Coachella will include great punk and rock bands

by Ryo Miyauchi

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Savages (Saturday)

Genre: Post-Punk

Choice Song: “Husbands”

Savages was a band to watch this past year, as its been highlighted in The FADER and Stereogum’s “40 Best New Bands of 2012.” Although the band’s only official recordings are single and a live EP, its songs are very promising. Last year’s critic favorite “Husbands” built the bands use of aggressive punk steadily with its best parts creeping like a burning whisper. Be sure to check out Savages’ televised performance of “Husbands” for Jools Holland as it captures the punk band’s intensity in full.

Descendents (Saturday)

Genre: Punk

Choice Song: “Myage”

The iconic cartoon of Descendents’ frontman Milo Aukerman turned 30 last year, along with the band’s 1982 fantastic debut “Milo Goes to College.” In the beginning, the punk veterans pumped through songs very quickly. “Myage” from “Milo Goes to College” has the early incarnation of Descendents pushing its youthful punk drive into a compact form. The band went through extensive breaks throughout its history because of careers apart from Descendents. Every time it reformed, the band improved its punk hooks with each album. For further insight of the legendary band, check out FILTER Magazine’s recent feature on the Descendents and its long punk history.

Cloud Nothings (Sunday)

Genre: Alternative Rock

Choice Song: “Wasted Days”

Cloud Nothings originally started as frontman Dylan Baldi’s solo project, but in his latest record, “Attack On Memory,” Baldi recruited his live band to expand his project. Along with the new band formation, Baldi decided to change his songwriting approach for Cloud Nothings as well. The new songs from “Attack On Memory” recall the sweaty grunge of the ‘90s era. Baldi kept his melodic hooks, but his short pop-punk bursts turned bleak and his lo-fi jams grew into a tougher punk. Listen to the ambitious “Wasted Days” for a sample to catch Baldi and his band play with rawness.

Smith Westerns (Sunday)

Genre: Garage Rock, Pop Rock

Choice Song: “Weekend”

Back in 2009, when indie rock went lo-fi, Smith Westerns released its self-titled debut full of fuzzy, energetic rock. It sounds typical in a year swarmed with fuzzy rock music bands, but instead of being pinned down as a beach-minded band or a shoegaze revivalist, Smith Westerns shook the stage with simple garage rock, nailing its fun and friendly spirit. The band continued to turn up its fuzz and energy in the follow-up, “Dye It Blonde,” kicking out a series of pop rock with amped-up guitars. Its sophomore record’s opening track, “Weekend,” kick-starts an upbeat spirit with a buzzed guitar line and a romantic hook. Smith Westerns will keep you singing along as the band rocks out on the stage.

Thee Oh Sees (Sunday)

Genre: Garage Rock

Choice Song: “The Dream”

Since 2006, San Francisco band Thee Oh Sees released albums nonstop without any sign of exhaustion. The band is known for wild guitar jams and energetic performances to match. The guitarists of Thee Oh Sees give a fuzzy squeal, as its lo-fi production adds a psychedelic touch to its garage rock. Its 2011 album, “Carrion Crawler/The Dream,” is the best album to experience the close chemistry of Thee Oh Sees and how the band plays in a live setting. Highlight song “The Dream” from the aforementioned album is a fun group jam, with the members grooving excellently together. For people going to Coachella, be sure to sample some songs from its restless discography prior to the festival. The Thee Oh Sees will likely bring an exciting show.

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