SUUNS, Eaters, John Congolton and the Nighty Nite
Thursday April 28, 7 pm at the Marlin Room at Webster Hall: $15
The Marlin Room inspires a sense of foreboding in me: visions of an antechamber filled with clamoring sea beasts who’d like nothing more than to pierce my and your flesh with their Samurai snouts, then placidly inspect our writhing, tortured remains with their lifeless, black membranes-for-eyes. But I’m sure that people have made it in and out of shows at this Marlin Room before. Right? Could be a trap, or it could be worth it. If you can get past all this, then by all means go see Suuns and friends.
The Montreal-born mathy, krauty foursome recently released a new album, Hold/Still that continues their tradition of blackened, burnt-to-a-crisp and drowned-for-good-measure electro-fueled ultradistant rock. Is this man or machine-made? Hard to tell on tracks like “Brainwash,” which balances a drifting beauty with grating, nihilist noise. Speaking of man/machine infusions, Eaters are on the bill too, and they’re a band working hard to infuse bass-heavy, stripped-down tracks with breathy vocals, ambient vibes, and synth sounds straight outta the Dawn of the Computer Age. If you’re not familiar, their 2014 self-titled album from Dull Tools is kind of impossible to stop listening to.
B Boys, Rips, Wall
Friday April 29, 8 pm at Union Pool: $10
The self-described “psycho” boys of B Boys may say their music is “a relief from the mania, an expression of duality, an extension of Dadaism,” but I’m pretty sure they’re just messing. Instead, these guys write catchy, no-fuss rock music with a distinct (but not at all put-on) love for ’80s breakdowns and funky beats. Sure, they’re a little post-punk– a little shoegaze at times, even. A bit o’ the old ’90s college radio charm makes it in there too. But B Boys’s isn’t the kind of music you’ll switch on and confuse for something from another era.
I don’t want to compare them to Parquet Courts, but I sort of can’t help it– this band sounds like a washed-out version of that other Brooklyn band recorded through thicker wool blankets, a pickled whiskey haze, and distant resignation. Though it’s gentler stuff that these dudes are writing, easier on the soul to be sure– perfect music for the transition to warm rain. Also they’re a new band– they released their very first EP, “No Worry No Mind,” in March– and we love sparkly new things.
If there’s one thing I could say to this other new BK band, Wall, it would be– I like your style, I like your moves, namely your jangly, incoherent post-punk guitar sludge recorded through (what sounds anyway like) 100 percent, real life lo-fi shizz. Yeah, they’re bowing deeply to Sonic Youth (with a special place for Kim Gordon), but there’s something angrier burbling below the surface of tracks like “Milk,” and especially “Cuban Cigar.” If you, potential audience member, can’t make this particular show (or even if you can, what am I saying?) be sure to catch Wall at the “Deaf Club” performance happening at Knockdown Center (in conjunction with the excellent Room Tone, an ongoing exhibition by LA-based artist Alison O’Daniel).
Rips is life, man. Or at least what I can tell from the one track this trio has up on the interwebs, “Losing II.” What realness these fellows speak about: ignoring calls, chain smoking, “stupid friends.” True, the frontboy has a penchant for Bob-Dylan-esque drugged-out whinnies, but it’s a small thing to put in the back of your mind for rippin’ garage guitars and the languid, I’m-not-special, grey-colored glasses vision of the world.
Pharmakon, Container, Cienfuegos
Friday April 29, 11:55 pm at Market Hotel: $15
Have you seen this woman yet? If not, you’re missing out on life, or rather a twisted half-existence lived inside a vortex of immeasurable pain and suffering. Pharmakon‘s music is the work of a native New Yorker raised in the Rockaway noise scene as Margaret Chardiet. If you’re not familiar, it’s aimed squarely at the listener, who’s held captive during what basically amounts to that creepy scene from The Exorcist when the possessed walks around on all fours. Freaky. Shit.
Chardiet’s lineup partner, Container (aka Ren Schofield of Providence) might as well be her complete opposite. Schofield’s sound swirls through a zone of electrocuted delicacies. I imagine him gnawing gently on little fish eggs for breakfast, plopping them into his mouth with a tiny pink sample spoon. Small blips and humble ticks are familiar pieces that make up a perfectly organized, and yet completely surprising puzzle. If Pharmakon is hot, human madness and boiling physicality, Container is a quietly pulsing glow emitted by Tundra-dwelling organisms.
No Joy, Creepers, Cruel Angels
Saturday April 30, 8 pm at Saint Vitus: $12
It’s hard to imagine this show happening at Saint Vitus, but I’m kind of into the idea of watching it go down. No Joy are the stomach-burbling dream pop you need in order to forget how much your day does not look like any of those glowy Instagram posts that overpopulate your feed. Maybe it’s time for some spring cleaning too, eh? No? You can keep the weird Instagram “friends,” but you’re gonna need a heavy dose of No-Joy-ism to keep your denial afloat. And it’s not all impossibly slick vocals and pastel-colored cloud scenes, No Joy have a sorta gritty rock stream flowing under all of that, and it occasionally flows overboard in an attempt to sink that dream boat.
Gripping the new Cruel Angels (aka Cool Angels) tape, “Love II/ Alice in the Cities” (which Facebook tells us it’s a “very limited run”), might be reason enough to head to this show– that is, if you’re into ambient noise creations that sway between ethereal and heavy as sin. These guys know what’s up– they’ve been floating around the Brooklyn DIY scene for the last several years where they’ve delivered everything from synth-rock pop anthems to the masses, songs that could easily by the soundtrack to the next movie inspired by a Nancy Jo Sales story, to tear-jerker lo-fi meanderings akin to Dirty Beaches.
Aha, and buried in a project called Creepers we’ve found the metal connection– featuring members of Deafheaven, a metal band that makes music that sounds an awful lot like black metal (with some out-of-place proggy, alt-rock detours in the mix), but that is nevertheless dismissed as “hipster metal.” That label might be unwarranted if a band like Creepers didn’t exist, but uh they do. However, you can choose to poo-poo these Creepers, or you can embrace their strange mix of awesome metal instrumental skills bonded and kind-of adorable pop rock. It might not be immediately apparent that you’re bound to win some points at the next Speed Metal Dating gathering, but remember, people, it’s all about standing out from the crowd.
Kaleidoscope, Blank Spell, Haldol, Haram
Wednesday May 4, 8 pm at Alphaville: $8
They had me all over this show at “DMT influenced punk,” but maybe the best way to describe Kaleidoscope’s music is post-apocalyptic paranoid sci-fi punk that’s dirtier than your neighborhood’s pee corner (we all have one). With members of JJ Doll, they’re liable to have a suitably nasty set to boot.
Blank Spell (hailing from Philadelphia) will crush any cute sentiments you had about, well, anything lately. For something more unexpected, get there early and see Haldol, another Philly band, but one that emerged out of the far-flung regions of Nashville. (What’s Nashville, you say? Don’t ask…) Can’t imagine why they’d leave their hometown? Gah, me neither. Thanks to this show we won’t have to wonder, though– we’ll have it flung right in our dang faces.