Alt Rock

Ania debuts razor-sharp single "Tuesdays"

Embracing the riveting rhythms and soul-piercing crunch-chords of alternative rock is Ania’s creed, showcased in the final visual of her 2020 EP Ania in Chains titled “Tuesdays.” Powered by Ania’s slithering guitar riffs and reverb-lathered vocal chorus runs, “Tuesdays” is a sonic style pin that she shows proudly. The track runs at the pace preferred by the Los Angeles singer/songwriter (fast) but flexes wavy interludes that are as pleasant as the rapid rhythms that follow. Ania culminates her EP with the same edge as she began it and prepares for a year filled with promising possibilities. Check out the visual for “Tuesdays” below for a razor-sharp start to the weekend.  - René Cobar

   

Soundhoose charges-up emotions in new single "Psycho"

Soundhoose holds nothing back in its new single “Psycho,” which marches to powered-up fuzzed-out guitars and kickdrum thumps like gut punches. The vocals are rough and rugged, spiking right at the choruses for an anthemic feel that is fitting for the claustrophobic world we currently live in. If getting lost in emotions, frustrations, or the joy of self-realization is the desired end, “Psycho” serves as the right conduit; stream the new single below for a bolt of energy into the weekend. - René Cobar

   

2020 Year In Review: Fiona Silver

Forgive me, dear reader, for I am still willfully stuck in "2020 Year In Review" mode and refuse to believe that 2021 has even begun yet. Not without reason obviously. So let's agree to decree the past week as the messy afterbirth of 2020 and now officially move on to the actual start of 2021 if nobody minds. And let's pray we're not dealing with evil twin years because a conjoined 2020/2021 would no doubt make those creepy twins from the Overlook Hotel look like nothing more than adorable "cousins...identical cousins." And on that note we recommend you listen to "2020," a song released by Fiona Silver near the end of the year, to help us usher it out the door and into oblivion: 

Fittingly for its subject, the song is a blooze-rockin' gutbucket punch to the gut but just think what it's doing for your abs. Fiona's lyrics liken the year just past...whoops I mean about to pass...to a petty thief (maybe a slumlord too judging by imagery in the video) and then to a leather daddy who likes to play rough. It all builds to a frenetic guitar solo and a sound collage of news reports laying out some of the lowlights of the year before thankfully wrapping up with a final rousing chorus.

Speaking of all things fit for a masochist, back in the halcyon days of January 2020 Ms. Silver released what turned out to be an oracular track for January of this year called "Violence" whose lyrics describe abuse and its aftermath ("My sweet Lord, you bring me down / swinging low sweet chariot of sound / violence, I hit the ground [...] will you come and dig me out / six feet under no voice left to shout / pushing daisies I'm home sweet home") but this song comes swaddled in a funky uptown arrangement with a strong Daptone vibe which creates quite the interesting juxtaposition. Check out the live rendition below with full-on horn section and wah-wah pedal in full effect.  

"Violence" could soon also be found on Fiona's Hostage of Love EP released on Valentine's Day appropriately enough. These five songs are plenty enough for our guitarist-songwriter-chanteuse to show off her range--the slow burning title track being one example and the mid-tempo groover "Hot Tears" being another. Now, this may be wishful thinking and at the risk of jinxing it, here's hoping 2021 shows us some of its range soon by getting as far the f*** away from 2020 as humanly and humanely possible. (Jason Lee)

   

Egg Drop Soup: "Eat Snacks and Bleed"

Band Name: Egg Drop Soup

Vital stats: EDS is an inyourface, unapologetic, all-womxn alt-punk trio...preparing for the end of the patriarchy (source: official bio)

Latest release: Five-track “Eat Snacks and Bleed” EP released on Christmas Day, no doubt sending Hallmark movies everywhere scuttling into the shadows and hiding for the rest of the winter

One sentence EP review: EDS have taken their scrappy punk tunes into new territory with injections of doom metal, power pop, and psych rock which should provide listeners with years of immunity to all things lame and oppressive


Two songs & music videos that a generation ago would be all over college radio and 120 Minutes and Alternative Nation and probably would have the band opening for L7 by now: “Hard To Hold On” and the non-EP single “Subdivision”

 

First track of the new EP described in real time in one long run-on sentence: The opening minute of “Rank Heavy Metal Parking Lot” certainly lives up to its name, or maybe it’s more like the sound of rifling through an older brother’s or cool uncle’s record collection: starting with some lighter-waving Eddie-esque Eruptions and soon switching over to some Paranoidish head-banging power chords before settling into a more typical mid-tempo Sabbath stomp, but then when the vocals enter the song goes a little bit sideways into spacey psych-rocklandia with lyrics about hands and eyes and heads and beds shuffled into unlikely configurations ending with a repeated refrain about “waiting a lifetime” and seriously this song is starting to remind me of the Breeders’ “Safari” with its righteous riffage and brief bout of shreddage (Tanya D!) and hypnotic reverb-laden Deal sister harmonizing (a song whose music video is an homage to Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” hmm...) and then finally we’re back to the faster second riff and it’s all done in less than three minutes—all of which reminds me of the brace-faced redhead with the red cup in the actual movie “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” (go out and track down a bootleg copy on VHS if you haven’t seen it already) who says she wants to jump Rob Halford’s bones—purr purr sweetly deluded and extremely wasted feathered redheaded girl—and really when you think about it this song seems like it should be her soundtrack what with its frenzied hormonal drive and addled thoughts and unfulfilled longings, with our hero bravely making her way in the boyzone of the rank heavy metal hesher parking lot on her own terms and with unrestrained agency; I’ll bet that the red cup girl turned out just fine even if it took a lifetime. (Jason Lee)

   

The Dumes invite us to rock on in new single "Ok"

You would not say that there is much of 2020 one should bring into the new year, but few exceptions exist, among them is the year-end single by L.A.’s The Dumes titled “Ok.” The new track is power rock at its best: reverb-soaked guitar solos, a trashing drum beat, and distorted bass-powered breakdowns led somewhere heavenly by the confident-elegant vocal delivery of front-woman Elodie Tomlinson. The title expresses something simple, but upon examination, and in the context of the year behind and the work ahead, lyrics like “Can you try to find your hand in mine/And you’ll be ok when you find a match in the dark” there is a depth so relatable. As we move forward, The Dumes invite us to rock on, with a head held high, shaking to a quaking beat. - René Cobar, photo by Emma Cole