Bleed’

With a powerful hard rock sound that rages free as they ask for forgiveness, Thirty Seven wake up the nervous neighbors next door loudly, on their new self-reflective single called ‘Bleed‘.

Pacific Northwest alt-hard rock act Thirty Seven, make that rampaging sound that enters your ear drums at full volume, as they fuse up that daringly electric type of forceful music that wakes you up and inspires you to be better.

This is the story of being at their mercy, you have given them all your cards as you have none left to show, and just want them to forgive you. You feel like this is the only way you can show them how much you actually care, and it might be your last play left.

His voice is so riveting, as the band go at optimum capacity here, and you feel the power like when you are getting smashed by a massive wave in the ocean, as you have no control and simply hope that everything will be okay again when you come up for air.

Bleed‘ from ferocious dark-rock Pacific Northwest outfit Thirty Seven, deafens you if you aren’t ready and leads us into that state where you feel like you have to show the person you love, that you messed up real big, and they can take your soul if they want to. This is an emotionally real song that will make you feel highly reflective, as you remember the times when you treated your true love really badly and wanted to make amends in any way possible.

Turn this one way up on Spotify and check out their IG for future gig news and new music.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Get Acquainted with Tricia Fitz’s theatrically elemental alt-rock earworm ‘Welcome to the System’

With a Nekrogoblikon-style symphonic playfulness to the dark alt-rock track through which Tricia Fitz’s dynamic vocals resound, Welcome to the System proves that elemental alt-rock singles can also be perennial earworms.

No matter how eclectic your playlists are, you’ll never have come across an alt-rock artist as veracious, theatrical and imaginative as Tricia Fitz. Now that Marilyn Manson is (rightfully) cancelled, it’s time we embrace visionary artists, such as the zeitgeist-breaking artist Tricia Fitz, who put ominous tones on the airwaves, but the true essence of their sound lies in the empowerment within.

The Brazilian-Canadian artist is set to make other dark alt-rock acts such as Jack off Jill, My Ruin, Angelspit and Lunachicks proud with her emboldening unique approach.

Welcome to the System is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Not Now Norman ‘Little Frankenstein’ – Part Groove, Part Grind, all alt-rock classic in the making.

If you could put the sound of determination, grit, not giving up, and just out-and-out gutsy rock kudos down on tape and release it, it’d sound something pretty close to Not Now Norman’s blend of raucous, sensual-and-slithery riffs, sassy in-your-face lyrics, and my-way-or-the-highway attitude.

Leaving college with a degree and a bunch of interviews, no-one would take a chance on vocalist Taylor Mitchell due to her disabilities; however, what no-one had banked on was Taylor’s incredible voice, which alternately sneers, snarls, growls, and screams across the 4’23” of new single ‘Little Frankenstein’. There’s elements of namesake Taylor Momson to Mitchell’s delivery, a large dose of Shirley Manson and Garbage, and a mix of Nymphs-era Inger Lorre and non-blonde Linda Perry alongside the Pretty Reckless and the Zeppelin, Blackhearts, and Foos-style classic rock grunt. Zander Brown brings in a touch of Velvet Revolver to the guitars, courtesy of some slick powerchord grinding and sleazing and a monumental wah-wah solo, and the rhythm section of Bodhi Turnbull and Lara Hindhaugh on drums and bass respectively smash out some totally locked in, ground-out bottom end.

An outstanding follow-up to their debut EP ‘The End Of The Day’ and last single ‘Little Cheryl’, ‘Little Frankenstein’ is an absolute belter of a modern alt-rock track, part groove, part crunch, all catchy-as-hell, and full of Taylor’s personal ‘succeed regardless’ lyrical storm. If lockdown hadn’t decimated live gigs for the last twelve months, Not Now Norman should – if there’s any justice in the world – have been storming stages across the UK with this; in the meantime, we’ll just have to make do with ‘Little Frankenstein’.

Check out ‘Little Frankenstein’ on Soundcloud; follow Not Now Norman on Facebook and Twitter.

Review by Alex Holmes

The Shining Tongues have put a piously conceptual avant-garde spin on drone rock with ‘Belly of the Town’

The Prayer - EP by The Shining Tongues

The Shining Tongues added another facet to the realm of experimental rock with the release of their single ‘Belly of the Town’, just one of the singles found on their ethereally avant-garde 2021 EP ‘The Prayer’.

The standout single pays ode to the sanctity of non-romantic love, it perfectly captures the hollowing drudgery which connection can raise us from. With choral backing vocals coalescing with the despondence in the main narrative, The Belly of the Town is a conceptually ingenious release which proves that absolving celestial tones have a place in dark alt-rock too.

If Peter Murphy picked up indie rock sensibilities, his music would hold a fair amount of reminiscence to this darkly hypnotic lullaby.

You can hear the EP for yourselves from January 21st via bandcamp. Or, head over to the artist’s official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast