Top Five Underrated Bands

nordique
09-24-2003, 05:49 PM
By "underrated", I mean a band that's gotten a little bit of press/recognition but hasn't broken into the mainstream...not a band that plays at your campus bar and you think is going to be great.

1. ...AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD

Lots of media sources have rated Source Tags & Codes as one of the best albums of the past few years...the notoriously tough Pitchfork gave it 10/10 (for reference, Audioslave got 1.7). These guys are absolutely phenomenal musicians and songwriters. Anyone who likes A Perfect Circle and liked At The Drive-In would go nuts for this band.

Key track: "It Was There That I Saw You"

2. MOS DEF

For my money, he's the best rapper alive today. Black on Both Sides was a superbly awesome album, with wicked beats matched with wicked rhymes and astute social commentary. If it had been Nas, it would have been hailed as an instant classic.

Key track: "Rock N' Roll"

3. SAHARA HOTNIGHTS

I know, a chick Punk-emo band. Swedish, no less. However, Jennie Bomb is one of the catchiest albums I've heard in years and C'mon Let's Pretend was pretty good too.

Key track: "On Top Of Your World"

4. THE DANDY WARHOLS

Okay, so Welcome to the Monkey House wasn't so good, even if the title is taken from a book by Kurt Vonnegut, my all-time favourite author. Their first three albums make up for it...13 Tales is one of my 10 favourites of all time. Aside from the odd catchy riff that makes it onto MTV or into a car commercial (Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth, Bohemian Like You, Solid), they've got some really catchy songs with really interesting melodies (Godless, Nietzsche, Sleep).

Key track: "Godless"

5. THE BETA BAND

They were even talked about nonstop in a popular movie (High Fidelity) and yet still they're not really going anywhere. They have a song that's the theme for a popular show ("Squares" for Six Feet Under), another key song ("Dry The Rain", from the HF soundtrack), and some incredible albums, Hot Shots II being my favourite. Aside from Supergrass and newcomers Serafin, my favourite new Brit band since the demise of Kula Shaker.

Key track: "Al Sharp"

dempsey_k*
09-24-2003, 06:35 PM
4. THE DANDY WARHOLS

:bow: :bow: :bow:

Outstanding band, I think they're ready to break through though, they've had a spot on the Igby Goes Down soundtrack, malevolent yuppie scum of a movie, but still got in it.

As for another band, I don't really know many bands slipping into the mainstream, but I would say Cake is quite underrated.

Douggy
09-24-2003, 06:37 PM
I'm not sure what famousness bracket you're talking about. I'd like to see a few more examples.

Stranger
09-24-2003, 06:40 PM
2. MOS DEF


I think Mos Def is very talented and underrated, and this is coming from someone who doesn't really like hip-hop


Beta band are very good as well.

nordique
09-24-2003, 07:44 PM
I'm not sure what famousness bracket you're talking about. I'd like to see a few more examples.

Okay...

The White Stripes aren't underrated...they're on MTV all the time and the whole world generally appreciates their greatness.

AYWKUBTTOD, however, has received lots of critical acclaim, but I guarantee that 99/100 people on the street have never heard of them.

More underrated bands!

SLOAN in the U.S., anyway. Before Nirvana hit it big, Geffen thought these guys were going to be huge superstars. They're really hard not to like, although I dig their first few albums more than their last few (One Chord to Another being my favourite, followed closely by Twice Removed and Smeared...)

Key song: Underwhelmed...would have been an all-time anthem if given the chance. More recently, The Other Man is gold and Sinking Ships is awesome.

SPARTA - getting there, but not there. Everyone raves about the Mars Volta out of the two bands from the ATDI split, but I was blown away when I saw them open for Pearl Jam twice this year (plus a few doses of Sleater-Kinney and the Buzzcocks). Jim Ward's voice is not for everyone, but Tony Hajjar can drum as well as anyone I've heard.

Key song: Hard to choose for me...Echodyne Harmonic is a great chill song, but to capture the band's essence check out Cut Your Ribbon or Red Alibi

HAYDEN - a cult icon in Canada, but it shocks me that he hasn't become, say, the Chris Carraba or Beck of Canada. Haunting songs and incredible artistry.

