It’s the most wonderful time of the year again. No, not Christmas! It’s Alternative Press’ annual “100 Bands You Need To Know In ____” issue and once again, you have all dodged a bullet by letting me read and re-read and re-read this issue to cull together the very best of the so-called “best”. Anyway, here’s who I thought were the standouts for 2012:


Who the hell are these guys and how the hell did I not know about them before this. An instrumental trio producing monolithic sounds out of their native New Zealand, Kerretta already have two albums under their belt and a sound that is familiar yet so unique. Throw Isis, Russian Circles, and Pelican in a blender, banish them to a barren wasteland and have them play atop a mountain as the sun goes down and the ghouls come out and you get a small sense of what transpires when Kerretta is played. Check out “Halls To Wherever” first.



I Am Hunger:
Another Import, Sweden’s I Am Hunger are a brutal band that you will hopefully be hearing a lot from soon. Their debut Odium is pure headbanging ecstasy throughout and reminds me of a heavier Amen. The production on their debut is incredible and calls the raw intensity and visceral delivery of frontman Fred Forsberg to the forefront perfectly.



Kid Is Qual:
If The Faint are going to make us wait for ridiculous amounts of time between albums then I will gladly accept Kid Is Qual’s interesting brand of electro rock. Two bass players and a drummer with the leads being sung through a talk box. It’s a robot party and we’re all invited! Their debut EP Damn Son mixes electro with elements of hip-hop making for a memorable 6 tracks that’ll leave you begging for more.




The crazy electro grooves that Breton produce are unreal. Formed as a project for independent filmmakers who decided to learn music in order to score their own films, Breton scored big as a result with their music instead. On the just released Other Peoples Money, there’s RZA-style production mixed with electronics and an indie aesthetic making this one of the most promising debuts of 2012. Download the Blanket Rule EP for free here.






The Company We Keep:
If you know me at all, you’ll know I eat up anything related to The Receiving End Of Sirens. The Company We Keep, featuring Treos’ Brian Southall  is a far cry from the indie epic of TREOS but still rocks nonetheless. So far all they’ve released is “The Company She Keeps” and “Right/Wrong”, the latter of which gives me chills and is equal parts VersaEmerge and “Decode” by Paramore. The band also features Motion City Soundtracks Justin Pierre, Branden Morgan of Misery Signals and frontwoman Amy Brennan.



Cairo Knife Fight:
Another one of those “Where the hell did they come from?” bands, Cairo Knife Fight  takes the rock duo tag to a whole ‘nother level. Like The Black Keys playing Queens of the Stone Age circa their self-titled album with hints of Songs For The Deaf, Cairo Knife Fight create music so pure, so real, and so immediate that you’ll instantly be a fan upon hearing a single note they play. If that’s not enough to convince you, check out the 9-minute opus “The Violence Of Action” off the II EP.




Bad Rabbits:
It looks like AP read my blog last year. Bad Rabbits is a Boston based funk rock band and in my humble opinion, the second coming of Morris day & The Time with a whole lotto rawk thrown in for good measure. There’s the already available Stick Up Kids EP and you can also head over to their site and download covers ranging from Michael Jackson and The-Dream to deftones and Smashing Pumpkins. Still unsigned with a buttload of music ready to be unleashed, these guys deserve your dollars and attention.



Here’s hoping AP checks out one of these fine bands for 2013’s ish: Jack Burton Vs. David Lopan, Constants, Harborlights, The Fades, Antlered Man, Knives Out, or BLACK TAXI. Or maybe I’ll stop holding out and finally get around to producing one for Popblerd: “PopBlerd’s 20 or so bands you should already know about in 2012”. That’s catchy, right?

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