8 Bands You Need to Hear: Honorable Mentions

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04/27/2011 4:00 AM |

1. Tiny Victories

Have you guys noticed a strange lack of smart-aleck, electronically driven dance-pop geared toward hopxeless music obsessives of late? Like, for some reason there’s suddenly a gaping whole where there was once a massive, generation-defining figure? Well, get a load of Tiny Victories, a Brooklyn duo that might be able to help you out. They just released their debut 7″, and it’s a high-energy affair, driven by synths, live drumming and some impressively infectious vocal hooks. We’re ready for a full-length. Listen here.

2. Weed Hounds

We don’t know a whole lot about Weed Hounds, a band that, like Twin Sister before them, seems to split time between Brooklyn and Long Island, but we’re ever so taken by their pleasantly blaring indie rock. For us, it sits perfectly between the Swirlies and Velocity Girl, which, jeez, is just not a place enough people have even tried to sit over the years. They make an awful lot of noise, but they also bring some endearingly sweet vocals and a nice serving of boy/girl harmonies, not to mention some surprisingly textured and nuanced guitar work. Listen here.

3. Minerva Lions

The secret to any heartstring-tugging psych-leaning band, we’re pretty sure, is the pedal steel. Take, for example, Minerva Lions. While the closing track of their debut EP, Great Strides, Priestess & Queen, wanders a little too deep into jam-funk territory for our liking, it’s preceded by two perfectly steel-entwined laments recalling the dreamy, longing sounds of Sea Change-era Beck. The band is clearly aiming for a soft spot here, and they hit it head-on. Listen here.

4. Beat Radio

Since 2004, Brian Sendrowitz has quietly churned out album after album of fuzzy rock anthems from his Long Island home, but it wasn’t until last December that everything finally seemed to fall into place for his band, Beat Radio, with the release of Golden Age on their vinyl-only, start-up label. Here, grungy psych meets spacey folk—equally informed by Sparklehorse as Buffalo Tom’s appearance on My So-Called Life—making as clear an argument as there is against early onset hype. Listen here.