It’s got some of the most catchy, toe-tapping, hard-hitting rock and punk rock music. If you’re a fan or want to be introduced to some great independent musicians you should check out this playlist. Every day, Spotify is loaded with new independent artists putting their best effort into creating the next big rock sensation. And every day, it’s up to us to sift through the good, the bad and the ugly in order to find the gems
There are new releases by artists who have been making music for decades, as well as fresh tracks from emerging talent. You’ll hear songs that celebrate the diversity of rock culture and remind us all why it’s important to keep supporting independent musicians.
In this playlist, I have collected a few of my favourite independent rock, punk and heavy gems. These are bands with a classic sound, in the vein of what we used to call “classic rock” back in the day. These artists keep the spirit of rock alive and well, even today.
It is filled with electrifying tracks that will get you grooving and put a smile on your face. Whether you’re looking for something fun and carefree or something more serious and thought-provoking, this playlist has got it all!
You can listen to our full playlist which contains the artists’ music, and know more about their work by scrolling down the page.
1) GARY DRANOW – Something About You
Gary Dranow‘s new single, “Something About You,” is a song that will take you back to the 80s. You’ll be transported to a time when you listened to your favourite rock band on the radio and sang along with them.
The sound of this song is very reminiscent of the classic rock era, with its upbeat tempo and catchy chorus. It’s like a modern-day love song for all those fans out there who are looking for something nostalgic and full of nostalgia.
Based on his song Destiny Road, this song was written to tell the story of the international traveller he met and fell in love with on Destiny Road. As it turns out, that’s precisely what happened seven years after the song was written.
This song has all of the elements that make for a classic hit: catchy vocals, simple instrumentation, and an 80s vibe. It’s hard not to get stuck in your head after listening to it once or twice. I’m sure you’ll find yourself singing along before you know it!
2) REQUIEM FOR OBLIVION – The Glares
The Glares is a single by REQUIEM FOR OBLIVION, an independent band based in Erie, PA. The song is a brief but powerful blast of black metal and death metal, featuring heavy riffs, fast drums, and male vocals that sound like they were recorded in an ancient cathedral.
”This song came about after a funny discussion one day at practice about if looks can really kill” – Said the band. There is a sense of whimsicality in the lyrics and a sense of epicness in the music at times.
The message of Requiem For Oblivion is to bury the past, especially one that is filled with addiction and despair. The band calls their music ‘hybrid death metal’ because it is a combination of technical, brutal, atmospheric slam death metal with a small amount of melancholy and dissonant melodies.
Three singles have been released in the last five months, including The Glares. It is expected that two or three more will be released before the full-length, Amidst Chaotic Earth, is released in mid-2023.
3) CRUX – Radgie Gadgie (Radio Edit)
The band, hailing from Newcastle upon Tyne in North England, is known for their unique blend of ska and hard rock. Their new single “Raddie Gadgie (Radio Edit)” is no exception.
With Crux, prog-rock meets punk for a unique sound that keeps listeners on their toes. The songs they write focus on global and local issues, which, according to Scope Magazine, makes them all the more appealing in an industry where songs are often superficial.
Radgie Gadgie means ‘Aggressive Man’ in Geordie slang. In terms of technical complexity and speed, this is the band’s most complex and fast-paced song to date. Using inspiration from Edvard Grieg’s In The Hall of the Mountain King, Radgie Gadgie is a grim story of toxic masculinity and trauma.
If you’re looking for an anthem to sing along to while you’re on your day off or driving home from work, then this song will make you feel like a million bucks!
4) ONISM E – It’s Not Over
The newest single from Onism E gives us a preview of what to expect in the coming months. The alternative rock band, based in San Antonio, Texas, has released their new single, “It’s Not Over.” The track showcases their incredible vocal skills and the depth of their songwriting abilities.
During these difficult times, it is hard to stay present and strong, and this song tries to capture that struggle. It seems that the world just keeps on throwing punches at us these days.
The track is a great example of indie rock done right. It has an upbeat guitar riff and just keeps it from there. The vocals are smooth but powerful, and the drumming is dynamic. The song has a strong melody and builds to a satisfying conclusion.
With this band’s latest release, you’re sure to find a touch of soul, and a touch of blues, but you will also find all the rock-n-roll you’ve come to expect from them.
5) THE SINICTONES – FEMME FATALE
The Sinictones are a garage rock band from Bristol, UK. They recently released their EP Femme Fatale, which is a collection of six tracks that showcase the band’s signature blend of rock and roll with surf, punk rock, and alternative rock influences.
Known for their fuzz-riffed guitars, driving bass lines, catchy choruses, and seductive live performances, this Bristol-based power trio is one of the best in their genre.
”This ain’t no cheesy California summertime groove…It’s cheesy chips on the pier at Weston Super-Mare in December…” The Sinictones say.
My favourite track from this EP is ”She Devil”. It’s the amount of energy that I need every day, I just loved listening to it. The production is top-tier, and the instrumental? Just amazing. The fast drums coupled with the vocals and the outstanding riffs blow my mind!
