Sahan Jayasuriya
Live in Milwaukee

10 local bands to see this summer

Live music is everywhere this time of year, and Sahan Jayasuriya looks at 10 up-and-coming local acts to see live in the Brew City this summer.

By - Jun 18th, 2012 04:00 am

With summer upon us, there’s always plenty of live music to see here in Milwaukee, both indoors and outdoors. There’s plenty of great music in our city, and here’s ten up-and-coming acts that you should definitely try to catch this summer.

Midnight Reruns
Drawing from 70s punk rock like the Buzzcocks and The Dead Boys, Milwaukee’s Midnight Reruns have just as much melody as they do snark. Throw in the very Thin Lizzy-esque lead guitar harmonies of guitarists Graham Hunt and Karl Giehl, and you’ve got yourself one of the best straight ahead rock ‘n’ roll bands our city has to offer. Stream the Central Time EP on bandcamp, and catch ’em on the Cascio Interstate Groove Stage at Summerfest on Thursday, June 28 at 6 p.m.

Moon Curse
Rising from the ashes of Mother Orchis, Moon Curse have quickly become one of the city’s most buzzed about new bands. This power trio takes its influence from classic 70s bands like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, playing slow and heavy riffs at maximum volume. Their debut EP can be streamed on bandcamp, and you can catch them at the Cactus Club on June 30.

If you haven’t yet seen or heard Milwaukee’s Altos (formerly Group of the Altos), you’re missing out. This 12 piece (yes, 12 piece) band, which features members of Collections of Colonies of Bees and Hello Death, plays slow burning post-rock, with lush musical arrangements and emotive dynamic shifts. You can catch them headlining the Cascio Stage at Summerfest on July 5.

ALTOS, ALTOS, SING (FOR TROUBLE) from Sean Williamson on Vimeo.

The Sleepwalkers
Formerly known as Ian Olvera & the Sleepwalkers, these three gents deliver ultra-catchy power pop gems in the vein of Big Star, the Replacements and Superdrag. With a new album slated for September, you can catch them live this summer on the Cascio Stage at Summerfest on July 7.

Tenement’s “Napalm Dream”

Napalm Dream, the debut full length from Appleton’s Tenement was easily one of my favorite records of last year. Their brand of loud and fuzzy punk rock—not unlike Hüsker Dü—is so hooky, it’s hard to resist its charm. They’ll be touring extensively this summer and you’ll be able to catch ’em at Quarters on Wednesday, Aug. 1, and Saturday, Aug. 11.

Like Like The The The Death
Featuring former members of the New Blind Nationals and Crime and Judy, LLTTTD’s debut EP The Ghosts of Dead Bros brings to mind some of the finer noisy indie rock bands of the 90s like Sonic Youth and Drive Like Jehu, with loud guitars, complex rhythms and shouted vocals. Dates TBA. (See Jeff Moody’s Stripwax review of the new album on TCD.)

Slow Walker
There’s nothing quite like some straight ahead dirty rock ‘n’ roll, and Milwaukee’s Slow Walker epitomizes this. This four piece brings to mind the stripped down rock sounds of The Stooges and The Murder City Devils, favoring energy over precision in the best way possible. Dates TBA.

Slow Walker (1 of 3) – Riverwest Fest 2011 from Matthew E. Dwyer on Vimeo.

Its incredibly hard to pull off the blending of different genres, but Enabler’s explosive blend of metal, punk and hardcore is executed quite well. Recently signing with influential West Coast metal label Southern Lord Records, Enabler will be hitting the road this summer in support of their new full length All Hail The Void, and you can catch them at the Borg Ward on July 10.

Hot Coffin
There really is no better way to describe Hot Coffin’s music than to refer to its members previous musical outings. Bassist Joe Kanack and Chris Hansen, formerly of Red Knife Lottery provide intricate and angular riffs and rhythms, while Invade Rome member Justin Krol’s powerhouse drumming fills the rest. Throw in the frantic vocals of former Farewell to Twilight vocalist Sean Williamson, and you’ve got a highly dancy and super rockin’ good time. Catch them at the Cascio Stage at Summerfest on July 1.

Castle Thunder
Melodic and lush yet spacey and rocking at the same time, Castle Thunder have been playing shows around the city for the last year. See them June 30 at Mad Planet for the release of new EP, Wolf in Sheepskin, and name your price to download the single for “The Observer.”

Follow Sahan Jayasuriya on Twitter at @sahanicyouth.

Categories: Life & Leisure, Rock

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