The Pent House, High Pony, Ultra Major, Geometers
272 Meserole Street
Brooklyn, NY, 11206
This event is 21 and over
Ultra Major formed on a shady industrial row in Brooklyn's Gowanus neighborhood. Most of 2014 was spent writing and recording their debut album, 'Pretending to Swim'. This past year Ultra Major has been making a name for themselves while playing out and writing new material. Having played down in Austin for SXSW and just recently having played CMJ 2015 and being named as one of the top "Loud Rock Bands to See", Ultra Major has created a small, but growing buzz.
Ultra Major play loud, fuzzed-out, catchy alternative rock and roll. With delicate nods to the likes of Dinosaur Jr., Hum, Sonic Youth, and Superchunk, Ultra Major create a nostalgic yet fresh take on everything great about resounding guitar-driven rock music.
Some musicians hop on the right trends at the right time and wait for success to find them. If they are lucky, they turn the right heads and find themselves riding a swell of popularity, though their flame often fades when the next trend takes its turn.
But bands like Brooklyn, NY's Geometers take an opposite approach. Instead of chasing what's à la mode, they play the music they must; in fact, their brand of post-hardcore follows in the footsteps of bands that defied and redefined their genres decades ago—Engine Down and Small Brown Bike, Thrice and Shiner. Like these bands, Geometers may be better described as layered, or more simply loud, but able to balance their power with finesse.
The most dynamic moments on Geometers's self-titled EP aren't immediate. Instead, they swell slowly over the course of the song. "On My Own" starts with Sam Wadsworth's bass clicking beneath drummer David Beale's constrained cadence; by the end of the song, though, Kyle Pollard's once oscillating guitar melody has solidified, and its syncopated rhythm swings beneath his howling voice. Other songs simply bristle with menacing tension; it's there on "Title Fight" during the throbbing verses, even as Pollard and Wadsworth's voices slide smoothly through the turbulence, and on "Sidearm," a song that dodges into an ill-lit alley just as it seems most likely to strike.
Geometers's dynamic, menacing music is only one part of their more active approach. Instead of waiting for opportunities, they make their own—booking their own shows, participating constructively in their scene, persevering through tough times, and setting high standards for themselves. "I personally have wanted to record a record with J. Robbins since I was 13," Wadsworth admits. "He's my favorite producer, I think I could say that pretty easily." When the band learned that they could call the influential engineer and producer, they gave it a shot. "And he was just a totally sweet, normal dude who was really into working with us." Robbins recorded and produced their self-titled EP and their forthcoming full-length—records that never would have been laid down in Baltimore if they waited for success to find them in Brooklyn.
Of course, this approach doesn't always lead to immediate success, but does provoke something more important: a record as honest as it is powerful. "There was a moment after the last day of tracking where the other guys had fallen asleep," Wadsworth concludes, "and I listened to what we had recorded thus far, and I was really happy with it. This may be hyperbolic, but I didn't care if anyone else ever heard it because this is what I needed to do. We love this record, and we don't care no matter what else comes because this was the goal all along.