FRESH MEAT #5: SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021
Updated: Oct 11, 2021
Every other Friday, we'll be doing a deep dive into the world of new music, reviewing the cream of the crop of fresh songs for you to check out. We're now on SubmitHub, so this is our first FRESH MEAT completely formed from submissions over there! This time, we've got melodic metal from Italy, indie punk from Nicaragua and alternative Americana from Texas!
Wanna bang these on whilst you read? There's a Spotify playlist below!
Wanna support an artist? We've linked all Bandcamp pages on the cover arts where possible!
If you have an upcoming release and want it featured, head over to SubmitHub!
TRACK OF THE MONTH
No Policy "Andy"
released on 28/09/21
Jerry Rigged Studios
It's mad where you can find absolute belters if you look just a bit further than your native country, or even continent. For example, "Andy", the sophomore single from Nicaragua indie punk duo No Policy, is a screamer from start to finish. It comments on the rejection from older generations towards younger ones and how a lot of issues are blamed on the youth, and the fresh-faced duo deliver this conversation on a plate of fast-paced drums, crisp guitars and catchy vocals, especially on the swaying chorus. Vocalist and guitarist Rodrigo Lumbi sounds like the bastard son of The Strokes' Julian Casablancas and Albert Hammond Jr., crooning and forging lead lines so catchy that I've been humming them in the shower, and Jerry Castillo can definitely join the rosters of amazing indie drummers like Bloc Party's Matt Tong and Maxïmo Park's Tom English with his precise rhythm and frenetic playing style. And with all of these factors coming in together, "Andy" is an anthemic cut of prime indie punk, and I'm hopeful of more class tunes from this part of the world.
FFO: The Strokes, Franz Ferdinand, Parquet Courts
Denver Williams "Any Other Name"
released on 29/09/21
I’m a big fan of power pop, so "Any Other Name" is right up my street. From his debut solo album The Blooming Eye, due for release next week, Denver Williams has managed to craft a twinkly and super sweet earworm that burrows its way into the ear and goes into a deep hibernation. This is helped along by a warm and clean production style that reminds me of Chris Farren's best work, and Williams' voice is tremendous, soft and inviting, not to mention its crammed to the limit with awesome instrumentation and killer hooks.
FFO: Chris Farren, Semisonic, Blur
Penny Lame "LIPSTICK"
released on 30/09/21
Joyride Music Group
Straight from the City of Angels comes the debut of Penny Lame, "LIPSTICK". A rebirth for Nashville native Gracen Hill, this project serves as a new beginning for her career, which has previously been addled by controlling hierarchies and diverting schemers. She's definitely out for blood here, as "LIPSTICK" is a slice of hyperpop-tinged pop-punk that serves as a wake up call for pushing back against a partner’s abusive behaviour and rising out of the toxic fumes. The sombre intro with the slow-burn build up to a pop-punk sound is really well orchestrated, the production (done by Hill herself) is fantastic, and even though the runtime clocks in at nearly five minutes, it blisters by. It's a dynamic treat for the ears, and serves as an excellent reintroduction for an artist who finally seems like she's found her place in the music world. I cannot wait for more.
FFO: Paramore, Avril Lavigne, We Are The In Crowd
The Moor "Emissaries"
released on 01/10/21
One word to describe the latest from Italian melodic metal monoliths The Moor: big. But how big? This kind of enthusiastic "Chris Eubank holding a Tango" big. I'll say right now that I'm not a metal man. My heavy tastes have been limited over the years to the likes of System of a Down, Slipknot and some 80s thrash, but having a metalhead dad has allowed me to pursue some avenues I'd never ventured down before. So when "Emissaries" came across my feed, I was taken back by how powerful it is. It's a relentlessly dark tune, with a crisp production and ripping instrumentation. I especially love the minor/major changes during the guitar solos, a great exhibition of the band's songwriting craft and talent. I may be new to the genre, but The Moor have got my ears invested to delve more into this gritty genre of music.
FFO: Opeth, Arch Enemy, In Flames
DENNY "Light My Way"
released on 29/09/21
I have a confession to make. One of my favourite things is when an artist provides the backstory to the song they've submitted, because it gives me a preemptive look into their work. Take DENNY's "Light My Way" for example, a heartwrenching song about the shadowiness of depression and fatherhood and subsequent departure from existential doubt that feels like a personal cathartic journey for frontman Alexander Rollins. It swaps the alt-pop trio's usual upbeat sound out and strips back everything to just Rollins' quavering voice and a piano, gorgeously accentuated towards the final third with some bass to really hit home the song's heart-on-sleeve message to those who held him up during a turbulent time in his life. It's brutally honest, soulful as fuck and, above all else, breathtakingly beautiful.
FFO: Keane, John Mayer, Tom Odell
Diana Wolfpack "Friends"
released on 07/10/21
Back in the homestead now, and we've got an offering from Liverpudlian quartet Diana Wolfpack. "Friends" is a nice bit of straightforward DIY rock, the first release from their upcoming EP North Shore Sessions - Vol.1, written, produced and recorded between lockdowns in the UK. Despite its rough production, there's a unmistakeable shimmer and charm to the track, which definitely feels like it would kill in a sweaty small venue with its lo-fi garage sound and hooky vibe.
FFO: Eleventh Dream Day, Big Dipper, The Raconteurs
Jamie Rhodes "The Mighty Mighty Something"
released on 01/10/21
Great work from Jamie Rhodes on the title track from his upcoming album coming this December, as "The Mighty Mighty Something" billows like a thousand cushions. An ode to that which overwhelms, Rhodes' smooth voice melds with his piano throughout the entire composition and is overtly intoxicating to listen to, like an isolated Ben Folds. The tune hits full swing when the drums kick in, and the silky female vocal harmony in the chorus along with a restricted string section really make this a lovely song to take in.
FFO: Ben Folds, Tom Waits, Sam Smith
Superpink "The Bicentennial Betcha Been to Mars Cabal"
released on 20/09/21
Ever wondered what would/should soundtrack a bicentennial party held on Mars? Ask kooky American/Russian rockers Superpink, as "The Bicentennial Betcha Been To Mars Cabal" (we'll call it "Bicentennial" for short) is a rigorous and fun affair that offers a clear answer to the above question. Released as part of a 'full moon project', "Bicentennial" is a killer tune built with some bluesy structure, laced with a surfy beat and stricken with an insatiable swagger. There's a quirky Aquabats vibe to the vocals that adds to the loose and fun nature of the song, and the highlights of organ throughout are a really nice touch too.
FFO: The Aquabats, Ween, Superchunk
released on 21/09/21
Wilhelm & Sons Entertainment Company
Finally, there's some amazing shoegaze and post-punk vibes coming from Illinois duo Murnau on their track "Awake". Originally stemming from an acoustic guitar focused track for a solo project, after the band played around with the main riffs during a band practice, it felt more at home being played as a Murnau track. It's grungy, epic and filled to the brim with delicious noise, topped off with an armful of simple but effective riffs and soaring vocals.
FFO: Mike Krol, Sleeping Bag, Wavves