April 20, 2012

Review/Preview: AM Stereo

Their albums aren't particularly easy to find, their gigs are somewhat irregular, and they don't even list their names on their CD cover, which I suppose why AM Stereo bills themselves as the "Purveyors of Boston's Finest Disaster Rock since 1998."

I've been a fan and follower since some these guys were in Crazy Alice and my old band were on the undercard to them at a couple of nights at the late, great (in a manner of speaking) Bunratty's circa 1992. That disaster rock ethos has been there all along, which is probably why we identified with them. Looked up to them, even, having just arrived in Boston from the hinterlands of north central Massachusetts. We revered Superchunk and the Replacements so much that we needed Crazy Alice to show us that we, too, could be fuck-ups and still rock like our indie idols.

Four albums later, that band eventually folded, but their core soldiered on as AM Stereo and the imminent release of their new album makes four for them as well.

When You Wish Upon A Bar is a big, fat rocking good time that doesn't stray far from a well-worn and reliable path. There are hooks: you'll find yourself shouting "tonite, tonite, tonite tonite tonite is the night" from "Tonite" for days. There are drunken laments that we can all relate to like "run out of liquor, should run out on you" from "I'll Leave The Light Off For You;" and there are just plain ragers like "The Way I Say Hello." All that 'Chunk and 'Mats is still there, but it's very much AM Stereo's deal: this is self-deprecating, grimy, cry-in-your-beer, ham-and-egger rock with that slightly aggrieved Boston bent.

This Saturday's record release show is sure to be, ahem, a wicked bahhnburnah (sorry). It's the third installment of Clicky Clicky faves The Beatings-run label Midriff Records' year-long residency at Radio in Somerville. Solo Beating Eldridge Rodriguez opens the night with a set that will feature him shooting a video for "The Shame of the Scene" from last year's excellent You Are Released, so get there early. Noise rockers Ho-Ag take it from there, and also-Clicky Clicky faves Soccer Mom destroy the building to close out the night. I'm assuming.

-Michael Piantigini

AM Stereo: Intertubes | Facebook

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