Springtime is here and Festival Season is in full swing! Over the next few weeks, punks of all flavors will be gathering at weekend long events across North America. Vans Warped Tour, Fest, Pouzza, PRB in multiple cities, Riot Fest, and a ton of incredible smaller local festivalss like Fuck You We Rule OK in Oklahoma and It’s Not Dead down in SoCal all kick off in the near future (or have already happened, La Escalera Fest was insane from what we heard!). One of our favorite things about the festivals is seeing some of the lesser known local bands get to play next to some of the heavyweights of our scene. We’re betting some of the acts featured in April’s Hidden Gems of Bandcamp will show up on a few of the many lineups this Spring and Summer. So check out all five, fantastic selections, below! Then, if you see them at your local fest, you can tell all of your loser friends that you’ve heard ’em before!
There’s always the one exceptionally hard working local band that inexplicably, manages to show up on the card for every show in a forty mile radius. In The City of Angels, that band is Lysolgang. These energetic and gritty pop punks have been experiencing an uptick in popularity lately due to this grinding, blue collar mentality and they show no sign of slowing down. The tremendous trio released their debut EP Bang a few years back and have followed that up with a number of splits and singles as well as a few covers like Rancid’s “Whirlwind” which we thought showcased their chops a little better than the cover of Lil John’s “Get Low”, although the gratuitous auto-tune and ‘skeet skeets’ in the latter were way more amusing. Head over to the ‘Camp and pick up their entire catalog for $3! That’s a dollar for each of them!
Recommended Track: “Hi-V”
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This three year old quartet from Chicago plays a quirky, yet aggressive brand of garage punk with slightly off key harmonies over sloppy rock riffs all at a breakneck tempo. It’s the imperfections and rough edges that really captivated us though. There’s nothing worse than a pop punk act that has a perfectly produced sound. That’s not what it’s supposed to be. Punk rock is supposed to be Fuck You, Idiot. They’re more interested in having fun and providing entertainment to fans than they are trying to polish up their sound and that’s what a good punk act embodies in our opinion. In their first full year as a band, the foursome released their self titled, debut full length, as well as the five track EP, The Winter of Our Diss Content. Most recently, the Illini put together Gac Sessions 2017 featuring a few remastered tracks as well as some previously unreleased songs.
Recommended Track: “Personality Problems”
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Our next act has been upsetting the neighbors with their distinctive brand of clamorous skate punk for about two years now and just recently released their second demo EP. Although they’re one of the youngest bands on this list this month, they are arguably the most advanced in their musicality. The gravelly, dual lead vocals enrich and add more force to the overall tenor and the bass riffs are often the stand out. Add to that, some pretty tidy transitions and the uncanny ability to make an abundance of sound despite only being a three piece and you got a ripper! We would describe it as Get Dead! mixed with Rancid. “Holy shit! That sounds like a stupendous amalgam!” is probably what you’re saying to yourself right now. Well, beloved reader, your instincts are correct! Everything about these Birmingham, UK natives is right. Go download both demos for NYP and annoy your neighbors too!
Recommended Track: “Satellites”
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The Land of 10,000 Lakes has always had a passionate, albeit smaller punk scene. But every time a band escapes the frozen tundra, and reveals themselves to the rest of the world, they are amazing! Babes in Toyland, Off With Their Heads, Banner Pilot, Dillinger Four, all hail from the region. This four piece easycore act (we couldn’t find any good pictures featuring the numero four-o. Sorry, homie!) from MPLS seems to following in those same footsteps. The Dirt Cult Records alum have recently released their sophomore LP The Larger Half of Wisdom a follow up to the 2010’s Gnome and Glacier and it’s a whopper! Thirteen tracks for ‘Name Your Price’! While you’re there, you may as well go ahead and pick up the entire discography, if for nothing else but to get the stellar cover of “Don’t Take My Clone” by Toys that Kill!
Recommended Track: “Right Down Broadway”
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It seems like every month we feature another terrific band from Denver. Why should April be any different? This sextet from The Mile High City fuses a bunch of different genres to create what they call ‘Orwellian Rock for an Un-Wellian World’. A blend of funk, metal, rap as well as ska and punk, their sound changes constantly, transitioning seamlessly between ska, funk, metal rap and punk, sometimes mid-song. The songwriting is thoughtful but humorous, with overt political, anti-establishment themes, sung with gruff, sardonic vocals. But for all of the intellect behind the lyrics, what really stood out to us was the beautiful bluntness of them. Eloquent yet wonderfully curt. The gang just finished recording their fifth EP Loan Shark, which is the final installment of the Animal Farm Chronicles series of albums. When it hits Bandcamp, it will be Name Your Price, just like all the rest! Head over and get acclimated while you wait!
Recommended Track: “Corporations”
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***If you’ve missed any of the gems that we’ve unearthed in prior months, stop kicking yourself! We’ve archived them for you! Check out past month’s editions here. You may now resume kicking yourself.***