Home / Columns / Thirsty & Miserable by Iann Robinson / Thirsty and Miserable for 4/13/05

Thirsty and Miserable for 4/13/05


Thirsty & Miserable

by Iann Robinson

Hey everybody, what’s new, I hope all is well with you. I’m kind of in a tight spot this week due to having already written an article about Message Boards, even answering some of the stupider things left on the Meal Sludge Board about me. After I finished it I realized I was giving these simpletons way too much of my time. The truth about Message Boards is that, with some exceptions, they’re sounding off points for spineless cowards who don’t have the balls to present their opinions and show their faces, Instead they hide behind screen names and funny icons, usually spouting really breathtaking prose like "Iann sucks!!" or "Iann’s fat" and as much as I’d like to get angry at these folks, realistically they’re just scared, whimpering little children who’d never put their money where their mouths are. If they had that kind of integrity they’d be starting a fanzine, writing for a website or doing something to be involved with what’s going on instead of hiding behind their computers and tearing apart those of us who at least try to do something real. As for the list of things I hate, that was done tongue in cheek, to make people laugh?.that was all. Those of you laughable enough to get sucked into ranting and raving about that list?well?I guess you should get out of your parent’s basement or your dorm room and deal with real life for a while.

So with that whole column being scrapped I was feeling pressed for a new idea, plus I didn’t want to submit yet another batch of reviews. I struggled with this for a few hours, then it hit me! I’m living in an amazing part of the country as far as music goes so why not let everybody else in on some of the bands I dig coming out of the New England Music Scene. I’m not going to get all high and mighty and say New England is the only place making great music because there are great bands coming out of so many areas around the country (well, not so much in New York but everywhere else). That being said, I think we’re pretty rocking around here. Remember, the New England area gave us great bands like Slapshot, Sam Black Church, Only Living Witness, Freeze, The Pixies and so on. There’s also some great bands from New England already staking their claim in the metal world. Bands like Today Is The Day, Converge, Shadows Fall, Seemless, Killswitch Engage and Unearth!! The power behind all this great music starts with all the clubs available to bands in this area. Clubs like the Middle East, Great Scott’s, TT The Bears, O’Brien’s, Charlie’s Pub just to name a few.

A few weeks ago at O’Brien’s Pub I saw a great band from Dracut, Mass named Man The Conveyors?holy shit did they rock!! They have a really great mix of Extremenoiseviolence and Discharge style music, heavy, fast and brutal. MTC have two singers, a girl and a guy and it really comes together nicely. Another great band coming out of Boston is Septic Youth Command. The name is only temporary but these guys have already started making a reputation for themselves using ugly, grim music that’s as eloquent as it is brutal. The band is fronted by Jonah Jenkins (Only Living Witness, Milligram, Miltown) who is probably one of the greatest front men to ever pick up a mic, that goes for bands from the garage level on up to the mainstream. Jonah takes a new approach to vocals?at least for him?by doing more of a scream than his straight singing. Oddly enough there is just a hint of his singing style layered within the scream and that really lifts it above any other type of scream I’ve heard. The music is parts doom, parts GG Allin and Discharge punk and parts noise, all emanating from Ex-Ohm guitarist Mario Travers and newcomer Scott Gallagher. Charlie Corey and Mike Cahill make a severe and bottom heavy rhythm section, which power the bands brutality along.

While working on this article I became really excited to write about the band Lamont, to spin tales of how they’re powerful straight-out rock n roll is a real find but unfortunately, after seven years, they broke up?which sucks!! There’s no need to cry though because here comes Bury The Needle, another local gem that needs to be heard. Their music is hard to describe, heavy but not "Metal Heavy", very frenetic and always interesting. To me one of their secret weapons is front man Andie and his stage presence. This guy has a voice that you just can’t pin down, some say it has a Mark Arm (Mudhoney) quality to it but it’s a lot deeper than that, and quite unforgettable. Blacktail and Black Helicopter are bands I’ve written about a few times before and they continue to make some of the best music out there. Blacktail is all noise, semi-instrumental and just harsh while Black Helicopter is almost a heavy indie band, melodic in a sense but still dark and moody with all the lyrics based on the drunken ramblings of an age old alcoholic (not the singer). Another feather in the Boston Music Cap is We’re All Gonna Die, a heavy rock machine with echoes of Soundgarden, Tool and GNR all fuzzed out and turned up to full fucking tilt!! If straight metal bands are what you need, look no further than Screams Of Erida who are really laying it down. Great full on metal assault that’s a lot more interesting than other bands in the metal world right now, who all tend to sound like bad At The Gates or 5th Generation Hatebreed. You’d also do well to find out all you can on Backstabbers, Inc, a band I’ve spoken a lot about in the past. These guys are brutal, nosie-posthardcore-extreme music that will tear your face right off. Unforgiving and relentless, one of my new favorite bands. You should also be on the look out for Codetta and Ichabod two more really great heavy bands. When I say heavy I don’t mean to imply they’re typical, all of these bands take the influences we all love and create something fascinating with them. I find in Boston/New England, more than anywhere else, it’s as important to set your art apart from everyone else’s, as it is to rock the crowd.

On more of the pop front (and for all you "metalheads" already groaning, grow up, there’s more to life than metal) you’d be hard pressed to find anything more rocking than Waltham. This is a band that takes all the great sounds from the Fast Times At Ridgemont High era 80s, adds some Rick Springfield and then unleashes the party rock stylings. Anthems of love, loss and partying are Waltham’s specialty and live they’re just really great fun. Damone is another great New England pop band, in the same vein as Waltham but with more of a Police vibe going on. They also rock a really cute front woman so when she sings about love and loss, you scratch your head and wonder why. If you’re looking for something a bit more artsy and maybe a tad more indie, look no further than 27, a melodic and ambient pop band who redefine the idea of lush. Gorgeous songs, a lovely front woman with a beautiful voice, 27 are really impressive. If you’re into the synth-pop, lush sound you’d be wise to check out The Information as well, really great stuff.

If you’re looking to just have a good time at a show, then you owe it to yourself to dig on Higher Rocktane, the world’s best live cover band. Take some seriously high caliber musicians from the Boston area, add a great knowledge of rock, punk and metal and you have the Higher Rocktane machine. For your part you just walk on stage, sing along to Slayer, AC/DC, Black Flag and more all played live behind you and try to release your inner rock star. Higher Rocktane is one of the best times I’ve ever had at a show. Another amazing and hilarious show stopper is Robby Roadsteamer, it’s hard to describe his blend of fucked up comedy and singer/songwriter music?just go see it if you can and you’ll see what I mean. As far as art for pure arts sake plus the added bonus of being an amazing band that you’ll cherish for all eternity, check out 4 Way Anal Touchfight a band that answers the question: How would it sound if Kraftwerk and Skinny Puppy got together to record a comedy album. AMAZING STUFF!!

So that’s just some of the current bands in the Boston/New England scene, a scene that keeps growing everyday. So much creativity and art is done from here that it’s a real honor for me to live amongst these musicians and arists. Everything from labels like Traktor 7, studios like New Alliance and distribution sites like The Garment District shine a serious light at the end of what’s otherwise a pretty dark time in music. Some other bands to check out are: Cracktorch, Fast Actin Fuses, Geronimos Bones, The Hidden, The Bismark, Human Shield, Defcon 4, The Humanoids, Stu Walker, Jetfuel, Rock City Crime Wave, Shanghai Valentine, On Fire, Destruct-A-Thon, Lock & Key and Grudgefuck. All of these bands are doing really great work and you owe it to yourself to hear them out. I’ve listed as many links below as I can to make it easier to find them, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.



www.rawradarwar.com (Septic Youth Command)

P.S. Like I said, these are just some of the bands that are making the Boston/New England scene so incredible to be a part of right now. I’m sure I missed a bunch and I’m sorry to those bands, as for everybody else, enjoy the music!!!

"Thirsty and Miserable" is Iann Robinson’s very own column here at Metal Sludge! Whenever he feels like it, Iann will write about whatever it is that’s on his mind. Much like us, Iann is never one to mince words or hide his feelings, so he’s a welcome addition to our Sludge Family!

To send Iann mail, demos or stuff you want reviewed, write to:

Iann Robinson
PO Box 381563
Cambridge, MA 02238-1563

About Administrator