Skip to content 2011’s Top 10 Seattle Bands To Watch.

December 16, 2011

Around this time of year everyone wants to throw in their two cents, and we are no different. After doing last years list, and finding some fair success in it. We thought we would throw another one in. We will avoid the obvious selections like Pickwick and Allen Stone and focus a bit more on the “obscure” if you will.  So please enjoy and either check them out live or purchase their’s some good shizzy! (In random order)

Don’t Talk To The Cops– With sounds that would borderline “unconventional” in the world of hip-hop or rap, these self-assured musicians (a whole lot of musical experience in this crew) don’t care what it takes …with absolutely no rules, they tackle each song with charisma, lyrical flow and sometimes humor (Big Ass Head), but it doesn’t stop there …to catch them live is a fucking dance party like no other, so make sure you track down one of their live shows (click on link above) … Look for their new album to drop on Valentines Day 2012.

Sandrider– This industrial strength metal trio has what it takes to be the next Red Fang and then some. With two-thirds of the band being the fellas from the almost legendary Akimbo and the other from The Ruby Doe …..I mean what more do you need? Well throw in getting signed to new label Good To Die Records, which was founded by one of the most passionate metal-heads I know in Seattle, Nik Christofferson … and I think good things can only start to happen. So I dare you to pick up their self-titled LP, and tell me that’s not some of the best good ole balls to the walls metal hardcore shit you’ve ever heard. Fuck the gimmicks, these boys lets their instruments steal the show …. ok…well they’re fun to watch too.

Lakefight– Hands down one of the brightest and most brilliant bands I have ever seen in Seattle …. and these “kids” have lots of time to grow even (kinda scary). David Gladfelter has some of the most unconventional chord changes, progressions and vocal howls ever, but they work, and I mean they work beautifully. I expect some VERY interesting and incredible things from this band and David himself. He strikes me as the type who needs to be creating all the time. If you get the chance to see this band live comes across just as intricate live as it is recorded, which was refreshing (Read a bit more about them here).

Pony Time- My jaw hit the floor when I first heard this two-piece play and I have been smitten ever since.  With Luke’s incredibly original sounding vocals and Stacy’s amazing confidence on the skins (look out Faustine), they make some of the most beautiful fuzzed out, punk inspired garage rock on the scene today and I am hoping this band gets some national if not international recognition this year, cause god damn! They deserve it!  Make sure and catch them soon, cause these mofos gig a lot!

Sick Secrets- No doubt ..I have a thing for punk, but it seems hard to come by overall in this great city of Seattle ..yeah yeah you all may or may not know I love The Spits and of course they rule the roost, but I feel like I could be missing out on a variety of  hard charging punk.  Then I stumbled upon Sick Secrets and my thirst for new punk was quenched . They just have that ability to make you move …doesn’t matter how, you just want to move … o.k. and possibly launch a beer! Check this band out! They play the Comet this Saturday night (Dec 17th openers)! I’ll be there getting my fix!

Cristina Bautista- Bottom line is you’re going to be hearing a lot from this woman in the very near and upcoming future and I am going to very well make sure of that. Frankly, I think its rare to find one of the best pop-rock singer/songwriters in your very own backyard. Typically they have all converged on L.A. trying to preach their gospel to the masses or writing for labels, but here we have the opposite. Cristina came to Seattle from L.A. and quickly jumped into the scene with Visqueen as bassist before they bid farewell. And now she has her sights set on doing her “thang” here, and I am stoked.  I recently saw her play and was completely mesmerized by her pint size energy and incredible ease and authority in which she handled her bass, (which looked as tall as her) as well as her strong vocal skills. This woman could be played on 107.7 The End this week, and I guarantee the youth would be smitten … but luckily she’s ours for now and she is currently working on her LP which I am hoping we see this spring if not sooner. Stay Tuned!

Alice In The River- Not gonna lie, this is a bit of a shot in the dark because I have only watched one live video performance of this band; but I will tell you I was bowled over by the voice of Alice Sandahl(Pica Beats) instantly as well as hooked by the beautiful yet catchy piano arrangements this fantastic duo (Joel Harmon-Sleepy Eyes of Death) arranged. They are currently working on new material and I can’t wait to get my hands on it, but until then try to catch them play Columbia City Theater on January 1st 2012. I couldn’t think of a better way to start a new year, than with an amazing “new” band.

Slow Dance- Give me some heavy synth, alongside some techno beats, amazing samples, and a front man who can spit effortlessly …and I’m a girl who drank a 2 liter of wine cooler in the car before she went into the underage dance club .. it will be impossible to stop my body from moving on the dance floor. Upon hearing Slow Dance, that was the case. Cans on my ears and I couldn’t stop moving at my desk …I was fucking addicted, and still am. No lie hip-hop is on fire (via Macklemore & Ryan Lewis/Budo& Grieves/Shabazz Palace/Champagne Champagne/Mad Rad), but it’s still not getting the coverage it deserves. Thats all about to change on seismic-sound in 2012!

Elk & Boar- One night at Doe Bay Fest this year, I separated myself from friends to see who else I could find meandering the grounds of this spectacular resort. I think I may have walked 50 yards before I found a campfire and people surrounding it. In the true fashion of this festival it didn’t take much time before you would see a familiar face or chat it up with another music lover… but after everyone left (about 60 ppl), there were 5, and not knowing better … 3 of these people were taking turns singing with their guitar in hand (Sean Flinn was one of the three). Two of these were Elk & Boar ( Travis and Kirsten) and I was blown away…I had no idea. I just sat outside listening to these amazing artists in front of this campfire (for about 3 hours) thinking … “this is my idea of heaven” the most beautiful voices accompanied by a guitar and the crackling of a fire, surrounded by some of the most beautiful wilderness in the country or world for that matter. As the sun started to peek out from under the fog, that’s when we introduced ourselves; they said they had the band called Elk & Boar from Tacoma, and I have been smitten ever since. Check them out, they play Neumos on December 21st. Trust me .. this band is magic live.

The West– Upon very first listen of opening track “It Was Disco and It’s Over”, I was a bit dumb-founded by how good it was already. Thirty-seconds in I was bopping along to the catchy hook and the full polished dreamy sound of  what I thought could easily be a sure-fire hit on a mainstream radio station. It just had that kind of mass appeal … like everyone’s favorite dessert. The rest of the EP was just as strong. Hints of new wave, meet bits of beach rock and lord knows what else, but the combo works and I mean in spades. I am excited to say they will be playing our first show of the new year on January 25th at Comet Tavern, with Ambulance and Us On Roofs. Make sure to pick up their EP “Don’t Make A Sound”on bandcamp, its well worth the $4 dollars.

Honrable Mentions: Fly Moon Royalty, Strong Like Woman, Sharkies, Prom Queen, Legendary Oaks, The Golden Blondes, Cumulus, Le Wrens, Dirty Sidewalks and Fox and The Law.

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