Every month since November 2004 with issue 196, AP has spotlighted unsigned bands in the AP&R section and if we may toot our own horn for a second, we’ve picked some damn good ones throughout the years. Here are 10 bands we picked up on early in the game that ended up making a name for themselves in the scene.
Envy On The Coast
Issue: 214 (May ’06)
The band formed in 2004, and we caught up with them in 2006 before their first EP as Envy On The Coast came out—they were previously named Writ In Water. Even then, frontman Ryan Hunter expressed his dedication to integrity and a visceral live performance, saying, “Don’t look for a gimmick, because we’re the farthest thing from it…We pride ourselves on our live show. Don’t expect backflips, because you won’t find them here, [but] we leave the show with bruises, blood and headaches and put everything we have into it.” The band went on to release two full-lengths, Lucy Gray and Lowcountry, that peaked at 11 and 5, respectively, on Billboard’s heatseekers chart before disbanding just months after Lowcountry’s release in July 2010.
You, Me, And Everyone We Know
Issue: 227 (June ’07)
Independently releasing their debut full-length, Party For The Grown and Sexy, and the follow-up EP, So Young So Insane, the band ended up on Doghouse for 2010’s Some Things Don’t Wash Out, which has been heralded across the internet since its release. Intra-band turmoil may have stopped them from reaching long term, chart-worthy potential, but their EPs and full-length serve as a great internet-built underdog success story. The band, which are known for their upbeat, party-centric rock a la Say Anything, aren’t fully disbanded with frontman Ben Liebsch promising a new EP this fall, but the mass exit of members in April 2011make for a rocky future.
Closure In Moscow
Issue: 229 (August ’07)
We caught up with the band just as they were finishing up what would become their 2008 debut EP, The Penance And The Patience, with post-hardcore producer extraordinaire Kris Crummet. Kickin’ out some of the most forward-thinking post-hardcore jams this wave has seen, it’s no surprise the Aussie-natives were picked up by Equal Vision for their 2009 full-length, First Temple, and have been making in-roads within the US scene ever since.
Issue: 231 (October ’07)
The prog-emo rockers had just put out their self-released debut full-length, …And Then The Hurricane, when they hit our radar. We described their sound as full of “complex guitar arrangements, three-part harmonies and stratospheric lead vocals that could stop Anthony Green in his tracks,” which definitely rang true on their Rise Records debut, In Medias Res. The band hit the scene hard, spreading quickly through the music blogosphere and forming a strong friendship with Emarosa. The band were slated to for a 2012 follow-up, but disbanded abruptly in 2011 stating on their Facebook, “To clarify the rumors people are making up: This band is done and is never coming back.”
Issue: 235 (February ’08)
Right before 2008’s Hearing Colours, Seeing Sounds hit the airwaves, Anarbor landed in our AP&R section and were still unsigned, even though they had shared the stage with the likes of Jimmy Eat World and were gearing up for their first national tour. The band signed with Hopeless, who have released all of their material since then. They’re still going strong with a consistent tour and release schedule, continuing to pave their way to being a long-lasting legacy act in the future.