February 2017 Alt Col Picks

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

  • The Menzingers – After the Party

The Menzingers explore the struggles of growing up and maturing through vigorous alt-rock and spirited songwriting. Impassioned lyricism melds with musical brio to produce a delectable listen from start to finish bound to hit you right in the gut with its raw relatability and emotion. Standout tracks include “Lookers,” “House on Fire,” and “Bad Catholics.” After the Party will appeal to fans of The Gaslight Anthem, Red City Radio, and Dave Hause.

  • Courage My Love – Synesthesia

The sprightly, upbeat style of Courage My Love is expanded upon in their third full-length Synesthesia yet introducing a more electronic timbre. The three-piece efficiently blends rock and electronic inflections to create this jaunty, biting masterpiece. Synesthesia is enthralling and hypnotizing and keeps your ear hooked for more. Standout tracks include “Stereo,” “Need Someone,” and “Dirt.” Synesthesia is sure to attract followers of Youngblood Hawke, The Colourist, and Icon for Hire.

  • Andrew McMahon In the Wilderness – Zombies on Broadway

Andrew McMahon’s second long-player Zombies on Broadway is a solid sophomore follow-up characterized by explosive melodies, catchy hooks, and introspective libretto. The organic instrumentation blends fabulously with the artificial accents to straddle the line between alternative and pop. Standout tracks include “Fire Escape,” “Walking In My Sleep,” and “So Close.” Zombies on Broadway will capture listeners of New Politics, JR JR, and POP ETC.

  • The Orwells – Terrible Human Beings

Alt-rockers The Orwells return for a shattering third album that attests to their musical prowess and lyrical aptitude. Terrible Human Beings provides gritty rock anthems and dark melodies defined by amped-up guitars and boisterous drumming. Standout tracks include “They Put a Body In the Bayou,” “Heavy Head,” and “Black Francis.” Terrible Human Beings is sure to interest fans of Twin Peaks, Royal Blood, and SKATERS.

  • Hippo Campus – Landmark

The debut full-length Landmark from Hippo Campus is a dazzling outing characterized by daydreamy guitars and glossy percussion. As its name implies, Landmark is a monumental album with plenty to offer for any fan of intriguing indie rock and creamy alternative music. Standout tracks include “Way It Goes,” “Boyish,” “Vines,” and “Simple Season.” Landmark will appeal to followers of Grizfolk, Bad Suns, and Knox Hamilton.

  • Carousel Kings – Charm City

Crunchy guitars and hard-hitting choruses positively  infect Charm City from track one to the end. Carousel Kings mesh pop punk influences and charged alt-rock to create a diverse album that effortlessly cuts through the monotony of modern rock. Standout tracks include “Grey Goose,” “Dynamite,” and “Bad Habit.” Charm City is bound to attract listeners of Like Pacific, Handguns, and Broadside.

  • WATERMEDOWN – The Same View With a New Light

WATERMEDOWN’s debut long-player The Same View With a New Light embodies alt-rock that bestrides the line between pop punk and indie rock. “Locks and Blinds” echoes the more pop punk position with brisk vitality yet “Dead Things” reveals a more stripped-down side to this versatile band. Standout tracks include “Locks and Blinds,” “Stagnant,” and “Blend.” The Same View With a New Light will capture fans of Dryjacket, Moose Blood, and Microwave.

  • Acceptance – Colliding By Design

Savory musicianship and astute songwriting are highlighted on Acceptance’s latest long-player, Colliding By Design. Catchy melodies coupled with fervent lyricism makes for an infectiously delectable record from start to finish. Standout tracks include “Haunted,” “Diagram of a Simple Man,” and “Goodbye.” Colliding By Design is sure to satisfy followers of Taking Back Sunday, Paper Route, and I the Mighty.


Honorable Mentions
  • Dude York – Sincerely

Lo-fi alt-rock bliss. Standout tracks include “Paralyzed,” “Tonight,” and “Love Is.” For fans of Varsity, Sleater-Kinney, and Best Coast.

  • Ryan Adams – Prisoner

Canny rock with a classic tinge. Standout tracks include “Do You Still Love Me?,” “Outbound Train,” and “Doomsday.” For fans of Whiskeytown, Tweedy, and Drive-By Truckers.

  • Lower Than Atlantis – Safe In Sound

Impish modern rock dazzled in electronic flair. Standout tracks include “Boomerang,” “Had Enough,” and “I Would.” For fans of Don Broco, Deaf Havana, and Issues.

  • Communions – Blue

Fluid alt-rock with a gritty touch. Standout tracks include “Got to Be Free,” “Come On, I’m Waiting,” and “Today.” For fans of Foals, Wolf Alice, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

  • Surfer Blood – Snowdonia

Creamy, lo-fi alt-rock underlined by simplicity. Standout tracks include “Matter of Time,” “Dino Jay,” and “Frozen.” For fans of Glass Oaks, Wild Nothing, and Sea Bear.

  • Welman – Totem

Gravelly alternative punk with slick guitar melodies. Standout tracks include “Wolf,” “Neanderthal,” and “UFO.” For fans of My Iron Lung, Senses Fail, and Trophy Eyes.

  • Strand of Oaks – Hard Love

Sabulous indie rock highlighted by vivacity. Standout tracks include “Rest of It,” “Radio Kids,” and “Everything.” For fans of Cloud Nothings, The Orwells, and Faces Like Flint.

  • Dave Hause – Bury Me In Philly

Animated alt-rock with spirited emotion. Standout tracks include “With You,” “Dirty F****r,” and “The Flinch.” For fans of The Menzingers, The Gaslight Anthem, and Teenage Bottlerocket.


Let us know what you think of February’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!