Best band primed to break out this year



OK, maybe not so much "primed" as "teetering on the edge of." Indie-rock four-piece Ne-Hi dropped their raw self-titled debut a little over a year ago via local label Manic Static (which has since issued a second pressing), so by now its wistful, reverb-washed melodies, perfectly simple guitar leads, and swooshing, all-for-one choruses have had plenty of time to pinball around the collective brain space of concertgoers at Lincoln Hall, the Empty Bottle, Animal Kingdom, the Hideout, and the like. Ne-Hi have planned some small tours, and they're landing slots on high-profile shows and festival bills more often (this year's North Coast, for example). But most important, the dudes are sitting on a batch of songs recorded early this year by Greg Norman at Electrical Audio and mastered by Bob Weston. Labels the world over would be well-advised to elbow whomever they have to elbow to get their hands on those tracks. Because if there's another "Turncoat" in there, man . . .