Without introduction or ceremony, a contained, violent dialogue erupted between one flanneled man and his guitar. Seated and using a small array of effects pedals through a practice amp, this unbilled, uncredited performer (whom our sources tell us is really named Jim Vreeland) interrogated his instrument with a modest variety of household tools, his preferred method being wedging a screwdriver between strings and pick-ups. The sound was erratic, almost corporeal. Some audience members drifted, rapt; others used the occasion as a soundtrack for journal-writing or line-drawing.

Whether it was the preceding noise set or their own satirical moniker, the feedback difficulties Human Adult Band met at the beginning of their set seemed like part of the show. Once up and cookin’, their dynamic of burly low-end crud and thin, limpid Strat riffs conjured modern AmRep revivalist acts like Pissed Jeans. There aren’t many bands like this anymore, and this set was a minor triumph at the juncture of punk rock and male futility.

Though Big Blood just released the lovely Dead Songs through Time-Lag, their set was stuffed with even fresher material. With new member Sean Mahoney drumming a swampy gallop, these songs were carved largely by Colleen Kinsella’s immense toolkit of melodies and hammered home by Caleb Mulkerin’s fuzz bass. Their new configuration makes for a heavier, more immediate Big Blood, like a haunted sleighride of seasick and blissful carols.

  Topics: New England Music News , Music, Colleen Kinsella, Caleb Mulkerin,  More more >
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