In May 2022, alternative rock duo West Wickhams released ‘She Will Have Her Way’, an excellent EP driven by very retro goth, dreampop and synthpop sounds. Their ‘Magenta’ EP (released in November the same year) finds the band recycling a lot of the same moods, yet at the same time, the material conveys a feeling of moving forward. It’s safe to say that those who enjoyed the previous release will glean a similar amount of enjoyment from this timely follow up.
This 2023 release from UK indie rock favourites The Subways marks the end of a long period of silence from the band. It comes eight years after their self titled fourth LP, and marks the first long player for a new line up and a new record label. Drummer Josh Morgan left the band for the second time in 2020, and his replacement Camille Phillips (also of The Ramonas) does an absolutely terrific job throughout the album’s twelve songs, and at the record’s best, the sheer punch the “new” Subways give the material is especially confident.
Since 2010, singer songwriter Justin Kline’s on-off recording career has taken in various different aspects of melodic pop and rock. His early solo releases explored a classic power pop sound; as frontman with the short-lived Origami Hologram, he ventured into a very retro world of alternative rock, before his return to solo work occasionally took him in a Weezer-ly direction.
Released in November 2022 with no hint of promotion, this surprise split release from Get The Fuck Outta Dodge and Das Kapitans is a treat for fans of either band. With a shared label and a shared goal in terms of noise-making, these musical friends have much in common, but scratch beneath the surface and it’s obvious that each band comes with their own very clear musical identity. Das Kapitans mix punk with a lot of very 90s indie rock influences, whilst Dodge play a particularly ferocious brand of lo-fi hardcore. On this split, they’ve chosen to record each others’ material, leading to an experiment that captures both acts in a typically raw mood, but at the same time, adds something new to their world of noise.
Following a string of fairly jagged albums that pulled together punk, emo and mod influences, Dot Dash’s sound had a drastic overhaul on their 2018 LP ‘Proto Retro’. The rougher edges were smoothed out and in their place came some hugely melodic power pop. The bulk of the record’s tunes came with a 60s jangle as heard through a 90s filter, sometimes as if stumbling upon deep cuts from Teenage Fanclub; sometimes showing a massive love for Buffalo Tom. The musical changes were all for the better, since no matter where you dropped into the record, it was possible to hear something with huge hooks and a really positive feel.