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Artist of the Month
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May 2015
The Weaks
"Bad Year
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mp3
On the heels of last year’s, debut EP The World Is A Terrible Place & I Hate Myself And Want To Die, The Weaks, led by a pair of former Dangerous Ponies Chris Baglivo and Evan Bernard, have released their full-length debut Bad Year via Lame-O Records.
 
The record wastes little time jumpstarting into the aptly titled “Kick It,” with its bass-thudding lines rolling into catchy, emotive power-pop mode, cleansed with a bit of synth before unleashing one of the album’s many blasts of guitar solos. “Nevermind” (an homage to Nirvana) reflectively takes the positive spin on a failed relationship, streamlining percolating instrumentation with stable yet aching vocals. The album’s title-track cracks through melancholy with a lyrical disposition harnessing polished twin guitar licks between trudging percussion-led transitions, destined for fiery flashes of solo prowess. With an aggressive, smashing instrumental storm, “Black Box” takes the ball and runs with its relatable crushing narrative, hooking you in as a silky synth slips in amid the treacherous landscape. 
 
“Dysania” is the cup of coffee that pushes the covers off. With its guitar-led jog, loosening into a bass-charging surge, it quickly reaches maximum speed. Tongue-in-cheek earnest yet humorous lyrical tones – “Too much blood for just two hands/and there’s so much shit we’re gonna need two vans” – set the mood whilst sprinkling in clean flares of guitar, maintaining that downhill thrust. The song contextually blends a pent up instrumental energy and memorable vocals to create a natural anthem feel. Turning a leaf, “I Don’t Wanna Be An Anarchist (Anymore)” melds percussion and synth, delivering a sincere yearning for change with that heart-throbbing, interwoven bass-drum combo, adding a real inside-looking-out perspective. 
 
Strumming acoustic guitar and a spacey synth serve as foils in “Welcome To Earth,” zooming in and then peering out in a battle of loneliness and self-exploration, once again enjoying a creative out there spin on a common searching topic. The closing track is another nod & wink to Nirvana and Hop Along frontwoman, “Francis Quinlan Will Have Her Revenge On Philadelphia,” embracing a snarky attitude with matching (rough around the edges) momentum-gathering guitar meets an avalanche of backend, delivering a mixed emotion-filled message “Who’s going to pull your weight if I leave you behind... Please stay with me. 
 
Bad Year embraces its Weezer power-pop influences, allowing listeners to join in on the emotionally personal ups and downs, while still coming away refreshed. It’s another great find for rising Philly indie label, Lame-O Records. - Michael Colavita

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Big Mess -- Mold

Lowell trio Big Mess put out two new songs in October to follow up their self-titled release this past January. MOLD is twelve minutes of ominous, instrumental doom metal marching through a downpour of sludge. As opposed to their first album, which mixed in bluesy rock parts, MOLD adheres to a slow and straightforward brand of hardcore. Heaviness builds up in the desolate Side A and then trudges off to the dirge’s conclusion, and crunchy guitar distortion bookend Drone Bee.

--Sarah Ruggiero


New Holiday Single from The Hush Now

It's no secret that The Hush Now love the holidays. The Boston-based rock outfit treats its fans to a song for pretty much every major holiday. This season is no exception. Deciding that New Year's was a lonely holiday when it came to songs, they sat down and penned their latest gift to us all: Happy New Year, Dear.

Take a listen to the track below and head over to their Bandcamp to download it for free.

--Chrissy Prisco


28 Degrees Taurus Start 5-night East Coast Tour Tonight with Gospel Gossip (MN)

Tonight kicks off a 5-night east coast tour from local psych/shoegaze band 28 Degrees Taurus. Having recently come back from two midwestern tours (the last of which was with their Midwestern "sister band" Gospel Gossip) this marks the first area performance from 28DT in several months.

Minneapolis' Gospel Gossip will be accompanying the band on this tour. Some folks might remember Gospel Gossip from their last New England appearance in August at Deep Heaven Now. Combining energy, intensity and raw, emotionally-charged vocals from Sarah Nienaber, this band's shoegaze will leave you completely spellbound.

Do yourself a favor and make it to at least one, if not all, of these shows.

Wed, Nov. 30 -- w/ MAAR, Secret LoverRalph's Diner, Worcester MA
Thurs, Dec. 1 -- w/ Guillermo Sexo, Ghost Box Orchestra @ Great Scott, Allston MA
Fri, Dec. 2 -- w/ The New Highway Hymnal, Friendship @ The Ant Cellar, Lowell MA
Sat, Dec. 3 -- w/ Autochrome, ClouderThe Charleston, Brooklyn NY
Sun, Dec. 4 -- w/ The Josh Drews, Washerwoman @ The Velvet Lounge, Washington D.C.

--Chrissy Prisco


The Prefab Messiahs -- Peace Love & Alienation

When I first listened to Peace Love & Alienation, without knowing a thing about The Prefab Messiahs, I thought I had downloaded the wrong album by mistake. This was real garage-pop from the 80’s. After a brief peruse of the internet, I came to the conclusion that these guys are the longest-lived band to last only two years (1981-1983). Three ambitious Clark U. undergrads with barebones rigs, no money, and a lot to say combined punk, surf-rock, and garage-pop to create an unaccredited style of lo-fi pop-rock that is still relevant 30 years later,

Peace Love & Alienation brings together 8 newly remastered tracks, including both tracks produced by Bobb Trimble, that show the versatility Prefab Messiahs had in their heyday. With a strong influence from post-punk innovators “Swell Maps,” Prefab Messiahs coin a sound of their own. It’s as if the Ramones teamed up with Joy Division, took some LSD, listened to The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, and then decided to write an album. The Album starts off with two of my favorite songs Beyond All That and Cousin Artie. In each of these songs we hear everything from surf-rock guitar licks, analog synth, punk chord progressions, and psychedelic refrains and bridges.

Then comes Prefab Messiahs’ most “famous” song, Desperately Happy. Catchy and fun reverb-soaked vocals over a simple but grooving, slightly out of tune, guitar line make this song an instant classic for any and every Prefab fan. Their creativity is certainly showcased in the next 50-second track, Prefab Dub. What was an eclectic instrumental grooving heady dub song doing in the middle of a post-punk compilation album? I’m not sure, but I listened to this short track three times in a row as any doubts that I had about this band being way ahead of their time vanished.

I suggest all music fans buy or at least check out this album. Especially for all those lo-fi, modern garage-punkers out there (fans of Wavves, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, etc.) who might find some satisfaction in listening to the roots, this is a must-have album.

--Michael Giordano


Annalise Emerick -- Starry-Eyed

On her album Starry-Eyed, singer-songwriter Annalise Emerick blends folk music with pop sensibilities as she crafts melodies as pretty as her name. The album follows the story of a young woman who learns to stand her own ground and rely on herself, but without sounding jaded. Emerick opens the album with You Win, a breakup song to her dear Nashville-- the city that became the takeoff point for her career as a singer-songwriter. In the beginning, she admits she was “starry-eyed and full of hope,” but when she gets her heart broken, she knows better than to let others get the best of her.

With its innocent and thoughtful lyricism, Starry-Eyed focuses some of its attention on looking back, like in I Came Around, which analyzes the should-haves of life and love and shows off Emerick’s tough side. But more importantly, the core of the album is about moving forward. Emerick has the soul of a traveller, and she’s not afraid to pick her life up and go when she needs to; She’s a Texan who has settled down in Nashville and Seattle before planting her roots in Boston, at least for the moment.


Annalise Emerick -- A Runner and a Singer

--Sarah Ruggiero


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