Feature: 50 Bands To Watch in 2017

Feature: 50 Bands To Watch in 2017

Welcome Back and Happy New Year! We’re kicking off 2017 in a big way by revealing our annual list of 50 bands to watch over the next 12 months.

Since we launched the site in 2012, we’ve seen a whole host of names from our yearly previews go on to do big things. Pvris, Black Peaks, Creeper, Milk Teeth, Black Foxxes, Modern Baseball, Code Orange and Boston Manor are just some of the bands we’ve backed in previous years.

Now it’s time for this year’s list. Read on to find out about some bands you may already know and some you soon will do. Here is our 50 bands to watch in 2017!

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Puppy

It can’t be argued that 2016 was a great year for London trio Puppy. With a growing reputation spurred on by appearances at the Download and 2000 Trees festivals, their second EP, ideally titled ‘Vol. II’ in the Autumn simply heightened their profile.

Their combination of metallic riffs and harmonious melodies dominated songs such as ‘Entombed’ and ‘Arabella’, seeing them go further down a rabbit hole of styles that probably shouldn’t work. However Puppy pulled it off in convincing fashion. And now we want more.

They go into 2017 with strong momentum as they’re set to join future breakout band Creeper on their headline tour of the UK and Europe. While a spot on Leicester’s Handmade Festival is sure to be one of many festival appearances for Puppy. You’d think there would be some new music at some point too. (SR)

Bad Sign

You’ve probably come across London trio Bad Sign if you’ve been in the right places over the past twelve months (aka watching them on tour with Black Peaks and Heck). If not, then the release of their debut album in 2017 will set you on the right path. Continuing from their excellent 2014 EP ‘Destroy’, singles ‘Closure’ and ‘Intermission’ are difficult-to-pigeonhole works of heavy alt rock, characterised by coldness, sharp guitar grooves and frontman Joe Appleford’s anguished vocal delivery, who explores themes of deteriorating relationships with people and the will to move on from them in his lyrics. New music from Bad Sign is a guarantee for something deeply personal for those looking for something with real emotional substance. (AD)

Tigercub

The release of Tigercub’s debut album, ‘Abstract Figures in the Dark’ last year allowed the Brighton trio to step out of the shadows, but 2017 will give them extensive opportunities to prove themselves in a live setting. With European dates in the pipeline alongside their forthcoming tour supporting Black Peaks with Employed to Serve, Tigercub look set to be spending a lot of time on the road in 2017.

Further ahead in the year, they are are booked to play Leicester’s Handmade Festival in April, and it’s altogether possible that more festival performances will follow this summer. Add to that growing support from a number of outlets, both big and small, you can expect Tigercub uncompromising approach to be seen and heard by many in the coming months. (AC)

Sleep On It

Chicago has a history of producing brilliant punk bands. From Rise Against to Fall Out Boy to Knuckle Puck, the Windy City has an abundance of names breaking out and Sleep On It look set to join that growing list.

The quartet released their ‘Lost Along The Way’ EP last year to plenty of acclaim, putting them on the pop-punk map. Plucky guitars, warm melodies and an anthemic hooks are what Sleep On It have to offer. And although the EP was just released in October, they’re going to be teaming up with producer Seth Henderson (Real Friends, Knuckle Puck) and Derek DiScanio of State Champs to begin work on their debut full-length later this month.

We predict a Spring/Summer release in time for a probable spot on the Vans Warped Tour. Of course, we’re hoping a UK visit is in the pipeline too! (SR)

Counterfeit

Counterfeit had an impressive 2016 with a UK headline tour followed by a European run and a successful outing at 2000 Trees before joining Xtra Mile Records at the end of the year. Fronted by Jamie Campbell Bower, the London five-piece have been putting the final touches to their debut full-length, with recent track ‘Addiction’ showing what they’re all about; raw and fierce punk that doesn’t hold back.

With Thomas Mitchener (Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Dead!) on producing duties, Counterfeit look set for a busy 2017. They’ve already announced European shows alongside another UK headline tour for the Spring, so don’t be surprised if their profile continues to rise over the next 12 months. (SR)

Reigning Days

Torquay trio Reigning Days experienced some wide scale exposure in the latter half of 2016 supporting radio rock icons Feeder, but 2017 should offer plenty of chances to watch them tear up more intimate venues across the country. Revolving around lackadaisical power chord executions, their 2016 self-titled EP possesses a Hollywood swagger via a minimal production job, which reflects how massive their sound really is. Fans of Royal Blood or The Black Keys will get a kick out of their ‘less-is-more’ approach to songwriting, but anyone who enjoys their rock to sound massive needs to invest some time into Reigning Days over the next year. (AD)

Guillotine

There’s a cloud of mystery surrounding Guillotine but that makes us even more excited for what’s to come.

They gained our attention through intriguing e-mails and social media posts simply stating “We’ll Be OK Here” even before they were officially announced as a band. Their debut EP ‘Sapphire’ is set for release on February 24th through trustworthy UK label Failure By Design, with the title track and its video is the only part of the puzzle so far.

Nevertheless, it’s a stirring slice of emotional alt-rock that has us craving for more. Raw and uncompromising, we have high hopes for Guillotine. (SR)

Wallflower

South London’s Wallflower have been doing the rounds in the UK DIY scene for a couple of years now. During that time they’ve been honing their brand of emotive grunge rock. Having already been labelled some as the “British Brand New”, their recent run of shows supporting Boston Manor saw them play to their biggest crowds to date without apprehension.

With new material being aired during the tour, Wallflower showcased an engaging set of songs with recent AA single, ‘Sleep Forever’/‘Mas Eu Quero Mais’ highlighting the bands compelling quiet/loud dynamic. We’re hoping they can keep the momentum going as they prepare for their next release. (SR)

Gold Key

With its members coming from Gallows, Sikth, Blackhole and Spy Catcher, on paper Gold Key sound like an exciting prospect. The quartet, consisting of Laurent Barnard (Gallows/Krokodil), James Leach (Krokodil), Jack Kenny (Blackhole) and Steve Sears (SpyCatcher), have stated they have written enough material for a full-length and more.

Although their other bands are in the vein of hardcore and punk, Gold Key sees its members head in a more progressive and experimental route. The two songs they’ve released so far, ‘Sneaker’ and ‘Mess’, showcase a calm exploration that easily has your attention. Our craving for more is sure to be fulfilled sooner rather than later. (SR)

Beach Head

Although we saw Leeds favourites Calls Landing be put on hold in 2016, all is not lost as three fifths have formed Beach Head. It sees Joe Armitage (vocals), Jason Blackburn (guitar/vocals), and Jordan Hill (guitar) being joined by the North West-based pairing of bassist Matt Heap and drummer Kieran McVeigh to create an slacker emo and fuzzy punk sound that is reminscent of Basement and Superheaven.

Their latest EP, ‘Take Me to Heaven’, was released at the back end of 2016 with a follow-up due to be released in early 2016. As for touring, they ended the year joining London emo punks itoldyouiwouldeatyou for a run of shows and have hinted to us at more shows in the coming months.

With the combination of Armitage’s emotive vocals, warm rhythm section and hazy guitars, Beach Head have all the makings of leading a new wave of underground emo punk rock in the UK. (SR)

SAINTE

We’ll admit we were quite pleased when we heard that We Are The In Crowd would be going on hiatus early last year. Spurred on by not being satisifed in the direction WATIC were heading, Tay Jardine, Mike Ferri and Cameron Hurley have now formed SAINTE. However Jardine has gone on record stating the band is her “personal project”.

Last October saw the first evidence of the new project seeing the light of day, in the form of the vibrant ‘Technicolor’. It’s three and a half minutes of insatiable bouncy pop-rock smothered in Jardine’s harmonious vocals. More new music and videos are said to be in the works. (SR)

My Only

Having already turned a few heads with their ‘This Room & You’ EP, King’s Lynn quartet My Only are aiming to keep the momentum going into 2017. Their clash of intense instrumentation and emotionally charged lyrics left us truly compelled upon its release last September.

In March, they will join Polar, Giants and To The Wind on a tour of the UK and Europe in what will be their biggest run of shows so far. It’s sure to be the first of several tours as ‘This Room & You’ received plenty of praise for raw and boisterousness sound. (SR)

Toy Mountains

With a combination of alt-rock, math-rock and post-hardcore, Glasgow’s Toy Mountains ended 2016 on a high following the release of their highly impressive ‘I Swore I’d Never Speak of This Again’ EP. Demonstrating plenty of raw emotion and thorough honesty, the five-track release gives the Scottish quartet plenty of momentum going forward.

