Psychedelic and electronic sounds dominate the Bangkok music scene this year. We picked out these bands for a bright future.

See also: Bangkok's Best New Bands 2013

Zweed n’ Roll 

 

Who are they: Sutipat "Pat" Sutiwanit (vocals), Nattapatch "Poon" Smithnookulkit (guitar), Nuttakorn "Min" Sinlawat (guitar), Niti "New" Nitiyarom (bass) and Than Damrongrut (drums). 
 
Label: None (independent)
 
 
What we say: The intriguingly named Zweed n’ Roll have been on our radar for a while after joining parties at Harmonica and Play Yard by Studio Bar for (mostly) cover sets. What really grabed our attention was Pat’s deep, powerful vocals—a distinct change from the sweet girly cooing we're used to being assaulted with, it really adds weight to covers of songs like Coldplay’s “The Scientist” and Radiohead’s “Just.” The band, who are all still at uni, are now focusing on their own songs. Their first single, “December,” a haunting hard-rock ballad (with an equally powerful video), sees Pat’s angst-ridden vocals beg a loved one not to leave. 
 
What the experts say: “I dig Zweedz N' Roll’s performances a lot. Both the vocals and guitar sound are very elegant and create a beautiful atmospheric soundscape. The vocals, especially, are very moving.” —Koichi Shimizu, founder of So::On Dry Flower Records.  
 
Catch them next: The band plays every Thursday at Play Yard by Studio Bar.  
 
Watch "December" here:

Band talk

Frontwoman Pat says:
 
On their sound: “We started with a shared passion for 90s alt-rock plus some 70s and 60s acts like The Beatles.”   
 
Next release: “We are working on five new singles at the moment and, if nothing changes, our next release will be a track called 'Always.'"
 
On Bangkok’s live music scene: “We’ve seen more and more bands doing their own thing. In the past, things were limited, but now there are lots of bands doing music that I personally like. It’s exciting.”
Favorite venue in Bangkok: "Prop Bar and Play Yard By Studio Bar."  

Bars for Good Live Music

Lad Phrao Soi 8 (Yak 3), Lad Phrao Rd., 081-173-3616. Open daily 5:30pm-2am. MRT Phaholyothin (Exit 1).
It’s been open for two years, two years of consistently good gigs week after week. Wisely, the Play Yard crew opens their space to top organizers like Past and Popscene. On top of that, their regular nights welcome quality bands like Zweed n’ Roll and Makhampom Band every week.    
 
 
1003/6 Pracha Chun Soi 30, 02-910-1128. Open daily 5pm-2am. 
Located in front of Soi 30 is the original branch of Prop Bar. The renovation last year brought a more retro vibe to the bar in support of their enthusiasm for 90s music. The appeal comes from the live bands and a good mix of old school alt-pop and rock tunes like Nirvana alongside the latest releases from bands like Snow Patrol. It's not all alt-rock, if you’re into peua-chee-vit (“songs for life,” a kind of Thai country), big names like Pongsit Kamphee are also regular guests. 
 

DCNXTR

 

Who are they: Charlie de Niparnan (synthesizer and programming) and Piruntar Kalasanimi (vocals and synthesizer).
 
Label: Silent Young Boy/Comet Records 
 
 
What we say: The duo have been appearing on lineups all over town after taking a bow at the Coming of Comet mini-fest (Oct 26, 2013) and the more recent Stone Free Music Festival (Jan 11). Their live show is a real experience, throwing up all sorts of toe-tapping oddities, with out-there sampled sounds, waves of space-y synths, and dreamy vocals. And it really works. 
 
What the experts say: “This is one electronic band who will blow you away live. Their sets make use of so many interesting instruments that it’s enjoyable just watching how these two make their sounds. Their music is fresh and modern, topped off with a stylish look. DCNXTR is a very unique band, indeed." —Jakchai “Tung” Panchanon, founder of Comet Records. 
 
