I’m in love with what Eternals are doing right now. The band is delivering well written pop songs executed with meticulous attention to detail and a lush palette of tailored tones. Actually, when I describe it that way it sounds like something I wouldn’t like. I usually gravitate toward songs and production that are more visceral, but Eternals have a way of polishing up these numbers without losing heart or groove that is just so appealing. These guys are so locked in and in tune with each other that their music still connects on a gut level. That’s good enough for me.
Eternals’ slow burn Rumblesets won me over in a big way back in April. Now they’ve released a new single that would sound right at home on Beck’s Sea Change and I’m hooked by this band all over again. “Out Of Context” is just plain wonderful. Perfectly layered, this autumnal single unfolds at its own pace. There’s no big buildup or payoff, just a moment in musical time. Stay as long as you want.
So long, 2015 Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble. You were something else. Nine nights of Rock ‘N’ Roll that solidified your reputation for helping local music fans find their new favorite bands. Anngelle Wood put together your wonderfully diverse lineup, but you took on a life of your own. You always do. We’re lucky you’re still around and you’ve got people like Anngelle looking after you.
Congratulations to Zip-Tie Handcuffs! You’re the 2015 Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble Champs! You played every night like you were fending off a swarm of bullet ants, armed only with tortured guitars, thrashing drums and tight harmonies. You are the stuff of legends.
I guess that’s it. Another Rumble come and gone. All I have left now are these photos. Hopefully they bring back good memories…
There’s never a dull moment with the Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble. The 2015 edition has been a wild one. Zip-Tie Handcuffs and Nemes won their Semifinal nights to move on. The Static Dynamic snagged the wildcard. The Finals will go down Friday night at TT’s. Before you head on over, here are a few things buzzing through my head regarding the Semifinal Round…
Rock ‘N’ Roll Variety Show
It has become pretty common to reference the wackiness of individual Rumble night lineups. Can you remember a non-Rumble show with bands as varied as Zip-Tie Handcuffs, Soft Pyramids, Dirty Bangs and Duck & Cover? Diverse bills occasionally happen in the wild. They’re commonplace in The Rumble. Thursday night’s Semifinal was a goodie.
The NFL’s Got Nothin’ On The Rumble
In sports, you always hear about league parity. Any given Sunday and all that jazz. The big leagues could take a few pointers from The Rumble. Trying to get inside the judges’ minds during the Friday night Semifinal showdown between Nemes, The Static Dynamic, Eternals and Murcielago was an exercise in futility. Hunches? Sure. Confident predictions? Unlikely. That’s parity.
Boston’s New Favorite Band
If my Facebook feed is any indication, Boston’s new favorite band is from Portland, Maine. The number of times Murcielago appears next to some form of the phrase “face-melting” is alarming. Not that I disagree. These guys have been a Rumble highlight for me, too.
Fun With Numbers
Four for four: There were 4 quartets competing in the middle round. Eternals, Murcielago, Nemes and Duck & Cover represented.
Two way tie: There were 2 ties in this year’s Rumble Semifinals. Evan Kenney of Dirty Bangs sported a bolo tie, while Ian Grinold of Zip-Tie Handcuffs sported more traditional neck attire.
One for three: Zip-Tie Handcuffs were the lone 3 piece band in the Semifinals. Winning their night assured they will be the lone trio in The Finals.
Play Me Out
In the end, it’s all about the music, right? Here are the songs stuck in my head from the Semifinal Round.
Three down. Three to go. The 2015 Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble has been pretty great so far. After the much needed Day of Rest, things get going again tonight at TT’s. Here’s the schedule. Come join us for some rock ‘n’ roll, won’t you? In the meantime, here are a few random thoughts on the first three nights of the preliminary round.
Checking out bands I’ve seen before shows how The Rumble brings out some great performances. Band Without Hands played like their lives depended on it, bouyed by an amazing crowd. Salita made TT’s feel tiny, which is probably just the way they like it. They fed off of the energy of the room. I’ve seen Drab a few times now. They were at their Rumble best, with some perfect, dry introductory zingers to set up their well crafted songs. Nemes faced stiff competition on Night #1 and walked away with a hard fought win. They could go far.
I thought I was prepared for Raw Blow. I was wrong. They blew me away. Their set was so intense I became oblivious to the world around me. I thank them for that. I’m glad I finally got to catch Duck & Cover. That’s a good punk rock band right there. Psychic Dog was a hoot. Eternals, Le Roxy Pro and The Rare Occasions caught me off guard in the best possible way. Loved them all.
Look, I don’t know how my brain works. It’s always looking for patterns and outliers. Sometimes it’s looking for hats. There have been a bunch of hats so far in this year’s event. We’ve had trucker hats and winter hats. There have been all kinds of other hats I don’t know the names of. How do hats affect your chances of moving on? Well, of the six bands that had behattted members, one has punched a ticket to the next round (Eternals). That’s a 17% advancement rate. That’s down from the 33% success rate for bands without hats (not to be confused with Band Without Hands). A wild card pickup for Raw Blow, Duck & Cover, Drab, Salita or Mister Vertigo will even out those odds. Do with this info what you will.
Fun With Numbers
Six Is The Loneliest Number: There have been 2 trios, 5 quartets and 4 quintets so far, but only 1 sextet. That distinction goes to the grandiose Mister Vertigo.
Conspiracy Of The Sevens: 7 bands had performers who played Gibson instruments. 7 bands had performers who played Fender instruments. Coincidence? I think not. Wait, I mean probably.
I Can’t Count That High: The number of times my mind changed about who was going to win any given night.
Play Me Out
The Static Dynamic were victorious on Prelim Night #3. When you take a tight, technical band and add a passion for playing and a song like “Relentless,” good things will happen. These are a few of the songs that have stuck with me after the first few nights. See you at TT’s tonight!
Eternal just slowly, steadily, without any sense of malice or indignity, killed me with their Rumble set. Thank you, Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble, for I may not have known this sweet moment without you. Simply gorgeous. They take Night #2.
Here are 7(ish) reasons I’m excited to attend the 6 Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble Prelimary Round nights that kick off in 5 days. Just like the title says. Night #1 is Sunday the 12th. Wednesday is the Day of Rest. It all goes down at TT’s. Let’s go…
Opening night is always fun. There’s excitement in the air and the inevitable Rumble Plague is still a few photo booth sessions way. I trust Mister Vertigo, The Rare Occasions, Band Without Hands and Nemes will get us off on the right foot.
Prelim Night #2 provides some good reasons to head out on a Monday night. Drab mine ’90s indie rock nuggets. Eternals just released this fantastic track. Raw Blow have the best name in the Rumble/city/world and sound ready take on all comers. Duck & Cover have a punk rock lineage that has made me anxious to see them. Thanks to The Rumble I finally will.
The Tuesday night of Rumble Prelim week can be tough. Fatigue is setting in and the Day of Rest is just out of reach. Thankfully, Night #3 is cooking up a chill-surf-heavy-progressive-post-hardcore-punk-rock-n-roll stew to get you through. Le Roxy Pro, Salita, The Static Dynamic and Psychic Dog are on the bill.
Adventure time! I always look forward to Rumble nights where I haven’t seen any of the bands before. Thursday’s Prelim Night #4 provides the action this year. Adding to the excitement is that this night could prove to be one of the most diverse, with Mercury On Mars, Dan Webb And The Spiders, Dirty Bangs and Protean Collective taking the stage.
Nate Leavitt’s “Taking the Long Way Home” is one of the most underrated, understated songs to ever come out of the city. He opens Prelim Night #5 on Friday before The Dirty Looks, Murcielago and Zip-Tie Handcuffs blow the roof off the joint. That’s gonna be fun.
The Rumble Prelims will draw to a close with another one of the event’s signature eclectic line-ups. New City Ghost, Yale, Massachusetts, Soft Pyramids and The Warning Shots will put a bow on the whole shebang with a wonderfully varied bill on Saturday the 18th.
“Favorite” was a huge local radio hit during my formative years in the Boston rock community. Now, The Gravel Pit are back with a new album and Special Guest status in The Finals. Yes, there’s a lot of rock to roll before then, but I’ll take any opportunity to watch Ed Valauskas play the four string Fender bass. The guy’s a one man wrecking crew.
Last week we met the Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble Class of 2015. Last night we learned what the Preliminary Round lineups look like. Now it’s time to present The Rumble with this year’s Look How Awesomely Diverse These Bills Are Award. You can hear this perennial winner’s acceptance speech at TT’s the week of April 12th.
Here we go again, ladies and gentlemen. Anngelle Wood has done that thing she does and the Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble Class of 2015 has been announced. One of these 24 bands will be the champ and don the Rumble Tiara. Which one? Your guess is as good as mine. Probably better. That’s the fun of the whole thing; it doesn’t matter! A good chunk of these bands will play the best sets they’ve ever played in front of large, appreciative audiences. If you’re shopping for a new favorite band, this would be a pretty good place to start.
The whole shin-dig kicks off April 12th. TT’s will once again play host. You can grab a full boat pass starting at noon todayright now over at the club’s website. Individual show lineups will be drawn from a hat live on the air Sunday night on Boston Emissions. Exciting. To tide you over, here are some handy links to get you jazzed. Jazzed!