Having played alongside Fatherson and I Cried Wolf in the closing months of 2016, Toy Mountains will be joining Palm Reader on their February UK tour as they look to take more people on an emotional rollercoaster. Trust us when we say you want to get on board as Toy Mountains provide a thrilling musical ride that leaves you wanting more. We’re hoping new music arrives sooner rather than later. (SR)

Brutus

Hailing from Leuven in Belgium comes Brutus, an atmospheric heavy rock trio that have quickly garnered praise from a host of outlets. Recent single, ‘All Along’, jumps straight out the gate with galloping drums and impassioned vocals from Stefanie Mannaerts. Joined by guitarist Stijn Vanhoegaerden and bassist Peter Mulders, the track served as a statement of intent as they prepare to release their debut album, ‘Burst’, in February through Hassle Records.

Recorded in Vancouver last April, ‘Burst’ aims to do just what it suggests, promising to be a cocktail of stratospheric punk and brash hardcore with elements of black metal, shoegaze and post-hardcore all the while riding a wave of lyrical emotion. They’re also set to visit the UK for a short run of shows in the Spring. (SR)

Group of Man

Group of Man have only released one T-shirt so far, but if they ever start releasing merchandise with crude cartoons of The Grim Reaper in sunglasses, it would sum up the feeling gained from their music nicely. Second EP ‘World Peace Champions’ is set for release on 26th January explores lyrics of anxiety, isolation and general masochism played on s series of catchy melodies, which allows the songs to quickly slip into the back of your mind, and makes lyrics like “A lifetime with a knife in my mouth” surprisingly easy to chant back at them. The scraping production of the EP also reflects the raw nature of their live shows, and with enough luck, 2017 will bring us many opportunities to experience such a gig. (AD)

Misgiver

They spent a lot of 2016 as openers at regional hardcore shows in their home state of New York, and opening for more established names including Crowbar and Code Orange, but make no mistake, Elmira’s Misgiver inspire pandemonium with their music as well as any headliner. The proof is in the pudding when you listen to their EPs ‘Loathing’ and ‘Cruelty of Life’ which packs perfect crowd-killing hardcore with the crusty cacophonies of Trap Them and Nails to make a seriously nasty creation. As the more nihilistic end of hardcore is pushed into a wider consciousness, 2017 could be the year Misgiver gain some real traction. (AD)

Our Hollow, Our Home

With South coast delivering a wealth of worthy metalcore names in recent years including Architects and Bury Tomorrow, Southampton’s Our Hollow, Our Home look set to lead a new wave of metalcore bands in 2017.

Since forming in 2013, the quintet have gradually been growing a following through several singles, EPs and underground tours. Now they’re set to unleash their debut album ‘Hartsick’ on March 3rd. Recent singles ‘Worms Wood’, ‘Throne to the Wolves’ and ‘Feast for the Crows’ show what Our Hollow, Our Home are all about; crunching guitars, big choruses, an earth-shattering rhythm section and brutal growls. Simply put, they have all the ingredients to jump to the next level of the UK metalcore ladder. (SR)

Acres

Portsmouth five-piece post-hardcore band Acres already have two EPs under their belt however with ‘In Sickness & Health’ set to be released in late February, they’re prepared for bigger things. Their reputation has been stirred by a formidable live presence, which has seen them play throughout Europe alongside names such as Sights and Sounds, Casey, Burning Down Alaska and Climates. All the while they have been fine tuning their brand of emotionally-charged post-hardcore.

The title track from ‘In Sickness & Health’ was released last November, hinting at a more cinematic approach with spiralling guitars showering Ben Lumber’s distraught screams. The release of the EP will be complimented by a tour supporting Hellions with more touring expected to follow. (SR)

Beaumont

This Birmingham quintet turned many heads in AH towers when they released their debut EP, ‘Nothing’, last Spring. Consisting of driving guitars and big infectious hooks, Beaumont seemingly thrive on writing impassioned songs that quickly become addictive. From the hand claps on ‘Cheapside’ to the anthemic ‘Boys and Girls’ and the Springsteen reference-laden ‘E Street’, on the surface sound upbeat yet underneath their is layer of sadness giving us another reason to admire the five-piece.

