Welcome to the first installment of our new AP&R online series. Some of you may be thinking, “Wait. Isn’t this usually in the magazine?” Yes, it is, but we’re upping the ante with this section in our future issues by giving your favorite among our scouted unsigned artists an opportunity for a larger print feature in AP!

Check out our selections for this month and take our poll. Your votes determine which band is featured in AP Recommends! Be sure to comment with your favorite unsigned and independent artists. Who knows? They could be included next time!

Voting has ended for this month. Check out the expanded feature on MASSiVE in AP 324!


HQ: Dallas/San Antonio, TX
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Latest release: “Elitist” single
ROCKS LIKE: Linkin Park, Issues, Breaking Benjamin

“It was as if I lived alternative lives,” BackWordz vocalist Eric July explains of his time before the Texas group’s formation late last year. One as YG Rippa, the former gangbanger and rapper, and another as Eric July, collegiate athlete and metal vocalist. BackWordz gave me the opportunity to bring both aspects of my cultural upbringing together. The same can be said for every member of our band.” Bridging the gap between legitimate hip hop and heavy metal, and unafraid to entertain melodic sensibilities, BackWordz, featuring members of Fire From The Gods, the Bad Chapter, and Through Arteries, are currently working on their debut EP. With a sound as eclectic as their varied musical pasts, this group are on track to have an impressive year.


Brighter Arrows
HQ: Chesterton, IN/Chicago, IL
Latest release: Dreamliner
Fugazi, Texas Is The Reason, the Casket Lottery

Midwest rockers Brighter Arrows definitely harbor an affinity for the ‘90s sound their region helped perfect. “We are heavily influenced by ’90s screamo bands like Jerome's Dream but blend in more emo elements to produce our own concoction of noisy, angular hardcore,” comments guitarist/vocalist

Jake Norris on the group’s complex post-rock aesthetic. Dabbling in everything from shoegaze to pounding, brutal riffs without straying into overly nostalgic territory, Brighter Arrows’ style is almost unclassifiable—melodic and layered as it abrasive and dissonant. With members now spread around the country, the band aim to play as many shows as possible in the coming months, and will soon release a new 7-inch, a follow-up to their 2013 LP, Dreamliner.


Little Wars
HQ: Akron, OH
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Latest release: Singles & B-Sides EP
ROCKS LIKE: Silverstein, Beartooth, Get Scared

Raised on a steady diet of early ’00s screamo, Little Wars hope to revive that sound with a modern, post-hardcore twist. “Our goal of creating this band was to bring honesty back to heavy music. The scene has turned into vulgar shirts and lyrics that have little meaning. We grew up on bands like Silverstein, Bayside, Alesana, The Used and Senses Fail,” explains bassist/unclean vocalist Joshua Austin. The group wasted no time recording their debut single with Craig Owens of Chiodos, and, over the past few years, have shared stages with the likes of Owl City and Asking Alexandria. Prepping to release their sophomore EP, A Shallow Step, this fall, Little Wars are heading into a busy summer full of touring, and, with their unwavering work ethic, and sure to end up in a town near you.



HQ: Nanuet, NY
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Latest release: Lead Hands single
Rocks like: The Plot In You, Secrets, Miss May I

“We have a message,” begins Craig Johns Jr., the ambitious guitarist and vocalist of Nanuet, NY’s MASSiVE. “The world isn't perfect. It's far from it. This is something we see every day, and although we can't change the way people think overnight, we can start with a song… or two songs… or an album, and see where it goes.” Blending elements of metalcore and nü-metal after abandoning the pursuit of a pop rock project, MASSiVE formed in the winter of 2014 to record a handful of tracks with producer Joey Sturgis. Unafraid to stir controversy in the name of their beliefs (including a stance against police brutality), the band have also struck a strong and bold visual appeal with two recent Sam Link-directed videos. Expect their debut LP later this year.