Not your grandma's Schumann records: give me piano bands that will rock my face off.
November 3, 2009 11:37 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for piano-based rock bands that rock really, really hard.

I've seen this question, but I'm specifically looking for bands - not songs - that are led by a badass, hard-rocking pianist, like the Led Zeppelin of piano rock.

I love Ben Folds, Fiona Apple, Brad Mehldau...and suggestions in this genre are certainly welcome as well, but I'd love to find bands leaning more towards punk, heavy metal, hip-hop, or any hard-rocking, unconventional bands that are piano driven.

Bring me audio ecstasy, hive mind.
posted by JaiMahodara to Media & Arts (27 answers total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Jaltcoh at 11:38 AM on November 3, 2009 [3 favorites]

Jukebox the Ghost. See them live. You'll thank me.
posted by General Malaise at 11:42 AM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Man Man is pretty much exactly what you're looking for.

A close friend of mine described them as "really dirty Randy Newman".
posted by muddgirl at 11:42 AM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Something Corporate is piano based pop-punk.
posted by craven_morhead at 11:49 AM on November 3, 2009

I'm not sure that it's entirely accurate to describe The Hold Steady as "piano-driven", but many of their songs feature prominent piano parts, and they're capable of rocking very hard. Try Stuck Between Stations on for size.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:54 AM on November 3, 2009

Try Pistolita. They don't rock that hard but I remember liking the piano.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 12:03 PM on November 3, 2009

you're looking for Andrew W.K.
posted by 256 at 12:12 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

The Dresden Dolls will rock your face off six ways from Sunday.

Amanda Palmer's solo album was actually produced by Ben Folds, so it's other-piano-rocker-approved.
posted by WidgetAlley at 12:17 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Various periods of Savatage are piano-centric if you want piano-metal. Their discography is rather hit-and-miss, though. I'd recommend Gutter Ballet. (link is to the title track)

Also, a lot of Savatage are the core for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, who have lots of Christmas themed piano-rock. With the holidays drawing near, it's as good a time as any to get into them. Their album "Beethoven's Last Night" is the same gimmick without the Christmas theme.
posted by Lifeson at 12:21 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Muse have their moments. Try "Space Dementia" or "Butterflies and Hurricanes."
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 12:22 PM on November 3, 2009

The Dresden Dolls

Yeah, I can't believe I forgot them. Try their first album (self-titled).
posted by Jaltcoh at 12:24 PM on November 3, 2009

lady gaga's solo live performances
posted by nadawi at 12:47 PM on November 3, 2009

oh, and i assume since you mention ben folds and fiona apple, you're well aware of tori amos, but, i'd put boys for pele on the list of mostly rocking your face off. she did a bunch of hallucinogens, destroyed a harpsichord, and recorded an album. it's very different from the first 2 albums, and not as far out and esoteric as the later albums.
posted by nadawi at 12:51 PM on November 3, 2009

It's not self promotion if you're not promoting yourself, right?

My friends' band - Naked Empire - features piano and rockage prominently.

They are going through a line-up change, so their myspace has some not so great quality live recordings. Their Bandcamp site has their albums with their old lead singer. Enjoy!
posted by theRussian at 2:09 PM on November 3, 2009

Jerry Lee Lewis - Live at the Star Club, Hamburg
I don't think piano can get much more badass than this.
posted by zombiedance at 2:40 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Some of my favs where piano features:

Regina Spektor
Tom Waits

Not sure any of these will rock your face off, but Doves might come close on occasion. Coldplay have a lot of piano driven tunes too.
posted by backwards guitar at 2:52 PM on November 3, 2009

Not quite piano-driven, but it was a core component for the Murder City Devils. Damn they put on a great live show.
posted by swngnmonk at 3:01 PM on November 3, 2009

The Bad Plus is an awesome piano based jazz-rock fusion band.
posted by goodnight moon at 3:06 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Seconding Muse, but for their first album, Showbiz.
posted by theraflu at 3:06 PM on November 3, 2009

You will love Dan Bryk. (full disclosure: DB is a pal, and I play a bit on his most recent record. Caveat emptor.)

Howsabout Suddenly, Tammy! - BF5 totally owe them a drink...

Koufax's Social Life record?
posted by mintcake! at 3:23 PM on November 3, 2009

Pipes You See Pipes You Don't is a great band. In general, they may not be as hard-rockin' as you're looking for, but they definitely have their intense moments.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 5:09 PM on November 3, 2009

Check out John Cale's Fragments of a Rainy Season.
posted by Kafkaesque at 5:11 PM on November 3, 2009

MAN MAN! Hell yeah!

posted by cyphill at 7:05 PM on November 3, 2009

I've recced my favorite band at least once on MF, but "hard-rocking piano bands" is a hook I can't resist. KRISTEENYOUNG. They even cover Zeppelin (I won't vouch for audibility of piano on this clip, but you can get the idea).
posted by thesmallmachine at 10:58 PM on November 3, 2009

theraflu: There's only one song with piano ("Sunburn") on the entire Showbiz album, two if you count the organs on "Hate This And I'll Love You." Great stuff, but not really piano-driven. Absolution is the Muse album to go for in terms of piano ratio, then Origin of Symmetry.
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 12:37 AM on November 4, 2009

Not super-rocking but Keane's Hopes and Fears had a lot of piano in it.
posted by superkim at 7:40 AM on November 4, 2009

Seconding Man Man and Murder City Devils but the band that immediately came to mind for me was Pleasure Forever (formerly Slaves.) Very piano driven, but kick ass.
posted by saul wright at 12:26 PM on November 6, 2009

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