Review: Atlantic Thrills Album Release Show w/ Ravi Shavi, Gymshorts, Littlefoot @ Dusk (2/1/14)

Dusk
Bands: Atlantic Thrills, Ravi Shavi, Gymshorts, Littlefoot
Date: Saturday, February 1, 2014
Venue: Dusk (Providence, RI)

“Hey, you’re the titties sucking guy!” Ahh, it’s that warmth I’ve come to know and love in Providence. Everyone seems to be so kind and friendly here. Glen, Paul, and I drove up from Wakefield, MA to come and celebrate an event we’ve been greatly looking forward to for years: Atlantic Thrills debut album release. Not to mention, another visit to Caserta Pizza to devour a full course of their mouthwatering cheese pizza. We don’t venture out to Providence very often, but when we do it’s always a blast and usually consists of  a wild, debauched party featuring the music of Atlantic Thrills and fellow Providence, revolutionary rockers Ravi Shavi. Additionally, two more excellent Providence rock bands fill out the bill with Gymshorts  – a group we’ve been seriously digging as of late and Littlefoot, whom make their KLYAM debut tonight.

Yes sir, Mr. DJ Studs Jerkel, thank you for reminding me of a fond memory from the canon of KLYAM attended punk slime shows. Last time we stepped foot in this city was indeed a wild, debauched, titties sucking hootenanny accompanied by the rampant music of the Thrillz and Ravi on a lovely, lush, and unforgettable Summer night. Summer ends. Work sucks. School sucks. Most vividly, New England weather sucks. I’m freezing my nips off in the cold, so I look to Dusk to seek out that warmth I’ve come to know and love here in Providence.

This is our first time here at Dusk, although I have heard the name pop up  on a number of occasions in local listings and just general conversation over the years. I know it’s one of the hot spots  for local music in Providence and one of the times KLYAM Records’ own Fat Creeps played in Providence they played here. Needless to say, I’m curious. It’s a cool spot with a big bar area and a fair amount of space for the audience to stand and see the bands, and hopefully much more rambunctious activity.

Littlefoot –  The evening begins with Littlefoot and of all the bands they are the most serene and surreal. The music is very mellow and gentle. It places me in a ethereal state of mind. The music warms everyone up for the rest of the bands, which are all more of the heavy, garage variety. That isn’t to say that Littlefoot doesn’t have any rock to them. They are very dream pop  and there’s  elements of early rock ‘n’ roll. They remind me of Dum Dum Girls, Polaroids, and The Smashing Pumpkins at their softest. My favorite tune is set closer “Worry Doll,” which makes me think of headliner Atlantic Thrills’ “Foreign Lands.” It just has that classic 50s, early 60s slow chord progression to it. Makes me want to  lay back on the grass and stare off into the stars. http://littlefootlittlefoot.bandcamp.com/

Set-List:
“Backwards Lullaby”
“Night of the Living Dread”?
“Fever Dream”
“Head in the Clouds”
“Bleak”
“Maps and Hands”
“Worry Doll”

Gymshorts – Here’s a band we’ve been getting into a lot recently. I wish they were from Boston, so we could see them on the reg, but you do what you can. We saw them on a sick bill in December with Nice Guys and The TeleVibes at the  Middle East ZuZu. This set is similar to that one and the band is pretty dirty and heavy. It’s the muddier, less attractive version of garage rock. It’s not cheery bubblegum, that’s for sure.

About half way through the set one of the guitarists condemns the crowd of stiffs, “Did you guys all come out here just to stand around.” Well, that set the fireworks off, and the stiffs start to loosen up and slamdance like they oughta. I’m pretty much out of it by this point, if you want to know the truth. In a split second, I’m flung from one side of the room to the next, barely able to stand. And I do the same to other patrons, you know how these things go.

“Hey Mom, Hey Dad” is my favorite from the night. Lead vocalist/guitarist Sarah’s vocals are delivered in ferocious, devilish yalps that bring to mind Kim Gordon, except Gymshorts are much more fun.

