Three Bands That You NEED to Check Out!

Most of you are most likely winding down and preparing to pack away the summer, while I am just now getting ready to praper for the summer, and give you that brilliant content that no one has been waiting for. Although I say that as I have been staring at this word document for several hours now, unsure of how to write these things. It genuinely feels as though my creativity has been dulled out by the (literal) hundreds of academic pages that I have been forced to pump out over four months, which is why this process of leisurely writing has become so foreign to me. Nonetheless, I am ready to TRY to remember how to write something not academic and explain to you my excitement of these three bands that have helped me hold on to my sanity while crawling to the semester finish line.

If it’s a little rough, please bear with me while I try to gain my groove back.

Monolord

First and foremost we need to discuss the importance of the Swedish doom metal band, Monolord. I had first mentioned them earlier this year when I recommended Swedish bands that you need to check out (read the article to get more context on the band too), and now I’m back at it again, saying that they are a band that you need to check out in general. It doesn’t matter what subgenre of metal you prefer, or whether or not you even enjoy metal music, Monolord will be your cup of coffee as long as you like amazing guitars, groovy vibes and music that gives you straight up goosebumps. 

Monolord
left to right: Mika Häkki, Thomas V. Jäger & Esben Willems
Photo by: Mike Bax

It’s nearly impossible to reject the gnarliness of this band! There are hundreds of doom metal bands out there, probably even more, lurking in the forests of Scandinavia, but Monolord stands out most for me because of the confidence each member has in their performance. After writing the post about “Swedish doom metal” in May, I’ve found that I had been consistently returning to Monolord’s music, due to the fact that out of every other band I’ve been listening to, Monolord is giving you Monolord. They’re not giving you Doom Metal, if that makes sense. When you listen to their music, you can hear a band that is confident in what they have to offer, and their own abilities to make music they like. Furthermore, the riffs are just something else, they’re a perfect mixture of melodic and sludgy, and the way they dance around the basslines, it’s wow, truly an eargasm. 

The band recently dropped their first single “Bastard Son” that will be on their upcoming fourth studio album “No Comfort”, and this is what confirmed for me that they are genuinely one of the best bands out there right now. It’s so hard to keep doom metal fresh, as the genre can be limiting in terms of what you can do to make it sound different. It’s gotta be fuzzy, sludgy, heavy, etc. Yet, Monolord proving that they aren’t just another doom metal band, they took these required ingredients and increased their production emmensely. This song is BIG in terms of quality and production, you can hear the significant change in this song alone from the rest of their songs. Which is why, despite my lack of funds, was so quick to pre-order “No Comfort” and I suggest you do the same. They are not a band you want to sleep (ha, pun) on.

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Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes is a bit of a change of pace from Monolord, but they are, nonetheless, another band that made me jump out of my seat and scream “Alas, ROCK AND GODDAMN ROLL”. So, same difference? 

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes are a British punk rock band that consists of Frank Carter, Dean Richardson, Tom Barclay and Gareth Grover. With three LP’s in around four years under their belt, the band has been making big waves in the underground hard-rock scene. What has captured my attention is their latest release “End of Suffering”, in which frontman and singer/songwriter, Frank Carter has used this album as a platform to open up the discussion on something that holds huge value in my life, mental health. 

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes
left to right: Frank Carter & Dean Richardson
Photo by: Sarah Louise Bennett

With songs like “Love Games”, “Anxiety” and “End of Suffering”, Frank Carter breaks the stigma of men battling mental illnesses and the pressures for men to “shut up and be a man”, whatever the hell that means. This was huge for me! Not only does this band make super heavy punk rock music, that makes you want to throw the table and headbang, but it also makes you think about things that are quite normal, such as vulnerability and pain.

I listened to the entirety of “End of Suffering” probably over 50 times since the discovery of the album, and then started venturing through the discography and binge-watching whatever live video I could find. The live videos were a cherry on top of the cake, just when I didn’t think this band could get any better, they did. Frank Carter’s energy and vocals live? Holy Fucking shit. You want to see someone put their heart, soul, blood, sweat, they’re every reason for existing on a stage… watch Frank Carter perform. I guarantee you’ll be in awe because I sure the hell was. 

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes are a band that I will whole-heartedly support from now on. Every single member is talented, and in it for the art, not commercial fame. True punk rock culture that makes my heart swell with joy. Finally, a band that I could throw in every boomer face when they say millennials don’t know that rock’n’roll is a lifestyle, not just a genre. 

Also, I’d like to just say a big thank you to Frank, for being so open about mental illness. I find so much solace in someone that is also out here in this world trying to be engulfed in rock’n’roll, all the while being vulnerable and open about mental health struggles. Thank you.

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‘68

Continuing with the theme of punky-garage-rock, the final band that I have been playing the shit out of is American “noise punk” (what does that even mean) duo ‘68. The band consists of Josh Scogin on vocals and guitar, formerly Michael McClellan on drums, and now Nikko Yamada on drums. This band is what I deem an explosion of nostalgic garage rock. It stays true to the genre, in the sense that is raw and passionate but doesn’t feel repetitive or unoriginal. 

’68
left to right: Nikko Yamada & Josh Scogin
Photo by: Timothy H

My first introduction to the band is probably the most authentic and best way to first listen to a band like ‘68, was by watching them do their thing live, on a stage. I saw them open for (one of my all-time favourite 21st century metal bands) Avatar, and I remember hearing this explosion of bluesy-punk tempo as I was walking inside the venue, expecting to see this 4 (or even 5 pieces) alternative rock band, but instead to be greeted by these TWO men dressed in dapper suits rocking the fuck out.  

My adrenaline went into overdrive, as I am the biggest nerd for bands that mix hard-rock and blues (hence blueveinblues), I was not expecting such a powerful sound to come from two dudes looking dressed to the tees. The band’s concept is fresh, exciting and gripping. So, thank you Avatar, for introducing me to what is now one of my favourite bands.

The album “Two Parts Viper”, which is the last recording of the original line-up that included Josh & Michael, is probably one of the best rock albums of the decade. HUGE statement, I know, especially coming from someone who is very all over the place when it comes to rock music (one day I’m only listening to terribly produced black metal, the next day I’m only listening to blues-rock). However, trust me when I say that by listening to “Two Parts Viper” you’ll understand when I say that ’68 has such a nostalgic garage punk feel, while keeping it fresh with the blues elements.

I am very excited to see what Josh and Nikko create together, especially since the chemistry the two had on stage was intoxicating, I can only imagine the energy that bounces off the two in a recording setting.

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With that being said , it feels good to be back to writing about music and I cannot wait to return to my regular post schedule. Thank you all for your four months patience with me!

Until next time Interwebs! 🕸


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Contact email: blueveinblues@gmail.com

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