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Fitz and the Tantrums Is The Band You Liked Most In 2012!

Posted by MTV News On December - 9 - 2011

By Zachary Swickey

The people have spoken!

We asked you, “Which Band We Liked Is Going To Blow Up In 2012?” and you guys and gals helped soul-lovers Fitz and the Tantrums claim the top spot! We received 6,195 votes in just a few days with Fitz and Co. claiming over 40 percent of your online love. Coincidentally, the Fitz crew is also the very first band we covered when we started Bands We Like back in July. We can’t say we’re all that surprised considering how often we find ourselves spinning their debut album – 2010’s Pickin’ Up the Pieces.

Dredg wasn’t far behind in the number two spot – the So-Cal rockers warmly received 28 percent of your online votes. The New Regime – a side project of Ilan Rubin, who is Angels and Airwaves’ newest drummer – barely edged out Other Lives with just under 15 percent. Other Lives still managed to take nearly 14 percent of the votes with Mariachi El Bronx trailing at 4 percent. (In their defense, they weren’t able to vie for your attention as much as they’re touring overseas right now). There may be only one number one, but all the bands are still winners in our hearts (and ears).

Be on the lookout for our look at upcoming albums in 2012 from some of our favorite Bands We Like artists. Check out a full breakdown of the voting after the jump!

Total Votes: 6,195

Winner: Fitz & the Tantrums – 40.29%

Dredg – 27.51%

The New Regime – 14.74%

Other Lives – 13.79%

Mariachi El Bronx – 3.68%

Check out Fitz and the Tantrums telling MTV News what’s next for the band below:

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Don’t Forget To Vote For The Band You Think Is Going To Blow Up Big In 2012!

Posted by John Mitchell On December - 7 - 2011

This year we’ve hit upon rock bands from across the spectrum in our weekly feature Bands We Like. As some of these somewhat under the radar groups begin to take off – Other Lives will soon be the opening act for Radiohead, El Bronx fulfilled their own fantasy by appearing on Conan’s late night show and The New Regime’s Ilan Rubin is the new drummer for Tom DeLonge’s side-project, Angels & Airwaves – we’re looking to you indie music fiends to see which Band We Liked is destined to will be the breakout act of 2012.

We’ve narrowed down five of our favorites (Fitz & the Tantrums, Other Lives, Dredg, The New Regime and Mariachi El Bronx). Now, it’s your turn. To find out more about the bands we’ve selected, go HERE, and vote in our “Which Band We Liked Will Blow Up In 2012?” poll after the jump.

Vote now through tomorrow, December 8 at noon! We will have the results for you Friday, December 9. And don’t forget to spread the word in support of your favorite band!

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Which Band We Liked Will Blow Up In 2012?

Posted by MTV News On December - 5 - 2011

By Zachary Swickey

We’ve covered quite a few diverse rock acts for Bands We Like – from the soul-powered retro pop of Fitz & the Tantrums to the always evolving musings of Dredg – and all of the groups had a stellar year in 2011. Other Lives will soon be the opening act for Radiohead, El Bronx fulfilled their own fantasy by appearing on Conan’s late night show, and The New Regime’s Ilan Rubin is now the new drummer for Tom DeLonge’s side-project, Angels & Airwaves. We’ve taken the liberty of rounding up the five bands to keep an eye on in the New Year and wonder which one you think will be the breakout act of 2012?

Check out the Bands We Like All-Stars and vote in our poll, after the jump!

Mariachi El Bronx
Seriously, we can’t recommend the Spanish-soaked sounds of Mariachi El Bronx enough. The group – a Mariachi side project of LA punk heathens The Bronx – clearly has a firm, respectful grasp on the niche genre. It’s downright crazy how much wide appeal a band so unique actually has, but their songs are infectious (“48 Roses” and “Revolution Girls”) and occasionally rather deep (“Holy” and “Poverty’s King”). They just opened for the Foo and are now in the midst of an overseas jaunt. Vibrant strings, piping trumpets and tatted-up dudes in charro suits – what more could you possibly ask for?

Mariachi El Bronx – Holy from Our Videos on Vimeo.

Other Lives
Things already seemed to be falling into place when we profiled Other Lives back in August – the group was about to venture on the road as the opening act for Bon Iver’s West Coast run. Well, they must have been received favorably to say the least, considering next spring they’ll be the proud opening act of Radiohead’s first full-fledged tour behind their latest effort, The King of Limbs. Other Lives also dropped a beautiful music video for their album’s title track, “Tamer Animals.” This band is most definitely going places and we’re enjoying watching the journey.

Other Lives “Tamer Animals” from Hank Friedmann on Vimeo.

