Indie Roundup | 47 Songs To Wrap Your Head Around This Wednesday (Part 1)

Bardo Pond, Stone Cavalli, Hybrid, half•alive & more bands you need on your radar.

Bardo Pond come back in a big way, Stone Cavalli are a two-man riot, Hybrid are ready to burst into flame, half•alive know the solution to all your problems — and by coincidence, that solution is to spend some quality time with today’s gem-packed Midweek Roundup. Who’da thunk it?


1+ 2 | Bardo Pond | Limerick + Shadow Puppet

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On Oct. 8, Bardo Pont will celebrate the 25th anniversary of their long out-of-print second album Amanita with a newly remastered reissue on purple vinyl. Formed in 1991, Philadelphia’s Bardo Pond have spent some 30 years mapping guitar music’s outer limits — dialling into extremes of noise, chaos, and harmony in free-form compositions that now unfurl across 12 full-length records and a near-limitless body of EPs, cassettes, and CD-Rs. Recorded by the lineup of John Gibbons (guitar), Michael Gibbons (guitar), Isobel Sollenberger (voice, flute), Clint Takeda (bass), and Joe Culver (drums), Amanita is the place where the band’s collective spontaneous creativity blazed into maturity. “Amanita was a manifesto of everything we were trying to do,” says Michael Gibbons. It was really a template for everything we did later. We were a real unit — just so creative, just making up riffs. There were songs, but they were still rooted in our free-improv base. We had a beauty, but we also had a really strong impulse to be dissonant.” Check out the unreleased track Shadow Puppet and watch the video for Limerick.”

3 | Stone Cavalli | Riot

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Stone Cavalli are a rush of rock ’n’ roll full of energy and no nonsense. Drums, guitar and keyboards create a mix that flirts with punk and new wave. These brothers deliver a sound that is both arid and violent. Electro sounds clash with the more organic sounds of their instruments. Stone Cavalli underline the force of their Italian roots and are the ideal soundtrack for a movie based on a Charles Bukowski novel. Simon Tarricone (vocals/guitar) plunges you into the void of his determined growl as his guitar incarnates impudent and raw rock. Stone Cavalli (drums/machines) hits hard! His powerful and fluid style rhythms the darkness of his keys creating a mix that is dizzying, light and obsessive at the same time. Stone Cavalli’s new EP Social Kaos is an immediate slap in the face, both dense and spontaneous.”

4 | Hybrid | Flashpoint

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “British electronic-backboned band Hybrid live up to their moody, cinematic reptuation on their new single and video. “Flashpoint is the first track from our sixth album, and our first single and video to set the tone and story of where this latest album will take you,” explains vocalist Charlotte Truman. “It’s a sum of all of our strengths as a four-piece band but draws heavily on our legacy of heavy beats together with the sound of a band that’s been mangled through all the studio toys we can get our hands on.” Pulsating and propulsive with orchestral flourishes that are a trademark of Hybrid’s music, Flashpoint harkens back to electorock’s heyday while maintaining a very contemporary rhythm and urgency. Says Truman: “Stu Morgan [guitars/vocals] frequently channels Jimi Hendrix and came up with the epic riff in the song and our drummer Simon Hanson added the military beats and gonzo drum fills and stomp to the track.”

5 | half•alive | What’s Wrong

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Long Beach trio half•alive release their new single What’s Wrong, along with a tuxedoed, dance-heavy video. The video was conceptualized and produced by lead singer Josh Taylor, directed by Brantley Gutierrez, and choreographed by and features frequent collaborators JA Collective. Says Josh, “There is a really funny story with how the hook of the chorus ‘Time’s always right to fix What’s Wrong came to be. It randomly enough was actually a misquote from a conversation between Olivia Wilde & one of our creative directors Jordan, who also happens to be my roommate. Olivia (said) ‘The time is always right to do what’s right,’ which Jordan misquoted to me later that evening, forming the line ‘Time’s always right to fix what’s wrong.’ That line felt like the open door to address the social climate we’ve all been surrounded by for nearly a year now.”

6 | Blood Lemon | Whistleblower

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Post-riot grrrl trio Blood Lemon — feat. bassist & Built To Spill member Melanie Radford — are back with a headbanging love letter to ’90s alternative in a defiant single and video Whistleblower, from the band’s self-titled debut album (out April 23). Melanie says the song reflects on “the inner dialogue that occurs when a person is debating on becoming a whistleblower of sexual assault, harassment, discrimination, etc.” With mastering done by Mell Dettmer [Sunn O))), Earth, Black Mountain] and inspiration from Sleater-Kinney to The Breeders, the album explores our modern state of discontent — climate change, American politics, social justice, and navigating adulthood as women — through a medley of ’90s alternative vibes, heavy riffs & melting harmonies.”

7 | Gong Gong Gong 工工工 | Some Kind Of Demon (Yu Su Midnight Express Dub)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Beijing duo Gong Gong Gong 工工工’s raucous debut LP Phantom Rhythm 幽靈節奏 was recorded live in a room, on open-reel tape, with little more than vocalist and guitarist Tom Ng’s 60-year-old Italian pawn shop guitar and bassist Joshua Frank’s 1970s imitation P-bass. The minimalist group created a drummer-less sound that was more than the sum of its parts, inspired by back-porch blues, Sahelian guitar music, New York no-wave, Cantonese lion dance percussion, and, seemingly most incongruously, techno. On Phantom Rhythm Remixed, Gong Gong Gong bring to life a concept they’ve planned since the release, curating their favourite China-connected electronic music producers to remix the album in its entirety. The globe-spanning collaboration features Yu Su (Vancouver/Kaifeng), Zaliva-D, Simon Frank, Howie Lee (Beijing), Mong Tong, Scattered Purgatory (Taipei), Knopha (Xiamen), Wu Zhuoling (Chengdu), Angel Wei (Copenhagen), and P.E. (Brooklyn).”

8 | Alex Little & The Suspicious Minds | Waiting To Get Paid

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Vancouver’s Alex Little & The Suspicious Minds share the animated video to their LP title track Waiting To Get Paid. Set for release this Friday, Waiting To Get Paid is the band’s debut LP. The video was art-directed by Mat Dunlap and animated by Aaron Eisenberg. “He really did a great job at capturing the essence of the song” says Little. “When you can’t stop drinking and spending all your money, you’re always waiting to get paid.” Little explains, “Waiting To Get Paid is an album about struggling through reality and anxiety. This record is musically unique, emotionally honest, and relentlessly fierce while bearing all of its vulnerability at the same time. We poured all of ourselves into this. Truly.”

9 | Squirrel Flower | Hurt A Fly

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Squirrel Flower, the moniker of Ella Williams, announced her new album Planet (i), due for release on June 25. For now, she’s sharing the explosive single Hurt A Fly and its video by Ryan Schnackenberg. Williams says: “Hurt A Fly is me embodying a persona of gaslighting, narcissistic soft-boy type shit. The classic ‘Sorry I acted violently, I’m not mad that you got upset at me, wanna hang out next week?’ I wanted to see what it was like to be a character trying to skirt around accountability. It’s an angry and unhinged song, and for the video I wanted to be inside a bubble writhing around and trying to get out. A stranger filmed me practising choreography at a public park, submitted it to a meme page making fun of influencers, and the video got 1,000,000 views, which in my mind is perfect thematically.”

10 | Ben Katzman’s DeGreaser | The Cancer Power Ballad

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Miami shredders DeGreaser shared the new single The Cancer Power Ballad from their upcoming album Astrology 101, out April 23. The Alec Jerome-directed video finds frontman Ben Katzman navigating the cosmos while enlightening listeners to the best attributes of the Cancer sign. In true power ballad form, the single starts with twinkling piano before the band bursts into a soaring chorus and a celestial guitar solo. Katzman said: “Cancer is known as the deep-feeling psychic of the Zodiac. Their highly intuitive nature allows them to manifest the highs and shred through the lows. Cancers harvest their powers to nurture and spread love amongst their pack and what better way to articulate those vibes than with a true hair metal power ballad! From the soaring lows of a piano ballad to the fierce falsettos and screeching leads of ’80s past, I give you The Cancer Power Ballad.”

