A new wave on the Waterfront

Catching up with the New Collisions
By MICHAEL MAROTTA  |  August 18, 2010

 

"My grandparents are here," exclaimed New Collisions guitarist Scott Guild between songs last Tuesday during a free outdoor show at Christopher Columbus Park. "It's a very big deal." So I hope Roz and Norman, sitting out on the grass, didn't read too much into show opener "Dying Alone," a bouncy-yet-sharp new-wave firecracker that also leads off the New Collisions' upcoming debut album, The Optimist.

It's been a relatively quiet few months for the Cambridge quintet, who last year amassed feverish buzz as the area's next pop breakout act before hitting the road with the B-52's and Blondie. They've spent much of 2010 crafting The Optimist (official release in October), in which their sound evolves from its synth-heavy Human League– and Cars-inspired beginnings to something more like a female-fronted Cheap Trick or the Jam.

The new tracks unveiled at Columbus Park, from the sinister bass-line push of "Coattail Rider" to the casual-Sunday pop breeze of "Lazy" (already featured in an Affordable Denim commercial), bespeak a new maturity in sound. That's thanks in no small part to producers Sean Slade and Paul Kolderie at Camp Street studio. "We wanted to move away from the electro direction and make it more mod and post-punk," said Guild after the show. "The album is 29 minutes, and we recorded it all live."

Which is probably why it seemed to translate well to the stage, even in a non-traditional setting like a park by the Harbor nestled between the Aquarium and the North End. The show — which also featured Sarah Borges & the Broken Singles — was a part of the city's Waterfront Performing Arts series, a Tuesday-afternoon post-work weekly that wraps up August 24 with the three-actor Complete Works of William Shakespeare(Abridged). The Bard, of course, also knew a thing or two about dying alone.

  Topics: Live Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Waterfront,  More more >
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