Haifa based Van Der Blute have released their S/T debut EP on Israeli label Schwarz Neon Licht Records. The four tracks are melodic electronica, that is strong on musicality and arrangement, with a solid bass player, while most importantly eschewing the overused cliche sounds and glitchyness so prevalent in electronic music today. What results is an EP that is original and engaging, that should be very welcome in everyone's collection. Stream and buy Van Dr Blute at the link below.
Monday, July 24, 2017
Scottish label Gold Mold Records brings us PolarPricks, the boisterous split EP from Grand Pricks and Polarnecks. The four tracks, two from each band, showcase the range of this EP with Grand Pricks taking influences from Weezer, Gang of Four and Teenage Fanclub, while Polarnecks deliver noisy grunge in the vein of Dinosaur Jr. The band's performances are sterling, but the sub par production is dull and muddled, taking the edge off of an otherwise strong record. Still, these are hot bands and their rock goodness shines through. Stream and buy PolarPricks Split at the link below.
Friday, July 21, 2017
What Lies Ahead is the debut EP from Long Island based Final Call. The five tracks are influenced by bands like Panic At The Disco and My Chemical Romance. This EP is locked in on the alt radio EMO formula of heavy guitars and light melodic vocals. The record is solid with good production, strong instrumental performances and vocals. The overall sound is too derivative and formulaic, but the album will definitely appeal to the new EMO scene. A good effort for a debut EP, but not a great one. With the talent displayed, we hope the band takes on more original directions on a followup. Stream and buy What Lies Ahead at the link below.
Thursday, July 20, 2017
With The Beetles is the new album from Kinbom & Kessner, a collaboration between lap steel virtuoso Fredrik Kinbom and writer/dramatist Sonja Kessner. The ten tracks are imaginative indie folk, with crisp production, deep lyrical themes and tight instrumental performances. Vocal duties are shared by the pair, but with only a couple of songs in English, the album will feel mostly out of reach to all but those who speak German. This is a shame, as this is an album that would do well with a wider audience, but is ultimately doomed to limited exposure. Give it a listen regardless of whether you can understand the lyrics, as this is a beautiful work, that will be enjoyable throughout. Stream and buy With The Beetles at the link below.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Italian artist, Sitting Girl With Arms Bent, has released her debut S/T album. The ten tracks are dark post-punk, with healthy doses of reverb, atmospheric vocals and sinister guitar parts. This album has an extremely edgy vibe and a rawness that takes one back to the original ethos of punk. The album conjures up imagery of dark urban scenes and shadowy figures. This is one of the best post-punk albums of the year so far and a definite must have. Stream and buy Sitting Girl With Arms Bent at the link below.
Monday, July 17, 2017
Missed Month is the latest album from Toronto artist/producer New Tendencies, aka Matt Nish-Lapidus. The five tracks were born out of electronic explorations and discovery on a newly built modular synth. What results, is an album full of wonderfully unique synth pads, textures and phrases. With a glitchy vibe, perfectly placed noise and just enough melodic structure to hold things together, this album is surprising in its depth and welcome in its uniqueness and experimental verve. This is a must have for all synthesizer aficionados. Stream and buy Missed Month at the link below.
Friday, July 14, 2017
In a career that spans 5 decades, Ric Gordon has released 14 albums and EP's under various monikers, and produced another 26 for other artists. Today on the eve of his 64th birthday, Gordon releases his first studio album in 4 years, but with a twist. Instead of one album, he is releasing two EP's one electric, releasing today, and the other acoustic, releasing September 1st.. Today's release, Despair's Lover is a five track post punk gem, with large helpings of edgy, heavy and twangy. Lyrically, the tracks are about despair in love, urban existence and at a government gone bad. This is a definite must have, that should be in everyone's collection. Stream and buy Despair's Lover at the link below. Then preview the second EP, Standing Here, by listening to the advance track Rise Above at the link below, and watch for a review of the EP on Sept. 1st.
