Rather than serving up yet another archetypal slice of Sunset strip sleaze, USA’s Orson’s Well brought modernism to their raunchy grooves with their latest single, ‘Serve the Verve’.
With Blues weaving its way into the anthemic stormer, Serve the Verve comes with a guarantee that you’ll find yourself mesmerised by the scuzzy yet soaring guitar solos that affirm Orson’s Well are bringing the pinnacle of modern rock.
Serve the Verve is rooted in the past, but it taps into that contemporary need for abrasive smoky rock n roll orchestrated for the discerning rock fan in 2021. For any fans of Guns n’ Roses and Aerosmith, Orson’s Well is definitely worth a spot on your radar.
You can check out the official video to Serve the Verve via YouTube.
UK-based hard rock outfit IN Peril made their debut in 2020 with their stormer of a single, ‘Your Decision’, with their visceral mix of garage rock and punk, they made it impossible not to pay attention.
While many people potentially won’t like the reminder that every life problem bemoaned about is a consequence of their decisions, there’s plenty of high-calibre catharsis within the punchy, thrashy hit that is screaming to be played live.
IN Peril may carry newcomer status presently, but the synergy within this sniping earworm wouldn’t allow you to believe it. Now that ‘normal’ life is threatening to make a return, they’re definitely one for the radar.
Your Decision is now available to stream via Spotify.
I always try to find the positives in reviews and give constructive pointers where there are areas for improvement, and I guess with that in mind there’s some nice fingerpicked guitar here coupled with Tommy Harwood’s obvious enthusiasm for what he’s doing. Maybe it’s that enthusiasm that’s at fault here, because ‘Walking In The Dark’ feels and sounds like the passion to get the song finished and recorded took away from the necessity to polish the lyrics and work on the performance. Sadly, the guitar’s lacking in any midrange warmth and so bright as to be brittle and shrill, the vocals are too up-front in the mix and have some – to put it delicately – tuning and pitching issues, and the cajon sadly wanders in and out of time seemingly of its own volition. All of these things could be corrected by some vocal coaching and some time with a seasoned producer to take charge of the engineering and mixing, and to guide the performance in the right direction.
Tommy’s a poet as well as a songwriter, and there’s no question that, at the root of all this, he can write verse; he needs to focus a little more on meter-over-music – poetry and lyric writing are very different beasts, despite their surface similarities – and on the vocal performance. He certainly knows his way around fingerstyle guitar, and it’s a shame that the production values on this demo don’t really allow that to be showcased. It may be that in his eagerness to commit ‘Walking In The Dark’ to tape (is that even still a thing?) and add ‘multi-instrumentalist’ to his CV, he’s done himself a disservice – it’s entirely possible that, with a few fewer instruments to worry about, a bit of singing-and-guitar-only focus, and a decent producer to get the best out of his vocal and guitar-playing performance, there’s some nice song ideas here. It’s just a shame that they’re currently being undone by his intensity and spirit, and a desire to do everything all at once.
Like so many musicians during the last year or so, Tyron Freeman – a veteran of bands as a professional musician in the North West UK – found that the world shifted and skewed sideways at the beginning of the pandemic. Suddenly stranded, jobless and isolated in a studio flat in Germany, what does a creative musician do but call in his mates and put together a killer rock n’ roll track?
‘Keep It Hid, Locked Away’ is raucous, indie-tinged rock – think Goo Goo Dolls, Bush, a little of Royal Blood, and some Beatles-y sing-song sections. There’s influences of Fontaines and Tame Impala, the White Stripes, and Oasis, too, along with old-school rock in Zeppelin, Bowie, and the Stooges. Recorded at Liverpool’s Parr Studios, Chris Taylor’s production brings elements of the Lightning Seeds, Blossoms, and The Coral into the mix, giving the overall single a perfect mix of classic rock groove and North-East England indie-pop catchiness. This might be early days for Tyron Freeman’s solo career, but on the basis of ‘Keep It Hid, Locked Away’ he really, really needs to avoid his own advice; this needs to be shouted from the rooftops instead.
‘Keep It Hid, Locked Away’ is out now; check out Tyron Freeman on Facebook.
Small towns in Wales seem to regularly turn up superb melodic rock bands, and Empire of Lights – with their new single ‘Hit The Highway’ is no exception to that rule. Sparse, echoey guitar, pounding drums, and driving bass are the order of the day here; there’s a gothy vibe to the music, a feel of ‘The Forest’ or ‘Jumping Someone Else’s Train’-era Cure, mixed with Johnny Borrell Razorlight vocals from singer John Aziz.
It’s a vaguely psychedelic, spacey sound – there’s something special about the dynamics of three piece rock bands; think Hendrix, Cream, Husker Du and Sugar, and of course Nirvana. The interplay between instruments and vocals, the necessity of accepting and using space rather than simply turning everything up louder than everything else, allows for a different approach and that serves Empire Of Lights well here, adding to that slightly ephemeral, dreamy feel, and coming from such a young band – drummer Eifion Davies is still too young to drink in the bars that Empire Of Lights should be playing this year – shows a realy understanding of arrangement and songwriting. The future looks very bright for Empire Of Lights.
With an intro that could rival the poppy jangly energy in This Charming Man, you’ll fall head-first into Juniper Avenue’s latest single, ‘Disfunction’.
It doesn’t take long before the feat of new wave indie quintessence slips into a darker, more despondent indie styling that takes hold of the same biting energy exuded by The Strokes.
Beyond reminiscence, Disfunction sits right on the contemporary trend of finding no shame in stating that you’re fairly close to losing the plot. With a touch of grungy garage rock to the vocals which still bleed soul despite their raucous nature, Disfunction offers everything you could ask for and more.
With vocals that will be a hit with any Chris Cornell fans, eclectically wild instrumentals and the raw lyrics which don’t just scratch at superficiality, Juniper Avenue is definitely worth putting on your radar.
Disfunction is now available to stream via Spotify.
American solo artist Max Diaz has already racked up over 1-million streams with their visceral take on alt-rock, based on their standout track, ‘Mr. Manson’; he is still criminally under-appreciated.
It has been a while since a feat of alt-rock allowed my curiosity to pique so intensely, but this snarling furore of macabre garage rock reels you in hook, line and sinker by using Manson’s infamous line, “I’m nobody, I’m a tramp, a bum, a hobo, I’m a boxcar and a jug of wine and a straight razor …if you get too close to me”, as a prelude. What kind of outlier could resist that Kerouac-style resonance?
It’s a fuzzed-up obsession-worthy track that fans of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are going to appreciate. Although it is safe to say that the distortedly electric choruses are infinitely more infectious. Instead of retaining an (archetypal) rebellious sense of ‘cool’, Diaz opted for no-wave aural insanity, allowing the soundscape to match the unstable state of Manson’s mind.
Of course, a track like Mr. Manson wouldn’t be complete with a burst of sonic guitars forming a wall, but this wall of noise comes wrapped in razor wire It really wouldn’t be a surprise to see Max Diaz signed to Ipecac Recordings or Sub Pop soon.
Mr. Manson is now available to stream via Spotify.
Taken off their lighter-sparked eight-track album called ‘Family Man‘, Slow Coyote saunter in the door with a new single about the strains of fatherhood called ‘Terrible Dad‘.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based indie band Slow Coyote, make that slam-the-door-down grungy garage rock music for the soul to blaze with, on the laid-back grooves that gets the mellow even more chilled.
This is the story of growing up with a stressed-out Dad, who wasn’t the best sometimes and you learnt some bad habits along the way. The crazy ones always teach you something however and you did learn a few tricks on the way, but wish you had a better role model whilst growing up.
The kick-drum beat stomps the enjoyable rhythm into action, as we are treated to a band that jive into the night with only good intentions. They make that genuine type of smokey music that fills your lungs with a hazy gaze feel, to make everything okay again. After a stressful year, this is exactly the tonic to cool everything down inside your frustrated body.
‘Terrible Dad‘ from Slow Coyote is a terrific new single from the indie-garage rock act from New Hampshire in the USA, who must be itching to get on the road again to play their likable brand of original music, to their adoring fans all over the country.
This is an honest single that opens the door to childhood and how impressionable we are while growing up and how it can possibly define us at times, even if we wish the opposite to be true.
Stream this vibrant new single on Spotify and see more on their IG.
Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, Did I Hear Dare? smash out that brand of mid-Western alt-rock that seems timeless and at the same time bang up to date. ‘I Can Feel (You and I)’ could just as easily be from 2001 as the first month of 2021, and that’s no bad thing at all. Think Killers, Kings of Leon, and maybe a little Arcade Fire for good measure. There’s a definite Brandon Flowers touch to the vocal, a cracker of a bouncy lead guitar line, and a perfect pop-indie-rock lift coming into the chorus, itself an absolute earworm of a radio-friendly-unit-shifter.
The follow-up to their 2020 EP ‘The Ghost Stories’, ‘I Can Feel (You And I)’ is a perfect prelude to 2021 for Did I Hear Dare?.
If alt-rock fans take a chance on any debut single in 2021, they should make it Antalai’s euphorically-charged unapologetically feisty track ‘Spilling My Guts’.
There is a real sense that there was no pretence for Antalai to hide behind in her debut. Her authentic voice resounds as her visceral poetic rage rips through high-octane hit which will leave you rhythmically arrested by the end of the first verse.
Through the addition of the punchy pop-rock chorus which puts a modernist twist on 00s Pop Punk, Spilling My Guts became a riotously anthemic hit which you would be lucky to hear if you wandered to the front of a crowd at a festival.
You can check out Antalai’s single for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.