Hey, hey! Whaddaya say! It looks like we all made it to the month of May! With 2016 incessantly kicking us in the proverbial nuts, we’ve found ourselves celebrating the mundane things in life more often these days. Simply surviving from month to month has become a noteworthy accomplishment. But regardless of how tough things get, faithful readers, rest assured that we’ll be here to provide new hears for your ears every month for as long as we are drawing breath. So, pop your headphones in, forget about the real world for a few minutes and enjoy these six, slick bands that we’re betting you haven’t heard of in this month’s edition of (to be read in an epic, movie trailer voice) Hidden Gems of Bandcamp below!
Imagine if you will, a likable version of No Doubt, with all of the talent but far less drama. Yeah, we had a hard time visualizing it too. That is until we heard this traditional ska act from Tampa, Florida. If the aforementioned OC, pop punk sensations had stuck to their ska roots, we imagine that this is what they would probably sound like. This six piece is just as skilled in their music composition except, they actually have a proper brass section (what a novel concept for a ska band!). Their debut, seven track album, All Day Every Day which was crowd funded back in 2012 finally just got released earlier this year and we’ll be the first to say that it was worth the wait. The horns are flawless and are only overshadowed by the peerless pipes of lead lady, Stephanie Summerbell. Brilliantly bluesy and soulful, the vocals add depth to the music. As if that wasn’t enough, toss in a really cool, old school organ and you have yourself one mighty fine album!
Recommended Track: “Set Me Free”
Normally, we don’t have an opportunity to highlight bands that are as tenured as these crusty, Carmel, New York natives in our Gems feature. Somehow though, inexplicably this venerable skacore act had never been featured on DyingScene before… until now. This seasoned sextet was formed in 1998 and has an extensive music catalog (all available for Name Your Price) that will have fans of Dead Rejects or Leftover Crack jumping for joy at the back of the food stamp line. Their most recent release is comprised of songs that were floating around in the ether, without a home. The aptly titled Songs Stuck in Purgatory is twenty eight tremendous tracks that were all previously unreleased. In addition to these “new” songs, the boys are back in the studio working on fourteen actual new tracks, so keep an ear to the ground!
Recommended Track: “Nothing Matters”
Astute readers may recognize this burgeoning folk punk troupe from Hastings, UK as they were mentioned a few months back, having contributed to a split album with featured street punkers The Barracks. Their mix of Celtic street punk and traditional folk makes for a unique sound that somehow seems more honest and validated than typical folk punk. The mandolin, banjos, accordions and even the tinwhistle all seem to come together almost organically to create a extraordinary rustic sound. Their debut, four track EP, Beasts in Disguise was released early in 2015 and is the perfect introduction to this one of kind act. They also have a new EP on the horizon entitled Crowley’s Curse which is scheduled to hit later this summer and is available for pre-order over at the ‘Camp.
Recommended Track: “Beasts in Disguise”
Billed as “Four dudes with serious problems, some songs and a bunch of friends” this foursome from Vicenza, Italy seems to have a knack for being candid and relatable. This trait carries over to their music as well. Take for example, their sophomore EP, Struggles released earlier this year. It’s a soundtrack for every day life and common issues we all face, events that unify us all in some sort or another. It’s really a novel idea in this day and age of political and social division. Teetering on the edge of a concept album with melodic harmonies backing the aggressive more violent and passionate lead vocals this six track album covers everyday topics like growing older, dealing with flaky friends and persevering through hard times. It has a pop sound to it but with a harder edge and not quite as angst-y, definitely more mature.Struggles is available for Name Your Price as is their five track, self titled debut EP.
Recommended Track: “Lone”
If Rancid and Bouncing Souls had a baby, then decided they couldn’t afford the child and put it up for adoption where it was subsequently adopted and raised by Comeback Kid, we’re betting it would sound like this fantastic four piece from foggy London Town. Being from the home of street punk, the anthemic, crowd inciting choruses with gritty, hardened lead vocals was expected. Where this quartet excels though is in their ability to also flawlessly integrate other sub-genres creating something far different than just simple street punk. The guitars have a classic Rock & Roll sound to them and the vocals are filled with clean, intricately constructed melodies that feature plenty of skate punk “Whoa-oh’s” and boisterous “Yeahs”. Even more impressive though is the progression these lads have made from their last EP, Black Label which came out three years ago. Everything on this new album is tighter and seems a little more well planned. Go give both a listen and tell us if we’re crazy.
Recommended Track: “Jaws of Life”
You can always tell the bands from Detroit Rock City. There’s a certain edge to them that is reflected in their sound whether it be the lyrics, the vocals or the music. This quintet is a great example, they label themselves as Party Punk but everything about them is grittier, more down to Earth than most frivolous party punk acts. The lyrics are intelligent, the bass riffs are extremely heavy, rumbling over the rolling skate punk drum beats. The vocals are atypical, floating between gritty, emotional screaming and masterful melodies (some of the vocals even have some vibrato to them, bully!). A year after releasing their debut four track EP, Until There’s Nothing Left, these Motown misfits have returned with second EP, Left Over which just came out a few months back. We love bands that refuse to take traditional paths and choose instead to throw curve balls. What PEARS does for Hardcore, Broke does for Party Punk. You can get both EPs (and a single) for a $1 but you can certainly pay more, they are Broke after all.
Recommended Track: “On And On”
**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.