E.P. Review: Furrowed Brow – Dead Dead Dead Still Digging

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Artist: Furrowed Brow

EP: Dead Dead Dead Still Digging

Genre: Post-Punk/Art Rock/Indie Rock

Label: Notes From Underground

Rating: 8/10

With an infinite supply of wit and a deliciously sardonic sense of humor, Manchester band “Furrowed Brow” have given us their debut E.P. Dead Dead Dead Still Digging. Is this a gift, or a curse? Well, are you fluent in sarcasm? Can you handle lyrical content expressed from the point of view of someone who is being both cynical and ironically hopeful while they lay the absurdity of us humans flat out on the table? Can you handle the idea that the listener, myself included might completely misinterpret their music while the meaning goes over our witless heads? Can you handle the idea that you might delve too far into the lyrical content to decipher meanings that might not even be there? If this is confusing to you, then I can assume you’re not interested. Carry on. If an unclassifiable combination of Punk with glamour, a brazen humor, colorful synths that evoke the spirit of bands such as Magazine or Live at the Witch Trials era The Fall, strong Manchester lingo, and a vocal delivery glamorously rambled like Mark E. Smith with glitter, then this is an album for you. This music has no boundaries, and yet, it’s not shock for shock’s sake. There is a method to their madness. There is a reason why they made a track like “Killed Myself and the Kids” so damn catchy to the point where it’ll have you walking around singing along to the chorus for days while people raise their eyebrows at you, (I wouldn’t recommend doing that) and it’s up to you to find the reasons why. As for me, I see them as a fearless and refreshing band that brings a relentless bite back to Rock & Roll. A band as intelligent as they are appreciative in comedy while they analyze the human condition in a cleverly satirical way instead of waving their fingers at us. They’re classy, but not afraid to rough us up a bit, and that’s a juxtaposition you don’t usually see in contemporary music. I’m excited, but I also feel a little insulted, and I love it.

Written By: Steven Sandoval

https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/furrowedbrow/dead-dead-dead-still-digging

Ganser Share New Song “Bags For Life”

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We still have to wait a couple of months before we’ll finally be able to hear the new “Ganser” album Just Look At That Sky, but today the band have released another taste of their upcoming album and it’s the closing track titled “Bags For Life.” About the song, the band have stated “It’s about how strange the end of the world would be on the internet.” Name a theme more fitting right now. Ganser’s new album Just Look At That Sky will be released on July 31st via “Felte.” You can listen to “Bags For Life” below:

E.P. Review: Mazmere – MBJDEBNRBM

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Artist: Mazmere

EP: MBJDEBNRBM

Genre: Indie Rock/Post-Punk/Noise Rock

Label: Self-released

Rating: 8/10

It’s hard speaking about mental illness sometimes. The fear of alienation from others is something that plagues your mind when dealing with a mental illness. That along with overwhelming feelings of self-doubt, self-hatred, nihilism, depression, and existentialism are all things that can prevent someone from letting people in, but one creative outlet to exorcise your demons is music, and Bristol UK based band “Mazmere” most definitely face the cycles of mental illness head-on with no compromise on their new E.P. MBJDEBNRBM. This music is pure raw energy with manically noisy instrumentation that perfectly reflects lead singer Jake Sinetos’ deep dive into the darker parts of the human mind. You know, the parts you try to ignore and distract yourself from with whatever form of escapism you fancy. This music can be ugly, but I mean that in the kindest way possible, because ugly music isn’t always a bad thing, in fact there is much beauty to find in macabre art. The beauty in this E.P. is found in its fearless lyrical content that instead of coming off sounding like a motivational speech, tackles the complexities of your inner-voice that isn’t always so optimistic. That in itself is uplifting, because once you embrace your demons and continue to fight them, you can seriously take on anything, and the representation of that through this music is exhausting yet liberating. This is most prominently expressed on the track “Skeletons.” “This house is full of medicine that gives you no cure. You’re bouncing off the walls again. You’re twisted with fear. Fear of yourself is worse than what is real, so find your demon, and cut him a deal” sings Sinetos. This is the albums biggest tearjerker as our protagonist gives us a tour of this cycle in his mind, a cycle that isn’t for the faint of heart, but is necessary to understand those less mentally fortunate. Once this track erupts with its musical climax, it’s hard not to feel like you’re floating as your demons either begin to decay, or ride with you. It all depends on your interpretation. Without sounding too inaccessible, this E.P. is brutally honest, and that’s something we should all strive to explore in music.

Written By: Steven Sandoval

https://mazmere.bandcamp.com/releases

 

 

 

Track Review: YNYS – Aros Am Byth

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Artist: YNYS

Song: Aros Am Byth

Genre: Indie Pop/Psych-Pop

Label: Libertino Records

Welsh artist Dylan Hughes under his “YNYS” project makes the kind of dreamy music that takes you on a meditative journey with a juxtaposition of sunny day “Indie Pop” and night time melancholy. His new single “Aros Am Byth” is no exception, but this time around he incorporates 70’s Italian Disco synths to create a lush tune that is as attention grabbing as it is humble. Instead of going full-on Disco, Hughes utilizes these synths to fit his distinct musical world he has created, and my does he pull off this sound well. About the track Hughes has stated “The vibe I was trying to get was Jeff Lynne taking over the studio after being at a Tame Impala listening party.” Well, mission accomplished because this sounds like an “Electric Light Orchestra” ballad from an alternate universe or “Tame Impala’s” younger brother, and it’s modern enough to not sound too anachronistic. It’s both a fun and tender tune.

