Bastille – Doom Days, 2019 (Album Review)

If you’d like to watch/listen to this review, check out the YouTube video here!

Bastille broke into the mainstream with their 2013 hit “Pompeii” from the band’s debut LP Bad Blood, a record that offered indie pop with an alternative tinge. The UK band followed it up with Wild World, their sophomore effort released in 2016. There was more distortion, more social commentary, and, well, more indie pop rock… Another three years passed and Bastille returned with Doom Days, marketed as a concept album about a rowdy party during the apocalypse, filled with emotional ups and downs.

Personally, Bastille never really caught my eye. I recall hearing “Pompeii” on pop radio back in the day, but I barely even noticed when they dropped Wild World in 2016. I named that album one of the most overrated albums of 2016 in my year-end list and wrote off the band as nothing more than a mainstream “alternative” act plying for a pop-friendly sound.

The band’s debut Bad Blood felt both overpolished and yet underproduced sonically. The songs were either too gargantuan in scale or uninteresting snoozefests, either too washed out in the mixing or so barebones that they felt like demo tracks. Fans hyped the lyrics up as being so deep and soulful, but I found it to be somewhat overly pretentious and basic.

I can’t blame Bastille for their approach to this record though. In 2012 and 2013, a number of alternative-leaning bands were crossing over in pop audiences with this organic, authentic style, both instrumentally and lyrically, and bombastic, grandiose anthems. Take a look at Imagine Dragons with big hits like “It’s Time” or “Demons,” Of Monsters and Men’s “Little Talks” and “Mountain Sound,” Fun.’s “Some Nights” or “We Are Young,” The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey,” Passion Pit’s “Take a Walk,” or… well, you get the point. The most similar contender for comparison to Bad Blood would be Imagine Dragons’ Night Visions; the folky attitude, larger-than-life choruses, classic instrumentation with some electronic flair mixed in, the albums are practically long-lost brothers. So sure, I can see why Bastille fit into this mold, but man, was it trite as hell.

Wild World felt like we were taking one step forward and two steps back. Yes, the ripping guitars on numerous cuts were strongly welcomed, the sound suited the band fairly well. But the production was ear-grating with odd background noises or snare timbres or backing vocals. The choruses came across as lazily written since most of them were just one or two lines repeated over and over again, and the flimsy sociopolitical commentary was rather bland and surface-level. And to top it all off, the majority of the songs all sounded the same! I couldn’t tell the first, like, 16 tracks apart. Wait, shit, that’s the whole LP. The album was forgettable after about one listen, which reminds me of another album with a similar title… *cough* Wilder Mind by Mumford & Sons. Oh, hey, another band that tried to make a “rock” record that turned out to be boring and forgettable! Really, it says something when the only tracks I found myself genuinely enjoying on Wild World happened to be the bonus tracks.

Now I will say this: Bad Blood and Wild World are not bad albums. I do believe they are a bit overrated, but they are not completely awful outings. I might not have been able to get behind the hype but to each their own. So you can bet I was surprised after my first listen of Doom Days. I… I actually… enjoyed it? Me? Being fond of a Bastille album? Yes, it’s true. I like Doom Days. It took a minute to grow on me, but I do indeed like it. Maybe not love, but I like it. Maybe it’s because I had low expectations going in, but I like it. I guess now we should actually talk about this latest record rather than all the other albums in the band’s catalog.

When I saw that Bastille was gearing up for a new full-length by releasing the lead single “Quarter Past Midnight,” I remember not being impressed. I didn’t think much of it, and I surely was not invested in their collaboration with M********o on “Happier.” But after Doom Days was officially released, I decided to give it a chance, maybe just for a good laugh. I was lukewarm after the first spin, but with each listen I grew more enamored with the record. At first I didn’t buy into the idea of Doom Days being a concept album; it didn’t feel like there was much of a narrative, just some recurring themes and motifs intertwined throughout the tracklisting. Now I see the vision, and though I still think it’s a stretch to call it a proper concept album, I can see why the band believes it.