Key song: Bad As They Seem is my favourite, but the whole Live at Convocation Hall 2-CD set is a must for any newbie Hayden fan.

SEBADOH - combine R.E.M., Guided By Voices, Beck and the Pixies. Harmacy is one of my all-time favourite albums.

Key song: Natural One

And for an oldie...

HUSKER DU - why Bob Mould didn't become an icon in the Neil Young sense after grunge took off escapes me - Kurt Cobain owes as much to him as he does to the Pixies.

For even less famous bands:

SPOOKEY RUBEN
THE JOEL PLASKETT EMERGENCY
THE ROCKFORDS/CARRIE AKRE
BEDOUIN SOUNDCLASH

plaugher
09-24-2003, 07:55 PM
Re: Sparta... I thought that album sucked. Was a huge ATDI fan, and went out hoping for something similar, but was quite disappointed... guess I should have sampled via download first, but hey, my mistake. I have only listened to the album twice, though... should try again, I suppose. Haven't given Mars Volta a try yet.

I'll second Dandy Warhols and ...Trail of Dead (saw them once on Farmclub, and got hooked). And Joel Plaskett... have seen him live twice... maybe not a great festival artist, but some good music nonetheless. I've only heard that one Hayden song (Bad As They Seem), but it is one of my favourites.

I'll add:
- Floater (Mexican Bus)
- Epidemic (Walk Away)
- The Livid (Watch it Die)
- Mad At Gravity (did get to see them before they broke up - Burn)
- Archers of Loaf (Wrong)

I've seen none of these bands' videos, nor have I heard any of them on the radio.

Ghost of Dale Hunter
09-24-2003, 08:14 PM
1) Guster
2) Bill "Sauceboss" Wharton(gotta like the blues though)
3) Headstones

edit - i didn't read the fine print

Grizzly Adams
09-24-2003, 08:28 PM
I had a really nice post just a second ago, then my computer crashed.

Quick list:
Modest Mouse
Dandy Warhols
Placebo
Mogwai
The Black Heart Procession

kenabnrmal
09-24-2003, 08:37 PM
1) Neil Finn: Not a band, but whatever. Almost no one knows his most famous piece of work was done by him. He's been called one of the greatest song-smiths of our time, and has a following that includes some of the more recognizable greats in music. Yet none of his Crowded House work beyond the first album, nor his work with Split Enz, nor his two fine solo efforts, have been able to crack him through to the North American main stream. A true great.

2) Remy Zero: In a time when rock and roll was supposedly making a comeback in the mainstream, they seem to be neither hard enough (ala nu-metal types), easy enough (ala the Strokes), or "rappy" enough (a la Linkin Park) to truely make an impression. KROQ in LA are big fans, and they got a push from having the theme to Smallville, but most still don't know about this great band. Great, straight-forward rock and roll. Visit the band webpage where they have the last two albums streaming for free.

3) Guster: Before their last album I wouldn't have put them on here. I enjoyed them, saw them as talented songwriters with a penchent (too much perhaps) for novelty and humor. Then they went and wrote one of the best albums I've heard in a while and proved themselves completely. Good luck downloading a track that doesn't have them singing the song in "meow's"...very sneaky, clever trick.

4) XTC: I don't know if they're truely underrated. I'm not sure how popular they were in their hey-day. But, their recent work is fabulous, and I very rarely, if ever hear them mentioned as one of the better pop-rock bands lately. Good, catchy songwriting.

5) Death Cab for Cutie: Gibbard's songwriting is unique and exquisite.

EDIT: THought I should justify my picks a bit.
EDIT 2: Typed Limp Bizkit when I meant Linkin Park...changed it...

BlueAndWhite
09-24-2003, 08:37 PM
2. MOS DEF

For my money, he's the best rapper alive today. Black on Both Sides was a superbly awesome album, with wicked beats matched with wicked rhymes and astute social commentary. If it had been Nas, it would have been hailed as an instant classic.
Key track: "Rock N' Roll"



Ehhh, I wouldn't go so far as to label him the best rapper alive today. It is debateable as to if he is even better than his partner in crime Talib Kweli. His catalogue of work is not yet lengthy enough for any critic to pass accurate judgement (see Big Pun/Big L)

"Black on Both Sides" IS a classic LP(I'm not sure what the word was/is at Queens :D ). "Mos Def and Talib Kweli are: Blackstar" IS a classic LP.

