what’s The Skinny? here’s the deal. There are SO many sick bands out there that just don’t get enough love. Well, with The Skinny, that’s all going to change. We have taken it upon ourselves to get together and bust out a list once a month where we tell you about a handful of sick-ass bands that we feel NEED to be heard. Signed or unsigned, new or old, these are just bands that deserve some additional attention. We challenge you to take the time to check each one out; they are amazing, they are loved, and now they have been Skinned.

01. The Rakes (Alternative Rock) [ skinned by: Will Lyon ]
the skinny: An English indie rock band from London. They formed in 2004 and took to the airwaves with great success with debut album Capture/Release. The four piece write catchy, bright music with reoccurring themes of working life, mundane routines, sex and escapism. After the original mainstream hype, The Rakes recently migrated to Berlin where they felt the music scene was much more exciting than London. Thankfully Berlin hasn’t hampered their song writing skills, as their latest album Klang is just as good as their previous offerings. These guys are much better than the mundane Indie rubbish that we hear now, they are a must hear band!
links: MySpace | Home | Last.FM

02. Cult of Luna (Post-Hardcore, Progressive) [ skinned by: Adam McAuley ]
the skinny: Their last album Eternal Kingdom, from 2008 is a solid listen that really packs a lot of emotion, but my favorite album is The Beyond with its greater dynamics of heavy and soft. Their amotspheric sounds should appeal to anyone who holds a need to feel the music’s power overwhelm you. They would be a great band to see live because of their dynamic sound that eschews a lot of feeling and potential for that particular setting. I hope their next album is slightly more progressively extreme and we continue to hear interesting new things from the band.
links: MySpace | Home | Last.FM

03. Killing Joke (Post-punk, industrial) [ skinned by: Jason R. Wallace ]
the skinny: Here’s a history lesson for the young whippersnappers out there. The heavy, aggressive sound you love in bands as different as Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, Jesu and KMFDM was pioneered by a group of Englishmen in the early ’80s called Killing Joke. These blokes helped shape the industrial, metal and alternative scenes like no one else, and their 1980 self-titled debut is as cochlea-busting as ever nearly thirty years later. In fact, they’re still going strong and playing loud, having released the thunderous Hosannas from the Basements of Hell in 2006. Do yourself a favor, and connect with this vital, vicious group.
links: MySpace | Home | Last.FM

04. Depeche Mode (Electronic, Alternative) [ skinned by: Aaron WIllschick ]
the skinny: Even though Depeche Mode has been popular for years now, a lot of music fans might have lost touch with the band in recent years. Even after almost thirty years together, the group is still going strong led by lead singer Dave Gahan and guitarist Martine Gore. After a couple of year hiatus and almost four years after their last release, the band is set to release their latest studio album Sounds of the Universe in late April. The lead single is a very catchy song that goes by the name “Wrong” and if it’s any indication, fans are in for a very strong record. The band will be out on tour for most of the summer, including all across Europe and then a stint through North America. Whoever said a band can’t still be relevant after three decades?
links: MySpace | Home | Last.FM

05. All (Punk, Emotional) [ skinned by: James Hendicott ]
the skinny: The Descendant’s less famous descendants – or first cousins, perhaps – are very nearly the same band as the more famous pop-punkers, having simply incorporated a new singer, and don’t have a wildly different sound. The genius of All is in producing tracks that portray emotions without drifting off into sappy emo stylings. Songs like “Until I say So” and “She’s My Ex” tell it how it is in proper, moshable punk. They even have their own cartoon character – Allroy – who appears in various bizarre situations on their album covers. Bouncing break-up music for the heavy-hearted.
links: MySpace | Home | Last.FM

06. Earth Crisis (Hardcore) [ skinned by: Amanda Cuda ]
the skinny: This is written out of complete excitement and anticipation. It’s been about 8 years since they released their last album, but Earth Crisis are back full force still making hardcore that actually matters. The band got together back in the 90s in Syracuse and since then have been known for their powerful, although sometimes seemingly rash, lyrics packed with a crazy fury towards political and social issues. But you might not agree with everything vocalist Karl Buechner belts out. If you haven’t listened to them already… yes, they’re straight edge. And oh yes, they’re vegan. And it doesn’t take too many listens to figure those things out. But whatever one’s views on those topics may be, Earth Crisis are still nuts in the very best way possible. The new album To The Death drops May 5th in North America, which is around the same time that they’ll be starting their North American tour. Be excited.
links: MySpace | Home | Last.FM

