Welcome to the second instalment of The Alt Club’s new monthly feature, Currently Playing. We draw back the curtain on what each member of our team’s had on repeat and what we’re loving in the world of new music.
Anyone else counting down the days until Slam Dunk?
Brooklane might not be playing the day fest but I really needed to listen to something to get me psyched up to face a field full of strangers after being away for so long, and their debut album, Roll with the Punches really hit the spot. I’m a sucker for a good pop punk track and it just reminds me of singing along to all my favourite songs in a dingy club back in 2009 when life was simpler. Classic topics, catchy choruses, some gang vocals on ‘Growing Older’ that’ll 100% get you singing along – what more could you want from an album?
The band have only been around since 2020 and released Roll with the Punches earlier this year, so if they continue travelling at that pace, can we expect a UK tour any time soon? Please and thank you!
Listen to: Growing Older and Bite the Bullet
My discovery of Movements years ago sent me barreling down a path of alternative music that made me fall in love with bands like Microwave, Badflower, and Selfish Things. Bands who treated lyrics like poetry, who dallied with post-rock guitars as much as they did with more intense riffs, who made pretty music that lacked none of the intensity of the heavier stuff I loved up until that point. Usually, those bands also had singers who could sing, and I mean SING. Patrick Miranda, Nathan Hardy, Josh Katz, and Alex Biro could all switch between delicate falsettos (or their versions of it) and desperate, angry screams in a matter of seconds and the culmination of it all made for goosebumps music. Toronto band, Nightwell, fall into the exact same category for me. When I heard Jason Emsallem feature on the latest Coe Hill track, I had to hear more, and digging into their 2020 self-titled EP (coincidentally co-produced by another favourite, Paul-Marc Rousseau of Silverstein) was the best decision I’ve made this year.
Listen to: Drive and Medicate
I found this band on Reddit and so far they only have one song out in the world, but stay with me. Similar to Static Dress and If I Die First, Alera channel pure 2000s post-hardcore/emo energy in a way not many achieve without sounding dated (they even have the long song title). I’m a massive Saosin fan, it’s borderline obsessive, and when anything reminds me of them I get stupid-excited. The way ‘Failure; an Anecdote for Expectations’ opens with those rolling drums and soaring, emotive lead guitar does exactly that and the rest of the 3-minute track is post-hardcore paradise. I don’t really like the term emo-revival, I don’t think it went anywhere. Regardless, I’m just happy that bands like Alera are keeping music like this alive and current. It’s an impressive debut, I’m really eager to hear more and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Listen to: Failure; an Anecdote for Expectations
I cannot stop listening to this band. The way they manage to mix elements of old-school metalcore, reminiscent of early Killswitch Engage, and more modern hardcore punk is so satisfying. Last year they dropped the track ‘Innate Thirst’ which brings a machine gun style rhythm section so powerful it throws you back in your seat. The band also released ‘Enemies in Red’ featuring Bryan Garris from Knocked Loose – a favourite band of mine. Garris is known for his extreme shouty bark and coupled with Dying Wish vocalist Emma Boster’s growls, it really adds to the intensity of the song.
In preparation for their debut LP, the band released their latest single, ‘Fragments of a Bitter Memory’, in July which brings proper stomach punching rhythms, blazing melodic sections, and throat-shredding screams from Boster – it’s great to see more women in metal these days. A personal favourite track is ‘Autumn’s Final Sun’ where Boster demonstrates her soaring clean vocal ability which is great to see them pushing for as well.
Listen to: Fragments of a Bitter Memory and Autumn’s Final Sun
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