This week our three guest reviewers take on another five new tracks and give them a spin through the headphones before they then air their opinion on each.
This week's panel: Melanie Lapierre, host on the London Cafe show on CISM 89.3 FM in Montreal; Little Indie contributor, Neil Cole; founder at Creative Sounds UK artist management and manager of The RPMs, Ade Riches.
TWIN WILD - SUBURBAN DREAMS
Produced by Adam Noble (Nothing But Thieves, Placebo), indie pop four-piece Twin Wild released this single on June 9, through Play It Again Sam, and which also appears on their 'Control' EP, released the same day. Soaring riffs, killer chorus and a smattering of synths.
Melanie Lapierre: Totally hooked on the guitar riffs and the infectious lyrics to sing along to. It's a growing and vibrant synth rock track. 4/5
Neil Cole: This is superb. A brooding bass line builds the song up to the crescendo of the chorus... and what a chorus! I do love a song that manages to be powerful and moody yet somehow catchy at the same time. 4.5/5
Ade Riches: Very catchy on first listening. Has a strong dance vibe. The vocals sear over the top of the beat. Easily listenable with intricate guitar textures and driving beat. 4.5/5
Total score: 13/15
CHEST PAINS - PETRIFIED
Just released new single - about a long-distance relationship - from the Leeds DIY post-punk outfit 'making confrontational punk tracks drawing on awkward social interactions and the frustration of their home-town frozen in deep conservatism'.
ML: Losing control to this intro really similar to Joy Division. But the progression of the song is great, with the raw vocals and the various tones the singer showed to give a sense to the two minutes story. 3/5
NC: This is one of those songs that you immediately want to hear live. The simple, straightforward, almost subdued verses give way to an eruption of loud guitars on the chorus that will make even the shyest of crowds start bouncing. My only criticism is that the vocals aren't great on record, as the singer resorts to shouting over the chorus... but then maybe that is part of the charm. 4/5
AR: Starting with thudding bass pattern reminiscent of The Cure in places with very stripped back production. Vocals very raw that adds a great counterpoint to the grungey guitar refrain. 3/5
Total score: 10/15
MUERTOS - SPIN
Following the release of their debut EP, London-based Muertos - DeAnna Avis and Marc Crane - return with their new digital single released via Roadkill Records on June 9. ‘SPIN’ takes Muertos’ vintage garage sleaze and adds a full sonic assault of feedback, motorik beats and the band’s signature dual vocals.
ML: It's like I'm in a total short fuzzy roadtrip. The drum kicks are addictive! Absolutely intense! 4/5
NC: This kicks off with guitars reminiscent of BRMC and shoegazey type vocals which is a winning combination in my book. The song itself though is overly straightforward, with the same guitar hook repeated throughout, and no discernible chorus. After just over two minutes the song finishes before it has really got going. Could be something of a missed opportunity. 3/5
AR: Controlled feedback at the beginning, very Pere Ubu, instantly hooks you in with vocals blending in with guitar, and driving beat that I am sure will be very well received in a live setting. I’d be keen to hear more of their music as they clearly have a unique sound of their own that will draw in audiences. 3.5/5
Total score: 10.5/15
SIBLING - KNIGHTS
The latest synthpop number from non-sibling Los Angeles-based Canadian duo - Elodie Tomlinson and Bryan Osuszek -features three minutes of shimmering synths and glitchy electronica, subtle beats and Tomlinson's evocative vocal.
ML: Perfect for an ambient morning if you want to wake up with sensual slow grooves. Actually a melody quite well-driven from the beginning. 3/5
NC: This is a likeable synthpop track, very different to what we have heard so far on this Roundtable! This is mellow, summer pop that could fit on a playlist alongside Air and Groove Armada. Very pleasant but there's nothing too memorable or ground-breaking here. 3/5
AR: Intriguing sound, opening with simple keyboard refrain with chilled vocals that build slowly and draw you in. It has a hypnotic contemporary dance beat not too dissimilar to Florence and the Machine that I am sure will be popular in the clubs and festivals alike. 4/5
Total score: 10/15
TIGERDOG - SERIOUSLY
Indie grunge-rock three-piece from Charlotte, North Carolina share the lead cut taken from their debut album, ‘That was Then. This is Meow’ out on July 21. Catchy melodies and the somewhat different, yet engaging vocal supplied by guitarist Daniel Hodges.
ML: It brings me into an early britpop era, kind of teenage fan club-esque mood mixed mood with grunge pop. Can't get enough of the sing-a-long chorus. 3/5
NC: This is a bit of an American grunge/rock cliche. Whiny vocals, simplistic lyrics, and a simple guitar hook that eventually leads up to a very repetitive chorus. Could just about pass as a Blink 182 album track. 2/5
AR: This begins with an exciting crescendo with a Wreckless Eric-like guitar refrain that doesn’t really go anywhere after the first few bars and plods along towards the end. I am sure this will be a real crowd pleaser as it has an exciting energy that will do well in a live setting, but it doesn’t float my boat unfortunately. 2/5
Total score: 7/15