There’s plenty of music released every single month, and with each Monthly Music Roundup article, we share some quick reviews of several releases from throughout the month that we personally enjoyed and want to cover.
Feeny “Between The Bookends”
Feeny released their debut album, titled “Between The Bookends.” There are plenty of slower tracks on here, all of which showcase the various influences found on this album. The drums build up “Two Weeks Later” very well as the song gradually becomes harder hitting, the slightly darker “Alacrity” brings some intriguing performances, and both of them focus more on the emo influences found on the record. Another slower track on here is “Fallow,” an interesting ballad that builds up really well and has some really solid performances, from the catchy guitars leading the beginning of the song to the emotional vocals in the bridge later on. The catchy “Maybe” and emotional “Fading Away” do a good job at combining all these influences together. “Better Off” also shows a similar combination of influences, contains one of the catchiest choruses on the record, and is one of a few much softer tracks on here. The other two softer tracks really emphasize the emo influences as well, from the memorable technical title track “Bookends” to the intriguing “Idwk.” In contrast, there are a couple of tracks on this album that are much more upbeat, such as the opener “Are You Leaving?,” which contains a huge chorus that foreshadows the various elements and influences that make up this album, as well as powerful vocal and instrumental performances during its hard hitting ending, and “Puzo,” where the vocals deliver catchy melodies and only get better as the song continues on, and where the instrumentals get to shine as they drive the song’s more upbeat rhythm. “Between The Bookends” brings a great combination of pop punk and emo influences and is a pretty memorable debut album overall.
GroundCulture “How Well Do You Really Know Yourself?”
GroundCulture have also released their debut album, titled “How Well Do You Really Know Yourself?”. “Life Won’t Wait” starts off the album on a very strong note with the powerful delivery of the opening lyric, “how well do you really know yourself,” followed by some energetic instrumentals, a mix of hardcore and metalcore influences, and a much more melodic pre-chorus and chorus with some catchy guitar riffs. The upbeat “Trauma Can Teach” delivers a powerful lyrical message through emotional performances, both from more aggressive and more melodic vocals, “Blue Minds” contains another standout vocal performance, and the very catchy, riff-driven “Unbreakable” brings a ton of energy as well. However, a few of the tracks on here are a bit more experimental, adding in a few different elements here and there. The energetic “REALEYES,” the alt-rock/metalcore anthem “Freefall” (which contains one of the strongest vocal performances on the album), and the more melodic “Dream Like A Child” (which features Normandie’s Philip Strand) all add some synths into the mix of melody and aggression. The more midtempo “18” shows some nu-metal influences, particularly during the verses, bridge and the breakdown, and the closing track “1974” is primarily driven by acoustic guitar and vocals rather than harder hitting and more aggressive instrumentation and harsher vocal performances. From the reflective lyrics to the powerful performances, “How Well Do You Really Know Yourself?” is a great debut from GroundCulture.
Off Road Minivan “Swan Dive”
Following 2018’s “Spiral Gaze” EP, Off Road Minivan have released their debut full-length, titled “Swan Dive.” A lot of this album showcases a much slower and softer side of the band’s sound. The simple, acoustically driven “737” shows off the vocals well, while “Supernova” does the same with its instrumentation, as well as providing a soulful vocal performance, especially in the harder hitting and emotional bridge. “Spiral Gaze” is another harder hitting track as well, containing passionate and emotional performances throughout, while “YOU” and “Taconic” both bring more of a balance of softer and harder hitting sections. In contrast, there’s still some more upbeat tracks on the record as well. “It’s Harder To Make It Below Third” and “Bliss” are two of the most memorable songs here and both bring huge choruses to the table, “Vampire” brings some passionate performances, especially in the very impressive bridge, and the slightly darker “Keepsake” contains quite a bit of emotion as well. Meanwhile, the remaining tracks land more in the middle. The title track brings yet another passionate and emotional vocal performance in its harder hitting chorus, and “Platinum” and “Carousel Blues” offer two more memorable choruses. “Swan Dive” brings intriguing performances and an overall interesting sound, and it makes a pretty good debut LP.
