The radio may claim that guitar rock is dead, but that doesn’t mean the guitar is going down without a fight. Exploding in Sound, a Brooklyn-based label with “roots in Boston,” is leading that fight. Massachusetts locals Speedy Ortiz have gained attention for their witty 90’s-tinged rock, but they aren’t the only great act on EIS. Here are five Boston-based bands with recent releases you really shouldn’t miss:
1. Grass is Green – “Sammy So-Sick”
One of the first bands to sign to EIS, Grass is Green has a great deal of technicality tucked underneath a veneer of nonchalance. Their jagged dissonance is reminiscent of Jawbox and other post-punk acts, but with an added complexity and math-y sound.
2. Kal Marks – “Life is Murder”
Like most EIS bands, Kal Marks experiments with conventions of form and structure. In the title track from their latest album, sludgy guitar and loud drums give way to the surprisingly catchy refrain of “life is murder.” With the help of Carl Shane’s honest growl, it sure sounds like he means something important.
3. Krill – “Turd”
Like Grass is Green, Krill would seem perfectly at home on DC’s Dischord Records. Krill has developed a rather impressive local following. Oddly, it’s hard not to respect a band that has the audacity to open a song with, “I had a vision of myself / A turd spinning in flushing water / Not going down.” As goofy as the lyrics sound, “Turd” is an endearingly honest, catchy tune.
4. Bad History Month – “Natives/Wash Us Out To Sea”
Keeping up with Bad History Month is a bit of a chore. Once Fat History Month, they became Bad History Month before releasing an EP titled Sad History Month. Still, the dark minimalism of “Natives/Wash Us Out To Sea” is captivating. The enchanting repetition and soft-loud-soft dynamics will lull you into a trance.
5. Pony Bones – “Clyfford”
For just two people, Matt Robidoux (Speedy Ortiz) and Kate Hanlon (Kendra) make a lot of noise – but buried beneath it all is what sounds a hell of a lot like a melody. Robidoux’s high-pitched, distressed vocals fit right in with the lo-fi production and distorted guitar.