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New 2018 Indie Rock Albums from Thunderbird, Parker Moore, KG Morris, VOTNM, Tom Harrison

In this edition of new 2018 indie rock albums that we’ve been listening to from the following DIY artists:

Thunderbird – Vancouver, British Columbia
KG Morris – Denver, Colorado
Victims of the New Math – Phoenix-Charlotte
Parker Moore – Oakland, California
Tom Harrison – Los Angeles, California


Thunderbird – Thunderbird

Folks who say ‘rock is dead’ haven’t heard the latest self-titled indie rock album from Vancouver band Thunderbird.

The album, the band’s third, dropped last week. It kicks off with the head-banging, 80’s style hard rocker, “Liar (Fool’s Gold),” followed by lamenting of a broken relationship on “Little Jenny,” and the standout song, “Star,” one of the most memorable tracks on the album. Flanked by ringing dual guitar riffs, chorus singing, and Eddie Van Halen-inspired guitar solos. The song may remind some of Cheap Trick; it just has that big, rock-pop arena sound.

There are also surprisingly mellow songs like the enchanting “Man of Clay.” Other tracks like the haunting, menacing “Painted Lady”; the rapid-fire, head-banger, “Into The Sun,” and the classic hard rock of “On The Brink,” which recalls Deep Purple, complete a commendable album for rockers.

Just about anyone who came of age in the early to mid 1980’s, before hair and make-up bands took over, remembers the heyday of hard rock when bands like Def Leppard, KISS, Van Halen, Ozzy, and AC/DC, among many others, ruled the airwaves and record sales.

Thunderbird has managed to revive those iconic sounds in a way that is classic and yet completely fresh at the same time. They don’t box themselves in nor make shameless efforts to commercialize their sound.

The album was produced by LaFrance and co-produced by drummer Kelly Stodola; mixed by legendary producer Mike Fraser (AC/DC, Franz Ferdinand, Metallica, Dave Grohl) and mastered by the equally well-regarded engineer Adam Ayan (Def Leppard, Foo Fighters, Queen).

Other key band members of this amazing recording include guitarist Brice Tabish and bassist Rob Becker.

Thunderbird has succeeded at doing something special by offering up this thoroughly enjoyable and surprisingly impressive hard rock album.

That is, they’re at, in our books, the forefront of the underground revival of hard rock. And it goes without saying that this album is the best of the three they’ve dropped so far. Rock and roll will never die!

Thunderbird on Facebook


K.G. Morris – It Goes Fast

Whether it’s the catchy Americana song, “Moonlit Drive” or the soothing, yet yearning, sounds of the title track about the passing of time, the new 13-song indie rock album, It Goes Fast, from Denver singer/songwriter KG Morris, is an exhilarating journey of touching, thoughtful lyrics, professional-level guitar playing and intricate genre-mixing.

Morris’ skills as a musician and a songwriter, coupled with the professionalism of the session musicians and band members, come shining through on track after track.

Another highlight of the album is the soft rock love tune, “A Look,” which is very much reminiscent of 70s AM radio, complete with bubbly melodies, bumbling percussions, and saxophone trills.

“The time has gone fast and I am blessed to have had the opportunities to make six CDs, the latest and best: It Goes Fast,” Morris says. “I have got a bunch of favorite songs on the album, but the first track, “Moonlit Drive,” really captures me and my bride’s love of the West, our home in Colorado, and it sets the tone for the rest of the album.”

In addition to his latest, Morris has five albums under his belt: two solos and three others in other collaborations and bands he’s been involved in the past. It Goes Fast is Morris’ third solo album, and perhaps his best.

Morris is also the co-founder of the Denver Songwriters Group and frequently performs in the city at open mics and coffee houses. He is also raising twin five-year grandaughters. Quite the remarkable musician and granddad.

His musical influences include James Taylor; Joni Mitchell; David Wilcox; Steve Seskin and Hayes Carll.

Listen to more of the KG’s album on Soundcloud


Victims of the New Math – The New Victorians

Brother bands are nothing new in the history of rock music. What is a bit different are alt. rock bro bands like Victims of the New Math.

Unlike most brother bands, they don’t even live in the same city (not even close) nor sit in a room and jam out their songs. Instead, they collaborate from across the continent.

Utilizing the Internet to bridge the divide of their geographical gap, the brothers, Thomas Young (Phoenix) and Joseph Young (Charlotte), track their instrumentations, collaborate, mix, add vocals and master.

They have been doing it this way for years before it became a cool thing to do; that is, to collaborate online and write, record, produce and release albums as VOTNM.

Back in 2016, we featured VOTNM’s remarkable trip of an album, Satellite Head. Songs like the chilled out, Bowie-influenced title track and the lo-fi experimentation of the infectious single, “Brand New Day,” put the brothers on our radar.

