Single Review: Bent Shapes – “Panel of Experts”/ “Bites and Scratches”

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Band: Bent Shapes
Songs: “Panel of Experts” and “Bites and Scratches”
Release Date: 12/12/12

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Bent Shapes live a couple of times this fall and in both instances nearly every song had at least one memorable quality. In fact, their Bandcamp page (http://bentshapes.bandcamp.com/album/demo) contains some of these fine pop tunes. With this release, the trio further this reputation, adding two more catchy, jangly numbers to their catalog.  The first song “Panel of Experts” kicks off with some simple, steady drumming from Andy Sadoway and soon vocalist/guitarist Ben Potrykus and vocalist/bassist Supriya Gunda chime in with sunny guitar riffs that remind me of Weezer. I know I’ve compared Bent Shapes to Weezer before, and believe me they extend beyond that comparison, but I can’t help but note the easy on the ears, direct hooks that both bands possess. “Panel” is a catchy song, for sure, but I prefer the second half of this single – “Bites and Scratches.” This is a really killer tune. I distinctly remember this song sticking out during the live performances, so it is exciting to hear the final version. “Bites” is instantaneous, wrapping you in from the first few seconds – and Lord knows I’m a sucker for such pop songs. I hear a lot of pop songs about couples holding hands, but the words usually don’t mean much to me. And I’ll be honest, I don’t pay attention to lyrics that much anyway, but in this song Ben’s vocals are so strong I can easily picture him (or the character in this song) grabbing a girl’s hand and sharing in their mutual feeling of self-disgust or “damaged goods” as they call it. “Bites” exemplifies what I love about Bent Shapes: fun, but not the kind of fun you would have with Black Lips or The Migs. More along the lines of feeling sad, frustrated, and moody (don’t worry I’m getting to my point) – but not in an emo, stay alone in your room and listen to sad music sort of thing. More like, I feel like shit, but I’ll go to this party anyway, and stay up to watch the sun rise. And a hazy feeling of euphoria, “it will be alright,” takes over. I guess that means fun to me. If you can evoke those emotions in me in less than two minutes, then you get an A in my book.

klyamrecommended

Concert Review: Sic Alps, Fat Creeps, Bent Shapes, The Migs @ Radio (10/25/12)


Bands: Sic Alps, Fat Creeps, Bent Shapes, The Migs
Date: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Venue: Radio (Somerville, MA)

This is a Bodies of Water (B.O.W.) Show- http://bowaac.blogspot.com/
Way to go Dan and Sam, you fine, heavenly gentlemen.


Act I
: The Migs– Performance wise, this is easily the best Migs show I have seen and Glen concurs. Five Migs shows deep, you know what to expect, but it never gets old. Migs Keven, Lukas, Craig (and special guest Travis Hagan on drums!) have a real solid presence on (and more appropriately off) stage. It’s nice to watch Keven, Lukas, and Craig playfully fight for control of the stage, practically knocking one another off- they appear to be having more fun than everyone else, which is awesome. Like, I said a real presence every rock ‘n’ roll fan should see; if these guys expand their cross country voyages they could take America by storm! I don’t know, maybe I’m crazy, maybe I’m not.  What I do know is that this band has that classic, soul/blues psych/garage yeah, yeah, yeah (even I get sick of using these words to describe music, seriously if you counted up the amount of times we have said the words “rock ‘n’ roll,” “punk,” “garage,” in this year alone you could fill up a fucking dictionary, but let it be known here, exclusively, for the record that I mean it from the bottom of my heart and I/we don’t use those words lightly) – they got that whole damn sound, we’ve all come to know and love, down pat. They got it. But, what is more significant about The Migs is that they take that lovely, orgasmic sound and turn it up to eleven. Like every great band, The Migs possess an infectious personality- these are dudes you could shotgun a beer or six with and/or take home to mom and dad. I know my dad would love The Migs. Hell, “You and Me,” one of the band’s finest offerings and a personal highlight tonight, is such a sweet ballad that it could make my dad’s limp dick plop right up and pace around the room. YEESH. On that horrifying note, I think the sound system definitely amplifies the group’s rocking performance, fleshing out the tunes even more. All in all, another show for the books. Not as fun as my preferred Migs setting: a dirty, beer reeking basement, but equally impressive.

P.S. Keven remember to wear a shirt (not a sweat shirt) when you play on stage, it gets hot up there. And if it’s chilly, wear a sweater. I don’t want you to catch a cold son. I want my Migs happy and healthy.

The Migs may or may not have played the following songs, well they certainly played some of them, but I’m not sure on a few.

