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Twin Cities rock 'n' roll roundup: October's essential 10-song playlist

Clockwise from upper-left: ahem; Color TV; Frozen Teens, the Modern Era

Clockwise from upper-left: ahem; Color TV; Frozen Teens, the Modern Era Provided; Facebook

Every good Minnesotan knows their state's big-name rock acts: Hüsker Dü, Dillinger Four, the Replacements, Babes in Toyland -- the list could go on and on. For those interested in what a new generation of rockers is up to, here are the best singles the Twin Cities scene had to offer this past month. 

ahem -- “Bottle Rocket”
Album: Just Wanna Be
Label: Forged Artifacts

ahem are a new bass ‘n’ drums ‘n’ guitar trio based in Minneapolis. Earlier this month, they dropped their debut EP, Just Wanna Be (read all about it here). Early single “Bottle Rocket” blends punk and indie rock like a boilermaker. Maybe it’s due to the lowercased band name or the male/female vocal interplay, but there’s a playful and friendly core anchoring the song’s pounding rhythms and fuzzy guitars.

Brad -- “Overdue”
Album: Brad's Trolleys
Label: Self-released

Brad’s Trolleys is a set of songs written an indefinite length of time ago by Minneapolis band the Right Here. It's finally seeing a release because one of the band's friends -- some guy named Brad -- really loved the demos. The EP, which includes standout “Overdue,” is rough-around-the-edges punk at its most charming. The Right Here released the polished Stick to the Plan this past summer, and are set to play at the Triple Rock in December.

Color TV -- “Meat Wagon”
Album: Color TV
Label: Deranged Records

Meet your favorite new local band. "Meat Wagon" is an insanely sticky, tight, rapid-fire pop-punk cut -- Color TV are not messing around.

Fronts -- “Modern Music”
Album: EP
Label: Self-released

“Modern Music” is a great instrumental track from Fronts’ three-track EP -- a song that borders on being lackadaisical but mostly feels just pleasant. Its guitar and bass parts mostly mirror one another and it's drums feel especially lively, recalling the happiest Bedhead song you can think of.

Frozen Teens -- “Berryman’s Bridge”
Album: Hey, Good Job
Label: Dead Broke Rekerds

Minneapolis garage punks Frozen Teens split back in 2014, but they’re about to unearth a batch of six songs they were working through when they broke up. Rumor has it the band is going to play a local set sometime later this month, too. Seriously, you guys: Good job.

Juniper Douglas -- “Wood Rose”
Album: Single
Label: Subaquatic Records

“Wood Rose” is a delightful and warm rocker featuring nods to '60s psychedelic sounds. The song is Juniper Douglas’ first release, and it's part of a mysterious-sounding concept album the band performed live last week at the Southern Theater.

The Modern Era -- “Playing Dead”
Album: Repeat Offender
Label: Self-released

Fresh off of last year’s Too Loud? Too Bad!, vintage-sounding rockers the Modern Era are back with another EP of bar-burning rock. Early single “Playing Dead” is an urgent number propelled by barrelling drums and a steady riff.

Total Gaze -- “Sleeping on My Thoughts”
Album: No More Condos
Label: Self-released

“Sleeping on My Thoughts” is shoegaze at its gaziest.