I think I’ve cracked music discovery — visit every different music website you can, and click through the related artists for Storm & Stress. Last time I used this tactic I discovered the excellent Lowercase, recommended by Last.fm (badly) as being similar to Under Thunder and Fluorescent Lights.
This time around, it’s Allmusic.com making the tenuous, but nonetheless excellent recommendations. First up is Ganger. (Just as a quick aside, they have one of the worst band names I’ve ever heard, something approximate to the cover art for You Wanna Kiss About It by the Bulletproof Tiger — great music needlessly marred by plain bad paraphernalia.) Ganger were an almost instrumental four piece from the 90s, and their music has plenty interesting going for it. Hammock Style, the band’s sole LP release, has hints of My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth, some sparse, amazing female vocals that sit perfectly under the top of the mix (listen and you’ll get what I mean, it’s something pretty special), and, because the band has two bass players, some unique textures and melodies. It’s a good, varied and very interesting album.
Next is Rodan, a post-rock/hardcore band from Kentucky and the early-90s. Their album, Rusty, is a pretty schizophrenic affair, with some acute stylistic changes from track to track. It could get a bit annoying, but they remain on the spectrum of rock & hardcore (and their ‘post-’ incarnations) throughout and, crucially, execute well on each vibe.
Lastly, June of 44, featuring Jeff Mueller from Rodan. I’ve been listening for a few days, and they haven’t totally grabbed me at any one time as of yet, but I have a strong hunch that they are going to become one of those bands you suddenly realise you’re in love with after 6 months. They’re not as aggressive or stark as Rodan, but their influences are varied, and very interesting. There’s some Mogwai-i post rock, some Sonic Youth (think Small Flowers Crack Concrete from probably the best album ever), spoken word, environmental sounds, Led Zeppelin string arrangements (yuh!), trumpet…I could go on, suffice to say that it’s very intriguing stuff.