SXSW Music: 10 Rock Bands You Won’t Want to Miss

SXSW-Music-2015-Rock-Bands

Ready to Rock?

We at Uberchord try to refrain from such easily digestible, pleb-friendly lists. They’re often hastily banded together, intellectually unsatisfying and a meek symptom of lazy journalism. With all those prejudices laid down on the table, we present to you our top ten picks for SXSW Music this year, all falling loosely within the rock & alternative category. Now SXSW shouldn’t just be about ambling around Austin hoping to chance upon good music in your drunken haze. Although that spontaneity is certainly part of the fun, we’d like to give you something of a roadmap of artists that we certainly think would be well worth your time seeing. After conducting some painstaking research, here are our top 10 rock bands that we look forward to seeing this year.

SXSW Music Acts

In no particular order…hell it was hard enough to narrow down the acts to ten bands.

1. CRUISRCRUISR SXSW 2015 Rock Bands

Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

With a conscious effort to write poppy hooks which implant themselves firmly in the listener’s head, CRUISR prove quite difficult to dislike. Their songs fall within the lighter, poppier side of indie music. Consider them an antidote to weary feet and weary ears. Easy to listen to, butbe warned, some of these vocals may be infectious – in a good way!

SXSW Showcase: Thursday, March 19 from 10:30PM – 11:10PM at Red 7 Patio

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With a conscious effort to write poppy hooks which implant themselves firmly in the listener's head,… Click To Tweet

2. BanditosBanditos SXSW 2015 Rock Bands

Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama

I’m immediately drawn in by Banditos, in no small part due to their strong image. Indeed, they look like a party of enchanted scarecrows who, on one of their ethereal moonlit walks across the Tennessee plains managed to bewitch a passing girl into forming a country band. Interestingly enough, their music doesn’t sound too far off this mark. If you’re a sucker for banjo-driven music, played with menace and ferocious kazoo melodies, this is definitely one for you.

SXSW Showcase: Wednesday, March 18 from 10:00PM – 10:40PM at Continental Club

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Indeed, they look like a party of enchanted scarecrows who, on one of their ethereal moonlit walks… Click To Tweet

3. Jukebox the GhostJukebox the Ghost SXSW 2015 Top Rock Bands

Hometown: Washington, D.C.

An absolute gem of a band. Check these guys out for a truly modern take on rock music. It’s easy to become self-absorbed when consciously trying to be different, and create music that may be interesting but not particularly inspiring. This most certainly isn’t the case here. One of the most deeply original bands we’ve ever heard, JtG’s composition ranges from jarring rhythm and vocal breaks to Bohemian-Rhapsody-esque choral melodies, without once losing sight of what makes a balanced, great song. You have two opportunities so don’t miss these guys, for your own sake.

SXSW Showcase: Tuesday, March 17 (Time TBA) at Bungalow AND Thursday, March 19 from 1:00AM – 1:45AM at Esther’s Follies

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Jukebox the Ghost's composition ranges from jarring rhythm and vocal breaks to… Click To Tweet

4. COINCOIN SXSW 2015 Rock Bands

Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee

Carefree rock with a summery sheen. With far too many bands nowadays forcing the ‘edgy’ look, it’s quite refreshing to see clean-cut guys playing bouncy indie music without any hint of pretence. See them live for an upbeat pick-me-up before your night of wandering begins.

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SXSW Showcase: Thursday, March 19 from 11:00PM – 11:40PM at Maggie Mae’s

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Coin is carefree rock with a summery sheen. With far too many bands nowadays forcing the 'edgy' look,… Click To Tweet

Nightmare Air SXSW 2015 Rock Bands5. Nightmare Air

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Rock band Nightmare Air are another band to watch. Sounding like an indie-fied Janes Addiction with a loud rock aesthetic, these guys could definitely be one to watch in the future. Buzz Osbourne lookalike Dave Dupuis shares lead duties with Kim Deal impersonator Swaan Miller, creating a dreamy 90’s influenced sound with a lot of bite.

SXSW Showcase: Wednesday, March 18 from 11:00PM – 11:40PM at Valhalla

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Sounding like an indie-fied Janes Addiction with a loud rock aesthetic, Nightmare Air are definitely… Click To Tweet

Ume SXSW 2015 Rock Bands6. Ume

Hometown: Austin, Texas

Ume have certainly been getting a lot of attention recently. Reminiscent of dreamy alternative bands like Sonic Youth with wafts of Arcade Fire, Ume present a style both familiar and very new. Their 16th-note indie rhythms underpin a harmonically rich fusion of noise and art-rock, edged with a distinct sense of digital modernity. Rock N’ Roll for the new age.

SXSW Showcase: Thursday, March 19 from 8:00PM – 8:40PM at Red 7

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Reminiscent of dreamy alternative bands like Sonic Youth with wafts of Arcade Fire, Ume present a… Click To Tweet

7. Royal ThunderRoyal Thunder SXSW 2015 Rock Bands

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

A fantastic band from Georgia who know how to whip up atmosphere and a sonic sense of dread. Royal Thunder is a heavy rock outfit who occasionally veer close to the doom and stoner rock movements of the 90’s. Their dark melodies and slow, sludgy chord progressions make them an ideal band for that moment in the night where you just want to sway gently back and forth on the dance floor and induce an introspective trip.

SXSW Showcase: Tuesday, March 17 from 12:00AM – 12:40AM at Dirty Dog Bar

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Royal Thunder are a fantastic band from Georgia who know how to whip up atmosphere and a sonic sense… Click To Tweet

Baby Bee SXSW 2015 Top Rock Bands

8. Baby Bee

Hometown: Houma, Louisiana

We at Uberchord have only the utmost respect for those dragging blues back into the mainstream against the tide of auto-tuned dross that is modern pop music. Baby Bee have the killer combination of modern, svelte looks and a minimalistic, two-member approach to their live show which has catapulted bands with similar acts like The White Stripes and Royal Blood into fame. Determined to prove the indisputable charm of a good pentatonic riff and chugging blues rhythms, Baby Bee are on a launchpad pointed directly at the top.

SXSW Showcase: Friday, March 20 from 7:30PM – 8:10PM at Swan Dive Patio

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Website | SXSW Page | Facebook | Twitter

Baby Bee have the killer combination of modern, svelte looks and a minimalistic, two-member approach… Click To Tweet

9. LITELITE SXSW 2015 Rock Bands

Hometown: Tokyo, Japan

Straddling the boundary between disjointed breakpop and seriously intricate math-rock, LITE is most certainly not for the casual music fan. No vocals here, just mathematically stimulating syncopations. Harmonious discord, if you will. This is a must see for any musician, to gape at the sheer precision and complexity of rhythm if nothing else. If a machine was created to reproduce symphonic masterpieces, this would be the sound of it violently malfunctioning. Somewhere buried deep within this din is conventional, even melodic indie. That being said, this is emphatically NOT the gig you want to bring that girl you just picked up off 6th street to in order to seal the deal.

SXSW Showcase: Wednesday, March 18 from 11:00PM – 11:40PM
at The Hideout

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Straddling the boundary between disjointed breakpop and seriously intricate math-rock, LITE is most… Click To Tweet

10. King TuffKing Tuff SXSW 2015 Rock Bands

Hometown: Brattleboro, Vermont

What’s not to love? Hairy men doing garage-rock with plenty of attitude and slightly fuzzy guitar. Expect honey sweet melodies, big smiles, big riffs and an image both incongruent and totally damn appropriate for the music they play. An experience for sure.

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SXSW Showcase: Saturday, March 21 from 12:00AM – 1:00AM
at Hotel Vegas Patio

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Website | SXSW Page | Facebook | Twitter

What's not to love? Hairy men doing garage-rock with plenty of attitude and slightly fuzzy guitar. Click To Tweet

That’s all ten rock bands, folks! We had a great time going through this lineup. If you’re going to SXSW this year, maybe we will cross paths. Enjoy exploring the rest of the SXSW musicians out there. Tons of fresh talent worth feasting your ears and eyes on.