Russell Miller

Russell Miller

I'm a front-of-house/monitor engineer for Red Gate Sound & contribute reviews and an occasional snarky op-ed here at Underground Press | If the music has a strong melody, a drive, or ambition chances are that it’ll have my attention. Knowledge. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Arkayem_My Tunes: SoundCloud

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Writer/Contributor: Underground Press
Engineer/Producer: Arkayem Productions
Website URL: http://soundcloud.com/arkayem

'Bad For Me' by Roars Hunter Reaches Over 80 Thousand Views

After the release of his brand new single, 'Bad for Me', in June 2018 ROARS HUNTER has truly set out to define a new genre that is truly lacking in the industry. HUNTER is certainly turning heads with his new single, 'Bad for Me'ROARS, a newcomer to the scene has already released 3 videos and is not planning to stop anytime soon. With a debut EP due out in March/April 2019.

The Grammies came, saw, and conquered absolutely no one’s expectations with its usual “hand wringing” approach to the music industry changing beneath its feet, its inability to be culturally or generationally relevant and, despite Mrs. Keys’ best efforts, wasn’t very filling from an entertainment standpoint. Pop music’s Super Bowl of self-congratulatory pomp is one reason acts like Britain’s ROARS HUNTER earn currency with their unique approach and honest presentation as heard in their lead single, ‘Bad for Me’. The blandness of the Grammys may have left a less than desirable aftertaste in your mouth so maybe a palate cleanser is in order.

Hailing from London, ROARS HUNTER is a singer-songwriter who made his bones busking –competitively- and winning awards along the way. HUNTER is a genre-bending artist who does not shy away from brewing up a musical mixture of low fidelity drum grooves, gritty sawtooth synths, dark melodies and a haunting aesthetic. His journeys have taken him from being a finalist in London’s biggest busking competition to recording at the acclaimed Planck Music studios where he recorded all of his tracks.

The lead single ‘Bad for Me’ has an ambitious nostalgia about it that is sure to catch the ear of those who crave sounds that are off the beaten path. If this track is any indication, his future debut EP, and trajectory as a major player in the industrial/punk-electric music realm could be a force to be reckoned with.

Watch the 'Bad For Me' video below!


Follow Roars Hunter: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | SoundCloud | YouTube

'Bad For Me' by Roars Hunter Reaches Over 80 Thousand Views - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote
  • Published in News

Hidden Gems 2018

Currently, at the time this was written was still 2018, if you’ve already crossed over to 2019 (…or beyond); 1) Greetings from the past, 2) There’s some music that you left back here! By now everyone has published their “Top (X) of 2018” lists filled with everything you’ve already seen and/or heard but we do it a bit different around here. Yes, UNDERGROUND PRESS has remained vigilant and has scoured the “interwebs” for under-the-radar albums, and buried songs from 2018 and placed them right here in absolutely no order for all of you future dwellers…have a listen!

GEM: The tracks ‘Urban Wilderness’ & ‘Prelude For You’ from the album Bloom

South Africa’s EMERGER busted onto the scene with their debut ‘Bloom’ way back In May of 2018 and with it a music video for lead single Hindsight and awards for ‘Break & Fall’. Don’t let that distract you from digging a bit deeper into this little set of songs. ‘Urban Wilderness’ and ‘Prelude for You’ are two tracks that absolutely need your ears. The tracks feature some of the duo’s strongest melodies and overall songwriting. Listen below!

GEM: The Album ‘Chime’

American rapper DESSA’s album ‘Chime’ features some of the most indelible and substantive lyrics that will likely go vastly underappreciated. The Minneapolitan turn New Yorker tackles issues pertinent to not only an artist but female hip-hop artist who is fearless in her endeavours. ‘Fire Drills’ is one of the hardest hitting songs on the album but from top to bottom Chime is as wide as it is deep with a bounce here and there to keep even the most mundane hip-hop head hooked on her every syllable. Listen below!