Another highlight includes “Bed (Stuy).” It’s hilarious when everyone is moshing and the band is going like 90 mph then SLAMS on the breaks and stops playing for a moment and everyone stops moshing. Then they start playing again and the moshing starts up again, and it’s just start, stop, start, stop. It’s really hilarious. Like they are dictators and we are all robots. I could live under a Gymshorts dictatorship. http://gymshorts.bandcamp.com/

Ravi Shavi – The mighty Ravi Shavi, my second favorite Providence band (Thrillz are number one). I haven’t seen these fellas as much as the Thrillz, but I have seen them several times in Providence and I’m more than excited to add another exhilarating Ravi Shavi show to the books.

As the band prepares to launch into their set, I overhear two gentlemen behind me discussing the American Revolution. The roar of inebriation washes over me and I clutch both their hands, proclaiming “let’s start the next revolution tonight!” With that I jump back and forth, bashing into them among other peers, the music kicks off and from then on it’s a non-stop frenzy.

Ravi Shavi is quite different from the first two bands on the bill; not as delicate as Littlefoot, but not as ravenous as Gymshorts. Their brand of soulful, vibrant power pop allows you to dance to them in both conventional and unconventional manners, I prefer the lather. Either way, it’s going to be sweaty.

The best part of Ravi is the build up to the final song “Accidental.” The crowd knows their Ravi Shavi well and all together there is a slow hum – “OHHHHHHHH” it’s like a fucked up, primal, tribal orgasm. At first, I’m like huh? But,  I notice the band reacting to this and I realize it is in fact the beginning of my favorite Ravi Shavi song, so I join in the lunacy. It’s the band’s strongest/highest point, the pinnacle, the best way to close a stellar set. Listen to Ravi Shavi here and better yet go seem them live! http://ravishavi.bandcamp.com/

Atlantic Thrills – “This is three years in the making.” Glen says this to me as the foursome are setting up to play. Atlantic Thrills have been kicking it for 3+ years and the first KLYAM attended show was nearly three years ago, so this show and specifically this album has been a long anticipation for us, and one that’s been worth the ride. The songs on the band’s self-titled debut, with a couple of exceptions, have not been available anywhere else. If you wanted to hear “Light Shines” or “Drugs In It” then you had to get off your lazy ass and go out and see the band in the flesh. This is what separates them from most other contemporary groups and definitely makes the release of this album that much more substantial. Speaking of which, tonight the band plays the new record in its entirety.

Before we even hear the first few chords of “Problems,” drunken pandemonium shifts into first gear. Silly string and beer cans fly across the room as a hurricane of eager bodies and a poor, stuffed unicorn mascot swing to and fro. Eric, Dan (wearing a mighty fine sombrero may I add), Kelly, and Josh do what they do best, blasting through a set filled with hit after hit. Glen and I hop on and off the little stage from time to time to sing along to the various garage fueled, doo wop drenched anthems we know by heart. Whether it’s the “ohhhhhhhh oh oh oh ohhhhhhh” in “Boozin’ All Night” or the ” Lie lie lie lie lie lie won’t you lie lie to me” in “Lie to Me,” we never miss a beat.

This set also marks the debut performance of “Blind Lead the Blind,” a politically tinged sermon of sorts. Still, most of my joy stems from hearing and singing along, and hysterically dancing my white ass off to all the classics. I am certainly not alone in this fanaticism, as I look around and see naked fans, crowd surfing, and a demolished brontosaurus unicorn.

I haven’t mentioned this yet, but originally this show was set to be an underground party, but some pesky porkers stepped in and nearly ruined everything for everyone. Fortunately, the party was moved to Dusk. Initially, I was still pumped for the show, but thinking damn, that underground party would have been really sick. Honestly, by the end of this show I could care less. This is not only the best/most chaotic Atlantic Thrills show I have seen, but one of the gnarliest shows EVER!  At least as far as we’re concerned.

