Browsing Tag

Funk Rock

Make listening to Nav’s Hook’s funk-infused pop-rock single, New Beginnings, a New Year Resolution

After making us fall hook, line, and sinker with his previous releases, the indie singer-songwriter Nav’s Hook has released the poppy funk-rock track, New Beginnings. The prospect of this new year bringing good new beginnings has understandably left many people cynical under the weight they are still carrying the weight of the previous two years. By the time the chorus hits, that cynicism will fall victim to the strident optimism in the groove-filled high-vibe track.

When the perception-shifting introspection in an artist’s previous releases leaves you stoked to hear the intellectual gold in their new releases, it’s a clear sign that they’re a sharp cut above the rest. We will never get tired of Hook’s sound that constantly evolves around his unpredictable creative vision and lyrics that seek to pull the light from the dark. Many of us felt like we were shunted into a pitch-black 2022; tracks like New Beginnings prove that the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t always a train. Sometimes, it’s a visionary artist sharing his hard-fought-for optimism.

The official lyric video to New Beginnings premiered on January 13th; you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Before I Paddle Out: Germany-based funk artist Ogtopus drops debut track ‘Two Shades’

With his first EP set for a much-awaited January 2022 release, Ogtopus shows us the tasty waves that only helps the soul feel better on the treat-filled debut single ‘Two Shades‘.

Ogtopus is an ocean-loving Cologne, Germany-based multi-creative indie funk-rock/trip-hop music producer/artist, pianist/guitarist who is inspired by all things shapes and colours, as he seems to see further inside the whole picture than most.

Ogtopus transports us to his well-constructed underwater vibration that has you dusting off those lonely goggles, and going for a well-deserved swim to a community that is so much freer than what we see and feel on land. His vocals have a thoughtful nature and mixed with an ear-enhancing beat, this is a splendid song for everyone to lay back to and chill with.

Two Shades‘ from the deep-thinking Cologne, Germany-based indie funk-rock/trip-hop music producer/artist Ogtopus, is a rhythmical gem that will capture your imagination and set you free from all self-doubt. This is a highly creative artist who is only getting started – that performs with an experienced edge that gets your feet tapping – to a hearty beat that is so catchy and highly likeable.

Hear this brand new track on Spotify and see more news on the IG music page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Zach Butler has made his funked-up blues debut with ‘Selfish’.

Some artists try to portray themselves as icons, and some become iconic through their instant accessibility; Zach Butler safely and funkily falls into the latter camp. His debut single, Selfish, is a soulfully rendered feat of experimentalism that finds its vibrancy by grasping at the roots of blues and ripping them out in grooves that are almost technical enough to resonate as avant-garde.

Even though there’s plenty of distinction to grasp through the lyrics and vocals that carry the charisma of a cult leader, the guitars are on a whole other level. As soon as he starts to play in the progressively choppy despite being smooth single, you get the sense that he carries a deep passion for the technicalities of expression. The up and coming Atlanta-based artist takes influence from the guitar styles of Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Mayer. For songwriting influence, he looks to the likes of Stephen Day and Jordy Searcy.

Selfish is now available to stream on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Fortune Tellers show us the future of funk-rock with ‘Addicted to You’.

Funk, blues, indie and rock n roll all feed into the forcefully infectious single, Addicted to You, from the up and coming artist, The Fortune Tellers. The shimmering Gretschy guitar tones progress in slick grooves through the anthemic production that will be a hit with any fans of Blue Oyster Cult.

Monika’s rock vocals confront you with pure soul as they harmonise around the blues-rock instrumentals and choral backing vocals that allow Addicted to You to share reminiscence with a religious experience. Addicted to You is the title track from The Fortune Tellers’ debut album, released in July 2021.

The official music video for Addicted to You premiered on July 8th; you can check it out via YouTube.

Check out the album on Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Unwriters deliver serious sonic flavour in their blues-funk-rock single, ‘The Devil’s Run’.

The Devil's Run (Freedom & Justice) by Tᕼᕮ ᑌᑎᗯᖇITᕮᖇS

Italian alt-rock outfit The Unwriters have unleashed their latest blues-funk-rock single, The Devil’s Run (Freedom & Justice); any fans of Black Midi will want it in their ears. Despite the, quite literally, devilish sensibility to the single, there’s a potent amount of soul weaved into the psychotropic release.

The funk-riding bass lines, reverb-drenched choppy guitar chords, snapping percussion, and psych-heavy synths all pull together to offer some serious sonic flavour that you’ll want to devour time and time again.

The Unwriters may be relatively fresh from their inception, but between them, they have over 25 years of experience in the industry, which goes a long way in explaining the level of maturity in their highly nuanced sound that dabbles in everything from old school hip hop to gospel.

