Honey Baby. Skip. Honey Sweetie. Skip. Honey Darling. Skip.
Man, is your playlist in major need of a tune up. But finding cool new local jams to pack it with isn't all that easy in the land of sound-alike Jawaiian bands.
Listen up, cause we've got the inside track on five island acts that are stirring up the melting pot with their electrifying sounds and fresh new tunes.
This barely-year-old group throws together punk, reggae and rock into a blender to make a sleek new sound—think No Doubt or the Clash. Because The Throwdowns hail from Maui, Honolulu residents haven’t had many chances to get to know them, but you’re in luck this week: The band celebrates the national release of their debut album this Friday at Pipeline. Catch them now, so you can say you knew them back when.
With a herky jerky acoustic style, intense vocals and a wry, personal songwriting style, this trio might just be the next incarnation of the Violent Femmes. But while they might make angular, heartfelt music, Shopping List isn’t above a “Maneater” cover once in a while, which makes them automatically awesome. The band is currently working on its first EP, "What’s Eating Us is Also What’s Feeding Us", slated to come out on May 18. You can see them live at 4 Play Aiea on May 13, or at Asterisk on May 21.
It’s almost impossible not to dance when the GRLFRNDS take the stage. Part of it’s the frenzied electro, post-punk and powerpop the band kicks out, but lead singer Alex Kaiser’s unhinged performances also have a way of inspiring audience participation. The GRLFRNDS are going to be spending the month of May in LA, recording their debut album, but you can catch them before they leave, opening up for the Hold Steady at Next Door on May 8.
The Jump Offs
Talk about a descriptive band name. The Jump Off’s infectious dance punk rhythms and buzzy guitar sound make for a propulsive live show. Their first album does a good job of capturing the manic energy, and if you’re a regular Downtown, you might even find a free copy while chasing down a drink—front man Landon Tom has a habit of stashing The Jump Offs CDs in various Chinatown bars for Twitter followers to find. Two birds/one stone opportunity: the Jump Offs are opening for the Throwdowns this Friday at Pipeline.
Local indie heroes Linus have actually been honing their deadly live show for a decade now, but if you haven’t caught them around town yet, their recently released second album, "White Marks on a White Wall", means it’s a great time to start listening. Linus are kicking off a two-week Japan tour on May 12, and don’t have any confirmed dates on their return, but check their website for updates.