I walk outside the Dusk to a cool breeze, still just wearing my Fat Creeps shirt, almost forgetting my jacket and the fact that it is probably 20/30 degrees or less outside. With my clothes soaked in beer, my body jostled and mangled up, I  stare at my newly purchased Atlantic Thrills record (yeah, get that shit from Almost Ready Records!) looking down at each song and thinking about how rare a show like this comes through, and how awesome it is to hear all of these nuggets in one setting. I can’t wait to listen to this animal when I get home. Of course, if I can I still stand up straight.
ATLANTIC THRILLS: http://atlanticthrills.com/

So, you made it through this long winded and, if I say so myself, amusing review. Good for you. Thanks. More importantly, do in fact check out all the bands up to and including Atlantic Thrills. If you are a Boston peep go see them Saturday, February 15th @ Tasty Burger (Cambridge). https://www.facebook.com/events/254030581431595/
And for the rest of you, the Thrillz are heading out on a 33 day tour in support of their debut album. GO!: https://www.facebook.com/events/480886382022874/

Review: Ravi Shavi – “Ravi Shavi”

Band: Ravi Shavi
Release: 2013

1. Indecisions
2. Bloody Opus
3. Hobbies
4. Accidental
5. Local News
6. Amphetamine
7. Old Man
8. Problems
9. Critters
10. Vacation Holiday

Comments: The first time I saw Ravi Shavi (Firehouse 13, November 10, 2012) , I was blown away by the Providence band’s energy and pop sensibility. It wasn’t really ‘garage,’ not quite ‘punk’ or traditional ‘power-pop’; just poppy rock ‘n roll. Well after seeing them a couple of times more, I was thoroughly convinced of their talent. Rafay Rashid, the group’s main vocalist and guitarist, is like a King Khan kind of figure, very infectious and engaging. His vocal assault varies as much as Ravi Shavi’s rock ‘n roll stylings. Some times like on “Bloody Opus” and “Hobbies,” there is some Brit in him…at least it seems. “Hobbies” particularly shimmers with some oldies charm until transitioning into an unexpected Lovely Feathers sorta charge. That’s one of my favorite specific moments of the album definitely, but there’s that kind of fun running all throughout. When there’s the familiar repetition of verses and choruses as on “Accidental,” the listen never ends up tiring or monotonous even as there are more sticky transitions and repetitions. Getting back to vocals again – “Local News” is a tidy example of a long list of dynamics. After the what you’d expect from a song called AMPHETAMINE, the crash sets in and no no I don’t mean a bad crash or anything. Just a slower, Hamilton Leithauser just stole your mic and Matt Barrick conveniently got behind the kit, deal. That sorta early ’00s NYC reverby guitars and (all time period) hollering continues on through “Problems,” and “Critters” has some instrumentation/technique not previously as apparent…until now. Closing tune “Vacation Holiday” is pure pop dynamite. This one takes its time and sends me off reminiscing of everything Ravi Shavi did right in the making of this record. Good work.

klyamrecommended

Concert Review: Ravi Shavi CD Release @ Firehouse 13

Bands: Ravi Shavi, Atlantic Thrills, The Rice Cakes, Napoleon
Date: Saturday January 26, 2013
Venue: Firehouse 13 [Providence, RI]

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Act INapoleon – Things get started right with Napoleon from Brooklyn. This four piece played a dark and danceable set that included some memorable tracks from their latest record, Success. They had their act together, showing some nice moves that ought to be appreciated by more than New York basement attendees. The songs themselves are very New York, which is sort of a weird thing to say, but if you are familiar with dudes like mid 2000s Walkmen, Interpol, and their oversea counterparts, Editors, you might get what I mean. There also was some upbeat jangle in there – so I’m not talking a totally dark experience; I enjoyed these clingers a bit more than the rest. And the hi-hats were nice, as testified by an enthusiastic man who related his feelings to the drummer after the set. I used to be way more into this style of rock and roll, but I found myself really appreciating this young group and the way that they played since it is not really what I hear often at shows I usually attend.

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Act II Atlantic Thrills – The Thrills, I will state off the bat, are the kind of band that makes me always want to drive down to Providence. Providence/Boston, not too far apart, but only for truly special bands do we like to go out of our way. The Thrills are special – I mean they are not musically unique by most measures, but they’ve held the torch of messy, fuzzy, fuckitall r n r pretty high since it was handed to them by wild teens from Peru. Seeing them on the stage tonight brings to mind some great show moments, a handful now involving these guys. I’m going nuts the whole time and hey, fellow KLYAMer Chris seems to be enjoying himself a good deal as well. The increasingly packed crowd gets more and more into Atlantic Thrills as the set progresses.  The Thrills’ set nowadays is as impressive as ever – there are the perennial classics, “Acid Rain” and “On My Mind,” a re-energized “Ain’t Enough,” and a handful of newer songs that I am sure will find their way on the Thrills upcoming LP. The energy of these guys is outstanding, climbing on amps, spewing mouthfuls of Jim Beam on the crowd, spilling more than half of that bottle of Beam on the ground. Not caring.  If you live remotely close or far from Providence – it is well worth a journey to see the Thrills. Do it!

Set-List
Ain’t Enough
Holy Mountain
Booze
Beach
On My Mind
Try & Try
Blindfold
Lies
Light Shines
Drugs
Shotgun
Acid Rain
Hold Your Tongue

Act III – The Rice Cakes – I didn’t know what to expect from The Rice Cakes, but certainly they made good with their output! Their tunes tended to be lengthy and melodious. A more folky take on rock and roll. A cover of Pixies “Gigantic” surprised me as they certainly put their own three-piecy sspin on it. Another tune that particularly remains with me is “Magma”. It drew a more than pleasant response from the crowd and like I said – it’s memorable!

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Act IV –
Ravi Shavi – At last, we see the arrival of Rafay Rashid and his three band-mates onto the stage. This ain’t no ordinary show for Ravi Shavi – it’s their record release show. A big deal for a band that’s certainly been making a name for themselves for some time now. They have a very strong following of devoted fans, at least from what I’ve witnessed each time I have seen them. And the reason is clearer than ever this evening. They play pop rock that is loose and messy. While their references might be more along the cleaner side of power pop and garage rock, Ravi Shavi created a raucous and positioned themselves far from safety. I wasn’t really expecting a mosh pit of any kind, but it happened and it was awesome. Everyone reacted to Ravi in some way… how could one not? I can’t really pick any one highlight, it was just one of those situations where I felt extremely satisfied throughout.  Everyone can agree.

Concert Review: Atlantic Thrills, Ravi Shavi @ Great Scott (12/4/12)


Bands:
Atlantic Thrills, Ravi Shavi, Yale Massachusetts
Date: Monday, December 4, 2012
Venue: Great Scott (Allston, MA)

Act 1 – Atlantic Thrills – The Atlantic Thrills, damn, yo! I was blessed with the opportunity to see the Thrills for the sixth time last night. I always reflect on the very first time that I saw them, opening for Black Lips. I was blown away by the fact that they were just a local act. They channeled quite nearly the same energies of the headlining Lips. I couldn’t believe what I had witnessed and really hoped that they would open the next night in Boston. It didn’t happen, but I kept up with them and flash forward to now and yes, here we are a handful of shows deep. There are just a few bands out there that I get to stand in front of on a semi-regular basis. Atlantic Thrills are one of them. Tonight was a night of newness for the band. They kicked off the set with two new songs “Come On,” and “Holy Mountain”. Each had its own catchy hook, sometimes sounding surf, other times more of the garage punk fascination. It was awesome. “Beach,” which they’ve been playing for a while now, is becoming a staple, in my opinion. We got a fine taste of the lead vocal abilities from all three guitarists, a load of sweet solos and ‘meat’ playing from Dan Tanner, and the steady percussion/background vocals of drummer Josh Towers. After some fresh middle of the set jams, the Thrills really turned things up with “Shotgun” and frankly never relented. I’ve seen some fine “Acid Rain” performances in the past, but tonight’s included what seemed like a lengthier jam filled with various noises, knob turning, and simply rocking out. A fast “Give It Back” and the perennial dancer “Light Shines” followed THEN ya-ya-ya cover “Salvaje,” Kelly Riley crooning “Foreign Lands,” and a ‘what you should do with your drink right now’ “Drugs In It”. Was that all? Yes, it was. Some funky dancing, too. But yeah if you like rock and roll old-school style (with Peruvian jolt and small state shenanigans), the Thrills are your band. Or if you just like rock ‘n roll any variety. Word around the street is that more Thrills recordings will be making their way to us soon. I’m excited. Here’s their current stuffhttp://www.reverbnation.com/atlanticthrills

Set-List:
“Come On”
“Holy Mountain”
“Booze”
“Beach”
“White Blindfold”
“Hold Your Tongue”
“Shotgun”
“Acid Rain”
“Give It Back”
“Light Shines”
“Salvaje”
“Foreign Lands”
“Drugs In It”

Act TwoRavi Shavi – This was my second time seeing Ravi Shavi. The first time was an ultra energetic set a few weeks ago. They were a three piece, drums-guitar-vocals. This time they had a little bit less restriction with the addition of another guitarist and a duo on violin and cello. One thing that struck me about Ravi Shavi first time around was their familiarly distant sound. I thought Lovely Feathers, King Khan and the Shrines, and Adam Green. Just very eccentric, but like the aforementioned…very pop. Frontman Rafay Rashid played some on guitar and then put it down, dancing always. Part of what is really awesome about them is their random nature, at least to a relatively new fan such as myself. Anything is possible, it seems. Soulful. As one man next to me commented in the audience, “Ravi Shavi needs a Rafay in the audience.” They’re just that kind of band. The greatest moment of the set came in the latter half with the sunny, unpredictable power pop of “Accidental Mental”. The chorus could have went on for 20 more times and nobody would mind at all. I was really impressed by the dynamics of the band as a six piece, it was fun to see how well the string instrument players connected with the other instruments, especially during the faster joints. So yeah, this sounds like something you’d want to see? Many did on this night. Listen: http://ravishavi.bandcamp.com/

Act ThreeYale, MA – Wasn’t able to stay to catch them :(. Check ’em out: http://yalemassachusetts.bandcamp.com/ 

Show Alert: ATLANTIC THRILLS @ Great Scott

Rock ‘n roll done right will be brought to Great Scott next Monday, December 3 courtesy of Providence’s Atlantic Thrills. We went down to RI a couple weeks back and caught the Thrills playing with opener of this upcoming Great Scott show, Ravi Shavi. READ ABOUT IT.

The Thrills emit some of the finest sounds I’ve heard. You’re in for a great one if the names Dutronc, Black Lips, and Los Saicos conjure up great feelings of joy…and you’re still in for a great one if they don’t! Ravi Shavi is snappy power pop that will get you moving…no doubt! Yale, Massachusetts is also playing on this bill.

Oh yeah and if you’re from the Providence/RI/SE Mass area/wherever, both Atlantic Thrills and Ravi Shavi are playing this Thursday November 29 at The Parlour’s Grand Opening. (FB Event)

Concert Review: Atlantic Thrills, Ravi Shavi, Nude Beach @ Firehouse (11/10/12)

Bands: Nude Beach, Atlantic Thrills, Ravi Shavi
Date: Saturday, November 10, 2012
Venue: Firehouse No. 13 (Providence, Rhode Island)
Comments:

Preliminary Activities– When I come home from a hard day’s work, I like to treat myself to three things: Pizza, Beer, and Rock ‘n’ Roll. Add a trip to Providence, RI to see one of my favorites, Atlantic Thrills and it’s like Thanksgiving Dinner came early this year. As we make our way into the city of Providence (which, by the way, I believe this is my first time in this city!) our stomachs are still a rumblin’ and the show doesn’t start for a good hour or so. What to do, what to do. Well,  thank  God (and also thank him for the sinners, since we got our boy Ty Segall’s Twins rollin’ on the radio) Caserta Pizzeria is nearby. Being a connoisseur of pizza myself, I am looking forward to this; I eat pizza 8-10 times a week, I need help. But, at least this is quality pizza, Glen himself heralds it as “New England’s best pizza.”  I’ll be the judge of that Mr. Maganzini. So, we get there, take our seats and when we finally ingest the Caserta Pizza, I concur with my co-conspirator on this matter. Damn, this shit is mouthwatering, and I have a Coors Light to wash it all down. I proclaim this to be a perfect moment, well not entirely perfect. I have satisfied 2/3 of the equation, with the only ingredient missing being my beloved rock ‘n’ roll. Off to Firehouse 13 we go! To give y’all a brief history lesson, this place in fact used to be a real firehouse. In general, I dig the architecture and lay out of this place. It reminds me of some of my favorite venues like the Middle East (downstairs) in Cambridge and the Space Gallery in Portland, Maine.  It’s a fairly large place- long floorboard leading up to an awesome stage. The surrounding walls are covered with unique,  awe inspiring portraits painted by people with mental disorders. And these portraits carry into the restrooms- where one cane see paintings of toilet seats around the walls! I appreciate these features in the Firehouse, gives the venue character that you most likely won’t find elsewhere.  Before the show starts, Glen and I chat it up with our buds in Atlantic Thrills and meet some new friendly folks as well, including the bartender, who is a sweetheart :) .


Act I
: Ravi Shavi– Ravi Shavi is hailed as Providence’s finest by one, Kelly Riley. Well sir, that’s the best damn introduction I could ever hear, let’s go for it!  I’d say the Atlantic Thrills (going on next) our Providence’s best, but I don’t know much about the Providence scene. Ravi definitely is a notable act though, and shares a similar aesthetic to the Thrills, and that is an allegiance to pure rock ‘n’ roll fun. Ravi frontman Rafay Rashid is a natural showman/entertainer/performer, call it what you want, he’s got it, and I get the feeling he’s had it for a while, perhaps even on the playground. He has this King Khan quality to him, except he’s all dressed up in a nice suit. It’s like Khan if it was the 1950s, highly sexualized music just squeezing to get outta those suits and spread some love, some evil, and most definitely some rock ‘n’ roll into some fresh, innocent teen blood. I hear a lot of Talking Heads, Clash, and Gentlemen Jesse and His Men. Hard hitting, catchy as fuck, power pop. Well done boys. http://ravishavi.bandcamp.com/


Act II: Atlantic Thrills!– Da Thrillz! It’s been way too long since I’ve seen these gentlemen, April, Fuck! I’m so pumped for the show, it’s glorious when these four dudes arrive on stage. Even more glorious than the pizza I devoured earlier. I see lots of “garage” bands, but the Thrillz seem to just get it  more than anyone else around this area. It’s always a blast with the Thrillz.  They establish a party atmosphere and simply go nuts without the help of the crowd. Though, there was some fine dancing on display as well. Thrillz just don’t give a fuck, they are going to rock out and have fun no matter what.  Of course, they bust out key songs such as “Acid Rain” and “Shotgun,” among other classics. This could be the finest Thrillz set I have experienced, full of all the ass kicking guitar riffs and maniacal howls one could ask for. Just plain fun above all. Spittin’ beer and hurlin’ Naragansett cans. The best thing about these guys is that they’re essentially just like you and me; there’s no divide between fan and musician- fuck all that uptight, pretentious bullshit that often comes with musicians.   The Thrillz are in their 30s, but they have more piss and vinegar in em’ than all the teens and twenty something rockers alike. One might think at first that they’re a typical, shitty bar band that plays to the same, boring, older crowd. Don’t be mistaken, it’s quite the opposite. I can’t think of another local act with as much party/fun loving spirit in em’ as the Thrillz. When we say punk slime on this site, they exemplify that. 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. Now, that would be a stellar way to close this review, but I can’t forget to note  the ending of the band’s performance. Just as it looks like the band is about to the depart, they kick into my favorite Thrillz song, the passionate ballad, “Foreign Lands,” which features guitarist Kelly Riley screaming his heart out on lead vocals. They then transition into their now famous cover of Los Saicos’ wild teen punk classic “Demolicion,” cementing their status as one of KLYAM’s top live bands.

If you dig Atlantic Thrills and Ravi Shavi (and you should), then get yer ass to this show on 11/29 @ the Parlour (Providence, RI) with Yankee Bang Bang and DJ Studs Jerkel. FB Event here: http://www.facebook.com/events/166856466792633/

And don’t forget to check out the Atlantic Thrills’ music here: http://www.reverbnation.com/atlanticthrills

Set List


Act III
: Nude Beach–  Brooklyn’s Nude Beach headline this amazing show, and they rock pretty damn hard, fitting very well with the first two acts. They are a bit overdressed tonight, what with clothes on and everything. Then again, this isn’t a beach. They close their sweet set with a cover of Foo Fighters’ early hit “Big Me,” one of my favorite FF songs, and Nude Beach does justice to the original.  Before tonight, I had never heard of these dudes, but after this performance I will definitely make sure I keep an eye out for them.  Send em’ some love: http://nudebeach.bandcamp.com/