Review: Atlantic Thrills Album Release Show w/ Ravi Shavi, Gymshorts, Littlefoot @ Dusk (2/1/14)

Bands: Atlantic Thrills, Ravi Shavi, Gymshorts, Littlefoot
Date: Saturday, February 1, 2014
Venue: Dusk (Providence, RI)

“Hey, you’re the titties sucking guy!” Ahh, it’s that warmth I’ve come to know and love in Providence. Everyone seems to be so kind and friendly here. Glen, Paul, and I drove up from Wakefield, MA to come and celebrate an event we’ve been greatly looking forward to for years: Atlantic Thrills debut album release. Not to mention, another visit to Caserta Pizza to devour a full course of their mouthwatering cheese pizza. We don’t venture out to Providence very often, but when we do it’s always a blast and usually consists of  a wild, debauched party featuring the music of Atlantic Thrills and fellow Providence, revolutionary rockers Ravi Shavi. Additionally, two more excellent Providence rock bands fill out the bill with Gymshorts  – a group we’ve been seriously digging as of late and Littlefoot, whom make their KLYAM debut tonight.

Yes sir, Mr. DJ Studs Jerkel, thank you for reminding me of a fond memory from the canon of KLYAM attended punk slime shows. Last time we stepped foot in this city was indeed a wild, debauched, titties sucking hootenanny accompanied by the rampant music of the Thrillz and Ravi on a lovely, lush, and unforgettable Summer night. Summer ends. Work sucks. School sucks. Most vividly, New England weather sucks. I’m freezing my nips off in the cold, so I look to Dusk to seek out that warmth I’ve come to know and love here in Providence.

This is our first time here at Dusk, although I have heard the name pop up  on a number of occasions in local listings and just general conversation over the years. I know it’s one of the hot spots  for local music in Providence and one of the times KLYAM Records’ own Fat Creeps played in Providence they played here. Needless to say, I’m curious. It’s a cool spot with a big bar area and a fair amount of space for the audience to stand and see the bands, and hopefully much more rambunctious activity.

Littlefoot –  The evening begins with Littlefoot and of all the bands they are the most serene and surreal. The music is very mellow and gentle. It places me in a ethereal state of mind. The music warms everyone up for the rest of the bands, which are all more of the heavy, garage variety. That isn’t to say that Littlefoot doesn’t have any rock to them. They are very dream pop  and there’s  elements of early rock ‘n’ roll. They remind me of Dum Dum Girls, Polaroids, and The Smashing Pumpkins at their softest. My favorite tune is set closer “Worry Doll,” which makes me think of headliner Atlantic Thrills’ “Foreign Lands.” It just has that classic 50s, early 60s slow chord progression to it. Makes me want to  lay back on the grass and stare off into the stars.

“Backwards Lullaby”
“Night of the Living Dread”?
“Fever Dream”
“Head in the Clouds”
“Maps and Hands”
“Worry Doll”

Gymshorts – Here’s a band we’ve been getting into a lot recently. I wish they were from Boston, so we could see them on the reg, but you do what you can. We saw them on a sick bill in December with Nice Guys and The TeleVibes at the  Middle East ZuZu. This set is similar to that one and the band is pretty dirty and heavy. It’s the muddier, less attractive version of garage rock. It’s not cheery bubblegum, that’s for sure.

About half way through the set one of the guitarists condemns the crowd of stiffs, “Did you guys all come out here just to stand around.” Well, that set the fireworks off, and the stiffs start to loosen up and slamdance like they oughta. I’m pretty much out of it by this point, if you want to know the truth. In a split second, I’m flung from one side of the room to the next, barely able to stand. And I do the same to other patrons, you know how these things go.

“Hey Mom, Hey Dad” is my favorite from the night. Lead vocalist/guitarist Sarah’s vocals are delivered in ferocious, devilish yalps that bring to mind Kim Gordon, except Gymshorts are much more fun.

Another highlight includes “Bed (Stuy).” It’s hilarious when everyone is moshing and the band is going like 90 mph then SLAMS on the breaks and stops playing for a moment and everyone stops moshing. Then they start playing again and the moshing starts up again, and it’s just start, stop, start, stop. It’s really hilarious. Like they are dictators and we are all robots. I could live under a Gymshorts dictatorship.