GEM: The standalone single ‘Fiasco’

There is no doubt that hip-hop has been boosted by the many beefs and battles between rappers over the years. In fact, “beef” is to hip-hop as is apple pie is to America. Brooklyn rapper PATH P ditches that formula with this homage to one of his primary lyrical inspirations LUPE FIASCO. The track itself is a standalone single tied to a music video featuring sprawling vistas depicting the rapper's hometown, Brooklyn, New York. Sometimes all we need is a little love… ...you know? Watch below! - Video Produced by Arkayem

GEM: The song ‘Faithless’ from the Dirge EP

Perhaps 2018 wasn’t as loving and left you with a bitter aftertaste instead. Let DURGE provide you with that much needed cathartic cleansing as you embrace this New Year. The track ‘Faithless’ dials up all the right dark emotions that embody a previous year gone wrong and does it in spectacular fashion. DURGE leans on their heavy instrumentation a dark aesthetic all across Dirge, but this track that increases the emotive potency by a considerable factor. The desperation, depression, and crippling certainty of helplessness are on full display. Check out the track and the album for yourself below!

GEM: The track ‘Silk’ from the album Reminiscence

RIAAN NIEUWENHUIS has put in a lot of work throughout the years. Picture, in your mind the opening intro to a throwback crime show, or a montage of towering skyscrapers or sweeping shots of an inner city over a listen to ‘Silk’. The track is a nostalgic minimalistic trip-hop instrumental piece off of RIAAN’s most recent release that should age like a fine wine even as it already sports an “urban classic” feel to it. Listen here!

reminiscence album cover FINAL

GEM: The track ‘Luminace Forever’ from the album 'Leave the Bones'

Last but certainly not least, ring in this New Year with the nuclear warhead of a track that is ‘Luminace Forever’. WIRE LOVE delivers an absolutely massive sound on their latest release Leave the Bones, and this track brings it with gusto. The bass tone has a freakishly menacing fuzzy overdrive that probably shook Europe during the recording session but the rest of the band doesn’t wither in its wake. If you’re down for a screamo or post-hardcore revival in 2019, make sure to keep this track in your playlists. Listen Here

WIRE LOVE Leave the Bones Album Cover

As always stick with UNDERGROUND PRESS for new artists and new music from all genres and every corner of the earth, but especially South Africa’s immensely deep music scene!

Hidden Gems 2018 - 5.0 out of 5 based on 2 votes

Album Review: Emerger – 'Bloom'

Does pop music even pop bro? EMERGER provides their answer with the recently released 'Bloom', an ambitious serving of alt-pop draped with a hyper-modern aesthetic that is nothing short of dazzling. At eight tracks in length, 'Bloom' showcases the production and song-writing talents Emma de Goede (vocals/piano) and Gerrit Matthee (producer/multi-instrumentalist) honed while studying music at the University of Cape Town.

Uniformity and familiarity is the name of the game for this collection of tracks. Take, for instance, the album opener ‘Hindsight’ and the title track ‘Bloom’. The two tracks bookend the album-proper with the former being a shimmering upbeat number and the latter being a trip-hoppy soundscape. Bother have a similar feel with refrains that will induce an involuntary head bop or two, tight hummable melodic leads, and drum patterns with just the right amount of pep.

Listen to 'Bloom' below!

To buttress the memorable point, one would be remiss in not noting vocalist Emma de Geode’s contribution on that front. The vocals soar in lock-step with each songs crescendo and pull back with appropriate emotive finesse as evidence in the epic business of lead single ‘Break & Fall’ and the more intimate ‘Prelude for You’. Emma knows where she is going melodically as her melodies dance atop perfectly complementary chord progressions.

On the first listen, Bloom may seem too cold and rigid for those who are predisposed to approach “pop music” with skepticism. That said there is enough here to loosen a few obstinate music tastes. Each track is connected sonically and does well to glue the group together for an easy listening from start to finish. It is safe to say that the EMERGER crafted each song with an incredible attention to detail with a simultaneous gentle hand as to not sacrifice musicality.

'Bloom' is available now at iTunes and all major streaming services.


