what's The Skinny? here's the deal. There are SO many sick bands out there that just don't get enough love. Well, with The Skinny, that's all going to change. We have taken it upon ourselves to get together and bust out a list once a month where we tell you about a handful of sick-ass bands that we feel NEED to be heard. Signed or unsigned, new or old, these are just bands that deserve some additional attention. We challenge you to take the time to check each one out; they are amazing, they are loved, and now they have been Skinned.
01. Ben Folds Five (Alternative Rock) [ skinned by: Robin Tarnowetzki ] the skinny: a trio consisting of a piano, bass, and drums that lasted for seven years and went defunct in 2000. If you think that sounds wimpy, think again. Ben Folds Five transforms the piano into a badass rock instrument and proves that you don't need a guitar to be cool. They are characterized by witty, acerbic, and sometimes delightfully bitter lyrics and uptempo melodies with an almost god-like command of the ivories. links:MySpace | Home | Last.FM
02. Gold Kids (Hardcore, Rock) [ skinned by: Amanda Cuda ] the skinny: a kicking hardcore band out of Italy who've been gaining ground in Europe since they got together in 2006. In July 2008 they released their last album, The Sound of Breaking Up which has been in good rotation in my MP3 player since I could get my hands on it. It's good ol' fist pumping hardcore from beginning to end! Anyone can tell you how important touring is for a band, but being from Sardinia (an island about 200 km away from mainland Italy) touring has been pretty essential for these guys. They'll be keeping it up this summer starting with a few shows in Germany. Take your music collection global and check them out. links:MySpace | Home | Last.FM
03. Otep (Rock, Metal, Experimental) [ skinned by: Lina Gosselin ] the skinny: an alternative or nu metal band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 2000 by vocalist Otep Shamaya and bassist “Evil” J. McGuire. Released their 3rd full-length album, The Ascension, October 30th, 2007. Female fronted metal bands are growing in numbers but OTEP still manages to stand out with their dark instrumentation and provocative lyrical content. Otep isn’t afraid to experiment with growls, squeals and harsh screams. She never holds back lyrically; every song is political, socially relevant, or confessional in some way. Outspoken, loud and emotionally raw, OTEP is a gem in the metal genre. links:MySpace | Home | Last.FM
05. The Banshee (Classic Rock) [ skinned by: Brad Hoath ] the skinny: a wicked classic rock band from Oshawa, Ontario. Formed in 2003 by Steve Bellingham and Evan Szekeres. The Banshee already has three albums under their belt, yet a fourth is expected in mid 2009. What makes this band so unique is that there are only two members in the band. Evan Szekeres takes up the role of acoustic guitar and vocals, while Steve Bellingham’s hands are full with the drums, bass guitar, keyboards, vocals, electric guitar, mandolin, and even the ukulele. The Banshee remain unsigned, however their talent and hard work will no doubt end with a big fat cheque from some big-wig company. I demand you listen to these classic rock musicians. links:MySpace
06. LaZarus A.D. (Thrash Metal) [ skinned by: Bruce Moore ] the skinny: an unbelievable Thrash Metal band from Wisocnsin of all places that is currently signed to Metal Blade Records. The bands debut CD is an homage to the old school thrash that came out of the San Francisco Bay area in the late eighties. It is well recorded and really just one of my favorite albums of the year so far. Check it out if you get a chance these guys will get your neck snapping. links:MySpace | Last.FM
07. Brand New (Alternative, Rock) [ skinned by: Will Lyon ] the skinny: an alternative rock band from Levittown, New York who formed 9 years ago in 2000. With increased activity in the last few months and short tours announced it cannot be long before Brand New release the follow up to The Devil & God Are Raging Inside Of Me. Ignore their terrible taste in band name and album names and just listen! Their sound has developed from a pop punk sound (Your Favorite Weapon), to a much more mature sound (Deja Entendu) and then churn out a completely different type of rock music for their last album (The Devil & God Are Raging Inside Of Me). Brand New are constantly seeking new sounds to add to their discography, follow the story and check out this unique band now! links:MySpace | Home | Last.FM
09. Neckbrace (Hardcore, Death Metal, Thrash) [ skinned by: Jenny Wixom ] the skinny: fronted by the magnetic presence of frontman Nick Poppleton and backed by the talents of guitarist Pat Moran, bass player Dave Stevens and drummer Dan Ditto, this Pocatello, Idaho based hardcore/thrash metal band have been a favorite on the local scene for years. Despite their tough sound and image, these guys have been extremely vocal with their anti-meth message and have been very active in the local Idaho Meth project campaign, performing several benefit shows to raise money for the cause. links:MySpace
10. The Holly Springs Disaster (Rock, Hardcore, Metal) [ skinned by: Chris Hoath ] the skinny: a post-hardcore band based out of Saskatchewan. I’m damn proud to say that these guys are Canadian, considering they’ve changed the face of Post-Hardcore, and created something epic. As with many hardcore bands, the band fuses in a southern sound into their music. The band has one album (though some consider it an EP), and they are setting to record the next on in April. If you think Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster are epic, give these guys a listen. You’ll be blown away. links:MySpace | Last.FM
11. INK (Alternative, Psychedelic, Metal) [ skinned by: Amanda Symynuk ] the skinny: a rockin' band from Greece who have been putting out great music for almost ten years! They have recently released their new album Diary which is definitely worth checking out. This psychedelic album is highly influenced by Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains and other similar grunge. It's a very nice mix of raw emotion and heavy guitars. links:MySpace
12. Backmask (Metal, Progressive, Death Metal) [ skinned by: Chris Gonda ] the skinny: it was in 2001 that the band officially came to be; when vocalist/guitarist Shane McFee released a self-produced demo in an effort to recruit band members. The band has a CRAZY live show and was to quickly develop a local following. Since then they have seen a #1 charting on mp3.com, a 5-song EP produced by Kurt Howell, a full-length in 2006 entitled Dark Fiber and a shit-ton of touring. Shane might be a classically trained guitarist but he shreds like a demon. This band needs to be heard ASAP, their aural assault is out of this world! links:MySpace | Home | Last.FM
13. Glassjaw (Post Hardcore) [ skinned by: Andrew King ] the skinny: these Long Island natives are post-hardcore pioneers, having formed back in 1993. Being infamously plagued by lineup changes since its inception, the band now consists of vocalist Daryl Palumbo, guitarist Justin Beck, bassist Manny Carrero, and drummer Durijah Lang. It's been more than six years since the band's latest release, Worship & Tribute, though a long-awaited full length is in the final stages of completion, with a studio version of "You Think You're John Fucking Lennon" being posted on the band's official website at the end of 2008. Glassjaw is without a doubt my favourite band, and I thought it was fitting that the band that spawned my passion for aggressive music back in the late '90s help spawn this new feature. While Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is a damn fine debut, first-timers should check out either Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence (abrasive, raw, and cathartic) or Worship & Tribute (ambiant, smooth, and passionate, but still cathartic) for a real introduction to this intense and influential band. links:MySpace | Home | Last.FM
we want YOUR input! so do you think we suck at skinning bands? Do you have a group that you want to see posted here? Well then take two minutes and send us an email to mail[at]puregrainaudio.com with your thoughts. We'll take each letter seriously and with any luck you'll see your nomination live in one of our future installments of The Skinny!