Post niche fest jammers [single reviews]

By Ryan G

White Collar Sideshow – “I Didn’t Come Here to Die”: White Collar Sideshow have entered a new, bittersweet era as a duo. TD and Veronica Benton are perpetual nomads that exist to spread a message of hope through a medium that leaves many uneasy, sometimes creeped out, sometimes confused, but nearly always entertained. Their forthcoming record, I Didn’t Come Here to Die, is the group’s first proper release since 2013’s The WitcHunt. I kind of want to wait until the release to explore the themes fully, but I’ll say that this gritty southern barnburner is the sort of thing that’s enjoyable to jam loudly on a summer evening. I’m getting strong Royal Blood vibes here on top of the usual industrial and drum and bass vibes WCS fans will expect.

  • Davis Evanoff – “Cranberries”: Lately I’ve been addicted to a subreddit called r/TheNightFeeling. The general idea is that people submit media that gives them that feeling of driving or walking around at night. There’s usually a lot of primary colors with stark contrast, and if there’s audio involved there’s usually some kind of synthwave involved. “Cranberries” has a climax that reminds me of the ending scene in Fight Club. If you know what scene that is, you know. Thanks, Davis, for helping me indulge that need to seek out that feeling.

    The Sidekicks – “Ode to Jerry”: Who’s Jerry? I’m not sure. I like this song though. The Sidekicks are getting better and better with their trademark sound of driving, punk-influenced jams that exist somewhere between happy and melancholy. Most of the this song sounds far away. It’s almost as if they’re warning the listener to enjoy the song, but not without some reflection. This is a standalone single from the Epitaph Records band, as far as I know. Catch them on tour in the very near future with The Menzingers, Queen of Jeans, and Oso Oso later down the road.

    Big Cheese – “Golden”: As soon as I read that this band was “grunge wave” I knew I’d probably like them. This song is meant to be listened to loudly, wherever you are. My neighbor just walked past me as I was sitting on the porch typing this ,and I wondered if she could hear the music even through my earbuds. The production makes it sound like they’re playing in my kitchen. Those cymbals are ricocheting everywhere, and this is a scenario where I feel if I’m not worried about tinnitus, I’m not doing it right.

    Pumarosa – “Fall Apart”: The jury’s still out whether listening to anxiety-ridden songs help my own struggles with this at all. I do know that a nice little does of adrenaline when I’m calm is nearly always welcome in the context of entertainment. That’s what “Fall Apart” accomplishes. The frenetic drumming, the urgent vocals, and the noisy synth culminate in a thrilling effect. The further I got into the song, the more I liked it. If you start out uncertain, give it another listen or two. The anthemic ending will have you wanting more.

    AURAS – “Momenta”: I’m making up a new term for this band’s sound right now: let’s call it “movie trailer metalcore.” Or, how about “filmcore.” I can almost hear it now; “in a world where bloggers must fight to stay relevant, only one can rise above the others with a single description that is just corny enough to make you want to check out this song…” *cue breakdown*. Really though, this song makes me want to go on a quest or something. It’s catchy and self-indulgent in all the right ways.

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