I got over two dozen of them! Here are some demos I plucked from my inbox this week:
Steradian - A steradian is a measure of angular area, which would be a pretty clever band name if I weren't in favor of calling for a ban on the a-word in all music writing for the forseeable future. I digress. The four songs Steradian sent me fall somewhere between the Vehicle Birth and Polvo's more sinister moments. Frontman Josiah Feinberg reminds me of a !/Is Terrified-era Travis Morrison. I also heard traces of Unwound's rumbling rhythm section and Slint's chord shapes. Steradian have this neat trick where they play a pretty arpeggio, and quickly throw more and more ugly notes in the mix until your good time is ruined. I held my nose long enough to look up their MySpace (ugh) to see if they have any upcoming shows. They don't. Bummer. These dudes just might be one of my Seattle bands to watch for 2011. Put 'em on your radar.
Red Liquid - When Lee Cizek isn't talking trash in the comment section of this blog, he plays in something like 759348379 different bands in Seattle. (Same-Sex Dictator, Emeralds, Black Leather Noose, etc.) It's kind of impressive that he has time to talk trash at all. Anyway, his newest band is called Red Liquid—they've replaced the sludgy low-end of his other bands with lots of reverb and a slightly gothy post-punk vibe. Out of the four Red Liquid songs I received, only half really hit me like I was hoping: "I Wanna Be Yr Victim" is a fuck-you powerblast soaked in so much delay it makes Derek Erdman's basement seem dry by comparison. "Strange Days" is oddly danceable with an unstoppable bassline and a squealing guitar lead run though an entire Guitar Center's worth of effects pedals. And a slow fade. I love slow fades. Red Liquid are sharing a bill with Sioux City Pete & the Beggars at the Josephine on January 14th, if'n you want to check them out. I'm thinking there might be something in the tracks that I don't get that might reveal itself when played live.
Oh Dear! - Just maybe, this Tacoma band might come close to filling the Meneguar-sized hole in my heart. Oh Dear! aren't as manic as that Brooklyn quartet, but the melodies and hooks are there in spades. It's kind of wussy, but I dig it anyway. According to their Facebook page, they don't have any shows coming up, but are finishing up a full-length album.
Into The Storm - I know Into The Storm plays shows with Smooth Sailing a lot, another band that I've been meaning to check out for a minute. These dudes split the difference between post-Mastodon beard metal and raw 90's hardcore. The simple, garagey production thankfully keeps the metal-to-punk ratio in check. The musicianship is solid, but unshowy. In an era where even the pop-punk bands are trying to out-Yngwie each other, it's pretty nice to listen to a heavy record that doesn't make me feel like I'm at a Joe Stump guitar clinic. Sonically, this band is pretty rad, but I am wanting for more choruses that made me pump my fist in the air and want to break stuff. I'm interested in seeing how this band develops over the next couple years. Their entire nine-song debut album is available for free download at their website.
Overall, I'd say the first week of the demo experiment was a success. I got to check out a bunch of bands that were unknown quantities and a few bands that I've been meaning to check out for a while. I haven't gotten to everything yet (I'm saving some for next week), but so far I haven't heard anything that was actually terrible.
If you've got something you want me to hear, this is how it works: send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a Sendspace/Medafire/Whatever link to 3-5 mp3's in a zip file. I'll do my best to check it out. If I like it or find it interesting, I'll write about it here.