Review: Scorched Ear 2 @ Cambridge Elks (7/17/15)

Written By Joanna Trachtenberg

Stopples were mandatory tonight. Opening the mini fest was Negative One, a band containing Mr. Boston Hassle himself Sam Potrykus. They were led by former Weirdo Records owner and fiery front woman Angela Sawyer who before starting the first song armed herself with a sharpie and was marking members of the crowd. This continued throughout the 10 minute or so long set. Their songs were short maybe one song was over a minute long. They were quite tight for a band that has only been together for a few months. A few of their songs were about fingers.

Next were Vehement Caress. He was one guy and a whole lotta equipment including synths, Tone imodulators, cables, buttons and switches. He created a lot dirty drone complete with screams, beeps, buzzes and other little aural knickknacks. He ended with a church educated on deliverance and the power of the devil. It was now time for Worcester’s own Eaten.

They kept the death grind alive with songs that I can only assume we’re about butterflies, fairies and rainbows (or maybe not) I wasn’t sure because I couldn’t make out the words. I guess I’d say they reminded me of bands like Napalm Death and Cannibal Corpse but with a teence bit more hardcore punk.

Mayor Daley were next to scorch your delicate ears. They started with a white flashing warning light placed right under the drum kit. They weren’t quite as in your face as the three previous bands. They did have the heavy riffs going but they were the first band to not have a screaming lead vocalist. Her voice was hypnotic, almost tribal at times. I liked that. It certainly fit their music well. They came all the way from Chicago to rawk. I hope they come back.

Next was the bubblegum pop of Demon Brother. Oops did I say bubblegum pop? What I meant to say was powerviolence. I didn’t see any mosh pits at all throughout the night. I guess that the Elks Lodge doesn’t allow them or the crowd was too scared and intimidated by the crushing noise to move much. Like Vehement Caress they also had weird talking at the end of one of their songs. I couldn’t really understand what it was saying. If there was ever a tv show or movie of Buffy the Demon Slayer, these guys would probably kill Buffy in the first episode.

Closing up shop was Sissy Spacek the only grindcore band fronted by a famous actress. The whole place just filled with white hot noise. I think I heard a few guttural screams through the sonic wall. Them and Demon Brother were probably the most brutal bands of the night.

Show Review: Tijuana Panthers & The Garden @ Great Scott (1/6/15)

Photo By Supra Footwear

Review by Joanna Trachtenberg

Ok everyone! First show of the year and it was a good one. Tijuana Panthers & The Garden were bringing some west coast love northeastward for a short joint tour. Opening up were local boys The Pits. The Pits consist of a couple of Idiot Genes and a Dirtnap or two. As I would have thought they played loud fast punk rock similar to their other bands. I even saw the other Idiot Genes in the crowd cheering them on. Not it was time for the So Cal boys to provide some heat on a very very cold winter’s night. I had seen The Garden a few months earlier supporting The Growlers. The Garden do not play any actual guitars on stage. The guitar they use is a bass for those deep throbbing riffs. You can call it Vada Vada because that’s what The Garden wants you to call it. I call it fun music to bounce to. They have this cool androgynous style to them. To be honest the first time I saw them I wasn’t sure that they were both male. They started with a block of fast punk thumpers. Then midway into their set I saw Wyatt put down his bass and Fletcher get up from his drum throne. You know what time it is! RAP BREAK! The beats were turned on and the Shears Bros started jumping and flailing around the stage as they delivered their sick rhymes. At one point one of them tried hanging from the pipes. Okay now it was back to rawking which they did with a bunch more loud fast thumpers. Here’s their setlist (or at least what it said on their setlist. I don’t know for sure if they played all these songs.)

