Local rock plows ahead

Winter offerings you won’t have to shovel
By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  December 26, 2007

ENERGETIC: It’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world digs in to Hooray for Earth.

Not every local rocker is hibernating or joining Bang Camaro this winter. Some of them are actually being productive — laying down tracks that you and yours will be rocking out to well into next year’s thaw.

This past year was a stellar one for 28 DEGREES TAURUS. They toured their æthereal little butts off, released a few new tracks, prepared a pair of new releases, and, most important, landed their coyly pop-tinted blend of Sonic Youth, Slowdive, and Blonde Redhead at the center of the local rock radar. Jinsen’s wash of guitars soaked in chorus and static make a sort of Cocteau Triplet out of Karina Dacosta’s voice, which has a knack for streaking by like a comet. They’ll release the long-promised Underwater Love Sequences EP at Great Scott on January 3, playing along with ACTION CAMP, OKAY THURSDAY, and BROKEN RIVER PROPHET. Then they’ll vamoose on a winter-defying East Coast tour and return to bestow their proper full-length (Something To Feel) at T.T. the Bear’s on February 7.

HALLELUJAH THE HILLS released their Collective Psychosis Begone on Misra this past year to nationwide smiles, and justly so. Each song is a perfect marriage of reckless abandon and, well, recklesser abandon. On January 4, the boys will perform the entire CD front-to-back (first time evah) at the Middle East upstairs, on a bill with FACES ON FILM and REPORTS. Perhaps by then there’ll be some dispatchable information on singer Ryan Walsh’s next endeavor, the DEWEY DEATH METAL SYSTEM.

After six years and 129 shows (eight of which were out of town), the beloved popsters of SCAMPER will cease scampering, as well as synchronized-jumping. It’s difficult to be sad over a band who make everybody so damn happy, but I’ll try. It’s extra hard because their farewell show on Groundhog Day at the Middle East downstairs is a solid bill featuring ALOUD, HARRIS, and BAKER.

One of the biggest surprises of the past year has been Allston’s THIS CAR UP. In their short existence, they’ve made quite a rep for themselves, thanks to exuberant live shows bolstered by big horn sections, smooth Casiotones, ample on-stage antics, and the sort of hyper-genuine indie pop that might be boring if it weren’t played with such clear-eyed conviction. A smattering of new songs from the as-yet-untitled album (freshly recorded in DC by T.J. Lipple of Aloha) is posted to their MySpace page, but for the full effect, check out their release show at Great Scott on February 9 with the SHILLS, MEAN CREEK, and A HERO NEXT DOOR.

In case you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to destroy your own face with blasts of molten rock, you should mark your calendar for NEPTUNE at Great Scott on February 16. The line-up is impressive enough, with HELMS, ANIMAL HOSPITAL, and a floral installation by Andrew Plummer all promising to do you right, but the important part is that once the show is over, Neptune’s new full-length Gong Lake will be a part of our world — and what a different world that will be. A sneak preview hurt my brains in the best possible way. Following that, the group will take a tour down to Texas for a Radium/Table of the Elements showcase at SxSW.

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