It’s hard to think of another band that covered as much ground and made as many fans as The Outfits did in 2011. In just a few months’ time, the bare-bones punk outfit (yeah we went there) went from scantly-watched grainy YouTube videos to playing a marathon set at the grand opening of The Thirsty Pig in Portland. Their full-length debut album, which is being produced by Huak/Sunset Hearts/The RattleSnakes Renaissance man Mike Cunnane, is in its final stages and should be released this summer.
Now, we don’t want to be pessimists, but the last two years have had their fair share of claims that “this will be the year The Milkman’s Union really hit it big.” But there is a reason, their endless touring across New England have gained the trio coverage in The Huffington Post and edged out The Mallet Brothers for Deli Magazine’s 2011 emerging band reader’s poll. Their long-awaited follow-up to 2009’s Roads In, which the band has been recording off-and-on, might actually see the light of day in 2012.
If there is a common thread to this list, it’s false hopes from 2011. After their stellar “Hour of Need” single was released last July, there was a fledgling hope that at least an EP would come to fruition from the volume heavy four-piece — it didn’t happen. But Captain Hollow have been in the studio since January recording the debut for their new line-up and if the doomsday prophecy doesn’t come to life, a tentative release date of April has been set.
Who would have thought that it would be a challenge to get together six of Portland’s busiest musicians and record an album? Endless Jags, which features Tyler Jackson of Foam Castles, D.J. Moore of Brenda and Jonas Eule of Gully, have been working on their debut album since last year, but have been taking their time workshopping new songs at the Jags’ basement HQ and playing a single show at Geno’s late last year. As we speak, the sextet is in Boston finishing recording for what will hopefully be their 2012 debut.
Is there such a thing as a Maine music hype machine? If so, we’re contributing to it with our excitement for Bath Salts — which includes Tara Cohen of The RattleSnakes and Jason Rogers of Metal Feathers. Although the bare-bones garage rock trio have only released two songs to the public and played live once, the band’s pedigree vouches for big possibilities. Bath Salts have been recording off-and-on for the past few months, so we can only hope we hear more before the end of the year.
March 14, Editor’s Note: The original version of this story incorrectly inferred that Endless Jags have played more than one show. This error has been corrected.