Express/27
Cells Stay Clean
Crystal Clear
Slice Em’
I’ll Stop By Tomorrow Night
Rainbow
*rap break*
Hologram
Jester’s Game
Everything Has A Face
I Want That Nose
Cloak
*end rap break*
Vexation
We Don’t Need Em’
New Song
Surprise
I’ll Be Right Here
Woman
This Can Build Us a Home
What We Are
You’re Down
Apple/Vada Vada
Grass

It was now the Tijuana Panthers’ turn to power up. TP did a great job at power punking. They remind me a lot of fellow garage poppers The Soft Pack & Jacuzzi Boys. I’d say that they are more garagey than The Garden and more about the straight forward rock. Not rap breaks from them. They played songs from their latest album such as Sooner or Later & Cherry Street. The best part was when they played “Fired” because I requested it before the show. They even thanked me for the request and gave me a shout out. At the end they did a two song encore (their first one on the tour as they said) It included an older track “Crew Cut” from back when they sported crew cuts. Their last song was a cover of The Buzzcocks’ Everybody’s Happy Nowadays. They covered it well. These guys are just genuine down to earth rock n rollers and that’s what I love about them.

Show Review: Creaturos, Black Beach, The Fagettes, Magic Shoppe @ Middle East Upstairs (12/11/14)

Review by Joanna Trachtenberg

I guess you could call this Fuzzmas. Illegally Blind mastermind Jason Trefts did it again. 4 of the best bands who all played Fuzzstival in August come together once more for one magical night. First it was Magic Shoppe‘s turn to cast their spell on the awaiting audience. This was their first time ever playing with 4 guitarists. So of course they were louder than usual. I could barely hear the vocals with all of the guitar noise. I don’t necessarily mind that though because I feel like I’m surrounded by both a wave and a wall of psychedelic fury. They played most of their hits. Sadly they ran out of time before they got to Midnight In The Garden Of Evil.

Set-List:
No Place To Go
Dead Poplar
Trip Inside This House
Burn Right Through
Shangri-La In Reverse
All The Way
Haunted HollywoodHere come 1/2 of the Nice Guys to take the stage with Ryan, Melanie, Peachy & the rest of The Fagettes. I am a big fan of their retro inspired fuzzpop. I love their energy live. I noticed that they added a few newer songs to their mix. The swagger came to a climax with the last song about feelin’ good. Ryan and Mel were bouncing around the stage. Throughout the whole show the light shows were going off. Major props to Video Joe and Wax House AV on the amazing visuals. This was one of the best light show performances I have ever seen. I love the combination of the digital projections with the liquid light show.

Set-List:
Jake
National Geographic
Luv
Bad Catholics
Sleep Talk
Street Queens In Heat
On Drugs
WTA
I Wanna Feel Good

Black Beach got everyone wild. This was not only Fuzzmas but also Black Beach’s record release show for their new EP Play Loud, Die. They did a few stompers from that album. There was a major pit in the middle of the Middle East during their whole set. I think I got punched in the jaw. Even worse though at one point one of the light show projectors got smashed by someone getting powerslammed towards the stage. There was a reason why this was all going down BLACK BEACH ROCKED MAJOR COCKS! They are just loud dirty rock n roll which there needs to be a lot more of.

Set-List:
Rats
Ego Death Ritual
In Circles
Born To Lose
You’re A Ghost
Untitled new song
Kreep
Youth Is Out There

Psych rock heavyweights and Boston Music Awards nominees CreaturoS closed the night. (I know all good things must come to an end). They showered everyone with psychedelic bliss sending everyone home happy. They put on a helluva fun show every time and tonight was no exception. I think I had more fun than usual tonight. I’m hoping for more nights filled with this scuzzy goodness.

Set-List:
James Days’ Milkshake
Last Summers’ #1 Hit Single
Hand In My Pocket
Sunrise Wedding
Weird Queen
Going Out In Style
The Mole
The Master’s Dope
Ruff Puff

Review: Burger Caravan of Stars @ Brighton Music Hall (10/29/14)

Review by Joanna Trachtenberg

OK folks it was now time for round 2 of the Burger Records Caravan of Stars. The first round happened last year when The Growlers, Gap Dream, Pangea and a few other megastars did the tour. Tonight Pangea were returning this time as HEADLINERS! Pangea have finally hit the big time. They have toured the world. They have a record deal with a label which may or may not be major. Ok enough about them now. We’ll get to them later.

