Nine Black Alps
This Manchester-based quartet sound as they though they got into music through a steady diet of American bands such as the Pixies and Nirvana as well as noisy Brit bands such as Fretblanket and Bivouac. Forming in 2003, Sam Forrest (vocals), David Jones (guitar/bass), Martin Cohen (bass/guitar) and James Galley (drums) earned a loyal following despite the fact that they only played out for six months before signing to Island Records. The quartet's debut, Everything Is, was released in the U.K. in June 2005. Produced by Rob Schnapf (Foo Fighters, The Vines, Elliott Smith, etc.), Everything Is highlighted Nine Black Alps' penchant for fuzzy riffs and howling vocals, much to the delight of the British record-buying public. With a February 2006 Stateside release, they made a few quick stops in America in support of the debut, culminating in a highly-anticipated appearance at the South By Southwest music festival, which saw music fans lining up hours beforehand to guarantee entry to the band's show. Although detractors refer to the band as "Nirvana-lite," Nine Black Alps have become a live favorite among American indie music hipsters.