A few good bands: 2008's Ones to Watch
Finbarr Bermingham dusts off the old crystal ball to try and make your search for the 'Next Big Thing' a little less serendipitous...
May we present to you a smattering of the bands that The Skinny reckons could be making waves in 2008, locally, nationally and - fuggit - internationally.
With the Scottish scene in healthy shape, singling out some of those talents that could take the extra step over the next 12 months ain't easy. Over the past year though, there have been a few that stand out as prime candidates.
Edinburgh's Broken Records have been wowing us for a while. Beirut comparisons aren't unreasonable; such is the multitude of instruments at their disposal and panoramic nature of their tracks.
From the ever-fertile West Coast scene, expect movements from the marvellous Frightened Rabbit. They create simple but quite brilliant folk rock, and they make it very loud. Brighton's FatCat Records will do well to push them even further.
Fellow Glaswegians Make Model - recently signed to EMI, no less - have been busy putting the final touches to their first LP, which is scheduled for release in Spring 2008. Based on their live shows and demos, this should be one to keep an ear out for.
As featured within these very pages last issue, purveyors of a more gothic kind of pop rock than the norm, the endlessly charming Glasvegas can also only be destined for bigger things. Carluke's Genaro also came to the fore last summer with their superb eponymous record. Don't bet against the demand for their soulful, well-crafted tunes continuing to swell.
If you like your hooks heavier, look out for Glasgow-based experimentalists Take A Worm For A Walk Week. A renowned live act, their riotous noise-core showcases the dexterity that comes with their anarchy. Last year's full on self-titled LP pushed boundaries within the genre, yet the band simply describe themselves as 'Rock, Rock, Rock', and frankly, we couldn't have put it better ourselves.
Toning it down slightly are The Damn Shames. Their progress from ramshackle early gigs to becoming far tighter groove merchants loaded with truculent basslines has been thrilling to observe. "It would be a damn shame if these lads don't reach a wider audience", we said in review last year. Let's hope it happens in 2008.
Will the rest of the UK step out of the post-Libertines lull it's wallowed in for the past few years? Well, in the shape of London singer songwriter FrYars, things are looking up. Framing infectious, intelligent ditties with electronic beats isn't a new thing, but it's rarely done so brilliantly. With an EP not long out and an album in the pipeline, this chap could stand to go the distance.
For some old fashioned rock and roll this year, look no further than Vincent Vincent and The Villains. Harking back to a time when radios crackled and harmonies were compulsory, they've been about for while already, but their debut LP this February should put them firmly in the public eye.
Continuing the theme of decent bands with silly names, London folkies Noah and the Whale are another set to ascend. Refreshingly engaging and seemingly written somewhere the sun always shines, check out their excellent single Five Years Time for a tantalising taster.
Of course, it would be completely impudent to think a year would go by without an influx of non-UK acts to co-dominate the music scene. Despite being around for what seems like aeons, 2008 will see the release of Canadian upstarts Tokyo Police Club's hotly anticipated debut album. Going by their EPs, it should be worth the wait. If there's any justice, they're likely to be one of the biggest imports of the year.
Also rolling off the endless conveyor belt of Canadian music is Torontonian outfit BORN ruffians. Anyone that writes songs about Kurt Vonnegut and covers Grizzly Bear was always going to be worth a spin, and in this case many more. Their record Red Yellow and Blue is out in February.
MGMT are gathering steam and hype in New York, and it can only be a matter of time before the fuss becomes airborne. New Wave-esque Time to Pretend was one of the best tracks of the last year. Recently snapped up by Columbia, the imminent release of their first album Oracular Spectacular cannot go unheralded.
If the indie rock and dance worlds collided and cast themselves into a horrific skinny jean-wearing 'nu-rave' tailspin in 2007, then let's hope Ghosthustler can go some way to halting the freefall. The Texans are unsigned, but with the online draw they've accrued it doesn't seem to matter at this point. Their style is in the ilk of LCD Soundsystem, with more synths and an even deeper groove; get on it before Morrisey's chums at the NME sink their teeth in.
Rounding things up we have a band whose recent debut album was slightly overlooked amid the latter quarter of 2007's hectic release schedule. This shouldn't detract from the quality of what Yeasayer offer though; any doubters should seek no further evidence than their uber-ambient single, 2080.
So that's your lot. Just thank us later eh?