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Hot Molasses -- Frankly

Somerville’s Hot Molasses are an indie rock dance band.  They have frequent male/female duet vocals that can alternately remind you of the B-52’s and The Vaselines.  They also describe themselves accurately as jangly and bouncy. 

Their most recent EP, Frankly, starts out hot with a raucous dance track that features an unlikely combination of crunchy guitar and poppy, campy synth, and vocals that are heavy on the B-52’s influence (in the best sort of way). The EP then eases off for another four songs of straight indie rock that are less obviously dance-oriented, but no less solid. They run through a variety of styles within the general indie rock segment rather than sticking with a particular format, making the short EP a teasing ride that makes you wonder what else the band might have up their stylistic sleeves. Their sound is mature without being boring, and highly versatile. The eventual full length (if there's one in their plans) should be interesting at the very least. 

--Alexander Pinto


Red Bellows -- EPONE

For those who wish Radiohead would write more songs with melodies and verses and choruses, Red Bellows' EPONE is a record for you. Although it won’t be apparent to you until track two, Phonetic.

That’s because EPONE begins instead with the bluesy rocker, L.S. Blues which rides a swelling guitar tide before shifting into a driving, marching rock song with nods to classic Led Zeppelin.

But as soon as the vocals on kick on Phonetic the Thom Yorke-ish vocals tell the story of this young band. Guitars and keys interplay with one another through the next five tracks that make up the EP. As the record progresses the introduction of glitchy electronic embellishments serve to advance the Radiohead-esque mood of the record.

Album closer, Bookends, gets both and electric and acoustic treatments and, as much as the rest of the record shows lots of indie-rock promise, the acoustic version of Bookends is where Red Bellows’ talents shine. The beautiful harmonies and Beatles-like guitar picking highlight what may become a fantastic long-haul band.

The only worry is, with a sound as immediately recognizable as being so strongly influenced by Radiohead, can they rise above and develop their own identity? I think that they can and I hold out hope that they will prove me right.

--George Dow


Bobb Trimble -- The Crippled Dog Band

Where do I start with a review of Bobb Trimble’s The Crippled Dog Band? Like a thousand reviewers before me, I have to start with Bobb’s vocals. It feels like the easy way out but there really is no other place to begin.

Bobb sounds like the bastard child of the Dead Kennedys’ Jello Biafra and Rush’s Geddy Lee. Yes, really. Apparently there is such a thing. Oddly, the music itself is something of a hybrid of those two bands, if you can imagine it. On the one hand The Cripple Dog Band is frantic psych-garage played at what sounds like double speed—at times sounding like a 33 1/3 record played at 45 rpm—something like the D.K.’s Winnebago Warrior on speed.

On the other hand, there are tender ballads that switch effortlessly from acoustic to electric and would sound right at home tacked on next to anything on Rush’s 2112. All of this is interspersed with 80s video game soundtracks, bombs and air-raid siren sound-effects and studio chatter.

If everything I’ve described so far sounds weird, that’s because it is. Everything about The Cripple Dog Band is weird—but not in a “get me outta here” way. Instead this is an endearing and engaging listen. It begs to be heard again and again. To be dissected and discovered over a longer period of time than a typical reviewer is willing/able to give to a record.

The Crippled Dog Band hits its stride in the center with three killer garage-rock songs that would feel right at home on a Nuggets compilation—the anti-war psychedelic dirge, Fight Or Fall/Screw It, the aptly titled middle-eastern favor of Camel Song and the driving, ZZ Top-ish rhythm of Undercovers Man all roll together like a finely crafted triptych. As if flaunting his Massachusetts roots, Bobb opens Poker Game Of Life by yelling, “Hey, does anyone wanna play a game of pok-AH?” in the most beautiful of Boston accents.

The Crippled Dog Band is a record out of time. It was recorded in 1984, but sat on a shelf until its release this week on Yoga Records. There is nothing about this record that shouts 1984. The only hint to its vintage is the dated video game samples. Otherwise the record sounds straight out of the late Sixties or early Seventies.

Trust me when I say that this record requires multiple listens and pays dividends for the patience.

Bobb Trimble's The Crippled Dog Band will have its official CD release show this Thursday, July 28, at Great Scott.

--George Dow


Caveman on the cover of The Deli! Read issue #27 online in pdf format!



Click on the cover (or HERE) to get to the pdf file - enjoy!


The Lowbred Watts -- Get Home EP

The Lowbred Watts is self-described bluesman, folkster and one-man band Ryan Stapler.  His debut EP, Get Home, is a testament to the DIY aesthetic—recorded in his basement using homemade and patched together gear. It’s a wonder that the music sounds this good.

Get Home combines grimy delta blues and Dylan-esque folk across five songs and never falter for a moment. Whether you’re a blues fan or not (which I’ve never really been) this EP is one to hear. Each track is a heartfelt exploration of one man’s musical passion. It’s impossible not to get sucked into the universe that is Stapler’s basement.

For the complete listening experience picture Stapler, alone. In a cold, damp basement. In the near-pitch-dark. Surrounded by a mad scientist’s inventory of homemade instruments. Singing and playing mostly for himself while recording on an antique cassette player.

--George Dow


Kristen Ford Band Tuesday Night July Residency at Precinct Bar

The Kristen Ford Band has been working hard lately. They just finished tracking for her third record, which is slated for a fall release and will be supported by a 9-week national tour, her kickoff party is Thursday, September 8 at Middle East Upstairs.

