Review: Guerilla Toss, SARALEE, Giving Up, Bad History Month @ JP Drive-In

Date: October 26, 2013

Bad History Month: Bad History Month is solo Sean History Month, singer and guitarist of Fat History Month, who you all know as Boston’s dearest underground band. The crowds descend downstairs, greeted by the warm presence of Sean, his guitar, amp, and bass drum. The bass drum seems to be something of a new addition for Sean as he has anointed us the crowd a focus group for his percussion aided performance. Sean’s gentle playing is a beautiful thing, full of depth and intensity. The liberating, calming sound that is a History Month set is so distinguishing, so relaxing. I kept thinking to myself, what a pleasure to be in a basement right now listening to this set. The only tune that I recognize is “Fucking Despair” from the same-name-can’t-recommend-enough album so don’t count me in as an expert of the nitty gritty for tonight’s set. Which might not be a bad thing – the mood generated was most notable and left us feeling better than we did thirty minutes prior.

SARALEE: I won’t speak for Chris, but I think he’ll agree with me here – Saralee is a band we hold near and dear. We first saw Sara [vocal/guitar] and Lee [drums] perform as Saralee back on May 26, 2011, opening for Peach Kelli Pop at the Problem House in Allston. That was our first Boston basement show. From that point forward – roughly – our eyes were opened to the magic of the local scene. Seeing Saralee in a grimy basement is all I know of seeing Saralee first hand. So when they took to the non-stage last night, I was brought to a rather familiar place. A cozy place. The tunes of Saralee are like small pieces of nostalgia, a soundtrack to things that might have occurred in childhood or yesterday or in the future. They are uplifting songs, at least to my hears. The only comparison I can really come up with is early OCs – if in light tone and playful minimalism. They played a dozen or so jams, most topping out at around a couple of minutes. There was a time during the winter months of both 2012 and 2013 that I spent hours for several consecutive days listening to Saralee’s DEMO at work. You’d think I would get sick of it, but it just put me in high spirits…continuously. That was the case with SARALEE tonight. I loved every minute of it, Lee’s artistic drumming synced with Sara’s ultra reverby delivery. This is a band that has won hearts across the nation in a tour culminating in this very basement. I’m sure of it. Their self-titled LP just released on 12″ hand-screened vinyl is stunning. Listen there and pick up a copy or pick up the copy and smile wide! It’ll be a favorite.

Giving Up: One of the most unfortunate things that can happen for a big fan of live music is showing up late and paying the consequences of being squished in the back. This is most trying in close quarters. So there we go, I don’t think I ever got a solid view of Giving Up, but thank God for my ears. I heard ’em! I dug what I heard, bizarre folk sorta like Page France but noisy, more demented. Catchy! A perfect complement to Saralee being all hazily distinct and stuff. Memory music. Also, I’ve been informed that Lee was on drums. Nice Lee. Check these Midwesterners out: http://givingup.bandcamp.com/ !

Guerilla TossG-Toss can just about do anything they damn want and like most things so very irresistible, crowds will follow! Every show I’ve seen Guerilla Toss play has been push and shove, so beware people who like to take things easy. There’s not another Guerilla Toss in the world – Cassie, Peter, Simon, Ian, and Arian – make/display some of the craziest stuff I’ve ever heard/seen. Punk rock stripped to its most feral motions, radically spun with noise, glitches, consistent freak outs. It’s a very held together thing though. I’m always amused just by being witness to what is going on and the domineering clutching fist enveloping the crowd, making them suspects of a short duration assault. YA i’m down for this! http://guerillatoss.bandcamp.com/

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