Location: Lexington, KY Estimated Population: 305,489
As often as smaller cities produce little bands that could, they use their relative reclusitivity to harbor darkness. With a place like Lexington, it's a little more like hiding in plain sight. Mike Connelly, the main man behind the Lexington-based noise project Hair Police and a former member of Wolf Eyes, certainly has learned this over the course of his past few records. Cheaper rent and less established venues can have their perks, and people are often more open to the absurd. Hair Police's recent effort Mercurial Rites is probably the most terrifying thing you can put in your ears in 2013—or at least this side of the Haxan Cloak. It's hard to imagine the chain-rattling, oozing electronics emerging from anywhere but the seedy underbelly of a Kentucky town. The climate is always ripe in New York for noise like this, but Hair Police manages to be even more demented than their cousins in Wolf Eyes, an astounding feat no doubt the product of their surroundings.