UTG LIST: 5 Bands To Watch In 2012

Mallory Knox

The new year is here with hope of new albums and bands that will change the face of music for the better. The problem is, modern technology has allowed for anyone with the slightest hint of an idea for a song to record, upload, and annoy masses with their “music.” This has caused an overload of sound, blocking many from being able to actually discover talent with true skill and lasting ability, but UTG is out to make a change.

After reviewing releases and demos sent our way over the past few months, and just before we took staffers to the hospital who were injured in the debate, the staff of UTG settled on 5 artists we think are poised to change the world of music in 2012. Some have albums out, others are still shopping demos, but each presents a wealth of authenticity and uniqueness that we believe will carry them far in the coming months.

You can view our picks (in no specific order), stream their songs, and discover your new musical addiction after the jump. As always, if you love anything you see in this article, please be sure to show your appreciation by supporting the artists as you are able.

Mallory Knox (Facebook / Twitter)

Wolf At Your Door Records’ Mallory Knox have been building a name for themselves overseas since at least 2010, but it was the release of their debut EP in Summer 2011 that put them on UTG’s radar. Part rock and roll, part emo, and just a punch of hardcore, Mallory Knox offers listeners a musical experience that is both sonically and lyrically deep. Their single, “Oceans” (seen above), has been on repeat in the UTG offices since release and we could not be more excited to see what they have up their sleeves in the new year.

Mixtapes (Facebook / Twitter)

Taking the lyrical honesty of groups like The Smoking Popes and adding an even larger dose of Midwest mentality, Mixtapes have quickly become the little pop punk act that could. Their debut, Maps, offered fans a picture-perfect view of twenty-something life in modern times and we have no doubts their forthcoming debut on No Sleep Records will be no different. This is the kind of band you want to be friends with long before you have the chance to meet and it is that sense of commonality that will keep you coming back again and again.

Pentimento (Facebook / Twitter)

Hot off a year that saw them become darlings of the alternative music blogosphere, New York’s Pentimento have a lot to prove in 2012. Their debut (Wrecked) told the tale of love gone sour, which leaves many wondering where the story will turn when the group finally drops a full length later this year.

American Opera (Facebook / Twitter)

There are a at least two-thousand talented guys with guitars, but few have the ability to capture listener’s attention like Michigan’s American Opera. With only one set of demos under his belt, singer/songwriter John Bee has already displayed the kind of musical chops veterans of his genre hope to possess and still he continues to grind away, hoping to better himself even further before working on his 2012 release. Until then, expect shows and a live EP, which hopefully will be streaming on UTG sooner than later.

I Can See Mountains (Facebook / Twitter)

Easily the youngest act on our list, I Can See Mountains are quickly rising through the basement pop punk scene and show no signs of slowing on their ascent to full-on scene takeover. Their debut (Hope You Never Get It, available January 14) is packed with chord based anthems of youth, love, life, and rebellion that is sure to incite as many mosh pits as it does mixtapes for hopeful lovers. Give it half a year or so and fans will be begging these guys to return to the basement to relive the “good ole days.” Just wait.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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  • Guest

    Buffalove yeah! Stoked, our music scene is great!