Review: Boston Fuzzstival (8/10/13)


Bands: Nice Guys, Fagettes, Moniker, Guillermo Sexo, CreaturoS,  The New Highway Hymnal
Date: Saturday, August 10, 2013
Venue: Middle East Downstairs (Cambridge, MA)

I’m not the right person to be writing about the Fuzztival… and I assure you no one else will make that claim right off the bat to you in any other “review.” I also assure you that no one else has the the right to review this show more than me either. Reviews are pointless to begin with, don’t listen to reviewers, nothing but trouble. Never done me any good. But, I am going to write about this show anyway because that’s how it goes, that’s how it’s always been. The Middle East Downstairs, fuck man, this brings back memories. No other venue compares. KLYAM attended shows at Mid East Down way before there even was a KLYAM!  We saw Black Lips, No Age, The King Khan & BBQ Show, and Box Elders (opening for Black Lips) here. Here. These suckers, these fuckers, these icons were inches away from us; their saliva smoothly sailed down my beat up, gray Ramones shirt.  The next day at school I would brag about what I saw, oh boy! “Girlfriends” would feign interest, it was a glorious time to be alive. But, the fun can only last so long. Soon I would realize that they just thought I was cool because I read Noam Chomsky and Malcolm X, and indeed those men are cool, but these femmes never wanted me, they never wanted us, they never wanted rock ‘n’ roll . They just saw my slick, leather jacket and assumed I was cool. KLYAM began on the concept that cool was death, we were anarchists, rebels, nerds, dorks, sociopaths, retards,  reatards. Reatards. We didn’t know (and still don’t know) how  things work. Late at night/ early in the morning, you could listen to Black Lips, Jay Reatard, King Khan & The Shrines, The King Khan & BBQ Show or even that psycho gorgeous band Deerhunter and for two seconds it made sense! The world was a fucked up place, but these dudes were fucked up too and they loved it and they drank their own piss and  that was okay that gave us hope, honestly.

And with that lovely introduction, here are Nice Guys! Woooooo Nice Guys woooo. How many shows has it been? Fuck it, you been counting? Me neither (yeah right) have I, I don’t fucking know, calm down. NIce Guys are a funny band though they play this abrasive, semi-hardcore, quasi garage style of music that just makes the hairs on my testes jet up and dance, It’s fucking loud and fun and noisy. They shit out various hits y’all oughta know like “Herb Chambers,” “Cop Walk,” and “Burrito Boner,” which is a favorite among dental receptionists.

I’ve seen my fair share of Nice Guys sets, yeah yeah yeah yeah, and they typically rock, but this one is a comparatively exceptional rocker. Cam Slays on the drums, up on that little drum riser thing like a Greek God –  must be new to the Mid East Down, cuz I’ve never seen it before. Jake, Matt, and, Alex jolt back and forth on the guitars, bashing into one another, crawling over their bandmates’ sweaty skin, tangling in wires and such. My favorite moment in the set is when Cam rushes up from his drum set and tackles Jake to the floor. That’s what I like to see, I love aggression, I guess I am just a sick guy. Nah, metal folk are sick, I am just having fun. Nice Guys are fun and sweet! http://niceguys666.bandcamp.com/

Set – List:
“Gary”
“Herb Chambers”
“Unholy Sacrifice”
“Free”
“Finale”
“Cop Walk”
“HD”
“MD”
“Burrito Boner”
Watch Nice Guys play “Draggins” at the Fuzzstival HERE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdqiUk8gGi0

Nice Guy Matt Garlick is back again in The Fagettes and he’s joined by Ryan, Melanie, Peaches, and Joe. Fagettes are a KLYAM fave, only a fool couldn’t tell you that. They lean toward the nastier side of rock and roll that we cherish. Besides delivering humorous and informative weather reports, they unleash many essentials including “My Girl Looks Like Johnny Thunders,” “On Drugs,” “Water, Tea, and Alcohol,” “Tsunami,” and “Gonna Die Out Here.” In addition to the gunky classics, the fivesome also bash out some new numbers with “Bad Catholic” being my top jam for this holy evening. I too was a bad catholic, drank the holy water, bopped the bishop, and licked plenty of peanut butter.

A cool breeze just splashed over me, it’s a sign that Fagettes are the future of American pop music OR a favorite band of mine, Either way the future looks bright. http://thefagettes.bandcamp.com/
Watch The Fagettes play “On Drugs” at the Fuzzstival HERE:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jug1J4cAub0

Moniker – I catch flashes of  Moniker’s set, I dig, but I need to hear more to judge.  Find out for yo self here: http://whatsyourmoniker.bandcamp.com/

Now to Guillermo Sexo. Not as sexy as I would have thunk; not enough gunk punk in thee old junk. That’s okay though, I think some of y’all would dig them. For the first ten minutes or so, I’m feeling sexy, but then it just drags and my psyche yearns for some “Light Shines,” but that’s another band for another day, Ultimately, this is a decent band, just not exciting enough for my tastes. http://guillermosexo.bandcamp.com/

CreaturoS are a psych outfit that often pop up on local listings and rightfully so.  While, I can’t say that they are the right kind of punk slime dish that I prefer,  they do rock pretty hard, enough so to garner an onslaught of fuzzstivalers, friends, and fans up on stage moshing and boppin’ about.  A killer way to conclude a set.  http://creaturos.bandcamp.com/

