Tag: Alternative Rock

November 29, 2020

REVIEW : Daniel Markham - Burnout

From the opening riffs of opener “Armadillo”, you know this is going to be something interesting—dual harmonic guitar riffs in fuzzy tones. Vocals reflect Markham’s alt country background, but this is clearly a rock record. His bio claims he was trying to return to the hard rock and heavy metal that made him happy as a child, and while that is certainly a tangible presence, it’s filtered through his alternative consciousness. It’s like the rock era of Starflyer 59 where they essentially wrote doom metal riffs but set them into the context of shoegaze songs.… Continued →

November 7, 2020

REVIEW : Starflyer 59 - Miami (EP)

There used to be a fairly well-known release formula for SF59. Step one: release full-length album. Step two: release EP of similar material within the following year (or even later that same year). While the formula has been tweaked over the years, it still more or less holds. Whereas She’s the Queen was the counterpart to Silver, Miami functions that way for Young in My Head. Although there are some stylistic—and more noticeably, lyrical—differences, any of these songs probably could have been on Young in My Head.… Continued →

October 16, 2020

Song of the Day: The Holidays - Sunshine

Power pop was (is?) a strange phenomenon. Despite the big hooks, melodic overtones and just enough of a punk edge to keep things interesting, it never really caught on in a huge way. Although it’s made inroads into new wave and, more recently, indie pop, the leaders of the subgenre still remain fairly underground, with a few notable exceptions (Cheap Trick and The Romantics are among the few artists with major radio hits). It should be no surprise then, that in Christian circles, artists in the style were even fewer.… Continued →

October 9, 2020

Song of the Day: Mad at the World - All These Questions

Mad at the World went through at least three distinct phases throughout their history, which impressively spans across 4 decades: synth-pop/new wave, hard alternative rock/metal, and retro rock/alternative. We’ve already featured a song from their synth-pop era, and here’s one from their hard alternative phase, but one that interestingly enough hints at their retro phase that would be unleashed in 2 more albums’ time. Both of the songs I’ve chosen from the Rose brothers have spoken words of encouragement to me when I needed them.… Continued →

September 11, 2020

Song of the Day: The Prayer Chain - Fifty-Eight

I had this song on my mind the other day as I was thinking about what song I was going to choose for this week. The modus operandi: Ruminate on a song and make a choice. Find it on YouTube. Listen while I’m writing. Dang. I’ve loved this song for years, but was still surprised at how good it sounded more than 2 decades after it was recorded. I highly recommend headphones! This song has so many layers.… Continued →

August 21, 2020

Song of the Day: The Altered - Low

Not much is known about this band, who released one album for major label Curb Records in 1997, called Yours Truly. They played a fairly straight-forward brand of alternative rock that hinted at grunge without ever fully going to Seattle. The lead single was “Low,” with its provocative chorus: I’m wasted! I’m wasted! I’m wasted . . . without You!” While the song might have raised eyebrows among critics of faith-based rock music, the lyrics hit home for some.… Continued →

July 31, 2020

Song of the Day: the violet burning - Song of the Harlot

Many people nowadays have a love-hate relationship with worship music. It can sometimes be too simplistic, or based on shallow theology, yet believers have a real desire to connect with the Lord through music. The so-called Modern Worship movement has both helped and hindered this process. While it’s outside of our purposes here to give an overview of the practical, musical, and theological ramifications of modern worship music, let’s take a look at an early innovator.… Continued →

July 24, 2020

Song of the Day: Black Carnation - One Fine Night in a Daydream

Jangle Pop. While the term might not mean much to most listeners today, it was the dominant form of alternative rock (on both sides of the Atlantic) in the late 80s to early 90s. As 70s punk gave way to 80s new wave and synth pop, underground bands were looking for more earthy sounds, moving away from sythesizers and often including acoustic guitars and instruments borrowed from folk rock. There was less emphasis on the lead guitar licks of glam metal and arena rock, and more emphasis on jangly guitar rhythms, hence the name.… Continued →

July 2, 2020

Grandpa Loves Rhinos Release "Gimme, Gimme" Tomorrow

Grandpa Loves Rhinos are back with a brand new single titled “Gimme, Gimme”. The song will release at Midnight tonight through all digital networks and streaming sites. The track is an energetic pop-punk inspired jam full of those unforgettable hooks and melodies the band has become known for. The message is geared towards those that are obsessed with the material treasures in this lifetime and being consumed by them. You can find the single for sale on Bandcamp tonight and remember, all purchases made on IVM Bandcamp tomorrow will be without fees to bandcamp.… Continued →

June 26, 2020

June 16, 2020

Song of the Day: Anberlin - Pray Tell

Another album celebrating it’s 10 year anniversary is “Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place” by the world renown alternative rock band, Anberlin. This Brendan O’Brien produced full length effort (their 5th album by 2010) was a slight departure from the sunny, bright, more upbeat sounds of their commercial break through record, “New Surrender”. One of the stand out highlights from this album was definitely “Pray Tell”, with it’s thundering drum intro and light guitar strumming mixed with Stephen’s unforgettable vocal contributions.… Continued →

June 14, 2020

Winona Ave Release New Song "Masterpiece" and Music Video

Indiana based Pop-Rock band – Winona Ave, just dropped a brand new song and music video for “Masterpiece”. This anthem for those seeking hope and finding meaning in their own self-worth will be delighted by this new song. Hopeful music for times that call out for it. Check out “Masterpiece” below. For fans of: All American Rejects, Hawk Nelson, Mayday Parade, and All Time Low.… Continued →

Pspazz Album Now on Digital Networks

Hawaii based pop-punk/alternative Rock band, PSPAZZ, has finally posted their 1996 Brainstorm International debut album “Missile Toe” on all digital networks. This fun, sun inspired, little goofy pop-punk album of the 90’s is sure to delight old fans and fans that have never ever heard of these guys. For fans of old Blink 182, NOFX, Sponge, Jane’s Addiction, Weezer, Home Grown, Weird Al, and MXPX. Check it out below.… Continued →

June 5, 2020

Song of the Day: Mad at the World - It Can't Rain Forever

Mad at the World has had a very interesting and diverse career as a band. They started out doing somewhat dark synth-pop on their self-titled debut (in the vein of Depeche Mode, New Order, Clan of Xymox), then added guitars to their new wave sound for Flowers in the Rain. By their third album, they ditched the synths and morphed into a full-fledged alternative rock band with metallic influences. This carried on for three albums (Seasons of Love, Boomerang, and Through the Forest).… Continued →

May 15, 2020

Song of the Day: Starflyer 59 - This Recliner

After releasing last year’s opus Young in My Head, Starflyer 59 are already back. The veteran indie rock band have just released a new single, “This Recliner” and boy oh boy is it good! Fueled by inspiration from the best of his 80s new wave AND shoegaze influences (The Church, Psychedelic Furs, Jesus and Mary Chain, et. al.), the man truly knows how to write a pop song. Sometimes I think his skill lies in brevity.… Continued →

May 12, 2020

Exclusive Song Premiere: Audiophile - The Coast

We are proud to bring you a brand new song premiere from the Birmingham, AL. based alternative-pop-punk band known as Audiophile. They are a newer band with an incredibly catchy sound that would appeal to fans of The All American Rejects, Relient K, Weezer, All Time Low, Mayday Parade, Neck Deep, TwentyOnePilots, and Capital Lights. This new song, “The Coast” will release on May 15th to all digital networks. Check out the song below and the band here on facebook or instagram.… Continued →

March 27, 2020

Song for the Day: Chagall Guevara - If It All Comes True

You’re probably tired of hearing it, but these are strange times we’re living in. How could any of us have been prepared for the reality in which we find ourselves? I don’t know about you but I’ve read a lot of dystopian fiction and watched a ton of post-apocalyptic films. Neither of them are all that helpful in our current scenario. But you know what is helpful? Hope. Friendship. Solidarity. Though the song touches on a depressing topic, it is ultimately these themes that emerge.… Continued →

March 6, 2020

Song of the Day: Breakfast with Amy - Social Studies

Along with L.S.U. and the Altar Boys, another band that was really influential in getting me into alternative music (as opposed to straight metal and thrash of my teenage years) was Breakfast with Amy. Their debut album had enough punk rock influence to appeal to that side of me that wanted noise and aggression, but there was more to their sound than just loud, fast, and angry. There were also these weird, angular, noisy expressions and interesting metaphors about the faith that I wasn’t hearing anywhere else.… Continued →

February 14, 2020

Song of the Day: Undercover - The Eyes of Love

I suppose that the first time you hear a band forever affects the way you think or feel about them. Although Undercover already had a long history behind them when I first heard them in 1990, I was completely unaware of it. I didn’t know the huge impact they’d made in the Christian alternative and punk scene in SoCal through Calvary Chapel, Ministry Resource Center, etc. through groundbreaking albums like God Rules and Branded. They had already morphed from a bubblegum-punk/new wave sound to darker, post-punk tones across the span of 4 albums.… Continued →

February 12, 2020

L.S. Underground masterpiece "The Grape Prophet" to be re-issued!

L.S. Underground (AKA LSU, L.S.U. LifeSavers Underground, Lifesavers, Lifesavors) have been doing alternative music in various forms since the early 80s. “The Grape Prophet,” originally released on Blonde Vinyl in 1992 was a concept album full of nuance and metaphor representing a young man’s journey looking into what was deemed a potentially dangerous Christian cult. Dark and brooding, the album has often been hailed as the band’s magnum opus. The original release is tremendously difficult to obtain, in large part because a vast shipment of units got somehow lost in transit.… Continued →

February 7, 2020

Song of the Day: Lifesavers - Surf with God

In the late 80s/early 90s I was a straight-up metalhead. Thrash was my favorite variety, but I dipped into other stuff as well. But I had started developing a taste for punk too. The pace and beat of hardcore punk was actually very similar to thrash, but with different guitar tones. Bands like Nobody Special, The Lead, The Crucified, and even Breakfast with Amy opened me up to new possibilities in edgy music. Then along came the album Poplife by the Lifesavers.… Continued →

October 11, 2019

New RED Ep and Fuel Cover

RED are back with a brand new Ep which includes a cover of the classic Fuel song “Hemorrhage (In My Hands)”. “The Evening Hate” Ep is out November 1st and first single “From the Ashes” heads to radio October 25th. Listen to the cover track, Read the full press release about the EP and upcoming tour dates with In Flames, below.… Continued →

Song of the Day: Jupiter James - Overload

Lo-fi indie rock never made a huge impact in the Christian scene. To be fair, it was a niche market even in mainstream circles. Beck and R.E.M. were the only 2 artists to break out of the underground, and both of those bands more or less ditched their lo-fi roots to do so (Beck only temporarily). I can only think of a handful of Christian-themed lo-fi bands: Jetenderpaul, Danielson Famile, Pedro the Lion (early stuff), Sappo, Joe Christmas, and some early Damien Jurado projects.… Continued →

October 8, 2019

September 27, 2019

August 20, 2019

Song of the Day: Kosmos Express - Just Say It

The year was 1997. The heyday of Christian alternative rock was starting to wane, as mainstream sounds were drifting into new territory. Dance pop (in the form of boy bands and girl bands) was starting to make another attempt at dominating the airwaves. Electronica and house were exploding in creativity and splintering into new subgenres every day. Outside of punk and hardcore, the most exciting thing happening in rock was a revival of traditional British sounds in a new format cleverly dubbed “Britpop.”… Continued →

July 26, 2019

Song of the Day: Altar Boys - You Are Loved

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this is one of the greatest songs our scene has ever produced! It gets straight to the heart of what it’s all about: “Hey I’m talkin’ to you/Yeah, I’m trying to get through/God cares about you more than think . . . You are loved! You are loved!” It was the first song I ever heard from the Altar Boys, in the late 80s. Ironically, it was on a metal compilation where I first heard them.… Continued →

January 29, 2019

October 25, 2018

Mellowdramatic Wallflowers make all releases available

90s quirky alternative band Mellowdramatic Wallflowers have recently made all their releases available for free download here. The Oklahoma-based band remained independent throughout their existence, but released four full-length albums during their time. The band reluctantly changed their name to Admiral Twin (inspired by a historic Tulsa movie theater) to avoid confusion when the similarly-named mainstream rock band The Wallflowers gained in popularity. The Mellowdramatic Wallflowers might appeal to fans of They Might Be Giants, The Ass Ponys, Hokus Pick and other quirky bands.… Continued →

October 18, 2018

REVIEW : Lo Tom - Lo Tom

This is a fun record, that’s really easy to listen to. It’s not really ground-breaking, just straight-forward indie rock with really warm guitar tones. While there’s not a lot of distinction between the guitar and bass, for some reason that’s not a bad thing, it just adds to the simplicity. Most readers probably already realize Lo Tom is basically an indie rock supergroup, featuring: David Bazan (Pedro the Lion, Headphones, solo), TW Walsh (Pedro the Lion, The Soft Drugs, solo), Trey Many (Velour 100, His Name is Alive, Liquorice, TW Walsh), and Jason Martin (Starflyer 59, Bon Voyage, Dance House Children, White Lighter).… Continued →