Tag Archives: Concert Review: The New Highway Hymnal Atlantic Thrills Polaroids The Real Tom Hanks @ Wilder Zangcraft (2/23/13)

Listen: The New Highway Hymnal – Reverb Room EP

Cover art by Amelia Gormley

The New Highway Hymnal are cracking skulls yet again! The Reverb Room EP is a whacked out, psych trip that solidifies their status as the ultimate Boston psych freak out machine. Yet, this release isn’t all macabre, there’still plenty of satisfying Americana charm, charm that will get your mothers dancing and tripping all over the place. The Winter Of Love has arrived.

Side A:
1) By the Pool
2) Isolation

Side B:
1) Reverb Room
Vanya Records. VAN007

Ohh and you can stream The New Highway Hymnal playing LIVE from Red Star (Cambridge) right now. I’m talking RIGHT NOW… http://www.vanyaland.com/2013/11/21/live-stream-ghost-box-orchestra-new-highway-hymnal-live-redstar-cambridge-8-11pm-est/

Review: The New Highway Hymnal, Atlantic Thrills, Polaroids, The Real Tom Hanks @ Wilder Zangcraft (2/23/13)

Bands: The New Highway Hymnal, Atlantic Thrills, Polaroids, The Real Tom Hanks
Date: Saturday, February 23, 2013
Venue: Wilder Zangcraft (Lowell, MA)

Painted Grashopper– We missed this bedroom set :(  Like their FB page : http://www.facebook.com/PaintedGrasshopper?fref=ts

The Real Tom Hanks– For the first twenty two years of my life I was led to believe that this man http://www.hdwallpaperspot.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/tom-hanks-1.jpg was Tom Hanks. Sadly, I was mistaken. The Real Tom Hanks is actually Alex Sargent (guitar), Ben Dickinson (guitar), Johnny Gelsomini (bass), and Kevin Dacey (drums); and they are not sorry for ruining your Black Panther Party.  Haha, but seriously these dudes rule. I remember Kevin describing the band to me months ago and I was immediately intrigued. Needless to say, I have been looking forward to this  performance. As I was promised, The Real Tom Hanks play a killer  instrumental set filled with slick, surf-punk tunes that would make a Dick Dale fan’s  eyes light up. It’s hard not to dig this music, it’s catchy, fun, and serves as a solid ode to OG surf of the 1960s garage variety, just the kind of slime I devour. They cover The Ventures’classic “Walk, Don’t Run” and now the song is stuck in my dome forever. The Real Tom Hanks kick ass and set the mood for the evening. Can’t wait to see another fine ass show from these upstanding gents in the near future. Like their page on da fascist book, make it a little less fascist and a better world for you and me. http://www.facebook.com/TheRealTomHanks?fref=ts

“Beach Boner”
“Walk Don’t Run” (The Ventures)
“Becomes a Barnacle”
“Aunts on the Beach”
“Monkey Man”

Polaroids–  I don’t catch all of Polaroids’ set, but what I do see is impressive. Polaroids features  Tim Oxton and The New Highway Hymnal’s Hadden Stemp and together with guitars and a drum machine they create a dream pop set that evokes Jesus and Mary Chain, Galaxie 500, and a little bit of Memphis cults, Girls of the Gravitron (at least in the vocals). The music is slow, calm, and haunting. Maybe it makes you reflect on your life up until this moment or maybe you just stare off into nothingness. Whichever it is, Polaroids will fuck with your head, just a little bit. http://polaroidz.bandcamp.com/

Atlantic Thrills– I remember the first time Glen Maganzini told me about the Atlantic Thrills. It was minutes, possibly seconds after seeing them live for the very first time. Glen ventured to Pawtucket, RI to see our favorite band the Black Lips  (I would have gone, but I had a conflicting schedule, had to wait until the next night to see them in Boston :( ). Glen called me up, hysterically screaming about this band the Atlantic Thrills that he just saw. “THE ENERGRY! THE EXCITEMENT! THEIR SPIRIT, THEIR EMOTION. THEY’RE CLEARLY INFLUENCED BY LOS SAICOS AND THE BLACK LIPS AND THIS ONE GUY WAS REALLY HAMMERED, HE STUCK THE PIC INSIDE HIS FOREHEAD, IT WAS NUTS!” After hundreds of KLYAM attended shows, I can sincerely say that that sort of reaction is a rarity.  Overtime, we became bigger fans of the band and we got to know these guys, great dudes. The Thrillz simply love and represent the music we love and represent. If I had to point to one local band that comes close to capturing the spirit of the Black Lips, which is the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll, then it is the Atlantic Thrills. Glen and I have seen them several times now and we’re always extremely excited to see Providence’s wildest  rock ‘n’ roll band, but often others in attendance are mellower in their appreciation. In fact in one review I even wrote, “I can’t wait to see the Atlantic Thrills kill it in a packed basement in Lowell, Allston (or anywhere) filled with kids ready to let loose and go wild.” And that’s exactly what happens. The Thrillz blast through all of their classics and a basement filled with drunken youths dance and mosh and sing along. I can’t believe my eyes, I’ve been waiting for this moment  for a long time. I’m not sure how many fans are in attendance, but I feel confident that the quartet convert some, if not many new disiciples, eager to engage in future, rampant rock ‘n’ roll.  I can see kids picking up on the sharp hooks and melodies that the Thrillz deliver. The whoaoooooooo of “Light Shines,” the 60s slimy guiar riffage of “Give It Back”  or my favorite the la la la of “Lies,” all sound better than ever. Well, the sound is fantastic, but I don’t  know if the actual audio is better than ever, but when your having the time of your life with one of your favorite bands, it sounds better than ever. Like I said earlier, the energy tonight is unprecedented in my experience at a Thrillz show. It’s just like a game of catch, the audience and the performers simply toss the ball of energy back and forth between one another. As I’ve noted in the past, drummer Josh Towers revels in the crowd’s excitement and participation, he feeds off of it and you can see it in his performance; when he smacks those drums it’s like he’s having sex. I admire such joy in the music. That’s what it’s all about and the Atlantic Thrills bring the joy, the good times (great times), the party better than anyone else in New England.   http://www.reverbnation.com/atlanticthrills

The New Highway Hymnal– The New Highway Hymnal headline, NOT  The New Highway Hymen as I had to inform a dissapointed gentlemen. Ha! Tonight, NHH are shooting a video for Whispers opener, “Through Stained Glass,” a fine song indeed off an even finer record.  This trio is another band I have seen several times and like the Atlantic Thrills, they put on quite a  show. With New Highway Hymnal, things slither into the darkside of the rock ‘n’ roll experience, a violent, bestial eruption of psych noise ensues. During this set, moshing continues and never stops.  At this point in the night, I’m pretty out of  it, mostly finding a way to survive in this sweaty, smelly, but undeniably fun mosh pit. I’d say this is the craziest I’ve seen at a NHH show (in my experience, which is limited). At one point I notice vocalist/guitartist, Hadden Stemp in the midst of the pit, his visibility in the crowd is a perennial NHH show experience, but this time his emergence seems to come out of nowhere and before you know it, he vanishes, back in front of the mike. He’s a tricky one.

All in all, this set, this show was a bruiser. Anytime I get to mosh with Kelly Riley (Atlantic Thrills) is usually a good time. http://thenewhighwayhymnal.bandcamp.com/

And big ups to The Lysergic Factory Light dudes for making everything look pretty and psychedelic.