Boston flunk revolutionaries Guerilla Toss have been doing it up solidly for years now, playing near legendary basement shows around the Commonwealth and to further stretches of the centuries old United States. But like the hard workers should be, they have gotten a much deserved boost in status from the larger legions. But like a timeless experimental band, they’re still operating on their own bases and look it we have this Smack The Brick.
Smack The Brick G-Tosses new 4 songer on NNA Tapes is them right now, their new configuration I take it, and it is really something of a listen. As unexpected yet so Guerilla Toss, describing them always escape me. I can usually hear something of references in music, but with this group I really can’t and that is such an sickkk revelation. If I knew what I was doing I’d want to be Guerilla Toss. The creativity of the instruments, the changes in literally how a song sounds, it’s like ya dude you don’t even need to be crazy to listen to this. It’s like you tap the lady next to you’s shoulder, hey Guerilla Toss, hey Madonna, hey Kylie Minogue, hey Eddie Current Supression Ring. No one blinks any eyes or anything. It’s noisy rock ‘n roll and so many other things. The bass and the drum are what you can count on to some degree if you are down for a traditional following-along. If you really wanna get wacky though and I recommend this, it’s keeping up (no actually, actively following along!) with the guitar and Kassie’s vocals. The result is that Which You Can See in the dance movements of the crowd at a G Toss show.
It doesn’t make sense and should it. It makes complete sense. It is the most liberating of today’s music and you didn’t even realize that. “Be the Breeder” takes me back to the year 1997 or 1998 a time when I listened to the latest in hip-hop and R&B. This is that no no I’m not nuts! It’s like they’re pressing knobs, man, hey those are people here, live people, performing music. Smack The Brick is not all that, there are some no confusing moments just groovy, catchy, funky, punky, jabby, spacey times, you got it. Often all at once. With so many satisfying side projects like Jane La Fonda and MEDS (more on this very soon!!!!!), I’d say Kassie dominates the mic like no one else around here. It’s hardly arguable. Listen up
11/6 Hudson NY @ Bard College
11/7 Boston MA @ Hassle Festival 6
11/19 NYC @ Death By Audio
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER EUROPEAN TOUR
11/22 Budweiss @ Naab
11/23 Strasbourg @ Stimultania
11/24 Amsterdam @ TBA
11/25 London @ Old Blue Last
11/26 Paris @ Instantschavires
11/27 Bilbao @ Mem Festival
11/28 Valencia @ Bar Cure Antidisco
11/29 Alicante @ Sala Magazine
11/30 Benicarlo @ Lion Cafe
12/01 Porto @ Maus Habitos
12/02 Lisbon @ Musicbox
12/03 Madrid @ El Perro De La Parte De Atras
12/04 Barcelona @ TBA
12/05 Marseille @ L’embobineuse
12/06 Lyon @ Grrrnd Zero
12/07 Genf @ Cave
12/08 Berline @ Schokoladen
12/09 Munich @ Cafe Kult
12/10 Hamburg @ Astra Stube
12/11 Köln @ Gold+Beton
12/12 Brussels @ TBA
12/13 Den Hague @ State X New Forms
12/14 Rotterdam @ Poortgebouw
12/15 Halles/S @ Huhnermanhattan
12/16 Pilzen @ Pohoda
06/13 Somerville, MA @ Cuisine en Locale*
06/14 Brooklyn, NY @ Death By Audio*
06/15 Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s Alright
06/16 Burlington, VT @ Monkey House^
06/17 Montreal, QC @ TRH Bar^
06/18 Toronto, ON @ Geary Lane^
06/19 Toronto, ON @ Adelaide Hall^
06/20 Toronto, ON @ Kapisanan Arts & Culture Center^
06/21 Chicago, IL @ Situations^
06/22 Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop
06/23 Nashville, TN @ The Stone Fox
06/24 Pittsburgh, PA @ Howlers Coyote Cafe #
06/25 Washington, DC @ Comet Ping Pong
06/26 Baltimore, MD @ The Metro Gallery ^
06/27 Boston, MA @ Great Scott #
* With Doomsday Student & Microwaves
^ With Horse Lords
# With Lovely Little Girls
Bands: Way too many to name. Date(s): Friday-Saturday, November 8 and 9, 2013 Venue: Cambridge Elks Lodge
Every year the good people over at Boston Hassle throw a big ass music festival featuring over 40 local and national bands. Essentially, they do what they do best year round, just in the most gigantic way possible. This is the fifth Hassle Fest (formerly known as Homegrown) and the first ever attended by us, the KLYAM and we had a shit ton of fun! We are forever grateful for having the Boston Hassle around us and all of the great music they promote on a daily basis, much of which was on display at this year’s Hassle Fest. We have never experienced anything quite similar. Simply one band after another, with no breathing room in between. Exhilarating. Overwhelming. Punk Slime All Of The Time – at least in spirit. So yeah, I set out to write about every single band. This quickly became impossible due to work schedules, train schedules, and our general black out status over the course of the weekend. The following is a recap of some of the bands we saw that left me with the best impression and/or I remember best.
