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5 Most Underrated Frontmen (and Women) of All Time, by Johnny McArthur (The Kindred)

The Kindred (Photo courtesy of Sumerian Records)

Based out of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, The Kindred are a melodic-minded progressive rock sextet ready for a new chapter in their career. In 2015, the group welcomed new singer Johnny McArthur and drummer Kenny Saunders into the fold, and recently released "Stray Away," a preview track from their forthcoming album on Sumerian Records.

With the album coming soon, The Kindred's McArthur decided it was a good time to pay tribute to 5 vocalists he feels get the overlooked treatment.

Emily Haines (Metric)

Spending most of my teenage years in Canada in the '00s, I have naturally seen Metric live about 7 times, and every time I have fallen in love with this woman all over again. Her avant-punk, Lou Reed-esque lyricism combined with her soft, sexy and sometimes eccentric voice is completely irresistible. She also does this signature synth-headbang-rockout move while wearing a GoGo dress that just screams "I'm cooler than you."

Isaac Brock (Modest Mouse)

I used lyrics from "Heart Cooks Brain" as my Senior year book quote. The feelings of isolation and despair that Modest Mouse's music exudes and invokes is actually terrifying. The balls it takes to sing so poignantly and personally about the human condition and the lowest parts of it, all the while posessing an objectively weird and lispy voice like Isaac has is something I cherish every time I put their music on. Also, "Cowboy Dan" is the most beautifully desperate and depressing song ever written.

Black Thought (The Roots)

To a lot of people, The Roots is the drummer with the glasses and the afro pick, and a bunch other dudes. Fact is, Black Thought is one of the most talented and under-appreciated rappers to ever pick up the mic and The Roots would not be the legendary group they are today without him.

Julian Casablancas (The Strokes)

Sleaze has been a selling point in rock 'n' roll for about as long as rock 'n' roll has been around, albeit at varying levels of popularity along the way. The Strokes helped usher in a new era of it while also being the only ones to actually do it right. Julian Casablancas is the literal archetype of the modern young New Yorker who is drinking a pint and playing pinball at a local dive bar one night and attending an art gallery opening the next, sporting the same dirty leather jacket and messy hair at both. His drunken slurry vocal delivery combined with the perfect overdriven production of his vocals on record make for an incredible and unmistakable aesthetic that could not be confused with anybody else.

Jesse Lacey (Brand New)

I have seen Brand New live twice in my life, and in that time I'm not sure I've witnessed Jesse Lacey speak for more than a total of maybe 3 minutes in between songs. However, I cried at least once both times I saw them. I put him on this list because he uses literally zero frontman antics, zero frontman gimmicks, and zero frontman cliches to get a response from his audience; his music and his words are enough. I wouldn't be surprised if at least 1/4 of the people in the room at any given Brand New show have his words tattooed somewhere on their body, and every one of them has their own personal coming of age story involving "Soco Amaretto Lime."

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