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

Review: Guerilla Toss, SARALEE, Giving Up, Bad History Month @ JP Drive-In

Date: October 26, 2013

Bad History Month: Bad History Month is solo Sean History Month, singer and guitarist of Fat History Month, who you all know as Boston’s dearest underground band. The crowds descend downstairs, greeted by the warm presence of Sean, his guitar, amp, and bass drum. The bass drum seems to be something of a new addition for Sean as he has anointed us the crowd a focus group for his percussion aided performance. Sean’s gentle playing is a beautiful thing, full of depth and intensity. The liberating, calming sound that is a History Month set is so distinguishing, so relaxing. I kept thinking to myself, what a pleasure to be in a basement right now listening to this set. The only tune that I recognize is “Fucking Despair” from the same-name-can’t-recommend-enough album so don’t count me in as an expert of the nitty gritty for tonight’s set. Which might not be a bad thing – the mood generated was most notable and left us feeling better than we did thirty minutes prior.

SARALEE: I won’t speak for Chris, but I think he’ll agree with me here – Saralee is a band we hold near and dear. We first saw Sara [vocal/guitar] and Lee [drums] perform as Saralee back on May 26, 2011, opening for Peach Kelli Pop at the Problem House in Allston. That was our first Boston basement show. From that point forward – roughly – our eyes were opened to the magic of the local scene. Seeing Saralee in a grimy basement is all I know of seeing Saralee first hand. So when they took to the non-stage last night, I was brought to a rather familiar place. A cozy place. The tunes of Saralee are like small pieces of nostalgia, a soundtrack to things that might have occurred in childhood or yesterday or in the future. They are uplifting songs, at least to my hears. The only comparison I can really come up with is early OCs – if in light tone and playful minimalism. They played a dozen or so jams, most topping out at around a couple of minutes. There was a time during the winter months of both 2012 and 2013 that I spent hours for several consecutive days listening to Saralee’s DEMO at work. You’d think I would get sick of it, but it just put me in high spirits…continuously. That was the case with SARALEE tonight. I loved every minute of it, Lee’s artistic drumming synced with Sara’s ultra reverby delivery. This is a band that has won hearts across the nation in a tour culminating in this very basement. I’m sure of it. Their self-titled LP just released on 12″ hand-screened vinyl is stunning. Listen there and pick up a copy or pick up the copy and smile wide! It’ll be a favorite.

Giving Up: One of the most unfortunate things that can happen for a big fan of live music is showing up late and paying the consequences of being squished in the back. This is most trying in close quarters. So there we go, I don’t think I ever got a solid view of Giving Up, but thank God for my ears. I heard ’em! I dug what I heard, bizarre folk sorta like Page France but noisy, more demented. Catchy! A perfect complement to Saralee being all hazily distinct and stuff. Memory music. Also, I’ve been informed that Lee was on drums. Nice Lee. Check these Midwesterners out: http://givingup.bandcamp.com/ !

Guerilla TossG-Toss can just about do anything they damn want and like most things so very irresistible, crowds will follow! Every show I’ve seen Guerilla Toss play has been push and shove, so beware people who like to take things easy. There’s not another Guerilla Toss in the world – Cassie, Peter, Simon, Ian, and Arian – make/display some of the craziest stuff I’ve ever heard/seen. Punk rock stripped to its most feral motions, radically spun with noise, glitches, consistent freak outs. It’s a very held together thing though. I’m always amused just by being witness to what is going on and the domineering clutching fist enveloping the crowd, making them suspects of a short duration assault. YA i’m down for this! http://guerillatoss.bandcamp.com/

LP Review: Cute Mutant

Band: SKIMASK
Release: December 21, 2012
Labels: Infinity Cat Recordings/Sophomore Lounge/100% Breakfast

Side A
1. “Slap Me Silly”
2. “Creature Double Feature”
3. “Igloo”
4. “4EVA LTD”
5. “Candy Cane”
6. “Every Week Iz Shark Week”

Side Z
1. “Tempurpedic Mattress”
2. “Blow Up: Bubblegum”
3. “If Foolish Men”
4. “Problemhouse”
5. “10 Speed”
6. “Favorite Flavor”

Comments: SKIMASK have been frightening ordinary people for years, but now is the time we finally get to hear a nice to see/feel/hear LP from the Boston trio. With capital and distribution provided by three reputable labels, this record will serve as a crucial source of discovery for many – both in the Boston area (where the band is a live staple) and outside (where the band has toured in venues both small and others significantly larger).

The best descriptions of the band that I’ve come across involve the words assault and primal. And, of course, no better place for that than three feet away from a pacing Profit Mohammad. But you get the gist of the insanity that is SKIMASK from the speakers in your home. Often times I do not know what Profit is saying, but his vocals are incredibly memorable, especially when he’s shouting things like”CREACHA, DAUBLE FEECHA!” and “IS IT VANILLA OR IS IT CHOCOLATE?????????” The critical base co-existing with our friend on vocals is a triple vocal mega-effects man and an unapologetic drummer, pounding away, astonishingly to the workings of that mega-effects man. Of course, I take it that you know SKIMASK visually, but in case you don’t, you might have already conjured up a stringed instrument or some guy on the ground pushing pedals. Or not. They aren’t your typical band and these aren’t your typical songs.

And that’s a great thing. I’m challenged listening to SKIMASK; I do not know many records that are this in your face. The presentation brings both the unexpected (“Tempurpedic Mattress) and the innately hooky (“Creature Double Feature,” “Candy Cane”). I’m swept away by such immediacy and it’s addicting “Blow Up: Bubblegum” is begging to be chewed all day. Never once in my listening to Cute Mutant do I ever want to step away for a moment. The Profit would get angry.

I’ve been delighted by a decent array of noise in my day, but I’m not sure if I have heard an album that tops Cute Mutant in its ability to be so fun and so very different. I very much appreciate and admire this band as a force of rock ‘n roll. So yeah, while I in complete honestly will not be able to immediately recall or recite a handful of these tracks, it is probably because they damaged my brain! In a good way!!!!!!!!!!!!