This month will celebrate Tuesday! Lots of indie rock, dancing, country, blues and Michael Jackson covers.

Each Tuesday will feature 4 acts:
Tues. 7/19 features Kristen’s new garage rock project, Tilt-A-Whirl, Flightless Buttress' tour-kickoff and Corinna Melanie’s cabaret-pop.

Tues. 7/26 features DJ Phillips touring from Nashville, Goli’s marimba cello duo and Mercedes straight-up soul.


Shadow by kristenford

Precinct Bar
70 Union Square, Somerville
Tickets $7, 21+, 8 pm - 12 am

--Chrissy Prisco


Deli Presents: Il Abanico, Tan Vampires, Pack of Morleys, Melt -- Concert Review 7/14/2011

tan vampires

It was a perfect night for the first in a series of artist showcases that The Deli Magazine is hosting at P.A.’s Lounge in Somerville this summer. Slightly overcast skies, temperatures in the mid-seventies, locals and hipsters manning the stoops and strolling the sidewalks of Union Square. It was quintessential summer in the city.

Click here to read the rest of the review by George Dow.
(All photos courtesy of Alyssa Wayrynen)


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Deli Presents: Il Abanico, Tan Vampires, Pack of Morleys, Melt -- Concert Review 7/14/2011
by George Dow, Photos by Alyssa Wayrynen


It was a perfect night for the first in a series of artist showcases that The Deli Magazine is hosting at P.A.’s Lounge in Somerville this summer. Slightly overcast skies, temperatures in the mid-seventies, locals and hipsters manning the stoops and strolling the sidewalks of Union Square. It was quintessential summer in the city.

Melt started the night off with a bang. By far the heaviest band of the night, they brought their hard-edged, goth-tinged assault to the early arrivals at P.A.’s Lounge. They barreled through a full set which raised the bar for the rest of the bands on the bill.

melt

Lead vocalist Lindsey Kyte showed a vocal range born to meet any occasion, easily shifting from sultry to choral to shouty depending on the mood of the song. Her range was amazing, enabling to her hit every note—low, high and everywhere in between.

The mood turned darker when multi-instrumentalist, Mel Fitzhugh set down her bass and picked up the violin. The addition of violin brought out the gothic side of Melt, as well as adding an Eastern European gypsy feel to the set. Throughout the set Melt moved seamlessly from violin to bass, to trumpet and back again.

To sum up Melt’s sound is no simple task. To compare them to Evanesence is fair, given their dark, hard edge and beautiful vocals, but they are much more than a knock-off of a B-level nü-metal band. To compare them to a more palatable version of System of a Down is a stretch because they are certainly not a hardcore metal band. Nonetheless, combine both those touchstones and add a talent for indie-pop hooks and you’ll have something that resembles Melt.

Though their set was dominated by their originals, Melt are also happy to rip it up, interspersing covers into their set. Their full-on rock version of Portishead’s “Glory Box” was an inspired take on the trip-hop original. Late in the set they played a rollicking version of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock-n-Roll” kicked up a notch when Mel replaced the classic Jimmy Page guitar solo with her violin instead of guitar.

A fantastic start to the night.

Up second was Jamaica Plain’s Pack of Morleys.

morleys

The Morley’s subscribe to the loud-quiet-loud camp of indie-rock. When in quiet mode they stick to an acoustic-based sound that verges on Americana. When they switch on the loud they bring a healthy dose of art-noise rock to their set.

The surprise of the night were the Tan Vampires.

Tan Vampires

Lead singer, Jake Mehrmann looks like Scream-era David Arquette, complete with jet black moustache. Contrary to his look, he sounds like a cross between Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, James Blake and that guy from Mumford and Sons. They also brought the only beard-core of the night. With keyboardist Mike Effenberger and drummer Jim Rudolph sporting immaculate, chest-length mountain-man beards.

But enough of the fashion commentary—Tan Vampires killed their set. Their vintage keyboards and electronic loops lent a jam-band quality to noisy rock sound. Most of the guys in the band kept very serious, no nonsense game faces on throughout the set but they managed to introduce a measure of fun as they stretched some of their tunes out beyond their three minute origins.

The standout was their closing song which degenerated into a mess of improvisation and electronic noise. As far as I was concerned they could have continued that meltdown for a couple more hours.

When headliners, Il Abanico took the stage near midnight P.A.’s Lounge was filling up. Some arriving late specifically to see the band, others spilling in randomly from the street in search of one final drink before last call. Regardless of their reason for watching the entire house was immediately enthralled with Il Abanico.

Il Abanico

No one would have ever guessed that this was their third set of the day, following earlier appearances in Kendall Square and at the ICA. This Boston-based band has a truly worldly approach. Band leaders Juliana and Nicolas are both from Columbia and met while attending Berklee. They fill out their touring band with a mini-United Nations hailing from Japan, Peru and Venezuela. 

Juliana’s Björk-like vocals are supported by instrumentation that at once gives nods to Stereolab, bossa nova and traditional indie-rock. Having played together for little more than 9 months, Il Abanico are a testament to the talents of their individual players. They sound as though they’ve been playing together for many years. Watching the bare-footed Juliana grip the carpeted stage with her toes as she sang left me feeling as though she were literally using it as an instrument.

I was struck that in a city with a music scene comprised of thousands of bands, Il Abanico are one to watch—destined for national and international exposure.

Watch for details on the next two shows in “The Deli Presents…” series at P.A.’s Lounge one August 10th and 24th.

 



 
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

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