“Cosmonauts 1/2”
“We’re The Migs” written as ” “We Dah Migs” and “We’re The Pigs”
“666’s Request”
“You & Me”
“Rock N Roll Stole”
“When She Says My Name”
“Fuzzy Sun”
“Follow Me Home” also written as “Follow Me Dome”
“Gravestone”
“Take 3”
New Song?!#$

Yo, have you heard this sheeet? http://themigs.bandcamp.com/


Act II
: Bent Shapes– If some tourist yahoo asked me to name the best bands around Boston, the three opening acts on this bill (The Migs, Fat Creeps, and Bent Shapes) would definitely appear on that list. In fact, Bent Shapes were probably the first local band I really got into, about a few years back now. It’s not hard to see why this trio sticks out- they are able to blend Weezer/Blink 182 esque pop punk with garage rock. The thinking man’s garage perhaps. Haha, actually that reminds me of something Glen said earlier in the evening, that Bent Shape have this “college” quality to them. I agree with him on this point, and that’s funny because their music to me shares a similarity to another jangely pop, “college” band: The Pains of Being Pure At Heart. Both bands unleash simple, catchy songs with strong pop hooks. Personally, what I love about bands like Bent Shapes is that a lot of the music they seem to reference (pop punk) is not particularly to my liking, yet I seriously dig these guys. I kind of like it that way, I almost have a greater appreciation for them. Regardless of tastes, all three members are exceptional. If you’re reading this and haven’t heard of this band, click the link here, Do iT! http://bentshapes.bandcamp.com/

Set List:
“Boys to Men”
“Public”
“Leave It Till You Need It”
“Bites”
“Brat Poison”
“Wut?”
“Behead”
“Big Machines”


Act III
: Fat Creeps– Fat Creeps rock right into “Blitzkrieg Bop,” which I totally don’t expect. The leather jackets should have given it away. A couple of weeks ago, the Creeps delivered a killer set of Ramones covers at a Rosebud Halloween show, here’s a review, if you missed it: https://klyam.com/2012/10/16/concert-review-halloween-show-featuring-fat-creeps-earthquake-party-fedavees-fagettes-rosebud-101312/ and tonight they are reprising their roles again as the seminal punk band aka greatest band of all time.  Admittedly, I am craving some original numbers, but with that being said, the band is still captivating with their Ramones set as they were before. My favorite cover is definitely “I Don’t Want to Walk Around With You,” I especially love Gracie’s vocal parts in this tune. Overall, a fun set per usual.

Set List (not sure of the exact order):
“Blitzkrieg Bop”
“Beat On The Brat”
“Judy Is A Punk”
“I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend”
“Havana Affair”
“Loudmouth”
“I Don’t Want To Walk Around With You”
“53rd and 3rd”
“Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World”

Check out Fat Creep’s music here: http://fatcreeps.bandcamp.com/


Act IV
: Sic Alps– San Francisco’s Sic Alps are garage/psych legends and it is a pleasure to finally get to see them on this wonderful evening. You can tell, these dudes are veterans when they play. Despite the wacked out, chaotic nature of their brand of rock ‘n’ roll, they have an undeniable finesse to their craft that only a seasoned pro could produce. I’m sure this is said all of the time, but it is worthy to note that the Sic Alps have lineage with Mr. Ty Segall or Ty Segall has lineage with Sic Alps. I mention this for two reasons. Firstly, if you regularly visit this site, then you know how much we love Ty Segall, he is one of our top guys. So, seeing his musical kin in a live setting is an extra treat. Secondly, you can see a lot of Ty’s music in the Sic Alps’s performance, leaning more towards the extensive jam quality of his sound and less concerned with pop influence. At times, this is not always my bag, but I can still dig it. Also, I need to be more familiar with their songs, so I can truly appreciate their set in the future. In any case, I recommend you give em’ a listen here: http://www.sicalps.com/

7″ Review: Bent Shapes – “Boys To Men / Brat Poison”


Band:
Bent Shapes
Release: 2012
Label: Cake Time Records

1. Boys To Men
2. Brat Poison

Comments: This is my first time listening to a Flexi Disc and let me say that it has been a positive experience! It’s a brief vinyl – less than 5 minutes of song – but Bent Shapes make me keep placing that needle back on #1. The first song “Boys To Men” is a magnificently catchy pop song — the melody reminds me of why I enjoyed Uninhabitable Mansions debut record so much (slower tempo rock ‘n roll with intriguing vocals). I’d safely say this has almost instantly become a favorite of mine from the Shapes. “Brat Poison” follows a more eclectic (yet still widely intriguing) road to the mind’s consciousness, sort of flowing like an old school hardcore number, but has me thinking “Rock Lobster” for whatever two word reason. Don’t let the repetitions at the end of the song fool ya, unless you are particularly fond of that sort of stuff. Not judging. Do yourself a favor and pop that needle back on #1 again and repeat. For however long you find fit. I’m curious about Bent Shapes after listening to this (and seeing them put on a great show last night as openers for Colleen Green) even more so after hearing a fellow KLYAMer profess his deep admiration for 2009 Girlfriends track “I Was Here, But I Disappear”. So yeah, great work Bent Shapes!