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Deli Best of NYC 2011 - Submission Results for ALT ROCK/REVIVAL ROCK: Black Taxi, Pass Kontrol, The Courtesy Tier

Deli Best of NYC 2011 - Submission Results for ALT ROCK/REVIVAL ROCK: Black Taxi, Pass Kontrol, The Courtesy Tier

After the NYC Electronic and the Traditional Roots Music results published last week, we begin 2012 with the names of the bands that qualified to the next phase of our Year End Best of NYC Poll for Emerging Artists from the Alt Rock/Revival Rock category. What do we mean by "Alt Rock/Revival" you may wonder? We mean bands that play modern rock music with a strong, often bluesy, melodic element, or any other rock genre that faithfully recreates a sound from the past like Garage Rock or Glam Rock (hence "Revival").

P.S. If you are interested in understanding how our Year End Poll for Emerging Artists works, please go here

Jurors: Juan Rodriguez (Deli LA), Chrissy Prisco (Deli Boston), QD Tran (Deli Philly)

The artists in this list qualify for the next phase of the poll, and will be added to the bands nominated by our jury of local scenemakers.
Black Taxi sure got a whole lotta love from The Deli, mainly because our "Alt Rock contributor" Meijin is completely obsessed with them - she once famously wrote: "If New York’s music scene were summed up in two words, they would be Black Taxi". Our non-NYC jurors proved her right, by giving these guys an overwhelming win in our Alt Rock category. Kind of dirty, a little poppy, and VERY danceable, these Brooklynites fashion some of the most undeniably fun rock music around. 

Blending African American elements like funk rhythms and soulful melodies with the urgency and distorted sound of rock music, Pass Kontrol follows on the steps of other NYC "makers of bastardized music" like Talking Heads and TV on the Radio. There's really a little bit of everything in their debut record "B38", including noise rock attacks and airy keyboard parts, as well as a revival element in the form of various garage references and crooning ballads. Listening to it will send you on a time trip through the history of Rock'n'Roll.

3. The Courtesy Tier

Not new to our blog and year end polls, The Courtesy Tier before 2011 belonged to the ever expanding category of "prolific rock-blues duos that sound as loud as full bands". Then, in their 2011 EP "Holy Hot Fire" (which followed a full album released earlier in the year) they re-discovered acoustic guitars, suddenly sounding like... an actual duo! This exemplifies The Courtesy Tier's songwriting and performing range.


These artists had good ratings from our jurors but won't qualify to the next round of our year end poll.

4.a Ellis Ashbrook
The intertwining and harmonizing vocals of Natalie Lowe and guitarist John Barber create the foundation of Ellis Ashbrook’s atmospheric and encompassing sound. The Brooklyn quartet's melodic vocals command the listener's attention while the backing band offers a spectrum of sonic options embracing hard rock, rock-pop and in some cases even funk-metal a la Rage Against the Machine (sans-raping, though).

4.b The Nico Blues
These New Jersey based youngsters surely know how to bring on the rawk in their distortion powered pop gems, equally inspired by the belligerance of punk rock and by the layered distorted guitars and attention to the melody typical of the grunge period. Their songs expand the "loud-quite-loud" trick of the indie rock from the 90s in an interesting "noisy-melodic-noisy" direction.
Drawing from the tradition of hard rock as well as from the more emotional and melodic indie guitar rock of the 90s, NYC's The Killing Floor forge a sound that's at once powerful and impassioned. What stands out though is their proficient songwriting, that allows them to write tracks that rise above the average.


These artists also had really good ratings from our jurors: The Shake, Shy Around Strangers, Black Suit Youth.

Published: January 03, 2012 |

This Emerging Artist is based in NYC,
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