JESUS CHRÜSLER SUPERCAR – RISING
The new Jesus Chrüsler Supercar EP, titled “Rising,” is a testament to the band’s unique sound and disregard for genre boundaries. The very phrase “Death N Roll” used to describe their music indicates that no one has a clue what’s going on, and comparisons to Motorhead, Entombed, and High On Fire only serve to underline this fact. But here’s the thing about Jesus Chrüsler Supercar: they don’t care. They just sit in Stockholm, doing their thing, and they have been doing it for years. “Rising” is no different.
The EP kicks off with “God Hates Us All!” – a track that, despite the Slayer reference in the title, is almost stoner and groovy. “Suck In The Dust” showcases the impressive lead work from singer Robban Bergeskans and Pär Jaktholm (formerly of Refused). Their guitar prowess adds a filthy edge to the track.
“When You Are Dead” continues the onslaught with a more metal-oriented approach. The bass serves as the anchor, providing a solid foundation for the blistering guitars and ferocious vocals. Finally, “The Killer” serves as a sort of halfway house, defying classification and showcasing the band’s refusal to be pigeonholed. Jesus Chrüsler Supercar embraces their unique sound and revels in the freedom of not conforming to any specific genre.
In the end, Jesus Chrüsler Supercar’s “Rising” EP is a wild ride through a musical landscape that defies expectations. It’s loud, aggressive, and unapologetic, just the way the band wants it.
BROOKE EDEN – OUTLAW LOVE
“If loving you is wrong, I don’t wanna be right,” so sings Brooke Eden on the title track of her EP, “Outlaw Love.” Whispering those words, she encapsulates the sentiment that love knows no boundaries. It would be nice if, in years to come, it wasn’t news that Brooke Eden was gay. As she aptly puts it, “that kind of love don’t play down in the south.” However, she fearlessly addresses this societal challenge by writing an EP that delves into her personal journey.
“Outlaw Love” takes us through the stages of her relationship, starting from its inception. The EP opens with “Whispering,” a track that embraces perfect summer pop vibes. Its infectious melodies and catchy hooks set the tone. As the EP progresses, two ballads, “All My Life” and the title track, further explore the depths of love. “All My Life” resonates with the same heartfelt emotion, perfectly capturing the slow dance with the object of your desires.
But it’s the title track, “Outlaw Love,” where Brooke Eden truly shines. She confronts societal norms and expectations head-on, boldly asserting that if loving you is wrong, she doesn’t want to be right. This song stands as a testament to her bravery and unwavering commitment to being true to herself. It shouldn’t even be a question, but in the context of her EP, “Outlaw Love” becomes a powerful and courageous statement.
Brooke Eden’s “Outlaw Love” is not just brave; it’s also genuinely lovely country pop. With each song, she invites us into her world, sharing her experiences and emotions in an authentic and vulnerable way. Her music seamlessly blends elements of country and pop, creating a sound that is both familiar and refreshing.
In the end, “Outlaw Love” stands as more than just a collection of songs; it’s a personal and artistic statement. Brooke Eden fearlessly explores themes of love and identity, challenging societal norms along the way.
SHADE – INTERSTELLAR
Shade are from North Manchester. I thought we’d start with the blindingly obvious. You’ll understand as soon as you hear the opening track, “Could’ve Been, with its big, swaggering sound, conjuring images of Oasis and transporting you back to a time when anthems ruled the airwaves.
“Lost In This World Together” follows suit, offering a mid-paced but anthemic experience. It’s the kind of song that makes you want to raise your hands and sing along with a crowd, Shade demonstrates their ability to craft songs that strike a chord with listeners on both a personal and collective level.
“I Can’t Sleep” showcases the band’s influences, evoking a hint of The Music, another britpop outfit known for their unique sound. Shade earns bonus points for delivering authentic accents in their vocals that resonate with raw emotion, further enhancing the impact of their music.
The title track, has hints of The Beatles, Shade showcases their songwriting prowess and ability to create a soundscape that feels both nostalgic and contemporary,
Mark my words, in the years to come, Shade is poised for greatness. With “Interstellar,” they’ve set the stage for their rise, and it’s only a matter of time before the world catches on. So, hop on board now and be among the first to witness the ascent of Shade, because you’ll claim you were there at the start when they are headlining Glastonbury in ten years.
LURK – NATURAL CAUSES
Lurk’s latest release, “Natural Causes,” showcases their claim to be “Chicago’s most adventurous punks” through a collection of six songs …of what exactly?
The opening track, “Natural Causes,” delivers a dose of spiky punk with its angular guitar riffs and a sense of urgency that culminates in a blistering speed towards the end. The band’s energy and rawness shine through, creating an exhilarating punk experience.
Moving on to “World On A String,” Lurk takes a slight departure from the punk sound, incorporating stomping rhythms and an almost glam-inspired chorus.
With “Honey Hive,” they channel the spirit of ’90s alternative rock. The song captures the distorted guitar tones, introspective lyrics, and melodic hooks reminiscent of the grunge era.
“1229” brings forth a sense of therapeutic release. The track evokes a sound that could have easily found its place in 1994, with its blend of angst and catharsis. Lurk manages to capture the essence of a bygone era while infusing it with their own distinct flavor.
“Dark Humor” showcases Lurk’s ability to create a paradoxical sonic experience. The song is simultaneously noisy and nasty, yet strangely melodic. Writing a song about the evils of the internet will always find a home here too.
Lastly, “Pedestrian” defies its name by delivering a heavy-hitting blow. as it bludgeons with its aggressive sound and relentless intensity. Lurk’s refusal to conform to expectations shines through in this ferocious display of musical power.
The band reckon they more proud of this than anything they’ve ever done. You can see why.
LOST RELICS – DIE + CRY + LOATHE
Whatever goes in the water in Denver, Colorado, is a worry, because there’s something decidedly nasty bubbling up from beneath on “Dry + Cry + Loathe.” Lost Relics, a formidable metal band hailing from the Mile High City, have unleashed a sonic assault. Brace yourself for an intense experience as they unleash their arsenal of heavy weaponry.
This is a relentless display of power and aggression, the opening track, “Scene Token,” hits you like a sledgehammer with its big, thick, sludgy riffs. It’s a sonic behemoth that shakes the very foundation of your being. The sheer weight of the sound is suffocating, leaving you yearning for a gasp of fresh air.
“Hangxiety” takes us back to the old-school days of metal, infusing desert riffs with an added drizzle of intensity. “Dead Men Don’t Need Silver” introduces us to the harsh vocals of Jess Ellis.
As we venture deeper into the album, deeper into the abyss, really, is “Doomed From The Womb.” This track embodies the essence of bleakness, with its melancholic melodies and bone-crushing heaviness. It’s a sonic descent into darkness, where despair reigns supreme.
And then, like a glimmer of light, “100 Years” emerges. This elaborate masterpiece is almost prog in execution, showcasing the band’s versatility and musical prowess. With intricate guitar work, soaring melodies, and dynamic shifts, it takes you on a journey through the depths of their musicality.
Lost Relics are partly from some bygone age, but there’s enough fresh stuff in the rubble.
BRAD MARINO – RAMONES AND STONES
Ladies and gentlemen, hold onto your seats and prepare to rock out because the finest exponent of power pop, the unstoppable Brad Marino, is back with a bang!
Brad Marino’s music is a celebration of everything we love about power pop—catchy melodies, energetic guitars, and a timeless sound that transports us to the golden era of rock ‘n’ roll. His ability to channel the spirit of his heroes is without parallel.
In this new release, “Ramones & Stones,” Brad Marino and his band take their music to a whole new level of raw energy and uninhibited fun. The title track is his “29x The Pain” moment, if you will.
