Best New Rock – Flowerbomb, The Rapports, HOLMES, Jon Sandman

Underground indie punk favorites Flowerbomb get brutally honest with their new single sorry.

The catchy post-emo vibes come with some heavy lyrical references that can be painfully relatable.  Musically, the arrangement is full of variation and progressive character that plays into the lyrical moods, highlighting lead singer Rachel Kline’s signature style. This kind of sophisticated writing in punk, with its progressive nature and melodic leads, hasn’t been seen this effectively since The Replacements, and later, Nirvana. 

Like Cobain, Kline can be both raw and catchy.  She can divulge lyrics like “Life is so boring but I know that every day is gonna be like this” and remain convincing and not overly sentimental.  Like Gaslight Anthem, there’s a touch of nostalgia, subtle nods to new wave’s affinity for 50s rock, originally brought to alternative by bands like the Cure and later dressed in distortion by bands like Weezer.  There’s also a hint of modern pop punk, just enough to keep it fun, but Kline destroys any hopes of being your next Avril with lyrics this edgy.  The album’s called pretty dark, an apt title since Kline is constantly keeping it real, even when the music gets fun.  

  The band is winning accolades in their local scene, taking home a couple trophies from their local award show known as the Wammies.  With major crossover appeal, its just a matter of time before Flowerbomb breaks out.  Fans of multi-genre bands like Fontaines DC and Snail Mail, who appeal to fans of both indie punk and rock, will relish in the aura of Flowerbomb.

  Enjoy sorry, now on our Best New Rock playlist

The Rapports

  Out of the garage and into the fire, The Rapports are purveyors of indie rocks glorious aughts.  An era when bands like The Strokes aimed to reclaim Rocks 70s attitude from the over-processed distortion of grunge and its tasteless byproduct, Hard Rock. 

  The Rapports new single Wanna Be is a masterful full band effort that retains its raw intensity in a polished package.  The pro execution is a testament to their weathered history.  This band is tight, and it’s partially because they’ve paid their dues, and they’re cashing in with their best single yet. 

The arrangement has the intellectual awareness of the Strokes.  The guitars are reminiscent of Kings Of Leon most treasured era, before they sold out of course, as they are panned wide with one playing chords and the other a picked variation of the chord idea.  The vocal has the measured grit like Arctic Monkey’s Alex Turner, who can seemlessly travel between all out emotion and accurate croon.   You also get a taste of Jack White’s supergroup The Raconteurs and how it reimagined classic southern blues rock in the indie world.  

  The Rapports would be the ideal feature in a smoky whiskey dive hungry for authenticity and Rock’s return to its reckless roots.  Raw tube toned guitars relying solely on the warmth of the amps gain. Hard hitting drums that take cues from no one. A vocal performance rich with and Mick Jagger flash and arrogance.  The Rapports are your new wild band to watch.

  Enjoy Wanna Be now on our Best New Rock playlist. 


HOLMES delivers a fantastic debut with the new single If It Was Up To Me.  We got an advance copy of this buzz worthy release, and we were instantly caught by this fresh take on the marriage between indie pop and indie rock.  It’s SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL on steroids, as the pumping bass races against double time drums as the slow draw of the vocals contrasts the thunder that brews beneath.  HOLMES recalls the elegance of intellectual modern pop, with a picture perfect vocal full of sincerity and quivering emotion.  He embraces the raw heartfelt working class charm of artists like Sam Fender.  Like Fender, HOLMES comes across as natural, unaffected by the music industry machine, but full of instinctual ability.  

  A rare feature for a debut, HOLMES settles into the vocal melody like a studied expert who wrote the part to perfectly suit his ability.  It’s this organic inclination that leaves him the opportunity to lean into the emotion of the moment, rather than stress over hitting the right notes.  

  If It Was Up To Me is an anthem ready to satisfy the appetite of eager concert goers everywhere.  It’s four-to-the-floor festival ready, and its meant to be delivered by a band, not a DJ.  The record is mixed to allow the lyric to get into your head, to let it catch you, but HOLMES leaves room to get big on his LIVE show.  You can feel the seething draw of a live moment as the record builds and the guitars churn beneath.  Some interesting, retro-era production brings a subtle Killers feel, and suggests where HOLMES might evolve.  Only being his first release, the sky is the limit for this new undiscovered gem.  

  If It Was Up To Me is a sure thing for your summer list, hear it now on our Best New Rock Playlist.

Jon Sandman

Indie Rocker Jon Sandman writes an apology with his new single Dear Friends.  The artist admits that the song is a “sorry note” for friends he’s neglected in recent years, especially during the pandemic.  A lot of us do, when we make the transition from student to professional, life happens fast.  Before long we’re looking back at a decade of lost connections and blurred histories. 

Dear Friends recalls the dramatic modern rock of Snow Patrol and Keane, but with more of an affinity for indie rock tones in the vein of Delta Spirit and The National.  The sad aura brings a reflective, introspective vibe, as Sandman offers a song for the vulnerable and broken.  

  “What will I do when my neglected friends disown me?  They won’t come back.”  The difficult lyrical sentiment is glossed in catchy spaced out repetitive melodies that get right in your head.  A rich atmosphere of layered guitars are heightened by a crisp mix, a byproduct of Sandman’s day gig with SSL. 

Citing Grizzly Bear as an influence, Sandman dresses his melodies with dreamy harmonies and tasteful backing vocals.  The songs climactic outro movement recalls the epic post rock of Explosions In The Sky, and leaves potential for Sandman to embellish these jams in a live show.  

  It’s important to have works like this that reflect the difficult reality of the last couple of years.  In the future, this art will be referenced like treasure from a time capsule.  

  Enjoy Dear Friends now on our Best New Rock playlist


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