Ad Hoc presents
Swearin', Shellshag, Honey, Household ☰ Powered by ADHOC.FM
Brooklyn, NY, 11211-4119
This event is all ages
Swearin' co-frontperson Allison Crutchfield is only 23 years old, but she's been in the game forever already. A truncated history: She started the Ackleys as a ninth grader in Birmingham, AL, with her twin sister, Katie; they were on Warped Tour as high school students. After that band called it quits, the sisters formed P.S. Eliot in 2008, releasing two full-lengths and an EP over the course of their three-and-a-half-year existence. The sisters relocated from Birmingham to Brooklyn in 2011, months before pulling the plug on P.S. Eliot. When the band split, Allison and Katie's musical paths diverged, too: Katie went solo under the moniker Waxahatchee; Allison put together Swearin' with Jeff Bolt (drums), Keith Spencer (bass), and P.S. Eliot bandmate Kyle Gilbride (who shares guitar and vocal duties with Crutchfield). Swearin' unveiled a 6-song demo called What A Dump last December. Earlier this year, they released their self-titled debut LP on Salinas Records. With 2012 coming to a close, it seems safe to say Swearin' will be included in the conversation of the year's best indie-rock records.
The words "indie rock" are crucial here. While the term has long since ceased to have value as a descriptor, Swearin' deliver a sound that could serve as a definition for what the genre used to be. The band's combination of melody, distortion, and energy brings to mind the emo bands of the mid to late '90s, especially the Get Up Kids, Rainer Maria, the Promise Ring, and Jawbreaker. Gilbride's vocals are a dead ringer for those of a young Mac McCaughan; Crutchfield could probably stand in for Anna Waronker on a mid-'90s That Dog LP without anyone noticing. The pair's guitars have a furious squeal that brings to mind Built To Spill or Sebadoh; their instant-classic melodies are obscured by feedback and fuzz, an ancient indie-rock trick perfected by the likes of Archers Of Loaf and Pavement. Crutchfield was born in 1989 (the year the Pixies released Doolittle), and those tendencies are in her blood: In a short documentary about the Ackleys, filmed when Allison and Katie were still in high school, both sisters namecheck Guided By Voices as their primary songwriting influence.
We're two decades out from Slanted & Enchanted, and "indie rock" is enjoying something of a retro-chic revival (cf. Yuck, Japandroids) — meanwhile, the Promise Ring just concluded a brief (and no doubt profitable!) reunion at Fun Fun Fun Fest, and next month Jawbreaker will reissue Bivouac to celebrate its 20th birthday — but Swearin' doesn't sound like an attempt to cash in on the moment; the album's style:substance ratio is weighted heavily toward the consequent. The songs are compact, tightly constructed, smart, explosive, and very catchy. The highlights for me change as my relationship with the record grows, but I can't imagine anyone not being captured immediately by "Here To Hear," "Kenosha," or "Movie Star." The band moved from Brooklyn to Philadelphia earlier this year, and this week, they're headed out on tour for some shows with Japandroids. Tour dates are below, along with a full-album stream. Play it loud.
There's only two people in Shellshag. Shell and Shag. Shell plays guitar and sings while Shag plays drums standing up and also sings. She has bells sewn on her belt and ankles, so there's lots of frantic wiggling to coax the noise out of them. They both sing into a mic stand they built themselves that's shaped like a Y, so they face each other while they play. They're known for putting on shows that bring the house down, sometimes literally. You can always expect some crowd surfing, things being thrown across the room, and the singing along that sometimes threatens to drown them out. The end of their show usually results in the two of them either building a sculpture out of their instruments, amps, and themselves, or completely smashing Shag's drums. -Johnny No Pants Maximum Rock and Roll
“I GOT A RIGHT”
It’s hard for me to look back and imagine a world where
ROCK AND ROLL did not exist, but was it really that long ago?
I watched Lemmy say he remembers before you could hear ROCK AND ROLL on the radio, and hell, Lemmy’s still alive. It changes and it stays the same, it travels a path unlike anything else. ROCK AND ROLL can be a lot of things but above all it should be RAW and REAL. Brooklyn’s HONEY live their lives with, for, and because of ROCK AND ROLL. Huge guitar and Thunderous Bass are beat together by Sprawling Drums – A psychedelic punk hodgepodge scattered across space, time & whatever else”. – ?
"Brooklyn post-punk trio Household has all the taut, jittery rhythmic propulsion of vintage art-pulsers like LiLiPUT and Delta 5, but the band adds a gorgeous, infectious layer of minor-key harmonies taken from the first wave of '90s twee. Guitarist Talya Cooper says the twin vocal dynamic between her and drummer Jenna Weiss-Berman sprung from an office friendship where the two fielded technical service phone calls for a nonprofit and chatted about bands like Huggy Bear and Black Tambourine: "I asked her if she wanted to play drums in a band with me while we were, no joke, standing by the water cooler." Bassist Isabel Freeman joined up, and the three recorded the sardonic Items, an album of two-minute ragers where pop melodies float determinedly over jagged rhythms and clipped, strangled guitars." - Village Voice
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