Alt-Nation: Welcoming 2016 with Music

Atlantic Thrills – Vices (Almost Ready Records)
The Atlantic Thrills serve up another plate of surf-smoked garage rock on their sophomore LP, Vices.  “Hold It Down” is a catchy tune, but it’s hard not to view it as beach bonfire re-writing of Deer Tick’s “The Bump.”  Better is “Bible in a Bowl” that in my opinion is the single here for the relaxed waves of guitars and breezy ’70s feel.  “On Your Own” and the title track raise the ratchet up a notch by working in a Nuggets ’60s psychedelic rock vibe. “Dan Don’t Go” has a tango vibe that reminds me of the indie super group Mister Heavenly. “Bed Bugs” and “Bloodshot Eyes” are the Atlantic Thrills at their best, delivering hazy infectious rock ‘n’ roll. Vices closes with a slowed down cover of The Archies’ “Sugar, Sugar” that the Atlantic Thrill recorded for a compilation album of bands playing just that song. A person can never have too many vices in life, especially if they are half as good as the Atlantic Thrills.altF

The Paraplegics – Back on Their Feet
It’s tough to believe that after 13 years, The Paraplegics are still around playing the same mix of hardcore and punk rock that had a heyday for what, two years at the most? Like cockroaches, The Paraplegics have survived weathering an Americana blitzkrieg as far as musical fashions go. Generally, I’m bored by punk rock bands that beat the same thing to death, but I’ve always had a soft spot for The Paraplegics. That said, like most bands 13 years into their career, I wasn’t really excited to hear new material from them. I was actually shocked by how spirited and lively The Paraplegics sounded on the opening track “If Fish Could Walk.” “Causes/Actions” is wonderfully weird tune that sounds like a sonic mess. “McGruff (Has Had Enough)” is a song that has been in their live repertoire for a while. It’s enjoyable for a shout-a-long chorus and a breakdown that adds a little bit of Suicidal Tendencies flavor. “Unfuckwithable” hints at memories from The Paraplegics’ most memorable tune, “Fuck You Doosh Bag,” but fails to add another chapter. “Shadows” reminds me of Misfits playing hardcore that along with “The Ballad of Dr. Fred” are some of the better tracks on Back on Their Feet. The catchiest tune on the biscuit is the closing “Fuckabout,” which lasts all of 16 seconds. Short and sweet, 10 of the 13 tunes on Back on Their Feet clock in at less than two minutes. The Paraplegics are still good for cheap hard and fast thrills.

The Mallett Brothers Band
The Mallett Brothers Band are a country rock outfit that hail from Portland, Maine. The Mallett Brothers Band have released a few discs that are chock full of Yankee hillbilly thrills. I hate modern country as much as the next urban rock ‘n’ roll brat, but something about The Mallett Brothers Band really grabs me. The boys rev stuff up on rockers like “Farmer’s Tan,” “A Little Bit of Mud” and “Piece of Land.” The Mallett Brothers Band combine country and rock ‘n’ roll to come off more like a really good straight ahead bar band. I’ve caught The Mallett Brothers Band a few times over the years and they always delivered!

The Mallett Brothers Band and Townman Charged will rock The Café at The Parlor in Newport on December 18.

Consuelo’s Revenge
There are plenty of good New Year’s Eve shows, so it is always tough to pick one. But this week I’m going with The Parlour’s bill, headlined by Consuelo’s Revenge. Consuelo’s Revenge recently released a great new album in Mercy that has touches of everything from gypsy folk and bluegrass to dust bowl thrash. One element of Mercy that I was a big fan of was how Consuelo’s Revenge worked local folklore tales, such as South County vampire Mercy Brown and the Block Island ghost ship Palantine, into songs. As an added bonus, the pop-a-rockin’ Dust Ruffles will help kickstart the death of 2015 and the party for 2016. The Pegheads will get the night going with some bluegrass.

Consuelo’s Revenge, The Dust Ruffles, The Pegheads, and The Quahog Quire’s Mummer’s Play will ring in the New Year at The Parlour in Providence on December 31.

Deer Tick
Deer Tick return to town to kick some life into 2016 and headline Narragansett’s 125th Anniversary Bash. In an oddity, Deer Tick did not play Rhode Island last year outside of their exclusive post-Newport Folk Fest Parties at the Newport Blues Café. I caught three of the four nights there and Deer Tick sounded as rocking as ever as they went through a completely different set each night. The boys have been working hard on new material for a follow up to 2013’s Negativity (Partisan Records) while the playing sporadic show. Deer Tick is due to embark on an acoustic tour in February, so it remains to be seen if they’ll approach the Lupo’s show in that manner as a warm up.

Narragansett 125th Anniversary Bash presented by Narragansett & WBRU featuring Deer Tick and Last Good Tooth kicks off the New Year at Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel on January 2.

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