People who tell whine and moan that “there was no good music this year” are either too boring to hang with or too busy Snapping to have a real barometer of what’s happening in the scene. 2017 will be a crucial period for many acts both mega and obscure, but it all boils down to the possibility that this might be a great year for music across the board. Take a look and take notes—you don’t want to sleep on any of these bands.

A Will Away (Triple Crown)

Connecticut’s A Will Away carry the best elements of alternative and indie to create an honest blend of rock that has kept this Triple Crown band on our radar. The quartet’s emotionally drenched 2015 EP Bliss boasts dynamic, melodically sound instrumentals and introspective lyrics, all tied together with frontman Matt Carlson’s entrancing, yet undeniably commanding vocals. Kicking off the year on the road with Moose Blood and a freshman full-length set on the way, expect 2017 to be the year that cements A Will Away’s already solid standing in the alt-rock world. —Maggie Dickman

Color Film

At the nucleus of Color Film is frontman Daryl Palumbo, whose extensive resumé of sonic adventures is certainly well-documented (Glassjaw, Head Automatica, Sports), and multi-instrumentalist Richard Penzone, who helped propel the rocktronic outfit Men, Women And Children alongside former Glassjaw guitarist Todd Weinstock and synth-op Nick Hook. While the 1975 are repackaging ’80s American funk-pop for a generation of neophyte listeners, Palumbo and Penzone are repurposing iridescent British new wave/post-punk/alt-rock tropes for their own creative dynamic. The songs on their impending debut album Living Arrangements incorporate intoxicatingly lush arrangements, rhythmic urgency and strange electronic vistas. Palumbo’s ability to consistently decode the intangible essence of music genres has resulted in another captivating LP. Keep your ears at the ready this spring. —Jason Pettigrew

Deaf Havana (So Recordings)

Deaf Havana have been in the business for a long time, and whether they’re changing their sound or changing their label, the band have  always put out consistently good music. With two singles already out for their next release, All These Countless Nights, it’s clear that we’re in for another amazing release from the band, this time courtesy of SO Recordings. James Veck-Gilodi’s voice is so infectious that once you turn this band on, you’ll want to keep them stuck on repeat plays for hours. These Britons have been in the game for a while, which means you need to start listening as soon as possible. —Jordan Toney

Don Broco (SharpTone)

The U.S. is ready for a British rock ’n’ roll invasion—and Bedford’s Don Broco are quickly setting themselves up for what could be an American break in 2017. Signed to new label SharpTone Records (alongside Attila, Miss May I and We Came As Romans), Don Broco released their sophomore LP Automatic for the first time internationally late last year. Automatic shows off the band’s effortless ability to combine smooth, infectious melodies with hard-hitting rock instrumentation, all built around frontman Rob Damiani’s prevailing vocals and the band’s cool clean-cut look. —Caitlyn Ralph

Flawes (Red Bull)

The club of British alt-pop has a new member. London-based trio Flawes have already released two EPs (Unspkn and Ctrl—they have an issue with vowels, don’t ask us) and plan on having a full-length out late this year. All of the tracks—particularly their standout single “Don’t Wait For Me”—blend ethereal synths with huge, hook-filled choruses. Check out the video for the single above: Aquaphobics, beware. —Mackenzie Hall

Free Throw (Triple Crown)

Although they come from Nashville, Tennessee, Free Throw have embodied the brand of music that’s normally a product of Midwestern emo and punk. Musically, the band’s sound seems to reach from early Weezer to more modern acts like Touché Amoré and Foxing. On their 2014 record Those Days Are Gone, you can hear their full span of writing styles as singer Cory Castro’s vocals waver between soft proclamations and angst-filled pleas. Free Throw are  expected to be an up-and-coming group as a new signing for Triple Crown. Count on them to continue to mix it up on their first record for the label, as the band is in New Jersey recording their second studio album, coming later this year. —Nikhail Gogia

Good Tiger (Blacklight Media/Metalblade)

When Good Tiger formed back in 2015, no one knew what to expect—not even the band. The group launched a crowdfunding campaign and reached their goal in just 24 hours, nearly tripling their goal by its end, allowing themselves to release their debut A Head Full Of Moonlight later that year. The product was an extremely humble collaboration of progressive metal that was facilitated by members who have come from bands all around the scene. Vocalist Elliot Coleman (ex-TesseracT) both writes and performs at the top of his game, while guitarists Dez Nagle and Joaquin Ardiles (ex-Safety Fire) layer pleasant melodies over crunching, distorted riffs. Drummer Alex Rüdinger (ex-the Faceless) and bassist Morgan Sinclair round out the group, giving the band a balance between heavy and technical and soft and dreamy. The band will work with producers Forrester Savell and Adam “Nolly” Getgood of Periphery, and have already entered the studio to record the next chapter of their evolution. —Nikhail Gogia

Jule Vera (Pure Noise)

