Browsing Tag

pop punk

Post-hardcore went pop in Cosmic Ninja’s latest earworm Stone Cold

Cosmic Ninja’s latest hit, Stone Cold, from the Filth EP, is a Tour De Force of infectiously ensnaring volition and a striking example of genre fusion done right. This track is a scintillatingly assaultive blend of post-hardcore’s raw energy and the catchy, rhythm-driven essence of pop.

The track is a masterclass in electronically augmented dynamic progression, seamlessly shifting from intense breakdowns to infectious hooks. Collaborating with John Mitchell, known for his work with Enter Shikari and Architects, was a stroke of genius. His expertise has helped shape Stone Cold into an earworm that’s impossible to ignore. The track is meticulously crafted, with each element – from the angst-driven raps to the soaring choruses – contributing to its overall potency.

Cosmic Ninja’s songwriting prowess is evident throughout Stone Cold, which unfolds an embodiment of the band’s disregard for genre constraints and their punk ethos. The lyrics are charged with political and social commentary, making the song not just an auditory experience but a thought-provoking protest.

The Filth EP is now available to stream in full on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Synthpop meets pop-punk in Crashes’ elementally augmented anthem, Living in the Future

Crashes may be ‘Living in the Future’ in their latest single, but there are plenty of ties to sonic nostalgia in their pop-punk meets jangly new wave indie synthpop hit that electrifies from the first synth-charged note.

The elementally augmented anthem is dynamically intense enough to run a power grid off, make you lose your head and the dancefloor and become your new favourite adrenaline-fueled earworm. If there were any more boxes to tick, Crashes would brandish their sonic signature right through them.

Living in the Future is a clear sign of how honed Crashes’ songwriting has become since their debut in 2017; you just can’t help getting swept up in the tumultuously hooked momentum. Following the success of their 2022 EP, Infinite, the track is set to seal the Glasgow-hailing band’s illustrious fate in the industry.

While other artists stop with new wave assimilation, Crashes are pouring their innovative volition, achingly honest emotion and curveball-throwing creativity into the high-octane mix, to a dizzyingly euphoric effect. Even with the antagonism and agony projected into the performance of Living in the Future, the ecstasy isn’t just heard, it resounds.

Living in the Future was officially released on January 26th. It is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

NEET and Tidy wrapped their grungy pop-punk hooks around the afflictions of modernity in their LP, Is This Progress?

If any band can advocate for the LP format in an era when our attention spans are shorter than a boardwalk, it is NEET and Tidy with their aural corridor back to the alt-90s.

The sophomore album, Is This Progress? is an unflinchingly reflective exposition of the afflictions of modernity. The sludged-up hooks in Pillow Talk, which captures the bitter taste of a love turned sour, carry all the infectious rancour of Jawbreaker and NOFX, before Play Me launches a straight-up attack on how far the industry has fallen since the golden era of indie and alt-rock. Lyrics in the vein of, “your favourite pop star is the latest infection”, and “another NFT, another stupid dance”, paint a damning portrait of how twisted the industry has come through the contortions of capitalism and narcissism-driven content.

Another standout release within the LP is the evocative evolution of pop-punk into the chorally reverb-swathed remit of shoegaze. Snow (Okay) is a harbingering lament on how the music industry revolves around ableism when it isn’t bleeding vulnerable people dry. From start to finish, the sophomore release from NEET and Tidy asserts the Nashville-residing outfit as one of the most relatable and essential bands in 2024. If you’re always looking for artists with the ability to cut through the static of your ennui, you will find one when you delve into this seminal release.

Is This Progress will reach the airwaves on February 23rd; stream the LP on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ana & Gene Interview: Crafting Harmonies and Breaking Boundaries

In an illuminating conversation with Ana & Gene, the dynamic duo behind the chart-topping hit ‘Narcissistic You’, we delve into the serendipitous beginnings of their partnership, born amidst the solitude of the pandemic and fostered through a shared passion for music and film.

Their journey is a testament to the power of collaboration, where spontaneous creativity and mutual respect for each other’s artistry have led to the birth of sensational tracks. As they discuss the genesis of their unique sound, a blend of retro and modern power pop, and their perspective on the evolving digital landscape of the music industry in 2024, Ana & Gene offer a glimpse into their creative process and future endeavours.

It is safe to say you have both earned your respective stripes in the music industry, what initially brought you together? 

“The COVID-19 pandemic brought us together and we found each other over Facebook.  We started talking about both our careers in the entertainment world of music and film.  We found out that we had so much in common and we appreciated each other’s talents. Then we decided to get together and become a new hit duo sensation to wow the world.”

It’s clear that you both complement each other’s talent and style, but what has been the most gratifying part of the collaborative experience so far? 

