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Jul 25, 2013

Local Artist – Bummers

Finally made it out to see Bummers Tuesday night at The Basement. Now I can listen to the Hot Tub Hoagie Boys EP objectively so I can write an incredibly subjective review.

We weren’t able to stay long, but “a bridge without a chorus” is my only coherent note. I know I was referring to the second song in the set, maybe The South (the opening track of the aforementioned recording). And while I could easily clarify by asking Bummers, its totally irrelevant. The point is, Bummers’ live set (and song structures for that matter) are quick and quirky.

At times there’s an effeminate element to Jeff’s (?) vocal delivery that becomes increasingly appealing with Chris’ delicate guitar work and harmonies. However, the softness is only momentary as a controlled chaos seems to dominate the live set, which sonically very much reminded me of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Basically, its impossible to predict where Bummers are going, but you’ll thoroughly enjoy the ride.

Hot Tub Hoagie Boys EP review:

Bummers - Hot Tub Hoagie Boys

The South – The first 60 seconds of this 3 minute track (the longest on the EP) is one rolling verse, which ends not with a chorus, but instead expands into more robust instrumentation and harmonies. There isn’t much structure here, but more of a linear intro into the rest of the EP.

Drones – Starts out in an ode to the Sex Pistols, with an initial build reminiscent of Anarchy in the UK. Before delivery of the first lyric, this is quickly broken up by a soft guitar lead of the surf variety. But the ebb and flow between the soothing guitar tones and a distorted build up that never really crescendos continues throughout this incredibly catchy track.

It Ain’t Easy – This is by far my favorite track. Distorted bass, buzzy guitar and one very unpredictable tempo change defines the third song on the EP. Cramming a truly wonderful breakdown, chock-full-of Beatle-esque harmonies, into a two and a half minute track certainly ain’t easy.

Knew You Well – Without a doubt the most radio friendly track on the EP, this song probably best represents the complete sound that is Bummers. An upbeat surf track from start to finish, Knew You Well is the song with structure, lyrics and instrumentation that has instant mass appeal.

Bummers… check em out

Jul 24, 2013

Pics from The Front Bottoms at Skully’s 7/23

We wrote a blog yesterday regarding the awesomeness that is The Front Bottoms and it honestly fails in comparison to the set performed last night.

While most of those of the 21+ variery were at the free RJD2 show at The Newport courtesy of Budweiser, Skully’s saw a massive crowd thanks to an all ages billing and an exceptional band.

I’ve seen the Front Bottoms downsize from a three piece that included keys and a megaphone in 2010, to a duo of drums and acoustic guitar in 2011 and then to another three piece, adding bass in 2012. However, last night as a quartet The Front Bottoms absolutely shined. Looping and backtracked horns were replaced by an actual trumpet and the consistent bass created a more sophisticated rhythm to the set.

As always, Brian played to the crowd and they ate up every bit of banter without hesitation. There were a few issues with security tossing stage crashers despite being openly welcomed by the band, but in a relatively non dramatic manner.

The Front Bottoms have come full circle. From playing shirtless and in their underwear, last night’s set was the culmination of years of endless touring, massive amounts of natural talent and a true love of what they do. No need to define, categorize or understand The Front Bottoms… just enjoy.

Jul 22, 2013

The Front Bottoms to play Skully’s Tuesday 7/23

Whether it was playing one of our CMJ Showcases back in 2010 or one of our SXSW Showcases in 2012, RethinkPopMusic has been a longtime advocate of The Front Bottoms.

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The thing that I love most about this band is that they are impossible to categorize. Yes, the lyrical content is of the emo variety, but your not going to find that retching whine, think more Tom Waits. And while technically a two-piece, you’re not going to hear some revamp of the blues flush with guitar solos and self-indulgence. So what do the Front Bottoms sound like?

 

According to Wikipedia “acoustic-dance-indie-punk” is how to describe The Front Bottoms’ sound. Well, there’s one thing I know with certainty, they sure as hell didn’t write that. I do know that Brian (Vox/Guitar) would never admit to having a desire to honestly describe their sound… and its just as likely he couldn’t even if he wanted.

However, I recently read a review by Bob Boilen of NPR that really resinated with me: “the young duo’s smart, irreverent, self-titled debut strikes a deft balance between the comical and the emotional.”

I agree that the lyrics have serious depth, but the delivery deprives them of perceived sincerity and can quickly be mistaken as comical. Combine that with their onstage antics and one can be distracted enough to forget that both Brian and Matt are very accomplished musicians.

Have no idea what I’m talking about?

Read This:

 I have this dream that I am hitting my dad with a baseball bat 
And he is screaming and crying for help 
And maybe halfway through it has more to do with me killing him 
Then it ever did protecting myself 
And I believe that yeah, dad, maybe no one is perfect 
But I believe that you are pushing your luck 
It just sucks it played out like this 
A terrible movie and you can tell none of the actors even give a fuck

Then Watch This:

 

See you at Skully’s…

Jul 2, 2013

Pics from Reptar and Yeasayer at The Bluestone 6/26

Last Wednesday, Reptar and Yeasayer played to an impressive crowd at The Bluestone.

Known almost exclusively for booking more alternative and pop country artists, The Bluestone brought in Benco Presents to curate this indie electro/rock show that absolutely lived up to our hype.

Thanks to Mike for the amazing photos, Ben Martin and Charles Erickson for the warm hospitality and The Bluestone for stepping out of their comfort zone.

 

Reptar:

 

Yeasayer:

 

Jun 25, 2013

Benco Presents: Resurrecting the Club Gig Experience in Columbus

Falling into the monotony of Columbus’ most prevalent promoter(s)’ booking habits would be a helluva lot easier if it weren’t for those handful of folks, the ones whose artistic integrity is demonstrated through their personal preferences lineups. It’s truly admirable when an artist is booked regardless of whether or not they’ll actually sell enough tickets to cover the guarantee… especially when said booker doesn’t have the leverage of a radio station to get the artist to play for nothing. The show tomorrow night at The Bluestone featuring Yeasayer and Reptar is a perfect illustration courtesy of Benco Presents.

If you’re unfamiliar with the bands, first and foremost they are incredibly complimentary. The music will get intricate and spacey at times for those purists while danceable bass, complex rhythm and sensitive harmonies will appeal to the rest. Nevertheless, the reason why you MUST go to this show tomorrow is because you rarely get to see this level of talent in a club setting.

*The following video is a complete misrepresentation of the Yeasayer you’ll see tomorrow.

Probably more like this:

Reptar has long been a recipient of our admiration since they introduced us to Wowser Bowser back in 2009. We know you’re going to compare Reptar to a bunch of not nearly as talented bands all on your own, but if you want our opinion you can read our introduction to the band from a few years back.

To reiterate the previous statement, its RARE to see this level of talent sharing a stage in an intimate club environment. So stop complaining about a lack of quality shows where you’re in a position to actually watch the bands play their instruments and support local promoters with great taste in music tomorrow night. RPM has a feeling there’s no limit to the quality artists they can bring to Columbus so long as they continue have YOUR support.

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