The Humanoids – “Fields of Death” (2014)

humanoids - fields of death
The Humanoids
“Fields of Death”

Look, I’m not saying your survival depends on listening to “Fields of Death” by The Humanoids on repeat at a volume just a tick below hearing-damaging level, but why chance it? I mean, what if the Grim Reaper swings by unexpectedly to see how you’re doing? Throwing the horns, screaming for vengeance and showing no mercy is probably your best chance for survival. At a minimum, you’ll go out with a smile on your face.

Where to get it:

Raw Blow – Slow Choke (2014)

raw blow slow choke
Raw Blow
Slow Choke

Watching Raw Blow during The Rumble was so engrossing I became oblivious to the world around me. I’m happy to report their Slow Choke EP is just as compelling. I’m trapped in their world of frenetic energy, heavy riffs, tight harmonies and insanely precise execution. It’s loud, occasionally discordant and always riveting. Nine minutes and sixteen seconds later I am abruptly released, left alone and wanting more.

Where to get it:

Eddie Japan – “Fight Song” (2014)

Eddie Japan - Fight Song
Eddie Japan
“Fight Song”

This might just be the slickest protest song you ever hear. Recorded in 2014 and dedicated to the Wisconsin protesters of 2011, Eddie Japan’s “Fight Song” is an inspiring tune delivered with style. The message being swooned and crooned feels as relevant as ever with election season heating up. Give it a listen and feel empowered and entertained at the same time.

Where to get it:

Aloud – “Love Is A Losing Game” (2015)

Aloud love is a losing game
“Love Is A Losing Game”

Here we have Jen and Henry of Aloud covering Amy Winehouse’s soulful, Burt Bacharach-style heart-breaker “Love Is A Losing Game.” Aloud’s version is a quiet, understated display of music’s ability to express complex emotions. Less mournful and dramatic than the original, this arrangement unfolds with a sense of knowing and acceptance. It’s a sincere take on a great song.

Where to get it:

Ruby Rose Fox – “Good Friday / Gloria” (2015)

Ruby Rose Fox - Blue Angel
Ruby Rose Fox
“Good Friday / Gloria”

Sometimes you have to burn it all to ashes and hope that, deep down, you’ve got it in you to build it all back up again. That’s exactly what Ruby Rose Fox does on “Good Friday / Gloria.” The sound is stripped down to its bruised bones. It has weight. Ruby Rose Fox sings. It has soul. A chorus of heavenly harmonies rain down. It has majesty. The song will rise again.

Where to get it:

These Wild Plains – “Break Your Heart” (2015)

These Wild Plains - Break Your Heart
These Wild Plains
“Break Your Heart”

These Wild Plains have just released a new single. “Break Your Heart” glows with a warmth that could comfort the coldest soul. Delicately layered guitars and a lilting melody ride atop a fluttering beat. The song draws you in even as you’re being pushed away. Welcome home.

The band also revisits “Waves” and “Plains,” the songs that first had These Wild Plains haunting my dreams.

Where to get it:

Weakened Friends – “Won Yet” (2015)

weakened friends won yet
Weakened Friends
“Won Yet”

Remember when Weezer was good? Remember when a big hook, some fuzzy guitars and snappy groove could make you smile? If you do, Weakened Friends is about to make you very happy. This boisterous spawn of The Box Tiger and The Field Effect is supercharging ’90s nostalgia and making it feel fresh. If you don’t fall in love by the end of the first chorus, wait until the guitars bust loose at the 2:30 mark. Pure joy.

Where to get it:

Worshipper – “Place Beyond the Light” b/w “Step Behind” (2015)

worshipper place beyond the light
“Place Beyond the Light” b/w “Step Behind”

Two more tunes from Worshipper? Yes, please. I won’t hide my love for this band. They play a kind of no-frills metal that emphasizes riffs, groove and melody over all out heaviness. Take a listen to “Place Beyond the Light.” The hook is soooo good. “Into the night / I will carry you / To the place beyond the light!”* It’s classic metal reborn. It’s powerful. The raw and muscular “Step Behind” comes next. Half way through, Worshipper build a majestic cathedral from whence they deliver the most ferocious guitar solo they’ve conjured yet. Save us.

Where to get it:

*Note: It’s hard typing lyrics while you’re throwing horns and singing along.