Sainthood Reps/Weatherbox/Ghost Thrower - live in Allston (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Sainthood Reps / Weatherbox / Ghost Thrower

live in Allston (2011)

live show

Yale, MA. While this show took place at O'Brien's Pub in Allston, that first sentence is a band name, and they were one of the two local openers on this otherwise really solid bill. Now, that's probably more harsh than it's meant to be--Yale, MA played a competent take on what I can only describe as aggressive, hostile power-pop. But it was the kind of intermittently sloppy and forgettable stuff that got a little old after 15 minutes or so. It wasn't offensive by any means, though, and it passed the time well enough.

Ghost Thrower was next. A band who deserves some more acknowledgment, they raced through 25 minutes of searing, razor-sharp post-hardcore. With current (?) and ex-members of Therefore I Am, Shipwreck a.d. and Bravo Fucking Bravo, the members' experience lend well to both their show and studio fare: Their first EP, Get Miserable, is a solid effort off the bat. They played nearly all of that EP, including Thursday-ish opener "Prima and Sinatra," as well as a handful of new stuff. Some of it came from the Has a One That Got Away EP, as well as a CD compilation of those two EPs called 10 Songs, both of which are due out Oct. 25. Other new jams derived from a proper full-length that is yet-to-be-recorded. While the band's sound could be vaguely characterized as bridging the gap between the relentless bark of later-era At the Drive-In and the loose frantic-ness of contemporaries like Fear Before and La Dispute, one of the new songs they played from the LP was a surprisingly sunny, upbeat number. It was a glimmer of hope buried in an otherwise caustic and darker set that I hope the few idling by and watching (save headbanging lady-friends of the band) were into. While some moments of sloppiness cropped up in intense closer "For Austin," it was all endearing and energized.

Set list (9:31-9:56):

  1. Prima and Sinatra
  2. new song
  3. new song [from yet-to-be-recorded LP]
  4. I Never Damned You
  5. Chemistry Sells
  6. new song
  7. new song
  8. For Austin

Weatherbox seemingly elected to play next, despite having a pretty considerable stable of material to play compared to Sainthood Reps' lone full-length (plus their one song on that O'Brother split, I guess). Decked out in matching gray custodial outfits of some sort, they also had the bigger crowd, from dudes psyched to sing along to the angular hooks of American Art staples like "I Worship Raw Beats" and "Trippin' the Life Fantastic" (and of course, the barked, Dismemberment Plan-ish "Broken Glowsticks") to those seemingly speechless in awe of the band's controlled, frantic guitar slashes on cuts like "Secret Muslim" (from their new EP, Follow the Rattle of the Afghan Guitar) and "Contactus, The Little Green Men." Frontman Brian Warren sneered his nasal melodies into the barely audible mic while standing at a peculiar angle to it, and his backing band had a systematic energy about the way they played. Performance-wise, it wasn't 100 percent spot-on, but it was usually pretty close. It's probably the tightest Weatherbox has sounded on a tour since their run in 2007 supporting Cartel, and they fit a wide range of material into a cohesive and engaging 42 minutes.

Set list (10:21-11:03):
  1. new song?
  2. Two Satchels of Light
  3. My Head
  4. I Worship Raw Beats
  5. The Bullets
  6. Mountain
  7. Contactus, The Little Green Men
  8. Secret Muslim
  9. Broken Glowsticks
  10. Trippin' the Life Fantastic

A noticeable chunk of the crowd then departed, leaving Sainthood Reps to play for a dozen-or-so spectators up front and a handful of other, perhaps less interested bar patrons further in the back who basked in the glow of the hated New York Jets and their impending Monday Night Football win. The Long Islanders on stage were pleased at the victory (even talking a little sports with the crowd), but otherwise rocked through a set of their usual noisy and especially loud "alternative" rock with moody abandon. I say "alternative," because the band's sound is stooped more in the Nirvanas and Jesus Lizards of the early '90s than any other questionable era, really. Vocalist/guitarist Francesco Montesanto snarled disconsolation into the mic while his bandmates used the space of the stage to roam and thrash about--guitarist/vocalist Derrick Sherman was face-to-strings at one point, and at another moment violently pulling his amp towards his instrument for feedback. As loudly as possible, they played the lion's share of their recent full-length, Monoculture, over the course of a coarse half-hour, then promptly set their weapons down after the destructive, screeching finish to album closer "Widow." The song's an indictment of friends leaving Long Island for the hipper confines of Brooklyn lofts, and you wondered if maybe the Allston faithful could relate.

Set list (11:23-11:55):
  1. Monoculture
  2. Hotfoot
  3. Holiday Makers
  4. Animal Glue
  5. No/Survival
  7. Widow