The Devil’s Run is now available to stream and download via Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Harry And The Hootenannies and ‘The Scam That Never Ends (Part 1)’

https://soundcloud.com/harry-and-the-hootenannies/the-scam-that-never-ends-part-1

Harry Braswell, Ben Wescott, and Nick Woehrle – aka Harry and the Hootenannies – are all University of South Carolina graduates who met in a bagel shop and – long story short – put together a trio that’s been variously likened to Primus, the Grateful Dead, Rush, and Led Zeppelin. There’s certainly a proggy, psychie, rocky sort of feel to ‘The Scam That Never Ends’, but there’s some serious funk groove too, courtesy of some proper five-string bass grind and jazzy, folk-inspired drums.

‘The Scam That Never Ends’ is upbeat, bouncy, wacky, zany, and disjointed in a totally good way; there’s elements of Fantomas, early Faith No More, and Mr. Bungle in there too, with elements of ska and psychedelia amidst the funk-rock chaos. It’s all damn good fun, with an impressive amount of musical virtuosity and time-signature-changing noise-making (especially for a three piece) on offer here.

You can hear ‘The Scam That Never Ends (Part 1) on SoundCloud. Follow Harry and the Hootenannies on Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Alex Holmes

Square go for baroque in their theatric prog-punk rock single The World is Square.

With more funk and insanity than Mr Bungle’s debut album and a touch of baroque eccentricity writhing in the electrifying mix, Square’s chaotically enthralling Avant-Garde Rock track ‘The World is Square’ is a wild ride right from the intro.

The trio of three Canadian composers who are all accoladed in the contemporary scene made their debut in 2017. James Maxwell, Edward Top and Alfredo Santa Ana combined their eccentric visions, experimented with complex time signatures and allowed alchemy to crawl from the progressions that are as pleasantly disturbing as The Residents’. With Vancouver’s indie legend, Nathan Dillon’s, talent at their disposal, their powerful tracks that are unapologetically not everyone’s cup of tea hit with maximum artful impact.

It’s hard not to be drawn into Square’s experimentalism when they introduce listener’s to their sound with the following descriptor.

‘Multicultural, overeducated, and ironically trying to justify art-making in our current (dis)information age, Square asks a unique musical question: what happens when you know all the rules, and where all the roads in life lead, and somehow still get lost?’

For the full Square experience, you’ll want to check out the official music video which premiered on March 29th via YouTube. 

You can check out the full EP from Square via Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Bruce Mack – Ugly Head: Dystopic Industrial Be-Bop

Funk rock meets industrial metal in the latest single to be released by New York native Bruce Mack. It wouldn’t be out of place on the Judgement Night soundtrack. With his signature be-bop style paired with co-producer Michael Cox’s guitars that resonate like siren calls, it is impossible not to be consumed by the gritty track that gives the same vibe of preachers in apocalypse films.

‘Ugly Head’ is truly dystopic. Which sadly means that it perfectly captures the state of 2021. It lyrically attacks the odious souls that bitter our polarised society with affirming lyrics such as, “there are beasts on both sides”.

You can check out Ugly Head, which features on the Black Rock Coalition’s new compilation album, Rock n’ Roll Reparations by visiting blackrockcoalition.org. Or by checking out Bruce Mack via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Babybrutha gave us a guide to aural salvation in their funk-driven soul-rock track ‘Black Vinyl’

Aural salvation-seekers with a penchant for funk-driven soul-rock will definitely want to delve into the latest release ‘Black Vinyl’, by Chicago-based fourpiece, Babybrutha.

Black Vinyl exhibits Babybrutha not just as dexterous artists, but as eccentric alchemists of soul-stroking high vibes; you’ll feel existentially lighter before the chorus hits. With Hendrix-style solos, vocals from Tim Lee which prove that his soul could sate the grim reaper for a decade and deep Motown grooves, it’s impossible to entertain any notion of apathy when the track is running through.

You can check out the official video to Black Vinyl by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Moon Rabbit Retreat have released their psychedelically interstellar single ‘Sine Language’

Mixing alt-rock, prog, electronica, jazz fusion, and elements of funk, is never an easy task, but New Jersey experimentalists Moon Rabbit Retreat do just that with their new single ‘Sine Language’.

There’s something for everyone here; seventies TV incidental music, soaring meandering Rick Wakeman-esque keyboard excursions, Pink Floyd-like multi-layered catchy choruses, Neil Peart drum explosions, and some epic synth and guitar sounds, across the nearly seven-minutes of this, the lead single from their new EP ‘Habitat’ (available from the band’s website or from Bandcamp). It’s excellent, with ascending interwoven parts which feel at once familiar and encompassing and never exclusionary, some epic musicianship, and a pretty fitting play on words for a track title, too. It doesn’t come much better than that.

Check out ‘Sine Language’ – and download the album – from Moon Rabbit Retreat’s website; follow the band on Facebook.

Review by Alex Holmes