Top Ten Local Bands That Should Have Made It Big

Categories: Talking Shit

Ian Witlen
If you are a loyal County Grind reader, you've witnessed the meteoric rise of indie-rock starlets Surfer Blood. Starting out as most local bands do, begging promoters for a shot and hustling for gigs, the sonic quartet rode a lightning bolt of success that ultimately landed them on Universal Records.

Surfer Blood isn't the only area success story. Broward and Palm Beach counties can lay claim to the shock rock of Marilyn Manson (Fort Lauderdale), the emo-punk splendor of New Found Glory (Coral Springs), and the even more emotive rock of Dashboard Confessional (Boca Raton). Also count Fort Lauderdale nu-metal act Nonpoint and the tender melodies of Lake Worth's John Ralston.

See also: Five Best Concerts This Week in Fort Lauderdale

What are all these acts' recipes for success? Fuck if we know. A bit of luck and hard work are a good start. What we can attest to is that this is a veritable breeding ground for talent. Behind every Surfer Blood and Dashboard Confessional success story lie three or four local acts just as worthy of major-label glory.

Contentious as this subject may be, we scratched our collective heads and thought of other local acts that deserve, in our humble opinion, nationwide fame. Granted, we are human and not omnipotent, so we can't be everywhere and anywhere at the same time -- we bet we missed a few acts that performed exclusively in Davie warehouses or Pompano skate parks and had the wits about them to have been as big as Green Day. There's also a ton of active local bands, such as Lavola, Black Seal, and the Resolvers, that deserve a huge shoutout, but hey, would you take the time to read a list of the top 100 bands? We didn't think so.

With that said, here is our list of locals that -- past or present -- have (or had) what it takes to strike it big time.

10. Secret French Kissing Society
Palm Beach County's Secret French Kissing Society created moody postpunk in the vein of the Smiths and Interpol, if only a bit more narcotics-addicted. Led by Stavros Polentas' jumbling-yet-tender vocals (think Britt Daniel in the midst of a weeklong bender), the group rode the mid-2000's revivalist wave with heart-on-sleeve lyrics and jangly guitar hooks. Couple that with Polentas' lovable, enigmatic persona -- imagine a more endearing and Greek-American version of Pete Doherty -- and you have what should have been another CMJ buzz band.

9. Load
In the early 1990s, Load was a scuzzy, overdriven, rollicking punk escapade that had a bigger reputation in South Florida than Marilyn Manson. Led by one of our area's most infamous frontman, Bobby Load, the band's highly inebriated shows are stuff of local folklore. Load, who passed away last October, had a thunderous howl that could equally clear or thrill a room.

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I cannot believe that Amazing Grace, did not make this list!! Back in the mid 80s, had it not been for a drunken stuper froma unnamed AC/DC member, Amazing Grace would have been their warm up band.
You obviously never lived it.


What a mess of an "article"... some of these bands are still together and in the early years of development... to imply they missed the train of national success is a bit premature. Most of these bands self-destructed and were very dysfunctional and had NO chance at "making it". The Freakin Hott were a trio (having a few drummers over the years) and in no way sounded like The White Stripes. And you completely overlooked L.U.N.G.S., Tuff Luck, and Friction Farm... shame on you.


Some of these bands are in their early years and to imply they have missed the boat of "success" is a bit premature. Others were self-destructive and dysfunctional and had NO chance of "making it". The Freakin' Hott were a trio (a few drummers over the years) and did not sound like the White Stripes. The most egregious omissions include Tuff Luck, Stentorian, Baloney Sandwich, Nuclear Beer, Publicity C*nt, and the Tamarac powerhouse Beat The Press.

Illia Tulloch
Illia Tulloch

Killer list. There's some good local history in here too. Good read Alejandro Jose Gregorio Rendón!


There's this band Humbert...

Also, Hashbrown.

funchey1 moderator editor

Billy Boloby!

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