The Black Tones

This power trio (pictured above) identifies as a mix of “blues, punk, and black power,” which suggests a version of the Black Keys that are, you know, actually black. But their virtuoso epics—full of swirling wah pedal guitar solos and incantatory grooves (for evidence, hear “The Key of Black (They Want Us Dead)”)—also recall something like the psych grandeur of Funkadelic’s Maggot Brain.

Dude York

Start the campaign: Dude York appointed itself “America’s Band” and probably ought to be. The trio continues to mine the pop punk of bands like Jimmy Eat World and Weezer and unearth gems all their own. Last year’s Sincerely is the soundtrack to the party—goofy, smart, welcoming—that you always want to attend.

Tres Leches

For Tres Leches, audacity is the art. The trio, who released their first LP, Amorfo, in September, swap instruments throughout their sets, slip between English and Spanish, hop from rah-rah folk punk to harmonies to stretches that verge on prog (but, like, the good kind of prog). Live, their constant fluctuations lead to snafus, but when the creative energies vibrate so ecstatically, that’s part of the fun.

Pink Parts

Afraid that, after a couple decades of indie handwringing, our music had lost its teeth? Well, you can rest uneasy with Pink Parts. The band—comprised of local veterans, including Miki Sodos, co-owner of Cafe Pettirosso, and Jodi Ecklund, who co-owns Beacon Hill’s Clock-Out Lounge—plays snarling queercore. It’s ideologically aligned with the city’s feminist punk scene, but no one else achieves quite this level of badass furor.

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