March 2017 Alt Col Picks

Plenty of great albums appeared in March, so here are our favorite releases of the month! (In no particular order.) Want a Spotify playlist? Click here!

  • Ed Sheeran – ÷

Singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran’s third major label release ÷ attests to his stylistic diversity, shifting from hip-hop occasions to sugary love ballads to casual acoustic serenades. While it is certainly not his best work, ÷ still does not fall flat on its face as another “white guy with an acoustic guitar” outing. Standout tracks include “Castle on the Hill,” “Galway Girl,” and “Supermarket Flowers.” ÷ will appeal to fans of Chris DuPont, Julie Byrne, and Noah Guthrie. Maybe.

Read our full review of Ed Sheeran’s ÷ by clicking here!

  • Can’t Swim – Fail You Again

The hard-hitting debut from New Jersey’s Can’t Swim is sure to put them on the map and solidify their position in the modern rock and pop punk scene! Rough vocals and impassioned musicality meld together for a compelling listen, bound to keep the record spinning for weeks to come. Standout tracks include “What’s Your Big Idea?,” “Quitting,” and “We Won’t Sleep.” Fail You Again is sure to attract followers of Seaway, Have Mercy, and Like Pacific.

  • Temples – Volcano

Psychedelic, spell-binding, and mesmerizing, Volcano grips you from track one to the end in a positively lenitive haze. Temples incorporates some electronic inflections to keep this emollient record fresh and separate from their previous material that echoes musical manners of the 1960s. Standout tracks include “Certainty,” “I Wanna Be Your Mirror,” and “Born Into the Sunset.” Volcano will capture listeners of The Shins, Hippo Campus, and Palma Violets.

  • Spoon – Hot Thoughts

The latest release from alt-rock band Spoon is sweltering and blistering, impish and jaunty. It’s sonically rich and lyrically captivating as it transports you to moods and places you can only imagine. Groovy at times and hushed at others, Spoon’s still got it. Standout tracks include “Hot Thoughts,” “Can I Sit Next to You,” and “Do I Have to Talk You Into It.” Hot Thoughts is sure to interest fans of The War on Drugs, Beck, and Silversun Pickups.

  • A Will Away – Here Again

Riveting melodies that blur the line between pop punk and indie rock infect this album from start to finish, in a good way, of course. From boisterous percussion and eccentric guitars to fervent songwriting and catchy hooks, Here Again is a pleasing change of pace in the world of pop rock. Standout tracks include “Caroline,” “The Shakes,” “Pay Raise,” and “Well-Adjusted.” Here Again will appeal to followers of Moose Blood, Boston Manor, and Turnover.

  • Heavy Things – Goner

Goner, Heavy Things

With sentimental libretto and singalong-worthy chants that make you want to shout the words with the windows down on the highway, Goner is animated and exhilarating at times and introspective all throughout. The blend of acoustic and electric guitars makes for a delectable texture and sound. Standout tracks include “Sold,” “Badge of Honor,” and “33.” Goner is sure to satisfy followers of A Will Away, Moose Blood, and You vs. Yesterday.

  • Creeper – Eternity, In Your Arms

Considered to be the saviors of modern rock, Creeper’s irresistible debut shakes you by the shoulders and doesn’t let go. From anthemic choruses to rhapsodic guitar melodies, Eternity, In Your Arms is a stellar release outlined by conviction and robustness all throughout. Standout tracks include “Hiding With Boys,” “Black Rain,” and “Suzanne.” Eternity, In Your Arms is bound to attract listeners of Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Trash Boat, and Tiger Army.

  • Sorority Noise – You’re Not As _____ As You Think

You’re Not As ____ As You Think is intense, sincere, and unhinged. This is Sorority Noise’s most moving record to date and certainly a slice of pop punk emo you don’t want to sleep on. It discusses suicide, religion, loss, and self-esteem, trademarks of the heartfelt emotive genre. Standout tracks include “No Halo,” “Leave the Fan On,” and “Disappeared.” You’re Not As ____ As You Think will capture fans of The Wonder Years, Modern Baseball, and Citizen.


Honorable Mentions
  • The Shins – Heartworms

Mellow and hypnotically smooth psychedelia. Standout tracks include “Name for You,” “Mildenhall,” and “Dead Alive.” For fans of Deerhunter, Temples, and The Decemberists.

