The formula for the Denton music scene is no accident: cheap rent and plentiful venues make for a perfect melting pot for bands to pop up all over the place. Whether it's a house or dive bar show, there's somewhere for you to perform. If you either live in Denton or find yourself there, here are four must-see bands flying the flag for our neighbors to the north at venues like Rubber Gloves, Macaroni Island or Gatsby's Mansion on any given night.
Two Knights Sounds like: Stripped-down math rock, raspy angst and a healthy dose of self-deprecation The history of Two Knights is straightforward: In their own words taken from their band page, "Friends since 2006, band since 2009, stupid forever." Though they're from Arlington and played most of their early shows in Ft. Worth, they're currently based out of Denton and consider it their hometown. Their songs are rife with tempo changes, unexpected time signatures and chaotically precise drumming. While most of their music focuses on technical, rapid sections, there are clear punk influences in their two LPs that make for a satisfying cross-genre experience.
Anger House Sounds like: Rites of Spring, hardcore punk and sadness Mixing harsh, spoken vocals, quick tempos and even cosplaying anime characters at shows, Anger House provides a peculiarity that feels right at home in Denton. They fit somewhere between older emo and hardcore punk, and they play with a staggering fury. Their recordings don't do them justice, though; if you want to feel the surge of sadness course through your veins, catch them at Rubber Gloves or Macaroni Island in Denton and swirl around in a mosh pit maelstrom. You'll never feel more alive.
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Varsity Cheerleader Sounds like: Descendents, NOFX and pop punk before it became terrible Treading slightly more on the "punk" side of "pop-punk," Varsity Cheerleader brings sensibility and street smarts to a format that doesn't need updating. Hailing back to a better era of pop-punk, they're fast-paced, fittingly trapped in adolescence and draw equally from their influences without sounding too derivative. Frantic guitar hooks and driving punk drums hold down their songs as they navigate through the teenage years we never quite got over.
Wiccans Sounds like: Rage, curb-stomping and combat boots Not for the faint of heart, Wiccans blend monstrously heavy guitar parts and brutal vocals to create what they refer to as their own brand of "herky-jerky hardcore." In all the madness, though, each note, transition and even slightly out of tune note seems hugely deliberate. The end product is a band that knows exactly what they're doing and just nails it. So go spill a beer on yourself in some dude's house-turned-venue and lose your shit with these guys.