Thursday, 21 May 2020

Top Tens: Colin's Top Ten Band He's Discovered In Lockdown

Being in Lockdown has sucked. We can’t see our friends and families. We can’t go to gigs. We can’t do any of the things we love. It has provided us with plenty more free time to do other things though. I’ve enjoyed having more time to listen to our ever expanding record collection and I’ve started playing Football Manager again. I’ve also found the time to release a 155 track compilation raising money for Music Venue Trust that you should check out here. And I’ve also had loads of time to discover new bands. Here’s a top ten of bands that I’ve discovered so far.

I discovered Articles thanks to The Fest 19 playlist. The Gainesville Florida based trio play that typical Fest sound – raspy vocals, great melodies and catchy hooks. In March, Articles released a new two track single named Smoking Section / Pool Party that absolutely rips. FFO The Lawrence Arms, Ann Beretta, Smoke Or Fire.

Finnish punk rockers Custody were one of the highlights of the first Boatless Booze Cruise live stream festival for me. I think I was drawn to them as they played full band rather than acoustic like the majority of the acts. Melodic gruff punk of the highest order is what Custody do. Writing and performing songs that have you aching to throw your fists high and sing along. Check out their recently released second album on Brassneck Records now! FFO Leatherface, Hot Water Music, The Run Up.

Fail Sons
Washington D.C. punks Fail Sons were a recent Bandcamp discovery. It is still the best place to find new and exciting punk bands, especially if you can’t get to a gig. Focussing more on the fast paced pop punk side of things but never shying away from throwing in a guitar solo, Fail Sons are one of the most exciting bands in the genre I’ve discovered in some time. FFO Pinhead Gunpowder, Teenage Bottlerocket, Zatopeks.

Fine And Great
This wasn’t so much a discovery but I was told about them during the lockdown so I think they still count. Fine And Great consist of Manu of Captain Asshole (the person who told me about them), Tooney from Call It A Wasteland and Hannes from Kick Back. Fine And Great play emo pop punk and feature fantastic dual vocals from Manu and Tooney. This band are so new that they’re yet to play their first show, other than a live stream at Boatless Booze Cruise last weekend.

Grey Matter
Bad Time Records have earned a reputation for releasing quality ska punk music. When new UK distro Pookout Records got some new stock from Bad Time Records in, I took a punt on Grey Matter and was not disappointed. The Michigan based band take everything you think you know about ska punk and add so many other influences. In a genre that sometimes gets tarred as “all songs sound the same”, it’s great to see a band that proves that that’s really not the case. FFO experimental ska punk.

Kids On Fire
Much like Bad Time Records, Seattle’s Tiny Dragon Music have a reputation for only releasing quality punk rock. During the lockdown, the label had a big sale so I bought Chosen Family by Burn Burn Burn from them. I also decided to take a chance on an album named Songs In The Key Of Bummer by a band I hadn’t heard of called Kids On Fire. This turned out to be a fantastic decision as Kids On Fire are awesome. They play fast paced indie punk rock with fantastic vocals and plenty of opportunity for singing along and having a lot of fun. FFO The Loved Ones, Forever Unclean, The Drowns.

New Yorkers Postage are another band that I discovered because they are playing The Fest. Featuring Mike Moak from After The Fall, you might expect this quartet to be more of a hardcore sound. That, however, is not the case. Playing a mid-tempo pop punk with an edge, on my very first listen I knew this was a band for me. I don’t know how often they get out and play shows due to Mike’s After The Fall commitments so I’m going to make sure I take the opportunity to see them at Fest. FFO ALL, The Mr T Experience, Night Surf.

Stuck Out Here
Stuck Out Here are a four piece band from Canada. In their own words, Stuck Out Here play “party angst anthems” which I think is a perfectly accurate description. Like Postage, this is mid-tempo pop punk that will get you singing along with all the passion. Their 2019 release, Until We’re Each Someone Else, is packed with great moments and I implore you to check it out. FFO The Menzingers, Signals Midwest, The Penske File.

Swayze are another band from Canada, a country that produces a crazy amount of brilliant punk rock music. One of the biggest kept secrets on this list, I was very surprised to see that they don’t have much of an online following. Their latest EP, St Angry (which you can expect to see a full review for on CPRW in the near future), is packed with high tempo punk rock with big gang vocals and fantastic harmonies. This is a band who seem to write songs with my tastes in mind. FFO Lagwagon, Captain Asshole, MakeWar.

Wiretap Records have become one of my favourite record labels over the past few years. They release so many great records from bands of a variety of different punk genres. In Virginity they have another brilliant band on their hands. The three piece from Daytona Beach, Florida, are just about to release their new EP Death To The Party on June 5th and looks set to explode among fans of emo/pop punk music. FFO Expert Timing, Dikembe, Modern Baseball.

This top ten was written by Colin Clark.

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