Greek alternative rock scene is booming and this is the result of the constant efforts of numerous groups that have been brought up with The Cure and The Clash, and have been greatly influenced by Joy Division and The Smiths. The Manchester influence is so apparent not only in Athens, but also in other areas of Greece because Greek artists know how to appreciate good music. Even more than that, they know how to make art with fewer resources than their peers in the UK or the US.
What is even more intriguing is that over the last five years fans of alternative rock have stopped comparing Greek artists with their peers abroad. They have stopped using the motto “good for Greek one” showing that English speaking alternative groups in Greece can do equally good with UK or US alternative rock groups. Raining Pleasure, Cyanna and Rosebleed are a minimum sample of what Greeks can do if only they set their minds to a cause.
Raining Pleasure is one of the most popular Greek alternative rock groups. Formed in 1990 under the name “Rest in Peace” and changing their name into Raining Pleasure in 1992, the group has released six studio albums since 1996 and two EP’s and is widely regarded as one of the top English speaking bands in Greece.
Their debut album, “Flood” peaked #1 for 15 weeks in the international charts and #5 in the local charts. Besides, “Flood” was certified Gold and ranked on the Top 40 Artist Album Charts. Four tracks of this album are hits singles, “Fake”, “Capricorn”, “Ride-A-Loop” and “Free!” while “Fake” was also included in the OST of “The Best of Times”, a film directed by Tso-chi Chang and nominated for the Golden Lion prize at the Venice Film Festival 2002.
Vassilikos (Vocals & Guitar), X-Jeremy (Guitars), Bassakis (Bass & Synths) and Jay (Drums) know how to make music in a country that doesn’t have the resources of the UK or the US to produce pure alternative rock music. Nevertheless, Raining Pleasure is around since 1996 and is still popular, not only to the Greek audience, but also abroad. Other hits by them are “Is That Yoo”, “Romance”, “Only Through You”, and “2U.” A totally worth listening group for the lovers of alternative rock.
Cyanna is one of those bands that you cannot just pass. With their mysterious name preceding their rock & roll/electro sound, Cyanna are a particularly active group formed in 2002. Since then, the group has released 2 studio albums, “Aggixe To” (2004) and “Just A Crash” (2008) and has performed live in several concerts including European Music Day, Synch Festival, Greek Electro Festival, Soul Stereo, House of Art, An Club, Underworld and many others.
In “Just A Crash” (2008), Cyanna have produced dance anthems such as “Shine”, “TV Nation” and “On and On” and electro-pop hits such as “Electron” that swept away the audiences, evoking sounds of LCD Soundsystem and New Order of the 90s. Perhaps the best moment of the album is “Chinese Dress” with creepy keys and haunting narration, but also the electrified upbeat adaptation of “Like Fire” of Dubrovniks.
Their latest release, “End Is Near” (2010) features garage guitars, magnificent vocals and dance-rock rhythms. As an entity, it is a pretty successful mix of contemporary electro music with its glorious past anchored with distorted guitars and intense drums. Without any doubt, Nick Sid (Piano & Synth), Spyreas Sid (Vocals), Louie (Guitar) and Jason (Drums) are here to stay.
Rosebleed is another worth noticing Greek alternative rock group. Vassilis (vocals & guitar), Arthur (guitar), Danae (synth & vocals), Giannis (bass & vocals) and Orestis (drums) are five young artists who are still living with their parents, but breathe and think only for Rosebleed. Without being naïve, they all realize that conditions for alternative Rock groups in Greece are not so favorable, particularly for those that produce their own music, but, on the other hand, this is what they all love to do. Having met at their 16, they barely had any other choice than to be involved with music. Music is who they are.
Having released an EP “Stories” (2008) and an album “White Balloons” (2009), Rosebleed have established their own indie-rock style. From their EP, the single “Until Next Time” is one of the best indie-rock hits having enjoyed airplay on Greek alternative radio. Besides, the video of “Until Next Time” was ranked in MTV Greece top 10 and has nominated Rosebleed for the best rock video and the best new group.
Rosebleed are here to stay. Even if they haven’t chosen their name, nor have they actually formed a group, they know how to tell their stories. Their lyrics are sometimes weird, sometimes happy, sometimes nostalgic, but nevertheless mature. Rosebleed have realized their lyrical power and claim that “it’s best for the audiences to discover the truth of our lyrics on their own. Only then, they are free to totally understand them and remember them…”