Forget the latest single from Royal Blood; Southampton’s Lewis Shepperd is more highly suspect than, well… Highly Suspect in his bass riff-driven, grunged up, and modernistically garagey track, Bite.
Entwining melodicism in the same vein as Nirvana’s Heart-Shaped Box around the higher-octane elements of this spectrally sublime feat of more Emo than Placebo alt-rock resulted in a multi-faceted incarnation of accursed seduction.
The guttural vocal breakdown towards the outro is a stark contrast to the placid harbingering harmonies that led to the fierce middle-eight that could give Frank Carter a run for his money.
After recording and mixing Bite at home, it was none other than Pete Maher (Pixies, Linkin Park & The Rolling Stones), who mastered the monolithically sharp release that will impale you on the hooks.
Bite was officially released on May 25; stream it on Spotify, or check out the official video featuring model & actress Ola Johnson on YouTube.
Taken from their debut album, Arrival, Ember Street’s cutting-edge hard rock lead single, Searching, is an affirming anthem for our disillusioned age. With touches of Billy Talent and Highly Suspect to the vocals that spill across the crunchy guitars, anthemic drums and basslines that tightly fit into the frenetically hooky furore of Searching, Ember Street evidently have what it takes to become one of Sweden’s premier hard rock bands.
After getting their rock stripes in various projects, the four-piece utilised their money-can’t-buy synergy in the creation of their debut album, Arrival, which has been in the works for over a decade. Clearly not ones for instant gratification or half-baked hits, Ember Street is one that many rock fans will want to walk down to get their heart-in-throat hard-rock fills.
The official lyric video premiered on November 4th; watch it on YouTube.
Running in a similar alt-rock vein to Highly Suspect with added Pixies Trompe le Monde era grit in the melodically brashy guitars that weave through the expertly carved hooks, Andrew Curtis’ latest single, Unholy Smoke, packs a raucous punch. Undeniably, it’s a visceral-with-fervour hard hitter that any staunch rock fan will want colliding with their eardrums.
The UK-based multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and songwriter is also revered in the cinematic world after writing and acting in three feature films. Away from the silver screen, Curtis (AKA Motel Ghost) is working on his debut LP to rectify the contemporary issue of stagnancy in the rock scene. If it contains the thematic energy of Unholy Smoke, it’s set to be a resounding success.
Unholy Smoke dropped on October 30th; check it out on Spotify.
After the launch of their debut self-titled album, the three-piece rock powerhouse, Tin Zelkova, became one of the most refreshing names in the genre. The standout single, Soul Shaker delivers a tight rhythmic furore, complete with extended guitar solos and a sense of soul that has been scarcely seen since Soundgarden.
Steven Thompson’s melodically hook-rife vocal lines as a bright and intimate contrast to the murky and overdriven guitars is a mesmerising combination that will be an instant hit with any fans of Highly Suspect, Royal Blood and Badflower.
After writing more than 30 songs by the summer of 2021, the Louisville-based outfit distributed their demo EP and started gracing stages in their hometown. But my god, there’s nothing local about the gravitas in their sound.
Shortly after the release of their first studio-recorded single, they were airing across a plethora of radio stations and performing with the likes of Tantric, Texas Hippie Coalition, Local H, Resist & Bite, Native Sons and many others. If the music industry is still capable of crating iconic acts, my money is on these guys.
Soul Shaker was officially released on September 30th. Check it out on Spotify.
We’ve kept our eye on Vince Spano’s increasingly luminous career for a while. With his latest single, RELAPSE, the Texan prodigal son unveiled his most striking alt-rock aesthetic yet, while simultaneously dealing with the proclivity for fear around the notion of romantic regression.
The single, the first to be released from his upcoming EP, The Prescribed Project, delivers rock nostalgia as you’ve never known before. With vocals that are somewhere between Soundgarden and Highly Suspect against the warmth of vintage tubes and overdriven distortion, RELAPSE is as rhythmically arresting as it is revolutionary sultry.
Here is what Vince Spano had to say on his latest single
“This is my first single off my new EP, The Prescribed Project, it’s a project that I have been working on for a very long time in hopes of bringing the sound of the music I grew up on, back into the mainstream to inspire a whole new generation of people.”
RELAPSE was officially released on July 22nd; check it out on all major platforms via this link.
If you ever found yourself with a soft spot for Celldweller, Highly Suspect or InMe, the Brighton-based Electronic Alt-Rock duo, Bear Witness have exactly what it takes to rekindle your affinity for viscerally raw turbulent tracks. Their latest single, Thorn in My Side, is practically post-rock pornography.
Around the overdriven scuzzy guitar riffs, there’s enough of a melody to leave you hooked in the temperamental rhythms, and perceptibly, Bear Witness know just how to use spatial effect and build tension throughout their sonic stormer.
Unsurprisingly, we aren’t the only ones hooked on Bear Witness’ refreshing candour and blisteringly off-kilter signature sound. They’ve already been lauded by the BBC, played to crowds at The Camden Assembly, and are currently semi-finalists in the Isle of Wight Festival’s New Blood competition.
Thorn in My Side will officially release on April 15th. You can check it out for yourselves by heading over to Bandcamp.