The Beat Town Blog Freshmen list.
Brummie heroes Black Mekon seem like a band tailor made to my own tastes. They wear sharp suits and kato masks on stage, they have a bomb as part of their drum kit and play the most deliciously raw, sleazy and bluesy take on Rock' N Roll I've heard all year. Black Mekon are about as cool as Rock music gets. blackmekon.com
When I saw Dorcha it was at the Town Hall in Birmingham. Famous for it's acoustics and classic architecture the music of could not have complimented it's surrounding better. Dorcha's music is a surreal take on goth. There is a surreal beauty in the way they mix classical instruments with electronica. The sound they make isn't too far off from the early work of Arcade Fire or Portishead, but no comparisons can accurately sum up their music. Dorcha are totally unique. http://dorcha.bandcamp.com/
Crime & Punishment 2011/ J-Dead
It only seems fitting to include Crime & Punishment 2011 on this list as I've covered their shows extensively over their first year as a band. Their mix of witch-house, grime and metal confuses and thrills in equal measure. Their shows are intense spectacles of existential angst and frenzied screaming. While member Jake's side project J-Dead, has more of a relaxed, spoken word style. Both will probably be releasing plenty of new music over 2017. crimepunishment2011.bandcamp.com/
Luke is a busy lad, helping several bands out while also being a full time solo performer. Now that his main band Layover have split up the focus is on his own acoustic song-writing. His début album 'I'm nothing like my dad turned out to be' is an intensely personal record, detailing love, heartbreak, mental health and the trials of growing up.It has made many people get emotional at his several solo shows across 2016. His second album is out Feburary 17th. https://lukerainsford.bandcamp.com/album/im-nothing-like-my-dad-turned-out-to-be
Despite all the hype around grime at the moment I feel that much of the most vital hip-hop/rap in the UK exists outside of that scene. While birmingham may be known for Lady Leishurr, it's got an underground scene worth hearing as well. Abel Gray is a fine example of this. Much like Drake a lot of the appeal of his music comes from his likeability. He also has a similarly laid back approach but, mixed in with a humour and an experimental style that is all his own. https://abelgray.bandcamp.com/
Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam
It's with some regret I admit that I've not seen Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam live. I get the feeling that they are probably pretty amazing. Their several self released albums are all worth listening too. SFL play 90's style grunge/alt-rock with all the power and angst it deserves, with a surreal twist of their own. They stand out in a crowded market simply because their songs are better, and more memorable than what the completion has to offer.
Blackash's Debut Ep has been released on a limited run of 333 copies by the Birmingham record shop/label Swordfish. It's on blood red/black splatter vinyl and has been released alongside a rare 'lost' Arthur Brown record. The first track from the bands début EP 'Black Witch' is a ten minute long psychedelic freak-out. Which evokes Primal Scream at their darkest. Mixing elements of both acid house and stoner rock, with nihilistic lyrics and krautrock style grooves. This is as cool as psychedelic rock gets. www.facebook.com/blackashsounds
The Fidgets, Karl Monroe, Castillions, Sox, Lady Leishurr (obv), Chartreuse, Blank Parody, Enemo-J, JJ Pluto, Bathtub, Fullshore, Dearist, Enquiry, Lady Sanity, Wax Futures, History Of Sex, Enquiry...
Note: Smart Casual were on this list until they announced their spilt with their singer. If they continue as a group they will still be worthy Beat Town blog Freshmen.