DENSE – Single Review: “Displaced Face”

DENSE Displaced Face

DENSE is an awesomely talented psychedelic garage rock band hailing from Leeds, England, who combine thick, fuzzy grooves with fiery riffs and intricate melodies to create a unique and heavy sound that’s at once retro and futuristic. Despite their youthful, boy-next-door image, their music is incredibly intense and badass, with an impressive maturity, complexity and density – as their name would imply. The best description I can think of for their sound would be ‘industrial surf-metal psychedelic rock’. Making this phenomenal music are Charlie Fossick (Guitar/Vocals),  Dylan Metcalf (Bass) and Sam Heffer (Drums).

DENSE2

I’ve previously featured them several times on this blog over the past two years, most recently last May (2018) when I reviewed their explosive single “The Smoke”. (You can check out those reviews by clicking on the “Related” links at the bottom of this page.) Now they return with another mind-blowing new single “Displaced Face“. The song is aptly-named, cause it’s positively face-melting!

The track opens strong, with an ominous, gnarly mix of deep, throbbing bass, distorted psychedelic guitar sounds and spacey background synths lasting approximately 40 seconds. Suddenly, everything erupts into a maelstrom of tortured, reverb-heavy riffs, heavy, thunderous bass and explosive percussion – all seemingly hell-bent on blowing out our eardrums and throwing us against the wall. Charlie screams lyrics I can’t quite make out, but who cares, as the music is fucking on fire! These guys are literal beasts on their respective instruments, and Charlie is a freaking madman when he opens his mouth!

I’ve loved every single one of their songs, and “Displaced Face” is no exception, delivering four minutes of intense, psychedelic ear candy. The marvelously creepy artwork for the single was designed by band friend Elle Penketh.

Connect with DENSE:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Stream “Displaced Face” on  Spotify / Soundcloud / Apple Music
Purchase on iTunesBandcamp

Top 30 Songs for May 20-26, 2018

James Bay’s fantastic single “Pink Lemonade” is #1 for a second week, and Childish Gambino’s brilliant and provocative “This is America”  jumps to #2 in just its second week on the chart. Bad Wolves’ remake of The Cranberries’ powerful protest song “Zombie” – which resonates more than ever today – leaps 10 spots to #14. Florence + The Machine are back with a great new single “Hunger,” which debuts at #29, and three other songs debut as well: “Silver Lining” by Mt. Joy, “Life to Fix” by The Record Company, and “Red Moon Sky” by Face of Stone.

1. PINK LEMONADE – James Bay (1)
2. THIS IS AMERICA – Childish Gambino (8)
3. BROKEN – lovelytheband (3)
4. HANDYMAN – AWOLNATION (4)
5. &RUN – Sir Sly (5)
6. BAD BAD NEWS – Leon Bridges (7)
7. THE JOKE – Brandi Carlile (2)
8. WHATEVER IT TAKES – Imagine Dragons (6)
9. I FEEL LIKE I’M DROWNING – Two Feet (10)
10. GUIDE YOU IN THE DARK – RECKLESS JACKS (11)
11. THOUGHT CONTAGION – Muse (12)
12. THE NIGHT HAS AN ALIBI – Wons Phreely + the Horses (9)
13. CELEBRATE – Dirty Heads, The Unlikely Candidates (18)
14. ZOMBIE – Bad Wolves (24)
15. SORRY – Nothing But Thieves (16)
16. SAY AMEN (SATURDAY NIGHT) – Panic! At the Disco (17)
17. DEVIL – Shinedown (19)
18. I HOPE YOU’RE HAPPY – Blue October (21)
19. WITHOUT WALLS – Lyia Meta (20)
20. UNWIND – John Defeo (23)
21. SATURDAY SUN – Vance Joy (13)
22. YOU WORRY ME – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (14)
23. IRREVERSIBLE KNOT – DENSE (15)
24. FAVORITE COLOR IS BLUE – Robert DeLong, K.Flay (26)
25. COLORS – Beck (29)
26. SILVER LINING – Mt. Joy (N)
27. DOUBT – Joywave (22)
28. LIFE TO FIX – The Record Company (N)
29. HUNGER – Florence + The Machine (N)
30. RED MOON SKY – Face of Stone (N)

