Best New Rock : Rival Karma, ZO, Lab On Fire, Shadow Box

London-based “Ninja Rock” duo Rival Karma recently released their punchy new single “Honey!”  Rival Karma have the gritty retro rock appeal of one of their big influences, Queens of the Stone Age, and the sonic production quality of rockers The Black Keys.  “Honey!” is packed full of dirty guitars and hard hitting drums, choruses that grab you, and some hard rock testosterone laced sex appeal.   

  The high energy stadium rock arrangement hits like a band that has paid their dues and come out on top.   In 2018, Rival Karma started as a group with four members, but as it happens so often, 2 of the members resigned as the band was hitting their stride..  As a result, the remaining members, vocalist and guitarist Martin Roux and drummer Piergiorgio “PJ” Ciarla, decided to move forward with the tour as a duo. 

   Karma takes you on a hard rock journey that definitely gets the head moving. Honey is an emotional tale of regret, and not putting yourself out there to someone. Hear it now on our Best New Rock playlist.  

Gina Zo

Gina Zo might be familiar to most after a successful stint as a contestant from season 10 of the Voice.  What you may not know is that she and her band “ZO” have some serious songwriting abilities, and after a two year hiatus have returned with their best song yet, “Never Meant.”   

  Gina has compiled a killer group including drummer Buddy Mazenga, an alumni of classic indie Philly bands The National Rifle, Bondage & Discipline, and Sad Heaven.  Along with Joe McEnany, Andrew Amado and Tyler Detulleo the band has been perfroming around the buzzing Philly indie scene and will be at Ortliebs Lounge on October 3. 

    Beautifully layered and well produced, “Never Meant” starts off slow but slowly builds up and gets bigger as the song progresses. Gina’s lyrical confessions of decadence and accidental romance read like a Gen Z testimonial about dating in the modern world . The lyrics feel personal, a testimony of her dedication as an artist.  Check out “Never Meant” now on our Best New Rock playlist

Lab On Fire

Soaring Guitars and space age production are what grabbed us when we heard Lab On Fire’s new song “Connection Failed.”  

  The duo creates a huge wall of sound with large ambient soundscapes that might be considered shoegaze or experimental electronic, but also fall in the lines of progressive rock. 

  The guitar effects and sci-fi sweeps are hypnotizing, similar to the FX used by the band “Holy Fawn,” and electro ambient sounds that may remind you of Youth 83. Lab on Fire combines multiple genres to make their own blend of progressive rock.  

  Spark one up and get ready for a sonic journey, hear Connection Failed now on our Best New Rock Playlist

Shadow Box

NJ based Shadow Box recently released a new album, Flat Moon.  The music has a heavy dose of early 90s grunge vibes, and really harkens to the melodic grunge sounds of Alice In Chains and Soundgarden.  Their single “Come Around” is a great full circle delivery of their sound, with big drums, acoustic and electric guitars, piano, and the trademark Shadow Box vocals that define their music.  

  The singers of Shadow Box employ the dissonant harmony circle of thirds and fifths approach, a style that strongly mimics the classic Jerry Cantrell, Layne Staley combo that make Alice in Chains a timeless project.  Capping it off with a Chris Cornell scream in the outro, Shadow Box pulls us back into the glory days of flannel on their new single.  Hear “Come Around” now on our Best New Rock playlist.

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