Fat Creeps @ P.A.’s Lounge 4.27.2012

The engagingly indifferent indie pop of Fat Creeps reverberated through PA’s on Friday night.

The Den Mothers – Borrow Beg And Steal (1999)

The Den Mothers
Borrow Beg And Steal

Borrow Beg And Steal by The Den Mothers found former Boy Wonder bassist Paul Natale stepping into the spotlight fronting his own band. It comes off like a late ’90s post-grunge version of The Kinks. It’s equal parts clever and cool, making for a good listen.

There’s a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor to the lyrics. Paul’s wit is evident in “The Fake Song” when he sings “I don’t mean to sound negative/I’m best when at my worst.” He describes a new romance during “Kind Of In Love” that I don’t believe, but I do find entertaining.

The Den Mothers didn’t take themselves too seriously on this four song EP. Like a lot of bands I like, they kept it simple. Just write some catchy songs and have fun.

Where to get it:

Township – Coming Home (2007)

Coming Home

Township continued the retro-rocking ways of their early EPs on their first full length album, Coming Home. These songs sound like a mix of every ‘70s AOR act you can think of. Foghat? Check. Thin Lizzy? Hell yeah. Heart, The Doobie Brothers, Styx and Kansas? You betcha. Kiss? Check out the “100,000 Years” breakdown and Ace Frehley guitar licks in “Big Bad.” How you feel the big bands of that decade will be a good gut check for how you might feel about Coming Home.

Township dishes out solid classic-rock-inspired fare throughout the record. Coming Home still has the big rock songs you expect from the band. “Millions Of People” has hit single written all over it. “Highway” has some nasty guitar riffs (reminding me of Witchcraft during the breakdown). “Round The Dust” has some cool tempo changes. We also see the guys spreading their wings a bit more.* “Baby Rock Me” is an adventurous ballad with a long slow build. “With You All Along” ventures into Pink Floyd territory.

Township nails the sound of ’70s rock on Coming Home. Check it out if that’s your thing.

Where to get it:

* …and song length. Two of the songs exceed eight minutes in length.

The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library @ Somerville Public Library 4.21.2012

The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library at the Somerville Public Library? I’m in.

I’m always looking for opportunities to take the boys to see some live music. Big Little One has been into taking pictures lately, so I thought this would be a good opportunity for him to do his first live shoot. I grabbed his camera (and mine of course) and we headed out for the Somerville Library.

We got there a little late. The band was already playing. The PA wasn’t working properly, but this may have been a blessing in disguise. Michael and his bandmates were able to deftly balance their levels with good old fashioned playing dynamics. It made for a folksy performance that suited the songs well. A song like “Lymph Nodes” is made all the more rousing by voices moving air without any amplified assistance.

As for the boy, he had a blast. After the first song he ditched his kiddie camera and convinced me to hand over my iPhone. He spent the rest of the set snapping away. So, what kinds of photos does a five-year-old take?* The most amazing live music photos ever.** See for yourself. The Instagram photos at the end of this set are some of his shots from the day. He even chose the black-and-white filter all by himself.

* To be fair, he’s almost six.

** Full disclosure: I may not be entirely impartial.

Noble Rot – Noble Rot (2006)

Noble Rot
Noble Rot

Noble Rot played a raucous brand of rock n’ roll. It was loud, crude, sophomoric and unapologetic. They shot from the hip and tried to take out as many unsuspecting listeners as they could.

On their self-titled disc, the band made a great first impression with “Kicked To The Curb”. The song is an adrenaline fueled rocker with some fantastic backing vocals. “American Hangover” followed, upping the catchiness without losing any edge.

Digging deeper into this full-length, “I See You Coming” is on par with the first couple of tracks. “Mission Hill” and “Leave The Lights Off” work well with just a hint of street-punk anthem in the mix. The lyrics to “Menace,” “Big Bottle Of Love” and “Detox Bitch” are sordid, even by sleaze rock standards. Not your thing? They didn’t care.

Noble Rot never deviated from their Mötö-copter formula. They stuck to their loud fast rock n’ roll manifesto. Rich Hoss’ distinctive vocals provided an identity for the band. Adi Luv and Rodrigo Van Stoli’s guitars could rip and tear in a way that would make Tracii Guns proud. The rhythm section (Hoss on bass and Wes Narron Jr. on drums) was solid throughout. Noble Rot may not have been reinventing the wheel, but they did a good job rolling it recklessly down the road.

Where to get it:

The Complete 2012 Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble Roundup

The Rumble is one big rock 'n' roll party.

The 2012 Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble is in the books. In the end, Bow Thayer And Perfect Trainwreck were the last ones standing. Congratulations to those guys on a hard fought victory! It was no easy task. There were a ton of great sets during this year’s proceedings. Those that look at The Rumble as more of a festival than a competition have the right idea. It’s a phenomenal way to check out a bunch of local bands at the top of their game. Thanks to all of the bands for nine great nights of rock.

If you see this woman, thank her for being awesome.

Selecting those bands is no easy task. Anngelle Wood has had that responsibility for the past few years now. She’s done a wonderful job. Under her guidance, The Rumble has a renewed spirit of camaraderie. A rising tide lifts all boats and all that jazz. She also takes care of the behind the scenes stuff that needs to happen (prizes, sponsors, being a class act and having The Grownup Noise as the guest band, press and the like). It’s daunting task. I’d say it’s thankless, but a quick look at Facebook reveals quite a few deserving statements of gratitude heading her way. There should be more. I hope Anngelle and her crew (including Richard Bouchard of Boston Band Crush, Kerri-Ann Richard and John Robinson) realize how much fun The Rumble is for us local music fans. I’d like to personally thank Anngelle for having me on board as a photographer this year. It was exhausting, but such a blast.

Lastly, thanks to everyone who has checked out the site the past few weeks. I hope I was able to capture a few memorable Rumble moments. I leave you with photos and recaps of all 35 sets by the 24 bands that participated in this year’s event…

Bow Thayer plucking his way to the Rumble crown.


Bow Thayer And Perfect Trainwreck (2012 Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble Champs)
Garvy J. And The Secret Pockets Of Hope And Resistance
The Grownup Noise (Guest Band)

Garvy J. bringing his Semifinal set to a raucous conclusion.

Semifinal Round

Bow Thayer And Perfect Trainwreck (Semifinal Night #1 Winner)
Garvy J. And The Secret Pockets Of Hope And Resistance (Semifinal Night #2 Winner)
Motherboar (Wildcard)
Cask Mouse
Ghosts Of Jupiter
The Rationales
Sherman Burns
Thick Shakes

Andrew Doherty of Motherboar tears it up in the prelims.

Preliminary Round

The Rationales (Preliminary Night #1 Winner)
Garvy J. And The Secret Pockets Of Hope And Resistance (Preliminary Night #2 Winner)
Ghosts of Jupiter (Preliminary Night #3 Winner)
Cask Mouse (Preliminary Night #4 Winner)
Bow Thayer and Perfect Trainwreck (Preliminary Night #5 Winner)
Motherboar (Preliminary Night #6 Winner)
Thick Shakes (Wildcard)
Sherman Burns (Wildcard)
Animal Talk
The Bynars
Cooling Towers
Endless Wave
The Fagettes
Grey Valley Ghost
The Grinds
Never Got Caught
Parlour Bells
Pray For Polanski
Streight Angular
The Susan Constant
The Tin Thistles

The Grownup Noise @ T.T. The Bear’s Place 4.20.2012

The band that was supposed to play first in the 2012 Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble has just played last. In a classy move by Anngelle Wood,* The Grownup Noise closed out this year’s festivities as the non-competing guest band. The eclectic indie rock outfit was supposed to open Preliminary Night #1 before Paul Hansen slipped a disc in his back a couple of days before the show, forcing the band to reluctantly withdraw. Thankfully, he’s feeling much better now. The band took to the TT’s stage and played a great set to wrap things up. What a fitting end to a wonderful three week run.

* Anngelle is full of classy moves when it come to The Rumble.

Bow Thayer And Perfect Trainwreck @ T.T. The Bear’s Place 4.20.2012

Bow Thayer And Perfect Trainwreck’s modern Americana took the 2012 Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble tiara* on Friday night. It was certainly no easy task. The band faced tough competition on all of their nights. Through it all they won over judges with well crafted songs and an astonishing display of musicianship, both individually and collectively. Swampy, dirty, twangy and heartfelt, these guys can flat out play.

Congratulations to Bow Thayer And Perfect Trainwreck!

* In reality the Rumble tiara is more of an actual crown now.

Garvy J. And The Secret Pockets Of Hope And Resistance @ T.T. The Bear’s Place 4.20.2012

Garvy J. And The Secret Pockets Of Hope And Resistance’s 2012 Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble run was dazzling. Dueling EBows, distorted twelve-strings, a massive rhythm section, psych-tinged tunes and a smooth vocal croon all sparkled under the TT’s lights. It was simultaneously joyous, achingly gorgeous and slightly mind bending. Spectacular.

2012 Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble Winner: Bow Thayer And Perfect Trainwreck

Motherboar @ T.T. The Bear’s Place 4.20.2012

Brutal. Devastating. Unrelenting. Throw all of those terms at Motherboar’s 2012 Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble Run. They were the heaviest band in this year’s competition and they didn’t shy away from that distinction. They pummeled the TT’s crowd with three sets of punishing metal. More importantly, they were also a blast to watch. The may not have donned the Rumble tiara (what a sight that would have been), but their Finals set proved why they got the wildcard. Motherboar is one of the best bands in town.

2012 Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble Winner: Bow Thayer And Perfect Trainwreck