It's looking like 2013 is going to be a pretty epic year for rock. Guitar bands are surging back into the mainstream in a big way thanks to touring old-school rockers like Aerosmith and the Rolling Stones, and that in turn is paving the road for lesser-known artists in the genre to come forward and share some of the spotlight. Here are five bands to keep an eye on this year if you want to say you knew them before they were big.
This punk band from Tulsa, Oklahoma is bringing back a taste of the past, with sounds and riffs that will sound familiar to you whether your idea of punk is 1977 or 2007. That's not to say they're copycats, and in fact what's interesting about Broncho is that they bring something new to the mix, a joy in their songwriting that is less about righteousness and anarchy and more about losing yourself in the moment.
While the members of Device are not entirely unknown (David Draiman from Disturbed is the frontman, for example), their sound hearkens back to a time when "hard rock" meant "industrial" and Nine Inch Nails was king. The Device album will likely get more airplay than most other debut albums simply because of the band's lineup, and with Draiman on vocals and Geno Lenardo (Filter) on guitar, it'll definitely be one to look forward to.
If you like hard, no-excuses rock with all the stops pulled out, check out The Treatment. Although these young rockers have their own very modern sound, they pay amazing homage to their roots, namely power rock and metal bands from the 1980s. It's hard to believe in the age of Justin Bieber that these guys can exist, but thankfully they do.
This sibling duo is another retro throwback, sitting at the crossroads where reggae meets jazz and rock. Their debut album, Isles, is coming out March 12, and according to those who have heard the studio sessions, every track is different, but it all ties together under the general category of laid-back '60s-style rock. This is a great band to check out if you like reggae-infused rock even a little bit, and the girl singer has one of those sexy voices you'll never tire of.
If you're looking for a story of a band that struggled to be known for a while and then suddenly broke through, Pins may very well be that story for 2013. This English rock band from Manchester is already a big local hit in their home city, and with some new songs for the new year they're ready to start rocking further afield. Definitely the leaders of the pack for independent British rock this year.