Numerology suggests that 2016 (where the sum of each individual number equates to 9) signifies the end of a loop, or circle of time, where things come to and end and start afresh. In the world of music we have seen many icons and innovators end their journey here on earth this year, from the likes of David Bowie to Glenn Frey, Keith Emerson and Prince, not to mention behind-the-scenes cats like producer George Martin and entrepreneur Phil Chess of Chicago’s Chess Records. Not too indifferent from the famed “27 Club“, which also reflected the number nine and took names including Otis Redding, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones, Kurt Cobain and Janis Joplin, 2016 will probabaly go down in rock and roll history. The late legends of 2016 may have dodged the early bullets of lifestyle choices which took the 27’s, but it always catches up. This won’t be the first time people use the term “death of music” and surely won’t be the last. But what it also is, is a new birth.
Already the past few years have seen a switch in alternative music as artists experiment and look for new takes on the sound of past generations. With the internet now providing endless opportunities at little-to-no cost, it is an exciting time where we try to make the most of modern technology and it’s capabilities, whilst carefully walking the line between music made from computers and music made from the heart. If you thought Pro Tools destroyed the natural sound of modern recordings, you may have seen nothing yet. But time will tell.
Needless to say 2016 has seen an abundance of new music and in January we launched Rediscover Music; a project aimed at channeling a certain taste of alternative music, rooted, but not exclusively, in early blues, through rock and roll, hard rock, punk, ska, grunge and britpop. The idea being to bring attention to music that has either not reached an audience yet, or not reached the audience it derserves to have reached. Starting as a simple outlet of love for discovering new bands, Rediscover Music has already grown and we are receiving lots of amazing new music on a daily basis from an even more amazing group of hard working PR bodies and bands trying to get their names out. The main challenge has been to provide articulate posts on a regular basis, as we take a lot of pride and passion in the bands we cover, not only including a deep love for the music but also conducting accurate research into bands’ histories and understanding of their messages. The goal for 2017 is to try and engage our followers a bit more, especially on Facebook, where only a small fraction of people are notified when a new article or band is posted. Assuming our friends really are passionate about hearing new music, it would really make the project worthwhile if someone was able to discover one of their new favourite artists via our page. Twitter will remain an outlet for less content and more quantity (great songs, tidbits, news from bands we endorse), whereas Facebook will be more refined to let people know about new articles on the website and as well as a forum for music videos and discussion.
Where the goal is to double everything in 2017, let’s take a short look back at what we thought made 2016 great!
ALBUMS OF THE YEAR
PEARS – Green Star
When it dropped in April, Green Star, by New Orleans punk rock band PEARS, was already being hailed as album of the year. After picking up the band and re-releasing their debut LP on Fat Wreck Chords in 2015 Fat Mike of NOFX clearly knew what the band had up their sleeves and with their unique blend of punk rock and hardcore, it was nothing short of a masterpiece. It stood the test of time and it is with excitement we urge any fan of punk rock and melodic hardcore to check out this fast-paced and energetic album if you haven’t done so already (link here). In addition to their busy year of touring, they also recorded a KILLER cover version of Everclear’s “Chemical Smile”, which featured on a flexi disc with New Noise Magazine #24.
B-Leaguers – Death of a Western Heart
This debut mini-album takes the soul of R.E.M. and the spirit of Green Day to produce an exceptional taste of British modern-day Britpop. The band just entered the studio to record a follow-up and you can check out our article from June and listen to the record here.
Brutal Youth – Sanguine
You could almost call it the Canadian counterpart of PEARS’ album of the year… Another band who blend punk rock and hardcore in a unique way, chock full of “woah ohs” and short bursts of energetic tracks, this band didn’t receive anywhere near the exposure of PEARS in 2016, but made a record more than worthy of sharing it’s acclaim. You can check out our article from October and listen to the record here.
TUNE OF THE YEAR
Parquet Courts – Dust
Just awesome. This is an unmistakably New York sound from a band rooted in punk and continuing to grow their sound with every album. The most fresh, unique, catchy and strange tune of the year in our opinion. Check it out below:
With their perky guitar-driven pop, edgy grunge and squeaky vocals, Charly Bliss burst out of New York in 2015 with their debut Urge To Purge EP. Self-professed purveyors of the “Bubblegrunge” genre, together with a somewhat Weezer-esque demeanor, we felt something quite special about this group and created the Rediscover Music Endorsement title to reflect that. It can be hard to gauge a band based on just a handful of songs, but if we do discover a new group with that unique spark then consider them endorsed! We hope to unearth more bands in 2017, so watch this space! You can read our article on Charly Bliss here.
BANDS TO WATCH OUT FOR IN 2017
Press To Meco
UK alt-rock band Press To Meco have been on a roll since releasing their debut LP last year. Having received rave reviews on their technical prowess and impeccable 3-part harmonies in the music press, constant touring and support slots to the likes of SHVPES are increasing their fanbase tenfold. Their unique blend of rock is truly amazing, so hopefully 2017 will be their year.
Hack The Mainframe
A Christmas treat earlier this month came in the form of a much anticipated debut EP from Australian skate punkers Hack The Mainframe. Having honed their skills for years, it’s now time to open the floodgates and with positive exposure from some of the larger online publications in the US and Europe, HTMF could be on the verge of doing a Decline; especially if they are willing to put their business hats on alongside the music.
Another Australian punk rock band, STFU features the bassist of Sydney band Ebolagoldfish on lead vocals, wearing a top hat and taking mid-song breaks to snort from his huge pile of cocaine located stage-left. All theatrics aside, they only have one short track released to date, on the latest Pee Records sampler. However if their live shows are anything to go by, and if they are serious about getting some tunes out, we could be in for a real treat.
Sweden’s Horisont have been around for a while but this year signed a worldwide deal with Century Media records, which may the the catapult they need for stardom. Their mix of Sabbathy and Hawkwind blues and progressive hard rock influenced by Yes and Deep Purple isn’t really a sound that permeates mainstream these days, but they have already previewed a couple of tracks from their forthcoming record (due in February) and it sounds like we can expect their best effort to date. Listen to “Electric” below and be your own judge:
FINALLY, A THANK YOU!
Thank you to everyone who has visited the website over the past year and once again, if anyone has discovered something new and fresh for their own enjoyment courtesy of Rediscover Music, then our hopes have been fulfilled. All the best to our readers for the New Year. Stay safe and keep rocking!
Follow Rediscover Music on Facebook!
Cheers, Tim Wilson RDM