An album with this level of clarity and crispness is not overproduced or polished to the point where it becomes dull. Having instrumental breakdowns to break up the songs at the appropriate time adds a great deal of variety to the songs without feeling forced or extraneous.
If this sounds like something that’s right up your alley (or down your alleyway), then make sure to check out their website for more information about upcoming shows and new releases! And follow them on Spotify also!
6) MURNAU – Cellophane Radio
As the Internet becomes more and more of a driving force in how we discover new music, it’s important to stay aware of what’s happening within the independent scene.
Mournau is a band that has been getting their name out there in the US alternative rock scene for some time now. Their album Cellophane Radio was released on November 15th, 2022. And it is definitely worth checking out!
What does it take to create an album called Cellophane Radio? Put a two-piece band in the Midwest United States and have them write and record for nearly two years with guitars, drums, vocals, and some Mellotron.
My favourite song from this album is ”Baltic sea”. It’s full of energy, and the production sounds very professional. Everything blends in perfectly and the result is a hard song that hits you like a punch. It reminds me of Deftones in a way!
With this third album, Murnau continues to defy genre classification. There are moments of doom and grunge combined with pop moments to create a catchy, moody and heavy song. It continues to be evident how Murnau evolves with every release on Cellophane Radio.
7) MOONLIGHT SAINTS – Bottom Again By Moonlight Saints
Moonlight Saints is a classic rock trio from Brookfield, MA making waves in the area! Their sound is a wonderful blend of hard rock/classic rock influences along with jam band influences.
From the ripping guitar solos and hard-hitting drum fills to the solid bass riff, there is a lot of talent on display in their new single “Bottom Again.” The song was recorded at Slate Hill Recording Studios in Brookfield, MA by a great producer who worked on Nirvana’s Live Album! The song Bottom Again has a lot of potentials!
The lead vocals are strong and clear, with just enough grit to make them stand out in the mix. The vocalist brings a lot of energy to his performance.
Bottom Again has a classic ’80s vibe that really shines through: it sounds like something you’d hear on an old cassette tape or radio station from back in the day. There’s no denying that this song was made for blasting at full volume in your car with all of your friends around you singing along
8) DCXPC LIVE VOL. 10 PRESENTS RATH & THE WISE GUYS / THE KUTOFFS LIVE AT LOU’S – DCxPC Live Vol. 10 Presents RATH & The Wise Guys / The Kutoffs Live At Lou’s
If you’re looking for music that’s a bit punk and a bit skater rock, with a little hardcore punk and male vocals thrown in for good measure, then you have to check out DCXPC Live Vol. 10.
DCxPC Live is back with another split 7″ featuring two killer pop punk/skate punk bands from the Tampa, Fl region! While both bands definitely fit into the pop-punk genre, RATH & The Wise Guys brings a little more of that dirty rock n’ roll sound to their music while The Kutoffs adhere to that Fat Music and Lookout Records sound akin to No Use for A Name and Screeching Weasel.
The EP is a mix of punk rock, skater rock and hardcore punk—but don’t let that fool you. It’s actually super catchy and anthemic, with classic sounds that will make you want to dance.
The album features tracks like “The Hangover,” which is my favourite. And it has a super catchy chorus that will have you singing along after just one listen.
With all this excitement going on in one place, it’s hard not to get caught up in it all—which means you should definitely check it out! Visit their website and follow them on Soundcloud so you can keep up with all!
9) SQUARE TUGS – Monster Hits
If you’re looking for an album that combines the catchiness of pop-punk with the aggression of hardcore punk, look no further than SQUARE TUGS‘ latest release, Monster Hits.
It has been a long road for Square Tugs in their short existence. Their first live performance was as a Circle Jerks cover band in late 2020.
A fun live band, they have played extensively since and now release their debut album, cheekily titled “Monster Hits”.
There are various styles of punk rock represented on the album including US west-coast, pop-punk, and 80’s hard-core. Besides the numerous punk sub-genres, there are also numerous lyrical subjects ranging from light-hearted, quirky lyrics to current issues.
My favourite track from the album is the first one, ‘I Wanna Be The Minority’. It’s energetic, like the whole album, but right when I listened to it I could feel that it was well worked on. The production is amazing, the instrumental is also great and everything blends in well!
10) LOVE GHOST – Homesick
The single Homesick by the LA-based band LOVE GHOST is a perfect example of what great pop music can be. It’s nostalgic and bittersweet, but also uplifting and hopeful. The lyrics are relatable, the melody is catchy, and the instruments are rich and full.
The modern touches that the song contains give it an edgier feel than some other rock bands of the same era might have had, which makes for an interesting combination of nostalgia and modernity that’s sure to please fans of both genres alike.
The sound of Homesick is emo, acoustic rock with a modern twist. A journey to find oneself is described in the song. Rolling Stone, American Songwriter, FLAUNT, Alternative Press, and others have all praised “Homesick” from Love Ghost.
This track would be perfect for anyone who likes alternative rock or emo pop rock from the early 2000s—and I can definitely see people who love those genres falling in love with this track as well!