Friday, August 20, 2010

An Explosive Showcase

On Sunday, August 8, 2010, I went to Church to pay homage to the gods of rock n’ rock and hops n’ barley. My friends at Exploding in Sound put on a showcase featuring some of my favorite up-and-coming bands and it was not to be missed. Grass is Green, RIBS, Solar Powered Sun Destroyer, and The Dirty Dishes came together to celebrate Sunday in the most blasphemous of ways: by playing the devil’s music. Seeing that it was my birthday, the only praying I did was to make it to the end of the show.

Grass is Green was a treat in the opening slot. The band played a tight set of their signature alternative-style math rock. They would have fit in perfectly in the 90s when bands like Polvo and June of 44 reigned supreme. However, I couldn’t be happier that they are around now because we need a band to take the reins of the aforementioned bands and deliver some solid dissonant, angular riffs.

The group meld together well to create intricate grooves that start and stop while grabbing your attention and never letting go. Their singer/guitarist has just the right amount of rasp to his voice to compliment the explosiveness of the group. Even when a string broke, the jam they did waiting for him to change guitars was tight and interesting. They played a new track which was introduced as “Boat Shoe Wearing Piece of Shit” joking, “My dad wears boat shoes but this isn’t about him.” The song will be featured on their upcoming debut full-length entitled Yeddo, which definitely belongs on your anticipated albums list. Check out their song “Greenville” and heard what I am talking about.

<a href="">Grass Is Green - Greenville by Exploding In Sound presents...</a>

RIBS took the stage next and started with a darker number that found them crooning over a pulsing, repetitive bassline. They kept up the energy of the showcase, which was set very high by openers Grass is Green, with their livelier tracks like “Even”. The group looked arena-ready when the houselights dropped and they played with just small lights attached to their instruments yet they still retained the force they began with.

Highlights included the infectious “Brains Out”, which is ready for regular rotation on the radio. RIBS are out to prove that anthemic rock and roll with big, meaty hooks doesn’t have to sound contrived and generic. On the contrary, RIBS spice their formula up with healthy doses of originality which keep you coming back for seconds. They recently released their excellent debut EP, British Brains, which can be heard below.

<a href="">Even by RIBS</a>

Solar Powered Sun Destroyer
traveled all the way from Washington, DC and I’m sure they made a few friends up here in Boston. The band combined elements of emo, hardcore, and space rock into an interesting concoction. Their heavier emo sound reminded me of some of the older bands on the Deep Elm roster complimented by a little Cave In influence. The deep, woven guitar melodies generated by their triple guitar attack set them apart from other groups playing such a style.

The band put on a powerful performance and you could see them punish their instruments with each song. The drummer even broke his kick pedal during the last song. I was unfamiliar with their catalog but I definitely heard some tunes that I want to seek out and revisit. They just finished recording their debut full-length with help from none other than J. Robbins, guitarist/singer for legendary bands Jawbox and Burning Airlines as well as producer of landmark albums by mewithoutYou, The Dismemberment Plan, Shiner, and Modern Life is War, so make sure to look for that one in the near future. You can hear the demo for their track “Ghost Light” below.

<a href="">Solar Powered Sun Destroyer - Ghost Light (Demo) by Exploding In Sound presents...</a>

The great thing about The Dirty Dishes is they have been getting better every time I’ve seen them. This performance was no exception and showed that they are a bright spot on the local scene that you do not want to miss. Jenny Tuite’s vocals were much improved and soared over the music entrancing the listener with surprising force. Songs like the irresistible “In the Cloud” displayed the potential for an audience much bigger than what Church could hold. The group, however, are no one trick pony. Their strength lies in their diverse songwriting and ability to keep you guessing what’s next. Below is their In the Clouds EP.

<a href="">Deer in Headlights by Dirty Dishes</a>

The band demonstrated their technical prowess on fan favorite “Stolen Apples” which was laced with biting guitars and disjointed rhythms. They played a new song that had a ballad feel to it with Jenny softly singing over a mid-paced riff. It reminded me of the slower material from The Smashing Pumpkins. I think “Drown” might be the tune I had in mind (for you Singles fans out there). It certainly had me interested in the direction they were going to take their next release.

The Dirty Dishes put on another consistent performance that held me in a gratified gaze. It was a satisfying way to spend a birthday and, to my surprise, I was still standing by the end of it (see: barely). The show left me excited for their upcoming show on August 27, 2010 at The Middle Eat downstairs with infamous shoegazers Autolux and post-rock heavyweights This Will Destroy You. This is an incredible lineup and anyone reading this should make sure they are there.

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