Should we get the negatives out of the way first so we can end this review on a happy note, just like this album? While Bastille has dialed back on the trying-too-hard-to-be-deep writing, there are still some moments throughout the record where the band is attempting to sell the idea at hand as being so big and emotional when it’s really not that deep. Ooh, apocalypse! Ahh, relationships! Err, something like that…

Also, the slower songs on Doom Days all crescendo into these big endings, and while it’s nice that we get to catch our breath before being catapulted into another colossal chorus, I feel like the roster just needed one song, just one slow, quiet song, to really give the listening experience a bit of contrast. “Those Nights” is a contemplative glance at how we’re all just craving some love during these difficult times. The power ballad piano chords are nicely executed, but the song ends with this left-field dubstep-esque breakdown? It feels somewhat out of place.

Speaking of places, “Another Place” is a rather EDM-inspired tune, along with “Million Pieces.” Perhaps Bastille was trying to appeal to the listeners they gained from “Happier” or something. These tracks are enjoyable enough and do add some different flavors to the record, but some strange production choices pop up here and there, like the repetitive whooping in the background of the “drop” on “Million Pieces,” or the over-sanitized vocals on “Another Place,” which also has some weird background noises. “Joy,” one of the best numbers on the album, is plagued by this unnerving squeaky sound that rears its head on the upbeats during the chorus. And a handful of songs feature intriguing guitar riffs that are unfortunately too quiet or get lost under the percussion or walls of sound. I typically have a few gripes when alternative bands incorporate more synthesized elements into their style, but I don’t necessarily mind Bastille shooting for a more dance-influenced, electropop sound. They’ve always had it buried in their DNA since Bad Blood, so I believe this is a natural progression for them as artists. I do wish, however, that this album featured some more interesting or prominent bass grooves.

Lyrically, there are a few odd pop culture references thrown in, sometimes ones that kind of ruin the moment. The title track “Doom Days” starts off with the line “There must be something in the Kool-Aid” and later references Peter Pan in the most cringey way possible. Peter Pan is slightly pointed to again on “The Waves” when Dan Smith sings “We never, never give up on the lost boy life,” which is thankfully a more tolerable and broad interpolation. Stanley Kubrick is mentioned on the second tune “Bad Decisions,” which is probably just flying over my head because I can’t quite figure out why it exists. (Help?) The title track also seems to cram way too much in too little time; it’s the shortest track on the album and yet seems to pile on the most societal commentary over a grimace-worthy trap beat.

Overall, these drawbacks are for the most part minor nitpicks that don’t entirely ruin the album for me. They don’t detract from the listening experience too heavily and I can let most of them slide because, well, I admittedly still don’t have incredibly high expectations for Bastille.

On the positive side, there are a lot of things I admire about Doom Days. Dan Smith has greatly improved his vocals (seriously, go listen to Bad Blood and compare it to Doom Days), and his range is impressively expansive, which he flaunts on cuts like “Joy” and “Bad Decisions.” The record only consists of 11 standard tracks and two bonus tracks, vastly shortened from the 19 total tracks that comprised Wild World. This shorter run-time allows less room for mistakes or for songs to sound too samey, and the album doesn’t feel like it’s dragging on for too long.

I appreciate the cohesion between tracks, which I guess is relatively required for a concept album. But the nuances are what tie things together. The background vocals near the end of “4AM” sing the lyrics of the bridge from the opening track (“I can’t remember…”), as well as the background vocals earlier in the song (“Might be a walking disaster”) that reference the closing track. “Those Nights” ends with a hazy “From my brain,” which leads into “Joy” where the lyrics are the bridge’s refrain.

Of course, the idea of living in “the doom days” is strung throughout the LP. The band claims they wanted this record to emit a sense of escapism, powering through dark times by partying your ass off and winding up in some interesting interpersonal situations. The title track delivers some perspective on how people have become so dependent on their phones, how we can’t tell what is real or fake anymore, how the planet is being torn to pieces and yet people deny it, so forth and so on. So much is mashed into the shortest tune on the record, which I feel doesn’t totally allow the notions to fully breathe or feel fleshed out. Nonetheless, the perception that we’re all so addicted to phone screens is ironically contradicted, or perhaps driven home, on the album’s closer “Joy” where the narrator of the track solely finds fulfillment from the phone call of a lover. This acceptance of how consumed in technology we have become is rather tastefully and subtly accomplished through this juxtaposition.

