Meet ALEXSUCKS, the Delinquents Betting on a Hollywood Rock Revival
Just who is ALEXSUCKS? All the internet can tell us about this enigma of an LA-based band is that it's comprised of the titular Alex Alvarez, who grew up in Denver and relocated to LA five years ago, on lead vocals and his pals, guitarist John Luther, drummer Ethan Demoulin, and bassist Garrett Orseno, who also produces and DJs under the moniker DJ Topgun. What you can surmise about the rising band is found in the flurry of highly addictive singles they've released over the last two years, influenced by acts like The Strokes but with a warmer, dance-punk revival tone, reminiscent of the stranglehold the grunge movement had on the Sunset Strip in the '90s.
ALEXSUCKS debuted in 2021 with the release of their first EP, ANGSTY TEEN. The three-track project is a dark, underground collection that opened the door for the band, receiving close to 500,000 streams collectively on Spotify at the time of this write-up. Then in November of that year, the band released arguably their most popular song to date, "Talk To You." With over a million streams under its belt, the single sees Alvarez and company tell a complex yet relatable story of wrestling with self-hate and toxic dating patterns. "Why can't I just like nice girls? / And I just talk to the ones who got issues / But it's ok 'cause I do too," he sings to gut-punching effect. "I, spending days in the dark, can't get out my room / In this world I'm all alone / And I just keep waiting for someone to love me," he continues, while summery yet melancholic instrumentals weave in and out of his hypnotic vocals.
2022 saw ALEXSUCKS release a pair of one-off singles, including "Lost My Way" and fan favorite "Happy," the latter of which saw the band release their first-ever music video through director Lost Noise's Youtube channel. The visual opens with Alvarez tossing and turning alone in a motel room before quickly packing up his belongings and driving along the West Coast. Scenes of his travels intercut with footage of him performing the song alone on stage, bathed in the solitary glow of a spotlight. Warm and gloomy instrumentals made up of rich bass lines, steady percussion, and surfy guitar riffs prop up Alvarez's moody vocals that touch on themes of self-worth, loneliness, and masking happiness.
In 2023, the band dropped a series of singles to draw attention toward the release of their highly-anticipated debut album, The Gutter. In March, The group kicked off this campaign with the sonically compelling "Can We Forget." The spikiness of the instrumentals overlaid with the catchiness of the melody, especially in the chorus, was a stellar sneak peek into the new chapter of the band's sonic lore. In one of the only quotes from the band, Alvarez shared with All Access, "This song is about the on and off relationship I had with my ex where we kept hurting each other but still coming back and it getting harder and harder each time but wishing we could forget all the bullshit."
After that, the band dropped two more singles, "Go" and "See You In Hell," before finally releasing their long-awaited, infectious debut effort. Produced by Brenden O'Brien (Pearl Jam, Incubus, Rage Against The Machine), the nine-track body of work is an alt-rock thrill ride fueled with thrumming bass lines, crashing percussion, and catchy, sun-soaked guitar riffs. Stand-out tracks like "The Gutter" and "6 Pack and Cigarettes," more on that one later, further showcase the band's ability to create highly addictive, rambunctious music full of clever, engaging lyricism that leaves listeners rushing for the replay button after its less than 25 minute run time ends.
Most recently, to celebrate the release of The Gutter and selling out Los Angeles' infamous The Roxy, ALEXSUCKS unveiled their music video for "6 Pack and Cigarettes." The visual opens the morning after a wild house party, with band members asleep on the floor amid their fair share of empty beer bottles and half-eaten pizza. As the band comes to, Alvarez paints a picture of their debaucherous, devil-may-care lifestyle, spending nights getting denied from clubs for being too messed up, tagging streets, and running from cops. As the crew heads out, with their cute pooch in tow, they spend the night skateboarding, and Alvarez deals with his slew of misfortune by saying all they need is "a six-pack and some cigarettes."
ALEXSUCKS' The Gutter is available now.