Browsing Tag

Proto Punk

Zack Kirkorian Held No Prisoners in His Riff-in-Cheek Rhythmic Revolt Against Self-Obsessed Drama in ‘Tell Somebody’

One of the fieriest renegades in alt-rock, Zack Kirkorian, has ignited the airwaves once again with his latest single, Tell Somebody. The riff-in-cheek riptide of amplified contempt holds no prisoners as it launches a scathing attack on the kind of people who plague lives through their incessant self-obsession that is paraded as self-pity. We all know them, now we all have the perfect ammunition to launch at them or simply find catharsis in.

The exhilarant tour de force captures Zack Kirkorian at his most uninhibited as he rolls with the rhythmic punches in the same vein as the New York Dolls and proto-punk pioneers. You can’t help getting caught up in the frenetic fever of classic rock being filtered through a Zappa-esque lens.

There are few artists who can truly emulate the verve of the Sunset Strip. After blazing down it and touring in iconic bands, Zack Kirkorian is one of the rare rebels who can revive the golden era of rock with swathes of infectious authenticity. Notably, he was placed on the official ballot for the Grammy Awards for a reason.

Tell Somebody was officially released on May 28; stream the single on all major streaming platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

70s Punk was Hooked by Power Pop in Twilight Avenue’s Seminal Release, Road Rage

Twilight Avenue, a band that embodies the spirit of unity and the thrill of discovery, has unleashed a potent force in their eponymous debut EP. At its heart lies ‘Road Rage‘, a track that bridges the gaps between proto-punk and power-pop and serves as a timeless anthem for the disenchanted.

This Southport-based quartet, comprising Myles Thompson, Alex Ormand, Kyle Chadwick, and George Fitton, has crafted a riotous production that echoes the punk ethos, breathing life into the rolling rhythms that are as fierce as the title suggests. For those yearning for a new punk-rock earworm, ‘Road Rage’ is a revelation.

With an endlessly energetic edge, Twilight Avenue pays homage to the 70s punk scene while infusing it with fresh fervour. The hard riffs, groovy beats, and alternating vox create a dynamic that is as infectious as it is efficacious. Hit play and get your fill of exhilaration.

Stream the debut EP from Twilight Avenue in full via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Rosso Rosso echoed the paradox of euphoria and ennui through their tender Tour De Force, Niamh

The Brooklyn-based fourpiece, Rosso Rosso’s discography could only be described as mercurially eclectic. When they’re not extending the legacy of NY punk, they’re enchanting the airwaves with their sticky-sweet evocations of melodic classic rock and conjuring aurally affecting alchemy in the same vein of the Kinks, Big Star, and ELO.

With their latest release, Niamh, the band that has been honing its sound as a collective since 2022, debuted a release that will tie your heartstrings in knots while allowing your soul to transcend with the endlessly ascending melodies that will be a hit with fans of the Beatles, Grandaddy and Elliott Smith alike.

With multi-layered vocal harmonies which give the Beach Boys a run for their money and lyricism that proves how deeply Rosso Rosso delves into the phenomena they explore, Niamh is a tender Tour De Force that will pull you back and forth between the brink of tears and the cusp of euphoria.

With the promise of more releases to follow in 2024, Rosso Rosso is more than worth a spot on your radar. Even if they can manipulate your emotions as efficaciously as a Patrick Bateman-esque narcissist.

Niamh is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Slip into a rock noir fever dream with Call to the Void’s latest single, Blow

South London’s Call to the Void delivered a smorgasbord of style in their synthesis of garage rock, proto-punk, post-punk, and grunge in the track they crashed onto our radar with earlier this year. Their previous release, Uncontrollable, was one thing; their latest fervid feat, Blow, is another entirely. The vice-like rhythmic grip will drag you down the shadowy rabbit hole in the rock n roll fever dream, where a séance is held with the sonic aesthetic of Jim Morrison, Cobain, and Lux Interior.

By driving innovation through the rancorously electric vintage tones between the melodic increments used to ensnare you in the jaws of their shaking, rattling, and rolling cultivated panache, there’s no getting out of Blow alive once you experience the dark rock noir atmosphere, which twists and turns on a knife edge to impale you on the spikes of innovation that proliferate this nefariously dark hit.

Blow will be available to stream on all major platforms from January 5th, following the pre-release on Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Call to the Void

Fantastic Shams walk the ‘Crooked Line’ in their latest psychedelic proto-punk trip

Crooked Line by Fantastic Shams

Nostalgia may be a factor, but by no means is it a solitary driving force in the latest single, Crooked Line, from the Indianapolis-hailing prodigal sons of psychedelic proto-punk, Fantastic Shams.

The vintage-toned rhythms take the wheel in the feel-good hit, which allows you to revisit by-gone eras by a path never taken, while the kaleidoscopic colour that spills across the unpredictably wild progressions gives the soundscape the sticky-sweet propensity of an infectious earworm.

With catchy power-pop guitar hooks to draw you into the centre of the release, Fantastic Shams will have any fans of The Heartbreakers, The Stooges, and Velvet Underground eating out of the palms of their melodic hands.

Crooked Lines is taken from the forthcoming debut LP, Play Fantastic Games Win Fantastic Prizes, which will traverse themes of loss, love, and alienation through a social commentative lens.

