Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Little Indie Roundtable Review - w/e May 12 2017

This week our three guest reviewers take on another five new tracks and give them a spin through the headphones before they then air their opinion on each.

This week's panel: Linn Branson, editor of Little Indie; Pete Heywoode, director/manager at RIP Management; George Johnson, vocalist with Birmingham band Ivory Wave.

New single from the Brighton-based powerhouse that is the two Meldrum brothers, Lee and Nick. Out May 19 through End of the Trail Records, a pummeling three-minute blast of punk, grunge-rock. A love song? Probably not as you know it.

Linn Branson: Love the opening to this and it really goes at a pace throughout. A Little Indie discovery, SONS - they haven't disappointed so far! 4/5

Pete Heywoode: Good tune this. Solid rock'n'roll with a proper dose of swagger. Not come across them before, but will definitely be checking out more of their stuff. Can imagine this would translate really well live too. 3.5/5

George Johnson: I'm a fan of SONS anyway - I really liked their debut ‘Reptiles’. The bass really grabs you a the start of this. A really sludgy sound that reminds me of a mix between Slaves, The Wytches and Darlia. 5/5

Total score: 12.5/15

Released last Friday (May 5), 'It's A Trip' marks the return of New Yorkers' Joywave with the first single from their second studio album 'Content', produced by Joywave’s Daniel Armbruster and Sean Donnelly and released on Hollywood Records/Cultco Music on July 28. Catchy pop with foot-tapping beat and snappy instrumentation.

LB: A smooth groove, mellow and memorable. 3.5/5

PH: This is cool. The production is great, it's pop with a sexy swagger to it. Catchy for sure, it's not a floor filler but a decent tune to stick on the playlist on the move. 3/5

GJ: Really great groove on this track from the guitar drums and bass similar to something like ‘Everlasting Light’ by the Black Keys. The vocals remind me of Foster the People, and there's a really great hook in the chorus. 4/5

Total score: 10.5/15

New single from the unstoppable Newcastle indie grunge-rock four-piece. Fusing sharply tuned melodics with Alex Soper's high vocal range delivery, endless guitar hooks and light and shade dynamics of delicate guitars and soft drums which are sandwiched in amongst some heavy riffs.

LB: Alex has such a good voice, that can ride from the almost ethereal as on the start of this, right up to a harder edge. Love how the song dipsband dives throughout. 4/5

PH: I think there are some really good parts in here. Good musicianship and the singer has a decent vocal. Although it's not really to my taste, I appreciate what they're doing and can see why people would like this. 3.5/5

GJ: The intro here reminds me of something from Bombay Bicycle Club's 'Flaws' album. Nice guitar tones and reverb on the vocals with beautiful harmonies. I don't really like the chorus; it's nothing against the band, it's just not my cup of tea. I can see why people would love this. 4/5

Total score: 11.5/15

Second single from Brighton-based melodic alt-rock five-piece, out now. An indie-pop essence with smart mathy interjections and clever vocal melodies melded to tight grooves.

LB: Not my personal thing - it's the math elements that are particularly distracting for me. They sound like they may have more to offer though. 2.5/5

PH: Reminded me of some the early 2000s emo/pop crossover stuff. It's not unpleasant and it's well recorded, but felt a bit long at just over five minutes. I liked the synth part that came in around the 4-min mark, and the bass is great throughout. I just think it's stuck somewhere in between indie pop and alt rock and not quite nailing either. 2/5

GJ: The intro feels like something No Hot Ashes would write, and there's a great Chic style guitar part throughout and the vocals sound ace. 3/5

Total score: 7.5/15

A shot of catchy pop, a breakup song that's wistful yet energetic, from spacepop duo, Philadelphia-based Mica Tenenbaum (songwriting and vocals) and Boston-based Matthew Lewin (songwriting and production). "Out of all of our songs, this one probably got the most normal, in-person writing and development time! The vocal style was inspired by Gwen Stefani and Madonna's playfully pouty pop vocals," says Mica.

LB: The thumpy opening is super, and Mica's voice lends a nice softer juxtaposition to the electro, dancey vibe. I really like it. 3.5/5

PH: The first five seconds deceived me into thinking this was going to be some sort of minimal techno track. It's an interesting beat alongside the melody and various synth work, however, as more layers are added it made me think of a corny soundtrack to an 80s teenage movie. Way too poppy for my taste. I can appreciate they are trying to be fun and playful with this and their is some good synth work in there. 1/5

GJ: When the song started I thought I was going to be listening to a old school garage song! Again, this is one of those songs that I don't personally like - it's a bit too poppy for me - but I can imagine people would love it. 2/5

Total score: 6.5/15

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