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Legendary artist/producer John Fryer has released Lost In Reflection, his second album under the Black Needle Noise moniker. Known for his production work for Nine Inch Nails, Cocteau Twins and Depeche Mode, as well as being co-founder of This Mortal Coil, the eleven tracks feature 10 different vocalists, have great depth and range stylistically, while still having a noisy sheen and edgy sonic texture. A master work from a seminal artist/producer, that should be required listening for all. Stream and buy Lost In Reflection at the link below.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Gavia is the new EP from FZB favorites Hanetration. The UK group deliver four tracks that inhabit the space between IDM and ambient genres. No mean feat as on the surface, there is little common ground. Hanetration overcome this with an ambient based EP that is big on melodic structure and beat, while still keeping an ambient base throughout. This EP is highly original and has some fine unique electronic sounds. A definate must have. Stream and download the Gavia EP for free at the link below.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
One is the debut EP from Glasgow band, The Sinking Feeling on Gold Mold Records. The three tracks are alt-rock EMO, the commercial radio variety, with influences from The Used, Panic at the Disco and Weezer. There has always been a formula to this kind of music, which is less adventurous and edgy compared to the more punk variety. This EP features solid vocals, instrumental performances and songwriting, but is lacking on originality, as this has all been done, just this way for a long time. If you're in the need for some new EMO just the way you remembered it, give this one a try. Stream and buy One at the link below.
Monday, July 10, 2017
The Gospel According To John is the new album from L.A. band The Black Watch. The eight tracks are stylish indie rock with influences from psychedelic to shoegaze. The songs are varied and dynamic, abound with interesting guitar riffs and strong vocals, where every part fits perfectly. The album showcases a band that consistently puts it all together and delivers great music. Watch the video for album track Way Strange World, then stream and buy The Gospel According To John at the link below.
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
FZB favorites Boobs of Doom have a new split album with Stupid Cosmonaut. The UK groups each serve up a side of edgy and inventive instrumental music. Employing elements of ambient, drone, metal and electronic, each track engages the senses with compelling textures into a totally enthralling sonic experience. Dark, original and ambitious, this album is a must have. Stream and download this split album at the link below.
Monday, July 3, 2017
Prismatic is the new album from Seattle guitarist/composer Elliot Knapp. The four tracks, providing almost 45 minutes of music, are an adventurous blend of ambient drones and energetic post-rock. Knapp weaves together unique sounding guitar parts to deliver an instrumental album that is big on originality. Regular readers of this blog know that we are not fans of instrumental rock, which mostly sounds like unfinished songs that someone forgot to put vocals on. Such is not the case with this album. Knapp has crafted an album with compositions that stand on their own as instrumental works, with interesting melodies, vibrant textures and an altogether enjoyable vibe. Stream and download Prismatic at the link below.
Friday, June 30, 2017
#10 The Pinkerton Raid
#8 Scotch Hollow
#7 Black Fjords
#6 Phil Reynolds and the Uncertain Future
#5 The Bordellos
#4 The Masonics
#3 Olive & The Pitz
#2 The Variety Hour
#1 Wes John Cichosz
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Reality? is the debut EP from Leeds, UK grunge band Vs. With a slow, dark groan, the three tracks recall the original Seattle sounds. Heavy, dense and foreboding, with a feel of melancholy, this album is the real deal and could be the most authentic grunge sound since the 90's. While the album is strong, the production is disappointing, with a sound that is muddled and lacks punch. That aside, this is a band to take notice of and hopefully they will re-emerge with a professionally produced full length, so we can really hear what they can achieve. Stream and buy Reality? at the link below.
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
In Waves is the new EP from New Jersey band, Old City Revival. The six tracks are pretty straight formulaic alt-rock. Radio ready and familiar, the band deliver solid performances on a polished and well produced record. If alt-rock is your thing you'll love it. This is mainstream music that neither innovates nor challenges. Everything here has been done before, ad infinatum. If you like the rut, stream and buy In Waves at the link below.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Milwaukee/Chicago trio Evacuate The Earth are back with their S/T sophomore album. The eight tracks are a terse blend of styles ranging through jazz, electronic and post-rock. What emerges is most aptly defined as free jazz with some experimental glitchyness. The album challenges the listener as its stylistic diversity requires contemplation and immersion. Not an album for everyone; it will appeal to those who like their music avant garde and edgy. Stream and buy Evacuate The Earth at the link below.
Monday, June 26, 2017
Bristol, UK band Secret Shine are back with a new album, There Is Only Now, on Texas indie label Saint Marie Records. Formed in 1991 as one of the first wave of shoegaze bands, Secret Shine delivers an album with ten tracks of atmospheric dreampop anthems. Deep, dense and haunting, the album is an intimate listening experience and shows a band that is still at the top of their game after a quarter century. Stream and buy There Is Only Now at the link below.
