Review: Fagettes & Nice Guys @ Lilypad (2/14/14)

Love
Bands: Hallelujah the Hills, The Dazies, The Fagettes, Nice Guys
Date: Friday, February 14, 2014
Venue: Lilypad (Cambridge, MA)

Nice Guys – NICE GUYS! These Nice fucking Guys right here. And they truly are nice guys, that’s not a misnomer. It’s like you tell your buddy, hey you’re going to like this dude, he’s a nice guy, he’s a goodfella.

Christ,  if you haven’t heard the Nice Guys by now, I don’t know where the hell you’ve been man.  I’m going to break my fucking back, digging you out of that hole you’ve been in these last couple years. You missed out on boxforts, 420 John Freeman parties, and many a Jamaican Vacation. But, it’s okay dawg, your time has come. We’re going to make it through this. That’s what this is all about, it’s supposed to be a catharsis. It’s Friday night, it’s Valentines’ Day (no wait, fuck that), and the Nice Guys are playing Jamaican Vacation.

I get that tingle, you know, when they announce that the next song is called “Jamaican Vacation.” Before they even play, I’m getting a little stiff. I tell my erect buddy to STAY DOWN! STAY DOWN! Let’s not make a scene. Boy, my folks must be real proud right now. “Son, I love when you freeze your reviews to stop and talk to your dick. I’m so proud of you honey!” There’s love in the air. My love for the Nice Guys stretches far and wide. You can hear the smash hit “Jamaican Vacation” and it’s cannabis reeking  chum “Medical Envy” on a Splifft 7″ with fellow chart toppers Miami Doritos. You can order one here from KLYAM Records: http://klyam.bigcartel.com/product/nice-guys-miami-doritos-splifft-7  Do iT!

The Fagettes – After the Nice Guys set, I step outside for a bit, but not for too long, because within just a few moments my ears are dancing to the sweet, serene sounds of The Fagettes’ “When I’m With You – a tune I have been dying to hear live from the group 4eva.   Tis  in my top two favorite Fagettes numbers (special points for whoever guesses what my favorite Gettes song is. Hint: it’s also a live rarity). “When I’m With You” showcases the band’s softer side and brings to mind Beat Happening and early Best Coast, particularly in Melanie’s vocals. Seriously, it’s a live rarity, so as soon as I hear them playing I have to rush right in to the packed Lilypad space. Before me lies a series of bodies shaking, rocking, and sipping on their PBRs.

For this set, Jake Nice Guy joins the band on bass, reprising his role as a March 2013 Nice Guys/Fagettes Beast  Coast Tour champion. Way to go Jake. I’m positive you’re little Valentine’s Day mailbox was always overflowing with Secret Admirers.

Another stand out for me tonight is “You’re Destroying Me,” which features Ryan and Melanie rocking out with the crowd. I think it’s the set closer? Ahh PBR, you’re destroying me.

Check out Fagettes here: http://thefagettes.bandcamp.com/

The Dazies and Hallelujah the Hills also played on this fine evening of local rock ‘n’ roll music. Alas, we did not see them play :(.

Review: Nice Guys & Idiot Genes @ O’Brien’s Pub (1/18/14)

Nice OBs
Bands: Nice Guys, Idiot Genes, Community Service, Vundabar
Date: Saturday, January 18, 2014
Venue: O’Brien’s Pub (Allston, MA)

Idiot Genes – I’m a little too sober right now to be writing about Idiot Genes,  but we’ll take a trip back to last Saturday to relive the sloppy mess that was this ‘Too Drunk 2014 event’. Indeed, this here is a fun loving, party hardy band of boys. Slimy, beer chuggin’ ruffians from Allston Rock City. The first and last time I saw them was right here at O’Brien’s chub. They gave me a bit of thee old chub back then and I’m feeling the sensation all over again.  Shit, I’m failing to fulfill my New Year’s resolution to cut back on phallic imagery in my writing. Damn you Idiot Genes look what you have done to me!

I’m up front for these dudes, about six or seven beers deep now.  The crowd is a bit larger than most of my experiences at this venue, but still building up. Overall, they are generally receptive with headbanging and screaming, but nothing too crazy. The  band themselves however prefer to flop and frolic about all over  the tiny stage.  Lead singer/guitar guy Pete Bayko makes a shout to his daddy who is apparently in the crowd on this fine evening. What up pops? How you doin’?

