Northampton-based Bunny’s A Swine will be coming to the Boston area on June 27 to play a show at Great Scott in Allston. After recently releasing their fourth full-length, Calling Out, at The Thing in the Spring in New Hampshire, Bunny’s A Swine is taking to the road to help promote their album. This new collection of songs is full of bluesy, powerful guitar riffs, packed with enough energy to make even the most casual rock n’ roll listener get up and move. The vocal combo of Emerson Stevens and Candace Clement really makes these tracks stand-out. “Lasell”, the third track on the record, sounds like it could have been a B-side on Sonic Youth’s Rather Ripped, especially during the bridge. Stevens’ and Clement’s voices blend together perfectly, culminating in a raucous wave of guitar distortion and cymbal crashes.
According to a recent post on the band’s website, Calling Out is currently only available in digital-download due to issues surrounding the pressing of the vinyls. But fear not, the band is working to resolve those issues and physical copies should be available shortly (you can still pre-order the vinyl on their bandcamp site).
The show at Great Scott starts at 9PM on June 27. Tickets are $8, 18+ with proper ID. - Dan McMahon
Along with nearly everything in the digital age, the song writers’ instrument of choice has shifted from the guitar to the computer. The result is polarization of electronic innovators and the acoustic purists. Stuck in the beautiful and mysterious place in between, is Skinny Bones. The duo’s psychadellic release “Skinni Dip” is available now. Its first track “A Moment or Two,” puts out a lure with a beautiful acoustic guitar riff, and then surprises you with the tasteful and inventive electronic effects. By combining environmental percussion, and subtle electronics the duo gives us some sounds I can say I’ve never heard before, all supported by solid songwriting. Check out “Skinni Dip” on their Facebook. - Paul Jordan Talbot
Thick Wild’s latest release, “O Sinister Force,” is loaded with songs to creep you out. Boston/Brooklyn based Amelia Emmet’s voice has the sound of some alien time and place. It cracks and slips consistently, but she sells every sound. The imaginative lyrics on the record show glimses of a monster lurking beneath that light voice. She embraces those horrifying thoughts, and instead of shaking them off, she revels in them to make this wonderfully unsettling album. - Paul Jordan Talbot
The Deadly Gentlemen, Greg Liszt’s latest project after Crooked Still, are pumping out some seriously fun, politically charged folk tunes. Every member of this new-grass outfit knows their instruments in and out, which lets them go nuts on their innovative solos. Politics aside, they know how to have foot stomping good time, and there’s nothing more fitting than seeing a Deadly Gentlemen at a pub show. Their new single, “Bored of the Raging,” suggests a change in the band's attitude on the upcoming album, but I trust these guys not to disappoint. The Gentlemen’s are releasing their new album, "Roll Me, Tumble Me" on July 9th. Their earlier release, Carry Me to Home, can be purchased on their Bandcamp. (Paul Jordan Talbot)
Don’t you love taking a three-month sabbatical in the woods and emerge the talk of NPR, KEXP, and the New York Times? So goes the story of Boston-based duo You Won’t, comprised of childhood friends Josh Arnoudse and Raky Sastri seeking several different creative outlets before trying their hand at music in eastern Massachusetts. The result is 2012’s 'Skeptic Goodbye' (written by Arnoudse and produced by Sastri), a collection of low-fi lyricism rife with keyboards and acoustic that propelled them to the top of the must-listen listens, bolstered by a deal with Old Flame Records and a last-minute SXSW appearance. Their sound is high energy without being thoughtless and has a sense of humor that keeps even the most serious songs from getting bogged down in pretense. Best of all, they’re having fun with it — tracks like “Fat and Happy” and single “Three Car Garage” (streaming) are evidence enough.
The duo will be hitting up the House of Blues on June 20th with the Joy Formidable, then returning for the second glorious installment of Boston Calling on September 7th along with acts like Vampire Weekend and Bat for Lashes. - Jamie Loftus
Veterans of the NYC scene, formerly known as La Pieta, and now partly based in Providence, Summer Hours will be making a rare appearence at The Living Room in Manhattan this Saturday June 8. In February they released their 4th album, 'Closer Still' on their own label, Technical Echo Records - this is announced to be the band's final record. Summer Hours gentle sound blends indie pop and folk elements, featuring a signature bass-guitar interplay and Rachel Dannefer delicate soprano.
Here We Just Dream’s self-titled album, released in June of 2012, is an incredible listen, most notably because it stands out from most other self-proclaimed “prog rock” groups. I’ll refrain from using the term “prog rock” for the rest of this review, mostly because that term makes me want to vomit. What interests me about this band is their use of smooth keyboard lines—they don’t over-power you with ostentatious solos or over-the-top virtuosity. The tracks “Birds Fly Information” and “Phototropism” are prime examples of the elegant use of keys on this record. They blend in beautifully with the intricate guitar licks and vocal melodies found throughout the album. While the record is more of an EP in length, it packs enough energy and musical skill to more than make-up for its brevity.
See them tonight on May 30 at Radio in Somerville or this weekend at Red Room, Café 939 at Berklee College of Music on June 1. - Dan McMahon
Boston/Portland (ME)/Brooklyn based quintet Joy Kills Sorrow is that go to band every blogger speaks highly of, but they have yet to make the kind of splash they deserve. That may change with the pending release of new EP 'Wide Awake,' to be followed by a lengthy coast to coast tour. The five piece bluegrass/folk group has always found ways to extend themselves. Be it virtuoso string playing, huge lead vocals (Emma Beaton) or their penchant for re-configuring their classical backgrounds to carve out new worlds for pop jams (check out their fantastic cover of 'Such Great Heights,' streaming below), the band always comes across sounding new while staying firmly rooted in a classic American roots tradition. They're setting off across the country this summer, but be sure to catch them live when they come around later this year.
I can’t vouch for the former, but this three-piece Boston outfit is certainly pretty-- their latest, Golden Rules for Golden People, has been slowly gaining critical acclaim that their long-standing Beantown fans can cheer for. Often compared to early new wave from Elvis Costello to Squeeze, don’t listen to the blogs that tell you Pretty and Nice are merely influenced performers. In their single “Hibernate”, you hear snippets of the Kinks and a snatch of electronic, but the blend is completely unique to the group. Holden Lewis and Jeremy Mendicino have been playing the New England scene since 2004 and are finally gaining some clout in the community. Golden Rules is terrific, but for even more Pretty and Nice fun take a listen to their earlier recordings-- their current sound is a careful blend of everything they’ve done to date, and it’s a cool journey to take. Catch them at the Sinclair on Thursday with the Thermals. - Jamie Loftus
Friendly People’s debut, self-titled 3-song EP gives a concise taste of a promising young Cambridge, MA-based band. Their jangly indie pop is peppered with hints of Americana, roots rock and folk with vocals that owe a debt to Neil Young. The EP’s clear highlight is its opening track—their namesake song—“Friendly People”. It’s a tremendous, positive track buoyed by a horn section in the bridge which lends a mariachi feel. “A Lot of Work To Do” brings out Harvest-era Neil Young, starting as a plaintive acoustic ditty which builds slowly into a passionate electric number. Closing track, “Branches”, follows the same acoustic-to-electric path. As the song builds, it introduces tribal rhythms that are reminiscent of 80s indie-punk legends, the Volcano Suns. Friendly People are scheduled to record their debut full-length in March. If the Friendly People EP is indicative of what we can expect from this young group’s next batch of tunes it will be a record to keep an eye on later in 2012.--George Dow