A tag like this is usually a kiss of death. Ever since LA Weekly named Eleni Mandell its city's "best unsigned artist" in the late

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Best Unsigned Band

Whalebones

A tag like this is usually a kiss of death. Ever since LA Weekly named Eleni Mandell its city's "best unsigned artist" in the late '90s, those words have followed her through every stage of her non-label career. Each article written on her made it sound as though she were begging for charity. She wasn't. And neither are Whalebones. But when all sorts of local bands keep getting snatched up by labels within, like, weeks of forming, we've often wondered: Why not Whalebones? This is the type of band that loves nothing more than driving to La Push while listening to Merle Haggard and Crazy Horse, then driving back home and cooking up organic pasta while recounting all the wildlife they saw on their trip. Marijuana may or may not be involved. They groove, they jam, they sing songs that sound pulled from several decades back. And live, they are a beast that can hold their ground with all those other Neil Young worshippers (Ladyhawk, Oakley Hall, etc.). So, what's the deal, label owners? Whalebones got it all!—Brian J. Barr

 
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