The Dirty Truckers – Tiger Stripes (2012)

The Dirty Truckers
Tiger Stripes

Has it really been four years since the last Dirty Truckers release? Dang. No matter. The important thing is that The Dirty Truckers are back with a new EP, Tiger Stripes.

The ‘Truckers manage to pack all of their trademarks into this 18 minute collection. Guitars run ragged, driving bass lines and lyrics that hit a little too close to home can all be found within these six songs. “Stranger In Disguise” kicks things off. It’s one of those barn-burners The Dirty Truckers do so well. “Human Contact,” “Feedback” and “Arms Length” trade a little bit of the opener’s rambunctiousness for bigger hooks, proving it’s not all about being rockingest bands in the land.* “Not That Into You” and “Just Run Away” mine the alt-country territory the band often flirts with. The former is nicely augmented by some well arranged backing vocals and a subtle organ part. The latter features a Vibra-Slap. You can’t go wrong with a Vibra-Slap.

Where to get it:

* Their recent show to celebrate the release of Tiger Stripes suggests their still in contention for that title.

Parlour Bells @ Precinct 5.11.2012

Parlour Bells’ first show since their fantastic Rumble appearance did not disappoint. The band brought the same spark that impressed so many people during last month’s main event into Precinct last Friday night. A couple of quick notes before we get to the pics…

  • The band played a brand new song called “Bachelor Hours” which contains the most fabulous St. Patrick’s Day related lyric ever.*
  • The interplay between guitarist Nate Leavitt and guest saxophonist Joel Endinberg during the noir pop of “You Don’t Wear That Dress, The Dress Wears You” is so, so good.

* The band posted their “Bachelor Hours” performance to YouTube so you can hear for yourself.

Eddie Japan @ Precinct 5.11.2012

The dapper gentlemen of Eddie Japan put on a wonderful show last Friday. Their timeless lounge-pop numbers played well against the red-curtained backdrop of Precinct (check out this video of “You Will Find Me Dead In My Comfort Zone” for proof). Of course, their timeless lounge-pop numbers play well just about everywhere.

Crooked Streets @ Precinct 5.11.2012

Crooked Streets came down from Salem to open a night at Precinct. These guys are tough to pin down. They flirted with everything from dark new wave melodies to bursts of Superchunk-style energy. I’m glad they made the trip.

Black Fortress Of Opium – Stratospherical (2012)

Black Fortress Of Opium

Black Fortress Of Opium have crafted a weighty work with Stratospherical. The record opens ominously with “Blood Diamond”. The song features dynamic guitars* and bombastic drums supporting Ajda The Turkish Queen’s haunting voice. We stay immersed in this Led Zeppelin meets Siouxsie And The Banshees world on “Afyonkarahisar Battle Cry”, this time adding mandolin and a melodic bass line to the mix. “Blind” brings lush vocal harmonies to the fore.

Stratospherical branches out a bit at its midpoint. “Right Around Here” parts the dark skies with an indie-pop arrangement that would be tagged as upbeat were it not for the subject matter. The melody and vocal treatment make Ajda sound like an in-tune Liz Phair. Tony Savarino drops a timeless guitar solo into “Southern Hymnal”. “Cherry Blossom” has a killer swampy guitar riff at its core. The acoustic “Get The Timing” has an open feel that stands out among the otherwise dense production.

The album closes with “This Dark Clovd”. The song returns to the same exotic place that launched Stratospherical. We leave as we came, awash in a sea of swirling guitars and enchanting harmonies.

Where to get it:

* Check out the cool “Paranoid Android”-esque guitar line at the 2:38 mark. Awesome.

2370 @ Hi-N-Dry 5.5.2012

2370 performed at Hi-N-Dry as part of Somerville Open Studios this past weekend. Tucked down on the basement of Arts At The Armory, the trio had the kids dancing away to their live-and-looped groove.* Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t “kid’s music”. There’s nothing in what Ian Kennedy, Mike Piehl and Ed Guild are doing that is specifically geared toward children. In fact, the adults in the audience seemed to enjoy the set immensely. They just didn’t jump, shake, spin or twirl as much. It just goes to show that a great musical performance speaks to all ages.

* Seriously, there were little kids go crazy for this. My three-year-old was busting out moves I’ve never seen before.

Muck And The Mires @ Radio 5.4.2012

Muck And The Mires. The songs of ’64 meet the spirit of ’77. This band never disappoints.

The Dirty Truckers @ Radio 5.4.2012

The Dirty Truckers were back in action Friday night. The band was celebrating the release of their new Tiger Stripes EP and the 7″ single for the song “Human Contact.” It had been a while since the last time I saw these Boston wranglers. I was starting to get the shakes. Their set at Radio was just what I needed. The Dirty Truckers blasted out one of the best sets I’ve ever seen them play. They played the new stuff. They played the old stuff.* They rocked the in-between stuff like nobody’s business. “Sea Pines” and “3 Weeks To Go” blew the doors off the joint.** They threw in a couple of covers to keep themselves honest. In the end, the ‘Truckers reminded everyone that they’re one of the best rock ‘n’ roll bands around, not that we’d forgotten.

* Including “Backpack” from their first record.

** Both off of 2008’s fantastic Loose In The Joints