metal + hardcore
pop punk + alt-rock
indie spins


Ten Bands To Catch At Today’s Mixtape 2014

TMF 2014

Since its inception in 2012, Today’s Mixtape Festival has been one of our favorite fests to look forward to each year. This year, the Long Island-based festival has added a California counterpart, bringing the fest to an ambitious new level with five dates on opposite sides of the country. Everything kicks off this weekend (Friday, March 21st through Sunday, March 23rd) in Oakland, CA, with the east coast half of the fest taking place the following weekend (Saturday, March 29th and Sunday, March 30th) in Long Island, NY – just enough time for some of the bands to make it back in time to make appearances at both halves of the festival. For this week’s Tuesday Ten, here are the ten bands playing this year’s Today’s Mixtape Festival who we think you can’t afford to miss.

Head to todaysmixtapefestival.com for the full lineups and ticket links!

Elder Brother


March 21st – Oakland, CA
If you’re a fan of The Story So Far and Daybreaker, then you won’t want to miss this set on Day 1 of Today’s Mixtape – Elder Brother is the lovechild of Kevin Geyer on guitar and Dan Rose on vocals from the two bands respectively. But if you’re expecting a fast and heavy punk show, think again. The duo have channelled their talents into a more indie rock sound, with a surprisingly refreshing effect that makes their music the perfect soundtrack for the spring festival. You can still hear their punk roots infused in the catchy guitar-led melodies, but there is a much more laid back attitude in the soulful lyrics that will give you a chance to recover from their heavier counterparts. Elder Brother are not just another side project, they’re a band that can stand to take the musical spotlight – and the stage – on their own. (Alex Bear)

Forever Came Calling


March 21st – Oakland, CA
Forever Came Calling may still be young, but they aren’t all that new to the pop punk scene. The band’s debut full-length “Contender” came out nearly two years ago, but it doesn’t seem to age. The album bleeds lines about youth, love, and the bitterness of growing up that tangle with enticing guitar riffs, but that’s perhaps what makes it last. The songs are on the shorter side, hovering around two or three minutes, which keeps their sound upbeat, fast-paced, and perfect to move around to at a show. Add vocalist Joe Candelaria’s hollering hooks to the mix and the outcome is a recipe for huge potential. Catch Forever Came Calling on the first day of Today’s Mixtape in Oakland. (Hannah Pierangelo)

Front Porch Step


March 29th – Long Island, NY
One of Pure Noise Records’ latest additions is Jake Mcelfresh’s acoustic project Front Porch Step, who burst onto the scene with his debut album Aware last winter. Armed with just a guitar, Front Porch Step consists of intensely raw, emotional vocals addressing heartbreak with lyrics that cut right to the bone in classic emo fashion. The combination of acoustic musicality and powerfully honest songwriting is guaranteed to stop any listener in their tracks. Be sure to check out the record then catch him live on Day 1 in Long Island to participate in some impassioned sing-alongs. (Catherine Yi)

Giants At Large


March 29th – Long Island, NY
Make sure to put Long Island natives Giants At Large on your list for the New York portion of Today’s Mixtape Festival. If you’re a fan of pop punk, there’s a good chance these guys will be right up your alley. Giants At Large pair their brand of the genre with a definite rock edge and manage to avoid the stereotypical whine – think Story So Far mixed with Fireworks, with even a pinch of Have Mercy on some tracks. Giants At Large’s most recent album Doubt is full of songs that show the potential this band has to blow up. Check out “135 Syosset” and “Doubt” before letting the band impress you with the live versions at this promising hometown show. (Alyssa Dempsey)



March 23rd – Oakland, CA // March 30th – Long Island, NY
It should only take about ten seconds of Hundredth’s set for them to prove why they’re the reigning kings of up-and-coming hardcore. The band sets themselves apart by balancing out their relentless heaviness with a sense of melodic command that keeps the chaos controlled. And with Today’s Mixtape sets on both coasts, there’s no excuse for any heavy music fan to miss one of the genre’s most exciting current bands. (Eleanor Grace)

Knuckle Puck


March 29th – Long Island, NY
Chicago has produced yet another gem – pop punk outfit Knuckle Puck, who are already proving that their name should be much further up the bill. Playing Today’s Mixtape Festival is the the latest on their already-impressive touring schedule, having recently shared the stage with the likes of Real Friends and Neck Deep. They’re setting the bar high for other young bands in the scene with their relentless hard work, backing an irresistible blend of pop punk and melodic hardcore that makes sure there’s something for every festival-goer. This is a band fuelled by passion, and it’s the massive energy in every song that will capture the Long Island audience on Day 1. (Alex Bear)

My Ticket Home


March 29th – Long Island, NY
Long Island might still be a little chilly this time of year, but the cold will be worth weathering for the Today’s Mixtape lineup. Case in point? My Ticket Home. The ferocious four piece come from the mighty midwest, a land known for the heaviest of hardcore – and they don’t let their homeland down. A quick scan of any of their three releases will leave no doubt that the band will deliver one of the most savage performances of the festival. On March 29th, My Ticket Home will undoubtedly be pleasing all the kids in the venue who came to mosh. (Emillie Marvel)

Stickup Kid


March 23rd – Oakland, CA
If bold, brutally honest pop punk is what you’re searching for on Today’s Mixtape Festival, we’ve got the answer for you: Stickup Kid, playing Day 3 of the West Coast side on March 23rd. With bouncy choruses and aggressive guitar work, thrown in with some Californian flair, who could resist stopping by the band’s set just to find themselves lost in the music? Between their first full-length The Sincerest Form of Flattery and last year’s Future Fire, Stickup Kid have transformed in the best way possible; the way that they have progressed since their formation in 2009 is undeniable, easily setting them apart from the rest of the crowd. Be sure to check out San Jose-based Stickup Kid at this year’s TMF – you won’t regret it. (Emily Yee)

Troubled Coast


March 23rd – Oakland, CA
San Francisco post hardcore band Troubled Coast have good reason to pride themselves on the evolution of their band through each record, always unafraid to take a few steps away from a harsher hardcore vibe in favor of a more progressive sound. The band’s deeply poetic lyrics are thanks to lead singer Mike Scornaienchi, who studied literature in graduate school. The vastly different sounds found on each record, from fast, upbeat tempos to more moody, dark, heavy sounds, can be attributed to each member drawing influence from artists like Thrice and Deftones. Fans of honest, heavy music, take note: you’ll definitely want to catch these guys. (Taylor Lima)



March 23rd – Oakland, CA
Sometime in the mid-2000’s, MTV decided that any band that used any degree of screaming in their music should be labelled screamo. But bands like California’s Worthwhile are carrying the torch held by earlier champions of the genre, channelling the likes of Taken and Fordirelifesake with music that is equal parts heavy and melodic. Their impassioned set will be a must-see on Day 3 of the Oakland festival. (Eleanor Grace)

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