Happy New Year! I'm out of the gate with more music recommendations. My final score formula has changed, so scores will be lower than usual going forward. Let’s kick off this year with work from a few familiar artists to the Stubble Beat.
Avant-Garde is back in 2020. Flynn’s Ego once again delivers a project that rides the line between smooth and chaotic. This entire album - much like Flynn’s Ego entire sound - is a nostalgic collage of 90’s grunge, punk, and west coast hip-hop.
Don’t be fooled by the jazzy opening to this record. The first minutes of Grand Edgelord Overture is the calm before the song.
For the fans of Liturgy, throw on 23 in the BOH of your favorite restaurant, or your local metal shop. Flynn’s Ego only slows the tempo, not the aggression. I expect to hear this song as a walkout song in a local wrestling league.
When You Grow Up seemingly illustrating the scariness of deciding plans your fast-approaching future - comes straight out of mid-90s MTV, somewhere in between a rerun of The Jon Stewart Show and the first Foo Fighters music video (not to mention the mini-cover of Dido’s Thank You in the last 45 seconds )
None of this praise has to do with the fact that I am featured on track nine, Mumblin’.
The Best Tracks: Grand Edgelord Overture, 23, When You Grow Up, Knotted Stomach, Mumblin'
The "Ok" Tracks: Scary TV #1, Your DeathCore Phase
The "Meh" Tracks: Hub, Your Punk Band Is A Lost Cause, The World Will Burn to the Sound of Royalty
-Cultural Influence 0/10 -Artwork/Visuals 7/10 -Originality 10/10 -Range of Style 8/10 -Choice of Style: 7/10 -Delivery/Performance: 8/10 -First Impression/Enjoyment 8/10 -Staying Power: 4/10 Final Score: 6.7/10
Neon Italy - Breakup Songs What’s His Name is a high-powered entrance; really fitting for the anxiety-riddled lyrics about the suspicions of infidelity. I can feel the fuming anger in the electric guitar behind the calm voice of a man wanting to know the truth from his lover. I’d be curious to see The Rhythm I Walk performed in Nashville, Tennessee. This one is definitely an old school rock and blues dance track for those looking to break out blue-jeans and 10-gallon hats. My only complaint: Why did the guitar solo fade out??? Bottom line: This Arkansas native has given the country nightlife a jam. But you can feel the hurt by going through heartbreak or melancholy. Be warned, Neon Italy is not electric dance music. This perfect for honky-tonk country bars. I’ll be right back; I need a bottle of Jack Daniels and a pack of American Spirits, now. The Best Tracks: What’s His Name?, I’m Still Here, The Rhythm I Walk The "OK" Tracks: Wolf With Pure White Fangs, Who I’m Trying to Be -Lyricism 7/10 -Artwork/Visuals 7/10 -Originality 6.5/10 -Range of Style 8/10 -Choice of Style: 7/10 -Delivery/Performance: 6/10 -First Impression/Enjoyment 6.5/10 -Staying Power: 7/10 Final Score: 7/10
Mt. Juno - Soup Opera Just a warning, this review contains gratuitous amounts of profanity; a perfect ratio to the amount of “thickfreakness” funk. First things first: A huge shout out to Bedroom Bands for my collaborations like this possible. I still can’t believe this. It’s just… so g**d*** tasty. Mt Juno is a jam band duo joined together by Reddit’s rapidly growing Bedroom Bands community. After completing and releasing their first single in early June, the two wasted no time in delivering their first EP, Soup Opera. The album starts slowly with a track that begins as a standard grunge jam but adds elements that build up to an ending that slightly resembles an Explosions in the Sky song. Although Toadsizzle turned me off, the EP follows Newton’s First Law of Physics and keeps its momentum and force throughout the final four tracks. The Bottom Line: Excuse my French, but this EP is f***ing funky. It is the smooth simplicity of Khruangbin mixed with the rawness of early records from The Black Keys. I would love to rap or sing in a jam session with these guys. The Best Tracks: Sizzletoad, Rumble, Phat or Thicc?, Frankfurt Am Main, Coast 2 Coast The "OK" Tracks: Toad Sizzle -Cult Influence/Potential: 7/10 -Mainstream Impact: 2/10 -Artwork/Visuals: 7/10 -Originality: 6/10 -Range of Style: 5/10 -Choice of Style: 8/10 -Delivery/Performance: 9/10 -First Impression/Enjoyment: 9.5/10 -Staying Power: 10/10 Final Score: 7.5/10
Gratefool - Pearrenial I feel warm and fuzzy in the winter. I’ve got butterflies from these songs of infatuation and heartbreak. Even though the vocals leave much to be desired, the instrumentals have such calm, relaxing electric guitar melodies. This is a solid indie project fills the void left by Mac Demarco’s last album. Fans of Jean Tonique, My Morning Jacket, Skinshape, Nana Adjoa, and FKJ… This might be an album for your taste buds. The Best Tracks: Maybe She Feels the Same, No Doubt, Another Shoulder to Cry On, In Capite, Go Easy On Yourself The "OK" Tracks: Are You Living Your Dream, I Can’t Stay Much Longer, In One Piece The "Meh" Tracks: I Love You, You Don’t Have to Hide Your Heart, A Shoulder to Cry
-Cult Influence/Potential: 1/10 -Lyricism: 7.5/10 -Artwork/Visuals: 7/10 -Originality: 4/10 -Range of Style: 6/10 -Choice of Style: 8/10 -Delivery/Performance: 6/10 -First Impression/Enjoyment: 8.5/10 -Staying Power: 6.5/10 Final Score: 6.5/10
Yes! One final dance track of the decade. It may be the middle of winter here in the states, but I’ve got summer vibes listening to these simple drums with a funky guitar and bass line behind a catchy hook. V.X.D. knocks it out of the park with this jam. I dare the listeners to stay sad while listening to this combination of R&B and Electronic Pop.
-Cult Influence/Potential: 9/10 -Lyricism: 7/10 -Artwork/Visuals: 7/10 -Originality: 6/10 -Choice of Style: 10/10 -Delivery/Performance:10/10 -First Impression/Enjoyment: 9/10 -Staying Power: 10/10 Final Score: 8.5/10
Marc Avery is an aspiring songwriter and producer from Atlanta, Georgia. His primary genre is trip-hop; blends of elements from funk, surf rock, chill hop, blues, synthpop, and psychedelic rock/jazz.