Fast-forward two years later. The VOTNM have dropped a new indie rock album, The New Victorians. Intentionally fraught with lo-fi, demo-like tracks, including the opening title song and the scrappy, “The Gift.” There are stories of loss, innocence, love, yearning, and desperation.

The first half of the album, consisting of songs like the aforementioned as well as “Can’t Stop Loving You” – which recalls Daniel Johnston – and “Love One Another,” is dominated by out of tune, under-produced, rough-and-ready, riff-driven melodic rock tracks with a raw edge.

But the second half of the album is more distinct – with songs like “Noise” and the dreamy, psych of “Not The Only One.” One of the best songs of the entire album is the somewhat celestial, heartfelt closer, “Find Your Way Home.”

Victims of The New Math website


Parker Moore – Alterations & Repairs

As the former member of a number of Bay Area bands over the years, Oakland-based indie rock singer and songwriter Parker Moore knows the music scene well.

As the guitarist for a number of San Francisco bands, like Cartographer, MMMM, and Big Skinny, and more recently, Catholic Radio, the boot camp musical experience has done Moore well. This is evident on his new solo debut, Alterations & Repairs, an inspiring, new 2018 indie rock album worth a listen.

Right off the bat, the radio-friendly, percussion-heavy indie pop rocker, “Almost Blue,” sets the mood with a big sound of sweeping melodic hooks. Moore’s songwriting and vocals are above average for a DIY artist. There’s a sense that he’s straddling the line between alt. rock, classic rock, and indie pop/rock.

Crisp guitars, bumbling bass lines and alt rock-like shifting beats and time signatures drive “Here We Are,” as with the soft melodies of “Change Your Mind,” a song clearly about overcoming addiction (“chasing chemicals”).

Other standout tracks from the album include the lamenting of “Sing Me Goodbye” and the hook-friendly, “Strange Night,” featuring some of the best guitar playing on the album.

The song, “Last To Know,” is a bit more alt. rock with a Britpop influence. It is also one of the tracks on the album that doesn’t sound like the rest.

The album closes with the acoustic dreaminess of “The Attic,” during which times Moore’s voice sounds oddly like that of the late, great Leonard Cohen.

Alterations & Repairs, according to Moore, “spans a range of indie rock format from 90’s-influenced alt-rock to psychedelic ballads and acoustic guitar-driven atmospherics.”

“Lyrically,” he adds, the album “explores scenes of personal transformation – getting clean, struggles with old patterns, and finding a life partner – alongside wry sociological ruminations on contemporary tropes.

It’s not too difficult to hear Moore’s biggest influences – Dinorsaur Jr, The Sea and Cake, Deerhunter, Kurt Vile, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, and Beck – woven in the structure of the songs, the nuisances of the instrumentation and Moore’s soothing vocals.

In addition to songwriting, singing and producing, Moore also plays guitar and is joined on the album by bassists
Rob Mills and John-Paul McLean, drummer Javier Torres and keyboardist Greg Francis.

Alterations & Repairs, available via Bandcamp, was recorded, mixed, and co-produced by Greg Francis and mastered by Justin Weis.


Tom Harrison – Shakespeare’s Sonnets

Scottish recording artist and film composer Tom Harrison, who now lives in Los Angeles, recently dropped a five-track EP, Shakespeare’s Sonnets.

In short, Harrison scores four original orchestral pieces inspired by the old Englishmen’s celebrated Sonnet 12 (“Violet”); Sonnet 130 (“Goddess”); Sonnet 17 (“Antique Song”), and Sonnet 18 (“This Gives Life To Thee”); he also composed, arranged, recorded, mixed and mastered each piece himself.

Three of the sonnets’ interpretative pieces lament the passing of time and the preservation of personages and beauty through art. Such is the case with “Goddess (Sonnet 130),” another of Harrison’s favorite Shakespeare sonnets.

Originally released six years ago, the track was used by the Royal Shakespeare Company on their 2012 World Shakespeare Festival website as part of the London Olympics celebration.

“Antique Song,” he says, “felt like an English folk song when I read the sonnet so I made it an American folk song.” We have to say that while it little to do with indie rock in the traditional sense, Harrison has put his heart into this project.

The standout track of the EP, “Hereafter,” is a sweeping and nearly epic orchestral piece. Obviously, the piece he worked the most on, it’s dedicated to Harrison’s childhood friend who passed away from Lupus at the age of 24.

All instruments and vocals were performed and recorded by Harrison at Little Victories Studios. The EP was produced, mixed and mastered by Harrison as well. His musical inspirations for the EP include bands like Genesis and Yes, as well as the influences of musical theatre, and classical and romantic period music.

His favorite artists include Green Day, Squeeze, Ash, Genesis, The Beatles, Manic Street Preachers, and Fountains of Wayne. Harrison is originally from Morayshire, Scotland. He has scored compositions for CSI and The Simpsons.

Tom Harrison on Bandcamp