September 1, 2022

The B-Side: InTechnicolour

There was a time when every other song we received was a blatant rip off of Queens of the Stone Age. Some good, some bad, but each one uninspired carbon copies and it frankly was a bummer. The bummer being of course that the desert rock sound is a great sound, and just like the desert itself, one with a lot of different variations of life within it – not just Homme & Co’s most successful venture. Consider our faith in the genre renewed with the arrival of “The Wave” by InTechnicolour. Yes, the tell tale melodic riff-centric approach is here, but it’s done in a way that feels original and a valuable addition to the genre, not just a lift from it. It rocks and we’re hoping this means we’re headed into a desert resurgence, lead by these lads from Brighton.

August 31, 2022

The Midweekly – The Soundcarriers

The Midweekly is our column from Mike Jeffers; lead singer of Chicago punk stalwarts SCRAMmusic junkie and all around righteous dude.

Imagine the 60s and you’re bopping around Paris on bicycle, or the streets of Rome on a scooter. Maybe you’re checking out the art scene in LA. Big flower prints, short skirts and tall boots. What’s on the record player? If it’s the new release by The Soundcarriers, then two things: 1) time travel has been invented, and 2) it wouldn’t be out of place. It’s taken eight years for this group from Nottingham to put out a new album, but they’re picking up right where they left off with their throwback style. These psyche-pop tunes are awash with reverb, high end, and fuzz, that don’t get too muddy with modern integration. Even the vocals sound like they’re being sung from the past. Not a lot of dynamic changes throughout, but the energy never lets up. Perhaps it is the 2020s, and your Jeep is cruising up the coast. The pants are still tight, and the vibe is still groovy. The jams don’t need to change that much to have a good time. 

August 30, 2022

Tuesday Tip-Off: Specific Coast

It’s a fine balancing act to carry a melancholic vibe throughout a song without it getting too maudlin, or worse, becomes a one dimensional caricature of an emotion. Specific Coast (songwriter Matt Dunne) avoids that fate and makes it look easy with “I’m Just A Dog;” a laconic tune that straddles self-actualization and self-pity in a way that feels relatable, and in that, reassuring. It has the easy and natural tinted beauty of a Sunday morning coming down, and is one of our favorite submissions in a while.

August 29, 2022

Week Starter – Forty Feet Tall

Week Starter is our Monday column where we give you a new song to help you get on out of bed & help you power on through the working week.

As summer comes to an end and another work week, you might need a little extra kick in the pants to push on through. Enter Forty Feet Tall with “On And On And On,” a push-pull of quiet and melodic classic left of the dial college rock parts occasionally body slammed by fuzzed out explosions of bash pop. It grooves, it’s chaotic, it’s glorious. This is the hastily thrown together end of season rager that fights off the autumn.

August 26, 2022

The Weekender – Jaws The Shark

The Omega to the Week Starter Alpha, Week Ender is the song we want to send you into the weekend with.

Sure, the world is ending but there’s still time for perfect rock n’ roll songs and for laying the apocalypse blame on the appropriate parties. Lucky for us, Jaws The Shark wrapped both of those into one tidy package with “Destroy The World.” Sludgy bass will always have a special place in our heart, and here it is paired with hooks so big, natural and perfect they remind us of the few remaining glaciers. Lyrically it reminds us of the great Jimmy Shubert bit about how every invention throughout history was because a guy was trying to get a girl; but here the focus is on how the baller lifestyle is contributing to our species end date. Sounds heavy, but we assure you it’s a fun rock n’ roll song that is catchy enough to sing as the ship goes down.

August 26, 2022

Friday 5×5

Friday 5×5 is our segment where we give you five new tracks to check out and give ourselves the challenge of describing said tracks in only five words.

Five songs, five words each, it’s the most economical reviews on the internet. Check out the so-good-they-speak-for-themselves-tracks by Sofi Gev, Powder House, Axel Flóvent, J. Graves and Blissful Red after the jump.
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August 25, 2022

The B-Side: Bad Flamingo

Atmospheric and vibey without sounding gimmicky, “Bees Making Honey” by Bad Flamingo is a sexy strut in a genre that we’re calling Noir Americana. Reverbed guitars and a subtly grooving bass slink and slide over one another like stormy lovers on a dance floor. Do they have knives hidden discreetly upon them? Probably. The vocals play up the sexiness of the track without being obvious or obnoxious about it, and the whole thing is wrapped in the mysterious feel that Bad Flamingo roll with. Wearing Lone Ranger masks and listing themselves as “the one on the left” and “the one on the right,” BF let the music do the talking and the imagination do the walking and we’re all the bit more sexy for it.

August 24, 2022

The Midweekly – Russian Circles

The Midweekly is our column from Mike Jeffers; lead singer of Chicago punk stalwarts SCRAMmusic junkie and all around righteous dude.

Close your eyes and visualize great armies of monsters, or fleets of space ships colliding into each other in slow motion. This of course needs a soundtrack, and Russian Circles is always ready to provide. The metal trio from Chicago has done it again with their eighth LP Gnossis. It’s been said that vocals help connect the listener to the music because of the shared human experience through lyrics, even in a genre where the words are incompressible. But RC routinely deliver a style of impressively produced instrumental rock that holds your attention. Seemingly standard breakdowns that’ll break your brain when the polyrhythms invade. Most of the progressions are filled with dread and frenzy, although they do switch it up with beautiful melodies, like reflecting on the destruction the chugga chugga unleashed. If riffs could snarl, these tracks would be mean mugging all day. 

August 23, 2022

Tuesday Tip-Off: Jesswar

With a simple but swaggery piano over beats loop, “Hefty” by Jesswar lives up to its title. This is a big attitude song but subtly so, with Jesswar matching the mood with a flow that is more confident than challenging and more factual than boastful. When you’re a real bad ass, you don’t need to talk about it much, you simply are. Coming from a mixtape, its understandable that the song clocks in at only two minutes, but we can’t help but wish it was longer. This is a bounce we want to stay in until our neck muscles ache from the head nodding.

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August 22, 2022

Week Starter – Strange Bouquets

Week Starter is our Monday column where we give you a new song to help you get on out of bed & help you power on through the working week.

“Mirrors” by Strange Bouquets comes on hot and heavy with drums and bass racing out of the gates before a vaguely middle-eastern sounding guitar lick leads us into the verses. As the first half of the song goes by the guitar morphs into a demented surf lick and it’s then you realize that the whole affair feels a bit like a modernized take on the classic Dead Kennedys sound. That is right up until the 2:40 mark when it drops into a Sabbath-esque doomy blues stomp that is as epic as it is unexpected. From the chugging coffee and rushing out the door madness of a Monday morning to the disassociated mid-afternoon feeling of yet another work week, this one has you covered.

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