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Jen Dan: May 5, 2018

A run of melodic hardcore/punk tunes give away to dream-rock numbers and indie rock tracks. Most songs focus on bleak to bittersweet, insightful lyrics; some ride a rollercoaster of emotions, while others are more subtly graceful in their restlessness… Loud to quiet (catharsis to contemplation) as you go down the list until the Muse-like kicker at the end. Enjoy!

1. Fake Figures – “Hole In The Sky” – The SoCal hardcore/alt-rock band, founded by Atreyu guitarist Travis Miguel in 2011, burns up on this aggressive, yet melodic rager.

2. Touché Amoré – “Green” – The LA-based hardcore juggernaut debuted their 4th album via Epitaph in 2016 and have now released this propulsive number driven by on-the-brink vocal desperation sweetened by bright guitar cycles.

3. Nyresvikt – “Folk Flest” – The Norwegian punk/hardcore act attacks with a blast of melodic, sing-along exclamations (in Norwegian, natch), churning guitar fire, and pummeled drums.

4. Decisions – “Trapped” – The NYC hardcore/punk band recently formed in 2016 and just released 7” The Weight of the World Leaves a Broken Back, out via Wharf Cat Records and Death By Sheep Records. This track is all noisy guitar dissonance, a bass-heavy, chugging tempo, changeable drum-work, raw vocal exclamations, and direct, but effective lyrics.

5. Soft Science – “Undone” – The Californian dream-pop/shoegaze band mixes the hypnotic sonic warp of My Bloody Valentine with the sweet, ethereal vocals of Secret Shine on this delightfully buoyant and mesmerizing track.
The group just released a split 7” with original “Sooner” and a cover of “Paris” by Northern Picture Library.

6. The City Gates – “Checkpoint Charlie” – The Canadian post-punk/shoegaze outfit launched its second album, Forever Orbiter, on April 27th via Northern Lights Records and this LP-opener spirals to the sky with radiant waves of guitar, grinding bass line, simmering cymbals, a pushing drum beat, and gently hazy vocals.

7. Richard *Edwards – “Howlin’ Heart” – Yep, that would be Richard Edwards, a founding member of long-running, stylistically morphing indie rock/chamber pop band Margot & The Nuclear So and So’s. On this country-pop tune, his emotive vocals are surrounded by a vivid swirl of varied instrumentation and supporting voices.

8. Phalcons – “Swim Away” – The Welsh psych-folk act deliver a classic track here, out now via Libertino Records. Check out that vocal inflection and enunciation on certain words – classic! Check out the picture-perfect melodies – classic!

9. Night Flight – “Parade” – Time to slow it down and fade out on the softly glowing embers of reflection during a shadowy evening… Crestfallen emotions, mournful vocals, the placid droop of acoustic and electric guitars, and a sedate pace form a tender bed for the wistful lyrics…

10. Jekyll – “Mania” – I know nothing about this band except they’re on End Of The Trail Records and this indie rocker burns intensely with sharply whipped up, incendiary guitars and angsty, yet luminous vocals… and of course I just looked ‘em up and they’re from Blackpool, England and play “alternative, melodic rock” per their Facebook profile.


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