Less Than Jake – “Lie to Me”: Rousing and unapologetic, ska legends Less Than Jake return with a new single “Lie To Me.” The world is fractured and in disarray, and on this song the band expresses their grievances towards the rulers. On point and infectious, the track doesn’t play differently, as the same formula is used, but that doesn’t ruin the balance or the urgency. We all know Less Than Jake is a talented bunch of musicians, spearheading a joyous mixture of punk and ska, with unchanged melodies that ultimately work. As the old saying goes, “why fix what isn’t broken?”
Hands Like Houses – “Dangerous”: Australia’s Hands Like Houses are melodic pioneers. Since their inception, the band has worked upon a formula that keeps elevating. Their third album, Dissonants, put them on the map and made them a name on many lips. They’ve returned with “Dangerous,” a single, which has those raucous melodies they’re known for. It hits rapidly, pulling at all their talents and abilities. From the get go it cuts deep, enforcing heaviness and harmony, and lead singer Trenton Woodley sings with authority and measure, expressing the lyrics like a poet. It is a defining song by Hands Like Houses.
Salem – “Destroy Me”: As punk goes, Destroy Me by Salem is a winner. A chorus worthy of acclaim spreads through the artistry. Will Gould of punk band Creeper has kick-started this new project, and their debut track is an infectious pile-driver. It is abrasive and not for the faint-hearted dreamer or pop expert, as it truly hits against the darkest spot. Lyrically, Gould sings above the riff, and pinpoints his desire to be wrapped up in the spell of a beautiful woman. As punk goes, it is a great staple.
Nothing But Thieves – “Real Love Song”: English rock band Nothing But Thieves have become a band to observe with curiosity. Since their start they’ve released earworm after earworm, claiming their place as an act to consider. Vocalist and guitarist Connor Mason undoubtedly is a genius. Lyrically, “Real Love Song” blends pessimism with evocativeness, and the song is catchy as they come. Infectiousness becomes key, but the layers beneath it all are broad and special. The guitar work doesn’t dominate but becomes a joyous section of a song that is one of the band’s most creative works. Superb.
Lonely the Brave – “Open Door”: This song hits. The new single “Open Door” by Lonely The Brave documents struggle and disposition. The chorus is poignant, pushing this melodic heart-puller up a notch. For a single, it has moments where hope dies and then reclaims its life. Sturdy instrumentally, the track pushes the band to the light and gives us an insight into the hardship of day to day. It is a beautiful contribution from a band with sheer ability.