Browsing Tag

Hard Rock

Alley of the Dolls earned a place in the pantheon of post-grunge with ‘Broken Skies’

Alley of the Dolls, Yorkshire’s alt-rock revelation, delivered a thunderous wake-up call with their single ‘Broken Skies’. The standout from their EP ‘Urethane‘, is a movement scribed through Jacob Stephenson’s and Adam Pickering’s shared passion for the gritty, grungy, and raw energy of 90s rock.

‘Broken Skies’ lyrically tackles a subject as delicate as it is devastating – the rising phenomenon of school shootings. Few artists have dared to go beyond lyrically mourning the tragedy, but Alley of the Dolls does so with a boldness that is both haunting and necessary. Their words don’t just skim the surface; they eviscerate the protagonists of these tragedies, demanding accountability for the senseless destruction born from unprocessed emotions.

The duo’s fearless approach to songwriting is matched by the sonic ingenuity within the bruising riffs and intense instrumental thematic textures in ‘Broken Skies’. Their determination to become architects of a new sound influenced by iconic Seattle post-grunge bands and legends like Guns ‘N’ Roses and the Foo Fighters is palpable in every viscerally affecting note of ‘Broken Skies’.

By using their music to punch upward against tyranny and stand for those struggling to survive and thrive, Alley of the Dolls’ discography is as essential as it is vindicating.

Broken Skies will drop on April 12th; stream the single on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Shred augmented annihilation in their hard-rock anthem, What They Say

Whoever said hell hath no fury like a woman scorned was proven a liar when Denmark’s prodigal sons of hard rock, Shred, unleashed their raging anthem, What They Say.

With an off-the-scale level of intensity to the hit that signifies the five-piece’s songwriting stripes, no one will be immune to the frenzied hook-rife volition when exposed to the single which goes beyond assimilating 80s-tinged hard rock and metal.

By leaning into the sonic influence of more contemporary bands including Foo Fighters and Avenged Sevenfold, and looking to more introspective artists for lyrical inspiration, Shred is one of the few hard rock outfits which goes beyond living up to rock and metal stereotypes.

They’re charting their own path through the razed ground of the hard rock landscape with the scintillating sustain on their monolithic guitars, the intuitively electrifying rhythm section, and the ensnaring vocals. Stefan Stimony knows exactly how to embody the emotional themes Shed’s profound lyricism exposits. If talk is cheap, What They Say is priceless.

What They Say will be available to stream on all major platforms, including Spotify, from March 29th.

Keep up to date with each new release and tour date via Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ipecac took an egalitarian approach to affection with their queer rock anthem, Everyone Deserves Love

Ipecac’s latest single, “Everyone Deserves Love,” is a potent blend of vintage 70s rock warmth and modern, hook-driven intensity, reminiscent of The Hives’ recent work. Formed in 2017, the band comprises four best friends: Isabella Osborne (vocals), Kanyon Dickerson (drums), Tayte Eubanks (bass), and Ariadnee “Rodnee” Ziady (guitar). Their synergy is palpable, crafting a sound that’s both a nod to British metal’s golden era and a reflection of contemporary rock’s emotional depth.

This track is a bold statement against the rising tide of homophobia and queerphobia. In a world increasingly divided, “Everyone Deserves Love” emerges as a queer rock anthem, a protest song that resonates with the urgency of our times. The lyrics are a clever, poignant exploration of the struggle for a prejudice-free existence, striking a chord that even the most hardened sceptics with faces redder than their MAGA hats might find hard to dismiss.

The song’s structure is a masterclass in dynamic contrast. After a riotous journey through face-melting riffs and a throbbing rhythm section, the track halts for an acapella oration – a powerful, unadorned plea for acceptance and love. This moment of vulnerability only amplifies the impact when Ipecac dives back into the fray with even more ferocity.

In essence, “Everyone Deserves Love” is a rallying cry for unity and understanding, wrapped in a package of exhilarating rock music. Ipecac has not only captured the spirit of their 70s and 80s influences but has also channelled their introspective lyricism into a message that is both timely and timeless.

