Boston-based quartet, Pile, brings a unique blend of different sounds. Though frontman Rick Maguire finds the band to slot right into the typical “rock” formula, the band defies genre more than he’s willing to admit. Labels like “post-punk” and “slowcore” definitely jump out, but their sound has a nuance that is tough to describe. Through the course of their eight studio releases, they have built up a dedicated fanbase; probably because you can’t find this sound anywhere else.

Part classic country and part atonal noise rock, Pile is like if Waylon Jennings stumbled into a Jesus Lizard show, grabbed the mic out of David Yow’s hands, then went on to finish the set. At times it’s quiet and contemplative, other times loud and distorted, and sometimes both in just a few seconds… If anything, it’s about as weird as a rock band can get without being fully avant-garde.

AV Club on Pile

Their most recent release, Green and Gray, was released just this year. The album is full of clever riffs, headbanging choruses, and even a bluntly honest political anthem — new territory for Pile. You can catch cuts from the new album live by checking the tour dates on their official website.

Pile gets down with Ernie Ball Not Even Slinkys on guitar and Regular Slinky Bass strings on bass.

Try to resist headbanging to the top Pile tracks below.

Illuminati Hotties


Sure, you could just describe Illuminati Hotties as indie pop, but that would be boring. The band instead chooses to self-assign their own genre label, “tenderpunk” — though, in the past, they’ve also called themselves “post-nap” and “burrito-core.” No matter what you want to call them, good luck trying to get through an Illuminati Hotties song without becoming overwhelmed with the desire to jump into a mosh pit while grinning from ear to ear.

Often I’ll get put into the ‘quirky internet band’ category because of my band name, or maybe because of someone’s initial impression of a single. Anyone who’s really listened seems to drop that pretense though. I’m hoping that people will really take a moment to play this stuff back at least twice because even on some of the zaniest tracks on this album there’s substance I’ve hidden.

Sarah Tuzdin, The Alternative


Her 2018 release, Kiss Yr Frenemies, was the band’s debut full-length, and it came bearing 11 genre-creating tunes. Following the album, Illuminati Hotties have been on the road, and you can see them live for yourself if you check out the tour dates on the official website.

Illuminati Hotties rely on Ernie Ball Regular Paradigms and Super Slinky Bass.

Jump around with Illuminati Hotties‘ top tracks below.



Innovation is the name of the game with Palm. If you’re tired of listening to the same-old, Palm has you covered. Nestled between art rock and math rock, they might just be the most accessible band that is pushing the boundaries of guitar-based music. With their unforgettable dissonant chords and their warping of standard time signatures, listening to a Palm track is absolutely thrilling.

We’re all curious, adventurous listeners. There’s always been an unwritten rule in our band that there are no rules. Nothing’s off-limits. We’re always trying to do something different. We’ve been playing together for so long, that you wanna do something that’s gonna be creatively stimulating for the other members as well.

Kasra Kurt, The FADER

In 2018, the band released their most recent album, Rock Island. It is full of their unique approach to songwriting, but somehow maintains the “island-y” beach rock feel that one would probably expect from a band named Palm. Met with critical acclaim, this release put them on the radar of indie-rock fans all over. If you want Palm on your radar, check out their official website for tour dates.

Palm rolls with Ernie Ball Regular Slinkys and Power Slinkys on guitar. On bass, they choose Flatwound Group II Bass strings.

Get weird with the top Palm songs below.

Crooked Teeth


Coming straight out of the West Coast, the California-based Crooked Teeth are an alternative rock band that live up to their name. The band has quite literally burst onto the scene, with their lead singles coming out within the last year and already picking up serious traction.

Crooked Teeth have made quite the leap from playing DIY collectives and skate shops to gracing the airwaves of alternative radio stations such as the world famous KROQ. The alternative rock duo offer a unique blend of hard hitting emo tinged rock with the decadence and undeniable catchiness of top 40 radio while still maintaining sincerity within their lyrics and overall approach to playing music.

Crooked Teeth Official Bio

Though the band is only a three-piece, their sound doesn’t give that away. Each of their tunes — including the above track, “Honey” — brings as full of a pop-punk sound as any other band in the scene. To see them live, you can check their official website for upcoming tour dates near you.

In order to get the fullest sound possible, Crooked Teeth choose Ernie Ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottom strings.

Rock out with Crooked Teeth‘s top tracks below.

Joe Gareri


Joe Gareri is a one-man army when it comes to prog-rock and metal. Gareri glides around the fretboard with ease, whether he’s going solo on his own track or adding shredding licks to classics like Santo & Johnny’s “Sleepwalk.” He’s been on tour with the likes of progressive greats like Andy Timmons, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dave Larue, Kings X, The Jelly Jam, Tesseract and, most recently, Paul Gilbert on his Behold the Electric Guitar tour.

His guitar style really started to develop when at the age of 19 he worked for Kramer Guitars in Neptune New  Jersey. He then went on to work for East Coast Music in Danbury,Ct. and VH-1 in Manhattan and studied guitar with guitarist/producer Nick Caiano.

Joe Gareri Official Bio

Though Gareri has been a hired gun for studio sessions — including on the upcoming Disciples of Verity debut, “Pragmatic Sanction” — his singles truly display his guitar prowess. They feature a range, showing off his tact on “Adrift,” while he ventures more towards metal on “Arimathea,” as featured above.

Joe Gareri has been playing Ernie Ball strings since the very first day he started playing and currently chooses Cobalt 7-String Regular Slinkys for his 7 strings and Cobalt Regular Slinkys for his 6 string Music Man JP BFR guitars.

Check out the top tracks from Joe Gareri below.

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