11 | Vulture | Malicious Souls

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On May 21, Vulture will release their new album Dealin’ Death. For a preview, check out the video for Malicious Souls. When it comes to contemporary thrash, there are few bands that can stand toe-to-toe with Germany’s Vulture. After establishing their status with 2016’s Victim To The Blade EP and 2017’s The Guillotine, then cementing their reputation with 2019’s Ghastly Waves And Battered Graves, they return with the mighty Dealin’ Death, one of the most ruthless records the genre has seen. “Take all our key elements — fierce riffing, halftone-shifts, aggressive vocals, huge toms, changing dynamics, horror-synths and classical twin guitar harmonies and cast it in a mould, then you have Dealin’ Death,” says guitarist Stefan Castevet. “The result sounds a little ‘back to the EP-ish’ to my ears, yet it contains new approaches that we’ve never included in our sound so far, like choirs with harmonies.”

12 | Forged In Black | One In The Chamber

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Forged In Black have taken a break from working hard on the followup to their album Descent Of The Serpent to bring you a video for a fan favourite from that album. One In The Chamber was recorded during the imposed isolation of lockdown, but still fizzes with the exuberance, good humour and downright metalness that Forged In Black are renowned for. Bassist Kieron Rochester said: “One in the Chamber was the first song we wrote in support of our album Descent of the Serpent. When we heard this song come together in the studio we knew we were on to something. It quickly became a huge part of our live set and it seems to be a bit of a fan favourite. Recorded over the lockdown period, we’re delighted to bring you some homebound harmonies, remote rocking and quarantine screams.”

13 | Atreyu | Underrated

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Atreyu will release their new album Baptize on June 4. The band just shared the video for Underrated. “We’ve never been handed a golden ticket and never been given a free ride to the top of the mountain,” they say. “We’ve worked our asses off for over 20 years to get to where we are, and this is only just the beginning. Our video for Underrated is an example of how hard we worked to bring a live show to your living room. This video contains footage from our global livestream event combined with video content created by our very own Porter McKnight.”

14 | Act Of Denial | Slave

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Melodic death metal band Act Of Denial premiered their video for the band’s fourth single Slave, featuring ex-Soilwork guitarist Pete Wichers. Act Of Denial includes lead guitarist and songwriter Voi Cox, guitarist and lyricist Luger, vocalist Bjorn Speed Strid, bassist Steve Di Giorgio, drummer Krimh and keyboardist John Lönnmyr . Bjorn on ‘Slave’: “Hi, i’m here to talk a little bit about ACT OF DENIAL’s new single ‘Slave’. This song really brings you back to the late 90s and early 2000s, at least that’s what i feel. I was part of the scene, I released the first record with Soilwork in 1998. and this defenetely brings me back and it has all trademarks and the bluesy break down, and that’s something what we always had from back then. The chorus is very majestic and super melodic and has 2001 written all over it. Loving this song and i hope you’ll enjoy it too. It’s cool.”

15 | Areis | Under The Sun

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Under The Sun is taken from Areis’ upcoming debut self-titled album Areis due for release later this year. Areis (meaning “to raise” in ancient Occitan), are a band from Bagnols-sur-Cèze (France), in the Occitania region. The quartet takes inspiration in music genres such as hardcore, black metal, post-hardcore and punk which they’ve blended, using dark, occult and Occitanian-themed lyrics, into no nonsense, gloomy music.”

16 | Norseman | Agony

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Norseman play colorful heavy metal inspired by the Nordic mysticism and they are preparing to release their second album Immortal Superminor later this year. Second single Agony is a true story about two lovers who have to face the unexpected passing of the other one. The story shows that even the death cannot erase love. Agony is a duet featuring Maya Liittokivi and Norseman vocalist Esa Eerola. Norseman were founded in 1994 by Eerola and it has operated with the same lineup ever since. Immortal Superminor is built on big stories and minor keyed melodies.”

17 | Scala Mercalli | Anita Garibaldi (Ana Maria de Jesus Ribeiro da Silva)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Italian legendary heavy metallers Scala Mercalli, active since 1992, released their video dedicated to Anita (Ana Maria de Jesus Ribeiro da Silva) on the anniversary of her wedding with Giuseppe Garibaldi in Montevideo in 1842. They shared not only a great love but also battles for freedom both in Latin America and in Italy — until the day in which she died in his arms because of a strong fever, at the age of 28, after being chased by the foreign armies that occupied the peninsula in 1849. The band declare: “This song is dedicated to Anita and her incredible courage, but also to all the women who bravely fought like her for the freedom and unity of Italy, like the men with whom they shared the same sacrifices in life and on the battlefield.”

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