Happy New Year, freaks. Let's get loud.
On their new release, Orlando post-metal band Royal Graves emerge sans singer with a new look as an instrumental trio. As the straightforwardly titled Raw Demos suggests, they're still in the demo phase of their career even several years in. But this latest batch of recordings — their first in two years — marks a clear and concrete advancement in their sound.
Atmospheric and hulking, these eight massive tracks of sludgy, doomed metalgaze amount to a pummeling odyssey. So forget the deceptively modest title. Even rough without mixing or mastering, this album is a solid capture of one of the most modern heavy bands coming out of Orlando right now. Raw Demos is available now on Royal Graves' Bandcamp.
Brand-new project Fabulous Weapon could be the showcase for the next power couple to emerge from the Orlando underground. It's the joint venture of Alien Witch's Dee Crittenden and Juno White, whom I last saw live performing solo as Jün back in the socially carefree days of December 2019, opening for Miami punk provocateurs Period Bomb.
Besides beginning to perform around town recently, Fabulous Weapon just made their recorded debut with a self-titled, eight-song album of wiry rock rawness. From Crittenden's throbbing music to White's hypnotic singing, it's a darkly seductive introduction that dances between temptation and provocation. Fabulous Weapon is available on Bandcamp as a name-your-price download.
While they're a pretty steady presence on the live circuit, Orlando indie-pop quartet Gary Lazer Eyes haven't released a collection of songs since 2016. With new EP Love & Local Honey, Vol. 1, that drought ends in pretty resolute fashion.
Although two of the songs were previously released as singles, this five-song work illustrates how much the band have evolved in one fell swoop. With a flow that's easy without being lightweight, the record snaps with sparkling, infectious pop hooks and taut grooves. Easily their most memorable songs yet, Love & Local Honey, Vol. 1 is now streaming everywhere.