Total Rubbish – ‘Honey Ryder’

Total Rubbish are Philadelphia-based garage rock trio – Bre Steinfeldt (bass), Cass Nguyen (guitar) and Kiki Schiller (drums) – who will be releasing their debut EP, Triple Negative, soon and have introduced it, and their wares, with phenomenal single ‘Honey Ryder’.

While taking their cue from 90s alt-rock and grunge, on the evidence of ‘Honey Ryder’ there are 60s psych brustrokes and echoes of shoegaze at play too. It stomps and swaggers out of the blocks with distorted guitar, buzzing meaty riff and scorching lick cutting through a wall of fuzz and distortion as we tread carefully along a steady, solid beat with the hypnotic hushed vocals floating above. With ‘Honey Ryder’ the inappropriately named Total Rubbish have eked out a perfect balance with powerful, brute force and ear for melody, coexisting in a sea of dense atmospheric tones and swirling riffs.

Listen to ‘Honey Ryder’ below now and Triple Negative is out on November 20th via Born Losers Records

Mofer – ‘Across the Border’

Mofer are a German post-punk trio with a penchant for rough, raw and immediate sounds rooted in 80s and 90s indie and post punk vein.

The trio’s latest single ‘Across the Border’ is a perfect encapsulation of their sound. A bit indie, a bit post-punk, a bit alt-rock and a bit rough around the edge it – this coarseness is not to be confused with lacking skill. The gritty raw materials of slant-edged rhythms, chugging riffs and distortion provide a perfect vehicle for the sullen yet reflective vocals. It is a compelling jam filled with menace, noise and melancholy, and also ear pleasing melodies.

Listen to ‘Across the Border’ below:

Bee Bee Sea – ‘Gonna Get Me’

Italian garage-psych trio Bee Bee Sea specialize in loud, propulsive and guitar-driven psych infused garage rock stompers – something patently clear from their latest single ‘Gonna Get Me’, taken from their upcoming new album ‘Day Ripper’ which is due on October 9 via Wild Honey Records.

Following along the same lines as previous single ‘Daily Jobs’, new one ‘Gonna Get Me’ is a wildly addictive blast of scuzzy, hyperactive and incredibly catchy garage rock. The Italian trio combine their trademark upbeat, frantic and frenzied tempo with sunny vibes, cheery melodies and huge hooks; all bathed in a haze of warm fuzz and distortion. This is, like ; ‘Daily Jobs’ before it, hugely addictive stuff – but the kind of addiction that leaves you better for it.

Tune in to ‘Gonna Get Me’ below:

Slim Tin Fox – ‘Feed Me’

We were introduced to Slim Tin Fox‘s energetic and no nonsense rock ‘n’ roll with ‘Molly’ toward the end of last year and the Dublin-based foursome are back with double a-side ‘Feed Me’ & ‘Hometown Blues’.

‘Feed Me’ continues in the same vein as before; it is a thrilling blend of indie, rock, blues, garage, post-punk and punk. Vocals snarl, delivered with a rasp while brash and muscular rhythm rumbles below a deluge of meaty riffs, guitars and feedback. It is powerful, all-action jam delivered with a swagger and an ear for a hooky tune. All this is just a long winded way of saying this foursome from Dublin have come up with yet another thrilling tune.

Listen to ‘Feed Me’ below now:

AfriCali – ‘Daughters of the Sun’

AfriCali is a California-based musical collective embracing a broad base of influences as evidenced by their work to date; a journey of musical exploration and fusion of sounds.

Their latest single ‘Daughters of the Sun’, and indeed the album in which it is lifted from Taught Of A Culture captures the very essence of what Africali and their sound is all about. It is a jazzy and soulful cut with a funky base-line that swaggers along a seductive groove and soft beats while guitars twang amid the sun-kissed shimmering feedback. A genre-hopping jam mixing up afrobeat, rock, pop, and hip-hop and topped with coastal-psych seasoning and catchy melodies. A superb, seductive and sunny groover – tune in below.

Listen to ‘Daughters of the Sun’ below and if that is to your liking, check the album here.

LØE – ‘People Have The Power’

LØE are a UK based alternative-rock outfit who’s raison d’etre is weaving speech and music to create a reflection of our times, and to capture and reflect triumph, heroism, anguish and struggle throughout society.

