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

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”

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!

Concert Review: Colleen Green, Plateaus, Bent Shapes, Bugs and Rats @ Middle East Upstairs (9/9/12)


Artists: Colleen Green, Plateaus, Bent Shapes, Bugs and Rats
Date: Sunday, September 9, 2012
Venue: Middle East Upstairs (Cambridge, MA)

Comments:

Act I: Bugs and Rats– These motherfuckers diminish what is left of my eardrums, which is great. Bugs and Rats are a powerhouse band, a three piece that is LOUD and guaranteed to wake up the neighbors. They would serve as a terrific alarm clock, I must say. I’ll admit much of the music I listen to is of the “wimpy” variety so I’m not as big into Bugs and Rats, but damn they are a solid band and they rock pretty hard. Their music is easy to head-bang to – in fact I would find it hard not to. Though it’s not necessarily my cup of tea, I can definitely recommend it. I also admire the band’s overall enthusiasm, which makes this performance even more fun. The drummer looks like he is going berserk! Lastly, I notice there is a picture of Anne Frank on the guitarist’s guitar, I do not know why, but I find this interesting. I mean I think it is Anne Frank. Either it is her or I am a fucking idiot.
Go nuts http://bugsandrats.bandcamp.com/


Act II: Bent Shapes–  So, y’all know Bent Shapes were formerly known as Girlfriends, right? Alright good. Speaking of which, I haven’t seen this band since they opened for Harlem at Great Scott back in April 2010, so it is a real pleasure to see them tonight.  I was always struck by their music before and I have been meaning to see them again for quite some time now, but for whatever reason it just never worked out. Fortunately, tonight is my night and I get a chance to see this excellent band.  Bent Shapes definitely has some outstanding pop hooks and they remind me of one of my favorite bands, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart.  I also hear a lot of pop punk a la Wavves in their music. Glen concurs on this point. Without a doubt my favorite moment is when they play “I Was Here, But I Disappear,” a favorite of mine. Not just a favorite from the band, but one of my favorite songs of all time. I did not expect them to play this song at all, so this is a real treat. Admittedly, I need to listen to more of their material and I plan to. You should too! http://bentshapes.bandcamp.com/

Set List:
Public
Brat (“Brat Poison”)
Panel (“Panel of Experts”)
Bites (“Bits and Scratches”)
Big M (“Big Machines”)
Space
Bhead?
Disappear (“I Was Here But I Disappear”)
Hex (“Hex Maneuvers”)
Leave (“Leave It Till You Need It”)
Boys (“Boys to Men”)


Act III
: Plateaus– Before tonight’s performance I have never heard of Plateaus, but now I am convinced they are a sound band and I plan on checking out their music. Their songs are not as stripped down and catchy as those of Bent Shapes, but they keep up the same power pop/ pop punk sensibility. I am also feeling some strong garage vibes and in this way I can see them fitting well with the kind of music we typically champion on KLYAM. Their set is definitely fun and gets me pumped up for Colleen, even more so than I already was. http://plateausband.bandcamp.com/


Act IV
: Colleen Green– Before I start my little babbling, I am going to take a mini trip back to April 2011. April 29, 2011 to be exact. Glen and I had had little exposure to basement venues (a couple of shows in Lowell and that was about it) and so when we arrived at the Starlab in Somerville to see one of Ottawa’s finest, The White Wires, we were a bit perplexed. As I recall we paid the seven bucks or so for admission (which included a stamp of the word “fuck” on my hand) and then we left the venue momentarily to smoke a bowl. One of the dudes running the show caught up with us and said that it was cool for us to smoke inside. So, we did. More importantly, why am I telling this story?! What I forgot to mention was that Colleen Green was headlining this bill, but at the time we had no idea who Colleen Green was, we came to see White Wires as I had mentioned earlier. I remember sitting down Indian style in the basement of the Starlab, waiting for the band to play- actually the dudes from Luau (also on the bill that evening) were setting up their equipment and I began to aggressively converse about G.G. Allin and Charles Manson the way I often do when I’m left unsupervised. Around this time, Colleen approached Glen and me, oh and Dan, damn I forgot that motherfucker came with us, he’s the man! She sarcastically said something to the effect of “You aren’t those guys that are smoking weed are you?” She then politely introduced herself as Colleen and within seconds I began vigorously raving about my favorite bands as I tend to do if given even the slightest opportunity. I stated that my top three current favorite bands were/are 1)Black Lips 2)Deerhunter, and 3) Hunx and His Punx. This led to a brief discussion of the Hunx tune “Cruisin,” a fabulous song indeed. Alas, we weren’t able to stay long enough to catch Colleen’s set that night, but I remember thinking anyone that appreciates greats like Hunx and His Punx is worth checking out. So, I YouTube’d a few songs and live vids and I was instantly hooked. But, between 21+ shows and lack of transportation we KLYAMERS missed out on all the remaining Colleen Boston gigs :( Until now! Ahh shit, it’s 4:20 (I didn’t plan this btw) why am I still writing this? Why am I still up? I need to be awake and alert in a vapid classroom setting within four hours. Oh well. So yeah, tonight is very exciting on the account that not only do Glen and I get to see Colleen Green live for the first time, but with a whole band including members of Plateaus. The Colleen Green Band opens with a cover of the fine Descendents tune, “Good Good Things,” before moving into what may just be my favorite Colleen number “I Wanna Be Degraded,” goddamn that song is catchy! The whole set is spectacular. Colleen can be pure rock ‘n’ roll and totally mellow all at once. It’s like she doesn’t have to shout, but you can hear every little nuance of her vocals. I don’t know what I’m talking about- to quote a friend of mine-“I don’t know art, but I know what I like!” One of my other favorites is “Dance the Night Away,” a killer tune that surely stood out as one of 2011’s finest. Colleen and crew close the set with “Nice Boy (I Want A),” another classic that leaves me in great anticipation for tomorrow night’s performance in Lowell. I can’t wait! http://colleengreen.bandcamp.com/