The fervent “Million Pieces” expresses how heartbreaking the world has become. “The king’s a clown,” “we’re too far gone,” “no one is loving,” etc. The second verse touches upon that idea of escapism again, saying “Just drink, fuck, dance right through disaster,” which could probably double as the tagline for Doom Days as a whole. While the lyrics are moderately vague, “Million Pieces” still effectively communicates the despair tormenting our current social climate, wrapping it up in a danceable, poppy beat.

Instrumentally, Doom Days features a lot of stellar piano melodies, most noticeable on tracks like “Quarter Past Midnight,” “Divide,” and “Nocturnal Creatures.” There are also a handful of string sections speckled throughout the record. This authentic instrumentation mixed in with the electronic aspects creates a modern yet original sound, which is executed a hundred times better on Doom Days than on its predecessor.

Gospel choir chorales are also sprinkled into the mix, which truly finishes the album off expertly on “Joy.” Bastille has always incorporated vocal harmonies into their music, whether in the front of the mix or pushed to the background, but here on Doom Days, the gospel influence is turned up to 11. On “Joy” specifically, the choral refrains wrap a holy, sunshiney, and, well, joyous sentiment around the tune. It feels as though “Joy” would have been incomplete without the choir. “The Waves” is also nicely complemented by the choral voices that add a sense of grandeur and enthusiasm to the track.

All in all, my reasons for enjoying Doom Days are rather personal. There is nothing objectively good or bad about this album, as to be expected with any piece of art. It’s subjective. I would sum up Doom Days as mediocre indie pop at its best, but for some reason I still like it. The compositions presented on this record are, for the most part, well done. It’s an entertaining pop album that’s easy to throw on and listen to. You could possibly get something deep or emotive out of it, but Bastille is not trying too hard to shove anything down your throat or craft some groundbreaking philosophical statement. The sound of the record will obviously not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you like pop, electropop, indie pop, or lighter alternative music, this album might suit your taste. I’m sure you could toss it into the category of “millennial pop” given its lyrical topics and musical timbre, but that’s all it’s aiming to be. Sometimes less is more, and Bastille proves that on Doom Days with the shorter tracklisting, tighter production, and ordinary but still affective lyricism.

Overall, I think Doom Days is Bastille’s best album to date, and while it is still flawed and at times uninteresting, it’s serviceable enough. I’m rating it a 7/10 …for now. That’s subject to change as the year goes on, but for the time being, I’ll be dancing my way through the doom days.

Let me know what you think of Doom Days down in the comments below!

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Best Albums of 2019 So Far (First Half of the Year)

So since we haven’t done many Monthly Picks posts this year, I thought we ought to take a moment to go over some albums that have shone through the rough in the first half of 2019. Six months in, 2019 hasn’t been exceedingly exciting in the alternative realm; sure, we got some spectacular debuts and long-awaited comebacks, some stellar singles and interesting EPs, but the amount of albums I’ve truly enjoyed has been sparse in comparison with previous years. And more pop-oriented! So let’s jump into the list, in no particular order.

  • Greyson Chance – portraits

Greyson Chance recrudesces with his real debut album, portraits. After gaining popularity back in 2010 from YouTube and Ellen, Greyson was shoved into the industry spotlight at a young age and released his original debut album in 2011. However, since Greyson has grown over the years, he’s dubbing portraits as his genuine artist debut. And genuine it is indeed. Greyson’s lyrical writing is emotive and captivating—he wears his heart on his sleeve. But while the subject matter may be pensive and thoughtful, he doesn’t hold back the fun you would expect from a pop record. From the bouncy single “shut up” to the booming percussion of “west texas,” from the exuberant vocal harmonies of “white roses” to the spirited synths of “lakeshore,” portraits is a refreshing listen from start to finish, coupling heartfelt emotion with upbeat musicality and charismatic vocal delivery. You don’t want to miss this outstanding LP. While you may not consider this alternative, I couldn’t keep it off this list considering I haven’t been able to keep it off my mind and stereo.

