Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Five: 5 More North Carolina Bands You Should Hear Right Now

We goodnaturedly went back and forth with the guys at Earfarm for a couple of days about their choices for the top North Carolina bands you should hear right now. The basic criteria seemed to be bands generally ignored in the popular indie rock press (i.e. not featured in Spin or on semi-huge national indie rock tours). In our opinion, there were some pretty glaring omissions.

And there are a few more glaring omissions off our list. This opportunity coincided nicely with a new Friday list feature we wanted to start, called the Friday Five.

So here's 5 more North Carolina bands you should hear right now...

5. The Never

The Never: "Cavity"

Good friends and part of the Trekky family with Lost in the Trees, their pure chamber pop-rock and fanciful art is sensational. Think Mae, The Beatles and Tim Burton.

4. Nathan Oliver

Nathan Oliver: "Icicles For Fingers"

Composed of Nathan White and his merry band of roving pranksters, alt-grunge beats meets folk with an electric twist. Their newest is
Cloud Animals and it's a gem. I'll get a review up one day, I swear.

3. Dylan Gilbert

Dylan Gilbert: "No Mystery"

Earnest solo indie rock full of experimentation and introspection from somewhere other than the Triangle. Dylan once told me he wrote over 100 songs for his last album, The Quiet Life. He picked 14 great ones. Similar to Bright Eyes with a Ryan Adams kick. He probably hates those comparisons.

2. I Was Totally Destroying It

I Was Totally Destroying It: "The Witch Riding Your Back"

Now come the serious contenders. Great pop punk rock, that goes beyond silly Alternative Press cliches. "To Nomenclature" and "Done Waiting" are so hook-laden and catchy the band might as well mount me on the wall, because I'm caught up with their bouncy effortless rhythms. It's made me respect pop again. And
Horror Vaccui promises to bring more of the same greatness.

1. Red Collar

Red Collar: "Pilgrim"

I guess after the comments over at EarFarm, this isn't totally unexpected. I've been a huge fan since their EP got pressed in my hands--a blend of Bruce Springsteen and Fugazi and The Hold Steady with poignant working-class reflection. There is no skippable material on Pilgrim, just when you think they've topped out with "Communter," "Tools" and "Rust Belt Heart" in the middle here comes "Hands Up" and "Used Guitars." If you've never been inspired by a rock and roll show, then you've never been to see Red Collar. They've caught lightning in a bottle with
Pilgrim--its a captivating and danceable and an ultimately hopeful mix of nostalgia and the American dream. Dare I say a modern classic? I will gladly dare.

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