Artist: Indoor Pets
Song: “Pro Procastinator”
Album/EP: Be Content
High-energy power pop with clever moments of fresh variance and a hook that is challenging to best, “Pro Procrastinator” is a hell of an introduction to Indoor Pets. Broken up into chunks that help make the potentially overwhelming track digestible and complex while still providing plenty of pounding drums, snotty vocals, and crashing chords, there’s lots to love for listeners of varied schools of thought. Like gang vocals? You’re covered. Looking for a shoegaze-y bridge? Included. Just feel like thrashing along to one of the most relatable songs you may ever hear? Come on in.
Hard swinging rock with thick and crunchy guitar tones that would please any Queens of the Stone Age fan, “Ashes” is a hidden gem from newcomers Toreador. The energy in this tune is high, but not chaotic – meticulous riff control and measured guttural drumming pair with vocalist Jack Wilson’s clean and clear delivery to keep things reigned in.
Artist: Skinny Lister
Song: “My Distraction”
Heady rock that jams out in fits and bursts, “My Distraction” allows its sinewy main guitar to flit in and out amongst porous drums and vocals to build a focused, driving tune. A hazy yet urgent chorus ties it all together to cap off a bright little track that tidies up faster than a summer in the UK rockers’ homeland.
Artist: Auntie Leo & The Backstabbers
Acidy, sun-bleached rock that plays like surfer bop that’s baked in the desert for too long, “Roaches” is a solid scorcher from Aussie undergrounders Auntie Leo & The Backstabbers. Washed-out cymbals, cooked guitar, and reverb-heavy vocals especially add a taste of danger and isolation to an otherwise beach-bum friendly tune.
Artist: Getaway Van
Song: “Lord I’ve Been Running”
Anthemic, macho rock that is equal parts urgent and posturing, “Lord I’ve Been Running” plays true to its title. Incessantly walking guitar streaks up and down the fretboard, accompanied by a larger-than-life vocal performance from the rocking Vancouverites. A little bit of desert haze creeps into this tune, too – imagine ZZ Top decided to score an 80s-era film epic, and you’ve got yourself some Getaway Van.
Artist: Murray A. Lightburn
Song: “To The Top”
Album/EP: Hear Me Out
Heartfelt big band soul in a slick 70s blues rock sound beefed up by a symphony, “To The Top” clearly pours from the heart of band runner Murray A. Lightburn. Morose vocals croon over an instrumental performance that plays like an exuberant celebration waiting in tempered anticipation – as if a great victory is just on the horizon, but the collected orchestra senses potential doom and doesn’t want to risk jinxing it.