This will be the year that finally forces me to make my own one of these lists. If you haven’t read my previous two posts covering the 2011 and 2012 issues of Alternative Press’ annual “100 Bands You Need To Know in ____” then you won’t know how much I truly look forward to reading and rereading and rereading this issue in the hopes of finding a diamond in the rough.
I have to be honest. This is the hardest one of these I’ve ever had to do. My usual panel of judges were baffled and after I went through this thing like four or five times, I am at a loss. Sure, there are the bands I already know or have covered like The Front Bottoms, The Neighbourhood, and HRVRD but for the most part this year’s issue proved that AP’s relevance is quickly fading. Were there some standouts? Sure but they were few and faaaaaaaaar between. The worst part is that there are barely any bands I recognize when it comes to the “Recommended Playlist” (That’s where they compare the new bands to “established bands” so readers know what to expect) AND they have the nerve to mention one of the bands that’s featured in the 100 on another band’s recommended playlist. How does that make any sense?
Ok, enough ranting for now. Here’s who I thought you should listen to this year:
The Soft Moon is the clear winner this year for me. Along the lines of Ulterior from my first post, these San Franciscan goth rockers go darker than their British counterparts, more mechanical than The Cure and more devoid of human emotion. In a word, brilliant! Here’s the review we ran already of Zeros and my honest opinion, if I’m being honest.
Greys hit that primal Meantime-era Helmet mixed with Bleach-era Nirvana. Is it soaked in nostalgia? Of course! But it rocks.This band is onto something and I, for one, will be sticking around to see where they go. Take “Pill” off their latest EP with the Cobain-esque cries of “Help Me!’ amidst a thunderous riff that would make Page Hamilton proud.
Mix Dir En Grey with Bring Me The Horizon, Bleeding Through, and Skrillex? Yeah, that’s Crossfaith. Brutally heavy razor sharp riffs that are only broken up by intermittent beeps and boops, the band as a whole is a headbanger’s dream…if you can keep up with the constant tempo changes! Catch the band on this year’s Warped Tour and watch the video for “Jagerbomb” below.
If Lush merged with the Smashing Pumpkins, you’d have something that sounds like The History Of Apple Pie. Quite simply, they’re what’s been missing from the rock scene lately: a solid female fronted band. On Out Of View, The History Of Apple Pie deliver slabs upon slabs of fuzzed out grunge that shares more genetic material from Dinosaur Jr than some of those other guys in The Great White North.
DRGN King is a weird one to pin down. They have the spirit of BLACK TAXI (“Menswear”), the zaniness of The Flaming Lips (“Holy Ghost”), and the electro rock aesthetic of a nu-school Killers (“Wild Night”). On Paragraph Nights, they effortlessly merge genres creating a sound that is at times oddly familiar yet all around strangely unique.
I knew nothing of the viral Gotye cover but my colleague Drew did and wrote this fancy schmancy review of R.E.V.O., the full-length debut from Walk Off The Earth. My first taste was the “Red Hands” video/single and I absolutely loved what I heard. Definitely one of the most original and unique bands in this year’s issue, Walk Off The Earth is poised for great things.
Don’t worry, I am still championing greats like BLACK TAXI, Jack Burton Vs. David Lo Pan, and earthtone9. They’ll be on MY list coming later this year because obviously AP isn’t doing the job anymore.
Thanks for reading!