[Every year, new artists break out and play sold-out gigs, capture the hearts of mainstream critics and even watch their own little clan of die-hard groupies flower. The past 12 months constructed a major year for a few aspiring acts and with 2011 right around the corner, here are our picks for musicians to get psyched about.]
Hometown: Welwyn Garden City, England
Details: Produced by Butch Vig, 2008’s All For Nothing was a riff-inflicted ruckus. Their upcoming third attempt may be drowned in maturity, but here’s hoping it drips with more angst, youthful howls and bombarding bass lines.
Young The Giant
Hometown: Newport Beach, California
Details: If lovestruck radio jams only conjure from the overrated, then Young The Giant’s infectious quality, ticking off Kings Of Leon and The Killers comparisons, may be a sweet surprise while tuned in to your local DJ.
The Dirty Nil
Hometown: Hamilton, Ontario
Details: Canadian-bred, the trio push hard, shoving the next-door-neighbor-high-school-garage-band feel down the throats of major cities and small towns while shedding grunge-tinged pop rock melodies full of likable qualities.
Hometown: Purchase, New York
Details: Over an addictive arsenal of post-rock rhythms, guitarist Greg Dunn does his best Jesse Lacey impression, clashing hooks with heartfelt lines and alternative rock a la 2003, shaping up a highly anticipated major label LP.
Hometown: Ballarat, Australia
Details: Aussies don’t forgive when it comes to causing a destructive mess of a party (see Corey Delaney) and the sextet don’t regret mixing dual vocalists and a bevy of influences to give birth to a three-headed garage punk creature.
Cage The Elephant
Hometown: Bowling Green, Kentucky
Details: The on-stage self destruct mode adds to it, but the progression of the rock quintet, grasping southern blues and a disturbed 90s’ voice, unmasks them as this generation’s Chili Peppers (without the tube socks).
Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia
Details: Overlook the scene name being used and there’s an experimental jazz butterfly lost in a world of pop, indie rock and soul, dying to break out, charm and entice with a sense of pure originality unearthed from the West Coast.
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Details: America’s best kept secret served us a shot of emotion with their 2009 release and Simple Math may just decapitate our senses. Says poet Andy Hull, “The last album was a step up and this one is a whole staircase”.
Hometown: Fayetteville, North Carolina
Details: He accepted the invite from Jay-Z and Roc Nation’s young blood has been dropping addictive verses, selling out highly-praised entertainment venues (i.e. Toronto’s Sound Academy) festival headliners can barely fill.
The Devil Wears Prada
Hometown: Dayton, Ohio
Details: Amidst zombie apocalypses, an improvement in sound and an Extended Play Of The Year award, the metalcore group are fueling an appetite in fans, making the wait for a conceptual new disc that much more unsettling.
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