The problem with Mos is that - he doesn't seem interested in making another record anytime soon. He wants to be a movie stah! A big one. Which is fine, I'm not really judging the guy. He has enough charisma and IMO is MORE than a decent actor. If had dropped another LP after BOBS - there was a chance he would have gained much more popularity, fame, yadda yadda - BUT he has doodled and it hasn't helped him in terms of his music career at all.

Nalyd Psycho
09-24-2003, 10:43 PM
Stabbing Westward-They are known, but Darkest Days never gets the respect it deserves.

*****-The main guy is quite weird. But musically they are truely unique and really good.

Razed in Black-The absolute best Industrial Dance band ever.

Damien
09-24-2003, 10:46 PM
Placebo
Tea Party
Portishead
Buckcherry
Ash

Mr. T
09-25-2003, 03:18 AM
Guided By Voices
Pulp
The Verve
BRMC (not so much anymore though)
Radio 4

Stranger
09-25-2003, 03:57 AM
Underrated bands imo:

Grandaddy
Supergrass
The Shins
Doves

Serena587
09-25-2003, 04:36 AM
SLOAN in the U.S., anyway. Before Nirvana hit it big, Geffen thought these guys were going to be huge superstars. They're really hard not to like, although I dig their first few albums more than their last few (One Chord to Another being my favourite, followed closely by Twice Removed and Smeared...)

Key song: Underwhelmed...would have been an all-time anthem if given the chance. More recently, The Other Man is gold and Sinking Ships is awesome.



I agree. The only cd I have of theirs is Pretty Together, but it's one of my favorites. I'll also say that Working Girl is another excellent song off that cd, sounds ALOT like John Lennon. I can't remember off the top of my head which Beatles song it always reminds me of, LOL. Maybe Norwegian Wood?? If I think of it, I'll post it later. I wish I had their other albums....guess I'll have to try hunting them down one of these days. ;)

I'd also like to add Trust*Co to the list. I saw them play live at last year's Gravity Games here in Cleveland and instantly loved them. They really kick butt live, and were able to really pump up a crowd that had never even heard of them before!! I've been hooked ever since, and I can't wait for them to put out another album.

Histrion
09-25-2003, 05:24 AM
Porcupine Tree
Godspeed You Black Emperor!


Hurm... that's about it for me...

Tucker316*
09-25-2003, 05:28 AM
....

Matthew Good and his once Matthew Good Band.

This guy is just too talented an artist to not be known world-wide.

His vocals kill anyone else's also.

nordique
09-25-2003, 05:52 AM
Guided By Voices
Pulp
The Verve
BRMC (not so much anymore though)
Radio 4

The Verve was HUUUUUUGE! You couldn't turn on the radio or TV without seeing that video or hearing that song (Bitter Sweet Symphony).

They've disappeared from the public eye because they broke up not long after that album...Richard Ashcroft has a solo album out (maybe two?)

Pulp was pretty big too for a while...Common People was everywhere.

nordique
09-25-2003, 05:55 AM
Placebo
Tea Party
Portishead
Buckcherry
Ash

Ash is a great call...fully terrific band.
Portishead is massively respected and acknowledged...they also just haven't done a lot since Dummy.

Tea Party are just unheard in the USA...they're big in Canada and massive in Australia/NZ (they're probably bigger there than here). It would be nice if Jeff Martin didn't channel Jim Morrison in voice, musical style and hairstyle.

Bluenote13
09-25-2003, 06:34 AM
Mentioned already that i agree with - Beta Band, Hayden, Mogwai, Guided by Voices,. The Shins.

1)WILCO - They're my avatar, trust me, they're good ;) Tweedy is the best Rock songwriter since Cobain - intelligence, power, and creative hooks that no ones done yet.

2)Cornelius - Yeah, like the character from Planet of the apes :p He's Japan's coolest rocker - ever! His live show is one of the best i've ever seen. Amazing sounds, he combines Rock with Dj effects and it never gets TOO busy or contrived.

3)Aimee Mann - Besides her work for Paul Thomas Anderson movies, she's the best female song writer America has at the moment.

