Queens of the Stone Age’s scuzzier cousin, Temple Drake, is set to release their gnarliest garage rock single to date with Mexican Coke. The hard-hitting manically vintage track is pretty much distortion porn for the way the guitars and basslines bounce – bounce being the operative word – between crunchy, rolling, fuzzy and psychedelic licks. Short of mainlining adrenaline, there are few experiences as energising as delving into this frenetically ingenious track.
Mexican Coke was released on November 27th as part of the Chicago-based duo’s EP, Transmission 2. It is now available to stream on SoundCloud.
The popularity of alt-rock may have been in decline since the 90s, but the level of talent runs parallel through artists such as Noise Blossom. Ahead of the release of their sophomore album, Louderage, we’ve delved into the standout single, SAD.
Right from the prelude the echo of the grunge era grips you. Amidst the nods to Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and Nirvana, Noise Blossom diversifies their sonic palette with Metallica-reminiscent instrumental tones and doomy vocals that will undoubtedly resonate with anyone whose mentality errs on the side of melancholy. In 2021, I am assuming that is everyone.
The official video for SAD premiered on September 17th; you can check it out for yourselves via YouTube.
Fred Whitacre, JR’s latest indie grunge earworm, Less Smitten, acts as a TARDIS with one destination, the alt 90s. The over-driven distorted guitars eclipse the Seattle sound as Whitacre lends from heavier genres to ensure that the sticky-sweet melodies in Less Smitten hit with bruising impact.
If you could imagine the sweetly sentimental sound of Nada Surf, the disquiet chaos of Nirvana and the experimentalism of Pavement all rolled into one high-octane anthem where the buzzsaw riffs cut with a hint of pop-punk, you’ll get an idea of what is in store when you hit play. Quite honestly, I couldn’t be more infatuated with Less Smitten, which feels like quite the paradox, but it isn’t every day new grunge artists emerge with sludgy tones that lead to a spike of serotonin.
The official music video for Less Smitten is now available to stream via YouTube.
LA’s prodigal sons of alt-rock, Left of the Slash, are set to release their hotly anticipated psych-laden, grunge rock single, Never Let Go. The rising artist may take their sound seriously, but they made the track infectious from the first hit. The vocal personality is just as enticing as Cobain’s during his 1993 unplugged performance of Plateau.
With fleeting reminiscences to everyone from Modest Mouse to Pixies to Sonic Youth to Queens of the Stone Age, Left of the Slash refreshingly eclipse the golden era of grunge and no-wave while adding one of the freshest new takes on sludge pop that we have heard this year.
It would be no surprise to see Left of the Slash’s name added to the roster of artists at Sub Pop or Ipecac Records. Has someone informed Mike Patton that they exist yet?
Never Let Go will be available to stream from June 11th. Check out Left of the Slash via Facebook and Instagram.
Bringing forth a remix to a well-known Nirvana classic track, districtmela sings with such determination and poise with his version of ‘Polly‘.
districtmela is a talented Columbia, South Carolina-based producer, RnB/soul and indie rock singer-songwriter. He likes to chop up different genres into his creative bowl to inspire others to reach their goals, no matter what type of music it is.
You feel his heartfelt passion to make this a special moment and opens the door back ajar to when Kurt wrote this haunting song, filled with a story that still shocks many.
His voice goes back in time – as he fingers follow with skillful abandon on his guitar – each note played with such a gritty style, that has you off the edge of your seat at times.
‘Polly‘ from the multi-talented Columbia, South Carolina-based producer/indie-rock artist districtmela, shows us a man who remembers the fallen great with such admiration. This is a song that is an instant classic, and is performed with such dignity and polish from a respectful artist, who shows love for a lost legend.
When, back in November, we reviewed Godzukey’s last single ‘Alibi’, we said that Portland, Oregon, might have just spawned a new baby monster. On the basis of ‘The Wrath To Come’, that monster’s now hitting the angry teenage years, slamming its bedroom door, and refusing to come out except for snacks and video games.
