Indie Rock


Now that we’re talking punky indie rock that is running way ahead of the pack (looking at you Good Grief), let’s talk PLOSIVS. Here’s a band featuring John Reis (Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes, Rocket From The Crypt), Rob Crow (Pinback), Atom Willard (Against Me!, The Offspring, Social Distortion) and Jordan Clark (Mrs. Magician). If that line-up’s got you excited, they sound exactly as great as you could have hoped for.

I’m not going to write too many words on it though, as I’m sure all the major websites will cover the release – and you likely already have heard the record. But if not, here are some words that came to mind when listening to this record: Tight! Yeah! Rocks! Banger! Flawless! Catchy! Effortless! Hit! So good! Repeat.

PLOSIVS is out now on Swami Records. There is a good chance you’ll want to buy it once you’ve tried it.

Add to wantlist: Discogs

New album: Good Grief || Shake Your Faith

Good Grief? That name sounds familiar. A quick look in my record collection turned up a split 7″ with BUZZorHowl from 2013. I lost touch with the band from Liverpool after and was surprised to see their debut LP turn up just last week. One thing Good Grief are not? Prolific. Which I have no problem with at all, given the insane amount of music that is being released on a daily basis. I’ll take quality over quantity, and that is exactly what Good Grief delivers on Shake Your Faith.

The eleven songs on Shake Your Faith, just short of 40 minutes, will please the indie rock crowd that grew up loving punk rock. Most of the songs on the record are uptempo, full of punch and melody. In a sense, Good Grief are a throwback to the music of Bob Mould/Sugar (listen to standout How Can I Help Falling In Love), Superchunk (listen to standout The Pony Remark) and college rock pre 00s (listen to standout Metal Phase). The band also reminds me of melodic punkrockers Bodyjar and The Smoking Popes, particularly due to the vocals (listen to standouts High To Low and New Town). Rhetorically speaking: I guess you can’t truly speak of standout songs when they are the rule rather than the exception on a record or can you?

Shake Your Faith is a welcome surprise. It’s a record that is fun, anthemic and proof that three human beings rocking out on guitars, bass and drums will never get old. Out now through Everything Sucks and HHBTM Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || HHBTM Records

New EP: Sniff || Another EP

Sniff is an indie-Punk project from Falmouth (UK) based Alex Smith (Bobby Funk, Tinnedfruit). Smith has a talent for ugly/funny/weird/tasteless/sketchy* album art, but offsets that by being a talented songwriter. Located somewhere in the middle of punkrock, indie rock and slacker rock, the five song Another EP is his best work yet.  Favorite  song? 80%!

* dependent on you personal tastes and boundaries

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Collars || Life Here Is Infinite

The three songs on the Life Here Is Infinite EP are my first taste of Palmdale (California) four-piece Collars. But there is a sense of familiarity with their music. I would definitely categorize Collars as emo. Not the sad slow kind though, but more the uptempo, twinkly, mathy rockin’ kind. If you like bands like Everyone Everywhere, Dogs On Acid and Hostage Calm, give Collars a shot.

The band implies that a full length may be Collars’ next step. Make it happen dudes!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: Iguana Death Cult || Future Monuments

In their early days, Dutch five-piece Iguana Death Cult played a sort of psychedelic garage punk (I saw them opening for King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard at the time, which totally made sense), in their newer work you can also hear influences from post-punk, krautrock, new wave, soul, and even disco. Still exuberant, convincing and tightly played, with the pleasantly nonchalant appearance that makes you feel that and they really enjoy what they’re doing, that it takes them little effort to create great music, and that they haven’t reached the top of their game yet, but somewhat more intelligent and exciting. Just listen to their new single. A-side Artificial Afterlife examines the possibility of assuring life after death by the means of technology. The standout B-side Future Monuments deals with the question who the heroes of our future will be and how fast their statues will get torn down again, written out of concerns about the self-proclaimed messiahs convincingly spreading misinformation to create unrest and discord – with an addictive rhythm, earworm lyrics, and an entertaining video shot in their hometown of Rotterdam. Monumental.

