Single Reviews: 5 May 2024: Fast Blood, Pulse Park, Koresma & Josh Jacobson , Las Nubes, Shoun Shoun

Photo by Alan Wang

Fast Blood - Salvation 

indie rock

Rising above being a pastiche of 90s midwestern indie/emo, hardcore and garage punk with sheer intensity and attitude, Newcastle's Fast Blood are a convincingly energetic and tight ensemble underpinned by the sailor's-knot-tight rhythm section of Kris Brunsden and Dave Allen, the frenzied and colourful guitar playing of Dave Hillier. Meanwhile, frontperson Abigail Barlow makes the show memorable with melodic and personable belts of regionally-seasoned phraseology. "Salvation" is taken from the album Sunny Blunts, which is out now.  

Pulse Park - Binary 

indie rock 

Germany's Pulse Park are as tight as ever on "Binary", a song from the trio's sophomore album First Second. Guitarist and vocalist Magnusson plays out his emotionally-led songs while Frank Hagen fills out the sound on bass, and Oliver Polastri keeps the gusto going on drums. Subtle strings help to add an epic air to this already starry-eyed song, which doesn't hold back on the cinematic scope of feeling and mood. While this track may come across as a run-of-the-mill and innocuous high-fidelity rock song, there's magic in the way Pulse Park effortlessly mix nostalgic sentimentality with balls-out rock bravado.   

Koresma & Josh Jacobson - Bridges (Piano Version)


Sometimes, two heads are better than one. Not that there was anything wrong with the original version of "Bridges" by California-based ambient producer Koresma. It's just that Josh Jacobson's reworking of the song for the piano brings out the inherent beauty of Koresma notes. Jacobson highlights the space between the notes here, leaving a faint trace of melody like fog blurring the horizon. The result is a mesmerizing and ultimately breezy listening experience that is sure to lower the heart rate and induce a state of introspection. Not just a textbook solo piano track, Jacobson imbues the corners with light ambient touches for texture and depth.

Las Nubes - Would Be 

garage rock 

The blissed-out sweetness to the intro of "Would Be" from Miamian delinquents Las Nubes is a red herring. Quickly, the three-piece, composed of guitarist and vocalist Ale Campos, bassist Nina Carolina and drummer Emile Milgrim, breaks out into a cacophonous assault on mediocrity, merging high-octane, pristinely produced (by engineer Jonathan Nuñez) rock music with singalong melodies delivered in a snarky self-awareness. Gradiose guitar solos aside, this is a straightforward track about the pains of parisitic social exchanges ("I know the more I give the less I'll get back").

Shoun Shoun - We Woke The Monster


From the salty shores of Bristol via Berlin, Shoun Shoun is a no-nonsense post-punk outfit that deals in highly cathartic, danceable-but dark music. Following on from 2022's debut Monsters & Heroes comes "We Woke The Monster" a visceral and inventively immediate song that explores the consequences of dealing with narcissistic people ("rearranging the dates in my diary as if it's your life"). "We Woke The Monster" purveys Wireesque syncopated guitar riffs, militaristic drums, and a cabaret-tinged vocal performance to connect with victims of narcissists, giving them the confidence to move on through the solidarity found in this powerful tune.