On their debut single ‘People Have The Power’ they marshal all their might to craft an artful and powerfully evocative mix of post-rock, post-punk and krautrock, with a hint of instrumental hip hop and electronica. It is an epic and electrifying powerhouse that opens with a relative whisper as John Lennon speech flutters through a cinematic air, twinkly synth and glistening guitars line before exploding into a riff fueled frenzy – riffs roar, guitars crunch and drums bang as it ebbs and flows with power and a deft touch of elegance. It is a stunning jam that captivates from the first note to the rousing and explosive concluding climax of thundering drums and serrated, buzzsaw riffs. A mighty, riotous and epic debut – an absolute must listen.

Check out ‘People Have The Power’ below:

Ex Norwegian – ‘Jove Was At Home’

Miami Beach psych-rockers Ex Norwegian are spending their 2020 releasing new music almost every Friday, mostly obscure covers of favourites, like this one from Irish psych-folk troupe Dr. Strangely Strange’s 1971 track ‘Jove Was At Home’

The original, a gentle, playful and pristine psych-folk jaunt is afforded an electric make-over into a psych stomper. While retaining the sweetness and melody of the original, this re-imagining it saunters along a swaggering groove and stomping beat amid a heady haze of warm fuzz and distortion as guitars buzz, riffs fizz and fuzz with hazy, nonchalant vocals loom large in the background. A superb and very easy on the ear tune, this is one of the more unusual things to cross my path recently but a welcome one at that. I had the pleasure of seeing Dr. Strangely Strange live a few years back (on my Dad’s recommendation who is a big fan) and they were really enjoyable. 

Listen to Ex Norwegian do Dr. Strangely Strange and ‘Jove Was At Home’ below:



The Whags – ‘Fraction Of’

The Whags are a Seattle-based five piece whose sound is a joyous amalgam of indie, psych, funk and soulful Americana with rich vocal harmonies and a deep seductive grooves.

‘Fraction Of’ is the first in a series of singles set for 2020, and is the perfect distillation of their sound. It is a deep grooving and swaggering slice of soulful pop the slowly unfurls into a beautifully bright, breezy and wholly optimistic jam. Everything feels big and bright as soaring choruses, lush harmonies and sweet licks are peppered with an uplifting air shimmering tones while the lilting, soul-filled vocals roll across the top.This a heavenly jam dripping with melody and lavishly coated with lush harmonies as it swells to enraptured bouts of euphoria. This an absolute joy, a treasure in fact and food for the soul.

Tune in to the wondrous sounds of ‘Fraction Of’ below:

The Wants – ‘Container’

The Wants are a NYC trio whose gloomy, propulsive post-punk resides on the darker side of life as post-punk, new-wave, techno/dance and industrial collide.

The Wants began life when drummer Jason Gates and Velding-VanDam met in New York in 2014, but became fully formed while VanDam and Elle were working together under the Bodega moniker years later. Finding a common passion for electronic music, the trio began writing together, and debut album Container is the result of this collaboration. Released earlier in March, it is fronted by lead single and title track which perfectly captures the essence of their sound. ‘Container’ is gritty, thrashy and dark post-punk fare, loaded with a menacing air and anxious noise, and gripped by the dead-pan delivery from VanDam. This gripping sense of foreboding chimes perfectly with the insistent, nagging bassline,  increasingly manic, winding guitar and metronomic drumbeat which underpins this dark and gloomy but utterly captivating post-punk monster.

Listen to ‘Container’ below and if that is to your liking, why not try the album here.

Guest Post: Johnny Feeney’s Albums of 2019

Aside from compiling my own lists, I really enjoy looking over other people’s albums of the year rundowns and none more so than Mr. Johnny Feeney.

An insightful musical sage, Johnny’s guest appearances are always interesting and bring added flavour to the blog and I look forward to reading his contributions – of which, surely I’m not alone?

Yes, we’re a bit late with this one but sure better late than never, right?

A huge thanks to Johnny for taking time out to compile this list, and on that note, I’ll leave you with his favourite records of 2019.

10: DIIV – ‘Deceiver’

Following up 2016’s supreme Is the Is Are, Brooklyn shoegaze quartet DIIV’s third album Deceiver draws obvious comparisons to My Bloody Valentine with its multiple layers of shimmering, squalling guitars and lead singer Zachary Cole Smith’s dreamy vocals. Expect plenty of loud / quiet / loud moments on this dazzling return.

