Taken from their debut EP, Nobody Home, West Ridge Circle’s standout single, Stuck in This Chair, is an eclectic array of era-spanning rock nuances and modernist lyrical vulnerability.
Fans of Pavement, Pixies and Nirvana will want to drink up the 21st-century melancholy that drips through the lyrics and captures the frustration that lingers in unrelenting ennui. It’s tracks like Stuck in This Chair that prove there’s a beauty in collective misery, that now, we can hear lyrics, and it isn’t an Olympian stretch of the imagination to get on the same level. Granted, that isn’t always a given, but West Ridge Circle are thriving on the funk that is writhing through our existential hive minds.
With the J Mascis-style guitar chops, the despondent Americana blues-rock vocals that come with a tinge of the Seattle alt-90s sound and the eerily relatable lyrics, Stuck in This Chair has all the makings of a melancholy alt-rock playlist staple. We hope there’s another release nestled in the pipeline.
Stuck in This Chair is now available to stream on Spotify.
If Elliott Smith, Dinosaur Jr and the Beatles met in the middle, the sonic result would be starkly reminiscent of Louie Miles’ latest psychedelically warm and hazy single, Show the World. Instead of following the same old tropes with his tracks, he creates songs born entirely of his imagination. Based on Show the World, I would pay hand over fist to take a vacation in his mind. The sweetly psychotropic instrumentals paired with Miles’ magnetic melancholy-tinged vocals is practically an invitation to nirvana.
The Liverpool-based multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer made his solo debut in April this year; before that, he contributed to the Birmingham-based band, Sugarthief and Liverpool’s renowned outfit, Astles. At 21-years-old, Louie Miles already boasts the songwriting maturity that other artists have to wait decades for. We can’t wait to hear what follows.
Show the World is available to stream on all major platforms, including YouTube.
If Metrophobia’s 2021 debut album, Silent Treatment, was marketed as a lost relic from the alt-90s, I’m fairly sure that no one would raise an eyebrow. The best introduction to their sonic palate that amalgamates shoegaze, noise, indie and grunge is the nostalgically ethereal single, How Long.
Around the catchy hooks, the tender vocals fall into the discord that spills from the scuzzed-up over-driven guitars, allowing you to see a softer side to the discontent How Long was inspired by.
The two forming members of Metrophobia met in Geneva, Switzerland; they worked on various projects together before turning their attention to their bitter-sweet cocktail of alt culture that will be a hit with fans of Pixies, Dinosaur Jr, Teenage Fanclub and Sebadoh.
Metrophobia’s debut album is now available to stream on Spotify.
With their melodic themes that vary from no-wave to folk, Rouse the Boroughs is an exceptionally rare kind of outfit that can parallel the evocative output from nostalgia-inducing artists such as Mazzy Star, Elliott Smith and Neutral Milk Hotel. Those aren’t comparisons that I make lightly. The lead single, Tighter is the Rope, from their latest release, Cosmic Creatures – Part 2, is the perfect introduction to the Montreal-based art and music cooperative.
Instead of the cleverness of the soundscape capturing you through its vibrant dreamy -sporadically over-driven and sludgy, tones – it’s the emotion that the cooperative can express with their sound that leaves you affably hooked. The vocals allow you to imagine what Sonic Youth would have sounded like if Thurston Moore was as vocally sweet as Matthew Caws. You’d be seriously hard-pressed to find a more blissfully provocative single released in 2021.
The Cautionary Tale of Richard Manuel is the indie psych-folk debut single from Woodstock-based, California-born singer-songwriter Marc Delgado. If the styles of Paul Simon, the National and Dinosaur Jr coalesced, the sonic result wouldn’t be all too far from Delgado’s debut that pulls the storytelling roots of folk up through a sleek and modern production.
The kicking beat, lofty colourful guitars and spacy synths converge to create a psychedelic platform for Delgado’s instantly magnetic vocals that draw you in by the unapologetically unadulterated passion to provide 3:28 minutes of total aural escapism.
The Cautionary Tale of Richard Manuel is now available to stream via Spotify.
Decades may have passed since alt-rock outfit, Selfish Gene garnered rave reviews and joined Sonic Youth on their Washing Machine album tour in 1996, but the Tel Aviv-hailing artist’s despondently transfixing sound is just as transfixing in the 21st century.
‘After the Rain’ is the first single to be released from their forthcoming album, produced 20 years after the original line up disbanded. With vocals which carry reminiscence to Matthew Caws (Nada Surf) and J Mascis against distorted winding guitar hooks which may as well have been played on your heartstrings, the melancholically mellifluous single is as evocative as it is innovative. Anyone who can’t get enough of alt-90s indie may finally find themselves sated by this sweetly optimistic-in-spite-of-nihilism release.
