The Soundboard’s Ones To Watch In 2017

2016 was the year that the newcomers and the outliers made themselves known, moving out of that position and into one where their stock was embraced by a much wider market. It’s left plenty of space for new, upcoming acts to fill any gaps, and if 2017 is set to follow suit, it’ll be another banner year for new music. So we’ve picked ten different acts that we’ve pegged for much bigger things, and to keep a close eye on over the next twelve months. 

Greywind

From: Killarney, Ireland
For fans of: Mallory Knox, Fightstar, Anavae

The ‘two piece that sound so much bigger’ dynamic isn’t exactly a new one, but there are few examples more pertinent than Greywind. Nowhere is that better represented than their upcoming debut Afterthoughts – stupidly colossal anthems that could go toe to toe with any of modern rock’s heavy hitters, and a level of professionalism and know-how that does nothing to suggest that their first tour was less than twelve months ago. Couple that with the fact that vocalist Steph O’Sullivan is a true megastar in the making, and this is one duo you won’t be able to get away from this time next year. • LN

Links: Website / Facebook / Twitter

WSTR 

From: Liverpool, England
For fans of: Neck Deep, Seaway, ROAM

Pop punk fans will probably be all too familiar with WSTR, one of the most promising new additions to the UK roster. SKRWD – the Liverpool four-piece’s debut EP – boasted relatable jams that could have been career-defining for other bands in the scene. And we think that the release of their first full-length album Red, Green Or Inbetween at the end of this month should propel them to the big leagues. Catch them on tour in January and February while they’re still playing small venues. • GJ

Links: Facebook / Twitter

Tigercub 

From: Brighton, England
For fans of: Biffy Clyro, Pulled Apart By Horses, Queens Of The Stone Age

Tigercub embody everything great about the new breed of British rock – rawness, a willingness to draw from the past and songs that have ‘anthem’ plastered all over them. Their brand of fuzzy, bluesy grunge was what made their album Abstract Figures In The Dark one of the most affecting debuts of the year, with 2017 looking to see them make an even greater splash. It mightn’t be anything entirely novel, but the passion and drive that Tigercub imbue into their sound isn’t something to leave unnoticed. • LN

Links: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Homesafe 

From: Chicago, Illinois
For fans of: Taking Back Sunday, Balance And Composure, Like Pacific

Knuckle Puck have become a force to be reckoned with in pop punk – no mean feat for a genre that sees new bands pop up seemingly daily. But it’s not just singer Joe Taylor who can carry a tune. Homesafe, the side project of bassist Ryan Rumchaks, released their debut album Evermore in November and it’s certain to make some waves. There’s something for every emo fan on here, be it the huge, radio-friendly Hourglass or angsty Guts (which showcases Rumchaks’ borderline screaming vocals). They’re set to start a mammoth tour of the US in a matter of days, and while other live plans haven’t been announced yet, we’re keeping our fingers crossed for a UK run soon. • GJ

Links: Website / Facebook / Twitter 

Petrol Girls 

From: Graz, Austria / Bristol, England 
For fans of: War On Women, Fucked Up, RVIVR

In times as turbulent and precarious as they currently are, we need more bands like Petrol Girls. The quartet wear their biting anger and feminist ideologies prominently on their sleeve, channeling them into vicious, angular punk tracks seething with a fantastically acute rage. Across their two 2016 releases – their already impressive Some Thing EP and the debut album Talk Of Violence, which saw an even greater improvement – Petrol Girls have established themselves amongst the most instantaneous acts in the UK punk scene, and with a militant touring schedule last year that’s bound to be reciprocated in 2017, you can’t afford to sleep on this lot. • LN

Links: Facebook / Twitter

Airways 

From: Peterborough, England
For fans of: Arctic Monkeys, Catfish And The Bottlemen, Circa Waves

Live prowess is essential to move up in the music world nowadays, and stellar support slots for Sunset Sons and Nothing But Thieves got Peterborough’s Airways more than noticed last year. Playing venues like Brixton Academy certainly isn’t bad for a band that has only been around for a year and a half, and if crowd reactions are anything to go by, they have a very bright future ahead of them. Stomping single One Foot is a choice cut from their slick indie tracks, and hopefully new music (hinted at by singer Jake Daniels from the stage) from the quartet comes sooner rather than later. • GJ

Links: Facebook / Twitter

Ocean Grove 

From: Melbourne, Australia 
For fans of: Cane Hill, Slipknot, Limp Bizkit

If Cane Hill are the equivalent of Korn in the current wave of nu-metal, then Ocean Grove can be seen as the Limp Bizkit. There’s something a bit brighter and quirkier about the Aussie crew’s sound thanks to some interestingly woven alt-rock influences, but that’s not at the expense of bounce, groove and pure metallic smackdowns. Their latest EP Black Label is a near-perfect distillation of the band’s sound for any mosh fiends, though the early singles from their upcoming album The Rhapsody Tapes suggest the inclusion of plenty of new elements, from hardcore to alt-rock to even funk-metal. It still sounds as brilliant as ever, though. • LN

Links: Facebook / Twitter

Movements 

From: Orange County, California 
For fans of: Title Fight, Hotel Books, Citizen

The emo revival is huge right now, and it’s something California’s Movements somehow manage to fit right into and simultaneously redefine. Their debut EP Outgrown Things (released last year) showcased their mixture of emo and post-hardcore, with songs like Nineteen blending soft singing, desperate screams and heart-wrenching spoken word. It’s a perfect listen for when an emotional release is long overdue. The Fearless Records signees embark on a US tour supporting Senses Fail in March, and with them recently announcing that new music is to be released in summer, shows around the globe in 2017 don’t seem like too big an ask. • GJ

Links: Facebook / Twitter

The Kenneths 

From: London, England
For fans of: Green Day, Descendants, Creeper

Sharp, scrappy and with the keenest of ears for a hook, The Kenneths are the sort of punk band you can never have too many of. The buzz around this trio has been present for some time now, only exacerbated by their latest EP Double N, which also happens to be their best to date. Their refreshingly gimmick-free approach to music has seen them assemble a fanbase that seems to be growing on a daily basis, especially following a hugely successful support slot on the UK leg of Yellowcard’s farewell tour. Expect that to become a much more common occurrence, as given the traction they’ve already built, 2017 could be The Kenneths’ for the taking. • LN

Links: Facebook / Twitter

VISTA 

From: New York, USA
For fans of: PVRIS, Young Guns, Against The Current 

Being announced to support Against The Current at Irving Plaza is certainly an achievement for a fledgling band. But landing the slot with a single EP under your belt makes it all the more impressive. New York’s VISTA have done just that, and it’s sure to earn them a well-deserved profile raise. They lace their anthemic brand of rock with subtle synths and melodies that’ll be stuck in your head all day, something bound to go down a treat with fans of pop-rock. They currently have an empty tour diary post-Irving Plaza, but with new music coming at the start of 2017, it’s sure to fill up soon. • GJ

Links: Facebook / Twitter

Words by Luke Nuttall (LN) and Georgia Jackson (GJ)

Main graphics by Cameron Walker.


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