CONVERSATION “Realization | Release”
CONVERSATION have released their latest EP, “Realization | Release.” “I’m More Savant Than Soldier” begins with softer, darker guitars in the intro before heavier instrumentals quickly get added in. The vocals deliver an intriguing and more melodic performance in the first verse (but a more aggressive one in the second verse) and a mix of cleans and screams in the pre-chorus before an energetic chorus driven by more catchy drumbeats and riffs. Following that is “Mexican Valium,” with hard hitting drums driving the intro and verses. The vocals deliver a captivating performance in the pre-chorus, as well as the huge chorus (where more guitars come in), and the second verse mixes cleans and screams through an overall emotional performance. “Black Coffee Blues” starts off on a much more energetic and aggressive note, mixing in some melodic elements in the pre-chorus before a much more melodic chorus that showcases some impressive vocals. “Lessons” is a lot slower, starts to show some darker composition, and there’s a great contrast between the softer verses and huge chorus. The vocals deliver another emotional performance before the second chorus comes in, and a catchy guitar solo follows the aggressive bridge. “Just Breathe” is a bit similar, from the catchy guitars to the great vocal performances and the heavier bridge later once and the closing track “You And Me, Old Man” starts out much softer before more instrumentation gets added in during the choruses and especially towards the end, where they deliver powerful and emotional performances, surrounding a soulful guitar solo. “Realization | Release” combines melody and aggression through some really good performances and makes an interesting EP overall.
Dream Awake “Prosper”
After their 2017 debut EP “Don’t Hold Your Breath” and a handful of singles in the years that followed, Dream Awake have returned with their sophomore EP, titled “Prosper.” The EP opens with its title track, “Prosper,” instantly bringing catchy, energetic instrumentation that accompanies a mix of both aggressive and melodic vocals in the verses before an interesting vocal performance leads the pre-chorus and chorus, and shouted vocals bring a lot of emotion to the track later on right before the breakdown. “Heritage” starts off on a more melodic note, with some screaming here and there during the pre-chorus before the huge chorus that follows references the memorable hook found in the song’s intro. “Obsession” brings some captivating and impressive vocals, especially throughout the verses and the chorus later on, which brings a bit of aggression as well. “Inanimate” starts with a more aggressive intro before the vocals deliver a mix of singing and screaming during the verses, which show the overall darker tone of the song, and the bass is showcased more during the softer bridge. The closing track “Anaesthesia” is easily one of the strongest on here, from the catchy instrumentation and powerful vocals in the upbeat verses to another huge chorus with equally as impressive performances, as well as the bridge later on, which starts out softer before more instrumentals and heavier vocals come in, delivering one of the best vocal performances on this whole EP. Between the impressive performances and the mix of more melodic and more aggressive influences, “Prosper” is a solid sophomore EP from Dream Awake.
PSTCRDS “This Place Or Our Pace”
PSTCRDS have released their debut EP, “This Place Or Our Pace.” Opening track “Meritless” begins with catchy instrumentals driving the energetic intro and verses before a softer pre-chorus and a much bigger chorus with passionate vocals and instrumentals. There is a little bit of aggression on this track, added in before that chorus returns. “Change And Grow” has some darker guitars in the hard hitting intro, followed by energetic verses driven by fast paced drums. The vocal performance really stands out, especially in the softer bridge, where the bass shows off a bit more. Lead single “Don’t Fake It” has some softer verses before a much bigger chorus that’s one of the best on the EP, containing an emotional performance and being followed by an energetic post-chorus and equally as energetic second verse. Closing out the EP is the upbeat “Memories,” where the vocals instantly grabbed my attention and stood out throughout the entire song, especially in the chorus, which is another one of my favorite choruses found on the release. Reside’s Liam Guinane does a feature on this track, putting on a very impressive performance with plenty of passion and even a little bit of aggression, which fits pretty well on the track. “This Place Or Our Pace” brings a memorable pop punk sound with a little bit of aggression added into the mix, and it makes a strong debut EP for PSTCRDS.