Best New Rock – Bleach Boy, The Violets, Alfredo Ghosts, ATMIG

Manchester’s iconic history has an ally in Bleach Boy, an intriguing new post punk band inclined to call this city home.  The members are from all over, but they’ve claimed their lot in Manchester, and they fit right in with this cities historic record for post punk trailblazers. 

Bleach Boys new single Walk is a progressive post punk journey with subtle dark wave vibes.  Their singer is like a burned out Billie Idol, sick of pandering to mainstreams pop punk obsessions, but undeniably infectious in affect and tambre.  Ironically, it is from the vocals that they retain widespread appeal.  Like Ian Curtis and Jim Morrison before him, the raw came-in-off-the-street delivery speaks to our rebellious natures and energizes our devilish intents.  Walk is an inspiration of decadence, a desire for insanity.  The band admits the song represents Abel’s punishment, condemned by God to walk eternally for killing his brother.

  The guitars are brooding, creating chaotic atmospheres with noisy feedback before evolving to Cobain worthy riff sections.  The drums and bass, a driving underbelly of creeping doom, exploding in tandem with the singers growing disgust, as he builds to an all out scream in the songs closing section.  Long expressive outbursts beneath catchy riffs recall underrated rockers Stone Temple Pilots, though Bleach Boy is considerably darker, more akin to Nirvana, but definitely in the vein of grunge.  We beg you, don’t get too caught up in these correlations.  Bleach Boy are doing something especially original, and bring a refreshing alternative to indie rocks recent glam pop envy.  

  Enjoy Walk now on our Best New Rock playlist

The Violets

  Australian band The Violets have enjoyed an impressive 30 year career in rock.  They were boasting Indie rocks trademark sound before it hit the mainstream machine.  In the 90s they made their mark as one of Australia’s burgeoning buzz bands.  From hitting the stage at Big Day Out to opening gigs for superstars like Sonic Youth and Nick Cave, they have credentials to be the envy of all. 

Still going strong, they flex a lot of what makes them undeniable on their new 7 song release Smoke, Mirrors & Other Half Truths.  Every song lives in its own distinct world.  We were particularly grabbed by the single All Went South.  A driving bass emotes dark vibes as shimmering guitars ring around sparse vocals.  The verse recalls classic works by The Cure. In contrast to the post rock verse is a catchy 90s rock style chorus in the vein of Gin Blossoms or Better than Ezra.  The Violets show two distinct shades of their rock palette, intersecting them with whipsaw surprise.  Referencing their 90s roots, they still take pride in a proper chorus.  

  Lyrically, All Went South feels like a homage to fallen friends and lovers.  The legacy troubadours have likely seen a few fly south, as they unforgivingly adopt the role of survivors, coming out of the music industry machine still being able to make something genuine.  You have to admire The Violets perseverance, not for simply staying around, but for still keeping it fresh.  Set aside that pre-conceived idea that they can’t make their best music now. Songs like All Went South bring truth to rocks new hot-take click-bait dysfunction.  It’s time to get back to what made Rock great.  

  Enjoy All Went South, now on our Best New Rock playlist.  

Alfredo Ghosts

Alfredo Ghosts bring back the fun on their new 12 song self titled album.  The Seattle group references space rocks theatrical origins, coloring their 50s punk jams with sound effects right out of Mars Attacks.  The clever concept give their vintage aesthetic a trademark template for them to build balls to the wall psychobilly anthems.  The songs collective progressive movements and true to era execution display proficient awareness and ability.  Along with producer Aaron Shroeder, they captured masterful analog tones known to rocks first records.  Those first incarnations of recorded rock, before producers knew how to measure the gain beneath the powerful performances, forced to allow that pushed distortion now embraced by rocks revivalist culture.  

  This sound is known to underground icons like The Phantom or Johnny Amelio and widespread monsters Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, almost forgotten pioneers of the devils lullaby. Alfredo Ghosts takes as much from those trailblazers as they do from the purveyors that followed, recalling acts like The Sonics and The Fuzztones and how they pushed rocks first incarnation through the 60s and beyond.  They also refer to Devo, in how these theatrical fun ideas reveal an underlying genius in both writing and arrangement. 

  To bring it full circle, Alfredo Ghosts crush it live.  They should be on your radar as a highlight night out with the crew.  Call and response collective sing alongs intersect thrashing jams and ferocious builds.  Every bit of youthful energy needed to grab you out of your pandemic doldrum, and remind you that concerts can still be fun, and music doesn’t have to be sad.  Get grooving to Alfredo Ghosts, now on our Best New Rock playlist.  


Michigan indie rockers ATMIG know that things get real After The Money Is Gone.  They adopted the acronym, and the aesthetic, as a tribute to their underground heroes.  Their new ep Avec Muscles contains tributes to Detroit cult icons Majesty Crush, who ATMIG cite as a major influence.  They even employed former MC bassist Hobey Echlin to perform on the title track and star in the music video.  To bring it full circle they worked with the bands former recording engineer David Feeny to track Avec Muscles.  The result is a proper homage to indie rocks roots. 

Avec Muscles recalls the first incarnation of the sound that later becomes known to indie.  A band arrangement with limited overdubs and pure vocals is at the core of this initial incarnation.  Bands like Majesty Crush and Pavement were relegated to Art Rock purgatory.  It wasn’t quite alternative, it didn’t connect with the mainstream.  Unlike grunge, it was less classic punk and more derived from 80s alternative acts like The Replacements and shoegazers like MBV.  A combination radio wasn’t quite ready for. Not until The Strokes and then Interpol did the indie sound break through.  ATMIG recalls a little of all of it.  By including Echlin and Feeny it becomes an authentic recreation, a restoration in contrast to indies new overproduced standard.

  Avec Muscles is self released, but its noteworthy that ATMIG utilized Jack White’s Third Man Pressing to print prior releases.  Third Man’s penchant for cult revivals connects with ATMIG’s recent tribute, and their affinity for recapturing vintage magic. 

  Enjoy Refuge now on our Best New Rock playlist.  

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