Top 30 Songs for May 13-19, 2018

1. PINK LEMONADE – James Bay (2)
2. THE JOKE – Brandi Carlile (1)
3. BROKEN – lovelytheband (3)
4. HANDYMAN – AWOLNATION (6)
5. &RUN – Sir Sly (5)
6. WHATEVER IT TAKES – Imagine Dragons (4)
7. BAD BAD NEWS – Leon Bridges (8)
8. THIS IS AMERICA – Childish Gambino (N)
9. THE NIGHT HAS AN ALIBI – Wons Phreely + the Horses (7)
10. I FEEL LIKE I’M DROWNING – Two Feet (12)
11. GUIDE YOU IN THE DARK – RECKLESS JACKS (11)
12. THOUGHT CONTAGION – Muse (10)
13. SATURDAY SUN – Vance Joy (14)
14. YOU WORRY ME – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (9)
15. IRREVERSIBLE KNOT – DENSE (15)
16. SORRY – Nothing But Thieves (18)
17. SAY AMEN (SATURDAY NIGHT) – Panic! At the Disco (19)
18. CELEBRATE – Dirty Heads, The Unlikely Candidates (21)
19. DEVIL – Shinedown (23)
20. WITHOUT WALLS – Lyia Meta (22)
21. I HOPE YOU’RE HAPPY – Blue October (26)
22. DOUBT – Joywave (24)
23. UNWIND – John Defeo (25)
24. ZOMBIE – Bad Wolves (N)
25. ALREADY GONE – Brett Dennen (13)
26. FAVORITE COLOR IS BLUE – Robert DeLong, K.Flay (28)
27. THE GOLD – Manchester Orchestra (16)
28. SEVERED – The Decemberists (17)
29. COLORS – Beck (N)
30. WORLD GONE MAD – Bastille (20)

DENSE – Single Review: “The Smoke”

DENSE The Smoke

Despite seemingly continuous reports announcing its demise, rock music seems to be alive and well, especially in the UK where it’s thriving. One of the more innovative rock bands I’ve been following is DENSE, a young and immensely talented trio from Leeds, England, whose unique sound could best be described as ‘industrial psychedelic surfer garage rock.’ Sounds a bit complex, but when you hear their music you’ll understand what I mean. DENSE consists of Charlie Fossick (Guitar/Vocals), Dylan Metcalf (Bass) and Sam Heffer (Drums). Charlie also produces, mixes and masters their music. Despite their youth, their intense music style exhibits an impressive maturity, complexity and density – implied by their name, perhaps?

I’ve previously featured them twice on this blog, first in 2017 when I reviewed their mind-blowing debut EP Third Eye, then again this past January when I reviewed their monumental single “Irreversible Knot.” Now they’ve dropped another new single “The Smoke,” and it’s a real banger!

An opening spacey synth and little surf guitar riff give way to an explosion of gritty guitars, crushing bass and tumultuous percussion. As the track progresses, the intensity of the music ebbs and flows, allowing each instrument to dominate. One moment there’s a cacophony of raging psychedelic guitar, then an interlude of relative calm with the sounds of Dylan’s heavy throbbing bass and Sam’s simple drumbeat, only to be suddenly broken by a thunderbolt of Charlie’s distorted guitar. It all serves to create a continuous sense of tension that’s a signature component of their dynamic and complex sound. Charlie’s echoed, distorted vocals rise and fall in tandem with the instrumentals, adding to the song’s drama. It’s interesting that his wailing refrain of the title lyric “the smoke” sounds a lot like “bang bang” – at least to my ears.

Give this amazing song a listen and decide for yourself.

