Bands to watch in 2017

2016 has proven an explosive year for rock music, with the emergence of bands such as Black Honey, INHEAVEN, Spring King, Yak and Blaenavon into the mainstream rock scene. With releases from large rock acts like Catfish and The Bottlemen (The Ride), Jamie T and Slaves (Take Control), and comebacks to the industry from The Last Shadow Puppets, Radiohead and The Stone Roses, the amount of rock music dominating 2016 has been unreal. But whilst these large more mainstream bands have released hit after hit this year, the emergence of small groups has been what’s made the rock scene so thriving, with more intense indie-rock grunge bands popping up in local venues (i.e. Fiende Fatale and False Heads), as well as more bad-ass women emerging (i.e. Nova Twins and Jess in Calva Louise). This list will round up some of my favourite new bands, who are definitely ones to watch for the new year.

  1. Demob Happy

I caught this band live supporting Black Honey at The Lexington early October, and the heaviness and blunt grit to their sound blew me away. They’re such a fierce powerful force of grunge rock, very intense and aggressive on stage; their talent is more clear on stage too than it is on record, and the band are one who are a blistering explosive act to catch live. The Brighton four piece released debut album Dream Soda last year, a class album full of raw distorted vocals and killer heavy riffs. The colossal force of the band has carried through into this year with ease, and I hope they’re able to channel even more of their dirty rock sound into 2017.

Top tracks: Wash It Down & Succubus

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Demob Happy
  1. False Heads

Reminiscent to me of early Nirvana, False Heads have the most exciting interesting image and sound I’ve come across all year; their tracks are full of heavy blistering riffs which rip through their music, giving it a heavy, weighty bite. With the support of Gary from The Libertines (the band are signed to Gary’s 25 Hour Convenience Store record label) and rock icon Iggy Pop, it’s clear why False Heads are growing into the dynamic force that they are. Live, they are a killer presence, and are building this reputation up and down the UK for being one of the most uncompromising edgy new rock bands. The opening riff on Slew also happens to be one of the catchiest, most hardcore riffs out there.

Top tracks: Slew & All Eyes

False Heads live at The Water Rats, 5.11.2016
  1. Mummy

Pure punk force and a vivid aggressive on stage presence is what you’ll get from Mummy; it’s hardcore punk at its best, which when witnessed live is unreal. Mummy exist in the coolest London DIY punk scene, with bands like Slaves, Pizzatramp and Wonk Unit part of their circle. Seeing them live supporting Slaves last month was one of the most killer sets I’ve experienced; the guitar is messily loud and blaring, building up and up until crashing down in their roaring choruses. The Milk EP is easily one of the best EP releases of the year, with Bed For Good being one of the most aggressive tracks I know. If punk music overall is being revitalised, it’s Mummy who are leading this.

Top tracks: Hey & Busy Doing Nothing

  1. J.W Paris

I caught this unique three piece live earlier on this month at The Horn St Albans supporting The Amazons, and what I loved about them was the dirty grit and rough gravel their tracks had. The band embody DIY punk, with elements of indie rock to their music. Their tracks are similar to bands like Pulled Apart By Horses and Baby Strange, with a ‘no-shit’ attitude on stage which gives them an unapproachable, intimidating edge. Attitude is so key in rock music, and J.W Paris embody this with ease. The fantastic thing about J.W Paris too is how unique they are; they’re a three piece (like False Heads), with a messily gritty bite and unorthodox sound. Like Demob Happy, it’s live where the band excel; for my gig review of the band at The Horn, you can read it here.

Top tracks: Berlin & Rapture

J.W Paris supporting The Amazons at The Horn, 1.12.2016
  1. October Drift

October Drift are manic, a chaotic hectic band whose grit transcends in their music both live and on record. They are a crazy burst of grunge rock, with a mesmerisingly heavy aura on stage. Kiran’s voice is deep and raw and dark, paired by the crashing roaring sound of the guitar and drums. Live, the band are able to tear up the venue, with their intense strength and force ripping apart each track. They’re a hypnotic presence, a really filthy burst of roaring riffs. What I like about the band, especially live, is how uncompromising they are; they come across as strange and weird, and this unique approach to their music gives them a killer aura. Their music is mad, frantic and mental…all you could want from a punk rock band.

Top tracks: Cherry Red & Cinnamon Girl

October Drift live at The Horn, 17.12.2016
  1. Fiende Fatale

I’ve been lucky enough to catch Fiende Fatale live twice now, and the thing about them which makes them so enthralling is the refreshing burst of punk energy they possess. Dom, Rolph, Alex and Matt have been playing for a couple of years now, something which is apparent through the meticulous riffs and intricate drumming. Dom always blows me away on the drums, with brilliant drumming on tracks like Car Crash and Good Intentions. There’s a lot of eccentricity to their tracks, with the heavy riffs and Matt’s cocky North London vocals giving their music a unique edge, a really harsh gritty rock’n’roll bite which comes through especially on new track Script. Re-energising the meaning of DIY punk and giving garage rock a whole new meaning, the London four piece embody the rawness and grit of punk music perfectly, 100% a group to keep your eye on.

