November’s Hidden Gems of Bandcamp

John Player Specials

Howdy gang! Now that Autumn is in full swing and the nights have cooled down and started infringing on the waning hours of the once warm and sunny afternoons, there’s only one thing we can think of to cure the ever present depression caused by a lack of Vitamin D. Some good ol’ fashioned Vitamin P…..for punk. C’mon guys, keep up. So, to show our thanks to our venerated readers in this, the  season of showing gratitude, we have spent endless hours rifling through hundreds of bands over at Bandcamp and have once again discovered a multitude of superb bands that we’re betting you haven’t heard of. We’ve got it all this month! We’ve got new, up and comers, we have lesser known veteran acts from home and abroad, we have Hardcore, we have Crust, we have Mariachi! Wait….what? You’ll just have to read to see! Check out the seven best November finds from Bandcamp below!

 

1.Hysterese

This hardcore garage quartet from Tübingen, Germany had our Research Department working overtime. There’s very little information to be found about them online and what little we could find was in German and while language translation websites can get you in the ballpark, we just couldn’t get coherent enough results to glean anything from. We here at Dying Scene sometimes think, the more mysterious a band the better though. These guys are a shining example. Luckily, you don’t need to know much about them to enjoy the music. They are relentlessly loud, raw, fast, and abrasive. All of the best traits of a hardcore act!  The vocals are an incredible mix of female and male lead, sometimes overlapping one another, singing different lyrics. Garage punk is normally a little less composed than found with these dynamic deutschlanders. The typical, hollow, unfinished garage sound is there, but the level of execution is well beyond some contemporaries. We’re guessing that the members have come form other bands because Hysterese has only been around for about three years, but who really knows?!? Certainly not Google! In those three short years they have released two full length LPs along with a four track demo, all available for download, all supremely good.

Recommended Track – “Nothing”

 

2.John Player Specials

Time for some brass, bitches! Hailing from Manchester, UK, this septet mixes reggae and punk in a more unique way than traditional ska acts, almost on a more fundamental level. Different than just being an amalgam of the two genres, it’s almost like the two are just mashed together. If  ska is the offspring of reggae and punk, John Player Specials would be the sweaty coitus that inseminated the embryo. We found ourselves comparing them to Sublime and on more than one occasion had visions of Bradley Nowell dancing through our head as it bobbed to the impassioned vocals of lead man Jordgwan, son of Gwandor (did we also mention that they have dope names?). The music is impeccably performed from front to back with lyrics that have weight to them. This isn’t a fluffy, feel good skankin’ type of band although they have their fair share of fast, upbeat songs. They’ve been in the scene since 2007 but only just released their debut album earlier this month, fittingly titled ‘Bout Time. It was well worth the wait. Go pick it up. Seriously. Do it.

Recommended Track – “Wilsonator”

 

3.Los Ramones

*Told ya! If you have no sense of humor, first off you’re probably in the wrong place, but more importantly, you can just skip ahead. There’s nothing for you here. For the rest of those higher level beings that can appreciate a great thing when they hear it (mi gente!), we present to you, Los Ramones. Only a red headed step child of a punk scene like Richmond, Virginia could create something so splendidly sarcastic and indignant. Everything about the Ramones has been pulled apart and re-hecho’d en Mexico. Once familiar songs have been brilliantly bastardized both lyrically and linguistically, stumbling, satirically between poor Ingles and equally poor Spanish grammar. Song titles like  “Now Yo Quiero Go Sniff Some Glue” and “Judy Es Una Puta” prove that these awesome hombres aren’t just looking to be a simple tribute band, they’re out to have a good time, play fun music and they don’t give a shit about what people say or think. Does it get more punk than that? Their debut LP ¡Oye Vamos! was just released and since we know all of the squares left earlier in this segment, we’re betting those that stuck around will get a kick out of these galáns, Ramones fans and non-fans alike. UNO! DOS! THREE! FOUR!