 Follow Emerger: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | SoundCloud | YouTube


 

Album Review: Emerger – 'Bloom' - 5.0 out of 5 based on 2 votes
  • Published in Reviews

REVIEW: Wire Love – 'Leave the Bones'

If the human condition and the certainty of uncertainty that accompanied it were a motion picture, WIRE LOVE’s latest effort 'Leave the Bones' would be the soundtrack. Hardcore-rock music often falters when it comes to blending musicality and intensity and presenting a cohesive (and more importantly edifying) listening experience. It often results in a seasonless soup of distorted bedlam, aimless screams with no real definition and start-stop patterns almost entirely void of anything resembling groove. This is not that, and Germany's hardcore scene would do good to exalt what this group has on offer.

From a production standpoint, Leave the Bones has a lot of meat on its bones. The guitars and bass lock in tight together with a less-is-more approach to distortion and overdrive that provides clear definition without sacrificing weight; in other words, WIRE LOVE is heavy…really heavy.

The album opens with a delayed punch in the face with ‘Symmetry’ and ‘Red Dress’, the latter of which opens with an eerily beautiful preamble that is way too short because continuing with a brutal onslaught of a groove that should maintain the energy of any mosh-pit. From then on the barrage is maintained at a clip that is as unforgiving as it is dynamic.

What truly makes this collection of tracks is its ability to maintain its intensity even when it drops its density. ‘Shadow’, for instance, sports an entire passage in a melancholic haze bookended by relentlessly heavy grooves with screaming lead lines everywhere. The succeeding ‘Luminace Forever’ then turns them up to eleven with a vengeful ferocity and there is no turning back from there.

Take the infectious grooves of GLASSJAW, the relentless energy of early ATREYU, with a splash of BOTCH and you will get WIRE LOVE. If this album is any indication, Germany’s post-hardcore scene is in for a revitalisation that only comes around once in a blue moon…watch out for these guys.

WIRE LOVE Leave the Bones Album Cover

You can order your copy from iTunes today.


 

REVIEW: Wire Love – 'Leave the Bones' - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote
  • Published in Reviews

Glory Fades – 'Everything Is Lost'

Angst, anger, scorn, longing; emotions that were a mainstay of an early to mid-2000’s (as well as its revival a decade later) movement that brought forth acts such as BRAND NEW, TAKING BACK SUNDAY, WEEZER and the like. While the subject matter isn’t a one-to-one ratio, the energy and sentiment are with ‘Everything is Lost’, the latest offering from alt-rockers GLORY FADES. The wave of nostalgic resuscitation that has reinvigorated mainstream appeal in many genres has not spared what has at times been affectionately termed “emo” or “pop-rock”. GLORY FADES has been at this since their debut with ‘Late in the Day’ back in 2017 and look to continue their journey into the heart of every millennial longing for a return to the days of yore.

Hailing from Wolverhampton, England the five-piece has a remarkably noticeable American emo hard-core aesthetic on the surface. Each song features riffs that work, drums that provide enough “oomph” and “pizzazz” to keep things interesting, and vocals that do well to bring everything together. Underneath the hood, the band touches on the cliché emo subject such as heartbreak and all things bleak for much of the album.

That said, there are some highlights on this record that warrant giving the band a few, repeat listens. ‘Growing Apart’ which features guest vocalist Amy Wyatt is a step away from what the album serves up with its very power chorus and silky chorused clean guitar licks. The high-energy ‘Angels with Filthy Souls’ not only features some of the strongest vocal melodies but also a rather strong commentary relating a certain world superpower and its “leader” whom shall remain nameless.

