ON TIME Earthquake Party took their high-energy punky pop into the wee hours at an Allston basement show.
Every underground scene has its "house bands" — local favorites that play tirelessly, fill slots on stacked line-ups every weekend, and amass a dedicated following of fans and friends in their scenes. They make up the fabric of local DIY. They aren't quite yet breaking onto the national indie-rock consciousness, but they might soon. Often in Boston, these sorts of underground house bands actually play in houses. That was the case on Saturday, when four of these like-minded community shapers — two from Massachusetts, and two from Brooklyn — played an Allston basement show attended by 60 or so.
It was a late night. The first of four, Brooklyn quartet Shark?, didn't start their set of classic garage-rock-inspired jams until after 10:30. They were followed by one of Massachusetts's best new bands, Northampton's Speedy Ortiz. The basement was most packed for Speedy's set of guitar-oriented slacker pop, heavy '90s jams with catchy choruses for head-bopping, or — at this show — push pits.
Brooklyn trio Life Size Maps set up at 1 am, then tore through a set of vocalist/guitarist Mike McKeever's meandering noise-pop melodies, completed by Rob Karpay's soaring electronic cello. A standout was "Weird Luck," the title track from a February 2012 EP. This was one of the band's last shows with Jordyn Blakely — one of the tightest drummers playing around Brooklyn right now — who will soon leave to focus on her other band, NY garage pop group Night Manager, and be replaced by Matt Gaffney.
It felt lucky that Earthquake Party's high-energy set of punky pop songs wasn't happening until nearly 3 am — had it been earlier, the place would have been uncomfortably packed, for sure. It was one of the most solid basement shows Allston's seen in a while; the type where you leave wanting to shout about every band that played, and how painfully underexposed they all are.
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