Search Results for "Bundles"

Album Review: Bundles – “Deaf Dogs”

Alright, I’m in a rare corner here. I get to review a band I’ve never heard of, like, ever— from across the country on the recommendation of a fellow Dying Scene writer (shoutout to my better, Jason Stone). The band is Bundles and the album is Deaf Dogs. Well, what does that mean to me? It means I have to put some words together.

Bundles is from Boston and as far as I can tell, Deaf Dogs is their debut album. And from a couple listens and onward, it’s a good one. What does it sound like? Muscular melodic punk from guys who probably dig Avail and the Gaslight Anthem, but probably more on the Avail side. Throat-shredding. Heartfelt. A little on the simple side when it comes to arrangements, driven mostly by bass heavy chugging and shoutalong choruses. I got a distinct street punk vibe here, there’s a certain shared spirit at work, but to be fair, they have about the same connection to a band like Arms Aloft too. Whether you see this as an extension of the working class anthems of street punk or an extension of the working class anthems of melodic punk, just know it’s music you could have a beer with.

The album opens with “Lorem Ipsum,” which stomps out of the stereo with a big verse hook that leads into an even bigger chorus hook. The vocals sound like they’ve been passed through a cheese grater, in the best possible way. In fact, this is where Bundles simple arrangements really benefit themselves. This is punk rock played like punk rock— it’s not reaching to push the boundaries of the genre or aiming for anything loftier than delivering good songs played with passion. With this creed in mind, rhythm, melody, and vocal performance step to the center stage.

Short is another key word for Bundles. Deaf Dogs is full of gloriously short songs. A good amount of the track list doesn’t pass the three minute mark, and a fair amount don’t push two. “TKC” uses its short run time for a raw and ragged singalong that almost reaches into hardcore territory, while, “The Dornishman’s Wife,” the longest song on the album at a whopping three minutes and twenty-eight seconds, slows the tempo but never loses the edge.

“Robots of the Uncanny Valley” is a stand out track that almost feels like an unhinged grunge tune before the whole scene shook off their punk influences to claim rock band status. It’s garage rock in its essence, the sound of people playing the sort of rock ‘n roll they idolize in their mind’s eyes. Inevitably, it comes out as loud and guitar-heavy, with plenty of opportunities for the crowd to singalong. “The State of Seattle” is the number two of the one-two punch, the next sequential track and another highlight of Deaf Dogs that flies by in under two minutes. The pendulum swings both ways though, and if I had to deliver a criticism of Deaf Dogs, it’d be one that a lot of albums like this attract— back to basics rock ‘n roll can only get you so far. Even with a good handful of great songs, a lot of them go by so quickly they’re hard to distinguish. For the most part though, the album survives the sameness sag, with songs like “Oh, Brazil,” and “The Glow” maintaining interest in the latter half.

Deaf Dogs is a strong album, the kind you won’t mind raising a beer and a fist to on any given night. It’s loud, personable, and defiantly minimalist. It’s back to basics punk rock by people who think that rock music should rock.

4/5



DS Photo Gallery: Bundles Record Release Show w/Dan Webb +The Spiders, Birdwatching and Michael Kane + The Morning Afters

While those of us that make up your friendly neighborhood Dying Scene photography staff enjoy shooting punk rock shows of all shapes and sizes, there’s just something special about a bill at a small, cash-only club that’s stacked with kick ass local bands. Such was the case the weekend before last when one of our favorites, Bundles, celebrated the release of their debut full-length, Deaf Dogs. The album was released by Gunner Records earlier this month, just in time for the trio’s recent tour of Europe, and they threw themselves a barn-burner of a homecoming shindig at O’Brien’s in Boston’s legendary Allston neighborhood.

Kicking things off was Michael Kane & The Morning Afters. The foursome are based in Worcester, MA, which is roughly an hour from the city, but have long been staples of the local music scene in various capacities. When we last caught up with the foursome, they were on the big stage kicking off the third and final night of Street Dogs‘ annual Wreck The Halls festivities. While they might have axed the Bruce Springsteen cover from their set on this particular night, their unique blend of punk-infused rock-and-roll (think The Replacements) set the bar pretty high for what was to follow for the remainder of the evening. The infectious “Old Men Die In New Suits” from their 2017 Laughing At The Shape I’m In remains one of the catchier singalongs in the recent chapters of the local punk scene.

