FOREWARD: Well here it is; Buzzbin’s Local Music Gift Guide. Now the pro of doing something like this is that you, our beloved reader, obtains a clear cut picture of what to get your music lover this year. The con is we’re about ready to get hit with a shitstorm of emails from bands we’ve covered saying “Oh, so yo think my band sucks too bad to be in the list?!?!” The answer is: of course not. And my answer is “Hallo wrote it … talk to him.” Seriously though every month we cover as much local music as possible. Hell, even in this issue there are tons of great bands to listen to that aren’t on this list. Give CDs, tickets and t-shirts. A true music lover won’t be disappointed. – Buzzbin Mike Via Lotus, “Secrets” This Canton act has managed to corral the energy from their live sets onto an impressive first release. Singer Tasha Addessi’s powerful vocals rest majestically upon a sea of infectious groove-laden, guitar-driven indie rock. Mr. 101, “5/4/5” Blending a mind-boggling variety of musical genres, this Canton hip hop/funk group has been packing venues since their inception. Pick up their first recorded effort, “5/4/5” at your favorite local record shop, a.k.a. The Buzzbin Arts and Music Store, and join the party. As If, s/t EP Akron’s psychedelic darlings released their self-titled debut last month and only further whetted our appetites for more of their garage-infused stoner rock jams. Obnox, “I’m Bleeding Now” Obnox is a side project from Lamont “Bim” Thomas (This Moment In Black History, The Bassholes) and it simply rips. Blown-out drums battle with fuzzed-out guitars in a pounding party of a record. This one really grows on you. The Big Sweet, “Ultraviolet Rain” Despite still worrying about math tests and the prom, Canton teenage indie rockers The Big Sweet are already poised to become a big deal, thanks to their big, polished sound. Impeccably blending post-punk and psychedelia with tight pop overtones, their second record “Ultraviolet Rain” shows these young men grappling with brilliance usually found in musicians twice their age. HotChaCha, “Do It” (split vinyl with Summer People) Cleveland’s HotChaCha has the dancy post-punk thing down pat. Their latest release finds them more in command of their songwriting abilities. Various artists, “Coreography Council Vol. III” Part art book, part compilation record, 100 percent rad. Check out what your friends and neighbors in the Akron art and music scene have been up to lately. You won’t be disappointed. Charred Walls Of The Damned, “Cold Winds On Timeless Days” The only thing more intense then this American metal supergroup’s name is its sound. Thematic and epic parts mix with raw power and trashy greatness. NEO’s own aptly nicknamed Tim “Ripper” Owens handles the vocal duties for these heavy hitters. Low In The Sky, “A Shared Rainbow” This gem came out back in July and if you don’t own it yet, you’re blowing it. If you do own it, buy it for a friend and share some joy with them.