If you missed Jule Vera making waves in 2015 on the Vans Warped Tour and picking up a spot on AP’s “100 Bands You Need To Know,” this is your last chance to get in on the ground floor. Their moody pop-rock turned heads during their opening slot for Never Shout Never last winter, as well as last year’s Riot Fest. Coming off the release of their debut Friendly Enemies, they’re currently in the studio with another full-length due later this year. —Mackenzie Hall

Modern Chemistry (Independent)

2016 wasn’t so bad for Modern Chemistry. After Taking Back Sunday’s Adam Lazzara produced their latest EP, Dreaming Adjacent, and and joining  Mayday Parade on their Tales Told By Dead Friends anniversary tour, the band show no signs of stopping that momentum. If you’re a fan of powerful lyrics and dynamic music, you’re going to want to pay attention to what these guys are up to. Modern Chemistry will release their debut full-length in 2017, which they have recorded independently. From there, the world is theirs. —Rabab Al-Sharif

Movements (Fearless)

Though they were just signed to Fearless Records a little under a year-and-a-half ago, Orange County’s Movements have grinded out quite a lot in the interim. Releasing their EP Outgrown Things in March and landing a spot on Pierce The Veil’s Misadventures tour through the summer, the quartet have even higher expectations for 2017. A full-length is on the way, and who knows what cool tour opportunities the summer might bring… —Mackenzie Hall

My Enemies & I (Fearless Records)

Back in November, My Enemies & I’s blend of  heavy syncopation and breakdowns with soaring choruses gave fans of all things dark and sinister a reason to rejoice: They announced that after two-plus years of touring on their Sick World EP, they were heading into the studio to start work on their debut full-length. The band headed to Chicago to work with producer Johnny K (Disturbed, Staind) for their new effort, which we can expect out sometime this year. —Rabab Al-Sharif

Old Wounds (Good Fight)

Last year was a big year for the molten New Jersey hardcore team, who brought their harmonic-noise extremity across the nation’s parking lots on last summer’s Warped Tour, while priming the crowds on the recent Beartooth/Every Time I Die roadshow. Fans of the band were shaken up when charismatic vocalist Kevin Iavaroni announced his departure a month ago. Undaunted, the rest of the band are carrying on with Brandon Gallagher on vocals and new drummer Matt Guyre, and playing a show a month to the day of Iavaroni’s departure. The band will be recording the follow-up to their blistering 2015 release The Suffering Spirit this spring, which will most certainly be as subtle as a commercial airliner crash landing in your front yard. —Jason Pettigrew

Palisades (Rise Records)

In October, Palisades talked about how they needed to take time away from their friends, family and fans to make this new album, and after hearing the first single, it’s clear that it was worth the sacrifice. The group, hailing from New Jersey, have been releasing good music with even better messages, but 2017 might be the year that they’ll become more recognized on a national scale. Their next record will be coming out in late January, which means you won’t  have to wait long to hear new stuff. —Jordan Toney

The Regrettes (Warner Bros. Records)

Fronted by 16-year-old Lydia Night, this LA-based punk act are covering everything from the bumps you get when you shave your legs to taking down the patriarchy. If you think societal expectations of beauty can go fuck themselves, then this is the band for you. Their latest release, Feel Your Feelings, Fool, drops January 13, so expect to see a lot of them in 2017. —Rabab Al-Sharif

ROMES (Five Seven)

This half-Canadian, half-Irish quartet bring more than just crazy accents to the party. Pop-rock with a soul twist, their latest EP Believe is a mish-mosh of poppy singalongs (“Spend The Night”) and Rocky-esque inspiration (“Believe”). Though the latter track has been featured on everything from MTV to Madden 17, ROMES are staying hungry, with aggressive touring ambitions and a full-length expected later this year. —Mackenzie Hall

Silent Planet (Solid State)

Silent Planet have been hard at work on the grind, bringing their brand of heavy music and message of hope across the country, one city at a time. This year, they head out on their very first headlining tour, which they have allowed fans to pick the setlist for. They’ve built their fanbase by taking extra care to create real connections with their supporters, talking to them at shows and making them part of the Silent Planet community. It’s only a matter of time before they take over to become one of the heaviest hitters in metalcore. —Rabab Al-Sharif

The White Noise (Fearless)

This Los Angeles, California, post-hardcore outfit bring the mosh, as well as some resonating vocal melodies from frontman/guitarist David Southern. What separates the Noise-niks from much of the decidedly non-descript offerings of bands in the genre are the tandem tag-team vocal trade-offs between Southern and maniac (read: “unclean”) vocalist Shawn Walker; the everything-at-once bombast of sound effects, detuned riffs and straight-up noise (“Cosmopolitician”) and some unashamed bids for mainstream acceptance. Metaphorically speaking, the White Noise can be on their best behavior for the world to see, but have no problems trashing your house while your parents are out. And that’s a fuckin’ rite of passage. Fearless Records will be lighting your face up with the band’s full-length this year. —Jason Pettigrew