Review: The New Highway Hymnal, Atlantic Thrills, First Creature, CreaturoS @ O’Brien’s Pub (7/12/13)

Bands: The New Highway Hymnal, Atlantic Thrills, First Creature, CreaturoS
Date: Friday, July 12, 2013
Venue: O’Brien’s Pub (Allston, MA)

CreaturoS get the Freakfest started right and they are some loud motherfuckers, that’s  for sure. The kind of band where you may look deep into the eyes of the person standing next to you, who you have never met before, and say “CreaturoS bro, CreaturoS” and they will say “YESSS.”  Their brand of psych rock has some garage flavor, not in the sloppy sense, but plenty of grit like one’s hands after a hard day’s work. I honestly can’t think of too many comparisons here, but if you dig the headliners, The New Highway Hymnal (whom they have often shared a bill) I am sure you will also wet your pants when you hear theses guys, or you just have bladder control issues, I don’t know, I’m trying to help us all man!

Up next is the freaky deaky stylings of Virginia’s First Creature. In my short time on this planet, I have never come across First Creature, but there’s a first for everything as y’all know. Alas during their set, the crowd is sparse, but First Creature still does their thing and they do it quite well. Their knack for psych punk fits with the other bands on this bill and while I can’t say I got a complete taste of their potential, I am definitely intrigued. Check them out here:

The moments before Atlantic Thrills go on is like standing in line for a kickass roller coaster ride you’ve taken before, but one you never get tired of hopping on again and again. You know the ride is going to make you scream, possibly puke, and most importantly leave you with a frazzled mind, body, and soul. It’s been a good while, since we have taken the Atlantic Thrills ride (March I believe), so that certainly amplifies my excitement.

As usual, Glen and I are right up front bashing back and forth to the gut bustin’, beer chuggin’, slimy mess that is the Atlantic Thrills. Much like the Black Lips, the emphasis is placed upon pure fun and less about solos and other virtuoso garbage. That isn’t to say these dudes can’t play, they know their shit and they execute it well.

My attempts at encouraging others to come up and dance are futile at best, but the KLYAM crew makes the most out of it. We don’t give a fuck, so we continue to slam each other into the poles and on the floor and back again. At one point,  Glen even falls on to Dan Tanner’s equipment, making his guitar and vocals go out of tune for a few seconds. Most uptight bands would get their panties caught in an uproar over such shenanigans, but the Thrillz  realize that rock ‘n’ roll ain’t perfect. Their only concern comes from one  Kelly Riley (guitar/vocals): “just don’t knock over the whiskey.”

Atlantic Thrills are heading on tour later this week, check out the tour dates here:  and stay tuned for an upcoming single entitled “A Day At The Beach”  on Almost Ready Records on August 13.  The label will also be releasing the band’s full length LP this fall.

Speaking of tours, this evening’s Freak Fest serves as the tour kick off for Boston’s psych monsters, The New Highway Hymnal. The New Highway Hymnal are a trippy band to begin with, but it gets even trippier when you throw The Lysergic Factory Lightshow into the mayhem. LFL’s own Peter Colpack describes the music of NHH better than I can myself.  He asserts that it’s like getting trapped in a fucked up acid trip you can’t escape. I can testify that the light show he and his companion Dylan put on certainly reflect the psychedelic experience of a New Highway Hymnal show.

The trio plays most of my favorite songs including “Whispers,” the title track off of their debut LP – pick it up, it’s a doozy.  For some reason, this song stands out to me more than any other song tonight; I am really tripped out by Hadden Stemp’s  line “Can you help me find my voice?” I suppose that is the reason, duh. Indeed, it is an odd line and Hadden delivers it well, honing in his Jim Morrison esque vocals.

As the set closes, all hell breaks loose as it appears that The New Highway Hymnal are on a mission to destroy their instruments, themselves, and everything else in their path. Atlantic Thrills’ Eric Aguiar says this is his favorite part of the set, and I have to second this notion. The whole show is a lot of fun, they play out often in the Boston area and beyond, so go out and see these talented kids.

LISTEN: For fans of psychedelic, blues, rock ‘n’ roll, punk, noise pop, garage, yeahhh all that good stuff. Click it.

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