Zebu! – The Zebu! dudes always put on a good show and interact very well with their audience. They use up their twenty minutes bashing out a string of noise rock fused jams including a cover of The Vaselines classic “Molly’s Lips,” which they twist into “Molly’s tits.” Hehe.
Per usual in Zebu! shows, Ted walks through the crowd, shirtless, singing and shrieking about. He parades all the way to the back, until he is practically in the next room.
The band announces that they are happy to be celebrating their tenth anniversary and that they are releasing a greatest hits album on BUFU Records. Damn, pick that shit up. http://zebu.bandcamp.com/
Kal Marks – I’ve been digging Kal Marks for a while now and I’ve seen them with various line-ups over the years, but this is definitely the finest performance I’ve seen from the band thus far. Lead singer Carl has an undeniably distinct voice that just reverberates throughout the room and rests inside your ear drums for weeks to come. It’s like an odd, mumbly/grungy, southern drawl that one either finds appealing or nauseating. Most fall under the former category.
Besides Carl’s voice, the band has really come a long way since I last saw them (though, they were a rare two piece that night, so I’m not the best one to be judging), particularly with the addition of drummer Nick Egersheim (Big Mess). I’ve long been a fan of Nick’s powerful, sledgehammer drumming and I can’t think of a better fit for Kal Marks.
As a whole the band has a ginormous ROCK sound to them, very epic, very big deal. The guitars jostle back and forth producing incredible build ups and break downs. It’s almost intimidating, overwhelming, and strangely accessible, which isn’t a terrible word. Listen to Life Is Murder here: http://kalmarks.bandcamp.com/ It’s one of the best records you will hear all year.
Ed Schrader’s Music Beat – Here’s a band people have been recommending to me/us for at least a year and a half now, and I can certainly see why. This being our first Ed Schrader experience, I am flabbergasted. The place is roaring to the sweet, sublime sounds of Ed Schrader’s Music Beat. Glen comments that he was inspired by Ed before he even heard him!
Ed Schrader delivers a loony bass heavy sonic blast that drills my ears even way in the back of the Elks Lodge. The place is packed to the gills with Ed Schrader nut bags. I specifically love how Ed switches up between soft, serene Frank Sinatra drenched vocals to fast, pummeling screams. Ed makes it a point to make a special shout out to the Profit$ and how awesome it is to have him in our city. There ya go. The set crashed to its conclusion with a sick little cover of KISS’ “Rock and Roll All Nite,” which must have shoved old Ben Katzman into paroxysms of ecstasy. Check out Ed Schrader’s Music Beat here if you want to be shoved into paroxysms of ecstasy: http://edschradersmusicbeat.bandcamp.com/
The Beets – YIPPEE KI YAY MELON FARMER, IT’S THE BEETS! The Beets from Jackson Heights, Queens, NY, back in beautiful Boston for you and me. And I’ve never seen so many enthusiastic Beets fans all in one room before. It is fabulous to see the Elks filled to the brim with hundreds of kids of all ages, well maybe not all ages (in theory there could be!), all surrounding Juan Wauters (vocals/guitar), Tall Juan Zaballa (vocals/bass), and their Amerikan flag proudly hoisted behind them. Alas, no Chie Mori (vocals/drums) this time around :(, but two beets beat it off just fine, no fumblin’, no foolin’ around. There’s work to be done dawg. Despite the large crowd, this Beets set still feels just as warm and fuzzy as ever. Glen and I snag a nice lil spot up front, so close to the band that we are probably freaking them out, no way!
