With the climate of Nationalism rising across the globe these days, it’s always good to step back, take a deep breath and refocus on the big picture. Remembering that although we may live in different areas of the world and have different cultures and beliefs, there are far more things that we have in common. For us specifically, one of those many things, is music! So, it’s with this in mind, that we forge ahead into February’s Hidden Gems of Bandcamp. This month, in the spirit of Globalism and celebration of the diversity of cultures, we’ve chosen to feature bands from all corners of the Planet (ed: it’s round, you moron. there are no corners), ’cause, the only border we reckanize is the tropopause! Check ’em out, below!
Glarus Süd, Switzerland has a population of fewer than 10,000 people. What are the odds of finding enough interested parties to start an old school street punk band given that number? We don’t know but these lads have done it none the less. This hardcore quartet, who draw influence from iconic, street hardened acts like Krum Bums, Monster Squad and The Casualties, are about three years old but only recently released their debut, six track EP Face Your Fears. Beneath all of the spikes and leather, is a youthful exuberance and perfectly rough edges across the five simple, yet powerful tracks. Go download this awesome debut album for 5 SFr (which is just about $5 USD). See! Our currenct even excahnges at almost the same rate!
Recommended Track: “You’re Not Alone”
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Next up, we head to Dubai, UAE for an incredibly catchy skate/pop act! This trio straddles the line between the two subgenres expertly much like San Diego punks Blink-182 but they have a level of energy that their veteran counterparts have been lacking in recent years. Their two EPs, With Extra Fat! which debuted back in 2014 and Keep It Down, released last Summer both have six angsty but upbeat tracks. The vocals are text book pop punk, with quick fire, witty lyrics that are more akin to Lagwagon than Sum 41. The boys have gained more global popularity of late, appearing in the lineup for the ever growing Punk Rock Holiday (BTW, can we get press passes this year…..and airfare?). We’re glad that this Muslim country isn’t being featured on any other, less desirable lists!
Recommended Track: “Letting Go”
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The term ‘Power Pop’ is bandied about in punk circles without much thought as to what, exactly it is. Well, if you need a point of reference, the sonic definition of the genre is this energetic quartet from Los Angeles. They’re like the Ramones but with more grit and superior musicality (*The previous comment is the opinion of the author and does not represent that of Dyingscene or it’s subsidiaries). The only album available on Bandcamp that we could find was their 2014 EP Better Late Than Never but maybe we can butter the boys up enough that they’ll let us know where they’re hiding their self titled EP and the full length, Year One. Because we’ve been fortunate enough to see these guys perform live and we know what we’re missing. Spill the beans, chaps!
Recommended Track: “Brazen Bets”
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Born on the shores of Wellington, New Zealand in 2011, this ska act proves good things always come in eights (pretty sure that’s an old saying, right?). This awesome octet only has two EPs to their name, their self titled debut and the follow up, Best Revenge but they just released a new “mixtape” entitled Insignificants, featuring a new single as well as a few cover songs (including one from NOFX and another from ska pioneers, The Specials). A constant, throughout all of the albums, are the subtle, strokes of finesse embedded in the music, barely noticeable. The best example we found of this was in the cleverly titled Recommended Track below. If you tune out the soulful, gravelly, loosely harmonized vocals, you can hear it.
Recommended Track: “Monday Mourning”
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Next stop, Brisbane, Australia where we found this garage punk gem who have been melting faces and hearts since 2005. We’re still not certain that garage punk is the best classifier, with it’s more structured, classic rock sound, but we’re lazy and went with the tag on Bandcamp. There’s an air of maturity about them that would be atypical of a garage act also. Not mature as in aged, more in a ‘measured’ kind of way. The precision of the dual guitars, melodically riffing off of one another really demonstrates this point. Although they’ve been around for about eight years now, they don’t have an extensive catalog (one full length and a handful of EPs and 7 inches) but it seems these Aussies prefer quality over quantity, as all offerings are exceptional. They also win the award for best email account name with email@example.com. Drop ’em a line!
Recommended Track: “Touch of the Shorts”
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Keil, Germany is home to our next act which also happens to be the greenest band on this month’s list. However, being new doesn’t equate to lacking talent, in this case. From what we could glean from their two track demo which was released last year (available for about $2), these guys have everything it takes to be a success. Somewhere between skate and melodic hardcore, the quintet mixes in abrupt, tidy transitions with choruses tailor made for crowd chanting. The content is topical and the songs themselves are very well composed, almost like they were German engineered…wait… If the translation feature on Facebook is to be trusted and you live in the area, they boys are looking for a new bassist, so head on over and drop off a CV!
Recommended Track: “Walk The Old Way”
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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.***