The Hip Displacements
Bastard Head vs The World – album
Under the guise of The Hip Displacements, those crazy bastards in Plague IX, (see their review elsewhere in this column), created a side-project using synth instruments instead of guitars, and they very well might be the only people who can effectively pull this off. Using the downtime during the COVID 19 lockdown, the band began experimenting with synth tracks. According to vocalist Dirty Zak, there was initially no intention of ever releasing them. Said Zak; “At the same time, [Plague IX’s guitarist] Alien J began writing a story about an ambitious murderer seeking notoriety. The band ended up using the story as the basis when turning their synth tracks into fleshed out songs. Using the name The Hip Displacements to differentiate the project from Plague IX’s guitar driven sound, the electro-rock opera Bastard Head vs the World was born.” The end result is something along the lines of John Carpenter-composed movie themes and The Misfits. It’s different to say the least, but damned if it isn’t a lot of fun to listen to. Every one of these tracks sound like they are tailor-made for campy B-horror movies. Certainly not something you’d expect from a punk rock band, unless that band is Plague IX. Even then, while you might not expect it, you’re definitely not surprised. These guys are having a lot of fun creating music, and it’s infectious!
Solid Gold – album
The name Miles Miller may not ring any bells right off the bat, but if you’ve been a fan of country, Americana, or bluegrass in recent years, you’re most certainly familiar with his work. Over the past decade, the Versailles, KY native has been behind the drums for such artists as Sturgill Simpson, Tyler Childers, and Town Mountain. Although a drummer by trade, his true love has always been singing and playing guitar. Needing free time to hone his songwriting skills, the pandemic provided Miller the perfect opportunity to bring years of song ideas to life. The result is Miller’s debut solo album Solid Gold. Produced by Sturgill Simpson, the album was recorded over the course of three days in January 2022 in Nashville, TN, and it is a stunner! Fans of the aforementioned artists are absolutely going to love this. Musically this is a mix of neotraditional country, bluegrass, southern rock, Americana and folk; more along the lines of a combination of Tyler Childers, James Taylor, The Allman Brothers, and The Grateful Dead without the longwinded jams. Pick any of the 12 songs on here; every one is a potential hit. With his high lonesome style vocals and solid hook-filled grooves, Miller didn’t just make a stellar debut album; he created a future classic that people will still be talking about well into his solo career. This is going to be huge, y’all!
Bragging The Cult – album
Word to the wise; if you want to pique my attention, describing your band in interesting terms is certainly a great way to do it. So when Louisville’s Plague IX contacted me saying their “unique brand of noise is danceable and headbangable, ferocious and explorative, playful and sinister in equal measure,” damned if I wasn’t curious. And sonofabitch, that’s actually a perfect description! Combining elements of punk rock, metal (specifically NWOBHM), and proto-punk for sound that falls somewhere between Turbonegro, Motorhead, MC5 and The Misfits. It’s just a big, dirty, fun sound; and it certainly seems like the band is having a lot of fun with it. Obviously not ones to take themselves too seriously, vocalist Dirty Zak said, “The album chronicles our journey through adolescence, dead end jobs, apocalyptic anxiety and a love of b-movies.” The band is currently recording material for their next full-length album; however Bragging The Cult is still available on cd and colored vinyl in area record stores and through their Bandcamp page. But in a turn of bad luck, their drummer recently had his entire kit stolen, so help these guys out and throw some love, (in the form of money), their way.
Louisvillian Ryan Lane, (the man behind Quiet Confidence), has an amazing gift for writing catchy, hook-filled, world-class indie pop tunes, and his latest single “Resuscitate” is certainly no exception. This is his third single in a row, (following “All Messed Up” and “Risk a Little Skin”), that I can say is a bona fide worldwide smash hit just waiting to happen. If you played this or either of his previous two singles in a major market, Quiet Confidence is blowing up, getting signed and will be headlining major arenas within a few years’ time. It really is that good! Lane is able to hit a sweet spot between pop, alt-rock, and early 2000’s emo, fully envelope the best qualities of those genres and bring them out into huge original tunes that are impossible to ignore. Falling somewhere along the lines of The Chainsmokers, Illenium, and Ed Sheeran, “Resuscitate” tells the story of a failing relationship from the point of view of the person trying desperately to keep it alive; which would be heartbreaking if the music wasn’t so damn catchy. And like the previous singles, the production here is impeccable. With all instruments and especially Lane’s voice coming through crisp and clear and all blending together perfectly, this sounds as top-notch as anything you’d hear from a major artist. If there is any artist in Louisville that people need to be paying attention to, Quiet Confidence is it!