Coin Under Tongue - For some reason, when I first learned of this band, I got the impression they were some sort of chilled out Americana thing - in fact, I distinctly remember listening to such music, but apparently, I was listening to a different band entirely (no idea what). Coin Under Tongue are LOUD and HEAVY, with the most massive distortion since A Place To Bury Strangers emerged a few years ago. You shouldn't be surprised to learn that I am NOT a metalhead at all, but with their relentlessly screaming vocals, this lumbering post-hardcore is well worth checking out.
Coyote Eyes - I've been increasingly smitten with this band since I first saw them in January. Their post-punk betrays a strong Sonic Youth influence, but they don't sound like Sonic Youth at all. Their perfectly-balanced rhythms, enticing melodies and enthusiastic live shows show they have what it takes to be a big name in the Brooklyn scene. [MySpace]
Pterodactyl - If you read this blog regularly, you'll have noticed that it's pretty much all about Pterodactyl these days. My mother thinks the high-speed arpeggiated guitars sound like French ambulances, but in combination with the jolting rhythms, jackhammer drumming and wild multipart vocals, Pterodactyl are more like riding strapped to the front of a French ambulance than just hearing one go past. Off the top of my head, I can't think of a single band that has balanced mature musicianship and manic, youthful energy more effectively. Their music may not have much mainstream appeal, but among true lovers of edgy music, they deserve to be considered one of the most exciting emerging bands of the last few years. [MySpace]
Sisters - I know, Death By Audio Records (also home to Coin Under Tongue) is cleaning up here! After being moderately impressed by Sisters at Dead Herring House this spring, I got my hands on some of their tunes, and I got a whole lot more excited. The pair garners a lot of not-undue comparisons to No Age, last year's noise pop/noise punk duo. But Sisters are a little more down to earth - their songs are shorter and more straight-forward. On the one hand, this means they are rather less sophisticated than No Age, but on the other hand, they sure pack a punch. They sound a heck of a lot like Sonic Youth's punkiest side and that's a very good thing to sound a heck of lot like. The guitar's heavy distortion and the drums' primal minimalism compensate for the decent-but-unexceptional melodies. Plus, how can you go wrong with songs like "Lust Is Just" and "Everybody's So Fucked Up"? This band is just plain cool. [MySpace]
Jasper recommends (and so far, I agree):
Little Girls - Little Girls sound like Blank Dogs if they came off their high horse of rock star snottiness. (Also, they are a rock band in the purer sense of the word without the synthesizers or electronica influences.) All of the noise, all of the melody, none of the pretension. - "Jasper" || Little Girls play lo-fi noise pop, but with a darker, gloomier undercurrent than their punky peers (No Age, Wavves, Times New Viking, etc.). - RFR || [MySpace]
An update on my early 2009 lists: A Sunny Day in Glasgow's album is rumored to be all I hoped it would be. I don't have my copy yet, but rumors are encouraging.
And as a supplemental list...
The Most Overrated Bands of 2009 (so far):
7. Magik Markers - They aren't terrible, but really, Thurston Moore? You couldn't have found someone better to dote on? I have some suggestions (see above).
6. Home Video - So much buzz, and all this is is generic new wave? I think they're the new Violens (and that's not a compliment).
5. Real Estate - All the hype around this band got me pretty excited. They were playing shows with Woods and Wavves and all of those bands I love so much. I downloaded some of the songs and promptly fell asleep. These guys might have even fewer melodies than the Vivian Girls.
4. An Horse - This is one of the worst bands I have ever had to sit through a set by. Perhaps more tolerable than Naked on the Vague (their fellow Australians) but still nothing short of painful. The melodies seldom contain more than three different notes and the words could be taken directly from the diary of a particularly lame twelve-year-old. I couldn't leave the show (no re-entry) and I think I pulled a muscle cringing.
3. St. Vincent - She makes me want to get my head run over by a semi-truck.
2. Suckers - This band is appropriately named. They suck. All show, no substance.
1. Dirty Projectors - I disliked this band in principle for a long time before realizing I should actually give them a fair chance. So I did. My mind was wide open, at least for a few minutes. They strike a balance between boring and annoying few have achieved so well.