07. The Hush Sound (Rock, Indie, Pop) [ skinned by: Robin Tarnowetzki ]
the skinny: A quartet hailing from Illinois, The Hush Sound was signed to Pete Wentz’s Decaydance music label in 2005. They have released three albums, one of which was independent, and the other two under the label. The Hush Sound has an eclectic sound ranging from acoustic to rock to a more retro feel. The band has two singers, Greta and Bob, who alternate singing lead on their songs, which adds a new dimension to their music. The piano is featured prominently, but this is still a rock band with electric guitars. Their newest album, Goodbye Blues, was released last year and is well worth a listen.
links: MySpace | Home | Last.FM

08. The Dirty Heads (Hip Hop, Reggae, Acoustic) [ skinned by: Bruce Moore ]
the skinny: Produced by multi-talented, Sugar Ray, drummer Stan Frazier, and Steve Fox (producer of Ashlee Simpson) their self-released CD, Any Port In A Storm features a wide array of guest musicians, from legendary keyboardist Billy Preston to Nine Inch Nails and Korn drummer Josh Freese. Melding reggae, rock, punk, soul and hip-hop, The Dirty Heads have constructed a brilliant sounding CD that is a whole lot of fun to listen to. The first single, “Stand Tall,” was featured in the Sony Pictures movie, Surfs Up. They have toured with the likes of the critically acclaimed reggae/hip hop act 311 and Jewish Reggae DJ Matisyahu, and are preparing to go out on the Vans Warped Tour this summer.
links: MySpace | Home | Last.FM

09. Sebastien Grainger and The Mountains (Healing, Easy Listening) [ skinned by: Amanda Symynuk ]
the skinny: The former singer from Death from Above 1979 has a groovy new band out of Ontario. They make funky, indie rock tunes which are meant to be danced to and chilling out to their tunes would be perfect to welcome the warm spring weather. Currently, they are touring in Canada and the United States. Check them out! The word is they put on a pretty sweet show.
links: MySpace | Home | Last.FM

11. Four Year Strong (Pop Punk, Hardcore) [ skinned by: Lina Gosselin ]
the skinny: This highly energetic band from Worcester, Massachusetts can be labeled powerpop, pop punk, and post hardcore. Formed in 2001 by three members of the current lineup: Dan O’Connor (guitarist and vocalist), Jake Massucco (drummer), and Alan Day (guitarist and vocalist). Released their 2nd full-length album, Rise or Die Trying, September 18th, 2007. I was lucky enough to catch them at Taste of Chaos this year. They are just as fun and energetic onstage as they are recorded. With a mix of breakdowns, catchy hooks, growls, pop vocals, you feel compelled to either throwdown or bounce around with the rest of the crowd. If you are unable to see them live at the Taste of Chaos tour, check out their latest album.
links: MySpace | Home | Last.FM

12. The Weakerthans (Indie, Rock) [ skinned by: Andrew King ]
the skinny: These Winnipeg rockers shouldn’t need an introduction, but just in case… The band is fronted by John K. Samson, without question one of Canada’s finest lyricists, who founded The Weakerthans after a stint with Canadian punks Propagandhi. The band has dropped one standout album after another, now with four full-lengths under their belts. The latest, Reunion Tour, is arguably the band’s best, employing upbeat indie rock tracks to which Samson is able to narrate with his poetic Canadianna – everything from curling to the city of Winnipeg are explored. I just had the pleasure of catching the band on the Rolling Tundra Revue alongside Constantines, and was in awe at how simply beautiful these songs sound, be it on record or in concert.
links: MySpace | Home | Last.FM

we want YOUR input! so do you think we suck at skinning bands? Do you have a group that you want to see posted here? Well then take two minutes and send us an email to mail[at]puregrainaudio.com with your thoughts. We’ll take each letter seriously and with any luck you’ll see your nomination live in one of our future installments of The Skinny!

Publisher, CEO, and Co-Founder - Born in 2003, V13 was a socio-political website that, in 2005, morphed into PureGrainAudio and spent 15 years developing into one of Canada (and the world’s) leading music sites. On the eve the site’s 15th anniversary, a full re-launch and rebrand takes us back to our roots and opens the door to a full suite of Music, Film, TV, and Cultural content.