Monday, August 2, 2010

Girlfriends bring Doomstar! to Great Scott

I’m all about discovering new local bands. Boston has a vibrant music scene as full as any other city in the country with bands about to blow up. Catching shows for up-and-coming bands is a great way to discover the music that's steadily gaining buzz plus it’s also a cheap way to have a great night out. On July 1, 2010, I seized the opportunity to see two of Boston’s most promising newcomers: Doomstar! and Girlfriends. The show was to celebrate the release of Girlfriends’ Gov't Seizure 7" single and to sendoff the group since they are about to embark on a big US tour.

I’ve heard Doomstar! a few times times before but nothing compared me for seeing them live. I was floored by how much passion and energy they put into every note they blasted from the speakers. For only a three piece, they were able to create quite an impressive amount of noise. The group had a raw sound but played very tight. Its rare to see a band that has the perfect amount of distortion on their guitars and reverb on their vocals but Doomstar! pulled it off. Watching them perform live, I could easily see why songs like “Sharon Mitchel” are winning over the hearts of garage rock fans. They may very well be Boston’s answer to Japandroids. Listen to the excellent Rainbow Bloodsucker EP below along with the video for “The End of the World” and also make sure to check out their debut Colors at their bandcamp site.

<a href="">Handsome Man by DOOMSTAR!</a>

The End Of The World - DOOMSTAR! from pointy ears on Vimeo.

Girlfriends recently nabbed the "Best Garage/Psych Band" award in the Phoenix 2010 Best Music Poll and I was very excited to hear what they could do live. Their sound is your basic short-and-sweet garage rock formula but they also add dashes of surf, twang, and noise. For much of their set, pulsing bass lines blended with thumping drums to create a thick syrupy base for the guitars and vocals to mix into. It sounded much more clean and accessible than their recordings and some of the guitar tones were exceptional. You could tell that if they ditched the lo-fi obsession, they could easily be ready for a hit on the radio. Having said that, there is no way that I would wish for them to take such a path as their current sound is still infectious and has a beautiful, coarse bite to it.

The group began with the catchy pop of “Slugger” which immediately got the crowd excited. Because they delve into several sub-genres of garage rock, it was easy to see that they owe as much to The Kinks as they do The Ramones. "I Was Here But I Disappear” was another standout with its memorable 4/4 stomp and clever lyrics. Each song had its own little voice that carried into the audience and got people moving. The band was periodically met with some curious yells calling for Henry Rollins. I wasn’t quite sure how this started but, personally, I would have loved to hear their take on “TV Party” or perhaps a surf rock version of “Liar”. They refused chants for an encore stating that encores are not punk. I can’t say that I don’t agree. By the end, everyone appeared satisfied regardless and I’m already looking forward to when then make a stop back in town after their tour. Download their Good to be True 7” free at Ampeater and listen to their self-titled release below as well as their other releases on their bandcamp site. Pictures from the show can be seen here.

<a href="">Good To Be True by girlfriends</a>

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