It felt like it was only a few years ago since bands like Hujan, The Times, Love Me Butch and Bunkface had the Malaysian indie scene in the palms of their hands. CDs were still selling like hot cakes, Rock The World was still going strong and Myspace wasn’t just a personal request you ask from a partner.
Those days may be gone, but after almost a decade, the crowd is back at local indie gigs – and they’re even buying CDs again. Other than the usual suspects that have claimed the title of legends, the music scene has welcomed a lot of new faces to help decorate its wall of fame. These bands have worked hard, offline and online, to get to the ears of the Malaysian people. A handful of these deserves a mention in our article.
So here are the top 5 rising bands that will someday (hopefully) sell out stadiums, just like Butterfingers did.
In the mid 2010s, Malaysian pop punk went through a vacuum; all ears were on either indie rock/pop and hip hop. But when Hacktick!, a group of long-time pop punk practitioners and pizza enthusiasts from Klang, released their much-anticipated album Dog Days Diaries: A Self-Help Book, heads were turned. The band brought innovation and ‘freshness’ back to the decaying genre by mixing a bit of metalcore, a bit of reggae and everything else for that extra flavour that made the record one of the highlights of 2018.
Since then, Hacktick! has grown to become an unstoppable force that broke through various trend barriers to present to you the best of melodic mayhem.
Margasatwa means ‘wildlife’ and in this context, brings you sounds from the wilderness of the unknown. Comprising Kimal, Fadil, Syahir, Syadiq and Shahir, Margasatwa is a proud member of Luncai Emas label, under the guidance of M.Nasir himself. The band produces vintage, psychedelic sounds from the past with memorable melodies that complement their distinct sound identity. Their music video for the song ‘Ego’ has already reached 169,000 views while ‘Asmara Botol Kaca’ is catching up at 48,000.
Margasatwa disrupts the status quo of the independent scene by bringing something vintage, that’s been given a new touch by the hands of the young.
Grunge is not dead, because #grungeisdad. Who’d thought forming a grunge band in the late 2010s is a good idea? Well, Alang (Milo Dinosaur, One Buck Short), Kainsal, Zaki and Rivers thought it was a brilliant idea and so did their moshing fans at House of Vans. Sweetass feels like they’re still stuck in the 90s by showcasing the fuzz that we’re all too familiar with.
If you’re a fan of grunge and Ngan Yin peanuts, then Sweetass is for you.
Since their first record Chimichanga, most music critics saw them as a diamond in the rough. Then, their latest album Tekesima came out and shook the indie music sphere with singalong-able hits like ‘Desire’, ‘Good to Know’ and ‘21st Century Spy’. LUST has a knack for detail, from visual Easter eggs across their promotional items to the guitar licks: it’s safe to say that LUST has what it takes to go global.
Are you into head-thudding indie tunes? Then click away.
Hailing from Shah Alam, the duo is all about the fuzz, the jaggs and the beats. Azrul and Omar have been playing together since high school, but their first single ‘Hours’ sparked a lot of interest for the band. Their first record Rest Now was regarded as one of the best EPs in the year that it was released, and their song ‘Symmetry’ is on many global playlists curated by Spotify, with more than 100,000 plays.
There aren’t a lot of bands like Jaggfuzzbeats in Malaysia, so the indie alternative band is considered a local gem.
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