Connect with DENSE:  FacebookTwitter / Instagram

Top 30 Songs for May 6-12, 2018

1. THE JOKE – Brandi Carlile (2)
2. PINK LEMONADE – James Bay (3)
3. BROKEN – lovelytheband (1)
4. WHATEVER IT TAKES – Imagine Dragons (4)
5. &RUN – Sir Sly (6)
6. HANDYMAN – AWOLNATION (7)
7. THE NIGHT HAS AN ALIBI – Wons Phreely + the Horses (8)
8. BAD BAD NEWS – Leon Bridges (9)
9. YOU WORRY ME – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (5)
10. THOUGHT CONTAGION – Muse (11)
11. GUIDE YOU IN THE DARK – RECKLESS JACKS (15)
12. I FEEL LIKE I’M DROWNING – Two Feet (17)
13. ALREADY GONE – Brett Dennen (14)
14. SATURDAY SUN – Vance Joy (16)
15. IRREVERSIBLE KNOT – DENSE (18)
16. THE GOLD – Manchester Orchestra (13)
17. SEVERED – The Decemberists (12)
18. SORRY – Nothing But Thieves (22)
19. SAY AMEN (SATURDAY NIGHT) – Panic! At the Disco (23)
20. WORLD GONE MAD – Bastille (10)
21. CELEBRATE – Dirty Heads, The Unlikely Candidates (27)
22. WITHOUT WALLS – Lyia Meta (24)
23. DEVIL – Shinedown (25)
24. DOUBT – Joywave (26)
25. UNWIND – John Defeo (28)
26. I HOPE YOU’RE HAPPY – Blue October (30)
27. MY MY MY! – Troye Sivan (19)
28. FAVORITE COLOR IS BLUE – Robert DeLong, K.Flay (N)
29. TWO HIGH – Moon Taxi (20)
30. ALL THE STARS – Kendrick Lamar, SZA (21)

Top 30 Songs for April 29-May 5, 2018

1. BROKEN – lovelytheband (1)
2. THE JOKE – Brandi Carlile (3)
3. PINK LEMONADE – James Bay (5)
4. WHATEVER IT TAKES – Imagine Dragons (2)
5. YOU WORRY ME – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (6)
6. &RUN – Sir Sly (7)
7. HANDYMAN – AWOLNATION (8)
8. THE NIGHT HAS AN ALIBI – Wons Phreely + the Horses (10)
9. BAD BAD NEWS – Leon Bridges (12)
10. WORLD GONE MAD – Bastille (4)
11. THOUGHT CONTAGION – Muse (13)
12. SEVERED – The Decemberists (9)
13. THE GOLD – Manchester Orchestra (14)
14. ALREADY GONE – Brett Dennen (16)
15. GUIDE YOU IN THE DARK – RECKLESS JACKS (17)
16. SATURDAY SUN – Vance Joy (18)
17. I FEEL LIKE I’M DROWNING – Two Feet (23)
18. IRREVERSIBLE KNOT – DENSE (20)
19. MY MY MY! – Troye Sivan (19)
20. TWO HIGH – Moon Taxi (11)
21. ALL THE STARS – Kendrick Lamar, SZA (15)
22. SORRY – Nothing But Thieves (25)
23. SAY AMEN (SATURDAY NIGHT) – Panic! At the Disco (27)
24. WITHOUT WALLS – Lyia Meta (26)
25. DEVIL – Shinedown (28)
26. DOUBT – Joywave (29)
27. CELEBRATE – Dirty Heads, The Unlikely Candidates (N)
28. UNWIND – John Defeo (30)
29. SAFARI SONG – Greta Van Fleet (21)
30. I HOPE YOU’RE HAPPY – Blue October (N)

