Welcome Strawberry caught our attention with their immersive blend of psychedelic shoegaze. Their 11 song self titled record Welcome Strawberry is an exposé on their scope of intention and the diverse influences that impact their sound. They embrace their influences without imitating them, offering a musical collage that whiplashes between dark and dreamy, all dressed in a fuzzy tonal ethos that’s dirty and barely industrial.
It’s machine like music pulled from organic ingredients, a celebration of fuzzy and harmonious under layers, with buried beauty drawn from the haunting female vocal that cuts through like a fading Eurydice calling from the underworld. She barely breaks through the melodic demonic layers of layered fuzz guitars, as Welcome Strawberry leans towards the shoegaze ethos known to founder MBV, with recent updates by bands like Nothing. There’s also evidence of New Wave as well as grunge. Segments recalls works by Smashing Pumpkins and how they updated their Shoegaze influences with drum machines and electronic additions. The female vocal also recalls classics like Slowdive and Beach House. In the spirit of Slowdive, Welcome Strawberry boasts a strong male lead as well, and the contrast creates a musical conversation, a theatrical subplot to the melodies themselves.
The album evolves like a journey or a life story. It feels meant to be exhausting, to wring the last emotion from your complicated existence. In that way it prescribes to the melancholy history known to shoegaze, the reality that it’s there for the beautifully tortured. It’s one of the details that has kept it out of the mainstream, and we like it that way.
The whole album is intense and beautiful. Get started with The World Is Derived From Pleasure now on our Best New Rock Playlist.
Brighton based experiment rockers Blue Spectre are intense on their recent single Things Fall Apart. A rare instrumental gem, the performance is full of energy. A proper full band effort, there are flashes of thrilling drum fills throughout as the backbone pushes the band forward, steamrolling through the composition with conviction and fury. It’s an adaptation to the fiery toms and chaotic runs known to vintage surf rock, a collective inspiration among Blue Spectre’s members.
At the basis of their mission, they strive to honor that influence by updating the sonic design with modern intellect. Tasteful synths embellish the atmosphere while harmonious guitars stretch the melodic spectrum. It’s the synth that carries the trademark leads known to classic surf icons like Dick Dale. The guitar work is more modern, in the vein of math rock or 5th wave emo. The players are collectively unconventional, adapting every inspired melody in an effort to stay original. The outcome is exhilarating, and properly communicates that this band should kill it LIVE. With progressive appeal, we feel Blue Spectre also connects to the legacy of Frank Zappa, and the progressive psych appeal of King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard.
Enjoy Things Fall Apart now on our Best New Rock Playlist.
Modern Folklore escaped the pandemic with a four song EP.
Vol I recollects the trials of lockdown and the stories lost within. Gracefully nostalgic in their stylistic affect, they update melodic inflections known to 60s pop with modern indie intellect. It’s heard on the emphatic opener The Pain is a Gift (the Quarantine Song). Updating a classic Beach Boys melody before infusing an indie element of dirty guitars and raw passionate vocals, the opener catches you out the gate.
The sentiment adapts on the subsequent Sidewalks, pulling from classic narratives and vibes known to Petty and his collaboration with the iconic Traveling Wilburys. The vibe evolves more modern on Silent Tongue, as the alternative and underground 90s influences seep through. We heard references to REM with the updated appeal of Dawes.
The dynamic Manchild builds on the prior tracks stylistic evolutions, featuring a proto punk appeal known to Gaslight Anthem. It makes sense, Modern Folklore shares their penchant for classic nostalgia in a modern package. It ends with classic orchestration that reverts to their Pet Sounds era aesthetic. Ending how you began, a touch known to the masters.
The entire EP is full of tasty treats throughout. Kick it off with the opening track now on our Best New Rock Playlist.
Bosola returns with their new EP Thomas and Judas. The 4 song collection includes priorly released singles as well as a new song May Hope Betide You. The UK trio recalls the initial founding of indie rock. The first wave of 80s alternative, bands like The Replacements and REM who embraced an influence of punk but with more introspective dynamic songwriting. Bosola brings harmonic appeal, with chord voicings that seldom sound straight, all meant to stretch the melodic spectrum.
The lyrics are thoughtful in the moment snapshots of the groups collective experience. The lead off track Ophelia Headstrong is a tribute to female songwriters and artists, addressing the plights and evil characters they face in the industry. Space & Time recalls the trials of teenage Romance. ‘May Hope Betide You’ explores reflections on a toxic relationship. Bosola excels at injecting real experiences into their lyrical framework, embracing their existential truths in the spirit of their influences. It’s not about being working class, or being from Newcastle upon Tyne, it’s significantly more Universal. It’s the fabric of existence and the burden of human behavior that binds us. The concept that “Life Is Suffering.” But not to make you sad, but as to say that knowing it gives you grace and an appreciation for what’s in front of you. And in that way Bosola is inspiring, and a notable pillar of truth in the world of emerging Indie Rock bands.
The entire EP slaps. Start off with Opheilia Headstrong now on our Best New Rock Playlist.