Monday 19 December 2011

The Metaphorical Boat's Tips for '12 - Part 2

Part two of The Metaphorical Boat's tips for 2012 features five bands from outside Ireland, and includes one from the USA, and two from Leeds (believe me, I'm surprised as well).

Emperors Club

The only American based group on the list, Iowa based quintet Emperors Club form the missing link between American alt-rock and Britpop, with the band citing both The Charlatans and Big Star as influences on their sound. Their debut E.P, October's "The Castle", is a fantastic introduction to the band, from the spiky title track, through to the Stroke 9 meets McAlmont & Butler grooves of "Our Time", through to the David Gray-esque "Brooklyn" showing a band with a classic sound, updated to the 10s.

With a full length album planned in the next year, the next 12 months should see the rise to power of Emperors Club.

The Castle by Emperors Club


Based on their latest E.P, "Imperial Godess of Mercy", Oxford based quintet Fixers could be best decribed as psychedelic indie rock with shades of Animal Collective. However, the group are not afraid to embrace pop, as evidenced from their siren sampling single "Swimmhaus Johannesburg" (a song that surprisingly made the daytime playlist on BBC Radio 1).

The start of 2012 will see the group supporting Kaiser Chiefs on tour, before re-releasing "Iron Deer Dream" in February, followed by an album release around April.


Since rock music fell largely out of favour with the general public around 2008, every end-of year tip list has featured at least one artist that promises to bring rock hurtling back into the mainstream. The Drums were on many pundits lists in 2010, whilst the hopes of 2011 were very much put on the shoulders of The Vaccines. Could 2012 be the year of Camden fourpiece Tribes? Having released three strong singles in 2011, the most recent of which being "When My Day Comes", the band have built up a reputation for their youthful, Britpop inspired tunes and raucious live performances.

A timely re-release of the single that made me fall in love with the group in the first place, "We Were Children", is being released ahead of their debut album "Baby", released on January 16th. Their guitarist Dan's taboid friendly relationship with Scarlett Johannson should keep them firmly in the public eye over the next 12 months.

This Many Boyfriends
Leeds based "funpop" band This Many Boyfriends came to my attention during the summer through their fantastic "Young Lovers Go Pop!" single. However, they have been together for many years, releasing an E.P in 2010, featuring such charming songs such as "I Can Be a Communist" and "I Don't Like You (Cos You Don't Like the Pastels)".

With a single on Angular Records under their belt, the band are shaping up for 2012 to be their biggest year yet, with a new single scheduled for February (complete with a silly fanzine drawn by the band), gigs with Allo Darlin', and the possibility of an album before the end of the year. Let's hope that the fun continues with This Many Boyfriends.

Various Cruelties

When a band plays on Later...With Jools Holland before they've even released an album, they are surely destined for great things (or have a brilliant PR/management team, although the two are not always mutually exclusive). This bodes well for London (via Leeds) based Various Cruelties, whose appearence on the flagship show has seen a boost in their popularity, even making the Radio 1 playlist this week with "Great Unknown".

It could be possible to compare their chances to those of The Vaccines last year, who had only been together for a few months before being signed in a flurry of hype and also playing on the aformentioned BBC2 show before releasing a single. The band even supported The Vaccines in their earliest days together. However, that is where the comparisons end, for whilst The Vaccines trade in angular indie rock, Various Cruelties offer a more soulful approach to their music, with Motown influences abound.

Their debut album will be released on April 2nd.

And those are The Metaphorical Boat's tips for 2012. Do you agree with the suggestions, or are there any other artists that you feel should be making a mark in the next year? Be sure to leave a comment to let me know.

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