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. Dinosaur Jr. (Rock, Alternative) [ skinned by: Will Lyon ]
the skinny: Dinosaur Jr. are an alternative rock band originating all the way from the mid-eighties. They broke up in 1989 due to a massive fall out and although lead singer/guitarist J Mascis kept the band’s name in use all the way to 1997 no one was ever expecting a comeback with the original members. Amazingly, ten years later, the original 3 members J, Lou & Murph hooked up and produced the album Beyond. Unlike what most reunions produce, other than money, Beyond was sheer brilliance. Now, two years later and J Mascis and co are preparing their next record for release in June titled Farm. After previews of new songs “Over It” and “I Want You To Know” the new album is set to be competing with the best of Dinosaur Jr. albums. To hear some powerful, heavy distortion rock, make sure you pick up Farm on June 23rd. Dinosaur Jr. are back to stay, get involved!
links: MySpace | Home | Last.FM

02. of Montreal (Indie, Pop) [ skinned by: Lina Gosselin ]
the skinny: This eccentric indie pop band was formed in 1997. Contrary to what most may believe when they first hear the band’s name, of Montreal is not from Montreal but from Athens, Georgia. The story behind their name remains a mystery, as it changes with every interview but the most popular is that the name stemmed from the lead vocalist’s (Kevin Barnes) failed romance with a woman from Montreal. Their most recent album, Skeletal Lamping, was released on October 21, 2008. Even with 9 studio albums under their belts, of Montreal still manages to keep their music interesting and exciting by incorporating various genres, instruments, and sound effects. Their sound is predominantly influenced by indie pop and psychedelic rock, but in the newer albums especially you can hear elements of funk and reggae. Kevin Barnes’ melancholy lyrics are a perfect contrast to the upbeat music. Like a true artist, Barnes draws his content from suffering. Though the content may be a bit depressing at times, chances are you won’t notice until you listen closely to the album a second time since the music is so upbeat. If you are feeling adventurous and in the mood for some good quality indie music, take a listen to of Montreal – you will not be disappointed.
links: MySpace | Home | Last.FM

03. Hound Dog Taylor (Juke Joint Blues) [ skinned by: Steve Valentine ]
the skinny: One of the original blues stories of the Chicago juke joint scene, six fingered Taylor played anywhere that would let him, including open air markets. Taking his early blues learning from Mississippi to Chicago in the early 40’s led him to some notoriety, but only around the Chicago area until 1971 with the release of his debut album on newly formed Alligator records. Taylor’s raunchy, loud style, cheap guitar, and unapologetically unvirtuosic chops were directly responsible for George Thorogood, and even Freddie King stole his stuff. In his own words, he ‘couldn’t play shit, but sure made it sound good’. Truly a blues and rock original, Taylor deserves another listen if you know him, and a first listen if you’ve never heard of him.
links: Home

04. Manowar (Metal) [ skinned by: Bruce Moore ]
the skinny: Since 1984, the heavy metal band Manowar have been dishing out some of the loudest, heaviest music in the genre. By combining choirs, keyboards and orchestras with unbelievably heavy tunes centered on themes of Norse Mythology, the band has been entertaining fans for over two decades. Gods Of War, the latest release from Manowar, is no exception. This disc is an all around epic of monster proportions. Manowar is a band that has sold over 9 million records worldwide and they have been inducted into the Guinness Book Of World Records 3 different times for delivering the loudest performance. In February, the band set yet another record by performing the longest heavy metal concert by playing a show in Bulgaria that lasted for 5 hours and 1 minute.
links: MySpace | Home | Last.FM

05. The Sammus Theory (Rock, Metal) [ skinned by: Jenny Hopkins ]
the skinny: Phoenix based rock/metal band based in Arizona. Members are Sammus (vocals) Kyle (rhythm guitar), Jeremy (lead guitar), Nick (bass) and the newest addition, Paul (drums). These guys flawlessly blend metal, grunge and classic rock elements to create a sound that is truly their own. They were a featured artist on MTV2 and the music video for “Pure” airs regularly, so it is no wonder these guys are quickly gaining international attention. While they have released several albums and EPs, since their formation in 2004, their official debut album will be released this summer. The Sammus Theory have shared the stage with Shinedown, RED, Adema, Smile Empty Soul and Jet Black Stare just to name a few. Their music is heavy enough to make you feel like launching yourself into the pit, and is complemented with personal lyrics and get-your-lighters out melodies. Keep and eye on these guys, you will be hearing and seeing much more from them soon I can assure you.
links: MySpace | Home | Last.FM

06. Eatliz (Alternative, Pop, Indie) [ skinned by: Amanda Cuda ]
the skinny: Eatliz have been making truly unique, dark-sounding music since they started up in 2002. They pull in influences from an insane range of genres which gives their music a sound that is just their own. Being from Tel Aviv, Israel, they even have a very noticeable cultural element to their sound that somehow seems to fit right in among their fusion of styles. Guitarist, Guy Ben-Shitrit , wirtes all of the music for Eatliz while female vocalist Lee Triffon uses her gripping voice to pound them right into your head. A personal favourite song of mine is Bolsheviks which can be found right on their Myspace page. So please give these guys a listen, I bet you havn’t heard much like them.
links: MySpace | Home | Last.FM

07. CAKE (Indie Rock) [ skinned by: Sandi Valentine ]
the skinny: An American indie band from Sacremento California. The band formed in 1991 and released their debut single “Rock N’ Roll Lifestyle” in 1993. The self released single had moderate success, and the band quickly gathered a cult following. The band garnered a mainstream radio following in 1996 with their single “The Distance”, and has since released five albums, with two more due to be released this spring. The band’s music is edgy, with unique lyrics and recurring social commentary – all laced with a healthy dose of irony. If you enjoy sarcasm, dark humor, and all things indie rock, this is a band you’ve gotta hear to believe.
links: MySpace | Home | Last.FM

08. We Are Wolves (Post-Punk) [ skinned by: Amanda Symynuk ]
the skinny: A post-punk band from Montreal with an awesome punk techno-ish sound. They are currently on tour in the UK but have been accross Canada over the past couple of years playing at smallish and intimate venues. Their shows are super energetic and have the whole room dancing to their tunes. The song “Fight and Kiss and La Nature” show their skills and talent. They are definitely worth checking out, especially if they roll through your city.
links: MySpace | Home | Last.FM

09. Jack’s Mannequin (Rock) [ skinned by: Robin Tarnowetzki ]
the skinny: Jack’s Mannequin is the solo project of Something Corporate’s frontman, Andrew McMahon. The band is an appealing blend of piano and traditional rock instruments. After being diagnosed with cancer right before the release of his first album, he has made a full recovery. Jack’s Mannequin’s latest album is called The Glass Passenger and was released in September of 2008. Jack’s Mannequin’s songs are insanely catchy and almost always upbeat. McMahon is very proficient at piano, his chosen instrument, and his songs are the kind that you have to listen to over and over. Jack’s Mannequin is a great, talented band who definitely deserve a listen.
links: MySpace | Home | Last.FM

10. The Artist Life (Pop Punk) [ skinned by: Andrew King ]
the skinny: More Broadway Calls than New Found Glory, this Toronto foursome is poised to make an impact with their upcoming debut full-length after the success of their self-released Living EP and the more-recent Let’s Start A Riot on Underground Operations. Though I did like what I heard after only a few listens, it was the way the 5 tracks on the latest EP stuck around well after I’d even reviewed it that really impressed me. While I did appreciate the gruff throwback to ’90s beard punk offered on Living (“City Blocks” is arguably the band’s best track to date), the pop sensibilities and consistent energy on Let’s Start A Riot are clearer indications of the potential possessed by these four punks.
links: MySpace | Home

11. Street Sweeper Social Club (Rock, Hip-Hop) [ skinned by: Aaron Willschick ]
the skinny: A group you probably haven’t heard of with a very popular guitarist. Led by Rage Against the Machine/Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello and rapper Boots Riley of The Coup, Street Sweeper Social Club is a brand new hard rock/hip-hop act that at the same time is reminiscent of Rage and very different at the same time. The group just recently completed work on their debut self-titled album due out June 16th, however they do have a few songs currently floating around the net such as “Clap for the Killers” and “The Oath.” Not only is the band getting ready to release its debut, SWSC also has landed itself a huge opening slot on this summer’s NINJA tour featuring Nine Inch Nails and a reformed Jane’s Addiction. Expect to see the group out on its own tour sometime in the fall.
links: MySpace | Home | Last.FM

12. Cynic (Progressive, Metal, Rock) [ skinned by: Adam McAuley ]
the skinny: A progressive death metal outfit from the United States. After beginning as a death metal outfit they released their landmark jazzy Focus album in the early nineties to great success. They write thoughtful, progressive music that has jazz influences which adds colour to the usual death metal theatrics. Their latest album Traced in Air has shown considerable growth and offers even more interesting ideas into their mix. There is unlimited potential to what a band like Cynic can deliver and in their relatively short career they’ve already delivered two excellent records that will be difficult to top.
links: MySpace | Home | Last.FM

13. The Academy Is… (Pop Punk) [ skinned by: Amber Dasch ]
the skinny: A pop-punk band stemming out of our very own Chicago. The band was formed in 2002, and their first album, Almost Here, was released in 2005. With it’s unique rhythms and catchy lyrics, the album portrayed the band’s feelings of success vs their simple desire to do what they love. In 2007, the band released Santi, and was successsfull enough to make #32 on the Billboard 200. Their most recent album, Fast Times at Barrington High, was released in 2008. The album was different from anything they had ever tried before, and was a famous sell among the scene. The lyrics exquisitely portray the hardships and good times a high schooler faces. The band is currently not touring, but is sure to head out this summer. Along with spreading their music, the band also makes a little something called TAITV. Every Sunday, the band releases a new one. The episodes range from comical skits to concert footage and interviews. Definitely worth checking out! You can find TAITV on youtube, and it is even a free podcast on itunes. But besides the hilarious videos, the band’s music has changed the lives of many, and is worth a simple listen.
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.