Birdwatching were up next, and are rather quickly becoming one of the most must-see bands in or around Boston. The threesome play a high-energy indie rock style that’s equal parts earnest and vulnerable. They dub themselves “nervous underdog pop,” and that seems to be pretty accurate, although perhaps not quite as accurate as how my ten-year-old sums up the sound of Birdwatching’s latest EP, Night Physics – “these guys are really good. They’re interesting, because they’re loud, but they’re not like RAH-RAH-RAH-RAH loud like a lot of other rock bands.”

Dan Webb and the Spiders were up third, and if you’ve been paying attention, you’re no doubt aware that the foursome have long been one of our favorite local acts. DWatS and Bundles put out a split 12-inch on Gunner Records a couple years ago and shared a bill at that album’s record release show at this very same venue, and so it made perfect sense to have the two team up on this night as well given how complimentary the bands sounds are. IT can be a bit tough to encapsulate the Spiders’ garage rock-based sound, as they can pull off gritty aggression and almost Beatlesian melodies interchangeably. I keep saying they’re one of the most underappreciated bands in the area, and I’m nowhere near alone in that mindset.

Which, of course, brings us to the guests of honor, the trio known as Bundles. Much like Michael Kane & the Morning Afters, we last caught Bundles on the big stage across town at Sinclair where they were kicking off the recent Hot Water Music show. Don’t get us wrong; we love watching local buds get cool opportunities like that, especially when their set goes over well, and we’ll always continue to root for more and more of those experiences. But seeing bands like Bundles damn near melt on stage at venues like Obie’s will forever be one of the more comforting things in a local scene that, like so many others, is becoming increasingly gentrified. We’ve seen Bundles and their finely-tuned quads a bunch over the years, and this is probably the most involved and vocal we’ve seen a crowd at a Bundles show, with nearly non-stop vocal involvement from audience members from start to finish, in spite of how very recently released the stellar Deaf Dogs was. Yet another notch on the bedpost in support of Boston being one of the best places for local independent music.

Head below to check out our full photo gallery, and pick up Deaf Dogs here.



Bundles debut video for “Lorem Ipsum,” embark on first European tour

Boston-based post-hardcore three-piece Bundles are set for a pretty raucous first half of 2018. First and foremost, the band are slated to release their debut full-length, Deaf Dogs, next month. The first single from that album is called “Lorem Ipsum,” and you can check out the lyric video below for the very first time anywhere!

Second, the band are now on the eve of embarking on their first-ever European tour. It starts tomorrow (January 19th) in Monchengladbach, Germany, and runs through February 2nd in Cologne, Germany. Check out the full rundown down below the video. There’s also a hometown record release February 16th at Boston’s O’Brien’s bar, where they’ll appear alongside Dan Webb and the Spiders, Birdwatching, and Michael Kane and the Morning Afters. Come hang out!

Deaf Dogs is due out next month on Gunner Records.



DS Photo Gallery: Hot Water Music with Big Jesus and Bundles, Cambridge, MA

Hot Water Music made their long-awaited return to the Boston area last Friday night, playing to a packed house at the Sinclair in Cambridge that sold out long before the show actually took place. Touring in support of their most recent studio album, Light It Up (released September 15th via Rise Records), the genre-defining four-piece were playing down a man, with Chris Wollard sitting out this run of shows to focus on taking care of anxiety and stress-related issues. However, just like they did at Fest last month, they called on the help of a pretty well-respected friend to fill Wollard’s shoes. That, of course, was none other than Flatliners frontman Chris Cresswell.