Listen in full here.

09: Hot Chip – ‘A Bath Full of Ecstasy’

Although their newer material has perhaps lost some of the menace of their early output, ultra-consistent Hot Chip prove they are still adept at releasing dance-pop of the highest calibre. A perfect antidote to the grim global political and environmental situation we find ourselves in today, I challenge anyone to listen to the likes of ‘Positive’ or ‘Melody of Love’ and not feel a wave of joy wash over you.

Listen in full here.

08: Black Midi – ‘Schlagenheim’

The Mercury-nominated debut album from this four-piece experimental-rock band hailing from London is definitely not going to be to everyone’s taste. From the brutal opening salvo of ‘953’ to the wonderful closer ‘Ducter’, this relentless record is one that never lets go. A highly ambitious record, understandably it doesn’t always quite come together. But when it does hit the mark it’s absolutely thrilling. Improvised mayhem never sounded so good.

Listen in full here.

07: Marika Hackman – ‘Any Human Friend’

The latest LP from Marika Hackman certainly has a much more pop-leaning sound than her early fans would expect from the English singer-songwriter. Hackman’s usual vocals and guitar lines are regularly joined by jaunty synths to create upbeat tunes merged with deeply personal lyrics exploring themes such as same-sex relationships (‘All Night’) and masturbation (‘Hand Solo’). The jaw-dropping title track that closes the album is beyond staggering.

Listen in full here.

06: Drahla – ‘Useless Coordinates’

This bludgeoning debut record from Leeds post-punk outfit Drahla comes with driving guitars, a pummelling rhythm section, and Luciel Brown’s breathy vocals. Viciously, skewed saxophones add to the overall sombre atmosphere. Clocking in at a breathless half an hour, Useless Coordinates starts off dark and doesn’t veer off course once.

Listen in full here.


05: Mattiel – ‘Satis Factory’

The highly accomplished second album from the Atlanta-based singer-songwriter prominently features Mattiel Brown’s distinctive, booming vocals and some delightful, grooving and soulful blues-rock. Brown has an uncanny ability to create expertly crafted sub three-minute rock songs with an infectious hook. A very impressive piece of work.

Listen in full here.

04: The Murder Capital – ‘When I Have Fears’

The superb debut album from the Dublin post-punk five-piece is a moody, atmospheric affair. Brooding, menacing guitars and percussion are paired to pulsating effect with the haunting, angst-ridden vocals of lead singer James McGovern. A formidable live act, the group’s sound has been captured masterfully on record by UK producer Flood. Along with Fontaines DC and Girl Band, the Murder Capital are at the forefront of an exciting wave of great new Irish rock bands.

Listen in full here.

03: Aldous Harding – ‘Designer’

New Zealand folk artist Aldous Harding’s third studio album is the epitome of easy listening – nine tracks of blissful, exquisitely arranged songs. Harding’s tender vocals are accompanied by multiple layers of instrumentation and backing vocals to devastating effect throughout. A gorgeous album that gets better with every listen.

Listen in full here.

02: Vampire Weekend – ‘Father of the Bride’

After a six year hiatus and losing a key member in multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij back in 2016, Vampire Weekend fans could be forgiven for worrying if maybe this was the beginning of the end for the New York indie-poppers. Instead Ezra Koenig re-emerged with an exceptionally strong set of tracks, enlisting the help of the likes of Danielle Haim on vocals and guitarist Steve Lacy. The result is an immensely enjoyable, if overlong, album.

Listen in full here.

01: Fontaines DC – ‘Dogrel’

The eagerly awaited debut of Dublin punk rock quintet Fontaines DC delivers emphatically on every level. An extremely diverse and lyrical record, lead singer Grian Chatten’s miniature vignettes of Dublin City are accompanied by an ever-changing soundtrack from the rest of the group. From the piledriving punk of ‘Chequeless Reckless’ and ‘Hurricane Laughter’ to the jangling stomp of ‘Sha Sha Sha’ and ‘Boys in the Better Land’ via the tender ‘Roy’s Song’ and ‘Dublin City Sky’, not a single foot has been put in the wrong place. In a new Golden Age of Irish guitar music, it’s the Fontaines DC’s star who’s shining brightest at the moment.

Listen in full here.