November 12, 2014
Premiere: Hoax Hunters Unveil Dambuilders Covers Project, Mini Doc Lauds Bygone Boston Phenoms
There's a bumper sticker about being old and having seen all the cool bands. Maybe you've seen it. In our mind the saying applies more to the generations above our own; our aunt mentions having seen Janis Joplin, and that seems like, you know, something. But we guess we've seen some stuff, and we have very fond memories of seeing a few Dambuilders shows in the mid-'90s, circa the release of the band's triumphant major label debut Encendedor!. We recall in particular an amazing show with The Grifters in Bethlehem, PA; that act was touring its Crapping You Negative LP and Dambuilders violinist Joan Wasser jumped onstage with the (recently busy) lads from Memphis for at least one song and had electrifying chemistry up there with the band -- a bonus on top of Dambuilders' own amazing set. We're put into the frame of mind to reminisce over such things by a delightful mini documentary put together by Hoax Hunters guitarist and noted photog PJ Sykes; we are premiering the film today atop this jumble of words. We are also exceedingly chuffed to premiere one of two covers recorded as part of the apparently Dambuilders-approved project, namely Richmond shoegazers Snowy Owls' collaboration with scenemates Positive No on a beautifully icy iteration of the Boston-by-way-of-Honolulu act's tremendous "Shrine." Bouncy and irresistibly hooky in its original incarnation, Snowy Owls and Positive No's version burns slowly, brightly, its subdued vocals and snare drum cracks shrouded in a soft haze of bending and saturated guitar. If anything, the slower tempo makes the track even more beautiful, and we encourage you to stream it via the embed below.
Those in the know know that Hoax Hunters' cover contribution to the project was already premiered last week over at the fine ChunkyGlasses publication. If you happened to miss it, well, we've got you covered. You can hear the Richmond post-punkers' explosive take on Dambuilders' "Smooth Control," the lead track from the band's 1995 set Ruby Red, via the embed below as well. The mini doc features footage of Hoax Hunters -- abetted for this outing by former Ted Leo bandmate Marty Key and highly touted vocalist Anousheh -- tracking the song at Scott's Addition Sound in Richmond. That performance footage is of the classic early '80s MTV variety, the sort of stuff we eat up, and we think you will enjoy seeing Hoax Hunters absolutely burn the tune down as the tape rolls under the record head. The mini doc allows that Dambuilders weren't as widely regarded as some of the current crop of reuniting acts, but we think the proof of their greatness is in the songs; excellent songs are excellent whether or not the teeming masses pay heed. And Dambuilders wrote way more than their share, including "Smell", "Colin's Heroes," and "Mississippi" -- those are just the first that come to mind, and should give folks just turning on to the band some things to hunt down. Hoax Hunters' "Smooth Control" and Snowy Owls/Positive No's "Shrine" are available for purchase as a digital download via the Cherub Records Bandcamp for two big American dollars right here, so after you watch the mini doc and stream the tunes via the Soundcloud embed below, click over and buy that jawn.
Hoax Hunters: Bandcamp | Facebook | Internerds
Snowy Owls: Bandcamp | Facebook | Internerds
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