Five To Watch

by James Duval

As the number of methods to record and release music continue to grow, it becomes more and more difficult to find local music worth your time. A regional search for the “Norfolk” tag on Bandcamp results in ten pages of releases spread out between Norfolks in Virginia, Connecticut, and the United Kingdom with no guarantee of great (much less, good) sound quality, mass appeal, or other qualities that would result in you purchasing their releases, catching a live show, or calling yourself a fan of their music. To (hopefully) save you the trouble, here’s a list of five diverse acts from the 757 that have caught my attention.

 

1. Bad Korea

With their bastardized versions of Dead Kennedys and Fat Wreck Chords logos, it’s hard not to see where this VA Beach punk rock band finds their influences. Their songs sound like they would have fit on any 90’s-era NOFX album with lyrics shouted at the top of their lungs over catchy melodies that might just send you bopping your head and swinging your fists as you make your way into the pit. Debut album coming soon.

Find Bad Korea on Facebook | Bandcamp

 

2. Feral Conservatives – Who said mandolins don’t belong in rock music? Apparently, no one told that to the duo of Rashie Rosenfarb and Matt Francis. The mixture of mandolin and feedback on “Misfire” from their latest EP The Feeling Noise Becomes feels like the Tanya Donelly/Kevin Shields team-up you never knew you wanted.

Find Feral Conservatives on Facebook | Online

 

 

3. Little Pants –Having just won two Veer Magazine Local Music Awards for Song of The Year and Best Acoustic/Folk on the basis of a five-song EP, it’s safe to say this brother/sister folk duo has a bright future ahead of them. While the music is almost entirely acoustic, Zach and Abbey’s love of power-pop is visible in songs like “I Don’t Feel Well” which feels like it would fit in on a late-era Weezer album. “The Place I Live In”, for which they won Song of the Year (in)directly addresses Zach’s decision to move to New York City to “make the big time” only to come to the realization that perhaps the city he left was where he was always meant to make his name.

Find Little Pants on Facebook | Bandcamp

 

4. Frood – With lyrics like “In a post apocalyptic battle of wits/ I’d probably side with evil/ because evil’s got the coffee and cigarettes…”, Norfolk’s Frood has the sharp wit and social commentary of Ben Folds and the lyrical quirkiness of They Might Be Giants. When I say that Frood is a band to watch, it’s meant quite literally as the last time they performed in Hampton, each member of the band came dressed as Andy Kaufman with beach towels featuring Spongebob Squarepants, One Direction, and The Avengers serving as capes. Due to the departure of a band member, Frood’s show on most recent show at the Parlor on Granby was listed as “our last show ever…maybe”. What a shame it would be to lose such a unique presence in our music scene.

Find Frood on Facebook | Bandcamp

 

5. D.R.A.M. – After releasing his mixtape #1EpicSummer, D.R.A.M. is looking to be Norfolk’s next breakthrough act. While he resides in Portsmouth, he saw the community within the Norfolk music scene and chose to stake his claim there. His combination of rapping, R&B vocals, and eclectic beats have brought him to the attention of Rick Rubin, NPR, and national recording artist Chance The Rapper who called upon D.R.A.M. to appear onstage during his headlining set at the VCU Homecoming Concert. While still unsigned, he recently released his #1EpicEP which can be found on iTunes, Spotify, and SoundCloud.

Find D.R.A.M. on Facebook | Online