After the Rain is available to stream via Spotify.
When, back in November, we reviewed Godzukey’s last single ‘Alibi’, we said that Portland, Oregon, might have just spawned a new baby monster. On the basis of ‘The Wrath To Come’, that monster’s now hitting the angry teenage years, slamming its bedroom door, and refusing to come out except for snacks and video games.
Written about deceitful friends and still peppered with beautifully tasteful harmonics and bluesy shredding from guitar noisenik Conrad Bylsma, ‘The Wrath To Come’ is a glorious, grungy, doomy, melodic, stomp through sludgy stoner-rock (that’s a thing) in an old-school lazy vocal and fuzzed-up guitars kind of way. There’s large elements of some absolute classics in here – Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Mother Love Bone, with a definite nod to the Foos, Nirvana, and J Mascis/Dinosaur Jr. especially around the laconic vocal delivery and effects.
‘The Wrath To Come’ is the 8th track from Godzukey’s demo mini-album ‘Lake Mammalian’, and a precursor to their debut online gig ‘Bridge City Sessions: Godzukey’, which can be viewed via YouTube and Facebook on March 2nd this year.
Born in London and now resident in Los Angeles, singer-songwriter ¥ang is now onto his sixth single in just twelve months. ‘Satin Blue’ starts off with a Patti Smith-esque acoustic guitar part before instantly becoming something much, much more as ¥ang’s laconic, laid-back vocal delivery kicks in.
Mixing equal parts Beck, REM, and the quieter parts of Nirvana’s ‘In Utero’ album, hitting every ‘right’ bit of Cobain and Stipe on the way, ‘Satin Blue’ is a catchy, upbeat number with a surprisingly hooky, mainstream college-radio middle eight breakdown before kicking back into its final ‘this is your lesson’ chorus refrain, which – like the best of Seattle and Athens, Georgia – will stay very, very firmly lodged in your head for hours after the final, ringing chord has decayed to nothingness.
Laissez Tout Brûler is the lead track from the Alt-Rock powerhouse Glitched’s latest EP “Chaos World, Pt. 1 (An Apparition Emerges)”, if you’re aurally sensitive, prepare to feel a little bruised.
Right from the first verse, there’s a magnetically direct invitation to immerse yourself in the soundscape. The steadiness of the preceding verses makes the alchemy in the successive ones even more exhilarating. Think along the lines of Dinosaur Jr’s Feel the Pain.
When the momentum builds in the choruses, so does Glitched’s playful energy which tears through the melancholy which was laid out in the former verses. After hearing Laissez Tout Brûler, I have no doubt that Glitched could give Foo Fighters a run for their money live, their sound is just as capable of filling a stadium. Plus there’s the extra added bonus of Laissez Tout Brûler being a uniquely unpredictable track which experimentally unravels while sweeping across the full tonal palette.
Ever since the earworm contained in Heavy Salad’s Psych Pop sophomore release Battery Acid made itself right at home, I’ve been psyched by the promise of the debut release by the Manchester-based masters of good vibes.
The wait is almost finally over. The Cult Casual LP produced by Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys) is due for release on September 25th via Dipped in Gold Recordings. Ahead of the LP release, they’ve released their psychedelically rapturous grungy Pop teaser track The Wish. It’s so timely it is almost serendipitous.
The Wish is an accessible introduction to the debut album which promises a smorgasbord of enlightenment-aiding experimentalism. The driving punchy Rock rhythms possess a convictive bite and drip with a bravado-less Alt 90s-style cool which will appeal to any fans of Pavement, Dinosaur Jr and Weezer.
With the feisty instrumentals perfectly paired by the exuberantly high-vibe vocals offering mantras such as “I cannot save you, I can’t even save myself”, it will be hard to determine what you fell in love with first, the powerful lyrics or the tone which shatters the Manchester mould. So many Manchester-based artists succumb to the ease in the process of assimilation for their sound. But with Heavy Salad, their sound is so revolutionary that if they were handing out invites to their cult, you probably wouldn’t need to think twice before accepting.
The massive choruses in the Wish go down like a euphoric storm as they allow you to consider the futility in attempting to rescue everyone in a world where we’re all without a compass in the chaos. If you’re as afflicted with empathy and nihilism as I am, you can consider the Wish a playlist essential.
You can check out the official video to The Wish via YouTube, add the track to your Spotify playlists, or download the single via Bandcamp.
Cult Casual will be available to stream on all major platforms from September 25th, or you can pre-order the album here.
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