Sampler: “The Drew Thompson Foundation” Kicks Off This Week in Alternative

The Drew Thomson Foundation, Picsel, Melted, Tummyache

This week we’re bringing you four new Indie Punk tracks straight from the basement show. Enjoy!

Phone Ring by The Drew Thomson Foundation

There seems to be a lack of catchy, hook driven punk music so far in 2019. Luckily Toronto’s The Drew Thomson Foundation has come to our collective rescue with their infectious new single Phone Ring. Phone Ring is power pop gold with itsbouncy verses, sing-along choruses, and immediately relatable lyrics maligning the nightmare that is modern dating. For fans of Jeff Rosenstock’s pre-Worry material and he and Chris Farren’s supergroup Antarctigo Vespucci, The Drew Thomson Foundation may well prove to be the new sensation. Their knack for writing humorous and kind of dorky songs about relationships without being overly self-deprecating (or just plain creepy) is certainly Rosenstock-esque and if Phone Ring is any indication they have a lot of the same unconventional charm that helped turn Rosenstock into the cult icon he is today. Be on the lookout for The Drew Thomson Foundation’s promising debut self-titled LP this September, and until then jam Phone Ring below.

 Fucked Society by Picsel

Sometimes accidents end up turning into huge creative discoveries. For UK alt-pop band Broken Fires one such accident happened during the writing stage for their forthcoming sophomore album when they unintentionally wrote two, completely different albums. The first was the one they set out to write and the second was a collection of rowdier songs that they didn’t think fit the “Frightened Rabbit meets Tall Ships” vibe of the band. The result was Picsel, an indie punk side-project much more akin to Lower Than Atlantis, and their political new single Fucked Society. Despite being a scathing indictment of modern life in Britain, Picsel’s newest is delivered in a smooth and catchy fashion, crooning lines like “licking dirt from the soles of polished shoes/ As they continue to walk all over you,” and turning “There was a time when we were free to love our fucked society” into an almost uplifting sounding chorus. The four-piece’s pop roots seep into Picsel in the best way, allowing them to write big, catchy songs, but not impeding them with tropes like so many artists that make the transition from pop to rock. I personally am very excited to hear the rest of their debut LP Modern Life Discovery when it debuts this Fall.

Bigger Maggots by Melted

There’s thin sliver of sound between the skate-punk end of pop punk and hardcore punk. It’s the bands in this sliver that separate Free Throw from Title Fight or PUP from Drug Church. Melted is one of those rare bands. Hailing from Long Beach, CA, Melted have all the aggression of a band like Drug Church but with just a dash of pop punk sensibility. They’re the kind of band that doubles their guitars to make them punch harder and isn’t afraid to put the snare on the 1, but they’re also the kind of band to use non-shouted backing vocals and actually write choruses. Their most recent single, Bigger Maggots, their first since releasing their 2018 LP Thin Skin, is a fast-paced track about overcoming insecurities and anxiety. Reminiscent of early Posture and the Grizzly, it’s a perfect example of their aggressive brand of punk that defies expectations by also being unconventionally catchy. 

Median by Tummyache

Nashville, aside from Country and CCM, is known for a very specific rock sound, usually involving sleek, polished instrumentals and Ryan Adam’s-style vocalists. Breaking this mold in spectacular fashion is Tummyache, a punky garage rock outfit that pulls more from Mitski and Cherry Glazerr than the refined sounds their home city is famous for. Tummyache is the brainchild of songwriter/producer Soren Bryce as an outlet to explore her own existentialist reflections on meaning and the human condition through the use of absurdism. Median in particular shows Bryce balancing delicately between two extremes: the total dissolution of meaning altogether and the hope she acknowledges to be self-created that she nonetheless needs to survive. It’s hammering guitar sounds add a visceral, anxious subtext to the probing lyrics, creating the sensation of an all-out war in Bryce’s head that she is holding back, if only barely, with remarkable poise. Making a song that is simultaneously aggressively honest and fairly heady that also feels this nuanced is no easy task, but Bryce rises to the challenge with the precision of a veteran. Tummyache’s debut EP, Humpday, is due out later this year.

Author: Zack Bowman, Editor

Zack Bowman is the founder and co-editor of Not a Sound. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and after attending Geneva College, where he recieved degrees in Philosophy, Social Theory, and English, he moved to his current home in the Philadelphia suburbs. When he's not writing for Not a Sound Zack is playing guitar and singing in his indie-punk band Second to Safety.

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