“Dame Darcy.” With its electrifying guitar work, addictive rhythm, and Brad Marino’s signature vocals like he’s spent the day sniffing glue, it’s a pure adrenaline rush from start to finish.
The man is a master, end of debate.
DEVON ALLMAN & DONAVON FRANKENREITER – ROLLERS
Devon Allman & Donavon Frankenreiter’s new EP, “Rollers,” is the backdrop to their ambitious See It All American Tour, where they aim to break the Official World Record for the fastest time to play a concert in each of the 50 states. With Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars at the helm as producer, this EP is born out of a daring idea that promises a gruelling challenge.
The EP reflects the intensity and speed of their tour, as the music moves around from genre to genre with a frenetic energy. The opening track, “Calling All You Riders,” captures the expansiveness of the desert, immersing listeners in a sonic landscape that is vast and captivating. The combination of Allman and Frankenreiter’s talents shines through, creating a synergy that is both powerful and mesmerizing.
On “See It All,” the duo ventures into a funky and disco-infused sound, showcasing their versatility as artists. It’s a departure from the traditional southern rock you might have expected, but the unexpected elements add a fresh and exciting twist to their musical repertoire.
“We Belong” takes yet another surprising turn, transporting listeners to a world far removed from southern rock. The track channels the spirit of bands like the Wannadies, creating a vibrant and uplifting atmosphere, demonstrating their ability to explore new musical territories.
“Electric Lady” carries a nostalgic aura, evoking memories of the psychedelic era. With its trippy and captivating melodies, the song that might have been found in the car park of Woodstock, filled with swirling guitars and dreamy vibes.
The EP takes a bold turn with “Where You Gonna Run To?” as it delivers stomping garage rock vibes. The gritty guitar riffs and driving rhythm are a world away from closer “Acapulco Gold,” where the guitar work reaches sublime heights. The intricate melodies and skilful playing showcase the technical prowess of both Allman and Frankenreiter.
Devon Allman & Donavon Frankenreiter’s “Rollers” EP is a testament to both their musical chemistry and adventurous spirit.
DAVID NAIL – BEST OF ME
The title track on “Best Of Me” sets the tone for David Nail’s latest EP and stands out as the all-important centrepiece. It’s a poignant and heartfelt song, reflecting on the moment he asked his now Father-in-law for his daughter’s hand in marriage. This track is not only beautiful but also destined to become a staple for first dances – and frankly who knows what else – fir years.
It’s evident that “Best Of Me” holds a special place in Nail’s heart, given that he has personally penned it, but the co-writes elsewhere are skilfully done too.
“Sunset Carousel” is a perfect summer country anthem that showcases Nail’s rich and resonant voice. It captures the essence of carefree summer nights, but on “Wherever You Are Tonight,” Nail delves into the theme of lost love, reminiscing about a missed opportunity with heartfelt longing. It’s a poignant ode to the one that got away. It’s impossible not to feel a pang of empathy, especially for those who have experienced a similar situation (hey Sara!)
The EP concludes with “Silverado,” a track that brings the album to a fitting close. The guitar work in this song evokes a sense of the Eagles’ influence, and the harmony vocals add a layer of richness to the overall sound. It serves as the perfect bookend, encapsulating the essence of the EP and leaving listeners with a lasting impression.
Grammy nominated, multi-platinum. David Nail is already those things. He will be again with this.
CARSICK – DRUNK HYMNS
Formed in a Salisbury pub, hopefully on a wet Wednesday when small town frustration is at its highest, Carsick delivers an EP that captures the raw energy and spirit of their origins. Aptly titled “Drunk Hymns,” this release showcases the band’s determination to break free from their small town confines and make their mark, somehow.
The EP kicks off with “Anaconda Frank,” a bratty, snotty track that flirts with punk influences. The aggressive guitars and defiant lyrics exude a rebellious attitude. “Nothing To Do” taps into the boredom that comes with living in a small town. With shades of the Skinner Brothers, the song embodies the restless spirit that arises when opportunities for growth and excitement seem scarce.
