We gave you a little tease yesterday of some Buffalo tunes that have locked themselves into a pretty constant rotation for us here at the blog. Today, though, is real talk. Twenty of the finest Queen City songs that 2012 had to offer are ready for your listening ears. We will start today off with songs 20-11. Check back in tomorrow for the Top 10.
#20. Sea Snake Vs. - "Dink Donk"
Rising from the rubble left by former local acts, Baby Blue Bird and Chateau Terrace, Sea Snake Vs. first emerged in the summer of 2011, making their debut performance at the Infringement Festival. Despite the potential, the band would meet a similar fate. While a proper full length release never saw the light of day, the trio turned five piece rock outfit managed to release a couple killer tunes in their short existence. “Dink Donk” sounds like a perfect marriage of the darker sides My Morning Jacket and the National, combining the driving rhythm section of J. Daniel and Christopher Joseph along with Alexander Reid’s brooding vocals.
After a fairly quiet 2012 on the internet front, Early Attic released the single, "Patterns," in the final quarter. The band has gone through some personnel change-ups within the last year, but that has not stopped their creative output. The single off their forthcoming album (that MIGHT come out in 2012), “Patterns,” is a testament to the band’s both staying power and ability to pump out one hell of a catchy chorus.
Continuing the tradition of great Harvestsum releases, There's Blood in Your Heart, the debut album from On Beta, wasn't your normal debut. The piano rock trio was full of veterans from the Buffalo scene (all members are featured or former players in Johnny Nobody, the Backpeddlars, and the Old Sweethearts) and that seasoned confidence can be heard all over the LP, but no more so than in "Crackin' Up." The song builds on a tense sense of urgency, featuring great harmonies from the grizzled, soulful voice of Mark Nosowicz, to the always reliable Andy Vaeth (Harvestsum's secret weapon in my opinion and a damn fine beat), proving that piano pop can have a swagger of its own.
Buffalo’s electro-pop staple, Love Scenes, released their second full-length album, Blissed Out Youth, this past summer, just in time for the buffaBLOG restraining order to be lifted. Blissed Out Youth was positively received not only by Buffalonians, but the band has been rapidly gaining fans in Brazil. Without a doubt, the most impressive and take home worthy track of this album is “Enigmatic.” This track features Leah Loefke’s sweet and ghostly vocals combined guitarist/programmer TJ Grace’s hypnotic electro-pop instrumentals (Freezepop, Crystal Castles), which make this track a must-have for the best of 2012.
University at Buffalo’s resident emcee, Quinton Brock, has a flow that is bigger than his relatively small frame. In 2012, Brock released his debut full-length, Light Mayonnaise, produced by former Sleepy Hahas bassist, Derek Sullivan. The lead single off the album, "Bros," is a tale about Brock's interactions with the university's...bros. Brock could easily be thrown on the next OFWGKTA mixtape, and I honestly wouldn't be surprised if it actually happened. MAN FUCK THEM BROS.
2012 saw the departure and eventual return of Merchants. Boy are we glad those plans to move to Alaska and work on a tourist train didn't really pan out. Before their exodus from Buffalo, the band was a three-piece grunge act relegated a dark corner of Nietzsche's with zero internet presence or recordings. Fast forward to December 2012 and the band has a demo, a semi-active Facebook/Twitter, a gig with The Growlers under their belt and an additional member, keyboardist Steve Gordon. Merchants are resurrecting grunge in Buffalo, singing songs about depression, whiskey, and well, other things. What is exceptional about Merchants is their ability to "Real Estate" themselves up once in a while. "Moth" sticks out because it's one of the first songs we've heard from this foursome at buffaBLOG and still holds a firm place in our heart and iTUNES playlists.
Born on the dirty basement floor of DIY space, The Jungle Gym, Settlers were one of the bands that instantly clicked with us. The band's sound could best be described as noisey, driving, lo-fi rock and roll a la No Age. This scuzz rock tagteam consists of current Buffalo expats, Maxwell Scott (bass) and Daniel Gomez (drums). "Sky Kings" was the first song released by the band via a trippy youtube video made up of clips from a 70's hang gliding doc titled Playground in the Sky Also, we're pretty sure Maxwell Scott is the only three-stringed bass player in Western New York.
This is the official start of bands associated with Buffalo’s indie hit machine and mastermind behind Steak and Cake Records, Brandon Schilia. Signo Vinces consists of Schilia and Love Scenes songstress, Leah Loefke. The band started out as a recording project recording covers and throwing them on bandcamp, but the duo's electro-pop project has grown to a four-piece live performance. Their track "Hot Time" is a must-have for any best of Buffalo 2012 countdown.
If the world ends tomorrow, I know I will die barricaded in my apartment with Young Suns' "Whale Fall" blaring out of my dying computer speakers because most likely the power grid will fail before it all goes down. In 2012, we saw the debut of post-hardcore instrumentalists, Young Suns and boy are they tight. Garnering influences from Russian Circles, Every Time I Die, and Explosions in the Sky, this post-apocalyptic rock quartet is on it's way to becoming one of Buffalo's chief exports.
#11. Cemeteries - "The Wilderness"
Goth Pop. Dark Dream Pop. Whatever you want to call it, Kyle J. Reigle’s Cemeteries released one of the most impressive albums to come out of Buffalo in some time. Released on Lefse Records, The Wilderness was a collection of atmospheric and mood filled pieces that easily could have scored one of the horror flicks Reigle oh so loves. On the album’s ray of light title track, though, the shimmer and shine break through for a song that would sound right in place on any great John Hughes' film. Had Red House Painters and Wild Nothing ever gotten together, this is what it would sound like.