Catch them next: EESE 2014 at Stereo Bar (4236 Rama 4 Rd. 095-446-5942). Mar 21-22, 7pm. 
 
Watch "Beautiful Moment" here:

Monomania

 

Who are they: Napat “Boom” Prucksachattawon (vocals, acoustic guitar and effects), Katawut “Ply” Chandaeng (guitar and effects), Kanes “Ken” Ongarjwuttiwong (bass, synthesizer, keyboard and backing vocals) and Apikorn “Ham” Vibhatakalas (guitar, noise, glockenspiel and drums). 
 
Label: Panda Records
 
 
What we say: Bangkok may be awash with dream-pop bands, but there aren’t too many acts tackling the darker side of shoegaze. This latest member of the Panda Records stable brings an element of danger to the city’s stages with a multi-layered sound that’s by turns ambient, noisy and, above all, trippy. 
 
What the experts say: “Monomania is the one band I’d want everyone to catch live on stage, because they make it their own. Their melodies are very interesting and they have a big stage presence. Catch them just once and before you know it you’ll be part of the fanclub.” —Thantrarawich “Boat” Ripunchaiyarpong, co-owner of Play Yard by Studio Bar. 
 
Watch "Roong See Tao" here:

Bars for the Good Live Music

RCA Block C, Rama 9 Rd., 081-304-6907. Open daily 7:30pm-2am. 
Cosmic Café has forged a reputation as a relatively low-key retreat on the normally beat and bass happy RCA strip and, more importantly, as probably Bangkok’s premier live music venue. Not only does the bar present a daily lineup of underground acts, topped off by Friday night’s stellar Outside-In Live series that’s featured bands like Casinotone, Blue’s Bar and Two Million Thanks, its small stage has also played host to interesting international acts like Yacht, King Khan & BBQ Show and Cold Cave. 
 
Ramindra Soi 14, Kasetnawamind Rd., 02-907-2228. Open daily 6pm-2am. 
Despite its inconvenient location on the outskirts of Bangkok, Parking Toys is well worth the trek, thanks to its nightly line-up of great live music—not to mention the eclectic crowd it draws. The place is more often than not packed out with punters enjoying sounds ranging from electronica to rockabilly and jazz. Apartmentkhunpa, Ornaree and Hugo are among the familiar names to grace the small stage, along with fresh faces like Mattnimare and Sixty Ninth. And don’t worry about getting all dressed up because no one here really cares.
 
62-64 Ladprao 122 (Ramkhamheang 65), Soi 10. 085-162-2111.
Owned by the members of our new favorite electro-rock band Dot, who are also behind Rats Records (also home to Part Time Musicians and The Whitest Crow), Haus20 Design&Dine but really came to the fore with a slew of cool gigs throughout the past year. They’ve hosted the likes of Tabasco, Colonial, Bear Garden and Basement Tape.
 
Adhere 13
13 Samsen Rd., Phranakorn, 09-769-4613. Open daily 6pm-midnight.
This Banglamphoo bar features blues belted out by energetic musicians sitting casually in the middle of the punters in between jams. Try it on a weekend if you want a warm atmosphere, but it will be hard to get a table as just 20 people pack the tiny place out. 
 
1/F Pranakorn Bar Building, 58/2 Damnoen Klang Rd., 086-365-0066.  
Like Play Yard by Studio Bar, this little space on the first floor of the longstanding Pranakorn Bar is run by people who take their music very seriously. It’s an exciting addition to the charming Rattanakosin area and occasionally hosts gigs featuring bands from Parinam Music, Panda Records and Newlight Project. 

Cut The Crab 

 

Who are they: Thitinun Swasdikula Na Ayudhaya (vocals and synth), Nuttakorn Kraivichien (keyboard) and Nopawat Likitwong (vocals and FX). 
 
Label: None (independent)  
 
 
What we say: The trio has been making waves on YouTube since early 2013, but only made it to the stage last December as the opening act for rising J-Pop star Bombi. It was totally worth the wait. The band, armed with synths and drum machine, blend new wave pop smarts with crude electronics—the result being glorious white noise you can really dance along to.      
 
