While live music is slowly returning to stages around the region, many local bands are starting to show how they spent their pandemic-induced quarantine. Audiences around the area have been enjoying new tunes from several local groups in the live setting. These songs are being partnered with promises of new albums to come.
Meanwhile, the Azalea City rock scene is providing fans with new studio offerings. Three local rock outfits are currently promoting the sonic results of months spent in isolation.
Last year, indie rockers Paid to Pretend released a debut full-length called “The Side Effect of Happy Pills.” This album showcased a musical persona noted for its mix of indie rock arrangements that carried a wave of soulful, heartfelt vocals. Now, Paid to Pretend has released a followup to the January release of the single “Little Love Letter.”
“Who Took Me Home” has the band looking to the skies for answers. This track chronicles a date experience with extraterrestrial origins. While the subject matter of the song might be out of this world, “Who Took Me Home” finds Paid to Pretend experimenting with new variations of the band’s trademark sound. This song boasts a fun and infectious rockabilly foundation laced with vocals highlighted by an intricate rhythm. The verses snowball into the song’s hook, which plunges the vibe into a raucous shade of indie rock. Between this one and “Little Love Letter,” Paid to Pretend fans are sure to be pleased with the sophomore effort yet to come.
Plunging deeper into the local rock world will reveal the latest single from Future Hate. For years, this group has been peddling a lethal rock concoction that skillfully mingles furious elements of punk and metal with vocals pulled from a banshee’s soul.
Eventually, Future Hate’s vehement sound reached across the seas and found a Japanese audience (and label) through the band’s debut full-length, “Potboiler.” Future Hate’s latest single pulls inspiration from one of Magnolia Cemetery’s most interesting resting places.
“Owen’s Grave” invites listeners to spend late night hours on the steps of Owen Farley’s tomb. For this intense single, Future Hate leans more into the chaotic punk dimension than the single’s predecessor, “Meconium Continuum.” As far as predictions for future releases, Future Hate is maintaining an “if it ain’t broke …” mindset to the band’s sound, which is not a bad thing.
If there is one facet of the local music scene that has suffered more from the lack of live settings due to the COVID-19 crisis, then it would be the Azalea City underground scene.
Underground venues such as The Attic at the Blind Mule and Alabama Music Box have yet to return to normal scheduling. However, this setback has not stopped the enigmatic psych-rock band Scraepers Papers from releasing its third full-length album, “Spiritual Favorites.”
This release is powered by a radiating mix of classic garage punk and modern psych rock that could be likened to a 60’s beach party where the drinks have been spiked with an overabundance of acid.
Scraepers Papers uses the tracks on “Spiritual Favorites” to spread an intoxicating delivery of fresh rock ’n’ roll insanity. “Valencia” and “I Got a Secret” are standouts on this one.
All of this new material is available on a variety of digital platforms ranging from iTunes to Bandcamp. Hopefully, the response from local music scene supporters will result in more new music from both Paid to Pretend and Future Hate.
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