Red Monroe, New Frontiers, Quiet Company, Manchester Orchestra
Sounding more like "the next big thing" from our Canadian neighbors than those crazy kids from down the street, Red Monroe's self-titled, full-length debut album made jaws drop, including the Grammy nomination panel. Even if the record was chock-full of bittersweet Arcade Fire-like yelps and Wolf Parade-esque moments of crashing guitars, the local quintet turned a pivotal corner in their career and got one step closer to fully harnessing the all-out ruckus of their live performances. The New Frontiers, on the other hand, are the same five guys that all wore their hair to one side and tried to sound like Coldplay as Stellamaris, only now they've signed to the Militia Group. Quiet Company's somber and seductive piano-driven rock rekindles Harvest-era Neil Young, similar to Band of Horses. The Austin trio's debut record, Shine Honesty,does just that as front man Taylor Muse's spiritual convictions heighten the emotional intensity of his deeply personal lyricism. Manchester Orchestra, who are not from Manchester nor feature an orchestra, reveal a predictable power-pop bounce that's borderline emo on I'm Like a Virgin Losing a Child, but after a strong showing at Lollapalooza 2006 and an upcoming tour with Brand New, this young quintet does have a bright future.
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