Fans of British guitar music can rest easy, the genre is in good hands. There are a number of new bands in the genre that are making steady strides in the music industry. Some are getting more recognition than others, but all have the potential to go far. Despite some more established acts claiming that guitar music has sold out to pop, there are still many independent acts who are keeping the sound alive.
Probably the most exciting sound of any band on this list, HMLTD hails from London. Their look and sound is one of a kind. The 1970s glamorous costuming draws your attention first. Once they’ve got you they proceed to assault your ears with the high-energy mix of punk, trap, and synths that’s their trademark. Even without an album out, they were making every music editor’s list of the top bands to get excited about. In a time where everyone looks the same, these “fabulous freaks” show it’s okay to stand out.
From the northern part of the British Isles, Glasgow to be particular, Catholic Action is a fairly new band. However, they’ve become recognized worldwide after debuting at SXSW. Their hooks are especially catchy, with stellar guitar riffs and radio-ready basslines. Though they can’t quite be called pop, there’s no denying the wideness of their appeal. The lyrics are no bubblegum fodder either, reviewers have called them both charming and intelligent. They’re written by frontman Chris McCrory, who’s definitely one to watch for a future spot in the rock and roll hall of fame.
Another post-punk band from London similar to HMLTD, Shame has all the markings of a band that will make it big. They’ve already toured America, bringing their youthful, angry, and explosive energy to diverse audiences. Their music is firmly rooted in working-class, urban emotion and disillusion. It’s no wonder that their debut, Songs of Praise, was critically acclaimed on its release. Despite their youth, there’s something timeless and instantly classic about their sound. It may be that they’re influenced by Mark E. Smith, The Fall’s iconic frontman.
Dreamy, escapist alternative rock is the trademark of Inheaven, a quartet from London. Their music is nostalgic and romantic, offering a sweet change from some of the rougher edged guitar bands that are currently popular. They somehow manage to combine this with political protest and don’t make it sound contrived. Check them out channelling the spirit of Nirvana in their song “Treats”.
Post-punk women to watch sums up what Goat Girl is all about. Despite the “post” label their lyrics are indeed pure punk, dealing with social issues across the spectrum. The unpredictable nature of their songs and raw emotion make them an arresting band to listen to. Critics have said they are single handedly revitalizing the independent music scene in London. They got a deal with label Rough Trade, an impressive feat since they had only released one single.