Tagged as: Alternative

The Shins have been kicking around for well over 20 years now in their cunning guise as indie darlings. But it’s a well-earned title, as their music is undeniably catchy with just enough lo-fi pizzazz to make it seem like they’re a plucky group recording EPs in someone’s basement. And hey, sometimes their videos are like that too, with this charmingly dated bit of CGI tomfoolery involving communist penguins and various oppressive moments. Sometimes, I wonder how I manage to live my life without having to type the words ‘communist penguins’ but that streak is unalterably broken now.

This is it! This is either/or’s 1000th post! To celebrate, I’ve gone ahead and tidied up the place: I’ve put all the cushions back in place and vacuumed. It scrubs up well, doesn’t it?

Like this blog, Slowdive went 22 years between releases but have come back with a sumptuous batch of shoegazing cookies for us to munch on. Richly distorted guitars whirl around dreamy, almost incomprehensible vocals, all driven forward at a rather pounding pace. It is well and truly up my proverbial alley, and possibly yours too?

My, my, how time flies! Radiohead’s seminal 1997 release, OK Computer is 20 friggin’ years old. When I was a kid, I always felt that the music of the 70s and 80s (some of which was pushing 20 years at that point) was ‘old’. Ah bless, kids are so stupid. Great music never belies its age, which OK Computer quite adeptly proves. Radiohead decided to brush the dust off the archives and release this previously bootleg-able track from the recording sessions of the aforementioned album to celebrate its legacy. And boy, it’s a cracker of a track – haunting and poignant, yet catchy in a similar vein to Karma Police. Shine on, Radiohead, you bunch of talented oddballs!

Josh Homme and the rest of the Queens do tend to surprise me sometimes. Their last album featured a guest appearance from none other than Sir Elton John (who remarked to the group that they needed an actual queen on their album), which probably should’ve given me some kind of indication that craziness abounds in this group, but who am I to actually learn anything? Hence my surprise that their upcoming album, Villains, is being produced by none other than Mark Ronson. Yes, that Mark Ronson. While I doubt we’re gonna get any 70s funk-inspired catchiness on the new album, this track is eminently danceable, with a crisp, hella funky composition underpinned with some beautifully crunchy guitar work. Let’s get dancin’, kids!

Man, it is a good year for long-running musical acts to release new stuff. Radiohead has some new (old) stuff (that I’ll post about soon); Queens of the Stone has some new stuff (that I’ll post about soon); and Foo Fighters have some new stuff (that I’m posting about now). Fun for the whole family, provided they like those bands!

Foo Fighters have been relatively quiet since the release of the pretty crackin’ Saint Cecelia EP in 2015. Evidently, they’ve spent this year recording a new album which is out in September, but in the meantime, they’ve dropped this hard thumping single from it. If you’re after a tune that inspires you to run, this probably won’t do that, but it will gladly boot you in the ass instead!

War Nurse have a sound that can only be described as the synth of the 80s paired with heavy metal. Which is as bonkers as it sounds. Also, if anyone ever played that old PC game called Descent, it sounds a bit like a more intense version of that soundtrack (man that game was awesome).

Anyhoo, this is wild and hairy and quite thrilling – it almost feels like a kind of war cry. Couldn’t tell you what war it’d be for (something involving murderous robots… IN SPACE), but it’s intense and pretty friggin’ awesome.

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Mmm boppity bop! I am all for trying to get into a better mood as of late. Not that it’s easy to be all sunshine and lollipops, but sometimes it’s nice to feel good! I get nothing but good time feels from Tom Lark’s peppy music – super fun pop hooks get nicely accentuated by a dash of crunchy, alternative guitar work and a wee bit of electronic accoutrements. It kind of reminds me of Hotel Lights’ Marvelous Truth, a song I have not yet posted about because… reasons? I dunno. Regardless! This song is great and so is the rest of his eponymous EP, so go set your ears loose on it, now!

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Pale Honey has a sound that I can only describe as Joan Jett by way of Swedish electro-pop. Which sounds like ten pure helpings of ridiculous, but I submit that that combination is definitively awesome – why would you possibly say no? Of course you wouldn’t so wrap your ears around this.

Pale Honey are a Swedish alt. rock duo with a crunchy, ‘take no shit’ attitude. This lil’ track is relatively simple, but it’s full of spunk and grit – from the drawn out vocals to the collection of percussive and electronic elements riding in the background, it’s a sure fire good time!

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RADIOHEAD HAVE A NEW SONG! AND IT’S… oh, forget it! This song has been heard over 16 million times on YouTube, the new album has now been out for a month or so now, and it’s no longer trending, or in vogue or whatever the heck you crazy kids call it! Regardless of my tardiness, this is an amazing song that many people more intelligent and sophisticated than I have harped on about already, but I simply cannot get enough of those pizzicato strings, or the wonderful contrast between the more serene verses and the twisted chorus. Bravo, good sirs of Radiohead!

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I think it’s time to shake up this ol’ bloggy blog thing with some new posts! Am I right? Anyone?

To the two people still reading, here’s a tune that’s guaranteed and certified to be fresh. I will have a very stern word to my friend (who’s in this group) if it is not the case! Allow me to introduce Saint Abbé, a Sydney-based group with tunes that flirt very sensually with funk, hip-hop and good ol’ fashioned alternative rock to create something delightfully smooth but still quite vivid.