September 14, 2009

That Was The Show That Was: The Beatings, Hands And Knees

The Beatings, Great Scott, Sept. 12, 2009

The Beatings, fresh off a short but successful tour, dazzled the hometown crowd from Great Scott's small stage Saturday night, playing selections from its newly issued collection Late Season Kids with a degree of control and confidence that we rarely see on said stage. The platform was flanked by black-garbed Mssrs. Skalicky and Keiber, anchored by the pogoing bassist Erin Dalbec and dead-serious drummer Dennis Grabowsi, and new-ish utility player Greg Lyon was wedged in a corner behind a keyboard with a guitar slung over one shoulder and a mad scientist's furrowed brow. The Beatings performed with such passion and force we briefly considered simply posting video clips of air raids, bombings and tidal waves to get the point across.

Under a steady rain of camera flashes that belies that band's relatively low profile outside the City of Boston, the quintet launched into the same opening salvo it had deployed so effectively the prior Tuesday, when The Beatings opened their radio appearance on WMBR with the one-two punch of "Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained" and "Bury You." These potent tracks lead Late Season Kids, which we reviewed last month here. We were particularly gratified to hear the band decisively pound out the album highlight "All The Things You've Been Missing" in the middle of the set; also from the new record were "Youth Crimes" and "Parts-Per Notation," among others. The precise rendering of powerful dynamics during "Upstate Flashbacks," a remarkable track from the band's 2006 long-player Holding On To Hand Grenades that was also played at WMBR, was both riveting and spine-tingling. We are hopeful that last night's performance doesn't mark the end of the Late Season Kids album cycle, because we'll feel that we've missed out if we don't get more chances to see the band kill it with this material before entering suspended animation once more. Currently the fivesome have no additional gigs listed at its MySpace yert here.

Supporting act Hands And Knees, signed to The Beatings' own Midriff Records label, were charming and the quartet's skewed rockabilly proved particularly vibrant when performed live. The band issued its debut Et Tu, Fluffy? in April, and we look forward to the opportunity to see the act live again. Evening openers The Hush Now proved to be as resilient as ever, performing a stirring final number (all we could catch because of the joys of parking in Allston, was it "Thorns"? Our memory fails us) and indeed the entire set with a guitarist standing at the front of the stage who'd only signed on with the band in the last two or three weeks. We reviewed The Hush Now's sophomore set Constellations right here last month.

The Beatings -- "Bury You" -- Late Season Kids
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[buy Beatings records from Midriff right here]

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Previous Beatings Coverage:

That Was The Show That Was: The Beatings | TT The Bear's
Year-End Wrap Party: Eight Records You Should Have Heard In 2006
The Beatings' Holding On To Hand Grenades review

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