Concert Review: Fat History Month, Kitchen’s Floor, New Highway Hymnal @ Ant Cellar (9/1/11)

Artists: Fat History Month, Kitchen’s Floor, and The New Highway Hymnal
Venue: Ant Cellar (Lowell, MA)
Date:  Thursday, September 1, 2011

Act I: Fat History Month– These fly cats are the real deal. You know when people say read between the lines, well Fat History Month is what lies between those lines. The band consists of one dude on vocals and guitar and his comrade working the drums. Together they create a mess of noises often drifting from completely fucked up, off kilter ramblings in the traditions of The Shaggs, Captain Beefheart, The Moldy Peaches, The Beets, The Maine Coons to garagey, instrumental jammin a la Vivian Girls- at least to this kid’s ears. In fact, if I had to pick just one band to compare FHM to, I’d pick the Coons, at least in terms of their personality. While the latter are far more pop based, FHM has moments of pop brilliance, but they often delve int the more sinister regions of the musical landscape. I will make note of the fact that this duo has made the rare feat of conquering my mental divide in terms of getting turned on to new music. I rarely see a band and think YESS I need to listen to this! Which is not to say I don’t come across good bands, more often than not I see quality acts, but they simply do not demand my attention like say these guys do. From the opening chords, I felt something, not necessarily good or bad, but it was something special and unique, it reminded me of the first time I saw the Box Elders- wow, I’m getting hard just thinking about that right now. An almost instantaneous wavelength. The Box Elders went on to become one of my favorite bands, now I can’t say that yet about Fat History Month, it’s only been one date, but perhaps we’ll get more intimate in the future. My friend said I have a good feeling about this. As, Lorraine Baines (McFly) says after her first kiss/dance with George McFly toward the end of Back to the Future (1985), “I have a feeling too.” In any case, I hope to see Fat History Month again in this time zone or any other.

Act II: Kitchen’s Floor– Next in line are some Aussies, making a nice little pit stop in Lowell to treat us kids to some sweet tunes. I got some great Punk vibes, especially old school, first wave shit of the Stiff Little Fingers, Adverts variety. I can’t say I was head over heels about these guys, but all in all a fun, tight set. Kitchen’s Floor is on tour right now (with none other than Fat History Month!!!)- be sure to catch these pilgrams when they roll into your town.

Act III: The New Highway Hymnal: Before I saw them play, I heard a healthy chunk of accolades and admiration for this band, some people even directly saying to me that I would like them based on their gauge of my tastes in music. It turns out these brothers and sisters were correct. I really dug their short, but sweet set, particularly the bass- well at least I could hear that the best. But, what I noticed about The New Highway Hymnal, more than the other acts that night was that they had the finest interaction with the audience. Some nice showmanship, in the vein of Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth. Just brtualitizing guitars as if you caught them laying naked in your band with both your mother and your girlfriend at the same time. No Fun. This was further complemented by the sonic influence of Sonic Youth, no pun intended. I have to admit, I knew going into their performance that at least one of the members was a massive Sonic Youth lunatic, but frankly having this knowledge ahead of time was irrelevent, I’m positive I would have come to that conclusion anyway. Definitely KLYAM recommended.

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