Fort Lean

Fort Lean from New York in the USA is the alt-rock quintet of Jake AronZach FriedKeenan MitchellWill Runge and Sam Ubl.

Fort Lean - alt-rock from the USA

Fort Lean

Equally able to compose tracks of fulminating temper and considered thought, Fort Lean is a band who have much to offer an audience. There is an inclusive sound to the material which scores across the room as the players give each other the space to develop their themes, resulting in music which has an orchestrated feel, though despite this, doesn’t leave listener feeling they have been soft-soaped.

I get the sense that this is a band best seen live as although there is much to garner from recorded pieces, they do sound as though someone has spent considerable time glass-papering the edges and it won’t be until October the 2nd that their début LP – Quiet Day will be released – four years after they started.

Whilst the live material just makes you want to rip away the surroundings, the Mastered tracks have you reaching for a duster and furniture polish, which is a shame as inside it all Fort Lean have much to offer the world of music, if only their Management Team stopped advising them so badly.

From the forthcoming album a live version of New Hobbies.

website (be aware music starts immediately)

Quiet Day – Fort Lean is available on iTunes*.

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Exit Vehicles

Exit Vehicles is the angular-rock quartet of Adam Polon, Brian Polon, Jacob McLocklin and Brian Easley from Washington, District Of Columbia, in the USA.

Exit Vehicles - photo by Amanda Reynolds / Plume Photography

Exit Vehicles – photo by Amanda Reynolds / Plume Photography

Combinations of rock and maths-rock give Exit Vehicles a signature sound which is instantly recognizable. Guitars jangle on the upper chords, as the percussion taps on taught strings, giving the music a distinctive timbre, to which the prominent bass gives a well considered counter-balance, whilst the vocal melds across the range.

The sharply carved spaces between notes gives the material a presence which spears its way into the ears. This is not music to think about listening to when planning a quiet background noise to add atmosphere, rather a sound that grabs hold of the audience by the lapels and keeps on shaking, with no let up.

The style of composition and delivery gives the tracks a barren feel, which Exit Vehicles don’t seek to flesh out with superfluous inanity, rather leaves the listener to work with the very skeletal nature and this affords the quartet the ability to provide music which has a panicked feel, keeping the heart ever racing.

Exit Vehicles, are easily able to avoid trying to be too clever. Whilst certainly challenging the cerebrum, the music isn’t inaccessible, once the brain is settled into the space the sounds are more than worth spending time to get to know and their LP STAGES which is set for release on the 3rd July is an engaging forty minutes of asymmetric rock.

social media page

STAGES is available on bandcamp

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FERAL KIZZY is a new-wave quintet from Long Beach in the USA comprising – Candice Kirk (Vocals), Brenda Carsey (Keyboards/ Vocals), Johnny Lim (Guitar), Kevin Gonzalez (Bass) and Mike Meza (Drums).

FERAL KIZZY - new-wave from the USA


From time to time music reaches my ears I find myself enraptured by and inevitably, as you know, that is likely to be anything I genre define as new-wave and FERAL KIZZY produce music that makes my heart pulse harder with absolute pleasure.

A sultry vocal breathes husky passion that seduces, whilst purposeful bass defines the buttress of sound that drives into the room. Percussion metes out the underpinning frustrations as guitar provides the orchestration to the pieces whilst the keys give the material its spacious exploration, as it is allowed the room to add the brushes of broad paint strokes.

FERAL KIZZY, provide a sound which is at once measured, whilst having the temper of emotional connectivity, allowing the quintet to produce well crafted music that hasn’t been left on the production cutting-room floor.

I have to confess, when I was met with two tracks released back in September of last year prefacing an LP that won’t be appearing until June the 26th, I became crestfallen, particularly as their last release, their eponymous EP was released in 2012. As ever my impatience to hear new material gets the better of me, I won’t ever change.

However having had the opportunity to take a listen to the ten tracks that will be on Slick Little Girl, despite the lengthy gestation period this is not going to be a release you should ignore as it that interminable delay wasn’t all about getting in ‘perfect’ but getting it all right.

I merely hope it won’t be another three years before the next FERAL KIZZY release surfaces, which given the change in bass player since the last release, would probably also mean a new line-up.

Not by any means my favourite track from the forthcoming release, but one of only two I am able to share with you.


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Mexico City Blondes

Centred around Allie Thompson and Greg Doscher, the indie-synth out-fit, Mexico City Blondes adds Jesse AumillerJordan Chetakian and Scott Pritchett in live performance, is based in Santa Barbara, California in the USA.

Mexico City Blondes - indie-synth from the USA

Mexico City Blondes

Mexico City Blondes pour out lugubrious slowly paced notes and individual elements that seem to pulsate idiosyncratically around the room, prior to coalescing on hitting the ear to form a luxuriant nap, which wraps the listener in melting fibres.

Combining influences of funk with new-romanticism and dream-wave Mexico City Blondes is able to unify solidly resonating instrumentation with subtle electronics, which merge with a mystical vocal, giving the resulting out-put only a fleeting touch of the timpani before exploding into tiny fractal fragments which rebound around the brain. The effect being that the mind sparkles with champagne bubbles of sound.

Building on the back of strong recordings, which capture the attention of global audiences, Mexico City Blondes is developing a live audience base, as intrigued by the out-put as the wider listeners.

Expect to hear more of Mexico City Blondes over the coming year, it will be interesting to find out if they fully fledge as a quartet or remain distinct units.


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Various Hands

Various Hands is a the dance-rock quartet of Jeff Nations (Lead Vocals / Guitar / Omnichord / Percussion), Zach Meier (Guitar / Keys / Backing Vocals / Percussion), Ben Pitts (Drums / Percussion / Sequencing) and Adam Wirth (Bass / Vocals) from St. Louis, Missouri in the USA.

Various Hands - Dance-rock from the USA

Various Hands – Dance-rock from the USA

Of conundrums that shouldn’t work Various Hands is a pivotal point, but they do. The thrubbing drum kit pounds incessantly as bass demands attention whilst pointed shoes whirl around the floor to the electronic metronome as a blistering guitar scatters impromptu interventions to tear up progress – think a square dance gone into multi-time and you are approximating where we toe-tap with the quartet.

No element overstays its welcome, though each adds to the perspective of difference of Various Hands and you have to raise a hat to the spaces that the band is able to stretch between itself and others. I am minded of the lone yacht threading downwind anticipating an undertow and change of wind direction, judging it right and happily passing by the regatta in joyful circumspect.

The musical theorists will tell you this is a car crash waiting to happen, the reality is a sublime journey unconcerned by forecasts. Well worth more than a moment of your time. Thanks to the troupe that is Various Hands for striking your own path and more importantly making it a path that shines brightly.

Of other vagaries of life. My younger sister (eight years older than I, but still referred to as ‘my younger sister’ – I am only 13 – honest guv – never announce a ladies age – they are always 21) runs a jewellery business called Creative Hands and just this past week Various Hands connected with the music twitter account indiebandsblog and I noticed ‘hands’ so took scant notice, thinking it was a random connection of another site, then I find myself again trawling old emails and Various Hands sent me an email back in October and now that square dance is circled.


Hypoluxo – EP – Various Hands is available on iTunes.*

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