Here are the best alt. rock songs you'll hear this week, featuring Ashnikko, Dream Nails, Lynks and more

Louder tracks of the week
(Image credit: Press)

Following last week's break from our Louder tracks feature, today, we're jumping straight back in on the action with a whole new batch of tunes to keep you firmly in the loop on everything that's been happening. 

But before we get swept away in all the excitement, it's time we check out the results of our previous list and applaud the bands who you all thought should be dubbed the very best of the bunch.

Leading at the front of the race by quite some distance was brother/sister duo Durry with their bittersweet ditty on mental health struggles, the angsty yet upbeat I'm Fine (No Really). The pair nabbed a whopping 72.86% of the overall vote, which is a mighty fine take-home, so congratulations to you both.

Following in second place was Destroy Boys' Shadow (I’m Breaking Down), winning over 15.58% of you, and finishing on the third-place podium was rock duo Royal Blood, with their piano-driven ballad Pull Me Through and 4.27% of the votes. 

This week, we have an eclectic selection of songs, with everything from goth supergroups to earth-shattering electronic-edged doom metal and sexually-liberated LGBTQ+ bangers. So listen below, and be sure to cast your vote on your favourite. 

Happy listening!

Louder line break

Dream Nails - Femme Boi 

Driven by a wonderfully sassy guitar riff and clap-along rhythm, this new release from London’s riot grrrl/punk rockers Dream Nails is the latest to arrive from their forthcoming album, Doom Loop. Exploring notions of gender and societal expectations, vocalist Ishmael explains: "This song began as a catchy hook, a trans daydream about the power I could hold as a boy embracing femininity…We invite you to find joy and connection in the track, regardless of where you stand on the gender spectrum. Let's celebrate these opposing feelings!". Accompanying the release is a glamorous and kaleidoscopic music video, complete with swirling lights and a live performance that's heavy on the attitude. 

 Empire State Bastard - The Looming 

Following on from the recently-released singles Harvest and Stutter, Empire State Bastard single three The Looming is set to serve as the closer on the supergroup's debut album Rivers of Heresy. 'I’ll never grow old in a graveyard…' croons moonlighting Biffy Clyro vocalist Simon Neil, as a granular guitar vibrates in timid strums, before evolving into deeply earth-shaking, doom metal thumps, with growling, throat-ripping screams and electronic flutterings later pushing the track into more cosmic territories.  

Lol Tolhurst x Budgie x Jacknife Lee featuring James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) - Los Angeles

The Cure’s Lol Tolhurst has launched a supergroup with Banshees drummer Budgie and producer (and former Compulsion guitarist) Jacknife Lee with the arrival of lead single Los Angeles, featuring  LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy on vocals. Set to feature on their forthcoming debut album, also titled Los Angeles, the track melds inflated, trumpeting bass, tribal-like drums, whacky xylophone plonks and unhinged lyrics that repeat various lines such as ‘'Los Angeles eats its babies! Los Angeles eats its young! Los Angeles, you don’t need water! Los Angeles just needs guns!’. Bizarre, yet strangely addictive...

 Lynks - Use It Or Lose It 

Morbid, excessively horny and soaked in sexual angst comes Lynks new single, Use It Or Lose It, a hyperactive ride through the anxieties of fading youth. As a frenetic, thrusting rhythm pumps like continuous little bursts of shooting air, the genre-bending vocalist casually laments in spoken word over the top, before a computer-generated voice urges us all into the bedroom with the pithy reminder ‘use it or lose it’ in the chorus. “Dry patches, sex parties and twink death. Everything you could want from a big summer banger if you ask me!” says Lynks. 

Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers - I Used To Be Fun

Back in January we tipped Canberra's punk rock and riot grrrl-influenced Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers as one of 10 bands who were going to set 2023 on fire. Since then the quartet have played a host of sell-out shows on their first visit to the UK, and been booked to support Foo Fighters on their December tour of Australia. Pretty, pretty good.

With tongue-in-cheek lyrics such as “I used to be fun but now I’ve gotten lazy / I said we’d hang out but that was just a maybe” their latest single is a perky, zippy reflection on reaching the ripe old age of er - wait, have we read this correctly? - 23. The band say, “We have all noticed in the past year or so, going from 22 to 23, that fun looks really different sometimes when you start to get older. It’s about missing your past self who would go out every night and have a fully charged social battery, rather than seeing the fun in staying home alone.”

Ashnikko – Cheerleader

American singer and rapper Ashnikko is shaping up for a big breakthrough with their forthcoming debut Weedkiller and this new single sums up the appeal, menacingly straddling the line between lithe, melodic alt-pop and barbed industrial-punk over two restlessly inventive minutes. In the middle of it all is Ashnikko’s magnetic vocals, all dreamy and fantastical one minute and snarling, playful and in-your-face the next. The most thrilling and fearless meld of genres since Grimes made everyone stand to attention with Art Angels back in 2015.

Black Grape - Milk

Black Grape’s PR team made us giggle when they described the reunited Manchester group as being “widely regarded as one of the most innovative and iconic bands of the last twenty five years”, but we love national treasure Shaun Ryder, and the return of his post-Happy Mondays band, featuring partner-in-rhymes Kermit, is unquestionably a cause for celebration. The duo’s new album, Orange Head, is coming at us on November 3, and having recently shared new song Pimp Wars, the funky, groove-heavy hip-hop of Milk is another tasty and tantalising preview of what’s to come. Welcome back gentleman.

Hotline TNT – Protocol

Who would’ve thought that shoegazing would turn out to be hardy genre when it emerged in the late 80s and early 90s, mumbling to itself about effects pedals, music made by stoners who had to get someone else to roll up for them. Yet here we are in 2023, Slowdive are about to release a (very good) new record, Lush’s Emma Anderson has just released a cracking solo single and Chapterhouse are headlining Reading. That last one might be made up but the new single by New Yorkers Hotline TNT isn’t, recent signees to Jack White’s Third Man label, and it’s drenched in shoegazing vibes, all widescreen guitars, vocals on the cusp of a yawn, languid grooves and dynamic, multi-layered production. Slash was spotted at their recent London show, suggesting that even Guns’n’Roses are getting in on the shoegazing act. Is anyone up for giving Axl a tour of the Thames Valley?

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.

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