Future Monuments
is out now digitally through Innovative Leisure and on 7″ vinyl via Spazz Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Spazz

Gimme 5! Elise Okusami (Oceanator) Shares 5 Albums She Had On Repeat In This Pandemic

With ‘Gimme 5!’ we take a peek into the collections of artists we admire. The premise is simple: artists WE like share 5 records THEY love.

Two years ago, Elise Okusami released Things I Never Said, her debut full-length as Oceanator. The record received wide acclaim from critics and fans worldwide, including us: With songs like Heartbeat and A Crack In The World we became instant fans. Which explains our excitement that, in a couple of weeks, Oceanator’s follow up is set to arrive. It’s called Nothing’s Ever Fine and showcases Okusami at her brightest and boldest yet. Oceanator sounds bigger than ever, and given the size and frequency of the hooks on the record, I fully expect Oceanator to reach even bigger crowds while making her existing fanbase ecstatic. [post continues below]

New album: Tetnis || Moving Quickly To Prevent A Hater From Detonating The Vest

If I had to describe Columbus (Ohio) band Tetnis in two words, those words would be criminally underrated.

In 2019, the band released Carrot, a really solid collection of songs including one of my favorites of the year. This week, the band released their sophomore album Moving Quickly To Prevent A Hater From Detonating The Vest. I’ve been playing it a lot this week and I have to say it’s a step up from Carrot. In fact, it’s quickly turning out as my favorite indie rock record of 2022 so far. The songs of Tetnis in general are short, catchy, slightly lo-fi and slacker friendly. It’s the kind of indie rock I think punk and garage kids can appreciate as well. RIYL: Vacation, Connections.

Somehow, Tetnis still has less than 100 monthly listeners on Spotify. A shockingly low number based on the quality of previous output, but even more laughable given the awesome fun that Moving Quickly To Prevent A Hater From Detonating The Vest provides. Tetnis: destined for criminally underrated greatness…

I wish this would get pressed on vinyl, but like the band says: “Make sure you take a potty break after track 6. That’s where the record would flip if it were still feasible to put out vinyl.”

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Ferri-Chrome || Dazzling Azure

Let’s turn our attention to Japan for the next 37 minutes, and listen to Dazzling Azure, the wonderful debut album from Tokyo-based 4-piece Ferri-Chrome, featuring 10 jangly indie pop/rock songs in the tradition of Teenage Fanclub, Pale Saints and Slowdive. The experienced musicians from this cross-generational supergroup know how to captivate with a mesmerizing shoegaze sound, where hypnotic melodies and clear vocal harmonies are nicely balanced with powerful drums and delicate but sometimes ferocious guitars. Chances are you’ll have the tracks on repeat after 37 minutes, because this is music you can’t get enough of.

Dazzling Azure is out now digitally and on CD through Testcard Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Testcard

New album: Beachheads || Beachheads II

Solid release week if you like your indie rock upbeat, energetic and European. We already posted about the excellent new Eades (UK) record, and here is another solid release, this time from Norway. Beachheads are 2/4 Kvelertak, but Beachheads sounds more like Teenage Fanclub with a record collection full of ’80s underground pop and punk. Side note: another Kvelertak member released a sonically similar record last year as part of the Needs. That one was a pleasant surprise, but also raises the question: should Kvelertak become a powerpop band?

The second Beachheads record builds on the band’s first, but in addition to the color change in album covers (the band went from yellow to pink), Beachheads II is more laid-back and even more pop-oriented than the band’s debut, which I felt had a more punchy vibe overall. I haven’t made my mind up which version of Beachheads I prefer, but clearly these four dudes know how to write catchy tunes.

Beachheads II is out now on Fysisk Format. The pink and black splatter LP looks particularly appealing.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Spacebugs || The Fundamentals of Living

You wonder what you hear? Spacebugs! Rachel Butler (vocals, piano, trumpet) and Reina Trias (guitar, bass) have been playing music together since they were 11, and as adults they just keep doing it. They are now writing their own original music, which will appeal to fans of Courtney Barnett. After a few singles, the likeable Melbourne-based duo has now released The Fundamentals of Living, an entertaining EP featuring 5 relatable indie pop/rock songs about crushes, travel, love, family and everything that is core to being human. Standout tracks are I Wanna Live and Into You, hits that we will definitely play when we finally launch our radio show soon.

Add to wantlist (streaming only for now): Linktree

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