The Band: Baroness
The Buzz: Georgia metal band combines complicated song structures with blistering riffs and ragged-throated vocals, for music that's both challenging and aggressive. They've helpfully color-coded their records for newcomers: their debut was called The Red Album; the album they've got coming out in October is called The Blue Record. Perhaps it's no great surprise that vocalist John Baizley has a side career as an artist.
Listen If: You'd be amenable to prog if only the songs weren't so wussy.
Key Track: "Bullhead's Psalm/The Sweetest Curse," which opens with a Doxology-like guitar passage before exploding white-hot with galloping guitars and Baizley's grizzled, inimitable delivery.
The Band: Alberta Cross
The Buzz: Though they currently reside in New York, this neo-roots-rock band is as international as the U.N.: vocalist Petter Ericson Stakee is Swedish, and he met bassist Terry Wolfers while busking in London. Their lineage has come in handy — the group already has a sizeable U.K. presence, and recently netted a slot opening for Oasis.
Listen If: You're bummed that Kings of Leon abandoned grizzled Southern rock for more melodic climes.
Key Track: The roaring ATX, a song that seethes like a worked-up Pentecostal preacher, Stakee sneering over a riff that gleams like a drawn dagger.
The Band: Pride Parade
The Buzz: Take two pieces Pixies and one piece Drive Like Jehu and you've got Pride Parade, a hyperkenetic Athens band big on brawn and bellow. Vocalist Andrew Prater hollers like he's being eletrocuted — his bug-eyed shouting powers these filthy bruisers.
Listen If: You own a motorcycle, or wish you did — these thundering numbers would sound great blasting from the back of one.
Key Track: "If You See Her Say Hello," where a charming title masks two minutes of fury, Prater shouting his throat bloody over apocalyptic guitars.