Friday, June 23, 2017
Total Squaresville is the new album from artist producer Pattern Language, aka Chris Frain. Released on UK label Happy Robot Records, the six tracks are a melodic journey through a true synthesizer album. Unlike most electronic music, where the synths are used for cliche genre sounds, this album is an exploration of the synthesizer as a bonafide orchestral instrument. The album marries sweeping melodic passages, with adventurous synth pads to deliver a sonic experience of depth and beauty. Watch the video for album track, By Time We Get There, then stream and buy Total Squaresville at the link below.
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Colorful Radiation is the eleventh studio album from San Diego experimental rocker Sluka. The ten tracks are adventurous affairs, with a Bowiesque sheen that sees a stylistic blend of everything from The Flaming Lips to Keane. With that pop pedigree, one also gets plenty of edge, swagger and depth. This album is a must have. Watch the video for album track Number one, then stream and buy Colorful Radiation at the link below.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Montreal based Broken Muse, have just released their S/T debut album. Largely the work of singer/songwriter Mark Goodwin, the ten tracks are a slick take on Americana and alt-country, with superlative vocals from Mariana Gianelli. Upbeat, rock driven country, pulses with excitement, as the band takes itself through an essentially live recorded studio album. The performances are inspired and the resulting record is tight and totally compelling. This is an absolute must have. Stream and buy Broken Muse at the link below.
Monday, June 19, 2017
North Carolina's Silber Records brings us Cottage Mess, the new album from Moodring. The eight tracks are atmospheric experimental music that pushes song structure boundaries where melodic and dissonant passages interplay with unique textures. This is an album about musical exploration with a near classical feel. A must have. Stream and buy Cottage Mess at the link below.
Friday, June 16, 2017
Songs About Love and Depression is the new album from Swedish band Dark Continent. After releasing two albums from 1989 - 1993, the band reunited in 2013. The 10 tracks here showcase a band that is in touch with current music, with a sound that incorporates elements of post-punk and altrock. The songs have a radio ready feel, a familiar vibe, strong hooks and lyrics that deliver a message. Watch the video for album track Love Hate ADHD, then stream and buy Songs About Love and Depression at the link below.
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Lisbon Lux Records have released Always Loved, the debut full length from Montreal artist/producer Das Mortal, aka Cristobal Cortes. The ten tracks are an imaginative interpretation of 80's synthpop. Featuring dark vocals, deep synthpads and catchy rhythms, this album is a perfect blend of old and new. Staying true to the sound developed by bands like Depeche Mode, Human League and Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark, the album glistens with sterling production and songs that are intimate with the listener. A definite must have. Watch the video for album track, Risking My Life, then stream and buy Always Loved at the link below.
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Austin punks, Institute, are back with a new album Subordination; their fifth release and sophomore full length album, Released on Sorry State Records, the nine tracks see the band expanding out of the punk genre, with sounds that remind of classic Black Sabbath, glam rock and other influences, all the while staying true to the punk ethos. Flawless production, exceptional performances and great songs are the hallmark of this album. This is an must have that should be in everyone's collection. Stream and buy Subordination at the link below.
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Eric Anders has released, Eleven Nine," a ten track anti-Trump masterpiece that sees all album proceeds donated to Lambda Legal. The album is an eloquent, considered response to the horrific election of a racist, elitist moron to the presidency. With a classic singer/songwriter sonic vibe, compelling lyrics and tasty instrumental performances, this is an album that speaks to the despair the election caused, while delivering a strong musical experience. This is a definite must have. Stream and buy Eleven Nine at the link below.
Monday, June 12, 2017
The Simian Syndrome is the debut album from Chicago duo Grape Juice Plus. Featuring Barry Bennett on drums, keys and vocals, and Eric Klotz on guitar, these guys are not the usual guitar drum rock duo like Black Keys or Japandroids. What you get is a highly original, experimental band that pushes the limits everywhere. This is an album of edgy, discordant, improvisational music, with plenty of depth, ranging from rock cliches to African tribal rhythms. This is one of the most creative albums so far this year and will challenge listeners at all levels. A definite must have. Stream and buy The Simian Syndrome at the link below.
Friday, June 9, 2017
Scottish label Bearsuit Records have released L + R, the new album from artist/producer Ippu Mitsui. The eleven tracks deliver an experimental based electro pop experience that is large with unique synth pads and interesting melodies, embedded in a package of recognizable genre sounds and cliches. With an adventurous bent and a glitchy finish, this is an electronic journey of depth and interesting sonic twists. Stream and buy L + R at the link below.
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Sparkle Tip is the new EP from Chicago brother/sister duo Zigtebra, on indie label FPE Records. The five tracks are edgy, rock leaning synthpop, with a bit more depth than is usual for this genre. Originality in the songs and arrangements highlight a strong and varied album, that will appeal to a wide swath of the indie community. This is a definite must have. Stream and buy Sparkle Tip at the link below.
