Browsing Tag

Sludge Pop

Seattle converges with Manchester in BLUEBOO’s latest smorgasbord of alt 90s aesthetic, Cherry Woman

With a touch of Oasis to the choral vocals to anchor the anthem in its melodicism, the alt-90s Seattle sound doesn’t asphyxiate any originality out of the revivalist nature of BLUEBOO’s latest single, Cherry Woman. It teases just the right amount of nostalgia for Screaming Trees, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam as your synapses fire to the tune of the Chicago-based artist’s off-kilter hook-filled sonic signature.

Notably, we aren’t the only ones finding addictive propensities in the effortlessly original sound of BLUEBOO. They’ve garnered acclaim from across the globe, especially on their strikingly ethereal seminal single, You Win Abigail, which has amassed over 260k streams on Spotify alone.

Cherry Woman is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Frances Gein has released her infectiously antagonist proggy grunge-pop hit Lest for Stress

Frances Gein

The 90s-inspired LGBTQ+ singer-songwriter, Frances Gein, made her debut in 2021 after learning guitar during the pandemic – not that her latest single, Lest for Stress, will let you believe it.

The stellar grungy sad-pop hit will remind you of how sweet it was to discover your reigning rock icons as you lose yourself in the choral energy of the guitars and realise just how infectious The Scotland-based artist’s magnetic attitude is.

There are a few hints to hole in the lyricism, but sonically, Lest for Stress carries the same angsty soul as Blondie and The Pretenders while teasing hints of prog rock that lend themselves to the unpredictability of the earworm.

In her own words

“Lest for Stress is an angsty sarcastic social critique of being broke. It’s not a revolutionary song, but it’s a fuck you to everything, everyone, and even myself”.

She’s the icon we never knew we needed.

The single is due for official release on February 11th, 2022. You can check it out for yourself on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hands in Shadow has released their avant-garde indie hit, Hater, Fighter…Lover?

https://m.soundcloud.com/soundboard_music/hater-fighterlover

Hands in Shadow’s latest single, Hater, Fighter…Lover? is an ingenious mash of indie post-punk, funk, grunge and avant-garde. The prelude delivers Nirvana-Esque sludgy tones before the playfully polyphonic keys allow you to imagine the aural result if the Residents and Kraftwerk produced together.

Hands in Shadow found the perfect balance between obscurity and melody, the eerie magnetic pull of the single makes you feel at a loss when the short and sweet psychedelic indie hit suddenly comes to a close. We will definitely be keeping the Yorkshire-based artist on our radar for future releases; we advise everyone with a penchant for avant-garde indie to do the same.

You can check out Hands in Shadow’s latest single for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Left of the Slash take us to the alt 90s with their latest single, ‘Never Let Go’.

Left of the Slash

LA’s prodigal sons of alt-rock, Left of the Slash, are set to release their hotly anticipated psych-laden, grunge rock single, Never Let Go. The rising artist may take their sound seriously, but they made the track infectious from the first hit. The vocal personality is just as enticing as Cobain’s during his 1993 unplugged performance of Plateau.

With fleeting reminiscences to everyone from Modest Mouse to Pixies to Sonic Youth to Queens of the Stone Age, Left of the Slash refreshingly eclipse the golden era of grunge and no-wave while adding one of the freshest new takes on sludge pop that we have heard this year.

It would be no surprise to see Left of the Slash’s name added to the roster of artists at Sub Pop or Ipecac Records. Has someone informed Mike Patton that they exist yet?

Never Let Go will be available to stream from June 11th. Check out Left of the Slash via Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Just Pathetic are wondering just what happened ‘Since College’

Describing themselves as ‘a band specialising in substandard music and haphazard melodies’, Just Pathetic’s ‘Since College’ is a poppy-punk number, with elements of Bowling For Soup, The Police, Sum-41, and Journey all mixed up with a Blink 182 tongue-in-cheek bouncy, upbeat ode to time since…well, you guessed it, since college.

There’s a nice little break-down mid-song, a nice flanged-and-octaved guitar-line throughout, and lyrically there’s some not-too-serious digs at teen entitlement, angst, and ‘emo-days’ mixed up with underage drinking and ‘interesting’ cigarettes. It’s fun, it’s vaguely silly, and it’s catchy, energetic, and exuberant mixed in with laid-back ‘stoner’ vocals (there’s a tiny hint at ‘Superfuzz’-era Mudhoney to the delivery), with the fuzziest guitar tone we’ve heard in a long time. It’s the age-old question: ‘Where have the days gone since college?’

