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A unique blend of East L.A. one part psychedelic, the other cumbia-based rock’n’roll Tropa Magica is a band that should be on your radar creating a sonic attack that is distinctly theirs. The band was formed by the brothers Pacheco, David (guitar/vocals), and Rene (drums) after rebranding. Tropa wrote and recorded the theme song for Felipe Esparaza’s Netflix special and collaborated with the notorious Instagram meme page Foo’s Gone Wild on the “Foo Files Cumbia”. The band has recently released their sophomore record titled Tripando Al Infinito En Mi Recamara, highlighting not only the brothers Pacheco as a bold entertaining live band but creative songwriters that are expanding their abilities.
Sounds Like: Chicano Batman, Red Pears, Quitapenas
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Rising out of the 90’s with the great influential American rock band’s came Failure. The heavy riff-driven band fronted by multi-instrumentalist Ken Andrews and Greg Edwards. Failure marries textural cinematic soundscapes in a way that is a distinct calling card for the band. Conjoining unique arrangements that go from headbanging dynamic responses to low-key driving grimy bass, big drums, and sharp melodic guitar leads. After the band’s critically acclaimed second and third album Magnified and Fantastic Planet, Failure disbanded in 1997. After which Andrews started a one-band outfit called ON and followed a path of producing/engineering working with Ednaswap, Skycycle, Creeper Lagoon, and Tenacious D. Edwards went on to form the well-received band Autolux. In 2013 the band announced it’s reuniting and opening for Tool on their tour. In 2015, the band released a series of EP’s with InGrooves throughout the first half of the year, their first release in 18 years, titled Heart Is A Monster. After which was followed up by the record In The Future Your Body Will Be The Furthest From Your Mind.
Watch: “Stuck On You” official music video.
Sounds Like: Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, and Tool
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Somewhere between catchy indie-rock with the energy of earlier emo and punk, lo-fi rap, and vocal melodies reminiscent of church choruses, you’ll find DC-based multi-instrumentalist, Bartees Strange. Born in England, raised in Oklahoma, and based in Washington D.C., Bartees is not that interested in picking one musical lane and sticking to it. With the release of his debut full-length, Live Forever, Bartees made it very clear that a hodgepodge of musical styles can work perfectly well, as long as you tastefully assemble it. With songs like “Mustang” and “Boomer,” your first instinct is an upbeat and catchy indie-rock band similar to Bloc Party. But then you hear the tracks like “Kelly Roland” or “In a Cab” which showcase more of a band-driven R&B vibe, and even a slight singer-songwriter tone with the track “Far.” Mix in some occasional jazz flairs and huge catchy choruses, and you get Bartees. Now with the debut record under his belt, and a performance on Late Night with Seth Meyers already in 2021, Bartees will be eyeing live shows to support the tunes as soon as possible.
Sounds Like: Bloc Party, Bad Rabbits, TV On The Radio