We’re sure everyone is still preparing for PRB or one of the many upcoming festivals, so we’re keeping it short this month. For May’s installment of Hidden Gems of Bandcamp, we’ll be focusing on bands out of the San Francisco/Bay Area. The East Bay (and the Bay in general) has been known for pumping out some of the best punk bands for decades now. 924 Gilman St. is the venue where many of these local bands such as Rancid, Operation Ivy, and Green Day have gotten their start and we’re sure many more will follow in their path. So, here’s five Bay Area bands that we think will be showing up on everyone’s radars soon! Check em’ out below.
The Bad Daddies were mentioned back in 2014, but they hardly got the spotlight they deserve. So we’re breaking the rules and including ’em on the list! We’ve had the pleasure of catching a live performance and were captivated by the lead singer, Camylle, who has an incredible stage presence. Most of the songs are fast and short, though a few of them approach the three minute range. To give a better idea of just how rapid their songs can be, they just recently released their first LP Uh-oh via Emotional Response Records with nineteen songs on Side A and eleven on Side B!
Recommended Track: “How Do You Like Your Coffee?”
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Another act mentioned on the pages of DS before, this quartet was formed in Berkeley in 2012 and is a very well known Gilman St. band that recently appeared on the esteemed venue’s 1986’d Records Comp. Heartless Folk last released a split with hardcore mavens Rats in the Wall but have also recently contributed to a split with fellow East Bay natives, M.F.B. These guys have perfected the old school East Bay sound but in a fresh, new school kind of way.
Recommended Track: “Hemingway’s Last Call”
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When we first saw this band, they were still just a two piece but Dandelion Massacre has came a long way over a short period of time recently opening for The Offspring at a benefit show for 924 Gilman. This (now) quintet first formed in 2009 in Modesto, CA but have since relocated to the capital of the Golden State, Sacramento. The band was also lucky enough to be on Gilman’s 1986’d Records Compilation. Their last release was a split with I Kill Cameron, entitled Gin, Cigarettes, and Summertime Sadness.
Recommended Track: “Free Thinking Is Our Mental Illness”
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Next up is one of our personal favorites (and not just for their awesome name). Of course we love all of our featured bands, but the level of “hardcore” these guys bring to the table is amazing. Lead singer Becca Cunt screams her heart out on the mic, roaming down into the crowd, joining in the chaos of the pit, pushing people around, working the audience into a frenzy. Of all of the bands on this month’s list, this one by far has the most energetic live performances. If loud and fast with astounding female lead vocals is your thing (really though, what more could you ask for?), you’re going to love Nihilist Cunt!
Recommended Track: “Relationships”
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Our next act comes to us from Oakland and labels themselves as “party punk”. That moniker shines through in their entertaining, poppy brand of punk which is somewhat akin to punk rock icons, The Descendents. Despite having an atypical East Bay sound (upbeat music behind melancholy, emotional lyrics), The Love Songs has somehow always fit perfectly into grittier local scene since forming in 2000. Their last album, the cleverly titled Oh, The Places You’ll Go Wrong was released back in December of 2016 and highlights the heartfelt, passion that this foursome has become known for. It’s almost like they have a thing for “love” songs…who would of thought?!?
Recommended Track: “Satan’s Brats (Sample)”
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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.***