Various artists | Winter Is Cold

Self-released (2009)
By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  April 9, 2009
4.0 4.0 Stars


As easy as it is to get caught up in the teeming swirl of our ever-generous local rock scene, it's just as easy to fall right out of the loop. Sleep on what's new in this town for even a few months and you could end up in a world of MySpace pain trying to catch up.

Nuts to that!, comes the proverbial cry from Clawjob confreres Mike Gintz and Nick Burgess, who have painstakingly assembled no fewer than 20 of the best bands currently trying to park their sketchy-looking vans around Boston. Rather than slap together a heap of quickie practice tapes, B-sides in search of A-sides, or tossed-off experiments of the sort that so often drift toward comps like this, they guide Winter Is Cold with a sharp, curatorial touch, and each song comes off like a proper ambassador of Boston's dozens of creative clusters.

Old dogs (Helms, Neptune, Ho-Ag) bust out thrilling new tricks; younger sprouts (Summerduck, Night Driving, the Measuremen) give promising signs of the variety (and tinnitus) to come. The offerings from Thunderhole, Piles, Tristan da Cunha, and Magic People glow with our town's enduring fondness for skronk and scratch; meanwhile, tender two-pieces like Brutal Love Masters and Dr. and Mrs. Van Der Trampp show a softer side more fitting to the comp's hibernatory origins. With its panoramic snapshot of this particular moment in Boston's noisier quarters, Winter Is Cold is far more than a sampler — it could very well be a staple.

Available at local shows and select shops and cafés, or digitally at

Editor's Note: In a previous version of this article, the album was noted as being released on Rough Trade records when there is actually no formal label associated with the release. The correction has been made above.

Related: Out: Boston loses a musical ace, Welcome home: Deer Tick Season is in full swing, Kids In The Hall, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Boston, Piles, Piles,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   FOLK ACT  |  June 26, 2010
    Vikesh Kapoor
  •   BOSTON PRIDE WEEK: OFF THE MAP  |  June 07, 2010
    We may seem a little cranky, but us local gayfolk just love a parade, and we’re actually heartened by this annual influx of brothers and sisters from every state of New England and every letter of our ever-expanding acronym.  
  •   THE NEW GAY BARS  |  June 02, 2010
    If I may channel the late, great Estelle Getty for a moment: picture it, Provincetown, 2009, a dashing young man with no discernible tan and an iffy T-Mobile signal languishes bored upon the sprawling patio of the Boatslip Resort.
    If the gradual polishing of Ariel Pink’s sound — and it’s not all that much more polished — puts his loyalists at odds with his albums, I count that as good news.
  •   MORE THAN HUMAN  |  May 26, 2010
    It’s hard to talk about Janelle Monáe when your jaw’s fallen off.

 See all articles by: MICHAEL BRODEUR