If Cresswell had the pre-game jutters that might be expected when filling in on the sold-out first night of a run with a highly influential band fifteen years his senior, he didn’t show them. The show’s twenty-one song setlist did steer more heavily toward the Chuck Ragan sung end of the catalog, and Ragan took over lead vocal duties on the new track, “Vultures,” but Cresswell did Wollard justice on such staples as “A Flight and A Crash,” “Paper Thin,” and, of course, “Trusty Chords.” Ragan, who sounded as solid and high-energy as he ever has, seemed on more than one occasion to look on in proud admiration at his new stage-left counterpart. For their part they rhythm section core of Jason Black (bass) and George Rebelo (drums) were a lock-tight gas pedal, which, while they’ve been playing together for the better part of a quarter-century, is not necessarily an easy task given that it was the first night of a brief three-day tour for a band that doesn’t live on the road nearly the way they did earlier in their respective careers. Rebelo’s recent turn behind the drumkit with Bouncing Souls has provided his playing with a little bit of an added, uptempo spark, which seems to play right into the nimble-fingered Black’s wheelhouse. It may not have been the traditional Hot Water Music lineup that has been so long-revered in this scene, but goddamn it still felt pretty special.

Big Jesus provided direct support on all three shows on this run. Trying to narrow down the sound of Big Jesus to one definable genre is a bit on the difficult side, but they’ve got a sludgy, swampy metal guitar attack that’s offset by bassist/vocalist Spencer Ussery’s airy, melodic vocals that have drawn comparisons to Smashing Pumpkins but are really more like Silversun Pickups-meets-Clutch. They were apparently “discovered” and subsequently managed by the Madden brothers, though you’d honestly never guess that from their sound or their look. 

Local three-piece Bundles, who’ve become increasingly beloved around these parts, were added to the bill to kick off the show only about a week or so ago, after it was announced that Strike Anywhere wouldn’t be on this particular date. We’ve caught the trio on longer bills at various smaller bars in Boston, so to get the chance to see them on the larger stage (editor’s note: we’re pretty sure O’Brien’s in Allston would fit on the stage at Sinclair, but we digress) was a bit of a proud moment that the band seemed to revel in. There’s is an updated, stripped down version of the sound pioneered by bands like Hot Water Music twenty-five years ago, but with lyrics that draw as much inspiration from classic literature as they do from personal pain and struggle. Fun opportunity for the band and it was awesome to see them as being up to the task.

Check out our full photo gallery below, and stay tuned for our sit-down with Hot Water Music’s Jason Black in the next few days!



DS Photo Gallery: Dan Webb and the Spiders/Bundles Album Release Show (Boston, MA)

Dan Webb

A couple of yours truly’s favorite hometown bands recently teamed up to throw a record release party in honor of their new split 12-inch, and the result was one of the most enjoyable show-going experiences of the year in the local music scene.

The two bands of honor in this case were Dan Webb and the Spiders and Bundles. Their split, which you can still stream here, marks the first release on the American imprint (run by Webb himself) of German-based Gunner Records. The evening’s festivities took place at O’Brien’s Pub in Boston’s Allston neighborhood, a no-frills bar in one of the few no-frills neighborhoods left in an increasingly gentrifying city. O’Brien’s has long provided a dark, sweaty bastion for up-and-coming local and smaller national touring bands (shoutout to the great and terrible Ryan Agate), making it the perfect backdrop for the occasion.

Birdwatching

The first band out of the chute on this particular evening was Birdwatching. For the uninitiated (as I was until showtime), Birdwatching are a local three-piece who, despite being a newcomer to the scene in ever sense, seem to have perfected the sort of lo-fi, odd-time signatured indie punk sound that’s been building over the last couple years. They’ve got an album release show of their own in a couple weeks that Bundles will actually be opening, a clear sign that Birdwatching aren’t going to be “up-and-coming” for very long.

Dan Webb and the Spiders

While they very easily could have been headlining this particular show, Dan Webb + The Spiders actually played second out of the four bands on the bill. As I’ve told you before, they’re a four-piece that grew out of a one-man project, and they grab you by the scruff of the neck and forces you to pay attention, with a sound that owes more than a little bit of inspiration to the heyday of punk-infused ’90′s garage rock. On the split that this show was celebrating, tracks like “”No Excuse” pay sonic homage to Brit-pop bands, while the band bring more of an uptempo banger vibe to “Odd Combinations” and a throwback Lemonheads vibe on “Running Around” and “Inside the Cage,” though only the former and latter tracks made it into the setlist on this occasion.

