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.
Following his debut 2022 album, Burgundy, which was produced by the legendary Pete Maher, the already iconic singer-songwriter Sanchez., is here with his latest single, Feeling. With that title, the artist set the evocative bar high; he heart-wrenchingly transcended it with his folk-rock-inspired confessional.
In the cavernous intro that consists of little more than rugged folk-rock pulls of acoustic strings, names like Cohen, Waits and Dylan spring to mind. Yet, Feeling steadily grooves into its own distinct and artful gravitas as the soundscape is enriched by ascending melodies, raw and off-kilter choral sonic power and blisteringly luminous organ notes. It’s Richard Hawley meets Pixies. It is also the aural evolution that melancholic outliers have been waiting for.
Feeling is due for official release on March 2nd; dive into it yourselves by heading over to Spotify.
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.
If your 90s Shoegaze records aren’t quite hitting the same these days, introduce yourselves to Slowdive’s noisier cousin, the London-based solo artist, Mild Horses.
The standout single, Failing Upwards, from their debut album, Ignorance to Enlightenment and Back Again, is comparable to a cocktail of the most indulgent elements of the Pixies, My Bloody Valentine and Interpol.
Listen intently, and you will get to keep hold of the sway-worthy bitter-sweet melodies that resound around the harsher no-wave elements that adrenalize the mix without ever chipping away at the ethereal soul of the release. Towards the outro, Mild Horses builds a wall of noise in his own psychedelically sonic style, making Failing Upwards all but impossible to forget.
Failing Upwards is now available to stream and purchase on Bandcamp.
If Metrophobia’s 2021 debut album, Silent Treatment, was marketed as a lost relic from the alt-90s, I’m fairly sure that no one would raise an eyebrow. The best introduction to their sonic palate that amalgamates shoegaze, noise, indie and grunge is the nostalgically ethereal single, How Long.
Around the catchy hooks, the tender vocals fall into the discord that spills from the scuzzed-up over-driven guitars, allowing you to see a softer side to the discontent How Long was inspired by.
The two forming members of Metrophobia met in Geneva, Switzerland; they worked on various projects together before turning their attention to their bitter-sweet cocktail of alt culture that will be a hit with fans of Pixies, Dinosaur Jr, Teenage Fanclub and Sebadoh.
Metrophobia’s debut album is now available to stream on Spotify.
The past few months have seen the ‘Godfather of punk’ himself, Iggy Pop, singing the young trio’s praises and name-checking them along Sleaford Mods and Skepta as one of his favourite artists right now (“These kids make a lot of noise. I like it!”). After being blown away by their live show, Ex-Ramones manager Danny Fields excitedly declared the band as “the future of rock n’ roll”, while The Libertines’ Gary Powell quickly signed up the young upstarts to his 25 Hour Convenience Store label.
NME, Clash Magazine, Q Magazine, Artrocker, Drowned In Sound, 6Music, Radio X and BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens have also all waded in with support and praise for the trio’s delinquent, punk-driven assault, that finds themselves caught somewhere between the early grunge of Foo Fighters, the infectious songwriting of Pixies, and the snotty punk attitude of The Buzzcocks.
Following two early DIY EP releases (‘Tunnel Vision’ and ‘Wear and Tear’), False Heads were invited in to Pete Townsend’s studio earlier this spring to cut a series of new tracks, and ‘Thick Skin’ is the first single to emerge from those sessions – a perfect riot of energetic, leering bawdiness that is released on July 1st, and sets another huge marker for a band whose remarkable rise is seemingly unstoppable. ‘Thick Skin’ is released through 25 Hour Convenience Store on July 1st 2016, available from all good digital stores. False Heads have also announced a series of new live dates in their hometown, including a performance at the Camden Rocks festival in June, and at The Roundhouse this July to celebrate 40 years of punk.