Hailing from the Czech Republic, November 2nd is an emerging indie rock powerhouse. They’ve opened for major acts in their home country, including Alanis Morisette, Suzanne Vega, Spin Doctors, and more. They even won the Jim Beam best new talent award, and it’s only a matter of time before they catch on overseas. Their new single Island might be their best yet. The groove heavy jam showcases the dynamic vocal stylings of their lead singer Alexandra Langošová. It’s got the catchy pop appeal of icons Spoon, combining solid songwriting, swagger, and attitude. There’s a familiar, nostalgic classic rock intellect drawn from the wells of ZZ Top and Robert Palmer and how they made Chicago blues pop with sex appeal and urban pomp.
Island kicks off with an innovative staccato guitar lead. The juicy lick reappears throughout the track like a stylistic keepsake. Overall the guitars are crafted to perfection, as ringing chords waver with vibrato and tremolo, bringing mood and aura to this intoxicating vibe. The masterful guitar work and bluesy under layers recalls Gary Clark Jr’s crossover hit Bright Lights, as Island’s cinematic landscape is somewhere between The Big Apple and chic Rock club.
November 2nd rocks live. A recent live TV appearance of the band performing Island hits just as good as the record. Leading the underground rock revival, they aim to bring rock back to its roots, and should win over DJ warped festival crowds across Europe.
Dig into Island now on our Best New Rock playlist.
The international movement for Women’s equality has an ally in Bosola. Their new single Ophelia Headstrong is written for Women everywhere dealing with inequality and misogyny in the workplace. Though the lyrics reflect the challenges that arise from decades of systematic prejudice, they also celebrate a new history of perseverance and success, as modern professionals make-good on the trials of trailblazers who came before them. For this writer, the message hits close to home, as my Grandfather divorced my Grandmother because she wanted to work. You might get a little choked up with lyrics like “You are not the saint we brought you up to be, we filled your voids with sin and we clipped your wings to see.”
Lyrically, Bosola is refreshing intuitive and sneaky poetic, divulging abstract gems like “Twice monthly mourners meet, and the pain they leave behind, day and night the mothers grieve.” The sentimental phrases reflect the history of their small town experience, a modern folk gem packed with alt-punk aesthetic. A proper continuation of a tradition in angst that reflects the plight of modern folk, and in this case, Woman as Intellectual.
The energetic power trio plays with youthful ferocity as they recall the punk influenced days of 90s alternative. Rooted in the Replacements and later updated with modern tones via the Foo Fighters, Ophelia Headstrong is a chord heavy power jam beneath a melodic vocal. There’s also a hint of emo’s first post alternative movement, when bands like Built to Spill and Jimmy Eat World redefined conventional structures, employing more dramatic intersections in progressive movements.
With solid execution this record suggest that Bosola can rip it live. Anyone can play the notes, but it’s how you play them that makes these instruments sing. Every member in this band digs into their instrument, plays it hard and pulls dynamic presence from its utility. Hard hitting drums, a pumping bass, and full guitars all have a place in Bosola’s design.
Enjoying Ophelia Headstrong now on our Best New Rock playlist.
Chicago natives Koalra continue to evolve in magnificent ways. Recently relocating to Portland, the experimental rockers are fantastically eclectic, and showcase a breadth of influence on their massive new single Everything We Had.
Clocking in at close to 11 minutes, the massive release drips with post punk attitude and indie rock aesthetic. The bass carries the chord structure as the guitars pull from the sonic landscapes of noise rock, taming heavy doses of feedback, twisted with subtle effects to make them sing, to make them musical.
Altogether Everything We Had reimagines dreamy atmospheres in new chaotic ways. The expansive release rips from start to finish, channeling the extended dance-punk discipline of LCD Soundsystem, but significantly more rooted in the alternative noise stylings of Dinosaur Jr and Sonic Youth. The vocal presence on the new single is most akin to Joy Division, as sparse disconnected phrases are elegantly littered throughout. Like Ian Curtis, they are curiously intoxicating, as they waver with the sadness of dead romance and an awareness of modern histories and all that is wrong with our world.
Do you want to be inspired? Move to a new place, for better or worse it will change you. Portland is a microcosm, and Koalra appear to be soaking in all of its disconnect and impressive omniscience. Koalra pulls the aura of punk out from Hot Topics corporate grip and reimagines how it might have evolved if it wasn’t marketed to appeal to teenage girls. It’s the same dance-inspired adaptation that fueled Public Image Ltd. Koalra also embraces a touch of melodic chic a la Interpol or even the Strokes, and how their initial offerings charmed before they met major label compromise. But Koalra bypass the temptation of cookie cutter arrangements, Everything We Had commits to a vibe, a lifestyle in a way, and offers a calculated studio effort on what most bands would have presented as a LIVE interpretation. To some degree it’s an expose’ of their ability as sonic craftsmen, and it delivers from start to finish.
Enjoy Everything We Had now on our Best New Rock playlist.
Philly alt-punks Depression, Mom keep it cool on their new single Like A Drug.
A homage to toxic relationships everywhere, when it feels so good but the damage runs deep. You might think your winning but your future is compromised.
“It’s like a drug for me, I can take it 100 times, but I know myself, and I know my mind can’t take this ride.”
Depression, Mom continue Philly’s legacy in dominating indie rock. Like A Drug brings subtle surf punk aesthetic a la Best Coast with the crossover appeal of Alvvays. It’s a combination of clever songwriting and raw talent. These underground gems arrive radio ready, as a catchy vocal intersects with California backing harmonies on this instant feel good classic. The vocal is mixed clear to inject these lyrics right into your soul, Like A Drug is ironically addictive, and will claim real estate in your headspace.
Besides Kurt Cobain, the band also parades Bing Crosby and The Ronnettes as influences. It’s that vintage nostalgic charm mixed with punk that made the Ramones so appealing. This all girl trio brings a lot of that and more, as the disconnected lead bites with some of the sarcasm of Courtney Barnett and how she delivers her lyrics with elegant quip.
Get hooked on Like A Drug now on our Best New Rock playlist.