The Spiral Electric – ‘A Descent Into the Maelstrom’

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The Spiral Electric are a psychedelic rock band from San Francisco, who’s sound is built upon a number of key ingredients; one part soaring melody, one part face-melting guitar, one part orbiting synth, one part incessant danceable groove and a heavy dose of west coast psychedelia.

Equal parts heavy and dreamy, ‘A Descent Into the Maelstrom’ is the second single from The Spiral Electric’s forthcoming double-LP. It is a song of gargantuan proportions. It is six minutes plus of pummeling drums, bludgeoning riffs and feedback that swell and engulf all in their wake before crashing down, bringing a wave of peace that allows space for the drowsy vocals and more dreamy, somber and mournful moments that suggests a masterful kind of efficient simplicity. With either side of ‘A Descent Into the Maelstrom’ – heavy or dreamy – they provide enough room between sounds to allow for an explosion of expression, musically and melodically. The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Black Angels and Dead Meadow influences loom large here, and that ain’t a bad thing. ‘A Descent Into the Maelstrom’ certainly suggests positive things for the new album and are a worthy addition to the shoegaze and stoner rock canon.

You can listen to ‘A Descent Into the Maelstrom’ below.

Bad Sav – ‘Hens Teeth’

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Bad Sav are New Zealand droning shoegaze noisemakers comprised of Death And The Maiden guitarist/vocalist Hope Robertson and bassist/vocalist Lucinda King, plus Shifting Sands’ Mike McLeod on drums.

The trio’s self-titled album was released toward the end of September and it is a bright, shimmering album right from the get go, as Bad Sav proceed to explore the worlds of ‘90s indie rock, shoegaze, psychedelic noise-rock and dream pop that is full of youthful yearning and glistening guitar lines. Their electrifying, sonic alchemy, bursting with colossal, majestic, melodic noise is conjured up no better than on new single ‘Hens Teeth’. A melodic guitar-heavy beast, it is propelled by a ferocious, surging energy and chugging rhythms, all cloaked in fuzz and distortion. While the whimsical and lethargic vocals are splattered with melancholy, the choruses are brimming with euphoria, and the huge hooks and crunching guitar horsepower seal the deal.

In case you were ever in any doubt, Bad Sav prove there’s still a thrill and a power in a trio playing guitar, bass and drums.

Tune into ‘Hens Teeth’ below and if that is to your liking, their self-titled album is available here.

The Magic Es – ‘Fine Lines’

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Since their formation in 2014, Norwich-based trio The Magic Es set themselves an enviable quest, namely to create “original rock ‘n’ roll reminiscent of a time when guitar pop dominated the charts and the terraces”.

So far, in releasing a debut LP and a string of super singles, they have proven more than adept in brewing upbeat bursts of melodic, infectious indie that sticks like glue – something the trio’s latest single ‘Fine Lines’ demonstrates in abundance. It is a britpop era indebted indie rocker bursting with melody and infectious energy. With nods to ’60s pop too, it is supremely catchy, melodic and anthemic as guitars twang and shimmer, as all roads lead to a memorable, rousing chorus. Quite reminiscent of Shack, ‘Fine Lines’ is just very easy on the ear and you know what, sometimes that is quite enough.

You can listen to ‘Fine Lines’ below:

False Heads – ‘Yellow’

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Over the course of the past two years, London trio False Heads – singer and guitarist Luke Griffiths, bassist Jake Elliott and drummer Barney Nash – have marked themselves as noisemakers supreme.

In that time the trio have been unleashing their blistering grunge/punk hybrid with a slew of ferocious singles, the latest of which – and second of 2018 – is ‘Yellow’. The new one is as fierce a proposition as anything they’ve done before. Fueled by an abrasive attitude, a pent up anger is unleashed with a furious intent as searing riffs, meaty buzzsaw guitars and pounding drums unite to form a torrent of devastating noise – a perfect storm for Griffiths’ snarly and venomous vocals. Amid the squall of noise and punchy energy though, there are hooks and there is melody which catch you and don’t let go. A glorious blast of rock ‘n roll.

Listen to ‘Yellow’ below – word of warning, do it loud.

Mattress Food – ‘Burn Yr Idols’

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On the hunt for addictive, fuzzed-up and raspy indie? Look no further than Philadelphia foursome Mattress Food; Sami Rahman, Wallace Gerdy, Paul O’Connell & Adam Figurelle.

Taking their lead from the melodic, anthemic instincts of bands like The Replacements and The Strokes, adding a touch of the melancholy from British pop music a la New Order and The Cure and you’ve kind of got the idea. Their debut single proper is ‘Burn Yr Idols’. Backed by a steady beat, it blazes a trail with addictive riffs cutting through a mire of fuzz as Rahman’s raspy vocals, delivered with grit and attitude, rages against ‘toxic behavior’ (racism, homophobia, toxic masculinity, transphobia, etc.). It’s powerful, angered and defiant – the kind of tune that on playing it, you grow 10 feet tall and swagger down the street like nothing in this world can phase you.

Listen to ‘Burn Yr Idols’ below; a superb opening introduction.

Introducing: Alffa

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Alffa are Dion Wyn Jones & Sion Eifion Land, a two-man riff machine from Llanrug, Wales.

Self-dubbed “punk-blues” two piece Alffa are a force to be reckoned with. Performing in their native Welsh, this pair have a massive sound and craft explosive tunes echoing the likes of The White Stripes, The Black Keys & Royal Blood et al.

Direct. Austere. Little is wasted here. The muscular ‘Creadur’ announces its deafening presence with a ferocious guitar riff, followed by the thunderous and propulsive drum beat with searing, hard-hitting vocals. This is a thundering three-minutes of gritty rock ‘n roll as one indestructible riff crashes into the equally mammoth percussion as the irresistible and tuneful nature of the chorus just seeps into your brain. Alffa’s other offering, ‘Tomos Rhys’ proffers a slightly different side to their punk-blues explosion. Equally hard-edged, it opens with a stomping slow-paced blues vibe struts its stuff amid bursts of riffs and crashing drums before succumbing to mammoth noise making mayhem of ‘Creadur’. Dazzling and brilliant; this is mighty stuff.

You can check out ‘Creadur’ and ‘Tomos Rhys’ below – just a suggestion, turn it up LOUD.

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YONAKA – ‘Waves’

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Indie-rock colossus YONAKA have released new single ‘Waves’, which is lifted from new EP Teach Me To Fight, out on August 17.

The Brighton foursome – Theresa Jarvis (vocals), George Edwards (guitar), Alex Crosby (bass/keys) and Robert Mason (drums) – have impressed no end over the course of the past year or so, with a steady supply of massive indie-rock anthems. Yonaka have returned all guns blazing, bringing a raucous mix of pounding beats, thundering basslines, wailing guitars, searing riffs and burning synth to create a scintillating backdrop for frontwoman Jarvis’ powerful vocals to burn brightest. Another massive tune from YONAKA – massive!

Listen to ‘Waves’ below and watch out for that EP Teach Me To Fight, is out now.