We first saw The Beets at a secret show at Wellesley College (opening for No Age) back in April 2009. I remember thinking they were a strange combination of Black Lips meets Beat Happening. At the time, I didn’t truly appreciate it though and about a year and half passed by before I started listening to The Beets again. The fall of 2010, a time when folks could find me listening to Spit In The Face of People Who Don’t Want To Be Cool (2009) on repeat, especially the song “Broken English.” Boy, did I love that song. I used to turn up the speakers all the way – I eventually broke them – blaring The Beets and tossing a tennis ball against my dorm room walls, annoying the hell out of all my fellow dormatory chums. I guess they just didn’t want to be cool.
Later that summer (2011) we caught The Beets again on a bill with Slumberland’s Brilliant Colors at a basement show in Allston (Problem House). While that show was fine and cozy, I don’t recall kids going apeshit for The Beets, at least not in serious numbers. Tonight is a different story. As I mentioned earlier there are many enthusiastic Beets fans in the house.
Aside from Glen and myself, Hassle Fest organizers Chris Collins and Ben Katzman are among these Beets zealots, rambunctiously dancing and singing along to each and every Beets song. It’s damn near hard not to; with just a couple of guitars these Queens kids can start a riot if they wanted to. The dudes open with Spit opener “Happy, But On My Way” and they play a satisfying mish mash of material from all three of their distinguished albums. My favorites on this evening include “What Did I Do” and “Why Should I Live If I Won’t Fit.” The latter is a fantastic anthem for all of us outsiders, and if you’re a Beets fan you probably are an outsider or maybe you’re an insider, but an outsider at heart or an outsider, but an insider at heart. The Beets can be puzzling. Make you contemplate life while you dance. Keep your mind moving just as fast as your hips, I dig. Lastly, at the request of the audience The Beets plink out “Friends of Friends.” Tis a great show.
Set – List:
“Happy, But On My Way”
“Now I Live”
“What Did I Do” (written as “Why Did I Do”)
“In Your Head”
“I Don’t Know”
“Why Should I Live If I Won’t Fit”
“Knock On Wood”
“Friends of Friends”
Lightning Bolt – Lightning Bolt headlines the first night of Hassle Fest and rightfully so. The legendary noise duo formed nearly 20 years ago and have been deafening the youth over and over again ever since. I first heard of Lightning Bolt at the recommendation of a hip college professor in 2009. I was reading The Catcher In The Rye and this young, hip college professor suggested I listen to Lightning Bolt and Hasil Adkins. It was a fun day. Since then, Lightning Bolt has been on my list of “bands to see before I die.” I’ve seen chaotic videos of the pair (Brian Chippendale – drums/vocals and Brian Gibson – bass) in wrestling masks (as they appear tonight) playing on the floor while a crowd of crazy kids pile all around them. It looked amazing and I wanted in.
Last I heard of Lightning Bolt till now was that they were playing and even selling out the Paradise Rock Club, a large venue, not exactly what I expected from the band. Glad to see they have made it to a bigger level and still retain their gritty, abrasive nature, but I am so happy that my first Lightning Bolt show is here at the much smaller Cambridge Elks Lodge. And as I predicted, the place is full of vast amounts of Lightning Bolts fans, all tucked away in this tiny spot, and balls out bedlam ensues.
I’ve/we’ve never experienced anything quite like a Lightning Bolt show. It’s LOUD as fuck (thankfully I threw on some earplugs, about the second or third time I have ever done this) and it’s just a non stop mosh pit. The ear splitting, constant barrage of noise coming from the Brians’ drums and bass is the perfect soundtrack for mayhem. It’s like a 30-40 minute tornado. Kids even crash into the drum set and it topples over from time to time. By the end of the set, I’m drenched in sweat and I remain soaked for the next two hours. So yes, go see Lightning Bolt if you get a chance. Footage shot by Sixdust/NYC Music
Fat Creeps – KLYAM Records’ own Fat Creeps are among the most anticipated bands to play the Hassle Fest and by the time they hit the stage (or lack thereof), a solid crowd is built up around them.
Tonight’s set consists of some of the band’s louder, noisier tunes and the whole performance is one of the heaviest I have seen from the trio. Songs include the pop gems like “Fooled” and “Secrets,” which feature some nasty, extended vocals – “I Can’t hear youuuuuu!” as well as some fast punk rockers like “Going to the Party” and “Daydreaming.”
