Fresh off the momentum of their recent single "Carried Away", the English alt-rock group Leopard Rays from Hartlepool have upped the ante with their latest banger "Curtain Call".
With their signature big indie rock tone, Leopard Rays open the track with driving quarter note percussion grooves surrounded by bass and guitars. The strings are built from skillfully chosen chords, which perhaps harken to some midwest-emo rock influences a la Jimmy Eat World, Silversun Pickups or similar. The band then propels the listener sideways into a bright, refreshing twist as the lead melodic guitar and vocals enter after a few bars.
The high-gain lead guitar tastefully complements the verse vocals throughout the song and gives an overall bright, major key energy. The vocals similarly have a vintage UK sound to them, reminiscent of fine acts such as The Wombats or Franz Ferdinand among many others.
All of this paves the way towards the excellent sing-a-long anthem of a chorus, informing "...you can never switch it up/and it drives you up the wall...".
"Curtain Call" traverses a great instrumental bridge-interlude lasting for nearly a minute, then gives us one last chance to catch a breath before dispatching us with the indelible, catchy chorus in its own "curtain call".
Solid production and great songwriting all around. As the title might imply, this song is worthy of a second appearance in any indie rock playlists.
Following up on their full-length self-titled debut, the Montreal based outfit Horse Doctor bring us their latest single "Playa" today.
Clocking in at sub-three minutes, "Playa" brings in tasteful elements of early 2000s era progressive/post-hardcore revival. Fans of classic groups such as Rival Schools, At The Drive-In, Sparta, and Radiohead will certainly turn their heads at this very relatable rock tune.
Although recorded remotely, this track exemplifies a nice reverbing overall sound that makes the mix sound huge. Nice transitions of smacking snare drums leading into rolls are backed by solid bass and dueling guitar leads coming together. All of this is behind a very angst-driven vocal performance, reminiscent of performers like Thom Yorke or Jim Ward among others.
Short and sweet, this track is a brighter addition to the Horse Doctor repertoire, and certainly one to give a listen.
This latest release from the Swedish hardcore trio False Highs transports us to their hometown of Gävle, with top notch production and a dark, ambient hardcore presence captured from within the walls of The Overlook, an old 1891 sailor's church, by mixing/mastering engineer William Blackmon.
From the onset, "The Blues" sets the stage with a choir of dissonant feedback from the guitar amps, building up to the shattering drum entrance of "Ghost of Burden". This is where the album really opens up to its fruits, as we are brought into a heavy chord anthem and the opening powerful screamed vocals "I hold my breath to see if I'm alive". Throughout the song, we are treated with a beautiful combination of dissonant chords, with soaring leads above the solid driving bass and drum foundation. "Pretender" continues the onslaught, opening with an epic drum roll, and transitioning into atmospheric, melodic hardcore guitar riffing. The emotive verses are bookended by intelligent and inspirational lyrics, such as "I won't let this be the end of me". The band then drops heavy with staccato rhythms during the bridge that are undeniably deep and follow up with a sludgy instrumental outro.
"Empty Walls" opts for a frantic minor key progression with crashing, aggressive drumming and bass. "Shiver", arguably the most dynamic song of the album, features tasteful reverse delay effects and demonstrates False Highs can also dial it back into cleaner passages. "A Tragedy Undone" is a slower, mostly instrumental piece which then turns sideways and delves into bone-crushing heavy chugging riff passages. The album concludes with "What's Truly Lost", an almost completely instrumental ambient outro track, save for crooning dirty vocals as the guitar trills take us beyond the steeples of The Overlook.
For fans of aggressive guitar-forward tones and dirty vocals with emotionally heavy subject matters, False Highs will hauntingly resonate and deliver on this album. Thoughtful songwriting, tasteful gain and a dark, ambient style propel Olle, Erik and Gustav's respective instruments and culminate in their unique sound on this solid melodic, yet dissonant, hardcore release.
Check here for news about the latest up and coming artists!