Although we didn’t see much activity for the remainder of 2016, they have a valid reason for that. They’ve been busy writing their second EP. With the aim of a another Spring release, we have high hopes for Beaumont to deliver another set of hooky songs drenched in sadness. (SR)

blanket

When this Blackpool four-piece delivered their debut track, ‘Starlight Filled Our Minds’, in mid-November we were simply blown away by it’s stunning beauty. Led by Bobby Pook, formerly of defunct pop-punk band Me Vs Hero, blanket aim to deliver a sweeping soundscape that leaves you on breathless. Collectively it’s members have shared the stage with a wealth of rock, hardcore and pop-punk recognisable names, yet this is a stylistic departure for all involved and is one that gratifying for both them and us.

Citing their influences as Caspian, Sigur Ros, and This Will Destroy You, you quickly understand the scale of what blanket do. Their debut mini-album, ‘Our Brief Encounters’, promises to serve as a cathartic collection for the quartet through grandiose ambience. The aforementioned ‘Starlight Filled Our Minds’ is delicate, spiralling slice of showgaze-esque post-rock. It’s scheduled for release on February 10th. (SR)

Redwood

With their latest record, ‘Blood Moon’, Hertfordshire’s Redwood balanced a fine line between post-rock and emo with the end result being a pleasing melting pot of shimmering guitars, delicate melodies and an overall focused sound. The quintet can be sonically haunting, whilst also being astounding through their poise and precise structure.

Having delivered a stunning EP, Redwood aren’t wasting anytime on delivering a follow-up. They’re due to enter the studio very soon plan. While it is inevitable they’re also be looking to play as many shows as possible as they look to break out of their native Hertfordshire. (SR)

American Enthusiasm

Exeter duo American Enthusiasm are the latest band off the Specialist Subject conveyor belt, yet they’re a step away from the label’s punk roots, serving up a Bayou-stained mishmash of Two Gallants style delta blues and blistering Japandroids rock’n’roll.

Having already released the killer ‘Holy Wow’ at the tail-end of 2016, expect to see American Enthusiasm build on this early breakthrough in 2017. (RM)

Frontier(s)

Chris Higdon’s anthemic and bruised indie rockers have been a little quiet for the last couple of years – certainly since the release of 2014’s excellent ‘White Lights’ EP.

Yet a simple Tweet indicated they’re back in business and ready to drop a couple of new songs as part of Arctic Rodeo’s Planet Home series. Could more follow? Let’s hope so, as the world has missed Higdon and that voice which forever feels like a punch to the heart. (RM)

Grieving

Marrying the mid-90s Deep Elm emo sound with classic British indie-rock, Cambridge’s Grieving have hit upon a winning formula and showed plenty of promise on their thrilling but all-too-brief debut five song debut, ‘Demonstrations’.

But we’re not content with this, and now we want more from the Cambridge outfit, eager to see if they can back up the brilliance of songs such as ‘My Friend, The Ghost’. (RM)

Mom Jeans.

Back in July, twinkly Californian emo punks Mom Jeans. dropped ‘Best Buds’, an album so gorgeously textured and chaotically thrilling that it caught the attention of numerous tastemakers. So enamoured, Counter Intuitive Records signed the group up for a physical release of ‘Best Buds’ in early 2017, opening up the group to a whole new audience.

Fans of Gulfer, Snowing, I Love Your Lifestyle and Sports. will do well to make friends with these best buds. (RM)

Cassels

Oxford duo Cassels (brothers Loz and Jim Beck) continue to confound trends and styles, delivering a ramshackle and chaotic take on indie/math rock that sounds like a frenzied interpretation of 90s slacker pop combined with an appreciation of grungey noise rock and stark math-rock.

With a handful of top-notch EPs to their name, including 2016’s ace ‘You, Us and They’, 2017 should be a big year for the Cotswold noiseniks. (RM)

Sibling

Berkshire’s Sibling have already wowed us with their excellent ‘Miserable Love’ EP, a heady mix of pop-rock hooks and glacial post-rock/emo soundscapes, and 2017 promises to be a banner year for the group, led by ex-Hindsights mainman Benio Baumgart. A second EP is in the pipeline, a debut tour and their first physical release. If they maintain the quality expect to see plenty more of Sibling throughout 2017. (RM)

Sleep In.

