Review: Big Mess, Pissbath, Slurred Speech, Haldol, Regret, the Informer, Districts @ Wilder Zangcraft (11/9/12)

Bands: Big Mess, Pissbath, Slurred Speech, Haldol, Regret, the Informer/Districts (12 inch release)
Date: Friday, November 9, 2012
Venue: Wilder Zangcraft (Lowell, MA)
Comments:
Act I: Big Mess- I’ve never been huge on strictly instrumental music, but in the past year, my ears have had the pleasure of being jostled by Boston behemoths, Big Mess. As I’ve said before, this here is a band you need to experience live. Sometimes I fall in love with a band’s studio (or bedroom) work,  but when I see them in person, the songs don’t translate as well. This isn’t the case with Big Mess; quite the opposite. Live, they are a sonic beast, a total wall of headbanging inducing noise. Much of their music is heavy, but there’s also a quiet, intimate quality to the band that can be best appreciated at a nice, little basement spot like Wilder Zangcraft. I can honestly say tonight’s show is one of the best I’ve seen, with the band sounding as fierce and intense as ever. In particular, I want to note the drumming of Nick Egersheim, which is one of the first things that struck me about the band. There’s an undeniable frenetic character to his style; he smacks the drums so hard, it’s as if his sticks are his fists and the drums are a body, like a fistfight and each smack is another punch. I don’t know why I always conjure up violent images when I listen to Big Mess, I guess I am just a sick guy. In any case, they’re a badass band and I heavily recommend them to all of y’all. http://bigmessma.bandcamp.com/album/big-mess

Act II: Pissbath– I love this name, especially coming after Big Mess. Well, I can imagine the pissbath would come first and then it would be a big mess, for sure. But, not tonight. This Nashville quartet plays fast, hardore punk inspired jams. In the traditions of  old school hardcore, this group blasts through each cut in a matter of seconds, keeping it short, but sweet. You can listen to their demo tape here: http://funkyfrankenstein.bandcamp.com/album/pissbath-demo-tape

Act III: Haldol– Unfortunately, we missed these fellow Nashville punkers, but you can check out their bandcamp here: http://haldol.bandcamp.com/releases

Act IV: Slurred Speech– Slurred Speech is one man powerhouse Josh Tracy. Tracy’s music  consists of one man, one guitar, and a fine set of pipes. He sings with a lot of emotion and is able to get a crowded, sweaty basement full of drunken students to sing along with him. Slurred Speech may not be my cup of tea, but I genuinely enjoy the intimate, interactive charm of Tracy’s performance/music and overall sense of humor. I especially love when he mentions feeling badass about listening to System Of A Down and how everyone else most likely had the same reaction as a youngster. Well, I felt badass listening to System Of A Down, I still do. Check out Josh’s jams here: http://slurredspeech.bandcamp.com/

Act V: Regret, The Informer– Regret, The Informer has embarked on tour all the way from Missouri and tonight they are here alongside Districts (the band up next) in honor of the release of their split 12″.  Regret shares the same hardcore sound as some of the other bands on the bill tonight, but they seem to  permeate a slower, more melodic sound. If you want hear Regret, The Informer, click here: http://regrettheinformer.bandcamp.com/

Act V: Districts– Lowell’s own, Districts close this fun filled evening of diverse local and national music. Districts play energetic screamo/hardcore and it looks like they have some dedicated fans in attendance singing along to their impassioned vocals. It seems like Districts have made a name for themselves around town and beyond, catch em’ if you can or start by listening to them here: http://districts.bandcamp.com/

Concert Review: Colleen Green, Plateaus, Empty Phrases @ unchARTed (9/10/12)


Artists: Colleen Green, Plateaus, Empty Phrases
Date: Monday, September 10, 2012
Venue: unchARTed (Lowell, MA)

Comments: Tonight is my first time stepping foot into the unchARTed gallery in downtown Lowell and I am impressed by its small, but cozy and enticing atmosphere. The walls are covered with various, intriguing portraits, I don’t know much about art, but I can recommend art enthusiasts and purveyors to check this place out! Though, this is my first unchARTed show, I have heard of the place for a while now, so I am glad my introduction is with one of my favorite artists, Colleen Green!

Act I: Empty Phrases– Ahh my boys, the Empty Phrases, a budding four piece fresh out of Lowell and ready to take on the world. Alas, tonight they are missing guitarist Evan Walters :( next time brother! Fortunately, the group manages more than fine as a three piece and I can honestly say this is the finest performance I have experienced from these gentlemen. Tonight, they display a much more aggressive, almost a hardcore/noise rock possessed version of Empty Phrases, giving their summery, dream like sound an oddly  enchanting, sinister touch. All in all, a fun, loud, rocking set from one of Lowell’s most promising bands. http://emptyphrases1.bandcamp.com/album/empty-phrases%20

Act II: Plateaus– Plateaus were sick last night when I saw them at the Middle East Upstairs, but I prefer them even more tonight. The PA at unchARTed is a motherfucker, making all the bands sound quite loud, I love it! This is definitely the case for Plateaus, for their power pop sounds even better with the thunderous volume added to the mix. I don’t know if it’s just me, but their set tonight hit me like a ton of bricks and leaves me with an even greater impression of their music.  Check out this badass band! http://plateausband.bandcamp.com/

Act III: Colleen Green– Wooooooo! Night 2 of my Colleen Green extravaganza. KLYAM has the whole Colleen Green coverage as Empty Phrases vocalist/guitarist Ben Raymond puts it. Indeed, the Massachusetts coverage anyway. It has been a privilege of mine to see one of my favorite singers and her glorious backing band two nights in a row. I say this not to sound like a kiss ass as I am sure it may come off that way haha, but I love her music so as a fan the pleasure is all mine, and who wouldn’t want to experience something they love two nights in a row? Masochists that’s who. Anyway, Colleen and crew delivered a fantastic set last night at the Middle East Upstairs, so going into this performance I was ecstatic, rightfully so. The unchARTEd gallery truly is one of the best venues for a Colleen Green show in all of MASS and definitely the DIY atmosphere of this place feels fitting. Once again, I have to give props to the sound system here, I definitely think this is the best way to experience Colleen. When the bands gets their thing on, Colleen introduces the whole band as “Colleen Green,” which I think is awesome. Just like the previous night they rock into the Descendents tune “Good Good Things,” and transition into the fast, punk, Ramones ode “I Wanna Be Degraded.” The PA is nasty here and from what I am told it often unleashes some unpleasant noises (though tonight everything I have heard has been awesome), but the Colleen Green band is able to make everything sound great; nothing sounds harsh; in fact it’s all very soothing to my ears, which at this point are horribly damaged. Seriously, Colleen is one of my favorite singers, her vocals are so soft,  yet powerful, it’s incredible and I cannot think of anyone else that compares to her. Overall, the Colleen Green band destroys and I am a happy camper. I can’t wait to see her and her band again! KLYAM loves you! http://colleengreen.bandcamp.com/

Lowell

KLYAMin’ at college now, I overheard a dude repeat a text message out-loud in the cafeteria:

Are you still a virgin? Still? What kind of question is that. Lowell.

Lowell, you ask? Yeah, dude seriously said Lowell instead of L-O-L or law-l, which is hardly acceptable, but better. I’m in for a long semester if I keep noticing things like this.