Hot Confessions from SONIC SYNDICATE Monday, 24 October 2016 16:35 by madseason
Sonic Syndicate - Confessions

Sonic Syndicate isn't a new band at all, but their latest album Confessions, released last October 14, marks a significative departure from the sound the Swedish group was known for. Even their label is new, as they switched from Nuclear Blast to Despotz Records.

As Sonic's lead vocalist Nathan Biggs says "this [Confessions] is more than just a record, it's an autobiography of where we are now as a band and what has lead us to this moment in time".

Produced by Kritoffer Folin, Confessions is set to be the bands most diverse and unique work to date: the post-hardcore influenced sound is definitively gone, replaced by a heavy rock with synth hooks, great melodies and anthemic refrains.

Take as example the new single and title-track of the album, watching the just released video (click on the image).

Confessions can be entirely streamed on Spotify: check it out and let me know if this new version of Sonic Syndicate is good for you!

Crossing bridges with BEAUTIFUL MACHINES Friday, 21 October 2016 16:05 by madseason
Beautiful Machines - Real Love

Something more for synth pop lovers. San Francisco based trio, Beautiful Machines, dropped their sophomore release, Bridges, a couple of months ago.

The LP signals an evolution for this cinematronic-driven band with electronic hooks that are captivating and dreamy.
With vast sonic landscapes and transformative, yet optimistic themes, Bridges builds off of the band's debut album, Disconnect : : Reconnect, but certainly highlights a stylistic shift for the band. As the second installment in a concept album trilogy, Bridges tells a story of disconnecting from an old paradigm and crossing a bridge to a new reality.

"Bridges symbolizes positive transformation and change," says front man, Conrad Schuman. "This album is purposefully arranged to take the listener on a journey, like cycling through a Tron-grid landscape to launching into a euphoric stratosphere."

Beautiful Machines won the 2014 Independent Music Award for Album of the year, and I won't be surprised if they double the victory with Bridges, as this awesome record was entirely self-produced and independently released.

If you're into Depeche Mode, Goldgrapp, Underworld, Cut Copy, MGMT and good electronic rock music in general, you simply can't miss this band: stream Bridges on SoundCloud or on Spotify and download it on iTunes now!

THE RAMONA FLOWERS: Part Time Spies Wednesday, 19 October 2016 15:39 by madseason
The Ramona Flowers - Run Like Lola

Part Time Spies is the title of the second album from Bristol-based quintet The Ramona Flowers, a band that came together out of the ashes of several other projects, taking their name from the lead female character of the comic book and film Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

The core of the group consists of guitar player Sam James, bass player Wayne Jones and keyboardist/guitarist Dave Betts, who met up with drummer Ed Gallimore and vocalist Steve Bird to begin crafting moody, electronically peppered alternative rock sounds influenced by the new wave, the synth pop and the electronic dance of the '80s.

Part Time Spies was recorded in late 2015 at The Distillery Studios in Bath and produced by the band with Chris Zane (Passion Pit, St. Lucia, Nelly Furtado). it was officialy released last September 9 on Distiller Records.

Lyrically, Part Time Spies is a record surging with human warmth, filled with songs about the things that make life tick: death, rising rents, narcissism, broken relationships, selfies, the end of privacy, drunken nights out and hungover mornings in.

Sonically, it's an uneven record that will charm lovers of 80's acts like Ultravox, Duran Duran, Simple Minds, Depeche Mode and contemporary bands like Bastille, The Killers, White Lies, Two Door Cinema Club.

Watch the video for the latest single Run Like Lola clicking on the image and stream the whole album on Spotify.

The space voyages of I FIGHT FAIL Monday, 17 October 2016 16:35 by madseason
I Fight Fail - Are You Ok

I Fight Fail is a young alternative/space rock band from Canton, Ohio, formed in the Summer of 2013 by vocalist Andy Potter, accompanied by guitarists Daryl Johnson and Zach Negulis and drummer Anthony Carter, whom have all been writing music together since 2006.

Over the course of their career and earlier projects together, the guys in I Fight Fail have shared the stage with such bands as Go Radio, Hawthorne Heights, Breathe Carolina, Tonight Alive, Nothing More, Red Sun Rising and more. They have been featured in Alternative Press Magazine as well as Substream Music Press. They have played Warped Tour and been featured on local radio stations.

Voyages And Vantage Points is the band's second EP; it was released last October 7 on Standby Records and features 5 songs (plus intro) that mixes alternative guitar textures, electronica and pop/rock: a sort of combination between 30 Seconds To Mars and Angels And Airwaves.

The first single off the mini-album is Are You Ok. Watch the just released video clicking on the image and stream the whole, brilliant EP on Spotify now.

The Black Moods

One of the best albums released today is Medicine, the full-length debut from Phoenix, AZ, based alternative rock outfit The Black Moods.

Breathing new life into the raw, emotional energy of old school rock is The Black Moods' mission: the 12 excellent track included in Medicine are heavily influenced by the classic rock of the seventies (Bad Company, Led Zeppelin), yet they sound absolutely fresh and contemporary. And, most of all, highly enjoyable, thanks to strong melodies and irresistible hooks.

As said, Medicine drops today, September 14, on Another Century Records and is produced by Jim Kaufman (Night Riots, Anti-Flag, Helmet).

Speaking about the release, vocalist and lead guitar player Josh Kennedy comments, "It's impossible to put into words how amazing it feels to finally be releasing Medicine to the world. These songs have become our kids, we've watched them grow and evolve - now it's time to take 'em on the road and hope you enjoy them as much as we do."

Stream Medicine now on Spotify and enjoy an awesome retro-alternative rock jewel.

G MATTHEWS: raw, vulnerable and happy Wednesday, 12 October 2016 16:41 by madseason
G Matthews - Chasing Happy

A new artist from Southern California worth your attention. G Matthews is an independent artist who fell in love with music at a young age after being exposed to artists like Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin and Hall & Oates.
But was the night she saw Gwen Stefani permorm live with No Doubt that G realised what she really wanted to be. So she started to study and practice very hard and soon she was getting gigs as a back-up vocalist and exercising her powers by interpreting other people's songs.

G recently made the leap to creating her own original music, and after releasing the 5-track EP A Few Quick Words last year, she debuted with a full-length album last Friday, September 7.

The LP is titled Chasing Happy, just as the first single off it; it was produced by renowned engineer Cameron Webb (Motörhead, Trapt, Alkaline Trio) and it's absolutely awesome. Chasing Happy showcases G Matthews' powerful and emotive songwriting, demonstrating the incredible journey she has taken to get where she is today. The album skillfully combines pop-punk guitar riffs with captivating melodies reminiscent of bands like Paramore and Echosmith. Throw in some early-days Avril Lavigne, the attitude and presence of Fefe Dobson and the punkish energy of Aimee Allen and you get the picture.

So, if alternative rock with street-smart pop and irresistible rhythms is your cup of tea, stream Chasing Happy on Spotify and buy it on iTunes!

MATTHEW MAYFIELD: making underground History Monday, 10 October 2016 15:45 by madseason
Matthew Mayfield - History

You know my posts are usually from new or almost new acts, or from not so new artists that deserve a wider recognition. Among the latter, there's surely the underground hero Matthew Mayfield. I always write a couple of lines about him when he releases a new album. Well, Matt's new record was released last Friday, September 7, on Sweet Exchange Records, preceded by the single History (watch the video clicking on the image).

Recoil was produced by Paul Moak, who Mayfield counts as, "one of the most gifted producers, players, songwriters, and overall artists I've ever met." This is the third full-length album the two have recorded together, and Moak's talents played a major role in making Recoil special.

Recoil is a sonic and lyrical departure from his previous release, Wild Eyes. Wild Eyes was a collection of songs created over time that reflected different periods in Matthew's life. Recoil, by contrast, was born quickly and violently, the fruit of an intense effort by Mayfield to depict the good, the bad, and the ugly in the present world he inhabits. If Wild Eyes was delicately chiseled into being, Recoil was hewed into existence with hammers and claws. According to Mayfield, "making Recoil was extremely hard -I had to drag the songs out of me and stick with them until they said exactly what I needed them to say." The result of this hard work is Mayfield's most deeply personal album to date, one defined by brutal honesty and beautiful sound.

Recoil is one of the most emotional records of the year: stream it on YouTube or on Spotify and support this extremely gifted artist!

Class under a Storm: DAN CUMMINS Friday, 7 October 2016 15:03 by madseason
Dan Cummins - Storm

Another awesome artist I didn't know about that delivers a quality album: I'm talking of Dan Cummins, from Durham, NC. According to his bio, while a music student at UNC, Dan was a co-founder of the Chapel Hill-based hard rock band Delorean, which between 2004 and 2008 released two full-length albums and built a sizeable local following. Dan also has enjoyed giving his talents to various churches and houses of worship over the years. Moving briefly away from original music, Dan currently plays guitar with Durham-based Hickory Switch, a diverse and energetic cover/party band specializing in modern country, classic rock, and danceable hits from multiple decades.

Seperate from being a regular band-member, Dan enjoys writing and recording his own music. His first solo album Leviathan featured 13 original rock songs completely written, performed, and produced by Dan in 2012.

The follow-up to Leviathan is titled Storm and is released today, October 7, 2016.  The album again features 13 original songs performed and produced by Dan himself, with the aid of his long-time collaborator and friend Adam Satterwhite on drums.

Storm is an alternative rock tour-de-force (80 minutes!) with hard rock/prog metal influences; it's a very intense album that showcases Dan's skills in crafting meaningful yet enjoyable tracks and handling the heavier parts as well as the slower, atmospheric moments.

Stream Storm on Spotify now clicking on the image and discover an independent artist that absolutely deserves your attention.