Stream and Purchase Crooked Line via Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Party in the Pews is Returning to Christ Church in Macclesfield with an Unmissable Lineup – Low Ticket Warning

Party in the Pews

With five weeks remaining until Party in the Pews gives indie, pop, post-punk, psych, and rock fans to get pious about, the ticket supply for the hotly anticipated two-day festival in Christ Church in Macclesfield is close to running dry.

The inexplicably impressive line-up curated by Jo Lowes, who is quickly becoming Manchester’s contemporary answer to Tony Wilson, comprises two well-known headliners who need absolutely no introduction; Badly Drawn Boy and The Futureheads. As stoked as I am to hear their iconic alt-indie hits, it is the supporting artists that are making me shake off my usual levels of festival-going apathy.

The psychedelic visionaries Heavy Salad always warm the soul with their endearingly cultish stage presence, Pavement-ESQUE cruising riffs and harmonised to the nines vocal arrangements. If Stephen Street was keen to produce their upcoming sophomore LP, you should be stoked to witness their mind-altering aural conjurations live.

Sam Scherdel on the line-up affirms just how on the pulse of current breakthrough artists Jo Lowes is. It is only a matter of time before his enigmatic indie rock anthemics that amplify his ruggedly affectionate everyman blues establishes him as one of the top indie rock artists in the country.

After a series of sell-out shows and acclaim from just about everyone who matters in the industry, Dirty Laces will tarnish Christ Church with their grimy vintage rock rancour that proves the extent of their reverence to the proto-punk past and seriousness about sealing guitar music’s place in the future. They’ve got psych grooves and razor-sharp dark hooks by the execrably exhilarating smorgasbord.

You might want to dress up warm for the Manchester-based supergroup, Sea Fever. There will be an atmospheric chill in the air when they spill their scintillating darkwave synthetics into the venue. Members of the five-piece banding together after working with Johnny Marr, Section 25 and New Order is infinitely less exciting than the coldly transcendent tones they subject their live audience to through their pulsating beats and hypnotic strings.

The final few full weekend tickets are available via Skiddle.

Check out the Party in the Pews event page on Facebook.

Amelia Vandergast

Party in the Pews

New Wave Indie Came Crashing in Through the 80s Cinematic Atmosphere in LUXTHEREAL’s Latest Single, She Said

The unforgettable Phoenix, Arizona alt-rock outfit, LUXTHEREAL, is on cuttingly sharp new wave form once again with their latest single, She Said. Any fans of Psychedelic Furs and Echo and the Bunnymen will undoubtedly want to add the nostalgic-for-the-80s amalgam of new wave, power pop and art-rock to their playlists.

The soaring vocals add an ardent edge to the sample-driven music universe orchestrated by LUXTHEREAL to abstract us from our own existence defined by our mortal coil and existential dread. With guitars as atmospheric as the ones that ring across Lips Like Sugar between the riffs and guitar hooks that carry as much emotion as the strident vocal lines, She Said is aural escapism at its finest.

She Said was officially released on January 27th. Hear it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The alt-rock originator, djamesk13, struck again with his grungy proto-punk single, And That’s Where It Ends, And So It All Begun

And That’s Where It Ends, And So It All Begun” is the latest tonally sublime single released by the London-based alt-rock originator djamesk13 (David Kemp).

If Dinosaur Jr veered away from grunge and towards proto-punk and made a pit stop at 90s Britpop to pick up a bit of extra guitar swagger, the sonic result would be in a similar vein to this nostalgically produced hit.

The distortedly and poetically orchestrated single provides a definitive discourse on the nature of our lives which runs through like pre-determined chapters of destiny. Lament it or live it to the max, but that’s the nature of being, captured in the lyrical hooks in this epitomisingly sludgy earworm.

And That’s Where It Ends, And So It All Begun was officially released on November 19th. Catch it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Siggy are harbingers of future in their proto-punk comeback album, 25th Century

Featuring a cover of Echo and the Bunnymen’s Lips Like Sugar which contains all of the salacious murky atmosphere of the original, it is safe to say that Siggy’s comeback album, 25th Century, arrived with a proto-punk bang.

After making their debut in 1999 with the album, Harlow’s Girl, which carried a Crampsy sense of killer off-kilter volition, 25th Century had a lot to live up to, but the rhythmic pulse is strong across the 10 singles which traverse the themes of hope, fury, and the rank psychic pathology of the 21st century.

The gothy Echo and the Bunnymen vibes carry across more than just the cover, along with hints of Television and bites of Splitter-Esque punk. But for me, the highlight had to be the title single, which truly embraces the stifled with strange nature of the 21st century while throwing back to the time when guitarists knew how to lick right into your soul. “If there’s going to be a 25th century there has to be 21st century morality” is a lyric I will never forget.

25th Century is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

60s garage rock rides surf rock waves in The MindRide’s latest single, Delta Alpha

The MindRide

Even at half the length of your average pop track, the nostalgia-driven duo, The MindRide created the ultimate LA proto punk bop with their latest single, Delta Alpha, which grooves with nuances of skate punk and surf-rock and comes together as the ultimate genre-fluid earworm.

With The Walkmen-Esque percussion falling slightly below the warm and crunchy overdriven guitar tones and the relentless momentum in the vocals, getting caught up in the punky euphoria of Delta Alpha is non-optional. Especially for fans of The Kinks, The Strokes, and The Sonics. With their 5th album in the pipeline, The MindRide deserve a spot on your radar.

Check out The MindRide on their official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast