Music seen at the Soundpost, July 15, 2007
Portland’s The500s’ contemporary contribution to the indie-pop world is just to the badass side of twee. If wearing matching T-shirts is badass. Jonathan Merrifield leads the way with unexpected drumbeats, Isaac Turner holds down the bass, and Sammie Warren has a very smart looking Farfisa organ. The three switch off vocal duties to proclaim their love for summertime fun, riding bikes, and eating ice cream. These guys pound Poland Spring on stage rather than PBR. Be careful, though: you could easily crush their beautiful little hearts and they might have to write a song about you.
The group seem to be branching out with new songs in this vaguely personal territory, but the gems of their live set are still their classics, born of free collaboration and unapologetically simple subjects that invite the audience to sing along and bounce up and down.
As the opening slot for the Soundpost’s rockin’est of rock shows to date, The RattleSnakes are fresh-faced to Portland but already ready to blow the fuck up. They cite the usual influential suspects like Pixies and Pavement (they’re named after a Replacements tune), but their sound feels even truer to the noisier Boston and Olympia bands of that era. Singer and bassist Tara Bincarousky screams more like Kathleen Hanna than Karen O and Brian Cohen and Mike Cunnane on guitar and drums maintain a punk purist aesthetic with fast beats, clean guitar tone, and lots of inventive breaks that push the songs and make the whole audience freak out. Check out “A Tornado” on their MySpace page and be sure not to miss their next show.
On the Web
The Rattlesnakes: www.myspace.com/therattlesnakes
: New England Music News
, Kathleen Hanna, Sammie Warren, Jonathan Merrifield, More