Review: Gymshorts, Grenades In The Archives, The Little Richards, Wet Dress @ Opus (6/12/14)

Bands: Gymshorts, Grenades In The Archives, The Little Richards, Wet Dress
Date: Monday, May 12, 2014
Venue: Opus (Salem, MA)
We don’t come out to Salem often for shows, even though it’s just a stone’s throw away from us. Luckily, tonight one of our new favorite bands Gymshorts from Providence, RI is playing at the Opus. When we first arrive at the Opus, it looks like we’ve found the wrong place. It’s a bougey, uppercrust bar, at least that’s how it is upstairs. As we make our way to the basement we discover a different setting. Iggy is on the house PA and there’s a band setting up to play.

Wet Dress – Wet Dress is that band setting up to play. Plan 9 From Outer Space is playing on a big screen behind them. I don’t know which to watch the band or the movie? Anyway, Wet Dress is a two piece featuring a dude (Chris) on vocals and guitar and a dudette (Sam) on vocals and drums.

I have never heard of them until now, but they definitely fit on this bill. All of the songs are very loud and very brief. It’s a mixture of classic punk, garage, and twee. Twee as fuck. They have this K Records element to them. I kind of like it and then it kind of turns me off at the same time, what can I say?  The sound is decent, but none of the songs stick out to me.

“Vs Verse”
“Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl”
“All Right”
“(I’m Not Your) Manic Pixie Dream Girl”
“Summer Break”
“Yr Mai Proct”?

The Little Richards – I saw these guys before at a show at O’Brien’s back in October with Atlantic Thrills. This set is pretty much the same as that one, except there’s a lot more people and they’re all over the Richards.

The Little Richards blitz through a series of speedy Ramones and pop punk inspired tunes. The crowd of fellow Northshorers eat it up, passinoately singing along to all of the songs.

I’m not overly into this style exactly (don’t get me wrong I LOVE the Ramones), but I can admire the band for putting on a good show and writing some decent songs. They always seem to be having fun and that’s all that matters.

 Grenades In The Archives – This is pretty sludgey. It’s deafening, almost unnecessarily so. If I’m losing my hearing I want to know it’s for a good reason. Lightning Bolt kicked the shit out of my eardrums, but it was all worth it. I can’t say the same in this instance.

More importantly, it just all sounds the same. Which could be said for The Little Richards, but at least with the Richards they have the songs to back up the style. I just can’t hear any songs here. I need catchy, distinct, impressionable songs. Listening to their bandcamp now, however, the songs come through a bit more. Still, not exactly up my alley.

Gymshorts – Hail thee almighty Gymshorts. These shorts never stop. They’re everywhere. They’re in Providence (their hometown), they’re in New York, they’re in Lowell, they’re in Boston, they’re standing right behind you ready to get HIGH and STONED 24/7 and 25/7 when it’s Daylight Savings. At least the time we gain an hour. When we lose an hour, aww shucks.

As always, Gymshorts plow through the room with a batch full of insane, fuzzed out gahridge phunk for the kids to rock and/or roll to. I’m not kidding on this one. One of these Salem witches rolls right across the floor during the shorts’ set.

This band always kicks ass and takes names, but sometimes the crowd can be too mellow and square. On this evening the crowd goes apeshit, but in an odd sort of way. There’s quasi moshing, all sorts of offbeat dancing. Is this some sort of ska shit? Haha, who cares as long as people are moving. There’s plenty of time to not move when you’re dead.

Ohh yeah and one gentleman even throws his shoes off, taking one of the band members’ requests quite literally. Whatever floats your boat. Salem always gives me the willies.


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