Fitz & the Tantrums
We simply can’t imagine anyone not falling in love with the music of Fitz & the Tantrums – whether it’s your grandma or your little brother, the music speaks to everyone. Their throwback sound is deliciously nostalgic and the group is a living homage to the great soul music of yesteryear. The LA-based six-piece have been road warriors throughout 2011, making appearances at SXSW, Austin City Limits and the Voodoo Music Experience to name a few. Check out their Christmas tune, “Santa Stole My Lady,” to swing into the holiday vibe a little early!

Fitz and the Tantrums – MoneyGrabber from Michael Mohan on Vimeo.

Talk about a fearless band. Dredg are unafraid to constantly (and drastically) evolve their sound with each new effort. With five albums now under their belts, the band has covered a great deal of musical terrain and took it even further with this year’s release, Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy, which was produced by the legendary underground genius Dan the Automator (Gorillaz, Head Automatica). There’s no telling what direction Dredg will take for their next album, but we can’t wait to find out.

DREDG – Upon Returning from merkley??? on Vimeo.

The New Regime
If anything, The New Regime is an example of the amazing abilities of mankind in general. You see, The New Regime is a one-man show – 23-year-old Ilan Rubin makes and arranges every sound heard from the band. A drummer at heart – he just officially replaced Atom Willard as the drummer for Angels & Airwaves – Rubin was only 20 years old when Trent Reznor asked him to drum for Nine Inch Nails on their farewell tour. The musical virtuos’s solo offerings as The New Regime will leave you astounded. This guy’s amazing!

The New Regime – Tap Dancing In A Minefield Live [HD] from The New Regime on Vimeo.

Vote now through Thursday, December 8 at noon! We will have the results for you Friday, December 9. And don’t forget to spread the word in support of your favorite band!

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Bands We Like: Every Time I Die

Posted by MTV News On November - 30 - 2011

By Zachary Swickey

It is increasingly rare in today’s modern music world to see a band make it past the ten year mark. It’s even rarer to see a band do it while maintaining musical credibility. Case in point, Every Time I Die – a group of headbanging, enthusiastic Bills fans from Buffalo who feature some of the dirtiest, awesomest metal riffs you’ll ever hear and just so happen to throw the hottest damn concerts in town.

Every Time I Die started off with brothers Keith Buckley and Jordan Buckley on vocals and guitars, respectively, before adding Andy “Paul Bunyan” Williams as a second guitarist. Original drummer Mike “Ratboy” Novak handled sticks for the group from their 1998 inception until 2009 when Canadian Ryan Leger (a madman on the drums nicknamed “Legs”) replaced him. (Insert name here) has been with the group since… sorry, inside joke since the bassist position in ETID has been an eternally revolving door of musicians (they’re on number six or seven) most recently filled by the re-joining of Steve Micciche, who originally handled bass duties for the group from 2001-2005.

ETID are a cast of colorful characters – brothers Keith and Jordan operate two of our favorite Twitter feeds (entertaining as hell is all I can say) and they are some of the nicest guys you’ll ever be lucky enough to meet. Keith Buckley (who was once an English teacher) just oozes badass – he was sporting some bitchin’ snakeskin cowboy boots when I met him backstage at Warped Tour many moons ago (not to mention his name sounds destined for porn), and he has an onstage swagger matched by none in his music circles. If Jordan Buckley ever has an Oasis-style falling out with his brother, he will always have his insane art skills to fall back on. Much of his work is showcased through the band’s own album art and he also runs an online clothing store featuring a bevy of righteous T-shirts. And just forget about all of Andy’s tattoos – the guy is a giant teddy bear.

The first two albums from Every Time I Die – 2001’s Last Night in Town and 2003’s Hot Damn – featured a much more raw sound than their more recent studio efforts but “organized metal chaos” will always be an apt description of their overall sound. Their third release, Gutter Phenomenon, was released in August of ’05 and began the tradition of featuring their friends as guest vocalists. For Phenomenon, Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance appeared on the first single, “Kill the Music,” while Daryl Palumbo of Glassjaw provided guest vocals on “Champing at the Bit.” My personal favorite, “Gloom and How It Gets that Way,” clocks in at less than two minutes but it’s an audio massacre with a brutal breakdown that will have you anxiously anticipating it every time. The ending, however, is the money shot, as Buckley screams, “Hallelujah, the king is dead. The king is dead!”

Their fourth record was appropriately dubbed The Big Dirty, and garnered the act their highest chart position yet when it landed at No. 41 on the Billboard album charts. The opening track, “No Son of Mine,” has pummeling drums and will have hairs sprouting from your chest upon listening as it is one of loudest, proudest songs in the ETID canon. Their chum Dallas Green (who goes by City & Colour if you don’t recall) adds his smooth voice to the track “INRIhab,” which also features Keith displaying some of his actual singing (rather than screaming) skills.