Everyone Deserves Love is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Psychosomatik amplified a high-octane alt-rock revelation with their latest release, Slow Motion

Slow Motion by Psychosomatik

Psychosomatik’s latest single, ‘Slow Motion‘, erupts from the speakers with a ferocity that belies its title. This Miami-based rock duo, Edison and Noah, have distilled their diverse universe of influences into a potent mix of alt-rock, psych-rock, and progressive elements, culminating in a track that’s both a nod to rock’s rich history and a bold step into its future.

From the first chord, ‘Slow Motion’ ignites a sense of nostalgia, reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s rhythmic allure and the Black Keys’ mastery of reinvented rock. Yet, Psychosomatik’s sound is unmistakably their own. The track is a masterclass in controlled chaos, weaving the slick, seductive elements of Velvet Revolver with a grungy, prog edge.

‘Slow Motion’ is a journey through the duo’s “personal hell”, a character study born from a dark, troubled winter. The track’s power lies in its raw, unfiltered emotion; the unholy release will leave you praying at the altar of the ingenuity of the duo. With every groove, you’re inseparably combined from the momentum as it ebbs and flows, pummelling you down into the grungy depths before bringing you up with the soaring riffs and vocal lines.

Slow Motion dropped on March 13; stream and purchase the single on Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Down River reached the pinnacle of infectiously explosive volition with their hard rock earworm, The Long Way Down

If you have a penchant for hard rock that is as explosive as it is meticulously honed, expose yourself to the rhythmically intense fervour of ‘The Long Way Down’ from Utah’s premier powerhouse, Down River. Instead of letting reverence for the genre’s roots get in the way of innovation, Down River carved out a new trajectory in the evolution of the genre with the sharpness of their hooks.

April Draven’s voice is a force to be reckoned with – a blend of raw power and captivating melody that sets her apart in a league of her own. Her emotionally charged vocal lines are a gravitational force, pulling listeners into the vortex of the song’s energy. Fuck comparing her to other female figureheads in rock and metal, she could hold her own against any of her icons.

Instrumentally, ‘The Long Way Down’ is a masterclass in hard rock dynamics. The band’s ability to balance cataclysmic breakdowns with firebranded production creates a colossal sonic impact, tailor-made for the adrenaline of a stadium experience. Each member brings their own powerhouse performance, resulting in a track that’s tight, ensnaring, and unrelenting.

The Long Way Down is more than a hard rock playlist staple. It is a siren call to anyone who cherishes music that’s crafted with passion, precision, and a touch of rebellion.

The Long Way Down was officially released on March 1st; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Little Villains – Café De Stam: The Ultimate Hard Rock Antidote to the Ennui of Our Times

Café De Stam by Little Villains

The transatlantic hard-rock heavy-hitters Little Villains are priming themselves for the unleashing of their fifth studio LP, Café De Stam. Get a taste of the vintage-wrapped rancour to come by adrenalizing yourself with the recently released title single.

By melding classic rock rhythmics with the frenetic mayhem of metal, the title single will go down a storm with Motorhead and Venom fans. Little Villains ensured none of the high-octane energy from their rock n roll to the core performance was lost in the raw production of the infectiously razor-sharp hit, which proves how tight the fourpiece’s sound has become since their debut.

The anthem of defiance brought to life with an infectious sense of devil may care rebellion, goes beyond paying an ode to the pioneers; it is the ultimate aural antidote to the ennui of our modern times.

Stream and purchase the title single, Café De Stam, which was officially released on January 25, on Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ramener exhibited the agony of empathy in their debut music video for their seminal single, In Her Hands

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6EbjJ0eEyw

With the unveiling of Ramener’s debut album drawing closer, the grungy alt-rock evocators unleashed their first music video to complement their ensnaring lead single, In Her Hands, and draw fans a little closer into their tumultuously provocative world, which is redefining the contemporary nu-metal arena.

With a similar atmosphere and aesthetic to Nirvana’s iconic Smells Like Teen Spirit music video, Ramener succeeded in amplifying the visceralism within their seminal single. The rhythmics of the track mimic a fraught with anxious torment heartbeat in the intro until the single breaks into its first cascade of instrumental candour to complement the complete rejection of inhibition from the vocals, which harmonically tease you into the cacophonous outpour.

If you are yet to see Ramener live, the music video will give you an accurate view of what you can expect from the instrumentally tight outfit which becomes the sum of all parts when they’re using their agony, volition and razor-sharp songwriting chops to seduce you into soundscapes which transcend sound to become immersive expositions into the dark side of empathy. Keep Ramener on your radar. What follows will undoubtedly be just as groundbreaking.

Stream the debut music video from Ramener for their In Her Hands hit single via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Porter – Behind the Banlieu: A Disparaging Sign of Our Digital Disconnected Epoch

Germany’s most tuned-into-the-harrow-of-our-digitised-material-reality progressive alt-rock outfit, Porter, leaned into the disconnect and isolation our instant connectivity has brought us in their aptly dark single, Behind the Banlieu. While no one is living under the illusion that we’re living in the healthiest epoch, Porter’s single is efficacious in its attestation to the damage that is being inflicted on us with each passing day.

This track is a testament to Porter’s ability to fuse various musical influences, from the raw energy of metal and punk to the nuanced storytelling of indie and singer-songwriter styles. The result is a sound that’s uniquely theirs, mature yet vibrant, complex yet accessible.

Raimund, the band’s new frontman, brings an electrifying presence to the track. His vocals resonate, echoing the power of the pounding drums and the deep growls of the basslines. This combination creates a sound that’s as dark as it is energising, a perfect canvas for the song’s powerful message.

With raw rock riffs which tear through the alchemised atmosphere, there’s plenty of room for contemplation, when you’re not locked into the tumultuous volition of the single that carries all of the elements of an electrifying rock anthem. Consider the single as the first stone cast in a sonic revolution and a fierce declaration from a band that knows its power.

In a world where oppressive ideas are gaining ground, Porter uses their music as a tool for resistance and inspiration. The chorus is not just memorable; it’s a call to arms for those who crave a shift towards democracy and freedom.

Behind the Banlieu is now available to stream on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The prodigal sons of hard rock n roll SuperZero delivered outlaw poetry in motion with their latest single, You & Me

SuperZero’s latest single, You & Me, is a gasoline-soaked tribute to the raw, unbridled spirit of rock and roll. This four-man ensemble, hailing from the heart of Southeast England, crafted a siren call to all those yearning for the golden days of hard rock rancour; hit play and erase the past four decades.

From the very first note, You & Me grabs you by the collar and thrusts you into its world where the basslines growl with primal energy and Neil Abnett’s incendiary guitar work sends jolts of white-hot electricity through the progressions as The Cheesman’s drumming becomes a relentless force that drives the track forward with electrifying momentum.

At the forefront, Brandon Keenen’s vocals are a perfect blend of grit and melody, embodying the spirit of rock legends while carving out his own unique identity. Bex’s bass is the undercurrent, a dark and brooding presence that adds depth and complexity to the track.

You & Me is more than just a nod to the pioneers of rock; it’s a statement of intent from SuperZero. They’re not just following in the footsteps of giants like AC/DC and Black Sabbath; they’re blazing their own trail, fuelled by a passion for the genre and a desire to push it into new territories.

Lyrically, the track is poetry in lawless motion, the fervid lyricism feeds into the escapism of the release, which delivers a reminder of why we fell in love with rock in the first place – its ability to make us feel alive, to transport us away from the mundane and into a world of pure, unadulterated energy.

You & Me dropped on December 25th; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Slip into a rock noir fever dream with Call to the Void’s latest single, Blow

South London’s Call to the Void delivered a smorgasbord of style in their synthesis of garage rock, proto-punk, post-punk, and grunge in the track they crashed onto our radar with earlier this year. Their previous release, Uncontrollable, was one thing; their latest fervid feat, Blow, is another entirely. The vice-like rhythmic grip will drag you down the shadowy rabbit hole in the rock n roll fever dream, where a séance is held with the sonic aesthetic of Jim Morrison, Cobain, and Lux Interior.

By driving innovation through the rancorously electric vintage tones between the melodic increments used to ensnare you in the jaws of their shaking, rattling, and rolling cultivated panache, there’s no getting out of Blow alive once you experience the dark rock noir atmosphere, which twists and turns on a knife edge to impale you on the spikes of innovation that proliferate this nefariously dark hit.

Blow will be available to stream on all major platforms from January 5th, following the pre-release on Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Call to the Void