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Dar.Ra – Heart Shaped Pill: Finally, Mike Patton Has Some Competition

When’s the last time you checked out an emerging artist and their guitar riffs made your jaw drop? I know, I know, it doesn’t happen all that often. Which is why you probably can’t afford not to listen to Dar.Ra’s single Heart Shaped Pill from their 2018 EP ‘Dirty Lil Secrets’.

The standout single in part had me wondering if Mike Patton had anything to do with the chaotically alive composition of the track. It’s cataclysmic, it’s amplified and it’s everything Alt Rock Should be. The constant rolling heavy rhythms are almost too fast to keep up with as your attention gets caught up between the unpredictable bassline, the relentless riffs and tight thrashing of the drums. Yet, whatever is happening instrumentally Da.Ra brings the perfect amount of soul and feeling through his vocals to make the track almost too easy to slip into.

I seriously can’t recommend Heart Shaped Pill to Alt Rock fans of all persuasions. Their prodigal approach to sound won’t fail to restore your faith in the genre. Head on over to Spotify where you can check out the track along with the rest of the tracks from his EP.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Forty Feet North – Meltdown: A Paradox of Prodigally Nostalgic Rock

When it comes to Forty Feet North, you don’t really know what to expect when you hit play. Their sound bounces between Rock, to Funk, to Blues, to everything else in between. The only thing for certain is that with the Californian band’s genre-boundless style you’re going to be treated to something prodigally conceptual which won’t leave you hesitant to hit play on the rest of the tracks on their latest album Time Flies.

Meltdown is a polyphonic fuelled Electro Pop Rock hit with Ska basslines around infectious Pop Rock melodies. The pure lack of restraint when it comes to the vocals gives the track that bouncing, antagonistically sweet vibe which every self-respecting rock anthem should harness. In just a short 3:14 minute track they create one of the most progressive tracks I’ve heard from the genre in the years. There’s almost a nostalgic Pop Punk feeling, yet their ability to weave together so many elements of sound is nothing short of prodigal. Oh, and just wait until you get to the concluding guitar riff if you need any evidence of their instrumental prowess.

You can check out Forty Feet North’s latest single Meltdown for yourselves by heading over to BandCamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Now – Big Dick: A Surprisingly Quiescently Sweet Alt Rock Offering

Yes, the title is a little phallic, but rest assured the soundscape created by the up and coming artist Now is anything but quiescently sweet. Now is a New York City based instrumental powerhouse headed up by the insanely talented vocalist, songwriter and guitarist Allen Childs who brought together a synergetic line up to help him bring his inventive soundscapes to life.

Big Dick throws off every archetypal aural restraint as the Rock trio flow through free form extended, intricate breakdowns and melodies which pack in plenty of hooks that are sure to keep you coming back for another taste of their organically blinding instrumental style. Yet, the ultimate cherry to the cake has to be the Beatles style playfulness around the vocals, although I’m sure you would never hear John Lennon or Paul McCartney bragging about their endowment, in fact, the iconic Pop act’s style seems a little stale after I’ve checked out Now in all of their experimental glory.

You can check out Now’s crassly named yet, ethereally beguiling latest single Big Dick which was released July 2018 on SoundCloud now along with the rest of their six-track EP ‘Now or Never’.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Matt Glennon – Illusion: A Rock Ballad to Make You Question Reality as You Know It.

Fans of David Bowie and ELO; we’ve found one of the best emerging Alt Rock artists on the scene to date. The reminiscence to the iconic acts is beyond stark. Matt Glennon’s playfully sweet vocal range tackles the quintessential lyricism within the track to create a poignant narrative of life in the 21st century. We all know it’s a bit rubbish and confusing, but considering our modern disparity inspired this sensational track, we can’t complain too much. Whilst I absolutely adored the concept behind Illusion, the simplicity behind the end rhymes stood out a little too much for me and registered as a little forced and exaggerated. Beyond that Illusion is a viscerally stunning track which has a timeless, iconic feel stamped all over it. With a Lo Fi Folk feel to the track it’s hard not to fall in love with Matt Glennon’s deftly candied style which carries a hint of Country and a layering of Pop for the perfect polish.

You can check out Matt Glennon’s single Illusion from his latest album Lost and Found over on SoundCloud now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Major Glen – Sign from Heaven: A Rock Anthem Not Just for the Pious

It’s safe to say I had no idea what to expect when I hit play on Major Glen’s latest single Sign from Heaven. I winced in anticipation of an overly pious offering of religious devotion. Instead, I was treated to one of the most experimentally playful Rock anthems I’ve had the pleasure of checking out this year. Major Glen isn’t isn’t a band that aims to assimilate every single predecessor who has received notoriety for their sound. That being said, there was a fair amount of reminiscence to his style to bands such as Fidlar and Wavves with their Lo-Fi approach to production. Anyone who slips ‘Sunday Funday’ into their lyrics and has the ability to pull it off and still remain on the right side of cool will always get a thumbs up from me. The Denver Colorado based band take their inspiration from iconic acts from the 60’s, 70’s and 90’s to create their pioneeringly prodigal high-energy sound.