Written about deceitful friends and still peppered with beautifully tasteful harmonics and bluesy shredding from guitar noisenik Conrad Bylsma, ‘The Wrath To Come’ is a glorious, grungy, doomy, melodic, stomp through sludgy stoner-rock (that’s a thing) in an old-school lazy vocal and fuzzed-up guitars kind of way. There’s large elements of some absolute classics in here – Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Mother Love Bone, with a definite nod to the Foos, Nirvana, and J Mascis/Dinosaur Jr. especially around the laconic vocal delivery and effects.
‘The Wrath To Come’ is the 8th track from Godzukey’s demo mini-album ‘Lake Mammalian’, and a precursor to their debut online gig ‘Bridge City Sessions: Godzukey’, which can be viewed via YouTube and Facebook on March 2nd this year.
Coming in like Bleach-era Nirvana rides the new single from LA’s Vantablak. When you know that Vantablak was formally known as That Infernal Machine, that gives a little insight to what’s on offer here – that Nirvana Bleach or Sliver sound, a dash of Superfuzz Bigmuff-ish Mudhoney, with lashings of Layne Staley and Chris Cornell thrown into the vocals for good measure. ‘Anxiety Now!!!’ is unashamedly hard and heavy, all angry fuzzed-up guitars and Grohl-style drum stabs, rumbling bass and reverb-soaked, alternately growled and screamed vocals.
It’s unapologetic, unreserved, and unrefined in an entirely good way, all millennial angst and snotty anger over a very well put-together track, polished in a Jack Endino/Steve Albini kind of way, and all the better for it. Vantablak are comfortable to wear their influences on their sleeves, and that’s no bad thing; alongside the obvious Sub Pop grunge references, there’s a definite Alice In Chains or Stone Temple Pilots vibe at times, alongside a mash of Zeppelin, Velvet Revolver, Royal Blood, and some fairly forthright early Foo Fighters. It’s a track which is flagrantly greater than the sum of its parts and makes you want to reach for the oversized hole-riddled sweater, offset-bodied guitar, and as many fuzz pedals as you can get your hands on.
Born in London and now resident in Los Angeles, singer-songwriter ¥ang is now onto his sixth single in just twelve months. ‘Satin Blue’ starts off with a Patti Smith-esque acoustic guitar part before instantly becoming something much, much more as ¥ang’s laconic, laid-back vocal delivery kicks in.
Mixing equal parts Beck, REM, and the quieter parts of Nirvana’s ‘In Utero’ album, hitting every ‘right’ bit of Cobain and Stipe on the way, ‘Satin Blue’ is a catchy, upbeat number with a surprisingly hooky, mainstream college-radio middle eight breakdown before kicking back into its final ‘this is your lesson’ chorus refrain, which – like the best of Seattle and Athens, Georgia – will stay very, very firmly lodged in your head for hours after the final, ringing chord has decayed to nothingness.
Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist JRtheBand dropped the video to their single Stray Dog on July 30th. If you’ve forgotten how it feels to experience a fresh new take on Alt-Rock which speaks to your soul, hit play.
Starting off with a ring of discordant distortion, the soundscape quickly shifts into a melodically transfixing feat of American Rock with slight nuances of the Alt 90s sound. Reminiscences in the vocals to Kurt Cobain’s in Plateau was definitely there, but the bluesy country twang on the slightly noisy grungy vibe gave the evolution of Alt-Rock a brand-new trajectory. The artist’s endearing vibe which could be comparable to Matthew Caws (Nada Surf) was the icing on the aural cake.
You can check out the official video to Stray Dog for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.
JAY DVRDEN left quite the lasting impression on us with their seminal single Sad Witch. Naturally, we were all too eager to emotively bruise ourselves once again with their latest release.
This time, JAY DVRDEN reworked Gracie Abrams’ hit single I Miss You, I’m Sorry. By contorting the soundscape into a beguilingly ethereal experience which will stay with you long after the short and bitter-sweet track has faded to a close and layering their own deeply connectable introspective lyrics on top of the track, he well and truly made the remix his own.
I’m not usually one for repetition within music, but the way he worked “where is my mind” until it matched the iconic tone set by the Pixies was utterly ingenious.
You can check out the official video to JAY DVRDEN’s remix which premiered on May 15th via YouTube.