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Promote This: The Caning, Letters From Traffic & shftstr

Posted by March 17th, 2014 No Comments »

Promote This is a long-running feature wherein we write about emerging and unsigned bands. Send submissions to @nadamucho with hash tag #PromoteThis.

The Caning – “Burn Out, Fade Away”

While sometimes retro sounds can seem like a lack of creativity, other times they can be poignantly perfect. The Caning nailed it in “Burn Out, Fade Away.” Tight sound, smooth transitions between varying rhythms, good variation in the drums, tasteful guitar riffs and a skillfully executed solo, and absolutely killer vocals. The Australian four-piece rock band sounds like they belong on stage with the likes of Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith in their prime; they can serve as our time machine back to the delicious rock of the ’70s. – Adrienne Pollock

Listen to “Burn Out, Fade Away”

Letters From Traffic – “A Holding Light” and “Minotaur”

Letters From Traffic list as references Kings Of Leon, Dave Matthews Band, Van Morrison, Al Green, and Bill Withers. This actually pretty spot on, perhaps leaning a bit closer to DMB than Al Green. Sarcastic Andy could conceivably use the phrase “Sounds like Dave Matthews Band” as a grievous insult, but this actually works pretty well. (If you need a more obscure influence, go with “shades of Dexy’s Midnight Runners, when they were a fantastic blue eyed soul band” (look it up!)) I do love me some horns, and it’s good to see a brass section someplace besides ska bands and outlaw marching bands. These two tracks are taken from their newest album, Icarus Iterations, which was released late last year. – Andy Bookwalter

Listen to “A Holding Light”

shtfstr – “Heartspans”

“Heartspans” by shtfstr sounds like every pop-punk song released in the early 2000s: weird yelling in the background that only bands like Taking Back Sunday and Brand New could really pull off (and how long ago was that, anyways?), repetitive lyrics about love (REALLY repetitive, meaning from 1:33 until the end, which is 2:44, which is a lot of time to repeat one line and listen to yelling), and an attempt at emotional rhythm guitar and drums, which falls short, especially because the guitar and drums are far too heavy in the mix and the vocals get completely drowned. Hopefully the other tracks off the forthcoming EP Pablo Honky sound better. Props for a…unique video. – Adrienne Pollock

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