Review: Fat Creeps, Bleeding Rainbow, Bent Shapes (2/26/14)

Written By: Joanna Trachtenberg

This past week I went to see some bands in a basement. The show was originally going to be at a burger place but they were having problems with the venue and moved the show. Hunters, who were supposed to play, cancelled the tour because their singer got injured. Bent Shapes replaced them and opened the show. I once saw Bent Shapes a few years ago when they were called Girlfriends. Their sound hasn’t really changed much. They play jangly power-pop punk that was good. Bleeding Rainbow, who I thought were gonna headline, played 2nd. They really made a lot of noise in that tiny basement. One thing I like when bands play in venues like this is that their sound doesn’t reverberate all over the place. It just stays there so you can just stand there and feel enveloped in the sound. I was hoping that Bleeding Rainbow would have played a few more songs. Local girls the Fat Creeps along with Travis Hagan of The New Highway Hymnal on drums closed the show. They are readying their debut album for the Gnarly dudes of Gnar Tapes. This is such an honor for them to be hooked up with those guys. Their early releases were put out by my friends at KLYAM. They played their nice brand of psych slacker punk. Fat Creeps are gonna be huge very soon. I just know it.

Bleeding Rainbow’s Set-List
White Noise
Tell Me
Time & Place
Pink Ruff
So You Know’
Start Again
Images
Get Lost

My Top Ten LPs of Twenty-Thirteen

I know I’m a little late on this and I already ran my mouth off in my last post regarding my top shows of 2013, so I’ll do my best to keep this one short and sweet. Here we go…


10) Dylan Ewen & The Southern Gospel Gangbusters – Country Fried, Southern Pride (BUFU Records) – Gangbusters? More like Gangbangers! I really got into a lot of Dylan Ewen this year in his various projects and out of all of them this was my favorite. For my money, this has Dylan’s rawest, most in your face lyrics with a nasty, bad ass gangsta edge that puts him up there with Cube, Dre, and Mr. Big. So wild.  AND it’s all set to a full backing band (drums, guitar, bass, viola, banjo, mandalin, harmonica, you name it) busting out southern gospel, bluegrass, and country. I had the pleasure of catching the band live in the heart of JP last month and I errr uhh nearly wet myself. TOP SONG: “500 Days of Bummer”
http://dylanewen.bandcamp.com/album/country-fried-southern-pride


9) Bent Shapes – Feels Weird (Father/Daughter Records) – I just received this record as a Christmas gift and I’m loving it. As a long time fan of Bent Shapes/Girlfirends this is a terrific mix of classics and some solid new jams. Every track is strong. On one hand, it feels like a greatest hits compilation and then on the other it comes across as a completely new entity. It works both ways. TOP SONG: : “I Was Here, But I Disappear”


8) Shannon And The Clams – Dreams In The Rat House (Hardly Art) – Shannon and The Clams  is a big favorite of mine, so this album was a serious treat this year. This one falls in line with all of their previous work: rock ‘n’ roll at its purest. 50’s doo wop, garage rock, Ramones styled punk rock, and some of the best voices you will ever hear. It may not be the most original music, but it’s rock ‘n’ roll. This is the plateau, this is the ideal, this is the benchmark. TOP SONG: “If I Could Count”
idiot genes pic
7) Idiot Genes – S/T (Self-Released) – The third (but not final!) Boston band on this list, Idiot Genes are one of the most recent bands I have listened to in 2013. I first caught them at a show at O’Brien’s Pub last August and I was enamored with their oddball sense of humor and surly, apathetic punk attitude. Subsequently, I hopped on their bandcamp and I was blown away by what I heard. I related to the band’s sloppy, lethargic, wasted narrative. The feeling of being fucked and fagged and shagged. I was frustrated and hearing the Idiot Genes reminded me why I hold rock ‘n’ roll so near and dear to me in the first place. It is my elixir, the temporary cure to all of life’s problems. They are almost like a different kind of party band, an after party band, a hangover band. This all sounds like one miserable hangover, and by miserable I mean extraordinary. Makes me want to drink too much and then regret some of it the next day, especially when the hangover doesn’t go away by 5 /6 PM like it usually does, so then you just drink more, until the next day after that when you’re even more hungover AND still a little drunk. So, what do you do? you crack open a beer and drink some more and then you listen to Idiot Genes, one of my new favorite rock ‘n’ roll elixirs for that temporary cure. Drunk Consistently. Listen here and join me in a nightcap. Cheers. TOP SONG: “The Charles Mansion” http://stupidpants.bandcamp.com/album/idiot-genes


6) Colleen Green – Sock It To Me (Hardly Art) – Sock it to me? Ok. Ms. Green is one cool cucumber with all her Richard Nixon and True Romance references on her latest album Sock  It To Me. Much like Shannon and the Clams, with this album Colleen maintains the same rock ‘n’ roll flavor she’s always had, it’s just stronger than ever. Just a great example of how pop music doesn’t have to be a big mass machine product, instead it can be as simple as a guitar, a drum machine, and passionate vocals. TOP SONG: “Number One” (The Queers cover)

The Monsieurs 2
5) The Monsieurs – Rock The Night (Self-Released) – Damn son, this past October I had the enormous fortune of cumming across my legs when I came across The Monsieurs at the Brighton Music Y’all opening up for the holy King Khan & The Shrines. I’ve heard plenty of great garage spunk this year, but this new release from The Monsieurs was/is a real dessert, a dish best served cold. A cold, sudden punch right in the nads that is. Seriously though, these dudettes and dude really fucking rock and pack in the punches. This band has all the bells and whistles and bubblegum and grit that you and your buddies get off on every time you listen to Hunx  and Nobunny and hopefully Fagettes at home on your dad’s worn out stereo, BUTT Monsieurs turn it up to 11. From the first few seconds of “Shadow” to the last gasping breaths of “At the Hop,” this record is garage pop on steroids. Lead singer Andy Macbain is a beast, a force to be reckoned with, and his vocals are out of control, off the wall. It’s all sludgey and thuddy and LOUD. If you like rock ‘n’ roll with a rambunctious ummphhh up your ass then here ya go – yet, it’s still as sweet as a little old lady taking 20 hours to cross the street with her little old cane? So sweet it helps that sludge go down smoother… I see big things for The Monsiuers in Twenty Fourteen. In 2014, let their album Rock the Night become your musical lubricant! TOP SONG: “Kari Ann” http://themonsieurs.bandcamp.com/album/rock-the-night-8-song-digital-album


4) King Khan & The Shrines – Idle No More (Merge) – It’s always a great year whenever one of our Honorary KLYAMERS releases an album and King Khan is among our top OG’s. You could say he helped make us who we are today to paraphrase a line in the tune “So Wild,” a song dedicated to the late, great Jay Reatard. RIP Jay forever and ever.  For once your wild spirit may rest in peace… the chaos of the world so foreign, yet so familiar, you feel this tone on King Khan & The Shrines’ Idle No More, their first album since 2007. It’s a very personal album, the most mature to date. Highly spiritual as ever, yet it still maintains that fantastic Khan spirit of ubiquitous joy. Love. And coming back to the KLYAM, that’s one thing I love about rock ‘n’ roll (as we see it),  all the bands we rep, and this record. No matter how torturous the world can be, there’s still a light. Khan and his crew take the misery, the darkness, and they turn it on its ugly head, ultimately receiving a boisterous, fun filled album as ever been conceived by the Shrines.  TOP SONG: “Bite My Tongue”


3) Nobunny – Secret Songs (Goner) –  Nobunny continues the trend on this list of artists releasing albums that preserve their raw, rock ‘n’ roll character and yet augment their craft at the same time.  Secrets Songs is stacked with smash hit after smash hit haha; every tune is a blast, no filler. Love Visions will probably always be my favorite, but I have to send my accolades to Mr. Bunny here. This LP has the most variety ever on a Nobunny record lyrically, musically, and aesthetically. There’s several fast poppers, screeching hardcore punks odes, and a batch of soft gentle numbers for the ladies and in particular for the Birthday Girl. NO NO 4 LYFE! TOP SONG:  This is a toughie, but for now I’m going to go with “Bye Bye Roxie”


2) Peach Kelli Pop – Peach Kelli Pop II (Burger) – I know this came out in 2012, but I heard it in its entirety in 2013 and I loved it so damn much that I just couldn’t leave it off the list! This is one of the greatest pop records I have ever heard. Like I said earlier regarding Colleen Green, pop music  doesn’t have to be mass produced and this certainly applies here. I was in love with PKP’s first album and I didn’t think it could be topped at the time. What was I thinking?! As awesome as her debut is, it doesn’t have anything on its sequel. Holy shit, this thing is incredible. PKP II is like Terminator 2, if it was a movie. A full blast of immediate, catchy pop songs from start to finish is what we have here. Peach Kelli Pop – Allie Hanlon channels bubblegum, garage, and 60’s Girl Groups in all of these short, but ever so sweet songs. It’s like injecting yourself with bubblegum pop music and feeling that instantaneous sugary high! This record always puts me in the best mood. Cheers. TOP SONG: “Red Leather”http://peachkellipop.bandcamp.com/

