It's that time of year: Vans Warped Tour, the summer festival of usually kinda-sorta-punk-ish acts, returns to Pittsburgh. And we found a few acts that might be worth checking out if you make it to the big dance.
Harrisburg-based singer/songwriter Koji puts a unique spin on acoustic indie rock. Channeling indie trailblazers such as Matt Pryor and friend/peer Evan Weiss of Into It. Over It., Koji has released material on independent stalwarts Run For Cover and No Sleep Records. Check out his set at the Acoustic Basement.
After releasing its debut album in 2008, Syracuse post-hardcore band Polar Bear Club quickly graduated from playing grungy basements to opening for bands such as Face to Face and Thrice. Fans of Hot Water Music and Small Brown Bike should not miss this band.
Eastern PA's Title Fight is also an act not to be slept upon. With its 2011 Side One Dummy debut Shed, the band jet-streamed to the top of the pop-punk-revival crowd. The album, produced by Gorilla Biscuits guitarist Walter Schriefels, shows a mature side of the band that still retains its edginess.