Four underrated bands that deserve recognition this year


By Kiley Brown

No matter what time of year, music is constantly evolving. Because music trends phase in and out so quickly, some bands don’t get their chance in the limelight. A handful of underrated groups including Spendtime Palace, Los Campesinos!, Atlanta Rhythm Section, and The Smithereens deserve the spotlight this year. These bands offer a variety of genres and strive to share their passion for music with others.

Five high school friends, Dan, Elijah, Sean, Brandon, and Toast started playing music together in 2012 at parties. The Costa Mesa, California natives decided to call themselves Spendtime Palace. Now an alternative/indie rock band, Spendtime Palace has been featured in magazines and websites such as Billboard; they have also worked alongside actors Finn Wolfhard, Iris Apatow, and Josh Ovalle to create new music. Their most notable songs include “Sonora,” in which Wolfhard, best known as his role as Mike Wheeler from “Stranger Things,” co-directed and starred in the western-styled music video. Another significant song by Spendtime Palace is “Get It Straight,” which was discovered by many in a YouTube video posted by Ovalle. If you enjoy Foster the People, Spendtime Palace has a similar alternative rock sound.

Lively indie pop band Los Campesinos! formed in 2006 in Cardiff, Wales. They  played their first show at a college function that May. In their 2008 debut, “Hold On Now, Youngster” the band had a lively and upbeat sound, but they wanted to shake things up for their following albums. Their second recording, “We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed,” had a darker twist, receiving applause from critics. The gloomy appearance and exploration of instrumental sound continues through Los Campesinos! next two albums. Their latest album “Sick Scenes,” was released on Feb. 24 ,2017. Joy Division, a popular rock band from the 1980s now known as New Order, influenced Los Campesinos! sound, and the two bands sound alike, emphasizing energy and mood in their songs. All of their music can be found on YouTube, Spotify, Google Play, and Pandora.

Atlanta Rhythm Section is an southern rock band that started its career in 1971. Southern rock is often a neglected genre which has slipped out of mainstream popularity because very few musicians perform it. The band had moderate success with their hit singles “So Into You” and “Imaginary Lover,” which both peaked at the No. 7 spot on Billboard in 1977 and 1978. Atlanta Rhythm Section has a wide variety of music, like several other Southern bands. Varying from more jazz-influenced songs, to some calming pop, and even a western swing country piece or two, Atlanta Rhythm Section has songs to please anyone who enjoys a classic southern rock band. Fans of Cage the Elephant would enjoy Atlanta Rhythm Section’s unique sound. 

The Smithereens are an American rock band that formed in 1980 in New Jersey. After playing in several cover bands, which included progressive rock and metal groups, lead singer Pat DiNizo was inspired to start his own group. He then placed an advertisement in a New York paper for fellow musicians influenced by the same artists including Buddy Holly, Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, and the Clash. Eventually, three high school students who played together found the ad, and joined Pat DiNizo. The Smithereens are best known for their hits in the late 1980s and early ‘90s, “Only a Memory,” “A Girl Like You,” and “Too Much Passion.” Dave Grohl, lead singer of Foo Fighters, and DiNizo have similar voices, although the two aren’t apart of the same genre.

These modern and older bands offer a variety of jams to complete your playlist. No matter what your favorite genre may be, it never hurts to branch out and discover new music.

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Kiley Brown is a junior, and it is her second year on staff. She is a huge music junkie; you’ll never see her without her earbuds. Other than listening to music 24/7, she enjoys biking, re-watching “The Office” for the millionth time, and hanging out with friends. Kiley is excited to be apart of The Roar again and hopes to branch out into writing for different sections for the website.