Early and often

Summer heats up quick and stays hot
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 13, 2007
GIVEAWAY: Get a free Hiss & Chambers EP at
the June 15 SPACE show.

There’s plenty to get excited about looking forward into the scant three months that make up the only great time to be in Maine, but first let me address the recent past. Yes, it’s true I got a little high on the news of Rustic Overtones getting back together and probably gave SIDECAR RADIO the shaft in not reviewing their new EP, Static, to preview their CD release shows last weekend. I mean, they shot a video and everything, but it’s not like they need my help to fill the Big Easy.

In case you didn’t take that opportunity to pick up the EP, let me recommend that you swing by Bull Moose and grab a copy now; it was released to the wider public June 12. If you’re a fan of Christian Hayes, the Sidecar frontman who once led an eponymous band, then the Element, and now a three-piece that also includes bassist Corey Tibbets and drummer-at-large Jason Stewart (he replaced Ryan O’Connell about a year ago), you won’t be disappointed. His vocals are crisp and powerful, a mix of Bradley Newell and Stevie Wonder. But this is a statement by Sidecar that they really, really don’t want to be thought of as a jam band or “Christian,” as might have been a possibility early in their career.

It’s heavy, even angry. Grating feedback and digital noise (much worse than static) open the disc, and “Dog Days,” the disc’s first single, is introduced with a horrifying screech (if you have it loud in the headphones, anyway) made by a garbage truck or something similar. It’s like the band are giving their audience a little shove on the shoulder: “You wanna go?”

“I’m seeing double, but I don’t care,” Hayes sings in the racing “Dog Days” chorus, “I make trouble, see, in pairs.” Recorded by Shaun Michaud at Scissorhand SoundLab in Sanford, the disc has a new and unfamiliar vibe to its mix of sounds, with a great nod to Tibbets’s bass lines, which often provide much of a song’s melody.

June’s been super-busy already. Last weekend also saw the release of NOMAR SLEVIK’s new full-length Sasquatch: The Great Dying, on Siq Records, an underground hip-hop label based in Hawaii (how’s that for far-flung? Nomar never has done things the easy way). It’s a fun mix of in-your-face ridiculousness and self-deprecation: “I’m through, how you like the view honey?/No money and I got a tummy.” You can stream the whole thing for free on his site: www.nomarslevik.com. Listen for turns by DJs SHADE and MAYONNAISE.

Also, SOUNDBENDER released the full-length Victory Mile at the Underground, in Bangor, June 9. This is a good chance to plug their next show: the Misty Mountain Music Festival, in Vienna, Maine, on June 23. Check out www.crazysnakeproductions.com/festival for more, but here’s a little bit to wet your whistle: three days of music and 4x4 riding on Nitro’s Farm, which is in the middle of nowhere, and a wet T-shirt contest. Bands include ELDEMUR KRIMM, PIGBOAT, the KILLING MOON, COVERED IN BEES, LOVERLESS, TWISTED ROOTS, CONFUSATRON, and a bunch more. It’s win-win with the weather, too. Sun? Psyched with the bands. Rain? Great riding in the mud.

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