Favorite tracks: “west texas,” “yours,” “lakeshore,” “timekeeper,” “black on black”

  • Bastille – Doom Days

Trust me, I’m as surprised as you are. Back in 2016, I named Bastille’s Wild World one of the most overrated (and worst) albums of the year. Since gaining mainstream success back in 2013 with their debut Bad Blood, Bastille had yet to impress me in any way. There weren’t many songs on that debut that left me in awe, and their sophomore effort didn’t fulfill me either. But with their latest release Doom Days, I don’t hate it. In fact, I think it’s pretty darn good. I’m not sure if this is because I’m shocked that Bastille is actually winning me over for once or because it’s genuinely decent, but either way, Doom Days is a welcomed improvement in their discography. Lead singer Dan Smith has greatly refined his vocals, although there are a handful of moments on this record where the vocals feel a bit overproduced. The production overall, however, is certainly superior to the album’s predecessors, and the instrumentation sounds fresh and lively. The lyrical content displays recurring motifs of late night adventures and sober contemplation, and the tunes themselves are relatively catchy. The band described Doom Days as a concept record, but I don’t think I can give them much credit in that aspect. Nonetheless, Doom Days gets the stamp of approval from yours truly, and that really says something considering my negative history with Bastille.

Favorite tracks: “Quarter Past Midnight,” “Joy,” “Bad Decisions,” “Nocturnal Creatures,” “The Waves”

  • Maggie Rogers – Heard It In a Past Life

Maggie Rogers was bubbling under the surface in the indie pop scene for quite some time before releasing her debut LP Heard It In a Past Life. After the success of her 2017 extended play Now That the Light Is Fading, followers were on the edge of their seats for a full-length record. Finally, in 2019, Heard It In a Past Life certainly delivered without disappointment. This album is characterized by buoyant indie pop, dripping with syrupy sweet melodies and intellectual lyricism. It’s a dynamic listen, an array of upbeat pop anthems as well as more serious moments making up the tracklisting. Heard It In a Past Life is not a perfect album (some strange production decisions here and there), but it’s definitely an enjoyable spin.

Favorite tracks: “Burning,” “Retrograde,” “Give a Little,” “Fallingwater,” “Light On”

  • MILKK – HEADRUSH

Boy, I had been waiting for this album for a hot minute! Ever since MILKK released their single “Less Than 3” in 2018, I was anticipating more material from the indie pop trio. Their EPs Sad Girls and If You’re Reading This, I Love You cemented MILKK’s sound and left our mouths watering for a full album. HEADRUSH provided us with introspective indie pop, combining fun melodies with meaningful lyrics that explore the band’s intrapersonal struggles with anxiety and other mental health issues. HEADRUSH doesn’t hold back the earnest romantic balladry, showing a loving soft side and vulnerability. Musically, the LP presents catchy pop tunes defined by glistening synths and sleek guitar work, as well as slower pieces in contrast. MILKK’s sound is reminiscent of the California dazed vibe of bands like LANY or joan, paired with a darker, moodier image. All in all, HEADRUSH is bound to be on repeat for a long time.

Favorite tracks: “Unsaid,” “Mean to You,” “Stupid,” “Honest,” “Here In My Head”

  • Emarosa – Peach Club

To be honest, Emarosa was never really a band I paid much attention to. Their sound didn’t appeal to me much and the songs failed to stick with me. But man, Peach Club turns all that on its head. Emarosa trades in their post-hardcore-tinged rock style for a more poppy direction. While the band holds onto their guitars and distortion, it’s certainly a bit more “cleaned up;” Peach Club is a sweet, delectable bite of ’80s-influenced rock with a coat of polish and neon lights. Really, when I saw that Emarosa announced a new record, I wasn’t all that intrigued. Until I hit play on the first few singles. Tunes like “Givin’ Up” and “Cautious” blew me away upon first listen, and I found myself being genuinely excited for the new material. Once the full album released, it certainly met my expectations. If you’re skeptical like I was or uninterested by Emarosa’s past catalog, I truly recommend giving Peach Club a shot. You might just fall in love with it.

