Eddie Brnabic’s Subtle Realms a fantastically trippy excursion into instrumental rock

For those among us who appreciate the incendiary goodness of an electric guitar soloist fully unleashed, what Eddie Brnabic does with his album Subtle Realms is positively buzzworthy, particularly on “Transcendental Wine,” an intense throwdown which illustrates his ability to trip with ease between full-throttle rock and raw oozing funk. This is instrumental music built custom for the headphone treatment, and it’s worth every effort to listen to while avoiding all other distractions. Keep an ear toward this kid — you’ll hear much more from him when this album takes off. You can stream the entire album via his Bandcamp page.


Don’t be afraid to Crash and Burn this Christmas, thanks to Four Nights Gone album giveaway on Bandcamp

I featured their single, “Crash and Burn,” on this site last September, writing that “everything about the song would have been a smash hit if it’d been released in 1998, but there’s nothing here which sounds out of place in 2011 either.” But if you missed all the fun that is Four Nights Gone, they’re still looking to win you over. For two days only, you can stream and then download their full five-track EP Crash and Burn for free at Bandcamp, though only 200 copies will be given away for free December 24th and 25th. Here’s your chance to hear solid alternative rockers on their way up — if “The Scars Remain,” their latest single, is any indication, they’re definitely ready to jump to that next level.

Give thanks! Don Ryan lets it all hang loose with “Vulture,” proof that alt-country and punk serve up perfect together

Don Ryan

As though there weren’t already about ten thousand reasons to love the hell out of Don Ryan’s flamethrower-punk version of alternative country, “Vultures” will prove he remains at the top of his game. This three-minute barrage of fast-strummed acoustic guitar and a full-on bullet-train of percussion and frantic vocals, the song features Ryan’s signature sound laid bare in all its glory. If the country establishment hadn’t ruined Hank Williams III forever by forcing his Grandaddy’s sound on him in the 90s, he might naturally have come along with something akin to this firecracker when Curb had their shot at him. Instead, Don Ryan’s fighting the good fight in relative obscurity. Shine a light, musical brothers! Music this good deserves a wider audience. Play it for Grandma at Thanksgiving dinner and see if she doesn’t agree!

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Check out footage from the filming of this video (available on Thanksgiving), plus get a copy of the new song via the band’s Bandcamp page. The single will be on Ryan’s forthcoming, as yet untitled, EP. For more information about Don Ryan, check out these older posts on “Hear! Hear!”


UNDER COVER: Don Ryan – “This Lullabye” (April 8, 2012)

ARTIST TO WATCH: Don Ryan (October 25, 2011)

Need a wake-up call? Man Made Sun is ready to deliver

Man Made Sun

If the madman behind King Missile happened to create a brand-new supergroup with Serj Tankian, the resultant mind-fuck would surely resemble what is presented on Man Made Sun’s EP More A Devil Than A God, which thankfully is available to enjoy via Bandcamp in all its glory. “God vs God” and “Belief” open the proceedings with such wild abandon it’s impossible not to be sucked into what this band has to offer. These New Yorkers are sure to make a splash once their music finds a wider audience online. Listen to the entire EP below, and if you dig it, you can support the band by buying it as part of a “name your own price” deal. Trust me, it’s worth the time!


Coasta EP

For those bands out there making interesting music for audiences too small to have already launched a wider conversation, I present to you: “This One Time On Bandcamp.” This ongoing series, under the header of Artists to Watch, is meant to feature bands you haven’t heard — bands making music in the underground or without the resources to push for wider general exposure. The idea isn’t to say these bands are the greatest you’ll ever hear, or to suggest that every band featured is your next radio superstar in training. The idea is to spark a conversation. If we all are the gatekeepers, it’s time we start digging deeper, rather than simply waiting for a band to sign to a label and hire hot-shot publicists to tell us what we should be talking about.

Case in point: Coasta … a band with an unassuming self-titled EP to their name and little else to hang a hat on. But the music’s particularly ear-catching, despite the lack of forward motion behind their promotion. These Long Island musicians apparently met at Rogue Studios and recorded this effort as part of an impromptu jam session. This is pop-rock with hooks to spare, front-loaded with jangly guitars reminiscent of bands like the Slip, matched with vocals to rival Northern Room, one of the stronger indie pop bands I’ve followed over the years. “Sirens” and “Sunzat” are particularly riveting listens, but the entirety of Coasta EP warrants a stream or ten, once you let these melodies sink their teeth in.

What do you think? Sound off below! And if you have
any suggestions for future “This One Time, On Bandcamp” features,
email me a link to a stream of a single or album. I’m always
interested in discovering new music.


20 Days In

20 Days In

20 Days In is a developing band trying to rock their way through Philadelphia and the surrounding scene, and though they don’t have a full album to their name at this point, they do have some seriously rocking demos. Their self-titled 2010 demo 20 Days In features their blend of incendiary guitar-driven alternative rock for the new decade, and it’s well worth a few minutes to check it out. The entire album is available for free on Bandcamp, or you can sample songs individually by streaming. I recommend “Incisor,” which you can stream here below. The band intends to release a 2011 demo EP and then begin work on a full-length album due out sometime next year. Here’s hoping they get more exposure for the sake of rock radio!


Great Caesar

Brooklyn's Great Caesar brings Cake into the punk pop era

Though they claim more hip influences such as prog-rockers Muse and RX Bandits, one listen to “Sweet Banana” by Brooklyn’s Great Caesar (viewable below in all its wonderous, horn-filled glory) and you’ll be thinking more along the lines of a modernized Cake … or what Cake might sound like if John McCrea had any interest in time-traveling beyond what worked well in 1995. All comparisons aside, however, and the one fact which matters is that these guys have serious chops. The video is fun as hell, and the rest of their music is up to the challenge of keeping your interest after such an auspicious, attention-grabbing debut.

You can name your own price on their Bandcamp page for their debut EP (simply titled Great Caesar EP), along with two singles, which include the aforementioned “Sweet Banana.” Trust me … you’ll want to hear this band; their music’s tightly constructed and creative, while maintaining a fun, quirky sound that surely makes for a fiery stage show. They’re definitely worth keeping an eye on — I’d suspect, if they’re given the chance to record a full-length, that we’ll be hearing a great deal more from them now that they’re pursuing their music full time.