BBBD Best Undiscovered Tracks Of 2007 (Part 3 of 5)

I feel as though I sold myself short with my statistical sum-up of the year. It was a little bit too straightforward and was only an indication of what I most frequently listened to over the course of the year rather than what I really liked in the end. There is a difference!

I now present to you the third installation of BBBD's Best Undiscovered Tracks List of 2007. (So now I've done artists and unknown acts, but still no favorite albums or "mainstream" independent favorites -- we shall see what the future holds!)

You can get the ZIP of all 25 of my favorite tunes here or download the MP3s one-by-one over the course of five days.

Pete & the Pirates - Come On Feet
Remember Tap Tap? Pete & the Pirates is Tap Tap's founder, frontman, and main member Thomas Sanders' latest project, and while the filled-out full band does resemble Tap Tap in many regards, there's a lot more going on here. The U.K. quartet plays insanely hooky tunes with the energy of an original punk band and the smart attitude of the Futureheads or Gang of Four. They're an absolutely delight. Forthright (it take barely more than two seconds for a song to kick off), deliberate, and confident, Pete & the Pirates is making us rethink what makes a good pop song and is reminding us that a sharp, jagged melody and lyric can be just as emotionally evocative as Coldplay slosh.

Ponytail - Start A Corporation
Many a band has risen from (and fallen out of?) the Baltimore music scene. Many of these bands we all know and many of them subscribe to a certain psychedelic, potpourri of styles folk hybrid, but there are several outliers that are hard to place and especially intriguing. Like Ponytail! I like the describe the Baltimore group as Deerhoof on speed. They brazenly rush through hook-filled songs with a squealing vocalist carrying the tunes along (albeit it in a schizophrenic and claustrophobic manner). They will rock your socks off and send you running ... but then you'll jet back to meet them when they return to your town.

Prinzhorn Dance School - Crackerjack Docker
Finally, a band that deserves all the Young Marble Giants comparisons it can rile up. Prinzhorn Dance School is one of DFA's more out there signings. The German U.K. duo sing shout non-sequiturs accompanied by uber-sparse instrumentals. So minimalist are they in fact that the drums, bass, and vocals never seem to hit at once ... the listener is just exposed to one, then the other, then the other. A weird listening experience that requires more concentration and thought than one would expect.

Shugo Tokumaru - Future Umbrella
Shugo Tokumaru is an outrageously talented Japanese guitarist who composes they meandering, slight, mystical guitar tunes that span one to eight minutes. Injected with just enough Oriental twang, the pop ballads slowly and seductively wrap around your ears, subversively build to a crescendo, and innocently enough climax into a bang that's impossible to replicate. Good going, Shugo. Once again, Japan has done it better.

Studio - West Side
Studio is Robert Smith and the Cure done dub. I've been able to say nothing else of worth about this Swedish duo since I was introduced nearly a year ago. Stunning. My jaw still drops listening to them.


Anonymous said…
Dude, Prinzhorn aren't German. They're from Portsmouth in the UK. I'm sure they'll love the YMG comparison and I see what you mean, but, come on dude, they're approximately 1000x shitter.
Anonymous said…
Kudos for sticking Ponytail in this list! Arguably one of the best local bands we've got, which is saying ALOT since Baltimore music is exploding. Check the Beatbots A/V Club in the next couple of months, I'll be taping several of their local shows.