You can hear ‘Since College’ on YouTube; check out Just Pathetic here.

Review by Alex Holmes

Georgetown grunge trio Tough on Fridays released their most relatable single yet with Cabin Fever.

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.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Godzukey bring refreshing nuance to the West Coast with their laconically doom-laden Grunge track ‘Alibi’

Kicking off with a beautifully overdriven, edge-of-break-up Tube Screamer-esque guitar tone and kicking drums, Godzukey’s ‘Alibi’ is a proper old-school grungy rock track, all laconic vocals and doomy, portentous bass and guitars. There’s an occasional hint at Mudhoney in the voicing of the fuzzed-up repeating guitar motif, some gentle nods to early Pearl Jam or Mother Love Bone, and a serious bit of guitar-hero shredding from Conrad Bylsma on the playout solo from around 3’30”. Singer/songwriter Jonas Briggs has a perfect early Foo Fighters/Nirvana/Alice In Chains vibe going on around the vocal delivery, but it should be said loudly and clearly: this isn’t simply a retro-reworking of Seattle’s great and good.

There’s a freshness here, too, a contemporary take on that West Coast sound which presumably comes from the creative kick of new connections and neoteric projects. Briggs and Bylsma reconnected to form Godzukey recently, after years of not playing together, recording the EP from which ‘Alibi’ is taken from the ‘music Briggs was carrying around in his head’, and that novel vibrancy comes through in the rawness of the track’s delivery. In Godzukey Portland, Oregon, might just have spawned a new baby monster.

See the video for ‘Alibi’ on YouTube, or hear the single on Spotify.

Review by Alex Holmes

Running Alive brought raw Alt Rock dynamism to the airwaves with their debut album

Alt-Rock newcomers Running Alive’s debut album ‘Dreams from Outer Space’, featuring the lead single ‘Affluent’ has finally dropped and proven that maturity in the industry is far too overrated. It’s easily one of the most dynamic Alt-Rock releases we’ve heard this year. At the age of 13-years-old, the members of the powerhouse trio smashed the misconception that it takes decades of experience to offer nuance through music.

With biting metal energy melding with grungy yet melodic Indie tones which pay ode to the Alt 90s, Affluent is an undeniable testament to the artists ability to bring intense authenticity to the airwaves. It’s visceral, it’s intuitive, and you’ll feel every ounce of the angst-fuelled emotion merging with your own.

After hearing Affluent, I felt far more confident about the future of Alt-Rock. I have no doubt that this won’t be the last we’ll hear from Running Alive. Get them on your radar.

You can check out Affluent along with Running Alive’s debut album via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

¥ANG delivers laconically laidback Alt Rock with ‘Satin Blue’  

Born in London and now resident in Los Angeles, singer-songwriter ¥ang is now onto his sixth single in just twelve months. ‘Satin Blue’ starts off with a Patti Smith-esque acoustic guitar part before instantly becoming something much, much more as ¥ang’s laconic, laid-back vocal delivery kicks in.

Mixing equal parts Beck, REM, and the quieter parts of Nirvana’s ‘In Utero’ album, hitting every ‘right’ bit of Cobain and Stipe on the way, ‘Satin Blue’ is a catchy, upbeat number with a surprisingly hooky, mainstream college-radio middle eight breakdown before kicking back into its final ‘this is your lesson’ chorus refrain, which – like the best of Seattle and Athens, Georgia – will stay very, very firmly lodged in your head for hours after the final, ringing chord has decayed to nothingness.

Hear ‘Satin Blue’ on Spotify, and check out ¥ang on Facebook.

Review by Alex Holmes

Take a trip back to the Alt 90s with The Young Love Scene’s latest single “Honey”

Honey by The Young Love Scene

If it’s been a while since you’ve deemed a feat of dreamy, sludgy and distorted Alt Rock as obsession-worthy, hit play on the latest infectiously melodic earworm “Honey” from Vermont-based Alt Rock artist The Young Love Scene.

The Young Love Scene may have a fairly DIY approach to their sound, but instead of hindering the track, the intimacy is amplified and it is even easier to fall into the absorbing mix of crunchy distortion and singer Gordon Goldsmith’s alluringly harmonic vocal timbre.

If the Smashing Pumpkins and Weezer had an aural lovechild, I can imagine it would turn out something a little like Honey.

You can check out Honey for yourselves by heading over to Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast