When people say “don’t make bold statements, because you may regret it later”… Well, I’ve come to learn that they were very right about that. Especially if you’re making these bold statements online for thousands of people to read.
That is why before I dive into this list, I want to formally admit the mistakes I have made before anyone, especially the keyboard warriors, grants me the “biggest hypocrite on the internet” award. I am very aware that I went around running my big mouth that the rock scene in the United Kingdom has lost its rocknroll touch and had become filled with leather-jacket-wearing-Instagram-aesthetic-pleasing wannabes.
Typing it out for the third time makes me realize how harsh and uncalled for that statement is. But please put your pitchforks down, I think it’s important that we remember that the appreciation of music is very subjective, thus, we can all agree that my opinion, ultimately, does not count for anything.
Who am I to call a group of musicians posers? Right? right.
The elitist attitude in 2020 is disgusting, and I promise that from now on, I will keep irrelevant opinions, such as the one previously mentioned, to myself.
Also, before I get to my point, I just want to add that my dislike for the UK scene mostly stems from bad experiences that I have had with band members from that part of that globe. In my short time as a writer, I’ve had reoccurring encounters with (male) musicians that held these piss-poor-self-righteous attitudes that left me feeling genuinely upset, when all I was trying to do is hype them and their music up, share music, aka my job. So, from these incidents, I decided to jump to the conclusion that all bands from the UK are stuck up and unappreciative of music journalists, writing about their work, like the previous bands to save myself the trouble of going through that level of frustration and embarassment again.
I’ve obviously realized that’s not fair, not mature, blah blah blah. So here I am trying to face a somewhat fear of mine, by putting myself in this place of vulnerability and reaching out this crowd of people that honestly scares me.
With all of that being said, I am excited to talk about how I have recently fallen back down the rabbit hole of what comprises of the rock scene in the UK, thus reviving my love for that island of countries and their music. There are so many hidden gems around those countries (Union?), I’m starting to remember how/why it was the part of the world that solidified the genre of rock and goddamn roll.
Edit: I guess I need to clarify up and coming in the international scene FROM the U.K. :)))))
5. The Dunts
The first band on this list is the Glasgowian foursome called The Dunts, and this choice may come to a surprise to a lot of you, as it even shocked me a little.
Normally the more alternative-rock sound goes over my head, and it is not something that I add to my everyday playlists, but there’s something special about The Dunts.
The Glasgow-native band has two EPs available for our listening pleasure: Not Working is Class (2017) and Self Proclaimed Council Punk (2018), and recently dropped a new single called “Learn“. The latter EP gives a pleasurable feeling of nostalgic alt-rock, with notes spread throughout that reminds me a lot of old school Vampire Weekend, had they made slightly heavier music.
The band brilliantly exudes that unapologetic energy that the UK alternative scene has so notably established over the years (think of The Kooks & The Libertines). Songs like “Tommy” and “Hampden Cabs” and “G53” are energetic guitar-driven-anthems that put a pep in your walk, which is exactly what I’ve been craving at this time of social isolation.
Moreover, I am genuinely impressed by this band’s clever ability to write songs that are a bold take on cultural and politicals matters, all the while skillfully wrapping them up in these upbeat songs that get you grooving.
I am genuinely interested in following this band and seeing where they take their sound in future projects.
4. The Mysterines
The next on my list is the three-piece British group, The Mysterines.
A few weeks ago I came across the band’s latest single “Love’s Not Enough“, and I was immediately roped in by the captivating huskiness of Lia Metcalfe‘s vocals. It’s not often that female-fronted bands sit well with me, which, trust me, I hate about myself too because I want more girls in rock bands. However, Lia‘s fierce tone meshes so well with the dynamic rhythm played by herself and fellow bandmates: George Favager (bass) and Chrissy Moore (drums).
Despite my “love at first listen” feeling for this band, I couldn’t help but hear similarities to “Visions of a Life” by Wolf Alice. At first, I thought it was because of my limited knowledge of this genre, especially female-fronted bands.
However, the more I go back and forth between that album and The Mysterines songs, I’ve concluded that The Mysterines scratch the itch that Wolf Alice used to always leave for me when I would listen to their music. They are exactly what I had always wanted Wolf Alice to be.
I don’t like docile music. Especially when it’s a female making it. I love it when female singers and/or musicians prove that women can be unapologetic, loud, angry, and demand attention ( a la Courtney Love). Wolf Alice had always been a band that I wanted to get into because, instrumentally, they nailed it, but, I’d lose interest in the softenss of the vocals.
For a song or album to get my attention, it needs to stick to the forefront of my mind, which a lot of band alternative bands fail to do for me, hence the reason I wasn’t too fond of this side of music. But The Mysterines‘ energy is one of those rare groups that have the ability to grab you by the throat and hold your attention.
The Mysterines write songs that grab you by your throat, and it’s f*cking incredible. The fuzzy tone of the guitar and bass finds a way to massage your brain, the drums get your whole body grooving….and again…Lia‘s ferocious singing, it’s just all so brilliantly done.
(to conclude my Wolf Alice comparison, it was the fact that they never reached that ‘umph’ level that I never cared to follow the rest of their music. There’s no real similarity other than my brain thinking of them when I hear a female-led alt band)
I’m glad I finally found a female-fronted band that I adore, and I’m so excited to watch this band grow into one of the biggest bands to come from the UK in the next year. They’re definitely a force to be reckoned with.
