REVIEWS

 

By altnoise, May 25 2020 10:39AM

Alone is the poignant and reflective debut single from Edinburgh based alternative pop project The McKenzie FIX. Combining subtle and sparse instrumentation with a haunting and thoughtful vocal performance, Ewan McKenzie presents an expertly crafted piece of storytelling, that will get under your skin in all the right ways.


At its core, Alone is a tale of solitude and isolation (perhaps apt for the trying times we find ourselves in). McKenzie at times has a vocal delivery remnant of Nick Cave and Guy Garvey, his voice is compelling, adding depth to the emotional gravitas of the lyrical material. Many songs this lyrically dense run the risk of becoming overbearing and muddled but this is not a problem for McKenzie. The subtle piano truly allows the lyrics to shine and gives the track a wonderful sense of balance.


Alone is a highly specific piece of music and as a result the themes and messages seem truly universal. The track has an abundance of maturity from a musician who clearly understands the intricacies of the genre he inhabits. An impressive debut single from an artist with very clear potential.


Follow The McKenzie FIX on Facebook and Soundcloud.


Andrew, altnoise


By altnoise, Apr 4 2020 01:16PM

Peterborough based duo Tripsonix are a band who are clearly not defined by genre conventions and tropes. Their latest single All That’s Left treads the line between polished and raw expertly, drawing influence from an impressively vast pool of musical styles.



Any fan of the more interesting and diverse side of alternative rock will find something to enjoy here. At times the song is remnant of an early Nine Inch Nails release. At other times, the vocal delivery reminded me of some of Jimmy Eat World’s punkier cuts. It made me nostalgic for some of the 2000’s more interesting alt-rock whilst always retaining a fresh and original energy.


In All That’s Left, Tripsonix sing of overcoming the negative voice in your head. The distorted vocals help paint the picture of a tortured soul, finally saying what’s on his mind. As the track reaches its peak, layered guitars combine with diverse synth patterns to create a vast wall of sound. It is punchy, tight and impeccably formed.



If you are new to Tripsonix, All That’s Left is a very good place to start. With a new album out in May, this is not the end. It’s just the beginning.


Check out “All That’s Left” by Tripsonix on Spotify.

Andrew, altnoise


By altnoise, Mar 30 2020 12:25PM

The Unlovable is a highly personal and passionate piece of song writing, an impressive debut release from an artist with clear mainstream potential.


This track sees Chicago based singer-songwriter Terry Blade address issues of mental health and his own struggles with depression. For a song with such a significant and important message, Terry does a great job keeping his purpose clear. The minimal acoustic R&B instrumentation works perfectly alongside his honest and bold lyricism, allowing the track’s vital message to always be front and centre in the composition.


The lyrical honesty in The Unlovable is refreshing; the track plays out like an internal monologue, vulnerable, sensitive and sincere. The specificity of what Blade discusses in this piece works to the track’s advantage, his struggle is relatable, and his message is clear.


The Unlovable is an impressive track that any fan of acoustic R&B will enjoy. However, it is the track’s lyrical honesty and pure spirit that truly allows the piece to shine.


Check out “The Unlovable” by Terry Blade on Soundcloud.


Andrew, altnoise


By altnoise, Feb 27 2020 03:05PM

Ron Hamirck, 2019


Taken from the 2019 EP Nothing But Sunshine, Tomorrow is a subtle and effective ballad about dreaming of the good times ahead.


The simplicity of the instrumentation here really works to the tracks advantage; the acoustic guitar picking allows Ron's lyricism to truly shine and the minimal keyboard parts create a poignant sense of nostalgia, giving the song form. The sense of longing in Tomorrow is totally believable. When Ron sings that "hope is a song that [he] hasn't finished yet" it feels genuine and heartfelt in all the right ways.


There is a real vulnerability behind the optimism at the core of this piece. The journey being described in Tomorrow is one of personal growth and is being explored with the maturity and grace of an experienced and proficient songwriter. It is a highly thoughtful and enjoyable listen.


Be sure to check out the EP Nothing But Sunshine by Ron Hamrick in full on Spotify.


Connect with Ron Hamrick on Facebook and his Official Website.


Andrew, altnoise

alternativenoiseblog@gmail.com


By altnoise, Feb 9 2020 07:48PM

Currently, there is nothing that excites me more than the prospect of new material from Black Midi. Their debut album Schlagenheim is in my top 5 of 2019 and they truly are a breath of fresh air in a sometimes stagnant rock scene. The fact that they have been embraced by mainstream rock crowds is a strong indication that British alternative rock music is ready to once again provoke and experiment. This can only be a good thing.


Sweater is the bands first release of the year and is an unused cut from their debut record. It is clear why this track was ultimately not included, with a run time of eleven minutes and thirty seconds the piece would have been quite jarring on Schalgenheim's tight tracklist. This is not to say that the track is not worthy, quite the opposite is true. It is a highly reflective number which has been given a lot of space to breathe. Largely instrumental, Sweater allows you to bring your own meaning and logic to the piece. By its climax, you have been taken on a sonic journey which is entirely convincing. Sweater is a nice addition to the Black Midi catalogue and I can't wait to see what comes next.

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