Originally published on www.philadelphiaweekly.com on November 2 2005. Written by Doug Wallen.

Class of ’05
The Philly indie scene is stronger than ever.

It’s been a big year for Philly. The Eagles went to the Super Bowl. The New York Times dubbed us the “sixth borough.” National Geographic named us the country’s “Next Great City.” Beanie Siegel got off. The Real World invaded Old City. And the quasi-chick-flick In Her Shoes showcased everything from the Rocky steps to the Jamaican Jerk Hut. At long last, it’s not hyperbole to say the world’s eyes are on our city. And its ears, for that matter.

This was the year Diplo and Hollertronix became a global phenomenon, party boy Dave P remixed Bloc Party, folkie Amos Lee toured with Bob Dylan, at least four different compilations chronicled our music scene, and Buried Beds and the Spinto Band each had songs featured in national TV commercials.

Even sticking to the narrow margins of underground rock, we had trouble keeping track of all the key players in Philly music this year. It’d take at least a few more cover stories to address the jazz-heads, the hip-hop scene, the avant-garde, the punk and metal enthusiasts, and those countless singer/songwriters.

 So here, for starters, is a cheat sheet. A Cliffs Notes version of the Philly bands that got national-and international-attention in the last 12 months, from Dr. Dog and Mazarin to Hail Social and Espers, plus the handful that couldn’t survive the year intact.

Sitting on such a musical hotbed, we surely missed a band here and there. So do us a favor-for every new band we tell you about, tell us about another.

You’ll be telling the world.


Sound like: Instrumental epics informed equally by film and video-game soundtracks.

Latest record: Heart of Sawdust.

Label: Bloodlink (Philadelphia). www.bloodlink.com

Toured with: Evolution Control Committee.

What we said: “A booming battering ram of disparate riffs, epic synth atmosphere and every-instrument insanity.”

What Punk Planet said: “You have to hear it … highly recommended.”

Band highlight: Capitalized on trend of playing video-game music; performed special encore at First Unitarian Church alongside the Minibosses.

What’s next: Recording more and learning music to more games.

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