10 Ohio bands that should be on your radar
- Cloud Nothings: Cleveland, Ohio
This foursome is making some serious waves in the sea of music these days, or rather, Lake Erie. Hailing from Cleveland, Cloud Nothings have put lo-fi garage rock back on music lovers’ radar. And if they’re not a band you’ve been following, I want to make sure you are now. Even if it’s just to watch their weird videos. Speaking of videos, if you’d like to put a name to a face when it comes to who directed these interesting videos, check out Nasty Fancy’s second podcast with John Ryan Manning, director of four Cloud Nothings videos including “Should Have” and “No Future/No Past”.
- The Lighthouse and the Whaler: Cleveland, Ohio
While searching for a bio for the Nasty Fancy readers, I couldn’t help but get lost in the band’s bio page. Cramming these guys into a specific “genre” wouldn’t do them justice. And they’re pretty funny. You can tell by the array of instruments they play that they most likely feel the same way. At any rate, they categorize themselves as indie-folk pop, so we’ll just go with that. Their new EP Pioneers is out now, and you can head over to Cleveland Scene to read a good ol’ hometown review of the album. Come support the guys at Beachland Ballroom June 27 as well.
- Phantods: Columbus, Ohio
Now I hate to be biased, but this band is stealing the most of my attention out of this bunch of talented acts. Maybe it’s because they describe themselves as dead wave rock and their influences are The Cars, Blondie, Devo and Peter Gabriel. But to be honest, I’m a sucker for a girl lead. You all know this by now. They have spent the first half of 2012 putting together their 2nd full-length release. You can listen to their newest single “Music is Dead” over at their website.
- Smoke Screen: Cleveland, Ohio
If you all thought I’d be sleeping on the hip-hop category, think again. This duo is arguably one of the most creative and original local hip-hop acts out there right now. And I’ll rep that until something else comes along. Last month, they opened up for Girl Talk during the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction week. You can read a review of the show on Nastyfancy.com accompanied by some awesome photos taken by ONWRD/UPWRD Photography. And while you’re at it, head to Smoke Screen’s Facebook and order that Ice Cold Water. Or you can stream it on their mobile app.
- Pomegranates: Cincinnati, Ohio
Don’t let this band’s many record label changes deter you. It’s a tough market for an indie band these days, and it has become increasingly difficult to get noticed. But with triple the help on vocals, this foursome will leave you chanting their choruses all night. This indie-pop band has had no problem developing a following. It seems like every local festival I’ve looked into this year has Pomegranates on its list of performers (Bunbury Music Festival and Weapons of Mass Creation Festival) They will be releasing their latest album, Heaven, on June 9 at a CD release show at Madison Theatre in Covington, Kentucky.
- Walk the Moon: Cincinnati, Ohio
Here’s another band who calls Cincinatti home: Walk the Moon. You’ve probably heard their song “Anna Sun”. OK, maybe you haven’t. But Esquire magazine and I think that you should go give it a listen. It’s an intoxicatingly catchy summer anthem, and I think you’ll thank us later. Walk the Moon has a real knack for the indie pop genre, and lately they’ve been popping up all over the place. The band has played a couple of music festivals including Lollapalooza and Midtown Music Festival. This year they will add three more festivals to that list, including The Governor’s Ball in NYC, which I will be attending. So, expect a writeup about whether these guys lived up to my expectations or not! My money is betting on yes. In the meantime, check out their Facebook for the latest news about the band and tour dates. And watch this funny video for “Anna Sun”.
- Megachurch: Cleveland, Ohio
Now I’m not a metal music ”pro”. That’s Jeremy’s job, which is why he so lovingly writes our weekly Metal Monday post for you all. But as a lover of all music, I can’t help but give these guys credit for what they’re doing. Megachurch has managed to develop a loyal following of fans who enjoy heavy rock guitar riffs layered over pretentious religious sermons. When I first saw them at this year’s Ingenuity Fest, I almost thought I had stumbled upon a church mass. I hope to one day see these guys on Adult Swim because if they haven’t been featured yet, hopefully someone reads this blog and thinks it’s a perfect idea like I do. Until then, check out their trippy album art on their Facebook and listen to some of their sermon jams, ya’ll.
- Bethesda: Kent, Ohio
This indie rock group blends meaningful lyrics with folk roots and crafty guitars in a way that makes you feel warmth in your heart. I remember a few years ago when I first came to Kent State, I heard about these guys. Boy have they grown since then. This year has been a fantastic one for the six piece band. After releasing their 2011 EP, Dreamtiger & Other Tails, Bethesda has been slated for thirty plus shows on the Discovery Network as well as fourteen shows on Showtime, MTV, Oxygen, Bravo!, VH1, and E! Not bad for a small-town band.
- Annabel: Kent, Ohio
Here is another band that will be playing the Weapons of Mass Creation Festival next month, and they also hail from Nasty Fancy’s homebase of Kent, Ohio. The indie pop-rock quartet has quite an extensive discography, and with their latest 5-song EP, Here We Are Tomorrow, fans can expect a slightly more aggressive punk sound. The guys also keep a really awesome tumblr page, so you should check that out. They are working on their next full-length release right now, so we’ll keep you updated on the release of that.
- Reverse the Curse: Hiram, Ohio
I had the pleasure of seeing these guys at the Grog Shop last July during their CD release show. The turnout wasn’t as great as I expected, but those that did show up really loved this band. And wow, their drummer kicks ass. Since then the guys have been non-stop touring it seems. Reverse the Curse is pretty straightforward rock, but some times they seem a little experimental. They definitely put on a good show, so expect the hype around this band to grow.