The most ball-rockingly, face-blastingly and shirt-rippingly metal music festival on the face of our mortal planet, Download, stomps its size-14 boot into Derby this weekend, with the likes of stadium-fillers Kiss, Muse and Slipknot shaking the ground with their raucous noise. Unsurprisingly, they’ll be amazing.
But festivals, no matter if they’re rockin’, rappin’, dancin’ or folkin’, are all about finding that new crop of bands and artists that’ll fill your iTunes for the next 12 months. And drinking warm cider through a wellington boot at 8am. But mainly the new music. Mostly. Sort of.
ANYWAY, Download is no exception. The proof? Kerrang! radio’s New Music overlord Alex Baker’s five picks of the under-the-radar yet totally-un-freaking-missable rock bands that are absolutely worth you leaving your fart-scented tent before midday for.
Alex says: “Call it dubstep, call it rock and roll, call it what you want, but when these guys take to the stage, the only thing you’ll be feeling is the bass in your lungs and a sense of ‘Where the fuck did my headache go?’ in your brain.”
Raise your beer when you hear: “Put on those shades and wave to yesterday, the sunlight hurts my eyes.” (Sunlight)
Alex says: “Old-skool rapper Ice-T absolutely loves a bit of metal, so much so that he decided to make the most incredible should-I-mosh-or-grab-my-crotch crossover band in history. Heavy lyrics, heavy guitars; this is rap-metal, but not as you know it.”
Raise your beer when you hear: “Talk shit, get shot! Act hard motherfucker, get shot!” (Talk Shit, Get Shot)
Alex says: “OK, so you see a man with bleach-blonde hair and a plaid shirt and you think ‘Kurt Cobain’ – it’s a lazy comparison, I get it, but equally, COULD THESE GUYS BE THE NEXT NIRVANA? Watch them for yourself and find out, and wonder if there is even a human being under bass player Jemal’s enormous hair-do.”
Raise your beer when you hear: “Smoke my cigarettes there’s nothing else to do, now I compare myself to an eggshell.” (I Should Have Gone to Uni)
Alex says: “Brighton-based skate-fuelled, raucous punk! Gnarwolves care about three things: skating, playing shows and drinking beers. They are basically my heroes and they’ll be yours too once you’ve watched them in full flight.”
Raise your beer when you hear: “If we start drinking heavily the walls might stop shrinking.” (Bottle to Bottle)
Alex says: “These guys write music that is so catchy, you’ll need a health assessment afterwards to make sure you haven’t caught the lurgy. Ludicrously rousing pop punk with hooks you could land a whale with.”
Raise your beer when you hear: “I’m not tired of sleeping on the floor, I just wanna know when it ends.” (Warning Sign)
_ FHM is heading to Download with Zippo. Follow Zippo on Facebook and Twitter to be kept up-to-date with the latest news, exclusive offers and other exciting announcements about rock’s biggest events and festivals _