French Alps Tiger “Floor Is Lava”

Much like the child-like name of “Floor Is Lava” might suggest, French Alps Tiger’s new single is full of playful energy that recalls a more innocent time in your life. Full of sugary energy, the song buzzes through it’s running time and leaves it’s imprint on your brain.

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Furlong “Hate Girls”

Furlong’s new single “Hate Girls” starts off with a halting and slightly uneasy chunky guitar riff that recalls the 90s in such a non-nostalgic way that makes the song feel like something else completely while holding its roots in hard-driving but coldly delivered rock.

Only just the third single from the Australian outfit, I suspect nothing but good things from here.

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Neighbours Burning Neighbours “Softly”

Neighbours Burning Neighbours’ “Softly” is a moody, dissonant burner that touches on post-no wave that specifically recalls early Sonic Youth in a way that will make you nostalgic for the 80’s underground in a way that very few songs recall these days.

Spending a little bit of time and checking out the handful of songs that they have up on Spotify, it shows that NBN is a band that is willing to experiment to come up with uncomfortable but enjoyable listens.

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C.C. Potato “Almost Alright”

C.C. Potato’s “Almost Alright” is one of the first new songs in the 90’s Epitaph mold that really surpasses quite a bit of that classic LA/Skate-punk sound.

With super high energy and more than a passing resemblance to the vocals of Fat Mike. The song will for sure leave you wanting more. Luckily the band has two previous albums available on their Bandcamp and will definitely be what I’ll be listening to this weekend.

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Sløtface “Tap The Pack”

Sløtface has a sound that is an uptight good time, loud and noisy, but a little stiff. “Tap The Pack” has a frenetic energy that’s infectious.

Having checked out a few of their tracks at random this one is a little more uptempo than the other ones that I’ve checked out — however, all the songs have a good vibe and are well worth investigating.

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Midwestern Medicine “Everything I Have To Offer”

Midwestern Medicine’s “Everything I Have To Offer” has one of those timeless, raw and ramshackle rock and roll sounds that sounds just as good today as it would have if it came out anytime during the last 70 years.

Hailing from Maine, as an Iowan I’m more than a little big offended by their appropriation of the moniker, but I’ll forgive them this time but only because the song is that good.

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Tiffy “I’m Not Equipped For This”

This live in-studio version of east-coasters Tiffy’s “I’m Not Equipped For This” is an interesting combination of ’90s alt-pop with a bit of shoegazer/dream pop mixed in (mostly in the withdrawn vocal delivery & production).

After you’re done listening to this, be sure to check out their EP “Fire Sale” on Bandcamp. One stand-out “90s Teen Movie” nearly perfectly describes the vibes on getting off their sound.

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Neighbours Burning Neighbours “Grace”

First, little digression if I may. A year or two ago a compilation was put out called Subnormal Girls collecting post-punk by some of the best, yet underappreciated women-fronted groups from the original era.

Why am I talking about this? Well, it’s because I feel that Neighbours Burning Neighbours is creating some of the most interesting and original sounding post-punk since this original era. Equal parts noisy and cooing the song is unlike almost anything that you’ll find out there right now.

“Grace” and “Lunar Hair Care” (which came out a few months ago) are definitely signs of a band that is onto something new and interesting, and well worth checking out.

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Winter “Nothing More”

Combining an interesting array of sounds from the Slowcore opening to the sweeping noisy dream-pop heights Winter’s “Nothing More” is as shrouded in hazy mystery as it is a truly engaging and hooky. An extremely hard combination to pull off, but Winter makes it sounds like it’s the most natural thing in the world.

It sounds like hyperbole. However, Winter is making a sound that is so rarely pulled off, that it’s just calling for a deep dive.

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Leggy “Not What You Need”

The fourth appearance of Leggy on Pop Occulture. So for those of you who haven’t read about them here before, here’s the shortest recap. “Leggy is a trio from Cincinnati, OH. Creating some of the interestingly smeary/dreamy/noisy punk out there these days.”

That being said Leggy’s new track “Not What You Need” is yet another great track that pulls together all the elements that I’ve enjoyed about their work so much in the past while adding a pop clarity to the mix without compromising their interesting combination of sounds.

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Lot Lizard “Ice”

Lot Lizard’s “Ice’ has a tight dark sound, that reminds me of East Bay Ray providing guitar for a post-punk outfit circa 1979. Hard but infectious, the pained / yelled vocal style provides a nice balance against the slick high-energy performance.

Digging around their Bandcamp, it feels like their sound and production has come a long way since last year’s demo. Though the few songs that they have for offer there are all well-crafted and interesting.

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King Willow “Your Band”

King Williow’s “Your Band” is a ferocious yet sweet-sounding power-pop track railing against a certain kind of egotism that exists in pretty much every scene that I’ve, personally, ever witnessed. With cleverly stinging lyrics, King Willow strikes back with enough wit and hook to leave the song in the head of those its railing against for days.

From the looks of their Bandcamp, this is just the latest in a string of really strong singles that I hope builds to something amazing.

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Djunah “Animal Kingdom”

One of the unfortunate side effects of the current musical climate is that it’s few and far between that I actually see a video that actually pulls me in visually. However, every once and a great while I see something as visually interesting and well directed as the video for Djunah’s “Animal Kingdom” which reminds me of the artist Maurizio Cattelan’s work on the Itallian art magazine Toliet Paper.

As for the song itself, Djunah has a powerfully retrained sound on “Animal Kingdom” that feels like a fresh take on 90’s grunge/riotgrrl. The only complaint I would have about the song is that at just over 2 minutes, I just want to hear more.

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Broken Baby “My Head’s A Television”

Broken Baby’s “My Head’s A Television” is a buzzy energetic romp that feels like a steamroller bowling down to the seconds of it’s less than 3 minute runtime. Full of amazing hooks, and frantic playing it’s possibly one of the best lo-fi indie-punk tracks you’ll hear this year (not much time left!)

Best of all if you go over to their Bandcamp you can download it for free right now!

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Desert Sharks “Sorceress”

Desert Sharks “Sorceress” is a high energy track that smacks you in the head from the opening chords all the way through until the end of the song. In a time of lackluster pop-punk and even worse hard rock. It’s still refreshing to hear a band who knows how to create original sounding music that doesn’t pull any punches.

Their new album Baby’s Gold Death Stadium, just came out a few days ago but is already calling out to me to check out the rest. I suggest you do the same.

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Human Beat “Contact”

From it’s crunchy VHS aesthetics, both for the video, nearly danceable beat, and guitar that cuts through the rest of the mix like a weapon — Human Beat’s “Contact” screams early Post-Punk / No Wave without beat it over the head or it becoming cliche.

Hailing out of Birmingham and Chicago, the band is bringing fresh blood to a sound that makes it both interesting and revitalizing. Human Beat is one of those bands worth checking out, even if it’s because they’re one of the only ones out there right now doing it so good.

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Jesus Did “Kills Birds”

Jesus Did’s “Kills Birds” is a track absolutely bounding with a retrained energy that jumps out of the speakers and makes you want to listen to the song on repeat. With touches of PJ Harvey, the song is unique and experimental without delving too deeply into abstraction.

“Kills Birds” off their Self-Titled debut springs with tightly wound up drums and thick guitars, the song doesn’t sound like much of anything coming out currently, without sounding like a throwback.

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Ian Ferguson “Worried Walk”

Ian Ferguson’s “Worried Walk” is a slice of West Coast styled (though apparently from the East, I can’t find much information on the band) sunshiny garage rock mixed with a healthy dose of T-Rex filtered through Nobunny that you need in your life this time of the year.

Stomping and clapping, the track is rollicking and upbeat — and makes me wish that all my worried walks were this cheery.

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VAZUM “She’s In Parties”

Musically deepening the mysterious sound of Bauhaus’ original track “She’s in Parties”, VAZUM takes complete control by thickening the sonic pallet and giving it a depth that is a little lacking in the original.

It’s refreshing to hear a Bauhaus cover that doesn’t try to ape the original, especially with the drastic change in tone from Peter Murphy’s distinct vocalization.

I’ve previously covered an early track by VAZUM, and it’s good to hear that they’re progressing in an interesting way that is dark and churning in a gothic/post-punk vibe while not trying to sound like any other bands that have been out there before.

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The Cosmic Coronas “Jeepster”

One of the hardest things to do with a cover is to have it be true to the original, but also do it in such a way as to bring your own energy to it that will make it stand out from the original. This goal, traditionally, is doubly hard when you’re trying to tackle songs by legends like T-Rex.

However, that is exactly what The Cosmic Coronas did with their cover of the classic Electric Warrior track “Jeepster”. Where T-Rex’s original was full of other-worldly knowing. The Cosmic Coronas have brought a down and dirty flavor to the track that wouldn’t be completely out of place on a Janis Joplin album.

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Steph Sweet “All The Things”

There is an interesting background level of darkness I’ve been noticing increasing in music the past several months. While most of these bands are latching onto the tried and true tropes of the Peter Murphy voice, a ripping off later day Cure riffs — Steph Sweet has brought an interesting and new sound to this area.

With powerful vocals, and swirlly and crunchy guitar riffs that wouldn’t sound out of place in a late 90’s britpop, yet grounded somewhere more in the early 80’s. “All The Things” is dark, broody, a little strange, but also interestingly an ear worm that will grab you and not let go.

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Rebecca Lou “Take Ur Time”

Rebecca Lou’s “Take Ur Time” is one of those interesting songs that picks and choses little bits and pieces from all over the history of rock, and puts together something new.

From the vocals that remind me of an underground 80’s rock song, to the fuzzed out guitars of mid-90’s alternative rock. The song is a hodge podge of all these interesting tried and true sounds, but it never comes off as something that is slapped togther without ryhme or reason.

Solid hooks, great production and an extremely tight band “Take Ur Time” feels like the start of something interesting.

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CATSIGNS “Smokin’ The Clouds”

CATSIGNS’ blissful version of psych-pop is infectious and sunny, without slipping into overwrought cliche. Typically drug songs can really start veering towards the later, as bands think that they’re being more clever than they are.

However, “Smokin The Clouds” is right up front with the subject matter, and decide to focus on the quality of musicianship rather than the tittering appeal of how some will react to the lyrics.

Between the woodwinds and the guitar tone, I can’t really think of another song that has come around recently that has this authentic feel of the ’60s without feeling like aped pastiche.

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Glamper “Life Finds a Way”

With a great riff and clever lyrics, Glamper’s “Life Finds a Way” lives in an interesting world between a tongue in cheek send-up and a sincere tribute to everybody’s favorite Spielberg dinosaur movie Jurassic Park.

A fuzzy catchy track, that has definate earworm posiblities. The band isn’t short on interesting physical formats either. Avaliable soon through their BandCamp page they’re releasing a 8” lathe vinyl with a real amber-trapped mosquito inside.

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Deal Casino “Dear Prudence”

Rule #1 when doing a cover, don’t cover the Beatles. It’s just too hard to mess up, and there’s already so many of them out there that they’ll get lost in the mix. However, if you do have an interesting take on a song in their massive hits catalog, it’s a worthy gamble.

Deal Casino did just that with their cover of “Dear Prudence”. Their fuzzy minimalist take on this out and out classic does justice to the original while putting their own mark on it. What else can be said than pulling off a successful Beatles cover? Check it out.

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Lauran Hibberd “Hoochie”

Lauran Hibberd’s “Hoochie” is sweet and crunchy and going to be caught in your head the second you hear the opening chords for at least the next few weeks. In a world of a serious lack of emotionally honest feeling pop rock songs, “Hoochie” is a stand out track.

I’ve been down a small rabbit hole of listening to her music on YouTube and the hype surrounding her is well earned and deserved.

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The Pretty Flowers “Lawyers, Guns and Money”

There’s a fine line that a band takes when covering a song, trying to stay true to the original while bringing something new to the table so it doesn’t sound redundant. This is a very hard line to stay on, especially when covering someone as iconic as Warren Zevon, but The Pretty Flowers have some how even made the song sound somewhat their own. 

Coming off their new album covers Golden Beat Sessions this take on Warren’s song, puts the rest of the album high up on my radar of things to check out, and I highly recommend you do the same.

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Back to Pop Occulture are the UK’s FALSE HEADS and like their previous efforts, this is a buzzy poppy alternative rock song with a solid foundation in the roots of rock. As I said in my previous reporting on the band, if you have Iggy Pop singing your praise, you definately can’t be doing too many things wrong.

Their new song / video “Slease” is a growling and energitic stomp that is catchy enough to grab attention while the song itself is well crafted and produced to the point where it really delivers the goods.

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Super Paradise “6:30”

Self described as a combination of the psych sound of the bay area with the sounds of New Order, isn’t very far off the mark of this interesting gem that got sent to me the other day. Very well produced, accessible but haunted this is one of htose weird songs that addapts itself to the mood that you’re already in rather than the other way around.

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Blushing “Dream Merchant”

If the Breeders had been 10% more into shoegazer, Blushing’s “Dream Merchants” would have sounded right at home on Pod EP, the song is full of shimmering hazy melodies that will worm there way into your head without feeling either too pop or too abstract.

From digging around on their Bandcamp page it looks like they have already amassed a small body of work, something I’m excited as we all must be to check out what else the band has put out.

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