The Five Most Underrated Bands of Orange County

The Five Most Underrated Bands of Orange County

For a long time, a major topic of discussion between music journalists and musicians has been: How does Orange County measure up to the other metropolitan creative hot spots around the country such as Austin, Portland, Los Angeles and New York? Is OC a musical universe unto itself, producing top-shelf, cutting-edge bands capable of influencing generations of subsequent musicians, or is the land of citrus simply a weigh station for Silver Lake hipsters to expand their audience as they make their way to venues in San Diego? The answer probably lies somewhere in between. While the debate continues to rage, let's take a look at some really cool bands from 2010 who have yet to get the recognition worthy of their talent.

 Here's another OC band whose talent has been recognized locally, but deserves some serious international love. They won the 2010 OC Music Award for Best Song for the tune "El Capitan," a calypso-rhythmed guitar romp accompanied by cascading xylophone melodies and haunting, howling vocal harmonies. While they've scored month-long residencies at venues including the Silverlake Lounge and Costa Mesa's Detroit Bar, this Fullerton quintet deserve to hit the road in style. We'd like to see them funded by somebody else's money and in the comfort of a luxurious tour bus or, perhaps, a private plane.


1. Dusty Rhodes and the River Band
The year 2010 was a sad one for these guys. Lead singer Dusty Rhodes left the group in a bid to win a seat on the Anaheim City Council. He lost. While these guys garnered plenty of local accolades, including multiple OC Music Awards, the closest they got to national recognition was when guitarist Kyle Divine went on LA Ink to get a tattoo of a piece of cheese, which memorialized a car accident he suffered, which resulted in his inability to eat dairy.

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