If the welcoming news that Beverly Tender were set to return with a new album this fall wasn’t enough, they also came armed with an advance track, Theme From Beverly Tender to bowl us over and raise our already high expectations. The duo of Molly Hastings and Tristan Brooks began what we have now come to know as Beverly Tender while attending Wesleyan University. Since then the duo have released their debut EP, and set up camp in both Philadelphia and Raleigh, before settling in to the vibrant and burgeoning Providence music scene. With the new set, What Have You Done To My Water? Beverly Tender have teamed up regional indie taste makers, Disposable America for the follow up to 2015’s aforementioned self-released debut EP, Lord Mayor Makes 1,000 Speeches.

Throughout the new set Beverly Tender deliver an alluring collection of skewed guitar pop while combining elements of noise, twee, and slo-core. Often there’s a certain merit that gets awarded to albums that take time sink in, a grower if you will. But, once in  a while an album comes along and grabs you by the collar and you fall for it instantly. Such is the case with What Have You Done To My Water?, it’s immediate an infectious record from start to finish.Over the past few weeks  I have found myself revisiting this release often and each time I seem find  a new favorite song, which goes to the strength of this material. On tracks like Doggie Dog World and Whose Taxidermy Horse, Beverly Tender displays their uncanny ability to push their sound to the point of collapse only to pull back and find beauty in the decay, much to the credit of Hastings’ honest and endearing wordplay which floats atop her angular guitar lines and Brooks’ adept and propulsive percussion.  Although Beverly Tender occupy similar terrain as contemporaries such as Speedy Ortiz, Palehound as well as indie architects, Helium they manage to carve out their own space with delicate atmospherics, jagged distortion, coupled with earnest and wistful vocals. It’s on the opening track, Theme From Beverly Tender where Hastings asks the questions, Will I be like this my whole life? Will I regret this my whole life? Perhaps it’s some kind of an ode to the struggle of the human spirit or a moment of personal reflection, but either way it’s a beautiful and intricate rocks song that sets the tone for a remarkable album that delivers on the promise of the bands previous recordings. What Have You Done To My Water? Is filled with cathartic and relatable material distilled with a glorious clamor throughout its brisk 24 minutes.

HUSH

Since starting as the recording project of Stephen Pierce and Gretchen Williams in 2014, Easthampton, MA heavy shoegaze concern Kindling have cemented themselves as one the genre’s most captivating and interesting acts. It’s been a very active past three years with the band having played countless shows up and down the east coast and Canada while issuing multiple singles, splits, and EP’s , as well as last year’s remarkable debut full length, Everywhere Else. That LP although undoubtedly falling within the confines of shoegaze and  giving nods to that genre’s touchstones like My Bloody Valentine and Ride, hinted at something a bit more expansive and melody riddled. On Hush, Kindling unveil arguably, their most exhilarating and accomplished material to date.

Kindling recorded Hush in their hometown at Sonelab with assistance from engineer and frequent collaborator Justin Pizzoferato (Speedy Oritiz/Dinosaur Jr.) The new set displays some of the same characteristics of the bands earlier material to even greater affect. The band continues a beautiful marriage of crushing guitar interplay and sublime melodies throughout. Hush proves to be an ever more dynamic affair than its predecessor and one that benefits from the bands ability to show restraint and know just when to pull back the crushing fuzz. Which allows for subtle atmospherics and varied instrumentation, with the addition of sitar and mellotron to the mix. Throughout Hush, Pierce and Williams inject an element of hope into these songs of loss atop oceans of fuzz. On tracks like Destroy Yrself , Everywhere, and Better World Kindling deliver sonic anthems that our as catchy and sweet as they are punishing. This is the sound of a band evolving and honing their considerable craft through catharsis and undeniable pop hooks. Let’s hope you haven’t closed the books on your favorite records of the year, because Hush is one late 2017 release that deserves your full attention.