I notice a lot of new faces at this show, I can see that many of them are taking a shine to the Fat Creeps. The seemingly younger crowd produce a healthy, fun loving mosh pit during “Going to the Party,” something that typically doesn’t occur at most Creeps shows.
Spacin’ – Spacin’, some dudes from Philly, some seriously spacin’ dudes. These fellas are fun, laid back, dare I say psychedelic. It’s an overused description, but for all intents and purposes, we’ll stick with psychedelic for now. No need to get into all the hairy, in depth, emotional details. What do I look like their fucking biographer? So yeah, it’s jam, bluesy psych stuff. They’d pal around with the likes of Moontower and Future Days if they were around these parts; a bit dirtier than those folks though. Not downright filthy either.
A pair of hoolgians grab the band’s mic and sing into it while the band continues to solo as if nothing is going on. They all spaced out. Maybe. Space out with Spacin’ right here: http://spacin.bandcamp.com/album/1-1-11-demo
Guerilla Toss – There’s been a lot of commotion surrounding Guerilla Toss lately and they’ve earned it. I mean there’s always commotion surrounding Guerilla Toss. It’s that primal, incomparable rawness that sets them apart from just about every other band I have ever seen and most other bands you will see too. I’m not going to pretend like I understand the technical sophistication that makes up the music of Guerilla Toss. I don’t know much about no wave or free jazz or whatever, but I know what I like and I like Guerilla Toss.
So, instead of throwing out names like Boredoms or another noise/experimental/avant garde band I don’t actually know anything about as a means of comparison, I’m going to stick with what I know: my own gut feeling and Jay Reatard. Huh? yes, I am probably the only person that will compare Guerilla Toss to Jay Reatard. But, I can only speak from personal experience. When I see Guerilla Toss, I get that same, uncertain, somewhat uncomfortable feeling in my stomach that I got all those years ago when I saw Jay all revved up on stage before he passed away far too young. While the late musician played comparatively far more straight forward rock ‘n’ roll than Guerilla Toss, both artists share a similar brutal aesthetic that is particularly amplified during a live show. With Tard and Toss the music serves as a gigantic bulldozer that rolls over you with little to no care for your preservation. There is no conventional verbal interaction with the audience. There is no applause after each song to serve as an ego boost for the artists. There is no time check, time is suspended. In a few simple words, Guerilla Toss is the most confrontational band I have seen since Jay Reatard; the band and the audience together behave as they ought to at a rock ‘n’ roll show, like primitive, savage animals.
Give Guerilla Toss’ new record Gay Disco (NNA Tapes) a listen and check out everything else G Toss here: http://guerillatoss.com/
All around Hassle Fest was a mesmerizing experience, a constant assault of excellent music – both foreign and homegrown. Can’t wait for next year.
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 Toss: G-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/
Boston Hassle Presents: EX-Cult @ O’Brien’s Pub – 8 PM – $8 – Memphis’ current garage punk kings, EX-Cult are rocking through our fair city once again, after nearly breaking our bones at an epic punk slime show last July. Before EX-Cult hits the stage you may not even be standing straight, because Allston sociopaths Strict Agnostics are playing as well; definitely dudes you wanna know. Real, no bullshit punk featuring members of Nice Guys, Miami Doritos, Thigh Masters, and Big Buck Hunter. Additionally, fellow local garage rockers White Pages and Denton, TX doom metal sludgers Terminator 2 round out this fine ass bill.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
The New Highway Hymnal @ Wilder Zangcraft – Over in Lowell, they are zanging out to one of the zickest bands I’ve ever zeen: The New Highway Hymnal, a psych drone machine that will blow your mind to smithereens. NHH will be joined by the jam/soul rock of Northampton’s Lord Jeff and the stoner fuzz rock of Austin, TX’s Mirror Travel. Kicking things off is a band we repped back in July: Allston’s Bellwire will sooth your sore ears with their soft rock ‘n’ roll gems.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
FIDLAR @ The Sinclair – 8 PM – $13 Adv/ $15 day of – Well well well, looks like we have ourselves a stacked line up. We’re excited to finally see LA’s cheap beer extollers and rock ‘n’ rollers, FIDLAR, but we’re even more psyched to witness the greatness that is The Orwells once again for the third time this year! Last and most definitely not least, one of our favorite local bands, the always slimy Nice Guys are opening up this show, and if you haven’t heard or seen them yet you’re in for a treat. I can’t wait to see you sixteen year old kids go nuts!
