I’ve said this many many times before (and it’s true), Dennis R. Sanders continues to amaze me. The evolution and growth in his songwriting since starting Spirit In The Room is astounding. Being able to take an influence and flip it to inspiration isn’t an easy task but, Dennis has a true knack for just that. Spirit In The Room’s new track “Now That You’re Dead,” from their upcoming Volume 2 EP, is one hell of a song. It’s raw and full of soul all the while being introspective. It’s also worth noting that the sense of melody that Dennis plays with really shines on this song. The vocals have this really cool Nick Cave meets David You vibe mixed with the right amount of Jim Morrison. Volume 1 was just the tip of what was coming from Spirit In The Room. Volume 2 is sure to take it to the next level.
Within the rock world and it’s many subgenres, there is a real sense of creativity blossoming. It’s been there for a long time but, a lot of those bands are starting to really get their due. One such band is Pinkish Black. This duo of Daron Beck (keyboards and vocals) and Jon Teague (drums and synths) has been around since 2010. Since then, they have released four studio albums including their newest, 2019’s Concept Unification. Pinkish Black have taken heavy music and flipped it, creating something that is as progressive and experimental as it is psychedelic and cinematic. The synth driven approach has given this band the layers and textures it needs to stand out. I was thining of a way to describe them and I think I found a good description. Imagine Type O Negative mixed with a John Carpenter score. Their new album is quite the auspicious release. It’s an album that really gets under your skin (in a total good way) and it seeps into your veins, as each song takes you further down the rabbit hole and expands your mind. Pinkish Black is a band not only for now but the future of what synth driven music can and should be.
Power trio’s in rock music are one of my favorite things to listen to. There is something so pure about three people and an explosive sound that comes alive. One such band that has really delivered the goods is Nomad Stones. Formed in 2015 by Cave In members Adam McGrath and JR Connors, and joined by Charlie Coffou, Nomad Stones, roared out of the gate with their self titled debut. The sound of 90’s alternative mixed with, cool and hypnotic effects and a wall of sound has made me really intrigued by this band. As a fan of their other work be it Clouds, Zozobra, Doomriders, etc, it’s in their blood to deliver great rock. Recently, Nomad Stones released a new song “Behind The Trigger” from their upcoming album, Unriddled. This track is as rocking as it is catchy. Nomad Stones have truly found their sound and it’s everything you’d want and then some.
The sound of the 90’s is instantly recognizable. There’s an essence about it that seeps in and takes over. The “grungy” sound that mixes, rock, metal, punk and many others is one of my favorite sounds. When you take that sound and mix it with the right players and style, you get something quite good. For example, the band of the week, The Primals, have nailed that sound. This three piece comprised of John Henry (vocals/guitar), Andrew Black (drums) and Chad Fjerstad (bass) have taken the 90’s grunge sound, added a little more punk vibe to it. Their sound is catchy without being mainstream. The bands debut album, All Love Is True Love, which came out in late 2018, was produced by John Reis (Rocket From The Crypt, Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes). The Primals really knocked it out of the park with their first full length. The ten songs on it are full of piss and vinegar. It’s raw and infectious and just what the rock world needs. It’s bands like The Primals that show that rock music is alive and well.
There is truly something great about heavy bands that can add in the right amount of melody to their sound. Whether it’s rock, metal or whatever, it’s the melody that ties it all together. I’d like to introduce you to Alphamega. These gents have that perfect balance of heavy rock/metal with just the right helping of melody to complete their sound. Alphamega is made up of Adam Ryan (Vocals), Michael Muenzer (Guitar) and Chrissy Warner (Drums). Their first single “Lords Of The Flies” is melodic metal done right. The song has a catchy hook to it that is memorable without being over the top or cheesy. On the band’s site they have a quote that says “Beautiful things come from ugly places.” That couldn’t be more true about this band, as there is a positive and bright element about Alphamega that separates them from the pack. Look for more new music from Alphamega soon.
There is something really interesting and creative happening with heavy music these days. Mixing genres and styles have made for some of the best new bands and albums in the past few years. Recently, I came across a band that has blended post-hardcore along with black metal with bits and pieces of ambiance and dream-pop. I’d like to bring your attention to Glassing. This three piece band hailing from Austin, Texas has released their second full length album, Spotted Horse, and it’s fucking rad. Glassing has created an album that is full on immersing with volume and magnitude as well as well thought out songs that bend genres. Listening to Glassing is a real experience. It’s equal parts experimental, heavy, disruptive and engulfing. I can imagine their live shows to be sonically bombastic, technical and full of energy (maybe even a bit of brutality) that radiates from the stage to the crowd. These guys have carved out a niche for their powerful sound and I’m quite interested to see where they continue to go.
Glassing- Spotted Horse:
Digital Daggers is a very unique group. Formed by a meeting in 2008 by their former music publishers, Jason “Space” Smith and Andrea Wasse, began writing songs for other artists but, soon felt that what they were creating was a bit more personal and not something they wanted someone else to use. From that point, Digital Daggers was formed. Now 11 years into their collaboration, they’ve released 2 full length albums, an EP, and a collection of remixes and b-sides. Their songs have been heard on countless shows like Revenge, Teen Wolf, The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars and CSI: NY, to name a few. Now they are releasing a new single entitled “Black Magic,” a song that really encapsulates the sound and feeling that this group emits. There’s a darkness to the song but also a very sexy vibe that crawls under your skin and gives you chills. Digital Daggers are one of those bands that when you hear it, you immediately feel drawn in and the waves of the music take over.