Now that we’ve worked our way up to the more heavy bands, I’m excited to share with all of you, Snash.
In the late 1970s, the United Kingdom unapologetically competed with the United States’ blazing punk scene, by giving the world bands like the Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Damned, etc. These bands proved that, once again, the UK is the leading land of conserving gritty authentic rock music. Since then, there have been many groups rolling out from that part of the world holding on to theses punk-rock roots, bands like this next 4 piece punk band established in Glasgow.
Snash was established in the Glasgow, Scotland in 2017 and in their short time together, they have already gathered the attention of many devoted British punk aficionados. With their boisterous vocals and distorted guitars, the Scottish four-piece preserve what is true to their culture and encapsulate modern punk music swimmingly.
I genuinely cannot get enough of their song “pigs”. It’s angry, it’s passionate and it has a face-scrunching worthy guitar-driven beat. Every time the beat drops, so-to-speak, you’re ready to jump around and scream along to the intense vocals performed.
I’m also adding them to the list of bands that I NEED to see live once this virus ordeal is over. I cannot wait to lose my shit in their crowd.
2. Strange Bones
If you’re not new to my site, you would know by now that something that particularly excites me is when a musician, or a band, breaks genre barriers. I do not care for the millions of subgenres that have been created and the pretentious ideology built around it. SO, if I can find a band that is like ‘hi we make loud music that doesn’t fit in a box and we don’t care for it to do so’, chances are I’ll fall head over heels for it.
Strange Bones‘ music says exactly that. There is no real genre for the band. Although the 4 men from Blackpool, UK have been listed as psychedelic-punk, new-noise-punk, punk, electric-rock, etc, I find that the umbrella term of ‘punk’ would be the most appropriate if I were forced to give them a label.
(I genuinely tried since, for whatever reason, people need a label to get the gist of what kind of music it is)
Strange Bones‘ music takes listeners on the classic punk journey with their vehement vocals, distorted guitars, but then plummets the audience into elements of electronic rave-like beats that steer the band away from traditional rock and roll sounds.
What I enjoy the most about this band is that every song they have released so far is at the 100% level of high intensity. Similar to The Mysterines, Strange Bones’ music is in your face in the best way possible.
Their music not only gets you off your feet but also gives you a sense of enlightenment in regards to dance music. Their mixture of punk tones and industrial beats is so interesting (to say the least). I don’t think there’s anything similar in the rock music market right now. The closest comparison I can make is with the Canadian musician Grandson, but even then, Strange Bones’ approach to the electronic beats is very particular and that’s what makes them so good.
I am very appreciative of bands like Strange Bones that aren’t afraid to approach such a niche genre of music and kind of say “f*ck your rules” and add their own twist. I truly give my humble seal of approval and I hope you guys keep an open mind and check them out.
(please understand sarcasm with the seal of approval)
1. The Blinders
If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been listing these bands in priority order for you to check out..and I, of course, saved the best for last.
Yes, I am writing about this band for the second time this month. Yes, I do believe they deserve another mention…and, yes, I have developed a bit of a music crush.
I highly suggest you first check out my more in-depth review of this brilliant Doncaster band, before reading this bit, since this is more of an “add-on” to what I said a few weeks ago.
For example, I forgot to mention that the group is releasing their second LP titled “Fantasies Of A Stay At Home Psychopath” in July… which is available for pre-order now on their website…. and I may have done myself the favour of pre-ordering a signed copy, because I know it’s one of those things that I’ll highly regret not doing.
You will probably too, so go on, treat yourself to a new vinyl.
This isn’t sponsored, but I did use the band’s beer money on their record, full-circle kind of thing.
Anyways, since releasing my previous article, I’ve elaborated on the vague research I did the first time and dug through the depths of the webs for more live content, and wow. These men genuinely have the “it factor” that often lacks in modern alternative rock bands. Their energy, talent, and self-assurance is something I cannot look away from, even if I wanted to.
No, literally, I keep re-watching their performance at Pirate Studios in London, England.
I also keep replaying their debut LP, I cannot get enough of it, which is why I’m so excited for their sophomore record.
It’s also taken all of my energy to practise some self-control and not order their first LP as well. Until I have more money, I’ll just keep abusing the loop button on Spotify.
Just go on, listen.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you. This article is one of those “do something out of your comfort zone” moments. I am not versed in the alternative music world, but I really wanted to do this to prove to myself, and others, that music elitism is something that we should leave in the past. You are allowed to like death-metal but also bop to alternative albums, and not have to call it your “guilty pleasure”.
I don’t feel guilty for admitting that I’ve made (personal) amends with the UK Alternative music scene, and will be expanding my catalogue of that ‘genre’ from this moment forward. Therefore, if you were reading this with a high nose while clutching your Bathory album, I dare you to give these bands a chance and get back to me.
Music is Music.
Especially rock music.
Let’s all open a beer (or many) and light a few j’s while blasting some good music, as it’s all we have in times of turmoil.
Until next time Interwebs! 🕸
Thank you for reading Interwebs, all your support means the world to me. I just wanted to add that I recently lost my source of financial stability and could use any help. If you enjoy my writing and have $3 to spare, please consider tipping me on ko-fi
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