We’re keeping our intro short and sweet because we have got some certified rippers to introduce you to in this month’s Hidden Gems of Bandcamp. Other than Festival season starting up, there’s not really much to talk about anyway (although the lineups for the club shows for this year’s PRB Vegas are looking rather nice)! Speaking of which, our selections this month may just be the best, all around lineup we’ve ever put together! So, without further delay, check out these six stunning bands, below!
The tiny town of Herzogenbuchsee, Switzerland probably doesn’t have too many authentic, old school, skate punk acts, but the one we know of is incredible! Often times we come across bands from abroad that have adopted that distinctive sound, but this trio was born into it (did anyone else read that in Bane’s voice?), forming in 1992 alongside some of the legends of the genre. Their most recent EP Devil in Disguise was released in late 2016 as a follow up to 2014’s ten track LP, P.R.N.D. While those are the only albums we could find over at the ‘Camp, we’re sure there’s more out there from the twenty or so years prior. Go download both (less than $5!) and maybe it will persuade them to upload the rest of their catalog. We know you have it, ya geezers! Give it up!
Recommended Track: “Up and Down”
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Next stop: The sunny shores of Huntington Beach, California where we found this fantastic foursome. While they are unabashedly a hardcore act, there’s more melody and they’re more structured than most of their contemporaries. If some of the faces look familiar, great eye! Leftover Crack‘s Brad Logan and Donny “Skillets” Morris play guitar and drums, respectively. Add to that talent, bass by Mike Westcoe and perfectly piercing vocals of front woman Eva Genie and and you got yourself a surefire winner! Their entire catalog (2012’s debut LP Dead End along with two EPs, including their newest endeavor, Estos Dias) is high quality but more importantly, all of the albums show off the exceptional level of skill that keeps them from falling into the mundane, repetitive pitfalls of the genre.
Recommended Track: “Phases”
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Waukegan, Illinois is home to quite a few up and coming punk acts. Our next band is surely one of those! This skacore quartet boasts excellent lead vocals that run the gamut, from seductive and melodic to destructive and chaotic (eat your heart out Busta’ Rhymes)! Even more intriguing though are the backing vocals which dart in and out abruptly, adding another layer of complexity. Laying just below that, are classic (albeit triple time) ska riffs, with rumbling bass and squealing guitars. The lyrics are topical and often political, but almost always antagonistic and derisive. The band just wrapped up a Spring Tour through the Southeast but if you missed them this go ’round, keep an eye on their Facebook because we’re sure they won’t be planted for too long (Get it? Planted? Eh?).
Recommended Track: “Sweeteater”
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We’re sure you’re sick of hearing us say it but, got damn! That scene in Denver is ‘Marianas Trench’ deep with talent. This ska octet hailing form the Mile High City keeps the trend going (maybe number seven is the photog for the above picture? Probably the basser. No one wants to see that) with loud, pulsing guitars, exceptionally brassy(?) horns and frantically passionate lead vocals. Even more impressive than all of that though, is the drumming of Caleb Williams which often stands out, with impeccable transitions and timely little fills that add just the right amount of flair. The lyrics tackle social issues but in a more soft handed approach than the previous featured artist. The best example would be our recommended track below from their newest album, the five track EP Know Their Parts which was released early last year.
Recommended Track: “…Or Else The Terrorists Win”
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“Classic three piece skate punk from Simi Valley, California” just sounds right, dunnit? Even though they’re relatively new to the scene, these guys have already mastered the sound of their SoCal hometown. They remind us of an early NOFX with the lead singer/bass player Michael Bova playing the role of Fat Mike to a tee. The lyrics are well crafted, humorous and witty. While this young act draws plenty of inspiration from their fatty forefather, nothing sounds like a knock off or a juvenile version of their veteran counterparts. Their debut full length Laughs and Other Vices was released about one year ago and is available for ‘Name Your Price’. We would highly recommend you give it a try because it has a ton of variety, with almost every track showing a different skill set. That equates to an enormously high replay value!
Recommended Track: “The Takeover”
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When an article begins with a band called Little Toes, it would be downright irresponsible not to end it with a band named Severed Fingers. This bluegrassy folk punk act from Durham, North Carolina has a sound that perfectly encapsulates the blue collar work ethic that Tobacco Road is known for. The voice of lead man Jesse Boutchyard is soulful and earthy, singing songs of protest and unity. The music composition is as rustic as it is rudimentary, but it’s also visceral and familiar, comfortingly so. Although the trio are part of a notoriously unrefined genre, they seem much more collected and polished than most folk acts. Their debut, six track EP Trust No One was released in late 2015 but we couldn’t really find much outside of that. According to their Facebook page though, they’re getting back into he studio soon, so keep your eyes peeled!
Recommended Track: “Blasphemer”
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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.***