It has been a while since a track evoked tears and chills in me; WD-HAN did all that and more with their latest soulfully nostalgic rock n roll single, Good Man, which was officially released on April 7.
Somewhere between Buckley and Springsteen, the sentimentally humble single starts with an acoustic intro before the track builds into an orchestrally full-bodied rock rendezvous. Yet the same emotional intensity from the prelude runs right into the outro after the colossally arresting alt-rock crescendo.
Lyrically, it is such a bitter-sweet reminder of how this world chews up and spits out the most sensitive dreamers that traipse across the jagged teeth of their landscapes but the soulful optimistically bright vocal performance gives a potent shot of persuasion that you should stick to your compassionate guns. The conceptually layered single also touches on the paradox of the best of us being full of self-doubt and those proclaiming to be good is often a major red flag.
After decorating The Whisky A Go-Go and The Viper Room with his righteous rock gravitas, one of the hottest acts in LA, Jimmy Swagg is here with his salvation-seeking melodic rock single, St. Mary.
St. Mary does away with the usual Rock n Roll cliches and makes a spiritual aura the centre of sonic gravity in the intricately paced admission of frailty, which never gives way to self-piteous ennui. Instead, Jimmy Swagg trailblazes with his canderous outpour of vulnerability that is laced in hope for redemption around the slick riffs and tension-building rhythm section. It is a sanity saver of a playlist staple if we ever heard one, and his international fanbase is more than inclined to agree.
If the past few decades have taught us anything, its that there is no better breeding ground for hard-hitting rock than LA – case in point, the solo project of multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Ali Rizvi.
The latest single from Control Shift, Awake, exudes a Velvet Revolver & Stone Sour-Esque seductive angst while asserting its originality via its progressive nature that runs in the same energetic vein of A Perfect Circle, Tool & NIN. It isn’t every day that we find commercial potential against complete authenticity, but notably, Control Shift is unapologetically the full package.
Awake will officially release on May 20th; you can check it out by heading over to SoundCloud.
Plenty of new tracks aired on Valentine’s Day; The Stolen Moans’ indie alt-rock single, Falling Into, which explores the dizzying magnetism of trauma bonds, is the triumphant antithesis of most of them.
The DIY LA-hailing trio’s blend of punk energy and melodic, hooky metal pulls together to offer a volatile and virtuosic extension of the Riot Grrrl movement. They’re not short of raw sonic power, but the true appeal to The Stolen Moans is how artfully they attack the production in their emotionally investable tracks while keeping in line with the 4-chord-rock-and-roll ethos. It isn’t every day that we hear an alt-rock outfit delivering their own definitive sound, but all reminiscences in Falling Into are extremely fleeting.
The official lyric video premiered on February 14th; you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.
LA-based alt-rock outfit, Skittish, shunted folk-rock further into the future than it has ever been with their 8th release, House on Fire. If you can imagine what it would sound like if Hozier did thorny post-rock synthpop, you can get an idea of just how alchemic the fiery release is.
With the female vocals projecting a sense of innocence into the progressively unpredictable instrumentals and the male vocals injecting plenty of raconteur energy into the sporadically symphonic track, even if you listened to House on Fire 100 times, you’d still be picking new fractures of ingenuity from the unforgettably refreshing track.
House on Fire is due for official release on November 19th. You can check it out for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.
Left of the Slash are the harbingers of doom in their latest single, The Time is Now, which uses screeching sleaze rock solos around the trepidation-laden rhythm section. In the vocals, you’ll find a sense of urgency for awakening that becomes infectious throughout the high-octane hard-rock hit.
Left of the Slash is easily one of the most promising alt-rock outfits to have fallen on our radar this year. Their expansive array of influence covers everyone from TOOL to The Yeah Yeah Yeahs to Black Sabbath to Pixies; which gives you an idea of how they came to cultivate such a dynamic sound that is unpredictable from one release to the next.
