Rock: Meet the 2014 RFT Music Award Nominees

The 2014 Riverfront Times Music Showcase will be held this year on June 7 in the Grove! Think of it as St. Louis music's own official holiday and consider this the season. Throughout May we at RFT Music made our cases for all 140 bands and artists nominated for an RFT Music Award this year, so that you will be able to make a fully informed decision with regards to your vote. Read on and get yourself acquainted with the Rock category and feel free to peruse the list of 27 other genres featured this year. We'll see you at the showcase!

See also: Vote Now For the 2014 RFT Music Awards

click to enlarge Rock: Meet the 2014 RFT Music Award Nominees
Brian Heffernan

Bad Dates

The self-proclaimed "south city bad boys of love" have been steamrolling through town with a tongue-in-cheek brand of dirty rock & roll for the past two years. If you are searching for some of the catchiest guitar solos in the city, look no further, and with the recent addition of local drum veteran Bassamp to the fold, the band can only become more depraved. Seize the opportunity to get whipped up in a frenzy as Bad Dates' fresh, hungry take on a classic sound coats the walls of a dive bar near you. -Jimmy Eberle


click to enlarge Rock: Meet the 2014 RFT Music Award Nominees
Nicholas Goldschmidt

Black Panties

Black Panties is a snotty punk riddle wrapped in leather and drenched in PBR. Originating as a one-man guitar assault, the project now most frequently evolves into a full-fledged band, complete with a human microphone stand and a rotating cast from St. Louis' independent music community. Donning a leather jacket, black ski mask and cool shades, the group's ever-mysterious frontman reeks of sarcasm as he sings songs like "I Don't Care About the Punx" and "Piece of Shit." With several outstanding recordings and a few rowdy tours across the Midwest and East Coast under its belt, Black Panties has proven that it's a force that can hold its own both on the turntable and the stage. -Josh Levi

Bandcamp | Facebook

click to enlarge Rock: Meet the 2014 RFT Music Award Nominees
Joshua Black Wilkins

Kentucky Knife Fight

Few, if any, local bands tour the region as regularly and heartily as Kentucky Knife Fight. The quintet spreads its gospel of low-lifes and roustabouts to towns across Missouri, Illinois and beyond - a practice that was made much more difficult recently after its tour van was stolen, impounded and crushed into a cube the size of a Coleman cooler. But the band persevered and, with the strength of last year's best-yet Hush Hush, KKF continues to make itself a regional presence. On its latest LP, the guitar-driven band shows mastery over its bar-band blues licks while singer Jason Holler digs deeper into his noir poetry to paint vivid pictures of an after-hours demimonde. -Christian Schaeffer


click to enlarge Rock: Meet the 2014 RFT Music Award Nominees
Theo Welling

Little Big Bangs

We've reached an age where most up-and-coming bands don't remember a world without Nirvana; especially young rockers that may have been born after Kurt Cobain shuffled off this mortal coil and left behind an impossibly tall shadow. And so it goes that Little Big Bangs, one of the best of a crop of early-twenties rock bands, bears traces of grunge but pays no slavish devotion to the sub-genre. Last year's self-titled LP showed how the band's trio of singers -- Eric Boschen, Ryan Macias and Lucy Doughtery, joined by drummer Drew Gowran -- can wrangle the best from punk, pop and sludge-rock into something that is animated by static, strings and raw power. -Christian Schaeffer

Bandcamp | Facebook

The Pat Sajak Assassins

Remember how Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull and Yes were widely credited with cementing the legitimacy of the progressive rock genre in the late '60s and early '70s? How they heralded an evolution for music? Well, we might end up saying the same thing about the Pat Sajak Assassins decades from now. As a band that relies more upon instrumental layering instead of front-and-center vocals, PSA already shifts from the norm. But it's more than that -- the band also stacks synth, bass and percussion in ways that jolt listeners into truly hearing each beep and boop and set a new standard for music composition. Played in any order, the songs become an opera fit for R2-D2, and we can't wait to welcome our new robot overlords. -Allison Babka

Bandcamp | Facebook

Previously: - Punk - Hardcore - Electronic (Dance) - Experimental - Metal - Electronic (Eclectic) - Cover/Tribute Band - Emo/Post-Hardcore - DJ - Noise - Hard Rock - Folk - Hip-Hop (Solo) - Soul/Funk - Indie Rock - Psych - Americana - Country - Pop - New Band - Indie-Pop - Singer/Songwriter - R&B - Jazz - Hip-Hop (Group) - Garage Rock - Blues

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