Review: Gymshorts, Roz & The Rice Cakes, Hex Map @ Fabrik (4/12/14)

Bands: Hex Map, Gymshorts, Roz & The Rice Cakes, Battle House
Date: Saturday, April 12, 2014
Venue: Fabrik (Boston, MA)

Where is this place? Lord only knows. After racing through the streets of Boston for a solid twenty minutes we finally find our destination, only to discover we have to scurry up what appears to be an eternal flight of stairs. At least we don’t have to lug up a bunch of gear hehehe poor souls. Upon reaching the final floor, there’s a series of enticing portraits and various art projects of some sort – you’re looking at the wrong guy when it comes to art art, if you got me. We scurry some more, see some heads, make our contribution/donation and open sesame, we’re here! This is not what I expected at all. I was picturing a shady looking, little art space. In my eyes, this place is gigantic and filled with people Glen and I have never met before. Brings me back to our early show attending daze.

Shortly thereafter, however, we are greeted by Justin and Roz Rice Cake of Roz & The Rice Cakes – a Providence based rock band we saw a little over a year ago with Atlantic Thrills and Ravi Shavi at the Firehouse 13, also in Providence. Speaking of Providence, a second later I bump into Sarah from Gymshorts and they fucking rock. Sarah clued me in to this place and you know as some scumbuckets say the rest is history. Both bands are playing this evening and I could just wet myself I’m that excited. Let’s go.

 Hex Map  – I am not a fan of this band. No beating around the bush. Sometimes people say that all we write here is praise and/or ass kissing. That’s not the case. I never hesitate to speak my mind, but the thing is it gets boring to rant and rave and be a know it all, especially when you don’t know it all, cause  no one does. So, I’d rather not waste any more space on bands that are not to my liking. I prefer to write about bands I love, because it’s way more fun.

Hex Map is the opposite of what I look for in bands. I want music to roll right through me, jostle me. Hex Map just drones and drags on for way too long.  Not sure if you call this prog or psych or whatever, but I can’t stand it. I’m not going to shit on them, for all I know they are fine people. For all I know you may like this music. Here it is:

Gymshorts – These shorts are getting a butt load of love on KLYAM these days or at least they will be. I’ve seen the band four times in three weeks. I think that’s a record for me, then again I bet Fat Creeps could rival that number.

Gymshorts are heavily invested in fuzzy, surfy garage spunk. On stage, they are a lively bunch, hopping around and all about, wailin’, shreddin’, screamin’, and poundin’ – giving the old Gymshorts pound. For all of their feisty delivery and menace, the Bostonian crowd is tame in their appreciation. The audience is split up – I don’t know if anyone knows each other, it’s kind of odd. This is an odd place. It’s up so damn high, the elevation is giving me the creeps.

A zick part of  the set is when Sarah Gymshorts darts into the crowd, nearly tackling me to the floor. She could probably kick my ass.

Roz & The Rice Cakes – We first saw these cakes at the Firehouse 13 for the Ravi Shavi album release show a little over a year ago. This was a special time in my life when I was in college and perpetually exhausted, in another world entirely. I remember them covering The Pixies’ “Gigantic.”

Tonight is their record release show. Need to Feed is 12 inches of wax and the band is very excited to be putting out their first ever piece of vinyl. Congrats! This performance sends me right back to my initial Rice Cakes experience. Hazy, ethereal, very dream like. Dream pop I suppose. Check it out here:


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