New England product, 2008

By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  September 11, 2008

On the fresh-faced front: quick local favorites TOWNSHIP are currently mixing their upcoming single (due late September) and a full-length (late October). Details are scarce — suffice to say these releases will concentrate the deliciously gnarly brand of exuberant arena rock (demonstrated so adeptly on last year’s Coming Home) into a high-powered beam that will hurt a little. After the sad dissolution of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, Gabriel Birnbaum has focused all his energy on his BOY WITHOUT GOD alias. Like his past releases, Your Body Is Your Soul will be available free of charge through his MySpace page in late September. But don’t let the price fool you — Birnbaum’s songs veer from trancy organ drones to crystalline acoustic folk, even as his low-register croon cracks and warbles and deftly leads each smart arrangement. He’s one of the most promising new talents in town.

Same goes for Vermont transplants PRETTY & NICE, who found a home on the roster of the newly established Sub Pop subsidiary Hardly Art for their newest LP, Get Young. Feisty as fuck, punchy as hell, loud as all get-out, and poppy despite it all, P&N have it in them to elicit national forgiveness toward Boston for that whole Extreme thing. A release show for Get Young is in the works — watch this space for details.

Expect an exciting debut from MOVERS & SHAKERS, who aren’t actually industry flacks but rather four young men with a penchant for the Clash, the Boss, the lick, and the group vocal. Taking tried-and-true Americana and giving it a wallop of punk gusto, Larrabee (due in late October) is utterly pretense-free and, with any luck, will enjoy staying power right into the next barbecue season. (Sigh.) They’ve scheduled a release show for October 24 along with the COLD BEAT and WHERE THE LAND MEETS THE SEA — both of whom will also drop debut releases that night before heading out for nearly three weeks together on the road. The former describe themselves as “the Replacements being felched by Nirvana”; the latter abjure any sort of felching arrangement, relying instead on a softened approach to post-hardcore tropes: dreamy guitars, chunky, driving rhythms, and lilting lady vox.

The gloriously frenetic, sometimes-duo/sometimes-quartet/now-trio LIFE PARTNERS are preparing a new single on Partnership/Twisted Village Records. It may be the Partners’ best asset that one never knows what to expect from them, but odds are good that this single will be hot enough to melt itself. A release show with Eunuch, Donna Parker, and Kate Village is slotted for October 11 at Nom D’Artiste.

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