Music Reviews,  Pow Magazine

New Music Newsletter #2

Featuring New Music From Spring 2023

Newsletter #2 features 10 bands bringing together rock, psychedelic pop, folk, punk and heavy rock. This list includes artists Thee Oh Sees, punk rockers Suzi Moon and Billy Hopeless, psych-pop-grunge band Mason Lowe, raw rockers House Of Wolves, shoegaze drifters The Doormen, driven rockers Silent Pictures, lo-fi 90s retro rock band Donovan’s Brain, vintage inspired bedroom pop group Vanity Mirror, far-out space rockers Psychic Lemon, and gentle folk pop artist McKenna Esteb.

Suzi Moon and Billy Hopeless – Nothing Left To Lose

Suzi Moon and Billy Hopeless have released Nothing Left To Lose featuring two songs pairing the clear and seductive vocals of Suzi Moon with the gruff punk rock vocals of Billy Hopeless. The two combine for a duet with unexpected harmonies that are gritty, edgy and attention grabbing. The songs start as a almost punk country folk sound and evolve to distorted guitars and vocals with a hard attack. The lyrics about how ‘Love Is A Stranger’. The second track ‘communicado’ is straight up punk rock with pop sounds. The lead guitars are melodic with a big sound that always leads back to the vocal back and forth between these two vocalists.

Mason Lowe – ‘Plastered’

Mason Lowe of Seattle is a rock act with driven lo-fi fuzzy guitars garage rock and grunge rock sounds. The song is well done with blunt rhythms, harmonized vocal choruses and a sense of positivity. The music is playful with musical choices that encourage a good time with a some retro pop sounds. Mason Lowe embraces the Seattle sounds of old and solders in 60s psych and contemporary indie rock sounds. The full-length album will be released on June 23rd and if it’s anything like the single ‘Plastered’ its going to sound great and be a soundtrack for good times.

House Of Wolves – Give Me A Moment

House of Wolves are from Preston and are a trio with a raw rock sound featuring pushed rock vocals, deep bass lines and over-driven guitars. Their edgy sound is driven with dramatic shifts in dynamic which gives the songs infectious energy. The vocalist is a highlight in the band lending strength to the melodies while pushing and driving the momentum of the songs. This is a band with great arrangements on the guitar bass and drums which all support the star power rock vocals.

The Doormen – The Truth In A Dark Age

The Truth of A Dark Age is the fifth official full length album from The Doormen from Ravenna, Italy. The first video and single is ‘Glass Factory’ with forward vocal melody and strummed guitars. ‘Glass Factory’ blends 80s cure style rock and modern shoegaze. The song ends with a build-up to driven guitars and pushed vocals. The Truth In A Dark Age album has a variety of music revolving around the style heard on the ‘Glass Factory’ single. Dream pop guitars, chorus guitars and bass dramatic vocals and a mellow sound encased in electric guitars with songs that build up and soften back. The music sounds great with good production and catchy rhythms.

Silent Pictures – Daydreams & Delusion

Silent Pictures latest album Daydreams and Delusions is now available. They are from Portland, Oregon and released their first album in 2014 titled, Under Exposure. Silent Pictures explores psychedelic Rock, heavy rock, stoner rock and have played a number of psychedelic rock music festivals in the USA, UK and EU. The guitars use heavy effects like wah-wah, echo, and fuzz to give the music a psyched out sound. The vocals are shoegaze style with heavy reverb and they experiment with heavy effects and soaring melodic lead guitar lines.

Donovan’s Brain – Faith In Failure

Donovan’s Brain of Bozeman, Montana is back with their 15th album honing in on melodic psych with a guitar focus. The vocals are whimsical with chiming rhythm guitars and ready bass and drums. They combine retro vibes with a touch of 90s alternative rock. The vocals are harmonized adding to the lo-fi technicolor sound. They capture the vintage feel while staying modern and taking a few risks which add a sprinkle of psychedelic experimentation to the sound. The full brew on Faith In Failure is appealing and sparkles with prism light.

Vanity Mirror – Puff

Vanity Mirror is dreamy lo-fi bedroom pop from Los Angeles with retro inspirations. The first video from the album is ‘Somehow You Know’ a gentle song with piano, classical guitars and simple and effective melodies. The simplicity of the song is accented with counter rhythm finger picked guitar arpeggios doubled and splashing beautifully against the piano arrangement. The rest of the album is more upbeat with playful vocals and indie rock appeal. This will appeal to fans of Foxygen, The Bealtes, Morgan Delt, Richard Swift and early Syd Barrett Pink Floyd styled psych pop.

McKenna Esteb – So Pretty

McKenna Esteb’s single, ‘So Pretty’ is a heartfelt intimate song that curls its’ gentle tendrils around the lsitener. The lyrics express feelings of sadness and depression according to Esteb. She is based out of Boise, Idaho and her first EP ‘Moving (On)‘ was released in 2021 and the newest music is a trio of singles, ‘So Pretty’, ‘About You’ and ‘Cry In The Bathtub’. The debut full-length album is set to be released in 2023. Her music is well produced, emotional and arouses feelings of calm and introspection. This will appeal to fans of Sharon Van Etten, First Aid Kit, Nora Jones, and Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings.

Psychic Lemon – Studio Jams Volume 6

Psychic Lemon is a four piece psychedelic rock band from Cambridge, UK. They released the first full-length in 2014 which laid the foundations for their far out sci-fi space rock sound. Their music is progressive with echoing guitars, droning motorik rhythms and luscious synth sounds. Their newest album ‘The Great Divide is coming soon. While we wait for that their new studio album Psychic Lemon released Studio Jams Volume 6 with four songs clocking-in at a total of 45 minutes. The single posted here is a sprawling psychedelic journey called ‘Volver’ which captures their free-flowing style that integrates improvisation and experimentation. This track may bring to mind bands like CAN, Earthless, Slift and Electric Moon. The music is this is spacey, progressive, psychedelic rock that is unique and artistic.

Thee Oh Sees Live At Levitation 2012

Thee Oh Sees are one of the most exciting underground rock-punk-psych bands on the planet. The band is the longtime project of John Dwyer originally from San Francisco he now hails from the Los Angelas area. The band has gone through line-up changes over the years and name changes as well going by Thee Oh Sees, Oh Sees, OCS, and now Osees. In 2012 Thee Oh Sees played Levitation / Austin Psych Fest and it was captured live and pressed on colorful vinyl by Levitation and Reverberation Appreciation Society. This album features the old line-up with all their catchy pop oriented psychedelic-acid-punk songs of the earlier era. The energy of Thee Oh Sees live is off the charts and their live albums capture the raw power of their performance. The first single, ‘Devil Again’ has an upbeat rhythm and an ear worm harmonized chorus sandwiched verses and bridges that make the crowd jump up and down.

2023 has had many great releases in the psych, retro rock world with much more in store be sure to check out King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Night Beats, Temples, Atlin Gun, Helicon, Osees, Death Valley Girls, Spirit Mother, The Murlocs, Julia’s Haircut, and Acid Dad to name a few artist with new goodies to satiate your musical hunger.