Starting the show were Puerto Rican punx AJ Davila y Terror Amor. I was sorta familiar with their stuff because I knew of AJ Davila from his other band Davila 666 who I saw a few years ago. They brought the energy. Too bad there wasn’t a bigger crowd to see them. I’d say that Mozes and The Firstborn were probably the most psych band of the night. I saw them back in February opening for, you guessed it, Pangea and they were really good then. They were fine now as well. There were times however that I couldn’t hear the vocal as well as I hoped but I never blame the band for that. Now it was time for Cherry Glazerr to make their Boston debut. I had been looking forward to seeing them for a while now. They were the first band to bring a real crowd. Their songs are lofi fuzz-pop about things such as cats, grilled cheese and other sweet topics.

The Coathangers were now up to rip shit up. Playing mostly tracks from their 2 most recent releases they banged hard through their set. There were times when band members switched instruments and everyone got in on the singing and shouting. After their set I was chatting with some of the members. I found out that one of the girls in The Coathangers was the sister of one of the members of The Hiss who were one of the more underrated garage punk bands of the 2000’s. Pangea played all their hits to finish the show. They played what I would expect to hear from them including Badillac, Sick Shit, Offer, Too Drunk to Cum and River. At the end I bought another Burger button and I can officially say that I am a Burger Bitch!

Review: Meatbodies, Purling Hiss, Krill @ Great Scott (10/28/14)

Meabodies

Written by Joanna Trachtenberg

I just saw the band that probably had one of my most anticipated albums of the year, The Meatbodies. I knew their frontman Chad from his work with Ty Segall, Fuzz, Mikal Cronan and Pangea. This was their first full tour to the northeast. They were joined by hard hitters Purling Hiss and local rockers Krill.

Krill was up first. I had never seen Krill before but I knew friends that were fans of theirs so I had a feeling that they’d be good. Krill sound like a cross between the Lo-fi indie bands of the 90’s & early 00’s ( i.e. Pavement, Modest Mouse, etc) and 90’s emo. This was back when emo was actually good, not like the dumb emo kids you have today. I liked them and they appear to have quite the following around here. It seemed more crowded when they were playing than when the headliners took the stage.

Purling Hiss muddled this show. From what I’d heard of them prior to seeing them they reminded me of early grunge and Lo-fi punk mixed together. Their new album which they played most of their set from is probably their most mainstream accessible album to date. Live they sounded like a louder, dirtier version of Dr. Dog (whom they have toured with before). No one in the crowd seemed more excited to see them than Sam from Boston Hassle who has booked them before for Hassle shows.

Meatbodies – Now it was Chad and his boys from So Cal’s time to shine. They rocked out just about all the songs from their self titled debut album. One song that they didn’t play was The Master which is probably my favorite song on the album. About midway through the set they had technical difficulties where Chad had to borrow one of the opening band’s guitars. He also had to disconnect one of his pedals because it was not functioning properly and making some awful static. Towards the end of their set they did a cover of The Stooges’ Search and Destroy. They said they were practicing it for an upcoming Halloween cover show. This was the second time this year that I have seen a band cover that particular song. Back in June I saw Kenny Wayne Shepherd and his band cover that same song. It was nice to see him show more of a punk side. Back to The Meatbodies now. Their 45 or so minute set of punk slime certainly pleased me and made me want to see them again which I did two days later when they created a shit storm with Diarrhea Planet.

Review: JEFF The Brotherhood, Diarrhea Planet, The Monsieurs @ The Sinclair (10/17/14)

JEFF
Flier by Alina Sabirianova

Written by Joanna Trachtenberg

I knew from off the bat that this show was gonna be wicked. Megashredders JEFF the Brotherhood and Megarippers Diarrhea Planet. Opening were the local power trio The Monsieurs. Their brand of trashy lofi garage punk excited the crowd. Their singer, Andy MacBain had quite the swag as well. They just put out a new album and for sure it will win them a Grammy in 2015. They have a lot more shows around the area so czech them out!

Next up was the band that I will affectionately refer to as the Shittiest Band In America. Yes that’s right it is Diarrhea Planet! This was my first time seeing them which I am kind of surprised because they have come around quite a few times. They have 4 different guitarists riffing it at once. This also makes them super loud. Their stage moves rival Andy MacBain’s for best of the night. During one song their had their friend, photographer Pooneh Ghana play with them on stage and they showed her all the moves. They ended their set by taking us all back to the summer of 1997 by covering Third Eye Blind’s Semi Charmed Life. I must say they totally killed it with their violent diarrhea.

Diarrhea Planet Set List:
Raft Nasty
The Sound of My Ceiling Fan
Separations
Ghost With A Boner
Orange Girls
Lite Dream
Kids
Semi-Charmed Life

DP LIVE VID!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4apmBwWXkA

JEFF the Brotherhood aren’t their normal selves any more. They are no longer a duo (or at least live they no longer are.) They are a four piece band now and they played the whole show as a four piece. Last time I saw them they played half the show as a duo and the other half as a four piece. I miss the simplicity of them just being a duo. I just felt it worked better for them. They still sounded quite tight though. They did a number of my favorite songs of theirs such as Melting Place, Heavy Krishna & U Got the Look. They even threw in a few covers of Beck’s Totally Confused (which appears on their new covers ep Digs the Classics) and Rush’s Working Man (which does not) As always JTB get a great crowd in Boston. For their last song, the aforementioned Rush cover they brought out The Wizard. The Wizard sang as JEFF played. For some reason I knew it was going to be a magical night from the beginning and this just topped it off. Afterwards I shot the shit with a few members of Diarrhea Planet and they told me how they recently got high with Rikky from White Fang/The Memories

JEFF The Brotherhood Set List:
Voyage
Mellow Out
Melting Place
Heavy Krishna
U Got the Look
Black Cherry Ale
Totally Confused
Bummer
Staring at the Wall
Hey Friend
Sixpack
What’s A Creep
The Ripper
Working Man

Show Review: Bass Drum of Death, The People’s Temple, Black Beach @ Middle East Upstairs (10/6/14)

By Joanna Trachtenberg

This was the Illegally Blind show I have been waiting for for quite a while. That’s right: 2 Time Super Bowl Champions The Mighty Bass Drum of Death are back in town! For those of you who don’t know. Illegally Blind is Jason Trefts’s booking company.

I saw the opening band Black Beach only about a week earlier blow the roof off of Thieves Grotto. They were probably my favorite band at that party so I was looking forward to seeing them again. They were the perfect local band to open this show. They played pretty much the same set as a week ago but they sounded and looked even better with the lights and projections around the stage. They rip hard and are a force to be reckoned with. John from Bass Drum of Death even commented that they are the best opener he has seen so far on their tour. Big props to Jason for adding them to the bill.

After a brief break Michigan psych 5 piece The People’s Temple came on. This was my first time seeing them. I have heard their recordings and I think that they rock much harder live than on those recordings. For some reason I thought they were going to be more laid back. I guess to keep up with Bass Drum of Death you really gotta rip it. Their singer reminded me a little of Hadden from The New Highway Hymnal. They impressed me.

Now it was time for 2 Time Super Bowl Champions The Mighty Bass Drum of Death to rip everyone a new asshole. The crowd started jostling as soon as John Barrett strummed the opening riff of Velvet Itch. As the heavy hitting jams continued, the crowd just got more wild. The band members long hair went flying around the stage nonstop as they played. Bass Drum of Death just put out a rippin’ new album appropriately titled RIP THIS! So obviously they featured a number of songs from it. They also did a number of my favorite older songs of their such as I Wanna Be Forgotten, Nerve Jamming & Get Found. For some songs there were girls that jumped onstage and danced. Just watch the video of Crawling After You. For their encore they did GB City track Religious Girls and a cover of Spirit In The Sky which at first I wondered if it was BRMC’s Spread Your Love because those songs have similar chord progressions. After the show I got to chill with the guys. They are some of the most awesome nice guys ever. Finally it was time for me to go home and let my bruises heal. This was not the first time I was bruised at a BDOD show.