Friday, September 16, 2011

Pile Gives Another Explosive Performance

September 1st is a nightmare in Boston. It is moving day and thousands of students flood the streets with U-Hauls. At once, the population of Boston seems to double and everyone appears in your way. After a few years in the city, it becomes tiresome. Naturally, you want something to take your mind off the chaos and I found a perfect solution in the show I saw at Great Scott presented by Exploding in Sound. Moving day is also known as Allston Christmas around here due to the abundance of free, albeit bedbug ridden, furniture and other goodies. It certainly felt like we were getting a Christmas present at Great Scott with the array of amazing and diverse bands.

Me You Us Them opened the show with their sonically captivating shoegaze. It’s obvious from the start that these guys own a copy of Loveless. It was impressive to see how well they could execute their rich sound live. Highlights included one of last year’s best songs, “Drugs” which had a dreamy sound that perfectly complemented the affirmations of “Chin up child, don’t give up. Chin up, it’s just the drugs.” They brought the set to a close with “Loving like Lawyers” which featured thunderous tribal drumming and an explosive guitar riff.

Grandfather released Why I’d Try last year which was recorded and mixed by the legendary Steve Albini. It was a raw and commanding rock and roll record that immediately established the band as a unique voice in the scene. At the time, the drummer also handled the vocal duties but now he is out from behind the kit and the performance has benefited from it. These days, it’s getting rare to see a band that has a frontman that simply sings. With this in place, each member took the time to explore the stage and rock out old school style. Songs like “Tremors”, which features a truly badass bass line, found the band getting in a serious groove while onlookers were bobbing their heads in appreciation. They were definitely a powerful live force and one to look out for in the near future.

It’s no secret that I love a good Grass is Green show. Every time I see them, I am amazed at how they can continually execute their sonically complex compositions with such precision. This performance was no different. The only change this time around was that they had bassist Mike Thomas in tow who also plays drums in The Dirty Dishes. They hadn't lost a step and the rhythm section got right down to business in songs like “Boat Show” which displayed their pension for covering a wide range of styles coming from the best of the 90’s underground. The group had recently announced that they are recording a new full length this November. It’s always great to see bands of this caliber churning out tunes so quickly.

Pile headlined the night and I don’t know what I can say about that band that I haven’t already. They possess the same kind of raw power that was able to propel bands like Nirvana to the top of the charts. Guitarist/vocalist Rick Maguire, bassist Matt Becker, and drummer Kris Kuss have the kind of chemistry that is very rare to find in bands today. It didn’t seem like there was anyone in the audience that wasn’t headbanging along with the music and that’s because it’s impossible not to. Their sound builds to a volcanic burst that hits you right in the gut and forces you to get moving. This time around, they were playing tracks from their recently released Big Web 7”. I picked up a copy on beautiful green vinyl and you’d be a fool not to do the same.

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