Introducing: Maintain Mainframe

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“In the year 3046 a robot searches for the Alpha Key to unlock a cryptic sequence of code” – as far as back stories go, Maintain Mainframe’s is pretty different.

Unusual as it may be, it is pretty apt as this peculiar music outfit treat us to an unusual retro-futuristic fusion of classic rock, synth & psych pop and indie/alt-rock, strewn with science fiction influences. And aside from the imaginative sci-fi backstory, that’s the tale of their self-titled debut record.

Most recent single ‘The Mirror’ opens with a pastoral sounding strum and hushed vocals, before making way for a series of gritty riffs as it swaggers along a danceable groove., that sounds wonderfully gritty, dark and edgy. Similarly danceable is ‘Dreamphase’. Engulfed in layers of fuzz and eerie and menacing tones, muscular guitars and buzzing riffs up the intensity and ferocity, while propelled along an irresistible rhythmic groove and some sparkling retro-futuristic synth work. Meanwhile, ‘I Am A Robot’ channels the sound of The Flaming Lips for a colorful, melody filled and spaced-out spectacle.

This is without a shadow of a doubt, one of the colourful and imaginative creations for sometime. Combining everything from psych-pop, rock, electronica, krautrock and more, they do so with a supreme potency and in full Technicolor.

You can check out some choice cuts below, I assure you I’m not spoofing and you can listen to their debut album here.

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Introducing: Plain Zebra

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Plain Zebra are Derry six-piece – Vadim Zeberg (Vocals, Harmonica & Accordion), Graham Baldrick (Guitars & Vocals), Mick McCafferty (Bass & Vocals), Caolán McLaughlin (Keys & Vocals), Jason Feenan (Drums) & Aaron Mc Callion (Percussion) – who deal in brilliant bluesy/folky rock ‘n roll flavours.

‘In The Town’ sets out their stall, revolving around some stomping bluesy beats, licks a la The Black Keys with some sweet, sweet backing harmonies and some ‘Superstition-esque’ bass notes. Let’s get this clear; after the opening 10-15 seconds, these guys mean business. ‘Brickland’ continues with the bluesy-rock vibe, with an added element of mildly dubby tones, we’re left with another sublime piece of work. If you dig licks, riffs and stomping grooves, well then Derry six-piece Plain Zebra don’t disappoint. Top stuff indeed.

You can check out ‘In The Town’ & ‘Brickland’ below, and if that’s too your liking, there’s more where that came from here.

Introducing: Castle Pines

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While their name brings to mind a North American shopping mall or uppity housing development, Castle Pines are in fact an alt-indie-rock foursome.

Comprised of Leandro Barrientos (Guitar & Vox), Sterling Fairfield (Drums), Jesse Briseno (Bass) & Ricky Garvey (Guitar), the Corona, CA quartet excel with mature songwriting and heartfelt indie-rock that pays homage to the sounds it is born from, but remains very current and in the present. They’re gearing up to release their second record soon and offered us some inciting tasters ahead of time. As its name alludes, ‘1996’ is a nostalgic ode of sorts, a melancholic throwback to youth and growing up. Its a highly melodic and emotive alt-rock anthem, shifting through a calm and re-collective subtleness to a loud and yearning outro. A contrast of chaos and calm, especially the snarling vocals around the halfway mark, and toward the end. ‘Stone Wall’ rockin’, rollin’ and stompin’ swamp rock indebted doozy, that bubbles and fizzes with vitality as wails above.

Check out ‘1996’ & ‘Stone Wall’ below – two decidedly exciting jams:

Introducing: The Psychic Alliance

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The Psychic Alliance are a Canadian band, based out of Vancouver, who excite and enthral with their fuzzy west coast psych.

The Vancouver outfit recently released their third LP, Evil Against Evil – blending psych with stomping sixties garage, b-movie horror tones and touches of The Stooges, MC5, Black Sabbath, Ray Davies & Bowie. Offering a favour of their heady brew is ‘No Fixed Address'; a blistering ’60s garage stormer filled with swinging guitars, scintillating riffs, frenetic organ and percussion; and all delivered with a ‘we-mean-business’ attitude. ‘Yesteryear’ is also full of psychedelic endeavour but offers a more melodic take on their West Coast psych. The organ work is still the driving force, and joined by jazzy drums, spooky feedback and guitar licks a plenty. ‘Yesteryear’ like ‘No Fixed Address’ – something of a feature on their new LP – is prone to full-on psych freak-out at any moment, with a healthy dose of the macabre but with an underlying playfulness or wry humour.

To get a flavour of what The Psychic Alliance are all about, you can listen to ‘Yesteryear’ & ‘No Fixed Address’ below.

Their new record Evil Against Evil is available here.

Candice Gordon Announces Debut Album; Shares ‘Nobody’

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Berlin-based, Dublin-raised Candice Gordon is set to release her debut full length album Garden of Beasts on the 9th of September 2017 via Proper Octopus Records.

Gordon has featured on here numerous times over the years, with a series of glorious gothic-tinged singles and EPs, so it’s great to learn that an album is finally ready for release. Garden of Beasts is produced by labelmate A.S. Fanning, and mixed by Ingo Krauss (Swans, Iggy and the Stooges), and preceded by ‘Nobody’. The album is inspired by moving to Berlin and observing the very dark and heavy history that is visible and inescapable everywhere in the city, and as such, it is now surprise that the lead single is a gloriously gothic-tinged thunderbolt of punk and garage. With a stomping rhythm, ‘Nobody’ explores a richly dark sonic landscape, with which Gordon’s powerful voice routinely pierces in flourishes, continuously and potently driving the song’s momentum forward. Exceptional. We’ve been waiting for this album for quite sometime but so far, it looks like it has been worth the wait.

Tune in to ‘Nobody’ below & keep your eyes peeled for the LP in September.