3 Awesome Rock Bands to Amp Up Your Playlist
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
These three groups could be the next Nirvana.
By Seth Ferranti
It’s been a long time since Nirvana blasted to stardom on the heels of “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” and their album Nevermind brought alternative and grunge to the forefront of the rock world. But since? There hasn’t really been a big rock band that screams superstar. Here are three new bands that are making some serious noise on the rock scene with their latest albums. One of these just might be the next big thing. (I’m partial to Plague Vendor, personally.)
Like sonic assaults? This is your band. Plague Vendor rocks and grooves, but with a punk rock vibe. Their new album, Bloodsweat (2016), is equal parts fury and finesse, combining ’80s New Wave and a ’90s rock sensibility — a cross between Depeche Mode and AC/DC. Check out the Strokes-like “Jezebel” and “Ox Blood,” which oozes Jack White and, dare I say, Iggy Pop. The Whittier, California-based band, which formed in 2009, played all over Southern California honing their sound and stage presence before releasing their debut album, Free to Eat, in 2014. The four-man band has dubbed their aggressive, pulsating and dance-inducing music “voodoo punk” — an outlaw recklessness epitomized by vocalist Brandon Blaine’s unearthly howl. Plague Vendor is touring the U.S. in September and October.
This Sheffield, South Yorkshire, rock band has evolved from their early deathcore roots, adopting a more mainstream but still eclectic style on their fourth album. Sempiternal (2013) brings a unique brand of heaviness, but with almost a pop-opera twist. “Can You Feel My Heart,” the first single off the album, is a piercing scream to humanity — a star-crossed metalcore melody of extreme highs and lows emphasizing keyboards and reflecting a recent lineup change (guitarist Jona Weinhofen left and keyboardist Jordan Fish joined). Vocalist Oliver Sykes, guitarist Lee Malia and drummer Matt Nicholls formed the band in 2004 when they were 15 to 17 years old. Their music is bombastic, a ground-shattering wail, but sweet and melodic at the same time. The band’s name comes from a Pirates of the Caribbean movie in which Jack Sparrow says, “Now bring me the horizon.”
A Day to Remember’s sound runs the gamut from blistering punk to pop-punk to metalcore, layering the best of each over a foundation of rock ’n’ roll. Formed in 2004, the Ocala, Florida, five-man band wrote the music for Bad Vibrations (2016) in a cabin at Horsetooth Reservoir, near Fort Collins, Colorado. It was their first time coming together as a group to write songs since their sophomore effort, For Those Who Have the Heart (2007). A Day to Remember is punk rock, but so much more. The frenetic guitar on the first single, “Bad Vibrations,” sets a furious pace, and lead singer Jeremy McKinnon sees the band getting back to their roots. They’re currently on tour until October 19 — catch them at festivals and clubs in the U.S. and Canada.
- Seth Ferranti Contact Seth Ferranti