EVERY TIME I DIE “Wanderlust” from Every Time I Die on Vimeo.

The group’s most recent offering – ‘09’s New Junk Aesthetic – is arguably their biggest critical success yet (and sports a wicked cover courtesy of Jordan, of course). While it sounds like their most aggressive record, it’s also the most balanced – some fans decried the slick production found on Phenomenon, and thankfully New Junk will keep fans of both eras happy. “Wanderlust” is the prime example – it merges the raucousness of the old EDIT days with the group’s more focused recent sound. “White Smoke” has a ridiculously catchy guitar riff that will have your ears bleeding (with glee!) by end. Friends this time around include Greg Puciato (frontman of Dillinger Escape Plan) adding his vocal insanity to “The Marvelous Slut,” while Matt Caughthran (of The Bronx/ Mariachi El Bronx, who we totally dig too) lends his classic punk-fueled voice to “The Sweet Life.”

Every Time I Die are some of the most dedicated, humble musicians that exist. They practically live on the road or in the studio – releasing an album every two years and taking a maximum of a month off if ever (Keith also fronts “supergroup” The Damned Things, which features members of Fall Out Boy and Anthrax). Check out their DVD “S**t Happens” to witness all the shenanigans they get into on the road. They just wrapped a tour opening for their heroes – metal legends Gwar – and are heading overseas for the next couple of weeks before finishing up work on their untitled sixth album, which will see a release in early 2012.

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Bands We Like: Battles

Posted by MTV News On November - 9 - 2011


By Zachary Swickey

New York City indie noisemakers Battles will be celebrating their tenth anniversary next year and it’s been quite the tumultuous journey for the trio. Not many bands can boast guest appearances from Gary Numan (“Cars”) or indie darlings Blonde Redhead’s Kazu Makino on their new record, but I imagine it went rather smoothly for Battles – a band that flies under the mainstream radar but has caught the ears of many dedicated audiophiles.

Battles are a trio, consisting of guitarist/keyboardist Ian Williams, bassist/guitarist/effects master Dave Konopka, and drummer John Stanier, who is the ex-stickman for ’90s alt-rock outfit Helmet as well as the drummer for Tomahawk, one of Faith No More singer Mike Patton’s many side projects. The group originated as a quartet that included multi-instrumentalist Tyondai Baxton, who was also the first to inject vocals into the predominantly instrumental group’s sound, but he abruptly left Battles last year in the middle of recording process for the group’s sophomore effort. The band continued on with no plans to replace Baxton, instead readjusting their style to once again focus on the music with minimal vocals.

Battles released a series of two instrumental EPs with impossible song titles to remember like “TRAS 2” and “SZ2” before dropping their official debut, Mirrored, in 2007 on legendary electronic label Warp (home of other Bands We Like outfit CANT). “Atlas” is a fun, bouncy number that sounds like a march being led by a munchkin from “The Wizard of Oz,” but it’s ridiculously infectious and got the group plenty of indie love. The production on their records is one of the highlights – you can hear the rich sound of each instrument with great clarity: the drums are surprisingly real and raw and the grungy synth sounds have never sounded dirtier (and that’s a good thing). For one of Stanier’s greatest moments, check out the neck-break speed drumming found on “Rainbow,” which clearly proves the man cannot be mortal.

Writing for the group’s follow-up album finally commenced in 2010 and the process was going smoothly until (as mentioned) Tyondai Baxton decided to depart the group when they were already halfway done. Baxton preferred a life that did not include touring and has since returned to being a solo artist. Carrying on as a trio, the remaining members re-wrote the entire work in only four months time.

BATTLES – Ice Cream from CANADA on Vimeo.

Released on June 6, Battles’ sophomore release Gloss Drop expands on the group’s schizo-sound with more ruckus than ever. The guest vocal tracks are standouts thanks to what I’ll call the “Three Bear’s ethic” (these voices sound juuust right). Stalwart techno mastermind Matias Aguayo provides his lungs (and grunts) on the album’s first single, “Ice Cream,” which is playful tune that features all sorts of bleeps and blurps that could easily be from an array of vintage video games. Gary Numan’s appearance on “My Machines” is most certainly worth checking out too – the drums sound like a weapon and the low-end warble intro will coax you in like a cow about to be slaughtered. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a conductor hop on stage for live renditions of “White Electric” with its smorgasbord of sounds swirling about – forming a maniacal audio cocktail.

Several critics refer to Battles as some sort of math rock band, while I find “calculated” a much more suitable term – as insane as the hodge-podge of sounds may seem, it’s all cohesive somehow. The live drums help ground the group and Stanier’s impressive skills will leave you in awe. Battles will be hitting up Australia’s iconic Big Day Out music festival at the dawn of 2012, and hopefully they’ll be announcing a spring tour of the states soon for us to get excited about.

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