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Saralee @ The Spot JP – One of Boston’s best bands, Saralee is in the middle of a big ass tour with fellow underground rock ‘n’ roll crusaders, Giving Up and on this special night they’ll be back and killing it in their hometown. Joining them is the freak out soundz of one of their noisiest contemporaries, Guerilla Toss.
Chastity Belt @ Chum’s Coffeehouse (Brandeis University) – Seattle’s “Vagina Rock” quartet Chastity Belt are coming to Boston to destroy everyone’s favorite random venue, Chum’s in Waltham. Opening is tour mates Pony Time – a guy and girl rock duo sorta thang.
Kal Marks @ The Laundry Room (formerly known as the Ant Cellar) – Over in my old stomping grounds of Lowell is one kick ass show from the likes of one of Boston’s finest and most successful artists, Kal Marks. The other players include psych rockers, Vundabar, who are simply vunderful, ambient post-rock North Shorers, Harborlights, and old school folk dudes, Root Juice.
If you think we missed any shows that a tru KLYAM gangsta would vant to see. Hit us up at KLYAMEMAIL@GMAIL.COM
THOSE DARLINS @ Great Scott – 9 PM – $12 – Nashville country punk slimers Those Darlins roll into town with a fresh new LP in hand Blur The Line. Their new stuff has a more personal sheen yet I bet their live show is still as wild and sweatily satisfying as ever. Folk New Yorker Gambles will allow the crowd to catch its breath after the manic, organ led garage of Boston’s own Thick Shakes.
Monday, October 14, 2013
FUZZ @ Great Scott – 9 PM – $10 – 18+ – Ty Segall comes back to Boston after three years of ACTIVITY. He’s been busy. We’ve had a chance to see him twice in New York as himself, but here he checks in as FUZZ, which is like his album Slaughterhouse personified, with regular band-mate/buddy Charlie Mootheart co-masterminding the group. Leading things will be local psych/garage staples Creaturos and San Fran’s CCR Headcleaner, whose own hooky noise assaults quite complement FUZZ.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Sonic Avenues @ O’Briens – 9 PM – $8 – 21+ – Coming down from the great land of Canada are powerpop fueled Sonic Avenues who’ve got an enjoyable Jay Reatard/Adverts sound. Opening for them are the ATLANTIC THRILLS, the Providence band that we can’t seem to praise enough around here. They ignite crowds with old school punk (think more Peru 1965 than NYC 1977) ‘n gunk; their surfy debut Day At The Beach 7″ came out a few months back on Almost Ready…check it out! Also reviving garagier daze are Thee Legendary Rockin’ Prophets and self-described Ramonescore punk pop north shorers The Little Richards start festivities.
Future Days@ Lilypad – 9 PM – $5 – This is a special show celebrating the video release of “Blonde Wig” from Future Days latest release Tony Plante. Supporting the catchy psych pop of Future Days are two KLYAMMY bands: Free Pizza, fresh off an absolutely mesmeric performance at the KLYAM Radio Down show Friday night, and The Silkies, who we saw dominate at PA’s Lounge months ago with their girl group/new oldies charm.
Leamers @ 119 Gallery (Lowell) – 8 PM – Bounce provocateurs (as in literally causing people to bounce) Canadian(nes) Leamers descend to Lowell for what’s sure to be a great deal of fun. Also playing are some punks: Providence punks Downtown Boys, Boston punks The Vegans and some more experimentally minded groups like Les Rhinoceros (Washington DC), Dust Witch (Northampton), and Shogun Horny (location UNKNOWN).
Horsehands @ PA’s Lounge – 9 PM – 21+ – A watery show for those who are more inclined toward the less straightforward: robotic/melodic post-rockers Horsehands top the bill – they just recently released a split 7″ with Lady Bones, prolifically upbeat zany pop punk Zookeepers, primeval Middle Agelic ambiance/psychedelic pop comes courtesy of J COLE and company in Warped Forest, and Guerilla Toss singer Kassie’s Molasses is similarly making centuries old sound affects come alive.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
HALLOWEEN SHOW 2 @ Cambridge Elks Lodge – 9 PM – $8 – 18+ – Four of Boston’s finest groups playing as: The Mummies, Meatloaf, The Cramps, and Blink 182. The four bands are Fat Creeps, Designer, Nice Guys, and Guerilla Toss. Who is playing who? Go and see!!!!!!!
