With so much music out there it’s sometimes hard to find those really good bands to connect with. Not to worry, I’ve done all the “hard work” of listening through tons of different bands. Every so often I’ll present you with 5 bands that you should be listening to. These bands aren’t necessarily the most popular, but they definitely are some of the most talented. With that being said, here is my list for the month of October 2012:
Vegas rockers Most Thieves assembled almost two years ago. Their impressive debut album ‘Unnecessary Maps’ was released last August.What I like most about this band are the positive and uplifting lyrics; each track gives me some hope to carry on (as corny as that sounds). One of my favorite songs from the album is “Muscle Memory”; come December when I see these guys in Las Vegas, I can see myself singing along to the catchy chorus and banging my head to the wailing guitars, can’t wait!
I would imagine ‘Prometheus’ is a crowd favorite as it starts out with a slow build with the lyrics “I don’t need a fire to keep this spark alive/I don’t need the darkness just to see the light.”, it then proceeds to explode in your face as the band proceeds to “rock out” in unison; beating drums by Rob Whited that seem to mimic my accelerated heart beat, guitar riffs by Bobby Lee Parker and Eric Rickey that never leave my memory, rumbling bass by Trevor Hurley that compliment the other instruments almost perfectly, and spine tingling vocals by Eric Koch; I can almost see the veins bulging from his neck as he sings his heart out to the lines “But I’ve got fire!/ I’ve got fire!/I’ve got fire that will burn until the day I die!/Oh Oh Ooooooh Oh Oh Oooh/Oh Oh Ooooooh Oh Oh Oooh”.
These guys are just starting to scrape the surface; which is scary, given how well crafted they already sound. I have a feeling this band is going to be making a lot of “noise” in the rock industry; be ahead of the bandwagon, and go purchase their album today.
Songs You Must Listen To: “A Heartbroken Hymn”, “Prometheus”, “Salt Lake City”, “Muscle Memory”, “Golden Webs”.
This indie folk rock band hails from the mecca of indie music; Portland, Oregon. Yes, they’ve been around for 12 years now but they have yet to receive the recognition they deserve; I think a reason they haven’t exploded onto mainstream is because they play old-fashioned instruments ranging from piano, pedal steel and accordions to a funny gadget wound with a handle. I’m sure die hard indie fans love the fact that they are still considered “indie”, but I never understood why you wouldn’t want a band you like to become popular. Support the cause people! Their studio music sounds clean, smooth and error free; I’m curious to see if they can translate that into their live performances; hope to see them live soon.
Songs You Must Listen To: “Down By The Water”, “Don’t Carry It All”, “Rise To Me”, “O Valencia!”, “E Watson”, “The Infanta”.
This American rock band from Orange County, California originally began as a solo project for Andrew McMahon. Andrew has a gift for writing bright, catchy hooks. You can see his musical influences Bob Dylan and Tom Petty leak through his storytelling ability. The lyrics are more realistic than fluff, which results in a much more relate-able and intimate listening experience. There’s an abundance of lyrics that ring home for me; giving me those moments of “That’s a great lyric to update my Facebook status with!” on several occasions.
Songs You Must Listen To: “Hey, Hey, Hey [We're All Gonna Die]“, “My Racing Thoughts, “Release Me”, “Dark Blue”, “Holiday From Real”, “Bruised”.
Technically not a band, Mat Kearney is American musician now based out of Nashville, Tennessee. With melodies that keep me humming all day long it’s hard not to get addicted to his songs. He is an impressive songwriter with songs that give you an uplifting feeling without inserting illusory fluff. Mat manages to tiptoe the line of having a similar sound on most of his songs but finding unique ways to tweak to it so that they are their own; it’s a thing of beauty!
Songs You Must Download: “Hey Mama”, “Ships In The Night”, “Nothing Left To Lose”, “Breathe In Breathe Out”, “Count On Me”, “Fire & Rain”.
The Chain Gang of 1974:
The Chain Gang of 1974 is a psychedelic/punk/experimental band based out of Denver, Colorado. Frontman Kamtin Mohager is a master at writing catchy hooks. I listen to the Chain Gang a lot when I’m working out as I’ve found their music to provide the type of upbeat melodies I need to maintain a high level of performance (this is the personal trainer in me talking). Their glossy synth pop music is also great for dancing the night away; put their music on at a party, and just watch people subconsciously start bopping their heads and tapping their feet.
Songs You Must Listen To: “Hold On”, “Devil Is A Lady”, “Heartbreakin’ Scream”, “Undercover, “Matter of Time”.
Listen to my favorite tracks from these bands, via Spotify below. Enjoy!