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Thursday Discussion: Top 10 Underrated Bands

Posted by: Jason Tate (02/23/12)
I've started looking forward to getting to post a "Thursday Discussion" topic each week. I wake up and try and get through all the news posting stories I can before mid-day. I then ignore emails for a little while just so I can write-up this post. I think that the discussions over the past few weeks have been great. This week I got an idea as I was posting about The Damnwells - I made an off the cuff remark about the band being so underrated that it hurt - and that's when it hit me. So, this week I've got it in my head to do a "most under-appreciated" bands column.

Basically, I went through my music collection and picked out 10 bands that I think are criminally under-rated. Maybe they just never caught on in the mainstream like I think they should have. Or maybe they're one of those bands that I post about and expect the thread to have a hundred comments and it ends up with only 15 or so. Whatever the case may be - I think all these guys need a closer look. I did my best to try and avoid a lot of current bands -- maybe that will be a future article. Would love to hear your picks in the replies ... I feel like these are the kind of topics that always lead to me finding out about a gem of a band. And if you've been sleeping on one of these bands -- stop it! Check um out.

Here's my list ...

1) Over It
NoteI can think back to the time when I sincerely thought Over It had a shot to blow up like Yellowcard. Silverstrand was one of those pop-punk albums that I fully expected to dominate summers. They picked up a pretty good following over the years, and it seems more people talk about them now that they have broken up than I remember ever before. When I think back about some of my favorite pop-punk memories, I can't not include this band. Some of my favorite shows, my favorite nights, and one of the best summer albums I own.

Listen: Rdio - Spotify

2) Lucky Boys Confusion
NoteCommitment should have been fucking huge. Some of the most ridiculously catchy melodies you'll hear. I put the album on a few days ago - and I was surprised just how well it held up. I was tapping my foot and singing along. I haven't heard a band try something in that vein in a while -- and while other bands in Chicago were blowing up, I am dumbfounded that these guys didn't get bigger.

Listen: Rdio - Spotify

3) Junction 18
NoteAt one point I was spinning these guys daily with my New Found Glory and Unsung Zero albums. They sort of faded away without much fan-fare -- and it's only every once in a while that I see anyone ever mention them these days.

Listen: Rdio - Spotify

4) Spitalfield
NoteThere's a part of me that is still bitter that this band never caught the break I think they deserved. Great melodic tunes that always reminded me of a more rock-tinged Jimmy Eat World. I don't think they ever released a bad album.

Listen: Rdio - Spotify

5) The Travoltas

NoteThese guys were like The Beach Boys with a slightly more alternative edge. They have always been one of those bands I can toss on with any group of friends and someone will ask me who is playing. Someone will end up texting me a few days later and asking for a reminder so they can go look for the album. Without fail. So why the fuck do I always feel like I'm the only one that knows who they are?

Listen: Rdio - Spotify

6) The Living End
NoteOne of my all time favorite bands that just never seemed to pick up here in the states. I've tried. I've tried so hard to get people into this band. Sure, they've got a pretty decent fanbase - but I had Green Day size in my mind. Their debut album is one of those albums I'll forever consider classic.
Listen: Rdio - Spotify

7) Bodyjar

NoteWhile we're on the topic of Aussie bands, I'm tossing Bodyjar on here as well. Super constant catalog. Great songs. No love. I feel like How it Works could be released tomorrow and pop-rock kids would like it.

Listen: Rdio - Spotify

8) Autopilot Off

NoteI have to include them. They're great. Maybe How to Make a Sound's been on a few lists - but I don't care. I can't leave them off.

Listen: Rdio - Spotify

9) Ultimate Fakebook
NoteI saw Garrett post about these guys the other day on Rdio - and it reminded me of the nerd-rock band I always liked more than Weezer. Yeah, I said it. I don't even know how many people remember these guys - anyone?

Listen: Rdio - Spotify

10) As Tall As Lions
NoteDid this band just come at the wrong time? That's my only rationalization for this band not being massively bigger than they were. I feel like they release practically any of their albums today - and people would, rightfully, freak at how good they are.

Listen: Rdio - Spotify


Ok, with that - add these guys to your playlists and check them out as this week comes to an end. Now I'm going to think about all the bands I hope never fall into that "great but criminally underrated" category. So, go buy that Damnwells album that started this -- and The Swellers (who I feel this way about too).
  
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 515.
03:07 PM on 02/23/12
#2
slimfenix182
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Face to Face and Northstar, my two most underrated bands ever.
03:08 PM on 02/23/12
#3
Jake Denning
@Jake_Denning
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Spitalfield was cool.
03:08 PM on 02/23/12
#4
ACA
Next Show: Silverstein @ NYC 4/25
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I'll go with some new bands for my list. You could probably toss fun. into here, but it seems like everyone on AP.net (and now the world, #1 on iTunes and more) knows them now.

Top 5 New / New-ish Bands

Five of the best bands you might not be listening to. Hearing a song on a compilation or a random stream doesn't count. Get the albums and get ready to fall in love.

Crucial Dudes - The best Lifetime/Saves the Day-core band since, well, those two bands. 61 Penn was easily the best punk-pop record of 2011. If any of those words get your spidey senses tingling, go go go go download it.

The Hotel Year - If you miss Piebald, you just found your new favorite band. Influences, worn on their sleeves and sang from the heart, include The Smiths, Brand New, Saves the Day, The Early November, The Promise Ring. Awesome.

Aficionado - If you love The Ugly Organ, then here you go. Run, don't walk, to the nearest Mediafire/iTunes/whatever and get it. Fantastic live show.

River City Extension - They're getting some minor "acclaim", but this band is terribly underrated. Fans of Kevin Devine, Brand New, The Decemberists, Neutral Milk Hotel.. what are you waiting for? They close their shows with a full acoustic jam in the crowd, regardless of venue size.. if you want personality in a band, this it it.

Moving Mountains - I'll keep the comparisons going (it's the quickest way to trigger a response and possibly a download) and say Thrice and Thursday fans could find a new love. Live shows with the same intensity as those now-retired legends and a scream that Dustin Kensrue might actually envy.
03:08 PM on 02/23/12
#5
KenneyBN
will be gone till July 2015 on mish
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<--- Death From Above 1979 (my avatar)
Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate)
PM Today
Down To Earth Approach
The Felix Culpa
Crime In Stereo (this one is kind of arguable, but in my opinion they couldve gotten a lot bigger.)

Sometimes I feel like for how long they've been around and how good they are, Propagandhi is kind of underrated.

EDIT: some of the ones I listed are still together, but underrated none the less.
03:08 PM on 02/23/12
#6
Adam Pfleider
wait. what were we talking about?
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on the topic. the new Forecast record is great. always feel their underrated.

also, Moneen. The Red Tree killed. It's a crime it didn't make them bigger.
03:09 PM on 02/23/12
#7
seanthethief
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I feel like Cave In was never appreciated as much as they should have been in the mainstream. I understand their heavier records not catching on but "Antenna" is a great album that could have had a couple of singles on modern rock radio.
03:09 PM on 02/23/12
#8
Alex DiVincenzo
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Punchline and Patent Pending should be huge.

Backing your Top 4 hard as well.
03:09 PM on 02/23/12
#9
Jason Tate
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Face to Face and Northstar, my two most underrated bands ever.
What about No Use for a Name? I always had them on that same tier as F2F.
03:09 PM on 02/23/12
bandnamexmyname
&^%^&
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Eagle Scout, Superchunk, Weatherbox
03:09 PM on 02/23/12
Jason Tate
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I feel like Cave In was never appreciated as much as they should have been in the mainstream. I understand their heavier records not catching on but "Antenna" is a great album that could have had a couple of singles on modern rock radio.
Crime in Stereo too, IMO.
03:10 PM on 02/23/12
Dustin Harkins
Go support Kony 2012 some more
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Waiting to see what Eda posts to know what to listen to.

My #1 right now is Xiu Xiu.
03:10 PM on 02/23/12
Jason Tate
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Eagle Scout, Superchunk, Weatherbox
I'll fight to not let Weatherbox be one of those bands.
03:10 PM on 02/23/12
Jason Tate
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on the topic. the new Forecast record is great. always feel their underrated.

also, Moneen. The Red Tree killed. It's a crime it didn't make them bigger.
I should have had Moneen on this list. Damn - great pick.
03:10 PM on 02/23/12
Alligator Blood
okay i smash your corolla
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Silverchair? Their best work never received the exposure their early work did.
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