Favorite tracks: “Cautious,” “Givin’ Up,” “Don’t Cry,” “Hell of It,” “So Bad”

  • Local Natives – Violet Street

Local Natives is one of my top three favorite bands of all time, so of course I might be a bit biased here. The California band has yet to disappoint me; all of their albums have a special spot on my shelf and I love each one so, so dearly. Their previous record Sunlit Youth, released in 2016, displayed a more experimental approach to their indie rock orientation by introducing synths and programmed percussion, as well as some politically-charged lyricism. For some fans, this style was a turn-off, but for me, I enjoyed the hell out of that LP. So how does Violet Street shape up? Local Natives dial their tone back to a more organic sound, fairly reminiscent of their debut album Gorilla Manor. Piano melodies, lively drumming, and twangy guitars constitute Violet Street, strengthening the authenticity of the album’s libretto. Heartstring-tugging subjects and impassioned vocal performances (those harmonies!) show no mercy for a weathered soul—the band never fails to deliver a captivating, affective listening experience. Violet Street is without a doubt another home run in Local Natives’ discography.

Favorite tracks: “Café Amarillo,” “Someday Now,” “Gulf Shores,” “Vogue,” “When Am I Gonna Lose You”


Honorable Mentions
  • Wallows – Nothing Happens

The highly-anticipated debut record from the indie rock trio Wallows provides listeners with youthful reverie and intuitive reflection while still maintaining a vivacious, fun musical attitude.

Favorite tracks: “Scrawny,” “I’m Full,” “Sidelines”

  • The Maine – You Are OK

The Maine offer up another helping of emo-tinged pop rock teeming with variety and ardent observation. You Are OK assures the listener that it’s okay to be human, it’s okay to be imperfect, all wrapped up in an exciting pop rock listen.

Favorite tracks: “Numb Without You,” “Flowers on the Grave,” “I Feel It All Over”

  • Bad Suns – Mystic Truth

After transitioning labels over to Epitaph Records, indie rockers Bad Suns don an edgier style on their third full-length record Mystic Truth. Raucous guitars and animated percussion make for an effervescent spin.

Favorite tracks: “The World and I,” “Hold Your Fire,” “Away We Go”

  • Alice Merton – Mint

Following the sleeper hit success of her 2016 single “No Roots” and the 2018 EP of the same title, Alice Merton finally unleashes her debut long-player titled Mint. Fresh, cool, and smooth, Mint lives up to its name with sleek indie rock with a pop appeal.

Favorite tracks: “Why So Serious,” “Homesick,” “Funny Business”

  • The Dangerous Summer – Mother Nature

The Dangerous Summer returned from their five-year hiatus in 2018 and quickly turned out another record in 2019, Mother Nature. As to be expected considering the band’s track record, Mother Nature is another welcomed make-you-cry addition in their repertoire.

Favorite tracks: “Bring Me Back to Life,” “Way Down,” “It Is Real”

  • Hozier – Wasteland, Baby!

It’s fucking Hozier, for crying out loud. We’ve been waiting on this legend to drop another album for nearly five years. Soulful vocal delivery and vibrant, organic instrumentation expertly define Wasteland, Baby!

Favorite tracks: “Movement,” “Nina Cried Power (ft. Mavis Staples),” “Nobody”

  • FEVER 333 – STRENGTH IN NUMB333RS

This quasi-supergroup’s debut record delivers irrepressible energy, angst, and guts through hard-hitting instrumentals and politically-charged lyricism. This hip-hop-meets-punk amalgamation is exactly the medium for their message.

Favorite tracks: “BURN IT,” “OUT OF CONTROL/3,” “ONE OF US”

  • The Japanese House – Good at Falling

With some contribution from The 1975’s Matty Healy, Good at Falling by The Japanese House fulfills the expectations that fans held for this long-awaited debut. The sleek indie pop and entrancing vocal performances will have you falling in love with this LP.

Favorite tracks: “f a r a w a y,” “i saw you in a dream,” “Wild”

  • The Driver Era – X

Ex-R5 members and brothers Rocky Lynch and Ross Lynch formed The Driver Era, an alternative pop rock project that certainly departs from their previous R5 style. X, their debut record, cements their rollicking rougher sound coupled with softer, more serious moments.

Favorite tracks: “Nobody Knows,” “San Francisco,” “Natural”


Let us know what your favorite albums of 2019 so far are in the comments below! Tweet at us over on Twitter, @AltColumnist!

February 2019 Alt Col Picks – MILKK, Set It Off, Emarosa, & More

Plenty of great records were released in February, so here are our favorite albums and EPs of the month! (In no particular order.) Want a Spotify playlist of our favorite tunes? Click here!

Before we jump into the list proper, I wanted to give a special top feature to two EPs from a couple shining acts, both of which hail from my hometown.

  • Dream Jacuzzi – Out with the Moon

The duo Dream Jacuzzi delivers their debut EP Out with the Moon, showcasing modern indie rock with a classic tinge. Members Lucas Jackson and Josh Pastor are quite the talented musicians, both specializing in brass instruments and of course guitar. Their stellar guitar work radiates on the latest EP, taking influence from sounds of older decades and melding them with a fresh touch. Out with the Moon is sure to capture listeners of Atlas Genius, Divine Fits, and The Noise FM. Click here to listen.

  • Jules Smith – Until I’m Needed Again, I’ll Be Patient

With 6 songs each clocking in under the 3-minute mark, Jules Smith’s new EP is an easy listen but packs a punch with its emotive lyricism. The intelligent, clever, and unabashed songwriting is paired with intricate acoustic assonance; the minimalistic instrumentation allows the lyrics and vocal performance room to breathe, as well as forcing the listener to remain fixated on their own contemplation throughout the poignant experience. Until I’m Needed Again, I’ll Be Patient is bound to please followers of Casey Bolles, Lizzy Farrall, and Worst Party Ever. Click here to listen.

Also, if you would like to give my own latest EP a listen and get a free download, you can click here. It’s pretty dope. I really appreciate it. :)


  • MILKK – HEADRUSH

After releasing a couple EPs in 2018, indie pop band MILKK finally provides their debut full-length titled HEADRUSH, and it’s some of their best material to date. HEADRUSH explores topics ranging from love and heartbreak to mental health and personal struggles. MILKK offers up an intriguing mixture of musical styles—from sugary wide-eyed pop jams to rough-around-the-edges rock anthems to soulful R&B-inspired ballads, there’s something for everybody on this record. Standout tracks include “Unsaid,” “Mean to You,” “Stupid,” and “Honest.” HEADRUSH will appeal to fans of LANY, joan, and Real Cool. Click here to listen.

  • Emarosa – Peach Club

Emarosa further expands their sound on their latest project Peach Club. Peach Club displays Emarosa stepping outside their typical boundaries and into a refreshing new sound. While this slicker direction might be new for them, it certainly harkens back retrospectively to sonic tones of the ’80s. This crisp brand of glistening pop rock is one that the formerly post-hardcore band pulls off incredibly well. Standout tracks include “Cautious,” “Givin’ Up,” “Comfortable,” and “Get Back Up.” Peach Club will attract listeners of Anarbor, Honest Men, and Fickle Friends. Click here to listen.

  • Badflower – OK, I’M SICK

OK, I’M SICK, the most recent LP from Badflower, is a visceral look into frontman John Katz’s anxiety and mental health struggles. The ardent lyricism, guttural vocal delivery, and hard-hitting guitar timbre combine to craft an exuberant contemporary rock album with influences varying from ’90s grunge to Eminem to, well, Xanax. Standout tracks include “Heroin,” “x ANA x,” “Ghost,” and “Wide Eyes.” OK, I’M SICK is sure to capture fans of cleopatrick, Bleeker, and Royal Tusk. Click here to listen.

  • Set It Off – Midnight

After their underwhelming previous record Upside Down (read our full review here), Set It Off has further refined their sound for a more pleasing style of pop rock. Midnight will remind fans of their second studio album Duality, which offered a spot-on balance of pop and rock, but it’s more cultivated this time around. Buoyant guitar riffs, catchy choruses, and a bright horn section dominate Midnight, as well as the undeniable pop direction. Standout tracks include “For You Forever,” “Killer in the Mirror,” “Go to Bed Angry (feat. Wayfarers),” and “Lonely Dance.” Midnight is bound to satisfy followers of The Summer Set, All Time Low, and The Ready Set. Click here to listen.

  • Broods – Don’t Feed the Pop Monster

Indie pop brother-sister duo Broods unleashes their third long-player release, interestingly titled Don’t Feed the Pop Monster. Filled to the brim with gleaming synths, syrupy hooks, and jaunty musicality, Don’t Feed the Pop Monster is a joyous mixture of spirited indie pop and soulful songwriting. Standout tracks include “Falling Apart,” “Dust,” “Peach,” and “Hospitalized.” Don’t Feed the Pop Monster will please fans of Ryn Weaver, Maggie Rogers, and EXES. Click here to listen.

