Best New Rock – First Frontier, The Lowtones, Cellos, Tien Ton Vuist

London based First Frontier wrote their new song Jagged Line as a homage to the haziest parts of the night, when all of the regular folks have resigned and all that’s left are the tortured, the malicious, and everyone who got caught in the fun and are now suspect to be compromised – the vulnerable.  On its outset, the droning riff and pleading vocal beneath a moving groove is reminiscent of Radiohead’s early psych rock exposé on songs like I Might Be Wrong and The National Anthem.   It revolves in hypnotic evolutions, a byproduct of its trance roots, built for a proper freak-out.  The vibe comes with a bit of anger and contempt, it compels you to transcend your reservations, and inspires you to dance.  It’s not pop, and it’s not shoe gaze.  This is the dark groove that you’ve been digging for, the one that brings our indie alternative to the dance floor without the pomp and cheek of disco beats and glitter synths.  

  As the song progresses, First Frontier commits to the moment.  The performance is raw, and the songs arrangement serves the duos dirty rock roots. It’s as if they captured a jam when they were perfectly in sync and laid it to tape.  As listeners, you want to be in that room with them, and you’re grateful that they captured it so you can relive it in stereo.  What makes a recording special is when you imagine yourself behind Helena’s kit, beneath Paul’s guitar, hacking away in sweaty fervor, compelled to the event, free from inhibition.  Let it consume you, that is the beauty of Jagged Line, the aura of late night dives and forever secret mornings, never to be spoke of, meant to be forgotten.  You may not want to speak of Saturday night but you’ll like to remember First Frontier.  This is just a sample of whats’ to come from this promising young duo. 

  Enjoy Jagged Lines, now on our Best New Rock playlist. 

The Lowtones

Just a couple years since their inception, Norwich based post punk rockers The Lowtones make a big statement with their new single Breaking Out.  The band cites Joy Division, The Cure, and the Smiths as influences.  The 80s alternative sound is a good starting point in defining their style.  Dirty reverberated guitars, chugging on a single note, vocals full of attitude and contempt.  

   They also have the indie sensibility of bands like Interpol who pull inspiration from classic retro post punk.  The dark wave presentation is complete with backstreet style and smoky club intellect.  These modern mods of Norwich provide the proper soundtrack for your black leather motorcycle club, as they encompass all of the attitude and swagger of the classic mod scene.  The essence of this punk is rooted in The Who and The Stooges.  It’s rebellious, for the broken, by the broken, and serves as a symbol of getting out of your dead end town.  And so it is fitting that their debut single would be “breaking out,” as a it pays tribute to the roots of dirty English rock and how it pulled its followers from the peril of convention.

  Their single laments, “You can’t think for yourself, you live by the mind of someone else, and this an’t my home, so I’m breaking out.”

  Cut loose to Breaking Out now on our Best New Rock playlist.  


Out of Luck is the new single from Durham based rockers Cellos.  It’s a solid combination of classic Brit-Pop with modern indie sensibility.  There’s a healthy dose of the jangly guitars and upbeat rhythms that defined 90s British alternative, the infectious vibe made famous by bands like Oasis.  There’s also the street wise candor of more modern bands like cult favorites the Libertines and Arctic Monkeys.  It’s all tweaked with the pop sensibility of groups like Peter, Bjorn, and John.  Cellos knows how to write a catchy melody, and their ability to craft a good song is on full display on Out Of Luck. 

  For Cellos, their luck might just be starting.  Just their second single this year in anticipation of their next full length, the Durham band demands your attention.  

  There’s something cinematic about their sound.  It has the nostalgic presence where it sounds completely original but encompasses a familiar feeling.  It’s a good vibe that permeates throughout the track and keeps you coming back for a second listen.  

  Cellos joins other young British rock artists like Sam Fender who encompass the spirt of the youth and the fervor of a generation eager for a good time but aware of where they came from.  They also have an affinity for classic alternative in an industry obsessed with pop, and they have the chops to bring rock back to the masses. 

  If you’re looking for feel good rock that is authentic, you might be “looking for something that is already there.”  Check out Out of Luck now on our Best New rock playlist.  

Tien Ton Vuist

Belgium rock trio Tien Ton Vuist are ready for a good time.  Their new single Tickets is high energy with the angst and nostalgic garage punk swagger that propelled bands like The Vines and The Hives to international stardom.  The band admits that the new single serves as a calling card to come see them perform live.  It’s just a sample of the energy and fun they bring to their live show. 

The pandemic reprise has been sidelining gigs, with cancellations more common than show announcements this winter.  Tien Ton Vuist might be the proper soundtrack for your isolation blues.  You can rage out to Tickets in anticipation of your next great rock show.  Its the best we have right now, and TTV does it well.  It’s 1:44 of fuzzy guitars, distorted vocals, and hard hitting drums. 

You can trace it’s 70s punk roots, derived from the depths of sweaty NY clubs of smoky decadence and voluntary demise, where the barons of our underworlds bred the antithesis to polished mainstream rock, ambassadors to a counter culture of reckless abandonment and contempt for conformity.  It’s the brash ethos that boils in our youth today, cramped in from the virus, pressured and shamed by political zealots to absorb responsibility.  Regardless of the facts, this generation is becoming suspicious, they feel burdened by the demand of ancient markets and generational wealth. These babies just wanna cut loose, and Tien Ton Vuist brought a Ticket to ride.  

  Enjoy Ticket now on our Best New Rock playlist.


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