Category Archives: Band of the Week

Band of the Week: The 1975

Band of the week. Back after a short hiatus.

The 1975 have burst onto the world music scene thanks to their catchy single “Chocolate”, but their music seems to go much deeper. First off, despite it’s poppy and wholesome melody, “Chocolate” is cleary about something not wholesome. Check the lyrics. Thankfully, the heavy accent will conceal much of this for their American audience. I can really only make out something about guns hidden under petticoats.

Their new Single, The City, is clearly the more developed, modern, mature sound we should expect from these guys moving forward. I haven’t heard much more from them but these two songs, but from what I can tell, we have a lot of thoughtful, good music to look forward to. How can you be rocking hair cuts like these guys and not have something interesting to offer?

Origin:  Manchester, England, U.K.
Found via: BBC Radio 1, XFM Radio

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Band of the Week: Blood Red Shoes

tumblr_mj7kq1NXev1s5je30o1_12802013 has brought about the increased visibility, to me at least, of several power duos from the U.K., including Drenge (who was BOTW last month) and Blood Red Shoes. American duos like Deap Vally have also hit it big across the pond. BRS have been around for years, but their new album seems to be their breakout moment. Who needs three or four band members? Grab a guitar and a drum set and have at it. The White Stripes may have popularized the minimalist power duo sound, but as usual, the U.K. takes an American concept and quietly morphs it into something slightly more important than they found it (see Rock and Roll).

Blood Red Shoes are playing a show in Boston, at House of Blues, on May 8th with The Joy Formidable.
I have to imagine that their shows are as loud as possible. The two first tracks below warrant turning it to 11.

Origin: Brighton, England, U.K.
Found Via: BBC Radio 1

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Band of the Week: Toto (Yes, that Toto)

Toto_TotoOccasionally I will run out of new bands to talk about. Therefore, on occasion, I will break out old bands that you may have forgotten existed.

Toto did have 5 top 10 singles in the late 70’s and early 80’s, but not many people attribute the hard rocking “Hold the Line” to the same band that produced “Africa”. “Hold the Line” seems to be the peak of their use of distortion pedals. Most of their other works sound like Steely Dan.

Distortion or not, Toto deserves more credit for the sheer musicality of their top three most successful singles:
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Band of the Week – Kasabian

kasabianOrigin: Leicester, England, U.K.

Found Via: FNX Radio (a new defunct over-the-air station in Boston), XFM

I first became aware of Kasabian via their single Club Foot in 2005. It got a fair amount of radio play but I think the main reason it stuck on me was it was included on a promo compilation CD I got for free at some bar event compliments of WFNX (R.I.P.). Since then I can’t say I’ve heard much from Kasabian in the States, but they remain huge in the U.K. and Europe.

Their body of work is great. Their 4th major release was in 2011 with Velociraptor!, which I didn’t much care for, but I’ll forgive them and focus on the other 3 albums. 3 of their albums reached #1 on the UK chart. The other a mere #4.

Kasabian is one of the few bands I actually get excited about when it comes on. They are just sonically weird and dark enough to fit my usual mood and have great song writing to boot.

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Band of the Week: Biffy Clyro

news-biffy-clyroOrigin: Scotland, U.K.
Found via: BCC Radio 1, XFM

Biffy Clyro have a huge sound comprised of big guitar tracks and big choruses. They’ve been around for a decade or more but I don’t believe I’ve ever heard them on any US radio station. They have just released their 6th studio album Opposites, and have released 2 big singles – Black Chandelier & Stingin’ Belle – linked below.

And I just learned their opening up for MUSE on April 12 at TD Garden in Boston. OMG.


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BOTW Honorable Mention: Wolf Alice

BOTW: An effort to bring a new, emerging or otherwise unheard of (in the U.S.) band or artist to your attention each week because, let’s face it, there’s a lot of crap out there.

While its still fresh, I had to post this track. They do not get a full BOTW simply because I’m not yet entirely  familiar with their catalog of music.

Wolf Alice are U.K. based. This breakthrough track is reminiscent of mid 90’s angst rock (see pre-pop Hole). The rest of their tracks sound like The XX, which is fine, but it would be great if more tracks like this appear soon.

Band of the Week: Foals

Foals are not new but they are BOTW because their new album Holy Fire is released (Tuesday) February 12th. This is their third major release album. I have been a fan since their first. Their sound is unique, to say the least. Look up their old stuff on Youtube like Balloons or Mathletics and you’ll see what I mean.

Origin: U.K.
Discovered via: BBC Radio 1
Interesting Fact: They used to play gigs in college dorm rooms at Oxford University.

Here are the first two singles off the new album, which I pre-ordered a long time ago.

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