Previously at this point in December, it has become the custom for Real Gone to issue a free download containing some of the best underground tracks of the year. For the past seven or eight years, these downloads have been a popular fixture on the Real Gone calendar, turning people on to all kinds of artists.
With the changing times, we regret to say the era of the free sampler has come to an end. It seems that people much prefer streaming and with that in mind, we’ve made the decision to highlight some of our favourite tunes in an eighty minute playlist.
Not to be confused with the independent progressive rock band from Finland, the UK Evil Owl are hard, retro and grubby. On their self-titled EP from 2018, this Bristolian trio take the garage rock base of Brockley Forest and load it with the kind of distortion and arty noise that fuelled the Sonic Youth classics ‘Sister’ and ‘Evol’ and throw in a few influences from Mudhoney and Tad for good measure. The result is a genuine blast of guitar driven anger – four songs with a retro heart but also loaded with a timeless, fuzzy appeal.
When a band gets billed as “nuclear sludge”, there’s a hint that their sound will be a teensy bit on the heavy side, but Miton Keynes duo Tuskar take the very notion of heavy and throw it out of the window.
Detroit three piece The Stools take the guts of garage rock and pull at them until some of the uglier elements of the genre are the dominant force. Despite its title and despite their location, you shouldn’t expect their 2018 cassette ‘Milk River Blues’ to be overly concerned with drawing from bluesy elements; nor should you approach them thinking that either the legacies of MC5 or The Stooges strongly apply. The Stools are slightly unhinged and are probably best approached with caution.
With no concessions to pop-oriented choruses, metallic breakdowns or obvious 90s skate elements, Boston’s Silver Screams play classic punk with hardcore edges. Their 2018 EP ‘Alive In The Afterlife’ is built from tough riffs that often champion the old-school approach which, coupled with a natural vocal and a huge amount of speed, results in a potential DIY classic.