No Weather Talks

Germany’s No Weather Talks played third, and marked a pleasant surprise if ever there was one. I’d admittedly not heard them…or heard of them…prior to this occasion, but they made quick fans out of myself and many others in the crowd by midway through their first song. Playing entirely on gear borrowed from Webb and his cronies, the Hamburg-based five pieced play a surprisingly tight set of tunes that are sort of a modern rock take on a classic skate-punk sound. The only band listed on their Facebook page as an influence is Samiam, and I would go so far as to say that a No Weather Talks – Samiam comparison is entirely accurate, if Samiam were fronted by a dynamic female vocalist, in this case the captivating Faye Herr.

Bundles

What can I say about Bundles that I haven’t said before? Hmmm…well…let’s see. The band consists of three dudes with questionable tastes in guitar tuners and facial hair and even more questionable penchants for quad-revealing short shorts. I kid. Not really. Well…kinda. Anyway, Bundles have become one of my favorite local live bands in relatively short order. While they band joked that they had no business closing a show after sets by the three bands that came before them, that speaks more to the strength of the bill than it does to their own prowess, as evidence by the way they plowed through their set in prototypical punk rock fashion. While the sound is still an intense version of post-hardcore, what has changed a little as the band has grown over the last year or so is the more toned-down points in some of the newer tracks (like “Welcome To The Rusty Nail” from the aforementioned split), proving that 1000mph isn’t always a necessity to get the point across.

Check out our full photo gallery from the evening below.

 



DS Exclusive: Bundles and Dan Webb + The Spiders stream upcoming split 12-inch

Dying Scene is beyond stoked to bring you the premier of the upcoming 12-inch split from two of Boston’s sincerely raddest bands, Bundles and Dan Webb and the Spiders. On a totally personal level, I had the unique privilege of catching both of these bands live in support roles before I was familiar with their recorded music, and was legitimately blown away by both, so allow me to introduce you if you’re not familiar.

Bundles are a three-piece post-hardcore (I guess…) band who, as I wrote about when I first saw them, played with such earnestness and voracity that they had plowed full throttle through their setlist and damn near ran out of songs before they ran out of time. They were one of the first new bands in seemingly forever that made me stop and actively pay closer attention than normal because I hadn’t quite seen or heard something like them in a good long while.

Speaking of which… Dan Webb and the Spiders are a four-piece that grew out of a one-man project. I was admittedly a little behind the eight-ball on these guys, as there’s long been a lot of local buzz surrounding them from people in the know. They’re another one of those bands that grabs you by the scruff of the neck and forces you to pay attention, with a sound that owes more than a little bit of inspiration to the heyday of punk-infused ’90’s garage rock.

The 12-inch split is due out tomorrow (October 18th) on Gunner Records, and marks that label’s first-ever dedicated USA-based release. Stream the album in full below, and follow the link here to pre-order physical or digital copies! If you’re in the Boston area, come hang out at O’Brien’s in Allston tomorrow night for the record release show!



New Video: Bundles perform new track “Dead Reckoning” from Converse Rubber Tracks session

Bundles, the Boston-area punk rock three-piece, recently took to the Converse Rubber Tracks studio in their hometown in order to record a handful of new tracks. Today, we get a peak at what the fellas were up to, in the form of a music video for the track “Dead Reckoning.” Check it out below.

Bundles are also streaming a new track called “Prisoner’s Dilemma,” and you can check that one out here.

Bundles’ self-titled 2014 can still be purchased right here!



Bundles (Massachusetts punk) recording follow up to self-titled debut

Two Bundles stories in the same night! Bet you didn’t see that one coming, did you?

The Boston-area punk rock three-piece entered the recording studio mere hours after their opening spot at Rebuilder‘s record release show in their hometown last weekend. They’re hard at work recording the follow-up to their self-titled 2014 EP. Haven’t heard ’em yet? Stream the aforementioned release below and pick up your own copy here!