There is not much in this record that hasn’t been done before, but it is executed well enough to be infectious and surprisingly “earworm” worthy. One thing is for sure, the energy much of these songs contain is tailor-made for the gig experience. There is no way that the entire not be found mouthing the entirety to ‘18 Years’ and that is all GLORY FADES needs for this album to be worth a listen.

glory fades everything is lost


  • Published in Reviews

Review: Medicine Boy - 'Lower'

Music as an art form is removed from the limitations of perceived reality with regard to the aural experience of what is beyond the “real world”. In the case of MEDICINE BOY’S latest offering, 'Lower', the dream noise duo acknowledges this with a collection of songs that explore and reflect what is beyond and beneath what we believe to be our known universe. This album marks the duo’s Fuzz Club Records debut (though the second release overall) and seeks to stay true to their patented sound bouncing between a dreamlike distortion and a bed of spacious reverb and echoes dancing about.

Listen to 'Lower' While you read on!

‘Lower’ does not rush at you with a big opening number, nor does MEDICINE BOY seek to overwhelm you with a barrage of high octane appetizers. Instead, opener “Bottom of the Blue” seduces with LUCY KRUGER guiding our initial descent into MEDICINE BOY’S depiction of the underworld. With a third of the song left ANDRE LEO’S menacing crooning seeps in just underneath the surface effectively setting the stage for the drift into the co-lead single “Water Girl”. There is a push-pull feel that is woven into the passage of one song to the next that feels purposely aimless yet feeds the fluidity of the listening experience.

Across the album both Kruger and Leo trade responsibilities as the vocal anchor for whatever amount of Bedlam or tranquillity transpiring beneath their respective dynamic performances. What stands out with MEDICINE BOY, and the album as a whole is the duo’s ability to convey what they need to convey as one cohesive unit as opposed to two vocalists singing together. Both Kruger and Leo possess ample ability to carry passages of songs on their own, but it is when the two come together where the magic is strikingly apparent. One prime example of this is “Diamonds” a song that also features an abrupt change of pace that feels disturbingly normal.

It should be noted for the record that the artistry on this record is remarkable. Whether it is the elegance of poetry in “Lovely Heart” or the abrupt intimacy of the last line in “One Hundred Bodies”, it is evident that from top to bottom this album is a testament to MEDICINE BOY’S artistry and musicality. The Fuzz Club Records roster boasts a robust collection of artists that dabble in the experimental side of rock music. MEDICINE BOY could well prove to be a flagship stable with their arrival to the UK-based label as ‘Lower’ is an experience to behold.

medicine boy lower cover

Endless Daze 2018 has just announced their final line up and MEDICINE BOY is one of their featured acts. Check out the mastery of ‘Lower’ live!


Review: Medicine Boy - 'Lower' - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote
  • Published in Reviews

Riaan Nieuwenhuis – 'REMINISCENCE'

Two years removed from his last effort 'Collaborator', RIAAN NIEUWENHUIS offers 'REMINISCENCE', a collection of previously unreleased material. NIEUWENHUIS is a veteran of South Africa’s music scene and is a veteran of the music community who possesses a girth of talent with a seemingly limitless capacity for composing music. DELTA BLUE, THE VIOLENT FREE PEACE, AMAFIST, are just a few of the many projects that this virtuoso has been connected to. That said it stands to reason that NIEUWENHUIS would be in possession of some pieces that have escaped the opportunity to be heard by the public…until today.

reminiscence album cover FINAL

'Reminiscence' is effectively a musical experience that is comprised of three acts and an epilogue. Each section when taken in together provides a summation of the musical diversity NIEUWENHUIS exemplifies and has become synonymous with.

Act I opens the album with a lo-fi aesthetic that incorporates a trip-hop vibe with each of the first three tracks contributing a unique flavour. ‘Silk’ is the first track on the list that is energetically ambient and bounces with an infectiously crisp “boom-bap” rhythm that dressed to the nines in a slick urban couture. ‘Cruising’ follows with a darker tone that moves into the first act’s closure in ‘The Point’.

Act II sheds much of the trip-hop aesthetic but maintains the ambience, space and musicality. ‘Summertime Afternoon’ and ’22-6’ present two stark contrasts in sound with the former a lush desert rock downtempo number and the latter bearing a more abstract veneer. ‘First Out’ closes the middle act in exotic fashion with a delectable Eastern influenced acoustic flourish that flows into a rock trot with ease.