4)the innocence mission - Pennsylvania folk trio, haunting beautiful melodies - Take a listen just to hear Karen Peris's voice - you'll want to kill people when they say Celine Dion has an angelic voice. :p

5)Sigur Ros - They may be getting some attention now(touring with Bjork & on the Vanilla Sky sntrk) but they should be so much bigger. They are the Led Zepplin/Pink Floyd of this generation. To see them live is a religious experience. Plus, if MTV had any b*lls, they'd play their videos which are beautiful short films/masterpieces - but too controversial for MTV taste.

Koltsov71
09-25-2003, 06:39 AM
Samhain.

Biscuit Bullet
09-25-2003, 08:47 AM
Top 5 underrated bands/singers (in no order)

Pete Yorn
Jimmy Cliff
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones
Ben Kweller
Interpol

kenabnrmal
09-25-2003, 09:35 AM
....

Matthew Good and his once Matthew Good Band.

This guy is just too talented an artist to not be known world-wide.

His vocals kill anyone else's also.

He's pretty good, but its a stretch to say that his vocals "kill" anyone else's.

On other notes...

The Verve had one big successful song, one that did ok (Lucky Man), and was entirely forgotten afterwards. Got next to no North American attention before that album. Richard Ashcroft has had two solo albums, the first one was simply amazing. I agree...The Verve might not have been that underrated, but Ashcroft certainly is.

Pete Yorn is a great pick, although I think I was hoping for a bit more from his most recent cd. Wilco another great pick. Sigur Ros as well.

Triple Klutz
09-25-2003, 09:39 AM
Aimee Mann - Besides her work for Paul Thomas Anderson movies, she's the best female song writer America has at the moment.


Great pick. She's wonderful.

Moose Head
09-25-2003, 10:19 AM
Bay City Rollers
Right Said Fred
Village People
Starship
Michael Bolton's Heavy Metal Band

rodvinge
09-25-2003, 10:23 AM
Ted Leo & the Pharmacists - "The Tyranny of Distance" is an excellent album, and the follow-up "Heart of Oak" is equally good (no way he was going to top Tyranny). Ted Leo's voice alone is worth buying those albums.

Interpol - Still underrated, but starting to pick up some publicity. I saw a small blurb in the Detroit Free Press a week ago about a show they were playing there. Still, not getting any radio time that I know of.

The Prayer Boat - "Polichinelle" is definately worthy of Album of the Year honours for 2001, in my opinion. I doubt most of you have heard of Prayer Boat, it's an Irish band, really the brainchild of Irish singer Emmett Tinley. Can't wait to see what he has in store next!

Rachel's - The Rachel's are a very unique band. They're a collection of like a dozen or so Chicago based musicians who put together fantastic instrumental music. Although I've heard them called 'Indie Rock', there's really nothing "rock" about their sound. If you like instrumental piano/violin/etc music that's not classical...check out the Rachel's.

Czars - Last but not least, the Czars are possibly my favorite band on this list. They all hail from the Denver area, but it's a crime that the rest of the country hasn't gotten exposure to them. They say that they're a mix of Radiohead, Air, and Coldplay (they call it "radio air play" :D), and I guess that wouldn't be far from the truth. The most striking feature of the Czars, though, is John Grant's vocals. If you live in Denver, definately check them out!

:yo:

nordique
09-25-2003, 12:46 PM
Ted Leo & the Pharmacists - "The Tyranny of Distance" is an excellent album, and the follow-up "Heart of Oak" is equally good (no way he was going to top Tyranny). Ted Leo's voice alone is worth buying those albums.
:yo:

Mea culpa...how I left off Ted Leo I don't know. "Heart of Oak" is tremendous. I have to get Tyranny.

A Good Flying Bird*
09-25-2003, 01:04 PM
Archers of Loaf (Now defunct, front man is Crookedfingers)
Bardo Pond -- Seriously messed up guitar drones
Granddaddy
Blur -- are they too mainstream?
Charm Pops (was Radial Spangle, both bands now defunct) --- From Oklahoma, like the Flaming Lips, their self-titled record is still one of the best I've ever heard.
RailRoad Jerk -- (now defunct, formed White Hassle, now defunct),
Guided By Voices -- Though Robert Pollard needs to learn just a little self editing.
Wheat
Beuhlah
The Grifters (not sure if they're still around)
Apples in Stereo
Modest Mouse
Billy Bragg
Ride -- made two very cool records
The Jesus and Mary Chain -
Pavement/Steve Malkmus

Mr. T
09-25-2003, 01:07 PM
The Verve was HUUUUUUGE! You couldn't turn on the radio or TV without seeing that video or hearing that song (Bitter Sweet Symphony).

