It’s hard to ignore the classics, but it’s worse to overlook the rising stars. Each month, we pick five artists worth lending your ears to. December’s highlights up-and-coming acts changing post-hardcore, hip-hop and experimental.
FEED THE RHINO
NOTES: It’s hard to swallow the fact a band of the screaming variety can stand out in a UK environment that’s dirtied by screamo heavyweights and a litter of new blood but Feed The Rhino are a reminder it can happen. The English quintet come off as a grimier Every Time I Die, constantly crossing the line that separates searing riffs with muscle (think Gallows) from visceral Cali’ post-hardcore designed to carve images into your head (think letlive.). Even hanging from their ceiling, the group’s stripped down version of harsh noise is melodic, changing from rhythmic punch to another until the lights go out.
NOW PLAYING: Mr. Red Eye (2010 – In At The Deep End)
NOTES: Stashed somewhere between a drink and a haze of smoke, Clams Casino (don’t call him Mike Volpe) is a 23-year-old producer with an addiction to the new dimebag of lush hip hop sounds everyone seems to be indulging in. From high school, he messaged various MCs on MySpace. After a few made its way past the “Delete” folder, his beats got snatched up by artists like Lil B and Soulja Boy. Now the experimental student is watching beats be used by ASAP Rocky, releasing tapes on vinyl and remixing chillwave instrumentalists, all in hope of working with the likes of Cam’ron and Lil Wayne while interning at a hospital in New Jersey. Now if only Drake was on that list.
NOW PLAYING: Instrumentals (August 2011 – Independent)
NOTES: Give their debut record about three listens and you won’t be able to not fall for the album’s awkward personality. In a Brand New sense, vocalist Kyle Soto and company don’t try to sugarcoat feelings and churn them into playful pieces of heartfelt glass. What they do is let introspective lyricism hack at your attention, letting a voice that’s as profoundly original as Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull run with a dark concept, staggering through heavier turns (“Black & White”), softer openings (“Honey Bee”) and appealing melodies (“Save Me”) that cannot prevent itself from decorating your late nights.
NOTES: Watching BadBadNotGood conduct a jam session is like watching three elderly jazz/contemporary musicians slowly enter their world of musical noise and lose themselves. Thankfully, it works on more than just one level which can be attributed to the Toronto trio’s ability to force a recording to crossover to their style of hippie-meets-MDMA jazz that utilizes masks reminiscent of The Sound Of Animals Fighting and entices hip-hop collectives like Odd Future and jazz fusion vets like Roy Ayers. In one way or another, the group are like a new fix and undoubtedly should be the face of every new Humber College ad.
NOW PLAYING: BBNG (September 2011 – Independent)
NOTES: Jay Reatard would be proud. Hailing straight out of Florida, Post Teens – a group of basement dwellers that look more prone to sonically fire psychedelia – religiously study the pace of punk rock. Not the boisterous scream in a baby’s face-type of punk but more the boisterous, ripping classic touch originating from the guitars of James Williamson and Pete Shelley that sent men, women and mothers into a frenzy. Not that they’re ripping off originators or anything, Post Teens are anything but – their tracks hold a rare skill and as Alternative Press magazine puts it, “a no-nonsense honesty that’s quite beautiful”.