Think we missed a show that a tru KLYAMer is itching to see? KLYAMEMAIL@GMAIL.COM
Crinkleface @ Dirty Douglas– Crinkleface starts the show off (at least for me) with a loud, rocking set filled with 90s esque metalcore tunes. It is not my personal taste, but the band is good at what they do and they sound pretty tight today, so for that I will commend them. Also, the vocals are remarkably memorable. As I am typing this now, nearly a month later, when I listen to their music I can instantly identify the singer’s voice. I have to say that that is a rare stand out for me, especially since it is not a voice I particularly enjoy hearing, with all due respect because the vocals ARE in fact strong, just not my thing. It is funny though because I feel like this is the kind of band I would have adored in sixth or seventh grade, when I attended my very first shows. Glen thinks they have more of a Nirvana feel, with the whole “loud/quiet/loud dynamic.” I get what he is saying, but I do not think it all boils down to just that. In general, I feel like people use that line way too often. Ahh well, here is Crinkleface’s bandcamp page, take a look: http://crinkleface.bandcamp.com/
Friendship @ Ant Cellar– Friendship is a cool trio from the heart of Lowell. Every Friendship show (at least the two I have seen) shares two distinct features: a hanging, inverted American flag and a little tape recorder that unleashes all of your favorite pop hits. This time around the show opens with Ace of Base’s “I Saw the Sign,” before they rock into their noise fueled set. I am still getting into Friendship’s music, but I am always impressed with their unique performances. There is a charm to their prescence that I can’t quite articluate, but I do not see it in most bands. They end the set with the tape recorder playing Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” and a fantastic, serene vibe flows through the ant cellar, just a stellar ending to a fun set.
Styk @ Dirty Douglas– We missed this :(
Necklacing @ Ant Cellar– Necklacing plays heavy, hardrcore/death metal and if you know KLYAM well, then you know that really is not our thang. But, it is always nice to see an energetic, screaming frontwoman, so here’s to more ladies in the rock world! http://necklacing.bandcamp.com/
Ponds @ Dirty Douglas– Ponds play a similar style of music as Necklacing, but the crowd appears to be a bit more enthusiastic as some moshing and dancing emerges in the middle of the set. Being a short dude, I do not have to worry about thee unfortunately low ceiling like most dirty douglas desciples and I am a grateful for this, one of the few benefits to being short. I bring up this point because during Ponds’s set, another form of headbanging occurs when one enthusiastic lad rocks so hard, he knocks his head against the pipes and plummets to the floor. Sorry dude, but I just think this is too hilarious not to mention! Rock show scars and injuries aside, here is Ponds’ Band Camp page: http://ponds.bandcamp.com/
Host @ Ant Cellar– We missed :(
Guerilla Toss @ Ant Cellar– Ahh yes Guerilla Toss, a name I have heard literally tossed around these parts for several months now. Finally, I have the opportunity to see what other music lovers have christened as “amazing.” And I must say I truly did not anticipate them to be as awesome as they are. Guerilla Toss’ set is filled with walls of noise, weird time signatures, insanely danceable grooves, and the lead vocalist’s unending shrieks. I have seen countless vocalists scream their hearts out, but this frontwoman totally steals the show. Her enthusiasm is unlimited as she bops around, up and down, demolishing through the sausage fest that consumes the Ant Cellar; she turns all the men into boys in two seconds. I usually am not a huge fan of this kind of screaming in vocals, but her yalps just seem more genuine, like they are coming from some deep, dark place. It sounds as if she is being bludgeoned to death, I love it! I also have to note the slick, stylish, bright red, “Beat It” era Michael Jackson leather jacket being worn by the guitarist, looking good my man, looking good. Guerilla Toss’ performance is one that will stick with me forever (literally Glen says this to me during the show, and he is correct at that, though I remember all the shows!) for my favorite moment in their set is when the vocalist leaps toward me, grabs my skull and hurls my wee body back into the crowd. This jostling, trance-like gesture of showomanship sends the pre-pubescent boy in me into paroxysms of ecstacy. When the set finally hits its conclusion, I notice that there is some blood pouring down my arm. In fact, as I am writing this now, I can still see the little dent in my arm from which the blood flows. If I could frame that teeny scar as a mini Guerilla Toss @ the Ant Cellar memento I would. Though that seems unecessary because after this KLYAM debut the band will be rocking in my psyche anyway. FUN!!! http://guerillatoss.com/