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
The rather anonymously titled EP II, is the new release from Toronto band Ruby Cikada. The six tracks roam a wide range, with sounds drawn from folk, psychedelic and indie rock, and touches of blues and jazz thrown in. What this yields is a bit of an uneven album that, while enjoyable, is also difficult to feel connected with. The production is understated and could use some real energy in the tracks. Overall a good album, but also one that will not stand out from the crowd. Stream and buy EP II at the link below.
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Seconds is the debut full length from Toronto's Midnight Vesta. The nine tracks wind their way through harmony driven folk rock, exuberant indie rock and wonderful troubadour stories. One of the most compelling features of this band is they have their own musical identity, rather than being yet another Mumford clone. Crisp production and tight harmonies cap off an strong album that should be in everyone's collection. Watch the video for album track Second Chances, then stream and buy Seconds at the link below.
Monday, June 5, 2017
Cult of Sargasso is the new album from Birmingham, AL band, Dead Sea Flowers. The eight tracks are deep psychedelic experiences, but not in the way that phrase is typically used now. This album showcases a band that could be playing the Fillmore West, with an audience tripping and falling through the music and lights. This is psychedelic music in all its San Francisco, LSD noise induced glory. Just a cool record from start to finish and a definite must have. Stream and buy Cult of Sargasso at the link below.
Friday, June 2, 2017
Chicago indie band The Thin Cherries have released their S/T debut album. The ten tracks embrace a deep psychedelic vibe, paired with a shoegaze foundation, to bring us an album with a retro feel, but modern sound. Melodic instrumental passages and a tight rhythm section take the foreground shoring up somewhat weaker vocals. An enjoyable album, with a unique perspective on delivering a retro theme. Stream and buy The Thin Cherries
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Running The Shine is the new album from Chattanooga indie band Mythical Motors. . Many albums have a retro feel, but these sixteen tracks mark a work that feels lost in time, a refuge from the past. The production is lo-fi, the sonic vibe is 60's and the whole album sort of falls out before the listener in a derivative cascade, like cereal from a box. There are no grand musical statements, either in the songwriting or the performances. This is an album that fails to excite. Stream and buy Running The Shine at the link below.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Swedish indie rock band, The Search, have released their new album, Songs About Losers. The massive seventeen track collection channels diverse influences from The Smiths, U2, and Depeche Mode, to deliver a sound instantly familiar, yet uniquely their own. The tracks are firmly to the pop side of spectrum and have a bit of a formula feel, but work collectively and the the album is strong and enjoyable. Stream and buy Songs About Losers at the link below.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Nightshift is the debut album from Swedish electronic artist The Legends. With an 80's video game vibe, the synths move through a varied landscape of melodies, glitches and beats. Unfortunately, the sixteen tracks cover pretty usual synthpop territory, What one finds are a few nice retro sounds on a album for those who love soupy electropop. Stream and buy Nightshift at the link below.
Monday, May 29, 2017
Shaking Box Music has released, XXVII, the new album from Bitter Fictions, aka Devin Friesen. The 3 tracks, totaling almost 45 minutes of music, see Friesen exploring ambient guitar music with melodic experimentation and deep sonic textures. Using an old Tascam tape machine, Friesen captures the guitar as a sonic paint brush outside of the instrument's usual confines. Stream and buy XXVII at the link below.
Friday, May 26, 2017
Fans of Phantogram and Chromatics will love the S/T debut from L.A. synthpop duo Lucky + Love. The eight tracks have a nice lo-fi feel, stunning synth pads, and of course, towering vocals, swirling through a reverb drenched electronic ether of beats and melody. This is the kind of building with textures, sequences and melodic structures that producers savior. Watch the video for album track Digging In The Earth, then stream and buy Lucky + Love at the link below.
Thursday, May 25, 2017
Goin' Back To Wurstville is the rollicking new garage punk album from UK band King Salami & the Cumberland 3, on Dirty Water Records. The fourteen tracks jump through energetic, 50's inspired garage punk that is fast and snotty. The album has enough twang to clean your teeth and the kind of energy that pisses off the cops. Just perfect in every way, so watch the video for the title track, then stream and buy Goin' Back To Wurstville at the link below.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
If you want to find one of the best of the new crop of shoegaze bands, one need look no further than Italian group Clustersun. Their new album, Surfacing To Breathe is a dark, heady trip into atmospheric rock, that will satiate the most jaded shoegazer. With judicious use of noise, towering guitars, and enough effects to cause a power drain, this album is a masterpiece of edge. A definite must have. Stream and buy Surfacing To Breathe at the link below.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
FZB favorites The Foreign Resort are back with a new track, She Is Lost. The track has a huge 80's anthem sound to it ala Joy Divisdion. This is a band we just like more with every release. They are crowdsourcing a video for the single and also gearing up for a tour. Show them some love and get details at the link below.