And the weiner is…


1) Hunx and His Punx – Street Punk (Hardly Art) – I know, I know I’m a Hardly Art whore. Haha, that should be a marketing trend. Labels should pick up on this. I can picture it now “I’m a Burger Whore!” or “Be a Burger Whore!” Shirts, pins, posters, let’s do it! I say this all with love. Anywhooo, since the dawn of KLYAM five years ago, Hunx and His Punx is one of the only, if only (possibly?) band that has consistently put out new, exceptional releases each year. With this album, Hunx and his cronies have snarled their way into the bowels of the rock ‘n’ roll/garage/punk landscape. I just adore and admire the way the band mixes up early hardcore punk (Germs, Misfits, Black Flag) with their classic garage rock style. Half of me says it’s an affectionate satire and the other says this is the real deal, this is the music itself. It feels like Circle Jerks or whoever comes to mind. When Hunx says he wants to beat you with a baseball bat, his screams are terrific and serve as a true homage to the aforementioned punk legends, but let’s not forget he’s saying this all because of his BAD SKIN! That’s part of the fun. I’m glad someone finally made (I could be wrong here and I very well may be missing out on loads of great, similarly styled albums) a piece of work that connects the dots in these various styles of pure rock ‘n’ roll music, which is not very pure to begin with. It’s so satisfying. I’ve always felt like that early wave of hardcore punk was like garage rock’s weird, fucked up cousin. It’s all coming from the same place essentially. It’s all about total and agonizing frustration and partying your ass off to cure that frustration. Hunx and His Punx get it. By the way, some of Shannon Shaw’s finest vocals! TOP SONG: “Mud In Your Eyes”

So, that’s it. That’s my list, but before I depart I have to give some mo’ shout outs. Here are some honorable mentions.  Ben Tan – Inside Out, The Memories – Love Is The Law, Kal Marks – Life Is Murder, Saralee –  S/T, The Gabba Ghouls – S/T, Kaviar Special – S/T, and last but certainly not least Lust Cats Of The Gutters – S/T , an album that was released in 2012, but nonetheless one of the best albums I heard all year.

2013 was also the first year of our record label KLYAM Records. We were/are extremely proud that our first release was one of our favorite records from 2012: Fat Creeps S/T EP


I chose not to include it on this list, because A) It was one of our own releases, B) It was originally released in 2012 and that’s when we heard it and loved it, and so forth, and C) It’s an EP and this is a list of my top LPs. Still, I couldn’t go without repping this record in a year end list of top records. Furthermore, if you haven’t picked up this album yet, then do yourself a favor and grab one now before it’s too late You can order it from KLYAM Records here: http://klyam.bigcartel.com/ The record is also available at Weirdo Records and Armageddon Records, both in Cambridge, MA.

We look forward to 2014 as we have more records and shows and reviews then can be imagined! Stay tuned, then turn on, and then drop out, and we’ll meet up and listen to records or something.

Peace 2013!

Music Video: Bent Shapes – “Behead Yrself Pt. 2”


Check out the new music video for “Behead Yrself Pt. 2” from one of Boston’s best Bent Shapes. Video directed by Avi Paul Weinstein! Dude’s videos are always popping up on KLYAM.

You can hear Behead Yrself on Bent Shapes’ LP Feels Weird available at Father/Daughter Records: http://fatherdaughterrecords.bigcartel.com/

Or better yet, you can catch the band currently on tour with John Vanderslice. Remaining tour dates below:

11/19 – Rhythm Room – Phoenix, AZ (w/ John Vanderslice)
11/20 – Soda Bar – San Diego, CA (w/ John Vanderslice)
11/21 – Bootleg Bar – Los Angeles, CA (w/ John Vanderslice)
11/22 – Bottom Of The Hill – San Francisco, CA (w/ PAPA)
11/24 – Lost Lake Lounge – Denver, CO
11/25 – Slowdown – Omaha, NE
11/26 – The Burlington – Chicago, IL

And for mo’ Avi Paul, go here: http://avipaulweinstein.com/

Pitchfork Streaming Bent Shapes’ “Feels Weird”


Hey look, Pitchfork (yeah, I’ve never heard of them either) is streaming the new Bent ShapesFeels Weird (Father/Daughter Records). We implore you to listen to it, discuss the album’s themes with a friend, foe or even the taxi driver on that long ride home – hopefully he or she is not a Travis Bickle kind of taxi driver; fingers crossed. More importantly, buy the damn thing and go see this excellent Boston band live. They’re hitting up New York’s Cake Shop this Saturday, August 24. Go there and tell them we sent you, you can thank us later with candy and kisses, keep coming back, you’re coming to the right place.