“The fact that we just flow so well together while we are creating.  A good example is when Gene started to warm up to play one of our new songs “More Than My Best Friend”.  He stumbled upon some beautiful chords, then I jumped out of my chair and leaned in towards him while he was playing and I started to sing Uh-Oh Who Do You Love.  So that is how our other song was born.”

Your single, Narcissistic You, has become quite the phenomenon on the airwaves and has been in high rotation on radio stations; what do you believe the key to the success of the single was? 

“The key to the success of Narcissistic You comes from the unique way Ana wrote the lyrics and hooks.  She wanted the song to portray as much realism as possible.  Also, the way I played the rhythm helped construct the melody, it brought the song completely together.  But also, our Recording Engineer Joe Bonadonna and our other musicians called “The Scene” including Buddy Woods (Lead Guitar), Michael O’Connor (Bass Guitar), and Rob Lela (Drums), helped and contributed to making the song what it is today.”

We love the retro yet modernised power pop aesthetic of Narcissistic You; were there any bands or artists who influenced the sound? 

“Well, I always loved pop rock, pop punk, and rock music, artists like Green Day and All Time Low.  I always wanted to create my own unique pop rock/pop punk rock music.  So, I explained to Gene what I wanted and then he helped give me his rhythmic flair.”

As you like to keep some of the elements of your music traditional, we’d love to get your take on the music industry as it currently stands in 2024. Is it a digital land of opportunity or a paltry effigy of what it once was? 

“We believe that it is a digital land of opportunity as it currently stands for 2024.  Today’s music Industry isn’t like how it used to be.  But everything is always evolving, and the best bet is to always go with the flow.”

What’s next for Ana & Gene?

“Right now we are in the process of making a new single called “Giving You Love”.  It is a unique blend of Tropical, Pop and Country music.  Just so everyone knows, Gene and I like to create a vast variety of Genres for our fans to enjoy.  Aside from this new single, we are also working on a new EP.  And very shortly, we will be playing with our band The Scene at venues near you.”

Stream Ana & Gene’s EP, Uh-Oh Who Do You Love on Spotify.

Interview by Amelia Vandergast

We Were Blank – Blame: The Emo Antidote to the Influx of Valentine’s Day Sonic Banality

Every Valentine’s Day sees a flood of trite sentiments cloyingly affix themselves to the airwaves; if you’re looking for a scathingly antithetical antidote, look no further than We Were Blank’s latest installation of pop-punk rancour, Blame.

With hints of Tom DeLonge in the vox before they burst into Rise Against-reminiscent outpours of visceralism, Blame ticks all the right vocal emo boxes as We Were Blank throws a barrage of aggravated instrumental curveballs to keep you on the edge of your proverbial seat (or in the middle of the pit if you’re catching them live). And what emo hit would be complete without a slam poetry elucidation that captures the essence of the single towards the outro to make you want to relive the experience and make your heart rise to your throat again?

The Craigslist-born, basement in Buffalo-raised fourpiece banded together with the ethos of writing with their heartstrings and letting their bodies visualise the torment; Blame is the ultimate testament to their vulnerable expressionism. They’ve got the precision, the volition, and the unflinching dedication to raw lyrical candour to hold dominion over the emo domain in 2024.

Blame will be available to stream on all major streaming platforms from February 14th; check it out on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ana & Gene scribed a modern love story with retro tones in their power-pop hit, Narcissistic You

Ana & Gene, the dynamic duo behind the fresh and invigorating EP, Uh-Oh Who Do You Love, have struck gold with their single Narcissistic You. The earworm is an infectious paradox through its synthesis of sticky-sweet retro power-pop and modern fusionist and lyrical touches.

The song is a masterclass in blending genres, contorting classic rock riffs into pop hooks without losing an ounce of their retro charm. Ana & Gene’s commitment to live elements in their recording process shines through, promising an electric replication of this energy in their live performances.

What sets ‘Narcissistic You’ apart is its playful yet piercing commentary on the modern lexicon and societal shifts. The lyrics cleverly weave in the increasing awareness of narcissism, striking a chord with contemporary listeners. The dual harmonies between Anastacia Bella and Gene Roberts are nothing short of magnetic. Their voices intertwine with a natural chemistry, elevating the song’s playful, tongue-in-cheek nature.

The track is a testament to Ana & Gene’s ability to craft music that appeals across generations. Their aim to reach audiences through radio, TV, commercials, film, and social media is not just ambitious but achievable with such a universally appealing sound.