“Runner” takes a different turn, convincing itself you never loved her anyway. “Heartbreak At The Hope And Anchor” brings a touch of Beans on Toast’s storytelling prowess to the EP.
The EP pulsates with energy and determination, propelled by their belief that action is required to achieve something meaningful. “If you don’t do something, you won’t get nothing.” Consider this action stations.
KEEP THIS UP – PAPER HOUSES
One of my best friends in the world is from just outside Peterborough. The Fens are weird. They’ve got their own climate, and there’s a frustration down there. It must be the lack of hills.
Keep This Up, a band hailing from the Cambridgeshire town, bring us their latest EP titled “Paper Houses.” With this release, they depart from their pop punk roots, yet manage to retain an inbuilt melody that is prevalent throughout the entire EP.
“Paper Houses” kicks off with “Fire Bottle,” a track that embodies the literal sound of youthful exuberance. “Find Myself,” on the other hand, leans towards a scrappy kind of punk, showcasing the band’s ability to infuse rawness into their music.
The EP takes an alt-rock turn with “Lost,” featuring thunderous drums that provide a solid foundation for the track. The lyrics demonstrate cleverness, and “As Above So Below” continues to push boundaries, never settling for anything less than interesting. The experimentation and exploration of new sounds make this track a standout.
“Bury Me” showcases the band’s clever guitar work, creating intricate melodies that captivate the listener. The vocals carry a hint of desperation, adding an emotional layer to the song. Finally, the title track, “Paper Houses,” closes the EP on a catchy note.
Heavy enough to be in Metal to the Masses, and with airplay on Kerrang and BBC, Keep This Up are, well, on the up.
HALFLIVES – INFERNO
“Inferno” is the culmination of over a year’s worth of work from Linda Battilani, who describes it as her ‘descent into hell.’
The opening track, “everybody knows it,” [sic] sets the tone with its stomping pop music. It’s a bold statement, immediately grabbing attention and inviting listeners to join the musical journey. “sorry mom x”[sic] follows, evoking thoughts of K Flay, and delivers a dose of attitude and unapologetic self-expression. “Dynamite” takes a different direction, offering angular, dancy sounds intertwined with a palpable sense of angst
“EVERYTHING SUCKS” (it does, really) captures the frustration and disillusionment of the world. However, there’s a cathartic quality. The EP takes a more delicate turn with “Oblivion,” a song that sounds fragile in comparison to the previous tracks. Battilani’s vulnerability shines through, and the subdued instrumentals provide a perfect backdrop for her emotive vocals.
Battilani herself states that she no longer cares about other people’s judgments regarding her art. She rejects pre-constructed strategies and says this album is her way of saying “fuck it all”. This newfound sense of liberation suits her.
ZEKE – RIDE ON RIDE FREE (2023)
In 2022, when Zeke got back together, grown men hugged in the street, rejoicing. Well, maybe not, but I was thrilled.
These tracks serve as the first taste of what happened when Blind Marky Felchtone (vox/guitar) and Donny Paycheck (drums) reunited and hit the studio with Jason Freeman (bass) and Jeff Hiatt (guitar), both of whom had been part of Zeke before and returned for the album “Ride Hard, Ride Free.” With a title like that, you can only imagine the sonic assault that awaits, and Zeke does not disappoint.
“Smokestack Lightnin'” the b-side starts with a ridiculously filthy sound. The guitars roar with a raw intensity, backed by thunderous drumming and a pulsating bassline. The energy is relentless, and Zeke’s signature brand of high-octane punk rock is as potent as ever.
“Ride On Ride Free” is not available on streaming services. But that’s just another way Zeke asserts their presence and reminds us that they are back, baby. It’s a statement of intent that this band means business, and they are the kings of the underground