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. Cougar (Experimental, Rock, Electronica) [ skinned by: Will Lyon ] the skinny: Look away now, if you're not interested in instrumental music. However, fan of Mogwai et al, then listen up. Cougar are a five piece band hailing from Madison, Wisconsin and to be honest, haven't been around very long. They released debut album "Law" in 2006 and released follow up "Patriot", just weeks ago. With high recommendations filtering in around the world, it's safe to say I'm not the only one with the opinion that Cougar are worth a listen. Maybe not quite reaching the same level of Mogwai at their peak, but Cougar are not far behind and for many people are better. It's loud; it's fast and is often contrasted by slow, quiet melodies creeping in all over the sound. Not everyone's cup of tea, but some fantastic instrumental rock for the others. links:MySpace | Home | Last.FM
02. Smoosh (Indie) [ skinned by: Robin Tarnowetzki ] the skinny: Smoosh is an indie/pop band consisting of sisters Asy, Chloe, and recently, Maia. You wouldn't think at first that Smoosh, based in Seattle, would be a credible band considering they released their first LP when drummer Chloe was 10 and singer/keyboardist Asy was 12. The band was started after Chloe started taking drum lessons from Jason McGerr, drummer for Death Cab For Cutie. Asy had been teaching herself keyboard and writing songs for awhile, and the two decided to form a band. They've been quickly accepted by the Seattle music scene and have toured with The Eels, Bloc Party, Death Cab For Cutie, and Cat Power. The girls write their own songs, which are enchanting and mature, despite their ages. Asy has a nicely unpolished voice and both girls are very accomplished on their instruments, Chloe in particular. Many people might be prejudiced against the girls because of their age, but give them a chance because you won't regret it. links:MySpace | Home | Last.FM
03. Madder Mortem (Metal, Alternative, Progressive) [ skinned by: Adam McAuley ] the skinny: This band plays a very emotive type of metal. They have a female vocalist in Agnete M. Kirkevaag who is spellbinding and backed by a bunch of very capable musicians. The musical palette they craft is artistic in its use of layered sounds which creates a unique and heavy passion in their sound. Their most recent album, Eight Ways, was just released recently and features all I've described performed to the most maximal capacity possible. A band to watch out for in the future. links:MySpace | Home | Last.FM
04. USS (Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker) (Drum & Bass, Grunge, Pop) [ skinned by: Amanda Cuda ] the skinny: These boys are Toronto's gem. Made up of guitarist and vocalist Ashley Boo-Schultz and Human Kebab on turntables, USS have put out some of the most hype-worthy, singable songs that I bet you've heard in a really long time. They've quickly been gaining a reputation as one of the cleanest, impressive and most exciting independent acts out there right now. And as for their live show; let's just say that the second you see Boo-Schultz playing guitar on Human Kebab's shoulders while his foot is being used on the turntables, you'll want to see more of this band. Their latest album, Questamation, came out earlier this year and if you're in the market to hear something completely new, I highly recommend that you check it out. links:MySpace | Home | Last.FM
05. Christian Hansen & The Autistics (Crunk, Post-Punk) [ skinned by: Amanda Symynuk ] the skinny: Christian Hansen & The Autistics are breaking out of Edmonton, Alberta with catchy electro-pop beats infused with serious lyrics. The song "Pump it" best suits this description because it is really catchy dance floor tune which seems to be sunshine and rainbows until you listen to the lyrics. This unique approach to music tricks audiences into listening to their message and to think about what they are listening to. Recently, Christian Hansen & The Autistics have released their newest album, Power Leopard. Also, they are known for putting on a fun and fabulous show; hopefully they will do a cross country tour again soon. links:MySpace | 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!