Each month offers up a number of month-end lists that highlight some of the best full-length releases. These lists are seen on a number of sites across the internet. However, what often gets lost in the commotion of creating these lists are smaller, independent releases that come in the form of 7-inch, EPs, and splits. These releases could feature songs from emerging talent looking to leave their mark in music or from prominent artists working with friends and other acts to create unique offerings not found on full albums.
Here at Bearded Gentlemen Music, we thrive on digging through smaller releases the underground scene has to offer. Each month we shed some light on a number of diverse releases you may have missed. From garage rock to black metal. Post-punk to country. Anything can happen! Take some time to sift through our selection and dig on this!
The Best Underground Music of September 2017:
American Darlings – Glow
There was a time when Alternative Rock was fun. Sugary harmonies, infectious melodies, and sing-a-long hooks for days. American Darlings are bringing it all back when their latest, Glow. With equal parts Husker Du and Superdrag, Glow sucks you in with the first measure of “Roll With Me” and doesn’t let go until the final, jangly chord rings out in “My Minds Eye”. In a perfect world “Take Me There” would be a number 1 and played in every convertible in the word.
While American Darlings full-on utilize everything I love about British Invasion hooks and garage rock, their core sound isn’t one bit archaic. As a matter of fact, Glow just might be the most refreshing release of 2017. A bright spot in an otherwise year of dark, brooding music. –Coop
The NX – Swingers and Roundabouts
The NX are another Newcastle band who are currently making waves when this single was first released, it made number two in the UK iTunes rock charts. That is really good for a band who are doing all the work by themselves, they are truly making an effort with this release. The sound is about alternative sexual lifestyles, so their first version of the video was released on Porntube.
They have released an office-friendly version of the video as well, which is probably just as well as the other video is the sort that might get your fired! Musically, it is a swirling hardcore punk mix that sounds like it will start a fight in an empty room, the hooks are absolutely fantastic and it has a manic personality. If you want to hear your next hardcore punk legends, look no further! –Eddie
Damien Done – Curious Thing b/w Primitive
Scanning the catalog of Mind Over Matter Records is a thing of beauty. This Los Angeles label clearly doesn’t have a scene they are trying to fit in. Their only agenda is to release amazing bands’ music with the highest class of packaging. One of the newest additions to their roster is Damien Done. The 7” Curious Thing b/w Primitive has got me licking my chops for the long player. “Curious Thing” is an original. A spooky love song.
Love isn’t straight forward and human nature has a way of complicating things. It is an upbeat rock song that showcases Damien Moyal’s velvety crooning. His vocals are the delicious butter dripping all over movie theater popcorn. The second track on this 7” is a cover of Killing Joke’s “Primitive”. They are definitely paying homage to a great band. Not going in to reinvent the song just stamp it with their own flare. A tad gloomier but just as badass. Don’t sleep on this 7” because they only pressed 200 copies and I’m sure they’re almost gone! –Matt
High Waisted / The Coax – Split 7″
Last year when I spoke to High Waisted at Riot Fest, they were all about the bright cheerful surf. With this split EP, they’ve traded some of that fun for post-punk. The wit and charisma is still there but the heavier sound shows High Waisted are evolving and that’s a good thing!
This doesn’t mean this split is any less fun though. On the flip side is two jams from The Coax! No-nonsense rock n’ roll at it’s finest! “Bologna” will have you pogo-ing around the room while “Spooky Masquerade” brings some moody darkness in the most wonderful way. -Coop
Dunes – Dunes EP
Dunes have been making waves in the North East of England recently, supporting the likes of Monster Magnet and Idles when they have come to Newcastle, as well as starting to make in-roads into touring the country as well. This self-titled five-track EP is five slices of Stoner Rock with a punk rock attitude, making a glorious racket that reminds you of how good Stoner Rock can be when it plays right. The best song on offer here is ”Love from Below”, which will have Josh Homme looking to see if he actually wrote it himself. -Eddie
Aaron (or Coop) is a freelance writer, multi-instrumentalist and overall lover of all things music. As an advocate for indie record labels and artists, he is passionate about local scenes and do-it-yourself artistry. If it’s good, it’s good. If it’s bad, he’s not afraid to explain why.