<5K: Volume 3
There’s an xkcd comic that exposes the secret coalition to make certain YouTube videos go viral: they have to get exactly “300+” likes from the committee, and are then certified to spread like the plague onto innocent newsfeeds worldwide.
In that vein, I present you with <5K: exposition on bands that have less than 5,000 likes online. Perhaps one of them will be the next to pass that mysterious threshold into the world of fame and fortune… after all, once you get 5,000 likes, you sell out every show and your records go gold. That’s how it works, right?
*Submissions* If you’re in a band, your friend is in a band, or you just know a band with less than 5,000 likes, send a link to email@example.com. If I like it, I’ll put them in an upcoming edition of <5K!
Cartoon Weapons (234 likes) is a newer project of a group of virtuoso musicians from College Park, MD, notorious for their high-energy house shows. Emerging with a full, precise sound is “Crawlspace,” the first single off of Cartoon Weapons’ upcoming debut Last Rites of a Living Legend. Channeling their riotous energy into jaw-dropping musicianship, Cartoon Weapons is the sound of true prog-rock wizardry at its most confounding. Without exaggeration, these are the most skilled musicians this author has ever seen perform. The album comes out soon; for now, the single serves as a teaser to what is sure to be a mind-melting odyssey. Listen to “Crawlspace” above.
Apollo’s Din (257 likes) sounds like the folk-grunge lovechild of Why? and The Dandy Warhols. Written and recorded by Alex Kushon on his own Iron Orange Records, the self-titled album is a deeply weird, entirely fascinating romp through harsh riffs and art-rock absurdity. “I feel out of comfort when I sit in this position,” Kushon sighs, “and no one wants my deep-fried kisses.” There’s a punk simplicity to the vocal delivery, as if to offset the angular oddities of distorted acoustic guitars and screeching harmonics. It’s an enthralling trip through the outer reaches of conventional music. Listen to Apollo’s Din here.
The Technicians (1,257 likes) are a band that slams together alternative rock and post-punk to a dramatic effect that has already caught the attention of moshing crowds throughout DC. Drawing influences from such varied sources as Faith No More, Rage Against The Machine, and The Cure, the four members add up to a fast, furious wall of sound that comes on loud and hard. They only have three songs officially released so far, but the size of those sounds promise big things for these hard-rockers, standing out in a crowd of bands who wish they sounded more like The Technicians. Check them out here.
Shark Shark (not even on Facebook!) is the new band of Theo Hilton, known for his work leading bands like Defiance, Ohio and Nana Grizol. Their self-titled demo is the only proof of their existence so far, and it’s terrific. From lovely melodic hush pop like “New Jersey,” to more emotive tracks like “Galaxies” that harken to Hilton’s Elephant 6 affiliations, Shark Shark show that they can cover a wide swath of musical ground with sweet, intimate lyricism. Listen to the Shark Shark demo here; recommended tracks include “New Jersey” and “Watching Blues.”
Watermedown (1,608 likes) is the multifaceted project of Maryland’s Jonny Mays. It started out as Mays’s solo acoustic outlet for his raw, deeply heartfelt lyrics about personal failure and struggling to overcome a bleak world. After touring hard and handing out custom-drawn tapes with a touching smile, he’s begun to take his songwriting to its next level. On his latest EP, Perfect Is Pointless, drums and a full sound make Watermedown a force to be reckoned with. The songs come alive with the additional instruments, transforming Mays’s jagged songwriting into heartwrenching emo rock. It’s as immediate as it is sincere, and can only get more powerful as he gains experience and recognition. Listen to Perfect Is Pointless here; recommended tracks include “Nothing Yet” and “My Every Imperfection.”
-Asher Meerovich is a writer and musician in College Park. He likes to be near water. Read more of his musical explorations at http://hire-me-rolling-stone.tumblr.com/