Best New Rock – Floodhounds, The Upsides, Murnau, Sano Hill

  UK power trio Floodhounds roar back with their new single Panic Stations.  The group had been winning over festival crowds before covid restrictions put this project on lockdown, but after stewing and brewing they are back onstage and ready to rock a venue near you.  

    Floodhounds join a legacy in riff rock rooted in the power blues of the 50s.  Later it was adapted by Cream, before bands like Black Sabbath, The James Gang, and Led Zeppelin made it heavier.  It is now mostly referenced in metal, but still appears occasionally in mainstream rock.  Lenny Kravitz made it pop on the 90s hit Are You Gonna Go My Way.  Mostly, Floodhounds pick up where bands like Jet and Queens of the Stone Age left off, and how they adapted riff rock with an indie aesthetic.

  Indie rock fans craving something a little heavier are going to relish in this combination of power and catchy songwriting.  The hook on Panic Stations grabs you and never puts you down.  It’s a hard rock trip down memory lane, as quality riffage has become hard to come by in the age of bedroom pop.  Floodhounds delivers, and as a bonus they do it with style, embracing a 70s rock stylish aesthetic to bring this project full circle.  Joining guitarist/singer Jack Flynn is Anna Melidone on bass and Lauren Greaves on drums.  Furthering the tradition of Women who Rock, these ladies can jam with the best of them, and are in inspiration and influence to girls everywhere who want to grab an axe and play it hard.  

  Get hooked and check out Panic Stations, now on our Best New Rock Playlist 

The Upsides

The Upsides strike fortune with their new single Gold Rush.  The Brooklyn four piece come radio ready with sharp hooks and catchy leads.  This band is tight and the performance is full of energy.  You can tell that proper preparation lead to precise execution in the studio.  Reviving the band aesthetic is beginning to feel nostalgic in 2022, so it comes as no surprise that The Upsides recall a bevy of aught indie modern icons.  They recall the intricate guitar pop of Phoenix with an affinity for post grunge alternative.  The vocal embraces the blue eyed soul of Rob Thomas but even more accurate and sure of itself.  They tweak it with a 50s era swinging beat, referring to rocks origins and reinventing it in the modern style.  The trebly guitar and steadfast vocal even connect with some vintage Petty. 

   … and what do all of these bands have in common?  They write HITS.  Even their B-sides are catchy.  It’s an innate part of their musical make-up, and inclination towards melodies that hook you.  It’s a combination of writing, arranging, and vibe.  Everything about Gold Rush is on point, each member bouncing off of each other, giving the song what it needs.  Go see these dudes live, their ripping it up in NYC at classic stepping stones like Arlene’s Grocery.  Say you saw them when, that’s what happens when you support emerging talents, that’s why we’re here. 

  Dig into Gold Rush now on our Best New Rock playlist


Murnau are equally melodic and heavy on their new single Baltic Sea.  The duo satisfies your appetite for pure gritty guitars right in the songs intro.  A brooding guitar builds before revealing the singers signature release.   The vulnerable quivering vocals bring a touch of My Bloody Valentine’s shoe gaze leanings, but with less drench and more semblance to Conor Oberst’s emo origins.  They embellished by occasionally stacking a falsetto vocal in a style that is reminiscent of TV On The Radio and Modest Mouse.   The songwriting recalls The Pixies catchy alt-pop, but altered with more stoner rock fuzz. 

  The rare two piece project harkens to the garage days of acts like White Stripes and The Black Keys, who embraced a more raw aesthetic before divulging into over-produced releases.  Murnau remains raw and unhinged by the music industry machine.  Baltic Sea feels live, authentic, and meant to capture their music at its essence.  Murnau is probably best served loud and in concert, but Baltic Sea is a proper record with crossover potential.  Both indie punks and indie rockers alike have a stake in this aura, as Murnau sheds intoxicating melodies to match their VFW punk appeal.  It’s that wide net in rock that appeals to fans of Strand of Oaks and IDLES.  

  Dig in to Baltic Sea now on our Best New Rock playlist.  

Sano Hill

  The pinnacle of grunge was when the Seattle bands and their byproducts starting experimenting in the studio, brining more acoustic guitars and progressive arrangements to their records.  Bands like Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden tapped into uncharted musical worlds that captivated and launched the legendary series MTV Unplugged. Irish songwriter  Sano Hill and his new single The Climb is reminiscent of that short lived acoustic-alternative period.  He adds some modern production techniques to create some additional atmosphere and dreamy affect, but the essence is rooted in that treasured early 90s acoustic sound. 

  The Galway songwriter is proud to rep his home country and embrace comparisons to Van Morrison.  Him and Morrison share a love for soul infused rock, and The Climb is full of spirit.  Sano sings with emotion and passion, a song like Climb demands it.  The song is about both an escape and life’s journey.  You can only control so much, but you have to try.  “Don’t hurry, don’t rush.  The lover whispered as the morning blushed.  Fiery red the ground groaned beneath and the children ate the dust for meat,” later he adds, “they’ll be beggar’s at lover’s gate.”  

  Embrace these truths, enjoy The Climb now on our Best New Rock playlist.

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