Fun fact #1: While attending college at Middle Tennessee State, Bully’s Alicia Bognanno majored in Audio Engineering. She did her internship with noted engineer, Steve Albini. Fun Fact #2: Bognanno recorded Bully’s forthcoming album, Feels Like (out June 23rd on Star Time International). Fun Fact #3: The fact that I just said Bognanno is an Albini disciple means many of you will play the below tracks without any further context. That’s cool. There’s no one right way to discover music and when you do play “Trying” and “I Remember” you’ll find a guitar rock band with keen dynamics and strong pop leanings, equally adept at both sweet and snarl.
Heartless Bastards may not have a throwback ’90s sound, but their video for “Gates of Dawn” is a total throwback to the time when you could intersperse performance takes with freaky shit and call the video done. It’s not like Heartless Bastards need a gimmick, however. The full-throated vocals of Erika Wennerstrom are enough to raise the band above most others who trade in rock with Southern twang.
There was a time when the terms heavy and indie rock weren’t antonyms of each other. Those of you pushing 40, and those whose taste still frequently takes them back to AmRep, know what I’m talking about. So do, KEN Mode. “Dead Actors” is the slow bang of slow bangs. Get your feet square, shoulder width apart. Wait for the kick. Then, head bang in a fluid, yet still aggressive manner. It’s like riding a bike. You don’t forget the slow bang.