Top tracks: Dizzle & Yours Untruly

Fiende Fatale

Other bands to keep your eye on…

  1. Calva Louise

For fans of: gritty grunge bands like Nirvana, messy punk rock, killer riffs and bad-ass women in punk

Top track: I’m Gonna Do Well

  1. BlackWaters

For fans of: fun indie rock, hectic moshpits, classic British 70s punk

Top tracks: So Far Out & Jarr’ed Up Generation

  1. The Black Roses

For fans of: feel god indie rock, The Libertines, 2000’s indie-Britpop

Top tracks: She Makes The Rain Dance & Utopia

You can read my interview with The Black Roses here

The Black Roses
  1. Asylums

For fans of: blaring guitar rock, satirical sarcasm, cynical indie-punk

Top tracks: I’ve Seen Your Face In A Music Magazine & Wet Dream Fanzine

  1. The Wholls

For fans of: raw indie grit, raucous live crowds, raspy rock vocals

Top tracks: Angry Faces & X21

  1. Sisteray

For fans of: intense rock’n’roll, politically charged rock, blaring guitar riffs

Top track: A Wise Man Said

You can read my interview with guitarist Daniel Connolly here

Sisteray (photo by Alberto Pezzali)
  1. Artbreak

For fans of: soothing indie-pop, quirky rich vocals, energetic music you can dance to

Top track: Polaroids in Paris

  1. Night Owls

For fans of: killer grunge, intense heavy rock, deep and dark power with heavy riffs

Top tracks: Call Me Out & Gilded Lily

  1. Pages

For fans of: fun feel good indie, light chilled guitar, The 1975, early Wolf Alice and The Japanese House

Top tracks: The Road

You can read my interview with Pages here

  1. The Night Café

For fans of: Peace, The Bohicas, anything edgy with elements of indie rock and pop

Top tracks: Mixed Signals & Addicted

The Night Cafe

For fans of: romantic indie, soft light music, The Smiths, JAWS, Circa Waves

Top tracks: Just Need You & Things Change

You can read my interview with TAMSYN here

  1. MISS

For fans of: Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, heavy basslines and soft harmonising vocals

Top tracks: Smokescreen & Ant vs Elephant

You can read my interview with MISS here

  1. Three Day Weekend

For fans of: Britpop, classic indie rock, Babyshambles, Suck It And See-era Arctic Monkeys, Jake Bugg

Top tracks: Oh Well & Dreams

You can read my EP review & interview with Three Day Weekend here

  1. MONO 01

For fans of: messy post-punk/ garage rock with unique twists and elements of indie

Top tracks: The Narcissist & Girl on The Other Side of Town

You can read my interview with MONO 01 here

MONO 01 live at The Horn
  1. The Feckless

For fans of: The Jam, The Clash, anti-establishment savage rock music, brutal 70s/ 80s punk

Top tracks: Take Back The Streets & One Way Street

You can read my EP review & interview with lead singer Joe here

  1. Thelma Ball

For fans of: American rock’n’roll, The Strokes, sunny indie rock

Top tracks: Healthy Pupil & Start A Fight

You can read my interview with Thelma Ball here

  1. Strange Bones

For fans of: hardcore punk, savage riffs, Marmozets, Alexisonfire

Top track: God Save The Teen

  1. Pretty Citizens

For fans of: old school British indie rock, Arctic Monkeys, The Stone Roses

Top tracks: Lost Control & Wolf Whistle

You can read my interview with Pretty Citizens here

Pretty Citizens
  1. The Vitrines

For fans of: Royal Blood, Jack White, blaring guitar riffs and anything heavy with loud roaring bass lines

Top tracks: Mindgames & Bad Lucy

You can read my interview with The Vitrines here

The Vitrines
  1. The Visitors

For fans of: quirky indie rock with an attitude, Arctic Monkeys, Red Hot Chili Peppers

Top track: Partying All Night

  1. Nova Twins

For fans of: killer kick-ass women in punk, distorted bass lines and an infectious ‘couldn’t give a fuck’ attitude blending grime with punk

Top track: Bassline Bitch

Nova Twins
  1. Gutxi Bibang

For fans of: raw cutting edge rock vocals, artistic fashionable 60s flares, a mixture of LA rock’n’roll with classic British rock from the 70s, Hendrix & The Rolling Stones

Top track: System of a Gun

Gutxi Bibang

29. The Clause

For fans of: Britpop, 90s indie rock, fun loud moshpits & feel good proper rock you can dance to (for fans of The Stone Roses, DMA’s, The Twang)

Top track: Shut Me Out

30. Fish

For fans of: Wolf Alice, Nirvana, Pixies, raw gritty vocals and heavy cutting edge grunge rock mixed with indie

Top track: Wished

For more of these artists, you can listen to the Spotify playlist below

…or the SoundCloud playlist below

20 thoughts on “Bands to watch in 2017

  1. Great band list! Please don’t forget London 3-piece Imaginary Dreamers, The Actions, The Life And Death, Luna Lacuna, Violetic , Skies and Milk Teeth!
    Astonishing upcoming bands..

    Liked by 1 person

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