You can check out Major Glen’s latest single Sign from Heaven along with the rest of their 2018 self-titled album on Spotify now

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Grinding Guitar Riffs, Sensually Raw Vocals: Drawing Blanks is the Band That Has It All

I’m afraid all professionalism flies out of the window when I’m fronted with a track as sensuously soulful as Blood on My Hands; the latest single from the Funk-addled Alt Rock collective Drawing Blanks.

There aren’t many vocalists that can carry the same sultry baritone notes as the vocalist in Drawing Blanks, pair that with the instrumentals and you’ve got one hell of a blindingly raucous track which comes alive through the groove in their alchemically dark soundscapes. I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, but God damn, their guitar riffs have so much grind they are practically orgasmic. There’s a Jim Jones reverence pouring all over the track created by the Arkansas based four-piece band who formed back in 2015.

You can check out Drawing Blanks hyped up new anthemic single Blood on My Hands along with the rest of their downright sexy album Traceless via Spotify now. I’m not even ashamed to admit that the track that follows Blood on My Hands ‘Mercy’ brought a tear to my eye, the potently pensive vocals hit me like a tonne of bricks.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


ELDAFYRE’s Latest Offering of Sludgey, Euphorically Melancholic Resonance

When you mix Shoegaze, Psych Rock, Blues, and Garage together, it would seem that the end result is an absolute dream. Which is exactly what ELDAFYRE proved with their latest album Death of the Surrenders. The sludgy yet high vibe anthemic distortion of the guitars sets the tone for an album you will scarcely believe was produced on this side of the 90’s.

Fans of Nick Cave, Bauhaus, Magazine, The Chameleons, Sonic Youth and the Cramps will absolutely adore the filthy soundscapes which ELDAFYRE created with their stunning new release. With so much eclectic diversity on the album it would be criminal to describe their audible ingenuity on each of the nine tracks on the album by lumping them into one category. Yet, with every track on the album ELDAFYRE instrumentally and vocally carry the same haunting waves of sweet euphoric melancholia.

ELDAFYRE has been kind enough to allow you to stream their entire album via SoundCloud for free, so you really have no excuse not to check it out!

You can follow ELDAFYRE via Facebook and keep up to date with all of the Melbourne based artists new releases & tours.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Matthew Schuler – Here’s to You: Pop Rock Perfection

There are very few tracks which instantly hit you with the same momentum contained within Matthew Schuler’s latest single Here’s to You. The Pop styling of the track make it somewhat of a guilty pleasure for me, but God damn, it’s catchier than anything Taylor Swift has ever put out. Even with the Pop polish, the strength in Matthew’s vocals is almost overwhelmingly perceptible. If anyone is wondering how to create the perfect Pop Rock track, I’d suggest you take a few tips from Schuler’s sound which also incorporates the perfect lick of R&B. Perhaps what I loved most about Here’s to You was the punchy up-vibe Jangle Pop guitars that bled into the melodies to make this track almost ultrasonic.

Between the sweet lyricism, the holistically vibrant sound and Matthew’s hyped vocal offerings, it’s not had to see why he has seen so much success within his career as a recording artist.

You can check out Matthew Schuler’s latest Pop hit Here’s to You on Spotify now along with the rest of his 2018 EP ‘Baby Steps’.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Blake Anthony Robson – Genre Splicing, Era Striding Rock

If you are one of those people who needs everything in neat generic packages I guess you would drop Blake Anthony Robson into the alt-rock pigeon-hole…or the pop-rock one…or perhaps alt-country…roots? It just shows you the limitations of genres, especially when it comes to acts like this, ones who neatly genre-splice classic sounds into new, original music. So forget that.

Sunny Disposition wanders the same musical pathways as the likes of The Black Crowes did, that country infused, blues grooving, retro-referencing rock re-imagined for a more contemporary generation. It moves from an alt-countrified and considered place to a full on blues rock work out gradually laying on the musical textures and building to something that ticks both old school rock boxes, those of discerning blues fans and opens up a much travelled sound to a whole new audience.

Check out the track on Spotify


In The Mountains Of Madd-Ness

What’s in a name? Well, in the case of Electric to Inept, quite a lot. There is something wonderfully unhinged in the cocktail of musical genres that Maddi Gruber – aka Madd – mixes here. Q.E.D from which this track is taken has to be one of the most eclectic albums you will find doing the rounds today, not only taking in a range of different styles and genres but cross hatching and gene splicing a few of its own along the way.

It’s rock for sure, but more a visceral, wailing garage rock vibe than the usual conventions, seeped in belligerent, sneering punk vocals and psyched out, post-punk clattering chaos, throw in a soaring metal vocal style and you have something unique. You can see what’s going on, yet the way that it wilfully doesn’t quite fit together is not only its charm and selling point but what makes it stand out from the pack, the greatest skill here being her ability to reign everything in just enough to stop it all careering off into the abyss. And after all, anything which sounds like Thee Hypnotics having a nervous breakdown has got to be worth listening to!

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