The Swellers, Charlie Siren, The Ill Motion
The Cathouse, 2101 Silver Ave. SE
Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m.
Most music scenes have a band or two that are heralded as being the genre’s “nice guys.” The Swellers fit that bill in the world of melodic punk. These Flint, Mich. natives play music that is fast, fun and stripped of the pretense countless other punk bands have.
For Your Consideration: Massive guitar solos and punk rock rarely mix well, but “Skoots” by The Swellers manages to nicely squish the two together.
Motion City Soundtrack, Relient K, Driver Friendly, Empty Sails
Thursday, Nov. 14 at 8 p.m.
Motion City Soundtrack thinks big — big melodies, liberal use of keyboards and massive choruses. This pop-punk act has dominated their scene for the past ten years, raking in new fans while riding the annual wave of Warped Tour.
For Your Consideration: As far as break-up songs go, “Hold Me Down” hits the sweet spot, sitting comfortably between depressing lyrics and a catchy melody.
Red Light Cameras, The Big Spank, The Melismatics, Mr. & Mrs. Jones
Saturday, Nov. 16 at 9:30 p.m.
Local artists Red Light Cameras and The Big Spank have each built up a decent number of supporters throughout the past few years, and for good reason — they both put on a fun live show. The Big Spank blend a unique mix of Latin, funk and ska music, while Red Light Cameras whip out a healthy dose of catchy indie rock.
For Your Ears: Hand-claps and “ooh-oohs” dominate Red Light Cameras’ “Fire,” a tune that showcases the often sassy voice of lead singer Amanda Machon.
A Lot Like Birds, HRVRD, Night Verses, My Iron Lung
Monday, Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m.
A Lot Like Birds is the audible version of throwing everything against a wall and hoping something will stick. Luckily for the band, the harsh screams, the echoing clean vocals, math rock guitars and crashing drums mix surprisingly well.
For Your Consideration: “The Blowtorch is Applied to the Sugar” is a bit of a fun and sticky mess, clashing an atmospheric open with a breakneck second half of screams and wailing chords.
The Besnard Lakes, Elephant Stone, Sad Baby Wolf
Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 9 p.m.
The Besnard Lakes follows in the footsteps of label mates Bon Iver and S. Carey with their falsetto croon and echoing guitar melodies. This Canadian quartet is certainly doing something right, having been nominated for the Polaris Music Prize twice.
For Your Consideration: “Colour Yr Lights In” comes in waves, crashing and receding with its booming chorus and reverb-heavy guitar.
Veil of Maya, Structures
Blackwater Music, 109 Fourth St. NW
Monday, Nov. 25 at 6 p.m.
Deathcore, defined by its persistence of breakdowns and harsh vocal growls, is a divisive genre amongst metalheads. Veil of Maya plays directly to those who lean toward the genre, setting aside melodies for similar guitar chugs and blistering shouts.
For Your Consideration: “Divide Paths” is loud and unapologetic, drilling out guitar chords, percussive blast beats and harsh vocals.