Recommended Track – “Relámpago”

 

4.Nanashi

Has anyone else noticed the quiet influx of stellar bands hailing from the Minneapolis area lately? Well, it’s time to add another to the growing list. This post hardcore act just released their debut EP, ナナシ  (Japanese for Nanshi, which we think is some sort of anime reference?) a few weeks back as a follow up to their debut single Feeble, which debuted earlier in the year. This frenetic fivesome excels where other emerging acts come up short. The precision in which the music is executed is what sets these boys apart. Not only that, but the level of difficulty as well. Quality is one thing, but when the tough-o-meter is dialed up to ten and that level of quality doesn’t dip, that’s quite another thing. The transitions are crisp, with no hesitance at all. The vocals are oozing with angst and are aggressive as expected, but they also show a good range to avoid being just incessant screaming (are we the only ones that worry for these guys vocal chords?). The dual guitars masterfully played by Tyler Filler and Andrew Pitera though, that’s the the real jewel here. In parts they have an ethereal, wailing sound that feels like it doesn’t belong at first but sounds like a perfect fit after you actually hear it and let it sink in a little. If you want to hear it for yourself, head over and pick the five song album for a buck!

Recommended Track – “Denial”

 

5.Hero Society

Previously named Life Finds a Way, this quartet from Charm City just released their expertly titled debut EP, Drinkin’ Mash, Talkin’ Trash last month and in celebration of their first birthday, it’s available for Name Your Price! While the four track album is pretty rough around the edges, there’s a immense amount of variety both in the vocals as well as the music composition. The vocals are a slightly unorthodox mix of upbeat, snotty pop and more gravelly, post hardcore screamo, while their overall sound is a little more consistent, it also ebbs and flows between genres. A song may start with 90’s skate punk beats and basic three chord guitar riffs but by the end of the track you end up with darker, distortion riddled hardcore metal guitars and almost a death metal sound. In a world where most bands have already found their sound and are resigned to staying in their box, it’s refreshing to see a band that is confident enough to mix it up as much as these young’uns do. Perhaps it’s just because they are so young and still in the process of finding their sound, but we really hope not, because it’s been awhile since we’ve featured a band with this much diversity in sound. We are uber-excited to see how these boys progress!

Recommended Track – “Jurassic Pants”

 

6.Homesick Abortions

Hardcore crust at it’s finest! These veteran vagrants have been roaming the gutters and urine soaked alleys of Los Angeles since 2003. While they haven’t released an album of late, we had the pleasure of seeing them live recently and we can attest that they can still thrash with the best of ’em. One of our favorite things about this quartet that also really highlights the talent level are the lead vocals. Most notable, is the fact that there isn’t a lead vocalist, instead, every member contributes as lead at some point or another. One would think that this fluidity would cause some disjointedness, it doesn’t. They maintain their structure and style regardless of who is on mic. The sound is exactly what you would expect from a thrash crust band. It’s hard, caustic, unrelenting, basically a tonal middle finger. The lyrics are simple and angry, serving as an exhortation of societal ills and tyrannical government. They match the emotion and animosity of the music perfectly and only enhance the gritty, contentious nature of the overall sound. If you’re in the mood for something dark and dirty, they have a couple LPs available for download as well as a 7″ split with fellow LA based hardcore crust act Death March. We also heard that the gang is back in the studio, so make sure to be on the look out!

Recommended Track – “Security Breach”

 

7.The Good the Bad and the Zugly

When searching for bands to feature every month, we run across tons of different, quirky sub-genre names. But when we saw “Scandi-Rock” we were intrigued. Good thing too, because this quintet from Oslo, Norway might just be the find of the month! So, what is Scandi-Rock? It’s basically melodic hardcore with a little more metal influence but the short answer is: it’s sensational. Founded in 2011 these lads already have a few albums to their credit, but only just recently released one on Bandcamp. The thirteen track LP titled Hadeland Hardcore was released back in July and is already on at least one of our Staffer’s list of contenders for Album of the Year. There are a ton of things to love this LP for. If it’s not the immaculate guitar riffs that squeal as the whammy bar gets hammered into submission, it’s the vocals that are brutal and uncompromising, assaulting your ears at times but still maintaining composure throughout. IF those aren’t your thing, there’s cheeky lyrics that still manage deliver a message and, our personal favorite, magnificent choruses for screaming back at your PC monitor! It’s easy to see why there’s so much hype here. These boys seem to have a good time too. Their Facebook photo gallery is full of drunken escapades the best of which were definitely the Barbie doll orgy pics. Brilliant. The guys probably summed themselves up best in their description of the new album “Excellent as the soundtrack to bad moral decisions in the evenings, and as consolation the next day”. This band is the cure for what ails you, no matter the time or circumstance.

Recommended Track – “Way Out West”


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