Last Saturday we had the pleasure of presenting, along with our friends at Clicky Clicky Music, the formidable line up of Hallelujah The Hills, Age Rings' Ted Billings, Richard Davies, and The Blue Dress. Our first visit back to Somerville's P.A.'s Lounge since "The wall came down" proved to be a superior evening of music, filled with songs from yet to be released albums, all of which will hopefully find there way to us in 2012.
After opening their set with their latest single, the insanely catchy and the spelling friendly, Amateurs, Hallelujah The Hills played a sizable chunk of their soon to be released (we hope), third LP which included new tracks, Call Off Your Horses and the equally impressive, Hungry Ghost Extraordinaire. Hearing these songs Live, only furthered our anticipation for the bands forthcoming LP. Up against P.A.'s curfew, Ryan Walsh led the band through a few more songs at a furious pace and proved again why Hallelujah The Hills are such a gifted and exhilarating Live act. Age Rings', Ted Billings dropped in to debut tracks from his bands currently being recorded third album as well as material from 2011's Black Honey. Throughout the evening Billings' displayed a penchant for razor sharp lyricism and his nimble and soaring vocal talents. He even treated us to a cracking cover of Big Star's, Thirteen. Having spent time in Australia's noise pop legends, The Moles, chamber pop godfathers, Cardinal, and Robert Pollard's Cosmos, Richard Davies hit the P.A.'s stage with an expansive catalog to choose from, aided by the rhythm section from The Blue Dress. Davies' treated us to Love Like Rain , a song that will appear on Cardinals forthcoming 2nd LP, Hymns as well a cherry picked set list that highlighted some of Davies best compositions. Cape Cod's psych pop dynamos, The Blue Dress have been frequently written about on these pages, but inexplicably we had missed a few chances to catch the band Live. With an expanded line up, The Blue Dress did not disappoint. As much of the PA's crowd had their eyes on The Patriots play off game, The Blue Dress provided a worthy and noisy alternative, taking to the stage and emanating a cacophony of trumpet, violin, bass, drums, guitar squalls that showcased the bands discordant melodies and cathartic song craft.
*Thanks to all who came out, to the bands for playing and to our unfortunately absent co-conspirators at Clicky Clicky Music.