(David L. requested a similar topic, so I'll credit him here.)
When I'm not in Selinsgrove, PA attending Susquehanna University, I work at Vintage Vinyl Records, an awesome independent record store in New Jersey. Working indie means that I get exposed to a lot of music, local and otherwise, that never or rarely hits the airwaves. Some of my favorite bands are ones that no one's heard of, and it's really criminal. Here's my Top 5 Most Underrated Bands.
5. Okkervil River - Their album "The Stage Names", released last year, is a flawless Indie Rock odyssey, as intelligent as it is memorable. The sequel and continuation to its story, "The Stand-Ins", has just been released and are strongly recommended.
4. Pernice Brothers - Do you ever catch yourself thinking "There are no melodies left in the world?" Joe Pernice's band will prove you wrong. Every song original, every melody hypnotic and original.
3. Mohair - Hailing from Watford, England, they have the same intensity as The Kooks but none of the press or numbers. Their debut album, "Small Talk", was on repeat on my mp3 player for weeks.
2. The Damnwells - An indie rock band from Brooklyn, The Damnwells were driven by frontman Alex Dezen's lyrical masterwork, producing two flawless albums, "Bastards of the Beat" and "Air Stereo". Two albums no one bought. Maybe it was too alternative for adults or maybe it was too adult for fans of alternative, but the band could not sell records and disbanded in 2007.
1. The Gaslight Anthem - Hailing from New Brunswick, NJ, Gaslight is a punk band with strong classic rock roots. My father, record industry guru Rob Roth, described them as having the dramatic power of the Springsteen sound plus the fury of Against Me!. Their first album, "Sink or Swim", is certainly worth a listen or two, but their summer 2008 release, "The '59 Sound" is hands-down the best album of 2008, and may be one of my favorite albums of this decade. The Gaslight Anthem's frontman and songwriter, Brian Fallon, has a unique voice, combining his own lyrical poetry with dozens of references to classic rock songs. Once you've gotten over the originality and catchiness of the songs, you'll spend the next three listenings through trying to place all the names dropped and lyrics quoted. (Also, they're the coolest guys.) "The '59 Sound" is available wherever you buy music.
Sorry this post was late, loyal readers. I'll be posting another later today to make up for the missed day.