Back in November 2019, Vincent Carr’s SUMIC released ‘New Paeans’, a complex album blending folk, prog, a touch of world music and a love of Mike Oldfield’s grandness. It was one of the year’s best DIY releases. It was certainly one that 90% of the internet’s prog community would have missed, being busy as they were, whining about the current line up of Yes.
Olympic Bingo’s ‘Aloof’ album is an underground gem. For lovers of retro sounds with a jazz and electronica vibe, it could turn out to be one of those rare finds. There’s plenty within its stand out track ‘Things To Do Today’, for example, that has the ability to cast the listener back a couple of decades…and sometimes farther still.
Over the couple of years before the global pandemic forced everything into lockdown, UK blues rock band Big River found their profile steadily rising. The release of their debut album ‘Redemption’ showcased a band who were much better than their early singles – all huge riffs and overtly macho lyrics suggested – when mixing their grittier elements with a few more AOR-centric rockers and a couple of soulful rock ballads.
New on the scene for ’21, Pennsylavania’s Boozewa truly believe in the power of lo-fi noise. With a barrage of heavy doom riffs and the kind of minimal production values that make those riffs sound even dirtier, they’re set to make an impact on the DIY metal scene with their new release ‘Deb’.
Over the past couple of years, the Rum Bar label has gone from strength to strength. True champions of the US underground rock scene, they’ve continued to promote old friends Watts and Tom Baker, but they’ve also brought listeners a whole world of new and often retro sounds along the way.