Act III maintains the ambience but adds an edge that is unforgiving but musically edifying. The act opening of ‘Paracaida’ is menacingly beautiful, brooding, but open and spacious. Lead single ‘The Black One’ adds an angst that spices the album up and fits perfectly before the act closing ‘Indurate’ which could have easily been a cut from 'Collaborator'.

Closing the album is a bluesy solo piano number by the name of ‘Namib Blues 2’ a direct nod to an earlier piece that would be familiar to fans and followers of RIAAN NIEUWENHUIS.

NIEUWHENHUIS has an artistic vision that’s woven into the very fabric of his works and influences every facet of this record in particular. Obviously these songs would have placed themselves amongst prior releases from NIEUWHENHUIS but one of the defining and endearing aspects of compiling them here is the experience of placing these tracks within the timeline of prior releases. 'Reminiscence' is a testament to a mind rapt with appreciation and love for the art of music and will be an immediate classic and favourite for those who share this conviction and even for those who don’t.

Please join the Facebook Event where we'll be announcing the album launch today!


 

Riaan Nieuwenhuis – 'REMINISCENCE' - 5.0 out of 5 based on 2 votes
  • Published in Reviews

Basson Laubscher & The Violent Free Peace – 'Testify'

Basson Laubscher The Violent Free Peace Testify

The blues-rock revival is in full effect with 'Testify', the latest effort from BASSON LAUBSCHER & THE VIOLENT FREE PEACE. Typically, modern music increasingly relies on the formulaic and repeatable approach. It is not uncommon to hear a track littered with synthetic sounds that are meant to mimic their real world counterparts. With LAUBSCHER and company the MIDI-triggered sampled drum kit, the in-the-box guitar tone, etc. are all M.I.A with this collection of tunes. In their place are tones that have travelled from the fingertips (and throat) of four experienced musicians, through a recording console to preserve and right into your ears for as true an organic listen as possible.

Title track ‘Testify’ opens up with a plunging musical baptism with its chorus of horns, guitars, and sermonic delivery of LAUBSCHER’s vocal performance. As fierce and as bombastic the opener is the following ‘Lost’ purifies the ear with a peaceful acoustic offering. The relationship between these two tracks is emblematic of the tonal balance of Testify. Whether the objective is to overwhelm with the sheer might LAUBSCHER and company are capable of or draw in close with intimacy the album maintains its equilibrium. That is to say, no matter the peak or valley the album feels even from track to track.

Watch 'Testify' Below!

That said 'Testify' is a testament –pun intended- to the organic rock music production. Due to the authenticity of the albums recording, the listener is in the room, on the other side of the campfire, front-row in the arena, whatever the setting, the listening experience just puts you…there. Each track wraps itself around the listener in an embrace of lush tones. From the fluffy but rugged overdriven rhythm guitars, smooth chorale organ and pads, to the simplicity of the knock of the kick drum against its room ambience; Testify is a beautiful listening experience. ‘Make It Right’ proves as much when moving from its riffy passages to an open atmospheric instrumental break.

basson loubscher

All said, this is an album that doesn’t get lost in itself. The strength and lasting quality of this record is that Testify does not seek to blow you away with all that a modern record could blow you away with. LAUBSCHER & THE VIOLENT FREE PEACE paid unique attention to preserving the authenticity of the blues rock performance. The lack of over the top embellishments is the feature in a world that treats it as a bug and that is what Testify leans on in a macro sense. The resulting experience is what LAUBSCHER and company intended it to be; a bombastic listen that stays true to its nature with a few twists and turns to keep your attention. For fans of the golden age of classic rock, blues and the like, there is more than enough meat on bone here.

Get the album on iTunes today!

The blues-rock revival is in full effect with Testify, the latest effort from BASSON LAUBSCHER & THE VIOLENT FREE PEACE. Typically, modern music increasingly relies on the formulaic and repeatable approach. It is not uncommon to hear a track littered with synthetic sounds that are meant to mimic their real world counterparts. With LAUBSCHER and company the MIDI-triggered sampled drum kit, the in-the-box guitar tone, etc. are all M.I.A with this collection of tunes. In their place are tones that have travelled from the fingertips (and throat) of four experienced musicians, through a recording console to preserve and right into your ears for as true an organic listen as possible.

