Last year, Utah’s most lyrically poignant pop-punk outfit, The Robot’s Guide to Living, hit the airwaves with their life-affirming single, ‘Prizefighter’, which opened up with the line; “What’s the point in being scared? My bloodline contains more than disappointment.” If that doesn’t seismically shift your perspective on everything we have endured over the last 12 months, I’m not sure anything will.
With “You’ll find me asleep, in better company” as one of the choral hook lines, you’ll be adrenalized by the relatability in the lyricism as much as the furore that emits from their nuanced take on old school pop-punk.
Prizefighter comes free from snotty self-apathy; it’s a record that lives and breathes radical energy, like many of The Robot’s Guide to Living’s fans, we’re here for it. Existentialism is easy; overcoming adversity and doing it with finesse isn’t – and that’s exactly what you’ll get to experience here.
Prizefighter is now available to stream and download via Bandcamp.
While I never thought I would hear a punk track with lyrics that aspire towards acquiring a Roomba, I’m ridiculously glad that I did. Bang Ratty Bro’s debut single ‘ROBOT HOOVER’ may not be the 70s anti-capitalist punk we came to love and build our morality around, but it’s a punk playlist staple all the same. This mostly comes as a courtesy of the guitarist exhibiting some serious prowess outside of the usual ‘you know 3 chords you can start a band’ punk form.
Bag Ratty Bro’s ROBOT HOOVER is easily up there with Candyskins’ release Mrs Hoover as an anthemically-charged hoover-inspired feat of dopamine-boosting indie punk.
Richmond-based Alt-Rock artist Wine & Warpaint have teased what is to come on their next EP with the release of the title single, ‘Half to Life’. The evocatively raw radio-ready single pulls together elements of post-hardcore and 2000s pop-rock as the lyrics work with the all too relatable sentiment of feeling like you’ve died and only returned half alive.
Through soaring hooks, soul-exposing lyricism and vocals that would be animalistic if they weren’t so perfectly pitched, Half to Life is persuasive enough to permeate the deepest ennui bubbles.
At the start of the pandemic, I wondered how the collectively suffered devastation and chaos would impact our cultural landscape. Wine & Warpaint gave me the answer I was hoping for. After personally experiencing loss, Wine & Warpaint returned to the airwaves with a renewed visceral intensity. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to hear this amount of sincerity and commitment to conveying connectable emotion.
Half to Life released on March 19th, 2021. You can hear it for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.
Alluringly flicking their hair around whilst remembering those sweet summer moments, Midge Robie impress highly with their brand new ink-filled single called ‘Your Friend’s Tattoo‘.
Midge Robie are a film noir-lovin’ pop-rap and pop-punk brother duo from Ohio in the USA. They formulate that true-life story music about love, life and working out what they want to really be in this wild wild west kinda world.
Their voices strikingly illuminate off the dusty ground, as they subtly open the creaking door to what those exciting holidays are supposed to be about. They confidently throw in some real facts about having a joyful blaze-filled time, while never forgetting about that fascinating tattoo too, as they miss that soul who made them feel alive inside.
They posses that rare ability to capture your attention quickly through their raw style, the pop/rap/punk fusion is a tremendous listen and you gaze lustfully outside, waiting impatiently for those boiling hot days again so you can go and meet your future lover somewhere outside, away from the dull lockdown life that we are all-too familiar with.
‘Your Friend’s Tattoo‘ from the likable Ohio brothers Midge Robie, is a fun ride in the backseat of the car while summer vacation is on, hot-boxin’ with your crush, whilst thinking memorably about those fun times that you wished would never end.
See their gripping music video on YouTube and find out more about their rise up on IG.
JJ Enigma may have only made their debut in 2020, but they’re already bringing in the new era of pop punk. Their latest release, Happy Never After is a euphorically bitey earworm, if any new track is strong enough to pull you from your lockdown apathy, it’s Happy Never After.
The optimistic-in-spite-of-nihilism track kicks off with crunchy riffs before the guitars adopt sonic soaring textures and bring you into the adrenalizing bridge which teases the anthemic power of the chorus.
With the same hooky infectious appeal as the chorus in Taylor Swift’s ‘Love Story’ along with the raucous punch of contemporary pop punk, it’s only a matter of time before JJ Enigma rises up from the underground.
Happy Never After is available to stream via Spotify.
‘Better Off Alone’ is the latest feat of pop punk from Las Vegas artist, Cxldface, which will throw you right back to the 00s era of alt-rock while implanting a viscerally modernistic perennial earworm which ensures that there’s little chance of forgetting the infectiously hyped melodies.
Considering we’re all spending a little more time alone than usual, it’s easy to see how Better Off Alone could be a sanity-saving playlist staple for many. With reminders that there’s plenty of worse things than solidarity, euphorically sonic synth lines and the punchy hook-laden guitars, Better Off Alone practically spoon feeds serotonin.
At just 18 years old, Cxldface, is able to boast a maturity to his sound and a potent enough amount of distinction through his tendency to meld elements of electronica, hip hop and indie into his empoweringly scathing anthems. Get him on your radar.
Better Off Alone is now available to stream via Spotify
If alt-rock fans take a chance on any debut single in 2021, they should make it Antalai’s euphorically-charged unapologetically feisty track ‘Spilling My Guts’.
There is a real sense that there was no pretence for Antalai to hide behind in her debut. Her authentic voice resounds as her visceral poetic rage rips through high-octane hit which will leave you rhythmically arrested by the end of the first verse.
Through the addition of the punchy pop-rock chorus which puts a modernist twist on 00s Pop Punk, Spilling My Guts became a riotously anthemic hit which you would be lucky to hear if you wandered to the front of a crowd at a festival.
You can check out Antalai’s single for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.
Any fans of Social Distortion will want to turn their attention to the frenetic feat of Punk Rock ‘Spinal’ from Five Hundred Bucks’ aptly explosively titled latest release ‘This Welcome Mat is a Landmine EP’.
The turbulently high-octane hit delivers a relatable sense of indignation both lyrically and vocally, affirming with the listener that yes, it is okay for the fuzzy feels to be flowing when the massive chorus hits; it is possible to feel some semblance of euphoria while the world falls apart around us.
Philadelphia’s tenacious sons and their realism-soaked punky pop rock earworms are exactly what the airwaves in 2021. As they have plenty in the pipeline, you’ll want them on your radar, sooner rather than later.
You can check out Spinal for yourselves by heading over to Bandcamp.
Blending 90’s/00’s alt-pop/punk with some tidy guitar work and pushing, urgent drums comes ‘Liplock’, the debut single from Stopnowstartagain; swamped in overdriven, distorted guitar, the track takes its cues from the guitar-led indie of Dinosaur Jr., Husker Du, and Bob Mould’s follow-up project Sugar, all vocal harmonies and catchy pop sensibilities over Superfuzz pedals and Tube Screamers delivered into the front end of cooking amps.
It works, too – catchy pop-rock vocals, chiming picked single-note guitar lines, and those layered swathes of distortion; it’s one of those sounds you didn’t realise how much you missed until you heard it all over again; I’m gonna go and dig out ‘Bug’, ‘Green Mind’, ‘Copper Blue’, or ‘Beaster’ now, too. Cracking stuff.
Anchorage, Alaska-hailing artist, Ristlynn, dropped their debut single, ‘I’m Going Down’, on November 20th. The party pop-rock anthem has already received an exponential amount of attention; it is almost like we are all simultaneously experiencing the most confusing period of our lifetimes and need an aural pick-me-up.
Timeliness aside, I’m Going Down is a riotously enamouring single, while the instrumentals adrenalize, the lyrics raise an eyebrow and ask “really?” at self-destructive behaviour patterns which have previously been mindlessly glamorised by alt-rock artists. The single was penned during a transitional phase where the artist was starting to acknowledge the pitfalls of hedonism-aided avoidance, I’m Going Down is a subversively-titled reflection of that turning point which led to the commitment of making positive change.
Through pulsating bass, funk-riddled riffs, snappy rhythmic temper and Ristlynn’s sardonically charismatic vocals, you will be pulled into the infectious piece of hyperpop rock from a plethora of angles. Ristlynn’s talent is exhibited throughout the release, but it is in the chorus where he proves that he deserves a spot on your radar with their soul-filling sound. Especially, as there will be plenty more to come in 2021 and beyond.
Any fans of Panic! at the Disco, Prince, Maroon 5, Fallout Boy and Maroon 5 will undoubtedly find the same appeal in the artist’s funk-pop earworms.
You can check out the official video to Ristlynn’s single, I’m Going Down, via YouTube.