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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“The Team” is the dark and stormy debut single by up and coming Alt Rock artist Ed Eagle. If you crossed Black Rebel Motorcycle Club with Joy Division and Soundgarden, you’d end up with a track which slightly resembles the sweetly serpentine Rock hit.
The production may not be the sharpest, but given that The Team drips with scuzzy, grungy fuzz, the slightly lo-fi feel simply amplifies the volatile intimate nature of The Team which launches a bold attack on capitalism.
It’s an irrefutably solid track, and a promising debut by any definition. We’re officially excited to hear what comes next from Ed Eagle.
You can check out Ed Eagle’s debut The Team for yourselves by heading over to Spotify now.
Fans of My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive definitely won’t want to miss out on the latest release from Indie artist Rose Haze. “Edge of Something” evokes 90s nostalgia whilst simultaneously giving you that all too rare sense of aural euphoria which can only come from hitting play on a brand-new artist offering pioneering vision, and deft artistic execution through their sound.
There may be more nuances of Pop than you would find in a 90s Shoegaze hit with the clear vocal diction which sits neatly above the instrumentals. Yet, you’ll be able to expect the same sludgy mesmerism from the guitars which still resonate as cuttingly angular despite the layers of Reverb.
Edge of Something is so much more than your ordinary revival track, and Rose Haze’s arrestive approach to production is definitely anything other than assimilative. The up and coming artist achieved a moody yet ethereal track with Edge of Something, and it’s not all too often that we can say that.
You can check out the latest single from Rose Haze for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.