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grunge

Music

Pop Music Supergroup – Unrequited: Bitter-Sweet Grunge-Soaked Alt Rock

Confusingly, the up and coming artist Pop Music Supergroup’s sound is nothing like what it says on the tin. Instead, it’s a witty subversion which leaves you pleasantly surprised when you delve into the Indie Alt Rock artist’s eccentric addition to the airwaves.

As I hit play on the standout track “Unrequited” in their 2019 album, I braced myself for some polished, contrived euphoria, only to hear indulgently bitter-sweet Grunge-soaked Alt Rock.

With Sonic Youth-style fuzz on the guitars, friendly synth lines and the naturally captivating Indie Pop vocals, it is practically impossible to let this track draw to a close without becoming enamoured by Pop Music Supergroup’s sound.

Pop Music Supergroup’s latest album “Tragically Tedious” is sure to be plenty of appeal to fans of Big Thief, Dinosaur Jr, and Japanese Breakfast.

You can check out Unrequited along with the rest of Pop Music Supergroup’s album by heading over to Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Empty Friend release their latest feat of sludgy Hard Rock “Falter”

Empty Friend

I had the pleasure of seeing London-based fourpiece Empty Friend live before hearing any of their releases. After picking up on Mike Patton vibes and appreciating their high-octane polished approach to Hard Rock, I couldn’t help but get excited about their talent, intellect, and ability to bring something new to the airwaves.

And sure enough, they have delivered with their latest single “Falter”; the first track to be released from their second EP. The instrumentals may remain cold, harsh, and unrelenting, but the personable vocals sit in complete contrast while maintaining perfect synergy.

“Falter” was a track inspired by an imagining of the uprising of those oppressed by abusive Governmental regimes around the globe. The open lyrics allow you to apply the aural angst to a myriad of contexts. This ability to autonomously interpret the lyricism makes the power of the single all the more potent.

You may be able to catch faint glimpses of the 90s sound in Falter, but Empty Friend doesn’t pander to nostalgia. They’ve gripped the contemporary frustration of our modern lives and turned it into a cathartically heavy soundscape complete with the radical grip of overdriven guitars. Thanks to Dave Kirk’s impeccable diction and dynamically captivating vocals in Falter, the catchy lyrics resonate succinctly above the sludgy heavy progressions.

Empty Friend exudes incredible energy. It’s visceral, it’s raw, and each of their tracks offers a candid lyrical introspective which may just help you to shift your own mind’s narrative.

You can check out Empty Friend’s latest single Falter for yourselves by heading over to Spotify from October 26th. In the meantime, you can check out their earlier released singles.

Keep up to date with the latest releases via Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Weddings – Hidden Message: Psych Rock Just Got a Little Doomier

https://weddingstherockband.bandcamp.com/

Weddings’ latest single “Hidden Message” started off as a gloriously sludgy number which instrumentally carried reminiscences to the likes of Courtney Barnett but when the vocals kick in any fans of Alice in Chains should have a jaw to the floor moment.

The evolution in sound may be seamless, but that doesn’t prepare you for the cold drop in tonality as melodiously psychedelic accordance is stripped away and you’re left with harsh doom-laden Rock.

The Vienna-based trio released their single on July 19th, and they have plenty more material in the pipeline to leave us enamoured. You can already count me amongst the excited about the next installation of their alchemical Grunge contortionism.

You can stream and download Weddings’ single Hidden Message for yourselves by heading over to Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Neverlanded – Refuge: Efficaciously Protestive 90s-Inspired Alt Rock

North London Based artist Neverlanded has followed on from their unforgettable EP “FluffyUnicornsUnited” with a single which infuses even more caustically charming Alt Rock contempt.

“Refuge” is the perfect example of how music can often be the most efficacious protestive device. But despite the lingering disdain in the dynamic vocal stretches, Refuge resonates as an instantly magnetic hit which somehow manages to appeal to our frustrative melancholy and simultaneously extracts ecstasy.

The alchemic build-ups in Refuge leave you desperate for the break of the chorus when the visceral energy starts to swell around the chaotically sonic furls of 90s inspired Grunge Rock.

Any fans of Nirvana, L7, and the Refused definitely won’t want to hang around putting Neverlanded on their radar, and if you get the chance to see them live – do it.

Refuge is due for release on October 31st, 2019 and will be available to check out via SoundCloud. In the meantime, you can check out the preview of the single and join in the hype for the release.

Keep up to date with all the latest releases and info from Neverlanded via Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

LIVE REVIEW: Loserpalooza II

September is probably too early to call my favourite gig of the year. But I don’t care how many more of my music idols I see. Nothing will top the second annual Loserpalooza all-day festival in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

Aatma and the Peer Hat are usually places of hipster-orientated pretension, but the independent label Society of Losers invited their most magnetic misfits together to curate an unmissable line-up on the 7th September 2019.

Those who grabbed a ticket to the sold-out show placed money exactly where it is needed in the music industry; in the hands of the artists that are essential right now. The revolutionary powers of Punk and alternative music are fairly limited in terms of national impact. But the raucous experiences of escapism which musicians can offer are priceless.  You’re not parting with your money to gawp at musicians as they parade themselves as deities and watch their egos palpably swell. Instead, you get an invitation to share in the riotously friendly disorder which ensues.

While each of the acts contributed something incredible to the festival, special mentions have to go to Salt the Snail, Witch of the East, and the headline act Hands off Gretel.

Salt the Snail

The first time I saw Salt the Snail I had no idea what to expect aside from well-crafted snappy, witty, explosive Punk. The second time around, I thought that maybe I’d be able to anticipate what’s coming. Nope. There are stage antics, then there’s the full-frontal physical experience which is seeing Salt the Snail live.

There’s no hiding from the giant inflatables which are bouncing around or trying to pretend that you’re not endeared. With stunts such as making “the tallest singer in the world” (the vocalist carrying Crapsons’ vocalist on their shoulders as they braved the pit), it’s hard not to appreciate what the band orchestrated in aid of audience amusement.  Even the highest brows would melt under the manically charismatic energy of Salt the Snail’s frontman.

After treating us to their boisterously cathartic tracks, they equipped a good majority of the audience with improv music instruments and led them to the next stage where the cacophony carried on until the next act was ready to start.

It sounds ridiculous. It was. But watching the frenzied effervescence of Salt the Snail, who was also responsible for the event made me pretty sure that if they started a cult, I wouldn’t need much tempting before I joined.

Witch of the East

The fact that Witch of the East attracted a rave review from the editor in chief of Alternative Press shortly after they released their debut album “Queen of Insecurity” in 2019 tells you everything you need to know about the artist.

Aeris Houlihan’s solo project may be fresh from its inception, but her music also provides the freshest brand of hypnotically sexy grunge which has hit your ears in this decade. That may seem like a massive over-exaggeration but listen to “When You Fuck Me” and tell me that I’m wrong, and the darkly salacious tones are equally as potent when you get to hear them live.

To ease us into the set, Aeris played her first track acoustically before taking to her electric guitar connected to a dazzling array of effects pedals.

From transfixingly poised stripped-back aural alchemy to the bewitchingly dark industrial-laced Grunge which the artist has come to be renowned for, Witch of the East’s set proved be one which invoked a myriad of emotions.

I’ll make very few apologies about making the admission that the seductive soundscapes on offer from Witch of the East had the desired effect. You’d have to be dead from the waist down or a liar not to admit that those dexterously played riffs falling into layers of reverb with the hauntedly lascivious vocals weren’t almost pornographic.

Hands off Gretel

Not only does Lauren Tate possess vocals which make you wonder “what if Christina Aguilera had joined Babes in Toyland” she also possesses an incredible unfuckwithable energy that no other woman could witness and not feel empowered by.

Salivating front-row perverts may follow Lauren wherever she goes, but her vocals project far past them and resonate within a crowd which is uplifted by the fearless expression which she pours into each of her tracks.

After the release of their second studio album “I Want the World” I was ridiculously excited to hear the screams which would shatter the larynxes of most people on tracks such as “Milk”, “Kiss Me Girl” and “S.A.S.S” and they definitely didn’t disappoint.

The fourpiece powerhouse possesses a synergy which is rarely heard or seen in underground music, they definitely belong in the mainstream. But for now, people who attend events such as Loserpalooza can revel in the insane talent on display as they blast their unique brand of 90s Grunge/Punk nostalgia through the speakers.

Artist Links

Salt the Snail: Facebook, Bandcamp, Spotify

Witch of the East: Facebook, Spotify

Hands off Gretel: Facebook, Spotify

Society of Losers: Facebook, Bandcamp, Website

You can also check out the Spotify playlist featuring one track of each of the 16 bands who performed. Whatever your musical inclinations you’re sure to find something that will get the dopamine flowing.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

GreenBones – Death from Below: A Volatile Revival of Grunge

If you like your Grunge to come with cutting angular guitars and vocal volatility, you’re sure to appreciate the latest single from the up and coming Alberta, Canada-based artist GreenBones “Death from Below”. Mudhoney fans are sure to become suitably enamoured at the sporadic vocal stretches which are accompanied by a bouncing, punchy, relentless rhythm that will take you right back to the golden age of Grunge.

While Death from Below sits in a cleaner mix than most of your average Grunge tracks, the potent stylised energy sits just as hard around the fuzz-spilling guitars and high-octane drum hits. GreenBones are definitely one to watch – there’ll be plenty more to come from them this year.

You can check out the official music video to GreenBones latest track Death from Below via YouTube now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Lucy Jay revives 90s Grunge with the charismatically magnetic single “Oh Mandy”

With a prelude which kicks off to the same effect as Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock n’ Roll”, it didn’t take me all too long to realise that Lucy Jay’s latest single “Oh Mandy” was going to be a captivating offering of fiercely magnetic Alt-Rock ingenuity.

The unpredictable switch-ups in vocals were reminiscent of Bikini Kill’s deftly placed sporadic screams which made sure that you were paying attention to the charismatic, playful and in part chaotic performance. But if Lucy Jay has anything on the iconic 90s artists, it’s the level of talent on display in the instrumental arrangement. With the synergetic tight progressions, all deftly weaved together with a clean polished production the track, the Alt-Rock visceral energy was more potent and indulgent than ever.

You can check out the official music video to Lucy Jay’s latest single Oh Mandy by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Takhian – Antimatter: The Grungy Reinvention of Post Punk We Never Knew We Needed

With vocals which possess the same velvety reverberance as Matt Berninger from the National, becoming enamoured by up and coming artist Takhian’s single “Antimatter” came all too easily.

Antimatter is just one of the singles which feature on the artist’s debut album “Hyperplanes” which comes together as an act of genre-defiance. Attempting to slap a singular genre label on Antimatter would be an exercise of futility. But you’ll be able to expect a slightly jagged Garage Rock tonality from the Indie Jangle Pop guitar progressions which sit in a mix of sludgy basslines and softly rhythmic drum fills which all wrap together with a slightly Psychedelic mesmeric feel.

You can check out Takhian’s restoratively immersive latest single Antimatter along with the rest of their debut album for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Neverlanded – Fluffy Unicorns United EP: Grunge Just Got a Bit Filthier

90’s Grunge may have been revived a fair few times before, but never with the same veracity as contained within the “Fluffy Unicorns United” EP from the North London-based powerhouse Neverlanded.

For a start, the vocals are so filthy they almost make Courtney Love sound in the same league as Taylor Swift (no one tell her I said that please – I don’t want a Courtney beef, but I do want to allude to how reverberantly delicious and droning the vocals are). And you can also be sure that the energy of the instrumental arrangement is set to the exact same standard as the vocals. Every aspect of each of the four tracks has such a raw, desperate, clawing energy which perfectly captures the essence of grunge – Punk; with a little bit of stylistic apathy.

Just as IDLES have reinvented Punk with an explosively caustic and relevant energy, Neverlanded has done the very same for Grunge and I see very little reason why the charismatically gorgeous souls can’t ascend to the same heights.

Even after the final track faded out the potency of the energy contained within this EP was still resonating. If you want a record which has the capability of making your heart pound just as it did the first time you listened to Hole, Babes in Toyland, and L7, you’ve just found it.

The Fluffy Unicorns United EP will be released on April 1st, 2019 and will be available from all major streaming platforms. In the meantime, you can check out their earlier releases by heading over to their SoundCloud page.

Keep up to date with news on the release via Facebook

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Photo credit to Shotison Media

Music

Samuel Yuri – Storm: Instrumentally-Driven Grunge Catharsis

https://youtu.be/nJp7XuNi30o

I’m yet to happen across a track by Samuel Yuri that I haven’t instantly fallen in love with. ‘Storm’ from his latest album ‘Epic Scales’ was certainly no exception to this rule.

With a grungy sensibility the track unfolds under a slightly more antagonistically raucous sensibility than the other tracks from the album. But the muddy reverb and the biting lyricism certainly wasn’t lost on me, neither were Samuel Yuri’s intensely gruff vocals which were almost delivered in a spoken word capacity. Each aspect of the track is powerful enough to make you feel like you’ve just been taken upon an epic aural journey by a track with a tempo which will almost guarantee guitar-driven catharsis.

If you’re a fan of Megadeath, Metallica, Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam, Nirvana or Soundgarden chances are that the decadently raw track will go down a storm. So, it would seem that Samuel Yuri chose a pretty apt name for the single!

You can check out Samuel Yuri’s track Storm for yourselves by heading over to YouTube now.

Keep up to date with all of the São Paulo based artist’s latest releases by following him via Facebook, after devouring the entire Epic Scales album, it’s safe to say that I’m left with an appetite of high-octane instrumentally captivating Alt Rock that I’m sure only Samuel Yuri can deliver.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

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