Ravi Shavi – The mighty Ravi Shavi, my second favorite Providence band (Thrillz are number one). I haven’t seen these fellas as much as the Thrillz, but I have seen them several times in Providence and I’m more than excited to add another exhilarating Ravi Shavi show to the books.

As the band prepares to launch into their set, I overhear two gentlemen behind me discussing the American Revolution. The roar of inebriation washes over me and I clutch both their hands, proclaiming “let’s start the next revolution tonight!” With that I jump back and forth, bashing into them among other peers, the music kicks off and from then on it’s a non-stop frenzy.

Ravi Shavi is quite different from the first two bands on the bill; not as delicate as Littlefoot, but not as ravenous as Gymshorts. Their brand of soulful, vibrant power pop allows you to dance to them in both conventional and unconventional manners, I prefer the lather. Either way, it’s going to be sweaty.

The best part of Ravi is the build up to the final song “Accidental.” The crowd knows their Ravi Shavi well and all together there is a slow hum – “OHHHHHHHH” it’s like a fucked up, primal, tribal orgasm. At first, I’m like huh? But,  I notice the band reacting to this and I realize it is in fact the beginning of my favorite Ravi Shavi song, so I join in the lunacy. It’s the band’s strongest/highest point, the pinnacle, the best way to close a stellar set. Listen to Ravi Shavi here and better yet go seem them live!

Atlantic Thrills – “This is three years in the making.” Glen says this to me as the foursome are setting up to play. Atlantic Thrills have been kicking it for 3+ years and the first KLYAM attended show was nearly three years ago, so this show and specifically this album has been a long anticipation for us, and one that’s been worth the ride. The songs on the band’s self-titled debut, with a couple of exceptions, have not been available anywhere else. If you wanted to hear “Light Shines” or “Drugs In It” then you had to get off your lazy ass and go out and see the band in the flesh. This is what separates them from most other contemporary groups and definitely makes the release of this album that much more substantial. Speaking of which, tonight the band plays the new record in its entirety.

Before we even hear the first few chords of “Problems,” drunken pandemonium shifts into first gear. Silly string and beer cans fly across the room as a hurricane of eager bodies and a poor, stuffed unicorn mascot swing to and fro. Eric, Dan (wearing a mighty fine sombrero may I add), Kelly, and Josh do what they do best, blasting through a set filled with hit after hit. Glen and I hop on and off the little stage from time to time to sing along to the various garage fueled, doo wop drenched anthems we know by heart. Whether it’s the “ohhhhhhhh oh oh oh ohhhhhhh” in “Boozin’ All Night” or the ” Lie lie lie lie lie lie won’t you lie lie to me” in “Lie to Me,” we never miss a beat.

This set also marks the debut performance of “Blind Lead the Blind,” a politically tinged sermon of sorts. Still, most of my joy stems from hearing and singing along, and hysterically dancing my white ass off to all the classics. I am certainly not alone in this fanaticism, as I look around and see naked fans, crowd surfing, and a demolished brontosaurus unicorn.

I haven’t mentioned this yet, but originally this show was set to be an underground party, but some pesky porkers stepped in and nearly ruined everything for everyone. Fortunately, the party was moved to Dusk. Initially, I was still pumped for the show, but thinking damn, that underground party would have been really sick. Honestly, by the end of this show I could care less. This is not only the best/most chaotic Atlantic Thrills show I have seen, but one of the gnarliest shows EVER!  At least as far as we’re concerned.

I walk outside the Dusk to a cool breeze, still just wearing my Fat Creeps shirt, almost forgetting my jacket and the fact that it is probably 20/30 degrees or less outside. With my clothes soaked in beer, my body jostled and mangled up, I  stare at my newly purchased Atlantic Thrills record (yeah, get that shit from Almost Ready Records!) looking down at each song and thinking about how rare a show like this comes through, and how awesome it is to hear all of these nuggets in one setting. I can’t wait to listen to this animal when I get home. Of course, if I can I still stand up straight.

So, you made it through this long winded and, if I say so myself, amusing review. Good for you. Thanks. More importantly, do in fact check out all the bands up to and including Atlantic Thrills. If you are a Boston peep go see them Saturday, February 15th @ Tasty Burger (Cambridge).
And for the rest of you, the Thrillz are heading out on a 33 day tour in support of their debut album. GO!:

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