Kindling will release Hush tomorrow via 6131 Records and will play a series of record release shows this week including a show this Sunday at News Cafe in Pawtucket alongside Twin Foxes and Boring.
Event Info

bob old school

Long before anyone knew, Robert Pollard was making album covers for fantastical bands and filling the world with his undeniable pop wonderment. Luckily the secret broke in the early 90’s with a series of extraordinary releases and a fateful trip to New York City for a performance at CMJ’s New Music Seminar in 1993 with his drinking buddies from Dayton, OH. By the time I stumbled onto Guided By Voices I was serving as the music director at my college radio station and became immediately obsessed with the bands 7th LP, the outer worldly lo-fi pop opus, Bee Thousand. From there I was on a quest to obtain every song that had come before and everything that would come next. Like many, GBV was the band I was waiting for my entire life,  and Bob had a seemingly endless supply of tape hiss and arena hooks steeped with the 4 P’s of rock to fuel my fandom. I’ve had the good fortune to meet Bob on a few occasions and he has always been gracious and welcoming to his fans and devotees. In 2001 I was at my last stop on my decade long radio tour when I got to spend the day with band who was out supporting the recently released Isolation Drills LP. I got to tag along for their radio session that spring afternoon and managed to land the emcee gig for that nights show at The Paradise. I remember waiting in the wings with Bob just before they were about to take the stage when he turned to me with some advice, “when you introduce us don’t just call us Guided By Voices, we’re Guided By Fucking Voices. You gotta get the kids excited”. Needless to say that intro got me into a little hot water the next day, but I couldn’t care less. I just had the honor of welcoming Guided By Voices to the stage in my hometown under careful guidance from Bob. It was a surreal honor to say the least. With the recent one two punch of August By Cake and How Do You Spell Heaven? Both released this year. Bob shows no signs of slowing in fact these records prove that he is releasing some of his finest material. Is Bob Pollard Rock’s Greatest Living Songwriter? That friends, is an indisputable fact! In celebration of Robert Ellsworth Pollard’s 60th Birthday I have asked his band-mates, co-conspirators, and fans alike to share some thoughts as well as Birthday wishes.

Happy Birthday Bob! Thank you for continuing to knock us out with your melodies, hooks, and high-kicks!

Its been motivating over the years to witness Bob seize moments to be creative in certain situations. One great memory is the time we played Lexington at a newly renovated place with fresh drywall up in the green room. An 8-foot doorway-sized plank of Sheetrock was still in the room, leaning against the wall. Our sets are long, so what would be better for Bob to write his set-list on than that? He wrote the entire set-list on the piece of drywall then carried it out to the stage during our entrance like Moses with the Ten Commandments. He continues to inspire with spontaneous bursts of creative energy.

Doug Gillard – Guided By Voices – Guitarist

Pollard 1a

Recently one of my favorite songs is Everybody Thinks I’m A Raincloud (When I’m Not Looking), and favorite album(s)right now are Alien Lanes (just reminds me of when I really got into GBV, and how lucky I am to be playing with him now), and his solo album From a Compound Eye it is just incredible to me when I go back and listen to how amazing those songs are and the true force of Bob’s songwriting especially after The Electrifying Conclusion tour! I have so many great memories with Bob, but one that stands out is when I stayed with him and he would play all the songs on Half Smiles of the Decomposed every morning while we had coffee, and watching “Heavy Metal Parking Lot in slow motion ,I cherish that time with him!

The influence of GBV of Bob’s music, etc. Because Bob is such a prolific and truly a unique songwriter, I believe he influences all genres of music, film and visual art! He will always be discovered and change peoples lives with his music and live performances!

Kevin March – Guided By Voices, Drummer

Connecticut’s estimable noise pop concern, Ovlov have been working on new material for their 2nd LP amidst regular Live gigs and projects. Ovlov’s next Live date will find them in Boston on November 8th in what is looking like the can’t miss show of the year with Bad History Month, Pile, and Longface at The Middle East. Check the event page for details.

Ovlov have teamed once again with Exploding In Sound Records for Greatest Hits II which combines the bands first 3 EP’s on vinyl for the first time. Crazy Motorcycle Jump, What’s So Great About The City, and Not The Same Without You have all been remixed and remastered for the December 1st release of Greatest Hits II. You can stream the track Small Voices below and pre-order from the release at  EIS now.

In preparation of the release of Greatest Hits II Exploding In Sound lynch-pin Dan Goldin has issued a commercial for the release which you must watch now, it a thing of beauty.

Ovlov – Small Voices

Glasgow’s heavy shoegazers, The Cherry Wave have delivered Close, a new 4 song EP that follows the Scottish quartets superb sophomore LP, Shimaru released earlier this year. The EP picks up where the bands last release left off, although these tracks are even more arresting and yet accessible. In a week littered with some of highly anticipated releases I find myself drawn to this EP and to revisit often largely due to The Cherry Waves penchant for razor sharp hooks, rumbling rhythms buoyed by a tempest of guitar fuzz. With the resurgence of shoegaze there’s no shortage of acts in this sonic terrain but where The Cherry Wave set themselves apart is in the anthemic song structures and post-punk ethos. The EP’s raging opener, Don’t Start finds The Glaswegian outfit relentlessly leaning into their pedal boards and channeling Wire‘s succinct Pink Flag era howl, while remaining grounded in Kevin Shields‘ territory to carve out their very own enclave. Elsewhere Rockets follows suit while delving even deeper into cacophonous terrain. The Close EP consist of four primordial bangers and although it’s over a little too quickly, it’s an exhilarating marriage of noise fuzz and melody.

The Close EP can be ordered directly from The Cherry Wave’s Bandcamp store.

Computer HopeThe 5th installment of Boston’s Fuzztival kicks off today with a formidable line up from the northeast’s finest purveyors of noise pop, skuzz punk, garage, and psych freak-outs. Once again Fuzztival is presented by Jason TrefftsIllegally Blind. Which is a fine example of the valuable contributions that Illegally Blind makes on the the regular to our beloved Boston Music scene. Fuzztival will occupy 3 venues, featuring 30 acts over the next few days, and ardently All-Ages. This year’s line up is completely stacked with performance from local favorites like Halfsour, Kal Marks, Horse Jumper Of Love,and the hype worthy fuzz pop upstarts Blau Blau as well as Kurt Heasley‘s (Lily’s) new outfit HXDX, to name but only a few of the stellar acts that will participate in the event over the next few days. I had the chance to speak with both Kal Marks and Halfsour in advance of tonight’s performances at Massasoit Elks Lodge.

“We’ve played a hand full of Illegally Blind shows, and they’ve always been good. Jason actually asked us last year to play Fuzzstival, but I had my brothers wedding to attend. I’m glad he asked us again this year, and my brother wasn’t getting married again.”
Carl ShaneKal Marks

“I think we’re happy that anyone asks us to play. Its just nice that’s all. There’s a good handful of people that are really kind in this music world. I can’t say we are part of any community, but every so often someone from the underground scene reaches out to us, and we greatly appreciate it. Its like when you call or visit your parents or grandparents. We often feel forgotten, cause theirs always new bands with way better names than us, but when we get invited, we try to go above and beyond, because we’re so grateful that you remembered to call. On that note: remember to call your folks from time to time.”
Carl ShaneKal Marks

“We’re lucky to regularly be able to play shows with some really incredible bands who are also playing Fuzzstival year, and it’s definitely exciting to see everyone in one place. We’ve all been involved in the Boston music scene for a long while now and have played in numerous bands, and are excited about how the community has grown and where it is at right now. Events like Fuzzstival are just a reminder of how far the scene has come and also how much more growing the music community in Boston has to do. This year’s Fuzzstival is the most diverse yet, but we can do even better!”
Zoë WynerHalfsour

We are saddened to hear that Jason Trefts of Illegally Blind was involved in cycling accident earlier this week that has left him injured and currently on crutches.We would like to wish him a speedy recovery and remind you to be aware of cyclists and marked cycling lanes. Join us in our support and celebration of the once a year hootenanny that is Fuzztival.

Boston Fuzztival 2017 Schedule + Set Times:

Thursday September 28th @ Massasoit Elks Lodge
11:00 p.m.: Dent
10:30 p.m.: Kal Marks
10:00 p.m.: Gravel
9:30 p.m.: La Neve
9:00 p.m.: Germ House
8:30 p.m.: halfsour
8:00 p.m.: Blau Blau
7:30 p.m.: Dazey and the Scouts

Friday September 29th @ Once Sommerville
11:30 p.m.: Ovlov
11:00 p.m.: Horse Jumper of Love
10:30 p.m.: Ava Luna
10:00 p.m.: WAY OUT
9:30 p.m.: Bat House
9:00 p.m.: A Band Called E
8:30 p.m.: Laika’s Orbit
8:00 p.m.: BABY
7:30 p.m.: earthquake party!
7:00 p.m.: Mint Green

Saturday September 30th @ Somerville ArtFarm For Social Innovation

7:30 p.m.: The Kominas
7:00 p.m.: GYMSHORTS
6:30 p.m.: LOONE
6:00 p.m.: Mini Dresses
5:30 p.m.: Steep Leans
5:00 p.m.: Honduras
4:30 p.m.: MV & EE
4:00 p.m.: Sammus
3:30 p.m.: KXDX feat. Kurt Heasley of LILYS
3:00 p.m.: Peach Ring
2:30 p.m.: Nightime Sunshine
2:00 p.m.: Boston Cream

Boston Fuzztival Advance Ticketing

Earlier this afternoon Boston’s guitar pop titans, Bent Shapes announced that they will cease to exist after a farewell show at Great Scott on December 16th. This is particularly bad news for those of us who gravitate to intelligent songwriting, razor sharp hooks, and punk infused jangle. Bent Shapes had all three in spades, which is expertly displayed on last years Wolves Of Want, which the band issued on Slumberland Records. Formed in 2009 as Girlfriends by Ben Potrykus and Andy Sadoway who for the better part of the last 10 years have honed a unique blend of literal guitar pop with liberal doses of fuzz and social consciousness. By 2012, with an expanded line up the band changed their name to Bent Shapes and released a superb debut full length, Feels Weird on Father/Daughter Records. Hey Bent Shapes: thanks for existing as long as you did, for the songs that are embedded in my psyche and the ripping Live shows.

Official Statement From Bent Shapes:
After over 8 years of basement shows, tours, flexi discs, name changes, membership fluctuations, TV spots, meeting musical heroes, minivan mayhem, and dirty sprites, we’re laying these Shapes to rest,” they write, adding: “We’d like to thank each and every one of you that has had a hand in making this band what it’s been. Thank you for helping us book shows, for playing with us, for working on our gear, for coming out to see us on a weeknight, for letting us sleep on your floors and couches, for buying our records or streaming our songs, for telling your friends about our music. None of the many good times we’ve had would have been possible without you. Extra special thanks to our families, close friends, and loved ones, who have had to both fan the flames of our musical passion/obsession at times and tolerate them at others, particularly to Jerry MacDonald of Oddfellows Recording/Aurora 7 Records, Ian Doerr and Evan Murphy of Love Magnet Studios (f/k/a Mystic Steamship), Jessi Frick of Father/Daughter Records, Elio DeLuca at the Soul Shop, and Mike Schulman of Slumberland Records. You made our dreams come true.”

Bent Shapes will play their final show at Great Scott on December 16th alongside Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion!and Laika’s Orbit. Tickets will be available on Thursday at noon at Bowery Boston. A proper send off for one of Boston’s finest.