NERiMA – Amnesia

Artist: NERiMA

Song: Amnesia

Genres: #alternativerock

Location: Toronto, Canada

Release date: July, 2022

Comment: When I featured Toronto-band Nerima for the first time over a year ago, they were working on their debut EP and I’m happy to report that Have More Fun, which is how they called it, is finally going to be available next week. Earlier this month, they dropped a new single called Amnesia, which didn’t disappoint. After listening to it the first time, I told Connor, the bassist, that it reminded me of Letters To Cleo, a band that had a few indie hits in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The funny thing was that neither Connor nor the other band members had ever heard of them. At least, after listening to I Want You to Want Me, they agreed with me. I’ll focus on that instead of the fact that I’m getting old.

Amnesia, whose lyrics tell the story of a person with dreams bigger than reality, has also been compared to Paramore and Avril Lavigne, two acts that I guess need no introduction. Whatever artist Amnesia reminds you of, the bottom line is that it is a great track by a young and talented band. May their music-industry dreams become a reality.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Better Than Ezra – Closer

Artist: Better Than Ezra

Song: Closer

Genres: #indierock #alternativerock

Location: New Orleans, United States

Release date: August, 2001

Comment: I think Kevin Griffin from Better Than Ezra is one of the best lyricists around. BTE are best known for their singles released during alternative rock’s heyday in the 1990s, but Closer was the album that introduced me to them. A Lifetime is one of my favorite songs ever and a great example of how talented Kevin is as a songwriter. However, the song I want to feature today is the title track from that underrated album, a song that always resonated with me even though it I couldn’t really relate to it before.

Closer is a beautiful song Griffin wrote after having his first child. In it, he wonderfully describes the excitement, pride, bewilderment and fear he felt all at once as a new dad. I hadn’t mentioned it here before but I’m about to become a dad as well in the next 24 hours or so, and I’m finally starting to understand what Kevin Griffin meant word by word. Incredibly, I can now say that Closer is even better than I thought.

Hope you enjoy this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry, and please bear with me while I adapt to my new routine.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

American Hi-Fi – Another Perfect Day

Artist: American Hi-Fi

Song: Another Perfect Day

Genres: #alternativerock #indierock #2000srock

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Release date: February, 2001.

Comment: I didn’t mention it on that entry, but The New Twenty’s I Can’t Afford Her reminded me a bit of the style of American Hi-Fi, at least that of their self-titled debut album from 2001. Now, if you only know one song from this still-active band led by Stacy Jones (also known for being the drummer in Veruca Salt and Letters To Cleo), it is likely to be Flavor of the Weak, which is their one big hit and a great rock song on its own. That being said, I’ve always had a soft spot for the lesser known Another Perfect Day, which is why I decided to feature that tune instead as this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Nine Days – Absolutely (Story of a Girl)

Artist: Nine Days

Song: Absolutely (Story of a Girl)

Genres: #alternativerock

Location: Long Island, New York

Release date: May, 2000.

Comment: This song is a classic from 21 years ago. Even though they were never able to replicate the success of this hit, they do have quite a few good songs. They took a long hiatus but got back together in 2016. Maybe they’ll surprise us with another hit in the future. Meanwhile, enjoy this #ThrowbackThursday!

Featured on the following mixtapes:

TROUBLESHOOT – Inside My Head

I’ve been sick for the past few days, which is the reason why I wasn’t able to post anything since Saturday. Inside My Head is the song I was planning to write about on Monday but things didn’t go as planned. Anyway, that’s life.

I wrote about British artist Troubleshoot four months ago when he released his song Worst Bad Habit and now he’s back with a new track that sounds even better while maintaining a similar musical style. He got help from sound engineer Alex Edge for recording, mixing and mastering Inside My Head, which will be part of Troubleshoot‘s forthcoming debut album and one of his favorite tracks. The song talks about the ideal work Ben has created in his head, which contrasts with the toxic place he perceives the real world to be nowadays. The end result is a powerful and catchy alternative rock song like those that were popular 20 years ago.

