Browsing Tag

prog rock

Take a psychedelic desert rock trip with Shandri’s latest single, Desert Flower

From the ancient mountains of Central Mexico, the alt-indie psych artist, Shandri, is here with his latest progressively indulgent aural trip, Desert flower. It evades every revival cliché by complimenting the shimmering psych-rock transcendent tones with a touch of War on Drugs and Radiohead art-rock finesse.

For the instrumental interlude, the one-man project surpassed expectations with screaming saxophones and jazzy nuances that will leave any self-respecting desert-rock inclined muso weak at the knees. Yet, Shandri invertedly poured plenty of commercial potential in the single by wrapping it into an addictive 3-minute package that deserves to blow up as much as the Black Keys’ biggest hits. We can’t wait to hear what follows.

Desert Flower is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Volta Nova – Out Where the West Begins: Meet the Fresh Face of Blues Rock

To follow on from their debut Return to Tomorrow EP, the fresh face of blues-rock, Volta Nova, unleashed their college-rock-reminiscent stormer of an extended single, Out Where the West Begins.

With hints of the 90s Seattle sound, prog-rock proclivities, blues rock attitude, swaggering crunchy guitars and nuances of the Offspring in the early days in their vocals, you couldn’t ask for a more dynamically indulgent alt-rock single to add to your playlists. For five unadulterated minutes, Volta Nova pulls from the puppet strings of a myriad of genres to deliver a sound as distinctive as it is familiar. Words alone could never express the innovation encased in Out Where the West Begins that draws you in with its impassioned gravitas.

Out Where the West Begins is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Swimming deliver anthemic indie rock realism in their latest single, Sometimes Things Change

If you are yet to healthily embrace the inevitability of change, the anthemic indie-rock bop, Sometimes Things Change, from up and coming artist, Swimming, might be enough to push your perceptions in a more positive direction.

With tinges of angsty punk and an Against Me! vibe to their lo-fi sound, the energy in Sometimes Things Change comes with a sharp set of teeth. You won’t be left waiting for the hooks; you’ll already be hooked in the full-frontal emotion right from the intro. Swimming’s raucous vibe and conscious lyrics are everything that the airwaves need right now. The shift to disjointing proggy math-rock mid-way through the track proves that there’s plenty more to Swimming than their candour; they are a powerhouse in their own right.

You can check out the official music video for Sometimes Things Change by heading over to YouTube now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Shake up your indie post-punk playlist with [glazier]’s prog-rock single, down.up.down.

If your indie post-punk playlists need a shakeup, the jagged, complex time signatures in the standout single, down.up.down, from the three-piece powerhouse, [glazier] will do exactly that.

While most artists experimenting with unorthodox time signatures usually do so with an air of inaccessible pretension, [glazier] take a more affable route by ensuring that there’s as much emotion to connect with as there is experimentation to get excited by.

With drums that will easily win over fans of The Walkmen, the sweetness of Elliott Smith, the hooky magnetism of Queens of the Stone Age and the chill of Interpol, [glazier] really are the entire package. It is only a matter of time before they find themselves presented with a major-label deal.

The official video to down.up.down premiered in May 2021; you can check it out for yourselves on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Progressive pioneer, Junkhouse Bones, has released his latest single, Only a Name.

Junkhouse Bones

Elements of prog rock, Midwest emo, indie, garage rock, and pop all feed into the latest single from the genre-melding self-taught solo artist Junkhouse Bones (Dominic Orteza). After starting with a trashy garage rock prelude, Only a Name loses its discordant textures as the melodies get sweeter and the vocals provide even more nectar to make sure that the earworm sticks to your synapses like superglue.

With riffs that allow Orteza to show his rock and roll stripes and the cleverly formulated instrumental breakdowns, it’s impossible not to be hooked by the release that consistently piques your interest with clever motifs and aural curveballs.

Only a Name will be released on September 17th; you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Test your mind’s neuroplasticity with .Noodle.’s jazzy math-rock single, Hi-Fi.

The endearingly-titled New Jersey-hailing jazzy math-rock instrumental outfit .Noodle. is set to release their debut EP, ‘Seasons; if technical instrumental ability leaves you weak at the knees, you may want to grab a chair before delving into the lead single, Hi-Fi.

As complex time signatures are hallmarks in *both * jazz and math rock, the mellow tones that introduce Hi-Fi are quickly replaced by clean and accordant speedy riffs that course through seamlessly rapid twists before mellifluously unwinding once more.

With each band member bringing a different style and experience to the instrumental powerhouse, finding reminiscences in their sound is a thankless task; indulging in the virtuosic alchemy definitely isn’t.

Check out .Noodle. on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Television Of Cruelty go out of this world with ‘The Winchcombe Meteorite’

Eclectic is a word that gets overused in music reviews, but there are few that fit The Television Of Cruelty better; unexpected, often eerie and unsettling, ‘The Winchecombe Meteorite’ is a narrative tale telling the story of a big chunk of space debris which landed on the driveway of a house smack in the middle of Suburban England in February 2021, amongst the lockdown of the Coronavirus pandemic and the echoing divisions of Brexit and the Black Lives Matter protests.

Musically, there’s a mixture of folk, prog, and out and out rock; guitars, yes, and drums, but also flutes and a melodica. It sounds a little like New Model Army back in their ‘Vengeance’ and ‘Thunder and Consolation’ perfection heyday, mixed with ‘Space Oddity’-era Bowie and dashes of Pink Floyd and Yes. It’s gentle, poetic, storytelling folk-prog that’s a perfect introduction to the ToC’s new album ‘England’s Wyrding’. Stellar (sorry).

Check out ‘The Winchcombe Meteorite’ on Soundcloud; follow the Television of Cruelty on Facebook and Twitter.

Review by Alex Holmes

Cagri Raydemir takes us on with ‘Choosing Your Own Battles’

Opening up with a descending acoustic guitar line and some suitably doom-laden lead work, ‘Choosing Your Own Battles’ is taken from independent musician and producer Cagri Raydemir’s fourteenth (yes, fourteenth) record, and the second of two EPs, ‘Outlasting The Opposite Pole’; loosely alt-metal, there’s elements of System Of A Down to the guitar work and Raydemir’s vocal delivery, mixed in with dashes of prog and some bluesy flourishes. It’s unsettling, moody, and heavy without resorting to the sort of ‘everything louder than everything else’ distortion that lesser artists might use to imply ‘heaviness’, relying instead on a relatively clean guitar tone, vaguely ‘Eastern’-sounding scales (think Led Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’ or some of Jerry Cantrell’s drop-D tuning-based work), and the power of the lyrics and subject matter to give it gravity and depth. And more power to it, that restraint and emphasis on phrasing and ‘grunt’ giving it a potency that would be lost with a more overdriven sound. It’s solid, powerful, and over far too quickly; a very tasty opener that gives a perfect introduction to the EP.

You can hear ‘Choosing Your Own Battles’, and the rest of the ‘Outlasting The Opposite Pole’ EP, on Spotify.

Review by Alex Holmes

Prog rock meets grunge and flirts with hardcore in Touch by Mirror’s latest single, Something New.

Touch by Mirror

Prog rock meets grunge in South African artist Touch by Mirror’s single, Something New; it’s exactly what it says on the tin. So, if you have heard enough ripped-off Nirvana riffs to last a lifetime, you will definitely appreciate the alternative artist’s explorative instrumental inclination and complex time signatures.

If you could imagine what it would sound like if the styles of Porcupine Tree, Thrice and Alice in Chains merged, you will get a good idea of how Something New unravels. While, lyrically, Something New is the perfect track to vent your societal angst through; it unravels as a poignant snapshot of the tension that has turned social discourse into a cesspit of distraction and senseless misdirected anger.

After entering Cape Town’s alt-rock scene in 2020 with his debut EP, ‘Solitude’, Touch by Mirror is well on his way to bringing his soulful take on hardcore into the mainstream.

Check out Touch by Mirror via Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Nicolaas Walle And Friends show us what it means to be human in their latest release, Human Nature.

Scuzzy keys, theatrical crescendos and doom-laden vocals are just a few of the components in the latest release, ‘Human Nature’, by Ireland-based alternative artist Nicolaas Walle And Friends. The progressive two-track release will allow you to imagine what the War of the Worlds soundtrack would sound like if Depeche Mode and King Crimson lent their deft hands to the production.

Human Nature, Pt. 1 is a cosmonautical adventure through the avant-garde; after ominous male vocals and progressive instrumental alchemy that will be a hit with any fans of Rush or Genesis, female vocals bring a sense of fragility and mortality into the spacey mix that will set your imagination alight.

After making their debut in 2018, the self-produced multi-instrumentalist has enamoured plenty of the Emerald isle but discernibly, his sound boasts an international commercial potential that we can’t wait to see come into fruition in 2021 and beyond.

You can check out Human Nature for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast