Georgetown grunge trio Tough on Fridays has been on our radar since we heard their unforgettable 2018 single, ‘The Waywards’. With their latest single, Cabin Fever, their pop-punk edge has been stripped-back and replaced by doom-laden tones that will win over any fans of Porcupine Tree.
The gloomy, progressive anthem, complete with a thrashing rhythm section and angular cutting guitar notes that bring Shoegaze nuances into the mix, is a raw admission of the frustration experienced while locked away from normality.
What makes Cabin Fever so intense and cathartic is the realism of the angst. It was delivered in the same despondent way we’ve all been feeling over the past year.
Cabin Fever officially released on May 3rd; you can check it out for yourselves by visiting Tough on Fridays’ website.
Vancouver’s alt-electronic-rock powerhouse duo Asterous unleashed their highly anticipated self-titled EP on April 23rd. The standout single, ‘Heroes’, is a sublime mash of sinister tones, glassy 80s-inspired synth notes and caustic black metal vocals that break the accordance laid out by the reverb-laden animatronic female vocals.
The arresting single seamlessly shifts between spacy melodicism, comparable to the work of Depeche Mode, to industrial metal increments with buzzsaw riffs that cut with reminiscence to the likes of Static X and Rob Zombie.
The stylistic choices are one thing, but the way that Asterous pull them all together is quite another. Heroes, paradoxically, serves nuance by the bucket-full.
You can check out the EP for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.
Deep, subtle instrumental backgrounds open ‘The Moment Of Realization’ by ambient artists Corin, gentle echoing guitar chords over the slow, mellow swell of keyboard parts, a repeating, descending motif of picked, chorused notes which then build slowly, drums and bass adding an extra colour to the palette, increasing dynamics until overdriven guitar kicks in around the four-minute mark, reprising the descending riff but with greater power and emphasis.
‘The Moment Of Realisation’ is taken from Corin’s debut, seven-track ep ‘Moira’, a progressive neo-classical journey from prologue through to ending, a soundscape journey through an instrumental landscape of shifting moods and tempos.
With more funk and insanity than Mr Bungle’s debut album and a touch of baroque eccentricity writhing in the electrifying mix, Square’s chaotically enthralling Avant-Garde Rock track ‘The World is Square’ is a wild ride right from the intro.
The trio of three Canadian composers who are all accoladed in the contemporary scene made their debut in 2017. James Maxwell, Edward Top and Alfredo Santa Ana combined their eccentric visions, experimented with complex time signatures and allowed alchemy to crawl from the progressions that are as pleasantly disturbing as The Residents’. With Vancouver’s indie legend, Nathan Dillon’s, talent at their disposal, their powerful tracks that are unapologetically not everyone’s cup of tea hit with maximum artful impact.
It’s hard not to be drawn into Square’s experimentalism when they introduce listener’s to their sound with the following descriptor.
‘Multicultural, overeducated, and ironically trying to justify art-making in our current (dis)information age, Square asks a unique musical question: what happens when you know all the rules, and where all the roads in life lead, and somehow still get lost?’
For the full Square experience, you’ll want to check out the official music video which premiered on March 29th via YouTube.
You can check out the full EP from Square via Bandcamp.
Fans of loud, melodic alt-rock could do no better than checking out this, the first single from Joe Butterfield’s (QUIIET) new project Wave Armory. That’s not intending to be diminishing or ‘box-finding’, either – ‘Iron Lung’ is very definitely modern and progressive, whilst bringing together a bunch of classic 90’s and 00’s grunge and alt-metal influences; there’s a very definite ‘Dirt’-Era Alice In Chains vibe going on with the feedback and heavy drop-tuned riffage, the vocals gently effected and set back in the mix a la Stayley or Cornell. That ‘Rusty Cage’ Soundgarden edge comes across in the excellent doomy stomp of the guitars, too, the bass and drums plodding in the very, very best sense of that description, absolutely inviting the listener to slam, mosh, and wreck before the wah-driven solo takes over, the chorus sticking in your head long after the vocal ends.
Wave Armory’s debut EP – from which ‘Iron Lung’ is taken – is out across streaming platforms now. You can practically hear the circle-pits opening up in anticipation already.
Mixing alt-rock, prog, electronica, jazz fusion, and elements of funk, is never an easy task, but New Jersey experimentalists Moon Rabbit Retreat do just that with their new single ‘Sine Language’.
There’s something for everyone here; seventies TV incidental music, soaring meandering Rick Wakeman-esque keyboard excursions, Pink Floyd-like multi-layered catchy choruses, Neil Peart drum explosions, and some epic synth and guitar sounds, across the nearly seven-minutes of this, the lead single from their new EP ‘Habitat’ (available from the band’s website or from Bandcamp). It’s excellent, with ascending interwoven parts which feel at once familiar and encompassing and never exclusionary, some epic musicianship, and a pretty fitting play on words for a track title, too. It doesn’t come much better than that.
Check out ‘Sine Language’ – and download the album – from Moon Rabbit Retreat’s website; follow the band on Facebook.
It was only a matter of time until an alt-rock artist simultaneously exuding influence from Sigur Ros and At the Drive caught our distinction-seeking-attention. The latest progressive post-rock hit ‘an offering.’ from ourfarthers. has left us ensnared.
Admitting that tracks by emo artists appease your angsty soul may be met with all manner of snobby pretension from insufferable aficionados, but an offering. isn’t a track easily torn apart. Maturity can be hard to find in tracks which deliver burning unbridled emotion, but discernibly, an offering. is the needle in the evocative haystack.
With quiescently melodic increments sidled next to rip-roaring breakdowns when all restraint is thrown away with visceral abandon in sonically anthemic style, an offering. is enough to make your soul quiver.
an offering. is available to stream and download via Bandcamp.
Lifelong musician, Dimitri Toonen released their debut Alt Rock album ‘Leave My Mind Sometimes’ on November 20th, discernibly, sharing their soulfully captivating sound with the world was criminally overdue,
Leave My Mind Sometimes could easily rival Porcupine Tree’s album Fear of a Blank Planet in terms of emotivity. Yet, this progressively passionate release sets itself apart with the cavernous, gentle complexity.
The standout single Not Home Today bears none of the hallmarks of a self-produced single. It’s a deftly orchestrated pool of escapism twined with lyricism which compels you to delve deeper into the consciousness-consuming release.
You can check out Not Home Today for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.
Hit play on the latest single ‘Disconnected’ from The Fiddle Revolt and slip into a cinematic smorgasbord of Indie, Blues, Reggae, Funk and Soul.
The drawn-out notes in the prelude which slip into offbeat rhythms in the preceding verses are all too efficacious at drawing you into the intensely direct soundscape which is lyrically-led to start. But once the semi-orchestral instrumental arrangement starts to amass momentum, you may find yourself divided between the confrontationally resolving lyrics and the alchemy which is breathing between the melodies.
With such a distinctive sound, Disconnected isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Yet, anyone who appreciates less than archetypal time signatures and progressively rewarding tracks will definitely want to drink in the ingenuity.
You can check out Disconnected for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.
If you like your smooth Bluesy accordant Rock with a side serving of raw emotion, you’ll be as captivated by up and coming artist AJ John’s progressive Rock Ballad Waste My Time (The Laze) as we were.
With the Jazz infusion in Waste My Time, Time Signatures have been disregarded in the extended soundscape which could only be described as epic. The instrumental textures and tempo may be light for the most part, but each progression will leave you more immersed in AJ John’s ingenuity. The momentum gradually builds throughout the soundscape until Waste My Time becomes a colossal offering of Anthemic Rock. We definitely didn’t see that coming.
Waste My Time is just one of the singles which you’ll find on the artist’s 2020 album “Till the End of Time” which shatters Rock archetypes and constructs a brand-new Alt-Rock experience.
You can check out AJ John’s single Waste My Time along with the rest of their album Till the End of Time by heading over to Spotify.