The most prominent sound on the new, self-titled debut EP by Charleston’s Beach Sex trio is the guitar. Over the EP’s four tracks, Ryan Alexander unleashes a massive-but-sculptured roar that channels the power of surf rock into a punkier context. “The main thing about the sound is that it’s loud, but not too abrasive,” he says. “It doesn’t put anyone off. It’s just a fun, clean, simple sound that’s still rock ‘n’ roll. It doesn’t get to that Dinosaur Jr. distortion, fuzzed out noise, but it’s not a clean, crisp, ’60s style, either.” The video for the EP’s “Elaine,” which was shot by Beach Sex drummer DJ Edwards, carries that surf theme forward, featuring long takes of Charleston’s waterways over the song’s tight, jittery rhythm. Edwards did most of the mixing for the EP as well, and he says the band has learned one thing from recording the EP. “We want to be a four piece down the road,” he explains. “There are times when the EP has a really full sound, and we want to add another member so we can really play our records live.” —Vincent Harris THURSDAY
When you hear the phrase “psychedelic rock band from Trinidad and Tobago,” that’s going to get your attention, and it’s also going to take a lot to live up to the curiosity that such a description raises. Thankfully, Hatchling, the aforementioned psych band spearheaded by multi-instrumentalist and producer Syam Nath, lives up to the hype. The band is difficult music to describe, but try to imagine the anything-goes collage style of the Go! Team or the Avalanches dipped into a watery soundscape of blurred guitars, manic percussive underpinnings, and ghostly, processed vocals, all shot through with a surreal, hallucinogenic production approach. The songs don’t begin or end so much as they blissfully drift, rolling by in a dreamlike haze of outmoded keyboards, distorted guitars, and shifting rhythms. It’s almost like Stereolab, Bombadil, and Robyn Hitchcock all gathered in the studio and cut loose, perhaps aided by some non-over-the-counter herbal supplements. It’s weird, but addictive music that seems to undulate and pulse like a psychedelic light show.
—Vincent Harris FRIDAY
There’s “heavy” music, and then there’s “Holy shit, this is shredding my brain and I love every second of it” music. And Long Island, N.Y.’s Sanction definitely falls into the latter category. With a nonstop barrage of thrashing rhythms, 10-ton guitars, and howling, primal vocals, the quintet is absolutely merciless, sacrificing speed for sheer power and pounding their songs across like nails through wood. Their most recent release, the just-out Infringement of God’s Plan, is everything a true hardcore metal lover should want to hear: seven songs of molten riffing, hammering drums, and singer David (these guys don’t have time for last names) tearing his throat to shreds. It’s unrelentingly dark, structurally unpredictable, rhythmically complex music that kicks down the door, destroys the furniture, and then blows the house up, and it’s exactly the kind of high-intensity aural punishment that anyone who digs Slayer or Corrosion Of Conformity should love giving themselves whiplash to. —Vincent Harris SATURDAY
The Pour House is celebrating its 15-year anniversary with a week of shindigs, and what better way to kick it off than with a group that has “dance party” in their name? They even do us one better by making this blowout a tribute to the Godfather of Soul. Created by Adam and Matthew Chase, the James Brown Dance Party (JBDP) hits every era of Mr. Dynamite’s extensive discography. The group primarily plays the hits, like “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” and “Living In America,” but typically throws in a deep cut or two, too. “James Brown has written and has been a part of the funkiest music ever written,” says Chase. “It’s just the kind of music that when it’s played live and you hear it, you just have to dance.” JBDP has a rotating cast of musicians, and for their Pour House performance, they’ll share the stage with Justin Stanton of Snarky Puppy, Kebbi Williams from Tedeschi Trucks Band, and local jazz pianist Charlton Singleton of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra. And, while the band is not about impersonating James Brown’s stage presence exactly, Chase assures us that the performance won’t be anything close to low energy. “Every time we play Charleston, we end up with half the crowd onstage dancing with us,” Chase says. “It’s been rowdy in the past, so imagine it will be quite entertaining this time around as well.” —Heath Ellison WEDNESDAY