Stream Narcissistic You with the rest of Ana & Gene’s 4-track EP, Uh-Oh Who Do You Love on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The paragons of post-hardcore, Heartbent, gave emo nostalgists more than they bargained for with their seminal hit, House of Mirrors

Emo nostalgists will be in for more than they’ve bargained for when they delve into the third EP, House of Mirrors, from the heretics of post-hardcore, Heartbent. After a melodic pop-punk prelude, the title single lives up to the band’s stake to the claim of being one of the most stylistically unique outfits on the post-hardcore scene.

From start to finish, House of Mirrors is a lesson in hook-rife volition. The pop-punk hooks are balanced between the installations of guttural furore, giving the hit an edge of dualistic Jekyll and Hyde vehemence. With hints of Gallows between the sticky-sweet increments of Rise Against-reminiscent energy, Heartbent found never-before-trodden intersections of hardcore and blazed right through them while bringing House of Mirrors to visceral life.

The way Elle Saulsbury’s backing vox temper Alex Folmer’s scathingly magnetic vocal delivery and the instrumentals thrive on the unpredictability within the progressions proves that Heartbent knows exactly how to tap into their uniquely synchronous dynamism that is taking the East Coast by storm.

The House of Mirrors EP hit the airwaves on January 12th. Stream the fervidly hooked 4-track release on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Horizons lose all meaning in the ennui of Hello London’s indie rock reinvention of pop-punk, Garden

Patterns by Hello London

How infectious can melancholy be? Hit play on the latest standout single, Garden, from the Buffalo-hailing indie songwriter Hello London (James Froese) and feel the earworm burying into your psyche.

Embodying the same lamenting energy that made I Miss You by Blink-182 a cult phenomenon while experimenting with a fusion of pop punk, power pop, jangle pop and 00s indie ensured that Garden is a modernised sonic sign of the disenfranchised times.

As we all mourn that the landscapes of our lives appear the same but no longer bring us the same sense of meaning, we can all find ourselves in the resonance of the work of the solo artist, who has remained prolific since his 2021 debut.

3 EPs, an LP and a series of shows across the Northeast opening for the likes of Crimson Riot, Sincere Engineer and Covey down, the only way is up for Hello London and his command over nostalgically reinvented melodic lines. With a new LP in the works and ready for release in 2024, everyone who never fully grew out of their emo phase will want to save a space for Hello London on their radar.

Garden is now available to stream and purchase on Bandcamp as part of the Patterns EP.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

igor fused rhythmic ferocity and tender vulnerability in his alt-rock hit, My Own Way

Self-reservation cascaded away when igor stridently proclaimed, “The rumors are true – I just went insane”, in the opening lyric of his latest strident and evocatively raw single, My Own Way.

If people still held their lighters in the air, there are few better calls for an inferno of flame than this reclamation of the 00s alt-rock sound. After a short and sweet prelude, which could easily have given way to a Springsteen anthem, pop-punk signatures sink their teeth into the anthemic production that takes you on a cataclysmic ride through a confessional vignette of how much we give away to meet the expectations of someone that was inching away from us the entire time.

With guitar hooks as viscerally sharp as My Chemical Romance’s under igor’s engrossingly distinctive vocal lines, which refuse to forego authenticity for assimilation, My Own Way is a testament to the Ukraine-born, Russia-raised, NY-residing singer-songwriter and his determination to wear his heart on his sleeve.

While earworms that delve deep into scarred psyches to expose the commonalities of agony are a rarity, igor achieved all of that and more in the symbiosis of rhythmic ferocity and tender vulnerability in My Own Way.

My Own Way was officially released on December 1st; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Post-Hardcore goes Pop (Punk) in Secular Era & Drexl Bowie’s single, Master Morality

Two juggnautical entities in their own sonic right, Secular Era and Drexl Bowie, converged to show mere mortals what ‘Master Morality’ sounds like with their latest release. With guitars augmented in the same vein as the hooks in MCR’s I’m Not Okay fused with Slipknot-esque nu-metal percussive proclivities and synthy melodies to keep the down and gutturally dirty track upbeat, Master Morality is an adrenalizing slice of ingenuity that will swallow you whole and spit you out drenched in rancorous euphoria.

While many heavier outfits turn their nose up at the tones of pop-punk, Secular Era & Drexl Bowie saw the potential within it. By using the stickiest and sweetest elements and infusing them into a tumultuously electrifying sequence, they made it impossible to find a track that hits harder while simultaneously keeping their finger on the guilty pleasure pulse. Putting Master Morality into words is no easy feat, but if you can imagine Nena’s 99 Red Balloons fused with Sugar We’re Goin Down and tasked Static X to pay ode to the cross-genre synthesis, you’d get an idea of the engrossing, ingenious, uninhibited insanity delivered via Master Morality.

Master Morality was officially released on December 1st; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast