07/10/2013 Leave a comment
punk slime ALL OF THE time
06/17/2013 Leave a comment
Bands: The New Highway Hymnal, CreaturoS, Fagettes, Big Mess
Date: Thursday, May 16, 2013
Venue: Middle East Upstairs (Cambridge, MA)
Big Mess – Big Mess are one of my favorite Boston/New England bands and it’s always fun to see them live. It’s been a few months since I’ve had the pleasure and in that time the Lowell based trio has played a shit ton of shows including a gigantic tour with Allston rockers, Kal Marks (http://klyam.com/2013/02/21/big-mess-kal-marks-march-tour/). My friend Justin Cole, who has seen the band more times than I have (which is a lot), claims the band has gotten even better since the tour. I am going to go and agree with Mr. Cole on this account.
As always, Big Mess creates a colossal assault on the ears with massive, noisy guitar hooks and piledriver drums. Indeed, Justin Cole is correct, Big Mess appear to be more diabolical than ever before. Heavy songs like “The Hook” and “Side A” (on their Split w/ S’eance) truly come alive when the band is on stage and at the Middle East they sound better than ever. The latter is a slow, lingering menace that like most Big Mess songs is easy to head bang to, but it’s the song’s quietest moments that are the most menacing. Just listen to the song here: http://bigmessma.bandcamp.com/album/split-w-seance. If you listen at 2:29-2:54 then you’ll know what I mean. It hits you pretty hard on bandcamp, but live is even crazier. I am especially fond of the sound system at Middle East and it is cool to see Big Mess in this setting as opposed to a crowded basement in Lowell, which is my usual preference. Either way, see these guys any way you can and they play a lot! http://bigmessma.bandcamp.com/album/big-mess
Fagettes - Big Mess is a tough act to follow, but Fagettes are sound competitors and as far as I am concerned they take the cake. Also like Big Mess, Fagettes are one of my favorite local bands and just a favorite overall. Much of this admiration stems from the fact that Fagettes play a dirty, loose style of rock ‘n’ roll that we at KLYAM repeatedly gush over, over and over and over again. It fits in the lineage of flabbergasting, modern day garage punk (particularly on the West Coast a la Nobunny, Hunx and His Punx, and Shannon and the Clams).
I’ve seen Fagettes five times now and by far this is the best show. It’s not only the best show, it’s also the sloppiest and when it comes to garage/punk slime/beer guzzlin’, finger poppin’, good times music, whatever you like to call it, I like it sloppy, rough around the edges – as long as the songs are still intact and everyone is having fun. Otherwise, what’s the point? These guys and gal look like they are having a fun, drunken, wild time on stage; Vocalist/guitarist, harmonica guy, Ryan Fagette looks like he can barely stand up at times, yet he still keeps his cool as always. No one else in Boston makes this kind of music like Fagettes! Providence’s Atlantic Thrills and New Hampshire’s Migs are on the same level, but in beantown it’s Fagettes turf. They just get it. They have the sound and style down pat, they have the songs to back it up, and they put on a sweet show.
Speaking of the songs, the usual intoxicant themed favorites are on display: “The AA Took My Baby Away,” “Water, Tea, And Alcohol,” and the pointedly titled “On Drugs,” among other notable gems like “My Girl Looks Like Johnny Thunders,” which is dedicated to Cam Smithers of Nice Guys.
The set closes with an extended (or I am just really fucked and it seems longer than usual), extra rowdy version of “Water, Tea, and Alcohol,” culminating with vocalist/drummer, Melanie Bernier kicking a monitor into my face, sending some tingles down my wee body.
“The AA Took My Baby Away”
“My Girl Looks Like Johnny Thunders”
“Gonna Die Out Here”
“Water, Tea, and Alcohol”
CreaturoS - Unfortunately, we miss a portion of CreaturoS set, but upon our arrival back into the mighty Middle East, we see CreaturoS up on stage and they are accompanied by the colorful, psychedelic mind fuck that is the Lysergic Factory Light Show, a perfect visual for a freshly lit concertgoer.
During this set, I spot Domenic (SKIMASK, Viva Via) on drums, which is new to me. In my previous two CreaturoS experiences they had a different drummer. Well, he is a solid fit for the band.
CreaturoS are a fine band and they have elements of psych and garage that I can surely get behind. On the other hand, I feel like they drone on for longer than I would have liked. Still, I can recommend their music and I advise you to give it some ear time: http://creaturos.bandcamp.com/
The New Highway Hymnal – Here’s a trio that I never get tired of seeing. If you take a gander at the KLYAM Concert Calendar (Do iT!) you will see that we have attended and adored many a hip shakin’, gut bustin’, saliva drippin’ New Highway set. Though, we have never seen them at the Middle East before, tis a pleasure. The PA is terrific, further accentuating the group’s furious sonic attack.
The Lysergic Factory Light Show can make pretty much any band look cool with all of their swirling, acid trippy visuals, but the light show fits best with The New Highway Hymnal, at least in my experience. Their music is already trippy, so when you toss those fancy lights on them it’s a striking presentation.
Tonight’s performance is riveting per usual, though the crowd is a bit mellower than most audiences at a NHH show. Nonetheless, the place is packed (if not sold out) and kids seem to dig the onslaught of psych grit that NHH has to offer. Most, if not all, of the songs are from last year’s Whispers, a record I cannot recommend enough.
02/21/2013 1 Comment
PURCHASE, NY @ SUNY w/ Grower and Callow
Richmond VA @ Babe Cave w/ Starfish Prime, Basamti
Asheville NC @MuderBAsement w/ Doomster
MURFRESSBORO, TN @ Avalon House w/ Brain Candy, Bad Friends and Bottle Tosser
MEMPHIS, TN @ Tako’s Treasures w/Diemonds
Denton, TX @ Taqueria El Picante
Austin, TX @ I ♥ Video
TX (Austin) @ The Grackle
New Orleans LA @ TBA
GA (ATL) Sampson st. loft show w/ Vegan Coke, Polish Nails, Warehouse.
North Carolina @ TBA
Harrisonburg, VA, @ My Mansion w/Malatese, Lil Huffy
PA/DE? @ TBA
Lindenwold, NJ @ Sex Dungeon
Cambridge, MA @ MID EAST UP w/PILE, Fat History Month
MAINE @ TBA w/ Black Norse
Kal Marks: http://kalmarks.bandcamp.com/
02/18/2013 Leave a comment
Check out this sick live video of Big Mess playing “Side A” at Woodstock 94 at The Boxfort. Looks like it was a great show, I wasn’t there and I’ve actually never been to the Boxfort, I’ll have to check it out sometime, looks like a sweet little space.
Oh and check out this video of Big Mess playing “The Hook” that same night: http://vimeo.com/59875123#
01/25/2013 Leave a comment
Bands: Heavy Petals, Big Mess, Kal Marks, Frankie Teardrop, SUNS, Tawny Peaks
Date: Sunday, January 6, 2013
Venue: Wilder Zangcraft (Lowell, MA)
Act I: Heavy Petals - I am excited to say this is the first show I am seeing in 2013. Overall 2012 was the best year for shows, each year seems to get better. Anywho, Heavy Petals (I hope I have this name right, please inform me if I don’t) is a last minute addition to this bill, so I’ve never seen their name in writing. They are a five piece and they deliver a sick, rocking set drenched in folk-country mixed with a little bit of punk. This reminds me of Those Darlins, especially with two female vocalists. In fact, I’d specifically recommend them to fans of Those Darlins – a lot of traditional country vocals. I also notice that they expand beyond these elements and feature a more sinister side, bearing resemblances to Sonic Youth. All in all, a fun set.
Act II: Big Mess- Big Mess as always is a flat, sonic death punch to the gut. I never get sick of hearing those catastrophic guitars and heart pounding drums. Seriously, someone has to synch up these songs to a slasher/horror flick. I can’t say this Big Mess set is particularly unique from any other Big Mess performance, but that’s not necesarily a bad thing. I consistently look forward to their high quality sets and they have never let me down. I’m also glad to hear that some of the touring bands are fans of Big Mess now. Indeed, more kids need to experience this colossal band. You can start here: http://bigmessma.bandcamp.com/album/big-mess
Act III: Kal Marks - Kal Marks have made a name for themselves in the Boston underground, charming us along the way- http://klyam.com/2011/06/01/concert-review-peach-kelli-pop-problem-house/ Unfortunately, unlike Big Mess, I (we) haven’t seen Kal since May 2011, opening for Peach Kelli Pop at the Problem House as can be read in the link above. I remember thinking they were a diverse group, able to capture various styles and sounds all at once. I still feel that way, and I especially admire their latest EP Piss of the Century. Lead vocalist Carl has a highly distinctive, high pitched voice with a certain drawl that oddly reminds me of Kurt Cobain. Tonight, Kal Marks is a two piece (in need of a bassist), but GOOD NEWS! AS OF WRITING THIS THEY HAVE FOUND A BASS PLAYER NAMED MIKE. WORD. Though, they still sound awesome as a two piece. Can’t wait to see them back in action again as a full band. It’s a good set for the most part, but in some of the louder songs, I can barely hear the vocals, while on the softer tunes those sick pipes come through a bit clearer. http://kalmarks.bandcamp.com/ So, I hear Big Mess and Kal Marks are going to tour together in March, GO SEE EM KIDS!
Act IV: Frankie Teardrop - Going into this next performance, I don’t know what to expect. And I’ve professed before that’s how I like it. I like the unexpected. Frankie isn’t just one dude (it’s funny, up until now, I had this image in my head of this sad lounge singer in a tuxedo with a whiskey bottle, though I was positive it wouldn’t be like that and for everyone’s sake, it is not). Frankie’s a full band. One dude on vocals/guitar in the front area where attendees stand and the rest of the members in the conventional band space in the back. The man on vocals and guitar, Frankie perhaps, flails and flings about as he rocks through his frenetic set. He looks possessed. It’s noisy and somewhat amateur, but I like it a lot. I can’t not fixate on this dude and his weird movement. I’ll have to listen to more of their music, because I can’t pin down any specific idea or style, but it’s satisyingly peculiar, that’s for sure. By the way, Frankie Teardrop is on tour from Ohio, and in fact they also played with Fat History Month and Pile at O’Brien’s Pub. Sounds like one helluva tour fellas, excellent! http://frankieteardrop.bandcamp.com/
Act V: SUNS - These dudes have a pop punk sound to them, but they sound better than most folks with that label. Still, not the kind of music that sets my rocks off, but maybe it will turn you on. Check it out here: http://sunsmusic.bandcamp.com/
Act VI: Tawny Peaks- Like their tourmates SUNS, not really a Chris DeCarlo kinda band. Can’t remember too much, sorry. But, they play emo that is similar to Slurred Speech, so if you dig that, maybe you will enjoy Tawny Peaks. Check em’ out: http://tawnypeaks.bandcamp.com/
11/13/2012 Leave a comment
Bands: Big Mess, Pissbath, Slurred Speech, Halol, Regret, the Informer/Districts (12 inch release)
Date: Friday, November 9, 2012
Venue: Wilder Zangcraft (Lowell, MA)
Act I: Big Mess- I’ve never been huge on strictly instrumental music, but in the past year, my ears have had the pleasure of being jostled by Boston behemoths, Big Mess. As I’ve said before, this here is a band you need to experience live. Sometimes I fall in love with a band’s studio (or bedroom) work, but when I see them in person, the songs don’t translate as well. This isn’t the case with Big Mess; quite the opposite. Live, they are a sonic beast, a total wall of headbanging inducing noise. Much of their music is heavy, but there’s also a quiet, intimate quality to the band that can be best appreciated at a nice, little basement spot like Wilder Zangcraft. I can honestly say tonight’s show is one of the best I’ve seen, with the band sounding as fierce and intense as ever. In particular, I want to note the drumming of Nick Egersheim, which is one of the first things that struck me about the band. There’s an undeniable frenetic character to his style; he smacks the drums so hard, it’s as if his sticks are his fists and the drums are a body, like a fistfight and each smack is another punch. I don’t know why I always conjure up violent images when I listen to Big Mess, I guess I am just a sick guy. In any case, they’re a badass band and I heavily recommend them to all of y’all. http://bigmessma.bandcamp.com/album/big-mess
Act II: Pissbath- I love this name, especially coming after Big Mess. Well, I can imagine the pissbath would come first and then it would be a big mess, for sure. But, not tonight. This Nashville quartet plays fast, hardore punk inspired jams. In the traditions of old school hardcore, this group blasts through each cut in a matter of seconds, keeping it short, but sweet. You can listen to their demo tape here: http://funkyfrankenstein.bandcamp.com/album/pissbath-demo-tape
Act III: Haldol- Unfortunately, we missed these fellow Nashville punkers, but you can check out their bandcamp here: http://haldol.bandcamp.com/releases
Act IV: Slurred Speech- Slurred Speech is one man powerhouse Josh Tracy. Tracy’s music consists of one man, one guitar, and a fine set of pipes. He sings with a lot of emotion and is able to get a crowded, sweaty basement full of drunken students to sing along with him. Slurred Speech may not be my cup of tea, but I genuinely enjoy the intimate, interactive charm of Tracy’s performance/music and overall sense of humor. I especially love when he mentions feeling badass about listening to System Of A Down and how everyone else most likely had the same reaction as a youngster. Well, I felt badass listening to System Of A Down, I still do. Check out Josh’s jams here: http://slurredspeech.bandcamp.com/
Act V: Regret, The Informer- Regret, The Informer has embarked on tour all the way from Missouri and tonight they are here alongside Districts (the band up next) in honor of the release of their split 12″. Regret shares the same hardcore sound as some of the other bands on the bill tonight, but they seem to permeate a slower, more melodic sound. If you want hear Regret, The Informer, click here: http://regrettheinformer.bandcamp.com/
Act V: Districts- Lowell’s own, Districts close this fun filled evening of diverse local and national music. Districts play energetic screamo/hardcore and it looks like they have some dedicated fans in attendance singing along to their impassioned vocals. It seems like Districts have made a name for themselves around town and beyond, catch em’ if you can or start by listening to them here: http://districts.bandcamp.com/
11/08/2012 Leave a comment
Some cool Big Mess tunes live from Barre Fest this past August. If you don’t know Big Mess, I urge you to listen and not just ignore it because you don’t know them. Who knows, you could discover one of your favorite bands, definitely one of my favorites. Sludgy, heavy, bluesy, catchy, it’s all there.
09/25/2012 Leave a comment
Local juggernauts, Big Mess and Kal Marks are hitting up Burlington,VT and Hatfield, MA on Saturday, September 29 and Sunday, September 30, respectively. Check out these fliers!
Friends+Family Presents: Kal Marks, Big Mess, Gloaming, BoysIIIMen @ The Circus.
Bellasbartok, Speedy Ortiz, Kal Marks, Big Mess @ Kapitalist Haus
09/17/2012 Leave a comment
Photo not from tonight’s show, taken from http://www.radioutd.com/2012/02/05/reviewinterview-fat-history-month/
Artists: Fat History Month, Big Mess, Masingo
Date: Thursday, September 13, 2012
Venue: UMass Lowell Fox Common (Lowell, MA)
Act I: Big Mess- Two months is way too long. It has been two long months since I have seen the mighty Big Mess. Their music has always struck me as the perfect soundtrack for *insert your favorite action here* “Fucking!” Okay sir, fucking sounds good, we’ll go with that. So, it’s no surprise to me that guitarist, Nicholas Wiedeman introduces their perennial set opener, “The Hook,” as a song about making love. Indeed, it is a passionate tune that consistently energizes my spirit at each Big Mess show. The next song ”Side A,” from last year’s split with S’eance is equally if not more effective, but perhaps not a number to do the wild thing to, well maybe if your more of the aggressive type, which hopefully you are. This song and the track “Drone Bee” demonstrate the band’s ability to produce powerful, headbanging guitar riffs and sledgehammer drums. In a live setting, truly the best way you can experience this trio, these songs are richer and naturally heavier. In general, Big Mess’s music has always made me conjure up images of classic horror movie madmen such as one, Jack Torrence.The whole set consists of classics and most of the crowd tonight appear to be fans that have experienced Big Mess time and time again; you can see in their eyes a deep admiration for their peers. I share this sense of admiration for the band and hope to see them again sometime soon. http://bigmessma.bandcamp.com/album/big-mess
Act II: Fat History Month- The show begins with Seanhistorymonth standing amongst the kids at The Fox Common, strumming his guitar and with his co-conspirator Markhistorymonth on drums, the duo sink into their weird, little world, taking all the kids aboard. Much like Big Mess, Fat History is a sound band in the studio, but are perhaps better appreciated in a live setting. On stage, you truly get to witness the unbeatable chemistry between Sean and Mark that you cannot experience simply from listening to one of their records. As always, the pair dish out some of my favorites, including, but certainly not limited to “Free As A Cat,” “Old Lady Smokers, and the Bad History demo “Everyday Is Christmas.” At one point, Sean expresses an appreciation for the decent turn out of bodies in attendance, much greater than he expected. This is no surprise to me however, in fact I would hope more kids got turned on to their music. But, those that show up are immersed in their peformance and when it comes time for requests, someone shouts NATURE! I find this to be hilarious because this is at least the third or fourth time now that I have heard “Nature” requested at a Fat History show. It is a terrific song, so why not?! What is great about this performance is the fact that they follow up “Nature” with the epic track “You Can Pick Your Nose, You Can Pick Your Friend’s Nose, But You Can’t Escape Your Horrible Family.” Up until this point I don’t believe I have ever heard this song live, so that is a definite plus. Not to mention that these two songs are next to each other on their LP Fucking Despair (pick that thang up btw), thus giving this set a further feeling of completion. I am so glad we have a band like Fat History Month in Boston; it is always a pleasure to see them live and they play a shit TON of shows in this area and beyond, so get yer ass out to any or all of them! Man, I wish I had heard all of this great music when I was a little kid, instead of reading about Fidel Castro, watching old porn movies from the 70s, and getting placed in figure-four locks. Sure, Fat History Month is probably a little bit too bizarre for most children, but in this crazy world we live in they are going to get exposed to some fucked up shit anyway, might as well make sure it’s constructive, beautiful, fucked up shit. Why fill their little heads with hope now? Why not give them a tip before the weight of the the world wipes away all their precious dreams? Jeeze Chris, way to kill the party. Ahh, I’m only teasing, as they say everyday is Christmas, or at least everyday feels like Christmas when you have great bands like Fat History Month around you. Cheers. http://fathistorymonth.bandcamp.com/album/fucking-despair
Act III: Masingo- Masingo, damn Masingo I knew I had seen you before (on a bill with SARALEE @ the Ant Cellar last May), but for the life of me I could not remember them. My bad. Then when Masingo hits the stage, I have some flashbacks, still cannot recall too much, but now I remember these young lads. In particular the vocalist/guitarist has a great attitude and I do remember this quality from before. He is interactive with the audience, inquiring about college and informing the students about endorphins and other matters. He hops around quite a bit, shaking his shaggy hair in the process. The other two members are equally skilled and their fast, punk delivery is admirable. I am not quite sure if it is my cup of tea, but they are entertaining. My favorite moment is when the vocalist/guitarist flies off the stage, with his guitar in his arms, and falls flat on his back, only to hop right back on stage as if nothing had happened. Check out their bandcamp page: http://masingo.bandcamp.com/