LISTEN!: http://pitchfork.com/advance/191-feels-weird/
BUY!: http://fatherdaughterrecords.bigcartel.com/

Bent Shapes – Feels Weird (8/20/13)

Bent-Shapes-Feels-Weird
Local KLYAM favorites, Bent Shapes are releasing their debut LP Feels Weird on August 20th via Father/Daughter Records. Here’s the track list, which features one of my all time favorite songs, “I Was Here But I Disappear.”

1. Behead Yrself, Pt. 2
2. Leave It ‘Til You Need It
3. Panel Of Experts
4. Brat Poison
5. What Do You Get??
6. Hex Maneuvers
7. Big Machines
8. Bites And Scratches
9. Check My Vitals!!
10. Boys To Men
11. I Was Here But I Disappear

If you wanna get on the super duper pre-order. Go to Father/Daughter Records: http://fatherdaughterrecords.bigcartel.com/product/bent-shapes-feels-weird-lp-special-pre-order-price

Concert Review: Bent Shapes, earthquake party!, Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion!, The Fagettes @ Great Scott (1/12/13)

Bent Shapes
Bands: Bent Shapes, earthquake party!, Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion!, The Fagettes
Date: Saturday, January 12, 2013
Venue: Great Scott (Allston, MA)

Act I: The Fagettes – The Fagettes are a KLYAM band. Period. There are many styles/genres I could attribute to this band, and pretty much all of them we dig, hence why they are a KLYAM band. Rock ‘n’ Roll, Garage, Punk, Psychedelic, you name it, they got it.  Their sound and aesthetic fits perfectly with the punk slime we proudly promote every day on this site, which I honestly can’t say about most of the local bands we see. That isn’t to say other bands around here suck, not at all. It’s just great to see a Hunxian “garage” band in Boston.  We saw them once before performing as Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood for a Halloween cover show, and as much of a blast as that was, we yearned to see them as FAGETTES. Needless to say, I’m pretty excited.  As I mentioned earlier, these guys have nailed that fun, fun rock ‘n’ roll sound down pat, but they also have a real cool look to them.  Especially Ryan Major (vocals, guitar, harmonica);  he is simply one suave motherfucker. He rocks the shades and from a distance he looks like Jared Swilley, but up close he looks more like John Holmes, either way he is the man and he is a great singer. Ryan shares vocal duties with Melanie Bernier (one half of one of the best local bands, The Electric Street Queens – check them out!), who also plays drums. But, Melanie isn’t the only one that sings and plays drums, oh no. A wonderful gentleman by the name of Peaches commands the kit in the back and provides some sick backing vocals. The bass player, who’s name escapes me (sorry dude!) is enthusiastic as he always is, love that guy. But, wait there’s more.  Matt “Nice Guy” Garlick is riffing on guitar. In fact, before the band plays their set, I can hear Matt jamming on The King Khan & BBQ Show’s “Waddlin Around,”  killer song.  I should also mention that Matt is completing the second half of his double header tonight, having just played at the Butcher Shoppe with his other badass punk band, Nice Guys, wowzer! The Fagettes’ set consists of all the fun tunes you’d want to hear, oldies like “Catholic Riff Raff,” “Mystery Pills,” and “Water, Tea, and Alcohol,” as well as their latest offering, “Gonna Die Out Here,” one of their sexiest to date.  They also play all three cuts (“If  I See Him Again,” “On Drugs,” and “My Girl Looks Like Johnny Thunders”) from last summer’s EP If I See Him Again.  With “On Drugs,” they really make it feel like a place you come to visit, where the fun never stops.  This song and every song sounds terrific. The Fagettes live is a visual, auditory monster. With all these vocals and percussion jostling me, I feel like I’m being trampled by a lion. The sound is that big, perhaps not that terrifying though, but my ears are equally pleased and damaged.  I can’t recommend Fagettes more, going back to what I started saying at the beginning of the review that they are a KLYAM band, meaning they play rock ‘n’ roll the way it  ought to be done: short, but simple pop songs, fun, filthy, and catchy. Sweetness meets sickness. Like, Shannon and the Clams, there’s enough loud punk and soft pop for all to enjoy, and usually somewhere in between. I am exhausted, but Fagettes can keep me up all night. Be awesome like me and listen to all their crazy music here: http://thefagettes.bandcamp.com/

