Saturday, February 19, 2011

Noughtie: Underrated Artists

Welcome to Part 13 of the Noughtie series. In this listing I'm going to talk about artists that I believe are underrated. Now underrated can mean that they are quite popular but I feel they deserve even more recognition, or it may mean artists that just aren't popular that I believe deserve more success than artists that have fame. It's a biased list again, so you may or may not agree with this list, that's cool. Let's go.

10. Weird Al Yankovic
Weird Al has been taking the piss out of music artists since the early eighties, if not earlier. Yet this decade, he's argueably produced his two strongest albums to date with "Poodle Hat" and "Straight Outta Lynwood". This is my opinion, but I feel previously, Weird Al produced funny parodies of popular songs yet his albums lacked cutting edge. It felt that his albums were just backup tracks to support those parody singles. The last two albums however have got some fantastic tracks on there, like "Genius in France" and "Hardware Store" from "Poodle Hat", and "I'll Sue Ya" and "Pancreas" from "Straight Outta Lynwood". I intentionally avoided direct parodies when choosing those songs because I really want to emphasise, this guy doesn't have to use peoples songs directly anymore to make good music. There was a petition that got rejected to get Weird Al into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame a few years back. It's a shame, because he is an underrated, well respected comedy musician. Just ask nearly everyone he does parodys of.

9. Mindless Self Indulgence
Oh Lyn-Z, Lyn-Z, why do you have to marry such an idiot in Gerard Way? You should be one of my many wives. It's only fair that someone as awesome as me, should get someone as awesome a guitarist and sexy as yourself. Sigh...
Oh yeah, Mindless Self Indulgence have finally had the breakout they deserve in recent years. Before then they were making music that was pretty damn original and innovative, yet they weren't getting the fans and interest. All that changed in 2005 when they released "Shut Me Up" and shot up the ranks of popular metal bands. But... they deserve more. They deserve to be higher. Seriously, this band is fucking fantastic. This band produces music like I've never heard before. They mix so many genres and have made a very unique sound. If you can find a band similar to this, seriously, let me know. I can't think of any.

8. Kill Kenada
Kill Kenada are probably a band you've not heard of. If there's one band on this list you haven't heard, it's this one, that's for sure. I've put two of their songs in my Mixtapes, in 2004 and 2003. If you haven't heard these songs, give them a listen. They have been inspired by the hard rock/alternative sound of bands like The Pixies, Sonic Youth and The Fall. They sound like noise, but it's a good noise, at least I think. The thing I love most about this band is the fact that they have a habit of completely changing the sound of the track in an instant. Take "Red and Black" for instance. In this song I'd say there's probably three parts of the song, all with a different sound. It's a very unique and interesting way of writing music and I like it.

7. Jerk
Jerk are an Australian band that have since disbanded. They were featured in my "Where Are They Now?" listing. They only did the one album, which was very good actually. My ex girlfriend got me into them, chances are you haven't heard of them as they barely scraped the UK in popularity. God knows how she knew of them. Anyway, they were a decent little industrial band, very easily influenced by Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails. Their first and only album was of decent quality and I listen to it once in a while still. If you like industrial bands, I'd recommend you give these a listen.

6. The Union Underground
This band unfortunately don't exist anymore, and like Jerk, they have been featured on my "Where Are They Now?" listing. The Union Underground were part of the new surge of metal bands to come out in the late nineties and early noughties, similar to Drowning Pool and Disturbed, amongst others. However in my humble opinion, they were the best. They were better than those bands, and were actually quite successful. Yet while the other bands moved on, The Union Underground decided to call it quits. The Union Underground are a footnote in history now. It's a real shame. Their first and only album is still in my collection, it's still an album I'm extremely fond of. Seriously, if you like Disturbed, Drowning Pool and similar bands, give these guys a listen. They're a better band, at least I think so.

5. Hot Action Cop
I made this listing before I heard their recent EP, which by the way, is actually not that good. That being said, their early stuff is brilliant. Their only album, which is self titled, is a brilliant piece of work. Their first EP is very good too. If you've heard this band chances are you've heard "Fever for the Flava", which is a brilliant song. If not, then I'd compare this band to a mixture of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and some softer Nu-Metal bands. They rap to funk rock, basically. But the thing that stands out about this band is their very dirty lyrics. Yes they're dirty lyrics, but they're very funny too. They make very funny and catchy songs. I'd really recommend you give them a listen, and start with "Fever for the Flava".

4. QueenAdreena

Man, this band is underrated. That being said, they're one of those bands that don't seem to plug their own greatness enough. KatieJane Garside is one of the best female vocalists in recent memory. That being said, she's not really your standard singer, she uses her emotions very strongly, often screams down the microphone in anger. But she's more than capable of singing the most beautiful lullabys. It's hard to describe QueenAdreenas sound, an attempt would be a mixture of RiotGrrl Punk with Metal genred instruments. If you want to make a start on listening to their stuff I'd start with "Pretty Like Drugs", arguably their most popular song.

3. The Fratellis

Yes, that band again. But why not? They are underrated, I think so anyway. In terms of saying something I've not said before... I'm starting to run out of reasons, it's hard when they've only released two very very solid albums. Quite simply, this band isn't deserving of a one hit wonder in "Chelsea Dagger", they deserve much more success. They're better than a lot of the crappy indie bands around at the moment. If you want an example of a very catchy non-single track by the band, I'd recommend you listen to something like "Creepin' Up the Backstairs". That's proof that this band has talent. You know what fuck this, you can listen to the song here:

2. Saul Williams

I've mentioned this artist once before, that was in my overall favourite artists. Saul Williams isn't your everyday rapper, that's why he doesn't appear on these frustrating Sky TV channels. He's a relatively unknown, yet highly reputable poet, that incorporates hip hop, industrial metal and electronic music. If you like any of those genres, please, give him a listen. He's seriously underrated and deserves a larger audience. As a starting point, I'd listen to "Grippo", it's one of his catchier songs. Here's a link:

1. The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster

Yup, I'm sure the people who know me very well saw this coming. But if you don't know me well, and have not heard of this band, please, get their stuff. Do you like psychobilly, rockabilly, gothabilly music? Do you like the underground punk bands of the late eighties? Give them a go. This band has so much talent, they're my favourite British band of the decade. They have made three very solid albums (one has been reviewed by me here) but just can't get themselves higher up the music food chain. A good start in terms of getting into this band is by starting with their second single, "Celebrate Your Mother":

You may not agree with all these, that's fine. What artists do you feel did a decent shift for music in the Noughties that haven't had their rightful pat on the back? Comment below if you want to add to the list. I'll be back on Monday with the best of 2006, it was a decent year actually. Take care.

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