Written By: Steven Sandoval

 

 

Track Review: The Earflower Experiment – Emerge (feat. Aman Saxena)

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Artist: The Earflower Experiment

Song: Emerge (feat. Aman Saxena)

Genre: Alternative Rock/Psychedelic Rock/Indie Rock

Label: Self-released

New Delhi artist Astaaq Ahmed has proven himself to be an imaginative visionary with his project “The Earflower Experiment.” His music tells a story while he instrumentally delves into a myriad of genres that maintains his Psychedelic Folk style but isn’t limited as he incorporates clever production techniques and sound design. His new track “Emerge” featuring producer Aman Saxena solidifies his talent. On this track he metaphorically sings from the perspective of someone escaping an ocean as he nearly drowns, and this symbolizes getting out of a toxic relationship. While he sings over melancholy acoustic guitar, we hear waves and splashes from this metaphorical ocean as the track builds into a feeling of being reborn as he is now free. The track then smoothly transitions into a guitar lead final act that can be compared to a band like “Pink Floyd” as the Psychedelia makes itself more prominent and closes the book of this beautifully sentimental story. This is Ahmed at his most vulnerable, and yet he embraces the negative aspects of this relationship embedded in toxicity to recognize his self-worth. This is thoughtful music at its best.

Written By: Steven Sandoval

 

 

 

E.P. Review: Blue Orchid Reaction – Four Chord Theory

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Artist: Blue Orchid Reaction

EP: Four Chord Theory

Genre: Indie Rock/Post-Punk

Label: Self-released

Rating: 7/10

It’s rare when a band can capture the live experience in the studio. Four-piece band “Blue Orchid Reaction” have done it in a way that seems effortlessly on their new E.P. Four Chord Theory, but there is nothing half-assed about their music whatsoever, because the attention to structure and clean production is proof that the band ain’t screwing around. Four Chord Theory is a fitting title, because these songs are instrumentally simplistic, evoking the spirit of minimal “Indie Rock” and even “Post-Punk” that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Senses Working Overtime compilation, but the way these songs flow, the drive, and the passion are all complex. Not one beat or note is wasted as the band deliver a well thought out interplay with an ever-changing structure that never strays into patience testing repetition, and like I mentioned earlier, these are songs that you can just hear live. I mean, I dare you to not clap along to the track “Beta Makeup,” a Punk-driven track that was born to be played live, and considering our situation at the moment, not knowing when we’ll be able to see live bands again, music that gives you the illusion that you’re experiencing live music is just what us concert fiends need. This E.P. does feel like a tease, because the short length leaves you wanting more. It’s almost as if the band are cooking up something even better than the solid material they’ve given us so far, and i’m ready to hear it. Let’s see what you got next guys. No pressure.

Written By: Steven Sandoval

 

 

E.P. Review: Hotel Lux – Barstool Preaching

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Artist: Hotel Lux

EP: Barstool Preaching

Genre: Post-Punk/Indie Rock

Label: Nice Swan Records

Rating: 8/10

Barstool Preaching is an appropriate title for Hotel Lux’s new E.P. It’s hard not to picture yourself at the nearest pub as your vision begins to blur after beer after beer while you bullshit the night away with your pals. These songs are beer-soaked, but they’re more intelligent than belligerent, as the tales of cynicism, self-deprecation, and introspection are told with lyrical sharpness rich in wit, dark humor, and honesty. Lead singer Lewis Duffin’s gruff voice channels the raw spirit of early Post-Punk, and instrumentally these tracks are impeccably produced with the band perfecting the finest sounds Post-Punk and Britpop have to offer. It’s hard not to see yourself in these songs. Don’t we all at some point bend the truth just to get our point across or display ourselves as something we’re not? Duffin cleverly compares this reality to a tabloid newspaper on the opening track, and a similar subject appears on the track “Loneliness of the Stage Performer,” where the song is sung from the perspective of a singer who has created a fictional version of himself to appease the audience, only to come to the realization that he doesn’t know what the people want at the end of the day. It’s heavy subject matter, but it never loses its darkly comedic tone. The “Pub Rock” style is most present on the track “Eddie’s Gaff,” a song about the days of youth, the days of getting plastered, the days we’d waste our lives away, and like a drunken sing-along the band shouts “wasting our lives away!” in unison. I found myself singing along last night while I was getting drunk and wasting my day amid this social distancing. The track “Charades” sounds like a hangover but turns into a self-aware tune while female vocals beautifully back Duffin’s somber tone on the chorus. The closing track “Ballad of You & I” is a sweet tune with a hint of melancholy with an arrangement of trumpets and organs that wouldn’t sound out of place on a “Blur” record. Though a full album of tongue-in-cheek cynicism might get a little stale, this E.P. leaves you eager to hear a full-length album anyway, and the band most definitely has the talent to grow. Here’s to the future, cheers!

Written By: Steven Sandoval