Act II: Beware the Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion!– Now, here’s a sweet band. With a name this enormous and eccentric, they ought to send me into an oblivion. And like their name they are both fun and puzzling, but in a pleasant way. ‘Beware’ is a five piece and each member is dressed the same: bandannas covering their noses and mouths, blue jeans, and black shirts bearing a picture of a presumably dangerous, ghost scorpion.  The set is entirely instrumental and with the exception of Big Mess, I typically am not fond of this style of music, but these men capture my attention and entertain me for the next half hour. They rock out pretty hard, playing early 60s surf rock with a bit of an extra kick, in fact a lot of emotion and physical energy. This is especially true of the man on tambourine. This dude bashes away at the tambourine, unlike anyone else I’ve seen before, I can’t imagine what his hand looks like after each gig.  But, he goes beyond that in his showmanship. He makes the crowd move and shake and he is the leader of all this hype and excitement in the room, as if he is holding the crowd in the palm of his hand, perhaps a cliched comparison, but he  just holds this undeniable command over the crowd. What’s even more fascinating and unique about this man and the group as a whole is the lack of vocals. As I mentioned, they are an instrumental band, but they literally never speak throughout the whole performance. No words, just music. Actually, let me rephrase that, words do appear at various moments, as they are scrawled across a sign that the tambourine player triumphantly holds, reading: BEWARE THE DANGERS OF A GHOST SCORPION!  This guy gets an A+ for the night. Solid set, sick band, but I don’t know if this is the kind of music I see myself listening to at home alone in my room, with that being said, I hope to see them again in the future and I hope others catch their set too, for this is a live show you won’t want to miss. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EmoBSVPoXs

Set-List:
“Red River Tombstone Hustle”
“Heads Will Roll”
“The Lover’s Curse”
“The Nameless One”
“Caught Dead”
“Cateye Glasses”
“We Welcome The Living, But Only If They Come Here To Die”
“Satan’s Invisible World”
“13 Stabs”
“SOS”
“Denton County Casket Company”
“Haintmaker”
“The Legend of Goatman’s Bridge”

Act III: earthquake party!– Earthquake Party’s a perennial rock force in Boston, and a very talented band at that.  Their set is loud and noisy, but with some pop beneath the heavy volume. Their keyboard driven songs mixed with grungey/screaming vocals remind me of the Lost Sounds and Yo La Tengo.  There’s a harsh quality to it, but it’s also satisfying and never overstays its welcome. Listening to their bandcamp, I hear the songs more clearly, they have some real great pop numbers here. I’ve seen them a couple times before and each show has been an enjoyable experience.  Definitely a KLYAM recommendation: http://earthquakeparty.bandcamp.com/

Set-List:
“Nails + Hammertime”
“One More Night”
“Pretty Lil Hand”
“Fast Girl”
“Escape Artist”
“Daydream Jenny”
“Brains”
“Pretty Trash”
“Tramp”
“Little Pet”
“Hello Weirdo”

Act IV: Bent Shapes – Like earthquake Party! Bent Shapes are familiar faces around the Boston rock scene and they have earned a reputation for creating catchy, mellow, pop songs that rank up there with the finest in music today. So yeah, they’re one of my favorite bands right now and it’s great to see them in front of a packed crowd at the Great Scott. Great Scott is the first place I saw Bent Shapes (well Girlfriends) many, many moons ago, opening for another brilliant, underrated pop band, Harlem. At the time, I didn’t really pay attention to local music, for no particular reason, I just didn’t. Girlfriends stood out to me though, I think the first local band that I really dug. Flash forward to the present. They sound excellent and they play some of their best songs including the sunny “Leave It Till You Need It,” and their recent flexi, “Panel of Experts” and “Bites and Scratches.”  They have a somewhat soft pop style to their craft, but they rock just as hard as all the other bands. The set closes with one of my all time favorite songs, “I Was Here, But I Disappear,” which always gets me super ecstatic, there’s just no way of describing my love for this song without sounding over the top. Perhaps, the best performance I’ve seen from Bent Shapes. Check them out, if you haven’t already. http://bentshapes.bandcamp.com/

Set-List
“Big Machines”
“Panel of Experts”
“Boys to Men”
“Spazz”
“Bhead”
“Wut?”
“Space”
“What We Do Is Public”
“Bites and Scratches”
“Leave It ‘Til You Need It”
“Brat Poison”
“I Was Here But I Disappear”