First up this week is a band that’s pretty hard to explain without following their entire trajectory. From high school pals covering Fall Out Boy songs, to headlining Reading and Leeds, Coachella and more. The 1975 have made it pretty clear that they’re sticking around.
The band originated in England in 2002 when members Matt Healy, Adam Hannovers, Ross MacDonald and George Daniel were in high school. After multiple name changes and a final drummer switch (Healy originally played drums but switched to vocals/guitar), the band was finalized as The 1975 and after a few singles and demos, they released their debut self-titled record in 2013. Although classified as a pop rock band, the music of The 1975 clearly spans multiple genres like 80’s funk rock, indie rock, electronica, pop and more. What’s more, each album seems to hold a new direction from the band, while still stitching together familiar sound. Each album seems to hold songs that can go from head bobbing pop choruses with funk guitar leads, to completely synth and electronic drum created interludes, and back again. In an ever-changing landscape of genre blending, there seems to be a battle of “guitar music” versus everything else, but The 1975 argue there is room for both.
We’re all music obsessives. There are really interesting guitar bands around like Black Midi and Pale Waves, I think as long as guitar music is interesting, then it’s still relevant.Matt Healy to NME
The band now has three full-length records out, with their fourth, Notes On A Conditional Form out May 22nd, and they seem to just keep growing. With most tour plans pushed to late 2020, the band will be hitting Arenas around the world with a new album in hand. Check out the music below and keep up with their happenings here. See if you can catch some of their signature funk lead tones courtesy of an original Ernie Ball Music Man JP6 guitar.
Bright, loud and colorful, Dominic Richard Harrison aka, Yungblud has come and taken over the US. From an early start on the Vans Warped Tour to collaborating with chart toppers such as Halsey, Machine Gun Kelly, Travis Barker, to smashing cars with Imagine Dragons Dan Reynolds on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Yungblud has tapped into the unlimited resource and energy of the underrated youth. Infused with hip hop and alternative guitar hooks with punk spirit, Yungblud was created. Son of a vintage guitar dealer and grandson of a T. Rex’s bandmate, Dom was introduced to music at a young age playing guitar and singing. After inking a major deal with Geffen, Yungblud broke through the mainstream in 2018 bringing about his debut full length album titled, 21st Century Liability. Shortly thereafter, he landed on theNetflix’s hit series 13 Reasons Why, and released the record, Live in Atlanta in 2019.
I wanna be the rock star for the 2020 generation. People always advise me: don’t say that you want to be something, just in case you don’t turn out to be it. But I’m not afraid to say that I wanna be the rock kid for them.Dominic Harrison to NME
Dom won’t even let 2020 slow him down by dropping a new explosive single titled, “Weird” which is an unofficial anthem for this year that leaves fans anticipating his next release. To keep up to date with Dominic’s new releases and events, head to his website here and make sure to listen to his music below.
Edgy, raw, and grungy, The Distillers are a raw, American hardcore-punk band that formed from vocalist and guitarist Brody Dalle. The early lineup of the band had garnered the attention of Epitaph records when the band released its self titled debut album in April 2000, followed by the full length, Sing Sing Death House. The record would later be re released in 2002 after the popularity of the single, “Senaca Falls”. The band also had American dates planned to tour this year with No Doubt and Garbage guitarist/vocalist with continual lineup changes in 2020 that had to be postponed.
Tony Bradley joined the lineup in 2003 just in time for the recording of The Distillers third album and major label debut titled, Coral Fang which had popular singles like “Drain the blood” and “Beat your heart out” with a new rhythm section. The band’s inspiring energy and sound would light a fuel but was shelved for a hiatus. 2018 brought The Distiller’s fire back with a loud single. Man vs Magnet/Blood in Gutters and have mentions of a summer album release.
Time will tell, but it’s a masterpiece and I think people are going to love it…and yes, it will be out by summer.Brody Dale to NME
To keep up with The Distillers check out their official website and make sure to listen to their tunes below.
Norma Jean (named after Marilyn Monroe’s birth name) began throwing fists and emerging as an essential part of the metalcore scene in the early 2000’s with highly acclaimed albums like Redeemer and a Grammy-nomination in 2006. The band was formed after the demise of previous outfit Luti-Kriss but through the years, the band evolved and began to stray away from their original scene and went back to their roots, no frill heavy guitar riffs, and hard hitting, loud screaming which later defined different era’s of the Norma Jean sound. After several line up changes and a successful cult following, the band now considers themselves as more of an artistic collective than a traditional band.
In 2016, Norma Jean released their most ambitious album titled, Polar Similar, which landed them raving reviews and led to NPR premiering the single. In 2019, the band upped their game with a follow up titled All Hail which features the use of space and a seamless, more melodic version of the collective. The songs on this album flow from one to the other so well that it’s easy to put the record on repeat. Keep up with Norma Jean here and make sure to catch their tunes below.
There is organic progression, because you never stop the learning phase of doing anything. Just like practicing an instrument: you play it enough you figure out new things and you get better at it, and then you have to find something to go even further.Cory Brandan to Cryptic Rock
Red City Radio
Rounding out this week’s list is Oklahoma City’s Red City Radio. These guys have been cranking out their brand of punk rock since 2007 and have about nine releases to prove it. Blending melodic but gutsy vocal delivery with wall-of-guitar tones and bass lines that stretch the whole fretboard, Red City Radio find a home alongside bands like Hot Water Music, Iron Chic and The Menzingers. Although their music delivery and overdriven guitars are enough to attract most punk rock lovers, it’s the vocals that really give them a unique sound that sticks with you. With honest delivery and melodies that please the ear, singer/guitarist Garrett Dale covers topics relatable to everyone, like facing fears in adulthood, making a living as a broke musician, and everything in-between.
Their latest effort, SkyTigers, was produced by Mike Kennerty of All American Rejects, and has tons of pop sensibility alongside their punk rock tones. When talking about writing new music after over 10 years as a band, Dale said,
I believe if you make a sandwich with hate, it’s going to taste like hate. If you make a sandwich with love, it tastes like love. I love our songs and I love music in general, and I love performing. It doesn’t get old to me, it really doesn’t. The meaning behind the songs, I still believe in that to this day. I’m singing from my heart. I never get tired of doing what makes me happy.Garrett Dale to Substream Magazine
Check out some tracks below and be on the lookout for tour dates from Red City Radio here.