It's a fairly fascinating cycle of time watching the older guard fall away to make room for the new. It's what keeps this scene vital, urgent and relevant. For every band listed here, there are certainly five or 10 more working on their first single or record, getting ready for their first show. Let's face it, there is a certain urgency in the music of youth that cannot be tapped at any subsequent age, and that's what makes catching these bands now all the more rewarding. These are the fresh young faces of today's ever-changing local music scene.
Some bands you can see are in it to win it and loving every minute of it. That's Vintage Wednesday to a tee. These kids have an indomitable spirit and talent to match their smiles and good graces. It's one thing to have a band blessed with the vocal prowess of someone like Taylor
Joe Vito most recently opened for Vintage Wednesday at a packed house for the band's record release at Last Exit Live. Last year he released one of the best local albums of the year with State Street, and it's a fascinating record that begs for repeated listens. Vito's album possesses a similar genius and vision that you could find in the early records of Stephen Steinbrink when he was laying down platters as French Quarter years ago. Not only is Vito's voice pleasant, the album is a journey for his songwriting and arrangements.
There are underage bands and then there are seriously underage bands, and no one in
Sunday At Noon put out one of the best EPs of 2015 with their Burning Pictures EP and followed up with a stunning single for "Brain Damage" last year. Since that time they've been getting down and dirty in the studio recording their follow up at SoundVision Recording with Michael Beck. This is one release that everyone should be stoked about for
Riding the line between emo and punk Divided Minds debut EP Perception from last year has all the urgency and energy it needs to showcase their talents. It will be curious to see what the video tally is for the record since every song plays like a single and there are two videos from it already. This band has everything it needs intact and ready to go, but their potential is what makes me more curious. It feels like they're playing it safe on record, which is not necessarily the case when they take this to the stage. Divided Minds seems to be picking up more and more shows and that's the best place to watch these high energy tunes unfold.
To be honest,
Analog Outlaws have been rocking together since 2013 and still aren't old enough to drink. In that time they've back-to-back EPs of rock-driven alternative music. On January 20, they will be releasing their first full-length album called Open Road. If the preview single of "Drive Away" is any indication this may be the release that will literally get them on the open road and touring far away from Phoenix, at least for summer break. It appears little material from their EPs will make it to the album, which makes this full-length debut all the more exciting.
Aaron Ponzo is, for all intents and purposes, The Expos. Ponzo won't even be old enough to smoke until April, but that hasn't stopped The Expos from releasing five "albums" over the last year and a half. Whether it's the charm of the self-titled debut, the pop gems of Weezer II, the vignettes of KSLX, the second half of Happy, which is completely consumed by talk over pinball, mainly about LaCroix water and In-N-Out Burger, or their new album Joy, which is 18 songs packed into nine minutes — the catalog has a lot to offer.
Kill Your TV
If you want
If all I had to go on was Second Go!'s first official single "Disaster Man," they'd make this list of underage artists on the merit of that song alone. There's a definite pop punk vibe here and that was implicitly clear on the collection of demos they put out at the start of last year. Still, they are one band to watch this year because I'm betting their trajectory will be to follow-up their single with one of the best records of the year. They've been getting quite a reputation for greatness amongst musicians and showgoers, gaining the respect of vetted bands like Sundressed. Check out the single and go through the demos. Then, you'll want to catch them at a show as soon as possible.