Review: Fat Creeps, Headband, Nice Guys @ Discovery Zone (6/8/13)

Bands: Fat Creeps, Headband, Nice Guys
Date: Saturday, June 8, 2013
Venue: Discovery Zone (Allston, MA)

As soon as Glen and I enter the Discovery Zone, Allston’s Nice Guys are already kicking out the jams, just inches away from us. The nice dudes are decked out in their beach garb: short shorts and pasty whites and what have ya.

Nice Guys are a truly fun group and they provide some comical on stage (floor) back to back banter. This aspect of the group brings to mind early Smith Westerns (1st album) and early Black Lips, not to mention their garage punk tendencies. There’s something charming about them, like young male bonding or some shit like that, I don’t know anymore, I’ve been doing this for too long (says the twenty something). I have notes, I came prepared I swear, they just never seem to make it to the reviews. ANYWAY…

They appear to be at  home in the Discovery Zone space, after all they have played several shows here before. It’s best to see this foursome in an underground setting such as this as opposed to a club, and this has to be the best set I have seen from the guys. It’s loud, fast, and fuzzy, reminding me to invest in some serious ear plugs in the not so distant future.

Nice Guys certainly have a sharp sound that rattles my bones and mangles my teeth, uh huh, but I feel like the songs could be stronger. They are fun for sure, but they could use more character/personality to fully bring those pizzas, boners, and bongs to life as if they were being placed in my lap. With that being said, “Cop Walk” is a juicy beast and I never get sick of it’s factory like guitar riffage at the beginning and how it just bursts into heavy, spastic jolts of primal rock ‘n’ roll. Up close and personal (I wouldn’t have it any other way), I can feel Jake Gilbertson’s hollering vocals vibrate down my spine, a feature of the band I had overlooked in the past. Dude can scream.

I should also mention that drummer Cam Smithers hops on the mic (mike?)  for what is apparently a cover of an Andy Kaufman song. I didn’t know that Andy Kaufman made music…

Towards the end of the set, Jake and Alex shake things up a bit,  rushing into the crowd with their guitars, even breaking a fan in the process. Just to clarify, when I say fan I mean the kind that provides cool air for all of us, not a human body. After all, these are Nice Guys.

And Matt Garlick is also the man. I just realized that he was the only Nice Guy (and Fagette!) I haven’t mentioned yet. I don’t want him to feel left out, because  he is a pimp, and pimpin’ ain’t easy.

Set List:
“(I Trusted You)”
“Herb Chambers”
“Street Surfer”
“Molten Donut”
“Unholy Snack”
“Cop Walk”
“HD Snobs”
“Finale Dead”

The rockin’ and rollin’ grande times ramble on with Headband – a Boston mainstay. To quote one, Jake Gilbertson, “There was a Headband before I could even spell Headband.” Jake isn’t letting his mind run wild; Headband has existed since 1996, damn that’s quite a feat! Most bands don’t last more than a mentos, let alone two decades. Beyond being impressed with their longevity, I am genuinely impressed with some of their music. At times it reminds me of the strange, cave pop of the Box Elders and then at other times, I feel like the music drags or never takes off. They have a wealth of material on their bandcamp. Knock yourself out.

Fat Creeps are the last band to play tonight and their performance is nothing short of thrilling. Twenty one Creeps shows deep, I can safely say this is one of their best yet, and that appears to be a popular sentiment among tonight’s attendees. Straight up, being one half of the people that put out the band’s 10″ EP on KLYAM Records, naturally I am an ecstatic fan of the trio, but I don’t bullshit when I write about bands, even ones on my label, so when I say this is one of their best, I mean it. Oddly enough, it’s kind of hard to articulate exactly why this show is finer than most I have experienced in the past. I am going to attribute the high quality of this gig to two features: set and setting. Much like a psychedelic experience, the Fat Creeps evoke an altered state of consciousness in me, one that I feel is shared with everyone in the room.

The set, that is the mindset, as one Dr. Leary labeled it, is a young band performing in front of a sea of familiar faces – a collective group of friends and fans alike, an audience that has grown to know and love the songs that the band has mastered over the past couple of years.

The setting is an intimate, cozy living room space and when combined with the aforementioned set, it creates a serene feeling, an aura if you will. It’s as if everyone is simultaneously appreciating the music of the Fat Creeps all as one consciousness. From the first chords of “Horoscope” the crowd is hooked and the Creeps never let go. Besides playing an outstanding set, part of my joy is simply observing the reactions of others in attendance; seeing kids’ faces light up in anticipation for the do do do doos in “Nancy Drew” or getting pumped for Mariam’s belting line “COME CLOSER I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” in “Secrets.”

The  Discovery Zone setting itself is an impressionable one. I always get a kick out of the ubiquitous, random barrage of bizarre films being projected behind the bands while they play. During the Creeps set however, the video material is familiar, but equally enticing. There is an outburst of cheers as a clip of Beavis and Butthead comes on. This is followed by a Wendy’s commercial during the haunting ballad “700 Parts.” That’s trippy.

Get totally tripped out by the Fat Creeps here:

Even better order the Fat Creeps 10″ EP (VINYL) on Coke Bottle Clear and/or White from KLYAM Records! ORRR pick up a copy at one of the following Boston area record stores:

Deep Thoughts (Jamaica Plain, MA)

Weirdo Records (Cambridge, MA)

Armageddon Records (Cambridge, MA)

Brothers and sisters, don’t stop there! Fat Creeps are currently on a big ass tour with Bleeding Rainbow ( and they may just be hitting your town any day now. Here are the remaining dates. Boston peeps, they’re hitting up Great Scott on Tuesday July 2!

Fri – June 28: Toronto, ON The Drake Hotel
Sat – June 29: Montreal, QC il motore
Mon – July 1: Winooski, VT The Monkey House
Tue – July 2: Boston, MA Great Scott
Wed – July 3: New Haven, CT BAR 254 Crown St.
Fri – July 5: NEW YORK Mercury Lounge

In the immortal words of The Doors “The time to hesitate is through.”

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