Top 30 Songs for April 22-28, 2018

1. BROKEN – lovelytheband (1)
2. WHATEVER IT TAKES – Imagine Dragons (3)
3. THE JOKE – Brandi Carlile (6)
4. WORLD GONE MAD – Bastille (2)
5. PINK LEMONADE – James Bay (12)
6. YOU WORRY ME – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (5)
7. &RUN – Sir Sly (7)
8. HANDYMAN – AWOLNATION (10)
9. SEVERED – The Decemberists (8)
10. THE NIGHT HAS AN ALIBI – Wons Phreely + the Horses (11)
11. TWO HIGH – Moon Taxi (4)
12. BAD BAD NEWS – Leon Bridges (17)
13. THOUGHT CONTAGION – Muse (13)
14. THE GOLD – Manchester Orchestra (14)
15. ALL THE STARS – Kendrick Lamar, SZA (9)
16. ALREADY GONE – Brett Dennen (18)
17. GUIDE YOU IN THE DARK – RECKLESS JACKS (21)
18. SATURDAY SUN – Vance Joy (22)
19. MY MY MY! – Troye Sivan (23)
20. IRREVERSIBLE KNOT – DENSE (24)
21. SAFARI SONG – Greta Van Fleet (16)
22. RUN FOR COVER – The Killers (15)
23. I FEEL LIKE I’M DROWNING – Two Feet (28)
24. PAIN – The War on Drugs (19)
25. SORRY – Nothing But Thieves (N)
26. WITHOUT WALLS – Lyia Meta (30)
27. SAY AMEN (SATURDAY NIGHT) – Panic! At the Disco (N)
28. DEVIL – Shinedown (N)
29. DOUBT – Joywave (N)
30. UNWIND – John Defeo (N)

Top 30 Songs for April 15-21, 2018

1. BROKEN – lovelytheband (3)
2. WORLD GONE MAD – Bastille (1)
3. WHATEVER IT TAKES – Imagine Dragons (4)
4. TWO HIGH – Moon Taxi (2)
5. YOU WORRY ME – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (6)
6. THE JOKE – Brandi Carlile (11)
7. &RUN – Sir Sly (9)
8. SEVERED – The Decemberists (10)
9. ALL THE STARS – Kendrick Lamar, SZA (5)
10. HANDYMAN – AWOLNATION (13)
11. THE NIGHT HAS AN ALIBI – Wons Phreely + the Horses (12)
12. PINK LEMONADE – James Bay (15)
13. THOUGHT CONTAGION – Muse (14)
14. THE GOLD – Manchester Orchestra (16)
15. RUN FOR COVER – The Killers (7)
16. SAFARI SONG – Greta Van Fleet (8)
17. BAD BAD NEWS – Leon Bridges (26)
18. ALREADY GONE – Brett Dennen (20)
19. PAIN – The War on Drugs (17)
20. LIVE IN THE MOMENT – Portugal. The Man (18)
21. GUIDE YOU IN THE DARK – Reckless Jacks (21)
22. SATURDAY SUN – Vance Joy (22)
23. MY MY MY! – Troye Sivan (24)
24. IRREVERSIBLE KNOT – DENSE (25)
25. LOS AGELESS – St. Vincent (19)
26. SCARY LOVE – The Neighbourhood (23)
27. SIT NEXT TO ME – Foster the People (27) 33rd week on list
28. I FEEL LIKE I’M DROWNING – Two Feet (N)
29. BEST FRIEND – Sofi Tukker, NERVO, The Knocks, Alisa Ueno (28)
30. WITHOUT WALLS – Lyia Meta (N)

