Being that tonight's Thursday Night Football game is the first showdown of the 2014 NFL season, Music Times figured we'd go for the prototypical music showdown between the two cities competing: Find the best bands from both area codes and face them off against each other.
Only problem: The game is between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers.
That's a heck of a football matchup but not so much for music. Seattle is the birthplace of Jimi Hendrix, the capital of the entire grunge scene and continues to push superb alternative rock, folk and hip-hop from hometown label Sub Pop. We couldn't name one current band from Green Bay.
We accepted our ignorance and went out in search of musicians that represent the land of Cheeseheads with hopes that they'll one day make their hometown a more likely musical foe for Seattle.
We're already cheating somewhat. Rapper Milo attended college in nearby De Pere, a short trip down the Fox River from Green Bay, so although he currently associates with Los Angeles' Hellfyre Club, we still give him the benefit of the doubt. The emcee will be dropping his A Toothpaste Suburb later during September and early tracks released such as "you are go(o)d to me (editorial length)" feature Milo at his minimalist, alt best. Compare with Seattle's own Shabazz Palaces if you insist on making a competition of it.
Another band from nearby Green Bay (Appleton to be specific), Tenement has already gotten the attention of others in the punk rock underground as its recent split with the Screaming Females demonstrates. "Wouldn't Let You Go" exemplifies a salute to Green Bay's epic punk past (check for the film Green Blah) while keeping an open mind for post-rock elements.
Wisconsin is home to lush forests and cold winters (we know you've seen the snow games at Lambeau Field). We'd like to think some great experimental metal would thrive here. Aronious and its progressive death metal live up best to our expectations with a collection of convoluted riffs (the progressive part) and the brutal vocals of Zach Early (the death part). The range of song lengths (from 1:30 to more than 7:00) also make album Truth In Perception an interesting listen.
04) Harvey Brown
We hesitate to tie Harvey Brown to any one scene as it seems to go out of its way to fit one. Two vocalists keep things mixed up...take time to admire the experimental notions of the electric guitar but don't get too distracted from the rhythmic section, which keeps things groovy and, we dare say, even danceable.
It seems like these kids could still be in high school but so were The Orwells like a year ago so it's never too early to shine some spotlight. The difference of course is that the guys in Motra are looking for a more refined sound (no offense meant to raw rock 'n' roll) and release "Danger of Repetition" reveals a strong Radiohead influence. There's plenty of time for the guys to polish its sound into something more identifiable however. Off to a great start.