Browsing Tag

Pavement

Return to the alt-90s with Trailerfuss’ debut single O Rei da Solidão

Trailerfuss’ debut single, O Rei da Solidão, from their EP Roteiro Sem Final, revisits the 90s grunge era via a route never before taken.

By fusing the sludgy rhythmics of Dinosaur Jr and the fierce soul of Hole, Trailerfuss created a solid foundation to lay their innovative approach to evoking alt-90s nostalgia on. They didn’t stop at emanating two influential artists; you’ll hear everyone from Bob Dylan in the opening harmonica blows, Grandaddy in the lo-fi intimacy, the Beachboys in the surfy layered vocal harmonies, and nuances of Pavement and Pixies synthesised between.

The debut single is a visceral statement from the Rio de Janeiro-based band that is strong enough to carry their fans back to the rose-tinted sanctity of the alt-90s while also delivering potent punches of their own authenticity.

Stream O Rei da Solidão on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Find out why the city never sleeps in snailosaur’s indie rock vignette, Apartment Boxes (nyc poem)

Forget what you know about New York from the over-romanticised depictions and acquaint yourself with the true nature of the cityscape, which juxtaposes grit and grime with the monolithic architecture and the egregious egos of Wall Street wolves. snailosaur’s standout single, ‘Apartment Boxes (nyc poem)’, taken from their indie rock LP, Talk Therapy, paints a fond vignette of the infamous city over the luminous tonality of their angular guitar lines, which weave elements of new wave into the nostalgia-kissed release.

While the upbeat melodies embed the single with a light and dreamy air as they cruise through the Pavement-esque progressions, the vocals act in contrast with their nonchalant drawls, adding depth to the track as they allude to the sins and cultural salvation of the city that never sleeps – and now, thanks to snailosaur, we know why; the working class are confined to coffins as they live and breathe. Yet, suffocation is a small price to pay to walk the streets that become portals in time, if you know which avenues to take.

Apartment Boxes (nyc poem) is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Jesters borrowed from Pavement in their reinvention of the 90s DIY sound in ‘Magnet’

The standout single, Magnet, from The Jesters may have been released in the Summer of 2023, but it is the perfect hit to place on your playlists as we move into the new year with the underpinning themes of pining for personal reinvention that, on some level, we all know we’ll never achieve because the force of our habits is far too strong to resist.

The grungy pop-punk pierced aura of the track, which finds the middle ground between Fidlar, Pavement and Dinosaur Jr, was the perfect atmosphere to pour the self-disdain into to ensure it rings with relatable and rogue down-and-out blues. Veering away from self-pity and right into the inner trappings of the human condition that compels us to tread the hamster wheel as creatures of idiosyncratic convention enabled Magnet to unravel as every antihero’s feel-good hit.

When it comes to reinventing the DIY sounds of the ’80s and ’90s, few do it better than the Philadelphia four-piece, whose sound falls under the new wave retro alt-folk punk banner while spilling out into other nostalgic avenues to lead you to the sounds you adore via a route never taken before.

Magnet is available to stream with the rest of The Jesters’ three-track release, Mental Model, on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

McKay exhibited cybernetic sickness in their indie folk punk single, Plugged

https://soundcloud.com/mckay-608898721/plugged/s-KL9ziCSNpVD?si=96964519eb94489d9d6a39b352cda082&utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing

If the Beatles psychedelically strode across Pavement’s indie rock obscurity and checked into the Neutral Milk Hotel, the sonic result would groove in the same vein as McKay’s single, Unplugged.

The indie folk punk outpour of raw striking rancour inhibits nothing as the track veers from kaleidoscopic psychedelia to gritty instrumentation and lyrical volition that allows you to feel the inward visceral frustration that encompasses our inability to be a perfect portrait when the landscape that surrounds us warped by increasingly digital dystopia.

I’m pretty sure we can all relate to the exposition of how toxic dopamine habits compel us to stay hooked up to all the wrong lifebloods and leave us at further odds with ourselves. Given the evocative immersion Plugged provides, it is no surprise that McKay has become one of the hottest indie acts in the Nashville scene.

Plugged will debut on September 14; stream it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Psychosomatik showed their psych-rock ‘Roots’ in their progressively electric single.

Psychosomatik by Psychosomatik

Miami psych rock pioneers Psychosomatik warmed up the vintage overdriven tones to match their sun-bleached climate in their latest progressively surfy single, Roots.

If Pavement saw a little more sun, I’m entirely convinced that Brighten the Corners would have emanated the same colourful radiance of Roots, which hit the airwaves on March 13th. The influences of The Doors and The Beatles are also easy to note in the kaleidoscopic grooves of the release from the independent duo, which amalgamates influences from a wide range of artists and genres to orchestrate a sound that couldn’t be more authentic.

