Friday, September 16, 2011

Young Adults Make An Impression at Great Scott

I’ve been meaning to write a review for the incredible line-up I saw on August 20 at Great Scott. On that Saturday, I spent a good portion of my night watching a who’s who of up-and-coming bands. The lineup consisted of Shores (Grand Rapids), Quilty (Brooklyn), Creepoid (Philadelphia), and Young Adults (Boston). Each band had their own unique style and presentation and did not hold back as the performances got better and better.

Shores started things with a slow and somber vibe. This is not a bad thing as their atmospheric post-rock is quite enjoyable. They bring to mind names like Codeine and Slowdive from the best of the 90’s slowcore movement. In their brighter moments, they sounded a bit like Sharks Keep Moving. When the band coalesced during big crescendos, they really sucked in the audience. Listen to last year’s Coup de Grace from No Idea Records and you’ll get a good feel for their direction.
Quilty have a unique sound and are currently one of my favorite bands of the noisy garage rock variety. Guitarist/vocalist Sarah Dupuis started the show off with sparse guitar picking and emotive vocals before the rest of the band came crashing in. The trio had a trombone player instead of a bassist which was surprisingly complimentary to their style. It added a unique level of depth to their sound and didn’t come off gimmicky. Songs like the irresistible “Supernova” showcased how well they can structure a tune around these elements. Sarah’s raucous playing style sat perfectly next to the deep trombone notes and the thunderous drumming while she sang the chorus to said song with a fluctuating intonation.
Creepoid put on one hell of a show and left a physical as well as mental impression on everyone in the audience. The group used female and male vocals to great effect during their mix of psychedelic and grungy rock. They had plenty of energy especially in their bombastic closer. They ended the set with a long jam on their song “Enabler” that had the guitarist breaking not one but three guitar strings. He proceeded to throw the instrument to the ground and manipulate his pedals. Meanwhile, the drummer was kicking over his set and everything seemed to be getting destroyed. There was no mistaking it: this was rock and roll. It was hard not to walk away from the set feeling invigorated.
Young Adults are one of my favorite bands from Boston. I’ve said this before and this show was confirmation. Watching them play songs as tight and catchy as “Impression” and “Wasting Time”, it’s hard not to share similar sentiments. The first thing you notice about a Young Adults show is that these guys like to play LOUD. It’s perfectly fitting for their thrashy shoegaze sound and compliments the energy of their performance. They played a couple of new songs that had me really excited for their next release. For now, you can stream their excellent debut, Black Hole. Also check out videos from the show of most of the bands via The Styrofoam Drone.

Bonus Review!

After the show at Great Scott, I figured I would make my way to the Hen House and see if I could still catch Pile who were playing right around the block. I made it there just as Graph started and I was pleasantly surprised by their set. They had an impressive mathy yet accessible sound that kept me mesmerized the entire time. Pile came on next and those who were still in attendance were more than ready to get their face rocked off. They launched into a set of favorites including “#1 Hit Single” and I couldn’t help but end the night headbanging until my neck felt like it was going to snap. They came to an abrupt stop after I turned around to a cop shining a light in my eyes. Given the time and place, I wasn’t too surprised that it ended that way. I was more than ready to hit the hay after seeing the show at Great Scott then having Graph and Pile blast my eardrums into another dimension for the nightcap.

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