Top 10 Alternative Rock Picks of 2018”

Jake Kussmaul




Eclectic, boundary defying, and never lacking in sarcastic remarks, The Inoculated Canaries (  ca.nar.ies) are a rock and roll force to be reckoned with. Hailing from New York, the “four guys who can’t dance” are striving to leave their musical legacy; inspired by artists such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, and Nirvana, The Inoculated Canaries are constantly pushing themselves to explore new, innovative sounds while making their presence known. 

The unforgettable quartet is composed of Michael Rubin (guitar, vocals), James Terranova (drums), Dylan Gross (bass), and Brian Sweeney (keyboard). Coming from diverse backgrounds and varied musical influences, the band values creativity above all else; striving to combine familiar elements with the unexpected, The Inoculated Canaries attempt to make sense of individualism and humanity in the most honest way possible: 

“We want to take those raw human emotions we all feel in the darkness of our minds and write songs about them. We’re not here to be rich or famous, we’re here to be great. To us, Greatness means making music that is real, and we are absolutely relentless about every single note. Greatness means learning from the best, but always being original.  Greatness is sometimes having to stick up your middle finger to authority, convention and even the person in the mirror... Side-Effects may include crying, laughing, a sudden sense of existential dread, and/or hearing-loss.” 

The rockers are immensely passionate about the music they share and the experience they create for fans. The band had the opportunity to open for The Mowglis in 2017 , COIN in 2019 and played ‘Cult of Personality’ live with Will Calhoun and Doug Wimbish of Living Colour. 

The Inoculated Canaries also worked directly with Matt Squire (producer of Panic! at the Disco, Ariana Grande, The Used, Taking Back Sunday, Demi Lovato and more).  They have also worked with producer David Caggiano (who worked with Art Garfunkel). 

 The Inoculated Canaries' first EP "The Blue Laws" was soon followed by their single "Don't Be Late", a live prog performance "The Fifth Song" and an acoustic version of their song "Jericho".  Their second EP "Trying Times" was also followed by singles "Count Me Out", "Who Are You", "The Lawyer's Wife", "Sneakers" and "Donna".









For Fans Of: Foo Fighters, Thin Lizzy, Steely Dan, Cage the Elephant, Rory Gallagher, Pink Floyd, The Black Keys, Tame Impala and Radiohead

Their music was so exhilarating and heart pounding”

MaryAnna Antoldi of The Observer

Yes this is rock, and yes there is infectious energy, but there are no wasted notes, superfluous chord progressions or overused riffs. ”


The Inoculated Canaries are bringing back classic rock with a modern twist. They are explosive and dynamic!”

— Aces Magazine

“Donna” opens on a brief drum fill flowing into an infectious rhythm topped by smooth gleaming textures of harmonic color. When the chorus enters, the tune brims with expansive flavors embellished by radiant horns, infusing the music with bright surface coloration. Rubin’s voice, rich and rife with effortless melodicism, imbues the lyrics with delightful timbres of zest. “Well, all my friends they say you’re no good for me / But I know that they don’t know shit.” Superbly wrought, “Donna” ripples with buoyant sonic punch and a contagious harmonic flow, as well as the deliciously deluxe”

Randy Radic at Rawckus Magazine

Atop a tidal wave-sized riff and a stately horn section’s powerful melody, vocalist Michael Rubin sings “Cause I’m a fool for you / And there’s nothing I can do / I just keep on waiting / For these new kicks to get old,” in the climactic chorus of his band The Inoculated Canaries’ new single “Sneakers,” which was released this year to a warm reception from both fans and critics. Rubin isn’t holding anything back from us on the lyrical front in this swinging song, and while I admit that I was expecting a lot out of this latest track from The Inoculated Canaries, I can confidently say that they’ve hit another homerun in this juggernaut of a jam. The addition of the horns in the chorus adds a lot of spice to a familiar rhythm and, in my opinion, gives it that signature I.C. feel that the group has become known for in the last half-decade. Their tonality is splendidly crisp and sounds as organic as it would on stage, and though the guitars are the undisputed driving force in “Sneakers,” Rubin shares the spotlight with the other players without ever sounding vexed or buried by the multifaceted instrumentation surrounding him. As far as the percussion goes, “Sneakers” boasts a drum pattern that is easily the most texturally expressive component of any in the song. The pulsating beats give context to the emotional verses like nothing else could have, and I think that without their prominent presence in the mix, this wouldn’t be nearly as engaging a single as it is in this form. You can definitely see why The Inoculated Canaries have been compared to the Foo Fighters in the past here, but there’s no debating the originality of the sound that they’re discharging in this fiery new track. The music video for “Sneakers” is surreally provocative and demands a reaction out of anyone who views it. The tale that it tells us in a stoic, but highly emotive, string of shots is riddled with so much unfiltered vulnerability that I wouldn’t recommend it to the newly single (or those who are a little sore over a messy breakup in general), but regardless of its stinging design, I don’t think there’s another alternative video out this summer that is as accessible as this one is, no matter how many times you’ve absorbed its viciously relatable content. It didn’t take very long after picking up my own copy of “Sneakers” to decide that it’s my favorite song by The Inoculated Canaries so far, and from the looks of the press that they’ve been getting this season, I’m not the only music journalist saying as much. They’ve got so much charisma in this track, so much undying emotion that putting it down isn’t as easy a task as it might sound. This isn’t the only strong single contained in their growing discography, but I think that it’s got the potential to expose The Inoculated Canaries’ sound to a larger audience of listeners who have been hungry for some full-throttle, raucous alternative rock in 2019. ”

Loren Sperry Music Existence

“New York is the home of some of the biggest names in music ranging from Blondie, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and the New York Dolls to KISS, Anthrax, and the Beastie Boys. It has proven, time and time again, that it’s one state that definitely hosts a breeding ground for talent; and with no exception, The Inoculated Canaries are on their way to write their names beside those who laid the road on which they now travel with their latest release, ‘Trying Times’””

The Bucket List

This quartet does an exceptional job of highlighting each member’s unique talent in a way that fuses together in a seemingly effortless way. While they are constantly trying new things, The Inoculated Canaries have a recognizable style and band chemistry that is evident throughout their music...In addition to the incredible sound they have produced with “Sneakers”, The Inoculated Canaries have released an official music video to accompany their track. The video flips back and forth between two sets; one is of the band performing the song in an intimate setting and the other follows the couple being described in the track. “Sneakers” is a metaphor for a relationship; the shoes start in a new and “perfect” condition but eventually are broken in too much to be worn anymore. A line in the chorus of the song states I just keep on waiting for these new kicks to get old, bringing awareness to waiting for things to go wrong before they do, because their is such an exciting inhibition that comes with new relationships. This video is incredibly impressive, because in the four and a half minutes of the video viewers get a very real idea of the couple’s entire relationship in an intimately close distance, while at the same time getting to know the band behind the magic that is The Inoculated Canaries”

Molly Dickin at Indie Band Guru

“Finally a band that is innovating rock music and bringin what maked and makes rock what it is back. They have a sound and a rhythm that makes you think they’re a world renown veteran band and that’s a quality no one else in the music industry can compete with.””

Music Matters Magazine