Sometimes, being a member of a world-beating band is just not enough for certain musicians. Thankfully, this is why, on the eighth day, God created side-projects. Here are four side-project gems that you need to be aware of. If you don't have at least one record by one of these bands in your collection, you need to take a long look at yourself and think about the direction your life is going in.
Foxboro Hot Tubs
One of Green Day's numerous alter egos, Foxboro Hot Tubs formed in 2008 along with Kevin Preston of Prima Donna and new 'official-fourth-Green Day-member' Jason White. Their boozy, 60s-inspired garage rock was the complete opposite of what Green Day fans expected post-American Idiot. Politics were out and surf-rock, kitsch and enough jazz flutes to make Ron Burgundy proud, were in. Foxboro live track Fuck Time recently cropped up on Green Day album Dos with Armstrong even going as far as to suggest this was the unofficial second Foxboro Hot Tubs album. We'll assume this was the booze talking, as Foxboro album Stop Drop and Roll was the cool older brother Uno, Dos, Tré wished they were. Green Day with the good bits left in.
Tracks to download: Mother Mary, Sally, 'Dark Side of Night
If there's one Scotsman who loves to experiment, it's Biffy Clyro's Simon Neil. Not content with off-kilter time signatures and some of the longest song names in history, Neil put Biffy to one side for a moment and teamed up with pal JP Reid (of Sucioperro fame) to create one of the best conceptual rock partnerships of all time. They can also lay claim to the title of 'Best Not-Actually-Metal Metal Pseudonyms the World Has Ever Known' with Neil and Reid passing themselves off as 'The Atmosphere' and 'The Dragon', respectively.
Tracks to download: 'Je Suis Un Funky Homme', 'Rubber Lover'
The Horrible Crowes
Brian Fallon cannot put a foot wrong. That's not opinion, that's fact. The guy's on a mission to single-handedly save rock music and appears to be succeeding. With The Gaslight Anthem he manages to represent the best aspects of the last 60 years of music and The Horrible Crowes is no exception to this music-history appreciation class. With debut album Elise, Fallon teamed up with Gaslight guitar-tech Ian Perkins to craft 12 enchanting songs influenced by everything from blues to reggae and gospel.
Tracks to download: Behold The Hurricane, I Witnessed A Crime
How could you not love a band that goes by the official name of 'The Farewell Continental Group of North America?' Formed by Motion City Soundtrack's Justin Pierre in 2007, Farewell Continental ditches the poppy overtones of MCS and digs into the record collection to create a much darker sound, whilst still managing to retain the shiny hooks we've come to love. Inspired by the likes of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Farewell Continental are a high-speed ode to the beautiful and best of American music. The best band you've never heard.
Tracks to download: Do You Wanna Tangle?, Dagger, Dagger, Terror, Terror
Follow Tom Ward on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RenegadeViper