Title track ‘Testify’ opens up with a plunging musical baptism with its chorus of horns, guitars, and sermonic delivery of LAUBSCHER’s vocal performance. As fierce and as bombastic the opener is the following ‘Lost’ purifies the ear with a peaceful acoustic offering. The relationship between these two tracks is emblematic of the tonal balance of Testify. Whether the objective is to overwhelm with the sheer might LAUBSCHER and company are capable of or draw in close with intimacy the album maintains its equilibrium. That is to say, no matter the peak or valley the album feels even from track to track.

That said Testify is a testament –pun intended- to the organic rock music production. Due to the authenticity of the albums recording, the listener is in the room, on the other side of the campfire, front-row in the arena, whatever the setting, the listening experience just puts you…there. Each track wraps itself around the listener in an embrace of lush tones. From the fluffy but rugged overdriven rhythm guitars, smooth chorale organ and pads, to the simplicity of the knock of the kick drum against its room ambience; Testify is a beautiful listening experience. ‘Make It Right’ proves as much when moving from its riffy passages to an open atmospheric instrumental break.

All said, this is an album that doesn’t get lost in itself. The strength and lasting quality of this record is that Testify does not seek to blow you away with all that a modern record could blow you away with. LAUBSCHER & THE VIOLENT FREE PEACE paid unique attention to preserving the authenticity of the blues rock performance. The lack of over the top embellishments is the feature in a world that treats it as a bug and that is what Testify leans on in a macro sense. The resulting experience is what LAUBSCHER and company intended it to be; a bombastic listen that stays true to its nature with a few twists and turns to keep your attention. For fans of the golden age of classic rock, blues and the like, there is more than enough meat on bone here.

Basson Laubscher & The Violent Free Peace – 'Testify' - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote
  • Published in Reviews

Surya – 'Adolessence'

Adolescence CoverIt is no secret that the international footprint of hip hop has grown steadily and mightily since its inception in South Bronx, New York project buildings. Today the genre is flourishing everywhere and there is no better example of its influence than on Adolessence, the debut album from West Londoner SURYA VARATHARAJAN. At first glance, the mention of hip hop probably provokes sentiments not unlike ones stated by wary suburban American parents in the late 80s, and the entirety of the 90s. For the most part, ‘Adolessence’ sets itself apart from what can be found frequently topping hip hop charts. SURYA cites hip hop luminaries such as A TRIBE CALLED QUEST as sculptors of his musical taste, and KENDRICK LAMAR for the lyrical substance and social narrative baked into much of ‘Adolessence’.

Modern, crisp, and energetic describes of the production up and down the track-list. Bracket by a few short skits sprinkled about the album are tracks that feature synth stabs, atmospheric pads and punchy drums dedicated to providing a necessary club-primed musical underbelly. SURYA’s grasp of some of the staples of modern hip hop instrumentation are not flawless, but he delivers enough of the genre’s modern trappings to fill-out the production.

SURYA’s vocal across a vast majority of ‘Adolessence’ is a breathy delivery expected of a raw talent but melodic enough to carry the day on most of the tracks. The standout track ‘Move It’ is by far the strongest display of what SURYA can do with a microphone in front of him as well as a highlight of the album as a whole. The vocals in the hook trace a loop that introduces listeners at song-open. The delivery is simply and provides the perfect earworm especially through the bridge.

surya adolescence1

The album’s driving narrative is admirable in its frankness but runs up against being too on-the-nose in places especially when it changes the point of view of the narrative from inner-dialogue to…well…anything else. ‘Seek Your Truth’ is a series grand refrains that do not benefit from the fall to –and recovery from- their corresponding verses which come off more monotonous than refrained; more akin to a lecture than a conversation. That said, these types of issues aren’t as glaring throughout the album, but are enough to disengage casual hip hop heads that stray from “bumping to the beat”.

surya adolescence2

Honestly speaking, neither the message nor the messenger holds back the potential of ‘Adolessence’. SURYA depicts social issues in a way few can, and even less entertain the thought of attempting. There is a quality to each song’s lyrics that shows how close to home some of these topics are to him and insulate his ability to communicate that in his own unique was. The worldwide MeToo Movement may very well ally within ‘Adolessence’ and the lessons it attempts to teach but beyond a social-justice niche there might not be enough meat in the pot to keep a broader audience coming back for second helpings.

