The word “alternative” gets bandied around a lot in the music world. It’s used to describe all kinds of guitar based music – even stuff that’s found its way into the mainstream long ago – but there are still plenty of genuinely alternative bands out there. It would be hard to consider the dark moods of Decommissioned Forests, or the strange jazz meets metal noise of Kilter as anything but. Tulipomania are another act who’ve wilfully taken their own musical path within a truly alternative niche, rarely concerned about commercial success.
A year on from her unsympathetic reworking of Bowie’s ‘Loving The Alien’, Stella Wembley’s ‘Wasting My Time’ brings the listener more detached post-goth/electronica that listeners will either love or hate. Stella has rarely approached her music in the most user-friendly way – which can be a good thing – and here, her love of rigid rhythms and reverbed vocals goes into overdrive. The track’s blend of robotic beats and strange synth tones sets up something that could loosely be described as goth-disco, like an old Mute Records track remixed by Georgio Moroder, but once you make it past the confronting coldness, there’s something weirdly appealing. The way Wembley shifts between strange croons and stylised yelps just accentuates any surface oddness, whilst the cold music and wantonly mechanical rhythm harks back to an alternative (early) 80s in the best possible way. Yes, this number is likely to be divisive, but at least it makes a definite impression.
On this debut EP, Boston’s Looking Glass War aren’t shy in mining the past for some key musical inspirations. Drawing from post punk, goth, melodic shoegaze and dreampop, ‘Where Neon Meets The Rain’ presents four very different songs – each showing a different angle to the band’s retro, riff-based sound – but this is more than a hacked out musical CV. Yes, the songs are all different, but there’s a common musical thread and a very distinctive vocal gluing the pieces together. In terms of debut releases it has a lot of muscle, even if originality often takes a back seat.
Welcome back to the Real Gone Singles Bar, the place where we explore some of the individual MP3s that have landed in our inbox over the previous few weeks. The inbox is always a mixed bag and a bit of musical lottery, and this visit to the Singles Bar brings the usual variety, but in a few places, things have got decidedly heavier. In the usual style, we’ve tried to present a selection that has a reasonable balance, and between the heavier bits you’ll find some electronica, a garage rock banger with some brilliant pop overtones and a very commercial track from one of the rock scene’s best up and coming acts. As always, we hope that if something catches your attention, it’ll inspire you to check out the bands further.
Welcome back to the Real Gone Singles Bar, the place where we explore some of the single MP3s that have landed in our inbox over the previous few weeks. There’s been another bumper crop of tracks this week, and here are a few of the very best. As always, it’s an eclectic mix, and you’ll find the usual rock and indie based tunes, but also a track from a great singer songwriter, and even something with a classic sounding goth/post punk vibe. Hopefully you’ll find something from this week’s selection worthy of following up!