They've disappeared from the public eye because they broke up not long after that album...Richard Ashcroft has a solo album out (maybe two?)

Pulp was pretty big too for a while...Common People was everywhere.

The Verve and Pulp are basically one hit wonders here. That is why I said they are underrated.

Yes, Ashcroft has 2 solo albums.

Mr. T
09-25-2003, 01:10 PM
Underrated bands imo:

Grandaddy
Supergrass
The Shins
Doves

As always, csstranger, your taste in music is fantastic.

gohabsgo2010
09-25-2003, 01:14 PM
In North America for sure, though they have more following in the UK :

-Travis
-Starsailor
-Del Amitri

A few months ago, I would've said "The Darkness", but they've since gone double platinum in UK :bow: .

Some other bands/artists...


- The Flaming Lips
- Ben Folds
- Gavin Degraw
- The Sleepy Jackson

predhead1
09-25-2003, 01:15 PM
He's pretty good, but its a stretch to say that his vocals "kill" anyone else's.

On other notes...

The Verve had one big successful song, one that did ok (Lucky Man), and was entirely forgotten afterwards. Got next to no North American attention before that album. Richard Ashcroft has had two solo albums, the first one was simply amazing. I agree...The Verve might not have been that underrated, but Ashcroft certainly is.

Pete Yorn is a great pick, although I think I was hoping for a bit more from his most recent cd. Wilco another great pick. Sigur Ros as well.

ditto on Pete Yorn and especially Wilco (though I'm a bigger fan of Uncle Tupelo). Their sound has changed from A.M. to YHF, but it's still awesome.

Add Jack Johnson to the list.

tom_servo
09-25-2003, 01:55 PM
Some great calls so far. I'll add...

Bright Eyes
Q and not U
eels
Notwist
The Microphones
Broken Social Scene

kenabnrmal
09-25-2003, 02:23 PM
Yeah, upon second thought Blur should be near the top of the list. Radiohead gets all sorts of respect in NA, and its well-deserved. Blur has been putting out album after album of amazing work...always different, always great. They should be considered rock heavy-weights over here.

I don't know how I missed Doves. Saw them in concert with Elbow in Los Angeles, and it was an amazing show.

Travis actually had a pretty solid following over here after their last album. Its tempered considerably since its taken so long to get their new album out (near death of a band member will do that i suppose), but they were fairly big for a bit.

PK*
09-25-2003, 02:39 PM
1. Five Iron Frenzy
2. The Dandy Warhols
3. Placebo
4. The Verve
5. Abandoned Pools

Serena587
09-25-2003, 02:48 PM
In North America for sure, though they have more following in the UK :

-Travis
-Starsailor
-Del Amitri


Del Amitri? I didn't know they were still around, LOL....I loved "Roll to Me". :rolly:

MisterUnspoken
09-25-2003, 02:54 PM
....

Matthew Good and his once Matthew Good Band.

This guy is just too talented an artist to not be known world-wide.

His vocals kill anyone else's also.


I agree he is amazing! :bow:

nordique
09-25-2003, 03:17 PM
In North America for sure, though they have more following in the UK :

-Travis
-Starsailor
-Del Amitri

A few months ago, I would've said "The Darkness", but they've since gone double platinum in UK :bow: .

Some other bands/artists...


- The Flaming Lips
- Ben Folds
- Gavin Degraw
- The Sleepy Jackson


The Lips have developed a huge following...I'm not sure they're underrated...one of my faves.

Travis is phenomenal. Outstanding. My only problem is that one of my former roomates knew how to play one song on the guitar and it was "Sing", and he COULDN'T sing...but oh boy, did I ever hear that song a lot.

gohabsgo2010
09-25-2003, 03:39 PM
Nordique :

I'm counting down the days until October 14, when Travis' next album comes out. :handclap:

If you're a Lips guy, check out Sleepy Jackson. They're very similiar bands :) .