Motel Mattress @ Ant Cellar– I am not going to lie, I do not remember too much of Motel Mattress’ set, but I do remember enjoying it very much. I also recall my good friend Justin Cole being blown away and possibly purchasing a record? Either way, Mr.Cole is typically a solid barometer for excellence in musical taste, so here’s a shout out to Motel Mattress! I plan on checking out their music a bit more in the future. http://motelmattress.bandcamp.com/
Big Mess @ Dirty Douglas– Big Mess is always a great big kick in the balls, just right in the nads. The Dirty D is the best place to see Big Mess, or at least my favorite, and I am sad to see it go. I am also sad to hear that this is most likely the last time I will see bassist Josh Tracy with the band. Tonight, the charismatic musician is bare chested and bearing a surgeon’s mask, I dig. In the past six months or so, I have come to love Big Mess and they never have dissapointed me live or in the studio. This evening is no exception and the trio destroy per ususal. The guitars are heavy, the drums roar, and it all adds up to one gigantic explosion of classic rock and roll. As I have noted before, the sound of Big Mess is one of familiarity, but these guys make it sound fresh. You can hear the hard rock of Black Sabbath and the noise rock of Shellac, but it does not sound anicent at all. You can really hear their appreciation for music in these songs. Big Mess might also win the award for best band to headbang to! Whether it be headbanging, moshing, or any -ing one desires, do it to Big Mess: http://bigmessma.bandcamp.com/
Atlas the Atom Smasher @ Ant Cellar– Atlas the Atom Smasher brings out the most attendees by far. The place is packed with bodies all the way and through the exit and it is not hard to see why; Atlas has served as punk rock stalwurts in Lowell for years and sadly tonight is their final performance. I am fairly new to their music, hearing them for for the first time last fall, but I can appreciate their musical chops and lightning fast delivery. Drummer Tyler Bisson is pounding on his drum kit like a madman. His and the entire band’s charisma is as admirable as their DIY ethics. I am glad I caught Atlas the Atom Smasher while I did and I hope every member has an equally gratifying future in music and all other endeavours. http://atlastheatomsmasher.bandcamp.com/
Fat History Month @ DirtyDouglas– Fat History Month are like the Black Lips of Boston for me. Which means we suck their dicks digitally on KLYAM. In other words, they are a beloved favorite worthy of the highest praise. Tonight, Sean Historymonth (I guess that is what the kids are calling him nowadays) informs Glen and I that Mark and himself were painting all day before they arrived in Lowell. Hard working men on all accounts! Indeed. This performance is filled with laughs, cheers, and Naragansett beers; loads of fun. Fat History Month are at ease as they rock through many of their classics including, but not limited to “No Safe,” “Thing I Enjoy,” “Fucking Despair,” “Free As A Cat On A Leash,” and “Old Lady Smokers,” which is played twice by request. I do not know about you, but this is the best Fat History Month show I have seen in 2012 and the last one at the Dirty Douglas.
Hey shithead, check this out if you haven’t! http://fathistorymonth.bandcamp.com/album/june-tour-tape-bad-history-demos
New Highway Hymnal @ Ant Cellar– One of the best Boston bands right here and certainly one of my favorites. I have seen NHH several times now and it seems to get better, honestly, not just saying that for no reason. Glen, on the other hand, has not experienced NHH up until this point. The group is a tour de force live and it is great to see what the bands sounds/looks like through a new set of eyes. Tonight, people are moshing to the wild, psychdelic zounds of the music whilst singer Hadden hops into the crowd. He has a crazed look on his face, it is as if he is staring right through my soul. Their performance is easily one of the funnest from the whole fest. The set climaxes in destruction as bodies and instruments are tossed around like a town whore. Then in what feels like a split second I hear an explosion, I am covered in water, and the room reeks of feces. Fortunately, I am not covered in actual shit, just shit water. So, drummer Travis and I essentially are shit brothers! A lovely way to conclude OnBroadway Fest 2008. http://thenewhighwayhymnal.bandcamp.com/