The Understated Band Series Part 1

The reason I’m going to start this series is because I think it can be agreed upon that there’s a lot of unsung heroes in the world of music. Even with the majority of people on this site probably preferring rock music, among other genres, in comparison to a good percentage of the same recycled beats in pop songs played on the radio every day, there’s still a lot of unheard-of bands that could really use a status booster. They make some seriously wicked music and they deserve to be heard. Also, remember that this is coming from my personal music preference, which is pretty broad. If you don’t like a certain genre that an artist belongs to, that’s fine, but there’s no need to arbitrarily diss it. It’s cool if you don’t like the band or whatever, but automatically dismissing them just makes you look stupid.

Spoon
Genre: Alternative-folk-pop
Audience Appeal: From hard rockers to soft rockers. Anybody who likes a good hook or melody. There’s a lot of love to go around.
Spoon is a band big on acoustic guitars combined with uptempo beats, maybe a few jazzy elements thrown in for good measure. They know how to write an addictive melody. I can’t really compare their style to any band or artist in particular “ possibly a slightly more acoustic version of The Strokes. The lead singer has a slight rasp to his voice, but it can’t be described as raw; he doesn’t talk-sing, but isn’t a flashy singer “ I compare his singing style to Sheryl Crow, who combines some talk-singing and actual vocal techniques. They crank out pretty consistent tunes “ they really don’t have a bad album, but an argument can be made that they don’t really venture outside of their alternative-folk-pop genre. However, they are masters of their craft, kind of like ACDC, a band that could write the same song over and over and still be awesome because they know their style. These guys have a buttload of albums and are worth your time, whether you like hard rock, soft rock, folk, or pretty much any genre. If anything, they’ll have at least a few songs to keep in your iTunes.
Recommended Starter Songs: Rhthm and Soul, I Summon You, You Got Yr. Cherry bomb, and/or Don’t You Evah

Mute Math
Genre: Alternative-rock
[i]Audience Appeal:[i] Altern-rockers should fall in love.
One consistent factor throughout all of the songs I’ve heard by this band is this haunting, futuristic vibe. I feel like this band is almost ahead of their time concerning altern-rock music; their chords, rhythms, and progressions are really beautiful and fast-paced. Personally, I feel like they take me to a different place whenever I listen to them. The singer has a very clean, nice voice and fits the band very well. My only complaint is that their lyrics can sometimes be predictable and don’t really strike me. If you’re looking for lyrical depth, in my opinion these guys aren’t the best. However, they are super talented musicians and definitely well worth a listen.
Recommended Starter Songs: Typical, Control, Chaos

Bitter:Sweet
Genre: Trip-hop minus the love-hate acidy dreariness often associated with trip-hop acts, such as Portishead
Audience Appeal: Hate ‘em or love ‘em. It is extremely difficult to describe this band because they don’t really fit into a specific genre. If you’re looking for something new and refreshing and you aren’t bound to a specific music genre, then they might be for you.
I love this band so much. The singer’s vocals are so pretty “ not over the top, but not dreary or plain. She has a really seductive tone in nearly every song she sings, which adds a lot of passion and originality to the arrangement. Another common element is a James Bond-esque feel to each song. So many arrangements sound like they could be on a soundtrack for a spy movie “ every song is either very grandiose or mellow but filled with passion. This band also has some of the best-composed instrumentals I’ve heard, and take a little bit from every genre. Some songs have a Latin feel, other songs use orchestra, and each song has an addicting beat and unique melody. However, they also retain a signature sound despite venturing into various genres. I can best sum up this jumbled review by saying this: You’ll just have to see for yourself.
Recommended Starter Songs: Trouble, Salty Air, Mating Game, Get What I Want

If there’s any bands you’d like to recommend for me to check out that you think are understated, let me know and I’ll check them out if I haven’t already heard of them. If anything, I hope this might get some people interested in checking out new bands or styles of music.
Posted on October 22nd, 2008 at 12:42am

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