You can find Surya's album, 'Adolessence', on Spotify here!


 

Surya – 'Adolessence' - 5.0 out of 5 based on 4 votes
  • Published in Reviews

Hidden Gems

Even though 2017 has lasted less than half a New York minute, in that infinitesimally short amount of time new music has been cropping up left and right. Of course, there have been newcomers to the game, but our beloved older artists -cough EVANESCENCE cough- have resurrected to help steal the spotlight from lesser known but strong underground acts. Fret not ladies and gentlemen, UNDERGROUND PRESS has remained vigilant and scoured the “interwebs” for fresh under-the-radar tracks. That’s right below this rather long-winded soliloquy is a collection of tracks that deserve your attention, love, and affection so gird thy loins –err ears!

Forgotten Sons Leave The Light OnUp first are the hard-hitting Scots, THE FORGOTTEN SONS with ‘Leave the Light On’. These lads bill themselves as an alternative rock group that “are in a constant battle between heavy guitar riffs and catchy pop melodies.” The track opens with a gently sung emo-esuqe lyric chock full of feels…and then heavy ensues. Don’t let the intro fool you, the song gets up and goes with some hard rock edge reminiscent of bands like SICK PUPPIES and is a ball of energy right up until the end. ‘Leave the Light On’ is currently a single listen below:

Lucy Kruger Summers Not That SimpleWas that a little too heavy for you? Be not dismayed, LUCY KRUGER & THE LOST BOYS calm you with docile tones of ‘Grace’, one of several singles off of their album ‘Summer’s Not That Simple’. This track is as soothing as a warm bath on a cold winter’s night as is much of the album from which it hails. Kruger, a product of Johannesburg, has a voice that is quite possibly the most captivating sound you’ll ever need to hear. The boy’s back her up with some deliciously dark tones as well. Check out the video for ‘Grace’ below: 

Conversing With Oceans TrilogyLet’s take things state-side with ‘Action’ from CONVERSING WITH OCEANS a solo project of Alex Bondare. With its enveloping sense of atmosphere, ‘Action’ is a song that soars sonically. Producer and Engineer Tim O'Sullivan teamed up with Bronx, New York native Bondarev to paint an aural picture that really can blow you away. This track is the lead single off of the upcoming EP ‘Trilogy’ and can be heard below:

Weekend Recovery WDYLMIf huge soundscapes and bombastic productions are not your thing, WEEKEND RECOVERY is here to bring things back to basics with ‘Why Don’t You Love Me?’ This female-fronted four-piece is serving up a healthy dose of raw and in-your-face punk rock that has been generating quite the buzz in the UK. They might not have been around long, but if there is going to be a punk rock revival, don’t be surprised to see WEEKEND RECOVERY out front leading the way. Check out the brand new track below:

Hexis XIIMaybe the tracks above didn’t hit the spot and you’re looking for something even darker and more extreme. You’re in luck because while you might have an affinity for darkness HEXIS was born in it. Since there is no clear single you should just mosey on over to their bandcamp and listen through their latest album ‘XII’. ‘Nefarius’ is a standout track, but the entire EP oozing with enough dark aesthetic to blot out the sun. No track exceeds the 5-minute mark but with how dense each song is you’re sure to be fulfilled. As always stick with UNDERGROUND PRESS for new artists and new music from all genres and every corner of the earth, but especially South Africa’s immensely deep music scene!

Hidden Gems - 5.0 out of 5 based on 3 votes
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