What the experts say: “Cut The Crab is a band with real variety. They formed a while back and did some recording with Delicate, but have really made the leap this year. Over the past two years, they’ve honed their live show which combines lots of synths and effects. The result is an interesting variation on the usual electronica. When you see them live, it’s impressive how they engineer their sound from all their gear, plus maintain an element of fun, too." —Benz Auttarat, Space 360 and founder of Delicate Music Group.
 
Catch them next: EESE 2014 at Stereo Bar (4236 Rama 4 Rd. 095-446-5942). Mar 21-22, 7pm.
 
Listen to "Feel My Eyes" here:

Band talk

Frontman Tom says: 
 
On their sound: “I listen to all kinds of music, from which I draw heaps of inspiration and styles to try out. I love deep electronic, but also disco house, so Cut the Crab is a mixture of that.”   
 
Next release: “We’re now working on our next single 'Mai Mee Kam Tob,' which is scheduled to be out next month. This single also has our friend joining on vocals, too.”    
 
On Bangkok’s live music scene: “It’s better compared to the past but, still, it’s like we have a small group of people doing good stuff and they all know each other. I mean, most of them are in Bangkok. There’s not really people from other cities.”
 
Favorite venue in Bangkok: “Not really a venue, but I really enjoy going to the Dubway parties. It’s different from other drum n’ bass parties and the vibe I get there is really inspiring.”

The Whitest Crow

 

Who are they: Patiphan “Tritle” Suwannasingha (vocals and guitar), Nattapong “Ben” Promjart (drums), Wisavachart “Aong” Sintuvanic (guitar) and Nontapat “Bank” Promjart (bass).      
 
Label: Rats Records
 
 
What we say: The Whitest Crow is already a familiar name for regular gig-goers—and we’ve been impressed when we’ve previously caught them at small venues, even playing mostly covers. Since then, they’ve dropped their first single, “Be With You,” which is straight from the school of hard rock with just a sprinkling of psychedelia. Frontman Tritle’s throaty howl gives the song a real urgency, and the throwaway chorus of “come on, come on, come on” is a lot of fun live.      
 
What the experts say: “The Whitest Crow returned to the stage after going into hibernation in the studio for five months at their new home, Rats Records. Their first single mixes together a powerful voice, guitar-filled instrumental sections, driving drums and bass lines—the result, what they call 'Hallucinated Rock.' These young guys are doing something really different for the scene. You will never be disappointed with their gigs! They sound natural, with a pure energy that’s vital.” —May Suprapatanant, Goodcat Founder.
 
Catch them next: Next Club Soma party, Apr 4-5 (TBC).    
 
Listen to "Be With You" here:

Band talk

Frontman Tritle says:
 
On their sound: "We have similar taste in music but with some slightly different details. My bandmates like shoegaze and dream pop, while me and another one love alt-rock and indie rock. The Arctic Monkeys and Oasis are our meeting point, so at first we decided to cover these bands.”
 
Next release: “We haven’t really scheduled our full album yet, but I’d like to just keep releasing singles until we have enough for a full album. While I love buying a CD and only knowing a couple of songs on it, we want to do it the other way around so people are already familiar with most of it.” 
 
On Bangkok’s live music scene: “I think it has grown a lot. Fat Festival contributed a lot to more and more kids experimenting with new sounds. But compared to the international scene, we use the word 'indie' too much. I mean, bands like Arctic Monkeys, Muse and Kings of Leon are huge and considered mainstream overseas, but people here perceive them as indie groups.” 
 
Favorite venue in Bangkok: “Cosmic has so many great parties, but Ad Here Blues Bar on Banglampoo would be my pick as a solid music venue where you don’t have to check the lineup on any given night. It’s a guaranteed hit. They play blues which is so good and the place has such an easy-going atmosphere.”