New Jersey emo rockers Sleep In. left a lasting impression with their punchy and infectious debut, ‘Settling’, back in 2014, before returning last year with an excellent stop-gap single. Born out of The Progress – the same indie-rock group that featured Into It Over It – Sleep In. tread a similar ground to their forefathers, playing emo rock that’s at times punky and filled with hooks and at others gorgeously delicate. With a record already in the bag to be released at some point in 2017, you don’t want to sleep in on Sleep In. (RM)

Strange Ranger

After retiring the name Sioux Falls due to the controversy such a moniker could cause with Native American communities, Portland’s Isaac Eiger and Fred Nixon decamped and came back with a new name and a slightly altered sound. Eschewing the classic 90s indie rock of their previous life, Strange Ranger delivered a startlingly brave six-track EP, ‘Sunbeams Through Your Head’, which pointed at a more post-punk and shoegaze direction, awash with textures and wild, unhinged vocals. Having already delivered a defining moment in music in 2016 with ‘Rot Forever’, could they repeat the trick in 2017? We wouldn’t bet against it. (RM)

Super American

Throwing things back to when 90s alt-rock ruled the airwaves, Super American play wonderfully contagious indie/pop-rock/power-pop filled with huge choruses and some mighty fine hooks. Like Tonic or Third Eye Blind with a Lit edge, Super American sound like the soundtrack to all your favourite teen movies where the underdog dropout beats the odds to win through. Producing feelgood music that’s perfect for the summer, expect these Super Americans to have a super year. (RM)

The Other Stars

Canada’s Stars are probably the finest band with a constellation-based name out there – but they might have serious competition from the Worcester MA., pop-punk emo quartet The Other Stars. Having released the brilliantly infectious ‘We Were Kids’ mini-album back in April 2016, the word on the street is a full-length will drop at some point in 2017. Fans of The Front Bottoms, Piebald and The Get Up Kids will find plenty to love here. (RM)

Thin Lips

Those with an ear to the ground will already know just how great Philadelphia’s Thin Lips are – especially so if they tuned into the buzz surrounding last year’s superb ‘Riff Hard’.

If you’re new to the spiky delights of Thin Lips though, have no fear. The fine folk at Big Scary Monsters will be re-releasing the killer album for the UK/EU market, and they’ll be over in the UK in February to support similarly smart and literate indie-punk heroes Modern Baseball! (RM)

Track and Field

Leeds based rockers Track and Field delivered a perfect slice of emo/indie-rock with 2015’s oh-so-short 4-track EP, ‘You Are My Home’. Featuring members of The Plight and The Afternoon Gentleman, Track and Field may be a sonic departure from previous acts, but it still packs an emotive punch to rival any of the musical beatdowns dished out by their old punk and hardcore bands.

Having been holed up in the studio for an age, expect to see the results of this hard labour at some point during 2017 – and we cannot wait. (RM)

Fresh

Following on from the critical acclaim of Doe, Woahnows, and Muncie Girls, London quartet Fresh look set to lead the next wave of thought-provoking UK indie punk. Since releasing their second EP, ‘These Things Are Not That Fun’, in November 2015, they’ve played alongside Johnny Foreigner, Happy Accidents, Sløtface, Losing Sleep among several other names in a thriving DIY UK scene.

With a mix of scrappy, energetic punk being combined with Kathryn Woods’ melodic charmful lyrics, Fresh have been working on new material that you should expect in the coming months. We’re looking forward to hearing more honest songs about friendship, feminism and more. (SR)

Larkhill

With frontman Miz Trujillo moving to Barcelona last year, 2017 marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Larkhill. Now described as a “collective”, Trujillo, joined by bassist Lee O’Connor, has been working on a new EP with producer Bob Cooper (The Winter Passing, Hindsights, Nai Harvest, Brawlers), while Great Cynics’ Bob Barret has come in on drums.

The EP is also set to include several guest vocalists as Trujillo and O’Connor aim to fulfill the potential shown from their past releases. Expect to hear sad, self-deprecating lyrics to be combined with big choruses. You can also expect to see Larkhill bothering venues throughout the UK and Spain. (SR)

Young States

This Norwich quartet showed plenty of potential with their 2015 debut EP, ‘Down To You’, with their brand of authentic soaring alternative rock. Now as they enter 2017, Young States have a second EP ready to go that sees them mature beyond their years.

Taking their influences of Brand New, Arcane Roots and Mallory Knox, the four-piece look set to offer a stirring set of emotionally-driven alt-rock that shouldn’t be ignored. With Steel City Studios’ Drew Lawson (Roam) handling the production, Young States thrive in a ball of enchanting melodies and impassioned lyrics. You can expect to hear the EP in the Spring. (SR)

The Apology Tour

There aren’t many bands that could drop just two tracks, play only a handful of shows and get us ridiculously excited at the prospect of a full-length release. Michigan’s The Apology Tour have managed just that. But when you realise that said band features former The Swellers frontman Nick Diener as the song writing mastermind, and have a killer brooding Swellers meets Motion City Soundtrack sound, that may not come as such a surprise.

