Indie Rock

New album: State Drugs || Live. Laugh. Love.

With so much music coming out weekly (daily!), it’s easy to overlook records that demand a little bit more attention to fully appreciate. Live. Laugh. Love by State Drugs is such an album. Although the music spoke to me immediately, I was underwhelmed at first, perhaps due to the somewhat understated way of singing by the band’s frontman. I am happy that I gave the record another try though, because it contains premium quality midpaced punkrock, with fine guitar work and songs that increasingly get under your skin. The band operates somewhere between the altpop of the Lemonheads and the melodic punkrock of Samiam, most noticably on songs like Goonies or Threat Level Midnight, two of my early favorites on the record. Give this one a spin. No, scratch that. Give this one a couple of spins. You won’t regret it.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: Bandicoot || Dark Too Long

Welsh krautrock / post-punk band Bandicoot have released their new digital single Dark Too Long (Radio Edit), a song they describe themselves as a ‘frenzied cry of desperation from the depths of excess and loneliness, influenced by the driving rhythms of NEU! and Can’ (a previous cover album also reveals other influences). The song is an anthem for these times: recognizable lyrics that we would like to sing along (we’ve all been in the dark too long, so come on!) and a saxophone solo that takes the audience to a climax. Out now via Libertino Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Mary Anne’s Polar Rig || Makes You Happy

Are you ready for some fuzzy alternative slacker rock from Sweden? Make sure to check out the debut by Mary Anne’s Polar Rig. It’s called Makes Me Happy and it is kind of a mess, and I mean that as a compliment. It’s a chaotic record, with a lot going on. The band immediately draws you in with album opener Something About Your Way. It is short, fast and catchy. It is followed by Your House, which starts tenderly before erupting in an infectious chorus. It is not the only track where the band effectively uses soft loud dynamics. Liar Liar for example, another standout track, starts with an thunderous bass riff and ends explosively, but also has a quiet yet intense interlude where singer Malin Hofvander wails “i want to feel sexy || i want to feel sure || i don’t want to be rejected || i want to be adored”. Hofvander’s voice gives Makes You Happy an edge, but ultimately Mary Anne’s Polar Rig sounds like a well oiled collective. This is quite the debut. Out now on Please Like it & Feverish. RIYL: Evans The Death and Joanna Gruesome.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: Eades || Former Warnings Cluster

The song I played the most this week is Former Warnings Cluster by UK 5-piece Eades. The first 15 seconds I wasn’t immediately convinced (is that an 80s synthesizer?), but then the singer grabs you and a little later a cowbell is added with enthusiasm (more cowbell!) – at that moment resisting is no longer possible, certainly if the tempo is increased a little further. On repeat! Out now through Heist or Hit.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Band of Young Saints || Misadventure

Misadventure, the new album by Band of Young Saints (B.O.Y.S.) from Brooklyn (NY), is a welcome surprise. The cover art caught my eye, the music wouldn’t let me go. The four band members look cool, and that’s how they sound. A lot happens in the seven uptempo songs, the instruments challenge each other but are in balance, the vocals are exciting. Very nice.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: S:Bahn || Queen Of Diamonds

Can you still call it a sophomore album when there is a 25 year gap between a band’s debut and second full-length? I am not sure, but I am glad that Melbourne based indie rock band S:Bahn came out of a long hibernation. The band’s second record sounds varied and inspired and is called Queen of Diamonds. Songs like Sync or Swim and We Move will appeal to fans of the postpunk of Fontaines D.C and Ought, whereas songs like Exhaustion, The Tide That Pulls Me Away From You (my personal favorite ) and Pulse are more melodic and straightforward indie rock. Vinyl orders available through Polaks Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: Genevieve & Hemmy || Last One For The Road

The photos stand out on the website of Genevieve & Hemmy.  Two travelin’ street musicians, two guitars, one kickdrum, one open guitar case with a cardboard note (“anything helps”), two dogs. The three songs that make up The last One For The Road EP sound nothing like those from their previous act, the loud grunge/blues outfit Beneath Trees. These days, Genevieve & Hemmy opt for a garage take on folkrock. Usually, I am not that into folkrock, but the band incorporates a variety of influences that make this a compelling EP. The opener is the most rocking song on the EP, with an organ giving the song a seventies rock vibe. Stillness, the second track, is a well executed jangle pop song; it’s my favorite track. And finally, Sisters is a tad slower, more dreamy. G & H’s music is inspired by travel, love, nature & spirit. I look forward to find out where Genevieve & Hemmy are off to next.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: The Reytons || May Seriously Harm You and Others Around You

The Reytons will have heard the comparison with that other band from South Yorkshire (UK) too often, but the music that that other band made 15 years ago they don’t make anymore and there is still a need for it. So good news that the “right ones” are here, even better news that they have released a new EP – good album title, good cover photo, good songs. Let’s hope we can see them live soon, so that we can roar along: ‘Tie up your laces, this city is ours!’

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || The Reytons Shop

New album: The Spires || Era Was

The Spires are from California. They play timeless guitar pop that is pleasant to the ears, soul and mind. Era was, I believe, is the band’s fifth full-length, which “started off as a full band live record then ended up a bedroom headphone jammer.” Recommended if you like your indie rock understated, subtle, and well executed.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

Throwback Thursday: Soccer Cousins || Lazy Bones

In the recent past I have added many songs to my “Favorites” playlist that in my opinion should have become big hits, but unfortunately have not reached an audience as large as they deserved. It’s quite possible that my taste isn’t hit-sensitive, but now that we have this website as a platform, I’m free to share one of these overlooked nuggets with you every now and then. Watch and listen below to Lazy Bones (Gentle Reminder Records, 2018) by New York trio Soccer Cousins. I particularly appreciate how the song slowly increases the tempo, so that the music amplifies the lyrics. If I understand correctly, Jon, Brendan, and Josh did their final show not long after, which is a shame as I would have loved to hear more from them.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

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