The first full-length effort from Hollywood Blanks is a great insight into its unorthodox, rather theatrical approach to songwriting. Each song feels like a rock opera in itself, which makes sense because most of the songs on this album clock in at the five-minute mark. With vocal delivery reminiscent of Elton John, long theatrical compositions like Meatloaf and rockin’ bluesy guitars that call back to Emerson, Lake and Palmer and The Who, “Projections” is a wild ride. Still, you can hear contemporary influences like Black Keys, Arctic Monkeys and even Queens of the Stone Age in the energy of the bluesy riffs and licks that tie the album together. Check it out if you’re tired of the same old alternative rock!
Must Hear: “Savior in Denial,” “Let You Down,” “Best Thing Since the Truth” and “With Love For Arlo”
“Principle Web” is the first full-length we’ve seen from Writer since 2012’s “Brotherface” and it is clear that the band has grown since then (musically, assuming they’re done with puberty and all that). Brothers James and Andy Ralph have toured with experimental noise rock bands relentlessly since the release of “Brotherface” and it certainly shows on “Principle Web.” The Ralph brothers manage to find the perfect balance between noise and floaty, ethereal melody in these songs, which showcase these two brothers’ unbreakable bond of friendship and musical tightness. Check out these guys if you’re into huge walls of sound that don’t compromise vocal prowess, because they nail it.
Must Hear: “Mosquito Bitten,” “Art Fair,” “CNWN,” “Is You” and “Neighborly”