5 for '10

New locals to love right away
By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  January 22, 2010


I love baby bands, and I hope the ones I mention here don't mind my calling them that. It's not that I think you're babies. It's more that looking deep into the eyes of a baby band feels like surveying an uncluttered vista of possibility — one hears the music of the blank page, beholds the vision before it's a vision. (Well, either that or you behold a bunch of assholes with some Crate amps and a rough idea of how to bite off Staind.) Either way, these formative stages of bandhood make for good watching — and, if all goes well, good listening, too. Here are five beyond-worthwhile noobs who manage both:

MYSTERY ROAR | Middle East upstairs: January 21 | "I basically am the busiest person alive since I swore off men and their trifling nonsense," Nathanael Bluhm tells me. "I'm fucking music."

Bluhm extends this metaphor to include something about the length of his "talent wang," but suffice to say this boy has the densest schedule in town. In addition to fronting Boston's finest new dance band, Mystery Roar, and arranging an album of solo work, Bluhm helms the Foxy Action Group DJ collective, serves as a resident queer mover at Enormous Room's Chateau and Group Hug nights, and hosts the Sunday ZuZu parties Harum Scarum and Foxy.

It's no small relief for a busy, busy Bluhm to have a seriously solid band to back him up should he require a couple of minutes of downtime. Mystery Roar couch his tremulous croon in beds of shimmering disco and hip-throwing grooviness. Brothers Dole (Andrew and Patrick) form an airtight rhythm section (drums and bass, respectively); Tia Carioli, Jake Dempsey, and Joseph Wawrzyn (those last two of the dear, departed Westward Trail) fill in the blanks with broad synthy hues and funky-ass guitars. Their Mystery Roar EP (out in April on Dopamine) is rich with Roxy, Sade, Sylvester, Erasure — unknowably funky high-drama disco with a maudlin streak. A full-length won't be complete until later in 2010, but don't get it twisted — Bluhm's not resting. "I am an insomniac with a doomsday work ethic."

DOWNLOAD:Mystery Roar, "Fantasies" (mp3)

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