BREAKOUT ACTS OF 2014

VANCOUVER BANDS BUZZING BEFORE THE NEW YEAR STARTS

Just in case you haven’t had enough lists in your life recently, here’s another! We all know by now, or should, who had a breakout year in 2013 — Baptists, BESTiE, the Courtneys, Lié, Anciients et al — but what about the bands who will stand out in 2014? We assembled a crack team of local music scientists who then ran some names through a complex prediction generator. Just joking, we asked Sean Orr.

christopher-smith-CMYK-5bDralms is Christopher Smith’s new project, and project is a good word for it. Featuring added production by Andy Dixon of Secret Mommy and a cast of local indies, words like “crestfallen”, “ethereal” and “meek” are all apt. I don’t know what a dralm is, but it sounds like a sedative. I’ll take two.

Taxa are the new kings of driving, melodic post-rock. They do it better than anyone else. With members of deadsure and Damages, these guys take cues from the likes of Mission of Burma and Unwound. I haven’t seen them live yet, but I can only imagine that it would be “intense.”

Photo: Karen Sung

Photo: Karen Sung

While one might be quick to call Charm “Hard Feelings 2.0,” there is something much more complex and urgent to Al Boyle’s new band. Hustled together to open for Obits, and of a similar ilk, the team of Boyle and Rick O’Dell prove they are inseparable. Put it in your pocket and call it good luck.

The Greater Wall are a power-pop-punk band formed by Ryan Walter Wagner, Chris Vanderlaan and Dustin Bromley. With only a couple of shows to date, and a 6 song recording coming out called Whatever, Feels Real, including an Oblivians cover, look for these guys playing “songs about death and depression” at a venue near you.

Not to be confused with another local band The Brass, Brass are a high-energy punk band already noted for their rowdy live show. Members of Redrick Sultan, Devil in the Woodshack, and Hate Crimes. Get your shine on.

Photo: Andrew Volk

Photo: Andrew Volk

To local house aficionados, Bobby Draino is not a new name. He’s been lighting up the dance scene all year (when he’s not drumming for Weed). Now with a release on L.A.’s 100% Silk, Draino looks certain to conquer hearts and minds with his brand of blasted acid.

Spazzy, post-hardcore veterans the SSRIs recently changed their sound, and thus their name, to Sprïng. Mathy, acoustic finger-picking and pure pop psychedelia abound. The thaw is coming.

Local collective Mood Hut has been steadily making an international impression on analogue dance enthusiasts worldwide. Their latest, Ttam Renat’s 2013 release On the Inner Plains, is sure to make a bunch of year-end lists. “Music to move the head as much as the feet,” Ssab Gniduop.

Another band that people who know a thing or two will already be well versed in is Erosion. With a couple of releases up on their Bandcamp, most recently Kill Us All (recorded by Jesses Gander) these guys are your local D-beat thrash superstars. Having already opened for At The Gates this summer, expect these “morally reprehensible fucks” to continue to shred Vancity to pieces.

Fantasy Prom are not what you would expect considering their pedigree. With members of Angry, Mete Pills, Young Mums, and Black Halos, the band boldly enters the shoegaze resurgence with aplomb. My Bloody Valentine’s Day Dance.

More: What’s Hot, The Pretty’s, Girlfriends and Boyfriends, Hopeleus, Leveler, DAGRS, and Get Over It!

By Sean Orr

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