A Users Guide: Rhode Island Freak-Out

fof_3This Sunday we proudly present Rhode Island Freak-Out, a full day of music, vendors, food, and refreshment at Pawtucket’s News Cafe & Parking Lot. At first our intent was to attempt a full day show that would incorporate some of our favorite acts from Providence, Boston, and beyond. We weren’t sure how or if it would actually come together. However, once we started to reach out to these acts, we were taken back by how accepting and enthusiastic they all were of the concept of the little pipe dream we’ve coined, Rhode Island Freak-Out. Motivated by some of our favorite Live music experiences and the desire to bring together as many musicians, artist and music obsessives in one place at the close of summer. With all proceeds from this event going to our performers this event and the ones that follow (we hope) will be a way to celebrate and support the local music community. Below you will find a brief guide to this years event, performers, and a playlist to get you prepped for what is sure to be a special day. We look forward to seeing friends, old, new, and yet to be made. Respect the space and most importantly each other.
pines1 - Brian Daly1:30 Rye Pines
Bursting out the Allston basements earlier this decade, Rye Pines have evolved into a sinister and howling garage punk trio. The bands Live sets are something to behold, consisting of equal parts sweat, grime, and surf punk furry. Arrive early and bear witness.

2:15 Beverly Tender
The Providence by way of North Carolina duo of Molly Hastings and Tristian Brooks occupy a space filled with delicate atmospherics, jagged distortion, coupled with earnest and wistful vocals. I’ve been eager to book a show with Beverly Tender since discovering their debut EP and last years release of their remarkable full length, What Have You Done To My Water? only heightened my appreciation.
NHNH

3:00 No Hope/No Harm
Boston’s 90’s emo leaning supergroup that features members of The Good North, The Shelia Divine, Field Effect, and Sebio. No Hope/No Harm appeared seemingly out of nowhere and quickly released two impressive singles and earlier this year the band issued, the Swimming In The Charles EP frontman which finds fronter, Luke O’Neil leading the charge on 6 infectious guitar pop anthems.

3:45 Hellrazor
You may know Micheal Falcone as the drummer of Speedy Ortiz, but over the past decade he has been writing and recording under the moniker of Hellrazor. This is no side project, Hellrazor are a lo-fi fuzz punk trio delivering concise, varied, and catchy as fuck pop songs.

4:30 Halfsour
I originally discovered Halfsour a handful of years ago via debut cassette and followed along through bands evolution. The one constant has always been Halfsour write and record terrific and energetic guitar pop with nods to 90’s indie touchstones while delivering something wholly unique.
Lookers
5:15 Lookers
Providence’s dark pop super-outfit fronted by writer, performer, and 2017 FEMS Poetry Slam winner, Muggs Fogerty. With limited music on-line at this point when Lookers play out it’s an event to behold.

6:00 14 Foot 1
Providence’s venerable spastic math outfit were on a the short list for this event from day one. Sonic spender via dual guitar wailing and propulsive percussion awaits.
14 Foot 1 on Bandcamp

6:45 Twin Foxes
Sunday will mark our third show this year with Providence’s heavy indie set, Twin Foxes. So yeah you could say we like them. The band arrived on our radar back in 2014 and have managed to deliver terrific string of releases, most notably this years tremendous, Sleeping On The Attic Floor. Not to be missed.
BH new7:30 Black Helicopter
Boston rock veterans and purveyors post-punk sludge, featuring members of Green Magnet School and Krudgel. After a stint on Thurston Mooore’s Ecstatic Peace! imprint the band has amassed an impressive discography most recently with Everything Forever (EP). Anthems for the downtrodden with big riffs and even bigger hooks.

8:15 Saccharine
The recording vehicle of Boston’s Kevin King, formally of Maura who offered his debut LP We Both Become The Sky, a collection earnest and captivating folk tinged introspection in 2016. Next month Kevin will team once again with Disposable America imprint for Saccherine’s sophomore release, Hollow Space. Perhaps he will treat us to some new tracks? Come and find out.

9:00 Major Stars
Boston’s venerable psych rock stalwarts made their Live debut at Terrastock in Providence way back in 1997, so it was a total no brainier to approach Wayne Rogers, Kate Village and co. to join us for our first installment of Rhode Island Freak-Out. For over two decades and multiple line-up changes Major Stars have consistently delivered their raucous, exceptionally adept, and singular sonic achievements.

9:45 Honey Radar
Honey Radar is the uber prolific and euphoric hook laden project of Jason Henn and the first band we asked to take part in this event so,we’re beyond thrilled that the PA lo-fi pop dynamos are taking the long drive down interstate 95. With elements of 60’s British invasion, psych pop and 90’s indie these songs feel oddly familiar and brand new all at once.
kal_marks_press10:30 Kal Marks
We first Boston noise rock titans, Kal Marks earlier this decade at one their explosive Live shows and that’s all it took, we were all in. Led by vocalist/guitarist Carl Shane, Kal Marks explore darkness and personal hardship and offer a little bit of light through a unified concoction of crushing distortion, pummeling rhythms, and Shane cathartic howl.

Thank You To Our Participating Vendors:
Midnight Warewolf Records
Tor Johnson Records
Moonstone Message & Bodywork
Frayed Knot Electronics
Nick Jacobs
Lenny M Art
Justin Foster

///Sunday August 26th: Rhode Island Freak-Out at The News Cafe & Parking Lot///
12 PM ~ Doors 18+ $12 Event Details

2017: The Year In Review | Top 10 Albums

top LP'sThrow another year end list on the fire! With the last days 2017 looming, we have selected our favorite LP’s of the year. This was another banner year for the independent music being made in the American Northeast corridor. We also saw exceptional records from rising as well as established acts and in one case we got the first new recordings in a couple of decades. We thank you for your continued readership and support of this site. Stick around because we have a big 2018 planned.

We wish you an incredible Christmas and New Year filled with beautiful noise.

10. Milked – Death on Mars [EiS]
MilkedFormer Geronimo! front man, Kelly Johnson returned last summer with a new project armed with 9 songs about a sci-fi future, drenched in fuzz. Well, my obsession with album has only deepened since posting our review. Whether on the frantic sludge rock of White Punks In Angst or the pop hook fest that is Goodbye Durango Death On Mars is a remarkable debut album, buzzing with cathartic post-punk.

Stream: Spotify |Bandcamp | AGP Review 

9.Beverly TenderWhat Have You Done To My Water? [Disposable America]
6a287-unnamedAfter the high bar set up by 2015’s Lord Mayor Makes 1,000 Speeches, Beverly Tender had their work cut out for them if they were to match their self-released debut EP.  Well, as you’ve probably guessed Beverly Tender exceeded all expectations with a superb collection of skewed pop and angular guitar anthems. The one noticeable flaw is the brevity of this set, but luckily it stands up wonderfully to repeat listens. Just put it on at a day long loop.

Stream: Spotify| Bandcamp| AGP Review

8. SlowdiveSlowdive [Dead Oceans]
slowUK Shoegaze legends reunited in 2014 to some shows in their homeland and luckily for their stateside fans expanded the live dates to include two tours of the U.S. over the past few years. On Slowdive the band deliver a near flawless record overflowing with droning ambience, C86 influence pop, and their signature guitar haze. However, what makes this LP so exceptional is that Slowdive manage to create something completely unique while retaining just enough of the elements of what made their early recordings so captivating.

Stream: Spotify|Bandcamp

7. Rick RudeMake Mine Tuesday [Sophomore Lounge | Tiny Radars]
rickThis New Hampshire collective provided the year’s biggest eureka moment with Make Mine On Tuesday. With twin guitar interplay reminiscent of Keep It Like A Secret era Built To Spill and the scrappy lo-fi charm of early Guided By Voices, Rick Rude delivered the year’s most addictive listens. For all the heavyweight influences and comparisons on Make Mine Tuesday the ensemble manages to carve out a space all their own and on tracks like Bald & Fat in Houston, TX and Sunhead they delivered one of the years most varied and sonically diverse LP.

Stream: Spotify|Bandcamp

6. The New Year Snow [Undertow]
SnowThese Texan’s have held a very special spot in my heart since discovering the incredible and sadly retired Bedhead (92-98) back in college. Since then I have followed along with Matt and Bubba Kadane’s post Bedhead outfit, The New Year. Early on the band seemed to expand upon the slo-core path of their earlier work, but over the past 4 albums The New Year has become an archetypal institution all their own. Snow represents another step forward for the band and finds the Kadane’s turning in a stunning new collection of sparse, deliberate, and beautifully arranged pop songs.

Stream: Bandcamp

5.Bad History Month Dead And Loving It: An Introductory Exploration of Pessimysticism [EiS]
Dead For the better part of 10 years Sean Bean has captured our attention with intelligent lyricism ripe with self-deprecation, first as Boston’s anti folk noise duo Fat History Month. In relative short time he amassed an impressive catalog of full lengths, EP, split releases, and plenty of basement shows. Dead and Loving It… marks the first official release under Bad History Month moniker, a name Bean adopted from FHM’s excellent 2013 release. This new LP is an incredible study of self-examination and existentialism. It’s also an album that display’s Bean as a gifted songwriter. Dead And Loving it is work of substance and emotion that offers a glimpse of hope out the despair exhibited thought out the LP, particularly on The Church Of Nothing Matters. Bleak as fuck, but completely stunning from start to finish.

Stream: Spotify|Bandcamp

4. Mount EerieA Crow Looked At Me [P.W. Elverum & Sun]
a crowFor those unfamiliar with this story, Phil Elverum the man behind both The Microphones and more recently, Mount Eerie suffered an enormous personal loss after his wife died due to an inoperable cancer in 2016. He recorded these songs shortly after her passing in the home they shared with their newborn daughter while utilizing her instruments. To say this is a devastating record is a bit of an understatement, but for all the sadness that drips from these songs there’s both beauty and honestly in these tracks as well. A Crow Looked At Me is an incredible cathartic document of loss, remembering the little things in life, and finding a way to dust ourselves off and trudge on for the people that need us most.

Stream: Spotify |Bandcamp

3. PileA Hairshirt of Purpose [EiS]
pileIt’s been something to see Boston’s post-punk goliaths Pile, evolve from their inception in the mid 00’s to the string of superb full lengths. On A Hairshirt of Purpose, Pile manages to exceed the lofty expectations set by 2015’s You’re Better Than This with an album that pushes the bands sounds in new and exciting directions while retaining their gift for combining dexterous and complex instrumentation paired with honest self-reflection. On album number six Pile have delivered their finest record, at least until they get around to recording the next one.

Stream: Spotify|Bandcamp

2. Guided By Voices – How Do You Spell Heaven [GBV Inc.]
heavenIn April Robert Pollard’s issued his 100th full length release with August By Cake a sprawling 32 track double album which in addition to some instant Pollard classics featured songwriting and vocal contributions from Doug Gillard, Mark Shue, Kevin March, and Bobby Bare Jr. Then in the heat of August Pollard delivered GBV album #2 of 2017, How Do You Spell Heaven? A concise and focused effort reminiscent of the TVT years and arguably Pollard’s most accessible set of songs since Isolation Drills. The album kicks off with The Birthday Democrats, a catchy as all hell guitar pop anthem of the highest order. How Do Spell Heaven? Is the album casual fans have been dying for GBV to record and one the obsessives will embrace, which further proves that Robert Pollard shows no signs of slowing down or delivering a sub-par album. Not bad for a guy who just turned 60th with 101 LP’s to his credit.

Stream
Spotify

1. Meat WaveThe Incessant [Side One Dummy]
meatThe Incessant had our backs in 2017. It was there to comfort us during the early days of a certain narcissistic idiots Presidency, to cure our workday frustrations, and could be heard by anyone within an earshot of our vehicles on summer road trips. Meat Wave fronter Chris Sutter wrote the bulk of this set in the aftermath of the dissolution of 12 year relationship and he voices his displeasure throughout the album. The Incessant is a jagged noise pop opus with plenty of wit, spite, and pop hooks. The album isn’t all cacophony, Sutter takes a deep death on Birdland, only to bludgeon us with biting and arresting lyricism, “down into the valley surrounded by scum, no point in climbing out, you burned everyone you love.”

Stream: Spotify|Bandcamp

Photo Credit: Noel Kelly of The Hush Now @ The Davis Square Theater

Beverly Tender – What Have You Done To My Water?

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.

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