During CreaturoS’ and Sexo’s sets, I”m clutching on to the monitors and dreaming about a three way between Betty Rubble, Wilma Flintstone, and myself. Gee whiz, that would be a swell time, but I must be at least a tad bit insane in the old membrane for me to conjure up such images. Ironically, The New Highway Hymnal put me in my place. Arguably, The NHH are the freakiest of the bands tonight and that works to their  advantage. Vocalist/guiarist Hadden Stemp utters “Let’s give it up for CreaturoS,” receiving very little crowd response. “That sucked,” Stemp accurately asserts.  He gives the Boston crowd one more chance and with a slight improvement we segue way into the New Highway Hymnal’s diabolic set. The trio, which includes Travis Hagan on drums and Amelia Gormley on bass and vocals, open with “Whispers,” the title track off their epic LP released last year on Vanya Records.  The fuzziness continues with the grimy album opener “Through Stained Glass,” and then my memory is fuzzy after that (yes just a few hours later). I think there’s some new cuts tossed at us or just stuff that’s fresh to my ears. Last I remember is “Hey Kid” and then Hadden i s suddenly on the floor with us in the audience, jumpin’ around and what not, and then he’s back up on stage like a ninja. He’s quick and I’ve had too menty, a deadly combination. In any setting, listen to The New Highway Hymnal’s Whsipers LP here: http://thenewhighwayhymnal.bandcamp.com/releases

Review: Fagettes, Sun Lions, Earthquake Party, The Migs @ Mid East Upstairs (7/31/13)

Bands: Fagettes, The Sun Lions, Earthquake Party!, The Migs
Venue: Middle East Upstairs (Cambridge, MA)
Date: Wednesday, July 31, 2013

This is the kind of bill that should easily draw loads of local attention, any day. And it did. Eager onlookers slowly packed into the Middle East as my kinda band – The Fagettes – started playing their music. Sometimes these reviews can sound awfully repetitious, especially when describing some KLYAM faves, but singing the praises of Fagettes never gets old for me. Their sublimely catchy garage/pop is highly stimulating, more so than most bands in this ole Boston scene. They stick out visually – two stand-up drummers is pretty uncommon – and of course audibly; three singers trading words and ba ba ba’s more often than not. Entertainment. Tonight they play a couple cuts from last year’s impressive 7″ If I See Him Again (“On Drugs” and “My Girl Looks Like Johnny Thunders”), which along with “Gonna Die Out Here,” really showcase the Fagettes sound – sweet guitar tones bleeding from the amps of Ryan and Matt. They toss in a couple of brand new, full battery jams that oughta be trademarked soon. And then there was “I Hear Noises”. Not sure if I remember the last time I heard them play this, but it’s one of those tunes that calls for the late arrivals to be slapped around a little for missing out. People who’ve seen Fagettes live know what I’m trying to get at here. If you haven’t, they are playing a big show: August 23 opening for Hunx and His Punx at Brighton Music Hall. Can’t recommend that one enough. And remember to show up way early.

Next, we hear from The Sun Lions – formerly The Images. By either name, I was unfamiliar with their music. They had some passionate fans constantly dancing near the front of the stage. The first half of their set quite honestly didn’t too much for me. They sounded like any number of vocal-centric pop-rock alternative groups that had their heyday in the ’90s. That kind of familiar sound obviously has appeal to some, but around this site, you know, the slimier, the better. So once a second guitarist jumped on stage and joined the group, Sun Lions’ set became night and day to my ears. They transformed into a looser band, showing a knack for ’60s pop (covering “Heatwave”) and garage (another cover was “Have Love, Will Travel”…I think). I had much more fun rocking out to this side of the band and I wish the whole set would have been of this variety.

Earthquake Party! is a trio that like Sun Lions dabbles toward the more accessible fringes of pop ‘n roll. Their set consists of many very very brief tunes that are wild explosions of noise, fuzz, but most importantly melody. The guitarist Justin moves around the stage passionately while playing. So while he’s frantically singing and blasting away, Mallory (keyboard) and J-Raff (drums) keep things relatively in check. The energy of Earthquake Party! is perhaps their greatest attribute. They capture my attention immediately and always. I’ve seen them a few times before. This was the most fun I’ve had seeing them. To me they’re like a more catchy, snappy, ADD, Lost Sounds.

Last and hopefully not literally last (show) is New Hampshire’s pride and soul, The Migs. Kicking off with a cover of Rolling Stones “The Last Time” (remember they finished off their set at Great Scott with this a few weeks ago?), tonight felt like a cumulative continuation of all the good time vibes these guys have created over the years. Out of all the local-ish bands I’ve seen, it is the MIGS that capture the sonics of psychedelic garage nuggets the best. They nail this to a tee. I recently bought a compilation called Teenage Shutdown which features some gunk from young ’60s bands. If the Migs were around back then, you’d find them included. No doubt at all. “You and Me” is my nomination. Revved up and rowdy rockers. When Keven frequently takes off from the stage into the crowd while still hammering away on his guitar, it’s only natural to join in on the fun, shoving your neighbors around to the sounds of “Follow Me Home” and “We’re The Migs”. Moshing, freaky dancing, jumping up and down. A Migs show for the ages. For the thirty or so minutes they were up there, everyone was all smiles. Just incredible stuff.