The best alt.rock albums you can buy this month

Emma Johnston on the latest releases by Vanishing Life, Honeyblood, The So So Glos, The Empty Page and Super Unison

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Vanishing Life - Surveillance

Walter Schreifels has never been one to rest on his laurels. Having kicked New York punk ass with Gorilla Biscuits, perfected post-hardcore with the kingly Quicksand and knocked radio-friendly alt.rock out of the park with Rival Schools, he’s back with this supergroup (of sorts) featuring members of Rise Against, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead and Bad Religion. If you find overachievers irritating, look away now, cos the bugger’s only gone and done it again.

Returning to all involved’s punk roots, Surveillance zips along on a wave of fuzz-wrapped riffs, fat basslines and melodies so deviously insistent and charming, if they stopped you in the street, you’d probably give them your credit card PIN without realising you’d done it. Throw in the odd ambient curveball and you’ve got an album fizzing with life from experts in their field. (810)

Honeyblood - Babes Never Die

Guitar/drums rock duos are always, always compared to the White Stripes, but Honeyblood – singer Stina Tweedale and drummer Cat Myers – are an entirely different proposition, channelling the effervescent, melodic 90s rock of Veruca Salt and Belly, and moulding that starting point into their own shape. If the joyous Ready For The Magic isn’t already an indie club floor filler, it damn well should be. (710)

The So So Glos - Kamikaze

If you’re in a rock band, the Peter Pan deal means you never truly have to grow up. Certainly, Brooklyn’s The So So Glos’ brand of full-tilt poppy punk goes for the eternally adolescent, goofily self-deprecating angle, frontman Alex Levine sneering at the world while simultaneously picking at his own failings. There’s nothing novel or exciting here, but at least they seem to be having a ball. (510)

The Empty Page - Unfolding

Don’t let relatively meek opener In Patterns lull you into a false sense of security – Unfolding is crammed with ragged grunge hooks sharp and rusty enough to tear flesh. With a surprisingly understated production job from GGGarth Richardson, this is an album that’s stripped to the bone, allowing frontwoman Kel’s vocals to bring raw emotion to the fore on a wave of inky riffs. (610)

Super Unison - Auto

Every now and then an album comes along that immediately sends your pulse racing to dangerous levels. With that in mind, Super Unison may kill you. With frontwoman Meghan O’Neill Pennie’s gloriously untamed riot grrrl vocals fronting up to jagged guitars, this is punk rock at its most free and unguarded, an adrenaline shot of noise for noise’s sake. Utterly fabulous. (710)

The First Album I Ever Bought: Walter Schreifels, Vanishing Life

Alt.Rock Round-up: July 2016

Why we fell in love with Walter Schreifels over and over again