In 2006, there were about 14 songs that could be considered alternative rock (by my estimations, at least, since genre is somewhat subjective) included on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 2006 chart. On the same chart for 2015, there were significantly fewer. 0, to be exact.
Why no more love for alternative rock? It’s different, it’s experimental, it’s a lot of fun, and it’s too bad more of it isn’t recognized. You could counter that the reason it doesn’t chart as well anymore is because the contemporary music landscape is more fractured and people have other ways to access their favorite music and all that valid stuff, but the point is that this week’s Bandcamping highlights a genre it seems that the pop charts have largely forgotten.
That is, except for the fifth album on the list:
5. Ciphers EP by Wata Igarashi
Genre: electronic, downtempo, house
If you like: Chromatics, Four Tet
Put your headphones on, press play, bob your head, and keep doing that until the bass runs out, which only happens when these songs end. These four tracks are mellow, powerful, and cerebral listens that are transformative pieces of drone excellence.
4. Same Mistakes by False Report
Genre: pop-punk, indie rock
If you like: The Ataris, The Sounds
False Report is energetic without being overly juvenile, a feat that few bands in their realm are able to achieve. Pop-punk can be an alienating genres to outsiders, but this Colorado band opens up their sound and makes themselves super easy to listen to (and enjoy), even for people who aren’t down with skinny jeans and tousled hair.
3. commonplace by commonplace
Genre: post-punk, dream pop, noise rock
If you like: Doves, My Bloody Valentine
The saddest part about this album is that it’s only about 14 minutes long. There’s a lot of cohesive variety going on in a short trip: The album’s highlight track, “Complex Mental State,” has hints of early U2 (listen to the band’s 1980 debut album Boy to hear what I mean), while elsewhere, they lean towards more traditionally shoegaze stylings.
2. Alice Kat by Alice Kat
Genre: indie rock, pop-punk, lo-fi
If you like: Best Coast, Noah and the Whale, Smashing Pumpkins
Alice Kat is equally capable of cutesy indie pop as she is energetic pop-punk, and more often than not, both find their way into the same song. It’s an interesting take on the loud-quiet dynamic, but not entirely unnatural. If anything, it just stretches the more tame extreme of pop-punk into more charming and accessible territory.
1. Clamarama by The Bidons
Genre: garage rock, punk, indie rock
If you like: The Men, The Walkmen, Cloud Nothings
It turns out that a light psychedelic influence has a home in garage rock, and Italian band The Bidons proves that (if the album art that looks like it was taken at an Andy Warhol party didn’t give that away already). It rocks, and influences from psychedelia, surf music, and punk work their way in to provide the scenery for their propulsive journey.
This Makes Me Wish I Didn’t Wish I Were Dead by Hannibal Montana
Genre: experimental rock
If you like: Buckethead
Old Timers Ep by Kanji Kinetic & Dr Cryptic
Genre: electronic, garage, house
If you like: Skrillex, Aphex Twin, Knife Party
That’s it for now, but until next week, let us know in the comments which of these albums were your favorites, what we missed, and what we should look forward to. If you missed out on last week’s list, you can find it here (and the complete Bandcamping archives are here).