They say music is the best way to unwind after a day’s hard work. Whether you prefer Ludwig van Beethoven or Lynyrd Skynyrd, there is a tune out there for every soul and every mood. Often we have that one artist that we follow diligently and try to find others with a similar sound. But most of us have a limited search radius that doesn’t go beyond mainstream music. More often than not the indie and local scenes can afford us much more and sometimes much better entertainment.
Here are some bands that have the potential to make it to the main stream but haven’t had the opportunity to. Conversely, some make it a point to stay indie to escape the pressures of delivering for a commercial record label just for the sake of churning out EP’s, LP’s, and singles. From the world of indie and underground music here are some of the gems that you MUST have on your playlist.
1. NEEDMORE: Formed in the year 2007, this band from Dayton, Ohio (USA) is a strong contender for an impending mainstream exposure. Having already topped MTV OurStage’s Rock charts,
NEEDMORE has also composed music for a few commercials and worked with producers Jeff Juliano (John Mayer, Train, Lifehouse, DMB), Dave McNair (Sara Barielles, OAR, Flyleaf), and Tony Alany on their newest single “Lost My Way”. Impeccable production values, sleek sound and that one hidden ingredient you really can’t point out makes this band a truly enigmatic act. Lead vocalist, guitarist and pianist Garett McArthur has a captivating voice that works well with the band’s overall musical style. Their song “Late Night Drive” is a must-hear for anyone looking to judge their musical prowess, although “Lost My Way” is a good candidate too.
2. Fools For Rowan: They have a smashing female vocalist, a rocking female lead guitarist and freaking awesome line-up of musicians. What more do you look for in a great rock band? FFR, from Nashville, Tennessee (USA) came up with their first full album “Twisted. Tied Up. Tangled.” in November 2009. It included the hit single “Dead” which happens to have a great video to go along with the equally great music. Comprising of five members, FFR recently opened for Evanescence in Nashville’s War Memorial Auditorium. The lead vocalist, Erin Mullins, has a vast vocal range. According to the band’s website, “She brings her brand of “Lipstick Rock” to the group…a style of “male oriented rock” from a woman’s point of view. It’s a touch of Nickelback and Kings of Leon…but also reminiscent of such female led acts as Paramore, Heart, Pink and Pat Benatar.”
3. Cynical Recess: Well, these guys aren’t completely unheard of, but they still deserve a place here. Why, you ask? Because a powerful musical act like that should not be passed on without a mention! This six-piece progressive glam rock/ metal band from Kolkata (India) has won various accolades in the past three years, including performances at I-Rock, Hornbill National Rock Fest, RSJ Pub Rock Fest and Unseen Underground Pub Rock Fest, among others. Lead vocalist Abhishek has the kind of voice that brings to mind the likes of Gene Simmons (KISS) and Steven Tyler (Aerosmith). The guitars and the drums strike just the right balance required to bring the best qualities of their music to the fore. “Move On”, “Chains”, “Goodbye Sunday”___ take your pick, ‘cause this band has got no dearth of good songs.
4. Damian Cullen Band: “The new Finnish [sic] based Damian Cullen Band stinks of angst & attitude, contains more glamour than any top shelf dirty magazine and is armed with what can only be described as classic rock anthems that bite deep into the bone. Damian Cullen Band is Jim Morrison, Johnny Rotten & Glen Danzig in a melting pot.” That’s what you’ll find on the profile page of the band. In short, DCB has a sound that is sometimes similar to their fellow countrymen The 69 Eyes but they still manage to maintain their own identity. Goth, glam, classic, punk___ DCB is all this and even more.
5. Requinox: With a style that spans the Rock/Heavy Rock/Metal genres, this tenacious band from Oslo (Norway) is quite a handful. What I like about them is their weird choice of song names. Sample these: “Jackie the Stripper”, “Mr. Maniac Murderer”. Heavily reliant on powerful guitar riffs and drums, their music has the pick-me-up effect you need when you feel like pounding the next person to dirt. Although you may end up pounding them anyway, but with Requinox’s music as a fitting background score! Jokes apart, if you are the kind to like your music raw and rough ‘round the edges, Requinox is your band.
6. Cure for Caska: Mixing classical instruments like upright bass, cello and violin with pop/modern rock, CFC have come up with a sound that appeals instantly to all your senses. The lyrics, combined with Matthew Hayes’s soft voice carry you to a happy place. This quintet from Orlando, Florida (USA) has already found a place on several local charts and radio stations. The song “13 Hours, 3 State Lines (Give Rosette Away)” from their new album “Wait and Hope” is an excellent representation of what this band stands for. Go check them out if you are in need of a musical fix.
Note: All pictures used above are the properties of the respective artists. I do not claim any right to the same.