If you’re looking to add some new favorites into your music collection, the Rowan Radio Rock Department is here to help. They recently reviewed some of the notable new releases in rock.
Guppy by Charly Bliss
If you like indie bands with an upbeat vibe and a female frontman, Charly Bliss is perfect for you. The band is also described as “bubble-grunge” which is the perfect description of this album. It has the perfect pop, rock, indie and slightly grunge sound that really works for them. They have a similar sound to bands like dollys, diet cig, LVL UP, Half Waif and Cherry Glazerr.
Fun fact: their guitarist, Spencer Fox voiced Dash in The Incredibles.
Elf Power – Twitching in Time
This is only classified as Indie Rock because Classic Rock was a certain era that no longer applies to newer songs. If The Beatles or The Who were American, they might sound something like this. Great songs to play on the radio.
Recommended Tracks: Watery Shreds, Sniper in the Balcony, Twitching in Time.
Moonlandingz – Interplanetary Class Classics
These songs are the exact opposite of country songs. Their repetitive and indistinguishable lyrics and lack of story make these a good listen to just pass the time. Probably the type of songs the Rocky Horror Picture Show Transylvanians would listen to, as the songs could be similar but without the lyrical storyline behind them.
Recommended Tracks: Sweet Saturn Mine, Neuf Du Pape, Lufthansa Man
Violents and Monica Martin – Awake and Pretty Much Sober
Laid back and chill, this Indie album almost seems to culminate a story between each song to the next. Some songs are different but the general genre of this CD would fall somewhere between Electric Pop and R&B. The recommended songs would sound great on the radio.
Recommended Tracks: How It Left, Spark, Hue
Meadows – The Only Boy Awake
This cute indie album are the perfect songs to enjoy with a significant other or the thought of one. Any song here could easily be heard in the background of a trailer for a romance movie. A sweet mix of cute, somber, and inspirational, Meadows has written beautiful songs that are great for radio.
Recommended Tracks: The Only Boy Awake, Dream of You, To Hear You Talk
Alvarez Kings – Somewhere Between
Alvarez Kings’ debut album, Somewhere Between, isn’t necessarily special. The music is catchy enough and the electronic background instrumentation is neat. If you’re into poppy electronica music, I’m sure you’ll dig most of this album.
Recommended Tracks: Cold Conscience, Postcards from Berlin, Fear to Feel
The Afghan Whigs – In Spades
Overall tolerable, however, artwork was far better than the actual content of this release. Lyrics were relatively pretentious and sometimes barely audible (not in a good way, like Mazzy Star or Slowdive).
Instrumentation was forgettable, but sometimes quaint and creative. Mostly calm vibes.
Recommended Tracks: Demon in Profile, Oriel, Copernicus
Sounds like: Radiohead and Imagine Dragons (but that’s stretching it)
The Courtneys – II
The Courtneys give me a lot of mixed feelings. Their songs are all very upbeat with peppy music in the background. The vocals go against that and are very flat and monotone and punk rock inspired. The songs are simple, with the same chords and beats repeating throughout the entire song. There are not any noticeable shifts in the rhythm or key of the song, making most of the songs in general not very entertaining to listen to or interesting to the ears.
But I don’t hate The Courtneys, and I think that how bare bones and monotone they are become a part of their charm and what makes them likable since it is intentional.
Sounds Like: The Go-Gos
Recommended Songs: Tour, 25, Iron Deficiency
The Regrettes – Feel Your Feelings Fool!
This debut album of the L.A. punk rock girl band is no disappointment. They have the same feel of the 90s Riot Grrrl movement intertwined with some tasteful melodies.
Their lyrics explore a variety of relatable topics for female listeners and have catchy hooks that intrigues listeners. Despite the gritty nature behind the style of music, it has been produced well and has a cleaned up sound to it.
It’s not necessarily for everyone, but if you’re a fan of feminist rock music or Riot Grrrl music then definitely check this out!
Sounds Like: Tacocat, Bleached, Cherry Glazerr
Recommended Tracks: I Don’t Like You, A Living Human Girl, ‘Til Tomorrow, Lacy Loo
Various Artists – Bob’s Burgers Music Album
This was the most interesting, entertaining and hysterical album that I have listened to.
There are 112 “songs” split on two discs but the thing is, they’re not all songs. About 95% of the album has songs less than 1 1/2 minutes long and most of them would be good for production purposes.
There are some short songs that might be fun to play during the holidays (like “It’s Thanksgiving for Everyone” and “It’s Valentine’s Day,” both on disc 2) but aren’t long in length. Majority of the songs are clean in the sense that they don’t curse but there are songs that are really tongue in cheek.
Number 37, “Electric Love”
Number 52, “We Won the Talent”
Number 63, “Bad Things Are Bad”
Number 1, “Die Hard / Working Girl Musical Medley”
Number 2, “Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl”
Number 24, “I Love You So Much (It’s Scary)”
– Geneva Gerwitz
Mac DeMarco – This Old Dog
Being DeMarco’s eighth studio release, you’d think that the “chill”, indie style of his would go stale.
But that couldn’t be any further from the truth. Each song touches on a different style, but manages to all stay in the same Beatles-esque vein. DeMarco’s voice sounds straight out of the 60s rock era, with a modern edge to his lyrical subject.
The opening track “My Old Man” sets the stage for an album that really sets itself in its own setting through his story telling. This album is tailor made for long car rides on sunny days.
Sounds Like: King Krule, Real Estate
Recommended Tracks: This Old Dog, Still Beating, One More Love Song, Watching Him Fade Away
He Is Legend – Few
He is Legend can be described with one word! Addicting! The Album dubbed “Few” is vast in mesmerizing guitar riffs and chill vibes all around. The album starts off pretty slow though, but the album makes up for this once you get to track 4. From there, the tempo picks up a bit.
Both songs tie into each other much like Heartbreaker and Livin Lovin Maid by Led Zeppelin. Either way play the hell out of this album!
Recommended Tracks: Silent Gold, Call Ins, Eastern Locust
The Black Lips – Satan’s graffiti or God’s art?
The Black Lips album, “Satans Graffiti, or is it just Gods Art”, was something to behold indeed. The track list on back is misleading so don’t use it. Use the track list in the album booklet instead. Their sound was very hard to describe due to how often they would jump all over the place. If anything, this is an Alternative Swing Bang if there ever was one. Every song was groovy to listen to and definitely got you in a good vibe.
Recommended Tracks: Can’t Hold On, Interlude: Got Me All Alone, Rebel Intuition, We Know
The Bayonents – CRASH BOOM BANG
This is definitely something to listen to this summer. Brian Ray, the guitarist and lead vocalist, is known for his talents playing for Paul McCartney.
These guys are the closest we will ever get to a modern Beatles band.
All tracks are clean and more importantly, every track will rock your socks off! Pick one and play it, or listen to them all. This album would be a perfect summer road trip album for sure
Body Count – Black Hoodie
Only 2 playable songs, 5 & 8. “Raining In Blood / Postmortem 2017” is just a cover of Slayers “Raining Blood” with a little something extra in the end, as far as covers go it’s not terrible. “Here I Go Again” is the better of the two playable songs by far. It’s got a really cool mix of heavy metal and rap, kinda sounds like Suicidal Tendencies. Ice – T is definitely a metal head.
The Blaze – Territory
The album is focusing on the music and the songs have great beats. all have great beats to them, but the lyrics were very hard to understand because the lyrics sounded like they were distorted. Although the songs were great, they all had the same upbeat, club-music-sound to them, which got boring after the 4th track. The two tracks, “Prelude” and “Interlude”, are very short and doesn’t sound like the rest of the upbeat album. I enjoyed the album, but would like to see the band change up their sound, instead of having the same beat in almost every song.
Recommended Tracks: Territory, Virile, Juvenile, Sparks and Ashes