Welcome to the Music Review Mixtape. In this feature, RCM staff writer Javier Rodriguez provides a round-up of the best new music submitted to our website. Today he introduces 5 new artists, with a short, snackable music review.
Table of Contents
Heavy On The Heart – ‘Mr. Know It All’
Hailing from Long Island, NY, Heavy On The Heart are an alternative rock quartet that made their live debut in January. Opening for The Color Fred and Alex Melton, they played to a sold-out crowd, at The Shakers in Oakdale.
Drawing influence from artists such as Third Eye Blind, Paramore, The Dangerous Summer, and Hot Mulligan, HOTH carries the alt-rock flag with pride, offering a style as diverse as the bands they admire.
For their debut track, Mr. Know It All, this four-piece goes full force with a heavily charged nostalgic sound, with crushing drums and explosive riffs, intertwining with lead singer Nikki Brady’s intense vocal work, reminiscing of the late 90s and early 2000s alternative rock sound.
Aside from this tune, HOTH will release two more singles over the upcoming months, preparing everything for the release of their debut record ‘It’s You That Needs To Think’ in September 2023.
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Circle The Wolves – ‘2000 Pieces’
Keeping the decibels loud and strident, next up we have Circle The Wolves, a goth metal band from Canada. They mix the intricate structures of classical music with all the unbridled power that metal can offer, taking the listener through a dynamic sonic voyage.
After previous, including covers of Avril Lavigne and Sia, Circle The Wolves are determined to keep evolving and taking their musicianship to the next level, and this is clearly on show in exhibited in 2000 Pieces.
Combining mesmerizing vocal delivery with poignant guitar chords, 2000 Pieces escalates into a smashing chorus, where the mournful lyrics blend spectacularly with the instrumentation, functioning as an ideal balance of well-rounded songwriting and stellar production.
Not a band to rest on their laurels, this group is currently working on what will be their sophomore album, confirming they won’t stop making great music anytime soon.
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House Of Figs ‘Shiny Red Cuts’
After a three-year hiatus, Fort Worth, Texas, alternative trio House Of Figs has made a long-awaited return to the music scene, looking to bring back their highly infectious sound to the masses. In 2020 they had a very admirable debut, with the tracks ‘Alright With Me’ and ‘Forest Fire’ amassing thousands of plays, a feat they’re already repeating with their comeback single Shiny Red Cuts.
Tailor-made for the summer, Shiny Red Cuts is the danceable alt-pop tune you’ve been waiting for! Introducing contagious hooks, playful lyrics, and flawless performance, everything about this tune feels like an invitation for a good time.
But this return is not limited to just one song because House Of Figs have assured us there is not one, not two, but five more singles on the horizon! They are expected to be shared in the upcoming months, along with plans for booking local shows once more, this triplet is back and their time is now.
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Vonum – ‘Lay Down Your Umbrella’
The best way to describe this band from Manchester (and Athens) would be as the auditive crossroad where classic and modern rock meet. Vonum has a sound that can appeal to audiences of all ages due to the cocktail of influences in it, which fluctuates between blues, funk, rock, and indie.
Inspired by a conversation that the lead singer had with a friend, the phrase “Lay Down Your Umbrella” is basically another way to say you should allow your feelings to take over, and despite some people saying otherwise, it’s ok to cry, it’s ok to feel vulnerable once in a while and decompress when you need it, all for the sake of mental health.
But its subject is not the only motivational thing about this melody, LDYU also showcases top-notch instrumentation, starting with a drum beat made for a big audience clapping to its awe-inspiring rhythm, followed by an irresistible strumming almost begging to be played at a big stadium.
Engaging songwriting, catchy production, and a passion for crafting quality music make Vonum significant in Manchester’s ever-growing indie landscape.
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AstroNutz – ‘Toy’
Continuing the pattern of their previous two releases, Toy is another display of fun, pop-punk from Almere-based AstroNutz, a band that knows how to get the crowd going.
Often compared to the likes of Green Day, All American Rejects, and Blink 182 this four-piece has all the ingredients to become a favourite on your playlist.
Highly energetic, upbeat, and pouring good vibes, Toy is a recording that will appeal to old and young fans alike due to its timeless formula, capturing the essence of this beloved subgenre that not too long ago saw a mainstream revival. Consisting of fast-paced distorted guitars, pulsating drums, and irresistible hooks, Toy cuts straight to the chase, as most punk tracks do.
As you’re reading this, AstroNutz are hard at work on their debut album, which is set for release by the end of 2023.
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Words Javier Rodriguez