Add to the mix first release ’Anneliese’ features a beast of a guest guitar spot from Fall Out Boy’s Joe Trohman, and that slow burning second effort ’You Know What You Did’ gives a sterling taste of the vocal back and forth between Diener and bandmate Michelle Lukezic, and you won’t want to snooze in getting this trio in your life either. (DW)

VadaWave

Ok so VadaWave may have technically quietly dropped their debut EP right at the tail end of 2016, but there’s no way a release that features six red hot tracks that completely blew us away isn’t going to propel the duo that created it to major things in 2017.

And what a duo they are, comprised of the husband and wife team of former The Used man Quin Allman and one time American Idol star Megan Joy. Their sound will have fans of the likes of Pvris positively frothing at the mouth with joy. Allman has lost of his knack for song writing or creating moody atmospheric soundscapes while Joy’s stratospheric and super versatile vocals will prove a revelation to alternative music fans not familiar with her mainstream work stateside.

One listen to the fiery ’Escape’ or the stylish infectious grooves of ’Envy’ and you’ll be ready to let the tide of Vada Wave carry you to another place entirely. (DW)

Cold Years

Last year saw Aberdeen’s Cold Years working hard to make themselves one of the hottest rock prospects around in the eyes of those in the know. Their remarkable ’Death Chasers’ EP channelled all the best elements of the likes of The Gaslight Anthem, Springsteen and Deaf Havana to create a rollicking riff driven listen. And that’s before we even start to wax lyrical about the vocal abilities of frontman Ross Gordon, whose gravelly soulful talents will inevitably draw more than favourable comparisons to Brian Fallon, Chuck Ragan et al.

Another EP release of this quality, or even with a bit of luck, a debut album and this five piece will be deservedly become the latest Scottish outfit to explode on a national level. (DW)

Youth Salute

Youth Salute may be veterans of the modest, but dedicated and flourishing rock and punk scene in Cumbria and SW Scotland, but 2016’s ‘Carve’ EP was their first to reach wider acclaim. Teaming up with Spoken Records for the release, the four-piece demonstrated their satisfying ability to deliver big rock songs with just the right amounts of light and shade, calm and heavy inside three and a half minutes. Tracks like ‘Daze’ and ‘Shudder’ throw everything into the mix, with nods to punk, emo, metal and more hooks than a tackle box. With new music expected this year, now’s the time to say hello to Youth Salute. (AL)

Bear Arms

Glasgow’s Bear Arms delivered a huge debut album with 2014’s ‘Strength and Conviction’, and have busied themselves with regular touring ever since. Combining the power and subtlety of alt-rock types Thursday, Funeral For A Friend, Jimmy Eat World and Brand New, it’s the strength of their song writing that sets Bear Arms apart from the crowd. Difficult themes such as illness, love, loss and acceptance are delivered through irresistible melodies, making effective use of their killer three way harmonies when needed.

They’ve been working on new music and we hope they get the recognition they deserve, as Bear Arms are easily one of the best underground rock bands in the UK – go and discover them immediately. (AL)

Making Monsters

After making 2016 a killer year with their highly acclaimed EP, ‘Bad Blood’, expect to hear a lot more from Derry’s finest hard edged alternative rockers Making Monsters in 2017. Having built a strong team around themselves in both England and Ireland, they already have festival appearances secured for the coming year and will continue to work towards their debut album. There is new music in the pipeline, tours, festivals and possibly some international shows; watch this supremely talented band go from strength to strength. (EL)

Haybaby

Brooklyn’s Haybaby are fast carving out a reputation as one of the hardest working bands on the independent scene. Signed to Tiny Engines, the sludge punk slop rock power trio released their well received debut album at the back end of 2015 and followed it with the superb ‘Blood Harvest’ EP in the middle of 2016. But it didn’t stop there, it’s been pretty much non-stop touring ever since, right up to December when they hit the studio to record their sophomore album. So with new music on the way and a load more shows lined up, 2017 could well see Leslie Hong and Co. making a serious impact. (EL)

