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6 Great Obscure Bands To Pass The Hours Away

Updated on January 10, 2013
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Searching for new music is a frustrating yet completely rewarding experience. After searching high and low for obscure bands or up and coming acts, there is no greater joy then harassing all your friends, dates, family members, relative strangers, and the voices in your crazy crazy head with what you've discovered.

Here to make your search a little easier, I have compiled a list of my personal recommendations of talented, yet highly underrated acts (in no particular order.)
You know I spoil you, right?

Let's get this awesomeparty started:

Alter Bridge

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Everyone knows the band Creed, right? Now, Creed is an often reviled band and that is 100% due to the lead singer, Scott Stapp and his constant God-complex/general douchebaggery.

However, did you know that Creed has one of the best guitarist of the last 20 years in Mark Tremonti? It's true! Go back and listen to "What's This Life For," "My Own Prison," "My Sacrifice," or especially "What If's" slow build opening and try real hard to ignore Stapp and focus on the guitar riffs. Pretty damn sweet, huh? That's all Mark Tremonti. Tremonti formed Alter Bridge in 2004 with other non-Stapp Creed members and found a new lead singer in Myles Kennedy, a rocker with a pretty damn good voice who also happens to look like a clone formed by mixing the DNA of Jared Leto and Kevin Bacon. Probably created in some top-secret hard rock research facility.

So now you know a great obscure rock band and you know an interesting fact about them. You're welcome.

Recommend Song- Broken Wings

Dredg

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Have you ever wondered what a Salvador Dali painting would sound like? If so, please stop taking drugs. It's breaking your mother's heart.
After hearing dredg (usually not capitalized because, art?) for the first time though, that was the only way I could really describe their sound. Their second album, "El Cielo" is the one I first listened to and I was blown away. The music is surreal and dream-like, a sensation heightened by Gavin Hayes' muted and melodic vocals.

Fun fact for any video gamers: dredg's video for their single "Same Ol Road" was directed by famed game developer, American McGee.

Recommend Song- Of The Room

P.O.S.

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Before switching gears from rock to rap, I want to briefly touch on my relationship with hip hop; I believe it's an art form, one that has become buried under mountains of horseshit. Popular hip hop has devolved into a corporate-sponsored, sleaze-packed, auto-tune dominated, cookie-cutter act industry full of talentless low lives, and for a long time I thought the art of street born poetry had truly died with Tupac and Biggie. Then I discovered the independent scene and my faith has been restored.There are many rappers still out there producing amazing instrumentally-inclined beats and writing deep or at least thought-provoking raps to match. My first discovery was the 2-man act, Atmosphere and their label, Rhymesayers. I would include them here, but they aren't as obscure as P.O.S., another rapper on the same label.
P.O.S., like Atmosphere, hails from the Midwest underground hip hop scene and delivers a truly one-of-a-kind style that adds elements of punk, electronica, and various sound effects into his raps, this is especially prevalent in his 3rd and best album, Never Better.
P.O.S. is also capable of rapping at incredibly high speeds.

Recommend Song- Optimist

Placebo

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Okay, now how about an English alt. rock band that I bet you've heard and not even realized it?
Did I just blow your mind??
No?
Oh, okay. Moving on.
This cult band's best known hit is called "Pure Morning," but you might recognize it as the "A friend in need's a friend indeed/but a friend with weed is better" song. Also, if you have seen Cruel Intentions, the song "Every You and Every Me" can be heard in the movie and on the soundtrack.

Placebo's main selling point (aside from their one-of-a-kind sound) is lead singer Brian Molko's voice, which may not appeal to everyone, but it is undeniably unique. Molko himself makes for an interesting figure. He is very open about his recreational drug use, his battle with alcoholism, and his bisexuality. These elements are often heard in his lyrics and paint a often disturbing, yet strikingly aesthetic portrait of rock star living.

Their song Bright Lights, struck a deep chord with me personally, as the lyrics and tonality of the song describe everything about who I am and how I think and feel. It's rare to have a song hit the nail on the proverbial head so accurately. I wonder if I can sue them for thought/personality infringement? $$$$$ Ka-Ching! $$$$
UPDATE: I asked and my lawyers said "no." Then they laughed at me.

Recommend Song: The heartwrenching Blind

Tegan and Sara

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I make the following statement of my own free will and will shout it proudly from the rooftops:

I FREAKIN' LOVE THESE GIRLS!

Their style is a blend of artsy acoustic folk rock, pop rock, and some electronica thrown in every now and then for good measure and they just seem like great girls to hang out with (in a non-sexual capacity.......okay, I find them attractive, yes, but they are gay so no dice, McGuire.)

Sometimes I get strange looks from dudes when they hear me playing Tegan and Sara since they are what one might call a "girly chick band," but not only do I not care, I completely disagree. Their songs are insanely infectious and even a lot of the sadder-toned songs manage to stay relatively upbeat sounding, except "Nineteen," which is kinda depressing. I also like their voices, which sound very girly, yet carry an adult tonality with them.

So, girly band or not, Tegan and Sara have my undying man-loyalty and you should give them a listen.

Recommended Song: Where Does The Good Go?

Bloc Party

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Let's go English again, shall we?

From across the pond in London, comes Bloc Party, an indie rock band with a large overseas following. Their style is influenced by The Cure. Radiohead, maybe a little Pixies tossed into the mix. Their single, "Helicopter" might sound familiar to you, as it has been featured in a few movie scenes and film trailers.

Shortly after their 2008 album (and their best I think) Intimacy was released, the band went on hiatus after their recording contract was up and they didn't wish to renew it. During this hiatus, lead singer Kele Okereke (sound it out kids, "Oh Kay Ray Kay," very good!) pursued a successful solo career. The band then reformed and released the album, Four, which I personally feel wasn't super great, but still better than a lot of other offerings.

Recommended Song: Halo

Comments, Thoughts, Opinions and Shenanigans

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    • Neinahpets profile image

      Stephanie 

      5 years ago from Canada

      Oh alright. Well we'll still see how it goes. I will try to keep you posted! Thanks again!

    • Andy McGuire profile imageAUTHOR

      Andy McGuire 

      5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      POS doesn't sound exactly like Atmosphere, but it's still amazing rap. POS mixes in a few different styles.

      Let me know what you thought of these other bands!

    • Neinahpets profile image

      Stephanie 

      5 years ago from Canada

      I have never heard of any of these bands except for Placebo. I used to be a fan of them, and I still like a handful of songs by them. Now Atmosphere I know, and if POS is like them I have to check them out. Thank you for sharing such a great hub! Voted up!

    • Andy McGuire profile imageAUTHOR

      Andy McGuire 

      5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Always happy to enlighten and to meet fellow good music fans.

    • spartucusjones profile image

      CJ Baker 

      5 years ago from Parts Unknown

      Great hub! I am glad that you drew attention to Tegan and Sara. They have a fairly decent following here in Canada (partly because they are Canadian). They are a fave of mine, even though as a dude I do get teased for listening to them.

      I am familiar with most of the artists that you mentioned, but I have never heard of P.O.S. But I have heard some of Atmosphere stuff and it was pretty cool. So I will definitely have to check it out.

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