Among the many choice numbers the group whips out, my favorite is “The Charles Mansion.” A simple, but catchy punk stomper filled with painful, negative emotions that oddly enough make me smile even when I want to cry. Life can’t be taken too seriously all the time. If you’re ever feeling so sorry for yourself you feel like you are going to explode, just remember this: there once was a funny man from the House of Representatives and his name was Dick Armey aka the DICK ARMY. Imagine paling around with this fool on the school yard. Bullies coming up to you, “You and what army?” “The DICK ARMY!” Ah, forgive me and my poor Idiot Genes, I inherited them from my father. Pay more attention to these Idiot Genes here: http://stupidpants.bandcamp.com/album/idiot-genes

Nice Guys – Ohh it only gets sloppier from here on… If there’s another band around these parts that can top Idiot Genes in serenading me into a drunken stupor then it’s Nice Guys. Fuck, it’s been over a month since I’ve seen these dudes in action. It feels great to catch another fresh set from one of my favorite bands. If you ever read this site (which of course you should) then you know Glen and I have been reppin’ the Nice Guys for the past year or more. I just love their gritty, loose, scuzzy sound. If you love this sound so much why don’t you marry it and have 80 million of its kids you may say. And maybe I will. MAYBE, I WILL!
There’s a plethora (haven’t used that word in a while, what can I say it’s just a plethora moment) of vintage Nice Guys tunes on display here tonight. Among the best are “HD Snobs,” my dad’s favorite Nice Guys song, “Boxfort,” a jam dedicated to the Allston underground venue of yesteryear, “Unholy Sacrifice,” which makes me tingle, it’s that unholy, and “Cop Walk,” a slow, but menacing number that sonically knocks you right the fuck out. Even better than those songs, however, are a couple of new sludgey, smudgey cuts for the raging and aging punk rocker in all of us. Even I don’t know how I feel about that last sentence. Anywayyy they are known as “Jamaican Vacation” and “Medical Envy” and they are coming to a theater near you.

Yesemm, these are nice guys, no doubt. But, they have a wacky wild side to them. They like to have FUN and this spirit is alive and well in their recordings and especially in their live performances. I especially dig Alex rocking out in the crowd, shredding on his guitar like a dominatrix tortures her humiliated male customer. Don’t worry, I assure you that guitar had it coming.

Set-List:
“Gary”
“HD Snobs”
“Whale”
“Jamaican Vacation”
“Boxfort”
“Cop Walk”
“Unholy Sacrifice”
“Medical Envy”
“Finale Dead”

Fo mo Nice Guys: http://niceguys666.bandcamp.com/

So, I’ll be square with y’all I vaguely remember Community Service’s and Vundabar’s sets. Whoops! I may have taken the Nice Guys’ mantra of “Drunk As Fuck, Stoned As Fuck” a little too far. I do remember enjoying myself very much though. Yeahhhh, I wish I had some sort of snappy line to go out on, but I’ve tried nothing and I’m all out ideas.

Review: FIDLAR, The Orwells, Nice Guys @ The Sinclair

FIDLAR
Bands: FIDLAR, The Orwells, Nice Guys
Date: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Venue: The Sinclair (Cambridge, MA)

Nice Guys – OMG!!! IT’S NICE GUYS!!!! HOLY SHIT!!!
That’s right kids, it’s Nice Guys! And if you feel my exclamation points are extraneous and exaggerated then you obviously haven’t seen the band at the Sinclair among hundreds of screaming sixteen year olds. As soon as the Allston foursome hit the stage the crowd begins to cheer. Jake quickly quips “thanks for clapping for us even though we haven’t done anything yet.” And with that little jab, they launch into their demonic set on the gigantic Sinclair stage. It’s funny how I’m used to seeing these guys play on small stages or no stages or even better in dusty basements and other DIY spaces, so seeing these gentlemen on the Sinclair stage is a trip. The sound is terrific; the Nice Guys’ sound at the Sinclair is so large it could break down the walls of Jericho, which from what I hear are very hard to break down.

I’ve seen Nice Guys about ten times now and in some ways I know what to expect, but with the exception of a few other people in attendance, most of the crowd are newbies. But, the newbies eat it up, moshing and thrashing about and even high fiving the dudes at the end of their set, much to the pleasant surprise of the band members themselves. This has to be the best crowd response I’ve ever seen for a local, opening band or even most opening bands. I saw Jacuzzi Boys and King Tuff here earlier in October opening for Wavves and the crowd didn’t go this bonkers to those guys as they do to the Nice Guys.

Personally, I get a massive kick out of simply watching the young, all ages crowd react to the Nice Guys’ performance. It’s the little things that make the difference. Like seeing little bracefaced girls giggle when Jake announces that the next song is “Pizza Bong” or their perplexed faces when Alex rampantly swings his guitar around like one of those dudes that’s just been infected by the zombies in zombie flicks, like he’s trying to fight it off even though he knows he’s a goner. Game’s over man. I love that feisty energy! Ha yeah so, then there’s my favorite when Matt unleashes some nasty feedback and distortion from his guitar and the kids’ eyes just light up. Woahhhhh. I remember seeing Thurston Moore scrape and mutilate his guitar in similar fashion and being blown away, I know the feeling kids.

Besides impressing kids with their usual set of shenanigans, the crowd genuinely devours the Nice Guys’ fast, aggressive punk sound. A sound that could be or more importantly SHOULD be the soundtrack to kids getting drunk as fuck and stoned as fuck for the very first time. Nice Guys oughta play some sweet sixteen birthday parties…. when their parents aren’t home.

P.S. Cam rocks. I haven’t mentioned his name until now. How could I forget? It’s like my dad used to say “you would forget your dick if it wasn’t attached to you!” Cam slays on drums and eats souls. Keep soul eating brotha.
http://niceguys666.bandcamp.com/

Set List:
“Gary”
“Herb Chambers”
“Pizza Bong”
“Draggins”
“Drunk As Fuck Stoned As Fuck”
“HD Snobs”
“An Unholy Sacrifice”
“Cop Walk”
“Box Fort”
“Medical Envy”
“Finale Dead”

The Orwells – Our Chicago boys The Orwells, so happy to see these fellas again for the third time in twenty thirteen! This show, however, tops them all. Last time at Brighton Music Hall, the crowd was sparse and still filling up for the headliner Palma Violets. The headliner tonight is FIDLAR, and they bring forth a little bit extra junk in the trunk, so pairing The Orwells with a harder edged bunch of ruffians like FIDLAR pays off. The crowd of youngsters don’t spare a second of The Orwells’ set with moshing and stage diving galore. All of that pent up aggression fresh off  your first Nice Guys show, I feel ya kids.

The Orwells feed off the crowd’s energy and they emerge as a true rock ‘n’ roll outfit of epic proportions. In particular, Mario is a beast. He knows how to work a crowd. All he has to do is give one of the girls his signature zoned out, wide eyed, evil glare and they are instantly blushing.

In terms of the set-list, damn, it’s all the songs you would want to hear the band play and then some. “Who Needs You?” “Other Voices,” “Halloween All Year,” “In My Bed,” (which can be seen below), “Mallrats (La La La),” and my favorite “Blood Bubbles” – I really miss the singing black ladies though. See the song’s music video, if you don’t follow. Covers of classic tunes in the rock canon such as “Build Me Up Buttercup” (The Foundations) and “I Wanna Be Your Dog” (The Stooges) round out one of the best performances I’ve seen all year.

FIDLAR – I just started listening to FIDLAR recently, so I am not overly familiar with the band’s material. BUT, upon hearing the band for the very first time I felt an instant wavelength with these Californians. Enter the first track off of their self – titled LP and this set’s opener, “Cheap Beer.” “Twenty – three years I’ve been drinking cheap beer,” while I didn’t crack open a PBR as I rolled out of my mom’s womb, I can identify with being a 23 year old cheap beer drinker and being proud of it. And as soon as FIDLAR rolls out “Cheap Beer,” I proudly gulp what is left of my PBR and scream along to the anthemic chorus “I DRINK CHEAP BEER, SO WHAT? FUCK YOU! I DRINK CHEAP BEER, SO WHAT? FUCK YOU! I DRINK CHEAP BEER, SO WHAT? FUCK YOU!”

Like I said, I don’t know most of their songs, but they are all pretty much easy to get in to. The only other song I recognize is a solid cover of Descendents’ “Suburban Home.”

FIDLAR has a fun, teenage crowd that goes even wilder during their set than The Orwells. Every other second, there’s a new set of legs crashing into my head after leaping from the stage. I love the excitement, because stiff crowds suck, but it can also be obnoxious at times too. For example, stage diving during slow songs or even in between songs, which is actually pretty funny to see because the crowd isn’t ready to catch the person; hopefully they don’t get too fucked up though.

Additionally, some of the audience members are simply too knuckleheaded at times. Like one dude keeps yelling at the band to play “Cocaine,”(which they do). Lead singer/guitarist, Zac Carper informs the young man “Dude, cocaine is bad for you. I mean it’s good… but it’s bad for you.” Ahh well, these are minor flaws and it’s okay, I can be a knucklehead too, and hey it’s better to see a rowdy crowd than a well behaved crowd. Plus, FIDLAR’s music tends to be of the shameless, beer guzzlin’ variety anyway. Cheers.


Video by Juan Daniel Torres


Video by Dalton Patton