Fastride cut their teeth on the USA’s East Coast, playing clubs and bars like the Whiskey and the Viper Room alongside such luminaries of the rock scene as Black Star Riders, Jake E Lee, Hookers & Blow, and Michael Graves (The Misfits); formed around lead guitarist Ty Asoudegan, an alumnus of Berkelee College of Music who’s been featured in Guitar Player Magazine and name-checked by none other than Guns n’ Roses’ Slash, new single ‘Sin City’ is down and dirty, gritty, no-frills rock n’ roll. Hard-riffing straight from the off, this is proper LA screaming vocals, overdriven guitars, and thundering drums. There’s touches of ‘Slave To The Grind’-era Seb Bach to the vocals, the obligatory rip-snorting guitar break – all pinched harmonics and staccato muted flurries, trills, and hammer-on/pull-off runs – and a shouty, gang-vocal chorus. It’s the essence of 1980’s debauchery – sleazy, trashy, swathed in bandanas and black leather, and reeking of Marlboro and Jack’n’Cokes. Rock and very much roll.
It certainly isn’t every day that you get to enjoy an empowering redemption story through rock n roll, but thanks to OCEANS OF TEARS’ rock musical ‘DROWNED IN A SEA OF TEARS’, you’ll get to enjoy theatrical intensity alongside glam rock riffs and supercharged synths. Especially in the standout single ‘IF LOOKS COULD KILL’.
With dirty rhythms coalescing with dancey beats that wouldn’t be out of place on a 90s dance workout tape, IF LOOKS COULD KILL is a sonic trip down the sunset strip with a side serving of adrenalizing lyricism which acts as a reminder that you’re stronger than you know.
The official video to IF LOOKS COULD KILL is now available to stream via YouTube.
‘When It Rains’ – the fourth single from L.A.-based power-trio senses – is a wash of urgent, driving drums, dark synths, and grinding, overdriven guitars all capped off by vocalist Madison Taylor’s stunning, folk-tinged voice. It’s kind of cheap and easy to draw ‘female-fronted rock-band’ comparisons, but ‘When It Rains’ is an absolute belter of an alt-rock track with some definite favourable Paramore comparisons due to Taylor’s uber-powerful vocal performance riding the crest of Josh Bissell’s crashing, distorted guitar onslaught and Nick Sampson’s pounding backbeat, maybe a touch of Tonight Alive, and a little of Amy Lee mixed in for good measure, sitting alongside some classic ‘Comfort In Sound’-era Feeder or Bush.
There’s a lot more to come from this understated trio, but for now check out the video for ‘When It Rains’ on YouTube, and follow Senses on Facebook and Instagram.
Plenty of artists made their debut in 2020; but for London-based alt-rock artist, Musicismost, their debut was 40 years in the making.
The powerhouse first started jamming in the 80s, but it wasn’t until last year that they decided to let the world hear their high-energy approach to timeless rock. Judging by the phenomenal reception of their debut single, ‘Pheromone Too’, released on November 17th, the world was eager and waiting.
Just two months on from the debut, Pheromone Too had racked up over 100,000 streams on Spotify alone, and Musicismost has already left fans insatiable for their fresh, catchy and high-octane sound.
Before treating us to the second release from their forthcoming album, which will be released in full in Autumn 2021, they released ‘Pheromone Too (Hard Mix)’ which amplifies the over-driven energy contained in the original track which was mastered by multi-Grammy-award-winning producer, Howie Weinberg. With the producer responsible for Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ at their disposal, it comes as no surprise that Pheromone Too is a flawlessly radio-ready rock earworm.
Fans of 80s hair metal and modern alt-rock alike will want to delve into the sleazy track which holds fleeting reminiscences to Motley Crue, Poison, and Skid Row.
Pheromone Too (Hard Mix) was released on January 14th, 2021, it is now available to stream via Spotify.
Connect with Musicismost via Facebook, for more information, head over to their website.