Top 30 Songs for April 8-14, 2018

1. WORLD GONE MAD – Bastille (1)
2. TWO HIGH – Moon Taxi (3)
3. BROKEN – lovelytheband (6)
4. WHATEVER IT TAKES – Imagine Dragons (7)
5. ALL THE STARS – Kendrick Lamar, SZA (2)
6. YOU WORRY ME – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (8)
7. RUN FOR COVER – The Killers (5)
8. SAFARI SONG – Greta Van Fleet (4)
9. &RUN – Sir Sly (10)
10. SEVERED – The Decemberists (11)
11. THE JOKE – Brandi Carlile (17)
12. THE NIGHT HAS AN ALIBI – Wons Phreely + the Horses (14)
13. HANDYMAN – AWOLNATION (16)
14. THOUGHT CONTAGION – Muse (15)
15. PINK LEMONADE – James Bay (20)
16. THE GOLD – Manchester Orchestra (19)
17. PAIN – The War on Drugs (12)
18. LIVE IN THE MOMENT – Portugal. The Man (13)
19. LOS AGELESS – St. Vincent (9)
20. ALREADY GONE – Brett Dennen (21)
21. GUIDE YOU IN THE DARK – Reckless Jacks (23)
22. SATURDAY SUN – Vance Joy (26)
23. SCARY LOVE – The Neighbourhood (18)
24. MY MY MY! – Troye Sivan (28)
25. IRREVERSIBLE KNOT – DENSE (29)
26. BAD BAD NEWS – Leon Bridges (N)
27. SIT NEXT TO ME – Foster the People (24) 32nd week on list
28. BEST FRIEND – Sofi Tukker, NERVO, The Knocks, Alisa Ueno (22)
29. SOBER UP – AJR ft. Rivers Cuomo (25)
30. WE FIGHT – Dashboard Confessional (27)

Top 30 Songs for April 1-7, 2018

It’s taken a while to get there, but my new number one song is Bastille’s “World Gone Mad.” Though it was featured in the fantasy crime film Bright, the song addresses the strong political divisiveness and turmoil in Britain that resulted in Brexit. Many of the lyrics also describe the current fucked up political situation in America, where we’re led by an evil, narcissistic sociopath who has encouraged racism and nationalism, which is why it resonates so powerfully with me. The song was a modest hit, charting only on the Billboard Alternative Chart, however I think it’s Bastille’s best song since “Pompeii,” if not their absolute best.

Debuting at #17 is “The Joke” by Brandi Carlile. I was not very familiar with her music, but was floored the first time I heard this song, it’s that beautiful. This song is a certainty for a future #1 spot. And new at #20 is “Pink Lemonade” by James Bay. Wow, this song is HOT! Such a big departure from his former look and sound, which I really liked, but I’m loving this!

Additionally, I’ve expanded my list from 20 to 30 songs, as there are just so many great ones to choose from. I also want to include more indie artists who I believe are putting out some really excellent music.

1. WORLD GONE MAD – Bastille (3)
2. ALL THE STARS – Kendrick Lamar, SZA (1)
3. TWO HIGH – Moon Taxi (4)
4. SAFARI SONG – Greta Van Fleet (2)
5. RUN FOR COVER – The Killers (6)
6. BROKEN – lovelytheband (7)
7. WHATEVER IT TAKES – Imagine Dragons (13)
8. YOU WORRY ME – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (10)
9. LOS AGELESS – St. Vincent (5)
10. &RUN – Sir Sly (11)
11. SEVERED – The Decemberists (12)
12. PAIN – The War on Drugs (8)
13. LIVE IN THE MOMENT – Portugal. The Man (9)
14. THE NIGHT HAS AN ALIBI – Wons Phreely + the Horses (16)
15. THOUGHT CONTAGION – Muse (17)
16. HANDYMAN – AWOLNATION (20)
17. THE JOKE – Brandi Carlile (N)
18. SCARY LOVE – The Neighbourhood (14)
19. THE GOLD – Manchester Orchestra (21)
20. PINK LEMONADE – James Bay (N)
21. ALREADY GONE – Brett Dennen (N)
22. BEST FRIEND – Sofi Tukker, NERVO, The Knocks, Alisa Ueno (15)
23. GUIDE YOU IN THE DARK – Reckless Jacks (N)
24. SIT NEXT TO ME – Foster the People (22) 31st week on list
25. SOBER UP – AJR ft. Rivers Cuomo (19)
26. SATURDAY SUN – Vance Joy (N)
27. WE FIGHT – Dashboard Confessional (23)
28. MY MY MY! – Troye Sivan (N)
29. IRREVERSIBLE KNOT – DENSE (N)
30. HAPPY HOUR – Weezer (24)