  • SWMRS – Berkeley’s on Fire

Meshing indie rock, new wave, post-punk, and pop rock all together, the latest full-length from SWMRS is certainly an intriguing listen. Berkeley’s on Fire references the 2017 Berkeley protests, giving the band a political edge and attesting to their punk roots. The album is consistently animated and there is never a dull moment to be heard. Standout tracks include “Berkeley’s on Fire,” “Trashbag Baby,” “IKEA Date,” and “Too Much Coffee.” Berkeley’s on Fire will attract followers of Remo Drive, The Frights, and Destroy Boys. Click here to listen.


MORE GREAT ALBUMS
  • ONE OK ROCK – Eye of the Storm

Standout tracks include “Stand Out Fit In,” “Wasted Nights,” and “Worst In Me.” Eye of the Storm is for fans of Set It Off, All Time Low, and 5 Seconds of Summer. Click here to listen.

  • As December Falls – As December Falls

Standout tracks include “Ride,” “One More Night,” and “I Don’t Mind.” As December Falls is for fans of Courage My Love, Mayday Parade, and Forever Starts Today. Click here to listen.

  • American Authors – Seasons

Standout tracks include “Deep Water,” “Neighborhood (feat. Bear Rinehart of NEEDTOBREATHE),” and “Bring It on Home.” Seasons is for fans of Colony House, X Ambassadors, and The Mowgli’s. Click here to listen.

  • Girlpool – What Chaos Is Imaginary

Standout tracks include “Pretty,” “Minute in Your Mind,” and “Hire.” What Chaos Is Imaginary is for fans of Diet Cig, Cherry Glazerr, and Soccer Mommy. Click here to listen.

  • Youngest of Elders – Nothing Is Wonderful

Standout tracks include “Metaphors & Maps,” “Shame Spiral,” and “Cause to Harm.” Nothing Is Wonderful is for fans of The Dangerous Summer, Driver Friendly, and Green Day. Click here to listen.

  • Threatmantics – Shadow on Your Heart

Standout tracks include “Shadow on Your Heart,” “Krystal Pystol,” and “First Things.” Shadow on Your Heart is for fans of Ought, Estrons, and Howl Griff. Click here to listen.

  • Sean McConnell – Secondhand Smoke

Standout tracks include “Here We Go,” “Rest My Head,” and “I Could Have Been an Angel.” Secondhand Smoke is for fans of Noah Guthrie, Chris DuPont, and Drew Holcomb. Click here to listen.

  • Wicca Phase Springs Eternal – Suffer On

Standout tracks include “Contact,” “Just One Thing,” and “Crushed.” Suffer On is for fans of Smrtdeath, Cold Hart, and Lil Lotus. Click here to listen.

 


Extended Plays
  • Calling All Captains – Nothing Grows Here

Standout tracks include “Chasing Ghosts” and “Out of My Head.” Nothing Grows Here is for fans of The Story So Far, Youth Fountain, and Gold Route. Click here to listen.

  • Carried Away – Start Over

Standout tracks include “Start Over” and “Whispered Riots.” Start Over is for fans of Young Culture, Gold Steps, and Bearings. Click here to listen.

  • Valensole – Imposter

Yes, purposely misspelled. Standout tracks include “Imposter” and “To the Sea.” Imposter is for fans of Foo Fighters, Hemingway, and Teenage Wrist. Click here to listen.

  • Broken Social Scene – Let’s Try the After (Vol. 1)

Standout tracks include “Boyfriends” and “Remember Me Young.” Let’s Try the After (Vol. 1) is for fans of Wolf Parade, Animal Collective, and Deerhunter. Click here to listen.

 


Featured Singles

Let us know what you think of February’s releases down in the comments below!


Our Alt Col Picks are curated lists of the best albums and EPs for each month! We keep a schedule of upcoming releases and pick our favorite ones at the end of the month, giving them a spotlight here and on Twitter. To be featured in one of our lists, hit us up on our contact page or Twitter, though nothing is guaranteed. (We occasionally include past releases, so for instance, if your album came out in June, we might be able to feature it in our post for July or August.)