Experimentalism and accessibility don’t always come hand in hand; it stands as a testament to Psychosomatik’s songwriting chops that Roots is a hit that you’ll want to dig deep to immerse yourselves in from the first hit. The vibe couldn’t be sweeter.

Roots is now available to stream and purchase on Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

London indie-rock renegades JW Paris shared their lascivious appetite for destruction with ‘She’

The shimmer of wavering Pavement-esque guitars meets the indie anthemics of Blur in the standout single, She, from the London indie trio JW Paris’ debut EP, Stuck in a Video, which implanted off-kilter killer hooks into the airwaves on October 28th.

Reminiscences aside, the band that has sent distinction ricocheting through the underground since their 2017 debut always bring a potent shot of their own renegade indie-rock flavour to their tracks. The critically acclaimed act has a habit of drawing you right into the swaggering melodicism through the lyrics that will smother anyone who has ever felt the odds stack against them with resonance.

Never ones to toy with cliches, JW Paris found a gritty way to pay ode life’s protagonists who sell sanctuary to us amid our appetite for destruction with She. With “she tried to run me over, she blows my mind” written into the lyricism, JW Paris cut to the marrow of the human proclivity to gravitate to modern-day sirens. If you haven’t been there, in the words of Bukowski, what truly horrible lives you must lead.

Stream JW Paris’ debut EP, Stuck in a Video, in full on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Real Zebos captured the banality ‘Indie Girls’ struggles in their latest single

Humility goes a long way in the indie scene, which is just one of the reasons The Real Zebos haven’t failed to amass a staunch following on their journey from Craigslist strangers to a 5-piece garnering over 3 million hits on their most popular tracks.

I’ll be honest; I thought I was going to hit play on their latest single, Indie Girls, and hear yet another cringe exposition on Manic Pixie Dream Girls. Thankfully, the garagey pop-rock jam is an addictive continuation of the same playful hubris found on Pavement’s seminal album, Brighten the Corners, with hilarious observations on the trends of try-hard e-girl vampires and the banality of their struggles. Admitting to loving this track is probably the most un-feminist thing I will ever do, but I can think of infinitely worse hills to die on.

Indie Girls is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

West Ridge Circle – Stuck in This Chair: The Ultimate Off-Kilter Alt-90s Ode to Ennui

Taken from their debut EP, Nobody Home, West Ridge Circle’s standout single, Stuck in This Chair, is an eclectic array of era-spanning rock nuances and modernist lyrical vulnerability.

Fans of Pavement, Pixies and Nirvana will want to drink up the 21st-century melancholy that drips through the lyrics and captures the frustration that lingers in unrelenting ennui. It’s tracks like Stuck in This Chair that prove there’s a beauty in collective misery, that now, we can hear lyrics, and it isn’t an Olympian stretch of the imagination to get on the same level. Granted, that isn’t always a given, but West Ridge Circle are thriving on the funk that is writhing through our existential hive minds.

With the J Mascis-style guitar chops, the despondent Americana blues-rock vocals that come with a tinge of the Seattle alt-90s sound and the eerily relatable lyrics, Stuck in This Chair has all the makings of a melancholy alt-rock playlist staple. We hope there’s another release nestled in the pipeline.

Stuck in This Chair is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Winternom – True: Meet your new existential alt-indie playlist staple

The alt-indie-folk-rock newcomers, Winternom, are set to bring souls in from the cold with the standout single, True, from their sophomore album, The Cold or the Crowd. Sonically, the hazily sweet single sits between Elliott Smith and Pavement, with a few proto-punk-meets-psych-pop nuances.

Lyrically, the Ottawa, Canada-hailing artist comes into their own with their witticisms that walk the line between existentialism and affection in a way that pays ode to the Alt 90s while still delivering emotive modernism. Despite its overarching lo-fi vibe, the dreamy textures in True never resonate as brash. Instead, they keep the tones bright to contrast the less than sunny, deeply relatable vocal disposition.

True is now available to stream along with the rest of Winternom’s triumph of an album, The Cold or the Crowd via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

djamesk13 has released his sludgy stargazing alt-indie hit, Then We See Our Stars

Then We See Our Stars is the latest lo-fi feat of alt-indie from the London-based experimentalist, djamesk13, which will instantly instil alt-90s nostalgia in any self-respecting no-wave fan.

The hooky grungy track may be too harsh and discordant to be everyone’s cup of tea, but for anyone who wants to revel in cathartic sludge fed through plenty of wobbly and echoey tape delay; Then We See Our Stars will hit the sludgy spot. Its Half-Man Half-Biscuit meets Pavement meets Swans. What more could you possibly ask for?

Then We See Our Stars is now available to stream via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast