Browsing Tag

Lo-Fi Rock

Tommy Harwood takes us ‘Walking In The Dark’

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.

You can check out Tommy on Facebook.

Review by Alex Holmes

Is It Safeway or Woolworths? Only The Gaffs really know.

It would be oh too easy to dismiss The Gaffs’ ‘Is It Safeway Or Woolworths?’ as one more in a long line of dreaded ‘novelty singles’, but that would totally disservice the superbly crafted chorus hook, exquisite guitar work, and the obvious quality of the song-writing and musicianship here. Insanely catchy and sing-along, beneath the gonzo lyrics is a solid indie-pop song, reminiscent in place of the Kings Of Leon’s ‘Sex On Fire’ or, just maybe, Sultans Of Ping FC’s ‘Where’s Me Jumper?’.

The Gaffs cite themselves as ‘some of the greatest thinkers of their time and are willing to ask the big questions around consciousness, existentialism and the difference between Safeway and Woolworths’. While that may be pushing it, they’re certainly a quality indie-pop band, and ‘Is It Safeway Or Woolworths’ is definitely a quality pop tune.

Check out the video for ‘Is It Safeway Or Woolworths’ on YouTube, and follow The Gaffs on Facebook.

Review by Alex Holmes

EVRI – CONGRATULATIONS: Throat-Punchingly-Riotous Garage Rock    

If you were born in the 90s, chances are, you’ll find plenty of nostalgia in the scorching Pop Punk/Post Rock guitar riffs which introduce up and coming artist EVRI’s latest single “CONGRATULATIONS”.

The viscerally charged single may boast a Lo-Fi production. But the gritty Garage Rock feel to the track amplified the angsty cutting catharsis which will definitely be shared as the explosive track progresses.

For me, the trademark for any good track is found in the level of emotion projected into it. And there’s a smorgasbord of undiluted, throat punching riotous energy found in CONGRATULATIONS. It may not be neatly packaged and sugar-coated, but in my not so humble opinion, the best tracks never are.

You can check out EVRI’s single CONGRATULATIONS which was released on December 31st 2019 for yourselves via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Nathan Degner – The Emma Song: Experimentally Plaintive Lo Fi Art Rock

The prolific Indie enigma Nathan Degner has released yet another stellar track with his latest single ‘The Emma Song’. His experimentally bluesy rhythm which comes alive through a pinch of psychedelia certainly hasn’t lost its shine. Whether you love Lo Fi or hate it, the production of the track only adds to the quintessential charm of his style.

Whilst I have adored the playful lyricism on Nathan Degner’s earlier releases, with the Emma Song, it’s perceptible that the singer, songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist has poured significantly more emotion into track. The forlornity even becomes tangible through the progression of the instrumentals which are almost allowed to translate as aural frustration.

You can Check out the Emma Song for yourselves now by heading over to SoundCloud now, or head on over to Nathan Degner’s official website to sink your teeth into more of the up and coming artist’s nostalgically inclined rhythms.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Joshua Page – In a World Where Women Love Zombies: Quintessentially Raucous Lo Fi Rock.

How could you not be drawn to a track titled In a World Where Women Love Zombies? Turns out, Joshua Page’s talents go even further than coming up with ingenious track titles. His quintessentially raucous Punk Rock soundscapes had me awash with nostalgia through the reminiscence to iconic punk acts while at the same time, sharing soundwaves with popular Lo Fi bands such as Fidlar, Wavves & Best Coast. In short, Joshua Page’s sound is nothing like I’ve heard before, underpinning a genre on his electric sound almost felt blasphemous. The vocals to the track could only be described as a projection of subtle yet melancholically instilled angst which is cathartically captivating to get caught up within. Joshua Page’s experimental, prodigal style is one that I could never tire of. It’s not often that playful passion translates so succinctly over the soundwaves. Whilst Lo Fi angular Art Rock may not be to everyone’s taste, Joshua Page’s single In a World Where Women Love Zombies definitely left me with the appetite to devour the rest of his debut album.

You can check out In a World Where Women Love Zombies from Joshua Page’s self-titled album on SoundCloud now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast