Out: Boston loses a musical ace

Ketman a go-go bye-bye
By BARRY THOMPSON  |  September 13, 2011

JUST FRIENDS Ketman have spent the past seven years blowing minds with genuinely tricky-to-label, club-razing aural mania. 

As the book says, it is best to follow the example set by Jesus Christ himself — live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse.

Taking that advice literally would be kind of stupid. But September 10 at Great Scott — following sets by Banditas, Battle House, and a reassembled Ho-Ag — one of Boston's most significant acts of the past decade came about as close to a beautiful corpse as it gets without anyone having to, like, y'know die.

"There are natural breaking points. Sometimes bands go on for too long, and that's the worst," says Ketman's co-vocalist/guitarist Eric Penna, gathering extra financing for his upcoming exodus to California by hawking discount merch after the show. "We were always about inertia and momentum. As soon as that wasn't there as much as it had always been, it seemed better to stop before things went somewhere . . . bad, or something."

Usually when a band gets called "genre-defying" or "unclassifiable," it's a load of hyperbolic crap. Penna, co-vocalist/bassist Joe Marrett, and drummer Mora Precarious have spent the last seven or so years blowing minds with genuinely tricky-to-label, club-razing aural mania. They were too technical to be garage, and too nasty to be prog. Let's spare ourselves a lot of head scratching and say they were a really incredible rock band.

A few of the more tangible results of this incredibleness included a famously successful Brazil tour, a gig with Mike Watt, and, because World/Inferno Friendship Society get their twisted jollies from stealing Boston's best drummers, Precarious's recruitment into that band. Meanwhile, Marrett remains a member of Hallelujah the Hills.

After Penna put the icing on the night by running a beer bottle along his fretboard for a trippy-as-fuck solo, Wire's "Lowdown" appropriately served as the last song the now mythic power trio will ever play — in the foreseeable future.

"I found myself saying, 'This is the last time I'm going to play Great Scott!' " says Precarious. "But it's okay. We feel good about ourselves, and we're leaving as friends. You can't ask for much more after seven years of being in a band in Boston."

Related: New music for Boston's winter of discontent, Photos: Give Up the Ghost at the Wonderland Ballroom, Class of 2012: Boston's 12 best new bands, More more >
  Topics: Live Reviews , Boston, Music, Mike Watt,  More more >
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