5 Bands to Watch in 2011, Vol. I: Yuck, The Pass, Watch Out For Rockets, We Can’t Enjoy Ourselves, Church of the Very Bright Lights

Yuck has members from locales such as New Jersey, London, Scotland, and Hiroshima.

The bands to watch in 2011 queue is already filling up fast, and it’s only the second week of February. Right now, we are in a weird push-and-pull situation, in which we’re trying to wrap up all of the ‘best of 2010’ music playlists as well as stay on top of highlighting the best new 2011 music that we are hearing.  This is the first installment of IRC’s Bands to Watch in 2011 series.

We hope that you discover some bands that you dig but have never heard until now.  Of course, we’ll be looking for your comments and tallying the songs that are played and downloaded the most from this post to see which make the Top Ten Songs list and which bands our readers like the most from this post and all the upcoming posts that will feature new bands. In fact, volume two of this series will be published this coming weekend. But first, we introduce you to Yuck, The Pass, Watch Out For Rockets, We Can’t Enjoy Ourselves, and Church of the Very Bright Lights.

Yuck is the appropriate title for this cover art, but the album inside is amazing

Yuck – Various Locations

Obviously not concerned with some marketing director’s advice to consider a different name, the indie band, Yuck, are defying their namesake. In recent months, Yuck have been building the vital blogger buzz, if you will, and are now getting noticed by mainstream music critics.

Yuck’s MySpace page lists the band’s “location” as New Jersey, Hiroshima, London, Scotland, and United Kingdom. Now that’s an eclectic mix of musicians almost sure to produce some interesting musical results. And so they have with the upcoming release of their debut, self-titled album. Yuck are talented, fun, daring and obviously influenced by different genres and eras of rock, including alternative rock and post punk. Spin this blazing pop rock song, “Holing Out” to get the engines fired up.

In a recent profile of the band in the U.K. Guardian, writer Dave Simpson described Yuck’s sound this way:the sound a band of indie-loving kids who weren’t interested in dance music would have made 20 years ago: a cocktail of Dinosaur Jr noise, Lemonheads melody and Teenage Fanclub‘s wistfulness.”  We can almost guarantee that you be hearing more about this band in 2011.  If you thought rock was dead, Yuck is one example it’s here to stay.

“Holing Out”Yuck from Yuck (Amazon Exclusive)

“Rubber”Yuck from Yuck (Amazon Exclusive)

“Coconut Bible” Yuck from Coconut Bible 7″

Yuck are scheduled to perform a number of shows next month during Austin’s famous South by Southwest festival.

The Pass – Louisville, Kentucky

If we could go back and re-do it, we would have listed The Pass among the 50 break-through bands of 2010. The Louisville, Kentucky indie rock band have been stirring things up, by their packed live shows, blogger love and a growing fan base. However, The Pass are not as well known as other break-through bands of 2010 like Broken Bells or Local Natives. The first song we want you to hear from The Pass is the single that really got the ball rolling for the band on their debut album, Burst. Plus, check out a couple of songs from the band’s 2010 EP, Colors. Keep an ear out for The Pass this year.

“Trap of Mirrors”The Pass from Burst – Sept. 21st

“Crosswalk Stereo” The Pass from Colors EP – Feb. 23rd

“Colors” The Pass from Colors EP

Watch Out for Rockets – Austin, Texas

Watch Out for Rockets are an Austin-based punk psychedelic pop band, who really are all of those things and more.  One thing that you can’t do with this talented, but relatively unknown, band is to categorize their style. As the introduction indicates, they cover a wide range of genres and styles, literally from song to song. That’s a risky thing for a band to do, but WOFR pull it off impressively, on the free EP, Telepathic War Machine.The song that would probably connect with most people is the upbeat, almost 100% pure pop track, “Ghetto and Rye”.

“Ghetto and Rye”Watch Out For Rockets from Telephatic War Machine – Nov. 16th

The opening track, “Banshee on the Water”, is a low-fi psychedelic track that is creepy and catchy at the same time. It wouldn’t be a surprise to learn that the band are influenced by artists like Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd, Built to Spill, The Beatles and Janes Addiction. Those are the bands that popped into mind while listening to Telephatic War Machine. The title track is another stand out on the EP, with its psychedelic tinged pop song that sounds like it could have been a hit record on underground radio stations in 1969.

You can’t go wrong with this EP; afterall, it’s free. We’ll be watching out in 2011 for more from Watch Out For Rockets. And yes, they are also a band to watch in 2011.

“Big Lies”Watch Out For Rockets from Beasts with Hearts of Gold (2009)


We Can’t Enjoy Ourselves – Brooklyn, New York

We’re assuming that the band name for Brooklyn‘s twee pop trio, We Can’t Enjoy Ourselves, is intended to be ironic because the band seem to be enjoying themselves just fine. And, so are the folks who’ve been digging their tunes. In past couple of weeks, we’ve been enjoying their free BandCamp LP, most particularly the two songs featured here. Lead singer Giovanni Saldarriaga demonstrates great control and range, and has been compared to the likes of Colin Meloy (The Decemberists). Comprised of a bass, drums, and a guitar/singer, WCEO weaves simply structured, and incredibly catchy, pop songs.

“Hang Back with The Brutes”We Can’t Enjoy Ourselves from One Belongs Here More Than You

“A Charming Man”We Can’t Enjoy Ourselves from One Belongs Here More Than You

“Miss Maris Morris” We Can’t Enjoy Ourselves from One Belongs Here More Than You

The Church of Very Bright Lights – Calgary-Montreal, Canada

Last fall, Montreal-via-Calgary indie rock band The Church of Very Bright Lights quietly released their terrifically warm and mellow debut album, Gang Crimes, on the web a few weeks ago. Along with Calgary musician James Cullen, two members of the popular Canadian indie band, Women – Chris Reimer (drums) and Matt Flegel (bass) – spent the past year writing and recording songs for the album, which is available as a free download.

“Words”Church of the Very Bright Lights from Gang Crimes

“Bone/Muscle”Church of the Very Bright Lights from Gang Crimes

Church of the Very Bright Lights Debut Album

Note: The next installment of 5 Bands to Watch will be published this coming weekend.

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  1. I LOVE every single one of these bands…I am so impressed… especially “Watch out for Rockets”…great choices

    1. Hi Lyric:

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, we like them a lot as well (obviously) – LOL. But seriously, there’s much to look forward with each of these bands. Appears that right now, Yuck is the band that’s really breaking out big. Hope the others do as well.


    1. Hi John: Thanks a lot – we really like these bands a lot (obviously) – many more awesome bands to come. Stay tuned. 🙂


    1. Hey Kevin:

      Nope. It’s Yuck, my friend. We got the photo from their MySpace page –

      But thanks for keeping a keen eye; we welcome and take seriously every constructive comment (that’s why you don’t see any spam – even though a lot of spammers trying to spam this site because it’s a popular site)


      1. Thanks guys. Obviously need to up my savvy skills. Really dig your selections. Constantly the best of the best of what’s out there! And thanks too for the spamlessness!

    1. Hi Liz:

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, people are liking the other four bands too – recommend you give them a spin


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