This time around the Learning Curve is mixing things up a bit, going from heavy to light and touching on almost everything in-between along the way. This is perhaps one of the more diversified columns I've put together but that doesn't mean the bands are any less talented.

Seriously though, this week has something for everyone. From frenzied post-hardcore like Stiletto Formal and La Dispute to party all night electronica like Innerpartysystem, to sounds like up-and-coming rock act Zillion and even a bit of hardcore with the next big thing in Buffalo, His Name Was Yesterday.

Oh by the by, is you're a seriously addicted metal fan like me, and Zillion somehow sounds familiar to you, half of the band used to play in the very underrated Five Pointe O.


The Stiletto Formal
Hail from: Phoenix, AZ
Label: Eyeball Records
Sounds like: The Blood Brothers, La Dispute, Mars Volta
You should be listening to: 'Fiesta Fiesta Fiesta Fiesta'


I Should Care Why?: Stiletto Formal are an interesting blend of acrobatic post-hardcore with Mars Volta-esque atmospherics and overall weirdness. Vocalist Kyle Howard is one of the driving forces behind Stiletto Formal, and also one of the reasons they are this popular. One thing is for sure with this band, expect the unexpected musically, but prepared to be entertained.

La Dispute
Hail from: Grand Rapids, MI
Label: No Sleep Records
Sounds like: Stiletto Formal, Every Time I Die, Glassjaw
You should be listening to: 'Somewhere At the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair'


I Should Care Why?: A band that I'm begging for to blow up on a national stage because they are so unbelievable, so frenetic, so chaotic, that they are completely amazing live I'm sure. They play progressive, metalcore tinged post-hardcore, if you could believe it, with well written lyrics and music that knows no boundaries. It's hard too hard to explain properly so go listen for yourself.

His Name Was Yesterday
Hail from: Buffalo, NY
Label: None
Sounds like: Boysnightout, A Static Lullaby, Underoath
You should be listening to: 'Witness to a Dying Day'


I Should Care Why?: It's always a good feeling when a hometown band finds its way into the Learning Curve, and these guys are the closest thing to the next big thing in music coming out of the Queen City. Well, when you're this good I guess it doesn't matter where you are from, the Learning Curve doesn't play favorites. Get these guys onto your iPod soon because you don't want to be the next metalhead who didn't know about HNWY before they are the next darlings of the scene.

Hail from: Mohnton, PA
Label: Island Records
Sounds like: The Prodigy, Heavens, Depeche Mode
You should be listening to: 'Self Titled' LP


I Should Care Why?: Mentioning Innerpartysystem here might be a little bit after the fact since they are somewhat known in the industry, but still it is a sentiment I think bears repeating. Their debut self titled release was my pick for Album of the Year in 2008 and their track 'Last Night in Brooklyn' was my choice for song of the year, but both, as expected, went widely unappreciated. If you are getting ready for a night out on the town and need some music to get the blood flowing, then look no further than these Philadelphia boys.

Hail from: Joliet, IL
Label: None
Sounds like: Killswitch Engage, Endwell, In This Moment
You should be listening to: Assorted Songs


I Should Care Why?: If you are like me and were pretty bummed when former Roadrunner Records signees Five Pointe O broke up, don't worry, because former FPO stalwarts, throat Daniel Struble and guitarist Sharon Struble, are back, this time in the form of Zillion. No, Zillion isn't another FPO, and that's fine, because both Struble's can still effing wail as hard as ever, and while this band is still in their early stages (just now getting around to playing out), I expect, nay, demand big things from them. Well, I guess I can't really demand it, but you get the point I hope.

Story by Brian Campbell

Starpulse contributing writer