Sugar Stems

Sugar Stems from Milwaukee in the USA is the alt-indie quartet of Betsy Heibler (Vocal / Guitar), Jon Heibler (Drums), Drew Fredrichsen (Guitar) and  Stephanie Swinney Conard (Bass).

Sugar Stems - alt-inde from the USA

Sugar Stems

Swarming out of the speakers like bees come a flurry of notes which disperse into a dance-troupe and it isn’t possible not to join in. Like a warming summers day Sugar Stems are invigorating, enjoyable and uplifting. Whilst the name and style of music may raise the thought of saccharine sweetness cast those doubts aside, as there is a garage rock growl which threads its way through the rock-a-billy rock led material. This is another of those bands who due to the vagaries of the music industry have sadly been overlooked for far too long.

The feel-good factors are underpinned by the ability to drive the music with precision and having the listener reaching for the brothel creepers. Although not having had the opportunity to see a live show, I am led to believe that the hewn edge of the music is ever more present on live performance than on recordings.

Sugar Stems deliver material which is sharp and well defined whilst simultaneously allowing the audience to let their hair down. With plans for a new release sometime this year to follow up their ten track April release Can’t Wait I wish them all the best for 2014…. I am just off for another spin around the floor….

website

Can’t Wait – Sugar Stems is available on iTunes*

Join Emerging Indie Bands on Twitter for more of the best alt-rock from around the world.

*Purchases made through the iTunes link will result in Emerging Indie Bands earning a commission.

 

The Rungs

The Rungs is Mandy Gurung (Guitar / Vocals) and Diwas Gurung (Guitar / Synth) a synth-dance duo from Ithica in the USA.

The Rungs - synth dance from the USA

The Rungs

It is difficult not to be immediately drawn to references of the synth bands of the early ’80s, yet The Rungs sound as fresh as a daisy. Even on live performance the duo manage to deploy two guitars, the synth and vocals. It is the melodic interplay between the two six string guitars that enables the duo to deliver so much within a simple format.


The warmth of the synth floats through tracks around which instruments and vocals curl, raising a smile and a sense of well-being. In addition to the ’80s there is also a discernible reference to Newar from Nepal, which adds a sense of a folk theme running through the tracks. A newly released three track eponymous EP just doesn’t go on long enough as once you hit play you just want the mood to extend for more than the twelve minutes of the release.

I look forward to hearing more of The Rungs in short order. For those who are more local, they can be found regularly playing live.

website

Join Emerging Indie Bands on Twitter for more of the best in synth-dance.

Drayter

Drayter from Dallas in the USA is the rock quartet of Nyssa Garcia (Vocals), Cole Schwartz (Guitar), Trajan Acquista (Bass), Brandon Pertzborn (Drums).

Drayter - rock from the USA

Drayter

A rollicking good time is had by the listener on hitting play as Drayter combine the best of British and American rock to deliver loud guitar, soaring vocal and defined percussion. There is immediately accessibility to the music, that has undergone something of a brush down before emerging out of the speakers, which on this occasion doesn’t grate as the quartet immerse themselves in delivering comprehensible compositions, whilst not loosing the verve of reality.

Allowing themselves plenty of time to explore the chords, which have the sound of being in a hurry, though are in reality gently spaced is a testament to their ability as well versed musicians who are able to paint illusions and a testament to the creative thoughts that flow around Drayter.

Whilst the quartet do play with radio frequency recordings, they are equally able to deliver gruffer noises whilst maintaining their composure.

Formed in 2009 there is little reason Drayter shouldn’t see greater visibility other than perhaps their scarcity of live appearances, seemingly having nothing booked for January, few gigs played in December and very few releases, perhaps they are up to something in the Studio? More please, more often.

website

Drayter (EP) – EP – Drayter is available on iTunes*.

Join Emerging Indie Bands on Facebook for more of the best rock bands from across the globe.

*Purchases made through the iTunes link will result in Emerging Indie Bands earning a commission.

Crashfaster

Crashfaster from San Francisco in the USA is the electro-rock quartet of Morgan Tucker (Vocal / Percussion), Devin Nixon (Percussion), Ryan Case (Guitar) and Keiko Takamura (Vocals).

Crashfaster - electro-rock from the USA

Crashfaster

Crashfaster feature instruments, drums and synthesis to give an outer-space sensory journey of rock derived electronica. In some ways I am minded of progressive rock bands of the ’70s such as ELO, however the quartet are far less self indulgent, creating music that is focussed on the audience.

Albeit electronic wizardry sits as a focal point of the music, it is wreathed around smartly shaped rock riffs that have something of a dance feel to them allowing the listener to approach the material from a variety of angles. The material maintains a fulcrum of direction, while the musicians introduce a diversity of layers to the resulting output which simultaneously captures the mind and the feet.

A couple of LPs behind them, the most recent Further, which came out in November has seen a slight shift towards a more instrumental led sound, which I have to say is a journey I would like to see Crashfaster continue, though the electronics form an integral part to the space and pacing of the music and are a vital ingredient to the soundscape.

website

Further – crashfaster is available on iTunes*.

Join Emerging Indie Bands on Facebook for more electro-rock.

*Purchases made through the iTunes link will result in Emerging Indie Bands earning a commission.

Duane Pitre

Duane Pitre is an experimental musician from New Orleans in the USA.

Duane Pitre - experimental music from the USA

Duane Pitre

Whilst I enjoy three chord three minute wonders, there is also space in the lexicon for experiments and Duane Pitre who combines acoustics with electronics produces some fascinating landscapes in which to stretch the hippocampi.

It somehow seems apposite that the last band I reviewed Dynoride is from Cambridge in the USA and Duane I came across in Cambridge in England and the two would find it harder to be polar opposites. Luxuriant textures float gently around the room like interspersed bubbles popping one against the other reflecting ever smaller versions of themselves.

Looping and wafting electronics are subsumed within an acoustic backdrop, seemingly unrelated, yet mirror reflections of themselves, curling like wafts of smoke in the sunlight. Individual components seem graspable, yet they are gone before the mind can capture the essence only to reappear moments later in a new and equally as unreachable guise.

No matter how many times you replay pieces there is always something just out of arms-length and much like the loops in the music another replay is demanded.

Duane Pitre takes the listener on finite journeys into an infinite space.

website

Feel Free – Duane Pitre is available on iTunes*.

Join Emerging Indie Bands on Facebook for more of the avant-garde.

*Purchases made through the iTunes link will result in Emerging Indie Bands earning a commission.