False Advertising

False Advertising are another band with a relentless work ethic. Hot on the heels of 2015’s debut album came the ‘Brainless’ EP and their first UK tour, besides festival dates at Sound City and Kendal Calling. To top off an already hectic year the three piece started laying the foundations for a big 2017 by heading to the studio to put down the tracks for a release early in the new year. With a showcase slot at SXSW in Texas already lined up, plus some shows in Barcelona in March, as well as a bunch of spring dates in the UK and summer festival appearances, 2017 is looking like one busy year for the Manchester trio and their catchy brand of twisted power grunge. (EL)

Where There’s Life

Since forming in 2015, Edinburgh pop-punk heavyweights Where There’s Life have been honing their sound and look to step things up in 2017. With big hooks and chugging guitars, Where There’s Life’s sound firmly sits alongside A Day To Remember, Four Year Strong and Chunk, No Captain Chunk!

Last summer’s ‘Bright’ single saw the five-piece incorporate more melody into their heavy pop-punk sound. Since then they’ve played shows with names such as WSTR and Milestones, all the while working on a new EP which should see the light of day in the first half of 2017. (SR)

InVisions

Although they only formed in late 2015, York metalcore quintet InVisions haven’t wasted anytime getting down to business. Having released two singles in their first year as a band, they’ve also been working on a full-length during that time.

The aforementioned singles, ‘Unbreakable’ and ‘The Haunting’, are carried with dense guitars, energetic percussion, destructive breakdowns and powerful vocals. Add a hint of an old school rock ’n’ roll attitude, and you’re left with one of UK metal’s most promising new names for 2017. (SR)

Penelope Tree

Buckinghamshire newbies Penelope Tree formed in late 2015 and ended 2016 with the release of their debut EP – ‘The Scenes You Create’. With hints of Taking Back Sunday and the Wonder Years, the EP offers a set of relatable songs through mature, emotionally-charged pop-punk. Songs such as ‘Stanwick Lakes’ and ‘Restless’ are equally introspective and anthemic through warm harmonies and a fitting quiet/loud dynamic.

They look to keep the momentum going into 2017 as they work on its follow-up, and begin to play more shows up and down the country. We also hear their debut video is in the works too. (SR)

Dire Bloom

When Leeds’ Dire Bloom landed in our inbox stating their influences as Brand New, Basement, Moose Blood and Knuckle Puck, they soon had our attention. Their debut EP, ‘Facade’, was quietly released in December yet shouldn’t be ignored. Over the course of six songs, the five-piece blend their influences with purpose through stirring vocals, winding guitars and subtly anthemic hooks.

The emo/pop-punk band are still finding their feet yet with ‘Facade’, they have a foundation that they will surely build on in the coming months. While shows alongside the likes of Seaway will help them grow in stature and confidence. (SR)

Pleiades

Having released one of the best EPs of last year, Manchester’s Pleiades look ready to continue their ascent in 2017. ‘Symptoms of the Human Being’ seamlessly combined elements of post-hardcore and post-rock to create an incredible musical opus, and comes highly recommended.

Still at the very early stages of their career, Pleiades haven’t travelled far afield of their hometown, but that looks set to change this year, with more shows on the cards. They’re intent to play up and down the country. If Pleiades can increase their exposure by way of more shows, we could see very interesting things from them indeed. On top of that, a video for the beautiful ‘Only Second Cousin’ is in the works. (AC)

Luke Rainsford

Wolverhampton native Luke Rainsford certainly likes to keep himself busy. Alongside playing in pop-punk upstarts Layover and emerging alt pop group Fullshore, Rainsford has found the time to craft a solo project. Last summer’s debut outing, ‘I’m Nothing Like My Dad Turned Out To Be’, showcased his youthful maturity stylistically fitting into an acoustic emo/pop-punk mould.

Next month sees him deliver a second LP in the form of ‘I Feel at Home With You’. Recent single, ‘Ties’, saw Rainsford showcase a fuller sound that is reminscent of Aaron West & the Roaring Twenties and This Wild Life. With a collection of brutally honest songs about love, mental health issues, and going through adolescence, Luke Rainsford looks set to deliver a uncomfortable, thought-provoking insight into his life. (SR)

Words by Sêan Reid (SR), Rob Mair (RM), Dane Wright (DW), Andy Davidson (AD), Edward Layland (EL), Adam Lewis (AL) and Alan Cunningham (AC).