  • Stolas – Stolas

Piercing rock with an adventurous bite. Standout tracks include “Bellwether,” “Damage Division,” and “Catalyst.” For fans of A Lot Like Birds, Sianvar, and Adventurer.

  • Real Estate – In Mind

Entrancing, fluid soft indie rock. Standout tracks include “Darling,” “Stained Glass,” and “Holding Pattern.” For fans of Wild Nothing, Atlas Sound, and Ducktails.

  • Minus the Bear – VOIDS

Radiant alternative math rock. Standout tracks include “Last Kiss,” “Invisible,” and “Robotic Heart.” For fans of Bloc Party, Shiny Toy Guns, and Fang Island.

  • Knox Hamilton – The Heights

Velvety alt-rock bound to mesmerize you. Standout tracks include “Pretty Way to Fight,” “Washed Up Together,” and “Work It Out.” For fans of CRUISR, Colony House, and Bad Suns.

  • Remo Drive – Greatest Hits

Gravelly alternative punk with slick guitar melodies. Standout tracks include “Art School,” “Crash Test Rating,” and “Eat S**t.” For fans of Unturned, Yellow Ostrich, and The Noise FM.

  • Cold Climb It – Fade (EP)

Straddles the line between alt-rock and pop punk. Standout tracks include “There’s No Energy For Trying” and “Center City.” For fans of Modern Baseball, The Dangerous Summer, and With Confidence.

  • Softspoken – Pathways (EP)

Epic post-hardcore that demands your attention. Standout tracks include “Something I’m Missing” and “I Feel Fire.” For fans of Pierce the Veil, SycAmour, and Chasing Safety.


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

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November 2016 Alt Col Picks

novpicks

Many great releases appeared in November this year, so here are our favorite albums of the month! (In no particular order.)

  • Waterparks – Double Dare

Waterparks, hailing from Houston, Texas, is known for efficiently blending electronic elements and high-energy pop rock, and the amalgam continues on their full-length debut album, Double Dare. The pop punk luster is not covered up by the computerized components, but is instead perfectly complemented. Standout tracks include “Stupid for You,” “Hawaii (Stay Awake),” and “Royal.” Double Dare will attract fans of State Champs, As It Is, and With Confidence.

  • Highly Suspect – The Boy Who Died Wolf

The hard rock and bluesy accents of Highly Suspect’s abilities are capitalized upon in this mesmerizing, head-bobbing release. The Boy Who Died Wolf showcases a rollicking yet leisurely approach to crisp, amplified guitar work and smooth percussion. Standout tracks include “My Name Is Human,” “Little One,” and “Serotonia.” The Boy Who Died Wolf is sure to appeal to listeners of Deftones, The Pretty Reckless, and Evans Blue.

  • Masketta Fall – Golden

A sheer pop band, Masketta Fall has begun moving away from the rockier sound of their 2012 release Something Beautiful to a more radio-friendly style leaning heavy on the pop side. And hey, don’t let that turn you away from checking this album out! Guitars are still prevalent and amped up, even if the pop aspects shine through. Standout tracks include “Mercedes,” “Defenceless,” and “Butterflies.” Golden will interest followers of The Vamps, The Summer Set, and Crash the Party.

  • Black Box Warning – Black Box Warning

Album art.jpegThe debut self-titled long-player from metal band Black Box Warning has something for every rock fan: breakdowns, screams, clean vocals, and deep lyrics. The stellar musicianship and execution is simply something to marvel, and the emotional passion bolsters it even more. Standout tracks include “Nothing is Everything,” “Neon Mind,” and “Hypnagogia.” Black Box Warning will attract fans of Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, and Bullet For My Valentine.

  • Homesafe – Evermore

Looking for some decent pop punk to listen to? Well, here’s a great cut to come from November. Homesafe recrudesces with an 8-track album filled with solid rock jams and some of their best work to date. The crisp production and talent of this band refuses to be overlooked and begs for you to listen in. Standout tracks include “Float Away,” “Two (Bare) Hands,” and “Exoneration.” Evermore will certainly appeal to followers of Real Friends, Knuckle Puck, and Sleep On It.

  • Broken Back – Broken Back

Jérôme, under the stage name of Broken Back, debuts an electro indie folk album that surely leaves one scratching their head at how to properly label it… Broken Back fuses together many different styles to create a wonderful collection of upbeat earcandy displaying acoustic guitars, electronic principles, and raspy vocals. Standout tracks include “Lady Bitterness,” “Excuses,” and “Better Run.” Broken Back will interest listeners of The Shoes, ALB, and Mai Lan.

  • Summer Lights – From Start to Finish (EP)

Another great pop punk release, the From Start to Finish EP by Salt Lake City band Summer Lights boasts rock gravity and brilliance from start to finish. Hopefully these guys will hit it big in the scene soon because this EP deserves to be heard, and we can’t wait to hear more! Standout tracks include “With You” and “Pick Up the Pieces.” From Start to Finish is sure to attract fans of Sleep On It, Knuckle Puck, and You vs. Yesterday.

  • Royal Teeth – Amateurs (EP)

Smooth pop rock band Royal Teeth returns with Amateurs, an EP that proves they’re far more than just amateurs. With artwork that resembles this 5 Seconds of Summer photo, there’s no doubt this EP will capture an upbeat pop rock vibe that balances the two adjectives expertly. Standout tracks include “Kids Conspire,” “Only You,” and “Is It Just Me.” Amateurs will appeal to listeners of 5SOS, The Summer Set, and The Colourist.

  • The Griswolds – High Times for Low Lives

The Griswolds gained traction in the scene from touring with power pop band Walk the Moon and singles from their previous album, but hopefully this release will launch them farther into stardom! This LP is a masterpiece of alt-pop grandeur that you don’t wanna miss. Standout tracks include “Out of My Head,” “High Times for Low Lives,” and “Feels So Right.” High Times for Low Lives will interest followers of POP ETC, Passion Pit, and Neon Trees.

  • Heavy English – Pop Wasteland

Pop Wasteland, the debut full-length from New York City trio Heavy English, boasts various styles and approaches all in the vein of glossy alt-rock that packs a punch. From the denser, darker guitar melodies of “Black Dog” to the buoyant beat of “21 Flights,” this album truly has a lot to offer. Standout tracks include “21 Flights,” “Black Dog,” and “Washed Up Tongue.” Pop Wasteland is sure to attract fans of The Dear Hunter, White Arrows, and NGHBRS.

  • Half Hearted – Terrified (EP)

Half Hearted utilizes clean vocals and impassioned screams to develop contrast on their latest EP, Terrified. The hooky guitar melodies are hauntingly unblemished and the overall musical ability of this group is enthralling. Poignant lyricism and a desire to capture the listener certainly pay off amazingly well. Standout tracks include “Terrified,” “Ghosts,” and “Storm Chaser,” but honestly, the entire EP is fantastic! Terrified will interests listeners of Currents, Wage War, and Beartooth.

  • Woes – Woes (EP)

Pop punk done right yet again! Woes debuts with the 5-track self-titled extended play that is bound to get stuck in your head. While some lyrics are cheesy and troubadouric, this youthfully energetic EP still shines and will fit comfortably in the library of any pop punk fan. Standout tracks include “Winter Sun” and, well, the entire EP! Woes will appeal to followers of Knuckle Puck, Neck Deep, and State Champs.


Honorable Mentions
  • Icon for Hire – You Can’t Kill Us

Standout tracks include “Supposed to Be,” “You Can’t Kill Us,” “War,” and “Get Well II.” For fans of Tonight Alive, Digital Daggers, and New Years Day.

  • DNCE – DNCE

Standout tracks include “Body Moves,” “Truthfully,” “Good Day,” and “Be Mean.” For fans of Maroon 5, Olly Murs, and Set It Off. (Upside Down era.)

  • An Untold Sadness – Sonorous

Standout tracks include “The Truth,” “What of Your Riches?,” “This Far, and No Further,” and “Flowers.” For fans of Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed, and Crown the Empire.

  • Cold Collective – Through w/ That (EP/Single)

coldStandout tracks include the entire release, but especially “Through w/ That.” For fans of Transit, Man Overboard, and Misser.

  • pronoun – There’s no one new around you. (EP)

Standout tracks include the entire release, but especially “a million other things.” For fans of Knox Hamilton, A Silent Film, and Summer Camp.

  • The Japanese House – Swim Against the Tide (EP)

Standout tracks include the entire release, but especially “Good Side In.” For fans of Hayley Kiyoko, Scavenger Hunt, and Summer Camp.

  • Ready to Fire – Satellites (EP)

Standout tracks include the entire release, but especially “Nerve.” For fans of 5 Seconds of Summer, Paramore, and All Time Low.


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