Ghost Dance Collective’s self titled release from 2018 was a joyously retro affair. Its mix of 60s riffs, reverb and haziness combined with a late 80s indie cool created a great sound. Their all-round retro cool and occasional Byrds-ish jangle would almost certainly appeal to lovers of the classic output from Creation Records, and although traces of bands like The Brilliant Corners could be heard, it was more than clear that this was a band with more than enough of their own talents.
Gentlemen Rogues have been slowly carving themselves a place within the US indie rock scene since 2013. Via a series of EPs, their very retro, 90s-centric sound has won them a fan base, as well as attracting complimentary comparisons to The Replacements and other college rock greats. They’re a band who’ve improved with every release. A must hear, 2018’s ‘Fatal Music’ combined massive riffs, a great production and lots of musical nods to the noisier end of Third Eye Blind and The Bottle Rockets, giving listeners a half dozen massive tunes loaded with nostalgic vibes, yet still sounding wholly relevant.
Fred Abong was especially busy throughout 2018 and 2019. He re-ignited his on/off solo career with the excellent ‘Homeless’ EP, which subsequently saw him touring as support with his old Throwing Muses bandmate Kristin Hersh. That was swiftly followed by the equally cool lo-fi release ‘Pulsing’ which saw critical acclaim from a few indie websites which led to Abong going on the road with Hersh once more. Not just as support act, but doubling up as the evening’s opening entertainment and as bassist with the KH Trio.
With a maudlin heart that could be compared to The National and Elbow, but driven by a noisy and distorted wall of sound that ensures they never sound too much like either band, October Drift’s debut album ‘Forever Whatever’ was an enjoyably downbeat affair. Between a solid sound and some brilliantly constructed rock pop hooks, it was the kind of record that was broad in appeal for the indie/rock fan. The events of 2020 meant that the band weren’t able to promote the release via a mass of live dates, but their online presence and a few very vocal fans more than helped to spread the word.
Trevor and The Joneses’ 2012 full length LP ‘There Was Lightning’ was a well-constructed celebration of retro rock. The Vegas band’s fuzzy guitar driven style pulled a bunch of great late 60s and 70s influences together and gave garage band fans a record that blended psych and rock with the best elements of The Stooges, Lou Reed and Neil Young’s Crazy Horse. What it lacked in originality it more than made up for with enthusiasm, and despite being the kind of record that took a while before it found an audience, it had a few very vocal fans. Not least of these was Chris Topham, owner of the independent UK record label Plane Groovy, who picked up the album for a vinyl release in 2014, long before vinyl sales rocketed and twelve inches of shiny black plastic became the hip medium of choice.