The synthwave/retrowave revolution is here. Since the beginning of time, the music world has displayed a reverence for the past, whether it’s the current nu-metal revival trend (Sylar, Afterlife, My Ticket Home), or the scene that worships the 1980’s while still breaking new ground (The 1975, Timecop 1983, FM-84, Gunship). Synthwave duo The Midnight is thoroughly in the latter camp, and their album Endless Summer balances out the aforementioned nostalgia with depth. Don’t believe me? Check out album highlight “Vampires”, which would fit perfectly well on the Top Gun soundtrack. Endless Summer is an album with little discernible filler.
Listen to the whole thing below – if you have even a passing interest in electronic/pop/synth-based music, The Midnight is what you need in your life. Special mention should also be given to their previous EP Days Of Thunder – it’s arguably a prequel of sorts to Endless Summer.
Lately, there’s been a legion of bands who are reviving the traditional New York hardcore/metalcore sound in some way. Bands like Madball, E Town Concrete, Hatebreed, Life Of Agony, and Leeway obviously loom large, but so do elements of hip-hop, nu-metal, and more traditional modern metalcore. Enter France’s Rise Of The Northstar.
Cycle back to the early 2000’s, and you’ll find a completely different music scene thriving. With Myspace being a brand new thing, Facebook being a pipe dream, and album sales still going (somewhat) strong, the burgeoning metalcore scene wasn’t as saturated as it is today. Trustkill, Ferret, and other record labels were putting out some of the freshest metalcore and post-hardcore albums you could imagine, and what’s interesting is most of them are incredibly important today. Without Eighteen Visions, there’s likely no Motionless In White or Asking Alexandria, etc. You can add Haste The Day to the list of early-2000’s metalcore bands who were influential as well.
Somewhere between the 2015 release of their EP SKRWD and their upcoming full-length Red, Green Or Inbetween, the pop-punk outfit WSTR established themselves as one of Britain’s brightest pop-punk acts, and since we’re upon the pending release of their aforementioned debut album, it’s pretty clear that WSTR will be your new favorite pop-punk band. Comparisons will probably abound to Neck Deep, The Story So Far, and/or Trash Boat, and it’s true that WSTR isn’t necessarily reinventing the wheel here. But what they are doing is creating catchy pop-punk music with plenty of energy to spare.
Their debut full-length drops in January, and you can stream their new track “Lonely Smiles” below. Rest assured, WSTR won’t get lost in a sea of similar, mediocre acts – they’re here to stay. 11 tracks of pop-punk that will likely be one of the best releases of 2017. Watch out, and listen up.