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Melodic Rock

Music

Dimitri Toonen – Not Home Today: Cinematically Haunting Prog Rock

Lifelong musician, Dimitri Toonen released their debut Alt Rock album ‘Leave My Mind Sometimes’ on November 20th, discernibly, sharing their soulfully captivating sound with the world was criminally overdue,

Leave My Mind Sometimes could easily rival Porcupine Tree’s album Fear of a Blank Planet in terms of emotivity. Yet, this progressively passionate release sets itself apart with the cavernous, gentle complexity.

The standout single Not Home Today bears none of the hallmarks of a self-produced single. It’s a deftly orchestrated pool of escapism twined with lyricism which compels you to delve deeper into the consciousness-consuming release.

You can check out Not Home Today for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Godzukey bring refreshing nuance to the West Coast with their laconically doom-laden Grunge track ‘Alibi’

Kicking off with a beautifully overdriven, edge-of-break-up Tube Screamer-esque guitar tone and kicking drums, Godzukey’s ‘Alibi’ is a proper old-school grungy rock track, all laconic vocals and doomy, portentous bass and guitars. There’s an occasional hint at Mudhoney in the voicing of the fuzzed-up repeating guitar motif, some gentle nods to early Pearl Jam or Mother Love Bone, and a serious bit of guitar-hero shredding from Conrad Bylsma on the playout solo from around 3’30”. Singer/songwriter Jonas Briggs has a perfect early Foo Fighters/Nirvana/Alice In Chains vibe going on around the vocal delivery, but it should be said loudly and clearly: this isn’t simply a retro-reworking of Seattle’s great and good.

There’s a freshness here, too, a contemporary take on that West Coast sound which presumably comes from the creative kick of new connections and neoteric projects. Briggs and Bylsma reconnected to form Godzukey recently, after years of not playing together, recording the EP from which ‘Alibi’ is taken from the ‘music Briggs was carrying around in his head’, and that novel vibrancy comes through in the rawness of the track’s delivery. In Godzukey Portland, Oregon, might just have spawned a new baby monster.

See the video for ‘Alibi’ on YouTube, or hear the single on Spotify.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Allan Dawson gives us a roadmap back to our sanity with the humbling Rock release ‘Bubble’

While many are despairing about the state that 2020 has left the industry in, artists such as Allan Dawson have been orchestrating maps back to our sanity by offering unifying releases such as the lead single “Bubble” from their latest album “Reflections of Your Face”.

The Colwyn Bay, North Wales-based artist, producer and engineer independently wrote, recorded and mastered Reflections of Your Face during lockdown. It poignantly encompasses our shared yearning for better times, all the while, Allan Dawson utilises the ability to spin a kaleidoscopic colour wheel which paints the human psyche and the multifaceted struggles which will all need to endure while we’re still breathing. While some songwriters are able to exhibit a candid and raw feel with their lyrics, Allan Dawson uses intricate emotional detail to create soundscapes which are simultaneously inspiring and humbling.

Everything from the tone of Allan Dawson’s reflective vocals to the steady pace of the masterfully orchestrated Rock n Roll licks allows you to sink into the production with ease and allow the sonorous feel of the single to convince you that you’re not alone with your lockdown frustration. Even if you want to stick a butter knife in your lockdown companion’s ear, you’ll get the consolation that your embittered mood is one shared globally.

If you could imagine what Nick Cave would sound like if they adopted a more Classic Rock approach and found a resounding amount of compassion, you’ll get an idea of what is in store when you press play on this cathartically comforting release.

You can check out Allan Dawson’s single Bubble along with the rest of their lockdown-born album Reflections of Your Face via Spotify, SoundCloud and Bandcamp.

 

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Torn Away are set to make a serenely melodic debut with their album “As We Rise”

Torn Away

Sink into the succinct melodicism in Torn Away’s standout single ‘The Viscera Enigma’ which features on their debut album release ‘As We Rise’ and enjoy the tonally indulgent hooks and grooves orchestrated by the Flint, Michigan Alt Rock trailblazers.

Their tones offer finesse to a sound akin to the likes of Pink Floyd, Alice in Chains and Acid Bath. As their standout track runs through, it is almost as though the breezing and purposefully meandering notes leave an imprint on your psyche and compel you to delve into the progressive hit time after time.

Torn Away offer an incredible energy, I have no doubt that this isn’t the last we hear from them. Get them on your radar.

You’ll have to wait a little bit longer before you can check out As We Rise which will be released by Misanthropik Records. In the meantime, head over to the artist’s Facebook page and give them a follow on Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Sunset-Strip-Sleaze and Sticky-Sweet Soul Collide in The Impersonators’ Latest Single “Rodeo”

If your playlists are crying out for a hit of funky, sexy Alt-Rock, you can consider the latest single from The Impersonators a playlist staple.

While it’s got all the efficaciously sleazy allure that you’d expect from any accoladed Sunset Strip act, there’s also an extra juicy element of amorously playful sentimentality which means that Rodeo will give your soul a prod to see if it is still alive as you get snared by the seriously lacerating melodic hooks.

The Impersonators may be a new name for the airwaves, but the talented duo behind the moniker definitely aren’t fresh from their inception. Tom Tikka and Antti Autio were formerly two important components of one of Finland’s hottest Rock acts, Carmen Gray. The same talent is exhibited, but a far more organic sense of soul is on offer. You just can’t help getting pulled into the dreamy Pop-laden melodies crafted by The Impersonators.

You can check out The Impersonators’ single Rodeo by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Chris Mike – Limerence: Theatrically Virtuosic Rock

It’s theatrical, it’s virtuosic, it’s ingeniously intense. It’s Chris Mike’s latest guitar-led instrumental track “Limerence”.

Rock aficionados will be enraptured before the first solo has time to make your jaw drop. But Limerence isn’t solely about Chris Mike’s fretboard wizardry. With symphonic elements amplifying the energy of the electrifying mix, you’re in for a raucously euphoric treat.

We might not be able to go to gigs right now, but even if I found myself front-row for my favourite artist, I’m not entirely sure I could be as blown away as I was when listening to Limerence for the first time.

There’s no amount of acclaim that Limerence is unworthy of. Not only is Chris Mike one of the most talented instrumentalists I’ve heard in 2020, there’s also plenty of distinctive flair around his rhythmically masterful shredding. I think I’ve found a new guitar hero.

Limerence is just one of the tracks which will be featured on the artist’s forthcoming album Socialholic which is due to drop on October 16th. You can pre-save the album via this link.

You can check out the official video to Chris Mike’s single Limerence for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast  

Music

The Be Colony – Free at Last: Mellifluously Ascension-Aiding Rock

There are few things sweeter than freedom, one of them is the seminal single by up and coming Alt Folk Rock trailblazers The Be Colony.

Free at Last has a mellifluously ascension-aiding feel which is perfectly paired with the enlightened lyricism which will allow you to melt into your own introspection. The shimmering choral tones give Free at Last a celestial and psychedelic vibe as the Old School Alt Folk Blues instrumentals chime and groove through the progressions. As the track evolves, the band’s virtuosic skill starts to shine even brighter as the intricate solos leave you transfixed in pure soulful alchemy.

You can check out The Be Colony’s standout track Free at Last by heading over to YouTube

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Songs for Sabotage give Peter Murphy a run for his money with their cover of Cuts You Up

Songs for Sabotage

LA Alt-Rock artist Songs for Sabotage cooked up the dreamiest feat of Rock you’ll hear in 2020 with their cover of Peter Murphy’s “Cuts You Up”. Which is just one of the soul-swellingly sweet tracks you’ll find on their debut album “Coast to Coast

With the infusion of Swedish Pop, 80s Alternative and 00s Electro in their lush Rock ensemble, once you hit play on Cuts You Up your entire consciousness is consumed by the escapism-aiding deftly orchestrated hit. Cuts You Up is the kind of track you need a recovery period after hearing as your rhythmic pulses become your own again and you adjust to being present in the real world. There really is no higher accolade than that. And that doesn’t even come close to capturing the sunset-strip-magic offered by the track.

Night of Joy releases on all major streaming platforms Friday, September 25th and SFS will be performing their album live in full via Instagram livestream on Saturday, September 26th.

You can pre-save the track on Spotify via this link.

Keep up to date with news on the release via Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Cultural Vultures offer Alt Rock fans smooth bluesy redemption with a view of their ingenuity in action

Any true audiophile of the Alternative inclination will be as enraptured as we were by the invitation to watch Cultural Vultures live in the studio.

The voyeuristic view into their ingenuity starts with striking classical strings before the smooth bluesy, funk-deep Louisiana swamp sound takes hold of the seriously nuanced soundscape in the first track. If you thought Jim Jones was charismatic, just wait until you get to hear the redemption which the ‘live from the studio’ video has to offer.

Offering discernible talent is one thing, but Cultural Vultures offer so much more than a showcase of talent. Their magnetically captivating sound is an absolute pleasure to get lost in. I think I nearly forgot the real world existed.

You can watch the aural alchemy being weaved for yourselves via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Tiger Kid – Spring Trap: Moshpit Frenzy Fuel

Tiger Kid

“Spring Trap” is the standout soul-swellingly colossal single from LA Alt Rock solo artist Tiger Kid’s self-titled EP. Turn up the volume and let the melodically high-octane anthemic sound blow the cobwebs off your speakers.

Achieving that kind of anthemic sound can only be done with a serious amount of talent when it comes to constructing the track and with the execution which demands a near virtuoso-level of skill, which Tiger Kid discernibly possesses.

Under the influence of The Foo Fighters, Coheed and Cambria and Queens of the Stone Age, Spring Trap was never going to fall flat.

The juicy choruses, the uplifting lyricism and the sheer amount of momentum made Spring Trap mosh pit frenzy fuel. If you don’t miss live music before you hit play, you definitely will after the galvanizing track has faded to a close.

You can check out Spring Trap for yourselves by heading over to the artist’s official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast