We have contacted some of the area's top musicians, song writers, recording engineers, and promoters. We asked them to tell us three of their favorite local bands of 2010. This edition we hear from Michael Fournier, Scott Trottier, and Adam Savage.
If you have not read the first three parts, go do that now! Best local bands- part oneor Best local bands- part two or best local bands- Part three
Author of The Minutemen's Double Nickels on the Dime (33 1/3) look for his first novel "Hidden Wheel", released by Three Rooms Press in summer 2011.
El Toro, Ketman’s 2008 debut LP, spent serious time on my turntable: three-piece arrangements, drool- inducing chops, and song structures which alluded to choruses and verses -- unless you count mutations thereof as the items in question. If you’re the type who needs things to be spelled out, you have to score ‘em as such. If not – which is way more fun-- just strap in and enjoy the ride, with all its bumps,
refusals, and jagged permutations. No need for labels or scalpels.
2010 found Ketman A-Go-Go in my mailbox, a further pushing out of boundaries in the same way that galleons used to eliminate ‘here-be-dragons’ dragons by sailing further and making the map bigger. In Ketman’s case, the map now includes a horn section, adding catchiness and head-bobbing to the
band’s already considerable quiver of tricks, yielding another batch of astute, surprising and ultimately
excellent batch of no-bullshit thorny rawk cut with tinges of salsa, French pop and lord knows what else– the album, like the band itself, would rather try something new than repeat the past, and they’re good enough (and smart enough, and skilled enough) to pull off change.
So at the heart is an incessant, urgent progression, uncompromising in both musical and infrastructural
execution (was there another band in Boston –in America – who booked their own three week tour of
Brazil in 2010?).
I confess to hearing the name and jumping to an immediate pop-punk conclusion. Shame on me.
Soccer Mom wear their influences on their sleeves – or, in case of their live show, on their shirts: the
guitarist stage right rocked a My Bloody Valentine tee when I saw ‘em a few months back at Flywheel.
The deluge of feedback, effects and distorto-drone that followed woulda made Kevin Shields proud, certainly, but goes beyond mere homage/aping. Soccer Mom’s rhythm section provides ballast for the dual guitar histronics – clouds of melody, both of the real and phantom variety, wrap around thick basslines and all-business drums like crawling ivy to produce a sum greater than the individual parts, all
something on their own, might suggest.
The resurgence of Allston basements lends itself to a certain swath of gritty punk-influenced stuff – Soccer Mom, no strangers to that scene or its small spaces, blow doors off up and down Ashford Street.
With any luck, they’ll have the chance to let their locust fuzz swarm through larger venues, on the back
of both their lives shows and their self-released 7”.
Lock a bunch of veteran perfectionists in a practice space and see how long it takes ‘em to come out with a finished product. In the case of Taiwan Typhoon’s, they must have a pretty big mailslot, or crack under the door, at least, to stuff two years’ worth of sustenence (and beer) through. But the wait was
“Act Natural,” forthcoming on Curve Of The Earth Records, is an obsessively complied (and played) two-headed coin. These guys spent a lot of practice space time counting. Chunks of heft groan and tilt unexpectedly into straight San Diego and back with nary a seam to be heard (unless you count Sooyoung, and then maybe a little, yeah). Amidst the count is the goddamn rock: Taiwan Typhoon knows when to reel it in, and when to let it unfurl. Better bring a neck brace.
The chops are nice, but so are the barnburners, like their eponym, which rages devoid of frills or complicated counts. The abandon, coupled with the calculus, form two sides of one of Boston’s most formidable and exciting acts. If you like it at all heavy you’d be foolish to miss ‘em.
of Dually Finch
My first choice for favorite local artist of 2010 is an easy choice. Snake Miller. Though snake has spent some time in the spotlight playing lead guitar for such acts as Cub Koda(brownsville station), Noah Hunt(lead vocalist of The Kenny Wayne Shepard Band), Medicine Hat, Crazy chester, and others, he came back to NH to put time and focus into his own songs. That focus and effort produced snakes first solo record, "HillBilly SpeedBall," which is not only my favorite album of 2010, but one of my favorites of all time. It has not come out of my cd player for over a year. Snake is an amazing songwriter and hillbilly speedball doesn't disappoint any listener. At time snakes songs are blatantly biographical and honest and at other times reflect the craft of an expert story teller. Combined with incredible guitar arrangements and beautiful harmonies, Snakes music is hands down my favorite of 2010.
My second choice is Derek Astles. Derek has a style all his own utilizing folk, rock, jam, and alt country appealing to a wide audience and winning fans wherever he plays. I enjoy seeing an artist emotionally commit to their music and Derek shows his passion for what he is playing with every note. I cant say enough good things about Dereks music. If you enjoy artists like Guy Clark, Steve Earle, Townes Van Zantd, Wilco, and so on, your sure to enjoy Derek Astles.
Thirdly is the legendary Jon Nolan. Jon is the former front man for the epic Say Zuzu and is now playing in support of his first solo album, when the summers lasted long which is on my list for top ten albums of all time(sharing a space with Lynyrd Skynyrds Gimme Back My Bullets). Jon is a prolific songwriter and a must see(or hear). Check him out and I promise you will be an instant and life long fan.
of the band Mongrel (read our interview with Mongrel
I'm game but here's 4:
Mindset-X: One of the hardest working bands in the NH scene. It's been great watching the song writing and the band get better and better over the years. Definitely a band to watch in the scene. If you like bands like System of a Down and some Rush, check them out for sure. http://www.mindsetx.com/
Scarecrow Hill: With a very loyal fanbase that loves to dance, this band finds a unique blend of rap, metal, and more mainstream rock that they truly excel at. For fans of Slipknot, Korn, NWA, and Diecast. http://www.myspace.com/scarecrowhill
Fifth Freedom: These guys are from Maine but one of the best straight up ROCK bands I've seen in ages. If you're into bands like Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver these guys are definitely worth checking out. http://www.myspace.com/fifthfreedomrock
Broken Neck Lullaby: The best industrial band in the area - with intriguing programming, an ever changing and never dull live performance, this is the band to see if you're into electronic/industrial music in this area. http://www.myspace.com/brokennecklullaby
Tung - aggressive blues based rock/alternative with one of the most powerful and captivating frontwomen I've had the pleasure of seeing perform.
Evil Streaks: Our soon to be departing bassist's other band, a female fronted garage rock/surf rock/ horror punk blend.
Other local bands you should checkout-
Superfrog, Dusty Gray Band,Boogie On Alice, The Ghost Dinner Band
The Van Burens, The 123's, Juliana Cable, Kitchen, The Ron Noyes Band, Diamond Joe, Lucas Gallo, Crunchy Western Boys, BRASBE, Charlie Chamberlain, Run Gazelle Run, Down To The Well, Tyler Road, Ways To Fall, Gorilla Finger Dub Band, Yankee Cockfight