Music 

RUMBLE RUNDOWN ’12: SEMI-FINALS, NIGHT 1

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TT The Bear’s 2012 Rock ‘N Roll Rumble, presented by WZLX, has been, as the French say, in-fucking-credible. Every band invited has brought their best stuff nightly and then some, making this year’s competition truly remarkable.

Yours truly was on hand Thursday night to keep track of the action, and of course, find out who your first finalist was.

Thick Shakes (@thickshakes): Jamaica Plain garage-rockers Thick Shakes were on first, and boy howdy, did they set a tempo. From Tim punching his guitar neck for his opening chord, to Lindsay’s howling vocals trying to keep its head above punchy-guitar-and-drums water, Thick Shake’s set just felt like a down-and-dirty rock show, period. Nu-Garage Rock? Sure, but whatever you do, just listen to it.

Bow Thayer and the Perfect Trainwreck (@bowthayer): Next up were rustic Vermont boys (OK, men) Bow Thayer and the Perfect Trainwreck, playing a somewhat modern take on Americana and Roots Rock. Something that became immediately apparent about Trainwreck is how they made it all seem so easy, but don’t be fooled; being this virtuosic and tight as a band is anything but easy. The group was able to make TT’s feel at home in Dixie, if only for an all-too-brief half-hour set.

Cask Mouse (@caskmouse): Next up was Allston folk-collective Cask Mouse, who made especially great use of each band member to make their quintet sound twice as large with their simultaneous harmonizing and playing. Mouse’s position in the lineup proved beneficial, as following the out-and-out rock of the first two acts allowed the audience to be a little more receptive to the group’s downtempo vibe. Frontman Mitch Belch drew in the crowd from the first verse, and that my friends, is what a frontman should do.

Motherboar (@motherboar): Ending the night on a turn-it-up-to-11 (re: loud) high-note was heavy metal outfit Motherboar. Sounding something like Mastodon’s younger brother, Kenny Irwin’s vocals felt like they were landing heavy blows to your chest, and in the world of metal, that is a very good thing. Boar certainly put the “Rumble” back in to the titular competition, making their case loud and proud as the finale. Did we mention they were loud? Yeah, they were loud.

And with the clocks well past midnight, our winners were announced…

SEMIFINALS NIGHT #1 WINNER: Bow Thayer and the Perfect Trainwreck
WILDCARD: Motherboar

Have to give the Trainwreck credit where credit’s due: They hit the stage like seasoned vets and played intricate, rocking tunes to an enthusiastic crowd. The sheer ferocity of Motherboar was also enough to secure a slot in the Finals, making this competition all the more interesting on Friday night. And of course, thanks to all the acts involved for an amazing night of music; difficult choices all around.

DON’T MISS THE ROCK N’ ROLL RUMBLE FINALS, FRIDAY 4/20 @ TT The Bear’s!!! (Tickets will be available at the door on a first come, first served basis.)

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FRI 4.20.12
TT THE BEAR’S
10 BROOKLINE ST.
CAMBRIDGE
617.492.2327
8:30/18+/$12
ttthebears.com

About SEAN MCCABE

A self-described melomaniac from New York, he loves Crystal Castles and hates jellybeans.
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