Check it out below and support this up-and-coming music artist.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

SR-71 – Last Man On The Moon

If you have heard of SR-71 at all (the band, not the aircraft), it’s probably because of their 2000’s hit single Right Now, which got a lot of airplay back then. It was their only hit from their underrated debut album, Now You See Inside, but I consider it to be barely the fourth best song on that record. The band from Baltimore, Maryland, went on to release two additional studio albums before calling it quits in 2004 (they had a brief reunion playing some shows together around 2009) and SR-71‘s frontman, Mitch Allan, is still active today as a pretty successful music producer. While they never had another hit as big as Right Now, it could be argued that one track from their last studio album was even bigger because the version of 1985 played by Bowling For Soup became a huge hit without most people even being aware that it was a cover.

Anyway, going back to SR-71’s debut album, the song I tend to play again and again is usually Last Man On The Moon. I love those drums and the overall melody of the track, as well as the way the bridge transitions back into the chorus. The lyrics are enjoyable although not as good as the lyrics for another track in that album: Alive, but I will leave that for another post. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry as much as I do.

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Country Club – Temporary

Country Club is the moniker used by 23-year-old Liverpool resident Leon Holmes. Influenced by the likes of Gorillaz, The Strokes, Massive Attack and Portishead; his music is eclectic without being way too experimental. His goal is to blend nostalgic and contemporary genres in an ingenious way. Temporary is an example of that.

As is the case with all his songs, Leon performed, produced and mixed Temporary on his own using just a couple of instruments and a laptop. He did a great job at making it seem like he got plenty of help from other musicians. The tune is captivating without being too on-your-nose. You can really sense the impact Gorillaz had over Leon on Temporary but he still gave it his own twist. In fact, you might like this song even if you aren’t a big fan of Damon Albarn’s virtual band. I’m proof of that.

Listen to Free Country’s infectious tune in the mixtapes below. You might love it but even if you don’t, you will find it refreshing and that’s always a plus.

NERiMA – Home

I had been looking forward to writing about this song from the moment I added it to my backlog. Not only is it really good, but I also see a lot of potential on this little young band from Toronto, NERiMA. It consists of Alexi, Alex, and Connor and i doubt any of them is over 20. They claim to love both classic punk-rock and modern alternative music and somehow you can feel that in their tunes. Even Home, which they catalogue as soft-rock, got that blend in a perfect way, which is amazing considering their youth. It’s not easy to get that balance right.

And did I mention that Home is just their second single? They are currently preparing their debut album which will hopefully be released soon. As most bands, they faced difficulties during Covid, being so young and having no income from live shows. Fortunately, they survived the worst part but this is where we should step in and give them all the support we can. NERiMA‘s members are really talented and knowing that their music is connecting with people will let them know that they are on the right path and their sacrifices in terms of time, effort, and money have not been in vain. The last thing we want is a bright and talented band breaking up because they didn’t find an audience. Please buy or stream their music, follow them on social media (FB | IG | TW | YT) and let them know that you want them to keep making great music. Don’t do it for them, do it for your future self.

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TROUBLESHOOT – Worst Bad Habit

Songs like Worst Bad Habit are not that popular nowadays, even within alternative rock circles, but they used to be very popular about 15 to 20 years ago, around the time I was a student, which is why I got a soft spot for them. I’m referring to tunes from bands like American Hi-Fi and Sugarcult. Maybe it is time these songs make a comeback.

With regards to TROUBLESHOOT, that is the stage name chosen by York-based artist Ben Jones, who dreams about becoming the “upbeat Lewis Capaldi“. Time will tell about that but as you can see in Worst Bad Habit, Ben is influenced by alt-rock and even pop-punk music, which consist mostly of guitar-driven songs and catchy riffs, with some synth melodies here and there. He’s released two EPs already as TROUBLESHOOT, with some of the tracks even getting featured on some editorial playlists from Spotify. Definitely check him out if you re or used to be a fan of early 2000s alternative rock bands.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Desoto Jones – Nonfiction

Back in 2007, a little alternative rock band from Pennsylvania released Aurora, their debut album, which got overlooked despite being one of the best rock albums of that year, perhaps even of that decade. I’m talking, of course, of Desoto Jones and for this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry, I thought we could reminisce about one of the gems in that record.

Three of the five members of Desoto Jones –they are still active– are brothers and while they were recording Aurora, their father passed away. Nonfiction is a an emotional song the brothers dedicated to him. Its acoustic overtones and the heartfelt lyrics intertwine into a beautiful track that doesn’t get old. Listen to this song and then play the whole album. You will see why it is a shame this record didn’t become more popular.

Featured on the following mixtapes: