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May 9th, 2012 12:01 am WW Staff | Cover Story

Best New Band 2012

10 local acts that Portland’s music insiders think you should hear.


IMAGE: Lindsay Temple

8. Sons of Huns

  • 28 Points
  • Formed: 2009, at a party that resembled the house in Fight Club.
  • Sounds like: Dinosaurs in skinny jeans battling in front of a giant mirror.

So many Portland bands—even the heaviest metal acts—are too shy to play leads, let alone peel off long runs. Not Sons of Huns. This power trio channels volume and energy into infectious, even chipper, stoner-garage anthems. The vibe recalls the early days of the Who, but Huns are clearly more into Black Sabbath.

The band has come a long way in 2½ years. “That sounds really long when I say it!” says guitarist Peter Hughes. “The three of us started jamming and we wrote a bunch of songs really quick and we were like, ‘Wow, this is great,’ and we just stuck with it.”

To metal scenesters, many of whom are pushing 40, Sons of Huns look like the fresh-faced kids who demolished their homecoming dance. But put the Huns in a basement party in NoPo, and they’ll look positively creepy. It’s just this sort of middle ground the band straddles between rock and metal, between youth and maturity, that gives it so much appeal and potential. Sons of Huns is delightfully unafraid to toss a frenetic piano lick on a tune like “Der Blaue Reiter,” chug apocalyptic on “Scourge of God,” or blow full throttle on “I’m Your Dad.” All those songs are Huns live staples. But, Hughes says, “We feel like our new shit is even better.”

It’s too easy to call Sons of Huns “gateway metal,” but the fact remains they are the loudest of this year’s Best New Bands. And for those who think full stacks are scary and wonder what lurks beyond the confines of the dance floor, this is the perfect place to start. According to Hughes, there will be plenty of chances to see Huns live. “I remember how psyched we were to just open the East End block party last summer,” he says. “That was such a big deal. This year we’ve played a lot better shows. 

“Shit, I think we have a lot to be happy about.” NATHAN CARSON.

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