Monday, May 22, 2017
Stockholm based indie label, Labrador Records, have released a wonderful compilation, Greatest Hits Summer 2017. The 10 tracks are lush synthpop with stylistic depth and catchy songs. Featuring such stalwarts as Radio Dept. The Legends and Djustin, the album dances you into the summer with some of the best Swedish pop on offer, and the best part being it's a free download. Stream and download Greatest Hits Summer 2017 at the link below.
Friday, May 19, 2017
Indie label Sorry State Records have done a cassette release of the demo from new Raleigh, North Carolina band Mind Dweller. The four tracks are punk rock the way it's meant to be played...hard, fast and snotty. Featuring members from some of the key Raleigh hardcore bands of the last several years, this riff driven demo deserves to be an outright EP release and shows the label's commitment to finding and releasing great punk music. Stream and buy the Mind dweller demo at the link below.
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Stars Are A Harem is the fourth album from NYC artist Micah Gaugh. The thirteen tracks are a quirky jazz imbued collection of avante-garde works that forego swing, for a more intimate statement from an artist with a unique sense of melody and song structure. Rather than coming off as an album of independently conceived pieces, the tracks seem to be variations on a common theme, that become a bit cumbersome in their totality. Stream and buy Stars Are A Harem at the link below.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
It's My Party is the debut EP release from Montreal based Radiant Baby. The six tracks are 80's tinged synthpop, with retro synth pads and nice danceable beats. The EP showcases a unique reinvention of new wave with catchy songs, that are big on fun and eschew pretense. As such this is music to enjoy rather than to dissect, so go out and enjoy it. Watch the video for EP track Save Me From Myself and then stream and buy It's My Party at the link below.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Sockholm based Principe Valiente are back with Oceans, there first new album in three years. The FZB favorites deliver eight tracks of inspired post-punk with their trademark 80's vibe. Darkish, with towering instruments and atmospheric vocals, the band have crafted an album that will stand as their best work to date. Channeling all the best traits of bands like Cocteau Twins and New Order, but with a sonic vibe that is original rather than derivative. This record is strong through and through. Watch the video for album track Strangers In The Night, then stream and buy Oceans at the link below.
Monday, May 15, 2017
Tame The Fox is the debut EP from Chicago singer/songwriter Layla Frankel. The six tracks are spirited folk-rock with tight harmonies, catchy songs, understated instrumentals and loads of Frankel's wonderfully expressive voice. With leanings from blues to jazz, this EP is a singular showcase of the artist's writing and vocal chops, with all else placed to enhance appearance like a chef plates an entree. Evocative, intimate and thoroughly enjoyable, is what the listener can expect. This is the type of artist one might find on the new incarnation of A Prairie Home Companion, rather than a work in step with current indie genres. Stream and buy Tame The Fox at the link below.
Friday, May 12, 2017
Spanish indie label BCore Disc brings us the S/T debut album from post-punk/experimental band Diola. The ten tracks blend elements from across the indie spectrum to deliver an album of unique sounds, distinctive sonic textures and a compelling edgy vibe. Though a Spanish language record, the music and vocals will draw the listener in. Besides, who can understand words anyway, even on English albums, LOL. This is a definite must have. Stream and buy Diola at the link below.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Trophic Cascade is the new album from Phoenicia, New York singer/songwriter Mathew O'Neill. The fourteen tracks move effortlessly through freak folk, alt-country and indie rock. With production ranging from huge to minimal, the album brims with tasty licks, engaging songs and a compelling vibe all around. This is an album that has huge stylistic depth and a very high level of musical accomplishment. A definite must have. Stream and buy Trophic Cascade at the link below.
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Today we have the album, Down, by Illegal Operation, another new release from our favorite Greek label, Inner Ear Records. The six tracks are dark, adventurous and edgy, with virtuostic guitar that turns a distinct blues base into an entirely new art form.This album impresses with its originality, impresses with its sound and impresses with its quality. Illegal Operation are a band that should be in everyone's collection, with this definite must have album. Stream and buy Down at the link below.